Not Martha

thing I like: Clarisonic Mia

Clarisonic Mia, white

I bought the Clarisonic Mia last spring after reading about it on a few sites of people I trust. I read the hype from the company (your pores will be smaller! your wrinkles will be fewer! you will glow from within!) but I didn’t really believe it. I’ve been using it all summer and last week I realized that despite faithfully applying SPF 30 I’ve had way fewer breakouts than I normally would. In fact I’ve stopped worrying that I’m going to get an inconvenient pimple (is there any other kind?) before an event where I need to look halfway decent. Which is so, so nice.

I have noticed that my pores seem less horrible than they used to. I think this is the result of a consistent cleaning routine rather than the Mia working magic. But that consistency turns out to be what I needed. I never skip thoroughly washing my face because it’s convenient and quick and right within reach (no more running out of fresh wash cloths). It did seem like a lot of money to plunk down for an oversized toothbrush but I’m hereby declaring it worth it.

I briefly looked at the larger model, the Clarisonic Plus, because it can also be used as a body brush (it holds larger body brushes as well as the smaller face brushes). But I read reviews that the larger one is bulky enough that it is awkward to use on your face. I also considered the Clarisonic Classic, which is as small as the Mia but has two speeds. For the added cost I didn’t think I’d miss that feature. You can easily compare the models over at the Clarisonic site.

One thing I don’t like? The Mia is all smooth rounded lines, which actually makes it difficult to store in or near the shower. I could use a flat end so it could stand up, or at least a little loop so I could hang it. As it is you put it down and it sort of rocks or slides one way or the other.

It comes in a bunch of colors. Most of the colors are in the pastel range, and there are a few patterns that might be exclusive to specific retailers but I bought the basic white one. Since I bought mine they came out with a poppy red model and a fetching Kelly green color that would have been my choice. My other pick is the charcoal gray. You can also buy replacement brush heads, sensitive brush heads or deep pore cleaning brush heads (which I’m going to try next). I’ve seen the Mia at Sephora, Nordstrom and Ulta stores, which all have great return policies. As I type this the basic white one is being sold on Amazon for only $105.

· comments [20] · 10-4-2011 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

links: beauty

The Eyebrow Tutorial: Window Frames to the Soul | The Hairpin. (Video.)

Feather extensions leave fly fishing shops on the hook – Spokesman.com. My hairdresser was telling me abut this the other day, people who wan them for their hair will pay way more for those feathers than fishermen will. (I was not getting feather extensions, I just cannot rock that look.)

Help me, Internet: I need a new fragrance | The Working Closet. I bunch of great recommendations for light, citrusy scents. (I’m grasping my bottle of Gap Grass until it’s very last vapor disappears.)

Beauty Q&A: What to Wear, What to Wear, What to Wear, and Blackheads | The Hairpin. As I have mentioned before, I want Jane to be my sister.

· comments [9] · 08-17-2011 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty

best face forward « The Working Closet. A recommendation for a Neutrogena foundation from Susan, a woman I trust.

What do you wish someone told you before the first time you got waxed? | Ask MetaFilter.

How to manicure at home at Petite Elefant. Very good tips that I’ve never heard before.

Give me your best homemade beauty concoctions! | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [4] · 06-14-2011 · categories:beauty · links ·

May Birthday Giveaway: soaps from Product Body

soaps from Product Body

What’s going on here? My site started ten years ago this month and to celebrate I’m giving away something each weekday. Because I like you.

Today I’ve got something that will help you clean up, a three pack of soaps from Product Body. The soaps, from top to bottom, are Tea Party “A wonderful scent that evokes memories of lazy summers, Tea Party is like drinking honey-sweetened iced tea with lemon beside a patch of honeysuckle.” Cubano “A shot of steaming Cuban espresso with chocolate shavings, served with vanilla bourbon, a sprinkle of cardamom and a dollop of cream. Made with real cocoa.” Alabaster Sea Salt + Coconut Milk Bar “A pure white bar made with Pacific sea salt, there are no added scents or colors, just oils, sea salt and coconut milk to build copious amounts of lather and leave you incredibly soft.” Is anybody else hungry right now? I’ve previously used Joanna’s Crush On You sugar scrub and found it to be perfection. Joanna is also offering a discount to Not Martha readers, that’s you! Use NOTMARTHA15 for 15% off. Thanks Joanna! (Valid through June 15th, one coupon per customer.)

To win these excellent soaps please leave a comment with this entry, and if you’d like something to talk about answer this question: What are your fragrance notes in soaps and perfumes? I always go for citrus scents first. Green scents are my next favorite, I’m definitely a fan of the things that smell very fresh. Your turn, you’ve got until Wednesday, June 1st at 10 a.m. PST to enter (I’m giving this one a longer entry time as I didn’t realize I’d scheduled it on a holiday weekend, oops!), the fine print applies. Good luck! Closed, thank you for entering!

· comments [400] · 05-30-2011 · categories:beauty ·

links: beauty

How To: Winged Eyeliner — Cupcakes and Cashmere.

No amount of hydration, sleep, cucumbers, teabags, fancy gels and creams will get rid of the very dark circles under my eyes. I have made peace with the fact that they will never ever go away, but I would love some makeup solutions for covering them up. Is it possible to do so fairly minimally, without layers upon layers of caked on makeup and products? What products have you had success with? | Ask MetaFilter.

Sephora Professionnel Platinum Concealer Airbrush #57 Review | Musings of a Muse. I think I need this, my recent attempts at developing an undereye concealer habit have me looking, well, strange.

Make your own face toner, at Petite Elefant.

How on EARTH do celebrities keep their elaborate eye makeup on throughout an entire evening (i.e. awards shows, even the 15 min on the red carpet) without it dripping down their face? | Ask MetaFilter.

Want newspaper print nails like this? – Foxy grandpa.

Adult Gymnastics : The Case for Tossing Dignity into the Tiny Tot Foam Pit | FlexFWD.

· comments [8] · 04-1-2011 · categories:beauty · links ·

daily photo: Feb. 22nd

five eyeshadow compacts

I’ve decided it’s time I learned how to use eyeshadow properly. On my last trip to the drug store I found these Rimmel palettes on sale for under $3 each and decided to grab a range of colors to see if I could find which ones work best on me. I remain skeptical that color will make a big difference but I’ve recently started using concealer under my eyes (pale skin + a very visible blue vein = help!) and figure I might as well take on eyeshadow while I’m at it. I’ll report back about undereye concealer, I still have little idea how to make it work. In the mean time I’ll point you towards the concealer reviews at Musings of a Muse, she’s dedicated to the search. She’s also a geek girl, within minutes of first browsing her site I knew it was love.

Related note: I suck at putting on eyeliner and have instead taken to using an angled flat brush (I have #266 from MAC) to smudge black eyeshadow (I use Carbon black eyeshadow, also from MAC) into the lash line on my upper lids. If you’re similarly frustrated by eyeliner I recommend trying this out. I’m too pale (daughter of a redhead) to put eyeliner on my lower lashes without looking rather strange, but I’m going to try the smoky eye technique that Busywork linked to recently so see how it works out. A few of the Rimmel palettes I bought are made for smoky eyes so I might do one eye in browns and one eye in blues to see how they compare. That reminds me, the other week I decided to compare my former (discontinued) favorite foundation to my current favorite foundation (Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse). Then I forgot my face was half and half and went grocery shopping. Let’s hope I don’t do the same with the sample eyes, I suspect it would be far more noticeable.

One last note on eye makeup, a friend of mine who knows her stuff reports that her favorite eyeshadow primer is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I have not tried it yet but I plan on making the investment soon (eyeshadow on these lids of mine is prone to extreme creasing, I can use all the help I can get). Thanks Sarah!

· comments [44] · 02-22-2011 · categories:beauty · dailyphoto ·

thing I like: MAC Lipglass

MAC Lipglass lip glosses

I recently got some MAC Lipglass and I like it. I had ignored it up until this point for, well, I don’t know why, but I had six empty Blot Powder compacts to recycle and it was the prefect time to try it out. It has a lot of staying power and has no taste or scent (I’m ridiculously sensitive to that). The downside? It is a bit sticky and if your hair is blown around in the breeze it will stick to it. I got a natural pink called Cultured and it quickly became my go to for an ‘everyday but slightly more polished than chapstick’ look.

One note: Various MAC cosmetics stores will trade in different things for empty containers, one place I was only able to trade me a lipstick and others exchanged Lipglass and a few other items, so call ahead if you have something specific in mind.

· comments [13] · 02-18-2011 · categories:beauty ·

links: beauty

The Oil Cleansing Method – A simple, cleansing facial massage for clear skin!, via Ask Metafilter.

Nothing’s Dry in Seattle Come January – Voracious. On the concept of Dry January, I’m bookmarking this mostly for these words: “What’s the benefit in withholding for 30 days only to get annihilated in a ‘YAY! I can drink again’ extravaganza?” Replace that with food and it’s how I feel about dieting.

Simple Homemade Body Scrub | Prudent Baby.

No masks please–just a little makeup! – cosmetics makeup foundation | Ask MetaFilter. Lots of recommendations for mixing foundation with moisturizer.

· comments [16] · 01-20-2011 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty

Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder, at Outblush. Oil soaking, pore minimizing, I must test this out.

Melange Solid Perfume Palettes, at Outblush.

Hemalayaa: Bollywood Booty, out Outblush. I might get into the dance as exercise thing yet.

Product Body | Handmade Artisan Soaps, Scrubs, Bath & Body | Scrub of the Month Subscription. I love the Product Body scrubs (see my review) and must keep in mind this Scrub of the Month club as gifts. All of the ones sent out in the subscription are exclusive versions not available otherwise. Also since I last mentioned Product Body here they’ve added some amazing sounding perfume oils. It’s rare that I really like scented body products but I really trust Joanna’s nose.

Making Things: New & Improved- Fable Natural Lip Care. I want to try this.

· comments [6] · 12-15-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty

I’m planning a full-body henna tattoo. How do I prepare myself and the henna for best results? | Ask MetaFilter.

Craftzine.com blog : How-To: Apply Henna.

I have blackheads on my nose that won’t go away. Help! | Ask MetaFilter.

How to become “repulsed” by junk food? | Ask MetaFilter. Advice on breaking sugar cravings.

Fallen Princess: The Fragrance Version of Fresca. Note to self: this is that perfume you keep meaning to try out and forgetting the name of. Here it is. Go find some.

Experience PARISIENNE | Ooh La La! How To Get that Perfectly Messy Bun. I’m specifically looking at this: After showering, she massages in either Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion or a homemade spray, made with one part sea salt, three parts water and a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner. “It makes my hair piece-y enough to work with,” she says. Via this thread on how to wear long hair at Ask Metafilter.

Best perfume selection in US department stores? | Ask MetaFilter. Answers lead to a lot of online places that sell samples, in particular I like the 10 sample choice from the 100 fragrances every perfumista must try at The Perfumed Court.

· comments [6] · 08-20-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty

Get Sassy Fit: Burn 300 Calories Fast.

Should I keep my feet flat when using the elliptical machine or should I faux-run like the guy using the machine next to me? | Ask MetaFilter.

Here comes the sun (so stock up on sunscreen) | The Working Closet | Work It, Mom!

Are the salon hair care products sold online and at drug and grocery stores the same products that are sold in salons? | Ask MetaFilter. The thread points us towards Are salon products in regular stores the same as those in salons? at The Beauty Brains.

pamie.com: I Saw a Lot of Ladyparts and Now I’m Soft. A story about a visit to a Korean spa that sounds like a nightmare to me. I have been informed.

· comments [19] · 07-1-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty and shopping

Weighing the Evidence on Exercise – NYTimes.com.

My New Undereye Concealer Crush :Hair Thursday.

Benefit The POREfessional. Promises to minimize the appearance of pores even when worn alone, I might test this one.

Intelligence Games For Dogs.

Looking for an attractive, appropriate skirt | Ask MetaFilter. Great suggestions for places to go for inspiration, as well as where to shop and what sort of fit works for a curvy figure.

Where to shop for Men’s clothes? | Ask MetaFilter. It goes on: “I’m not 21 and don’t want to wear skinny jeans with plaid Vans. But I’m not 40 and do not want to dress in the JCPenney uniform of khakis and golf shirt.” I’m marking this one for Scott since, obviously, I’m not a 30-something male.

· comments [10] · 06-8-2010 · categories:beauty · links · shopping ·

thing I like: Sephora’s Fresh Gloss

[a tube of lip gloss on my desk, with an iPhone and my sunglasses, a totally unrealistic portrait of my desk truthfully]

My current favorite lip gloss is Sephora’s Fresh Gloss. It looks shimmery pink in the tube but it goes on clear and glossy. But it’s not overly glossy, it’s more of an everyday glossy instead of a look at my lips! look at them! sort of glossy. I like it because it feels very moisturizing, goes on tingly and stays an admirably long time. The mint is meant to freshen your breath and while I don’t use it for that specific reason, hey, every bit helps. The tube is small and easy to keep in a purse, and it’s price doesn’t make me wince. (And now that I’ve declared I like it I’m certain it will immediately be discontinued forever and ever.)

· comments [13] · 04-28-2010 · categories:beauty ·

links: beauty

Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Moroccan Oil. For your hair, looks magical.

Trainer Tells All – What I Have Learned About Health and Fitness. “The eat low-fat advice was the biggest health disaster in the last 30 years.” Via Kottke.

Beauty 101: Your Eyeliner Woes, Solved – Jezebel.

· comments [15] · 04-13-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·

links: beauty

How can I tie a necktie so that it doesn’t create the usual dimple just below the knot? | Ask MetaFilter.

Are nose piercings inherently trashy? | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [4] · 02-23-2010 · categories:beauty · links ·