Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Ped Egg Works!

Hi everyone, sorry it's been so long since my last update. I know my excuse that the kids are keeping me busy is sounding like passe yada yada yada, but it's true more than ever since school let out for the summer. Hopefully, in the fall, things will get more manageable around the house. My son is starting first grade then and will actually be out of the house for more than three hours! Yay! (Is my excitement showing a little too much?)

Anyway, on to my latest beauty find...the Ped Egg! I'm sure you must have seen the infomercial for this contraption that scrapes all the dead skin off the bottom of your feet. I'm sure you must have also thought, "Does it really work?"

Yes, my friends, it works. And it works well. I was skeptical about this product too because I've been burned quite a few times by infomercial products that claim miracles and end up to be nothing more than an expensive piece of plastic. But I found this product at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day for only $9.99, and armed with a Big Blue 20% coupon, I decided to give it a shot.

It took me about 20 minutes to file both feet, which were so dry my heels were cracking, and the results were incredible. It removes all the dry calloused skin very easily, but it's gentle enough that it won't remove the live skin hiding below. It kind of looks like a mini cheese grater (although I don't recommend you use the cheese grater already in your house to file your feet, stick with the Ped Egg specifically designed for this purpose.) After removing all the skin, I buffed it smooth with the emery board side, rinsed my feet and then applied moisturizing cream to them. The results were better than any treatment I had done at the salon. And since the entire Ped Egg can be hand washed in the sink with liquid soap, it's sanitary, and I can use it again and again until the file wears out, at which point I can either buy a new egg or order more files from PedEgg.com.

Now here's something you should know, it is MESSY! The product claims that all the dead, shaved skin is trapped inside the top cap of the product while you file so you can use it anywhere in the house or at your desk, but that's not true. I've used the product several times now, and the skin sheds all over the floor. But the results are worth the trouble, so what I do now is just spread a bunch of newspapers all over the carpet and and sit on top of the that to file my feet. You could also vacuum afterwards.

It's a minor nuisance that the skin shavings don't stay trapped inside the egg, but I can deal with it. Not only are the results fantastic, it is saving me a bundle in pedicures at the salon. I usually put such a long gap in between salon visits, that by the time I get there, I can't qualify for the regular $20 "maintenance" pedicure, I have to get the expensive $50 "Spa Pedicure" where they remove the dead skin off your feet with a razor. I don't think I'll ever have to get that one again now that I have a Ped Egg.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Trend: A Little Pop of Color on the Eyes

A new trend in eye makeup that seems to be popping up everywhere is doing a little pop of color on the eyes but only on either the lower eyelid or upper eyelid - not both - and contrasting that pop of color with a very neutral shade on the other eyelid. Especially for ladies who are afraid of color, just using a little color can go a long way. Here are a few examples:

For the Prescriptives Fall 2008 Daring Collection, the model wears a dark brown shadow on her top lids and a dark violet liner on her lower lids. This is a great look for night. For her look, apply a dark brown shadow such as MAC Shadow in Mulch all over upper lids and line upper lashline with a dark brown liner such as MAC Powerpoint Pencil in Stubborn Brown. Line bottom lids (close to the lashline but not in the waterline) with a dark violet liner such as MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella. Finish the look by lining the lower water line with a black eye pencil.

The Sephora website showcases this beautiful teal and gold eye makeup look. To get the look, apply a bright teal or sea green shadow such as MAC Shadow in Newly Minted all over upper eye lids up to the crease. Line upper lashline with a black eye pencil. Next, dust a gold shadow such as MAC Shadow Goldmine on lower eyelids, trying to stick close of the lashline.

At a recent event, actress Shriya Saran wore a pop of blue on her lower eyelids. To get Shriya's eyes, dust a sandy tan shadow such as MAC Shadow in Soba all over upper lids. Line upper lash line with a dark brown liner such as MAC Powerpoint Pencil in Stubborn Brown. On the bottom, Shriya dusted an ocean blue shadow such MAC Shadow in Freshwater close to lash line. If you want to go even more light on the color on the lower lids, lightly apply a colored blue pencil such as MAC Eye Kohl in Hyacinth very close to the lashline.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bare Escentuals Tutorials: Smoky V Eye

During a recent browse through my local Ulta store, I noticed a stand filled with Bare Escentuals makeup included a box for the Smoky V Eye Tutorials. The cute little box, which contained two loose eye shadow powders, one eye shadow brush and instructions, claimed to give me a simple and easy smoky eye. Interested, a picked up a box to try at home.

Once opened, the box contains the Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Pacific Heights eye shadow (a light shimmery gray-lavender), 1990s Glimmer (a dark shimmery gray-purple) and a double-ended eye shadow brush with one end of the brush in a V-shape (as shown in the picture above) and the other end in a regular eye shadow brush shape.

The tutorial in the box initially instructs the user to use the regular shaped brush to blend the Pacific Heights shadow all over the lid. Then the dark 1990s Glimmer shadow is applied using the V-shaped brush by aligning the lower point of the brush along the lashes (i.e. as one would apply liner) and by aligning the upper point of the brush along the crease. Eventually, with a few additional steps, the user should be left with an easy smoky purple eye.

On the whole, I felt this product was a bit gimmicky. Maybe because I already know how to do a smoky eye, I thought using the V-shaped brush was in fact more difficult to use than just regular eye makeup brushes. I don't quite understand how one V-shaped brush is meant to fit all eye shapes and sizes!! If anything, I didn't use the V-shaped brush at all and used the regular shaped brush which I found quite soft and nice.

One thing I did like about the product was their choice to use eye shadow colors in the purple range rather than the same old charcoal and black shadows. Shades of purple shadow are great for smoky eyes on all skin tones and eye colors (even brown eyed girls like me!) and are not as harsh as grays and blacks. I quite like the Pacific Heights and 1990s Glimmer shadows included in the packaging so if you're interested in creating a purple smoky eye, I would consider purchasing these shadows independently of this product.