Shelves. Shelves, people! As if I’d have only one—HA!!! Sorry, sorry, too eager today. But actually, I do have two Ikea beauty cabinets now, instead of one. Requirements of the job.
Anywho, what is it about the winter that makes us want to nest? My guesses would be: the pitch-blackness outside by 4 PM every day (insane), the frigid cold (though today will be an unseasonably, alarmingly warm 60 degrees in the Big Apple), and the holidays (I was in Bergdorf Goodman on Saturday and, my god, those crowds…but good on you, BG!). I want to stay in with 12-pack of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, some weird German detox tea my facialist gave me—you know, to counteract those chocolates—a face mask, and Homeland. Oh wait, I did, last night. And the Sunday before that. Thus Sunday Spa-Day came to Into The Gloss. The wintry mix also just means, for me, a lot of product playtime—out with the old, in with the new.
Let’s start with skincare, shall we? And more specifically: the body. Oils are my best friend right now. In fact, if you put me on a Slip n’ Slide between the months of December and February, I’d fly down faster than the Jamaican bobsled team. A certain French designer told me that she uses her daughter’s Bonpoint products—the Crème Corps, and the “massage oil”—so I picked them up and they are amazing. They’re rich without feeling greasy (after all, you can’t have a butterball baby in your arms), and smell incredible and not too perfumey. I mix in a squeeze of Le Labo’s new Santal 33 Massage Oil, especially on elbows and pulse points, in lieu of perfume on most days. On the other days, I’m reaching for Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis Forte, a laundry-fresh eau. I’m also really enjoying Diptyque’s Smoothing Body Polish—the apothecary-esque packaging, and the oddly pleasing, putty-like texture. It gets your ready for the onslaught of oil (tip: proper oil application—body or face—takes a little bit of hustle. Skin should still be damp from the shower so as to encourage absorption and to avoid over-doing it). Weleda’s creamy (but non-lathering) Wild Rose Body Wash is perfect for everywhere else.
On the way to the face, let’s pause at the neck. I’ve been slathering Tracie Martyn’s Resculpting Body Serum all over mine since a slightly, ahem, older friend told me the importance of taking care of this area. Hopefully, it will thank me for all this attention in 20 years. In other “taking care of” news, Nick turned me on to the Somme Institute's 5-Step Program (mild cleanser, exfoliating pads, serum, moisturizer, SPF) in the most convincing way possible: by glowing like a lightening bug; really, glistening like Edward Cullen in the sunshine. We’ll talk about our new discovery soon, but in the meantime—so far, so good. And how great are those minimal bottles with the color-coordinated dots? I’ve also been enjoying a nice thick moisturizing cleanser, like Eve Lom’s Morning Time Cleanser, a sort of diet version of the original oil/cloth combo. I still use a muslin washcloth when I can, though, because there’s nothing quite like that steam clean. Immediately afterward, I reach for Sanoflore Rose Water—an organic mist beloved by makeup artist Diane Kendal—before moving on to SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel (one for face, one for eyes), since a dermatologist recently told me that antioxidants are just as important as SPF. Protect yourself! Fight those free radicals! Another current fixation of the science-oriented variety is Perricone MD’s Blue Plasma, a “no-peel” peel (acid-free) that goes on once a day, and doesn’t make you red. I do not use anything that might make me more red in the winter. I’m red enough. (Anybody know what to do about that, by the way?) Lips, however, are another story—Fresh’s little tub o’ Sugar Lip Polish is a brilliant exfoliator. Follow that up with a dallop of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and break out the mistletoe. For perfectly glowy skin, I like using RMS Raw Coconut Cream as face cream, followed by By Terry’s Serum Terrybly Sunbooster—a DHA-free gradual self-tanner that smells more like sunscreen and less like self-tanner. You know what I’m talking about. And if you really need some luminosity, might I suggest Clarins Beauty Flash Balm? I actually have no idea what it is—skincare? Makeup?—but a blob on your cheekbone/under-eye area really does wonders in the plumpness department.
Oh, and speaking of plump, let’s go back to that pout: ITG’s own Elizabeth Brockway (who snapped my picture above) rocks a red lip like no other—often at 9:00 AM…impressive!—and came in sporting the perfect goth, '90s hue last week. MAC Sin, as it turns out, and now, I can’t get enough of it...not least because Rumi said I looked like a "hotter and generally more sculpted version of Fairuza in the craft much? love it" when I wear it. Thanks, girl! Nars Fire Down Below has a similar effect, as does Tom Ford’s venerable Black Orchid. As far as foundations go, I haven’t tried anything better than Armani’s new Maestro in a long time. It’s really, really good. If you’re overwhelmed by foundation—finding one, using it, whatever—buy this one in two shades (to mix throughout the year) and you’re set. Also in the good-ol’-standby department: Sunday Riley Effortless Tinted Primer (heaven), Guerlain Terracotta Light Brunettes (for that “I’m alive” look), and Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate palette (hello, cheekbones!).
Now, eyes: I’m continuing my torrid love affair with Clé de Peau’s burgundy eye shadow, but can’t avoid the occasional romp with L’Oréal’s perfect glitter (think: mirror-shine) Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Eternal Black. I’ll elaborate on that soon. I’ve also been doing a lot with Estée Lauder’s dual-ended Stay-In-Place black-brown eyeliner pencil—great consistency, lots of options. But shadow or no shadow, five minutes or fifty, I’m never without mascara—and at the moment, I’m feeling top and bottom lashes. For the bottom, nothing beats tiny, mighty Clinique Bottom Lash. Really. A brush simply cannot get any smaller. For the top, I recently discovered VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara. The skinny brush somehow grabs your eyelashes—the resistance is crazy. It’s like a death-grip at the base. But that’s kind of perfect, because you feel like you’re actually controlling the application, as opposed to that here we go! Anything can happen! Break out the Q-Tips! sensation you sometimes get with mascara. Or is it just me?
In other bits and bobs: for nails, I’ve been staying with rich solid colors—Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies for that perfect witchy bordeaux red; Chanel Frenzy for a chic greige—or a single coat of Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Big Money, a beige-purple glitter suspended in a clear base. It’s the new neutral, IMHO. When it comes to other people’s beauty opinions—I took a cue from the comments in our deodorant roundtable and picked up a tub of Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream…a weird concept, for sure (rubbing a deodorant on your armpits like you would a cream on your face), but let me tell you, this stuff works. As you know, I’ve also been looking for stuff that works with my latest haircut, and I won’t let it dry without Bumble’s Bb. Texture, or leave the house without Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Texture, texture, texture…maybe if I shout it three times, my stick-straight hair will actually become textured. A girl can dream.