Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 7 Oct 01 02:44
That would be my concern also, as demonstrated to me by the women with the tattooed lips. As long as we're talking about going under the needle, let's talk a bit about going under the knife. In your book, Cynthia, there's a paragraph that reads, in part "...we've been looking for the Fountain of Youth at the cosmetic counter. We spend untold millions, no make that billions, of dollars yearly on potions, salves, gels, and creams in the hope of slowing or reversing the wrinkles and lines of time. Here's the real skinny: There is no magic bullet or miracle cream. You cannot turn back the clock or undo what years of gravity, indifference, sun exposure, and environmental pollutants have done to your skin - unless, of course, you have an intimate and ongoing relationship with your plastic surgeon..." So, when is plastic surgery the solution?
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sun 7 Oct 01 10:30
Fawn: Yes, Retin-A is very very drying and, as you know, since it is basically resurfacing your skin over time, it means that the top 3 or so layers of the Stratum Corneum (the top layer of the epidermis which is about 10 layers thick or the ply of a piece of Xerox paper in microscopic terms) are being removed by this chemical. And the means that yur skin is terriby sun-sensitive. I would ask the dermatologist who prescribed the Retin-A what kind of moisturizer they would recommend as not to interfere with the action of the Retin-A. Primariy, it would have to be pretty benign, ie. no AHA or BHA or retinol in it because that would be redundant and overkill. Just because these moistuizers with AHAs, etc. in them seem fairly low in active incgredient percentage, doesn't mean they don't work. So: to tell you the truth, I would get something very very plain and wear it to keep your skin protected. Like Clinique's yellow lotion. But then, I seem to remember that you have very sensitive skin, Fawn. So, go to the cosmetic department of the brands you'd like to try and get samples. If you can handle the smell, weight, feeling of the product after 2-3 days and if they don't impact your skin in any way: like causing pore blockage or break outs, then that's what you should buy. Sampling is realy a godsend when it comes to skin products because the last thing you want to do is to inest $15-200 in a moisturizer only to hate it and never use it. The days that your skin is reacting to the Retin-A, moisturizer, mascara and lipgloss. Works every time.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sun 7 Oct 01 10:35
Tracy: My last book, "The Eyebrow" was written for a makeup artist that plucks them named Robyn Cosio. She believes in having a brow shape to fit the face, not the current trend. when I think about the flying commas of the 70s an d the rook Shields forests of the 80s, it makes me laugh. I don't know what the current brow fashion is now, but my eyebrow lady heard me when I said I wanted my brows to be a little thicker -- and she let them grow in. They've neer looked as good since the 50s (which I think is the most perfect brow of all. it was groomed, arched in the right plae and made the face look absolutely stunning and chic). Women who has sparce brows (a lot of Asian women, for instance, or African Americans) or very light ones (blondes and redheads) can get theri brows tattooed, specificaly, the frnt part of them and then add pencil or powder to shape the ends. The front part of the brow really never changes all that much. I like to see women who are classic, for whom trends manifest themselves in maybe a new lipstick color or a kind of blusher or the on-going see-saw between matte and moist foundation. But a brow: that is different. It's find the shape that works the best for you and keep it regardless of what the fashion is. I can remember when Kevin Aucoin was dying eyebrows blonde. Ick. Horrible. I hated it. Thank goodness it passed.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sun 7 Oct 01 10:46
I'm very serious, Linda about plastic surgery. For those who know me, they also know that I had my eyes "done" two years ago. The surgeon asked me: What do you want? And I said: "To look rested." And he did't take too much. And the job is fabulous and I feel wonderful. Plastic surgery is a solution if: You are looing older than your years because of some hereditary eye stuff -- bags, deep colorations, eyelids that have fallen over your lash lines. also: if you're in a busienss where younger people are charging in and you want to stay in the game. Which is why a number of men in their 40s and 50s, not to mention 60s, are getting eye jobs and their necks worked on. To stay competitive. It is a sad commentary on our society thatyouth in some cases, wins the day, that experience gets thrown out like the baby with the bathwater. We are not a society that reveres age, sadly enough. I once wrote an essay for the S.F. Examiner magazine (two years ago, I think) about questioning vanity: Why did I want surgery? I talked about shopping for plastic surgeons (the consulation does't cost anything) and being traumatized by this one surgeon who wanted to parlay me into a full face lift. He criticized evertying on my face that was aging: drooping cheeks and eyes; the "marionette lines" that go from mouth to chin, all that crapola that can make a women crazy. I went home and sat down and cried. All I wanted was to have my eyes done. The rest was a function of the weight I was carrying and the fact that I was born "several" years ago. So I wrote. And wrote. And realized that you have to be very clear about why you want plastic surgery. Those women who want to keep their men whose interest has wandered to youinger women, are not going to be happy with the results, because their men are basically gone; those women who were gorgeous when they were younger have to realize that even with the best of surgeons (like Dr. Sherrel Aston who worked on Pamela Harriman, which was the best face job I've ever seen) are never going to get "it" back. Time, liquor, smoke, sun, environmental pollution and gravity have a way of sapping the radiance and plyability out of skin. Character and the life we've lived should show on our faces. Plastic surgery is expensive. But if you're a well-adjusted person who has carried cystic acne scars all your life and you hate them, laser dermabrasion (which can turn your face into raw meat and reaquires abouat 3-4 weeks of down time) may be the answer for a new complexion. If you've been flat chested all your life, then have implants. If you've never liked your nose, go for it. Just know that there are physical and emotional prices to pay for any change. The emotional adjustment is really fierce, both from how you feel about yourself and the reaction of others. There are some women (and men) who are never going to be satisfied; others view plastic surgery as "maintenance." You just have to be very clear with your heart of hearts about why you're spending the money on a proceedure that will last only 10 years, max.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 7 Oct 01 23:32
All plastic surgery procedures only last ten years? Is that due to aging, or the wearing of the materials, or what? Do they recommend repeating procedures in that case?
Casey Ellis (caseyell) Mon 8 Oct 01 00:02
CYnthia: I once heard some make-up guru say that blondes should never leave the house without mascara and brunettes should never go out without lipstick. Your reaction?
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 8 Oct 01 03:54
I'm brunette-ish and I think I look off-balance with lipstick.
Mike Godwin (mnemonic) Mon 8 Oct 01 07:14
'Time, liquor, smoke, sun, environmental pollution and gravity have a way of sapping the radiance and plyability out of skin.' Can you say more about what liquor does, Cynthia? Do moderate drinkers have to worry? (I know moderate smokers do.)
Laura Proctor (proctor) Mon 8 Oct 01 07:42
cynthia, I think the two of us have discussed this before, but the one piece of advice you give that I can't get my mind around is that people with oily skin should still use a moisturizer. My skin almost literally drips oil by noon--why on earth should I put *more* product on it? (My problem is exacerbated by the fact that I use a sunscreen every day--I can't see piling a moisturizer on top of that).
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 08:39
No. 30: Linda Just because your face or body has been cut or lipo'd doesn't mean that natural aging stops. When a face ages, a few things happen. First of all; wear and tear, excessive sun or other things that will create free radicals or rogue oxygen ions will erode the collagen fibers in the dermal layer of the skin. Healthy, fresh, young collagen fibers stand up straight; damaged collage mats and lays down and in the areas where it is the most collapsed, you get sagging, wrinkles and fine ines. Consider the collagen like the skin's bedsprings. Free radicals. You hear a lot about these. Oxygen atoms have pairs of oxygen ions. When the sun or chemicals affects the s in, these ions can split apart, making each one "free." what they want to do is pair up again and they will attack healthy oxygen ions to do so. The chemistry of this produces erosion of collagen and some cell mutation both in existing skin cells and in the formation of new skin cells, ie: pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions. Sun, therefore, is the biggest cause of aging and cancer in skin. And it is an on-going process. So, to get back to your original question; plastic surgery is not a static procedure that lasts for all times (unless, of course, it is something like a nose job which can involve more than just soft tissue and skin).
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 09:22
Casey: That's some makeup guru. Hummmm. Well, I try never leaving the house without lipstick and I used to be a brunette. Now, I am partially blonde. I feel more dressed with lipstick, to tell you the truth. Some blondes are not natural blondes and if they aren't chances are, they have dark lashes. If they are, their lashes are very light and look non-existent. In that case, a nice brown mascara (not black on light blondes; it's a very tough look -- unless, of course, they're going Goth or are going out for the evening -- but I think brown and navy are better choices, softer) can emphasize an eye and take away the scared rabbity look of no eyelashes. As for brunette and mascara: even the darkest lashes are lighter on the tips and a great black/brown is a good day thing. Me? If i'm going to work out, I sort of avoid all makeup; but if I"m running errands, then I'll do moisturizer (always) and maybe a little concealer, mascara and lipstick. I'm too old to worry or care what othr people say. It's a habit of a lifetime and to tell you the truth, I feel better and look better with some color on my face.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 09:24
Martha: Your eye can get used to anything. I'll bet that a little lip color, whether it's a gloss or a sheer or a lipstick will make your eyes pop. Red lipstick (my favorite) is hard to get used to if you're not used to wearing any; but a nice pinky coral gloss can do wonders to brighten up your complexion and emphasize your eye color.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 09:27
Michael: What liquor is, like cigarette smoke, is a diuretic. It dries the skin. And dry skin looks old and certainly doesn't have that glow of youth of what facialists like to call "radiance." Rule of thumb: For ever drink a person has, they should follow it with "water back." A shot of liquor; a glass of water. There is nothing wrong with having a nice glass of red wine with a meal or a cocktail, but excessive drinking, like excessive anything, has a seriously negative influence of how your skin will behave. And when you deplete your natural water levels, the first place it's going to show is on your face.
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 09:31
Laura: Moisturizers do not have to have oil in them. There are oil-free moisturizers on the market. What a moisturizer does is help the skin retain it's natural moisture and that is not oil. Excessive use of hot water and toners can strip the natural oils from the skin and in the case of oily skin, it will urge the oil glands to produce even more oil because they will be in siege mode: Oh, golly, there's not enough oil there. Guess I"ll pump out more. Oil-free moisturizers usually have a water base; they're also very good for really sensitive skin. Other things that prompt oil production: Spicey food, stress, putting dirty hands to your face. If you have oily skin: wear a hair style that keeps your hair off your face; wash your cosmetic brushes often to keep bacteria levels down; wear a headset if you do a lot of phone work and don't touch your face with dirty fingers.
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 8 Oct 01 11:19
I think we are beginning to get the picture regarding sun damage, alcohol, tobacco and free radicals, and especially keeping the skin and body hydrated by drinking lots of water. But, let's say the damage has been done. In your book you mention high-tech delivery systems and products that actually affect the skin on a cellular level. Could you tell us about those products and how they might work - for men and for women - to repair the damage once it's done?
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 13:08
There is really no magic bullet that can completely cause a reversal of sun damage. But, there are some recent developments in skin care that can mititgate at least some of it. First of all, there is Retin-A, developed by a Univeristy of Pennsylvania physician named Dr. Kligman which is a derivative of trentinoic acid, or Vitamin A. It is very very strong and therfore, is available by prescription only. For people who have acne scars, extreme sun damage and who suffer from things like rosacea or extreme flaking of the skin (seems to happen to people of English-Irish or Scandinavian descent more because their skin is totally not geared for warmer climates closer to the equator and will react badly to sun), Retin-A will start to retexturize the skin. It is very very strong and performs a kind of dermal peel. Over use or using it without a physician checking on you can really damage the skin. This stuff, if used incorrectly, can make sin red, raw and very sun sensitive. If you use Retin-A, do not go in the sun unless you are fully protected, ie: at least a 30 spf sunblock, a hat and sunglasses. There are chemical and laser peels and a violent form of dermabrasian that will turn the face into raw meat (Mirabella ran a very alarming photograph years ago of a face being dermabraided: ie, using what looked like an emery wheel on facial skin to remove the top 4-5 layers of skin, or at least deep enough to get the entire acne scar or discoloration from too much sun. The down time is extreme -- it takes at least 4-5 weeks to heal. Laser resurfacing is not quite as violent, but it is like an extreme sunburn where the skin will redden and then peel. Downtime is about 2-3 weeks. These are, for the most part, mediocal proceedures. Anything less will present a minor effect in comparison. If you want to use an over-the-counter preparation, AHAs, BHAs, Vitamin E, C and some Vitamin A derivatives called retinols can be useful. It takes a while to see any improvement but they do work. AHAs are meant to be used at night; they are usually glycolics and sugar acids which chemically assist the slsoug-off action of dead skin cells. All skin cells come wrapped in a microscopic keratin (protein) shell. Healthy, new skin cells are plump and full of natural moisture. As they migrate to the surface of the skin, they collapse and flatten out, leaving the keratin shell which appears on the surface of the skin as flaking. As a person ages, the process from birth of cell to slough-off slows. In youthful skin, it takes 2 weeks from creation to slough-off. With people over 35 or with people who have had an inordinate amount of unprotected sun, the process takes 3 weeks to a monmht. And then, the dead skin cells tend to congregate in bunches, attached by a chemical bond. The AHAs and BHAs help disengage3d those bonds so that the deadcells will slough off the face. this hurries up the natural process which happens when you wash your face, dry it with a rough towel or even scrape your face against your pillow case. Did you know that probably 40 percent of all the dust and particle matter in the air is comprised of dead skin cells? High tech delivery systems like nano-spheres, timed release and mild chemical action have made these products much more effective and useful. But: there is a problem. American women have this terrible philosophy that less is not more; more is more. If a little bit works, then a lot much be really fabulous. Not. So when they use AHAs, or rather, over use them -- like every night -- and their skin turns red, raw and patchy looking,they can't figure out why that's happened. So, follow package directions and err on the side of caution. If your skin is very sensitive or super oily, you do not have to use this stuff very often, if at all.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 8 Oct 01 13:40
Maybe it's because my mom was the type who never went out without lipstick: it was her one essential makeup, probably the only makeup she wore most of the time. So not me! But it still just looks wrong to me. The only time I ever wear lipstick is when I'm really really dressed up, a few times a year, and what I do then is kind of a lipstick wash, not a full layer of the stuff, which feels so strange. The only thing I wear less often is mascara, speaking of things that feel distracting! The one thing I wish makeup could do for me is even out the rosacia-like reddishness in my skin, & also the circles under my eyes since I was a kid. It doesn't do a really great job of that but it does a little....
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Mon 8 Oct 01 14:45
The way to even out skin tone is to try one of the newer makeups that you can "build" like the Armani foundation or thenew Prescriptives stuff called Traceless which is marvelous, weightless and which really evens out skin tone; and then, OVER your foundation, use correcting concealer on the spots that are hard to cover. Laura Mercier makes an incredible concealer that you mix yourself with varying amounts of red or yellow to get the exact shade. Also, there are correcting palattes from Lancome which can neutralize the red of rosacea or the deep blue of under eye circles. You'd probably have to go to the makeup counter and have a lesson in how to use the stuff, but it would be worth it.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 8 Oct 01 16:39
Mix yourself? You have to understand, if I spend three minutes putting on makeup I start getting resentful at all the time it's taking. I unreasonably want it to be so easy I barely have to think about it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 9 Oct 01 00:14
How about this: I don't like to spend a lot of time, either, so I like the look of moisturizer with translucent powder over it. What do you think of that recommendation, Cynthia?
Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Tue 9 Oct 01 06:48
If it works, do it. The problem is: you do not even out your skin tone with translucent powder. You just cut down on the shine. I really like the new foundations because they are as sheer or have as much coverage as you need. The latest trend has been to "even" skin tone -- ie. to make it the same all over the face -- without hiding your natural skin color. When I was a kid, the trend was to "natural beige" foundation that had a lot of pink in it. Yellow or tawny skin was not considered pretty, so we would wear this mask of pinky beige foundation that ended, of course, at the jaw line. I had to use French products to find a foundation that had a lot of yellow in it, just like my skin. These days, we try to get foudnation to match the exact color of the skin. Go to the makeup counter and have the beauty consultant (modern term for saleswoman) put stripes of foundation color on your face close to your nec (where, presumably, you have not had a lot of sun damage) and the color the most disappears into the n atural color of your skin is the one you use. Most of these new makeups come in a wide color range, at least 15-16 colors. Enlighten is a good one at Lauder; Traceless at Prescriptives (which is my current favorite along with the new Giorgio Armani foundation which is very very sheer).
Casey Ellis (caseyell) Tue 9 Oct 01 07:21
Re: fingernails, the growing of. Cyn, do you think the various nail strenthening products really helpo any more than just putting some clear polish on your nail every other day or so would?
abbe (abbecohen) Tue 9 Oct 01 08:15
I'm another of those who almost never wears makeup. And again, like Martha just asked, when I put on some lipstick or some shade of eyeshadow that isn't the color my eyelids already were, I look in the mirror and think "excessive makeup alert!" or even "ack! I look like a twelve-year-old playing with Mom's makeup!" (This latter is possibly because when I was 13 and 14 I typically went to school in silvery-gray and/or powder-blue eyeshadow, brightly colored blush, and fairly dark lipstick - all applied reasonably well, so that it would have looked fine, for the era, if I'd been ten years older at the time. So my association with my face having all that makeup on it is that I look like a confused 13-year-old, because that's the last time my face *did* have all that makeup on it...) I don't think it's that I don't know how to use it right. I've had a similar reaction to having it professionally applied at one of the makeup counters in a department store - Certainly there were a few things she did *better* than me (I am incapable of applying eyeliner and just avoid it, for one), but it was all in the realm of things I knew how to do. Cynthia, what you've said so far implies that my "but it looks so WRONG!" reaction is pretty much psychological. Do you have tips for getting out of that, while still being able to objectively judge what looks good on yourself and what doesn't?
Jerry Garcia & Martha Stewart's Conflicted Love Child (cynthiabarnes) Tue 9 Oct 01 10:50
Cynthia, my derm prescribed Renova but basically gave me no instructions except "Follow the package insert." Renova recommends nightly application, and no other products. I find that it makes my skin a little too dry, and would like to apply a night cream after. My skin is not too sensitive. Any recommendations? And you are right on about brown or blue mascara flattering those of us with fair coloring. Black just looks HARSH with my blond hair and Swedish skin tone.
Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Tue 9 Oct 01 13:50
Inspired by Cynthia, I went to the dreaded mall today and let total strangers put makeup all over my face. Today I chose the Prescriptives counter because it has a tasteful, clean, appealingly restrained look about it. Plus, there was nobody else there so i got the nice young woman all to myself for over 20 minutes. When she finished I thought I actually looked pretty good in the mirror. Not quite so washed-out or tomboyish. I bought a little tube of concealer, some earthy olive green eye shadow, and some stuff called Liquid Powder that looks dry but feels wet and seemed to do good things over the concealer. But when I got home and looked in my bathroom mirror (I have three windows in there, so natural light from three sides)....aaaiiiiyyyeeee! It looked like she'd caked a ton of orange gunk all over my face. My eyes looked horrible. I was just about to get out my cleanser and start wiping it off when (of course) the doorbell rang. I went to the door and damn if it wasn't a couple of well-scrubbed young Mormon missionaries. And there I was, looking like a fifty-year-old whore of Babylon with my bullet-proof orange foundation and slutty black-ringed eyes. They couldn't decide whether they should hand me a Bible or a bar of Ivory soap. This was actually exhilirating for me, who usually looks so wholesome that strnagers approach me on the street to place Girl Scout cookie orders. The good news, besides the fact that they left and I'm still an infidel, is that the orange stuff came off easily with some mosturizer on a cotton pad, and what's left looks pretty good. Why do they pile it on so thick? And why did it look so good in the store? Was it the light, or could the foundation have actually changed color and caked up and stuff because of my skin chemistry? Or was I just looking at it through rose-colored glasses of optimism and denial? Maybe this is why I've always been so turned off by makeup: the "experts" in the department store were laying it on way too thick. Why, why do they think this is a good thing? Ok, maybe I bought a couple of things at the time (the damn Liquid Powder was $32!!). But now I'm much less likely to go back to her. What kind of training do they get?
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