Tag Archives: Estée Lauder

Changing Myself, Changing the Earth

29 Jun

I reposted this the other day, and now I can’t get it out of my head:


I can tell you I have at least ELEVEN of these brands in my arsenal upstairs right now. And I switched to La Mer maybe a year ago and have been loving it so much that I thought I’d found my forever skin care brand.

I told myself I’ll just finish what I have and move on – there’s no sense in wasting what I’ve already bought. Especially with La Mer, which costs an arm and a leg. But I can’t stop thinking about it. And thinking about it. And thinking about it.

I believe the meaning of life is not only to do as little harm as possible, to never intentionally hurt anyone or anything, but also to make change where you can, positive change that makes our world better. So here I am.

Don’t buy the brands above. The reason they test on animals is because China, that bastion of human and animal rights, requires animal testing by law for cosmetics. Therefore, a company cannot market and sell its cosmetic products in China unless the products have been tested on animals. So, the reason they test on animals is so that they can sell their products in China. So, the reason they test on animals is, pure and simple, money.

You’re smart. You can make your own choices. But I hope you can look around at all the suffering in this world and ask yourself, “Should I indirectly contribute to that?” If you find yourself saying no, or even saying I don’t know, maybe it’s time to check out this list and make some changes.

I know I am.

Eyebrow Pencils for Blondes!

8 May

If you’ve not kept up on this or my other blog, or are just stumbling across this entry, I am recovering from cancer – or, more accurately, recovering from chemotherapy. I haven’t lost my eyebrows completely, but they are definitely gappy and bare in spots. Balding, I guess you could say. Since this begun happening, I have tried many, many different eyebrow pencils.

I have naturally very ashy, dirty blonde hair. Dishwater blonde is the PERFECT term for it because it really is a grayish-light brown like dirty dishwater. I have highlighted it (and occasionally colored it a totally different color) since I was 16 because really, it’s just mousy. People have repeatedly told me my hair might come in a different color and my attitude has basically been, BRING IT, because I can’t think of a more unattractive hair color than my natural color pre-cancer.

With that said, my eyebrows are a similar color. And guess what? No one seems to make an eyebrow pencil in that perfect shade of mousy grey-brown. Trust me because, again, I have tried LOTS.

So far, I have found five that come as close as I can hope, but I can only recommend three of them. Here are the contenders, with two that don’t rate combined into one, as they’re from the same manufacturer and I think maybe one has been discontinued.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer
This company used to make a pink eyebrow pencil which I used periodically to enhance my brows. I don’t know the name of it, and I didn’t use it all that frequently, because I’m not really a brow person. Or at least I wasn’t, until I started losing them. Anyhow I don’t see it online anymore, so they must have replaced it with this product. I wouldn’t have recommended it anyhow, because while it was great for filling it natural brows, it didn’t work great for filling in gaps and drawing on brows where there were none – it was a true pencil and was way too hard. This one worked great at first and was a nice color, but it broke within a few uses – I mean, first the tip broke off and then when I tried twisting it to get more, the entire colored portion simply fell out of the barrel. Very poor execution, especially for a $23 product.

estee lauder brow

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Brow Lift Duo
The color on this is great – blonde brown for the win. Gives me enough color and a very fine-tipped pencil, great for simulating actual hair. Nice and soft, so easy to apply. Only complaint: I have no idea what to do with the other end, which I believe is a “highlighter” (?). A brush would have been far more useful to me, and allowed room for much more pencil.

wander brow

Wander Beauty Frame Your Face Micro Brow Pencil
Gets right the only thing the Estée Lauder brush gets wrong – nice little brush on the opposite end. Everything else is comparable, except they do offer TWO blonde choices – “blonde” and “taupe.” Although “taupe” claims to be for “ash to auburn” (i.e., me), I went with blonde and was not disappointed. I guess you should make your decision based on how strong/defined you want your brows to be. I just wanted mine to exist. Anyway, this is such a great product that I carry it in my purse for emergency re-dos.

tarte brow

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil
This is probably my favorite of the pencils, but as a disclaimer, I do love Tarte and find most of their products to be my favorites. Comes in “taupe,” which is a very nice match to my brows, smooth application, color stays in the barrel, long-lasting, and a nice li’l brush on the end. If you’re looking for a pencil with which to fill in gaps/draw on missing brows, I suggest you try this first – a nice soft pencil with a chill color.

This has been your cancer beauty update.

Signing off, Chemo Kate

A Bold Lip!

15 Oct

I am going to try to blog MWF this week to make a little headway. I have about a billion things I could blog about – many of which I have been meaning to blog about for. ev. er. – but the months are quickly escaping me! I will start making draft blogs now though to remind myself of all of them and hopefully that will give me some impetus!

I am choosing to start this week with a special request blog from my friend (and amazing interior designer) Colleen. Norms I do NOT post photos of myself or loved ones in this blog, but this one is actually applicable. This weekend, the huzz and I went to a Swanky charity event and got all dressed up. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and feeling every week of it, but I had my hair done and made a go at my makeup and one of the resulting pics is this one:

Oh hey it’s me and that guy I married!

Well the outpouring of compliments on this photo has truly stunned me and I am SO grateful to have such kind friends! Besides that, however, I received this helpful suggestion from Colleen: “Please do a blog post on strong lipstick and disclose what you wore.” So here it is!

I tend to shy away from a bold lip. There are many reasons for this, chief among them:

    • it’s hard to find a color I can commit to that is dark/matte
    • it’s hard to color in the lines, so I am always afraid I’ll look like the Joker
    • bolds often bleed – see previous reason
    • I like to do eyes up and if you do eyes and lips, you end up looking like an 80s supermodel (which apparently is the new Estée Lauder campaign? Baffling.)
    • I end up with color on my teeth
    • I am afraid dark colors will highlight imperfections in my skin (it happens, truth)
    • I am a wuss

That about sums it up.

Now, as an Aries AND a fair blonde, they tell me red is supposed to be my friend. But I am just NOT a red girl. I’ll go for red toenails now and then or maybe a red sweater around Christmas, and I do BUY red things, but wearing them is a real once-in-awhile experience for me. Now and then, however, the time arises for a bold lip and I try to take that bull by the horns and ride it, which is what I attempted to do Saturday night, and I think somehow pulled off.

Here are the hints I have:

1) Think of the lipstick as your accessory. It should either totally match your dress (like the red is the EXACT COLOR as the red dress you’re wearing, and that can be tricky!) or it should be your glitz, along with your jewelry. In my case, I wore a very plain black dress, some sparkly silver jewelry, had my hair did, and then whammo with the lips. If I’d worn a red dress and done red lips, I’d have toned down the jewelry/hair. And if I’d worn some fab dress and shoes and jewels, I’d probably have gone with a fairly neutral shiny lip. Point being it’s all about balance. Don’t throw yourself over the cliff of glam.

2) I did a low-key eye. I used a light pink base with a gray highlight (Lancôme’s Ombre Absolue Duo in shade A01 Night and Day, which they apparently no longer make), my Buxom eyeliner in Onyx on the upper lid, Urban Decay liner in Dime on the lower lid, and Lancôme Hypnose Drama mascara (which incidentally is okay but does smudge so I’m not recommending it). Okay yes that sounds like a lot but refer again to the Estée Lauder picture above and stay with me. It was understated, so allowed me to be a little crazier with the lips.

3) Normally I stay away from reds that have ANY hint of orange/warm undertone because they make me look jaundiced, but this one was a little on the true red side and still turned out okay. Still, my typical advice is: if your skin has yellow undertones, seek reds in the blue, purple, brown families; if your skin is pinkish, then you can pull off those more orangey or yellowy reds. A good way to know which type of skin you have is to ask yourself if you can tan. I tan like crazy because of all my yellow pigment. Pinky fairs tend not to tan as well or at all.

4) I used a lip liner first (helps to keep you in the lines!) and then as soon as I applied my lipstick, asked my husband, “Is this too bright?” He said no, that it WAS bright, but not too bright, that it looked good. And the key here: I BELIEVED HIM. I walked away from the mirror instead of obsessing, and tucked a lipgloss into my bag in case I got self conscious later.

5) I didn’t have to put this into action last night, but I recently read that when wearing a dark color lip, use your finger tip to apply and blend and it will help keep you in the lines. Genius! I do plan to use this in the future.

6) I took both the lipstick and liner with me, along with the gloss. I didn’t have to reapply the liner at all, but I did do one reapp of the lipstick to keep it looking fresh, and it did the trick.

Okay so! All that said, what are the products I used? Estée Lauder Automatic Lip Pencil Duo in 06-Poppy Red, and Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in 35 Rich Red. WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS THAT LIP PENCIL SO EXPENSIVE ON AMAZON? Well I can’t find it on the EL site, so maybe it’s discontinued, which figures. However I know you can go on the EL site and chat with a beauty consultant if you really feel like you need to find the closest match, or they have one called “Red” that I bet is comparable. Stop discontinuing my products, people! Argh ANYHOW, I love that EL lipstick because it has that smell that is so pleasant. Lancôme lipstick smells like a granny to me, but EL lipstick smells like sweet tea, and seems to have good staying power. Plus they’re not lying about the “Hydra” part – in spite of that nice bold color, my lips didn’t feel dry or matte-y at all.

Also, a final hint that often works to keep color off your teeth: After application, wrap your index finger (otherwise known as your pointer) in tissue, place it between your lips, and close in an “ooh” mouth around your finger. The stick that gets on your teeth is the stick that’s in that area, so blotting it helps to reduce transfer.

This has taken me WAY longer than anticipated but I hope it satisfies – as usual, any questions, feel free to ask!


A Week In My Purse – Day 1: Estée Lauder High Gloss in Blush

15 Apr

This week I am going to do a special feature – a week’s worth of the items I don’t leave home without!

First and foremost on that list is Estée Lauder High Gloss in Blush. The fact that EVERY color is currently sold out through the Estée Lauder site should give you an idea of just how awesome this lip gloss is, but I’ll go on about it a bit anyhow. (Although you can’t get it through the actual site right now, a quick Google shop search indicates it can still be purchased from other stores online, such as Dillard’s. I assume Estée Lauder will eventually get it together and make more, but for now, you’ll have to hunt it down.)

Like many of Lauder’s lipsticks, and the Lauder lip gloss I previously recommended, it smells wonderful. A very vague, slightly fruity, almost iced tea-like aroma that is pleasant, sweet, and inoffensive, I never tire of it or find it to be too much. The color Blush is perfect for my complexion – I’m blonde-haired, green-eyed, with fair skin with yellow undertones. Peachy pink shades of makeup look great on me, and this one has just enough color to be there without being overly dressy or noticeable. My favorite thing about this gloss, however, is not the smell or the color – although both are a ten – but rather the fact that it is highly glossy without being runny or sticky. It has good lasting power, but doesn’t make my lips feel coated or stiff, and the applicator is absolutely perfect – a standard angled plastic top with a small hole, attached to a squeeze tube. Easy to carry, doesn’t break, doesn’t leak, don’t need a mirror to apply it.

The only time this gloss leaves my purse is when I’m moving it to an evening clutch for a night out. Great on its own or layered over a matte shade, Estée Lauder High Gloss deserves and has earned the top spot on my list of items always in my purse.

PM Skin Care: The Estée Lauder Edition

12 Mar

I have been promising to follow up my AM version of this for some time, but it’s going to be a long one and I have been busy. After being told the other day, however, that my skin “looks like a baby’s,” I think it’s finally time to get on it!

I used to be really, really lazy about taking my makeup off at night (read: I didn’t do it), but as I have gotten older, I have started trying to take better care of my skin. This includes not just removing makeup at night, but also moisturizing and pampering so my skin can recover as I sleep.

The first step in this nightly routine is the removal of eye makeup. I used to use Almay’s eye makeup remover pads, which are really good and gentle, but I need about five a night to do what Neutrogena’s extra gentle eye makeup remover pads do in one. One side for each eye and I’m done. Sometimes they’re a bit dry, but I just add a little tap water and they work fantastically. Gentle and effective – a must.

Next I use SpaSilk baby washcloths and water – no soap – to cleanse my face. I get the washcloth wet and gently scrub the makeup off my face. Since I use mineral-based makeup, I am not too concerned about any being left on my skin, but a gentle water wash with the aid of the washcloth seems to get almost everything off anyhow. I am prone to dry skin, so the less soap I use on my face, the better.

I keep the following four items next to my bed.

I start with lip balm because by the time I’m done moisturizing my face, my hands are too slick to open the tube! Clinique Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment is my balm du jour. It’s extremely smooth and hydrating, goes on softly like a gloss, but is in no way sticky, goopy, or at all “makeup” like. Additionally, it’s totally fragrance free, which I’d normally eschew in a lip gloss, but before bed and after brushing your teeth, it’s kind of nice to have something that’s not all smelly and flavored.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye goes on next. I dab it under and around my eyes. I definitely see a difference in my crow’s feet from before I started using this and now, so I’d recommend it. Not sure how much it does for dark circles and bags, but the best things for those are really plenty of sleep and plenty of water, anyhow. This formula is a “gel” type (as opposed to a cream) and is very light and pleasant.

After eye gel, I put on Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair. There has been a LOT of buzz about this product, but unfortunately I can’t 100% speak to it. Granted, I get a lot of compliments on my skin, even from estheticians during facials, but I have a pretty complicated routine, so who knows how much this one product is actually contributing to it. Nonetheless, I have had no bad experiences with it, and perhaps it is an integral part of what keeps my skin healthy. At any rate, this is a very light, gentle serum, with an almost unnoticeable fragrance. It’s pretty pricey, but people do seem to love it.

Final step (whew)! After ALLLL that other stuff is done, I smooth some Estée Lauder Time Zone Night over my face and neck. It’s pleasant smelling and just as nice and creamy as you’d expect a night cream to be.

Voila! That’s the whole lineup.

AM Skin Care: The Estée Lauder Edition

24 Feb

I change my skin care up ALL THE TIME, so this is only the first installment in what will be ongoing skin care reviews.

Right now, I am on an Estée Lauder kick. In the shower, I use Estée Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser.

I like it for a number of reasons. One, no sulfates! Two, it’s thick, but still foams. Three, it cleans my skin but doesn’t dry it out. And finally, it’s hydrating without being oily or greasy – I cannot STAND washing my face with something that feels like it’s left a film on my skin. Only complaint is that it’s a little strong on the smell for my taste. (Note – I use a Clarisonic in the shower, as well as an exfoliator 2 – 3 times a week, but those aren’t Estée Lauder, so I’ll cover them in a different post.)

When I get out of the shower, I pat my skin dry, then start with Estée Lauder ‘Idealist’ Even Skintone Illuminator.

I used Idealist in the AM and PM for a few weeks and found a very noticeable, positive change in my skin tone. With my vitiligo, I am prone to blotchiness and uneven skin tone, and Idealist really seemed to make a difference in that. I now just use it in the mornings before moisturizing, and am still a huge fan.

Next it’s time for eye cream. I used to spurn eye cream as pointless, but I was perpetually plagued by milia, and an esthetician finally told me one day when I was getting a facial that they can be caused by using face cream around your eyes! Apparently (according to her), face cream is too thick for the delicate skin around your eyes, and can clog up the pores and cause milium. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve had ONE since I started using an eye-specific cream, so she may very well have been right. I’m currently using Estée Lauder Time Zone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Eye Cream.

I like it. I can’t say I have noticed a huge wrinkle difference, but as I mentioned, the milia have not reappeared, so it’s a-okay.

My final step in the morning is moisturizing. I have been using Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 and REALLY like it.

Smooth and velvety, it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized, but not heavy or weighed down. I look dewy and healthy but not too shiny. Finally, it has a nice, light, cucumber smell that I find really pleasant and spa-like. Totally endorse this 100%.

I can’t say if it’s these products, the products I use during my nighttime routine, the Clarisonic, or some combination thereof, but my skin has looked pretty fabulous lately. Even complexion, rosy cheeks, dewy, elastic skin tone – a definite plus at almost 34 years old.

I’ll post the evening routine later!

Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara

17 Feb

Okay so to balance that last post, here’s a FABULOUS mascara! Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara is crazy good. I wore it all day yesterday with no smudging, no discomfort, maximum volume and color, and easy removal before bed! I even got a compliment on it from my sugarer, and promised her I’d post about it so she could try it herself.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I know you have preconceived notions about Estée Lauder. Don’t even try to pretend you don’t. But I am telling you it is an AMAZING brand, and believe me, I have tried them all. Plus, Evelyn Lauder was a really cool lady who did a ton of charitable work and established The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She might be one of my heroes.

Anyhow, back to the mascara – try it! If you don’t like it, I will eat my hat.