Monday, 6 May 2013
As any Big Lebowski fan will tell you, there are a lot of things you aren't allowed to do on Shabbat -- cook, roll, drive -- and, apparently, touch up your makeup. So when Rorie Weisberg wanted to look flawless for her son's bar mitzvah this summer, she splurged (God I hate that word) on Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour Foundation, which purports to last all day with no need for re-application.
What she got instead was a shonda.
All yiddish jokes aside (and I've yet to see an article that managed to resist that temptation), Weisberg's lawsuit does bring up a fair and interesting point -- should companies be allowed to make claims that are flat-out untrue? On the one hand, I could've told Weisberg that even the highest-end, longest-lasting foundation was probably not going to make it through 3 or 4 hours of dancing in a rented hall in June without some of it sliding around and making her face look like a gently-melted candle. On the other, maybe it should be illegal for a cosmetics company to pretend otherwise.
The United Kingdom has made great strides lately with their photoshop bans, so could outlandish claims be the next victim in the war on misleading advertisements?
And let's be clear here -- the woman in question didn't just blindly trust the company and wear this foundation to an event only to find out later that she looked like a mess. She actually tested the foundation out months ahead of time in preparation for the summer party.
Shaindy Kelman of ShainDee Cosmetics (whose "Shabbos Queen" line is specifically aimed at observant Jewish women who need long-lasting makeup) has called the lawsuit ridiculous, advising people in Weisberg's situation to choose powder foundation with better staying power and arguing that a company can't and shouldn't need to guarantee their foundations for all skin types. But again, if this is such an obvious fact, should Lancome be allowed to effectively label and market a product with the claim that it will last for a full 24 hours without any further caveats?
My personal opinion is that the lawsuit isn't quite as silly as it seems, and it would be nice to have a bit more truth in advertising, but I have no expectation of that any time in the near future.
And Rorie, girl, if you're reading this -- go get MAC Face and Body with your out-of-court settlement and thank me later.
Friday, 19 April 2013
Definitely pricier than my usual fare, I picked up Chanel's Illusion d'Ombre from their recent Spring collection (mostly on a whim) the last time I was at The Bay. I have a real weakness for gold lustre eye shadows and this one looked particularly beautiful.
Convoiste, which translates to "lust" in French, is a very pretty true-gold color. I find a lot of gold eyeshadows/dusts have a tendency to either be too brown or yellow, but there is something pure, radiant and luminous about this shade.
A little less luminous and radiant is the price. You get 4g of product in this beautiful glass jar for $36.00 Canadian. Compare that to the $8-10 you spend on the same 4g of Maybelline's Color Tattoos or the $9-12 for L'Oreal's 3.5g LaColeur Infallible eye shadows, and it's a bit of a hard pill to swallow.
Well... as much as I loved the color (and it is gorgeous), the texture and wear of this are a little disappointing.
Now, what I was more hoping for was, if not a more opaque color, then at least a really pretty highlighting shade for a brow bone or just a simpler lid. But the glitter is a bit too obvious for that, and while my eyelid looks pretty with this swept across it, there's no real "wow" factor here. The product does appear to be long-lasting, but it's hard to tell, given its sheerness.
Rating this is tough, because overall I did like it, but I feel as though the drug store has caught up enormously in the past few years, and there's no reason to spend $36.00 on this product when L'Oreal and Maybelline offer dupes for less than a third of the cost.
Overall, I give Chanel's Illusion d'Ombre in Convoitise a B-, with no plans to repurchase.
Have you tried any of the other Illusion d'Ombre shades? Tell me what you think below.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Recently my boyfriend got into straight razor shaving, which means that he’s been hurtled head-first into the world of men’s skin care, me along with him.
At one time, he was content to carve his face with a plastic 5-blade that, with all its claims of precision, refused to give him a close shave no matter how furiously he hacked at his face. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of buying him a “Shavette,” or a beginner straight razor, for Christmas and now he is a man possessed. There are shaving creams, cakes, soaps, oils, aftershaves, soothing balms, straight razors, safety razors and moisturizers. The men's skin care market has exploded in the last few years, and the ads are pretty much all like this:
Hey dudes, your skin is like a high-octane car made of science and shit. It’s not weird or gay or anything to treat it real special just like your woman does – only this skin care is awesome and filled with stuff that will make your heavy machinery of a blade operate better with your kick-ass man face. Which is also a machine of some kind.
It. Is. Wonderful.
Sure, women’s advertising is insane as well, but what makes men’s care marketing so much fun is that it’s still in its infancy. Watching the ads struggle on their spindly baby horse legs is admittedly entertaining. Because women’s health and beauty marketing has perfected a system wherein companies tear apart your ego so they can promise to build it back up again if you buy their products. It’s a system that works so well that we’ve stopped questioning it for the most part. Of course a zit is a barrier for your love life. Of course wrinkles ought to be eliminated.
But these brave copywriters working on their men’s skin care accounts are still fiddling with the formula. For now, the one that they’ve settled on is a careful balance between explaining how a product works while making sure to constantly stroke the ego of prospective customers to reassure them that there’s nothing unmanly about beauty products and, if anything, it’s unmanly not to take care of your face-truck.
Every Man Jack
If you’re like most guys, you care about keeping your skin healthy and looking good. (If you’re not, well, now’s a pretty good time to start.)
That’s because your skin is a critical organ that covers and protects your entire body. But as sophisticated as it might be, taking care of your skin doesn’t have to take a half dozen steps and expensive, complicated products. All it takes is Every Man Jack.
Whether it’s cleansing, clearing, hydrating or protecting, EMJ has simple, affordable solutions that get the job done. It’s stuff that fits into your daily regimen. Not the other way around.
This pretty much encapsulates everything I’ve said above.
First, important man science: your skin is an organ. Take care of your body organs, dude.
Second, there’s nothing weird about caring for your skin. In fact, you should have started doing this way before now.
There’s also the not-so-subtle hint that unlike your lady’s skin care, which is filled with promises it can’t possibly keep, men’s skin care is going to level with you, bro.
They're all about being real.
Here’s what EMJ says about its anti-aging regime:
Will I look and feel 18 again?If you’re 18 right now, absolutely. While it’s no miracle, this light, non-greasy face lotion and hydrating eye cream will help you fight the signs of aging.
No bullshit, bro. Just the straight facts. Even though “fighting the signs of aging” is a nebulous and meaningless phrase. But would these dudes lie to you, man? Nah.
L'Oreal Men Expert skin care, meanwhile, seeks to lure you in with celebrities who represent the three pillars of masculinity with the spokestrio of Patrick Dempsy (soulful), Gerard Butler (rugged) and Hugh Laurie (classic). They want to make sure you know that using these products won't change the inner you. You're not going to start covering everything in doilies if you use their stuff. Just look at Hugh Laurie -- he's still so classic and British (in the Michael Caine way, though, not in the Hugh Grant way).
And Gerard Butler! Remember 300? That was great.
Another tactic, employed by The Art of Shaving, is basically to say: fuck the naysayers -- pamper yourself, asshole. You're a man. Why wouldn't you take care of your awesome skin?
The Art of Shaving doesn't bother with pandering to your need to think of your face as anything other than a face. It actively encourages its customers to enjoy the luxury of a good shave, not to worry about how it'll make them look to their non-luxurious friends.
You like good scotch and stuff? Then why are you using some POS shave cream?
Let's be clear: all skin care marketing is silly, and it all panders to stereotypes.
But that doesn't mean that we can't have a bit of a laugh at the expense of companies trying so hard to essentially say, "No homo." Upper-class men used to wear makeup and powder and wigs and would spend a fortune on fashion. Smearing a little bit of cream on your face after a shave is hardly going to destroy masculinity.
Monday, 18 February 2013
My birthday is a week before Valentine’s Day, and then my boyfriend’s birthday is a week after that. So February is a bit of an insane time, hence the lack of new posts. I didn’t photograph my birthday weekend in Seattle because I’ve found over time that when I’m glued to my camera I get a lot of great photographs of a place I didn’t really experience myself, goofy and sentimental as that might sound.
In any event, it’s been three weeks of cheaper US alcohol, sub-par Seattle coffee (seriously, Seattle, Vancouver is kicking your ass) and makeup. Sorry, no-buy promise.
My boyfriend (possibly at my behest) bought me the Urban Decay Glinda pallet, I bought myself a L'Occitane hand cream (I did use up my Soap and Glory), and finally (here's the big one) I bought an eyeshadow quad and a cream eyeshadow from Chanel.
But finally owning some great high-end makeup again reminded me of something, something that this no-buy (or low-buy) promise has reinforced: Department store makeup isn’t universally better than drug store makeup. There are still plenty of products that you can buy at the drug store that rival anything you can find in a department store -- particularly when it comes to mascaras or glosses. But the placebo effect that high-end cosmetics create can't be ignored. I find that I treat my more expensive products better, which in turn means that I get more out of a Chanel compact than a L’Oreal one.
If you spend $60 on an eye shadow quad, you are going to use that thing to the bone – because otherwise, it’s an enormous waste of money. And you’re going to be incredibly careful in picking it out. On top of that, the lighting is better when you're testing it (so you get a better idea of how it actually looks) and everything in a department store has a tester.
But if you spent $7 on an eyeshadow quad, you might pick it up a little less carefully, and ultimately who cares if the colors don’t quite go? Then you buy another, because you really meant to get the brown one, as the purple one wasn’t really that practical. Oh, well, the highlight shade doesn’t go, but that’s okay. On and on. So before you know it, you’ve spent $70 on a pile of drug store eyeshadows, none of which are quite right, and none of which you ever end up using all that often.
This, as I’ve hinted before, is the genius of drug store makeup. You spend more money on more products that you like less. And then you treat those products more harshly, causing them to break or get dirty faster, meaning you throw them out more frequently.
I would say 75-90% of the time, I wind up not liking the color/texture of a drug store product as much as I thought I would. Compared to 5% of the time with high-end. So I wind up buying an armload of eyeshadows because I'm still looking for *the* taupe or *the* green. Whereas my one Chanel eyeshadow quad is perfect. Everything about the way it looks is perfect. And maybe that's psychosomatic, but ultimately aren't cosmetics supposed to make me feel better?