Life's Little Emergencies

Everyday Rescue for Beauty, Fashion, Relationships, and Life

Emme Aronson and Natasha Stoynoff

St. Martin's Griffin

Life's Little Emergencies
1
beauty emergency!
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
JOHN KEATS
Wow. Now that's a mouthful. To hear the poets tell it, beauty is this unreachable, all-consuming, mindboggling panacea to which we all aspire ... but fall woefully short. Me? I ascribe to the simpler, grassroots, Forrest Gump school of philosophy: Beauty is as beauty does.
To me the word beauty covers a vast, colorful spectrum. It can be the smile my daughter gives me when I least expect it. It can be the bare nape of a woman's neck when her hair is twisted up and tiny tendrils fall softly. It can be a pair of men's strong hands in motion--veins popping. It can be a rose blooming. I see beauty everywhere I look and sometimes in the oddest places.
My mom taught me that beauty is simplicity. There was nothing overdone or forced when she "made" herself beautiful every morning before work or at night before a party. She put on a dab of color here, a spritz of scent there, and a lot of charm. She showed me that each person is attractive in her or his own way and praised people's unique physical qualities--a warm speakingvoice; a rosy complexion; a great smile. It wasn't about looking like someone else, I learned, it was about appreciating what you have and who you are.
Even in the modeling world, where "beauty" can be a changeable, unattainable ideal, the models I know understand the ultimate, constant beauty secret that never goes out of style: confidence. And then, for polish, they trade about a zillion makeup, hair, and skin tips for the outside of the package. Because there's nothing wrong with a little plucking and pruning. If putting on a bit of mascara or curling your hair or giving yourself a facial makes you feel good about yourself, why not? If you feel beautiful, you are beautiful.
And why not be proud of it? In the past, when people told me I looked great, I'd feel a little uncomfortable and I'd say, "Oh thanks, I just lost some weight," or "Yeah, I just bought this dress."I'd make excuses or apologies and my appraiser would look deflated like I just shoved a gift back into her face. I don't do that anymore. Now I say,"Thank you!"--and I mean it!
WISE WOMAN
Cheryl Tiegs, supermodel
 
Beauty Is Growth
 
To say that beauty comes from within us is a cliché, but it's true. If you keep yourself happy it shows on your face. When I started out in New York as a young model, my agent said to me, "The key to beauty is to always learn and grow and educate yourself and have new experiences." I never forgot that. When you are learning something new or experiencing adventures for the first time it brings excitement to your eyes, to your face, to your whole being. Once when I was going through a troubled time, a therapist told me, "Cheryl, take up a new hobby ... take up needlepoint ... plant a rose garden ... do something you've never done before." You start off wobbly at first but soon you get good at it and it makes you feel so great. Keep exploring. It brings a contentedness to you and helps with self-esteem. And that's what makes you "beautiful."
About Face!
Natasha's cool friend, Rachel, who wears only red and black, is obsessed with finding the perfect red lipstick. She has at least twenty tubes in shades of scarlet, crimson, ruby, burgundy, and cherry in her purse at any one time.
My beauty obsession is of a more architectural nature.
Yes, okay, anybody who knows me already knows this: I have an eyebrow fetish. I admit it. It's almost as bad as my shoe fetish.
Tweezerman tweezers are God!
And it just so happens that Natasha has those bushy, Slavic eyebrows that are tough to tame so we're kind of eyebrow codependent on each other. She hates to pluck. I live to pluck! At my annual summer barbecue last year, I noticed she was overdue for a little pruning. I beckoned her over to the grassy knoll in the backyard, took out my instrument of torture (I never leave home without it, even if I'm only going to the backyard), and pointed to the grass.
"Here?" she asked.
"Here," I answered sternly. My tweezer finger was itchy.
Hiking up my blue-jean skirt, I crouched over Natasha as she lay on her back on the grass and I plucked, plucked, plucked. It was cause for small alarm among my party guests who thought Natasha was having some sort of attack, she was yelping a bit (I would have put on some baby-teething stuff first to numb the area but hadn't had Toby yet to know what a lifesaver Oragel is to numb pain), or that I was giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
"Okay, okay, show's over, folks," Natasha said finally, as she got up and smoothed her fingers over her newly smooth and tamed brows.
Well, it was an emergency as I saw it. Natasha's brows were criminally out of control; and it was my job to subdue them!
 
I can't help myself. After you've sat in the chair of some of the world's most famous makeup artists, you learn a thing or two about the tweezing, contouring, and tinting of the female face and you want to try what you've learned on your girlfriends.
For example, my friend, makeup artist Maria Verel, who has worked on such beautiful faces as Diana Drall, Diane Sawyer, and Nora Ephron, taught me these all-important tweezing "never" tips that have made me mistress of the tweezers in my peer group:
Never tweeze when you're angry or bored.
Never take too much at one time; go for a few hairs at a time and step away from the mirror.
Never oversnip with scissors or hairs will look stubby and harsh.
Never forget symmetry.
Never tweeze from the top.
Never shave your eyebrows.
The thin arch is over so don't go there.
But I didn't learn everything at once. My education in primping was a slow process. Don't forget, I'm a tomboy at heart.
For the longest time, I was guilty of making the number-one mistake a makeup novice is guilty of: TOO MUCH. I used to pile it on, layer after layer, before a modeling shoot. As an athlete who was forever in the water or at the gym, I was so used to being barefaced that when I finally got my fingers into those colored pots and lipsticks and powders, I went a little girl crazy. At my early modeling shoots, I'd arrive with my face already painted to the max.
"There's just too much of it," the makeup artists would tsk, tsk, tsk, over and over again, as they wiped and sponged and powdered it off.
"Where?" I'd ask.
"Um, all over the place."
Time after time, makeup artists would tell me: "If you're wearing a strong lip color, go light on the eye makeup and vice versa. Make one part of the face the focal point."
My friend Maria would drill that one home to me: "When you wear bright red lipstick, it stands out like a fine piece of jewelry. Your lips will shine more brilliantly if they don't have to compete for attention with other intensely made-up features."
So heed these words of wisdom: LESS IS MORE.
 
Here are some of her emergency tips:
 
MARIA SAYS ...
To make eyes wider: Always curl your lashes before putting on mascara; it makes your eyes appear bigger and brighter, which automatically narrows your face.
To open your eyes: Curl the lashes, color in between the lash roots with a soft eyeliner pencil, then apply a lot of mascara. Only do this to the top lashes because doing the bottom too will be overkill.
To cover zits: Use allergy eye drops that you can buy from a drugstore to take the redness out of a blemish. Dab a few drops on the spot, or hold a piece of cotton saturated with the drops on the pimple for two minutes, then allow the area to dry. Top with a thin layer of concealer and set with translucent powder.
To keep lipstick off your teeth: Line and fill lips with a lip pencil that matches your lipstick. Next, apply lipstick over the liner but avoid the inner edges of your lips--that's the trouble zone. Then blot lips with a tissue and apply a color sealer to set your lipstick until you wash it off. TryBeneFit She Laq ($24) or Lip Last by English Ideas Cosmetics ($18). If your lips are chapped, however, you might find a sealer drying, so use a lip stain that blots on like ink and top it with a gloss for extra shine. Try Stila Lip Rouge ($26) with Prestige Aromatherapy Lipgloss in clear ($2.95).
To save money on products: Buy from the drugstore! I've been using drugstore makeup forever. They perform equally as well as department-store brands. In fact, many are made in the same factories. Read labels for ingredients, noting those first in the list are the highest concentrations. Sometimes all that differs is the fragrance added (or not added), and/or the packaging.
Open the door again to the Avon Lady! Seriously, their products are great and so are their prices. Take a closer look. Their performance is on par with the leading brands. So when Avon comes calling, answer the door!
Some of Maria's Favorite Drugstore Items:
Wet 'n' Wild #666 lip pencil
L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Tawny and Cornsilk Classic Translucent Powder
Maybelline Illegal Lengths Mascara
TAKE NOTE: Out in the sun a lot? I concocted a great makeup/sunscreen potion that makes you look great and protects you from the rays. My friend, makeup artist Fran Cooper, was testing a variety of makeup bases under the spray of a shower to see if they could stand enormous amounts of sweat without sliding off the face (she was preparing to do makeup for Janet Jackson for her Live in Hawaii TV special). She told me that just wearing makeup base alone did a good job of blockingout harmful burning rays. That got me thinking ... what if I were to mix a high SPF nongreasy sunscreen like my favorite Coppertone Sport 30 with a Colorstay base by my old buddies at Revlon? (Once this stuff goes on, it stays on.) I beach tested this idea in St. Maarten and WOW, what a find. Five days in the sun and not a freckle or burn in sight. And the makeup didn't smear all over my clothes. Just one word of warning: If your skin is sensitive and you're not used to wearing makeup, you might be prone to breaking out. Make sure you clean your face thoroughly before bed!
Learn What's Best for You
After lots of trial and error, you'll know your face like the back of your hand, so to speak. You'll know what works for you and what doesn't.
I learned that birch-brown eye shadow makes my eyes bluer. I learned to use shimmer below my brow bone and above my cheeks to add a nice contrast in pictures. Taupe eye shadow became my friend for instant cheekbones. I learned not to use heavy powder--especially under the eyes--because it gets crepe-like on me and it screams, LOOK, I'M WEARING MAKEUP!
I learned to fix my ruddy complexion with a yellow-tinted base and concealer. I learned to define my eyes with a kohl pencil in dark blue or black underneath the inside of my upper lid (not on the bottom, like we did in the 1970s). I learned to blend, blend, blend.
But most of all, I learned that I know my face better than anyone else and not to let anyone mess with it.
Think of Brooke Shields and her famous thick eyebrows (again with the eyebrows!). For years makeup artists wanted to pluck them, but she resisted. She knew they fit her face and were a signature look for her.
On one TV appearance when I worked with a new makeup artist, I asked her to pump up my eyes with a few false eyelashes and she said, "Oh, I just ran out of my regular eyelash glue ... but I have this other stuff they use for mustaches."
I was hesitant. I knew my eyes could be sensitive and told her so.
"Oh, don't worry," she said, "it'll be fine."
As she liberally applied the stuff, my eyes started to water from the fumes.
I went out to do my appearance with the eyes of America on me, and my eyelids started to tighten and close up. My eyes turned bloodshot. Everything became like putty. Seems this mustache glue was crystallizing on my lids and jagged bits of it were falling into my eyes.
It took me a week to get those lashes off my eyes. After that I never again let anyone put a product on me that I hadn't already tried myself.
I Stick to What I Know and My Daily Routine Goes Like This:
Clean face with Aveda gel cleanser.
Moisturize with Kiehl's Ultra facial moisturizer SPF 15. (spring and summertime)
Moisturize with Sundãri Neem and Tamanu Corrective Moisturizer for dry skin (fall and wintertime)
Blend light base in Bobbi Brown Protective Face Lotion SPF 15 moisturizer in sand.
A bit of color on my brows, Laura Mercier in topaz.
A little contour under my cheekbones, taupe by Bobbi Brown.
Dab the apples of my cheeks with MAC HUSH frost or STYLE frost.
Curl my lashes with my Shu Uemura curler.
Draw on the upper inside lid with my Laura Mercier black liner pencil.
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in black.
Lip gloss, Bobbi Brown in petal.
Ten minutes, total.
(applause, applause)
 
And here's my favorite trick for keeping lipstick off the teeth throughout the day: Before you leave the house in the morning or after you reapply at lunch or dinner, put your index finger in your mouth and pull it out. Once you close your lips around your finger and pull it out, all the lipstick from the inside of your lips comes off and you have no more lipstick worries. Works every time and a tip you should tell all your girlfriends. (Caution: Do not do this in public in mixed company. It could be taken in the wrong way ... . )
The Mane Event: After-Work Hair That Won't Let You Down
What to do when you plan a special night on the town with your girlfriends and your hair loses its oomph right at 5 P.M.? I knew if I asked Kevin Mancuso, celebrity stylist, hair expert, and author of The Mane Thing, he would know how to help.
"Any day-into-evening hairstyle is best achieved with a strong start! Take the time to build a strong foundation with your morning blow-dry, natural air-dry, or set. This will help give your hairstyle the strength to make it through the day and then some. So plan ahead as to what your evening look will be. Up or down, your hair will work the best if the texture is set from the start. There are no rules; evening hair can be controlled or loose. It depends on how you feel, what you're wearing, or where you're going."
FINE HAIR: For lasting volume, use a volume spray concentrating mainly on the roots. Blow-dry with a smaller than usual round brush. (Choose your brush according to the length of your hair. In this case, your hair should be able to wrap around the brush at least two times.) Using a blow-dryer, smooth hair onto the brush when hair is almost dry. Roll it down the scalp, heat it up thoroughly, and then switch to cool. Cool it down entirely and release. You can roll the section back up without the brush and use a clip to hold it in place. This will give it more strength and holding power. When you're finished, brush it and go! If you lose volume through the day, take all of your hair into your hands in an upward direction and twist loosely up and into a high soft bun. Don't twist too hard or tight. Pin high up on your head (so it looks pretty). Continue your day and in the evening, let it down. It will have more movement and volume and whether you wear it up or down, it will be voluminous and pliable enough to style.
CURLY HAIR: Curls that last all day! For naturally curly hair, it's best to air dry gently. Don't touch it too much while it's drying. Start to air dry with an application of leave-in conditioner or styling products. There are many types of curly hair and many products to choose from. Read the labels of the products and experiment with different ones until you come across the combination that works for you. I have found that using a straightening gel that is designed to blow out curl can actually be useful to leave in curly hair. Let it dry naturally or twist loosely into a bun. Let it dry, and when you take it down it will be a looser, softer curl.
For straight looks, again start with a good strong blow out in the morning. I like to use styling spray with a little straightening gel on the ends. The styling spray has hold so your blow-dry will last longer and the straightening gel will make hair easier to glide through with your brush. In the evening, you can quickly go over the hair with a flat iron for a super-straight, glossy-finished look. Again, up or down, you will be working with the best-prepared texture.
WISE WOMAN
Dawn Gallagher, purist, author of Naturally Beautiful
 
Natural is a somewhat ambiguous term in the cosmetics industry. When a label says "natural" this may not necessarily mean what the average consumer supposes. It has been calculated that over a lifetime the average woman's complexion will absorb over three pounds of chemicals from cosmetic products. For example, many soaps and shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate. This compound can be obtained from a natural source, like coconut. After a decade of obscurity, the art of making natural beauty treatments at home is becoming popular again.
 
DAWN'S ROSE PETAL BATH
 
1-3 fresh rose petals
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1-2 drops rose oil
Drop rose oil in warm water, sprinkle petals and flowers on top.
For a groomed, simple look (sort of Ralph Lauren), side part your hair and pull it into a low ponytail. Put a band around the hair then wrap the ponytail with a strand of your own hair around the base where you just put the band. Pin it in, leaving a few random strands loose. Great with a simple black dress.
For more great ideas check out www.themanething.com.
Scrub-A-Dub-Dub ... What's in Emme's Tub?
I'm addicted to beauty products. My outdoor, wooden shower at the summer house I rent on the Jersey Shore has two giant racks of scrubbing, smoothing, bubbly stuff that smells good enough to eat.Have products, will travel. If you came to my home in New Jersey and peeked behind my shower curtain, here's what you'd find:
Tara Ayurveda Aromatherapy Candles in Vata and Pitta: These candles are amazing because a lot of care has gone into the ingredients (all natural). They smell so darn good and make your room or home smell like a place of calm.
Aveda Gel Cleanser in a pump: I do not go anywhere without it--it's been my trusty facial cleanser for years. The toughest grime (layers and layers of makeup) comes off quickly with out drying my skin.
Body Shop Nut Butter: Softens my rough spots quickly and minimizes stretch marks.
Kiehl's Creme de Corps: Learned from my days as a model, this always makes my skin look dewy right after shaving. Keeps hands soft in winter. The best for shaved legs!
Burt's Bees Carrot Nutritive Body Lotion: When I have sunburn, this makes it feel better.
Clairol Herbal Essences Shampoo: I am a sucker for a good ad: Orgasms from a hair product? I'll try it!
Charles Worthington Dream Hair Definite Difference Instant Repair Treatment: The best conditioner after I get my hair highlighted. It gives back the moisture lost in the dyeing process.
Kiehl's Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133: I just love this easy leave-in that doesn't make my hair limp after it dries. A little goes a long way for fine hair.
Origins Salt Butter Body Scrub: Goodbye dead skin cells.
Aubrey Organics Herbal Liquid Body Soap: A little goes a long way and it washes off the toughest makeup job in a jiffy.
Lush Back for Breakfast Shower Gel: It pops you out of bed. I buy three at a time.
Lush Bath Bombs: For extraordinary, long soaks. I get these for those who travel with me for various book signings, fashion shows, or other personal appearances. Everyone needs a little break after a long day away from home or on the selling floor!
Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Bath Salts: Another good product to keep you awake or get you out of bed.
Crabtree & Evelyn Sweet Almond Massage Oil: This is a good example of a simple yet gratifying reward. After my nighttime bath, I massage my legs, arms, torso, and feet with this oil. It's a truly lavish treat for myself.
Fresh Lavender Oil from Tuscany and the South of France: If you have any friends traveling to either of these places, put in your order. I wear it as a perfume and use it as a sleeping aid.
Dr. Hauschka Blackthorn Body Oil: This is a real treat for a body that needs some serious TLC. I have used the lavender oil as well and either one will do the trick after a long, hard day. Massage on skin after bath or use as a bath oil.
So Ya Wanna Be in Pictures?
The question I'm asked most often by women I meet in the street, in the grocery store, at the gym, in airports, on college campuses (I think you get my drift) is: "How can I become a model?"
 
My advice:
1. Go to your favorite local department stores and specialty shops and ask if you can do some informal modelingfor them. This is a great way to find out if modeling is something you really want to pursue and if you like it.
WISE GUY
Gad Cohen, hair stylist for Glamour, Vogue, GO, Marie Claire, and ELLE.
 
If hair is your crowning glory but your tiara's looking a tad tarnished, here's a crash course on keeping it shiny and healthy:
 
The Three Rules of Hair
1. Have a great cut four times a year.
2. Let your color enhance, not detract from, your face.
3. Keep your hair in good condition.
Color Coordinate
Be careful when doing home hair color. Remember: It's permanent! Don't go too far out of range from your natural hue. Never do highlights at home--they should always be done professionally. Single process will give you better chances out of a box.
 
What's Your Condition?
Curly, wavy, or coarse hair needs more conditioning than other types. For fine hair, condition only the ends. Flat hair? Use a product like Progaine, from the makers of Rogaine. It pumps up your hair and lifts your roots. For curly hair, instead of shampooing frequently like the other hair types, shampoo less often but wet hair daily as more of a rinse and then add a leave-in conditioner to get "wake-up hair" under control.
2. Check your phone book for the top three modeling agencies listings if you must. Personal referrals really are the way to go because there are many movers and shakers waiting to take your hard-earned money.
3. I can't stress this enough: Don't fall for modeling agency scams. Top agencies will ask you to show them personalphotos of yourself, but they will never ask you to do a shoot and pay thousands of dollars. Show up with clean hair and a close-to-bare face. Show only snapshots that you already have. Believe me, if they are interested, they will guide you to a professional photographer who will not charge more than $150--$300 to get your portfolio started.
4. Most agencies look for women who are five-eight to six feet, fit, and well proportioned. For "straight" modeling, you must be sizes 4 to 8. Plus-size models range from sizes 14 to 16 for print work and sizes 14 to 22 for runway work.
5. Keep in mind that the road to modeling is very difficult. Knowing that, thousands of young women write, call, and show up at agencies around the country to try their luck at being picked. Only two or three out of thousands have the goods. That is a fact.
6. If you get rejected, do not take it personally. There are many things you are meant to do in this life. Think about what they are and move on!
Skin Deep (Pantry Lifesavers)
Even models have beauty emergencies. Especially models.
On the morning of a big Clairol shoot, I woke up and felt a little bump on my lip. Uh-oh. Of all days. (Like there's ever a good day for a cold sore?)
I tried to calm myself: Hey, babe, it's only a bump. It's not a huge, festering boil hanging off the side of your face. You'll live. Now, cover the darn thing up!
I stole my husband Phil's styptic stick, which he uses when he cuts himself shaving, and dabbed some on. Then I put on a layer of calendula ointment. The third and fourth layers were concealer, which I took with me as I ran out the door and crossed my fingers.
At the shoot, my makeup artist could not be fooled. She took one look at my lip and took pity on me.
"Gonna have to cover that up," she mumbled, and got busy painting. She was grateful I had brought my own lip brush and lipsticks. She worked her magic with powder concealer and dark lipstick. Picture perfect. The camera never picked up on my little secret.
Ahh, saved--once again--from beauty disaster.
(P.S.: That night I took some vitamin C, garlic, lots of water, a zinc tablet, and slept eight hours. By morning, the darn thing was gone.)
 
The vitamin C and garlic that zapped my little beauty emergency into nothingness were just two of the many age-old, natural beauty secrets lurking in your kitchen. Our grandmas knew best when they mixed up their own pretty potions of herbs and whatever else they could pull from the ground. I hear Cleopatra used to bathe in milk and wax her legs using a sticky, cooked, sugar-water-lemon mixture.
I remember my mom making her own beauty remedies from whatever she found in the fridge. One time, before a date, I saw her crack a few eggs into a bowl and take the bowl into the bathroom. What was she gonna do with them? I wondered.
I went to investigate, and saw her leaning in close to the bathroom mirror.
"It takes years off," she explained, as she dabbed the raw egg whites on the corners of her eyes with her fingertips, smoothing out the skin there, "for about three hours."
I soon found out the fridge held a lot of other miracle, magical elixirs in the name of beauty. Avocados (for a moisturizing mask), oils (ditto), oatmeal (to exfoliate dry, sensitive skin), and strawberries (brightens skin); they weren't just for eating anymore.
When I'm out of cold cream or want relief from a sunburn, Irummage through the refrigerator for plain yogurt, slather it on, and rinse it off. And on mornings when I wake up--but my face doesn't--I fill a giant pasta bowl with cold water, ice, and lemon juice and plunge my face in it. Homemade beauty remedies have been around since the first cavewoman accidentally covered her face with wet mud (whoa! a facial!) and saw her zits disappear.
Mother Nature was here long before Aveda. And she's a heck of a lot cheaper.
 
EMERGENCY 1: Pimples
You've got a date and you've also got a gigantic zit. Dab on some toothpaste, tea-tree oil, or unfiltered honey to dry the sucker up.
 
EMERGENCY 2: Hair Like Straw
If your hair feels like you washed it with Ajax, get out the mayonnaise or olive oil. Slather it on, stick on a shower cap for thirty minutes, shampoo off. Jerry Hall, the former Mrs. Mick Jagger, swears by this treatment.
 
EMERGENCY 3: Puffy Eyes
Sometimes, it hurts to be beautiful. So when I tell you the best way to get rid of puffiness under the eyes is with that old hemorrhoid staple, Preparation H, just trust me and don't get any in your eyes. A lot of models swear by this. The kinder, gentler route is to put tea bags soaked in icy water on your closed eyelids or slices of cucumber soaked in cold milk. Also, Mom's trick: beaten egg whites on the surrounding skin (thanks, Mom).
 
EMERGENCY 4: Depressed Hair
Give it a beer! Douse your hair in Aussie brew and rinse off. It will give you fluffiness. And no one would be the wiser if you take a little sip during the rinse cycle. Also, mayonnaise as a conditioner. Slather it on your hair before you shampoo and let it sink in for ten minutes. Wash out.
 
EMERGENCY 5: Dark Roots
Boost your blond with some vodka and lemon juice. Pour it on, sit out in the sun, then wash off. Your colorist will give you hell, but, hey, it works when you don't have the dough for touch-ups. Do a little mayo conditioning after this to combat the drying effects of the lemon.
 
EMERGENCY 6: Skin Like Leather
Natasha's grandmother swears by Crisco as a body moisturizer. Natasha herself keeps a bottle of imported Tuscan olive oil under the bathroom sink and pours it on her body straight from the bottle. (Warning: Don't spill on bathroom floor. Natasha is forever sliding across her tiles.) You can scent it with sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary.
 
EMERGENCY 7: The Shining
This is why ladies walk around with those powdered compacts--that darn oily T-zone. Soak a cotton ball with witch hazel and wipe off the grease. For major oil leaks, dab on a half a lemon, directly and lightly.
WISE WOMAN
Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
 
What's Happening Beyond the Beauty Myth?
 
Ten years later, what has changed? Where is the beauty myth today? It has mutated a bit: it bears looking at with fresh eyes. Today you would be hard-pressed to find a twelve-year-old girl who is not familiar with the idea that "ideals" are too tough on girls, that they are unnatural, and that following them too slavishly is neither healthy nor even cool. Junior high schools bring in eating disorder lecturers and post collages of destructive beauty ideals in the hallways. I would say that when what started as an outsider's slightly threatening argument becomes the conventional wisdom of a Girl Scout troop, it is a sign that the times were right, and that girls and women were ready to say no to something they found oppressive. This is progress.
Q & A with Bobbi Brown, friend, celebrity makeup artist, beauty industry icon, and author of many Bobbi Brown beauty books
 
Q: You work with so many beautiful women. What makes a woman beautiful to you?
Bobbi: A woman who is comfortable in her own skin, a woman who is herself.
 
Q: What's the most common makeup mistake young women make?
Bobbi: Most young women don't wear concealer--or if they do, they wear the wrong shade. A good concealer is the secret of the universe and can magically make undereye circles disappear. Look for a creamy formula that's yellow based and is one shade lighter than your foundation. Steer clear of concealer that's too light, or has a pink or white tone to it. You'll just end up looking like you have a smear of something under your eyes. And never use concealer to cover blemishes. Concealer is designed to be one or two shades lighter than your skin tone, so this will only draw attention to your blemish.
 
Q: Uh-oh. I always use concealer on zits. So what do I do instead?
Bobbi: To cover a blemish, opt for a foundation stick or blemish cover stick that matches your skin tone exactly. You can use the pads of your fingers to apply it directly on the spot and blend in by gently patting. Finish off by setting it with powder.
 
Q: How can we go from office to cocktail party in the bathroom mirror in one minute?
Bobbi: For the most modern look, add snow Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow with a charcoal liner, apply more blush, and spritz on some perfume.
 
Q: I've put on way too much blush. I look like an overripe apple. What should I do?
Bobbi: Take a velour puff and blend it in.
 
Q: At the offce, I want to look polished--but not too "done."
Bobbi: All you need is concealer, foundation, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.
 
Q: What's the one tool you never go to a job without? Or two.
Bobbi: Concealer and blush.
 
Q: I was up all night writing. I'm exhausted. Can I fake a good night's sleep?
Bobbi: Use concealer with a concealer brush, eyeliner, pink blush, yellow powder, and a blemish cover stick.
 
Q: And my favorite question: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one beauty item would you take for yourself?
Bobbi: SPF 25 face cream!
 
Q: Thanks, Bobbi! We think you're beautiful!
 
 
FINAL THOUGHT
 
Like the proverb says, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You can paint and primp and wear the latest fashions, but what's most important is that you feel beautiful on the inside. At the same time, it feels gratifying when we try to be the best we can be and look the best we can look. Not for others but for ourselves. We don't have to measure up to any ideal. We just have to be ourselves--beautiful, naturally.
Copyright © 2003 by Emme Associates, Inc.