Welcome to Club Flamingo™, which incidentally looks a lot like an inflatable pool and some random beach toys perched in my sister's back garden, but I assure you, it is a resort, and it is very fancy. As we sit here drinking our craft IPA (socially-distanced of course), the pandemic rages on. Even places that have seen a significant drop-off in COVID19 cases (read: not the United States right now, sheesh) - these places are casting a rightfully suspicious glance at the upcoming fall and winter months. As much as we want to re-open, create our plans to go "back to normal" and just take an afternoon to go browse the local thrift shops, make "just a quick trip" to Sephora or Ulta and stick our fingers in absolutely every cosmetic sample and try every foundation and spray ourselves with absolutely every expensive perfume on the shelf, that would be unwise. Incidentally, if you are one of the people out there still doing this, please see yourself out now. Public health is a group effort, and health care professionals are tired.
One thing that apparently is not, and may never completely be "back to normal" is my enthusiasm for cosmetics. As you know, I normally love to try new things, but I think the only times I've worn a full face of makeup for any reason since this whole pandemic started is when I've stepped in front of the camera for this blog - and I don't even always do it then. This new reluctance is probably not all pandemic-related; as I get older I find that I feel ridiculously painted-on when I put on a full face. Things look very different in real life than they do on-camera, and I live in pretty casual clothes these days. There's just something really odd to me about pairing denim and a t-shirt with heavy foundation, lashes, eyeshadow, lipstick.....it feels unbalanced to me. Plus it gets all over the inside of your hat if you decide you need one. And in the heat of summer? Yeesh. I also find that my skin is happier to have some time to actually breathe real air for a change. We tend to forget that the skin is the largest organ of the body. Mine is absolutely happier for the break.
But one thing I have not grown weary of is the never-ending promise of cosmetics; like the selfish, manipulative boyfriends of our 20s (before we learned), cosmetics always promise you the world, often don't deliver, but we just keep coming back because let's face it, the promise is kind of exciting, isn't it? The cosmetic promise that I am drawn to right now is that of convenience and simplicity. That sounds sensible enough, but basically anything that promises me the world in one single product, I will reflexively open my wallet and just start throwing whatever currency is in there at it. I've been thinking about some of the things I've seen lately that come with such a promise that I would like to try, or that I have tried and and keep going back to. In time, I hope to work my way through the untested items on this list and review them for you in a later post.
Single Products That Make Big Promises
You can't really do an internet search for top-rated moisturizers these days and not turn up the Weleda Skin Food line. I decided to try it after I recently emptied my second tube of the Marcelle City Day & Night Emulsion I've spoken about on previous posts. After reading some of the reviews of this product, I decided to go with the Light version of the Skin Food line, thinking that the original may be too emollient for me to use as a daily moisturizer. That was the right choice. This moisturizer smells divine, feels elegant and spreads well. It is very emollient, but does soak-in after a few minutes. One thing I will caution users about is that it does contain a lot of essential oils, making it a less than ideal option for those with sensitive skin. At first application, I feared I may fall into that category, but my skin soon got used to the ingredients and I tolerate it well. I can put this on my lips and my undereyes, but I would hesitate to get to close to my eye makeup if I'm wearing any, as it does have a rendancy to dislodge my mascara if contact is made.
This type of product is not particularly new, nor is the concept of the multi-tasking lip and cheek stain. I've tried several of these over the years, starting with the old standby from Bonne Bell (remember those!?) that I still miss to this day. One of the things I've noticed about this type of product over the years is that the cream formulations (Like Stila's Convertible Color) in particular have a tendency to color-change once they're on my skin, and they seem to not have very good staying power, especially if you don't wear a lot of other makeup to "anchor" it to your face. The Gel formulas however (like Benefit's BeneTint), do tend to have more staying power, but they can be fussy to apply - you have to be quick before they dry, then your fingers are a mess. Also, the colors of the gel formulas traditionally have tended to be blueish, which for an olive-skinned or tanned person can be problematic. This one appeals to me because it comes in nine...yes nine shades, yet calls itself a stain. I haven't tried this one yet, so at the moment I'm living off of the promise that this is the product that will make my life work.
I've always been wary of palettes, as I tend to be attracted to ones that do nothing other than reproduce shades that already exist in my collection. However, I make exception for this Charlotte Tilbury palette. Yes, it's a bit of a steep price tag for seven small palettes of color, but I think this is one of the only palettes I've ever seen that would work on just about every light to medium-hued skin color. When I think about all the cosmetic stuff I drag with me when I travel that I rarely ever touch once I'm at my destination, this sleek little palette suddenly seems like a much better deal. As much as I am a believer in budget products, I will give Tilbury her due for consistently being able to create products that look good on most people (her growing cult-favorite line of Pillow Talk products is another good example of this.) Once the humidity breaks this summer, I may very well be inclined to give this one a try - I can easily see myself packing for a trip packing only this thin little palette and a couple of skincare products.