Things I bought, things I want, beauty edition

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I used some Sephora rewards points recently to procure a tube of Benefit Roller Lash, and am so dang glad I did, because I don’t think I’ve ever tried a mascara that both seriously lengthened my lashes and clumped not a speck. This stuff really opens your eyes right up, and looks pretty natural too.

In my experience, travel curling irons are mostly crap, and hard to use too. But I’m thinking—based on the resoundingly successful experience I’m having with my Harry Josh blow dryer (I’m pretty sure it’s actually faster than the Dyson) of going for this one.

I’m curious about giving retinol a try, but the idea scares me, because my skin is pretty sensitive. So I’m considering going for Drunk Elephant’s version, just for once a week to start out, because I do love my Drunk Elephant products: they’re so effective but still gentle.

Summertime is frizzbo time for my hair, which is why I’m so intrigued by these hair sheets, which purport to make everything lovely and smooth. I also like the idea that you could pop one of them in your bag for use whenever you regard yourself in the mirror and are none too pleased with what you see your hair doing.

And speaking of hair, I use an awful lot of lot of product in mine, and like the idea of washing away buildup with this exfoliating shampoo.

Because I’ve been spending some time on the beach, which always turns my hair irritatingly brassy, I’m thinking this protective spray might be a good move too.

This tooth whitening pen from Tarte appeals, because it apparently doesn’t torture you the way, say, Crest Whitestrips can.

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29 Thoughts on Things I bought, things I want, beauty edition
    Leya
    4 Aug 2019
    3:16pm

    If you have the DE Lala Retro, it provides a most excellent buffer for retinols. Helped to keep my face on my face (oh, the peeling) when I switched from an HPR to a 1% retinol.

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    Stakra
    30 Jul 2019
    8:44am

    Second on the DE – I’ve had great luck with their products but that is not an entry level retinol. Please report back on the travel iron!

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    Jenny
    30 Jul 2019
    9:14am

    I quite like Jordan Samuel’s retinol oil (also recommended by Caroline Hirons as a mid-level, I think, or gentle). But agree — Drunk Elephant is not for beginners.

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      Brett Jackson
      30 Jul 2019
      11:09am

      Hi Kim ! Great post- so crazy, just yesterday I was shooting with the GORGEOUS model Maria Von Hartz (Google her) and she had the Benefit Lash Roller mascara in her bag- Maria’s lashes were light blond and even brown mascara would have looked too makeup-y- Benefit has the perfect Auburn shade for redhead’s.! I am grabbing one for my work kit today.

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        Kim France
        2 Aug 2019
        10:31am

        I know Maria from way back—she’s a sweetheart.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        31 Jul 2019
        1:30am

        I remember her! She was one of my favorite models – a redhead with “Brooke brows” at the time!

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    Stakra
    31 Jul 2019
    8:28am

    As far as beauty finds – I am loving Westman Atelier – I have the foundation and contour sticks and the tinted highlighter which I also use for a quick swipe of color on my eyes. Everything blends beautifully and it’s the first time I’ve really embraced only using the foundation where I need it rather than a thin layer on my full face. Just those 3 items and some mascara (maybe eyeliner too) and I’m done.

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    KLMK
    31 Jul 2019
    12:47pm

    I was super excited to try the Drunk Elephant retinol sample from Sephora. But oh dear god! My face was red and burning, then leathery and scaly and then it started flaking off! When I rubbed my hand across my face I could hear it!! I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s probably a great product but just way to strong for my sensitive skin.

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    JB
    1 Aug 2019
    8:46am

    Was excited about Drunk Elephant retinol as I use a bunch of their other products. I gave it a full 2 weeks and then gave up. I didn’t have a terrible reaction, but I was scaly for the 2 weeks straight. Was not a good fit for me at all.

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    Lisa Birnbach
    30 Jul 2019
    1:59pm

    Which mascara do you prefer, Kim? The Monsieur Big or the Benefit Roller? I want to press “Order” so badly, but need advice.
    Thanks.

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    D.Morgendorffer
    30 Jul 2019
    4:04pm

    We have a cracked pipe and the soonest the plumber can come is tomorrow. So, thank you commenters for giving me something pleasant to read and distract myself in the meantime. As for beauty acquisitions, I am quite jazzed with my Elizabeth Arden tinted lip balm in Berry. I got it to put a layer of SPF over sheer red lipstick, but find myself liking it on its own. Before the plumbing annoyance, I’ve been appreciating my Britannia soap, so good in the summer. (It’s made for Pears soap fanatics who miss the old formula of Pears.) Thank you, MaryAlice, for mentioning your experience with the whitener. I’m always hesitant to try something like that, as much as my coffee drinking self needs it, unless someone else with sensitivities has tried it. (By the way, AloeSense fluoride toothpaste for life!)

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    Carrie
    30 Jul 2019
    5:45pm

    I’ve heard wonderful things about ordinary retinoid products
    https://theordinary.com
    I’ve been using a prescription tretinoin cream (0.05%) for years and I really do believe it works.

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    ab
    31 Jul 2019
    1:50am

    Cerave’s and Neutrogena’s fragrance-free retinols are both gentle. Avoid fragrance, don’t put it on wet skin, and consider putting it on over moisturizer (also fragrance-free) that you’ve allowed to dry. Use at night, and use a sunscreen during the day.

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    Mary
    30 Jul 2019
    10:25am

    I have the Drunk Elephant retinol and do not have sensitive skin. But I used it around the eyes and paid the price! Scaly and sore and this never happens to me. Very strong OTC retinol. I’m actually getting confused as to what’s best to put on my skin at night. During the day, I use moisturizer plus sunscreen. Knowing my luck, I’m probably not getting enough vitamin D!

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    Kimbersam
    30 Jul 2019
    10:35am

    I use Retin-A and have for 23 years. Kim, if you are sold on the DL product, might I suggest you “buffer” it with some moisture first to help mitigate any sensitivities. This is the technique I use when I am cycling back on Retin-A after the summer and need to help my skin adjust. Also–let me state this is what works for me and I have no skin knowledge in a professional capacity.

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    Sarah J
    30 Jul 2019
    10:51am

    Came here to say all the same things about the Drunk Elephant retinol. Not for beginners! And as much as I love the line, I think they are being careless with their instructions for using it. It is very strong. I’d recommend the Dr Dennis Gross retinol +ferulic serum*, but everyone’s skin is different. Find one that works for you and go easy at first.
    *not sure if that’s the exact name

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    Jax
    30 Jul 2019
    12:28pm

    Was curious about the DE retinol cream too, so thanks for the input and alternative options.

    Kim — On a wholly unrelated note, thank you for your earlier posts on packing light.
    On that subject, what do you use for a suitcase? Do you try to carry on — both domestic and international travel?
    Posing question to your lovely and wise readers as well, any 19” international carryon recommendations?
    Yes, shopping for one. I’m drawn to getting the hardside polycarbonate spinner variety, but I’ve heard/read/seen that flight crews typically use softside TravelPro Crew (often rollerboard) luggage instead. I want to be flexible for domestic and international (more stringent size specs).
    🙏

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      Kim France
      2 Aug 2019
      10:32am

      I’m a big fan of Away luggage. Well-priced, reasonably stylish and very durable.

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      MaryAlice
      30 Jul 2019
      10:06pm

      I always carry on – I was able to do carry on for two weeks in Southeast Asia a couple of years ago and I just came back from 12 days in Ireland. I’m not going to lie, it’s definitely a challenge (shoes are my biggest dilemma) but I find travel to be stressful so at least I don’t have to fret about my bags going astray or wait for them to appear at the baggage carousel. One caveat: Europe has much stricter rules about what’s a liquid and what’s not, so be vigilant about those creams and lotions.

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        Jax
        31 Jul 2019
        1:22pm

        @MaryAlice
        Thanks, which carry-on do you use?

        I’m now drawn to the Muji 35L carry-on, which is similar in style to the Away carry-on, but not as pricey at $160. No power bank/battery, but that wasn’t the compelling feature for me with Away anyway.

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          Kim France
          2 Aug 2019
          10:34am

          The power bank is actually a huge pain and the only downside to my Away suitcase—you have to remove it before getting on a plane.

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    MaryAlice
    30 Jul 2019
    12:37pm

    The tooth whiter is excellent, and does not bother my sensitive teeth one little bit. I paint it on while I am getting ready to go out and it really does brighten things up.
    If you are interested in dipping your toe in the retinol pool, may I suggest The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5%? Its super cheap and gentle.

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    AmyM
    30 Jul 2019
    12:41pm

    I started using Sunday Riley Luna retinol night oil about two weeks ago. No adverse reactions and starting to see some positive effects. It stinks to high heaven but that fades quickly.

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    Bkmam
    30 Jul 2019
    1:42pm

    I’ve tried the Bridgeo scalp revival, but I much prefer the Christophe Robin scrub with sea salt.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      31 Jul 2019
      12:59am

      I’ve used both, and the Christophe Robin one seems to strip my hair TOO well. But the Briogeo one has a strong Peppermint scent and it can burn a bit. Catch 22?

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        Bkmam
        31 Jul 2019
        3:22pm

        I can see that. I didn’t like the ‘grains’ in the Briogeo, I felt like they didn’t really scrub my scalp and just sat in my hair, while the salt in the Christophe Robin feels really scrubby – which means I only use every once in a while.

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    Brenda
    30 Jul 2019
    9:55am

    Love, love, love Roller Lash from Benefit. And I find the travel/trial size to be really easy to use.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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