All posts filed under: Beauty

I Let My Student Talk Me Into Botox

Dr. M wasn’t my doctor; he was my student. Normally at 10 a.m. on a Monday morning, we were in his office having English class. But today, I was lying on the big black chair in his clinic, trying to keep calm as he prepped a needle. Dr. M was Turkey’s most prolific Botox practitioner. He had a certificate above his desk from the Botox suppliers recognizing the record number of vials he’d administered, mostly to Turkish TV stars and society women. He appeared regularly on the Turkish equivalent of Oprah, the host of which he had filled with youth-enhancing chemicals. As an English teacher, I taught a lot of rich Turkish people and their children, but Dr. M was my first near-celebrity. Located in the fanciest part of Istanbul, Nişantaşı (the Turkish Beverly Hills), the Director (who I also taught) would sometimes introduce me to perfectly made-up, glossy-looking actresses or TV personalities. I never had any idea who they were because I’m British, but I still felt underdressed and out-of-place in their world in …

An Open Letter To Dark-Skinned Black Women Who Don’t Blush

Blushing is overrated. When I think of women who get red in the face (the cheeks and sometimes the forehead, too), I think of, well, white women. Not blushing is probably nothing that you ever felt insecure about. You probably never envied your towheaded colleague, who’s all Renee Zellweger (back when she looked like herself) and Nicole Kidman (back when she looked like herself) and Naomi Watts wrapped into one, as she was giving a PowerPoint presentation at work but forgot one of her lines or was stumped by a tough question from your boss and the embarrassment made her face turn into a stoplight. White women can have their blushing and all the conscious emotional advertising that comes along with it. (“Look at me, I’m nervous! Look at me, I’m flustered!”) Before I continue down this road of appreciation for non-blushers, let me say: God bless the blushers. Seriously. If they get red in the face at the right time, the whole world is awwww-ing at their feet. “Look at you! You’re blushing. How …

tuenight gift guide susan linney beauty

8 Under-the-Radar Indie Beauty Gifts

I love introducing the people I love to high-quality, under-the-radar beauty brands, and what better way to do it than by tucking it in a stocking or gift bag? These goodies are all under $100 and made by some of the best beauty brands you’ve never heard of (yet!). 1. Hand in Hand Bergamot & Ginger Sugar Scrub Swirling with notes of ginger, green tea and sweet orange, this exfoliating sugar scrub makes a great stocking stuffer — plus, the Philly, PA-based brand saves 100 square feet of rainforest for every scrub purchased. $24, Handinhandsoap.com   2. Olie biologique Limited Edition: The Ultimate Oil Collection Facial oils are not for everyone, but as a recent convert, I urge everyone to at least give them a try. This limited-edition collection contains five of Olie Biologique’s bestsellers (including my favorite, the amazing Huile Radicale Rejuvenating Oil) and has such pretty packaging, you can absolutely skip the wrapping paper. $62, Oliebiologique.com 3. Beautycounter Holiday Hand Collection For the eco-conscious, organic beauty lover on your list, treat them to this …

The Age of the Unrecognizable Face

I was at the salon having my nails done a few weeks back when I overheard a conversation between two women of a certain age. The impeccably dressed pair were poring over a series of glossy celebrity magazines while waiting for their nails to dry. They commented on the clothing and accessories and adorable babies but never quite mentioned any of the A-Listers by name. It was more of “The redhead who is blonde now and has a new face and was in the prostitute movie a few years back;” which received the response of “No. That’s not her. That’s the one from the talk show who got divorced again.” My curiosity was piqued. I sidled up to them and asked if they had a favorite actress from the current crop, and both women looked at me blankly. “I don’t know who any of these people are,” said one. Her friend countered with, “Maybe I used to know who some of them were, but I don’t recognize any of them anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m …

In Defense of Dark Lipstick (And Other Apparent Mid-Life No-Nos)

I stumbled across an article this morning that said women in their 40s shouldn’t wear dark or dramatic lipstick because the color can get trapped in fine lines around the lips, making them look older. I felt a flare of rebellion at the idea. In fact, right now I am wearing a deep burgundy lip stain because, well, that’ll show ‘em. Yet I chose the lip color I’m wearing because it’s a lip stain rather than a lipstick, and is therefore far less likely to bleed into those little cracks that I do, indeed, now have around my mouth.. I found myself looking online for tips to prevent my lipstick from bleeding (which is apparently a rather complicated process involving foundation and cotton swabs dipped in powder), because I don’t want to highlight my age with a bad makeup choice. It’s a delicate balance for a woman of a certain age. I don’t care how many charming articles I see declaring that “40 is the new 30.” It’s bullshit. For me, 45 isn’t graceful midlife. …

5 Beauty Products: Then & Now

There are quite a few beauty fads that still play a role in my daily routine. They may be dressed up in different packaging or meant to serve a slightly different purpose, but they’re basically the same products I used in grade school, high school, college and beyond. And I bet you probably have some similar “non-fad” fad items of your own. So here I present five “Then and Nows” — products I used back in the day paired with ones I use now that essentially serve the same purpose, if perhaps in a smarter, less harmful and more modern way. Then: Sea Breeze Astringent Now: Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner, $6 Sea Breeze was some seriously potent stuff, and every girl I knew in the seventh grade used it. It was almost like a rite of passage — I remember one particular slumber party in which a guest (who had perfect skin, I might add) admitted she’d never tried it, and was forced to soak up a cotton ball and “Breeze herself.” I recall this well …

Sarah’s Spring Beauty Clean Up

It never fails— spring rolls around, and I’m instantly sucked into mega beauty refresh mode faster than you can say “matte coral lipstick.” There’s nothing more happy-making than clearing the fuzzy wool remnants from my closet and giving most of the deep plums and berries in my beauty cabinet a rest. And up until a few years ago, my seasonal refreshes were strictly related to things like color and texture, but now I go a little deeper. You see, I’ve taken huge strides to rid my bathroom cabinet of anything that is unsafe for my skin, which is, ahem, a huge undertaking. Let’s just say that I’ve become very up close and personal with A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients and the EWG’s Skin Deep website. I never thought I’d know so much about Methylisothiazolinone and Polyethylene Glycol in my life, and sadly, the United States isn’t so keen on ingredient regulation, considering it hasn’t passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients in personal care products since 1938. (Yeah, when women’s daily ensembles looked like this. Its, …

Beauty Gifts For Mom, Sis, Dad, Even the Pooch

The best thing about beauty goodies is that they make great gifts — I could shop for my whole family in the aisles of Sephora or even Duane Reade. And even if your mom isn’t really into wearing makeup, or your daughter is too young for lipstick, it’s usually easy to find something appropriate (think hand creams and light perfumes). These five ideas are easy to find and fun to give — there’s even something special for the dog! 1. For Your Hands-on Mom L’Occitane Hand Cream Soiree By now, your mom probably has her daily skincare rituals down pat, and she likely knows what kind of products work best for her. This is true for my own mom, and it’s why I give her high-end hand creams each Christmas, instead of makeup or hair care. I’ve put mom’s name on this set from L’Occitane, which contains 10 of the brand’s best-selling hand lotions. $88, sephora.com 2. For Your Beauty-Clueless Dad Jack Black Mr. Big Set A beauty gift for dad usually means cologne, which is …

Susan’s Beauty Wish List for Fall

Honestly, the only lists I make are about beauty products. Specifically, the ones I want NOW. Autumn is such a great time of year — it’s cool but not uncomfortably so (leather jackets!), you can switch out your flip-flops for fall boots (I would sell my soul for THESE) and you can wear a little more makeup, without the fear that it will melt off under the sun. This is my current beauty wish list for the upcoming two months. 1. Red Lipstick. Fall is the only time I feel comfortable wearing a true red lip. Lipstick Queen Silver Screen Lipstick in Have Paris, $50 (If I splurge), Rimmel Moisure Renew Lipstick in Diva Red, $7 2. Red Nail Polish. I tried this color when getting a manicure last week for the TueNight party. Now I need a bottle at home! Essie Nail Polish in Jump in My Jumpsuit, $9 3. A New Blur Cream. Right now I’m obsessed with blur creams. They give your skin a filtered, “blurry” look — similar to how you appear in Instagram …

The History of My Hair: A Timeline

Hair has always been the proving ground to see where you fit in, while trying your best to look good. As I cycled through my past hair trends, I realized I was casting out and reeling back the parts that worked — and the ones that didn’t. I went through a few bad cuts, got blonder and curlier than I meant to be, but eventually figured it out. Whatever quality it was that made me want to change my haircut every year is as much a part of me as anything else.

I Wore a Bikini. That’s What I Did.

“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” – Sally Field Do you watch Girls? If so, do you remember the episode where the girls of Girls head to the North Fork for some R&R and Hannah spends the entire day in that green bikini? I have watched that episode from start to finish 19 times. It was around the 11th viewing when my friend Ali posted to Facebook: “I cannot stop thinking of Hannah’s green bikini”. I popped up out of my constant recline (What? Whenever I’m home I lose all ability to sit up straight) and said “YES” which deserved all caps.  I realized that I had to watch that episode over and over, not because of the writing or the storyline or empathy on the progression/regression of friendship as an adult, but because homegirl wore a green bikini for an entire episode. Never mind my questions on comfort and chafing, but a woman who is not a size two rocked that bikini all over Long Island and I wanted to …

7 Essential Beauty Tips I Learned From My Mother

My mom is a common-sense kind of woman, someone who doesn’t delight in ceremony and abhors anything fussy. Which is why having a teenaged daughter who was obsessed with makeup and fashion was a bit of a quandary for her. I wanted to look magazine-cover ready at all times. But over the years, I’ve fallen into a a much more mellow beauty routine that’s quite similar to the one my mother has practiced for years. Want to love the skin you’re in and look like you sleep in an oxygen chamber? Heed the following seven simple tips from my beloved mother. 1. “The less you do to your face, the less you’ll have to do to your face.” This is her number one rule; simple, plain and effective. The more you scrub and paint and spackle and pull, the more scrubbing, painting, spackling and pulling you’ll have to do. Less is more, which means the easier you are on your skin, the less irritated it will become. It’s never too late to adopt this concept. …

The Beauty We Forgot to Pass Down to Our Daughters

While I didn’t always notice it — especially during my ridiculously self-centered teenage years — my mother was quite a striking woman. Mom was what some call “Black Irish,” — dark, wavy hair, brown eyes and a slightly olive complexion. She was medium height — maybe 5’7″? — with beautiful hands, gorgeous “gams” and slender fingers. She carried herself in a way that was almost lyrical. And that smile. You knew she liked you, if not loved you, when you saw that lovely smile. It made you feel good all over. That was what we saw. But then there was what she saw. I remember the phrases she’d utter for each stage of her life: As a child she was: Too skinny… embarrassingly skinny. Tiny boobs. Shapeless legs. Hip bones sticking out. As an adult she was: too heavy. Too heavy to even want to shop for clothes. (She was a size 14 at her largest, I think — what most call “normal” now.) Mom criticized her body constantly in front of me. I’m too big …

Pretty, Unmade-Up You: 17 Women Take It Off

There’s been much ado about whether we should or shouldn’t wear makeup, and what meaning that decision holds. So we asked our beautiful contributors and colleagues to snap photos of themselves fresh-faced and share their own points of view on how much, how little and when and why they make themselves up.   Teresa Misagal, 46, Photographer and Founder of Dailola Granola “You can totally change how you look with just a little lipstick. And I always wear lip color, especially something deep and dark, preferably with good moisture. When you reach a certain age — or any age for that matter — less is more. Cover up and powder, when it’s used beyond blotting, will make one look more aged. The more natural, the better. Men don’t like a mask — they wanna know what they’re getting into.”   Kim O’Donnel, 47, Cookbook Author “For all of my adult life, lipstick has been my one and only makeup mainstay.  Foundation, blush and all the other doo-dads have remained the stuff of mystery, like a language I’m curious to …

Could You Go Without Wearing Makeup For a Week? A Day?

A friend of mine was horrified by the Today show and their “No Makeup Monday.” So much so that she texted me regarding her outrage. “They looked downright scary. People need makeup. And as we get older, we absolutely need makeup.” “I disagree,” I texted back, a bit annoyed. “Society has conditioned us to believe that. And there is such a huge double standard. “ “Double standard? Matt Lauer looked like shit too! All I’m saying is would it kill people to run a brush through their hair and slap on some lip gloss?” “Not wearing makeup some days is liberating.” “Liberating?” said my friend. “I say yuck and lazy.” And so goes the dialogue we have with our friends and with ourselves. It’s painful and anything but pretty. Do I wear makeup? Do I look like shit without it? Do I look beautiful in my 40s? Do I need more makeup to cover up these damn wrinkles, no-sleep circles and darkening age spots? WAIT, before we continue, let’s caveat all of this to say …

How Can I Find That Discontinued Beauty Product?

Welcome to of our advice column where we try to answer all of your confounding “What The…?” questions. We’ll be getting advice from experts, but we may not always have the best answer. Feel free to share your own advice in the comments below. [dropcap]Q: [/dropcap] I’m beyond devastated. My favorite foundation ever — Chanel Pro Lumiere Professional Finish Makeup — has been discontinued. DISCONTINUED! I’m literally in shock. I’ve seen it online and know I can take a chance and get it on eBay or Amazon, but I’m not really one to go rogue for a makeup product. How will I know it’s the real thing? So my question is, what do you do when a product you love is discontinued? I LOVED this foundation — it was the perfect color and texture for my skin. Is there a way to find discontinued products from legit sources? If not, do you have any tips for finding a new foundation that is similar to my beloved Chanel? Any help you can offer would make me — …

Broken Cinderella: Is Imperfection the Key to True Beauty?

  I’m sure most people have experienced grade school “Show and Tell,” when you bring something special to class and talk about it. For this activity, my Cinderella figurine was a no-brainer. She was gorgeous and I cherished her in all her porcelain magnificence. Six inches tall, she arrived in a satin-lined lavender box on my eighth birthday, along with a delicate wristwatch, designed for a young girl’s delicate wrist. It had a pale pink leather strap, white face, silver numerals…at that moment in my eyes, the House of Chanel had nothing on the world of Disney watches. On the appointed “Show and Tell” day, I strapped on the watch and packed Cinderella in her hinged case for the walk to school. I held her gingerly, nodding with gravitas to the crossing guard who knew, I was sure, that I was carrying something spectacular. As I walked, I anticipated unveiling this creature before my classmates and hearing them ooh and aah as I did each time I spied her in the regal perch she’d assumed …

Yes, You Should Go Short. Here’s Why.

“Oh, I wish I could do that.” Hundreds of times I’ve heard this lament directed my way. Why? Is it because I can solve a Rubik’s Cube while holding it behind my back? Speak in numerous near-extinct tribal languages and dialects? Bend my thumb all the way back so it touches my wrist? Nope. It’s because I have short hair. Setting aside the obvious (oh, but you can do that — just let me get these massive shears out of my handbag…), I’m constantly amazed not so much by the fact that women envy short hair, but that they actually believe it’s somehow a hair style that’s totally beyond their reach. “You should cut it,” I urge them. “It would look great on you!” “Oh no, I could never pull it off,” they always reply. Pull it off? For the record, let’s create a short, but entirely comprehensive, list of reasons one could not “pull off” short hair: 1. You are Samson. 2. You have a wildly offensive neck tattoo. 3. You suffer from a goiter the size …

Losing It: On the Life, Death and Rebirth of My Hair

If the gods were whirling around looking for a luxurious head of hair worthy of chronicling, if they were going to point a finger down from Mount Olympus and boom out, “You! Tell the other mortals the story of your mane and sing of it,” it’s safe to say I would not be a contender. My hair is ordinary, even a little pitiful. But for all its lack of glamour, my hair has lived and struggled, and lo, gods, whether you like it or not, I will sing of it. Ages 0-7: My hair and I are at peace. Unless a hairbrush is coming close enough to attack, I never think about it. Age 7: Allison Pykett gets a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Dorothy Hamill is an Olympic figure skater whose hair is cut in a famous short wedge, and Allison is my best friend. Allison’s hair is thick, blond and luxurious, just the right texture to create that wedge. When Allison walks into Mrs. Langbein’s class with her new do, Mrs. Langbein leads the class …

Confessions of a Reluctant Weaver

While I am sure that Samson had many other things going for him besides his strength and luscious locks, he kind of lost it without his hair. I wrote the following post a few years ago when I lost some of my hair and I kind of lost it as well. After a long tearful adventure that involved bad hair days, a weave (never again!), and a cut, it’s grown back healthy and strong, but that is now, and this was then. What follows is a cautionary tale: I had contemplated a hair weave for a hot second back in the ’80s when so many of us lusted after Lisa Bonet’s flowing curls. But I quickly realized that I couldn’t be bothered and never gave it another thought. That is, until recently. About a year ago, when the grays started to taunt me a little too much, I thought, instead of just covering them up, why not get a little color too? I have always played it so safe with my hair, so it was …

Finding My Perfect Pink

When I was 11 years old, I was standing in line at the mall when two girls in their 20s began oohing and aahing over my hair. “Those streaks are so foxy!” said one, while the other lifted my hair and began holding it up to the light. “Where did you get it done?” she asked. Well, I’d gotten it done at the pool in my apartment complex by the New Mexico sunshine. I remember feeling oddly powerful in that moment: I was just a kid, and these women coveted my hair — my normally very brown, very boring, not-quite-curly-but-not-quite-straight hair. The next week I bought a bottle of Sun-In with my babysitting money, and thus began my 35-year love affair with dyeing my hair. I lived in Michigan during high school, was poor as dirt and had all the wrong clothes. I combated this by becoming one of the lone punk rockers at my high school; I bought men’s t-shirts, hand painted them and then cut them up so badly I had to safety …

Gray #3: Going Gray, All The Way

At the age of 47, after coloring my hair consistently for more than a dozen years (and by then needing to do it every three weeks), I decided to stop. This was in some ways precipitated by a move to live full-time at my weekend home in the Catskills. I still make weekly trips into the city to meet with clients and see friends, but my life was evolving and the amount of time I had to sit in a colorists’ chair was limited. Here are a few things that made it hard to go through with this change: 1. Not knowing a single person my age with gray hair. 2. Fearing that it would have an impact on my work. (I’m a creative consultant to brands, many of them in the world of fashion and beauty.) 3. Extreme vanity. And here are a couple of things that made it easier: 1. My incredibly supportive husband, who insists I am always beautiful to him. 2. My colorist, who urged me to stick to the plan …

5 Really Wacky Hair Don’ts

I’ve made a lot of poor choices with my hair. Sun-In? Yep. Turned my hair orange. But didn’t it turn everyone’s hair orange? Perms? Check. Even though I had (and have) naturally curly hair. Banana clips? Of course. I wore one my entire junior year of high school. Mainly, the yellow one, which of course, was the coolest. But that was back in the day, during the crazy, ill-fated hair era of the 1980s. Think we’ve moved past that nonsense? Think again. Behold some current hair trends and contraptions that are just as ridiculous as banana clips and self-inflicted sun-streaks.   1. The Dryer Bonnet Touted as a remedy for tired arms, The Dryer Bonnet is nothing shy of galactic. And by that I mean spacey and weird looking, a la Star Trek. Manufacturers claim the device easily attaches to your current hair dryer, prevents overheating of the scalp, and replicates your “salon hood experience.” ($20, Whitesandsproducts.com) If you act now, the bonnet comes with a cigarette, a glass of whisky, cat-eye glasses and a wood-paneled station …

Totally Organic Beauty Gifts That You Can Eat (But Don’t)

Over the last two years, I’ve become much more mindful of the ingredients in the beauty products I use — especially when it comes to skin care. It’s very easy to get tricked in the drugstore aisles these days, because the American cosmetics industry is currently unregulated by the FDA. So that beautifully packaged, big green bottle that screams “all-natural” might not really be as “natural” as it claims. A product that’s organic means that it’s made completely from contents of the earth. You should literally be able to eat it. While we don’t suggest this as a testing method the next time you’re at the Duane Reade, checking the ingredients list on the back of the bottle is key (usually, if you can’t understand or pronounce it, it’s not natural). Also, products that are USDA certified organic are proudly packaged with a special sticker, so you can easily see that they are the real deal. Unfortunately, it’s not easy going all organic, especially when it comes to makeup. (I love my Neutrogena foundation too …

6 Tips for Putting on Your Face (Why I’m So Grateful for Makeup)

When I wake up every morning, always after several snoozes, I drag myself to the bathroom, pee, wash my face, pat it dry and take my first look in the mirror to say good morning to myself. But if I’m honest, the first conscious thought I actually have at this moment is: “Thank GOD for makeup.” Because it’s all I need to go from this: To this: I have been genetically blessed (both sides of my family have always looked about five to seven years younger than their actual age, myself included). But I am getting older, and I see it in under-eye circles, crow’s feet, forehead crinkles, a hazy, cranky glare…. you get the idea. Oh and let’s not forget the 10-plus years I spent abusing my body by drinking heavily, staying up late, sleeping very little, smoking cigarettes on and off (and on again) — all of which I’m sure have added to these delightful new facial developments. Don’t get me wrong — I know I’m still a young(ish), vibrant, sober 38-year-old who …

The Case for Not Looking Like Hell

Last week I broke my rule. I had just come from the gym and had to dash to the Upper West Side and take care of some business. Instead of stopping home for a quick shower, change of clothing, and a touch of mascara and lip gloss, I decided to go “as is.” As soon as I got off the train, I saw a TV producer I had been hoping to re-connect with and pitch some ideas. In my big wool hat (hiding my crazy gym-hair), sloppy sweats and sneakers, let’s just say I was not ready for primetime. I looked like hell. I slipped past him. I am a firm believer in leaving the house looking pretty good, I won’t lie. For me, that doesn’t mean a fully tarted up face and heels, but I always want to look decent; because it’s true, as I was just reminded the hard way, you never know who you might meet. I grew up with a Georgia Peach of a mom who didn’t leave the house without …

8 Women Share Their Longstanding Lipstick Shades

Lipstick is the greatest beauty product there is when it comes to color. In an instant, we can add a bright pop of pretty to our entire face, without having to do anything else at all. And the shades we choose say something about us — from bold, blood reds to light purples or pinks, what we wear on our lips most certainly make a statement. If you’re anything like us here at TueNight, you probably have a “signature shade” — one color that’s been your go-to since your early 20s. Even if that shade is very subtle, perhaps a natural-looking gloss or a lightly tinted stain, it still gives people a peek into your personality. Of course, there are those moments when it’s fun to mix it up, try something new, pick a color that matches an outfit, for example, or try out one of our favorite brand’s latest limited-edition hues. But for the most part, we tend to stick with what works, what makes us feel pretty, confident and — most importantly — …