Tess Perfect Pout Strawberry Moisturizing Lip Gloss

Tess Perfect Pout Strawberry Moisturizing Lip Gloss

TESS (aka Teen Everyday Skincare System) Skin’s Perfect Pout is one of those truly surprising products that made me re-think “Teen” skincare. I mean, I’m a thirty-something, but somedays my skin reacts more like I’m a thirteen-year old. So why in the world couldn’t my skin, more specifiically in this case: my lips, benefit from a product designed for teenaged skin…well, it could and it does.

On to my experience with this more-than-fun lip treatment. First off, from the looks of Perfect Pout, you’d never think it was ‘teen’ product. The packaging looks more grown-up than some of the truly grown-up products I’ve purchased. Next, the product itself: way more grown-up than many of the “grown-up” products I’ve purchased. The gloss is not goopy, but it is substantial. Although it smells of strawberries, it’s not plastic-y. In fact, the addition of Aloe Vera gel and Safflower oil really ground this lip gloss and bring it to the level of a lip treatment. But more than that, the gloss is really pretty. It looks clear, reddish-orange but it goes on perfectly clear…perhaps with just a hint of color, but certainly not noticeable, just healthy.

I’ve started using TESS Perfect Pout as the last step in my night-time skincare regimen, and my lips have never been softer or smoother. Plus, I use it as my lip-color base when I apply my daily makeup, and my lip color of choice always lasts longer and my lips look more youthful and dewy…throughout the day.

So, my darlings, here’s one of those age-old (pun entirely intended) lessons that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover, nor can you judge a lip gloss by it’s name. What is supposedly intended for “teens” may surprise the most grown-up woman in all of us…and make us look (and feel) much younger than our birthdate mandates.

Three for May: Cheeks by FACE atelier, beautyADDICTS and Benefit

Don’t be a cheeky monkey. Just be cheeky. Fabulously cheeky, of course.

Part of GirlPaint’s Three for May focus on FACE atelier, beautyADDICTS brings us to sunny, pretty, spring-summer cheeks.

FACE atelier proudly offers Ultra Blush. I have never been a big fan of powder blushes…they tend to look streaky or cakey on me, or they just wear off. Not so with Ultra Blush. Plain and simple, not shimmery or bright, Ultra Blush is available in five fairly neutral, wonderfully professional colors. Plus, it’s easy to blend and looks silky smooth for hours. Me being as fair as I am, I love Pink Satin (the same shade used for Madonna’s Confessions Tour) which is the perfect pink, not too light, not too deep. Also available are Peach Glaze, Rosewood, Tea and Mocha. And surprisingly, each color looks like it’s supposed to…like you’d expect it to. The colors are not cryptic, strange or off. All are lovely…and all were featured, by the way, at New York’s Fashion Week to much accord. $22

Equally lovely, but quite different, beautyADDICTS features a sunny cheek disc, aptly named HydraSUNRays. HydraSUNRays is available in one single, perfect color. This is one of those great colors that you simply build, depending on the amount of color you want. And build you can…with ease and confidence. No cakey build-up here. Just a sunny wash of glowy, warm color. beautyADDICTS’ HydraSUNRays does not shimmer, but it IS formulated with pure pearl powder which claims to “stimulate cell renewal.” Plus, it is packed with healthful anti-oxidants and green tea to soothe and calm. So, HydraSUNRays is not only healthy-looking, it actually is healthy. Good stuff, that! $32

Benefit cheeks? Oh, Benefit cheeks. I’m sure everyone is expecting me to wax poetic about Dallas or Hoola…or even Benetint. But no. Everyone knows what lovely cheeks you can achieve with these well-known products. I am talking about jiffy tan. What? Haven’t you heard of Benefit‘s jiffy tan? Well, allow me to go on then. jiffy tan is actually a ‘body’ product, but I found that it gives you the most beautiful, warm and fabulously natural-looking sun-kissed cheeks! jiffy tan is a tinted, lightly shimmery self-tanner–so be sure to wash your fingertips after you apply. I recommend applying jiffy tan before you put on your makeup–just let it dry for 10-15 minutes. You’ll get an immediate glow and touch of glimmer. And then a couple of hours later, you’ll look like you spent the day at the beach…minus the damaging UV. And if you want more glowy goodness, just apply another layer. P.S. the shimmer washes right off when you wash your face. $24

Getting Ready: Comments 4 A Cure

June 4-6th, 2007

On these dates, all participating network blogs will be writing a blog post for “Comments for a Cancer Cure”. The amount of comments posted during these days, will count towards the dollar amount that will be donated to the cancer charity of their choice.

GirlPaint is one of the many wonderful blogs participating in this incredible effort. Please join us in focusing on this effort to raise awareness (and money) for research…and ultimately to find a cure.

SkinCeuticals Launches SPF with a Cause


SkinCeuticals, pioneers in anti-oxidant and suncare protection technologies, recently announced the launch of three limited edition high SPF sunscreens–AFFECT Daily SPF 20, AFFECT Physical SPF 30 and AFFECT Ultimate SPF 30–that not only protect your skin but also AFFECT the future of healthy skin by donating a portion of the sales to the Skin Cancer Foundation, in an effort to raise awareness and support cancer research.

Each limited AFFECT sunscreen edition offers a “cosmetically elegant,” broad-spectrum formula containing transparent Zinc Oxide to provide ultimate protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Skinceutical’s Daily edition is (duh) optimal for daily use and is fragrance, PABA and oil-free.

The Physical formula isn’t for jocks, like I was thinking. No, it was in fact designed for sensitive, tramatized and post-treatment skin. In addition to 5% transparent Zinc Oxide, it contains 10% Titanium Dioxide. Physical is also great for daily use.

My favorite, however, is the Ultimate. Why, you ask? Well, I live in Santa Fe which is located 7,500 ft. above sea level. Altitudes like this put me at higher risk for sun damage (and, incidentally, are typically much dryer than lower altitudes). Ultimate is specially designed for high altitude locations with its 7% Zinc Oxide and more moisturizing (but not greasy) formula.

I have found the entire line to be very gentle, effective–they truly are ‘cosmetically elegant’–and after a few weeks of use, my skin has improved. It looks remarkably smoother, with fewer freckles.

So, if you’re in the market for a new sunscreen, give one of Skinceutical’s AFFECT line a try. And remember, these are limited edition formula’s and Skinceutical’s has committed to donations to the Skin Cancer Foundation through this summer. Heck, why wouldn’t you try one of them now?

Melanoma Facts:

  • The incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is rising faster than that of any other cancer
  • One person dies every hour from skin cancer, primarily melanoma
  • When detected in the early stages, survival rate is nearly 99%

Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good

CARGO’s new lipstick, PlantLove Botanical Lipstick, is lovely in so many ways.

First of all, the lipstick itself is this really amazing, high-quality lipstick with an emollient-rich, smooth lip balm built in. Rarely do you find a such a nice, treatment-based lipstick with pigment this dense, but the masters at CARGO managed to pull it off. The finish is low-luster, almost-matte but with amazing softness and conditioning. And guess what else? No mineral oil or petroleum-based goo. Just natural butters and plant-based oils to soothe, smooth and beautify your smile.

Next, the packaging–well, it’s sorta corny. CARGO PlantLove touts a lipstick tube made completely out of corn (but don’t eat it)! And the box is crafted of something called ‘flower paper’–you can actually unfold the box, plant it, water it and wild flowers will grow…from the box. I can’t get over how cool this is!

Last, the heart of it all. CARGO is donating $2 from the sale of every shade of PlantLove to St. Jude’s Childrens Research Center. Wow. Not only is CARGO committing to taking care of our lips, they are also helping the environment…and sowing the seeds of love for our planet’s children’s future. Amazing. Who knew that one lipstick could do so much? CARGO, that’s who!

Johnny B. Takes Shaving to the Next Level

Although removing hair from your body (or your face, in the case of you guys…or girls who shave your faces. what? anyway.) is not a glamorous task–actually far from it. It’s tedious, boring, mundane…but it must be done. Agreed?

Well, I’m happy to say that I recently found a fabulous shaving cream (well, not actually a shaving cream–read on) that makes this tedious task, well, kinda fun.

Johnny B. Shampoo Paste (GirlPaint, did you say ‘shampoo’? Yes, yes I did.) IS it! This tub of cool, funky textured (i liken it digging into icy, fluffy, firm-ish cream) is heaven to shave with. And Johnny B. knows it. Heck, they even claim its double duty right there on the label.

The lather is not super-sudsy, but it conditioning properties and cooling sensation (thanks to a touch of menthol and cinnamon oils) make it the perfect shaving cream. Johnny B. Shampoo Paste takes shaving to the next level…leaving your skin smooth and silky with no knicks. And it smells great, too.

And because Johnny B. Shampoo Paste is, in fact, a shampoo (a conditioning shampoo!), it’s not only great for saving space in your shower and great for traveling (it’s not a liquid!), it’s also great for the environment!

Three for May: Background on beautyADDICTS

For me, I must admit I find very little romance behind the bigger, more well-known cosmetics brands…as nice as they are, they don’t tickle my quest for ‘the story.’ As Oprah says, ‘everyone has a story’ and I absolutely relish hunting for products that are brought to us by little upstarts, entrepreneurs…dreamers. These are the ones that hold the most satisfaction for me to test, try and ultimately wear. I was a business owner myself for over 10 years, so it must be my desire to support the ‘little guy’ (or girl), to promote those that are trying their best to push their way into an ocean of well-backed, well-placed products, that really gets me going. Hence…beautyADDICTS.

Since I’ve been testing several of beautyADDICTS cosmetics, I’ve discovered quite a bit about the line itself. Adam, the Founder & CEO, has an engineering background with lots of high-tech qualifications. He combined his education and techie contacts with an innate love of color and design, and beautyADDICTS was born. Maria, beautyADDICTS’ President, was a cosmetics heavy-hitter for many years who left the industry to ‘save the world’ in the world of non-profits. However, her love of cosmetics brought her back to the beauty biz (we cannot stay gone for long, can we? it must be love…or addiction?). She eventually found her way to this great company.

beautyADDICTS theory, concept and design is based on four color families: Glow, Express, Motivate and Seduce. Glow is flirtatious with lots of lavenders and pinks smartly balanced with smokey greys and nutty browns. Express (my personal favorite, perfect for day-wear) is sleek and minimalist with its neutral palette of ivory, golds and natural peachy-pinks. Motivate is edgy and sophisticated with its high-contrast plums, mauves and greys. And Seduce is well…seductive with its dramatic and sexy ruby, burgundy and silver-based palette.

Each ‘family’ incorporates a quad of stunning, high-quality eye colors, silky-smooth cheek duo, beautiful lip quad and, and–an interesting and artistic addition–a Glimmer duo, essentially a highlighter set that can take any of the families, in an almost-effortless step or two, from day to-night.

Of course, the families of color can be mixed, but the simplicity and elegant design guide you effortlessly through the beautyADDICTS experience. What a concept! Beautiful, sophisticated…and easy.

May Madness: 20% Off Everything at CherryCulture

I’ve been away for several days (unexpectedly!), but I promise to get back on track this week. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and welcome you to enjoy an exclusive discount just for you.

Get on over to CherryCulture.com and help celebrate May Makeup Madness where we get 20% off EVERYTHING, plus free shipping on any order over $40. Be sure to enter code MM20 when checking out.

Have fun! And don’t forget, this is where you can get one of GirlPaint’s all-time favorite foundations for fabulous-looking skin, L.A. Colors Mystic Foundation, for $6 (minus 20%).

Three for May: Benefit Dear John Face Cream & eyecon Eye Cream



Benefit Cosmetics not only has great cosmetics, but they also have some decent skincare offerings.

Unfortunately, I was not overly impressed with Dear John.

The fine art of primping that Benefit promises doesn’t seem to extend to this particular moisturizer. Although Dear John does a fine job of delivering nice, simple moisture, it tends to be a little waxy and for my taste, a tad heavy in texture.

Plus at $30 for 2 oz. which ain’t too bad, I struggle to find the value. Touted by Benefit as “Loaded with active ingredients…like a ‘moisture magnet’ for your skin…put lustre back into your complexion,” I did an exhaustive search of the ingredients and could not really find one that was particularly ‘active.’

On the other hand, Benefit’s eyecon eye cream with fading action offers tremendous benefits (ha, ha!), a nice, active list of ingredients, and a texture that is fluffy and truly beautiful.


Three for May: Building a Foundation

As promised, my focus in May is on three makeup makers: Benefit, FACE atelier and Beauty Addicts. And why not get started at the foundation…literally?

First up is Beauty Addicts’ Mineral SheerTINT SPF20. A favorite of Oprah’s, A lovely light-to-medium coverage, lightly moisturizing and oil-free ‘foundation.’ So many tinted moisturizers tend to leave me a little (or a lot) greasy, but not Mineral SheerTINT…just nice, even and natural coverage. But don’t get me wrong, this ‘foundation’ is not drying, nor is it flat. It adds just the right touch of moisture and radiance. My favorite feature of Mineral SheerTINT is, in fact, the color–it’s downright glow-y. It mirrors your skin perfectly while giving a just-right amount of coverage. Plus, it has a very lovely subtle shimmery quality. Beauty Addicts’ Mineral SheerTINT is perfect for those days when you want a no-makeup look (while still having a nice boost of color and coverage). $35

Next up is FACE atelier’s Ultra Foundation. This product is the cornerstone of the FACE atelier line…and now I know why. It’s an amazingly flexible product. The level of coverage is dependent on the way you apply and what you mix with it. First of all, you can apply it straight out of the bottle with your fingertips. You can apply it with a brush or sponge…but you’ll get a completely different look with each application type. You can mix in a little moisturizer for a lighter finish. Or…and this is really cool…FACE atelier has created two very special foundations called Zero Plus (a deep caramel brown) and Zero Minus (white!!) with which you can adjust the color of your foundation by adding a drop or two. You can opt to apply Zero Minus before your foundation as a highlighter, or you can apply Zero Plus after foundation to contour. The texture of Ultra Foundation is deceptively thin, almost watery, but it packs a wallop of lovely, dense pigment; a little goes a long way. The colors tend toward the golden/yellow range, so if you long for redness reduction or if you have skin that begs for warmth, you’ll love the color selection.

Once you put Ultra Foundation on, it’s on. I tried a little experiment by putting a few drops of Ultra Foundation in the palm of my hand and then immediately ran water over it and attempted to wash it off…it smudged a little bit, but it stayed put until I grabbed the soap. FACE claims, “Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease or flake, and lasts all day long.” So…because of the amazing silicones and high quality pigments, Ultra Foundation is a combination primer/foundation in one…and a heckuva good one, too. After a really long day, running up and down stairs, inside, outside (this is my life, by the way, as a full-time staffer at a four-star resort hotel–we run around for a living!), Ultra Foundation didn’t budge…and it looked REALLY good–smooth, pore-free–even at the end of my very long day. For a full-coverage foundation (which I usually don’t prefer), this is my favorite due it’s very high-quality, non-greasy, non-oily, lovely-textured formula. FACE atelier Ultra Foundation isn’t cheap at $39, but (I repeat) a little goes a very long way. UF will last much longer than much less expensive foundations, and I find it to be of such high quality that it truly is worth more than its more expensive competitors.

P.S. No review for a Benefit foundation (although I do love Benefit’s Non-Fiction…wonderful stuff).

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