Friday, May 17, 2013

The Friday Forum - May 17

I have a flourishing stand of Siberian iris around my mailbox. I need to divide them because they don't bloom as profusely as they should. Still, they are very pretty at this time of year. I have a miniature white rose behind them, and they bloom at the same time. That was unplanned, but still delights me.

There wasn't much beauty news this week - plus I've spent days on a conservation easement violation. Long story short, new homeowners who bought their home with the easement and terms clearly noted have proposed to violate it with a fence they wish to erect and this week, without notice, they did violate it by cutting down a dead tree that was woodpecker habitat. It was too far away to endanger their home, although they are claiming it was an imminent hazard. That is against the conditions of their deed. They also left all the logs and debris where they fell, harming the understory growth.

They seem rather arrogant about the easement, and so we will probably have to take them to court, incurring costs, but we will sue for damages plus costs. I left the woman a very not-nice phone message, which she has not returned. Our attorneys are preparing a demand letter. Who has to write and document all this? Me, of course, the downside to trying to save forests from development. I probably lost a year of emotional life this week because I've been really angry. When I inspected their property, I found a poor, harmless little snake who was dead, clearly from an injury caused by humans. After spending two days last year trying to save reptiles from the bulldozers (and hurting my body in the process), I was furious to see the fate of the little green snake.

On to beautiful things...Chantecaille introduced a new 24-Hour Waterproof Eye Liner this week - as anticipated with the summer collection. It's available in three colors. If you have a hard time keeping your eyeliner on, check it out on the company's Web site. As soon as it arrives at a local store, I will test it.

In fragrance news, there's big news. Roja Dove, who has created some of the most beautiful fragrances ever, is expanding. His fragrances will be available at Bergodorf Goodman, along with new spaces in elite shops in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy. I'll warn you; they are pricey. Once you experience his fragrances, though, you will find a way to buy at least one - or perhaps a decant from someone splitting a bottle (Facebook is great for that). Roja Parfums has been the number-one-selling brand at Harrods, a store that sells a lot of perfume.  There's a reason Dove has been so successful there.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been confirmed as the new face of Giorgio Armani Parfums, a division of L’Oréal Luxe. To me, that's news! I find her extraordinarily gorgeous and classy. She's perfect for the brand. Blanchett will be the face of an advertising campaign for a new eau de parfum called Sí that will hit shelves at the end of the summer.

Let's talk today about eyebrows. You've all read about the "perfect eyebrows." Few of us have them - plus, the guidelines change every few years. Right now, full eyebrows are in. Just look at the models on runways and in print advertising.

There are some time-worn guidelines. They usually include holding a pencil or makeup brush handle close to your nose to define the starting point near your tear duct. Take the same straight edge and hold it from the bottom of your nose at an 45-degree angle to define the end point of your brows. The arch is supposed to be directly above your pupil. Few of us have brows that are shaped exactly that way. Despite the fact that the arch is supposed to be directly above the pupils, I've noticed that brow gurus often extend the arch further out toward the hairline - when they have enough to work with. Check out photographs of women who have been named "most beautiful" by People and other publications, and you'll see eyebrows that are far from "ideal" shape. Look at Blanchett's brows in her photo above, for example. One can be stunningly gorgeous without perfect brows, so what good are guidelines?

Cosmetic surgeons are starting to promote the idea that the projection of your brows is more important than their shape. A study presented at last year's American Society of Plastic Surgeons conference concluded that the projection of your eyebrows can positively impact how others perceive your facial attractiveness. "The eyes play an essential role in facial attractiveness and beauty and should be surrounded by high walls, similar to the principle of utilizing frames for pictures on a wall,” said Eser Yuksel, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study lead author. “Higher walls allow for greater projection of the eyebrow, which we found, correlates to a greater degree of perceived facial attractiveness." Yikes! What's a gal to do?

We tweeze, wax, and/or use pencils to achieve what nature didn't give us. Some even have surgery to achieve the perfect brows. I think a pair of tweezers to remove strays below my brow line will forever be the extent of any intervention by me. My brows are full and fairly dark. How about you? How do you maintain your brows? Do you tweeze, wax, use pencils to fill in or darken? Would you consider surgery to improve their "projection"?

Don't forget this week's giveaway contest for Chantecaille's luxurious Les Papillons Poudre Délicate in Veil.The deadline for entries is tomorrow, Saturday, May 18, at midnight. Congratulations to Benita! She won the NARS flash giveaway this week.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty, peoplestylewatch, and unknown (brow photo)


Nemo said...

Those eyebrows belong to Karli Kloss, not Cate Blanchett.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Nemo, Cate's eyebrows are on Cate's photo.

The eyebrow photos has an unknown source, so I couldn't begin to guess whose they are.

Ashley said...

I get my eyebrows threaded every so often when I forget the most flattering shape for me/over-zealously tweeze, but otherwise I try to maintain the shape of them by tweezing and filling in with brow pencils. I've found the trick is to use a lighter pencil, even though I have dark brown/nearly black hair, because most brunette pencils will make brows look too severe, no matter how soft a hand you apply them with. I favor Le Metier's brow pencil in Fawn right now.

I'm interested to hear what you think of animal testing. I did not know you were so passionate about the environment and creatures! I am a relatively newly devoted reader, and I, too, love animals and I'm always torn between high end beauty brands and whether they perform animal testing. Thanks!

Makeup Remastered said...

I leave my brows to my "threader"- trying to keep them fuller-no-one has brows like Cara Delavigne but unfortunately not everyone can pull those off. On other beauty news. I just received my Tom Ford summer items. This collection take a lot of play as they are not just paint by numbers- the blush guilt needs some TLC to apply- it is a very editorial collection- but loving it nevertheless xx

Eileen said...

Good morning!

Ugh! Easement encroachment! When our community was in its early years, an association member tried to eliminate the recorded equestrian easement despite the fact that we are a designated equestrian community with access to some of the greatest bridle trails in the state stretching from our valley, up and over the mountains, and down to the sea. It turned into quite a battle, but we prevailed. Ultimately, he sold his home and moved on because he didn't like horses and he didn't like "strangers" riding through our community to get to the trails. It makes you wonder why people will buy something, fully knowing what they're getting into, and then think they can easily go about changing the conditions.

As for your scofflaws, go get 'em, Charlestongirl! Their arrogant actions need to be unequivocally squashed. If enough people take action against encroachers, we will never have a "Silent Running" scenario.

You said there was nothing in beauty going on this week, but I find your defense of our natural habitats and all those creatures who dwell within to be extraordinarily beautiful.

Eyebrows! I was lucky. My father's contributions to my gene pool included thick, black brows and lashes. As I've aged; however, my brows and lashes have thinned out, the black is fading, and a few white hairs are creeping in. Everything is very easily fixed, though, with a bit of pencil and a good mascara and I can actually get away without wearing anything on them if I'm in a hurry or feeling lazy. As for shape, when I first started grooming my brows, Elizabeth Taylor's brows were the coveted ones and I so I shaped my brows to arch directly over my pupil and shortened the tails. Nowadays, I wear my arch in its natural position which is directly over the outter part of my iris. That tiny, less than 1/8", difference gives a softer, more open look to my eyes. I also keep my tails a little longer than what is typically recommended because I have a large browbone area and need a slightly longer frame with a gentler curve. I beleive proportion is everything. It's about examining all our facial features and bringing them into harmony in a way that looks natural and balanced. And, extreme trends be damned! Just ask all those poor women who plucked their eyebrows into extinction.

As for brow pencil, a lovely eyebrow shade for brunettes is Clé de Peau in #204. It's a medium, smokey gray. It looks great with black or gray brows. My brows have been pretty cooperative lately, but I do get the occasional bald spot when hairs shed and so it's been Clé de Peau to the rescue :-)

Hi Makeup Remastered,

Ooooo. . . Blush Guilt is so much fun! You can use it the way you'd use any typical highlighter--browbones, cheekbones, down the nose, Cupid's bow, swell of the breasts. (That's right, ladies, the swell of the breasts for evening ;-) ) Try sweeping your Blush Guilt in the classic "C" shape. Smooth out the edges and then apply just a little pink blusher on your cheeks and blend. Blush Guilt lays down a lovely soft sheen on the browbones and cheekbones that brings emphasis to the eys. I've been pairing it with TF's Wicked as has the lovely "Lola Seicento" and it is a gorgeous combination. What else did you get? Do share! :-)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Dawn said...

Hi CG. It sounds like you've had a frustrating week and I'm sorry. I hope things work out OK. Your post and the related comments make me even more thankful for our little 5 acres that we own in the middle of a bunch of surrounding farmland. We moved out here a little over 20 years ago when I just couldn't put up with having neighbors anymore. Our kids complain about 'being in the middle of nowhere' (well mostly it's our daughter saying that) but I wouldn't change it. I was raised this way and I'm glad my kids can be raised in the same environment. I guess I'm just not a people person - animals are easier for me to get along with, lol. :-)

As for my eyebrows, mine are dark and fairly thick. I wax mine at home and tweeze any remaining hairs. I'm using and loving Tom Ford's eyebrow product in Chestnut. It adds just enough red tones to my eyebrows to match my (colored) hair.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. And CG I hope your weekend is better than your week. Good luck in your fight!

Dawn said...

Eileen, your comments makes me think of the stories I've heard about people buying a house next to a small airport and then trying to get the airport shut down because they don't like the sound of planes. Or the people that buy or build a house next to a farm and then take the farmer to court because of the smell from the animals. Do people even have any common sense anymore or is it all the 'me' mentality? The airport or the farm was there first but they don't care, what they want is more important! Doesn't make sense, does it? :(

Makeup Remastered said...

I leave my brows to my "threader"- trying to keep them fuller-no-one has brows like Cara Delavigne but unfortunately not everyone can pull those off. On other beauty news. I just received my Tom Ford summer items. This collection take a lot of play as they are not just paint by numbers- the blush guilt needs some TLC to apply- it is a very editorial collection- but loving it nevertheless xx

Claire said...

Brow projection? A no for me. I tweeze less and less now that I get older. I don't have perfect brows, but I like to keep them bushy and neat. Glad Cate will be the face of Giorgio Armani.. I don't know about fans out there, but I'm not a fan of Megan Fox.. seems a bit of a mismatch with such elegant line.

Best of luck with the easement case, CG!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Ashley,

I totally agree on using a lighter pencil. The darker ones can look weird fake.

I totally disapprove of animal testing. I hate that the larger companies do it, and I believe that if we keep lobbying, they will stop. We need to be louder than we are today.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Makeup Remastered,

I thought all the TF colors were easy to use. I don't wear them all at once, though. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Yes! They buy the houses and have a "this is my property" attitude. They read covenants and don't think, "That means you." We have had neighbors in Virginia horse country just west of here come to blows over trail easements.

Since these are new homeowners, as are all of them in this development, I plan to make an example of them. It's the only way you can ensure them that what they signed was real.

I get those white hairs under my brows. I tweeze them away with the brown ones. They really stick out as noticeable.

I haven't needed to use a pencil yet, but when I do, I'll use a blonde one. What I really don't understand are the women who overpluck and then need to fill in their brows with a pencil! Don't they pick up the hair to see where it falls BEFORE they pluck?

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Dawn.

I envy you that five acres. I need five acres to get away from my neighbor's screaming children. When I was growing up, McLean was the country. I do remember feeling like we didn't have enough kids around.

I've never waxed my brows - don't have that many strays. I hate pain too. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi MR,

I like Cara Delavigne's brows, although they also don't fit someone's idea of perfection. She's a gorgeous model.

I find Blush Guilt easy to apply. What problem exactly are you finding?

Charlestongirl said...

Dawn, me again. EXACTLY! We have that problem at Dulles Airport, which was in "nowheresville" when it was built. Now, it's surrounded by complaining residents.

Charlestongirl said...


Totally agree on Megan Fox. She was not a good fit for Armani. Pretty, but trashy.

Jeri said...

Hi Charleston Girl,
My first time commenting, so let me first say that I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your professionalism, objectivity, love of beauty and beautiful things, social conscience, and wish very much that we were neighbors. Oh, I forgot wit and sense of humor. Now for my question. Any way of finding out what colors blush and lipstick the lovely Cate is wearing? Want.
Thank you and I hope you have a great weekend.

Melanie said...

Oh, Charlestongirl, when you said, "I probably lost a year of emotional life this week because I've been really angry," it was like having put into words the way that I have felt over an issue that I have been fighting for the last three years. As aggravating as it is for you, keep doing what you are doing. How people can thoughtlessly damage the environment and living things for whatever they feel is so important to their own selfish microcosm has to stop. Like the poor bees! Monday, Martha Stewart blogged that her hives failed over the winter. She should throw her name behind that instead of flogging cheap products.

Eyebrows. That is a big topic for me. Mine were really thick and dark until chemotherapy. They never fully recovered. And not having used brow products before, I have been at a loss as to what to do with them. The hair (and moustache!!!) came back fine, but the body hair and eyebrows thinned.

Eileen, the Clé de Peau pencil sounds like what I need, but I don't know where in Canada we have the brand. I was using YSL's in Ebony. If I could only get my lazy bones to the mall, I would check out the one by Tarte. I need one that leans towards grey. My hair is black and anything with red looks too horrid for words.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

Melanie said...

Jeri, makeup artist Mary Greenwell has Cate Blanchett as a regular client. Maybe she's mentioned similar products that she has used somewhere.

Tracy said...

Melanie - I think you would find Shu Uemura's hard formula brow pencil in stone gray your best bet for your problem. It's the most natural brow pencil out there and being in a similar situation to yours, in that I have very little brow hair, I have tried and tested them all!

Unknown said...

About the brows: Thanks to the fuller brow look's popularity this year, I stopped waxing, threading and tweezing. My brows are light and not exactly full or thick, from years of tweezing, waxing and threading. I just let them go natural, and I like the way they look. Anyone who doesn't can go scratch.

True beauty blunder story: When I was 13, I was getting ready for the 8th grade graduation - I was playing in the orchestra, and it was a big deal - a theatre, with a big audience, gowns and suits for the girls and boys in the orchestra. I didn't like the way my brows looked - it was 1974, and the skinny brow was all the rage. I grabbed some Nair and smeared it on my brow line. Lucky thing I didn't get it in my eyes! I had skinny brows, alright. Everyone told me I looked like a freak. My mom felt sorry for me. I didn't care - chalked it up to a beauty experiment gone awry, and figured I'd learned my lesson: Don't use depilatories on your eyebrows!

lovethescents said...

Oh how lucky you are with those beautiful flowers! We aren't quite there yet. The lilacs and LOTV are finally blooming so our house is very fragrant now.

Beauty news? Well last Sunday I went to the fancy dep't store. I had a chance to swatch some of the Tom Ford lippies I'd been lemming for a while. I already own and adore Casablanca and Cherry Lush, but had had my eye on Wild Ginger. NONE of the other colours suited me! They were all a nightmare.....good news for me, after all, since I was hoping to not love them.

A friend gave me a Laura Mercier travel palette for our holidays. I'd been realllllly wanting that Tarte Aqualillies palette, as well as the Dior travel exclusive one, so this is MAJOR money saved!

Oh eyebrows. For years I'd had them threaded too thinly, now they don't grow back properly. I'm so grateful to my Shu Hard Pencil for filling in all the spots. It's a lifesaver. I need to get them reshaped but my usual esthetician isn't available anymore. I'm more than apprehensive about going to someone I don't know. Daunting!!

Have a wonderfully restful weekend...

PS I LOVE Roja Dove!

Dawn said...

Hi again CG. My children scream all the time but luckily they don't bother anyone out here, lol. Five acres is alot of work especially since I am unable to help my husband anymore. Maybe once the kids are grown we'll downsize to perhaps 2 acres. But we get to have a 600 lb. pig as a pet and we raise our own beef so it's all good. Our meat is organic and I know our animals live a good life. No concrete in sight like some animals are raised.

As for waxing, I'm not good with pain either and I use either Anastasia's mini wax kit I got at Sephora for $12 but you have to heat up the wax. Recently I've been using Veet wax strips and they work surprisingly good IMO. I cut the strips down and round the edge to fit my eyebrow then rub the strip between my hands to warm it up. Pull the strips apart,apply and press, then pull off in opposite direction. It doesn't hurt! I do it for my daughter as well and she's in pain if somebody pulls out ONE piece of her hair on her head and this doesn't bother her! It's quick and cheap. Give it a try. :)

Evelyn said...

I'm always amazed at people who sign an agreement and then think it doesn't apply to them and have a heart when wild creatures make a home! My neighbor had to take down her tree. It was a forest tree (whoever planted it when she bought the house didn't realize it wasn't a decorative city tree) improperly planted where its roots could not spread normally. It grew to a huge size but it ultimately was not healthy and was diseased internally from what the tree guys told her. Plus her neighbors (who hated the tree) deliberately damaged the roots that were on their side. Not nice people at all. Can you tell I dislike some of the neighbors? lol

My neighbor had to force herself to take down the tree as it was a major bird habitat (I once saw a falcon sitting in it!). Fortunately it came down before Hurricane Sandy otherwise it may have fallen on our houses. She waited until after all the nests were empty and did what she had to do. The good news however is that the birds seem to have found homes nearby so are visiting my yard as usual this year gathering stuff for nests & taking baths in our birdbaths.

On a lighter note - I think my eyes would look odd if the arch were above my iris. I leave it where it is naturally and have them threaded. My skin reacts badly to waxing so threading definitely does the trick. I have a friend who totally removes them and then draws in these super skinny brows which I don't think work with her features but if they make her happy... :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Makeup Remastered said...

My problem with Blush Guilt is that it is a heavy dream product that does not dry down giving an editorial gloss to my cheeks. I've decides directly from the bullet is best- bit it's tricky as it messes with my foundation and being quite sticky not quite right to powder over...Loving it besides these little niggles

Melanie said...

Tracy, thank you for the recommendation. And, as it turns out, the Shu Uemura Canada site is up and running, so it is something that I could order! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Cate Blanchett is the new face of the perfume, maybe she will be the face of beauty too? It's a rare case of a younger woman being replaced an older woman because she is a better fit for the brand. She is so classy and one of the actresses that I actively search for beauty interviews (although of course they will be somewhat skewed towards SK-II understandably). Apparently she uses a Dior powder for illuminating her face all-over. Megan Fox has looks sure, but she doesn't suit the brand. She does however, have great brows. She's the perfect example of showing how a slightly fuller brow can transform your look.

What on earth does projection of the brow mean? How far up they are or how they stick out? It's not too clear and some of these guides say some weird things. I don't know where the arch over the iris came from, I very rarely see anyone who has it anyway. I don't think it's a particularly flattering look; it closes off the face and can make one look angry. It definitely looks much better when the arch occurs about 2/3 of the length of the eyebrow from the inside.

I will concede that it looks good on a very few people who naturally have it and it works with their features, after all, there is hardly a look that will look so hideous on everyone and exceptions to the rule, but that's what arch above the iris is, an exception to the rule. How it became the rule is beyond me. It is often repeated as an ideal, but it seems, never adhered to.

In beauty news this week, first I have a question. Does anyone know of a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen that is cosmetically elegant (easy to use foundation over) suitable for dry skin?

Onto my beauty news, I bought some makeup after three months (not a time ban but rather, I had to use at least 25 items at least once from my untouched stash before I could buy anything new). I bought Givenchy Le Rouge lipsticks including the two new summer ones. Also, NARS Pierre Hardy blush, a Chanel Illusion D'Ombre, my first Rouge Bunny Rouge, Guerlain and Dior gloss and finally a couple of items I'm waiting for from the Birds of Paradise collection that just launched Friday (UK). Whew! Never ever do such huge hauls, but they were all planned from ages ago. At least I have a couple of weeks to go before Chanel and Guerlain summer.

Hope everyone's had a great weekend.


Unknown said...

I"m with you on the brows, CG. My brows are decently shaped (I have no idea how they "project"), I just fill in with Chanel Notorious, Tom Ford or Hourglass pencils. These products all fill in gaps nicely and cover grays. I'm experimenting with Anastasia's brow growth product, that is when I remember to apply! I coax strays into position; haven't plucked since I learned years ago that after a certain age, they don't grow back. I never let the "pros" touch my brows - they all want to use stencils, all of which are rounded, while my brows are pointy; they are sisters, not twins! If they become too unruly, I trim instead.

Good luck with the neighbors and the job search! This sequester is a bear. My department has decided not replace retirees rather than furlough. We feel the increased workload already.

Jeri said...

Hi Anonymous,

Koh Gen Do primer and foundation (Sold at Barney's NY and on their web sight)are very elegant and both have broad spectrum mineral sunscreens. Koh Gen Do and Barney's will send samples. Use a Beauty Blender sponge and you will look airbrushed. Hourglass also offers a wonderful broad spectrum sunscreen primer.

Eileen said...

Hi Leila,

Dermaquest ZinClear sunscreen SPF 30 contains transparent zinc oxide and no chemical screens. It is suited to dry skin as it contains a good amount of glycerine. It can be worn under makeup and used for touch-ups over makeup throughout the day. It comes in tinted and clear versions, but I've only ever tried the clear. Hourglass Mineral Veil Pimer is also completely physical, but it is only SPF 15. Ko Gen Do also only uses physical screens, but the primer and liquid foundation are also just SPF 16 and SPF 15 respectively.

There are many outstanding, cosmetically elegant, 100% physical sunscreens of SPF 30 or higher that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, but they're not all suited to dry skin as I'm sure you well know. Just be sure you're buying one that has been specifically formulated for the face and that it doesn't indicate it is going to leave a matte or dry touch finish. I've come to realize that those two terms usually mean the product is not going to suit my very dry complexion and that it will begin to dry my skin out after several days of use.

As for that beauty haul of yours, woo-hoo! I bet you're going to have all kinds of fun playing with your new goodies :-)

Hi Ava,

Good luck with the eyebrow growth product. When my thyroid condition was first making itself known, my eyebrows thinned dramatically and I lost most of the tail. I began using Latisse on them every night which did an excellent job of restoring them while my medication was getting my thyroid back on track. I think taking quick action is what prevented any permanent lose from occurring. Since my thyroid is now pretty much under control, it only takes Latisse on the tails a couple times a week to keep my brows looking good.

Based on the comments, I think many of us were wondering what was meant by projection of the brows and surrounding the eye by high walls. When I first read the post, I immediately thought of Neanderthals! LOL