Anti-aging, Beauty, Make-up, Sassy Pants, Skincare

“Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Whose 10X Mirror Does Not Appall?”- A little tool, for you, or the man in your life on Father’s Day.


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Our faces tell the story of our life.  Did you ever notice that no matter how old and wrinkly a good person is, they will always look pretty, or handsome?  Aging well is a reward for a life well lead.  I’m convinced good thoughts and just plain goodness, is very good for the skin.

So is living on Maui, despite the ever-present rays of the South Maui sun.  Being at peace with yourself, your life, taking stock of the ebb and flow of one’s days, trying to eliminate the “manna suckers” that encroach upon one’s life, certainly can have a renewing effect upon the health and beauty of a person’s skin.  Does decongesting your life of negative people and stressful situations decongest your pores and improve the tone and texture of your skin?  I sure hope so!

While Maui is my personal paradise, it is not exactly a shopper’s paradise.  Admittedly, I’ve become a little addicted to the beauty bins at Ross.  Maybe it’s the not having here on Maui, that leaves this Mrs. Sassy Pants feeling deprived and thirsty for retail therapy. This is how I came upon and, finally, purchased a really cool, lighted, portable 10X travel mirror. Then, as is the way of the cosmos, I stumbled upon an awesome tuturial online by an older makeup artist, who used a  compact style 10X.  And, so, I sought that out too, finding it at one of my other fav stores– Le Target in Kahului.

At first glance, the face of a 50-something in a 10X, is not for the faint of heart.  I might need the smelling salts off Grandma’s dresser.  But, then again, I’m a nurse.  I like looking at icky stuff.  I like finding out the underlying truth of the matter.  What is the patient’s real or most pressing problem?  Most def, there are some areas of concern staring back at me in those 10X mirrors.

My dark circled eyes=big problemo.  But, they are the same circles Grandma had, my niece has, my brother has.  They’ve become harder and harder to cover up as the collagen in my skin thins.  While the beauty world has Tarte’s Shape Tape to camo their under eyes, Mauians await the opening of Ulta in Kahului (due to their exclusive rights to sell the product).  The grand opening is evidently on “Island time” too.  Shape Tape is gonna have to wait for my under eyes and so are fillers.  I just can’t rationalize the expense of fillers.  Their effect is grand, but it disappears too fast for me.  So, is there a way to improve dark circles and other issues commonly found under our eyes?

On a whim, I picked up the Elf Massaging Wand recently.  It’s supposed to be good for the under eyes, but I use it all over my face because it feels relaxing and, I figure, must be stimulating acupressure points to help my face and body.  It’s reasonably priced too.  I found it at Target, for around $25.00.  It claims to “use gentle vibrations and heat to prep the skin for products” applied.  It comes with a soothing eye cream, which has some great ingredients in it like Green Tea, Cucumber, Jojoba seed oil.  But, does vibration and heat help absorption?  I’m not sure about that.  I suppose it’s possible, but not easily quantifiable without the benefit of some expert assistance.  Still…I am giving it a try and feel it is improving the texture and degree of darkness of my under eye area.

Jojoba comes from a desert shrub, grown in the Southwest, primarily for use in beauty products.  It has been used by the Native Americans to treat skin sores and bruises and has anti-fungal/anti-bacterial properties.  It is also loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin E.  It is a great emollient, similar to sebum, the oily substance naturally found in our skin (which decreases with age) and holds in water, making the skin look plumped up.  Cucumbers have long been known to be a great curative when cooled and applied to under eye bags.  They also contain magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B1, and C, and biotin–all very nourishing to the skin.  Green tea is filled with potent catechins, which are very powerful antioxidants, that help to gobble up the damaging free radicals our skin is exposed to every day.

Interestingly, quite a few studies have been done on the topical application and/or ingestion of green tea.  There’s good evidence that green tea actually protects against UV damage, the primary cause of skin cancer.  It also helps to lighten skin, sooth acne, psoriasis, itchy skin and, generally, decreases  inflammation.  In fact, the polyphenols in green tea help to stimulate aged keratinocytes, thus, possibly producing skin renewal.  Maybe this is the real secret behind the beauty of Korean skin?

The wand itself heats up with use and opens your pores.  But, it never gets too hot.  It’s battery operated, very portable to throw in your purse to use on the go.  Perhaps the open pores help get the included cream and other products you use beyond the surface your skin, though I think it would in part depend on molecule size, with respect to the depth of absorption.  Vibrations of the wand certainly stimulate circulation and promote a feeling of relaxation for me.  It is a very nice amount of pressure and vibration, nothing too harsh and feels really good using it.  I’ve used the wand on my temples too, to help with a headache even. It seems to help with sinus congestion too.

I decided to look up acupressure points, as I’m no expert on these.  I found that you can apply pressure at:  1).  The Third Eye area to stimulate the Pituitary Gland (for help with skin texture/reduce skin problems; 2). The Facial Beauty Point (about a cm. to the left and right of the nostrils) to reduce blemishes, improve circulation/skin tone; and, 3). The Heavenly Appearance/Glow Point, which is just below the ear lobes and just below where your jaw ends at the neck to improve skin luster and wrinkles.  Again, I’m no expert, but since acupressure/puncture have been around for thousands of years, I think its reasonable to use the wand at these points, to help with beauty maintenance and relaxation of the mind.

The most important element of a beauty regimen to me is, ultimately, the notion of self-care, of reiterating that you deserve this experience, that your life does not have to be all about giving to other people, being only concerned about the needs and happiness of others.  There has to be an intersection of self-acceptance of one’s flaws in that 10X mirror and loving yourself anyway, along with the desire and the commitment to work on what bothers you, because you deserve it—especially when it is a pleasurable/user-friendly/economical device such as the Elf Massaging Wand.  It may not be a quick fix, but I think it is a a useful tool for beauty maintenance and one you (or the Father in your life) deserves.

Happy Father’s Day!


Mrs. Sassy Pants

Continue reading ““Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Whose 10X Mirror Does Not Appall?”- A little tool, for you, or the man in your life on Father’s Day.”
Beauty, Make-up, Sassy Pants

Five Drugstore Products You Gotta Love


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I love high-end makeup.  But I can’t help checking out the beauty aisle at Walgreen’s, Longs, and Target.  I literally can’t walk past them.  These makeup aisles are the places young girls find their first makeup collection.  Their hold on me remains until today.  And that’s a good thing, cause these places have really upped their game lately (and price, unfortunately, though still a bargain compared to high-end).

Here are five drug store products that are hard to beat:

1).  Cover Girl Clean Classic Color Soft Mink Blush. – I think I first saw this one in my 16-year-old sister’s purse.  It still is a holy grail decades later.   I love the chunky, 1970’s generous portion they give you…they last forever.  Minimal fall out.  Great everyday blush!

2).  Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. – Yes, I said in my last blog, this was Mom’s fav.  But, it is also a great face powder.  Great for hot weather.  Keeps you dry!  It is free of Topical Antibiotic, MCI/MI, Nickel, Gluten, Soy, and Propylene Glycol, so it gets high score for being allergen free.  It has a high talc ratio, so is long-lasting.  Only down side?  Needs to stay on the makeup table.  Don’t want this puppy to open up in your bag!

3).  L’Oriel Brow Stylist in Blonde. – Have had to look for this in several stores, because it is a super popular, low price brow product for blondes.  Has taken the place of Anastasia Brow Wiz.  It works better (goes on smoother), has a great price, and doesn’t break like Anastasia’s does.

4).  Revlon ColorStay Full Cover in Matte – Much talked about in review world recently.  Goes on smooth and has staying power.  Not 24 hours, as claimed, but who wants to wear makeup to bed anyway?  Get’s you through the day and works best without a primer.  Very matte, but doesn’t feel drying.  Good in the Summertime, or hot temperatures in the Hawaiian islands.

5).  Maybelline Total Temptation – Would buy this over high-end mascara any day!  It is the perfect mascara.   Creates big, big lashes, without going to clumpy land.  It’s a generous size and had a flattened side to the wand, for better control during application. Great for clumsies like me.  It’s a great improvement to rounded handled wands.   Gives you lots of added control to get the mascara where you want it.

Well, my Friends, I hope you try these suggestions.  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.
 Stay Beautiful and Sassy,
Mrs. Sassy Pants

Anti-aging, Beauty, Make-up, Mojo-maintenance, Sassy Pants

“A Little Powder, A Little Paint, Makes A Lady What She Ain’t.”

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Confession:  This is my makeup table.  Am I a hoarder, or do you think it is just the right amount of makeup?  I would love to know!  My table is secondhand, bought from Christine Kobzeff a.k.a. PinkSoFoxy of YouTube fame, just before she left Maui for a new life in Arizona.  I love it and believe it has good mojo!  So, while Virginia Woolf wrote about the importance of “A Room of One’s Own,” for me, a makeup table of one’s own is much more important.  It draws me to it and reminds me that I matter, that I can take a few minutes and play with colors, and make myself feel better about me.  Now, I’m fine with heading to the car without makeup as a lot of women in Maui do, but starting the day looking at myself in the mirror, choosing from my collection, is a little reminder that I’m still here, I matter, I count.  In a world that glorifies youth culture, I need all the reminders I can get!!!

In truth, the history of makeup really fascinates me.  You probably know that Cleopatra, perhaps the first beauty icon in history, used Kohl to line her eyes, starting a trend that has lasted until today.  Egyptians even buried make-up kits in their tombs for the after life.  (They were my kind of people.)  The Chinese found a way to apply color to their nails, with a concoction of beeswax, tree saps, gelatin, and egg whites.  The Japanese Geishas, of course, mastered their art of dramatic make-up application by crushing flower petals to stain their lips and eyes, and grinding rice into a fine powder, to create their stark white appearance.  Perhaps, even in the hunter-gatherer days, some cavewoman might have figured out that crushed berries could stain lips and cheeks.  And, that chick was probably my ancestor.

While the desire for transformative beauty seems timeless, the notion of what is considered beautiful is constantly changing.  Today, you must accent and define your brows and lashes, with some models even cultivating a unibrow.  But in the middle ages, a high forehead was thought to be a sign of beauty and, thus, the eye brows and lashes were removed.  (Ouch!)  In the past, in many cultures, a pale face was considered beautiful and an obvious sign of high social status, as those sporting tanned skin worked in the fields.  Thus, women cultivated (or applied) a pale visage, to represent themselves as members of the upper classes.  Today, we slather ourselves in sunscreen, but apply bronzer to look like we laid out all day in the sun.  Ingredients-wise, we have the modern notion that makeup should be au naturelle, vegan and cruelty-free, though many still levy a toxic burden for its wearer.  Hopefully, not as grave as in the past centuries, when makeup contained more serious dangers, such as arsenic.  As my favorite poet Yeats penned:

“To be born woman is to know—
Although they do not talk of it at school—
That we must labour to be beautiful.”

Despite the seesaw journey makeup has been on throughout the ages, what remains clear to all of us is “a little powder, a little paint, makes a lady what she ain’t.”

My love affair with makeup started early, as I watched my mother transform her tired, too little sleep face with makeup every morning.  She would grab Coty Airspun Lose Face Powder (born in 1935), Maybelline Cake Mascara (created in 1915 by a 19 year old chemist/entrepreneur) and some cheap drug store lip stick or another (in pink or coral), then splash on some L’Aimant by Coty (launched in 1927), and throw on a sassy scarf (it was the 1960’s after all) to trot down the front walk and head to work as a secretary.  She was one of those women with little money due to raising four kids alone, who nevertheless struggled to make a statement with her look, even painting her fabric pumps to match her outfits and dying her hair a vibrant red….though it broke her scalp out and lead to an unfortunate series of wigs.  She had no walk-in closet, just a small closet perhaps two feet wide and in the bottom of it, a pile of heels that my sister and I spent a lot of our childhood in, at least until she decided that being a tom boy was better and I was left to my lonesome, posing in the mirror.  Mom put Preparation H on her eye bags to shrink them, Crisco on her skin to remove make up and to moisturize.  I wonder if I’m the only one who had a container of Crisco in the one bathroom growing up?  There were the hours of plucking hairs out of her chin, her eyebrows, which to me seemed a hideous torture.   There were no expensive concoctions, no trips to a medspa for injections, but still a love of makeup and staying young-looking, as long as humanly possible.  Even at the age of 95, bedridden in Maui, she still loved being plucked and powdered!

So, my obsession came about early.  I grew up stealing my mother’s cake mascara out of the trash, where she’d chuck it when she hit pan.  For those unfamiliar with cake mascara, it was a black cake, in a hard case, with a small wired brush, that you needed to add a few drops of water to, to use.  Being perpetually crunched for time, I remember my Mom spitting into the little case.  While an unsanitary habit, she was not alone as this type of early mascara was jokingly known as “spit black.”  I remember sneaking my trash treasure to school in third grade and taking it out, whenever I used the bathroom, to add a little to my eyelashes.  What was I thinking?  I wonder now, if my teachers noticed…

Recently, a friend of my daughter’s came over to the house with a touch of mascara on.  My husband committed the cardinal sin of commenting on this thirteen year old’s look, discouraging the use of heavy makeup, which lead to an afternoon of tears and apologies.  What he failed to realize was that we don’t wear makeup for men.  We wear it for ourselves and to be noticed by other women.    Who hasn’t met up with a girlfriend, only to hear the, “ooh, I’m loving your makeup!”  Makeup forms us into a secret society, where we share Holy Grails and Must Haves.  Perhaps an idle pastime for some, for those in the secret society, it is an Art form to be taken seriously, as the canvas, i.e., your face is constantly changing, constantly challenging us to try new techniques and products, to enhance what our mamas gave us.

I was surprised to find out that the first mascara was made for Queen Victoria, a concoction of vaseline jelly and coal tar by someone named Rimmel—yes that Rimmel, the brand that is still producing make-up today.   Whether you are an eight year old playing with it, or a thirteen year old venturing out into the world for the first time, or a 95-year-old hot babe, makeup is, ultimately, a very personal thing.  Let’s just right now add it to the list with religion and politics, as things not to discuss in polite company.  If you don’t like someone’s make up, let it go and stay silent.

For us secret society members, developing a look or looks, can be a serious proposition.  Yes, it can be a very powerful thing, a public statement to the world saying, “heh world, this is me and I don’t mind if you know about it!”  Frankly, it takes balls to wear makeup, whether you are a man, or a woman and that’s something even George Washington knew about, as he was known to apply a little powder and paint.  So realize Dear Reader, that it can be a sensitive matter, as we see that aging face staring back at us in the mirror, to believe in that face enough to say, “I still deserve to adorn you”.

One thing I know for sure is, if I’m lucky enough to live to 95 with all my marbles, I will still covet my makeup bag and need to know where it is at all times.  Dear family and friends, if I start to lose it, do me a favor and please help me find it?  And….if you have it in you to pluck and powder me, I wouldn’t say no to the offer.  Thanks for listening to my thoughts on powder and paint.  If you think I have too much on that makeup table of mine, or on my face, don’t judge, cause this Sassy Pants is still hustling to get the job done.  Whether it’s a hit or a miss, we are all a work in progress.  Wrinkles are gonna come, that’s for sure, but I’m gonna wear them proudly, like I do my makeup.   So, here’s to all you beauties out there in the Blogosphere, to your Holy Grails, beauty secrets and passed on traditions.  May you share them and wear them well.

Stay sassy and beautiful.


Mrs. Sassy Pants