Gentle Reader. I've only been writing this blog since 2009, but already I feel like we've been through so much. There was the great Ombré experiment of 2010, our many attempts to get the perfect non-Eagle application of foundation and powder, that time when I went off on medium tones, and of course, my incessant babbling about OMGcodliveroil. It's kind of like we're in a relationship—which is why I don't take the idea of threesomes lightly.
Did I just cross a line? What I mean is that there are three of us now: you, me and brand-new BEAUTYEDITOR.ca contributor Elizabeth Oborne, who you may have noticed was the author of several awesome recent articles—including this one on the wonders of coconut oil, this list of what to pack when you travel and this post on how fabulous infrared saunas are for your skin and body. You already know that she used to work as a flight attendant on private jets (!). But here's a little bit more intel: Elizabeth is now based out of Vancouver, where she recently completed her B.A. as well as a certificate in magazine publishing and a registered Holistic Nutrition diploma. It's the latter (as well as her fabulous writing) that makes her a kindred spirit, because as you know, I'm a closet health geek myself.
So I think it's high time you guys met. I'm a firm believer that you don't REALLY know someone until you peek inside her makeup bag (and I'm not even kidding), so here's a little beauty Q&A—I'm the Q, Elizabeth is the A—to help you guys get acquainted.
How would you describe your look?
I think my look is pretty natural and low-key. I like playing around with smoky eyes or bright lipstick from time to time, but my everyday routine is very basic: a little Korres foundation over any areas of redness, bronzer (a mineral bronzer or NARS Laguna), M.A.C eyeliner in Teddy, and two or three coats of Maybelline New York Volum' Express mascara (to bolster my extremely fine and light-coloured lashes).
Who is your beauty icon?
Oh my gosh, I have so many people who inspire me! I'm a big fan of Gisele's look—her makeup is usually super-natural, and she has a beachy, healthy vibe that I love. And I try to copy her hair all the time. Jessica Biel can do no wrong in my eyes, and I also love Leighton Meester's hair and makeup. She and I have similar colouring, and the same brown hair and eyes, so I always like seeing what she's doing. My classic icon, though, is Brigitte Bardot. She's unbelievably sexy, and her cat eye look and voluminous hair is out of this world. What I would give to have her genes...
What makes you feel beautiful?
This may sound cheesy but when I feel confident and happy, I feel beautiful. I love the (fabulous) Sophia Loren quote: "Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." That being said, when everything comes together perfectly—my hair, my makeup, my outfit—and I get a compliment from someone, that makes me feel beautiful, too.
How do you take care of your skin?
Well, I drink a ton of water! And I try to eat 3 or 4 tablespoons of coconut oil every day in addition to taking cod liver oil pills, which makes my skin really smooth and helps with breakouts. In the mornings, I splash my face with cold water, and then use a Josie Maran 'Blemishes R Gone' Argan Clearing Pad. I follow that up with Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream.
At night I wash my face with Avalon Organics Lavender Facial Cleansing Gel and then Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta & English Lavender Facial Toner. I switched a few months ago to mostly natural cleansing and moisturizing products to see if it would make a difference in my skin, and so far, so good. My skin doesn't get sensitive like it used to with the other products, and I like knowing that I'm not putting harsh chemicals on my face. I also use Clinique All About Eyes and put pure argan oil on my neck and chest before going to bed.
Facials are an indulgence that I love but unfortunately don't partake in as often as I'd like. (Although after reading Michelle's Dermalogica facial recommendation, I definitely want to try one ASAP.) I'm also contemplating dropping some hard-earned cash on a Clarisonic brush. Anyone have one? Convince me!
What products are in your handbag right now?
Lip balm! X4! I'm 100 percent addicted to lip gloss and chapstick, and have my faves (Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Korres Lip Butter) plus a few others stashed in there. I also have a bottle of moisturizing drops for my eyes (I wear contacts), The Body Shop's Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Pen and a sample bottle of Kiehl's Musk Eau de Toilette, which smells amazing. It'll definitely be my next fragrance purchase.
What's worth splurging on? What should you save on?
I usually splurge on eyeliner, bronzer and natural products from Pangaea Organics, Dr. Hauschka and Korres. I also buy a lot of oils—argan oil, almond oil and coconut oil are my faves, and I always make sure they're top quality, but the price adds up when you go through them like I do! I used to buy expensive mascara—I loved DiorShow—but then I started using Maybelline New York, and found that with enough coats, it was pretty comparable, so I save my money there. Michelle tweeted recently, however, that she swears by Lancôme Hypnôse, so I may have to make another foray into high-end products. I usually splurge when I hear a lot of great things about a product, but if I want to try something on a whim, like a bright pink lipstick, I'll hit the drugstore.
What was your first fragrance? And what's your current one?
My first fragrance was Exclamation by Coty. I had a tiny little bottle and felt like such a grown-up spraying it on myself. Then I graduated to Davidoff Cool Water, which I was totally obsessed with. It's funny thinking about it because I haven't smelled it in so long, and I wonder if I'd still like it or be totally put off by the fragrance... It must be halfway decent though, 'cause somehow it made it onto the top ten summer fragrances of 2010 list!
My current fragrance is Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne; it's very light and fresh and yummy. I'm also dying to try Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum—just because of the name. I'm kind of infatuated with the gypset lifestyle (gypset = gypsy + jetset). (The way these gypsies live? Not so much.)
What's the weirdest thing you've done in the name of beauty?
I had cupping acupuncture done about a year ago, which is supposed to bring blood to the surface of the skin and remove toxins, and also be effective at reducing pain. I was really intrigued and wanted to try it for my overall health, but all I ended up with was big circles on my back and a few bruises where my toxicity was especially high (a la Gwyneth Paltrow). Definite beauty fail. Especially in the summer time.
Have you had any major beauty fails?
One of my biggest fails happened in grade seven when my heart was set on having bangs. Now, you have to know that my hair is very fine and very wavy (but not really a pretty wave—it's more of a messy frizz), which isn't exactly the perfect vehicle for face-framing fringe. Regardless, I had my mom cut my hair and fashion me the lusted-after bangs. You can probably picture the atrocity: wispy, curling strands of hair dispersed haphazardly over my forehead. Sadly, I had no idea that I could at least blow dry them straight—I didn't style them AT ALL. I think I was pretty stoked on them at the time, but looking back at pictures now, I'm horrified.
What's your biggest beauty pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is really unnatural-looking highlights. Like black hair with white blonde streaks. Who does that?! It looks so bad. Oh, and I'm also really disturbed by "the Eagle." I know it happens to the best of us (or does it?), but when it's really pronounced, and somebody's foundation is totally the wrong colour for their skin tone, the offensiveness is amplified.
What beauty trend do you wish would go away?
I'm not a big fan of nail art. Those new press-on nail polish strips in zebra print and lace overlay? You won't be seeing them on me (except maybe at Halloween).
If you could revive a beauty trend, which would it be?
I love black nail polish. I actually don't know if it's out of style to paint your nails black—maybe it's more of a fall thing—but I think it looks really cool and so I'm currently searching for the perfect tone. Suggestions?
What is your best beauty tip?
The beauty tips that have stuck in my mind the most, and which I regularly hear supermodels repeat, are: always remove your makeup before bed, and drink lots of water. I definitely try to follow these rules and I'm sure my skin benefits. Another fantastic tip is to sweep a natural-bristle brush across your body in the direction of your heart after showering. Dry-brushing helps the skin shed toxins, improves circulation and skin tone, and strengthens the lymphatic and immune systems.
If you could invent a beauty product, what would it be?
I'd formulate the perfect frizz-fighting, curl-forming potion that could be put in wet hair and would make it dry perfectly without any styling—it would save me so much time and frustration! I have a whole cupboard full of slightly-used hair products that didn't do a dang thing for me.
If you had to take three beauty products with you on a desert island, which would they be?
I'd definitely bring my Burt's Bees lip balm and my mascara (did I mention I have VERY fine and light eyelashes?), and probably some coconut oil because it could do double-duty as a moisturizer and as a diet staple!
Stay tuned for more posts from Elizabeth—and make sure to follow her on Twitter! In the meantime, tell us:
Are you digging Elizabeth's mostly natural product picks?
Have you tried any of her favourites?
What beauty and/or health topics would you like to see her tackle next?