Palettes- a Mixtape

Sometimes, whilst trolling the internet for inspiration, I like to hit certain sites just to get mad at their pandering, fabsugaresque writing disguised as cutting-edge fashion journalism ("What do you think?" Who cares?). Anyway this trolling is what led me to this post on the "Gift Palette," which is when makeup companies throw together some coordinating and/ or limited shades of paints and gussy them up with some glitzy packaging. I agree with the posters in that this is a superfluous and overpriced gimmick. But on principal I love a palette! I've always wished there were one that I could buy pre-filled with all my favorite lip colors, shadows and maybe a concealer and a lipbalm so that I could eliminate some dead weight from my ginormous makeup bag. Makeup artists always customize their own palettes, so this year I decided to do the same thing as a gift. See, it's different from the ones that you can buy from Sephora because I have little to no brand loyalty, and also I know which shades to recommend to my recipients because I practically know them! Haha! Sound like a plan? You should make one. My fave trick is to melt the lipsticks by putting the palette in the sun for a while and then refrigerating it so they're all smooth and professional looking. But also my ankle bracelet electrocutes me if I try to leave the house, so I have time for stuff like that.


I've been trapped inside my tiny office deep in Greenpoint being all broke and scholarly so I haven't been able to investigate the newest edition to the bourgeoisie shopping warehouse behemoth that houses YLLI and Woodley & Bunny on Driggs and North 10th. It's in the basement and its all full of shiny products, is it some sort of mega salon? A Realty-Pilates-Art-Gallery?" Please inform.

Being stuck indoors has led me to precious little insight that you readers could actually put to use ("OMFG! My moisturizing hand soap looks like lotion now that I put it in this non-descript container! And my facewash might be mistaken for hand soap as it is also in an ambiguously elegant container! Wait no one ever visits me cuz it's too far to walk in 30 degree weather!"), but I did manage to do a little holiday party makeup research in a rare visit to the outside world yesterday. In my ongoing effort to provide you with the best in glitter makeup, I discovered that Sue Devitt has a really good array of glittery roll-on eyeshadow that is perfect for all skin types. The hues are mostly neutral and very glittery, and the (recyclable) roll-on packaging makes it manageable, even portable. $18 each. If you have the oily skin, try blotting it with a blotting paper every once and a while to keep it from creasing.

Also, thanks for the all submissions for the guy-beauty issue, keep em' coming.


Link Update & Call for Entries

Just in time for the gift giving season, I am asking you, my handful of readers to submit their favorite man-products (via email: alicewetterlund@mac.com, por favor!). Any unisex or dude-specific products that you/ men you know especially like, please spill it! I'm not talking just fanciness here either, if you are all secretly really into sea-breezing your forearms or something, I-- I mean my readers, have a right to know.

Also, I've added some links of friends and family, and my other personal web presences to my list so you can e-stalk me more effectivley. Links: Check 'em out.


Things That Are Worth your Hard Earned Cheese*

I'm gonna do one of those splurge vs. save features they put in women's magazines, except mine will be catered more to people who are living close to or exactly my life. Which is fine, because 80% of my readers are doing that. It means, more than anything else, that the items in the "splurge" category are in the expensive-yet-justifiable range (as opposed to exorbitant or just plain ripoff-caliber) and the "save" category is under $10 bucks or free. At the end of the post is a haircare-related SPLURGE/SAVE to inaugurate my mom posting for the 1st time ever to the blog I made her.

See a movie in New York City: Namely "No Country for Old Men" Josh Brolin + Texan Accent + Cohen Bros. Admirable return to form= H.O.T. Worth $11.

Taking the B61 Bus between Greenpoint and the North 7th bedford stop. So bad it's not even worth $2. Think about it- if it's raining you might get wet walking but you will probably wait at least 20 minutes for the bus, so you'll get wet anyway. In fact I am kind of advocating skipping the subway or bus whenever possible. I wish all kinds of bad on the MTA, it's like run by Mordor except without the organization.

SPLURGE: Kristen Lee Shoes (shown above is her "Newsome Bootie"). They are well made, comfortable and stylish without being trendy knockoffs. She's quoted as saying she designs in reaction to "shoes out there being designed by men for this idea of a sexy woman." Made in Italy, biotch.

SAVE: Kmart Basic Editions Black "keds." As worn by me, the lead singer from These Are Powers, other style icons. They're 6.99. Not so waterproof.

SPLURGE: Phyt club! If it makes me a yuppie to buy phytologie hair products then it might be worth it? The company's founder, shown at left, looks to be the Parisian hairstyling scene's answer to Father Yod, and the products themselves have indeed garnered quite a cult following. I wanted to wait until I'd been using their Phytocitrus vital radiance shampoo with grapefruit extract for color treated hair for about a month. The results: I have seen the light, am converted. I'm talking noticeable radiance and much less fading of my dyed red mop, red being notoriously difficult to maintain. $24.00 for 6.7oz. I'm also a believer in the vital radiance mask with plant butters and grapefruit extract, $22 for 3.3 oz.

SAVE: Fekkai: Stop the insanity! $ 28.50 16 oz. of Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo, or if you want the effects of apple cider vinegar (a super useful home remedy capable of restoring the scalp's natural PH balance), get a bottle of apple cider vinegar for about $3, put a tablespoon in a mug of warm water and pour onto freshly shampooed hair. Wrap hair in a towel, wait 10 minutes and style as usual. Fekkai is annoying, and most of their products are overpriced and overhyped, but I will be fair and vouch for their Glossing Cream, because my mom loves it, and their Wash & Wear spray: No kidding, my boyfriend cannot tell the difference between clean hair and week-old gym hair when I spray it on. However, not everyone has had such a positive experience. Also- maybe it's just Windex?

*Note to my nerdy readers and family members: Cheese = Money



My mom still hasn't posted on the blog I made her, so I've instituted a moratorium on posting useful, health & beauty related content until she does.

Until then, help me out over at FISTACUFFS by voting for you top 10 favorite girl-mascots for the blog. Mine is called Syntax Error! You need to have a blogspot account to post comments, fyi. My list of faves is towards the bottom of the list in case you want to know who I like.


Glamourous, Glowing Glitteration

Ok, so I did my research, I field tested, and the results are in. What to do when you want to be a face-glitter girl and you have the greasy skin (or any type of skin, really): Glitter eyes for day, or night even, should not be layered with color. I know I said I'd never be one of those "rules of makeup" hoes, but trust me- unless you want to look like you spent too long at the M.A.C. counter. Makeup that's "just a touch Bowie" is so much more rockin' than full on Bowie. Cuz you're not Bowie, only Bowie is. If really you want color with sparkle, I hear that Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow will not crease, and comes in 16 shades of joy [via BBTBB].

So, with actual glitter the secret is to let the glitter itself be the color: for a cooler space-age look, wear silver glitter, for a more hippy-dippy look, choose warmer, but still neutral tones. It's best to get a loose glitter in a pot, Mattese NYC (which you get at Ricky's) has a vast color selection and the peices are really small, which is better. Now here is the incredible secret ingredient: waterproof fixer. Make Up Forever has a great one. Fixer is basically an adhesive that is safe for eye-area application and transforms non-waterproof makeup into long-lasting-go-nowhere goodness. Sqirt a little onto the back of your hand, dip a makeup brush into the glitter and mix with the fixer, then apply it to your lid, or undereye, or wherev. It will stay amzing for hours. Follow these instructions how to apply of the rest of your look.

My moms used to yell at me for wearing glitter on my eyes because she thought it would get into my ducts and cause a stye! It did, but stye is just one 'L' away from style, and that's close enough for me. Anyhoo, CONTEST! First reader to comment with their favorite Bowie song gets a set of Make Up Forever waterproof makeup including Mascara, Eyeliner, Eye Seal and Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser. It's not used, okay? Jeez. It comes in an actual box.


PS. If you hate all Bowie songs but still want the goods, you crazy, but you can go ahead and comment with how many times I said "Bowie" in this post.


Beesley Hair

So, in honor of The Office being on tv again (Yes, I can haz TV), I'm doing a hair post because my hair is just like Pam's: Flat as a pancake (made of hair) on top and kinky beneath. Apparently it's a common prob, so says my hairstylist,* Laura. But I never read this problem being addressed in Allure or any other beauty mags or columns, so I'm breaking the story here! WTF is with curly-on-bottom hair? My friend Chelsea says she thinks it's because bottom hair is dirtier (ew), and I suspect it's because the bottom layers are less damaged and are exposed to more humidity from the neck sweat region (double ew). Regardless, while you struggle to maintain some sort of wave equilibrium, it's important to not damage the hair you are trying to straighten or curl, because this will just lead to more drama. Go ahead and get a hairdryer with a nozzle, says Laura. When you point the dryer at the separate sections (which you should do, from a close range, but never let the dryer just sit in one spot), the nozzle will prevent the hot air from going every which way, creating frizzies. Always aim the nozzle in the direction of the hair growth so you're not teasing your delicate mane with hot, damaging air. That's like when you pet a cat in the opposite direction of the fur growth. They hate that! I'ts good to use a styling spray with heat protection in it too (apply before drying, after washing). I'm partial to Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Spray.

One more tip- for those of you that work in an office like Pam and think it's necessary to shampoo each day. Its so, so not necessary to shampoo daily! Even if your hair is fine and your scalp is oily- try brushing! That oil is good for your ends. We at Cheek Beauty shampoo thrice weekly at the most, and we only hit the roots with the sudz, not the ends. In the inbetween days you can spritz your hair with the amazing Summer Hair Wash and Wear by Fred Fekkai. Our boyfriend cannot tell that we haven't washed our hair in a week when we spray it on, and neither can we, except that we know cuz we were the ones who did it. Anyway it's awesome.

*Yeah I have a hair person now. Sigh. But I do love her! She gives me beer. Go see her at Public (in the 'burg).

A Chat About Hair

The esteemed Esperanza and I politik about our hair on our way out the door:

me: Ok toots! Call me tomorrow or im me
We will hook up
Esperanza: ok, will do sweets
12:57me: I'll try to have concept hair or makeup for you
Esperanza: yes PLEASE
shave my HEAD
me: hah
I feel you with that one
Esperanza: i'm sure you'll come up with something fab
me: I'm all, why does someone come in the night and only gheri curl the BOTTOM layer of my hair?
every night
Esperanza: HAHA
yes, precisely
that is what I ask every morning
12:59 me: haha! I'm glad I'm not alone
Esperanza: i could tell you stories, haha
1:00 me: Totally! Plus my scalp is like waco a few days after the fire
Ok, gotta go get ready now
Esperanza: its all hurricane katrina on my head


Lori I didn't forget you.

I'm drafting a post about glitter eye makeup options for you greasy-glowy girls, and I promise it will be rule. But I saw this on Jezebel and I had to throw this up: So according to Shopping.com the most popular pop-culture costume idea was a Jail-Bird Paris Hilton. Wee-he-hellll I happen know a girl in L.A. that works at a fancy lingerie store and apparently Paris came in and bought a jailbird-themed lingerie ensemble "for Halloween". I guess so that everyone would be like "Oh of course!" when they see her. Seriously why so predictable? Maybe she saw the poll. But know that it will be lingerie with some accents to designate it as a "costume," A la Mean Girls.


Blue Nails and Glitter Makeup: Why Am I 12?

Oh man! It's been awhile. I have left my dozens of readers bewildered and wandering the isles of Ulta III wondering what is the new thinking woman's nail polish for fall (It's navy blue, btw. Try Russian Navy by Opi) Busy with daily grad school application freakouts, and ofcourse, Topmodel Cycle 9 amazingtown. I, like Rich of the afore-linked fourfour, love Heather to peices. I'm so excited that reality TV is getting the representation of Asbergers People it has always needed. You have Heather, and basically half the contestants of The Pick-up Artist. Especially Scott. God I love and miss Scott!Especially how he was always waking up at 6 to go over his notes from Mystery. So logical! And fuzzy! Fuzzy-logical! Anyway, Heather has already won my heart and I can't wait to tune in tonight to see the first real photoshoots that will look like they are Sketchers ads from 3 years ago and utterly arbitrary challenges.

Anyway! I have 1 tip for you- Anna Sui, with her nasty ass, showed glitter makeup in her spring runway show. In case anyone wants to wear glitter in a un-halloweeny frightfest prior to Oct. 31, here's how I'd do it. Pick a cream shadow with some intense shimmer in it. The one I use you can only buy in the UK now for some reason, so just go to the store and look for one you like. It should be a cream or liquid in a neutral shade that goes with your skin and has major shimmer but not a ton of actual giant glitter chunks. Now here is the key: Put that shit on first! Before concealer or whatever. Smear it all over your eye, lash to brow and all over under the eye too. Now, wash your hands so you don't get the glitter everywhere whilst putting on the rest of your face. Follow with your foundation, applying it over the glittered areas but wiping off your hands or applicator often as you apply. Follow with mascara and rouge and gloss or some subtle lipcolor. Last, take a Kleenex or piece of cloth and blot yover all the glitter areas. This will polish the tiny pieces of glitter and make them really sparkle.


The Straight Story

One reason I never write about fashion here is because it's supposed to be a beauty blog, and if I started writing about fashion it would be a slippery slope into a giant can of worms. So I write about it in IM chats with Emily, and she is like really lazy so she just posts our conversations on Gawker instead of actually writing stuff.* Since Gawker is so big and important and can't include the entire lengthy messy thing, and I am so tiny and insignificant, I give you the directors cut of the chat finale. Just so you can see the Miss Piggy reference. Seriously am I nuts or did Marc Jacobs and Miss Piggy not do something together already?

*I kid about the lazy!

Sometimes I Make Things on Computer

It's just that his video sincerely brought me so much joy. He demonstrates such amazing, um, candor? And devotion, and he really has some good points to boot! Yay. I thought I saw a niche for a fragrance in there. Enjoy.


Fashion Week is Beneath Me Now

There is this point in every blog where the writer goes off-topic, and just starts ranting about their personal life. This is what blogging is famous for, this is the schizophrenia of the TMIA (Too Much Information Age). This is what we are about to go through here at Cheek, ladies and gents, because holding it all in is really bad for your complexion (Also, acknowledging fashion week: Bad for skin).

So, I've been trying to find out how much it costs to take the GRE and I'm comically bad at it. Like, I think I may have found the thing in the world I'm most bad at and it's navigating academic bureaucracies on the interweb. It fills me with a desperate fear and I start sweating and want to cry. I think this is why I have not been very gung-ho on the idea of applying for grad schools, cuz every time I go online to do any research I'm immediately repulsed and I feel like I'm illiterate. And I am sure that I'm the only person on earth with this problem. Im sure. Here is a list of things I'm better at than finding out about the GRE:

Making delicious cheese sauces
Telling stories
Petting cats, making cats like me
Spilling things
Putting makeup on myself/ others

So- if anyone needs a cheese sauce or some sound cat advice, and Emily is busy, or maybe you need your makeup done, come help me decide when to take the GRE!


WTF: The Benefits of Not Having Benefits

Last night I was talking to Emily about UTI, how not having health insurance has driven me to stave them off with cranberry juice alone, and as a result I could be less immune to antibiotics used to treat them, which I've heard can be a problem. Now I hear of a study that shows patients seeking cosmetic procedures from a dermatologist get appointments faster than patients with real medical concerns, such as potentially cancerous moles. Why? Insurance companies usually don't cover Botox treatments or other cosmetic dermatological procedures, so patients pay out-of-pocket for these in the hundreds. But a mole exam covered by insurance usually nets about $75 bucks a pop, which doctors get months later from the insurer. Botox that is licensed for cosmetic use can be administered by beauticians and spas, but if doctors can get in on the action (by asserting that Botox in an non-medical setting is unsafe or dubious), they will, and they'll prioritize those cases. Since me and 47 million other N. Americans are uninsured, we'll be paying out of pocket for our mole exams as well as our Botox. Maybe we should ask for a package deal? Via Jezebel.


I love a serum

My anti-wrinkle strategy till now has been to wear lots of sunscreen and also to not make the faces that cause the wrinkles. As that method has left me without my "It's sunny!" face, the handy "What's that foul stench?" face and my super-distinguished "critical thinker" face, I had to come up with another way. In a perfect world the way would be eco-friendly and not too costly. Like, under $50.

So I went wandering into Sephora, and as I was about to go for Hope is Not Enough from Philosophy ($38 for 1 oz) the lady there told me she liked Juice Beauty's Antioxidant Serum. Saying she preferred organic ingredients for her face, the Serum also contained the same vitamins and peptides as the Philosophy bottle, and at a better value ($45 for 2 oz). Yay, Sephora lady!

Well, so far I've been using it for about a week and I dig. I put it on after cleansing and I notice my skin feels tighter and dewy at the same time, though I'm careful to follow with a bit of moisturizer on top. I've also gotten more compliments on my skin, though it may be from the placebo effect, according to my nay-saying boyfriend. Whatever, I'd use it if only for all the vitamins (C, E, and A) which are helping me with the neutralizing of the free radicals that like to be all up on me from walking around all day.


Sterilized Sensualism

You'd never ever know it from being in my home, and you certainly wouldn't know from my appearance, but I hate germs. I hate touching door knobs in public places and anything in the subway (I'm sure I'm not alone here). But, I also hate having dry hands. Solution: anti-bacterial hand lotion. What? Why not? Because it usually has an apple cinnamon scent, I know. But I just went to that Bath and Body Bed & Beyond Body Works place and they are having their "Annual Hand Soap Event" which includes all their anti-bacterial products. I smelled all the featured fragrances they are running now and some of them aren't so bad! They even have sensual amber anti-bacterial foaming sanitizer (haah!). But be warned that the "clean linen" scent smells like "warm vanilla sugar" with some windex in it.

Speaking of hands and touching with hands, WTF is with touchin' on the art these days? I was at the Tom Freidman show at the Lever House yesterday (good show, btw), and this tween was running her fingers through a sculptures hair. When I was a kid you were supposed to not touch the sculptures in the museum lest they get your oily residue on them, nowadays people all but lean on them to relieve their gallery fatigue. Do we collectivity need a ruler-smack from Sister Wendy? I'm talking to you, Emily! I didn't forget the time you ran your finger across one of the molded Vaseline seats made to look like a giant compass at the Guggenheim and then rubbed it on your lips cuz' they were chapped. Ok that was kind of awesome.


Beauty Icon of the Month (Not Lindsay, bwahahaha)

I'm again chiming in with my bitches over at Jezebel re: Elle Magazine. I bought it so that I could read it on the way to PA last weekend so I could be a (token real-girl) model in my wonderful friend Samantha's production for her Spring 08 presentation (more on this come fashion week). Lohan aside, this magazine is shockingly full of content. Content I want to read. My absolute favorite was an article from The London Times they reprinted where Bethan Cole, their beauty editor writes about being met with international scorn after wearing black lipstick on GMTV (like the British Today Show). She says: "I am not a bland, blond beauty doyenne with tasteful highlights, a bronzed complexion, and waxed, tanned limbs." Translation: Homegirl is pale. "This would be a kind of death for me." Aieee!! I love her. Her work is a totem for everything we strive to be here at Cheek headquarters (hee-hee!): Brazen, intelligent,

independent, unapologetically obsessed with outsider makeup. If you're interested, I encountered a sequel to the Black Lipstick article published a few weeks later. If you are as smitten with Ms. Cole as I am (and you should be), this is a compelling read. It's about the difference between indie and faux-indie. She cites ingénue pop figures like MK Olsen and Daisy Lowe, who are "all examples of the current epidemic of faux-indie, which takes the artifice of indie, leaves behind the ideology and ditches its ideas about otherness and the tortured state of abjection." Yowch. The best is that she concludes the piece with a list of seemingly irrelevant products she likes. Which I will do right now: LORAC Creme Lipstick in Babydoll is lighter-than-even-my-skintone pink, yet somehow looks glowy and Bridget Bardot-y if applied with a light hand. Do this look with minimal eye makeup and black mascara on a sunny day before summer ditches us.

Also Good Luck, When in China

It seems like whenever I bite into an apple I bite my cheek and make it bleed. Biblical? Or maybe I'm just extra sensitive because I like my horoscope so much this month: "Develop a more intimate and expansive relationship with red. Color therapists say that it inspires vigor, zeal, determination, and primordial longing." So I'm menstruating and wearing red lipstick. It's working! It's working!


Me: Helpful, You: Shy

Aww, hey lil' reader! Come here, don't be timid now...aren't you a little fuzzy little shy reader? Just thought you would like to know that Jennifer Liang over at Style.com has confounded expectations by posting some interesting D.I.Y. skincare recipes as part of her monthly "5 great...[expensive products]" feature, gathered from various skincare specialists around NY. Because you are always trying to be the one in your friend group who knows how to make a hair mask out of a cucumber and some olive oil. Or wait is that me?

Also, I've enabled anonymous commenting for your bashful ass. I ♥ feedback.

Bazaar Hates on Old Ladies

Don't get me wrong here, I love the Lilys. Donaldson, Cole, Tomlin- you name it. As part of the "Fabulous at Every Age," feature in their August issue (the one with the strange Jessica Simpson Cover) Bazaar includes an article on how to wear red lipstick at any age (illustrated with the pic of Lily D. shown at left, sans JBR of course). Stunning peice of service journalism. Glossy at 20! Long-wearing at 40! Liner at 80! Cool, good timing Bazaar, since lipstick was just now invented, but is it really necessary to show the look on someone who photographs like a six-year-old?

Just cuz there are lots of ladies who do it proper even as they approach their (gasp) 60's! How dare they put this obviously rhetorical advice into practice?? And on the red carpet no less! Now for the obligatory Helen Mirren image: Isn't she radiant? How we love her.



Via jezebel, talking eyeshadow. I can't decide where I stand with this product. I irrationally hate Stila, but this is sort of interesting. I wonder if people who need these sorts of instructions would actually find it useful. Also it seems like we're getting close to that Chanel automatic makeup applicator that Leeloo uses in the Fifth Element.

Brown Town

Hey! No telling whether this will become a regular feature or not, but I made a comic strip about a certain lipcolor from my youth. Hope you likey.

Is "Brown Town" an innuendo for something gross? Or does it just allude to something gross? I'm at work otherwise I would totally investigate.

I Wuv Woo

McQueen Fall Makeup on Daria Werbowy.



Being really into fancy beauty products can be a liability indeed. The insane prices, the never being sure if your getting your moneys worth, the trying to be taken seriously as a modern thinking woman whilst being into fancy beauty products...Buuuut I gotta say, they are worth it all if only for the joy they bring to an otherwise soul-crushing morning routine of getting ready for a hellish commute to a crappy job. Last nights makeup needs to be removed lest your supervisor pull one of those "Weeeeelllll, where were you last night?!" (Cuz bosses seem to think that they own your weekdays and nights for some reason). I highly recommend Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil(below) for this task.

It goes against that whole "don't splurge on a cleanser cuz its only on your face for a moment" thing, but it doubles as a makeup remover! See, when you put it on, it feels like linseed oil, but then when you add water it emulsifies and turns into a milky cleanser. So gentle on skin, so pretty in bottle.

Now that I've gone on & on about my cleanser, I only have time for a sink shower. I'll use Mistral balinese vanilla soap. You forget that you have to deal with the L train when you smell it, albeit momentarily.


Yellow eyeshadow

...looks better when not getting its picture taken by a phone.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Time to Look at My Feet!


So, in what had to be the worst day trip to the beach ever, if such a thing is possible, I found comfort in the small things. Like toenails! Here I'm sporting my freshly pedicured feet the color I created in my beauty lab (HA!). It combines the classic deep plum color that has been so hot just now, with an overlay of holographic- iredescent- sparkle to add that highschool nostalgia thing. Back in the day, when I was young (I'm not a kid anymore), I used to put glitter on fucking everything.

Here is the recipe:
1. Apply a base coat allover the nail, and let it go all over the edges of your toenails. Let dry.
2. Apply one thin coat of a dark-gothy-red or purple polish of your choosing. NOTE: the greenie hues inherent to iridescent glitter polish will tinge any color a little cooler, so if you want it to be a warmer color overall, overcompensate by choosing a redder base color.
3. Apply a second coat of the same polish.
4. Now take a q-tip dipped in polish remover and clean up the perimeter of the nail, which by now should be covered in little specks of the base color. This is where putting the primer all over the place comes in handy.
5. When all is dry and good, apply a topcoat of an iridescent or holographic glitter polish that is semi-transparent. If it has a tint, that's ok. It really wont impact tha overall color. I used Brucci Nail Hardener in "Glisten to Me."

Ta-DAA! Now just don't spend 5+ hours trying to get to Fire Island via public transportation, even though it's only 2 hours from your house, unless you want to spend $120 dollars for no goddamn reason.


A Word on Lush

"North America: You Talk, We Lurk!" is the Amazing heading on the official US forum on the Lush website. Never heard of Lush? Originally out of the UK, they make a full line of bath and skincare products known for their use of fresh, organic, cruelty-free (unless you count the intense sales pitches at their retail outlets), and fragrant ingredients. Some of their products are also known for being borderline-creme-de-la-Mer overpriced. The folks over at Beauty Brains have broken it down for us and see no reason for the $72 dollar price tag on the 1.5 oz jar of "Gourgeos" moisturizer. But according to the user responses to the product posted on their US website, crazed devotees disagree.

I'm on the fence. I, like so many, used to buy the product overseas before the FDA approved their selling stateside. Maybe the experience of being abroad and being on vacation from my financial reality contributed to my admiration then, because ever since they hopped across the pond I've been less whelmed. But I really love how political they are. They made headlines in England recently for having their employees work naked in protest of over-packaging, and they've given lots of money to grassroots ecology activist groups. Awesome! Here, then, are a few items in their roster that to me are always worth the splurge:

Oxeo Cube Deoderant

What do you want from a deoderant? Something to stop you from smelling bad, and maybe sweating profusely, without giving you breast cancer? Well, what if also it smelled so good you literally want to bury your face in your armpit? Would you pay $8 for it? I routinely will! This strange bar requires that you chip off pieces of it, crush them up and store them in a travel container. Also, you have to press some onto your fingertip and apply it when you're pits are completely dry. Sound fun? Just wait, also it burns sometimes! That said, it's one of my fave products of all time.

Sympathy For the Skin

Waaaahh! They were out of this last time I went. It's prone to making your skin have a layer of fragrant and dewy, fuckit, greasy, vanilla smelling goodness hours after applying. Love it forever. 3 dollars cheaper in the UK.

Dream Cream

This is what I bought instead of Sympathy. It works in much the same delightful way as my favorite, but it's not as heavy. Also it's incredibly soothing for itchy skin and I put it on Mike's mosquito bites and my dry, eczema prone skin. Sadly no vanilla smell though.


Do you have face moisurizer with an SPF in it? You damn well better, and if you have fair skin or you really give a shit, the SPF should be higher than your age, which is a rule I invented just now for the sake of this post. I use Eucerin Extra Protective Moisture Lotion SPF 30, pictured above. I slather it on daily in the high-exposure seasons, and it makes my face about 3 shades lighter and very chalky (which is great on my goth days, but that's only when gran visits). When I want to look more normal and have added sun protection, I'll put on my moisturizer first, let that dry a little and then I'll put on a tinted moisturizer. I like M.A.C.'s Select Tint SPF 15. After I'm all done, I don't look like a freak who wears base in 95 degree heat, but my skin is a little more even and, if I dare say it, glowy.

Now if you sweat, you're disgusting, but you may need to do touch ups throughout the day since there is makeup involved. Don't use powder, please. just bring a hanky and dab lightly where needed. Neither formula is meant to be water proof either, so you will need to reapply if you're going for serious sun. Carry along facial sunblock in portable stick form, Dr. Hauschka has a nice and expensive one, or there's the $5 dollar Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places SPF 50, which I use.


A Harmless Form of Light: WTF is Helioplex?

(I hope to have a category soon of "WTF is" just for sci-fi ingredients in products) Helioplex is a new ingredient in sunscreens of the Neutrogena brand. I read about it in "Blueprint," an offshoot magazine of the Martha Stewart empire. The editor chose this sunscreen, as beauty editors are wont to do, because it contained the newest-sounding ingredients. This is where I thought I would get all over-zealous and actually find out more about this perplexing future-cream, mostly because I am extremely pale and would like to stay that way.

Helioplex is less an ingredient than a state of mind! On top of that, it's a formula that combines two popular and widely used sun-protection ingredients, Avobenzone and Oxybenzone, plus a photo-stabilizer that prevents these chemicals from breaking down as fast as they would normally. Sort of like when you put mustard into your oil and vinegar salad dressing to prevent the oil & vinegar from separating (you do that, right?). Also, according to the folks at Neutrogena, "The sunscreens in Helioplex™ further protect skin by absorbing and transforming UV light into a harmless form of light." Transforming light is, as we all know, one of the best fake magical tricks performed by beauty products, one that I can really get behind not knowing the true meaning of the statement. Just as long as it's not transformed into heat, which is one of the notorious drawbacks of the Oxybenzone, which can damage cells. Finding out whether or not Helioplex has figured out how to prevent this is something I have to go to a trade school to find out.

I bought Neutrogena Ultra Sheer™ Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70- It's supposed to be lightweight and clean feeling, and it is not. I would describe it as slightly less heavy and oily, and runny than most sunscreens, and it feels like it would be waterproof. Also, it doesn't make your skin look like it has a basecoat of mime paint like my face moisturizer, which I just wrote about. Best (...?) of all it smells like a fancy bug spray they might sell at Bergdorf Goodman.


Good evening! This is my introductory post. In celebration of the fact that I got the internet working at my studio, I decided to start a -what else? - blog about makeup. My mother is freaking out reading this. But Mom, it's gonna be awesome. I feel like we've all evolved from the time when makeup and beauty products ware merely an tool of the patriarchy. The new tools of the patriarchy are the plethora of truly inane beauty blogs littering our internet. It doesn't need to be this way.

Also, I decided that, in an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, I would hereby brand Cheek a feminist blog...about...makeup. I know, seems so offbeat! But it's not, really. It just seems like it is because that's what they would have you believe. They being the majority of everyone who thinks feminism is about sea-sponge tampons. Well, it is, and I seriously can't wait to post about some crunchy-ass granola beauty products, but the point is that feminism is about so much more. Join me as I attempt to prove these statements by writing about deodorant and shit!


Peach Beach