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