Vanity + Wearables

Vanity 6.

I stopped in at Saks on my way to the train after work. Since I work in Rockefeller Center every day, year after year, I tend to not really notice the Christmas decorations (I know, I know) unless I go into a store, and I tend to avoid 5th Avenue retailers during the holiday season. That said, their Christmas decorations inside and out are amazing, and I always fantasize a little bit about being Greta Garbo when I walk in the front door. So fancy! (Recession? What recession?! But I degress.)

Anyway, I went in on a very specific mission: Operation Eye Cream. The skin under my eyes has gotten even dryer than usual this winter, and my old standby just isn’t cutting it anymore. Armed with reviews from Makeup Alley (I don’t buy anything without checking there first!), I embarked on my mini-spree. Here’s what I walked out with:

Kiehl’s Imperiale Repairateur Moisturizing Eye Balm
(for nighttime)
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (for daytime)
Bobbi Brown Corrector
(to hide the bags and circles)

As I was finishing up at the Bobbi Brown counter, the sales associate told me (in a very serious tone) that I should “always wear eye cream, every day and every night”!! And then she told me that the injectable fillers for under the eyes “work really great”. NICE. So now I’m completely sure I look like a total hag in need of an eye job. Thanks, lady! (And yes, I realize she was probably just trying to make me feel like I need to buy more stuff. I don’t care, I hate her.)

I had a $15 gift certificate for Sephora (with a $35 minimum purchase, of course—nothing’s free!), so that was my next stop. I hate shopping there. The testers are always gross and look like they’re coated with bacteria, and the associates have no idea what they’re talking about (at least not the ones that try to help me). Anyway, I bought a couple of staples:

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (I’ve been trying—and failing—to make a cheap drugstore curler work for me, but I had to go back to this one)
Nars Blush in Orgasm (I always come back to this one in the wintertime)

The cashier tossed in a free sample of Laura Mercier Lip Stain in Mulberry. Not a color I’d normally choose, but it was free.

I’ll let you know if my life changes as a result of using any of these products! As the very least, I could stand to look a little fresher in the eye area, and not so much like I have crepe paper glued under my eyes.

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  • Reply dana December 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    that’s so funny – i recently switched from the kiehl’s eye treatment with avocado to dermadoctor after reading your post! i liked the kiehl’s product good enough but couldn’t wear it during the day – every time i tried i found that my makeup would smear and smudge and look horrible by noon. hopefully it will work out better for you.

  • Reply Kelly December 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    i’ve beens using the Kiehl’s eye cream since 2002 and love it! hope it works for you, too. but i agree with Dana – during the day it can be a bit much.


  • Reply ana December 12, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Imperiale Repairateur Moisturizing Eye Balm contains some outstanding ingredients to treat and protect very dry skin, so it’s unfortunate that the impressive amount of vitamin E won’t remain stable for long due to jar packaging.

    BB Corrector and his shades are almost all strongly peach or pink. They do cancel, but the effect is not nearly as flattering or neutral as it is from a neutral- to yellow-toned concealer. Regardless of what you need to conceal, no one’s skin is this pink or peach.

    For eye area: more water and more fresh air, and some sport outiside.
    Blush is definitely the star attraction of your shopping! Greattexture and apply beautifully, most of the colors have strong pigment, so one can get a real colour…

    I like a lot your home decoration last year!

  • Reply heather December 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    i read the title and immediately had “nasty girl” in my head!

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 12, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    dana & Kelly: My undereye area is REALLY dry, so the Kiehl’s is actually working out alright. Not greasy at all–my skin sucks it right up. Honestly, I could even stand to re-apply it midday! I can see how it would be too emollient for normal people, though. 🙂

    ana: Bobbi Brown is a woman, not a man! And actually, I have a real problem finding concealers that are pink enough for my skin. Yellow-toned concealers look absolutely garish on me. My skin is very pink, not everyone is the same color! Also, the dry skin under my eyes is definitely hereditary. I get plenty of fresh air and water, and the skin is STILL dry. There’s only so much you can do without putting something on your skin. (I could stand to get more sleep, though.)

    heather: Can I tell you how excited I was when I noticed there are six products in my photo??

  • Reply stephanie December 12, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    haha- oh man, makeup counters are right up there with trying on bikinis for me. i always leave feeling worse about myself than i did coming in. i do agree that the shu lash curler is the best thing ever to happen to eyelashes. i was using a mac one before i got a shu, and i didn’t think there would be that much of a difference, but wow, there sure is!! i just hate that you can’t get replacement pads for them (besides the one extra that it comes with) it seems like such a waste to have to buy a new one.

  • Reply laurie December 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I am having the same eye problem this year, and it’s a first. I just bought Burt Bee’s Eye Cream

    Too soon to tell one way or another if it is working. But I can feel the crustiness/crackiness creeping back on the right side of my eye.

    I will be looking for your update on the Kiehl’s products.

    Oh and I have purchased nearly every eye lash curler on the market and the Shu Uemera one is the best.

  • Reply carrie December 12, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    i’ve been using Bobbi Brown corrector for a few years now, i have dark circles under my eyes not bc i’m tired, but because of heredity (gotta love it)! and it works great for me.

    i HAVE to use a cream first or i get the whole crease thing going. i’m interested to learn more about the kiehl’s products.

  • Reply tracy December 12, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    this is my first time commenting; i came across your blog earlier this summer, and i’ve been hooked ever since! love everything you post! i also have 3 of the products you just purchased and couldn’t help but finally come out of hiding. i heart kiehl’s avocado eye cream, shu uemera eyelash curler and nars orgasm blush. i’ve used the avocado eye cream for day + night for years with no complaints! great purchases, hope they all help!

  • Reply lauren alane December 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    um, i had no idea cheap drugstore eyelash curlers were NOT the way to go. i’m so excited to try a better version!

  • Reply michelle December 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Perfect timing for this post. It’s a my good friends birthday and she was just complaining the other day how dry her under eye area has been. I’m going to have this pick this up for her as a gift.

  • Reply donnarino December 12, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I use Kiehl’s abysinne eye cream myself. Have you ever tried that one? I love it but am careful not to put too much on in the morning for fear of it smudging my mascara.

    And you really must try the Bobbi Brown eye brightener. It’s a liquid in a pot and it is best used with a brush. I will never use another concealer.

  • Reply heather December 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    there are 6! awesome.
    i just noticed that your toilet paper holder is upright – we did that in our small bathroom too because there’s just not enough room on the wall. i also used to have the same ikea holder in my apt – but turned the other way.

  • Reply Mary-Ellen December 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    This is too much. I was just reading your old post on the eye cream yesterday, becuase my eyes are too dry as well. I remember I asked you about the cream and you said you recommended it and I was going to buy it. How funny that I work in the same area and was in Saks today looking for it. OMG. Anyway, I may need fillers, even the Bobbi Brown corrector starts to look cakey on me. Please, please update if these products are outstanding becuase I am at wits end.

  • Reply belinda December 12, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    let me know how those eye creams work out for you because i have all but given up on trying to not look like i have been punched in eyes every single day!. sad but true.

  • Reply Michele December 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    I have pink skin too and I can’t seem to find a good blush color. Sorry if it’s a strange request but would you mind posting a picture of you wearing the Nars blush so I can see it on someone with my similar skin tone? Thanks!

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 12, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Michele: There’s a picture of me wearing the Nars blush here! 🙂

  • Reply DawnMarie December 12, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I have very fair skin like you so I appreciate the blush recommendation. There are not a lot of people I can take make-up advice from as us fair skinned hotties are a rare breed. I will have to check out the eye cream if you give good feedback on it.

  • Reply Michele December 13, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Thank you Anna, you look simply dazzling in that photo! I think I will try that blush out for myself.

  • Reply alice December 13, 2008 at 6:56 am

    I just did a big splurge on cosmetics today – I think it is a reaction to it being my birthday next week! Perhaps I am freaking out about it more than I thought. Anyway, thanks for the tip about the eyelash curler, I have been looking for a new one since my old one died.

  • Reply jenny December 13, 2008 at 8:45 am

    I relate to the tale of the eyecream lady. I avoid those makeup counters like the plague – far too much ‘tude for me! And since I decided to only buy products not tested on animals, it’s become an easy thing to do, because most if not all of the big makeup companies test on animals.

    I’ve checked the laws and lists in the US and Australia (where I live), and the US lists have exceptions you can drive a truck through. So all those intimidating counters and snooty staff are out of my life forever!

    It IS possible to still use ‘beauty’ products and be ethical, it just may take a bit more effort – check out Jurlique, Living Nature, Aesop. For me, it’s worth it. ‘Beauty’ is at too high a price if it comes at the cost of a rabbit spending a short, miserable life having its eyes burnt off by some product. And you know what dermatologists say = that goop is mostly water anyway.

    Think on this, girls!

  • Reply Tanya December 13, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for sharing Makeup Alley, I had never heard of it.

  • Reply ana December 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Sorry I made a mistake, I know it is a woman. Thinking in one language and writing in another one…I have her beauty book at home. And you look really great for your age!

    I agree that something has to take care of our under eye area I do like Lauder and Perfectionist serum.

    I do need a concealer on a daily base so I found out those work fine for me, like natural tones and no smearing etc.

    Prescriptive – Camofluage Cream, Clinique Soft Conceal Corrector, Estee Lauder-Double Wear Stay in Place Concealer SPF 10, M.A.C.-Select Cover Up, M.A.C. Studio Finish Concelaer SPF 35

    For under the eye: Bodyshop – Vitamin E Under Eye Cream, HR power A for Eyes Pure Retinol, Cellex-C High Potency Serum Sensitive Skin.

    Using jar package all of this nice things in your cream won’t stay good for a long time, after couple of days they are not so effective as they should be…it is just a basic chemist rule.

    Greetings from Germany.

  • Reply Fiona December 13, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I check out Makeup Alley, too! I have never really used a eye cream, because my skin is so oily, and now at 39, when I smile, I am suddenly horrified by the new crinkling. It’s fine when I don’t smile, at least.

    I usually use Origins Drink Up mask in winter (which is great, but has phthlates–but it’s the only thing that works). I also use Weleda Skin Food to try to hold in moisture. It’s almost too heavy, but it works.

  • Reply abigail December 13, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I received the same Bobbi Brown lecture several years ago when I was barely 30 and the sales associate took me for her age (at least 5 years younger). But you know what, she gave me a big ol’ sample of the eye cream and I’ve been using it ever since.

    I also have very pink skin (so I get to wear orange and yellow, yay) and I wear Slopes blush from BB and use their concealer – blends in better than anything I had tried before.

    It’s fun to read about makeup/beauty products here every once in a while, Anna. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply anna December 13, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    thanks for sharing your latest beauty purchases! this may be a little forward, but if you ever want to share how you and evan lost weight, i would love to read about it. i’m on my own (larger) weight loss journey at the moment.

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 13, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Jenny: FYI, none of the cosmetics manufacturers listed above engage in animal testing. 🙂

  • Reply Lara December 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I just received an order from Sephora, and I got the Laura Mercier lip stain sample, too! It doesn’t look like something I’d normally wear, (I’m just not a lipstick girl) but I brushed it on with a lip brush, and it came out really sheer and natural, like I’d been biting my lip. Try it!

  • Reply Pearl December 15, 2008 at 3:53 am

    I love shopping for beauty products, and am so glad you included Makeup Alley. Did not know about them. Yes, Shu eyelash curler is the best, and Nars blush. If you end up not crazy about the BB concealer, try Laura Mercier. The only downside is that you need their brush to put it on, and that is extra. Jeez! But the double palette solves yellow/pink problems and the consistency is very good. I also use Neutrogena’s cooling or soothing undereye concealer. Drugstore stuff, and very good: it cools the area, de-puffing (if you have this problem like me, ’cause of allergies and dry indoor air), and the formula is not cakey.

  • Reply E December 15, 2008 at 7:28 am

    I laughed so hard at your interaction with that sales lady! I know EXACTLY how you feel! I was trying to buy some face cream with my sister and she told us to use the one for oily, acne troubled skin! My sister was like, EXCUSE ME?!

  • Reply erica December 15, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Thank you for the eyelash curler recommendation. I actually picked up the Maybelline mascara you recommended recently and I love it. I may run out and pick up the eyelash curler today.

    I love the Bobbi Brown corrector and concealer, I have been using it for two years. For an eyecream I am simply IN LOVE with Arbonne’s NutriMinC® RE9 eyecream. Saying that, I do not have dry skin around my eyes and use it as a a preventative step to keep everything looking smooth and nice. It changes (for the better) the texture around my eyes, making everything seems a bit tighter.

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 15, 2008 at 10:13 am

    erica: I have hated every Maybelline mascara I’ve ever tried — you’re thinking of someone else! My mascara of choice (Max Factor Volume Couture) is detailed here. 🙂

  • Reply lesley December 15, 2008 at 11:02 am


  • Reply erin@designcrisis December 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Holy crap! What a stupid counter hag… I used to think there was nothing worse than the Clarins ladies. I was wrong. I’m sure your eyes look great. In fact, the hag was probably just jealous of your fabulous eyes.

    And I looooove Makeup Alley! I never buy anything without checking their reviews first!

  • Reply verhext December 15, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I use Nars blush! In “Exhibit A.” I love love love it.

  • Reply karina December 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Shu Uemura eye lush curler is the best!!

  • Reply Mary-Ellen December 16, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I emailed you at Flickr. Not sure if you saw it. I just have a quick question, what foundation are you using? My skin is the same color as yours. Very pale with pink undertones. I cannot find one that matches and your skin always looks flawless. Please give me a tip. Thanks.

  • Reply leah December 16, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    i started noticing crepey skin and puffiness around the time you posted this!! this is the first year of those things for me, so i am investigating a good eye cream that doesnt break the bank. from what i have tried, armani concealers are the best thing ever, although i always buy lancome photogenic because it’s in my price range!

  • Reply chrispito December 17, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I use Dr. Hauschka’s eye balm. I bought it first 2 years ago after a rash broke out around my eyes. I hadn’t used eye cream before. It isn’t cheap: about $45 for something as big as a blistix tub. But I’ve been using this pot daily since the end of August and it barely made a dent.
    The last pot took almost 2 years to finish. The key for this brand is patting, not rubbing.

  • Reply Livi December 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Love the kiehl’s eye treatment with avocado. Love.

    Their yerba mate face cleanser is great too.

  • Reply Julie December 19, 2008 at 1:11 am

    You are a very smart person!

  • Reply Lisa December 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I too have has some harsh make-up counter sales clerks say awful things! I love the BB concealer. I have the Mercier lip stain in mulberry and scarlet-they stay on great, I layer regualr lipstick and gloss over it. I’m leaning towards buying the Shu eyelash curler since reading this blog and the comments.

  • Reply lauren December 31, 2008 at 11:11 am

    doesn’t it feel great to buy amazing products???

  • Reply Dawn January 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Anna!

    Love your blog – in particular your “vanity” pieces as I’ve found many amazing products based upon your recommendations. To that end, I was wondering how the two Kiehl’s eye treatments are working for you? I’ve tried a vast array of eye creams over the course of the past several years (Clinique, Kiss My Face, Borba), but have yet to find one that really keeps my eye area moisturized and “fresh” looking. I’m considering investing in the Kiehl’s products, but was just wondering what your overall impressions of both are based on your experience so far.

  • Reply Suzanne May 8, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Obviously this is all old news by now, but since I’ve always had massive dark bags and circles under my eyes I thought I’d try and help. Only eye cream that’s ever worked for me is an Ella Bache called Creme Contour des Yeux. I put it on and the next morning looking in the mirror and it looked like my eyes were jumping out of my face, which is indicative of how puffy and dark my eyes were beforehand. Also as far as mascara goes I’ve tried some really, really expensive stuff and keep coming back to the garishly packaged Maybelline Great Lash. It’s just nuts. It’s runny enough to do the “one-brush for days, three brushes for nights” thing and there’ll be a noticeably difference in the amount you put on. Also as far as make up removers go, Clinque do an eye makeup remover that’s awesome.

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