Here’s the awful truth: Most anti-aging skincare products leave me feeling underwhelmed. There are a few exceptions, but usually I find that they’re more like overpriced moisturizers than the skin-transforming, miracle workers that many of them claim to be. So, I’ve been making a slow transition back to the basics. You know, stuff from indie brands that are heavy on natural ingredients and light on hype. Like the new facial oil that made my skin look way, way more radiant after just a few days.
This magical product is MUN No. 1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum, ($95), an organic facial oil made with prickly pear seed oil, argan oil and rose oil. It’s meant to be used at night while your skin is naturally rebooting itself, turning over cells and whatnot. I know what you’re thinking: organic oil = greasy and earthy-smelling. But, no, this one actually smells good (the rose helps with that) and it sinks into the skin pretty quickly.
The bottle is tiny, but I stuck with the “one-pump-is-enough” guideline that the makeup artist who created it, Munemi Imai, gave me and she was right—a little bit gets the job done. I swear, in less than a week I saw a difference. And now that I’ve used up every last drop (sometimes I put it on in the morning as well as before bed), I don’t want to try anything else. I’m done. This is it. Mun is all I need. Seriously, my face looks really even, smooth and healthy. Bet it would do the same for yours. Give it a go, if you’re thinking of dabbling in the wonderful world of face oils.
Happy New Year! I love me some January. Despite the miserable weather, post-holidays withdrawal and the slightly depressing sight of dried out Christmas trees strewn on sidewalks, the month is so full of optimism. But let’s forget about all the usual boring health and fitness New Year’s resolutions for a minute and fantasize. If money was no object, and you could get any pricey beauty thing you wanted this year, what would you choose? I would definitely pick…
…lash extensions. I’ve had them in the past, but I got them again recently for my sister’s wedding and it reminded me of how much I love them. They’re not so great for your lashes (mine looked like nubs after I took the extensions off), but the results are amazing. They really do change your whole face. I got mine at a questionable salon in Korea Town and I paid $90 bucks. That’s a bargain considering they cost around $250 if you to a lash stylist that uses name brand lashes.
What would you splurge on if someone else were picking up the tab? Vote, then defend your decision in the comments section below.
If you have to be stuck at a really long beauty presentation, pray that makeup guru Pati Dubroff is there. Up until recently when I met her at a Clarins event (she’s the brand’s celebrity makeup artist), my interactions with Pati have been limited to brief phone interviews or email exchanges. I knew she was full of great beauty tips, but I had no idea that she has that rare knack for owning a room. The woman actually had me hanging on her every word while she talked about the early days of her career, her celebrity cover shoots, and the products she swears by. I left the event totally inspired. Here are a few things I learned that night:
Don’t ignore your childhood passions. If you’re struggling to figure out the right career path, or want to start a side hustle, the stuff that you were really into as a kid could give you direction. Pati said she’s been “obsessed” with makeup since she was ten-years-old. She began working as a makeup artist as a teenager, and kept paying her dues and pursuing her dream. 30 years later, she’s got dozens of major magazine covers under her belt, and a long list of A-list clients.
A little primping can help you focus. “Feeling beautiful gives you a boost of confidence so that you step out into the world feeling strong, like the best version of you. If you elevate your confidence, and you’re not worried about how you look, that allows you to be fully present. You’ll be able to give more others,” Pati told me.
Facial oils are like a fountain of youth. One of Pati’s favorite Clarins products is the facial oil—she said she slathers it on her face whenever she’s not wearing makeup. She also told us that her friend and client, the gorgeous, 51-year-old Julianne Moore, is a big fan of oil, and it’s the secret to her amazing skin. Sadly, the Clarins oil wasn’t in the gift bag we all got at the event, but I hope to get my hands of some of this magical stuff soon.