Sure, our staff's been given exclusive access to tons of skin care resources—not to mention, the privilege of sampling our products before they hit our virtual racks. And while we report to you all the latest and greatest products we’ve discovered so far, we haven’t really told you everything. How we manage to put our best face forward–and make it seem like we never break a sweat—is a secret we’ve never told anyone…until now. We confess: we cheat, we take short cuts, we experiment (and make tons of mistakes), and we don’t religiously stick to the beauty bible. In this no-holds-barred article, we reveal our biggest beauty confessions yet!
WE FAKE IT ALL THE TIME
Sure, beauty is the lifeblood of our jobs—but who’s got the time for 8 hours of unperturbed beauty sleep when life is happening out there? Not us. And so, we fake it.
Natalie, DermStore’s Chief Marketing Officer, has a foolproof way of concealing dark circles—and it has nothing to do with concealer. “Highlighter is my new secret weapon,” she confesses. “To brighten up my eye area and fake looking refreshed and awake, I put highlighter on my brow bone, the center of my eyelids above my lash line and in the inner corners of my eyes. It works wonders.”
For Sarah, one of our Beauty Buyers, a few drops of Refresh are all it takes to fake a good night’s sleep. “Refresh eye drops go everywhere with me. I sneak a few drops on each eye throughout the day to keep my eyes looking fresh and bright in no time at all!”
Another thing we fake? Our tan! Beauty Buyer Amber remains adamant about her stance against tanning salons. “The tanning salon is a scary place. People should really stay away,” she says. She suggests using a bronzing powder for your face and a bronzing body oil for everything else. “Get Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder and Royal Oil Coconut Oil Body Bronzer—both products will blow your mind!”
Adds Natalie: “I like to have glowing skin on my legs, so when the minis and shorts come out, so does my Scott Barnes Body Bling Moisturizing Shimmering Body Lotion or Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion.”
WE BREAK THE RULES …
Trust us, we’ve been here long enough to know that not all beauty rules—even those enacted by so-called beauty gurus—should be held sacred.
Of the many rules our beauty junkies love to break, one of them involves the misuse of eyeliners. “I totally use liquid liner on my lower lash lines—a huge no-no, but when done right, it’s the perfect subtle way to make eyes look bigger,” says Liz, DermStore’s Editor-in-Chief.
This “misplaced eyeliner” trick also seems to work for Natalie, who makes it a habit to line the inner rim of her upper lash line to make her sparse lashes look fuller. “You never see that on beauty books, but I never leave the house without doing that,” she says.
Meanwhile, our Creative Director Marissa doesn’t let her age dictate how she applies makeup. “Now that I'm in my 30s, how am I supposed to wear all my colorful eye shadows? Easy! I blend them in at the outer corners of my eyes for a subtle pop,” she says.
… BUT WE PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH
On the other hand, there are some rules that we obsessively live by, like applying sunscreen—even during the peak of winter. Natalie knows exactly how important this rule is. “I love the beach and playing outdoors, but now it’s finally catching up with me. I have freckles all over my chest and shoulders and now the spots are showing up on my face. I think those age you more than fine lines. Now, I wear sunscreen religiously and slather it on my son when we go on walks,” she says.
WE DON’T ALWAYS USE SHAMPOO
Some people would find the infrequency with which we wash our hair disgusting. But it’s true: we do not wash our hair as often as prescribed. Liz says, “I wash my hair about once a week and sometimes that ‘wash’ is just a rinse with some conditioner on the ends. I can’t IMAGINE having hair my length and having to deal with blow-drying it every day. There’s just no way. I’d easily say I use way more dry shampoo than the traditional kind.”
Marketing Manager Jenna shares the same aversion towards daily shampoo. “I wash my hair about once a week. Each morning, I use a natural bristle brush to distribute the natural oils through my hair, and I use dry shampoo in between washes to help with my roots,” she says.
WE KNOW HOW TO WORK IT IN PHOTOS
In today’s highly connected world, where everyone knows everyone (at least on social media), we understand how crucial it is to look good in photos. And though we always look picture-perfect in pictures, you’ll never see us with a full face of makeup IRL.
“Photographs influence my makeup decisions,” Liz says. “If I know I’m going to be out with people who document everything with photos, I wear heavy eye makeup—dramatic eyeliner, false lashes, the whole deal. It just looks better in photos, as does matte skin. On a day-to-day basis, I prefer a streamlined face and a dramatic lip, but dramatic lipstick gets everywhere and doesn’t always look great when photographed.”
WE HAVE CLEVER WAYS AROUND EYE MAKEUP REMOVER
Though we get enough freebies to last a lifetime, we hate carrying multiple products that offer very little benefit, especially when traveling. VP of Customer Relations Vanessa says, “I hate traveling with an eye makeup remover. I carry a small Vaseline lip gloss with me, dab it on with a Q-tip and it’s bye-bye mascara from under your eyes! It’s small enough to carry around, cheap, doesn’t leak and TSA lets you through security with it. Hotel lotion also works.”
Liz agrees. “Eye makeup remover is one of those steps I skip. I don’t use any waterproof anything on my eyes so it’s not a big deal. I DO spend a lot of time on my skin at night, but for some reason the idea of this extra step is too much for me. On top of that, it requires cotton pads, another thing I have to make room for? Meh. I make sure whatever face wash I’m using at night is up for the task.”
“When in doubt, use coconut oil,” says Sarah. “It works wonders to remove heavy waterproof eye makeup without irritating your eyes.”
WE’RE NAIL POLISH PURISTS
When it comes to nails, some of us are absolute neat freaks. “My hair could be a mess, I could be sweaty and not have a dab of makeup on my face, but when I‘m sporting a fresh mani and pedi, all is right with the world,” says Amber. And although we may look like we invest a lot of money on our manis, we seldom do.
Amber, for one, gets her swanky-looking nails (which change in color and design every week) without breaking the bank. “Get yourself a nice little pedi buffer, a base coat, a top coat and of course your favorite nail lacquer, and you’re all set. All it takes is a little hand-eye coordination, and if you get polish from a brand like butter LONDON, painting will be a piece of cake,” she says.
And while we’re on nails, here’s another confession: Some of us don’t follow the trend, especially when it doesn’t make sense to us. “I don’t get gel manicures. I don’t care how long they last—I don’t like them. Plus, the removal process hurts,” says Liz.
NO MATTER HOW MANY PRODUCTS WE HOARD, THERE ARE SOME HOME REMEDIES WE’LL NEVER GIVE UP
Coconut oil, as Sarah learned, is good for more than just removing eye makeup. “It’s a great lip balm, lotion, conditioner and hair mask. It will also clear up any skin redness or irritations as it’s naturally anti-bacterial. I use RMS Beauty Coconut Cream on anything, but you can also go to Whole Foods and pick any organic extra virgin coconut oil,” she says.
Another thing Sarah loves are masks made of pure honey. “Honey makes a fabulous face mask! Make sure to pick up a raw organic honey. If you’re willing to splurge, try manuka honey, which has even more healing and antibacterial benefits. It’s extremely nourishing and helps reduce inflammation—ideal for sensitive, dry or acne-prone skin!”
Sarah’s not the only one here who plays chemist and scours her own kitchen for potential ingredients. In fact, our Outreach Manager Beth makes her own skin care recipes. “For moisturizer-cum-toner, mix 1 part glycerin and 5 parts water, put the mix in a nice spray bottle, shake and spray. And as for lotion, I use 100% pure Shea butter. It smells a little weird so sometimes I add a few drops of sage oil or sandalwood to it to add a subtle scent.”
“When in doubt—or when you run out of face oil or moisturizer—use olive oil as a substitute,” adds Jenna. “I also keep a little vial of it with me when traveling, and apply as often as necessary when I’m on the plane.”
Apparently, we don’t just rummage the kitchen counters for hidden beauty products. Did you know that toilet seat covers also make the best blotting papers? Our camera crew here swears by them! “It totally works according to them. They use it every time someone looks oily on camera.” says Liz “Plus, it’s something that’s easy for pretty much anyone to find in a pinch.”
WE DON’T SHY AWAY FROM INEXPENSIVE GEMS
You’d never guess how many products manage to land on our desks on a daily basis (clue: we carry over 700 brands and 26,000 products). And though we get to try almost every aspiring miracle worker in the market, there are only a handful of products that manage to make it to our personal vanity cabinets—and some of them are surprisingly inexpensive.
Natalie, for one, swears by the greatness of an $8 cult favorite. “I have used Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream on damp skin after every shower for over 20 years. My husband thinks my skin feels just as soft as it did when I was a teenager,” she confesses.
Junior Buyer Ashley encounters all kinds of creams and serums on a daily basis, but when faced with a seemingly insurmountable battle against dry hands and feet, she has only one go-to product. “I slather Vaseline petroleum jelly on my hands and feet before bed and then cover them with socks. My skin feels soft and supple when I wake up. It never fails!” she says.
According to Senior Beauty Buyer Devon, no matter how problematic one’s skin is, skin care routine should never be complicated. “My beauty plan has always been simple,” she says. “Ample sleep, plenty of water, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle—that’s it! It’s wise to keep your skin care routine simple, so you don’t stray from it.”
Jenna agrees. “Using too many products at once is clear skin suicide,” says Jenna. “You never know how one chemical will react with another. Stick to a couple products to try at a time, and always give your skin a few weeks to react. Your skin has to go through its natural reactions to the product before real results show.”
Ashley has another unconventional beauty secret—one that’s absolutely free and doesn’t require too much effort. “Be kind and LAUGH,” she says. “Even when things are tough, force yourself to smile or chuckle and you will add minutes to your life. Laughing not only helps engage those tummy muscles—it also alleviates stress, which we all know is one of beauty’s biggest saboteurs.”
Article posted 10/04/2012.