7 Beauty Tools to Transform your Look

Airdate: 10/27/11

Each month a new array of beauty gadgets show up in fashion magazines and infomercials, but how do you know which ones really work? The Paula's Choice Research Team reveals which beauty tools deliver impressive results and which ones aren't worth your time or money.

Bryan Barron: Good evening everyone. My name is Bryan Barron and you are listening to "Be Beautifully Informed with Paula Begoun and her Cosmetics Cop/Paula's Choice Research Team." Paula is not going to be with us tonight. She had some unforeseen circumstances pop up and was unable to do the show but we are here with you. We are going to be talking about seven beauty tools that are going to transform your look.
00:00:29 All of these tools we are going to talk about are going to make your beauty and grooming routines on a day to day basis much easier. And hello, Desiree; she is here as usual - our intrepid producer.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. And I haven't seen much of you today because I was out doing that Chanel makeup event where we had some tutorials going on.
Bryan Barron: That's right. Actually this is the perfect opportunity since we have a few minutes before we are going to get into the topic, tell me a little bit about that. You and Daynah went out to Nordstrom was it?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. We went to a Nordstrom and as part of the Beautypedia team we like to do these sorts of events where we can keep up on the latest techniques and tips and kind of hear what they have to pitch, whether or not we believe everything they say.
00:01:12 It is interesting to talk to some of the makeup artists there. And I actually learned something new today. I don't know if I will use it in the future but the gentleman who did my makeup actually used a mascara as an eye liner. So he took a brush. It kind of looked like an eye liner brush but it had a little bit more of a flexible texture to it. And so he wipes that on the mascara wand. And then he took that and he dabbed it on the top, on that normal top layer that you would line.
00:01:47 And he also lined my water line with that; that is your inner rim on the upper lid. And I thought, okay, there is no way this is going to stay. I just figured it would get kind of goopy. But it was a waterproof mascara and it held up extremely well and I have to say it looks pretty darn good. So I don't know if I would always use a mascara as an eye liner, but definitely if you are in a pinch and you have the mascara but not the actual liner, you have a brush that would work, it is worth a try.
00:02:17 It was a pretty cool effect.
Bryan Barron: That is honestly a makeup tip that I have never heard about before. I definitely know of the trick of using a pencil or powder liner and dabbing it in between the lashes on the underside and above the lash line. That is something that I have seen Paula do before because it helps you create the allusion of thicker, fuller lashes. And then, of course, you can put your regular eyeliner, build that up along the upper lower lash line, however you normally like to do it.
00:02:51 But wow, I'm wondering if the reason he used a waterproof mascara...did you ask him why he used waterproof?
Desiree Stordahl: Because he wanted to line the water line. He knew that would hold up better.
Bryan Barron: Okay, all right. So what else? Was this just eyes or was it a full makeover, or just eyes?
Desiree Stordahl: They did a full makeover. That was the only thing that I hadn't ever seen before. Everything else was kind of your standard when you go to the makeup counter and get your makeup done, that's what they did. But I thought that was a pretty interesting little technique. And for once I walked away not feeling hideous.
00:03:29 I don't know what it is, but every time I get my makeup done at one of these makeup counters they way overdo it. Even if I tell them I just want something that is a daytime look, just something classic, they always end up doing eye shadow up to my eyebrows which looks completely ridiculous and 1980's. So I was pleasantly surprised to walk away actually feeling beautiful this time.
Bryan Barron: That is unusual. I mean back in my days at the cosmetic counters I would see that quite a bit.
00:03:58 And I'm sure as I was learning my technique I'm sure that more than one woman that I put makeup on made a beeline to the ladies' room and was literally washing and scrubbing her face off because she didn't have the heart to tell me that it looked terrible.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah, that happens.
Bryan Barron: It does. It does happen. So, last question about the even though this afternoon; how was the sales pressure?
Desiree Stordahl: The what?
Bryan Barron: How was the sales pressure? Because I think a lot of times it can be pretty intense and they have got you captive. You are sitting in the chair, you are either bare faced or only half of your face is done; it is not like you can just conveniently grab your purse and go.
Desiree Stordahl: Right.
00:04:41 Actually, you know, I have been in this situation where I have felt very pressured to buy something and given that they do, in this case they spent an hour with us. So you do kind of want to give them a little something back. You don't have to, but I ended up purchasing a lipstick. But it wasn't a huge sales pressure; not like I have received in the past.
Bryan Barron: Oh, that's good. And for our ladies listening out there, if you are wondering in terms of etiquette, when you are getting any sort of makeup procedure done at a cosmetic counter it is, unless they tell you ahead of time, you are booking an event or what not and they say we will reserve your spot but there is a $25 minimum purchase, or it is $25 to hold your spot to guarantee that you are going to show up like we are scheduling for you, but you can redeem that in products, unless that is made very clear to you up front that is never expected that you are going to buy a product.
00:05:37 So never, if you don't like what they are using you literally can just say thank you. You can say I want to live with this look for awhile, let me think about it. Please jot down the lipstick, the eye liner, the mascara you used because those will be the items I might come back and buy. And the sales people should get it. The pressure should really stop there. It's not like these items are going away tomorrow.
00:06:03 Speaking of tomorrow, just as a quick aside, I am leaving for my honeymoon.
Desiree Stordahl: Woo-hoo! I'm so jealous.
Bryan Barron: So I'm very excited about that. Yes, yes, me and the husband are headed down to N'awlins.
Desiree Stordahl: And do you have a full agenda or are you guys just going to take it pretty easy?
Bryan Barron: We do have some stuff planned. Neither of us have visited the city before. So, our first full day there we are doing a 2.5 hour walking tour. We have a tour of some of the historic cemeteries planned. We have a tour of the Garden District planned; for those of you not familiar with the city, the Garden District is one of the older neighborhoods in New Orleans with a lot of classic southern homes, many of which have been standing since the mid-1800's and are still occupied today.
00:06:53 We are going on a steamboat cruise, a jazz dinner cruise along the Mississippi River. And other than that we have got some stops we are going to make along the way and probably try to get outside the city for a day. But that's it. The rest I think we are just going to see where the wind blows.
Desiree Stordahl: So we won't have you on the show next week when we are talking about anti-aging makeup tricks in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond, but Paula will be back. At least we will have one of you two here.
Bryan Barron: Yep. Paula's going to be back next week. I haven't told her that next week we should have done one of those embarrassing beauty problems where she is always like, "Oh, I can't talk about that around Bryan."
Desiree Stordahl: That's true. So, speaking of topics, should we get into the night's topic of the seven beauty tools to transform your look?
Bryan Barron: Let's do that.
00:07:45 Desiree, you reminded me before the show that we haven't talked about some new and interesting or infuriating products in awhile. And I did find a couple that I wanted to tell our listeners about. These have been reviewed but they are going through the editing process, so they are not up on Beautypedia yet, but they will be next month. Actually, which is coming up pretty darn quick.
00:08:15 So, one product that we tested recently that was quite impressive is from Good Skin Labs. And it is an Estee Lauder owned brand that is sold at Kohl's Department Stores. For the most part it is a reasonably priced line. They have some great products. This particular one is new. It is called Z-Pore Instant Pore Refiner. It is $24.50 and it is a sheer tinted mattifier that is designed to reduce oily skin and, of course, make your pores look smaller.
00:08:45 And it does work but not to the magical extent that you might think after reading the description on the box. It has that silicone base so it is very silky and it starts out kind of thick, almost like a soft spackle. And you can just kind of smooth it over your skin. It sets to an invisible...well, there is a slight tint, but in terms of how the finish feels you are not going to feel like you just gunked up your skin with product. And it does have a minor filling effect on large pores.
00:09:13 Now, as with any product like this, and there are a few others out there, how long it lasts really depends on two things: how oily your skin is and what other products you are going to apply before or afterwards. With the shine control, the Instant Pore Refiner actually does a pretty good job because it has a really nice powder-like finish. But, just like the pore-filling effect, how long the shine control is going to last really depends on how oily your skin is, and then whatever products you are using along with it.
00:09:43 It is definitely one of those mattifiers that you can pat on over your makeup if you do it very carefully. So, let's say you are touching up mid-day, your nose is shiny, you don't want to necessarily pull out the powder but you want to tone down the shine, you can just dispense a little bit of this, warm it between your fingers and pat it all around your nose and oily areas and within about 10, 20 seconds you will see that shine vanish and the skin will look very smooth and pores will look refined. It's fragrance-free and you can find it at Kohl's.
00:10:18 And the other one I came up with, we have been asked about this quite a bit and not surprising because it is from a big brand. It is from Avon; it is their Anew Genics Treatment Cream. And ultimately it is a fragrance moisturizer in a jar. Jars aren't good. There are some ingredients in this moisturizer than when routinely exposed to light they are definitely going to break down so it is a shame that those good antioxidants and soothing plant extracts aren't going to be as potent as they could be in better packaging.
00:10:54 The whole concept behind the Anew Genics Treatment Cream though is that everyone's skin has a youth gene. So according to Avon's story, over time with accumulated sun damage this youth gene doesn't work as well as it once did because it has become damaged. So this Anew Genics Treatment Cream is said to stimulate the activity of this youth gene and the result is after I think four weeks of use your skin is going to look ten years younger.
00:11:22 Obviously it has a very intriguing premise. Who is showing signs of age wouldn't be intrigued by this at least a little? But what they leave out is that there are thousands of genes responsible for how skin looks, how it repairs itself and how it ages. Certain genes work to stimulate healthy collagen production. There are other genes that stimulate fiber blasts which are the cells in our skin that actually churn out collagen. There are genes that reduce inflammation, help repair skin surface. It is one of those products where they have tried to distill it down to one thing.
00:11:59 You have a youth gene - this product is going to somehow take that gene that has become lazy due to damage and malfunctioning and turn it back on so your skin is healthy. What the Anew Genics Treatment Cream really does because of the ingredients it contains, it has glycolic acid, it is going to exfoliate the skin. It has about 5% of the glycolic acid and the pH is around 3.8 so it is within range for exfoliation to occur. It is an option for normal to dry skin. I would advise against it because of the amount of fragrance, it is quite overpowering.
00:12:34 And the jar packaging isn't going to keep those beneficial extras stable during use. It is fine for the glycolic acid. AHAs do not break down in the presence of light and air. But you can visit Beautypedia and find our list of best AHA exfoliants for some alternatives that are even better and in terms of -
Desiree Stordahl: Or just go to and find them there.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. We have got several AHA exfoliants.
00:13:01 But in terms of stimulating genes, there are lots of ingredients that will do that. There are lots of ingredients that if you are protecting your skin from sun damage, treating it gently, avoiding needless irritants, your skin and the genes that are responsible for good and bad changes will start acting normal again. They will start doing what they are supposed to. If you ignore the importance of sun protection and aren't taking very good care of your skin, those genes will continue to be damaged and over the years will continue to misbehave worse and worse and worse.
00:13:33 So, interesting concept. It is more pseudo-science than fact. Good anti-aging moisturizer. Bad packaging. That's our take on Avon Anew Genics Treatment Cream. Okay, let's talk about seven beauty tools to transform your look. Number one.
Desiree Stordahl: The first one on my list is makeup sponges. Now I was never a fan of makeup sponges until Paula turned me onto them. And I used to just think that they were kind of useless tools, why use them when I could just use my fingers.
00:14:05 I felt my hands were doing a good enough job. But truly makeup sponges, A, save me time, and B, give me more of a flawless finish. When you are using your fingers you can tend to have more of harsh edges and a little bit more of blotchiness. But when you are using a sponge you are really smoothing out all of your foundation and giving it that nice even canvas. And I have actually been turned onto a different type of makeup sponge from the traditional.
00:14:34 Bryan, I think you have seen this product before. It is called the Beauty Blender that is shaped like an egg. Do you know what I am talking about?
Bryan Barron: Yep, I know exactly what you are talking about. I have not tried that myself but I have seen it. It looks cool. I kind of wondered how it could possibly work. I mean looking at something like that versus a traditional flat circular sponge, there is no question that with the Beauty Blender there is a learning curve.
Desiree Stordahl: There is a learning curve but it is actually easier to use than you think. So it has more of a soft squishy feel to it so it can actually adapt and kind of fit in the crevices, like say on the sides of your nose where you have kind of that line between your nose and the skin beneath it. It can actually get in there because it is softer than a regular sponge.
00:15:22 And it also has a pointed tip so it is shaped like an egg or a tear drop. So it has that pointed tip. So you can get smaller areas like say you just wanted to get right under the eye; you can use that pointed tip under there, or for the larger surface areas like your forehead and your cheeks you can use more of the body of the egg-shape to do that. And the tip I learned when I was at the Chicago Makeup Show was that you get it wet, but you just get it damp. You run it under the sink for just a second, you pull it out, you dab it, you kind of squish it between a wash cloth to make sure you get the excess water out.
00:16:01 But that little dampness helps give your foundation a more fresh look to it. It just kind of evens it out and softens it up. It's an interesting technique and I have been using it ever since I learned that. And I have to say I think it works quite well. But whether you are using a traditional makeup sponge or the Beauty Blender, they work better than your fingers. It saves you time, it looks better, so it is a beauty tool that we would recommend.
Bryan Barron: And where do we find the Beauty Blender?
Desiree Stordahl: The Beauty Blender, I actually bought mine while I was at the makeup show in Chicago.
00:16:32 But I went online earlier today and they are sold all over the place. You can definitely order them online. Just Google "Beauty Blender" and you will find them. They are pink and egg shaped colors. I'm sure there are knock-off ones, too, that you can get for less. And the second beauty tool on my list is a clean mascara wand to comb through your lashes and brows. This is also a trick that Paula taught me. And whereas a lash comb that you can buy, it works fine, there is no problem with using one of those but there is no need.
00:17:05 You can take one of your old mascara wands, clean it off really good, dry it out, and that actually works better, I think, than a traditional plastic comb that you buy. The bristles tend to grab onto your hairs more easily and it is just kind of like thinking about when you take your mascara wand when you are applying regular mascara and point it through the lashes, these bristles on the cleaned-off wand will get all of that extra goop off that you have just clumped on, which hopefully you are not using a mascara that is that clumpy.
00:17:35 But it also works great for your eyebrows, to tame them throughout the day.
Bryan Barron: And sometimes even the best mascara is about midway through they start drying out, they are not going on quite as smoothly as they used to but you are not ready to throw it in the trash yet. And absolutely having that type of a lash comb or a lash brush around as a backup is great. My only issue with the cleaned up mascara wand, it's definitely a green move because you are reusing and recycling, however, if you store your brushes in a standard brush pouch or a brush role, the slots that they have for those tend to be too small to stick a mascara wand in that you are using from a mascara because the cap itself, what you hold on to when you apply it, tend to be too bulky.
00:18:27 In that case you can get what is called a Spoolie Brush, and it is essentially the same thing but minus the chunky handle that may not fit into your brush case. If a brush case isn't what you use to store your brushes, if you just keep them out in your vanity, then absolutely an old mascara wand, whatever you like as far as the style is perfect, and you are already buying it anyway.
Desiree Stordahl: Perfect. What's up on your list, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: Well, I need to start out my list with good makeup brushes. I remember when I went from working at the Clinique counter, and this was back in the late 90's before Clinique sold brushes; they do have them now.
00:19:14 But back then they didn't. And when we had to do makeup on people, and Clinique has a huge, huge makeup line. I mean they should have had brushes years ago. We literally had to put makeup on people using Q-Tips, cotton pads, cotton balls, and those little popsicle things where you scrap off the lipstick and then try to take the popsicle scraper with the little nub of lipstick and put it on somebody's mouth. It was almost like a comedy of errors.
00:19:44 And then I moved over to the Prescriptives brand, and they had a full brush set, I was like, oh, hallelujah! I finally have the right tools to start applying makeup and actually have it look good. If you haven't used makeup brushes, especially for eye shadow, if you are still using those little sponge tip applicators that come packaged with your eye shadow, you will be amazed at the artistry and the sophistication that your eye makeup can achieve. I honestly think that one of the reasons that so many women say that they just don't get eye shadow, they can't put it on and look good is because they are using the wrong tools.
00:20:23 And there are all kinds of eye shadow brushes out there, different shapes and sizes. You can find those that work with your preferences, that work with your eye lid size because that is certainly a consideration. You can get a larger brush if you have a larger lid. Smaller brush if you have a smaller lid. The right brushes for doing more detail work. And good makeup brushes are available from several lines. Paula's Choice has them. On the higher end in terms of price point, Shu Uemura, a Japanese Line. Trish McEvoy has probably some of the softest, most elegant brushes that you will find in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
00:21:00 Of course MAC has brushes. There are bad brushes out there, too. And I hate to say it, but they tend to show up the most at the drugstore. The drugstore, by and large, is not the best place to shop for makeup brushes. They tend to be a cheaper quality. The hair either isn't natural or it is not a good grade of natural or if it is synthetic hair it is too cheap and scratchy feeling. And you will know right away. You will get it home and be like my makeup is going on choppy, this feels scratchy, I don't want to put that near my eye again.
Desiree Stordahl: Isn't the Sonia Kashuk brand one of the exceptions though for a drugstore level makeup brush?
Bryan Barron: Yes. Thank you for bringing that up.
00:21:46 The Sonia Kashuk brush line at Target stores is incredibly, probably next to Paula's Choice, it's your best bang for the buck in terms of makeup brushes that are expertly designed and crafted and beautifully soft and full and dense and everything good makeup brushes should be. I also like the Japonesque brand which is sold at some Ulta Stores. And Ulta also has a line called Eco-Tools that have some interesting brushes that are affordable.
00:22:17 So next up on the must have beauty tool list, especially if you have unruly eyebrows, talk about a transformation - tweezers. Men, if you have the unibrow going, if you have stray eyebrow hairs that are going above or below your natural brow line. You don't have to call it plucking. You can call it "Brow Scaping." And of course, in terms of tweezers, I'm definitely speaking more to women because without question women pay a lot more attention to how their eyebrows look than men do.
00:22:46 They are wearing brow makeup or eye makeup and they understand or may have seen what a difference the right eyebrow shape and how you shade the eyebrow can literally affect your face. I will never forget that example, Desiree, from this past summer when we were at the makeup show and we were at a class and the makeup artist started out on this African American model, probably in her early 20s, and all she did was brow.
00:23:15 She just spent time shaping and shading and filling in the brow. It took her longer than I think the average person would want to spend, but do you remember how startling that effect was?
Desiree Stordahl: Oh my gosh, she looked like ten years younger and she already looked young. But it made such a huge difference.
Bryan Barron: It framed her entire face. You wouldn't think, because I mean eyebrows, they are a small part of the face relatively speaking but it is not until you see an example like that that you realize the impact they have. So invest in a good pair of tweezers.
00:23:47 We were talking about this earlier and all of us had a particular style of tweezer that we really liked. I know Desiree says that she has had the same pair for about 15 years and she has lost it a couple of times and then literally almost lost it because she would be beside herself if she didn't have this exact pair of tweezers.
Desiree Stordahl: You know what the funniest part of that whole story is, is that those tweezers were from the Dollar Store. Like I did not go out and spend a lot of money on a pair of tweezers, but these are the perfect tweezers. They just have everything I like. So that was our big conversation is that you really just have to experiment and go out and try a few different pairs.
Bryan Barron: Yes. You will hear Tweezer Man is a man that gets mentioned in fashion magazines a lot and they certainly have a great selection and they are very well made and they stand behind their products. They are pricier, but if you find a pair of Tweezer Man tweezers that you like, they will last a long time.
00:24:42 And again, it is all about finding what type of tweezer works best for you. If you have tried tweezers in the past and found them to be unpleasant I urge you to take another look, especially if you have unruly brows, if the brow gel just isn't cutting it, if your mother-in-law at Thanksgiving says, "Honey, there should be two brows." Take a look at some good tweezers. And it is fine to go visit one of the brow bars at a department store or go to a spa; a lot of spas offer brow shaping services and they will teach you how to do it.
00:25:14 And you can take those lessons home with you and do it yourself and you will feel like a pro. Next up is a comedone extractor. Squeezing a blemish is not a pretty subject. And when you have them, especially if you have a lot of them, the temptation to squeeze them to reduce their size and severity can be almost overwhelming. A lot of us cave in and just kind of have at it and then we end up doing more damage than good to our skin. With a comedone extractor which you can pick up at most beauty supply stores such as Sally Beauty, I have also seen them at Sephora. You can go online and just search for comedone extractor and you will get several Google Shopping results or whatever search engine you use.
00:25:59 We have an informative article on about how to use those. But basically it is all about applying gentle, even pressure, not overdoing it. Giving it a try or two and if nothing happens, this is where you have to be disciplined, you have to stop and move on and try it on another blemish or just try it another day. If nothing happens and you are using the tool correctly the black head or the blemish just isn't ready to budge yet.
Desiree Stordahl: And actually there is a link to that article on our Facebook page right now and there is a photo of what a comedone extractor looks like for anybody who is not quite sure.
Bryan Barron: Oh yeah, we did post that, didn't we?
00:26:43 The other product is a callus remover. It sounds simple and I am not talking about a standard pumice stone but really you want to get one of those, either a foot file. I get calluses on my big toe, both of them, most frequently. And at least once a month I need to sit down with one of those Ped Eggs where for lack of a better description it is like a small cheese grater and you literally just scrape it over the callused areas. And it doesn't hurt because there is a bunch of thick deadened skin there that you just want to get rid of because it is so ugly.
00:27:25 And there is a little reservoir that catches the dead skin shavings. Do that until the callus stops feeling really rough. And if you take it too far you will know. It will hurt and it is possible to overdo it. So if you try one of the Ped Egg type callus removing devices, just take it slow. And before you get too far, stop, and then you can take a foot file that has a rough type texture on it. Something with a metal handle or a solid handle is best in terms of allowing you to control the pressure and not being too much of a strain.
00:28:05 And you just gently glide that back and forth, adjust the intensity of the pressure to what feels comfortable, and then afterwards one of my little tricks that I have been doing that I have actually found prolongs the time I can go between having to do the Ped Egg and all of that other stuff - because honestly, guys don't take very good care of their feet. We just don't. They are easy to cover up with socks. We don't wear open toed shoes that much. But you know when you need to do something about your calluses.
00:28:34 One of the things I have been doing afterwards is I take the Paula's Choice, the Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment which is 10% alpha hydroxy acid, and I soak the entire area after I have done the file with that. Give it about a minute or so to set. And then I will put on our Beautiful Body Butter or any other thick moisturizer that you have, even plain Vaseline or Aquaphor would be fine.
00:29:01 I will put on a pair of socks to keep that all in place and avoid getting the carpet greasy and then sleep in it. And you wake up and your feet are incredibly smooth. And I have noticed that since I have been doing that the calluses take a lot longer to start building up again. So it is a little extra time in the moment but you save time in the long run.
Desiree Stordahl: I think I am going to have to try that tonight.
Bryan Barron: It's awesome. Oh my gosh.
00:29:28 It was kind of a little science experiment and I was so pleased with the results I have kept it up. So, next on the list, in fact this is going to close out the list. Well, we have a few little bonuses we will tell you about in a second. But, a magnifying mirror. This is one of Paula's must-have tools. Ever since she has been using our magnifying mirror - as a little aside, Desiree, I think she has made more trips to the cosmetic dermatologist because when you are looking at your skin ten times magnified, every little flaw is right there.
00:30:01 But, the reason to use it, especially if you were a full face of makeup, and especially if your eye sight is going and maybe you wear glasses but you put your makeup on without glasses. And then they are done and you put your glasses on and you are out the door. So you never really get to see your makeup with your glasses on until maybe mid-day and then you catch yourself in the mirror and you are like, oh, wow, didn't blend there, that looks choppy, that is flaking.
00:30:31 If you check yourself out in the magnifying mirror before you leave the house and scary as it may sound, try to do it in natural light. You will notice things that you missed while you were blending your makeup. And it is important to get those smoothed out. It takes a few extra seconds but the confidence boost it gives you and you can leave the house knowing that your makeup looks great. It isn't sitting there settling into lines. That area along the jaw line has been successfully softly blended. Your blush doesn't have a hard edge to it. Your eye shadows look good.
00:31:06 They don't look like it was a color by numbers job - the light color on the lid, the medium in the crease. They should all be blending together. So you can find...we don't necessarily have a favorite magnifying mirror. That email question has come in quite a bit. Paula honestly can't even remember the one that she bought in terms of who makes it, but there are several companies that make good ones.
00:31:31 You can get five times, ten times, I think they have up to 20 times. And I would urge you to maybe start at a 5x magnification and see what you think about that, or you might be able to find one that is 5x on one side and 10x on the other. So you can start with the less scary side first. But they are an essential tool. I know Paula - Desiree, does she travel with hers? I would imagine she does.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes, she does. And the important thing to remember like Bryan is saying is that you are not doing your entire makeup in that mirror. You are just checking it, you are just making sure that you have blended everything out well and you know every once and awhile you can realize, oh, I have a hair that I needed to pluck. You just catch the little things that you don't necessarily see when you are doing your makeup in your regular mirror.
00:32:16 But don't by any stretch of the imagination try to do your entire makeup in that mirror because you will spend hours trying to perfect it and it is too close. You need to just double check. That is all you are doing with a magnifying mirror.
Bryan Barron: Right. And keep repeating to yourself as you are looking into the magnifying mirror that nobody else is going to see you this close.
Desiree Stordahl: Right, exactly.
Bryan Barron: All right, a couple others that I wanted to mention but we are not going to go into great detail about in terms of beauty tools that can transform your look. A lash curler, whether you use a regular one or a heated lash curler. Again, you can find these at most beauty supply stores or places such as Sephora or Ulta. You use them before mascara, and especially if your lashes are short or if they grow more straight as opposed to having a natural fringe. Lash curlers can be indispensible. They can be a bit tricky to learn how to use, so don't be shy about asking a makeup artist at your favorite cosmetic counter.
00:33:17 Even if you just take them your eye lash curler, say, "Hey, can you show me how to use this? I just don't think I am getting it." When you get the technique down you will be surprised at the difference, especially if your lashes go straight or they grow down or every which way as we sometimes heard. The other product is a portable teeth whitener that is one of our best sellers in the Paula's Choice line. Not technically a tool. It is more of a product, but Brighten Up 2-minute Teeth Whitener, it is a whitening stick that you can apply on the go.
00:33:49 It literally starts working in two minutes. You don't need to use it near a sink. It is safe to ingest and it is awesome to have with you like if you are meeting a friend for coffee because coffee will stain the teeth and you can just excuse yourself real quick and do a little brighten up. Or after you have had a glass of red wine or a meal, let's say you finish a meal with a piece of blueberry pie. Berries are notorious for staining teeth. As wonderful as they are for our health, they are not the best for our teeth. So Brighten Up 2-minute Teeth Whitener is available on
00:34:25 Pretty unique little product and a lot of our customers love that it is portable. You can use it right on the go.
Desiree Stordahl: I keep one in my purse when we go wine tasting. I don't drink red wine but for those who do I keep it in my purse because you know by the end of wine tasting their teeth are just that red/gray stain from all the wine. So that is the perfect little tip and tool for wine tasting.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, and it is a conversation starter when you are there and other people are standing around and instead of talking about the merlot you can say, "This is what I do after I have that merlot. It's fabulous."
Desiree Stordahl: All right.
00:35:01 So we will go to our first caller of the night which is Kathy from California.
Bryan Barron: Hi Kathy, what's going on?
Kathy: Hi, I was calling because I had a question in regards to brush cleaners. I started using a Kabuki flattop brush for my foundation which I really like because it doesn't leave it streaky. But when I clean the brushes --
Bryan Barron: You use a powder foundation?
Kathy: No, I actually use a liquid.
Bryan Barron: Oh okay.
Kathy: Yeah, it leaves a really nice finish. I have been experimenting with that. So that is one of the brushes, even when I clean it with shampoo or just any soap like that, the liquid soap, it just doesn't seem to take it all out. It's still kind of oily.
00:35:50 So what I do is I use a makeup remover, but still, I know there are makeup brush cleaners out there and I just don't know which one you would recommend or if you even recommend them at all.
Bryan Barron: Well most brush cleaners that are not a spray...there are some that are sprays an then there are some that come in a regular squeeze bottle and they look like shampoo almost. They look like shampoo because that is essentially what they are. So, what I am thinking might be happening in your case is perhaps the hand soap that you have been using might have some conditioning agents in it, especially if the hand soap has a pearlized or milky look to it.
Kathy: I'm actually using the V05 shampoo that I use for my hair.
Bryan Barron: Is it a clear shampoo?
00:36:44 Can you see through the bottle?
Kathy: Yeah, it's clear.
Bryan Barron: Okay, all right. And then what foundation are you using?
Kathy: The Revlon ColorStay.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So you are using one of the most tenacious foundations out there. Formerly they were known as ultra-matte foundations. I think today they are called Long-wearing Makeup or Stay Put foundation. Wow. On a brush. Are you attempting to wash after every use?
Kathy: No. No I don't.
00:37:18 I don't know if I should. But I do it like every week, maybe every other week, maybe every two weeks.
Bryan Barron: So try to get in the habit of using like a regular liquid soap such as Dial after every use. But in the meantime, what you might want to do is take a silicon-based makeup remover. I can send you a bottle of Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover.
Kathy: Yeah, I've never used the Paula's Choice one.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So here is what I want you to try. It is a dual-phase product, meaning you are going to see the water phase and then you are going to see the silicon phase which is why you have to shake it before each use.
00:38:05 It's sort of think of like an oil and vinegar salad dressing that you have to shake before you pour it on your salad. Same concept. So shake it before use and then pour a small amount into a shallow bowl. And stand the brush up in the bowl. You don't need to completely submerge it. In fact, you don't want to get the liquid near the point where the brush bristles are attached to the metal piece because prolonged soaking of any type of makeup brush, whether you are soaking it in water or makeup remover or shampoo, that moisture will get inside that part of the brush and it starts to undo the glue that is holding those bristles in place.
00:38:44 So you want to stop short of that but make sure that you are soaking it to the point, really just get the part of the brush that touches your face and gets the most build up from the foundation. Let it sit for maybe 5 or 10 minutes and then dampen it a bit and then take your V05 shampoo or liquid hand soap and just kind of lather it into the bristles and rinse really well.
Kathy: Okay.
Bryan Barron: I'm thinking because the silicon-type makeup removers do a brilliant job of taking off those long-wearing foundations and lip colors, once we put them on our face. And in theory, I haven't tested what I am suggesting, but I suspect it will work well.
Kathy: Yeah, I'll try that.
Bryan Barron: Let me know. And we will send you the Gentle Touch Makeup Remover. Are you using any other Paula's Choice products?
Kathy: Oh yeah. I love the Dual Resist, the one that is like a lightener and a BHA. Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid. I love...I use that. And then the toner and the sunscreen and that's it. The Skin Balancing Toner.
Bryan Barron: The Skin Balancing Toner. So is your skin more normal/oily combination or more normal/dry?
Kathy: It depends. In the winter I get dry in my chin area. But usually I am just oily, normal to oily. Except in the winter, in the chin I'm dry. But, yes, I love those products.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:40:24 So I'm going to send you a couple of other products to experiment with. One is the Skin Balancing Cleanser. That is sort of a soft, creamy, foaming cleanser. Works beautifully to remove makeup. It is the one that Paula uses and she wears that same type of foundation so you should have great luck with that. You can use it twice a day. And our Skin Recovery Toner, I know you mentioned you are using Skin Balancing and it is fine to keep using that, but I was thinking with your comment about your chin area becoming drier in the winter, Skin Recovery is for normal to very dry skin, but for somebody who is more combination is can be a great seasonal product to rotate in during the colder months if your skin is showing signs of dryness that you suspect are related to the weather.
Kathy: Okay, that sounds perfect.
00:41:19 I never experimented with these.
Bryan Barron: Great. And I don't know if we make as much about this as we should with our toners in general, but our toners can be used around the eyes. I like our Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner. I use it as my aftershave. And then the little bit I have left on the cotton pad I will just dab it around my eyes and then finish up my skincare routine.
Kathy: I started using the Pure Mineral sunscreen because I used to use the one for oily skin, and once it gets in your eyes it gets really bad. But the mineral one, I love this mineral one, even though it gets my face white, but that is why I put the foundation over and it ends up blending very, very well.
00:42:02 That's why I use that foundation because it covers real well.
Bryan Barron: It does provide good coverage. Your skincare routine dovetails with Paula's quite a bit. Although Paula has been on a kick lately where she is not wearing...she is going without..and I am not laughing to make fun of it, it is just surprising - she has been going without foundation.
Kathy: Really?
Bryan Barron: Except for when she does television appearances, excepting the most recent appearance on the Dr. Oz Show where nobody was wearing makeup. But, yeah, she has been going without...
Kathy: I saw her do that. But I am Hispanic and my skin is slightly darker. And so when I put that foundation, I'm sorry, the mineral sunscreen, I wish I could just go outside with it because I love the texture on my skin and it looks really good, but it is just white.
00:42:57 And even because it covers so much from the sun, it is even a lot lighter than my neck and my shoulders kind of thing, so it is kind of embarrassing in that sense, because I cover my face so well. But I can't go without foundation just because of the color of my skin. It's like a completely different shade. But, yeah, if I would be able to do that, but it's too light.
Desiree Stordahl: Well thank you, Kathy. I think we need to take another caller because we are running short on time here. So let's go onto Sandra from Connecticut.
Bryan Barron: Hi Sandra.
Sandra: Hi, can you hear me?
Sandra: Terrific, well thank you so much. I'm a huge fan and I want to thank you for taking my call. I've been using the Skin Recovery line for many years. I have very dry skin and it's been great. But actually I am calling about my daughter who is now 15 and she does not have dry skin. She does not have oily skin either. We live here in Connecticut and it gets kind of cold.
00:44:03 But she has been getting a little bit of bumps on her skin and she has had a little bit of scarring. It's not too bad but she is quite sensitive about it. And she does not have oily skin at all. She can even use the Skin Recovery Cleanser but she is still getting these bumps. We have been using some benzoyl peroxide. It dries out her skin too much and irritates it and we just haven't found a solution for her to have smooth skin and I really just don't know what to do about it.
Bryan Barron: Okay, so a few questions for you.
00:44:34 Is your daughter picking at her skin? Is she picking at the bumps?
Sandra: Yes.
Bryan Barron: So that most likely is contributing to the scarring. And so first and foremost, and I know it is almost impossible to not pick at something like that when you are seeing it on your face every day, but you really, really need to try to not do it, especially when you are on the road to making those bumps go away.
00:44:59 What can happen, technically it is not a scar. It is what is called post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation. And it is a left-over mark can happen as part of a blemish's healing process. And it can also result from trauma. And when we are picking at those little bumps or blemishes on our skin and digging in with our nails or with tweezers or whatever tools we have, I have heard stories of people using hot needles. Ooh, oh my gosh.
00:45:29 It can cause trauma that basically causes an inflammatory response that can stimulate either excess blood flow to the area or excess melanin production in people who have darker skin tones. So the end result is either a flat brown mark, or tan to brown mark depending on the person's skin tone, or a pink to red mark. I'm wondering, are the bumps that your daughter has flesh colored or white?
Sandra: Yes, they tend to be more flesh colored.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:46:01 I'm almost certain that what she is dealing with is what is called a whitehead or a closed comedone. And it is a type of breakout but it is not the type of breakout that is related to bacteria. So, the benzoyl peroxide isn't going to do much good because essentially what she is dealing with is a clogged pore that instead of being open and exposed to air, in which case it turns back and you have a blackhead or an open comedone.
00:46:33 What happens is right at the opening of the pore that opening is covered by a very thin layer of skin. So you have got the clogged pore and it has a little, for lack of a better description, a little hat on it. And so that hat is very stubborn. And it is why those white bumps, once you have them, they can be difficult to get rid of. But, with patience it can be done.
00:47:00 Is she using one of our beta hydroxy acid exfoliants?
Sandra: I had gotten the beta hydroxy, I think the gel, and she found that irritated her skin and she stopped using it. It was the clear gel.
Bryan Barron: I'm going to have Desiree send you our Clear Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner which has 2% salicylic acid. It's in a different base formula than the gel. And I'm hoping that your daughter's skin will be able to tolerate that and she will actually find it soothing.
Sandra: That's terrific.
00:47:40 And if she has a few little blackheads, I don't think she has much, but she can still use that same toner?
Bryan Barron: Yes. And in terms of usage, once it arrives I suggest she use it morning or evening and then maybe for the first couple of weeks until she knows how her skin is going to react, once every other day as opposed to daily. And another suggestion would be for her to just is okay to use it all over, but if she is a little nervous she can just apply it to the white bumps or to blackheads and just restrict it to that area.
Sandra: Can you give me a recommendation for what she would use to wash her skin and whether or not she would put anything on after the toner?
Bryan Barron: In terms of washing the skin, a gentle water-soluble cleanser would be fine. It doesn't need to have any sort of scrub properties to it. These bumps can't be scrubbed away. Again, that is another risk factor for scarring.
00:48:41 Paula's Choice, in terms of normal skin, I like to recommend the Moisture Boost One-Step Face Cleanser versus Skin Balancing because I think Skin Balancing is a bit more thorough. And for someone who has normal skin all over, I think the Moisture Boost is a better option. So we can send you a regular sized bottle of that for her, too.
Sandra: Thank you so much. That's very kind of you. I really appreciate it. And afterwards does she use any moisturizer or just use the toner and let it dry?
Bryan Barron: She can skip the moisturizer unless she has some dry patches.
00:49:19 If she uses a moisturizer at all it could be a lightweight one. And an option that she could try because we have gotten some wonderful feedback about from women about it fading, those marks, that it happened after a blemish goes away or after too much picking is our Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. Hopefully, tell her to not be put off by the anti-aging in the name. It is not a question of is she too young to start using such products.
00:49:54 And the same thing with the Clear Toner because it has the word acne in it. I don't think what she is dealing with is acne but the active ingredient in that product is most likely what is going to be her best option for minimizing these bumps. And then lastly -
Sandra: Yes, please.
Bryan Barron: If her skin doesn't respond or reacts negatively to the 2% salicylic acid toner, the other option is to consider seeing a dermatologist or a skilled aesthetician who can lance and drain the contents of those clogged pores.
00:50:32 It sounds more painful than it is but it does work quite well. They will know what to do in terms of extracting the content. And then over time in a week or so the bumps will start to flatten out and fade. And then something to do in terms of regular exfoliation would be great and if she is determined after using the salicylic acid toner that maybe salicylic acid isn't playing nicely with her skin then you could have her try an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliant.
Sandra: Okay, that's very good. Thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: All right, Sandra. Hopefully those will work great for her. Thanks for calling.
Sandra: Thank you very much.
Desiree Stordahl: All right Our next caller is Brenda from Texas.
Bryan Barron: Hi Brenda.
Brenda: Hi, how are you?
Bryan Barron: I'm doing okay. What's on your mind?
Brenda: My question is, with all of the different mineral makeups that there are, each one, a lot of them tend to have their own special brushes to use to make it work better.
00:51:37 Do you need to use their own special brushes or can you use any brush?
Bryan Barron: You absolutely can use any brush that you feel comfortable with. I have seen some mineral makeups that come with good brushes and then some that I just know right away that most women will not feel comfortable using them, mostly because they tend to pack on too much product.
00:52:05 The brush makes it very easy to pick up too much powder, even if you are being careful, and unless you are really good about knocking off that excess which, again, can create a mess, especially if it is picking up too much, you end up with too much makeup applied to one area. One of the drawbacks of mineral makeup, it can depend on the formula, but one of the drawbacks of any loose powder type foundation is that it can grab the areas that are more moist than others.
00:52:38 So it is best really applied to dry skin or skin that has been treated with maybe a matte finish primer. So it is whatever brush you are comfortable using. I would suggest experimenting with and maybe having two brushes around for regular use. One could be -
Brenda: I was told by a company that my makeup wasn't looking right because I wasn't using their brushes.
Bryan Barron: Oh goodness. Well did they recommend a brush and then show you how to use it and then did you like the result?
Brenda: No, I still didn't like the result. I couldn't do it right.
Bryan Barron: And that's what counts, isn't it?
00:53:29 I mean if you can't reproduce what they are showing you at the counter, even with practice, or even if you can and you just don't think it looks right, then absolutely you need to chuck that advice and change it up. So in terms of the two brushes, try using a regular full-size fluffy powder brush. We will send you our Paula's Choice Regular Powder Brush. Very soft. And that type of brush would be great for those times when you just want a sheer dusting or a softer look.
00:54:02 And then you could use a fuller brush with more dense bristles for those times when you want to experiment and maybe get a little bit more coverage. And you might find on a daily basis you like using both brushes because you can use the dense bristle brush that is more firm for those areas you need a bit more coverage, and then you can finish the rest of your face with the regular powder brush.
Brenda: Okay, thanks sounds awesome then.
Bryan Barron: And check out, in terms of those dense brushes I was mentioning, Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy has a good one. Both of those, they are a little on the pricey side. Bobbi Brown has a pretty good one, too, if you wanted to take a look at her line.
00:54:47 You will probably pay anywhere from upper $30s to mid $40s for the type of brush I am talking about. However, unless you lose it, it will last. It will last. Wash it every now and then, if it starts getting a little gunky, but it will hold up well. Brushes are a great investment. Definitely something where I think you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money but if you are in the mood to splurge on something, brushes are a good way to go.
Brenda: Yeah, I have the more...well, I have oily skin. And I have been using the Paula's Choice, the one for oily skin, I lose my train of thought.
Bryan Barron: The Skin Balancing?
Brenda: Yes, Skin Balancing. I have been using that. And before I was going to order anymore I was wanting to know, because I am 44, so should I be more concerned about...I don't know if there was anything in the Resist line that is for people with oily skin or if that is mainly for people with dry skin? I have a little bit of the fine lines.
Bryan Barron: That is a question that we get on an almost daily basis.
00:56:00 Because the Resist line has definitely attracted a lot of attention and there are some wonderful products in that line. On balance, Resist is more for someone with normal to dry skin. We are working on some upcoming formulas and eventually we will have Resist for normal to oily skin. I don't have any more specifics than that, but the product development team here at Paula's Choice has heard your requests. And there are some products in Resist right now that you could absolutely use. One of my favorites, and I have normal to oily skin, too, is the daily smoothing treatment with 5% alpha hydroxy acid.
00:56:45 Great daily exfoliant. If you want to just use it once at night that's fine. It actually provides some pretty good hydration all on its own. So I don't use it with a moisturizer most days. But you can. That would be a good one.
Desiree Stordahl: And also the Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator could be for oily skin as well, correct?
Bryan Barron: Yes, that is the Resist product that was specifically created that we actually have right now for normal/oily combination skin. And let's send Brenda one of those, too. And the other Resist product that is really for all skin types is the Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate. Or the Barrier Repair Moisturizer which is our other moisturizer in the Resist line.
00:57:34 Let's start you with the Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator, see what you think of the results and that texture. If you find the anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator, if you are thinking, "I wish this just gave me a little bit more moisture," then give our customer service team a call and tell them you would like to be sent some samples of the Barrier Repair Moisturizer.
Brenda: Now do I need to go ahead and order more of my, I keep losing my train of thought on it. Skin Balancing? Do I need to go ahead and order more of that and use more of that?
Bryan Barron: Are you using the Skin Balancing Cleanser and Toner and all of that?
Brenda: The set, the cleanser, the toner, the 2% exfoliators, the mattifier, and the serum.
Bryan Barron: Brenda, I'm sorry, I have to wrap up.
00:58:36 The quick answer to your question is that I think you can sub out the Skin Balancing Moisture Gel in that set for the Resist product that we are going to send you. But I would encourage you to give our customer service team a call tomorrow or this weekend and they can help you fine tune your routine. You can tell them what we discussed and they will help you with the appropriate replacements. Okay Brenda?
Desiree Stordahl: All right. Brenda is gone.
00:59:05 But that was a great show, Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Thank you, Brenda. I apologize for having to cut that short. But we have about a minute left. Let's really quickly go over the shows in the next few weeks. Next Thursday, November 3, Paula and Desiree are going to be telling you about anti-aging makeup tricks that you can use in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. You are going to learn about what works and what doesn't. How your makeup should change as your skin changes. And what looks just might not be working for you anymore.
00:59:36 On November 10 we are going to be talking with our special guest, Seattle area cosmetic surgeon Dr. Baxter. And this is going to be an interesting topic; I think a lot of you will enjoy this. Targeted solutions for spider veins, cellulite, chest rejuvenation, and more. On the 17th we are going to talk about what your skin problems might be telling you about your health.
00:59:57 Thank you so much for listening this evening. I'm Bryan Barron with Desiree Stordahl for "Be Beautifully Informed" with Paula Begoun and the Cosmetics Cop Team. Be sure to come visit us at and Good night.
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