Let Your Hair Down in the Open Thread

Published in: Just For Fun

Wanna ask about these weird chickens? Go right ahead!

I’ve met so many cool people through blogging. Back when I started in 2007, one of the things I wanted was a place where friends could get together and chat over coffee (about more than just makeup), and I’ve been trying to think of new ways to help us connect.


Since I love chatting in the comments, I thought it might be fun to try something called an open thread, which is basically a post where we can talk about absolutely anything. You can chat and ask questions about makeup (“Can anybody recommend a cheap volumizing mascara that doesn’t smudge?”), talk about your blog/site, post links to pictures of your pets, share poetry, rants/raves — basically whatever you’d like to talk about or ask.

I think everybody needs a little unstructured playtime once in a while. Also, please feel free to reply to each other’s comments (but I’ll be here too!).

If you like this idea, maybe we can make it a weekly thing. 🙂

Chat with you soon!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 163 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Catherine says:

    Hehehe, how fun!

    So, I got over my sinus infection/cold in a RECORD two days!! These sorts of things usually take me out for over a week, so it’s practically a miracle! I am fully convinced that it’s because of the zinc and D3 supplements I’ve been taking to help with my cystic acne (they’ve helped with that too!) since they’re both immune system boosters.

    *****Please talk to your doctor before starting one of these though, they can both be poisonous if you take too much of them. =/

    Also, zinc competes with copper and iron for absorption sites, so it’s usually recommended that if you take zinc you also take copper and iron supplements, but at different times of day. Iron deficiency can be a cause of dry flaky lips! I’ve always known that I’m somewhat iron deficient because cuts can take a long time to heal even though I take vitamin C regularly, but the last few days my lips have been wayyyyyy flakier and drier than normal and aren’t getting better (I typically have dry lips during finals since I have this awful habit of picking at them, but they usually bounce right back).

    So… I just wanted to share, and now I’m looking for an iron supplement that won’t upset my stomach too much. Any recs, anyone?

    Also, I’m looking for a new bronzer for spring/summer! I have the MAC Golden Nectar highlight powder, but it’s a little on the yellow side and SO pigmented. I have to use a stippling brush really carefully with it and the sparkliness is a little crazy (though, from greater than 14 inches away it gives this gorgeous soft-glow instead of sparkle). I’m around MAC NC30 and I LOVED BE’s Warmth, but am allergic to it. ;_; Any recs?

    Aaaaand, I can’t wait ’till I move to SF for school next year! 😀
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Bright Fuchsia FOTD, R&R X-Rated & MAC Impassioned =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Catherine,

      I’ve noticed that when I take zinc supplements the moment I feel a cold coming on it seems to really help. What supplements are you taking? I like Cold Eeze.

      As for a new bronzer, I really like NARS Laguna, Benefit Hoola and Sonia Kashuk’s Bronzer in Golden.

      • Catherine says:

        Ooh, I’m just taking the regular CVS brand chelated zinc and the D3 softgels (heard those were better than a tablet since D3 is fat soluble). I also started taking vitamin C and B complex daily and I’m not sure if it’s just placebo effect or not, but I have been feeling a lot fresher and more energized during the day. And if they aren’t working those two are water soluble so no harm in taking them anyway. =) It is kind of annoying to take so many everyday, and some of those tablets are HUGE… but so far I’m impressed so I guess I’ll just keep taking them lol.

        I was recommended the zinc and B complex (B3 in particular) to help with the hormonal cystic acne I’ve been having since last quarter and I’ve been taking it for … about 2-3 weeks now? I think I’ve really seen a difference! I’m still getting a few pimples here and there, but a whole lot less than I used to and mostly ones that have come to a head not the annoying cystic ones (and I was getting like 5-7 a week of those, continuously!). I’ve also been using a salicylic acid/retinol topical and a vitamin C serum.

        At first I didn’t see much of an effect from the salicylic acid/retinol on the cystic acne (Neutrogena’s Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish), but it did help with blackheads and clogged comedones, and even with the zinc + B complex the cysts slowed down but kept coming, but when I added the vitamin C serum (Avalon Organics Sensitive Skin serum) and D3, it was like magic! Shrunk all my existing cysts in two nights and I’ve only gotten one since (and they heal a lot faster). 😀

        & thanks for the bronzer recs! 😀
        .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Bright Fuchsia FOTD, R&R X-Rated & MAC Impassioned =-.

        • Solé says:

          What is it about school that brings on the cystic acne? I’m 32 years old and did not have any skin problems as a teen. Now that I’m back in school after all these years, my face has exploded. Not pretty. I figure it’s the stress and lack of sleep. I’m aiming to sleep more, manage my time better, and stay hydrated this quarter.

          I find that cleansers with glycolic acid tend to help, although salicylic acid can be a bit harsh. I take a B12 supplement and a multi-vitamin, and I agree that the B-12 does give an extra energy boost. I’m going to try the zinc and B-3 as well. Thanx for the tips. 😀

          • Karen says:

            I had decent skin as a teen but had terrible cystic acne on my cheeks when I started college… it was really bad when I was 18-19. I remember reading that heredity is a component, but external factors like stress/lack of sleep can play a big part too.

          • Liza says:

            I’m a grad student and I never experienced cystic acne until I started my master’s degree. Ugh, I wasn’t expecting that side-effect of school! Have you had any luck with topical products?

          • Catherine says:

            Oh I totally agree! Stress, lack of sleep, along with poor diet and lack of exercise (which I think are commonly side effects of being too busy and stressed out) really mess with your hormones and those factors affect acne more than anything else, probably.

            It’s actually really sad… because Fall Quarter was the toughest we’ve had yet for the kids in my track (I’m a bioengineering major) and afterwards, quite literally everyone’s skin looked way worse than before… I definitely wasn’t the only one that suffered. =/
            .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Editor’s Closet =-.

          • Amber says:

            I just have to chime in because my skin went all to hell in my mid-20s while I was working full-time and doing a master’s in engineering! I saw an excellent derm religiously for a while. She had me on monthly TCA peels and retin-A.

            Then I moved far away and wanted to see if I could replicate the results without spending as much time and money as I had with monthly appointments. I have had great success with PTR’s Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads and Dermadoctor’s Poetry in Lotion.
            .-= Amber’s last blog post… French Connection swimsuit cover-up =-.

      • Karen says:

        Ooh, I notice a huge diff when I consistently take vitamin C! I have sorta fallen off the wagon from drinking Emergen-C every day (love the raspberry one), but when I remember to drink it I feel much more peppy.

        What neighborhood are you thinking about moving to?

        • Catherine says:

          I’m not sure yet… but I’ve heard good things about Sunset? I kinda want to be near one of the UCSF campuses so I can take their shuttle to and from Mission Bay (but I really don’t want to live at Mission Bay – just nothing out there yet lol). I was thinking somewhere near Parnassus.
          .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Editor’s Closet =-.

        • Karen says:

          I used to live out in the Sunset. Trust me, it ain’t sunny out in the Sunset. It’s really, REALLY cold and foggy, especially in the summer.

          It’s kinda nice to be by the beach, though.

          • Catherine says:

            LOL. I know. ;_; I lived in Richmond District for my internship (in the dorms for that Jesuit University) and we were really close to Parnassus campus (20 minute walk?) but the weather there SUCKED.

            Happily, by 11am the sun burned off the fog where I worked at Mission Bay campus so I actually got really pretty weather during the day for most of the summer. I was really lucky lol.

            Where else would you recommend looking? I’m hoping to be able to stay down here for the summer and keep working on the project I’m on now, and move up right at the start of September.
            .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Editor’s Closet =-.

          • lexi says:

            I lived in the Sunset too – outer 45th Ave and also central Kirkham/20th. I miss living there actually I just don’t miss the N Judah train or driving 19th avenue during rush hour traffic!!

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Karen
    What are your favorite bronzey-type eye shadows? I have tons of MAC browns/neutrals as well as more vibrant colors, but not alot of bronze. I’m looking for ideas for summer bronzey smokey eyes. Would love any ideas!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle!

      A few bronzy MAC eyeshadows I like: Amber Lights, Honey Lust, Honesty and Bronze. There’s also Pink Bronze pigment, which I don’t own, but I’ve played with it before and remember really liking it.

      Dunno if you’re a Chanel kinda girl, but you also might like the Variations quad, too:

      Chanel Variations Quad

      Oh, and Urban Decay makes some really fantastic shimmery bronzes. Try Baked and Half Baked. You can see swatches here!

      Ladies, would love to hear your favorite bronze shadows!! Jump on in with your recs!

    • Marce says:

      I love bronze-y shadows! Do you have Woodwinked, Bronze or Antiqued? They’re so pretty!
      .-= Marce’s last blog post… EOTN – Sparkly Golden Black + Tagged! =-.

  3. Amber says:

    I need a bronzer rec for an N4 who is scared of bronzer! I’m going to Hawaii this summer and might do a *little* tanning, but I’m keeping SPF30 on my face and I don’t want to look completely crazy two-toned in photos or when we go out at night.
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… French Connection swimsuit cover-up =-.

  4. Sonja says:

    Hello Karen!

    What a great idea, this post…but what to write about…hmhmh. I”ve been super bored lately. Writing final thesis is not that amusing. Though I did have 2 minor car crashes in 2 days (wasn’t my fault in neither of them). Funny enough, I had only started driving after 5 years- and on my first day I was truck toad home (is that the expression?)

    What more to say…it’s been rather sunny and warm here lately- true Mediterranean weather!
    BTW, do the sell Laura Mercier in Netherlands? I want to by that Oil Free Tinted moisturizer and I’m soon going there sooo…

    Also, am I the only person in the universe who finds applying mascara more difficult than nuclear physics?? I tried a ”fast, simple-just mascara and go” look yesterday and It took me twice the time, and I poked myself in the eye with the wand twice, and had mascara everywhere! Eyeliner is super easy, applying mascara- death!

    Aaaanyway. That’s about it from me. Hope you are all great!!

    • Karen says:

      I’ve always wondered if Laura Mercier’s line was global. Can readers from the Netherlands confirm if it’s sold there?!? I’d love to know too!

      As for the mascara, what does the brush look like? I find some brushes are more user friendly for those on-the-go moments!

      • Sonja says:

        I know it’s sold in Uk, but not so sure about Netherlands. I know i didn’t see it in Italy either- I love inspecting foreign Sephoras!

        I love DiorShow mascaras, and also use Voluminous by L’oreal, but I always make a mess of myself. And let’s not even get started on using a curler- torture device!

      • Karen says:

        Oh, I like the brushes on those too. I find them relatively easy to handle.

        Hmm, have you heard of the business card trick? Basically you pop a business card behind your lashes and use that to protect your lid from getting any mascara on it. Dunno if it helps with the whole poke-your-eye-out thing, but it certainly makes things less messy.

    • iben says:

      Hey 🙂

      They don’t sell Laura Mercier in the Netherlands. We don’t have Laura Mercier here in Denmark either :/ As Sonja said, they do sell Laura Mercier in England. I think there might be a chance of finding a Laura Mercier counter in Berlin’s Kaufhaus des Westens, seeing as they carry a lot of hard-to-find brands, like NARS & Benefit.

      I’ve been using DiorShow mascaras for years but the classic DiorShow can be kinda hard to use. I would recommend Lancôme’s Hypnôse, it’s great and I think it’s easy to use.

  5. DonnaN says:

    Karen, what a fun idea……I’m just sitting at home today, Kona (our dog) is snoozing on the carpet below me and I’m re-watching the HBO Miniseries “Band of Brothers” ON-DEMAND until around 8pm, when I will watch the new Discovery Channel miniseries, LIFE and then at 9pm, the second episode of HBO’s THE PACIFIC. Yes, I know…..I’m a geek! But what else would you expect from a former History major. The History Channel/Discovery Channel and Science Channels are major staples in this household!

    I’m only 7 days from SURGERY Day!! It really has snuck-up on me….I’m ready, but I’m not “ready”, if that makes sense. Work this week should be pretty easy….since I’m not doing any new projects, I’m just gonna try to complete as many wedding files that I have open, just to make my open worklog easier for my department to manage.

    So, since I’m gonna be home recouperating from the surgery for about a month, I want to get my legs in shape for warmer weather. Can anyone recommend a good exfoliator and moisterizer for the legs?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna,

      Oh, how I wish I took more history classes in college!

      Also, wow, I remember us talking about your surgery months ago! How are you feeling about it? Nervous, excited?

      I just did a super-duper exfoliating session last night with Bliss Blood Orange Sugar Scrub on my bod and feet and it was soooo good! I love the citrus scent and how soft my skin feels after I use it. Too bad it isn’t cheaper (it’s $36, but the tub is huge).

      Anybody else have any good exfoliators/moisturizing recs?

      • Amber says:

        Soap & Glory’s sugar scrub smells delicious. DDF glycolic body lotion is really, really nice, but a little pricey (I tried it to treat KP — worked fantastic on my legs, but not that impressive on my arms, where nothing works).
        .-= Amber’s last blog post… French Connection swimsuit cover-up =-.

        • yiota says:

          I actually really like Lush’s products.. they have an exfoliator called Ocean Salt that can be used on the body and the face!

        • Karen says:

          Oooh, so after many years of NOT being crazy about Lush (I find a lot of the scents overwhelming), I finally found a product that I REALLY LOVE! It’s called Coco Lotion. Does anybody else use it?

          Normally I don’t like stuff that comes in a tub, but for this lotion I don’t mind.

        • Karen says:

          Also, I want to try that Soap & Glory Sugar Scrub. I gotta pop by Target to get some cat food, so maybe I’ll pick that up today!

    • DonnaN says:

      Karen, I’m both excited and nervous at the same time. I have to be at the hospital by 5am on Monday, the 29th…..the surgery is at 7:30am ET and lasts between 70-90 minutes. ….I get to stay, in patient until Wednesday morning and then am home recouperating.

      I’ve got some last-minute stuff to get between then and now…..I have to find a 500 mcg sublinguel dose of B-12 …Walgreens only carries it in a 2500 mcg dose. Next weekend my girlfriend Cana and I are going for pedicures (well mine will be a NO POLISH pedi—as per surgical instructions, no polish on hands or toes. I also have to get groceries in the house for hubster and the stuff I will need to eat after I get home from the hospital. YAY!!

      I am definately thinking about that Bliss scrub….I love the smell of Blood Orange! The Soap and Glory might be better on the wallet, but I’ve been really disappointed with my local TARGET and how poor of a job they do in keeping the S&G products stocked….every time I am there, there is hardly any product. The Lush stuff sounds nice too, but it also can be pricey!

      • Karen says:

        How exciting! I know you’ve been waiting a long time, and now it’s finally here.

        With all the prep work you’re doing, it sounds like everything will go smoothly. 🙂 Oh, and I’m glad to hear you’re going to get a little beauty on with your pedi before you go in!

        That’s lame that your Target doesn’t keep the Soap & Glory stuff on hand… it’s such good stuff!

  6. happybadfish says:

    Hello everyone!
    I am a NC15 with light red hair. I am in a major blush rut. I wear Buff (mac) everyday, with every makeup look. Any recommendation?? Brand doesn’t matter.

    • Karen says:

      I’d like to hear some recs too. I’d definitely like to learn more good colors for the pale beauties!!

    • Calliope says:

      NC means yellow undertones, if I recall correctly. I’d recommend BeneFit’s Georgia Peach blush. It’s a true blue peachy blush, and with warm undertones it’d look especially divine. Or Dallas. Bobbi Brown’s Cabana Corals may be nice, especially if it skews a little bit peachy. Calypso Coral immediately comes to mind.

      Responding to Karen’s comment below, I can totally recommend some good things for pale beauties, seeing as I’m white as a fish belly and pink as a….pink thing. I’m NW 15, for reference.

      I avoid NARS Orgasm-tried it once and I looked Orange, I’m far too pink for it to flatter me. I prefer Angelika. Sonia Kashuk’s sheer tint in Peony is gorgeous on NW 15 skin. Also, Revlon’s matte lipstick in Pink Pout gives the perfect sweet pink flush. Yes, I use lipsticks as blush. What of it? 😉 Essentially, any blue based red or pink would be perfect for a pale girl with pink/cool undertones. This goes for blushes and lippies.

      Word of the wise: If you’re very, very Northern European, colors marked or associated with the words “Sun”, “Peach”, “Orange,” and “Rust” will murder your complexion. This goes for clothing as well. Except yellow. If you have dark hair and pink undertones wear yellow. Often. But I digress, back to cosmetics!

      If you’re super pale and super ruddy, I recommend Physician’s Formula’s green Complexion Corrector Palette. It neutralizes the ruddiness in your skin and leaves a nice base for foundation/tinted moisturizer. Apply moisturizer generously prior to application, it’s a rather drying powder.

      I know nothing about bronzer, I avoid them like the plague.

      What else do you want to know?

      • Karen says:

        Great recs!

        I also want to know good lipsticks/glosses for pale girls. I have friends who always ask for colors and I’d love to give them some shade recommendations. 😀

        • Calliope says:

          M’kay. 😀

          Pink Pout (Revlon Matte)
          Vintage Wine (Cover Girl Continuous Color Lipstick)
          Moka (Cover Girl CC Lipstick, but it’s rather difficult to find)
          Lollipink (Maybelliene Shinylicious)

          Department Store:
          Viva Glam Gaga
          Viva Glam Cyndi (I was surprised, honestly!)
          MAC’s Rose Maiden (a beige-y rose-y color)
          MAC’s Impassioned (Super bright super fab Fushia!)
          MAC’s Ruby Woo (Which I’ve tried on a million times but have never bought. It’s a matte reddish blue. In small doses, it’s nice on the cheeks)
          BeneFit My Treat lipstick (a vivid blue based rose)
          BeneFit Jing-A-Ling (a rather warm, yet pale pink. Oodles of shimmer)
          BeneFit Frenched (it’s red, but blue based and GORGEOUS).
          Tarte’s Lip Stains in Amused and Charmed. I prefer the latter more, but both work on the pale and pink.

          I’m still searching for the perfect blue based siren Marilyn Monroe lipstick. That I will probably never get the guts to wear out of the house but nonetheless want. 😉

          Hope this helps!

    • Catherine says:

      Ooh, look into the Shu Uemura Glow On blushes if you haven’t already – they’re really lovely! Pigmented, but easy to work with. I know a lot of pale girls love them for that reason. They’re way nicer than NARS in my opinion.

      I’d recommend looking at P Wine 25 (it’s actually a very pretty neutral bright pink with a gorgeous pearlized finish) and P Peach 47 (sheerer, but very natural and pretty). =)
      .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Rock & Republic Cosmetics on Editor’s Closet =-.

    • Steph B says:

      I’m also very pale and not very adept at blush because it always looks too dark and fake. I recently got MAC Pinch of Peach and just love it. It is a pinky-coral, not really peach. I find it works well with warm and cool eyes/lips. Seems to take on the dominant tone of the rest of my makeup.

      • Marce says:

        Peachykeen is gorgeous too! It looks so pretty, on light, medium and dark skin! It’s a bright pink with peach tones and gold shimmer (really subtle!) but on the skin it gives a peachy glow. I recommend it! 😀
        .-= Marce’s last blog post… EOTN – Sparkly Golden Black + Tagged! =-.

        • happybadfish says:

          ohmygosh, thanks so much everyone!

          Whenever I buy foundation they always color match me to a NC15, but I have pink undertones, very pink! So, should I be NW???? So confusing!!!

  7. yiota says:

    I’m sort of new to liquid liner and I like wearing it this season since it’s in style (check Gaga’s Telephone music video!!) I’ve been wanting to try out gel liner..could you suggest me some good ones that aren’t all that expensive? I’m debating between the buxom lashliner and mac’s. Thanks!

    • happybadfish says:

      Mac is good, and so is Stila smudge pot. If you are Canadian you should try Joe Fresh liquid pen liner. It is 8$ and really good. I also use my Stila eye kajal with a eyeliner brush and it looks just like gel liner.

    • Kypris says:

      I really like the MAC fluidline (I use blacktrack) but as that’s the only one I’ve ever used, I can’t really compare to any others! I find it quite easy to use though, and it always gives a clean look!

    • Karen says:

      I hadn’t seen the vid yet (I know!), so I looked it up on youtube. Here it is for the ladies who haven’t seen it, either:


      You’re right, Gaga’s liner = FIERCE!

      I would go with MAC Blacktrack Fluidline for that look. You can also try LORAC’s Front of the Line Pro, which is my favorite felt-tipped pen liner, ever.

  8. Karen says:

    Not really beauty related, but over the past three days I’ve been full on obsessed with watching Kitchen Confidential!

    Does anybody else like this show?

    • Sonja says:

      I absolutely ADORE the book, but the show seems kind of diluted! But Bourdains writing, and the book itself is…I have no words-I made all my friends read it, it’s so fierce and funny and crazy and…read!

    • Karen says:

      Oooh, Kitchen Nightmares is with Chef Gordon Ramsey, not Anthony Bourdain. The names sound really similar though!

      I watched one of Bourdain’s shows once and didn’t really like it. I find him abrasive … and in the ep I happened to watch it seemed he was really rude to the local people. I guess that’s his schtick, though.

  9. stacey says:

    so what’s everyone doing this week? i have lots of assignments for university but tomorrow i am going shopping in the morning for inglot and illamasqua, going to create some palettes of my own at inglot and then after shopping i will do my work 😀

    • Karen says:

      What Illamasqua things are you gonna get?

      This week, in addition to the regular work stuff I gotta get done, I have a few housekeeping things I need to cross off my list: make an appointment to get my roots done, clean up my workspace (looks like a tornado hit!), try a few new salads (now that it’s getting warmer I eat them more often) and work out. I still have a Jillian Michaels cardio DVD I got for Christmas that I need to open up.

  10. Solé says:

    Hi Karen! This is my week off between winter and spring quarters, and I was planning on visiting my family during spring break. Unfortunately, there was a mixup with my financial aid/student loan disbursement, and my spring tuition fees were paid twice. So…I’m going to school tomorrow to see if I can clear this thing up. I’m hoping I can still travel, but if not, I’m going to stay home and play with spring makeup looks all week (when I’m not transcribing (part-time typing gig), that is). School is going well. In fact, if not for the financial problems, life would be very good right now.

    I really like this idea, by the way. If not for the fact that I’m typing all my comments from my phone (until they turn my Internet back on), I’d be participating even more.

    • Karen says:

      I used to do transcribing gigs back in the day! Do you use the machine with a foot pedal thingy to rewind/fast forward? It makes everything easier.

      Bummer about the tuition mix up, but I’m glad to hear that school is going well for you. If you don’t end up traveling, at least you’ll get some good time in to relax, right?

  11. Katrina S. says:

    Hey everyone! I was looking around and found a coupon for a couple of dollars off of any Covergirl product… Any suggestions on what to spend it on?

  12. Tabs says:

    Ladies of MBB,

    This is Tabs.

    I would like you to tell me about your kittehs.

    Name, age, fur color?

    Inquiring tabby minds want to know.

    P.S. Got a pic? POST IT!

    .-= Tabs’s last blog post… Kitty Spotlight: Hugo from the Netherlands =-.

  13. Jacks says:

    Hey everyone!

    This is a cool idea Karen, hope you do more open thread posts in the future!

    I’ll be traveling to San Diego in May with my BFFs and I am SUPER excited! I haven’t gone on a real vacation since my age was in single digits! I was wondering if you or anyone else had any suggestions for attractions/things to see while we’re down there? We’re already planning to hit up SeaWorld and the Zoo (and Jollibee, if everything works out, LOL). Nothing too crazy expensive though, since we’re poor college kids.

    Thanks! Hope to hear from y’all soon!

  14. Lucy says:

    hi! I’m looking to buy a new moisturiser with spf for the summer and would love some recommendations please – i’ve been using clarins hydraquench lotion for a few years and i think i need to move on!

  15. yiota says:

    I just thought of another question! What’s a nice blush for me for the summer? My skin tone is light/medium.. I’m a 120 for make up forever HD foundation if that helps. But I get really tanned in the summer so maybe you can recommend something that would look nice while I’m working on my tan 🙂 I’m really new with blushes.. so just recommend your favorite ones or anything like that would be helpful. Thanks!

  16. Julia says:

    I love the whole open forum thing! I think it’s a great idea. I actually don’t know what Kitchen Confidential is, but I love food shows. Top Chef Masters is going to restart in April. Now that is an awesome cooking show to watch. The chefs on the show are not up-and-comers; they’re all world renowned chefs already at the top of their game. What I love is the respect they all have for each other even though they’re competing against each other. I don’t like to watch the competitive reality shows where people are really mean and just rip into each other. By the way, any suggestions on a good hair volumizer? I usually use Bumble and Bumble’s thickening spray, but I’ve found myself wanting more volume lately.

  17. Karen says:

    I’m about to go running on the treadmill… can anybody recommend some good workout music?

  18. Tere says:

    Hi Karen, what a great idea about doing open posts! For good music, loving “Better off as two” by FrankMusik (great pop song with 80s stylings) or “Stay here forever” by Jewel which is more mellow. Have a good workout! Tere

  19. stephanie says:

    Hi girls!
    I am Stéphanie, I am French and living in Scotland. There’s something I really like on your blog apart from all your great makeup articles, that’s when you put some video links of songs you love. I always like to discover new musics so it could be cool sometimes to post a few links so that we could hear songs (hits or not?) from all over the world. Well, if someone is interested, here are a few songs that are or were successes in France:

    Pony Pony Run Run “Hey you”

    Vanessa Paradis (yes, she’s more than a Chanel girl) “Il y a”
    and “Commando”

    The BB Brunes “dis moi »

    I would be happy to hear from you!
    bye! Stephanie

  20. CynthiaCC says:

    Yay, open thread! Here’s a question: What is a really good hair dryer that doesn’t cost more than $100? I’ve all but abandoned drugstore makeup and nails over the years, but my hair tools are still firmly in cheapy CVS territory. I want to move up to the big leagues, but I really can’t justify going from spending $10 on a hair dryer to spending more than ten times as much. How much better can it really be? But if you have a good suggestion for a dryer somewhere in between, I’ll be very happy. Thanks!

    Also, running music: P!nk. Always P!nk. Nothing like good old neo-feminist angst to get the blood moving. My favorites for this purpose include U and Ur Hand, Leave Me Alone I’m Lonely, Who Knew?, and Get This Party Started. You’ll be cranking up the speed on the treadmill like mad.

    • Karen says:

      Haaay girl, I love me some PINK! I have a few of her songs in rotation on my iPod. 🙂

      Ya know, it’s pricey, but the T3 is THE REAL DEAL. I struggled with cheapie hair dryers for years, but the T3 is the only one that works on my thick, long hair. It has shaved thousands of hours off my getting ready time.

      If you can wait, try to get it when Sephora has their Friends and Family sale. At least that way you can get it on sale and save a few bucks.

  21. Hey Karen! I love this open thread thing hmm let’s see. Have you/has anyone seen the music video for Oren Lavie’s Her Morning Elegance? It’s one of my fave music videos ever, and the song has been on constant repeat in my iTunes library for weeks cuz the lyrics are really AWESOME. I alternate that with Lady Gaga, I’m so in love with all the songs on her rerelease, especially Monster and Speechless. Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite drugstore mascara? I used to use Max Factor 2000 Calorie, but now they’ve discontinued it. I’ve got my lash blast for natural everyday looks, but I want something that pumps up the volume. Thanks!
    .-= Makeupmorsels’s last blog post… Peachy Coral Lips for Spring =-.

  22. Rica says:

    Hey everyone,

    Love this chat idea!!! I love meeting new people. especially beauty buddies =D.

    So for the last two weeks on Monday’s poll I’ve been saying my weekly goal is to start my diet. And finally I did. I’m proud.

    I’ve learned a few things while I’m on the diet.
    1. Grapefruit is a natural appetite supressant
    2. An apple before a meal makes you feel full faster
    3. Eat more whole wheat or whole grain in the morning

    Well… that’s like the major tips I have for you all dieters out there. It’s not new, but I definitely didn’t know about it.

    For you all ladies out there who want to lose weight, let’s do this together! And if you’re not, wish us luck!

    ♥ Rica
    .-= Rica’s last blog post… One day left for free shipping, what would you get from MAC? =-.

  23. Karen says:

    Doesn’t ANYONE wanna know about the picture of the weird chickens?!


  24. Ess says:

    Love this idea! (Especially atm, what a great excuse to stray away from my lit paper!).
    I have never been big on eyeliner pens, but my fresh tube of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara came with a pen from the same line. Its actually quite handy with a layer of Bare Escentuals Soft Black shadow over it for a softer black line, which I have been doing a lot lately instead of my usual Blacktrack and UD Zero, which gives me a more dramatic line.

    Btw, the rubber chickens are hilarious!

  25. Christina says:

    Ahhh I’ve got a question as well! I’m a weird shade of foundation to match since I’m not too pale and do not have yellow undertones and am looking for a full-coverage foundation.

    Everything I’ve tried basically melts away super soon or isn’t enough coverage for my skin. I’ve tried BE, MUFE/Revlon Photoready (I look like Edward Cullen, no lie), MAC StudioSculpt, Korres WildRose foundation and Tinted Moisturizer, CoverFX powder foundation, MAC StudioFix powder, and nothing seems to be full-coverage enough or sticks!

    Any recommendations for a full-coverage foundation that has a good variety of colors including non-yellow undertoned finishes?

    • Rae says:

      Okay, so a) I’m not Karen, and b) this is going to sound really crazy, but… have you thought about trying a theater foundation? Yes, some of them are really icky, but there are some impressive ones out there! You just have to make sure to blend them and sheer them out really well 🙂 I haven’t really “switched over” yet, but I do have a number of friends that are hooked on Graftobian and Ben Nye.

      The shade range for theatre foundations is great, and even if you can’t find your shade, it’s really easy to blend two cream foundations together. Plus, they’re super-cheap for the amount of product and coverage you get 😉

      Hope that helps, hon!
      .-= Rae’s last blog post… Three new frags =-.

  26. Steph B says:

    Loving this thread! I’ve been so keyed up between all the March Madness upsets and starting a new job tomorrow that I haven’t been sleeping well. Plus, I’m still recovering from finding that gray eyebrow hair. I decided this was the perfect excuse to upgrade my concealer to theBalm y’all have been raving about. Love it! I didn’t really think I had bad circles under my eyes but I was wrong.

  27. j.j. says:

    Hi Karen,

    I like this open forum day. When I originally found your blog about a year ago, I looking for eye cream reviews. Still haven ‘t decided on one. Any recommendations? Just the generic fine lines that are starting to appear. I use Retin A and try avoid additional retinoids in products. I hate that I am in my 30’s and have worse acne than when I was a teenager.

    We got 5 inches of snow last night. That has made for 20+ inches this winter when we normally get barely 2. Spent the day watching Precious and The Hurt Locker then took the dog for a long walk in the snow this afternoon before it melts. Here is my goof ball who doesn’t mind the snow but hates getting wet:

    I’m also a total 80’s child. I have one of the original Conair Yellowbird hairdryers that still works, but I use a 3T now. Much better products now, but I still use a V05 Hot Oil treatment on occasion.

    This is a good idea. Hope you keep it up!

  28. marisol says:

    Great idea Karen!

    Have you or any of your readers ever tried Moroccanoil? I bought a small bottle of it a while back because I had heard so many great things about it but I just recently found it in my hair care drawer unused (hence the need for the no beauty products no buy…heehee). What is the best way to use it?
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger =-.

    • j.j. says:

      Love it! A little goes a long way and builds up quickly. Go easy so your head doesn’t look greasy. I usually rub it into my ends (my hair is past the shoulders) and pat/blot my hands over the rest of my hair. like a smoothing serum. Makes my hair smell amazing.

  29. Rita says:

    I think this is a good idea!
    I just read from a local (European) blog that MAC is no longer accepting depotted cases as back to MAC in US and possibly in UK. Can anyone confirm this?

  30. Susan says:

    This is great! I’ve been thinking lately that it would be nice to be able to ask you random makeup/beauty questions, and now we have the chance, so here goes…

    I just bought my first bottle of Essie nail polish this weekend (normally it’s all OPI, but I’m getting kind of bored with the colors at my local Trade Secret). It’s a gorgeous shade of spring pink called “Secret Stash”, but it took FOUR coats of polish to make it opaque enough for me to consider wearable. Is this normal for Essie polishes, or maybe just this one in particular? I really liked some of their other colors, but probably won’t buy anymore if they are all this way. Takes too much time, unless it’s for a special occasion…

  31. Martha says:

    I need a lip balm. Suggestions?

    • Marce says:

      I use Labello’s by Nivea and The Body Shop Born Lippies and Lip Butters. Love them all, they’re great! I recommend using something more creamy at night after exfoliating lips gently with your toothbrush, if you have dry lips. Hope that helps! 😀
      .-= Marce’s last blog post… EOTN – Sparkly Golden Black + Tagged! =-.

    • firefly says:

      Mission Skincare lip balm is a good one with SPF and is pretty much natural. However, it has scent and flavor, which I found nice, but might not be for you. They have other versions too, so it’s something good to check out.

  32. irini says:

    hello sorry if i just pop in…just wondering has anyone tried the sun laboratories tanning things?i see a lot of reviewing going on by gurues on YT but i dont know…

  33. Jess says:

    Hi! Commenting on your blog for the first time; I love it… a lot of make-up bloggers take themselves way too seriously and you’re refreshingly fun 🙂

    Quick question – I bought a cheapie Maybelline gel eyeliner to try the stuff out and I really liked it, is there a huge difference between more high-end brands? What’s your recommendation? I don’t mind paying a little more if it’ll deliver results.

    • Jess says:

      And just to add – the way my eyelids fold means that my eyeliner sometimes ends up imprinted in my crease or on my upper eyelid when I blink or open my eyes… happens even with pencil or kohl eyeliners, not just liquid and gel. Suggestions to help out with that would be great 😀

  34. Daya says:

    Cool idea with the open thread Karen! The hubby and I went to SD last year (he used to be stationed there). I loved it and am sooo tempted to go back! We went to Extraordinary Desserts twice…their morning pastries are huge.
    My DH wanted me to try a carne asada burrito. That is a must-do for anyone going! I also really loved going to the lighthouse (Cabrillo National Monument). The views there are amazing!

    Re: lipsticks/glosses for pale girls: some favorites from MAC: Florabundance l/g, Radiccho l/s, VG Special Edition, the nude and coral lipglasses from Give Me Liberty, and if you can find it, Strawberry Blonde from BBR.

  35. lexi says:

    FUN – it sounds like a Blog within a Blog!

  36. lexi says:

    Okay so I have a travel question. I have to choose between these destinations:
    Mexico – either Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Isla Mujeres

    I would like to do an all inclusive because we are bringing our 20 month old daughter who will be 2 at that time and hopefully potty trained! Do any of you fabulous ladies have opinions of either of these locations. Preference? Tips?

    Especially with Jamaica – I’d love to learn more. That’s actually a top runner.

  37. Tiffany says:

    I have been to Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen (which is near Cancun)… I think it depends on what you’re looking for! We stayed at the Dreams in PV and LOVED it, but since it’s on the Pacific, it’s not like the calm, clear waters of the Caribbean. I think it just depends on what’s important to you in a vacation. Also, I think with a small child I would probably want to stay in a smaller resort. I don’t have kids, but I would imagine kids would create more trips back and forth to the room, etc. so it would be easier with a smaller resort. Oh, and read reviews on tripadvisor.com!

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