Friday, December 18, 2015

No Holds Barred: Beauty Beat Down

This Christmas season, Rodin Olio Lusso's products are being sold in assorted gemstone colored boxes. The week they came out the Empire State building was lit in the exact same color schemes.
Beauty Beat Down
By Blair Sabol

I always assumed women fell into two categories of “beauty”; you were either a “slut” for makeup, or a “slut” for skincare. Rarely do the two worlds collide. (I guess it is similar to women who either love handbags or shoes — actually most obsess about both). I never had drawers of lipsticks, eyeliners or concealers. Instead my bathroom shelves are filled with spray bottles, cream jars and tubes of “elixirs."
Personally, I am too scared to go the route of facial surgery or “injectables” or even lasering. Also, I am way past the age when I should have, and am rationalizing that I have “earned” every damn wrinkle and fold. I now conceal my neck with a permanent scarf (even at 112˚), I never look too long in the mirror, and forget the back of my head. What I can’t see can’t hurt me. Magnifying mirrors don’t exist in my world.

Magnifying mirrors are banned from my bathroom!
Maybe I’m cheap. Since nowadays “elective” surgery means something more serious than a platypus lip enhancement. Also, I haven’t seen any really good “work.” There has been a lot of critical pushback on plastic surgery in the last 2 years. The public now seems to agree that most people don’t look younger or more rested after a lift. Instead they look Fixed and Wind-Tunneled. I say stick to plain old aging. Acceptance is so much safer — though harder to do.

Recently one elder beauty editor I know told me that she could not get a job in the magazine world 30 years ago looking her age of 55.

Even though fashion giants like Diana Vreeland, Polly Mellen and Consuelo Crespi (Iris Apfel had yet to make the “aging beauty” scene) never went under the knife at that time, this editor felt too insecure, got the first of her many face-lifts, and indeed got a job at a beauty magazine. Eventually her “beat” became plastic surgery. Meanwhile she acquired a pacemaker, major hearing aids, many new joints and lots of other major medical procedures. Now at 88, she believes she looks great and is relevant!?!? Unfortunately, “relevancy” can’t be surgically enhanced. I guess she is living proof of Billy Crystal’s “Fernando” character credo that “It is better to look good, than to feel good."
We are all secretly looking for a better way to age ... appropriately! Even Jerry Seinfeld’s answer to someone who asked him “Don’t you get depressed when you look down at your body and see how old you’ve gotten?” Seinfeld’s answer? “I never look down at myself anymore.”

It dawned on me that I never say anyone actually “looks old.” My description might be they look sick, or gaunt, or sad, or not vital. But old?! What does old mean? Obviously you can have tons of face work and still look God Awful. But looking old as something hideous? Was Lillian Hellman so old looking she was ugly? Do Diane Keaton or Francois Gilot look bad or good “for their old age”? Our culture needs a new standard to judge beauty after 50.
"I Cannot and Will Not Cut My Conscience to Fit This Year's Fashions" — Lillian Hellman
But using “beauty treatments” is my cowardly way out to keep the aging process at bay. In my desperate attempt to “product out” my face I bought a computer screen pop-up product at midnight recently —Beverly Hills M.D. Firming Cream? Why not? After all, Beverly Hills is THE Pullback Capitol. It did nothing.
Yet another failed online midnight skincare purchase.
Admittedly I am hooked on these cream’s “promise” of erasing the lines, lightening the age spots, or lifting my jowls. None of it ever does!! But remember, it is all in “the promise.” Hope In A Jar (which is an actual popular Philosophy brand item) that turns into a Miracle Worker (another Philosophy brilliantly named hydrator) is what we all want!! (None of Philosophy’s formulas did a thing for my face).
It's all in “the promise.”
Nowadays, everything is promoted as anti-aging, rejuvenating, sculpting, cellular fortified ... who knows what any of this really means? But does any of it do (at least) just a little bit? Just a slight smoothing of the eyebrow crease? A little less of the frown gash between the eyes? The hint of a repair? ANYTHING?!?!

A friend swears that she tried every expensive cream available and now uses Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 3 times a day on her sunspots and pre-cancer moles. Voila!! – everything has disappeared on her face!!
The ultimate skin rejuvenator, available at Whole Foods.
Most other skincare “sluts” swear by their Olay Regenerist (CVS’s best skincare seller), La Mer, La Prairie, Revive and the most popular of all — good old Estee Lauder’s ReNutriv Ultimate. Pick your shaman or scammer.

As for me — I don’t venture into high-end department store beauty basements anymore. I feel pressured by the hard sell behind-the-counter help (talk about “hookers”). And with the fear of terrorism I don’t like sashaying down into a stores lower floors for a free sample of a peptide serum. However, a street level Sephora I will easily fall into!

I tend to be loyal to one line that “feels” like it is working. I say find a brand and shop within that label since everyone has the same hydrators, night creams, eyelifts, and serums.
My bathroom shelf stocked with Epicuren.
Eight years ago, I discovered Epicuren and have stayed the course with them because I love the natural ingredients in them and the fact that they are focused on metadermabolic enzyme therapy. It seems to actually change the texture of my skin. Plus they date every product and take it off the shelves at the expiration moment. Who does that anymore?

I swear by their age protecting Orac C — their Colostrum cream and yes, they have a Maximum Peptide Cream. I don’t look 25 years old after using it — but it makes me think I look “brighter.”

Epicuren's answer to injectables.
Recently they came out with a new product Injectstem Bio Firming Serum. Now, first of all, aren’t we all sick of serums? I want a product that I don’t have to “layer” with other creams and tonics and sprays. (Epicuren products actually don’t need layering — I have used all of them on their own and they work just fine!)

But Injectstem does seem to be a cut above the rest. It isn’t about an actual injection (thank God — I can’t take needles and blood on my face). But it is about using stem cell technology (not from any animal but certain oranges ...). Their rap goes like this: “The skin’s inner structure is key to maintaining dense elastic youthful skin. As we age — the structure weakens and collapses, causing skin to become loose and thin. Costly injections temporarily improve the appearance but don’t support the crucial structure itself." What can I tell you. The serum does do “something,” and it doesn’t look or feel like rubber cement or egg whites are pulling on my face.

Now honestly, whether collagen can be enhanced (or anything can be enhanced) topically? Who knows. But “collagen” support is now the skincare buzzword — so I am joining the ranks. At least Epicuren is known for its purity and research. They may have a winner with Injectstem ($264 at Already they are getting a lot of positive feedback for lines around the eyes and neck!

Epicuren also has a new line of body and face oil ($120 for 4 ounces) that are supposedly loaded with natural oxidants like almond and jojoba oil to retain “elasticity, clarity and suppleness.” Of course!! They come packaged with an actual crystal floating in the bottle and have apparently been blessed with a particular mantra, to “empower and protect the body and soul’s healing.” Why not!! Take your pick of Sacred Indigo (amethyst), Luna Mystic (smoky quartz) or Amor Universe (rose quartz).
Epicuren Luna Mystica body oil complete with Amethyst crystal and mantra.
I realize oil is another hot skincare item. Every cosmetic company has an oil product. But to me, the “original” and “mother of all” oils has to be Rodin Olio Lusso. It is by far the most revered and adored by everybody I know. Tough to top it. Founder Linda Rodin is now a huge skincare super star — not only for her oil, but her entire lineup of body and hand cream, lip balm, perfumes, and now a cleanser. A rice bran powder formula that goes from a “light” cleanse to a deeper exfoliation (depending on the amount) all with her fabulous signature scent of jasmine and neroli and rose!
The latest addition to the Rodin Olio Lusso line
I love Linda’s products. Especially now for Christmas. They are being sold in assorted gemstone colored boxes and the week they came out the Empire State building was lit in the exact same color schemes.

Rodin olio lusso Kaleidoscope Christmas presentation!
Talk about being on top of the style situation. It is called her Kaleidoscope Holiday line and I am superficial enough to buy them just for the colored boxes lined up in my bathroom. You can even get a gorgeously bow tied Lucite box curated by Linda herself, or 6 of her “greatest hits” (face to hair to lips to body) for $500 (go to

In the end, what I truly love about Rodin’s Olio Lusso is Linda’s own personal philosophy about aging. (I guess I selfishly want my skincare guru to believe what I believe).

No plastic surgery for Linda, and no hair dye. Cosmetics? Just a red lipstick (she will be doing her own lipstick soon) and a clumpy mascara.

She recently told the New York Times, “I tried a filler in my nose and chin. It was well done, and nobody noticed, I’m sure. But I thought, ‘I’m morphing into someone else… where is this going?’ I never did it again. Who was I fooling in the end? It is not graceful to age. It’s simply not easy.”
Rodin olio lusso colorful Kaleidoscope Christmas promo!
Now I ask you — how can you not follow Rodin to the Promised Land? Recently she admitted to me (after I told her all about the collagen and peptide products I was using), that's nice but I like the old tried and true in people and products. No hocus-pocus. And frankly, I never make big promises about my line. What you see and feel is what you get”. And that is what her fan base loves about her line. When they use it, they feel instantly and SIMPLY “transported and different.” It’s all experiential when it comes to Rodin Olio Lusso.

And frankly, that is all I really want from any skin care product. If only my body and face would just stand still — but then I would be frozen in time — and who honestly wants to look like that?
Rodin Christmas gift bow tied lucite box with "greatest hits."
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