Do you have more than a hair on your chinny-chin-chin? Modern medicine has a new injectable solution for fat that’s settled in the most irksome of places: the chin. It’s called Kybella, and it will knock both the chinny and the chin off of your chinny-chin-chin. The active ingredient in Kybella, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April, is deoxycholic acid, a naturally-occurring molecule in the body that destroys fat cells. If you are shouting sign me up, slow down a bit. Like with all procedures, you shouldn’t go under the Kybella needle blindly. To get answers to pressing questions about this double chin annihilator, we turned to Stamford, Conn., dermatologist Omar Ibrahimi and San Francisco dermatologist Richard Glogau. Here’s what they shared with us about Kybella:
This post is a tribute to Burt Shavitz, the eccentric beekeeping cofounder of Burt’s Bees who passed away earlier this month at the age of 80. Not that I think he’d like it very much. Shavitz lived unconnected to the Internet, running water and central heating on 37 acres in Parkman, Maine, a town with a population that doesn’t crack 1,000 people. A recluse happier in nature than in crowded metropolises, he began beekeeping in the Seventies after leaving New York City and a photojournalism career. In the Eighties, he picked up hitchhiker Roxanne Quimby, a single mother down on her luck, in what is perhaps personal care’s most famous meet-cute. Quimby, formerly both Shavitz’s business and romantic partner, spun Shavitz’s beekeeping into Burt’s Bee’s, the brand now owned by Clorox that emblazons Shavitz’s visage and bushy beard on its bottles available across the retail spectrum from Walmart to Whole Foods. In the Nineties, Shavitz exited Burt’s Bees, a move shrouded in controversy (either corporate ambition, Shavitz’s hermetic tendencies or an affair provoked his departure, depending upon the story you believe) costing him many millions of dollars, not that he coveted money. “What I have in this situation is no regret,” Shavitz told the Associated Press. “The bottom line is she’s got her world and I’ve got mine, and we let it go at that.”
Natural deodorants aren’t known to pass the pew-yew test. I can attest to that. My husband swore off aluminum-laden antiperspirants a while back and began using Tom’s of Maine deodorants, a choice my nose has been suffering from ever since. For the sake of an odorless marriage, I’m constantly on the lookout for alternative deodorant options he might be willing to try to ward ofF the funk that Tom’s of Maine doesn’t. So, when Tara Foley, founder of the retailer Follain, mentioned Soapwalla’s deodorant cream has been selling briskly at her healthy beauty stores, my ears perked up. “It’s an aluminum-free deodorant that actually works really well,” she insisted. “Honestly, it’s awesome.” Well, I thought, it can’t be less awesome then Tom’s of Maine, but I figured I’d do a little experiment to see. My husband agreed to put Tom’s of Maine on one armpit and Soapwalla on the other to determine which natural deodorant squelches his stench best.
My birthday shared top billing last week with Father’s Day. As any kid with a birthday near Christmas understands, significant holidays on or around your big day really suck. (I am well aware of the emotional trauma suffered by Christmastime babies. My sister, whose birthday is December 21, now makes us celebrate her birthday doubly and triply every year to make up for all the birthday attention she missed growing up.) Not only did the dueling occasions scheduled on my birthday, June 21, mean I had to kowtow to the desires of my father, father-in-law and husband, dad to our 1-year-old daughter, on a day that was supposed to be about me, but they severely diminished my hoard of gifts.
Have you dumped out your shampoos? If you haven’t, you might soon. Cleansing conditioners are the fastest growing type of conditioner at salons, according to research firm Kline. That means plenty of people are jumping on the no-poo or co-washing bandwagon. (Co-washing undoubtedly sounds sexier.) Almost 15 years ago, the sans-shampoo bandwagon was a very lonely place, but hairstylist Chaz Dean, founder of cleansing conditioner brand WEN, forged ahead as its driver in the shampoo-filled wilderness. He explained to the Huffington Post, “I used to literally mix concoctions for my clients. I told them they are never going to use lather shampoo again; they are going to cleanse their hair with conditioner. They thought, that doesn’t make sense — conditioner weighs my hair down. I explained it’s a whole new way of looking at it.” Today, Dean’s whole new way of washing hair isn’t so new, and it’s been embraced by a slew of brands, including Ouidad, L’Oreal, As I Am, DevaCurl, Carol’s Daughter, Shea Moisture, Herbal Essences, Pureology and more. For the first post in a sometimes series on Beauty By The Ages testing classic products and their progeny, I’ve sampled one of the latest co-wash entrants – Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner – to compare it to its ancestor, WEN Cleansing Conditioner.
Even for someone immersed in the beauty biz, the deceptiveness of its marketing can sometimes be surprising. A few years ago, I was watching television when a commercial came on starring a well-known singer promoting a hair color product. Her bouncy, ample hair was a gorgeous shade of honey in the commercial, supposedly convincing her – as well as the audience – of the product’s powers. In true L.A. fashion, two days later, I spotted the same singer sitting near me at a restaurant. Until then, I’d been a fan. I enjoyed her music, and I’d considered her authentic and honest. At that moment, though, I had to hold myself back from shouting at her, “You liar!” The reason was her hair was around half the size it was in the commercial. It was obvious she’d sported fake hair in the ad, either stupendous extensions or a fabulous wig. I felt completely duped. I was mad at her – a woman I’d previously admired for being candid and relatable was comfortable deceiving the public for a big paycheck – and the beauty brand that counterfeited her curls to boost hair color sales.
No longer naïve about sham spokespeople and cunning companies, I tend to distrust celebrity beauty endorsements. In our celebrity-fueled culture, that means I distrust quite a lot. No matter A-list or Z-list, it seems every person with an ounce of fame has a color cosmetic, hair color or skin care line to crow about. Separating shysters from sincere celebrities is difficult. With a heavy dose of skepticism, I pored through lines of both shyster and sincere varieties, and identified four in the sincere category. I’m not saying these celebrity-spearheaded brands will make you have the hair or skin of a celebrity, but at least you won’t be succumbing to the worst sorts of celebrity spokespeople when using them.
No matter how much they care about their cuticles and callouses, most women don’t want to get mani/pedis at nail salons with subpar health and labor practices. But they largely fancied their feet and fingernails in the dark until a revealing two-part series in the New York Times shed light on widespread abominable conditions in nail salons. It linked nail products to breathing problems, skin disorders and miscarriages, and documented nail salon owners’ exploitation of workers. In response, the state of New York has mandated manicurists’ bill of rights be posted at nail salons that outline minimum-wage requirements and safety measures owners are obligated to follow. Letter grades have also been proposed as a way to signal to customers nail salons are clean.
Amid the media’s obsession with Millennials and Baby Boomers, the X in Generation X sometimes feels as if it stands for crossed out. Maybe that’s no surprise since the term Generation X was coined by photographer Robert Capa, who described men and women growing up after World War II as the “unknown generation.” Pre-Facebook and post-Vietnam, what Generation X might be most known for is an enduring love for John Hughes’ movies, experiencing Winona Ryder’s heyday, reveling in Madonna before the beefed-up arms and a moonwalking Michael Jackson before the molestation accusations, and living through the Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky controversies, and the First Iraq War, the one that ended in victory within months. Even if the Eighties and Nineties, our coming-of-age decades, are largely remembered for bad fashion, hair, television and music (a complete fiction, by the way), Generation X shouldn’t be ignored. We are not, as Pew Research Center has dubbed Generation X, merely “America’s neglected middle child.” Thirty-five to 50-year-old X’ers are raising kids, ascending corporations, spending money and running states like Wyoming, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Thankfully, a few emerging makeup brands understand the power of X. Here is a look at four of them responding to the needs of the women of Winona’s era:
It’s beauty happy hour, and I’m whipping up a makeup cocktail. My tonic of choice is Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops. The Drops can be blended with moisturizers, oils, serums, foundations and more to transform the coverage brew into just the right shade for you. The first step in the recipe is pinning down that shade. The Drops are available in a whopping 24 shades. Cover FX has a handy five-question shade finder on its website to help weed through the shade thicket to determine the best option. The only question that stumped me asked whether my skin’s undertone is pink, neutral or golden. I guessed pink, and I think that is accurate because the shade I was recommended – P20 – fits my white as Casper pallor. The shade works across Cover FX’s repertoire of foundations, concealers, powders and primers.
In this age of self-acceptance, it can be shameful to admit you care not to embrace anything considered to be an imperfection, weakness, frailty or flaw. But here it goes: I don’t want to age. Wrinkles, gray hairs or sagging boobs aren’t my concerns. I was never afforded the luxury of banking on my looks, and there’s no reverse in that ahead. My interest in makeup and skin care is purely for pleasure and enhancement, not correction. My issue with aging is that it means ceding to younger people. Even in my earliest days of writing about beauty, I felt my career had a quickly approaching expiration date. How could I compete with fresher, ambitious competitors who had mastered Snapchat and Instagram? How could I stay relevant in a business obsessed with youth?