Make uP: Pack Your Bags

19 04 2010

From the time I was five years old, I’ve had bags under my eyes big enough to take a two-week trip. My lovely French Nana would tell me that it was a Mediterranean thing but it wasn’t until many years later when I realized that Mediterranean=Inherited from Nana. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few tricks that turn my suitcases into wallets.

Good Eye Cream- At night I remove my eye makeup with baby oil on a cotton ball. The oil keeps the skin around my eyes nice and hydrated during the night. In the AM, I dab a little Phyto Contour by Yonka under my eyes and massage it in for about 30 seconds. The Phyto Contour tingles at first (similar to Noxema) but it gets rid of all swelling in the eye area, minimizing the bags. A gentle massage will increase circulation, brightening the eye area.

Yonka Phyto Contour ($47- pricey as hell but worth every cent)

Highlighter, aka ” The Best Concealers on the Market”– I honestly don’t know how I lived as long as I did without a highlighter. Unlike a thick, cakey concealer that looks more like warpaint than makeup, a highlighter will illuminate your eye area, making you look 5 years younger. There are two I love in opposite ends of the price spectrum:

Yves St. Laurent Touche Éclat ($40 @ This is an instant pick-me-up that I usually splurge on in the winter months when I’m whiter than a glass of milk with big, black circles under my eyes. A few dots blended around the eyes are all you’ll need for a completely refreshed look.

Revlon Color Stay Under Eye Concealer ($9.99)– Although I’m not a fan of the Color Stay foundations (too thick for my liking), I’m in love with the concealer. It’s extremely light, doesn’t crumble in the corners of the eyes and is a great summer alternative for the pricier YSL one.  

Nefeli Instant Eye Rejuvenating Mask ($65 for 3 eye masks @ The night before my wedding I slipped on a wet floor at the Cranford Hotel and landed flat on my knee. It was swollen to the size of a grapefruit, walking was agony and I cried for the better part of the night. When I woke up the next day, I looked like a monster with big puffy eyes to match my fat, puffy knee. Luckily, I had one of these masks in my medicine cabinet and in 20 minutes it erased all the crying damage from the night before. These little beauties use Chinese herbs to address urgent skin needs around the eyes such as dry sensitive skin, fine lines and wrinkles, eye puffiness and bags and/or dark circles. Although temporary, it’s like a 20 minute eye lift.

My bag lady days are far from over, but at least, with the help of a few tried and true products, they’re few and far between.


Make uP: MAC Viva Glam

23 03 2010

Sexy AND for a good cause?!

Back in the day, when the pH was just a measly little email I’d send out to a few buddies and co-workers, my friend Michelle would continuously give me great ideas for upcoming “Miss P’s Fashion Tips.” Whether it was for makeup, hair products or the best boots for curvier calves, she was and continues to be a great inspiration when I can’t decide on what the heck I want to write about. Last week, Michelle informed me that she thought she had died and gone to heaven when she tried the new MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lauper lipstick and has been getting non-stop compliments whenever she wears it. It was a timely email since I’d been thinking about featuring Viva Glam lipsticks for a while now.

In 1994, MAC created Viva Glam I, a stunning “retro red” lipstick, and donated 100% of the proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund, a charity supporting men, women and children worldwide who are affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. In the 16 years that followed, MAC has developed six continuous Viva Glam lipsticks and two glosses, joined forces with many notable celebrities to design “special edition” Viva Glam products and, best of all, has raised over $100 million for this worthy cause.

Here’s a quick guide to the Viva Glam Series:

Viva Glam I– The very first in the series, Viva Glam I is the perfect neutral red (i.e. not clownish) that’s completely matte, long-wearing and devoid of all those scary old lady orange tones. Think Chicago not Grannytown.

Viva Glam II- This satin finish pink-beige reminds me of an Austin Powers fembot. I’d pair it with black liquid liner for a 1960s factory girl look.

Viva Glam III- This matte lipstick, described as a “foxy brown plum,” looks really great on African American and darker skin tones. It’s no wonder Mary J. went crazy for this shade.

Viva Glam IV– A rose-based frost lipstick with a gold pearl sheen, this is a lovely summer shade.

Viva Glam V- For those who like a clean face with the slightest bit of shimmer, this pure neutral pink is definitely for you. Layer the Viva Glam V lip glass on top for some added pop.

Viva Glam VI- This warm terracotta plum provides a perfect finish for the lavender and orchid shadows of the spring season. The Viva Glam VI lip glass brushed on top softens the color a bit for daytime.

Viva Glam Cyndi- Named after spokeswoman, Cyndi Lauper, this is a light reddish coral that complements many skin tones (I’m olive with dark hair and Michelle is fair with red hair and it works for us both. Way to go, MAC!).

Viva Glam Gaga– Lady Gaga inspired this light bluish-pink lipstick and drag queens everywhere are shaking in their sequins; definitely a statement on the old pucker.

Viva Glam is $14 a tube, which is certainly not the cheapest lipstick on the market, but the quality of the product and the fact that all proceeds go to such a great cause makes it worth every penny. Available at

For more about the MAC AIDS Fund, please visit: