April 2014 archive

Andrea Robinson: Toss the Gloss

Andrea Robinson

Andrea Robinson

Andrea Robinson, a former beauty editor (Vogue, Seventeen) and beauty executive (Revlon, Estée Lauder), has had a career spanning 40 years. So Toss the Gloss, her new makeup and skin care guide for women over 50, definitely caught my attention.

The book is more than a how-to manual, though; it’s also part memoir. Andrea discusses her accomplishments and her struggle to change the minds of male beauty executives, who thought they knew what women wanted from makeup.

While the head of Revlon’s Ultima II line, Andrea created a collection of “no-makeup” makeup shades called The Nakeds. (Urban Decay fans, sound familiar?) Although the powers-that-be at Revlon said the concept wouldn’t sell, it did. The Nakeds and its successor, The Naughty Nakeds, sold out everywhere.

Andrea was kind enough to make time recently to chat with me by phone. She told me something that struck a chord: “I really feel that the most successful things I did in business were because I challenged the way things were. I am not doing anything different in the book.”

While I had Andrea on the phone, I made sure I picked her brain.

What inspired you to write the book?

The overarching inspiration is that women over 50 are a neglected market. And we, the Baby Boomers, are the generation that changed everything. We went to work when people wanted us to stay home and raise children.

We also changed the way we look at beauty. Vidal Sassoon changed hair for all of us, with his scissors. Nobody was getting perms anymore, people were straightening their hair and getting a good haircut.

And my group at Ultima II changed makeup when we introduced The Nakeds. Before that, women were wearing blue eye shadow and pink lipstick.

Our generation is moving to a new phase of life, where our skin has changed and our needs have changed; nobody is addressing this, except with wrinkle cream. I have a little bit of a defiant point of view about that, and hopefully the book expresses it in an authentic way.

If I looked in your makeup bag, what would I find?

You would find my omnipresent Dr. Hauschka Tinted Day Cream, which is a tinted moisturizer. I use Laura Mercier eye shadow, or there is a great Armani soft pencil that I can smudge with a Q-Tip. I think a little bit of a imperfection is great on the eyes!

I don’t particularly use mascara, because I dye my lashes, and then I use very smudgy eyeliner.

I use Prestige nude lip pencil. I also like Stripdown lip liner from M.A.C. on the outside of my lips. On the inside to fill in, I like Jemma Kidd’s Peggy.

And I use the little black makeup case from Prada. When I throw that in the wash, I use a Ziploc baggie. I learned that trick from my friend, former Vogue editor Jade Hobson, the chicest woman in the world. She always carries her makeup in a Ziploc bag.

You talked about developing a makeup brand. Can you tell me about that?

It will be small, and it will speak to our needs. It will be a color cosmetics line with a story. It will be out sometime next year.

Quite honestly, unless there is some huge breakthrough, the real news is going to come from the cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons. You are not going to get from a jar, at this point in life, anything that is going to lift or firm your face, or get rid of dark circles, you’re just not.

Can you describe your skin care regimen?

I have a moisturizer that I love called Crème Fraîche. And I love the Clarisonic brush. I use it probably every other day. And once a year I get a Fraxel Dual laser treatment. It seems to renew my skin.

I keep my face clean by taking my makeup off the minute I get home. I do not wear makeup around the house.

There is a side of me  that I will speak to with my brand, which says that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and we have to be very careful about what we put on it, in terms of ingredients. I am allergic to the most common preservatives in skin care products and cosmetics, so I have to be very careful.

Who do take your beauty inspiration from?

Diane Sawyer always looks fabulous and takes good care of herself. I also think our First Lady has really come into her stride with her hair and her makeup.

Anne Sweeney, the head of Disney/ABC Television Group, always looks so together, her hair and her makeup look great. And Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, looks fabulous. She is an example of someone with gray hair that looks terrific.

Toss The Gloss

Toss the Gloss

Fabulous Links of the Day

In today’s Fabulous links, a supplement that (may) turn back time, a beauty line that harnesses the power of plants, quirky candles for Derby Day, Christy Turlington Burns looks amazing, makeup mistakes made by women over 50, facial cleansing powders, and Diane von Furstenberg talks to Deepak Chopra.

Coenzyme Q10 may also have antiaging benefits. [Beauty High]

A top NYC facialist has developed her own plant-based skin care line. [Well + Good NYC]

Not sure I want a horse- or a trailer park-scented candle, but the mint julep one sounds yummy. [Glamour]

The gorgeous Christy Turlington Burns on getting older. [HuffPost Style]

Avoid these makeup mistakes, and take years off your age. You’ll hear more from Andrea, I promise. [HuffPost Style]

I have never heard of facial cleansing powders, but apparently they are all the rage. If anyone tries one, let me know what you think. [Allure]

Diane von Furstenberg opens up about her mother, career, and the 5th annual DVF Awards, which recognize female leaders. [HuffPost Healthy Living]





Fabulous Links of the Day

In today’s Fabulous links, Hollywood’s all-natural beauty secrets, tips for hiding allergies, and one magazine founder’s beauty musts.

Many A-listers use grocery and health food store staples in their beauty regimens. [Daily Makeover]

How to hide the effects of allergies. Because yes, spring is coming people. [Daily Makeover]

Some great products to try, courtesy of Darling magazine founder Sarah Dubbeldam. [Well + Good NYC]

Exercise May Help Rejuvenate Your Skin

Two Girls Exercising; Flickr Creative Commons; "Mike" Michael L. Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com

Two Girls Exercising; Flickr Creative Commons; “Mike” Michael L. Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com

Scientists recently found that exercise may be one key to younger-looking skin. I am always searching for the Fountain of Youth, so when I came across this article in the New York Times, I decided it was worth a post.

Mark Tarnopolsky and his team at McMaster University in Canada took skin samples from the buttocks of volunteers aged 20 to 84. The researchers used skin from this area because they wanted skin with a minimal amount of sun exposure. When the team examined the skin samples under a microscope, they found, as expected, that older people had older-looking skin, and younger persons had younger-looking skin.

However, when the scientists subdivided the samples according to exercise habits, they found the skin of study volunteers over 40 who said they exercised regularly appeared closer in age to that of 20- to 30-year-olds, even if they were older than 65.

To determine if exercise had been responsible for the youthful skin of physically active volunteers, the researchers took a sedentary group of people older than 65, and put them on an exercise regimen for three months. When they compared skin samples taken after three months of regular exercise to samples taken at the start of the study, the scientists found that the volunteers’ skin had become younger looking.

Since I am a medicine and health journalist by day, I decided to contact the author and ask him about his team’s work. This effect on skin of only three months of endurance exercise (cycling), starting at 30 minutes and working up to 45 minutes twice a week, was surprising, Tarnopolsky said in an e-mail.

He went on to say that he and his colleagues have many studies planned to better understand the mechanism behind this finding, although he declined to comment further. They are also looking at the effect of exercise on the kidneys, eyes, and mouth and gums.

It is critical that those who exercise outdoors use a good sunscreen, Tarnopolsky advised, because the deleterious effects of UV exposure work against the beneficial effects of exercise.

Fabulous Links of the Day

In today’s Fabulous links, choosing and applying foundation, natural beauty finds, getting the last few drops from your beauty products, clearing up the myths about vitamin supplements, and shopping for nail polish.

How to pick the right foundation, how to apply it. [Daily Makeover]

Natural beauty brands to try this spring. [Daily Makeover]

Because beauty products are a terrible thing to waste. [Beauty High]

Vitamin supplements: sorting through the hype. [Beauty High]

A polish for every budget. [Beauty High]




Fabulous Links of the Day

In today’s Fabulous links, hairstyles that make you look younger, the beauty regimen of one of New York’s top beauty editors, tea’s beauty and health benefits, George’s great-grandma turns 88 years young, and looking younger in seconds.

Take years off your age with the right hair cut. [Daily Makeover]

She has access to the best skin care products available, and this is what she uses. [the sparkly life]

Tea is so great for you, inside and out. I’ll try the mint cucumber tea, please. [Into The Gloss]

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty! [HuffPost Style]

Quick ways to look younger. [HuffPost Post50]





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