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About Face discovers the joy of when a little goes a long way.


When you’re spending money on products for your face, hair and body, it adds up — so make sure you’re packing in pigment.

My parents didn’t let me use makeup until I was in high school, but when I was in middle school, I found ways to be furtive about it, of course. I put makeup on while riding the school bus or bought items at the local CVS Pharmacy after school, and basically I spent money on things I would never really use because they were contraband and I wanted them anyway. Ah, the innocence of youth! You took a bite out of my wallet.

I still have an unwavering affection for cosmetics, hair and body products, clearly, but now I try to use more of a discerning eye when deciding what to buy — especially since I still sometimes find crusty nail polishes and lipglosses from all those years ago, and they’re embarrassing to behold. One of the things I always think about when buying a new product is whether I can test it first: Can I try it on at a makeup counter or store? Can I go to a retailer and smell a body wash beforehand, to make sure it’s not too irritating or strong?

And, most importantly, I try to read a variety of different beauty blogs or press releases a day, just to keep an eye out for reviews of items I’m interested in or more detailed information about a collection I was considering buying. The more you know, etc.

With Halloween coming up, I’ve tried to prioritize some of the best products I own when it comes to exemplifying that old saying about “a little goes a long way.” From eye shadows to body scrubs, each one of these products truly makes an impact with only a minimal amount — making it easier to get ready for Halloween, when I don’t really want to be reapplying my makeup throughout the night.

And for more Halloween-themed products, read on for my favorite holiday offerings from LUSH. I’ll be going as Tinker Bell this year (thanks to the Disney Store, who provided me with a puffy, whimsical costume that I truly love), and I’m planning to spice up the costume with some of the spooky products LUSH is selling for the season.

But before then, on to some of the most powerful products I have:

about face graphic+ Don’t skimp on hair and body.
Although I last dyed my hair two years ago, my highlights are still visible on the ends of my hair — meaning they get drier than the rest. (First photo, top row) To help reverse that damage, just a quarter-sized dollop of  Phyto’s Intense Hydrating Mask does the trick. After massaging the mask into my hair in the shower and then combing it through the ends, the stuff puffs up and penetrates for some serious moisturizing ($38, Sephora). Once a week and I’m golden. Similarly serious are products from Eight Skincare; the Dry Skin Body Brush, Ginger Lime Body Moisture and Ginger Lime Scrub Treatment work together to slough off dry skin and moisturize the rest ($60 for the set, Eight Skincare). The scrub and moisturizer are fragrant in the best of ways, like a delicious summery drink to slather on your skin.  

+ Get shimmery. Too much glitter can scream “adolescent,” but a fine dusting of shimmer can help you look more awake or appropriate for a night out. (First photo, second row) If you’re planning something crazy, dab on Hard Candy’s Eye Def cream eyeshadow, available in seven colors like green-and-gold Algae, black-and-silver Liar and brown-and-bronze Ditch; each has a wand applicator that can help you control how much glitter you want ($6, Walmart). For a more subdued look, buff on Pür Rocks from Pür Minerals, little rocks of shimmery berry, bronze and pink pigment that you can build onto either a powder brush or blush brush and sweep on your cheeks ($23.50 for Pür Rocks, $21 for Powder Mineral Makeup Brush, $16 for  Blush Makeup Brush, all at Pür Minerals). about face graphic

+ Get long-lasting with your lips. Whether you want subtle or opaque color, it’s always a great feeling to put something on your lips and then look in the mirror hours later and see it still there. (First photo, bottom row, all but three items on the right) For really glossy, full color, the tiniest squeeze of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ Lip Tars will do — the wide color range, including purples Hoochie and Demure, lavender Vapid, neon pink Anime and softer mauve Memento, can be worn alone or mixed together to make custom shades ($13, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics). Softer color, both for lips and cheeks, can come from RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek, which comes in six shades like the bright coral Smile and uses organic ingredients ($36, RMS Beauty). And if you want to get really glossy, but with long staying power, consider Buxom’s Lip Tarnish, a lip stain that comes in shiny candy pink Wardrobe Malfunction, purplish Blackmail, cherry red Busted and fuchsia Caught on Tape ($18, Sephora).

about face graphic+ Be dramatic if you want. Halloween is a great time to experiment with the British brand Illamasqua, which is carried exclusively at Sephora in the U.S. and has a super-wide range of lipsticks, lipglosses, blushes and nail polishes. If you can dream up a crazy color, Illamasqua probably has it. (First photo, bottom row, last three items on the right) The brand’s latest collection, Theatre of the Nameless, offered a matte, blue-purple lipstick, Kontrol ($22, Sephora); a forest green nail polish with a wax-like finish, Kink ($14, Sephora); and a neon pink lipgloss, Belladonna ($20, Sephora). All are incredibly pigmented and would be perfect for trying out a really striking Halloween look.

+Get in the Halloween spirit. While I’m terrified of scary movies, I completely adore Halloween — and not just because I love candy more than is humanly possible. The dressing up, the childish glee, the wild abandon of it; it’s all stuff I look forward to every year. (Second photo) And I’m super-pleased to have discovered LUSH’s Halloween-specific holiday collection: Calacas shower jelly, designed in a skull shape that you freeze and then lather up with ($5.95, LUSH); Ghost shower gel, which smells like roses and orchids and makes me think that if this is what a ghost actually smells like, I’m OK with that ($17.95-$27.95, LUSH); Pumpkin soap, which smells, you know, like pumpkin ($6.95, LUSH); and Lady Catrina soap, fragrant with citrus and honey ($6.95, LUSH). I will eat my Halloween candy, and I will smell good doing it!

Third photo: Swatches (from left to right) of Liar Eye Def, Algae Eye Def, Ditch Eye Def, all by Hard Candy; Smile Lip2Cheek by RMS Beauty; Demure Lip Tar, Hoochie Lip Tar, Vapid Lip Tar, Memento Lip Tar, all by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics; Kontrol lipstick, Belladonna lipgloss, both by Illamasqua; Wardrobe Malfunction Lip Tarnish, Blackmail Lip Tarnish, Busted Lip Tarnish, Caught on Tape Lip Tarnish, all by Buxom.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.

Product and swatch photos by Adam Fried.



In middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.

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