Allure Daily Beauty Reporter: What’s Your Ultimate Beauty Must-Have?

Read my blog post for Allure‘s Daily Beauty Reporter here.

Quick! A fire has broken out in your makeup bag and you can only save one item—which do you choose?

A recent study commissioned by Benefit Cosmetics posed that question to groups of French and American women (albeit in a less dramatic fashion). The results revealed that 25 percent of the Americans polled treasure their concealer or foundation, while 26 percent of the French prize mascara above all else. The runner up, regardless of nationality, was lipstick or lip gloss, while moisturizer, eyeliner, and blush were universally left behind. Personally, I’d be a rogue in that survey, as I refuse to go out without a squirt of Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm and a stash of Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets for touch-ups.

So what do other Allure staffers consider essential?

“Well, I might as well be waving an American flag: As someone with a long, tumultuous relationship with acne, concealer would definitely be my must-have item. “ —Kate Sullivan, writer

“Without any hesitation, mine is Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. So much so that even if I’m not carrying a purse, I WILL find a way to smuggle it with me via sleeves, socks, or whatever means necessary.” —Alexandra Owens, editorial assistant

“I guess mine would be a brow groomer, because I never leave the house without combing my brows! Even if I’m makeup-free and going to the gym or to run errands, I must comb my brows…messed up brow hair freaks me out.” —Heather Muir, beauty news editor

“Hands down it would be M.A.C. Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara. No doubt about it, it’s my stranded-on-a-desert-island product. I am all about the drama when it comes to makeup, and this mascara gives me the boldest, baddest, blackest lashes.” —Christiana Molina, editorial contributor

“For me, it’s blush. Without it, my skin can look so tired and sallow. Plus, it takes two seconds to apply, so even on a lazy Saturday, it’s no big deal.” —Amy Keller Laird, beauty director

What’s your ultimate beauty must-have?

Daily Beauty Reporter: Exclusive Celebrity Beauty: Victoria Beckham’s Must-Haves
Daily Beauty Reporter: A Brief Defense of Makeup
Daily Beauty Reporter: This is One Flattering Lip Balm



Allure Daily Beauty Reporter: First-Thing-in-the-Morning Ugly

Read my blog post for Allure‘s Daily Beauty Reporter here.

Picture yourself first thing in the morning. Your alarm clock has just yelped for you to get your lazy booty out of bed, but you’re still burying your head into the pillow. Your hair might resemble a fuzzy poodle and there might be a little drool dried on your chin, but hey, anything to distract from those puffy undereye circles, right? I’m convinced everyone wakes up looking like a wildebeest in the morning—even Gisele Bündchen.

You may have experienced some first-thing-in-the-morning ugly paranoia in the first few months of dating someone. One Allure editor, who wished to remain anonymous, set a sneaky alarm so she could get up an hour earlier than her new boyfriend and put on a full face of makeup before sliding back into bed to pretend to wake up with him. I have several friends who have admitted to sleeping with their makeup on when they have significant-other sleepovers. But the prospect of someone else seeing you in those first few waking moments isn’t the only thing that prompts action: Yet another Allure editor said that “if I feel like I look like dog doo-doo when I wake up, I quickly slip in the bathroom to dab on some concealer.” She’s not kick starting her beauty routine for the day—she’s just making herself presentable enough to eat breakfast and feed the cat. Solo.

Here’s my true confession: I always go to bed barefaced, and after a shower, I twist my hair into a messy braid, slip on my Steve Urkel glasses, and call it a night. Near my bed, I’ve stashed a tin of Altoids for particularly vile morning breath and some Smith’s Rosebud Salve for dry, cracked lips. It’s not a recipe for looking ravishing first thing in the morning, but at least I don’t have foundation caked on my pillow and my eyes aren’t glued together by mascara. I’ve made with peace with my morning face… which doesn’t mean I’d let anyone else see it.

How far from presentable are you first thing in the morning? Let us know your tips on how to rise and shine!

Daily Beauty Reporter: How Long Do You Take to Get Ready in the Morning?
Daily Beauty Reporter: The Best Monday Morning Makeup
Daily Beauty Reporter: The Best Morning Energizers


Allure Daily Beauty Reporter: Are Sweet Scents Juvenile?

Read my blog post for Allure‘s Daily Beauty Reporter here.

She shimmies around half naked in a giant champagne glass. Did you think sexy burlesque siren Dita Von Teese wouldn’t be outspoken when it comes to scent?

When it came to creating her own vampy signature scent, Von Teese selected sophisticated notes of Bulgarian rose, tiare, peony, and a “sexy wood.” The outspoken temptress then proceeded to tell WWD,“There’s no fruity vanilla bullshit…A lot of celebrity fragrances are fruit, vanilla, and I wanted something for grown-up girls.”

I tend to agree with the retro babe on this one. After a stint dousing myself with a peachy celebrity scent in the eighth grade, I can only handle the stuff in small doses. I now try to contain my sugary scents to the shower in the form of Aveeno Positively Nourishing Hydrating Body Wash Fig + Shea Butter, which doesn’t leave my bathroom smelling like Dylan’s Candy Bar.

But since so much of fragrance comes down to personal taste, I don’t want to assume that everyone agrees with Dita. Here’s what Allure‘s own glamour girls had to say about their sugar highs (and lows):

“I am opposed to resembling a cupcake in any way, shape, or form. I think sweet notes, like those in Guerlain Mitsouko, can work really well as a balance to the fragrance. But I prefer the “I mean business,” feeling of Orientals and spicier florals—if I want to eat it, it’s not a good sign.” —Alexandra Owens, editorial assistant

“I always get dissed for liking sweet scents, but I can’t help it! I hate to admit it, but I kind of secretly love Britney Spears Radiance! And some people think the Laura Mercier pistachio products are sickly sweet, but I love the scrub. That said, I do think there’s a time and place for these sweet scents, though. Namely, not in the office.” —Heather Muir, beauty news editor

“I think when you’re young and your perfume palette/nose hasn’t developed, you gravitate towards these pleasant food smells because you know they smell good, it’s proven already, no nuance. And maybe that’s appropriate too—it would be weird for a 12 year old to smelly musky or like Oriental spices. For me, the only time one should smell like freshly baked cookies is after baking cookies. ” —Kate Sullivan, writer

Daily Beauty Reporter: The New Candy That Makes You Smell Good
Daily Beauty Reporter: Perfume That Makes You Younger
Daily Beauty Reporter: 5 Hot Fragrances You’ll Want to Wear in 2011


Allure Daily Beauty Reporter: Just How Bad Is Bad Hair on Guys?

Read my blog post for Allure‘s Daily Beauty Reporter here.

There are some Hollywood hotties who, no matter what they wear, still make girls and women alike squeal with excitement. But what is one of said hotties did something truly disastrous with his hair?

While filming his new movie The Place Beyond the Pines, the usually dapper Ryan Gosling was last week seen sporting a white-blonde quasi-pompadour in place of his usual tousled, dirty-blonde locks. The 30-year-old leading man also swapped out his stylish suits in exchange for a gray muscle tee, skull-emblazoned pants, and combat boots. We can get over the ’90s biker wardrobe, but that dated boy-band hairstyle’s another story. Could such an extreme transformation like this make swoon-inducing Gosling—gasp—unattractive?

Gosling has switched up his ‘do and facial hair for past roles, from shaggy and scruffy to buzzed and clean-shaven, and I personally don’t mind watching him pensively run his fingers through his hair—whatever hue or length. It should also be noted that the last time we saw this look was on Brad Pitt circa 2005, and he ended up scoring tinsel-town’s sexist woman, Angelina Jolie. But when I showed his peroxided locks to other people around the Allure office, I must admit I heard more “ughs” than sighs.

What do you think—can bad hair be a dealbreaker, or does Gosling still make you go weak at the knees? How important is a man’s hair to his overall attractiveness?
Daily Beauty Reporter: What’s Your Favorite Man ‘Do?
Daily Beauty Reporter: Would You Support Your Man’s Mustache?
Daily Beauty Reporter: Shaved Heads—Good or Bad Thing?
Daily Beauty Reporter: Are Boys Held to a Different Beauty Standard?

Photo: Splash News