You expect beautiful color and smooth coverage from your makeup. It's art and camouflage. What if some cosmetics could also create fuller lips or longer lashes than Mother Nature gave you? Or fix skin problems as they cover imperfections?
Here's a look at the promises, perks, and fizzles you may find at the makeup counter.
The same substance doctors use to smooth and hide frown lines or crow's feet can give you pouty lips a la Angelina Jolie. For wrinkle control, doctors can inject hyaluronic acid. For fuller lips at home, it comes in a lip balm or gloss.
Cinnamon and capsaicin from hot peppers are also common in plumpers, says Clarissa Luna, a New York-based celebrity makeup artist. These ingredients irritate your lips, which increases blood flow, making them look fuller.
"It does temporarily swell the lip area," says New York-based celebrity makeup artist David Maderich. "It tends to tingle when you put it on, but the effect only lasts 45 minutes."
Should you keep one in your purse and reapply often?
Lip plumpers are fine to use occasionally, but don't use one as your go-to product. Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist with Englewood Lab, says they work by inflaming your skin. "I wouldn't advise using them all day, every day."
If you wear mascara for longer-looking eyelashes, (and who doesn't?) you may be intrigued by wands with keratin, a conditioning protein. Some makers suggest that this ingredient can help you grow longer lashes and more of them, over time. Could you have Zooey Deschanel's luxurious lashes in a few months? The science doesn't back up this idea, yet.
"Keratin simply forms a film on the lashes, [making them] appear thicker and fuller," Wilson says. "The effect only lasts as long as the mascara is on the lashes."
Makeup artist Maderich does see a couple pluses from using keratin mascara, "You might have softer, more beautiful eyelashes that are less prone to break," he says.
And like other mascaras, it adds high drama to your look right away.
BB and CC Creams: 5 Products in 1?
How much time could you save in the morning if your foundation was packed with sunscreen, moisturizer, pimple ointments, wrinkle cream, and more? Plenty!
That's why blemish balm (BB) and color control (CC) creams are hot and getting hotter. Chemists don't know yet whether they truly improve your skin. So trying one for a few weeks is the best test.
BB and CC creams are more sheer and natural than ordinary foundations. Different formulas for these multi-tasking products actually are very similar. So you can't go wrong if you pick one because you like its fragrance or texture.
What's the difference between BB and CC? "Color control creams are supposed to be lighter in feel, have more of a focus on correcting discoloration, and be more nourishing. But to be perfectly honest, there isn't much of a difference," Wilson says.
Don't expect a BB or CC cream to have the best sunscreen or pimple protection on the market. If you have a specific issue, buy a product designed to help your problem.