inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #0 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 3 Oct 01 17:54
Cynthia Robins is the Beauty Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and
the author of "Call Me Cyril," the autobiography of
philanthropist/merchant Cyril Magnin, "Barbie: Thirty Years of America's
Doll,"  and "The Eyebrow," written for makeup artist Robyn Cosio.

Cynthia's latest book, "The Beauty Workbook: A Common Sense Approach to
Skincare, Sun, Makeup, Hair and Nails," for Chronicle Books, is a simple,
hands-on approach to the practice of keeping what nature gave you without
buying into the myth of products that promise eternal youth and magical
properties. "The Beauty Workbook" is a hands-on primer for almost every
woman -- from the 13-year-old in the throes of puberty to the college grad
looking to upgrade her look before she enters the job market, to the
re-entry woman of 35 who knows she needs a change, to the 60-year-old for
whom maintenance is not a buzz word but a necessity.

Leading the discussion with Cynthia Robins is Linda Castellani, long-time
WELL member, and co-host of the inkwell.vue, crafts, and mirrorshades
conferences. Linda is not a beauty expert, but she firmly believes you can
never have too many lipsticks or colors of nail polish.  She is also
startled and disappointed to learn that products that promise eternal
youth and magical properties are only a myth, and is looking forward to
seeing what other surprises are in store for her (and all of us) in this
conversation with Cynthia. 

Please join me in welcoming Cynthia Robins to inkwell.vue!
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #1 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 00:29

Hi Cynthia -

Before I get into the contents of the book, I want to talk a little bit
about the physical book itself and how you came to write it.

First, this book is gorgeous, and from what little I know about book
production, it must have cost a fortune to produce.  Four-color bleed
photographic cover over a spiral binder with a special pocket in the back
for keeping newspaper articles or other information; it's lavishly
illustrated with gorgeous color photos, in addition to wonderful line
drawings, and each chapter is separated by a divider whose rounded edge
peeks out from the pages, each one in a different color.  It's a work of

It's divided into chapters on Skin, Sun, Makeup, Hair, and Nails, and I
hope to get into each chapter in depth as the conversation progresses.

First, though, let's talk about how this book came about.  In addition to
your first three books - talk about variety: from Cyril Magnin to Barbie
to Eyebrows! - you've been a journalist for nearly 30 years, writing about
rock and roll, theater, ballet, film, politics, society, and numerous
Sunday magazine stories for the Examiner and the Chronicle that included
Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, Ambassador James Hormel, Jay Leno, and
your most recent, S.F. Opera Director Pamela Rosenberg.  With your
background in mind, I have to ask the obvious question:  what led to your
writing this particular book?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #2 of 141: Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Thu 4 Oct 01 09:05
Would you believe: They asked me!

I was contacted in 1998 by Leslie Jonath, an editor at Chronicle Books who
had been reading my beauty coverage in the Sunday Examiner magazine and
decided that Chronicle Books should branch out into art-type books on
beauty. Mine was to be the first. They had been very successful with
notebook/workbook formats before for cooker books and even their hit,
"Griffin and Sabine" which had envelopes and pockets and was spiral-bound.

So, the idea was to write a book of tips, easily understood.

At first I wanted to call it: KISS Beauty, as in "Keep it simple, Sweetie,"
and in deed, I kept those letters on my computer as I was writing to remnd
myself that beauty is not brain surgery and that practical maintenance (key
word, here) worked for everyone -- makeup divas to makeup phobics. You did
not need to be a fouffy girlie-girl to get something out of this book.

So, we did a contract and I turned in the book in April, 2000. I am ery
pleased with the result. It was not an easy passage because I am a very
opinionated person who has a specific sense of design and what a beauty book
should look like. I told the design team: You do such pretty pastelly books
and you hve all those neat little black lines around your pictures.
Fergeddaboutit! Here's a bag of makeup. Use THESE colors; bleed the pictures
off the pages; do not frame them with neat little black lines. OH, they
said, you like AGGRESSIVE color and design. Darned straight, sez I.

I have just recently met Laurie Frankel who not only did the photography in
the book but picked the type face and laid it out. I love her work and I
adore her. We're hoping to continue the franchise together with a Men's
Grooming Workbook, a Fragrance Workbook and a Teenaged Beauty Workbook.
Fingers are crossed here.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #3 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 11:55

I will keep my fingers crossed as well, particularly about the Men's
Grooming book, because as I was glancing through the book, in preparing
for this interview, I wondered if this was going to be a conversation that
men would be able to participate in, too.  Perhaps when we get into the
specifics later in the interview you could address how they apply to men
as well.

In the meantime, though, I want to ask about the dedication of the book (I
read EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything; hey this book is set in Joanna
MT and Lubalin Graph!);  the first two things you say in your dedication

To Ron Pernell, my dear friend and creator of beauty and dreams.


To every makeup artist I've ever learned anything from.

Both of these statements are quite intriguing.  Could you say more about
Ron Pernell, who he is and how he creates beauty and dreams, and perhaps
something about those makeup artists who have made such an impression on
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #4 of 141: Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Thu 4 Oct 01 17:10
Ron Pernell is my hairdresser and one of my dearest and oldest friends. I
met him years ago when he was just starting in teh business on Union Square
in San Francisco. He was doing hair in a salon called The Big Tease owned by
these two magicians with hair, Fritz and Rick, both of whom died from AIDS
(and both of whom had "magic hands," ie: did faboo hair.

Ron was so adorable back then. He had these incredible dreadsd and wore a
kerchief around them; he lvoed donna Karan and had (and still does have) the
single most gorgeous smile I have ever seen. I think he hasn't a cavity in
his head.

Anyhow: when Fritzie died, I went to a slon called Schiavo where Jher
Schiavo, a very good cutter did my hair until one day, he got mad at me and
butchered me -- hair grows but that relationship was permanently ruptured.
Ron was working there and I booked with him. I liked his attitude, ie: he
never forced me into anythign I didn't want; he erred on the side of
caution; he wasn't at all prima donnaish and his word was his bond. We
sparked on each other, adored each other and, being a very loyal person, I
have stayed with him for nearly 15 years.

When I had John Barrett cut my hair in New yOrk, Ron was there tracking how
Barrett did it so he could duplicate the cut. He has absolutely no ego; is
as gentle as a lamb and an incredibly generous, giving person. He has kept
my hair looking in fighting shape; he does my m akeup when I need to; he's
gotten me into weraing fake eyelashes again and we've even contemplated
buying houses together. So, when I say I owe him a lot, I really do.

Now: in the course of 25 years of writing about amkeup and other related
fouff, I've been worked on by some of the best (and worst) in the country
including the late Way BAndy who was the first superstar makeup artist to
work on me and still one of the best; George Masters who makes eveyrone look
like Ann-Margret; Laura Mercier; Jeanine Lobell; Trish McEvo; Sylvie
Chantecaille; Vincent Longo nd Grancois Nars. I have learned a trick or two
just watching THEM work and in the case of some of my favorites who maybe
aren't house-hold names like Robert williams at Nars; Jair Robello at
Guerlain and Tiffany on the MAC Pro Team, they've actually sat me down and
walked me through how to do certain things.

What I like about these people is their generosity of spirit, their sense of
the dramatic, their flair for color and their very practical makeup
techiques and tips, some of which I"ve tried to put in the book.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #5 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 4 Oct 01 23:16

It sounds like you have been very fortunate to have come into contact with
the best in the business.

But what about the rest of us, those of us who wander innocently into
Macy's and find ourselves in the cosmetics department with a bewildering
array of enticements and no one to guide us?

In the introduction to your book you talk about the intimidation of the
beauty counter.  Do you have any advice for those of us who want to make
the most of what we have, but don't really know where to start other than
to wander from counter to counter, brand to brand, hoping that a
kind-hearted salesperson will take pity on us and lead us somehow to the
product and look that's perfect for us?

How do we conquer the intimidation of the beauty aisle?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #6 of 141: Fashion Maven (cynthiar) Fri 5 Oct 01 07:18
First of all, go to the store with NO MONEY AT ALL. So when some
comission-happy "beauty advisor" wants to start loading you up with
product you 1) don't know how to use; 2) and will NEVER use, when you
tell her you're "just looking," you're not lying.

Be very specific about what you need. A moisturizer? A cleanser? An
eye cream? Ask for samples Sampling is a great way to find out how
about 3-day's worth of product is going to behave on your skin. If it
stings, makesyou break out, turns your skin red, stop using it and
don't buy it. But if you like how it feels, like what it does, like the
price, the smell and the texture, then invest in it.

If you feel you want to update your look or get a "look" in the first
[lace, then sit in the chair of a makeup artist at a line you think you
like -- color-wise, prie-wise and packaging wise (and the way to do
that is to tear out pages in magazines, stroll the aisles and putter
(without money, mind you) first. Sit in the chair of the makeup person,
tell them exactly what your life is like. If you've a 2-year-old or a
paper due; you are not Mrs. Gotbux with all the money in the world; if
you hate to wake up early and are always in a rush; if you've got a
demanding partner who hates makeup; if you're seriously inadept with
brushes and even your finger tips, then you're not going to want a
makeup regime that 1) takes too much time; 2) that requires a steady
hand (no black skinny eyeliner for you) or 3) 
that will require floating a bank loan.

I believe that a woman who has 2 seconds to dress and get out of the
house can put on mascara and a great red lipstick and look "finished,
not done." And that's the art of it. To give your face a kind of classy
polish where your skin is glowing (because you take good care of it
and that's an entire chapter), your eyes are bright, your hair is shiny
and your makeup, however little or lot you choose to put on, is done
with surity and practice.

Even if it's just lipgloss.

So let's review here:
1) go to the store with no money
2) be specific about what you need in the way of product
3) don't allow the counter person to intimidate you. Enlist their help
by giving them enough information to help you get what you need an
4) do your homework first by either browsing or cutting out ads or
articles (the book has a handy pocket in the back cover for storing
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #7 of 141: Laura Proctor (proctor) Fri 5 Oct 01 17:07
Hi, Cynthia.

I know a lot of women (myself most assuredly *not* included--I believe
I fall under the classification of "makeup addict") who don't like to
wear makeup at all. Either they think it's too expensive to spend money
on cosmetics, or they think it's too much trouble to put the stuff on,
or other reasons. What would you say is the best beauty routine for
those women?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #8 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 5 Oct 01 17:37

I'm one of those women who is always enticed by colors and the packaging
and the being touched aspect of it so I've got drawersful of stuff I'll
never use.

Cynthia, in your book you describe the moment in 1958 when Charles Revson
held up a jar of his latest product, Eterna 27, and said, "This is hope in
a jar."  And certainly to this day there are product claims being made
like the one I heard yesterday, "I don't want to just erase the evidence
of aging, I want to stop it dead in its tracks!"

How in the world does anyone evaluate the claims of a beauty product?  Is
market longevity a clue?  For example, is Eterna 27 still being made?  And
if it's not, is it just because times change and has nothing to do with
how effective it is?

And, I'd like to hear your thoughts on how beauty products are marketed to
women.  Why can't we see age-appropriate models?  What good does it do me
to show me a model who doesn't have the problems I want to solve?  
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #9 of 141: Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Sat 6 Oct 01 07:17

Hi, Cynthia! And congrats on your book. I guess I'd better get hold of a
copy asap. I'm one of those makeup-phobes (proctor) describes, but my reason
is that nothing seems to work. I think there must be something wrong with my
skin (especially my lips), that makeup just WILL NOT stay on it for more
than about ten minutes before it completely disappears without a trace. I've
tried different brands, gone to the counters and had it professionally
applied, but so far nothing works. Maybe it's my oily skin? Perpetually
chapped lips? Beats the heck out of me.

The other reason I shy away from makeup is that I always feel so silly when
I wear it. I look like a seven-year-old playing dressup with mommy's stuff.
I'll never forget one of the rare times I wore mascara when my kids were
little: I walked downstairs all decked out, and my son looked at me and
burst out laughing. "You look like Big Bird!" he shrieked with unabashed
glee. It was true. And again, the professionals at the mall don't have any
better look though of course they're too polite and, well, professional to
just shake their heads and roll their eyes and say, "Face it, lady, you're

I trust you to be brutally honest here, Cynthia: do you think there are some
women who for one reaosn or another just can't wear makeup, especially as
they get older? I swear I feel like a clown when I wear it, but without it I
feel like I fade away and turn invisible. Should I give up and join a
convent? (I promise I'll buy your book before I do anything rash.)
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #10 of 141: Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:06
I'm a guy reading this topic, and from here--I won't press this point--
makeup seems like some mass hypnosis designed to make women feel
terrible about themselves while making them poor at the same time.

How is it that I *can* leave the house after showering, shaving, and
combing my hair (no product, please), but my wife is uncomfortable even
going to Home Depot without checking her lips and eyes. If I mention a
woman I saw who wore no makeup, she assures me that she was wearing
something but I didn't know it.

I don't want to derail the conversation, but I wonder if your book
touches on the "how come" aspect at all. That Charles Revson quote
above just strikes me as deeply sad. Hope in a jar? Hope that men will
find you attractive? Hope that you won't end up old and alone? Hope
for what, exactly?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #11 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:18
Let's take these number by number:

No. 7: Proctor

The best beauty routine for anyne -- makeup diva or no makeup  diva;
man or woman is great skin. Preseving to the best of our powers what we
were born with.

Skin is so porcelain when we're babies. Transluscent, fairly blemish
free (with the exception, of course, of kids who have diaper rash and
some birth rash). But, by and large. we have an entire lifetime to
screw things up.

When we hit puberty, the true character of our skin cmes out -- it can
be oily, it can be acne-prone, it can be thin and ery dry or it can be
"norma/combination? -- oily through the t-zone (forhead, nose, chin)
and ok on the cheeks.

So: what to do. Keep it clean, first of all. use a non-soap soap and
tepid water, don't use abrasive scrubs; pat dry with a clean towel.
Moisturize. Even if you have oily skin, protect your skin from the

Also: drink a lot of water; avoid smoking or alcohol in excess and if
you're doing any kind of drugs, prescription or recreational, you're
going to notice drying and other nasty effects. 

Even though regular washing and drying will naturaly exfoliate dead
skin cells (as wil sleeping at night against a pillow), older skin
needs a little help so using an exfoliating crea with an AHA (alpha
hydroxy acid which can be a glycolic cleanser) or a BHA (Beta Hydroxy
Acid, usualy salcytic -- aspirin) in it maybe once or twice a week
(once if you have sensitive skin) will nudge those skin cells to leae
your face. Your skin will look clearer, radiant and maybe, yes, younger
because aging skin looks cloudy because the skin cells aren't
sloughing off themselves in he regular pattern they did when you were
under 30.

So, this is a long answer, Laura. But basically, a person with really
good, clear, clean radiant skin probably doesn't need too much.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #12 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:37
No. 8: Linda

The FDA controls what ads can say about cosmetics, what claims
cosmetic companies can make about their products. I have written
package copy for three or four companies over the years and as a
copywriter, you have to walk a very thin line, else the FDA can come
after you.

First of all, the law was writen in 1937 and updated only a few times
since. But the technology of the cosmetic skincare industry has gone
light years ahead, what with high tech deliery systems like
nano-technology, AHAs, BHAs, retinols, etc. These are products that can
have a drug-like effect on your skin, ie. penetrate the skin and
actualy change some of the cellular structure. These are called
"cosmeceutical," cosmetics with a pharmaceutical action. They are still
OTC (over the counter) and not prescription because the companies
cannot make outlandish claims or even tell you the truth about what
they do.

Dr. Rich Glogau, up at UC-SF hospital is a dermatologist who has
consulted for Neutrogena which was one of the first companies to
stabilize a form of tretinoin acid, aka Vitamin A, the main ingredient
in Retin-A which is definitely a prescrition drug. The retinol products
are way weaker than Retin-A, but do hae a very clarifying effect on
skin if used with some regularity. He told me hat ther was no way that
the company coul;d begin to tell the public what the Neutrogena product

Instead, they couch the projected "over time" results in terms like:
gives a younger effect; or gives the apperarance of youth. Stuff like

The fact is: these new products can help you if you use them
religiously and don't have too many expectations. 

Now: That cleared up. Marketing with age-appropriate models. We're
seeing more of that. Lauder brought back Karen Graham to advertise
their Radiance line which is aimed at menopausal women. And you are not
seeing really young women advertising skin creams unless, of course,
those lines are targeted to teenagers and young twenties like Revlon,
L'Oreal, etc.

Clinique had a really smart campaign about ten years ago about not
looking young but looking your best and they used real life models that
spanned a 13-60 demographic (the exact same one of my book, guys!)

Point is: most women who use creams that they can afford in the mass
market, ie. drug store, are going to see ads with recognizable stars
touting the product like Halle Berry, Milla Jovovich, Beyonce, Venus
Williams, Queen Latifah, etc. Whoever the flavor of the month is. It
sells product. And if you're over 35, some of you are gong to resent
that your demographic is not represented.

In products geared to the more wealthy -- where, by the way, you're
probaby paying for the designer's name on the package and the expensive
packaging itself -- will either not have a model in the ads or will
have someone who is at least 30 (not that that's any consolation).

The implication of course is: use this product and you an be just like
me: young, juicey, flawless. Well, when Charles Revson held up that
jar of Eterna 27, he was banking on women's insecurity -- that he would
hit them where they live: their phobia about aging. Beauty equated to
youth back then. Nowadays, beauty, at least to my way of seeing it,
equates to energy, life, good skin and a great smile. THAT, however
does not sell product. 
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #13 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:47
No. 9: Leroy. Nice to hear from you.

You don't have to wear makeup to look what I call "finished but not
done." Leroy, you work outside. Protect your skin first of all with
sunscreen, a regular cleansing regimen and moisturizer, night and
morning. Use an exfoliating cream on your lips to unchap them. Wear
gloves and keep your hands moist and your nails buffed.

Look like you CARE about yourself. And that does not mean you have to
tart up. If mascara makes your eyes tear, don't wear it. You can have
permanent liner tattooed on that will outline the base of your lashes
and give your eyes some definition.

If lipstick fades or comes off, use Chapstick or a clear gloss or a
slightly tinted lip gloss when you go out. Again, looks like you've
taken some care with your appearance. Men are attracted to vibrant
women who sparkle with an inward fire. You don't need red lips to
exhibit that (although, I don't think Laura or I can get along without
it, but that's our preference). 

You might want to clean up your eyebrows -- they sort of anchor your
face and a good arch can show off your eyes. You might want to use a
little cheek tint -- you an get those new gels that you can put on
directly over your moisturizer to give you a kind of attractive flush.
If your skin tone needs evening up, there are some tinted moisturizers
with Sun Protection Factors out there that will allow your natural skin
to show through. 

You're an outdoors girl, Leroy, a true natural. Good grooming does not
depend on makeup.

As for feeling silly when you wear makeup and allowing somebody else
to control your experience. Ball-oney! In the quiet of your own house,
practice. Wear it around the house. Look in the mirror. Acclimatize
yourself to using just enough to accent your best features. It doesnt'
have to be a lot, or anything at all if you decide you really hate it. 

Makeup is a habit I got into very early on. I started wearing
moisturizer when I was 12; nail polish when I was 10; lipstick at 12;
and mascara and liner at 14. Because I had an older cousin who used to
treat me like a doll baby and dress me up. I loved it. What can I say?
No excuses. That was just me.

For you...experiment. And have fun with it. The wonderful thing about
it is: you can wash it off.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #14 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 09:55
No. 10: Scott

Makeup is one of the toys in our arsenal. And it is a continuation of
the joy we felt when we got our first box of crayons when we were kids.
Someone, when trees were red and grass was blue and the sky was
yellow, before someone taught us how to color in the lines, we
experimented joyfully with that box of crayons, with those water

There is a creative freedom inherent in makeup. It's fun, honey, it's
fun. and to tell you the truth: a good red lipstick can do wonders for
a girl's psyche.

True story: My friend Jane who worked with me at the Examiner is a
very chic woman, ie: dark curly hair, long hands and feet; looked great
in black, very French. Very elegant. She was having a very bad day. I
could hear her (her cubicle was close to mine) screaming at somebody on
the phone which was very out of character for her. I always keep a
cache of red lipsticks in my desk and I reached in and pulled out
Chanel's Runway Red which is a very bright lipstick and I walked over
and laid it on her keyboard. About 15 minutes later, she came by my
desk with her new lipstick on and a smile on her face, thanking me. 

I've seen pale, wan, tired-looking women go to the ladies room in the
middle of the afternoon to refresh their lipstick and it brightens
their whole day, not to mention their face.

If a woman is insecure, no amount of makeup is going to help her. She
will hide behind it, create a mask that will help her through life
instead of "enhancing," and that is a keyword here, her natural

Makeup is a tool, not the beall and the end all. 

I've said in my book that I'd like women to look "finished but not
done," and that means appear like they've taken some care with
themseles which engenders respect and access in the people they have to
work with, get jobs from, deal with daily, instead of being overdone.
Which telegraphs an entirely different message: inseurity, conceit,
caution, distrust in their own appearance, fright. 

Or. . . they could just like it that way.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #15 of 141: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 10:05
Hi Cynthia! Congrats on the new book. I happen to agree with the less
is more philosophy, too. Focusing on skincare will cut down on your
make-up time because when your skin's healthy you don't need layers of
foundation, paint, etc. to look good. Someone recently told me she had
spent $300 on cosmetics and I was amazed -- I would take $250 of that
and spend it on facials, and maybe spend $50 on some very basic

Scott, you speak of hope or question what it's all about. Well, I hope
you realize ... one of the greatest pleasures in life for many women
is a man's appreciative smile, the acknowledgement that we make the
world pretty. As for leaving the house in a well-groomed state, I
definitely appreciate it when a man takes care of his appearance, picks
out some clothes that look well together, presenting a tidy mannered
look to the world at large.  This idea that women agonize unhappily
over their looks while men just slob around is not universal. Taking
the time to be pretty makes me feel happy, getting dressed and groomed
for a date or an interview is a form of stopping to smell the flowers. 

The dour comments you make about beauty are puzzling to me. Do you
think we should all live in square unpainted shacks and stop caring how
our homes look? Do you think home renovation just makes people feel
bad about their unrenovated living quarters? I hope I'm not being too
hard on you here, but I have to say -- your comments are provocative!! 

A woman who is depressed or pessimistic may see beauty in negative
terms -- i.e., "I can't leave the house without lipstick." But if a
person is feeling optimistic, she may see it as an opportunity: "what
lipstick do I wish to wear today?" 

I'm looking forward to reading Cynthia's book... it sounds scrumptious
yet practical. 
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #16 of 141: Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 10:39
>  The dour comments you make about beauty are puzzling to me. Do you
>  think we should all live in square unpainted shacks and stop caring how
>  our homes look?

Oh, of course not, any more than I will leave the house without
washing my hair and face and seeing that my earring clasp is
hidden--but that's the extent of my preparation (aside from clothes). 
And Cynthia's comments on "makeup as a tool" are perfect, fine,
dandy--I understand. But I feel that for some women this beauty
preparation is a *sentence*. They literally *cannot* leave the house
without a minimum of preparation, no matter the destination. And I know
that my wife is not particularly bad in this regard, but she still has
to do more than I do, and it seems unfair. 

Why am I the only one who gets to see my wife's pretty face without
makeup? Because we are talking about degrees here--she does not go from
"unpresentable" to "presentable" by applying lip gloss, at least to me.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #17 of 141: Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 6 Oct 01 12:20

Cynthia, in your response to Leroy you suggest having a line tattooed
along her eyelashes to make her eyes stand out.  The thought of a tattoo
needle anywhere near my eye turns my insides to jelly.  What can you tell
us about that procedure and why you recommend it?

Whenever I think about cosmetic tattoos I think of the young women I've
seen who have had a permanent lipliner tattooed around the outline of
their lips and how weird and vampirish that looks, although it may have
been the height of fashion when they did it.  What's going to happen
to that line as they age and the shape of their lips naturally
change?  Won't the same be true of an eyeline tattoo?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #18 of 141: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 13:39
"Why am I the only one who gets to see my wife's pretty face without
makeup? "

Hmmmm. I think it's okaaaay for a spouse to have special privileges,
for a man to see some aspects of his love object's face or body that
others don't see. 

"But I feel that for some women this beauty preparation is a

That is true. Like I said, I think some women are neurotic about their
looks -- but the make-up isn't the cause, it's just an expression of
something already bothering them. Some women also act out their
depression by NOT attending to their looks. It can work both ways. 

Cynthia, is your book entirely practical? Do you address the emotional
aspects of beauty and selfcare? Beauty in the context of a
relationship? I'm curious as to how you feel about grooming and
romance. For example, I will never let a boyfriend see me in my velcro
rollers. Do you agree that beauty and hair care should be boundaried
and private -- or do you, as a professional, find it pointless and
crazy for a woman to surround her personal preparations with secrecy?
What do others here think?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #19 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:05
Tracy: I love your comment abuot the optiism of asking "What lipstick
do I wish to wear today."

To extrapolate: When I stand in front of the mirror in the morning --
and boy, you should see my medicien cabinet! It is packed with black,
silver and gold compacts, 50 lipsticks (at least) and more "toys" than
I know what to do with -- Heaven only knows waht I'm going to do when I
stop getting my product gratis -- but the medicien chest is my "lab,"
by the way. Anyhow: when I stand there with a bare, clean moisturized
and SPF'd face in the morning, the question is: Who do I want to be

I also agree that the best cosmetic monies spent are with a facialist
or a dermatologist who will help you get your skin in great shape.
Besides, there is nothing ore rewarding than fiding a good esthetician
who can teach you excellent skincare habits. 

As for covering good skin with makeup: the new foundations are so
sheer as to be weightless and buildable, ie: you can get them on as
sheer and non-existent as you want, just useing them to even out skin
tone, or you can put them on a little heavier if you like it that way.
Either way, they're made with polymers which allow your own skin to
show through.
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #20 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:14
Scott: Some women would never leave the house without their wallet,
car keys and handbag, either. For us, makeup is one of those fun
girlie-girlie things that comes with the territory. It's all part of
being a "girl," no matter how old we are. In the 20th century, when
women came into their own, one of the first things they did was to
paint up as a rebellious, joyful act. The flappers of the 20s flattened
their hests, bobed thehir hair, rolled their stockings to their knees,
got rid of their bustles and underpinnings and painted up: beading
their eyelashes with melted mascara wax, plucking their eyebrows down
to ant tightropes, painting doll-like circles on their cheeks and using
red lip rouge. They were totally liberated, those women.

For centuries, women cowtowed to the demands of their men -- their
kinds, fathers, hsubands, lovers. Prostitutes painted up; "nice" women
weren't supposed to but they bit their lips to make them redder, rubbed
rose petals on their cheeks and when they were told that pale skin was
prized, killed themselves by the thousands by using whiteners made
with ceruse, a lead-based paint. 

So women using makeup as a rebellious act is nothing new.

It's just been in recent memory, since the rise of the fashion
magazines and the odels who work for them, that the American woman has
begun to feel inferior because she secretly compares herself to the the
young things with mile long eye lashes and ruby lips staring back at
her from Vogue and Glamour and InSTyle.

Feh. I say, feh! 

Makeup is a woman's (and, guess what, Scott, pretty soon, a MAN's)

As for your wife, lucky woman that you adore her any way she looks.
But if she were to go apply for a job, believe me, if she went in
looing neat, clean, tidy and like she took some care with herself (but
not too much), ie. eyebrows groomed, fingernails not bitten, a little
bit of lip gloss and her nose powdered, the interviewer would make a
note of it. The implication of course is that she's a well-adjusted
adult who likes herself, has taken care with her personal presentation
and will probably take care of the job she's applying for.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so why not make a
good one.

If you think that eauty is a "sentence" instead of fun, you are,
indeed, dour. Lighten up honey. And lookout: male moisturizer is here
and tinted moisturizer is not far behind. 
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #21 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:20
Tracy: The book is a very basic, simply approach to skin care, makeup,
sun, nails and hair. Down to what tools you need and how to use them. 

Maintyl, however, this book has some important "games" up front that
deal with self-image and self-confidence. I play "The Stranger in the
Mirror Game," for instance where you wlak into yoru bathroom and turn
out the light. Face the mirror and turn the light back on. Look at
yourself as if you were meeting yourself for the very first time; give
yourself a compliment. Point is: when women look at themselves, they
are usually hypercritical. Instead of noticing what gorgeous eyelashes
they have, they see the bags under their eyes because they didn't get
any sleep the night before. Their eye goes to the zit or the wrinkle
instead of the great lipline or eye color. 

No, I did not get into the transactions that happen between men and
women concering the "mysteries of the beauty ritual." That is personal
and YMMV. What I do talk about is attitude, especially about colors;
some personal history; simple methods for how-tos; and, in the sun
chapter of which I am particularly proud, why you should wear sunscreen
all year round; how tanning/burning works; how SPFs work. 

I subtitled the book: "A Common Sense Approch," so you won't see all
those ginchy little diagrams that make you crazy about where to put
makeup. I teach finding the topography of your face with your fingers.
Once you know where landmarks are, you don't need diagrams. 
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #22 of 141: Da Beauty Queen (cynthiar) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:23
Linda: Cosmetic tattooing has come a very long way. My friend Rocky
Zion who is the makeup artist at the Chanel counter at Neiman Marcus
has bee dong cosmetic tattooing for several years now. The eyeliner
tattooing can be gorgeous and eliminate the need for liner AND mascara.
And it is done VERY carefully. The colors do stay truer and they don't
fade as fast as they used to.

I agree with you: the lip tattooing is a little too limiting for me
and I hear it hurts like fury. 
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #23 of 141: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Sat 6 Oct 01 14:40
Cynthia, thanks to Retin-A, I have genuinely good skin for the first time in
my life. But one of the unavoidable truths of Retin-A is that sometimes it
makes your face peel like a mild sunburn. I don't wear any foundation or
concealer on those days, of course, but what can I do on those days to keep
myself from looking like my face is falling off?
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #24 of 141: Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 6 Oct 01 15:42
Great answers, Tracy and Cynthia. Thanks.

(Tinted moisturizer? Moi? I think not. But then, I had a perm once, and I
would've bet against that, too.)
inkwell.vue.124 : Cynthia Robins: The Beauty Workbook
permalink #25 of 141: Tracy Quan (tracyquan) Sat 6 Oct 01 19:42
Scott, now I feel guilty about getting on your case. (We girls are so

Cynthia, Linda, an aspect of permanent makeup that spooks me: my
hairdresser once pointed out that if you get your brows or whatever
tattooed you could end up with a line that is "dated" -- you don't
quite have the option of changing your style and some people may end up
with the eyebrows of 1999 or whatever. Admittedly, I haven't done
anything different with my brows in five years -- mine is a very simple
look -- but I thought he had a good point. It's good to have options.
What do you think??


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