Peeking into Judy Jetson’s makeup bag

Welcome to Beauty Explorer, where I, your intrepid girl reporter, seek to bring you the best and brightest in the world of beauty! From holistic new-age facials at Aveda to âÄúthreadingâÄù my eyebrows to testing all-natural, overpriced boho soaps at Lush, IâÄôve got no fear; itâÄôs all in the name of journalism. Our first installment begins with the Beauty Explorer tackling that most terrifying of makeup Meccas in search of the most inventive new products on the market: Sephora. With its blindingly bright combination of fluorescent lights and glinting black-and-white tiles, it resembles what Judy JetsonâÄôs ideal beauty supply shop would look like, were that fashionable cartoon teen beauty queen to do her futuristic shopping at the Mall of America. âÄúSephora is all about innovation,âÄù said the sales associate, but she declined to comment further. However, I remain undaunted; she welcomes me to look around and of course, I wouldnâÄôt need any prodding in a store so chock full of wonders as Sephora. The first product that catches my mascara-ed eye is just that: GivenchyâÄôs new âÄúPhenomenâÄôeyesâÄù mascara, which oh-so-conveniently has its own eye-catching (forgive the pun) display. A self-professed mascara junkie, IâÄôm pretty devoted to Lancôme (more on that later), but the shape of the brush is so strange I am desperate to try it out. Vaguely reminiscent of a medieval weapon, (Conduct a Wikipedia search on the word âÄúflailâÄù to fully realize its unique shape), the brush of PhenomenâÄôeyes is a compact, spike-ridden ball meant to capture every last lash and paint them all the blackest black. Givenchy designed the mascara to allow its makeup artists to reach even the teensiest lashes and though IâÄôm impressed with its odd shape, it doesnâÄôt make my lashes as panoramic as promised. For $27, itâÄôs a little too expensive to hold my interest, so I move on. Lancôme, my mascara brand of choice, is charging $34 for its âÄúOscillation Vibrating Infinite Powermascara.âÄù If that title doesnâÄôt spark your interest, I donâÄôt know what will. It claims to create 7,000 oscillations a minute, which is pretty high-tech for something you wash off at night. However, with all those crazy toothbrushes hitting the market day by day, it isnâÄôt surprising. I turn it on and am pleased with its whirr, but IâÄôm a little freaked out. I donâÄôt like the concept of vibrating objects near my eyes. Lancôme prides itself on introducing the most innovative of mascara products, and though this one had the scientists working around the clock, I prefer my makeup devoid of batteries. The sales associate has directed my attention to the Smashbox section of the store, and more specifically to its âÄúO-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color.âÄù Now this is high-tech stuff âÄî the liquid blush comes out clear, and once you apply it to your face it actually changes to suit your body chemistry! The O-Glow is packed with a âÄúGoji Berry-C ComplexâÄù that causes the circulation in your skin to flush and antioxidants provide additional benefits for happy, healthy skin. The moisture of your skin sets the blush off to react and create a sweet pink glow, which it does in a surprisingly brief moment. On me, however, the âÄúsweet pinkâÄù color is a little too Barbie-goes-to-prom âÄî best suited to darker skin tones, it seems. I am totally taken with its accompanying lip gloss, but I end up purchasing something very similar from Jemma KiddâÄôs limited edition Target line for $2 less. But the coolest, craziest thing (besides the anti-aging gadgets, though those are out of our target readershipâÄôs age bracket) your beauty explorer encounters at Sephora is the no!no!, a portable hair-removing doodad that zaps pesky hairs anywhere they happen to spring up âÄî except on your face. For $250, itâÄôs half a monthâÄôs rent, but IâÄôm intrigued. The tool fits cozily in the palm of your hand and includes a âÄúbufferâÄù and a few âÄúHot Blades,âÄù which do the dirty work and slow the growth process of hair. Reading user feedback on SephoraâÄôs website, I discover that the majority of the no!no!âÄôs buyers wouldnâÄôt purchase it again, simply because itâÄôs a program youâÄôve got to stick to for visible results. I like the fact that it comes in black, blue, or hot pink, but IâÄôd rather spend my $250 on a few monthsâÄô worth of MD SkincareâÄôs Alpha-Beta Peel . The no!no! doesnâÄôt hurt as much as it annoys, and its âÄúzap!âÄù wafts the seriously unpleasant smell of scorched hair across the store. Anyone whoâÄôs ever singed her bangs on a curling iron knows this smell and hates it. All in all, the steps the beauty industry has taken to create these forward-thinking products have me impressed, though I leave the store empty-handed. But I refuse to be discouraged, for the Beauty Explorer always has more than a few tricks up her cashmere sleeve.