Monday, September 7, 2009

Birthday Haul

I apologize for the lack of posts, but this is the time of year when my job goes into overdrive...

It was my birthday this weekend, and I was given some gift cards to Belk and Sephora. This is just the first part of another posting that I'll get to very soon. I've also included some things that I picked up at Kohl's and Charlotte Russe. Nothing at MAC seemed to catch my eye, which maybe because I had been to Ulta earlier and bought some really lovely eyeshadows. In fact, I purchased six (will show you the makeup in a separate post).

I am most excited about this bird necklace by Fossil. It sits just below the collar bone and has a nice brushed/shiny metallic look to it.

I also went to Michael's and decided to get crafty and make a Sephora inspired brush holder.

Instead of just clear beads, I added some black river stones for a bit of dimension and am happy with the final result.
How do you store your brushes?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lady Lostris! Run don't walk...

I wanted to share with ya'll a blog that I return to again and again with anticipation every time she posts. You can access Lady Lostris' blog here. She is incredibly thorough and precise, and she has the most amazing swatches. Her reviews are done with a critical/scientific lens yet still fun to read. If you haven't subscribed to her, please do so. There is no contest currently running, but I think you all would enjoy what she has to offer and say about beauty/makeup/etc.

I bought the Stila palette that she has posted (bought it at her rec) and really don't feel that I could review it in such a thorough way as she has. She also has a YouTube site but doesn't seem to update though the videos are all there. Again very informative and amusing to watch.

Hope you are having a wonderful week! I have a huge, albeit belated, haul to share that I'll get to this weekend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Alice at the CCO...a tale to tell...

As the journey continues with the 'make-up,' I kept seeing these youtube vids and blogs about the ubiquitous 'CCO.' For those that may not know, a CCO is the Cosmetic Company Outlet, which is primarily, I think, an Estee Lauder outfit. What one finds there are cosmetic products that have been discontinued and on reduction for 30% (I think), a deal for sure. So, being a good investigator, I Googled it. Turns out, I have one, albeit an hour or so away, but I have one. Woo Hoo! But then I thought, "it's make-up" and does one really drive an hour for *scrunches eyebrows/face/whole face* 'make-up?' It seemed all too excessive for me. but, secretly, I wanted to be in on the cool kids club and in the know.

So, beach plans, due to weather, had been dashed last weekend, and my boyfriend (yeah it was his suggestion as he is thoroughly supportive of my new interest/hobby) that we go to the CCO and the other outlets. Well, visions of sugar plums danced and pranced about in my brain on the way to the CCO. The hype and the pomp had got me for sure.

I did not make a bee line for the CCO and maybe I was secretly holding onto the anticipation. Instead, I went to Gap, Wilson's Leather, and a few others that I still have to post (will do so soon). As if I were a six year old at the gates of Disney World, I think I had a bit of the six year old shakes. Those who have spent time around kids this age might know what I'm alluding to here.

Visually, I will do my best to take you there, but I'll be brief. Upon walking in, it seems a bit small though I'm not sure what I had in mind, some kind of Forever 12 space (I know that it's Forever 21 but feel that it should really be renamed Forever 12...too long of a story to tell here). I'm not great with dimensions, but it was tiny. To the left frangrances...whatever....who cares....I only really wear Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely and MAC's Naked Honey fragrances anyway.... then some Estee Lauder and in the middle some gift with purchase/face/skin care and Bobby Brown and Clinique...again just wanting the MAC at the end of the day.

MAC is found, but I'd forgotten my copious notes taken from Enkore's youtube site concerning all of the different eyeshadow finishes yet vaguely remember to key in one, the Veluxe finish. Standing there, I honed in on one of the quads, I find Tempted (?), again much discussed, but ultimately, after much debating, decide on Stowaways. Is it the title, is it the colors, am I linguistically swayed? Stowaways it is because of the eclectic mix it contains: Awash (frost), Crest the Wave (frost), Satin Taupe (Frost), and Sea-Cadet (Satin). Then, onto the eyeshadows yet still befuddled and too much to sort through. I decided on getting something from the NeoSciFi collection probably because of my love of science fiction and the delight of having a veluxe pearl additon to my collection. I got Evening Aura a veluxe pearl finish and a pretty peach color. My visions of MSF's were completely dashed (I don't know how LisaLisad1 -youtube guru- finds so much at her CCO?) when the two sales ladies said that it had been months since they'd seen an MSF at their CCO I was confused and thought the CCO was a treasure trove of lost jewels. What gives? My very patient boyfriend, who has been very good to stay the half hour or so thus far, says "have you seen the brushes over here?"

Lo and behold, wrapped and propped on what seemed to be an artist's easel and canvas wrapped in Saran Wrap are all of these brushes from the different make-up companies. I zoom in on the MAC brushes, specifically on a squirrel brown blendy looking brush and ask the sales lady to see it. Like an informed consumer, I ask her if it's natural or synthetic. Well, she tells me that she doesn't think that MAC does 'natural' brushes. What??? Any credibility is lost at that point. Really? Apparently, I can't touch the one in the shrink wrap and know that I can't take the brush out of the plastic. Grr! She says it's flimsy, and I, for whatever reason, believe her and don't get it. I don't remember what brush it was:(

Because I get some redness on my face, I decided to pick up Clinique's Redness Solutions. Here is the company's claim: "Visibly reduces redness: For skins with persistent, visible redness." After some time, I'll do a more thorough review.

I think that my CCO might be the pits because it is pretty small and not well stocked, but, at least, now I know what it's like. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any double wear Estee Lauder eyeshadow pots. Perhaps some other time. I may be venturing to the CCO in the future, but, for now, I think I'll just stick to my local MAC counter.

Blog Award!

Wow! I've received a blog award and am so excited about it. Nefertari's Sparkles nominated me for it. Do check out her blog as it's a great read and I learn quite a lot from her. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts and the comments you leave for me. Every blog I read is enlightening in its own way.

Though most of these ladies have received numerous blog awards, I'd like to nominate the following:




Gail (oogle makeup)

Michelle (Lipstick Rules)

Beari's Beauties

Make-up on the Cheap

Sara (the makeup snob)
All of these blogs are wonderful and engaging!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mannequins, Maquillage, and MAC

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I used to be a model and some of you requested that I delve into my own theories as to why I knew/know so little about makeup. While I had makeup put on me most days, I lacked the skills to replicate any of the looks that were created. Multiple theories run through my head as I am now 'into' the makeup as a late bloomer of sorts. I've pulled out a magazine of one of the first 'big' jobs I did: an editorial layout in a French bridal magazine. You see, it started out a bit funky or ironic depending on how you look at it. I had just turned 15 years old in these pics but had been modeling for a few months. Strange huh to use a 15 yr. old in a bridal spread, which seemed to be an off beat approach to wedding dresses for the artistic minded bride?

I know that there are models who do know how to do makeup, I can only speak from my own experiences. Tyra Banks is a prime example. Backstage at the fashion shows (which is reminiscent of a high school cafeteria because of all of various cliques and groups) Tyra, who was in the 'super model' clique, always seemed to be one of the only ones with her own makeup bag tinkering, reapplying, taking away, and generally creating her own individual take on the show's theme. The lead makeup artist could sometimes be seen glaring in her direction, and she would usually reply that something had smudged and she was merely fixing it. Usually, to me, this didn't seem to be the case., but she was/is a master of knowing what really worked for her face. My face was usually buried in a book and too petrified to even attempt to change anything done to my face.

Onto the theories:

1). Eyes wide shut - The most obvious theory is that my eyes were closed most of the time, so it was difficult to gauge what was being put on me in the one to three hours of sitting for hair and makeup to be applied.

2). Tools and Pallettes: All of the brushes, MUFE pallettes, MAC pallettes, Christian Dior, Givenchy, etc., splayed out on the makeup table or production RV was always very intimidating to me. All of the various colors that came out of enormous train cases looked very technical and who knew where to get the stuff anyway? I was clueless for sure. The Bourjois section at Prisunic was my go to place for lip pencils and lip gloss. The one item I would always buy (strange that I don't have one now) was YSL's ToucheEclat because it was the one item that the makeup artists used consistently. It didn't matter if it was a campaign, a show, a catalog, or a magazine. So, I did use that one item daily usually bought at the airport.

3). The third person effect - A model's job is to be a blank canvas. On any particular job, a model is often referred to in the third person. Most people do not have this kind of experience in their lives. The conversation goes something like this:

  • Stylist/Editor/Creative Director/Client: "Maybe we should have her tilt her head to the side"
  • Me: Stands, looks side to side as in the viewing of a Wimbledon match, but waits for direction and then acts accordingly.
  • Stylist/Editor/CD/Client: Stands behind the photog for better viewing. "Hmm I think that will work."
  • Photographer: "Could you tilt your head to the side and then down a notch."
  • Me: Calculating the money I make in my head and thinking to self - Why is this still so strange to hear? Couldn't they just tell me, to my face, what they would like the picture to look like? Jeez! I'm standing two feet in front of them. Then interjects: "So perhaps you would like me to do this" *moves head/turns body/rearranges leg/arm/torso position* My attempt to deobjectify myself and have some input. lol

4). The Daily Grind: When a model is not working she has to do castings, which I'm sure that we are all familiar with thanks to America's Next Top Model (a Tyra original). Now, again, I can only speak from my own experience, but when a model has to do anywhere from ten to fourteen castings/appointments a day (if one isn't booked for a job), one really has to hoof it. Appointments take one all over a city from the 10th Arrondissement to the 16th to the 8th, from Knightsbridge to Chelsea to Notting Hill and back to Covent Garden, from 65th and Lexington to Madison Avenue to Alphabet get the picture. One is always on the move all day in all parts of the any given city. No time to reapply and it would probably have melted off anyway.

The agency, in the beginning, wants the models come in at the start of the day for their appointments, which I always suspected that it was to check to see what we were wearing. I learned very fast to hide my skateboard. One always had to have some kind of skirt or tight jeans on though skirts were preferred as the clients needed to "see your legs." I remember girls showing up in the morning - with makeup - and being told to go the bathroom (usually they were given MU remover) and take it off. Lip gloss, concealer, and maybe mascara seemed, to me, the only appropriate items to be worn on the face. My booker told me that it was important for the client/editor/photograher to be able to see your face, skin, and lip pigmentation. A full on face of makeup prevents this.

Fashion show casting was a bit different. We had a driver! Yay. Too may designers to see to hoof it around the city.

5) Break: If one is working day in and day out for weeks then the skin needs a break from the makeup. I doubt this needs any explanation.

6) A Lack of Bonding: Often times, women learn about makeup from their friends and other women. Yay YouTube and Blogs! A model's life is an extremely lonely life. While it seems very glamorous (some of it really is), it is hyper competitive but not in an overt way. That competitiveness comes at a great cost. Friendships are and were made yet a silence exists as well. Imagine battle of the homecoming queens on a daily basis. It's the silence about the work one does and which jobs one is on option for at any given time (a model can have any number of options on her chart, which means that different clients may want to book a model but nothing is confirmed or 'booked'). I'm not sure if I've explained it to you. Just let me know if it isn't clear.

Again, these are just my opinions on the subject...
I hope you enjoyed this post and have a great Sunday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Never been tagged...till now (could be you too)

The always amusing Erica, who always has such lovely music to accompany her blog, has tagged me to write six things about myself. In turn, I have to tag six others to do the same.

  1. I lived in Europe for five years (mainly Paris and London but preferred London due to linguistic issues).
  2. I love science fiction novels (not the fantasy stuff though).
  3. Cooking brings me great joy (I hope it brings joy to those who eat it too).
  4. I have no pets (just haven't gotten around to pet ownership yet).
  5. As a kid, I was in a club called the Purple Unicorns (really just a good way of telling the folks that it was absolutely necessary that I hang out with my friends as it sounded more official).
  6. I have endured 29 moves thus far in my life (yeah, each was its own feat).
I tag the following six people:

Gail at ooglemakeup
aestheticcoo at aestheticcoo
Michelle at lipstickrules
Sarah at tackyblueeyeshadow
witoxicity at witoxicity
Sara at themakeupsnob

Monday, August 10, 2009

OOH Thank you Liparazzi!

I am very excited to have received the news that I got 2nd runner up in Liparazzi's Miss World contes and am looking forward to the mystery prize:)