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:)

Friday, August 7, 2009

All Fixed...

The blogger problem is now fixed. Google seemed to have had a bit of a mess on its hands....but no longer. Much relieved....

Thanks Erica for letting me know about seeing my blog. xx

Miss World Contest Entry for Liparazzi: Miss Antarctica

Today is the last day for Liparazzi's Miss World contest, so I thought I'd give it a go and put my own spin on things. I come from a very hot place and wanted to reimagine myself as a kind of minimalistic Nanook of the North meets the world of pageantry. I used lots of iredescent pinks, lilacs, a bit of green, and a touch of silver.

Face: Rimmel Stay Matte foundation
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten

Cheeks: Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in Como/highlighter in Portofino

Eyes: Hard Candy Dillusional quartet
Physicians Formula in Berry Minerals
Jordana Kohl Kajal eyeliner in Bashful Blue
Rimmel's Sexy Curves Mascara

Rimmel's Airy Fairy

My talent is ice fishing and creating ice sculptures. I get my inspiration from Auguste Rodin.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to Guru?

Let me preface this entire post by saying that Gail a.k.a. oogle makeup requested that I delve into my former profession as a model. I have so enjoyed being part of this community of all things makeup (about a year now but only became part of the conversation recently), but the strange bit is that it has been a huge learning curve for me even though my aforementioned profession required that I have makeup put on me almost everyday. Take the above picture for example. Gotta love the 1990s waif brows! I honestly don't think that I could recreate this look (yet) and wouldn't really know which colors to use. Yet, if I asked any number of bloggers or Youtube gurus they could tell me in a New York minute what colors to use. I might even be able to find a tutorial based on this look. Here are my questions for you:

What colors would you use to recreate this look?

Should I, in another post, tell you my experiences/reasons/theories as to why I, and most models (I think), don't really know how to apply makeup very well? I guess I am reluctant to go into it because I don't know if anyone really cares?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

If Dorothy had a palette...

Remember the land of munchkins, witches, Toto, the wizard, and her friends? To this day, I have always had a pair or two of red shoes (be it flats or heels) in my repertoire to be pulled in for use on an otherwise boring fashion day. I was returning a pair of previously mentioned type of red shoes at Marshall's because they were a bit too big and a bit hobby lobby (i.e. a touch tacky). While in the store, I thought I'd do a quick drive by on the beauty products section for one never knows what treasures lurk there.

(photo from: yahoo movies)

This is what I exquisite Lancome palette, which is probably some left over holiday collection. The pictures are not going to do it the beautific justice it deserves.

The palette is called Pampered and Privileged, which is why it's been renamed The Dorothy Palette. It reminds me of an understated version of her red slippers and not gawdy, cheap, or too kitsch.

Here are the colors themselves.
The top row:
Enamored (sheen), Breathtaking (sheen) and Elite (metalic)

Bottom row: Stunning (matte), VIP Scene (matte), and Captivated (intense)... Don't quite know what intense means in makeup land???

Really, at the end of the day, it's just a neutral palette for doing your basic to dramatic brown smokey eye. But oh la la!...the packaging is divine. It's like tiny beaded rows of ruby delights that are ever so slightly irradiant and prismatic... and the mirror is lovely as well. The colors go on well, velvet, smooth, you get the drift. It is Lancome after all.

Do you have any items in your collection that seem to be beautiful objects on the outside regardless of the contents within? If so what are they?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Channeling the Flaneur

As I have embarked on this journey of all things beauty, it boggles my mind as to how enraptured I've become with tutorials, blogs, reviews, and hauls. When, literally, only a year or so ago I seemed to get by with just a couple of Smashbox trios and a Colorstay quartet. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't stay for more than a few hours (thanks UDPP et al.). Now, I am completely and utterly enthralled. The funny bit is that I worked in the fashion/make-up industry for a good decade and had the stuff shellacked on my face nearly every day, yet I couldn't begin to tell you how to reproduce those looks...until now...well, still trying to learn through all of the gurus.

I am reminded of a Victorianish french term called the flaneur. I feel a bit like the flaneur as I stroll the department stores, MAC counters, and drugstores. The sheer enormity of products, colors, and items on display can leave me wanting, tempting, and wishing I had a blackberry to look up a Make-up Alley review and make purchases.

Here is a very high brow description of the flaneur:

"Flâneur" is a word understood intuitively by the French to mean "stroller, idler, walker." He has been portrayed in the past as a well-dressed man, strolling leisurely through the Parisian arcades of the nineteenth century--a shopper with no intention to buy, an intellectual parasite of the arcade. Traditionally the traits that mark the flâneur are wealth, education, and idleness. He strolls to pass the time that his wealth affords him, treating the people who pass and the objects he sees as texts for his own pleasure. An anonymous face in the multitude, the flâneur is free to probe his surroundings for clues and hints that may go unnoticed by the others.

As a member of the
crowd that populates the streets, the flâneur participates physically in the text that he observes while performing a transient and aloof autonomy with a "cool but curious eye" that studies the constantly changing spectacle that parades before him (Rignall 112). As an observer, the flâneur exists as both "active and intellectual" (Burton 1). As a literary device, one may understand him as a narrator who is fluent in the hieroglyphic vocabulary of visual culture. When he assumes the form of narrator, he plays both protagonist and audience--like a commentator who stands outside of the action, of whom only the reader is aware, "float[ing] freely in the present tense" (Mellencamp 60).

The flâneur has no specific relationship with any individual, yet he establishes a temporary, yet deeply empathetic and intimate relationship with all that he sees--an intimacy bordering on the conjugal--writing a bit of himself into the margins of the
text in which he is immersed, a text devised by selective disjunction.

Walter Benjamin posits in his description of the flâneur that "Empathy is the nature of the
intoxication to which the flâneur abandons himself in the crowd. He . . . enjoys the incomparable privilege of being himself and someone else as he sees fit. Like a roving soul in search of a body, he enters another person whenever he wishes" (Baudelaire 55). In this way the flâneur parasite, dragging the crowd for intellectual food--or material for his latest novel (Ponikwer 139-140). In so doing, he wanders through a wonderland of his own construction, imposing himself upon a shop window here, a vagrant here, and an advertisement here. He flows like thought through his physical surroundings, walking in a meditative trance, (Lopate 88), gazing into the passing scene as others have gazed into campfires, yet "remain[ing] alert and vigilant" all the while (Missac 61) .

The flâneur is the
link between routine perambulation, in which a person is only half-awake, making his way from point A to point B, and the moments of chiasmic epiphany that one reads of in Wordsworth or Joyce. Like Poe’s narrators, he is acutely aware, a potent intellectual force of keen observation--a detective without a lead. If he were cast a character in the "drama of the world," he would be its consciousness.

The rest of the article can be found here: http://http//

If we take this lens and turn the gaze on on the youtubers, blogs, and ourselves, I think there might be an interesting relationship to be explored. Not every aspect of the flaneur can be equally transposed, but I believe a kinship becomes established though I would err more on the positive aspects of the flaneur. We are not all "educated," "well off," or "intellectuals." I realize that I'm getting awfully Lit Crit here, but I'd be interested in what you think on the subject.

Do we become flaneur like at times? If so, when and how?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

FOTD and a Hot Mess! Yes you BM 101!

Ok... I need to digress here about the last post. My sister and BF saw my DevaCare post and noticed that I looked totally washed out and didn't like the pic. I was using Revlon's Color Stay foundation mixed with moisturizer (thanks ginawinabina! I've enjoyed the tip), and I don't think that it photographs well. I'd put Laura Geller's Balance n Brighten lightly over it, but alas to no avail.... in short, one hot mess!!! Any suggestions?

Onto the FOTD: I miss Hard Candy make-up

I was going out with friends and wanted to do a violet/purple look, but I was running late, which is why my hair is kind of wet and not looking the way I wanted it to look (skipped Deva...shoulda, woulda, coulda).

How beautiful is this quartet. I know that we all love saying quad, but really we should adopt new terms. If the eyeshadow has four shadows, then let's call it a quartet. I like the symphonyesque sounding ring to it. I picked this up at TJ Maxx for...wait for it.... $3.99. TJ can be like the more upscale Big Lots when it comes to make-up. Many of the colors are sparkly... not shimmer...sparkle...well a bit of a hybrid I suppose.

I'm trying to sport the Barry M famed color 101, which my BF went to four different Superdrugs to get when he went to London. Very sweet of him. He said he looked at it like a scavenger hunt. LOL! I was trying to rock it, but I think that really it may just be a good mixer color. What do you think?

BTW: I am still sorting out how to add the pics and place them where I want. Just haven't sorted it out yet... Yeah I know the pics are taken in my bathroom and will edit out the shower curtain action in other pics:)

The dark purple with the gold is called Star and the more Easter pastel pallette is called Dillusional. I've only swatched the bottom white/pearl looking color so you can see the way it changes. I used that on the inner corner. I've only swatched that one because this product is discontinued:(

Have a fantabulous day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Deva Care (tame your curls!)

Many of us with curly hair have been on an extremely long hunt for the perfect product that will define, defrizz, and create beautful curls. Well folks the search is over....

First, there's the shampoo, which is called No-Poo (how awesome is the name!)
Here's the blurb from the website:

DevaCare's non-lathering, conditioning cleanser creates the ultimate healthy, bouncy curls. Enriched with Vitamin C and orange peel extract, No-Poo provides maximum frizz prevention and slows color fading.

Often times we think that if a product isn't lathering and full of soapy suds, then it isn't properly washing our hair. Our hair isn't a pile of chothes, so we should stop using harsh sulfates on our hair.

Next, the conditioner, called One Condition, is wonderful as well. It too is a gentle, non-drying, way of taking care of curly hair. I've used this as a leave in treatment also.
Both products have a lovely scent.

DevaCurl - AnGell
The styling gel is the key here. I know what you may be thinking that curly hair and gels don't go well together. This product does not get sticky, stiff, or drying in any way. You do need quite a bit of it though. What I do is after washing and conditioning, I put about a quarter cup of this in my hair with my head turned upside down and gently scrunching it up from the ends to roots. You will need to fill up your palm with product. I don't towel dry my hair as the fibers in the towel can cause unnecessary frizz. Just use an old t-shirt to get the excess water out.

Then, I dry it with a diffuser. Because I get impatient, I use the high setting. Using a diffuser is important. Gently, if you need to, press the curls up with your hands or with the diffuser. In the Deva line, they do have a special diffuser, which looks like a giant hand. I haven't used it though.
The last step is the Set It Free spray.
This step sets the curls and prevents frizz. What I do is spray it a few times around my hair, then I do the same thing with my head upside down. Then is hold my hands about an inch or two from my scalp and softly shake. to loosen the curls. The is to set it free...

The website has a few videos and lots of information for you to check out.
I've bought these products from select salons, Ulta, and Amazon. The shampoo and conditioner are around $17 - $20 each, which I know seems like a lot of money. Amazon has a travel kit for aound $18, which comes with all four products I mentioned if you wanted to give them a test run.

The Deva Care products aren't just for curly hair. The company has a whole range of products.

Because the shampoo and conditioner can be expensive, I've been alternating these products with L'Oreal's new EverPure line of sulfate-free products, which are decent dupes. These retail for around $7 dollars each. I've only tried the shampoo and conditioner, but I like them so far.

Have you tried these products? What other products would you recommend?