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?