Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Using Phoenix Down

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. There have been a lot of changes in my life in the last few months, no little of which has been the steady decline of my health. I have also been dressing differently, and trying to figure out where the line is between "comfortable" and "comfortable and not schlubby". Because I work from home now, I spend most of my time around the house, and I have a certain level of comfort I require for such activities.

A subtitle to this post would be How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Leggings.

I used to be in the anti leggings camp. Then I realized that some of my clothing that is unwearable in the summer due to heat or length issues (a thick polyester mini dress and jeans is a warm, warm choice) could be solved by leggings, or tights, or even bicycle shorts.

My fashion sense, as a result, has gotten very 80's and I don't even care. It's comfortable and I feel good in them, I can wear them around the house and feel dressed. currently I'm wearing old gym shorts and a spaghetti strap top with a totally inadequate built in bra, and honestly I am at the 'may as well be naked' point.

What does this have to do with makeup? Not a whole hell of a lot or everything, I'm not entirely sure. I haven't worn much makeup lately. Not since Deathly Hallows Pt 2 premiered (although I will say I looked DAMNED CUTE for that, my makeup came out lovely and I don't think I have a picture to commemorate).

My birthday is in less than 24 hours- on Wednesday I turn 27. I don't like the old remarks. I have a bum knee. My teeth are, frankly, rotting out of my head. It's the worst. But I don't feel old, I simply feel broken. What's the point of wearing lipstick? My teeth are fucking hideous and distracting. It's why I look like I'm painfully mincing in any recent pictures taken of me. I refuse to smile. I don't like talking about this because having bad teeth is much like being fat, in that you get judged for it and everyone else assumes it's all your fault, and that any other reason you give is just an excuse. So I don't. But I am in so much pain that it's effecting everything, including my willingness to write at all, my health, and the amount of food I get in my body.

Until recently, the two full length pairs of pants I wore were jamma bottoms. One was star wars, one had Darth Stewie. They both are torn up and I feel terrible in them.

I'm going to try to make some clothes, and make use of clothes I don't normally wear. And if I can't, then I'm gonna cart them to Good will or something. I'm going to try to feel like I'm wearing clothes. It won't be a drastic change, one elastic band pant is much like another. I'll try to at least throw on a neutral eyeshadow and some eyeliner, because it makes me feel prettier.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Really am Bad at Makeup

I'm not kidding about this. I can just some really basic looks and that's about it. I'm also, sadly, bad at photographing this (getting better). I love the really exciting and bright colors that some people use, but just about every time I try anything bright it turns out, I dunno, smoky. Which isn't a bad look but it'd be nice if I could aim for some look and actually GET the look I'm after.

(As far as foundation stuff goes, I think I mostly use J. Lynne foundation and primer powder.)

Here's what I did for the Med Fair:
This was mostly done using some of the samples I bought from Morgana's Cryptoria, which I really love. I can't remember everything I tried, but I know I tried to use Ectoplasm which is a lovely, bright green. Like, Slimer from Ghostbusters green. (If I were to be guessing at inspiration...)

Note: I currently do not own any mascara. This will be corrected soon, as well as getting some of the gel liner I've been recommended (I think it was Physician's formula?)

As an amusing sidenote, I occasionally get drunk and do my makeup. I have a folder that's labeled Drunken Makeup, and is full of pictures that are almost completely unusable. Here's what I did one night when I was really quite drunk (cropped because I look like a drunken idiot).

I didn't get any better pictures, which is sad, because this turned out really well (for me). It was done I think entirely from my Sephora palette. I didn't use any primer at all but I'm fairly certain that I used one of the cream eyeshadows that came in the Sephora palette as a base.

I have turned out only one look that came up vaguely bright, which was done (I think?) with Zombie Ambrosia and BeWitches from Morgana's Cryptoria, but this was like a month ago so my memory is sketchy at best. I need to take notes when I do these.

Part of what happens is I get makeup on and kinda freak out about how it looks. I'm going to try to continue to do makeup and post how it looks regardless of any makeup fails that came about.

I think I understand some of what I was doing wrong, in regards of application and how I'm using brushes. I do use primer NOW, I have Too Faced Shadow Insurance that I use.

I have ordered some shadow samples from Shiro Cosmetics new Science Collection, inspired entirely by the banner picture she used. I am going to attempt to do something like it. I also want to do a real dark black gothy thing with some red accenting, it's based off a character's tattoo from one of my favorite books. Yeah, I know, I have no clue how this will turn out, but it's something I want to try.

Any suggestions as to people to watch for tutorials, any obvious mistakes you can pick up from a photo, or smart ass remarks regarding my lack of skill are welcome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Misconceptions, the Series (Part 1)

So I just wanted to briefly talk about things I didn't understand a while ago.  Most of this is stuff I've learned in the last year or so, but they were probably some of the bigger things keeping me back from doing makeup.

"Plumping lipstick doesn't actually plump your lips, it's just shiny and makes your lip look bigger."  I'm sure that not all  plumping lipstick stuff works, but I did learn that a lot of them have ingredients that do 'plump' lips.  By plump I think they mean 'cause to swell'.  Which means I'm still pretty 'thank you, no' about it but I did learn something, anyway.

"Mascara doesn't actually add length, it may add volume but they're just more pronounced because they're darker now."  Okay, so this is sort of a 'yes and no' kind of thing.  My basic understanding (and correct me if I'm mistaken) is that mascara coats the full lash, even the light ends, which enhances the lash and makes it look darker and longer.  However some formulas are designed to lengthen and have special chemicals that I assume build up on the end or something and lengthen or boost volume or whatever.  I use mascara roughly as often as I wax my car (read: never) so it's not like I'd know (okay I guess that's the point of the blog but we're getting into excessive parenthetical territory here).  Probably because I didn't see the utility in it.  It also seems pretty expensive for a tiny little bottle of stuff, which is among my big hangups about makeup in general, I think.  I'm getting over that, but it's an effort.  Anyway, I'm still not sure, but at the heart of my misconception is that all mascara is just mascara, which I'm learning is not really the case.  There is one truth about mascara, though: if I use it, I am sure to jab myself in the eye with it and then get some on my eyelid somehow.  No escaping it.

"It's all the same shit anyway, so get the cheap stuff."  This stems from two places.  In grocery shopping, this generally is true.  Most generic brands are actually created by the same companies as the bigger brands, and in most cases the taste difference is negligible.  Add that to the fact that I have always hated spending money on myself- that it has always seemed wasteful to spend money on things that I enjoy (even when I have the money and I don't have anything else to do with it) that when I get the urge to get makeup I tend towards the super cheap NYC over the more excessive stuff.  I realize that the truth is that this kind of varies, I have heard some good things about Wet N Wild and some of their palettes are pretty sought after, even though they're one of the cheaper drug store brands.  And I happen to know that the Wet N Wild waterproof liquid eyeliner is in fact just about anything proof, which would be great if I could figure out how to get the damn stuff on my eyelid properly.  I need a waterproof liquid crayon or something.  I also know that expensive stuff is sometimes crap, but sometimes worth the money.  This is where my 'Google carefully' mentality came from, I think.  (It's a wise policy.  And I needed one more parenthetical.)

In conclusion: a lot of my assumptions have to do with mental hangups.  I think that some of this has to do with how I was raised.  Not only was I brought up believing that makeup was a waste of time (which, the way I was applying it and from what I knew, it was) but that doing for and spending on myself was also a waste of time.  To the point where I don't even like spending money on things I need, like clothing, and only do so when I absolutely must (like when my last pair of jeans tears out in the ass or something). I realize that convincing myself that I wasn't losing out on anything by buying cheap makeup that won't stay on my oily skin was a defense mechanism, and that learning to take time for myself is probably going to help me be a little less insane.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blogger Status: Alive

So a lot has happened in the last month.  Moved the blog (okay, that happened today).  I've been kind of in and out on the makeup thing, and some personal stuff has kept me from writing much.  This is my 'relax' kind of writing, I don't intend to do anything with this other than have fun and probably look like an idiot.  But if there's a bunch of stuff going on, then I can't focus on getting one word in front of the other, much less actually getting some writing done.

Anyway, excuses aside, I have a lot of stuff I'm working on.  I went to the Medieval Fair in Norman on Mars at the beginning of the month (and I wore makeup!), I road tested a lid primer, I want to talk about some misconceptions I have had about makeup (that will probably turn into a series) and I wanted to talk about idiotic things I've done so other newbs can learn from/laugh at my mistakes.

So that's where I'm at right now.  But I'm back and I'll be picking up again. In theory. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Experience with Finesse Clean and Clear

After kicking the idea around for a while, I decided to seek out a sulfate-free Shampoo and Conditioner.  Mostly because Phyrra (who is completely awesome) convinced me that it would help my hair dye last longer.  The first thing I picked up to try was the Finesse Clean & Clear, because I’d read a few positive reviews for it.  I think Phyrra had one, and I’m pretty sure I also read one on Noveau Cheap.  I was excited and happy.
And then I was disappointed.

I could not get the shampoo to work properly, not without using tons and tons.  The key with the Finesse stuff is to get you hair really, really, really, really soaking wet.  No, REALLY.  And my hair is super oily, I get oily really fast.  I cannot get my hair wet enough to make the shampoo work without cleaning my hair first.  I stood under the water for what seemed like forever, I soaked my hair in the tub for an hour.  I really wanted this to work, but it didn’t.  This stuff barely lasted 2 weeks because I had to soak and wash and rinse and then wash and rinse and sometimes again.  I went through it unbelievably fast.

Bummed me out.  It was fairly nice even if it did take a lot of time and energy and shampoo to use.  Would probably work a dream on someone else.  So when I ran out I used what we had in the house a couple of days, and when I was out earlier I ran across some Burt’s Bees shampoo- it’s the volume one, I think that’s Pomegranite?  Anyway, I’d used the Grapefruit in the past and I remember having success with that, so I picked it up and we’ll see how it goes.

Items bought by me, all opinions (stupid or not) are mine.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts and Happenings

I wanted to post a picture of my naked face.  I don’t wear makeup all that often as of yet (I’m getting better at washing my face, anyway) so to be honest most pictures that exist of me are of my naked face.  At any rate:

This may be the best photo of me to exist, ever.  I do need to re-dye the hair though.

I haven’t gotten around to taking the time to document the seriously absurd amount of makeup I have, but I did have time to drunkenly apply some makeup the other night.  I liked the results I got, but I’m going to try again A: when I’m sober and B: when it’s light enough to take a decent picture.  Oh and C: when I remember.  That’s the important bit.

I am currently using a sulfate free shampoo and I guess the learning curve is a bit frustrating, it takes me forever to shower in the morning because I can’t quite get the shampoo to clean right.  I don’t need it to foam, but if it doesn’t feel like it’s spread where I need it to I have to reapply.  I do like that my hair doesn’t seem to be quite so oily quite so fast.  Normally if I take a shower in the morning it starts getting slightly oily about 8-10 hours later.  I showered yesterday around 11 am (late start) and when I woke up this morning at 9 it still looked fairly fresh.  So there’s been enough of an improvement to stick with it.

I ordered 2 of the Aromaleigh grab bags and I know it’s gonna take her a while to get through all of those orders, but I’m pretty excited about it.  I’d never be able to afford that much eyeshadow in one fell swoop, and it’s the thing I like doing the most with.  I also have a Morgana’s order that I’m excited about too.  So I’ll have even more makeup I rarely wear!

Oh I also bought a Wet ‘n Wild pallette with colors that are really neat but didn’t show up that well when I put them on.  I think I’m not loading my brushes well enough, but my massive Sephora pallette also has some cream eye shadows that I may use to back it up with and see.

One of my struggles with this is I don’t have a makeup, like, station.   I have no vanity in the house, I recently bought a lit makeup mirror (it was on sale) but I don’t have any place to set it up, and most of my setups have been temporary and uncomfortable, so I’m working on getting that done.  Then you can see some of my laughable attempts at makeup, heh.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Google Fu: Advice from the Newb

While watching Pixiwoo on youtube a couple of days ago, she did a neat look with glitter.  (Does anyone else adore the way Sam says ‘mascara’?  I could listen to her say that over and over…)  I think she was using MAC which is kinda in the ‘won’t buy’ price range right now.  20 bucks for one items it a little spendy for me.  Also, the nearest MAC counter I know of… I always get dirty looks from them when I go to look at the pretties.  Don’t particularly want to deal with trying to buy from them.  (There was this really awesome dude who worked there who wore the coolest makeup and always had a sort of goth-biker thing going but I think he’s gotten a better job somewhere.)

So I went to Etsy and typed in Mineral Makeup Glitter.  What the hell, I’ll give it a shot, right?  One of the first results was a big gorgeous eye that was done up in black and glitter.  The price seemed to be pretty reasonable, and it was usable on the eye (which I know some cosmetic glitter isn’t).

So I Googled “[Etsy store name] reviews”.  Hoo boy am I glad I did.  Customer service issues, people asking questions that aren’t answered, evidence of reselling (which is a legitimate enough business model I guess but not what you should be doing on Etsy, Etsy is built to help people sell handmade things).  I decided to take a pass, and am still idly futzing around with the idea.  I can barely bring myself to use a solid purple on my lid, I’m not sure I can handle using glitter.

The same thing happened to me earlier today.  I was looking for sulfate free shampoo on Etsy.  I found one that looked likely, looked at the Etsy shop, thought I might buy it- and Googled the shop.  Found some really bad reviews on the customer service.  Not buying from them.

What’s the lesson?  GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.  Always always ALWAYS research the company and product you’re buying.  Read their website, and go and find out what people are saying about it.  Even if someone you know and like recommends it, look it up.  Don’t just read the first review and think ‘well okay that’s all right then’.  Read several.  You’re spending your money on this, there’s no sense in throwing it away on a bad product or a horrible customer service.

Don’t think this just applies to Indie companies off Etsy.  Remember the big dog and cat food fiasco a few years ago?  Lots of pets got sick and died?  (Oh god that freaked me out so bad, I have three cats and a dog and felt so lucky none of their food was affected.)  Or the problem with some children’s toys?  Big companies screw up too.

You can’t prevent every wasted dollar, and you’re going to try a product you don’t like- it may even make you sick!  But that’s going to happen whether you buy from Walgreens, Dillards, or the internet.
However, you can prevent getting suckered into buying products with known issues, with lousy customer service, or from just straight up dishonest owners.