Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why I hate Mary Kay, and some helpful eye makeup tips.

Ack! Speak of the devil. That Mary Kay lady keeps calling me! I just had a nice chat with her explaining why I don't like Mary Kay. I felt bad, it seemed like she took it personally. She kept insisting that Mary Kay is the "Number one selling brand in the world!" and that they are "the best!" I wonder if she could hear my eyes rolling.

I would encourage everyone to visit before considering being bullied into becoming a "multi-millionaire" Mary Kay consultant.

I won't go into why I don't like Mary Kay as a company, as you can visit and read about it for yourself.

I will explain further why I don't like the products. Simple:

* Low pigmentation
* Poor quality
* No variety
* No personality
* High price
* Too dated

Okay, I know this isn't the pick on Mary Kay blog, and I'm not trying to. It's just that these consultants are so pushy- they're like vultures! They are relentless! They'll say anything to get you to buy as much product as you can carry and guilt trip you into becoming a consultant.

Now for something positive. There's too much negativity in the air.

Let's talk about eyes!

I'm an eye person- I've always felt that they were my best feature and I always choose to make them the focal point of my look.

I feel that eyeliner and mascara are the simplest thing that anyone can do to make themselves instantly look better.

What's the point of eyeliner? It works in a few different ways. It darkens your lashline to make your lashes look thicker and your eyes more defined. It makes your eyes appear bigger and draws attention to them. It has a framing effect. It can also change the visual shape of your eyes depending on how you apply it, for example, the cat eye effect.

Eye makeup is absolutely worthless without mascara. You can't look finished without it. I see so many girls walking around with eyeshadow or eyeliner and straight, bland looking lashes. It makes their eyes look faded. It makes them look... weird. Like maybe they're sick, or tired.

Here's my eyeliner trick. I line inside my lashes, and on my upper waterline or upper rim. It really gives my eyes that extra something and eliminates any skin-colored gaps that can ruin your eye look. It can be a little tricky to do, but it's worth trying! It helps to look up with your eyes open, and take your pencil and run it along the wet part. Make sure it is freshly sharpened and clean. Then try to draw in your lashes. You can make dots in between or just do what I do and draw back and forth right at your lashline. Angle the pencil down and make sure you don't get it all over your lids.

You can stop there for a more natural look, or continue with a regular eyeliner application for a more defined look.

I always line last, right before curling my lashes. If you put eyeliner on before shadow, the shadow dulls your liner. If you curl your lashes first, it's difficult to make a straight line and you get a lot of lashes in the way. If you put mascara on first, the eyeliner ruins your mascara. The only exception is if you're doing a dark smoky eye- You can line first and put shadow on top, but I usually line again after that.

Mascara is the easiest part. Curl your lashes first! It helps. Take your curler, clamp right at the lashline (don't pinch yourself!) and hold for 10 seconds. You can either pump or hold, I do both and they both give the same result. Then, look at the mirror. Tilt your head back and look down your nose. That's a neat trick I learned that really comes in handy if you're like me and get mascara all over your lids.

Okay- you're sitting with your head tilted and you're looking down your nose- this gives you lots of lid space. Hold your mascara wand next to your lashes and blink. Once you have the first coat on, you can fill in where you want more lash. I always do extra on the outer edges of my lashes. It makes your eyes seem wider.

One more tip- always wear black mascara. Even if you are blonde. You want your lashes to frame your eyes and to be defined. When you wear brown mascara it makes your lashes blend in with the background, which makes your eyes blend in and not look quite right. It doesn't have to be super black - you can get soft black (or even dark blue!) but you want it to look like you have eyelashes, not weird brown fuzz.

That's all there is to it. It probably takes about a minute and a half to do, but it makes you look so much more awake and defined. It adds interest and helps draw attention to your eyes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stay Away From Mary Kay (Seriously.)

I'm back! Man, it's really good to be home. I never thought of my self as a snobby "city girl" until staying a week in the country... It's so good to be back in a mold-free bathroom. I can finally feel clean after showering again!

I had an epiphany. I attended a (don't laugh) Mary Kay party last night. Now, I have to be nice because a very good friend of mine had asked me to go, and who am I to turn down a chance to play makeup? But, good golly, it was like Makeup for Idiots, 101. I wanted to stab my eye out with the disposable sponge-tip applicator.

It wasn't just the sub-par quality of the products, the indoctrination or the identical look everyone was wearing. It was the whole experience. This is where the epiphany part happens.

These girls, really I love them to death, it's just so sad that they cling to this terrible product for no reason other than it's the first/only brand they've been introduced to! I think the reason more women don't wear makeup more often is because of some of the crappy product they grew up using. I mean, based on my experience at this party, I can see that happening. I was handed poor quality products shaved onto a palette, no tools other than sponge-tip applicators, no proper lighting or instruction on how to make the makeup flatter and enhance your looks.... No nothing! Just scrape, apply, look like crap, then have the kooky lady insist that you'll make $80k a month being a Mary Kay consultant and you'll drive a pink Cadillac and live happily ever after.

I came in with my full face of MAC and the like, which I suppose can be a little startling, I'll admit, heh. I didn't know we would be applying makeup. I thought it was kind of like a tupperware party. Pass around the catalog, order junk and the hostess gets a nice bonus.

I was wearing a slightly over the top look. I was feeling festive. Copper Sparkle and bronze, loaded with Make Up For Ever diamond powder, black eyeliner and my usual metric ton of mascara. My face was covered in glitter a little bit, but that wasn't intentional. I found this cool spray at Bath and Body Works, it's like scented aerosol glitter. It's like super glitter explosion times ten. I tried to put some in my hair- one little spritz- and it covered my entire bathroom, head and body in glitter. I think I even inhaled it.... I'm gonna get the glitter lung... Anyway, getting off topic...

I'm instructed to take off my makeup. After a little hesitation I do so. We cleanse with a little blob of cleanser and remove it with a baby wipe... eeew. I put on some serum and moisturizer, eye cream and a lip mask. All over sticky baby wipe residue... eeww. We then apply some crappy yellow concealer, which is the wrong shade for everyone, and then some cakey orange foundation. We then apply orange powder with a cotton ball, and orange bronzer (also with a cotton ball.) We looked like the 80's.

We then move on to eyeshadow. My color scheme was plums. Cool, I rock the purples like nobody's business, I can handle putting it on with a sponge... Or so I thought. We go directly to applying eyeshadow without an eyeshadow base. So, my light purple shade ended up being translucent grey. We then apply the medium shade to the crease. Mine ended up being slightly darker translucent grey. Then we were to apply the darkest shade "in a triangle" with a sponge. Mine was kinda sparkly translucent grey. Hmm. Mary Kay lady also seemed to have missed the class on blending.

We get eyeliner and mascara samples and apply them. I look around and the other lovely ladies have the dreaded eyeliner gap- where there's skin clearly visible between the lashline and the liner itself. The Mary Kay lady has this also. Apparently this is an acceptable look in the Mary Kay world.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but my makeup looked like crap. My face was orange, my skin looked dry, my eyeshadow looked like garbage and I was wearing brown lipstick. I can't imagine many ladies being very excited about wearing makeup if they thought they would end up looking like this. Hell, if this was my only experience with cosmetics, I wouldn't wear it either! Though, I wouldn't know that there was anything better out there either, and maybe I would settle. I think that's it. These girls have never been in a Sephora, never heard of MAC, never have felt the giddiness of walking into a room full of sparkling little jars and tubes and pots and palettes.

That makes me a little sad. There's just so much fun waiting to happen with makeup. Playing with different looks and colors and textures, different scents and all that fun stuff. Maybe some women see it as a necessary evil. They wear it because they have to, same look day in and day out, without any joy in it. Makeup is not permanent! It's not like cutting your hair or getting plastic surgery or buying am expensive new outfit. It's a way to change your look instantly, and if you don't like the way it turns out, just remove it.

I know I'm a little bit crazy, a bit too obsessed and even a little bit fanatical... But really, there's a lot of fun to be had in it, and there are much better results to be experienced. Even I get stuck in a rut at times, but if you're willing to branch out, there's a lot of enjoyment to be had in this simple everyday 'chore'.

All that being said, I did end up buying some hand lotion. I wasn't gonna be a total bitch. Even if the makeup sucks, Mary Kay does make some nice lotion. Mary Kay Satin Hands kit... I've been using it for years and I would definitely recommend it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hmm... These google searches are starting to worry me...

This week people have hit me by searching "filthy manicure" and "filthy blackened feet."

I think I preferred the "whipped ass videos" to this new strange dirt fetish.... Oh, last week someone googled "disgusting eye infection pictures" and hit me... Nice...


My Tarte We Wish You Wealth palette should be here today. I still am not sure why I bought it. None of the colors even look interesting. But... it's huge! It has so much stuff! I hope it doesn't end up to be like Sephora's crappy Blockbuster palette.

Speaking of crap, I have to rant.

Becca Jewel Dusts. Utter CRAP. I can't believe someone would pay $22 for this. Of course, being a sucker for a sale, I bought a bunch for $5.50 when Sephora was clearing them out. I got Erzulie, Mazikeen, Feorin and Titania.

Now, here is why I think they are crap. They turn grey! You can't blend them without losing all of the pigmentation. There's really no shimmer at all. The colors are dull. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with these now. They're useless. If I wanted bland, patchy grey eyeshadow, I would have bought bland, patchy grey eyeshadow.

Don't waste your money, even if they are on clearance.

And in the same vein, Fyrinnae.

I ordered a ton of samples from Fyrinnae. They do powdered mineral type eyeshadows and other products. The colors all look really cool on the website and in the jars. Really, really cool actually, until you apply them.

They're all BLACK. Every color I ordered that wasn't metallic or bright purple goes on black. The metallics are great so far, so no complaints there. I'm sorely disappointed by the quality of these. You get what you pay for, I suppose.

Take Fyre and Ice for example. It looks amazing in the jar! But try to put it on and it's black, sooty, streaky, skanky, messy, matte garbage. It doesn't blend, it doesn't stick and the shimmer totally disappears.

Neo Universe looks like a super-glittery vibrant purple. Try to apply it and it fades to nothing. It doesn't blend, it fades and leaves weird streaks and patches. Same with Incubus, Necromantic, Wicked, et cetera... All the same. I can't even use them as liner.

I tried different bases, different brushes, my fingers, a sponge, patting, swiping, stippling, mixing with different mediums and nothing. Nothing makes these things work.

I think I'm going to make nail polish out of them.

My nails are really, really long right now. I can't decide if I like it or not. I used to keep my nails pretty long, but one would always break. I haven't broken a nail in months... I'm actually kind of happy I can grow them this long without them breaking. I will have to file them down when they become claws.

I'm wearing China Glaze Outta Bounds with Out The Door Northern Lights silver topcoat. It looks like Christmas. I'm addicted to this topcoat.

You know what sickens me?

Dove ads. You know the ones.

You know why?

Dove is owned by the company that also owns Axe.

Go watch an Axe ad.

Dove- they're just as bad as anyone else in the industry, but this time they're making you think they're doing something positive in order to get your money. They're not. They just want your money.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The China Glaze X collection looked so promising.

I got I and VIII. In the bottle VIII looks like blackened violet. It's beautiful.

On the nails it's a different story. While it only took one coat to get perfectly opaque color, it just looked black. And the formula is weird. It's runny and gooey at the same time and it's nearly impossible to get a thin, even coat. You think you only have a little on the brush, but then all of a sudden this big blob drips off the brush, seemingly out of nowhere.

I don't have the patience for that kind of crap. I gave up and used Orly (YARLY) Moondoggie instead. Much better application. I forgot what a cool color Moondoggie is. I'll have to take some pictures.

I'm willing to give VIII another try when I have more time and energy.

On the subject of a perfect manicure...

Lately I can not bring myself to get a salon manicure of pedicure. This is for two reasons.
Reason one is that I actually do a much better job myself. My last salon mani/pedi was abysmally disappointing. I don't know why I even paid them.

The second reason is paranoia. Let's face it. Hands and feet are filthy. Therefore, tools used on hands and feet are also filthy. The last few times I went to a salon (all different salons, mind you) they used tools out of a little caddy, which I assumed were sterilized. Oh boy. When I saw them use the tools they just used on me on the next person in line I nearly pissed myself.

Don't be fooled by the autoclave that is so prominently displayed in the salon. They don't use it! They didn't so much as rinse those tools they just used on you. Sure, they have an autoclave, and a sink, and alcohol and various disinfectants (or jars of colored water)... That doesn't mean they use them.

Another reason that I hate going to a salon for a mani/pedi is...

"Wan fren? Fren? Get foo se fren nail, kreeleek."

You have any idea what that says? Neither do I. That's actually a question I was asked and I had no idea how to respond. Apparently, she was asking me if I wanted a french manicure, and suggesting that I get a full set of acrylics.

When I politely declined, she started talking to the lady at the station next to her in another language. That's secret code for: Stupid white girl, she'll never know we're talking about her!

I've learned better. I do my own nails. They look better, I don't have to make small talk or tip or try to understand what the hell the tech is saying, and I know my tools are clean and used only by me.

My can't-live-without nail products:
Creative Solar Oil: Your nails can't look their best if your cuticles look like hell. Plus, it smells like almond.
Creative Cuticle Eraser: Give it a week of regular use and you won't recognize your cuticles.
Creative Cuticle Remover: Use before every manicure with a metal cuticle pusher. Careful, this stuff is potent.
Stainless Steel Cuticle Pusher: Gentle and does an excellent job.

Base coat:
OPI Nail Envy Sensitive and Peeling: Best base coat ever. Dries instantly, prevents staining and wear and strengthens nails.

Top Coat:
Seche Vite and Poshe: I don't know what I would do without these. Seche dries faster, but Poshe is shinier. Dries your manicure completely in 10 minutes.

Acetone nail polish remover and large cotton balls.

Add in a crystal file and a 3-way nail buffer and there you have it. My nail essentials. I haven't felt the urge to get a "professional" manicure in ages. Think of all the money you would save if you didn't go to the salon every week.

A small tip: Creative cuticle products are great, but the polish is awful. It takes two days to dry. Literally. Even with Seche and OPI Drip Dry. It's just terrible stuff. Unless, of course, you like smudgy dented bubbly nail polish.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

While I am trying to learn to love the classic Guerlain Vol de Nuit, I can't help but think it would be really cool if they released a fragrance called Vol de Mort.

It could come in a bottle like an Anna Sui, except it wouldn't have a nose.

Can you tell I've been drinking?