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.