Tag Archives: talking about makeup

Seven things, assuming I get to seven before I run out of things.

Thing One: PJs at TJ’s, which happened.

PJs happened! It’s over. I had a hard time this year, due to things outside my control and things I didn’t see coming, but I think that’s the way of any kind of event, right? Like last year, I had a lot of awesome help, and I think people had a good time. People said they had a good time, and I’m going to assume they weren’t lying, because what would be the point of lying to me? Just don’t say anything at all, and then don’t come back, right? That’s what I’d do, instead of lying, if it were me. Anyway, here’s some pictures that were stolen from other people.

There were arms length selfies:

2014-02-21-16-14-13_deco

A bed, of course:

1394476244744

And a cake, because laughing at my jokes alone never stops me from making them:

1394476182084

Like I said, there were a few bumps along the way, and I might have felt like talking about them if I wrote this right after PJs, but first I came home and slept for a week, and then Penelope coughed directly into my eyeballs and I was sick for another entire week, so PJs feels like a hundred years ago. It’s over now, and it was a long time ago, and I don’t feel like rehashing it all. I can try harder to avoid some of the things in the future – I was really blindsided by something that just wouldn’t have occurred to me until it happened, so, now I know. But other things, like two awesome people having to cancel at the last second, well… that just sucks and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for that, and while I felt really awful for them, I’m also a giant asshole, so I felt really terrible for me, too, because I was really looking forward to seeing those particular people, and I admit that with the added stress of other things, I did have a really poor attitude for the first couple of hours of PJs. It was shitty of me and it’s easy to say now, looking back, that I would do things differently, but I was bummed out and stressed out, so to be honest, it went how it went and I can only hope that people had fun regardless of my less than welcoming mood.

This was the third PJs, and there were way MORE things that went way BETTER than previous years. It’s definitely a learning experience every year, and it pays off from year to year. Like okay, this year I still got way too much food, but there were WAY fewer total fails on the food front. And look, if you want to have a large variety of snacks, you’re going to have too much food. I can’t just buy a handful of each kind of candy and chips that I need. And also this year, I hired a makeup artist to come and do demonstrations and answer questions about anything anyone wanted to ask, which went over better than I even expected, and that was a lot of fun. I still have a really good handle on how I like this to… be… and other small details get more and more ironed out from year to year.

Next year! PJs will be on either 2/20-2/22 or 2/27-3/1. More details will come in the summer, as always. I do have some stuff to work out still. I’m really committed to PJs staying the same size. It’s just not going to change. It’s not. Not ever. It’s not negotiable. I’m also really committed to the fact that PJs is an open event. I hope that people have felt welcome to sign up whether you feel like you know me or not. Well, I know people have felt welcome to sign up, because they’ve done it. This year, due to the size and how quickly it filled, people who came in the past couldn’t come. And there’s no one who came this year or in past years that I could imagine not wanting to see again in future years. And there are people I haven’t seen yet that I know I want to see in the future. I want to keep seeing everyone I’ve seen, I want to see people who haven’t made it yet, and I want new people to know that they’re welcome to join in, too. And I want to do all that and still keep it at the same small attendee cap. Is that actually possible? I’m thinking it’s not. So among my things to consider over the next couple of months are which of the “I’m really committed to” this-es I’m most really committed to, eh?

Thing two: open letters.

Can we all agree, worst writing device in the history of ever? Can’t you just say, “here’s what I have to say about ‘current issue’?” Seriously, “An open letter to ______” might as well just say “Here’s a bunch of words to help you accurately picture the smug look on my face as I self-importantly write some shit that’s already been said to someone who is never going to read it and also here’s my back so you can pat me on it.”

OPEN LETTERS: NOT EVEN ONCE.

Thing three: makeup.

I am on a no buy at the moment, because I did a lot of buy all at once with hoarded birthday money and gift cards and all kinds of stuff, and I hope to get to tell you (who are interested) about the stuff I got pretty soon, if it would all finish arriving already.

The first thing I had to do was get my skin under control, I think I mentioned it in a post probably a hundred posts back, that it was being flaky and weird due to some medications, and since I finally got THAT working (skin care post!), I was able to start the ridiculously needle in a haystack-esque hunt for a foundation (foundation post!), and since I was spending so much time putting on and wearing a full face of foundation to see how it lasted/oxidized/etc throughout the day, I ended up practicing all my makeup a lot more.

Here, ignore my family in this picture, and pretend you’ve been reading my blog since 2007 when there was a very brief time when I posted a video every morning. Eh? Eh? There’s a difference. Aside from the fact that I’m clearly seven years older. With my finely honed-ish skills, you’d barely know it was more than six and a half, six and three quarters at most.

ISAIDIGNORETHEM

Anyway, it’s not terrible. I’m working on it. I enjoy working on it, at least. Over the past couple of months, I’ve bought a real assortment of stuff, not all of it actually makeup. Some skin care, like I mentioned, which I hope will be helpful information to anyone who is struggling with those flaky bits of skin that aren’t really a bother until you go to apply foundation and then they RUIN your LIFE. I also tried out quite a few foundations, like I said, and I ended up with a couple – some from the drug store, and then I also have some higher end that work when my skin is behaving in different ways.

I also recently bought one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. I went back and forth a bit trying to decide which one to buy – I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but there are six of them (there are also blushes now, but those are a different thing) and they’re basically finishing powders, but can also be used as highlighters, and they come in different shades – Dim Lighting, Ethereal Lighting, etc. And they’re kind of meant to be like walking around with your own most flattering light on you all the time. “Dark Cavern” is not an option, so I went with Dim, which is kind of meant to give a gentle blurring effect while a lot of the others give more of a glow or a “lit from within” sort of thing. I’d like to have more of them, but honestly, at $45 each, I was only buying one and if I buy another, it won’t be soon, it was a little splurge. I don’t feel silly or frivolous spending that much on makeup, I like makeup, it’s my hobby, and I spend hobby money on it. But I generally buy more things for $45. Anyway. I was talking to Phil about it while I was sick and couldn’t really do a whole face, so hadn’t really gotten the full effect of it and didn’t know if it really did much of anything for me and explained to him how the different powders worked and he nodded along. A couple days later, I brought it up to him again* and he goes, “Is that the stuff that makes you look like you’re in slow motion?”

The ladies who came to PJs gave me some empty Z-palettes and a super generous gift card, so I ordered some eye shadows from Makeup Geek, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I only have my camera phone operational at the moment, so I know you just can’t rely on this picture as super accurate in terms of colors in the pan. I want to use them a little bit more (I’ve only used them for one eye shadow look) and also charge up my regular camera for more accurate pictures before I really write about them, but I can at least say that shipping was super fast and the packaging is awesome. The prices are really good, too, and the colors I did use (the purples) worked really nicely. I also tacked a couple of brushes on to my order and wasn’t impressed with those, so I’d skip them if you have decent eye brushes you like.

IMG_20140303_170056

Thing four: making makeup into another one of the things.

MORE STUFF I HAVE COMING IN THE MAIL: I have a brush set from Sigma Brushes coming. I really like using entirely too many colors to do what should be a much less complicated eye shadow look because I’m not very good at creating a gradient with blending yet, and I really dislike washing my brushes every single night, so solution? Many, many more brushes! I decided to order Sigma brushes for a variety of reasons, two of the main ones being price and customer service. I made a list of the brushes I wanted, and they were mainly eye brushes, with a couple of face brushes (the F40, the F35). I really dragged my feet on ordering for a couple of days once I had my list, though, because Sigma’s sets are usually a really good deal, and I just couldn’t find a set that matched up well enough with the brushes I wanted without leaving out too many or including a bunch of brushes I didn’t want.

Turns out I delayed the exact right amount of time, though, because Sigma came out with a new set of a YouTube beauty vlogger’s favorite brushes, the Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box. This does include two brushes that weren’t on my original list (the F80, the F86), but I didn’t leave them out because I didn’t like them, necessarily, but more because I was focusing on eyes and trying to keep the price low. This box also includes a pencil brush that wasn’t on my list because I recently bought one and figured I could cut costs by living without one, but there is no way I would turn down another one. What it didn’t include from the list of what I wanted was the F40 I mentioned above, which I decided to go without, and an E40, which I added on. Sigma always has a 10% off code (for March, it’s MAR10) and there’s a free gift included with purchases over $30 or $35 (this month it’s a mini E25). So I was able to keep my order under $100 even with shipping and really only give up on the contour brush. The Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box is only going to be sold for March and you can sign up to be notified when it comes back, if you’re interested. That kind of assumes you need brushes, want Sigma brushes, and want the same brushes I wanted, but… I think it’s a good deal, so I thought I’d let you know.

Mine are actually in my mailbox right now, so I’ll let you know what I think really soon.

Also, arriving tomorrow, I have some MUJI drawers, so it will be easier for me to actually show you this stuff in the decent light of the bathroom where it actually lives, hopefully in decent organization, rather than taking up every single inch of counter space as it currently does.

Thing five: Did you notice my hair went backward in this post?

First this:

IMG_20140215_114558

Then this:

IMG_20140215_141405

Thing six: There’s just a lot of things going on.

THING SEVEN I HAVE TO END THIS POST NOW BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM AND WHO I’M MARRIED TO AND IT’S JUST POLITE.

And all her old noses… had grown back!

As one of the most average people on the entire planet, I’m not naturally very good at anything in particular (I’m not giving you the special nod, nor, if you’ll recall, have I even demonstrated the nod for you, so I assure you, this is still not that time). I’m not saying that there’s nothing that I’m good at at all. I’m just saying that I didn’t come into this world loaded up with natural talents. I’m not a singer or a dancer or a musician of any kind. I took all kinds of lessons and classes in all kinds of things growing up, and I could certainly be taught, to an extent, but there was always a point where the teaching of the basics ended and skill and desire to improve had to pick up and take it from there and, yeah… no. I was a fairly well rounded high school student who then settled happily into the nice and flat college student and adult you know from a sort of distance today.

No, but seriously, I wasn’t good at any of those things, especially since I was forced to continue to engage in them long past the time when my interest for them ran out and I still can’t really figure out the parental motivation behind that. I can definitely see sticking with dance or a sport or whatever through a season or a year that had already started, but to be signed up again and again to the point that I was showing up for classes dressed in jeans and apathy? And for my entire high school career, my electives were filled with music and language, which is fine, for college and all, but my school offered a ridiculous amount of other more interesting electives, which caused me to double up my schedule as a senior for absolutely no reason other than FUNSIES (it didn’t end well), and on top of that, I was terrible at my selected instrument and I took five years of Russian. Ask me how much conversational Russian I’m speaking these days. This is where I’d say “none” in Russian, except I don’t know how. (Telling me how in the comments won’t go over well. I do know how. That’s not the POINT.)

The point is, not everyone is born good at things, or even one thing, or just gets good at whatever they end up doing, but that doesn’t doom you to a life of not being good at anything, ever. There was that lady on YouTube, that one who decided she wanted to learn how to dance, except she couldn’t dance? (Oh, casual dancing, that’s another thing I can’t do. Well, I can. I can totally dance. I dance party around my house at LEAST once a weekday. Minimum. So it’s not a matter of not being able to dance. It’s a matter of, if some other people were to observe me doing it, would they also call what I was doing dancing? MAKES YOU THINK. Hope you wore your waders because I am getting DEEP.)

Anyway, she couldn’t dance at all, but she wanted to be a person who knew how to dance. So she decided to just learn. And she videoed herself over the course of a year as she taught herself a dance routine, and at the end of the time, she did the whole routine, and there she was. Dancing. She wanted to learn to do it, so she learned, and then she could do it.

 

When Phil and I first moved in together, I couldn’t cook. I mean, at all. I never really thought of myself as a person who didn’t know how to cook, because I’d always been pretty reasonably successful in following a recipe, but baking some cakes, making scrambled eggs, and Kraft mac & cheese a bunch of times while you’re in college is not the same thing as being faced with cooking entire meals for two people the majority of the evenings every single week. And when faced with that, hey, guess what, no. No, I could not do that. Like, at all. The first night I cooked dinner for us when we moved in together, through a weird set of circumstances, we had my sister’s boyfriend visiting from Pennsylvania for a job interview, and I made baked ziti and frozen garlic bread and it was good, and I think Phil got his hopes up, or at least, kept his hopes where they were. But I soon slapped his hopes ALL AROUND.

Holy crap. I tried. I tried so hard. I don’t know why it was so hard. I don’t know why I didn’t know how to do things I kind of just assumed I would know how to do. I didn’t know how to bake potatoes. I didn’t know how to make rice without my rice maker (WHICH GOT UNPACKED WITH HASTE). I didn’t know how to make any eggs other than scrambled. At least every second or third meal I cooked went straight into the trash. We ate take out and fast food and frozen meals a lot to SAVE money because of how much food I ruined. But I could make baked ziti, so I would. And then I’d try three other things, and one would be okay, one would be edible-ish, and one would go in the trash. And then I’d make baked ziti again, and Phil would make burgers. And I’d try another round of new recipes. And soon I had two things I could cook – baked ziti and fried rice. We ate those a lot between things I tried and the things that were less successful didn’t go into the trash as much as they got eaten and then we said, “maybe we don’t have that one ever again.” And then I learned how to make Deeleeshoos Noodles! And over the course of years – YEARS – because Phil and I have lived together since March of 2009, I’ve gotten to where I have maybe 8 or so TOTAL recipes that I know I can make for absolute sure. There are other things I can do okay, or I am still fussing with. And over that time, there are more types of recipes and foods that I’m willing to throw into the meal plan and give a shot. And it’s been a while since an entire dinner went right into the trash.

Well, last week, all the fish went into the trash, but that’s because I forgot it was defrosting. I forget a lot of things lately. It’s not my fault.

In 2009, I could definitely not cook. I am not saying I developed a deep love for and interest in cooking, so I decided to learn how, but I did have a need to learn how to cook, so I just kept cooking and cooking and cooking and I guess I kind of know how now. I’m not very good at it. (It’s still not that time.) I make a few things that, as a family (that’s Phil and I, Penelope only eats carbs), we really enjoy. I feel like Penny is probably going to grow up having a few weirdo favorites that “mom made” or “the way mom made” that won’t really match with the way the rest of the world eats things (you know, well) that will be a kind of comfort food sort of thing, or requested recipe, maybe, not because it’s any good objectively, but because we eat it often and it’s just the way I make it. I don’t think that eight things is an especially large rotation of recipes, but it’s not my whole rotation. Every grocery shopping trip, I usually plan 7 – 9 dinners. At least 2 or 3 will be totally new and Phil will be WELL WARNED that any potential failure is on the recipe. A couple more might be ones we’ve only tried once or twice. Others we’ve had a few times or are Phil requests. Even those we’ve had a bunch of times are not immune to my standard kitchen “… whoops. EVERYTHING’S FINE!”

This is the key to my best cooking that took me about two years to figure out: NEVER tell Phil what went wrong. When I tell him, he can taste it, and dinner is ruined. If I don’t tell him what I did wrong, or what I think I did wrong, or what might taste off, or what steps from the recipe I changed, he never has any idea.

Even though I’ve been working on this for a long time, and even though I have come very far and the starting line is barely a dot waaaaay back there, I look at the dinners some of my friends post regularly – just weeknight dinners – and I’m just, whoa. Whoa. So beyond me. But I’m not discouraged or anything. For one, we’re all just feeding our families some food. For two, I’ve been working on my cooking skills and plodding along and making notable improvement over time, so if I want it to, there’s no reason that can’t continue. If I want to cook dinners as nice as the ones I see online, then I can keep working at my own skills. Someone being naturally talented or, for whatever reason or through whatever method, already talented, doesn’t crowd out my ability to develop a similar skill set if I’d like to dedicate the time to doing so. Unless it’s for, maybe, singing or something. I don’t think I could dedicate enough time, ever.

THE POINT OF THIS IS, I’m not very good at doing makeup, but I want to be. I don’t feel like this is a singing/dancing/instrument skill, but more of a that lady who taught herself to dance/teaching yourself to cook/I didn’t write a third example skill. So I do my makeup a lot. Sometimes if I’m just going to the bathroom, I stop at the mirror to do my eyebrows, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup and not going anywhere that day. I read a lot of makeup blogs. I look up video tutorials on specific products I have or specific looks/skills I want to work on. I wear a full face of makeup to Target.

Sometimes I practice eyebrows after I take my sleeping medicine but before I fall asleep and hope I remember to wash my face before I pass out, so as not to surprise myself into an sudden pants-pee in the morning if I don’t happen to remember how angry and eyebrow-vengeful I got trying to make them match the night before.

eyebrows

Eyebrow? Why one so good, one so sad, eyebrow?

Just like with cooking, I’m getting better. I really am. It’s noticeable to me and sometimes people have even mentioned my makeup to me, which obviously makes me happy, just like compliments on anything else someone had put so much time into would. Don’t compliment me on that sentence, I didn’t put any time into it, and it would mean nothing to me.

I don’t mean this whole screed as a long setup about how makeup is for everyone, and how even if you feel intimidated by it, you too can can become a total pro. Take it from Boldbrow McHalfsies up there. No, I am not saying that at all. Not that it’s not true, I don’t know what you’re capable of doing if you set your mind to it. Honestly, it keeps me up at night and I don’t want to think about it any more.

No, actually, it was all about this.

Before I got in bed tonight (I’m typing this in bed, post-sleeping pills, pre-sleep, standard eyebrows), I washed my face, removing all my makeup from the day, and walked into the playroom where Phil had his back to me, playing a video game.

I said, “I can always tell these days when I feel like my makeup is on point, because not only am I in a better mood in general, but after I wash my face, I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Waaauuugghghhh!'”

He nods distractedly with his back still to me.

“No, Buddy*, look at me.”

So he turns around, kind of impatiently, and he looks at me and involuntarily goes, “Waauughh!”**

*****

*We both call our husbands Buddy, so when we all hang out in person, it’s like “Buddy? Bud– oh, sorry. My Buddy?

No Buy, No No Blog.

Something completely and totally unique about me – if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I find myself to be a unique and varying snowflake, different from everyone ever, a special case, an exception to all of the rules, don’t try to compare yourself, you’ll only annoy me, please, don’t embarass yourself looking for common ground between us – is that I am irritated by paying for things and not using them. You know, like when the fridge is crammed full of food, and you need to put new food in, so you start rearranging, and realize that a lot of the food is overflow from your husband’s CHEESE DRAWER and it’s got mold on it and why do we need an entire drawer of cheese if it’s not even possible for you to eat cheese in an amount measured by DRAWER before it goes bad? I don’t like purchasing cheese by the drawer if you cannot hold a drawer-sized amount of cheese before it’s a drawer-sized amount of mold. I don’t want to pay for mold. I want to pay for a reasonable amount of cheese. An edible amount of cheese. I want to pay for the exact amount of cheese that is going to be eaten in the exact pre-mold cheese window. And I am telling you from experience and experimenting – FAILED experimenting – it’s not a drawer-sized amount.

And the problem with a giant cheese drawer is that you’re never entirely sure what you have. I usually have two half full bags of shredded colby jack at any given time, because CHEESE DRAWER. Something’s always lost in the back of the drawer, causing me to repurchase the same things over and over again. And then you have two bags of moldy cheese.

I have a point. I have two points, actually, the first being that a family of three does not need a cheese drawer. Okay, special exception on your way to the comments, your family needs a cheese drawer. I concede. My family does not need the mold colony that is our cheese drawer. Read above. I’m a special case. My other point is that for a guy who likes cheese so much, Phil is really not pulling his cheese weight in this house. That wasn’t really my other point, but more of an organic cheese-based epiphany I just had. PHIL, ARE YOU READING THIS? I’M NOT SUPPORTING THIS CHEESE-FARCE ANY LONGER.

I like makeup. I think I’ve discussed that enough. I like wearing it, I like reading about it, I like knowing about new things that are coming out, I like having new things that have come out. I like buying it. But having a makeup drawer is a lot like having a cheese drawer. If you just keep buying things, a lot of it ends up in the back, and soon you’ve got two bags of the same cheese. Or, to separate the threads as I intended to do when I inserted a paragraph break with the purpose of leaving cheese behind, you find yourself buying the same color of lipstick over and over and over.

I’ve been on a bit of a buying streak lately. Not in any kind of obsessive or worrying way. I haven’t been running up the credit cards or selling plasma to fund my makeup problem. Hell, I haven’t even been selling my cloth diapers to fund it, and Penny has been out of them for a while now. When I mentioned to Phil that I was considering doing a “no buy” for a while, he was surprised, because like I said, there’s no specific financial issue. We both have our hobbies and we both spend on them responsibly. But then, how responsible is it, really, when I’m buying more than I’ve had the time, lately, to really put to much use? If I’m buying things and they’re just sitting there, it’s like CHEESE. In our CHEESE drawer. Just sitting there with no purpose. Is it even CHEESE if it’s not being eaten? Er, MAKEUP, if it’s not being WORN? It’s just piles of money. It’s owning it just to own it. I’ll start forgetting what I have, buying duplicates of things I already own, things will start going bad. I’m not spending irresponsibly right now, but if things start going to waste completely, then it doesn’t matter how much or how little I actually spent. A waste is a waste. And that just really chaps my ass.

So that’s what brought me to my no buy. Laura is doing one, too, and just posted her rules the other day. I’ve spent some time thinking about my rules, and they’re a little bit different. First, I’m only limiting myself to cosmetic products, because that’s really what I’ve been “collecting” kind of mindlessly. Second, I don’t have a specific time limit on mine, like for a month or two months. Here is the other issue. Another thing that I pay for and don’t use is this site. It really gives me the red ass to pay my hosting bill and then let the site sit here. Like some of Phil’s cheese. I am not concerned about lost audience, or lost revenue opportunities, or the – okay, stop me right here before I go off on a tangent about the false cries about blogging being dead and your inability to look outside your own dying circle does not translate to the actual medium being dead and holy shit, you do not own nor did you create the Internet and a whole new generation is coming behind you so just MOVE OVER if you can’t handle the new developments and STOP WHIN — it just irritates me to PAY for it and not DO anything with it, you know? And like last year, since PJs, I’ve been kind of loafing.

So I got this bucket, and I went over to the former snack door, now makeup door:

SPACE SAVER!

And I grabbed just about everything that I’ve purchased since PJs. I think. Pretty much everything. That covers the last few months.

Now, I am not a beauty blogger and I never intend to be. I don’t have any makeup application skills, I don’t take good pictures, and I honestly have zero interest in doing any videos. But I can tell you what I think. Some of this stuff I bought specifically intending to at least provide swatches of the colors – those little baggies on the left side of the picture are all samples from indie cosmetic companies, and I know a lot of people are interested in hearing about them. And some things in the picture, I mentioned buying them on Twitter and when asked, said, “Oh, I am totally going to do a post about that.” And then didn’t. Some of these things I’ve been using for a little bit now, and like them. Some of these things I’ve tried and am not sure about. Some of these things are unopened, waiting for me to get a chance to sit down and swatch the colors and take some pictures like I really did intend to. Some I just haven’t gotten around to at all.

And, okay, I admit that this isn’t everything. There’s another ten eye shadows coming from another indie company, along with some blush samples (lilac!), plus a Tarte brow mousse I ordered from HauteLook before I started my no buy, and my Allure beauty box should be arriving today – you can see Laura’s unboxing here for what-all is in it.

So my OWN No Buy, No No Blog rules – my personal no buy applies to all cosmetic products (excluding body wash and face wash, because when I run out of what I have, I’m buying more). On top of that, I also have to get around to writing about the indie companies that I intended to write about when I bought the samples. On top of that, any products that I also considered writing about when I bought them (one of those makeup brushes is actually a paint brush, for example). Also, any product that anyone comments on today’s post that they are interested in hearing about. Lastly, everything else in the picture has to be dealt with in one of three ways – mentioned here, used until it’s gone, or given/thrown away if it’s not for me. After all of those things are satisfied, I can buy stuff again.

ONE BIG NOTE: I don’t actually have any intention of turning this into a beauty blog, though. This isn’t a post saying, okay, until I get through all of this, all my posts are going to be makeup posts. Because I don’t actually have that much to say about makeup, contrary to these 1500 words, because let’s be fair, a lot of them were about cheese. The No Buy, No No Blog is only intended to spur me into opening the new post screen, and to hopefully tack on a couple of words about eyeliner as well.

Okay. Who else is doing a No Buy? Or a No No Blog? Or wants to know about something in the picture? I should have made the picture blurrier, in retrospect.