Adventures in Makeup

Now that my inner child is a teenager I have been diving into the world of makeup in a way I never have before, (parochial upbringing) and loving it.  For me, makeup is fun and not at all about following trends (my eyebrows can confirm this) or trying to look a certain way, other than colorful and shiny.  I’m talking the Joss Whedon, Firefly kind of shiny.  I also mean shiny as in, metallic eyeshadow because it makes me happy like Ramona Quimby puddle jumping with red rain boots.

This was an experiment to discover if lip products could become my favorite makeup items.  I thought it was time to try ‘high end’ i.e., pricier products, with the idea of discovering some kind of holy grail product.  I purchased a smile-shaped box holding six different high end brands in a variety of lip finishes from Sephora.  For $28 dollars I got two full sized products, and four products in what the beauty world calls ‘deluxe sample’ sizes.  (I have to admit I’ve become a snob and eschew foil packet samples.  Don’t save me.)

I’d heard wonderful things about Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick by Too Faced.  It felt softening and perfect, the color seemed made for me, but it had a cloying sweet smell that while not overly powerful, was strong enough to give me headaches. (I applied it on two different occasions, and wore it for at least half an hour to be sure.  I now think of it as Evil-in-an-Elegant-Squeeze-Tube).  Next I tried Kat Von D. Studded Kiss Lipstick, the miniature spiky looking container is perfect.  The color is fine, but the formula feels drying, and it has a mild scent that while it didn’t give me headaches, it didn’t fade and annoyed me the entire time I had it on.  Also I have the same color in a Colourpop Lippie Stix, which costs $5 compared to the full size KVD Lipstick for $21, and the Colourpop doesn’t feel as if it’s actively removing moisture from my lips.

There’s a Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, it’s a balm with a hint of color.  It’s beautiful (product and package), it feels great, looks great, but again, what is with the strange scents in lip products? Hello, cosmetics companies?  The nose is right above the lips, have you not noticed?  Wearing a scent I don’t like on my lips is like having a smoker living in the apartment beneath me.

How sensitive to scent am I?  On a scale of one to ten, one meaning I can sit next to tuna man on an airplane and never notice, I’d say I’m a seven.  I’ll notice the unpleasant odor, and ration however many sticks of Big Red I have in my bag to last the length of the flight, chewing until my jaw hurts in order to smell something other than my neighbor.  If I keep the comparisons to other lip products, the scent on Colourpop’s Lippie Stix I don’t particularly like at first uncapping, but it disappears in an instant (and it’s not on all of them).  Another example I can give, Fresh Sugar untinted balm hits me with a whiff of, no joke, lemon pledge furniture polish, but, and this is a big but, the smell fades quickly and I can wear it in comfort.  I can’t say the same of the tinted balm in this package, which in all fairness the scent is faint, but for me, it’s just strong enough to be an annoyance.

Back to the box, I picked up the full sized Juicy Shaker by Lancome.  Upon first glance it’s an adorable, tiny martini shaker but with a see-through lower portion which showed the product to be separated like old nail polish.  Ghastly.  Ah ha! I realized, it must be shaken.  I shook it and told myself my lips were being spared from a nasty binding ingredient, but between you and me that glimpse of unmixed product wasn’t appealing.  Then I saw the warning sticker telling me the contents are “Flammable”.  Let me pause so that can sink in.  ___________.  I want to ask Lancome, what exactly should I avoid doing while wearing your lip product?  Visions of birthday cakes setting my face on fire came to mind.  Too much Stephen King you say?  You may be right, but  I haven’t opened the tiny shaker yet.

There’s a Smashbox  Always On Liquid Lipstick (the other full sized product) which I had planned from the first to give to my niece as she loves that brand.  Also, a NARS Satin Lip Pencil, which my oldest daughter says is one of her favorite brands, so that is going to her.

All in all, eyeshadow remains my favorite makeup product.  While I expected I might not like the finishes or the colors of all the lip products, it didn’t occur to me that I’d have issues with scent of more than say, one item.  Oh well.  I’m ready for the next adventure.

Girls, it’s not the distraction, it’s the erection.

Memo: regarding females protesting being told they are a distraction in school because of their clothes.

The truth has been kept hidden for so long, that many actually believe it is about the girls. That they should be sent home, lectured to, and covered up. But deep down we all know this is bull. Even when females wore loads of clothing, from cap covered heads to floor length skirt, males would fall into slobbering fits over the sight of a boot covered ankle, a bit of bare wrist, so it’s not how revealing clothing is.

It’s about the erection. Someone had to say it.

Newly minted teenage boys get fed-exed truckloads of hormones, and even when there is nothing remotely sexy going on, for example, he can be sitting with grandma while Matlock is on, and the hormones can begin to fight for their right to party. The male is now horrified and uncomfortable, not just because grandma is there but because the dress slacks he’s wearing are from last year. Mom refused to buy more because he’s growing out of them all the time and grandma won’t care if your hems are awaiting a flood.
Suddenly it’s very tight in places that only moments ago were not and Male A doesn’t know if he should get up and hide in the bathroom, stay put in case someone sees the bulge, or try to think of how to make it go away. He doesn’t know what to do. Men, remembering those embarrassing moments have fought long and hard, no pun, to hide this secret and put the blame on females, instead of teaching boys how to cope.

It’s been happening for so long now that most have begun to believe it really is about the female in the tank top, or the hoop skirt that flashes the bottom edge of petticoats. That’s how long this shit has been going on. Enough already. Now the erection truth is out. Girls, this is what happens to boys. It’s nothing to do with you. You want proof? It happens in their sleep while dreaming about nothing even remotely sexy. Damn hormones never stop fucking with all of us.

That includes girls. Sure we don’t have appendages springing up and crowding our pants, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get our own deliveries of hormones that try to throw righteous parties during algebra. Those early teen years are fraught with trying to act like a regular school kid while the urge to do things you used to think were gross, tries to overwhelm you. It’s nothing short of madness.

We all deserve a medal for getting through those years.

If you’re a boy and you find this to be happening to you, get a grip on it, (again, no pun intended) and figure out how to manage your penis and hormones. They are YOURS, no one can do it for you, and you’ll have them forever (ideally). It is no one else’s problem to solve but your own. Stop blaming girls. Talk to your friends, read a health book, go on-line. Do not get taken in by a porn site, this will not help.

Sure I know the music industry, Alcohol industry, The American Car Association, swimming pool corporations, clothing for both sexes, pretty much every thing that can be sold, has been marketed to us as if it’s all about the female form, but listen up, you cannot trust those fuckers. They just want to sell you something. Look at what the cigarette industry sold us. Is throat cancer sexy? No. Would James Dean, or (enter name of every hot young man or female since beginning of time here) have been sexy without a cigarette? Uh, the answer is YES.

And if you’re a schoolteacher telling yourself, and girls in your class, that they are distracting you with their bodies, You. Need. Help. You are no longer a pre-teen or teenage boy, and it is unacceptable for you to be stuck in that mindset. You’ve bought into the lie for so long you’re on the cusp of becoming a felon. Wake up and get control of yourself.

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Merry Christmas old Building and Loan!

I want to make one thing absolutely clear, when I wish someone “Merry Christmas” it’s not about my religious leanings. I don’t care if someone is Christian or not.
It’s me, feeling and expressing the happiness of a life that is full of wonderful people. I feel a spark of being a kid again, a kid who doesn’t care what I get so much as who I get to share the day with. And in that moment, I get to smile and be one less person demanding anything of a clerk behind a counter, or the stranger on the walk to the park. The smile usually brings them ’round to cheer up their own countenance, and then I add Merry Christmas.
I imagine the Ghost of Christmas present, waving his torch around to help those with less feel abundance and love. I hope such a ghost does exist and gets to everyone who needs some cheer.
I also can’t help but feel the spirit of George Bailey after he gets his wish to have lived his life, even one as unfulfilling as he once thought it was, and joyfully runs down the snowy road, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Enjoy it all. Merry Christmas.

Debbie Downerism: John Oliver and For-Profit Colleges


One of the better things about social media is that if you manage to curate social feeds with just the right balance of entertaining spirits and brilliant intellects, it delivers unto you amazing content you would have otherwise missed.

I woke up one of these days — Sunday? Monday? I’m dissertating — to find dozens of messages from social media comrades about John Oliver’s take-down of for-profit colleges. You can watch it here:


It’s very satisfying.

It is particularly satisfying if you’ve experienced what Kevin Kinser rightly points out is the oddly sporadic nature of public interest in a 100 year old institutional practice of selling education for profit. Oliver is one of the best in the entertainment-as-news genre. He reaches people that mainstream media does not. He makes difficult issues palatable for general, concerned audiences.

And if you think about debt, precarity, credentialism and financial cronyism like I do…

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More than eyes, consider the lips


Lips are ten times more expressive an organ than eyes.  They pout, frown, pucker, stretch wide to laugh, smile or take in a huge bite of cake.  They smash into straight lines of disapproval.  They tremble.

They touch things in a multitude of ways, i.e., a light brush of the lips, a peck, a flurry of kisses.  Try touching eyeballs to anything and pain ensues.

Lips are used to spit, sneer, curl, and they can be plump, narrow, full, lavished with lipstick, or chapped and bleeding.  Sure sure, eyes can ooze, be puffy, and bruised, but anywhere on the body can be used to demonstrate that sort of imagery.

Lips are so much more.  Everyone knows when an athlete, or anyone else for that matter, says the internationally known “F” word with the volume turned low.

They eyes would need help from the surrounding muscles, and eyebrows to get that attitude across.




finding my humanity

I just saw some man’s post (on FB) about how there’s always been conflict in the middle east, specifically he meant the Israel and Palestinian issue, and he doesn’t care. He wishes they’d stop so his gas prices would go down and he calls them all assholes and so on and so forth. And what struck me was that I used to feel that way, when I wasn’t seeing anyone on either side as humans.

And I am ashamed.

Not that long ago, “They” were just these strange Un-American war mongers in a part of the world I couldn’t be bothered to remember where exactly it was on a map. I’m pretty certain my Anthro teacher would say I was being ethnocentric.

Yes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my apathy to humans who live far away, and have cultures I couldn’t be bothered to understand. Until I did. Heck, I study ancient cultures for FUN, why not living, breathing, “They do what?!”, “They eat WHAT?” cultures, because until I start making inroads to understanding other ways of thinking, I’ll just keep thinking the same old things I’ve always thought, and how will my children learn to care for anyone different than us (U.S.) if I am not an example? It could happen yes, but it has a higher chance of happening if I wade into that murky, unknown first.