Category Archives: re-membering fearlessness

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.


You are beautiful – believe it

Too may people put their dreams and happiness on hold waiting for the day when they wear a certain size. Others keep what makes them joyful at bay thinking they’ll have time after they’ve accomplished life long goals.  You are beautiful just as you are, revel in that now.  Why wait?

Stop a minute and do something ultimately loving for yourself, and it doesn’t cost a thing.  Put yourself first for a change.  You matter.  More than you probably realize.  Perhaps say no to one more thing to do, if you don’t truly want to do it.  And spend that time doing whatever it is you do want to do.  Psst, you’re beautiful just as you are.

Start now, this minute.  Just one minute.  Sixty seconds, of thinking how marvelous you are for all that you do, for being you.  Just as you are now, and choosing something for you.

One minute, sixty small seconds of taking a few deep breaths, and to think a loving thought about yourself.  You’re beautiful just as you are.

What are you waiting for?

I’ll go with you

A week ago I said those words to a friend, but I wasn’t literally, physically, going anywhere with him.  You see, we were speaking over the telephone, when a painful memory of his, reared its head.  As he struggled with the best way to resolve it, an enormous silence bloomed.  It was a huge canyon filled with the unspoken wrenching of hearts.  I suggested he step into that abyss, we both knew it needed to be done.  I added the words, “I’ll go with you” and heard a sigh of relief.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t have a clue as to what he’s going through, or that geographically he’s too far for me to give a real hug, it’s the idea of not being alone that brought some ease.

Four short words, which carry with them great comfort, can mean the world to someone, or even lift it off their shoulders for a time.  I know because just the other night a girl friend and I were talking about life, being true to who we really are, and how it isn’t always easy.  I covertly cringed at something she said, and turned away to avoid the subject when I heard, “I’ll go with you.”  She saw right through the smokescreen I threw around my tiny issue, in the second she let me know she supported my efforts, it ceased to be a concern.  Odd how, just knowing you aren’t alone in a situation can be enough to let it go.

If you’re facing your own abyss, no matter what it contains, I’ll go with you.

taboo to talk about $? Out the window with that

No worries, this isn’t about money anyway.  Not exactly.

Last week was very illuminating.  The Air conditioner died when all the spare cash had already been allocated to fixing the cat’s torn knee ligament.  It’s been 84F to 91F in the house at bedtime.  Also, it’s back to school for my kids.  This isn’t to bemoan my lack of liquid funds, it’s to help me remember that very recently another kind of emergency happened.

It was an auto repair sort of emergency, but it was the great information I gathered from it that mattered.  On the way to the shop, I felt a clutching sensation, like a fist squeezing my solar plexus.  So I shifted my thoughts from “How are we going to pay for this?” to “What is this feeling all about?” and I understood clearly that it was my fear of lack.  Wanting to get off of that particular train, I went with the positive, “I acknowledge there is enough abundance in the universe for everyone and I’m open to it.”  And yes, I meant it.  Which might be why the next part happened.

I got a mental image of all the wonderful things the Universe is sending my way, where it all blended into a beautiful swirling light, being poured through a giant funnel just for me.  Remember abundance isn’t just material wealth, but love and health too, including personal health and self-love.  Under the funnel was a huge outdoor faucet, and there I was, standing under it like a thirsty desert dweller, only it was turned, very nearly, off.  One big drop fell from it after a long interval and sure, I saw myself with my arms up, accepting that splash happily, but really… just a drop?!  ONE DROP?!  As I questioned this, I began to understand that I’ve contented myself with this amount now and then, and, that I take it as a kind of personal challenge.  Not to mention the underlying beliefs of low self worth that all this implies.  Did you hear the needle scratch across the record right then?

Ugh.  Really?  … It felt true.  I did a little (EFT) tapping over the heart, “I’m willing to release this fear so I can be free.”  A tiny flake of rust flew off the faucet.  YEAH!  Cause to celebrate indeed.  I thought I was doing great and then… the cat began limping, the vet thinks a car hit our pet.  The A/C died, and so on and so forth.  Wonderfully, I didn’t feel myself slip into the old gripping fear when I looked over where I am in my financial life.  There is no one to blame, and incredibly enough, I didn’t want to.  Now I just want a way to change it.

I’ve decided to view of all these new areas in our life that money needs to go to, as a kind of pre-flight check list.  For me, it’s the Universe saying, “Before take-off, double check you’ve let go of all the fear that blocks abundance for you.”  With each new thing simply being there to have me look for any other areas where I might be stuck, or rusted, such as:

*judging others and how they choose to spend their money –

*not staying in the moment to go off into a daydream of winning the lotto –

*getting angry because there aren’t funds to do much of anything –


Thankfully, I haven’t felt jealous over the good fortune of others, instead I am happy for them.  My kids not only understood the situation, but agreed whole heartedly that cat repair was job one.  I also pushed aside my pride and explained where I’m at to friends, so they would understand why I’m turning down invites out.  When lo, it was clear that those who love me aren’t judging me about money or the material things I own.  Instead they have been understanding and supportive which buoyed me through the hot days.

Then the marine layer came in and cooled things down, and a friend sent me a link to a Living Source coupon to help with repairing the A/C unit.  It turned out, that $44 coupon was all it took to get the unit up and running.  Last night, the house was bearable to live in.  And our lovable cat is home from surgery, going to heal up beautifully, and I am grateful for it all.

“The Help” – and the Richter scale

Today, my oldest daughter took me to see “The Help”, it was an unexpected treat.  She bought the movie tickets, I bought the iced teas.  I don’t want to try and sum up the literal parts of this film, or give anything away.

I will say this,

I love it when a movie can take my heart and strum a chord of feelings I didn’t know existed.

Or perhaps, it was there all along, just waiting for some eruption of laughter, or gasp of the unexpected to wake it up, the way earthquakes wake up volcanoes.  I am moved.

The way people can reveal all the facets of themselves, and hope for only love in return.

The simplest of phrases, uttered on a kind breath can plant a seed, can change the world.
“You is smart.  You is kind.  You is important.”

Houston, we have lift off!

My oldest has packed up her room and is moving her things to San Jose today.  In the Fall she’ll be attending San Jose State University.  Go Spartans!  And in the meantime, she’ll be working and having adventures in places like Texas, and Vancouver, B.C. and I’m feeling pretty good as I remind myself isn’t this what I raised her for?  To make the most of life.

Years before I had kids, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to have kids so I could start a sane branch of my family.  Seriously.  I know that sounds harsh, but my mom had some awful parental role models, and my dads family were by and large, not around after he died.  Back then, no one in the older generation questioned the way they did things, much less tried to figure out how to do them differently.  Patterns got repeated consciously as well as unconsciously, and I wanted to change 98% of them.  When I was 23, I got the chance to start implementing them.

Three things I wanted to be sure to instill in my daughter were, to listen to her intuition and act on it, and to use her voice for herself as well as others.  Technically that’s more than three, but let’s not split hairs.  I was taught to ignore my gut feelings, much like the throw away characters in horror movies do.  You know, those friends of the hero, who walk into dark basements first, or ignore the chainsaw noise until it’s too late.  Are they stupid?  No, A. they’re ignoring their inner voice that is screaming, “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!” and, B. it’s scripted.  My kid would only take a step outside of the script if I did.  Damn, this wasn’t going to be easy.

When the time came to encourage my daughter to speak up for herself, I hit a speed bump.  Huge understatement.  Again, it wasn’t something encouraged when I was a kid.  My mom thought her first granddaughter saying “I don’t want that.” was charming … for a minute, while the father of said toddler demanded I teach our kid otherwise.  I put on neck-high waders, to hide my jello like spine as well as deflect what I considered sexist baloney, and went out to meet them for peace talks.  Explaining my point was easy to think about, harder to form into words.  Birthdays zoomed by when I noticed her outspoken way had been muzzled despite my best intentions.  It was becoming all too clear my kid was watching for my example.  I had to live the changes I wanted to see in her.  Gandhi, your quote reads deceptively simple, hats off to your genius.

To my daughter, I’d explain that adults are human too, and if your spidey sense tingles, by all means listen to it.  In Junior high, there was a teacher who she felt picked on one student constantly.  For months she’d discuss the latest wrongs, unsure of how to right the situation.  I offered to speak to the teacher but she nixed that idea.  I was more than willing to charge at her dragons, but my own, em, not so much.  Is it any surprise we began taking the same baby steps together?  Eventually, she wrote the teacher a letter, and showed me that we all have to start somewhere.

Now, she’s off meeting new people, and making all her own choices, even what to eat for dinner.  I can’t wait to hear her humorous take on all of it.  And in reviewing what I wanted for her, I see that I learned more from her.  ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ never works with kids.  At least not for long.  Now my gut says, get out there and fly.  Should I get cold feet, I’ve got one heck of an example to look to.  Oh yeah, and, Go Spartans!