Category Archives: Hair, nails, makeup

Why I Love Women, More on Stitch Fix, and a Confession

This morning I opened the door of the small, private hair salon I go to and was greeted with great joy and excitement. Right at the door stood my stylist/friend Nicole and one of her customers, who immediately started shouting things like, “And here she is! There’s one on each side of you! [laughter, applause]. This is so great! [More applause]. Let’s roll out the red carpet! [Nicole had a brown towel in her hands and laid it on the floor in front of me]. Oh my God, she’s here at last! Hooray!” So I laugh and shout with them, and I step onto the towel and bow and give a Queen Elizabeth wave to the two women. I’m complimented and applauded some more. I applaud them back. Mind you, I did absolutely nothing but walk in the door.  Continue reading

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From Adolescent to Middleaged and (Oh, No!) Back Again

Remember what I said last week, about not wanting to be an adolescent girl again? Turns out, I AM an adolescent girl again. Look at the horrifying evidence:

  • Hormonal;
  • Struggling with unwelcome changes in my body;
  • Ready to explore the world and (re)find my place in it;
  • Staring deeply into my own eyes while looking in a mirror and studying a book on how to look pretty.

I’d better explain that last one.
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Makeup and Mug Shots

What a Christmas break! I’d say it was about 3 months long… not that I vacationed from work or life (as if!) but I haven’t blogged in ages. It’s like when I was an angst-filled teen and young adult. I’d keep a journal for months or years, but if I skipped a certain amount of time, I’d begin to think that I had too much to catch up on, and the task was too daunting… and it became more daunting the more time went on. And it’s not like I had to fill in all the missing days — nobody was reading it but me. But even here, the longer I was away from writing, the harder it became to get back to it. Which, I guess, is the same for everything in my life, and maybe in everyone’s life. Exercise, healthy eating, enjoyable passtimes: the farther I get from the days when I engaged in those things, the more difficult — and eventually nearly impossible! — it feels to get back to them.
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Lips Injections: Before and After, and Please Don’t Be Judge-y

I decided to have the lip injections (Juviderm) that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago done for a little plumping. I’m still bruised but am overall really happy with the result. They look just like my regular lips but more, well, plump. With less receding-ness going on. I still feel a bit as though spending money for this is vain and unecessary, and if you feel that way too, well, stop reading. Anyway, before and after below. I am not wearing lip liner in either pic, and I did not go out of the lines on the bottom one.

Before injections.

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5 Steps to Subtle, Sultry, Smokey Eyes

Here is why I am qualified to offer this eye shadow lesson:

1. I’ve recently talked to a couple of “makeup artists” at Sephora and they showed me how to do eyes, so clearly I am well-educated in the art. Also, having bought way too many Urban Decay color palettes because I appear to be addicted, and having spent way too much time playing around with them and making myself late for things (sorry, DeAnna), I thought I’d share some of the fun I’ve been having;

2. Angel told me she liked the way I did my eye shadow, on a day that I had experimented with “smokey” eyes, so I am obviously a professional. (And don’t go all, “Who the hell is Angel? Jen should really tell us who she’s talking about,” because I’ve written about her a number of times, and I’ve told you that she is my sister-in-law and one of my very bestiest of besties, so pay attention, people! I will not be explaining this again.)

Smokey? Or bruised-looking?

Anyway, here’s how I’ve been doing my eye shadow. A few things to note:

1. I thought this was bullshit, but it turns out that it really does help to have a variety of brushes. Depending on the firmness or softness of the bristles, the thickness of the brush, and the shape of the brush, you have more control over how the eye shadow goes on.

2. Make sure to tap off the excess from the brush before you apply it. If you don’t, flecks of eye shadow will sprinkle onto your cheeks like fairy dust and no matter how pretty the color is, you probably don’t want it on your cheekbones. (Also, it won’t make you able to fly no matter how much you clap your hands and believe in fairies, so don’t bother. I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t work.) Additionally, you are more likely to get a clump of color in one spot when the brush first touches your skin. In a similar vein, avoid using a heavy hand when applying it. Brush very, very lightly. If you apply the eye shadow with too firm a hand, it is harder to spread the shadow evenly and harder to blend. (The Sephora lady showed me the truth of this but I don’t feel like taking more pictures to prove it, so you’ll have to trust me. Which I hope you do. Because if you don’t trust me, why are you reading this in the first place?)

3. I had a third tip, but now I can’t remember it, and don’t tell me I probably only had two but only thought I had three because I have ADHD and tend to forget pretty much everything (see what a convenient excuse it is?). I KNOW I had a third tip, because I specifically went back to the sentence above that says, “A few things to note,” and changed it from “a couple things to note,” because I wanted to be specific and a couple means “two” and a few means “three,” so what the hell was the third tip? argh!

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here are my personal steps to sultry eyes. They are all done in shades of brown and beige. I also included a picture of smokey eyes at the end. Same techniques, but in shades of grey and blue. 

Thin brush for shadow along lash line, wider brush for covering the whole eyelid

  

Clean eyelid, no makeup

  

Smudge a line of dark gray along lash-line using just the tip of the thin brush; make it a little thicker toward outside edge. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you will blend later. Also smudge just a bit of gray to the outside third of the lower lash line.

  

Add matte beige over whole eyelid up to the brow bone using the wide brush, then blend well with the fat brush.

 

   

Add slightly shimmery darker brown in middle of eyelid up to brow bone, feathering toward outside corner of eyebrow

  

Fat brush for blending; short, firm but soft bristles

  

Blend, blend, blend, then blend some more

  

Add mascara, wiggling brush at the base of the lashes to separate. I like to add mascara just to the very outside lashes on the lower lash line.

  

Note just a touch of smudged gray on outside corner of lower lid. I like to use it instead of eye liner, which is too heavy for me.

 

   

Same technique, with darker blues and grays

  

 

Smokey eyes. Looks like deep thoughts are running through my mind. That’s because I was thinking about the deep line running across the bridge of my nose. I want it gone, dammit!

HA! I remembered my third tip: for eye shadow along the brow bone, just below the eyebrow, use a flat brush and PAT it on, don’t brush. I don’t know why. The Sephora people told me to do it that way and I always do what I’m told.  I told you I had a third tip, and you doubted me. I may take away some privileges. Not sure. I’ll have to think about it and see if your behavior changes. So shape up.
*I appear to be feeling a little aggressive today and it looks like I’ve scolded you several times. I apologize. Maybe I’m a little nervous because this is my first tutorial and I’m afraid you’re being judge-y. So please don’t judge and forgive me for my attitude. And have a great day. And let me know if you try this out and if it works for you. And send pictures. And that’s all I have to say.

I Know It’s Unnecessary but I Really Want It

No, it’s not shoes…

Is it just Paul or do all middleaged husbands out there want your wives to have long hair? Paul seems to continue to see me as a teenager rather than a MAW and wants me to forever sport the same perky ponytail as I did in twelfth grade. But that once-cute ponytail has become increasingly less perky, and I wanted something short, sassy and fun. So I cut it off. (Sorry, honey!)

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