Thursday, September 26, 2013

Road Trippin: Biggest Forever 21!

in the beginning...
This will be a two part post. The women's is substantial, but the men deserve an honorable mention.
I decided rather than wait to find or meet friends in my current location I would live as if I had that friend and just go! Scary? Of course, but I could be waiting until my twilight years since not too many women enjoy superficial activities and I'm far too ashamed to meet someone who says, "In my spare time I hike, volunteer, teach autistic kids, and when I'm feeling selfish, I hike, or have wine and theatre at the Mondavi Centre" to reply, "Me? I love fashion, style, makeup, beauty, trying different outfits and reading, dreaming and obsessing about self improvement ... aesthetically..." As vain as it sounds, those things are my form of fun. It isn't saving whales, but it's something I enjoy that isn't harming me, my finances or those close to me. The same can be said about many diseases or addictions, but what's the point of life if you can't have some fun?
I decide against thrift stores. I wind up buying books and things I won't wear but look cool or can be a d.i.y. project.  That would be too much work. Rumour had it there was a huge Forever 21 near UC Davis and they have a nice college town to have lunch so away I go.
hipster section
It was Saturday afternoon and most people were in malls so this place was nearly empty. I later learn that not many people in Davis care about fashion and that most college students only shop when special occasions occur such as Homecoming Week, Winter Ball and things of that nature. Initially, I passed the store twice as I didn't expect it to be in a strip mall with no signs or landmarks. A kind officer gave me directions rather than a ticket for driving reckless. The car park was small and vacant. I usually like parking farthest from the store (exercise), but I am in a strange place, so I accept the close space. I walk into the store and nearly fainted. There was no loud music. There was room to walk around without stepping on clothing and it looked like I was in a high end department store. The employees didn't follow me asking if I wanted to try on anything,  and the clothes were neatly organized. *Cue sounds of angels singing*
Each genre had it's own mini store. Most F21 stores have their genres in different corners of the store. I like the evening or career styles so it's usually in the back corner, in theory, but in reality I would find a nice pencil skirt in the wrong size or colour and hunt for remnants of the others. No bits and bobs to mess about with. What's more, me snapping photos like a mad woman didn't cause one bit of a stir. They didn't confiscate my bag, give me odd looks nor did I feel security or loss prevention had me on their radar. The sales assistants were all so kind, well dressed and ... I am speechless when I think about this store as I could not find a flaw. Even the line to check out was organized. I can go on and on about this gem of a store, but it was a nice fan-girl experience, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. It encouraged me to continue to venture to new places more often. Why should I not make more of the simple things into fun adventures? They had a Trader Joe's next door, a Starbucks in the building, and a sushi place but I was anxious to get on the road. The only downside is when you are on that "high" from a good time out and about, there's no one to share the adventure with. But, the upside is there isn't someone who's ready to go, or bored and waiting to go. It's nice when one finally gets to the place where there is happiness in the simple things? Where to next?


it's casual

career wear

skinny jeans...organized

accessories for days

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eclair

I want to toss so much of the makeup that I don't use but keep hoping I will make friends with someone who can use some of the items I don't need. I have been doing makeup long enough to know exactly what items are repurchased on a consistent basis.
I purchased this in spite of my disdain for MAC Cosmetics due to their never ending limited edition frenzies, eBay paydays for greedy people, only to re-promote said item a year later. I love bases and now that there are no more paints or shade sticks, I find myself obsessed with all things cream based for eyeshadow base purposes.

I would not call these primers. I refer to primers as those products designed to prime the eye for eyeshadow wear. In other words, to prevent creasing or fading. Bases are something that I use to make the colour either pop or to modify. Duochrome colors over black bases can create something so beautiful. Sharkskin shade stick and Old Gold pigment is a "prime" example. <~see what I did there.  In all honesty I don't need any of MAC's paint pots. They aren't different enough to warrant spending $20 USD.
Years ago, a great makeup artist told me she stopped buying eye shadows of any shade since she had her basic kit and a 120 palette. "GASP!" Are you kidding me? No more eyeshadow of any kind! Why? Her response? "I have the primary colours and a few others to intensify, mute, or modify what I have. "How many variations of red, yellow, blue, white and black do I need?" It's been nearly seven years and every time I hit enter or swipe my debit card for a purchase, her voice echos in my head. I'm working on following her lead. I'm over watching YouTube, I am done with school, I'm working steady and it's time to start making responsible choices and my makeup is over capacity.
This is a bit deeper than Constructivist

Looks like a cream version of MAC's Bronze eyeshadow
Some people have questioned if this is a duplicate for Constructivist. It's in the same schema; however, it's not a dupe. This is lighter and leans warm. If one wanted to create a dupe, I would think Maybelline Colour Tattoo in "Bad to the Bronze" but again, I'll swatch a host of bronzes to demonstrate the difference when looking at them as side by side comparisons. The difference isn't that great but if you are a connoisseur and want a true "dupe" I don't think I have one which would 
Want to show it on fair skin but :(

Imperfect Perfections?

Learning to love who you are as you are is a constant struggle for some, myself included. Since my mum passed the world is different. Sometimes I feel like I'm dreaming. The emotional roller coaster is enough to need mood stabilizers.  I always thought I'd be older when I lost a parent. I never imagined I would be young, single, childless and in the wrong country. I have been looking at life from the sidelines, and it's time to get back in the game. Only problem is, the game has changed. It's always been dog eat dog, but now it's like the world is always waiting to demonstrate how imperfect, or less than you are.
A few observations make it so much more intimidating. It's so ugly out there because people don't stay relevant as long as they did in the past. It's really a short shelf life. Remember when "Robsten" was everywhere? Panacea 81 was more popular in the online beauty community and now... I watched some videos and the worst thing is to feel ugly, lonely, despair and watch these young, beautiful, and vivacious beauty vlogs on "How to be Happy" or "How to be more Confident..."
It's almost an insult. Even if I didn't have body dysmorphic disorder (bdd) I'd be offended. When you're in a dark place and you feel alone and suddenly some chirpy, attractive, young lady who has millions of "selfies" loads of social events and men and women fawning over them giving advice about building confidence. It's like an athlete telling an out of shape and overweight person how to prepare for a competition. Sure their life may not be perfect, but when people only put out the good (which is natural) and someone is feeling bad internally the cards seem unevenly stacked.
That's what marketing is for. It's not personal, but advertisers are under a lot of pressure to make sales in a tough economic time. Add to that a plethora of people who are being used to market their brands to an audience that is quite fickle, and it's no wonder people are selling themselves out.
I think the problem lies when we seek approval from external sources. When you seek acceptance from a greater source, one that is tangible, that you can touch, you're half way home. People on the web don't know you, they know stats, hits, numbers. Get friends you can talk to in real life who interact with you personally. It's easy to encourage people online, but we need physical support for our mental demons. Hey, even Jesus had twelve disciples. In short, we all need someone, and if we could learn to love ourselves first (hard task but essential) then find someone we can talk to or spend time with, over time, we can fill that empty space we look to fill with shopping, food, video games, alcohol, etc. Find your talent, and build your  confidence. You can always support others, but always know it's okay to put you first!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Help, I got a job but don't have the money for attire!

9-5 basics
You work so hard to get a proper job and once you do, you realize, "Huh, I don't have the wardrobe to fit in.  I want to make a good impression." I got you! Here's some tips on building a work appropriate wardrobe not just for the working girl, but anyone. These simple suggestions will have you looking so professional without going into debt.
Starting from the top left working our way down we need at least one pair of black trousers. These can be found at and thrift store or consignment shop. Look for nice hemlines, good fabric and a working zipper. Next we have the "power blazer" I can go from staff to corporate just wearing a nice black blazer. It's good to have a purse, but it's also nice to have a clutch. You don't want to carry a 10 pound bag to have after hours mingles/mixers. It's also nice to not feel that weight if you are invited to lunch. The way you look, you'll be invited in no time. A white blouse is another timeless piece. There will not be a time in life that any of these pieces will be considered out of style. You make sure you get good fabric and take care of them properly and these will be staples. The white blouse is boring but with a statement necklace, earrings and arm candy, you'll have that executive feel. You can sport it with or without the blazer. Yellow pumps? YES! Avoid an all black shoe collection. There are so many ways to brighten up a wardrobe and these are shoes you don't want to last forever, they are for fun, imagine having lunch on a warm Spring day sitting in a patio? It's kind of nice right? Oh no, not a corset? Well, the corset is a bit more my taste, but you get the point. If you are going to be meeting people, you may be invited to a party, or to go dancing, who knows.  What I do know is you will need that one festive blouse that makes you feel sexy. Think of something that says "I'm a working girl, but I don't work the streets." Save that outfit for the times you aren't at work. Don't mix the two, it seldom has a happy ending.
Be sure to invest or find a comfortable pair of black ballet flats, or kitten heels. Don't make the purchase until you do the following: walk back and forth, pivot, stand on your tip toes and think of how much time you'll spend on  your feet. Happy feet are the best feet. I had my share of shoes that were either too tight, too high, or outright uncomfortable, the days seemed to be never ending. I had to soak my feet and remove callouses. That never looks attractive.  The cardigan is a great sample of an alternative look, but still timeless. Look at how many ways you can interchange these pieces. They mustn't be the exact articles; think of them as ideas of what to look for when you are bouncing from thrift store to thrift store. Stay tuned for a post on how to shop at thrift stores.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 1 of en Epic Social Experiment

The face of fear!

So, it's time for me to do something I have been
putting off for six years! I cannot believe I'm doing this, but the best way to conquer a fear is by facing head on. This post will serve as documentation of the journey upon me. 

For  most people, the task is something they could do in an hour tops. In fact, many are, have, and continue to do so. I hate ominous posts, but it's just my nerves and the show will go on, to all things superficial.
I am so nervous. I don't want the experiment to be compromised, but it's one hell of an experiment. I tried watching this movie on Lifetime about a pregnancy pact. It's amazing the things one must endure in order to conduct a theory. I always admired the show 20/20 for being able to chronicle ignoble acts by social experiment. I remember there being to men who were exactly the same, with exception to their race. It's amazing that people still have prejudices and when it's brought to their attention they seem shocked and appalled at the reporter for tricking them. Sure, it's sort of cruel, but how else can you get unbiased data to support or defend an argument?  Fortunately, there will be some confusion, I may be accused of lying, and most likely will anger a few. 
I'm excited to see how this unfolds, but again, it's not an area of my life I have ever diverted from, but I am so curious as to the outcome. So, this is day one, and hopefully at the end of this assignment, I will have a great project worth putting myself, family and friends,....ugh....job on the line. People don't like to feel tricked, but how can you conduct a study if you advertise it and expect unbiased data?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mental Health & Social Media

We all wear our masks. We use them to hide our fears and insecurities so that the world is less daunting.
From our perspective, everyone is better than us. They have better jobs, parents, lives, friends, homes, etc. It may seem but it's only what people show to the world.  The person we are on the inside is much different than the person we show to the world. Yes, some people do have more money, more friends, and travel, but that doesn't mean their life is great. To be honest, it takes more courage to be vulnerable on your own than to have a huge network of support. What's more a lot of people have decided it's cool to have disorders such as, obsessive compulsion, anxiety, panic attacks, and so on. Well, I don't doubt that people do have anxiety, we all are anxious as some point and time, but as the DSM V reads it's not as cookie cutter as many are lead to believe. "I have anxiety..." Has become the new "Good morning!" Everyone has it. But, do they really? Not to say anyone is being deceptive, but you don't throw around terms like "I'm OCD," when what you really mean is that you like things a certain way. "I have anxiety," because you're in a crowded room. Maybe you're nervous, or have a phobia of crowds, or flying. By self diagnosing yourself and proclaiming it to thousands, hundreds of thousands, even a million people when it's not a debilitating issue, minimizes the disease for those who suffer.
I saw a Internet personality's video about how she had really bad anxiety, yet you see her at the mall, with crowds, without crowds, meeting people, hugging strangers, traveling, and so on. I cannot judge her diagnosis, but I do know people who have various forms of anxiety. One person has social anxiety so bad, she lost all her friends, and has been a prisoner in her own mind for over ten years. She doesn't date, she can't work, she doesn't open her door to strangers and when she sees these people on YouTube stating they have anxiety, and they are out and about, sure that's a glimpse into their life, but that snapshot is all people have to compare their illness to. "Hey you're like me...I must suck since I have no friends because they got tired of me being a flake. If they knew my problem they'll think I'm mental, or paranoid." No, they won't! They may not understand it, but it's not something to be ashamed of. It's good to release that burden to someone you can trust, but make sure they are a) not going to push your limits, and b) is trustworthy. There are many ways to fight this illness. Many practitioners are available to help. They usually have a combination of therapy and cognitive behavioral techniques to start and some, not all, prescribe medications. I am not a doctor, but it's not a weakness to need help. It's scary trying to free ones self from the hell of isolation, but it's a battle that can be one, it just takes a little faith, some courage and patience.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thin Shaming? Fat Shaming? Shame on you...

I'm not sure when the tide turned but this afternoon was the last time I sat idly by whilst listening to the men in my office make jokes at the expense of women's bodies. I've had my weight struggles like most, and I don't blame the media, and I don't blame my parents or anyone else. Society may use it's voice to perpetuate a "standard" but that doesn't mean I have to own it.
There was a time when we used to tease girls for having a few extra pounds. Before Jennifer Lopez and Sir Mix-A-Lot, it was a sin to have a big ass. Bubble butt, lard ass, fat bottomed and more were names to describe the plight of the pear shaped woman. Fast forward to 2012 and women were spending their last dime to get silicone injections, the Brazilian Butt Lift became the new leader for health and fitness DVDs and butt pads were the new chicken filet in the women's intimate department.
So my over testosterone filled brethren had a convo like this at lunch:
Female: "I shouldn't indulge in this but I have cheat days so what the heck!"  Accepts homemade cookie.
Male 1: "No one wants a bone, but a dog"
Male 2: "And they bury it when they're done!"
Group: Erupts into laughter
Well, let me get this clear, REAL WOMEN HAVE VAGINAS.  I am not versed on transsexualism so I will include them in the women per what knowledge I do have.
I get that for years people have made evil jokes and bullied others for being over the target BMI for their stats, but that doesn't mean we should suddenly target the opposite end. Bottom line? No one has a right to shame anyone. It infuriates me that anyone is picked on for their appearance including myself. Why is it a struggle to truly give 100% to something "beauty, makeup, fashion" that I truly enjoy online? I am not thick skinned enough to put myself through having the world attack me for flaws I didn't ask for. If I could wave a wand, I'd do something about the things, which I'll not point out, that I wish were different, but I am not in that place. I believe if I did anything cosmetic I would never stop. I would wind up looking like those women on telly who have had so much Botox, fillers, and augmentations that the true essence of their beauty got lost. When you aim at perfection, you aim at a moving target because you never get it.
I happen to be on the thin side of the spectrum at the moment, but that can change. You know what else can change? Society's definition. Saying that men don't like "Skinny Penny's because you have to shake the sheets to find them," might be cute, but when I was heavier, I never felt like I was better than those who are thin. To be honest, I wanted to be thin in spite of how often I said I loved my curves and bandwagoned the Real Beauty movement. We need to stop encouraging people to use women as objects for reproduction or fawning purposes. How often do we tell men how inadequate they are for not looking like this?