box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)

Don’t even ask me what on earth compelled me to give these a try. I was looking for some nail polish for my toes, since sandal weather has arrived, saw these, and was like “What the hell”.

They’re not like those crappy nail decals that start peeling after a few hours, these are actual strips of nail polish that adhere to your nails by themselves. The box claimed that it would last 7-10 days; I was highly skeptical. Darn if they weren’t still pristine at the end of a week! No visible chipping or cracking, and I’m fairly hard on my hands. I don’t garden or work on car engines or anything, but I wash dishes nearly every night. I did go over them with a coat of fast-drying clear, just for insurance.

Most of the designs are too obnoxious for me; I outgrew neon nail polish in 7th grade. The first time I used them I went with that metallic nude with a black fishnet pattern on the top row; right now I’m sporting the leopard pattern underneath it. What, I like the colors!

I wish they made black, for old time’s sake. The problem with black polish is you always had to goop so much on to avoid streaks, so it’s an ideal color for this application. Supposedly they’re releasing 5 more patterns this summer, most of which I could see wearing--stripes and checks.

In related news, I also recommend the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Pen, which is what I wound up getting for my toenails. It’s much easier to control than a brush and bottle, and impossible to spill. And the red is a true red, with no orangey or purpley tones.
box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)
I believe I mentioned a while ago that the lip gloss I've been wearing for years, Revlon's Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in "Cherries in the Glow" was discontinued. I've been using the Revlon ColorStay Mineral Lip Glaze in "Stay Ablaze" as a substitute, but without a great deal of enthusiasm. So when it ran out this week, I decided to try something else.

People, I think I've found a permanent replacement, and it's yet another Revlon product: the ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in "Top Tomato". It's an absolute true red, without any orange or mauvey-pink tones. It's more of a lip stain than a gloss, and it's very long-wearing. It looks really sparkly in the tube, but since you apply so little of it, the effect is pretty subtle, and it's perfectly suited for day wear--although you could put it on a little heavier and dress it up for night wear.

You just have to be careful when you apply it, because it's a lot thinner than gloss and can smear over half your face if you have too much on the applicator. Just dot a little on the center of your bottom lip and rub your lips together, then use the applicator to fill in the peaks of your upper lip. Repeat if you want it a little darker.

Wears all day without chipping or feathering; has kind of an odd smell but it's not strong enough to be offensive (and goes away once it dries anyway); retails for about $10.99 for a generously-sized tube--nearly twice as big as the Super lustrous Lip Gloss tubes. I couldn't tell you if it would stand up to eating because I wipe pretty vigorously when I eat and just re-apply afterward (I loathe the feeling of grease or crumbs sticking to my lips), but I imagine it would unless you were eating pizza or hamburgers or something.

If Revlon discontinues this one, we are going to have words.
box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)
So I've been toying with cutting my hair ever since I moved down here. Humid climates aren't really friendly to long hair. It wouldn't be a radical departure or anything, since I've worn my hair at various lengths of "bob" ever since high school. But I didn't want to cut it off on a whim and then regret it, so I decided to wait until I couldn't stand it anymore.
About 2 weeks ago I had a dream that it was short, and when I woke up I knew I was ready. (I also dreamed it was dark red, but dyed hair just isn't me anymore. It's too much upkeep, besides which I like my gray hair. It's pretty and I don't have any desire to cover it up.) I asked Mom if she recommended her hairdresser and she said unreservedly, so I asked her to make an appointment for me. I had to wait 11 days, because she only works part time. Get this, she has 2 young sons that are almost exactly 9 months apart. She and her husband tried for years to conceive, then tried to adopt through Catholic charities for more years, then gave up and hired a lawyer who arranges private adoptions. She was in the delivery room when he was born and was handed him as soon as he popped out.
God has a funny sense of humor.
Anyway, I took this photo Monday night (the night before my appointment), for posterity:
It was pretty much down to my waist. It looks kind of wavy, but that's only because I wore it twisted into a bun all day.
And after...

It's cut pretty much as short as it can be while being the same length (except the bangs).
I also invested in this hot iron, although I got it for $40 at Sally Beauty Supply, not $60. The sides poof out a little more without all the weight pulling it down, but a couple swipes with the iron calms it down nicely.
My hair already feels healthier, not to mention my scalp. All that hair is heavy!
I didn't tell anyone at work I was going to be cutting it, because people fuss at you when your hair's long and you talk about cutting it. Like it's anyone's business but mine what I do with my hair? MY HAIR IS NOT A PUBLIC COMMODITY TO BE HAGGLED OVER OKAY. So I pretty much blew their minds when I went in this morning. Most of them said it was cute, but the sincerest compliment was when the office manager saw me, stopped in her tracks, and said "Sha!"

box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)

sparkly pewter shoes, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

Ugh, you guys. I may have a problem. I acquired four new pairs of shoes yesterday.

In my defense, I only bought 2 pairs. See, I bought red and blue satin plum blossom China flats from Good Goth back in April. Because I now live a few thousand miles from the nearest Chinatown -- New Orleans has many fine features, but it lacks a Chinatown. And I waited for them to arrive. And waited. And waited. And 4 months went by, and every time I remembered and thought "Gee, I oughta email and find out what the heck is going on", I was always in my car or at work or at the grocery store, and I always forgot.

Anyway, I finally remembered last week and got back a reply that was basically OH SHIT OKAY HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED: they were out of stock when I ordered them, but they never told me that, and the authorization to charge my Visa expired after a couple of weeks. But they're back in stock and we're going to ship them priority mail and not charge you any shipping and handling OKAY SORRY.

And they arrived literally when I was at Stage buying MOAR SHOOZ. They were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale, on top of regular sale prices, and I need both a basic black pair of shoes (the only black pair I have is patent leather, which doesn't always go with certain outfits, and is getting kind of old besides), and a navy pair. The black pair I found but a navy pair eluded me; but since it would only cost another $15 to buy a 2nd pair, I bought these ridiculously pretty sparkly silvery-purply-pink flats. They're a brand called Chinese Laundry and I looked on their website and OMG NAVY BLUE SHOES AND I NEED THEM NOW. But I'm not paying $59 for a pair of shoes that, what with the near-daily rain in these parts, probably won't last a year. I'll just haunt their website and Stage until they go on sale.

See, I have SOME restraint.

I am also expecting these shoes in the mail next week, but they're only replacing an identical pair that have gotten really scuffed up. I wore them a lot the last 6 months I lived in California, and I was on foot a lot because I kept having trouble with my bicycle.

The funny thing is that I didn't give a crap about shoes for most of my adult life. I would have a black pair, a brown pair, and a pair of sandals for summer, and that was enough. Then something flicked on in my brain about a year and a half ago, and I turned into shoeholic stereotype. Except for where I refuse to wear heels higher than 1 1/2" or pay more than $40 for a pair. And almost all of my shoes weren't more than $20. When you have a lot the same pairs don't get worn as often, so cheap shoes won't fall apart as fast.


box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)

I think I mentioned a while back that I was ready to start wearing perfume again after a long hiatus? Well, Walgreen's has been pushing Florida Water with a vengeance -- like, giant card tables stacked with hundreds of bottles right at the front of the store -- since the start of summer. And the quaint-looking label aroused my curiosity, so I Googled it.

It's an old cologne water that's being made virtually unchanged from the original 1808 recipe, and the height of its popularity was smack in the middle of the Victorian era. It was acceptable for both men and women; and like most other fragrances of the time, was used more as a toiletry product than a fragrance. It's mostly alcohol, so people used it in their hair and their clothes and as a rub down after tossing medicine balls around with burly men in unitards and handlebar moustaches, apparently. VICTORIANS!

Anyway, here is a list of some of the uses for this product, as approved of by the makers Lanman & Kemp Barclay (note the old-timey Random Caps):

Added to the Bath or wash-basin, Florida Water refreshes delightfully and leaves the skin with a soft, delicate fragrance.

After a Shower, Florida Water provides an exhilarating rubdown, giving a healthy glow to the skin, toning muscles and nerves.

When used an Astringent and Skin Lotion, Florida Water effectively contracts the pores and tones-up the skin; leaving it with a feeling of freshness and free a buildup of oils on the skin.

You can use Florida Water as a Personal Deodorant, as it is indispensable to the fastidious woman. Its delightful fragrance is faint and elusive, making it invaluable for this purpose.

In a room where someone is recuperating from an illness, a few drops sprinkled around the room perfumes the air and overcomes stale odors.

Many find that Florida Water is more beneficial for a rub down for the sick than alcohol as it has a more pleasant and less offensive odor-wise than an alcohol rub.

Before Shaving, Florida Water can soften even the most stubborn of beards and prepares the skin for a smooth, luxurious shave. After Shaving, it contracts the pores of the skin, as its mildly astringent action soothes skin abrasions caused by shaving.

For Headaches due to nervousness or over-stimulation, are relieved by simply applying the cooling and refreshing Florida Water to the temples and forehead or sprinkle a few drops on a clean, wet washcloth.

For Insect Bites, apply of Florida Water on the bite.

When the Weather is Hot, applying Florida Water to the forehead gives a feeling of cooling.

As a Perfume, there is no more delightful of a scent than Florida Water. A subtle reminder of a flower-garden, it can be used in an spray atomizer, a handkerchief, or as a body splash.

After Exercise, a rubdown with Florida Water produces a warm tingling glow – delightful and invigorating to the muscles and the nerves.

For Nervousness, produced by excitement or shock, Florida Water applied to the forehead and used as a rubdown, usually relieves nervous tension and relaxes the muscles.

As a Hair Tonic, a sprinkling of Florida Water gives an enchanting fragrance delightful for social engagements. It soothes a burning and itching scalp.

In the Bedroom or Dressing Room, a few drops sprinkled in your lingerie drawer and clothes closets is lovely and long-lasting.

To Freshen Rooms that need a lift or to freshen the air from smoking, cooking, or the smell of new paint, sweeten the air by wetting your fingertips and flicking the room with a sprinkling of Florida Water.

Head Colds will be less bothersome if a little Florida Water is sprinkled on a handkerchief and the aroma inhaled frequently.

For Tired, Achy Feet, add some Florida Water to a basin of warm water and soak those tired tootsies. The soothing, refreshing effect is relaxing and refreshing.

For Skin Care, it never fails to massage the skin with Florida Water after removing your make-up, especially before going to bed.

To which I add some of my own: spray on your bedsheets, use as a room freshener, and dampen clothes with it when you're ironing them. I keep some in a little spray bottle. BTW, putting some on your forehead when it's hot really is aces... at least until the alcohol evaporates

Interestingly, Florida Water is also commonly used in Voudoun, Hoodoo, and Santería cleansing rituals. The fresh, clean scent is thought to banish negative energies or thoughts and be pleasing to the loa (spirits). Can't hurt to hedge my bets. I mean, I did move to Louisiana.
box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)
A couple people recommended this a few months ago when I was first looking for hair accessories. I had seen them in the stores but they looked so weird that I couldn’t imagine how they’d possibly work. I mean, I figured that there’d be directions, but Goody is sort of infamous for including frustratingly vague and misleading directions with their products. The updo pin is a perfect example: it tells you to insert it at the base of the bun, but if you did that you’d rip all your hair out trying to flip it up. You really need to insert it through the center.

ANYWAY. The accessories I have been using have been of the “clamp your hair to your head” variety, and frankly it’s been a very long summer and my scalp is starting to get a little sore. So I decided to give these a try… so naturally, they had disappeared from every single store shelf in town and I wound up having to get them through

But they only took a couple of days to arrive, and between the instructions and the internet (YAY INTERNET) it only took about 30 seconds to comprehend how they work. Basically you coil your hair as usual, then screw one pin into the top and one into the bottom of the bun. One spin pin allegedly does the work of 20 bobby pins.

I did this in about 10 seconds, while sitting at my desk and looking at photos of baby animals on Cute (I always leave the ends sticking out of my bun, I don’t like to have repressed-looking hair.) And even with the several pounds of hair I am currently in possession of, it only took a couple of pins — I bought 2 sets just in case. And it stayed in place all day.

Best of all, they don’t come into contact with my head at all, for which my poor abused scalp is grateful. Sweet Zombie Jesus, I will be glad when I can start wearing my hair down again.
box_camera: (frida kahlo vogue cover)
Last weekend I made a horrifying discovery: Revlon has stopped making the color "Cherries in the Glow" in the Super Lustrous Lip Gloss line. As I'm sure I've mentioned ad nauseum, this has been my go-to lip color for years. I don't wear it every single day or anything; but whenever I had an outfit/eyeshadow color scheme that didn't quite go with coral or mauve or brownish pink or any of my other choices, I knew I could reach for this because it was a medium neutral red that went with everything. I always recommended it without hesitation because it flattered virtually every skin tone.

I went to 3 drugstores last weekend and everywhere I went it had been replaced with something called "Firecracker", an obnoxiously bright orangey-red WHORE GLOSS. *weeping bitter tears of despair*

So Sunday afternoon I made it a mission to find a replacement. I was in the Wal Mart make-up aisle for an hour; at one point I had like 7 different lip glosses in my hand, holding them up next to each other and next to my face, squinting and trying to discern shades of orange or an excess of sparkle.

Eventually I narrowed it down to one: another Revlon lip gloss, this in the Colorstay Mineral Lipglaze line, in the color "Stay Ablaze". It has just a hint of a pearly sheen; and while the color is maybe half a shade brighter than my old favorite, it's at least a pink-toned brightness instead of the dreaded orange-toned bright red. (Look, no offense if you luuuuurve orange-reds, but I loathe them. HAAAAATE.)

One area where this actually seems to be an improvement over the Super Lustrous line is in durability. It's drier in texture and less sticky than the Super Lustrous, probably because it is brighter and more opaque so you don't have to goop as much on.

It's got a noticeably strong sweet smell, like candy. While not offensive, I prefer my cosmetics to not have any kind of odor.

So while I am somewhat mollified, I am still seriously considering writing a disgruntled letter to Revlon. Who's with me?! C'mon, I know Cherries in the Glow had something of a cult following, in spite of the dumb name. (Most make-up has idiotic names, anyway.)

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