Tales From Retail: Five Finger Discount

I’m coming back from lunch, and I’m headed to the office to get clocked back in and get some paperwork done.

As I’m walking across the store, I notice a commotion in the beer aisle.

Really, it wasn’t hard to notice the commotion because it was pretty loud, but I digress.

I see one of the managers asking for a man to pull the beer out of his pants and give it back to him.

Yes, y’all. Folks steal beer, socks, makeup testers–anything that’s not nailed down. Even if stores have security, they can’t be in all places at once, so it falls on us as staff to keep an eye on the goods.

Anyway.

As the manager is asking for this beer back, the thief is getting louder and more belligerent, which eventually scales to him threatening to jump on the manager.

The manager, naturally, was NOT here for that foolery and was ready for that fight. At this point, the stock guys are out there trying to calm everyone down. The cashiers are calling the police, customers are horrified, it’s borderline bananas at this point.

As one stock guy is holding back the manager, the other stock guy is pushing the thief out of the door (sans beer; he handed it to the stock guy when he put his hands up to fight.)

It’s at this point I walk into the thief’s line of sight.

It’s important to reiterate: at this juncture I have little clue about what’s going on since I’m coming back from lunch, and I see one of the cashiers on the phone calling the police. I’ve said before that in retail, you see everything, so I was pretty unaffected by the commotion. I just wanted to clock back in and finish my paperwork so I could go home.

The thief sees me walking past. I stop to make sure the cashiers are good and to tell the customers everything’s cool. And do you know what this thief says to me, y’all?

“Oh, what bitch? You want some of this?! What you wanna do?!”

*record scratch*

Most folks have a part of their brain that keeps them from doing stupid shit on a whim. I’m missing that part of my brain, because after I took a moment to do this:

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I then pulled out my box cutter (ain’t just for cutting boxes, y’all!) and said “Sir, we can handle this right here.” He pauses in shock, and that was just enough for the stock guy to shove him out the door finally.

I sheath my box cutter. And walk to the office to do my paperwork. Like a boss, as the young’uns say.

Sigh.

I’m glad I didn’t have to use it, and I was equally glad I had it. But know I would have.

Yep, retail can be dangerous, y’all.

Also? This same thief came BACK to the store, right? And stared daggers at me across the store. I suppose he wanted to intimidate me, but I don’t scare easily.

I just went back to collapsing boxes. 😀

Stories

Watercolor Eyes

I originally wanted to put this up on Friday, but my phone camera just did not capture all of the colors like I wanted. And there are a LOT of colors in this look.

😀

I’m still celebrating Spring even if the weather isn’t cooperating, and I showed y’all the video that inspired this look in my previous post. Here’s another (from the same YouTuber) that gave me more ideas:

He’s fabulous, y’all!

So I thought, why not come up with something that looks like a painting? Still bold, but I won’t feel like I’m about to go to a costume party.

Which, let’s just be real–I’d still wear that look above to go grocery shopping. Cause color junkie. 🙂

Tools used:

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It isn’t as much as you think…

Alrighty! So, I am always complimented on how nice my skin looks in my pictures (Thank y’all! 🙂 ), and to be honest? Most of it is just good makeup application/layering and filters. Yep, no shame. 🙂 Once I don’t sound like I’ve been gargling gravel (yay congestion! *side eye*) I have plans to do some videos on that. Till then: I use really good primers. So, Miracle Skin Transformer (white bottle) technically is meant to be used as a stand alone product (moisturizer, blurs, sunscreen, etc.) but I found that for my oily skin it is AMAZING under foundation to keep everything matte. Just, whoa.

My eyeshadow primer is Urban Decay (classic non-colored one), because that is the first I’ve tried and it remains my favorite.

So, prime first, then foundation. There’s two foundations there, but I don’t use them for contouring–because I am lazy and can’t be bothered. I actually have to mix shades to match my face, because these makeup companies have not yet realized brown folks ain’t all the same color. And it does not matter whether it’s an expensive or inexpensive brand, either. So, I buy inexpensive so I can afford to buy two and mix it. CoverGirl’s Ready, Set, Gorgeous is a fave because it gives a matte finish.

And finally, concealer. I use Vera Moore Cosmetics concealer because the coverage is amazing. I have both the liquid and the creme concealer, and for the purposes of this look I have the creme one (Concealer Plus, in #3.)

Whew! It looks like a lot typed out, but application takes me less than 10 minutes. I do my brows next, and I use Milani brow pencil and Brow Fix Kit for that.

And then: the meat of the look: all about the eyes. I used my Urban Decay Electric palette (Chaos, Gonzo, Jilted, Urban) and Stila Dare to Bare palette (Playful and Birthday Suit). Liquid liner is by theBalm (Schwing!<–no really, that’s the name of it!) and mascara is CoverGirl Clump Crusher in very black. Lips are Maybelline Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique.

And the final look?

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This is why I had to reshoot the look.

See how you can’t see any of that hard work? So I had to do a reshoot so y’all could get a good look:

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That’s better!

Once I get back from vacation, I have plans to do a video tutorial of this look. Till then, a quickie: Take Chaos and line the inner corner of the eye, both top and bottom. Take Gonzo and tap just a bit towards the inner eye, take Jilted and tap it in the center of the lid, and take Urban and tap on the outer corner. Line lower lashes with Jilted, then Urban. Put Playful in the crease; blend. Then take Birthday Suit under the brow line and blend. Do a little eyeliner, two coats of mascara, then done!

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Both eyes.

This was a lot of fun to create! And now, I think I’m going to head to the grocery store with my face all done up just like this. Because, Sunday. Why not? 😀

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Makeup Looks

Makeup Friday!

Hi loves!

I know I promised y’all a makeup look today, but my pictures did not come out the way I’d planned.

😦

I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to my makeup that I just can’t show y’all subpar work.

So, I’m going to give y’all a bonus Sunday makeup post (Scout’s honor!) with the same look I couldn’t seem to get right today.

As an apology, I’m sharing this video. This is what inspired the look I’m showing y’all Sunday. Hopefully I can get better pictures taken.

Enjoy, and happy weekend! (See y’all Sunday!)

Makeup Looks YouTube

Nail Adventures: Sunshine and Blue Sky

Spring is finally upon us! I’m looking forward to longer days, beautiful weather, and wearing all of the loud, happy colors.

What were we greeted with in NYC?

Snow. Because of course we were.

Sigh.

Well. I refuse to pay this abysmal weather any mind, and instead focus on the fact that vacation is almost here! In celebration of upcoming warm weather and blue skies, I decided to replicate that on my nails. Originally I’d planned on doing something soft, with pretty pastels and pearls, but with this gloomy cold hanging around, I wanted something that reminded me of a bright, sunny day.

Y’all know what that means: bright colors and sparkles ahead!

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The lemony yellow is Julep’s Dawn and the Carolina blue is Orly’s Frenzy. I added some different sized rhinestones and pearls to give some sparkle, and done! Every time I look down at my hands while I work I get an instant happy. It’s ok, weather. You don’t have to be great. My nails will pick up the slack until you’re ready to comply. 🙂

New Spring makeup look coming Friday!

 

Nail Adventures

Tales From Retail: Racial Scents

Picture it: NYC, mid-morning, 2012. I’m approached by a male customer wanting to purchase fragrance for his sister and niece before he flies home to India.

So, I grab the fragrance keys and pull out some of the fine fragrance we have to keep locked away because thieves. He’s not happy with the prices, and wants to know what I have around the $40 mark.

I pull out some Amarige. I have that scent, and I love it. It can be strong, so a dab will do, and it’s priced at $39.99. He wants a bigger bottle at the same price.

Sir. This is not a flea market where you can haggle. Corporate sets the prices; I enforce them. That’s it. But there was no point in going to all of that as I only carried the smaller bottle.

“Oh, fine. What other scents do you have?”

I walk this man through the store, showing him different items and spraying all manner of different fragrance, and he had complaints about every.single.thing!

I tried to narrow it down: what are the ages of your family members? (old, and young, said he.) Ok. What type of things do they like? (What do all women like? said he.) Ok. I sigh. Now what?

I’m trying to keep the veneer of helpful employee up, but he’s slowly starting to piss me off. I’ve known customers to do this so that they can get what they want, but that doesn’t fly with me.

He finally decides he wants the fine fragrance again. Ok, I think. I’ve smelled almost all of these, so this should hopefully go quickly. He initially picks Pink Sugar for his niece, which leads me to ask exactly how young is she? Because this smells like cotton candy. Most popular with teenagers.

“Ah, she’s about 25. Never mind, I won’t get her a fragrance. What about my sister? She’s in her 40s.”

I’m thinking, 40s is old? But I pull out the Amarige again for him and describe it to him. Since it’s one I own, I know how good it is.

“You wear it?”

Didn’t I just say…”Yes, I do. It’s one of my favorites.”

“So people…buy it?”

…”Yes, they do.”

“Do White people buy it?”

Family, this man was not white. He was Indian and the same shade of brown as me. I could only assume his family would be around the same color so…what in all of the hell was he trying to say? At this point, the veneer cracked, y’all. The look I laid on him said:

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I didn’t say it out loud, but I wanted to…

If looks could kill it would have been some slow singing and flower bringing, you hear me?

I think he realized then that a) whatever patience I had was gone and b) he done fucked up and had better remedy that quickly.

“Oh, well, you know, other people like different things, so…”

I’m still leveling my death stare at him.

“Yes, sir. White people buy it. Were you interested in this fragrance, or did you want to look elsewhere? I’ve shown you all I have.”

What I wanted to ask him was if he would like me to get someone White to give their opinion. Providing him with customer service is fine for a Black woman, but her opinion means nothing. Mhm. Got it.

An hour later, this man left my store with only one piece of fragrance and left me with a headache.

Bonus: he came back in my store two days later looking specifically for me. Why? Because he “liked the service I gave him.”

*blank face* -_-

Y’all, if you ever come across a salty customer service clerk it’s probably because they had a similar customer to mine. Please don’t hate them. It’s just trauma.

Come back next week for a new Tale from Retail!

Stories

Fatshion Friday: Vacation Prep (And Bonus Story Time!)

I go on vacation in two weeks, and I am so excited! So excited that I am already piecing together outfits.

I’m not even going to be gone for long, but since I’m going somewhere warm (Myrtle Beach) I’m trying to fit in all of the skin baring outfits I can on this trip.

At least, until NYC can make up it’s mind to be one temperature.

Sigh.

Anyway.

I plan for this trip to be full of maxi dresses, sandals, and maybe only one or two new pieces (if I keep telling myself this, maybe I’ll stick to it!)

(No I won’t.)

Like, Eloquii dropped these shorts and I want them with this top:

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And I want to wear this dress from ASOS with some cute sneakers and a denim jacket:

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And since I’ll be at the beach, I already scooped this beautiful bikini from GabiFresh’s Swimsuits For All collection:

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Bonus for this: you can get two different sizes for top and bottom. So if you’re more bottom heavy (that’s me), you can go up a size there and get a different sized top. It’s super comfy, by the way. This will be the first time I’ve ever done a bikini, so I’m petrified. But I’m gonna rock it anyway!

And since I’m doing a bathing suit, I’ll be making an appointment for a bikini wax soon. I wonder how it will go this time…every time I go it’s a new experience.

Story Time!

So, the first time I went to get a wax, it was included as part of a massage package at a spa. What I should have done was get the massage AFTER the wax, but I had no idea what I was in for.

Once the massage therapist worked all the kinks out of my shoulders and back, I went to get my wax. The room was clean and smelled like lavender. Kind of like a friendlier OB/GYN office.

Here’s the thing: if you’re gonna get a wax, please be uninhibited. Because your waxer is going to get to know you really well. There’s no modesty; you’re about to spread for them. Now, not for nothing, my waxer was super sweet, and she never made me feel uncomfortable.

Until the actual waxing part. Listen. I’m not about to sugar coat this for y’all. This shit hurts. I don’t care the menu tells you about “no pain wax” they’re lying to you. There are waxes that don’t hurt as much (go for the chocolate wax for this), but you’re gonna feel it. What you want to do is actually speak to your waxer. They’re going to make convo, and it isn’t for the purposes of being polite (well, not the sole reason.) They’re distracting you. So speak. Cause once that first strip came off I think I cursed the earth for being round and the sky for being blue my nethers hurt so much.

Oh, and they’re gonna show you the hair they yanked off you. In case you were wondering.

So, she’s waxing and talking to me, telling me I had more hair in certain places than others, and then the line of the century came out her mouth.

“Ok, I need for you to put your leg on the wall.”

Put my leg on the wall?!

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I had contacts on in this scenario, though.

Please keep in mind this was my FIRST wax, and I wasn’t thinking that with my belly she may need some help getting to places. All I could think was the only time I hear that line it ain’t because I’m getting waxed. Then I think, well shit. Can I get a drink and some dinner first? We’re moving too fast!

But I complied, and I was nice and smooth after. Oddly enough, I end up having to contort in some shape or form every time I get a wax, too. By the way, they rub you with soothing oil after so you don’t feel so raw.

Hope you got a good laugh from today’s story! Happy weekend, y’all! 😀

Retail Therapy Shopping Stories

Nail Adventures: Four Leaf Clovers

So, yesterday was a rare day for me at work: I didn’t have to wear all black! Because St. Patrick’s Day.

Naturally that meant I went full throttle with all of the green I could muster. I did a green sweater dress, did my eyes up in green and blue, and adorned my nails in all of the green and gold I had in my arsenal.

I’m still working on getting the Weather Deities to do right and bring the warm, and yesterday they gave me an almost 60 degree day!

Which turned to 36 degrees by the time I got off work.

Sigh.

Anyway, my nails were pretty popular at work because green and glitter and a four leaf clover!

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I couldn’t quite get the water decal where I wanted it (ended up redoing that finger twice), but I love it! I have on…quite a few colors here, actually. The green is a combo of two greens. I did a flat green base from Sally Hansen called Kelp Out, then layered that with a shimmery green from OPI’s Hawaii collection called My Gecko Does Tricks. It goes on pretty sheer, and it took about three coats to make it opaque when I swatched it. So, I figured a green base would help give it the same opacity without all the layers. The gold is Orly’s Luxe layered with OPI’s I Reached My Gold. I got the water decals from Julep, and I always have studs around. These are from the dollar store. 😀

Of course, it took me about an hour at work to knock off three studs, but it was super pretty while it lasted.

I’m already looking forward to the tropical manicure I’m planning for vacation! There will be pineapples.

Happy Wednesday, folks! 😀

Uncategorized

Tales From Retail

Picture it: early morning, NYC, 2014. I’ve just finished my cup of coffee and paperwork, and I’m headed to the sales floor.

I’m met by an older gentleman holding some boxes of lubricant in his hands, looking quite perplexed. I can tell he’d like to ask someone about it, but he’s embarrassed.

So, I offer my help. After a while of working retail, nothing shocks you anymore, you know? So, I go through the differences of all the KY products (pro tip: always the Warming liquid. ALWAYS.) and he comes across a bottle of Wet.

For the uninitiated: Wet has all types of lube, but is best known for their flavored products. This truly seems to pique his interest. He asks if I’ve tried it before, then quickly apologizes as he thinks it too forward of him to ask. Again, nothing shocks me anymore, so I answer honestly that yes, I have (try the kiwi strawberry one.)

He then asks if the other lubes would be good for oral. No, I tell him, lube in general tastes like licking a plastic container if it isn’t flavored.

He looks at the different flavors. “I wish I could test some of these out,” he says. “Thanks so much for being so open to helping me out.”

“It’s my job,” I say. “You’re very welcome to any help I can give.” This, perhaps, wasn’t the best wording because he then asks me THE question of my day:

“Can I try it on you?”

I tried my best to maintain a straight face, but I’m sure I looked like this:

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Glasses and all, y’all.

He bursts into laughter when he sees my face. “I’m only kidding my dear; I know better,” he says between laughs.

I didn’t think he was serious, but there was definitely a moment of “what in all of the fucks” flashing through my head at the time.

Working retail is like playing paintball. We know that at any time we can be hit with something (whether the customer is angry or trying to be cheeky, like this one), and we have to make it a point to continue to play through it. Some days are harder than others, but this man had the benefit of a) me having coffee and breakfast right before he pulled these shenanigans (you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry) and b) having enough grace to know that being a comedian isn’t his strong suit.

So instead of ripping him a new one, I smile and ask him if there was anything else he needed.

He told me no, thanked me again, and left (with the KY. He decided he wasn’t ready for flavored yet.)

I don’t think I was ready for him. Definitely a highlight (? lowlight?) of my day.

Happy Monday, y’all! 🙂

 

Stories

Let’s Talk Lipcolor

As Spring approaches (hopefully the Weather Deities are considering my request), it’s time to refresh wardrobes and makeup bags.

Now, I’ve decided I’m living in all things breezy and comfortable for the warmer months (we’re talking maxi and swing dresses, and cheeky t-shirts and shorts), but I am always on the lookout for more shades of lipstick.

Honestly, it’s the quickest way to a makeover–add color, any color, and you’re sure to have people asking if you went to the spa or had a good night’s sleep or something.

Try not to wonder if you looked bad before you added the lipstick, though. You didn’t. Your coworker/best friend/boss just isn’t that observant sometimes.

🙂

Now, I’m a lover of all things bright, so for the most part my eye makeup stays neutral and I want to see the rainbow on my lips. Consider this look:

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I swear this is my color (and t-shirt) of the year! So, this lip color (it’s a cross between a lipgloss and lipstick) is from BlackUp Cosmetics. It’s called a Lip Lacquer, and the color is VL06. It’s super creamy and shiny, but also highly pigmented. I was on my way to a shoot and didn’t have to touch my lips up once!

If you love the tee, it’s from Feminine Funk. 🙂 It’s out of stock, but maybe if you ask nicely, they’ll bring it back!

Now, besides bright purples and pinks, which are always in rotation, I’m all about oranges too. The issue I’ve had with finding a good orange is that it tends to turn pink on my skin tone. So coral is a waste of time for me, as all I see is the pink and none of the orange. But! I found some items that bring me joy:

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Now I had to find a pic that made it look the proper orange color (depending on the lighting it can look red), but I adore this color from L’Oreal. This is Color Riche Extraordinaire in Orange Tempo. Another creamy, glossy, moisturizing lip color.

So, not into super glossy? I hear you. Just Sunday, I tried a demi-matte finish lip color. Here’s the final look:

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So this was more neutral than I thought it would be but I still love it. This is OCC Metallic Lip Tar in Authentic. It goes on with a gloss, but it sets to this finish you see here. It’s sparkly, but not so shiny. The wear is also really nice. I had another shoot this past weekend, and it held up in the snow! It could feel a little drying if you did it alone, so I layered it over a lip balm first so that it wouldn’t dry out my lips.

Looking for a classic pink? Here you go:

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I was going out to run some errands and have dinner. Felt like being foxy. 🙂

So, this lip color is from Maybelline. It’s Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique. Super pretty neutral, every day color that feels nice on lips. Shiny, but not overpoweringly so. The earrings are from Rachel Stewart Jewelry.

And there you have it! Some of my favorite lip colors and looks. If you aren’t sure what color to try, take some time to really play around at a counter and see what you love. If you can’t choose between two shades: pick the one you would NEVER do and wear it. Live on the wild side a little. 🙂

Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Shopping

Nail Adventures: An Appeal For Warmer Weather

I feel like it’s been winter for 1,000 years now. Weather can’t decide between Cold, What The Fuck Cold, and Fuck It Cold.

Fuck It Cold is when you step outside your house to run an errand, the wind/snow/chunks of ice hit you and you decide “Fuck it; I’m staying home,” and go back indoors.

Guess which one we’ve had up here in NYC as of late.

It’s now March, when warmer weather is supposed to start creeping back in.

Apparently the damned woodchuck/groundhog/beaver/whatever the hell ran the idea of Spring off.

*side eye emoji*

I’m here to see if I can make an appeal to the Weather Deities. I’m not certain what I must sacrifice to get some warmer weather (first pair of peep toe heels? Two crop tops and a pair of shorts? Glittery polish?) but I’m thisclose to figuring it out and doing an offering dance to get some actual spring weather.

In lieu of me dancing (trust me, nobody wants that) I decided to make my nails bright and colorful like spring. Perhaps if the Weather Deities see my colorful fingers, they’ll be more inclined to paint the landscape to match.

Please?

So, I took some of the loudest polish I could find and added some metallic finish, glitter, and rhinestones. The result?

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I was hoping to channel ocean water and mermaid tails and warm breeze…You know, the kind of weather that makes you want to search for mermaids you’re 99.9% certain don’t exist but you look anyway?

Yeah.

I used Rimmel London 60 Second Polish in Districtly Come Dancing for 8 fingers, and Orly’s Luxe for two fingers. This is my first time using Rimmel polish, and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. Even though it’s a quick dry polish, it doesn’t go on streaky, and one coat will do–but I wanted more intense color so I used two in my manicure. The glitter is from Fingr’s–it looks blue in the container, but looks more gold on the nail. Super pretty. They come in a set of 4, so now I want to try all of them to see how they blend. And because it’s me we’re talking about, I put a blue rhinestone on each pointer finger. Because why not. 😀

Oh, dear benevolent Weather Deities, please hear my plea and accept my offering. I hope my aquatic nails please you.

If they don’t, please know I’m prepared to give you full neon. Anything! Just bring back the warmth!

Nail Adventures Retail Therapy Reviews Stories