Going Bold

For work, I tend to stick to neutrals because when I get people in my chair, and it’s a blue eye shadow day, it scares my clients.

I get the quizzical eyebrow, and then…

“You’re not gonna make me look like…you, are you?”

It’s easy to get offended by this, but I get it. Most people want to blend in most of the time. I get that for day to day work looks, neutrals are the safest. I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s what it is. When I get people in my chair, it’s like they have this unwritten rule book about colors and looks that I’ve not been privy to. A snippet of these rules:

1. Colors are only for going out.

2. Oh, honey, that blue shadow looks great on you, but could never do such a thing.

3. Red lipstick makes me look like a streetwalker!

4. Smoky eyes are supposed to be black and silver, right? That’s what I’ve always seen.

5. I have dark skin, I can’t wear bright colors.

Sigh. None of these are true. I know that the way makeup is marketed will lead you to believe those things, but it really isn’t true. So, counterpoints:

1. Color is for whatever time of day you want to wear it. So pink eyeshadow is fine for daytime if you want it. Just put it on the lid only and blend with a neutral shade if you work in a conservative office.

2. You may not like the cerulean blue shadow I have on my eyes today, but I bet if you let me put some of this periwinkle on you’ll see your blue eyes pop! (purple is lovely with green, and greens are beautiful with brown.)

3. If you feel a bit…overdone, as it were, you just have on the wrong shade of red. Cherry red doesn’t go with all skin tones, y’all. But one could do a burgundy, or one with more blue (these look like they cast more pink). There are so many shades of red in the world, and if you have time to play around I bet you’ll find one that makes you feel and look fabulous.

4. Smoking an eye is a technique, so you can use any colors you want. Love green? Do it in three shades of green! Love colors in general? Use multiple colors. If you don’t know what works together, download a color wheel and pick three colors that sit next to each other. The more you play around, the more colors you’ll morph together (try pink, yellow, and orange!)

5. Nothing makes me sadder than to get folks in my store and decide that the world of color is not for them because they’re “too dark.” As black and brown folks, we can wear any color we want. We just have to look at the shade’s tones, not the shade itself. So, again, maybe cerulean isn’t your favorite look for yourself, but that deeper sapphire is amazing. Don’t throw the whole rainbow out because one beam doesn’t shine bright enough.

Honestly, I think the biggest rule of makeup is that there are no rules. Guidelines, sure (I think everyone should use primer, for example, and it isn’t just for eyes), but there is no set of set in stone rules for it. And there shouldn’t be. You have to be willing to be bold, really. Not too much more to it than that. Even though my customers are petrified of my bright colors for themselves, they LOVE it on me, and that’s because I don’t carry myself timidly when I have it on. I’ll do loud greens and yellows and pin up my ‘fro. I know I’m gonna get eyes on me, so I hold my head high and strut. That’s really what sells a look–not just the technique or color.

In honor of going bold this week (and every week), here’s a look I did with my Urban Decay Electric Palette:

20140503_201013KaleidoscopeEyesNudeKaleidoscopeEyesJilted

With this look, you have options! You can go with a nude lip, as I did in the first two pics (gloss is Kitten by Stila), or you can go bright with a pink. I know, typically bold eyes go with nude lips. Here’s why this works: I’m in the same color family. So you can do a pink or even a purple, but no red here. This pink is called Jilted, and it’s by Urban Decay.

Would y’all like a tutorial on the eye look? Let me know and I’ll post it next week!

Go bold and be brave. 🙂

 

 

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Makeup Looks Positivity

Reflections

I don’t normally get introspective before my birthday. I normally treat it as another day, and celebrate all month long. I work on my birthday most of the time.

Now, I did celebrate all month long. I bought myself beautiful things. Treated myself to a full spa day and turned off my phone (that never happens!)

And this birthday, as per usual, I will be at work (and take the rest of my week off.)

All I can think about, though, are the things that I have done in my 28th year that have made me happy.

I am happy that I am learning to focus more on what matters most to me. I want to work more on honing my craft. One of the best gifts I am giving to myself this year is working my schedule so that I have a solid hour per day to write. Whether it’s working on posts for here or working on my novel, I just need to write. Often.

I am happy that I am learning to accept myself as I am. I put my foot in my mouth, but I still am not afraid to express my opinion. I am not thin, and may not ever be. And that’s okay. I still am going to dress this body well, and emanate the confidence I’ve found.

I am happy that I am exploring the craftier, artsier side of me. It’s a hobby, but I am making sure I am dedicating time to the hobby. If it’s a stress reliever, I ought to turn to it in times of stress, right?

The thing I am the happiest about is that all of the above showcases my growth.

My biggest worry is that by the time I’m 30 that I won’t be happy with the person I am. I’m not concerned about what career I’ll be in (I’ll find it eventually) or if I’ll have a family (I’ll have one eventually). I just want to be content with me, flaws and all. And if I can find content, all other things will follow.

As my 28th year closes, I can say I’ll enter year 29 being happy with me. Happy with my growth, happy with life.

I’m grateful.

Here’s to year 28 and it’s lessons, and to year 29 and it’s blessings.

Positivity Stories

Nails of Literature: The Lorax, or, How To Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Author’s Note: I don’t advise having anything to drink or eat while reading this post, because you may choke on it from laughter. And I like you! So please, proceed with caution. Oh, and there’s some mildly NSFW language in here too.

I had to delay this post by a day because I wanted to make sure that I could capture the full goodness of this nail art.

*snicker*

Ahem.

Some background: ordinarily when I do posts, I usually write up drafts of them and leave them in the folder to finish later. Maybe I need to add pictures if it’s a nail art or crafting post, or I need to add links for a shopping post. So, for the Nails of Literature series, I have all of the posts planned out. I may switch the order in which I do the art, but it’s the same works.

Until this week, that is.

This is what happens when you deviate from the plan.

I originally had a different work planned for this week, but since this week’s post would fall on Earth Day, I thought that I would switch to one of my favorite children’s books: The Lorax. I love the book, the movie was cute, and the message is on point even for today. I did a little research and found a tutorial that looked like I could handle it. Pretty straightforward, and I had all the tools at my disposal.

Here, have a look (don’t worry, I’ll wait):

How cute is that, right? Now, since I was able to pull off Pacman nails, this ought to be challenging, but doable, right? Hell no. Hell NO. This did not go right at ALL. This look took the longest to do (3 attempts over about 3 1/2 hours) and I didn’t even come close to what the amazing artist above did. What I was left with was two things: 1) a mess:

image

And 2) this look:

image

Now, I’m eating cereal as I write this, and almost snorted a Honeycomb up my nose when I put this pic in.

Oh, boy. This did NOT go well. And this was the third and BEST attempt at this nail art.

*sad trombone* 😦

The idea here was to do the Lorax and the truffula trees, and to add the picture of a factory creating smoke (Pointer finger. Yes. Yes, that is indeed what that’s supposed to be. Don’t rub it in!) Grand idea, E for effort, F for execution.

So, why even show y’all this?

Well, I haven’t been doing actual nail art for long (a few months) and only recently have I been really digging into what I can do. The point of showing you the above fail is so that you know: even the folks that love it, and are relatively gifted at it, get it wrong sometimes.

And this doesn’t just apply to nail art either.

We are human. And it is hard for us as humans to admit we are taking on more than we can handle. So we try to push through it, as if forcing ourselves into tight spots will make us adapt quicker.

And that’s why you have that…abstract (*gigglesnort*) version of the Lorax up there. That was the THIRD attempt. I should have been done after the first, but I didn’t want to let it beat me. I am the nail guru!

Ha! I’m good, but not that good. And that isn’t to say I won’t be one day. I’m just not there yet.

If you have an issue you’re tackling out there, be mindful that you may not get it the first (or third) time you try. There’s no shame in having to step away, ask for help, and work slowly towards getting it right. It will come. But anything worth having is worth fighting and planning for, not rushing towards. Be encouraged! 🙂

Oh, and what nail look did I do for the week? Cause y’all know I didn’t leave the house with my hands like that.

Y’all saw it already. It was yesterday’s post. 😀

Hope this brought a smile to your face. Happy Wednesday!

Nail Adventures Positivity Stories

What Have You Done For You Lately?

Yesterday, I posted this as my status on Facebook:

I slept in this morning. Best sleep ever.
Instead of rolling over and doing obligatory stuff, I took some time to catch up on blogs and do some pre-birthday shopping, talk to friends.
Had a great breakfast and enjoyed more than one cup of coffee. 

Now I can do the obligatory stuff and be productive.

Sometimes the best things to do for yourself are the simple ones: enjoying life with no time limit.

It amazes me how much we do as humans: get up, work, cook, clean, look after loved ones, etc, etc. But what have we done to make ourselves happy? Something as simple as getting some extra sleep (or in my case, getting sleep period) is an exercise in self care.

We don’t focus on that often, enough, I think.

We don’t like to say no, or to postpone an obligation.

We don’t like to do for ourselves, in lieu of doing for others.

We put off a small thing that makes us happy (for me, an extra cup of coffee) for completing a task (finishing a schedule.)

And it’s to our detriment.

Typically before I start a new work week, I like to take some time just for me. Sometimes it’s doing my hair; giving myself a good scrub and a deep conditioning. Sometimes it’s a pedicure. Sometimes its taking the time to make my favorite dish, one I don’t do often because its so time consuming (chicken and dumplings.)

And when I do that thing? It instantly brightens my mood.

I took an entire morning to myself, and I felt productive for the rest of my day. I got my housework done, some research finished, dinner AND lunch for the week done. I feel like I can start my workweek having made myself happy, and now I can go forth and share that with the world.

It’s Monday. Most folks hate Mondays because it’s the start of the week; a return to the mundane work life or stress left behind from Friday.

So take some time today to do what makes you happy–even if it’s just a walk around the block at lunch or a milkshake from your favorite restaurant.

Oh, and rock out to this, because it’s what I was listening to when I came up with the title to this post:

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Wednesday Tunes

Hey folks!

I’m interrupting you’re regularly scheduled blog post for a Beatles music moment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSm0M-BbVdY

Yep. I had to do a turnaround shift. For the uninitiated, that’s when you close the night before and open the next morning. I’m exhausted, and this song perfectly encompasses what I have going on in my life. Enjoy the dance break, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a post of substance! 🙂

Positivity

Pretty Like Barbie

I saw this picture on Facebook the other day:

Facebook

There were a few likes. The comments that followed were interesting to say the least. Most thought that having a fat Barbie would make kids aspire to grow up and be fat.

Let’s look at that.

I was a fat kid, fat teenager, and am now a fat adult. I grew up playing with my Barbies, making them go on adventures through the stars to the moon and being every occupation from a chef to a teacher to a rocket scientist.

I totally wanted to be Barbie: independent, adventurous, and brave.

I moved to a city with no family and only a couple of friends, learned to navigate it, and went through a trial that tested my courage. And I came through it with flying colors. I realized that dream.

I loved Barbie’s outfits; the fact she had enough clothes to take her through any situation. She had all types of prints and colors and sparkles and tutus. I had an organizer for the amount of shoes she had. I have an organizer for all of the shoes I have (and it’s too small), so I realized that dream.

What I didn’t aspire to was to look like her.

As I kid, I envisioned having Barbie’s persona. I never thought I would look like her.

Barbie isn’t real. So that was impossible.

But then, during the course of the discussion, my friend and fellow blogger Shecoul brought up a very good point:

How many of my female students thin or fat have self esteem issues? A good 90% of them because of things like this. And it starts with dolls and dress up at a young age in my opinion.

This is true. Kids tend to emulate what they see, as I did when I played with Barbies as a child. But in my opinion, my complex with my body didn’t come from the doll. It came from the peers who played with me and told me I wasn’t pretty like Barbie. Because I wasn’t pretty like Barbie, I couldn’t be an astronaut or rocket scientist. Until I looked like her, I was lacking.

And where did they get this idea? Likely from the adults that gave them the Barbie to begin with.

People have a habit of using characters and personas as a litmus test of how their lives should go. You can’t live a life based off of someone else’s experiences. But when you tell a child “Look at you! You’re pretty like Barbie!” then that child will measure his or her peers in the same manner.

And the next thing you know: the child who is fat is not pretty like Barbie. Now that child is ugly. Logically this child knows, as I did, that one can’t look like a piece of plastic. And yet, when I knew that this is what stood between me and acceptance I grasped for that goal like a thirsty person reaches for water.

Eventually I learned that goal was like the curse of Sisyphus: destined to fail from the beginning. Took me years to get there, though.

So what’s the answer? Making Barbie look normal? Now, that Barbie above is exaggerated to say the least. But who can say that isn’t someone else’s normal? Who is the arbiter of normal, anyway? Is there a council somewhere that decides these things?

There could be, in a perfect world. But until we get that perfect world, we have to make do with what we have. If we can’t get some diversity with Barbie’s body, then we need to get some diversity within our thought process. It begins with the adult that gives the child the doll. It begins at home.

May we all be like Barbie: adventurous, brave, and fabulous. That is an attainable goal in life.

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