Friday, May 26, 2006

Domesticity Friday: Making the Video

The inspiration for this entry comes from Television Without Pity's Music Videos forum:

Is there a song that you just wish was turned into an awesome music video? Have you already done the treatment for the video in your head? Or a good song with a video that makes you want to redo it?

Well, yes, I've tried to re-imagine a new video for the Black Eyed Peas' “Don't Lie” set at a house by the beach on the Windward side of Oahu, where my ex-boyfriend tries to cheat on me with Fergie as the Peas play Greek chorus. And yes, I've imagined the video as a hot, groovy party (complete with dancing vixens and hunky eye-candy guys in barely buttoned-up Hollister shirts) where at one point The Ex has to go to the bathroom and sees me in the mirror, and then the video ends with everyone else grooving to the Black Eyed Peas kickin' it kanakapila style... and Ex seeing his date Fergie talking to me -- and my hot new man, who just so happens to be played by Josh Holloway. (Who probably would be game to doing a BEP music video, anyway, since Peter Sarsgaard/ TR Knight/ Jonathan Rhys-Meyers/ Keanu Reeves would all be conveniently unavailable.)

Any questions?

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Since we're on the topic of videos, I might as well blurt out a few quickie reviews of the clips I've seen during my study breaks this week:

- Nelly Furtado, “Promiscuous.” I like Nelly Furtado, and I think she looks so much hotter now (post-baby) than she ever did before. That said, as much as I wanted to like this song, I think I liked it better when it was called “My Humps.” (Shut up, Timbaland.) And the less said about the cameo of Punk Ass Bit- I mean, Justin Timberlake, the better.

- Pink, “Stupid Girls.” I should take it as an omen that the computer conked out after 15 seconds of trying to watch it. I'm sure it would've been so much funnier, though.

- The Pussycat Dolls, “Dontcha.” Yep, this song is going to outlive us and a couple of cockroaches, if we can help it. So why was I not impressed by the video that eventually got produced? I was expecting sexy, people. Instead, I turned this off after 30 seconds.

- Gnarls Barkley, ”Crazy.” This should teach me not to watch videos on computer monitors, because the Rorschach-inspired visuals, while stunning, gave me a bit of a headache.

- Shakira and Wyclef, “Hips Don't Lie.” Okay, so this totally isn't “La Tortura,” and between the regal horn intro and the weirdly painted carnies, it made me think that Geoffrey Chaucer was going to show up for a few rhymes. Once I got into it, though, I thought this was a nice balance of video and song. Not great, but not bad.

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Anyway, back to the makeup bag update: So I saw the new L'Oreal mineral powder makeup at Daiei/Don Quijote/ The Store Formerly Known as Holiday Mart, and I couldn't even test it because the tester was practically bolted to the display and I couldn't get enough powder on the brush. If this is as lame as the Neutrogena Mineral Sheers I'll have to pass on this one too, but as it goes I probably won't even be able to take this with me anyway, since I'm already happy with the True Match pressed powder.

Eventually, when school stops kicking me in the keister, I will also break down and start shopping for a new powder blush. I've heard a lot of good things about Cover Girl's Cheekers, so I was looking at that - but I was also looking at Maybelline, L'Oreal (a moment of silence for Feel Naturale), Rimmel, and even Wet'n'Wild (the latter two of which Madame Badger is enamored). Eventually, though, I won't be surprised if I end up buying more of the cheap'n'cheerful stuff at the store to share with my girly-girl cousins back home.

I should write more about this trip...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Case for the Long Trip

Folks: Remember the out-of-the-country trip I hinted about not too long ago? Well, I'm glad to announce that it's finally confirmed - I will be going to the Philippines in mid-June, to visit my parents for about two weeks.

While I cannot guarantee that I will be posting (or not) during this time, I will let you know for sure when I will be leaving and when, if ever, I will be able to post. I have already started to make a few adjustments so that things wouldn't be too hectic when I come back to Hawaii nei after the 4th of July weekend, like cleaning out the apartment (Chez Meimei has been, how shall we say, grungy as of late) and signing up for my summer classes so that I won't get screwed over if I don't get on the plane before school starts.

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One of the things that came to mind while I was planning my trip was, of course, compiling my whole makeup-and-toiletry kit. On the one hand, I don't want to pack too much - not only am I bent on bringing back gifts from the States for my lovely relatives, but I want to be able to lug my monster suitcase around while still remaining under strict FAA regulations. On the other hand, there's no way I am going to leave the country without the stuf that I'm already used to using on my face (and hair, and body), so a compromise is in order. Thus: the tiny sample sizes of skincare, the minimalist hairdo routine - and the resolve to purchase shampoo and conditioner at Mercury Drugstore when I get home. (Well, yes, I know that there's a Lush in Manila - but when it comes to my home town, I'm a Lux and Sunsilk kind of girl.) Since I'm not spending too much time in the big city, however, it's not like I'm going to have the time or the wherewithal to go all-out shopping, so I'm keeping things as simple as possible.

The makeup routine, however, is different. If I remember correctly (forgive me, but it has been six years) Manila has always been hot and humid - and every girl I've known back home is afraid of getting too tan, so I'm definitely packing sunblock and moisturizer with SPF. The other side of the equation, however, is that there's an expectation to keep the skin matte - none of that "dewy" nonsense unless you really want to look like a greasy disco ball. Thus, the pressed powder.

Apart from that, though? Anything goes, as long as you still look relatively human by the end of the day. I think that's part of the reason why I finally broke down and bought that L'Oreal HIP gift set at Wal-Mart - I figured that if I was going to get new makeup for the trip, I might as well get something that's easy to pack. The eyeshadow (Mischief #908) already resembles two of my existing colors (Stila Wheat for the shimmery beige, and MAC Contrast for the matte navy), and since the HIP line prides itself on color payoff, I won't have to worry too much about wearing both shadows at once. The lip gloss that came with the set is Gallant (#728), which looks dark burgundy in the tube but goes on as a sheer, sexy berry red. Believe me when I say that this stuff is not just non-sticky, but it also does not run at all - the gloss itself isn't runny, and definitely stays put for as long as it can. I'm definitely hooked.

There's going to be more changes to the makeup bag soon, so stick around for the next entry!

Friday, May 19, 2006

What's Your Fantasy?: Special Spring 06 Edition

The bad news: School and housework continue to pickle my brain. I will definitely need to skip a few parties this weekend to get both done.

The (relatively) good news: So I was watching the last few minutes of the season finale for Grey's Anatomy and the first thing I notice is a really, really hot guy in a tux. No, not McDreamy (or his romantic rival, Chris O'Donnell), but George O'Malley.


I don't know how to explain this, but T. R. Knight has become my dream guy. Seriously. Because I like them dorky and vulnerable in that way.

Even more inexplicable: Because I can't manage to tear myself away from General Hospital (damn you, Finola*) I've also developed a very strange girl-crush on Kelly Monaco. Strange, because I remember watching the Dancing With the Stars dance-off and finding her very vapid at first, but the more I see of her, the more I'm intrigued. And she also comes off as very human and honest in some of her press interviews, so I don't mind her.

*No, really, up until last week I had no idea Finola Hughes was a soap actress, let alone one who played a hot SpyMommy on the same show where Rick Springfield (also quite hot) plays an alcoholic doctor. The next time me and my ten-year-old niece sit down to watch Style Network, I'll have a lot of explaining to do...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Case for Something Italian

... Or should I say: Did somebody say Borghese?

"The Bachelor" will return again in another European locale. This time it's Italy and the man looking for love is 33-year-old cosmetics heir Prince Lorenzo Borghese.

Fantastic. Because every single time I think about Borghese, there's only one thing that comes to mind:






And with any luck, those "hot" "romantic" spa dates (complete with tons of product placement for Borghese!) are going to look like this:

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Case for My Parents

Here's what I posted on BeautyAddict's comment box last night:

Ah, the memories... I had always been obsessed with makeup, but it wasn't until I was in 6th grade that I started wearing the stuff. My first items of makeup were hot pink lipstick, blue liquid eyeliner, "coral" red nail polish and pressed powder - and out of the three items, my Mom only approved of the powder!

7th grade was my introduction to neutrals, foundation and eyeshadow (a friend of mine taught me how to put on the L'Oreal Couleur! Couleur! eyeshadow in a way that did not make me look clownish; another friend taught me how to get away with a "full face" so my lipstick won't make me pale) and 8th grade was the beginning of my love affair with red lipstick and black eyeliner.The irony of it all: Not only do I wear less makeup now, but when my parents come to visit me, both Mom and Dad won't let me leave the house without putting the stuff on!



A few more things about this post:

- I was born and raised Roman Catholic - and I still am - but neither my parents nor the nuns in my life ever gave me the whole drill about how Makeup is Evil. In fact, Mom told me that one of the reasons why she decided not to send me to Catholic school in Manila was because the nuns and admin at the schools had this twisted idea that making the girls "hide their light under a bushel" (theologically speaking) by wearing a hideously ugly uniform would somehow keep the girls pure and holy. Uh, no.

- Mom also believed that smoking, drinking, and drugs would decrease my value as a woman faster than any makeup ever will. And oddly enough, she was right.

- Well, okay, so my parents were never always this "cool" about things like this, but they've been very instrumental in helping me find my own way in the world - and because they've taught me how to appreciate the finer points of beauty and fashion, I've been able, in turn, to establish my own personal style. And I will be forever grateful to them for that, if anything else.

Happy Mother's Day Weekend, everybody!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Case for the Brief Mentions

- Oh, Maggie. Times like this - when you turn up as one of the top searches on MSN and I wonder if you've made a fool out of yourself once again - makes me want to just take you to the nearest Cold Stone Creamery for an order of whatever diabolical ice cream concoction that you can dream up in your head. And of all the movies you had to work on, you choose the one directed by Oliver Stone... But, hey, we should be cool.

- More blogs to be added on the roll: Shake Your Beauty by beauty editor par excellance Tia Williams (her advice is priceless); Stained Couture by Samida (quality over quantity - gotta love that philosophy); and The Beauty Brains (debunking those myths never seemed so much cooler).

- Not that many purchases for this week, but I should go ahead and let you guys know that I'm currently planning my summer vacation - the details are still being hammered out, but it looks like I will be visiting my family outside of the country in June. More details to follow.

- Edited for this special AMERICAN IDOL SPOILER ALERT (only because I caught it on the Web earlier): Chris got voted out?!? Now there's a headscratcher for you. But I won't be surprised if he does end up with a record deal and a band of his own because of this.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Case for the Mail Order Pants

Before I begin, a note: If you haven't heard the news already about Women's Wear Daily featuring beauty blogs in their pages, now's the chance to read all about it. And once you're finished, feel free to visit and congratulate every blogger mentioned! Cheers!

Folks, this has been a very good week for me so far. Yeah, there have been tons of breaks from the routine since last weekend - impromptu retreats, tons of book-reading, and not to mention a new phase in my teaching career. And it just so happens that, today being my first day of observation at an elementary school (short practicum to follow), I decided to wear the Gap Curvy jeans that came in through the mail yesterday.

Here's the deal: The jeans are "petite" size, which according to the nice folks at Gap were supposedly shorter than the "ankle" size that I'm used to wearing and purchasing at the store. Which should not have been a problem, but the hems still dragged across the floor because I was wearing flat sneakers. Maybe if I wore something with a little bit more of a platform, like running shoes or even heels, the hems wouldn't drag so much.

That said, damned if those pants didn't give me an exceptional booty - and not just that, but they were comfortable enough for running around after kids, sitting down on tiny chairs, and even those long walks out to the bus stop. I totally don't regret buying them at all; in fact, I'm already planning on getting more Curvy pants as well, since the black onese seem to have run out after they got featured on Oprah.

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A note on working in or with schools: One of the reason I switched careers to education has a lot to do with the fact that I don't have to look "professional" any more - which for me means being able to wear jeans and comfortable shoes, for a change. Not that I want to look too sloppy, but after working with many of the teachers I've met since I started grad school, I realize that comfort does take a lot of precedence in wardrobe decisions, especially if you run the risk of getting marker stains on your blouse at some point during the day. Also, I didn't wear makeup today - but if I were to put some on my face (and, really, there would be barely any time to do so) I would make sure that 1) I put on sunscreen (in case I need to go outisde) and 2) I keep it natural, or at least to the point where my face won't scare the children. The teachers I know, BTW, are quite lovely, and they've all been very gracious and helpful so far.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Case for a Saturday-Morning (Hormone-Fueled) Rant

Dear Pink:

Hey, I just heard "Just Like A Pill" this morning at the coffee shop, and it almost made me cry - maybe it was the residual Cinco de Mayo hangover, but between all the drinking last night, the cramps* from this morning, and all of the guy-related bitterness I've been having lately**, I thought the song just said everything that I needed to say, but couldn't.

Of course, I was about to thank you for this... but then I compared that song to "Stupid Girls" and I thought, yeah, it's OK, but you haven't said anything that Shirley Manson hadn't sung so much better ten years ago. Sorry, hon.

xox, Meimei

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* Folks, riding the red tide every month does suck - but I'm at this point where I've just decided to embrace it altogether and let it be a part of me all the way. That's all I need to say.

** And here's the part where I talk about the guy-related bitterness: I don't want to name any names or get into specifics; it's just that I'm tired of being jerked around, and I'm tired of being expected to fix everything. And when I say I deserve a little more respect, I mean it - not that I don't enjoy the flirting or the gallantry, but what's the point of all that if I can't trust the other person? So, yeah.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Sephora Professionel Perfection Makeup Base

Well, here it is: I spent $12 of my birthday money on the Sephora Professionel foundation primer that I'd been meaning to buy since forever. (In case you missed it, here's the review from Blogdorf Goodman.) I wore this during my birthday dinner with my sister, and again tonight while out to dinner with friends.

Let me tell you something: This stuff is fantastic. It does look pearly coming out of the tube, but once you smooth it on it gives you a nice glow. I wore this with moisturizer underneath and powder on top both times, and I swear that the "glow" only made my skin look smoother: not necessarily younger (as Patti says, it's not a line filler, so there were still miniscule - but non-evident - traces of sun damage), but like a better-rested version of myself. And I like how this primer didn't leave my face unnaturally tight or mask-y like other products do. Best of all, the primer kept my face dewy and fresh for hours, even through dinner and harsh lighting.

Overall, I'd say that I'm really happy with the way this primer works. In fact, I'll just go ahead and say it - Sephora Professionel Perfection Makeup Base has practically given me my face back - minus five years, give or take - and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Case for Another Great Day

Well, friends, I'll say it: Today is my birthday. YAY! And to celebrate, I will not only go out tonight, but I will make this entire month my Birthday Month, so a celebration is in order.

This comes at the heels of another great day last weekend, when I went out snorkeling with my friends. It was fantastic - you should've seen all the wild dolphins and colorful reef fish - but like everyone else, I went home with a massive sunburn.

See, here's the thing: As much as I love the ocean (and, living in O`ahu, how could I not?) I hate, hate, HATE being in the sun, because I burn easily. It doesn't matter that I'm naturally dark; despite my Filipino-Chinese blood I have yet to develop a resistance to nasty sunburns after prolonged exposure - especially on my back and cleavage, two parts that often go covered for the rest of the week (and remain milky pale under clothes, as a result). And the worst part is that, as much as I love the natural bronzed glow on my cheeks, I also come out of the sun with major wrinkles, which in turn gives me major paranoia about whether or not I should go to the dermatologist for Botox and sandblasting. (See: Rosenzweig, Rachel Zoe.)

Now that I'm back on land, I'm currently alleviating the situation with an entire barrage of moisturizers and skin-calming ingredients. Curently I'm using my own combination of cocoa butter lotion with Banana Boat Sooth-a-Caine (aloe and lidocaine), which keeps the burnt parts of my body moisturized, and Aveeno Ultra Calming lotion on my face for the days when I can't be bothered with makeup. In the shower, I use Cetaphil to wash up so as not to get everything too irritated.

Last night I also got the chance to use my sample of Dove Regenerating Night Lotion, which has honey (though it smells more like a sweet floral than a piece of candy) and tiny chunks of shea butter. The lotion itself is so creamy going on that it's a surprise when the whole mixture does sink into the skin, and the scent is very calming. What a pleasant surprise!

And there's going to be more shopping-related stuff on Birthday Month as we go along... stay tuned!