Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Post You've Been Waiting For... Part 2

So we've talked about this picture in Part 1:

Okay, the more that I look at this picture, the more I think it resembles my dark, sultry alter-ego, Mancatcher (or as my four-year-old self used to call her, Catch Girl) - and she's ready to prowl the streets of Gotham in her mission to convince Dick Grayson to return to his post as Mr. Wayne's assistant. Whoooa, here she comes! Watch out boy, she'll chew you up!

(Dear Chris Nolan: Could you pleeeeaaase make the third Batman movie about Robin? As long as you don't cast Shia or Zac Efron in it, we should be fine. Thank you.)

And if this is Mancatcher in her full sultry superhero form, this is how she looks like when she's trying to walk among the mortals:

Of course, there are some of you who will say, "Darnit, Meimei, that's just you before your morning coffee." But that's the genius of this makeunder: it's a little more than what I usually look like straight out of bed, and less than what I'd look like when I'm ready to face the world.

Here's the story about this face: I was on my way to the rest room at Macy's in downtown HNL when I stopped by the Lancome counter to check out the Maharani Jewels collection. A sweet Lancome girl saw me checking it out... and the next thing I knew (because I'm game that way), I was on her makeup chair. No foundation, concealer, mascara - NOTHING.

That said, she did use the Colour Design Quad in Secrets of Benghal on my eyes - especially that dirty taupe shade in the middle of the quad (shown in this post from Blogdorf Goodman) - and applied it in a similar fashion as my MAC makeover: light shade as a highlight in the tear duct area, dark shade (the plum one) in the outer corners, green/taupe on the lid. Really pretty... though you probably would not have seen it in this photo, since it was taken in broadest daylight (and I didn't want to hold up the line at the Macys restroom by taking vanity photos).

And can we talk about that lip gloss? The lipstick is Jaipur Spice (very sheer, applied with a finger) and the lip gloss is a Juicy Tube in Ginger Palace, with Le Lipstique in what appears to be Bronzelle in the photo. This combo got me thinking: What if I combined the eyes from my MAC makeover with the neutral lips from this Lancome makeover? The possibilities are mind-boggling...

What's definitely not mind-boggling: The Poudre Elephant Teint bronzer in Sunny Manorama.

Remember what I said about bronzer being a good alternative for blushphobes? This powder here is a bronzer for the blushphobe. Not just for that embossed gold top coating, but also for the swirl of coral, pink, gold, and bronze - and if you're tanned or darker, you can just go ahead and swirl away! But if not, at least it's a pretty, pretty compact.

The Post You've Been Waiting For... Part 1

So here's the makeover I've been holding back from posting:

This was taken right after my most recent makeover at the Nordstrom MAC counter. The foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow base are the same from my last MAC makeover, with the addition of Sunbasque blush on the cheeks. Also, she did use the Colourforms Warm Eyes x 5 palette for the eyes - using the pale beige (Frostastic) on the browbone, the pinky-nude (Tancentric) in the crease and inner eye corners, and the brown (Fertile) on the outer corners.


Remember what I said about the green shade in the palette? That one's called Rolled Gold, and it's a pretty taupish-green. Tiffany and I, however, both saw that green and realized that it's almost a dupe of one of the new shades from the Starflash collection - Mink and Sable, which actually swatches darker than the Rolled Gold. So we used Mink and Sable on the lids, and it went so well with the rest of the Colorforms shades that it nearly took my breath away.

You may not see it in the picture, though, but when I went into the bathroom I was surprised by how dramatic the effect was all over. Very Monica Bellucci, if I should say so (especially since I saw MB sporting a similar olive-green shade on the billboard next to the Dior store at Ala Moana). So forgive the smirky-sultry expression on this picture; part of it is just me worrying that my family won't recognize me when I show up for dinner with this face.

The lip color I'm wearing here is the Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolor in Coco Lust/Sexy Sweet from the Lustre Twins collection. Again, it does show up a little lighter and rosier in the photo - thanks to that hot topcoat! - but I still couldn't help but smirk: Chocolate color aside, was this going to dry my lips out? I had to wonder because I've had bad experiences with longwear color in the past and I was worried that this was going to peel off my lips in big chunks like the other guys did. I'm glad to say, however, that the Pro Longwear stuff did stay on pretty nicely for the next few hours, not even rubbing off on my water bottle while I took sips. Great stuff.


Now, I'm sure those of you who don't have access to Nordie's must be wondering where to get the rest of this MAC stuff. Well, guess what - you'll be able to get Starflash and Lustre Twins at your nearest MAC counter starting tomorrow - not just Nordie's, but also the MAC store (Ala Moana and Pearlridge) and select Macy's counters as well. And if you want my opinion on what to buy, I've drafted a little shopping list for you.

Starflash: A lot of the Nordstrom testers for this collection went instantly missing, which goes to show how popular these shadows are even among the counter staff. Besides the Mink and Sable, I'd also recommend one of the fleshy-nude colors - Go, Grand Entrance or Bold and Brazen - which would be a great substitute for some of the shades from the Colour Forms palette. There's also a lot of blogger buzz about Smoke and Diamonds, which was also among the missing testers.

Lustre Twins: Besides Coco Lust/Sexy Sweet (cute names!) I would also try to check out Alta Moda/Hip Love (oooooo, dark brick red!); Boss Brown/Slave to Pink; Gypsy Rose/ Shimmer It; Pink Air/White Top; and Custom Rose/Pink Virtue.

And then... there's Part 2.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Post Warmer: Return to the MAC Counter

Yes, the eye look shown above - which looks pretty subtle on-cam, but is plenty dramatic in real life - was created with colors from the MAC Colorforms Warm Eyes x 5 Palette shown below.

So why is it that I'm holding off on blogging about this look until later this week? Hint: It has everything to do with the green shade in the middle of this palette, and the upcoming launch of yet another MAC collection on Thursday - the details of which have yet to appear on the websites of either Nordstrom or MAC until further notice. DUN DUN DUUUUN!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, In the Park...

Here are some scenes from this weekend's Rediscover Makiki summer festival... can you tell how much I <3 this neighborhood?

From the blessing/ "soft opening" of the newly renovated Makiki Library: Mufi Hannemann may be facing a tough road to re-election this year... but as far as that shirt is concerned, he'll always be the undisputed Mayor of Fashyown. (Yes, it still counts as "aloha wear." Also, the kukui nut lei is totally optional.)

Craft fairs in neighborhood festivals are always cool; I love it when the local craftsfolk come out with their wares for sale. Currently the Honolulu craft-fair market is saturated with jewelers that specialize in handmade (yet reasonably priced) costume bling, as the case is with the table shown above. Gives new meaning to "a little flash for not a lot of cash," doesn't it? (I forgot to credit the person who made these jewels - and if you are one of the ones I mentioned below, please do correct me! You can also find a lot of other HNL crafters on Etsy.)

I stopped by the booth from The Bathcream Shop ( because I was intrigued by the packaging and fragrance names. Here's a picture of their Shaving Soaps ($3 each), which are not (yet) featured on their Etsy site; as much as I wanted to purchase the Oh! Fudge soap, I went with the Sandalwood Vanilla because it reminded me a bit of the Milk Milk bath cream from Fresh.

The Bathcream Shop also had their signature product, the Foaming Sugar Scrub, at their booth; most of the scrubs they featured in Makiki are "extra scrubby," but you can also order the gentler, creamier ones from them as well on Etsy. From what I hear, the sugar they use for these products is for the most part made in Hawaii - real cane sugar mixed in with coarse sanding sugar (available at bakers' supply stores) as a "topping" for texture. I got to test-drive the extra scrubby Pears one on my hands; it's definitely foamy and moisturizing, but doesn't leave that greasy, slippery film that you get from other scrubs, which makes it a nice choice for those of us who can't afford to slip in the shower every time we get scrubby. (Not pictured: their triple-layered blueberry scrub, which is actually very pretty in real life.)

Here's a picture of Lani Yoshimura, another HNL-based Etsy crafter who makes the most darlingly retro wristlet bags for $12. The bags shown here have that Waikiki-meets-Harajuku feel to them, what with the cotton canvas and the anime-inspired prints. The coin purses shown in this picture ($5 each, far right in photo) are also made with the same shiny-happy fabrics as the wristlets. She also makes jewelry, too.

Here's the makeup bag ($7) that I got from Lani. Sweet!

Remember that URL: It's going to be important...

...because the rest of us who chickened out of buying their brightly colored, cheerful-yet-cliche-proof totes are going to want one after seeing these pictures. (Dunno how much business they got from us folks in Makiki, but please do drop them a line if you want one!)

Yep, that's the Finders Key Purse ($5) that I bought from Accessories to Hip. They were also selling purse hangers, which I mistook for the Luxe Links that I spotted in the local newspaper not too long ago.

The guy in the bright blue satin shirt on the foreground is none other than Greg "The Salsaman" Henry, who was staging a free lesson and demo on salsa and merengue. I just had to put this picture in here because his partner Norma looks like she's wearing these dancing shoes. Oddly enough, the other couple on stage with them (who were also jamming like crazy) were dancing in sneakers, proving that sometimes the shoes are beside the point.

Which reminds me: There would have been a time when it coulda, shoulda been me up there in my FitFlops, pulling the first drunk guy off the lawn for some serious bailando under the noonday sun. You know it could've happened. So what was I doing instead of getting free lessons in hot Latin dancing from The Salsaman?

Answer: Having reveries about Paris over a Nutella-filled crepe from Crepes No Ka Oi. (Oh, give me a break - you know you would've been all over that yourself!)

Closet Inventory

Ladies and gentlemen... my closet.

This is the only place where I keep my clothes; everything else, like underwear and socks, ends up in the drawers. I have a shoe rack in there, too, but that's another discussion for another time; for now, let's talk about the clothes.

I just went through a major purge recently, which led to a lot of revelations: for every wrongfully punished outfit (sorry, Indian tunic that got donated recently to Goodwill), there are a few mistakes that actually remain in the closet for some strange reason: tacky souvenir shirts from my parents' travels; forgotten skirts; sweaters "just in case" it gets cold. As you can see, however, my favorite dresses, blouses, and pants remain at the forefront - perpetual staples for any occasion, from church to work to the occasional gala event.

One item sticks out from this closet like a Yeti in a candy shop: a white cable-knit sweater that was given to me as a gift by a favorite supervisor at the Chaminade bookstore. I wore this on our trip to San Diego to keep me warm; it's disproportionate and stretched out, yet I can't bear to even part with it on account of being a gift from a person I always loved and respected. My Masters robe and hood from my recent graduation is here, too; just looking at it makes me happy for so many intangible reasons.

See this red cheongsam above? I love it - all that red and gold mingling together, like an unending Chinese New Year party... and yet, I still have not found the heart to wear it for the last five years, mostly because I wore it to events associated with some seriously painful memories. I've been dithering about getting it retailored, too, since I do remember being a little larger when I first started wearing this out. But there's still hope: I may wear it again to my next trip to Cleveland, or at least to another event that would purge the trauma from the past once and for all.
Here is the oldest item in my closet: a tunic that my Dad got for me in Sumatra when I was 15. How this blouse has managed to hold itself up after 16 years' worth of washings (and several size fluctuations on my part) is astounding, but what makes this even more remarkable is the fact that this item basically started my unending romance with South Asian-style long-sleeved embroidered tunics.

Speaking of items that Just Won't Die... there are no words to describe why, or how, this Old Navy skirt managed to stay in my closet, despite the fact that I no longer actively pursue the "naughty Catholic schoolgirl" look in all aspects of my life. I personally think that the deal-breakers here involve the length and the tailoring; despite the oh-so-trite plaid pattern, I can still dress it up with tights, heels, and a black turtleneck, or dress it down with flip-flops and a plain T-shirt. As long as I'm not wearing it with something that has a sailor collar or a tie - and as long as my hair remains un-pigtailed - I should be fine.

And then there's the inevitable Wardrobe Rescue - in this case, it's a reversible jacket from Nepal that's designed to float and flow over the body, but in its current state it makes me look like I have no shoulders whatsoever. But before I threw this back into the Good Willy bin, I experimented by throwing it on a plain T-shirt and cinching it, kimono-style, with a corset belt. Result: a newly invigorated piece for the colder months.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Domesticity Cooks: Sancocho de Soltera

Yesterday I was in the middle of an IM conversation with my brother, and the subject of conversation was cooking. After describing the preparation techniques I did for my own dinner that afternoon, my brother made a comment about how I never seem to follow a recipe exactly.

And he was right. I'm the kind of person who never leaves well enough alone - though I can't really say why I do that; maybe it's because I'm more conscious about going broke at the supermarket, or because I sit in on way too many conversations about TV food shows. (For the uninitiated: Emeril over-seasons his recipes, and Chris Kimball et al. barely do, if ever.) In any case, cooking for me is never an exact science; apart from a sense of proportion, I prefer to do away with measurements in favor of going by taste alone. Besides, if I wanted exact exact, I should just stick to the closest Betty Crocker mix and be done with it.

Case in point: Last night's dinner was from my own special batch of sancocho, the Colombian stew made with chicken, corn, potatoes, and all sorts of vegetables. Although many South Americans say that every family has its own recipe for sancocho (kind of how every Filipino family has their own recipe for adobo), I chose to start with this version of the dish from Sara Moulton's show on Food Network.

A good recipe, yes, except that I didn't have a big enough pan to fit every single ingredient mentioned in this recipe - and even if the FDA didn't instigate that jalapeno scare earlier in the week, I wasn't in the mood to stalk farmer's markets for yucca (cassava) and two kinds of plantains, let alone spending money to buy a bigger pot.

Adding even more fuel to the fire - pun intended - was the fact that the picture of Sara Moulton's sancocho bore no resemblance to the version that was served to Anthony Bourdain during his now-infamous visit to Medellin. Now, that was a freaking awesome dish: earthy, slow-cooked, infused with the spirits of animals who have willingly sacrificed their flesh in the name of a straight-up good time. Like Bourdain himself, there was nothing genteel about that stew; just watching it boil in those blackened pots gave me warm flashbacks to fiestas in my native Philippines and the beef/pork/goat stews that simmered over open fires on the front yard of my Dad's farm house in the countryside. (I also wouldn't be surprised if my Dad and his siblings used the leftovers from those stews as their very own Hangover Helper the next morning.)

I understand that sancocho supposedly has the power to "bring the dead back to life" - but, seriously, if that dish could turn a known a-hole hardened cynic like Bourdain into a sunshiny optimist, how good could it be?

So, with apologies to both Sara Moulton and Tony Bourdain, I tweaked the sancocho recipe I had to suit my circumstances... which explains why I call my version Sancocho de Soltera, or "Bachelorette Stew a la Colombiana."

  • Instead of using a whole chicken, I used 1 1/2 pounds (4 hefty pieces) of skin-on chicken thighs, which I browned in the stew pot before using. Yes, it does sound like I'm doing a braise (...Mr. Scribe), but I'm the kind of person who believes that browning makes everything better.
  • Since I do not have my own blender (and the Robot Coupe is out of the question), I used my new food mill to blend the following ingredients together: 1 cup of chopped cilantro, half a yellow onion, 1 cup of baby carrots, 7 ounces (half a bag) of frozen pepper strips... and a whole jalapeno, which I found at Mercado de la Raza - jalapeno scare be damned. (When I mentioned to the clerk at Mercado that I wanted to substitute a serrano for the jalapeno, he just told me to go for the jalapeno anyway.)
  • While some cooks swear by Maggi chicken bouillon for the sabor Latino, I ended up working with Telma soup cubes, which were more readily available from the supermarkets here in Honolulu. Two cubes of Telma yielded enough saltiness to the broth, which was made by simmering the above-mentioned cilantro-veggie puree with enough water to fill 3/4 of the way up my half-gallon pot, along with the bouillon cubes, 1 tsp. of ground cumin, and some black pepper.
  • After letting the broth simmer for about 30 minutes, I started adding the rest of the ingredients in intervals: first the chicken (which boiled for 20 minutes), then 1 peeled Hawaiian red-skinned sweet potato (20 more minutes), then 2 cubed potatoes and 3 shucked ears of Kahuku corn that have been sliced into 2-inch cobs.
  • And since I wanted slow-cooked, I let the sucker boil on low heat for as long as I can stand it, until the chicken started falling off from the bone and the potatoes broke down to thicken the stew. One way to test is to poke the chicken or potatoes with the serving spoon that you're stirring with; if it gives under the spoon right away, it's done.
  • Following these guidelines will yield a fiber-rich, carb-laden stew that yields up to 4 servings, with leftovers that can be stored right away in the fridge and thawed for the next 2-3 dinners.

Result: a chicken stew that was more than just a hug in a bowl - it kept me happy and full for hours on end, like a slow dance with a sweetheart. I wasn't sure if this was going to win me raves among my South American friends, but it's a great thing to make on my own.

Of course, those of you who would rather stick to the original recipe should go ahead and do so; it's your prerogative. Practice with it if you must, but don't be surprised if you start tweaking the recipe yourself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blushing, Yet?

A certain FOD (and by that I mean "Friend of Domesticity") recently blogged about how she has been skipping blush from her makeup regimen. Now, I'm not one to gasp and scold my friend for doing that; I myself like to skip blush once in a while, especially in the summer when things get sweltery and the sun makes my skin get toasty. I also know that the friend in question has no need for blush on her own, considering that she also gets as tan as I am and has better bone structure than I do.

That said, there will be times when you will need blush, especially when the natural ambient lighting makes your skin look like hell and you don't want to walk around looking like a real-life analog of Emily Strange. So, for the sake of my blush-phobic, skin-conscious friend, this article is all about blush for blush-phobes.

Please note, however: Since I'm writing for my friend, I'll try to concentrate on blushes for women with oily skin that gets tanned pretty easily. Also, some of these blushes will require a separate brush, since certain cream/stain formulae can be hard to apply; for that you will have to get an extra-fluffy brush of your own. Finally, I will TRY to write this entry without once mentioning a certain peachy-pink shade with an embarrassing name from an otherwise fabulous company.


- BeneFit's Georgia and Dallas. ($28 each) Luminizer, shmuminizer - we're talking about the definitive blush-for-blushphobes here, with skin-warming hues and suitably fluffy built-in brushes.

- Bare Escentuals bareMinerals All Over Face Color. ($18-20) Longtime Domesticity readers would know that I swear up and down on the fabulousness of the Warmth shade, which looks like ground-up lava in the pot but goes on sheer enough to give off the "hey, looks like somebody went to the beach" glow. That doesn't mean that this entry starts and ends with Warmth, however; Sephora and the Bare Escentuals website carry a wide range of All-Over Face Color shades in varying hues of pink, peach, and bronze.

- Anything from MAC. Have I not mentioned enough about the new Mineralize blushes ($21) from the Sonic Chic collection already? The Nuance shade in particular - which was used during my Nordstrom makeover - was subtle enough to stand up to smoky eyes while still keeping my skin healthy-looking. The other MAC blushes are nothing to sneeze at, either: Fleur Power and Margin (powder blushes, $18) are staples among makeup artists. and Eversun (Beauty Powder Blush, $18) is also a perennial blogger favorite.

DRUGSTORE: (all products are priced between $8 and $14, and could go cheaper on sale)

- L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Blush. Sure, L'Oreal also makes mineral blush, but the True Match line has a professional-tested formula and non-garish shades that go great with one's complexion. The neutral shades in particular (like Apricot Kiss, above) are good for an occasional pop of color.

-Maybelline Mineral Power Naturally Luminous Blush. If you must buy one mineral blush from the drugstore, why not go with the one that won kudos from O Magazine and warranted the highest score from the girls at DeLush? Having seen these in person, I will tell you that they look really dark in the jar - and the shade selection, while narrow, is vibrant enough to give the other mineral brands a good run for their money.

- Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Blush. Physician's Formula already makes some of the best bronzers around (and bronzer, BTW, is a great alternative for blushphobes) so it would stand that they would also turn out a nice blush on their own as well. Again, limited colors, but the multi-color palette is just way too pretty to pass up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Randomesticity: All Working Parts in Order

Continuing with the "Drag Queen" theme, part 1: I got Jackie Beat's parody of "Gimme More" stuck in my head earlier this week. Vile earworm or catchy send-up? You decide. (Also: Am I wrong for wanting Jackie and Azis to get together for tea? I foresee a well-spent afternoon at the MAC counter for both of them, trying on all sorts of insane eye makeup and exchanging Photoshop techniques...)

Continuing with the "Drag Queen" theme, part 2: For the rest of us ladies who can't afford chandelier headdresses, head-to-toe sequins, and professional photo retouchers, Sephora is having a sale on all products by Bourjois Paris. (Rumor has it that the brand is getting phased out... although I'm praying that there's more truth to the stories of BP negotiating a deal with Target). And you know what that means... MASCARA SALE!!!

While some people are all about the Maxi Frange and Coup de Theatre, I went with Volume Glamour Ultra Black ($9 at my neighborhood Sephora) because I've always wanted a soot-black mascara to go with my still-naturally-dark hair. I find that this formula gives even the most basic eye looks much-added oomph without looking wimpy next to the darker looks like the one I'm wearing in this picture. But I'm holding final judgement on this one until I've managed to road-test it for the next few "full-face" appearances outside of my apartment.

Other updates:

  • Job hunt is still on - I've had some promising interviews, but am still pretty much on the market. It's a good thing I'm writing a beauty blog, though, because I've gotten even more motivated to wear makeup lately - I've found that having good makeup is my way of signaling the universe that I'm open to the possibilities!
  • The Everyday Minerals stuff is also working pretty well, but since it's gotten humid lately I've returned - temporarily - to wearing the L'Oreal mineral foundation. Unpopular choice, yes, but considering my schedule right now I'd rather stick to the tried-and-true.
  • Speaking of appearances outside my apartment: Looks like it's going to be a busy weekend for me, starting with Art after Dark at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts (Bollywood theme night! Count me in!) and continuing with a neighborhood festival on Saturday night and my nephew's birthday party on Sunday. The days are already packed - now is the time to make the nights more exciting!
  • On the domestic front: Watch out for a recipe post - I'm actually going to do some cooking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If I Was a Drag Queen...

...Well, of course I'm not, considering that God apparently did provide me with the, ahem, necessary equipment that should render that thought irrelevant.

(WARNING: If you're easily offended by the subject matter, stop reading here! No use getting your collective panties in a bunch if you don't want to go there with me.)

That said, if I were a dude who enjoys looking like a lady, THIS video here would be my "before" picture.

(first posted on Beauty Addict)

And this video here would be my triumphant "after," complete with fantastic eye makeup and a chandelier over my head.

That is all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

About That Banner...

First of all: SURPRISE! This makeover didn't really "happen." Or, if we're going to split hairs here, it did.. but not the way you thought it did. What really happened was that I was knocking around on Taaz with that one picture I had from Sunday (last one in this series), which then led to me going to Photoshop Express and creating the JPEG that now appears as the banner above.

I'll admit that one of my inspirations happens to be this guy (Scribe and I have been drooling over his insanely prodigious eyelashes - and thank goodness for that, since Taaz's eyelashes do have that certain glam quotient to them), but I'm also inspired by a lot of the looks created with MAC's current Electro Flash collection. I also love the whole deal of green eyeshadow with a pop of purple eyeliner (demonstrated here), which does wonders for dark brown eyes like mine.

And here's the deal: Just because this makeover didn't "happen" doesn't mean I can't give you the product list... because Taaz came up with one anyway!
  • Taaz recommends: MAC eyeshadow in Eyepopping and Powerpoint eyeliner in Bordeauxline; Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Black

  • I would recommend: MAC Mineralize eyeshadow in Fresh Green Mix, applied with a wet brush; MAC Powerpoint in Permaplum (or any purple eyeliner that you can find); and Cover Girl's Volume Exact Mascara if you can't swing the Clinique one.
Have a great weekend, y'all! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Best Revenge

So this week isn't exactly going as well as I hoped, as far as the job market is concerned. Sometimes I feel like second-guessing myself - is it something I did? - but you know, that can only take me so far. Best just to pick up where I left off and move on from there.

That said, I do believe that looking good is a gal's best revenge in moments like these, when defiance - and a little rebellion - is in order.

First, the MAC arsenal, which I've lined up above for you by size. On the left: the Sheer Shimmer Powder in Revenge, which I talked about in my last MAC-related entry. I don't know what compelled me to hold on to this for so long - well, okay, it has everything to do with a horrible breakup that coincided with the release of this collection (hence the apropos naming) -but after seeing the Sonic Chic blushes I figured that I might as well take it out of storage. It's the makeup equivalent of the Chivas Regal that my Dad used to keep in his liquor cabinet; it's nice to save it for company... but when it really, truly matters, you just gotta do what you've gotta do.

Next to the Revenge powder is, of course, the Hot Contrast eyeshadow that I bought at Nordstrom on Sunday... and the regular eyeshadow in Contrast. I'm so in love with the swirly, dirty combination of red and silver in the Hot Contrast eyeshadow that I've decided that it would be a perfect companion for the Revenge, while the black goes with the indigo/purple tones in the (regular) Contrast.

Here's how I looked like when I decided to wear all three together, with nothing more than Smith's Rosebud Salve on the lips.

And - and! - if that wasn't enough, guess what came in the mail for me yesterday? (Um, besides a "thank-you-for-your-job-application" affirmative-action form from Cleveland State...)

Yep, I broke down and got the sample pack for Everyday Minerals. Wanna see what I got from them?

Clockwise from top left: Semi-Matte foundations in Golden Winged Butter, Light Tan, and Medium Tan; Peach Color Corrector powder concealer, and B&B blush (which looks like a peachy terra-cotta color). I'm planning on getting a lot of mileage from that concealer this week, since sleep hasn't come by so easily as of late.

Watch this space; there definitely will be more pictures of me wearing all sorts of combinations from this stash!

POSTSCRIPT: I followed a link to Three Custom Cosmetics from Beauty Addict, and after a little clicky-clicky on their site I found that - janjararaaaan! - they have the formula for Revenge, which means they can replicate this blush near-perfectly. OMG.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Face of the Moment: Why Is This Blogger Smiling?

You have to understand: It's not every day when a girl walks into Nordie's and walks away with a brand new face. (Nor is it every day that the same face fades when she realizes that she has spilled Coke Zero in her bag, resulting in massive damage to her cell phone and making her realize that perhaps she may be overdue for an upgrade. Karma, alas, is one sad beeyotch.) Then again, because I'm a real sucker for anything and everything that MAC makes, I did end up on the makeup chair, admitting to the sweet MAC girl who did my face that I was a blogger and my interest in the new collections was somewhat more than academic in nature.

The great irony of it all is that, while I do have photographic evidence up here, I did not take good notes on the rest of this "look" - so I might end up skipping some of the particulars, like brush numbers and the like. So I'll try to concentrate on as much of what I remember as possible.

Prep: There was a moisturizer (SPF 15, yay!), a primer (want, if it wasn't for the fact that my Sephora Professionel one is still kicking), and Prep + Prime for the eyes. And, God bless us, there was also an undereye concealer involved.

Eyes: My makeup artist, Tiffany (love her!), took me through every step in terms of the eyeshadow application - and thank goodness for that, because otherwise I would never have scribbled everything down!

  • Paint Pot in Painterly - used as an allover base

  • Bamboo eyeshadow - blended into the crease using the #244 brush in tight circles

  • Mineralize eyeshadow duo in Polar Opposite: I was intrigued by the "swirly" side of this compact, so she put that part on the lid - which ended up coming out as a dusty, dirty lavender. Surprising! The silver was also used in the inner corner of the eye.

  • Mineralize eyeshadow duo in Hot Contrast - now this one really intrigued me because of the silver and red; the black ended up in the outer corners, which really brought out the pretty from the Polar Opposite.

  • The winged eyeliner is Fluidline in Blacktrack. And I got a priceless tip from Tiffany here: When planning on making your own winged eyeliner with liquid liner and an angled brush, start with a quick "sketch" by first lining from the inner corner, then marking off where and how far you'll be winging the eyeliner in the corners before filling in the rest.

  • On lashes: Plush Lash in Plushblack

  • On brows: Brow Finisher in Wheat; Brow Shader in Soft Charcoal; Brow Set in Clear

Face: On top of the concealer was a combination of the new Mineralize Skinfinish Duo (I believe I got the Medium Dark/Natural and Shimmer, since the two darkest shades sold out over the week) and another Mineralize foundation (forgot the shade - sorry, Tiff!), followed up by Mineralize blush in Nuance. All of these were blended with MAC's own version of the baby kabuki brush.

(A word about the aforementioned Mineralize blush from the Sonic Chic collection: I swear - cross my heart and hope to die - that Nuance is the near-exact replica of my late, lamented L'Oreal Feel Naturale in Cocoa Rose. I also swear that the Merrily shade is also as close as MAC can get to reincarnating another fave of mine from their own archives: Sheer Shimmer Powder in Revenge, from the Lady Danger collection. )

Lips: The liner is Cremestick in Naked Rose, followed by lipstick in Mellow Mood and (be still my beating heart!) Tinted Lipglass in Major Minor.

Finishing touch: Fix+ spray. Lurve!

So what else do I do with this new face, besides taking pictures in the Nordstrom bathroom? Guess what - I end up at a picnic, which meant that I ended up sweating some of this lovely makeup away in the hot noonday sun. (Thank goodness for all that SPF!) Then I went to meet up with some more new friends at Ward Center, where I didn't get to a mirror until around 5:30 PM.

And here's what I looked like by then:

...What? The lipcolor loss was inevitable - I had to eat something at the picnic. ;) But the eye makeup? Miraculous.

So what DID I end up buying after all of this? Yay on the Hot Contrast eyeshadow, since I've always needed a black eyeshadow anyway. Also yay on the MAC #244 brush, which means I now have another eyeshadow brush in my arsenal. Actually, just... yay, because I'm also coming back to Nordstrom for the Colour Forms launch two weeks from now. Whee!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Face of the Moment: Berry Picking

Inspiration: See my comments on Karen's page. I was just about to visit the MAC store at Ala Moana when I realized that it was on the same floor (and a few blocks across the way) as the Apple Store... which means that I'm deathly sure that the mall was going to be crowded with all sorts of geeks and trendspotters. I was also inspired by the rich colors of summer - the blue sky, fresh fruits, and especially the ocean. Not to mention the blue satin nightgown that I'm wearing in the photo, which looks more like a dress, and all the picnics I'll be attending tomorrow.

But it all came down to this: I have two MAC eyeshadows named Vex and Contrast. And I do know how to use them.

Skin: By now I'm finding myself reaching more for the L'Oreal mineral foundation than for any other foundation, if for no other reason that I'm finding that the mineral powder stands out more in pictures. In combination with the BareMinerals All Over Face Color in Warmth, it's actually a great way to come up with a shade that's as good as my own skin, but so much better. And, yes, I did forget to put on some concealer under the eyes this time. Hopefully, I'll be able to rectify this situation soon.

Eyes: Because this is a "test" shot (since, um, I'm not actually going out tonight with this face) I decided to skip the mascara and the eyebrows. Here's how the whole deal looks:

  • MAC Vex (pale green-gray w/ pink shimmer) all over the lid and browbone as a highlight/wash

  • Stila Twig (bronze/brown) in the crease and lid

  • MAC Contrast (purplish-blue with blue shimmer) as close to the lashline as possible

I still love Vex because it's got the amazing ability to cancel out the dark tones on my lid, and the pink shimmer is so feminine and happy-making. That said, nothing still beats the combination of Vex with Club (and oh, how I mourn the loss of *that* eyeshadow), but combining it with Contrast yields a really pretty combination of icy pink and blueberry-purple - a Jamba Juice-worthy combo if there ever was one. I slipped the brown in there to make the look a little warmer, but next time I'll try the combination again with a more yellow-toned gold or beige.

Lips: This time I used the Jaqua Girls lip gloss in Tuscan Orange - which still looks mauve in the tube, but if you look at the picture above you'll see how the gold slips through, giving the whole deal a pretty blood-orange hue. Still a nice contrast to all that intense blue and purple on the eyes.

Hair: Tied back in a ponytail. Keeping it simple. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

100 Things About Me

Thanks, Scribe, for tagging me.

Considering what this blog has become lately, I'll try to stick to the topic of beauty for this meme -- especially since there WILL be a Face of the Day post coming up soon. (Say it with me: OMG she's going to post more pictures of herself! Aiieeee!)

100. Everything I know about taking care of myself I learned from my Mom.

99. First of all, she has good skin.

98. She's been using the Clinique 3-step program every day for as long as I can remember, and I swear she still looks 10 years younger.

97. She also hates the sun, and doesn't go outdoors until just before sunset to do her gardening.

96. Because she hated the sun so much, she never sent me outside without sunblock.

95. She thinks it's because I have to keep my skin "white," which is what most Filipino women in the Philippines do when they don't want a tan.

94. I say it's insurance so that my skin doesn't look like her handbags when I get to be her age.

93. My sister and my brother had bad acne when they were teenagers.

92. I know this because I used to steal their Oxy pads and pretend to wash my face with them.

91. Those things sting like a @##@#%#$!!!!!

90. Not to mention they nearly destroyed my 10 year old face.

89. You'd think I'd learn my lesson, but nooooooo... just ask Scribe what happened when I used her face wash by mistake.

88. Anyway, for some strange reason I never got bad acne - I only get tiny zits here and there, but never a whole greasy pizza face.

87. I should talk about greasy pizza - I lived next to a Pizza Hut in Indonesia.

86. I ate there every day.

85. There's also a Pizza Hut next to my current apartment, but I don't order from them.

84. My sister is now a convert to mineral makeup.

83. She's the one who told me about this deal at Everyday Minerals.

82. I still haven't ordered from them, but should.

81. I don't have any particular loyalty to any particular brand.

80. Especially since I went broke during grad school, and didn't find the time or money to buy good makeup outside the clearance bin at Longs.

79. That explains why some of my makeup has been discontinued. :(

78. That said, I am now a convert to mineral foundation.

77. Also, you'll have to pry my Stila and MAC eyeshadows from my cold, dead hands.

76. I've only done the Back to MAC recycling program once - that's how much of a MAC addict I was back in college.

75. I'd love to do it again.

74. In fact, I can't wait to have a job again so I can start buying nice makeup.

73. Speaking of the job search, it's confusing for me to explain to certain people why I'm not teaching any more.

72. For some reason, just saying "I got burned out trying to teach Special Ed for six weeks" doesn't cut it.

71. Ditto for "I've decided to go into research anyway because I'm more of a writer."

70. I believe these are the same people who gave me those strange looks when I told them that I was going to spend my summer vacation in Cleveland... because, really, who in their right minds would leave Hawaii in the summer to go to freaking Ohio?

69. Apparently it just dawned on me that, after all these years, those people still don't know me that well.

68. Also, these might as well be the same people who will probably pat me on the head and give me pitying looks when they realize that I'm writing this blog.

67. More's the pity.

66. Sorry, I sounded kind of bitter there.

65. Then again, "bitter" was my default setting between the ages of 17 and 28.

67. I like to think that I'm a lot calmer than that now.

66. My mom also told me that unnecessary stress and drama always shows up on my face.

65. Which is why she got me to learn how to meditate.

64. It definitely has done wonders in my life... not to mention my face.

63. I also like to think I'm in the best shape of my life.

62. Again, thanks to the example I got from my Mom, who exercises three times a week.

61. Thank God I don't have my Mom's exercise routine, though - I get bored watching her do low-impact aerobics, and she's worried that I'm going to throw my back out from doing yoga and Pilates.

60. I also don't have my Mom's diet, either, which consists of lots of dark bitter greens that have been boiled down to keep her blood sugar steady.

59. She and my Dad still don't approve of me eating pork.

58. What can I say - I love me some bacon and pork chops.

57. Not always together.

56. Another thing I learned from both parents: Take good care of your clothes and shoes now, so you won't have to worry about what you want to wear later.

55. Which is why, on the night before any big event, I'm always careful to lay out what I'm going to wear beforehand, so the only thing I have to worry about in the morning is hair and makeup.

54. Some people may think my straight hair is a blessing; I just wish it had more body.

53. I also still wish that the stress-induced bald spot where my center part used to be would just go away.

52. I haven't touched a bottle of hair dye since 2003.

51. I don't like it when my hair gets to dictate what I have to do with the rest of my life.

50. Replace "hair" with "monthly cycle" in the sentence above, and the same is true - especially when swimming and eating are concerned.

49. I was never an athlete growing up.

48. I tried to get my Dad to sign me up for Little League, but back then only boys got to play baseball.

47. By the time I got older, I got way too lazy for sports - even though my friends were complete jocks and I wanted to exercise with them.

46. Whenever I feel too lazy to exercise, mentally picturing the teenage versions of my jock friends doing warmups does the trick.

45. Especially that one girl in 6th grade who demonstrated how Polar Bear Swims got her in shape.

44. My mom doesn't like it when people use skin-whitening products.

43. In her opinion, people who get addicted to skin whiteners have "concrete face."

42. In order to understand the above sentence, imagine somebody with tan limbs and a face with the exact color and texture of half-set concrete.

41. Which is also why I think it's laughable how fashion magazines in the Philippines could talk about "embracing natural beauty" and using bronzer in fashion spreads while still running ads for skin whiteners.

40. And while I'm on the subject: When I was growing up, the beauty ideal was somebody "petite" with slim limbs, pale skin, and perfect hair.

39. Since I have straight hair and wear "petite" US Size 14 jeans, two out of three ain't bad.

38. I still feel the pressure to lose weight, but for the most part I'm happy about my body.

37. My legs are stronger than they look.

36. I eat more vegetables now.

35. I don't guilt-trip myself if I don't eat anything healthy.

34. Besides, I end up walking it all off anyway.

33. Though sometimes, I'm surprised when I end up skipping certain meals.

32. Best advice I got from my Mom: Learn to live alone.

31. So far it's been working great - I cook my own meals, dictate my own schedule, and I enjoy my time with my friends more.

30. Though sometimes I do wonder how cool it would be to live with another person.

29. The last time I had a roommate... didn't work out.

28. Since I've been single all my life, I also think about what it would be like to have "someone" to share my life with, if you know what I mean.

27. Then again, a bad relationship is always worse than having none at all.

26. I've had my fair share of questionable relationships.

25. At first I blamed myself for everything.

24. Then I stepped back, and realized that I've always been the total package.

23. Those guys just had no idea what to do with me.

22. Also -to borrow Mr. Scribe's favorite phrase - I think they may have been raised by wolves.

21. Although there are a couple of people in that history that I wouldn't mind dating... if I had met them now.

20. Naaah, still raised by wolves.

19. Cut and cut cleanly, I say.

18. When I do finally go out on another date, I sure do hope it would be with somebody who finds me so bewitchingly charming, witty, funny, and beautiful that he can't just help but express his adoration for me.

17. And, like, totally mean it - as opposed to just saying it so he could get into my pants.

16. Places where I may want to go anyway, date or no: the driving range, the batting cages, the ice-skating rink.

15. Where I don't want to go for a date: a crowded bar, a dance club, any place that's so trendy that it hurts my teeth.

14. I hate it when people try too hard to impress me.

13. Especially when I'm guilty of it myself.

12. I also miss having dinner parties.

11. I just realized how much of a loyal friend I could be.

10. Especially when it comes to people that I trust with my heart.

9. I don't like using the term "best friends forever" unless I really mean it.

8. Only a select few have that title in my life, and even that took a while, too.

7. I'm also proud of my family and my education.

6. Now that I really think about it... no, I don't regret anything.

5. My philosophy is this: Healthy relationships = healthy everything else.

4. I like to take care of my heart as much as possible, in every sense of the word.

3. For me, it's more interesting to learn more about what a person loves than what a person hates.

2. I don't think love gets easier as you get older - not in relationships, not in work, and maybe not in general.

1. But I know in my heart it's always worth the trouble. :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cleavage Happens, or This Entry Just Writes Itself, Doesn't It?

Here's the "before" shot...
...and this one's the "after."

Okay, apart from the fact that the lighting seems to have changed - and I may have done a better job at ironing the dress in the "after" shot - does anybody notice anything different? Anyone? Bueller?
Oh, all right, I'll say it: I'm actually wearing the same dress in the "after" shot... with a better bra. And you all know how I feel about getting a good bra, right?
Behold: The Cacique stretch cotton plunge bra, which I purchased from Lane Bryant two weeks ago to complement this lovely dress - as well as the other lovely summer dresses in my closet, all of which require a maximum of cleav with a minimum of strap-flashing. (Well, okay, so there was some strap-flashing in the "after" shot, but at least you'd barely notice it - not when the rest of the scaffolding seems to be doing its noble job. Ahem.)
I may have paid full retail for this bra (along with another Cacique lifesaver, the seamless 5-way convertible/strapless) but as the proud owner of D-cups I can only recommend it to the highest heavens. Genius, I tell you.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Playing with My Makeup, Part 2

This look was inspired by several things: the two products in my makeup loot that I have yet to test-drive (Make Up For Ever's Aquarelle #4 Dark Blue and Bella Il Fiore's Double Agent Lip Tint in #003 Rich Rose); vintage pin-up looks (like this one), and in particular a 1940s-inspired photo of The Scribe (taken by Mr. Scribe, of course) in a navy-blue sailor dress that she bought at our last trip to Marshall's, which I compared to one of Alberto Vargas' paintings. Ultimately, however, I thought I'd trot this look out because it's the Fourth of July - and what better way to celebrate it than to take a few cues from the all-American pin-up?

Eyes: I couldn't swing out for the false eyelashes (especially since I'm wearing this to dinner out with my sister) so I decided to concentrate instead on the typical pin-up look of shimmery eyelids paired with strong eyeliner. The lids got a base of creamy white eyeshadow, then highlighted with shades of bronze and gold. As for the eye line, this is where the blue Aquarelle comes in: I applied it with a square-tipped brush (Stila #16b, dual-ended) and then went over the line with a Q-tip to smudge the line a little bit, since the Aquarelle did go on pretty wet - and made sure to wing the sucker all the way out into the outer corners for a blended, balanced look.

(NOTE: Next time, I'm not going to do the "push-line" technique with the Aquarelle - this stuff requires a more languid line, which means I'll have to use a more pointed applicator.)

Lips: I went with the darker stain, which I thought would give me more of a "sucking on a cherry popsicle" effect. Imagine my surprise, then, when the stain turned out to be a brick red - perfect for the all-American pin-up look that I was aiming for in the first place!

The complete look:

  • FACE: Sephora Professionel Perfection Makeup Base as primer; L'Oreal Bare Naturale mineral foundation; BareMinerals All Over Face Color in Warmth as blush and bronzer. I had to use the minerals with primer because I'm still woefully toasted from all the swimming I've been doing at the pool.

  • EYES: Rimmel All Over Pencil in #007 Destiny (discontinued) as a base; L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow Single in #825 Gilded Bronze as midtone on lid and crease; Stila eyeshadow in Wheat as highlight; Make Up For Ever Aquarelle in #4 Dark Blue as eyeliner on upper lid and outer corners. Lashes were defined with Maybelline Lash Expansion Mascara; brows were darkened with Stila Eyeshadow in Rain (discontinued)
  • LIPS: Bella il Fiore Double Agent Lip Tint in #003 Rich Rose

  • HAIR: The pin curls that I planned with this look didn't work out, so I shook them all out, applied Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Smoothie all over for a smooth but beachy look, then pinned the front sections back with two plain bobby pins.

  • OUTFIT: Mossimo for Target brown linen empire dress, supported by Cacique strapless convertible bra

  • SHOES: Black peep-toe kitten wedges from Charlotte Russe

  • NAILS: Woefully bare - but I swear I'll correct that soon!

Best part of it all: My makeup - including the lip stain - held up throughout dinner, dessert, and an unexpected nighttime drizzle! Definite thumbs up.

Happy Fourth of July, Y'All

Putting the nasty business of the current recession and the 1898 Treaty of Paris aside (which resulted in my home country having their official independence taken away from them from under the rug, only to be given back to them on 07/04/1946 - a holiday, BTW, that most Pinoys in the Philippines no longer celebrate) - here are a few things I love about my newfound adopted country:

- Baseball
- Hotdogs
- The combination of baseball with hot dogs, especially if it results in the picture you see above you of the Hot Dog Races at Progressive Field (although, wouldn't it be more fun if we had these guys in a Meat Product Olympics with the other Sausage Racers in Milwaukee?)
- Scribe's mother-in-law, who got us tickets to see the Twins-Indians game at "The Jake" on Dollar Hot Dog Night... and continues to be a great embodiment of this country's unbreakable yet generous spirit
- John D. Rockefeller, without whose wealth there would be none of the following: The Cleveland Museum of Art, the obelisk at Lakeview Cemetery, and the scholarship that brought my Dad to Minneapolis 40 years ago for his PhD
- The Chrysler PT Cruiser
- Regional brews, both micro and macro (here's to you, Great Lakes and Kona Brewing)
- Barack Obama
- Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Ross Dress for Less
- Spanx
- Maggie Gyllenhaal, pretty enough to transcend the craziness of her own outfits
- Sarah Jessica Parker, who - while not classically beautiful - is game enough to wear the crazy outfits anyway, and God bless her heart for that
- The bacon cheeseburger
- Turquoise jewelry
- Pants from Gap, shirts from Target, lingerie from Lane Bryant, and Chuck Taylor All-Stars
- Not having to care if I "dressed up" enough to go to Starbucks, yet caring enough to present myself if I want to show the world what stuff I'm made of
- Edward Norton
- George Clooney
- Flannery O'Connor
- The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (or as Bunny's husband sometimes calls it, the Taj Mahowny)
- River rocks and beach glass
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- This video of Hugh Laurie, which simultaneously makes fun of Bruce Springsteen and the way "Born in the USA" has been misappropriated by people who didn't know what he was singing in the first place
- Driving on an open road, windows down, while singing "Irreplaceable" and "Apologize" at the top of your lungs without any recrimination whatsoever
- This Old House
- The fact that I can celebrate all my American holidays with kalbi, sushi, pansit, poke, and manapua... and not have some purist screaming bloody murder at me
- The very concept of the three-day weekend, which eliminates the headache of taking just one day off for a major national holiday
- "...with liberty, and justice for all."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Sunblock Situation

Before I begin: A warm and hearty welcome to the most recent addition to the Domesticity blogroll: Makeup and Beauty Blog, written and edited in the Bay Area by the fabulous Karen. Her blog is a very valuable resource for nearly anything and everything makeup... and, of course, any beauty blogger who's fearless when it comes to drugstore finds is a real gem in my book. :)

Now, on to the rest of the entry...

Photo taken from through Google Images.

I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. Part of it has something to do with the post-high school rebellion I had when I moved here to Hawaii, where I abandoned my Manila-princess insistence on maintaining my "porcelain" skin (ha!) in favor of the sun-loving bronze glow of my classmates. Never mind that I had more of a "workman's tan" (complete with short-sleeve demarcation lines) than the beach-babe bronze of my classmates, which they've obtained through varying combinations of genetics and ditching classes in favor of chasing tasty waves at Banzai Pipeline and Sandy Beach. Never mind that my supposedly tanned skin also becomes surprisingly sensitive and "porcelain-like" when it gets nasty sunburns, complete with unattractive peeling.

Most days, however, I think of sunscreen as an unnecessary bother: True, I do burn when I spend hours in the sun... but it's not like I get the same kinds of sunburns from swimming as I do when I'm just walking around doing errands, right? Besides, I don't really go to the beach that much, to be honest, and every single time that I do always ends up as "the last time" because of the burning and dehydration, not to mention excessive amounts of aloe and Advil for the pain.

This year, however, was the beginning of my pursuit of physical activity. It started with volunteering at Lyon Arboretum, then continued into my Cleveland trip (where Scribe and I sweltered through hot bus stops as we went through our errands); now that I've started swimming laps at the public pool again, I believe this physical streak is going to continue for as long as there's a body of water for me to swim in.

Which also means that if I'm going swimming again, I might as well arm myself with some powerful sunblock. And that's what I've been doing lately, using the following products:

Face: I've been using Ocean Potion's SPF 45 Clear Zinc Oxide Face Potion, which promises to be "very water resistant." I started using this when I started hiking. because I love the cream formula for this - it's easy to slather all over the face like a balm, and still have enough left over to coat lips, lids, scalp and ears. Sometimes I even put this stuff on the backs of my hands to keep them protected, too. As for the "water resistant" claim, believe the hype - I had my doubts at first, but after a straight hour of 100-meter laps (and a "cleansing" pre-swim shower) my face did not show any signs of burning.

Body: While I love the Ocean Potion cream just fine, everything else below the chin (and under my ponytail) needs a sunblock that I don't have to bother with rubbing, especially when it comes to the hard-to-reach spots in my back and shoulders. For this I need the heavy-duty Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30, which does a great job with covering the aforementioned hard-to-reach areas as well as it does for my arms and legs. And when I say "heavy duty," I really mean it - doesn't scrub off, doesn't rinse off... and you'll DEFINITELY know when you've put on too much, because 1) one thin film is enough - otherwise it won't dry and you can't rub it in to spread it; and 2) if you do put on too much, you'll emerge from the pool with an ashy film that won't come off unless you use soap on it. Let me tell you - after years of using generic sunblock (including one that peeled off on me during a diving trip), I'm insanely glad to find something that really, truly works in keeping me burn-proof in the water. Seriously, buy this now.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Randomesticity: Housekeeping

- Part 2 of the "Playing with My Makeup" series may not be posted until later this week - too many things on my plate lately, what with the job search and the general housekeeping in my apartment as well. I'm also planning a post on sunblock and a couple of recent Cacique purchases from Lane Bryant (clicky-clicky!), as well as some thoughts on my ongoing apartment-cleaning process.

- In the meantime: I've decided that living in such close proximity to a public pool is the next best thing I'll ever get to living in a luxury condo, since the combination of hot HNL summers and creeping boredom has driven me to start practicing my swimming again. This afternoon I went ahead and swam laps for an hour - alternating between freestyle and breast stroke, with breaks to practice my kicks with a paddleboard - and now my body feels like I've put myself through a rigorous Pilates session... except not as sweaty, and considerably a little more tan than usual. Bring on the workouts!