Sunday, March 28, 2010

Once Upon A Looklet: A Placeholder

Ah, yes, springtime - when a young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of... tennis lessons?

(View the complete look here.)

And while it is, indeed, springtime everywhere else, we here in the Philippines are in the throes of a particularly cruel tropical summer, with scorching-hot days followed by ambiguously gloomy ones. Not fun - and not to be confused with our rainy season, with hot days followed by massive downpours - but not exactly a bust either.

In the meantime, I am going to take this time off for a much-needed Holy Week break, and I will meet you back here after Easter. Have a good week, folks!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monthly Favorites: March Edition

Once again: Yay, new Polyvore set!

March Favorites
March Favorites by meimei96

This month's theme is "irrational obsessions," since we're dealing more with odd fascinations rather than outright declarations of "OMG THIS IS THE BEST EVAR !!!!111!!!!" Notice that there's not much here beauty-wise because, well, not much is happening with me right now beauty-wise... unless you want to count my super-hot passport photo, and even that's not available for viewing at this point.

By the way, if you haven't checked out Polyvore yet, I encourage you to do so now - and if you are a member already, please do add me as a contact! I'd love to see what you guys can come up with for your collections.

Anyway, on to the favorites...

- The red dress: Originally this collection was supposed to be "What I'd wear if I was invited to the Oscars," but that idea got scrapped after I saw the actual Oscar gowns. The dress here is by Alberta Ferretti - a bit of a "safe" choice compared to the kind of edgy couture that you'd see on celebrities, but I chose it because I love the draping, and I honestly think that I can make this work with my body type. This dress also marks the beginning of my renewed interest in fashion - between Ferretti, Marchesa, and Vivienne Westwood (which I'd like to explore further in another post), I'm actually becoming more fascinated with collections from female designers now.

- Natalia Vodianova: While she's been on my radar for a while now (especially since she's been on the billboards for the Filipino clothing brand Kamiseta since late 2009), Natalia really blew me away when she showed up at the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as an ambassador for the 2014 games in Sochi. She is super gorgeous, and yet I'm more impressed by the fact that she doesn't live her life like a stereotypical supermodel: she's happily married (to a titled Brit, no less) and would rather spend more time on her family and her advocacies in Russia, which leaves less time for non-modeling things like acting and hosting. Plus I do love her personal style - and I think she's cuter with the shorter hair, too.

- Podcasts: I already waste so much time on my iPod Touch as it is, but even that doesn't compare to my weekly routine of downloading my favorite podcasts. Right now I'm obsessed with FitMusic and Motion Traxx for my regular workout routines, and the Celebrity Playlist Podcast just for the pleasure of hearing celebrities sharing their personal mixes. (Best celebrity podcasts of the year, so far: Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Kris Allen, and... Perez Hilton, believe it or not.)

This American Life: Season TwoThat said, I am deeply obsessed with This American Life -and I say this as someone who barely listens to anything on NPR - because I am constantly blown away, week after week, by the masterful way that they handle stories, from in-depth investigations on health care reform and gun laws to stories about pen pals and haunted houses. As far as American Life side effects go, though, the only thing more irrational than my voice-crush on Ira Glass is my fascination with their well-edited music choices - especially when they use snippets of songs like "Party in the USA" and "Unpredictable" as complimentary soundbeds for their stories.

- Earth-tone flats: I just got a pair almost exactly like the ones pictured here - in canvas, not suede- and I practically wear them everywhere. So comfortable, so versatile, so summery.

- Meiji Black chocolate: Or, as I like to call it, the best damn cure for PMS ever. I agree with the assessment that this is more like a "gateway" dark chocolate; as far as cocoa content goes, I'd peg this at around 65% cocoa, on par with semi-sweet chocolate chips. The only difference, however, is that Meiji Black melts smoothly and balances out the bitter and sweet components nicely, so there's not a lot of the sugary aftertaste you'd get from most commercial dark chocolate bars.

- "Cousins" by Vampire Weekend: It's rare for me to gravitate towards indie-darling bands like Vampire Weekend, especially since most of the indie bands I like seem to have been abandoned by their hipster fan bases by the time they're on my radar (*ahem*MGMT*ahem*). Between the nutty song and the even crazier video, however, it seems like the VW boys have finally succeeded in winning me over. Now, if only I can find a copy of Contra at my local record store...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster: The Road Ahead

So here it is - Entry #5 in the Stress Monster series.

I haven't been really keeping track of my blog "birthdays," to be honest with you; all I know is that I started this blog in 2005 because I needed the challenge of having an outlet for my creative thoughts, especially when it came to makeup. Believe me when I say that writing a blog on top of all the crazy stuff that happened between then and now - from graduate school, to building a career, to my current move to the Philippines - was no joke. We're talking about changing formats, schedules, layouts, the whole thing. There were even a few times when I actually thought about shutting the blog down.

The question now is this: Why didn't I give up?

The closest I'll get to an answer, though, is saying that I knew myself well enough to understand why I wanted a blog in the first place. In a way, I did start this blog to get attention... but there were only two things that I knew were infinitely more interesting - and easier to justify - than the nitty-gritty details of my life: my writing, and my love for girly things like fashion, makeup, dark chocolate, and intensely hot guys.

Tempted as I was to write about the mundane but heart-wrenching personal stuff on this blog, I decided that I wanted my blog to be a happy place. That's how I came up with the tag line about "island hospitality": I wanted Domesticity to be a safe haven from the sturm und drang of everyday life and mainstream media. It was the closest thing I had to actually opening up my own outdoor lanai, where everyone can hang out and relax while I dish out gossip and beauty advice.

And now, five years later, here we are.

Life's different for me now. I've gone from contractual teaching and tutoring gigs to full work loads as an ESL instructor. I've swapped my retail-therapy walks around Ala Moana Center for actual jogging around my neighborhood. My financial concerns now revolve around car payments and building up my personal savings. And instead of whining about how I should be studying or lesson-planning while I'm actually writing something else, I now appreciate my time for creative writing - and blogging - for what it truly is: a challenge.

I see my parents' friends and neighbors in our home town, and it amazes me how these people in their 60s and 70s have managed to keep themselves on the up-and-up; they may complain about rheumatism or diabetes, but they're still getting up every morning to go walking, play chess, head outreach ministries, travel around the world. No severe illness - not even stroke, or cancer - could stop any of them from wanting to go out and try new things, the better to keep themselves from being lonely. Can't drive? Let the young pups drive you around. Can't buy cute clothes at the mall? Hire a seamstress and let her do all the altering - or, heck, buy the fabric yourself, give her your measurements, and go from there. There's always a way.

All of these things are happening around me, and it does make me wonder: How much further can I push myself - to challenge my body, my mind, my heart, my spirit? How much more can I explore this world around me, and the relationships that make me who I am? How else can I find meaning and purpose in my own everyday work?

Then I look at this blog - and the many pages of HTML I've generated in the last five years - and I think: Well, here's an answer for you... one of many, but still an answer.

There's still a long road ahead of us. Let's make it an awesome journey.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster: The Burden of Proof

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the ongoing presentation of FML: A One-Woman Drama. As you can see, this is a dialogue that has been running since the beginning of time, in various incarnations and different outcomes. This current production is for the benefit of Domesticity readers and other worthy folks who need help in realizing the actual awesomeness of their own lives. 

Our featured players for today are Meimei, in the role of Self, and... Meimei, in the role of Self. Due to unforeseen circumstances, however, our musical score cannot be played on the world's smallest violin, so we have replaced it with an endless loop of this song instead.

Self, I hate myself today.
- Hold it right there, Self. How did you come to that decision?

I just know, self.
- Know what?

I can't stand it. I'll never be a successful blogger.
-Tell me why you can't be a successful blogger. I need proof.

NobodyWell... I try my best, I put up pictures and videos, but my numbers aren't up. Nobody reads me.
-That's not enough proof, counselor. What do you mean by "nobody"? Did somebody magically transport you into a Wonder Girls music video? I've already seen your reader stats, by the way, and they look pretty good.

But I see these fashion and beauty bloggers, and they get all sorts of attention in the press, and people rave about how fabulous they are and get tickets to Fashion Week and interviews with celebrities and WHY AM I NOT FABULOUS ENOUGH FOR YOU PEOPLE?
- Yes, but those same people have to deal with flame wars, writer's block, and accusations of "selling out." Do you really want to risk your mental health on that crap? And, hello, did you just forget that you have a day job now?

But I'm just a university employee out in the literal boonies.
- A university employee who happens to have an awesome blog and a pretty good command of English grammar, by the by. At least you don't use Comic Sans. Or post Ur BlOg eNtRiEz LyK dIs cuz U lyk txt.

Haha. Seriously, though. I'm not fabulous enough to be a blogger.
- Says who?

Says them.
- Who's them?

The cool people.
-Which cool people? Are we still talking about the people you went to school with AGAIN? That's water under the bridge, honey. They would never have friended you on Facebook if they didn't think you'd grow up to be an awesome person, don't you think? (turns and waves at actual Facebook friends reading this blog)

Well, I guess that makes sense now.

Barbie Vintage Career Dolls Wave 1 SetBut... but... the media, and the society, and the expectations for women -
- So? Are all these criticisms directed personally at you? Because as far as I know, there are no press conferences scheduled for People Who Truly Believe That Meimei Does Not Meet Our High Standards of Awesomeness.

I know, I know - but there's this expectation from everyone -
- Here we go again with the "everyone" business. I want names this time. 

Um... Jennifer Aniston?
- Right, as if that woman is going to fly out to the Philippines just so she can laugh at your face. Really, now, did you really think that Maniston will take time off from her busy schedule to get on a jeepney and ask for directions to the Hacienda?

No - she'll end up taking two jeepneys, and she'll have to take a tricycle, which would cost her 70 pesos instead of  -
-And that's a problem, because...?

Wait, self. That's not a problem. That's an EXCELLENT idea! (cackles evilly)
- See, I told you. Let me repeat: You live on a Hacienda with a loving family, proper indoor plumbing, and an Internet connection that hasn't died on you. You've made a lot of awesome friends all your life, and they still get along with you to this day. You've managed to beat the odds by getting two degrees in the United States, traveling around the world, and landing a day job at one of the most respected universities in Asia. Neighborhood kids, tricycle drivers, and feral cats treat you with a lot of respect. Did I also mention that you have a great sense of humor?

Well, that sounds nice and all, but -
-Here's another thing, though: Let's look at this conversation we just had right now, and pay attention to all the negative things you've said about yourself. How would you feel if you told your Mom that her life sucked? Or if you told your sister that she'll never be fabulous enough just because she lives in the boonies?

But... wait a minute, SisMei does not live in the boonies. If I ever talked smack to her and Mom like that, they'll never talk to me again.
-Exactly. So why would you talk to me - your own Self - in the same tone of voice that you wouldn't even dare to use on your loved ones?

-Aha, exactly. Now haul your butt out of that office chair and let's get some awesome stuff done today.

Great idea, Self.
-Any time, Self.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster: The Plunge

And now, a word about swimming.

At my age, I've also given up on the possibility that I would look hot in a swimsuit. Heck, I don't even swim that much any more; I barely had time to hit the water during my last few months in Honolulu, and I have yet to find a non-icky pool here in my town that isn't too far and doesn't charge through the nose. As it goes, the cutest suit in my closet is a black one-piece with good support all around and a low-cut leg; it's nice, but it's also aerodynamic enough to stay on when I actually do my laps.

The last bit is actually very, very important to me. Whenever I go to the pool, my first few laps are always the worst, because everything worries me. What if I get a leg cramp in the middle of the pool? What if I get an asthma attack and end up with a lungful of water? What if - horrors! - I actually run into ANOTHER SWIMMER?

Again, my mind is already a dangerous enough place when I'm worrying about my safety. The last thing I want is to worry about how my body looks in a swimsuit. That's why I already deal with that question when I buy the swimsuit, and even then I'm more concerned about more important things, like adequate breast support (water + boob bounce = ouchies) and wayward straps getting in the way of my freestyle stroke. Mind you, I'm just as picky as anyone else when it comes to shopping, but believe me when I say that my body insecurity ends as soon as I leave the dressing room and sign the dotted line on the receipt.

This is where my Sportswear Mantra comes in: "Cute" never saved anyone from a fatal injury. 

It's not just swimsuits, mind you. I have to go in the water with a bathing cap and goggles, because otherwise I can't see where I'm going. I'm super picky about my running shoes because I need the support; otherwise, my chances of injuring myself increase exponentially. The same thing applies to everything I use for working out, from sweatpants (no camel toes and "chub rub," please) to socks (I hate it when they lose elasticity) to sports bras (again with the boob bounce) and iPod holders (this may not be the sexiest thing on earth, but it's the best for keeping the iPod Touch from slipping while I work out)... and let's not even forget the waterproof SPF, if there's going to be sun exposure for more than an hour and a half. 

(Ironically, I slap on less sunscreen when I go out for my walk-to-run routine, only because I make sure that I leave the house when the UV rays are at their weakest. The only concession I make for vanity, in this case, is to brush my hair before leaving the house.)

By the time I make sure that everything's been strapped down, tied up, and ready to go, I don't have any brain power left to think about what people will say when they look at me - even if I do, indeed, look like the product of Lady Gaga's one-night stand with Cthulhu. Just don't take it too personally if I don't notice you, because I'm just trying to get past this same lap as you are... and the sooner I finish without hurting anyone, the better it will be for both of us.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster: The Mind and the Competition

These are the words that have been instrumental in helping me get my head together:

Every thought is a choice.
Every choice leads to a decision.
Every decision leads to an action.
Every action has the potential to change a life... not just your life, but the lives of those around you.

On paper, it looks so simple - but in real life? Oh, dear heavens, no.

Believe me when I say that I have the capability of ruining my own day with a simple thought. It always starts with something that sounds so harmless at first:  I'm so tired. I feel ugly. I'm surrounded by morons. Then I go about my day, and suddenly I do find myself feeling tired, ugly, and surrounded by morons. Sooner rather than later, I've already collapsed on the couch crying... or, worse, I'm crying and can't even sit on my couch any more, because I've already taken out my frustration on every single piece of furniture in the house.

Maybe I can't help it because I'm just as human as you are, but seriously: It really doesn't have to be that way.

For the longest time, I've told myself that I wasn't a jock, not into sports, nowhere near being an athlete in any shape or form. This may be true in some aspects of my life, but I used this line of thinking to deliberately hold me back from taking my exercise routine seriously - and, in the process, it has actually kept me from taking my own health seriously. But I didn't know that; I just wanted to be a hedonist and do away with the pain altogether.

Eventually, when I did step back to take a look at all the crappy choices I've made in my life, I did see a pattern: It wasn't the exercise itself that brought me down, but my refusal to pursue activities that I really enjoyed. Note that I said "refusal" here, because let's face it - if I really wanted to take those classes in yoga or ballroom dancing, I would've done anything and everything in my power to fit them into my schedule, even if it meant ponying up crazy amounts of money for fees and equipment. The exercise didn't have to wear me down, because I was already doing a great job of doing that to myself.

In short, I have become my own toughest competition... and I wasn't going to keep letting Meimei hold Meimei back any more.

Think about it: Nobody else eats my food for me, and nobody else gets to lose my weight for me. None of the hot celebrities, gossipy tabloids, and real-life sexy people of the world are addressing me directly and telling me personally that I'm an unworthy human being. The fact that I'm actually still alive - to say the least of finishing graduate school and writing a beauty blog for five years - is proof enough for me that I'm not here to waste any time or space on any kind of whining and lolly-gagging. And, honestly, if you do believe in a higher power, like I do - regardless of where you stand on religion - you probably may have realized by now that the real struggle between good and evil begins within the individual self.

Again, nobody is holding a gun to your head... and even in the off chance that somebody really is doing just that, you still get to decide if keeping it there is the right idea. If you knew that your decisions will lead to action - and the action that you choose to do could change more than one life in the long run - what kind of a choice will you be able to make, and how are you going to make it?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Slaying the Stress Monster

Here's the thing: I'm back on the exercise kick right now. This has nothing to do with swimsuit season, though it is coming up in a few weeks over here in the Philippines. Nor does it have anything to do with weight loss... okay, fine, so I can stand to lose a lot of weight, but I've already stopped crying over those last twenty pounds not too long ago, and I'm not going to start up all that drama again right now.

My main goal for this exercise kick? Stress relief.

Mind you, it's not exactly a good sign when you go to your doctor for a respiratory infection - like I did three months ago - and you walk away with two weeks' worth of meds for your high blood pressure. Add to that the job situation I've been in since the beginning of the year, and you can see why I consider it a miracle that I've been able to get through this without going on a massive hate rampage.

So basically, according to the last doctor who told me to exercise more, my stress levels look like this:

Which is ironic, considering that my sanity levels should look, on average, a little more like this:

And now you get the picture.

For the next few entries, I'll be writing more on the things that are keeping my motivation up and my stress levels low. Who knows, I might end up looking more hot in the process... but until that happens, I'll aim for "not chronically stressed" and go from there. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last Song Syndrome: New Music Edition

This week, I finally bought some new CDs. I originally wanted to get them for my car, but I was just so excited to get the new music that I went ahead and listened to them on my own.

First: The new Sade album.

Soldier of Love

I bought this album only on the strength of the title track* alone, which I thought was a radical departure from the typical Sade fare. But I was already hooked as soon as I heard the first bars of "The Moon and The Sky," and didn't let go until the last track.

As usual, the lovely Sade Adu has one of the richest voices on the planet, and her backing band (who perform under the name Sweetback when they're not working with her) are aces in cooking up excellent instrumentation... but this time, the combination is so potent that I had to ask myself if I was listening to a Sade album. There's practically no slack here; even when Sade's voice is at her most mournful and/or the arrangements begin to start sounding like Norah Jones (don't get me wrong - I like Norah, but you know what I mean here), it didn't stop me from tuning out altogether. What really gets to me here is the songwriting; some of the lyrics, especially on "Skin" and "The Safest Place," stand out in sharp contrast - to great effect - next to the music itself.  This is one of those albums that you really need to sit down and listen to more than once; it's definitely an album for grownups.

*A note here: I don't have a link to the actual video for "Soldier of Love," due to copyright restrictions preventing me from linking it through YouTube. But if you've seen it, there's a couple of things I'd like to talk about: 1) Does Sade ever age at all? Seriously, this is the best she's ever looked, and the woman just had her 50th birthday; and 2) Doesn't the choreography of the dancers remind you of "The Drill" from This Is It? I know that Fatima Robinson did the choreography, but I swear that I had to do a double-take between that video and the Cebu prison inmates' version of "They Don't Really Care About Us," down to the one dancer who looked like This Is It's Daniel Celebre. Between that and the reference to "Michael back in the day" from "Skin," I'd say that there's some nifty cross-referencing between Sade and Michael Jackson here.

And then there's Alicia Keys...

The Element of Freedom

Let's face it - there's no comparison here. Alicia Keys can only wish that she could grow up to be half as awesome as Sade. Next to Soldier of Love, some of the lyrics on The Element of Freedom sound pretty juvenile. (Really, now: "Like the Sea" would've sounded, like, so deep to my proto-emo teen self back in the early Nineties.) Before this album was released, I've already been complaining to everyone I know that A.'s voice has been sounding rough and pitchy as of late - even when she's singing the hook to "Empire State of Mind," she still sounded like she needed a lozenge or three.

That still didn't stop me from enjoying this-here album, though. True, I still think Alicia needs to give her upper register a break - especially since she sings best when she goes for the lower range - but here she's backed up with stronger arrangements - the better to enhance a lot of the strong soul influences from the '70s and '80s that inform the rest of the album. Girlfriend knows her way around a pop hook like nobody's business, too - just listen to "Wait Til You See My Smile" or "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)" and see if you don't catch yourself humming it later - and she even keeps Beyonce in check on "Put It In a Love Song," which gets most of its power from the Brazilian-flavored arrangement anyway. Recommended for those moments when you could really use a pick-me-up from an especially tiring day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Impression Review: Christian Siriano for Payless

This idea, I love:

...C'mon, it's Christian. Who doesn't love this guy? (Click here to view the entire Christian Siriano for Payless collection.)

This idea, I really don't:

...Seriously, people, I look at these heels and I immediately think of Alexander McQueen's armadillo shoes - which is really not a good sign, considering that 1) we just lost McQueen not that long ago (bless his soul) and 2) even if McQueen did live long enough to design shoes for Payless, it's still not going to make the brand any more hip and avant-garde than it already is, would it? 

Which is probably why I believe that the Gaga-worthy shoes are online exclusives at Payless... and these heels from the same collection - along with the sneakers and flats - are not: 

These, I like a lot. The sandals are very Looklet in their minimalism, and the satin pumps are a kick-in-the pants upgrade from the usual formal shoe. 

And of the bags in this collection, I think this one is my favorite one of all:

This is the Cove Large Shopper bag: it's black, it's patent leather, it's roomy, it's got the zipper detail and the round handles. Classic, elegant: the Cove Large shopper. Fabulous.

(...Wait, did I just do my Andrew Zimmern impression right now? Because that sounded more like Bizarre Foods than Project Runway. Anyway, you get the deal.)

Now, if only those rumors of Payless opening a branch in Manila would just come true soon enough...

Credits: All graphics taken as screenshots from promotional materials used by Payless.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Special Commentary: The 2010 Oscars

My original plan was to take the whole morning off and watch the Oscars live on TV, but apparently I got the wrong memo about plans to broadcast it on one of the local channels. (I blame Willie Revillame.) Anyway, after I stopped pouting and complaining, I got down to business with the shenanigan-free CNN live blog - since I always save the commentary on the opening numbers and presenters for later - and after looking at the wire photos of all nominees from PopEater, this is how I ended up dress-wise:

(click for an enlarged photo) 

Okay, so I put up Maggie Gyllenhaal as #10 for the giggles (though, in fairness, pink lipstick with a Blue Hawaii print is never a good idea) but otherwise, I've never seen so many meh dresses all-around. Again, maybe it's my lack of fashion know-how talking, but all the grays and metallics and exact flesh-tone on flesh-tone have not been working for me, at all. It's telling how this is probably the first Oscars night where I've seen the fleshier women (Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, and Queen Latifah) working their dresses and looking better than some of the average-sized actresses in the house... and the "regular" ones who look good (like Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz) seem to be the ones who have gained weight.

Also, when if I ever get nominated for an Oscar - or, really, if I end up attending any other major awards ceremony that could be televised - I am going to ask for a dress just like Mo'Nique's. I love how age-appropriate it is, while still looking very gorgeous. (Though I have to ask somebody here in the audience tonight: Did Monique Lhuillier design this? EDIT @8:09 PM: According to, it's Tadashi Shoji.) 

I can defend my unpopular choices, though: I like Carey Mulligan's dress - in theory, not in execution - because the design is reminiscent of the best vintage couture. (See also: Filipino actress Anne Curtis in vintage Slim's.) Likewise with Anna Kendrick, who just lost more points in terms of color choice than on the dress itself. Meryl, of course, is Meryl, so I'm just happy that she has shown up looking as un-frumpy as possible. And, yes, Kate Winslet looks like a tin can, but: Remember when she wore that green dress (was it Givenchy x Alexander McQueen?) while Helen Hunt wore a similar tin-can-looking Gucci gown?  I've always felt - even back then - that Kate and Helen would've looked better if they switched dress designs, so I think that the dress Kate is wearing now is basically serving as karmic payback for that moment.

Some notes: 

- Guys, why so much tonsorial FAIL? I cannot even begin to describe my sadness over seeing Peter Sarsgaard as a bald man - which is, possibly, the single biggest waste of hair since Jeff Bridges went for the cue-ball look in Iron Man - but that's nothing compared to seeing Zac Efron, who eerily resembles a Ryan Seacrest clone. And... good gravy, Judd Nelson really looks like death warmed over, doesn't he?

- That said: I would have lumped Jeremy Renner in the Hair FAIL category, too - what is up with the goatee? - except that I would totally make out with him (pending approval from my new boyfriend) now that Peter has gone bald. Also, Ryan Reynolds is looking particularly hot right now... and so is Colin Firth, who will always be marvelous to me for as long as he keeps his hair.

- Hair FAIL, female division: Tina Fey; Vera Farmiga; and J.Lo (eeek!).

- Kristen Stewart is wearing black. Yes, it's a Monique Lhuillier, but: snore.

- Faith Hill: Tremenduously boring. Also, her makeup looks super creepy up close. Trust me on this one, everybody.

- Another person with scary makeup: Sarah Jessica Parker, who looks even more like an alien in that Chanel couture gown. Poor thing, but that's what she gets for aligning herself with pure evil

- And since we're talking makeup, I'm just surprised by how meh the makeup has been this year. Penelope Cruz and Nicole Richie both got the whole smoky-eyeliner thing right, but that's because it's expected of them. Obviously I'm not feeling the bright lipstick thing on everyone else, which I think could only look good on somebody wearing a neutral outfit like Sandra Bullock (and could've helped Anna Kendrick by miles) - otherwise, a bright gown always goes better with more natural tones on the face, as in the case with Gabby Sidibe. But I guess I'm expecting too much?

- Dear Charlize Theron: The creators of this cake need to have a word with you. Also, the folks from the Wilton company called to remind you that the Dessert Decorator Pro(TM) is not recommended for use on evening gowns. Kthxbai.

- Since my entire family is finally over Miley Cyrus, it's about time I finally said this: Girlfriend is definitely overrated, and has TERRIBLE posture.

That's it, folks!

EDITED (@5:37 PM) to add this: Good gravy, what is UP with that gardenia corsage in Mo'Nique's hair? That's just plain foolishness! Points off, but not by much by virtue of the dress. And also, I refuse to acknowledge Demi Moore's dress - as hot as she is - because there's just no excuse for the tan-on-tan color scheme. ICK. 

And, as a bonus: Enjoy Allure's slideshow on the Top 9 Big-Screen Beauty Moments of 2010!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gone Rouge

Since we just mentioned Chanel's Rouge Coco in the last entry, I thought I'd amp up the scarlet fever (pun intended) with a video that goes behind the scenes of the Lady Dior Rouge ad campaign, with Marion Cotillard.

Apparently this latest version of the Lady Dior ad campaign/ short-film series - which includes a song penned by the guys from Franz Ferdinand, sung by Marion herself - is supposed to come out any time now. Until then, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Randomesticity: Random Acts of Hotness

 A picture of me with my new haircut, plus neutral makeup and pearls. Career girl, much?

Today, on this special edition of Randomesticity: beauty and pop culture news!


- Above: Chanel Rouge Coco. 'Nuff said.

- Okay, MAC, you got me again - Too Fabulous is exactly that, and more. Those of you who missed the blushes from the Colour Forecast collections would find the Mineralize Blush Duos to be of interest.

- Cover Girl is promising that they can match shades from any department store brand using their online matching system. Whether or not they can deliver on their promises, however, depends on how you feel about CG's formulations. (My opinion only: Not a fan of their lip gloss, but I really like their eyeshadows and mascaras just fine, and I'm trying to get my hands on their lipstain as we speak.)

- Speaking of eyeshadows: Maybelline's EyeStudio shadows have been available in Asia for quite some time, but I prefer the shade selection from the American version of the quads.

- Beauty vlogger alert! If you haven't tuned in to sisters Elle and Blair - aka AllThatGlitters21 and Juicystar07, respectively - you owe it to yourselves to check 'em out. I'm predicting Lauren Luke-like success for these young ladies, so it would behoove the makers of their favorite brands (lookin' atcha, NYX and Lush) to snap them up as collaborators soon.


- And now it has come to this: A cute photo of Apolo Anton Ohno with Charles Hamelin. Or, as I like to call it, Two Dudes Who Could Really Use a Spa Day. (I kid, I kid.)

- Speaking of hot dudes on ice: I demand to know who on earth had the brilliant idea of casting Evan Lysacek on this season of Dancing With The Stars, because that boy is the very definition of HOT DAMN! (Unfortunately, the cable channels in my neck of the woods don't carry DWTS, so said embodiment of HOT DAMN! won't be showing up on my TV until I can get BitTorrent to work.)

Also: According to Google Search, Canada does not exactly have their own home-grown edition of DWTS. Well, there goes my dream of watching a Hamelin brother perform the paso doble in a sparkly costume...

- In the mood for some hot Filipino dishiness? Well, guess what I just read in the paper this morning...

(*pending actual confirmation of actual split with his girlfriend from all parties involved, which means I'm taking this news with an entire box of Kosher Salt)

So I did get the Ford Focus hatchback that I wrote about earlier, and now I can drive it around - short distances mostly, though I am [theoretically] capable of driving this baby on a highway. What I still don't have in the car, however, is an iPod adapter - but the good news is that it does have a CD player, so I'm looking forward to loading it up with some cool sounds. Some of the CDs I'd like to get for the car: Alicia Keys' The Element of Freedom (am I the only person on earth who can't wait to see the video for "Put It in a Love Song" - and not in an ironic, "let's see how Beyonce and Alicia could out-crazy each other" kind of way?); Sade's Soldier of Love; and Vampire Weekend's Contra. And the new Michael Buble album, which I'm borrowing from my Dad.

- On top of the career craziness that's been happening these last two months (board exams! new jobs!) I'm also trying to carve out time to write more fiction. In fact, I've started taking on the mother of all fiction projects by writing... gaaaak... a screenplay.  I can't promise this will end well, but I will try my best.

Credits: Yours truly (yours truly) and (Derek Ramsay). No samples were provided by the manufacturers of all beauty products mentioned in this story. 

EDITED (03/05/2010) to add that the same paper that reported Derek Ramsay's availability now says that he did get back together with the girlfriend. Awwwwww. Which means I can return to my ongoing plans for world domination.