Saturday, January 22, 2011

Please Stand By

But first: a photo essay, for illustration purposes only.



Moral of the story: "Casual" doesn't have to look like you totally slept in it, even if you actually did. Just saying.

Also: Due to some technical difficulties - and a lot of high-pressure matters coming up in real life - new entries on Domesticity won't be available for the next two weeks. Unfortunate, since I had some entries ready to post before all that technical stuff got in the way... but considering that my sanity comes first and foremost, it's best to just walk away from the HTML right now and get down to business.

Coming up after the break: More from Glosswatch 2011, plus a few notes on the exercise front. And, thankfully, no satirical entries for V-Day... though I will need to talk to my boyfriend - ie. the one in this entry who's obviously not Colin Firth - about not letting that hairdo happen to him ever, ever again.

(...Seriously. I mean, seriously.)

All this and more, when we return.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Pump and Lift Special: Check Yourself Out

This is how you know you've finally gotten over the issues that you have with your body.

You only worry about two things whenever you go swimming: sunburns, and drowning.

You have the power to say no to just about anything and anyone - the extra serving, the dress that won't fit you, even the skeevy guy who just won't take no for an answer.

When you do lose your willpower at the dinner table, you know that it's not the end of the world. Just drink more water and try again tomorrow; you'll be fine.

You don't lose sleep over the fact that fashion magazines - and the models who pose for them - have nothing to do with your real life as it is, and neither do they relate to your own personal aspirations. If you do lose sleep over it, and they do affect your real life as it is, that's because you already work in a field related to the fashion industry.

When you go to the gym, and you look at the hot person running on the treadmill next to you, you think, "Hey, new workout buddy! Wanna race?"

When random guys tell you that you're looking good, you know that they're not saying that because they want to hit on you. Especially if they happen to be members of the clergy.

When you say, "I can't see myself wearing that," you're saying it because the outfit already looks terrible and out of place on whoever happens to be wearing it at that time. Seriously, if you've been reading Go Fug Yourself, you'd know that even the hot and sexy people of the world - especially the ones with amazing bodies - end up wearing crappy clothes in public once in a while.

When random strangers tell you that you're looking good, you smile and say, without any doubt, the best answer you could give in this situation: "Why, thank you!" 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: In the Clear

The rest of my face, as it appears in my New Year's Eve photos: The Body Shop's Flawless Skin Perfecting Foundation in #04; BeneFit eyeshadow in Dandy Brandy; Ever Bilena black eyeliner; Maybelline Volum'Express Waterproof Mascara in Very Black; BeneFit bronzer in Dallas. I'd wear my makeup like this every day, if it weren't for the tiny stye on my eyelid that's taking forever to go away. 
The gloss: CoverFX Mint Glaze FX ($22 for full size)

Cover FX MintGlaze FX 0.10 ozSephora says: "Cover FX MintGlaze FX is a protective, fortifying, and freshening pout primer that hydrates and softens the appearance of lip lines. It's perfect for anyone with chapped or fine-lined lips, as well as those who want sun protection."

First impressions: A product named "Mint Glaze" that comes in a white tube? Frankly, I actually thought it was a tooth whitener... but between the product description as a "pout primer" and the promise of a clear finish, I decided to give this one a chance.

Texture: Anything but toothpaste-like. Thanks to the doe-foot applicator, the Glaze goes on pretty smoothly,  and there's barely any stickiness. I tried using it as a primer, though, and found it a little too thick and goopy for lipstick and gloss to stick on.

Color saturation: None - thankfully! I could barely even see the opalescent bits from the gloss while I'm wearing it - just pure shimmer, straight up.

Minty-fresh factor: Gentle. There's a bit of a tingle upon the first application, but I find that it fades away quite nicely. The flavor and scent are not overwhelming.

Lip inflation: A little bit, but I owe that more to visual effects rather than actual skincare ingredients.

Hydration capacity: Very, very moisturizing. This is the gloss to wear when you're exposed to dry air, especially the dry winter winds that we get in the tropics. My lips chap easily, which prompts a lot of rubbing/ licking/ biting on my part... but Mint Glaze does away with all of that, and leaves my lips smooth.

This product will remind you of... Benefit's now-discontinued Smoooch, which shares the same white color and tube application. The big difference, however, is that Mint Glaze is miles ahead of Smooch in terms of scent, taste, hydration - practically EVERYTHING, in fact.

The person I'd kiss while wearing this gloss is... Nobody in particular, but I'd wear this to church - or any casual event where I know I would be doing a lot of beso-beso with friends and aunties. Mint Glaze is a clear gloss, after all, so I wouldn't worry about leaving honking red marks and/or sticky mint burns on people's faces.

My recommendations: Mint Glaze isn't exactly the all-in-one product that it promises to be; personally, I like glosses that have more pigment in them, so I have my reasons to hold back on this one. Still and all, though, it's an excellent product if you only want a basic, clear gloss that delivers moisture and shine in a non-tacky way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: And So It Begins

Swatches made on my own arm. No flash was used in this photo.

Don't ask me for a point of reference on my complexion, either; all I know is that I'm a yellow-based tan, and this part of my arm is probably a little darker than my own face.

Top row: Tarte Rise and Shine (gloss portion) in Cherry; Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Tease, Buxom Full Color Lip Polish in Roxanne; and MintGlaze FX Moisturizing Lip Treatment.

Bottom row: Sephora Collection Super Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Ballerina; Tarte Vitamin-Infused Lip Gloss in 40 Winks, Sephora Collection gloss in Rosy Glow*, Sephora Collection gloss in Rusted Rose, Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Radiant, Lorac Multiplex 3D in Cliche; Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Sex Pot.

*I already own this, but I had to swatch this one next to Rusted Rose for a shade comparison.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pump and Lift, Episode 21: These Used To Be My Skinny Day Pants

These are Gap's Curvy Fit pants in size 14 Petite, and they used to fit me perfectly. Sure, there were times when they were a little snug in the belly and thigh area, but I distinctly remember my lower half looking like this in those pants:

But now, after two years of on-and-off wearing, my Skinny Day Pants now look like THIS on me:

Taken in our hotel room at the Marriott Resorts World Manila, right before the big New Year's Eve party.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Glossy New Year

In the beginning, there was this box, which arrived from SisMei in Honolulu:

And in this box, there were several lip glosses:

And Meimei, who opened the box, was so amazed by what she saw in it that she thought to herself, "Ten lip glosses in a single box, with promises of lip-plumping action? Plus a full-size tube of Buxom Full Color lip polish? Hey, this must be the blog-writing opportunity that I've been waiting for all year! I MUST TEST-DRIVE THEM ALL! "

And so, she started researching what other folks have said about each gloss. Full color saturation? Annoying mintiness? Definitive lasting power? Then she noticed that the weather was getting cold - no thanks to La Nina and whichever cold front was threatening to come down from China -  which meant lip gloss was going to be a necessity in this household.

Thus, a series was born: Glosswatch 2011. 

(What can I say? Pump and Lift was already taken.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

This Year's Hair Solution

I was about to start this entry with a rant-y little screed about how I'm resolving to make changes for my own good and how my decisions are my own responsibility, blah blah society expectations can bite me and whatnot... but that would be way too depressing, and not exactly what I need to explore here in this very blog during the first few weeks of 2011.

Then I thought: Well, this is the year for me to start dealing with the hair situation once again. And this time, I have a visual of the kind of change I really want to see for my hair this year.

Et voila... 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Pump and Lift, Episode 20: Big Scary Things

A lot of big, scary things happened to me this year, and during the last six months in particular.

I began my year by teaching English to Korean college students, and ended the year (if not the semester) by teaching education theory to Filipino college students.

I finally passed the board exams in my field, and became a licensed professional teacher.

I contracted a horrible mosquito-borne disease that could have killed me if I didn't get treatment when I did.

But there are Big Scary Things... and there are Big, Fun, Scary Things.

I finished a screenplay in three months, and a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

I finally came face-to-face with all the health risks that were coming my way, and ended up losing 20 pounds. Then I used that significant weight loss as leverage to get better clothes for myself.

Along the way, I made a lot of new friends, got to see a lot of new places, built up my resume, nurtured my soul in so many different ways, and (slowly) learned the value of patience. And laughing at myself, for that matter.

Still and all, even the fun things that happened this year ended up hitting a few raw nerves when I didn't expect them to do so - because they all forced me to ask the question that I never thought I would answer for myself: What would I do if I knew that I wasn't going to fail? 

And with that in mind, I have decided that 2011 is the year for me to face the biggest Big Scary Thing of them all: The Inevitable.

First and foremost of all: How about Those Last Twenty Pounds? Granted, I did regain four pounds over the holidays, but that's four pounds that I can deal with easily once I put my diet back into its regular rotation. After facing down the health risks and dress-size issues, however, the bigger issue that I'll be facing now is the psychological aspect of my weight loss, especially now that I have to start re-editing and re-tailoring my wardrobe until everything fits me perfectly. Honestly, I never really thought that I was using my body - and the clothes I wore with it - as a form of psychological armor, until I saw all of the changes in my character. In a way, I was opening myself up more to family and friends, and taking more initiatives in my relationships and career decisions. You could even say that I'm actually much friendlier and more confident now than I was at Size 16 - and that disposition, in turn, has also started manifesting in my wardrobe, especially now that I'm switching to more formal, form-fitting tops in brighter colors to go with my pants and skirts.

All of those above-mentioned changes, in fact, are beginning to affect the way that I look at my career and my love life, which are two of the biggest commitment-related issues that I'm facing right now.

Take my career. I'm actually quite happy with my job here at the University, to be honest, and I don't really see a reason why I'd want to abandon it at all. And yet, I have decided - after finishing and winning NaNoWriMo - that I will take steps to get my current manuscript to a major publisher before the year is over. That means I have to stop worrying about the things that haven't happened yet, and start accepting The Inevitable that comes with this situation. Maybe I won't have to quit my job at the university after all; maybe there will be a way for me to teach and write at the same time, in a way that is workable for me. Or perhaps I should stop worrying about becoming insanely famous and successful on my first try, and choose instead to be grateful for the fact that I've put myself through the publishing process. (I still have to remind myself that Hugh Laurie, for all his crazy success as an actor and comedian, is also a modestly successful mystery writer.) All that matters is that I'm out there, and I'm making strides.

Speaking of being out there and making strides, I think it's about time that I addressed the dating situation - because, really, I did spend a lot of time this year making excuses to my family and friends about why I haven't exactly found The One. Granted, I live in a small university town with slim pickings as far as my type is concerned, but - again - now that my body's changing, I think it's about time I addressed the part of the battle where I deal with how I attract good people in my life. That includes any and all questions about the image I want to project, including the things that make me feel beautiful and confident and approachable. (Really, messy hair and chalkdust-covered khakis don't exactly scream "confident.") I'll get into the details in a later entry, but the point here is that I have to start making more of an effort to make things happen at this point.

Make no mistake: 2011 is going to be a super-exciting year for all of us, in every possible way, and I hope that - by sharing all of this with you - I've been able to inspire you to strive for the best this year. Happy New Year, everyone!