Monday, December 23, 2013

BookTubeAthon Wrap-Up . . . Or is it?

Officially, the great Holiday BookTubeAthon ended at midnight yesterday.  If you were around late last week, you will remember I set a goal of completing three books and pledged to donate one book to Books for Africa for each book I completed, as well as a bonus four book if I reached my goal.

When midnight had come and gone, I had completed two books off of my TBR (The Crying of Lot 49 and The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War-- reviews to come!) and was more than a little disappointed that I had not completed my third books; worst still, I felt a great deal of guilt at the thought of short changing Books for Africa.  It's one thing to not meet your goal and it's another to think you have let someone(s) else down.

Since this is the season for love, warmth, sharing, and giving (or so the internet tells me), I have decided to extend my BookTubeAthon until the stroke of midnight on Boxing Day morning.  Yup, that's right: I have three more reading nights to reach my goal (and one pesky Camus novel in my way) and donate some much needed reading material to folks in the developing world.

If you'd like to donate to Books for Africa, check here.  If you'd like to follow my progress in completing that last novel, check in with me on Twitter.

Cheers,

j.
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday BookTubeAthon: This Weekend's Truncated TBR List

If you're a Booktube dilettante like myself-- spending your evenings watching other people's book hauls, book reviews, book talks, and comparing your monthly TBR list (To Be Read) to your favorite vloggers--  you may have heard about the Christmas Holiday BookTubeAthon.

 

For the uninitiated, the Holiday BookTubeAthon is a three-day marathon reading session beginning at midnight on Friday December 20 and ending at 11:59 on Sunday December 22 where participants read as many books as they can make room on their TBR list for the books they expect to receive in the coming days.  Prior to the commencement of the reading challenge, participants set a goal and attempt to meet or beat that benchmark before the stroke of midnight on Sunday.  This BookTubeAthon has a focus on completing works that you may have started  this year . . . but, for one reason or another, not completed.

 

My own goal is to complete three books before the challenge period is over.  These auspicious reads are:

[caption id="attachment_692" align="aligncenter" width="199"]The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1966) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1966)[/caption]

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1966): I began this book right before Thanksgiving and have been working my way through this mind-bending novella on postal conspiracies.  I received this book on an Inter-library Loan and I have to return it tomorrow before I come home from work; so, time is of the essence.  This, unquestionably, will be the first book I complete.

 

[caption id="attachment_693" align="aligncenter" width="194"]The Fall by Albert Camus (1956) The Fall by Albert Camus (1956)[/caption]

The Fall by Albert Camus (1956): Camus has long been one of my favorite authors (along with Kurt Vonnegut and Virginia Woolf, among others) and though I count The Plague and The Stranger as some of my favorite books, I have never been able to finish reading The Fall.  I've started and and put the books aside more than half a dozen time over the past fourteen years.  This weekend, I am determined to scratch this elusive classic off of my TBR list.

 

[caption id="attachment_694" align="aligncenter" width="197"]The House of Wittgenstein by Alexander Waugh (2010) The House of Wittgenstein by Alexander Waugh (2010)[/caption]

The House of Wittgenstein by Alexander Waugh (2010): This absorbing look at the fabled Wittgenstein family melds the glamour of the Viennese Renaissance, the romanticism of an intellectually gifted family, and the duel tragedies of madness and war.  Somehow, despite my enthusiasm for 20th Century Thought and History, I have started and sat aside this engrossing read.  With a little bit of luck, and a few sleepless nights, I should be able to complete this book.

 

While the BookTubeAthon is meant simply to be a challenge for reading enthusiasts, I thought, since this is a generous time of year, that I would use my goals for good.  I pledge, for every book I complete during the BookTubeAthon, I will donate a book to Books for Africa.  If I complete my challenge, I will donate an additional book to the organization.  If you would like to know how to donate yourself, check here.

 

If you would like to learn more about the BookTubeAthon you can follow the challenge's twitter feed, or  check out videos from Katytastic, Little Book Owl, and Ariel Bissett explaining what it's all about and sharing their own goals for this weekend.

 

Keep your eyes on this space, or on my Twitter Feed, to see how I progress over the next three days.

 

What are your reading goals for this weekend?

 

Cheers,

 

j.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An Open Letter to Birchbox: Petition for the Safety of Allergy Sufferers

For those of us with severe allergies, the world is a precarious place.

 

You can never safely eat at a restaurant without worrying about cross-contamination, or safely use whatever beauty samples make their way across your desk.  Rather, every new foray-- be it epicurean or aesthetic-- requires a keen eye, scanning ingredients lists and warning labels looking for the tale-tell words that set off your alert sirens: "do not consume if allergic to shellfish," "do not use if allergic or sensitive to aspirin," or the scariest word in the English language to those on maintainer medicines "grapefruit."

 

With a reported 55% of Americans testing positive for one or more allergies and allergies listed as the fifth more prevalent chronic diseases in the nation, one has to wonder at the wanton disregard most companies show towards their sensitive consumers.  If we're the majority, why must allergy sufferers perpetually navigate a precarious world?

 

That isn't to say that all allergens should be removed from all products (that would be impossible), but that product labeling needs to clearer and manufacturers need to be more concerned about cross-contamination and using common allergens inconspicuously in products one normally wouldn't associate with the offending ingredient.

 

This inconspicuous use of allergens in products is particularly frightening to someone suffering from severe, life threatening allergies.  Yesterday, for instance, I received a sample a sample in my Birchbox that contained an ingredient that, were I to have even trace contact with, could kill me if I didn't get immediate medical attention.  Concerned about having received this sample, and concerned about others with similarly severe allergies I penned the following open letter to Birchbox customer support:

 

Hello, Birchbox.
I received my November box today and one of my samples was the Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections.  There is a warning on the sample and on the box's insert card warning individuals with aspirin allergies to not use the product.  I unfortunately have a severe aspirin allergy and cannot use the product.


In fact, even cross-contaminate contact with aspirin can cause me to go into anaphylaxis. Had I not carefully read the card and the instructions on the sample I could have ended up in the hospital or, if I wasn't able to get treatment quickly enough, have died.


Furthermore, aspirin sensitivity and aspirin allergies are very common.  Exposure to aspirin in young people recovering from viral infections can also lead to Reye's syndrome, a potentially deadly illness.


Why isn't there an option to list one's allergies on one's Birchbox profile, especially since subscribers do not have the option to pick their products and can't make informed decisions for themselves?  Individuals with food allergies can opt out of getting snacks in their box, but individuals with other allergies, seriously life threatening allergies, cannot express similar concerns.


Lots of teens subscribe to Birchbox, in addition to adults, and products like the one I received from Paula's Choice can potentially be harmful.  Unlike an adult, who is aware of their allergies and is savvy enough to read labels, teens often jump straight into sampling the products.  In the case of the product I was sent this month, this eagerness to try something new can have serious implications for one's health and well being.


That's not cool.  Seriously not cool.


Long story long, while I'm bummed I can't use one of my samples this month (BECAUSE IT COULD KILL ME), I'm more concerned that there isn't an option to list one's allergies on the Birchbox profile, particularly when they are life threatening and Birchbox samples products that contain common allergens.


This isn't just about correcting something funky about my personal box, it's about the safety of other subscribers, some of whom have the same allergy (whether they know it or not).


Is there a way to correct this for both myself and other allergy afflicted subscribers?


Thanks for your attention to this important matter!


Sincerely,


[Me]


This morning, I received the following, insufficient reply:




Hi [Sunny Jim],

Thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear about your allergy!

Unfortunately, we are unable to opt you out of receiving certain products pertaining to your aspirin allergy. We understand if this makes it difficult to continue with us, but we'd love to keep you with us and would suggest that you pass along any troublesome items to a lucky friend.

We appreciate your patience.

Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns. For further assistance, you can also give us a call at 877-487-7272 (9a-5p EST) and we'd be happy to help.

Best,

Valerie
Discovery Specialist
Birchbox | 877-487-7272 | @BirchboxOps

 

Wut?!

 

That insufficient, blanket reply does nothing to either ameliorate the fact that I received a deadly [for me] sample in my November box, or address the larger issue of allergy opt-out on the Birchbox profile page.  If, like me, you suffer from life threatening allergies, please sign my Change.org petition to pressure Birchbox to allow subscribers to list their life-threatening allergies on their profile pages.

 

There's always hope that next month's box won't kill us.

 

Cheers,

 

j.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scatter Shot

Long time, no text!

 

Before I get started, I am not going to make apologies for being scatter shot over the summer or absent for the first bit of fall.  I started back to work at full capacity in late August and have been working forty hours a week while still going to between 2-3 medical appointments as well.  I’ve been busy, folks.  Life happens: sometimes you have to work like mad, sometimes you have appointments to attend, other times you have to learn how to walk again.  Shit happens and you hobble on. Se la vie.

 

Anyway, I am back to blogging form now that life has started to even out a little bit.  I am not going to commit to any post amount or post types because, let’s be honest, I can’t keep to those; I’m lucky if I remember what my middle name is half the time.  In any event, I will post as often as I can, when I can, and will always post content that is interesting (at least to me!) and edifying.  I’m a bossy know it all, so it only stands to reason that I should impart that wisdom on my dearly loved readers.  Stay tuned.

 

I’ll be back again shortly.  For realz this time.

 

Cheers,

 

j.
Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Great Clear Out

I will be the first to admit it: I have a nail polish addiction.




[caption id="attachment_683" align="aligncenter" width="300"]These oldies need to go! These oldies need to go![/caption]

Ever since I was a tween, I have manically collected polishes and obsessively painted my nails every hue under the sun-- be they flattering or .  . . a sickly shade of saffron yellow (seriously, what was that about?). This obsession had lead me into to having a mahoosive nail polish collection.  At my last count, several coupons and cosmetics sales ago, I had 104 polishes, several of them being five or more years old.  Obviously, it was time for a collection clear out.




[caption id="attachment_684" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Buh-bye. Buh-bye.[/caption]

While there is some debate about how long you can keep a nail polish (some say as little as two years, other industry insiders insist that a well maintained bottle can last a lifetime), there were several in my archives that were worse for wear and ready to be tossed out.  Though I couldn’t part with several of my OPI national collection shades (Russia, Spain, and Switzerland were banner lines you guys!), I had to get merciless with those polishes that were gloppy, separated and not easily reconstituted, or . . . just plain bad.




[caption id="attachment_682" align="aligncenter" width="300"]My "clean" collection. My "clean" collection.[/caption]

Surprisingly, what I thought would take the better part of an hour to accomplish took only a matter of minutes.  Now, my collection is thirty bottles lighter and-- space provided!-- ready for new editions!


 

Adieu,



j.
Monday, July 8, 2013

Just In: Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquers

You guys!! The Eagle has landed: this afternoon I found a selection of Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquers at my local Walgreens!


These liquid lipsticks, known as Apocalips in the UK, have been a much-hyped products by bloggers and vloggers since their European launch earlier this year.  Some of us, myself included, bought them from ASOS at UK prices (albeit converted into American Dollars).


North American beauty mavens have long awaited their release stateside and rejoiced when they were spotted state-side by G of Nouveau Cheap a month ago, we waited with baited breath for them to drop into our local Walgreens . . . but they didn’t.  According to the Walgreens website, the Show Off Lip Lacquers aren’t (at least for now) meant to be sold in stores, but they can be purchased online (when they are in stock!) for $4.99.  The lip lacquers can also be purchased from Drugstore.com, again when they are in stock, for $5.49.  Needless to stay, the hunt for these fabled lip products became the beauty equivalent of an Indiana Jones movie.  Y’all, it was a hot mess.


Then it happened.


I stopped by Walgreens with my mom for toilet paper ($4 for a 12 pack with the in-ad coupon, check it, guys!) and was stalking the cosmetics section, as one does, where I saw THEM.  THEM them!  THEM!!!! The fabled Rimmel Show off Lip Lacquers were sat helter skelter in a white cylindrical tub with a $4.99 price sticker on him.  Had I not known what I was looking for, I wouldn’t have had a clue what they were.


For reference, here are the two lip lacquers I own from the line: celestial (this is the British version, purchased from ASOS), a pinky-mauve shade that’s perfect from day-to-day wear; and big bang, a bright blue-red that is the very definition of a statement color.




[caption id="attachment_678" align="aligncenter" width="300"]They're heeeeeeerrrreeee! They're heeeeeeerrrreeee![/caption]

Here are the two colors swatched:




[caption id="attachment_677" align="aligncenter" width="300"](T-B) celestial, big bang (T-B) celestial, big bang[/caption]

and here they are on my lips:




[caption id="attachment_675" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Celestial Celestial[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_676" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Big Bang Big Bang[/caption]

These long-lasting, easy to apply and wear lacquers (which smell like watermelon candies!) are definitely worth picking up . . . if you can find them!


Happy hunting!


Adieu,


j.
Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lazy Sunday #1: Makin' a Sammich

[caption id="attachment_670" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Lazy Sunday Sammich Makin' Lazy Sunday Sammich Makin'[/caption]

I’ve never been a summer person: I’m naturally pale, freckly, allergic to life, and hyper-sensitive to heat.  When the California sunshine is at its brightest, and its warmest, I retreat the the darkened environs of my apartment and hold up until the sun’s down.  One of my favorite things to do on a hot afternoon spent in my air conditioned sanctuary is tuck into a good sandwich.




[caption id="attachment_669" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Onions and Farm Fresh-Style Kosher Pickles Onions and Farm Fresh-Style Kosher Pickles[/caption]

Here is one of my favorites: genoa salami on a bolillo (a Mexican roll that resembles and tastes like a small baguette), with mayo (lots of mayo, I’m half Dutch), white onion, kosher pickles cut into sandwich slices, and sliced pepperoncini.  The sandwich is rich and spicy and has a lot of tang, yet at the same time it manages to be refreshing at the same time.




[caption id="attachment_671" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Extra Mayo: ALWAYS Extra Mayo: ALWAYS[/caption]

Topped off with a soda pop and a short stack of Pringles and you have the perfect lunch for a Lazy Sunday.




[caption id="attachment_672" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ta-dah. Ta-dah.[/caption]

What is at the top of your weekend noms list?


 

Adieu,



j.
Saturday, July 6, 2013

What I've Been Watching Lately: The Lone Ranger and My Continued Unease With Media Depictions of Native Americans

Since breaking my ankle a couple of months ago, I haven’t been getting out much.  For weeks, my days have been filled with physical therapy appointments, doctor visits, and watching Me-TV while icing my swollen joint.  Needless to say, when an opportunity to leave the house that isn’t medically necessary arises, I jump (albeit metaphorically) at the chance.  This, dear readers, is how I ended up watching The Lone Ranger.


 

Admittedly, The Lone Ranger isn’t the type of film I typically watch. Primarily, my tastes skew more towards Ingmar Bergman (serious, Scandinavian) than Gore Verbinski (action-packed, mass-appeal), but for free and for Armie Hammer I can happily leave the art house behind for the afternoon.


 

Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, based on the radio and television show of the same name, tells the familiar tale of the masked vigilante: After surviving an ambush that killed his brother and four other Texas Marshals, Deputy Texas Marshal John Reid (Hammer) is left for a certain death until Tonto (Johnny Depp), a Native American from the Comanche Nation, nurses him back to health.  At Tonto’s insistence, Reid dons a black leather mask fashioned from his dead brother’s vest to conceal his identity and begins to hunt the man, Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), responsible for the ambush.  A wrench is soon thrown into the pair’s seemingly straightforward search for justice when Cavendish is also implicated in a series of raids on a white homesteads, for which the Comanche have been blamed, and involvement in a corrupt railroad expansion project.  As you’d expect, the duo triumph over evil once they are able to resolve their personal and existential conflicts.


 

At first blush, The Lone Ranger is a typical Verbinski action film, filled with slapstick humor  (the Ranger’s horse Silver’s peculiar antics steal the show) and fight sequences that boggle the mind; however, much to my surprise, The Lone Ranger has some depth, particularly as it relates to the treatment of Native Americans.  The film opens at a county fair in 1933 San Francisco, where a young Lone Ranger fan encounters an elderly Tonto in an Old West show, displayed for audiences in an exhibit titled “The Noble Savage.”  Tonto then recounts the Ranger’s origin story to the enthralled, and slightly unsettled, youngster.  From this first scene it is readily apparent that this film will be unlike most Westerns as it is told from a Native American character’s point of view.  Further, the depiction of an elderly Tonto working in an Old West show, as a curiosity in an exhibit that labels him as a savage, highlights the exploitation and decimation of aboriginal nations across our continent.


 

Throughout the film, Verbinski encourages his audience to empathize and identify with the embattled Comanche Nation against both the United States Cavalry and the Transcontinental Railroad.  The Comanche are fighting a losing battle against Manifest Destiny, as Chief Big Bear (Saginaw Grant) frankly tells the Lone Ranger.  Yet, however quixotic this fight may be, the audience recognizes moral justness of the Native American cause and feels their defeat acutely.


 

However, even this seemingly sympathetic portrayal of the Comanche Nation rings a bit hollow within the film’s greater framework.  The Lone Ranger’s central Native American character, Tonto, is played by an actor who, by his own admission, is only ⅛ “Cherokee or Creek.”  Native American actors, as is Hollywood Custom, are relegated to the cinematic periphery. As refreshing as it is to see a mainstream depiction of westward expansion that acknowledges the horrors perpetrated against Native Americans, this dark chapter of American history still serves as a means to give credence to our hero, our great white hope’s campaign against evil. Similarly, the audience’s established kinship with Tonto doesn’t erase the film’s dependance on stereotypes that cause even the most imperceptive of audience members to at times cringe. The Lone Ranger is a Disney film, after all.


 

Nonetheless while it may be too much to expect The Lone Ranger to be both historically accurate and politically nuanced (remember Pocahontas?), the Haus of Mouse can and should do better than this.


 

Adieu,



j.
Friday, July 5, 2013

Keeping it Cheap and Cheerful: Mini Drugstore Haul

[caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="239"](Clockwise from the top) Revlon Photoready Blush in Flushed ($12.99); Maybelline FIT ME concealer in 15 ($6.99); Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($6.99) (Clockwise from the top) Revlon Photoready Blush in Flushed ($12.99); Maybelline FIT ME concealer in 15 ($6.99); Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded ($6.99)[/caption]

I loves me a bargain, especially when it concerns cosmetics or beauty items, which are perennially overpriced.  Recently, a series of well-planned sales and the quarterly issuance of CVS Extra Bucks lead me to some of my favorite drugstore brands’ in-store displays.



My first purchase was a Revlon Photoready cream blush in Pinched, a natural peachy-pink with a hint of brown, that is reminiscent of Stila's Convertible Color in Gerbera, though Pinched provides a slightly more natural, subtle wash of color on the cheeks.




[caption id="attachment_659" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Revelon Photo Ready Cream Blush in Pinched Revelon Photo Ready Cream Blush in Pinched[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_660" align="aligncenter" width="204"]Pinched swatched Pinched swatched[/caption]


A few days later, taking advantage of another sale, I bought two bits from Maybelline I had been eyeing up for some time.  The first is another Color Tattoo; this one, Barely Branded, is a shimmery yellow-toned champagne color-- a perfect drugstore eye shadow base.




[caption id="attachment_661" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Barely Branded Barely Branded[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="213"]Barely Branded swatched Barely Branded swatched[/caption]

 

Lastly, I nabbed a creamy FIT ME concealer (I’m shade 15).  I had heard several great things about this product and I needed a slightly darker cream concealer to wear in the event of my ever getting a tan.

 

[caption id="attachment_663" align="aligncenter" width="116"]Fit Me in 15 Fit Me in 15[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_664" align="aligncenter" width="227"]. . . and a thick swatch of said concealer. . . . and a thick swatch of said concealer.[/caption]

 

These products, all welcome additions to my makeup collection, netted me $7 in Extra Bucks Rewards!  You’ve got to love sales.


 

Adieu,



j.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Face of the Day #1: Melt-Resistant Make-Up

For more than a week, the Western United States has been baking with heat.  Day upon day of one hundred plus heat is not only terrible for your electric bill, it’s a nightmare for your face.  If you’re anything like me, as soon as a high pressure system starts to dominate the weather, I scramble to find some of my most heat-resistant products.




[caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="300"](L-R from the top) Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation ($38.50); Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4.99); Benefit Stay Don't Stray ($22 for full-size); Benefit Porefessional Primer ($30 for full-size); Maybelline Waterproof formula The Falsies ($6.99); Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm ($9.99); bareMinerals blush in Vintage Peach ($19); L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe ($6.99); Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Riviera Strip/ Sand Bronzer ($12.99); and Maybelline Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip Color in Some Like it Taupe ($7.49) (L-R from the top) Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation ($38.50); Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($4.99); Benefit Stay Don't Stray ($22 for full-size); Benefit Porefessional Primer ($30 for full-size); Maybelline Waterproof formula The Falsies ($6.99); Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm ($9.99); bareMinerals blush in Vintage Peach ($19); L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe ($6.99); Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Riviera Strip/ Sand Bronzer ($12.99); and Maybelline Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip Color in Some Like it Taupe ($7.49)[/caption]

In summer, when I know I am going to be out in the heat for hours on end, I favor using some industrial strength primers.  Benefit’s Porefessional is one of the longest lasting face primers on the market and has the added advantage of smoothing out enlarged pores-- a gift during the pre-congested summer months. A word of warning: if you don’t like the feeling of silicone-heavy products, this isn’t the right primer for you.  I also like to use Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray eyelid primer both on my lids and under my eyes to prevent my undereye concealer from settling into any fine lines.


 

On hot days where I need a long-lasting foundation with a good coverage, I reach for Shiseido’s Perfect Refining Foundation with SPF 15.  This foundation dries down relatively matte, so its best to apply the product with your hands and only one section of your face at a time-- otherwise, you’ll end up with the none-too-attractive cake face!  Also keep in mind that this foundation, as with all Shiseido face products, doesn’t have a terrific shade range, particularly for darker and cool-toned complexions.


 

During the summer, I like to use harder concealer formulas, like the Cover Girl and Olay Concealer Balm, to hide any remaining imperfections.  Using a sturdier concealer also helps to delay any product breakdown that may be exacerbated by the weather.  Luckily, this product is still creamy enough to use under my eyes.


 

Since I have oily-combination skin, I have to set my makeup with a powder regardless of the weather.  One of the best, and least expensive, mattifying powders on the market is Rimmel’s much-loved translucent Stay-Matte Pressed Powder.  There are similarly brilliant powders out there-- finely milled, providing light coverage and great longevity-- but you’d have to pay five times the price.  You can’t beat a cheap and cheerful winner like Stay-Matte.


 

For my cheeks, I used bareMineral’s blush in Vintage Peach, a shimmery pinky-peach color that adds a hint of natural color and dimension to an otherwise matte look while still preserving the makeup’s longevity.  To add dimension and warmth to my pale complexion, I swirled my brush in Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Rivera Strip/Sand Bronzer and dusted it in the hollows of my cheeks, down my neck, and along my hairline.


 

I kept my eye look simple and long-lasting,yet polished by blending the highly pigmented L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe all over my lid and slicking two coats of the waterproof formula of Maybelline’s The Falsies on my lashes.  In these steamy days, the importance of a waterproof mascara cannot be emphasized enough.


 

Lastly, I slicked Maybelline’s Color Sensational Color Whisper Lipcolor in Some Like it Taupe, a moisturizing gel-based lipstick-like product that’s comfortable, natural, and low maintenance for these sweltering summer days.


Here is the finished look:




[caption id="attachment_653" align="aligncenter" width="210"]Getting my melt-resistant face on! Getting my melt-resistant face on![/caption]

What are you wearing during this heat wave?

Adieu,

j.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Injury Post #1: Don't Stand So Close to Me

[caption id="attachment_648" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sitting on my walker seat, waiting for a bus in my cam walker (i.e., the boot). Sitting on my walker seat, waiting for a bus in my cam walker (i.e., the boot).[/caption]

On May 9, 2013, a month ago last Sunday, I fell off of a ladder and sustained a compound fracture to my right ankle.  The injury has been the most physically painful and gruesome  experiences of my life.  While I have been making steady progress in my recovery, I am still looking at two months of physical therapy and toddling around in a cam walker.  If I had been forced to comment, prior to my accident, on the look I would be sporting this summer, I probably wouldn’t have extolled the beauty of wounded dinosaur chic . . . because wounded dinosaurs are not cute nor are they chic.


 

I, dear readers, am a wounded dinosaur.


 

Sadly, styling a cam walker isn’t the biggest challenge I have been facing as of late.  Perhaps the biggest challenge I have had encountered as of late has been other people-- not in an existential sense (always a problem), but in a physical one.  Literally, people are super rude and careless around me and it’s a danger to my well-being.


 

Since getting fitted for my cam walker last week, I have been making small sojourns with my mom (and sometimes THE FOOSA) around my neighborhood.  These little journeys, while certainly not far, are vital to rebuilding my physical strength and are necessary in building my confidence.  While I’ve quickly taken to the cam walker and have become adept at using my four-wheeled walker to get around; I’ve noticed that my impaired mobility is less an issue for me than it is for other people.


 

When I toddle down the sidewalk or hobble down an aisle in a store I am keenly aware of the space I am taking up, so I try to keep to the right. I know my walker is clunky and I know that I hobble around at a sub-snail pace; I know all of these things.  So, I try to keep to the right and out of other people’s way as much as I can; I’m not oblivious to the needs or concerns of others, I am a (partially) functioning member of society.  This non-negotiable courtesy I extend to others, this essential component of the social contract, isn’t reciprocated.




[caption id="attachment_649" align="aligncenter" width="251"]The road warrior. The road warrior.[/caption]

Within the past week, I have been crashed into more times than the wall at Daytona.  For whatever reason, I am either invisible to other people or my compromised physical condition and gimpy-gait mean nothing to some folks.  If it weren’t for my tank-like walker and my mom spotting me, I probably would have taken a tumble on several occasions.


 

Before my accident, I can’t say that I was particularly cognizant of people with limited mobility myself.  When you don’t have any difficulty getting between points A and B, you think nothing of zipping around someone leaning on a walker or puttering about in a wheelchair, these individuals are nothing more than a physical obstacle to avoid when you’re on the hunt for discounter dryer sheets.  In “normal” day-to-day life, where you don’t have to be hyper aware of your movements and anxious about where other people are at any given moment, “slow” people are like debris on the metaphoric road of life.  You try to avoid hitting one of these “obstacles” so you don’t cause yourself damage or the insurance headache, but otherwise give them little to no thought.


 

Honestly.


 

The next time you are in Target, train your eye on an elderly person with a walker and pay attention the people walking around them; odds are, people will get really close to said-hypothetical-pensioner before cutting in front of them at the last moment-- like they would avoid a discarded muffler on the highway.


 

On behalf of all of the hypothetically discarded mufflers of the world, let me just say that it sucks to be treated like an inanimate object, worse yet an inanimate object without worth, feelings, or a sense of pain.  When I had my accident, I lost some blood but not my humanity; to have people I don’t even know try strip me of my human dignity-- to not even afford me the space I need to safely move in non-confined spaces and sneer at me when I say something about it-- is infuriating.  Worse yet, I am ashamed that I have been guilty of the same offense against others in the past.  Your pace and your personal worth aren’t correlated; having limited mobility doesn’t make you less of a person or make you disposable.  Just because I’m slow doesn’t mean you get to push me over to get a bag of cotton balls!


 

Do me a favor: the next time you’re out and about and you see someone with limited mobility-- be they elderly, disabled, or just injured like me-- please give that person some space.


 

And maybe a smile.


 

Adieu,



j.
Friday, May 31, 2013

Empties #1

Over the past few months, I have been collecting some of my beauty-related empty products to review on my blog.  These posts are popular on YouTube and blogland, so I thought I would give this type of post a try and see if my readers dig it.  If not, what’s some more trash on the internet?


Nail Polish Remover




[caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="244"]Nail Polish Remover Nail Polish Remover[/caption]

Up and Up Nourishing Nail Polish Remover: A simple, bog-standard acetone-based nail polish remover.  I used this remover when I was wearing a thicker coat of polish or one with glitter in it.  I’ve already repurchased a bottle; it’s cheap, cheerful and it works.


butterLONDON Nutter Almond Scented Acetone Free Lacquer Remover: This is part of a luxury trio of limited edition nail polish removers I purchased shortly after the new year.  The remover left my nails feeling conditioned though it took more effort to remove my polish that with the harsher Up and Up version I also use.  I still have another remover from the set left, though I am not sure if I would repurchase a a butterLONDON remover because of the price-- $8 for 2 ounces of product!


Body Wash




[caption id="attachment_634" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Body Wash Body Wash[/caption]

Philosophy Field of Flowers Water Lily Blossom: Like most of the Philosophy gallon jugs you can buy, this is billed as a body wash, shampoo, and bubble bath.  I tried to use the product for all three purposes but found I only really liked it as a bubble bath.  This smelled lovely; however, it was a limited edition scent . . . and had a steep price tag.  Unless I see this on the cheap in Marshall’s, I won’t be repurchasing this product.


Mario Badescu Azulene Body Soap: I have long been a fan of Mario Badescu Skincare, including the highly underrated bath and body products.  This shower gel, which can also double as a bubble bath (can you tell I like bubble baths?), is formulated with sensitive skin in mind and is meant to have camomile extracts in it to sooth distressed skin.  When I was having my eczema outbreak a few months ago, this soap was particularly soothing for my rashy, broken skin.


Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Moisturizing Shower Gel: I received this sample size bottle in a holiday gift set and instantly fell in love with the scent.  Somehow the trademark Soap & Glory rose and bergamot scent manages to linger on the skin while you are in the tub, but fades when you get out; I imagine I would have found the smell sickly had it hung around longer than it did.  Overall, this was a great shower gel that didn’t dry out my skin (as gels sometimes do) or leave it feeling too greasy (as can happen).  I will probably buy another Soap and Glory shower product in the future, but at present I have a small box of bath products I need to get through first.


Skin Care




[caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="270"]Skin Care Skin Care[/caption]

Botanics Organic Rosewater Toner: This is my mom’s go-to toner which I occasionally nick from her, too.  The last one she purchased was in the old packaging and she decanted into a spray bottle.  So, technically, this isn’t an empty because the product was decanted . . . but she did finish another (previously decanted) bottle . . . so . . .


No. 7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser: I absolutely love this product, which is meant to be a dupe for the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.  This cleanser removes any lingering traces of makeup while leaving my skin feeling soothed and smooth.  I’ve already repurchased this item.


Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion: I haven’t technically polished this toner off . . . I just decanted it into an empty spray bottle for convenience's sake.  I would repurchase this toner in the future; however, I am particularly fond of lighter rebalancing sprays at the moment.




[caption id="attachment_636" align="aligncenter" width="142"]Powder Sunscreen Powder Sunscreen[/caption]

Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Very Water Resistant Powder Sun Protectant (SPF 30), Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Instant Mineral SPF 45: Both of these items are mineral sunscreens-- the Colorescience  one was mine, the PTR one was moms.  I’ve had to toss mine because (after more than two years of use!) the brush went gross and I was questioning if the SPF was still working after such a long time.  I will be buying another.  Mom wasn’t thrilled with the PTR’s scratchy brush and she was a little concerned about some of its ingredients.  Needless to say, she won’t be getting the PTR sunscreen again and will be buying a Colorescience powder, too.




[caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="300"]More Skin Care . . . More Skin Care . . .[/caption]

Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder: This stuff is magic.  If you are acne prone, you need to pick up this sulfur-based powder that dries and heals breakouts quick-fast.  I swear by this stuff and I’ve already repurchased another pot.


L’Oreal NIght Cream: This was the fabled night cream my mom wrote about in April.  Needless to say she hated it and will not be repurchasing it.




[caption id="attachment_638" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Guess what? More skin care! Guess what? More skin care![/caption]

CVS Soothing Bath Treatment and Aveeno Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment: Both of these are colloidal oatmeal bath soaks I used when I was having an extremely severe eczema breakout a few months ago.  If you have sensitive skin, you really can’t go wrong with these treatments-- they’re magical.


Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo: Another of my mom’s drugstore anti-aging trials.  Guess what?-- she hated it and promptly tossed it into my empties box.  Needless to say, this isn’t worth the $30 list price.


Hair Care




[caption id="attachment_639" align="aligncenter" width="266"]Hair Care Hair Care[/caption]

Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo: I bought this shampoo when I went through an anti-sulfate kick a few months back.  A scientific link between sodium laureth sulfate and cancer has yet to be established, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t freak out from time to time.  The cosmetic ingredient has been linked to skin irritation and eye injuries, particularly in children. So, when I have skin freakout like I did earlier this spring, I go on a tirade against sulfates.  In terms of this shampoo, it wasn’t any great shakes, so I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.  There are other sulfate-free shampoos on the market right now, so my options aren’t as limited as they once were.


Mario Badsescu Nucleic Moisturizing Hair Rinse: I liked this leave-in conditioner a lot, it left my hair feeling soft and provided just enough moisture for my super-short hair.  Since I am in the process of growing out my pixie cut, I have moved on to products that provide deeper conditioning and nourishment to encourage hair growth.  While I would buy this product in the future as a “moisture touch up,” a repurchase isn’t in the cards immediately.


Mario Badescu Lecithin Nourishing Shampoo: This shampoo is formulated for dry scalp and chemically treated hair.  During the winter I suffer from a perennially dry scalp and I bought this shampoo to help alleviate some of the annoyingly painful itch I always seem to get.  Sadly, this shampoo didn’t do much for my scalp or my hair.  I used the product up to finish it, but I won’t be buying this particular shampoo again.  It should be noted, however, that I do really like the Mario Badescu haircare line-- just not this particular shampoo!


Sachets and Samples




[caption id="attachment_640" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Face Mask Face Mask[/caption]

Que Bella Balancing Ylang Ylang Mask: This mask is meant to help control oil, a godsend for my oily combination skin.  However, this product didn’t do anything for my skin and it smelled weird; I won’t be repurchasing.


Montagne Jeunesse Fruit Smoothie Deep Pore Cleansing Masque: I love these little mask sachets.  This one is a nice cleansing one that smells like a fruit salad.  I have already repurchased another mask in the line and would buy this specific mask again.




[caption id="attachment_641" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Even more samples . . . Even more samples . . .[/caption]

Clinique Happy: This little sample only lasted for a single spritz. :-/ I do like the scent, but I will not be buying a full-size; I already have too many perfumes at the moment.


Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: So. Much. Hate.  Read my review here.


Clinique 7 Day Scrub: This is my favorite exfoliator.  I have a larger sample of the same product I am working through.  I will be buying a full size of this (again) when my sample runs out.


Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner: This was a nice leave-in-conditioner; however, the product is formulated for curly hair and I have very straight hair.  It was a great sample, but I am not going to splurge for a full size.


Etcetera




[caption id="attachment_642" align="aligncenter" width="120"]Brush Cleaner Brush Cleaner[/caption]

ELF Daily Brush Cleaner: I use this cheap and cheerful brush cleaner to spot treat my brushes between deep cleanses.  It’s only $3 and works like a champ.  I’m already working through another small bottle.




[caption id="attachment_644" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Every day things. Every day things.[/caption]

Facial tissue: I always keep a box on my dressing table in case of a makeup meltdown.  These are the antiviral ones I bought during the flu season.


Cotton pads: I use these to take off my makeup and to remove my nail polish . . . like every other woman in the first world.


So, there you go-- all of the products I have used up lately.  There really is sense of beauty accomplishment greater than seeing a product through.  What have you finished lately?


Adieu,


j.
Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Depression Post #3: Dealing With a Major Injury

[caption id="attachment_611" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Busted ankle, perfect pedicure! Busted ankle, perfect pedicure![/caption]

A few weeks ago, while decorating for a school event, I took a fall off of a ladder and suffered a compound fracture of both my tibia and my fibula just above the right ankle.  I was taken to the hospital by ambulance-- my first journey (and hopefully my last)-- and had to have two surgeries in three days to clean, set, and repair the bones.  Total, I was in the hospital five days, again it was the first time I ever had to spend a protracted amount of time in the hospital.


 

In addition to being the most frightening and physically painful experience of my life, my injury has caused me a lot of psychological trauma, the effects of which I have only just started to process.  If you have ever experienced a major injury, you’ll know that your first few days are spent in a fog, in shock or loaded up on heavy pain medication; the next few days are spent focused on recovering  enough physically to go home.  When you’re hospitalized, your days become monotonous and surprisingly goal oriented: everything you do, or cannot do, is focused on getting discharged as quickly as possible.


 

The real recovery work, however, begins once you’ve gotten home.


 

My first few days at home were rough ones.  We quickly learned that  I was sensitive to the pain medication I was prescribed; my pain in my ankle would be blunted, but I would quickly develop a migraine and grown nauseous.  The migraines were were worse than the pain in my ankle, so I had to go off my prescription and make do with Tylenol Arthritis until my scheduled checkup with my orthopedic surgeon.  Needless to say, the Tylenol wasn’t cutting it with my post-surgical pain; coupled with the itching and pulling from my staples and stitches, this pain has me in hysterics, especially at night.  Even now, with a more suitable pain medicine at hand, I struggle to sleep because of the tightening feeling at my injury site.


 

What makes my pain hardest to bear is knowing that there is nothing I can do about it other than taking my medication and ignoring it.  For the most part, pain medication doesn’t get rid of your pain, it just tempers the ache.  At two in the morning I want to be unconscious, not half-heartedly watching an episode of Mission: Impossible because my ankle feels like it is shriveling.   It’s maddening.


 

What’s worse, however, is the psychic pain.  In the days following my discharge, I started having flashbacks, seeing my impact whenever I closed my eyes. I can still hear the screams of my colleagues and students when I fell.  Like any traumatic experience, I am sure the chilling effect these memories have on me emotionally will dissipate with time and by talking about them, but the memory is still very fresh in my mind.


 

Moving past this trauma is made all the more challenging because my life veritably stopped when I fell off that ladder; I haven’t been able to resume my life as I lived it previously.  Instead, I’m stuck in limbo waiting until I am healed enough to ease back into small parcels of normality.  While I have been able to do some of my non-instructional work tasks from home, not getting up every morning and trundling off to work-- not seeing my students or falling into my routine-- has been very difficult.



At present, what has helped me the most to manage my injury-related depression has been my mom and my pug.  My mother is my rock and has been my lifeline throughout the entire experience, looking after me just as she had when I was a toddler (seriously, when you suffer a major fracture basic life functions are nearly impossible to complete on your own).  Without her emotional and physical support, I’d be living in painful squalor.




[caption id="attachment_445" align="aligncenter" width="300"]THE FOOOSA: a gentlewoman and a scholar.  THE FOOOSA: a gentlewoman and a scholar.[/caption]

THE FOOSA, my pug, has been a tremendous emotional support.  When I was in the hospital, all I could think about was getting home to THE FOOSA.  Since I’ve been back, she’s been my little furry shadow, cuddling up to me as I recline on my bed or sit on the couch; she even spots me as I scoot around the house with my walker.


 

While I am still in the early stages of my recovery, I know that despite my occasional sadness,  I have the love and support I need to get back into fighting shape.  Eventually.


 

Adieu,



j.
Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nails of the Day 3: Essie's Tart Deco

It’s been almost three weeks since my accident and just as long since my last exposure to the warm California sun.  My complexion, which had just started to show the remotest signs of a tan has now returned to it’s pallid late-winter hue.  Major bummer.


Since I’m still not mobile and there’s no point to slapping on a full-face of makeup when my day consists of hobbling between my room, the sofa, and the bathroom between old episodes of Adam-12, I have been trying to give my skin a warmer glow with the help of nail polish.




[caption id="attachment_626" align="aligncenter" width="209"]Essie's Tart Deco ($8) Essie's Tart Deco ($8)[/caption]

Enter Tart Deco ($8.00), one of Essie’s cult shades, a warm orangey-coral that screams summertime.  This warm shade seems to give my cool-toned skin a glow that is almost golden-- almost.


If, like me, you’re a long way from the sun or San Tropez, give Tart Deco a try-- it’s a good way to fake it before you can (fake and) bake it!

[caption id="attachment_627" align="aligncenter" width="191"]Tart Deco-- for when you want that gimpy glow! Tart Deco-- for when you want that gimpy glow![/caption]
Friday, May 24, 2013

Mascara MAYhem #5: Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Cat Eyes

[caption id="attachment_619" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Maybelline’s the Colossal Volum’ Express Cat Eyes ($6.99) Maybelline’s the Colossal Volum’ Express Cat Eyes ($6.99)[/caption]

In the week leading up to the Great Humpty Dumpty Schonda of 2013, I was dutifully trying out a new mascara in preparation for this Mascara MAYhem post-- Maybelline’s the Colossal Volum’ Express Cat Eyes ($6.99).  I had read some positive reviews of the formula online and had known some ladies who had tried and raved about the product.  I have to say, the hype didn’t let me down!


 

[caption id="attachment_620" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Applied in two coats to top lashes only. Applied in two coats to top lashes only.[/caption]

On the whole, Maybelline’s Colossal Volum’ Express line is a winner and Cat Eyes is no exception.  True to its claims, Cat Eyes gave me long, voluminous lashes, with particular definition concentrated on the outer corners of my eyes-- the “cat eye” the product promises.  Even after twelve hours of wear (my usual work-day), Cat Eyes didn’t slide off my lashes and still managed to hold a curl.


 

[caption id="attachment_621" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Notice the cheetah print tube there? Clever marketing, Maybelline; clever marketing. Notice the cheetah print tube there? Clever marketing, Maybelline; clever marketing.[/caption]

Like most of my preferred mascaras, Cat Eyes has a fiber brush that combs through the lashes, coating them evenly in mascara without clumps.  The product’s spoon (or “claw” as Maybelline calls it) wand fits the shape of my round eyes perfectly and makes application nearly effortless.


 

[caption id="attachment_622" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The ever elusive spoon/ claw- shaped wand. The ever elusive spoon/ claw- shaped wand.[/caption]

While I can’t claim this mascara changed my eye shape or even gave me a particularly feline look, it is an excellent product.  If you are looking for a reasonably priced mascara that gives you gorgeous lashes with minimal effort, pick up this product quick fast.


 

Adieu,



j.
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eternal Optimist: The Pedicure That Just Won't Quit

[caption id="attachment_611" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Busted ankle, perfect pedicure! Busted ankle, perfect pedicure![/caption]

The evening before I went plummeting off of a ladder while hanging prom decorations, I painted my toe nails a creamy dusty rose pink-- Essie’s Eternal Optimist ($8).  Originally, the shade was meant to add a soft, neutral color to my toes and complement the early 1960s outfit and makeup look I had selected for my chaperon duties (yes, I take such things seriously).  Then I had my accident and the polish became emblematic of my experience and my recovery.




[caption id="attachment_612" align="aligncenter" width="147"]Essie Eternal Optimist Essie Eternal Optimist[/caption]

 

Generally speaking, I am not an optimistic person; my mind usually skips to the worst case scenario right from the get go.  Any time I get a paper cut  I automatically think I am going to get a staph infection and lose my arm. I really don’t have a middle ground: I’m either doing well or on the verge of a tragic death.  Since I am such a hypochondriac, it’s deeply ironic that at the time of my fall, the worst health crisis I have ever experienced, I was wearing Eternal Optimist on my tootsies.


 

Strangely enough, despite suffering a catastrophic injury in the ankle region, there was absolutely no blood on my feet (maybe because my foot was bent in the opposite direction . . . ), in my shoes, or on my socks.  Similarly, after five days in the hospital and two surgeries, my pedicure was in tact.  Two weeks after my accident, my toes are still painted Eternal Optimist-- my original pedicure.




[caption id="attachment_613" align="aligncenter" width="167"]Two coats of Eternal Optimist on a nail wheel. Two coats of Eternal Optimist on a nail wheel.[/caption]

 

What is remarkable about Eternal Optimist, however, is not its longevity (though two weeks is incredible for a pedicure!), but its symbolism for my recovery.  There have been very few moments where I have felt sorry for myself or doubted that I would get better.  On the contrary, I have thrown myself into the recovery process, learning the basics of orthopedic injuries, working out my recovery timeline, and generally taking an active role in my medical treatment.


 

It’s easy to become dejected when you’re facing a health crisis, especially if you allow yourself to remain passive.  Passivity is natural enough: when you don’t feel well, you certainly don’t want to advocate for taking your own medication from home or insist that you be prescribed a walker to take home-- but you have to press the point for your own good.  Your best advocate for your own care and your own cause is you.



Perhaps my pessimistic streak has been kept at bay by my tenacity and determination to get better, maybe it’s an elaborate form of self-denial.  Whatever the case may be, I’m keeping calm and carrying on . . . and so is my pedicure!

Adieu,

j.
Monday, May 20, 2013

Mascara MAYhem #4: Benefit BADgal Lash-- Mommy Jim Recommends

[caption id="attachment_604" align="aligncenter" width="300"]BADgal Lash by Benefit Cosmetics ($19) BADgal Lash by Benefit Cosmetics ($19)[/caption]

When I was told by my darling, and intrepidly blogging, daughter that she was going to discuss all that is mascara for this month, I couldn't help but chime in with an entry on my own holy grail product, Benefit’s BADgal Lash Waterproof ($19.00).


Having worn make-up for most of my *ahem* twenty-nine years (don’t start!), I have “road tested” hundreds of mascaras of various brands, formulations, wand-types, and colors only to be bitterly disappointed by most products that have come on the market.


Unlike in the 1970’s and 80’s when the popular go-to mascaras were by Cover Girl and Maybelline, who only had a couple of mascara options between them; today’s market is saturated with designer formulas that promise anything from longer, thicker, and fuller lashes that replicate a fluttery, yet-natural, false-lash effect.  I hate to burst your bubble, but no one mascara contains a “secret” formula that will give you eyelashes that look like you are a naturally gifted contestant on Rupaul’s Drag Race. Neither you nor I will ever look like an actress or supermodel shilling the latest lash explosions mascara with mega collagen gel-mouse (or whatever, you get the drift!).  It isn’t going to happen.


 

That being said, you and your lashes should not loose hope!  I have found mascara that actually is easy to apply, lasts all day, and looks good. Go figure!




[caption id="attachment_605" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mommy Jim's Holy Grail mascara! Mommy Jim's Holy Grail mascara![/caption]

 

Benefit’s BADgal Lash is by far the best mascara that I have ever used. As I have discussed before on this blog, being a woman of a certainly fabulous age means that things have changed over the years. One such change has been thinning, short lashes. Though I have had a lash “growth spurt” since I started using L’Oreal’s Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum ($14.95) a few years ago, I still struggle with lashes that either won’t hold product or makes me look like I have a subdivision of spiders sitting on my eyelids. Yipes!




[caption id="attachment_606" align="aligncenter" width="300"]An unassuming wand belies the awesomeness of the formula and application. An unassuming wand belies the awesomeness of the formula and application.[/caption]

 

That said BADgal, a present from my darling daughter, is a gift from the make-up gods. BADgal’s traditional fiber bristle wand may, at first glance, seem nondescript, they grip and coat every lash, no matter how paltry they may be.  Also, the mascara itself clings onto my lashes and gives them a naturally volumized and lengthened appearance.  Unlike most mascaras-- high-end and drugstore-- which have a tendency to flake, shift, and settle under my eyes after only a few hours of wear, BADgal has demonstrated remarkable staying power in both bitter cold and scorching heat.




[caption id="attachment_607" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Mommy Jim's BADgal lashes in action! Mommy Jim's BADgal lashes in action![/caption]

 

I’m currently on my second tube and have been amazed by its performance.  If BADgal wasn’t worth it’s steep price tag, I certainly wouldn’t have shelled out for another tube nor would I be extolling its merits on my daughter’s blog.  Regardless of your age, or particular lash issue, I completely and wholeheartedly recommend this product.  BADgal is a product that I stand behind!


 

Save your pennies and invest in Benefit’s BADgal Lash--it will be your go-to mascara for years to come!


 

Until next time…



Adieu,

Mommy Jim