Articles: Beautylish, xoVain, and Refinery29
Too Faced Cosmetics
Too Faced Date Night Tutorial
(writer, look creator, makeup artist, and model)
Too Faced Date Night Tutorial
(writer, look creator, makeup artist, and model)
When a friend of mine tagged me in the Facebook comments for this Marie Claire article, it took me two seconds to Amazon Prime this shit.
I wasn’t even dissuaded when the author mentioned blood. They say beauty is pain? Please. When it comes to all things cosmetic, I have a very high tolerance. (By all means, put needles in my face, just not my arms.)
The Berrisom My Lip Tint Pack comes from Korea (like all amazing/weird beauty products these days), but thanks to the miracle of free two-day shipping, I had my greedy beauty-junkie hands on them in no time. (Yo, side note: does anyone else drink and Prime? It’s like a surprise in my mailbox every week!)
Anyway, these are not the lip glosses they appear to be; oh no, my friend. These are peel-off lip stains. Whaaaat?!
So it’s not exactly rocket science, but it took me a couple tries to get the hang of the application (which I give myself a pass on because the instructions are in Korean and I was too lazy to Google).
I made an attempt to photograph my first go, which made application difficult and, frankly, really dumb. So not only did I not put quite enough on the first time, it was suuuuper crooked. Whoops.
I also used my fingers, which is great if you’re looking for that stained-fingertip look. Protip: lip brush.
So then I waited a while to let it dry. That’s when the fun really began.
I had to resort to some finger-scrubbing and then, finally, a Q-tip. Yeah, you may want one of those. The other thing you might want? Chapstick. Unless you’re not a total weirdo who can’t stand the feeling of bare lips. Then you’re good.
The result? A pretty, popsicle-stained effect that wears for hours and doesn’t transfer (trust me, I did my own research).
Then I went for a cherry red. I really glommed it on this time, and waited longer to peel it off.
Since it was so thick and I’d left it on for so long, all I had to do was press my lips together and it peeled itself off.
The best part: my fiancé was totally grossed out. It was awesome.
So whether you don’t like the feeling of lipstick or just want a low-maintenance tint (well, the wear is low-maintenance; the application less so), you should totally get in on this shit. WAY better than the Lipnicure disaster.
Oh, and don’t worry: totally pain-free and zero blood in sight. How’s that for an endorsement?!
Remember the time I put Crisco on my face for Beautylish?
Welp, I just realized today that I started this little blog two years ago! If And You Make Yourself Another were a person, it would be cutting its own bangs and yelling the word “no” at me. Or teething. I don’t know, I don’t have kids.
To celebrate, I reread The Very First Post, which I’d argue still holds up in our brave new 2014:
The internet has enough how-tos. If you want to learn to do anything, go look it up on YouTube. You don’t need to see my dumb face telling you how to “Create the Perfect Cat-Eye” or “How to Find the Perfect Red Lipstick!” I mean, fuck, the entire magazine industry is built on these recycled premises. Go sit in a waiting room. You might even pick up some tips on “How to Please Your Man!” (hint: it starts with blow and ends with job).
This is going to be beauty for smart girls (or dudes, we don’t discriminate here). You’re not thirteen years old playing with your mother’s rouge anymore. You’re a grown person (or, y’know, mature), and you can handle the word fuck once in a while (sorry, Grandma). You can also understand multisyllabic words (like multisyllabic!). So let’s stop dumbing down the beauty industry, because that’s the last thing it needs.
Sage words, 2012 Sarah.
While this piece of the internet hasn’t become the multi-staff, moneymaking venture I made no effort to make it, I still feel pretty good about pulling some words out of my brain and sticking them on the internet like this. Hey, it’s also served as an expletive-laden portfolio of sorts; I was able to parlay this thing into writing gigs for Beautylish, Sephora, and xoVain (and I’m in talks for something big, so say a little prayer for me). Also, I have a real camera now, so expect some actual beauty blogging (well, my version of beauty blogging).
Anyway, thanks for sticking around, or for ditching and coming back to laugh and point.
It’s all good, yo.
Okay, so the internet lost its shit recently when Harvard biz entrepreneur Grace Choi took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in NY to present Mink, a “printer that prints makeup.” (Her words—watch the video presentation in the link.) The user snaps a pic of a color she likes (a friend’s lipstick color, the color of a dress, a picture from a magazine), downloads it to any photo software program, and prints an actual cosmetic product of the exact shade.
Print your own custom shade of eyeshadow, foundation, or lipstick? All this time beauty companies and makeup artists could just have been printing all that makeup—instantly! Don’t you feel stupid now, L’Oréal.
All it took was a disaffected business school grad who can’t even be bothered to spellcheck the slides she uses in her world-debut presentation to “disrupt” the industry!
So Choi seems to think that the $55 billion dollar beauty industry just never thought of a “3D cosmetics printer.” (Side note: 3D printing still sounds like science fiction to me, but based on my limited understanding I’m not sure the term is applicable here; what she’s describing is more like conventional printing.) She goes on to call the whole cosmetics industry “bullshit,” and to tell the printer businesses she’ll be attempting to sell this half-baked idea to that they’re “dying.”
Okay, so I know next to nothing about how makeup is made. And the laserjet I fought with for 45 minutes on Tuesday would tell you that I probably know even less about how printers work. But I do know about makeup.
If cosmetics are about color and color only, why do we have thousands of competing brands, years and years of formula research and testing, or, hell, beauty blogs and makeup professionals? Anyone who’s spent 20 minutes in a Sephora can tell you that color is just one of endless considerations in choosing the right product. A cursory perusal of any one of thousands of beauty blogs reveals infinite subtleties in formulations, ingredients, and preferences.
Grace is apparently playing her cards close to the vest, since she’s in the process of filing a patent and doesn’t want her “proprietary hardware” or idea getting stolen. The “demo” she presents at TechCrunch is a mockup of how the process might look. The way she speaks about the project doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence, though, and in response to the panel’s softball questions, all she deigns to say is, “I’m just breaking it down for you.”
How will a machine “the size of a Mac Mini” produce liquids, creams, and powders interchangeably?
How on earth could one machine be able to produce such extremely different substances?
It’s one thing to imprint something superficially with customized “ink,” but how will the pigment and the substrate be mixed adequately?
What about the incredibly high temperatures necessary for color solubizing?
What about the cooling, setting, and molding process?
How will ingredients be regulated?
What about the chemical interactions between certain pigments and ingredients?
How can you get an exact match of someone’s skin or lip color from one pixel?
How will you account for photographic discrepancies, like lighting?
What will the color payoff be like? How long-lasting will it be? Will opacity be adjustable? How about glitter or a matte vs. glossy finish?
What about sensitive skin and ingredient allergies? How many formulas will there be?
How will the mechanism be cleaned and sanitized between uses?
Look, I’m the first person to shout, “Shut up and take my money!” at a new cosmetics innovation, but this is just silly. Maybe there will be massive technological innovations that make this kind of thing feasible in the future, but don’t hold your breath. You’ll pass out.
There’s been a lot of discussion around Dove’s latest self-esteem video. It’s a six and a half minute short wherein a bunch of women describe themselves to a sketch artist, then someone else describes those same women to the sketch artist, and then they compare the two images. The thesis of the piece is that women are too hard on themselves. Right? Duh. We know this, it’s nothing new. But it’s an interesting visual illustration of the disparity between how we see ourselves and how others see us.
The problem, though, is with the underlying message: You are more beautiful than you think.
Look, your face isn’t as fat as you think. Look, you have fewer wrinkles than you thought you had. Look, your freckles aren’t that noticeable. Do you see? By saying, Look, you’re not that bad, Dove is saying that there is a beauty standard and that it matters—you’re just not as far away from it as you thought you were.
Well fuck that. Fuck your cultural beauty standard.
This whole thing made me wonder about my job, you know? I write for an online beauty blog (not this one, the one I get paid for): tips and tricks and how-to-look-better articles. Reviews about products you must buy. By its very nature, it reinforces conformity, right? Buy this eyeliner because your eyes should look bigger, this foundation will make your skin smoother, this lipstick will make you look younger.
But who’s to say all those things are beautiful? Who’s to say you have to be beautiful?
This weird, consumerist culture we live in says that a woman’s value lies in her perceived attractiveness. We know on an intellectual level that this isn’t true. But that does nothing to alleviate the constant, crippling pressure to conform. Not for me, anyway. Not for most of us.
I don’t have an answer for where my job fits into this whole mess. But I do know that beauty products make me fucking happy and I have fun playing with them. They’re divorced from this whole sick conformist cycle for me (body image is a whole other story, believe me). I use beauty products because I enjoy them. They’re fun. They’re silly. I write about them because I like sharing my knowledge with people who are interested in such things.
You’re more than just beautiful. You are more than your capacity to be beautiful.
But if feeling beautiful makes you feel happy, then follow happy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Then again, maybe I’m too entrenched in that world. What do you think? I really want to know.
I know, I know. I suck.
But I’m moving! Towns! They say that is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person after death or divorce! I’ll be back on here with more expletive-filled beauty talk soon, I promise.
In the meantime, I found time to read an interesting xoJane piece called “You Don’t Have to Be Beautiful to Be Boring, But Science Says it Helps.” I don’t have time to compile my many thoughts about the piece just yet, but I wanted to share this thoughtful comment from Martha Mott:
“This is a bit of a tangent, but I don’t wonder if some personal style choices don’t automatically create a blind spot in men. Red lipstick, short hair, and glasses seem to overwhelm the male perceptions to the point that you could probably pull a Clark Kent/Superman on them with a simple change of accessories.
Anecdote: Yesterday some guy shouted, “Hey you got some face on your makeup.” First of all, fuck you bro. Second of all, I was wearing a tinted moisturizer, brown mascara, and one of those red lipbalm/lipsticks by Revlon. That’s it. My normal day to day drag consist of sooooooo much more, but because it’s all in the boring beige family those are the days I get called a “natural beauty.”
The rest of the day it was pretty clear that dudes weren’t really into it, and the few that did express any interest in me seemed to think I was some eccentric personality. Their very own Mad Pixie Dream Girl.
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.”
I love that her first reaction is “Fuck you, bro”. Awesome. I’ve been meaning to write more about men and the (mis-) perceptions they often have about makeup. This blog’s feature The Fuck is on Your Face is meant to be humorous, but also a starting point for such a conversation. It’s not that I’m saying men are idiots about makeup, not at all. They sure as hell can be, but some of the best makeup artists I know are men, and anyway generalizations are for losers (see what I did there?).
But it is interesting to think about the visual shorthand certain types of makeup cues have for the cosmetically ignorant (women included). It’s also interesting to think about how there isn’t always an obvious correlation with how much actual product is used in a “natural” makeup look vs. a “colorful” makeup look. It’s a helluva lot faster and easier to slap on a red lip than it is to create “I was totally born with perfect skin”.
I now have to go pack up my entire life and move it two hours away (eep!), but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave ’em in the comments, yo.
“I remember when I was little, I was watching the Phil Donahue show or something—that shows how old I am—and they were doing makeovers and they took all these ladies that had been wearing the same makeup for 20 years—you know, the green eye shadow, red lips, bouffant red hairdo, that type of lady. These were ladies who had never had their hair and makeup done any other way. I remember seeing the final makeovers and I was so devastated by how boring they made these women look…and how they looked kind of deflated, kind of disappointed, like they didn’t want to be made-over. Don’t take a lady’s green eyeshadow away. I think that there shouldn’t be makeup rules. I love reading beauty stuff, but when they start with the rules about makeup, I get really worked up.”
-Dita Von Teese, as told to Into the Gloss in a fantastic article Monday.