I Enjoy Being A Girl


I like being a girl, in general. Growing up I wasn’t all that into most “girly” things though – I was way too busy pretending to be a horse, playing with model horses, drawing horses, you get the idea. In middle school I still wasn’t quite there yet either. I was shy and awkward, not very popular, with braces and questionable fashion sense. I like to think that since then I have become a woman who is confident in her womanhood, embracing things like bras and mascara that previously intimidated and even at times mystified me. I used to just feel out of place and in the way. Now I know I’m woman. ROAR!

But let me ask you, is there anything that makes you feel less enthusiastic about being a woman than your monthly period? One of the very symbols of being female is also my least favorite part about being a girl. I got my first period when I was in 5th grade, so I’ve been dealing with it for a while but it still makes me feel like an awkward kid even at nearly 26 years of age.

Because it makes me crazy. Like legitimately batsh*t crazy. Mood swings barely begins to cover it. More like multiple personality disorder. And all of them are completely nuts. I mean yes there’s the cramps, the headaches, the general feeling of “blah”, the bloating, hormonal acne, body aches, and all that jazz…but it’s the dang moods that really send me over the edge. Do you know what it’s like to feel completely out of control but be conscious of it at the same time? It makes me want to just lock myself on an island for a week so I don’t alienate my entire family.

First, there’s The Hungry Thing. The Hungry Thing gets violent food cravings, and wickedly territorial about food. My family has been warned to stay the hell away from whatever is that month’s snack of choice. Unlike most girls I tend not to crave chocolate. I’m much more into salty snacks. Pickles, cheetohs, popcorn, and cucumber are all favorites, but it varies. I have no way of predicting it. For a long time it was pumpkin seeds. Another month, sharp cheddar cheese. And it’s not just “oh that sounds good”. It’s like… I need this. And if I don’t get it I am going to be very, very angry. Sometimes I crave foods I don’t even typically like or care much for! One time I just had to have an egg salad sandwich. I hate egg salad. I read once somewhere that food cravings are your body’s way of telling you what nutrients it lacks, but after the egg salad incident I think it’s just screwing with me. I mean once I finally got the damn sandwich I hated it. DUH. But as if The Hungry Thing weren’t enough to deal with, I also have…

Angersharks. Angersharks is angry. At everything and everybody. A good way to meet Angersharks is to take cheetohs or pickles away from The Hungry Thing. Then it all gets very frightening. Angersharks is unpredictable, and mean. But I mean come on, is it that hard to remember that the pickles are mine and to leave them alone? No. However, you can also get me angry with things like…being a red light that hasn’t turned green yet, an electronic device that isn’t working perfectly (probably due to my own error), a neighbor making normal “living my life” noise, or it being trash night. Luckily once I get super period-angry, it doesn’t last long. Then it dissolves into…

I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. Then the water works. I cry and cry, and then it becomes impossible to stop. Once I get going it’s like I cry about everything bad that ever happened. Your fish died? *BAWL* There was traffic on the way home? *WAIL* And yes, I also get into the weepy conversations with my boyfriend that go something like this:

Me: *sniff* “Why do you love me?” *sniiiiifffff*
Boyfriend: “…uh what?”
Me: *sobs* “WHY DO YOU LOVE MEEEE? I’M A MESS…” *bawls*
Boyfriend: *resolutely places arm around me and lets me drip mascara all over his shirt as I cry all over him*

Poor guy is probably terrified of me, but I gave him “disaster training” – I told him if I get hormonal-crazy to just hug me until I exhaust myself or get over it. It works.

So how do I deal with this every month? The truth is often I don’t deal with it well at all. But I try my best. The best thing I’ve done has been to just accept that a week or so out of every month is probably going to completely suck. If you just accept that it will help you move on. Or at least that’s what they say, so I’m waiting for that whole “zen” “at peace with my period” thing to kick in.

I also started tracking my monthly cycle with the help of an iphone app. Then at least I know when it’s coming, and I can make neat little charts with my moods and symptoms over the months. There are cute little emoticons involved, so I’m down. I’m also on the pill, which helps to some degree but I still get pretty nutty most months. It does help to always be as prepared as possible with all the feminine hygiene products I could possibly need well-stocked at any given time, too. Whenever my favorites (come on, we all have our favorites) go on sale, I grab a box. Better to be prepared.

And finally, I have a personal policy to not make any major life decisions during that time. It’s just safer that way. Just knowing that I often get crazy really helps too. If I’m freaking OUT about something I can often just kind of step back and ask myself “is this really a big deal, or is this period brain?”.

Do I still get really bummed about how much it sucks to be crampy, muffin top-y, and grouchy? Yes. But then I go play with my makeup or snuggle with my cats and try to remind myself of all the awesome things about being a girl. Like boobs!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Always via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Always.

Lead in Lipstick

Red Lipstick
If you have access to any kind of news outlet, you have probably heard about yet another study released announcing “hazardous” levels of lead in red lipstick. And as same as the last time one of these reports was released, people are in all kinds of uproar and running to throw out their lipsticks. So let me tell you why I’m not concerned at all.
Lipstick vs. Candy

One of the biggest points raised as to why this is dangerous and scary is that the acceptable amount of lead in a lipstick is “more than the acceptable amount in candy”. People are freaking out about that when, uh, hello, that means there is an amount of lead that is acceptable in candy. CANDY. That is designed for FOOD. Yes, some lipstick is inevitably ingested just by the very nature of the fact that it is worn on the lips, but it is a very tiny amount. There are some crazy urban legends that suggest a woman eats as many as 7 pounds in her lifetime or something, but that is insane when you consider that an average “bullet” of lipstick is about .1 oz. There being 16 oz in just a single pound, do the math. That’s a f’ing lot of lipsticks and even if a woman wears lipstick every single day of her life from the time she hits puberty to the time they put her in the ground, she’s not going to ingest that much lipstick. Point being, the amount of lipstick itself being ingested is minuscule compared to all sorts of other stuff you’re ingesting that probably has far more “bad” things than the lipstick on your lips. You’re far more likely to die of high cholesterol, cirrhosis, cancer, diabetes, or all sorts of other conditions that can be caused by what we eat and how it is made. Fun thought, huh?
Not convinced? Other things to consider…

* The FDA considers anything with under 20 ppm (parts per million) of lead to be of no safety risk. The lipsticks in the most recent study published average about 5 ppm. 
* The lead in lipstick is not an added ingredient. It’s naturally occurring due to the composition of the pigments in the lipstick. That’s why the lead is only showing up in red lipstick shades, and that’s why the more sheer the pigmentation of the lipstick, the lower the ppm. 
* There have been no deaths linked to lead in cosmetics. None. 
* Cancer of the lip is much less frequently found in women than in men, and much of that can be attributed to the pigments in lipsticks. Though the SPF in most lipsticks is not tested and certified, some form of coverage over the lip is better than no coverage of the lip. 
So don’t count on me throwing out my lipsticks any time soon. I’ve read some articles that even go as far as to claim the FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics. What a load of BS. They regulate ingredients, especially pigments (colors), and no cosmetic product sold legally in the US can incorporate any colors that aren’t approved. When you see a certain shade of a product is “not eye safe” or “not lip safe” that is because the FDA has not approved a pigment in that product for use on the eyes or use on the lips. The brands aren’t just trying to break your balls over using red blush as eye shadow. Really. 

Don’t Tell Me What To Be!

This post is inspired by a thread on MakeupAlley tonight. The poster was telling about how she was visiting her local Chanel counter and was told they are (or have already) discontinuing the lightest shade in Vitalumiere foundation. She asked why that was, and the sales associate said she’d look into it. The result she came back with shocks me. Chanel says they are discontinuing it because they don’t have any pale clientele. Their suggestion for those who will now be out a foundation shade is “to tan a little”.
As a pale girl, I cannot even tell you how many times I have been told that I need to get a tan. People like to offer this advice all the time, completely unsolicited. When I show my pale legs in a skirt, people will remark that it’s time to break out the self tanner. In high school it was less subtle. I was asked if I ever go outside. Am I a goth? A vampire? Seriously. Growing up pale in California makes you a total anomaly. I once visited the emergency room, and the doctor asked my mom “does she look pale to you or does she always look like this?”
Pale girls, how many times have you had your makeup done by someone who wants to suggest bronzer, or a darker foundation to “give you a little color”? Chances are if you’ve ever had your makeup done, you have had this experience. 
Angry goat is very angry.
What really gets my goat about this, is how is this socially acceptable, and yet if you were to tell someone they need to lighten their skin tone that is racist/bigoted/completely unacceptable. Why is it acceptable to have someone telling you or making you feel like the color of your skin is somehow strange or not okay? When did we get there again?
If you ask someone “would you ever make a negative comment about the color of someone else’s skin?” most people would say no. They just don’t think of suggesting someone get a tan as being disparaging. We’ve gotten to a place where it’s acceptable to tell someone they are too pale, whereas if that same Chanel associate had suggested her client use a skin lightening cream because no foundation were dark enough for her, I’m sure the customer could get her fired (and if not, well, do I need to even go there?).
What I’m getting at here is nobody likes to feel like an alien in their own skin. I wish more people realized that it is embarrassing, rude, and hurtful to make these comments. I wish more makeup artists would ask before just assuming we don’t like our skin color just the way it is. I believe makeup should make us feel good about ourselves, and how to be the best “us” we can be with what we have.
Does this issue ring home for you? Regardless of what color your skin actually is, has anyone ever made you feel less than because of it? What about in the beauty industry? Tell me your experiences! I’d love to know.

Scam Artist Youtube Guru Bashing

Last night on both Makeup Alley and Twitter I said a couple things that seemed to piss someone (or someones) off in a major way!

What started it was someone on MUA starting a poll about Kandee Johnson. For those of you who don’t know who Kandee is, she is a makeup artist who makes videos for Youtube. The poll asked, “Kandee Johnson: Scam Artist or True Guru?”

Yeah. Okay guys, look. I don’t care what Kandee does with her personal life. I don’t care what any gurus do with their personal lives. I will watch someone for their talent, helpfulness, etc. You would think that these internet celebrities spend their spare time slaughtering kittens or something the way people get so angry about them. Reality check: you don’t know these people. You don’t know their lives. Just because you watch a bunch of videos on Youtube does not mean you know a person. It’s the same as making statements about an actress being a home wrecker or slut or whatever because of what you read in tabloids. The bottom line is if you don’t like someone, don’t watch their videos. No one has (to my knowledge!) ever been held at gunpoint and forced to watch someone on Youtube teach you how to groom your eyebrows, or talk about what’s going on in her life, or any of that.

I got some comments on my Formspring page today that I wanted to address. They were both posted anonymously (of course!) since after all this is the internet.

#1 –

Screw your opinion about Kandee, the girl is a scam artist and if anyone else were putting there personal shit online they’d get run too. oh, you liked the donate button for yourself. SHUT UP!

First of all, yeah I have a donate button. If you don’t want to use it, don’t click it. I didn’t ask you to. It was suggested to me that I add it, and I purposefully tucked it away on a page called “support”. If you aren’t interested in supporting a blog, why would you even click that link? Dumb. The support link is also right next to a link about hiring me. You know, because I’m unemployed. As in, someone who could actually use some support every so often. Secondly, if you think she is a scam artist, don’t watch her videos or attend one of her Glaminars. Problem solved. And by all means if you want me to shut up that much, don’t read my blog or tweets either. 
#2 – 

Why is it if someone says something negative whether it’s true or not you feel the need to respond. Isn’t that the same? So you have a right to your view but others don’t?

I was responding because in both cases (Twitter and Makeup Alley) they are an open forum. If you want to post something and have nobody respond to it, write it down in your diary or something. I have an opinion and when someone posts theirs in an open forum I’m going to agree or disagree with it if I want to do so. It’s kind of convenient that you also choose not to mention that I usually post when I agree with someone. I’m not trying to stir shit up or cause drama. Just because I’m voicing my opinion that is different from yours doesn’t mean I don’t think you have a right to your opinion. I do think you have a right to your opinion, but by the same token I also have the right to think your opinion is dumb. So I think we can agree on one thing: we think each other’s opinions are dumb. Cool. Lipstick.
Alrighty. Hope that clears some things up for you angry anonymous Formspring commenters. And for future reference if you have a negative comment, please give your name and we can discuss it like adults. In fact, you’re even welcome to email me privately if it’s something you feel that strongly about. I’m open to a dialog with any of you. That’s why I publish what I write.

New MAC Pigment Packaging

The more I read and think about MAC’s new pigment packaging, the more irritated I am. Currently, MAC pigments retail for $19.50 for a jar that is 7.5 grams. The packaging looks like this:
Starting with the All Races collection in January, all pigments will be in a 4.5 gram package that looks like this:
I don’t mind the slimmer packaging. What I do mind is the price. The problem is that they’re going from 7.5 grams to 4.5 grams and they still cost $19.50.
To put that in perspective, at the 7.5g size the pigments were $2.60 per gram of product. Not that bad.
Now at 4.5g size, the pigments are $4.33 per gram.
Never before has MAC ever hiked up the prices on a product by that much. It annoys me. It’s not cool. I do like the smaller packaging, but they should have reduced the price accordingly.
If you feel the same, I urge you to write to MAC’s customer service and tell them how you feel. They say they do listen to us, so let’s give them some feedback!
On the plus side, there are tons of mineral etailers selling loose pigments at much more reasonable prices. Check out the lovely creations at Meow Cosmetics, Aromaleigh, and Fyrinnae! (links on the left)

Rant, Bitch, Moan, Whine…

I’m cranky, readers, so let’s trash talk.

Ok not really, but I’m just wondering…what are some of your makeup pet peeves? What brands/products do you think are totally overrated? Why? Or if you despise something beauty related for a totally irrational and insane reason, please tell me. :P
Makeup pet peeves…I have a few basic ones that I think everyone agrees look really bad: mismatched foundation, orangeorangeorange tans, caked on makeup, dark lipliner with no lipstick or lipstick in a completely different color…yeah. I just cringe.
I also really can’t stand it when women are all judgey about makeup. “I don’t need to wear makeup”. Um, okay, well, none of us need to wear makeup. Lets be honest…none of us are going to drop dead without our makeup. It’s a luxury item. Duh. But who wouldn’t benefit from a little concealer for crying out loud? Nobody’s perfect…even those of us with great skin have a day we wake up and didn’t get enough sleep and look like death warmed over.
Overrated. Okay…first thing that comes to mind: the MAC 226 brush. It’s basically being hailed as the messiah of crease brushes, and um, I am not that impressed? I have one (swapped for it), and while it’s okay, it’s actually kinda scratchy and while I know that the softest brush isn’t always the best for a particular application…I just don’t really care for it. It’s just okay. Not saying the brush sucks or anything, but it’s just okay.
Okay readers, here’s your chance to get it all off your chest…

TotalBeauty Drama Llama Extravaganza

Hokay, so.

There’s this site, TotalBeauty.com…you’ve probably heard of it. They have a blog network, product reviews, all sorts of yummy things. Yeah, a blog network. So…what the frack is this?

Hypocrisy, let me show you it. The title starts:

Beauty Brands Should Not Be Working With Bloggers…


If you read or skim the article, you will read all about why Emrah Kovacoglu, founder & CEO of Total Beauty Media, believes beauty brands should not work directly with bloggers. He says beauty brands need a “buffer” to protect standards of ethics and yadda yadda blah blah blah. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Total Beauty is being recommended as that buffer? Do you think if Susie’s Makeup Company wants to use Total Beauty’s blogger network to market its products that they do that for free? Um. More like Total Beauty recommends beauty brands use their service instead of just contacting us, the bloggers, directly.

Kovacoglu asserts that having this buffer in place will prevent bloggers from receiving kickbacks companies that want favorable reviews and prevent brands from “penalizing” a blogger for a negative review. He even has a cute term “Blogola”, which if you don’t know is a throwback to the term “Payola”– money that radio stations received for preferential play of various artists from their record labels. As a blogger I really do not appreciate drawing that comparison and questioning my ethics under the guise of trying to protect me.

Secondly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I really hate it when people assume a blogger is going to review something favorably because they got it for free. If anything, what have you got to lose then? It was free! As to the idea of various bloggers’ trips and outings being sponsored, every industry gets sponsored, people! Athletes, journalists, everyone. Do you think reporters and reviewers paid to go to Cannes on their own dime? Makeup Forever and Royal Brush sponsored an after party for IMATS on Saturday. Do you think people had less “real” fun at the party because it was a sponsored event? Puh-lease.

To bloggers…Kovacoglu swears he’s had bloggers tell him they do not want to publish negative reviews for fear of retribution and/or penalization from a brand. I do believe him when he says that. My message to my fellow bloggers on the subject is: What are you so afraid of? A company approached you and asked for your opinion. Your website is your voice. Nowhere else can you completely ensure that your words are accurately portrayed and not censored in any way. Why on earth would you give up that opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions?

Other Bloggers Weigh In…

I also spoke personally with the founder of Illuminare Cosmetics, Ruthie Malloy, who had this to say (among many other things!) “…I think sending free product samples to beauty bloggers who have a good following, are reputable and non-biased, who have a personal code of ethics to uphold and who have a large audience to speak to is just plain good business…”

Sunshine, Rainbows, Puppies!

Sooo there’s this site you might have heard of where a lot of beauty gurus like to post videos…hmm, Youtube sound familiar? :)

Yeah. Have you read some of the comments on beauty guru videos on there? Or the rant-tastic whiny rails against certain members of the beauty community on YT? It’s beyond absurd!
I don’t have any videos on Youtube. Part of the reason is because I know I’d just prattle on like an idiot– I ramble. And also because I haven’t bothered learning how to make a video for YT. Maybe I will sometime, maybe I won’t. I do, however, have a lot of respect for those who do. While I’ve never posted videos online, I have performed on a stage many times. To present yourself to an audience, to allow yourself to be that vulnerable, is a scary thing. So whether or not the particular Youtuber is my cup of tea, I still give them props for putting themselves out there like that.
Things like Youtube and Twitter are conversations, people. Like in any social situation, the easiest way to join in is to just jump in to the conversation. Something thoughtful and relevant to add to the discussion is going to get you way further. A YT guru asking you to read the information they have posted in the sidebar of the video before asking a question is not being a jerk. They put that information there for a reason, and that reason is to be helpful to you and to save time answering questions they have already anticipated will be asked. Frankly, it’s mildly disrespectful not to read that info first. It’s lazy.

WTF MakeUpAlley?

Is anyone else getting a little tired of MakeUpAlley giving bloggers so much sh*t for sharing their blog links with other MUAers?

Newsflash MUA Moderators: Bloggers are not going away.

I know why they do it…because many bloggers earn revenue through their blogs and sharing the link is free advertising and possibly generates revenue. MakeUpAlley only wants the people who pay them to get the benefit of advertising on their site (and there are ads everywhere on the site…but that’s a whole other topic!). Okay, understandable. I guess.

But seriously? Banning some of the most contributing members of your community? MakeUpAlley, no! Wrong idea. Bad. It makes you look like a-holes. People who care enough to blog about makeup in addition to chatting about it on your forums are the same people who write the most comprehensive reviews that make MUA such a great site.

So chill. the eff. out. Take your finger off the ‘ban’ trigger, moddies.

This will remain my opinion until MUA produces any evidence that a blogger has affected their income by taking revenue away. Yeah. Right.

My Nemesis

I just need to vent a moment.

Why is eyeliner so difficult for me? It’s not rocket science. You line your eyeball. But it takes me like 15-20 minutes to do eyeliner and it still doesn’t come out completely to my satisfaction.


I’m using fluidline (or other gel/cream eyeliner) and the SK bent brush. Supposed to be idiot proof! And while it is easier than any other method of eyelining I’ve tried, I still feel like an eight-year-old trying to do calculus. Sigh. I suppose practice makes perfect, right? Grr.