Monday, May 2, 2016

Let's get heavy for a moment.

I'm a huge South Park fan. I'm such a huge fan, in fact, that when my brother and I decided to compose our personal "Top 10 Favorite South Park Episodes" lists, I had to ask him if we could bump it up to a Top 15. The very first episode I jotted down was the season 17 finale, "The Hobbit." In this episode, fourth grader Wendy Testaburger encourages fellow cheerleader Lisa Berger to ask her crush, Butters, on a date. When Butters blithely rejects Lisa, Wendy confronts him, only to discover that Butters thinks a "real woman" should be flawlessly airbrushed like Kim Kardashian. Wendy snipes back that Kim Kardashian only looks good in pictures because of Photoshop; in reality, Wendy says, she has "the body of a hobbit." This being South Park, much hilarity follows.

Lisa Berger and her digitally altered photograph.

But it's not all fun and games. At one point, Wendy digitally alters a photo of Lisa Berger to show Butters just how dramatically you can change a person's appearance using Photoshop. Instead of getting the point, Butters suddenly decides that Lisa is beautiful and they should be together, only to find that she's dating another boy who gleefully shows her Photoshopped picture to his classmates. Eventually, every girl on the cheer squad has her pictures altered beyond recognition. Even Wendy, the "biggest feminist at the school," caves to peer pressure and produces a Photoshopped picture of herself as she holds back tears.

And that's it. That's the end of the episode. There's no joke, no satire, no jibe to finish it off, just a little girl giving up on her original ambition to prove that Photoshopped images damage our body image.

I think that's one of the reasons why this is a personal favorite episode for me. The South Park writers are famous for making fun of absolutely everything and treating everyone--regardless of their political affiliation, race, creed, religion, or lifestyle--as an asshole. Really, it's one of the things I respect about the show so much. But by ending "The Hobbit" on that sad note, with none of the characters at fault learning the error of their ways, they essentially make the point that our obsession with unachievable beauty standards really is shitty.

Wendy's Photoshopped picture.

Here's the disconnect that South Park highlights: we know, logically, that magazines, movies, Instagram, and every other influential piece of media currently available today promotes unrealistic beauty standards, especially for women. We know skin has texture, even if it's healthy, but makeup advertisements in periodicals like Allure and Vogue show models with skin so smooth it's almost plastic. The internet has leaked "before-and-after" photos that show just how much celebrities were airbrushed, thinned, and glossed up via digital retouching. Hell, up until the last decade, Barbie's body type was physically impossible. This is not news to us.

We're also aware that the pursuit of beauty is expensive. Many of the actresses and models we fawn over have good genes, it's true, but a good number make mega-million salaries that afford them a nutritionist, pricy facials, and endless trips to the dermatologist. Even B-list actresses will generally have access to free beauty swag from companies hoping to get some cheap promotion. For the most part, we as a society have accepted that celebrities go through great lengths to stay beautiful, extremes we as mere mortals can't usually achieve. And we're okay with it because, well, part of their job is to look good. We ordinary people, the teachers and construction workers and entrepreneurs of the world, don't usually have "look fierce in a Gucci gown at the Oscars" at the top of our priorities list.

And yet we fall for it every time. We know that we will have pimples, that our hair will look like shit some days, that we may carry a few extra pounds on our bodies, that teeth aren't naturally bright white and brows aren't usually on fleek without a dash of product. But we strive for those unrealistic standards, and when we don't measure up, problems ensue. What's more, we're especially harsh on women when they look like...well, regular women. Even if we know that the Photoshopped images in magazines are unrealistic, we compare the real women to the fantasy photo; we pull a Butters and magically forget (or ignore) that people don't look that way in real life.


 Jennifer Lawrence: already unjustly beautiful, yet they still Photoshopped her to create a slimmer waist, longer neck, and smokier eye makeup. This isn't even the most drastic airbrushing on the internet, but it was so unnecessary that it generated loads of discussion.

On a larger scale, we've seen the impact that these unrealistic expectations can have on young women. Studies show that teenage girls are dieting in greater numbers and at earlier ages than ever before. In 2012, plastic surgeons performed an estimated 14.6 million cosmetic surgeries, with botox and fillers topping the "non-invasive" list; in 2015, the number of cosmetic surgeries jumped to nearly 16 million. (This doesn't surprise me, since I've recently noticed just how many of the most popular beauty YouTubers have gotten their lips plumped.) Many young people admit that they spend a good bit of their time comparing themselves to the flawless photos they see on their social media feeds--I know I've had my fair share of "omg I'm a total toad compared to her moments" whilst scrolling through Instagram. The focus on women's bodies and the unrealistic expectations we have for them lead to issues we don't often think about, like lower political efficacy.

So why am I rambling about this? I think it's because of a particular line from the aforementioned South Park episode: "The problem with having fake pictures of yourself is that you start to believe in your own bullshit." As a beauty blogger, that really struck home for me. Do I Photoshop out all of my blemishes, retouch my makeup, and thin my body down to a size 0? No, I generally think that product reviews are only helpful if they really demonstrate how a product looks. But when I review a product, I take hundreds of photos. I try different angles, different facial expressions, different lighting settings; then I meticulously comb through each and every one to find the photo I seem to look the best in. If I feel like I didn't get a single decent-looking photo, I'll still publish the review, but with endless apologies about how doofy I look. This is relatively normal for bloggers, though, and it seems harmless on its surface.

The problem is that this has begun to affect the way I view myself. I've been dealing with some skin issues for the past few months (primarily sensitive and rashes, but also a few unusual breakouts), and the dip in my self-confidence has been palpable. I'm so used to being relatively blemish-free and even-skinned on this blog that two pimples or a bit of rosacea-esque flushing makes me want to crawl in to bed and never come out. Beautiful Instagrammers and flawless YouTubers have left me with an incredibly warped sense of self, but so have pictures of me when I was younger and had tougher, smoother skin. I do not feel attractive, adult, or useful unless my skin is totally clear and well behaved. Even with makeup on, I will become distracted thinking about whether or not the person I'm talking to is noticing my newest zit, or I'll briefly panic at the mere thought of my foundation wearing patchy.

I don't want to be the person who reinforces those insane standards, either. Logically, I know that I have pretty decent skin. In fact, this is confirmed when I post pictures of myself on makeup forums and message boards: I always get at least one very kind comment along the lines of, "Oh my God, your skin is perfect!" My immediate response is usually, "Well, a lot of that is the foundation," which I've been told is not a gracious thing to say. I don't mean it to be dismissive or snobby. Rather, I want people to understand that real skin is not perfect, and my face definitely doesn't look the same without that layer of makeup on it. Yet somehow, I can't seem to remind myself of that fact. When I get a few pimples because I ate too much cheese the night before, I look at photos of myself wearing makeup and grumble, "Ugh, I look so much worse right now."

Jkissamakeup, a popular YouTuber who doesn't wear foundation.

It's not a standard I hold other people to, by the way. I've seen plenty of students and acquaintances who wear bright lipstick and bold eyeliner while letting their blemishes show, or they wear no makeup at all, and I think, "What a pretty young woman!" "She's so intelligent, what a great response." "She's always so upbeat; I want to be that positive, too." I never think, "Ugh, what a hideous cow; she needs to cover that shit up." I reserve those thoughts for myself. I don't think people with pimples showing on their skin are hideous, I just think they're human, but I am apparently unable to think that way about myself these days.

This isn't to say that skin issues should be ignored, or that anybody who is concerned about their skin is a vain jerk. Our skin can visually mark illnesses and intolerances our body is experiencing; for example, many people break out in hives when they encounter an allergen or flush just before an illness takes hold. I know that my breakouts have, in the past, been a signal to stop eating certain foods or start focusing on my mental health more. And there are many people who deal with skin conditions that are painful and embarrassing, as my friends and family who experienced intense cystic acne will tell you.

Rather, my point is that most people are not going to have totally blemish-free, super smooth and poreless, forever glowing skin...and that should be okay. If all else is well in our lives and we still get the occasional pimple or scar, it should not be our emotional end of the world. I need to learn that again.

So here's my solution: I accept that my utterly warped self image will not change overnight. But I will strive to re-examine how I view my body and what I spend my time obsessing over. It'll be tough to do that while still blogging, since this hobby kind of necessitates staring at my pores in a mirror to see how a foundation is performing and staring at my own Photographed-in-HD face for over an hour at a time. I'm coming up on a brief break from work, though, and the last thing I need is too much time to myself. So I'll be looking in to new hobbies and trying to spend more time thinking about what exists besides my epidermis.

I'm also hoping to reinvent my previous "No Foundation" challenge. I've stumbled across a few beauty bloggers who wear full faces of makeup but no foundation, perhaps just a touch of concealer. And I admire them. Sure, most of them have great skin to begin with, but it's helping me remember that there's more to makeup than being utterly "flawless." I'd like to revisit that look myself.

Is this an issue anybody else has struggled with, particularly as they've gotten more and more in to blogging? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Moderate Stash: Eyeshadow

If you've been here for a while, you've probably noticed that I'm not big on eyeshadow. I don't own a ton of it, I never really review it, and I'm rarely wearing more than one shade on my lids in Face of the Day photos. There was a time when I was really in to eyeshadow, when every bright color and flashy finish felt like the best way to express myself. But as I've gotten older, I've gotten lazier. I've also fallen more and more in love with lipstick. At the end of the day, I admit that I love to emphasize my cheeks and lips, but my eyes? Meh. Too much effort.

I do keep some eyeshadows around, however, for the occasional fancy look. Creams and liquids are my go-tos for quick and easy washes of color, and my small assortment of powder shadows has me covered for smoky eyes. All of these were swatched over Too Faced Shadow Insurance, my favorite primer. I did not swatch two specific things: Wet n' Wild Brulee, a single eyeshadow that is nearly the same color as my skin, and my depotted Urban Decay Book of Shadows II, since loads of swatches are available via a Google Image search.

CREAMS AND LIQUIDS


  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadows in Rio de Rose Gold, Playa del Pink, and Beach Sand. In my opinion, these are the rulers of Liquid Eyeshadow Land; no other product is as pigmented, as smooth and easy to apply, or as beautifully metallic. These are so shiny and pretty, they actually look foiled when the light hits them! I like all three shades: Rio de Rose Gold is a copper, Playa del Pink is a soft champagne, and Beach Sand is a rich brown. Unfortunately, it looks like Josie Maran might be discontinuing these absolutely flawless little babies. :( Maybe she's bringing them back with new packaging!
  • MAC Shadestick in Heirloom. Yes, this thing is ancient, and no, they don't make Shadesticks anymore. But while I've busted through the remaining few in my collection, tossing them in to my Back 2 MAC bag with a muttered "Good riddance," I cling to Heirloom. It's this wonderful frosted antique pink, and it works well on its own and as a base for purple and pink powder shadows.
  • Charlotte Ronson Liquid Eye Shadow in Sky. Yet another discontinued product because I suck! This liquid eyeshadow has an extremely thin, very liquidy formula; the tube needs a lot of shaking before you apply. Sky is a translucent pink shade with tons of microshimmer. While it's very beautiful and flattering, I don't wear it nearly as much as my Josie Maran liquid shadows, so I'm considering destashing it.
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Black Bean and Milk. These super-creamy, very opaque puppies had a Moment on YouTube a few years back, but while many bloggers right them off today, I know a lot of drag queens who still keep these babies in their kit. The stark matte shades are great for dramatic highlighting and lining, and if you spread them out over a primer like Too Fashed Shadow Insurance, they make great bases that can amp up the drama for your other shadows.
 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

MAC POWDER SHADOW PANS


  • Matte shades: Wedge and Truce. Wedge, a medium brown with some slightly warm leanings, is a staple in many collections. I used to use it as a brow shade, but nowadays I like it best in my crease. The same goes for Truce, a gray putty shade: it makes the perfect crease color to emphasize my deep set eyes and cast a shadow. Both are decently smooth and opaque, though being mattes, they require a bit more blending to get a soft effect.
  • Frosted/Metallic shades: Satin Taupe, Woodwinked, and Vex. Satin Taupe and Vex are both relatively cool-toned shadows; Satin Taupe reads, as the same suggests, as a taupey purple and makes a great all-over-lid shade for smokey eyes, while Vex is a sheer duochrome that makes a great transition or crease color. Woodwinked is in a whole other ballpark, though. It looks brown in the pan, but applies as a warm, coppery gold on your lids, especially if you buff it out. It has one of the smoothest powder eyeshadow formulas I've ever felt!

 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

VIDEO: Ask Me Almost Anything, Redux!

I finally got around to answering these, and I think I rambled less this time! Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses.


SOUNDTRACKS:
Mad Max: Fury Road: "Brothers in Arms"
Okami: "Spirit Extermination"
Baiten Kaitos: "Origins"
Requiem for a Dream: "Lux Aeterna"

YOUTUBERS:
Jordan Liberty -- https://www.youtube.com/user/givegoodface
Ree Ree Phillips -- https://www.youtube.com/user/reereephillipsbeauty
Toni Estes -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTULUFGu9bi8Nhd29Rza7-A
Kimberly Clark -- https://www.youtube.com/user/kimclarkqueen
Christopher Cameron -- https://www.youtube.com/user/yochristophercameron
The Socialite Life -- https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSocialiteLife
Thrift Thick -- https://www.youtube.com/user/thriftthick
ThaTaylaa -- https://www.youtube.com/user/ThaTaylaa

Monday, April 25, 2016

REVIEW: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Tint Tinted Moisturizer


I know I've been posting tons of reviews, but I'm really trying to bust through my to-do list, and a lot of people requested this review. I mean, "I've been getting an email every week" a lot. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), this product neither inspires nor infuriates me, so I haven't been looking forward to the review. I'm also one of those touchy-feely people who isn't totally thrilled by a company name based on a very real and serious mental disorder. ("A line obsessively crafted from the finest ingredients possible, to celebrate the driving compulsions of makeup fanatics everywhere"--oh, bullshit; you wanted an edgy name and you need to just admit that.) I still want to give my two cents on the product, though, because I can see it being quite useful to some people.

The OCC Tint comes in a plastic dropper bottle and costs $29.50 for a full fluid ounce. It has a rather basic formula and is free from a number of common irritants, including silicones, parabens, and sulfates. In fact, when people ask for a foundation that will work for sensitive skin, the OCC Tint is usually at the top of my list of recommendations.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom. From left to right: OCC Tint in Y0, Buxom Show Some Skin in Tickle the Ivory, NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia.

I got a bottle in the shade Y0, the lightest yellow shade. This shade is extremely pale and has col yellow tones; swatched up against my Buxom Show Some Skin foundation and the NARS Sheer Glow I keep around for swatching purposes, you can see that all three look practically identical. I will note, however, that the OCC Tint seems to oxidize a little on my skin. This puts it in the NC10-15 range.

There is also an R range that has (shocker!) red undertones. The range goes from very pale to very dark, but there are only 10 shades total. This means that if you don't have a perfect match, you may have to mix to get the best color possible.


Now, I mentioned before that this product doesn't contain silicone, and that becomes obvious when you start attempting to spread the product. Silicones are often responsible for giving base products their slip, something the OCC Tint is noticeably lacking in. It takes some work to get this product to smooth in to the skin; I got the best effect with a stippling brush.

While this product is listed as a "tinted moisturizer," it really only fits that bill in terms of its coverage, which is light and somewhat buildable to medium. It has a natural matte finish.


The OCC Tint is not very kind to dry skin. I was so grossed out by how it looked applied to my bare face that I decided to junk that entire batch of photographs and do another series over top of a light moisturizer. Even with the moisturizer, I noticed definite clinging on my dry patches, like the spot between my eyebrows. The moisturizer did help a little, though, so if you're dry-skinned and very keen on trying this product, you could maybe get away with it layered over a rich cream.


The wear on this tint is decent. I did notice quite a bit of oil breakthrough on my nose, but the actual coverage seemed to stay in place. Also, despite emphasizing my driest patches, my face wasn't itchy during the day. I developed a bit of a red irritation spot under my lip while photographing this foundation (visible in the 6 hours photo); however, I can't be totally sure the foundation was the cause, and it did fade after a few hours.

I wasn't wowed by this product on my skin, so I'll be moving it out of my collection. I also don't think it's going to be most peoples' top choice, since there are so many other options on the market. However, if you're looking for a silicone-free base with a broad shade range, the OCC Tint is one of the few readily available, moderately priced, and decently workable products on the market.

RATING: 3 out of 5
This product is available at OCCMakeup.com.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Quick and Dirty Blogsale

Updated 4/23: added a few new items; some prices lowered.


USAGE:
I have attempted to show usage/condition via photos. Please Google swatches or ask for more information if you are curious about any of these products, the exact color, etc. Please be forewarned that the outer packaging may be banged up.

HOW TO PURCHASE:
 Send requests to BadOutfitGreatLipstick at GMAIL. I will invoice you (no gift payments, please). Items are only  officially "yours" after you've paid. These prices are already extremely low and have shipping and PayPal fees factored in, so I do not haggle. $15 minimum purchase.

SHIPPING:
US ONLY SALE: I do not ship outside of the US because of issues with customs. I apologize for the inconvenience. Payment must clear before shipping. I use PayPal ship, which comes with a built-in tracking system. :) I package as carefully as I possibly can, but I am not responsible for packages once they leave my hands. With that being said, if you receive your items and feel that you have been mislead about their condition/usage, please contact me and I'll see what I can do to rectify the situation. I'm a very honest person, and the last thing I want to do is appear dishonest!

SANITATION:
 I clean my entire collection about once a month with an alcohol spritz. However, I will not sanitize these items before shipping them out unless you ask me to, because I know some people are very particular about how they sanitize their products. Be forewarned that some of the cream products may have very tiny brush hairs in them, as creams are wont to get, but again, I have kept them quite clean; I'm very, very fussy. If you ask me to sanitize items, I will sharpen pencils and spritz blushes, lipsticks, and foundations with alcohol. I always wipe down the outer packaging with alcohol before sending.

NOTE: The words on the paper are for Reddit purposes.



Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Tint in Y0. $12

MAC Cream Colour Base in Luna. $12

Glossier Generation G lipstick in Cake. $10

MAC lip liner in Beet, sharpened once. $10

BN Marc Jacobs Highliner eye pencil, DS. $2


Milk Makeup Eye Marker in Black Sheep. $12.



Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx01, depotted for a friend who then changed his mind in to a sanitized jar. Probably 20% of the original jar. $10

Colourpop Brow Pencil in Dope Taupe; can include box. $2.50

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon; can include box. $18

NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna; can include box. $22




NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Siberia; sponge never used; can include box. $22

Yaby Daisy corrector; received in swap. $5

Glossier Stretch Concealer, can include box. $10


Stila Convertible Color Minis in Petunia, Lilium, and Tulip. $4 each OR take all 3 for $10.

BBIA Downy Cheek cream blush in Downy Apricot. $4

Canmake Cream Cheek in CL06. $4

Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glow in Liquifuchsia. $15

Hard Candy Cheeky Tint in Ballerina. $2

Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere in Sheen. $20

 
Catrice eyeshadow single in Starlight Espresso. $1

Wet n' Wild Fantasy Makers glitter. Free with any $30+ purchase--just ask.

MAC Chromagraphic pencil in NC15/NW20; sharpened about 3 times. $5

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Ash Brown; cap is slightly messy from me dabbing off brush; can include box. $10

MAC 210 brush; brush is clean, but slightly stained. $8


Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore; tube has some scratches and markings. $15

Bite Beauty lip primer; brand new. $5

Bite Beauty duo lipstick in Lingonberry and Tangerine. $5

MAC lipsticks in Candy Yum Yum, Pink Nouveau, and Viva Glam Nicki Minaj I. $10 each.

Buxom mini lipsticks in Mistress and Hooligan. $3 each or take both for $5.

Blue Lizard Face Sunscreen SPF30; masking tape on back shows date opened (and can be removed). $5

BRAND NEW DELUXE SAMPLES: Cover FX Mattifying Primer, Fresh Soy Eye Makeup Remover, Clarins Lift-Affine Visage Serum. $2 each or take all 3 for $5.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrait; can include box. $10

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing Eye Masks. $3.50 each or take both for $6.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint Giveaway -- TWO NEW WINNERS



There was no response from our initial winner, so I decided to draw two more, because yay store credit! The new winners of the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint are absitively and Emily Rachel Gilley. Congrats! You have one week to email me at the address listed on the blog sidebar.

Thank you again to everyone who participated and/or continues to read BOGL. I am truly blessed to have you here! Keep me posted on what you'd love to see as a giveaway prize, and I'll try to remember it for future giveaways!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Slew o' Lip Product Swatches and Mini-Reviews: Bite, Colourpop, NYX

I was cleaning out the photos on my computer (because yes, I'm that person) when I noticed an assortment of random lip product swatches that had never been posted to my blog. Maybe I ended up not writing a review, maybe I just forgot to post them, but whatever the reason, they were sitting there, labeled but unloved. It's totally disorganized, but I truly hope you guys find these helpful!


First up, I decided to use my VIB discount to test out the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick line. I went for Meringue, which looked like it'd be the most different from anything else in my collection. Sure enough, I don't have anything that's really comparable to this peachy nude.

But...I don't love it on me. It's this weird disconnect where I put it on, can't stop staring at how pretty the color looks on my lips, then continuously notice how "meh" it looks on my coloring. In the end, I decided to return it; I think something a hair cooler/more pink will ultimately be more flattering.

I have zero qualms with the formula, though. It's creamy and pigmented, and not only does it apply marvelously over freshly-exofliated lips, but it's also able to mask a multitude of sins on dryer, more flaky lips. The plastic citrus smell and taste are pretty gross, though.


Next is the Colourpop Ultra Matte lipstick in Stingraye. Marketed as a "cool-toned mauve brown," this shade looks plummy and pretty in photos, but in real life, it is a gray plum. Seriously, don't let this picture fool you; it did NOT look that way on my mouth in person! Even my family confirmed that it was straight-up gray on my mouth.

It's a shame, because I didn't totally hate the formula. Like most matte liquid lipsticks, it's drying, and it actually feels a bit like plastic stretched tightly over your mouth. I mean, you smile and it actually feels like something that has been pasted on to your lips and stretching uncomfortably. It's not the worst feeling I've ever felt, though, and it does have decent staying power. Even after 6 hours and a full meal, I had only some feathering (easily fixed with a lip pencil) and a tiny bit of wear in the center of my lips. I might revisit this formula, but for now, I think I need to take a quick break from liquid lipsticks.


Last, but not least, I decided to fill in some gaps in my lip pencil collection with these beauties from the NYX Slim Lip Pencil range: Plum, Rose, and Mauve. All three shades are wonderfully pigmented, leaning on the cool side, and very easy to apply.

I know I've talked about these a ton, but just a reminder that this is my favorite lip pencil formula. They're creamy enough that they don't tug on the lips, yet firm enough to give you a sharp line with no smearing. They're excellent over or under a balm for a quick on-the-go color. The shade range is very broad. And of course, they're only $3.50 each! These are truly some of my all-time favorite lip products.