St. Patty’s Nails

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To be entirely honest, St. Patrick’s Day might be my least favorite holiday. First of all, it’s amatuer hour. All the asshats come out of the wood work and use it as a good excuse to drink beer with green food coloring until they’re urinating on the sidewalk and fighting in primordial herds. The professionals are nursing hangovers on your average Wednesday morning. So not only is this encouraging the average Joe to cower in their home base, but I have a couple pretty bad associations with the month of March that make me a little cranky. This year we had the one year anniversary of a friend’s death. This is also the month my father died and I got laid off at work at the same time. Funny enough, this time around I’m out of work again after 7 years.

But all the same, it’s not entirely awful. Some people I care about a lot have birthdays. The weather is getting a little better. And worst comes to worse, if I’m looking for a ray of sunshine, I can say I’m alive, I have a home, and food, and my cats are healthy too.

So I did a couple of loosely themed St. Patrick’s Day manicure. You won’t find shamrocks or leprechauns. But they are green… 

First I was inspired by this blog post talking about Spring trends: 

http://gothampolish.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-5-spring-2014-nail-polish-trends.html?m=1

Specifically, I was interested in the part about metallic green. Only I wasn’t interested in doing a Wintergreen color. I used a sampling of the metallic greens in my collection.

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I painted one nail white with the Essie on the far left, and used one of the nail tattoos, seen here:

 

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This is the outcome:

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Then I came up with another idea about a week later. This time I used a brighter green. I alternated patterns of dots and stripes created with the dotting tool on white and green, with one accent nail of loose glitter. 

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Saturday was the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Traditionally it’s also the day when everyone holes up in Market Square or stumbles around the South Side. Being that it was also March 15th, it coincided with the 19th annual Ides of March March. It’s a strange tradition to describe. The event is organized by Phat Man Dee. It first started when I was in high school, way back in a time called “The 90’s”. Maybe you remember from your high school English class that the Ides of March is in Julius Caesar. That’s the day he was assassinated, and he was warned by a bunch of creepy soothsayers. The march is a gathering of the unusual. Costumes are encouraged. Signs are carried. And we tromp up and down the main fare, warning passersby to beware the Ides of March… march. This year, I brought some new(er) friends with me. Since it was a Saturday, I actually got to dress up too. This photo is probably my favorite to surface so far. (Photo credit: Ray Gerard)

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I’m the unicorn in the zombie hoodie. This picture was the selfie I tried to take when we got off the bus.

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I managed to, for a brief period of time, successfully wear false eyelashes that I applied all by myself. (Well, I used this tweezer like applicator device I got at Sephora, but I’m totally taking credit.)

It was an absolute study in chaos, one I cannot sufficiently describe. And for the day, it was actually considered moderate by local standards. Still, aside from an attempted prop snatch and an testosterone fueled man throwing his shoulder into everyone, we all made it out unscathed. Tired and cranky, but unscathed. The evening was spent winding down with pizza and movies. A happy ending.

 

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Creating a Muse

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Hi! Remember me? I used to try to write a blog post every week. It’s been over a month. There were ups and downs along the way, but I think it might be a good time to get back on course.

For my birthday I received a mask from my housemate. It’s blue and gold and has bat wings on the side. Shortly after, I got this idea in my head for a photo shoot with it. I wanted to portray a kind of wild, muse like character. The Reveal the Real event was proving to be a success, and it was encouraging. I was also inspired by the elaborate make up and design of Kirsty Mitchell, who takes up to 6 months to create a photo, and fabricates most of the elaborate costumes and make up on her models:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2145760/Wonderland-Kirsty-Mitchell-heart-breakingly-beautiful-photographic-series-memory-extraordinary-life.html

And Ryan Burke, who spends up to 8 hours creating these looks on himself, with no end game in mind, and they are fantastic:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2513315/Ryan-Burkes-self-portrait-series-reveals-photographers-elaborate-party-looks.html

I’m nowhere close to those levels, but I had some ideas and some time and I did a practice run:

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Please excuse the fact that these are all cell phone “selfies” in my bedroom….

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For the lips I used 3 different products. First I used Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s Lip Tar with a lip brush, then I lined it with Costume Maker’s black (with a brush again), and then I added some silver glitter.

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After I did everything else, I went back and cleaned up the lip line with concealer, which is a trick I read about for doing red lips, but I figured I could use it here.

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I think everyone who wears make up love the eye products. I used primer, 4 different eye shadows, 2 eye liners, blue mascara, brow pencil, and brow gel.

After you apply the primer, I usually apply the mascara so the primer can dry, and then the first coat of mascara (if you are going to do multiple coats) can dry while you apply shadow. I used a gold yellow on the outer upper lid under the brow bone, a vanilla yellow across the brow, a shimmery turquoise across the lid, and a white highlight inside the eye by the nose. I wet the brush to get a more solid coverage. There’s a gold glitter eyeliner on the upper and lower lash line, and a blue eye liner above the lower lashes. Be careful, even glitter eyeliner specifically for your eyes can be an irritant, as I discovered. I always forget, until I use it again the next time and I like it too much to throw it away.

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I tried to curl my hair, but I didn’t want to add product because I had just washed my hair in the morning and didn’t want to have to wash it again. So the curls just laughed at me and fell flat. Maybe next time I’ll crimp and back comb it, or something. I also tried to do highlighting and shading on my cheekbones and my nose, but I don’t think it really worked. At the last minute, I decided to use some of the gold eye shadow I have on my forehead to blend it in a little to the mask.

The “toga”.. Well that, kids, is just a bed sheet. I used a gold belt to give it a waist and decorated it with a crescent moon belt buckle I’ve had from a local arts festival years ago. I went the red shoes for a pop of color and something fun.

I’m hoping to do more stuff like this. I was reading about adding color to a moisturizer, and I’m wondering if I can kind of do a face paint look…. Well, we’ll just see what I can come up with.

Also today stumbled upon the “neo-dada” movement of Fluxus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluxus

And I’ll even excuse it having Yoko Ono among its ranks. I still got some ideas. 🙂

More to come, hope you’ll keep reading.

Read My Lips

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Here’s the back story, from the beginning. I remember being in middle school and the taunts of having “fish lips and a big Humpty nose”. I was never certain what that meant, but now in addition to being insecure about what I was aware of as a large schnoz, I was concerned about my “fish lips”. 

As I grew up and began experimenting with make-up, they always said to “highlight your best feature”. I always went with my eyes. I quickly mastered liquid eyeliner and played with all kinds of looks. Lipstick I would do on occasion, but being a smoker by high school age, I felt like it never lasted very long and needed reapplied often. 

Recently a few factors have altered my perception. 

Number one: I put on weight during a crappy relationship, and lost some of it during an exceptionally shitty break up. The effect of this was that I noticed when my face got fatter, my big nose was less prevalent, but my lips also seemed to disappear. When I lost some, I noticed I had lips again.

Number two: my really bad eyesight. I have a -10 prescription. I am pretty heavily near sighted. Like the kind of near sighted where you need you glasses from the time you wake up until you go to bed. I can wear contacts, and often do, but I ran out of them. My prescription is expensive. After having bought new glasses it’s going to take a while before I can afford contacts. 

So lately I haven’t been emphasizing my eyes with my make-up routine. I’ve been playing with lipstick.

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Tarte “Lucky” and Birchbox Pink lip gloss

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Fresh: Sugar “Plum” and “Silvered Plum” (brand of lipstick uncertain at this time)

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Sally Girl “1st Crush”

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Kat Von D lipstick (I’m not sure of the color name, but it’s a metallic red).

I’ll get contacts soon. But it’s fun to emphasize a part of myself that I’ve kind of rediscovered.