Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why beauty and fashion are just as important as politics, the law, and business

I have friends who have never worn make-up because they're just not comfortable putting it on.  They're afraid if they try anything more than mascara and lip gloss that they'll screw up and look terrible.  It puzzles me sometimes, because I've always had the attitude that if you try it and it looks bad, just take it off and do something different.  That's the fun of make-up!  It's like painting or coloring with crayons.  It probably does help that I've always been an artistic person.  But I'd like it if everyone had that confidence to PLAY with their make-up, and I hope my blogs about it help a few people to try some things.  It is amazing how much better some women look with make-up, and how much that builds their self-confidence.  If you doubt this, watch a few episodes of "What not to Wear".  On each episode a woman gets a new wardrobe, new hair style, and her make-up done.  The experts give guidance on the most flattering clothes, hair style and make-up for each individual.  I don't always like the clothes or hairstyles they suggest, but I do like seeing how much more confidence the women have after the makeover.  THAT is what fashion and beauty are about to me.  Many people think it's frivolous.  Sometimes I feel like it is, too.  But then I see one of these shows or I try on an outfit that looks fabulous on me, and then I feel like I can do anything.  That's when I remember, yes, this is what style and cosmetics and good hair does.
And that's probably why it's a multi-billion dollar industry that never dies, despite the economy.

Eyeshadows by MAC, mascara by L'Oreal

Friday, September 23, 2011

The season premier of Criminal Minds 2011

Last night was the premier for Season 7 of my favorite show, Criminal Minds.  Last year CBS wrote out the character of "JJ" Jareau (A.J. Cook) at the beginning of the season, and then with only around 5 episodes left, they wrote out the character of Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster). That left only 1 female character, computer guru Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness).  Don't misunderstand me, Garcia is my idol, since I'm a fashionable computer geek.  And I love every single male character, most especially Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler).  But the show just wasn't the same without the female agents.  They make me believe that women have the opportunity to have jobs like FBI profilers.  (In reality, the percentage of women in the real-world BAU is pretty small.)  The show Criminal Minds shows the world that women can be beautiful and kick-ass smart at the same time.
Thank God the fans of the show are passionately loyal, and very vocal.  When they first found out the women were not having their full year contracts renewed, they started a petition that was signed by over 40,000 fans.  And all throughout last season, fans commented every week on CBS's Facebook page "We want JJ back!", etc.  And once Emily Prentiss was written off, many, including myself, threatened to not watch anymore if she wasn't brought back this season.
Lastly, Thomas Gibson's (Agent Hotchner) contract was up for renewal, and as the show's writers began this season, they didn't know whether to include Hotch or not.  No contract was signed yet.  Weary fans complained again.  This time, I didn't threaten not to watch the show anymore. I said  I would not watch it if they did not give him a good contract that he would sign.  Seriously - they paid Charlie Sheen over 2 million.  For what??  Certainly they could pay loyal, sane, good actors what they were worth.
Thank God all of this came together again & all of the Season 3 cast is back now.  The first episode was great, and I'm sure the rest of the year will be the usual top-notch psychological suspense show that it has been.   There are so many stupid, mindless tv shows, at least we can have a few that challenge our minds and hearts.
Thank you, CBS.
photo from CBS studios

photo from Thomas Gibson

photo from Kirsten Vangsness, AJ Cook, and Paget Brewster

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Audrey Hepburn goodies at Barnes and Noble

What a pleasant surprise to go into my local Barnes and Noble and find a table full of items with Audrey Hepburn's picture on it.  Notecards, coffee mugs, books about her and/or Breakfast at Tiffanys, and my favorite.... an old style lunchbox.  Oh, how I'd love to have it even though I don't need it.  And right now I'm living with someone else, so I don't even have a place to put it.  But at least I've got a picture of it!

Get the real stuff by clicking the link I put here:

Barnes and Noble

Monday, September 12, 2011

My newest item on Etsy

I haven't been devoting that much time to making new jewelry because I've been busy with other things.  I am determined to price a few things that I've had finished for over a month, though.  So here's the first one that I got priced and listed on Etsy.  It's a simple but cute pink and purple necklace made of shells that were cut into loops.  Summer may be leaving us in the U.S., but that's no reason that you can't still wear shell jewelry.  This piece is very cute.  And only 30.00!

find it here:My Etsy shop

Friday, September 9, 2011

The models in magazines don't really look like that, honest

Most women have heard that model's pictures in magazines are air-brushed.  One part of my brain registered that as a fact & told myself that everyone has pores and it's unnatural that the women in these photos don't.  But has that stopped me from trying to have flawless skin?  Of course not!  Because the other part of my brain thinks "I don't care if it's not real - I want to look like that!"
Lately I've been learning how to use Photoshop better.  I know the basics, so now I'm learning more advanced parts of the software.  Now I can really see how much better good airbrushing can make someone's skin look. And all of the little things that you can tweak.  I remember a fashion photographer that I knew long ago saying that by the time he got finished tweaking the photos, the photo barely looked like the model.  I thought about that today when I was looking at a beautiful model in an article about lipstick.  She had beautiful, plump lips, and a tiny, upturned nose with small little nostrils and of course, no pores.  I looked at her nose more closely and realized that no "real" nose would look like this one at the angle that the shot was taken from.  Not only was her skin altered, but anything else that looked less than perfect had been changed as well.  It finally really, truly sank in to my entire mind.  The pictures in magazines are half photo and half painted - there is no way that a real person will or can look that way. Let's all stop thinking that we should.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best.  There is nothing wrong with seeing clothes we like and wanting to buy them, as long as we know they'll look different on us than the way they look on the model.
There's also nothing wrong with seeing a shade of make-up that we like and thinking "I want to buy that", nothing wrong with seeing a make-up technique and wanting to learn how to do it.  But we should stop there.  Humans have pores, and no amount of make-up can completely eradicate them (if it did, we'd probably die, anyhow).  So enjoy the fashion magazines and blogs like I do, but don't compare yourself to a painted picture.   You're alive, and you have all kinds of unique qualities that make you much more interesting - you're not just a pretty picture.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Fashion's Night Out! Shop, look, and enjoy!

Tonight is the 3rd annual Fashion's Night Out.  It started in 2009 in New York as a way to get people out shopping during the recession.  It was such a success that it is now a yearly event, usually coinciding with the kick-off of New York's Fashion Week.  Stores have special promotions, give-aways, make-overs, and fashion shows, sometimes with live entertainment.  And it's not just for New York anymore.  It's spreading to all major cities, and some smaller cities as well.
If you're in Pittsburgh where I live right now, there will be events at both Ross Park Mall and Robinson Town Center, and at Saks downtown.  Most events start between 6 and 6:30.
If you hear of any other events that I didn't mention, or if you have questions about it, leave me a comment.  Have fun everyone!