Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My dream job

Teaching is not my dream job. In all honesty, it wasn't something that I'd planned for my whole life. Becoming a teacher wasn't fulfilling an ultimate dream of mine.

My dream job? To be a makeup artist. I've always wanted to do something creative and artistic with my life, only I've never really been creative or artistic - I can't write music, I can't write fiction, I can't paint or draw. But I'm starting to realize that I can do makeup. I'm not great at it, but then again, I'm purely a fan and a dabbler, with no formal training or education in the trade. I love the idea of having a career where I can totally be myself and express myself without worry of whom I'm offending or without worrying about being an example. I wouldn't have to hide certain parts of my personality or my interests for the sake of being a good role model.

Don't get me wrong - I love teaching. It was something I felt a calling for, and I enjoy it. Most of the time.

But it's like this: teaching is like... a husband. You love him, you're well-matched, you enrich each other's lives. You have your issues and your disagreements, but at the end of the day, you're glad you married him.

Being a makeup artist? That's like a celebrity fantasy, some famous musician or actor that you have a crush on. He's creative and talented, and exciting, and you totally fantasize about him. But TONS of women would love to get their hands on him, and only a select few ever make it into his inner circle. And even then, it's not a guarantee that they won't be discarded for the next new thing. So what chance have YOU got? It's an unstable situation at best, and your parents would NOT approve of the match.

So... right now, I'm "married" to teaching, but I dream about a dalliance with makeup artistry. I'm too afraid to leave my "husband," but how exciting would it be,  to run off with my "fantasy" and have it actually work out!

Prom dress!

Finding a prom dress is more fun than actually going to prom, in my opinion. Especially when the dress in question is from!

I've always wanted to buy a pinup dress - I probably couldn't pull off this look every day, because I'd just be way too self-conscious, but for a special occasion? Hell yes! So when I found this one, I thought it'd be perfect: it's pretty, and it's nice, but not too nice - the chaperones should NOT be fancier-looking than the students, you know? So it's just right. And I guessed correctly on the size I'd need, and it fits just right. (The belt's a little awkward, but belts always are on me. And I don't have an hourglass figure to pull it off.)

Now to find the right shoes and accessories... and of course, I will be posting the makeup look over at Glam-aholics Anonymous :)

I have a feeling that Pinup Girl Clothing will be seeing my name again and again...

Summer of Love!

So, one of UD's new products is the Summer of Love palette:

A cute little thing with Flash, Maui Wowie, Chopper, and Smog, and a Bourbon pencil and a Sin UDPP. I actually  have all of these colors in some form or another (other palettes, single shadows) - actually, the only thing I don't have is the Sin UDPP - I used to, but I already have TONS of the regular UDPP AND the Sin eyeshadow, so it really was kind of redundant.

Anyway, so since I have almost everything here, I wanted to try my hand at recreating the new front-page eye makeup look with what I already had:

(I definitely didn't try posing with that face though!)
And here's the result:

And here's what I used:

- The Show Pony Shadow Box - Smog blended up to the crease (with a little bit of Toasted to soften the line)
- Bourbon eye pencil along the upper lash line
- Lust eye pencil to sketch the lower line, but Flash (from Show Pony) with a flat eyeliner brush to top and smudge the line
- El Dorado eye pencil (from the Super Stash, but it also was released as a full-size pencil with the summer collection) to outline the inner corners of my eyes.
- MAC Fibre Lash mascara on my upper and lower lashes

I hope they post this as a "Steal This Look" so I can see how close I was :) I know I used some extra things, but hey, I make do with what I have...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's here....

Deal breakers

My dating days are over, but even so, the things I look for in a partner would be almost the same as what I would look for in a friend. Therefore, here are my dealbreakers. This post was inspired by an interview with Jaclyn Friedman, in which she talks about the difficulties of, uh, dating (but they used a much less appropriate word) while feminist.

Deal breakers - I will not budge on these criteria. I DO NOT want to date/hang out with/be friends with anyone who:

- would try to convert me to their religion. I respect that you have your beliefs, but please respect that I have mine. I don't even mind having an intelligent conversation about religion, or even showing up to church/temple/whatever with you, as moral support and as a friend, but the second you tell me that my way is the wrong way, and that I should believe as you do, I'm outta here.

- uses the word "gay" disparagingly. It's true, actually - all of my very best of friends do NOT say things like, "That's totally gay." And that's how I like it. I have no room for you in my heart if you can't understand the concept of hate speech.

- is completely misogynistic. (Contrary to popular belief, women can be misogynists as well.) If you refuse to recognize my value and my power and my identity as a woman, than I refuse to recognize you. Also, I have a big problem with people who use the word slut in a serious way. I'm okay with being friends with someone who doesn't identify as feminist (though, I would try really hard to give that person a new definition of feminism, because I believe essentially that all the people I truly love and trust are actually feminists in their beliefs at least, if not in name), but I could never be friends with someone who is a misogynist.

- is outright racist. Granted, everyone has their own "discomforts," and everyone tells racist jokes sometimes (which isn't okay, actually), but to seriously and un-ironically make disparaging and stereotyping comments about other races (ANY races, not just the "minorities") is not okay with me.

- makes moral judgments based on things that have nothing to do with morality. Granted, I'm pretty liberal in my personal views (I am pro- many things that other people might find appalling), but... I don't think I'm wrong. One example: tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications. Having them in and of itself is not immoral, and certainly it does not define my entire existence as being immoral. It's a logical fallacy anyway - if having tattoos makes one immoral, does not having tattoos make one moral? But I'm sure there are TONS of people throughout history who did not have any tattoos who were perfectly immoral. I can't hang out with you and sit through dinner with you knowing that you look at me and deep down, you think I'm a bad person. I hate the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. Because sometimes the things they define as sins are NOT sins. And this goes along with...

- criticizes my personal tastes and choices. There's a difference between the kindly friend who says, "Um... maybe this wouldn't be such a good idea," and the friend who is constantly putting you down, telling you that everything you're doing is wrong, and cannot keep an open mind about other people's choices.

- is consistently flaky and undependable. (Haha - "consistently flaky" is an oxymoron, isn't it?) You need to hold up your end of the deal, buddy. We're all busy adults, and I'm not asking for 24/7 attention from you. But if we make plans, then you need to keep them most of the time. If you're constantly hitting me up for advice, then you need to be available when I need some advice.

So, those are my deal breakers - I don't have many, but I probably should not, because these are the things I would end a friendship/relationship over, so if I had a LOT, I'd probably never have any friends. It doesn't mean that, if someone commits any of these "crimes," that I would completely write them off as a bad person, and it doesn't even mean that I dislike or hate the person - it just means that we disagree on some issues that are fundamentally important to me, and that I just can't be your friend with all that a friendship entails knowing that we disagree on those issues. We can work together, we can run together, we can even play roller derby together, but I would never be able to confide in you and trust that you would support me and not judge me. Sorry, but I just wouldn't trust you enough to get that close to you, even if I like you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Preview: Urban Decay Summer 2010 Collection! previewed UD's Summer 2010 collection (coming real real soon!) and I am sooo excited. Here are two things that I'm super excited about (photos from Temptalia):

Urban Defense tinted moisturizer!!! Alas, Urban Decay, why did you wait until AFTER I'd spent more than my weight in dollars on foundation to release this? (Okay, I'm exaggerating. But I did buy, like, four or five different foundations in one week.)

Spray! I've never tried it before. I don't even use hairspray or body mist. Makeup setting spray? Oil control spray? Moisturizing spray? COME ON! It sounds AWESOME and I can't wait to try. I might get either All Nighter or Dew Me, because I already have a moisturizer I like.

In addition to the above, there's a new palette (featuring Flash, Chopper, Maui Wowie, and Smog, all colors I already have, and a Sin UDPP), new Pocket Rocket colors (I love the colors, but hate the smell - sorry!), a De-Slick GEL (mattifying, just like the powder, which I have), and a whole new nail kit, which has really cute colors (but I'm just not a nailpolish girl).

I'm pretty excited to try out their NEW new products, and I hope they are as awesome as their stuff. Viva Urban Decay!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Springtime Pink

On my lips:
Everything by MAC -
Lip pencil in Dervish
Lipstick in Bombshell
Cremesheen glass in Partial to Pink

As one who usually chooses reds and plums, I wanted a less dramatic, more daytime look for my lips. I love baby pink lipstick on other people, but have never found a shade that works for me, so with the help of my neighborhood friendly MAC pro, I've found three things that work for me. I also like wearing just the lipliner and gloss alone. (I fill in my lips a bit with the liner, so it's not just a harsh line.)

On my eyes (just in case you wanted to know - the photo makes my eye makeup more subtle than it actually is):
UD eyeshadow in Grind
Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner in Slate (gray)
MAC Fibre Rich Mascara

Trojan Olympics

The junior class dream team (photo courtesy of Jessica Dunn '11)

As class advisors, Trojan Olympics is our bread and butter, but it's also the bane of our existence - it's the one thing we do all year that is simultaneously exciting and rewarding, and just completely nerve-wracking and disruptive to our entire lives.

Michael, Lisa, and I are blessed to be the advisors for the class of 2011, the current juniors. (I started working with them their freshman year, and after some advisor-switching, Michael and Lisa joined me last year.) They are a very hard-working, talented, spirited group, the type of kids who make your job easy. And they are extra-special to me because they are precisely 10 years younger than me - I was the class of 2001, so the same weekend they graduate next year, I will be headed off to my 10-year class reunion.

Trojan Olympics is the capstone spirit week event of the year, if you're in ASB. The classes form teams of 40 (plus some alternates), and they compete in a gazillion events - the major categories are ticket sales (yeah, they have to sell tickets, though all the money goes to ASB), gym decorations (decorating your class' section of the gym), entrance and dance (formal team entrance into the gym, and a dance routine), games (a gazillion relays, skills games, etc), cheering section (how well you lead your class section in cheering and positivity and spirit), and the pyramid (they have to hoist each other up with props and stuff, according to theme).

TO takes months to prepare (from the inception of your class theme to four weeks' worth of practices) and hundreds of man hours from all the team members, the advisors (who need to supervise them), and any helpers/committee members. Your life pretty much stops for Trojan Olympics - the week of, I have to keep my lesson plans loose, and allow for my officers and other team members to be in and out of my room constantly. As much as I complain, I do actually like spirit week. I was a total ASB/class council nerd in high school, so I was very much like my kids, only they're better :)

So this year has felt different from previous years. In fact, I think I would even say it felt anti-climactic. Their freshman year, everything was new, and no one had any expectations, so when we beat out the then-sophomores and then-juniors to take second place behind the seniors, it shocked everyone - it was a pretty amazing moment, and it solidified their reputation as a squad to contend with. (And it made history - we're mentioned in the Trojan Olympics Wikipedia entry as being the highest-placing freshman class ever, even beating the class of 2007, who hold the record for winning first place for their last three years of high school.) Their sophomore year, I think they went in with a lot of pressure, high expectations, and two classes gunning for them specifically. They overworked and overstressed themselves, and there was some mudslinging between the classes (that carried over a little bit into the advisors, actually), and things got ugly. The kids were tired and just plain sick of it all. It was hard seeing them so down about something that is supposed to be fun. (We finished third behind the juniors and seniors, who tied for first.)

This year, towards the beginning of the process, I sat them down and told them ("As your advisor, I am advising you...") that they should keep it light this year. Last year they had put so much pressure on themselves that TO lost its fun factor, and this year, we should try to approach it with no expectations (yeah, right!) and to just enjoy the process. And you know? They did. The team practices and meetings this year have had an air of levity (that all three advisors have noticed), and everyone (as far as I could tell) just seemed to be a bit more relaxed this year. That doesn't mean they weren't working hard, but I think they were determined to rediscover what it was that they loved about TO. Our theme was Wild Wild West, and when you have a lot of galloping and yee-haws, it's hard to be intense and serious. Also, we had some brand new faces to the TO team this year (as, usually, this event tends to attract the same "types" of kids every year), and the new blood really added some energy and freshness to the mix. I told them (facetiously) that it's okay to "let the seniors have it this year," since it's usually a major sacrilege when seniors don't win.

I'm so proud of my kids for how they've stayed on top of everything this year - I believe we were the first class to finish decorating our section (and we finished all our pieces pretty well in advance of TO day), and their dance and pyramid seemed to come together easily, and without much yelling from my officers. As they were decorating, Lisa noticed how all the other advisors for the other classes were rushing all over the place, placing things here and there, and noted, "I feel bad because we're the only advisors not doing anything." (Literally, we were just standing around watching, and I think Michael had nabbed one of the tricycles and nearly ran over my foot.) I told her that this was just a testament to how good our kids are - they don't need us to do things for them. I heard a number of kids from other classes come by and say, "Wow, you guys actually have your whole team here!"

Then we all parted ways - the entire team got ready at one of the officers' homes, and we three advisors went to get some dinner together. (Michael has never had pho before, and agreed to allow his two Vietnamese co-advisors to lead the way.) We got back to campus just in time to take our team photo, and the team had some last minute practicing before it was time to go.

I really feel like every team this year was bringing their A-game - even the freshmen managed to win (or, at least, not come in last) for a bunch of the games. The sophomore decorations were absolutely amazing, and the seniors looked like they were going to take their rightful places as TO champions. The juniors played hard and cheered harder - every year, we have won the rooting section competition, and we weren't expecting any differently this year.

The entrance and dance were first, and I am glad to say that we avoided the junior curse - for the past two years, the junior class - whoever it is - has had their music cut out in the middle of the dance. This year, our dance went perfectly smoothly, other than one of our officers spraining her ankle. In fact, this year, we had more medical issues than any time I could remember - a sprained ankle, an asthma attack, a dizzy spell, some freshman with a bloody nose. I think I spent more time tending to the wounded than I did watching the events.

The games make up the bulk of the evening, and they seem pretty interminable at times, because they can take a while. We still don't have nearly as many huge guys as the seniors do, but we had some pretty big guys this year, so at least we took 2nd in the tug of war. (For the record, I'm surprised that the seniors vs. freshman tug of war did not end much more quickly.)

The pyramid is last, and as always, the juniors really delivered on this one. I can't remember how we did freshman year, but we won last year. I've noticed that we use waaaaaaay more props than the other classes.

While all this is going on, I'm just watching. It's funny that there've been a few people who've asked me, "ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY?" and really, I'm not the one who has to be ready. As an advisor, all of my responsibilities regarding TO were in the weeks leading up to last night. My job was to be there to support the kids, and to let them have their moment to shine. It's hard not to get caught up in their spirit - sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm a teacher, and I'm not one of them - especially considering how this was my thing in high school.

So, the juniors were having a fabulous bit of fun the whole evening (aside from the medical issues), but when it came time to announce the results, the nervous energy just went up about ten notches.

How'd it go? I'll let them tell you themselves (from their class blog):
The MC announces the results one category at a time before announcing the final tally, and I have to tell you, every time he said "And first place goes to... the juniors!", I swear, the junior section got about a gazillion decibels louder. You could cut the anticipation with a knife - there was a major undercurrent of "Could we? Did we? Might we have?" and when the final tally was announced, and second place officially went to the seniors, the place was utter pandemonium. Our kids were jumping up and down so much that they broke the trophy. (Don't worry, it's still mostly intact.)

Full disclosure: we knew the results before they announced it. Michael found out from the senior advisors about their pyramid being disqualified, and came over to Lisa and me just before they were about to announce the results, and said, "Um, hey... we won." I just about did a double-take and was like, "WHAT??? Who told you this? What happened?" Apparently there was a miscommunication about when the 15 seconds was up, and as a result, someone moved before they were supposed to.

Later on, we (the three advisors - the kids had their own celebrating to do!) were all getting some celebratory fries with one of the senior advisors, who had had to stay after to console some of his officers (who were crying, and I don't blame them at all), and he told us what he found out, which was that the points were so close that it literally came down to the pyramid competition - whoever won that one would win the whole thing. And he admitted that our pyramid was just better than the seniors' - regardless of the disqualification, we would have won the pyramid anyway, and thus, we would have won first place anyway. (He said he did not want the persons involved in the DQ to feel bad, and he didn't want the entire senior class out for their blood, because really, it wouldn't have mattered anyway.)

It's funny - in the grand scheme of life, does TO really matter? No, but when you look back at your high school years, it's really awesome to have stuff like this to remember. And for me, as an advisor, nights like last night really validate for me why I chose to do what I do - not just to advise, but to teach. I think every teacher would love to be able to see their kids reach new heights and achieve greatness, and in this case, I don't have these kids in my classes (anymore), but they are still my kids nonetheless, and even though they are so awesome that I don't have to do much, I was glad to be a part of it. I'm so proud to call them my kids. I'm not gonna lie - as I was watching them SHRIEKING all over the gym with their trophy, I teared up a little for them. It felt a little like that perfect moment at the end of a movie - I swear, there needed to be some huge swell of orchestrated music to complete the scene. And I will literally say that if it weren't for these kids (my officers and the TO kids and everyone affiliated with them), I might have been long gone by now. These are the moments that make the tough times worth it. And I'm really glad that I've had the chance to work with these kids and watch them mature over the years. To be honest, I might bawl my head off at their graduation, and someone else will have to take their cards from me to read their names.

As much as I spent all day yesterday (and all week... and all month, really), grumbling about Trojan Olympics, about the stress and the long hours and the disruption of my entire life and all my classes, the truth is that I wouldn't have had it any other way. When I'm done advising, I will miss this. (But not enough to do this again for a loooooooong time. And only if I get to keep my awesome co-advisors.)

Side note: I do feel slightly vindicated by my kids winning first place. My senior year, our theme was also Wild Wild West, but we LOST to the juniors, and everyone was pretty bitter, even though we knew they deserved it more than we did. It was just kind of a funny sort of justice to see my juniors, nine years later, beating the seniors with the same theme. (Because, of course, my kids did it better. Sorry, Bulldogs.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Down the rabbit hole...

I used to have this recurring dream when I was younger* - I haven't had it in a while, but I dreamt it last night, and I wonder what it signifies.

Whatever the context, I'm holding a small, flat panel - it looks like a switch plate, but instead of openings for a light switch, it has two small metal doors that I have to hold open or else it shuts. When you open the doors, you don't see through to the other side of the panel, you see darkness and space - stars. It's some kind of portal to an alternate reality, and as you bring your face closer to see inside, the gravity sucks you in, and all of a sudden, the portal becomes bigger, and you find yourself being pulled through, head first.

And what I always remember vividly is that moment when you realize that your head is through, and all around your face are stars, and really faint music... the closest thing I can compare it to is the organ music from the upbeat part of the Doors' "Light my Fire" - kind of whimsical but also haunting.

Anyway, in my previous dreams, I've always gone through. I don't remember what happened after I went through, but I remember that I always did. But last night, what I dreamt was, I was showing the portal to someone, and THEY went through, and then I tried to, but only got my head through, and then I had to come back out, because it wasn't letting me. I got as far as hearing the music, but then it stopped pulling me, and I had to pull my head back out. It would not accept me.

* On second thought, what if it was my subconscious planting the idea in my head that I had dreamt this before, when really I hadn't? Like, it was a "given" in the reality of my dream that this was a familiar thing. Man, this is weird and trippy.

Spirit Week: Class Color Day!

My juniors are purple, and therefore, so am I:

What I'm wearing...

On my face:
MAC MSFN in Medium Plus

On my cheeks:
Laura Gellar Blush n Brighten in Sunswept
Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Baked Blush in peach as a highlight

On my eyes:
UD Stardust eyeshadow in Retrograde (the darker purple one), applied dry with a sponge applicator and blended; used the tip of the applicator to lightly apply to the lashline/lower lid

UD Ink for Eyes in Empire (dark dark purple) on the upper lid, using the angled brush it came with.

UD eye pencil in Lust, just barely along the waterline

Maybelline The Colossal (waterproof) on upper lashes

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm officially registered!

It's done, no going back now. I need to take this momentum and carry myself through.

So, I have about 10 weeks until I officially start my training program, so this will be my transition period - I need to use this time to get in shape. I'm planning on doing an 8-week walk-to-run program, and then using the other two weeks to build up a little speed.

The other thing I need to do is to work on my nutrition. Now, let it be said that marathon training is a bad time to be dieting - it is not a GOOD idea to cut down on intake when you're gearing up to run 26.2 miles. Training for a marathon will sometimes lead to people losing weight, but that shouldn't be the reason to do it.

But some rules of sound nutrition hold true regardless of your goal. For instance, I'm going to try to stop drinking soda, and drink only water or tea. That'll be my step one. (I've been inspired by Marlena, aka MakeupGeek, who is one of my heroes - she just posted a video about how she lost weight, and for the most part, I think I can do it that way too.)

My goal is to cleanse my body of all the junk stuff before I actually start my training, and be in good health, so that my body is working as efficiently as possible.

Spirit Week: Animal Day!

As a class advisor, I try to participate in Spirit Week dress-up days as best I can. Some days, like Pajama Day, are easy enough. Today is Animal Day, and seeing as how I own no clothing with animal print (except a pair of shoes), nor any clothing with pictures of animals (except my Lucy tshirt that has goldfish on it that says "Carpe Diem"), so I had to figure something out. So, inspired by a tshirt and earrings I found at Target, I decided to be a butterfly. And inspired one of many tutorials for butterfly makeup that I saw on Youtube (some were just REALLY amazing!), here's my look:

On my face:
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus

On my cheeks:
Laura Gellar Blush n Brighten in Sunswept (just a touch!)
UD eyeshadow (yes!) in Sin, on my cheekbones as a highlight (applied with fingers).

On my eyes:
(From UD's Book of Shadows II)
Jinx (a dark blue-teal) blended a little above my crease, on the outer half of my upper lid
Homegrown (a bright green) blended a little above my crease, on the inner half of my upper lid

(From UD's Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows)
White Rabbit (a glittery white), blended to soften the line and as a highlight
(This color is available separately - it's actually Polyester Bride.)

UD's eye pencil in Gunmetal along my waterline
UD's eye pencil in Zero along my upper lash line, winged out a little at the ends

MUFE's Smoky Lash on my upper and lower lashes, on top of UD's Eyelash Primer Potion

Close-up on the eyes

On my lips:
Bloom's Lip Stain in Wine
BeneFit's The Gloss in Crystal (clear)

That's it! :) Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roller derby saved my soul.

Usually the time between Wednesday practice and the following Tuesday practice goes FAST (as in, where did the time go? I should've gone skating this weekend!), but today felt like a long time coming. Tonight, we find out our fates.

Now that the time has come, I'm not sure I'm ready for it to be over. I've made peace with the fact that I didn't pass, but I'm really sad about bootcamp (as we know it) being over, and the girls that I've gotten to know and learned how to skate with either moving on, or parting ways for the time being.

Derby relationships, like other sports team relationships, are not like regular friendships - you may be friends with some of the girls, and you may not be able to stand some of them. (Not saying that's the case with me, but just saying that it happens.) Regardless of how you feel about them personally, you learn to depend on them, and they learn to depend on you. They're the ones who will (literally) watch your back and knock down your opponents. They're the ones who will lend you a hand (to whip you) when you need an extra push. If you're a jammer, they'll take the hits for you so that you can get through.

I don't even know all these women's names, but I've learned how to trust them. They ask after me when I fall and they cheer me on, and I do the same for them, and I haven't always felt that this was true even with my regular friends - sometimes in our normal lives, we take for granted that someone we care about may need to be asked after or that they may need to be cheered on.

So, I'm sad to see this ending. I know that another bootcamp will come along, and this will start over, but I feel like we were a special group, and I'm sad that I won't be seeing some of these girls on a regular basis for a while.

Our coaches - best coaches ever: Panda, Denny, and Aim. They pushed us, but they also supported us. They made us laugh and taught us new skills and taught us how to reach down and find the derby girls hiding within.

It's been a real honor, and I've never felt more special, more talented, more badass than I have these past two months while I've been in bootcamp. I was coming off of maternity leave, postpartum depression, and a total lack of zest for life, and through SVRG, I've found something that I'm passionate about, and my life feels just that much fuller.

Double Review: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, and Laura Gellar Blush n Brighten

MAC MSFN - photo from
Laura Gellar Blush n Brighten in Sunswept, my photo
(Two reviews because I'm wearing them both today.)

So, first up, I figured I might as well write an official review for the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, since I've been talking about it so much. And actually, I've been using it almost every day since I bought it.

MSFN is part of MAC's Mineralize line - they have liquid, loose powder, and baked powder makeup. Keep in mind that there's a difference between their Skinfinish and their Skinfinish Natural (which is what I'm reviewing) - the regular Skinfinish is a setting powder, and it comes in bronze-y shades or brightening shades. The Skinfinish Natural is their actual foundation, and the claim is that you can use it to set your foundation or you could wear it on its own.

When I was at MAC, I tried it both ways. The SA put tinted moisturizer on one side of my face, and left the other side clean. I don't know if it was her technique (I should've known not to ask someone with leathery skin to help me pick foundation!) or if it was the actual product, but I HATED how the MSFN looked on top of the moisturizer. It made me look old and dry and gross. (Sorry, I just hate that "HI! I'M TOTALLY WEARING FOUNDATION!" look.)

On clean skin, it looked nice. Really... natural. And according to Leatherface, even if it looks powder upon first application (she must've applied, like, five pounds of it to my face), the natural oils in your skin will make you look less dry. Okay, I'll bite. I bought my shade, Medium Plus, and went on my way.

(Note: MAC foundations usually come in shades labeled in codes - like NC35 - rather than actual words. MSFN comes in shade names, like light, medium, medium plus - whatever that means, medium dark, etc.)

Over the next few days, I wore it alone over my moisturizer - no primer or concealer or anything. And I REALLY like it. My skin feels soft, rather than chalky. It evens out the redness in my cheeks without making my face completely one solid color. (I've seen that on people too - they look like plastic, all uniformly shaded.) It doesn't last all day, but that has never bothered me - when I'm tired after a long day of work, the last thing I really care about is my foundation. Plus, it's not a big deal to do touch-ups if I have to.

One thing I noticed is that it's hard to pick up much product with a regular powder brush, but actually, that's a good thing - it gives me a chance to build, rather than putting on way too much right away. I've tried a couple different brushes, and to really pick up the product, I've had to use those flat blending/buffer brushes (like the one I got from Mineral Essence) - the softer, longer bristles of a normal powder brush don't pick up much very easily.

So, I would DEFINITELY buy this again. In fact, I think it might be my Holy Grail powder. (I'm considering adding it to my list - I don't have any foundations listed.) It's light-but-buildable coverage, and it doesn't give me the powdery fuzzy-face look that other powders do.

Smooth even skin!

Laura Gellar's Blush n Brighten came in that set that I bought and returned, but I decided to re-buy just the blush in a different shade. The set came with Apricot Berry, which was too dark and reddish on me. I chose Sunswept, which is a little bit more pinky. I've been on the hunt for a good baked blush/bronzer, and this one fit the bill.

So, one tip here is that, unlike the MAC foundation above, this product gets picked up EASILY. I was messing with it last night and swiped a couple fingers across the top and applied it, and I looked clownish, so this morning, I dabbed my angled blush brush (from Sephora) and gently applied, and it still came up strong, but less clownish. I look extremely rosy, maybe on the verge of being sunburnt.

Too much sun? Not in the middle of March!
I like this, but am not sure I like it more than NARS Orgasm - it's a little dark on me, but maybe that's just because I'm not used to it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rewind, Re-do

So, I ended up returning everything I bought from Beauty 360 except for the buffer brush, and exchanged them for new booty instead:

Laura Gellar Blush n Brighten in Sunswept (mine didn't come with a brush, though):
Laura Gellar Lip Heal & Seal Gloss in Clear Kiss:
Bloom Cosmetics Lip Stain in Wine:
and Mario Badescu (*cue fancy music*) Drying Lotion:
I am SO excited to try all of these :) I really hope the Drying Lotion works, because then I will have found the solution to my ONE acne problem (chin acne).

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This year, I will attempt to complete my first full marathon. So my journey, to be exact, will be 26.2 miles.

A little background about me:

I've spent the vast majority of my life being incredibly un-sporty. I was the chubby nerdy kid who was naturally strong, but got winded going up a flight of stairs. (As an adult, I'm still that way.)

I first seriously started working out at the end of high school - tired of being the token fat person among my group of friends, I started lifting weights and doing Pilates videos, and found that I enjoyed the feeling of using my muscles and feeling hardness rather than jelly when I poked my calves. In college, I joined the varsity swim team on a whim  - being Division III, they didn't turn me away - and was voted Most Improved by the end of the year. (It's easy to be Most Improved when you're starting at the bottom.) I wish I could say that I was the miracle story - that I worked my way up to first place and became the star swimmer, but I wasn't. I was consistently last except for one time - but you know what? That was my goal, not to come in last at least one time.

I didn't really stay on the team after the first season, but the sporty bug had bitten, and I was on to my next hobby - running. Well, walking. On a whim, I signed up to do a 5k - the Race to Stop Global Warming in Portland, OR in the spring of 2002. I didn't train. I didn't know anything about running, the sport - I only knew about running, the action. I barely ran, took almost an hour to finish, but I was hooked. To someone else, it might be just a mere 3.1 miles. To me, it was an accomplishment, and the tears in my eyes as I crossed the finish line cemented a love that would last for years.

Since then, I've done numerous 5k's, a couple 12k's (the famed Bay to Breakers in San Francisco), and have completed the Nike Women's (Half) Marathon every year since 2004. Though that sounds like a lot, it's really not enough for me. Every year, I've set out with intentions to train, and every year, I lose my momentum, get lazy, and I end up walking it. (13.1 miles is still a long way to walk, but I've never felt proud of myself for defaulting to walking because of my ill-preparedness.) In fact, there are very few races I've done where I did

What is going to make this year different? I don't know. Am I in better shape? A little - I've just spent two months in roller derby bootcamp, and I'm stronger than I've been in years, but I haven't actually gone running in a while. Am I more focused? I don't know, but every year that I don't do this, I want it more and more. Full disclosure: I didn't do the race this past year because I had just had a baby, and I'm itching to get back out there and do it again - I could not have been sadder than I was the night before the race, knowing that I wasn't going to get up at 3am the next morning and drive into the city as I had done every year for five years.

So maybe this is my year. I've got time, I've got a lot of knowledge (I have over the years become quite the running nerd, even if I'm not a good runner), and I've got my race entry. Let the training begin.

It's only 8:30 in the morning, and I already want to cry uncle.

Lack of sleep + coworker frustration + really bad cramps = the makings of a bad day. FML.

Review: Stila One-Step Foundation

Finally got my hands on this at Ulta. (It's not available in stores at Sephora yet.)

I have to say, I was excited when I heard about this - primer, foundation, concealer and powder all in one? Literally, one step of makeup? (Well, it's not like I take more than one step anyway, normally, but I like that now, my "one step" will have more power in its punch.)

It's an airy, mousse sort of texture, and comes out of a pump bottle. The box says to squirt it on the back of your hand and apply from the center outward, and layer as needed for coverage.

I applied somewhere between 1-2 layers. (I tend to apply foundation in spots, and blend circularly, so while I only meant to go over my entire face once in total, sometimes the blending circles overlap. If that makes any sense.) The coverage is medium-ish - it was a little bit above sheer with the first application, and with the subsequent blending and a little bit more adding, it became more medium. The redness in my cheeks was lessened quite a bit, but I could still make out the natural texture of my skin. (Man, it's DISGUSTING when you can see layers of foundation on someone, whether it's greasy liquid foundation, or the "I'm covered in layers of dust" effect from powder foundation.) I specifically went back over my undereye area to layer a little more (it's supposed to conceal, right?) and found it quite to my liking - it improved the darkness, but again, I didn't look weird and unnatural. I'm sure it wouldn't take too much to create full coverage. (I did one full pump on the back of my hand, but didn't really use all of it.) My hands got greasy when I tried to wash them, and I had to use soap.

The finish is matte, but not too powdery. (Obviously, it's not a full-on powder, so how powdery could it get?) I definitely don't look gross. I still think that my MAC SFN looks more natural, but then again, I am careful to wear much less of it. My pores look decently smaller than usual, my skin feels soft - it doesn't feel like I'm wearing makeup.

All in all, I might buy this again. I like it enough to get rid of my Revlon Photo Ready. (Any takers? See my swap page above.) I'll have to see how this looks by the end of the day (I've only been wearing it for, like, two hours?). So far, my first impression is that it looks good and feels great. My only complaint is that it has no SPF.

Friday, March 19, 2010

CVS's Beauty 360: The Inside Scoop

Okay, that sounded more exciting than it actually was. On the other hand, I was pretty damn excited.

After school today, I went to the local CVS to pick up something for my baby. I hadn't been in there for the longest time (it used to be Long's Drugs) until this past week, when I suddenly decided that I really wanted to scope out the drugstore brands, since hard times means that I can't be as exclusively high-end as I'd like to be.

I noticed that there was a new section under construction called Beauty 360, and from what I could tell, it was going to feature some high-end brands. The first time I saw it, the gates were actually closed, so I couldn't see inside, but judging from the "skincare lab" that had been set up long before, I thought it would be a bunch of unknown, European, as-seen-on-tv type of stuff. The second time (yeah, I've been in CVS a lot in the last seven days!), the gate was open, so I poked my head in, and to my astonishment, it looked surprisingly like a Sephora or an Ulta. I didn't get a clear glimpse of all the brands, but I recognized Laura Gellar, Cargo, and Vincent Longo. Intriguing!

So today, when I went to CVS, I was hovering in the makeup department when a corporate-looking guy in a suit walked by me, happened to catch my eye, and said in passing, "Just wait till you see what's in here!" and ducked into the Beauty 360. "I TOTALLY would love to see what brands are in there!!" I blurted, a little too vehemently. And he invited me in to show me around! (I know I could've looked up the brands online, but dude, it's ALL about seeing the displays!)

Turns out, he's the Beauty 360 manager. He showed me around - in addition to the brands above, there will be Pop (which I love, and I can only find now at Ulta), Lola (!!!! Sephora used to carry Lola when I was in high school, and I never tried them, but I loved the look of their products), a completely plant-based line of Cargo in addition to the regular line, as well as some REALLY fancy schmancy skincare, hair care, and fragrance lines. I walked around in awe, afraid to breathe on anything. My town is such a suburby boring town with nothing remotely edgy or interesting (such as high-end beauty and glamour) - it's all very suburban family fare. This is seriously the coolest thing to open here, as far as I'm concerned.

We chatted, and I told him that I would like to put in a plug for Urban Decay. He said that they were working on it (!!!!!), as well as Philosophy (!!!!!!) and a bunch of other brands that I usually only find at Sephora, as well as the big three (Estee Lauder, Lancome, and Clinique).

Can you imagine? Being able to get Urban Decay five minutes away from my home??? This is simultaneously the best and worst thing that could ever happen to me :)

For now, though, none of the brands I usually use are there, but there are brands I recognize, and I also like the idea of being able to find high quality brushes and tools. (The ones at drugstores and Target aren't bad, but... sometimes you get what you pay for.)

So, I'm VERY pleased about my sneak peek at the new Beauty 360 opening up in my town, and I think that they better get used to seeing my face there a lot. It's a good thing that I've got a tax return coming soon...

I'm only one person.

I'm mentally exhausted. The mental equivalent of spaghetti legs after running a long race.

I'm exhausted from derby, and not just physically. The stress of worrying about the tests is finally over, but it was really weighing heavy on me for a while. Now we're talking about putting together a rec league for those of us repeating bootcamp, and while it's exciting to be coordinating this new program and I'm happy to do it, it's also a huge undertaking, and it's a lot to think about. I spent all day working on this yesterday, and literally, I'm just wiped out. I need a break from derby - just 24 straight hours of not thinking, not worrying, not dealing with derby, and then I'll be ready to tackle it all again with a fresh mind.

School lately has been frantic. I'm heading into a stretch where I can't really take any days off, because I'm not doing anything that can be handed to a sub. (It's not that I plan to take many days off, but it's nice to know that, if I had to, I could without having to re-do all my lesson plans.) I've got lots of kids absent due to this and that, mostly due to long-term suspensions (more than just a day or two), so I've been having to scramble to get their assignments together for them. I'm dealing with serious parent issues that I've never had to deal with before, and it's really stressing me out.

Add to all of that the fact that I'm naturally a worrier and I naturally overthink everything, and what you get is me getting only about 3 or 4 hours of sleep the last three nights. Either I haven't been able to fall asleep, or I have been, but then I wake up really early, and can't go back to sleep, and I'm tired all day at work.

At least it's Friday, but... next week is Spirit Week/Trojan Olympics, and that doesn't make things any easier either. It's another few weeks until spring break, and I'm not sure I'm going to make it.

Classic & Clean


Didn't have much time this morning - couldn't even snap a photo of my products! But most of them have been mentioned here before.

A very clean, simple look:

- On my face: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus. The more I use this product, the more I love it, more than any other foundation I've been trying lately. I only use a light dusting, and it really evens out my skin, doesn't look too chalky or settle into my lines. I like it even more than Revlon Photo Ready.

- On my cheeks: Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Fresh Glow Baked Mineral Blush in Peach

- On my eyes: Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Fierce Blue and MUFE Smoky Lash mascara

- On my lips: Kat Von D Lightning Lip Gloss in Stormy (glittery, sheer darker red color)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Far-fetched thoughts

Okay, I know I said that I'm okay with not passing, and that I've made peace with having to do bootcamp again. But let me tell you about my wild secret hope.

My wild secret hope is that all of my skills scores will be really impressive, and that really my weak points are my speed and endurance. And that maybe the coaches will decide that the only way for me to really improve those two things is for me to skate with the people who are faster and stronger than me. Kinda like how, if I had a student who was borderline honors-level, I might actually just move her into the honors class and hope that the faster pace and more focused atmosphere would spur her on to improvement, rather than keep her mired among the screwy unmotivated kids.

NOT that I'm saying the new bootcampers and repeat bootcampers are screwy and unmotivated. That's not the case at all. Everyone works really, really hard. And I am not better than all the new and repeat bootcampers. That's not what I'm saying at all.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that the only way for me to improve on speed and endurance is to keep practicing in a structured team workout situation, and if I repeat bootcamp, then I won't get to do that until September. So even if I had to start at the bottom of the totem pole with the regular league right now, at least I would have the chance to keep improving and keep my momentum going, among people who are better than me, so I can strive to match them. It would be better for me to keep going from my current level right now than to stop, take a long break (and we all know how impossible it is to get a real workout during open skate or alone), and then start over at the beginning. It's a legitimate worry of mine that I will lose a lot of conditioning and muscle memory over the next few months.

But that's just a wild fantasy. The truth is, while I think I did well on my skills, I don't know how well. In truth, I could've just barely passed those. Who knows? I won't find out until Tuesday.

But... one can dream.

PS - can I just say that September will now be a double-edged sword for me? On the one hand, I really want September to come now so that I can do bootcamp again. On the other hand, I always dread September because, duh, it's the start of a new school year, with all its stressors and frustrations.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The End of the Line, Part 2

aka, the Third and Last Day of Testing.

Today felt different. I did wake up early because I had so much on my mind, so I was tired, but my day was nice and relaxing - it was sunny, warm, I was wearing my bootcamp tank top (for good luck, and because it's St. Patrick's Day), I was celebrating my friend's good news, and I was contemplating the full marathon vs. the half. (I decided I would do the full if I didn't pass bootcamp, and I would do the half if I did.)

I was nervous as it got closer to practice time, but I felt very positive. I wasn't scared, I wasn't shell-shocked - I was even smiling to myself as I was stuck in traffic. I'm going to do this, I thought. I can do this.

I was mentally prepared - I was going to get there, warm up, nail the remaining skills tests, and then go all-out on the 25 laps, and hopefully make the cut-off.

What I wasn't prepared for? We did the 25 laps RIGHT AFTER the warm-up.

And then I think I freaked out in my head. But I wasn't going to let it get to me. I was still going to try hard, really hard.

And, in hindsight, I think maybe I was actually trying TOO hard. Like, I was trying to go faster than I could reasonably control, so I was sloppy, and less than 10 laps in, the unthinkable happened. I FELL.

When you're skating for time, that's got to be the worst thing ever. You lose SO much time. I realized that I was going to fall as I was teetering, and I felt very out-of-body as I hit the ground. I heard voices yelling, "Quick up! Quick up!" and shaking off my shock - I was more stunned than I was upset - I scooted back on my way, hoping it wouldn't cost me too much time. The voice in my head said, "Keep pushing!!! What's the worst thing that could happen? Falling? You've already done that!"

So, I tried the best I could. I tried really hard not to get stuck behind people, I tried to cross over better, I tried to keep my legs constantly moving. In the end, it wasn't enough. I heard Aim calling out the numbers as I crossed the line, and they were not what I wanted to hear. I crossed the final line, skated off the track, dropped a knee, and eventually lay down on the floor to quiet the thudding of my heart.

Jamie, who was counting laps for me, came over to tell me my time. 5:09.

Well. So much for that. I'd say that's a pretty definitive not-passing. I didn't even make the 5-second mercy cut-off. I could've kicked myself for falling - maybe I would've saved a few seconds if I hadn't fallen.

But, lying on the floor, I really just had to thank the gods that it was over. I knew this would be the hardest part of practice, and it was done. And I had to be happy for small victories. The only other time I'd done this, I came in at 5:11. This time, I came in at 5:09 WITH falling. Maybe if I could've controlled my crazy flailing, I could've finished faster.

Oh well. I tried the best I could.

We finished up the rest of the drills (blocking, hitting, whips, lateral movement, etc), and I'm proud to say that I stuck through it ALL. I did not drop out of the pace lines (which, even though we divided into two lines, it was still excruciating for my back), and I think I did pretty well (at least passing) on all my skills. I'm happy about that, even if the timed skating didn't go so well.

We get our final verdicts on Tuesday. Tomorrow, Panda, Aim, and Denny will convene and go through each person's scores and decide who's passing and who isn't. I'm pretty sure that I'm not passing, but I'm not upset. My goal tonight was just to try, and try, and try, and not to give up, and I did that. I set out tonight just to give it my all, and I did that, and I've got no regrets, and I'm not sad. At least I KNOW that I did what I could. And I know that even though I'm not good enough right now, it's not going to be that way forever. Assuming I can keep up my skill level and stay (or get) in shape during this time off, I know that I can only get better from here. And by the end of the next bootcamp, I WILL be good enough.

So, this weekend, I will relax. I will go to SVRG's Band-O-Rama and have a good time and keep my foot in the door and my presence felt. And I will train for my first marathon :) And I will come back better than ever and ready to kick ass. How many people get a second chance to right their wrongs in life? I think this could be a blessing in disguise.

On Tuesday, I will gear up and skate with the girls for the last time (the last time with the group as it is, before people move on, and new faces come in), and I will accept my defeat with grace, and I will set forth with new goals and new aims to tackle, and I will come back in September, and I will be amazing. :)

Rudechix Photos: Mommy, baby, and derby

We both are future blockers. Hopefully me first, and then her. See below for photos.

Today's look: SVRG

In honor of my local roller derby league, and today being the last day of bootcamp/WFTDA skills testing (and also, St. Patrick's Day, since our league colors are green and black), I present my SVRG look:

(Sorry about the lack of natural lighting - Daylight Savings Time means that it's still dark outside right now when I do my makeup.)

Here's what I used:

On my face:
Foundation: Revlon Photo Ready in Medium Beige
Undereye concealer: Covergirl/Olay Simply Ageless Corrector (over UDPP)
Blush/Highlight: Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Fresh Glow Baked Mineral Blush in Peach

On my eyes:
Maybelline's The Colossal mascara
Upper lid: UD eye pencil in Zero
Lower lid: UD eye pencil in Covet (peacock green)

From UD's Book of Shadows Volume II:
Gunmetal (a glinty gray) up to my crease

Homegrown (a neon-y green) blended into the line and upwards

Gunmetal is available as a single shadow, but Homegrown is not - you could probably find a comparable green though.

The results (again, sorry for the lighting):


The End of the Line, Part 1

aka, Day 2 of Testing. Aka, Lessons in Confidence and Perseverance.

I'm pretty sure it's over for me. We did endurance today, I had to drop out of the pace line almost right away because I couldn't keep up, and because I was towards the front, I was pretty much holding up the whole line. Great. Believe me, I was pushing - I was pushing HARD. And I saw the all-too-familiar gap in front of me widening and widening.

Denny said that if we had to drop out, then we should go onto the track (the pace line was going around the outside) and skate laps, and that's what I did. If it's endurance they want, then that's what I'd do - I just couldn't be as fast about it as everyone else. The thing is, the weaving drills they were doing - I can do those drills!!!!! It was really hard for me to skate on the inside, knowing that I could do what they're doing, I just couldn't be fast enough to keep up with them.

Still, I was going to try, just in case. I don't know if Panda and Aim were watching those of us on the inside of the track, but I figured I would skate my laps with a vengeance just in case. I may not be able to keep up with the pace line, but I'll be damned if I don't make my laps count for SOMETHING.

And I tried not to stop. The point was to stay in the pace line for the entire duration (which eventually ended up being 45:00, but they were going to try for 30:00), and I barely cracked 20:00 before my back was screaming at me again. I tried to follow Jess's advice about how to stretch your back while on the go, but I was just hurting too bad. Believe me, I held off on stopping as much as I could, but as soon as I could feel my form being affected, I stopped. (I know they were looking for endurance, but I don't feel like sloppy skating helps my chances, ever.) And I stretched, and I got back up... and not long after, I had to stop again to stretch. And again. And again. There were a couple times that I stopped longer than the others (for a more lengthy stretch, and to get water - because by then, I figured that it was all over for me, so yes, I admit that I did phone it in on those two breaks), but I got back out there. And I continued to push when I was out there - no easy laps for me. I figured it could be the practice I needed for the 25-lap test (which, as it turns out, we didn't end up doing, so that'll be tonight), and I tried to go all out on the 5 hot laps to end the drill.

Even so, I felt defeat looming. That's the second pace line I had to drop out of - how the hell do I make up for that?

We did some partner skating next - leaning and moving across the track. I've had trouble with this before in practice but I think I was okay. I tried really hard to stay shoulder-to-shoulder with my partner, and we didn't overshoot the track boundaries, so I was glad I was able to do SOMETHING.

Then we skated in a large-group pack, and people were supposed to bump/take bumps as individuals had to make their way to the front. I think I'm the most ashamed of myself here. I stayed with the group the whole way, but was never called to go to the front, and when the coaches asked at the end for anyone who still hadn't gone yet, I'm ashamed to say that I did not raise my hand, did not volunteer. And this is the one thing I really regret, I think. I should've said something, I should've gone. Instead, I kept silent and tried to outskate my shame. I could've done this. It would've been hard (not everyone made it to the front), but I could've at least tried, and I said nothing. I will probably beat myself up about this one more than the pace lines, because this was the one time I chose to quit on something. And I felt awful about it. This one will haunt me.

I forgot what we did after this, but practice ended with a hip-whip pace line. I'm proud to say that I stuck it out for this one. I felt that I had to - I needed to know that I could do ONE stinkin' pace line. And I did it - I weaved and hip-whipped with little trouble, and stayed in the pace line until just barely the end. We were supposed to keep looking behind us to see who was coming up on us, and trust me, I was counting the number of people who were left every time. I barely made it to the end - the girl behind me ended up getting sent through again (because I think the coaches missed her the first time, or maybe they were trying to fill up the time or something), and I pulled out of the line just as she was halfway through. By this point I was just about dying. In hindsight, I probably should've stayed, but I really wasn't able to take much more. But I'd made through everyone (if the girl behind me didn't have to go through a second time, we would've been done), and I was glad that I'd redeemed myself somewhat. But will it be enough?

Overall, I'm pretty disheartened. I really feel like it's over. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to give it my all tonight - in truth, I'm just not ready to be DONE yet, and if I don't pass it will be a while before I get to do this again - but I just know that this is it. I don't know how I can recover from this tonight, points-wise.

My goal tonight is to come in under 5:00 on the 25-lap test, just to know that I CAN (it's become a personal goal for me, regardless of how well I do on everything else), and to try my best to make up for my poor performance through spirit and effort. I'm not going to go down without a fight. It might not be a very strong fight, but it will still be a fight nonetheless, and at this point, I feel like all I've got left to hope for is points for effort.

As I've said before, this has been a really new experience for me, to try at something that I didn't 100% know that I was going to succeed at - in fact, I was maybe 50/50 at best in terms of my confidence. And now it's slipping the other direction, as in, I'm confident that this is out of my grasp now, and I'm fairly positive that I've failed. So this is even newer for me - trying at something that I know I'm failing at, but trying anyway.

Tonight is the last night of bootcamp, and I want to leave on a good note, with no regrets. That means a lot to me, because for things to end on a sour note (because of not trying hard enough) could possibly color my memories of the entire experience. I don't want to leave asking myself, "What if I'd done THIS? What if I'd tried harder on THAT?" So, tonight will be all about points for effort. All I've got left to hope for is that I can erase my negativity, blow it out, try my hardest, and hope for the best for this one night left, as the decisions will be out of my hands. Which, as it may turn out, might be harder than trying to come in under 5:00. The body will respond to hours of training, and eventually it learns to endure, but the mind... that's something much harder to train and coax out of years of conditioning.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking ahead

While my immediate future in derby remains unsettled, I was very excited to find that registration for the Nike Women's Marathon 2010 is opening soon (April 5th) and that I am still on the legacy runners list, which means that I get an automatic spot. The race is Sunday, October 17th.

I haven't run in a while - in fact, as far as running goes, I'm pretty out of shape - but I have 30 weeks until the big event, so I've got some time to get into shape. Once I know whether or not I've passed my WFTDA tests, I can start planning a workout schedule accordingly. This is the one race that I will not miss if I can help it. (I only missed it this past year because I had a baby, and I would've gone anyway, but the person I sold my bid to had her heart set on going - which I don't blame her for - so I couldn't.)

So, part 1 is to get back into running shape. And part 2 is to get into half-marathon condition. And I am SO looking forward to it :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My baby's going to be famous in the derby world before I ever play in my first bout!

Just got this email from Rudechix:

Hey Thu~

I have a fab idea! We just launched our new Future Jammer and Future Blocker tees last weekend at LADD and we need a cute baby model!!! We would love to have Jolie on our website. What do you think?? I can send you the tees and we just need a few pics of each in good quality where you can read the shirt. Then we will have our web guy put the pics on our site on the rudebabies page. Let me know!!



Saturday, March 13, 2010

I think I'm in love

I just got THIS and I am so excited...

Also - I just added a SWAP page. I'd like to get rid of it. If you would like them, click the link above.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Almay,

You do not call your foundation "Medium" and then put on the back of the package, "Works best if you wear honey or tan foundations." It messes up those of us who ACTUALLY wear Medium. And now I have to make a trip back to Target to return your misnomer of a foundation product.


Jolie's derby face!!!

Today's look: Diamond Dog

Rebel, rebel, you tore your dress... rebel, rebel, your face is a mess...

A little Friday sparkle is good, right?

Here's what I'm wearing today:

On my face: Revlon Photo Ready in Medium Beige (I LOVE how luminous this makes me look.)

On my cheeks: Nars Multiple in Orgasm

On my eyes (on top of UDPP):
  • Urban Decay Stardust eyeshadow in Diamond Dog (taupey with TONS of microglitter), applied with my fingers, both wet and dry. (I wet one finger, picked up a bunch of shadow, and applied it. Then I used a different finger, but dry, and tried to blend out the line. You could do this with any shadow, by the way.)
  • Upper lash line: Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Daring Green (dark green)
  • Lower lash line: Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Intense Olive (lighter green)
  • Mascara: Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Derby can break your bones, but it can also break your heart.

First of all, some awesome photos from our league photographer, Jim Cottingham:
Jen and me doing one-legged hops. I was NOT expecting to nail this one, and as such, I even coasted a bit on one leg, like Denny wanted us to.

If I had known there would be pictures, I would've worn something cute.

I don't remember what I was attempting here. Do I at least look badass though, in my stripey socks?

It couldn't have been ALL bad if there was time for jazz hands at the end!

Okay, so now for the recap of test day one.

Today's look: Pencils only

Not usually worth mentioning, except that the pencils I used are awesome, and that using navy blue makes the whites of your eyes whiter and brightens your eyes. (Rough night last night, so... I needed my eyes brightened this morning.)

So, the products that I used were:

  • Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Fierce Blue on my upper lashline (that's the navy-ish color)
  • UD 24/7 eye pencil in Flipside on my lower lashline (bright teal)
  • BeneFit's Mr. Frosty smudged into the inner corners of my eyes and on my browbone as a highlighter (frosty white)
  • UD's Skyscraper mascara on upper and lower lashes (just a normal, average black)
  • No foundation today, but I used my Stila Tinted Moisturizer. No lips either.

 Can you tell I cried last night at derby practice AND had only five hours of sleep? (Okay, don't answer that.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A change in the wind

Testing starts tonight. I wish I was as confident as I was two weeks ago - missing that week of practice and then trying to get back on track these last three practices has really thrown me for a loop. I feel like I've back-slid and I can't get back to where I was before.

I know that NOT passing will not make or break me in terms of my involvement in derby. I'm in this for life, and whether it takes me two weeks or two years, I'll find my way into a league (but hopefully this one). It would just be nice to be able to move on with all these great women I've met, instead of being left behind.

Okay... enough about that. I'm trying to stay calm and not be nervous.

In other unrelated news, I started a beauty blog - Glam-aholics Anonymous. It's just something else I'm interested in writing about, and I feel like makeup is one of my other "skills," so why not share it with the world?

Today's look: Ruthless and Frigid

Fairly simple, low-key. A combination of some of my tried-and-trues, plus a couple new products I'm trying. See below for product information and steps.
For such a simple look, it sure required a lot of products! (Five of which were for my eyes alone.)

On my face: Revlon - ColorStay Mineral Mousse (060 medium)
Applied using my fingers. This is a new one for me. My local CVS is having a Buy One, Get One Free deal on Revlon foundations/powders, so since I've always wanted to try a mousse foundation, I picked this one. (I also got their PhotoReady - more on that another time.)

So, the MakeUp Alley reviews for this were pretty bad, saying that it dries you out and didn't help pores at all. While I don't dispute the pores comments (mine are pretty large anyway, and I'm not wearing a foundation primer), I think my skin feels nice. (I use Philosophy's Miracle in a Jar as my moisturizer.) When I tried it on my face last night, it was pretty dry (but I was sans moisturizer), but this morning, I think I'm good. (I also used a LOT of it.)

Not sure if I will still keep this or not - I do really like the way it feels though. It's nice and airy, and I don't feel like I'm wearing someone else's skin.

On my cheeks: Nars - The Multiple (Orgasm)
I'm never going to be able to type that without laughing. But I do so love this product. Dotted onto my cheekbones directly from the stick, and blended with fingers.

On my lips: Urban Decay - Lipstick (Jailbait)
Yeah, disappeared with my morning bagel.

On my eyes (on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion):
Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Frigid (dark purple) on my lid (keep in mind that my crease is lower than yours) - just a light layer. This was not applied at full intensity.
Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Ruthless (shimmery taupe) just above that and into the crease (blend to soften the line of purple!!!)
Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Powerful Purple on my upper lash line*
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Underground (shimmery light brown) on my lower lash line (not the waterline)
Maybelline's The Colossal mascara (Waterproof) in Glam Black

(FYI - I use Sephora's eyeshadow brushes.)
*This one is also a new one for me. These pencils are a GREAT dupe for UD's eye pencils - at $6 a pop, you can actually afford all of them. But then again, there are only 6 colors.

Pause and reflect

I haven't written a blog post in almost a year. I've had a lot of stuff happen, some good and some bad, and I could've written a...