Sunday, February 17, 2013

Grammy Said Knock You Out

I have to admit, the Grammys aren't one of my favorite award shows as far as style is concerned. It's definitely the most relaxed of all the "big" awards, which means that a whole bunch of people show up dressed like assholes. The Grammys apparently thought they were one step ahead of everyone by sending out a serious "memo" about what celebs should and shouldn't wear, which it's clear that everyone promptly laughed at and threw away, or just didn't read at all. I think the fact that they even felt that it was necessary to send out a list of such fashion constraints shows the level of class we're talking about here. None of this shiz would ever go down with The Academy.

But I digress. We still need to talk about these hot musical messes. 

After digging through all the photos, I was only able to pick out two stars that I felt were appropriately dressed/looked amazing/didn't embarrass themselves:

rihanna, solange

I usually don't care for Rihanna, because let's face it- girl makes crazy stupid decisions, from her romantic life to her clothes to the sheer amount of naked photos she has on Instagram. I'm sorry, I know the world loves her, I get that every single one of her songs have hit number one, she's so edgy, blah blah blah. It kills me every week how my beloved Fashion Police do nothing but sing her praises when it comes to style- whether she is wearing a trench coat and nothing else or if she's rocking 90's acid washed cutoffs. No thanks. But I was pleasantly surprised when she showed up on the carpet rocking this gorgeous flowing number because I couldn't remember the last time I looked at her and thought she was classy. Of course, she couldn't go for it all the way, and just had to have a completely sheer top. It's safe to say I've seen enough of Rihanna's nipples, and I think the rest of the world has too.

Solange gets the majority of her coolness quotient by way of proximity. I mean she is Bey's little sis and spent her Grammy evening in the front row, knocking back flutes of champagne with bro-in-law Jay-Z. Normally she's dresses a little nutty for me, but I thought this emerald gown was so beautiful on her. I'm totally jealous of people that can rock the color of the year, because green is most certainly not, nor has ever been, my color. She quirked it up a bit with her choice of shoe color and her signature 'fro, which I adore on her. 

jennifer lopez, katy perry, kelly rowland

Does anyone else look at this dress on Jennifer Lopez and just think "desperate?" We get it, J.Lo- you're sexy. You've got the young (possibly homosexual) boyfriend, the gorgeous bod, and a decent career despite a few crap rom coms. So why does she have to try so hard? This dress has all the sex appeal of a Hefty bag, minus the crazy leg slit (which we have seen before, no? It's not like this is a groundbreaking moment in fashion here). Also I'm going to need some more fullness from her topknot. It looks like a weird little growth on her head. It's called a sock bun, Jenny. Own it. 

Hi, I'm Katy Perry, and these are my breasts. No really, how can you ever expect anyone to take you seriously (or look you in the eyes) when you've got these bazongas on display? I don't knock her for having curves- I just feel like this dress is like a car accident. You know you shouldn't look, but you can't stop staring. Also there's no hairstyle I despise more than a middle part with NOTHING HAPPENING at the bottom. Although maybe she just gave up because she knew nobody would be looking at her hair anyway. I was completely disappointed with this whole Easter Elvira look.

I can't say anything bad about Kelly Rowland except for I'm concerned for her. I mean even the smallest movement could have resulted in a wardrobe malfunction. I think her bangs are banging, not to mention her body is too. But damn girl, those are a lot of cutouts. I know you've spent many years backing up Beyonce, but it's like she's wearing a sign that says "LOOK AT ME!" with an arrow on it. And that arrow is pointing to her vagina. 

taylor swift, adele, beyonce

Taylor Swift's dress would be okay if she hadn't added that stupid silver t-strap in the front. It reminds my of those old metal back braces that kids with scoliosis had to wear back in the day (all I can think when I look at this is "Kristy Masters stuck magnets to your back..."). And I'm sorry, I cannot get behind the milkmaid braid, no matter how trendy it is. 

I know that I had specifically called out Adele for being amazing at everything except for dressing herself. She always wears something black and boring. Well now I wish that she had just thrown on another raven frock. I mean, how many of Mrs. Roper's dresses had to die to make this number? I'm glad that she finally accented her waist instead of wearing something shapeless. The clashing print on the shoe is offending my eyeballs, though. Adele, please please PLEASE redeem yourself at the Oscars, I beg of you.

I cannot believe Beyonce had the nerve to do this to us after showering us in amazingness at the Superbowl. I mean, what the eff. When I look at this, I feel anger inside. I mean, it's music's biggest night and you show up in yoga pants. FOR SHAME, Bey. For shame.

alicia keys, carrie underwood, carly rae jepson, janelle monae

Alicia Keys has certainly come a long way from those cornrows with all the beads, hasn't she? I don't really have anything specific to say about this one. I think she looks... fine. Except the top of her dress looks like it came from a handbag.

I never quite know what to think of Carrie Underwood's style. Obviously she's gorgeous and has never had a bad hair day, but I think she just misses the mark sometimes. This dress looks like something a woman twice her age would wear. I think the necklace ages her too, which is crazy, because Jessica Alba wore a similar necklace to the Golden Globes and I was obsessed with it. It just didn't work this time. I also think she has too much hair for this look. She could do without about half of those extensions and slightly less bangs in the front. Plus she was missing her best accessory- her hockey husband, Mike Fisher.

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen. What are you even doing here? I mean yes, theoretically, she was nominated and everything. But did anyone think that "Call Me Maybe" would last beyond summer twenty twelve? I feel like she was styled by the costumer from Dynasty or something. From the blue eyeshadow to the bangs to the too old for her gown (although it turns out she's like twenty seven and not seventeen as I had once thought), there is just a heaviness to this look that doesn't really work for her.

I actually really like Janelle Monae's look. I love that she has a signature thing- the fitted, feminine tuxedo- and it works for her. And I do appreciate when people try to evolve their personal style. But there had to be another way to do this other than to become a matador. I actually wouldn't even mind the jacket on it's own without the tails and the ridiculous hat. And I think a pointy spiky heel would have worked way better than this open-toed shoe. 

ashanti, florence welch, kaley cuoco, kimbra

Let me just say right now what everyone is thinking. What the hell is Ashanti doing at the Grammys this year? And why is she wearing a gown featuring a floral motif but also bat wings? I can't describe this look as anything other than... stupid.

Florence Welch is known for being out there when it comes to her personal style. Usually it's some unflattering florals or a weird headband or something. Spiky scales are a whole new ball game. I don't care what you say about her as an artist, she looks positively reptilian and it's horrible. The color is great for her though. 

If you wonder how I feel about pants at award shows, please see Beyonce commentary above. Kaley Cuoco is one of the worst dressers out there today. She just never gets it right on the red carpet. This is the GRAMMYS- you're not just hitting up a club. 

And my hands down worst of the entire evening is of course, Kimbra. I think the thing that makes it so awful is that it has elements that I like, but the execution sucks. If this has been an actual skirt instead of poorly placed tulle Kleenexes, it may have worked. And I have two words for you: curled bangs. Have you ever heard a more devastating statement?

So that's it for "music's biggest night" (which L.L. reaffirmed about seven thousand times). And all I can say is... bring on the Oscars. 

See you then, kids!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Hungry Eyelashes: Part 2

If you missed this post on how I'm taking on the daunting responsibility of finding the world's most perfect mascara and blogging about it, well then you're in luck, because you haven't missed anything yet. We're just getting started here. 

So for this particular test drive, I hit up Sephora at the Natick Mall on my lunch break, and chose two different mascaras from the display of their top sellers. Using one time applicators, of course, I tried a different option on each eye so that I could accurately compare them throughout the day. 

Without further adieu, I give you the first my first trial runs:

Mascara #1: LANCÔME Hypnôse Star Mascara $28

What They Say: "This mascara dresses lashes in intense volume, unfolding a new vision of glamour inspired by Betty Boop and top model Daria Werbowy. The formula's "black-diamond effect" imparts a glossy gel-like finish. The dual-action brush has a flat side for optimizing product deposit at the lash line while the rounded side separates, defines, and lengthens."
What I Say: You know how they say don't judge a book by it's cover? Apparently you also shouldn't judge a mascara by its bottle. I was of course drawn to its hourglass curve and glittery facade. It turned out to be nothing but a rouse- I absolutely hated the outcome of this pricey designer formula. I applied this to my right eye at 1:00. By 3:00, it was starting to flake a bit. When I got home around 7:00, I was shocked to find that my under eye area resembled a speckled egg. The game had barely started and this one had already lost. So that was a solid no. 

Mascara #2: Benefit They're Real! Mascara $23

What They Say: "This mascara features an exclusive brush specially designed to maximize the performance of the long-wearing, glossy formula revealing lashes you never knew you had! Staggered bristles grab close to the root, boosting length and volume beyond belief. The precision bristles on the custom-domed tip lift, define, and curl even your tiniest lashes. The end result is luxurious, silky lashes that won't smudge, clump, or dry out."
What I Say: I don't know that anyone was questioning whether or not my left eyelashes were "real" or not, because let's face it, that's friggen weird. But I did notice that there was virtually no flaking throughout the day. In fact, when I woke up the next day after breaking the cardinal rule of not removing my makeup before bed (can we be honest about who actually does that every single night? Because all my magazines make me think that you are all doing this every day and I'm horrible). So this one definitely passed my smudge test, and is hands down the winner of this round. 

Mascara #3: Cover Girl Lash Blast 24 Hour Mascara $9.99

What They Say: "Power hour after hour. Bold, intense volume meets the biggest brush from COVERGIRL! Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes that last up to 24 hours. For a bold look that will get you noticed."
What I Say: This was my first drug store mascara in years. I'm not a snob, I've just only been using things I've received as a free gift with purchase because if I'm going to spend money, I want as many free products as possible. When speaking to a coworker about the mascara challenge, they recommended a CG mascara that comes in a blue bottle. Now why after swearing off random advice from people did I still go and search for it is beyond me, but I ended up trying this one instead. I figured since it specifically advertised "24 hours" it must at least have the intention of being in it for the long haul (which I couldn't say about many of the "bestsellers" as Sephora, as most of them only touted their advancements in lengthening and thickening and whatever else mascaras are supposed to do). I was pleasantly surprised with the wear of this one- no flakes at all, but was still easy enough to take off when I forced myself to do so. The only complaint I have is the wand is way bigger in person than it looks in this photo, and I found it difficult to evenly distribute the mascara when applying it to my less dextrous side (whether it's fingernails, eyebrows or lashes, there's alway one side that you're less skilled at applying beauty products- for me, it's my right). And thanks to my CVS card, I got a buy one, get one 50% off deal, so I also picked up a CG cream eyeshadow that I had previously used but had been smashed to pieces in my my makeup bag. 

We're off to a pretty good start, but there are so many options out there that need to be tried. And since I will now be away from the mall for four days straight due to a little blizzard situation we got going on here, we may have a slight delay on our next round. I know I said that I was going to be a brat about this and not accept any advice and only base my decision on what I think, but I got some very interesting comments on the last post about what has worked and not worked for you guys. So rest assured, I am reeling in the crazy and any words of wisdom you have, I would love to hear. I am pro-choice when it comes to makeup, but it doesn't mean I won't read the picket signs. Keep 'em coming!

Until then,


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hungry Eyelashes

You might remember this thrilling post from last year in which I purged my makeup drawer that was housing more Jane lipsticks and broken Wet N Wild eyeshadows than any self respecting woman not living in 1999 should own. I have since then upgraded to a lucite contraption from The Container Store that sits atop my dresser. I figured this would be a good way to ensure that I stay organized since all of my products are now visible all the time. It's just big enough for the essentials + a few fun things. If you wear a ton of makeup this is probably too small for you, but for me it's perfect because it requires you to edit and only keep the things that you really use/haven't expired yet. 

Now that all my goods are on display, I've noticed there are definitely some key pieces in which I am lacking. Let me start off by saying I really don't consider myself a "makeup girl." I really only like lipsticks and nail polish, which I guess doesn't really count because you don't put nail polish on your face. Or maybe you do, and you're one of those My Strange Addiction people- whatever, I'm not judging. But as much as I love buying clothes and shoes, makeup has always really taken a backseat in my eyes, mainly because unlike what's hanging in my closet, it isn't permanent. I do admit that it seams crazy to pay $26 for one tube of something that you are going to apply and then remove like twelve hours later. I could get two shirts and a stack of bangles for that at Forever 21. 

Now that I'm getting older, I feel like I need to snap out of my existing makeup routine, many habits that have been with me since high school when I first started wearing makeup (barely). The biggest thing I've noticed that I am awful at is anything related to foundation or base or powder or whatever the thing is we're supposed to be using now. I still don't know what the hell BB cream is, and yet I want it. So at some point, I need to do an overhaul of my how I put on my face, as the ladies say. I'm going to wait on this one, as I can't really justify dropping cash on multiple products (because you know there won't be just one) that are probably going to be sort of expensive (duh). 

So I decided for the moment to concentrate on one elusive item that has been bugging me for years: the perfect mascara. These are my main issues with every kind I've used in the past:

1. It never stays on. I am a pale Italian with undereye circles resembling a raccoon. And yes, I have tried sleeping more, drinking water, etc. I think this is just how my face looks. I've learned to deal with it (thanks to the insanely priced Christian Dior concealer I discovered on my last makeup crusade) but I certainly don't need a million tiny black flakes taking the plunge onto my skin everyday. I feel like every mascara I've ever tried has shed on me like a shaky black dog. Yet...
2. ...It is such a pain to take off. If there's a way to do it without pulling out half your eyelashes, I sure as hell haven't discovered it yet.
3. Speaking of losing eyelashes, mine are weird. Just like most body parts that we have two of, mine are totally uneven. I definitely have more on my left eye than my right. I'm probably the best candidate for those eyelash extensions, if they weren't a million dollars and if I was Jennifer Lopez. 

For years and years, the only mascara I ever used was Clinique. No particular kind, just whatever came in a free gift with purchase all inclusive pack. Which is probably not the way to find a quality mascara that works best for you. 

Last year, fed up with the shedding factor, I posed the mascara question on Facebook. I mean, say what you want about it, but there's no better way to gather copious amounts of solicited advice than our favorite social networking site. I got so many comments from all kinds of people, and everyone said something different. I finally decided to try L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume per the recommendation of my bff and stylist Ryan. He told me it was what Kim Kardashian used, so right away I was sold. Listen, I know the Kardashians suck at life and we shouldn't indulge them, but you have to admit, that girl rocks a false lash like it's nobody's business. 

So I tried it. And it looked amazing on. The brush is super thick and it just like covers every inch of your lashes with thick Bardot-esque goodness. 

And then, within three hours it was all over me. 

I'm serious- I have gone back to this tube repeatedly, not ready to give up on it just yet, and within hours I am reminded why I stopped using it. I started to think that maybe this was normal and all mascaras did this..? No. Unacceptable. It is 2013. We can put people in space but no one has invented a quality makeup product that doesn't make you look like a used hooker by noon? 

So now I am on a quest for the perfect mascara. Of course I will be reporting my results to you, so I'm basically like a makeup scientist conducting very important field research and therefore cannot be yelled at for spending money. However, it does seem outrageous to buy and try multiple products especially if you end up hating them, so I've come up with a plan of attack:

1. I am going to take advantage of any place that allows me to try stuff on (of course safely and with brand new applicators everytime. Gee-ross). I work at a mall, so I am going to go mascara-less and try things, and then give it a full day before I decide if I'm going to buy it. That way I can test for smudgeyness. 
2. If I purchases drugstore makeup, I am going to buy it at CVS. Why? Because they let you return stuff if it doesn't work out. Also they have Extra Bucks. I know Walmart is theoretically cheaper, but I don't know if they have such an accepting return policy. Plus any less time I can spend in Walmart, the better off I am, really. 
3. I will not be tricked into buying anything just because someone tells me it's the most amazing product they've ever tried. While it's a good resource, I'm not even reading reviews online. I already spend enough time reading things on the Internet and that's like, for fun. This is about what works best for me, so I am the guinea pig in this scenario.

So please, join me on this magical mascara tour as we embark on the search for the perfect formula that lengthens, thickens, separates and lasts for hours on end. Is that really too much to ask? I think not.