The Body Fortress Goliath to my standard hotsauce David.

Well, it’s finally happened.  My skinny, indie-band-guitarist-looking boyfriend has brought home a vitamin bottle full of powdered protein bigger than my head and announced his intention to Buff Up.  It’s been a while coming.  His best friend is a highlighted gym bunny, two of their good mates are professional football players with tree-trunk thighs, and another is elite Special Forces with a chest like the side of a barn and the alleged ability to maim with his big toe – not that any of this affects their collective smoking and drinking regime.  The rest of their boy gang are regular blokes with varying degrees of fitness, and Boyfriend has coasted comfortably as the Good-Looking and Sensitive One for years.  He’s got strong legs and more than held his own in the weekly five-a-side, but lost his niche a bit when he left everyone behind and relocated to London to move in with me.

I knew it would all change when we started partnering in hand-to-hand combat class and he discovered I could punch harder than him, as well as tote him across a gym in a fireman’s carry.  Actually, no, he likes these things about me, and since we found out I’m three pounds heavier, he will jokingly accuse me of throwing my weight around whenever I’m being bitchy.  Oh, the fun we have!  It just proves I could save him in a war zone or an emergency.  If I felt like it. (more…)

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   My junkmail is getting junkier and junkier. I’ve been dreading updating what’s been going on in cosmeticland, because it’s about as exciting as watching those old people in the commercials drone on and on about how good Lawrence Welk sounds on their Bose Wave Music System (TM!). “It’s like I was hearing the Village Tavern Polka for the fiiirrrst tiiiiime!”

   These companies are not doing anything new or better to try & get you to spend your money (free shipping? You don’t say!). In fact, I’m convinced they’re regressing into worse and worse ploys for business. Hang onto your Life Alert (“No. Senior. Citizen. Should. Be. Without. Life Alert!”), cuz here’s what’s coming up:

MAC channels Gia Carangi (yes, again)

Sephora beaks new ground in the Unfortunate Celebrity Collaboration department

Clinique thinks you’re 10

and Clarins wants to destroy your credit

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   Welcome to my latest beauty-related gameshow-esque endeavor, The Price of Vanity. In this feature,  I’ll pick a beauty treatment and break down in what ways said treatment most negatively impacts your life (Time? Money? Sanity? Health? Um, ‘other’?), and you can decide for yourself if it’s really worth it.

   First up: Tanning and Sunless Tanners

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Overheard on a Facebook message:

FB Fren 1:

 BDJ and other makeup lovers, what do you recommend for under-eye concealer? I’ve been using Benefit’s Lyin’ Eyes (http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P88800&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5333

) for about a year but I’m convinced there must be something better out there. I would love something that lasts more than a few hours and also doesn’t settle in my tiny eye creases, as I’m paranoid it makes them look more pronounced.

Do I recall someone mentioning Laura Mercier’s under-eye concealer?

 

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Again with the MUA tips. The 2nd most oft-asked about beauty problem involves undereye bags. They tend to make a gal look “tired” or “older” or whatever kinds of perfectly pedestrian words become derogatory when directed at a woman’s appearance. Too bad, so sad, that we’re not allowed to age. I find that, when it comes to the beaty game, this jaunty musical number about sums it up:

 You can’t win. You can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game. But, on a lighter note, there actually are a few things you can do to make your eyes look nicer. You’re still aging, can’t help that (yet, I’m fucking 24, so what do I know), but you can make it look all soft-focus, Ingrid Begman in Casablanca-fied:

(after the jump!)

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Makeup has always been one of those things I’m just effortlessly good at. I was good at it before I even cared to wear any on a regular basis. (Oh, teenage rebellion- some kids smoke cigarettes and cut class, I questioned the role of females in society and only painted my face up for Halloween.) So, naturally, I just assumed that if my seriously unskilled ass could do it, that every woman could. Ummmm, no.  It wasn’t until adulthood that I found out you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting at least 4 women who are completely confounded by cosmetics.

    This past weekend, an alarming number of my girlfriends asked me for tips on the sly. Of course, we got too drunk and forgot all about makeovers. Boo. Now that my hangover is wearing off, I’ve been thinking, “if I could give just one simple tip that would prove invaluable to women who are clueless about makeup, what would it be?” Why just one tip? Because I’m lazy and don’t feel like writing anything that’ll take more than 15 minutes. Besides, if I dole out the beauty tips one at a time, y’all will keep coming back. I’m like the neighborhood crack dealer. Or, like, Philip-Morris or some shit.

   Anyway, the Holy Grail of makeup tips concerns eyeliner. (Ooooh, I’ve gotcha now…)

 

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I have no fashion sense. None. I also have no beauty sense. I lack what people would refer to as “girly-ness.” I wear barely any makeup. I don’t do my hair. I don’t know how to apply liquid eyeliner. Don’t get me wrong. I get by. I can do the basics. Like jeans and a sweater. But to put an outfit together? That is what I would refer to as hell.

You see when I was growing up my mother wasn’t exactly Victoria Beckam. She wasn’t even Patricia Heaton and her sweater sets. She taught me nothing about being a “lady.” No makeup tips. No hair tips. Nothin’. I think some of it had to do with being brought up strict in a Hispanic household. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup or even polish my nails until I was 16 (by that time my friends were experts), God forbid I look like a 15 year old hussy! But I can’t blame them forever.

I’m 28 now and still can barely get myself together. My sweet, wonderful and fashionable hubby tells me I’m free to spend money on beautification. But my aversion to fashion having been ingrained since childhood in combination with my horrifying anxiety when it comes to dealing with the people that can help me- hairdressers, makeup artists, department store workers- makes me stay in this state of suspended adolescence. I can’t even wear pointy shoes! I feel like I’m playing dress-up if I do. Obviously, it’s a mental block.

The good news is that I’m getting help! My network of girlfriends both beauty experts and Style Queens to help me get on my way to girly glory. They will make my skin glow, my hair shiny, and my shoes match my top! I’m excited. Being a girl sounds like fun!