Monday, July 26, 2010

Montreal's Lush Bounty

Rich and I went to Montreal for our anniversary - one whole year, how nuts is that? - thus proving that we truly grasp the concept of Independence Day in a meaningful way, one year getting married and the next, leaving the country...whoops? In any case, it was glorious. If you haven't been to Montreal, I really can't recommend it enough. It's a gorgeous walking city with everything you could possibly want: friendly people, wonderful restaurants, great shopping, vibrant cultural scene, casino, THE BEST GODDAMN HOCKEY ON THE PLANET, you name it.

Rich had told me for ages about the Hotel Vogue and the magic of its in-room jacuzzis and such. We went for a drink there the last time we were up north, even though we were staying at the Art Deco confection that is the Hotel de la Montagne right across the street. The bar area was a luscious conversation-pit-y area and the drinks were great, but Rich couldn't stop raving about the rooms (it was booked solid that weekend). We finally stayed at the Vogue and it was wonderful beyond even Rich's rave reviews. You should all go book a weekend RIGHT NOW. I'll wait.

Great! Hope we see you up there. Anyway, the hotel was freaking fabulous and the people there were so helpful and friendly, but the important part is that our room had the world's most perfect jacuzzi in it as well as a TV so you could while away your life in a state of bliss. I always stop at Lush when I'm in Montreal and the perfection of said jacuzzi seemed to demand some extra bath goodies. Here's the haul.

I love Lush's bubble bars, because the bubbles are really luxurious and the bar form frees you from the Icky Bubble Bath Bottle Top Scum Effect which is particularly troublesome for quasi-neurotic people like me. You just break off a chunk of bubble bar and drop it in the tub and it goes nuts. I tried the Ma Bar, which is a cocoa and honey toffee scented bar with a sugar cube in the center. It was a very relaxing scent, and I loved the way it moisturized. It's a good one, though I was sorely tempted by the French Kiss one. Next time!
I figured I'd get one good bath in while I was up there, so I picked up the Avobath bath bomb, which is full of moisturizey avocado goodness and lemongrass essential oil. I could be mostly dead a la The Princess Bride and still wake up at the scent of lemongrass - it's such a great zesty smell! The Avobath is one of their top sellers and I can easily see why. I'
I also wanted to get one for Rich, so I went with one that was robot shaped (....obviously). The Ickle Baby Bot is a sweet lavender scent, and it smelled terrific. Rich reports that it was "fun" and "good" which for bath products is pretty abundant praise.
Those evil, evil ladies at Lush made sure to tell me about the new serums they had, including the Full of Grace variety which I wound up picking up. (NB, Retailers of the World: if you put lavender in something, odds are good I will buy it. Wish it were otherwise, frankly.) You can think of serums as conductors for whatever you're putting on your skin - they help suck the moisturizer or mask you put on top of them into your face. This one is all-natural, which I appreciate, and it smells beautiful. A little goes a long way, and I'm really happy with this one!
I also picked up a pot of Creme Anglaise, which is possibly the best lotion I've ever used. The Lush wizards have put together a selection of lovely butters and oils for a vanilla-y, orange-y lotion that just leaches right in to your skin. The teensy bit I use each morning lasts all day and completely removes the need for perfume. I try to minimize everything in summer - makeup gets wholly problematic and lotions get greasy - so this works into my routine perfectly. If nothing else, you should pick up a container of this.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Tango in Argentina

I don't know about other people, but I often have to plan makeup that goes through several events and for most of the day. I was invited to a panel and afterparty put on by the Federalist Society in Boston at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, but it was also on a day that I worked, so I wanted to have something that looked okay for both. I turned once again to my Sephora Color Play palette, because it is awesome.
This time I went with the "Tango in Argentina" swatch, which is the fourth one from the left in the picture above (with all the blues).
I went with the third blue down on the left side (the photo is not very true to color) and worked it from the inner corner of my eye to about the middle of my eye. It's a really lovely luminous turquoisey color with lots of shimmer. I finished the lid with a navy-ish blue which I believe was the second blue down in the same column. I liked the effect, but the darker blue didn't have the same sheen as the lighter so I swept a bit of the light color over top of it. I then took the fourth green down on the right side and added a touch of it over the whole shebang.
I finished the look with (I think) my Givenchy lip gloss sample in Rose and Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes mascara. It stayed put all night long and would have gone longer had I not wrestled it off my face with my sister's makeup remover pads. Great makeup, and another win for the Color Play palette!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Make Your Own Hair Phone to Contact Lady Gaga in Emergencies

Rich got me Lady Gaga tickets for graduation, and once I changed my pants and called The Lucy to reserve her presence for Fourth of July weekend, the inevitable thought came up..."holy shit, what do I WEAR?"

With the guaranteed heat of the weekend in mind, I figured the best way to go would be with exciting makeup and hair and a pretty basic outfit. I thought "man, it would be totally fucking awesome to make a hair phone like Gaga wore in the Telephone video," and fixed my mind on that. Here's how I did it.

1 phone
1 roll of packing tape
old-school Elmers glue
Xacto knife (or similar)
two or three of those clip on ponytails they sell at CVS or a wig
thread the color of the hair

1. Put on Lady Gaga YouTube channel or CD/playlist.

2. Start with your phone. I used our old emergency phone downstairs because I liked the shape. I also found that older phones were more ergonomically shaped, which helps with later head-positioning; the mouthpiece is angled up slightly. Check it out - cool, right?
Unplug said phone and take the handset off the hanger. Take short pieces of packing tape and wrap them around the handset STICKY SIDE OUT. I cannot overemphasize the importance of the sticky side out part. I found it helped to rip the pieces of tape lengthwise to get it worked into smaller areas of the phone. As a slightly obsessive person, I appreciate the need to get this "perfect" but you really should keep in mind that this will not show, and you can fold over points and such of the tape.

3. Wrap the phone again, this time with the non-sticky side out. You should be taping in the opposite direction from the first round of tape. For instance, if you wrapped counter-clockwise on the handle your first time around, go clockwise this time. Give the whole thing a good squeeze to even out any bumps. You'll wind up with this.
4. Now is the somewhat delicate part: use your Xacto knife to cut along the taped phone so you can pull the phone out of its new tape shell. The tape will probably hitch up on you if you go too fast, so take your time and use lots of short, even cuts. It may not matter all that much about where you cut, but I went from the cord along the top spine of the phone, then made a second cut along the side of the listening end of the phone. Then, pull your phone out of the tape husk. Here's what it looks like. (Yes, I was watching RuPaul's Drag Race and a.) if you're not, your life is not as good as it could be, and b.) I feel like Ru would approve of this project.)
5. Carefully tape over the cut so your phone holds together. You'll now have a solid and pretty structurally strong tape phone. Feel free to pretend you're calling people.
6. This next part is not hard, but it is annoying and it's another danger zone for the perfectionists amongst us. THIS IS EXTREMELY MESSY. Take your hair bits and cut them off of their clips or wigs. Pour a ton of glue onto a plate. You are now going to drag the hair through the glue, then slop the hair onto the phone. After the first bunch of hair, take your thread and tie it around the phone. As you add hair, you should wrap the thread around it, working in the opposite direction of the hair (just like with the tape above). This will not be perfect! It will LOOK perfect in the end. I also did not worry about covering the flat surfaces of the phone - the parts you speak and listen to - because they would be along my head. The hair kind of curled under them anyway, so it had enough coverage to work. Let the whole thing dry.
To attach it to my head, my friend Juls whipped up a bunch of victory rolls on my head, sprayed the bejesus out of my hair, then pinned the phone on by the hair covering it, now stiff with glue. It didn't budge all night and would have stayed through to the next morning if needed. It looked badass!

One thing I might change would be to do another covering of tape, sticky side out again to help grab the hair (which I would then "seal" with glue to be safe). Enjoy, Little Monsters!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Pink Idol

If you want to purchase something that has a wide variety of uses and doesn't take up much space, splurge on a Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow Compact. They aren't cheap, but they have the perfect range of colors to use for whatever you could possibly need and will stay put all day long. I have two - Pink Idol and Tender Chic. The former is a selection of (surprise!) pinks, and the second is a purple and yellow blend. I used Pink Idol here because I wanted to wear strong colors without being overwhelming. I have M.A.C.'s Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker in Runway Ripened on my lips, and the eyes are finished with the strong pink, orangey-sunset pink and white of the Idol compact. I think it's pretty effective with the strong color in the lipstick and the blue shirt.