Monthly Archives: May 2011

Glamorous Goo: OCC’s Lip Tars

I think we’re overdue for a little prettifying, no?

A bit about today’s line: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, a favorite of pro artists, is 100% cruelty-free and 100% vegan. “I wear leather,” you say. “I enjoy a good steak. Why should I worry about my makeup being vegan?” Perhaps because some cosmetics actually contain gross things like ground-up insect bits and urea. That’s right, urea.

Product I Love: Lip Tars. They look like bright little glosses but they are deeply, densely, deliciously pigmented. They’re something like lipstick in a tube but with a lot more slide. They leave a satiny semi-matte finish and they have insane staying power.

How to Use Them: Lip Tars are INTENSE. You need only the very tiniest bit of product. I start at the center of the mouth and work out to the lip line with these and I recommend a stiff, short lip brush. I also like them on cheeks– used sparingly, of course.

How to Choose Them: Collect them all! One of the most fun things about lip tars is that they make it easy to customize your own lip color. (So convenient for a pro kit.) Why settle for an in-between shade when you can mix the perfect peach or take your brilliant red to a moody bordeaux? If that sounds too labor intensive, worry not. These people know color. You can play it safe with the prettily pink Hush, try one of their beautiful reds, or consider Grandma, an eye-popping pinky coral that can be used to stain the lips or applied to the cheeks for a blissed out glow. (Swatchgirl puts it in action here— though I would recommend using less product to prevent the feathering mentioned in her review.)

Tip: Follow OCC on twitter. They frequently run 10-20% discounts or offer free shipping.

What’s next: Just in time for summer, OCC has launched their silicone-free tinted foundations and they are getting lots of buzz. As soon as I can hunt them down on the West Coast, I will acquire and report back. You know, for the good of the team. To tide you over, consider their sublime nail polishes. (I’m particularly fond of Swamp Thing and Hush but the all-new Echo is calling to me, too. A few colors beautifully swatched by Vampy Varnish here.)



Filed under Prettification, Products I Love

Bridesmaids & Babette

Lately, a line from the Danish film Babette’s Feast has been running through my head… “Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best.”

Here’s the thing that struck me most powerfully about Bridesmaids: This is what happens when you let actual comedians do their jobs. This is what can happen in the post-Tina Fey world.

Ten years ago, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo might have written this movie but Wiig and Maya Rudolph never would have been cast in it. Instead, we would have seen some good-sport-starlet (Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Christina Applegate) with dewy skin and passable comic timing doing her best to endure a series of humiliating situations. Meanwhile, Wiig and Rudolph– lovely, but ordinary looking women– would have been relegated to a quirky best friend role or hamming it up as a wacky waiter.

But with Bridesmaids we get two fantastic female comedians owning the story instead of stealing their moments. They go to town on their material, working each beat, commanding each set piece with total confidence. A lot of the film’s jokes feel predictable and obvious, but the execution elevates the material. There is something almost elegant in the way that Rudolph crumples to the street in her own excrement, and to watch Wiig consume a Jordan almond in a bridal salon battle of wills is to witness greatness. (Melissa McCarthy is another standout. I was sorry to see the film fall into the “fat women who want to have sex are hilarious” trap, but McCarthy’s delivery did wonders.)

I don’t know that Bridesmaids is their “very best,” but it’s a good beginning and a hopeful indication that the world is ready to give Wiig, Rudolph, and others their chance.


Filed under The Violet Hour

Delicious Cringe Part 2

My old diaries continue to provide me with amusement and awful, squirmy feelings of abject humiliation. It’s a nice trade-off.

Zoraida’s comment on my last post inspired me to share this latest discovery: When I was about 10, every few weeks I would write up a list of “Friend Evaluations” in my journal. They can best be described as profanity and exclamation point laden tirades. This is my favorite (names changed to protect the unfairly vilified):

Micah: Sweet, Hyper, Cute!!!!! I love his spiked hair!!

Owen: Jerk

Ryan: Jerk

Aimee: Sweet, considerate, know-it-all

Jenna: Disloyal, untrustworthy, wining (sic), coniving (sic), manipulative, snobby, rude, ostentatios (sic, oh the irony), inconsiderate, lying, arrogant b*tch!!!!!

Carrie: The same but a touch nicer.

Also, at one point, I refer to a girl as the “Slut of the Century.” We were ten.

The funniest/most awful part of these entries isn’t just that I felt comfortable passing such harsh judgment on all those around me (which, honestly, hasn’t much changed), but how wildly my opinions vacillated. One week, Jenna was an Ostentatios(TM) monster and the next week she was “Awesome! The sweetest!! True friend!!”

But… that was kind of the reality of grade school. I remember my friends and I triangulating constantly, forming and dissolving alliances within our tribe. We were vicious and fickle and often, almost hysterically joyful. We once got kicked out of a movie theater for CRYING too loudly. If you said we were silly and cruel, you’d be right. But we were also glittery little maenads, drunk on scented lip balm, snapping with ferocity. We were that elusive “girl power” in its purest, most unstable form, ready to spit charged particles and change without warning. We should have been more kind. We should have been more cautious. But I guess this is where I shrug and say, “We were free.”

(Also, I encourage you to click on the pic because that is, in fact, a painting by Finch of Strawberry Shortcake, riding My Little Pony, after killing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and the details are not to be missed.)


Filed under Delicious Cringe

Delicious Cringe

Late on the update this week because I’ve been in the revisions bunker, but now I emerge with treasure in hand: I found my diaries from 5th grade through college and good gravy they are hilarious/humiliating/occasionally heartbreaking.

The early stuff is just funny. (On exchanging Christmas presents with my 6th grade boyfriend: “I gave him this rad magnetic art thing and he gave me soap!! Lame!!!”) But around age 13, I leave giddy exclamation points behind and start making PROFOUND STATEMENTS. My favorite find thus far:

“Boys are like horses. They’re bigger and stronger than us, but not smarter. If they sense our nervousness and fear, they either run so fast that we hold tight for fear of being left behind, or they buck us and we’re lucky not to land in a pile of shit that they made or get kicked in the head by a stray hoof. And the worst of it is that they do none of this with spite.”

So young, so wise, so prone to run-on sentences and profanity. Hmm, maybe I haven’t changed that much at all.


Filed under Delicious Cringe