Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Second Most Epic Empties Post Ever!

Since I can't do these things on time.... here's August and September's pile of stuff, in no particular order.

My purged eyeshadows from the Flirt! 40 palette (except the far right column) because either a) I have a similar color in a better texture or b) I didn't like the color or c) the payoff wasn't very good. The top right corner is actually MAC Electra. It's turns a weird silvery-blue on me that's not cute. Plus, I've had this for years and I hardly ever use it, so I will definitely not be repurchasing. The (mostly) used up eyeshadow beneath Electra is MAC Shroom. For being as pale as I am, I had one heck of a time getting this to even show up on my skin. I didn't even get that pretty wash of shimmer everyone talks about without PACKING it on and dealing with massive fallout. So, no. No more Shroom for me. And the bottom right corner is Lancome's The New Black. It's almost identical to Urban Decay's Creep, therefore, I have no need to repurchase.

Empty face products! I love Clinique's Perfectly Real foundation and after I get through my IT Cosmetics CC Cream (or if I need a heavier duty foundation in the meantime) I'll definitely repurchase. Next is MAC's Blot Powder. It was ok. I guess. My skin is getting to the point where I don't need an oil-control/super matte powder, so I was happy to get this out of my collection. Unless someone has a trick to getting the concealer out of the very bottom of the MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW15, I'd say this puppy is done. Shaking, pumping, nothing works. That little bit will NOT budge from the bottom. I actually bought a backup of this (stupidly) before I tried the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly. So... I'll probably use the second tube under my eyes, but it's too dark for my face, unless I'm wearing foundation. 

Empty eye products, including a very dingy looking clear Maybelline Great Lash. This is what I was using to set my brows before I tried Benefit's Gimme Brow. I actually have a backup of this already, so no need to repurchase for the time being. And yes... three Cover Girl Lash Blasts. But they're all different! One is brown, one is black, and the other is a waterproof black. The non-waterproof versions are actually dried out, but the waterproof one just had a funky smell. Plus it reached it's six month mark, so it's time to go. Below that is the dual-ended Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Whiskey and Zero (the one that actually came with the original Naked palette, if that's any clue as to how old it is). And last but not least is Too Faced Perfect Eyeliner in Perfect Storm. It was a pretty charcoal with silver glitter, but I doubt I would repurchase it or the UD 24/7s because I don't like having to sharpen my eyeliners. Do I sound like a broken record yet?

Empty lip stuff... On the top row is Maybelline Color Whispers in Pin up Peach and Made it Mauve and IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Love Story. I wouldn't repurchase any of them. The Color Whispers were actually kind of drying on my lips and the IT Cosmetics one turns a weird fuchsia stain on my lips. Yuck. The middle row is Jack Black Lip Balm in Black Tea & Blackberry, Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, Lypsyl, and Jack Black Lip Balm in Shea Butter & Vitamin E. I have a backup of the Lypsyl, since Walgreens sucked me in with their $0.99 deal, but there are times I don't appreciate its mintyness. The Fresh Lip Treatment was a rip off for how meh it turned out to be compared with how expensive it was. Jack Black is really bordering on Holy Grail status for me, but only their Shea Butter one... I love tea,  but the Black Tea/Blackberry was overpowering, especially if you tried to eat or drink anything after putting it on. I have several more Jack Blacks to get through, but I'm pretty sure they're all the Shea Butter ones from here on out. And finally, the lipgloss at the bottom is the IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Naturally Pretty. I actually took the stopper out to get the last bits out. I guess I could have melted it down a little more in a hot car or something, but I still say that's pretty darn good for a lip gloss. I'm trying out the IT Cosmetics CC Lip Serum gloss in Laugh and it's pretty similar to Naturally Pretty, so I have no need to repurchase. 

I'm purging two of my oldest perfumes - J. Lo Glow and Burberry Tender Touch. It pains me to get rid of either of them, but they're too old, turned sharp, and give me a headache any time I try to wear them. I pretty much rotate between two fragrances these days and I couldn't even tell you the last time I wore either of the two above. 

Starting from the top left, there's Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunblock in SPF 100. I wouldn't repurchase because I don't like how it a) dries out my skin, b) the white film it leaves all of my clothes, purse strap, car door, etc., and c) how it never really sinks in and remains greasy despite it's "Dry Touch" claim. Next is the Dove Visible Care body wash. See a more in-depth review here. And yes, I have already bought another one. Lastly is the Aveeno Stress Relief lotion. I have another bottle. I don't know if it actually works on stress relief, but it smells nice and there are days I tell myself it's working, even if it's just a placebo effect. On the bottom left is Eucerin's Intensive Repair hand cream. It sucked. It was greasy and thick, but somehow my hands were still parched. No on the repurchase. Then there's Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Grin & Bare It Body Lotion. It also sucked and wasn't very moisturizing. My original review is here, from 2011. My how opinions change. Next is Crabtree & Evelyn's Hand Therapy in Citron. This was nice, especially for summer, because of the citrusy scent. I'd probably pick up another one if I saw it at Ulta. And finally, Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream. This I would repurchase. It's thick, but not greasy, and there's no smell, which I appreciate. 

Here's a smattering of facial products. Only one Absolute Brightening Essence Mask, because I suck at remembering to do them. I still have quite a few left, lucky me. Next is my Mario Badescu Honey Moisturizer. I actually bought one of those beauty spatulas to scrape this puppy clean. Love it! On to another bottle already. I also tried a sample of the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. It was ok. I liked that it was blue (knowing full well that color doesn't matter in regard to efficacy). I prefer the Pixi Glow Tonic, though, because it has a higher percentage of glycolic. Then we have a super old bottle of Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, which I'm happy to be rid of. It's ok and did its job, but I hate having to go through someone to get a product. If I can't order it online or in a store, then I don't want it. And lastly, we have Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. I typically use the oil-free version and I like them, but this kind burned my eyes like crazy and I'm pretty sure it's responsible for the weird dry patch I developed under my eye and that mysteriously went away after I stopped using these. Granted, it only took me two tries on two separate occasions to declare that I hate these pads, but still. I was trying to be fair. But, in to the trash they go because I can't even bring myself to pass them on to someone and run the risk of them having the same weird reaction. 

Only a few hair care items. First is a trial size Living Proof Hold Flexible Hairspray. The nozzle got clogged and then quit working altogether about half-way through, despite my best efforts to unclog it. This was actually kind of sticky and I didn't like the smell, so I wouldn't get a full size. Second is the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Antifrizz Serum. It was ok. I have a couple other ones to get through, so no need to repurchase. Thirdly, we have Tresemme's Platinum Strength Strengthening Heat Protectant Spray. I didn't particularly like this, so I wouldn't repurchase. And lastly, the Got2Be Beach Trippin' Salt Infusion Waving Spray. It made my hair crunchy and sticky (yes, duh, I know there's salt in it) and I didn't get pretty mermaid waves. I got drowned rat, crunchy frizz. So, no. I won't repurchase. 

And for our conclusion, I have some purge items for you. The Lancome products kind of break my heart because these were the lip products I used for my wedding seven years ago. Yes, seven. I'm not a germaphobe but that's kind of pushing it for lip products, don't you think? Don't get me wrong. I love them, but it's time to let them go. I could only repurchase the Lancome Le Crayon Lip Contour in Caramel (the lip liner), since the Color Fever Gloss in Burning Up and Le Rouge Absolu in Bronze Light are discontinued, but I'm not a lip liner fan, so I'm not going to. And to be on the safe side, I threw in the Korres Lip Butters in Pomegranate and Quince? Maybe. The lettering is all scratched off. I can't even remember how old these are, so it's time to say goodbye, especially since I don't fancy sticking my finger into a pot and then having a dirty, sticky finger or having to carry around a lip brush with me when you have to reapply these every hour. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas

I've been inspired by YouTubers Amber F and PrettyPistol86 to take part in the "Finish Six by Christmas" challenge. It's basically just a project pan with a catchy title.

The six products I picked are...

Mario Badescu Facial Spray Since I'm almost done with the big bottle (and it felt a little like cheating) I threw in the mini size I had laying around.

Ralph Lauren Romance Body Mist I can't even tell you how long I've had this. It's a few years old, just because I don't wear body mists. But it came in a set and I feel obligated to finish it. It was great in the summer, I guess, but I'll be happy to get through it quickly and get to an actual perfume.

Urban Decay Sellout eyeshadow This is another item that has just been in my collection too long. I have soooo many colors like this in various palettes, it's kinda ridiculous to have a single floating around taking up space. I don't know why, but I've definitely been on a palette kick lately. It seems to just make getting ready easier/faster because everything you need is right there versus trying to pair singles together and whatnot.

Maybelline Nearly There lipstick I like it, but I don't looove it anymore. Depending on my mood, it is either flattering or kinda frosty. And I really want to try Hourglass's lipstick in Whisper, which I promised myself I wouldn't buy until this one was finished, since they're both reportedly dupes for MAC's Viva Glam V.

Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire This one isn't my favorite, but it's ok. I got it during the hunt for a replacement to my beloved and discontinued MUFE Full Cover 2 (damn you, MUFE!) This one is just a teeensy bit dark in certain lighting, but since I'm working the graveyard shift right now, no one can really tell with minimal lighting.

Cargo Texaslash Mascara This is kind of another cheating product, but I needed to feel like I'm accomplishing something out of this whole thing.... I got this mini in the tea time deal (I think is what it was called) during the spring/summer. Of the entire tin, all I liked was the eyeshadow. But I digress. This mascara isn't amazing by any means. It's rather wet and the normal bristle brushes don't seem to do much for my lashes. But it's black and not clumpy, so I can deal with it for a few months.

I fear my nemesis is going to be UD's Sellout. There is a slight dip, but I don't know if I'll actually hit pan on that bad boy. That's a lot of shimmer, right there. Guess I'll be multipurposing it as eyeshadow and cheek highlight.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Most Epic Empties Post E.V.E.R.

Ok, not really. But I am cramming four months (April through July) of empties and purging into one catch-up post. This spring I did some major purging but dummy me didn't take any pictures of the process. It was actually quite intensive. I laid everything out, category by category, and proceeded to go through and purge things I knew for a fact I hadn't reached for in over a year. I also checked for things that looked/smelled funny and double checked batch codes for their expiration date at this helpful website: Cosmetic Calculator. That was a real eye-opener. I had some lipsticks that expired in 2008. I'm not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination, but that's pushing it, even for me. 

These are in no particular order. So, sorry about that. I hate fighting with Blogger and trying to drag the different pictures around... So here you go. :)
Ye Olde Empties Bag.

Everything dumped out on the floor and roughly categorized.

Mascara and Lashes/Brows
  • Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof in Very Black. Empty. May repurchase in the future.
  • Maybelline Full 'N Soft in Very Black. Empty. May repurchase in the future.
  • Maybelline One by One Volum' Express in Very Black. Empty. Probably won't repurchase.
  • Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express in Very Black. Empty. Probably won't repurchase.
  • Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in Very Black. Empty. HG. Have several as backups already.
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes. Empty. Won't repurchase. Wasn't very impressed.
  • It Cosmetics Tightline. Empty. Won't repurchase. Wasn't impressed at all. More hassle to use than I would have preferred.
  • Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum. Purge. It got too old and I didn't notice much difference.
  • Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in Soft Auburn. Empty. I may repurchase when I'm done with the It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil in Universal Taupe. 

Eyeshadows and Eyeliners
  • Clinique Fresh Bloom Eyeshadow in Maple Blossom. Empty. It was limited edition, so I can't repurchase. I wouldn't even if it was still available, only because I have so many similar colors. That actually holds true for all of my Clinique eyeshadows in this post. 
  • Clinique Colour Surge in Buff. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • Clinique Colour Surge Duo in Like Mink. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • NARS Eyeshadow in Tibet. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase. I don't particularly care for the texture and finish of either NARS shadow I've owned (I think the other one was "Night" something... it was supposed to be silver, but it was glitter bomb central). 
  • Clinique Colour Surge in Lucky Penny. Empty. Can't repurchase because they've discontinued this color. I was a little sad with this one, but I have more rose gold/coppers in my collection.
  • Clinique Colour Surge in Toasted Almond. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • Clinique Pair of Shades Duo in Ivory Bisque/Bronze Satin. Empty. I was sad about this one too, because it was one of my very first Clinique eyeshadows from eeeeeeeooons ago. But, I've discovered similar colors/better textures since then. So, no on the repurchase.
  • Clinique Cream Shaper For Eyes in Brown Sugar. Empty. I wouldn't repurchase just because I'm lazy and don't want to bother sharpening my pencils. I much prefer automatic liners.
  • Clinique Cream Shaper For Eyes in Chocolate Lustre. Empty. Again, wouldn't repurchase because I'm a lazy bum.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Corrupt. Empty. Shall I say it a third time? I am l.a.z.y. So, no.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. Purge. It dried out. Wouldn't repurchase because it was rather patchy and I much prefer MAC's Painterly Paint Pot.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. Purged because it dried out. But then I bought another one and so far so good. So maybe these were just part of a bad batch.

See how dried out they are? They've actually pulled away from the edges. Ick.

Face Stuff
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser in Fair. Purge, but mostly an empty. I developed some sort of eye allergy/contact dermatitis thing a few weeks ago and to be on the safe side, I decided to pitch this. I have so many other concealers, I probably won't repurchase.
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Brightener. Purge, but also mostly empty. Again, I decided to get rid of this for fear of re-aggravating my eye issue again. Didn't really like how the pink worked against my skin, anyway. So no, wouldn't repurchase.
  • Neutrogena Nourishing Longwear Makeup in Classic Ivory. Purge. Didn't like this foundation at all. A more lengthy review can be found here. I wouldn't repurchase.
  • American Beauty Luminous Liquid All Over Face Glow in Pink Glow. Purge. This was waaay expired. And I hardly used it. I don't think it's still available, so I wouldn't repurchase. I've found I like powder highlighters better, anyway.

Hair Stuff
  • Tresemme Tres Mousse. Empty. I like the Pantene Whipped Mousse better, so no, I wouldn't repurchase.
  • Tresemme Split Remedy Leave-In Conditioning Spray. Purge. I hated this stuff! It's so goopy and doesn't spray out evenly. No, no, no. No repurchase.
  • Paul Mitchell Queen For A Day Super Clean Extra Finishing Spray. Empty. No, I wouldn't repurchase. I hated the smell. And I prefer my Tresemme hairspray. Plus I have a multitude of other mini cans to try.
  • Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner. Empty. I probably would repurchase after I get through a million other shampoos and conditioners.
  • *Not Pictured* L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Shampoo & Conditioner. Empty. I just threw them out because they wouldn't fit in the bag. While I appreciated that the conditioner bottle was twice the size of the shampoo bottle (since I always go through conditioner faster than shampoo), I didn't really care for the formula. I prefer other brands, so I wouldn't repurchase. 

Lotion Stuff
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Empty. I have a gagillion other Aveeno lotions to use, so no need to repurchase.
  • Soap and Glory Hand Food. Empty. The smell of this was terrible and I love bergamot, so I don't know what's up. But, no. It wasn't moisturizing enough and I couldn't get past the smell. No repurchase. 
  • Blistex Intensive Hand Cream Fragrance Free. Empty. This just sat on top of my skin but never really sunk in, so no repurchase. 
  • Curel Nail and Cuticle Therapy. Empty (obviously...). I wouldn't repurchase it, though, because I prefer the Aveeno hand cream more. This smelled nice, though. I didn't notice any noticeable difference in my nails/cuticles, either, which is a let down.
  • Le Couvent Des Minimes Nourishing Hand Cream in Honey and Shea. Empty. If you don't like honey, you'd better steer clear of this. Even if you do like honey, I don't really recommend this. The smell was so overpowering and if you used too much, your hands were literally sticky. I wouldn't repurchase this. 
  • Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. Empty. Hell NO I wouldn't repurchase. This was a 100-point perk from Sephora and I wish I had read some reviews before picking it. It smells like bug spray. It's awful. Plus, I didn't find it to be moisturizing enough.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Recovery. Purge. I liked it when I used it, but I put it in a drawer and inevitably forgot about it. So... I might repurchase it in the future, but I have a stock of other lotions and scrubs to get through.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy. Purge. See above.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Foot Therapy. Purge. See above..
  • Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Foot Smoother. Purge. Hey, guess what? See above. :)

Lip Stuff and a stray hand cream that I mistook for a balm...
  • Almay Ideal Gloss in Berry Shimmer. Purge. It was super old. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • American Beauty Fabulous Feel Liquid Lipcolor in Mauvelous. Purge. It was also really old. I wouldn't repurchase. 
  • L'Oreal Le Gloss in Raspberry Splash. Purge. It was old. Might repurchase.
  • L'Oreal Le Gloss in Nude Touch. Purge, but close to being empty. Might repurchase.
  • Lancome Juicy Tube in Pink Horizon. Purge. Wouldn't repurchase. Too sticky. No color.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase because it's so expensive for a ho-hum balm.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Plum. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase. 
  • Ulta Lip Balm in Very Vanilla. Purge. It wasn't moisturizing enough and the taste got weird after a while.
  • Chapstick Hydration Lock 8 Hour Moisture. Purge. It also wasn't moisturizing enough.
  • Burts Bees Nourishing Lip Butter in Pomegranate. Purge. Hated the taste. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • Burts Bees Nourishing Lip Butter in Mango Butter. Purge. Also hated the taste. Wouldn't repurchase. 
  • Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon and Chamomile. Empty. Love the Jack Black balms and already have several backups.
  • Nivea Kiss of Relief SOS Lip Care. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase because it tasted perfumey and the Jack Blacks are so much better.
  • Almay Ideal Lip Liner in Berry. Purge. It was super old and I don't really use lip liners. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • American Beauty Ultra Easy Automatic Lipliner in Ginger. Purge. Also really old and hardly ever used it. Wouldn't repurchase.
  • Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine. Empty. Wouldn't repurchase because it was just average. 
  • J. R. Watkins Hand Cream in Lemon Cream. Purge. And a whoopsie. I thought this was a balm when I was sorting... But I wouldn't repurchase because it wasn't moisturizing enough and seemed to turn really quickly. 
  • Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry. Empty. I didn't find these moisturizing enough, so I wouldn't repurchase.
  • Flirt Tint-a-licious in Queen. Empty. I'm pretty sure these have been discontinued, so I can't repurchase.
  • Flirt Chickstick in Dainty x 2. Empty. I love this color and already have a third tube.
  • Flirt Chickstick in Obsess. Empty. I have other nudes to use, so I won't repurchase. 
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie x 2. Empty. I also really liked this color, but I have other stuff to use so I wouldn't repurchase at the moment.
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait. Empty. I already had a backup, so no need to repurchase.
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Rose & Shine. Empty. I have too many similar shades, so I won't repurchase. 
  • It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi. Empty. I wouldn't repurchase only because I didn't care for the fuschia shade this sometimes turned my lips. Also, it got pretty melt-y in my pocket, which I don't like. 
  • L'Oreal Colour Riche in Gilded Pink. Purge. I like this color, but it's too old. I might repurchase in the future.
  • L'Oreal Colour Riche in Taffeta. Purge. I really like this one, too, but it was way old and limited edition. So no repurchase.
  • L'Oreal Colour Riche in Pink Lady. Purge. Nothing really special about this and I hardly used it. It was several years past its expiration date, too, so no repurchasing for me.

  • Chloe Eau de Parfum Rollerball. Empty. I'm glad I got to try this, but I wouldn't repurchase. Toward the end, it just got to be too... ugh... I was happy when it was gone. The heavy green opening was too much for me sometimes.
  • Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum. Empty. Love this perfume. I already have a full-size bottle I'm working on.

Facial Skincare
  • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. Empty. They were ok. I might buy them again for traveling purposes. 
  • Absolute Brightening Essence Mask in Collagen and Fresh Aloe. Empty. I have several backups. 
  • Forever Luminous Hydrating Facial Wrap in Cucumber and Aloe. Empty. It was ok, so I might pick it up again from TJMaxx. 
  • Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. Empty. Holy Grail status. I currently have two bottles I'm working on (one in the shower, one at the sink. Yep. That's how I roll). 
  • Simple Soothing Toner. Empty. I wasn't particularly impressed, so I doubt I'd repurchase.
  • Mario Badescu Chamomile Cleansing Lotion. Empty. I wasn't really impressed with this either, so I wouldn't repurchase. 
  • Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer. Purge. It has fatty alcohols (cetyl/cetearyl alcohol) which is a no-no for my skin. Definitely no repurchase.
  • Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream. Empty. I have one backup left, but since it's been discontinued, I can't repurchase.
  • Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Treatment 10% AHA. Empty. I might repurchase, but I'm currently using the glycolic acid from Mario Badescu. 
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60 PA +++. Empty. I'm so mad Shiseido discontinued this!!! I tried the reformulated SPF 50 version of this and it's TERRIBLE! It is NOT the same. Why, Shiseido. Why?!?!

Phew! I can't even tell you how happy I am to be able to finally get rid of all that clutter!

Monday, April 28, 2014

The power of makeup.

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I thought I would share something that truly illustrates the power of makeup and humanity, in general. 

In May, 1945 Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO was one of the first men to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Though I had trouble tracking down a copy of his actual diary, this excerpt and one other can be found here. For anyone wanting more information on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in general, Ben Shepard's book After Daybreak: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 1945 seems to be very popular. 

The last paragraph is the key point, if you'd prefer to skip the grim backdrop of what they discovered. The emphasis is my own.

"I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen.

It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing could save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference.

Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated.

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity."

And that, dear readers, is why I will never say makeup is frivolous or pointless or just caters to a woman's vanity. It is powerful because it empowers its wearer, even under the most horrific conditions.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Inspiration: Kate Winslet

I've loved her since Titanic and I seriously hope I can age half as gracefully as she has. I love her as a redhead. I love her blonde. She's like the perfect English rose, in my book, and her smile is to die for. I would probably be more into lipsticks if my lips looked like hers.