Quitting My Job, Finishing My Novel, & A New Skincare Routine

I have been busy.

In light of my south node moving into my tenth house, I quit my job.

Kidding, kind of.

Nothing changes if you don’t change it, and I realized I couldn’t do anything else to make myself happier where I worked than what I’d already done. So, I quit. No safety net.

It was scary! But somehow I feel better unemployed than I can remember feeling for a while. I’ve written so much and I feel so good about it. I finished my novel! That’s a thing. And I’ve been editing that and re-writing my first project, too, and I’m getting so much done every day even between my job applications.

Everything is new, even what isn’t new feels new. Even my skincare routine is new! Even the perfume I’m wearing is new!

Anyway, I was gone but now I’m back(ish). Novel updates and some hauls coming soon, and a comparison of the Colourpop Blotted Lips to the Glossier Gen G’s.

“I Am a Working Professional” FOTD

It’s busy season at Day Job, and unfortunately that means the more I want to wear sweats and look scrubby, the more I have to look “put-together.” Life is funny like that.

Aims:

1. Don’t look like shit

2. Don’t take forever

3. Last long enough I can attend those inhumane 4:30 pm Friday meetings (that could have been e-mails)

Method:

1. Pat a bit of jojoba or sweet almond oil on my face. I’ve been wearing actual foundation lately — I have to use a sponge and everything — and the one I’m using in particular goes on better with a dewy base like this. I tried it with a “sticky/tacky” oil-control type base and it clung funny and my cream blush/contour/highlight/etc. blended out like shit over top.

2. Undereye concealer just in that innermost hollow near my nose to avoid creasing and future mascara smudging. Brow gel. Try to convince myself to run a pencil through the gaps and asymmetry in my brows. Fail.

3. Pretend I can convince other people into thinking I have bone structure by running a contour stick under where a cheekbone, in theory, would be. Blush as medically necessary to then convince them I am alive. Highlight because I fucking love sparkle.

5.Take a bigass eye crayon or a sparkly eyeshadow and smudge that shit on the lid and take a tiny bit underneath the lower lashline too. If I’m feeling real crazy, I might even take some eyeliner on my waterline before mascara.

6. Now that all the face makeup has settled in as much as it’s gonna, I go in with face-concealer; waiting until the foundation is set keeps me from using too much.

7. Lipstick. Check for it on my teeth. Rub it off. Have lipstick smeared all over my teeth the rest of the day regardless.

Result:

WPFOTD

Do I look close to a two weeks notice to you?

Iron Fist Thoughts

I am not the first person, the last person, and I won’t be the best person to talk about how Iron Fist was mismanaged in terms of casting and production. It was. I watched it (so you might not have to) and I’ll confirm that reports of its use of racist tropes and uninspiring fight choreography and cinematography have not been exaggerated.

But like I said, I’m not the best person to talk at length about some of these issues. Let me direct you to the work of people who’ve expressed some of this better than I ever could here and here. If you want to do your own leg work, any semi-vague google search will lead you to tons of articles to parse through at your leisure.

What I can talk about with some degree of confidence is my experience watching it just as a Marvel fan, so that’s what I’m going to focus on.

The first season of Daredevil was critiqued pretty heavily for being slow-paced. While I didn’t necessarily feel that way about it, it seemed as if the Marvel team took that to heart and the subsequent Daredevil season as well as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage all started off with a bit more speed to the narrative. Iron Fist made the first few episodes of Daredevil season one look balls to the wall, NASCAR pit stop frantic.

It picked up, eventually, maybe around episode 8 or 9? (Of a 13 episode season!!) But it didn’t feel like a natural progression or like the pay off of a tense build up until that point (which season one Daredevil did). This felt like they were writing a different show.

I don’t know how some of the things I saw weren’t scrapped in like the first draft of the script (I am very curious to see the first drafts, though.) I mean this very literally — there are lines of dialogue that fit in with my first creative writing assignment from 7th grade on top of structural inconsitencies and bizarre characterization shifts that seem to change with whatever direction the wind blows. I’m sure part of this, in Danny’s case, anyway, was them trying to show the dichotomy of a man who was stunted in many ways as a ten year old while also being “wise” or whatever from his years of training to become the Iron Fist. But there was so little nuance and consistency in how this was dealt with it just felt more like they couldn’t make up their minds about if Danny was a wizened guru who preached “respect in the dojo” (not that he could be assed to show any himself) and “detachment as strength” and chi alignment (which he conveniently forgot towards the end…funny how that happens…) or if he was a naive boy in a (strong?) man’s body.  (Question mark intended, because even though you have to suffer through Iron Fist‘s lackluster fight scenes, you don’t ever really see Danny “show out.” I don’t know how strong that Iron Fist of his is, in real people terms, because I don’t think their writing team ever came to a decision about that themselves. He can use it sometimes? Except when he can’t? It’s strong but not that strong? It changes every episode, sometimes several times throughout an episode.)

If we can detour slightly for a moment: the only character who had anything resembling a character arc or growth was Ward Meachum, and I can’t tell you how irritated I was to be even sort of rooting for his Patrick Bateman impersonating ass by the end of it (the very end of the last episode aside, but maybe not for the reason you’d guess). I am especially irritated but not surprised at how the fandom seems to be running with this at lightspeed and woobifying him to a degree that boggles even my jaded ass. (Going in the tumblr tag was a mistake.) The MCU seems to be very good at creating lanky haired semi-villians (it seems too generous to call some of them “anti-heroes”) for folks to latch onto, but somehow they can’t manage to avoid Claire Temple’s character assassination after building her up to be so amazing in 3 series so far.

Yes, that’s another thing to be mad about. Claire Temple stopped being a person of her own accord and started being some string along puppet conveiently there to fix dumbass-induced boo-boos. Actually, Iron Fist treated women badly generally. (Here’s a good article about “Slapping The Joker” with regards to Joy Meachum. It might be the only article of substance you see on Joy, considering she could have been very easily replaced by a reasonably attractive lamp in a wig and not made much difference to the plot.) Marvel and the MCU have been far from perfect in this regard, but the Netflix series they’ve produced have in many ways been better than, say, Joss Whedon’s Avengers films. 🙂 Iron Fist is a huge step backwards in this regard — Colleen is a cardboard approximation of a stiff-upper lip when first introduced, and falls into a strangely irrational puddle of goo with regards to Danny with no build up or explanation. She’s a hard-ass, then she’s a lovesick fool. That’s the pattern most of the characters follow.

The main problem, I think, is they are trying to arrange these characters around a (weak) plot instead of trying to engage these characters with the plot or even, dare I say, have their actions and decisions shape it in a decisive way. This among other things leaves you wholly uninvested in either the plot or characters because there’s a feeling that it doesn’t really matter either way.

This is to say nothing of the fact that some of these characters are just portrayed poorly. Like, the acting is noticeably bad, espeically with Finn Jones (our Danny Rand), and that’s not even something I usually notice. In fact, one of the only characters who was notably handled well was Ward; Tom Pelphrey is one of the few problems I don’t have with this show. But like I said before, that in and of itself pisses me off 🙂

I’m concerned doubly about all of this when I think of the upcoming Defenders series: I don’t know how what they’ve built in this series is gonna gel with the others. The Mary Sue pointed out, for example, that Danny’s whiny, white male entitlement is something Jessica Jones actively despises, and with good reason. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t enjoy seeing that dynamic played out and explored; it might be an opportunity to give Danny space in the narrative to gain some self-awareness — I just doubt it will get airtime. I’m concerned they’re going to sweep all of these shortcomings and inconsistencies and weaknesses under the rug instead of addressing them which has historically never worked out in the Cinematic Universe they’ve created.

I explained Iron Fist to my coworker like this: “everything you would think would happen in Iron Fist comes to pass in Iron Fist.” I think it might be the one series you could skip on before starting Defenders in August. Re-watch Luke Cage instead, listen to that bomb soundtrack, and forget that Marvel ever spent millions of dollars on this show.

In sum: I am disappointed, but not surprised.

Blush Diaries: Becca Beach Tint “Guava”

Becca’s shimmer souffle leaves me in an odd puddle of ennui, but this beach tint is a little better, at least.

Guava

I’d try more beach tints if there weren’t really good liquid blushes that are less pricey, maybe. Guava is sheer and pretty and lasts a decent amount of time (not all day, like my ELF Cream Blush palette); but it’s like my on again, off again partner. I like it when I think to use it (more than that Watermelon shimmer souffle), but it’s out of sight out of mind when it filters its way to the bottom of my makeup bag.

GuavaBecca1

It’s alright, I guess. Maybe if I’d gotten a more unique color I’d have stronger feelings about it. The formula and this shade don’t leave me with any complaints, per se, but I’m not excited to reach for them. (This also looks really not good on the lips. Don’t let Becca lie on you like that.)

Bonus: When No Selfie is Working but You Got a Blog Post to Get Up:

beccaguava2

I’ll never be a beauty blogger, really.

Lipstick for When You Hate Your Job

Does this title sound like click bait? Because that is honestly and unironically what this post is about. (It’s more likely than you think!)

I’ve been struggling with the Day Job more than usual lately. And I mean that very genuinely in the “crafted my two weeks notice before I left last Friday and have it queued up and ready to go the next time I’m faced with bullshit” kind of way. Unfortunately, I don’t have a patron that would support me if I just up and left with no backup in place (though applications are open for that coveted position!), so I’ve had to rely on other ways to get me though my hopefully numbered days at Day Job. Of course, because it’s me, that means lipstick.

Makeup gives me joy and as I’ve mentioned before a bright blush and lipstick gives me joy most of all, since I don’t even have to worry about blending it or winging it evenly or anything else complicated. Here are some of my fave bright and happy lipsticks that allow me to fake it until I make it, so to speak:

Reds:

Red

Left to Right: Besame “American Beauty,” Clinique Pop Lip Color+Primer “Cherry Pop,” Revlon Super Lustrous “Fire and Ice,” LA Colors “Cherry Red,” ELF Tinted Lip Balm “XO Red” (d/c?), Clinique Chubby Stick “Chunky Cherry

The Clinique Cherry Pop (don’t think I don’t see what you did there, Clinique) and Besame American Beauty are my standouts in terms of color + formula, since I usually prefer cooler/berry reds anyway. That ELF one is a straight up lipstick though — that’s one light swipe shown there. Don’t let the name fool you. If you’re looking for sheer, the Clinique Chubby Stick or one of the Revlon Kiss Balms (I think the red one is Cherry or Apple something?) would be better.

Pinks:

Pink

Left to Right: J.Cat Beauty 24/7 Hydrating Lip Stain “Hikilicious,” Korres Liquid Lipstick “Raspberry” (d/c, but I think you can still find this one here), Soap and Glory Sexy Motherpucker “Pommie Girl,” Revlon Lip Butter “Lollipop” (d/c), Colourpop Ultra Glossy “Kink” (d/c), Almay Liquid Lip Balm “Pink Pout,” Revlon Kiss Balm “Fresh Strawberry

For some reason, the Soap and Glory Pommie Girl and the J. Cat Hikilicious both photographed darker and a bit more brown than they are in real life, no matter what I tried with my limited lighting and photography skills. Pommie Girl is definitely a rosy, deeper pink, but is absolutely lighter and brighter than the swatch above. Same for Hikilicious, which is a peachy-pink color in real life (think those peachy-orange roses in the grocery store, then up the saturation level by about 50 points. You can see it in action here). I love both of these formulas though; the Soap and Glory matte formula is a drugstore sleeper cell, and Pommie Girl and Cinnamon Kiss are “oh shit” makeup bag staples.

Etc:

Wild

Left to Right: Colourpop “Crystal Ball” (d/c), Sephora Colorful Glass Balm “Adjust Your Tiara,” Sephora Colorful Gloss Balm “Peek a Blue,” NYX High Voltage Lipstick “Twisted,” (Now rebranded as “Turnt Up”? NYX what?)  NYX Round Lipstick “Haute Melon,” Revlon Kissable Balm Stain “Rendezvous

I will buy Rendezvous until they stop making it, and when that happens I will cry many rivers. I think it’s actually the only lipstick I have ever fully run through and repurchased. The Sephora glosses are sheer enough to get away with in most work settings — you can tell, especially with the blue, that a little something is going on, but it’s not like Crystal Ball, which is full on green goodness and not something I could wear to a meeting with my boss’ boss, but can bust out on a Friday when no one is there to see me giving them the cosmetic middle finger anyway. (Fair warning, the blue can go into “been drunk-slurping a Burger King Ic-ee” real quick if you goop on too much).

Some days, of course, there is no other option but to show who I am inside:

Dark

Left to Right: J.Cat Beauty 24/7 Hydrating Lip Stain “Fantasy Dreamer,” Besame “Noir Red,” BITE Beauty “Liquorice,” The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes “Charming,” Colourpop Ultra Glossy “Furry” (d/c)

Charming pulls deeper and much more plum on my lips, as seen in this unfortunate drunk snapchat:

Snap

But I know on others it stays more true to the nudey-rosewood color seen above. The darker colors of that J. Cat stain can be a bit finnicky, but when I can be assed to take the time to apply it properly it is beautiful. Both the Bite and Besame lipsticks are beautiful and luxurious feeling, as well, (Besame wins for longevity, if that matters to you), and “Furry” is one of my favorite Colourpop purchases of all time. All of these are good eggs, is what I’m saying.

I haven’t busted out my only remaining black lipstick yet, but maybe I’ll wear it when I’m going out in a blaze of glory?

I know lipstick isn’t for everyone, and this might not help you deal with your employment hell if that’s the case. My only other suggestion would be:

Ice-Cream

The birthday cake flavor is real good, too.

How do you motivate yourself in our capitalist prison? 🙂

Being Borderline + BadBrain FOTD

I’ve mentioned being Borderline in passing on this blog before, in addition to having Bi-Polar Disorder and other co-morbid fun times. I wanted to do a little post about what that means in real life terms since I’m toeing the edge of an episode or a downswing or whatever and ready to chat about some of the things I’ve been feeling and thinking recently with regards to mental illness and interacting with the Neurotypicals(TM).

Borderline Personality Disorder is a Cluster B Personality Disorder, and it hinges on instability with regards to interpersonal relationships, emotions, and identity, among other things. Upon hearing this, a lot of (neurotypical) people try to say that everyone gets mad at their friends, or needs validation they are doing a good job, or feels lost sometimes as to who they are and what they want. And you know, on a good day, I know that everyone does.

But BPD is not that. It’s not that for me, and I don’t think any actual Borderline would agree with it, either. And it is very hard to not get pissed off when you have to hear it again and again, and are expected to listen patiently like a “good mentally ill person,” since they are “just trying to help.”

If you are chronically or mentally ill in some way, hearing things like that undercut your very real symptoms and the very real impacts they have on your very real life. It’s near gas-lighting, and for myself having or being BPD, this especially grates. One of the worst catch-22s of BPD is that it can become your identity so quickly once you finally have a diagnosis or a name to call how you’ve been feeling that even if you hate it (and boy, do I hate it! 🙂 ) having someone try to take that from you is like changing the forces of gravity. I don’t want to be sick, but in some ways I feel like I have to be in order to “be” in many senses of that word. If I’m not Borderline, who or what am I then? What is left if you take that part away?

Worse yet, because BPD makes you question who and what you are, a lot of Borderlines question that diagnosis anyway — that they’re making their symptoms up, or feeling like they’re just doing this “for attention” — but that very train of thought is a symptom in and of itself; constantly questioning the validity of the diagnosis is part of living with the diagnosis. When my experiences get re-framed in the context of “everyone is like that, really!” I don’t know if I can adequately express how disorienting it feels, and what that can trigger.

(Yes, everyone does that. Why am I so weak I can’t handle it like everyone else? What else am I making up for attention, what else am I using as an excuse? How can I be such a bad person to think my experiences are so much worse than everyone else’s? People have it much worse than I do, what do I have to complain about, really? I couldn’t tell you, since I now know I’m making not only my BPD symptoms up, but also my BD symptoms, my anxiety, the swings, splitting, all of it. Maybe even my PCOS and Endo. I’m making those up too, why not?)

I can try to understand why some neurotypical people feel the need to do that. Maybe they think they are being supportive, to let me or other people know they aren’t alone. I think more often because of the way BPD symptoms are described, people misunderstand them and orient them in their own experiences. Because, for example, if the DSM says one of the characteristics of being Borderline is “an instability in goals, aspirations, and career plans,” they all flash back to when they changed their major midway through undergrad and don’t understand the depth of what that means or feels like to someone who cannot regulate their emotions with any consistency and lacks a centralized sense of self. That’s not an isolated incidence of existential panic or debating a career change, it’s a chronic state of being.

Anyway. A lot of this was prompted by me mass-unfollowing a lot of borderline-centric tumblrs recently due to this type of Discourse(TM), and I wanted to share my thoughts and also maybe give people who wouldn’t otherwise get one a look at what BPD looks like in real life.

BBFOTD

On my face:

  • Hard Candy Sheer Envy Pore Defense Primer Serum. Since I am coming out of an episode that left me unable to wash my face consistently and on the verge of a dermatological revolt, the willow bark and witch hazel in this primer help me stave off the inevitable bad brain breakout. That I deserve, you know, because what kind of adult can’t get up to at least rinse the grime and dirt off their face? 🙂
  • Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Color Correct Cream in Sheer Nude. Since not being able to wash my face has also left me flaky and dry, the soothing ingredients in this aloe based cream help hide the flakiness where I’ve scratched or picked at my face trying to self-harm my guilt away post episode.
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. Since I seemingly lost my favorite Jordana brow gel (that left me crying for several minutes this morning, unable to stop myself from looking for it even though I knew it was lost, and I can’t even keep up with a little tube of makeup), this overpriced impulse buy keeps my brows visible on my puffy, bloated face, from all the water I haven’t been drinking and junk food I’ve been eating.
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Brightener. Since my episode I’ve been sleeping maybe two hours a night the past week or so, since the thought of sleeping triggers my paranoia. I don’t want anyone asking me about it at work — because what would I say? — so this lightweight, easy to blend formula helps hide the evidence.
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light. This is another overpriced impulse buy, since I literally cannot help myself from spending money irresponsibly 75% of the time. The emollient formula glides over the scabby, flaky parts of my face I cant help but mess with.
  • Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Mascara in Abyss. Who knows when my next outburst or meltdown will be? I could split on my Bein, my co-worker, or my dog at the drop of a hat, and this lightweight, smudgeproof formula keeps me from those melodramtic racoon eyes when I have a little cry in the bathroom at work.
  • Revlon Kiss Balm in Juicy Peach. Since I’ve been gnawing at my lips constantly, trying to internalize all my shit and assimilate with the Neurotypicals(TM), a nice hydrating, sweet-smelling balm will help heal the scabs and dry patches I’ve got lingering.
  • A smile! Two weeks ago my coworker started talking to me about his friend’s “crazy, Borderline wife” who was ruining his life. No way I would let them know I’m struggling with the same illness that apparently only matters in the context of making other people’s lives harder. BPD folks are manipulative and abusive, don’t you know?

 

Internet Recommendations: April 2017

I have trawled through the internet so you don’t have to!

I am a semi professional internet person, and I’m here to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were. All the shit that’s fit to upload with no or limited repercussions due to the toxic culture of the internet 🙂

YouTube

Cold Crash Pictures

This is one of my favorite under-appreciated channels on YT. I’m not a movie buff or whatever by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes I can pretend to be watching his videos, which are always clearly well thought out and insightful in addition to being edited well. Is that a weird thing to notice? Like they are just easy to watch partly by virtue of being put together so nicely. He also shares my love of the Animorphs, which I hadn’t thought about in years until he mentioned it in one of his videos. The best part of this channel is when you get snippets of his very very cute dog, though.

Thataylaa

Let me tell you a thing: once upon a time I lived in a house where I had, very literally, zero internet access. I moved to said house maybe two years after YouTube started to become a Thing(TM), and lived there for another two years after. When I finally moved back to the land of the living, I had no small amount of catching up to do with all the channels I had watched before. I didn’t end up sticking with a lot of them, especially in the beauty community, since I felt it had changed in that time to something different that I didn’t (and still don’t 🙂 ) like. But I’ve been watching Taylor’s videos since the veeeery beginning, and it’s because I feel like she genuinely has a different vibe and brings new and different things to the table. And frankly in the beauty community that’s a bit hard to come by. (Does that make me sound like an asshole? Don’t answer that). She just seems like a good egg and you should check her out if you haven’t already, especially since her third foundation series is about to start up again!!

Lilly Jarlsson

Right at the start of the year, I chopped like eleven inches of my hair off. I mention this because I originally stumbled upon her channel looking for a pin-curl tutorial before the Big Chop in an effort to manage it — hers was, I will say, the only one I found that I really understood and helped me get the technique down. Lilly does her videos in both English and German, if that entices you any, and she has such a unique and fresh perspective on what beauty is and what it means for like actual real life. Her videos are also just relaxing to watch and I think she is honestly just…elegant. Not to be dramatic but…I watch her videos and I feel like the type of woman who wants to get her shit together. Her vintage tutorials are also some of the better ones with regards to historical accuracy as well, and she’s just generally a delight to watch.

Blogs

Bad Outfit Great Lipstick

Remember when I told you I didn’t have internet, that one time? Renee’s original YT channel was another that passed the great purge. She also sent me a RAOK once, many many moons ago, when I was still on the MakeupAlley Boards, and I feel forever in her debt for it or something. She’s very thorough in her reviews and she introduced me to my beloved Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer so I can’t see how I couldn’t mention her wonderful blog here. (It’s also so organized…literally it’s so well organized I think you just need to go witness it for the experience).

Auxiliary Beauty

I found this blog through the very organized sidebar of Renee’s blog 🙂 All their posts are well written and their lip swatches, particularly, are the stuff of dreams in that they seem to be genuinely and consistently all true to color and the comparison swatches they do are legitimately helpful. Also they just seem cool like I aspire to be and isn’t that the whole reason anyone wants to follow a blog? I appreciate that they are a Glossier Realist and sometimes they even make me want to consider doing a Low or No Buy with their own posts on the same. Crazy, I know.

Etc.

The Lunar Nodes of The Horoscope

If you are into astrology to any degree, this is a video you need to watch, honestly. You’ll get more out of it if you have a bit of background knowledge, but if you don’t just save it for later and make sure to come back when you’re ready to learn about the Lunar Nodes and their purpose. Olga really explains the axis of each sister sign well and the differences in karmic versus personal or psychological astrology — an excellent balance of theoretical astrology and practical examples and applications and delivered in a way that’s very easy to engage with. Astrolada’s channel overall can be a bit overwhelming even for me who has a certain grasp on astrology as it is, though most all of the content itself is very good. This one particularly is a stand out, though.

Petlandia.com

Bein, if you are somehow reading this, avert your eyes. This is that gift I told you I couldn’t wait until your birthday to give you. You customize a pet, name it and they mail you a personalized book about you and your pet. I mean…do I need to say anything else? I have only just now placed the order so I’ll update everyone if it takes an especially long time to ship or anything weird, but it’s such a sweet gift idea I couldn’t not mention it.

There you go! Things I’ve loved especially and wanted to share. It’s like I’m your sugar daddy and the currency in our arrangement is —

I don’t actually want to continue that metaphor. Hope the rest of your week is gr8 — enjoy the time suck that are the above links 🙂