Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scrub scrub here, scrub scrub there...

So the afore-mentioned fancy-ass party went down this weekend, and everyone involved looked lovely. I did, in a moment of weakness, decide to chance it with Phenomen'Eyes, and my lashes looked amazing! The tides may be turning after all. That said, that is not the point of this particular post. No, sweeties, I am terribly dismayed to tell you all that, in all our finery, the unfortunate attendees of this party were forced to heed Nature's Call in...

PORTA-POTTIES.

No shit. (And pun totally intended.) My nether regions and I have never been so insulted as to relieve ourselves in what basically amounts to a hole in a giant Tupperware container whilst being so very gussied up. There's a distinct melancholy in gathering up the skirt of your floor-length gown to hobble into a stinking, infernal, phone-booth-sized column of scat. I'm obviously not over it, and I wouldn't expect any of you to be, either. There is a point here, though I could obviously write a dissertation on the grievances suffered by well-dressed ladies forced to tee-tee in a setup only suitable for outdoor concerts and pre-game tailgate parties. Here you go: it's the perfect opportunity to sing the praises of Herban Essentials' Towelettes. I've been onto these for a while, and what better time to test their mettle than the utterly disgusting world of white-tie-meets-green-potty? These things are truly awesome (skip over to www.herbanessentials.com immediately), being naturally antibacterial and antiseptic thanks to the ingenious use of natural essential oils. They come individually wrapped in zip-top packs in many options: Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, and a Combo Pack. (They even offer ones for cleaning pets' paws-- how cute is that?) Don't let the "Yoga Towelettes" fool you-- they're the Lavender ones with different packaging. A pack of twenty wipes will run you fifteen bucks, and it is SO worth it. I keep them in my purse and car, and load up before flying somewhere. I don't even bother washing my hands in that nasty-ass plane bathroom (seriously, they make a two-year-old with a stomach bug look like an operating room) -- I just sprint back to my seat and unwrap a Towelette and buff my hands (and every other surface) to a shiny finish.

So I had heard the dreadful Porta-Shitty rumor prior to the party this weekend, and carefully wedged two Towelettes into my very-pretty black satin clutch, and they totally saved the day. I visited the horrible potties early in the night, and with no attendant present, could not figure out how to work the Porta-Sink outside of the potties (this just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?). I had a handful of soap and couldn't see a faucet, nor could I locate any type of foot pedal below-- an additional insult, being well-shod in fancy evening shoes and all. Undaunted (but obviously completely pissed), I wiped away the soap with the cheap brown paper towels and trotted my fancy ass back to my handbag, where I snapped open a Lavender Towelette and scrubbed myself back to pretty. Wait-- I'm not saying this to mean that I'm a dirty person. I just think that all Portas are about as fresh as Lindsay Lohan on a hot summer day. Anyway, they worked like a charm on both visits to the "restroom" (what a joke), and I'm forever indebted. Snag some and test their mettle-- I think you'll be impressed. Sleep tight, ladies. We'll talk soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Round Two of the Mascara Classic

As promised, I'm returning to my lifelong-quest for the perfect mascara. This round brings a newcomer into the fold. I finally picked up a tube of the much-ballyhooed Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes at my local Sephora and practically flew home to wash my face and give it a whirl.

First things first: the brush design is truly unique. It looks like a teeny-tiny disco ball with a major attitude. It's spherical instead of longitudinal, and is covered with flexible spiky bristles. It does take a little tugging to get the brush out of the tube, but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. The packaging is pretty and luxurious, which is de riguer for Givenchy.

Next things next: for all you cost-cutters out there, take note-- this shit is twenty-seven bucks. Before tax. After plunking down that kind of kwan, I was fully prepared for an out-of-body experience upon application of Phenomen'Eyes. On the way home I silently hatched my plan of a universal takeover, visions of slaying my foes and seducing my allies with The Lashes From Hell (or Heaven?) dancing in my head. I'd be absolutely unstoppable, what with all the flitting and batting that would no doubt result. Why, I'd need to hire a secretary to field all the requests to star in mascara commercials! Yes, with my new lashes, I was going to be one busy bitch.

So I get home, take the day's eye makeup off, and decide to go all-out for the first go-round: I curl with my fabulous Shu Uemura eyelash curler, lovingly apply my Cils Boost XL (don't give me that look, I've already stated multiple times that it and I are a package deal), and painstakingly sweep the ball-with-the-'tude across my fringe. The result...?

Let's just say I'm conflicted.

(Surprise.)

Let me just start my review by saying that this stuff is thick. Apparently the Cils Boost XL is a bit redundant when making use of Phenomen'Eyes, which left me flabbergasted. Additionally, there is a very narrow window of opportunity when using this mascara when you go from your lashes looking pretty good to venturing into Spider-Hump territory (see previous post for the back story). I'm still trying to navigate that window. At first, I thought I was just too overzealous with it, and lightened up the second time around. However, I just couldn't give up my Cils Boost, and got the same result. The next day I swept it over bare, uncurled lashes before running out to the grocery (I realize that putting mascara on puffy hangover-eyes is like putting a hubcap on a tractor, but whatever), and it looked great.

[Insert exasperated huffing sound here.]

And another thing-- it is so thick that you find yourself applying it with an otherwise-unnecessary amount of care, lest you get even one little fleck into your upper eyelid crease. (This effort is not helped by the fact that the ball-wand really wants to go through your lashes and onto your lids.) Normally, it's not a big deal if you find yourself a little dotty about the lids-- a gentle swipe with the ring finger and you're back in business. Not so with Phenomen'Eyes, also know as Smudgy McBlackstreaks once it comes in contact with your lids. You're better off just starting completely over with your eye makeup, and who has time for that?

This stuff just seems a little temperamental for me. Normally I don't approve of verbage like this, but this mascara is... well, it's just a big ol' tease. Think about the way guys describe a "tease" and you get the idea: you spend way too much money on it (or her, as the case may be), you put plenty of time and effort into it to get the desired glorious result (ahem), and maybe you get "a little" every once in a while, but you just don't get out of it what you put into it (wow, no pun intended!). We have a fancy-ass party to go to this weekend, and as I planned out my makeup routine in my head (no, I'm not neurotic at all), I found myself getting antsy about my mascara choice. I just don't think I can take the chance of using Phenomen'Eyes and getting a bad result when the stakes are high. And a white-tie charity benefit sets some stratospherically high stakes in my world, trust me. As it is, the Twit Watch will be issued Saturday morning, and won't expire until after the party (sometime very early Sunday morning), and God help us all if we go from Twit Watch to Twit Warning. Seriously, no man, woman, child, or pet is safe if that's the case. And nothing-- nothing-- can flip that switch like a set of crappy-looking eyelashes. So I will stick with Lash Blast layered over Cils Boost and bat the night away. The envelope, please...

Winner, cool brush/newest technology: Phenomen'Eyes

Winner, predictability and overall result: Lash Blast, thank you very much.

Current overall standings: Lash Blast 1-1-0, Imju Fiberwig 0-1-0, Givenchy Phnomen'Eyes 0-0-1 (I should start a Mascara Fantasy League!)

I'll keep you posted if and when I'm able to get a reliable result with Phenomen'Eyes, a.k.a. when I can finally get this bitch to come across. She is such a tease. Hope you're enjoying your weekend lovelies!