Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hell's Bells...

...y'all. Y'ALL. I wish I had an explanation as to why it's been so very long since my last post. I'm not delusional enough to believe that y'all just sit around wondering why oh WHY I haven't been Johnny on-the-spot over the past few months, yet I still feel like I did when I was a young girl and got caught "telling a story" (Daddy's favorite term for lying). Work was insane at the end of last year, and hasn't let up yet. In sad news, I'm no longer writing for the magazine: it and my editor parted ways last month. I'm so downtrodden for my friend, as she gave VIP her heart and soul once a month for many, many years. I guess the silver lining is that, had she not been at the helm as long as she was, I never would have had the opportunity to write my column every month. As I shared with her upon learning that she was leaving, I got so much joy out of churning out a PG version of this blog by the fifteenth of every month. I've been lucky enough to meet some beautiful Williamson County ladies who, upon learning that my sorry ass is the Beauty Junkie, have proclaimed, "I LOVE your column! I love [product I suggested]!" I can't begin to tell y'all how much that warms my [stony black] heart. For real.

So anyway, it is with extreme blogger guilt that I return to you in a feeble attempt at playing catch-up. I have so much to share with you that I don't even know where to start. I guess that I'd be remiss if I didn't post the magazine columns that I've written since my last post, so here you go. In the meantime, please forgive me. I can't quite elaborate like I want to as to what I'm enduring as to my career these days, but let me offer this: it's during the most stressful times that I realize how much I enjoy the things that don't pay a single dime (read: writing this blog and, until just recently, my column). I am so thankful for every single one of you who's ever clicked over to this page, even for just a minute. I promise to do better. Thanks, pretties.

First, the November and December magazine entries. Brace yourself for the December one: you're probably not a hopeless sap like I am, but upon writing of my Momo/ Alice, I cried like an absolute baby. Those of you loyal readers will understand. Mwah.

“The Mascara Chronicles”

Happy November, Williamson County! Here’s to the many things for which we can truly be thankful. I, for one, am thankful for my friends, my husband and cat, my job, my health, my home, and (most importantly) my family, which expanded by one last month. My fabulous sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and we just couldn’t be more excited. On a much lighter note, I’m also thankful for the fantastic folks behind VIP Willamson County who let me write this little column. And this month, I’m thankful for mascara. Read on.

Mascara rocks my beauty world, and I have dedicated my Beauty Junkie life to finding the perfect be-all-end-all. I don’t think I’ve done that just yet, but I’ve gotten close a couple of times. The sad part is, I can’t stop trying new ones just because I found one that I really like. I’ve been disappointed more times that I’ve been delighted, but that, in my mind, is just part of the fun. Thus I feel it is my duty to give you the Cliff’s Notes version of my experiences to date (at least the ones I can remember). Get out those highlighters!

Cover Girl Lash Blast: My current long-standing fave. Huge orange tube. Loads of volume and separation. I know you’re tired of hearing about it, so go get some and see for yourself.

Maybelline Volum’ Express the Falsies: Spoon-shaped nylon-bristle brush that does a good job of  beefing up my whisper-thin lashes. The weird brush takes some getting used to, but I’ve come to love it. A word to the wise: avoid the waterproof at all costs. I mistakenly picked it up (instead of the washable kind), and needed an act of Congress to get it off my lashes.

Smashbox Lash DNA: The huge spiral-shaped brush (like a DNA spiral-- get it?) is, while interesting, just too dang big to get into your lashes. I wasn’t impressed in the least.

Sephora Lash Stretcher: This one is fine if you just want length without volume. I, for one, need both, and was therefore disappointed.

Tarte 4 Day Lash Stain: Pay attention to the product name. When they say “stain,” they really REALLY mean it. I thought that the waterproof Maybelline was hard to remove. I’m pretty sure that I promised my shoe collection to the Tarte people in order to get this stain off of my lashes. If you’re camping, or scuba-diving, or stranded on a desert island, the Tarte mascara will be your best friend. Otherwise? Skip it.

Benefit Bad Gal: Another giant brush that disappoints. See, the size of the brush isn’t what actually matters-- it’s how the brush deposits the mascara onto your eyelashes that really counts. Bad Gal is just an on-steroids version of an old-school mascara brush, and I? Demand a little more. You should too. One exception: the dark-blue Bad Gal formula is great for lower lashes, adding definition and whitening your eyes without looking heavy. You’re welcome to use it as your primary mascara, but the fact that it’s not black makes a thorough application take longer.

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party: This one is pretty decent, but leaves me wanting for more volume. I love the Denim shade (new for Fall 2010) on lower lashes and on upper lash tips to brighten my eyes (similar to the navy Bad Gal version). Instead of an “Extreme Party,” this one’s more like a “Mild-Mannered Get-Together,” but it’s not bad.

Maybelline Volum’ Express Turbo Boost: Not to be confused with the Falsies formula, Turbo Boost promises seven times’ your exisiting lash volume, instantly. I ended up with stuck-together lashes that weren’t any thicker or more voluminous than when I started. (Sigh.) Maybelline, sometimes I wonder why I don’t just shun your entire product line altogether. Bad girl, Maybelline!

Laura Mercier Thickening and Building Mascara: Meh. Just, meh. Save your pennies.

L’Oreal Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum: I know, I know. This isn’t a mascara per se. But I mentioned to y’all that I tried it a few months ago, and wanted to let you know that it works. Granted, it takes a few weeks to notice any difference, but that’s the case with any of these newfangled growth serums. Get some, give it time, and expect results.

I won’t even mention the Lancome Oscillating Powerbooster because, well, y’all know how I feel about it. (It rules all.) Now go bat those lashes, ladies!

And now, on to December...

Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

“Dear Santa...”

Dear Santa,

I have been SUCH a good girl this year! Really, I have. I want so much for Christmas this year. For starters...

I want a microdermabrasion facial with Tammie at Dermess in downtown Nashville. Quite simply, she rocks. I was lucky enough to score a Groupon for a two-facial package deal, and have much brighter, more even skin to show for it.

I want a pedicure at Blue River Canyon Day Spa in Brentwood. If I have to settle for a run-of-the-mill job at any one of the million nail shops in town, I will happily do it (can you make it Venetian or Signature in Green Hills?), but the stressful holiday season demands a proper pedi. The ladies at Blue River Canyon will rub and knead my feet until they feel like they’re floating. The shiny polish is just the icing on the cake.

I want a makeover at the hands of the able-bodied ladies at Woo Cosmetics. From Stila to Bobbi Brown to the elusive Giorgio Armani line (the last time I checked, Woo was still the only purveyor of Armani cosmetics in town), Woo has the corner on exclusive, lovely pretty-face-makers. And while I’m there, I’ll want some delicious Tocca and Dayna Decker candles and that I-can’t-afford-it-unless-Santa-brings-it Chantecaille concealer. Pretty please.

I want a deep-tissue massage with Kelly at Massage Envy in Cool Springs. I may be brought to tears in the process, but Kelly knows that sometimes a deeper touch is needed to work out those knots and kinks that seem to set up residence in my neck and shoulders this time of year.

I want a Zumba class with the fabulous ladies of b. fab fitness in Franklin, Nashville, and  Murfreesboro. Their party-disguised-as-a-workout made me reexamine the idea of a class that didn’t involve a yoga studio. Instead of visions of sugar plums, I have loud, ridiculously fun dance beats in my head when I hit the sack following a b. fab class.

I want a vacation. I want new nail polish. I want the perfect bra. I want....


You know what, Santa? Scratch all of those wants. This year has been tough on just about everyone I know, in one way or another-- including me. So maybe I should want other things:

I want one evening (or even just a few hours) of peace and quiet for the brave men and women who risk their lives and miss their families every single day in lands I’ll only see on the news.

I want a toy and a hot meal for every child in Nashville who spends most of the year going without either.

I want a warm bed and a bowl of food for all the stray puppies and kitties roaming the Nashville streets.

I want relief and comfort for all of my beloved Nashvillians still struggling to put their lives together seven months after a weekend of rain that changed all of our lives.

I want someone to wander into a church or synagogue or temple sometime over the course of this month and to finally feel that he or she is home.

I want to remember how much I have, and not how much I don’t.

I want to always remember my beautiful grandmother and grandmother-in-law, both of whom passed away this year.

I want to forget the stress and frenzy that December usually brings in all areas of my life, and instead focus on family, friends, generosity, humility, worship, and community.

I still believe in you, Santa.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Happy Kwanzaa. God bless you, Williamson County.

The Beauty Junkie

I'll be back... I promise.