Friday, August 07, 2009

Not a Natural Beauty


Arguably, not a beauty at all, but I'm told I'm cute. If only this were true in my natural state, but alas, not so much; my bare naked face is about as attractive as my bare naked body ;). My "public face," the one that you might see, takes about 25 minutes to apply, and costs me more than I care to admit, every couple of months when supplies run low.

So what is the price of beauty (besides having to wake up an extra half hour every morning to attain it)?

Well, let's outline all of the steps and products that I use (as of today):

1) Lancome Primordiale moisturizer with SPF15 - applied to whole face
2) Neostrata HQ Lightening gel - applied only to cheeks
3) Vichy Aqua Thermale eye gel - applied to eyes
4) Smashbox Light Primer - applied to t-zone
5) Smashbox Halo Moisturizing mineral powder - applied to whole face (kabuki brush)

(Getting tired yet? That's just the base, my friends).

6) PurMinerals Bronzer - contouring face (Purminerals brush)
7) PurMinerals Blush - highlighting cheeks
8) PurMinerals Brow Perfection - wax, then powder applied to my eyebrows (Quo & MAC angled brow brushes)
9) PurMinerals Intensity gel/cream liner - applied to eyelids (Quo liner brush)
10) Lancome Oscillating Cils Booster - applied to lashes
11) Lancome High Definicils Mascara - lashes again
- then comb out with Sephora lash comb
12) MAC Lipliner - outline lips
13) Lancome lipstick - apply to lips

Pretty intense, eh? This doesn't even include the make-up I'd have to use for evenings, like eye shadow, or extra lotion support for saggy eye/big pore days! Once you factor in the face-washing and make-up removing products, my collection probably looks pretty daunting and absurd. Can't wait to see what my mom says when she sees everything tonight (she being the complete opposite of me)! ;)

Why do we ladies (some of us, anyway) feel the pressure to look like supermodels in the first palce? Why don't most men feel the urgent need to reduce their pore sizes, reduce fine lines, and even out their skin tones? Even as I type this, I readily acknowledge the ridiculousness of following these many steps in a routine every single morning, and the fact that I probably don't need to wear so much *stuff* does not escape my rational mind. That said, there is something emotionally satisfying about being dolled up; I'd be lying if I said that these steps didn't make me feel more attractive, even if the end result isn't all that different to others whether I'm bare-faced or not.

In the end, isn't that what counts? How *I* feel about how I look? Certainly, there are limits and I'm not about to inject poisons into my face or invite scalpels into my body to manipulate it to look a certain way just so that I can feel good about myself, but stockpiling make-up like it's Armaggedon is still within the realm of reasonable, right? (Work with me here. ;) ). Half an hour a day isn't too horrible, is it? I feel a lot better having gotten this off of my chest, at any rate. I feel even better since I already "put my face on," too! Now I'm ready to go out in public, feeling good and looking pretty, even if it's not the natural variety! ;)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Need Me a Good Man....dolin Slicer


You always want what you don't have, or in my case, I never knew I wanted what I wanted until I needed it. In this case, it's a kitchen mandolin, also known as a slicer contraption (not unlike those as-seen-on-TV kitchen miracle gadgets).

When we registered for our wedding, I had no idea this handy little tool even existed, or else I definitely would have registered for it. Growing up, we sliced everything by hand, and my dad - being a pro chef - didn't even need a sharp Santoku in order to thinly slice his potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. I figured that thin slicing was simply a skill naturally acquired upon growing up, or perhaps as a result of inheriting his talented culinary genes. Not so.

I am a terrible slicer. Tonight, in trying to thinly slice my sweet potatoes (to make sweet potato chips in the oven), I nearly thinly sliced my finger off. Thankfully, no blood was shed and no sweet potato was wasted, but there were a few near-misses and close calls. Some of my slices from my just-sharpened Henckels knife managed to reach optimal thinness, but just as many ended up sort of thick, and a few ended up being half-moon shaped bits.

So now I'm seriously considering putting down good money on a slicer. Although I think my food processor also has a slicing function, a cursory cost-benefit analysis of using that monstrous beast of a small kitchen appliance shows that this is not a viable option. The time I would need to spend dragging that thing out, setting it up, taking it apart, cleaning it, reassembling it, and putting it away would far outweigh any benefits enjoyed from having thinly sliced delicious sweet potato chips. A mandolin, on the other hand, is small and easy to clean, and is designed specifically for such an event as making oven-baked chips. It would also make slicing tomatoes for my bison burgers a much more appealing task.

Now I just have to convince Hubbs that I *need* a mandolin. He isn't always easy to persuade, especially since several costly small appliances still sit inside our kitchen shelves unused.

I will also have to price out a quality mandolin. I thought my Pampered Chef chopper (an impulse buy) would be durable, but with just one drop it fell apart and broke. I've since learned my lesson and now I will be dutifully doing my google research before investing in another chopper (though I have to confess, Slap Chop Vince almost has me convinced already).

If you can recommend a good mandolin and save me some time, let me know! Until then, I guess I'll have to deal with burnt chips, crispy chips, and thick sweet potato slices that aren't very chippy at all.