The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. IX: Body Image

Hey, what’s up. Haven’t seen you around these parts in a while. Oh, me? Not much. Blogging at Beautylish; they pay me. I don’t see you writing me any checks, okay? Gosh.

Come back! I was just kidding. Here, have another The Fuck is on Your Face. I love you. I mean. I like- Unless you… Okay, yeah. No, totally.

Sorry about me. So I asked another dude friend to write one of these, and this is what he gave me. I don’t think he understood the assignment, but it made me laugh, so read it:

Here is a conversation that has never happened: 

Dude: Yo, didn’t you have a date last night?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: With that girl from the thing?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: How’d it go?

Bro: Good.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: Face?

Bro: Cute.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah. Very face-fuckable. Big eyes, big lips, button nose.

Dude: Body?

Bro: Bangin’.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah. Great rack, flat stomach, ass you could bounce a quarter off.

Dude: Nice.

Bro: Yeah. Except…

Dude: What?

Bro: Well, her elbows.

Dude: What about them?

Bro: They were too… sharp.

Dude: Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. I hate that, too.

Bro: Yeah. I don’t think it’s going to work out.

Dude: I hear you. That’s a dealbreaker.

Bro: Total dealbreaker.

Dude: Shame.

Bro: Yeah.

Some bros

Some bros

It’s been said a million times: we all have our imperfections, things we don’t like about our bodies. In our world of glossy dual-page spreads and celebrity idolatry, those imperfections—the things, as it’s been said a million times, that make us human—inevitably merge with what we dislike about ourselves and become the very things we cover up, disguise, minimize, lament.

I once heard Natalie Portman bemoan her sort-of sideways-looking ears in a DVD commentary voiceover. Natalie Portman. A woman whose beauty The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane once described as “so disabling that you should not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery for twelve hours after viewing (her).” A good friend of mine who is by all accounts gorgeous remains as self-conscious about her large hands and feet at age 30—her birthday was last month—as she has been her whole life. I’ve tried to reassure her that men complain as often about big feet as they do about sharp elbows—to no avail.

Me, I’ve never worried all that much. And trust me, it’s not because I don’t have my fair share of asymmetries, blemishes, and peculiar nipplage. I guess I’ve always just had bigger problems to worry about.

Lately, however, when my obsessive-compulsiveness (one such bigger problem, incidentally) has flared up and rendered me particularly obsessive and/or compulsive, I’ve taken note for the first time of all the imperfections I previously merely noticed. My response has been neither lamentation nor the happy acceptance the same beauty magazines that airbrush their models exhort their readers to feel (“Embrace your curves!” and the like). Rather, I’d classify my reaction as one of… let’s call it amused curiosity. I look at my nipples and think, “Damn, that’s some fucked up shit right there. Nice going, Dad.” I suppose I view my nipples as proof that nature has a sense of humor.

Here is further proof:

    • When I urinate, it comes out in a spiral. I shit you not. (I piss you not?…) It’s true that once it hits the toilet bowl (or misses), it has already normalized into what I presume is the more traditional “taut spaghetti” form. But right out of the eye, it’s shaped like a helix, and it’s been like that as long as I can remember.
    • I have freakishly large pupils. An ophthalmologist once told me I had the biggest pupils he’d ever seen, which is akin to having the largest feet a podiatrist has ever handled, or the most delicious vagina Michael Douglas has ever tasted. In other words, it’s saying something. Anyway, we all know what they say about guys with big pupils… That’s right: they have terrible red-eye in photos. I’m not the most photogenic person to begin with; eyes that glow like tale lights don’t help the cause. It’s ridiculous, really. If you were to look through my old photo albums, as I do whenever my unnecessarily dilated pupils don’t prevent it, you would find dozens of group shots of me with the people in my life. There—those are my family and friends, smiling and presenting as normal, happy people. And that there—that’s me, with my arms around them, looking like the spawn of Satan himself.
    • My fourth toes curl under my third. That may seem impossible given the mechanics of upright locomotion, and you’d think the same thing were you to see my toes (be thankful you haven’t). But there’s really no better way to describe it: each of my fourth toes doglegs inward and slips neatly under the middle of each third toe. And the only effect it’s had on my locomotion is on the shape of my footprints. Apparently the condition is genetic: my paternal grandmother’s toes did the same thing.
    • I can turn my tongue upside down. This is another one I’ve heard is genetic. (My dad can do it; my mom cannot.) I can only flip it clockwise, though, and it’s far less exciting than the cherry stem thing (which my sister can do).
Because.

Because.

    • When I cross my legs, man-style (i.e., ankle on knee), I can only go left over right. I assume this is a flexibility issue as opposed to a genetic one, but the disparity between the two positions is extreme. It’s not so much a preference as a physical limitation. I literally cannot put my right ankle on my left thigh without lifting it with both hands and then simultaneously pushing down on my right knee with my elbows. Maybe yoga would help. There it is: that’s my New Year’s resolution for 2017.
    • My left nut hangs lower than my right. I am pretty sure yoga will not fix this, but I’m not overly concerned, since apparently most men suffer from some asymmetry on one side or the other. (Yes, I looked it up.) (What, like you wouldn’t have?) My own discrepancy seems to be rather extreme, however, and widening every year. By 2019, when I have that right-over-left thing mastered, my left testis will be bouncing off the sidewalk. On the bright side, it’s a well-known fact that left-nutted people boast superior quantitative and spatial skills. I credit the 800 I got on my Math SAT to my testicular imbalance.
    • There’s a strange hair that grows out of my stomach, at the bottom left can in my six-pack. It’s all alone and perfectly white and longer and finer than any other strand on my body (or head, for that matter). It’s at least an inch, I’d say. And whenever I pluck it out, boing!—it sprouts back at some random time, seemingly to full length overnight. I’m looking at it now, as I type this, and wondering if perhaps I should leave it alone this time, if it might not be a source of some power I just haven’t harnessed yet.
    • I cannot straighten my pinky fingers. When I hold out my hands in front of me, as flat as they will go, the pinkies remain slightly bent at the first joints, forming perfectly imperfect 170-degree angles.
    • My left ear sticks out farther than my right. I noticed this particular irregularity a while ago, but it didn’t occur to me until a few years ago what probably caused it: sleeping on my right side my whole life. As resilient as the human body is—I assume it does what it can to maintain maximal symmetry—20-plus years of eight-hour load-bearing sessions will do that to a flab of cartilage. When I realized my sleeping habits were to blame, I immediately attempted to reverse two decades of misbalancing sleep habits by trying to fall asleep on my left side. And because I actually prefer the aesthetics of my somnambulantly altered ear—the “natural” one sticks out too much—sleeping on my left side into the mid-2030s would actually create an artificial symmetry more handsome than the original. Plastic surgery without the cost or bandages. It doesn’t seem to be working yet, but I’m hoping that will change. My toes are crossed.

So there you have it. Yours truly—in both senses of the word—warts and imbalances and freakish disfigurations and all.

Now it’s your turn. I hope you’ve read this and become inspired to catalog and then reveal your own endearing deformities. Be loud! Be proud! Strip down and take inventory at the busiest intersection in your hometown. Sing the list from the top of your apartment building. Take him through your top five on your next first date. Or, at the least, anonymously post a few of them in a comment below.

The readers of this blog might respond by growing brave themselves, and it could snowball into some revolutionary sociological experiment that eventually puts every glossy beauty magazine out of business. That’s what my magic stomach hair is telling me, anyway.

The author (visual approximation)

The author (visual approximation)

M. Lane Stevens (which I told him was the most boring pseudonym ever to which he responded “I have my reasons” [which I suspect means he's Catfishing someone] and then proceeded to make fun of my boring-ass white girl name [RUDE]) is a writer who honestly has much better hair than this picture would indicate. 

I will not be publishing my list. It’s too long. I do have remarkably un-sharp elbows, though, so I have that going for me.

Mom, sorry there’s a penis on my blog.


Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video and Why it is Problematic

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 4.44.54 PMThere’s been a lot of discussion around Dove’s latest self-esteem video. It’s a six and a half minute short wherein a bunch of women describe themselves to a sketch artist, then someone else describes those same women to the sketch artist, and then they compare the two images. The thesis of the piece is that women are too hard on themselves. Right? Duh. We know this, it’s nothing new. But it’s an interesting visual illustration of the disparity between how we see ourselves and how others see us.

The problem, though, is with the underlying message: You are more beautiful than you think.

Look, your face isn’t as fat as you think. Look, you have fewer wrinkles than you thought you had. Look, your freckles aren’t that noticeable. Do you see? By saying, Look, you’re not that bad, Dove is saying that there is a beauty standard and that it matters—you’re just not as far away from it as you thought you were.

Well fuck that. Fuck your cultural beauty standard.

This whole thing made me wonder about my job, you know? I write for an online beauty blog (not this one, the one I get paid for): tips and tricks and how-to-look-better articles. Reviews about products you must buy. By its very nature, it reinforces conformity, right? Buy this eyeliner because your eyes should look bigger, this foundation will make your skin smoother, this lipstick will make you look younger.

But who’s to say all those things are beautiful? Who’s to say you have to be beautiful?

This weird, consumerist culture we live in says that a woman’s value lies in her perceived attractiveness. We know on an intellectual level that this isn’t true. But that does nothing to alleviate the constant, crippling pressure to conform. Not for me, anyway. Not for most of us.

I don’t have an answer for where my job fits into this whole mess. But I do know that beauty products make me fucking happy and I have fun playing with them. They’re divorced from this whole sick conformist cycle for me (body image is a whole other story, believe me). I use beauty products because I enjoy them. They’re fun. They’re silly. I write about them because I like sharing my knowledge with people who are interested in such things.

You’re more than just beautiful. You are more than your capacity to be beautiful.

But if feeling beautiful makes you feel happy, then follow happy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Then again, maybe I’m too entrenched in that world. What do you think? I really want to know.


Hannibal Lecter Facial Treatment

THE HORROR

THE HORROR

Holy crap, I’ve been gone forever. Sorry, guys. But if you’ve been waiting around for me to post, well, get a life.

Just kidding! Love ya, mean it.

I had to post because I just did something AWESOME. I soaked these Muji compressed face sheets ($2.95) in my Laura Mercier Perfecting Water Moisture Mist ($38, but lasts forever) and wore it around for a while. It looks totally serial killer-y (we should definitely make that a verb) but when I took it off after 15 minutes, my skin GLOWED. So you should do it. Japanese sheet masks are nothing new to the beauty savvy, but I haven’t seen them as cheap and easy (hey-o) anywhere else. Muji is amazing. Bonus: You can soak them in anything; DIY face masks, serums, toners. Not virgin blood, though, that’s just gross. Plus, who knows any of those anymore, am I right?

TRY IT. DO IT.

Sorry for the nightmares!

Sorry not sorry

Sorry not sorry


The Sugar Daddy List Vol. I

Y’ever try a new product and it’s amazeballs and you’re like “Aw fuck, now I have to buy it”?

That just happened to me today. Twice. I got a sample of GLAMGLOW Super-Clearing Mud Mask Treatment ($69), and I’m in love after only one use. I’ll keep you posted on the next two applications I hope to scrape out of my sample jar, but I expect I’ll only fall further in love. Sigh. Love hurts (my wallet).

GLAMGLOWSo the deal with this stuff is it looks like an Orc vomited up his breakfast of volcanic rock and Hobbit liver (see because that movie based on that one book just came out, right, topical!). You smooth it on in a thin layer (luckily for my wallet) and leave on anywhere from 5-20 minutes (I left mine on for 20 because that’s just how I roll, yo). The ingredients are purported to actually draw out toxins like blackheads and whiteheads from your skin, tighten pores, clear breakouts, absorb oils, and do your taxes. You wash it off with water, then admire yourself for hours in the mirror afterward. I know I’m not supposed to touch my face, but you guys. It feels awesome. Like baby skin. Like a baby with really good skin. And my skin is dry combo, so don’t worry about it drying you out. Just moisturize afterward. It can also be used as a spot treatment overnight, yay!

3-9 BalmSo after my religious experience with GLAMGLOW, I used my sample of Erno Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm ($245, ouch). It immediately hydrated and soothed my skin, and now I’m basically glowing. The company says it has a protective “Health Dome”, whatever that is. It does feel protective, like I could go hang out in a sandstorm and come home still looking hot. I’m not really the Burning Man type, though. The point is that this stuff feels amazing on my dry skin, and I’m just crazy enough to need it.

Anyway, now I’m in the market for a Sugar Daddy. Anyone wanna furnish my expensive taste?

Are you freaking kidding me, Beauty Bar?

Are you freaking kidding me, Beauty Bar?


I Literally Walked Into a Door and Now I Have a Black Eye

If you know me at all, you know I’m just about the world’s clumsiest idiot; I can fall over while just standing there, never mind what a disaster I am in heels or — god forbid — in motion. It’s no adorable rom-com Katherine Heigl spazzy-cute thing, though; no son, it’s full-on Three Stooges territory over here. So when I literally walked into a door a couple weeks ago (no domestic abuse here, just obliviousness and poor reaction skills — I’m here to tell you that it is possible), I was neither shocked nor particularly worried. I shrugged it off; I’m resilient, I’d be fine. It was, as they say, my ego that was bruised.

This is what happens when you try to date a dentist.

But that night when I removed my eye makeup, I did a Charlie Chaplin-style double take when I realized that all was not quiet on the home front. My eye socket was turning an angry, mottled purple, starting in the inner corner and spreading to the browbone. This was confusing, since it was the area above my eye that took the beating.

To The Google!

Wikipedia clarified that black eyes — or periorbital hematomas, if you’re fancy — commonly manifest due to trauma to areas around the eye, not necessarily the socket itself. “Despite the name, the eye itself is not affected. Blunt force or trauma to the eye socket results in burst capillaries and subsequent haemorrhaging (hematoma).[1] The fatty tissue along with the lack of muscle around the eye socket allows a potential space for blood accumulation. As this blood is reabsorbed, various pigments are released similar to a bruise lending itself to the extreme outward appearance.”

Fat deposits and blood accumulation? Gross!

By the second day I looked like I should be working in a flower shop and apologizing to Mr. Mushnik. The bruise seeped into my undereye skin, giving me that classic shiner look I sported in fourth grade after getting hit in the face with a baseball. Not so cute on a grown woman — and I had to appear in public without frightening small children or making people worry about my home life. Thank god for cosmetics. Should this misfortune ever befall you, learn from my (very painful) mistakes. These tips can also be used for severe dark circles.

Shorten your recovery time by pre-treating

Assuming your eye is in good shape, and the only pain you’re feeling is where you bonked your head (you might want to check with Web MD or your general practitioner; I’m no doctor), you can pre-treat to minimize the healing time. The classic advice is to grab a big ol’ fatty steak and slap it on there. The chill from refrigeration will help reduce the swelling, and the malleable shape makes it easy to wear. But if there’s broken skin, you won’t want to expose it to raw meat, which can harbor bacteria. Either put it in a ziplock bag or go with the frozen peas option. Pop a painkiller for the pain you’re probably feeling (avoid aspirin because it will inhibit clotting), and keep your head elevated to discourage pooling (shudder).

Start with a clean base

Make sure your canvas is as clean as possible; you don’t need any extra mascara darkening your socket. Then start with an eye shadow base. A good one will help neutralize along with creating a surface to grab the concealer. In painting myself back into normalcy, I used more Smashbox Eye Shadow Primer than anything else. It’s a nude/apricot color that really helped to neutralize the purple, and it’s creamier than other eye primers (I know a lot of people swear by Urban Decay, but I like Smashbox’s heavier texture better). Plus, the doe-foot applicator made it easy to pack the product in one spot. Blend the harsh edges with a concealer brush, being careful not to smudge the concentrated pigment in the center.

Color-correct and conceal

Kindergarten stuff, people.

You’re going to want to refer to color theory for color-correction. Laura Mercier has a great one in a rose/mauve for purple circles that you layer under concealer for a neutralizing effect. It looks silly and weird before your skin-matching concealer step, but it really does work magic. You can also mix with a creamy concealer in your shade for more subtle correction. Then, as the bruise turns increasingly Monet-esque (seriously, all the colors of the rainbow, y’all), you can reach for your trusty color wheel and just balance with the shade on the opposite end of the spectrum. Makeup For Ever has amazing skintone-based color-correcting palettes. As for concealer, Clé de Peu has a beautiful creamy-but-blendable formula.

Finishing touches

Set with a lightweight finishing powder. Then give yourself a sexy, smudgy smokey eye to camouflage discoloration and distract from your undereye area. The smokier the shadow and the bigger the cat-eye, the better.

Days 1, 3, 5. You can see how the bruise spreads from the upper eyelid to the undereye area.
Bottom: Same days, corrected. I got better at concealing it the more I practiced even though the problematic areas migrated, and near the end of the whole thing I just looked kinda tired.


Where on Earth is ‘And You Make Yourself Another’?

Sorry I’ve been kinda MIA, everyone. Coming up with article ideas and writing for Beautylish has sort of usurped all my time lately. An article on how to find the perfect concealer is coming up, and a few more are in the pipeline! Check out my articles as they post here: http://www.beautylish.com/scampbella, and “like” the And You Make Yourself Another facebook page for updates.

Once I get into the swing of things, I’ll be back with some more snarky beauty articles. Thanks for you patience, dolls!


Oh… Hey Guys….

I know, I know. I suck.

But I’m moving! Towns! They say that is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person after death or divorce! I’ll be back on here with more expletive-filled beauty talk soon, I promise.

In the meantime, I found time to read an interesting xoJane piece called “You Don’t Have to Be Beautiful to Be Boring, But Science Says it Helps.” I don’t have time to compile my many thoughts about the piece just yet, but I wanted to share this thoughtful comment from Martha Mott:

Too much? Not for me to say.

“This is a bit of a tangent, but I don’t wonder if some personal style choices don’t automatically create a blind spot in men. Red lipstick, short hair, and glasses seem to overwhelm the male perceptions to the point that you could probably pull a Clark Kent/Superman on them with a simple change of accessories.

Anecdote: Yesterday some guy shouted, “Hey you got some face on your makeup.” First of all, fuck you bro. Second of all, I was wearing a tinted moisturizer, brown mascara, and one of those red lipbalm/lipsticks by Revlon. That’s it. My normal day to day drag consist of sooooooo much more, but because it’s all in the boring beige family those are the days I get called a “natural beauty.”

The rest of the day it was pretty clear that dudes weren’t really into it, and the few that did express any interest in me seemed to think I was some eccentric personality. Their very own Mad Pixie Dream Girl.

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.”

I love that her first reaction is “Fuck you, bro”. Awesome. I’ve been meaning to write more about men and the (mis-) perceptions they often have about makeup. This blog’s feature The Fuck is on Your Face is meant to be humorous, but also a starting point for such a conversation. It’s not that I’m saying men are idiots about makeup, not at all. They sure as hell can be, but some of the best makeup artists I know are men, and anyway generalizations are for losers (see what I did there?).

But it is interesting to think about the visual shorthand certain types of makeup cues have for the cosmetically ignorant (women included). It’s also interesting to think about how there isn’t always an obvious correlation with how much actual product is used in a “natural” makeup look vs. a “colorful” makeup look. It’s a helluva lot faster and easier to slap on a red lip than it is to create “I was totally born with perfect skin”.

I now have to go pack up my entire life and move it two hours away (eep!), but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave ‘em in the comments, yo.


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