31 July 2013

making faces :: a new member of the glossy posse

as they go through the process of revamping all of their permanent products, it was to be expected that guerlain would soon get around to their glosses. it's not that there's anything particularly wrong with them- the kiss kiss gloss formula is one that i like, despite it having an uncharacteristic fruity scent that puts me off a little. the colours are softly shimmery and feel very good on the lips, although they don't last particularly well when compared to other high-end brands [chanel and aramani in particular]. but really, the biggest problem with them was that they just didn't seem that exciting when you looked at everything else that guerlain had come out with in the last couple of years.

and so guerlain tried to fix that, batman style.

this spring, guerlain launched their "gloss d'enfer" formula. that literally translates as "gloss from hell", although a more realistic version would be something like "kick ass gloss". which is appropriate, since virtually every one of them has a superfriend-tastic name that begs to have that cartoon horn blast behind it when it's spoken:

rouge pow!
tangerine vlam!
rose splatch!
fuchsia ding!
browny clap!

[ok, that last one sounds like it would also require a shot of penicillin, but the names are a lot of fun, generally speaking.]

although these launched a few months ago, i took my time picking one up, which i can do without fear because they're all permanent. some have shimmer while others are creams and can i just add that i would really like it if brands took steps to make it obvious either in their naming or numbering systems what kind of finish something has? seriously, i love variety as much as the next person, but this is the internet age and i don't want to spend my time guessing whether "iridescent" and "shimmery" mean the same thing on planet lip gloss. that said, online swatches do make it relatively obvious which of the shades are really shimmery and which ones aren't. plus, of course, guerlain are widely distributed, so chances are you can see them in person.

personally, i went for one of the shimmer-free shades... rouge shabam!

rouge shabam!
i'd wanted this sort of shade for a while, since all of the warmer reds/ corals i have have shimmer. what i wanted was a semi-sheer red-orange and that's exactly what this gloss delivers. it's not opaque, but it deposits a good amount of colour with its nice paddle-type applicator. it looks intense in the tube, but the formula is considerably sheerer in use. considerably.

in fact, some of the softer shades of this formula hardly seem to show up at all, they're so sheer. i know that this has been a complaint with some of chanel's recent launches- that it's hard to justify high end pricing when what you're getting is little more than a clear gloss with a hint of shimmer. to that, many argue that lighter shades are meant for layering, to which i say, that's awesome, but there are lots of options you can layer that come at a lower price tag, so if it's really not adding that much to your look... what are you spending the money for?

well, the answer for many is that prestige brands have more luxurious formulas. and if the gloss d'enfer truly are the glosses from hell, lucifer apparently makes a mighty soothing gloss. it feels very soft, is extremely shiny and applies very evenly. it's actually in this last point where i feel a high end gloss, and this one in particular, distinguishes itself. too often a sheer formula bunches up like an ill-fitting bottom sheet on a bed, thicker in some places and missing from others. trying to correct this can involve a lot of lost time and/ or applying way more gloss than you ever intended to wear, neither of which is a great option. the gloss d'enfer formula is almost like a high end nail varnish: it seems to know how to level itself. how much so? i can apply it without relying on a mirror and it looks great.

ok, not every shade got the superhero treatment...
unfortunately, in this reformulation, guerlain haven't done much to improve their wear time. even if i'm being careful not to pleat my lips and i'm not constantly drinking water/ coffee/ wine or kissing a cat, the patent shine fades in well under an hour and the colour can't hang on as more than a stain for over two. consider that the shade i got was one of the brighter, more vibrant shades and i really can't see getting much mileage at all from the softer ones.

now, most people expect to be touching their gloss up fairly often, but it's still a question of value. in "rouge shabam's" defense, i will say that after a few touch-ups, the stain that remains gets more intense, so you have something that's more like the original colour.

the colour itself is a warm poppy red, shimmer-free and very summery. it's an easy way to pull off a bolder shade without attracting too much attention.

the comparable shades that i have actually aren't all that comparable. mac "sonoran rain" is warmer, much more opaque and has a fine gold shimmer. mac "viva glam cyndi" is more muted, more coral than true red and more opaque. rouge bunny rouge "uncaged tigress" is pinker and has shimmer. mac "red devil" is a bit more similar, but again, more muted/ coral, slightly shimmery and more opaque. chanel "myriade" is a cooler red and has very visible shimmer.

i've shown it here swatched next to "red devil", since that was really the closest match.

l to r :: rouge shabam, mac red devil [l.e.]
"rouge shabam" is an uncomplicated shade that's surprisingly difficult to match.

in fact, most of the shades in this range are what i would call "uncomplicated", meaning that there's not a lot of nuance to them. there aren't multiple shades of shimmer mixed in with the base colours. the colours don't look appreciably different in different lighting. that makes them easy to wear, although it does tend to mean that there are more potential lower-cost duplicates available. [just because i couldn't find a match for "rouge shabam"] doesn't mean that it doesn't exist- i think that nars "wonder" and chanel "holiday" are both similiar, although more orange, for instance.

the verdict? if you find a shade that you like and want to invest in, your lips will be happy. yes, you can expect to reach into your purse for your secret weapon fairly often, but chances are you won't mind too much. because the shades are easy to wear in any situation, chances are you'll get a lot of use from whichever one you pick. but is this a real revelation in the competitive world of lip glossing? no. it's a nice formula in some reliable colours, not a superhero.

so here's a look at me playing superhero in "rouge shabam", with a little help from its friends...





the base ::
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"
nars light reflecting setting powder

eyes ::
i just kind of like my expression here...
nars soft shadow pencil "celebrate" [bright chartreuse]
inglot e/s "364" [matte greenish yellow]
dior e/s "blue lagoon" [light yellow-green shade only]
mac e/s "crystal avalanche" [shimmery white]
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt" [black patent]
ysl baby doll mascara

cheeks ::
guerlain blush duo "red hot" [deep warm red]
mac mineralize skinfinish "perfect topping" [light beige-mauve]*

lips ::
guerlain gloss d'enfer "rouge shabam" [sheer poppy]

i'll say thanks in advance for not making fun of my crepe-y eyelids. clearly, i was not being a good girl about applying my eye cream!

*suggested alternates :: perfect topping = mac "soft and gentle" [more shimmer] or guerlain meteorites "teint beige" [less shimmer]

guerlain gloss d'enfer is available everywhere guerlain is sold. sephora has a limited selection of shades, but it does include "rouge shabam, if you're wondering.

the awesome illustrations above are originally taken from various comics, but were lovingly repurposed by dominic marceau. i seriously think that if guerlain was going to choose those names, the marketing campaign should have looked like this and damn expectations!

[and for you eagle-eyed readers who are wondering why the background looks different than usual... that's my actual office. my place of employment that pays for me to be the blogger and person i am, along with the revenue from my book of short stories, the movie i made and, of course, readers like YOU.]

a balanced update

a couple of things:

1. today at lunch a bee flew into my eyeball and appeared to suffer some sort of brain damage from it. this was unpleasant for me both because i like bees and because i dislike things flying into my eyeball.

2. today has seen even more visits on the blog than yesterday's record-setting total, so the delicate balance of the universe remains in tact. i'll just assume that particular bee was an asshole who stung his children a lot.

3. i woke up this morning with the worst attack of vertigo i've had in months. i'm just passing that on so that someone besides me can appreciate the delicious, juicy irony of someone born under the sign synonymous with balance, who wrote a blog post yesterday about balance, having a condition that is characterized by the inability to maintain balance.

thank you again. merci beaucoup. vielen danke.

30 July 2013

life is balance

being a libra, i have an inborn sense that things in the world should be balanced. now, that doesn't seem to be true for me on a macro level, in that my years of not killing people who annoy me has yet to be rewarded with me being given trillions of dollars and being made ruler of the universe- which only seems fair- but it does seem to be true for little things.

for instance, last night, dom and i were sitting in bed when the following conversation [sort of] happened:

dom :: stop doing that, it's creepy.

me :: what?

dom :: i mean it, cut it out!

me :: i don't know what i'm doing!

dom :: stop making that face!

me :: i'm not making a face.

cue several minutes of awkwardness while i try to figure out how to make my face not creepy, which essentially involved scrunching over on my side and looking at the wall until i didn't feel awkward anymore [because everyone looks creepy when they feel awkward].

in point of fact, i think i had been trying to look sort of sensual in the hopes that he'd notice and reward me with a spoonful of the hagen dazs he was eating. criticism accepted, dom.

but in the interests of universal balance, today saw this blog surpass it's record for number of views in one day- a record that was set just a little earlier this month. in fact, it blew that record out of the freakin' water! yeah, this month has been epic and today was sort of epic epic, so i just want to take the opportunity [again] to thank all of you for supporting this blog just by stopping by.

so there's balance for you. my sexy face is apparently the stuff of nightmares, but lots of people like hearing from me when i'm at a safe distance. seems about right.

i'll see YOU later! [when you're sleeping and vulnerable]
fyi, that is not actually a picture of my sexy face, but an image of an actual ad, which i found on the wonderful photoshop disasters.

29 July 2013

guilty. guilty. guilty.

about a year and a half ago, i had this idea to film some people i know talking about the subject of guilt. i didn't give them any further guidance, i just gave them the word and let them think about it for a little while. then i arranged to come over and film them while they did their talk.

of course, no one really wants to have all their guilty rambling out there for the world to see [and hear], so i did this with the caveat that whatever ended up in the final project would be heavily processed enough and edited enough that they need not fear embarrassment.

i shot the pieces on my iphone, since i was excited by what i'd been able to do with "a sense of longing [oblivious]".

then... disaster struck. my computer crashed and a goodly chunk of what was on my hard drive was lost to the ages. [always back up your files, folks.] what's worse is that the files i was able to recover for the project were corrupted, so that they appeared to be there, but registered as 0.0s long. i wasn't into making that short a film.

this week, the universe gave me a present. i was going through some files on my phone, in an app i haven't used too much recently [power cam- it's a lot of fun, i've just been neglecting it!] and there they were... my original video files.

so i was able to reload them onto the computer and assemble them into something like what i had in mind.

in truth, i kind of wish that i had just shot the video "clean" rather than with a filter already applied, because i might have liked to have more control over the way that the final image looked, but what i have is already processed. important note for the future.

also, the fact that the app placed some pretty heavy processing on the film before i started editing makes the final product a lot less smooth than i'd like.

but the important thing is, not to look a universal gift horse in the mouth. i finally got my footage back and i finally have a short based on the idea i had so long ago.

thanks very much to paul, dom and kathleen for being my volunteers/ victims.

here's my latest opus...

guilty. guilty. guilty. from Kate MacDonald on Vimeo.

28 July 2013

instagramification

i'm not sure why, but i've started sharing glimpses of my wardrobe on my instagram feed. i guess it's partly a way of indulging my real first aesthetic love, which is clothing and textiles [assuming you consider footwear part of that]. i'm fascinated by clothing and its ability to act as a form of expression as well as a practical protection against the elements.

most people tell me i have a "distinctive" style, which i think is a polite way of saying that i don't dress like an adult in their mind. dom has pointed out that i have a particular affinity for things that are asymmetrical or draped, which does give me a kind of distinctiveness. i think that there's something to both of those points of view. i simply don't look like most people my age even if i were to try and i like things that hang a bit funny.

i always have a weakness for things that have a patchwork quality to them. i love things that include a lot of different fabrics. [little note :: pieces of clothing that have a lot of different fabrics in them and that sit asymmetrically are awesome at disguising things that you might want to hide from public view.]

anyway, here's a rather bizarre tour through stuff i've been wearing lately...

think this was the first time i showed off a pedicure this year.


have i mentioned how much i love hats? i do. 


i always want to dance the flamenco in this one...


i was exploring this possibility that i might be able to wear yellow, even though i've spent my whole life assuming i couldn't. turns out, this got me a lot of compliments. weird...


i love little embellishments...


this was the most awesome umbrella ever, like carrying the sun with you all the time. then the wind killed it. 


i've developed an addiction to the cheap earrings on sale at my drug store. seriously, they're worth their weight in gold, but cost their weight in tin foil...


yeah, this is a snapshot of the dress i wore to the "conversion" premiere. you can check out the rest of my look here


how could i not love something that looks like antique purple wallpaper? got this one at the sadly defunct betsey johnson store in montreal. 


clogs. awesome five inch high clogs. who else but fluevog? 


someone referred to this as looking serpentine. i'm ok with that...


teal and lace. why not?


this skirt is such a spring green that i almost feel guilty wearing it during the summer. 


i thought that the olde fashioned filter set off my fringe very nicely, thank you. 


this skirt is about four blocks across when i hold it out all the way. 


tomato red is really the colour of summer. 


i always love little embellishments, embroidery, what have you...


if you'd like to join me on instagram and see what random photos of clothes, cats and who knows what else, please feel free to do so... right here

27 July 2013

the movies, mr. lee and me

does this man need your money?
so i've posted a whole series of comparisons to people who are also writers, or active in fields where i
like to play. normally, the point of this is for me to give myself a pat on the back and reassure myself that i am better than newt gingrich, dick cheney or rob ford. and i believe that. but i can't start this post that way, because i can't just come out and say "i am better than spike lee". because i don't actually believe that, certainly not in the way i believe i'm better than those other doorknobs.

but i do have something i want to say to spike lee and it does come from a rather self-righteous part of my brain. i might not believe i'm better, but in this one particular instance, i think i have a legitimate argument.

for those of you who might not know [and that's probably a majority who don't follow film like it's a religion], spike lee has turned to kickstarter, the online fundraising site, to raise money for his next film. on the surface, it's an interesting proposition: avoid the controlling hands of big studios by going directly to the people for the funds. make the film that you want to make and then worry about getting distribution, which probably won't be difficult, since lee has the name to draw interest from distributors. increasingly, i think that filmmakers are going to be able to turn to these sorts of avenues in order to be able to make films that are outside the big-money visual field of the studio system. and i think that this is how new filmmakers will break into the public imagination- by making films on their own terms that will resonate with people desperate to see something different than what they get from the local multiplex.

but let's do a reality check here: spike lee describes himself [see link above] as a "hybrid", making studio pictures and indie pictures and i agree with him. the thing is, rather than asking the moviegoing public to put up $1.25 million for his new project, why not just pony up some of the cash he's gotten from his other ventures to fund it himself? fine, if he wants to ask other successful filmmakers like stephen sodebergh, who donated $10 000 to the project, that's one thing, but why do his fans owe him their money? this is a man who is a multi-millionaire in his own right, who has garnered big hollywood salaries for projects such as the american remake of "oldboy" and who is more than capable of finding financing on his own. yes, there are filmgoers [me included] who would love to see him return to his indie roots and do something that comes 100% from his heart. but why does he need us to pay for it?

john cassavettes routinely took money that he made from acting in big-budget pictures to fund his directorial passion projects. he mortgaged his house and begged from friends [including actor peter falk] to make "a woman under the influence". lee has multiple houses he could mortgage [in higher rent areas than cassavettes'] and, evidently, lots of friends he could ask. why is he asking us to pay?

i do have a bit of a personal gripe here. as you've likely read on the blog recently, i do have some filmmaking experience. dom and i really wanted to make a movie and so we did. and we didn't get studio backing, nor did we ask for kickstarter money. because it was our thing. we wanted to do it our way and that meant that we should be putting up our own money to do it. it was important to us to be able to make the film that we wanted [and we did]. that meant that we had to be willing to pay the bills ourselves [and we did]. we put every available cent into the production because it was really important to us to be able to do things our way and because we desperately wanted to see the project through. there were real risks involved and real sacrifices. that's what being passionate about something does to you.

i believe that spike lee was at one point passionate about film. his early films are still breathtaking and "do the right thing" is a film that i really believe changed my life and my perspective on race and race relations.

but what he's doing now isn't going back to his roots. it's cynically exploiting people who remember that his name on a film used to mean something, that it wasn't just a hollow exercise in branding.

as a fan, i'm insulted that lee seems to think that he is owed funding. as a filmmaker, i'm offended that, despite his success, he wants to play like there's no difference between what he's doing and the work of someone who is skipping a few meals a week to save up for the camera to make their first feature.

lee has a lot to say- much of it very true- about the subject of race. but perhaps he needs to think a little more about the issues of financial inequality, which are increasingly defining what people can and can't do, what dreams they can have and what legacy they will be able to offer. turning to crowd sourced funding may be trendy, but having a heavyweight like him involved is also going to distract attention and dollars from the people who legitimately need it. lee can get funding for his new project without turning to kickstarter. it's time he did the right thing.

you can buy a copy of our film conversion here.

you can give money to spike lee's kickstarter program here.

25 July 2013

huma huma

ok, i just need to get something out of my system...

weiner roast
we have a weiner
everybody loves a weiner

i could go on, especially since i haven't even started to imagine the possibilities of "carlos danger", but really, this guy makes it too easy.

yes, anthony "look at my" weiner is making news again for the exact same reason he last made news, which was by flashing bits of himself at pretty young things over the internet, this time using the aforementioned pseudonym "carlos danger", because, clearly, there was no chance that that could ever be turned into a joke. [actually, there really isn't much need to turn it at all. calling yourself carlos danger is a joke that requires no further embellishment.]

this time, however, more prominence is being given to his wife- his beautiful, smart, successful wife- huma abedin. she remained fairly quiet the last time her husband got caught shaking a tail feather at a 20-something twitterer and was pretty classy even when notable nutjob michele bachmann accused her of being an agent of the muslim brotherhood. i can't say that i'd have her patience or grace in the public spotlight.

of course, abedin has been able to learn stoicism in the face of public humiliation from the master as a long-time friend, aide and ally to hilary clinton. no woman has ever had to endure the sort of scrutiny of her husband's extra-pants activities as hilary did and, ultimately, she came through it well. but does that make it a good plan of action?

abedin apparently considered leaving the wayward weiner when she first found out about his "relapse", but reconsidered because she believed that he was a good father to their son. that's entirely possible, but i'd argue that part of being a good father is being a good example. there is no way that this poor kid isn't going to find out about all this and then he'll be left to figure out the lessons he's supposed to take from it. anthony weiner has repeatedly used a social media platform to solicit thrills outside of his marriage. not only does he not have enough respect for his wife to be monogamous, but he doesn't even care enough about her feelings to take steps to ensure that his dalliances stay out of the public view. if you ask me, that makes him not only a crappy husband, but also a crappy father, being willfully ignorant of the affects his actions will have on the people closest to him.

although i feel lousy piling on abedin when she's down, i can't help feeling that there's something very wrong with the logic of staying with a repeat offender [a repeat public offender] for the child. for starters, it implies that the child will somehow be deprived of the parent in the event of a divorce. i was eight when my parents divorced and i assure you, that isn't the case.

second, it comes uncomfortably close to assigning blame to the child. huma abedin may have her own reasons for deciding to stay with her husband. very possibly she loves him and wants things to work out between them. that's fine if that's the way that she feels, but it has precisely nothing to do with their son. saying that you decided to stay together because of him implies that if he weren't in the picture, you would have made a different decision, that perhaps you wanted to make a different decision.

louis ck likens continuing with a marriage "for the sake of the kids" to holding in a bowel movement for the rest of your life and i'll admit that i agree with him. sooner or later the backed up fury that consumes you is just going to become part of your personality and your relationships will be tainted by it. i hope that huma abedin is able to avoid that fate, for both herself and her child. her husband is making it... wait, i need to rethink my phrasing here... her husband isn't making it easy.

23 July 2013

making faces :: all eyes on yves

a couple of days ago, i posted the following photo on my instagram, proudly showing that i had bought green lip gloss and pink eye liner.

because who wants to do the expected thing?
the green gloss is a subject for another blog post, but today i thought i'd give you my quick thoughts on yves st. laurent's new liquid liner in "rose". there are a number of shades that have been released in this formula, along with the eponymous baby doll mascara [and a bright pink nail polish and one of their "lip varnishes" that i still haven't tried, even though i really, really want to]. the one that caught my eye figuratively and literally [kinda] was this incredible shade of pink. because how often does a girl find a pink eye liner?

i suppose that the inverse question there is "how often does a girl want a pink eye liner?" pinks around the eyes tend to be a little challenging, because "pink eye" isn't a look most people strive for.

not taken from in style magazine
but this is a pink of a different colour.

specifically, it's a deeper rose shade with a lot of copper and gold tones in it, so it doesn't tend to look like your eyes are rimmed in red. it's also very shimmery and so it appears more like a metallic foil around the eyes- emphasising that the colour you have on is anything but natural [but in a good way].

for those of you who may fear liquid liners... well, you could be justified, at least slightly. the applicator on this liner is very thin and flexible, meaning that you can get an extremely precise line, but precisely as you draw it. if your hand is a little jittery, you're going to have to go back and touch up. if, like me, you're used to handling something a little firmer- like liquid liners from mac, stila or illamasqua- this may take some getting used to.

it's ok, you can come a little closer to appreciate me...
but here's the good news: the formula is extremely forgiving. if you mess up, you'll have enough time to clean away the mess before it dries in place and the brush applicator is fine enough that you can easily correct little uneven patches.

even better: the formula is incredibly pigmented, so when you apply it, you get exactly the colour you see in the tube. in fact, if anything, it's more vibrant when applied. it's opaque in a single pass and while layering can make it a bit brighter [or give you a thicker line], it isn't necessary.

21 July 2013

nudge nudge

just a not-so-discreet little reminder that you can now purchase "conversion", a feature film i wrote and starred in, alongside paul ash, one of montreal's hottest comedic talents and which dominic, my long-suffering other half, directed.

it tells the story of two friends trying to make it home through the city in the middle of the night with no money to their name and with a cast of bizarre characters waylaying them at every turn.

a mere $5 will get you streaming access to the film for six months, courtesy of vimeo's "on demand" service. you don't even need a credit card, since the site accepts paypal. every penny goes to supporting the film and its makers, helping us offset some of the costs of making it available and producing it to begin with, as well as to supporting our continued efforts to promote our little 100% indie flick.

in case you haven't noticed "big movie" is having some problems lately and the timing has likely never been better than it is at this moment for creative people as the availability of cheap technology dovetails with the realities of a restless and dissatisfied movie-watching public.

check out exactly what you can accomplish by checking out what we accomplished!

here's a little peek to pique your interest:



ready to spend $5? please proceed...

20 July 2013

making faces :: cuckoo for coco!

look how happy chanel makes me...
someone has evidently put something in the water cooler at chanel, because in the last few months, the company has burst forth with too many collections to count [actually, still in single digits, which doesn't say much for your counting skills -ed.]. they've introduced new items to their permanent collections, come out with new and limited items and reformulated existing products. as a chanel fan, it's been an exciting and exhausting time. as someone who doesn't have an income of a million dollars a month, it's been an instructive in the art of making choices and getting annoyed. here's a brief rundown of a few of the chanel developments...

new glosses!

chanel has been expanding their glossimer/ levres scintillantes gloss collection. a few months ago, they launched a half a dozen new shades and this summer, they've done it again. the nice thing about these glosses is that the shades are all being added to the permanently available selection, so you have time to make a decision.

of course, the excitement of having something new and shiny might win out, as it did with me. i picked up "crushed cherry", one of the summer's new shades.

first of all, i congratulate chanel for doing something increasingly unheard of: coming up with a name that's accurate and descriptive. because this colour really does look like crushed cherries, ready to be spread across a pie crust. it's a deep, shiny, rich cherry red. because it's not opaque, it can appear fairly bright, not full-on vampy [at least not on its own]. it's creamy, meaning that it has no sparkle and although deeper glosses like this can be a bit of a pain to apply evenly, i had no problems applying [or re-applying] this one.

crushed cherry
the glossimer is a favourite formula of mine, because it isn't sticky but has decent lasting power for a gloss. i do find that the sparkling glossimers have better staying power, though. shades like "crushed cherry" and "intrigue" [from last year's holiday collection] fade faster than their shimmering cousins. that means that touch-ups are going to be a necessity, especially if, like me, you're constantly sipping on water or coffee or tea during the course of the day. this is where the evenness of the gloss becomes especially handy, because at least you aren't fussing around more than you have to.

i find that glossimers are hydrating on my lips- something a lot of glosses surprisingly are not- and that the wear is at least even, not patchy. i did have some slight feathering around the edges of my lips later in the day, the sort of thing that you could see more on close inspection than at first glance.

i'm surprised at how few deep red glosses seem to be floating around on the market, or at least in my collection. maybe it's just that they tend to either be much sheerer or nearly opaque. the closest analogue i could find was bobbi brown's "black ruby", which is a high shimmer gloss and therefore loaded with sparkle. it's also warmer in terms of its base colour.

l to r :: crushed cherry, bobbi brown black ruby
the verdict? if it's going to drive you crazy that the colour will fade fairly quickly or that you'll have to reapply, this might not be for you. but if you can live with reaching into your purse to touch-up from time to time, it's a luscious, unique shade in a soft, comfortable formula.

I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SHOW YOU...

18 July 2013

here in spirit...

things have been a little quiet here lately because, once again, my computer has died. yes, this is the same computer that has twice risen from the grave in its two and a half year life span. you can read my thoughts on this and apple's indifferent customer service here. [and no, i never received any type acknowledgement from apple of my complaint.]

currently, it is unable to start up because of a ram problem. i've found ways to fix this on line, but the only ones that i would feel comfortable attempting require that the computer at least be able to rouse itself to allow me to break into its brain, but it's incapable of getting even that far.

so if i haven't been saying much, it isn't because i haven't had anything to say.

of course, it seems like this doesn't bother my readers, since this has been the busiest week and today the single busiest day in the history of more like space.

so thank you for continuing to check out this space. things should be returning to normal shortly. and by normal, i mean that there will be actual content here, not just snippets of me ranting about stuff. although there will be those snippets too. it sort of comes with the territory.


14 July 2013

a sneaky sneak preview

those of you who follow me on instagram (morelikespace) may have enjoyed the photo below for its undeniable cute value, but did you also realise that it's also a sneak preview of something i'm working on?



yup, that's a very surreptitious look at my forthcoming novella "tricky", which will be out soon (assuming lulu lets me finish my editing) in a volume with the script for "conversion". 

i hope this has been intriguing for you, although i suspect you're still caught up in the adorableness that is the lulu. 


13 July 2013

stuff that goes together

it's dom's birthday, his big 4-0. and this is a picture of the two of us at a friend's birthday party a few years ago, wearing our party hats as bird beaks, which we both thought of doing at basically the same moment.

birds of a feather...
i hope that helps you all understand why we're together.

happy birthday baby!



09 July 2013

a delicate balance

i'll say it: i missing my spam. since i started writing posts about things i found in my spam filter, it seems that i rarely get anything truly amusing anymore. most days, i'm just rescuing stuff that shouldn't have been snagged or skipping over boring emails that don't even have any hilariously inappropriate typos. what's a girl to do?

fortunately, i still have my spam filter at work, which doesn't see much action, but does occasionally yield a little gem like this:



Hello ha ndsome! I'm i n yovr hovse. I am fvnny a nd well-ba la nced. My photos here.

yes, that's exactly how it appears, with the exception that i put it in italics. there is a link to a site that apparently deals with mixed martial arts, which is even more perplexing. 
i guess i should find it disturbing that someone i don't know is sending me emails telling me he's in my house, but hey, he sounds friendly- no one ever tells me i'm handsome- and he says quite clearly that he's well-balanced, even stretching it out to emphasize how important it is that i understand this. so i'm sure there's nothing i need be worried about.

that said, sending people anonymous messages telling them that you're in their house is not a marketing tactic i've heard of and probably with good reason. and one could argue that following that with an assurance that you're "well-balanced" might actually cause someone to think the exact opposite. so, golfer2@gmail.com, you might want to rethink your advertising campaign.

of course, i suspect golfer2 might have flunked out of the mba program, since he's also been spotted trying to garner interest by telling people "i'm in your region. i am graceful." also "Nice t0 meet y0u ma te. I a m next t0 y0u. I a m g00dl00king. See my pics." i'm unclear on why a person would need pictures to evaluate whether someone next to them was good-looking or not. especially if i'd already met them. of course, if i hadn't met them, i'd be a little curious as to how they'd gotten my email address.

i guess i'm just a very suspicious person by nature.


07 July 2013

making faces :: a sliver of silver from nars

i've been so busy trying to keep up with all of the new products that nars has been launching this year, that i've almost forgotten to check in on the actual colour collections they've been launching. shame on me, because some of the shades have been really fun- a slew of bright, energetic shades in shocking combinations that somehow still work. but what's a girl to do when there's been new concealers and finishing powders and a new lipstick formula and super-sizes blushes and pairs of nail polish... whew!

frighteningly enough for my wallet, it appears that there's more to come- a new foundation and a new gel eye liner/ shadow formula and much more. but i did take a moment to catch my breath and grab a single eye shadow from the nars summer collection. ironically, i'm reviewing this as their fall collection is about to hit stores, so i'm clearly a little behind the times, but the good news is that it's been added to the permanent line-up, so we'll be able to get it for the foreseeable future.

so let's have a look at it, shall we?



"euphrate" is an interesting take on a silver shadow. i normally think of all silvers as being the same, but i'm gradually realising that there are important, subtle differences. "euphrate" is medium-to-light, not light enough to work as a highlighter on me, although i believe it could on very dark skin. the reason is that, unlike a lot of silver shadows, "euphrate" is shimmery without giving a really frosted look. it can be applied quite lightly for a hint of colour, but even when built up, it never seems heavy. greys can have a tendency to drain the colour from my face, but this one doesn't, perhaps because there is a definite blue-green undertone to it.

COMPARISONS AND ACTION SHOTS AFTER THE BREAK...

05 July 2013

be converted

after the fun of our gala premiere last weekend, i'm pleased to announce that "conversion" is now available for you to watch in the comfort of your own home. we've partnered with vimeo's newly launched "on demand" service to allow viewers from all over the world to access the film from the comfort of their own homes. or wherever they feel comfortable watching movies.

see what all the fuss is about
the service is actually quite remarkable and offers a fantastic option for films that don't have backing from a major studio and which don't have the mass appeal to draw audiences to six screenings a day at five thousand multiplex screens. for five dollars [american, which is about equivalent to five dollars in most other places- canada, australia, etc.], you get access to the film for a period of six months. if you decide you really love it, you can renew it. but that's less than half the price of a ticket to a movie theatre to be able to watch the film until you can recite it for memory, like i can.

i will repeat something that i said at last week's premiere: the tools that are available to aspiring filmmakers right now are unbelievable. and by unbelievable, i mean that if you took a time machine and visited yourself ten or fifteen years ago, you'd make your young brain explode even trying to explain it. even now, most smart phones come with cameras that are more powerful than the one we used to shoot "conversion"- itself a still camera that just happens to be able to shoot high definition video. more and more i'm convinced that lists of the best films of the year will be focused less on trips to the cinema and more on what reviewers happened to find on sites like vimeo, or through services like netflix. and anyone can use something like vimeo for distribution.

we live in a remarkable world, folks.

check out and download the film here.

03 July 2013

the editor speaks

some of you may have noticed that there are occasionally comments within my blog posts attributed to an editor. [like this. -ed.] of course, "the editor" isn't actually a separate person, just one of the many characters who lives in my imagination and serves as a useful counterpoint to the voice of "kate the writer".  since i've been editing my own writing a fair bit lately, that character has been thrust to the fore and i thought it might be nice to do a little recap of all the bad writing habits she's noticed in the hopes that it will be able to help others. [let's start with you, shall we? -ed.] the truth is, i probably don't edit my stuff enough as a general rule, which is why there are occasional spelling mistakes and grammatical whoopsies [i'm not even going to ask where you came up with that term -ed.] sprinkled throughout this blog. when it comes to things that i plan on publishing, however, i need to be more cautious and make sure that i'm not about to set myself up for a guest spot in one of those "best of writing fails" lists. you know the ones that i'm talking about- "the sun shone from his behind" kind of thing. [get on with it. -ed.] anyway, here is my internal editor with a few tips on the most common mistakes that i make in my writing...

good day to you all. as kate's internal editor, i notice that she has a number of regrettable habits that frequently require my input- we'll just deal with the writing ones. all writers have bad habits, i imagine, but there are some that can be curbed more easily than others. although my commentary is normally given in italics, i am concerned that you might find this difficult to read in longer stretches and so i shall use regular text for each of the points below. i hope this will not cause any confusion.

problem #1 :: getting too fancy with sentence structure. kate the writer does this far too often and i have to step in out of pity for the reader and uncomplicate things. yes, your tone of voice and writing style should be original, but that doesn't mean it should be needlessly complex. you want people to enjoy a story like they would a lovely bike ride in the countryside and not a roller coaster- taking in the experience and enjoying everything around them, not screaming and wanting it to be over.

problem #2 :: stop using that word. what word? that word that just came into your mind, kate the writer, the one that perfectly summed up what you wanted the reader to get from this part of the story. you've used it four times in two short paragraphs. you do this a lot. it's always a different word, but trust me, there is always a section in your stories where one word just keeping being repeated like it was a religious mantra. choose one instance where it's just perfect and move on. [ugh, it's true... i was editing on the way home from work and i found three or four instances of one word being used multiple times in quick succession. -kate the writer]

problem #3 :: get tense. you know how actions happen in the past or in the present or in the future? well when you're writing about them, you have to choose just one. you're not allowed to slide between all three or, let's be honest, the first two. [note to self: write short story in future tense -kate the writer] [stop interrupting -ed.] when you're wrapped up in the moment, i guess it's very easy to slide from thinking in one to thinking in the other, but it's completely confusing to readers who don't live in your head- which, incidentally, is a good thing, since it's crowded enough in here already. you're not allowed to bend time to your will. pick a tense, past or present [or future!!! -kate the writer] [shut up -ed.] and let your story live within it. when you get famous and widely respected, you can publish whatever babble you want and people will call it genius. only you and i and everyone who reads this blog post will know the truth.

problem #4 :: make plans. seriously, i know how incredible it is when inspiration strikes from the skies above and you're writing as if possessed by demons, i really do. but unless you're going to be limited to something that you can write in one sitting, you're going to continue to start things that never get finished because after that one passionate writing session, you don't know what the hell to do. planning never hurt anyone. take some of that passion and pour it into thinking of every twist and turn that shall befall your character creations. once you have that, then you can connect the dots. plus, you'll know where you're heading. and isn't it incentive to push yourself when you know where the finish line is?

for now, i will stop. i think that if she can conquer these issues, kate the writer will be on her way to being much stronger than she is now at her craft. if you have these same problems, perhaps you might want to work on them as well. or share your tips for working on them, so that she has a better idea of what to do. of course, if you have any other common problems you run into while writing, please feel free to share them and i will do the best that i can to assist you.

that's it, editor, this is dull and you're totally never writing another piece for this blog again. ["totally never writing"? sigh. -ed.]

the picture included with this piece was taken, of course, from i can has cheezburger. here's the original.

02 July 2013

more like space greatest hits :: priapus

no, i'm not travelling again, but i was feeling lazy and thinking that i wanted to post something creative/ fictional, because i've been in a very creative frame of mind this last little while, but i don't actually have anything new to show you, because i've also been extremely easy to distract- ooh ladybug!

ahem, therefore, i lay before you "priapus" a story i've published here before, but that i thought might warrant a second look [or for some of you, a first].

warningwarningwarning :: it's nsfw-ish, as there's language and adult situations that might make you uncomfortable. hopefully that doesn't get me reported to the blog police.

enjoy...



I never told my friends what I was thinking about women. They pretty much figured out at some point that I just didn’t seem that interested. They knew that even if something started, it wouldn’t end up going anywhere. And I knew what they thought they knew. What did they know? They’d look at me and, because we were supposed to be different than the football pricks and their friends, they would try to send me these subtle signals that they were aware that it was supposed to be OK for me to be gay, even though I could tell it made them uncomfortable. So what did they know?

Derrick, one of my best friends when I was a kid and, by the time I was in high school, more of a moderately friendly acquaintance, once kissed me when we were hanging out at his place smoking pot. I felt sorry for him, Believing he had a chance because at that point everyone was pretty much convinced I was a fag anyway, so I let him press his lips onto mine and move them around, then stick his tongue into my mouth. Our tongues were dried out from the pot, and we had no energy, so we just sat there for a few seconds, disinterestedly rubbing our spongy, felt-covered tongues together. Powerfully unsexy, that.


A few years later, Derrick came out of the closet while he was a third year student at the art college. We were pretty much entirely out of touch at that point, but I still saw him around occasionally and said hi. I heard that when he came out, he basically made it a mission to make up for the years he’d wasted pretending he was interested in women by sleeping with every man he could get his hands on. I saw him in bars occasionally, and not the city’s openly gay bars either. He’d walk up to anyone, any guy who caught his fancy. And more than once, I remember seeing him leave with someone who ten minutes before had been crouching to get a view up the skirt of one of the girls on the dance floor.
Then one of those times- I wasn’t around when this happened- he predictably got too bold and made a very overt pass at a guy who really wasn’t up to considering the possible benefits of homosexuality. This guy grabbed him and beat his face repeatedly into a brick wall. There was a stain for months, which I can remember seeing, although it was only later that I found out what it came from. Derrick had all the molars in his lower right jaw smashed to pretty much nothing, shards of them embedded in his tongue. His cheekbone was so badly crushed that doctors couldn’t do anything to repair it. So now his right cheekbone is a metal plate. You can feel it, hard and immovable underneath his skin. He showed me once when I ran into him, got me to press my fingers against the flash over his robot’s skull.
We hadn’t talked in a long while, but as soon as he told me that story, told me about the feeling of his face swelling up to a gelatinous mass and of his lacerated tongue pressing against the pulpy stubs of teeth, I felt like we had always been close. So he became the person I trusted, at least for the time it took me to explain it all to him. I wanted someone to understand what I had gone through, even if he couldn’t do anything about it.

Like I said, we weren’t really close in high school. We had hung around vaguely in the same crowd, wannabe punk kids in ripped pants with architectural hair. We stayed out late at the video arcade, which was the only place that would let us hang around in groups. We drank and smoked and had a lot of fights with our parents. The most hardcore had big fights with their parents and ran away, sometimes for four or five days at a time. So during that period, I knew him mostly as a face from my past who also hung around at the arcade.


PRAY CONTINUE...

01 July 2013

making faces :: my red carpet face

ok, there wasn't actually a red carpet at saturday's "conversion" premiere, but how many times does someone get to see their very own movie on a big screen for the first time? so you're damn right i was going to take the opportunity to get camera ready.

i got all dressed up in a summery little number from betsey johnson in black and magenta- quite possibly my favourite colour combination when it comes to clothing, at least on me. [that love of very saturated, bright, cool magenta might indeed lend credence to the idea that my sci/art colour match is bright winter, to return to that theme for a moment.] since the dress was pretty bold and high contrast, i figured the rest of me should fall in line.

to get things started, i really have to sing the praises of giorgio armani's fluidmaster primer, which is my go-to special occasion primer. i've spoken about it before, but it really is like applying good magic to your face. it smoothes, it evens, it reduces unwanted shine and gives you a flawless base from which to work. and it makes your makeup last perfectly throughout the night. so even later on, when we headed out for a post-screening tipple, i didn't have to touch up. that, folks, is a lady's secret weapon.

i used my stalwart guerlain parure de lumiere foundation [shade 01, which isn't available in any other guerlain foundations i've found in canada and is a lovely match for me] and nars radiant creamy concealer to take care of the effects of a nerve-induced sleepless night before.

to make sure that my facial architecture looked "just so", i used chanel "notorious" ombre contraste, a soft lavender taupe, to contour under my cheekbones and around my temples and jaw line and the new shade "delice" a pearly highlighter in the joues contraste formula along my cheekbones. of course, i also needed a little bit of colour to stand up to the intensity of the dress i was wearing, so i called on my new best friend, dior cremeblush in "pareo". i absolutely adore the effect of this + "delice".



for the eyes, i didn't want anything incredibly vibrant, but i did want a subtle range of colour. i used rouge bunny rouge "bashful flamingo" all over my lid to give a slightly pink-toned neutral base. although you can't see it too well in the shadows, i also added a very light wash of chantecaille's "basalt" for subtle shimmer, especially on the inner corners. on the outer part of the eye, i used le metier de beaute "fire lily" applied lightly for a soft, rosy tone and deepened the colour in the crease with the deep brown shade from guerlain "les bois de rose". i added even more depth to the outer "v" of my eyes with the black shade from armani's "neo-black" palette. i turned to mac "dazzlelight" as a highlighter along the browbone, since it's one of those shades that just never fails me, no matter what it's combined with. so there is quite a lot of colour going on, even though it's not all obvious. a quick swipe of mac "on the hunt" liquid liner and yves st. laurent "baby doll" mascara and the eyes were done. so there's actually a fair amount going on there, even though the effect is quite restrained.



to finish things off, i knew i wanted to sport a statement lip, but something simple, that wouldn't have me wondering if it still looked good later in the night. when i need something bold and reliable, i turn to my rouge d'armani collection and #402, a full-power pink-red with a satiny sheen is one of my favourites. it's also one of those colours that tends to make people tell me i look healthier- brightens up the rest of my face, i suppose.



a little dusting of nars "light reflecting setting powder" and it's off to the party, ready for the paparazzi. [i did try to at least smooth/ style my hair a little, but the humidity had other ideas.]

ever made an especially special effort to get yourself gussied up for a special event? feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

[two things not shown in these photos, but probably worth mentioning: i wore chanel "taboo" nail polish, a deep vampy red with cool purple shimmer that i adore and, of course, i had on a pair of fluevog shoes, the sadly discontinued berlin "mitte" in black to complete the outfit.]
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