31 August 2013

this time, it's personal

soon to be illegal in a town near you, canada
i don't make a secret of the fact that i despise our current conservative government. and i don't mean more than willing to give our current prime minister a fair shot when he won his first minority government back some time before christ.
that just in the sense that i talk about it on the internet where i could conceivably get away with it. i talk about this out in the open, including in my workplace. i feel really strongly that canada currently has one of the worst [and most embarrassing] governments in what was once called the "first world". and it's not like i never gave them a shot. some super-long-term readers of this blog might even remember that i was

but those days are long gone. i have objected to pretty much every piece of legislation contemplated by this government since they were handed absolute power [i.e., a majority government]. i've come to despise every self-serving syllable uttered by prime minister stephen harper in a way that i never imagined possible. and this week, dude got up in my face with his big business agenda in a way that i didn't see coming.

part of me feels annoyed that i didn't do enough research to find out about this beforehand. another part of me feels annoyed that none of the venues, promoters or bands that i follow on twitter were able to give me a "heads up" on this. then again, it seems like this legislation moved through our parliament in stealth mode, because no one was taking it particularly seriously.

what's the legislation? a little bit of bullshit that requires promoters or venue owners hosting a show by a foreign band to fork over an extra $275 per person to the government in order to host a show. dafuq?

there are exceptions. groups that are playing multiple shows in canada or are playing as part of a festival, for instance, can get one. as long as they aren't playing venues that are designated as bars or restaurants [i.e., those that have a bar or restaurant license]. which is cold comfort to groups who can't fill arenas, since most of the venues that would host them have bar licenses in order to make ends meet when they aren't hosting the latest fringe acts from croatia.

of course, some acts won't be affected. bands who can fill arenas, or who can come in and play a festival like the montreal international jazz festival, where four blocks of downtown constitute the audience space won't be subject to these penalties. which is kind of stupid, since these are the acts that could afford it without a blink. $275 per person is nothing to bon jovi or their promoters. but to someone putting on a show like the kind one sees at the casa del popolo, it's a major imposition.

allow me to illustrate from my personal experience. i organised/ promoted a show in toronto in 2008, just before i moved back to montreal. there were four bands who played that night, with a total of eight members. as it happens, all were canadian citizens, but let's say half had come up from the states. playing by the rules, that would have cost me an extra $1100, or about four times the total other costs that i was shouldering for the show. and that's assuming i wasn't covering any of the travel expenses for the artists. frankly, the equation would have been simple. i never would have considered putting on the show if there were an extra $1100 fee involved and, most likely, neither would anyone else.

what i truly don't understand is what the logic behind this legislation is supposed to be. because every possible explanation leads to a dead end when i consider it:

1. considering the money spent on touring, the extra fees should be that much of an imposition and represent money the canadian government can put to other uses.
that's really only true of large, corporate-backed tours, who are exempt from the new fees anyway. lesser known bands and smaller venues are the ones who will be hit by this increase and they are the ones who will least be able to afford it.

2. this legislation imposes a fair tax on international promoters.
no it doesn't. because its exceptions are skewed to favour the largest touring acts- those for whom the fee is a minor irritant- while those who seek to bring in lesser known acts, new acts and acts with narrower appeal [basically anyone i would be interested in seeing] will be forced to pay a proportionally higher price.$275 per band member is nothing if you're filling stadiums with 10,000 people or more. it's a huge barrier in a venue of around 200 people.

3. these rules will mean that promoters are more likely to book canadian acts.
spoken like someone who hasn't been in a venue with less than ten thousand seats in at least thirty years. in fact, smaller venues already do a phenomenal job of booking and promoting local acts. but the fact is that a lot of canadian acts get their break when they're booked as openers for international acts. once you take those international acts and their crowd-drawing potential out of the equation, there's no reason to book locals.

international media have already dubbed this the "world's worst music law", which is saying something, when you consider how petty and stupid such laws can get. unfortunately, whenever i hear the words "world's worst" associated with any kind of law that's come out of canada recently, my immediate reaction is to say "yeah, they got us" before i even bother to check? possibly because i've never had that thought disproven when i did check.

i get that stephen harper isn't about the arts. i'm sure that he thinks cultural studies involve yogurt and a microscope, but what really grinds my gears with this sort of legislation is how sanctimonious harper and his cronies get about defending the middle class and small business people even while they impose legislation that cuts the throat of those same groups. artists and purveyors of culture already knew that harper was against them. entrepreneurs might find this a rude awakening. turns out only those with big time oil industry related funding are exempt from the prime ministerial axe.

whatever his diabolical thought process, the fact is that stephen harper and his yes-men are conspiring to deprive people like me of live shows. and that is something up with which i will not put.

for what it's worth [and i say that because i don't know to what extent the harper conservatives listen to or care what the canadian population is thinking], you can sign a petition to reverse the legislation here.

want an even better idea? throw these hypocritical, self-serving bastards out on their fat behinds at the earliest possible convenience.

30 August 2013

friday favourites 29.08.13

image of the week
i have to admit it. whenever i look at this blog and see a week where "mental health mondays" is immediately followed by "friday favourites", it really bothers me because, as circumstances have conspired to remind me, i like blogging.
immediately followed by "friday favourites", i feel like a failure. and it's not like i haven't had anything to talk about [and let's face it, when has not having things to talk about ever stopped me from blogging?]. the problem i've run into this week is that i simply haven't had time. i've had way too much to do that hasn't involved blogging and that has clearly been impinging on the output here. [on top of which, i've suddenly been attacked by a bizarre case of "i'm allergic to everything", which means that i haven't wanted to do much except sleep when i haven't been working.] and it

so this is kind of an apology to all of you for the lack of posts, but it's also a bit of me bemoaning the state of things when i can't make time for something that makes my life better. things like...

good news :: stuff i can't make up from around the internet

segregation laws are a thing of the past. unless you include segregation based on income. that's still totally cool.

a year ago this weekend i went to switzerland. if i'd gone this year instead, i might have got to see the brand spanking new drive-in brothels. [see what i did there?]

am oklahoma woman who was caught with meth in her anus and a loaded gun in her vagina [not a metaphor] has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. i think she misunderstood the meaning of "safe deposit box".

and here's a lady whose "secret hiding place" [the back door] required emergency intervention after she tried to remove the five grand she'd stashed there. some women just don't like to carry purses.

there is a gigantic canyon underneath greenland that scientists just discovered by accident. behold the magic that is greenland.

goings on :: stuff you can [and should] participate in

this sunday afternoon at l'oblique, more like space friend eric boivin will be performing live with rachel ni chuinn. get september started off right with some experimental soundscapes and enjoy the feeling of being in a real, bricks-and-mortar record store.

montreal clothing designers metamorphose are having a contest to find their official model for the salon des metier d'arts that will take place this december. in addition to getting immortalised in print [through the salon's catalogue], the winner will get a $400 gift certificate, redeemable at metamorphose' kiosk there. details on how to enter can be found on their facebook page [note: in french only. please feel free to contact me if you need the details supplied in english.]

musical notes

two wonderful artists [and equally wonderful people] doing great things together. here's dom's new video for a murder of angels.



something i learned this week

the difference between having allergies and being sick is in the cause, not the effect. turns out they feel remarkably similar. [and in fact, they are remarkably similar, since many symptoms are caused by inflammation in both cases.]

goal for the week

i am continuing to stick it out with my diet, although the result is an increasingly antagonistic relationship with food. it's more difficult to persevere now, because when you feel low, the tendency to just eat whatever crap seems convenient is great. but perseverance is my middle name. [note :: it actually isn't.]

honestly, my goal for the week is just to feel better. a combination of allergies, stress and inconsistent periods of rest has definitely left me feeling run down.

follow-up and shameless self-promotion

just a quick mention that, having taken a gander at sephora's gleaming new marc jacob's collection, i made a couple of purchases this week, so i should have something to say about those fairly soon. [and there might be rumblings of guerlain coming as well, but you'll have to wait and see.]

kitteh of the week

ever feel like you're being watched?


that's all for now, folks. i popped an antihistamine and it's definitely starting to hit. for instance, i typed "i pooped an antihistamine" and it took me a really long moment to notice the problem. onward and upward and over and through...

26 August 2013

mental health mondays :: guilty pleasures?

we have to make some cuts...
i once made a decision to leave a job after discovering this fast company article on line. why? because i realised that my job involved answering to a psychopath. and once you've realised that, you know that there's no light at the end of the tunnel. whatever you're doing, however secure or skilled you think you are, even when you think you've mastered the ways of your mercurial overlord and can rely on him/ her to carry you on their dragon's wings ever higher, the fact is that you're working for someone who doesn't accept the fundamental humanity of others. it's not a matter of this person betraying you the way you probably think of it. the psychopath is someone who thinks of him/ herself as somehow different and better than everyone else- including you. if you think they're on your side, if you think that they're your partner, it's really just that you happen to be useful to this person. 

on a basic level, we are acclimatised to have the reaction that psychopath = bad. after all, the psychopath is the person who's going to eat [insert generic popular eye candy actress here] if she doesn't manage to escape. so how is it that psychopaths have managed to rise to such prominence in our society that a business mag like "fast company" deems them significant enough to warrant an article? 

there's the rub [as hamlet would say, if he weren't dead and mostly fictional]. let's look at a full set of the hare criteria for psychopathy, generally considered to be the defining terms for identifying a psychopath in your midst: 




  • glib and superficial charm
  • grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  • need for stimulation
  • pathological lying
  • cunning and manipulativeness
  • lack of remorse or guilt
  • shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  • callousness and lack of empathy
  • parasitic lifestyle
  • poor behavioral controls
  • sexual promiscuity
  • early behavior problems
  • lack of realistic long-term goals
  • impulsivity
  • irresponsibility
  • failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • many short-term marital relationships
  • juvenile delinquency
  • revocation of conditional release
  • criminal versatility
  • source: http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Hare-Psychopathy-Checklist.html#b#ixzz2d7kN0K6q


    in a hare diagnosis, subjects are graded a 0, 1, or 2 depending on how well any of these points applies to them. score above 30 and he-ya, welcome to psycho territory. 

    except that when you think about it, these are also things that we tend to value in business. people who are superficially charming [because really, what kind of substance is ever demanded in business relationships?], people who are smart enough to talk their way out of trouble, people who will not get bogged down in a sense of emotional responsibility or morality... these are people who can benefit employers. the ones who are impulsive, who are not constrained by realistic long-term goals, who are always looking for the next big, new thing to occupy them. you can certainly see where, contrary to what horror films may have told you, the psychopath is an exceptionally valuable member of society. 

    i asked dom, who has forgotten more about movies today than i'll ever know, to come up with a single portrayal of a psychopath that showed them to be successful in society. excluding "american psycho"- too easy and a noted exception- and stories based on true events, he was only able to come up with "peeping tom". although i adore the film, i'd say that it at best portrays its antihero as treading the line between artistic fervour and straight-up insanity. so can we just agree that film portrayals of psychopaths have not been positive?

    so how does this apparent disconnect happen? pop culture inundates us with stories of the amoral psychopath as dangerous, antisocial and deadly, but at the same time, business studies indicate that amorality and lack of empathy are conducive to growth. herein lies the problem. 

    what we claim to value in our consideration of ourselves as whole, moral beings is somehow in conflict with the extremely quantifiable values we have in business. so yes, we accept characteristics that we might otherwise classify as deranged when they are directed towards a financial goal. so psychopaths are only a problem when their tendencies are "misdirected". and by "misdirected", what's meant is that the psychopathy manifests itself solely in ways that are not beneficial to the economy. even then, of course, the psychopath isn't problematic- just annoying. read the checklist again. there is nothing in there that deals with a predisposition to violence. at most, it establishes the psychopath as a non-respecter of authority and laws.  the particular laws that they disrespect are determined by which ones prove an inconvenience to them and, more importantly, which ones they feel they can defy without getting caught. pragmatism is paramount. accounting inconsistencies can go years without being caught. dead bodies tend to raise questions. 

    the fact is that our cinematic fascination with absolute, unreasoning evil as being very recognisable as an aberration blinds us to the fact that amoral behaviour is mundane and its effects have clear benefits for industry. those who are the least bound by the social contract, which requires people to see each other at some basic level as equals, tend to be those who can spur the most growth. 

    so the next time you look at your stock portfolio or rrsp [401k if you're in the states and i don't know what you call them elsewhere], remember that any improvement you see is probably due to the fact that michael myers and jason voorhees have dropped their masks and are sitting at the head of a conference table somewhere. 

    making faces :: kate's kaleidoscopic adventures [probably part 1]

    dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
    there are a couple of "secrets" that anyone looking to market cosmetics to me should know:

    1. i like deep, intense lipsticks.

    2. i've always wanted eye shadows that mimicked the shifting colours of beetle shells and dragonfly wings.

    that said, there's probably one more thing you should know:

    armani has given me both with their new fall "kaleidoscope" collection. [also "kaleidoscope" is one of my favourite words.]

    the collection has some serious meat on its bones. there are six new eyes to kill eye shadows, which i've gushed about before, two shadow plus blush palettes, the kind that debuted with last fall's collection and which now seem to form a part of each armani seasonal offering [always limited] and six rouge d'armani lipsticks. that's a lot of pretty to process.

    when i met the collection at my local counter, they had only received three of the six lipsticks, but everything else had arrived. i'm not sure if the other lipsticks are en route or if they won't be seen on canadian counters. [it's possible that they'll only be seen at some canadian counters, of course.] however, there was still plenty to marvel over from what they did receive.

    the two palettes are remarkable. i haven't decided whether or not i'll end up going back for one [or both?] of them, because at $95cad a piece, they're not something to be taken lightly, but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't tempted. [plus, as i've said before, when you do the math, $95 for three prestige brand shadows and a blush is not actually a bad price. it's just a big price to pay all at once.]

    i did, however, surrender to the pretty to the tune of two eyes to kill shadows and one lipstick. for me, that actually means i exercised some restraint.

    let's start with the eye candy.

    although the eyes to kill shades are usually complex, being made up of blends of colours that create an overall multitonal effect, these ones raise the bar. almost all of them have a "duo-chrome" effect, meaning that they can look like a very different colour in different settings. what is most remarkable is that you get at least a hint of this duo-tone from almost every angle. i'll start the howl of self-loathing now: i am furious that i did not manage to capture more than a hint of the beauty of the two colours i purchased in swatch photos. i actually fared slightly better photographing them once they were applied, where the curve of my eyelids turns out to be a much more appropriate surface than the comparatively smooth one of my inner arm.

    first up, we have "violet scarab", a bright cool lilac-purple with blue and silver overtones. it has a little too much cool clarity to be a pastel, because there is something quite icy in the shade. when i was doing reading on sci/art colour analysis, there was a great deal of attention paid to the importance of distinguishing between pastels, which are light colours that have some level of inherent softness to them and icy shades, which are light colours that seem sharp. "violet scarab" definitely falls into the latter category. it has an almost shocking brightness to it for such a light colour, enough that i'd catch my own attention if i got a glimpse of my eyes in a mirror while i was out and about. it almost glows like a star.





    because it's a cool base with a cool overtone and because it has a lot of pigment, i think that this might be harder to pull off for ladies with a lot of warm tones. it can be sheered out a bit with a brush, but it's never going to mesh with golden or amber skin. for moderately to very cool-toned skin, however, this is an amazing colour. it needs very little in the way of embellishment, because it is so complex on its own.

    21 August 2013

    fear the spam

    honestly, i don't get much spam anymore. i troll my own spam and junk filters, hoping to find something hilarious and blog-worthy. i don't get many unsolicited phone calls, either. turns out having a blog is about 400x better than being on the "do not call registry". about the only time i'm really assaulted by spam is in my regular perusals of the internet, where i am exposed to the phenomenon that is obvious spam. [note :: today i checked my "other inbox" in facebook. turns out that's the new spam filter. also, it's where you can find out what the internet thinks of you. amidst the "buy makeup now" advertisements that follow me everywhere, i also get the occasional "have you thought about buying a weapon of mass destruction?" pop-ups that make me realise that no one will ever know me as well as the internet.

    but i have to say, i was a wee bit frightened when this popped up a few times in one day:


    am i the only one who finds this threatening? something that can RETIRE ME in the next two years? i aim, eventually, to be able to retire. i do not wish to be retired. that sounds like the kind of thing that happens to mob snitches. more to the point. i am to be retired without "telling, selling or explaining anything"??? hey, remember that scene in godfather ii, where tom goes to discuss potential future scenarios with frank pentangeli?



    that's what springs to mind when i hear that something is going to retire me without telling anyone.

    you win, internet. i'm afraid of you.

    20 August 2013

    making faces :: you say you want a revolution?

    we demand a better lipstick!
    so what exactly constitutes a revolution when we're talking about cosmetics? some sort of machine that
    applies your face of the day while you catch a few extra minutes of shut eye in the morning? something that blasts you with air that then perfectly resolves itself into a fresh, healthy face to present to the world, no matter how unwell, sleep deprived or hungover you are? cosmetic products that you can plant and grow at home like perennial flowers?

    well, if you listen to urban decay, revolution can take place on a much smaller scale. in fact, revolution can look a lot like a tube of lipstick.

    anyone who keeps an eye on such things knew it was only a matter of time before urban decay came out with a new line of lipsticks. after all, they discontinued their entire existing lipstick lineup months ago and if you ask people to come up with a list of products any cosmetic company should have in order to be taken seriously, "lipstick" is going to come pretty near the top of the list.

    so this fall, the eagle has predictably landed and the new "revolution" lipstick line has appeared. gone are the differences in coverage, gone are the individual scents, gone are the large plastic cases with their dagger tops. in their wake, a line of full-coverage shades, twenty of them, split about evenly between mild and wild. being an unapologetic lipstick fiend, i couldn't resist the allure of all that newness, so i selected one [i've learned from experience not to buy more than one of a new formula of anything until i know i'll like it] called "jilted".

    before i purchased, however, i already knew one thing: these babies do not want for pigmentation. i made a horrible mess of my hand swatching shades in the selection process and it took some serious work with cotton pads and makeup remover to get myself clean again. i didn't find a single shade that wasn't smooth, even and rich in colour.

    "jilted" is a bright magenta with what urban decay calls a blue "shift". it has very fine blue shimmer distributed throughout, which means that in certain lights and at certain angles, it appears to have a fine blue mist over top. it's one of the only shades to have a shimmer effect. most are straightforward creams. about the only complaint that i have about the line as a whole is that i would have liked to see them do more shades with this "shift", because i find such shades very interesting and because urban decay do it exceptionally well. exceptionally. dom commented on the "blue veil" as soon as he saw me wearing this shade. yes, he's observant, but it's not necessarily the kind of detail even an observant person would notice. even better, the texture reads as creamy, not frosty, like two individual layers of colour working together to create the final effect. bravo.

    jilted
    i got the shade knowing that it would likely be close to nars "funny face", which has a similar base and also has a blue shift. indeed, swatched, they look very similar indeed. "funny face" is a bit redder and the blue sheen is less apparent, which makes "jilted" read cooler. on the lips, however, the nars shade is more satin/ matte, whereas jilted is very creamy, which means that you can see more of a difference than it might first appear. if you love these shades, get 'em both. if an occasional dip in the fuchsia ocean works for you, you only need one. [note :: if you do want to have one bright fuchsia lipstick, you should make it one of these two. or mac "show orchid". one of the three, for certain.]

    l to r :: jilted, nars funny face
    the formula on these lipsticks is... phenomenal. normally, there is a trade off between pigmentation level and hydration, which means that if your lipstick is very pigmented, you will probably be crying in pain by the end of a day of wearing it. not these babies. they are creamy and my lips feel good after the day is done. and they're tenacious. they grab hold of lips on what seems like a molecular level. "jilted" seemed to wear evenly on me, but honestly, unless i ate, there wasn't that much wear to speak of at all. even the initial sheen hung around for a surprisingly long period of time.

    my verdict? i definitely want to be part of the revolution. i already have my next shade picked out.

    here's a look that i did, which, for those of you following my sci/art ponderings, i'd qualify as a bright winter one. [you could say true winter, but "jilted" seems to be pushed so far on the saturation scale that it has to belong to a bright season.] it also features a combination of eye shades that i'd wanted to try together for a long time. unfortunately, i don't find the photos do it justice. the overall effect was nicer in person, if you ask me, which you probably didn't, but i'll share that anyway. consider this the cosmetic equivalent of my "one that got away" fish story.




    products used

    the base ::
    marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
    nars radiant tinted moisturizer "terre neuve"
    nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
    mac paint pot "painterly"

    the eyes ::
    nars e/s "euphrate" [blue-toned silver]
    rouge bunny rouge e/s "periwinkle cardinal" [silvered sage green]
    mac pigment "emerald dusk" [dark cool green with silver shimmer]*
    ysl faux cils e/l "sea black" [ink blue]
    ysl baby doll mascara

    the cheeks ::
    dior cream blush "pareo" [bright magenta pink]
    mac beauty powder "play it proper" [white pink highlight]*

    the lips ::
    urban decay l/s "jilted" [bright magenta with blue sheen]

    *suggested alternates :: emerald dusk = mac antique green pigment + urban decay gunmetal would get you close; play it proper = guerlain meteorites teint rose or rouge bunny rouge highlighting liquid in sea of tranquility

    urban decay's revolution lipsticks are available through sephora, which is where i purchased mine. [not an affiliate link- i derive no income from any sales.] all shades are part of the permanent assortment and cost $22usd/ $26cad each, which is the exact same as the old urban decay lipsticks.

    nothing is for certain and as time goes on, we'll see the effect more, but it does seem that u.d. is benefitting from having owners who come from the cosmetics industry.

    19 August 2013

    mental health mondays :: the face of insanity

    french romantic painter theodore gericault was probably best known in his time for a painting called "the raft of the medusa", which was not only a richly detailed and haunting image, but also an extremely topical one, as it dealt with a much-discussed story at the time.

    however, later in life, gericault turned more to portraiture and was commissioned by one dr. etienne-jean georget, a psychiatrist or, as he would have been known at that time, an "alienist". georget himself is an interesting character, who helped identify different types of monomania [exactly what it sounds like: singular obsession], such as religious, sexual and homicidal. he also theorised that certain among the insane could not be held responsible for their actions and felt that there should be a ban on executing the mentally ill, supporting instead the idea that they should be confined to an asylum.

    georget's commission was for gericault to paint a series of portraits- ten were apparently made in all- of different patients at his asylum. when georget died, the portraits were split between two associates of his. five of them disappeared to brittany and have never been seen again. the remaining five were apparently taken to germany, where they were apparently found and catalogued under very basic names. they have found their way into various galleries around europe and offer a fascinating glimpse at some of the era's forgotten people.

    at the time, psychiatry was in its infancy, as were the notions of societal responsibility to care for the poor and unfortunate. having a young and sometimes controversial artist create these poignant images was not merely an artistic exercise, but a political one. previously, if the mentally deranged had been shown at all, it was as an object of ridicule, whereas gericault's portraits invite quiet contemplation, treating their subjects as afflicted with a real illness.

    here are images of the five surviving portraits:

    woman suffering from obsessive jealousy

    a kleptomaniac

    man suffering from delusions of military command

    woman addicted to gambling
    a child snatcher
    ironically, there are many who theorise that the "commission" was in fact an early form of art therapy imposed on patient gericault by his physician georget after the artist suffered a breakdown in 1819. gericault's grandfather had died in a madhouse, which hints that it mental illness may have run in gericault's family.

    the artist remained silent on the subject for the remainder of his life which, sadly, was not long. he died of complications from horse-riding accidents combined with a  chronic lung infection at the age of 33. four years later he was followed by the doctor, etienne-jean georget, also felled by a lung infection, also 33 at the time of his death.

    18 August 2013

    making faces :: comings and goings

    with all the new fall collections coming out, there are a lot of brands that are using the shift in
    temperatures to introduce new products to and discontinue others from their permanent collections. since i've had a devil of a time keeping track of what's joining us and what's leaving us, i thought that i might make a little reference for all of you to go by, so that you know what you can get excited for and know what you should grab before it's gone...

    ardency inn
    in :: all of it. at sephora, on line and in store. the new york music scene inspired brand looks a lot like the old days of urban decay, with their edgy shades and punk-themed names. i'm interested to see how the products actually perform.
    out :: none of it, yet. they just got here! time will tell how long they stay around.

    armani
    in :: a new "cc- colour and care" line of lipsticks in 36 shades. information is a little scarce on these, including whether or not they're semi-opaque, sheer or fully opaque. we'll know when they launch in september. [note :: when armani launched their new glosses, they launched 18 shades first and then another 18 were quietly added. i wouldn't be surprised to see them do the same.]
    out :: since the new "flash lacquer" glosses replaced the existing gloss d'armani formula, i wouldn't be surprised to see either the sheer or the regular rouge d'armani formula pushed out in favour of these new ones. neither would make me happy.

    bite beauty
    in :: they've just introduced new liquid lipsticks, available exclusively through sephora. i haven't tried them on the lips, but the texture swatched reminds me of the armani lip maestro, also known as the only liquid lipsticks i really like.
    out :: several of the original colours from the brand's luminous creme lipstick line, including carmenere and barolo, reviewed here. they've been out of stores for some time, but they remain available while stocks last on sephora's web site.

    chanel
    in :: cream blushes, six of them, launching with the new fall collection. two are limited, four are permanent.
    out :: nothing official, but chanel has been culling a lot of their single shadows over the last couple of years. i'd keep an eye out.

    dior
    in :: new rouge dior lipsticks, new blushes, new cream shadows that apparently bear an eerie similarity to chanel's but at a lower price, plus the new cream blushes which i reviewed here.
    out :: the old blushes and, i'm pretty certain, the existing rouge dior lipsticks. the newer line looks very edgy, so if you like the older, softer, pinker dior, you might want to grab what you can.

    edward bess 
    in :: new blushes [for a while now] in three colours that look pretty lovely.
    out :: all the single eye shadows. they're still available from a few on line retailers and some reviewers maintain that the most popular shades are duplicated in the new four-shadow palettes, but the fact is that the singles are gone the way of the dodo bird. dammit.

    hourglass
    in :: six new nude lip pencils. i'm seriously hoping we're seeing the end of the lipstick-in-pencil-form. while there's some that i like [let's be honest, i only actually like the nars ones and their glosses are wasteful to sharpen], i have no problem with the traditional lipstick in a bullet. i like it. it's perfect, like a shark or a crocodile. with lipstick.
    out :: i've had no confirmation on this, but the display at my local sephora had the extreme sheen glosses removed, other than bright red "icon". all the others seem to be gone. that's a poor trade-off for me, since i like the shades i have of the extreme sheen lip gloss [plus they smell like cupcakes] and the new lip pencils all look dull and brown against my skin.

    marc jacobs
    in :: the entire line, which is remarkably large, at sephora stores exclusively. it's priced to compete with lines like dior and nars, with a couple of "key" products that everyone will want. number on that list seems to be their liquid eyeliner, which is rumoured to be the blackest black eyeliner that ever was.
    out :: nothing, yet, because it just launched. however, all the hype about the products means that some stores are already running low on stock and apparently, new stock is only being sent in time to meet holiday demand. yikes.

    16 August 2013

    friday favourites 16.08.13

    image of the week
    you know what starts a weekend off right? starting it early. i'm taking two of my legally mandated days of vacation and stretching this one to a four day extravaganza of excess. well, i'm just going to have a four day weekend and relax, really, but an "extravaganza of excess" sounds way cooler.

    the main thing that marked this week, other than the promise of a long weekend, was that i put myself on a diet. there are a few reasons for this, some of which must remain secret at this time. seriously. yes, i feel like i've let my weight rise again to the point where i'm uncomfortable with it. and yes, i have recently found out that i have osteo-arthritis in my neck, so reducing my weight will help me reduce the strain on my aching bones. but there are other, more mysterious reasons. i'll get around to sharing them eventually.

    so i'll start things off by patting myself on the back, because i have tweaked the nose of temptation when it comes to food and getting into the diet mentality is always the most difficult at the beginning, before you can see any results. even now, i'm starting to feel the difference in terms of how much food it takes me to feel full. that's a great step, because it's a great help limiting your portions when your body doesn't want big ones.

    but here are a few of the things that have been distracting me from the things i shouldn't be eating...

    good news :: stuff i can't make up from around the internet

    here are eight things to know about eating sushi. and here's a ninth: i did almost all of these before i knew them. i win at sushi.

    the cia has declassified area 51 and released a report on its super-secret history. [spoiler alert: no aliens. and not much of anything else.]

    tibetan mastiffs are large, delightfully furry, loveable dogs. they are not, however, lions.

    musical notes

    have you ever wondered why this blog, my old radio show and, yes, almost everything with which i am affiliated is called "more like space"? it's not that interesting a story. basically, it was a song title by a bliss-core [sort of the hazier second cousin of shoe-gaze] band seefeel. here it is:



    twenty years old, but still a lovely, summery, floaty, dreamy piece, don't you think?

    something i learned this week

    i get way less fatigued during the day if i eat a small handful of nuts in the morning. whatever i've been eating in the mornings, it always seemed to make me want to crawl in a hole and die, but nuts kick my butt. into gear, that is.

    goal for the week

    well, after a sputtering start, i did finally finish doing edits on the first two sections of my upcoming book. i should add that the editing process is something that's actually been going on for many months, it's just that i'm into the editorial end game. this is probably the last complete round of edits i'll be doing before i push it from the nest.

    and i even made some time to visit the new marc jacobs collection at sephora, but i'll talk more about that in the near future.

    for this week? the goal is to stay true to the diet. i'm still in the opening phases, when resolve is at its weakest and results are at their most invisible. tally ho, metabolism!

    follow-up and shameless self-promotion

    calls continue to get louder to move the olympics out of russia because of their draconian anti-gay laws. actor and king of the internet george takei is lending his considerable public profile to the cause and has suggested that the games be brought back to vancouver for a  repeat performance.

    i'd like to say that my ingenuity triumphed, but the truth is that i discovered the creator of last week's image of the week completely by accident. he's an american artist named scott hove and the piece in the photo is part of a project called "cakeland".

    and here's a little teaser for "tricky" that dom did for me... curious yet?

    TRICKY from F Squared Media on Vimeo.

    kitteh of the week


    the best thing about taking a nap is waking up and seeing this on top of you. [there are three of them in there. can you see them all?]




    come to think of it. crawling into bed and waiting for the creatures to assemble sounds like an excellent idea!

    this week's image of the week, by the way, is a rendition showing what mars would look like if it still had it's oceans. kind spookily familiar, isn't it? i hatched this from the always entertaining curious eggs

    15 August 2013

    everybody must get stoned

    waddya mean i've sprung a leak?
    i'm constantly tracking my twitter feed for things that can give me a healthy sense of superiority and/ or
    schadenfreude. i was going to save this one for friday favourites, but i think that mr. sunith baheerathan deserves his little moment in the sun- or under the high-wattage hydroponic lights- all alone.

    when i first read that some poor kid in suburban toronto had been fired for tweeting about pot, i thought i was going to be appalled at his employers. i looked at the article chiefly so that i could find out which moralistic twats he worked for so that i could do a quick name & shame and move on. after all, does merely mentioning the fact that you smoke pot, or want it legalised, etc. should never affect your employment. those are your own personal opinions and you have a right to express them.

    but then i read the story and was bewildered to learn that despite my forty years on the planet, i am still capable of overestimating people.

    because sunith baheerathan [can we just agree to call him "sunny b" from now on?] didn't just "tweet about pot". he broadcast a request through twitter that drug dealers in the area should stop by his place of employment- which he clearly identified- and bring him weed while he was on the job. that isn't a guy who got fired for tweeting about pot. that's a guy who got fired because his employers realised it was only a matter of time until someone with such considerable reserves of stupidity accidentally blew the place up. i view it as self-preservation.

    now, it's possible that sunny b's ganga-scented brain fart would have gone unnoticed, but for the utterly hilarious comeback of the york regional police: "awesome! can we come too?" seriously, i hope whoever runs their twitter feed gets an extra few bucks on his/ her bonus this year for that one.

    it's that sort of snappy retort that twitter-critters [like me] live to forward. and, as tends to happen, a lot of people went crazy with the retweet button, eventually alerting sunny b's employers to the fact that their guy was making an ass of himself and them on an international scale.

    having been fired, sunny b says he's "lost his faith in humanity" because he can't believe that the cops would bother coming after someone for pot when there's rapists and murderers on the loose.

    look, i'm sure the york regional police aren't perfect, but just because they responded to something that was basically lobbed into their lap doesn't mean they're not chasing the rapists and murderers. i love to cook, but if you put french fries in front of me, i'll eat them. doesn't mean i'm giving up cooking.

    and what's more, the police didn't come running for him. they gave him the virtual equivalent of a smack upside the head, but as far as i can tell, they did nothing else. probably because they were more concerned with the rapists and murderers.

    the reason this story sticks in my proverbial craw [i have no idea if i have a literal craw, since i've never known exactly what the word referred to and actually prefer to allow it to maintain its mystery] is because of sunny b's insistence that this is a free speech issue. i've written here before about the agonies of being a modern-day proponent of free speech, so there's no reason to get into it again.

    but i will anyway.

    having the right to free speech doesn't give you the right to say anything at all and it certainly doesn't give you the right to say anything without consequences. that's the thing about speech. because it's powerful, it is liable to cause reactions and you should think about what those reactions are likely to be before you say something. because thinking about the reactions is partly what will determine whether it's worth saying something in the first place and to whom. your right to get someone to bring you a spliff at work is going to conflict with your employer's desire to convince customers that their cars are not being cared for by a bunch of inebriated bozos.

    so yes, sunny b, it sucks to lose a job for unjust cause. but that doesn't apply in this case, because what happened to you was a completely foreseeable, understandable consequence of your own idiotic actions.

    you can read the official media version of the story here, among other places.

    13 August 2013

    mental health mondays :: turmeric tuesday?

    scientists at the government medical college in bhavnagar, gujarat may have found the key to fighting
    depression: curry night.

    according to a study by eight doctors at the school of pharmacology, testing they conducted on 60 patients suffering from major depressive disorder concluded that this rhizome, known best as the ingredient that gives curry its bright yellow colour, performed comparably well to fluoxetine, which you probably know better as prozac.

    now, before you go rushing off to the nearest indian buffet to drown your sorrows in a vat of aloo gobi, there are a few things that you should pay attention to- and they're probably instructive for dissecting clinical claims for most products, but especially for pharmaceuticals.

    1. 60 people is a small sampling. as starter studies go, it's not bad- i've seen claims based on smaller groups- but it's far from universal. plus, of course, it's only one study.

    2. there is no placebo control. you've probably heard of placebos. they're "dummy" medications given to people who are told they're taking a drug so that scientists can see what reaction you get by doing absolutely nothing. that might sound a bit douche-y, considering that they're testing on people who are actually sick, but it's really, really important. why? because human beings can convince themselves of some crazy shit without any help from drugs.

    there are studies out there where patients who took placebos reported major, even life-threatening, reactions to the "drug". and when studying a field like mental health, where there are no empirical tests, it becomes extremely important to establish a baseline.

    3. the dosage of prozac is very low for treating major depressive disorder. 20mg/ day is a standard starting dose, but it's more common for people to increase that [up to a maximum of about 80mg/ day]. the comparison would likely be more valid if it was done on patients given 40-60mg.

    4. while we're talking about dosages, check out the amount of turmeric that was given: 1000mg/ day. now, you can never do weight equivalencies with medications. 40mg of one can have the same effect as 200mg of another and 10mg of a third, but it doesn't mean that one is categorically more effective than the others. however, even if you ignore that there was fifty times as much turmeric given as prozac, there is no getting around the fact that that is a hell of a lot of turmeric. 10 grams. it may not seem like much in terms of food, but in terms of medication... you'd notice that you were swallowing 10 grams a day. [hands up if you're thinking about the last time you bought weed.]

    but now that i've raised all these issues, i'd like to say that i consider this a very interesting start. in fact, there's growing body of research that suggests that the active ingredients in turmeric are effective against a variety of diseases. it's an extremely interesting little spice, and deserves to have more research done on it.

    the other great advantage is that turmeric is well-tolerated. it doesn't have side effects that would cause patients to stop using it [unless it starts to turn you yellow, which hasn't been reported, but years of curry eating have made me wary of its power] and more importantly, it doesn't have the long-term side effects that might cause patients to have to stop using it.

    so you probably don't want to flush your ssri's and grab a container of curry paste just yet, but it's just possible that there is light at the end of the pharmaceutical tunnel. warm, golden light.

    11 August 2013

    making faces :: light in august

    william faulkner was onto something. there is a quality to light in august that makes it fundamentally different than in july. yes, it's still hot [pleasantly so in montreal for the most part in the last week or so], but where july is all bright summer sun and carefree days, august does contain just the slightest hint of the autumn to come. it gets dark just a little earlier and the sunlight acquires a gold tint rather than the bright, pure yellow of june and july. yes, the demise of summer is inevitable, but rather than being melancholy about it, i like to think of these first subtle changes as an opportunity to start edging towards fall faces [it's still much too warm to think about fall wardrobe choices]. since autumn is my favourite season in every way, including beauty and fashion, i'm always a little eager to get things underway.

    so yesterday, which was actually a perfect late summer day here, i tried out a few things that definitely augur what's to come. interestingly, i don't find that the look is particularly heavy, despite the fact that the colours used [and the application] are darker than what i'd normally wear in summer. one of the few advantages of having hooded eyes is that you can actually sport a fair amount of colour that's only visible in flashes, so you tend not to look overdone. also, as i continue in my quest to determine my sci/art seasonal colour, i find that the seasons that are most likely "me"- bright winter, bright spring or dark winter- are all ones that can handle a fair amount of colour. while i was out and about wearing this, i found that when i caught glimpses of myself, the look was quite balanced and that my  face continued to look fresh as the day wore on.



    in terms of seasonal placement, this look is pretty clearly a dark winter one. it's predominantly cool, with a bit of muddy warmth coming from the aubergine shade on my eyes and the blush i used. here's a quick breakdown:

    RIGHT THIS WAY...

    09 August 2013

    friday favourites 09.08.13

    image of the week
    well hello boys and girls and welcome back to friday favourites!

    i don't know why, but whenever i imagine myself saying that, i hear it in this really exaggerated voice that always strikes me as creepy. i think i'm beginning to see why children don't like me as a general rule. it's not that i act creepy around them, but they can immediately tell that there's something horrifically wrong with me. adults like to think that makes me "eccentric" or "a character". children can tell it just makes me the kind of thing that should probably be avoided.

    but you're all adults and don't know better... [cue evil laugh]

    i have to say that this week has fairly flown by. it seems like just yesterday i was typing up a friday favourites, but the calendar dictates that it was exactly a week ago.

    which means it's once again time for...

    good news :: things i can't make up from around the internet

    have you ever tried to imagine how to construct a building that was really, really different from most? many have done more than imagine.

    the fight to end gang violence is a priority here in montreal. enough of a priority that it's apparently kosher that the police are renting space from drug dealers in order to deal with the problem.

    talk to your children about rape prevention. start with these important tips for your sons.

    dear assholes on twitter: you can run but you can't hide.

    bell canada is behaving badly? surely you jest.

    picture the innocence of a child playing with a doll. now prepare to have that image wiped from your brain forever and to spend the next week sleeping with a knife under your pillow.

    musical notes

    i'm headed out this evening to enjoy the monthly romp in nostalgia and cider that is post-punk night at the casa del popolo. and if you're in montreal, you should definitely consider joining in. personally, i would love to hear this track, which is one that apparently gets associated with me a lot, since i made a point of incorporating it a lot when i would do dj sets. [sorry there's an ad first...]



    something i learned this week

    there is a massive difference between moderate pain relief and no pain relief.

    for the last few weeks, i've been taking a cortisone prescription to deal with my continuous and distracting neck pain. however, you can't just keep taking cortisone indefinitely [or even longer term], so now i have to go back to trying to treat myself with anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, which have never worked on me for more than an hour or so.

    worse yet, a recent x-ray has confirmed that i suffer from a condition that i'll just call "shitty neck syndrome". basically, i have osteo-arthritis in [or between] three of my cervical vertebrae. and that means... i should learn to deal with pain. because the only thing that helped a little is something that's desperately unhealthy to take over the long term.

    goal for the coming week

    ahem. i totally failed at getting the first section of my book edited, so we're just going to roll that over into this week. also, i want to get the second section started as well. because i can't let myself continue to fall behind, even if the deadlines are self-imposed.

    i'll admit, too that i'm hoping to check out the newly launched marc jacobs cosmetic collection at sephora. yes, it's very easy to get swept up in the marketing and publicity surrounding a launch and there really hasn't been this kind of hype around a new product line since tom ford started out with his line of lipsticks a few years back, but this is a pretty big deal and it does seem to have some pretty interesting products.

    i'll just put this out there: it reminds me a lot of nars. whether it's the cheeky names, the pop culture references, or the juxtaposition of everyday and dramatic shades, the nars shadow looms large over this collection. add to that the fact that the two lines are priced around the same level [in the u.s., since canadian prices are unfairly elevated] and you have a very interesting head to head. the line was developed with jacobs' oversight and participation and the products are made by lvmh, the parent company of brands like guerlain and givenchy. it's also the parent company of sephora, which will be the exclusive retailer for the collection.

    so yeah, it might not rank up there with curing cancer, but i have checking out and hopefully grabbing a "souvenir" of this collection as a goal for the coming week.

    follow-up and shameless self-promotion

    well, the most popular post on the blog this week was "crazy etiquette", which leads me to believe that i should probably bring back "mental health mondays" on a more regular basis. so stay tuned, hopefully i can find a way to get some proper research done and post some interesting pieces. in the meantime, don't hesitate to consult the archives.

    kitteh of the week



    this is actually a bit of a teaser for what's coming on the blog, but as you can see, seth's verdict on urban decay's new revolution lipsticks was that they are magically delicious. stay tuned to find out if i agree.

    this week's image of the week was sent to me from more like space friend martin rouge. someone needs to tell me how i can get those shoes, immediately.

    thanks for reading!

    08 August 2013

    shut 'em down

    tilda swinton, breaking the law
    so apparently, the international olympic committee might have been "mistaken" when it said that gay-friendly athletes had nothing to fear from coming to the winter games scheduled to take place in sochi, russia. another way of putting that would be to say that they just said whatever they thought would calm people the hell down and didn't bother to check with russian authorities because they knew they weren't going to like the answers.

    there are increasingly loud calls for the united states to boycott the russian olympics out of the sochi olympics as russia has introduced draconian new laws that force homosexuals back into the closet. it's a political ploy, of course, as democratically-elected-president-for-life-and-all-eternity vladimir putin sees his conservative base shrinking and growing disenchanted with his leadership. by choosing to attack a group already marginalised in russian culture. it's a cynical strategy with a proven record. karl rove used it against the same group in the united states to get george w. bush elected in 2004.

    if it comes down to it, i hope that the u.s., who have taken such strides to redress inequality for the lgbt community before the law, does boycott the sochi olympics. i hope that canada does as well, but i can't pretend that we have the same stature in the world. the real impact will be if the united states, united kingdom, australia, france and germany call a boycott. well, getting china on board would be a colossal victory for equal rights as well, but i can't really see that happening (i can hope).

    and i hope that the various petitions circulating to pressure the event's key sponsors to pull out is successful. honestly, the core list reads like a who's who in hell of corporate devils (mcdonald's, coca-cola, proctor & gamble, visa, samsung and panasonic), so i doubt that there's much that can be done to persuade any of them. but there are others, including volkswagen, who i think could be turned and it really only takes one big name before others start feeling embarrassed and back off. so consider signing a petition on the subject. that said, remember that these guys were fine with sponsoring the olympics in china in 2008, so human rights may not be a big concern.

    the thing is, whether countries decide to boycott or sponsors pull out, that hurts the olympic athletes as much as it hurts russia. for many, this would be their only chance to participate and, even though it would be the right thing to do, that's a harsh blow for people who have sacrificed a lot for their sport. [it also potentially deprives them of future income, since becoming an olympic champion is one of the only ways that athletes in many of the winter olympic sports can make a public name for themselves.]

    which is why, before people start boycotting or sponsors, the internal olympic committee needs to step in and do the right thing: the olympics need to be moved to another location, immediately. that's easier said than done, because the planning and budget that it takes to host the olympics is considerable and we're less than a year away. but the only way that the games can be redeemed is by scrapping plans and starting over. it won't be easy, but it will be better for all concerned.

    in terms of the options open to the committee, there aren't a lot, but there are some:

    - revisit past success. there are a number of recent host cities- vancouver-whistler, salt lake city, lillehammer, nagano- that have facilities to accommodate most of the sports. there is time to build on those.

    - delay the games. in order to allow extra time for preparation, the games could be put off until late [november/ december] 2014, or a full year to 2015.

    - consider training. athletes need to train somewhere, right? so maybe it's time to look at a place that has training facilities that can be upgraded to meet olympic needs. of course this might also mean...

    - consider more than one. major soccer/ football tournaments don't take place in one city. sometimes, they don't even take place in one country. in order to get everything ready, it may be advisable to follow their lead. central europe, scandinavia and the northwest united states [possibly including western canada] may not have a single location that can host all the events, but there may be enough facilities between them to allow for a cooperative olympics. that would obviously be a huge change, but it's a formula that's worked for other large-scale sporting events and it doesn't involve tacitly supporting a government that ignores even the most vicious hate crimes against the lgbt community.

    actor and writer stephen fry has written a poignant open letter to prime minister david cameron on the subject.

    actor and internet sensation george takei has floated the idea of bringing the games back to vancouver for a repeat performance.

    but before any of that can happen, the international olympic committee must, for once, exercise its considerable authority and tell the truth: that there is no honour in a games tainted by a climate of hatred and that every victory under such circumstances will forever be soured.

    the very first line describing the role of the committee in the olympic charter reads:

    To encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned

    it's clear that russia is no partner to the i.o.c. in the promotion of ethics and education when it comes to lgbt people and the banning of violence against them. it's time to move. 

    the photo of tilda swinton at the kremlin was originally posted on her twitter feed with the comment "in solidarity. from russia with love." you can read about it and others who are using their celebrity to advance the lgbt cause here.

    note :: for those of you who want to join the protest by saying no to russian vodka, but maybe can't fork over the cash for a bottle of grey goose, may i suggest that you enjoy a nice glass or cocktail of canadian-made iceberg vodka?

    05 August 2013

    mental health mondays :: crazy etiquette

    talking to crazy peeps 101. class is in session.
    a friend of mine has been having a really hard time at her job because she suffers from depression and
    has an immediate supervisor who thinks that means it's her time of the month. chances are, if you've had any kind of mental health issues, you've also had to deal with someone who doesn't appreciate how serious these problems can be or even that they are, in fact, real. so in the hopes of enlightening a few people [which won't happen, because such people probably don't read this blog and wouldn't listen to me anyway], i present

    shit you should never ever ever ever say to someone with a mental disorder:

    1. "you just need to think about something else/ pull yourself together/ get over it"

    yeah, let's start with a classic. this is probably something that everyone who has suffered from depression, or any variant of mental illness that involves feeling lower than low, has had to deal with. it's #1 on my list because it's common, but it's also #1 on my list because it's just about the stupidest thing i can think of to say. do people who say this seriously think that someone who is profoundly depressed just hasn't tried hard enough to feel better? oh thank you, supposed friend, i didn't notice that my morbid depression had an off switch. i'll just flip that and everything will be better. silly me.

    here's the thing: even if there seems to be a cause for their depression, if someone really is clinically depressed, it isn't about any one thing. there isn't any single event that they just need to get over. being severely depressed means constantly feel like you are living through the day when the love of your life accidentally ran over your favourite pet while humping your best friend in a car that you bought for them that then crashed into your home and set it on fire, destroying everything. there are a lot of things to deal with before you can just "get over it".

    2. "if you're strong enough, you should be able to deal with this kind of thing on your own"

    remember the episode of "the office" where dwight brags that he can lower and raise his blood pressure at will? congratulations, ignoramus, you're dwight.

    who are you to decide that "strength" is what determines whether or not you can deal with mental issues? what kind of strength are we talking about here? because i think what you mean is that if you ignore something and pretend it isn't there, things will be fine. that's always been capital health advice. i'd like to fracture your collarbone and tell you that you can deal with it alone if you're strong enough. after all, a broken bone isn't life-threatening? what's the matter, pussy? aren't man enough to heal yourself?

    if you're about to tell anyone you care about that their ability to deal with their mental problems is somehow tied to some notion of "strength", i think you need to take a  big dose of shut the fuck up and think about what you're really saying- that the problem isn't really serious. what's your basis for saying that?

    3. "is there some kind of test that can prove it?"

    a very popular response to any psychiatric diagnosis. because if you can't take a photograph of it, you debate whether or not it really exists.

    you know what? people did not always have access to magnetic resonance imaging, or even x-rays and they still got sick and even died. when people first started sewing up wounds sustained on the battlefield, they were mystified that a lot of people died even though they were theoretically all patched up, because no one suspected the existence of invisible demon bugs that were causing infection and killing them off in a slower way. the fact that technology has not yet caught up with the complexities of the human brain enough to be able to show you a visual representation of bipolar disorder doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

    if you insist that you won't believe in anything you can't see, i suggest that you stop breathing. because oxygen isn't visible, so clearly, you don't really need it. once you've regained consciousness, perhaps you'd like to have a nice conversation about the incredible complexity of the human body on a molecular and chemical level.

    LEARN MORE...

    04 August 2013

    making faces :: faking naked

    getting set for naked week
    you know that old expression "the best makeup looks like no makeup at all"? [oh, you don't? that's probably because you're a lot younger than i am and no one's actually used that expression since the seventies.] well anyway, i don't believe that expression. i think the best makeup looks like whatever you want it to look like, whatever character has won the battle for dominance of your soul at that very moment in time. i think that the best makeup makes a statement, whether that statement is "i'm just so adorable" or "approach with caution".

    however, it is possible that i've been underestimating the appeal of makeup that just smooths over the little imperfections and highlights the things that you really want people to see. so i decided to do an entire week of looks using natural colours. i don't think i've ever gone this long without something bold or dramatic on my face... [get your minds out of the gutter, people. actually don't. i love you just the way you are.]

    this is an entire week of looks, so, yes, it is picture heavy. if you're viewing this on your phone or on a tablet, i'm probably about to chew through your data plan for the rest of the month.

    day one :: the soft one

    this is really about as naturalistic as it gets. yes, i'm clearly wearing makeup, but the shades all blend in pretty harmoniously with the shades that are in my skin. spoiler alert: i think this one is the high point of the week. a lot of times when i try "nude" looks, i end up a bit washed out, but the combination of the bright sun outside and the particular shades i chose seems to pull the eye exactly where i'd want it, assuming you'd be ok with me pulling on your eyeballs.



    this really reads like a "who's who" of kate's makeup staples, things i use all the damn time and that i can fit into a lot of different looks:



    nars radiant tinted moisturizer in "terre neuve" and radiant creamy concealer in "vanilla", nars blush in "deep throat", hourglass ambient lighting powder in "mood light" on the face [over a base of hourglass veil mineral primer]; nars "ashes to ashes", hourglass "suede" and urban decay "underground" pencil on the eyes, a really unbeatable combination in my books. "suede" on its own is an elegant, satiny nude combination that i normally wear with a dramatic red lip, but it's also perfect for a "my face but better" kind of thing. "ashes to ashes" is one of the first nars purchases i ever made and remains a favourite. it lends a shimmery, violet-tinged taupe glow that's clearly not natural, but at a glance could pass for a sparkle in my eye.



    for the lips, i'm actually wearing more than i usually do, in that i have a lip liner- mac "dervish", a mauve pink that's very close to my natural lip colour- and a gloss- giorgio armani "dewy" or "515", released last summer in a limited edition but still available through retailers like nordstrom and neiman marcus as of my writing this. the combination was actually to make things more natural- on its own, the gloss is noticeably paler than my lips, but the liner [which i applied all over, not just on the edges], gives a more solid base, so gloss looks a little more like my real lips. but shinier. and with blue shimmer, which they don't naturally have.

    C'MON ALONG, THERE'S ANOTHER SIX DAYS OF ME IN THE NUDE IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT...

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