Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Men and Women Can't Be Friends

“I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies of all time. Suffice it to say, the speech Harry Burns gives Sally on New Years’ Eve has kind of ruined me for other men. How is anything any man will ever say going to compare to that?

Thank you, Nora Ephron, for writing such wonderful words for such wonderful characters that mean so much to neurotic reulctantly-romantic messes like me. You will be missed.

Nora Ephron 1941-2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mani Monday: A Message To You Rudy

As a make-up artist, I'm super hard on my hands. Those fancy gel manicures? I can maybe, maybe, get four days out of them. So my expectations for the Sally Hansen Salon Effects polish strips were pretty low. After seeing quite a few friends wear them to great avail, I decided to give them a try and I love them. I was an hour early for a commercial I was working on earlier this month- so I ventured into the local pharmacy and spent a lot of money on odds and ends in an attempt to waste time  grab a couple of things I could use on set. The polish strips were on sale for buy one, get one 50% off- so I just grabbed four and threw them in my basket. I'm still getting used to applying them, but I'm determined to find a way to get two uses out of each pack. I chose to go with the "Check Please" style. The summer season always makes me want to listen to old ska (ala The Specials, Madness, etc...) and just relax, so I was feelin' the two-tone vibe with my nails and I've even included a playlist of some of my favorite tunes.

Made it through an entire shift at the boutique with only minor wear.
 Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in "Check Please" / Sally Hansen


So You're Listening To... She & Him

When I die, I want to be reincarnated as Zooey Deschanel’s bangs. There, I said it. I’m one of the many disciples that think she has the cutest style and is super funny and kind of wish she was part of my Thursday night karaoke girls' nights. M. Ward is a pretty great musician as well (if you haven’t, please check out his solo stuff). Together, they make magic. Part deconstructed acoustic retro, part country twang and slightly bluesy- they really do have a unique sound.

I was very taken with the first album. The only time I’d ever heard Zooey sing it was always loungey stuff and I was expecting a throwback record. I was not expecting a a steel guitar, wilty Grand Ol’ Opry vocals and hint of 60's girl group. I was pleasantly surprised. As I sat down to get my ideas together, I switched my Spotify station over to She & Him, thinking I’d just listen to a couple refresher songs... two hours of listening later... It became very clear that this would be my next feature. My Spotify page still hasn’t left the She & Him station.

Clockwise (L to R)
Size Queen Mascara / Too Faced
Retro “Frames and Fortune” Dress / Mod Cloth
 Green and Mint “Crossed Heart” Cardigan / Anthropologie
Kajal Eye Pencil in “Topaz” / Stila
Coral “Hey There” T-Strap Heels / Seychelles
22- Karat Gold Bird Earrings / Alex Monroe
 If you are a first time listener, I’ve compiled a playlist of some of my favorites.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tender Greens and Sweet Music Prints For Your Casa

Earlier this month I was hired to do make-up and hair for an AOL series called Signature Sounds with my girl, Allison Hagendorf. It was a blast and it’s always nice to work with clients whom I’ve known for years. Jobs like that feel more like a reunion of old friends than work. I really dig my career and am super stoked and fortunate to do something that I love and make a living, truth be told, the only thing that stresses me out is the traffic going back and forth between Los Angeles and Orange County. Seriously, the traffic. Ugh. The traffic, seriously, it’s terrible. However, I love living in Orange County and never ever want to leave, so the driving is something that comes with the deal. I’ll share more about the show once the episode is released.

The first day of shooting, we had lunch at a place I’ve often passed by and have been meaning to try for some time now- Tender Greens. The food was pretty delish, being a vegetarian (pescatarian, technically, even though I rarely eat seafood) on set can usually mean lots of bread, cheese and poorly thought out lunch selections either on my part or on the part of production. It was such a treat to have a well made roasted vegetable sandwich with a side salad. What really struck me about Tender Greens (beside the awesome food and modern cafeteria vibe) was the art on the walls. Historically, for me, restaurants have never really been the place I go to to find inspiring decor ideas. I’m used to being treated to all kinds of terrible wall situations. I blame it a couple truths: I grew up in Lake Elsinore and the most hoppin’ restaurant in town was The Sizzler and my family was there almost every Friday night. Like it or not, it has become my measure for rating restaurant decor. The Sizzler was a mess of early 90’s mod-southwest style where peach, deep teal and airbrush photos of howling coyotes wearing bandanas went to die. Traumatizing. Although, at the time, they were completely chic and with it.

Walking in I was greeted by a retro looking print for a Devo show, and as I looked at the rest of the prints- I completely fell in love. The entire place is decked out in prints by Los Angeles based artist, Kii Arens and they are just wonderful. Arens’ prints are a blend of mid 60’s- early 80’s advertising style, graphic colors, kitsch and all kinds of tongue-in-cheekiness that is right up my alley. They are music prints that I would love to have in my home- and I've fought many battles with various dudes about band posters in my life. I am a firm believer that grown-ups frame and mat posters. His prints are available for purchase on his website LaLaLandPrints.com and if you find yourself cruising around Hollywood looking for a bite to eat, give Tender Greens a shot. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Laundry and Codependency: What Goes in the Wash, Must Come Out the Dry

Today's post is brought to you by the letter “L” for laundromat- as in, I’ve got a sweet little desk set up with my Coffee Bean beverage, laptop and notepad in the laundromat while I’m writing this very sentence. Truth be told, I don’t mind doing my laundry in the laundromat; my complex is pretty small and we only have two washers, two dryers and they only take quarters. So laundry that takes me an hour and a half total to compete at the ‘mat, takes me many loads and many hours to complete at my place. It’s also a good way for me to steal WiFi from the Italian restaurant next door and really buckle down and get my write on.

It’s pretty early in the day so it’s pretty empty- which is just the way I like it. I love kids, I want to have kids of my own someday... but... I don’t love kids running in circles, screaming and throwing tantrums in public places.  I am, however, a big fan of precocious little tykes that like to showboat sweet dance moves or sing songs. I’d feel like a hypocrite if I didn’t. I used to dress up in my dance recital costumes and put on performances at my great grandpa Springer’s old folks’ home. Because that’s what the poor dying old people really want, a peppy six year-old dressed like a mermaid singing Wind Beneath My Wings... while tap dancing and pretending to actually know what’s going on in the movie Dirty Dancing. I don’t mind those kids. There’s also the usual cast of characters that you see at any kind of place that is providing a necessary service- the bachelors, the incredibly uncomfortable lot that are just trying to clean their drapes, the college kids, the young marrieds, etc... Did I mention the laundromat I go to also has an ice cream vending machine? Because it does. 

One of my greates tap-dancing mermaid performances to date.
Being here, somewhat trapped, waiting to put my clothes in the dryer brings up another theme that has been on my mind a lot lately, a bit of an airing of dirty laundry (pun intended). This nagging idea that we just can’t run from ourselves and our behaviors: what goes in the wash, must come out the dry. I keep finding myself repeating the same behaviors and jumping into the same situations over and over again- hoping that a change in scenery or company will somehow fix that. Essentially living my own codependent Groundhog's Day. After many long talks with a friend, she recommended I read a book that had really helped her called Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Controlling Yourself  by Melody Beattie. I’m only a couple chapters in, but so far it’s acknowledging a lot of things about myself that I’ve suspected and I think this book will be very important to me. I suspect it will impact me in the same way Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking did back in 2010.

Being Codependent doesn’t mean that you just want to be around somebody all the time or that you cling to people- as I frequently and incorrectly have thought. It’s a problem of putting my needs second to the needs of others. Getting overly involved and drawn into the affairs of other people and it’s something that I’ve been dealing with for a while. When I’d have a friend, family member or boyfriend go through something, I would take on the burden as well and have a very hard time separating myself. I was the first person in my group of friends to go through a divorce- and subsequently with every friend that has had a terrible break-up, I’ve gone through it with them and felt the pain and stress of my own divorce over and over again. After my Dad passed away, I took it on myself to be completely consumed with how my mother was coping and her choices. Who was she dating? Would she finally decide to become an empowered feminist? Why does she need to get her nails done so much? Completely consumed.  I had a housemate that had major hoarding tendencies, and instead of just leaving the toxic situation and moving on- I put myself through six months of torture living in a house that smelled like cat whiz with piles of junk everywhere trying to “fix” him.

My Kindle make it damn near impossible to ignore reading recommendations.

Essentially, I’ve spent a lot of time concerned about other people and very little time being concerned about myself. It’s a control issue to be honest. People in my live become these special snowflakes and their issues just consume me. I’m working on letting go of that. When I’m in relationships, I frequently lose myself. Not that I become a different person and start wearing hot pink mini skirts, but, I frequently find myself adjusting to their schedule, their needs and I end up kind of being this on-call girlfriend who is making sacrifices. I end up waiting for a dude to tell me when to come around, waiting for communication, trying to be the “cool girlfriend” to the point that I “cool girlfriend” myself into misery and end up in these relationships that are completely unbalanced. Being a very busy and motivated person, I tend to date people that are also very busy- but I seem to have the habit of dropping everything and falling off the face of the earth when I’m having “couple time”. This is a habit that has got to change. I can’t continue to be consumed with other people’s problems, choices and behaviors. I can only control and be concerned with myself, my behavior and my reactions. It’s about setting boundaries and listening to the instincts that point me in a good direction.
What goes in the wash...
So I’m working on streamlining and cleaning up my life (once again, pun intended). As I sit here at Sudz (yeah, that’s with a “z”) Laundry Center- I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m folding my towels and having a brighter outlook on the future. This is why I like the laundromat- gives me time to think and process with minimal distractions... maybe I should come here more often.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Four-Eyed Brain Trust

Derek Cardigan #7014 in Black/Rootbeer / Coastal Contacts
 I’ve never been a contacts person. My parents were proud eyeglass aficionados and at fifteen, I too joined the ranks of the bespectacled. In a magical hallway that exists in my imagination, there are pictures of all of the great four-eyed people of the past and now I was going to nuzzle in somewhere in between Buddy Holly and Dame Edna. I was ecstatic. The optometrist in Lake Elsinore didn’t exactly have the most stylish of frames- it was 1998 and chunky and large glasses were few and far between- I was either going to look like the bad guy from Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Sophia from the Golden Girls. For a little nerdette like myself who grew up loving every pair of glasses I’d seen on Nick-at-Nite, it was frustrating. All I wanted was to look like I was being on the stand during a McCarthyism trial- was that so hard to provide? Come on 1998, hook a sister up.

My second pair of glasses, senior year of high school 2001.
I had these Prada frames for years. This is my birthday November 2009
Prada PR 07IV in Havana / Prada

My first pair were the low maintenance wire frame that kind of had a very faint cat-eye vibe. They were a pink metal color and I was never crazy about them. Two years later during my senior year of high school I discovered the joys of acetate frames that would make Rivers Cuomo proud- it was also the year that Weezer’s self-titled “Green Album” was released, coincidence? Nature vs. nurture? Either way, it was all downhill form there. While more teenagers dreaded having to wear vision corrective glasses, for me, it felt like Christmas.
"College" in Brown / GlassesUSA
  I’ve always delighted in my “otherness”, so, for me, glasses were just one more addition to the list of quirks that completed me; therefore, when I am asked by the optometrist if I want to be measured for contacts, the answer was always a resounding “no”. As a mater-of-fact the first time I ever wore contacts was last Halloween when I donned a zombie Amy Winehouse costume. While I admit my first contact experience probably should not have been a pair of zombie white contacts I purchased from the hole-in-the-wall store I buy my weaves from, I was still not sold on contacts for anything other than costumes. I felt like such a dumb-dumb trying to put in contacts and I actually had to have my housemate’s girlfriend put them in for me while I stood there painted green and faux decaying in a huge Amy Winehouse weave prying my eye open while Brittany gently placed the contacts in. It was terrifying for me, but I’m sure if it would have been hilarious to any onlookers.

First experience wearing contact lenses as Zombie Winehouse.

 Back to glasses, It’s interesting to kind of adopt and love a necessary accessory that so many teenagers associate the same attractiveness level as braces with headgear. It’s especially interesting to start wearing spectacles around the time that most young women are starting to goof around with make-up. I remember my mother telling me that since girls like us have glasses, we really needed to “bring it” in the eyeshadow department- and my beautiful mother still wears her dark eyeshadow up to her brow bone to remind anybody she should happen upon that she has eyes behind the lenses. I think I was about eighteen when I came to the miraculous conclusion that glasses are clear and you can actually just do your make-up as you normally would and people will see your eyes just fine. That’s my “glasses” beauty tip- just do your make-up as you normally would and if you have long lashes, let your mascara dry first.

Easily the most expensive pair of glasses I've ever owned, a Christmas present from my mom the month after my Dad passed away.
“Clarice” in Green Tortoise / LaFont Re:Edition
As a woman of almost twenty-nine, my glasses have become such a part of my identity. I really couldn’t imagine myself without my specs. I’ve met a ton of glasses nerds in the past few years as well- we all stop each other and dish about our glasses. One of the coolest things that I’ve experienced was when Lisa Loeb walked up to me, complimented my glasses and geeked out with me about frames for like five minutes. The idea that “guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” is complete and total bullshit, and I can tell you that from first hand experience and it’s not just dudes with a weird librarian fetish. The majority of my friends also wear glasses, we call ourselves the “four-eyed brian trust”. I recently discovered that I can actually find frames that I love for very affordable prices online- and it’s been a major exercise in self-control to not just buy a new pair every week. So to my four-eyed people worldwide- high five yourselves, because you are super fly. Keep wearing your glasses with style. The four-eyed brain trust is always accepting new members.

 Derek Cardigan #7010 Frames in Tortoise / Coastal Contacts

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day To My Fellow Orphaned Daddy's Girls

This Father's Day is my third without my pops and I miss him so much. I lost him 2009 after a long battle with cancer. As Joan Didion put it, "...grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it."  Grieving sucks, but you take it one day at a time until it morphs into something manageable. I'll never not be sad that my Dad isn't around anymore, but with each day I try to find a way to honor his memory and be the best I can be. Being a part of the blog world and the beauty writing business, I get a lot of emails from publicists. The Father's Day pitches start rolling in about three weeks beforehand- so it's never quite as jarring as it might be for others, but it means I can never just roll right through it unnoticed. I get so much advanced warning for various holidays via the PR circuit,  I have some time to process and put on a game face by the time Father's Day actually rolls around. I jokingly refer to myself as an orphan, which is probably a bit offensive to any actual orphans, but it just gets me through the day. I have quite a few friends who have lost a parent in the past few years- and I just want you guys to know that my thoughts are with you and it will get better. I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in an afterlife of any kind- but I am so thankful that for 26 years I had the best Dad a girl could ever hope for and as much as I would love to see his face, hear his laugh or fight with him over politics- I am just happy that I had him for the time that I did. I can only hope that when I have kids of my own that the legacy will continue. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

So You're Reading.... Bossypants by Tina Fey

 I’ve always enjoyed reading memoirs of people who I’d want to grab a cup of coffee with. People that would probably laugh at the same stuff as I would. Tina Fey is one of those celebrities that I both would love to and be terrified to meet. I am just such fan, that I would be super bummed if I caught her on an off-day or she turned out to be a turbo-jerk (I’ve decided this is a word). I get dorky about weird celebrities. You can have Brad and Angelina, I want to get mani-pedis with Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling.

Tina’s character on 30 Rock is relentlessly relateable- blergs and all. I loved her stuff on Saturday Night Live as well. Remember when she and Amy Poehler defended Hilary Clinton’s campaign on "Weekend Update" during the 2008 presidential race citing that a) “bitches get stuff done” and b)“bitch is the new black”? I could have given every person on the planet a hug and a high-five. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I made at least ten people sit and watch the segment, hoping that they too would be as psyched as I was.

Tina Fey for Vanity Fair
 When Bossypants was released, I couldn’t purchase it fast enough; since I am the proud owner of a Kindle, I had that book in my hot little hands immediately. I had always been a fan of Ms. Fey’s writing style and perspective, so I knew that this book would become an instant favorite. As expected, I spent the next three days picking it up whenever I had a spare moment. I was literally that a-hole laughing out loud while trying to power through a high incline on the elliptical machine.

I Heart Star Wars Baseball Tee / Delia*s
Wacks Black and Tortoise Frames / Oliver Peoples
Featherweight Cotton Cardigan / J.Crew
Clear Foaming Gloss / Rita Hazan
Grapefruit Tinted Lip Balm / Burt’s Bees
New York Newspaper Print Tablet Folio / Kate Spade
Grey Denim “Rockstar” Jeggings / Old Navy
Kilty Suede Moccasins / Minnetonka

As a woman working in the entertainment industry, Bossypants is relateable on a completely different level. The entertainment industry can be brutal- and not just for actors. Everyday there are droves of people heading to each respective coast to make their dream a reality. It’s not just difficult being a woman in the entertainment industry, it’s difficult in the entertainment industry period. I’ve never heard it put so succinctly as Ms. Fey does in the following excerpt from Bossypants.

“This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. "You're up for a promotion. If they go for a woman, it'll be between you and Barbara." Don't be fooled. You're not in competition with other women. You're in competition with everyone.” 

If you are looking for some good solid laughs and anecdotes- Bossypants is a must read- and if you must read it on the elliptical machine at the gym, please be sure to laugh as loud as possible. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Feast, Famine and Freelancing

Two-Toned Glasses / Derek Cardigan
Leopard Print Chiffon Blouse / Old Navy
Black V-Neck Sweater / H&M
In my line of work I frequently experience the dynamic of "feast or famine".  I've been a make-up artist for seven years now, doesn't matter,  I still find it incredibly difficult to say no to gigs even if it means I won't have a day off for long time. I've been fortunate enough to have worked on some amazing projects with some amazing people, but as a freelancer, I don't think I'll ever lose the hunger and the hustle that having to provide for myself in a notoriously flighty industry encourages. Sometimes this drive leads me to working ten, fourteen and sometimes twenty or more days in a row. I remember in 2006 when I was working on the series Saints & Sinners, I booked myself out for a few weekends in addition to the full five-day shooting week and during that time I set my personal record for days-without-a-day-off at twenty-six. I love my job, but I never want to do that again.  I suppose it's a bit easier to adapt because I work on such varied projects. This past week I've found myself be-bopping around Los Angeles, so I'm a bit relieved to have a mellow week at the boutique to round out my seventeen day work stretch (and hopefully focus a bit more on my blogging). When I am this busy, I keep myself pretty disciplined. I have to, if I don't I'll go bananas. I can't drink or be up late. I wake up early and hit the sack almost immediately after arriving home. Take my vitamins religiously to ward off any kind of sickness that may be lurking. I just go into major autopilot mode. My friends know that if they can't get a hold of me when I'm driving to and from a job, that I'm probably just going to fall of the face of the earth for a couple weeks. Thank goodness I still have friends- although my dogs have been giving my hectic schedule and frazzled self some major stink-eye.

Enough about this work business- the bottom line is: I'm back and ready to be focused, funny and frizzy-haired as per usual.