Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not much for the girl stuff (in fact, I was famously kicked out of the girls’ bathroom at a school dance in 6th grade because the chaperone thought I was a boy). I don’t really have any objection to the girl stuff, it’s just that it seems to take a lot of time and energy, and really, frankly, I’m just too lazy for it. So the prospect of “doing hair and makeup” for the upcoming Dancing with the Stars event (oh, good lord, if this is unfamiliar to you, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!) was a little bit daunting. I have neither the tools nor the skills at my disposal to do this effectively. Thankfully, good friend and hair whiz Brian of Studio B has volunteered to help out with the ‘do. But for the rest I’m afraid I’m on my own.
I headed over to the drugstore today to pick out some make-up. I’m thinking pink and sparkly. Oh heavens to betsy, have you any idea how many different kinds of different kinds of make-up there are? (that’s not a typo, I really mean different kinds of different kinds, it’s like they multiply). I mean, I would stop and think that I found just the right thing, then take two steps down the make-up aisle and discover something that said “FLAWLESS!” or “INFALLIBLE” or “GLAM” on it and decide it would work better than what I had just picked up. It was maddening. Anyway. $30 later and I was armed with lipstick, gloss that goes over lipstick, fingernail polish, eyeliner and mascara. I was ready for my practice run.
BUT WAIT! For those of you who aren’t interested in going through this whole insanely long and dull post about hair and makeup, please take a tinsy minute and a tinsy dollar and VOTE FOR ME HERE! Online voting closes tonight at midnight, so if you’re planning on donating and can’t come to the show, please do it pronto! Also: donate $25 and get a free print! See here for details! Also: if you don’t vote for me, vote for someone else! Money goes to kids who need it! Yes!
Okay. So, back to our regular programming:
Here’s where I started.
The first thing I had to do was take care of my eyebrows.
Long ago, in college, I learned about the value of plucking eyebrows. Or, at least, plucking my eyebrows. It opens up my face a little bit, or lifts my eyes, or something. Anyway, somehow in some mysterious way it helps. But, like all things that need to be maintained, I forget to keep it up until it’s too late. Luckily, we don’t have many mirrors in our house, so I don’t even realize that it’s too late until something like this comes up, which is once in a blue moon.
So, step one. Pluckity pluck. Left brow first.
It’s weird, because you can’t even really tell the difference that much (at least I can’t). But then when they’re both done – voila!
My forehead looks like it’s a little more put together or something.
Up next I thought I’d put on the lipstick. Except I couldn’t figure out how to open it.
A-ha. It had a sticker on it, keeping it closed. Lipstick isn’t too hard for the only-infrequently-initiated.
I had bought something that I thought was a lip stain, in pink, but now that I’m actually looking at the sticker on the bottom, it says it’s “lip butter.” It wasn’t as glaringly pink as I had hoped. Too late now. I had also gotten this shiny glossy stuff – super lustrous lipgloss gloss (that’s what it says on the package – and, frankly, the double gloss is what convinced me to buy it, sucker!). Once again, I had trouble opening it.
Turns out, I was trying to open it upside down, and like lipstick. The cap actually unscrews. There’s a little paintbrush thingie in there to paint on this super sticky (but lipgloss glossy!) gluey stuff.
If I happen to run into a glass door while wearing it (something that happens more often than I’d like to admit) I might get stuck to the glass.
Now it was time to tackle the thing that I found most intimidating: eye liner. I have never ever in my life used eyeliner. But I wanted to get those asian-style cat eyes to go with the whole Gangnam theme. I looked up a bunch of tutorials (this was the best one, except that I just found it just now – it involves scotch tape, which automatically makes it awesome) that basically said you have to just paint it on so it looks like cat eye make-up.
I had purchased the super slim felt tip liquid eyeliner pen, thinking that “felt tip” would make it kind of like drawing with a marker, which I have done with some regularity. I was also, I admit, swayed by “12 hour” “infallible” “precise” and “never fail.” When I got it out of the package, though, it really didn’t look like something I should have anywhere near my eye.
So, eyeliner is a tricky deal. According to the tutorials, I was supposed to stretch out the skin around my eye while drawing a line along the lid. It seems like you somehow need more hands to accomplish this than you actually have.
Also, don’t try to do this by looking at a computer monitor. It really throws off your game. I had to go downstairs and get an actual mirror.
In some of the tutorials, they suggested lining the bottom lid, or part of the bottom lid, and sweeping it up toward the top lid. There was talk about lining the INSIDE of your eye. I decided not to try to do that.
Alas, I accidentally did it anyway.
The black actually just leached all into my eye and made my eye all runny. And then made my nose all runny. And, this is totally gross, but there was EYELINER dripping OUT OF MY NOSE. I kid you not. If I had not been just staring at my face on my huge monitor for the whole process, I would not have seen it but my snot was BLACK when I wiped my nose. All of this is to say, if you don’t want eyeliner in your nose, don’t get it in your eye.
So anyway. That was a big mess. I tried to wipe out my eye with a paper towel.
Which just smudged it everywhere. I realized I had forgotten a key ingredient in my preparations.
Eye make-up remover! And Q-tips! I hate to admit it, but I have had this bottle of eye make-up remover since college. And I need to use it every single time I put on mascara, because I can’t keep that little wand under control. This just goes to show how often I put on mascara.
Okay, so after some clean-up and reapplication with a somewhat steadier hand, my left eye was done.
Not my finest work, but from across the dance floor, I don’t think anyone is going to notice. I considered doing a half-and-half jobby for this post – doing all the make-up and hair on one side and leaving the other without, but realized that the whole symmetry thing was really what I needed to get practice on. Good thing, too. Doing the right eye (with my left hand) was WAY harder.
Again, I had to resort to looking in an actual mirror. It wasn’t exactly even, but I didn’t have any eyeliner dripping out of my nose, so I considered it a quasi-success.
Apparently, it’s good practice to put on eyeliner before mascara. I had hoped I could put the mascara on first, knowing how I botch it every single time and need to go in with the q-tip to clean things up. But I was trying to follow the tutorials, so there you go. Mascara.
I have to admit, I bought this mascara because it actually says “CAT EYES” on it.
Also, it has jaguar spots on it, in case you can’t read.
And, apparently it has a tricky sort of wand that gives you “instant volume” and will “plump and spike out lashes at the corners” for that “wild cat eye look.”
There were, however, no instructions on which way to hold it.
I guessed that if lashes were going to be “spiked out” at the corners, maybe it needed to be held with the edges going up. I gave it a shot, and, as usual, got mascara all up on my eyelid and had to clean it up with a q-tip.
Things were looking a little unbalanced – lots going on up top, but kind of naked down below (below my eyes, that is). I thought maybe I should give the eyeliner another whirl on the lower lid.
Oy! That looked pretty bad. But in trying to wipe it off, I got kind of a smoky smudgey look, which helped balance things out (I think).
Not that I’d ever be able to recreate that, but I may as well try.
The right eye looked equally hacky with the eyeliner drawn on, and didn’t smudge as neatly when I tried to wipe it off, but I decided it was close enough.
Boy was that exhausting.
Now, I don’t have access to Brian until the big day, but just to get an idea of what I want it to look like, I put up my hair.
I’m thinking two buns and bangs a la Sailor Moon (just the buns, though, not the long bits).
My bangs are currently too long.
I resisted the urge to cut them myself but was able to hoist them up a bit to give you an idea of what I’m thinking.
While I was hoisting my bangs, I noticed one new acquisition on my desk that hadn’t yet been cracked open – the fingernail polish. It’s quite bling-y in the jar, and is called “Strobe Light” (yes, again, I fell for the name).
I forgot all about this dancing thing and cut my fingernails just yesterday, so they’re kind of down to nubby stubs.
Though the jar itself looks like a super disco party is happening inside, when it gets spread around on your nubby stub fingernail, it’s somehow a little disappointing.
I’m hoping when I have all my nails done and I’m under the actual disco lights, they’ll do their dancing.
I thought the look came out pretty well, but thought maybe the buns needed to be moved a little forward on my head. Somehow, and I don’t believe it’s a perspective trick, this also made them larger and more unruly.
And more ridiculous.
I’m trusting that Brian will have the proper solution for this.
I’ve got one more day to prepare myself, physically and mentally, for this great and fearsome challenge of challenges. Will I succeed? Will my horse trot be trotty? Will my dip be dippy? Will my kicks be high? Will my cartwheels be true? And, most importantly, will my voting bloc rescue me from an otherwise humiliating experience?
Or will the evening end in disgrace, with tears and a woman (and her make-up) ruined?
Help save the day. For the last time (I promise) VOTE HERE.