Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spinning Brown Skin into Gold

I've gone through my entire day trying to write for the blog but have had serious blogger blockage.  Why? After hours of back and forth with my virtual vs. real life, I've been challenged.  Beauty Blogs: Shallow and Fake?  Well this is a good question and I have come to realize, it's time to get down and dirty.  Why do I do this?  So we can hopefully join hands and work together within this fickle and confusing industry.  Multi-colored women unite!

In the blogosphere, who do I think I am?!  There are so many issues that I've had to deal with on my own that, well, I've been ashamed to admit...until now.  My skin is brown. Some say caramel, but I like how my husband says it, "perfectly brown like I like my coffee," (There. I said it. I'm brown.  He said it. He likes it.). And who was ever there to help?  Not too many.  I mean, even my own mother would continuously tell me to "stay out of the sun so you don't get dark...".  I'm sure she's just  parroting her own european aristocratic atrocities.  I'm sure her mom was just as lovingly harsh.  But let's face it.  If you can't love yourself, you can't love.  And after years of self-loathing, I've realized that I am only fighting to love myself - my brown skin self.  Ridiculous, right?? For one, I'm dark anyway; I'm a Filipino/Guamanian girl for goodness sake!!  Two,  dontchaknow?!  Everyone's down with brown now!  Embrace Mama, Embrace!

And we're finally living in a world where the majority of the world wants a heavenly kiss from the sun.  Sure, it's nice now, but for years, I've been forced to wear Light Girl makeup.  Light peach and pink blush and washed out lip color would accompany my imbalanced "dark golden" pressed powder.  Until about 10 years ago, I've had to mix and match, compromise and sacrifice, fake and make it.  I've looked muddy, disheveled, pale, painted and two-toned (you know, even in the face and neck but not with the body?).  Then along came Halle Berry.  Let's face it ladies, until this empowered woman won an award and impelled everyone to watch her have emotional catharsis on television, the world really did not consider the multi-toned, brown skin girl.  She cried and the world focused on her waterproof mascara and impeccable complexion.  She became the face of  Revlon.  Before this, there was no focus on shades of brown.  There was no giving yellow/olive/brown/black girls much more than a "Tan" consideration in the foundation/powder world.  And I know, I am not alone when I say, "It was pretty f'd up."

How many times have Asians, Latinos, and African queens had to stand in the aisle staring @ our options only to realize that not only do we Not fit into the Golden Beige category, but we have been forced to choose the darkest shade even though it made us look like we played in clay.  In some lines, we have even had to buy, "DARK" even though it may not have been dark enough at times.  Well, now because of women like Halle, like Beyonce, Tyra, Eve and Rhianna, WE HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED.

I suppose there are so many other women who have affected our status, like Oprah, Margaret Cho, Brooke Burke, Lucy Liu and Maya Angelou (hell yes), ETC., ETC., ETC.   BUT in the fashion/beauty world, Grace Jones, Iman, Vanessa Williams, and Naomi Campbell have been the few Brown Goddesses that have even put our needs on the beauty agenda.  But now, there is a LARGE network of women who pride themselves on brown skin.  It is amazing how many colors cosmetic companies have added to their "skin tone" palette.  But even before Halle, there was one cosmetic line in particular who was based on accomodating all skin palettes.  Perscriptives.

Listen, Perscriptives was focused on finding your perfect match, remember?  So here's the skinny my beauties, pale pink to dark blue:  Perscriptives is going OUT OF BUSINESS.  Say what?  Maybe you haven't even gone to their counter except to spritz some CALYX on your wrist, but they were one of the only lines who acknowledged the diversity of skin tone from 1979 til now.  It is an Estee Lauder Company and LISTEN UP BEAUTIES, it is going away for good.  Wanna know how I know?  I've got an insider;)

Yup.  While on my search for the perfect purple eyeliner (shallow as it may seem), I  ran into the most amazing shopgirl who not only led me to the aubergines and the eggplant, she also gave me the skinny.  Her name is Haley.  SHE IS AWESOME.  She's knowledgeable, helpful, and, of course, a fellow beauty.  I suggest you RUN NOT WALK to the Macy's in the Shops At Mission Viejo and find her NOW.  She will get you all the great stuff that's left in inventory and probably lead you to the stuff you can't live without...  But you'd better hurry, the sell outs are insane (Someday in the future, I hope to add her to the list of important beauty bloggers on our list).  So let's say adieu to Perscriptives, a quality line that is soon to not even brag of an online site, and say hello to this BRB network of insider 411.  So let's wrap up this beauty bubbliciousness shall we?  I will address ALL concerns here on this blog.

Labeling beauty research as shallow filler is a type of self-denial, don't you agree?  Beauty should be FUN my Lovely Ladies.  I don't care how rich or poor, young or old, bitchy or savvy you are.  These times are tough my fellow Beauties.  Sometimes a tongue-in-cheek about the perfect concealer that erases your Christmas Party "faux pas" is what we all need to get us through to the next day of work;)  You can come here for respite from judgement and criticism.  You may come here and ask without hesitation.  And together we will get through this crazy life looking F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S.

Stay tuned, beautiful women of all colors, I promise to hold your hand each step of the way along this economically challenged, beauty brand endagered world.   Hang on, it's all about the journey right?;)

Lots of love,

Friday, December 4, 2009


Just an important aside for those of you suffering from the insufferable nuisance of flakes.  This is a fantastic Article.  Thank you Allure Beauty Editor, Amy Keller Laird!!

Now, off to do some more research my beauties...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Tis the Season to Be Gorgeous (or In Search of Purple - Pt. 1)

Every season, I try to adjust something in my beauty routine so that my style inertia always has momentum.  I'm sure if you thought about it, you'd realize you do the same.  Beauty doesn't have to be pain but it does create quite the headache when we are in search of something.  Change is a pain sometimes, don't you agree?  Well, the holidays are upon us: family gatherings, reunions, parties, the list continues.  It's that time again to embrace our discomfort and step out of our Autumn Box and into our Winter Sparkle.  'Tis the season to be Gorgeous!! 

What has caused me to write to you with such urgency to transform even just a small fraction of your routine??  Well, Thanksgiving is over and done.  The Trees and the Lights are popping up all over town.  I just saw my reflection in a window.  Wait...What?  yea, I said it. While I was strolling with my shopping bags (feeling so happy inside) I happened to glance up at my reflection in a mirror under the unforgiving fluorescent lighting of a store that shall remain unnamed.  My black eyeliner and nude lips, which work so well on dates, were creating a harsh, unapproachable look.  What was I thinking?  Where my b****** at to gimmie the DL??  So I started (and I use this word "started" with tongue-in-cheek) to devise a game plan to update my the colors on my face and possibly fit in a haircut by the end of next week.  Well let's just say it took, a minute and a half for me to become completely overwhelmed and exhausted by my own thought process.  So I decided to just change my eyeliner (which kind of reinforces my current beauty obsession):) Simple.

Recently, I have become obsessed with the idea of buying purple eyeliner.  I guess I said, 'buying,' but what I really mean is that I am "actively in search of" the Perfect Dark Purple eyeliner - consistency, longevity, wearability.  I want it ALL ( hey, if you're going to dream, DREAM BIG, right?).  I'm talking velvety eggplant that verges on black but teases you to look deeper and discover something more.  Don't get me wrong, I love black eyeliner, but it doesn't go over so well as an everyday look (I mean did you read my last paragraph?).  I believe you too are savvy and understand that God is in the details! 

Dark Purple Eyeliner is alluring to even the most hardened of makeup boycotters.  Daytime looks are possible here because there is a softer element - blendability.  And you best believe that it'll draw in those who are already looking deeply into your eyes *sigh*...ahem, I digress...

As I was saying, I'm looking for the pariah of dark purple.  Is that so much to ask?  I want the creamy texture to slide on effortlessly like a pastel on canvas, but not slide off easily at all like a marker on paper (Oily eyelid owners BEWARE! If it melts on too thick and too creamy, we may end up looking a bit...well, battered if you get my drift).  I want the creamy that doesn't run and the dry that doesn't pull.  Waterproof may do the trick but many of them tug on my delicate eye skin.  You may laugh, but it's only because you relate!!  In terms of the color, I don't want it to bring out any darkness under my eyes.  I definitely don't want my smokey midnight intentions to look like a hazy walk of shame!! Delicate not Dirty...well, not too dirty;)  So here I sit, a girl with a goal.

Tonight I shall do a dry run of research on the Web.  Time is money girls, and saving it is Fabulous because it means we'll have more of it for other things later;)  Tomorrow, I shall travel to Sephora, M.A.C., and all the other Fancy Department Stores to test out the many shades until I find THE ONE.  Great thing about the two aforementioned, they have artists to help.  Stay tuned dear readers.  Let the shopping commence!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It All Began With A Frosty Blue Eyeliner and A Beauty Mag

When I was 11, my Mom handed me a magazine and I was mesmerized by the model on the cover.  How did she look so...perfect?  Surely, even if it were airbrushing, smoke and mirrors, I somehow could create that same look with some magic of my own.  The models in the ads were as glossy as the pages.  The women had matte, clear skin and red, patent lips.  Then, I read an article on "shading" to create "perfect" angles on the face; what a farce!  But by the same token, this could certainly be a look obtained with some effort, right? But, as you already know, things are rarely as easy as they look.  So the challenge took hold of me and my childhood was spent dabbling in make-up colors, skincare techniques, and scientific experimentation.

Maybe it was the challenge of the chase that hooked me.  Maybe it was the struggle towards perfection from a place of complete imperfection.  It's true that we tend to want the things we can't have, but it's also absolute that I love a challenge.  I have a memory of seeing a picture of a rockstar wearing green/black eyeshadow with hints of glitter.  I confess, I ditched a Human Sexuality class to find that color. It was only After 4 hours of  hard labored investigation that came to understand I was chasing a white rabbit; the makeup artist probably created that color combination, duh.  I felt a hard slap of  naivitee on my forehead.  There was obviously so much more to learn.  So I guess it's no surprise that despite my tomboy "ish" phase, I finally held out a hand towards the darkness trying to grasp some type of  inner Diva within my flannel shirt and cutoff jeans (Kurt Cobain RIP).  So where to start?


It's more fun to play with makeup than to hate it right?  I have a theory that if we own the proper tools, makeup application is not as intimidating.  I know like me, some of you may have to warm up to the idea of buying (and using!-not just leaving it in the drawer, tsk tsk...) brushes as opposed to the disposable foam or a Qtip.  Trust me, it's worth every penny you spend.  Think of painting a masterpiece on a canvas with one of those foam thingys or your finger (forbid)!  Just don't do it.  It's your face for goodness sake.  And by ALL means, make sure it has soft, quality bristles unless you want them scratching and sprinkled all over your face.  And please wash them frequently.  I repeat: TRUST ME on this one.  I have worked for one of the leading cosmetic companies in the industry in one of the top department stores.  I have heard some stories that would send you flying towards you antibacterial gels and slathering for dear life.   We'll talk about this more, I'm sure. Which brings me back to my purpose in this arena...


Ok so why a beauty blog, you ask? Well, why not? I seem to be asked time and time again for solutions to last minute issues - specifically, skincare issues like acne, oily skin, wrinkles, you name it. Like I said in my bio, I love me my products and am probably a good resource for a review at least. Besides, I am just as curious as you are to find what works and what does not.  Consider it a jouney.  As for my expertise, well, if someone is deemed an expert after 10 years, then I am confident, you're in good hands.  Follow along, and I may just share some secrets that have been shared with me...



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