The Big Cheese is stuck in Yangon, Burma (unless he’s still in Mandalay) because all the flights home involve – whoops! – Bangkok, and it doesn´t look like that´s resolving itself immediately. There´s a lot of political posturing going on there, but it´s getting harder to imagine an outcome other than the Thai military going after the crowd of protesters occupying the airports. The Cheese has been gone much of November, and he was coming home next week, until this happened. The routes out of Yangon are pretty limited, and obviously he doesn´t have Uncle Sam offering him a helping hand either. The Burmese (or maybe their neighbors) have now closed the borders so he can´t get out over land either. It could be worse, of course – he could be in Mumbai, bless those people – but still. I´m going to ask Santa to drop him down my chimney before Christmas.
How do I do it? I am an excellent juggler. I have a lot of balls in the air at a given time. You should see my moves. But sometimes I feel like dropping both hands, turning my back and walking away. Let the balls fall where they may. I´m tired of being a juggler. I´m ready to audition for a different role in the circus. Clown, maybe. Even the concession stand is looking good at this point.
I drown my sorrows in a bottle, as many of you do. On Thanksgiving it was vintage Femme. I was in a bit of a … mood. And trying to get my game face on for the extended family. I stared at my fragrance collection, sniffed a few atomizers. It was all wrong. Then I popped the top off my Femme lipstick spray. That thing is so raunchy it makes me laugh. It´s like being smacked across the face by an angry, damp civet holding a riding crop in one paw and a plum in its mouth. A discreet little spray to one wrist, which I dabbed on my neck, and off we went. The first thing Buckethead said when I got in the car was, what´s that smell? And you could tell he wasn´t thinking about pumpkin pie, either. More like, what died? I don´t know whether my dining companions enjoyed it much (my brother in law is mostly anosmic, which maybe was a good thing) but it was just the get-over-yourself kick in the pants I needed.
I need to stop reading the news before bedtime – I have the most terrible dreams, dreams of conflagrations and destruction. Dreams where I am always searching desperately for one or more of my children while trying not to lose the others, pushing against the fleeing tide of humanity. I wake up at 2 or 4 am, panting in fear. No wonder so many people drop dead in the small hours.
So. We´re still fighting Buckethead´s stomach bug, about which I will say nothing further, and I´m catching up on some pleasure reading, and eating some tasty turkey leftovers. Let me take my Mope Hat off and mention a couple things.
First off, the Lipstick Drama continues. I fell in love with NARS Jungle Red, a slightly warm red that on my lips is almost true, but brighter than MAC Russian Red. I´m assiduously avoiding the word “orange” in favor of “tomato.” I had the NARS gal put some on and suggest a blush, and what the hell – I went for it. NARS Exhibit A. I´ll drop a picture in here at left. There it is, folks – the clown makeup I need for my new life. I have to put, like, seven grains of it on my face – the SA literally rested the brush briefly on the blush and then shook it off – but man, it is beautiful on my skin with a red lip. If you go look at the reviews on MUA, the range of skin tones wearing this thing is amusing. Lots of dark-skinned women are wearing it, but everybody else is too, including palefaces like yours truly. Also, I forgot to mention this last time, but — have you all noticed how much the lighting in Sephora SUCKS? Sure, it’s bright enough — but the colors read so, so off in their store lighting — I am shocked that they’ve done that poor a lighting job in a store that’s devoted to makeup. Something about the lighting shifts everything in the orange direction and mutes the blue tones. So — try a lipstick on, it’s neutral in the store and hot pink in the hallway. Try an “orange” lipstick on and discover it’s true red in natural light. How dumb is that?
I´m still poking around for a true neutral blush – Strada was just okay, a little muted on me. Maybe one of the Bobbi bronzers? It´s hard to find a neutral blush without shimmer. The other thing that happened was, in the process of blotting off 55 red lipsticks, I discovered that in spite of all cool-toned makeup lore out there, I really can work a warm lip – think salmon or coral or even orange, if it´s more creamsicle and less pumpkin. I think it´s because it balances out the weird tones of my lip (seriously, around the perimeter they are faintly blue, and ugh). MAC Vegas Volt was just a hair too Faye Dunaway orange on me, but Crosswires and the (recently d/c´d) Eager were lovely. So, two points – one, you fair skinned, cool toned gals might want to consider taking a walk on the warm side. Two – if there´s one thing I´ve learned from this experience as a makeup newbie, it´s that I need to follow fewer “rules” and play more with the colors the way I play with paints. I´m so boring the way I do my makeup. This was really, really fun, and thanks to all of you for your suggestions, which I’m still ferreting out and testing, and a special shout-out to Louise for her patience and humor while I tried on 35 (55?) lippies, and to Gina for all her great advice.
One more nod in the fragrance direction – I´m infatuated with Le Labo Poivre 23. I can´t think of a single thing to say in a review that Lee and Patty didn´t say already. I´m less of a Le Labo fan than many of you. In fact the only one I wear is Vetiver (which doesn´t even smell like vetiver.) Poivre 23 is a pepper-incense of phenomenal sillage, with a vanillic-incense drydown that was astonishing in its beauty. Every now and again on the blogs we kick around the idea of, how much is a fragrance “worth?” If you´d asked me before I´d smelled it whether this London exclusive was the $400, I think I´ve got that right, I´d have laughed in your face and said, no way. But I don´t really have anything that smells like this. It´s not about complexity – it´s like someone hit a bell and struck a deep, extraordinarily beautiful note that just went on forever. I still don´t want a $400 bottle, but I´m trying to weasel in on a split, and I encourage anyone who´s interested in incense to cough up for a sample.
Finally, nail polish note – my local CVS has Barielle, and I bought Misbehaving Mistress. Wow – a color that reads right in between gunmetal and brown. It´s so cool. It´s a faint shimmer, technically, but on the nails looks more like a super-glossy cream. Fans of odd colors like Jacques, Metro Chic and some of those RBLs should check this one out. Mistress gets extra points for not fading to black, even in dim indoor light.