What’s in the Box: July and August Sephora Play Boxes

Earlier this year, when Sephora Play announced their intention to open up their subscription service to more subscribers, they gave people the option to put their names on a waitlist so that they could be included when the program became large enough that supply could meet demand.  Like a dutiful Sephora minion, I signed up to be on the waitlist.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Several months later, long after I had given up any hope of ever actually being taken off the waitlist, ever, I got an email that I could actually sign up to be a subscriber.  This was far enough into June that I couldn’t get a June box, but not so far into June that it wouldn’t be a while before I actually got the July box.  At the beginning of July, I was charged for my box, but since you are charged a couple of weeks in advance of the actual shipment, the box didn’t come until the third week of July.  When I was on vacation.  My brother-in-law came back from a camping trip to find it sitting on his front porch.  I didn’t even know it was there until I dropped my nephew off at home after we got back from our trip.  Anti-climactic as fuck, right?

Sephora Play is my first and only subscription box.  I’ve thought about signing up for Glossybox, or Birchbox, or Ipsy, and have an account at Scentbird, but I’ve never actually pulled the trigger and ordered the service.  My thought is, I have a lot of stuff already.  Why accumulate even more stuff on the off-chance that I might like something in a box well enough to want to buy the full-size?  I think I would definitely never actually order Ipsy, because a lot of the stuff they send seems to be cheap throwaway stuff.  I have no problem with things being cheap, but if something isn’t prohibitively expensive, then if I already was interested in it, I probably would have tried it, already.  So I feel like with Ipsy, it’s more likely that I’ll end up with stuff I don’t care about.  Birchbox and Glossybox items seem like they’re more high-end, so it might be a way to try things I wouldn’t have wanted to buy without trying first, since they cost more money.  That was essentially my line of reasoning with the Sephora Play box.  Ten dollars is a small price to pay to get to sample products from the kinds of brands that Sephora carries.  Especially skincare products, which are expensive and scary to blind-buy.


Sephora Play boxes come with six items all relating to a monthly theme.  The theme for July was “Effortless Summer”.  According to what I read, two different boxes were sent out with customization based on skin type.  I think the Smashbox and First Aid products were different depending on whether or not your skin is oily or dry.  As I have oily skin, the primer and the cleanser were geared toward that.  I think all the other items were the same for all subscribers, but I could be wrong.

  1. First things first, the perfume.  Nest Citrine.  Last year, I went on an epic search for citrus-oriented perfumes that I might like, because I had decided to try to wear more citrus-y scents.  I have no idea why.  I’m given to strange bursts of micro-obsession.  I bought a couple of things, but I never ended up wearing them that much.  I like Citrine.  It’s very heavy on the lemon blossom.  It’s also supposed to smell of lotus blossom and freesia, but I don’t really smell those that much.  I think it might be a fragrance I could wear more often.  Possibly I’ll look into getting a rollerball of it.  So, item number 1 was a hit.
  2. I don’t contour.  I’m extremely white.  They sent me a chocolate brown bronzer.  Yeah, I have no use for it.  Item number two, Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer, might be an excellent bronzer, for all I know, but I don’t know and have no desire to find out, so, for me, its inclusion was a miss.
  3. So, I get wave spray.  I even own some.  Beachy waves are pretty awesome.  In practice, though, every wave spray I’ve ever used, from cheap to high-end, leaves my hair kind of crunchy.  Ouai Wave Spray is supposed to give you “effortlessly chic, undone hair.”  Crunchy is kind of the opposite of “effortlessly chic.”  I can achieve actual mostly effortless waves by braiding my hair before I got to sleep.  So, I have not used this spray.  I plan to at least try it, to see if maybe it will live up to its ad copy, but I doubt that it will.  Still, if it does actually turn out to be a crunch-free wave spray, it could be a hit, so, undecided, at this juncture.
  4. The beautyblender bloterazzi is dumb.  It does what it says it does, but so do blotting papers, and they’re not twenty dollars.  I got this one for roughly two dollars, and I’ll probably never use it.  Miss.
  5. I was actually excited to try Smashbox’s Pore Minimizing Primer.  I’ve read that it really does help with the appearance of pores, and having large pores is probably my number one beauty concern.  I hate my pores.  They’re the worst.  I used it once, but I didn’t wear the makeup I had on for very long, and then I forgot it even existed for a couple of weeks, due to a state of makeup drawer chaos, so I don’t know how well it works, yet, but I’m excited to test it out the next time I wear makeup.  Potentially big hit!
  6. I love First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay unreservedly.  I’ve been using it as my go-to in-shower cleanser ever since I got it.  I’ve going to have to invest in a full-size bottle, soon.  I’ve already put it in my cart on Sephora’s website, so I don’t forget about it the next time I make an order.  Basically, when I got back from vacation, my skin was a mess.  I joked on Facebook that my forehead looked like the genitals of a syphilitic prostitute.  It was an apt comparison.  I had so, so many pimples, it was insane.  I got one on my jawline that I kept picking at, so I’m lucky I didn’t give myself staph infection.  Between the cleanser and my diet being better, my face has improved a lot, the past couple of weeks.  Giant hit.

On to the next box!

imageThe theme for August’s box was “The Eye Openers”.  So, obviously, a lot eye makeup and eye-centric skin care.  Plus a perfume, because why not?

  1. I don’t like Clean perfume, but I do like rose scents, so I was willing to give Clean Reserve Blonde Rose a chance.  I tested it on paper, and while it did smell nice right after the spray, it faded really quickly.  I like my roses with more assertive personalities.  Total miss.
  2. I was worried, when I signed up for Sephora Play, that they’d put things I already have in the boxes.  That happened here, with Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, which I already own several tubes of.  I like Perversion, so I wouldn’t call it a miss, but I since I already had plenty, I gave the tube that came in the box to my sister.
  3. Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer was extremely runny in consistency and left my skin feeling sticky.  I did not like it at all, and I certainly wouldn’t spend 55 dollars on a full-size.  Miss.
  4. I’ve been meaning to get some sort of eye serum.  I don’t have a lot of lines around my eyes, because I don’t spend much time outside, squinting in the sun, but I know that eventually I’ll have them, and it’s better to prepare for aging before it happens.  I’ve only worn it once, so far, but if works out well, maybe I’ll become a regular user of Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm.  I’ll have to use the product quite a bit more before I can form an opinion on its effectiveness, but its inclusion was a definite hit.
  5. I like Make Up For Ever eyeshadow, but I don’t think that a pinky-brown is a color you want to use to introduce your eyeshadow formula to people.  It’s boring.  Hit for including a fairly large sample of an excellent eyeshadow formula, but total miss in regard to color.
  6. Second verse, same as the first.  The last product in the box was a sample size of Sephora’s Contour Eye eyeliner pencil.  The color on this one?  Taupe.  A range of colors that includes several different shades of blues and purples, bright pink, shades of green and aqua and teal, and they send us taupe in the hopes of convincing us to buy their eyeliner.  I’m sorry, Sephora, but no one is going to be seduced by taupe eyeliner.  Miss.

Overall, I would say that July’s box was much more successful.  There were some misses, but there were also things that I loved and found exciting.  There wasn’t really much to get excited over in August’s box.  With the exception of there being a chance that I could possibly come to want to use the eye balm regularly, there’s nothing in it that I feel like I need to have.

Next month’s theme is “Unbasic Basics” so I assume it will be mostly devoted to skincare, and I’m totally looking forward to that.

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Look at My Vacation: Philadelphia

I actually didn’t take that many photos in Philadelphia, because there was a lot of construction going on and being a pedestrian in Center City is anxiety-inducing on a good day, much less while there is so much chaos from construction.  If I can barely walk around without feeling stressed, obviously that’s not a good mindframe for photography.  For me, anyway.  DC is generally more actually crowded than Philadelphia, and there was also construction going on there, to the Mall, in the area between the different Smithsonian museums, but Washington DC was designed with hordes of visitors in mind, and Philadelphia was not, so Philadelphia usually feels more crowded.  Philadelphia gets a lot of tourists, but I don’t think that it’s all that tourist friendly, in regard to ease of use of public spaces.

Which is a shame, because I think Philadelphia is a beautiful city.  Not just because of all the historic landmarks, but I really love the more modern additions, too.  I love Philadelphia’s bridges and skyscrapers.  Together they’re like a testimony to the beauty of different shades of blue.  I’ve never really taken a good photograph of any of the bridges, which is disappointing.  The next time we go, I’m just going to park somewhere in Penn’s Landing and walk around until I find all of the perfect vantage points for photographing the Franklin.  That would be a good day.  Screw the Liberty Bell.  I’ll just go on a tour of bridges.  Franklin, Whitman, Platt, Betsy Ross…  I’m totally planning my next summer.






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The Great Chubby Puppy Migration

So, I already had a lot of Chubby Puppies.

I collect things.  When I was in high school, I obsessively collected Lisa Frank stickers.  I would take them to school with me and put stickers on my homework before I turned it in.  When I was sixteen, my dad asked me if I was a lesbian, because I didn’t have a boyfriend.  I also didn’t have any girl friends, either, so I don’t know how he came to the conclusion that I was gay and not the more obvious conclusion, which was that I was a chubby, socially awkward nerd who liked to collect stickers and watch Xena marathons.  Wait, maybe it was the Xena marathons…  Anyway, my point is, if I like something, I don’t just want one of them.  I want ALL of them.  My husband refers to this as “level one hoarding”.  I have lots of things, sure,  but none of those things are a threat to my quality of life, so it’s not a big deal.  However if anyone ever finds me living alone with fifty cats and the rotted remnants of all the various things that caught my obsessive fancy, they probably won’t be surprised.  “We told you.  This crazy lady likes cats and toys.  She’s not right.”

I have an enormous collection of clothes and shoes.  The snarky t-shirt section of my closet alone is such that I could probably go for a few months without ever repeating a shirt.  I have an extensive makeup collection, worth at least several thousands of dollars, and the same can be said of my perfume collection.  I also like to collect some kinds of toys.  I don’t go all out with regard to action figures, though I do own some, and Silk Spectres I and II are prized in my collection.  I have a not insignificant amount of Funko Pop dolls.

Mostly, though, I’ve been collecting Chubby Puppies.  I bought a bunch while I was on vacation, and there wasn’t really room for them in the place where they had previously been displayed, so I left them in their packaging to give myself time to think about it.  Then I came to the only logical decision, which involved a hard choice.  The only way I could properly display all of the Chubby Puppies together was if I put them on the dresser.  The dresser that had been covered with bottles of perfume for years.  I was kicking the perfume out in favor of toy dogs.  Yeah…

I moved all of the perfume bottles to my makeup desk, which now looks really crowded, whereas, before, I think it looked kind of whimsical and fun.  Obviously, this is not a permanent solution.  I have plans for how my makeup room will be when we buy a house, and I’ll be getting at least one more bookshelf and some cabinets, primarily to help with how my makeup/perfume are displayed.

Still, the puppies are home, for now.



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Look at My Vacation: Rehoboth Beach

So, every time we go to visit Rasool’s parents in Delaware, we go to Rehoboth Beach.  Not so I can frolic in the waves or sunbathe on the beach.  I don’t swim in natural bodies of water or public pools and I don’t go out in the sun without SPF 110 sunblock on.  We go so that I can see (and photograph) the sun rising over the ocean.  If you’ve never seen the sun rising or setting over the ocean, then I legitimately feel sorry for you.  I didn’t see the ocean until I was 21 years old, and part of the reason why it was such a cliche pants-crapping-at-the-awesomeness-before-you experience is because we went very early in the morning and watched the sun rise.  Subsequently, we always go in the morning so that we can watch the sun rise, because that has become the reason why we go.  I never want to be the kind of person who isn’t awed at the beauty of nature/humbled by my small place in the universe whenever I see the sun rising over the Atlantic.  Maybe some day I’ll get around to going to see the sun setting over the Pacific, but until then, I’ll be mooning over the horizon from the shoreline of Delaware.

The last three times we’ve gone to visit Rasool’s family, we’ve taken one of my nephews, so they could go see some of the East Coast attractions.  This time was my youngest nephew’s turn.  This was probably the best beach visit, photography-wise, of all three of them, because we took my oldest nephew during the winter time, since we visited at Christmas, so the beach was dreary and cold, and last year, when we took my middle nephew, I forgot to put the SD card back in my camera, and we didn’t have time to go and get a new one before the sun rose, so I could only take pictures with my phone.

This year, I got to take photos of a beautiful sunrise in the middle of the summer with a wide angle lens on a 24 megapixel camera.  It was freaking awesome.  Plus, I gave Colin my old camera, so he got to take photos, too.


Plus, Colin is really cute.


For a whole bunch more photos, continue reading!

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Songs of the Summer

When we were on vacation, we traveled about two thousand miles in total, so we spent a lot of time listening to music in the car.  These are the songs that were played frequently on the radio, in the middle of July.  So, songs of the summer!  Caveats: If I didn’t like them, they wouldn’t be here, no matter how often the were played, so obviously, there were songs played more that I skipped or vice versa, and, as a long-time satellite radio subscriber, I don’t listen to FM radio, so if you’ve never heard any of these songs on the radio, that’s why.

  1. “Sorry” – Beyonce
  2. “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” – Phantogram
  3. “Shut Up Kiss Me” – Angel Olsen
  4. “Go” – M83 featuring Mai Lan
  5. “Fountain of Youth” – Local Natives
  6. “Life Itself” – Glass Animals
  7. “A 1000 Times” – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
  8. “Best to You” – Blood Orange featuring Empress Of
  9. “Punks in a Disco Bar” – Beach Slang
  10. “Door” – Nice As Fuck
  11. “Hyper Dark” – Sleigh Bells
  12. “Subways” – The Avalanches
  13. “Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love” – Dent May
  14. “O B 1” – Jagwar Ma
  15. “Your Best American Girl” – Mitski
  16. “Oblivious” – The Strokes
  17. “WOW” – Beck
  18. “Human Performance” – Parquet Courts
  19. “Degraded” – Preoccupations
  20. “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” – Car Seat Headrest
  21. “In Your Eyes” – BADBADNOTGOOD featuring Charlotte Day Wilson
  22. “No Matter Where We Go” – Whitney
  23. “Breakin’ Point” – Peter Bjorn and John
  24. “HandClap” – Fitz and the Tantrums
  25. “In a Drawer” – Band of Horses

Videos for all if you continue reading…

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Nope Octopus Gif: Faux Wood Paneling

So, necessary disclosure: I spent a not insignificant portion of my childhood living in a trailer.

Well, four trailers.

The first trailer, in a trailer park in Bromley, Kentucky, was a one bedroom trailer where my brother and sister and I, ages seven through twelve, slept in the single bedroom on a mattress on the floor.  Previously, we had lived in a three bedroom house in the suburbs of St. Louis, so we were by no means accustomed to living in a trailer, or a trailer park, or a shitty town in a part of Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, an area comprised, it seemed, of nothing but shitty towns.

The second trailer was in that same trailer park.  It had two bedrooms instead of one, which meant that my brother got his own room, but our parents still slept on a fold-out couch in the living room.  In that trailer, we learned that if it had been hard to pretend that we didn’t hear our parents fighting in our house in St. Louis, it was virtually impossible to pretend not to hear in a dwelling with walls slightly thicker than corrugated cardboard.   We lived in that trailer for less than a year, but less than a year was plenty enough time to grow accustomed to our place at the bottom of the food chain.  When you’re poor white trash, everyone is in a hurry to remind you of that fact.

The year that I turned ten, we moved, at the end of the summer, to a farm in Indiana.  There was no running water or electricity, but there was another trailer.  Two trailers, actually, the one we lived in, and the older, shittier one parked directly behind it, which our father had grand plans of attaching to the trailer in front, to create a bigger, better trailer.  An elaborate Franken-trailer where everyone would have their own room and our parents’ bedroom would have French doors, because why not?  We had little enough in life that we were capable of dreaming big about what would have essentially been a patchwork double-wide.  Until it could be transformed, we had to call the trailer we didn’t live in something, so, in a display of the ways in which, luxury super trailer dreams aside, our imaginations actually weren’t that great, we referred to that trailer as “the back trailer”.  As it turns out, it was never not the back trailer because Dad never got around to attaching it to the front trailer.  He was too busy being drunk all day.  My sister and I never got our own rooms, and my parents slept in the living room, there, too, because without the addition of the back trailer, we didn’t have enough bedrooms for everyone.  Instead, we just used the back trailer as storage for all the junk we couldn’t fit in the front trailer.  Occasionally, we played back there, but there were holes in the floor, so it wasn’t really safe, and due to the aforementioned thin trailer walls, you could hear what was going on in the back trailer from the front trailer.  Which meant that from his position on the couch, if we were in the back trailer, our dad could hear us when we talked.  You never want the enemy to hear you fomenting a rebellion.

We lived there for five years, until after my dad had moved out and a falling out with the man who owned the farm forced my mom to find new lodgings for us, which was, at that point, just me and my brother and her.  My sister had moved out, in order to live with her boyfriend at his parents’ house.  Our new place to live was yet another trailer, only this time, instead of being on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, it was right in the middle of town, right off one of the main streets, where everyone could see it.  It could have been worse, I suppose  It was fairly nice, as trailers go, and we didn’t even live there for that long.  It was the last trailer I ever lived in.  It was the last trailer that I will ever live in.

Which brings me to the point of this Nope Octopus Gif.  I’ve found, in looking for houses, that there’s nothing that will make me click the back button on my browser faster than scrolling through photos of the interior of a house only to find that the interior of said house contains walls with faux-wood paneling.  I don’t know what trailers look like now, but all the trailers of my childhood, probably constructed in the seventies and eighties, they had faux-wood paneling.  Nothing screams trailer to me more than faux-wood paneling.  I’d rather die than live in a trailer, and I’d rather die than live in a house with faux-wood paneling.  I can’t take a house with faux-wood paneling seriously.  I can’t even imagine what it would look like without faux-wood paneling, even though if I owned the house, I could change the walls to whatever I wanted.

That’s what faux-wood paneling does to me.  It fills me with nothing but nope.

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Since I’ve Been Gone

I had a lot of stuff going on the past couple of weeks, so it’s going to take me a little bit to get caught up.  I had intended to blog through my vacation, but while I posted a lot of photos to Instagram, I didn’t actually spend that much time online.  In fact, even though I used my iPad and my iPhone pretty regularly, I actually never took my laptop out of my laptop bag, even once, and most of my iPad use was editing photos.

So I have a bunch of posts I need to make, and there are probably going to be some really photo-heavy ones coming, but it may take me a little while to get through everything I want to talk about.


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Another Massive Makeup Post

So, I’ve acquired a few things since the last giant makeup post.


I didn’t really mean to, honestly, but then things happened.  Urban Decay released 100 new shades of lipstick.  The Bite Beauty spring releases kept calling to me.  There were new palettes.  The heart wants what it wants.  Unless the heart wants to marry your teenage step-daughter.  That’s just gross, Woody Allen.

But back to the makeup!  I got a new foundation.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s only been a few months since I acquired a different new foundation.  And I do still like the other foundation.  I had been wearing it regularly and recommending it to my friends and family.  But, then, I kept reading blogs and watching videos where people were raving about Tarte’s new foundation from their Rainforest of the Sea line, and since, unlike the other foundation I’d been wearing, it is water-based and light-weight and has a more luminous finish, I thought it would be a good fit for summer.


So far, it’s working out pretty well.  The only problem is that I feel like maybe I’m using too much of it in order to get more coverage, since it’s thinner and runnier than the foundation I was using before.  It’s forty dollars a bottle, and I don’t want to blow through it.  Also, it’s a glass bottle that has a dropper, which is taking some getting used to.  All the other foundations I use currently are in plastic squeeze tubes or plastic packaging with pumps.  I’ve used foundation from glass bottles before, but never with a dropper.

On to the palettes!

Since the last time I posted, I bought three palettes.  Two of them are eyeshadow palettes, including the Too Faced Totally Cute palette, which was on my last Lust List, and two of them are from Anastasia Beverly Hills.  I love Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palettes.  I have several of the ones that were released last year, and they are excellent.  The quality and shade selection are great and they’re pretty affordable, especially compared to the cost of similarly-sized palettes from other brands.  The thing with ABH is that they don’t hype their products for months in advance of releases, so usually when something comes out from ABH, I don’t even know I want it until it’s available to buy, because there wasn’t a bunch of press trying to convince me that it’s the cool new thing everyone needs to try, like Pokemon Go.  Especially surprising to me was that ABH released a palette of highlighters that I knew I wanted as soon as I saw it, as I don’t care about highlighters in general.  Color me surprised.


Like I mentioned when I wrote about it before, I really only wanted Totally Cute because it’s totally cute.  I may have had a substantial Lisa Frank sticker collection when I was in high school.  Stickers!  I refuse to be judged!  I ended up really liking a couple of the shadows in Totally Cute, though.  Clover, the green, is really pretty, and Storm Cloud is a cool duochrome which shifts between shades of navy, brown, and dark green.  I can see myself returning to it in the future, because it’s such an interesting shadow, and I don’t know if I did it justice when I created a look using it and other colors in the palette, a couple of weeks ago.


I never knew how much I wanted to wear red eyeshadow until I started seeing reviews for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.  It’s like Too Faced Sweet Peach, but for grownups.  Gorgeous matte earth tones and reds and dark pinks.  It’s a well I can definitely see myself returning to repeatedly.


As I said, I’m not big into highlighters.  Mostly because they’re usually in gold/copper/bronze shades, and I’m too white to pull off gold/copper/bronze highlights.  The few highlighting products that I do own are in very pale pinks.  I had seen a few highlighters recently that were in pale cool shades, but mostly from brands I have no interest in supporting.  So when photos of this Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit started popping up in my Instagram feed, I was like, yes, please, and when, and where, and I ordered one only a couple of hours after they went on sale.  I just got the palette a few days ago, and I haven’t been feeling well, so I’ve only swatched it, but I’m so excited to try it with makeup looks, because all of the colors are pretty.  One or two rely a little much on glitter, so I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of those, but most of them are iridescent and shimmery without being glittery, and they shift colors when the light hits them.  They also have cute names, obviously inspired by Lucky Charms!

And now, there is lots of lipstick.

Obviously, I could have gone my whole life without buying any more lipstick.  And I know that.  So when Bite Beauty released their Amuse Bouche line at the beginning of the year, I didn’t buy any, even though I really like Bite Beauty lipstick.  I did not need to spend 26 dollars apiece on still more lipstick.  So I didn’t.

When Urban Decay announced their massive new lipstick line, I vowed to myself that I would not let myself get excited about anything unless it was an unusual color, something that I didn’t have.  No reds or bright pinks, etc.  I have those already.  Many times over.

So when I eventually gave in and unnecessarily bought more lipstick (mostly with a gift card, because I got one from my brother and sister for my birthday, which was in June) I only got colors that I didn’t have and couldn’t duplicate.


A few months ago, Bite released their spring colors for their Amuse Bouche line, and even though there were a bunch I wanted, I remained strong.  26 dollars for one lipstick, I told myself.  But I kept seeing photos of people wearing them online, especially the dark teal one, which is called Kale, and I kept thinking to myself, Dark teal.  If that’s not a shade that you don’t own and can’t duplicate, then what is?  It’s a slippery slope.  Shortly after that, I found myself ordering two more, purples called Lavender Jam and Taro.  Who can resist a good purple?  I know I can’t.  I didn’t.  Of course, I already accidentally smooshed Kale, somehow, but it’s okay.  I sort of unsmooshed it.  Everything is fine, Kale.  Everything is going to be fine.


I kind of got lucky when it comes to the new Urban Decay Vice lipstick.  Sure, they released 100 lipsticks, but they dropped the price by five dollars, versus their previous lipstick line, and the 100 new lipsticks aren’t, strictly speaking, exactly new.  They folded a lot of their previous line into their new line, and I already had a lot of Urban Decay lipsticks.  Plus, there are a lot of colors in their new line that are incredibly similar to not only pre-existing lipsticks, but each other.  There’s a lot of repetition throughout the range.  Looking through photos and swatches, there were not a lot of shades that seemed special enough to inspire covetousness.  It helps that Urban Decay both released an app that allows you to digitally try on all the Vice lipsticks and sent out giant sample cards.  The ability to sample lipsticks in person or on a photo of myself affirmed my suspicion that a lot of the Vice lipsticks are very same-y.  To each other and to other lipsticks that I already have.  So, I did order some of the Vice lipsticks, but I got colors that I don’t have, mostly in shimmery finishes, which I also don’t have a lot of.   I’m still on the fence about a few more, for future purchase.  Mostly different shades of purple.  Purple is my favorite color.  In case it wasn’t obvious.

Here are a few photos of different things in action:


This is with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette on the eyes, the orange Urban Decay Vice lipstick, called Wildfire, on the lips, and wearing the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation.


This is with the Too Faced Totally Cute palette on the eyes, the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Kale on the lips, and I’m pretty sure I used the Tarte foundation here, too.


All the eyeshadow in this one is from my trusty Urban Decay Electric palette, so nothing new, but the lipstick is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Lavender Jam, and again, I was wearing the Tarte foundation.

So, that’s all the makeup I’ve bought since the last time I posted about makeup.  I have ordered but have yet to receive both the new Urban Decay Moondust palette, which was in my last Lust List post, and Kat Von D’s new Serpentina palette, which came out last week, and promptly sold out, but has been restocked, so I managed to snag it this morning.  I probably won’t get around to writing about either of those things in the near future, though, because we will be on vacation next week, and we’ll be traveling the whole time, so I won’t have much free time before we leave, and then I’ll be away from home for a week.

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2016 in Adulting: Therapy Visit Number Three

I actually went to therapy with a mental list of things I wanted to talk about. My new medication. Black Lives Matter. An argument I got into with Rasool in which he accused me of being jealous of his mother. Mostly, the thing where the man who was not my father died and I felt really shitty about it.

Instead, I ended up spending almost the entire hour complaining about my mother.

The way this happened was that I explained the thing that happened with the man who was not my father, and how I had felt inundated with feelings of regret. My therapist said that in order to prevent these feelings of regret from repeating in the future, I should perhaps consider reestablishing contact with my actual parents, mostly my mother. Withholding contact from my mother, she explained to me, serves no purpose if I feel guilty about it and my mother doesn’t learn anything or change because she’s incapable of doing either. So, for my own peace of mind, I should maybe talk to her occasionally.

So, most of my end of the conversation was trying to explain to my therapist just how bad my relationship with my mother is, how infuriating she can be, what a melodramatic and manipulative and emotionally draining person she is. My mom is hard work. I don’t talk to my dad, either, but if I did, he’s not anywhere near as high-maintenance as my mother. He drunk dials you and drunkenly yells at you for an hour, then hangs up on you, and you don’t hear from him again for weeks or months. My mom requires nigh-constant attention for her never-ending emotional crises. It’s like being that guy who lives near the cliff and talks people out of suicide every day. Everything is always about her. Every minute of every day.

No one ever holds her accountable for that shit. She does what she wants, talks to people how she wants, throws fits about everything, and we all keep reporting to her house for Sunday breakfast, so we can get another helping of her crazy with our biscuits and gravy. Maintaining a relationship with her without calling her on her bullshit is tacitly agreeing that all of that stuff is okay. But maintaining a relationship with her while calling her on her bullshit makes the relationship completely adversarial and unpleasant. My therapist kept saying, “Just talk to her with ‘I’ statements.” Here’s how that would go:

Me: I feel like I would like for you to stop talking about how SoandSo is a bad mother, because you weren’t exactly the best mother ever, and your hypocrisy bothers me.
My Mother: You hate me and I can’t ever do anything right. I only ever made two mistakes. You and your sister.
Me: *rolls eyes so far back into head that they become stuck, has to go to the hospital for emergency eye surgery*
My Mother: I would give my eyes to you, if I could! No one has ever suffered as much as I have, right now, wishing I could give you my eyes, my child!

But, fine. My therapist says that I’m basically a good, caring person and she doesn’t want me to go through life feeling burdened with guilt. I don’t know how she has come to that conclusion from talking to me for three hours, but I pay her to volunteer opinions, so I can’t complain if they seem far-fetched. So now I have to figure out a way to somehow reintegrate my mother into my life enough to make it so that I don’t feel guilty if she dies, for not spending time with her, but not so much that she annoys me to the extent that I wish that I would die so I no longer have to deal with her. My next appointment is in five weeks. Excluding the week I’ll be on vacation, that gives me a month to decide what to do.

I’m tempted to just text her and say, “Hi, my therapist told me I should talk to you so I don’t feel guilty about not talking to you. This counts as talking. Bye!”

I assume that would be cheating. And also kind of douchey. Not becoming of the good person I supposedly am.

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Fifteen years ago today, I met this guy in a chat room on the Internet…

A photo posted by @ohnostella on

When I was a child, my father never had anything good to say about black people. Only he never called them that. He called them ni**ers. He referred to East St. Louis as Ni**ertown, and threatened to take us and leave us there when we misbehaved. The ultimate threat. Greater than violence. Being taken to a neighborhood full of people my father didn’t view as fully human, and left there at their mercy.

When I started dating Rasool, online, a girl that I had known since I was a small child said to me, “That’s not the kind of person you are.” She meant the kind of person who can love a black man, despite everything we were told about how it was wrong to love someone who wasn’t white. My reply was “Apparently it is.”

My point about all of this is that if I, a person raised in a virulently racist environment, can grow up to be someone who looks past my own white privilege and sees that what black people have to endure in this country is beyond unjust, and how miraculous it is that they can actually forgive us and try to move on, while we still keep denying them their rights as human beings, they’re not the bad guys. We are.

Rasool is legitimately the greatest person I have ever known. He’s smart, warm, kind, forgiving, patient. The list goes on. He’s a beautiful human being. If I had been so dumb as to think, even for a moment, that I was too good for him, because of the melanin difference in our skin, that would have been my incredible loss.

It is truly terrifying and depressing to think he could be taken away from me because someone assumed they knew what kind of person he is just by looking at him. I look at him hundreds of times, every day, and I don’t know if even I can appreciate the multitudes he contains.

And he’s just one. Imagine the beautiful multitudes inside of all the people you can’t be bothered to understand because you think you already know everything about them, just from a single glance.

It’s all pointless and stupid. And people die because of it.

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