December 28, 2008

How to Put on Makeup Tastefully

I was very much a tomboy growing up, but that didn't mean I wasn't interested in makeup. Before I was officially allowed to wear makeup, the only time I got to put on my mom's makeup was if I was "dressing up as a clown" or something like that. So that's how I got my curiosity fix until I became "of age" to wear makeup in my mom's eyes.

The magic number was 14 if I remember correctly. So for my birthday my mom loaded me up in the car and we went to Hypermart. (For those of you that didn't know the joys of Hypermart, it was a Super Walmart before Super Walmart was Super.) We went to the makeup aisle, which was like a giant super buffet of makeup. How is one supposed to choose from all of this? Well it was the early 90's which means left over 80's for moms especially I think. My mom wore wet-n-wild hot pick or any hot pink derivative there was for lipstick. I am not a hot pink girl especially when it comes to makeup. I knew this then and I haven't changed much in my color preferences. So rather than pick out some bright red lipstick, my mom thought it was a genius idea to get the green and orange lipsticks that are supposed to magically formulate with your lips to make the perfect color for whoever was wearing it!!! I knew nothing about makeup so who was I to argue?

Next it onto blush. My mom wore it, my friends all wore it so I figured, you are supposed to wear blush. Right? So we got some shade of pink blush because that's the only color you have to choose from for blush.

After blush came foundation. I still don't know what foundation is supposed to do for a 14 year old girl but we got some. I just remember lots of girls looking splotchier and oranger, or pinker than they did without it. So we picked a color by putting it on my forearm. Funny thing about the forearm, it's not exposed to the sun like the face it. hmmmm. No wonder high school is filled with a bunch of girls with a clear line around their jawline that changes colors.

Let's see. Eyeshadow. Oh wait, mom didn't wear eyeshadow so there wasn't much of a need for this. So I'm pretty sure we didn't get eyeshadow on this shopping trip, but it's possible that we got one of those multicolored eye shadows. But I would have received no instruction on how to put it on or make it look nice. But I know that we did get mascara, because a girl with full eyelashes has a need for even fuller eyelashes that will flake into her contacts causing her to pick off the rest of the mascara off her eyelashes leaving them only naturally full rather than extra full. But at least she can see again without constantly blinking or picking at her eyelashes. Come to think of it, my eyelashes aren't nearly as full and beautiful as they once were. Thanks Mascara!!!

So I had all this makeup and didn't really know how to make it complement my face rather than look like a clown. This is because my practice was strictly clown related. That didn't mean that was the look I was hoping for on a daily basis. We went over the basics but really I'd been watching my mom and my friends apply it so all that was left really was practice. So this is what I learned about my new makeup either immediately or over the years:

1. If the lipstick is green or orange, and specially formulated to blend with your chemistry to find the perfect color for you, it will turn out hot pink, or some derivative of hot pink. Avoid these at all cost. Go somewhere you can test colors on your lips.

2. Foundation will actually magnify your acne problem, making it look worse than it is. It was not for me.

3. Concealer will do the same as foundation to draw attention to your acne problem.

4. Blush in combination with the green or orange lipstick will make you look more clownish than when you dressed up as a clown. Blush was not for me either. Still isn't.

5. Mascara just wasn't meant for me. (see above discussion about mascara if you don't know why yet)

6. Mastering the art of eye shadow would take many years of practice, and asking people who seem to apply it well just how they do it. Watching them if you get the chance helps too.

7. Translucent, colorless powder would do the best job of accomplishing my main goal, which was absorbing oil, without drawing too much attention to my acne problem and giving me a hideous makeup ring around my jawline. Once pharmaceuticals came into the picture, I realized just how little I needed makeup.

8. I needed a job if I was going to get the makeup I wanted.

9. Perfecting the art of making up my face without looking like I have a load of makeup on is a challenging and continuous process as I age and my skin changes.

10. Pick a feature to emphasize and go easy on the rest to avoid the clownish look. For example, in high school I chose lips. Now I prefer the eyes, sans the mascara. This is because lipstick has to always be applied and/or gets clumpy. Eye shadow done well, can be applied once and you're good to go all day long.

It took me several years (after college, I think) to come into my own and get comfortable with makeup and the look I wanted. That's not to say I didn't use it in the meantime. It just took that long to run into people that gave me tips and tutorials that I liked for features I liked as well as product recommendations. My mom took me to do a few makeovers in high school, so it's not like she didn't try to give me the help I needed, and she didn't force her colors on me. I think makeovers just generally result in the whoreish look since they want to subsequently sell you everything they use on you. So it really was more of being patient and finding things that I was comfortable with at each time in my life rather than feeling like I always had to be made up perfectly, or use every product that my friends did.

December 21, 2008

Your First Kiss Will be Oogy

I suppose everyone's experience at their first kiss ever is different, but the kind of kiss I'm talking about is not the kiss on the cheek or peck on the lips that many kids experience in elementary school. I might be the only kid who didn't have that elementary first kiss on the cheek. Anyways, I'm talking about your first real kiss involving tongue action. Commonly called french kissing by the youngsters.

My mom made sure I knew all the biology involved with sex, meaning how babies were made and that sex was for marriage. But we never talked about all the ancillary stuff that gets you there such as kissing. So my first kiss came my senior year in high school. I'm ok with that by the way in case you all are appalled that I was such a late bloomer on the dating scene. I'll probably get into that in a later post. My "boyfriend" (I have always and still do hate the terms boyfriend and girlfriend and usually referred to any "boyfriend" as "that guy I'm dating or seeing" because boyfriend and girlfriend have always sounded so juvenile to me.) had never kissed anyone before either, so this was the first kiss for both of us.

I'm sure the lack of experience on both of our parts probably affected the experience for me. But it finally came down to the moment of truth, even though we danced around it a bit from shear terror on my part. Terror because I had no clue what I was doing. Terror, because I had no clue what to expect. Terror because I was about to enter a whole new world that included swapping spit with guys. Terror because I didn't know what kissing leads to. Terror, because my life of innocence was about to end.

So we closed the deal and kissed, which only lasted for a few seconds. It was squishy, slobbery, and gross. This was as much my fault as his. I just thought it was the strangest feeling and I didn't understand at the moment why anyone thought making out was so great. How is putting your tongue in someone's mouth such a wonderful thing? I just remember having the moment be so built up in my head as being the greatest moment in my life, and it turned out to be such a let down. It was such an awkward moment. I was just not prepared for this, that's all.

Lesson learned; Practice makes perfect. Then is not so gross, and it's actually a lot of fun.

December 17, 2008

Tampons Are Your Friend

Ok at some point in time on this blog I must bring up the incredibly awkward topic of tampons. Now is as good of time as any to discuss it. I have never understood the girls that were excited about starting their period. I didn't look forward to it, and knowing what I know now, I wish I had been one of the lucky ones that started at 15, 16, or 17. But I'm a very average girl and despite being athletic and active, 12 was my lucky number. What a drag!!!

So when I entered womanhood, my mother gave me a package of pads and I thought that was it for me. This was how I was supposed to tolerate 13 whole weeks out of the year. No I wasn't one of the lucky ones to have one visit for only 2 or 3 days out of the month. It was 7 whole days not a minute less. But occasionally in an act of hate a torture a few days more. Also I didn't just need two or three pads a day, I need that many an hour for the first few days. So tampons would have saved my life and a whole lot of embarrassment through the most awkward years of my life.

I spent the first few years as a woman living in morbid fear that I would suffer leakage problems. And then when the inevitable leakage happened, I lived in morbid fear that everyone would notice. Even dark pants and long t-shirts did not always do enough to hide my problems. No wonder many people call it the curse. You are cursed to spend the first several years figuring out how to contain it until it no longer causes you great humiliation. Even tampons were not the full answer to this, but they sure helped a whole freaking lot!!!

No my mother did not introduce me to a life of swimming and riding horses and running on the beach, a friend did. I never asked my mother and she never offered. We were going to the lake for some kind of school or church outing to ski and what not. I love the lake!!! I did NOT want to miss out on the lake!!! But in my current situation at the time, I was going to sit in the boat and watch everyone else have fun. Anyone that knew me, knew that was NOT NORMAL, so therefore they could deduce one of two things, I was on my period, or I went insane. I would have preferred the insane as the thought of people knowing I was on my period, especially boys, was more embarrassing than anything I could think of at that time in my life.

So we spent 20 or 30 minutes in the bathroom while she tried to talk me through it from outside the stall. I don't know how sisters handle these kinds of situations, but I do not have sisters so that was as much help as she could give me. Finally I figured it out and my life has never been the same since. So girls, my best advice to you is to talk to your mom about them early on in your life as a woman if she doesn't offer them to you at the beginning.

If you're anything like me, you read the directions, warnings, and labels and tampons were no different. Being a closet hypochondriac, I immediately developed a fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome. I didn't understand what it was, I just knew if you left one in too long, you could get this dreaded disease which could lead to DEATH!!! I did decide that the reward outweigh the risk, but I did worry about this for many years. One time I lost one up there. When I got home I couldn't find it to save my life and I remember waking my mom up to tell her. She told me not to worry about it that it would come out in time. Well that was easier said than done. I thought this was an emergency. The next day I was either bored or trying not to think about it and so I went outside to jump on my trampoline. Lesson number 2 girls; If you get a tampon stuck "up there," don't freak out. Find a trampoline and jump on it until you feel it dislodge. It will all be ok. You can probably get to this before TSS sets in. If the trampoline doesn't work, well me being a closet hypochondriac, would advise going to the ER or your doctor.

Well that's all I got on what might be the most awkward recurring event in a girl's life. I survived and so will you. In fact you might even be able to go through a check out that a boy is working at to purchase feminine products one day. But maybe not. But that's ok too.

December 14, 2008

Babies Can Explode Poo

Many of us took babysitting jobs when we were younger to earn extra cash. My first job came at 11 and I babysat a 5 year old boy 2-3 days a week for 8 hours a day. In reality I was being paid to hang out with him, keep an eye on him, feed him, and call 911 in case of an emergency. He didn't wear diapers so no bid deal right. It was a breeze. The lesson I learned, kids are great, kids are wonderful, kids are easy.

A few years later I took the job of babysitting a baby. I didn't care for the diapers but I liked having a job. Shortly after, a 2nd baby came along in the family and then there were two.
One particular night when I went over to babysit, one of the kids was a little sick. They both might have been for all I know. But the parents weren't concerned. They'll just sleep. It'll all be fine. Well as soon as they left I'm pretty sure I remember both of them crying nonstop. (It's entirely possibly that I'm remembering the 2nd child only because the first child was so inconsolable that it seemed like two babies were crying. I know they had a 2nd baby, I just can't guarantee that it was there this particular night as my memory is terrible these days.) I did everything I possibly could to get this baby to stop crying. If only I'd brought earplugs, it might not have been so loud.

Next thing I know, I'm changing this baby's diaper and he explodes poo while the diaper is off of him!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I WAS NOT GETTING PAID NEARLY ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF AND CLEAN UP EXPLODED POO!!! None the less, one thing my mother did teach me was to be a conscientious person and worker. A slightly lesser person would have just walked out or called 911 or perhaps even called the parents to say they were out of there in 5 minutes whether they were there or not. Not me. I probably had all kinds of horrible thoughts running through my head as I cleaned up the baby and his poo, and the surrounding casualties of his exploded poo. Remember, he exploded poo between diapers. Oh let's not forget he was still crying and screaming. You would be too if you exploded poo everywhere.

I don't ever recall my mom telling me just how disgusting babies can be. Especially when they are sick. How awkward or potentially dangerous to learn this lesson without being prepped for it. How do you explain to the parents that you are just too busy to come over again? EVER!! No matter how far in advance they call you. "Your kid pooed all over me and you didn't reimburse me for the trauma." This is the last time I remember babysitting, but that is likely because it was the most memorable babysitting session. I do know I started a tax paying job as soon as I turned 16 which would have prevented me from babysitting any more. YAY!!!

The lesson I walked away with was "I'm NEVER having kids." Loads and Loads of people have told me it's completely different when it's your own kid. Maybe, but the exploded poo still stinks regardless if it comes from your kid or not. Anyways after many many years, I've potentially softened, or not, but the new lesson to be taken away from this is to make your sons and daughters babysit a sick baby before they are allowed to date. They may need to babysit it several times. But the baby needs to scream and cry the whole time and explode poo at least once or twice. This will be the best possible birth control you can give them. Don't hesitate to give them a booster session if you think they need it.

December 10, 2008

There are Drugs to Fix Acne! What!?!?

I got a bad case of acne not too long after I got glasses. So if you get the picture, they were glasses in the late 80's that covered half of my face while magnifying my acne problem. My glasses were big until I got contacts at 14. Many of you know what I'm talking about because you had the giant clown glasses that magnified your acne too. I digress...not really those glasses were traumatic.

Anyways back to acne. I tried everything over the counter treatment from Stridex pads to tinted creams to help cover them up. I tried cutting out cheese, and chocolate and everything else the beauty magazines said caused acne. That's when I discovered that they were all full of baloney. Because I still had a problem and I didn't have my favorite comfort foods. So not only was looking at my face causing misery, I had nothing to superficially treat that misery.

After I was allowed to start wearing makeup, I found that liquid foundations and bases and concealers just seemed to draw more attention to the problem rather than hide them. Maybe it was all in my head but to me it was the absolute worst problem in the world. Thinking back, I know I didn't have the worst case of my classmates, but again I was the center of my own world so I had the worst problem EVER!!!

So I found a liquid to powder makeup that I liked and seemed to not overly draw attention to my problem. I believe this was my freshman year in high school, so I'd suffered for more than 3 years by that time. So this makeup had Noxzema in it. Turns out, I'm allergic to Noxzema. I got a rash on my face mostly around my mouth. So I went to the doctor and was referred to a dermatologist. This was where I was about to learn my lesson.

You might think the dermatologist would tell me that there are drugs to clear up acne, but he didn't. I'm guessing that the rash was bad enough to minimize the acne problem. So he gave me a prescription for tetracycline and sent me on my way. Well it worked. And I noticed that as long as I was on it my acne seemed to be cleared up too!! What you mean there's a miracle cure for zits?!?!! What The!!!!! why didn't I know about this before???? Who knew??? Was there this big conspiracy to keep this from me?!?!?!

Needless to say I went back to my doctor and told him my revelation and asked for drugs. And he obliged. That pretty much got me through high school and college. I finally outgrew it more or less. I still have a problem now and then, but nothing like I had back then so I can handle it. After I got on drugs I found out some of my other classmates had been on drugs almost from the minute they got their first zit because their parents took them straight to the doctor so they could avoid the awkwardness of being a pizza face along with the big clown glasses. And for some braces too. I guess I should look on the bright side, I didn't have braces. But I always thought they were cool back then. All the cool kids had braces. Not me. Sigh. I guess I can remember wanting glasses before I got them. But I never ever once said to myself "I'd like a nasty bad case of acne all over the place!! All the cool kids have it. I want it too!!!" Never once did that thought cross my mind.

I had a hard time looking boys I had crushes on in the eye because I assumed all they saw was the infestation on my face. How could they not? That's all I saw!! Oh and the cute girls with clear skin bitching about their one or two zits that they got once a month in the bathroom mirror to you. How rude were they?!?! Thank God for drugs!!! While I still had an awkward high school life, it wasn't so much due to the incessant outbreak on my face. I'm over it now. But you can bet if we have kids I'll take them to the doctor as soon as we see a problem. They'll probably not inherit my bad skin though and will have perfectly clear skin, and I will grow to resent them rather than live vicariously through them. So they're destined to be screwed up and they aren't even born. So they don't need the burden of acne to top it off.

December 7, 2008

You Will Grow a Mustache

First off the point of this blog is in no way to bash our mothers. Some things they didn't teach us because we were embarrassed to ask, or they didn't think to teach us these things because their mothers never taught them. Who knows, in some cruel way, maybe it was to toughen us up by coping with and surviving these awkward moments. I already ran this past my mom and she's well aware that it's not a shot at her. Just an attempt to laugh at some of the things we didn't think were so funny at the time. Perhaps we still don't think they were so funny, if that's the case maybe we can call this kind of a group session to discover we're not alone.

I don't know how many of your mothers taught you about mustaches, but I was always under the impression that that was one of the big differences between men and women. Men can have them and women don't. (I know this doesn't seem like a terribly awkward thing, but I'm starting out light to get the hang of this and ease everyone into the spirit of this as well as get readership going, which will take time). So when I discovered that my peach fuzz was no longer the color of a peach a couple of years ago, I didn't know what to do. Who knew that it gets darker with age?!?! Perhaps I'm the only one who didn't know. My mother never told me what to expect and how best to handle this.

Do I shave it? What if the myth turns out to be true for me that it will grow in thicker? I don't need or want my husband to see or feel stubble from me because that would be just awkward.
Do I bleach it? What if the chemicals make my lip fall off?
Do I wax it? What if this hurts like hell? What if it hurts like hell and doesn't work?
Do I pluck it? Do I really have time for this?

So first I tried bleaching but that didn't seem to last very long. I also saw some other lady that obviously bleached it which I thought made it look worse and she had blond hair on her head. It looks natural but what do I know. Anyways I thought it actually drew more attention to the upper lip area so I decided to try something else.

Plucking came next. Did you know just how painful this is!?!? Son of a!!!!! And it's agonizing because it's one little stache hair at a time and a very sensitive area. And the little canyon under the nose is worst! I kept this up for awhile but begrudgingly so. I was starting to consider shaving.

One day I was at the store and decided to get a little waxing kit. You know the kind you put in the microwave and rip off like a band aid. So after 2 uses the microwave no longer sufficiently melts the wax. And it conveniently leaves behind the dark hairs. I thought it was supposed to rip out your mustache, but instead it targets only the light hairs for removal. What rip off. I found myself still plucking. Oh, and this last time resulted in 2 little zits. As if acne didn't traumatize my pubescent years enough, it has to come back and haunt me when dealing with an aging problem!!!

So it's either plucking or perhaps trying the Nair removal and run the risk of burning my skin and having a red lip for who knows how long.

You know what, I'd be ticked off to find out that my mom didn't have a mustache and that's why she didn't teach me about this. Because daughters should never have to deal with more awkwardness than their mothers.