Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Got Tagged?

I have been tagged by Anastasia's Ball of String and now you get to learn things about me that you may or may not care about, lucky you!

Rules: Each player answer the questions themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.

10 Years Ago (1998):

1. I was 16-- man, I'm an old fart!

2. I was (and still am) the only one of my friends that didn't drive a car

3. I was a year older than my peers because we moved here from the USSR; as I did not speak English, I had to start first grade when I should have been in second grade (based on age).

4. My favorite class was Honors English.

5. At this point in time, I got my very first job as a tutor for a second grader. Desi, if you're out there, I'd love to know how you're doing in Mathematics ;).

5 Things on Today’s “To Do” List:

1. Find a tall building with minimal security

2. Jump.

3. *Splat*

4. ...

5. ...

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:

1. Buy a modest home and tell my fiance to quit his job; pay off his student loans and give him a huge chunk of change for any future academic plans.

2. Finish the repairs on my parents' house and set aside money to make sure neither of them ever have to work again.

3. Get my engagement ring adjusted to fit my finger and run off to Vegas!

4. Buy a car and pay a chauffeur to drive me around.

5. Donate money to ASPCA and/or establish my own charity for animals.

5 Places I have lived:

1. Zhitomir-- it was part of the USSR at the time but is currently part of the sovereign country of Ukraine.

2. Various parts of West Hollywood with my parents; also #3 and #4.

5. I currently reside in Culver City with my wonderful fiance and evil cat, Bojangles

5 Jobs I have had:

1. Tutor

2. Ice Cream Scooper for Ben & Jerry's; I gained no less than 10 pounds in the three months I was there.

3. Intern at a local newspaper where a few of my articles made it onto the cover.

4. Paralegal (don't ask).

5. Bum.

Now I’m tagging the following lovely ladies:

1. Stephanie

2. Fabuless Beauty

3. Bigboo

4. Lady Beccie

Friday, October 24, 2008

Life and Beauty Lessons from a Cat

Felines have often been used as a symbol of femininity—they are elusive, fickle, and far more selective with who they trust than they’re canine counterparts. In truth, a cat is only ever loyal to his or herself. Although I don’t really agree with the women-to-cats comparisons, I am an avid cat (and dog) lover and think there is a lot to learn from feline grace.

Groom For Yourself-- Anyone that has ever been around a cat has probably had the pleasure of seeing that cat’s extensive and often incredibly intricate grooming rituals. They can “wash” the same spot for hours without a care for what anyone else thinks, aside from the occasional irritated glance if interrupted.

Taking hours for personal grooming is certainly ill-advised, but the ritualistic aspect of caring for oneself can be a great boost to self-esteem; it reminds us that we are worthy of the effort. I often find that I get dressed up and apply makeup to impress others rather than to make myself feel great. I am trying to change my perspective to become more like my cat. I hope you enjoy the picture of Bojangles having her own beauty moment.

Stay Determined-- One of my cat’s more annoying habits is her ferocious sense of focus. Once she’s decided to climb onto the kitchen counter and knock down all of my cleansers, nothing can deter her. Humans tend to lose sight of a goal, particularly when failure is eminent, but cats understand that a little patience goes a long way. My cat just waits until I’m not looking.

Ask For What You Want-- I am of Eastern European decent and have been raised to be extremely polite, to a fault. My parents have taught me never to ask for what I want because it will be offered to me if and when I deserve it; I have come to learn that this is not generally the case. In contrast, cats never think twice about whether they are worthy of what they want and they know that a little bit of gratitude, like rubbing against a leg or purring, can go a long way.

Don’t Compare—It can be hard to maintain one’s self-esteem in our beauty and media-driven world. There are just so many beautiful, talented people out that using them as a meter stick for one’s achievements is inevitable. Members of the feline persuasion have interesting survival tactics in this respect: when another cat is favored above them, they fight to re-establish dominance. Cats use feeling threatened by others to motivate themselves instead of feeling inferior. I’ve never seen feel badly about not being pretty enough, smart enough or thin enough, have you ;)?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trends I Just Can't Understand

We often hear that “You can never be too rich or too skinny” but Ms. Beckham is among the many (female) celebrities that tend to prove otherwise, at least when it comes to “skinny.” I know it’s rude to criticize someone’s body type since it’s often a matter of natural predisposition but I assure you, I have seen Victoria Beckham look much better than this. I doubt she is a member of the small portion of the population whose metabolism makes it difficult for them to put on weight try as they may.

I suspect that becoming so skinny that she resembles Christian Siriano is a matter of personal preference here. And since so many of us have a tendency to idolize celebrities, I felt compelled to encourage all of the Victoria Beckham fans to please, please eat a sandwich in her honor. Yes, you do have to be slender to wear haute couture but there’s something amiss when your hangers have more curves than you do.

Now if only I could figure out the disadvantage of being too rich--aside from the tremendous amount of work it would take to get to that point.

Image Credit:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NYX Doll Eye Volumizing Mascara, A Strange Affair

Do you ever buy something and love it so much that you buy two when you run out, only to discover you don’t love it that much any more? Well, this is at the crux of my relationship with my once beloved NYX Doll Eye Volumizing Mascara.

I chased her down all over Los Angeles, checking one store after another, until I finally found her at a store in the Citadel Outlet--I think it was Perfumania. Love can be a fickle thing; once I discovered her true nature, my little NYX mascara no longer had the same appeal. She’s the type of girl you would only take out at night, you know, one of those.

I like a full fan of lashes but the NYX Doll Eye Volumizing Mascara is a drama queen in a bad way. She has the tendency to clump and flake off at the end of the day, leaving you broken-hearted with raccoon eyes. The effect is very similar to fake lashes so if you have a mascara comb handy to brush out the clumps and are diligent in checking for and removing any consequent flakes, you may like NYX Doll Eye Mascara for a night out. I don’t remember it being this flaky in the past, perhaps they changed the formula or I got a bad tube?

Alas, I must return to my old, faithful Jane.

Image Credit:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New Beauty Dialogue

Is it just me or is society far more open towards womens’ grooming habits than it once was? I was watching an episode of I Love Lucy and couldn’t help but notice the huge taboo surrounding Lucy and Ethel’s hair color—do they dye or don’t they?

There is such a stark contrast between this type of secrecy and our modern attitude. We discuss everything ranging from Highlights to Breast Augmentation, often entering into the gray area of too much information. Do you think the honest attitude is a sign that the general public has become more open? Could it be a consequence of women’s increased role as working members of society and the resultant boost in buying power—are we more viable consumers now that we have an income of our own?

Or perhaps it is far more sinister, like cosmetic companies exploiting insecurities to create a greater need for products by constantly advertising, thereby raising our social awareness of the necessity of grooming? I certainly have my opinion but I’d love to hear yours! What do you make of willingness to discuss grooming habits that were once only whispered amongst girlfriends?

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Inexpensive Solutions for Sensitive Ears

My sensitive ears made it nearly impossible to find cute, affordable earrings that didn’t hurt or cause an infection so I hope my “discoveries” help those of you with a similar affliction. The first step in the process is determining what type of metals one’s ears are not sensitive to—for some, this may only be gold or sterling silver; the only way to know for certain is to experiment and gauge for a reaction. The majority, like myself, are only sensitive to nickel. Also, please don’t dismiss the role of proper hygiene, such as disinfecting your earrings with alcohol, in the prevention of infection.

Be on the lookout for earrings labeled “nickel-free” or “for sensitive ears” when shopping for earrings that are not at least 14k gold or sterling silver, they shouldn’t cause problems for all but the most sensitive of ears. Obviously, you should remove your earrings at the first sign of discomfort or infection no matter how cute they may be.

Target— The Xhiliration line of earrings is labeled nickel free and features constantly updated stock that reflect the trends of the season. Target would be my first choice when searching for something funky or vintage-inspired. The majority of the pieces are no more than $10 per pair.

Claire’s—My only qualm is Claire’s limited and frequently juvenile stock. I have found a few great pairs of simple hoops and studs but for the most part, the earrings here do not really fit my taste. The pairs I have purchased have gotten a lot of use and have not caused me any problems. Claire’s often has buy two, get one free offers so you can everything you want at once.

Sally Beauty Supply—I’ve recently discovered that Sally’s stock of hypoallergenic earrings meant for piercing is also rather cute! While the variety is limited in comparison to Target’s, the studs and small shapes tend to be more practical for daily wear. The best part is the price, most pairs are significantly less than $5! The earrings are typically located within a plastic display case but don’t let that fool you, the Sales Associates will gladly open the case to allow you to see the earrings inside.

If you should discover that you are only able to wear gold or sterling silver, you can still find great deals on 14k jewelry at retailers such as Ross, Marshall’s and TJMaxx.

Image Credit:,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

To Your Season Be True

Rumor Willis is a lady I can definitely relate to, especially since she's had just about as many hair disasters as yours truly. Remember that atrocious, bleached-out, nearly shaved pixie? Just when I thought she'd finally gotten it right with her glossy, black bob, she throws me for a loop with this new color.

Don't get me wrong--auburn hair can be stunning on the right person. What's the problem here? The fact that warm shades are completely wrong for Ms. Willis' cool-toned skin. She is what is labeled as "Winter" due to the pink undertones in her pale skin and sharp contrast between her skin tone and (natural) hair color. Winters are the Snow Whites among us.

Notice that no amount of bronzer or fake n' bake can make this color look flattering? In her attempt to copy Ashlee Simpson, she veered into Oompa Loompa terrain. Staying within a color palette that is flattering to one's natural coloring is a valuable lesson that will spare the majority of us from looking like Morticia Adams or Bozo The Clown. As for Ms. Willis, a true red with blue undertones or even a burgundy would be far more flattering. I guess even celebrity hair pros can lead their clientèle astray.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Huge Halloween Sale At Sally's!

Ready? Set? Get to clipping! Sally Beauty Supply's circular is full of amazing discounts on their already low prices. If there was a Sally's product you've been waiting for a sale to purchase, it will likely be on sale now! Just navigate to the "In Store Specials" section of the Sally's website,, and see all the great deals. Did I mention the 2 for $10 deals on eyelashes? Perfect for Halloween, right? It sure beats the paying more than that for one And in case you were wondering, the lashes are great quality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Clairol Color Boosting Glaze--A Review

If you read nothing else, I leave you with these words: don’t bother. I saw this at Big Lots and thought I’d give it a go, hoping it will help blend what’s left of my highlights with my natural hair, virgin hair color.

I purchased Light to Medium Brown, the color is recommended for those whose color is an ashen or neutral tone. I thought it may help to cancel out some of the warmth my hair has gotten from the California sun this summer. The results were absolutely non-existent, for better or worse. No shine, no color, no nothing. This product contains neither ammonia nor peroxide so perhaps only previously color-treated or porous hair will be able to absorb the pigment.

Generally speaking, there must be some chemical to “open up” the hair cuticle in order to allow pigment to be deposited. Nevertheless, I have experienced a significant deposit using vegetable dyes--Manic Panic and the like--which also act as stains on top of the hair shaft. Did you get better results? Tell me all about it!

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Monday, October 6, 2008

A Very Scary Halloween

Halloween has always been a special time for me as it was the only time of the year I was allowed to wear makeup while growing up. As a result, my costumes would always be pretty instead of scary, but not this year! I plan to show my ambivalence towards society and scare some kiddies by dressing up as a zombie. For the record: I will be a zombie that hobbles, not runs.

I found this great tutorial on Youtube by MikeTheHowToGuy and had to share it with you! Not only is he cute as a button but he is able to create very realistic zombie makeup using inexpensive, readily available items; right up my alley. He even shares his recipe for making fake blood at home! Watch his other videos for solutions to common problems like figuring out how to wash a non-compliant dog to organizing your mess.