1. My boyfriend is visiting for the week, and we had an early Valentine's Day tapas outing on February 13 and spent V-Day itself on such thrilling tasks as walking to the grocery store in the snow...
...and making vegetarian chili from this recipe (plus 1.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and minus the celery because who puts celery in chili). I marveled at the alien symmetry of the innards of a bell pepper:
2. My Valentine's Day nail polish was Zoya Gilda, a fuchsia microshimmer that gives an almost foiled effect on the nails. Unfortunately, Gilda is something of a problem polish: it takes a long time to dry completely, it starts chipping within a day or two, and it's thin enough that I can see my nail line even after three coats. But look how pretty!
3. I'm right-handed, so why does the polish on my left hand always chip first?
4. On the aforementioned visit to the grocery store, I discovered that Betsey Johnson's bankruptcy has driven her to sell her name to Kleenex. This made me sad, but it also made me buy a box of her zipper-printed Kleenex.
5. With wind chill, it's currently -6° F. Today we ventured into town and my face got so numb that I couldn't talk properly, as if I'd been injected with novocaine. Last summer, I noticed that very hot days sapped my motivation to put on eye makeup, because I knew that part of it would melt off; this winter, very cold days have had the same effect, because I know that my eyes will tear up whenever I step outside. My FOTD, if you can call it that, was MUFE Smoky Extravagant mascara (last year's Sephora birthday gift), NARS Coeur Battant blush (totally unnecessary on a day when the high winds guaranteed a strong flush), and Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Fuchsia:
6. My endless appetite for lipsticks both awes and terrifies me. I have so many, yet I can always think of a color that my collection lacks. Lately I've been wanting a trashy white-based pastel pink like MAC Saint Germain, a hot coral-pink matte like Revlon Unapologetic, and a neutral mauve-pink like NARS Anna or MAC Pink Plaid. I also suspect that Bite Cava is the cool-toned nude I've been pursuing for years now. Four lipsticks! How is that possible?
7. I've been thinking a lot about the disconnect between two current ideals of beauty: the "effortless beauty" that we encounter on sites like Into the Gloss, and the obviously effortful beauty popular on Instagram: multicolored ombré lip art, eye looks with a dozen different shadows blended perfectly into each other. How did these two extremes develop? I'd like to write a post about it sometime.
8. On Tuesday I'm getting my first haircut in seven months, and it can't come soon enough. A blunt-cut long bob is still my ultimate goal, but for now I'm going to have the longest layers cut off so that everything can grow out more evenly. I hope to end up with something like this...
...and eventually, something like this:
9. After an overnight visit to an out-of-town friend this week, I realized that I have three styles of makeup: understated but visible, for professional situations; experimental, for days when I'm not likely to see anyone I know and can float anonymously in and out of crowds; and almost completely bare, when I'm with people I love and trust. Making myself up before going to see close friends feels like an insult to them. But why should I attach this moral significance to makeup? Do I, despite my third-wave-feminist protestations, make myself up for others' eyes and not my own? Is there really a difference in the end? Maybe not. No one lives in a vacuum.
10. I've mentioned a few times that I never wore makeup in college. One of the chief reasons was my desire to impress my professors with my intellectual seriousness. I had a horror of seeming immature. Over the years, I've lost some of my unquestioning reverence for the academy and its pretensions, and my makeup has gotten brighter and more playful in response. Two years ago, I had lunch with one of my undergraduate professors, who looked askance at my lavender nail polish: "What color are your nails?" I was surprised to find that his reaction gave me a small sense of triumph. It took me a long time to learn how to be young. I'm still learning.