Aug 15, 2015

The PERFECT Red Lipstick

Siren-Red Lipstick for Warm-toned Gals
For years, I mean YEARS, I have been searching for the perfect red lipstick. I adore lipstick and don't leave home without it. I've been a lipstick fiend ever since I was a kid and playing around with my mother's lipsticks (she is a lipstick fiend too—at 84!). My face may be no great shakes, but b'gosh, I have lips. So why not accentuate them?

As a red-head (whether by nurture or by nature, only my hairdresser knows for sure), I have to be careful, though. One smidge toward the cool side of the red spectrum and, egad—the dreaded FUSCHIA lips phenomenon occurs. Fuchsia is what lipstick that is slightly pink-red turns into if you are unlucky. And fuchsia is enough to make onlookers run screaming for the exit when a red-head sports it. Way better to err on the orange side of the red spectrum and go too warm.

For a fair-skinned redhead to find just the right shade of warm-toned, voluptuous, unafraid red lip product, well, it's taken decades. And believe me, I've sunk untold funds into the search. Just today I plunked down $10 for a red lip pen that looked perfect on my skin, but
then gradually changed to fuchsia/magenta on my lips (as every gal who is seriously into lipsticks knows, the color of your lip skin and your body chemistry both affect the color of your lipstick when it's on. Not like you can return lip products, either.) Now repeat this experience at least once a month for every year I've been wearing lipstick, and you've got some serious bucks—mostly wasted!

So over the years and over the dollars and over the many, MANY dreaded fuschia lips encounters, I have come up with a short, read: tiny, list of the perfect red lipsticks.

Here are a few you can count on the be brilliant reds that will never turn fuschia on you:

Rouge Coromandel, #70. Perfect. Gorgeous. Pefectly gorgeous. The exact red I have always dreamed of. Lights up a red-head's face (see photo of
me wearing it at right). Sure to win you admirers and hangers-on. One challenge, though—it is bright red—unforgiving, not for the shy. To wear in the daytime requires fortitude—or maybe a sheer base of clear lip gloss to make it a bit less opaque. But still—the perfect red!

Besamé Cosmetics,
Red Hot Red. Besamé has got to be the coolest cosmetics company alive today. Fashioned after the glamorous look of the 1940s—when women wore bright red lipstick during the day—unabashedly—with curvy fitted suits, stacked heels, hats, and yes, gloves—in that era, beautiful compacts were IN. And inside those lovely little compacts were bold, vixenish colors. Souffle make-up. Rich, matte lipsticks. The kind of art-compacts you'd be proud to flash in public. Now, finally, a red lipstick for women who do not wear fushcia. For Spring- and Autumn-toned skin. A warm red. A sexy red. Gorgeous. Perfect. Spicy. Scrumptious. Unbelievable. Hot, hot, Red Hot Red! Smells yummy too—a light vanilla with a creamy feel. This is full-coverage, semi-matte lipstick. Not for the faint-of-heart.

Chili. My spectacular and most beloved everyday warm-toned red lipstick. It's a semi-matte—which I adore—and the right shade of red with a slight brick undertone. It's a more wearable, less screaming red than the two listed above because of the brown in its base. But this is not a matronly shade—far from it. Its sexiness is lucid and luring but there's a hint of 50s glam and fun. Best of all, M.A.C. lipsticks are both long-wearing, do not kiss off easiliy, and are delightfully vanilla scented. When I glide on my M.A.C. Chili, I feel suddenly delicious. All you need, my dear warm-toned sister, is this lipstick, some big sunglasses and sunscreen, and you are ready to roll. Or to be kissed. Or maybe both. If you check out the M.A.C. website, don't be fooled by the online depiction of this shade. Chili is much more scrumptious than it appears there.

Boots No 7,
Stay Perfect Lipstick, Spice, #65. Boots LLC has just come to the States—at least this is the first I've seen of their products. Boots makes a lovely long-lasting lipstick called "Stay Perfect" that will NOT dry out your lips. It glides on, feels silky, and, b'gosh, it lasts. I got my perfect shade of red—an elegant brickish red—for about $10 at Target. Next to M.A.C. Chili, Boots No 7 in Spice is the best everyday red you can find. Looks grand enough for play too, though. Doesn't have the scrumptious vanilla fragrance that M.A.C. has, but it costs less and last longer. The colors are similar too, with Boots No 7 Spice being slightly less vibrant and therefore more wearable.

Cheats for Fuchsia Lip Sufferers
If you already have plenty of pink-red lipsticks and you want to do the best you can to make these work for a Spring- or Autumn-toned coloring, you still have options without spending a fortune. The best thing you can do to compromise is layer colors with your fuchsia lipstick. Since pink is the color you want to neutralize, you need a brown or orange layered on top to move the pink toward the warmer end of the spectrum. Look for beiges, tans, browns, and even oranges. Any of these will neutralize your pinkish lipsticks and make them more appropriate for warm-toned gals. Beiges will dissipate the pink without darkening, brown will shift the pink while darkening it slightly (making lipstick more brick). Orange will warm things up, too. Feel free to experiment. And keep some "adjuster" lipsticks on hand for just this purpose.

May 27, 2014

Haiku: Trying to Wrap My Brain Around the Heinous Disaster at UCSB Last Week

Elliot Rodger

Asperger’s, rich kid, killer

Why’d it have to be?

May 24, 2014

Elliot Rodgers: Virgin Mass-Murderer of UC Santa Barbara

Calling himself a virgin and blaming everyone but himself, UC Santa Barbara student, Elliot Rodgers opened fire from his slow-moving black BMW, killing six before he was killed--or killed himself. The mass-shooting began at 9:27 Friday night, May 23 in Isla Vista, the residential area near UCSB, which is home to more than 20,000 people, many of whom are students at the nearby universiry.

I could not watch the entire video. When I got to the part of his self-centered, inane rant where he described how he was going to slaughter blonde girls, I cried. He targeted women--blaming all women for those women who rejected him--obviously because of his insanity and not for lack of good looks or money.

Nov 12, 2013

Silly Kid Sayings for Thanksgiving

Dear Readers,
Happiest Thanksgiving to you. Please accept this brief, silly interlude as a small wish of love, from my family to yours.


Jaclynisms (my daughter at two years of age)
While scooping up a wad of apple sauce,
"Happy birthday to my fingers"
While rubbing a tube-shaped rice cracker on her lips,
"I'm using lipstick"
Seeing ketchup on her fingers,
The green vegetable that looks like little trees

Jaclynisms (at three years of age)
Dinner Prayers
Thank you for our flowers
All your hands and
All your hair—
Let us taste our daily toast. Amen.

Thank you for my Daddy
Who is very good at coloring. Amen.

(Note: He's a landscape architect)
How to Make a Horsey Go Faster, yell,
When asked to take a nap on a sunny afternoon,
"Would you turn out the light?"
The Japanese food made from soybeans
What we use on our skin to protect it from the sun

"Sun's cream"

What we ride to go to another floor
The Tropical Fruit Sometimes Appearing on Pizza

Aug 7, 2013

U.S. Drops Atom Bomb on Hiroshima, August 7, 1945: The Choice between Hell and Reason

How unfortunate for the citizens of Hiroshima, Japan to know that their city is famous throughout the world only as the first city to be bombed with a nuclear bomb. The bombardier of the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on the unarmed city 62 years ago today, killing 70,000 civilians instantly. Not distinguishing among elderly, babies, women, or other innocent non-military.

But that wasn't the end of it. 70,000 may have perished as a direct result, but 60,000 more died shortly thereafter from related injuries and illnesses. And as many as 200,000 total died within five years, from the bombing or the after-affects.

Nagasaki became the only other city to be the victim of an atomic bomb a few days later, where Japanese report 75,000 more were killed instantly.

One week after the first bombing, Japan surrendered, perhaps explaining the propaganda found in every American child's history textbook that the "atomic bombing was justified as a stimulus to end the war" If you could stand in the middle of Hiroshima and feel the hatred directed at you because you are an American, if you could tour the Peace Museum in Nagasaki and see the photos and study the mementos, if you could immerse yourself in the humanity behind the bombings, as I have done—you might not think so.

The bombs targeted civilians. How many tens of thousands of those slaughtered were infants, for instance? It's true that the citizens were warned before the bombs dropped. Leaflets saying the bombing would take place were scattered throughout the towns days before (I saw samples of those leaflets at the Nagasaki museum). But could the entire population leave? Perhaps like the Hurricane Katrina disaster, those who had resources could get out of town—if they realized the leaflets were not just a scare tactic, that is.

Many scholars are convinced Japan was on the verge of surrendering at that late point in WWII, where whole towns were on starvation rations. My Japanese Mama-san remembers living on rice and pickles in Tokyo for years. And certainly other Asian countries starved in subjugation to feed the Japanese. Kamikaze bombings were the last bastion of a war strategy devised by a desperate military that had plenty of airplanes but not enough fuel to keep them aloft.

To add to the madness, the developers of the new nuclear technology must have had an intense desire to test the mettle of their new war toys, and seen an opportunity to do so, despite pleas by such eminent voices as Albert Einstein, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight D. Eisenhower not to.

In 2007, Hiroshima's mayor said—because Mayors can speak these truths when higher-up politicos can't—“The Japanese Government, which has the duty to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons through international law, should protect its pacifist constitution, which it should be proud of, and clearly say 'No' to antiquated and wrong US policies,” The antiquated and wrong U.S. policies Tadatoshi Akiba referred to are the ones that somehow allow the nuclear arms proliferation that has made America the proud owner of undoubtedly the largest stockpile of bomb-ready fissile material and nuclear bombs in the world. Congratulations to us, huh?

If you have the opportunity to visit Japan, please make plans to tour the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum or the Hiroshima Peace memorial Museum (Nagasaki being much the friendlier of the two cities). I can attest that it is a life-changing experience. And my father was a bombardier in WWII.

On August 8, 1945, Albert Camus said it best, “Mechanized civilization has just reached the ultimate stage of barbarism. In a near future, we will have to choose between mass suicide and intelligent use of scientific conquests [...] This can no longer be simply a prayer; it must become an order which goes upward from the peoples to the governments, an order to make a definitive choice between hell and reason.”