27 November 2014

making faces :: red light

guerlain says stop
guerlain have released a limited edition red lipstick with their holiday collection.

it is in their rouge g formula, the ones with the bulky but amazing packaging that includes a mirror. in this case, the casing is raspberry red rather than silver.

the shade is called rouge parade and it is red. bright red. bold red. almost frighteningly red. so very red. a red's red.

the question of tone is a bit complicated; when i swatched it on my hand in a store, it looked warmish. then i saw sara's review on colo[u]r me loud and thought it looked even warmer than i'd initially thought. then i brought it home and put it on and it wasn't really very warm at all. in fact, it leaned cool rather than warm. now i'm confused. for such an incredibly opaque shade, it seems to change considerably from one person to another.

rouge parade

there are lots and lots and lots of red lipsticks. unfathomable numbers of red lipsticks. how many red lipsticks does one woman even need? that is a rhetorical question that no one should attempt to answer. but in case your bank account forces you to answer it, you should know that "rouge parade" is brighter, cooler and has a glossier finish than givenchy "rouge égerie" and that it's lighter and brighter than guerlain "garconne", but both are fairly close.

t to b :: guerlain garconne, rouge parade
 
l to r :: givenchy rouge egerie, rouge parade, guerlain garconne



the rouge g formula is creamy, intense and extremely comfortable. "rouge parade" is among their longer-lasting shades, which is impressive. it'll go on for days if you let it, although you might want to tap a little extra on after you eat.

that's it. i can't say more. i want to, but i've already used all the words to express how much i love these lipsticks. so i could either say very little, or just copy and paste from previous reviews.

god this is lovely.

so lovely.

this is like someone captured the wildest, happiest, most optimistic moments of your entire life and formed them into a lipstick.

it's like the platonic ideal of lipstick.

people should write passionate, romantic, dazzling poetry about this lipstick.

this lipstick could be used as a weapon to counter some of the ugliness that fills this world.

it's like a magic spell, because potions and incantations are old-fashioned.

this is the gift you give when you want to a woman to realise that only the very best is worthy of her- especially if that woman is you.

this is a link to synonyms of "magnificent".

some might feel that you need an occasion to wear this stunning colour. i think that when you wear this colour, it makes whatever you're doing an occasion.

 


clearly, this is something that doesn't need a lot of support. a very neutral eye is a much better idea than shades that try to compete. in this case, i know i've used a couple of shades from ysl'd "saharienne" palette and chanel "complice" is on the inner corners and along the lower lash lines, but i'm not entirely sure what else is going on in there. the liner is illamasqua "wisdom", layered over a black pencil liner in order to make the base stronger.

i thought a bold cheek would be a nice touch, so i went with armani "eccentrico", which is the boldest of the bold. i also used hourglass "diffused light" on my cheeks and the lower part of my forehead.

even applied lightly, "rouge parade" is a ridiculously saturated shade. it's something for women who are comfortable with their brights and who want to avoid anything earthy. there is certainly some warmth in it, but it's a light, yellowy warmth, not the golden brown you get with brick reds. the clarity of the shade borders on the unreal.

"rouge parade" is limited, but still available wherever guerlain is sold. it is rouge g #820 and not all displays show both the name and number. if you think you want it, you're probably right.

world wide wednesdays :: speaking englishes

i don't envy people who have to learn english. sure, you have vast reservoirs of popular culture to use as research material [dominic, whose english is so flawless that he can easily pass for anglophone, credits sesame street with his success], but it's irritatingly inconsistent and defined more by its exceptions than its rules. there's also an unpleasant tendency to use the exact same word to mean completely different things. and even if the english have been decent enough to assign different pronunciations, you're pretty much up the creek if you're reading. if you read [not red] the sentence "i took the lead", you'd have no idea whether i was bragging or confessing, even if you were perfectly fluent in english. or, to be even more difficult, consider if i told you "dominic gave me a really nice bow", you'd be left wondering whether i got a girlish adornment for my hair or coat, or if i'd received a weapon, even if you heard me say it out loud. lots of languages can be complicated, but the prevalence of english and the importance that's placed on learning it in many areas of the world mean that a lot more people have to suffer through its trials. [and let's not get into the fact that english-speakers offer advice like "i before e except after c", which would be awesome, if it weren't wrong more often than right. but it's easier to remember than "use e before i, unless the syllable is pronounced with a long "e" and does not directly follow the letter c, in which case put i before e".]

what really makes me sad about people who take the time to learn english is that they might then be cast into the world of english speakers, which i can only imagine would be horrifying. i mean, if you ended up in canada or large parts of the united states, you'd probably do fine. sure they say we have different accents and i can tell that i pronounce things differently than barack obama, but if you threw [not through] someone into a room with the two of us and asked them to identify where each of us was from by identifying our accents, there's an excellent chance that the person wouldn't be able to do so. i can almost always pick out an accent from the maritimes [specifically the maritimes, not newfoundland, which is a totally different thing], but to most people, maritimers just sound canadian, or american. my point is that while there are a few very distinct accents in north american english, a non-native speaker cast adrift in the continent wouldn't struggle to understand most people. put them in england and it's a completely different matter. [side note :: to avoid getting pilloried for oversimplification, i'm going to plunk a link to the wikipedia article on north american english accents right here. yes, there are a number of different accents, but it's nothing compared to the mother country.]

it's a befuddling thing: the country for which the english language is named seems to have real trouble deciding what the language actually is.



keep in mind, we're talking about a country that could fit neatly in the pocket of all but three of canada's provinces and territories. yes, it's more densely populated, but unlike the caucasus region, there aren't great mountain ranges and cavernous valleys keeping people apart. so in theory, britons proximity to each other should result in less variation, not more. and yet the country seems to have more accents than canada has moose. how does that even work?

well, i'm not about to attempt a history of either england or its language here, but even a cursory glance at the country's past does give some hints as to how the current jumble developed. first of all, people kept invading and leaving bits of their language around like food wrappers at a music festival. second of all, people kept fighting. england has been inhabited for a very long time; the oldest human footprints outside of africa were found in norfolk and the island has been inhabited steadily since the end of the last ice age, about twelve thousand years ago. however, no one really seems to have given a shit about the place until the romans got there. the traditional story was that caesar arrived and instilled order on a bunch of people who had basically been sitting there eating berries and, apparently, waiting for him to show up. others claim that he displaced the mysterious celts [and you just know that they're getting a world wide wednesdays to themselves at some point] who had lived there since the dawn of time. the truth is that, when the romans arrived, they saw ample evidence that several waves of people had been there before them and all had left their marks. modern day genetics tells us that the romans were right- even before the roman invasion, england was a big mess o'genes. but after the romans got there, people started writing things down and we therefore know a lot more about the last two thousand years of english history than we know about the ten thousand before it.

the romans didn't actually contribute a lot to english other than the habit of paying attention to what was happening and writing it down. because of this, we know that the romans left and that several tribes from modern-day germany, belgium, the netherlands and denmark started visiting more and more frequently, eventually deciding to stay. the angles, saxons, jutes, frisians and others didn't arrive unified and they didn't become so for several hundred years after they settled. herein lies the first "aha!" of english history. "english" is derived from "angles" because it is with their arrival that the language first began to take shape. lots of shapes. each group of invaders [who weren't really invading, since they'd been in and out of the british isles even when the romans were there and the britons had asked them to lend a hand in keeping out the crazy neighbours from ireland and scotland after the romans left, which the germanic tribes chose to interpret as carte blanche to move in permanently] established their own little beachhead and guarded it. so from its earliest days, english was developed in pockets. in fact, if you look at the divisions of the anglo-saxon kingdoms, they are still roughly contiguous with the different regional accent groups. [side note :: a second thing that the romans contributed was the creation/ demarcation of scotland. while the romans subjugated the britons with relative ease on much of the island, as they worked their way north they realised that the land was less useful and, more importantly, it was inhabited by legions of pale blonde and ginger-haired psychopaths. showing the judiciousness that allowed them to dominate so much of the world, the romans built a wall which kept these psychopaths segregated from the development of the english language for several hundred years. which is why, when a native english speaker hears a glaswegian accent even today, they're unlikely to realise what language is being spoken.]


the new germanic kingdoms each jockeyed for position at the top of the anglo heap, however they were all eventually subjugated by vikings from denmark who took over the whole place and joined it with their existing empire of denmark and norway. but it wasn't long before something went awry. specifically, the anglo-saxon king edward the confessor evidently spent a lot of time being pious [he was canonized and was england's patron saint for a few hundred years before st. george] and not nearly enough time impregnating mrs. confessor. he died without a direct heir in january 1066, at which point all hell broke lose among the various contestants for "england's next top ruler".

in late september that same year, william of normandy, edward's cousin by marriage, won the contest by defeating and killing his principle rival, the anlgo-saxon harold ii. normandy being part of france, william brought with him a new royal language, bits of which tumbled out the windows of the palace and started to get mixed up with the jumble of formerly anglo-saxon words and a few viking interloper terms that the common people were using to communicate. many of the more "complicated" english words [like "complicated", strangely enough] were originally french and were appropriated. also, while historians originally believed that the romans had left traces of latin behind them when they left, it now seems more likely that latin-based words in english came over with the normans as well.

one of william's most important contributions to the development of english, aside from bringing in lots of our most delicious-sounding words [like delicious!], was that he helped to establish a long-term class division that shaped the language on the basis of economic status. even though he had won the crown, william was aware that he remained surrounded by enemies: there remained others with arguably stronger claims to the throne than he [especially since william was a bastard, so his claim to the throne through marriage was predicated on a marriage that had never happened], the danish were always a threat to reclaim the island and the northern lands beyond the wall were still full of the crazy ginger people. in order to strengthen his position, william told his norman friends that they could move to england and take pretty much whatever they wanted from the nasty anglo-saxons. his famous "domesday book" [basically the first national census of england and wales] showed that norman names dominated the landowning class in the country and that the anglo-saxons who had formed the gentry under previous rulers had been displaced.


and if what you're trying to understand is why english is so bloody complicated, you don't have to continue a lot further than that. the legacy of the anglo-saxon kingdoms birthed a fierce regionalism which allowed early linguistic differences to be perpetuated, while the influx of a french gentrified class meant that the upper class in england spoke with both a distinct accent and a different vocabulary.

most important, though, was the fact that, as english developed, it just kept adding on bits from the various people who showed up there. the reason that english seems weird is that it is weird. french, italian, spanish and portuguese trace their roots back to latin. sure there are regional differences, but a lot of the basis is the same. german, dutch and flemish stem from the same roots and you can certainly tell this when you look at them. english comes from everywhere and as a result, looks a bit of a patchwork mess. ours is a duct tape language. [side note :: english comes from everywhere, it should be noted, except england. we don't know a lot about the language of the britons who lived in england before the romans arrived. the fingerprints of their speech can be found in the brythonic branch of the celtic languages, comprised of welsh, breton and the deceased cornish tongue, however we know very little about the "original english".]

and that, my friends, is why it sucks to learn english. because when you're learning english, you're not learning one language, you're learning to speak a half dozen archaic languages in a half-assed way and using rough guidelines to bind them together into something that resembles a unified whole.

24 November 2014

mental health mondays [rewind] :: historical perspective

i kind of hate myself for doing two re-posts in a row, but this one is over three years old and i do think that there's some interesting stuff in here. it's kind of frightening what we have allowed ourselves to think about our own brains. at some point, you'd think that the brain would just object to being characterised in such ways. nonetheless, we have had many, many bizarre ideas about ourselves and this is just a sampling. makes you wonder which current theories will be included in such a list fifty years from now. [note :: i do not expect i will be writing that list. even if i live that long, i'll be even crazier by that point and i'll probably be trying to sell you on some of the ideas listed below.]

*

when thinking about the problems of mental illness, it's worth looking at how tenuous our understanding is of the workings of the human brain. keep in mind that it was not that long ago that trained professionals felt that the only way to deal with someone in the throes of mania was to forcibly submerge them- all of them- in a bath of ice water until they "became calm". i'll let you ponder the possible outcomes of that treatment for a moment.

doctors now believe that they have a much greater handle on the workings of the human brain, but keep in mind, that is exactly what those who came before them thought. and while it is indisputable that we do now have more information about the chemistry of the brain and the makeup of the various substances in it, a lot of professionals will begrudgingly [some less begrudgingly] admit that knowing what goes into the brain doesn't necessarily make it a whole lot easier to guess how those substances interact with each other.

here's a few weird facts from the history of mental illness that may make you scratch your head, if only to make sure that there isn't anyone else trying to poke around in there.

just what the doctor ordered
"female hysteria" was a condition often diagnosed and suspected to affect up to a quarter of women in the 19th century. its symptoms included "faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and 'a tendency to cause trouble'". to many of us, that sounds suspiciously like the symptoms of being alive, or at worst of having pms, but it was pretty serious psychological business in the nineteenth century. one of the main treatments, since it was seen as a sexual disorder, was through vaginal massage, with the aim of reaching "hysterical paroxysm" [basically a kind of moment after which the women seemed to forget their problems and become strangely calm and happy]. this technique proved exceptionally frustrating to physicians, who found that the time it took to reach paroxysm was excessive and that sometimes, no matter how long or how intense the massage, the great moment just never arrived.

fortunately, the medical aid industry came to the rescue by inventing a mechanical massager that didn't get tired and that seemed to get more reliable results.

23 November 2014

more like space greatest hits :: culinating

i got reminded of this post because it's received a surprising number of hits this week and because i just made the same basic dish for supper. also, i realised that i haven't posted any cooking-related posts since the end of "eat the cup", which was entirely unintentional. i forgot to pick up parsley, but i did add fresh parmesan, so i guess that this is a heartier [although not healthier] take on the same idea. and parmesan doesn't make it any more complicated.

i no longer work in the sticks, thank god, but i do still appreciate something that's quick to prepare but isn't prepackaged, frozen or otherwise removed from what i snobbishly term "real food". i'm using dried pasta and minced garlic, so it's more than possible to get all holier-than-thou on my ass. 

*


one of the [many] frustrating things about having to commute to the suburbs for work is that by the time i get home, i pretty much never have the energy to cook a nice dinner- the kind of dinner i like and that will make me happy. dom helps whenever he can, although the state of his health means that he doesn't have the energy to do a lot of prep work in the kitchen either. besides, i'm the one who loves to cook. during times [very few and far between, sadly] when i've been working closer to home, cooking a good meal at the end of the day was something i used to look forward to. but after having spent the better part of a year and a half telling myself that i would eventually push through and would arrive home with boundless energy. [the optimistic part of me has a weird sense of timing.]

in the meantime, i've compromised with a lot of prepackaged foods and ordering takeout more than i should, but i think i'm finally ready to face my problem head on. i need to uncomplicate

one of the reasons that i find the notion of cooking supper daunting is that there are usually so many steps involved. on some occasions when i have felt like making something, we've ended up eating dinner at ten o'clock at night, which is fine if you plan on going to bed at two, but if i did that i'd suffer sleep deprivation and go crazier. 

so the immediate challenge i've set for myself is to come up with healthy, tasty meals with as few ingredients as possible. and in keeping with my thoughts on what to do with the blog this year, i've decided to tell you about all this. because if i have to post pictures of it, i'm less likely to tell dom that we're having a bag of flour for dinner. 

21 November 2014

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you is to find something that you can balance and winter skin can absolutely balance these intense shades. someone who isn't part of the winter club will look like they're being buried under the weight of such colours- they'll look physically smaller and, as a result, give the impression of being diminished.

on the other hand, people who require stronger colours will look a bit ill if they adorn themselves with soft, milky neutrals, pastels or muted tones. yes, there are lighter, less "intimidating" options, but they'll always be more intense than those of other people. i'm mentioning this because, on their own, winter colours can look shocking. they won't when they're placed on the right person. anything less would seem feeble.

if you peruse the "making faces" posts on this blog, you'll notice that i have a marked preference for these sorts of shades, a lot more of them than i've had space to mention here, so please feel free to glance through them at your leisure.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...