New Vain post: Me, My Mom, and Color Me Beautiful

I wrote a mother’s day tribute to my mom about our family’s obsession with the classic 80s “color system”, Color Me Beautiful. You know, the one that divided everyone into seasons and winters got to wear all the best colors? My mom and I used to disagree on colours all the time, and it was totally this book’s fault.


I don’t think I really captured the drama of our fights in this post, but I didn’t want to write something that would hurt my mom’s feelings. (My family is very waspy and repressed, and I’m a sensitive snowflake, so I really do remember these disagreements as actual fights. Being made to wear colours I didn’t like really, really bothered me. Which is how you know I had a very stable and secure childhood, because wearing salmon was the worst thing I had to complain about.)

I like the xoVain commenters a lot, and I think one of them is an angel from heaven because she commented with this video.

I HAD NO IDEA THIS EXISTED. I’m so sad I didn’t include it in the post! There are so many good parts, like:

  1.  This terrible song
  2. Susy is so into this blush. She doesn’t care that you don’t like it.
  3. Fashion quiz! What’s your clothing personality? I hope you’re not the classic type because  she’s “medium everything” and it sounds like waking death
  4. Remember when Dave Foley would dress up like a woman on Kids in the Hall? This woman really reminds me of that

Do your makeup like a show dog

New xoVain post: how to do your makeup like the CJ, the winner of the Westminster Kennel Club’s Fancy Dog Beauty Pageant.

CJ is a very pretty dog with lots of spots, so I did a look with chocolate eyeshadow and drawn-on freckles. Remember, people, I’m not a makeup artist. I’m a librarian with a lot of makeup, an internet connection and a little too much free time.


This is not CJ. This is a dog that I forced to model for me in a parking lot in Palm Springs. He snuffled all over my fancy Charlotte Tilbury palette and now I’m afraid to use it.


So lately I’ve been on a real decluttering kick. I don’t like to throw useful things away, so I’ve been selling, donating, and giving things away. I’m also committed to using up my consumable goods.

In the last year, my skincare and makeup collection exploded. It’s what happens when you start being a beauty writer. Storage was becoming an issue, so in November, I inventoried all my skincare products and created a routine that would help me use them up. It was deeply nerdy and I enjoyed every second of it.

Here’s a very pleasing pile of empty bottles and jars that have resulted from this project:


Since November, I used up

  • one daily moisturizer with SPF
  • one daily moisturizer without SPF (which smelled deliciously like orange rind)
  • one night cream
  • one eye cream
  • one body butter
  • one foaming face wash with AHA
  • one serum

The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is highly recommended by Sali Hughes. I second this recommendation and would happily buy more, except that I have two Korean serum-type products stockpiled already.  (If you can prove that an essence is different than a serum, I’ll give you a dollar).

In fact, I don’t need to buy anything despite using up seven products. That’s how I know I have too many products.

This project has multiple goals. I want to

  1. Stop the skincare sprawl and reclaim precious storage space in my apartment
  2. Tame the collection so I pretty much know what I own (and what I lack)
  3. Use up products before they lose potency
  4. Save a bit of money

Thinking about these goals made me decide that I need to lose my Sephora VIB status in 2016. You have to spend $350/year at Sephora to maintain your VIB status, and that doesn’t seem compatible with these goals!

My 5-Minute Autopilot Face, Courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury

Here’s something new I wrote for

My 5-Minute Autopilot Face, Courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury

I cannot get my act together right now. Dressing like other people can actually see me and getting to work on time has become a huge challenge. I’ve gone makeup-free so many times this summer, and not because I’m doing a personal challenge. Rocking bedhead is all well and good, but I’m …

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