Wednesday Advice Smackdown
February 24, 2005
(Thursday Edition, Again, Like You Are Surprised)
Okay, before we begin, let me issue a word of caution regarding the state of your advice guru:
1. It is snowing outside, yet there was no delay at my office, mostly because I assumed there would be a delay and stayed in bed for an extra half hour.
2. I am wearing maternity pants to work for the first time today, and while they are deliciously comfortable around the belly, they are falling off my ass. Seriously, if I sit down wrong I will moon anyone behind me, or at least show off my new maternity underwear with the twee pink hearts.
3. I just realized I am wearing my new red shoes with a green sweater. Yick.
4. I wore my new red shoes in the snow? Have I gone mad?
5. I did not comb my hair today before mashing it into a hair clip.
Basically, I've got a really great look going on today and feel super extra qualified to tell you how to look all beautiful and stuff. Let's begin!
Dearest Amalah: Queen, Mother, Goddess -
I have found your make-up advice to be so good in the past, that I've been known to rush right out and purchase a foundation brush without even bothering to finish reading your entire post. And I didn't even KNOW I had a problem. This time, I recognize my ignorance and have thusly turned to the woman who can guide me to fabulousness.
I've worn contacts since the seventh grade. I've always HAD glasses, but I never WORE glasses (except at the very end of the day when I removed my contacts), because I always hated glasses.
Recently, though glasses seem to have become much more stylish than those ridiculously huge frames I was originally offered in *cough* 1978. Glasses are practically an accessory! They can compliment and complete many outfits! So, while I still have my contacts, I recently invested in a smart pair of Armani glasses that look similar to this. They're a dark, subtle tortoiseshell. I don't wear them every day, but a couple of times a week, when I'm looking to up my intelligence image.
Now here's my dilemma: I'm extremely near-sighted. Way extremely. Can't see to find my glasses if I don't have them out before I remove my contacts near sighted. And while technology has, thankfully, significantly reduced the thickness of today's lenses, there's still the problem that my glasses make my eyes look very, very small behind them. Teensy tiny small. Are you hungover or are your eyes always that squinty small.
How can I use the fine art of make up to bring out my eyes behind my glasses? Are there eye shadow colors I should wear or avoid? Flat or shimmery? Skip the eyeliner altogether? Wear false lashes?
Anxiously awaiting your magical advice,
(By the way, when I first read the salutation on this email, I was all, "Mother?" And then I was all, "Oh right! Aww!" Then I was all, "Shit.")
As someone who possesses relatively-normal-sized eyes that have the tendency to go bizarrely squinty in photographs, I feel your pain. (I am also wearing my own Armani tortoiseshell glasses today to complete my "I just rolled out of bed and may possibly still be asleep right now" look.)
Anyway, not to go all The Graduate on you but I have one word for the squinty-small-eye problem: neutrals. Think about it. You start loading up with the bright, shimmery or smoky colors and you are NOT drawing attention to your eyes. You're drawing attention to your damn eyelids.
You want to make your lids vanish into the rest of your face and you want your actual eyeballs to stand out.
Here's what you do.
1. Apply a creamy base to your lids, from the lash line up to your brow bone. I recommend Tony & Tina's Therapeutic Eyebase in whatever shade best matches your skin tone. (Match it the way you'd match foundation, it ain't for show.)
2. Next, brush on a neutral shadow -- again from the lash line to the brow bone. This shadow should be about the same as your skin tone with NO SHIMMER. Shimmery shadows settle in those little creases and will make you look wrinkly and tired. If you think your lids and under eyes tend to look dark, pick a color slightly lighter than your skin tone (like a bone or peach) and also dab a little under the inner corner of your eye.
3. Then brush a slightly darker color on the outer corner of your eyelid in a sideways V (mid-crease to corner, mid-lash line to corner). This will make your eyes look wider. Blend it well. If you want a little shimmer, this is where you can use it, or you can stick with a matte brown or grey. (I use Nars Duo Eye Shadow in All About Eve, which contains two shades of peachy brown that are almost identical, except that one is a shimmery.)
4. And here's where people get all uppity and divided. Some makeup artists swear that lining the eyes can only make them look smaller, while others swear that eyeliner totally makes your eyes bigger. I believe there have been bitchslaps and bloodshed over this issue.
I'm in favor of eyeliner. My lashes are practically blond, and even with mascara I tend to not have a very strong lash line. So I use a soft brown pencil around the outer edges of my lashes, staying away from the inner corner and extending the line past the outer corner. Then (and this is the MOST IMPORTANT PART) I use an tiny angled eye shadow brush to blend and soften the line. So if you look at my eyes you won't see EYELINER LINE BEGINS HERE AND I PAINTED IT ON WITH A FELT-TIP PEN, PLEASE DIRECT ME TO THE SLOT MACHINES.
5. Finally, curl your lashes and then apply mascara. Go for a lengthening one with a thin brush, not volumizing, for the least amount of clumping. Y'all are going to totally laugh at me, but I use a Loreal drugstore mascara that costs $7.15. I've used the super nice expensive ones, and honestly, I just don't think they're that much better. At first, sure, but ALL mascara tends to turn all funky in about three months and needs to be chucked. With my $7 mascara, I could care less if I'm throwing out more than half a tube of congealed product. With a $25 mascara, I'm PISSED that there's clearly a dozen or so dried-out applications left.
Aaaaannnnnnd...you're done, and dude, you totally look just like Audrey Hepburn now with the big doe eyes. Bitch.
I have been rejoicing and basking in the glow of your wondrously gassy pregnant-ness. I want to be just like you and become pregnant as well, but for some reason cannot find time to have sex when I'm ovulating. I know that you are a very very VERY busy woman, with a very busy husband-- so I was just wondering if you have some creative pointers to share on finding time for enough sex to get knocked up. Oh and also? I have two dogs that try to watch when we finally have time to DO IT. It's very distracting. How can I get rid of them without hurting their feelings?
Busy and Barren,
ps. I don't like to throw up. In fact, I hate it. Do you think that will be a problem?
Well, first you must come to terms with the simple, unavoidable truth: sex for procreation will be the worst sex you have ever had. Remember that time? With that guy who had that one car? Yeah, worse than that.
No guy wants to hear the words "Let's have sex tonight" followed by, or modified with, the words "I'm ovulating." And no woman's body will ever cooperate if being bossed around by the calendar. So basically: drink wine. At least a bottle or four.
But! The good news is that apparently? You can get knocked up after having sex only ONCE in the entire vague am-I-or-am-I-not-ovulating-four-to-five-day fertile period. Trust me, I've seen the ultrasound and am just as shocked as y'all are.
Our seduction went something like this:
Amy throws Gardenburgers on George Foreman grill in a sexy manner.
Jason enters kitchen.
Jason: Hey, aren't we supposed to be trying to get you pregnant this week, or something?
Amy: Bah. Bahbahbah hate bullshit whatever.
Couple eats dinner, watches Lost, has sex. Conception ensues. Much confusion by all who thought that, hey, it wasn't supposed to be easy like that.
Aaaannnnnd scene. Romantic, no? But hell, it was enough. So ditch the whole "I want our child to be conceived during the greatest love-making session of our relationship" thing and just do it. (Hey, Nike! I've got an AWESOME commercial idea all of a sudden.)
And lock the dogs away. Hurt their feelings. They need to get used to being ignored on behalf of the baby, who is totally going to steal their thunder. Bitch.
Bonjour le hot Amalah et tête de gomme à effacer,
Amalah, I am going to Paris. I leave on Friday. And, if you answer this during your next Super-Fun-And-Fabulous Wednesday Advice Smackdown, I will READ the smackdown while I am IN PARIS IN PARIS IN PARIS. So seriously, what should I buy? Bear in mind that I don't have much money. At least, not mounds of it.
Your devotee, Shizalala
Pfft. Next week I will not be in Paris. And probably not the week after that either! Wah. Woe.
Anyway, here's the sad thing: in high school I went on a tour of Europe with my Spanish class. We went to France, Italy and Spain. I saved up tons of money to go and to spend while I was there. You know what I bought while I was there?
Crap. And croissants.
I totally bought tons of stupid tourist shit. T-shirts. Mugs (that totally broke on the way home). A keychain or something.
In Italy, I was determined to buy something clothing-related, hopefully a pair of shoes. Did I buy a lovely pair of leather heels like my friend did? A pair that she probably still has to this day?
No. I bought a pair of high-heeled jellies.
I BOUGHT PLASTIC SHOES. In Italy.
So my advice would be to not buy plastic shoes. Or anything equally stupid.
Even if you don't spend a lot of money, buy something that you'll honestly KEEP for years and years. Something that you can say to anyone who admires it, "Oh yes, I got this in Paris," and it will make SENSE that you got it in Paris.
Unlike jelly sandals from Italy that could also be found at your local Caldor.
The only things I brought back from Europe that I still actually have and use are a tiny leather hair clip that I bought on our tour of a leather maker's shop that has a Michelangelo painting printed on it and a small gold picture frame that I got in Spain.
(I originally bought it for my boyfriend at the time, but he had the decency to give it back when we broke up. Or maybe I stole it from his house. I can't remember.)
So buy a watercolor from a street vendor or a pair of earrings or a lovely scarf. Don't buy miniature Eiffel Towers or berets made of felt. Save napkins from cafes where you buy croissants and take lots of pictures. You don't have to spend mounds of money to bring back wonderful souvenirs.
(Although if you did want to spend mounds of money, something from Louis Vuitton would TOTALLY be okay too.)
(It would also totally make a great gift.)
My question involves dating. I realize I'm asking this of a woman who is married, and to the Perfect Guy at that, but what the hey...
I am looking to re-enter the dating scene after an absence of...oh...12 years or so. Needless to say, I have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to dating. I've been asking around a bit, checking out the obvious "Dating Do's and Don'ts" references, reading the tips on Match.com and other dating sites, and have basically come to the conclusion that there are too many rules.
I don't like games. I don't want to play games. I'd rather confidently walk up to a girl and ask her to dinner than to try and learn all the various "techniques" and "strategies" for "dating success." It seems counterproductive anyway. Eventually they're going to get to know the "real you" and I don't know about the rest of the world, but I'd want the "real them" to be as real as possible. No BS. No gimmicks.
So the question is: In the real world, is the no-BS, "game-free" approach a plus or a minus? I'll be the first to admit that I have "no game," but frankly I have no interest in learning how to game the system. Is "refusing to play the game" another way of saying "destined to remain on the sidelines?"
Oh man, you came to the right place.
Not because I can help you, because I can't. I've been married since I was TWENTY YEARS OLD.
At 20 years old, you wouldn't recognize a "game-free" approach if it walked up to you and said, "Hi, I have a game-free approach to dating. Would you like to go out?"
At 20 years old, you'd just go, "Are you old enough to buy me beer?"
Although I do seem to recall that one of the reasons I was in such a bloody hurry to get myself all married off was because I really, truly hated dating. I hated meeting new guys, waiting for them to call, waiting for them to admit that they liked me or didn't like me, blah blah blah breakupcakes.
So I married Jason, who is Perfect, and who could also buy me beer.
But! I think you came to the right place anyway, because the readership of this site skews distinctly female. Even more so since all this talk about my womb and boobs and farting began.
Also all the makeup talk. I'm pretty sure it's mostly the vaginas in the audience that care about that.
So at this point, ladies and gentleman, I'm turning the Advice Smackdown over to you. Let's help Chris out. Give him your two cents or a nickel about how to get back into the dating scene and whether or not he's got game. Or something.
I don't know all the dating lingo the crazy kids are using nowadays.
After you spread your commenty wisdom re: dating, perhaps you will feel qualified to start your own advice column. From which I will not stop you. But if you realize that maybe it's a little harder than you thought and would like to turn to me once again for the mad problem-solving skillz, please email me at email@example.com.