Thursday, May 30, 2013

CorpGoth Guide to Black Eyeliners

Black eyeliner is a staple of every goth's makeup arsenal, & for CorpGoths it's crucial to have a reliable black eyeliner that stays put for a full workday. I've tried dozens upon dozens of eyeliners over the years, & while I don't know that I've found the One True Black Eyeliner, I have my favorites.

Last year, I had an eye infection that the doctor thought was pink eye, so I threw out all my old eyeliners & mascaras & decided to replace them (turned out to be a totally different problem & I didn't need to dispose of the makeup, but oh well). Fashion mags often advise to replace your eye makeup every 6 months, but I've never done that. I simply replace it when I use it up or if anything smells funny or the consistency changes. That seems like a better indicator of product usability (not to mention, more affordable).

The first black eyeliner I ever loved was Wet 'n Wild, & I used it for about two decades with success. The hard waxiness keeps it from smudging, & it's really difficult to beat that drugstore price. But as I got older, the hardness of the pencil became a drawback on the increasingly delicate skin around my eyes. Don't want to develop crow's feet.

I then messed around with many eyeliners, of both drugstore and department store variety before settling down with Benefit's BadGal Eyeliner. It has been my workday black liner for years now. This one is waterproof (mostly) & just soft enough for a smooth line. I hardly ever use the smudging sponge tip on the opposite side tho'.

While I like BadGal for daytime, I want something more dramatic for evening looks -- a liquid liner or, because I'm a bit inept, a felt-tip liquid liner. I'd been using some Sephora varieties, which were OK, but not great. So I headed back to the big ol' makeup store for advice.

One of the salesperson's first recommendations for a great waterproof, smudge-proof, budge-proof eyeliner was the Nars Stylo felt-tip liner. Wow, this is a winner! It goes on very wet & takes an extra few seconds to dry (close your eyes & wait, it's worth it), then it does.not.move all day. You could probably draw curliques on your face a la Sandman's Death, run through lawn sprinklers, & this stuff wouldn't come off (not that I've tried that). You must use a makeup remover, but a gentle one is fine, & only then does this liner come off. Wow. This is now my evening, special effects, or long-day eyeliner.

Between Benefit's BadGal & Nars Stylo, I don't think you'll go wrong. One soft daytime liner, one liquid-style anything-goes liner, both in classic black. Btw, these are not advertisements & I don't receive anything from these companies -- I'm just sharing my experiences. I'd love to hear yours!

What's your favorite black eyeliner?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Casual Purple

Just kickin' it in something comfy! I need a million dresses like this (even tho' I already have a dozen).

What I'm wearing:
Purple knit dress, Old Navy | Black long-sleeve knit top, Old Navy | Black leggings, Newport News | Black boots, Clarks | Black & silver skull necklace, DisneyLand | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store | Purple flower hair pin, random accessory store | Purple lipstick, Sephora house brand


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thoughts on Stuff and Sentiment

Here are two different, perfectly valid, but fairly opposite philosophies about saving "things," whether they be mementos, memorabilia, heirlooms, or vintage items. I find both fascinating...

A Word About Heirloom Guilt by Bea of The Zero Waste Home -- As part of her radical no-waste, no-clutter, minimalist lifestyle, this woman & her family have stripped down their possessions & eliminated pretty much anything they don't actively use every day. That includes mementos & heirlooms, which she feels are mostly kept out of obligation, not practicality. Bea states: "I believe that we do not need things to remember our lost ones."

Why I'm Not a Minimalist by Franca of Oranges & Apples -- Starting with the concept of a minimalist wardrobe & why that doesn't work for her, this blogger also enjoys having things around her house. She explains: "Often while sitting about in our living room, I will zone out and look at a vase or whatever and think how nice it is, and how happy I am that we have created a home where we are surrounded by things we love ... What makes me even happier is that a lot of this stuff is inherited, bought on holiday, or rescued from a charity shop or car boot sale ... It has meaning."

some of my sentimental jewelry
On the one hand, I really love Bea's point that memories don't depend on physical items.  I can remember all that was wonderful about my deceased grandmother without holding onto the vintage brooches that came from her collection. But I also adore those brooches because they're intrinsically pretty *and* they remind me of times I spent, as a little girl, playing dress-up with my grandmother's jewelry. These things have meaning, as Franca points out.

The shell necklaces I buy on vacation in Hawaii & Jamaica soothe me on stressful days at the office precisely because they remind me of those lazy, hazy days spent on the beach with my sweetheart. It's a little bit of a holiday on a string around my neck. Sure, I could just look at a digital photo from those trips (or a scanned picture of my grandmother) that takes up no space. But the tangible does have a stronger connection.

Maybe I'm being sentimental. But with a practical side too -- I don't believe it's necessary to preserve every last item that reminds you of someone or something that has a positive memory. One or two very special pieces are plenty, particularly if those items have their own unique artistic or practical value. I don't believe most heirlooms are kept out of obligation, as Bea asserts. Perhaps out of neglect ("do we really have that old thing from Aunt So-&-So up in the attic?"), but I don't personally know anyone who feels beholden to their heirlooms. I only hear of family treasures that people cry over when calamities destroy them.

What about you? Are you a minimalist who doesn't believe in keeping old stuff? Or do you surround yourself with mementos of the past? Whether in fashion or home decor, do tell!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pink Bon Jour

I'm a sucker for travel-related accessories, natch, because I love to travel. Except they have to be related to places I've been to & love. Well, I loved the one trip to Paris I took ages ago, & I'm planning to return very soon. No to mention I took five years of French language classes, which are stuck somewhere in the back of my brain, struggling to come out, LOL. So yeah, I had to have this silly little necklace. Mai oui!

What I'm wearing:
Black & pink stripe knit top, Ralph Lauren | Black linen skirt, H&M | Black leggings, American Apparel | Black socks, unknown brand | Black flats, Aerosoles | Silver "Bon Jour" necklace, Claire's | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store


Multiple shades of black!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Status Report: My Workaday Bag

For my current job, I work from home quite frequently, as I've mentioned here before. But when I do go into the office, I have to bring my laptop & a lot of gear. So my work bag is, by necessity, a giant backpack.

It's not sexy or stylish, but it gets the job done. It's the only bag I owned that was big enough to hold the extra-long MacBook Pro the company gave me! This laptop wouldn't fit in my other (prettier) laptop bag.

Also, since I work on the laptop itself in the office instead of docking it to a monitor, I have a wireless keyboard & mouse, which I also carry around. Plus a backup drive, my notebook, my phone, wallet, & miscellaneous personal stuff. So yeah, I need a big bag!


What I'm wearing:
Grey sheath dress, Target
Black & pink stripe sweater, Macy's
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black & grey pumps, Target
Black, gunmetal, & rhinestone choker, random accessory store
Black & pearl drop earrings, random accessory store
Prescription sunglasses, ZenniOptical.com
Chanel "Vamp" lipstick
Yahoo! backpack, Targus

All this goes in that bag!

What kind of bag do you carry to work or school? Share in the comments below.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Full Disclosure

After I took this photo, I realized I'd forgotten to put on my rings (wedding & engagement) or any earrings. Quelle horror! Kind of hard to tell in the picture.

Also, even tho' I'm going bare-armed here, I grabbed a black cardigan before leaving for work. It was a beautiful, warm spring morning, but my office building tends to be overly air-conditioned. And my husband reminded me to bring some kind of cover-up because, as he said, he didn't want to see me posting on Facebook in the afternoon that I was freezing.

What I'm wearing:
Grey knit dress with black trim, bought in London | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black high-heeled lace-up boots, Aerosoles | White & black skull-print scarf, Amazon.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To the Mother Country

There's this joke among some costumer-friends & I that England is the "mother country." We're all anglophiles in the worst way. We've read too many Bronte & Austen novels (or at least watched movie versions endlessly), we love the fantasy of having royalty (& those of us who are old enough remember watching Princess Di in her ridiculous meringue wedding dress),  we love crumbling castles & running across the moors in white nightgowns, we drink way too much tea out of prissy little china cups. This is all a big part of why we spend inordinate amounts of time & money creating crazy historical reproduction costumes.

So yeah, my first trip abroad was to the Mother Country of England. My then-boyfriend/now-husband convinced me to go, & we visited sites associated with some of my favorite English authors, from Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey to Wordsworth's Dove Cottage in the Lake District to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth. Not only am I a nutty costumer, I'm also a frustrated academic -- soon after this seminal trip, I went to grad school to continue my pointless studies in Victorian literature. Not like you can get a job in that very easily! So I dropped out a few units shy of a second degree. Ah well. I'll settle with a cool T-shirt from my most recent (& fifth) trip to the U.K.

What I'm wearing:
Black velveteen jacket, White House Black Market
England T-shirt, bought in London
Black jeans, Levis
Black ankle boots, Aldo
Silver filigree earrings, random accessory store
Jet & gunmetal cocktail ring, random accessory store
Grey & black flower hair pins, random accessory store

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Status Report: Bag It All

Subject: For May, let's show how we carry all our stuff to work or school. Do you have a backpack, messenger bag, or computer bag? Do you bring your lunch to work or take gear for a gym break? How to you lug everything around? While you may carry a cute little purse for weekend fun, many of us need a giant bag to get through the week.

Due Date: Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 15

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href="http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/search/label/corpgoth%20status%20report"><img border="0" src="http://www.trystancraft.com/corpgoth/corpgothstatusreport.jpg" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 13th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!