winging it


I often don’t take the time to do structured eyeliner but I often like the look, and keep meaning to wear it more. I especially like it with an otherwise bare eye (except for some mascara maybe, but no liner on the bottom lash line), and I like it more still with an otherwise bare face.

I like gel liner and a fairly stiff angled brush for winged/cat-eye liner. This is MAC’s Dipdown gel liner, a dark brown, and a bit of a plum Tarte Smoldereyes pencil on top of that (these pencils are great, super soft and blendable).  There can be some trial and error getting the flicks more or less symmetrical but I tend to do what I can and clean up/shape them up after with a cotton bud. I really could not manage makeup at all without cotton buds.

I like doing a smudgier, softer version with a soft pencil, too, or just eyeshadow. Or doing it in gel liner first and running over with a pencil or shadow to soften (or hide imperfections in a substandard line). As for the philosophy of the flick, I think there are so many shapes that can look good (even a poor execution can look good with enough smudging, a smudging brush is a good investment), and it’s just a matter of practice.

Part of the reason I don’t bother with winged liner, I think, is because it seems like I have to put such a lot on for it to be visible. The flick has got to be pretty dramatic or it is just lost in the crease of my eye somehow. Then there is the issue of time. I really enjoy makeup, and enjoy the transformation and the playfulness of it, but I’m not always (or even often) willing to take the time. It’s an interesting piece of data: that I could look basically as nice as I please (as polished, as well made up, as presentable), if only I would take the time to do it. And I guess kind of interesting too that I usually won’t bother. It’s as if, if I know that I can look really nice, what does it matter if I do?* As if looking like you could look better is as good as actually looking better. Is this the key to the charm of ultra-casual, messy-chic looks? The emphasis on the quality of the raw canvas? [Which may itself be an artificial effect? i.e. no makeup makeup, or stylized disarray?]

*Which is a valid question. Which gets at the question of the motivation behind making any effort at all. Which is reminding me to reread bits of The Feminine Mystique, which I recommend highly.

But I digress…


These earrings are white glass cabochons made from tumbaga, and ancient alloy of gold and copper. Found them in a cool little jewelry shop in Harvard Square that carries handmade jewelry by Latin and Latin American artisans.


It rains in Boston. 

Kamik rain boots, Banana Republic trench (thrifted), Mulberry bag, Zara scarf. I really like this trench but I think I’ll replace the buttons with those of a darker color for more contrast.


Listening to this Herman Dune track, a good song for a rainy day:




some thoughts on acquisition

I return a fair amount of the stuff I buy online, I would say around a third of it or more. I really believe it is necessary to see something in person to know truly if it is wanted, and I try not to keep what I do not love, unless it is somehow unavoidable.*

*As in the case of some category of item where there is perhaps no ideal object available, or where its function is paramount (say, pliers), or in the case where there is an ideal, but I am not willing to shell out for it (because there is something else I want, which I am not willing to sacrifice).

I was trying on the clothes in a recent order and had done a particularly poor job of anticipating what would succeed with me, and what would fit. There was also some bad luck involved with fabrics not being pleasant, or construction being subpar, etc. I returned nearly everything – quite happily, as I am eager to eject what I don’t want with all possible expedition, space is tight as it is – but was naturally disappointed. One fills the cart with such hope! This is what I love about shopping: shopping is about the future. About creation and evolution and definition and hope…at least for me, shopping–especially for unnecessary things, which is, in a way, almost all I buy (almost all anybody buys)–is a pretty involved, potentially powerful psychic event, full of promise.

That hope is that I will receive the object I have imagined possessing, and I will love it. Where love here is shorthand for something like, I will instinctively sense that it is right for me to have it, and befitting of my character to wear it or use it, that it symbolically represents a rejection of all that I reject, and an embracing of all that I embrace, and that the object and I have come together at last [At last! How could I have not seen that I needed it before! But then, too, maybe I was not ready for it until now, and it is even better in this way (as we are lost without proper timing)], and think simply, YES.

Put another way, it will feel like I need it.

[Yet I make an effort to remember, as Buddhism and Jainism (and not Madonna) and good sense prompt me, that any significance bestowed upon the object traces back to me, and lies truly within me (and not in the object itself, any significance pertaining to which is a projection of a fragment of myself).]

This can be the force behind the oft-ridiculed ‘retail therapy’, and certainly almost always is for me. Distress (or just life) often requires some change or adaptation, the conscious changing of the self being a particularly tricky operation. We need help. [I need help!] Changing the environment is one tool, changing the immediate environment of the body being another even more intimate tool. I do not buy objects, mostly. Sometimes, at a very practical level, when something is not important enough to me to warrant the attention, I buy what will be nothing more than an object: a plate to catch water under a plant pot, cotton buds. This is rare, however, and I mostly buy not objects, not mere objects, but symbols. Rather, I have always chosen objects as symbols, and it is becoming less and less un/subconscious just what they symbolize and how.

I select certain things over other things because I have an idea of myself, a version of myself I want to bring to life. And these things are the catalysts, the tools paving the way. They might be a shortcut to becoming this future self, or they might be a carrot, inspiring me to some state a bit out of my natural reach. Perhaps these convoluted strategies are especially effective for me because I know that I am the kind of person who wants to be in environments that inspire me to live up to them, and that bring out the best in me (or even make me better). I use environment loosely here to mean everything I can perceive. This means the room I inhabit, the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the jewelry, the perfume, the objects I use, the books I read. Not just this room but the next room and the next room (and tomorrow and tomorrow). Is it not worthwhile to choose these elements with care and purpose? Can it be denied that the harmony of these elements has power? I say it cannot.

This is maybe all too obvious.

Anyway, here’s this necklace I bought, which I was right to buy.


A brass serpent with a quarter-sized limon quartz pendant, vaguely pineapple-esque (a vintage-thrift situation of mysterious origin).


It has a certain high priestess of the serpents aura about it, no?
Please to inform the serpents that I am available.