19 May 2013

Red and orange nail reactions

As I mentioned last Sunday, I went to a conference the Friday before that. One of the other attendees offhandedly commented "Oh, red today" in reference to my nails. Nobody else commented, but most if not all of the attendees have met me before, and my nails don't go unnoticed. :)

As I also mentioned last Sunday, a client passed away unexpectedly last week, and his funeral was Wednesday this week. As I had already planned on having my nails done that day, I hadn't booked any clients, so rearranging my schedule was fairly easy. I was able to move my nail appointment to Thursday afternoon. Done.

While I'm quite sure that my client knew about me, out of respect for him and his family, I did the traditional thing ~ I wore a suit to the funeral. I also braided my hair and tucked the plaited tail up under the braid. With a copious quantity of hair spray to keep it in place, the result was that from most angles aside from the back, it's not obvious that the hair is long, and even from the back you can't tell how long it is. Mind you, when I used to do my hair this way, I used to just tuck the tail straight up inside the braid, but my hair is now so much longer that I had to fold it half way down and the fold ended up peeking out the top of the braid.

About the only thing that I didn't change was my nails, which were still bright red.

It was a large funeral. Larger than I think anybody had anticipated. I knew a lot of the people there, and there were really no reactions to my nails because I'm infamous enough that it wasn't a surprise to anybody. The children at the wake were a different story though. One girl in particular spent a considerable time staring at my nails, giggling and whispering to her friends.

On the way home, I needed to drop in to the local Building Society branch to deposit a cheque. I was served by one of the same staff who saw me at Halloween. I think that she was almost as shocked by me in a suit as she was when I wore the Tinkerbell costume. ;)

When I got my nails done on Thursday, I decided to go with the orange polish that I bought at the same time as the China Red. I walked from home to my appointment, and on the way home, I saw my son's school friend and his mother, whose birthday party I went to last year. The boy waved enthusiastically, so I walked over to them and said hello before continuing home. I'm not sure if he just wanted me to come closer so that they could get a better look at my nails or not, but I suspect that that may have been the case. :)

Yesterday, when I went to Charlestown Square to get a foundation sample, I also decided to have lunch there. While I sat eating, a group of 4 girls spent a considerable amount of time staring at my nails.

I am often amused by people's reactions. They brighten up my days. :)

18 May 2013

Contour and highlight using foundation

For years now, I've been using different shades of powder to do highlighting and contouring, and have always found that while my Estee Lauder foundation will hang in there for 13 hours or more, the powder generally fades away before the first time that I need to blot and re-powder.

Having seen a few mentions of doing the contouring and highlighting using foundation instead of powder, I decided that I'd like to try it. While I use a cheap foundation on my neck, my face is so oily that the Estee Lauder Double Wear is the only foundation that I've ever found that actually lasts and doesn't oxidise, so I don't want to use different types of foundation on my face ~ I'd prefer to stick with the one that I know works for me, but get the extra lighter and darker shades. The problem with that is that I didn't want to go out and buy 2 more bottles of expensive foundation in case the colours weren't going to work or I wasn't going to be able to get the hang of it.

The solution came this week in the form of a Facebook promotion by Estee Lauder Australia. The competition prize is a one year supply of Double Wear foundation, with the bonus that they were offering a free foundation sample (nominally enough for 10 days) for entering. All you have to do is go to the Estee Lauder counter at Myer or David Jones and ask...

The reality is that giving away sample quantities is a fairly normal thing. In fact, I've been given one before. I could probably have walked up to an Estee Lauder counter and got a foundation sample or two at any time. It just hadn't occurred to me to ask until I saw the promotion. The obvious thing to do was to go and see if I could get shades of foundation suitable for contouring and highlighting.

Today, I went to Myer in Charlestown Square (in boy mode). The sales assistant had no idea. I really don't think that she understood highlighting and contouring. She commented that I was making things too complicated and that I should be making it simpler instead, and insisted on applying some of the foundation that was intended to be highlight, trying to show me that it was too pale for me. In spite of my telling her that I was after a lighter shade relative to the 2N1 (darkness 2, neutral) Desert Beige that I use, she gave me a cool shade for highlighting, which will inevitably clash with my neutral base. I didn't bother asking if she would also give me a contouring sample.

I just about gave up in disgust, but on my way out of Charlestown I decided to try the Estee Lauder counter at David Jones in Kotara.

I'm glad I did, as the sales assistant was excellent. She clearly understood highlighting and contouring, and what I was trying to achieve. She volunteered the fact that they all had to be neutral shades, as mixing cool or warm with neutral would make them clash. She happily showed me a drop each of my base colour and the darker contour colour side-by-side on the back of her hand. They looked way too different to each other until she blended them a little to show how well they actually worked, and happily gave me the right neutral shades for both highlight and contour relative to my base shade.

I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to try it, but I'm hoping that it will be soon. If it works as hoped and I win the one year supply, I might have to try to get mixed batch of the 3 shades. :)

12 May 2013

Down but not out

I've been fairly depressed recently.

A couple of weeks ago, the regional police media liaison officer, Tony Tamplin, died. This was a guy who had been the media face of the NSW Police Force in the Newcastle/Hunter Region for many years. He got to work one morning, collapsed and couldn't be revived. He was very well known in the local area, and a lot of people mourned his passing. The funeral was so big that it was held at Newcastle City Hall.

I realised that, when I die, there simply won't be that sort of level of interest. There won't be that many people who care. I'm just one of those people in the background.

Then, on Tuesday this week, I spoke to a work client on the phone. He's about the same age as me, and is a well liked and respected person. He died in his sleep that night. I don't know if he had a known medical condition but I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that someone my age died in his sleep.

I'm still at the I can't actually believe that he is dead stage of grieving. I've re-scheduled my nail appointment next week so that I can attend his funeral. It is going to be a difficult day for me, and for many other people who knew him.

I've also had a few other time consuming things happen recently, including attending a day long work related conference in Sydney, which meant getting up at 5:30am, catching 2 trains and a bus to the venue, then reversing that process to get home around 7:30pm. While the conference went very well and was very productive, I didn't get to sleep until after 2am, leaving me completely wiped out on Saturday.

As a consequence, I've fallen a long way behind with emails, paperwork, etc., and that makes me even more depressed. The pressure that it creates makes me less likely to spend time transforming myself to go out en femme, because I feel that I can't afford that time. Re-scheduling my nail appointment also guarantees that I won't be able to get to that appointment en femme, because I'll be working in the morning then finishing work at lunch time to go to the appointment.

To top it all off, today is Mothers Day in Australia. I rang my mother and unfortunately, as usual, she made a negative remark my nails. Even if I do manage to get some productive work done in what little is left of today, it's likely that there will be some comfort eating happening too. :(

05 May 2013

China Red

After Wednesday's disappointment of discovering that the red nail polish that I'd bought the previous Saturday was not the same shade as the one that I'm wearing, I finally managed to get back to the pharmacy to have another look for the "China Red" colour that I wanted.

I wasn't sure what time they closed, so before I went I thought I'd best look up their web site to find out. I then discovered that they have another outlet a little closer to me, but in a different direction. The closer one was open until 4:30pm and the other one was open until 6pm.

Since I didn't remember there being very many bottles of red polish where I'd gone before, I decided to try the closer one, and if I found nothing there, I'd then go back to the other one.

They had a stand the same as the first one had ~ the nail polish bottles jumbled in a hemispherical clear plastic bowl on a stand. I worked my way through and found a different shade of red again, but I'm pretty sure that it was darker than the one that I was looking for so I left it.

While there, I realised that the shop next door was a party supply place, and had some fancy dress costumes, so I wandered in and had a look around. There was a blood-spattered Alice-in-wonderland costume that seemed a little more expensive than I thought it should have been, and an angel outfit that seemed reasonably priced until I realised that it only included the dress itself ~ no halo or wings. Mind you, the cut of the dress was such that I suspect that my 1950s style petticoat that I wore to the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival would probably work with it. If I find wings and a halo that I'm happy with, it could be an option for Halloween this year if I decide not to wear the Tinkerbell outfit again and can't fit into the Red Riding Hood costume that I bought last year. :)

Having finished there, I headed back to the first pharmacy where I'd bought the wrong shade in the first place. The traffic between the to places was abnormally bad, and they were having a problem with a malfunctioning automatic door, but I managed to get in and made my way back to the nail polish stand.

Having lucked out at the other store, I didn't have much hope of finding the shade that I was after, but looked anyway. I found a bright orange metallic colour that I liked the look of and decided that I'd get regardless. Then, just as I was about to give up, I fished a bottle of red up from the bottom of the bowl, turned it over and read the label ~ China Red. Yay. :)

02 May 2013

Fluke fail

Well, the theory was great. I thought that the bottle of red nail polish that I bought the other day was the same colour as the one that I've been wearing for the past 8 weeks or so...

Even with the two bottles side by side, they looked the same. On the nails was a different story, though. The one I bought was distinctly pink. Too pink that a second coat would bring it back to the orangey shade that I was after.

Looking at the labels revealed that the one that I like is called "China Red", while the other one is labelled "Red door red".

So my nails were again done from the nearly empty bottle at the salon, and I don't have a new bottle the same. At least I didn't waste too much money on it. :)

It's now got me wondering if I should donate the colours that I won't ever wear to the salon so that at least someone can get some use out of them...