Don’t punch yourself in the face.

I don’t wear makeup every day, but I do wear it more often than you might think, considering the fact that I work from home.  Over the years, as a result of very specific testing circumstances, I’ve chosen a few favorite makeup-related products.

Makeup testing circumstance #1:  Grading Papers

Product:  Mascara

Two years ago, I had enjoyed watching a couple of my favorite television shows while working when I decided to take a break and head out to the living room to say hello to my husband, Terry.  I had sauntered casually over to the chair next to his to settle in for a few minutes of conversation when he looked over at me and exclaimed in a horrified scream-whisper, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!”

My hands flew to my face, patting it down to see if I could feel the abnormality.  “I don’t know!” I cried.  “What IS wrong with my face? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!”

“There is something wrong with your face,” he repeated ominously (and vaguely), staring at me with wide eyes in the low light of the table lamp.

I rushed to the bathroom and turned on ALL of the lights before I looked in the mirror, expecting to find a new baby arm growing out of my temple, a la Rachel Dratch on SNL (when she played the mutant incest baby of Angelina Jolie and her brother–if you haven’t seen it, you really need to), or a giant, previously-undetected booger on my chin.

Rachel Dratch as Angelina Jolie's incest baby on SNL

Rachel Dratch as Angelina Jolie’s incest baby on SNL

Instead, I discovered that I had *very faintly* smudged mascara under my eyes when I had rubbed them (probably vigorously) while working at the computer. The smudges were BARELY visible; they were almost not there at all.  (This is a good time to mention that Terry is somewhat prone to panic-inducing exaggeration. It’s a theme that we’ll see again in these makeup reviews.)

I said, “It’s MASCARA.  What did you think it was? What else could it possibly be?”

He said sheepishly, “I don’t know. It just looked like someone had punched you in the eyes.”

I don’t usually sit in my office, punching myself in the face while I work.  However, partly as a result of this incident, I decided to try a new mascara, since, honestly, I rub my eyes considerably more than an adult human should.  I’m like a constantly sleepy two-year-old.  Since I know that I do this, I thought it best to try a smudge-proof mascara.  Also, even though I have eyelashes of normal length, they appear shorter because they fade out to light blonde on the ends. Do I lose sleep over this issue?  No.  Do I prefer NOT to look eyelash-less in pictures?  Yes. I’ve got plenty of things working against me in pictures; I don’t need my eyelashes to join the cause. Thus, my product of choice was CoverGirl’s LashBlast Volume Mascara (the fat orange CG tube).

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascar

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara

I. Love. This. Mascara.

It’s SO easy to apply without looking clumpy, and it adds a remarkable amount of volume to eyelashes without adding those weird, synthetic fiber ends to them like some “extend-lash” mascaras do.  I tried one of those extend-lash mascaras once, and the synthetic fibers got into my eyes, which was SO IRRITATING.  I looked like a marijuana user without the benefit of marijuana, so I was annoyed AND sober, the worst combination.  The LashBlast results in zero irritation for my eyes, which is kind of remarkable for a volumizing mascara, and it’s both hypoallergenic and smudge-proof.  No more smudges!  No more imagined self-abuse!  No more half-baked eyes!

Just as with any other beauty products, there are truckloads of different mascaras for you to choose from, and everyone has distinct needs/preferences.  However, if you want a better-than-average smudge-proof mascara that is easy enough for everyday and dramatic enough for night, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara is a good ‘un.

And, as a tip from me to you, don’t ever ask someone, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!” with horror in your eyes unless that person’s face has, in fact, been attacked by giant leeches or scarred by a light saber.

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Poop and lotion–my first review!

I’m a horrible influence on my son, Ted.  A few minutes ago, while preparing my supper of naan and olive oil, I held up the bottle of olive oil and asked my husband, “Do you think olive oil could give me diarrhea?”  He said, “First of all, that’s a hot question,” and then proceeded to quote a favorite line from Calvin & Hobbes:  “Sometimes, my worms give me diarrhea. I don’t know why I just said that.”  Both of these comments made me cackle loudly, and Ted likes nothing more than to make me cackle loudly.  “DIARRHEA!!” he screamed with glee.  “Diarrhea, diarrhea, diarrhea!!”  At this point, I’m laughing so hard that I’m bending over, still gripping the diarrheic olive oil.  “We don’t need diarrhea!” he yells, and then looks at me for approval.  You have it, my son.  You have it.

This conversation served to remind me that I spend a large portion of my day dealing with poop—real poop, not metaphorical poop, although I could make a case for the metaphorical poop, and (this is significant) not my own poop, olive oil or no.  I still deal with Ted’s poop because he is a decidedly unenthusiastic supporter of the toilet.  I deal with cat poop because we have nine (I said nine, yes) inside cats who are decidedly ardent supporters of litter boxes.  When my geriatric black Lab mix named Smokey was still alive, I picked up his poop several times a day because, as his back legs became paralyzed with arthritis, he could no longer control his poop-related faculties.  On one notable early morning, after being up most of the night with him because his stomach was upset (“Diarrhea!!”), I cleaned up the poopy carpet, lit a candle to freshen the room a bit, blew out the candle when I thought I might go back to sleep, knocked over the still-warm candle and spilled wax everywhere, and then, while flustered, unthinkingly took his diarrhea medicine myself, thereby guaranteeing that I wouldn’t do any pooping of my own for a disturbingly long time.  So, poop and I, we go way back.

How is poop related to a review of anything good, you might ask?  It’s TOTALLY related.  I trudge through every day, guzzling Diet Coke to make it through the mind-numbing, will-sapping, never-ending series of chores, many of which are poop-related.  Many of you probably have fewer pets but more kids or no kids but an 80-hour-per-week job or no kids and no job but a partner who walks around the house in tiger-print underwear.  My point is that DAILY LIFE IS A POOP-FILLED HELL FOR ALL OF US, even if only metaphorically, and we all need a little help.  What can we do to infuse a day with a smidgen of hope and happiness?  Here’s one thing I do:  I take a shower (sometimes—let’s be honest, I work from home) and then slather myself with Ralph Lauren’s Goodbye Dry Hydrating Body Lotion with Shimmer.  I also use the coordinating perfume, Ralph (in the blue bottle), but there is nothing like the lotion—smooth, silky, hydrating without being sticky . . . and did I mention that IT CONTAINS SPARKLES?  So, after a shower, not only am I not dirty, but my skin is as smooth as a poop-free baby’s butt, and I smell like a fresh, bright, fruity-floral bouquet that is somehow never overpowering.  Oh, and I am literally sparkling clean—BECAUSE THE LOTION HAS SPARKLES IN IT.  This lotion, it brings me joy.

RL Goodbye Dry Lotion

Ralph Lauren Goodbye Dry Lotion with Shimmer

Ralph by RL

Ralph by Ralph Lauren Fragrance

I am devastated to tell you (I discovered a few minutes ago) that Ralph Lauren (the company, not the man) has apparently decided to discontinue the best product in the world (the lotion—I just told you about it), but you can still find it at various locations online, including eBay.  I just bought three tubes.  I’m not kidding; I need to stock up.  These cats are all going to live another 13 years, and, by the time they’re gone, maybe I will have started pooping all over the house, too.

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