Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Make up school

One of the things I did on Saturday was buy eye shadow.

Yayayaya... I am sure my friend Cheri just started laughing at me.

I don’t think I ever owned eye shadow in Canada. If I did it must have been left over from Halloween.
It is not that I didn’t care about how I looked, cause I did, it was just that I had my priorities totally different. I spent all of my spare change on food for me or my dog, anything horse related, and on high quality boots for work. I was also starting to spend more money than I wanted on my car’s engine.
I also grew up with a mother that never wore make up so it was not something I could ever actually learn. You read about the girls that snuck into their mothers’ closets to play with their mom’s lipsticks and wear their fancy clothes: never happened for me. We were farmers and my parents were ex-hippies. The most prized commodity was the fruit dryer and the giant jar of ‘parsley’ on the top shelf.

The most prized piece of clothing in my closet before I came to Japan was my jeans.
I owned maybe two dresses: one had been bought for a friends wedding, the other for Cheri’s Christmas party. I never wore skirts and you probably never saw me in anything other than boots (even at the bar).
Again, it is not because I didn’t want to.
I used to buy the odd fashion magazine and think about possibly buying something close to it in from Wal-mart. I have this thing for anything made by ‘Lecroix’. I love his crazy ass style. I recently opened a magazine and saw Lecroix dresses based on Georgia O’Keefe. I was really wishing I were a millionaire, as I would have bought three of them.
I used to dream about having nails that wouldn’t chip or peel and owning a pair of high heel shoes that were not in a riding boot style.

Well, since coming to Japan I no longer have a horse, a dog or a car. I also have a higher paying job and lower rent due to company housing, as well as a husband with a paycheque. This has allowed me, for the first time in my life, to actually have extra cash AFTER I save money.
It of course needs to be spent.
It is not so much that I can fly off to another country whenever I choose. It would be if I chose to return to Canada with barely two yen to rub together, but this is not my goal. Trampsing around Japan would leave me with less than a single yen.
Instead I have started to buy clothes and get acrylic nails.
I am not making so much that I can buy brand name dresses, so instead I have listened in on other conversations, chatted it up with the girls and learned where all the discount shopping is.
I buy the copies at one-tenth the price and I love my closet.

It used to be that it would take me hours to find that shirt I had bought five years before that looks slightly nice with the jeans I had bought the year before that. Now it takes me hours to decide which of the 16 shirts I have goes with the skirt I have decided to wear, and do I want to wear boots or shoes.
It is fun.

Having a mother-in-law who is the quality control lady for a company that specially designs clothes for a British company has also helped. I have ended up with some pretty nice hand-made-special-for-the-factory-line dresses and accessories.
My wardrobe in Canada consisted of black, black, or gray with a splash of brown. Now it consists of a lot of pinks, oranges and many colours in between.
I used to have two belts, both identical in style just different colours: black and brown. Now I have over ten in multiple colours and styles: even with rhinestone studs. Hehehe

Now this has not made me a fashion expert in ANY WAY! I still require my husband to tell me if I am wearing the skirt right or if things match. He is the one that went to design school; I am the one who has only just recently gotten comfortable wearing skirts.
A few years back at a party it was Marg who convinced me, without her even realizing she was doing it, that wearing nylons was the stupidest thing I could ever imagine. I went out and bought a garter belt and have spent a ton of money on special stockings. Still have not figured out how to attach the damn things but I will never return to the diaper sagging nylons again.

JiXiang is probably the best-dressed baby outside of Tokyo. I have actually been forcing myself to NOT buy her clothes. I started to buy her clothes that will fit her when she is 3!!! Then I decided that the fashions are going to change so much she might get cooler clothes then.
I know, sick.

I have also started buying fashion magazines.
There are no horse magazines to be had in my town and if there were I would not be able to read them anyway. Fashion magazines require little in the way of Japanese reading ability. You just look at the pictures and get ideas.
That is what I do.
I have recently been studying the make up section. (This is where Stone starts to cringe, as he hates make up on woman). Don’t worry I am not one of the girls who has plucked their eyebrows off and then drawn them back on. I think it is as stupid as it sounds. I also have a husband who has no qualms about telling me that I look like a Panda, if not a Panda than Panda’s sister, when attempting to do eye liner and eye shadow.
I will admit that having a kid, crawling over thirty and basically aging in many ways has made me suddenly start to want the make up. I used to be able to put on some mascara and go. My face was tanned and my skin looked even and perfect.
Now I no longer tan (totally against it now) and my face has pink spots that irritate me far more than any person who is looking at me.

It is true when they say, woman put make up on so that they look good in their own eyes. To hell with trying to impress others.

If I think I look good I feel much better about my self as a whole. I don’t really care about what all of you think when you look at me. (maybe just the hubby)

Well looking at the magazines has had me experimenting with eye shadow for a while. I played with the cheap ass stuff but as I have learned that cheap is cheap regardless of how you use it. So off I went and spent 35bucks on one container of eye shadow on Saturday. YICKS!! It cost more than the belt I bought.
They thankfully had instructions inside.
Yes instructions.

Back when I was a wee young lass (gag) I sort of recall woman applying one colour of eye shadow and walking away looking basically good. A few years ago you would buy eye shadow and it would be only one colour and be a very large amount. The stuff would last you a few years, no problem. Nowadays eye shadow comes in sets of four colours. Being make up illiterate, I used to think it was a bit of a waste of money to buy the whole set for just one of the colours and throw the rest out when that colour was finished. Little did I know there was an actual art to putting this crap on.

One colour goes right along the edge of the upper eyelid near your eyelashes.
The next colour goes above that and wraps slightly around the outside edge of your eye and runs along about one third of your bottom lid.
The third colour goes above this but only on the upper eyelid area.
The fourth colour goes on the very top and you put a tiny bit along the remaining unmake-uped area of your bottom lid for a little bit of high lighting.

Thank god for picture diagrams!!!

With the inside instructions and the magazine in tow I applied and screamed but sort of succeeded.
Li gave it a passing grade.
On Sunday I tried again with a bit of an eyeliner change and Li gave me a thumb and a half up.
I don’t do this for work, takes too damn long, but with a little practice on the weekends I think I will slowly resemble a woman who does not intend to grow old gracefully but who intends to fight it every step of the way.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::11/15/2005 :: 6 Comments:

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