A DIY tip! Plus some cosmethics and an end-of-year bonus.
My regular finishing powder, which I use in lieu of actual face makeup, is Silk Naturals perfecting powder (translucent). It’s also available in several other shades too, and in a vegan version. Works as a kind of airbrushing magic thingamajig, smoothing out minor bits and pieces. Good if your skin’s in pretty good nick. Also good if there’s the odd glitchy bit: apply concealer first (lightly) as needed and only as needed, then this stuff on top. A light hand is key.
Ever wanted to know the secret to French (and other chic continental European) flawless-looking skin? And how not to look like an American (or, often, northern British or Irish) tourist? Well, there are other and longer and more complicated bits to it: but one major element is not applying a ton of stuff to your skin that obscures it from view. Yes, it’s all very sexist and it’s at least as much about being sexy. And what’s more sexy than bare naked skin? OK, plenty other things too; and yes, skin could be considered as much a fetish as any other separated-out objectified substance: hair, fur, leather, rubber, feather dusters accompanying lacy French maid uniforms…
On the other hand: visual appeal for the benefit of others, and the titillating suggestion that touching would be even pleasanter still, all happens to coincide with being generally better for skin health than covering it up with a mask of, errrm, stuff.
Exemption clause, of course, if you live in a city with heinous pollution where the only viable alternative to a solid coating of foundation is wearing an actual solid mask. In which case: you have my sympathies. Maybe play with this imaginatively, brighten up your day and everyone else’s and their moods too! Pretend it’s the Venice carnival and wear fabulous fancy OTT decorated masks? Sparkly bits, glitter, irridescence, and of course luxurious feathers (fake ones of course, no going around tormenting or even killing birds for vanity, that’s mean and wrong).
But: there’s a good feminist and humanist side to this, of being at home in one’s own skin. Including its colour, whatever that may be. (Unfortunately, France isn’t exactly being a sunny paragon of friendliness to the whole glorious rainbow of human carnations these days. But I digress.) So no pretending your ghostly blue-tinged pallor is a luscious Mediterranean bronze, or vice versa, or that black is white, or white is black. True to oneself, and proud of it, and happy being oneself.
I don’t wear foundation. I do have some, in the Level Three Box; it hasn’t made an appearance in many months. Over a year. I keep it there (and it’s the kind of stuff that shouldn’t, in theory, ever go off…) just in case I have to go somewhere and do something for which wearing a clear layer of masking on my face is, for whatever idiotic pseudo-reason, deemed necessary. Socially, politically, diplomatically, by convention. And as opposed to just being clean, well-groomed, and respectably properly etc. turned out. It sucks, it’s stupid, but hey: at least I’m not a guy and I don’t have to do all that ludicrous wearing a tie shit.
Come the Revolution… ah, yes: weird office dress-codes out the window. Probably many weird office-jobs too. Hopefully, replaced by something more useful, constructive, creative, enjoyable, and conducive to human happiness and the good of the world as a whole (inc. of course good old Planet Earth).
Meanwhile: my compromise, on occasions where I should look a bit more groomed than usual (which is pretty well-groomed: my job involves interacting with other human beings, and showing them the respect of not being a complete shambolic scuzzbag on the visual presentation front): the compromise is the Perfecting Powder.
It’s supplied in small plastic bags. Looking suspiciously druggy; I never order too much, as it would run a higher than usual risk of being stopped and searched by Canadian customs officials. I’m dreading the day my fresh supplies arrive accompanied by two strapping young gents in uniform. (There is not going to be a uniform-fetish running through this post. Promise. I digress… then again, Canadian men in the forces can be quite distracting. And drooling is surely an ethically and politically good thing: moving said gents away from their current course of duty; Make Love Not War!)
I decant the contents into an old loose powder container (Laura Mercier finishing powder: has neat internal swivel top). Apply all over with hands à la Clinique-powder-rubdown + a teeny bit applied with a small brush–same kind as used for eye concealer–under the lower lashline: helps prevent mascara smudging, if done before making up one’s eyes.
It’s lovely most of the year, but too dry in winter.
I like supporting companies like Silk Naturals: cruelty-free, caring about what they do, charging fair prices: not whatever the market will bear; or the same as other companies making similar stuff; or as much as they can while bigging up their smallness, exclusivity, and chi-chi-ness. Nor by investing more time and money in marketing blarney and packaging design than in the actual products, and expecting customers to pay for aesthetics and bling and whatever crap’s been spouted. Those things are all follies. It being the business of this blog to discuss folly, I’ll point and shout now: Silk Naturals is remarkably folly-free. Yes, there’s the odd bit of verbiage that gets my goat. But I’ve yet to meet any company for whom that’s not true; and bear in mind that my verbal sensitivity is at least on the same level as that of my skin, and perhaps veering into hypersensitivity; certainly compared to the average consumer. Also, this is the season of Bah Humbug.
So anyway: I’ve been using this perfecting stuff to perfect myself for some time now. I was starting to run out (had used a fair amount for a few more public things recently requiring more facial slap). Ordered some more. Then I thought: ooh, how about trying to make some of my own? a version with even less of the oil-absorbing silica microspheres than even the les-drying SN version? So I placed an order over on Garden of Wisdom for the raw materials needed. The GoW order arrived, I made up my DIY version, and have been wearing it with great delight. (The SN version hasn’t as yet: when it does, I’ll do a compare-and-contrast, and will certainly use it up).
Garden of Wisdom being one of my other favourite non-foolish companies. The third member of this Holy Trinity United in Non-foolish Virtue: Mountain Rose Herbs.
Kinda sorta (but some more marketing copy), for finished products: A-Derma. Free & Clear / Vanicream / Cliniderm.
While I like and use products from several green/natural/granola/hippy-holier-than-thou brands, and with some companies (Avalon Organics, BurnOut, Lavera, NOW foods, Weleda) I’ve used a lot and found them pretty reliable overall as products, I’ve yet to find any where I’ve had absolutely no gripes with verbiage. Sorry guys.
CONTENTS: silk powder + serecite (mica) + very small quantity of silica microspheres (my skin’s on the dry side; add more if oilier).
Source for raw materials: Garden of Wisdom > Raw ingredients > Sunscreen/cosmetics.
METHOD: I didn’t follow a recipe but approximated, based on the SN ingredient list and what felt right when mixing. Poured into large ziplock bag. Thrown, mushed, and squidged around. Some decanted into the old loose powder container, the rest kept in the bag.
That’s it folks. More in a week or so. Meanwhile, in my absence:
Read. The. Label.
No, not the bit that tells you about how magic this special unique potion is, and how its specialness and uniqueness makes *you* a special unique (delicate, fragile, precious, loveable and oughting-to-be-loved) snowflake.
The bit in small print listing the INGREDIENTS.
If in doubt, uncertainty, or ignorance: don’t panic, or throw up your hands in horror, or assume it’s toxic/evil/out to get you as part of a conspiracy by Them against you.
Look. It. Up.
Sakes: your local library, school library, university library: go forth and search catalogues and look up reference books. It’s what they’re for, dagnabit. Public information. And they’re there for all: which includes you. Knowledge: it’s democratic. That, again, includes you. You’re automatically part—an integral part at that—of this democracy. But remember: it’s a right, but also a privilege and a responsibility. As is possessing a functioning brain. Use it or (deserve to) lose it. If you want and choose to live in ignorance, fear, and loathing: feel free, and I’ll try very very very hard to feel sorry for you for joining The Idiocrary, a.k.a. the Forces of Toxic Evil, a.k.a. The Real Them.
On a jollier note: Happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Yaldā, and Yule; grianstad seunail; and other season’s greetings to all!
Oh yes, nearly forgot: the annual end-of-year bonus:
Or again, because I am
- a sucker;
- with unorthodox tastes in drool-worthy objects of desire;
- with bad taste and proud of it;
- and with a deep love for the bad taste as an aesthetic category in itself, yay and proudly so, suffering for my beliefs decades before they became a cult/trendy/hipster thing:
Because of all these things: