Sunday, May 31, 2009

The fruits of my labor

So, after all the talk about make up I was dumping on you I figured you all might want to see it in action.

First, though, I'm going to start with a picture of my oldest tribal belt. This is not the first one I made, which was crafted from a Pier One place mat, upholstery tassel trim and home made yarn tassels. I do still have that one. This belt is made from a base I bought from The Red Camel (shop there, she rocks). I cut a piece of flannel to line the belt, then sewed two ties to the lining then hand stitched the lining to the belt, so when I tie it on (tight) I'm not stressing the fabric of the belt but am instead pulling against the lining. I added embroidered shisha mirrors to the ties, as well as some metal beads. The lower edge of the lining has one half of a row of snap tape sewn on so I can sew an arrangement of tassels to the corresponding side and swap out different "looks". No, I did not come up with that but I'm glad I read about it somewhere!

Anyway, I had been wanting to do a bunch of pom poms instead of tassels for the belt, so I spent the last week wrapping yarn and making poms. I'm really happy with how they turned out, because when you get moving the poms really dance. I also added two darts to the top back of the belt so it will hopefully mold to my back end a little better. They are hiding under the blue tassels. Here is a pic of the finished product, hanging on my front steps.

Next up is a Myspace style close up in my bathroom mirror. This was taken about 8:15 p.m. Saturday as I finished getting ready for our show that night. Here you can see my first homemade bindi (small but sparkly), my eyeshadow that is FIRMLY held on with Two Faced Shadow Insurance, the results of my new bottle of Lorac Oil Free foundation, and my awesome new red Make Up Forever lipliner and stick. Except for the lipstick, which I eventually wiped off while eating pizza after performing, the rest of the make up was going strong when I got home at 2:30 a.m. As was my hair, of which most of what you see is fake and let me say that was SO much easier to deal with than fighting with my own hair.

Here is a picture of me ready to head out the door. I have the pom belt on, and see that lovely red sequined skirt? It got tangled with the skirt of another dancer mid-set so I had to twirl myself free. I bought the choli from a local dance vendor and then added some sequins to the edges. I may add more. That extra shiny is addictive.

Here's the aftermath. First, the pile of metal is my bindi, barrettes and the bobby pins used to keep my hair together. I pulled them out last night and left them on the edge of the sink. There's a point as I'm taking everything off where I just want to start ripping and pulling at my hair and costume, like a little kid who pulls on a shirt they find uncomfortable. The adult side of me always makes sure I am more careful then that, but when you're really tired and you just want to go to bed it can take a lot of self control.

And here is the pile of costume, which Noralita calls "dancer droppings". The pantaloons, skirts and choli are on top of my belts and scarves which are on top of my jewelry. It takes about 2 hours to get ready and about 5-10 minutes to take it all off. We danced an 11 minute set.

Hopefully the video from the performance turned out, if so I'll post that when I get it, as well as any action shots I can find.

Getting the word out!

I want to take a moment to get the word out about some awesome events that are coming up in my area.

July 13-14 there are two amazing weekends of workshops going on, one in Baltimore and one in Philadelphia. First up is ReOrient: Artistic Perceptions of the Middle East.

This is being sponsored by my current teacher Shems and two other local dancers (I am proud to call my friends), Nina and Ariel. I am hoping to hit one workshop on Saturday, Aszmara's Stage Dynamics. I may miss the Sunday show, since I'll be out of town, but I am encouraging everyone to see it. Not only will the dancing be awesome but the Creative Alliance is a fantastic intimate venue.

The same weekend Hipnosis in Philadelphia is sponsoring Paulette Rees-Denis of Gypsy Caravan for two days of workshops.

I'll be traveling to Philly with my friend Flissy to take Day #2. After reading Paulette's book Tribal Vision I am really looking forward to meeting her in person!

Then, July 18-19, Mirage Trio of Westminster, MD is hosting Kassar (a tribal duo from New Jersey) and Ali (of n.o.madic tribal from New Orleans) for two days of workshops in Frederick, MD.

I had the pleasure to take a day of workshops with Ali last summer, and her teaching has been an huge inspiration to me. Two years ago I took (with Flissy) a duo choreography class with Kassar while at Tribeoriginal and it kicked my butt. Check out both workshops if you can, I'll be attending Day #2 (unfortunately being unemployed means I'm having to pick and choose my workshops very carefully, so I don't get to do it all).

Now, go forth and dance!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More make up: mascara

I realized the other day that I was not going to get around to wearing fake eyelashes for our next performance because I wasn't going to have enough time to practice dancing while wearing them. I test drive everything! I also realized that my current mascara, though good for every day, is not quite enough for performing. So I again headed off to Makeda's blog to see what she recommends.

There I found her review of Cover Girl's Lash Blast Luxe, which boils down to "CG Lash Blast is good, Lash Blast Luxe is no better than the original so go for the regular one." Got it. She also linked this review of drugstore mascaras at Beauty Banter, and the Lash Blast got a good review again. That works for me!

I hit the grocery store while running errands yesterday, and they had it for $7.99. That's good, I can pay that. Then I hit the self check out aisle, where it rung up as over $9. Uh, what? I pressed the cancel button, and a clerk came over. I mentioned the price difference and said I wanted to double check the aisle. He said he'd do it for me. In a minute he was back and said I was correct, it was marked at a lower price in the display, and since there was a discrepancy I could have it for free! I told him I was happy to pay the lower price and he said I didn't have to, since it was their fault it was free (this was at a Weis store in Laurel, MD). I walked out very happy.

I wore the mascara to practice last night. It held up to two hours of sweaty practice, dinner at home afterwards, and a loooong soak in the tub at the end of the evening. I rubbed a little coconut oil over my (closed) eyes and wiped off most of the mascara before washing my face. It definitely added thickness to my lashes, and I'll keep playing with it to get the best, and most dramatic, coverage. And I promise to start wearing my fake lashes at practice so I can add them to my stage face.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Make up, redux

Monday I met up with my dancer friend Flissy and we hit the mall for the Sephora store and MAC counter. I headed into Sephora with a list of product suggestions gleaned from my request posts to Livejournal, Facebook and this blog, as well as information I pulled from emails I exchanged with another dancer friend/make up guru Makeda.

Before I mention what I bought, let me take a moment to credit Natalia for my red lipstick hunt,which was sparked after reading her post Is there a lipstick shortage in St. Louis?. It made me think if my choice of lipsticks, nice intense colors tending towards the browny reds and bronzy browns, were not quite right for the stage. So began the red lipstick search.

Here is what I ended up purchasing, with notes:

* Lipstick: Make Up Forever Lacquered Lipstick in #205, with Aqua Lip Liner in #8C. This is a bright, clear blue-red, which worked better with my medium, slightly yellow toned skin better than I thought it would. At the MAC counter Flissy tried Ruby Woo and they seemed to be almost identical. I wore it to practice last night to see how it held up to two sweaty hours, and my troupe mate Noralita said my lips walked into the room before the rest of me. I think it will stand up to performance hair, make up, clothing, lighting, etc. I'd probably go with Ruby Woo next time since it's $5 cheaper than the Make Up Forever version, but since I had the gift certificate this worked out well.

Note: It's really hard to steer myself away from all the awesome burgundy and plum colors, my favorites due to spending 2/3 of my life wearing mostly black clothing and almost 10 years identifying as goth. Unfortunately those colors are really too dark for my small mouth, so I bring them in as sheer lip glosses that tint more than cover.

* Eye Shadow Primer: Here I went with Two Faced Shadow Insurance. I was not crazy about Urban Decay's primer. I felt the tube and applicator were not designed in a way to allow you to get the product out of the tube. Then I'd have to put the primer on my finger to apply it anyway, so why not just go with a product that I squeeze out onto my hand from the start? I tried this out at the store with a light gold Lorac shadow, and it held all day with no creasing. Last night I wore it to practice with a plum Urban Decay shadow and again, no creasing after two sweaty hours. This will really be put to the test this summer in Baltimore's heat and humidity. Bring it on!

* Just for fun, Flissy got eye lashes with a glitter strip, #113 Betsy. I can't wait to see them on! Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to rock a pair of the feathered lashes (for non dance costumes).

A product I want to try:

* MAC Paint Pots: I'd like to get this in Painterly to use as a primer (as I've read about online). Also, the colors Delft, Rubenesque and Artifact are gorgeous in person, the website does them no justice. There was also a lovely olive green with a gold shimmer that I do not see listed on the site.

Product I dream of:

* The perfect antiqued gold nail polish. It has to be out there, a faintly metallic gold with a base of black so it's rich, not light. NARS has an eye shadow that looks like the right color match in the container. I might have luck layering a lighter gold over black.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I don't have a lot of money . . .

. . . but I DO have a $50 gift certificate to Sephora! Thanks Mom, what a perfect Christmas present.

So, any suggestions on how I should spend it? I will be purchasing some new performance foundation (I use Aromaleigh mineral foundation for day to day). I have oily skin that is, unfortunately, more sensitive and acne prone than when I was a teenager. My last performance foundation was Lorac's Oil Free, which is no longer available. I took a look at the site, and here is what shows up under Sephora's oil free foundation list. They have a different Lorac one listed, and I'm intrigued by the Clinique ones because my mom has used Clinique most of her life (definitely all of mine) and she loves it (and also has oily skin, though clearer than mine).

If anyone has foundation recommendations for a stage foundation, from Sephora or not, for oily and troubled skin, I've love to hear it! I do prefer ones without SPF because sun block can make me flush, so I prefer to be able to use it or not as it's needed, not have it in my foundation all the time.

I'm also thinking of an eye shadow primer, though I will admit I was unimpressed by Urban Decay's. It didn't work all that well on me and I felt there was not a lot of product in the tube and it ran out FAST! Now, I like Smashbox's Photo Finish* face primer, so perhaps their eye primer would be a good thing to go for? I've also recently heard good things about using the MAC neutral colored Paint Pots as a primer. Either way, I think I will pick up a concealer brush (I do have one for foundation already, but do I ever use it? No.)

Last, I need a good red performance lipstick. This is going to be a tough one. My skin has yellow undertones, I tan in a heartbeat, and I have some redness across my cheeks. I look better in warm tones than cool. I know I'll have to go check out lots of colors, but any recommendations for brands (Sephora or not) that are long lasting would be great! I've tried the two step lip colors with the base that sticks and the gloss that goes on top, but man, talk about dry flaky lips! I so think something with a bit of a shimmer is best (or should I add gloss on top) because I have small lips and matte lipstick makes me look all pinched and mean mouthed. Right now I have a nice copper-brown color, though I think it can be a bit too dark, and I have a great fuschia red from Bed Head, Passion. I guess I'm looking for something classic that can go with any of my eye shadows or costumes.

Makeda, I'm expecting you'll have some input for me?

* Thanks to The Tribal Dancer Sharon for introducing me to the world of foundation primers via her LJ!

ETA: A pic, I'm on the right, see my small mouth! There are other pics from that set where I'm smiling. Thank you to the awesome photographer, the whole set rocks!

Another ETA: Paulette, while reading your book I noticed it appears Noralita has the same bat necklace Thorn used in her dance costuming.