Body Dysmorphia & Social Media

Two nights ago I was in a bit of A Mood™️ and I decided to give a little air time to my frustrations on social media.  The responses to my post got me thinking about how we react to people’s bodies, and feelings about their bodies, on social media.  Fair warning: this is not your typical, predictable post about body image and Instagram models.

Understanding My Face

my profile, showing my retracted chin
Come thru, chin defect!

I was born with what’s clinically diagnosed as a “retracted chin”; instead of my chin extending out to match the shape of my forehead and nose, it retreats back under my lips.  It’s a genetic defect and it’s also a feature I share with my Narcissist-with-a-capital-N father.

For most of my young life I could not figure out what was wrong with my face.  I would stare at photos of myself with other friends with non-defected facial structure and I was absolutely stumped as to why my face looked so wrong.  My own dysmorphia and distorted perception of myself made it hard to view my face as “mine”, let alone to understand its individual features.  Discovering that my retracted chin is an actual, diagnosable, defect made me happy.

I wasn’t crazy.  My face was fixable.

In the years since pinning down my facial defect, I have researched doctors.  I am lucky to have a home base in Massachusetts — a state with some of the best medical facilities in the country, possibly the entire continent.  I came close to saving up the roughly $5k that corrective surgery will cost but unfortunately had to spend my savings when the startup company I was working for in NYC could no longer support my salary.

That setback has been devastatingly frustrating in many ways.

Controlling Perception

For the most part, I have kept my plans to get corrective surgery to myself.  We live in a culture that looks down upon people that choose to alter their bodies in many ways.  People who choose cosmetic surgery are seen as vain, people who pierce and tattoo their bodies are seen as freaks, and people who are born transgender and choose to take hormones and/or pursue surgery face discrimination.

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L’Oreal Complexion Products Review

Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Magic Lumi Light I
Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Price & Size: $12.95 for 0.68 oz / 19 ml

As the name suggests, this is a brightening primer.  On a good skin day, I will put this on over my sunscreen, throw on some mascara and lip tint and call it a day.

Packaging: The primer comes with a pump dispenser, which is a hygienic distribution but will lose some product in the bottom of the container.  One or two pumps is sufficient to cover my face.  Pro tip: shake the container for a few seconds before using the pump.  Sometimes if I haven’t used it for a while the product will separate.

Formula: I tend to wear BB creams and light coverage foundation so I still see the “lumi” quality coming through.  Under a medium to full coverage foundation, it loses most of its brightening quality.  While the brightening quality does offer some light diffusion which smoothes skin, it offers little pore filling or long wear properties.  I will tend to wear it over my NYX pore filler silicone based primer and under my BB cream or foundation.

My favorite thing about it is how it looks in your hand.  Living up to the word “magic” in its name, the product looks like liquid mercury or something out of Harry Potter.  I’ve included a true swatch of this product at the bottom next to the swatches from the contour palette.

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H&M x Balmain Launch: What I Experienced

First off: I never intended to pick up the collection’s most coveted items — the beaded blazer and embroidered dress.  While they are both beautiful, I found them more reminiscent of Balmain in 2012 than 2016.  No shade to anyone who picked them up or admired them, but I think H&M and Balmain chose to re-create some pre-existing designs rather than push new ideas, given that people have already been watching celebrities wear nearly identical pieces for years.  Also the target audience of H&M is not as risk-taking as your average runway show attendees, and familiar silhouettes and design concepts are safer.

Doors opened at 8 a.m.  Around 7:30, having just returned from my morning trip to the gym, I headed down to the 86th Street H&M in Manhattan.  The line stretched down the block towards 3rd avenue, but did not reach the next street corner when I arrived at 7:45.  No doubt the people first in line had been there all night.

By 8:30, I had been given a wristband that would allow me to enter at 9:45.  The wristband guaranteed me a spot in line so I did not have to stand around any longer.  I headed up Lexington to Fika Cafe, enjoyed an almond milk latte and a croissant, and casually walked back around 9:30.

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Technology & Couture Meet at Paris Fashion Week

A week ago, Fashion Week was in full swing in Paris.  Fashion Week, whether in Paris, Milan, London, or New York, has always been known for a display of cutting edge notions of what beauty can look like.  Those who follow both Fashion Week and Apple’s releases might remember last year’s London Fashion Week, where the iPhone 5S’s slow motion video capability was debuted with an Instagram video of a Burberry runway show (video here).

Still from Burberry's iPhone 5S slow motion video of their Spring/Summer 2014 runway show at London Fashion Week.
Still from @burberry‘s iPhone 5S slow motion video of their Spring/Summer 2014 runway show at London Fashion Week.

Apple has been working to be seen as “fashionable tech” arguably since the clamshell iBook from fifteen years ago, which featured bright colors and rounded corners — a significant departure from the existing design of laptops.  As mobile phones became common place, so did phone cases and charms.  A fashionable person’s cell phone was not complete without a shiny cover or sparkly charm.  In the 90s, merely having a cell phone was a status symbol, but by the time Motorola introduced the RAZR, it was clear that the kind of cell phone you had was as important as simply owning one.  And this trend has skyrocketed since the invention of the Smart Phone.

As technology seeps deeper and deeper into our every day lives, it makes perfect sense that it becomes a part of our fashion aesthetic.  We carry our Smart Phones with us everywhere, and for many of us, they are constantly in our hand.  It functions in many ways like a clutch purse, but it is not limited to a feminine look and is far more likely to appear in a professional setting.

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Massive Eyeliner Collection Review

Full list with links and prices at bottom of page.

Pencils are arguably the oldest and most common form of eyeliner.  It’s possible to find cream and gel formulas in pencil form, and are usually in a twist up container or a traditional pencil that needs sharpening.  Pencils provide a familiar tool and if the formula is smooth, the liner should glide on easily.  Pencil liner can be applied to the top and bottom lids, the lashline, and the waterline.  Because pencils are a familiar tool and can be applied anywhere, they tend to be best for beginners.  The only con I can think to mention is when it comes to precision.  Even a twist up pencil needs to be sharpened to stay precise, and sharpening pencils means you lose some of the product.  Even when sharpened, their precision does have a limit.  Some products are so creamy they can slide on oily skin, but I find that gel pencils don’t have this same problem for me.

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L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow, Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara: Review + Look

I recently made an order from Drugstore.com to get birthday gifts for my good friend Lizzie Lee, and to tip my order into the free shipping zone I bought two small things for myself.  Lizzie has been recommending Neutrogena’s Healthy Volume Black/Brown Mascara to me for a while so I picked up the waterproof version (my eyes run like a faucet when I get tired).  I had read many good things about L’oreal’s Infallible 24 Hour Eyeshadow and I am always interested to try new textures so I couldn’t resist buying one for myself as well as one as a gift.  This post is a quick look and review from using the mascara and eyeshadow a few times.

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Wet n Wild Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Bronzer + Fergie Collection Products Review

wet n wild products

Wet n Wild is a brand I have walked by in drug stores for years, but in my current area the selection is limitted so I had only picked up a couple products.  After spending some time on their website and acquainting myself with their awesome moto (All Access Beauty – a concept I love for a brand that sells such affordable and quality makeup) I decided I needed to give the products a try and placed an order.

Take on the Day Primer from Fergie Center Stage Collection [For my Primas]

For a $5 primer, this stuff is amazing.  I prefer it to the $7 Milani Eyeshadow Primer, which is both more runny and more yellow.  Wet n Wild’s Fergie Colleciton primer is a lighter neutral color.  As compared to the infamous Urban Decay Primer Potion, I think it is less tacky.  On days where I am lazy about my skin care routine, and thus have oilier lids, I find the Wet n Wild Primer doesn’t do as well, so for those with very oily lids it may not be a good choice.

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Love Each Other Blushes & Face Powder

The Pet Collection

During mine and Lizzie‘s first year in college, one of our friends who was still in high school stayed over at our dorm so often that we had cave-like bed space under my bed.  Subsequently, we jokingly started referring to our friend as “our pet” and later just “pet” (the nickname may also have been influenced by the amount of binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer we were doing).  So we decided to name our blushes after our Pet!

These blushes are silica-based, which makes them super soft and completely matte!  Kaolin clay keeps them from moving during wear without any trace of cakiness.

leoface

Also featured: Our super soft translucent mattifying finishing powder!  Made with mattifying silica and moisturising kaolin clay, this finishing powder goes on smoothly and minimizes shine without being drying.  I like this powder on foundation, bb cream, and bare skin.

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Drug Store Baked Eyeshadows

bakedeyeshadow

What is baked eyeshadow?

Baked eyeshadow are traditionally mineral eyeshadows, though many contain plenty of non-mineral ingredients.  Baked eyeshadows are made in a wet mixture, shaped into domes, and as the name suggests, baked.  They can be applied dry for a sheer glittery shadow or wet for a more metallic sheen.

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First Love Each Other Cosmetics Co. Eyeshadow Collection

Introducing… our Sensimilla Eyeshadow Collection!

Twelve beautiful mineral eyeshadows in neutrals and brights, and with the exception of our shimmery white shadow, all of these colors are perfectly matte!

loveeachotherwatermarksmall

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • TRICHOMES : pearlescent white
  • DOOB : matte light beige
  • CRUTCH : matte dark beige
  • TOKE : matte taupe
  • CBD : matte rusty orange
  • 420 : matte sunshine yellow
  • STEM : matte yellow-green
  • LEAF : matte blackened green
  • PURP : matte purple with brown undertones
  • PERP : matte purple with grey undertones
  • BLUNT : matte brown with green undertones
  • BOWL : matte charcol black

INGREDIENTS : silica spheres*, titanium dioxide, cannabis sativa seed oil, and mineral pigments (iron oxides, chromium oxide, ultramarines) *Trichomes contains mica in place of silica.

We decided to use hemp oil as a binder in these shadows and have found it works wonderfully — these stay motionless and creaseless all day with a primer.  We let this ingredient choice inspire the names for this collection, including Sensimilla. Sin semilla in Spanish means “without seeds” and this collection is without any seedlike glitter!

 Of these eyeshadows, Trichomes, Doob, Crutch, Toke, CBD, 420, and Bowl are all lip safe!  Stem, Leaf, Purp, Perp, and Blunt are not.

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