Battle of the Bulge, Part 4

25 09 2009

By Sheila

Sabotage, thy name is candy.
Oh, if I weren’t such a devoted blogger, determined to stick to a truth-telling regimen in my weight loss journey, I would never post this column. It’s hard to admit when you’ve failed, but that is something I’ve become well acquainted with this week, and part of my healing process is being truthful when that’s happened.
You see this bowl?

It used to be full. Guess who helped get it down to its current levels?
Life has been stressful recently, and with that in clear view and within a few feet of me, I haven’t been able to resist chocolate’s siren call.
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeilaaaaaaaaaa…. Come and eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat me!”

Half the time I don’t taste it, I just know it feels good and helps take my mind off my dilemmas. I hate it, but it’s happening, and nothing can help me from sabotaging my own success.
Speaking of sabotage, there are different forms of it … there’s the kind we do to ourselves, as we try convincing ourselves that it’s ok to eat that one extra helping, or that one more scoop won’t hurt anyone. There’s also the sabotage other’s do to us. .. you know… that envious look in people’s eyes, the jealous tone to their congratulations they give you when you’ve lost some weight that makes you want to say ok to that second or third serving of what you know you shouldn’t have in the first place. 

And now, I’m asking because I really want to  know … how do you prevent yourself from committing and/or falling prey sabotage?

Battle of the Bulge, Part 1

Battle of the Bulge, Part 2

Battle of the Bulge, Part 3


Runway Recap Hijacked by Righteous Indignation

25 09 2009

By Megan

Ok, so I am late on last week’s Project Runway Recap. I suck, I am sorry, and I will never do it again. I was going to write a Runway article, I really was; however, this article caught my eye and got my Irish up. I can say that because, really, my name is Megan Murray…figure it out.  

Before I link to the article, I want you to all make sure you are sitting down and do not have a drink in your mouth. I will wait. Ok, here is the link that blew my mind:  

Oh yes, Canadian Designer Mark Fast grew a set of big ones and used sized 14 models along with traditional models to show his fashion line.  

I know, I looked for the four horseman of the Apocalypse, played the lottery, and almost tried the blowfish. I mean, what about all the excuses all the designers use about how they NEVER could EVER properly show their clothes on ANYONE over a size -12.  

You see, you can’t showcase a designer’s work on someone who is at the proper weight and height for someone who is 5’10 


STOP STOP STOP- If you are going to give me the FAT IS UNHEALTHY speech, turn off the computer and walk away. These women aren’t unhealthy and they are curvy and muscular.

Now, why could I POSSIBLY be angry about this awesomeness? According to the article a stylist and some management quit over the designers vision to have people who wear a size 12 and up walk the runway.  People were actually angered by making fashion accessible to a larger amount of people in a time when the fashion industry is scraping for dollars. Besides being size-ist and unreasonable, is it economically feasible to alienate a large part of the population?  

I also want to applaud the designer for having the skills to create fashion that fits over curves. It isn’t easy to make a dress, and I long suspected designers used very thin models to hide the fact that they can’t sew very well. It is obvious Mark Fast is one hell of a dress maker. Fast’s decision is also a brilliant PR move. In a time when there is resentment towards the luxury market, this designer gave us all a big huge hug. A big, huge, 2000 dollar hug, but a hug nonetheless. 

Give Mark a little love at:

Deals and Steals

22 09 2009

By Sheila

We’re always scouring the ‘net to bring you the deals that will give you the most bang for your buck!

Order one of Stila’s Fall Trend Sets and get a free smudge pot! They’re fab AND long lasting. is GIVING away gift cards today until 9/30/09 — the first 350 people who make a $100.00 purchase at get a $15 gift card. Not too shabby!

From Urban Decay: Get LUCKY Liquid Liner for just $8 (reg. $18) with code: NLDL at

Are you a part of’s Beauty Community? If not, sign up now! I received an epromo with a $20 off of a $100 purchase today … ok, hello! How awesome is that???

Lisa’s 5-Minute Face

22 09 2009

By Lisa

Unless I am doing a multi-color eye, it rarely takes me more than five minutes to do my makeup in the morning. I learned from my friend and Painted Ladies expert Jason that some days I just may decide all I need is to create shading on my face with a stick foundation or concealer. His trick has become my two-minute face secret that I love to use on weekends or while on vacation. But most days I find myself reaching for a little color. The look below is a favorite for that between season weather.
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Concealer in Porcelaine 1: This is my first and favorite concealer. It hides anything that needs hiding, never cakes and makes an excellent eyeshadow base. This color is a perfect match for my fair, warm skin.
Beauty Bliss Cosmetics Ultimate Finishing Powder in Bare Bliss: This looks like bare skin. It evens out any discolorations and gives my face a healthy glow. I just fluff on with a big brush and I’m done. As an added bonus, it doubles as a loose powder.
Stila Convertible Color in Petunia: It is a perfect peachy-pink shade that blends in well and lasts all day. I expect to have this blush a long time because it is highly pigmented and only need a bit to brighten my face.
Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadow Single in Linen:  I use this off-white shade as a highlighter. It has a slight amount of shimmer and it blends nicely.
Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadow Single in Silken Taupe: This is a very pretty shimmery taupe shade that I apply it all over my lids.
Jordana Easyliner for Eyes in Seagreen
: Lately I’ve been experimenting with eye color and my favorite way is with an eyeliner over neutral eyeshadow. This creamy retractable eyeliner is a gorgeous shade of emerald green and goes perfectly with my brown eyes.
Lancome Juicy Tubes in Simmer:  A warm pink/peach/nude shade that gives my lips a nice shine and it smells like a Creamsicle too.

What are some of your five-minute beauty essentials?

Book Review: Styling Your Face

21 09 2009

By Sheila

005Once the most celebrated name in the makeup industry, his name isn’t familiar to many these days. A precursor to Kevyn Aucoin, he was, in fact, was a major inspiration and shaper of Keyvn’s own illustrious career, whose work was known throughout the world.

Way Bandy was THE celebrity makeup artist of the 1970s and early ’80s and was known for his a heavy-yet- natural style and an eye for bringing out the best features in his celebrity clients. From humble beginnings, he followed his dream and helped secure the position of makeup artist as an important career path for many to follow.

In his relatively short career, Bandy wrote two books on makeup application, Designing Your Face and Styling Your 017Face. Both are out of print, but freely available on through used-sale vendors. I’ll also review Desiging Your Face in the near future.

In Styling Your Face, Bandy breaks down application techniques for 15 looks, or “designs”, for both men and women. Every section is illustrated in his hand drawings, with a meticulous list of the steps to acheive the design and the theory behind the looks.

If anything, it’s fascinating to look through the book and observe his techniques; there’s a lot of eyebrow bleaching, and his main technique with mixing of “dots” and “drops” of colors to acheive shades, for intance, here’s his recipe for a pale honey-golden lip color:

  • 1 dot gold powder eyeshadow
  • 2 drops beige liquid foundation
  • 3 dots clear lip gloss

025How many of you are running to your makeup kit to try that out?  Styling Your Face is, above all,  charming, and looking through his techniques, I realize that makeup application hasn’t changed much in the almost 30-years since the book was published. Here’s an interesting peek into Bandy’s work, courtesy of YouTube (ignore the creepy music!):


What Happened to Prescriptives? Here’s My Thoughts

21 09 2009

By Megan

Prescriptives is being jettisoned from the Estee Lauder family.

It seems many are lamenting the loss of their favorite foundation; however, I am not one bit surprised at this outcome. In fact, I think those of us who spent time behind a counter saw it coming years ago Prescriptives has been languishing in marketing limbo for years. 

The problem with Prescriptives was never the product. In fact, Prescriptives had some of the most innovative products on the market. Custom made foundation, the Magic Line, and many of their fragrances were before their time. Their foundations were incredible and rivaled luxury lines in texture and staying power. The Virtual Matte foundation dries to an incredible powdery glow that fights oilies all day long. 

So how did a line that had so many great products go so incredibly bad? Sure, we can’t avoid the economy factor. I mean, the halcyon days of the Sex and the City spending are over.  People who make $25,000 a year are not buying designer shoes, handbags, and cosmetics like the world is ending.  However, a lot of the blame lies in the hands of the company. 

The line failed to define itself; it can’t get any simpler than that. The lines that are surviving manage to create iconic imagery that makes the product immediately identifiable and evocative of its marketing direction. Clinique is branded from top to bottom. Everything from its advertising to the carpet in the cosmetics bay has Clinique’s marketing message in mind.  Prescriptives, in my opinion just failed to let the market know what it is and why we want it. 

Prescriptives could’ve been the custom-color company. Prescriptives could’ve been the go-to company for women of color. Prescriptives could’ve been the chic silver compact for the girls “in the know.” Unfortunately, Prescriptives floundered without a direction.

The line was too expensive for the Clinique crowd. The line’s color coding was too confusing for the Lauder and Lancôme demographic and it just didn’t have the hipster cache of MAC and the boutique lines. Perhaps if Prescriptives just sold foundation and didn’t try to go mass market it would’ve survived. 

We here at Painted Ladies are a little stilted. I mean, how many of us outside the beauty blogging and message board world know that Fyrinnae eyeshadow exists? All of us here have favorites that are obscure, so we had the luxury of seeing Prescriptives as just another option. Unfortunately, we aren’t enough to keep a great company afloat.

 Post Note: Also, the name of the company when written over and over is mind-blowingly hard to type correctly.

Retro Corner: Max Factor

19 09 2009

While looking over the Painted Ladies pages, the Retro Corner sparked a familiar feeling.  I have been collecting vintage compacts since 1997, with the oldest piece from 1918.  Excitedly, I asked Sheila if Painted Ladies needed any additional submissions to the Retro Corner. So here I am.  Enjoy!

After much deliberation, I decided to begin this topic with the history of compacts and beauty products, and then end with a piece from my collection to honor and bid farewell to a MAJOR cosmetic company that is now stopping all distribution in the U.S.

Dating back to the ancient civilizations of the world, cosmetics and its containers were used to adorn and decorate both men and women.  The oldest known surviving powder was originally made by pulverizing flowers and fragrant leaves. Of the many different origins and types of cosmetics used, kohl (then in a loose mineral powder form in a small pot, nowadays called eye kohl pencil) was used by the Egyptians in the eighteenth century to embellish the lashes and lids on the eye, and to protect from insects and shield from the desert’s sun.  

Egyptian kohl pots

Egyptian kohl pots

Cosmetics were used throughout the middle ages, and in Renaissance periods.  In the late eighteenth century, the use of cosmetics was so widespread that Parliament passed a law that made the use of cosmetics part of a seduction, which to them meant witchcraft.  From that law being passed, women that used cosmetics were basically called “ladies of the night”.

In the late nineteenth century, cosmetics went through a revival in parts of Europe.  The lipstick cases and compacts were adorned with gems, ornately painted landscapes and the like.  In America, during the Victorian era and before World War I, the artificial use of beauty aids was frowned upon still and considered immoral.  The opinion of society was, “to improve on nature, all women needed was proper diet, fresh air, and exercise”.  You should all remember the scene from “Little Women” when they pinch their cheeks to look healthy, fresh and get that natural rosy glow.  Now you know why!

In 1923, Dorothy Grey introduced The Face Patter, to stimulate circulation and make the cheeks naturally pink!  From then on, attitudes regarding cosmetics changed dramatically in the beginning of the twentieth century.  The use of makeup during the day was finally accepted and looked upon with respect.  We have the silver screen’s trend setting film stars to thank for that!

The Face Patter

The Face Patter

The word “make-up” was actually coined by Max Factor, beauty consultant to the stars.  Women began to see that they could achieve a “modern” image with cosmetics, and then recognized the importance of personal beauty.  As women became liberated and entered the business world, the cosmetic compacts and carryalls were a necessity.

Excerpts and information from Vintage Ladies’ Compacts Identification & Value Guide, 1996

The piece I am showing you was purchased in Fargo, North Dakota.  I was there for my best friend’s wedding and my flight was delayed as I was heading home to the west. Having some time to kill, I found the nearest antique shop and below you’ll see just one of the gems I found!  I was sad the package was a bit thrashed, when I found it, but you can make out the stamping on the dry rouge itself!  Gasp, they just don’t make rouge like that today! 

Max Factor was a true founding forefather in the world of cosmetics!  My inspiration continues with all the prized antiques in the beauty world. There will be more to come, and I hope it inspires you as well!

Max Factor Dry Rouge

Max Factor Dry Rouge

Underside of Dry Rouge

Underside of Dry Rouge

Max Factor Pressed Dry Rouge, in Rasberry from 1938.  I found a Max Factor Pressed Powder with the same packaging in 1996 ed. Collector’s Encyclopedia of Compacts, Carryalls & Face Powder Boxes.