Tuesday trends: contouring

Instagram has been the perfect outlet for make-up artists (MUAs) in the past two years who are looking for clients, recognition and even fame.

This outlet with over a billion users allows MUAs of all appearances to showcase their capabilities and gain new followers by adamantly staying on top of trends.

Recently, the most innovative and impressive skill expected of make up artists and famously glamorous celebrities is the use of contouring.

Contouring, sometimes referred to as the Kim Kardashian look, is the art of highlighting certain areas of the face while darkening the other areas. This allows people to accent and enhance certain features, especially the cheekbones.

This subtle definition starts with some pretty dramatic lines before blended out to the shadowy look that people want.

The highlight should be at least two shades lighter than the wearer’s skin color and the shadow should be two shades darker.

This trend started on runways and photo-shoots where there was a physical distance between models and audience members, providing a good reason for such dramatics.

But, much like acrylic nails, hair extensions and dramatic eyebrows, contouring was a professional styling tool turned daily makeup routine.

Tutorials have taken over many newsfeeds on Instagram and YouTube.

#PRESSPLAY for a quick Highlight and Contour from @angelalanter ✨✨✨✨ #vegas_nay

A post shared by Naomi Giannopoulos (@vegas_nay) on

At this point, anyone headed to get their make up done can immediately expect some contouring done along the cheekbones and under the chin for slimming definition.

But why do it? Why all of a sudden is a simple make up regimen not enough?

Some believe contouring fights insecurities of make up users that have a rounder face or larger facial features because it makes the jawline and nose seem smaller and more defined.

Or, maybe people learning to contour simply want to look like their favorite celebrities.

rita ora contour

Mario Dedivanovic is famously known for being Kim Kardashian’s make up artist. He recorded himself giving Kardashian a “natural” look for the day, explaining the processes of foundation, eye shadows and eventually, the contour.

“I like to use [bronzer] in the hollows of her cheek,” he said. “I like to frame the face with bronze, underneath the chin and on the jaw line. It just warms the skin. And Kim loves to be bronze, so the more the merrier.”

He admits that doing this process without experience on oneself can be difficult because the perfect colors vary per person and the amount of pressure applied with certain brushes can change the entire look.

“I don’t recommend you do it and go out,” Dedivanovic said. “It’s something you should practice doing.”

Practice can make perfect or practice can make a mess in the case of contouring. But for the boys and girls interested in developing their makeup skills or having a “J-Lo” glow and hundreds of reposts on Pinterest, it could be worth a try.

One of the first ever contour tutorials is below.

National News

There has been plenty of national news this week. The countries trying to keep itself together as well as communicate with issues abroad. Some specific pieces are:

  • Alabama judge again puts himself above law (USA TODAY) ; Misusing the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage (Chicago Tribune)
  • Obama ISIS fight request sent to Congress (CNN)
  • 3 students killed near UNC (CNN)

I chose to write about the charges against a NYPD officer who killed a man last November. Police force and the killing of African Americans has been a huge national issue in the last year, but especially last few months.

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A rookie police officer is one step closer to being held accountable for killing an innocent man. Peter Liang can be added to the list of officers who went to the grand jury after his actions led to the death of an unsuspecting African American.

Liang and his partner were both officers for less that two years when they began patrolling a public housing complex back in November of 2014. There were reports of increased crime in that area, AP reports. Everything that followed was an accident, Liang and his attorney Stephen Worth claim.

The 28-year-old victim Akai Gurley entered the stairwell of this complex after getting his hair braided when officer Liang fired a shot that ricocheted and hit Gurley in the chest. Hurley later died in the hospital.

The two partners took a moment to decide what to do and how to report the incident, most likely wasting time that could have been used to save a life.

The impulsive action was immediately defended with the common idea that accidents can happen and there is a dangerous nature to police work. If only Gurley knew that waiting for an elevator would make life less dangerous.

Liang immediately plead not guilty, and there was a thorough investigation encouraged by District Attorney Ken Thompson. Meanwhile, the grand jury decisions for the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases took place. In both cases, the grand jury did not charge the officers who took the lives of those black men last year.

These decisions led to immediate national outrage and international concern about the regard for people of color. There were protests, riots, and multiple organizations created to support the #blacklivesmatter movement.

There was no way the state could avoid charging Liang with certain offenses or it would be clear that police enforcement around this country really do not care about certain people of color. Lang was charged with six offenses including manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and assault assault.

It is fair to say that this killing may not have been due to ethnicity considering the dark stairwell, but if Liang is not indicted then it will be clear that there is a clear system wide disregard for black lives.

The Opinion Piece Discussion: Sports

This was a huge week for sports news. There were major events in golf, basketball, and tennis:

Most pieces focused on football and the Super Bowl (AKA the most watched show in U.S. television history) though:

I chose to write about the article “Given the NFL’s amoral track record, why would we want the league to move to L.A.? ” by Matthew Fleischer, a guest blogger for the LA Times. Fleischer makes the point that the illegal acts are all too often overlooked by the NFL and wrongfully glorified by the everyday American. Los Angeles should not be apart of an “amoral organization run by a coterie of incompetent boobs,” or the NFL. Citing memorable disgraces such as #Deflategate, Ray Rice’s domestic violence case, the “Redskins” controversy, and brain damage among retired players, the point is made that the NFL is the worst sports organization around. I think all of these instances in one opinion piece make a very convincing article. It is almost embarrassing that I was so excited about the Super Bowl a few days ago. However, I then think about how Fleischer is attacking a huge part of the American lifestyle; millions of people have accepted these flaws for the love of the game. These cases are not shocking enough to end the promotion of football, only the support of certain people. And so, to make this a successful opinion piece, I think there could be more original and surprising statements.

An Editorial Discussion: World News

This week in world news, newspapers have posted editorials such as:

  • When the Calculus of Loss Doesn’t Add Up (New York Times, 1-24)
  • Mr. Maduro and his Labyrinth (New York Times, 1-25)
  • Greece votes ‘no’ on austerity and reality (Chicago Tribune, 1-27)
  • Egypt’s War on Atheism (New York Times, 1-27)
  • My mother was a child of the Nazi death factory (CNN, 1-27)

I read most intently about the arrests of young men in Egypt who admitted to or supported atheism on online forums. The community harassed young men and some were arrested for blasphemy or contempt for religion, basically “insulting Islam”. This religiously motivated morality also led to arrests of gay men under “debauchery” charges. I liked how The New York Times presented this piece because it is very factually based. The structure is supported by Egypt’s true story, but subtle hints subtle ints of personality from the author, Mona Eltahawy’s. She wrote this editorial piece with comments like “…equally chilling aspect …”, “it is no surprise that…”, or “the men’s humiliation.” Her tone has conviction and things seem true, but they could be debated, so I thought this was a good news editorial mix.

An Editorial Discussion: Arts and Lifestyle

This week, I was given an assignment to investigate arts and lifestyle editorials, or stories with more commentary than straight facts. There are several opinion pieces in the entertainment, arts, and life sections of newspapers. Some were:

  • Oscars 2015: ‘Birdman,’ Budapest’ top nominations (Chicago Tribune, 1-15)
  • Replace the ‘sex talk’ with the ‘tech talk’ (CNN, 1-15)
  • The Pope said what?!? More stunners from Francis (CNN, 1-19)
  • How to talk to kids about racism (CNN, 1-19)
  • I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone and got labeled ‘worst mom’ (Chicago Tribune, 1-20)

I chose to write about the article “I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone and got labeled ‘worst mom’” by Lenore Skenazy. It shows the strongest opinions about a commonly debated American lifestyle, probably providing a good start to analyzing quality opinion writing. Skenazy discusses how many parents trust their kids to walk home from school, play in the yard by themselves, or wait in the car for a short period while picking up groceries. These situations seem normal to some, but there have been overreactions leading to police involvement and calls to Child Protective Services. Apparently, kids earn self-confidence by doing things on their own, not by constant parent supervision. The article encourages new perspectives and the end of unnecessary fear. Her personal experience makes this piece relevant because many parents debate about what should or should not be done, but her actions, criticism and developed perception led to some experience in the matter. This was a strong piece because it wasn’t just opinion but also reflection. There were also statistics and proposed solutions to the issue at hand. It is hard to take opinion articles seriously if it seems like just a complaint piece. The thoughts are clear, organized, and relatable. If I had to criticize anything, the end of the article seems to self promote a bit more than make the point. All in all, thought, the argument to support kids with freedom was made well. Read the full article here

Silence

Silence is something I am not used to.  Those who know me can testify that I am the crazy, loud mouthed friend that sends texts in all caps because I actually to scream my words wen excited. This I cannot explain, but I genuinely feel the need to express myself that way! My friends know I care about them because of how I present myself, and present myself I do. Receiving makeup-less  snapchats with purposefully ugly faces marks a sign of friendship between Yours Truly. Even though I send many midnight texts about random subjects like boy drama, my obsession with music, and inquiries on how to beat the iPhone app ‘Pyramid Run’ (but seriously leave suggestions below), I like to think that the people I surround myself with have grown to either love or tolerate me. Honestly, I’ll happily take either because as I mentioned before, silence isn’t really my thing.

That said, the New Year has granted me some time to reflect on this seemingly simple concept. January 1st, I left my home in Los Angeles to return to university. If you are thinking of how odd it is for a school to start so early in the year, kudos to you because I am too! Not being able to celebrate a wonderful New Years Eve with my high school pals was cruel and unusual, but something that had to be done. I am currently taking a J-term class, a two week intensive course, with hopes to get some credits out of the way and stress off my back. Anyway,  most of my friends won’t be joining me on campus until January 13th and by then I would be surprised if I haven’t rotted with boredom. My roommate isn’t here. My neighbor isn’t here. My best friends, dinner buddies, and bosses aren’t here. There aren’t even freshman to make fun of as they try to make friends in the omelet line. In this moment and for the next ten days, I am alone and it is very, very silent.

On day one, dealing with this environment seemed pretty easy. I had just walked out of a four hour writing intensive class and was reasonably tired. The department had thrown a “beginning-of-the-term pizza party” so I obviously had no complaints. I didn’t think I would really want to do anything else for the day, but it soon hit me that from 1pm to bedtime (usually 1am) I needed to find means to occupy myself and there were no people around. Granted I met some classmates, mostly  seniors needing to complete just one more course requirement, but I don’t know these people well enough to invite them into my home! Safety first, kids. I unpacked, went to CVS, changed into my pajamas and enjoyed five hours of the Castle marathon. Like a dutiful student, I completed my reading, then sat my butt back down on the couch.

This was all very strange to me! Not the watching TV for hours part. Any person my age can do that.

What was weird was not having anyone to call and no where to go. It was then when I truly appreciated living in a city where an apartment building can be attached to a Chipotle, as mine was.

Jokes aside this was boring as all hell, assuming hell will be boring if I end up sitting in flames after death. Day two rolled around, and again, I got sucked into the TV, CVS, my reading, and now I am in bed reflecting on this life that I lead.

Day three for me, and I have found loneliness to be exhausting. That said it really gets me thinking about multiple things. I won’t do the cheesy thing and say “I really had time to figure myself out” because thats never going to happen. I am too complicated! I have, though, had time to think about what I want. Why am I here? What relevance does this ‘Reporting and Writing’ class have on my life? Theres a guitar under my bed why don’t I reteach myself a thing or two? While I sat on my ass and watched Four Weddings, Criminal Minds, and did my eyebrows all night, I started to see that there was more to this small silent world of mine. OH! One exiting thing I did today was make a doctor’s appointment with an allergist! Taking control of my life is something I have never done before! Mostly because I am busy trying to make dinner appointments with my friends! Silly that I can get some joy out of an appointment with the allergist right? And yet not at all. It’s a crazy and wonderful thing to realize you can be ripped out of your routine and still be okay.

I am a big city girl and I embrace everything that comes with that life. The traffic, sirens, and the overpopulated sidewalks all contribute to this lifestyle. How do you live without people around you? Where is the satisfaction without being able to walk down the street and see familiar faces or even meet someone new? Before this week, I could not answer that question. Everyone wants someone to share their joy with but it is a problem to rely on another in order to have any sort of joy. Funny how that works out. I think I’ll I keep working on this silence thing and if I have any more Eureka moments I let you know. Sound Good? GOOD.

And to the voluntarily simple people in this world who don’t need constant movement to survive (like a shark grr),

Cheers to Them!

xoxoLD

Wintertime Sentiment

Tis The Season, y’all!

My sincerest apologies for not updating in the past two months. Silly writer’s block, eight classes, and four jobs thinking they could keep me away! Finally I’m back in time with a winter post to tide us over before the New Year.

Here in Chicago, the leaves have changed colors and we’ve had our first snow fall! Like any cheesy artist, I’ll let that be my inspiration. Though winter has not quite hit, everyone is pulling out their scarves and coats. To a Chicagoan, things aren’t so bad yet, but coming from Los Angeles, the 41oF temperatures dropping every week has had quite the effect on my mentality. I can’t stop thinking of all those cheesy romance songs that have been written in December’s honor. Along with the cold inspiring good music for Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift, creating the universal “wifey season*,” and promoting universal gluttony and materialism with holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, it increases my need to cuddle and successfully makes me a tad bit sentimental.

¡Side-note: I wrote a blog for one of my school’s newspapers on fashion for the season. Read here and enjoy!

Back to sentiment! You know how sometimes a random thought will pop in your head? Well quite a few inspirational quotes have come with this season. Here are a few of my favorites: “Carpe Diem,” “A closed mouth does not get fed,” and “You get more bees with honey than vinegar.”

The most recent quote I was reminded of is “A frost does not a winter make.” Simple enough, right? Just because it rained one day does not mean it won’t be sunny the next. Blizzards and hurricanes lasting a week do not mean the apocalypse has come. Subsequently, a fight with a best friend does not mean the end of a relationship. I don’t have any analyzing insight or a long revealing story for you guys today. I just wanted to share this thought that with life comes ups and downs. With relationships come confusion, disagreement, and the realization that no two people nor the habits between them will be the same. Sometimes we need to step back and realize that if a friendship is true,  differences aren’t worth losing someone.

This post is dedicated to everyone who is mature enough to realize that, and to my best friends that I have loved since middle school, thank you for not murdering me yet.

Cheers to them,

XoxoLD

*”Wifey Season” – A time when boys commonly look for girls during the fall or winter in order to have the cuddle buddy. Wifey season ends with the beginning of Spring or sometimes earlier – say around the weeks before Valentine’s Day? This comes in handy for the commitment-phobes around the world. This could be a topic for another post. Let me know in the comments below!

Aside

Today I would like to briefly address the topic of hormones in relation to anyone who has ever had a friend… ever. We’ve all noticed when a friend is in a funky mood or simply in a funk. I attribute all these problems to hormones (or shitty friends, but thats a different story). Coming from an all girls school, it is only natural in my group of friends to be open about the normally hush-hush topic of the period and its affects. This includes the complaining, whining and moaning, the randomly odd diet change, and the cold shoulder or short temper. A woman’s discontent with her monthly discomfort and hormonal ups and downs is generally understood – at least on a surface level – by all human beings over the age of thirteen.

But we’re not talking about periods, we’re taking about hormones! Hormones, according to Wikipedia, are cells or glands in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. The organism being your brain or body that make you act or look like an asshole. Though the later part was in my words I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. This description above applies accurately to girls and boys alike.

“Boys?”, you may ask.What kind of hormones do they have?”

The answer to that question is a big fat “I DO NOT KNOW.” I have absolutely no clue and I probably never will. I wish I did know, readers. I honestly wish I could tell you a flat answer to what hormones makes boys all… boyish. All I know is that they do! Oh, how the world would go round with a bit more ease if girls understood boys and vise versa – but I digress.

If today were a day when I had more time and resources, I would consult an expert or find an informational movie/documentary to obtain the answers to our question. Instead, I’ll use personal experience with the male species as well as present you with some input from my roommate, B.B., who has been dating her beau for over a year now. Bellow are the following symptoms and explanations of … the Man Period.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Short/No Answers
  • Random Irritation
  • Moody (often presented with the deep sigh eye roll combination)
  • Prefers Solitude/Doesn’t Want to Talk
  • Argumentative
  • Emotional Rollercoaster/Indecisiveness.

CAUSED BY:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Blue Balls
  • Not Eating Enough (hamburgers)
  • Family Problems (that he will most likely never disclose)
  • An Annoying Girlfriend

If you have any other symptoms, reasons, or possible solutions to dealing with the mystery of the Man Period, comment below!

Hormones are very tricky and do very awkward things to our bodies. Next time we address the topic, we’ll probably try to figure out morning wood, because that phenomenon just  doesn’t make any sense. I probably will never have a 100% understanding of hormones and neither will you, but for those who have everything under control…

Cheers to Them

xoxoLD.

p.s. BB and I googled “man period” after this post was written to see if we were accurate in our proposed cause and effects, which we were! You can check out the Urban Dictionary explanation of this phenomenon as well as a comical video on the subject to make you day just a little bit better.

Honesty

Has anyone every gotten mad at you for being too honest with them? Personally, this is a problem I face daily. I know that my words can be a bit blunt force trama, but I honestly cannot help but say what is on my mind. I can occasionally exercise the “Take-A-Deep-Breath-And-Change-The-Topic” method, but that doesn’t always work! It’s like being the Long Island Medium who can sense spirits and has the hardest time not telling people their dead relatives are at peace. She just can’t hold it in, and neither can I.

Recently my family went on vacation and I will admit that I honestly had a good time, but as usual, there were some opportune moments for screaming battles. Every child with a sibling has had a mother yell “All right you two, stop it now!” But when your 21-year-old sister now thinks that she is wise and mighty, you want to let her know that she is in-fact no different in your eyes than she was 5 years ago.

Before I get into any sort of rant, the point I want to make is that honesty can be painful, yet I find it to be one of the most peaceful and beautiful qualities a person can have if used properly.

Like the medium’s gift to hear the dead, this is a double-sided sword. When it comes to negative topics, there is not one person in the word who has never been hurt by honesty.

I’m in love with someone else.

I broke your iPod.

You got an F.

We’re moving to Ohio.

Honey, I really think you should stop eating before you get fat.

Honey, you’re fat.

These are just some examples of words that can hurt, no matter how real they are. You pick the right person from a crowd and these words will apply. There/s nothing I can do about it and there’s nothing you can do about. The best thing to keep in mind when dealing with honesty is knowing when to draw a line. Pick a place and time as walking up to a person and pointing out there flaws is the definite wrong thing to do.

For example, listening to a friend rant about how she doesn’t have any clothes to wear and responding honestly – ”I’ve noticed you have been eating a lot of carbs lately. Maybe if you cut back you’d have more options.” is a big no-no. Without lying, it is important to choose words that are nice enough so that you don’t drive away a good friend. If home girl doesn’t have any clothes? Try saying: “The way clothing sizes run these days are so weird. Lets go shopping and if you need to go up a size, its no biggy.” Honest! Comforting! And an opportunity to get a new outfit for the weekend! I approve.

 

Another instance in which it is necessary to be honest is if you are mad at someone or there is confusion in any situation. There is no need for built up tension or frustration if one is to express themselves honestly. Say how you feel and move on from there – no need to bring the storm along. Nip the problem in the bud. No bullshit.

 

In the end, just know when to draw a line in your blunt truths but don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you don’t care about a friend’s 15th date with the same loser, say “Sorry, but honestly, I just can’t listen to you talk about this right now… want to go get a slushie or something?” Of course your friend will be taken aback the first five seconds after you’ve made your remark, but soon after, he/she will realize how boring he/she was being. They’ll work on it. You’ll work on doing something more interesting with your life so that you wont have to start listening to their babble in the first place, and I’ll work on telling my sister more kindly that i don’t think she is entitled to anything with age ;).

 

On a whole-heartedly serious note, I really wanted to write on this topic because I see so many friends and family members never express themselves truly. Subsequently, I see a struggle to be heard or to be taken seriously. Honesty helps one take charge of his or her life. If you don’t know it, work on it. For those who have it down,

Cheers To Them,

-xoxoLD

Rejection

 

For the longest time, my biggest fear has been rejection. For whatever reason, one act can spike insecurities and uncertainties that last years. It is ridiculous when you think of the power in words like “No,” “I’m not interested,” or “Not Anymore” . I have the misfortunate to say that I have felt the hurt stemmed from rejection way too many times, but rejection is something that everyone feels! If I wrote out a list of friends I’ve seen with uninterested crushes or going through recent breakups, we’d be here all day. This is college, people, and if it doesn’t happen once, something is wrong with you.

Rejection is sad and painful, but a part of life. Even the most confident people dread its presence. “What if this one pimple I have ruins my date?”  “I’m an A student. I cannot believe I got an A- on this test!”  “I filled out 50 job applications. What if no one accepts me?” While not direct quotes, I have heard each of these fears expressed, and each time I wanted to grab the person and scream “It will be okay!”

Rejection is e-ver-y-where. Someone didn’t get into his or her dream school. Someone else realized they couldn’t afford  his or her dream house. Parents see rejection everyday if they have teenage daughters. Facts of life, my friends.

Usually, I’m on the losing side of this rejection game:

“No, you can’t have a car”; “No, I don’t want to watch Disney movies tonight”; “No, lets eat here instead”; “No, you cannot have my number.”

I think you catch my drift.

In time you just have to realize the reality of your situation. From then you can be a hopeless dreamer for something unrealistic or become a hard worker to get what is. In other words ‘Choose your battles,’ because not all can be won.

sidenote: The song I’m currently listening to is Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song) by Enrique Iglesias. That entire song is about being rejected, but Mr. Iglesias is definitely doing well for himself!

Cheers To Him! and Cheers To You for not letting rejection getting you down.

–xoxoLD