“Finding Harpo’s Voice” – Thoughts on BBC Radio Programme

I love the cello. It is probably my favorite instrument if I had to choose. I even took lessons for 5 weeks in addition to my regular voice studies. The only reason I stopped was due to my chronic health problems. My grandmother took up the cello in her forties and became decent enough to play in community orchestras, although she plays piano, organ, and flute, so she is already quite talented. My mom, a former piano prodigy, said I had a pretty tone even though I didn’t study for that long.

 

One of my absolute favorite cellists is Steven Isserlis. He’s British, which is always a plus in my book, and he’s a brilliant musician. He has the most amazing tone and is a joy to watch perform.

If you’ve never heard Steven Isserlis play, perhaps start with the Bach suites. It’s on iTunes, and I highly recommend the album. It’s a favorite of mine. I also enjoy his Haydn concertos immensely.

Mr Isserlis (I’m omitting the period after the abbreviation to have just a sliver of British-ness in this piece of writing) recently made a 30-minute radio piece on the BBC Four station about Harpo Marx from the Marx Brothers. If you are unaware of the Marx Brothers, please do yourself the favor and look them up on YouTube. They are a very important part of Hollywood history. Basically, they were a vaudeville act that was picked up by Hollywood for movies in the from 1921 to 1959, which is incredible.

Mr Isserlis and I share a love of someone in particular: Harpo Marx. In short Harpo Marx was the mime of the Marx Brothers’ act (there were five brothers in the act). He was by no means silent, though. He used other mediums besides his voice to get his points across; whistles, horns, tattoos, and of course, his harp. He was a real natural and had an incredible ear. From what I understand, he learned a Ravel piece for harp by ear. That, dear reader, takes talent.

He was also an INCREDIBLE comic. His face was basically rubber and could make any expression. He didn’t speak in the traditional sense, but one could always tell how he felt and what he was trying to say. His timing was perfect, and I’m guessing it came from his music timing. Perhaps not, but it would make sense.

I was exposed to these delightful brothers early on though their movies, and even if half the jokes went above my head, I enjoyed the fun they were clearly having making these silly and brilliant movies.

My favorite memory of watching Harpo is actually from an episode of “I Love Lucy.” It’s called, “Lucy and Harpo Marx,” and the whole scene is taken from “Duck Soup,” which is one of their most famous movies. He also plays a lovely rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on his harp, and for many years of my childhood, I watched that episode over and over again. I had it on VHS (I’m old), and watched to make my days a bit better, as much of my childhood was utter hell.

(If you’d like to read about how music helped my childhood and life in general, please click here!)

I don’t listen to podcasts or radio often, but I’m so so so glad I took time, to intently listen to Mr Isserlis’ piece on Harpo. It was just delightful and I’ve been telling everyone, especially my father (another Harpo lover) to listen.

Mr Isserlis, sir, my hat is off to you. You are so amazing, and I like you even more now knowing we share a love for a great master of comedy and music.

“Finding Harpo’s Voice” only available to listen on the BBC website for 26 more days, so do it while you still can. You do not want to miss it.

Click the link below to be taken to the radio programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b074zdcx

To learn even more go to Steven Isserlis’ page on Facebook to see pictures and read his writing:

Fondly,

Maddy

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Essay: Delving into Depths of Music and Memories

I have always had music built in my bones and flowing in my blood. At a very young age, I could clap in rhythm while my mum sang me songs. She’s a composer and pianist, and utterly brilliant if you ask me, and a few critics too. Her mom and dad played several instruments each. My Grandma plays piano, organ, flute, and some cello. My Grandpa played alto and tenor sax, and bassoon. All of their kids played music at least in school and could do most things by ear early on.

I’m currently living in an assisted living facility while I get my medications for various illnesses, both physical and mental, under control and also try to get the pain management going. I’ll be here for 3 months. My parents could say I’ve been passionate about classical music since I was just out of the womb. I have always, feverishly adored classical music and all of the sub genres like opera, concertos, sonatas, art songs, oratorio, solo piano, and on and on. I have a vast love of classical music history too. I’ve spent money on textbooks I didn’t need for a class, just because I wanted to do research. I must get it from my dad who used to read the dictionary as a child, and still does.   

When a person becomes as ill as I have been in the last 7 years, it can really put a gigantic damper on life plans and interests, hobbies, relationships, friendships, and everything else, come to think of it. Everything shifts. I became a “flake,” which was the exact opposite of me before the illnesses started appearing and making as ill as someone with cancer. Before all this, I was going to an arts high school, which required an audition to attend, and I was majoring in voice. My plans were to go to a conservatory after high school and eventually end up as an opera singer. Well fate laughed at me and threw me a life-threatening rare blood disease that wouldn’t allow me to clot out of nowhere. After one autoimmune disease is introduced, others started showing up later. I currently have more diseases and disorders, meds, and side effects than I can even remember (that’s also a side effect).

In high school, I had one extraordinary friend who is exceedingly talented. He’s a brilliant pianist, and because I adored this pianist a little too much (let’s call him George), I wanted to seem like I knew what I was doing when it came to music. I began delving into Beethoven’s pieces that aren’t as well known or aren’t usually known by singers because Beethoven didn’t write for voice well (technique wise). I knew Mozart operas, but I wanted to know as much as I could shove into my brain about Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Ravel, Fauré, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and all the main composers of a well-rounded library of classical music. George really did gift me classical music. Even though I loved it since being a child, I didn’t know names of performers, conductors, and the whole classical music scene.

When I started spending most of my afternoons and nights laying in bed and simply listening to music, it became my best friend and constant companion. I always joke that Beethoven’s the only man who has ever understood me, and he’s dead!

I spend many hours listening to music per day. I have 99 gigabytes of music if that means anything to you. The longest piece I have is 25 minutes of a Tchaikovsky piano trio. Many works are much longer, but they split up the tracks on iTunes or CDs, so it’s not like 50 minutes in one track.

I hope one day I am able to be a music historian, and go around lecturing and writing books! That is my ultimate goal in life, besides being healthy, but the latter usually goes without saying.  

So what’s the point of these little stories? What point am I trying to make? Now that you, dear reader, have some background information, let’s talk about life.

As a kid I would bottle everything up until one day I would scream uncontrollably, sob, weep, and shut the f#ck down. I could no longer handle what was going on in my terrible childhood, and I cracked under the pressure. This became a pattern, and I have had to and am still learning how to not do that.

Once I got into therapy at 16 years old, we started thinking about my childhood and how I would push my feelings deeper and deeper down into the depths of hell, so no one could tell what I truly felt about the turmoil I was experiencing. Even I couldn’t feel the pain I was in. I was numb, and that’s only good for a select few situations. I needed to do more exploring. Exploration is a wonderful thing, and I believe it to be a key ingredient in find some sort of peace.

Once you break the ice, there is so much to be found. It’s actually quite exciting when 2+2=4; once you put together that this event mixed with that feeling equaled the reaction I had. I have logic on my side now. I didn’t as a child, which lead to many, many problems both at the time and even now.

Music has taught me so much, but a few things that I’ve realized are that everyone has their own interpretation and feelings about any given piece of music and to respect that, and to explore as much as humanly possible. Music exploration excites the my heart and brain more than anything else can. Music has saved me again and again,  and will continue to be exactly what I need in exactly the right moment. Music history is my favorite subject; music theory keeps my brain going, because it’s like math but so much better (in my humble opinion); and music as a whole is just the most amazing thing to me. Music has gone through a lot of exploration of its own. It’s taken many minds and people to come up to where we are with music currently. To be very cheesy, music is the universal language, and it covers pretty much every school subject.  

If you’re up for the challenge, dear reader, do some exploring of your own. It could be just what you need. I know that I’m chronically ill and need many medications, but music is my drug of choice. I am (#)chronically musical, and always will be.

By Madeleine Gerlach, written in the middle of the night while listening to none other than my beloved Beethoven.

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Fondly,

Maddy

March 2016 Beauty, etc. Favorites

Hello, all!

Happy Easter! I hope your tummies are full of love and good food!

Sorry for not posting in a very long time. A lot has been going on. I’m living in assisted living for 3 months to get off Methadone and Ativan. I hope everyone is doing well!

Anyway, today I bring you my March 2016 Beauty + Lifestyle (?) Favorites! These are products that are either new, new to me, or products I’ve rediscovered in my collection.

FACE PRODUCTS:

I’m currently testing out two face products so I don’t know if they’re holy grail yet, but so far I like them. The first is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream for Very Dry to Dry Combination Skin. My initial thoughts are favorable towards this product. It’s rather thick, but also refreshing too.

Next up is the new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation in Fair Neutral. I bought this with the Clinique Moisturizer because my skin has changed drastically. I used to be an oily mess, and now my skin is rejecting all of my matte foundations, which is a huge pain. But now I get to try out a whole new world of foundations.

For my last face product, I have gone back to an oldie but a goodie for me: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. This powder just works for me. It always has, but when I ran out of my last tub, I couldn’t justify paying for another one. But I have forked out the money and haven’t regretted it yet.

EYE PRODUCTS:

I have four favorite eyeshadow palettes this month, and two eyebrow products. Let’s begin with the shadows

I finally bought the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette, and it’s perfect. Everything I’ve wanted in a palette. The shadows blend so well and you barely need any product on the brush. They’re smooth and wonderful. I highly recommend this palette.

Next are two palettes from Morphe Brushes called the 12NB Palette, and the 35T Palette. These ones are much smaller than the 35 shadow palettes. This one is very neutral, and I love it almost as much as the KVD. It’s very compact, which I like, and the shadows blend well and not much product is needed. I also like that there are three shimmery shades, so I can spice up the mobile lid with some sparkle.

The 35T Palette is so beautiful. It comes with 35 (duh Maddy) shadows, many are shimmer shades, many are matte, and there is a good range of light to medium to dark shades. I really enjoy this palette.

The final palette I’ve wanted for probably a year. It was $52.00 when it came out, and I just couldn’t do that. A few months back the price dropped to $39.00, and with a gift card I was able to purchase it finally! I am speaking of the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette. It has 14 shades in very, very lovely colors. They are a little on the loud-ish side, but not unwearable or silly looking. There are some very nice rosey and purple shades, a deep cobalt, a few silvers, and some warmer shades. Most are shimmery.

BROW PRODUCTS: 

My favorite brow product currently is the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer Ultra Fine Tip Shaping Pencil in Dark Brunette. In my opinion, it’s better than the cult classic Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. I use it to outline my brows and then fill in. The nib is super small and easy af to work with. It’s around $8 and has the same amount as the Brow Wiz.

I also found the NYX Eyebrow Gel in Espresso. It’s waterproof! I use it with a flat angled brush. The only annoying thing is that I have to squirt some out onto my hand or a metal palette, but that’s easy enough for the price of good looking eyebrows.

LIP PRODUCTS:

I have many of these, so I’ll be brief about each one.

Regular lipsticks:

Tom Ford in Pussycat is my perfect everyday lip. It’s a deep pinky mauve. It also lasts forever.

Charlotte Tilbury in Amazing Graceand  Love Liberty. The former is a lightish pinky coral, and the latter is a burgundy-mauve. I adore these lipsticks, and the bullet is shaped differently to mimic a sqaure lip brush.

Colour Pop Ultra Matte / Ultra Satin Liquid Lipsticks:

  •  Lumiére 2 – Created by Kathleen Lights of YouTube. It’s a beautiful dusty pink/mauve. It’s the counterpart to the Lippie Stix of the same name and color.
  • Rooch – Created by Karrueche Tran. It’s a beautiful deep red. Truly lovely.
  • Echo Park – This is the first Ultra Satin I tried, and I’m very impressed with the formula. This color is a light peachy/terra cotta-ish color. Very flattering for everyday.
  • Lost – Ultra Satin  in a wrm brownish-red color.
  • Too Lips -Ultra Satin and possibly my favorite of all. It’s a very deep plum brown color, which I find to be a somewhat rare combination. Please correct me if I’m mistaken.

HAIR PRODUCTS:

This month I got the Rose Gold Profession Styler 1″ Set from GHD, and I love it. It also came with a roll bad, a heat resistant mat, and two clips. I’m still getting the hang of curling my hair with it.

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This is the best I’ve done so far, and I was going for “movement” rather than curls. GHD is having a 40% off of this set currently, so go check it out if you are interested!

Okay, I think that about wraps this up. I hope it wasn’t too long long. Constructive comments are always welcome!

LIST OF PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream for Dry Skin
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation in Fair Neutral
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
  • Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette
  • Morphe Brushes 12NB Palette
  • Morphe Brushes 35T Palette
  • Smashbox Double Exposure Palette
  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Dark Brunette
  • NYX Eyebrow Gel in Espresso
  • Tom Ford Lipstick in Pussycat
  • Charlotte Tilburry Lipsticks in Amazing Grace and Love Liberty
  • Colour Pop Ultra Matte in Lumiére 2 and Rooch
  • Colour Pop Ultra Satin in Echo Park, Lost, and Too Lips
  • GHD Rose Gold Styler Set

Thanks for taking the time, dear reader. My next post will be about my new Wellness Planner from Kikki K!

Until next time!

 

Fondly,

Maddy

 

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Easter Sunday Makeup!

 

Current Favorite Face Makeup, Part One

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s been a while since a proper post. The previous post was written quite some time ago, but I felt it was still relevant. 

I have decided that for today’s beauty topic, I will be  discussing my favorite stuff that goes on the face. I should probably phrase that a bit more nicely…how about A Few of My Favorite Things? Only Julie Andrews could give that justice, and she isn’t here, so I should probably just say these are my favorite face makeup products. That took too long, huh? Okay, let’s move into the list!

PART ONE

Prep: 

I had heard about micellar water from the YouTubers in Europe. They use a product called Bioderma, and basically it’s a water cleanser that you put on a cotton round and apply to your face, and you don’t have to wash it off. I looked it up and it was quite expensive, about $30 for a bottle of fancy water. So when I was in my local Rite Aid, I was tremendously excited to find not one, but two kinds of Micellar Cleansing Water from Garnier! They have the clear and pink bottle, which is the normal one, and then the clear and blue bottle for waterproof makeup. It says on the bottle No rinse, No harsh rubbing. Face, lips, eyes. I immediately bought a 400 ml bottle for around $8. I adore this stuff, and a little goes a long way. 

For a toner, I use Glow Tonic from Pixi by Petra, which is found at Target. It’s $15 for 100ml. It’s lovely stuff. It is an exfoliating toner with 5% Glycolic acid, and has aloe vera, and ginseng. I find it refreshing and it smells lovely. 

Moisturizer: 

My favorite moisturizer at the minute is from Sephora Collection called Acne-fighting Mattifying Moisurizer. Since my skin is oily and is breaking out more and more on the daily, I was excited to find this product tucked away in the corner of skin care at Sephora. It’s a very good moisturizer, and the main ingredient as you might guess is Salicylic Acid 2%. Highly recommend for acne-prone skin. 

Primers:

I am going to list four primers, because they’re at different price points, and I love them all..though not all at once. That would be quite messy and gross. 

We will start with drugstore, shall we?

  •  Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser: This primer feels very similar to Smashbox’s primers, because of the silicone texture. It really blurs pores out and makes skin feel rather smooth. 
  • L’Oreal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer: Even with my oily skin, I really like this primer for when my skin feels a bit dull.  
  • MAC Strobe Cream: I have the 30 ml size, which is only $10! Someone at MAC told me to just keep buying the 30 ml because it’s a better deal than the big size. Anyway, I really love this stuff. It claims to smooth skin, hydrate, and will add radiance. It’s similar to the L’Oreal Magic Lumi..so you can totally pick one if you don’t want or need both. 
  • Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer: This is my allllll time favorite primer. I bought the middle size for $52 a while ago, and then I got three of the travel sizes, that are usually $18 each, at Sephora with my point perks. I go through it like water some weeks. It makes the skin feel like silk. I always feel like I’m ready to face my day once this stuff is applied. I know that sounds cheesy, but I like cheese. 

Foundations:

  • Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin – 110 Ivory: This was the first drugstore foundation that I liked, and it hasn’t been very long that I’ve had the stuff. I know I need to explore drugstore foundations more, but I break out so easily, I’m hesitant. This is a full coverage foundation, and it really helps my acne not steal the show on my face. 
  • NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30 SunscreenTerre-Neuve Light 0: This foundation is quite new, as it came out in mid January. I loved it from first swatch on my hand. I use the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (Beauty Blender dupe…I even like it better) to apply the thick texture. I love how matte it is, but it isn’t flat. It just takes care of the redness and oil. 
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation3.75 I tried this highly acclaimed foundation back in August when I had birthday money. For some reason after I tried a bunch of times in Sephora prior to purchasing , it was perfect for me. BUT when I brought it home after finally buying it, it wasn’t the same. I ended up returning it. Well, when I had Christmas money, I thought to try it again, and now I love it. It doesn’t cover all my acne or anything, but it feels so luxurious on the skin, and it smells lovely. I use my e.l.f. Buffing Brush to apply it, and it does a smashing job! Two complete opposites of the price spectrum. The brush retails for $6 for those wondering. Check your local Target. 

 

PART TWO will consist of everything else that goes on my face, so stay tuned. I’ll have it up soon, I promise. 

Thanks for reading; it truly means the world to me. Have a lovely week!

Fondly,

Maddy

Essay: Sonatas for Spoonies

 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 2 adults in America suffer from at least 1 chronic illness. That’s about 133 million Americans.

Music has been one of the two ways that has kept me sane. The other way has been the ongoing love and support of family and friends. I am 21 years old and have had four surgeries since the age of 16, and have had continual health problems since then. I currently have Endometriosis, chronic pelvic spasms,  Interstitial Cystitis, Fowler’s Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, mold, toxicity, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and am waiting on more blood tests to see if I have more illnesses.

I am a devoted classical music fan. My mother and grandmother both play and teach piano, and I’m a classically trained soprano. I grew up listening to many genres of music, but classical music has remained the genre I listen to and love most. I love a range of classical sub-genres and various composers throughout the different eras of classical music. It may seem cliché, but Beethoven is definitely in my top 3 favorite composers. The other 2 positions change as often as daily, but Beethoven in always up there.

In an article on psychcentral.com, Jane Collingwood lists the ways music can help with chronic illness scientifically. Music has helped me during my life with countless health crises, surgeries, days filled with psychological and physical pain, etc. Collingwood explains, “This type of music [classical] can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” Several types of situations that music can help with are:

  • Music’s form and structure can bring order and security to disabled and distressed children. It encourages coordination and communication, so improves their quality of life.
  • Listening to music on headphones reduces stress and anxiety in hospital patients before and after surgery.
  • Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.
  • Listening to music can relieve depression and increase self-esteem ratings in elderly people.
  • Making music can reduce burnout and improve mood among nursing students.
  • Music therapy significantly reduces emotional distress and boosts quality of life among adult cancer patients.
  • Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.

In 11th grade I had Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), which is a bleeding disorder. I couldn’t clot well, and would bruise very easily. Normal blood platelet range is 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter. I received infusions of a drug called WinRho every 3 weeks when my blood platelets would drop below 10,000, which is considered a medical emergency. Twice, I needed a blood transfusion after the WinRho infusion. After 7 months the WinRho stopped working and I had my spleen removed; fortunately this procedure sent me into remission. One of my most vivid memories during that time, is how often I listened to music, especially Beethoven, and how much his music came to mean to me.

While I had ITP, after an exhausting and disappointing day at the hematologist, I would arrive home, immediately get on my bed, open up my computer, and start playing music from my iTunes playlist “stuff.” I created this playlist while in 8th grade for when I felt like, well, shit. When that feeling of despair sinks in, I need quiet, peaceful songs and pieces, or ones that equal my mood. On several occasions I lay in a fetal position on my bed, listening to this playlist just thinking, trying to relax, to not give up. Sometimes I listen to a piece on repeat a few times, because that particular one seems to understand me.

I am not saying that spoonies must listen to classical music if they want to relax. I don’t feel that way at all. Spoonies can find any type of music to help them relax and feel better, if only for a moment. Music has the power to take us somewhere else. When one finds a song or album or artist that resonates with them, it’s magical.

For every mood there is a song or genre that matches. When I feel depressed and I’m in psychological or physical pain, I listen to the middle movement of either Beethoven’s violin sonata number 9, or the middle movement of Sibelius’ violin concerto. When I feel happy, and I’ve received good news or just had a wonderful day, I listen to the presto movement of J.S. Bach’s “Italian” concerto, because it truly rocks, or a good old fashioned show tune. I encourage spoonies everywhere to find songs and pieces that make their hearts swell with love and appreciation for life. I also encourage spoonies to find songs and pieces that give them hope, peace, and comfort when it feels that all hope is lost.

One of my favorite pieces I’ve ever sung is, “V’adoro Pupille” by G.F. Handel. It is a love song sung by Cleopatra in the opera “Giulio Cesare.” When I sing it, I am filled with gratitude and thankfulness that I am alive and have the privilege of singing this beautiful song. That is what music means to me. It may not mean that much to everyone, and not everyone experiences music in exactly the same way other people do, but I hope everyone has some form of art that makes them feel that sensation.

Spoonies learn to cope with incredibly difficult situations, that for many of us, are beyond our years. Most people can’t fathom what we’ve had to go though. We all come up with ways to pass the time waiting forever in doctor’s offices, or how to deal with the pit in our stomachs when we’re told bad news, or have to leave school or a job yet again due to health. Music has always been there for me. I can’t imagine my life without the constant companion that music has been for me.

So, my fellow spoonies, find music that speaks to you in a way you’ve never felt. Go crazy! It can be a fun way to pass time in tedious waiting rooms, ERs, or whenever you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. It has brought me solace in those circumstances. I most sincerely hope music will bring you peace and joy.

 

 

Fondly,

Maddy

Bibliography

January 2016 Beauty Favorites

Hello!

Today I am bringing you my January Favorites, which include either new products, new to me products, or products I’ve rediscovered in my collection.

I have been trying quite a lot of foundations since mid-December, and have returned most of them by now. My skin was all over the place, from really dehydrated to very oily, and everywhere in between. Finally it is now normal to oily, thank the lord.

For face products, I’ve been using the Sephora Collection Acne-Fighting Mattifying Moisturizer: I haven’t had this for too long, but I really like it so far. It really does mattify my skin and it was $18.00 for 1.69 ounces, which is a great deal!

After I apply the moisturizer, I’ve been using the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 as an everyday foundation. It only comes in two shades though, which I imagine is a problem for a lot of people. The shade 01 Light-Medium works for me somehow. I’m usually the lightest shade of any brand’s foundations.

After I’ve applied all this + powder and such, I’ve really been enjoying a bunch of ColourPop Cosmetics items. I ordered back in December, seven cheek products. I have two bronzers: Bon Voyage and Paradise Cove.

Then three blushes: Aphrodisiac, which is more of a contour shade, Birthday Suit, and Between the Sheets.

And finally highlighters: Smoke and Whistles, Stole the Show, and Lunch Money. If you’ve never felt the texture of ColourPop products, you must order some. The blushes and bronzers feel like putty, and it’s best to apply with your fingers or a synthetic brush. The highlighters almost feel wet, but they’re just super silky. I love the highlighters the best out of all the cheek products.

Okay, now onto lips, since I don’t really have any new eye products. Be prepared for a lot…

As of January 14th, I own a Tom Ford lipstick, and it’s amazing. It’s in the shade Wild Ginger, and it’s a organg-y red. It’s stunning, especially with a lip liner underneath.

Also from ColourPop, I ordered a bunch of their lip liners, and I must say that they are the creamiest liners I have ever come across. I really love them. My only tiny, itty bitty complaint is that they aren’t retractable. I still LOVE them though! I have a some neutral colors, some mauve-y dusty rose colors, some orange-y reds, and a deep berry red. The names are listed below:

  • Bound
  • RAYEzor (collab with ItsMyRayeRaye on YouTube)
  • Lumiere (collab with Kathleen Lights on YouTube)
  • Julep
  • Clique
  • Dazed

I need more. They’re so good.

As you probably know, MAC came out with their own liquid lipsticks! I have three of the Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolours in Back in Vogue, Dance with Me, and Oh, Lady. I really like all of them and the formula is great, and so is the applicator. Back in Vogue is a peachy nude that doesn’t make me look dead for once! Dance with Me is a lovely berry red, and I usually wear it with a lip liner that has more mauve tones in it, and the combination is very nice. Oh, Lady is just loverly. It’s a a purple-ish wine color, and it’s not patchy like a lot of other deep colored liquid lipsticks I’ve tried.

I have finally acquired two Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks in Heathers and Vamp. They are very similar colors; both very dark and a bit vampy. Heathers is more of dark burgundy, and Vamp is more of a dark red with brown in it. I love them both.

Now for hair!

This month I was lucky enough to exchange something at the last minute for a T3 Featherweight 2 hair dyer. It is amazing to say the least. It’s so light in terms of weight, and it doesn’t hurt my wrist or arm. Plus it dried my very, very thick hair pretty fast. I almost never dry it all the way because it would take at least 30 minutes because my hair holds onto water like there’s no tomorrow.

On the T3 website this is what they say about the Featherwight 2:

“Infused with T3 Tourmaline SoftAire™ technology, it emits an expanse of ion-enriched air to rapidly dry large sections of hair. It also seals the cuticle to lock in moisture, enhances shine and diminishes frizz.”

I find that so cool. I’ve noticed that my hair feels a lot more shiny since using this dryer. I simply adore it. So those are all of my favorite items for January 2016!

If you made it to the end of this post, thank you!

Fondly,

Maddy

 

 

 

Field Trip No. 2: Salon 9 (Gina Khan)

Hello dear reader!

I’m currently sitting in a comfy chair in Salon 9 located on Maiden Lane in downtown San Francisco. This salon was previously called the Gina Khan Salon and was located at 173 Maiden Lane, so they didn’t have very far to move. As the name suggests, they’re located at number 9.

I have been coming to see stylist and colorists with Gina Khan’s crew since I was 15 years old. Now at 23 I still really love coming here.

My first appointment was over spring break back in 10th grade. I had already been in salon quite a few times prior because my Mama has been a client since I was…5? Possibly even younger. This time was different because this was my very own appointment to have my hair trimmed. Since I can remember I was dragged all over hell and gone trying to find a decent hair stylist for a kid with insanely thick and wavy and course hair. My Mama couldn’t even brush through it, so until I was 8 years old, I had very short hair. So basically until 15 I had very shitty feelings associated with going to get my hair cut. I had never had an appointment at such a nice venue.

Within that spring break I spent over 5 hours in the salon. Three were in one day just for highlights, but I loved every minute of it.

Two years in a row I took part as a hair model for a class that the esteemed Gina Khan gives every year for a group of Japanese ladies and gents who are cosmetology students or already working, but are still very new to the world of coloring. Basically, I received services for free and it was so much fun! Both times it was a very long day, but it was just so interesting to have the translators here, and hearing them speak Japanese. Some of their questions were so funny. I can’t remember specifics, but I do remember laughing a lot throughout the class.

I’ve had a few different colorists here, and currently I have Lolu. I really like her. She’s “cleaning” my hair as I write. I’m going for a dark red color from my brown hair. I get very antsy with my hair after a few months of the same thing. I used to color my hair like every 6 weeks different shades of pink and purple. That was quite a phase. I mush prefer coming to a professional at a salon.

 

 

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A few days later…

Anyway, I love this place to pieces. I highly recommend booking an appointment for all of  your hair needs. I often get in the day I call, which is nice. There are several garages near by and BART and MUNI will get you here easily.

 

I hope, dear reader, you are enjoying my field trip series. More to come as there is always more exploring to do!

 

Fondly,

Maddy