Taking the Walk



Tomorrow is my long-awaited Hanson concert. Usually they take place at New York City venues, and I always worry my makeup won’t last long enough (as I always do for any event longer than a few hours.)

Foundation doesn’t oxidize on me, but obviously it can never look as fresh as it does when I first apply it.

So, being the type of person who likes to have every single thing planned out six years in advance, for the first time I was so happy. It was all working out great. The venue is 15 minutes down the street from me! I know the area well, so I have local restaurants all mapped out! I don’t have to pack too much with me since I won’t be gone the whole day! My makeup will stay fresh all night, because I can apply it at home, an hour before doors open–no touchups!

Then I got the email that Hanson are bringing “Walks” back for this tour. First, I squealed and danced around with excitement. My very first “Walk” with Hanson! 14 year old me, who had to go to massive ampitheaters to see them, would never believe it. If they tried to walk down the street with fans back in 1998, the city would have declared a state of emergency. But–ha!–it’s 2013 now, and no one really knows they exist anymore! A nice, intimate walk with Hanson, and then a great concert. It all seemed like it would work out great.

Then the reality set in: to participate in a Walk that begins at 3PM, I’m going to have to be at the venue about five hours before the show (which is over two hours in itself). Makeup was not built to last that long, despite the empty promises brands tout of “24 hour wear.”

Maybe it’s ridiculous and shallow to get all worked up over silly things, like my outfit and makeup, when this is all about something so meaningful. It’s not really about makeup though; in general I get uptight when things deviate from my schedule.

The Walks began in 2007 when the guys went on their Use Your Sole tour. Basically, it’s a charity started by the guys, and every mile walked raises funds for five different causes creating challenges in Africa. Fans can meet Ike, Tay, and Zac outside the venue, and walk one mile with them before each show on the tour. Walks are registered, and a dollar is donated in our name to the cause of our choice.

I have ALWAYS wanted to Take The Walk. It’s a great charity and a great experience. But I did have to reconsider my carefully laid out plans. Like, does my foundation have a high SPF? (not as high as I normally prefer, but it has some, and the finish is like silk), and, how can I optimize its staying power for the whole day? (I’ll probably just dust some powder on at some point). How will I slather sunscreen on my arms and not get any globs of it on my black top? (still fine-tuning this one). And don’t get me started on the Great Shoe Debacle (solution: Walking in not-very-cute-but-very-comfy shoes, but I’m packing a pair of very cute Gladiator sandals in the car to switch into for the show).

Now that I have it all mapped out according to plan, I can enjoy a fun, meaningful, and very spontaneous day with my favorite band. Good thing I don’t overanalyze and can go with the flow.

This is also a great tutorial on how to make your foundation last: Any other MakeupByAlli fans out there? I don’t think she gets enough YouTube credit. Love her videos and tips.



Fall? No. Just…no.

Confession: I haven’t purchased any new makeup in a while. A really long while, actually. I’m just not that into the fall colors. Maybe it’s because (brace yourself, internet) fall is my least favorite season. Actually, that’s putting it sort of lightly.


It’s weird. I seem to be alone in this opinion. I’m not sure when things shifted, but growing up, fall was simply the worst thing ever, and everyone hated it right along with me. The last few weeks of August were treasured and mourned all at once. Fall meant starting school again, which absolutely everyone I knew dreaded. But if social networking these days is any indication, I’m currently very alone in my love of summer and my never-ending wish that it will…well…never end. Or at least extend until winter, which I also enjoy.

People can’t stop talking about it. Every status update and tweet I see is all, “go away summer, bring on boots and scarves, and pumpkins and cider, and I’m all



So once September rolls around, I lack makeup motivation. Usually I need to have specific, concrete reasons and events to wear fun eye makeup, and summer is one giant reason and event. However, this September, I have two fun things: My birthday (technically I’m still a summer baby. Only by a few days. But still. Thank God.) And I have tickets to a concert.

If you read my 10 Random Facts post you’ll know that I am a massive Hanson (yes, Mmmbop, yes they’re still around) fan. I’m seeing their show on Long Island, so I’ve been swatching colors and trying to figure out what look to wear for the show. I go so crazy you’d think I’m the one performing onstage, but I think it’s fun to have an outfit and makeup look planned out in advance.

I always go through the same cycle before a fun event. I watch a bunch of makeup tutorials and tell myself I’ll do something super elaborate, with lots of shimmer and sharp lines.

and then the day of, I freeze up, get fallout and glitter particles all over my face, and it gets a little…

So to avoid all that, I’ll be sticking with neutrals. Most likely a simple look I can whip up using my Urban Decay Naked Palette. Call me unadventurous, but I’d rather be cautious and stick with my fool-proof makeup for next month (notice how I said “next month” and not “fall”???)

Stupid, stupid fall.


Winter Pink and Gothic Summers

Beauty gurus are always talking about the next trend while we’re still in the midst of the last one. Just when everyone’s finished up going broke on feather extensions it’s on to ombre hair. (I only hope the feather extensions don’t become something fashion decides to revisit–I could never get on board with it. I’d always think a spider was crawling up my arm).

I can appreciate why YouTubers always wants to get buzz going for a new trend though–life would be boring without something new to look forward to.

It’s the rules I have trouble with. Like, coral always equals spring, and hunter greens are only ever associated with fall.

Then there’s me, who wears turquoise blue nail polish year round and flips flops as long as I can get away with it (usually Thanksgiving).

I also think the new trend should be mixing it up and doing whatever you want. Besides, we waited long enough and the “No White After Labor Day” thing seems to have gone away, and now there’s a little something called “Winter White.” I think more people do what they want nowadays regardless of beauty rules and regulations.

Should we tailor our look to the season, or do you have no problem with a black pedicure on the beach?





Judging Makeup by its Packaging

When I first set eyes on Dior’s new Mystic Metallic Constellation palette I was blown away. Do I even need to say why? Just look at it for crying out loud.

And then I remembered a few things: 1) I can’t afford it. 2) There are plenty of other eye shadows out there with an equally shimmering, gorgeous, silky texture, for a way more affordable price. 3) The adorable design and alluring packaging is for suckers who lack willpower and probably have a debt-wish.



But then I also remember that you only live once, and a lot of these products are works of art (like this amazing MAC highlight powder on the left in the above picture). They’re only sold for a limited time. These are vintage collector’s items that won’t be around forever. Makeup lovers years from now will only know them as a myth.

By purchasing these collector’s items today, I’ll possess the ability to prove its existence tomorrow. That’s a lot of power. I owe it to society to debunk an inevitable urban legend.

But then that price tag stares me in the face again and I’m back to wondering why. WHY does the packaging always draw me in? Why can’t the sensible, plain looking products be as tantalizing?

Hair and Makeup–and Awesome Conan Perks

In a previous post, I mentioned how I used to turn my day makeup into a going-out look when I was at my internships.

There was one option I forgot to mention: the makeup artist in the Hair and Makeup room would do our hair or makeup for us if we wanted.

This was definitely one of the best perks of working at NBC, besides all the free checkups we could ever want at the NBC infirmary! Oh, and also there was that really cool Conan Swag Bin, with old broken junk staffers no longer had use for, but us interns could sift through for hours.

The Hair and Makeup room was pretty much just a tiny, disorganized hair salon. It was filled with overflowing drawers and bins of makeup, a sink, light bulb lined mirrors, and a large, swivel chair. Although it should have been a joyous place, made up of dreams and rainbows, I always associate this room with one of my most fearful moments as an intern. My very first day at Conan, I was shadowing two interns distributing updated pre-show scripts. They pointed across the hall, and asked me to slip a script in the mailbox attached to a slightly open door. I peeked inside and saw Conan sitting in the chair, getting his pompadour blown out. I freaked out, dropped the script on a side table, and ran for my life. I’m not sure why I ran. Maybe I was under the impression that seeing Conan pre-pompadour meant I’d have to be interrogated and deprogrammed?

Anyway, this room was a makeup lover’s dream. And I LOVED doing the occasional Sephora run for the makeup artist. I always wished I could have spent more time in there to learn more about what she did.

I think that’s why I made a Hair and Makeup room such a central setting for my book. It was my chance to revisit the one place I didn’t spend enough time in, and writing it as my MC’s hideaway was the perfect way to do it.