We’re talking about eyebrows here before you get excited/disappointed. There’s many things I could say about eyebrows, so here’s some of it.
They’re one of those insidious beauty ideals. They have to be perfectly shaped with no hair out of place. It doesn’t matter how alternative the model is, if there is a hair out of place the torrent of abuse directed at the artist and model is vile. It’s incredibly disturbing how ingrained it is in the beauty culture that female models must have this thin strip of hair that’s perfectly arched and how nasty people get when not presented with it.
So bearing this in mind there’s two choices if you feel like shoving it in the face of society. Let them grow or shave them off.
Now letting them grow is no longer an option for me. I had electrolysis done and even before that they were never really big and busy. So while they grow, they never really grow out of shape.
So that’s the second option. lose them all together. It’s something I’ve done a couple of time now and it’s always fun to see the glances. So here’s the pros and cons of each method of removal.
Plucking and Waxing
Simply put don’t. Plucking and waxing pull the hair out at the root and will eventually cause the hair to stop growing. When I am really old (not just old like now), it’s be nice to still have my eye brows even if they’re really grey. I’m sure you might feel the same the older you get.
Good for the person that’s most scared of losing them. The hairs are slightly more hardy and will stand up to repeated bleachings. However it does mean using peroxide near your eyes. Using the right kind of bleach will help as it’s designed not to drip. It has an advantage though, it leaves you with a guide if you want to fill them in with interesting colours.
Hair Removal Cream
Again this means using a product near your eyes that’s not really meant to be near them. This could be a nice alternative if you’re not a fan of shaving them.
The best method for total and temporary removal. Of course the face is not a smooth surface. When you’re not used to doing it care must be taken. A new sharp blade, a good shaving foam are a must. If you’re finding it really awkward, I’d advise shaving first with the hairs to remove most of the length and then go against them to get rid of the stubble.
Once you’ve removed them what to do next?
Well you can leave them off. Some people look really good without them, Shrinkle for example. It’s really up to you if you think you can pull off this look or not.
You can freehand them back on. This can take a little practice but it does give you a huge amount of freedom over the shape, size and colour. Anything can be created from Gothic arches, Vulcan short style to your normal brows.
You can use a stencil. Elf and many other companies provide stencils that can be used over your natural brows as well. The advantage of these is that they will always be even. Even if you don’t have a steady hand or are just too tired in the morning you’ll end up with perfect brows.
It’s really up to you if you want to take them off or not. I know I like them when they’re not there most of the time. I like the freedom it gives me to chose the shape. How about you?
Recently one of the well known, incredibly talented women I follow on instagram posted a meme of sarcastic Willy Wonka.
As you can expect it created a shit storm. I’m not going to dive into the dogpile that was the comments, I am going to say why I disagree with her.
For starters MUA stands for Make Up Artist. Anyone who considers what they do art can call themselves this. Art is a subjective matter and therefore it doesn’t matter if the only face you do is your own. If you’re doing art using make up, you’re a MUA. You don’t need a professional to call yourself an artist. You can spend all day working in a shop or being a stay at home mum, if you then create art on your face, you’re a MUA. These are the people the meme targets. It’s wrong.
Now she freely admitted afterwards that this was a dig at, and I quote ‘instafamous people who think 384573828 followers, overly edited selfies and endorsements from big companies who only care about the follower count make them a pro.’ Okay so not the people above. The problem here is some of them she’s aiming at are professional. A professional is someone who makes a living doing what she states above. There are people that manage to do this. They can make a living off only doing their own face and posting it to the internet. Some of them have even managed to create their own make up line. So she’s wrong. They are pros. It might annoy her intensely but that doesn’t make them not pros.
So do you agree with me? Or her?
So, now that I have money to spend on things I don’t need, I went back to a problematic thing that I’ve wanted since it came out. Red eyeshadow and black lipstick are next to impossible to hunt down. limecrime has a wide variety of colors that I really love, but when the China Doll pallette came out, I found it ridiculously problematic, what with it being literally named after an ethnic stereotype. Like, I kept trying to work my brain around it in a way that is ethical because I really want red eyeshadow, but it just won’t work. After filtering through a bunch of blog posts by white people making excuses, I hit Doe Deere’s own word on the subject. Oh. My. Fucking. God. The ignorance oozing out of every word is just… wow.
So, let’s just break this down, shall we?
“Lime Crime’s Chinadoll campaign caused a bit of an uproar in the blogging community. While most of you saw it for what it is — a beautiful photograph inspired by China — some were genuinely offended because it referenced China. As the brains behind the campaign, I wanted to share some thoughts on the subject.”
So, it begins defensively. “Saw it for what it is.” So you are denying from the very start even the possibility that it is something you didn’t intend. And reference to China is NOT what is a problem here. But more on that later.
Is Chinadoll meant to portray authentic China?
Not any more than a Hollywood movie is meant to portray reality. I am a makeup artist, not a historian :), representing an entire race in a historically-accurate manner is an ill-fitted task… Me and my team’s goal was to create is a fantasy inspired by China, which we did through creative means available to us such as styling, makeup, hair and photography.”
Alright, but can you deny that Hollywood films (and all other forms of media) influence peoples’ perceptions of the world and the other people in it? Also, there are a litany of fantasy settings that manage to create characters that are clearly inspired by real-world cultures, but do not explicitly name one. When you name “China,” guess what? “China” is not a magical fantasy realm where anything is possible. It’s a real place full of real people, and the world is full of people who are descended from there. Since racism exists, there are terrible stereotypes about that place and those people, so it’s not unreasonable for someone who doesn’t know much about it to take the time to, say, run it by a few people who actually know what they’re talking about.
“Painters, architects and composers have interjected their work with elements borrowed from other cultures for centuries, because it made their works more memorable and fresh. It wouldn’t be very fun to be an artist if you were only allowed to reference cultures in an 100% authentic way. Personally, I like to mix things up and find inspirations in all corners of the world — my wardrobe and house incorporate Spanish, Chinese, Moroccan and Russian motifs.”
Alright, first of all, just because a work of art has lasted through the centuries because of its technical excellence and aesthetic beauty does not mean that inaccuracies in it should go unquestioned and undiscussed. There are is a reason why European paintings depict scenes from the Bible (which explicitly states which countries things happen in) with pale, blonde, blue-eyed people. No one can claim that no one knew what people from these countries looked like. The Crusades happened. People went there, came home, and brought back very well-documented descriptions. Yes, those paintings are beautiful, but there is a factual and historical context to them that is very important, especially to people who are excluded from or misrepresented by them.
Secondly, absolutely no one said that only people from a culture can depict anything of or related to another culture. It is simply a matter of conveying things in a way that do not pander to any racist agenda, and that doesn’t propagate ignorance, stereotypes, or misconceptions.
Next is this picture, La Japonaise by Monet:
The difference between Deere’s fantasy and Monet’s work of art: Monet went to Japan, stayed there for a while, bought these objects, brought them home, and got someone to model the clothes so he could paint them. He engaged in the culture, had an actual experience, and then painted not a caricature or a vague remembrance, but conveyed the actual objects that he brought home. Here is depicted a straightforward reality, not an unresearched fantasy.
"Why did you select a non-Asian model for Chinadoll?
Before I answer this, let me make clear that I think Asian women are beautiful and I have worked with a few in the past as a makeup artist. However, since our Chinadoll was not meant to be necessarily Asian,she could be portrayed by a person of any descent. Chinadoll is a character, an amalgam of inspirations ranging from dolls to Shanghai Art Deco advertising posters. We chose HannaBeth (who is a total sweetheart, by the way) because she has lovely features and embodies the feisty spirit we wanted.
And yes, the name is a pun that refers to both, China and porcelain.”
Worked with a few in the past? Cool. Why didn’t you give them a call then? This is California, not Monet’s France. There are Asian, and specifically Chinese, women all over the place. You’re telling me that not a single solitary one of them who has a “feisty spirit”? Doubtful. Deere chose a white woman to play dress up for this photoshoot because she didn’t think it through. She didn’t care enough about the subject to portray it accurately or effectively. If she wanted to, she just would have.
As for that pun, the racial stereotype was made to do that too. If she’d have done her due diligence by checking the connotations of the words she chose, she would have realized that her pun was by no means original, and in fact incredibly misogynistic.
“Aren’t you promoting negative Asian stereotypes?
Anybody who has read the Chinadoll Press Release knows that it’s not what this is about. Our Chinadoll is strong but not afraid to cry, rebellious but in control, traditional and untamed all at once. These are allhuman qualities, not associated with any race in my opinion. She is a living contradiction and, above all, awoman — she can never be, will never be, stereotyped! I couldn’t think of a better person to portray her than the tattooed, nose-ring donning HannaBeth.
Okay, but what you’re missing is the fact that the stereotype that you’re naming is a stereotype. China doll: a woman delicate, fragile and pale as a porcelain figurine. Pale because she doesn’t work in the field and rarely walks the streets. A doll, in fine apparel, a decoration, the plaything of dominant men. Read a book. Not a wikipedia article. An actual book. By an actual Chinese woman. Pick one. Any one. You’ll find out.
Think of it in terms of a race that white americans have been more pressured to acknowledge: black americans (of which I am one). If this were called the Jigaboo Fantasy Pallette, And the colors were Whip Welt Red, Watering Hole Blue, High Yaller’ Gal, Deep Watermelon, and Pickaninny Black, then you claimed to celebrate the “feisty, fun-loving, and vibrant vivacity of the good old south…” Well, I mean, no amount of rhyming and alliteration and claims to love African American culture and emphasis on the one black model you worked with that one time will assuage the situation. You’ve taken a the name of a known racial stereotype, named the colors after typical objects that relate to the people it describes, and then called it a celebration. It’s… disgusting.
What is your stance on Cultural Appropriation?
I was at Anna’s Linens the other day and saw this Asian Garden bathroom set. I found myself wondering if this seemingly innocent shower curtain was offensive to somebody. What is cultural appropriation anyway? You can read the Wikipedia article here, but to summarize it’s the borrowing of certain cultural elements by another cultural group. To be honest, I find the notion a little silly. It implies that unless you are Japanese, you can’t cosplay as your favorite anime character or write manga without offending someone. You can’t sing the blues or release a rap album if you weren’t born black. And you most certainly can’t make this collection if you are Karl Lagerfeld!”
Question: when you asked yourself this question, was it phrased along the lines of, “I see something in this bathroom set that has been pointed out as being offensive before. I wonder what someone in the know has to say about it?” Or was it more like, “UGH! I wonder what overly-sensitive jerk has a problem with THIS!” Because that makes all the difference. Are you questioning with actual curiosity and desire to do right by people, or are you questioning how much shit someone might give you as you proceed to do whatever you feel like regardless?
Deere previously stated the obvious about not being a historian, and here she states the obvious about her due diligence, that being nil. A wikipedia article. She read. A wikipedia article. Forget not being a professor; that doesn’t hold up in 6th grade. It’s clear that she didn’t even attempt to seriously engage in the issue being presented to her. Rather, she took from it the most reductive interpretation, framed in a way that puts her squarely in the right.
Cosplay? Irrelevant. The whole point of cosplay is to dress up as a character and become that person and live that fantasy. It is a specific character you’re dressing as, from a specific story, which you chose for your own reasons. Moreover, precision and research are highly valued in cosplay. Cosplayers who know the ins and outs of every aspect of a character, right down to their posture and diction, are the ones who are most respected and rewarded. It’s the complete opposite of Deere’s vague suggestion at a generalization of what it kind of a thing that goes on over there where that cool stuff is.
Rap? Have you ever heard of the Beastie Boys in your life? They came up right beside run dmc. They rap about their real lives and their home, the things they like, people they know, about being Jewish and stopping the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s all 100% authentic because they were not merely engaged in the culture out of passing interest, but were an important part of it because they are from fucking Brooklyn in the 1980s. Vanilla Ice was a joke because he rapped about being from the streets when he was really from the suburbs. The Beastie Boys are revered and respected because they didn’t open their mouths unless they know what they were talking about.
"Call me crazy, but I find this whole ‘cultural appropriation’ thing — or cultural exchange, as I like to call it — kinda brilliant actually. I think it encourages acceptance, enriches our existence, and makes us more tolerant toward other humans all over the world. Borrowing from cultures — and letting borrow! — is vital to ending racism, bigotry and misanthropy. To say nothing of the art and music it has given us throughout the years: Mozart’s March Alla Turca, Tchaikovsky’s Chinese Dance from The Nutcracker, and the entire Japonism movement in art , just to name a few!”
It’s obvious that Deere did not engage in the actual issue, because if she had, she would know that cultural exchange is yet another thing that she didn’t just make up on the spot, and there is a difference between the two. Exchange is done respectfully, intelligently, knowledgeably, within the terms that the culture concerned dictates as such, and with a full understanding of what those terms are. Also, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what misanthropy actually is.
"Not all that pertains to race has to be racist, just like not every cultural reference has to be met with opposition. What matters is intent. As an artist and a human being, I have the right to be inspired by and wanting to explore, adapt, and otherwise express myself through things I find wonderful”
It’s true! Things pertaining to race aren’t racist when they’re done with respect to the races involved. And you don’t have to be a professor; just take the time to ask somebody. Deere emphasizes that she spent an entire year on this project. At any point in this year, did she pick up a single solitary book, read any article that told her something she didn’t already think or know, or ask a single solitary individual actual human Chinese person what they thought of it? Of course not. If she had, this wouldn’t even be a discussion.
As for intent, if you get into your car and accidentally hit another human being and cause them bodily harm, that may not have been your intent, but it certainly still caused harm, and that harm must be acknowledged and repented of. What Deere does in this post is fleeing the scene of her accidental racism.
Chinadoll is NOT a marketing gimmick. It’s a concept I’ve nurtured for an entire year, believed in, and thought about every night before I went to sleep. It came from a good place in my heart and it saddens me to see anyone get offended by it. If you found it offensive on any level, for that I am really sorry.
But Chinadoll will live. I’m not going to kill her just because it makes some people uncomfortable — that would require sacrificing my artistic integrity and sending a radical message I don’t believe in to the community. After spending a year in development, I can promise that beyond the photoshoot, Chinadollis simply great makeup. I hope people give it a chance!
"China Doll" is not a "her." It is not a person. It is both a pack of face paint and a racist stereotype that portrays Chinese women as weak, delicate, fragile, and devoid of utility, and incapable of self-actualization. I am not going to give an Asian studies 201 course on this. If you are reading this, you have an internet connection. If you actually care about knowing, go learn.
Deere follows an “apology” with the express statement of the fact that she doesn’t give a shit about the people she’s apologizing to.If you’re sorry, you acknowledge that you messed up, you rectify the situation, and when people talk about what you did wrong, you take your medicine because you know that you deserve it, because you know you were wrong. And a white person who was racist toward someone doesn’t suddenly get to re-write what’s offensive and what isn’t in order to conveniently wriggle their way out of the situation. No one cares what you “think” is racist. It is racist. Accept what you did. Become a better human being because of it.
Someone who is not racist takes the time to understand where they went wrong and makes an honest effort to do better. A racist, on the other hand, commits an act of ignorant bigotry, makes excuses, derides the people affected by their foolishness, and makes a half-assed apology after carrying on about how invalid all the reasons people have for being upset are. Before reading this, I could just shake my head at yet another sad example of white ignorance. Afterwards, I’m glad that I didn’t buy anything before now, because I do not support racist companies, which is exactly what Deere caused lime crime to be through her willful ignorance and complete inability to consider even the vaguest possibility that she was wrong.
Until I read about the owner/creator/whatever she is. This comment was what sealed the deal though:
“From your last name, I’m assuming that you are Asian. Unfortunately, Asian parents – especially fathers – can sometimes be authoritative and overbearing. They have a set vision of how they want their kids to turn out and often leave no room for exploration and experimenting. It’s saddening, and makes me appreciate my liberal upbringing all the more.”
I love how she’s talking about how it is to have an Asian father. Bitch, you’re Russian, lol.
I was thinking about what to do with this blog. Since I’ve not been very well I’ve not updated it as much as I should.
I was going to do a month of red lips for September, however even in my vast collection I don’t own enough reds to do it. Crazy I know. I then looked up what birthstone is for September and it’s Sapphire. I don’t own enough things in blue. I could possibly make it if it was mostly eye shadows and some those were in sets.
So what do I do from here? I need a little inspiration.
I do have a backlog of images of products I was intending to do reviews on. Of course the swatch project for my nail varnish has halted due to the false nails and damage they caused.
I think I need to sit down and write out a structure for my blog. How often am I going to post, what I am going to post and so on.
The question is what would you like to see on here?