Posts Categorized: ap contributors

Make Up for Sensitive Eyes

By Kristine
AP Contributor

Hello all!

A reader who wished to be kept anonymous recently emailed us with a beauty question:

Just wondering if you or your contributors have any advice on wearing eye makeup for those of us who have “dry eyes” and apply eyedrops throughout the day. I used to always wear mascara and now don’t because the eyedrops smear and run the mascara after application and give me “raccoon eyes.” I’m not sure I want to try waterproof mascara since it seems rather harsh and removing it might get problematic since my eyes are sensitive. I should tell you the eyedrops I use are over the counter and not prescription on the advice of my optometrist. 

What an interesting question. I don’t have dry eyes myself, but I do have terrible allergies in the spring and summer so I am familiar with the eye drop situation. Not only are my eyes watery, but they swell up and get really red.

After experimenting with many different mascara formulations, I threw in the towel and decided to start eyelash tinting. My brows and lashes are naturally blonde and if I leave them bare I look like I have none at all. Honestly, I do this at home with Henna. I’m not going to explain to you how to do that, because you shouldn’t be doing it. I shouldn’t even be doing it but I’m broke and…my safety just isn’t that important to me I guess? But you, being the responsible person I’m sure you are, can get this service done at a salon. There is no FDA approved eyelash or eyebrow dye currently, so it’s important to know what your salon uses before undergoing the service. Benefit is a good choice because they use a vegetable based tint so there is no danger of blindness. The service take around 20 mins and prices vary, but are usually in the $20-40 range. If you have sensitive eyes, this may be uncomfortable, but the results last 4 to 6 weeks and it might be worth it. I’ve never had a problem with it myself, and it’s wonderful not worrying about putting in eye make up everyday.

dyed eyelashes

If you want to stick to mascara, there are several options to consider. I even asked a few knowledgeable friends to weigh in with their advice. If you don’t want to try a waterproof mascara, I would suggest carrying a make up remover pen like the one from e.l.f. and just clean up any excess after applying your eye drops. You can also blot your mascara brush before applying, a thinner layer of mascara won’t smudge as easily.

If you would like to try a waterproof variety, just make sure you are using a very gentle make up remover. Some of the safest include Lush Ultrabland, Bioderma, and Make Up For Ever Sensitive Eyes. Using a thicker eye cream like Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Eye Cream will greatly reduce irritation as well.

I hope one of these solutions was helpful and I would love for you guys to let me know via email or in the comments. Any of your own tips would be a great addition as well.

Email me with any beauty questions.

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Kristine Rose is a make-up artist, esthetician, and writer. She strongly believes in each individual’s right to express themselves through style, make up, and body modification (or lack thereof). Beauty writing is her one true passion and she intends to revel in it until her untimely death, crushed under the weight of her own jewelry.

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Picking Up the Slack

I do not have, as you may have noticed, the most professional style.  I don’t think that I’m unprofessional in my dress, but at my old job there was no real dress code and I could wear what I liked when I liked.  So I wore stuff like this:

Gracey the Giant wears lightwash double denim

 

Oh, and this:

9.17.14 scalloped skirt, shark tee & Splendid booties 2

Man, those were the days.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be so loosey-goosey with the dress code here in Pittsburgh.  I start my new job Monday, and at the interview for that job, they mentioned slacks as appropriate attire.  Which made me laugh because, well, I don’t do slacks.  Of course, they said skirts were fine as well, but even I don’t want to wear skirts and dresses all the time.

So, what do I do on those days I don’t want to wear a skirt or a dress and it’s not Friday, so jeans are out of the question?  Well, I get myself some slacks.  Or, at least I try.  As it turns out, tall slack are not the easiest to find.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There are actually quite a few options out there, but tall slacks that I actually want to wear?  That’s proven to be a different story entirely.

Still, I need some darned slacks!  So I’ve done some shopping, and I’ve actually found some darned pants!

To date, I’ve purchased these three pairs of slim fitting slacks:

Long Tall Sally check pants, LOFT tweed pants and LOFT seasonless wool pants

 

I just ordered the plaid pair from Long Tall Sally the other day, so I’m not sure how they’ll fit, but I’ve had pretty good luck with their clothes, so I think they’ll be good.  The other two pairs are from LOFT, and I’m very happy with them.  The top pair is a blue-gray tweed that I love and the bottom pair is made from an all-season wool that is happily non-itchy.

I do not, however, just want slim cut slacks; I’m looking to add some boot cut and wide-leg versions to my wardrobe as well.  So far, I like these pairs:

Tall wide-leg pants from Long Tall Sally, bootcut trousers from LOFT and bootcut double dobby pants from LOFT.

 

You can’t see it very well, but the LTS pair actually has a subtle stitch spot print and I think they’re a bit high-waisted as well.  Hooray!  The top LOFT pair is great because it looks like denim, but it’s not, so the man can’t do a darn thing to stop me from wearing them.  And I’m obsessed with the color of the bottom pair of LOFT pants; I very much like the idea of a colored trouser for work.

The above pairs are basically my picks for tall trousers.  And I also have a few tips, based on my rather harrowing experiences, for shopping for tall slacks:

  1. Long Tall Sally is great because they offer three different inseams on most of their pants (34″, 36″ and 38″) so you can find an inseam to fit you.  Or fit the heels you like to wear.
  2. Long Tall Sally runs a size large; size down and you should be fine.
  3. The Chambray Fluid Trousers from LOFT (not pictured) are very, very itchy.  I do not recommend them.
  4. LOFT pants also seem to run a size large, so I’d recommend sizing down there as well.
  5. For more traditional picks that mine above, Long Tall Sally has some great options but I also recommend JC Penney.
  6. And for more casual options, like chinos/khakis, give Gap a shot.

What about you, Reader Friends?  Do you have any tips/recommendations for shopping for tall slacks?

Thanks for reading, all!
Gracey

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for fashionforgiants.blogspot.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.
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Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.

Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.

Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.

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So Your Friend Is Polyamorous

By Cassie
AP Contributor

Polyamory has been getting a bit more mainstream attention lately, so you’re probably not entirely unfamiliar with the concept. However, understanding the general concept of something and dealing with it in your own life can sometimes be two different things.

meerkats_532_1451625a

I’ve been polyamorous most of my adult dating life, so I’ve had to “come out” as poly to quite a few people. Because I’m so loud and open about my polyamory, I’ve also had a lot of people “come out” to me as poly in that time. Despite being totally comfortable with my own polyamory, I also understand it can be super confusing and perhaps even confronting to people who’ve only ever considered monogamy, so with this post I wanted to offer some advice for some of you who might be coming across polyamory in your personal life for the first time. Let’s assume you’ve had a friend “come out” as polyamorous to you – what do you say? What should you ask? What shouldn’t you ask?

My first, and strongest piece of advice, is don’t be a judgey jerk. Your friend has come to you with something in trust, and that’s a big deal. If polyamory isn’t for you, that’s okay. Not everyone should be polyamorous – for some people it’s totally unworkable, and you don’t need to feel bad about that. But don’t assume it’s the same for your friend, and don’t put your feelings about whether polyamory would or would not work for you on your friend. If you wouldn’t ditch a friend over a boyfriend you didn’t like, don’t ditch them over polyamory. You might think I’m being silly about this, but I’ve seen plenty of otherwise excellent friendships ruined because someone mistook their dislike for polyamory in their own life for dislike of someone who was once a friend.

My second piece of advice is don’t ask the first questions that pop into your head. From experience, I can tell you that they’re probably awful, rude questions that you should at least sit on long enough to phrase them politely, if you ask at all.  Don’t feel like you’re a terrible person though – we all think rude, judgemental things sometimes, and there are certain questions that people always seem to really, really want answers to when it comes to polyamory. I’m going do your friend a favour now and answer those questions for you, so your friend doesn’t have to. Here, I’ve listed the questions I’ve been asked most frequently that I really wish I hadn’t been, along with my answers.

1.”So are you polyamorous or polygamous or what?”

As with anything else about another person’s identity, the best advice I can give you is to ASK the person in question what they call their relationship style, or listen to find out what word they use, and then use that. If they call themselves polygamous, go with that. If they call their style of dating an open relationship, or non-monogamy, go with that. Don’t argue with them that the word they’re using isn’t the word YOU would use – that’s just rude.

Technically speaking though, there is a distinct difference between polygamy and polyamory. Polygamy is specifically a marriage between one man and more than one woman. Polygyny is a marriage between one woman and more than one man. Polyamory is a very broad, squishy term, which is why I tend to prefer it. It covers all sorts of relationships from snuggle buddies, to soulmates, and every combination of everything in between.

2.”Is it because your partner is bad in bed?”

I should hope that I don’t have to expand on why this is such an offensive, rude, and ignorant question. But to answer it, I have not yet met anyone who has a non-monogamous relationship because their partner was bad in bed. Maybe there are some out there and I just haven’t met them. But I’m going to go ahead and say for the vast majority, the answer to this question is a flat “No.” Perhaps followed by “Go screw yourself,” depending on how the rest of the conversation has been going so far.

However, humans are curious creatures, and if you’re new to the whole poly “thing” you’re probably wondering why anyone would want to complicate their life with more than one partner. For some reason, in my experience, a lot of the time people unfamiliar with the concept of polyamory seem to leap to the conclusion that polyamory is all about making up for an unsatisfying partner, and that drives me a little crazy.

There are as many reasons for poly as there are poly people. However, one particular subset I’m part of are people who explore poly relationships because they have kinks or preferences they would like to indulge that their current partner can’t offer. Maybe you’re really into being whipped, and your partner just isn’t into it at all. Maybe you’ve got a hankering for some soft smooth lady flesh, and your partner is a hairy, skinny cis man. I think it’s important to differentiate these situations from the idea of being “bad in bed.” Having sexual desires that aren’t 100% compatible 100% of the time is NOT being “bad” at sex – it’s called human variety. And frankly, considering the amount of effort that goes into maintaining a poly relationship, you would be SO much better off just dumping or straight up cheating on a partner who was really SO bad in bed as to drive you into someone else’s pants.

3.“How do you not get jealous/Don’t you get jealous?”

Poly folk do not have a magical Anti Jealousy Pill. I’ve met one or two people who don’t experience jealousy at all, and I am in fact, very jealous of them. But for the vast majority of people in non-monogamous, open, or polyamorous relationships, jealousy and other icky feelings in the belly can and do happen.

However, most of us feel that the positives we get from being poly outweigh the icky feelings. Jealousy feels gross, but it’s the not the worst thing in the world, and sometimes it can actually be quite useful in terms of sorting out your needs and wants.

This question also assumes that monogamous people don’t get jealous, or that monogamy is some sort of tonic against jealousy. If I’ve learned anything from Cosmo, it’s that this is total baloney.

4. “So, do you all sleep together?”

Ugh, I wish.

Seriously though, while some people do enjoy group sex, some people don’t. Some people love sleeping in a big puppy pile, some people don’t live together and rarely sleep over. Some people in poly relationships aren’t actually interested in sexual contact at all. There are as many different ways of having a poly relationship as there are poly people, and this kind of assumption is utterly infuriating.

The real bottom line here though is that what your friend prefers specifically isn’t really any of your business. Unless they offer that information, or they’re staying over at your house and you need to know how many beds to make up, it’s best to keep this question to yourself.

5. “So what CAN I ask?”

There are lots of perfectly reasonable things you can ask, that will hopefully quell some of that burning curiosity.

“Are you seeing anyone right now?” is the sort of open question that lets your friend know that you’re okay with them discussing polyamory, and their partners with you. As someone who’s had this conversation a dozen times, I never get over the wave of relief this question brings.

An often overlooked question is “Who is is it okay to discuss this with? Do your friends/family know?” Perhaps your friend is like me and is happy to tell anyone who will listen. But maybe they’re not – maybe they’ve only told a few friends, maybe even just you. As someone being entrusted with personal information, you have a responsibility to make sure you don’t spread it where your friend doesn’t want you to.

If your friend is seeing “extra” people, ask if you can meet them. Ask if your friend would like them included in their social life. Maybe they’d love that, maybe they’re not seeing anyone seriously enough to consider it right now. But just asking shows acceptance, and if you haven’t been on the “coming out” side, you can’t understand just how much every little bit of acceptance means.

These are just the most common questions I’ve been asked, but I’d like to throw the comments open: What are your questions about polyamory that you’ve been dying to ask? What can I answer for you, so your friends don’t have to?

Image Credit: Meerkats cudding from Pixgood.com

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The author of Reluctant Femme, Cassie is a queer thirty-something Australian who thinks too much, reads too much, and has way too many pretty things. Her writing revolves around exploring concepts of femme and femininity, feminism, and just how much glitter you really can fit into a polish before it’s unusable. You can catch up with her in shorter bursts on Twitter , look at pictures of her favourite pretty things on her Tumblr, and browse her handmade accessories at her Etsy store

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