Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve!!

Happy Halloween you guys!

Halloween is like Christmas for me (and I freaking love Christmas so you can imagine just how excited I get this time of year!). I celebrated it last night some of my favourite peeps at a really fun gothic ball. Everyone dressed up for the occasion and looked absolutely stunning!
My favourite thing about Halloween is that I get to dress the way that I would love to dress every day of the week and also get to do gorgeous things with makeup. Here is a peek at how I looked last night - I think you can see why it isn't an everyday thing:

I hope everyone else had a great Halloween, ate lots and lots of candy and scared little children - all that good stuff! :)


Monday, October 25, 2010

I was punk, now I'm just...corporate?

I always kind of assumed I would work in a creative field - you know, have the kind of job where I could express my flair and individuality through my clothes and this would reflect how arty and talented I was. Like working in design or in fashion or maybe in an art gallery or something. Somehow, though, I have ended up in perhaps one of the most conservative, boring industries ever.

The uniform in my profession for girls goes something like this: plain suit (grey or black, pants or skirt - so long as the skirt isn't too short); business shirt (white or pale blue - occasionally you will see someone rocking out a stripey number if they are feeling super-bold); and black heels (not too high!!!!). Hair is usually in a low ponytail and sometimes you will be lucky enough to see someone sporting a black ribbon around their ponytail. For reals. It is rare, but a real treat.

It isn't like this all just kind of happened to me by accident though - I mean I knew what I was probably going to be in for when I started my degree. I was really mostly interested in actually getting a job at the end of university though and was kind of in denial about the whole suit thing. And couldn't things change by the time I graduated and entered the workforce? Nope. 'Fraid not.

People who know me outside of work are usually a bit surprised when I they find out what I do for a living. Especially if they knew me in high school or uni when I was going through one of my goth or punk phases.

When I first started working in corporate-land, I did try to conform as much as possible. I did the suit thing - I even tried ironing those nasty business shirts every morning so I would look very responsible and very professional and people would trust me to do... whatever it was that I was meant to be doing at the time. Casual Fridays used to just freak me out though. Nothing in my "weekend wardrobe" was really office appropriate so I ended up having to buy new, fairly dull casual Friday get-ups. It was the most depressing shopping EVER.

And even after all of that, I don't think I really ever fooled anyone at work. Even if I manage to dress normal, I can't seem to keep up "normal" conversation for very long and sooner or later something a bit odd will pop into the conversation and my cover is blown. This has resulted in some co-workers looking a little freaked, smiling anxiously at me as they quickly make their escape down the hall and then limiting their exposure to me in the future. No big losses in retrospect. It has, however, also resulted in me being able to find the other odd-balls and quirky personalities that had also been hiding out around the office. And the more of them that I met (including some of my bosses) the more I found I could relax and be myself at work and over time I have stopped worry so much about fitting into the corporate "mould".

My work style has evolved over time too. I don't think that I ever dress inappropriately - but I do try to dress in way that is still true to who I am and there is usually a little nod here and there to my out-of-work persona. (A tiny skull on a necklace, a pair of sky-high Louboutins or maybe some dark purple nail polish - although everyone seems to do that now.) And, obviously, a lot of black helps too. Also, my hair tends to give away the fact that I don't necessarily run with the pack. At the moment it is kind of a pale purpley-pink - I was still a bit nervous when my hairdresser revealed it in the mirror, thinking that maybe this time I had pushed things a bit too far, but it was actually received pretty well at the office.

Turns out, if you are half-way decent at your job, people will forgive you a bit of freakiness - within reason of course. Still not totally convinced that they would be happy with me getting a full-sleeve tattoo. Bummer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't touch your eyebrows - seriously

Like most fab girls of my vintage, when I was in high school, I thought Drew Barrymore was pure awesomeness. In fact, I still kind of do. She was sassy, cool, sexy, funny, and adorable – everything teenage-me wanted to be. In fact, I still kind of do.

At some point, however, I decided that the things that were getting in the way of me being just as awesome with Drew were my eyebrows. They were too big! You see, at the time, Drew was rocking some pencil-thin eyebrows à la those that adorned the face of silent film star, Clara Bow. They were edgy, yet sophisticated. They would look awesome on me.

Or so I thought.

In my attempt to look like this:

I ended up doing this to myself:


Thankfully, in a fit of honesty, my sister’s boyfriend ended up asking me one day why I did that “thing” to my eyebrows. When I assured him that I did not know what “thing” he was referring to, he said, “You know, to make them so thin and weird. They kind of make you look like Joan Collins – Joan Collins now, not young Joan Collins.”

(I wish this was an exaggeration but he was literally that blunt.)

Somehow I didn’t cry. I just acted like he had NO idea what he was talking about and told him that I was hardly going to take beauty tips from a boy but I heard him loud and clear. Thin eyebrows = not pretty. 

Needless to say, I started growing my eyebrows back immediately.

Thankfully for both Drew and I, our eyebrows have grown back to something of their former glory. I am sure mine aren’t as thick as they used to be though.  And now, when I look longingly at pictures of the Olsen twins with their gorgeous, full-but-manicured brows, I feel a twinge of regret. Maybe mine would have been that lovely if I had stayed the hell away from the tweezers when I was a teenager. Who knows? All that I do know is that I will never again reshape my eyebrows to keep with a trend or passing fancy. 

And if I can stop just one person from making the same mistake, then it has all been worthwhile, right?

Not really. I would much prefer that it had happened to one of you instead of me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why don’t you liiiiiiiiiiiiike it? **Updated**

I got my hair cut this weekend. This is not that big of a deal– I am always getting a new style because I get bored pretty quickly and always want something that I haven’t got. This time I went really short – a little pixie crop that I thought would make me look very Carey Mulligan or Mia Wasikowska. Very now. 

I left the hairdressers feeling pretty fricking sweet about my new crop. And just like I always do after a major, hair-altering experience, as soon as I saw my husband, I smiled sweetly, fluttered my eyelashes at him and in a girly, little voice said, “Do you liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike it?” And while he normally responds with an automatic, safe, “Sure. It’s cute.”  this time, he hesitated and said, “Not sure – I’ll have to see if I get used to it.”

Um, WHAT?? 

This naturally put me into a major sulk.If he truly loved me, he’d think all of my haircuts were totally cute just by virtue of the fact that they were on me, right? Of course he would! He is clearly just a very, very mean man.

To be fair though, I do torture my husband quite a bit over my hair. Whenever I start to get bored with it, I start sending him photos of celebrities that I want to look like or pointing out cute girls on the television and ask whether he thinks their haircut will suit me. This has got him into all sorts of trouble in the past and he now tries to avoid commenting at all. One fine example of this is when we watched “V for Vendetta” which went something like:

Me: “Does Natalie Portman look good with her head shaved?”

Him: “Oh yeah. She looks hot. She always looks hot.”

Me: “That’s interesting. Would I look good with a shaved head?”

Him: “Ummmm... I think you have to be really, really beautiful to pull that off.”

And so began a sulk to end all sulks. He apologised soon after (kinda) but didn’t really know what he was apologising for. (Something like, “I’m sorry I said Natalie Portman was hot” which was SO not the point.) I know I shouldn’t really care that much about what my husband thinks of my hair and what is really important is that I think it is cute but I want him to liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike it. 

In spite of this, I continue to experiment with my hair with little or no regard to whether I think my husband will like it or not. And it always tends to be pretty short or involve a colour that doesn’t really occur naturally (or, more likely, both). I just hate the thought of my hair looking boring or like everyone else’s (or God forbid, like my natural hair colour which is actually something I like to call “rat caramel”) and this need to be different far outweighs my need for my husband’s approval. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the era of Madonna and constant reinvention of self, or maybe it has something to do with my penchant for movies that involve life-changing makeovers, like the Breakfast Club and Clueless. All I know is that, ever since that first sachet of Napro Live Colour (and in spite of an ill-conceived, extremely short cut that I got when I was 13 that I thought would make me look like Jane from Melrose Place but that actually made me look like a fat little boy), I have been addicted to image-changing hairstyles. If I am feeling frustrated because I don’t have control over some aspect of my life or even just a little bored, I take control of my hair instead and cut or colour the hell out of it. I’ve been doing this for so long now, I wouldn’t know how to ask my hairdresser to do the same thing that she did last time.

And a hairdresser is cheaper than a therapist, right?

Anyway, my husband now claims that he is used to my haircut and has finally admitted that it looks pretty cute. This may have more to do with the fact that I have told him that my new blog entry is all about how mean he is and how him disliking my hair is a sign that he doesn’t truly love me. Regardless, I have decided that my hair actually rocks so I don't really care whether he is being honest or not.  

Well, kinda.

EDIT: So I thought it would make sense to put a picture of my new hair cut up so that you see what all the fuss was over and, you know, take sides. Here it is!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winona Ryder saved my skin

In the small coastal towns of Australia where I was brought up, to be beautiful was to be tanned. These towns seemed to be solely inhabited by honey-dipped hotties with cascading hair, long legs and loose morals. And to make things worse, this was all being reinforced by the celebrities of the time, like Elle MacPherson, Heather Locklear and, of course, the entire cast of Baywatch. Bronze was where it was at.

And while this worked out just peachy for my golden-skinned goddess of a sister, it didn’t go so well for me. My skin would go a little darker in the sun but it just kind of went a speckledy eggshell colour. And then only after I endured a very nasty sunburn. The speckle would last about a week and then I would be back to pasty again. 

So it seemed clear to me that I could never, ever be beautiful. And no boy would ever like me. And I would die alone, face down in a bowl of macaroni with a faithful cat licking fake cheese out of my hair.

But then, something wonderful happened. Or rather, someone wonderful happened.


I had seen her before in Mermaids and Edward Scissorhands but hadn’t really thought much of her. But then I saw Dracula and all of that changed. I admittedly watched Dracula just to perve on Keanu Reeves. But, as lusty as he was (in spite of his shite-house acting), it was Winona who got my attention – I was mesmerised by her. She seemed beautiful, sophisticated, sweet, intelligent and yet still, somehow, incredibly bonkable! 

I had an immediate and desperate need to be just like her. But this confused me a tad – how could she be so sexy when she was so – pale? I mean, she was whiter than I was for god’s sake – how could that be attractive? 

I checked in with my brother (an expert on all such fab and important things) to confirm whether I was right in thinking that Ms Ryder was indeed desirable to boys. And the answer was, yes. Yes indeedy. 

Hmm. Well this changed everything!

Not long after, I dyed my hair the darkest that my mum would let me (Darkest Brown – looked black when it was done but was technically brown so mum allowed it), invested in smoky eyeliner and kept the hell out of the sun.

Aside from saving my skin from evil sun damage, this acceptance of my pale skin changed my whole approach to fashion. I didn’t want to wear wishy-washy pastels or comfy casual wear anymore. I wanted to wear black or vibrant reds and purples that would contrast starkly with my skin. This naturally led to an intense, long-term affair with all things gothic as well some thoroughly enjoyable (and some ongoing) flings with indie, brit pop, rockabilly, punk and burlesque. Looks that all suited – and looked better with – a pale complexion. 

And, as it turns out, some boys totally dig pale skin. Suck on that, Pamela.

So thank you Winona. And may God bless your alabaster soul!