The Basic How-To YouTube Makeup Video Script…!

Makeup videos on YouTube are one of my guilty little pleasures. It gives me such a kick to watch those from the truly great to the truly cringe worthy. Plus a number of YouTube posters give better, more accurate advice than the so-called experts at the makeup counters! But I have to say by far and away the bestest how to video posts are those that are pretenders to the “everyday look” throne, because they are anything but an everyday look. They are a glut of products, tools, and money!

The first time I ever heard of the Coastal Scents 88 color eye shadow collection was on a YouTube video, where it seemed like at least one quarter of these colors were used to achieve an everyday look. But now after watching a couple of videos I have seen this infamous 88 color eye shadow collection a number of times along with a ton of other products use to create the perfect everyday look. Between cosmetic companies and other woman telling us to buy enough makeup products to stock a CVS no wonder financial health is taking a back burner! I am a gal that LOVES makeup, but holy crap this is getting crazy!

Here is my sarcastic version of the typical script for an “everyday” makeup look you would see on YouTube (to help you keep track of the number of products featured I am going to go ahead and number them as they are used):

Hi everyone, I’m KBirdy and today we are going to do an everyday makeup look! I have gotten a ton of requests on this, so I just wanted to post something really quick so you guys can see what I use! So let’s get started!

Always start with clean and moisturized skin! I am going to start with Smashbox’s Photo Finish face Primer (Product #1, $36 for 1 oz). The facial primer helps your foundation apply smoothly, and keep it from settling into the lines and wrinkles in your skin. In order to make all of this mind spinning information seem more complicated I am going to use a foundation brush, instead of my fingers to apply the product (Product #2, $25, Sephora Brand).

So I am going to now start with my foundation (Product #3, $40 Sephora MUFE), I like to concentrate on my problem areas, I use a foundation brush to apply my foundation so I get that perfect coverage. Of course you cannot use the same foundation brush you just used for your Primer, you have to use a different foundation brush (Product #4, $25, Sephora Brand). Once I have achieved good coverage I move onto concealer.

It is important to get a good concealer to hide the dark spots (Product #5, $14, Sephora Brand) and of course to apply the concealer just right you need a concealer brush (Product #6, $14). If you are like me, sleep is hard to come by and I have undereye circles from all those sleepless nights, and we cannot use the same concealer for more than one problem. To cover my raccoon eyes I have Bobbi Brown’s concealer kit (Product #7, $32). This handy kit comes with a pressed powder to set the concealer that applies like a dream with Bobbi Brown’s concealer brush (Product #8, $22).

Once you have evened out your complexion I like to set everything with a translucent face powder, I like Lorac’s translucent face powder for that airbrushed finish (Product #9, $28). You just dust this powder onto your face and it just helps hold everything and keep it fresh, use a fluffy face brush (Product #10, $19, Sephora Brand). Now that we have set this look, let’s start putting some color on your face!

I like to keep my makeup simple for an everyday look so I just put on some eyeshadow, eyeliner, a couple swipes of mascara and some lip gloss, blush, highlighter, and I am out the door!

I start out with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow primer potion (Product #11, $19) and smooth that on my eyelids and let it dry for a second or two! You don’t need a brush for this; just make sure you cover your whole eyelid, right up until you are under your eyebrow. Because this is an everyday look, no need to get too crazy! I just like to put a vanilla shade on the on the inner corner of my eye and under the brow, on the brow bone. I picked up Lorac’s Shimmer and Matte shadow collection (Product #12, $36) because it has six great basic shades that all of us could use! The easiest way to get the shadow just perfect under the brow and in the inner corner is using a fine tipped crease brush (Product #13, $20). I put a medium toned color on my eyelid up to the crease using a dense shadow brush (Product #14, $18), and then a darker toned color from the Lorac shadow palette into my crease using a crease brush (Product #15, $20). Then I blend from the crease up to the brow bone using another clean crease brush (Product #16, $20) to avoid adding any of the darker crease color to the light beige color that we are using to buff out and blend the shadow up to the brow.

Using a dark brown liner (Product #17, $6) I like Milani’s Liquif’eye I draw a quick line, wing it out a little at the corner and move onto my brush. If this ordeal hasn’t already frazzled your nerves on a Wednesday morning, just wait there is more! I use Lancome’s Star Bronzer because it is so neat and easy! The bronzer is loose and already filled into a tube with a brush on the end, so you just push the little button on the back of the canister it releases some bronzer into the bristles and you are ready to go (Product #18, $33)! I highlight lightly down the bridge of my nose, and from my temple under my cheekbone, and lightly across my chin. To give me a little bit of a color to my cheeks I use MAC’s Mocha blush (Product #19, $22) and apply it to the apples of my cheeks.

Now that my face is done I use Loreal’s Great Lash (Product #20, $5) in black to pump up my lashes! I know this is an old school product, but it’s still around for a reason ladies…IT WORKS!

Almost done!  Just lips and we are out the door, I apply Clinique’s Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick in Delovely (Product #21, $14.50). This is a great formula it gives you shine and moisture, without giving you that lipstick look! For a little extra gloss I add Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Soul (Product #22, $20) on top of the Clinique Colour Surge and I am out the door!

Okay guys! Seriously, it is so easy once you do it. I mean other than the fact that you are working to buy makeup and products and tools, you are going to love this routine! I don’t even think about it anymore when I do it, it’s just automatic and quick get ready to face the day routine!

Okay see you next time, I will post a great going out look! Bye!!!

This basic look could be yours for the bargain price of $526!!! Throw it on a credit card, long-term financial health means nothing if you look good!


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Whip Cream Is a Slippery Slope

So my birthday came and went this week. Happy birthday to me! For those of you that are wondering (okay, the 1 one you that is wondering) I turned 25 again this year, and it was fabulous! For my birthday I went to Yard House with my family, which was really only okay. I don’t drink, so like 90% of the reason to go to Yard House was out the window. For my second birthday celebration I went to The Cheesecake Factory with a friend.

For the past couple of years I have really been on this kick to eat more healthy whole foods, etc. So for dinner I got the Little House Salad (very healthy) and barely had any dressing on it. I also got the stuffed mushrooms (not so healthy, but my friend ate two and I had 4), plus I only had two small pieces of bread. So I was doing good, right?! Like I hadn’t eaten a lot and I was like, thinking to myself “pat on the back, KB!! Way to be healthy!!” So then my friend, over orderer that they are, ordered TWO pieces of Tiramisu to go, without whip cream, this to me was a travesty, I mean the whip cream there is the good high quality, high fat whip cream that you KNOW doesn’t come out of a can. So I asked her to get the whip cream on the side. So after we walked around the mall and I went home the whip cream was calling to me. So I had just a little bit of the whip cream, and it was delicious!!! I hadn’t had whip cream on a beverage or on a dessert for what seemed like forever, and I couldn’t remember why I started asking for “no whip”. So I had a little bit more. LET ME JUST SAY NOW, WHIP CREAM IS A SLIPPERY FUCKING SLOPE. Five minutes later, it was like I had freebased the whip cream!!! I had eaten all 3 tablespoons of whip cream and I felt like my arteries hurt. It was NO BUENO!!!! I was walking around the house thinking “WHY, KB?! WHY!!!!!!!????!!!!!!” So needless to say all of my healthy eating that evening faced an untimely downfall at the altar of the Cheesecake Factory Whip Cream Gods. It was MUY TERRIBLE.

So even today, the thought of whip cream makes my heart feel unhealthy, and I feel the need to go do something active, to get the remembrance of that post-whip cream over indulgence out of my mind. Needless to say my iced coffee this morning was sans whip cream…YUCK!

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Milani Liquif’ Eye = Affordable Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

You know that NAKED Urban Decay eye shadow palette that everyone is raving about; well I was in a wedding that had a beachy theme so I bought it! After months of lusting after it I totally pounced and I was the proud new owner of the NAKED palette!

The palette is gorgeous, but the problem was I read the review and description of the palette when it first came out. When the NAKED palette first came out it came with an Urban Decay (UD) liner pencil — half black/half brown. Fast-forward almost a year after the NAKED palette first came out, and the liner pencil was replaced with a brush. Good luck finding a use for this brush, I sure haven’t found it useful yet. This lack of a pencil left me with a hole in my heart and in my makeup stash. I was in desperate need of brown eyeliner, but the thought of plopping down another $18 for the UD Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon, made me want to wretch. I just wasn’t in the money-spending mood!

Anyone who has used multiple brands of eyeliner knows that all eyeliners are not created equal. Instead you have some that go on like a dream, and others that were likely created by Crayola as colored drawing pencils and unfortunately mislabeled. I was in the middle of a horrendous Crayola experience with some eyeliner from Cargo. When I was making trails in Target and the closest brand to the aisle was Milani. But they had a brown eyeliner, I needed a brown eyeliner, we were a match made in Target’s cosmetic section heaven.

…And what a match it has been! The Milani Liquif’ Eye eyeliner is AMAZINGNESS!!! If they wouldn’t get sued by UD for using “24/7 and Glide-On” in the name of this eyeliner instead of calling it Liquif Eye or Liquif’ Eye or whatever, I would totally recommend doing it! For the bargain price of $5.50 this liner does exactly that…it lasts 24/7 and it Glides-on! For people who love smudging, you can smudge this liner, there is just a limited window for smudging, because once it sets it stays on beautifully even when it is worn with shimmery highly pigmented shadows! Another thing that I loved and hadn’t even noticed about the Cargo liners until I finished with them was that because they were so hard and I had to work so hard to actually get a decent line with them I usually ended up with big chunks or the sharpened tip breaking off, so I wasting more than I was using! Totally not the case with the Liquif’ Eye, smooth, lovely line with practically no effort!

Okay I am raving, or about as close to raving as I get! If you are like me and you need a brown and/or black eyeliner because you got the stupid brush with the UD NAKED palette and find yourself reticent to make the $36 UD purchase, or you just need a great eyeliner checkout Milani’s Liquif’ Eye the next time you are in the drugstore or Target! It’s a great substitute at a great price point…I LOVE IT!!! Oh and here is a link so you can check out the brand and the other colors they have!

Oooh, and I also got the Aqua pencil as well, and it looks muy, MUY bueno with Coppering eye shadow from MAC! Plus the gold liner goes really well with a couple of colors in the UD NAKED Palette!

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Thoughts about Work, Written While Wiling Away The Hours at Work…!

After college and all you’ve learned about the business world you go into the business world expecting it to be, for lack of a better word, businessy. But soon after you leave college and get into the business world you realize the business world is about as businessy as the bastardization of the word business to businessy implies…if that makes any sense… The truth about business is, it is ridiculous, weird, and is never like you seen in the movies, except maybe in Office Space.

1. Theft of office supplies is the most under reported crime in the world. I don’t know whether it is intentional or a pathological need that is imbedded into our very genetic coding, but there is something about office supply pilfering that takes over us when we see them in colleagues cup holders or stacked in supply closets that smell like a Staples store. Something about “procured” office supplies also make them better than personally purchased office supplies. There is some Ju-Jus that is infused into them, maybe it is stolen from your soul at the moment of theft, but it imbues them with extra powers. Once freed from the workplace you can use them with wild abandon no pen you have will write better smoother lines, no Post-It note will stick longer, and no white out makes you loopier than those of the looted variety!

2. Prepare to have the same discussion about your lunchtime food choices every single day, for the rest of your life. Learn your “this is why I like or don’t like this” script and prepare to repeat it OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.

3. All those e-mails you put together with lots of information and details. No one reads them! On occasion if people are bored, and have nothing better up their sleeves, they MIGHT, MIGHT read your e-mail if they have every website except work related sites blocked, their friends in the office are off sick, their cell phones aren’t getting reception, and they have taken too many potty breaks for another 15 minute absence from their desk to go unnoticed…well if ALL of this happens they MIGHT read your e-mail. This boring paragraph e-mail is the best way to sneak something by someone. Put whatever it is into e-mail that isn’t bulleted, just long paragraphs of information. Look for the longest, most boring, middlest paragraph, and stick in whatever you are trying to sneak by. Sitting pretty, nicely cuddled in between long boring paragraphs referencing one of the ten attachments that are at least 15 pages long sent along with the e-mail. No one will EVER catch whatever it is your sneaking into the e-mail.

4. The sneaking of things into e-mails leads inevitably to the question of, why are you sneaking things into e-mails? You might not think the workplace is a fight to the death, but that just means you’re blind…it’s a fight to the death…practically no one ever tells the whole truth, and 90% off the e-mails that you ever get from anyone is a “self-serving e-mail”. What is a self-serving e-mail, it’s an e-mail specifically written to make the writer look good and someone else look bad. So by sneaking something into an e-mail if someone says, “you never told me that,” you can say, “sure I did it’s right there in the e-mail”. Trust me…people do this all the time. It’s messed up, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

5. Still more on e-mails. They are instant. They are fast, everyone demands something e-mailed to them so they can have it right away. This is called e-mail hoarding. It is why most work e-mail inboxes look like they should be featured on an episode of Hoarders. Everyone wants the info e-mailed to them, but they don’t review it and if they review the never respond to you. Forget about the “RSVP” like line you added to the subject line saying “REPLY IMMEDIATELY”, I NEED YOUR RESPONSE RIGHT AWAY. All of the office technology out there has been created so people can make others hurry up and wait for something. It’s the workplace’s passive-aggressive fuck you to the “I needed this yesterday“ mentality.

6. You know that person with a good personality, and the knowledge base of a Squirrel who didn’t have the good sense to store up nuts in the summer for the soon-coming cold hard winter, remember them?! Well that person, or someone very much like that person has a better job than you, makes more money than you, and will probably tell you what to do, and then try to take credit for your ideas.

7. The ability to look busy, while not being busy at all is a skill you must master. Never look like you aren’t busy. If you look like you aren’t busy this is code to other people to ask for help, your bosses to give you more work, or HR to reconsider if you really need to be full time. Never look like you aren’t busy.

8. If you put on more makeup or dress nicer than you usually do, just because you ran out of your regular work clothes, and you were down to what you chose to wear and a dress from your 1995 10th grade banquet as the only clean clothing options you had…someone will embarrassingly remark on it.

9. Candy bowls/dishes, computers and lip gloss pots. Sharing is gross. Okay, well, not all sharing. No, never mind, I think all sharing with co-workers that aren’t hot and of the cute male variety is gross. But there is nothing grosser than sharing candy bowl/dishes, computers, and lip-gloss with people you work with. In the first place, why are they asking to borrow beauty items? Aren’t there like a million articles a week online on the inadvisability of sharing makeup?! To avoid this, you have to keep a decoy communal lip-gloss pot on your desk that you let your co-workers use, and you keep the real lip-gloss. The Clinique Superbalm excellence or C.O. Bigelow minty loveliness hidden away from prying eyes! Second, using a keyboard and mouse someone else has fondled all day long, it’s like the work place equivalent of sitting on a toilet seat that is still warm from the person that sat on it before, yuck. Everyone that borrows my keyboard and mouse to check something seems to be a hand sweater and after they finished commandeering my keyboard and mouse both items still have co-worker’s grimy little handprints all over them that is doubly gross. Third, did those grimy little hands get washed before they got stuck into the candy dish on your desk?! Nope likely they did not. Get individually wrapped pieces of candy…ooh…and don’t put anything you like in the candy dish without a doubt it will probably go first and you are left with something completely unacceptable like only lemon Starburst.

10. Don’t ever take the bait on stupid e-mail forwards sent around. Without fail someone will have some smart ass forward that will guarantee the country’s problems will be fixed in 6 months starting with the immediate impeachment of whichever president is in office at the time. Followed by the fact that there is no matter how many times said president has said God Bless America or no matter how many American Flag lapel pins they have, they are clearly the root of all evil in the world and you are never winning this argument, don’t argue with crazy people…don’t…just don’t. Just steal all of their office supplies when they aren’t looking, and think good luck highlighting that report with your tongue motherfu*@(&@! (EVIL LAUGH!!!)

So this is the workplace you read so much about in school. The place where no one wears cute designer clothes everyday, hot 4.5 inch heels are replaced with flats with arch support because walking is usually a work requirement, and there are definitely no hot, hot, mind-blowingly sexy men in perfect suits, or fun after work parties. It’s just a goofball place where everyone is trying to get ahead while not stomping too obviously on the hands of the person hanging on next to him or her. It’s just a different playground, it’s just that if you are sniffing they markers on this playground they send you to rehab…!

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Doing The “Right” Thing

Yesterday was the first day of the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual sale, what does this mean?! That overpriced items are still overpriced, but at half off the previous overpriced price, all that to say bras that no one wants are 50% off. So anyway, the first day of the sale is the best day to go because there is still tons of selection and everything is sorta organized, but then it is the worst day to go too because the store is swamped and you have to wait in line to try stuff on. Plus the fitting room attendant will tell you, as you are standing outside of the fitting rooms that are clearly full because the have big “Occupied” signs hanging on the handles “The rooms are all occupied now, but we will get you in as soon as one opens up.” The fitting room attendant had to let us know that, I guess provisions must be made for the illiterate.

Anyway so there I was, 10 different “fashion color” bras and one nightshirt in hand, walking into a long awaited fitting room when out came a lady that never heard of SPF and in I went. Trying on this and that, nothing that looked good or warranted the 10 minute wait for a fitting room, I was pulling on a snazzy looking sports bra when I noticed something silver hanging from a hook. Upon closer inspection, the bra was definite no, and the silver thing was a definite “oh wow I want that”. Someone had left a COACH bangle in the fitting room…it still had the price tag on the inside. It was mint! It was white and silver and matched my gray linen pants and white shirt to perfection! It was like God was sending me this bracelet to makeup for the long line and the unsatisfactory bras! But at the same time there was a sinking feeling, I had seen the lady that left it in the fitting room, I could give it to the fitting room attendant to give back to her, but I didn’t see that actually happening. I could leave it there and hope she remembered it, I could keep it, or I could take it and go find her in the store and give it back to her. Really…the only option I wanted to do was to take it with me. I really wanted that damn bracelet! I mean she forgot it…it was her fault! I shouldn’t be deprived of a bracelet that I found in the fitting room cause she has a bad memory. Right?!

I finally made up my mind; I was totally stealing the bracelet. Walking out of the fitting room the good angel on my shoulder told me that was totally horrible. I finally made up my mind; I was totally giving the bracelet to the cashier to give to the lady. Getting in line to pay for my stuff, I finally made up my mind; I was totally stealing the bracelet. One meaningless conversation about halter style bras later with another customer and my mind was made up I was turning the bracelet over. The bad angel kept poking me with his damn pitchfork telling me that the cashier would steal it, that the lady would never get it back, that she forgot it and she didn’t deserve to have it! Finally, one swipe of my credit card later, I was done, I had my purchases, the bracelet, and a decision to make. It was a gorgeous bracelet, and it would have been a wonderful addition to my accessories collection, but sadly it wasn’t mine and it deserved to go back to it’s owner.

The bad angel put up a good fight, it kept telling me that maybe it wasn’t even the property of the lady I thought it belonged to, maybe it was the person who used the fitting room before her! But at the end of the day the good angel won out, was that even my concern? So what if the bracelet didn’t belong to the lady who I thought it belonged to, let my conscience be clear knowing I did the best to return it to it’s owner (probably Visa). Wandering through the piles of bright colored bras, and underwear silkscreened with double entendres I found the lady, and said goodbye to “my bracelet” of 20 minutes. Tapping her on the shoulder I asked, “excuse me did you lose a bracelet?” The look of horror and frantic pat down of her arms seemed pretty real, handing over the bracelet the lady started to hug me and kept exclaiming “Where did I lose it, did it slip off?!” I barely said “fitting room” when she responded “Oh my gosh I left it in the fitting room, that is really nice of you! That is actually REALLY nice of you!” With a quick you’re welcome I walked out of the store as braceletless as I was when I walked in.

I really would have liked to keep the bracelet, and doing the “right thing” sucked in terms of my accessory drawer. But it was also really nice to make a random stranger happy that they got back something they didn’t even know they lost in the first place.

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Cheapassedness…Don’t Be A Carrier!

There are many dos and don’ts associated with behavior, and to learn them you just have to exist in a society. There is no book, no hard and fast rules to tell you what is and what isn’t acceptable on every occasion in every situation, a lot of times, it’s just a “use common sense and hope for the best” type of situation out there. However, there are occasions when there are clearly defined social norms that must be observed, indeed ignoring or not paying attention to them leads to blogs about you written by strangers who wish they had your full name so they could put your name out there for the world to know what a world class butt munch you are.

So I often ask myself, whatever happened to customer service…and recently I got a very, very clear answer to that question I send out into the cosmos…CHEAP ASSHOLES HAPPENED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. That is where customer service went. It went away because some people out there despite getting AMAZING customer service or service of any kind feel that under tipping or tipping via In-N-Out chocolate milkshakes is okay. Here is the story of the cheap asshole I recently dealt with, judge for your self.

After a hideous children crying, little girl with light up shoes and an airplane bathroom fetish, and sitting near the toilets and getting to smell things no one wants to smell flight I ended I finally landed in San Francisco from London. On my flight I sat next to a guy named Mustafa (Balla/VIP), and yes, I wanted to quote the Lion King the entire flight because his names was WAY too close to Mufasa (Simba’s dad’s name) for me not to want to say:

Banzai: Oh, Scar, it’s just you.
Shenzi: We were afraid it was somebody important.
Banzai: Yeah, you know, like Mufasa.
Scar: I see.
Banzai: Now that’s power.
Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.
Banzai: Mufasa!
Shenzi: Ooooh! Do it again!
Banzai: Mufasa!
Shenzi: Ooooh!
Banzai: Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa!
Shenzi: Ooooh! [breaks into laughter]
Shenzi: And it tingles me!
Scar: I’m *surrounded* by idiots.

Anyway, some how I contained myself and got to hear about this guy his trip to London to meet a girlie who his parents wanted him to marry, but he wasn’t interested in. I guess the first thing that clued me into his idiocy was that looks in a potential life partner is the most important attribute to him. But, hey at least the guy was honest…I couldn’t blame him. But then it was all a case of a rap song gone bad, he was talking about the crazy bar tabs him and his “boys” run up at the clubs in Vegas, how they “roll VIP”, all the chicks they hook up with. I mean it was like a Jersey Shore meets Canada meets Show Off all in one person.

Somehow, and let’s please not get into the inadvisability of my course of action, I am an idiot too, I ended up going to In-N-Out in a cab with this guy once our flight landed in San Francisco. So for those of you who don’t know In-N-Out it is a west coast, mostly California fast food place, it kinda has a cult following. The lines at In-N-Out are always long, and I mean super long. The In-N-Out closest to me had to recently redesign its entrance because the lines to get into drive-thru used to cause a traffic jam on one of the major surface streets at lunch and dinner times. So after pulling up to an In-N-Out with this “balla” in a taxi cab whose meter was already at $22+ for the ride there and taking a gander at the HORRENDOUS line the “balla” decides to run in to the store instead of doing drive-thru. Five minutes later he runs out and asks the Taxi driver if he can turn off the meter. The taxi driver of course does not want to do this but the “balla” pleads, and the Taxi driver agrees after saying “you know this is a BIG favor, right?” The “balla” agrees it is a huge favor comes back out hands the guy a chocolate milkshake runs back in emerge some 10 minutes later with his food and off we go to the airport, another $15 ride.

So pulling up to the terminal, in a Prius taxi that smelled like French fries, with two people that probably smelled gross as a result of 10+ hours of flying in a plane sitting next to the bathrooms, the “balla” hands over his credit card to pay for the ride back to the airport as well as the tip. The taxi driver asks the VIP “so how much do you want to leave for a tip?” The response…”oh it wasn’t included in what you just told me?” Taxi driver, “no, how much do you want to leave, bro?” “Balla”, “$2”. Taxi driver “come on buddy, how much do you want to leave?”. “Balla”, “yeah I think $2 is fine.

Okay…stop… right there…you see that $2 that I typed…that is where your customer service has gone. People like that have stolen it. They have left horrible $2 tips for people like this taxi driver who do them favors like turning off the meter on their cab for 15 minutes while they were in In-N-Out getting a burger and in return for this kindness left the man a $2 tip. Here I was sitting next to Mr. Balla/me an my boys roll VIP in Vegas and his cheap ass is giving this man a $2 tip?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I have never been so embarrassed at someone else’s cheapness like I was at that moment. Every single one of my embarrassment sensors if such things exist lit up like a Christmas light. Refusing to shaft another apparently kind human being so completely I opened up my own wallet and handed the taxi driver some money even though VIP next to me was supposed to have paid for the entire ride.

After we got out of the cab he made mention of his horrible tip saying “I bought him a milkshake and gave him $2, that should be enough”. I was tired, I smelled like recycled airplane air, the makeup I put on in Italy 14 hours before was gone, and my tact was at its wicks end. “NO IT WAS NOT ENOUGH”. I said emphatically, and in an irritated voice “YOU SHAFTED THAT MAN, A CHOCOLCATE MILKSHAKE AND $2 IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR HAVING TURNED OFF THE METER FOR 15 MINUTES”. He gave me a bit of surprised look, but continued to munch on his burger. I swear I have never wanted to slap the cow outta someone’s hands like I did at that moment. He was talking about taking his food through the security line and eating it once inside. Without missing a beat I told him “I would like to see that given your ethnic background, it should be entertaining what happens when you cause a scene at security trying to take in a soda, fries, and a burger.”

Shortly after my smart-ass remarks and his cheapassedness we parted company, but the cheapness of this man still lingers in my consciousness. I can’t stop thinking about that damn $2 tip. I can’t stop thinking about the disbelief and almost dejectedness on the taxi driver’s face and in his voice when $2 was said. If there was ever a moment when I realized “where customer service went” it was at that moment. Why do something nice or above and beyond for someone, when they can’t even show proper gratitude for your kindness? His brand of cheap assholedness is like a disease, it spreads like wildfire, what are the chances that taxi driver will do something kind like that for the next rider who might actually give a decent tip at the end of it…not good. Cheapassedness…don’t be a carrier.

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A Ramble on Makeup, MAC, Laura Mercier, & Sephora

I love shopping, but hate shopping for anything in particular. Shopping for something in particular is worthy of the 9th ring of hell in my opinion, the pressure to find the right thing at the right price at the right time is more than I can bear. Shopping in a pressured situation like this takes the la de da fun out of shopping, so I avoid it at all costs. Of course there are times when you are just forced into shopping for a particular something, and in those moments I find myself wondering “whatever happened to customer service?” Bad customer service is a constant pet peeve of mine. I WILL write to the company if I get bad service, but I also write when I get great customer service, yes, I have issues…;)

The funny thing is I never knew there was a difference in levels of customer service until I traveled to the third world. Yeah, yeah I know it isn’t PC to call the third world the third world, but the third world is a different world…not a Cosby Show spin-off. In the third world when you visit with tourist dollars that might seem like nothing to you, all of a sudden you are treated like a rock star. Shopping means sales assistants fawning over you, store owners and managers running to get you bottled water, and stores extending their hours to make sure you don’t feel rushed in your decision to buy a traditional outfit which you will never wear once you get home. I don’t envy celebrities much, but I sure envy that! By comparison shopping in a cookie cutter mall in Southern California that is slowly being overtaken by cheapo stripper shoe stores and Footlocker type knock-off stores, you don’t feel like a rock star at all, you find yourself asking again and again “whatever happened to customer service?!” This was exactly what I felt when I was again in search of the perfect concealer when the new one I purchased a few days earlier broke.

Starting at Nordstrom, the supposed bastion of good customer service before you leave the stores us mere mortals can afford, I knew what I wanted and I was going to get the right color matched to my skin and get out of there. Walking up to the Laura Mercier, which I hereby dub the Laura Bitchier counter, I told the associate which concealer I wanted and asked for a color match. This elicited a rundown of the concealer and an explanation that it wasn’t made for under the eyes even though the company website said it was great “for getting rid of dark circles”. Insisting I wanted the product the sales associate soon shucked me off to another associate so she could go help someone else. I was starting to lose it, the little imaginary thermometer over my head was heating up fast, I just got ditched and had to explain everything again to another associate and listen to her explanation of why this concealer wasn’t right for under my eyes. Finally, after again insisting I wanted to get color matched she started trying something on under my eyes the whole while saying despite what I read on the website or was told by a representative of the company on the phone this concealer was not meant for under the eyes. A couple of mind numbing minutes later I was handed the mirror, and was shocked. Why would any sighted person have applied makeup to someone’s under eyes like this?! I mean really?! The first color she tried on me was so light it was almost blinding, the second color was so awkwardly pink completely ignoring the yellow undertones in my skin, I really had to wonder if she was color blind. Clearly she hadn’t been parted of the sighted world for long. Saying thank you after wiping off the horrendous clown makeup I took the associates advice and headed over to MAC.

Foregoing the MAC area of Nordstrom is usually part of my silent non-violent protest against MAC’s attempts to be more than they are. They are a makeup brand, nothing more, nothing less. Yet they routinely have some of the bitchiest men and women employed to work that counter. The air of superiority with which their associates swan around their counter combined with the annoyingly loud music makes them seem like the are trying so hard to be cool, they have somehow overshot the mark in a big way.  Back in the old days wealthy patrons would support artists and put up with their crap so they could in someway be part of the history this artist was creating. Well the wealthy patrons of the MAC makeup artists is Estee Lauder, and their patroness is pimping out her artists, making them work their corner and hawk her products. So why MAC makeup artists act like they are doing you a favor when you need help finding a product I have no clue. But after having my concealer done by a guy with perfect makeup I again found myself wondering if he too had just joined the sighted world, and if his patroness would be mad that he just botched a sale. When I expressed my doubt over the splotchy mismatched concealer and asked if he thought it was a good match he said “yes, let me know if you need any more help” before walking off. Now you, gentle reader, know that is some CRAP. Here I am asking if this horrible effort he made on behalf of my under eye circles was correct and his stuck up self just walked away, WHAT IN THE WORLD?! I was getting really irritated, and before I did something stupid, ala Aldo Shoes screaming match with a sales associate I was walking off I needed to cool down, I just shouldn’t have tried to do it in another makeup store.

Heading to MAC, the store, it was more of the same. Wait around to be helped and then when you finally get some help, the information is so bad, so inaccurate you almost wonder if they are for real. According to the MAC store associate what seems like a variety of different concealers perched on their display was simply one single type of concealer with different delivery methods…WTF?! So essentially what this makeup artists was telling me was that MAC/Estee Lauder in their infinite wisdom and wish to waste money packaged the same concealer in different pots, pencils, tubes, etc. just for the fun of wasting money?! Aside from the disbelief over this obviously wrong information, my under eyes were aching. They literally hurt for all the “stippling” and “smoothing” and “tapping on” of product. Worse I found myself wanting to salute those sneaky bastards at the makeup companies. Not only have they created products that cost $22 for a quarter of an ounce, they have now split the concealer category into eye and face. Not one of the people I asked from the time I stepped into Nordstrom to that moment in MAC agreed or even understood my request for a single product for my under eyes and face. Every single time I requested an eye and face concealer in one I was met with blank looks and explanations about color canceling, etc. etc. I never remember hearing this eye/face concealer distinction until just recently…sneaky, sneaky!

Under eyes weary, I left the MAC store without a product in hand and went to Sephora. Hopefully the color I needed for the next day was in stock even though I had called earlier and knew that wasn’t the case. Walking into the store I was immediately asked if I needed help! It was amazing things were going my way, finally! Taking me over to the the CoverFX display after I told her my concealer was out of stock from Makeup Forever, Sephora is Makeup Forever’s pimp, the associate moved towards me with the concealer, and I could hear my under eye skin screaming “OH THE HUMANITY”…lol. Well, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, I just asked her if I could apply the concealer instead of her because my eyes were getting irritated from all the trying on, but I wasn’t to worry she was going to try the concealer on my neck. I thought this was a good idea so try she did, and a fail it was, I could see a patch of concealer on my neck, it was darker than my skin tone, how was I supposed to cover dark circles with a concealer darker than my skin?! This definitely wasn’t going to work. Expressing my doubt again, the sales associate said “concealer doesn’t always have to be lighter than your skin.” What?! How the hell am I going to conceal dark circles with concealer darker than the circles?! What in hell?! I had walked into Sephora and apparently stepped into an alternate reality, I was in opposite world. With excuses of just wanting to browse some more I separated from the sales associate and left the store no concealer in hand.

Leaving the mall I reflected on all my bad makeup advice and makeup trying on experience of late and tried to come up with a reason for it. There had to be a reason. Maybe I was giving off a bitch vibe, that definitely could be it, but I wasn’t in a bad mood at the first counter I was at and still got shoddy service. It could be that I was only looking for one product not a regimen, but they never really tried to sell me anything more or asked me if I wanted anything more, so how would they know?  Then finally it came to me, I wasn’t wearing any makeup. I walked up to these makeup counters in nothing but my good old trusty Oil of Olay moisturizer. My hair was pulled back into a not cute ponytail and I looked comfortable in my jeans and washed too many times hoodie. There were times I had received great customer service from MAC and as I reflected back on those moments it was when I walked up to the counter with makeup on. For some strange reason I really think that I got worse customer service at the makeup stores and counters when I didn’t have makeup on.  Instead of taking one look at my face that was was clearly devoid of products and seeing a huge commission on sales, they thought it wasn’t worth their time to try to convince me to buy what they were selling. It made me think back to an article I read about gender differences in the workplace and how women who didn’t wear makeup were perceived as not caring and that they weren’t as “good” at what they did as their female colleagues that wore makeup. Adding insult to injury they were also paid less. I only wish the article talked about men who wore makeup, now that would have been an interesting article.

Sometime soon I am going to have to get all dolled up and go back to those same stores and the same makeup counters and see if I can get help from the same people. I bet you a MAC eye shadow that I suddenly get treated much better, not as well as you get treated when shopping in the third world, but definitely better!

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