WORST Beauty Moments of 2012 … or, in which I give cause for everyone to hate me.

Cool your jets.  Yes, I haven’t even said anything yet and I’m already telling you to cool your jets, just in case.

I initially began writing a post on my favorite beauty moments of 2012, but then I thought to my self, “Self, you’ve kind of sprinkled your favorite bits in posts throughout the entire year already.  No one’s shocked to see another shot of Keira or Kate on this blog.  What may be shocking though, self, is what folks discover that you actually don’t like.  And let’s face it, self- we’re always a little more interested at hearing about what bugs the crap out of us as opposed to what we squeal over.”  And admittedly, many of the “worsts” seen here may not be that shocking to some of you at all anymore.  If you read regularly, you know what I like and what I don’t.  But in case some of the following does take you by surprise and you find yourself wanting to set fire to me, let me just preface by saying this: Relax.  This is just me giving my opinion.

#1  Demi Lovato perfectly demonstrating my concept of “overcooked” and my eternal frustration with extensions.

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Too … much … everything.  I literally want to rip the extensions right out of her scalp.  Or brush them like a crazed maniac until they cease to look like Disney princess wig strands.  And if these are not, in fact, extensions, well, they look like it and that’s still a problem.  And the shape of the hair looks rather like pigtails with a life of their own as opposed to healthy, curled locks.  They’re so perfectly positioned, it’s like someone’s taped them to her blouse.  Just makes me wanna chop ’em.  Chop ’em right off.  And then there’s always the very makeup-looking makeup.  And the nose piercing.  And the tan.  And the door knocker earrings.  And the cleavage.  And you get it.

#2  Julianne Hough doing it wrong.

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Rock Of Ages" - Arrivals

By now you all know that I love me a messy topknot.  I like ’em nice and unflattering, and right there at the top of the head.  So very Je ne sais quois, so very Man Repeller.  However, when you find yourself in a fancy dress at a fancy premiere, it might be time for a touch of effort.  But what gets me about this  particular topknot is that I’ve got a bad feeling that whatever stylist responsible for this (maybe even Julianne herself) tried too hard to not seem like they were trying too hard.  Know what I’m saying?  Like, I get the whole 21st-century irony of going for a messy topknot in a designer gown, but you can still detect the hard work that unfortunately went into this.  You see the pins.  You see the pretty, well-done makeup oddly-yet-intentionally juxtaposed against the haphazard hair.  You see how the knot is so obviously off-center on her head with its plainly uneven shape, almost as if it was planned.  The point of topknots is to not give a damn.  This one, all too clearly, does.

#3  People cut their hairs off.

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2012 New York City Ballet Fall Gala

I know, I KNOOOOOW.  But before you get your panties all in a wad, keep this in mind- I am simply very strongly attached to hair with length.  This one is truly more of a personal “worst”, and there’s no expectation to agree that Miley’s or Anne’s or anyone’s pixie cut is bad (and I wasn’t exactly a fan of Miley’s look before anyhow).  In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that these haircuts are quite good.  Anne looks great, and the cut does nothing if not frame her beautiful face and earn her that Oscar that she’s so desperately been jonesing for.  But again, just bear in mind that I’ve got a thing for long hair that you can do stuff with.  It’s just me.  I couldn’t do what Anne did, or I’d at least do it and then shamelessly plop a Kate Beckinsale wig on my head for the next six months to come.  In her own words, “I dreamed a dream of times gone byyyyyy, with lots of hair and lots of braidiiiiiiing …”.

#4  Taylor Swift still looking like Taylor Swift.

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Fine.  Hate me.  Hate me with everything you’ve got, but I don’t care.  It’s time for a change with this one, it is.  And this one looks like nothing if not Disney princesses personified, so you know that’s really saying something when it comes from me.  I applaud Taylor for sticking to her stylistic guns, but you’ll have to forgive me for saying that there’s just not enough excitement for me in her look.  I’m bored.  To tears.  Taylor made the Earth-shattering change of adding red lipstick to her look some years ago, then shocked the world by styling her hair straight instead of with those teenage curly-cues we were so used to!  THEN she cut BANGS!  What WILL she do NEXT?!  I mean, Nicki Minaj must’ve gotten a hold of her or something … BANGS!!!

#5  People pinning airbrushed, Photoshopped, Kim Kardashian-esque eyeshadow looks to their Pinterest boards.

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Because nothing inspires more confidence in a makeup artist (for brides, no less) than seeing something like this and a caption below reading “PERFECT FOR WEDDING!!!  EXACTLY WHAT I WANT!!!!”.  Yes, you pin looks for the purpose of suggestion, for inspiration.  But bear in mind that the perfection typically exhibited on such images like the one above usually involves Photoshop editing, like that used for photo spreads in magazines.  It takes a steady hand to create this look, along with a steady few clicks of a mouse.  But I will, however, submit that I could recreate this look to the best of my abilities, given all the proper resources.  Just don’t freak out when you see a tiny bit of eyeshadow fall-out on your cheekbone, and relax!  I’ll have these with me!

#6  Speaking of Kim Kardashian …

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Yes, Kim.  Thank you for the contouring tips.  But now that we all know that you have to paint A TREE on your face everyday to look the way you normally do as you stomp the pavement with Tracy Jordan Kanye West at your side, I can’t say that we’re all that interested anymore.  Or at least, I’m not.  And that tree on your forehead isn’t including the rest of the clown mask you’ve got going on there.  For the runway, yes.  For the pavement with Tracy Jordan, no.

#7  THIS IS NOT THE FACE OF SNOW WHITE.

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This … I … I can’t even.  I.  CAN’T. EVEN.  Yes, I know we’re going for the face of the I-pull-myself-up-by-my-own-armored-bootstraps, I-play-in-the-mud-and-I-wield-a-sword-and-I-won’t-be-gender-stereotyped feminist Snow White.  And toward that I have no qualms.  But THIS is not even THAT face.  This face may have remained fixed with this EXACT expression for the entirety of the film (that so sorely disappointed me that I can hardly bear to discuss it).  And in fact, I’m pretty sure we can find this expression on Ms. Stewart’s face  throughout every other film she’s been featured in this side of FOREVER.  But the red lips, the alabaster skin, the hair a shade of raven’s black … I got none of it in Snow White and the Huntsman.  I get that the point wasn’t to Disney-fy Snow White in this case, but the look just wasn’t there.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe I just don’t know what I want, and maybe it’s not such a problem with the styling as it is with the confession that I just didn’t want her.

#8  Christina Aguilera looking like she rolled around in the MAC stockroom.

NBCUniversal's "The Voice" Press Junket And Cocktail Reception

We’ve already discussed this situation, so I won’t add much.  But the lavender ombre’ really caps it off for me.  It’s subtle, like a garlic sandwich.

#9  Justin Bieber looking prettier than Kate Beckinsale.

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Those baby pink lips.  That perfectly smooth skin.  Those fluttery eyelashes.  Those immaculate eyebrows!  That shiny hair with those beautiful diamonds!  No, I’m not talking about a Victoria’s Secret Angel strutting her stuff in the Fantasy Bra on the catwalk, or some girl that George Clooney is seducing in Lake Como.  I’m talking about Justin Bieber.  Yes, this guy, the alleged heartthrob of this current generation of young teenage girls.  Maybe I’m just partial to the scruffy, rugged look, or maybe I’m not being patient and allowing puberty to catch up with ole’ Justin, or MAYBE I’m just NOT cool with the fact that this, *ahem*, young man so clearly spends more time in front of the mirror applying his Creme de la Mer and strawberry-scented Bonne Bell lipgloss than I ever have or ever will.

#10  And lastly, the kicker …

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Um, ma’am?  Excuse me, ma’am?  You … you’ve got a sock on your head. I know you’ve shaped it into a purty little Cinnabon roll the size of a cabbage with your hair, but … you’ve got a sock on your head.  Oh, but I can’t see the sock?  Well, here’s the problem- I still know it’s there.  And it’s bothering me.  I want to poke it.  I want to poke it bad.  I want to shove my foot in your sock-hairs so I can keep warm in the winter cold.  Oh, you’ve cut a hole in that sock?  Well then lend it to me as a wristband for my awesomely sweaty workout.

Consider sock-buns the Bump-It of 2012.  Every time I saw some girl last year with a conveniently-placed tuft of volume at the top of her head, I so desperately wanted to play Whack-A-Mole and throw down a hammer on that bump just to see if it was some Bump-It impostor or if it was just real hair, teased and sprayed for height.  Same game goes for sock-buns this year.  Should you ever feel some bony finger poking your giant bun on the back of your head, I apologize in advance.  It’s just me being curious.

Welp, there you have it.  I’ve got a feeling I’ll be cranking out a “Best of” list sometime soon in order to make up for this one, but in the meantime, enjoy.  And you be sure to let me know if you’re feeling particularly enraged by any of the aforementioned.  I’ll send you a complimentary sock in the mail.  xo, MR

Explain this to me.

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Ok, so by now you know (that is, you know if you read this thing regularly) that I’m not exactly a fan of the kind of look I like to call “overcooked”.  Overcooked tends to look, well, over done.  And over done tends to look like this.  There are perfectly lacquered lips in some sort of bright shade, no doubt.  There is evident contouring.  There are false eyelashes.  There is plenty of eye makeup besides the false eyelashes.  There is obvious airbrushing and filtering.  There is perfectly curled platinum blonde hair (though they’ve likely strapped on some extensions that don’t need much curling, because extensions tend to have a curly life of their own).  There is an amount of face makeup that I could not even begin to quantify because while the point of airbrushing and filtering is to give the illusion that she has flawless skin, they ironically had to first slather on the pancake frosting MAC Studio Fix (yes, I frequently jab at this stuff) to initially prime the canvas.

I think this kind of look, however, frustrates me so much on Christina because she literally looks like this at every appearance, on every show, in every video, at every concert, in every advertisement.  I have the same beef with Kim Kardashian.  It’s just too much.  And when “too much” is “all the time”, “too much” starts to actually become boring.  When you are literally always looking like you just spent three hours in the makeup chair and an hour or two at the salon getting your hair wound around a curling rod, there’s no room for the really exciting “SHAZAM!” moments.  Doing the whole “long get-ready” process (as I call it) loses its thrill because that is your life every day.  As the years go by, how much fun can there be in getting dolled up when you have always gotten dolled up, every day of your life?!

My favorite parts of my week are always the one or two afternoons of “transformation”.  I won’t have worn a stitch of makeup (probably for lack of time and energy) for a few days, and I’ll come home from work with a couple hours to spare.  I’ll put on a face mask, cover my hair in oils, and watch a couple episodes of I Love Lucy.  I’ll then take a looooong shower where I’ll wash my hair (every fourth day), and leave conditioner in it as I do the rest of my shower stuff.  Then, if I have the energy, I’ll blow out my hair or I’ll just let it air-dry if I’m feeling lazy (which is most of the time), and I’ll go back an hour later and fix any kinks with a curling rod.  I’ll then slather on my moisturizer and apply as much or as little makeup as I like.  This is my happy place.

But what makes this my happy place is that I don’t get to indulge in it too frequently.  I look forward to it, and I savor it.  There are so many days in between where I smell, have bags under my eyes and un-groomed brows, and my hair is just … there.  I’ll just manage to get moisturizer on and that’ll be it for the day.  And while this frequently occurs out of laziness, I’ve also come to realize that I want to be able to take my time.  I hate rushing a process that I absolutely love, and so I’m finding that when I don’t have enough time to just relax and enjoy getting ready, I’d rather not “get ready” at all.  It’s the first clothes I can find, throwing my hair up or putting on a hat, applying lip balm, and I’m done.  I’d rather not even try than rush myself and not put real thought into my hair and makeup.

Maybe Christina gets to look so dolled up all the time because it’s part of her job.  And she has a crew of twenty ready to make it happen for her at a moment’s notice.  But regardless, I just know that I never want “dolled up” to be the regular for me.  At least, not the Christina kind of dolled up.  xo, MR

P.S.  Oh, and can someone also please explain the phrase “Sometimes all you need is red” to me?  I mean, really.  People gathered around a little conference table and thought of that.  And they thought it made sense, or that it was enticing.  Red food dye?  Red hair?  Red hot sauce?  Taylor Swift’s new album?  Now, if it said, “Sometimes all you need are those red Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”, I’d get it.  I’d get it.