Thursday, November 29, 2012

The day thus far UPDATED

-Car and train trouble, both likely weather-related, but somehow made it to class on time.

-Not just in time, but with time enough to inhale a chocolate croissant from the convenient bakery. The very Old New York (pre-tip-jar, pre-hipsters-make-your-food, pre-good-coffee) one, which appears to cater mostly to elderly gay men who've had this routine since forever. The Margot Patisserie of the Christopher Street area. I like the idea of it, although the pastries themselves are borderline utilitarian.

-It had been a while since I'd taught, and the class-presentation visuals these days are higher-tech than I'd remembered. I allotted 15 mins for each 8-10 minute presentation. Had to hold over one presentation till tomorrow. Hate doing that. On the plus side, my students now know the conditional.

-Bought - finally - a winter hat without pom-poms. I somehow always end up with pom-poms, always spend the winter walking around feeling ridiculous, always find bits of pom-pom on the floor, poodle-related or otherwise. The new acquisition: an intentionally nondescript piece of cloth from American Apparel, because that's what's between where I teach and where my office is, and is exactly how much I could be bothered.

-Contemplated future wanty: A red (cashmere? non-itchy?) scarf, like the ones French men wear. One of those illuminating undereye concealers that make you look awake. It's the point in the semester when I might be awake (thank you, Oren's) but definitely don't look it. Does it need to be the $40 YSL one? Should I compromise and go with a $20-ish one from one of the lesser Sephora brands? Or at that point is it drugstore time? Is it 9 hours sleep or is it Maybelline? Also sought: a professional haircut.


After quite the marathon of grading, I spent a while (20 minutes? an eternity?) browsing Sephora in search of under-eye illumination. The thing with skin-color makeup, which I'd noticed before, is that it only comes in a series of shades that range from somewhat tanned white person to very tanned white person.  Useless if you're dark-skinned, but also, without the political implications, for the very pale. I kind of think a product I don't want to use as concealer is one that would, on me, be a bronzer. I remain not remotely luminous, which, for a weekend in the woods, is just fine.


caryatis said...

I used YSL Touche Eclat, but I like NARS concealer better. It's thicker and makes more of an obvious difference, and half the price.

Phoebe said...

Ooh, so happy someone replied on this. I will now have some sense where to look in the maze that is Sephora. My concern with Touche Eclat is that it's just brightening and no concealing, and I'd still be using normal (and yes, far less expensive) concealer underneath. (I've now got a Laura Mercier one that's too orange but a good texture, and a Smashbox stick that's the right color but way too dry. Neither one claims to illuminate, if indeed illumination is something I should be looking for in a concealer. But I am, as you see, suggestible.)

caryatis said...

I also am a little doubtful about "illumination". I used the Touche Eclat everywhere the internet told me to to make my nose look smaller, lips bigger, cheekbones higher, but it did not make any difference big enough for me to perceive. Good luck!

Phoebe said...

Haha yes, if a concealer is $40, it must claim to do everything.

After a grading marathon, I might engage in the grand French-grad-student tradition of browsing Sephora, but am likely to decide against sparkly undereyes altogether.

Flavia said...

My go-to concealer was discontinued, but is now, miraculously, available again on the internet. It's a great weight, and not too expensive.

Unfortunately, in the meanwhile, I moved on to an even better but absurdly expensive concealer (which has, however, lasted me for 1.25 years and still has plenty left, so it's probably actually cheaper over the long term).

Phoebe said...


I'm intrigued, but wonder if these come in ultra-pale. Also, I think if I were to splurge, I'd be suggestible and go with the $40 Touche Eclat. The promise of looking awake...

fourtinefork said...

Hi Phoebe,
I'm ultra pale.

The Givenchy Mister Light (in Mister Meringue) is great for illuminating undereye, but not much concealing. But it's good under and around the eyes. It looks really pink in the tube but looks very natural (on me) on.

Benefit High Beam also-- surprisingly-- works great in the corners of the eyes. I look awake when I dab it on, and not at all disco ball-esque, which is the effect from the Nars illuminators, which are way too sparkly.

Laura Mercier concealer is too dark & too pink for me.

Flavia said...

I'm pretty pale--not, like, redheaded-Scottish-lady pale, but pretty pale--and I've never had trouble finding undereye concealers that work. Maybe not every brand carries an appropriate one, but in general, the lightest one works fine.

The key is to look for or ask for undereye concealers--or concealers suited for that task. Concealers to cover blemishes, e.g., come in a much darker range of colors, in order to match the person's real skin tone and/or foundation; they're also more likely to be liquid-y. A liquid concealer isn't good for under the eye: it wears off totally, or it creases badly. Look for something creamy in a compact or a stick.

But the point of an undereye concealer, as opposed to foundation, is that it really doesn't have to match your exact skin tone: it should be v. light, and basically match your coloration (pinky or yellowy), but that's all.

Phoebe said...


Will take all this into account.


I don't doubt that the people who do take the palest shade of each are indeed pale. But this is the problem, I suppose, with beauty-blogging. Someone else's pale isn't my pale, nor their frizz my frizz. I get the general idea re: concealer, and own two of them, but the thing is, I'm really, really, really pale, as in I look white-the-color in photos with my Belgian in-laws (who are mostly, you know, white), and my undertones aren't so much yellow or pink as... white. But I have plans to check out this Lorac product. Others seem to complain it's too white, which might actually be what I need.

fourtinefork said...

Hi again,

Phoebe, I feel your pain. In photos, I am whiter than paper.

Finding stuff for really pale skin is very hard. There was a thread on Jezebel or xojane or one of those recently where an African-American writer bemoaned the lack of foundation options, some whiter-than-white girls chimed in that it is also hard for them, and hilarity ensued.

Anyway, Illamasqua is good for the ultra-pale, although Sephora in NYC seems not to stock 02-- the shade just above pure white--that I am. Some of the Bobbi Brown stuff is light enough, too.

Also, Sali Hughes on the Guardian had good advice for the super pale as well.

(Also, love your blog. Thought I'd finally de-lurk.)