A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time

I haven’t been very active on this blog because I’ve been at work on a much bigger project: a screenplay. The idea came up a few years ago, and I’ve been planning it over the last year. Now I’m in the middle of writing the first draft.

The problem with passion projects is the lack of deadlines–no “Friday EOD” emails to get your ass in gear. I found an awesome resource last week: stickk.com, which was developed by Yale professors to help you achieve your goals.

First, I selected a deadline–September 1st for my first full draft. Think I selected a consequence. If I don’t complete it, I’ll pay $20 to an anti-charity of my choice. They have both liberal and conservative options, depending on your stance on gun control, abortions, and other social issues. I think this is a genius feature–now it is actually immoral for me to miss this deadline.

Next, I chose a referee–my boyfriend. He will confirm whether or not I accomplished the goal. The social pressure is a great impetus to make real progress every day.

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.’

-Leonard Bernstein

Not quite enough time is exactly how I’m feeling right now. But I’ll make it happen, now that I have real consequences. I’ll check back with you in September to let you know how done. So back to work!

As If: 20th Anniversary Clueless Makeup Tutorial

cluelesscomparison
It’s hard to believe but Clueless came out 20 years ago last week. I was 6 when it came out, but it loomed large in my pop culture imagination. In my eyes, Cher was the vision of the perfect teenage girl. I remember dreaming of a computer automated closet and my very own Jeep.

Cher is the center of the teen queen classic film trinity, flanked by Heathers and Mean Girls. Cher is the queen bee: fresh-faced yet defined. Effortlessness that hides her manipulation. I had a few thoughts on rewatching Clueless.

  • I need silver Doc Martins like Brittany Murphy (Rest in Power).
  • Polaroids of your outfits are like useful, private Instagram selfies
  • “Let’s do a lap before we commit to a location.” Truer party words were never spoken.

While Cher’s volunteering spirit is only self-serving, she does have a lot to teach us about looking perfectly together. In particular, her high school no-makeup makeup look is fantastic.

HAIR

Cher always has a perfect blow out. It’s glossy, straight, and voluminous, perfect for tossing over your shoulder and flirting with Paul Rudd. I recreated it with a straightening iron and some dry shampoo at the roots for volume. And for 1990s accuracy, bend those ends in with your straightening iron.

clueless

EYES

Wide-eyed, “oops that was a mistake” is what we’re going for here. Apply a shimmery nude shadow all over your lids from lash to brow. “Nude” eye shadow will depend on your own skintone, but for my pale yellow-neutral skin, I love Stila’s Kitten. It’s a well-balanced champagne with pink and ivory tones. Next, apply brown liner on your top and bottom lashlines and follow with two coats of black mascara. Don’t go all the way around with the liner  – only the outer half of your lower lashline–for a nice, innocent look.

CHEEKS

Cher doesn’t subscribe to Kim Kardashian-style contouring. Instead, she just goes with soft pink blush to play up her baby cheeks. I used Tarina Tarantino blush in Carved Rose for the same effect. Use a highligher pen like the YSL Touche Eclat along your cheekbones, above and below your eyebrows, down the bridge of your nose, and along your cupid’s bow for that angelic glow in all lights. I found the original #1 shade of Touche Eclat overly pink for my skin, and returned it for shade #1.5, which has yellow undertones.

clueless lips

LIPS

“Always draw attention to your lips.” Noted, Cher. For a 90s gradient lip that doesn’t veer too far into Pamela Anderson, line your lips with a rose pencil and fill your lips in completely. I used an old Wet-n-Wild shade #664B. Layer a lighter pink-nude lipstick, like Buxom’s Lip Pencil in Sydney, in the center and blend. Finish with a dab of shimmery pink gloss in your center lower lip for an even poutier look. I used the Buxom lip gloss in the shade April.

THE FINISHED LOOK

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It’s very 1990s, but not too dated. Hopefully Cher wouldn’t call me a full-on Monet. What do you think?

Monet Water Lilies Manicure

 

monet manicure

Little pieces of art

I have a vivid memory of when I first saw one of Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. They’re amazing at all different angles–and so hard to capture up close. I recently thought back to that trip and decided it would be fun to try to recreate that painting on my nails.

Tea optional.

Tea and yogurt optional

First I painted my nails a solid royal blue. You could also begin with purple, black, or an aqua base, depending on your color scheme. I decided to go with royal blue, black, purple, aqua, and green polishes. Next, rip up a few makeup sponges in half and stamp each color on, shade by shade.

monet nails

Step one: royal blue base

 

The secret is that you really give a lot of paint on the sponge, and tap it over and over again in one place until you get the level of opacity you want.

After stamping on aqua, green, purple, and navy blue polish

After stamping on aqua, green, purple, and navy blue polish

I just went color by color – aqua, purple, black, and green. After each dried completely, I put on a coat of my favorite glitter top coat, Zoya Maisie. The little mylar glitter flakes look like water lilies themselves. It’s a messy process, but it’s easy to go outside the lines and then wash up excess polish with soap and water

After my Zoya topcoat

The final product

What do you think?

The Best Music of 2015 So Far (Pt. 2)

If there’s one word for music in 2015, it would be trippy. Acid in the tap water? Or just hallucinogenic musical exploration? Your call.

10. Rae Sremmurud, Sremmlife

I was a late-comer to Rae Sremmurd (that’s ear drummers spelled backwards). But it’s a surprisingly strange album, and This Could Be Us is the catchiest thing I’ve heard all year.

9. Miguel, Wildheart

Trippy R&B from one of the best voices singing today. What more could you want? Maybe some radio singles, but I approve of Miguel mixing it up.

8. Young Thug, Barter 6

Why is Young Thug’s second album called Barter 6? Well, it was supposed to be called Carter 6 before lawyers got involved (Lil Wayne’s much-delayed Carter 5 is still tied up with label issues). Whatever it’s name, it’s a very fun album, powered by Young Thug’s up-and-down delivery that makes smart lines sound like complete gibberish.

7. Boosie Badazz, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell

After spending a few years in prison, Boosie is back. Is he the “Tupac of the South” like his fans say? No, probably not. But he did drop a fiery album that hits hard.

6. Kehlani, You Should Be Here

Usually R&B albums aren’t as cohesive as I’d like, and more like a collection of singles. But the 20 year old Oakland singer’s debut is top-to-bottom earworms.

5. Alabama Shakes, Sound & Colour

I didn’t think it was possible, but Britanny Howard’s voice got even better. Just listen to the pent-up yelp that s before she unleashes a new falsetto. Alabama Shakes moved out of the middle of the road and got a lot less retro and a lot weirder.

4. Jamie xx, In Colour

Even after several weeks on repeat I’m still unwinding this stellar album. Just listen as the samples and keys and synths wash over you.

3. Tame Impala, Currents

Ok this one hasn’t been officially released yet. But it debuted on NPR’s First Listen this morning and I’ve already given it a run-through 3x. The trippiest album in a list of very psychedelic releases.

2. ASAP Rocky, At Long Last ASAP

Second albums are tough, but ASAP over-delivered. I’ve fallen in love with every track on its own, and together they show a huge leap in talent.

1. My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall

Probably the upbeat breakup albums I’ve ever heard. Jim James sings shimmering, psychedelic songs that delve into spirituality and nature, and also dysfunction and disappointment.

The 10 Best Albums of 2015 (So Far)

We’ve only just wrapped up Q1 but I’ve already been blown away by music dropped so far this year. Whoever says that there isn’t any good music these days isn’t looking in the right places. Here are a few favorites I can’t stop listening to.

10. Action Bronson, Mr. Wonderful

Bronsolino is back with more raps about food, vacations and obscure 80s sports stars, now with big money production (Mark Ronson), but maintaining his signature silliness.

9. Laura Marling, Short Movie

Prickly British singer-songwriter goes full Joni Mitchell.

8. Matthew E. White, Fresh Blood

Hushed vocals are paired with retro arrangements on this Richmond, Virginia-based musician’s followup record.

7. Tinashe, Amethyst

Filling in where Ashanti fell off; light-touch R&B mixed with The Weeknd-style darkness and carnality.

6. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear

I was wondering what a post-marriage FJM record would sound like – turns out he’s just as acerbic, absurdist, and tripped out.

5. Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show

A Philly R&B singer with a lot of soul, Jazmine explores her vocal range and a variety of characters throughout this album.

4. Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass

Nashville singer with a dainty voice and intimate lyrics, backed by Matthew E. White’s lush strings and brass backing band.

3. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Delivering his slickest rapping yet, Drake plays around with new flows over signature murky, hypnotic OVO beats.

2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Australian songwriter focused on the quirky, banal everyday details that make life profound.

1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

If Drake dropped a smart blockbuster, Kendrick put out the Oscar favorite: raw, powerful, and experimental, at once incredibly personal and furiously political.

A Re-Introduction to Nath Attack

When I started this blog two years ago, I spent a few weeks debating what I should call it. Should I pick a specific name that made it clear what I was writing about? Or go with a broader name that would give me more freedom to explore my interests? Ultimately I chose Nath Attack because I had a feeling some day I’d want to write about a lot more than makeup.

I’ve been feeling the urge to blog again. This time I want to tackle a larger swath of my interests, like music, football, travel, skiing, cooking, and trying (and failing, and trying again) to meditate and be more mindful. Stayed tuned. There’s more to come.

My 5 Favorite Things I Read This Week

Real talk: I’m a compulsive reader. It can get me into trouble when I’m trying to finish something (damn you, Internet, bottomless pool of words!). But the upside is constant inspiration, and I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things I read this week:

  • Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. Run, don’t walk to the bookstore for this one. Or just open a tab for the eBook, that’s faster. This is a really powerful memoir about the author as a young woman dealing with grief, addiction, and divorce, all while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with no experience and a very heavy backpack. I read it straight through on a flight and silently wiped away tears. This was the first book that’s made me cry within the first 20 pages. I won’t say anymore, but seek out this book.
  • On a lighter, shorter note, here’s a really fascinating discussion about Rihanna, feminism, and sexuality. I feel very ambivalently about Rihanna: I admire her resilience and refusal to play the victim, but there are times when she comes off as immature. However, you have to take in the account the “millionaire pop star since a teenager, no one saying no to her in years” situation. Not the typical adolescence to say the least.
  • Did you know that Kevin Hogan, Stanford’s quarterback has gone 9-0 since starting against Oregon last year? Yet has hasn’t gotten much national attention at all. This year the media’s SEC bias has been exposed as a joke. PAC-12 is the strongest conference this year, and Hogan also has the backing of the nation’s best defense. Have I blown my cover as a rabid Stanford fan? Oops. Needless to say, I’m very excited to see the game tomorrow against Washington, with the much improved Keith Price.
  • Here’s a models explaining their tattoos, a beautiful slideshow from Style.com. It’s interesting to see the rise in models with tattoos. I don’t have any myself, or any strong desire to get one (I have plenty of freckles already), but some of these are really stunning. I think it’s a sign of the re-emergence of models with known personalities, rather than the anonymous clothes-hanger figure of the last decade and a half. Cara Delevigne is a perfect example of the next supermodel who has risen to success by being her very wacky self. I approve.
  • Mike Dang gives the best financial advice over at The Billfold. Very soothing and reassuring. I don’t have the letter writer’s problem (which is $11k in savings, grad school, and a terrible job), but this was still a great read and reminder to be frugal but not miserly. Some things aren’t worth the emotional energy.
  • Fashion Month (New York, London, Milan, Paris) is over, which means it’s time for me to analyze all my notes and pull together trends and reviews. An exciting but daunting task, because I want to take the time to really consider the collections. Sometimes clothes grow on you the same way that records do. The Cut posted a slideshow of their 50 best images from fashion month, which is a quick and visual way to catch up on what you missed.

Beauty Resolutions Revisited: Flossing Daily

whitening floss

Flossin’ like whoa

In this edition of Beauty Resolutions Revisited, let’s see how I’ve been doing on my flossing habit. When I last wrote about this back in November, I was determined to floss every day (November! Can’t believe I’ve had this site for almost a year). And how I have done?

Well, I’ve been flossing every-ish day for the last two months. But I fell off the wagon for the first half of 2013. I’d floss occasionally, and I’d brush for the full two minutes of the electric toothbrush (it really feels like forever). But, let’s focus on the positives. Gold star for excellence!

What helped me recommit to flossing was buying a new fancy floss, the above Glide 3D White. Because why not multitask? If you’re a regular flosser, keep up the good work! If you’re struggling, keep up the good fight!

My 5 Favorite Beauty Looks from the 2013 Emmys

christina hendricks emmys

Glamour perfection

Confession to make: I didn’t watch the Emmys last. I don’t keep up with current TV shows, as I prefer to binge watch without commercials on Netflix. And at award shows, once names are being called, the most exciting part is over: the red carpets. Award show beauty takes skill – you need skin that looks great when flash photographed and when filmed in HD (a hard combination. Makeup Forever’s HD powder can result in scary flashback if you apply too much). The makeup needs to be strong enough to be seen from far away, but it must look good in close ups as well. That sounds like a lot of effort, but these five actresses make it look easy.

CHRISTINA HENDRICKS

She’s one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, and last night that glamour shined through. The classic Hollywood makeup suits her peaches and cream complexion, and her lipstick is the perfect neutral red. While the makeup style is pure vintage, the slightly mussed up hair adds a modern touch. Her faux-bob curls were created with a 1/2 inch barrel, smaller than the typical 1 inch barrel most women use. For more details on how to replicate Christina’s hair, check out Temptalia’s details from her hair stylist.

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Music and Makeup: Get Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches’ Cool Look

chvrches lauren mayberry

Flawless, etc.

One of my favorite music discoveries in 2013 is the Scottish electro-pop duo Chvrches (yes, that’s a v, but it’s pronounced Churches. Just stylized with a Roman u for smart SEO purposes). My friend described them as a cross between Passion Pit and Tegan and Sara. I’d also throw in The xx, Purity Ring, and Robyn, all great bands to evoke. They make insanely catchy yet intelligent music, which is not an easy accomplishment.

I saw them perform at the Mezzanine in March, and I’ve got tickets to see them at the much larger Fox Theatre this November: an impressive rise that shows how popular they’ve become. They even had a writeup on Buzzfeed yesterday – surely a sign of good things to come.

The frontwoman Lauren Mayberry entrances you onstage with a clear soprano and charming asides. She’s the kind of performer that makes the entire crowd fall in love with her, men and women alike. You can check out their first album, The Bones of What You Believe, streaming on NPR until its full release on September 24th.

Along with Lauren’s beautiful voice and enigmatic lyrics, I’m a fan of her eye makeup, which is usually a funky version of the classic cat eye. Keep reading to find out how I got this look:

chvrches makeup tutorial

Turn the other cheek

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