Friday, July 26, 2013

What ever happened to 315? Enquiring minds want - need - to know!

Try as I may and no stone has been left unturned  in a desperate effort to find any trace, it appears  that number 315 has disappeared. While we're at it, number 5 seems to have suffered the same fate and something tells me that number 225 isn't too long for this world. The searches only confirm what is most likely believed and experienced by cosmetic users world-wide, in that these regular disappearances is a collective plot by cosmetic companies to drive consumers crazy. Really.

Number 315 - no shade name supplied - has disappeared mysteriously off the shelves and hasn't been seen since. It was the perfect deep shade of foundation for summer wear, being a beige color that imitated a rich, summer tan leaving the skin looking like it was kissed by the sun. Once applied on the face, it was love at first site and I ran out to purchase a couple more bottles knowing that it could disappear off the shelves, as is a frequent practice by well-known retail outlets and pharmacies.

It's not a high-end brand, F.I.T. by Maybelline but it was moderately priced and suited my skin type.
My seasonal ritual is to use a  deeper beige shade in summer while a lighter more natural shade is the choice for winter and spring. All good things come to an end and once the remnants of 315 had been coaxed out of the bottle, a trip to the local pharmacy for a refill revealed number 225 in the place where 315 had once been. Assuming there was a run on this color, an inquiry and verification by the pharmacy cosmetic clerk revealed the shock that 315 was no more. Thing is - 225 just doesn't...won't do. Know what I mean? You know you do! Its disappearance has precipitated a search in the hope of it turning up in some pharmacy, somewhere, anywhere, but it doesn't look promising.

As if all this wasn't traumatic enough, loose powder compact number 5 by Cover Girl, used to compliment number 315, has dropped out of sight. This week alone, numbers N55 and 155 that looked similar, are among others that most likely will lay dormant somewhere in the back of the bathroom cabinet, along with loose powder 360.

It makes a person - me - wonder if cosmetic companies take the tastes of consumers into consideration, in deciding the shelf life of their products.

A similar situation exists with lipstick shades and it appears, at least in my eyes that it's a group decision when it comes to choosing the dominant color - singular - for the coming season(s). Pink, the "in" shade for a while does not suit my coloring, which is most likely the case with many other lipstick wearers. Do the powers-that-be care? Most likely not.

So whad'ya think, people? Pink for this year, again?

Didn't we do pink last year?

And the year before that?

True, but the word according to cosmetic reps, is there's a lot of pink left over. We gotta move it

Doesn't that mean that lipstick users have had enough or perhaps don't even like pink? Why don't we try another shade, like beige, for example? Beige is good.

Beige? That's two-seasons-ago. The lipstick wearers will use pink and like it. We have spoken and they will obey. More pink for another year at least. We'll start a marketing campaign promoting pink as the new beige. Consumers will have to buy it. They'll have no choice.

So now you know the reason why you're wearing pink lipstick - again. At least IMHO.

Right now my cosmetic bag is filled with "reject" lipsticks that looked to be in the desirable beige tones when purchased, but ended up pink. Attention cosmetic companies: not everyone suits the same color lipstick!

There's always the hope that maybe down the line, 315 will show up again but with another number. In the end, it's all a numbers game anyway. Right?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Life's quirky moments and other interesting but somewhat puzzling stories

Sometimes, a writer comes across a story that immediately begs to be shared. Maybe not begged but definitely worth passing on. This piece falls into this category.

There are competitions and then there are competitions that carry an unusual premise. In case you weren't aware of it - don't really know how I missed it - the Wife Carrying World Championships were held recently in Finland. This makes one - me - wonder why someone would want to create a contest of this nature encompassing schlepping (schlep - verb -Yiddish for drag, haul) a spouse around. But I digress.

In the way of background information, this schlepping-fest is or was inspired by a 19th century Finnish legend focusing on wives being stolen from neighboring villages. Just thinking here whether  the stolen wives were at some point, re-stolen back. But I digress. Again.

The challenge consists of couples (no mention of marital status) race around a 253 metre obstacle course with the 'wife', who is carried upside down with her legs clasped around the runner's neck. Presumably, strong legs would be an absolute necessity and a pre-requisite for the wife element of the competition. Weak-legged wives wouldn't suffice. According to one contestant, water obstacles consisting of a big pond lined in plastic, made the going very tough. I can imagine. Wonder if drowning is an issue...

In the end and when the carrying was over, Finnish couple Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina, took home the gold medal for the fifth consecutive year.

All dressed (and stuffed) mice to go

In as far as mice are concerned, to some people they are unwanted rodents that should be and frequently are, eliminated by various means, which shall remain nameless. There are people, presumably mice aficienodos, who enjoy their presence be it in an inanimate state of being. Why does this vision make me shudder.

A taxidermist, obviously a mouse/mice aficionado, is running workshops focusing on the art of  anthropomorphic taxidermy - say that fast after a few drinks - offering interested persons the chance to learn how to stuff dead mice, dress them up in cute costumes and pose them in unusual situations. Why? Who knows but  the practice was a popular art form during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

The four-hour course offered by trained taxidermist, Shannon Marie Harmon, costs approximately $100 and teaches students to apply a preservative inside mice that is purchased from pet shops, pose and dress them in a range of cute-sy outfits. Wondering if there's a dress maker/designer who specializes in mice fashions. Anybody know? Moving along...

Upon completion of their course, students get to leave with their very own stuffed and embalmed rodent, ready to be dressed in the student's outfit of choice that could include polka dot dresses (presumably for female mice but not necessarily) or Victorian outfits replete with shoes.

We're talking here about frozen feeder mice available only at pet stores and not your common, street variety. It stands to reason that a higher quality rodent is a necessity given the variety of diseases that street mice carry. Right? You know it's true!

In case anyone reading this is interesting in learning the art of mice stuffing, Ms Harmon operates two classes consisting of 15 people, twice per week.