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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


"My case is a species of madness, only that it is a derangement of the Volition, and not of the intellectual faculties." ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge


When I sold my kit several years ago, I thought I had closed a chapter in my life. Well, I did. I walked away cold turkey and was glad about it. I was so burned out. I tried to stay away from the stores, the magazines, anywhere I might be tempted to relapse.

Until today, when apparently I'm off the wagon again.


This morning on the train into work (at 8:07 am, to be precise), I got a brilliant idea for a writing project, a book. At least, it's a brilliant idea to me. I had the kind of feeling that you get when you have a dream that's so clear and true that it keeps you going all day, like a muse has been whispering in your ear all night and you wake up with all kinds of aha's! and connections in your mind.

I'm not going to say too much yet, because you know how some of these brilliant ideas can be. You pursue them passionately to an unforseen dead end and then when you run out of steam, you realize that your idea wasn't really all that brilliant and you got all excited about nothing special.

So I'll tell you about the details if it looks like there's something to share details about.


When you're a makeup artist, you're a technique snob and product junkie, a review hound and an ingredients smartypants. You watch other artists work and appropriate their style, when you see them do something new you haven't tried yourself. You can't really go to school to learn how to be a makeup artist. In theory you can, but in reality, to succeed you need hundreds of hours of practice, on real human faces of every make and model. You pore over printed materials and you can pick up a Glamour magazine or Allure and, without reading the photo credits, you know which makeup artist did the cover model. You don't even care who's on the cover. You go gaga for the technique: if it's good, you go gaga. If there's a perceived flaw or mistake, you rip it up and you and your friends talk about how you could have done it better.

When you're a makeup artist, your kit is your most prized possession and it encompasses your ongoing quest for the Holy Grail. My kit was a classic silver metal train case, five compartments high and lined with black velvet, which doubled as a side table and I used to perch a small lamp on it when I wasn't using it. I needed to wear a wrist brace when transporting it to jobs because it was so heavy. I remember a lovely Nigerian taxi driver helping me at JFK Airport, who asked me if I was carrying bars of gold in the case because it was so heavy. A totally understandable question. When I told him the case was full of lipstick, he started laughing. I don't think he believed me.

When you're working, you try to make connections with account managers so you can get free product and then you never have to buy as much.

But you always end up buying stuff. Every artist says the same thing: Oh, but it's for my kit. If you say it's for your kit, then spending hundreds of dollars on shiny new packaging that's smooth and perfect under your fingertips, and subtle, finely milled powders that feel like silk, and soft sable brush hairs of every shape, and perfect bullets of lipstick full of pigment and sensual emollients, spending that money doesn't hurt so much. Because you're a pro, and you need whatever it is... for your kit. It's for my kit justifies a lot.

The truth is that it's never for the kit. It's for you and you just pretend like it's all business.


Pictured above, today's naughty haul at Sephora. Several months ago, I had heard a chorus of angels singing (in my head) when I first realized that now I can get YSL cosmetics there, and now I don't have to deal with the snobby clerks at Bloomingdales. Today's pile of beauty started because I got a gift card from my sister and because people keep asking me why I retired from being a makeup artist and all of a sudden I have a basket of items in my hand and in my head, it's all flowing back in a rush of creativity and memories.

It's for my kit.


And then, just to prove that fate or fortune or whatever is truly shining on me and my brilliant idea today, my dearest dutchbaby (who knows exactly what I like) scored a bacon scented, bacon flavored lip balm from... you guessed it, the guys at Baconnaise!

Dutchbaby went to the wonderful Fancy Food Show here in town last week and met the proprietors of Baconnaise and now not only do I have the option of glossing my pout with YSL Rouge Pur no. 134, but I can also make my lips smell like bacon! (This is sounding a wee bit pornographic, I realize that now.)

Dogs and men are going to find me irresistable. And No, this one is not going in my kit.


Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted January 27, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

OMG that is hilarious. I would be afraid to wear that around my husband in fear that he would accidently eat my lips!

Char January 27, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

LOL bacon...bacon...bacon

reminds me of the commercial.

I'm a complete snob for chanel lipstick. to me nothing else feels like it.

Brook January 27, 2009 at 7:41 PM  

I have enough trouble keeping my dog's tongue off my mouth without adding the irresistable allure of bacon chapstick! Seriously though, does it taste good?

Adan January 27, 2009 at 8:12 PM  


I love bacon too! I think I would feel more manly wearing chapstick if it were bacon flavored

Gabby January 27, 2009 at 9:40 PM  

I think I love you.

will January 27, 2009 at 9:50 PM  

Bravo! A wonderful tale.
I can easily visulize you putting bacon lip balm of George Clooney and when his scene is up, him being attacked by a zillion bacon starved bugs and he's off, running in circles, trying to wipe the essence of bacon off his puss. Outasight!

Speaking of meat products, I was once the 'meat puppet' in woodworking videos and the makeup artist spend time and effort attempting to make my hands look beautiful - for my closeups, of course.

julochka January 27, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

i believe this means i've officially seen it all...bacon lip balm? that takes the cake, um, er...as it were..

but i am in full support of the writing project. :-)

i just can't do YSL lipstick, i don't like the way it smells. but gimme Mac any day! :-)

La Pianista January 27, 2009 at 11:27 PM  

I wonder if they'll come out with some beef steak or chicken bouillon flavors? ;P

Anonymous January 27, 2009 at 11:32 PM  

Yaaaay! It's about time you got back into some creative work. Rah rah, and, oh yeah:


Just Jules January 28, 2009 at 5:25 AM  

make up make up make up - love it, hate it. live by it, die without it? (hmmm not enough coffee yet) But, bacon lip balm... just don't think I could do it. I would however leave it on the counter just to get a good inner giggle everyday. you know you are loved when people send you bacon products.

paris parfait January 28, 2009 at 6:17 AM  

OK, I really don't get the appeal of all those bacon-related products. :) But I certainly understand the appeal of YSL products. It must have been wrenching to sell your kit. As for your justification about buying makeup "for the kit," I used similar justification in spending an obscene amount of money this week on a new camera, lens, etc. in the hopes I will expand my photography horizons. My skills will have to improve considerably to justify such a huge expenditure! Sigh.

Judging from the way you've written this post, your book is off to a good start, dearest TB. xoxox

Laura Doyle January 28, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

A wise man once told me, if you've got something good, keep it your pocket.

As much as I'd like to know more about this book, I guess it's okay. : )

Your kit narrative made me think of "The Nicest Thing That Ever Happened To Me" in Marian Keyes' Under The Duvet.


Lyn January 28, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

My kit is bright persimmon, plastic, lighter to tote, under my desk, brushing my foot as I write this. Ready to rock and roll.
Oh, the B'way days, accosting Ohio ladies to try Charles Revson's re-issue of "Cherries in the Snow".
My absolute reason for being in this is : I will make you into the most beautiful creature on earth. Unless I have to make you into the bearded lady!
Free is good.
Thanks for the fun and brilliance!!!

Mari January 28, 2009 at 8:47 AM  

I still love my MAC twig satin, they can pry it out of my cold, dead hands. A makeup artist turned me on to it...of course!

ModernTanguera January 28, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

Mmm, I'm intrigued and can't wait to hear more about this project of yours!

When we finally meet, will you give me a makeover? :) I think I'm on the other end of the makeup spectrum. I have pretty much only ever worn makeup for the stage, and at this point I just avoid makeup because I have no idea what I'm doing!

Kath January 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Yes!! You need to do this, like I told you, I think of you every morning when I use the wonderful products you sent me. And we've never met ... imagine the magic you could do if we were in the same room!

Debbi January 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM  

I have an armoire full of fabric bought for my "kit" - I drive Sorin crazy with it, he constantly tries to tell me that I have to use what I have before I can buy more... silly man! :o)

~DokterKenny January 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

Ok, I don't get the whole makeup thing never have. Although I enjoy the after effects. I am a face and eyes guy. However, to me lipstick is lipstick and if you put too much on you are Geisha.

I saw your bacon lip balm and I started thinking you know that edible oil you blow and it gets warm? what if they made that in bacon flavor?!!

Cynthia Pittmann January 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

Wow, I would get my face done by you! I just would never have a reason for such beauty...your work, not my face! Bacon-lips, now seriously, do you want that for a nickname? :-) Tangobaby, be careful you will have dogs following you around! What is this pornographic thread that keeps intruding into the bacon scented conversation? <3

The Pink Cowboy January 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

Darling tangobaby, I must admit chaptstick is very important to me. It speaks to my femenine side. But, bacon lip balm....oh baby...sizzling!!!...that's hot. I would love to see pictures of your make-up creations. If you care to show them. And also, I'm sending you pink glittering vibes for your project to manifest.

christina January 28, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

I love this idea! You can do it! My wheels are churning for you... and me. : )

Red Shoes January 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

TB, you know I love you. Adore you, even. But--blame it on vegetarianism--if you ever try to smooch me with bacon lip balm on I believe I will run screaming.

Now, the chocolate lip balm my mother gave me a while back--that's a whole different story. Mrrrow.

Tiny T January 28, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

Ahhh, i had to laugh at the lip balm. absolutely hilarious, but hey, i guess everyone deserves chapstick that appeals to them.

as for your book? you write ON, sista. since i'm in the midst of writing something, it excites me to know that someone else is entering that realm of creativity. i hope that it goes well, and post about your progress.

miss tango January 29, 2009 at 3:24 AM  

Gorgeous manicure TB! Yes I remember buying lipstick "for my kit"!

Dutchbaby January 29, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

I'm so glad you like the bacon lip balm; I love mine!

The book idea sounds great!