Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Random... Facebook, motivation, Hello Kitty mania. Plus, Topshop skinny trews anyone?? (Kate Moss/ Alice McCall)


I'll blame the weather, but lately it's been really hard to motivate myself. I have neglected the gym and all my very hard-earned strength has vanished as it's been so long since I kept up my 3 times a week gym habit. I used to get anxious if I hadn't been in 2 days; now I'm secretly relieved when I hear rain starting, because it means it's not my fault- it's the weather. But the fact is, I'm angry with myself for not going. I know it's not just me though, because when I ultimately do drag myself there, it's practically empty.

The other night I made the decision to de-activate my Facebook account. I used to love Myspace, though I haven't been on for months, at least it was creative- you could change your background, add music, discover bands and artists... find gig listings and blogs. Facebook is like the geeky cousin: everyone has their page, with a neat wall. Granted you can muddy it up with a billion applications, but ultimately there is something abit sterile about it in comparison. Also, you leave yourself suddenly vulnerable to being 'found' by all those people you were glad to shake off. Initially Facebook was so exciting, giving you the opportunity to locate long lost loves and childhood friends etc, but generally this quickly revealed why you weren't in touch in the first place. When it gets to the stage where most of your 'friends' are 'frenemies' or people who barely know, it's time to take stock. I had an extensive list of 'friends', suggesting I was some wildly social maverick, yet a grand proportion were people I would cross the street to avoid. And not accepting friends leads to particularly awkward moments when you run into them at gatherings and such.

Every time I logged in, the same usual suspects had changed their profile picture to an even more ecstatic pose, or had given themselves pointless straplines "__ is so angry about the weather"; "__ hasn't been to the gym. Again." (Yes, yes- I do see the irony.) And then my real friends would post events on there, but it'd be drowned out by aforementioned individual's status updates (aka gloating). At best, Facebook would gobble up hours of my time whilst I became embroiled in photo albums of exotic locations, or luxurious weddings and exclusive soirées. And then feel guilty for snooping. I just want my friends to contact me directly, I didn't actually enjoy the round robins followed by the convoluted 'threads' clotting up my inbox.

I also know of course that employers - and even prospective friends etc, will routinely assess you based on your facebook profile, which I find annoying and slightly stressful. So, I'm off it now and I'm very glad!

Regressing into childhood?? What IS this trend: Hello Kitty, Smurfs, Barbie, whatever next... Teletubbies!!!?????
At my age and upwards, it's natural to see makeup as a crutch to look younger. But how much younger... do we really need to induce this all- out nostalgia?! MAC is of course bringing out the long antipated and much-hyped Hello Kitty line; Stila is having a stab at Barbie, aiming presumably for the same electrifying results that MAC had with her first time around; and Too Faced have a Smurf palette out. None of these are available in UK as far as I can see, so I cannot comment on the products themselves, but I certainly see a bizarre pattern. Is it a strategy to rope in the young'uns, just like banks rope in university students with funky leaflets and promises of free ipods or rail passes? To form the brand allegiance early??

I think Barbie in many ways transcends ages, having become rather a classic example of misogyny or feminism, depending on your point of view. (i.e: Is Barbie looking sexy in a pilot's uniform A. patronizing or B. empowering??)

Besides, any make-up loving consumer probably wants elements of Barbie's polished perfection, so logic prevails. Stila have even incorporated a 'Foxy' Barbie set, to pre-empt any objections that Barbie panders to the blonde stereotype. This all should sit fine with a new make-up collection theme. Well, that is, aside from the whole 'sloppy seconds' effect and lack of loyalty to one make-up brand... come on, Barbie, can you really be everything from astronaut to police officer to cowgirl to spoilt Dynasty- inflected rich Barbie with luxury walk-in closet (my fave) and also 'love' MAC and Stila!!? [Yes.] Personally, if I were in Stila's marketing department, I would have chosen 'prefers' or something to cheekily acknowledge her past preference, rather than come over all copycat- like. But anyway, Barbie passes the test. Because she can.

Hello Kitty and The Smurfs, on the other hand are rather less natural choices. MAC has dealt with this by making Hello Kitty lose all her coquettish charm and become instead some sado-masochistic cypher.
Did you see the photos of those male models with hideous Hello Kitty black (gimp?) mask:

Not to mention the packaging is black, with crappy stencil design. I think I'd be embarrassed to pull out HK make up in public. Even the rhinestone encrusted one looks like it was bought in Wembley market. Oh but I haven't seen it yet, so I'll be repeating this like a mantra and hoping it does the trick.

Smurfs packaging is as childish as its namesake, Too Faced don't seem to have strived for any irony like MAC's. Still, the colours look nice. And I can see how pulling out this jolly compact would cheer you up on a gloomy Monday morning.

Hmm... maybe even energise you so you can face the gym in the evening?? Is this at the heart of why these novelty collections mean such big business?!

Topshop trews...?
And lastly, not to turn this into a sales blog, but I recently bought 2 pairs of trousers from Topshop but I really don't need them... Not sure where receipt is as I'd already put this in my heaving wardrobe. But they both still have tags on and were £50 each. One is from the Kate Moss range (skinny flare pinstripe, see below) and the other are studded skinny Alice McCall trousers from the limited capsule collection she designed for Topshop recently. Both are now sold out, but I will naturally accept less than I paid if anyone is interested then drop me a line... [size 10]


  1. I'm left cold by the Hello Kitty stuff too...I have a soft spot for HK in general usually but I'm with you on the MAC collaboration - it doesn't look that great, and I don't think the two have gelled well together.

    And facebook - I applaud you! I've been toying with doing that too for ages, or at least drastically slashing the number of "friends" on my list.

  2. We surely must be the only two in the makeup community left unimpressed by HK?! Mind you, I haven't seen it in person yet... but, I have faith in my resolve.

    Yes facebook can spiral out of control can't it!! Thanks! xx

  3. Hey Gail,
    You can count me as the third. I have no clue about all the HK fuss....I'm spending my money on the new Guerlain Exotique quad.
    Have a great rest of the week!!:)

  4. Good choice!! I have just bought some Guerlain lipsticks, and I'm so over my MACs, have you ever tried G l/s? You should! Though the Exotique quad is beautiful...!! x