Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Only Thing I Want to Put On in XXL

I think we may have a winner!

For those who haven't been following my internal Goldilocks-esque monologue about my search for the perfect mascara, I'll sum it up for you: nothing has been that great, even the expensive ones.

Yeah, that about covers my feelings about mascaras I've tried this year.

I was lamenting to a co-worker not two weeks ago about the trials and tribulations I go through to get my lashes to look good, most recently involving plunking down enough money to cover dinner for two (well, not in DC, but maybe somewhere) and having it look like Tammy Faye revisited.

She heartily endorsed her mascara of choice, Maybelline XXL Volume + Length. She even pulled out the tube to show me.

I hightailed it to Target when I got the chance and picked up a tube. The basic premise is that you coat your lashes with the white primer first, which adds visible length to the lashes in a very Twiggy-mod way. Then you coat on the regular black mascara. It's even labeled Step 1 and Step 2 for dummies like me.

I got long slender dark lashes. They reach practically to my eyebrows! Plus, one coat of Step 2 is pretty for day and two coats of the black makes it dark enough for nighttime sexy eyes.

My first reservation was that how could it not be clumpy when you put that much stuff on your lashes? But it isn't! Zero clumps. That is impressive stuff, Jack.

My second was, as a contact lens wearer, won't this make me go blind? But it didn't! Can still see and everything. Righteous.

And third, will it comes off when I need it to? Well, that's where things took a little turn for the worse. My trusty Almay pads wipe away most of it, but it still leaves a little ring for the next morning.

So it's not perfect. Not like, buy out all the stock in the store and somehow convince someone introduce legislation requiring Maybelline to continue making it perfect. (These are, by the way, things I would totally do if I found The One and Only Mascara For Me)

But good enough that I would buy it again. Maybe even more than once. And still be able to grab a latte.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Project Runway: Transformations

Sorry this is so ridonculously belated. It happens, you know?

Ok, so we open with everyone being very sad that America's favorite cream-puff of a designer was booted from the show. Seriously, you would think that it was Darfur in here the way Sweet P and Ricky turn on the waterworks at the mere mention of Chris's name.

But Heidi is ready to deliver the challenge, and the challenge have to design for people who have lost a ton of weight!! But are still not whippet-model-thin! And you just use their favorite outfits to make a new outfit!

I actually thought this was quite creative for a challenge. Not only are these women not overgrown clothes hangers, the challenge is more restricted than last season's design for someone else's mom, leading to less nebulosity and emotional turmoil.

The major twist here is that one woman is standing there in her ginormous shiny white white wedding dress. And for those of you who still believe that reality TV is really real, Stephen gets picked to design for her. Congratulations! You don't even have to design anything, you are going home.

So off they go to the workroom to read a sappy note from the dearly departed Chris (seriously! people! He's not dead! Suck it up!) and to confab with their "models." They each get $10 to shop at Mood where Stephen picks out the drabbest of drab black jersey and buys like 8 yards since he refuses to work with the wedding dress. Don't let the door hit you on your ass on the way out!

Meanwhile, in personal problems land, we find out, due to his facial edema, that Jack has a little case of the MRSAs. And, as we all know, MRSA is uber-trendy right now. Way to be topical, Project Runway! After a phone call with his doc, Jack announces that he will be leaving the show. I'm not quite sure why a little vanco wouldn't have done the trick, but whatev.

Ever the clever producers, to "keep the level of competition high," (re: we want a full goddamn season out of these people and one frickin drug resistant bacteria will not keep us from our writer's strike enhanced ratings!) they bring back Chris! Like Lazarus rising from the grave or Britney from a night of hard partying, Chris slinks in and gets to work. Producing...a sailor costume! I mean, everyday outfit.

But how awesome is the scene of him just beached on the couch? Pretty awesome.

So up to the runway they go, with Steven running with his glue trying to cobble together something for the judges to make fun of.

Most of the designers managed to have something decent walking down on the newly slimmed down women. Rami made a twisted tank top with denim skirt, Victorya made some kind of green velvet dress, and Sweet P managed to turn out a cute jersey dress with a cute trim. Capri jeans ruled the day, showing up in Ricky's slightly mall-queen outfit, but it wasn't bad enough to sink to Steven levels and he was saved.

Ruling the roost was Christian, who finally got his due. He won the competition by turning out an outfit that met all of his model's restrictions (black, jeans, black top, jeans, and oh, maybe a black top?) but it was still cute, fun and flattering. I thought the kid was about to pee his pants he was so excited to win.

Joey Faketone got to do the Christian-crestfallen look this time, after sending his cute as a button blonde model with a sunny yellow bustier and black leggings. I am totally with Michael Kors on declaring a moratorium on the leggings. It's enough already. I get that they are easy to sew, but enough is enough.

Kit didn't get recognized on the runway, but I thought her dress was just adorable. See:

So cute!

Onto Jillian, who totally gets on my nerves. I really don't like her little soft voice and measured tones with her hideous accent. And I'm annoyed that she somehow got away with not using ANY of her model's real clothes. Not okay with that. Frizzy-haired girl? You are on notice.

Elisa made one of her awful dresses. But the major crime? Putting her model in these boots! WTF? No one would look good in these. EVER.

Ah, Steven. It was almost too predictable that you would make something that UNBELIEVABLY ugly and get sent home. But honestly? I know nuns who would wear something sexier than that.

And the fact that he stood there and poo-pooed her wedding dress in front of her just made me want to cry. It was her FAVORITE dress. Her wedding dress!! And he had the nerve to stand there and say how distasteful the fabric was that he couldn't even do anything with it. If I were her, I would have sat on him.

I will spare Chris, the same way the judges did. He is clearly destined to return to wherever they send departed contestants soon. Costumes do not a happy Nina make.

Coming up! More sewing! In case you didn't know...

As always...check yourself at Blogging Project Runway, but don't wreck yourself. Plus! I hear that the Tim's Take is on like Kong!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ask CapHillBarbie: Holiday Fete Edition

Hello, and welcome to another exciting edition of Ask CapHillBarbie! This is a portion of our programming where I invent a question and answer myself as a way of interrupting my usual stream of consciousness posting.

On with it, eh?


I am at a total loss this year. This is my first year on my own with a real job and a boyfriend who has a real job, and we have been invited to at least three different holiday parties with differing dress codes. Help me! I don't know what to wear to any of them!!

Love and kisses, Standing around in my Underwear Looking at my Closet.

Ah, Standing. I understand completely about the first year in the real world where people actually expect you to show up at a holiday party and make small talk about the situation in Darfur, as opposed to getting assfaced on Christmas Tree Jello Jigglers and smooshing your tongue all over someone under what you thought was mistletoe, but was really just a dust bunny.

Holiday parties tend to fall into three general categories: the work function which takes place during the day and no alcohol is served, the cocktail party in the evening, and the formal affair. I will tackle each in order of fanciness.


If you work for the government, this might be the function you attend. It can entail lunch, afternoon snacks, or what have you, but the general theme is that you will have been, or are expected to be, working for at least part of the day, and there is no liquor.

Therefore, since you will be working part of the time, you must dress for work, but I feel that it's ok to take it down a notch. Notice I said A NOTCH. This is not the time to break out your jeans and Uggs or show up in a thigh high mini that would make Ann Coulter blush.

Appropriate for this would be, a sweater dress with knee high boots, nice pants worn with a casual top, or, if you must wear jeans, make them dark and tailored. And pair them with something dressier on top.

Dressier...not sluttier. Seriously people, it's your office, not a bordello.

Keep in mind when picking an outfit that these are your colleagues and, due to the lack of drinky-drinks, they will remember if you bend over to pick up a mini quiche and your shirt is cut so low they can tell if you wear an underwire.


The party of choice for most law firms and other assorted offices that operate to earn a profit. This often takes place either at the office, but after normal work hours, or at a restaurant. Food is served, and so are drinks, but you are not expected to make a night of it. If you are going straight from work, pull one of those things that Glamour is always talking about. Wear a nice skirt or pants, a camisole and a jacket. Then take off the jacket.

If you have a chance to go home first, change into something that you might wear to a fancy dinner with your parents. Re: fun, dressy, but nothing crazy fancy.

For these functions, I'm a huge fan of a sheath dress with a sick pair of shoes. Especially if I am attending as a guest and this isn't my own work party. Everyone complements you on your shoes.


This is the time to pull out all the stops. These are relatively rare, so live it up. Often held on a Friday or Saturday night, as opposed to a weeknight, so you have lots of time to prep. If you happen to think you may be invited to one of these, make sure you have a no-fail formal dress in your closet. And the one you wore to prom or to that semi-formal you went to in college or grad school will not cut it.

However, even though the invitation may say formal, please only wear long gowns if you know that this is like a Ball or the President is going to be there or something.

Also, this becomes a major issue at holiday time due to the weather but I want to say this loud and clear.

Do not. Under any circumstances. Wear open toed shoes. With stockings.


Not ever.

I don't care.


I've heard all the excuses and they suck. Look, if you want to wear open toed shoes in the winter, you suck it up and freeze like the rest of us. If the event or the people attending are so conservative that you MUST wear stockings, you wear black sheer and with CLOSED TOE SHOES. End of story.

I'm sorry for the ALL CAPS. I just feel very strongly about this. I really think there is nothing worse than being out and seeing a beautiful girl in a pretty dress and then looking down to see her seam of her suntan hose sticking out of her strappy sandals.

Ok, so that's my primer on dressing for your holiday party needs.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Project Runway: Trendsetters

Ahhh, back again for another fun filled week of designer torture. On previouslies, Carmen was sent home for making pants with a crotch that no man could ever fill. Also, some people cried.

Back on the runway, I notice that Heidi is looking truly spectacular this season. Seriously, what has she been doing? Her hairdo looks phenomenal and her wardrobe is killer.

Oh, sorry. I'll stop.

So Heidi brings out the two losers from the past two weeks and Jack's model so he can chose if he wants to pick someone else or stay with this chick. He promptly decides to "swap" with Ricky. His model was deemed "sick" in the last challenge with girly parts, and in a field where the models are less than impressive, I don't blame Jack for wanting to trade up.

When he picks Ricky's girl with a gleeful look on his perfect face, biceps all a twitch, Ricky confesses to an offscreen shot, that Jack has now shown his true colors. Like what? As someone who wants to win? This is loser talk of the highest order.


Back in the workroom, Tim is there with Nina who is showing off past horrible trends that they must choose and modernize. Not only do they have to do this, they have to combine! Like Voltron! To form one cohesive collection of horribleness!

Honestly, what are the producers thinking? I feel like these challenges are just designed to showcase ugliness.

Teams form: Ricky, Victorya, and Elyssa have neon, cutouts, and underwear as outerwear. Sweet P, Steven, and Chris have shoulder pads, dancewear, and baggy sweater. Jillian, Raimi and Joey Faketone get overalls, 70's flare, and poodle skirt. And Christian, Kit, and Jack get zoot suit, fringe...and...something else...

Ok, so some of these, I'm like, that's out?? (Baggy sweater? Crap, I love those!) Others I'm like, that was a TREND? (cough, poodle skirt? WTF?) But basically everyone is screwed. Team leaders must be chosen, and of course people are chosen for all the wrong reasons, namely, the people who expect to win the competition stay quiet.

Also, does Christian speak with the voice of Paris Hilton for a reason? It's like watching Being John Malkovich when John Cusack has taken up residence in his head. Maybe he's possessed? They could have a PR exorcism! First, I must bless this workroom...

Anyhoo, the sewing scenes are predictably stressful with leaders like Ricky clearly getting run over by Victorya, although keeping Elissa in line did seem like a full time job. Jillian did a lot of whining in her terrible horrible no good Long Island accent about Joey F's tardiness with her hot pants. Ugh! And there was a particularly treacherous moment where Steven did a super-poor imitation of Tim Gunn. Hey, Steven. Stop. No, seriously, stop. It's not even close. And way to rehash Santino from Season 2. No, I'm not kidding. Don't go there.

Speaking of the Gunn-meister, he showed up and quips hilariously that Jillian's team is making a whole bunch of outfits for her, which is totally true. He also tells Chris to lose the flocked damask jacket (foreshadow...)

On the runway, the judges instantly tell Jillian's team that they win, provoking much jubilation, but also crestfallen looks from Christian, who is convinced in every single challenge that he will win. Stoic is not a word in his vocabulary. Or Paris's. But they are in.

The loser teams are Ricky's and Chris's. Ricky gets blasted for his shiny shiny material, crappy fit and loser bad leadership. Victorya walks all over him on the runway, leaving a bad taste in my mouth about someone I previously liked. His designs do look a lot like the old wardrobe from the Joker in the Batman movies. Also, I'm wasn't as keen on Elissa's design as everyone else seemed to be. But, I guess when you set the bar crazy, it's not hard to move up.

Chris's team had a lot of beige going on. Well, except for Steven's butter colored shiny monstrosity. Honestly, I would have booted him and his poor impressions, but alas, the shoulder padded jacket prompted the kiss of death from Michael Kors....mother of the bride. I mean, Steven had dancewear!! In front of Donna Karan! And showed that thing! And got to stay! Lesson learned? Never be a team leader. Ever.
Sweet P's sweater dress escaped ridicule, but her wishywashyness when serving up a team member for the chopping block did not go unnoticed. Heidi snapped her to attention with her Germanic zeal!

So, Chris was told to pack up his flowery shirts and hit the road. Yes, wheat being separated from chaff, people. Let me predict that the next three to go will be Steven, Ricky, and Elissa. I'm just throwing it out there.

Also, next week...Jack's big controversial exit! Oh, and holy schadenfraudeness! Dale from Top Chef and Jack are DATING!

As always...check out Blogging Project Runway for a much more complete and balanced take than I will ever be able to provide.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Not so Hypnotic

I was recently put in a wonderful situation of having a gift card to Bloomingdale's burning a hole in my pocket.

As I set out to spend it, I contemplated my options:

Yet another lip gloss? Nah, I'm more into my PS Kiss right now.

Blush? I think I'm pretty set with that.

Concealer or base? Too depressing and expensive, respectively.

Primer? Eh, I actually like to see the stuff I pay to put on my face.

Mascara? Well, there an idea...

Reaching the end of the three month run of Maybelline Full N Soft, I was tempted. While I liked the Full N Soft, a recommendation from my equally beauty savvy sister, I was in a decadent mood. I sauntered over to the Lancome counter to splurge on one of their famed mascaras.

I consulted with the saleslady who informed me that unfortunately, precious few of the mascaras come in a waterproof variety, which is a must for me as a contact lens wearer/habitual eye rubber. She recommended her favorite, Hypnose, which does come in a waterproof formula. After continued negotiations, I settled on trying the newest formula, albeit non-proofed, Courbe Virtuose.

I envisioned dramatically curled and lush lashes all the way home, only to arrive and find that I had purchased the Hypnose!

Dang it.

I can only assume that there was some kind of communication mix up and this wasn't some kind of beauty propaganda spreading, and I decided to just try it out.

Well, yeah, I'm not a fan. The brush is this totally bizarre oblongish shape which never seems to deliver the right amount of product onto the lash. The formula is thick and goopy, requiring multiple wipes with a tissue before I can apply. And then! My lashes look practically rail thin! Not the full fringe I was hoping for.

And to top it all off, it dries so hard that my lashes feel like little spikes of pain. It makes me long for the Full N Soft of yore.

So, onward to the next mascara purchase. A co-worker just raved about her Maybelline XXL Volume + Length, so I may have to give that one a try.

Such a shame that a pretty (and expensive!) tube would be so sucky.

photo courtesy of

It's been a long morning already

So apparently going to a concert on a school night has left me more discombobulated than expected.

I just went to the ladies room to discover that while I artfully applied tinted moisturizer, two blushes, eyeshadow, concealer, and curled my lashes, I forgot to put on mascara.

And I was even planning a review of said mascara for later today.

Gives you a little preview about how I feel...

Anyways, don't laugh at my weird lashless look today. It could happen to you to some day!