Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Part Three)

March 26, 2010

The early 20th century factory workers who painted phosphorescent numbers on clocks were a creative bunch. They used to paint their teeth with their radioactive pigments, then take turns in the broom closet scaring each other with glowing Cheshire grins. This was all good times until their teeth honeycombed, rotted, and fell out. Why does a glowing smile always have to cost so much? 

Price-wise, I started ahead of the game, buying my Crest Whitestrips on sale at 1/2 price. I didn’t even get charged for the emergency trip to the orthodontist after running into “complications” on day two. But what, I ask, is the flat rate exchange for a person’s dignity? 

I can handle ‘slucking’ back my saliva every 15 seconds – not a big deal. Answering the phone, “Good morning, Matrix Geoservices,” without being able to pronounce the letter M, is workable. A lisp never got anyone fired – at least not legally. However, when the owner of the company you work for gives you an important plot to fold for an important client, and you go and drool all over it, well, then we might have a bit of a problem. 

There I was, a perfectly competent, mature 27 year old, staring in horror at the silver-dollar sized dollop of drool centered smack dab in the middle of the front page. I watched, paralyzed, as the ever-expanding circumference of saliva spread across data worth millions of dollars. Luckily, you don’t need an M to swear. I took evasive action with my sleeve and dabbed and blew and pressed and blew and flattened and blew until I’d done all I could do. I left the folded plot in my boss’s office and hoped for the best. 

Miracle of miracles, he didn’t notice. Or maybe he did, but found other blame for the defect. Really – unless one of my dear readers rats me out – who would suspect an employee of such monumental regression? I kept my secret, as I’m sure you would too. There are some things that are just too hard to explain to middle-aged, male geophysicist – whether you have a working M or not!  

And so the makeover continues. All I’ve lost is my dignity and a small slice of flesh that’s been acid-burned off the front of my gums. Small price to pay for beauty? Let’s find out…

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(image source)


Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Part Two)

February 25, 2010
In this new era of Star Trek caliber cosmetics, a non-sticky lipgloss remains the ‘final frontier’

Every makeover needs a catalyst, some tiny drop of something to get the whole process going. See that rather clinical looking tube far left? Held up by that rather glossy looking Wesley Crusher? I needed something from outside my comfort zone to get my experiment started. But how, you ask, does this gloss differ from the other three juicy specimens that ‘have gone before’? This time I’m going for more opacity, more commitment, more sparkle – each a new risk. 

Why the fear? We all have that one feature that made middle-school hell, be it weight, bad glasses, acne, etc. Let me set the scene: late Grade 8, my best ‘friend’ calls to tell me a certain boy won’t consider dating me because “that girl’s teeth are too big.” I know, I know, I barely survived. We’re talking deep trauma here…sigh. Anyways, I’ve never been much for calling attention to the area with lipstick. But things have changed since then; I’ve changed. I went through braces and my face has grown. But the biggest switch – in a frightening-but-fairytale-true Oprah twist – has been the discovery that ‘big teeth make a bigger smile’. They’ve turned out to be one of my best features, if I do say so myself – and who’s going to stop me! That’s what’s so exciting about beauty’s current celebration of individuality; we don’t have to let anyone stop us, especially not grade 8 punks who’ve forgotten their Brothers Grimm… “all the better to eat you with my dear.” 

There is something sweetly surreal about the latest glosses. We’re promised a sheen so fantastic, so radiant, we risk blinding those unlucky enough to catch us at wrong angles to the sun. And yes, for that briefest moment – after application and before you realize you’d prefer not looking like parts of your face are melting off when you try to talk – the mirrored look is a delicious reality. But there’s another problem. It’s not rocket science; the principles of chemistry and physics will never allow for a true non-stick lipgloss. Any viscous goo, no matter how technologically advanced, will inevitably snare hair. This is basic science, yet still we yearn for the fantasy. So, dear readers, is it worth it? Let’s find out… 

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Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Update I)

February 16, 2010

Since beginning this makeover, I have officially been hit on twice (albeit mildly) at the grocery store. This, as any woman will attest, must be logged as quantitative proof of progress. I bragged about this new development to my dear hubby, who was suitably impressed. Although, come to think of it, maybe he was a little too impressed. I’ve always assumed he thought of me as the blond Pied Piper of Calgary, trailing a long line of hapless suitors behind. Why else would I have spent 10 years learning the flute and waking up for 7:30 band practices!

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Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Part One)

February 5, 2010

The Before...

We live in a blank canvas world. Social conventions, notions of class, and even the dictates of fashion are becoming increasingly flexible. Such freedom can leave one floundering when it comes to communicating (or even defining) one’s identity. Who are we without structure? What happens when a society disconnects from its own history and traditions? 

We are becoming a surface people, all sound bites and profile pics, status updates and 140 character tweets. I’ve rebelled against this new framework from the start (although, I suppose you did just catch me blogging~wink). I’ve tried my best to dive down under the surface chaos – a life lived in ripples is a raw deal if you ask me – and explore the cool, still world under the waves. But, as you can see from the pic above, it’s bloody well time to come up for some air! 

There is a boon to all this surface talk. For the first in history, we have the unique opportunity to have our projections believed. If the world is so intent on taking us at face value, why not play the game? But on our terms. I’m not talking about plastic surgery and piles of makeup, but more about establishing a personal style that projects our strengths and ambitions. It’s about Focus.  

I invite you to join me in a 2010 personal style makeover. To tell you the truth, I’m actually quite nervous about this project. Will I have have the guts to follow it through? What about maintenance? Can I do it inexpensively? And, of course, the question all women ask themselves before embarking such journeys… Will it really make a difference? 

Let’s find out!

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