Since last time...

It's been a while, and since my coursework has finally abated in my MA program I am just focusing on my Thesis research for the moment. That's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. But at least I get to work on a project I am really passionate about- the reception of Diego Velazquez's "Portrait of Juan de Pareja" in Rome and Spain during the 1650s. Pareja was manumitted before Velazquez completed this painting. Not only was the portrait a wild success, but the man who was once Velazquez's slave became a fairly successful painter in Seville after his death. My interest in this painting stems from the fact that  Velazquez depicted a man of color, specifically a "morisco", a man of mixed racial heritage whose family were probably conversos, in the genre of portraiture which was generally reserved for wealthy (and white) men. It's difficult not to assume that in a culture where purity of blood (limpieza de sangre) determined social mobility, the choice to depict a former slave with mixed racial heritage as a noble freeborn man would have been shocking. However, the story is a bit more complicated than our 21st century American perspectives might allow. Antonio Palomino's account of the painting's reception in 1650 states that while the other works exhibited were art, Velazquez's piece approached "truth". In other words, the work was valued because the artist did not merely attempt to counterfeit life, rather he created a work with a life of its own. We seem to have stumbled upon Pareja in a moment of repose and as we investigate the work Pareja seems to catch our gaze and unflinchingly return it.

With that said, there are some other things I have been up to as well. I love make up, a little too much I think sometimes, but I don't really feel as comfortable with a paint brush as Velazquez or with a pencil or chalk like Leonardo. So makeup is my medium. 

First things first, I'm learning how to style my eye brows and do contour. Also I just got a lovely new haircut thanks to Ali at Beck Salon! And I just purchased some Anastasia DipBrow in "Auburn" which I am wearing in both of those photos. The brows aren't perfect, but I'm on my way! The next thing I plan on trying are brow stencils which help to guide your hand as you shape your brows. They give you the guidelines to create a more definite arch. I also have been experimenting with bronzer along the bottom half of my cheekbones to make them look a little more defined.

There are some really exciting new drugstore make up products out this summer that are worth your time! I finally got a hold of these CoverGirl Colorlicious glosses in Fruitilicious (top), Pinkalicious (mid), and Succulent Citrus (bot). I've been playing around with these, creating different looks by layering over lipsticks and lip stains and they are really wonderful!

Here I layered Succulent Citrus over Maybelline's "Electric Orange". Although the photo came out a little redder than I would have hoped, the color appeared as a highly glossy deep orange. The glosses are not sticky and while you will have to reapply after eating, these give great color payoff.

The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains are also really fun, and in my opinion waaay better than the Maybelline Lip Elixirs that came out earlier this year. These are much glosssier and opaque than the YSL lip stains that are currently out at Sephora. They also do not have the staying power of the YSL stains, nor as yet the range of colors. Hopefully Revlon continues these and keeps making new shades. The color I am wearing above is "Rio Rush" and I also highly recommend "Miami Fever" as I love a good tangerine lip. 

Lastly, who doesn't love a mini-accessories haul! Old Navy had an accessories sale on Saturday that I, as an employee, capitalized on with wild abandon. I do love our sales and although I'm not paid to mention Old Navy in my blog we have all of this cute new stuff and people are Instagramming the living daylights out of it! The bracelet at the top has a pair of matching earrings which I did not purchase- and I'm now regretting that decision. Also... I have a Pixie Pant addiction... but sadly, my littlest guinea pig Gus ate a hole in the butt of my favorite red pair (a fact which I discovered while at work, thankfully I was wearing a long shirt- phew!).

Next week I will be posting some new lip looks and some fun experiments with new eye shadow palettes from Too Faced and LORAC!