I have several obsessions.

Evening gowns was one, although I have a friend “Amy” who puts me to shame with her endless evening gown collection.

After that it’s lingerie. I have drawer upon drawer of lingerie, most of which never gets worn because I like comfy cotton boyshorts and bras which are slightly too small for me, making the kittens look outrageously good.

Then there’s the obsession I don’t talk about very often – the black vinyl clothing obsession.

Who knew you could love synthetic fabric so much you would want to wear it close to your skin EVERY DAY?!

And speaking of naughty obsessions, there’s also my strange affection for neoprene.

Gotta love me some wetsuits!

Snort in that neoprene smell.

What I’ve failed to mention so far is that by and far my most ardent obsession is with makeup.

If you want to cheer me up, hand me $100 and take me to the drugstore or the department store and let me loose in Cosmetics.

I go bananas for pots and pans of colors!

My sons have evolved a technique to keep me from looking in the windows of Sephora because I can disappear in that store for HOURS!

My aunt, cousin, and niece all like going through my makeup and taking what I no longer use.

So it’s my niece’s birthday coming up and she, like me, loves makeup.

I bought her some nice, light colored eye shadow palettes and a pack of brushes – because every girl should learn to use brushes.

I am a damn fine auntie!

Slumming it

Sometimes, I’m bad.

Not REALLY bad, just SLIGHTLY bad.

For instance, despite the fact that I have BOXES of lingerie in my bedroom (in addition to 7 drawers full), I just went and bought some new lingerie.

Basically because I had a date that I was getting ready for so I NEEDED that black lace teddy and those thigh high stockings.

teddy stockings

And do you know what I’m doing today?

I’m shopping online for MORE lingerie – Hips & Curves, Wicked Temptations, Yandy Lingerie, and Frederick’s of Hollywood.

Not exactly quality lingerie, but it gets the job done.

For quality lingerie, I go to Journelle, Agent Provocateur, and Adore Me.

But I’m not shopping high end.

No, I’m slumming it.

I may as well go and buy my lingerie from Victoria’s Secret (cheaply made, “disposable” lingerie, IMHO).

I actually bought a crotchless bodystocking from Yandy. . .

Because, you know, when am I EVER going to need a crotchless bodystocking?


To make matters worse, my makeup obsession has reared its ugly head again to the tune of $100 at Ulta.

Not the biggest shopping spree, but still making a dent in my budget.


It really is time to hold a clothing swap at my house and get rid of some of the makeup/lingerie/costumes that I’m holding on to.

Before I turn into a cartoon.

I think I need therapy.





Hip to my illness

michelleWhen I mentioned all my addictions in this post, I neglected to mention one other REALLY IMPORTANT addiction.


Yes, indeed.

I am one of THOSE women who is constantly buying makeup.

For a while, I worked as a makeup artist and I could justify spending a thousand dollars on makeup.

But now, I’m just a woman with a makeup line item in her budget.

It’s bad.

I actually took my makeup and cleared out some of it and took it to my Aunt Stacey and cousin Jennifer. They went through it and took makeup that had never even been opened, let alone used.

I’m not sure why I have such an obsession for makeup.

All I can say is that I see those pots and tubes of color and I go crazy for them. Shimmery, pearlescent, matte, glossy, shiny… you name it, I love it.

It’s pure happiness and joy for me.

My sons won’t let me GO INSIDE a Sephora or Ulta if they are with me.

They block the way and pull me aside.

They are hip to my illness.


What makes me feel beautiful?

What makes me feel beautiful?

This picture, of me fresh out of the shower with no makeup on.  It’s authentically me.  At 40 years old and looking pretty nice.


And this pic, of me with my youngest son.  Gotta love Auntie Lisa’s hot tub!

imageI also feel beautiful with my hair all done up and full makeup on:

But overall, my favorite times when I feel beautiful are during those rare moments when I finally manage to feel comfortable in my own skin, flaws and all.

image[Me, eating a Korean delicacy.  A silkworm grub.  Not so tasty, FYI.]

How To Look Good Naked

The secret to looking good naked is not to compare yourself to anyone else.  Cultivate your own individual sex appeal.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Without clothes to dress your body, hair is your only accessory.  Choose a style and color that flatters your face.  Try a wig if you want to be exotic.
  2. Cover the flaws and blemishes on your skin.  Start with a blank canvas.
  3. Glamorize your makeup to bring out your bedroom eyes and perfect pout.
  4. Breasts trigger an immediate and biological response in men – mimic the state of arousal with your nipples and use lip tints and concealer to lighten/darken or decrease the size of your nipples.
  5. Trim the hair down there into your favorite shape.
  6. Flaunt your booty.  The only way to get a perfect booty (besides winning the genetic lottery (like Amie Chadwick of Confessions of Amie))is by using Photoshop so embrace your imperfections and make the most of what you’ve got.
  7. Don’t neglect your feet.  Sexy feet are a turn on.
  8. Wear lingerie that fits.
  9. Layer your lingerie so you can put on a little strip tease.
  10. Don’t neglect your shoes.  Wedges look awful.  The best shoes to wear are stilettos.
  11. Consider using pasties.  Just be aware that they hurt to remove!
  12. Choose soft lighting – dimmer switches and candles are preferred.
  13. Have a great attitude and let it show when you shake your tail feather.
  14. Alluring aromas can be extremely evocative.  Chose a scent that make you feel sexy.
  15. Get a book or take a class to learn some stripper/burlesque moves.

There you have it, some quick tips on looking good naked.  Just remember, naked is natural so have fun!

Plain faced

I just read a story on Yahoo News about a woman named Annie Garau who decided to conduct an experiment and not wear makeup for a year.  She is now 200+ days into her experiment.  In the beginning she felt uncomfortable, undesirable, and embarrassed.  Now, 200+ days later, she feels more beautiful than she ever felt before.

She thinks every woman, no matter what she looks like, is beautiful without makeup and that it’s tragic that women are typically not happy with their appearance.

Hello cosmetic and beauty industry making billions off of the sale of their products!  Stop marketing to women by decreasing our feelings of self worth.

I’ve always felt relatively comfortable in my own skin, even without makeup.  In fact, I feel at my most beautiful when I’m camping with wavy hair no longer straightened by the blow dryer and my face totally bare, wearing a casual sundress and flip flops.

Just to prove it, I’m posting a pic of me (with an ex-bf) from a camping trip we took to the Yuba River in 2009.  And I’m encouraging all the women who read this blog to go a day without makeup and see how beautiful you can feel.

Boudoir tips

The first question my photographer asked me at my boudoir photo shoot was, “Who are you doing this for?”

“Nobody,” I replied. But that wasn’t actually true. I was doing it for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to sit at home and stare at my pictures without sharing them. I plan to post some on the internet and show them to all my open-minded friends – Michelle, Brian, Marty, Lisa, Austin, etc. Especially Austin.

Austin read my last post and sent me a message, “Liked the article today. The thing I think is interesting is the “who are you doing it for” angle.”

I read his message and felt immediately proud of myself all over again.

The truth is however, that the ONLY person who can claim that I did it for him is Austin, in light of the fact that I took his favorite pose and recreated it in the photo shoot. I even instructed the photographer to “make sure you get my butt dimples.”

Because like it or not, I have some really outstanding butt dimples and putting them on display is something I’ve done in the past and something I’m sure I’ll do again.

Every man has his quirks I guess. I suppose to limit them to the three obvious choices – boob man, butt man, and leg man – lacks the nuances of all the lovely body parts us ladies possess. Why not face man? Or butt dimple man? Or foot man? Or hair man? In my experience, I think there should be a belly button man too. It takes all types, what can I say.  My friend Austin, when asked, will comically answer that he’s a “pussy man.” I LOVE that answer.  If it’s a woman, he adores it.

My pictures won’t be available until June 4th so I won’t be able to post anything until then. Sad face. I’m so excited at the thought of seeing them – and a little nervous that they won’t look as good as I hope.

Now that I know what I’m doing, I could sign up for another boudoir photo shoot easy, no problem. I’d do it a little different this time (i.e. less expensive).

Here are my best tips for a boudoir photo shoot:

  1. Don’t buy tons of new lingerie.  Go with what you have that you feel comfortable in.  I bought so much lingerie and wound up using very little of it.
  2. Wear what makes you feel good.  You know what I’m talking about – underwear and lingerie that when you put it on you preen a little.  You know you look good.
  3. Makeup is very important. Practice to capture the look you want.  Do research on Pinterest.
  4. Hair is very important. Invest in a good blowout.  Again, research on Pinterest.
  5. Check out boudoir photo pics online and pin the pics you like.  Pinterest.
  6. Try not to wear tight clothes that can leave marks on your skin the day of the shoot.
  7. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize.  No dryy elbows or knees needed.
  8. Get a great mani and pedi ahead of time.  Scrub your feet and soles so you don’t have dirty feet the day of.
  9. Consider getting an airbrush tan.  Test out the tan a week ahead to make sure it’s what you want.
  10. SHOES are key! Can’t stress this enough. A great pair is EVERYTHING.  EVERYTHING.
  11. Pick out jewelry for every outfit.
  12. Don’t forget to have fun. Get in touch with your inner vixen.
  13. Look at pictures of people with your body type posing for boudoir photos. You’ll gain confidence in your own ability to look sexy.
  14. And my final tip is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. The more you organize, the better the experience.

I may have done this for myself, but I am 100% confident that I will share my photos with my new significant other when he comes along.  And, of course, I may just take it all off again for another photo shoot for him.  Who knows?  I’m crazy like that.

Boudoir photoshoot, part 1


A lot of prep went into my boudoir photoshoot and I think it’s an indication of how obsessed I am with my body and making it look as good as possible.  As a society, we have such a narrow definition of beauty – one which I do not fit into – and so doing this photoshoot was not just a stretch for me, but also a little bit of therapy.

I got up Sunday morning around 7 am and basically lounged in bed obsessing over boudoir pictures and poses (on Pinterest) until it was time to get my makeup done.

I went to Kimberly, makeup artist extraordinare, and she did a fabulous near smoky eye for me.  If you’ve never had your makeup done, let me tell you, it is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable treats ever.  All those little brushes on your face feel exceptional.  And at the end, you look like you, only more fabulous!

Here I am post makeup by Kimberly.

After getting my makeup done, I went home and relaxed until it was time to get my hair done.  Hair was done by Ruey in Parlour 308, Los Gatos.  He did a fabulous job, as you can see….

I was already feeling awfully beautiful with my fabulous makeup and my shiny, bouncy, Victoria’s Secret hair.  So by the time my hair was done, I was ready to go to San Francisco to the hotel to hang out in the hotel bar and wait for the photographer to call me and tell me she’s ready.

In case you’re curious, here’s the breakdown of what this activity can cost you:

  • Airbrush tan – $25-$45
  • Hair style – $45 – $70
  • Makeup – $100 — $150
  • Hair Removal – $50-$115
  • New lingerie – $500 – $800 (not really necessary)
  • Tip for photographer – $20 – $50
  • Online research – 12 hours
  • Photographs – TBD

So as you can see, the Groupon may have cost only $45 but the whole shebang costs a great deal more.  It’s no small investment.

More later, including me going commando in the city….

For now I’ll leave you with this pic of all my lingerie for the photoshoot, piled high on my bed (note the AWESOME stiletto heels and the fishnet thigh highs).  Sexy!’