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August 2012 (129 posts)
A: Though I once saw a fine result with eyebrow tattoos, I doubt I'll ever do it myself. Why? Two words: indelible ink. Once the ink has dried, that's your look. For the rest of your life. If it's pretty, lucky you. If not: three to six laser removal treatments costing anywhere from $700 to $1,000 each, likely accompanied by a refrain of What was I thinking? Your decision, but Mitchel Goldman, MD, volunteer clinical professor in medicine/dermatology at UC San Diego, advises against it."I have seen patients with infected eyebrows thanks to the use of unsterile water and equipment," he says.
Keep in mind: You can get fuller brows using an eyebrow pencil or marker. Makeup artist Laura Geller makes feathered strokes with her Brow Sculpting Marker where her brows are thin. Her marked-in brows look great.
How to make eyes look bigger with makeup
Find the perfect concealer
How to keep lipstick from fading
We could all use a little more happiness in our lives. But sometimes the universe forgets it's supposed to be our accomplice, and dumps hail storms AND droughts AND babies smashing cameras AND immediately-spilled iced lattes into our laps all at once. Anyone looking for an infusion of happiness would do well to visit Stefan Sagmeister's The Happy Show. If you happen to be in Philadelphia you can view the show at the Institute of Contemporary Art this week before it closes. Otherwise, the evidence of the show is archived for all to take joy in -- thank you Internet! -- on Flickr, Tumblr, and Twitter. Sagmeister's show features the graphic designer's own rules to live by, based on his ten-year exploration of the topic of happiness, like so:
But the Happy Show also, crucially, invites participants to weigh in by drawing their symbols of happiness (like the heart-cloud above), and answering questions about what makes them happy. For example: What is the happiest word? As the ICA blog points out, the answers often create a kind of poetry:
"What Did You Do to Make Someone Else Unexpectedly Happy?
I took care of a dog last summer. I emailed pictures of her every day to her owners with funny captions.
I admit, these questions, even the idea of the symbols of happiness, seem anodyne until I actually try to answer them in my own head. What IS the happiest word? What WOULD I do with a year off? I can rattle off lots of foods that make me happy (probably too many), but what is my symbol of happiness? It seems like we should know what makes us happy, or how to make others happy. But as the need for such an exhibit, and the outpouring of response they've received via social media, proves, these are not questions we as a culture find easy to answer.
The exhibit doesn't profess to be able to provide happiness either. But it does provide insight, and most meaningfully, a way to connect. Which, when you think about it, might just be a road to happiness in itself.
Do you ever wonder what your legacy will be? Aaron Collins, according to his mother in this heartbreaking CBS news clip, "wanted to leave the world a better place than when he found it." His family always knew he would do something amazing, something to change the world, to help people. When he died last month at age 30, he left behind reputation for kindness and a peculiar wish: "leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500 on a f***ing pizza) for a waiter or waitress.” According to Aaron's brother, "Aaron was the type of person that took great joy in unexpected kindness...Of course, the way he lived his life meant Aaron never had much and didn’t leave much. We want to make his wish come true... His hope was clearly that such a random gift of kindness would leave an impact for life."
The family started raising donations and soon they had thousands of dollars to bestow upon unsuspecting waitstaff. Like Sarah, at Puccini's Smiling Teeth in Lexington, who said, "Are you kidding me?" and then, immediately, "I'll share this with everyone." (Just as, one suspects, Aaron had planned.)
The story is a beautiful one for Aaron's kindness, and for his family's devotion to helping his kindness live beyond him. But it also serves to remind us all that our contributions to the world, our own acts of kindness, need not be huge. That sometimes the best way to reach out is in some small, specific way -- making a harried waitress's day, for example -- a gesture that helps to create a culture of kindness. The kind of culture we all want to live in.
Oprah's Pay it Forward Challenge
When Fate Puts You Last for a Reason
I've lost count of how many phone cases have graciously given their lives in the line of duty. It's gotten so bad that even the sight of my naked iPhone makes me anxious. So after the latest case-killing incident (ahem, sidewalk spill), I knew I needed protection stat. Elvis & Kresse's stylish phone holders come with a not-so-obvious environmental bonus: They're fashioned from decommissioned British fire hoses that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. If stashing your phone in an old hose has visions of scratches dancing in your head, you can rest easy. "Our fire-hose pieces are lined with scrap parachute silk," explains designer Kresse Wesling, which makes the interior soft and scratch-proof. The cases are available in yellow and blue, but we prefer fire-engine red. ($45, voguevert.com)
The first photograph dates from 1982, when the five teenagers decided to pose on a fence, showing off "dark and mysterious faces," shirtless torsos, and a pet cockroach in a jar. Though the friends went their separate ways, they regrouped for a reunion vacation five years later. Someone had the idea to recreate the photo and a tradition was born. According to CNN, "The guys all agree that this trip has been the glue that has allowed them to maintain their friendships." "I look at the photos and think of the relationships I went through. Wedding rings come and go, if you look closely," one of the men told CNN. "We plan on doing this for the rest of our lives, no matter what. Up until there's one guy just sitting in the same pose! Even then, maybe someone will take a picture of an empty bench for us."
That mental image of the empty bench gives me shivers. Think of the empty jar, sitting there, containing all of eternity instead of a cockroach! For as much as we love our photographs nowadays, as much as we all love to immediately gaze at our digital memories of a moment ago, a photograph becomes all the more eloquent when telling a story that's over, documenting a life that's changed, or gone. And the almost-extinct posed photograph has a certain evocative nature all its own. The curator of Who Were They? knows this: the blog is a moving tribute to the stories photographs tell. These pictures are kind of the negative image (to use photographic terms) of the Five Year Photo guys. Here we have the image only, and as Who Were They? blogger does we must imagine or hunt down the life story it tells. "Mrs. Marvel" writes of a grand old dame, "She has the hard face of a woman who has lived a lot of years and the sad expression of a war widow." Or sometimes Mrs. Marvel's photo collection helps to fill in a family's genealogy: "I got goose bumps when I read that Clifford had been searching for a photo of his great-great-great-aunt for 30 years. And I had one. Wow." As she writes on her blog's "About" page, Mrs. Marvel is looking for "a glimpse of those who came before us." Strange to think that some day, we will be someone else's photographic mystery.
When we capture every moment of every day, we think we're seeing more. But are we? What stories do your photos tell -- intentionally or accidentally -- about your life?
Wet Grass Photographs Prompt Thoughts on Life
How Everyone Can Be a Great Photographer
One of the most happy-tear inducing moments of the Olympic torch relay was when 13-year-old torch bearer Kieran Maxwell, who lost his leg to cancer and now walks unsteadily with a heavy prosthetic limb, stumbled and fell. Immediately, his family and neighbors hurried to his side to help him. And, as he has with every other setback life has thrown at him, Kieran stood right back up and kept going, with a smile on his face. All across the world, hearts swelled.
Particularly moved were Colin and Chris Weir, Britain's largest lottery winners, who have donated some of their millions to buy Kieran a lighter, state-of-the-art prosthetic limb. Kieran's family had been fundraising to buy him the new leg, as his current heavy prosthetic restricted his movement; his mother told the BBC, "He couldn't believe it. I am still pinching myself...He can go back to being a normal boy. He can be himself. Words cannot describe what they have done."
The Weirs have donated to other causes since winning their jackpot, saying they wanted to "share the luck." And in doing so, they are transforming lives. How's that for a torch to pass on?
Turning a Disability into a Superpower
How a Double-Amputee Becomes a Mermaid
Whether you're wondering what to wear this fall or trying to figure out the best pieces for your shape, now's your chance to get personalized style advice straight from O's creative director Adam Glassman! During the month of August, he'll be answering some of your burning fashion questions.
Susan asked: What are the top five pieces to own for Fall?
See Adam's video response:
Do you have a question for O's beauty director Val Monroe or O's creative director Adam Glassman? Ask away here!
Sunday night something happened that caused grown-up scientific types to go crazy with happiness, like so:
That's right, the little (one ton) unmanned rover that could has survived its "seven minutes of terror" and landed safely on the surface of Mars, tweeting to announce its arrival: "I'm safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!" And all of NASA breathed a sigh of relief. According to Anita Sengupta, one of NASA's aerospace engineers who had helped create the parachute needed to slow down the spacecraft on landing, "There's no room for error." (And how we loved to see women in that room....)
People even gathered in Times Square to watch the landing and celebrate. Hooray for science!
The Curiosity rover, with no time to celebrate, immediately started taking pictures of its surroundings (and itself, seen below in shadow) and beaming them back to its beaming family at NASA.
Dare Mighty Things! It's a message for everyone's day, on Mars or not.
Real-Life Visitors from Outer Space
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