Tuesday, 25 October 2016

New Me- New Makeup, Ramblings about Colour and Photos Where I Actually Smile

                  Love makes bad poets of many but it's also good for the complexion.


So, now I've got my colours  figured out I can't stop drooling over my own Soft Autumn Pinterest board. I am so in love with all of the colours of my palette and have to address the misconception that a colour palette from a seasonal analysis is limiting.

  Slight Digression:  I am so in love with the Sunset Palette from More Alive With Color and I wish I could purchase one but I am fairly certain it cannot be purchased without buying a book and every one of the colour palette fans.


There are so many colours I can and want to wear I feel some despair that I neither truly need a wardrobe large enough to accommodate them all nor am I like to find the right pieces in the right colours tomorrow.  And of course I want them all tomorrow.  Yesterday would be even better.  I feel as though I've missed out on these gorgeous colours for decades and must make up for lost time.

 Speaking of Make Up.....

I've been experimenting with makeup and having more fun than I've ever had because now I now how to find colours that disappear into me and make me look better but not obviously made up.  It's still a bit tricky because makeup companies do tend to assume that the very pale are cool and pink rather than peach but I asked for some help at my local makeup counter during one of my first outings post back injury and was guided towards some products I now really love.

This is what I told the cosmetician:  I am very pale and have recently become aware that it's a warm pale so I need peachy colours not pale pink.  I think I want to play with highlights and contours but I'm a bit scared to do that on pale skin.  I showed her which foundation and concealer brand and colour successfully disappears on my skin ( L'Oreal True Match N1 ) and she took one look at me and kindly said I had beautiful skin and didn't need foundation and also accurately summed up my tendency for a natural look.  Then she showed me products.  Good saleswoman!

I bought two items from GOSH, a brand I've not tried before.

Highlight/Blush/Contour quad called Contour'N Strobe KIT in Light had some pretty warm, brown and peach colours, very soft and earthy and on my face barely reads as colour.  I have no contouring or highlighting skill but some basic knowledge of which parts should get the darker powder and which the lighter and I got nice, subtle but pretty results, if I do say so myself....pictures further down.

There is a picture on the back of the container which I did not follow as I was much more subtle in my application.   Also, since I don't use foundation, my skin soaks the powder and highlighter up more and I get a more subtle look than I would if it is applied on top of a layer of foundation.


In my opinion this photo isn't quite accurate, as it does contain mica but does not look like glitter on my face which is not a look I am seeking, and these images make it look a bit sparkly.  Ever.  It only comes in two versions as far as I know, Light and Med/Dark and they are both warm toned.

In the first photo I am wearing this powder palette and the lighting is warmer and darker.  Here it is in strong daylight.  Subtle and peachy, I think.  As president of the Pale Woman Club I am very cautious with the darker colours, but I am using them.

 Same makeup, same me two minutes later in a darker area and using the flash.  I think this makeup is working for me.

I also bought GOSH LUMI DROPS in Peach which, just as it sounds, is a liquid highlighter that disappears nicely leaving a warm glow.  It looks exactly like a colour I would buy in nail polish.  I'm not wearing it in the above photos but I think I like the idea of using it on a minimal or no other makeup day.  It just gives a bit of a healthy glow.   This is the usual flick of mascara, under-eye concealer, Pink Truffle lippie and the Lumi Drops on my cheeks.  Yeah, the hair looks greasy due to poor application of styling wax.


For me these are expensive makeup products.  I am someone who has always bought the wall hanging drug-store brands and the one and only time I ever had a makeover, I was 14 and it was Bonne Bell products at my local Shoppers Drug Mart.  I still shop there but in the years since then they have certainly expanded and there are more brand choices.

I've mentioned it already but another recent and really happy purchase is Revlon Super Lustrous lip bullet in Pink Truffle, which is like a peachy-nude tinted lip balm.  Because it's sheer it goes on lighter than it looks and I don't have to blot though I do have to reapply if I eat or drink.


I have a new and favourite eye shadow palette too.  I am now really getting into these combo compacts.  It's Physician's Formula Matte Eye Shadow Quad in Canyon Classics and all neutral browns and grey with a base in cream included.  They are very matte and highly pigmented though soft.  It's exactly what I like.  I have deep-set eyes and always loathed them, frustrated that with eyelids that barely show I didn't get to enjoy the effects of pretty eye shadow.  In the early eighties I much admired purple lids.  Recently I have learned that the whole point of the smokey eye is to make it look more deeply set.  A feature I already have with no effort so now I am looking at my eyes in a whole new way.  The usual recommendation of medium colour on lid and highlight on brow bone needs to be tossed out.  Put the lighter colour on the lid and med-dark on brow bone to make it recede a little.

If you want soft matte but colour you can get those too.  There are some gorgeous purples I would be tempted by if I had eyelids that showed.  Below is the palette I am using.


These products give me my new, peachy face.  I already have a peachy face, so this gives me a better one.  The above photos were taken early in the morning, with fresh makeup application and early light. 

 Another change I've made is that I'm wearing more gold jewelry.  I don't have much because I used to think silver was better on me......

but  I can wear both and I like to mix them though I am really enjoying the look of gold at the moment.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Toiling Away in Obscurity

.....which is probably fine with me, actually.  I cannot imagine enjoying nor would I want to be famous.  My internet fame probably measures in the hundreds rather than thousands and half the people who know me don't even know I have a blog.  I rarely mention it on Facebook and most of my friends there don't know about it.  I am not sure why I operate that way, but I do know that my conflicting tendency to put myself out there, and step into the lime-light and then immediately step back from it, my desire to be good at something and recognised for it and the equal desire to be unnoticed is just a party of who I am and always has been.

That's the end of the prose navel gazing.  Here is some first draft poetry navel gazing.


I hallucinated on these drugs...
hallucinated that I could not breathe. 
You know how I dealt with the bears?  I tried that again.
I tried the violence.

Violence doesn’t work with concepts.
What is the battle strategy for
Cannot breathe?

There were other hallucinations[
Snakes, falling-all as much a problem as not breathing.
Things I am afraid of.

I sang on the street corner
busking away the danger-singing is breathing.
“The time does not matter.”  I say, when asked.


I’m a narcotic and I will heal you and you WILL become addicted
to the way I make you feel good and lick your wounds, stroke, you,
croon you to sleep and
You will be dependent on me and call it love.

How can I know the difference.  Do you love me?
I had never learned, somehow, and
he may want you and say he needs you but does he love you?


She wrote the word on her hand because
She forgot things and needed to be reminded how to function -
just to function at all.  Breathe.  Step.  Rest.
She forgot whether or not the book she was reading was fact or fiction
And whether or not it mattered.

You have a function to attend, the invitation issued on
the date of your birth no RSVP required;
you are obligated.

She wished she had also written down the other words
the letters for them rolled around in her mouth like marbles
and she would need them because there is a function to attend.

She must function, so she bites down on the marbles and
cracks the glass, tasting the blood on her tongue, and the glass
dissolved into sand.

A bitter pill on her tongue dissolves and she is left with what remains -
the words are written on her hand and her heart and her soul
and she knows them, she can function
she can sing the song because she knows the words.

For Jim

He is there when I vomit emotions on the floor, overwhelmed by what I feel and not sure how to interpret it.

He never belittles what I feel; he listens and sympathises and guides me back with a thread of logic, to a place where I can rest again.

Feeling understood, knowing I am not alone-as strange as I may be-as poorly as I may fit with the rest of the world as I know it, I am not alone.

He says I am not strange, only wonderful and I believe him because I want to.

And I know that we are all strange really, and true love is a matter of finding the other who is your kind of strange.

He is teaching me that if I don’t fit with the world as I perceive,
It’s time to change my perception.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Affirmation, Validation, Understanding

These days I am very much an internet lurker.  Yes, I am making a bit of an effort to have a presence on FB and I am still writing on my blog, but in most ways I just lurk.  I read but rarely comment.  People talk about taking breaks but I feel as though my break is taking forever.  Perhaps I was trying to be someone I am not.  That wouldn't surprise me, really.  I always feel I owe other people more than I can give, particularly in terms of my attention.  Learning to be selfish is difficult and I constantly worry about people understanding that I still value them, support them and and grateful for their existence.  There are a few very needy people in my life and I give as much of myself as I can, while still remembering that my self care is important.  It's possible I am an extreme example but I think women are quite familiar with the idea that they need to be all things at all times.  Even the most exuberant, outgoing, extroverted women I know are running themselves to exhaustion being and doing all things.  Whatever our maximum capacity is we try to do more, believe we should do more.  Learning that we are enough just as we are is difficult and I really believe that if women can and should help and support each other in something that should be it.

In my life I've learned that some people need more affirmation than others and I've also learned not to judge that.  We have our different needs just as we eat different amounts of food or get a different number of sleep hours.  I've also learned, through studying MBTI, that there are variations on this need to know we are somehow making our way through this world in the way that we hope to.  I have an ISFJ mother who needs no affirmation, not validation, no understanding from anyhow.  She is a self contained unit.  She is certain of her direction.  She makes her decisions based on her experiences and on what has wored before.  She is solidly S where I am N.  I don't see validation, but I do seek understanding.  I long to be understood as much as I long to understand everything.  It's a subtle difference to an observer, but it manifests in that I am constantly explaining myself as though I am some sort of mathematical equation that I need to teach you, and as though I think my world will fall apart if you do not understand me.  At the same time, growth and maturity has taught me that many people will not understand, but will accept.  They don't want to understand or don't see value in it.  It doesn't mean they don't care about me, so I've learned to accept their acceptance.

An INFJ dives deeply; it is a need and I think that is why the tendency to also try to spread widely makes life so exhausting.  I am caught between the constant pull of my own desire and need to go deep but the belief that I owe it to the world to spread widely.  The cure is to tell myself not to be such an egotistical idiot and think everyone needs me or even wants me.  I was  much more judgemental person in my youth and I confess I saw many people as shallow.  I now know there are other ways to look at it.  For one thing, I adore shallow water.  There is nothing so soothing to me as wading in it, dangling my toes in it, looking through it to see the pretty things underneath.  Deep water scares me.  It is dark and murky and who knows what slimy things lurk there.  Also, I am sure we need those wide spreaders in the world.  Lots of them.  Not so many navel gazers such as myself.

In my life I have a beloved INFP and an ENFP.  The NFPs want validation, more than understanding.  On the surface it can look similar though Es are extroverted so it will show more.  The Es are doers, making the world a better place actively and their Facebook feed will show it.  They want to make the world a better place and I think they are hoping to lead by example.  I think it would be easy to dismiss it as bragging when it isn't.  INFPs are more reserved, they go inward much more but the surest way to hurt them is to not give them credit for knowing what they are doing, for clearly charting their own path and having very firm notions about right and wrong.  NFPs can appear very flighty and scattered.  It makes them both adorable and annoying at times if you cannot see past that.

 I mentioned my mother, the ISFJ and oh what a saint that woman is.  SFJs do make up a large portion of the population though they seem less interested in the internet so there is a good chance few of them are reading this.   ( I amuse myself with my humour, if nobody else. )   SFJs are nurturing, caretaker types who tend to be very down to earth and practical.  They care deeply about the well being of others and are the stereotypical wonderful mother, though they can be male too.  Because the SFJ trait of strong nurturing is considered so female in our culture, the SFJ male is said to often present as hyper- masculine.  That guy who seems too good to be true, who is manly and muscular but such a sweetheart and a great husband and father, is quite possibly an SFJ.

We have to be cautions of the stereotypes that can grow out of MBTI concepts but I have found learning about it remarkably useful as a tool to better understand myself and others and how we relate.  For me it's not enough to just say oh we are all different-let's celebrate.  I want to know why and understand how.  You guessed it-that's INFJ for you.

This is what a navel-gazing, poet looks like when she gazes out the window so she can attempt to show how clever she is by wearing two earrings in the same hole.

looking tired and dazed....can't seem to remember to smile for selfies.

My partner said, 'I thought you were going to take a photo smiling.'

So, I gave it my best effort on a different day.  It's true, that this is much more representative of how I usually look, or at least when I am not exhausted.  So, there.  Now you understand.

Poems coming soon.  No selfies.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

I Want to be Pre-Raphaelite

Not as an artist, as a woman.  I love how the Pre-Raphaelite women are not delicate twigs, and it's not often I see a more robust body being celebrated.  I am not curvalicious plus-sized and although I am tall I am not model thin.   Honestly, I don't get my knickers in a knot over not seeing myself represented in fashion because fashion is clearly not my thing, but as an archetype in general I do love the Pre-Raphaelite woman.  She makes me want to grow my hair long and dye it red, oh yes.  And to wear flowing crushed velvet gowns.  She is pale like I am, and her neck and limbs are sturdy.

                  She loves nature and flower sniffing is one of her hobbies.  Mine too!


                                         She is as fond of the sea as I am too.


                       Though perhaps she does like the water a little more than I do.


                                                    She's a bit day-dreamy

                                                   But she does lover her books.




                         When her husband/lover artist isn't interrupting her reading.                             

If I had been one of the real Pre-Raphaelite women, I'd be longing for the paint brush and canvas myself and I bored with all the posing.


                                     Which is how I tend to imagine Jane Morris.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

I'm No Tilda Swinton, But...

Wandering the web reading about style types and archetypes I have also come across one called Ethereal or Angelic* which intrigues me, and I wonder, how much of this do I have in me? Some style specialists say we have all types in us and it's a matter of percentages.  Essentially we look for the overall impression a person gives, using face, body and in some cases personality.  I don't think Kibbe accounts for personality and that is a bit of a stumbling block for me and his style references are both dated and geared towards career dressing or glamour dressing.  Others, like Dressing Your Truth, seem to think that you are what you look like, although they would claim that no they are showing you how to look like what you are, I am not convinced and to me some of the people they make over just don't look right.  

Of course I don't find it easy to know what I look like and I suspect I do not see myself as others do.  There is also a matter of just how much of us is public persona and private?  For me there can be big distinctions, which I think is not so unusual for an introvert.  It's definitely true of an INFJ, who tends to behave like an extrovert in public because it's more socially acceptable and because INFJs truly do love connecting with people.  It's still an act in a sense, though it's a well meant one.

I know that as a child I was the type often described as an old soul.  I have always been the person friends come to for advice not fun.  Or in some cases just a good listener.  I know that in high school I was perceived by many as aloof.  And I know that men tend to like me more readily than women do.  Actually men are rarely indifferent about me and either really like me or find me threatening.

Many people also find me very warm and friendly because if I am not staring off into space, pondering things -which is often, I generally am warm and friendly.  I go out of my way to talk to everyone who serves me or assists me on a daily basis.

A long time ago, a couple of years after high school I found myself on a Greyhound bus travelling the few hours from university to my home town and someone I'd known only slightly in high school was also on that bus.  We sat together, though I do not recall which of us initiated that.  If I am intimidated I am shy and if I sense another person is intimidated or shy then I will go out of my way to be friendly.  Cheryl sat beside me and we chatted amiably.  About half an hour into the trip she said, loudly and in a surprised tone, "Oh My God!  You are really nice!"  It was news to me that anyone had thought I wasn't.

I can look quite natural and friendly. ( This is literally a makeup free and freshly scrubbed face.)  Especially if I am making eye contact with people or am aware someone is looking at me.  If I am not lost in my own world I will definitely smile.  I look a bit more approachable in this warm lighting too.

 Do I appear spiritual, friendly and kind?  Such is the way an Ethereal will apparently appear.

 The style gurus who mention ethereal types, and usually it is a combination type, ethereal and something else since a fully ethereal person is rather rare, tend to present pictures of celebrities who fit this type and I see some features I may have in common.

Strangely, they are often tall.  While the angelic types tend to be fair, light coloured and literally look as though they should always be dressed in white gossamer and sparkling shoes, there is a slightly darker and more brooding look to the ethereals as well.  Other features which I may be seeing in myself are serious, soulful looking eyes, a straight mouth, a longish nose and oval face.  There is something straight and strong about them and yet also delicate and curved.  Examples cited are Darryl Hannah, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchet, Rooney Mara, Carolyn Besette, Vanessa Redgrave and Canada's pride, Margaret Atwood.  Liv Tyler also looks wonderful as an ethereal, as evidenced by her role in Lord of the Rings.

Other features mentioned are blended or soft colouring, high cheekbones, deep set and hooded eyes, high foreheads and a translucence to the skin. 

I doubt I have all of these features but I do have some, and clothing lines recommended for Ethereals is also draped, body skimming and soft, which I know suits me, and I have already referred to it for Kibbe Soft Dramatic and Dressing Your Truth type 2.  What makes ethereal more appealing to me is that there is less bombshell about it.

Could I convincingly play an elf in Lord of the Rings, given some misty lighting and the right wig?

Or does this image help to explain why I could potentially be an Ethereal type who suits a pixie cut?


Rachel Arnt- Schemmel at Truth is Beauty, suggests that ethereals are not all that attractive to men but they are to women.  Men are more likely to call them weird looking.

I am not familiar with how people would describe me.  My mother is firmly in the camp that believes you don't tell your daughter she is pretty.  I was always told I had a pleasant face.  My partner thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the universe which is very nice but not helpful here.  I would certainly go as far as to suggest that I am not conventionally pretty.  People usually say, "you have kind eyes".

Rachel also says that "Ethereal beauty is often confused with Dramatic beauty, because it's unusual looking and rare, and because both tend to have long faces and frames."

Another of Rachel's beliefs is that it's your face that matters and not so much your body.  Yes, you tweak things to suit the lines of your body, but your face is what people are looking at and which gives the impression of you.  I admit this appeals to me because it doesn't automatically shunt me into one of the Dramatics.

Do I think I am unusual and rare looking?  That has never occurred to me.  I don't think so, in a stand out sort of way but I do relate to the look of the faces of many of the women identified as Ethereals.  The example women tend to be thin but we are talking about celebrities.  It's generally their job to be thin.  Might they look more like me if they gained 30 pounds?

Ethereals are more likely to be introverts.  They have a calm and gentle look naturally.

In all I've read it's not yet quite clear to me how an Ethereal dresses on a daily basis.  Most Ethereals have some sort of secondary quality that should guide this.

Ethereal hair would be a little more soft and fluffy, floaty as opposed to smooth and wavy like a glamorous Soft Dramatic.

Makeup would be lighter in colours and perhaps with a touch of frost or sparkle to it, which we all know I am frightened of, but I am slowly coming around to small touches of iridescence and can see how judicious use of highlight might flatter my face.

Clothing lines would be similar to the Soft Dramatic, rendered in lighter colours and less attempt at bold flourishes which might be more suited to my Soft Autumn palette.  I also find myself preferring to wear those light colours.  While I cannot imagine dressing in gauzy, floaty, cream-coloured gowns on a daily basis I can imagine myself as a fantasy character who looks like a cross between an angel and a bohemian bride.  Despite my darker hair, I feel light coloured and I like wearing light colours.  This may bias my perception because I also like the look of myself in light colours better.  The darker they get the more pale I look and it starts to look hard and cold and a too dramatic or goth for the person I feel I am.

I recall Kibbe did say that a Soft Dramatic could dress in head to toe pastels but he was inclined to want to add some sparkle to that. I wonder if the subtle difference I am looking for is irridescence as opposed to sparkle.

Without much to guide me, I attempted to dress and make myself up assuming I am an Ethereal type, and I would also assume that if I am a combination Ethereal type it would be Ethereal Natural.    In my first attempt I chose a blouse with some subtle shape and embroidered detail in a colour that I know looks dramatic on me.  I added, though rather haphazardly, a lacy styled scarf and some appropriate earrings which don't really show in the photo.  My hair is off my face, which always feels good to me, and some of my natural wave is starting to show as my hair grows.  I don't know that this hair qualifies as Ethereal or Dramatic or Natural or anything but it's what I've got right now.  My makeup feels quite natural for me, as it's minimal and softly peachy.

There is something about this that doesn't feel right to me but I can't put my finger on it.  It's aside from the sloppy styling.  Is it the colours?    Is it because the camera seems to have darkened my hair?  Something looks hard and cold.  The photo below looks better.  Was it the contrasting colours then?  My scarf application is a hot mess, but the teal scarf with the teal blouse seems to work better for me. 

I admit I am intrigued by my body language in this photo.  I am aware that I tend to keep myself quite folded up.  This is the real me, as opposed to an pose attempts I might make for blog photos when trying to model clothing.  You can see why I make a terrible model. I keep myself quite folded up.  This seems like a great deal of stillness or at least very soft and gentle motion.  Although I look compact, as I am accustomed to seeing myself, I look slimmer and less boxy, there is an elongated effect I don't usually notice in myself and my hands and fingers look long too, just as my face and nose do.

After my attempts at Ethereal influenced dressing and makeup, taking several photos to get a few that were blog-worthy, I was quite exhausted and feeling feverish so it was time to return to bed.  The makeup is subtle enough and the jewelry all typical so I can leave that one without feeling strange but the blouse and scarf felt a bit formal to me.  I removed them and put on a cream coloured tee shirt and in that moment really truly felt like myself.  I felt everything relax.  I love the colour cream and may versions of off white.  I know it's not really a colour to many people but for me it little stirs my soul.

Out of curiosity I dragged my carcass back to the kitchen, where there are so many windows the light is brightest and I took another photo.  It's the one I used at the beginning of this post and like the one below where I am wearing a soft camel coloured sweater, it's one of my favourite selfies so I will inflict it on you again.  It all feels like me, like home, not fun or bold or dramatic but not frumpy and boring either.  Boring is of course quite a subjective concept and this may indeed look boring to some people.  I probably wouldn't dress this way if I wanted to project power, but I am rarely in a position where I feel a need to project power, and I am confident enough in myself not to care whether someone else sees me as powerful or not.

 In case you would like to know, this lipstick is a new discovery and a big favourite.  It's Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Truffle which is a sheer so somewhat like a tinted lip balm.

My current profile picture looks like it fits with the celebrity Ethereals.  Could you picture me with cascading auburn waves and wings on my back?

                                                           Rooney Mara

                                               Vanessa Redgrave

                                                            Frances Conroy

Note:  Women of colour can be Ethereals too and there are some shown on Rachel's blog.  I chose these three for their lighter skin since I am trying to see if I resemble them.

I have yet to find any style guides as explicit as Kibbe, regarding what an Ethereal type should wear.  Kibbe's book has been around long enough that it's well known and quoted.  Other gurus on the internet want to sell their advice, which is fine, but that leaves me looking at polyvore and pinterest boards created by amateurs like myself.  I'm getting pretty good at looking at other people and knowing which archetype would fit them but it's always hardest to see yourself accurately and I am still relatively new at this.

* Credit apparently goes to John Kitchener for conceiving of the Angelic Archetype which he added to the much used types,

My research is not as thorough as it could be in that I gather ideas and lose track of their source.  Many style guru names are in my head; I could probably name them all but would have more difficulty recalling what system they developed, whom mentored whom and which system grew out of another.

Below are some Pinterest Boards created by Rachel Arnt-Schemmel

Ethereal  Natural is  a romantic boho style so it appeals to me.  Liking it is not the same as embodying it, of course.

Ethereal  Dramatic is likely to have an arty style.

Ethereals who are more gamine will do well with Goth, Fairy, Witchy or Forrest Elf styles, Goth and Witchy, especially if they have deep colouring and can wear black.

Ethereal Dramatic Natural ( yes a trio ) is rather appealing to me as it is sort of Arty and Boho

Ethereal Dramatic Classic has a simple elegance with arty touches.

Ethereal Dramatic Ingenue is youthful/ fairy child

This Pin Board by KH is Romantic Ethereal as per John Kitchener and is similar to Kibbe's Soft Dramatic

Pinterest Boards by Solania Rose are also interesting and I like how the images are inspirational more than career dressing, though perhaps not helpful if you are trying to figure out what to shop for or wear on a coffee date.

I like her Ethereal + Natural board

It seems to me that for a casual look the best idea is to figure out what style jeans suit you best, combine those with the type of blouse, sweater or tunic that is right for your body shape and essence, and then embellish with the accessories that suit and feel right for your lifestyle.  When it comes to the accessories, the hats, bags, shoes and jewelry, the mood of the outfit should be a reasonable guide.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

INFJ Stuff

Being an INFJ on the internet is an experience that leaves me with mixed feelings.  It is apparently a personality type that is appealing enough to some that they misdiagnose themselves or misinterpret things and believe themselves to be one when they are not.  Whatever other people think about their own personality type and temperament is not my business even if I do have an opinion.  INFJs are supposedly among the least common types but if they are to be found in high numbers anywhere it would seem to be online.  That's not overly surprising considering the internet is often a comfortable place for introverts in general, INFJs are likely to be seekers of information, studiers of systems and highly interested in what we call the soft sciences, or in other words, human nature.   Those descriptions all definitely fit me well.  I want to understand everything I can about myself and other people.  I am driven to do this because it seems to me that this would enable me to contribute to making the world a better place and to helping people.  In this way I am very typically INFJ

I think we should all beware of falling into stereotypes though and if we readily say oh yes, yes, yes, all those things are me therefore I am X, I would suspect we are deluding ourselves.  We are all still individuals and are a unique collection of genetics and experience and thus no two INFJs will be identical.  It is not a wonderful thing to be a rare type, though for some this idea seems to contribute to what is called Special Snowflake Syndrome.  I've spent my life with the perception that I do not quite fit in, that others do not think or feel the way I do, nor do they quite get me.  Getting me is not the same as accepting me so don't imagine I have spent my life feeling miserable and isolated.  I have not.  But I have always felt just a little bit 'Other'.

In studying MBTI I have come to believe that this is because I am an N-type and the world has more S-types.  It should.  Because the S types are the doers who function well in the here and now.  The N types are future oriented, dreamers, and we need them but not too many of them.  Imagine a tribe.  Does the tribe need more hunters and gatherers or does it meed more shamans?  The Ns are the shamans, the inventors, the healers and the teachers.  Not that S types cannot do these things, of course it's not that literal, but it's a tendency, an apt generalisation.  Sometimes we do things, select a career for example, that doesn't quite match our type.  We can do it.  But we may not be happy or comfortable.  We may burn ourselves out or be unfulfilled.

No type is better than another.  Different is not better, it is just different and all types are needed, though I suspect there are ideal proportions of them for a society to run smoothly.

I am an N type who has spent much of her life surrounded by S types, raised by S types, and always feeling that something was wrong about me.  I married an S type, of course I would, having been raised by them.  It didn't go well.  He couldn't understand or value me.

The INFJ type is often prone to being spiritual if not religious.  I guess that is a good feature for a Shaman.  I am definitely not.  Not religious and not even spiritual.  That doesn't mean I am not capable of feeling great wonder and awe, of awareness of just how small I am in the vast multi-verse or of how I am small but yet connected to it all.  But to me none of that is spiritual, it is science.  I reject religion but I do love philosophy.  I am intrigued by non-religious Buddhism, its philosophy not the religious trappings which developed and spread, creating a variety of Buddhist sects.

 I am a loner who loves people deeply but needs to spend the majority of her time away from them, a very very close few excepted.   Some people say that INFJs are the type most likely to be Highly Sensitive People ( not the only type but the most likely type ) and some talk of Empaths as though it is something separate from regular human empathy.  To me this is getting into Special Snowflake territory and I want to shun it, and yet I cannot deny that I am highly sensitive in some ways, more so to physical things like noises, bright lights and strong smells and too much time with people.   I am highly in tune with the emotions of others and feel them in my own body before I am conscious of it.  Before I knew about MBTI and that I am an INFJ I used to describe myself as a sponge who absorbed the emotions of others and felt it too.  I make no claims to do this from a distance, but only with people I am in close proximity to.

A friend once told me I am a magnet for broken people. He acknowledged being quite broken himself and that he could not imagine his life without me.     I want to help and heal and will sacrifice too much of myself to do that before I realise the cost.  I am learning to pull away. I have already given more of myself than I can support.  There are some who believe that CFS/ME is actually a manifestation of being the type of person I am.  I'm skeptical but can see how it is at least a chicken or egg thing.  Which came first.  Am I exhausted and has my body actually altered because of who I am, or is a very physically caused disease contributing to how I function in this world?  I don't have the answer but I do know there is a strong physical basis to this illness.  It is not a psychological one although it can have psychological effects.

Are INFJs prone to rambling and navel gazing?  probably.  Why am I writing this?  This blog is one of many forms of journalling that I use, and its intent is to reach people who may be like me, who may be helped by knowing they are not alone.  Anyone spending any time on the internet reading articles about INFJs will encounter the idea that most who think they are INFJ are not.   This gets bloody depressing.  I get tired of reading the idea that if I declare myself an INFJ most people will doubt it or immediately think I have special snowflake syndrome.  Not that I actually declare it often, except here.  Where I have decided I want and need to write about it, regardless if anyone cares.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Soft Dramatic - The Finishing Touches

The details are important in order to suggest the drama and because drama isn't readily in my nature I do tend to struggle with with these, which contributes to my feeling that Soft Dramatic is almost right but not quite.  Of course it's all relative and I am more dramatic than my mother, who tends to be classic, but whether or not my look is labelled dramatic, my own taste and opinions are always likely to balk at strict guidelines by any expert.  It is absolutely okay to follow the guidelines exactly if they fit you and to say no to them if they don't.  I'm always interested in systems and what I can learn from them but I am not a good rule follower.

 Prints:  Bold, wild, and ornate shapes. Splashy watercolors. Oversized and abstract florals. Animal prints. Irregular shapes with soft or rounded edges. 

Prints are tricky for me.  I know what I like when I see it but that is rare in clothing, and I definitely have a difficult time wearing large swathes of print.  Typically I use print in scarves.  I do prefer prints where the shapes blend into each other or overlap and I think that is what he is getting at here.  I love paisley and large florals in particular and look silly in polkadots.  I am not a fan of animal prints, and might be the only woman on the planet who has no desire for anything leopard. 

Avoid: Sharp geometrics. Small, symmetrical prints. Delicate, fussy prints. Animated, "cute" prints.

Yup, I've definitely noticed these do not suit me.  One of my blouses does have a small and somewhat symmetrical print however the colour of the pattern nearly blends into the background colour so I think that makes it wearable as it reads more like texture.  If I am pushing the boundaries too much with it I will just pile on the dramatic earrings.

Makeup: Should be lavish and ornate, even for daytime. A very polished face is part of your everyday look. In the evening, pour on the glitz! Bold eyes, with a touch of bright color. Full, vivid lips and strong cheeks. 

I thought this would be difficult but it's not actually.   Having said that it doesn't feel like every day me.  Since I found better makeup colours for myself I can actually apply it more dramatically without looking like a clown but I am still hesitant about drama and  I am unlikely to do any bold glitz and am not really sure how to create strong cheeks.  It all sounds like the eighties controuring with those blush duos-put the dark one under your cheekbones and then the lighter one on the apples of your cheeks.  Makeup application can make you look on trend or dated too, though contouring and dramatic makeup is definitely back.  Kibbe would likely want me to do my eyebrows too and  I've learned to touch them up just a little with some light brown powder.  As for lush lips, well nature didn't quite give them to me and I'm not going to draw them on, but the right colour lipstick and a bit of liner can certainly improve the look of them. 

A polished face is fine, though I don't want to be worrying all day about whether or not my lipstick has stayed on.  The drama of at eyes and red lips is still too much for me, but I believe the idea is to be bold within the parameters of what suits your face.  I think cat eyes are better on the young and probably also better for some eye shapes than others.

Hair:  More lavish and full looking. Shape should be bold either geometric or asymmetric, but softened with curls, waves, or partial layering. 

Oh the big eighties hair was never something I could achieve and asymmetrical hairstyles drive me crazy.  I would end up chopping it off myself to even it up.   Side swept bangs are a good way to softly suggest asymmetry.  

My hair is abundant but fine, slippery and heavy and I dislike crunchy or stiff hair due to  product use, though I do have to use product to achieve the look I want.  Lavish and full does not necessarily mean long, so although I am going to grow my hair a little, I am not aiming for long.  I am not the mermaid hair type. My hair is slightly wavy so I can achieve some sort of soft tousled texture if it is layered, but it's best if the fullness is at the top half of my face.

Jewlery: Should always be large, bold and ornate. Bold geometric shapes with soft edges. Oversized, ornate shapes. All sparkly, glittery, and shiny finishes are excellent. Wild costume jewelry that is obviously faux. 

Okay, some troubles here.  I don't like plastic costume jewelry or faux things so much but I do like large, artsy pieces in metals, stones and beads.  I can go with softly geometric and ornate.  Sparkle and glittery, not so much.  I do have many earrings that are smaller and might qualify as delicate but I wear them less often.

Avoid: Sharp geometrics. Simple, symmetrical pieces. Delicate, antique pieces. Rough, chunky pieces. 

Shoes: Tailored and angular with tapered toe and heel. High, narrow heels are best. Bare styles also excellent

I run into troubles here.  High heels are out, and I just prefer a chunkier shoe for comfort and stability.  Since my style is more casual, and this is not typically about pairing shoes with a dress, I think I make it work.  For comfort sake I am not inclined to very point shoes either, which I suppose is what is meant by angular.  It seems to me we are going for quite a sexy shoe here.  More modern interpretations I've seen on Pinterest include a very high heeled, platform pump. My theory is that if boot cut jeans are covering half my shoe, it is less important to get this right.

Avoid: Chunky styles. Overly delicate styles with excess trim. 

Bags: Softly rounded shapes in over-sized styles. Exquisite leather or fabric. Very slim briefcases. Ultraornate evening styles.

Just as want comfort in shoes, I want comfort and ease in a bag and my preference is cross body.  A bag whose handle is not long enough to get over my shoulder is just a big nuisance, and I have attempted to stop carrying oversized bags because then I am just lugging around too much weight.  I do prefer a softer bag though and not too structured or squared.

Avoid: Plain, symmetrical bags and small, delicate styles.

He would probably classify my every day cross body bag as plain and symmetrical.  Perhaps wearing it cross body and thus asymmetrically helps to counter that.
Belts: Should be bold and wide, of supple leather or special fabric, with large and ornate buckles. 

I've not seen such a belt in my size, real leather and the right brown but I am definitely in need of a belt.

Hats: Should always be theatrical and glamorous, emphasizing rounded shapes and ornate trim. Should be large and oversized.

I definitely can't do this without feeling like I am in a costume.  Either I wear the wrong hats or I give up on them.  I do know that very small and perky caps aren't good on me so I at least avoid that.  I like a newsboy cap or a fedora, both probably being a bit too masculine for Soft Dramatic.  Large floppy hats, Russian style fur hats and turbans are often recommended for Soft Dramatic.
Hoisery: Keep you stockings ultra-sheer. Your strong vertical line is best emphasized by blending with both your hemline and your shoe. Always blend with the shoe. Very lacy or ornate textures are wonderful for evening.

Flesh, sheer tights have been a fashion faux pas for awhile now,  but they weren't in the eighties when this was written. I think they will make a comeback.  It's easier to get an appropriate nude colour now, and sometimes they are a dress code requirement for certain work places, are definitely warmer than bare legs for those of us who don't live in perpetual summer, and not everyone is flattered with black or coloured legs.

If hoisery, shoes and hemline should all match or blend, that either leaves you with always wearing brown and beige skirts and shoes, or having to buy a pair of coloured shoes to match each skirt.  I find this advice a bit problematic and would go with blending shoe and hoisery and worry less about the skirt.

I must admit that the challenges of hoisery are making me move away from skirts and dresses.

Color: Your use of color should always be bold and dramatic, never dull. You shine in original color combinations that emphasize bright/dark mixtures. Pastels can be extremely elegant if your execute them in head-to-toe sweeps. Monochromatic schemes will general require some vivid accenting in the accessory department. Strive for a very polished, ensemble approach to your use of a palette. 

Avoid: Multicolor splashes and mix 'n match approach. 

 Does this advice seem somewhat conflicting?

Somewhere else I read that Kibbe is very much on board with the personal colour systems and he means for this advice to be used with your colour palette in mind.  Either way, I do like colour mixes and every personal palette has it's own bold versions of colour.  I wonder what he means by an original colour combination.  Something unusual?  And how do you do bold and dramatic with original colour combinations and yet not use multicolour splashes or blend your hoisery into your hemline and with shoes?

In aiming for a polished ensemble approach I think the personal colour analysis palette is helpful.  All of the colours of the Soft Autumn palette work together, so I can get quite creative in what I combine and yet still look harmonious.  

I am still finding, though, that I am happiest in soft and light colour combinations, though the darker colours and even the medium ones can look rather dramatic against my pale skin.  That drama doesn't feel like me, though I might use it for a formal event.

Well interpreting Kibbe is a bit like interpreting the bible, but hopefully I won't end up in style hell if I get it wrong.   I can't say I am completely sold on this being the right style for me, though I do believe it's the place Kibbe would say I fit.  For me the big takeaway is that wearing softly draping clothing is right,  and there may be something to why I am always wanting to grow out my pixie cut.