Mamafierce | makeup
archive,tag,tag-makeup,tag-82,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-9.5,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

day offOK you got me. As much as I hate click-baity titles, damn it if they don’t get you to click. No, this isn’t a tirade about how we all need to stop being vain bitches. That would pretty much be followed by this entire blog and my closet imploding out of existence. Obvi, I care about how I look. Presenting myself in such a way makes me feel dynamic, seen, important, expressive, a whole bunch of other things that I try to unpack and examine on the reg to make sure I am doing these things just for me and for the right reasons. But as with all things, a balance is ideal. And that is exactly what I am trying to achieve on my “days off.”

What are my days off? You’re looking at it! Nothing on my face but sunblock and Burt’s Bees topped off with a mom bun. I actually spend a full day in public like this. I walk through the posh population of San Francisco on the way to my office like this. I do it at least once a week, and not for extra sleep. Well, maybe just five minutes…

So here’s just a few reasons why I go so unglam so often:

taking a day off

So I Can Spend My Mornings Momming

Most days, I am on a schedule with little wiggle room. I’m up at 6:45 so I can have some breakfast in peace then I start getting ready by 7:30. My husband’s alarm goes off at 7:50 so he can start waking up while I rouse my son at 8, put him on the potty, get him dressed, then send him into the kitchen where *hopefully* husband is ready to make him breakfast and generally keep him away from me with his can I touch this? can I touch this? how about this? while I finish getting ready to leave the house by 8:45 to catch my train. Nowhere is there an allotment of time for any actual, real interaction between me and the people I hold dearest in this world. And before you start getting all sad (or disgusted, whatev), it’s OK. I do have time for that. I work four days a week, I leave work at 5 on the dot, and I think we do our best to make our evenings and weekends count. But three mornings a week, all I wanna do is put my best face on and say yo world, check meowt.

That fourth day, though. I need that just as much. I need to wake up NOT thinking about what I’m gonna wear and what color lipstick will go best with it. My skin needs to breathe. I need to breathe. I need five extra minutes of Good Morning America and to actually finish my cup of tea. I need to wake my husband up with nuzzles. I need to ask my son what he wants for breakfast and actually give him time to say hmmmm in his little sing-songy voice instead of grunting DUDE CEREAL OR OATMEAL PICK ONE. I need to hoist him up on the counter so he can put his own slice of bread in the toaster and open the cabinet to spend three whole minutes looking for the peanut butter that is right in front of his little face. I need to actually stop my frantic running around and let my husband hold me for one god damn minute. Most importantly, I need to enjoy that.

Because Feminism

Every woman can tell you that the reaction she gets from people, strangers and known associates alike, can be dramatically different depending on how “done up” she is that day. I suppose this is also true for men, but the sheer fact that “done up” for dudes requires far less effort means women have to work a lot harder to be visually validated. The thing that kills me about the idea of being a successful woman is this–You can have the education, the family, the house, the job. You can be a great friend. You can be an active and conscientious member of your community. You can be a god damn saint. But the ultimate cap to it, the cherry on top that is constantly dangling over our heads is the coveted phrase, “and she looks good doing it.” Watch any makeover show and you will see a woman who has every ounce of her shit together, making her the most deserving candidate of said makeover of course, but man does she officially “have it all” once she looks ten years younger.

Fuck that noise.

i can have it all 30 rockAnd having it all sometimes comes with a shiny face and sparse eyebrows. Which leads me to my next reason. The biggest weapon against the male gaze:

Comfort in My Own Skin

Challenging myself when it comes to my appearance is just something I like to do. I have a visceral experience of personal growth every time I push myself to do something slightly uncomfortable. And being seen naked-faced and slouchy-clothed is just that. It’s nice not to give a fuck on rainy days and it’s great to have extra time away from a fucking mirror and I may look completely comfortable, but it is totally a work in progress. I am not zen about it. But that’s the goal. I’m close. And even if the closest I get to zen is my current state of realizing my insecurities are illusions and my feelings aren’t facts, this is a good spot to be in. I invite you to join me.

In closing, I’ll say that my comfort isn’t every woman’s comfort and my situation isn’t every woman’s situation. Thank god I work in a casual business setting that will even allow me to look like this on a Tuesday. Thank god I have encountered a series of people and experiences that have shaped my confidence so that I can even entertain the notion of not wearing makeup in public when so many women feel completely obligated to get gussied up every single day. Bottom line, if you’re happy with your level of done up, keep it up. If you’re not, take a leap of faith and try something different. Life is too fucking short to keep doing things that don’t make sense to you. You’re worth the trouble of finding that zen, so find yours.



This Target skirt was a bright beacon of yellow light in the midst of a layoff from my dream job over a year ago. And when I saw it in my closet in the middle of a frustrated frenzy of trying to find something that would work with this beyond bold blue lip (ColourPop’s, Mr. Blonde), I figured what the hell. And then it just came together magically. Even my coral sandals matched and my $2 necklace from the little circle of Thrift Hell you Half Moon Bayans call Twice As Nice perfectly matched the aesthetic. Accidental outfits like these make me thank the lord for the invention of clothes and the human race for turning it into an art form. Real fashion isn’t about image, people. Because try as you might, you can’t control the interpretation that leads to the very concept of your image. Real fashion is pure expression. It is when the only fuck given is whether or not you feel real while wearing it. This was my real that day. 


Also, how do you like my little poem on Fat People Flipping You Off?


Mmm. That was a delicious Smurf.





My sister and I used to make calling each other “fat” an art form. My favorite of hers was Fatz-Maru. But my morphing of the chart-topping Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness into one sick burn against The Deniellezebub was BY FAR the best insult I’ve ever concocted for anyone ever, ever. But now I can’t think of melon puns without it disrupting my train of thought so…here you go.

I don’t know what I’m doing in this picture, maybe about to break into The Thriller? But clearly, I make whatever this is look goooood with this awesome Rue 107 melon crop top (similar here). Some skinny ankle pants and chunky sandals give this outfit a little Beach Blanket Bingo vibe that just made me want to do The Monkey.


But instead, I got caught taking pictures by another coworker and went “full velociraptor” as my cousin Pumpkin would say to burn HER big sister for taking a similar picture OMG FULL CIRCLE GENIUS BRIANA.


But then I ended on a high flamingo note. Also, check out this Clueless Ultra Matte Lip from ColourPop, how fucking perfect is this color?


Even though my MOTD was colorful, it was still muted and soft enough to let the bright outfit take center stage. Lurve.


It started with a lipstick. A ColourPop matte Lippie Stix in Creature that has inspired me to play with my entire makeup look. From there, goth-infused fabulousness happened.

goth3A ghoulish, smokey green eye, a camel maxi skirt and a bondage-tastic gladiator sandal took even my normal edge levels up a notch and I think the attempt to tone them down with pearls and florals only made things more bold. Which works for me!

goth2This Forever21 skirt is killer. Super comfortable, amazing color, flowy as a motherfucker. I only noodled on buying it for so long because I’ve got a lot of camel in my closet but this is a seriously versatile piece.

black lipstick

There are so many things I have been meaning to write about. After reading this post from The Anti-Diet Project this morning, I totally wanted to write a response but all I can really get out in an excited sputter is THIS THIS THIS:

“…when you’re used to being invisible, it’s startling to suddenly be noticed — even when that’s all you’ve ever wanted. Sometimes it feels safer to run from success.”

Thinking about my weight and body-image struggles only made my mom problems claw at my leg with chubby, macaroni-and-cheese covered hands and look up at me with sad “what about me” eyes like something…oddly familiar. Anyway, those are complicated and have redefined the time-space dimensions of what I have ever referred to as “a hard time.” This is the longest, weirdest “hard time” I have ever had–a grueling seven months of trying to find my place in the world when just being a mom wasn’t cutting it, at least not like I thought it would. I have come THIS CLOSE to starting the epic task that is putting all of this into words but it’s just too big and it’s just too heavy and

Anyway, black lipstick.

I know my best friend is going to seriously press me after I say that my absolute favorite photo shoot from ANTM was in cycle 14 (that’s right, the one with Angelea) where the girls dressed up in Victorian garb with pale eyebrows, white eyeliner, and of course black lipstick. This was the very moment the I-need-to-find-a-place-for-black-lipstick-in-my-life seed was planted. And that is, indeed, the trouble with black lipstick aside from it being a bitch to put on and maintain. Where does it fit in the life of a wife and mother pushing 30?

Seriously. Black lipstick is the boldest of bolds. It is the statement of all statements ESPECIALLY if you aren’t an aging goth or a 17-year-old kiwi pop star. As much as I love Lorde, I definitely don’t want those “that bitch is tryna be Lorde” looks.

But fashion experiments like these, if nothing else, are a helpful reminder that no one’s really looking at you, you crazy narcissist. Seriously, no one cares. I literally just went out for giant sandwiches with an old friend wearing layers of black lipstick that just ended up on my chin, nails, and the damn sandwich and there was not a fuck to be given in the entire place.

So the answer to the “too old” question is a real obvious “uh, no” only because who cares? Even though I certainly have those “lady, you are too old for that haircut” thoughts, they ARE just thoughts. And you might not be able to help thinking I look RIDICULOUS in this lipstick but damn it I just can’t fight this feeling anymooooooooooooore. I gotta rock it. Maybe not during my next sandwich run but ya know. Lessons learned.

black lips

Another lesson, this is I how I like to wear it best–bright clothes, bronzer, metallic eyeliner, no shadow. And yes, I took a mirror outside to take these pictures because my house has terrible lighting.

And I’ll close this post with a picture of my baby being a model.




Red Lipstick

If you’ve ever watched What Not To Wear, you probably remember the “five-minute face” part of the makeover. It’s definitely necessary to have a simple, natural-look makeup regiment for more everyday situations. But really, all a five-minute face does is make you not look like you’re running on four hours sleep and only crawling out of the house on a diaper run. Frazzled, rainy, overtired days really bum me out and a dose of fabulous is all the more needed. This is why sunglasses and red lipstick are one of my favorite pick-me-ups.

I actually picked up this tip after a pin-up class with the lovely Bettina May. You don’t need to fiddle with mascara and highlighting pencil when you have a big dark pair of chic sunglasses. I know it seems like hiding but you bought those shades because they make you look like a rock star. Your eyes being naked underneath shouldn’t make a difference! And a red lip goes with EV. RY. THING.

However, I do recommend consulting a professional to find the right red for you. Pop into a Sephora and let them match you with the perfect shade for your skin tone. Trust me, it makes a difference. They may even be able to recommend daytime and evening reds, if you want some variety.

What is your signature red lipstick shade?