Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Okay, I know it is not the best quality picture you will see today but see the bridesmaid leaning against the column? That's me. And see the blur? That's my friend's cousin dancing at her wedding.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Review Revue: Coastal Scents Cosmetics (ZOMG an actual positive review!): "
Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of Coastal Scents, a small cosmetics company based in Florida, and when I visited their site on a whim I wasn’t especially impressed. The site was a no-frills online store, the photographs weren’t professional beauty shots and the menus less than intuitive. But I was intrigued.
Coastal Scents, unlike traditional mascara slingers, caters to a combination of mad-scientists and professionals; make-up artists, resellers and people who want to make their own custom blends. They don’t just sell makeup, they sell makeup components, including pure pigment.
I am constantly on the hunt for intensely pigmented matte colors.
MAC is great and I heartily recommend them, but I have a hard time justifying dropping $15 for a shadow pot I might use once or twice a year. As far as drug store brands go, I’ve had good luck with the L’Oreal HiP line and Milani, which is marketed towards women with darker skin tones and generally contains more pigment, but they’re almost always too sparkly and their lasting power leaves a good deal to be desired. Plus I can’t use their cream-based products because of my eyelash extensions.
Coastal Scents sells their pigments by the half-teaspoon, teaspoon, ounce and pound. I ordered teaspoons of several oxides and micas (at a dollar each!) which is what they call “sample size”. Sample size it may be, but for the recreational user, a teaspoon of pigment is a LOT of makeup. They arrived packaged neatly in teensy zipper bags. Each bag was labeled with the color, approved uses –eyes, lips, face, nails etc.– and the ingredients.
I popped each pigment into its own five gram jar ($3.49 for 10) and started experimenting.
Using their excellent 13 piece brush set ($16.95 including roll) which is by far the best brush set for the money I’ve ever come across, I began monkeying around with applications. First I applied some pigment with a very wet brush and got a lovely, even wash of color. Then I added a drop of fixative (I think mine came from a N.Y.C. loose powder kit) for a full-on intense look. The color payoff was tremendous as good or better as anything I’ve used including the MAC pro colors. It blended like a dream and although there was a good deal of fallout on the dry applications, that’s to be expected with any highly pigmented powder, especially since I forgot to use a primer the first time.
Using a primer is always a good idea with powders, especially if you’ve got deep set or oily eyelids, because powders as a species tend to “travel”.
Primer gives the powder something to grip, making your application last longer and stay where you damn well put it. The nice folks a Make Up Forever sent me a sample of their HD Microperfecting primer in Neutral the other day which is what I’ve been using and I highly recommend it, but historically my trusty old Rimmel Fix and Perfect primer has never steered me wrong and would probably work almost as well.
My only complaint with the Coastal Scents pigments was they don’t offer a really screaming yellow, which I’ve needed for a particular look for ages. I finally caved and bought Make Up Forever’s Pure Pigment #2, which is good, but not the Holy Grail yellow I’d been searching for, especially not for $20, which was nearly as much as I paid for the entire Coastal Scents 42 Color Double Stack Matte Palette ($24.95).
I am way, WAY gun shy about inexpensive palettes. Too many years of cheap Christmas sets with chalky colors meant for little girls playing dress up have left me with a fear and loathing of the multicolor pack, so I can’t tell you why I ordered this.
Maybe it was because the colors were matte –once you’re past the glitter and gloss stage, mattes are a much cooler look than shimmers which tend to look cheap even if they’re not–or maybe I was hoping for that Holy Grail Yellow (close but not quote) but I wasn’t expecting much.
I’m glad I was wrong.
This is by far the best big palette I’ve seen for under $100. It’s a great combination of neutrals and brights, plus some killer blushes and bronzers. The browns are almost exact duplicates of MAC mushroom and bark, which are great browns I use for eyebrow powders (apply it with an angled brush) and the pressed colors have the same ease of blending and almost the same intesity as the wonderful pure pigments.
Next week I’ll have a review of their mineral foundations and veils, plus I’ll reveal The Greatest Cosmetic Brush Ever. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So of course we had to write some. Here they are in no particular order.
walk, run, dance, do it
I cannot breathe through this veil
Time to go one, NOW!
five k or short walk
ok if we're stinky? ick
we will do our best
hipscarves will be on
raqs africa is the bomb
shimmy for a cure
Fierce flair warriors
African dance moves, double
head rolls, my neck hurts
United we dance
to entertain and support
where is my lipstick??
We sparkle and shine
With a shimmy and a shake
Have another Crunk!!!
we, many will dance,
from the heart for others' lives.
we will not quiet.
Stage is collapsing - OH NO!
Hey Y'all Look at us
And a bonus in Iambic Pentameter
To dance on stage with friends, it is a gift
Until the underpinnings start to shift
We'll arabesque and spin and pop and lock
And show the crowd how fun it is to rak
Please submit your own in the comments
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I know my profile says I love sewing, and I do. I like to make pillow, little crafty dodads, I make this rice bags that you can microwave and lay on your face for a sinus headache. I do not like costume alterations. Mostly because it stresses me out and I hunch my shoulders and then I have a headache.
But it is unavoidable. In my off the rack purchases, I have had one dress need nothing, one need shortening and two bedlahs that needed a small extension in the belt. I could custom order every costume. I admit my custom coin bedlah from Dahlal fit perfectly. There is just something about buying from a vendor. Touching it, seeing it, trying it on. I bought an awesome costume from Sadiia of Memphis.
It has a chiffon panel skirt alternating black and turquoise and the top (belt area) is ruched lycra. It is very flattering on my shape. I am usually a bedlah girl because skirt costumes accentuate my belly.
The skirt fits perfectly except for needing to be shortened which is part of life when you are 5'4" and I don't even count that as an alteration anymore.
Here is the bra laid out on my "work table".
The bra needed some work. The cups are a tad too small and need to be reoriented. I first decided I would attached a stretch black Turkish vest. I like my back covered. I used simplicity pattern 4484. I laid the pattern out on brown craft paper, traced it in pencil and then altered it to be more like what I wanted. I made it smaller because I intended it to stretch and I cut it shorter because I only wanted an inch below the bra. I made the vest. It was still too big. I cut down the pattern again. I made the vest. The fit was great but the arm holes were too big. I recut the pattern with smaller armholes. I made the vest. It fit!
Friday, July 10, 2009
"Middle Eastern Dance" bundle created by 'Azraa
Description: Blogs about belly dance
A bundle is a collection of blogs and websites hand-selected by your friend on a particular topic or interest. You can keep up to date with them all in one place by subscribing in Google Reader.
15 feeds included in this bundle (as of posting date)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Because Amazon and other vendors list the publication date of the English translation (1999), many people don't realize this book was actually published in 1935. It is a true academic treatise on Ancient Egyptian Dance.
The book started out really dry but if you can get past the academic writing style there are some very interesting descriptions of how and why dancing was done. I particularly liked the explanation of how movement was performed. One of the first descriptions of leg movement describes the Saidii style of kicking up one leg into a 90 degree angle as the weight bearing foot bounces off the heel.
The illustrations are reproductions of actual ancient art. The most difficult thing about reading this book is that the illustrations are all appended at the end of the book and you spend a lot of time flipping back and forth.
This book, even though thin, is by no means a light read. I had to sit down with great intent to make it all the way through. I think any dancer interested in the ancient history of the dance should add this book to his/her bookshelf.
So whats your inspirational belly dancing story. Leave a comment.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
This whole week-end was amazing. Mr. Sharif said he will come back to Knoxville and I am already looking forward to it.
I am CDO (which is just like OCD but in alphabetical order like it should be) and have lists about what lists I need to make but in the heat of the moment I still forget things. At a recent drumming workshop I forgot my drum!
I have drafted a ready made list that includes the most common things needed when performing as well as room for additions. The Performance Checklist is available online here. I suggest printing it and checking the boxes as you pack something. When packing up to leave your venue mark through each item so you make sure everything you brought comes home with you again.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to the Stanley Mobile Workstation or man box as we call it. When I bought mine it was only available at Home Depot online. It has two big compartments, little bins on top perfect for keeping handy things like lipstick and safety pins, and a great rotate out tray that I use for jewelry (originally designed for nails and screws). Unlike a suitcase it has large rugged wheels that can handle some of the fields, parking lots and other unorthodox locations we dancers drag our belongings.
Friday, June 5, 2009
October 21, 2007 12:41 AM EDT
Belly dancing is a pleasure
benefits too full to measure
shaking up the lady hips
just as fun as tango dips
bells and scarves with skirts a-twirling
makes a woman of a girling
if you like to spin and prance
try a little belly dance!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
To get 3 columns: http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blopspot.com
Background image: http://hotbliggityblog.com
And because it still wasn't perfect: http://bloggerbust.com
Dancers who wear a jingly jangly hip scarf to a workshop. I have experienced two kinds of workshop facilities. One is LARGE and that makes it hard for people in the back to hear, and the other is SMALL and this makes the acoustics horrible. Both of these problems are only exacerbated by the noise of a coin scarf.
I found a great post here about basic workshop etiquette.
What is your pet peeve when it comes to dance?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
My experience started off with checking in Friday evening. Everything was well organized and even though workshops were under way, there was someone to greet me and show me around.
Finally, the big show Saturday night. It did not disappoint. Some highlights included Mahasati Janan, Amir Haddad, Aziza Nawal and of course the featured instructors.
Ava & Karim Improv to end the show
Thursday, May 14, 2009
it doesn't have any content. It is just sort of a nice template."
That is correct. I have a blog and it is content free at this time. See
I love blogs. I read them. I have written one good one and one sporadic
one. One of the topics I read about regularly is dance. Dance workshop reviews, DVD reviews, a blog of video clips and a blog of ugly costumes.
I have been attending more shows and more workshops and it seemed like
a good idea to start my own blog similar to some of the ones I read. The
plan is to review workshops, shows, music and anything related to dance.
As well as, bring you some links and news from around the blogosphere.
I will be tweeting from The Black Orchid Danse Retreat this week-end (time permitting)
and when I get back I will blog reviews, highlights and replay some of
the best moments.
My blog previews on my web page and auto updates as a new note on my
facebook page so you don't have to go directly to my blog to keep up
with me. If you can't wait for the new post, you can always follow me