Stylised Monologue

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A Stylised Challenge! The Week Of Zero Make Up.

Hey! Remember me???

It's been a long time since I last put thumb to keyboard (the millennial version of pen to paper) on this blog.  But I'm back with a.... I wouldn't say vengeance, I'd say a lukewarm idea of a been-there-done-that series that I'm, well, not positive per say... hopeful is a better word, will make me remember this platform more often.

About a year ago, I bitched about having the world's biggest writer's block... well, it hasn't really gone away so this is attempt #1234527w85283o456qo8 (a lettered number because I'm still excelling at maths) to shake it. I think I'm going to give myself micro-challenges that will make no real impact to anyone's life but will make me feel falsely accomplished and will give me a topic to write about. (hey, remember when I wrote a whole rant about not being self-deprecative? I'll let you come to your own conclusions re: how that's turned out..). So now that I've shared my internal monologue with you all, let's move on to this week's challenge: for the next 7 days and nights, I vow to wear not a trace of maquillage (I'm a dick)(bye bye my entire male readership aka dad).

I never used to wear make up. When I was very young I would steal my mum's concealer, smother it all over my lips and pretend to be a corpse (what a cheerful child). Other than that my interest in cosmetics was non-existent until about my 15th year of life and even then it was just black kohl that I applied religiously on my lower waterline and never ever took off. 

Ugh! Look at this fresh faced 17year old arsehole with no trace of makeup and perfect spot-free skin.

*Cue uncontrollable crying for not being 17 anymore* 
Then I moved to England and I eventually started working in fashion which often meant that I was given loads of free cool makeup to play with. Naturally, I started putting it all on my face to the extent that I felt like I needed it to look ok/professional/pretty. I even wrote a column about makeup for a short while (granted, it was unconventional looks to say the least) 

But then, one beautiful day my skin was all like "STOOOOOOOOOP!!!!!!!". Typical rebel without a cause I ignored it... and that's when fair mistress Adult Acne decided to make her unfortunate appearance. I tried a million (like, 3) face washes that claimed to rid me of her (mistress acne) but I got NADA results. So, I went to the dermatologist. The arsehole just looked at me and told me there's nothing I can really do about it other than wait it out. Great, Thanks FOR NOTHING!! Apparently, it's all the mid (cough*late*cough) twenties hormones that go into baby crazy overdrive that lured lady Acne onto my cheek (weirdly, it's on only one side of my face... what does that mean?)

Daphne's right cheek, 28 : "Fertilise meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

Which leads us to the...

Being a little bit spotty is not really that big a deal, after my initial self-hatred when I first see myself in the mirror every morning, I totally forget about it and go about my day feeling as confident as always. 
BUT, As much as I want to be all cool and nonchalant about it all, there's this PRETTY cool event that I'm planning on attending in the beginning of June and I really really don't want to look like this for it.
Thankfully I am paying someone to photograph me in good lighting and retouch the shit out of my face

Soooo, very long story cut short. On the one hand: write more. On the other hand: "You may now kiss face".  Put them together.....



(cliffhanger) - till tomorrow! 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Stylised Guide to UNLIKELY beauty tutorials #1

It has occurred to me recently that the blogosphere is having a real beauty/make up moment. A quick glance at my bloglovin' newsfeed and you will come across the words 'dewy', 'pigmentation', 'long lasting' and 'chantecaille' (aka put another mortgage on your house because you NEED this blush that looks like every other blush you own) more times than you probably ever have up to this point.

I don't mean to sound bitter sarcastic, I get pretty bad FOMO(fear of missing out) and I'm not one to let a bandwagon pass me by.

So, I hereby present you my first foray into beauty blogging. *insert frantic clapping*

My inspiration was a Greek Blond Ambition whose latest beauty look was one of the most talked about of 2014. People tend to be dark haired in Greece so when someone finds the guts to embrace the Blond Bombshell look, they need to be celebrated (or ridiculed)

So let's begin. I solemnly swear to provide tips, photographic guidance and even a GIF to help you through every step of the way:

The Stylised Guide to UNLIKELY beauty tutorials  #1

Foundation! For this look, I'd suggest you opt for a base a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Foundation shades tend to pull orange on paler skins which is exactly what we want for this terracota tinted babe!

real life demonstration of foundation application while looking super miserable
So here I am looking pretty tangerine-y! Next, add some bronzer for that extra under-the-sun hue

Bronzing like a pro

So now that we look like we're the sun's number one mistress, let's focus on the damage it may have caused. The next step is of great importance and cannot be missed. If you are not aware of what conturing is, it's basically a technique with which you shade targeted areas of your face in order to carve out the appearance of cheekbones, high temples and teeny noses. Or, for the more knowledgable amongst you, the secret to looking like a Kardashian. Kevyn Aucoin created a great sculpting powder which he produced for the lacking-in-cheekbone masses in exchange for our left kidney. I was lucky enough to get my hands on it with both kidneys still intact and to be honest, if you, like myself, identify with the full moon shaped faces, I'd encourage you to take the plunge and just drink less!

In this tutorial, however, we're not going to use the sculpting powder to conform to glossy beauty standards. Au contrair, we'll use it to create prominent under eye bags, frown lines, side-of-the-mouth wrinkles and crows feet... hard earned signs of restlessness, captivity and plotting. 

Look guys! I created a GIF! I'm practically techy *googles the meaning of: hard drive*
We're nearly at the end of the tutorial but we've only just started dipping our toes in the revelation of our inspo's identity!  I never said this iconic beauty was a lady, so get your eyeliners out, we're drawing on a beard! 

concentraaaation can be fuuuuuuuun

so come with me to concentrated laaaaaaaand (which song have I just paraphrased? brownie points if you get it!)
Make sure to get the ombre effect right! Use a brown eyeliner towards the bottom of your chin, then get a white (or flesh coloured one) and go in for the sparse white hairs here and there.

Beard in place and now all that's left is to ADD A BLOND, BOBBED WIG (with which I can't assist you, I'm awful at doing hair) AAAAAAAAND WE'RE DONE.......

DRUMROLL, (as per usual...)


Could you STILL be wondering who it is that I'm channeling? I mean, I understand if you're not Greek...
But if you are? Καμ όν γκάηζ!

The End. 

P.s If you recreate this look please tag me on instagram with the hashtag #ChristodoulosKsirosStD (what! that's what all the other beauty bloggers say) 


Monday, 9 March 2015

The Stylised Guide to Writer's Block #TheStruggleIsReal

this is one of the first 'put letters together to make words' lessons every Greek child receives. It's about a bunch of kids eating and exchanging either apples and honey or apples sweet as honey, the context is unclear. (as someone allergic to the fruit that keeps doctors away, I was significantly uninterested in this.).

In the interest of creating a more engaging first paragraph, I tried to dig up memories of the moment I knew that writing was the one for me. Alas, I couldn't, but judging by this childhood photo in which I seem to be smoking a pen whilst posing semi provocatively (wtf!), it took me a good amount of years to figure out the purpose of what would become the tools of my trade (fun fact: I don't actually think I own any pens nowdays... )

What I can vaguely recall, is penning melodramatic diary entries about boys I liked but was too shy to talk to(that my mum always sneakily read and was never discreet about), writing songs of deep heart ache and unrequited love filtered through 'modern' technology (I am still baffled by the lack of commercial success my 1998 tune 'Please leave your message after the beep' received) and, miraculously, winning a couple of writing competitions. Typing out thoughts and sandwiching them between metaphors and allegories became one of my favourite things to do to celebrate happiness, reason with embarrassment and cope with sadness, so it didn't take much for me to come up with a life plan that would eventually leave me with the professional title of 'Writer' (I have since realised you usually end up adding the words 'freelance', 'poor' and 'struggling' to it).

Wait, what writers actually think they're analysing the theory of relativity? I personally feel very betrayed when my beloved letters join the dark side and start hanging out with the enemy that is numbers. I digress, plus this meme(is it a meme?) is as dated as trying to reach your love interest on their landline answering machine. I should probably edit it out but I won't because recently, my frame of mind feels painfully represented by the last image (only swap solitaire with candy crush and also give me tips on to how get through level 271). 

If we were to judge society purely based on films and novels, the majority of people would be writers tormented by their Writer's blocks(and/or overall lack of success). "Write about what you know" is one of the first things people tell you to do thus encouraging you to become a prime contributor to the already packed arena of story lines about strained scribblers unable to shake their creative blocks. Everyone, and I mean everyone, all the writer's that inspire and aspire you have most likely had, at some point in their careers, battled with periods of infertile minds and dried up creativity. Maya Angelou, Charles Bukowski, Earnest Hemingway and most importantly, The Desert Rose himself(Sting!) have all been vocal about it, gifting the world beautiful, turn-into-tattoo-worthy quotes that ultimately can be summarised as: just keep writing! (This is what I'm also about to -albeit less eloquently- tell you to do) .   

What triggers your fall into a pit of wordlessness can vary from putting yourself under pressure, to just being uninspired, to experiencing loss and grief, to (if you're Sting) overdoing it with the tantric sex. 

I won't get too much into it, but my personal block was triggered by grief (not tantric sex, unfortunately!). And while I expected words to fall off my fingertips and onto blank pages, painting pictures of comfort, they didn't. At all. Instead, they recoiled and hid, leaving me unable to reach them.

Let me give you an insight on what has happen instead:

a) I have watched a trillion youtube videos on how to perfect the perfect ( perfect the perfect, what a displeasing repetition... remind me to thesaurus this) cat eye.

b) I have attempted to transfer my newfound knowledge onto my face

c) I have failed

d) I downloaded netflix

e) and then watched all of netflix

f) I got my boyfriend into Gilmore Girls and felt deserving of a feminist award

g) I then beat myself up for all the above (especially f since boyfriend got too attached to Lorelai and couldn't bare her transition into Sarah from Parenthood)

h) I considered showering/bathing, eating and reading as possible motivators and word releasers

i) So I ate in the shower/bath while reading

j) I sat in front of my screen, determined to write up my next pitch only to find myself doing things like this instead:

k) I then obviously proceed to laugh hysterically for the next hour or so

l) I felt deep unshakable despair

I'm aware that by this point, you may be looking at me for answers and solutions and since I am big on sharing (despite being of the sibling status that always receives unfair bad rep when it comes to sharing) here's some things I have found to work. (Although keep in mind that we're on this journey together, as I can hardly claim to have shaken this block myself)
  • Keep writing, even if you think you suck, even if you think you can't, even if it takes a day to finish a sentence, even if you're still not satisfied with it
  • But! don't push yourself to write about things that break you. If your block is grief related and you don't find that writing about loss gives you a sense of closure or catharsis, if it feels more like taking a stab at your guts than being draped in a blanket of sweet melancholia, then write about something else. If you can't think of anything else, write about being unable to think of anything else,  you may produce a mediocre blogpost titled 'The Stylised Guide Writer's Block" or something only slightly better called 8 1/2 
  • Read, read, read things that inspire you
  • Take comfort in the fact that, similarly to the occasional penile flaccidity, it happens to everyone and it's not a big deal. (although writer's block is honestly not a big deal)
  • Being rusty is just that, you are rusty at writing, you are not unable of it. Chip at the rust, it will eventually go away and you will produce something you're proud of again (I can't yet attest to this but I remain hopeful) 
  • If you feel dreadful, talk to someone, then write about THAT (coming soon to a blogspot near you). 
  • Know this behavioural cycle: (which I am shamelessly reciting like a pro after only one session of CBT) "How you feel is irrelevant to what is happening." Feeling like you'll never be able to make your words dance to your beat, doesn't mean you actually won't be able to do it, it doesn't even mean that you can't do it in the exact moment you're feeling that way. (I think CBT basically teaches you to ignore your feelings, but I don't know, that's a subject for another day)
  • Persist, persist, persist 
If all else fails, you can binge watch old episodes of Gilmore Girls, laugh sardonically when Rory gets told that her writing is not good enough to be a top journalist and then throw cold pizza at the TV while shouting 'WHATEVER, BITCH! THAT'S SO UNFAIR' when she does get a job reporting for Obama's election campaign.

My personal goal is to force myself to create more content until the rust is all gone. I think this may be the platform I choose to burden with it.

P.S I'll give you some insider info: I have been trying to write this average post for over a month now. It has become some sort of a weird block / goal for me and I've been thinking that if I ever manage to put one letter in front of the other and finish it, I may be able to get the ball rolling again. So here's hoping that this has broken the seal... 

Monday, 16 June 2014

(I forgot about) FATHER'S DAY

So you know how yesterday was quite a big day for the ones amongst you that have fathered an offspring? yeah...

... you all knew about it, including this guy:

...who threw plenty of reminders my way...

free drinks? final draft? fone daphne(sp)? admittedly, it could be anything!

but still... it all went over my head.

Until this morning when it dawned on me... F. D. .... FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!

OH CRAP!!!!!!!!!!

And since my "OH CRAP" face has evolved into a significantly less adorable version of the photo above, changing this mood around may require some effort...

No, dad, you listen now, imma make it up to you, promise!!

But lets start with some reverse guilt tripping first...

Hey Dad, remember that time you and mum happily posed in Venice while I was being eaten alive by pigeons?

yeah.... that wasn't very nice now was it?!

But it's ok, I survived what could have forever been remembered as the poor man's Hitchcock disaster and can thus move on to wish you a Happy Father's Day which you wholeheartedly deserve for all the reasons I am about to list below (as well as provide photographic evidence for)





I bet you loved it when people said I looked just like you...

  • AND THANK YOU FOR NOT LETTING ME STARVE (, despite aforementioned hideousness )


I was chubbahontas...

...although I am NOT thankful about the way your knack for accessorising translated in children-wear  ...

Baby Dyke Economou
 thank you for capturing this fetching ensemble on camera and an even bigger thank you to the little girl next to me, for providing some obvious contrast between normal VS overstuffed piglet in a striped onesie and pink tights...
The meanest kagouras around

  • THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME HOW TO POSE LIKE A PRO area in which you admittedly had some pretty strong in-house competition...

can you say awkward phase?

  • "THANK YOU" FOR PASSING DOWN YOUR EYEBROWS (along with most of your face...)



'till next year ...