When I was sixteen, I went through a phase where I wasn’t into makeup or looking pretty. I felt unattractive compared to all of my friends, I was desperately insecure. My way of dealing with it was to rebel against my mother’s wishes; go out all night, dress in jeans and teeshirts like a dude, and not wear makeup much at all. I remember stumbling home late one night, drunk and unhappy with myself. I wound up zoning out to BET on Jazz, and I became mesmerized by Josephine Baker.

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Wow. The high trill of her voice, the flickering film quality, and her absolute luminescence fascinated me. I still remember it so clearly. She was on a boat, singing a song called ‘Zou Zou’ and her smile was utterly captivating. I printed a picture of her and pinned it up next to my bedroom mirror. She inspired me to start getting my eyebrows done, and I started playing with eye shadow. Every now and then I like to have a Josephine Baker day. I appropriate her look by rocking some big chandelier earrings, rimming my eyes with Physician’s Formula Eye Definer Felt-Tip Eye Marker and combining the look with my new favorite dark lip gloss, Milani’s Sugar Sugar. Both of these products are available at Walgreens and CVS, and cost less than $10. The Physician’s Formula was my first foray into the exciting world of felt-tip eyeliners, and I have to admit, I’m disappointed. While it certainly does draw a thick, liquid liner looking line, the felt tip itself is terribly hard on my sensitive lids. I tend to avoid using the tip, and instead I swipe the side of it along my eyes kind of like a calligraphy pen. What I really need to do is seize control of my notoriously shaky hands and finally master the fine art of liquid liner. I always envy that perfect cat’s eye look.

As for Milani, I have so many of their eye and lip products, that you can expect a much longer post on them in the near future.

Sadly, the only available video I could find of La Baker was one of her last.

Note that she had a blinged-out microphone decades before Mariah did. Even in Josephine Baker’s twilight years, she still had it. She burned bright to the end. I want to grow old like that, still making myself look fabulous well into my eighties.

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