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have you ever noticed…

21 Jan

220px-Bowiegnome2

van halen 1984

Who wants to be my smokin’ angel?

how very pinteresting

19 Jan

That’s right flogstars, I’m a Pinhead now.

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zzzzzzzzip

Check out my ‘online portfolio’ at http://www.pinterest.com/imogenmaxwell/makeup-by-me/ …and let me know if you’re on there, too, so I can sniff around your pinboards in return!

I didn’t give a damn about Pinterest until WordPress (hosts of this here flog) told me that if you’re blogging – or in my case, flogging – about subject matter with a highly visual element, such as makeup… then Pinterest is potentially one of your biggest referrers.

That means if I have pretty pictures of my makeup work on Pinterest, and people click on them… they’ll land right here.  More site traffic = faster track to world domination.  So now you can have a wee squizz at my finished works all in one place, if you so fancy.  Quicker for when you’re telling someone about how brilliant I am, for example.

Pinterest, for those who don’t know, is an online pinboard where you can store and share pictures and ideas.  Think… mood-boards for weddings, home decoration ideas…

does the carpet match the curtains?

does the carpet match the curtains?

…recipes, crafts, architecture, nail art, tattoos, photography… you get the gist.

I started an account a while ago with the thought that it would come in handy for college somehow, but only really started using it the last week or two.  I just didn’t really get it before, but it’s fun and there’s loads of cool shit on there.

You can have as many pinboards on the go as you like, and I’m finding it handy for organising the pics/ideas that I use for inspiration in my makeup world.  Plus, it’s yet another medium through which to obsess about David Bowie.

You are just perfection.

You are just perfection.

Speaking of inspiration.  My own creative river hasn’t been flowing for a while now and I’m starting to get worried.

Makeup Is Art by Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen

Makeup Is Art by Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen

I just bought this book on Amazon to try and rectify the situation.  Do any of you out there have a favourite art/design/makeup book that you refer to during ideas-droughts?  Let me know!

And so to bed.  Tomorrow brings with it my first photo shoot of this year, and I’ve got brushes to clean!

Here’s Mick and the boys twerking in sailor suits to send you off to the land of nod.  Sweet dreams, flogstars XX

a journey through space and time

9 Jan

It was weird being back.  People who have lived away from home for more than a year or two will know what that’s like.  But while a lot of people have travelled, not many have stayed away.

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I didn’t mean to stay away, it just kind of happened.

Leaving, and then being away, were really hard at first, then ‘travelling’ turned somehow into ‘working’ and ‘routine normal life’, and I made real friends, and put down tentative roots, and being here was easier than going back.

On my first visit back to Adelaide, after a year away, I brought my makeup kit back to Scotland, so you might say things got kind of serious at that stage.  However, now at the 6-years-away mark, I’m still on PAYG mobile.

It’s a surprisingly complicated thing to talk about; every time in the last six years, when I’ve been asked by an Adelaide friend or relative when I’m coming home, I have to pick my words so carefully.  I like it here, in Scotland.  Which is not to say that I don’t like Adelaide, and that I don’t want to be there, or even that I like Scotland more than Adelaide.  Shock!

What it feels like I am being asked, really, is why we – Adelaide, your friends, your family – aren’t enough to keep you here?  What’s so good about Scotland, with its shitty weather and tiny wages and the fact that it’s not Australia?  It feels like people take it personally, and are offended, that I choose to live in a damp, malnourished bog instead of in their golden land of milk and honey.

As you can see, I also find it impossible to talk about this without slagging both Scotland and Australia off.

It’s not that Scotland is better than Australia or Australia is better than Scotland… it’s all about me, flogstars.  I’m better in Scotland.  I love it here, and I love it in Australia as well, in fact I am very jealous of everyone who lives in Australia, casually BBQing on the beach without a care in the world apart from the poisonous wildlife winding around their ankles.

Here in Scotland I am regarded as a brave but foolhardy soul, choosing to live thousands of miles away from all that is familiar, braced against year-round 90mph winds and driving rain.  The Scots think that if I can put up with all of that, then I must really love them and their country, and right there’s an easy brownie point.  People like to be liked.

There’s something about living somewhere you’re not from.  That concept is plenty of people’s idea of hell, from what I understand.  But it’s great.  As I’m not from here, I can excuse myself from all that is wrong with the place (wasn’t me!), and equally enjoy all that is right with it.  That line of argument weakens with every election that comes and goes, and I think will be completely void after September’s independence referendum.  But anyway, because I have (for now) passed up my right to live and work in Australia, land of sunshine and reliable yearly dominance of World’s Most Liveable Cities lists, my decision to live in Scotland is conscious, deliberate, and dedicated.

So in that way, when a Scottish person asks me, goggle-eyed with disbelief, why I choose to live in Glasgow instead of Adelaide, it’s easier to answer than when I’m asked the same question by an Adelaide friend or relative.  I’m complimenting them and their country, and covertly insulting my own, aren’t I?

Visits back are like re-entering a house that was abandonned mid-morning, years ago.  Evidence of who I was and what I was doing are everywhere, cluttered in boxes at my parents’ house, spoken in questions from loosely-in-touch friends.

While my Australian life has laid dormant for six years now, life in Australia has obviously not.  People have children, different jobs, different relationships with me and each other, different priorities.  When I am plopped right into the middle of it, it is a perhaps eerie reminder for all of us, what it was like – what we were like, what life was like – six years ago when I was still there.  Evidence of the passage of time is often unsettling and seldom welcome, I find.  Maybe I am imagining it, but I can’t be the only one who is terrified at how fast six years can just … go.

It is easy enough, in essence, to pick up where you leave off with most people.  Some (MUM) might say that I am rubbish at keeping in touch.  Most of you reading this are probably real life friends/relatives/acquaintances, and got here through a link on my Facebook.  If we do know each other, maybe we chat online from time to time, maybe you’re one of the tiny handful that I email or post things to or text when I’m pissed.

Maybe you just watch me and we don’t really talk.  The Imogen Maxwell Experience has become quite the multi-media spectacular.  If Facebook, Instagram or this flog are the main picture you have of me, the jetlagged, disorientated, short-tempered, teary and easily startled version before you during my visit to Adelaide must have been somewhat of a letdown.

So how was my Christmas, did I have a good time back home?  What are visits to Adelaide like for me, after 6 years away?  At risk of sounding even more defensive and self-pitying than I already do, they’re bloody hard going.  I’m too jetlagged to try and think of another way to say ’emotional rollercoaster’.

Seeing my friends and family, the perfect weather, the foooooood… it was all wonderful.  Overwhelmingly so.  Yet I felt under a huge amount of pressure.  I felt guilty, and resentful of that guilt.  I had nowhere near as much time or energy as I would have liked.  Feeling these simultaneous extreme highs and lows is exhausting, travelling to the other side of the world to jump straight into almost constant socialising is exhausting, especially after months without a day off.  Being plucked from the comfort of routine and dropped blinking into an opposite climate and schedule, waking up starving hungry at 4am unable to get back to sleep, ready to lie down on the ground and die from fatigue by 3pm, trying hard to slap on your game face while your nearest and dearest just don’t understand why you can’t just smile and enjoy yourself and be grateful.  Feeling misunderstood.  All the tiny details of your former daily life that are familiar and unrecogniseable at the same time.

I started this post to try and articulate what it’s like, these visits home.  I thought writing this post would sort out in my own mind, and help me to explain better to people who don’t know what jetlag feels like, who can’t understand why – when they ask me if I enjoyed my 2 weeks back home – my answer is “…yes?…”  The same people who don’t understand how it is I can be away from my friends and family for so long.

Although I now think it’s really me who needs those answers.

Happy birthday, David Bowie

8 Jan

Just over two weeks ago, I flew out of Glasgow, this dear green place.  After what felt like one million hours in transit, I arrived in Adelaide and spent the festive season eating real fruit and vegetables (none of your painted rocks that you call ‘avocado’, ‘cherry’ and ‘mango’, Scotland), marvelling at the healthy and attractive Australians just wandering about the place all tall and tanned, and running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to catch up with every single person that I have ever met.

It was a pretty big two weeks, flogstars.  I arrived back in Glasgow less than 24 hours ago.  What would be hilarious, is if I tried RIGHT NOW to write a post that made sense.

It’s been an impressively productive 24 hours, mind you – I’ve done a load of washing, had my tranny-nails removed and replaced with a dark shimmery purple Shellac job…

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real reason I didn’t flog while away – I couldn’t type

…attended to some overdue facial threading (everything really DOES grow faster in the warm weather), been to the supermarket twice, went for a hour-long walk, done a shift at the Qwik-E-Mart, and slept for 10 hours uninterrupted.  I’ve also already made serious inroads into plans for my next holiday.

Australia feels like a distant dream already.  Luckily I took a billion pictures so I know it did actually happen.

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so trusting!

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So, January…  2014!  This bleakest of months, where we are encouraged to take a good, hard, critical look at our lives, dwell on our various failures and inadequacies, and make vague/unrealistic resolutions to BE MORE BETTER.  I’ve been asked a few times what my new year’s resolutions are, but as I’ve never really been into deadlines, I haven’t come up with any yet.

Also, why mess with perfection?  I’m still basking in the glory of successfully adhering to last year’s, which were “spend more time and money on makeup”, “buy (minimum) 1 x CD per payday” and “take every possible opportunity to see a live band.”

I slipped up on that last one when I didn’t go see The Who, but as I am so good at buying 79p classic rock albums second hand on Amazon, this wasn’t such a huge problem.  Sometimes – if seeing The Who involves spending money you don’t have – you have to let it slide, flip through your millions of CDs, and listen at home instead.  Ah, home.  Where Keith Moon is still alive, beer doesn’t cost £6/pint, and there’s no queue for the toilet.  Rock n’ roll.

There are important life-improvement lessons for all of us in that anecdote, flogstars.  Know what you want!  Be specific!  Be realistic!  Cultivate and nurture interests that make you happy!  Be #YOLO, but not so YOLO that you can’t pay the rent!  Be prepared!  I’ve got it all SO figured out.  Have a read of this Vice article about how to be less broke in 2014 – while I suspect that the guy who wrote it probably wouldn’t like me much, he does make some constructive points.

Despite being on an extremely winning life formula, I can admit that I need to be better at keeping in touch with friends and family back in the land of Oz.  I have no intention of swearing less, drinking less, eating less, playing with my smartphone less, or partaking in any of the other most popular ways to be miserable, so “install Skype” it is.Here’s Har Mar Superstar, that’s right, TWO songs in one flog post.  Lose control with me.

See you on the other side of jetlag, lovers!  xX

Happy New Year

3 Jan

Hope your festive season has been safe and fun, flogstars, and that each of you have gained a minimum of 2kg from all the good food.

me, basically

me, basically

Here’s to a fucking massive 2014, may your wildest dreams come true!

so long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbyeeee

19 Dec

That’s me off to Oz, flogstars.  At time of scheduled publication, Chloe and I will be kicking back in the business lounge at the Glasgow International Airport, supping down free cocktails and eating all the free cheese and chocolate like the high-rollers we are.

See you again in January.  Maybe I’ll flog while I’m away, maybe I won’t.

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Don’t miss me too much 🙂

A very good tune for the beginner air-drummer.  Enjoy!  And seriously, don’t you forget about me.
xX

return of the tranny-mani

17 Dec

Admire my Santa-claws.

I accidentally scratched the cashier at the supermarket on the way home

I accidentally scratched the cashier at the supermarket on the way home

After tomorrow, I’ve got three weeks off from my Qwik-e-Mart job, so thought I’d get my bitch slappers buffed and primed for the festive season down under.  Anyone who has a job that involves doing stuff or touching things knows that it can leave one’s mitts looking less than glamorous.

before

before

I kind of wish I’d packed before getting my nails done.  Also typing this is really hard.

Speaking of packing, I’m starting to think about panicking about it.  I just feel… so organised.  In that peaceful way you do when you find yourself with an unexpected free day, before realising at 5pm you’ve missed a christening or something.  (Just kidding, friends with kids.  I might have drunk a 12-pack at a baby shower once but I’ve never missed a christening).

deer me

deer me

I have gifts for the immediate family under control, all my laundry is done… apart from the ongoing problem of not knowing what to actually wear in forty degree heat, I’ve done everything I can.  Super organised.

Not really sure what/how much makeup to bring either.  Just the basics?  LOL.  I’ve got the tiger facepaint in already, and made a shortlist of the top five foundations.  I reorganised my makeup the other day actually and geez I’ve got a lot.  A collection spanning many many years.  

Chloe sometimes looks at me rummaging through it all and says “don’t pretend you know what you’re looking for in there” – referring in particular to a massive glass salad bowl I have, filled with identical MAC lipsticks in their beautiful black matte tubes.  But I do know them all, I do.  Their names, their finishes, their colours.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to call a bunch of lipsticks ‘my babies’ or anything vom-worthy like that… but my love is real.

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Anyway I really had better make a start on this packing business. Here is a CD I won’t be listening to while I do it:

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As you can see I really made an effort to get into the spirit of things, but if I still hate carols even when they’re sung by the greats of classic rock and metal, then it’s just not going to happen.

Hope your pre-festivus run up is fun and stress-free etc.  Don’t forget to call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and give some money to homeless charity too, just so it’s not all about unimportant things like whether the tinsel clashes with the baubles or whatever.

Here’s The Darkness with Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End), because this one’s not so bad.

hair!

13 Dec

I did a makeup, y’all.  Three makeups actually, but so far I only have photos of two.

This was for hair magician Stephen Doran of Vidal Sassoon in Prince’s Square (Glasgow).
Photographs by Bryce Lowrie.
Models are Yasmin Coll and Darnell Starks Jr.

Check their foxiness:

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It was loads of fun working with all of them 🙂

Speaking of having amazing hair and being extraordinarily attractive, here are sexy noo yoikas Station with their bangin’ tune Everything.  Seriously, I feel sorry for you if you don’t click on the music clips I embed to pleasure each and every one of you aurally.  You’d be missing out.

This song is one of a very small handful that I can always rely on to put me in a good mood, no matter what.  It was also my go-to ‘sound check’ track for whenever I moved the speakers 1mm in any direction at the backpackers, and would need to put something on at the highest volume just to make sure they were working OK.

So press play, and enjoy the next 4:40 of your life, kids.  You’re welcome.

today’s WTF brought to you by…

11 Dec

this silicone practice finger for nail art.

um.

um.

That is all.

No song either.  Just kidding, here’s Bonj.

cool shit, second edition

9 Dec

Or, a love letter to Irish makeup artist Maria Malone. (www.instagram.com/mariamalone1122 – twitter @mersartmakeup)

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Bob Marley

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Robert DeNiro

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Elvis

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Jack Nicholson

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Marlon Brando

HELL’S BELLS, that is some amazing face painting right there.  Mad skillz, Maria (I really hope that is your name, I just kind of assumed from your Instagram name…) – I want to be like you when I grow up *Admiration and disbelief face*

Keep practicing, Imo.  One day, grasshopper.

In other news, I’m in love.

no, not with myself.  OK, I am, a little bit.

no, not with myself. OK, maybe I am, a little bit.

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This guy!  My new gadget, my first DSLR.  Scream!  Regular readers will be aware that I have a pretty jizz-worthy collection of photographic hardware… all of it analogue, except my Samsung smartphone and the new Nikon.

Where the love affair with analogue photography got serious; the first camera I owned that wasn't disposable. My NIkon FG, a gift from my parents on my 19th birthday.  Sexual 70s strap came along years later, pilfered from my Olympus OM10

Where the love affair with 35mm film photography got serious; the first camera I owned that wasn’t disposable. My NIkon FG, a gift from my parents on my 19th birthday. Sexual 70s strap came along years later, pilfered from my Olympus OM10

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THE Fisheye. Watermelon print, cos that’s how we roll here at imogenmaxwell.com
get your own (but not watermelon, stop copying me, also they were limited edition and they don’t sell them any more, HA) from Urban Outfitters in the UK, or http://www.lomography.com for all you international flogstars

Anyway, welcome to the Imosphere, Nikon D3200, I look forward to making you my bitch.

And Dad, if you’re reading this and cross-checking Amazon for roughly how much I spunked on this, can I just say most of my student loan went on clearing my overdraft and credit card, and paying my rent right up until March.  And I NEEEEEEEDED it, amazing photos for my professional portfolio aren’t going to take themselves! 😉

You might think I’m about to sign off with Girls On Film, but I have an irrational hate for Duran Duran.  I would elaborate if I could, but I really can’t explain it.  So instead, not photography related, also not my usual 80s hair/glam metal crapfest, but glorious nonetheless.  Here are the Troggs, With A Girl Like You, cos it’s my favourite love song today.


Sweet dreams, lovers Xx

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