Everyone who knows me knows NOT to ask me my age. I am the first one to say, I will lie about the actual number ‘til the cows come home. I don’t look my age and I certainly don’t act my age…except for the occasional ache, pain and doctor appointment. With that being said, I grew up a huge fan of everything that pushed the limits of my generation. The makeup, the big hair, the fashions, the movies, the music. It was then that I fell in love with the “punk rock” movement. I wasn’t a huge follower of all the music that was out and evolving at that time, but I vividly remember listening to hits by The Clash, The Ramones, David Bowie (RIP), Adam Ant, Modern English and more. It was the clothing and all that went with it that drew me in. The fashions were awesome! I loved my leather jackets and miniskirts, lace tops, tight jeans, colored high heels with torn fishnet stockings, old rock t-shirts and heavy boots. The accessories of studded bracelets and chokers, some bright hair done in a unique non-mainstream style were beyond everything that I loved. It SCREAMED rebellious. My problem? My mother hated all of it. So I ended up wearing your basic honor student outfit then changed into a neon top, put on mega lipstick, melted on heavy black eyeliner and put in studded earrings before school. Then, like many other inverted rebels, I’d wash it off on the bus on the way home. I was bad and I liked it. Oh, those were the days….
Let’s fast forward to today. Even at this “stage” of my life, I like to be a little edgy. It keeps me feeling young. Although I think I am past the fishnets, tutus, leather pants (kind of), Doc Marten days—but never say never—I still like to keep my closet ranging from comfortably chic to eclectic nouveau. This past summer, I discovered a fun gathering of people who were different from many others I have ever known. They live for the day. They find joy in their own interests no matter how out there some may seem. They do what they have to do during the day but at night, they do what they want. And these friends? Well, they all have a mutual love & common bond: they love the art of spinning and performing with fire. And their fashions? I am pretty sure aren’t a top priority, but the variety each person has is striking! It is a combination of punk, Goth, individualism, comfort and performance…all in one. I will be honest, when I first met them, I was in awe. Not just at their outlook on life, attitudes towards tomorrow AND their performance talents but in their thoughts about what was awesome! They find happiness in the here and now. It is a no-judgement zone to be free with yourself and among your friends. To say the least? I felt at home. I felt I could be the “me” that had always wanted to be. And that was empowering!
After getting totally enthralled with my new adventures, I fell hook, line and sinker for my newly found interests and “freedom”. I went out and invested in an LED hula-hoop and two short fire staffs so I could play outside with fire with my friends during the summer and keep fit inside hooping when it was cold during the winter. I decided to bring out that edgy side of me that was suppressed as a teen. Managing a few days a week at the tattoo shop, you would think that should have allowed me to be expressive on the outside. Especially since that industry is a no-judgement zone as well. Sure, I could have gone wild with all types and styles of makeup, fashion and accessories that weren’t what a mature, “age unspecified” adult would normally wear. I did a little bit, but I was still afraid of being discriminated against with a “WTF?” conviction. Trust me, there could be outfits that might get me a second look from the grocery shopping moms at the market on a Monday morning. But you know what? With my newly discovered self-confidence, I didn’t care. That’s one thing my age does give me: GUTS. If I am going to take things one day at a time, I sure as hell want to do them my way.
My first mission was to embrace the clothes and makeup that were outside my norm. A little more edgy than usual. Darker, sexier, borderline “goth”. I absolutely love the dictionary.com’s definition of Goth: “a person of no refinement; barbarian”. SERIOUSLY? When does a tightly-laced corset and thigh-high boots make you a barbarian? Ugh. Listen, I will never deny I like my leather, I like my lace, and I swoon over rhinestones and studs. I like piercings, heavy necklaces and endless bracelets. I embrace tattoos, pride myself on stunning make-up and like my BOLD auburn hair that stands out in a crowd. If that makes me unrefined then I challenge Webster to a cup of tea and a “special” brownie to justify it!
You may be wondering: Is she going to change her ways? Is she diving off the deep end? No. Oh hell no! You can’t change me. I’m one of a kind, that’s for sure! I have always been and will continue to be a bit brassy, super sassy and fierce beyond flames. But can I embrace a slightly side of me that never really showed too much before that’s been laying kind of dormant? Oh HELL YEAH! And I plan on doing just that.
Let’s talk about my inner-goth, shall we? Black leather coats, combat boots, studded bracelets and choker necklaces. Rock t-shirts, big hoop earrings, bold makeup and wild hair. All of these things have ALWAYS been a part of me, but the older and more knowledgeable I become, the more I realize I can pull all of this off in a tasteful yet saucy, spunky, gritty way! Want to know how a mid-life crisis MILF goes “goth”? Check out some of the items that are helping me with that:
NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Transylvania” – Right now, matte is all the rage. And I can see why. That smooth, sultry look that you can only get from flat, matte formulas are hot especially with eye shadows, lips and nails. I have always been a high gloss person till I tried this product. What’s great is they come so any colors. Dark colors too! REALLY DARK, like “Transylvania”. It is not a black because it has just a hint of purple in it. But when I put it on thick, it is deep! The matte formula stays bold longer and also doesn’t dry out my lips. A formula and color I love with a price that’s even better! Perfect. Ulta, $5.99
Too Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara – When mascaras all jumped on board with the little comb like plastic brushes, I thought I was in heaven. Something that coated each individual lash, keeping them separated. What we all want, right? Well…… eh, not so much. Even though I still used the random mascaras that I bought that promised me long, lush lashes I found myself going back to the old ways with a mascara that had a fluffy brush. The problem was that they were not easy to find anymore. And to look a little edgy, a little out there, you need thick, bold, black lashes. Coat after coat. THEN, I had a come-to-makeup-mecca moment. I went to one of my favorite makeup stores and got a free with purchase sample of Too Faced’s best products. In it was their epic eyeshadow primer, a cool as hell eye liner (we will get back to that), and a mini tube of the Better Than Sex mascara. When I first tried it, I wasn’t a big fan. I thought it was clumpy, thick and got everywhere. Blech. BUT then I realized if I gave the brush a quick wipe on a tissue, the amount left was perfect! I am still using the trial tube, but I went out and got a full sized tube. It isn’t waterproof but it is SUPER long wearing, has a rich color, helps curl the lashes and keeps them full and luscious. I can’t see me trying any other mascara for stunning, rocking lashes like these! Ulta, $22.00
Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eye Liner in “Perfect Black” – Yes, this was also included in my little Too Faced goodie bag that was the gift with purchase at Ulta. I have a lot of favorite liners. Some are expensive and some are super cheap. This one, I have to say, is a little on the pricey side. But oh man, does it work! First, it needs to be sharpened which I love because I want my liners to have a tight, sharp line. Second, it is a gel-like formula so it goes on smooth without “skipping”. And lastly, it has a smudger on the opposite end if you want that smoky-eye look. This liner doesn’t move AT ALL! Even on my bottom waterline, it’s still there by day’s end. And when I want a deep, Goth look for my upper lid I just smudge it up and out for a smoldering look that will look all day and night. The pencil is a little longer than drugstore liners so you do get a bit more than usual. Ulta, $18.00
Dark Nail Polish – Everyone tends to think black when thinking Goth colors, but when it comes to nails, you can do a variety of things. Today I am wearing flat white polish with black French tips. You can also do black polish with red hearts stenciled in. I like to wear black polish with a high silver sparkle on my ring finger. Be dark but different with you polish choices. You can still be stylish and chic without being a bubblegum pink perky. I like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in “Black to Black”, “Cinni-Snap” and “Grape Shifter”. Ulta, $4.99
Accessories – It is easy to find black tops, jeans, jackets, corsets in leather and lace but accessorizing your edgy outfits might be more of a challenge. I do a lot of shopping on EBay and Etsy when I am looking for something specific. There are also other specialty stores that you can browse through. I think when it comes to the general look I am seeking, I tend to look at chokers for necklaces; leather and spikes for bracelets and purses; big hoops or straight lines for earrings and anything else out of the ordinary. Don’t hesitate to look in thrift stores and consignment shops when it comes to finding unusual pieces. Someone else’s junk just might be your unique treasure. Look for these items and more at stores like Dolls Kill (dollskill.com), Rebel Circus (rebelcircus.com), and franchises like Plato’s Closet (my local one is Plato’s Closet in Schenectady NY). Rebel Circus and Plato’s are great to find out of the ordinary clothing too.
Clothes – I mentioned above about how to find some great pieces of clothing when you are feeling a little dark and rebellious. Sure, there are retail stores that entice people to buy different things for just that genre but it really isn’t about what it is…it’s about how it makes you feel. If you feel good in torn jeans, trying to wear leather pants isn’t going to allow the real you to come out. Try before you buy. And take a friend who gets it. When I first went looking for edgy clothes, I took one of my “burner” friends with me. Sometimes you hate an item on the rack and pass it right over. But if you bring a different set of eyes with you, they might lead you towards things you’d never give a second thought to. I tried on things WAY out of my usual comfort zone: graphic shirts, netting tops, cropped tees, torn jeans, dark leggings, and high boots. It was fun and gave me a bigger zone to look towards when shopping for clothes. Sure, I’m wearing jeans, combat boots, a flannel and a tee at my shop today, but if I decided to stop out to listen to a band and enjoy a drink with friends afterwards, I have something a little more extraordinary to slip into. For clothes like this? I look everywhere. Retail sale racks, thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, going out of business events. Any place that you might not find the norm. Not only can you get some cool things but you can get them at a really inexpensive price!
As the weather begins to warm up around me (I hope?), I am looking more and more forward to unpacking my newer, more eccentric clothes that I had picked up last year and have been adding to ever since. Not to mention, I am using this down time to play with my makeup pallet—trying new looks, styles, colors and designs. Every outfit is a piece of canvas and everything from the fashions, accessories, makeup, hair, nails and more are the paint! And what is the message you want your piece of art to convey? Well, my Sassinistas…. that’s called your attitude. Go out, be you, and create your piece of art!!