Magic

Glamour for Personal Power: Charmed Lipstick Spell for Manifestation

Charmed Lipstick
I parked my car in the far reaches of the mall lot because I could no longer see through the tears to drive. It was 2012 and my life was a very different place—everything and everyone around me seemed to be falling apart. My family was experiencing the loss of my grandfather, my mother had been away dealing with the situation, my relationship was at a serious crossroads, and my career was painfully unfulfilling. In the course of six months, my life had turned upside-down and I couldn’t understand why. I was stuck in the fog, blinded by what I could only see as misfortune, and I felt completely powerless.
But I always believed in magic, and like so many others, I fell back on my faith to get myself through the crisis. I balled up the sleeve of my sweater, swiped the mascara tears off my face, and got out of the car.
When I was little, I had gruesome night terrors. Most of the time, I was too afraid to even sleep, cowering under the blankets until I saw the light break through the blinds. Once the light began to grow, I could safely run down the hall, jump into bed with my parents and sleep comfortably. One night, my mother brought in a set of white-and-pink polka dot printed sheets and began to make up the bed. “These,” she told me very seriously, “are magic sheets. As long as they’re on the bed, you can only have good dreams. Nothing can hurt you, nothing scary can see you, and you can sleep without worrying about monsters.” And I believed her—it worked. Whether my mother charmed the sheets themselves or simply knew that setting the intention would be enough for five-year-old me to work the magic on my own, I don’t know, but in 2012 I felt it was time for another enchantment to propel me forward.
  Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Junkie
I marched into Sephora, purchased the most outrageous lipstick I could find, and took it home to work some magic. I anointed it with oil, set it on my altar while I burned candles, ran it through the smoke of incense, surrounded it with crystals, all the while telling the Universe (and consequently myself) that as long as I wore that lipstick, I would never have a bad day. The next day, when I pulled it off the altar and applied it generously, I had the best day I’d had in a very long time. Every day afterwards, as long as I wore that lipstick, the tensions and traumas I’d experienced grew farther and farther away. I moved forward.
Since then, I’ve charmed a number of objects for assorted reasons. I performed a similar ritual with a bottle of perfume to secure a job I desperately wanted, and after wearing it to the interview received a call back less than three days after. This summer, I found myself at another impasse. I charmed another lipstick, even more outrageous than the last, and wore it near daily. That lipstick stained glasses across the country, kissed tombs and shrines in New Orleans, and smeared on handkerchiefs while I worked through the emotions and searched for the magic that would put my life back together. And before the summer was over, things turned around.
I’m not saying that lipstick can fix a life. Lipstick can’t bring back the dead or win the lottery. But lipstick can be a bold reminder of our personal power. It can become a signature, a personal power object that we use to remind ourselves of our inner and outer beauty, our natural magnetism. We can use it like a lightning rod to amplify our energy, or project an image of the person we’re trying to embody. Lipstick can be a compelling glamour

Below is an outline of the ritual I use to charm objects like this. Feel free to adapt it to your needs, use the tools you feel speak to your purpose, do as much or as little as you feel you should. Unlike “High” Ritual Magic, witchcraft is rarely by the book. For me, spell craft has always been like prayer—everyone does it differently, for different purposes, to different ends.

Charmed Lipstick Ritual Supplies

Materials:

For this ritual, I recommend using a candle in a color that corresponds with your intention, a selection of crystals to raise energy, essential oils or blends for attraction, offertory incense, and a blend of herbs or flowers specific to your intention. You can focus simply on attracting positive energy and events, building towards your purpose, or specify that you want to enhance your sexual attraction or draw prosperity. Additionally, I recommend the absolute most outrageous lipstick you can tolerate—this summer, I used Urban Decay’s Junkie, a sparkling reptilian green. I’m sure this would work with a more demure daily-wear shade but I can guarantee you there’s nothing like a few swipes of rainbow-colored lipstick to make you feel like a totally badass witch, ready to conquer the world.

Process:

I always begin by cleansing my space. For me, this involves burning sage and wafting the smoke into each corner of the space, and cleaning my instruments with sea salt. You may choose to take a bath with salt and herbs, to dress in something clean that makes you feel powerful. Whatever helps you raise your energy and get into the headspace of manifesting magic.
Charmed Lipstick Ritual
Take your herbs and scatter them around the space. For this ritual, I used rose petals collected from bouquets I’ve been given, but I’ve worked with herbs and flowers purchased specifically from magical suppliers and corner bodegas as well. Take the candle and hold it between your hands. Feel it grow warm as it absorbs your body heat, and understand that it is also absorbing your energy. Focus on your intention. See yourself with whatever you desire: imagine the devastating Instagram snap you’re going to take, envision yourself taking the hand of the partner you’re trying to draw, picture yourself writing that rent check and not worrying about whether it will clear or how you’ll buy groceries afterwards. With this still in your mind’s eye, take your chosen oil and anoint yourself: start with your wrists, drawing lines inwards towards your body, willing what you want to be pulled in towards you. Draw a line up your breastbone, towards your head, touch it to your third eye and see how much more vivid your vision becomes. Then, anoint your candle, holding it with the wick away from your body and drawing the line from wick to base. Tell the Universe that as it burns down, your goal will grow closer and closer towards you.
Place the candle in a central position on the altar and light it, knowing that as the flame burns, your intention solidifies. Begin the place your crystals. I used rose quartz, green aventurine, pink moonstone, and pink tourmaline, all stones sacred to Venus and used to draw luck and love from within and without. Arrange them in a way that feels natural, using your hands to sense the individual vibrations. Once your crystals are in place, light your incense and waft the smoke around the space, focussing on your intention as you inhale the fragrance. Feel the magic growing denser as the air grows thicker around you.
Now, pick up your lipstick. Hold it between your hands like the candle. Feel it grow warm. Feel the energy buzzing around you and pull it into you—breathe it into your lungs and then push it through your chest, down your arms, and into your hands. Allow the lipstick to absorb that energy and know that each time you apply it, you’ll be absorbing it too. Pack in as much energy as you can. Then, take your oil and anoint the lipstick, starting at the top and drawing the line towards you, towards the bottom of the tube. Know that as the tube runs out, you’ve absorbed more and more of that magic. You don’t need to finish it to manifest your goal, but with each application, you grow closer and closer.
Charmed Lipstick Ritual
Place the lipstick on your altar. You may choose to place it on a bed of crystals or sprinkle your herbal blend over it. You might want to meditate on the candle flame or incense smoke, but don’t linger too long. Your intention has been set, your energy has begun to manifest, and now you leave it in the hands of the Universe to bring you closer. Don’t obsess. Walk away. Go to bed, paint your nails, eat cake, or drink some wine. Do something for yourself. In the morning, take the remaining herbs, the candle wax, the dust from the incense, and collect it in one place. You can choose to hold onto the remnants until your manifestation is complete, or dispose of them immediately. I usually bury my materials and trust that as they break down, they release more energy towards my cause.
Obviously, practice caution with your materials. Don’t abandon open flames, and don’t bury, burn, or release into the water any harmful chemicals or poisons that can hurt wild flora or fauna. You’re working in harmony with the Universe.
That’s it. Your lipstick is now fully charged, and possibly one of the most powerful objects in your magical arsenal. Wear it proudly, knowing that each swipe not only brings you one step closer to your goal, but also releases courage to reach for what you want, assurance that you deserve your best life, and understanding that you are so, so much more powerful than you might believe.
Charmed Lipstick
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Cosmetics

If That’s What You Wanna Do: Makeup Inspired by the 1975’s Love Me

“Another post about the 1975?” you’re probably groaning. I know, it’s been weeks since their album came out and I’ve all ready mentioned them so many times…but the moment I saw the video for Love Me back in October, I knew I needed to play with their look.

Just Keep Lookin'

The video, directed by Diane Martel, featured the band partying with a horde of cardboard celebrities, but let’s face it: the real star of the show was Matty Healy’s makeup, as done by the incredibly artistic Jeffrey Baum. Powder blue and neon pink is a very particular colour combo, and definitely serves as a throwback to the kind of retro 80’s glamour the band is channeling, but Baum keeps it from looking dated by keeping lips clean and natural, tying it all together with dashes of dayglo liner.

Bright Liner in Love Me

Considering that “Serendipity” blue is one of Pantone‘s dual Colours of the Year, I decided to bust out my new Sephora Pantone Universe lipstick and do some role reversal. You’ve seen the blue eye pink lip combo a thousand times, but I’m always interested in paths less traveled. And considering the song’s New Wave influences, I thought it was appropriate to play with some heavy contouring and bright blush.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

I used Sugarpill‘s Dollipop, Urban Decay‘s Savage, Bones, Alien, Truth, and Too Faced‘s Your Love is King to create a bold pink eye and blend it out into my contour, a la some of my New Romantic image idols. Then, using Dior‘s Dior Addict Fluid Shadow in Magnetic, I traced a silver line under my waterline before creating a second line in black liquid liner–everyone has their favourites, but mine is Urban Decay‘s Perversion. Extending the line beyond my natural eye on both sides, I let the inside corner fall downwards while the outside corner continued up.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

Rather than creating a full line along my upper lash line, I joined the lower line with a wing on top and piled on the black mascara. Leaving a slight gap between the upper and lower lines creates an even larger-looking eye–something between a doll and a wild animal, two things everyone aspires to of course.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

I filled in my brows as usual, and finished the look off with the fabulously blue Serendipity lipstick from Sephora’s Pantone Universe collection. For such a light colour, Serendipity goes on opaque with the first stroke, so application was painstaking–moreso because the bullet itself is a rather strange shape and doesn’t lend itself well to drawing lines or creating shapes. If you’re a dedicated brush-user or have a magic supply of blue lipliner, this probably won’t bother you. Personally, I think this shade is worth a little time and effort–it’s the perfect counterpart to the classic (cliché?) powder blue shadow.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

While I love the clean neon liner seen on the video’s models, I felt like taking it back–Love Me via ’81 if it was done by Boy George. Naturally, this isn’t a look for some light afternoon shopping or a family dinner. Luckily for me, there’s never a lack of good dance parties in town, and with a New Order show the same night, I was in good company.

The next time you see an artist or model in a video you like, take a look at their makeup. I challenge you to create something from it, to turn it into something you identify with or feel strongly for. Not only does it inspire you to break out of your daily beauty routine, it also creates a unique place for you within the music. You strengthen your relationship not only with the song itself, but also with yourself–it really is amazing how far a little makeup can push the boundaries of our identities.

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Tutorials

Going Up and Growing Out: How to go Blonde without Ruining your Length

I’ve always been something of a colour chameleon. From the moment I got my first whiff of peroxide, my hair has been red, blonde, black, and every shade in between. I was born with a mop of wild black hair and I grew up envying my more melanin-diverse classmates and relatives. As a kid, I dreamed of being a red-head. None of my friends had the exact shade of bright copper I coveted so I’m not quite sure where this dream was born, but it lasted until my parents allowed me some thick, 90’s-style copper striped highlights. I spent most of my teen and young-adult life in varying shades of red from copper to ruby to strawberry. In the years since I’ve written this blog alone, I’ve been different shades of blonde, violet, blue, lavender, red, and black. But I’ve been wearing my hair naturally for the better part of six months–needless to say, I’m getting bored!

hairsampler

My problem is, I’ve also been working on growing out a pixie. Keeping my hair colour-free is excellent for its strength and health while it gains some length, but I’ve never been a fan of my natural shade. I’ve also been dreaming (literally!) of going blonde again… so what’s a girl to do? Can you still colour your hair without growth-hindering damage?

From L'Oreal Professionnel's SS13 Collection

From L’Oreal Professionnel’s SS13 Collection

When you’re taking your hair to and from drastically different colours, there are some things you need to consider. First, think about what you have in mind. Is it darker than your current shade? When you go darker, you can use gentler formulas like ammonia-free demi-permanents that won’t cause as much trauma to the cuticle, the layer of your hair that keeps it soft and shiny. If you’re going lighter, is your hair previously coloured? Remember, colour won’t lift colour so you’ll have to bleach out your last shade before attempting your new, lighter one. I highly recommend you see a professional to bleach out old colour–there are too many variables to account for at home, such as the level of pigment your hair needs to retain for your new colour, the amount of damage the strand can take, and the pigments used to create your last shade: some contain compounds that cannot be bleached, and could injure you if attempt it.

Goldwell ColorZoom 2013

Goldwell ColorZoom 2013

If you’re working with your natural colour, think about how much lighter you’re aiming to go. Pros work on a level system, calculating the lightness of a shade on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 is the darkest, while 10 is a platinum blonde. It’s generally accepted that you can lift two to three levels with permanent haircolour, so if you’re only looking to up your shade by a little bit or just want to change the tone of your hair, permanent colour will probably do the trick. But in my case, I’m looking at a natural black around a level 2. The sandy blonde I’m coveting is probably a level 8 or 9, which means there are some six levels I need to lighten. This leaves me two choices.

The first choice I have is to bleach my entire head. Bleach is very harsh on hair, even if you’re using a cream or oil bleach formulated for use on the scalp. I’ve bleached from dark shades to platinum in the past, but unless you’re willing to get a “chemical haircut,” I don’t recommend it. It’s less traumatic to the hair to bleach up a few levels at a time, taking the time to condition and treat the hair in between.

The second choice is to highlight, highlight, highlight. If you’re not willing to subject your head to all-out bleaching, it can be easier to select a complimentary base and then add highlights of the desired colour. While you’re still using bleach to create the highlights, less hair is being exposed to the caustic chemicals it takes to see results. It’s also a more natural progression: going from dark to light overnight can be jarring. Regardless of how badly you want it, seeing that newly dyed hair in the mirror the next morning is a shocking and surreal experience. Lightening a few shades and foiling in highlights a little at a time will not only save you that morning-after shock, it can also save you some damage with proper treatment and care in between.  I recommend regular use of good quality conditioning products and hair masks to everyone, but it’s particularly important for chemical junkies and ladies growing length.

Wella TrendVision 2013, "Fusion"

Wella TrendVision 2013, “Fusion”

While I’d love to wake up tomorrow with a perfectly coloured, silky-smoothe blonde mane, but   that’s just a dream. If I want to continue growing out my cut, my best bet is to gradually colour up: select a workable base and gradually highlight towards my ultimate goal. Staying within my desired tonal range will keep me from getting discouraged, and keeping my hair in the best shape possible will keep me on track with my length. I’d still like to grow a few inches before putting dye-to-scalp, but at this rate that won’t be long at all!

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