Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot Colors for Hot Mamas

My gal pal Marilee bought her first Orgasm this week.
The cheek color with the cheeky name, that is.
The sparkly, peachy blusher continues to be one of Nars' best sellers and, in my book at least, it remains one of the best named beauty products of all time.
Orgasm has humor, edge and is probably outrageously descriptive if you're a lights-on type of girl.
Consider this litmus test: It made Marilee and I titter in a well-lit Sephora at noon on a weekday. Given that we are middle-aged moms with a couple decades worth of marriage and five children between us, that's saying a lot.
Now, I'd like to offer the creative team at Nars a few additional mom-centric ideas. After all, we're a brand-loyal lot when it comes to cosmetics. If we came of age wearing Orgasm, many of us are still wearing it and will likely try other options if correctly marketed to our demographic.
If you liked Orgasm in your 20s, you'll probably enjoy the following in your 30s:
Overcommitted: This deep plum gives a nod to the time you realized you agreed to host both your husband's work barbeque and the end-of-year swim team party on the same night.
Lost: A glisten-y, bright pink similar to the one that appears when you're running 23 minutes behind for your son's first baseball game and unable to find the ballpark despite the fact that your husband told your there were "clear road markers."
Bedraggled: A simple pale matte with undertones of gray. This is found in nature following family camping trips, Girl Scout cookie sales and Christmas Eve wrap-a-thons.
Verclempt: The perfect little-girl pink. An ultimate selection for piano recitals, the reading of child-authored Valentine's Day cards and high school proms.
Poop: This year-round neutral is flattering for all skin tones but not in an port-a-potty kind of way. Think breastfed baby.
Syrup: Get sun-kissed in seconds with color inspired by everyone's favorite mac-n-cheese dip.
PlayDoh: A new neon that morphs from blue to green to purple when paired with a tempra-stained cardi.
Leftovers: This pinkish-redish-orangeish shade goes with everything and will leave them guessing.
Flu: Let your inner punk rock girl shine with an indie shade that offers blue undertones.
Panic: One swipe of this rust and you'll achieve that I-just-called-911 look.
Late: Sure, it looks red in the compact, but this color actually disappears when applied to the apple of the cheek. Peeking through will be a glimmer of hope and fear.
If the staff at Nars needs further suggestions, they can give me a call. I'll be at home wearing a little homemade blend I call Exhausted.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Love, Honor and Gift with Cards

Eleven years into holy matrimony and there’s one thing I know for sure: You need to present an anniversary card.
It must be funny.
It must be given at breakfast on the exact day of your marriage.
It must accompany a review of the blissful event for your children that includes but is not limited to the retelling of one wedding attendant’s accidental plunge into a nearby lake.
While my rendition of The Soaked Groomsman is always met with cackles, I am utterly failing in the funny card department.
This year on August 12, the best I could do was to present my very worthy husband with a humorous birthday card edited by me in black Sharpie to read “Happy Anniversary.”
Believe me, I had tried hard to find just the right anniversary sentiment, but it appears the greeting card industry no longer values the institution of marriage.
Instead, you’ll find a focus on the Big Five life stages: Birth/Birthdays, Graduation, Weddings, Illness and Death.
The options for birthdays alone are nearly endless.
Consider that for $7.50, you can purchase a card complete with a computer chip that allows a watercolor ostrich to belt out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” in honor of your step-niece’s sweet sixteen.
Or if you’re on a budget but need something special for your neighbor’s cat who is celebrating a decade’s worth of nine lives, you can spend $.99 on a puffy, glitter-enhanced goldfish card.
There are pictures of cartoon canines for your dog walker’s big day, talking wine bottles to celebrate a member of the Vinophile Club, half-naked models pumping iron to inspire your personal trainer on her 40th.
Recently, I spied a birthday card for “that special nurse as she turns 28.”
Meanwhile, there are few offerings for those of us who have, year after year—often for decades---loved, honored and cherished our spouses through sickness and health.
Those that do celebrate wedding anniversaries are limited. They showcase pastel birds carrying what appear to be tablecloths in their beaks. The saying is always something like “You’re my one true love…I’m glad we share the same nest.”
Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and find a card featuring a photo of two octogenarians drinking coffee at a kitchen table. The tag line might read “I’m so glad we can share our morning rituals together.”
If these are analogies for modern-day marriage, it’s no wonder that American society is seeing a decline in the number of couples who officially declare their commitment at the altar.
The truth is, many marriages are delightful—and delightfully funny. That’s why “Modern Family” won so many Emmys.
There are dozens of themes that emerge over the course of one year alone that could inspire the authors of greeting cards.
If there is a card for the owner of a deceased parakeet, there most certainly should be one that under the heading of “anniversary” that conveys “Thanks for taking that really expensive cruise with my mother and her obnoxious boyfriend.”
Or, how about a 3-D picture of a pack of frozen peas along with the saying “It was so thoughtful of you to pick up that extra bottle of Valium before the vasectomy reversal.”
Hallmark could take a real photo of a couple surrounded by their four small kids showcasing a gloved husband picking lice out of his wife’s hair with a three-inch comb. The message inside could declare, “No matter how many nits you have, I will always want to run my fingers through your hair.”
Even community obligations could take a rather romantic turn.
Just picture a middle-aged couple wearing matching church choir robes with the message “Under this polyester, I am hot for God…and for you. Happy anniversary, Honey.”
Even the inevitable catastrophes that bind married couples to one another are cause for celebration.
I’d suggest a caricature artist draw up a frazzled-looking husband and wife holding up broken pipes in an attic, a waterfall pouring through the roof behind them. The accompanying message could read “Even when it’s all gone to Hell, there’s no one I’d rather live in my SUV with than you, Dear! Happy Anniversary!”
Greeting card companies, take note: While weddings are important, making it to your anniversary every year is even more cause for celebration.
Just ask any couple that’s had a band of noisy squirrels roost in their chimney before their newborn’s bris.

Monday, October 3, 2011

There Should Be an App for That

My new smart phone was supposed to be, well, smart.
Sure, I can download an app to translate whatever I'm reading into Gaelic.
And it's awfully handy to monitor the earthquake threat in neighboring states.
I furthermore find it interesting that I can track the load of bananas bound for my grocer as it moves North from Central America in an 18-wheeler driven by an illegal immigrant.
But if I were designing apps, I would do something practical--Momma practical.
Consider Cleat Finder.
Tap your smart phone once and a red beam would emerge, scanning each room for said sports gear. Upon locating it, the smart phone would beep then automatically dock your kid's allowance. (After all, why am I the one using my phone to find their stuff? Shouldn't they be held responsible?)
For an extra $5 per month, the app would convert to seek out missing Cub Scout socks, Brownie vests, ballet slippers and wayward lovies. Simply categorize your stuff with a quick snapshot and the phone would keep track of its whereabouts.
I'd pay a pretty penny for Snack Sargent, too.
This app would offer the sound of a rumbling belly 48 hours prior to any event to which I am scheduled to bring snacks. It would categorize the nutritional content of each item in my pantry, calibrate to consider how many and what type of food allergies were present in the group I'm feeding then suggest the most nutritious but least expensive option.
If you buy Snack Sargent, you'd get Consensus Chef for free.
This app would allow you to plug in your brood's culinary likes and dislikes then spit out menus every single child in your home would find palatable. It would further send you coupons for the necessary ingredients. And recipes.
Next on my list would be Pants on Fire.
When my kids get into an inevitable he-said-she-said, I could scan their lips with my phone. Immediately, it would alert me to the child who started whatever it was so I could fairly discipline the offender.
I think Lice Locator would also be a hit.
The moment your second grade teacher sends home news of an infestation, simply hold your phone up to your offspring's mop and scan away with the provided blacklight. Should your phone find critters, a pop-up will notify you of nearby pharmacies that have medications in stock. It will also flash a photo of the neighborhood kid that should no longer sleep over.
Many mothers of toddlers would appreciate Pee-Pee Princess.
This app would tell you with the sound of raindrops when your baby has to go. That means you could get into the proper potty position before you miss the Moment of Realization.
I might even splurge on Daily Dishwasher.
This app would keep track of which spouse last scrubbed the pots and pans. It would alleviate any arguments over whose turn it is to scrape the nasty scrambled eggs off the cast iron skillet.
The guys at the apps store sure have a lot of work to do.
Until then, my smart phone will remain in my back pocket. I'd turn it on, but I'm too busy looking for lost cleats.