Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How a Cold and Birthday led to Makeup Contouring for the Lazy and Cheap. Warning: Before and After Photos Included. Might be Unsettling for Some Viewers. #ContouringMatureFace

I ought to be writing. I'm supposed to be writing. I'm playing with makeup instead.

Why? Because it's that time of year.

Now there are some that wax poetically about getting older. It could be said the passage of time overwrites our faces and hides behind the dulling eye. Some claim under eye bags and dark circles are badges of honor giving a glimpse of struggles endured. That each laugh or worry line has been carefully etched into our faces to form a topical road map of a life well-lived...
To that, I say




I don't really mind getting older. I've spent 60 (mostly wonderful) years on this earth. I've three (loving and thankfully) grown children, fantastic friends and relatives - all of which keep me laughing. I've had the great fortune to travel, although there are always more places to see. And, I've attained my life's dream of publishing a few novels. 
So, for the most part, age isn't something I worry about. Except, of course, when it's that time of year. 
But when you've got a birthday looming and are in the snotty grip of a nasty cold, heed my advice and stay away from the mirror.
If you are careless enough to stop and take a long look, don't blame me. Though, I suggest you try to remember that none of those grooves and discolorations happened overnight. They were created slowly. In the same way the earth's tectonic plates ebbs and flows over time, the landscape of the face changes. 
It's all a plot to catch you unaware and unprepared. However, do as I do and try to only openly acknowledge them once a year. It makes you wonder. Why these things, that normally go unnoticed, should claim the attention right before a birthday. 
How can the celebration of another year lived feel like a slap to the face?
But it can and it does and because it did I took it on the chin. I'll explain by explaining the realization happened on a day filled with more Claritin than clarity. 
In retrospect, it was my own fault for buying a magnifying mirror. If you've not succumbed to the urge then never never buy one. Let me say that harsh 5x magnification with bright LED lighting only amplifies flaws of timeworn skin. My already double chin seemed to quadruple in such high relief. I swear I could drown an entire pod of whales in the dark bags beneath my eyes. Or lose an entire platoon in the grooves around my mouth. Mixed metaphors but you get the drift.
And, what the hell? When did my nostrils go all wonky? I can't remember any recent blows to the head, but it appears as if one side of my nose is collapsing in. Now, one nostril is misshapened and they are woefully mismatched. But, for the life of me, I can't remember which one has changed.
Feeling too cruddy to do anything, I spent the day reclining on the couch with tissue box and laptop. I'm telling you all of this so you can understand why I made the logical progression to YouTube tutorials about makeup. 
Contouring is nothing new but, per usual, I'm late to the party. It might be because I'm too lazy to put much effort into face paint. It might be because I'm too cheap to buy tons of expensive products like fancy sponges and brushes. What I want to think is that, with the wisdom of years, I no longer care all that much about what people think.

I will admit, though, that contouring fascinates me. I enjoy seeing it - on other people. Before now, I never considered it for myself. It looked to be more effort than I'm inclined to give and I believed it took an artistic talent that I lack. 

Yet, when I say I no longer worry about how I look it doesn't mean I want to end up looking like a clown from a horror movie either. 
Taking encouragement, and a few hints from the dozens and dozens of videos out there, I experimented. Except for the contour stick, I haven't use anything I didn't previously own.
The tools.
Face. For better or worse - there it is. Check.
Cheap white makeup sponges from WalMart. The kind you buy in mega batches.
A dab of moisturizer first, one poster insisted, to help blending later. 
Heavy lifting equipment already in my arsenal: Hard Candy Highlight & Contour duo stick, Cover Girl/Olay Simply Ageless Foundation, a blush stick, and a pencil eyeliner. I use the same pencil in the eyelid crease and to line my eyes. 
That's it. All cheap. All easily found at your local discount store.
Most tutorials are given by the young and still firmly skinned. While I watched them all, I stuck with techniques targeting more mature faces. A few of these suggested placing your highlight and contour lines on the face before anything else. 
After trying it both ways, I decided using the contour stick beneath the foundation is best for me. Mainly, because it's more forgiving of mistakes. 
Older faces, they say, need more highlighting to disguise dark circles, bags, lines, and uneven skin tones. 

Here I am with my high and low lines done. Ready for the next part, I start blending with the sponge.

Done blending. As you can see, the dark contour lines are softened but still visible. Dab on regular foundation like normal, blend lightly, and add a touch of blush.
I had to change from the pink shirt as I spilled a glob of foundation on it.

Ready for the end results?

First, the before. This photo was taken a few months ago. It shows me pretty much au naturel. 

This last shot was taken today after using my new tricks. What do you think? Though I'm sure I'll improve with practice, I do think the skin looks a little smoother. A little younger. The bags less obvious. I noted that I no longer felt the need to put my hand under my face to hide all the chins.

Perhaps, the next step ought to be learning how to contour the nose to disguise the fact my nostrils have warped. Or, maybe, I'll leave them be so people have something to wonder about.  

I'm happy to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my 61st birthday which was filled with tons of cake and laughter. I'll also admit that I'm relieved it's over so I can forget my appearance for another year.

Because, as I mentioned before, I'm supposed to be writing...
R E Mullins
author of vampire/romance
The Blautsauger of Amber Heights Series

and the new Vampires of Amber Heights Series

Stand alone novella though Kindle Worlds:
Keep up with what I'm working on at
Buylinks:  AMAZON

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

You Never Know Where Research Will Lead #Hippofarts #TimeWaste #LOL


With great interest I read writing tips from other authors. "Such great advice," I say as I jot down a few notes. "I must start doing this." They fill me with admiration. I marvel at how others have mastered their time. I mentally chastise my own lack of organization and diligence.

If I could be that dedicated...I sit back and envision all my success. I'd easily triple my daily word count and be able to finish books in record time.

Filled with renewed determination, I open Word where I'm ready to start the next scene. It will begin on a dramatic note. 

Here is a brief synopsis of what is in this next chapter:

    Buffeted by a growing storm, Justin, my stalwart vampire-hero, searches for the surly, teenage neophyte his brother dumped on him. Gwyndolyn's taken off in a snit and while the solitary Justin would like to let her go, it isn't that easy. Council Law forbids the turning of one so young, and this leaves him in a quandry. Until he can figure out what to do, he knows the only way to protect Gwyn and his lawbreaking brother is to keep her out of sight. 
    He catches up with her right as she is breaking too many laws to count. Evidently, a woman tumbled off the craggy cliff running along the Amber River. Gwyndolyn, for her own selfish reasons, had decided to save her by making her a vampire too.  
    Unfortunately, her neophyte blood is too weak to complete the transformation. The woman has been left 'stunted' or stuck in a void between the human and vampire worlds. Justin could let her die. It would be the logical thing to do and would prevent many forseeable problems. Even as he has the thought, he knows he will do all he can to save her.
    But time is running out as a funnel cloud descends from the sky...

So this is where I'm at in the story. I start thinking about tornadoes and how I want to describe this one. Ah, research. Such an invaluable tool and my absolute favorite time waster. Youtube, here I come for all your fascinating clips. I watch and listen to various cyclones in progress.  

Then I stumble upon this and have to watch it several times as I'm just that warped.

There are 5 different entries showing variations of Hippo Breaking Wind Sounds Like Tornado. By the time I watched each and every one, I was out of writing time.  

I'll try to be more organized tomorrow. Still laughing, I go to attend to other things.

Author of The Blautsaugers of Amber Heights Series
It's A Wonderful Undead Life
Vampire In The Scrying Glass
A Vampire To Be Reckoned With
Cold Hearted Vampire
Diaper Duty Vampire - novella bridging gap between The Blautsaugers of Amber Heights Series and the new Vampires of Amber Heights Series. 

Unrelated: Back to Hell a novella written for Kindle Worlds.

Buylinks: AMAZON
                THE WILD ROSE PRESS
                BARNES & NOBLE NOOK
                APPLE Itunes

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

There's a SALE going on...#REMullins

From now until midnight 2/14/2018
you can get IT'S A WONDERFUL UNDEAD LIFE ebook for only 99 cents.

What happens when you pray for an angel and get a vampire instead?

Start at the beginning of the Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series and you'll be hooked.

It's been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Facing her first Christmas alone and bad financial news, she prays for an angel to fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire, with the goal of starting a vampire war, attacks her and forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.

Gabe must complete Cailey's turning or she will die. In doing so he risks losing his yet unfound soulmate. But something about the lovely mortal speaks to his heart. Once her transformation is complete, he and Cailey find themselves embroiled in a battle that could cost them all they hold dear.

Faced with lies, abduction, and betrayal Cailey wonders if the vampire she is falling fangs over heart for is in it for love or if she's just a means to stop a war.

Buy a copy and tell your friends. It's A Wonderful Undead Life is only 99 cents for a short time so get it today.

Keep up with what REMullins has written and is working on at