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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Makeup for Jamaica, part 2

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:36 PM (Eastern)

Hey, I'm back. I would have written earlier, but the place in which I was staying didn't have Internet access. It's not unknown in Jamaica by any means--the resort I stayed at last year (see part 1) had high speed wireless, free, in every room--but this place didn't have it.

This was my second voyage to this country--which is a great country--okay, there is much about Jamaica that reminds me of the 1970's Virginia in which I grew up...because there still were people back then and there, that didn't have running water, and large expanses of kudzu-enveloped trees, plants, the occasional car (it's not kudzu in Jamaica, but something remarkably similar)...bad plumbing, the kind where you had to jump out of the shower spray any time someone flushed the toilet...heat, humidity, mosquitos...and the most intense, almost palpable, beauty, to be found everywhere around you.

In Jamaica of course the extremes are far more opposed than in the merely pre-central-air-conditioned South of my youth. Step out of the resort and there are shacks, the kind that look like, well, abandoned shacks, until you glimpse the clothesline out back with its neat row of freshly-hung laundry. No dryer, no washer, no...a lot of things are missing. No public schools that I could see; a few private ones. A couple of traffic lights. Even on the resort, the electricity crapped out in a storm (this one had a generator; the other one didn't). But outside the resort, who even has electricity? Some do, many don't.

Tons of bars, clubs and restaurants (as you would expect...again, reminiscent of my Naval home town), a lone Chinese market, a Jockey factory, many of what appeared to be overgrown plantations: a sudden field carved from the tropical vegetation, with what I'll guess is the remains of sugar cane, with a large colonial style house mounted in the hill in the back like a fantastic gem. New construction everywhere: grey concrete with a bit of a Moorish look (okay, more of an Indian style, and pretty cheesy at that). Coconut palms, resort after resort, cruise ships, bauxite mines (if hematite is your stone, it's omnipresent here), the sea of two distinct hues: turquoise (over sand) and deep blue (over coral reefs) wrapping the coastline.

Um, makeup. I brought a slightly different set this time, but it's not a makeup place. You don't need much. It's too hot and humid, too...hard to put a finger on it. In the South, it's been well said, we wear way too much makeup. It's not the climate per se. It's the culture.

I had my usual tinted sunscreen, Nars the Multiple in Malibu, MAC Blot pressed powder, MAC Permaplum eyepencil, Prestige Expresso eyepencil, Nars Babylon eyeshadow duo, Dior Beige Massaï eyeshadow quint, MAC Sophisto lipstick (I'm using this up, made a good dent in it here), MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick. I wore all of these. Didn't need more, would have been bored with less.

Also, I brought Etro Heliotrope eau de cologne (shouldn't have bothered, it faded instantly in the heat) and Armani Code (this held up better but still conked out after a time). The kind of perfume you can wear in this weather is entirely different: it has to be strong and sweet. Something that smells "too much" in any other place is ideal here.

Hair things: I brought my "octopus" (perfection!), black velvet scrunchie, "geo clip" (only wore it once), and headband with teeth. That's about right although I would like to have some fancy little decorative clips next time.

Clothes: I'm still getting the hang of this. You can't pack minimally, the way travel guides always tell you to do. You run out of clothes. This time I didn't, and I did manage to scoop up some excellent summer clothes, like a turquoise skirt (tiered, but with a pattern of gathers rather than just plain old gathers) and a chartreuse one of the same design, couple of Banana Republic skirts (both white with a print). It'll sound insane but that was not enough skirts for ten nights. I wasn't happy enough with the skirts on sale there to buy them (the good ones were expensive, the more reasonably-priced ones had beads sewn on that I knew would pop off at the drop of a hat). The separates idea is good though, since whatever tops you bring are going to fold up small.

Tops...anything more formal than a tank top will work. I bought a couple of tops there actually, from the shopping mall. Since all of the stores in the mall are owned by Indians, there are some nice Indian clothes there.

I brought a travel size clothes steamer and never used it. The humidity softens the majority of wrinkles out of your clothes.

Shoes...again I just brought my Okabashi sandals. Not the height of shoe fashion but Jamaica is not a shoe place much more than it is a makeup place. You can bring nice shoes but the Okabashi's did me good this time as well.

It was "cold" there for the first few days (not actually cold, but not sweating hot) and I regretted bringing only one long-sleeved shirt. I could have used several. Last time I went, it was hot all the time except the couple of times it rained. So bring a small range of clothes just in case.


Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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