I need to work on drawing gestures more often as well as composition

Looking High Dollar on a Low Budget

When you’re new as a Sugar Baby it can be really hard to find your first Daddy, this lifestyle has a steep learning curve. On top of that, when you’re trying to attract money you have to look the part. A girl who looks broke is going to stay broke. Since I have a lot of unused cosmetology training I thought I’d compile a few of my best low budget beauty tips so you can look like the expensive, luxury woman of his dreams.

There are three things that will cheapen any look immediately, no matter how much you actually spent on it. Bad eyebrows, cheap or unkempt nails and skin or hair that’s in poor condition. Keep those three in check and your entire ensemble will seem so much more put together.

Bad Eyebrows

Ooooohhhhhhh boy. There are all kinds of bad eyebrows. The good news is that there are also all kinds of good eyebrows and maintaining them can be super cheap!

So, for the majority of people your eyebrows should enhance your face but not take center stage. That doesn’t hold true for every look but if you’ve got one of those looks that can rock some outlandish eyebrows I’m going to assume you’re an eyebrow goddess and don’t need my advice anyway. For us mere mortals we’re going to aim for a solidly middle ground, they should be groomed but not overdone.

A few things to avoid: 

Over plucking eyebrows. Razor thin eyebrows don’t usually look natural and can draw a lot of attention to themselves. 

Under plucking eyebrows. Take care of those strays! Try not to let those bad boys get too crazy.

Overdrawn eyebrows. Avoid super sharp lines and block-filled eyebrows.

You want to aim for a natural brow shape that flatters your face. There tons of tutorials floating around on the subject so if you’re new to maintaining your eyebrows I suggest looking up some videos on grooming and shaping.

Now, if you’ve got awesome, thick brows to begin with you may not need to fill them but otherwise filling them correctly can really polish off your makeup. Like I said, avoid drawing hard, dark lines when you’re filling your eyebrows. If you don’t have the extra funds for eyebrow pencils you can just use a small brush and some eyeshadow for fill. Try to use a matte color that is a shade or two lighter than your natural hair color, you’re aiming for fullness not darkening. 

And remember, your eyebrows are sisters, not twins. You want them to look similar but do not expect them to be a mirror image of each other. You’ll drive yourself nuts.

Cheap Looking Nails

People see your hands a lot. Every time you shake hands, gesture while speaking, use a fork, touch someone, etc. your hands are in the spotlight. Keeping them looking pristine is one of the BEST ways to make yourself look pulled together. If you don’t have the cash or inclination to get your nails done professionally it’s entirely possible to give yourself an expensive looking mani pedi.

First things first, avoid touching your cuticles unless you know what you’re doing. You can get infections that way and that’s definitely not nice looking. The majority of men will never ever notice your cuticles.

Pay attention to the length and shape of your nails. Don’t let them get too long and don’t trim them extra short. If you like longer nails I’d suggest filing them into an almond shape, here’s handy tutorial for how to do that yourself. If you favor shorter nails give the squoval shape a try, which is basically just flat across the top with nice rounded edges. Here’s how to do that. Obviously you also want to avoid hangnails, ragged edges and such.

I would suggest always going with painted nails. Unless you want to take the time to buff your nails or just have crazy gorgeous nails naturally a few coats of polish just looks nice. The best color choice is going to vary a lot from person to person based on style and skin tone. If you’re really unsure, sheer nudes, reds and pinks are pretty safe for everyone. I like to pick colors based on my wardrobes color pallete. As an example, my wardrobe is black, cream and grey with cobalt and rose gold as accents, I do my nails in cobalt or a sheer pearl color most of the time. If you rock a certain color all over your wardrobe, absolutely incorporate that into your polish choice!

Chipped, cracked polish does not do you any favors. Cheap polish or laziness are often the culprit here and the solution to both is the same. It’s totally fine to cut costs on your color polish. It’s fine. It may be harder to apply but if you’re careful you can make it look good. The one thing that will take make that cheap polish work for you is a really good top coat. If you’ve only got a bit of money to spread around, cut corners everywhere but the top coat, you want to splurge for that. A quality top coat will do beautiful things to the gloss, smoothness and longevity of your nail polish. I personally like Revlon’s Extra Life No Chip Top Coat.

Hair and Skin Ills

Ok, this is a huge topic and I definitely can’t cover everything here. My #1 budget hair and skin solution is coconut oil. I use that shit for everything.

Chemical or heat damaged hair? Dry, frizzy hair? Comb some coconut oil through it, toss a towel on your pillow and sleep on it. Wash it out in the morning and enjoy your shiny, soft hair.

Dry skin? Massage coconut oil into your skin before you hop in the shower. The warmth will encourage your skin to soak it up and you won’t feel greasy when you get out.

Part of my daily beauty routine is a facial massage, it encourages blood flow and lymph movement and helps keep the skin glowing, acne free and keeps wrinkling at bay. I take a dab of coconut oil and spend about two minutes massaging it in small circles all over my face, afterward I wash my face as normal and go about my routine. This is also an excellent way to remove your makeup!

It can also be used for cuticle care, oil pulling, as under eye cream and probably lots of other things.

I see a lot of people suggesting exfoliation to keep your skin soft and while that’s fantastic on occasion you don’t want to overdo it! Exfoliating too often or too vigorously damages the skin. Staying hydrated, avoiding sun damage, and moisturizing are much more vital to your daily beauty routine and skin health. Exfoliate about once a week and avoid sugar or salt scrubs, they’re too harsh and cause abrasions that can lead to infections.

The final trick that I’m going to suggest for hair and skin needs sucks. It really does but it works so well. Cold showers are AMAZING for your skin and hair. Dousing yourself in cold water for a minute or two at the end of your shower does a few things. It will close the the cuticle of your hair, leading to less frizz and more shine. It will also stimulate the blood and lymph fluid to move away from your skin toward your organs in order to retain heat. This is great because more lymph and blood circulation means more cell turnover, healthier skin, improved immune response and can actually stimulate changes in body composition by signaling to your body that you need more brown fat (the good stuff) rather than white fat (the harmful stuff). Not only that but cold showers have been shown to help alleviate depression, improve stress responses, help with insomnia, improve mental alertness, aid in digestion and tons of other things. Basically it’s torture and it’s so fucking good for you. Yes, I do in fact use this tip. Every day.

Edit: I forgot to mention, a cold shower will also make your boobs perkier by tightening the skin and increasing collagen production. 

Anyway, I definitely had more to add to this in the makeup department especially but this post has gotten crazy long so I’ll be splitting that into another post. I hope you guys find some of this helpful, feel free to add your own tips and have fun making yourselves look extra fine.


Interview with Anthony Cudahy

Anthony Cudahy’s paintings offer an array of associations, from the technical contexts of photography and art history to the more emotional framework of desire, fear, loss and identity. Drawing from a variety of disparate sources, such as personal and found photographs, paintings, album covers and tapestries, the same symbols begin to reoccur – daffodils, dogs, dark desert landscapes – and images are likely to repeat themselves in a rhythm that can allow for multiple entry points into one form. These works are defined by a state of flux, a connection, whether visual or metaphysical, between places, times, ideas and people.
Conjuring notions of folk lore and forgotten histories, Cudahy interrogates the currency of images, reworking and re-imagining figures and patterns to create an entirely new dynamic.

You’ve talked before about how you’re interested in the history of images, whether they’re degraded or transformed. Does the source or context of an image influence the painting or your process in any way?

Oh, definitely. There’s a push and pull between my painting and its source that I like to work within. For example, I enjoy bringing specific “non-painting” languages into a painting. This could be photographic language, like a cast shadow, or digital language like a pixelated, crunchy area. I’m not beholden necessarily to accurately representing these. The painting dictates where it wants to go, and I try to follow that as much as possible. Sometimes I think the source gives me only an initial structure. Sometimes, though, it will give me a color idea that is the entire painting.  

‘mirrored’ (2016)

How do you approach combining images, like in your recent paintings ‘mirrored’ (2016) or ‘desertshore’ (2016)? Is this a thematic/conceptual process, or something more visual?

Often it’s an intuitive leap, but the images have to be on a thematic wavelength to work. Sometimes I might not get that immediately, but it’ll reveal its logic to me as I spend time painting and considering the image. Certain sources become shorthand for me. In mirrored, the sides of the image are appropriated from the Unicorn tapestries. Beyond a visual pull that related imagery has for me, I’m interested in the mille-fleur tapestries as a sort of futile attempt to order nature on the part of humans. I think there’s a lot of folly in those tapestries. So I have that “symbol” in the back of my mind always as a way to talk about an uncertainty or a crisis of existing. This particular painting is part of a series that responds to Caravaggio’s Narcissus painting. The tapestry I used here has a woman showing a unicorn its reflection, teaching the creature how to see— maybe teaching knowledge of self. Visually, the image it’s paired with has a man who also looks to the mirror, but he isn’t reflected there. That’s the crux of the painting for me. As I work, I’m open to discovering happy accidents between the images I’m pairing, where a line may meet or a compositional element might sing.

desertshore can give some insight to the process I go through pairing images. The cover of Nico’s album had long been a resonant image in my mind. One that I would come back to a lot, knowing it “meant” something to me, but not knowing how I’d use it. As the Narcissus project continued, I started to think about solipsism. The Caravaggio painting’s void led to that. I was trying to figure out why it was a frightening image for me, and I think it has to do a lot with the lack of setting. Yes, there’s a liquid surface providing reflection, but it’s like the entire world has been vacuumed out of that image. The intuitive leap came when I found the image that makes up the larger, pink side of the painting. I thought about being alone in the world, moving about in a degrading way— crawling on hands and knees. The Nico image floating to my mind. Her son pulling the horse. The journey of her life, a cyclical story. The child as parent circle. So these two disparate images needed to be organized together. I don’t always expect a viewer to get most (or any) of the references I use, but hopefully the feeling is transferred.

‘desertshore’ (2016)

Your style has developed over the last few years into something less photographic and with more of a collaged feel? Was this something you deliberately moved towards to create a specific atmosphere, or was it more of an instinctive change?

This was deliberate, and responds particularly to the way I was organizing images within my zines. There was a freedom there and I started to intentionally try to get that way of working into the paintings. I also stopped being wary of symbols. I think for a while I was trying to assimilate with some straight, male painters like Richter and Tuymans, where impenetrability is a virtue. I was pushing back trying to not make emotive work. I needed to tear this apart and become more vulnerable. I think allowing myself to indulge a personal, intuitive symbolism was a way to break from that maleness.

You make a lot of zines of your drawings. What role do these publications play in your practice? Do they inform the paintings, are they informed by the paintings, or both, or neither?

While this way of organizing images has influenced my newer paintings, I still think of my zine work as a separate practice. One with different rules and goals. When I get the opportunity to show a group of paintings that I have truly considered as a grouping is as close as my painting gets to my zine-making. Then the final layout of the show is the piece and the paintings are elements of that. But more often a painting is a singular, solved problem for me. Books allow me the chance to talk about ideas over a longer period, and one that I have control of the pacing. Timing comes to the forefront of my thinking. In the zines I make, there are often three or four strains of thought that can be read by themselves or can interact with each other.

Your paintings ‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015) and ‘tendto’ (2016) are both drawn from Frans Snyder paintings of a boar hunt, although they have a year between them. What makes you return to a source image or subject, and did the similarities between the two original Snyder paintings play a part in your attraction to them, considering your interest in reusing images?

His paintings of dogs really resonate with me and are shorthand in my practice for violence. tendto is a dualism— the dog is violent, while the gesture is more tender. That word in particular is one I think about a lot. The painter, Robin F. Williams, brought it to my attention how it has two distinct and sometimes contradictory meanings. It can refer to the kind closeness between people, or the lingering sensation of a wound.

To better answer you question, when something like that becomes shorthand for me, I feel free to reuse. This is to mix ideas and to build and change them. Also, for the most part I never feel like I’ve said the thing. I could always come closer or say it a different way. Rarely does anything feel done. And then physically, returning to an image is interesting to me. I don’t have an exact hand. I am not tied to the source so much that I try for accuracy. It will be entirely different, and I’ll find out something new from the same source.

‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015)

The titles of your paintings are often formatted in an interesting way, such as your series ‘Everyone at the Funeral’ in which every painting title is abbreviated to EatF (or most recently EatF_3 which I assume indicates the third iteration of this series). These titles are heavily reminiscent of file names on a computer, particularly when they include underscores. Is this intentional and, if so, what do you think it adds to the experience of the painting?

I really hated titling work! So at one point I decided to get very methodical with it. I was working at a publishing house and really liked, even visually, how files were named. I started to use acronyms that I’d never tell anyone, and I even would forget. I don’t know when it changed, but now titles come easier for me, and they are more “This is what it must be called!” The EatF paintings are a long-term, methodical project (I’m rendering an individual portrait of everyone within a found photograph- well over 100 people) and so that kind of naming feels more integral.

You’ve also mentioned previously that you look to film first for inspiration. Do you intend to work with film in the future, either in your paintings or as a medium itself?

A few years back, I went through a big film phase. Particularly obsessing over the films of Fellini and, most important to me, Tarkovsky. These artists had a profound influence on my thinking and understanding of art, and the world (not to be hyperbolic). At the time I thought, Oh I must be moving towards film. It was how I felt about the first painters I obsessed over as a teenager. But I never connected with any other film to that level, and realized I don’t have any ideas specific to that medium. It was more how those two directors took ideas and through a medium realized a vision. And that’s something I can apply to my paintings and zines. One of (maybe) the central themes of Stalker is whether nature is inherently good or evil. That question is one I cover pretty consistently in my paintings (in tendto, which we spoke about actually).

Right now, I’m reading and thinking about novels more than I’m looking at painting, although I still look at painting a lot. Things just go in cycles like that. I just finished reading all of Toni Morrison’s novels and she’s unmatched genius.

Anthony Cudahy has a solo show coming up in Brooklyn at Cooler Gallery from 1st-22nd November.

Images courtesy of the artist.