Category Archives: Beauty

2017

Happy new year!

Everyone I know is excited to sweep 2016 under the rug and usher in 2017, and while I agree that 2016 sucked in a lot of ways (RIP, EVERYONE COOL), I am having trouble getting excited about 2017. First of all, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what life in the U.S. will be like under our new president-elect.

jabba-the-trump

I know Star Wars is all trendy right now, but maybe we should have drawn the line at electing a giant, slimy worm-man as the leader of our country, AMERICA.

 

Policies aside, my face morphs into the scream-face emoji whenever I think about having to look at that mug for the next four years.

Oh, ALSO I just found out that the next season of Westworld won’t be released until 2018, which means no new episodes in 2017, which means 2017 is officially trying to ruin my life.

I’ve decided that since 2017 is shaping up to be kind of dumb, my resolutions should be kind of dumb too. So here they are:

Take better care of my skin
First of all, I’m aware that needing to make this a resolution means I’m a garbage human. I totally admit that I’m terrible about my skin. I do wear sunscreen every day because I’m pale and if I don’t I’ll get a sunburn from the lightbulbs in my office, but basically I just use makeup remover wipes at the end of the day and that’s the extent of it. I don’t even use a moisturizer because literally every single one I’ve tried makes me break out, and I’m too lazy to go to a dermatologist and explore why that might be.

That said, I’ve decided that I have to get my skin care routine together because I’m 32 and if I don’t I’m going to look like Jabba the Trump by the time I’m 40. Dave’s parents got me a Clarisonic Plus for Christmas, which I am super excited about. (Maybe they really like me, or maybe that was their way of saying, GET IT TOGETHER, LEATHER FACE.) I’ve only been using it for a week and my skin already feels so much smoother. I’ve got a small breakout situation on my chin, but I’ve heard that often happens when people first start using it, so I’m pushing through in the hopes that it’ll make me in age in reverse like Jennifer Aniston. Oh, and I’ve also been using eye cream. I don’t really know if it’s doing anything, but I feel really responsible when I put it on, so.

2e95881e00000578-3324682-image-a-7_1447898251542

If it doesn’t work I may do this.

Stop being a pussy
Whenever I complain about the workouts at CrossFit, my friend Kate yells, “DON’T BE A PUSSY.” This usually gets me to stop whining out loud, but that doesn’t mean I stop complaining in my mind – I’m really bad about controlling my inner dialogue when workouts get spicy. So many of the workouts we do are meant to be just as challenging mentally as they are physically, and I’d like to get better about pushing through feelings of discomfort and learning to be, as my coach puts it, “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” (Unless my form is suffering or I feel actual PAIN, which is different than just feeling out of breath or tired.) I’ve heard repeating mantras can help; maybe mine should be “DON’T BE A PUSSY.”

Avoid chipped nail polish
I TOLD YOU THESE WERE DUMB. I like having painted nails, but I can’t ever seem to make it more than 24 hours without chipping my polish. Gel manicures last a long time, of course, but they get expensive and also they make my nails really thin and gross. Enter: Essie Gel Couture.

essie-gel-couture

I got some of this for Christmas, and it lasted through a whole week, including CrossFit! I’m on day seven and have a few minor chips that you can’t really see unless you get really up-close – I’m calling that a huge success. Plus, it’s super easy to use – you just apply two coats of color and then one coat of the topcoat. No UV lights are required, AND it comes off with regular polish remover. If I were a professional manicurist, I’d be afraid that this stuff would put me out of a job.

I think three is enough. So now you tell me some things: What are your goals for 2017? Did you achieve your goals for 2016? Do you have any thoughts about why moisturizer gives me pizza face? Do you hate me now because I made fun of Trump?

 

Chop Chop

A while back I got the urge to chop my long hair off, but at the same time I was afraid of the dreaded fat-face that short hair tends to bring out if you have full cheeks. Or, as I like to call it, the Bridget Jones effect:

Bridget Jones

Don’t get me wrong – I love me some Bridg – but girlfriend could have benefited from some long layers.

I was all ready to chicken out like I always do when I get the urge to cut my hair, but then I saw this cut on Pinterest:

Inverted lob

Help! I can’t find a source.

It was kind of perfect: short in the back to cut down blow drying time, long in the front to keep me from looking like I’m squirreling nuts away for the winter in my cheeks, and not so extreme that it could be mistaken for the “can I speak to a manager cut.” (<— So true, yes?) After much hemming and hawing and incessant badgering of my friends and family members, I decided to go for it. Here are the before/afters:

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 6.04.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 6.11.14 PMLately I’ve been using a 1.5″ curling iron to add a little wave, like so:

Short_wavy

Hair_Back_View

Clearly I’ve made major headway on my new year’s resolution to improve my photography skills.

So here’s the conundrum: I have a hair appointment next week, and I’m waffling between trying to grow it out again and keeping my current cut.  (I know, my brain is clearly full of deep thoughts if this is what’s keeping me up at night.) While I love my new, shorter hair, I also miss doing this:

Lucy Liu

Help! What should I do?

Paranoid Ramblings of a Soon-To-Be 30 Year Old

I turn 30 in two weeks. And no, that is not an attempt to garner a bunch of Happy Birthday wishes (I really hate when people do that). You just need to know that I’m about to turn 30 for the rest of this post to make sense. As much as the ramblings of a hypochondriac with a well-documented history of anxiety can make sense.

I was doing OK with the turning-30 thing until I was applying fake tan a few weeks ago and noticed some weird lines on my calf. At first I thought it was a faint bruise, but upon further inspection it appears that I now have the beginnings of spider veins on one of my calves. SPIDER VEINS. AT 29 YEARS OLD. I was under the impression that I had AT LEAST another 20 years before having to worry about this shit. At this point, I may as well start entering rooms thusly:

Source

Source I’M 30 YEARS OLD!

After the Fake Tan Incident, I spent about 20 minutes scrutinizing every inch of my body for more of them (of course there are more of them). I then Googled “how to prevent spider veins,” which on a scale of “1” to “Dumbest Idea Ever” is a solid “Let’s Make Another Transformers Movie.”

Source

Source Obligatory Michael Bay Is A Douche gif

Here are some of the really helpful things I learned from what may be the most depressing Google search in my history of Google searches, and this is coming from a person who once Googled, “Meat pieces are clogging nozzle on Bacon and Cheddar Easy Cheese”:

– Don’t stand too much.

– But also, don’t sit too much.

– Don’t be overweight.

– Exercise regularly.

– But even if you aren’t overweight and do exercise regularly, you’re probably still fucked because it’s mostly hereditary.

– Don’t cross your legs.

– Get up and take a walk every 10 minutes.

So yesterday I’m explaining to my coworkers about how from now on I’ll be spending 80 minutes of my workday taking walk breaks because I might be getting The Spider Veins, and they decide it’s a good idea to tell me about somebody they know who went through menopause at 32 because “she doesn’t have kids and it starts earlier when you don’t have kids.”

Sophia

Me at work yesterday, minus Sophia’s youthful skin.

Anyway, I know it’s dumb to stress about something totally out of your control, especially when that something really has no bearing on your health or how you live your life. (And, if I’m being honest, you can’t even really see my dumb veins unless your eyes are right up on my calf.) Instead of inspecting my legs every day to see if they’re getting worse, I’m making an effort to dial back the crazy, be thankful for the fact that I can lift weights and run half marathons on my spinster legs, and enjoy the shit out of my 30s.

I may also look into Zoloft.

Things I’ve Bought Recently

I’m experiencing some serious writer’s block this week. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been spending my evenings numbing my mind with Netflix marathons of “The Following” instead of forcing myself to sit down and write. Which reminds me: You should be watching “The Following” if you’re not already. It’s really creepy, and I would not recommend watching it right before bed if you’re the type of person who assumes every faint creak is the sound of someone coming down the hall to murder you.

Anyway, if there is one thing I can always talk about, it’s shopping, so instead of subjecting you to my crappy writing I’m going to tell you about a few things I’ve bought recently.

Pink Boyfriend PantVictoria’s Secret PINK Boyfriend Pant

I love me some good lounge wear, and I’ve been looking for new around-the-house pants ever since I split the ass of my beloved Old Navy flannel pants wide open a few weeks ago. You’d think that would have inspired me to avoid the cheese dip on Super Bowl Sunday, but you’d be wrong. Anyway, these pants are super comfy and LONG, which is excellent because nothing is dorkier than too-short pajama pants. They’re super slouchy and loose-fitting, which I suppose is due to the “boyfriend” aspect of the pants, although I think it’s pretty presumptive of Victoria to assume that women are all delicate waifs compared to their boyfriends. Tip: Wait for them to go on sale, since they’re $44 full-price.

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Banana hanger with fruit bowl

Every Sunday we buy a ton of produce for the week, and then it spends the week rolling around all over the counter on account of our kitchen is small and we don’t have space for a fruit bowl. Or, we didn’t think we did until we discovered this genius contraption. Target is sold out of the exact model we got, but this one is close. (Dave technically bought this, but I was there so I’m counting it.)

Combat Boots

Tanner Lace-Up Boot

I’ve been wanting a pair of combat boots forever, but I typically don’t like to drop a ton of money on trendy stuff. Enter: these boots from Payless. I picked them up during a recent buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep them. I liked how they looked in the mirror at the store, but when I put them on at home they made my legs look mega-stumpy. Maybe they will let me exchange them for one of their magic leg-elongating mirrors?

L'Oreal Youth Code

L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector

My skin is the worst. It gets super dry in the winter, but it breaks out whenever I use any kind of moisturizer. Plus, I turn 30 this year and think it’s time I get into the habit of taking better care of my skin. I heard good things about L’Oreal’s Youth Code line, and picked up the Texture Perfector cream a while back. It’s super thick, and I use a very tiny amount every morning and night. So far, it hasn’t caused me to break out, and my skin is noticeably softer. Bonus: The smell is fantastic, and the packaging is pretty.

Birchbox Review: July 2013

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This month’s box contents, clockwise from top right: Birchbox bobby pins, Vivant Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper, Caudalie Divine Legs, and Pur Minerals CC Cream.

I’m going to pick up reviewing my monthly Birchbox once again, mostly in an effort to make sure I try everything I receive at least once before stashing it in random bathroom drawers and driving Dave crazy.

This month’s box was mostly skincare products. Normally I’m disappointed when my box doesn’t have any makeup in it, but overall I really loved this month’s box and plan to purchase a few things full-size when the samples run out.

Birchbox Bobby Pins

07.24.13 Bobby Pin

I was really excited when I first saw these in the box – they are really cute, and I thought they would be a nice way to church up my gym hair. And then I tried to pry them off the cardboard. It was probably a bad sign that I needed both hands to accomplish this task, but whatever. I figured they were just a little stiff and would loosen up with wear. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – these guys are seriously so hard to pry apart that I could barely keep them open long enough to clasp any hair in them. They’re cute once they’re in, but they’re kind of a pain in the ass so I doubt I’ll use them very much.

Vivant Skin Care Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser

vivant_greenteacleanser_900x900

I have sensitive skin, so any face wash that doesn’t make me wake up with angry skin the next day is a success. This left my face feeling soft (not dried out like so many face washes tend to do), and the smell is great. I wasn’t wowed enough to purchase this full-size, but I’ll likely stash the sample in my travel bag for upcoming work trips.

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper

curlyhairsolutions_curlkeeper_900x900-recovered

My hair isn’t super curly, but it does have a natural wave that, with the help of products, can look a) beachy and cool, or b) crunchy and awful. (Think Hermione Granger and Carrot Top having a baby. Actually, don’t.)

Most curl-enhancing products I’ve tried require blow drying with a diffuser in order to avoid  stiff, crunchy waves. The problem is that I’m lazy, and the only reason I ever choose to deal with my natural texture in the first place is because I don’t feel like taking the time to blow it dry. I know, I know, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. My wallet is also too small for my $50s and my diamond shoes are too tight.

I got really excited when I read the directions on the packaging and they specifically said to let your hair air dry.  I did, and this may be the first product EVER that gave me air-dried beachy waves with absolutely zero crunch. I plan to purchase this full-size, and possibly give the CEO of Curly Hair Solutions my firstborn.

Caudalie Divine Legs

07.24.13 Divine Legs

This lotion is supposed to make your legs look smooth and toned. It does make my legs feel silky, but if toned legs are your goal, your money would be better spent on a gym membership.

Pur Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Full disclosure: I actually had to Google “CC” cream to find out what the hell it even is. Apparently, CC stands for “color control,” and this cream is supposed to “moisturize, prime, brighten, and conceal.”

07.24.13 CC Cream

As you can see, this stuff evened out my skin tone considerably, and I love that it’s super lightweight. I ALSO love that it’s SPF 40 – normally I layer sunscreen under my primer, since I refuse to go outside with anything less than SPF 30 on my face. Amazingly, I think it smoothed my skin even better than my beloved Smashbox Photo Finish primer … looks like I’ll be purchasing this full-size as well. This is one of the best products I’ve never received from Birchbox.

To learn more about Birchbox or to get a subscription, go here.

Fake tan fail

Yesterday it was finally warm enough to wear a skirt without tights, so I broke out my fake tan lotion after my shower … only to find that the bottle was empty. I rooted around in my beauty supply drawer and found a couple of Comodynes self-tanning towelettes I received in a Birchbox and never tried, so I decided to use one of those instead of my usual lotion.

Should you ever find yourself in possession of Comodynes self-tanning towelettes, I suggest you throw them away immediately or give them to somebody you hate.

After unknowingly applying Satan’s self-tanner, I went off to work, met with people, went to appointments, and then got in my car to drive home. Which is when I noticed huge, white streaks running up both shins.

04.02.13 Fake tan fail

This picture really doesn’t do it justice. In real life the white streaks are so vivid that I look like an Oompa Loompa-colored candy cane. I’ve never used a tanning towelette before, but I feel like there’s no way I forgot to wipe huge portions of my shins when I was applying this horrible stuff. I actually have finger marks on my thighs, which is kind of mysterious as applied it using a TOWEL and not my FINGERS.

I was actually glad when I woke up to cold, dreary weather this morning, since I’ll be wearing pants until this stuff wears off.