A Crying Shame

So, to catch you up: we’re buying a house.

And it needs a lot of work.

And while my other half is super (annoyingly) crafty and can build things just by THINKING about them–whereas my home improvement skills are strictly limited to vetoing paint colors and moving all the furniture to one side of the room so I can do some half-assed workout video–we definitely have a very, very limited budget.

Luckily we work in real estate development, so when the opportunity to straight up cannibalize another (way nicer) house came along, we jumped on it. Grabbed our crow bars, loaded up the ipod with some Ke$ha, and started tearing stuff out and boxing it up.

It’s been dirty and sweaty and fun, if you’re the kind of person who thinks bubble wrapping shower heads and coming face-to-face with the limits of your own meager physical strength on a daily basis is fun.

Anyway. Today I was in the middle of taking down some light fixtures in the house that we’re going to use parts from to renovate our own shack– and the key word here is shack, because the house we’re buying is pretty busted but the house we are cannibalizing is DOPE AS HELL and totally tricked out– when I heard a thunderous crash and had what I assume is the worst thought any human has ever had, which was:

Please let that have been someone getting shot.

Please let that thunderous, terrifying crash have been someone I care about DYING…as long as it wasn’t the marble…

Continue reading

Update

Things I have put on my face this week include, but are not limited to, taco juice, vitamin E oil, SK-II essence, candle wax, dog slobber, men’s moisturizer, dirt, josie argan cleansing oil, and sunscreen.

Some of them were, obviously, not on purpose.

The biggest news is that this peasant with a heart of gold saved up her pennies (which her boyfriend is under the impression were being put towards paying off a medical bill I maaaaaaay have been avoiding for over a year– COME AND GET ME, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON WHO WAS MEAN TO ME) and instead bought this…

url

Oh, shit.

OH SHIT.  Continue reading

Friends for your Manfriend

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, for which my boyfriend will most likely get me something impressive and expensive and elaborately romantic and I will inevitably get him something that I really just want for myself but that I am masquerading as a gift for “us” (cough cough ROOMBA cough), I thought I’d switch it up for a sec and focus on man products, because men need skin love too, love is in the air, whatever.

I also think that in a world (the beauty world, I mean– though wouldn’t it be great if that really was a separate world, though? And you could live in a house made entirely of beauty products? That’s my Hansel and Gretel fantasy, step into my brain for a sec) where beauty products are marketed almost exclusively to women (using a distinctly heteronormative marketing system that places value judgements on women’s faces and bodies as if they are a commons to be governed and critiqued  by the masses) I think maybe it’s good to remind people of the fact that these so-called “beauty” products can be co-opted by men, for their use, without stigma that “beautifying oneself” or “beauty” in general is inherently feminine, and therefore emasculating.

Picture 4

 

THIS dude know’s what’s up.

 

Anyway. My friend Chad sidled up to me recently and sort of covered his mouth as he asked me: Shmuufh dspfml dosshh shmuudle shmuff shhhhh?

And I was like, Chad, what are you saying, I can’t hear you, stop covering your mouth.

So he took his hand away, dropped his voice to a whisper and said: “What are some good products for guys to use?”

And then my heart exploded into a thousand pieces and it rained sparkles and candy for three hours, because do you know how hard it is to get the men in my life to even CONSIDER using a face product? Do you know how hard it is to get them to even use the WORD product? It’s impossible. I have tried and failed and whined about it for a long, long time, until people drop their eyes and mutter about having to go home and feed a nonexistent cat and then slowly back away from me until they can break into a run.

BUT I DIGRESS.

Chad spends a ton of time outdoors because he is a crazy cyclist. So he’s constantly putting tons of sunscreen onto his face to avoid developing a giant melanoma spot across his whole forehead and over time that gunk cakes up and clogs his pores. Universal beauty problem that transcends gender.

My boyfriend, like every other dude here in Florida, would trade in his legs for waterskis if it meant he could spend every moment of the rest of his life out on the ocean, chasing some big fish and terrorizing it half to death. So he gets a TON of sun as well, and while he will haphazardly slap some sunscreen on his mug every once in a while, he already has enough sun damage to make me worry about a future scary mole situation. (Never mind the fact that he may one day resemble an actual leather handbag– he’s not concerned about that shit.)

And even though he may not care about getting skin cancer, he DEFINITELY still gets self conscious if he gets a honking zit, and he is always complaining about the ingrown hairs he gets after shaving. UNIVERSAL BEAUTY PROBLEMS TRANSCENDING GENDER AGAIN.

There are, of course, a whole slew of amazing men’s products out there. (Those of us with gay manfriends may have even gotten drunk and snuck into the bathroom to smell their products longingly–so much menthol! So much sandalwood! But I’ve definitely never done that. Ever.)

But most of the dudes I know can’t be bothered to mess around with anything more than a scraggly shard of Irish Spring, and while Details magazine may insist that 7 out of 10 dudes are using women’s products in secret or whatever, I do not buy that. I do not buy that for a seeeeecccccccoooonnnnnd. I think most guys are too lazy to really get into facial products, and while they wouldn’t technically mind using one that made them look better (as long as it smelled neutral, looked like it was for men, and was supremely uncomplicated to apply) they are more concerned with things like which razors don’t shred their cheeks, or which hair wax  keeps their hair spiky through the very last fist bump.

Also, hello, men’s skin is hella different than women’s. It’s thicker, fattier, it binds water better, produces more sebum and it occasionally sprouts massive amounts of hair. So they need different stuff than us.

We’re looking for products that multitask, look slick, smell manly and get shit done. (Oh, and they can’t be expensive because show me the straight man who is willing to spend a ton of money on products when he could be buying beer. I would like to meet that guy and shake his sweet-smelling, well-moisturized hand.)

Here are a few that are, in my humble opinion, pretty bitchin…

s1214188-main-Lhero

This is a unisex product that is inexpensive compared to many of the Men’s aftershave-type products that you see on the market today. It’s excellent for stopping ingrown hairs, and while it stings like a motherfucker if you apply it right after shaving or waxing, its worth the 10 seconds of pain. Dudes who are especially prone to ingrowns (red, inflamed, occasionally white-tipped bumps that seemingly crop up overnight and wreck your whole game) should apply to the shaven area once a day. It doesn’t smell, it comes in a nice blue bottle, and it works.

Picture 10

Givenchy has come out with a men’s skincare line that tickles my ribs for two reasons: one, it has quality ingredients, and two: the person writing their copy is a batshit maniac, and I love me some crazy. They talk big game about how their products have HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS OF INGREDIENTS, which means HIGHER EFFECTIVENESS (not necessarily but we’ll let it go) and how you only need to USE IT ONCE, SO YOU SAVE YOUR MAN TIME, but the best part by far is that all their products descriptions begin with the question– literally– “Are you man enough?”

Are you man enough to use a face cream, dude? Are you man enough to PUT THIS FUCKING CREAM ALL OVER YOUR FACE LIKE A MAN AND THEN PRIMAL SCREAM AND EAT SOME MEAT? AHHHHHHH! MAN CREAMS!!!!!!

But seriously. This is a great daily moisturizer.

It has one of my favorite acids, Hyaluronic, which will keep his skin soft and exfoliated. It’s got some nice vitamins, it absorbs quickly, and it can help to combat some minor fine lines which no one is going to complain about.

 

Picture 1

 

This product is EXCELLENT, and while it’s worked for me in the past I know a lot of women for whom the 10% Glycolic was just too drying or harsh. The men I know who use this, however, have never had a problem. This is an excellent option for guys who are suffering from clogged pores, acne, or overall dullness. I’ve also seen it even out patchiness, fade acne marks, and heal the sick.

That last one might be untrue but it’s really a wonderful product that isn’t going to break the bank, can be bought online while one is still in one’s flannel pajama pants, and brings dramatic results in a reasonable time frame. Great choice for dudes who use sunscreen daily and need to strip their face down at night– and it should only be used at night, since it makes you sensitive to the sun and interacts with sunscreen.

Picture 3

 

This one is mine, and I use it weekly– but somehow I’ve also convinced my obliging other half to try it out (maybe because it’s black and looks a little bit like corpse paint?) and it’s just such a great product, for both men and women. Great for clearing out pores, bringing an overall tightness and clarity to the skin. Contains both charcoal and clay, two absolute heavyweights when it comes to face masks, plus it’s natural and relatively cheap. If you’re ever going to convince your dude to do a face mask, this one might be it. It smells medicinal, not floral, and you look like a member of KISS when you apply it.

Ditto this other luminizing mask by Boscia, which is also truly great and even BLACKER so you really look like you’re in Halloween costume and can scare the shit out of anyone who decides to swing by to visit.

s1269455-main-hero

 

The Origins mask gets washed off while the Boscia mask gets peeeeeeeeeeeeled off slowly (which is great for exfoliating the top layer of the skin while drawing out any impurities that are easily extracted) so if your guy was a fan of peeling elmer’s glue off his hands back in grade school you might convince him to try this mask just on the basis of that alone.

Truly all of the above products can be used by women as well, but some may be a bit harsh for sensitive skin and are better left to the burly lumberjack (who still pines for radiant skin! I KNOW YOU EXIST) in your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day, guys– I wish you love, happiness, and totally rad skin.

Gender-neutrally yours,

-M

 

New Year, New Products

Okay.

I took some time off from blogging.

That’s obvious. I know.

And I could make excuses about how I have a new job, or how we’ve been trying to find a house, or how I’ve been traveling so much that my personal food pyramid now has an entire segment devoted to duty free liquor.

UGH LEAVE ME ALONE.

UGH LEAVE ME ALONE.

But you know what I didn’t take time off from?

Spending all my spare time putting shit on my face. Because traveling, and long work hours, and airport booze form a deadly triumvirate that is hellbent on destroying any facial glow, replacing it with cracks and creases and dark circles so pronounced I look like a cartoon raccoon. So I persevere.

I was planning on doing a nice 2013 Skin Resolutions post, including all the healthful, beautifying ingredients I’m obsessed with and the new trends I’m thinking of incorporating into my routine. And there’s certainly some cool stuff going on that we can talk about. But then fucking LIFE came in and FUCKED MY SHIT UP with its REAL TALK and suddenly my resolution became “No more corn chips with a side of Swedish Fish eaten shamefully under your desk for breakfast.”

I’m trying to be an adult, you guys. (But I don’t want to look like one.)

First of all, Christmas was good to me. I got mad relaxed in the Caribbean and I succeeded in protecting my pale while still having a gay old time on the beach, which is SO IMPORTANT GO PUT SUNSCREEN ON RIGHT NOW. But really, the most important thing that happened was the introduction of these little baddies into my routine…

So fancy it deserves a tiara.

So fancy it deserves a tiara.

I had a miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinor freak out when I noticed some fine lines creeping into my eye area, and the benevolent Skin Gods (hey, Mom!) answered my prayers with some La Mer goodness. I’m not going to tell you to go buy this (even though it is awesome) because hello, it literally costs a fortune. But I’m in love with it. I’m in love with an inanimate object. I am this chick: http://bit.ly/Tm6jxU

You sexy vegan, you.

You sexy vegan, you.

Also in the stocking this year: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ Lip Tar, which is just so great you guys. So great. It’s all natural and vegan and not tested on animals and affordable and it probably volunteers with the homeless in its spare time, it’s so good. And it LASTS. I bought a nudish pinkish color called “melange” after I caught my boyfriend staring at a Kim Kardashian photo with what can only be described as a deep, animal longing and I realized I maybe should dabble in nude lips paired with a smoky eye (the butt, however, remains resolutely un-cartoonish…but whatever, you do what you can.)

I have often waxed poetic about lip stains and this one deserves a prize spot in the oeuvre. It’s hugely pigmented and lasts for hours and hours and makes you feel good about yourself. Kardashianisms not included.

41F4D1vrIHL._SY355_

More Omegas than a salmon avocado roll.

I rep face oils like I have some sort of contract (TOTALLY OPEN TO THIS IDEA GET AT ME COSMETIC COMPANIES) because the truth is, they changed my face game. I was patchy as fuck and less than luminous until the church of internet converted me into the face oil world. I haven’t looked back and am constantly checking out new ones; this Nude ProGenius oil is fairly new and exciting.

It’s got tons of Omegas and various seed oils (including an abysmally named “Rapeseed.” Typo, Sephora?) and absorbs very, very well. No greasiness, only soft dewiness and a general badass radiance left behind after it’s rubbed in. I use it on my face and neck and it passes the Paltrow Test (is it all natural, expensive-feeling, hyped a ton and glow-producing? Paltrow check!)

How is your 2013 shaping up? Have you already broken your resolutions involving kale? Are you still washing your face with a brillo pad, or have I convinced you to join me on the less abrasive side of things? Have I persuaded you into priming? Tell me things.

Perpetually drunk on duty free, rubbing oil onto my face in the airport bathroom,

M

Hippie Healing (plus a Giveaway)

I am currently running around with some serious face sweat, trying to condense three weeks worth of clothing and toiletries into one carry-on suitcase and a backpack from the 90’s.

Clothing-wise, I’m fine. It’s the toiletries that always pose a bit of a nuclear disaster tiny hiccup. I have a hard time condensing all the things I think I need into that stupid little condom wrapper-sized TSA plastic ziplock (who doesn’t, I mean– AIRPLANES, AMIRIGHT? Tip your waitress, guys!) and so I want to give a shout out to a line of products that are making my life easier with their tiny size and massive abilities.

The people over at SkinFare recently sent me an assortment of their incredibly rad products– all made in Ashville, NC, the mecca of nonconformity and vegenaise– and I am LOVING their all-natural products so much I don’t even mind that they are good for me. Even my cold, processed heart was moved by  the fact that their products are 100% organic, powerfully pure, and they smell fascinating. Like, I have been sticking them up my nose all week just to figure out which one I like best. Currently at the top?

This one, called THUNDERCAKE:

Picture 3

Coincidently also the name of my ZZTop cover band.

THUUUUUUUUNDERCAAAAAKE.

Yell that out loud, it’s liberating.

Look at those ingredients! It literally contains nothing unnatural. It is basically a plant. Even the fucking PACKAGING is compostable. (Do not throw them out your car window just because you technically can. That is gross. Be an adult.)

They are small, super moisturizing without being oily, they’re a SOLID so you know TSA can’t say shit to you about your crazy body cream being too big to fly, and they’re lightly scented with such unexpected combinations of essential oils. They smell INTERESTING, and I mean that in a good way.

(Not like when you’re all, she is So Interesting Looking! which everyone knows is just code for HER CRAZY HOOK NOSE IS SO BIG IT LOOKS LIKE A PLANET.)

Very important to me: I have a great distaste for products that smell like something a 13 year old prostitute might take a liking to. If taken prisoner and pressed for details about….something….my torture would involve being misted in the face with Cucumber Melon Bodyspray for ten seconds, which is exactly how long it would take me to crack and give up the….codes…to something. And then there would be an epic montage of me being forced to do horrible things to my fellow captured marine, all under the threat of being forced to wear TommyGirl or use Victoria’s Secret body butter.

Oh man, how great is Homeland? Anyway.

Picture 4

These are just great. They smell herbal and edible and beautiful and intoxicatingly complicated, like your college roommate from Montreal who was way cooler than you and listened to French rap and smoked bidis and made experimental art and Oh, god, I have so many unresolved issues from college, clearly. I layer them and put them on places where my skin is extra dry and sensitive (like around my mouth and my hands and my ankles and basically my entire body because I am a parched, reactive baby.)

I like a good spicy-scented  salve as much as the next girl, but what I REALLY like is one that I can pack in lieu of three other products when I am traveling, because that saves me space for other superfluous things, like false eyelashes shaped like deer. One stick of Skinfare is now taking the place of my hand cream, my chapstick and my  hair oil. I am basically the most efficient packer in the world now.

AND, Because I am a kind, gracious, lovely person, I will share the hippie-multitasking love with the first five people to email me, subject SKINFARE GIVEAWAY.

Hit me up, ladies, let’s get crazy, get moisturized, be all natural and smell like a verdant meadow:  putthisonyourface@gmail.com

–M

Tagged , ,

An undead-inspired trend that needs to die…

You know what you do NOT need to put on your face?

20121123_en_grey_friday_main_image

 

Grey lipstick.

I know all the ladies over at Fashionista and Clutch and a slew of other publications have been trilling that this OFFICIAL MAKEUP TREND is a BOLD, RUNWAY-READY CHOICE, one that takes CONFIDENCE AND DARING, but I think it takes a fucking brain injury to look at something the color of raggedy Hanes underwear and think Yes, Yes, I should wear that on my mouth.

You should be looking at flowers and exotic fruits and nice brocade fabrics to get your makeup inspiration, okay? Look at candy. Look at famous paintings. Do not look at elephants.

Picture 3

 

Here’s a checklist of how to tell if grey lipstick is for you:

1. Are you pop sensation Ke$ha?

2. Are you attending a costume party dressed as a rotten corpse?

If you answered no to both of the above, you are banned from the grey lipstick club. BANNED. No excuses.

This stuff is offensive to look at. It makes fucking MODELS look bad. That is Chanel Iman up there! She is so beautiful that she might actually be a hologram! And yet: the grey lipstick. It kills it. She looks like she’s about to go on stage for a high school production of The Fifth Element: The Musical.

I reject this trend, I reject its very existence. I reject the makeup artist who looks at a palette of colors and thinks, Hmmm…what the hell has no one done yet that is bound to get photographed? I reject the resultant chatter across the blogosphere that because something was featured on a runway, it Must Be Fashion.

Sometimes makeup artists are just fucking with us. (See: Lady Gaga.) Sometimes it’s art, sometimes it sparks a legit trend that is worth copying (See: J.Lo’s “I’m Real” video and the debut of all-over golden shimmery bronzer.) Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it’s just grey lipstick that is, at first glance, so universally unflattering that it shocks people into thinking maybe they are missing something and should try it out, just in case.

THIS IS A TRAP.

We constantly have bullshit trends in beauty thrust upon us, unceremoniously, and it takes a lot of willpower to stand back and say No, That shit is not for me. Not everyone looks great with a bold lip, even if every blog on earth has featured it as the must-have accessory (other than a PS1 bag) of the season. Not everyone looks good with winged eyeliner, and not everyone looks good with claw nails. If you have been rocking peachy blush since 7th grade because it makes you look like a surfer dream, get at it, lady. Experiment constantly, but only to find what works for you. The best makeup doesn’t require an act of bravery to wear it out of the house. The best makeup makes you feel like a dime– grey lips not included.

 

 

 

Black Friday Sales and Freezing Your Ass Off

I can’t help you with your pie hangover– which is a real thing, believe me, I would know. Recovery just takes time, lots of rest and lemon water, plus shaking your fist at the sky and swearing that as God as your witness you will NEVER eat three slices of pumpkin cheesecake again.

But I wanted to drop in a quick note and say that the online beauty world is still under the impression that it’s black Friday and has set up some delightful discounts for you. I would rather cut off my feet and bleed to death than wait up all night for the chance to get trampled at Best Buy on my quest for a cheap television, but I am certainly not above some calm, private online discount shopping.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU CRAZY ASSHOLES, IT’S JUST A TELEVISION

That is mental. There is nothing in the world at Best Buy that you need that badly. Was Best Buy giving out deeply discounted health insurance plans? Did Best Buy have a special section of limbs for amputees, or an aisle devoted to $200 college educations? Be ashamed of yourself. You elbowed your fellow man in the ribs for the chance to purchase a Canon Coolpix. HIDE YOUR FACE.

Meanwhile, on the internet:

The Sephora Black Friday Sale is still going strong, with a bunch of $10-and-under mini products that I swear by. Everything from Bliss creams to Benefit mascaras and a bunch of great stuff in between is on suuuuper sale, meaning you can try out some fabulous shit without having to commit to a full-sized expensive version.

(And let me just say: reports of me waiting up till midnight just so I could buy four or five Ole Henriksen $10 sets and a handful of Boscia minis, all the while screaming at my boyfriend TO NOT TALK TO ME RIGHT NOW I AM DOING SOMETHING SUPER IMPORTANT AND IF YOU DISTRACT ME I WILL FUCKING CUT YOUR FACE have been greatly exaggerated by biased parties.)

Ulta is also doing some dope Black Friday discounts over on their website, and while their selection is kind of down to slim pickings, you’d do well if you were in the market for a new straightening iron, hairdryer, hot rollers set or Bed Head product. AND, if you’re ready to take the plunge, Skinstore.com has Clarisonics on sale for 20% off. They’re also discounting some great lines like Perricone MD and La Roche-Posay. GO FORTH AND PURCHASE ONLINE, YOUNG WARRIOR.

 

This is not camping. You are doing camping wrong.

 

Also, I’m up North and HOLY SHIT is it way too cold for comfort. The transition from balmy Floridian weather to ball-shrinking icy breezes and negative humidity has made my skin roughly the texture of tissue paper. It’s flaking off so bad that I am one step away from shedding my entire surface epidermis like a weird, fat snake.

To deal with dry and painfully chapped or scaly skin, I’ve got some favorites. I have already talked about my love for this bad boy, which I apply everywhere including my face in winter, but I also want to highlight the following:

 

Packed with every emollient you could ever want PLUS antioxidants, this cream does not fuck around. It is simultaneously thick and lightweight, in that it has the consistency of pudding but rubs in wonderfully without any residual greasiness. It comes in a giant tub that I like to keep beside my bed when I travel to cold places, using handfuls at a time and complaining that I can’t afford mink fur sheets. I am a BABY about the cold. I demand hot baths be drawn for me. I slink around and lay on top of the heating vents like a house cat, sucking up all the warmth. I wear a union suit un-ironically. This cream and I, we’ve had some good times.

My quick fix for cracked, painful lips (which doubles as a solid under-eye mask for winter) is alarmingly simple: cut open a Vitamin E capsule and rub the oil directly onto your skin. It will be sticky and gloriously thick. Allow to soak in. Breathe a sigh of relief; snuggle deeper into your flannel onesie. Look up mink fur bedding on Ebay. Repeat if necessary (it shouldn’t be.)

Teeth chattering-ly yours,

M

Long Read for Long Rides

I’m traveling home to Boston for the Thanksgiving holiday and post-holiday festivities (read: sleeping on my face while complaining that I ate too many slices of pie, claiming it is too cold outside to leave the house, etc.)

Then I’m flying to L.A., then back to Boston, then out to the Caribbean for a vacation with my family, then back to Florida, then to Panama.

I am basically a flight attendant, but without the cute kick-pleat skirt and the massive amounts of irradiation.

(Let’s get this out of the way before it becomes a problem: I am aware of my super blessed, lucky-as-shit existence and the fact that I get to travel awesome places and eat many foreign meats. I’m incredibly thankful and it’s not permanent so I take it while it’s here. I’m present in my moment. Don’t worry, this is not the blog of a haughty rich person. I WISH.)

SO: My current life has arranged itself as such that get to fly places a lot. And I often arrive at my destination much faster than I would have if I’d taken, say, an oxen or tricycle. So yes, flying is technically great. It’s a triumph of mankind and it means I get to arrive at very dope places for adventures and revelry or whatever.

But flying a lot is, in and of itself, mostly bad. I AM NOT COMPLAINING JUST BEAR WITH ME FOR A SECOND. PUT DOWN YOUR ROTTEN FRUIT.

First of all, flying is fucking hell on your skin. And of course — big surprise coming, get ready for it —  I struggle to condense my toiletries into one tiny ziplock bag. I’m one taser zap away from a strip search when TSA starts getting on my case as to whether my weird body butter  is a cream or a liquid and I’m all DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT MAKING ME THROW THIS OUT IT IS FRENCH AND EXPENSIVE AND IT SMELLS LIKE MERMAIDS, I WILL EAT IT BEFORE YOU MAKE ME LEAVE IT BEHIND.

I am always dressed inappropriately for the too-hot or too-cold plane cabin because I flat out REFUSE to be one of those chicks who wears sweatpants and carries a pillow for a three hour domestic flight. (To those chicks: Calm down, okay? You’re just going to be sitting down for three hours. Keep your bra on. This isn’t hypersleep.)

And I usually get seated next to the person who grows garlic and raises wildebeest for a living. Or the raving, closetalker missionary who is deeply concerned about my immortal soul. Or in that horrible zone of the plane that always, always, for the entire flight, smells like a cross between egg rolls and farts.

Some kid kicks my seat the whole way. I get thrown up on. My feet get stepped on. I sit on gum. Something punctured a waterbottle in the overhead compartment and it’s leaking directly onto my head. I’m seated in the middle seat next to the bathroom and everyone onboard ate Indian food for lunch.

But you know what? I expect these things. They are part of the privilege of zooming around in the air like a fucking miracle, arriving in places where the timezone dictates you’ve actually travelled back in time to get there like something out of a Philip K Dick novel….I mean, come on. Flying is crazy. We live in the future. We are an episode of the Jetsons.

But the one given about flying that I WILL NOT  accept as part of the miraculous package is that when I arrive somewhere I have to look like I travelled there on the bottom of someone else’s shoe, with my face simultaneously greasy and dry and my hair looking flat and pathetic. I do not accept this. I want to arrive places looking beautiful and so unreasonably vibrant and fresh that people assume I am famous in Korea.

I have amassed some tools to help with this.

Below, find Maxine’s 5 Must-haves for Any Long Flight (or short flight where someone who matters will pick you up at the airport)

1. Prepare your hair like you’re going to sleep the night before the school play. By which I mean, braid that shit (loosely or tightly, depending on your hair texture) and gently mist it with some water (scented with essential oils if you want to be fancy and treat your seatmate to some nice inflight aromatherapy) before you leave. Right before you land, unbraid it, tousle like you’re being filmed in slow motion and maybe sprinkle some travel-sized hair powder on your roots if you had to wake up HELLA early and didn’t have time to shower. (Lulu Organics makes some nicely scented natural ones. I also like Ojon’s little one.) If you have straightish hair, this also works with any sort of beach hair spray, like this one. If you have curly/frizzy hair, I like to work some of this through while my hair is still damp and pre-braided. Get creative.

2. Turn your tiny square of airspace into a mini-spa. Spa is a frame of mind, okay? Go ahead. Cross-stitch that shit and frame it. Hang it on your cubicle wall. SPA IS A FRAME OF MIND. That means do what you need to do to take yourself out of the air (not literally, you would die) and into a thatched room on the beach in Bali or a birch wood sweat lodge in Sweden…whatever, your spa place is your spa place. But treat yourself nicely. Use this time to catch up on all the pampering you haven’t had time to do. I have literally applied face masks on overnight flights. I like to glob some LacHydrin onto my feet, throw some socks on over those puppies and spend the rest of the flight letting my heels take on the texture of whipped cream.

Get to work on yourself! Apply a dense, softly scented moisturizing lotion to your hands, décolletage, elbows and feet. (I love this one, this one and this one.) Spritz your face with a gentle toning or balancing mist (Jurlique makes some excellent options) and use the flight to apply a really dense conditioning treatment for your lips and under-eye area. (I use La Mer because I think I am an actual celebrity. Which brings us to….)

3. Pretend you are Gwyneth Paltrow.* This is the most important one. This means: treat traveling like it’s an exhausting but necessary part of your breathtaking, ultra-fab life. Treat this time like you are a member of an elite, super-special class of über humans who do not normally interact with everyday nobodies. Treat your time in the sky as an extension of your five-star time on land. Wrap yourself in a supersoft pashmina. Refuse to take off your sunglasses. Wear large, noise-cancelling headphones (they don’t even have to be plugged into anything– you’re just signaling the rest of the world that they are not to speak to you.) Drink only water, no drying alcohol or sugary sodas. You’re GWYNETH FREAKING PALTROW, people, you can’t be putting that shit into your body!

Pull the shade down. Ignore every idiot who tries to talk to you about their hedge fund. Read British Vogue. Bring your own raw snacks onboard and pity the fools who have to order the Mrs. Fields cookie. Bring a notebook and spend the flight writing down things that are important to say to your celebrity friends. Say no to autographs. Say yes to oversized cashmere. Be a first class icon who is making the best of it in coach. Be humble and silent and kind of austere. Be a boss bitch. Just take care of YOU, only for those few hours that you’re flying “you” is actually a millionaire lifestyle brand. It is okay to tell the smelly garlic and wildebeest farmer to leave you alone (kindly, if possible.) It is okay to tell the parents of the seat-kicking child that they need to reign in their demon spawn. Take out your lavender-scented eyemask, put in your earplugs, maybe take some Ativan if you’re down with that. YOU’RE GWYNETH FREAKING PALTROW, okay? You need your rest.

4. Make flying a DISCOVERY PARTY. Bring something delightful for all your senses. Something new you’ve never heard or read or applied to your elbows. Something exciting. Something that will take your mind off the fact that you are hurtling through the air at 30,000 feet in what is essentially a shiny silver death trap. I like to bring new music and a weird type of chocolate, the latter of which covers two of my senses (three if it feels weird in my mouth!) and helps me feel like I am having a special treat. If every flight you take is a guaranteed opportunity to experience something new and interesting, you will never find yourself rifling through the SkyMall catalogue thinking Yes, Yes I Do Need A Canine Genealogy Kit. Boredom is your enemy, here. Vanquish it before it has a chance to take root. In an emergency, give yourself a creative task: I will count every bald spot on this plane! I will DRAW every bald spot on this plane! With my eyes closed! On cocktail napkins! With eyeliner! Be specific.

5. If at all possible, do not check luggage. I learned this the hard way, when I was straight up not given a choice and found myself crying atop a giant pile of half-folded sun dresses, contemplating NOT GOING ON VACATION because I couldn’t just pick three goddamn sundresses to pack instead of ten. GROW UP, PUT AWAY SEVEN OF THOSE DRESSES, PAST SELF.

I fought it hard. I am a chronic over-packer; I bring backup rain boots. But I have learned that it is almost always, always, always worth it to just pack carry-on. It makes your whole airline experience a breeze, and it makes you more aware of what you actually need and don’t need. (Also, it gives you an excuse to be like OH SORRY I DIDN’T PACK A DRESS FOR THE OPERA, GUESS YOU’LL HAVE TO BUY ME ONE, I JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE LOOKED UP WHERE THE H&M IS IN VENICE.) Be smart. Pack enough undies, roll your clothes, only bring one pair of dark jeans, only bring one pair of boots, bring a spangly necklace and just make sure everything you DO bring is so fabulous looking that no one will notice you’ve already worn it 2x. Print out your boarding passes ahead of time and then stroll right past those crazy-long lines of sad families traveling to Disney World bringing a whole cartload of bags with them. (What the hell did you pack in there? Are you bringing like 15 more pairs of white sneakers?)

The truth is, no one is thinking about you or looking at you as much as you ever think they are (unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, fine) so do yourself a favor and pack light, travel easier and consign yourself to re-wearing the same black tank top three times. No one will notice. Do not worry if the people around you are giving you weird looks because you’re applying this face mask while they are eating pretzels and watching Tower Heist. You are in the spa state of mind. Do not think about other people. You’re in a beach hut in Bali! There are no other people. You are a professional. You are discovering new music, enjoying new types of chocolate. You are sitting back with your head wrapped in a soft, woven scarf, listening to Bjork and smelling nice smells. Your hair is braided. Your elbows are creamed. You are relaxed. You are content. You are Gwyneth Freaking Paltrow. Enjoy your flight.

 

Soaring through the air with the softest of heels,
M

 

*may be substituted for: Beyonce, Posh Spice, Martha Stewart, Mariah Carey, J.Lo, or diva of equal worth.

In which I stay humble…

Um, okay. I would like to point something out.

No big deal or anything.

Not trying to brag.

Definitely telling this to you from a sitting position. Definitely not sitting up on my high horse, smelling fresh air (cause my horse is REALLY high up) and feeling boastful while I feed said horse some delicious golden apples.

But can we just acknowledge that a day after I posted my crazy rant about getting you to the primer party, the New York Times decided it needed to take out a full spread in its Style section to tell you all about what’s happening in the world of– YOU GUESSED IT– baby elephant tricks.

No, I’m just kidding. They want to talk to you about primers, duh.

YA HEARD IT HERE FIRST.

Ahead of the game,

M

Tagged , ,

Afternoon Quickie

As of now, one of my freelance jobs is editing a tabloid here in the Keys. It’s hardly stressful, being that the actual editing only takes place one day a week. But that one day– Tuesday, for the record– is a doozy, with me glued to my computer for anywhere from 10 to 16 hours straight as we prepare to go to press. The first six hours I’m pumped, checkin’ mad blogs and having witty conversations with strangers in AOL chat rooms, just getting my internet on. But at around 11:30pm, when the web seems as stale as the last piece of Halloween candy that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away (I’m looking at you, sad wrinkled tootsie roll) I get pretty fucking antsy.

And because I can’t walk away from my laptop I’m left to do basically nothing other than pick at my face glumly and watch Hulu while my boyfriend trots in and out of the house, whistling cheerfully and describing what kinds of exciting nighttime parades I am missing outside.

In an effort to avoid going full-on Anne Frank, I like to make the most of my hermetic computer time by getting my personal spa on– you know, face masks, nail art, what have you.

Sometimes I like to get fancy and do an SK-II boogeyman mask or an elaborate, claw-like manicure. Other days I like to go home brewed (literally) and put some green tea bags on my lower eye area and maybe throw a hair mask on my tips. And some days it is all I can do to just stare at my computer screen, absent-mindedly pumicing my heels and wondering if I’ll ever be able to pull off plum-colored lipstick.

But mostly I like to do face masks. Usually clay ones, because they turn my face into an opaque, creamy spa ghost and because they look thick and frosting-like and luxurious, the desire for which I can only ascribe to watching that scene from Mrs. Doubtfire at a very formative age.

You know the one.

Heeelloooooo!

 

This morning, in anticipation of my inevitable afternoon editing slump, I ventured deeeeeep into so-cheap-it-might-contain-actual-dirt aisle of CVS and purchased this bad boy:

Why are her eyes sprouting trees?

 

Have you noticed the funniest part of the above image?

No, it’s not that the model has what appear to be pine cones emerging from her eyes.

It’s that this $1.49 pack of mud ships for free— as though maybe that’ll seal the deal for you if the price seems a tad steep for your broke ass.

Anyway. It was pretty great as far as $1.49 face masks go, and I’ve done my fair share. Thick, buttery consistency, refreshing and full of oil-zapping clay, which is what I look for in a clay mask (go figure.) It wakes you up with its tingly, menthol-rich scent and it’s heavy on the [Dead Sea] salt, which means it’s great for drying out oily patches or existing acne flare-ups. AND it has a bunch of nice smelling essential oils in it that are soothing. A bouquet of great aspects for a face mask to have, really.

My skin was crazy smooth, clear and smelled like a basket of eucalyptus afterwards, but most importantly: my existing pores were less visible after I rinsed my face off. RESULTS YOU CAN SEE, people.

I followed up with a complimentary moisturizer (I used this one because it is fucking wonderful: Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion) and I had myself a nice little mini-break for an hour or so.

BEAUTY: it’s not just for rich ladies with tiny dogs and Maybachs.

This other cheapo clay mask does an equally excellent job, but is a little more moisturizing and soothing rather than oil-stripping and pore-tightening, if that’s what you’re into– sometimes a lady likes to be soothed, but other times she likes to be slapped in the face by menthol vapors, you know? Choose your choice. In any case, choose this one for a less astringent but equally velvety treat: Freeman’s Clay, Avocado & Oatmeal Mask. And yes: It does cost a bit more than the pinecones-in-the-eyes mask costs…at the sky-high price of $2.99 it’s a bigger investment. You’ve been warned.

Sticking my face in a meringue because it looks so goddamn fun,

M

Get down with it.

 

 

Tagged ,