When I was a Junior at Sasspants University* I went on a study abroad to Florence, Italy, and was housed with a host “family” of one human. My “Mama” was a 50-something leopard print enthusiast who, on my very first day, told me elaborate tales about how her dead husband haunted his old office, and then showed me where I’d be sleeping all semester (Surprise! His old office.) She had great style, fantastic art, spoke like 5 words of English and thought I was a complete buffoon because I asked for things like “internet” and “blankets.”
One day I took a shower in the tiny-ass train compartment of a bathroom (have you ever showered on a train? Second surprise! The shower head is located over the toilet) that she’d given me, and because I was upset about something dumb (not speaking a single word of Italian, maybe? That proved to be an issue during my living in Italy) I accidently lost track of time, showered for like an hour, and when I stepped outside I realized I’d sooooooooort of flooded her entire super-expensive apartment, ruining literally everything in sight and proving I was even dumber than she’d originally thought. WHOOPSIdasies.
From that day on, my host mother told me how to shower (quickly, using very little water, and only every other day or so…similarly to how I imagine one showers in the army or on a space ship? I don’t know, I am not in a Space Army.) She told me how to shower, because I had lost the privilege of other people assuming I knew how to shower, and I accepted her wisdom because I was alone in a foreign country and I’d seen Hostel on opening weekend and I was not about to go pissing off some crazy Italian lady only to find out that she happened to be into killing American chicks and using their hair to make old-timey wreaths.
That is one of the only instances in which I think it is acceptable for another human being to tell you how to shower.
You know what’s not acceptable?
When I open a women’s magazine and they tell me how to shower.
DON’T USE HOT WATER, IT DRIES OUT YOUR SKIN.
DON’T USE TAP WATER, USE ONLY 73 DEGREE EVIAN.
TAKE LUKEWARM BATHS.
TAKE ONLY MILK BATHS.
TAKE BATHS IN THE BLOOD OF YOUR ENEMIES.
SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FACE WITH COLD WATER, IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HAIR/SKIN/EYEBALLS.
NEVER SHOWER AGAIN, JUST RUB YOURSELF VIGOROUSLY WITH A HARD VOLCANIC ROCK.
Listen up. It is not acceptable for some bitch you don’t know to tell you how to shower. Okay? It’s not. It’s just….not something that we can accept. The next time you open up a magazine and it’s like, 5 NEW WAYS TO WASH YOUR ARMPITS, you roll up that newspaper and you use it to light the candles on your Santeria shrine. Because ladies, you are adults. You are successful, sarcastic, gorgeous women of the world, and you know how to take a fucking shower, okay? You were not raised by wolves. And yes, standing under scalding hot water for twenty minutes does dry out your skin, but you know what? Sometimes you need to scald away the horrors of the day. Sometimes you need to wash off the image of that creepy guy masturbating on the subway, or the meeting that lasted for two hours where the only words you uttered were “I agree with Kevin.”
Sometimes bad bitches need to sit inside a hot ass bath and read some Pulitzer-winning books, you know? And there is no magazine in the universe who can take that away from you.
So, if your skin is dry from the shower or bath and the thought of standing under a measly dribble of lukewarm BULLSHIT instead of your nightly, wonderfully hot faceblast doesn’t sound appealing, here is some shit that will help you get your skin on lock afterwards…
OH MY GOD, AMLACTIN I WANT TO MARRY YOUR CREAMY, INEXPENSIVE ASS. This stuff is outrageous. It smells like….it doesn’t smell great, okay….it kind of smells like acid, which makes sense because it has acid in it. And that acid is your NEW BEST FRIEND, the kind that comes over and is like, “Oh, I just happened to have all these extra beautiful clothes in your size! Here! Take them, and this money! I have too much of it, anyway. You’re so much prettier than me!” This cream is not messing around. It has the consistency of a very fancy Irish butter, like maybe you’d put it on a scone and have yourself a nice little afternoon. It’s INTENSE. It’s TRIPLE ACTION. I used it once in the summer and went outside, and my skin was so moisturized that I started sweating moisturizer. That is a TRUE STORY.
You can get this shit (or its moderately less heavy cousin, Amlactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion, or its cousin’s cousin, Lac-Hydrin Five Lotion Fragrance Free) at any CVS, Walgreens, DuaneReade, or similarly-unfancy store. I put this stuff on my whole body after I take the kind of punishing, slightly painful shower that lasts so long my boyfriend has to come in twice just to make sure I didn’t slip, fall, hit my head and die in there. Use the lighter (non-triple action) versions if you’re scared of being TOO moisturized, if you live someplace hot, or if you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about when I say “alligator shins.”
Next up is my main steez, my ball-and-chain, my shorty for life:
Jojoba Oil, you and me are bound forever.
This stuff is relatively inexpensive and inspires the kind of rapturous enthusiasm that is usually reserved for men talking about Cool Ranch Doritos.
I used to think that people who put oil on their face were insane, because my face was oily and I had acne and I was under the impression that to STOP oil, you needed to KILL IT WITH PEROXIDE AND TONERS AND FIRE. Apparently: not the case. Apparently rubbing this stuff into your skin, for a tender, massage-like minute or so, makes your sebum glands chill out, your face glow like you’re pregnant, your pores look clearer, and your dry patches disappear. You rub this onto your legs and you’re instantly smooth. It soaks in, doesn’t get on your clothes, and you spend a lot of time casually stretching your own limbs out to admire how well moisturized and luminous you look. People will think you are a big narcissist. They will say, “Maxine, stop admiring your own elbows! Get back to your job at the coal mines!” Or a similar thing.
They should really put that shit on the bottle.
Get a big old jug of this off Amazon. Put it on your skin when you’re fresh out of the shower and still a little damp. If you want to get spicy, mix it up: use Argan oil, or pure Coconut Oil (with the latter, you will smell like a tropical vacation fantasy and both dogs and men will follow you and ask you to go to the beach with them and occasionally lick your ankles. I warned you.) Thank me later. Be a soft, moisturized, natural and organic goddess. Lick your own ankles; you are delicious.
My last favorite is such a bourgie choice, but whatever, I’m also into Escalades and big-ass diamond necklaces shaped like leopards so you can probably anticipate where I fall on the spectrum of being a classless tart.
There was a couple months after this stuff came out where every magazine editor (granted, these were same magazines that TELL YOU HOW TO SHOWER, so, take this as you will) was going on and on about how this was the “next cult product!” and how “The French have cornered the market on beauty oils” and how “it really is Divine!” and “blah blah blah, the best!” And I was like, come on, ladies, it’s grapeseed oil with some essential oil mixed in. Are we really going to bring out the smelling salts because chicks are fainting over scented grapeseed oil? Bitches be crazy and gullible and need to get their ass to a Whole Foods to buy their own damn grapeseed oil, because damn.
Shut up, shut up, shut up and put this oil on you. First of all, it’s a spray bottle, so you’re spraying scented oil onto your skin. Which is just so luxurious and let’s you really just fall around into it, getting it on your hair (it’s awesome on split ends) and pretending you’re Elizabeth Taylor and the world is your expensive spa. And, yes, I’m going to say it: this stuff smells DIVINE. The branding crew behind this product could be fired for being so uninventive. Oh, wow, you named something the exact same thing it smells like. You deserve a promotion! You’re a creative genius! Go home.
Take note: It’s not a masculine, sporty scent. Not in the least. This is not unisex, okay? This is a LADY scent in the most stereotypical sense of the word. This smells like FLOWERS and DREAMS and is slightly musky and gourmand, so if you’re the kind of dame that’s into menswear and smelling like cedar, move on. (I love you, though, you cedar-smelling bitches are the tits. Keep on wearing those relaxed-fit chinos, okay? Because you look totally fly.)
This is some straight up Cleopatra shit, this Divine Oil. It’s totally non-greasy, it absorbs quickly, it smells like a sexy flower had sexy sex with a big pile of money. I put this on after a bath (or occasionally spray it into the bath itself) and I swear to God I start talking like Mae West, witticisms just flying everywhere and sexual energy hitting everyone in the face, knocking them over. It’s a special oil– don’t necessarily go out and buy the big bottle (unless you have tons of cash, in which case, BUY ME SOME OILS!) because the 1oz is so absurdly expensive for what you’re getting that you might just save it for special sexy occasions. But it makes your skin so nice and soft and balanced and HAUNTINGLY well-scented that you might also just lose your mind and spray the whole damn bottle all over yourself in one week.
…not that that’s ever happened to me, I’m just sayin’.
You can buy it at Sephora, BeautyBar, Nordstrom, Amazon, the Caudalie website, or anywhere that fancy ladies buy beauty stuff.
*not my real college because duh.