Category Archives: Makeup

New Year, New Products


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.



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:

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.


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,


In an Effort to Look Less Dead.


I was going to do a joke Halloween post about which fake blood has the best consistency, or which prop mustaches are made with top-quality brush fibers. It was going to be funny. Full of puns. A jocular roller coaster of laughs.

But then I went out hard for Fantasy Fest and met some Latvians with a penchant for numerous, silently-chugged glasses of vodka and oh my god, my brain, my brain, my poor sodden mop of a brain, I am no longer a human, I am a crumpled up cocktail napkin on the bottom of a drag queen’s shoe.

So instead: Best concealer options for under-eye circles suffered after a night of alcohol-soaked revelry and subsequent regrettable 4:00am Slamwiches at Denny’s…?

Easy. I go to my girls Laura, Bobbi, and my fabulous gay friend Yves. I use a nice, medium-sized blending brush (MAC 217 or the Bare Minerals Maximum Concealer Brush) and I dab a little green-based (to cut any redness) or peach-based (to cut bluish/black shadows) primer on first if I’m feeling extra dedicated or need to look especially alive. Smashbox for both, or else my trusty, much-loved Too Faced shadow primer if I’m in a rush and just need something to prevent creasing. Excellent primer, must-have. Buy it immediately. Thank me later.


This is an actual portrait of me.


Bonus round: Best overall tool for helping you look less like a plate of old sandwich meat? I know it’s not cheap, but divided by the six masks that come in each $90 kit this SK-II Halloween Mask of Horrifyingly Expensive Glory (not teeeeechnically their actual name) works out to $15 a sheet, which seems pricy until you realize it’s the same shit Kate Winslet and Iman use, and those chicks are basically ageless and perfect-looking all the goddamn time, so they must be on to something. (You can also pay $125 for 10 sheets, which is even cheaper at $12.50 a mask, but for some reason $125 just looks so much worse than $90 that I debated even typing it at all, lest I get hate mail written on the backs of Monopoly money. Anyway, buy here.)

I use these masks if I have to look ON POINT, or if I am feeling sorry for myself and want to sit inside, wear a fur coat and feel like a reclusive heiress grey gardens-style. They are LAVISH AS FUCK and and come with a team of microscopic skin leprechauns who inject little globules of moisture into your skin and make you look like a soft-skinned, plumped-up baby. (They don’t actually come with leprechauns, don’t sue me.)

In addition to the above, I can only add: drink your water, sit in the dark, swear you’ll do better next time.

Yours, with brain damage,


On The Everlasting Quest For Semi-Everlasting Lip Color

God, I hate to reapply makeup. I hate it. (Except when it’s in some kind of officially ritzy powder room setting, and your “reapplying” is just a rouse to gossip about shit with your lady friends while vaguely throwing some more lipstick in the general direction of your mouth or whatever.)

The only thing keeping me from tattooing makeup on my face is….okay, literally a hundred reasons. Needles near my eyes? Never getting to try out new versions of stuff? The chance that the tattooer might sneeze and I’d wind up going through life with a tragically-clown-like drunken lip line? No. A hundred times no. But STILL, the permanency sort of appeals to me a bit.

I’m constantly on the lookout for products with great staying power, mainly because I live in a place where the average resting temperature is a balmy zillion degrees and my face starts sweating any time I’m outside, talking, nervous about anything, or not covered in a blanket of ice. I’ve gone through love affairs with the usual long-wear products (primers, mattifying sprays, liquid liner that sticks to your lids like a Sharpie, hair starches, blah blah blah) but right now I’m all about the lipstain.

Another reason I love the idea of semi-permanent lipcolor? I consider nothing to be grosser than leaving lipstick marks behind you on other people’s glassware like some floozy old-school prostitute. You know, and then the wife finds the lipstick stain on the glass and she’s like, DON’T LIE TO ME, I GAVE YOU THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE, WHAT ABOUT MY NEEDS, DON’T BE GLIB, CLIFF, YOU KNOW I HAVE NEEDS, DO YOU THINK I HAVEN’T WANTED SOME EXCITEMENT FOR MYSELF? DO YOU THINK I HAVEN’T LUSTED AFTER THE POOL BOY EVERY WEEKEND FOR THREE YEARS? And the old-school prostitute is just driving away in her little convertible, laughing all the way to the bank, dressed in a feather boa or some shit.

I digress.

I love lipstains because they make you look effortless and Snow White-like, as though you were born with naturally ruby/coral/toffee/burgandy/etc-colored lips and you wake up every morning all flushed and perfect looking, smelling slightly of lemons and honey. They are way less committal than a lipstick. Or a gloss, for that matter. JESUS, lipgloss is the most high maintenance relationship ever. Lipgloss is like the Kim Kardashian of products. You have to reapply five times before you’ve even left the house. Lipstains are great for work and evening and weekend and all the other time blocks; they are easy to apply, easy to forget you’ve applied, and easy to touch-up if need be. They can be dressed up or down, and they look timeless and modern simultaneously. They are the Emma Stone of products.

The only problem is: One, they dry out your lips. (See my previous post on medicinal-smelling Japanese moisturizer to address this.)

And Two, they never last as long as you want them to, and when they start to fade away mid-meal you wind up looking like you went and ate a popsicle in the bathroom between the salad course and the entree. Not flattering.

Thus far I have found two lipstains that are worth 5x their weight in gold, because honestly, they really don’t weigh very much on their own, you know?

The first is this stunner right here:


Yeesh. I know. $32.00 a pop. This is not an impulse buy. This is not a crazy new flavor of gum that you decide to take for a spin, just as your time to checkout of DuaneReade has come and you have to put down that People magazine lest they make you actually BUY it.

But this stuff is serious. It’s somehow glossy and stainy and lipsticky all at once, and Lord Have Mercy it STICKS AROUND. You want to exfoliate your lips first, then apply to bone-dry skin. Let it dry (it’s almost like an entirely new layer of skin) and take your lips out for a really nice dinner. This is lipstain to last you through your wedding, or through a long day at work when you don’t even have time to PEE, let alone painstakingly reapply your makeup. It’s super luxe and well made and the color spectrum is fantastic, so  women of all skin tones can find a shade to flatter them. I’m partial to No. 9, a true bombshell take-no-prisoners red, and to No. 6, a pinky caramely J.LO color when I’m feeling especially On The 6.

For those of us not diving into a pool of gold coins Scrooge McDuck-style, there’s a lowbrow version that– while not AS perfect– delivers similarly long-lasting results…

24 hours? Let’s not get crazy. You are a solid, 8-hour lipstain and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Lipcolor.

This is the best of the cheapos, in my personal opinion. It comes with a stupid little gloss/hydrator to be applied on top of the stain, which of course rubs off in 10 seconds like any regular chapstick would, and is basically just there to guard against the inevitable drying that comes with wearing a stain. The key here is adjusting your expectations. This is not a lipstain that isn’t going to fade a bit throughout the day. But it’s a great choice if you have an event and you need your lip game on lock for 4-8 hours.

We have this thing here in Key West called the Zombie Bike Ride, which is exactly what it sounds like. I painted my face like a sugar skulI, threw some crazy flowers on my head, the usual. For my lips, I put this on in Maybelline’s “Flame” color (after a recent rebranding, I think it’s now called “Keep Up The Flame.” Whatever, Maybelline. Get your brand on.) Then I drew stitches over them ’cause I like to be frightful, immediately decided I needed to drink some wine, drank some wine, rode my bike 45 minutes in the blazing sun (read: super sweaty face), drank a number of other beverages, rode for another 2.5 hours, licked my lips a ton, talked big game, ate a giant plate of nachos, had some more beverages (I GET THIRSTY, OKAY), kissed my boyfriend a bunch (I mean, sorry, but it has to be included because it constitutes wear-and-tear), rode my bike home, drank some water, and generally touched my face a lotttttt. All in all, about 8-9 hours of wear.

This is at right around hour 1. I’d done my makeup, swanned around a bit, drank some wine….it’s pretty flawless.

So, then I got thirsty:

Drinking with abandon.

And then I got sweaty:

Notice how creased and streaky my boyfriend’s makeup is? He should have used the Maybelline, duh.
Also: Notice the sheen of sweat on my face? I’m not kidding around. It was like the surface of the sun out there.

And then, finally, after 8+ hours of wear, I decided I should probably take a picture of my lips after I’d eaten a big plate of nachos, just to see how the stain had held up:

Sorry about the shitty lighting. Nacho bars are not known for their interrogation-quality overhead brightness.

PRETTY FUCKING GREAT, RIGHT? That’s a lot of mileage for one measly little $9 lipstain. (If you’re interested, the eyeliner-used-as-lip-stitches that ALSO held up really well is Stilla, natch.)

This stuff needs a good scrubbing to take off– makeup remover is your friend here, and a nice exfoliator for your lips again afterwards cause they’re gonna be dryyyyyyyy as bone. Follow with a super-duty moisturizer to take you through the night and when you wake up, pat yourself on the back. You did good, kid.

So, there you have it. REAL LIFE TRIALS FROM A REAL GIRL, or something. This lipstain may not be the flashiest, it might not speak three languages and have mad Chanel purses in its closet, but when you need a matte cherry lip to take you through the evening looking fly, it has you covered.

Yours, still wearing my flower crown because it makes me feel like a centerpiece,


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