ooh, all the pretty flowers in bloom! spring is a good time to begin growing and digging for your garden, although preparation and planning can take place way before the snow melts. gardeners spend most of the spring watering, weeding, and watching young plants grow. similarly, women spend most of the springtime waxing and plucking and stripping and varnishing the 90% of our bodies that we started ignoring the second the temperature dipped low enough to put a sweater on them back in november, only to wake up one morning in early may with pollen in our lashes and six months' worth of gnarled, matted leg growth. time to get out our formal shorts.
THIS IS MY REAL $37 IKEA DRESSER. housed inside my expansive walk-in closet, if you can believe that. that's right, this glimpse into my real life is just like an episode of cribs. i'm sure that the people upstairs are using this space i've filled with dozens of identical black tissue thin t-shirts and multiple pairs of velcro new balances as a stop on the underground railroad or some other philanthropic shit, but i'm frivolous, bro. normally ye olde barely put-together malm is not piled precariously high with every single ladyproduct in my apartment, but for once my goddamned laundry was put away and i could find all of my lipsticks and concealers amid the clutter of prescription bottles and discarded pantiliner wrappers. i'm writing this on the amtrak just outside of pontiac, illinois. there is a woman flossing her teeth in the seat in front of mine. f, i hate everything. let's get beautiful.
roots. my feet look better in the winter than they do any other time of the year. you know why? because i'm your fucking grandmother, and i spend every pitch black morning choking on the dry radiator heat with a goddamned nosebleed while slathering my feet with this abbey brown shea butter that i get at the logan square farmer's market. that shit is a miracle. if you live in chicago you can also get it at the french market next to the stand with the almond macarons. i am partial to the "woods" scent, so buy that and then smell yourself and it'll be just like we're having sex. then i put on the softest slipper socks and these puffy north face boots that look like they were made for jumping around on the surface of the goddamned moon and basically my feet look like they belong to a fetus.
but i am a dirty, flip flop wearing suburban girl at my core, so the second the snow melts i toss aside my closed-toes shoes and don't touch them again until thanksgiving. and that means my feet are absolutely fucking disgusting 75% of the year. a few weeks ago i bought a metal scrape-y foot file thing that looks like a torture instrument from one of the saw movies, and THAT THING IS AMAZING. i was scared of it at first, because i'm clumsy and didn't want to risk amputating one of my goddamned toes, but my gross hippie feet need a cheese grater, not a novelty pumice stone. in between scrapings i use bliss hot salt scrub on my feet and calves. but be careful, sister: YOU CAN BUST YOUR GODDAMNED TEETH OUT FUCKING WITH THIS SHIT. it's slippery as hell and will turn your bathtub into an oil wrestling salt pit. seriously, every time i use it i remind myself that next time i should just put it on my elbows, since I ALMOST BROKE MY NOSE ON THE CORNER OF THE SINK THAT ONE TIME.
also: icy hot and tiger balm. lots of it. i am officially an adult.
stems. stop buying fancy lady shavers. i know they're pretty, and that the model on the package has the smoothest legs you have ever fucking seen, but the shit is a waste. i used to believe the hype, that the handle was ergonomically contoured to perfectly fit my delicate female hand and that i need two thick hunks of vitamin E moisture bars to hydrate my sensitive ladyskin, but then i housesat for a man with barbasol and $3 disposable razors in his closet and MY LIFE WAS TOTALLY CHANGED. smoothest, cheapest shave in the history of ever. now, i need to fully disclose that this first time involved only the shaving of the weird patch of neckbeard that i wake up with every morning, but the next week i went and bought my own and shaved my meaty gams with one foot balanced on the toilet while watching clips of aziz ansari on the old youtube and it was incredible. those venus blades never get close enough, and the slimy moisture chunks leave my legs feeling like there's enough grease residue on them to fry a chicken. then, once they shrivel up and die before the razor is even dull, they fall off and melt all down the drain and leave you feeling cheated. barbasol is cheap and thick and you won't slip and cut any major arteries because it's running all down your goddamned legs.
branches. my skin is so weird lately. and i keep reading terrifying articles about my rapidly-changing early- to mid-30s skin. i usually use oils to moisturize because blackness, but ain't nobody got time to be sizzling like a kielbasa under the hot summer sun. so i bought this vaseline intensive rescue repairing lotion because who the fuck wants to have gnarly, untouchable skin? i don't even know if it's working, but i am diligently using it. gold bond makes fancy powder now for bitches who are too embarrassed to buy the regular shit, i guess. gold bond comfort with aloe is good for some thigh meat tenderizing before you slip that sundress over your head, but you have to keep a tube of that monistat chafe gel in your purse to keep your external vulva from bursting into flames every time you walk across a room.
i recently switched deodorants because i am trying to keep my relationship with my armpits spicy and exciting, and i started using secret outlast and olay smooth solid because 1 it's supposed to last for 48 whole hours! and 2 i was snooping through rachel's medicine cabinet and she had that shit so i wanted it, too. i'm not gonna lie: it's kind of gross. it has those holes at the top that soft serve deodorant oozes up through and you have to spread it around and what, working twelve hours a day isn't enough? i gotta spend ten more minutes working to get anti-perspirant evenly spread?! FUCK MY LIFE. but i bought three tubes of it because i'm a spendthrift asshole so check in with me in a couple months and i'll tell you what i switched to.
kiehl's musk or coriander liquid body cleanser is my jam, as are all of the kiss my face shower gels. but i mostly use dove men+care bar soap when it's hot because my labia starts to smell like hot dog water when it's over eighty degrees and fuck that. and ladysoap doesn't always get my bacteria smelling like i like it. i have a thing about smelling good, and if you are lucky enough to put your face in my neck crease you will probably fall in love with me on the spot. I SMELL INCREDIBLE. you know i love a good roller of frankincense oil from the african spot down the block from mi casa, but in the summer i rotate between these three: kiehl's musk at night (even though they put it in the men's section have no shame and BUY THAT SHIT, so good); tocca florence in the daytime if i don't get up too late; and jo malone french lime blossom if someone sexy and worth it is going to buy me dinner, because it is approximately $1,364 a fucking bottle at saks so i keep it in the refrigerator and use that shit sparingly.
bark. i'm not sure that i am happy with my face routine because i keep reading about serums and acids for women over thirty and i don't use any of that shit so i feel like i am fucking it up somehow, but here is what i use anyway: philosophy purity made simple, philosophy microdelivery peel, and aveeno smart essentials night cream. these are the best things ever. and i should know, because i have tried ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS. i wear benefit you rebel tinted SPF 15 moisturizer during the day, and i put that shit on with a brush because i hate leaving brown handprints all over my towels. i still like a neon doll cheek, and i still use benefit's posie and cha cha tints, but my main jams are revlon photoready cream blush in flushed and coral reef. BEST EVER. if they stop making them i will die. i also have fourteen different mac blushes, but in the summer that shit can look chalky. especially if you put it on while hungover in the dark. SO I HEAR, ahem.
i am officially too goddamned old for eyeshadow. past a certain age you just have to let that shit go, madam. the last time i wore it i had bronze sparkles settling into my eye creases, and yeah right, son. i threw everything out that fucking afternoon. i'm going to go out on a limb here and say past the age of 32 all you need a browbone highlighter (i like benefit sunbeam), a black pencil + powder to create a smoky eye, fake lashes if you know how to apply them perfectly like a kardashian, and a banging mascara (benefit they're real is the shit of all shits). throw everything else out, you old hookers. or don't, who cares.
i used to think that concealer was just for white people and guess what, I WAS RIGHT. it always looks fucked up on black skin. always always always. but, if you have one of those subcutaneous monsters trying to eat through your face and you have an important board meeting or some juicy skype sex on the docket, l'oreal true match is kinda aight. i mean, beyonce uses it, right? it has to be good! BAHAHAHAHAHA RIGHT AHAHAHAHAHA.
foundation is a tricky game in the summertime. you never want to look like a fucking barbie doll that someone put in the microwave for thirty seconds, but i understand that ain't nobody got time to be out in public with her acne scars and blackheads on display. nars sheer glow is the only liquid foundation i like, but honestly i rarely use that shit. too much fucking work, and i hate feeling like a geisha. but sometimes, when i want to feel like a fancy lady, i will sit down on the toilet and blendblendblend that business around my nose and in the T zone or wherever, and it looks downright lovely. but you really have to WASH YOUR FUCKING FACE after you use that shit, for real. i keep a pack of yes to cucumbers facial cleansing wipes on top of helen's crate (aka my bedside table) because they smell good and they get your pores clean without making your face feel all tight and gross. my everyday base is MAC studio fix, because it takes this greasy meatface and neckbeard and turns them into a smooth, even visage from heaven. for real, bro. i don't drink enough water or get enough sleep, yet i walk around all day looking like real-life instagram. i also have the blot powder and the pressed powder, but that's because i had a really aggressive salesgirl and i am defenseless against the hard sell.
petals. my lipstick game is crazy. matte red lips are my thing, and the ones from nars are the absolute jam. the matte pencils in dragon lady and cruella are my #1 and #2, followed closely by the skinny matte lipstick in mascate. hourglass cosmetics makes a fucking ridiculous red matte liquid called icon that is expensive enough to make you balk and storm out of sephora cursing my goddamned name, but shit's worth it. and i know what you're saying: MATTE LIPS ARE A SUMMERTIME NO-NO. well, i'm a rebel and i do want i want. also, no one is ever going to walk up to you at pitchfork and say, "those dark red lips are out of place here." so who cares? BUT, if you hate red or want to switch it up: dior makes the best sparkly glosses; clinique makes the best gloss balms; bobbi brown makes the best adult with a real job in the daytime lipsticks and black girl nudes; MAC up the amp and ruby woo are my party staples; maybelline vivids are HANDS DOWN THE BEST NEONS EVER not kidding, and you can get them at walgreens with your diet cokes and tampons.
leaves. my hair regimen is so specific that it isn't even worth writing about, but just in case any of you natural black girls with a curly little mohawk and an intermittently itchy scalp were searching for some new shit: I GOT YOU. at whole foods i buy this jason tea tree oil normalizing shampoo and it is the move. but a couple times a week i have to use head and shoulders dry scalp care because i get scaly as a motherfucker and f that shit in the b. i know we aren't supposed to wash this glorious african crown more than a couple times a week, but my hair is short, son. BITCHES CAN SEE MY SCALP. eco styler is the best gel, but you probably already knew that. be careful, the olive oil kind smells like a dude. but sometimes i hate the crunch, and paul mitchell the conditioner is still my ace styling product. it's so good. kathleen bought me a bottle of bumble and bumble curl conscious cream for coarse hair, and that stuff is just okay. not enough definition for your girl, but i like my shit crispy. if you want what's left of this bottle, holler at me. this little bottle was 29 clams, b. i refuse to throw it out. i will walk around with a dusty fro just on principle.
this would've been much more fun if you could've just come over to my apartment and looked through all this shit yourselves. we could make a frozen pizza, braid each other's hair, watch steel magnolias, all that sweet vagina shit. next time, maybe? you bring the skinny girl pinot grigio, i'll bring a half used bottle of hair cream. and that gnarly deodorant.
here's my spring playlist, HYPERLINKED: SPRING JAMZ.