i bought all this shit with my own money. money i probably should have invested in an IRA or a piece of property to leave behind for my cats, but my own personal money nonetheless. whenever i take these deep dives into my luxurious tastes inevitably some asshole dusts off her old gateway to fire off a missive to my inbox about overpriced lipsticks and why she would never spend $62 on face spray (aveda botanical toning mist, which i have hyperlinked for your convenience here) or whatever frivolous shit i'm obsessed with. and that's cool, bitch! you do whatever the fuck you want in your house but around here we salve the wounds of our impoverished childhoods with a balm from clé de peau. i have a lot of store brand chapsticks and sally hansen insta dry but if i wanna dump everything in barneys on my secured mastercard for people ~trying to rebuild their credit~ then that’s my fucking journey. this isn’t some orwellian guide for how you absolutely must live your life it’s just my black ass trying to get my goop on OOPS I MEAN MY BLOOP.
a note before i launch into this excavation of my extremely shameful personal indulgences: i don't typically post links because you can look the shit up or screenshot it for later or however you go about purchasing items the internet seduces you into purchasing, and also because none of this shit is sponsored so what the fuck do i care how/where you get it? the minute someone offers to sponsor this dumb blog you better believe i'm changing the name to BITCHES GOTTA LA MER but until then i don't have codes or affiliate links, i have an amex i got on a five hour layover at detroit metro airport that i sometimes buy tom ford soleil blanc with. so if you want to drive around behind the la labo truck waiting for something to fall off it that's cool. i'm not gonna lecture you about amazon, sometimes i want a drone to drop shit off at my door in two days, too! i love convenience!! i'll try to link indie shops where i can just to make sure you're looking at the right shit but otherwise who cares?! life is so hard, man. do whatcha can to feel good.
sun! so i spent the summer working in los angeles and the one thing i learned other than how to play it extremely cool when a bonafide celebrity walks into the restaurant you're actively sweating in (boris kodjoe ate lunch at a table near me and all of my organs liquified at the table oof what a mess) is that LA is a sweltering desert hellscape that will wreak havoc on your gorgeous midwestern skin. i was there for ten minutes before my face turned into a dried-out scrap of imitation leather, and rather than make friends or sightsee i spent the first weekend there at a sephora in pasadena letting the sunday riley rep on duty sell me a fantasy about glowing summer skin while rubbing expensive potions onto my face. i'm an easy mark for a salesperson because 1 i want to Listen Attentively while being a Very Good Girl and 2 i have extreme guilt about wasting people's time (remind me to tell you about the time i almost bought a beat-up kia i didn't actually want because i felt so ashamed for taking a test drive i had been manipulated into) so as he demonstrated the power of the wildly expensive good genes he was delicately swiping across my cheeks and soothingly describing the difference in my face using luna sleeping oil overnight would make i transferred the balance of my 401k into my checking account so i could buy all of it. what am i gonna do, research?! he had an accent! that's literally all the proof i need! i already had the UFO oil and the CEO moisturizer and you might just have to ask someone who's seen me but my skin looks amazing? i use osun face wash made by kissed by a bee (linked here so you don't buy the wrong shit) and occasionally i'll use a toner (the kiehl's cucumber one is my current jam) and i can't do ten skincare steps but i can do these. okay, i can do these once a day on most days. but never at night, unless i leave some philosophy purity wipes and a tube of first aid beauty ultra repair cream by the bed.
most of the soaps and shampoos i've been using lately are extremely boring and not worth telling you about because you could just close your eyes and grab something off the shelf at the grocery store and that's probably what i used this morning. i am definitely not a practical person, but it does nick little pieces off my soul every time i rinse an expensive soap down the drain. where is the fun in that?! i don't shave and i prefer to remain fully clothed no matter the season so it's just dove bars + head and shoulders in my shower. i'm in a "has hair" phase this summer because i didn't want to cheat on dre, my barber, while i was in LA, and my long-tormented scalp is as fussy and difficult as ever! this is my current regimen, which may or may not be in the rotation next week, as everyone knows the only point of dealing with natural hair is fucking around with all the new shit that comes out to put on it: 1 i clean my scalp every time i'm in the shower, and i know i'm not supposed to but my scalp is a horrorshow sorry! 2 then i spritz earth's nectar green olive and lavender scalp oil sporadically on my scalp and rub it in before 3 i finally put some sort of styling cream on it, either paul mitchell the conditioner or lush r&b, which smells like an all-white day party ie the entire cast of insecure.
moon! so during my neverending biblical period i got thrush from being wet all the time and my body turned into a literal ball of yeast and fire, and in a fit of desperation i sought every natural remedy i could get my hands on to keep from taking a fork to all of my damp itchy parts. nothing actually worked because nature is a scam, but i did effectively make the switch to natural deodorant with fairly decent results because the yeast in my armpits was particularly fussy about the real stuff. the first thing i had to come to terms with is "bitch you are just going to be sweaty." there's no escaping it. if you switch to natural deodorant and get out of bed and walk around know that you will do so with full swamp ass. it's just a thing you have to come to terms with. honestly, it's made me an early person who beats everyone else to the restaurant because i have to wring out whatever i'm wearing before they get there. "oh no i'm not naturally prompt, i got to this meeting twenty minutes early so i could sit on the toilet in the air conditioning with my dress off before you got here." and it's fine it's just...an adjustment. i had a "let's just get drinks!" situation right before i left town and the entire time i was literally gulping my beer to fend off heat stroke my boobs were sitting in my bralette like two recently-birthed puppies, just hot and slimy and smelling like dog food. the silver lining is that most of these natural deos come in scents that blend well with natural human musk, so it's not like when your body is clashing with "peony petals" or whatever the fuck conventional shit smells like. it's already, like, slightly funky? so when you start to turn sour around 4pm it all just kind of goes together. my go-to jams during these dog days of summer: aesop deodorant roll-on, which aminatou sow shamed me into buying; tom's long lasting deodorant in maine woodspice, which already is halfway to stinky so it won't depress you as much when the real you breaks through; and the greeench powder from lush which is surprisingly effective for some shit you are definitely gonna shake all over your outfit and shoes and probably accidentally ingest.
this is also a story about how i threw all my foundations in the garbage, too, because no matter how opulent or expensive your base is when you move through the world slick as a dolphin because you no longer wear antiperspirant every single thing you slather on your face will turn to paste. and what's to conceal when your face looks like a tacky impressionist painting that hasn't dried yet?! so the only things i am willing to tolerate on my moist i mean ~dewy~ face in the summertime are: 1 sunscreen, but lesbihonest i don't always remember because i'm never really outside and 2 liquid/cream blush, my absolute favorite holy grail desert island makeup product. sunscreens are too specific to reliably recommend to another person but i like the supergoop everyday one because it has an SPF of 50 (actually i don't care about that?) and it smells great (this is the real reason duh). glossier cloud paint is the absolute fucking best because you only need a tiny amount so that little tube is gonna last a minute, and you can just dab dab dab it on your cheeks and the upper bridge of your nose (LIFE HACK) and go from looking like a haggard corpse bride to a person who actually eats vegetables in a matter of seconds.
stars! i always like to trick myself into believing that i can be the kind of person who wears eye makeup but you know what? i can't! my eyes just get so gooey and sticky and i can't help but blindly poke my fingers into them and make mascara soup on my face. but that doesn't stop me from occasionally trying. i got the glossier lash slick because i am susceptible to their advertisements despite the fact that they make me feel like a withered old crone, and i'm sure it's fine but i sneezed within five minutes of putting it on and gave myself a slick black eye. i also always have a tube of clinique natural and glossy because i came of age in the 90s and clinique will forever hold a place in my black honey heart. i stopped doing any eyebrow maintenance years ago because it just felt like too much work, then thicc brows came back and i could pretend to be on trend rather than just lazy. so now i get the anastasia beverly hills brow definer and kind of color in the sparse parts then use the spoolie end to brush it but honestly i'm not sure how much it does or doesn't do because i have three different colors and it makes zero difference which one i use? i'm sure the problem is my application and not the product and who knows if i have chocolate brows or dark brown brows but it does pull whatever color they are together nicely. i have a few marc jacobs eyeliner pencils that are smooth and pigmented and beautiful but the last time i wore one this dude asked if i had an eye infection and that was the end of that.
i am a veritable connoisseur of lip products. and i have been on tour twice now and the question people ask most, after "do you still talk to fred?" (i do!), is "how come you're not wearing lipstick?!" the truth is: it's hot and i'm a gross child. next time i go read to an audience about my vagina it's gonna have to be deep into november, when i can dazzle you with my impressive collection of cat hair-covered sweaters and serve a flawless matte burgundy lip. before it was 90 fucking degrees outside every day i could get away with pat mcgrath elson lips or keep my stila beso intact but when it's the time of year that matte lips fight a losing battle with salty sweat and unquenchable thirst i resort to my new wave: burt's bees tinted lip balms. though i'm willing to remain parched and dehydrated through the winter months for the sake of beauty i just can't get away with it in the summertime, and i get grossed out by a sticky lip print on my glass (or worse, whatever reusable bottle type thing i'm pretending to care about using), so tinted balms are a way to have some color on my lips without leaving color all over everything i come into contact with. i'm also really trying to pretend to be a casual, easygoing person by dabbling in lip stains? but both the clarins water lip stain and the urban decay lo-fi lip mousse i've been trying just make me look like i applied a real lipstick incorrectly right before eating a whole pizza. and i'm not saying that would never happen, it just didn't happen today.
quasars! i have been a fragrance person all my life. from the first bottle of sand and sable i shoplifted from the walgreens on green bay road when i was in high school to this bottle of diptyque fleur de peau i just cracked open in a vain attempt to hurry autumn along i don't care if i gotta buy stock in zyrtec you will never catch me walking around without perfume dabbed on the sweaty grime behind my ears. my old summer faves are jo malone french lime blossom and annick goutal eau d'hadrien but i mostly want to smell like a dirty old hippie so i typically mix bad witch and poppet oils from whisper sisters (two dope witches in detroit that make scented oils you can purchase here) OR dark wave and lightning paw from olo in portland, a company my girl melanie hipped me to that makes the best stuff (okay fine, CLICK HERE). i also only wanna live/work in a space that smells good? which is a fucking cop out because i could sit inside a garbage can with my laptop and write jokes, but it gives me an excuse to pretend that i have depth slash enjoy working by candlelight. i really don't! i do my best writing at 230 in the afternoon!! anyway, i like to set a ~vibe~ with: ds and durga's tomb of the eagles (honestly idk, the description says it smells like "bones and the sea" but i would describe it as "nice flowers"); byredo's peyote poem (again, the website says "spicy ode to juniper berries" and i would say "pleasant trees" but that's why their copywriters make the big bucks i guess); and boy smells' kush (them: "green, bright, and a wisp of delicate floral," me: "not really like weed!").
pooping in the summertime can be the ninth circle of hell, especially if there's insufficient bathroom air conditioning and you're just sitting in a steamy closet with the smell of microwaved shit closing in around you. is there anything worse than sweating while painfully expelling all of that grilled sweet summer corn you enthusiastically consumed at the neighbor's barbecue? haha no! except maybe when those ribs you wolfed down come sliding through? i love a good nag champa incense cone from the beauty supply when i'm in the bathroom, especially because the slow burn gives me an excuse to sit in there for a long time while avoiding human interaction. but those aren't practical for everyday life, so i keep a bottle of aesop post poo drops around because they are fancy and smell great and look like a scientist made them. it comes in an amber bottle with a dropper and you just drip a little in the bowl and it smells like you gave birth to a lemon grove instead of a greasy ball of half-digested chipotle. i'm not an expert on many things but poop is high on the list of jeopardy categories i could do well in, so please listen to me when i tell you that idk what the fuck magic poo-pourri is made of but how did any of us shit in public before now?! i'm telling you, as a person with crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis who did a cross-country tour and shit in every airport from logan to lax, that i do not go ANYWHERE without a bottle of poo-pourri in my bag. i have extolled its virtues to the many TSA agents who dumped out my belongings before giving me a deep and thorough gynecological exam to make sure i wasn't hiding a mini gun in my labia. if you see me anywhere, at any time, there is a bottle of poo-pourri somewhere on my person. don't be shy. ask to use some.
ugh god we have another, what, six weeks until humidifier season? until then i'll be over here sitting directly in front of the window unit airing out my gross armpits, gazing longingly at all the turtlenecks hanging neatly in my closet jk jk shoved recklessly into a hamper. see you in a few months with my yearly rundown of which body oils are worth absolutely destroying your nicest fall outfits.