Saturday, May 18, 2013

spring beauty tips for the poor and unfortunate.

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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

easy pantry meals for sexy singles.

welcome to my secret shame.  i eat these delicious rosemary and olive oil triscuits, one by one, with a tiny sliver of prosciutto and a hefty grating of fresh parmesan. in my underwear. accompanied by an entire bottle of wine. i am disgusting. they kind of taste a little bit like stuffing? so sometimes i eat them with ripped up pieces of smoked deli turkey with a couple dried cranberries on top and i call it orphan thanksgiving.

why is the television always pretending that single people aren't standing over their sinks eating from a jar of nutella for dinner most nights? why do magazines insist on perpetuating the fraud that i am upright at home with my bra still on whipping up a gourmet meal for one after 12 motherfucking hours of nerve-grinding deathwork?! who punches the clock, slides down her dinosaur, then spends 3,267 minutes commuting home only to begin another grueling two hours of slave labor in an attempt to prepare a sensible single gal supper? NOT ME, BRO. i am reading my mail while taking off my bra in the elevator, kicking my shoes off in the hallway, and in bed with a jar of salsa and a bag of stale onion pitas approximately 3 minutes after i walked into my building. and then i watch game of thrones on my phone until i fall asleep at 730 because i worked all goddamned day and BITCH, I'M TIRED. 

your instagram is making me feel bad about my fucking self. are you really making beef tenderloin in your real kitchen on a motherfucking tuesday night? DAMN, GIRL. and, if you are, do you need a motherfucking foot rub? can i please come live with you?! i don't "make food" on a weeknight, i "cut the rotten parts off the bread and spread chunky peanut butter on what's left." i would toss your figurative salad every single fucking night that i came home to a literal one. NOT KIDDING. ain't nobody got time or energy to be shopping for fresh produce! plus all 7-eleven has are old dried up apples and i'm not trying to catch salmonella off of them, barf. i haven't purchased fresh vegetables in so long that i am probably dying of scurvy, but no one can diagnose that shit because 1 i'm not a fucking pirate and 2 I LIVE IN A FIRST-WORLD COUNTRY AND THESE DOCTORS HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT SHIT BEFORE.

now, before you get crazy and start assuming that i subsist on a diet made up solely of junk foods, i want you to know that i had a salad on tuesday. and not just any salad, a white people salad that had all sorts of exotic lettuces and herbs and shit in it. let's start a race war, okay? black people salad: iceberg lettuce, pre-shredded carrots, maybe some purple cabbage, RANCH. white people salad: spinach, belgian endive, arugula, radicchio, frisee, rocket, watercress, sprouts, fennel, hearts of palm, dandelion greens, shallots, snap peas, green beans, chilled asparagus, radishes, walnuts, hazelnuts, raspberries, blood oranges, roquefort, fresh black pepper, and lemon juice, topped with a fixed-gear bicycle. ALL LOCALLY-SOURCED AND ORGANICALLY-GROWN. oh, just kidding. besides, everybody already knows that black people salad = chicken with the skin off.

most nights i go out to dinner, because i have limitless disposable income and don't give a shit about saving for my future. okay, that's not real. most nights i go out to dinner, because i need to eat my feelings after a long miserable day on the plantation and i don't know how to make truffle gnocchi as deliciously as the chef at trencherman does. on the rest of the nights, when i'm left to fend for myself in the ghost town that is my abandoned refrigerator, also known as "the place i hide my ice cream behind a bag of frozen whole foods corn," i stand impatiently in my underwear next to the stove dancing from foot to foot waiting in vain for my pasta water to come to a rolling boil. why does that shit take so goddamned long? and, conversely, if you walk away for even a second to take a little poop or check your text messages, why does it boil so quickly that you instantly lose three inches of water from the fucking pot?! life is excruciating, truly.

my darling friend and comedy genius nikki posted a photograph of herself on my facebook the other night holding a box of triscuits accompanied by the following homemade recipe: i found these delicious (and appropriately product-placed) tomato & sweet basil brown rice triscuits at my local grocer’s freezer. if you love pizza (DON’T WE ALL!), but don’t want the digestive problems and shame that come with eating an entire frozen (or delivered) (or digiorno) pizza, then follow this simple summer recipe!

1 cut a square of previously sliced mozzarella into four tiny squares. (be careful if you are young or super old, and are using a sharp knife; and make sure to be properly supervised, if so. otherwise, your parents or caretakers will be super pissed if you cut yourself and they have to clean up the mess while you are crying and whining about your finger bleeding.)
2 place one tiny square on one triscuit, so it looks like a personal-pan lunchable.
3 eat that tiny, cheese-topped triscuit!

DO YOU TASTE IT?! it almost tastes like you’re eating pizza!  AND…if you consume almost a whole box of them and about 6-8 ounces of cheese, you’ll experience the same digestive problems and shame as eating REAL PIZZA! it’s a lose-lose!

fucking delicious, sister. little did she know that at the same exact time she was plastering that gourmet-type shit on my faceborg i was standing in my hot kitchen barefoot and naked except for a too-small robe shoveling triscuits and parmesan into my face hole while scrolling through pictures of naked fat chicks on my phone. coincidence?! I THINK NOT. my heart soared at the realization that i am not the only fully-functioning adult who chooses to eat kid-friendly finger food rather than scrub a motherfucking saute pan at 10pm on a thursday. because, DUH, i made a stir-fry on monday and let the shit soak and now it stinks in here and blaming the smell on the cat makes me feel guilty. anyway, fuck cooking. here is a list of all my gross shame meals:

spaghetti, bacon bits, lesueur peas: cook spaghetti, sprinkle a little olive oil on it; drain peas, add them. shake bits on top. SO GOOD. also, somehow vegan.

no one ever tells you that canned fish is a single person's miracle food. benefits: glowing skin, shiny hair, and even panhandlers can afford it. i could write a book (wink, wink) filled with recipes for canned tuna ALONE. i'ma call it "glamorous sex foods for sassy spinsters." okay, so tuna crostini: drain a can of tuna, squeeze a lemon over it (if the gas station or liquor store has them and that don't look too busted), eat atop single potato chips, all delicate-like. you need a fresh bag of hearty chips, like krunchers, that can support the weight of the tuna. add capers if you're fancy. add mayo if you want, but i'm fat already so i try not to push it.

grits and salmon croquettes, kind of: drain most of the liquid out of a can of pink salmon and pick out any large bones. or don't, you won't die. pour the dregs of whatever cereal you have lying around into a bowl, dump salmon in. pour some egg beaters over it, just enough to make it damp, and cut up an onion and add half of it. OR skip the cereal and the onion all together and crush some funyuns into that shit like i did last night. JAMMMMM. form into little balls. spray a pan with PAM (single gal pantry staple, amirite ladies?!), brown both sides, eat hot from the pan off the spatula, burn mouth and scream. fancy it up: i always keep a canister of grits in the house because 1 they never go bad and 2 add sugar for breakfast or add salt for dinner: MAGICALFOOD. so, when i'm feeling particularly extravagant, i make some grits to eat with my croquettes and then read cat on a hot tin roof aloud in a shitty southern accent while i eat it.

dry imitation rice krispies eaten absentmindedly from the box while watching SVU and writing jokes in bed: SELF-EXPLANATORY.

let's take back the (week)night, fellow eaters of saltines for dinner! no more hiding in our apartments, huddled with shame as we lick cashew butter off a butter knife 37 times in a row. no more humiliation as we sprinkle cinnamon on a piece of white toast thinking we're doing something remarkable when really that ain't shit! other people grill their own dinner, dummy. and i'm over her feeling special because i substituted greek yogurt for sour cream on top of that can of chili i poured over a bag of fritos and baked? well whatever. f them and their stand mixers in the b. some of us are JUST FINE posting pictures of the slice of bologna we fried and topped with some old shredded cheese we picked the green shit off of, hmph.

boner app├ętit.