You know who I blame for my never-ending pursuit of the perfect tan? Francine Pascal. The author behind the widely popular ’80s teen/tween book series, Sweet Valley High, instilled me with the belief that to be beautiful meant I needed to be bronzed. After all, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, the most beautiful 16-year-old twins on the face of the earth, had “sun-streaked, silky blonde hair,” “blue-green eyes the color of the Pacific” and, of course, “sun-kissed skin.” I couldn’t do anything about the blue-green eyes, but for years I “chased the blonde dragon,” which I finally gave up after a hairdresser finally told me platinum hair didn’t look good on me. But thanks to SVH and being California born and bred, I’ve remained pretty obsessed with having a glowing tan. During the summer, I lay out every weekend, though I realize that even with a high SPF, this isn’t the wisest idea. Thankfully, a recent trip to the dermatologist confirmed I am skin cancer-free. (I’m lucky — for about six months in college I went to the tanning salon once a week. Big no-no!) And I always emphasize the tan I’ve got with bronzer — for awhile, I had the boneheaded notion to use bronzer meant for Black women.
Now that I’ve lived in NYC for nearly 12 years, I’ve gotten some distance from my California-roots and have begrudgingly let go of my desire to be tan 365 days a year; during the winter, I leave my naturally fair skin well enough alone (though I still use a little bit of bronzer every day). But summer is on its way and in less than a month I’m headed to Nicaragua for vacation. I need a (fake) base tan! You know, something close to the subtle, sun-kissed glow of Snooki’s knee-caps. Luckily for me, Sephora sent over their Express Self-Tanning Kit For Face And Body and I rushed home to try it last night. Let’s review… Keep reading »
My hair, washed, dried, and left entirely to its own devices, is soft, fine, flat, slightly wavy, and so, so boring. It viscerally pains me to wear my hair in its limp, lifeless natural state, but I don’t always want crazy volume, either — I’m perpetually in search of a happy medium. I love to layer products to desired effect, but when the weather warms up, the last thing I want to do is have my head weighed down by heavy volumizing sprays and mousses. These five super-light products can be used on their own or in conjunction for the kind of soft, natural-looking, beachy body I crave come summer… Keep reading »
They aren’t the sexiest or most exciting beauty product — not by a long shot — but facial wipes are an absolute necessity. If you’re prone to late-night laziness or, um, unforeseen sleepovers, a pack thrown in your purse can mean the difference between a fresh face and eyeliner on your cheeks in the morning. As a longtime connoisseur of both crashing wherever and staying out all night, I’ve found myself at many a drugstore closely examining the best of their cleansing wipe offerings. Given that my skin is, at any given point in time, either congested and acne-prone, red and irritated, or dry as the desert, I have purchased and tried approximately All Of Them. Here are my 5 top choices in the category… Keep reading »
Why would you care about the beauty products your mom uses? Because look at your mom! She looks great! She must be doing something right. We’ve picked some of the beauty products our moms — and probably yours — use. Take a look and go slap some of that cold cream on. Keep reading »
A little over a month ago, I stopped using shampoo. And, speaking as someone who has clearly never been in serious bodily danger, it felt like I was being very brave. Just a couple days, I told myself reassuringly. And then, when you look like a horrifying ball of dripping grease, you can do the rational thing and return to the sweet comfort of purifying chemicals and delectable fragrances. Because that is totally how I think of shampoo, when pondering its many virtues alone in the shower.
Honestly, I’m not sure what motivated me to attempt this reckless experiment. An article about the mountaineers who have scaled Everest’s ferocious flanks? That documentary on Netflix about the dude who illegally, triumphantly walked the high wire between the former World Trade Center buildings? Maybe just a quiet, deep-rooted sense of “now or never.”
But seriously, it was weird, considering my history with my hair. Which I am going to tell you. And as I tell you, please know that I am intensely aware of the fact that my last piece for this column was a critique of the phrase “first world problems.” This whole piece might fit into that phrase very neatly. But I am writing it anyway, because you have to hear the truth. Because I have to tell it. Keep reading »
There’s nothing sexier than a sweaty face in the summertime, am I right? As the self-proclaimed Sweatiest Person of All Time (no wonder everyone wants to date me!), I’m kind of an expert when it comes to the best methods of controlling oily skin when the temperatures rise. First things first: as little clothing and makeup as possible, naturally, and blotting papers. Let your powder compact hit the floor and pick up one of these five tried-and-true packs of oil-absorbing sheets for clear, controlled skin all spring and summer long… Keep reading »