pinnae are we for real off shea moisture forever? because i'm nearing the end of my bottle of african black soap shampoo ($9) and i need to know if i gotta switch to something else before i run all the way out. i mean i'm down for the revolution or whatever but not if it means my scalp is gonna be all dry and disgusting in the meantime. i can't just be mindlessly scratching at the side of my head all the time. when i'm feeling fancy i buy malin+goetz dandruff shampoo, but at $26 a bottle it doesn't do anything special like folding your laundry or scrubbing that sticky grey dust from under your oven, so i would only spring for that if you just got paid and are feeling reckless. and that is how i feel every single time i get paid. i forget every promise i made to myself to "put a little something aside" because wow have you ever tried the laura mercier gloss sticks!? THEY ARE VERY PRETTY AND GLOSSY AND SMOOTH. but i'm putting the designer cart before the drugstore brand horse. anyway, someone at head and shoulders got the heads up that black people have flaky scalps too and released a line for textured hair, which is super cheap and smells good and you can get it at the same time you're grabbing wonder woman from the redbox. i like the moisture care co-wash ($5), and it's easy to know which one is for us because there's a brown stripe and some coconuts on it as if the words "co-wash" and "textured" weren't obvious enough.
snout i'm wild boring when it comes to face washes because as soon as i cruised effortlessly into my late 30s my face was like "nah, bruh" every time i put something new on it. also it started getting all patchy and dry and i don't especially care about that but i'm a picker with nothing better to do than flake off large pieces of the dry skin on my nose while watching star trek: tng and that's fucking disgusting. the relatively-cheap routine that has worked for the last few months is: cleanse with dove bar soap ($2), tone with thayer's cucumber toner ($8), moisturize with first aid beauty ultra repair cream ($12) after a thin layer of regular-ass coconut oil (i buy louana at the health food spot because carla hall is on the jar and i love her, plus it's $14 for a 30oz jar and that is an incredible value bc you literally just touch the oil and the residue is enough to cover your whole face).
my eyebrows are wiiiiiiiiiiiiiild and it's just too much work to do anything with them so i stopped. threading hurts wax hurts tweezing hurts, oh my! so instead of ripping the hairs out of my face i just brush some soap and glory archery brow gel ($12) through them and convince myself that they look good. i used to use benefit brow zings ($32) until i lost the tiny brushes that came with the kit and threw a tantrum, but even though it looked decent it was more work than i ever wanted to do anyway. i think when this tube runs out (ie when i get bored and impatient) i'm gonna order the boy brow from glossier ($16) but also who cares because this is what oversized glasses are for!
i could write ad nauseam about lipsticks but i will try to contain myself so i don't bore you to death and limit my scope to just a few summer-specific beauties: 1 nars velvet matte lip pencils are my all-time number one fave (today) and at $27 apiece they ain't cheap but they are like the most perfect formula. smooth and creamy but dry to the touch and longish-lasting. dragon girl is my main jam but i also wear the shit out of walkyrie and bahama, too. and i know that matte lips aren't a summer thing but these aren't chalky and gross and whatever rules are for suckers. 2 colourpop blotted lip lipsticks are the moderately-priced dream of my life, because they're essentially the same texture and look of the nars except a little less dry and they cost $5 which means you could get five of them for the price of one of the nars and it wouldn't be a national emergency if you, like, left one in a cab or some shit. 3 idk what the fuck is up with maybelline ($7) but their color sensational lipsticks are so good now and i have a few of the loaded bolds and the creamy mattes and yes i looked like a dead body when i experimented with the ~greige~ shade but so what it felt really nice and the kid at the mcdonald's window could care less about ol' corpse lips in the mom car. 4 wet n' wild megaslicks balm stains ($3) are actually pretty good? but the caps cracked on the two i had and i tossed them out in a blind rage so i can't really tell you about the wear and whatnot. ps the nivea moisture lip care ($3) with the dark blue cap is the only lip balm you will ever need and that's real. *bangs gavel*
jowls face makeup is complicated for me because i hate the feel of liquid foundation and i don't really need it anyway so why go to all the trouble? and this isn't a humblebrag about my tight, youthfully glowing skin, i have pores you can wash your goddamn feet in, i just don't do enough things that warrant all the trouble that a proper makeup application requires. like i'm not blending a cream contour to go to the starbucks kiosk inside the grocery store. squeeze the beauty blender a few times under the faucet, apply and blend both up into the hairline and down onto the neck, highlight/conceal, set with powder: the high school senior shaking my iced green tea doesn't give a shit about all that. plus i came of age in the 90s, when your eyebrows were supposed to be thin enough to slice deli meats (i don't groom mine anymore whatsoever) and your skin was supposed to be powdered dry as the desert. and "creating a dewy canvas" is just not as easy as "leaving my face as shiny as it would be naturally" so that's just what i do. when i want to trick someone into believing i tried i'll use a little glossier perfecting skin tint ($26) or that old standby, and favorite of beyonce if the commercials are to be believed, l'oreal true match ($7). which are both JUST FINE, especially if you are a lazy person who doesn't have time for believeable full coverage. when i do get dressed up (lol what do those words even mean) i like to dab helplessly at my T-zone with a little make up forever pro finish powder ($37) in a vain attempt to look pulled together in case someone whips out a camera, but that shit is expensive so i mostly rely on milani pressed powder ($7) to keep me from blinding innocent passersby when my forehead catches the light from the sun on the rare occasion i am caught out of doors.
cheeks blush is the beating heart of my desire and thank u lord because you only need a little each time so the shit lasts foreverrrrrrrrrr. i prefer tubes of cream and bottles of liquid to powder blush because i'm trash and morally opposed to cleaning my brushes after every use, but i do keep one compact of nars taj mahal ($30) around because it is the silkiest burnt orange beauty you'll ever lay your eyes on and if i stretch it out for five years it's only $.0164 per day so it's actually kind of a steal. (oh the limits to which i will go to justify my ridiculous expenditures!) glossier cloud paint in haze and beam ($18/ea) is my shit and it spreads easily and dries perfectly and is basically everything you ever want in a cream blush, but don't sleep on sephora cheek gel in lotus, water lily, and plumeria ($7/ea) if you want something cheaper. i haven't done a thorough investigation but i do have a couple nyx cheek souffles ($6) sitting in the ulta.com cart i keep adding shit to and one day i'm gonna click that checkout button and as soon as i do i'll report back.
as cool as they look when you post selfies of yours on insta, i don't use sheet masks because i'm too busy reading the yelp reviews of people i used to be cool with to spend twenty minutes just sitting around hoping my blackheads are dissolving. and also because i feel like each zone of my face has its own climate and weather system. my nose and my chin have entirely different needs, and no need to risk overhydrating one while drying out the other and then spending three days trying to recover. but i love a good ritual, especially if it involves sitting very still in front of the television without talking for an hour, so every now and again i'll use this queen helene avocado & grapefruit masque ($3) that i found under the sink but if there's a difference in my skin no one told my eyeballs.
loin since i don't have to interact with many people who have to smell me i've been experimenting with natural deodorants. i tried: le stick natural deodorant in sandalwood ($5), which smells like the back of a fat dude's delicious neck; tarte clean queen vegan deodorant ($14); meow meow tweet deodorant stick in lemon eucalyptus ($22); tom's of maine long lasting deodorant in maine woodspice ($4); kiss my face natural active life deodorant stick in lavender ($5). then i just went into the bathroom and flushed fistfuls of dollar bills down the toilet while sweating my shirts sheer, bc SAME FUCKING THING. dove dry spray antiperspirant in sensitive ($7) is my jam bc it doesn't leave white marks and you can spray it on even if you already put on your shirt and/or bra.
rump i was watching judge mathis the other day and one of those "call the ____ law group if you got cervical cancer from talcum powder" and, like, WHAT. i know life is hell and happiness is a lie but does everything have to be deadly!? i was rolled in ammen's medicated powder ($8) every summer day of my childhood, and the thought of not being able to sprinkle a palmful of shower to shower ($5) on all my damp places because i need my cervix to stay healthy fills me with a legitimate panic. lush silky underwear ($10) is okay but it comes in a tiny bottle with the kind of top that makes it hard to be as liberal as i'd like with my dusting; pussy powder antimicrobial bajo dusting powder ($9) from firme arte, my new fave place for candles/oils/smudge wands and other witchy stuff, and it smells like a dream and comes in a tub you can dab a powder puff into if you're dainty like that. body glide ($7) is a pretty good chafe balm, gold bond friction defense ($6) is real good too, and naughty bits and pits anti-chafing balm ($2) is the jam, especially when it's too hot for bike shorts or footless tights or however you keep your tender meat from catching fire under your dress.
i enjoy having at minimum half a dozen bodywash bottles in various stages of use lining the tub to keep my showers spicy. i've spent 37 years in this rotting meatsuit so sometimes i gotta surprise her to shake things up. aveeno skin relief body wash ($7), kiehl's bath and shower liquid cleanser in coriander ($20), kiss my face bath and body wash in early to bed ($9) are in current rotation, but i just got some dove shower foam ($6) that is 100% a marketing gimmick but that's fine with me and also a bottle of plant apothecary bodywash in GET HAPPY ($20) that despite its price tag i ordered mostly because it's a lot cheaper than therapy.
hock body oils are still my thing and i know that you're not trying to be all greased up in the middle of july and risk sizzling like a kielbasa that's about to split open from the heat BUT i still use them anyway because i wear sleeves no matter what so who cares. i don't like feeling tight and dry all the time and what the fuck am i supposed to do, drink water? yeah right. neutrogena body oil ($8) is super light and smells very glamorous for a product you can buy at the grocery store. i'm also really into life-flo cocoa butter oil ($15) which is a teeny bit stickier but has a nice lemony scent and feels like it won't stain your clothes. but let's be real i only wear black and everything i own is like really nice pajamas so a couple conspicuous grease spots really aren't gonna be a problem.
i don't even really wear perfume that often because i can't wear it anymore without walking around with a runny nose and gross, boogery eyes all day. but i am a glutton for punishment, so i buy it anyway. my faves: kiehls musk essence oil ($35/.5oz), jo malone french lime blossom ($65/30mL), le labo 33 ($180/1.7oz), but mostly i just wear those $2 rollerball oils you buy from african shops and/or the beauty supply. as magazines often suggest i like to layer my perfume for maximum effect, and usually a base layer of generic zyrtec ($13) followed by a double nasal spritz of the new flonase sensimist ($17) keeps my fragrance lasting from the office to the dancefloor!
dewclaw i don't get manicures anymore because 1 who are we kidding and 2 i live in the kind of place now where i have to do shit like "carry logs inside to burn in the wood stove" so LOL NOPE NOT PAYING FOR NAILS. also can we just be real and admit that unless you are living the kind of glamorous life of someone who never has to type on a keyboard or pump gas or open your own bottle of aldi wine then your nails are definitely gonna get fucked up? i keep my nails baby short because i hate looking at them when they're dirty and the sound of nails clicking against things fills me with existential dread, and the only polish i use now is sally hansen insta-dri ($4). okay okay, now hear me out: do they chip within days? yes. are the colors sometimes a little streaky? also yes, but that could easily be blamed on my poor application techniques. but you could literally put it on then play the guitar thirty seconds later. no base coat, no top coat, nothing. PUT THAT ON MY HEADSTONE.
i'm also trying to do shit like stay hydrated and take vitamins and find a sunscreen that doesn't make me look ashy but i probably won't? ALL THAT SHIT IS SO TIRING. and who is trying to think about topical magnesium absorption when other people on the bus are literally adhering to your actively sweating flesh!? i did just order two bottles of fancy potassium capsules though, and clicking the checkout button is half the battle so i'm feeling like i got a pretty good head start. but really, how can i possibly find time to drink a gallon of water when there's so much tv i gotta catch up on? i just finished the first two seasons of fargo and am only behind a couple episodes of the handmaid's tale and as soon as i write this i'm gonna exfoliate my heels and watch the last bachelorette because thank god that whaboom dude finally got cut. good luck out there in this revolting swelter, and remember: a travel-size bottle of cornstarch in your purse can really fucking come in handy.