We’ve all made mistakes we aren’t proud of, least of which involve our appearance. While at the time I thought each of the items on this list were the height of beauty/fashion/coolness/whatever, I was very, very wrong. At least my peers were doing equally idiotic things so we all looked like morons together.
- Blue glitter. My mom wasn’t really on board with me wearing makeup when I was in the 4th and 5th grade (who can blame her?), but I was raring to go. While on a trip to Claire’s with some friends, we all bought tiny vials of sticky blue glitter and proceeded to use it almost everyday for the next 6 months. I smeared it on my eyes, lips, cheeks, and hair. It held a special place on my dresser and I felt very, very grown up whenever I wore it. Because grown-ups often slather themselves with sticky, navy blue flecks of shiny plastic.
- Scrunchies were for my hair, obviously – I loved the way they made ponytails stick crazily far out the side of my head. Scrunchies also served as a fashion accessory, too: I used them as bracelets, anklets, and to tie up the sided of my oversized tee shirts.
- Bonne Bell Emotions perfume. Remember these guys? They came in little glass bottles with a silver top. My friends and I went absolutely nuts over them – almost as nuts as we went over gel pens. My favorite was the “Flirty” scent, despite being hideously shy around boys. I thought that if I wore the perfume, boys would flock to me because they would smell my alluring coquettishness like bloodhounds. They did not.
- I loved my overalls and was furious that my mom wouldn’t let me do as the cool girls did and let one of the straps remain unbuckled. Perhaps she thought it was sloppy or stupid looking. Either way, she was correct. For some reason overalls are making a bit of a comeback and all I can say is, unless you’re a farmer or a toddler, WHY.
- Exclamation perfume. This eau de barf by Coty is apparently still being sold at drugstores and online. After I deemed myself too grown up for Bonne Bell, I moved onto this perfume. It claims to be a blend of peach, apricot, amber, and sandalwood, and my friends and I all thought we smelled great, but in actual fact I think we probably smelled more like musky farts.
- Brown lipstick. Because who doesn’t want to look like they just snacked on a turd?
- Puka shell necklaces. These things were ridiculously popular in junior high and made every single wearer – male and female alike – look like a giant douche.
- Over-plucked eyebrows. Right before my freshman year of high school I decided that my eyebrows (which are dark blonde and naturally somewhat sparse already) needed to be taken care of. This meant plucking them within an inch of their life and then drawing them back in a single, thin line. It was certainly a look, but I’m not entirely sure what I was going for. I maimed my eyebrows for years until finally, the summer before junior year, I decided to grow them back. That summer was not pretty, but it was still prettier than my anorexic eyebrows.
- Noxzema and Sea Breeze toner. I thought the tingling, cooling, almost-burning sensation on my skin meant the products were working to eliminate clogged pores and pimples. I was wrong. I now know that ingredients like menthol, alcohol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil are all extremely bad for the skin and strip it of moisture. But those kids in the Noxzema and Sea Breeze commercials looked so good!
- Jelly shoes. I loved my jelly shoes and wore them all summer. Nevermind the fact that spending more than 20 minutes in them would result in icky foot sweat and brown muck on your feet. I desperately wanted the high-heeled ones, but Mom said no. It’s just as well – all the sweat would have made me slip anyway.
- Butterfly clips. Sparkly butterfly clips were all over my head for a few years. Teeny tiny clips that really could only hold a few hairs at a time seemed glamorous and trendy. And who doesn’t want to look like a bunch of bugs have landed in your hair?
- Frosted pink lipstick. While this is slightly better than the poop lipstick, it still makes anyone who wears it looks like a glittery corpse.
- Peel-off nail polish. Nothing says glamour like bits of plastic-y crap stuck to your nails. For some reason they made a comeback a few years ago and a grown-up version of peel-off nail polish was being sold at Anthropologie. I was tempted to buy it, but somehow restrained myself.
- Crimped hair. I loved crimped hair. There are still unfortunate pictures of me at a roller rink with huge, crimped hair. I would spend the night before painstakingly braiding my wet hair and the next morning woke to a big, delightfully poufy coif. When I see crimping irons being sold in stores nowadays, I shake my head. This style looks good on no one.
- Bucket hats. No summer outfit during the 6th grade was complete without my bucket hat. For some reason I thought it made me look trendy and outdoorsy. I’ve since learned that I’m really not a hat person, especially if the hat looks like a bucket.
If you can remember all the way back to June, you might also remember me discussing my favorite cheapie beauty buys at length. As much as I love a good bargain, I like indulge now and then and feel sometimes the heftier price tag is worth it for the awesome results/scents/whatever that I get. Read on my recommendations…
Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 Palettes – These palettes are quite simply the best eyeshadows I’ve ever bought. They are super pretty, come with matte and shimmer colors, and can create a wide variety of looks. These palettes sell out constantly and I was lucky to get my hands on them when I did! The third palette in the Naked line is coming out soon and I AM SO EXCITED.
Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash – I love big, black, thick, curly eyelashes. I was born with straight, blonde, short ones, though. Enter MUFE’s Smoky Lash! It’s super dark and gives me the lush, dark eyelashes I so covet without the bother of fake ones. It also doesn’t flake off during the day and leave little black mascara flecks on my cheeks. Bonus!
Koh Gen Do Soft Gommage Spa Gel – This stuff is seriously amazing and appeals to the gross skin-picker deep inside me. After applying a small amount to your face, you gently massage in circular motions and little balls start to form – balls of dead skin and debris! Gross! And totally cool! This exfoliant works wonders and leaves my skin super soft and glow-y.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey – I’m not a lipstick person, despite what the inside of my makeup bag will tell you. I do, however, like to punch it up once in awhile, and when I do I reach for Black Honey. It’s a shiny and moisturizing, and the color is sheer enough that it looks good on everyone! It’s such a cult favorite that Clinique has expanded the Black Honey line and added lip gloss, lip liner, eyeshadow, and nail polish.
Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer – I have extremely pale skin and was born with what I consider pretty dark under eye circles (thanks, Mom!). No concealer had been able to cover them to my liking until I found Dermablend. The company makes makeup for covering up tattoos, port wine stains, and dark scarring, so I figured this would have to work on my circles. And it did! Yay!
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil – Finding a good pencil eyeliner is a challenge. You don’t want one that’s going to rub off after 5 minutes, but you don’t want one that’s too hard to smudge or is painful to apply. Enter this pencil – it’s smooth, creamy, and super blendable for up to 30 seconds, but then sets for a super long time. It also comes in a number of beautiful shades and can be used as an eyeshadow base, if you’re so inclined.
Urban Decay All Night Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray – Urban Decay again! These guys really know what they’re doing when it comes to makeup. I am not a big fan of powder, as I don’t love the way it feels, and I think it makes me look cake-y. Not pretty. But I do like my makeup to stay put all day without touching up (who has time for that noise?). This setting spray is like hair spray for your face – it makes every stitch of makeup last and last and stay fresh. I used this on my wedding day and it held my makeup together through tears, sweat, and a long day and night. Winner winner!
Lollia In Love Shea Butter Handcreme – I stumbled across this lotion while waiting in line at Anthropologie a few years back and instantly fell in love (Hey! That’s the name of the lotion!). It’s not every day you find a super moisturizing hand lotion that also smells totally out of this world incredible. But I did! It combines Macadamia and Avocado oils to smooth skin and Apple Blossom and Jasmine in the scent. It is lovely and in just about every bag, drawer, and shelf in my life.
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack – I love this eyeliner. I am a big fan of liquid eyeliner, but it has a tendency to not be super waterproof, and I sometimes get watery eyes or see that Sarah McLachlan sad pet commercial on TV and burst into tears. Fluidline is just as intense in color as liquid and when applied with a fine liner brush can give you the same thin line or cat eye flick. Plus it lasts forever and comes in some really nice shades.
It should come as no surprise: I love to shop. And while I love Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and other boutiques, I’m no snob. My love for a good deal knows no bounds. Ofttimes I’ll walk into Target with a list that says “toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, and tampons,” and then, 60 minutes and $100 later, stumble out of the store with bags full of nail polish, random home decor items, jewelry, body lotion, clothes, a Hello Kitty reusable shopping bag, a jump rope, and, curiously, no toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, or tampons.
Some of my favorite buys have been from H&M, TJ Maxx, etc. I love expensive jeans and designer shoes as much as the next gal, but I also really love a bargain. When someone compliments me on my dress, earrings, etc. and asks me where I got them, I get a kick out of not only telling them I got it at Ross, but that it was $9.99. Then I want to high-five myself for my savvy shopping skills.
All this bargain shopping does lead to some regret – after all, more often than not, you do get what you pay for. But there have been some items that I buy repeatedly and would even spend more for I love them so much (but don’t tell their makers/distributors/whatever that). So, without further ado, I give you my favorite cheapie buys that you should totally go out and buy: bath and beauty edition.
Weleda Skin Food – This lotion is amazing. It’s super thick, smells nice, and a little goes a long way. It is for the face and body, but I just use it on my face as a night cream. It leaves my skin looking shiny, but I find that by morning the shine has gone away and I’m let with soft, pretty skin. It’s also not tested on animals – score!
Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture, Sensitive Skin – This is my daytime moisturizer. I tend to have fairly temperamental skin – a strong ingredient or weird chemical will make it angry and blotchy in spots for weeks at a time. This moisturizer moisturizes (duh), but is super gentle and oil-free. It also doesn’t clog pores, contains no alcohol, and is fragrance free. One pump covers my whole face. I only wish it had an SPF, but I stay out of the sun for the most part anyway, so until the day comes when Neutrogena makes an oil-free moisturizer with SPF for sensitive skin, I’ll stick to big sunglasses.
Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Moisturizing – I love me some eyeliner and mascara. I also love that eyeliner and mascara to be waterproof, sweat-proof, smear- and budge-proof. These attributes require more than just a little face wash to get the stuff off my skin at the end of the day, though, and that’s where this makeup remover comes in. It is fantastic at quickly removing eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, concealer, whatever lickety split. It leaves a fairly oily (or as Almay likes to call it, “moisturizing”) residue, but that’s easily remedied with face wash…
Neutrogena Oil-Free Cream Cleanser – Thankfully, I don’t really have acne, but Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash really gets my face feeling clean without causing dryness. The smell is sort of medicinal, but in a fresh way that I enjoy. It cuts through sweat after a run and any leftover makeup remover pad residue.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque – Oh, Queen Helene, you’re a classic for a reason. This bright green clay mask was so much fun to put on at slumber parties when I was younger! I still use it today when I’m feeling oilier/zittier than usual, and it sops up all the extra ickiness. The mint also makes your skin feel cool and tingly. Plus, it’s still super fun.
Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter – This is one my most recent acquisitions and I am obsessed with it. When I was in Palm Springs last month, my cousin emerged from the bathroom smelling lovely, and when I asked about what the scent was, she told me it was from her body butter. Her body butter from Trader Joe’s! The same place I get my granola! I snapped it up as soon as I got back to Seattle and am now proud to say that I smell like coconut cookies and am all soft. GO BUY IT.
Carmex Everyday Soothing Lip Balm – I love my Carmex! It doesn’t taste good and the smell is minty, but in a medicinal way, but it’s the best damn lip balm I’ve come across. My lips are a bit on the dry side, and I lick them a fair amount, drying them out even more. Carmex moisturizes them for a long time and makes them feel tingly with camphor and menthol. It’s also not super sticky, so my hair doesn’t get stuck and I don’t feel all gloppy. M will even kiss me with this stuff on, which he doesn’t like to do with other lip balms.
Heel to Toe Moisturizing Therapy Foot Repair and Swissco Natural Pumice Stone – Feet, in general, aren’t cute. Unless you’re into feet, in which case they are, but I’m not, so they remain uncute. I do make an effort to treat them nicely (especially considering running has a tendency to beat them up) and make them look pretty, which is where this pumice and lotion come in. Before bed every week or two I like to pumice the ever loving shit out of them to get off any dry, crackly bits, lube them up with this lotion, put on some cotton socks, and hop in bed. Come morning my tootsies are looking pretty fabulous – though not cute, never cute. But closer than before. A pumice stone is pretty much the same wherever you get it (though they are WAY better than those foot files, and I assume they are better than PedEggs – I’ve never tried one because I want to keep being able to eat shredded cheese), but this lotion is different than most foot lotions because it doesn’t smell like mint. Mint is all well and good, but I get tired of it in my foot lotions. This one smells clean and is nice and thick, but not greasy and gross.
Fin. Now go buy things!