Monday, June 18, 2012


Beauty Q&A: Bitter Pills

1. I used to have nicely groomed and arched brows, but I just came back from the WORST brow job ever and don't know what to do! I actually started sobbing at the register of the salon after multiple staff told me the aesthetician did a terrible job with the wax. We're talking tiny, spindly, uneven eyebrows with large patches of hair missing.

I have my university graduation AND am maid of honor at my best friend's wedding this week. How on Earth do I fix this? What can I do to make them look even and give them some shape until they grow back? She ripped the ends of one of the brows clean off, so do I try to fill that in? How can I do this without looking really tacky? Should I just run out and get heavy bangs that cover the eyebrows completely? Please help, I'm really stressed and totally panicking and walking out of the salon sobbing was such a low point for me.

I am not a religious person (surprised?) but lemons/lemonade situations sometimes make me wonder if there's a plan. Terrible things are constantly happening, you know? And they get more frequent and much shittier as time goes on. Life. You should cry and freak out — that is the natural first step after someone ruins your face. The second step could either be worrying that your eyebrows might look tacky OR it could be pretending there is such a thing as *destiny*.

The fact that you even came up with the idea of bangs means they've been knocking around in your head. Let them out! Onto your face. Setting the brows aside, literally and figuratively, I think you should definitely get some bangs right now. If not now, when?

And yes, you should fill your brows in too, even if they're covered by hair. (Wind: the natural enemy of bangs.) If you're nervous about where the pencil goes because you're essentially working from a blank slate, Anastasia makes forms to follow and powder that's a little subtler and easier to work with and than pencil. This kit contains everything you need.

You could also embrace them: go half-retro — that's just hollering back 10 years — cut baby bangs, draw your eyebrows on like tiny apostrophes, and pretend you're a poor bartender living in Chicago in the year 2002. –>

The bright side: excluding the possibility that the universe did this to prepare you for sudden hereditary hair loss, your brows will be back in about two months if you leave them to their own devices.

2. I got these dope sneaker wedges. I was obsessed with the Mark Jacobs ones, until I found these Nike ones that in addition to being cheaper, I think have some more curb appeal. I have one great outfit idea in mind, that includes a mini, chambray and lots of gold video girl jewelry. But, I could use some inspiration to make sure they get more action than that. These are pretty on-trend, maybe I am not the only one?

No, you're not the only one. Look what is in this week's US Weekly. I picked it up at the airport yesterday and when I got to this page I was like "hm" and then I turned to the next page which had a story about Julianne Hough and then I closed the magazine and took a Valium. Later during the flight, the woman behind me kept using the seat-back pocket as a foot rest and when I asked her to "please stop kicking me" she said that it wasn't her fault and that I had "reclined back too far" so that the seat was touching her knees and she is "only five-foot-two!" She got a lot of eye rolls from the crowd for that one. I caught her in the lie about four more times when I'd whip around really fast and see her putting her feet back down. Then they played an hour-long cute animal clips show on the overhead TVs (what an old airplane!) and she cackled at the top of her lungs and yelled out every single thing the animals did. "HE THINKS HIS REFLECTION IS ANOTHER CAT!!! HAHAHAHAH!!!!" The entire plane wanted her dead, but her husband didn't even notice. He just kept loving her and being married to her, all the way through the whole flight.

I guess what I'm saying is, just go for it. Glean what you can from these two photos of impossibly thin, beautiful, young women wearing them correctly and incorrectly according to the fashion editors at US Weekly. Try navy leggings and a tank and a hoodie that covers your butt? A sporty white cotton dress? I don't know. They are kind of not my favorite for grown women. "Don't wear them unless you're a teenager or Amber Rose" is my real opinion. If you are a teenager or Amber Rose though, you shouldn't have to buy your own sneakers. I'd look into that.

3. I have a question about beauty. So, I am going to this wedding pretty soon where there will be an evil ex as well as some other people who are horrible to me. Well, I might not go, for the purpose of avoiding said horror people, but I might. Should I? Who knows! (A Lady?) BUT in the event that I go, I think it will help me have more confidence if I have an awesome dress. Something pretty casual... but sexy... but appropriate... and beaaauuu-tee-ful... but not super expensive... and definitely cool. And also, what about shoes? I rarely wear heels but I would like to have a little height for the purpose of feeling powerful, while not falling over and ruining my hopefully awesome dress. AH. I give up.

Good. Give up. Don't go. If there's one thing that surely makes a wedding suck it's having it filled up with a bunch of assholes who are horrible to you. Also, you could accidentally end up sleeping with one of them. That happens at weddings. Stay home! Go to Miami for the weekend! Fly to your best friend's boring house in the middle of nowhere for a surprise visit! Whatever you do, do NOT waste a perfectly cute dress and heels on some jerks. Send a card or a present to the couple though, as long as they're not among the horror people. If they are, never talk to them again.

4. I have a question about the ethics of expensive shoes. I have my eye on a pair of shoes that cost so much that I can't bring myself to buy them. We're talking 370 big ones. My gut reaction is that it feels wrong to pay so much for something to put on my feet. It isn't exactly about the money, but more about fearing that I will lose perspective on what is important in life if I spend that much on a pair of shoes. But I also feel conflicted, because from the looks of it I would be paying for quality craftsmanship (handmade in Spain), good materials, and design (Chie Mihara), and I'm pretty sure they would go with almost every dress I own.

First, regarding your fears, I will impart a few bits of wisdom from my therapist. Believe it or not, I used to fret terribly over almost every dollar I spent and now I just fret mediumly:

1. Are you really that hollow inside that a dang pair of shoes, which you need in order to walk these disgusting streets, will throw your entire moral center off balance? Give yourself some credit.

2. Why do you even make money? You personally, I mean. You could be a monk or a hunter in Alaska or a volunteer instead. Seriously! Or, you could do some money-generating activity, save enough for your retirement, give some away to people and organizations who could use it, and with the rest collect up some material possessions that bring you joy and take a vacation once in awhile. There's probably a third, fourth, and fifth option too. Pick one and go for it.

Embarrassing, but true: the only pair of shoes I've ever literally cried over were the MOST PERFECT, MOST COMFORTABLE Chie Mihara pumps that I completely destroyed one night in a freak storm/mud/car oil accident. [UPDATE: I Googled them and there they are over on the left and I'm hyperventilating and want to cry again. These are, unfortunately, one Euro size too big for me, but one of you should get them RIGHT NOW. Size 10/40. Only $139! They make your legs look one million miles long and they go with everything. Okay, back to the question. My heart hurts.] Granted, I got them on sale in Montreal when the exchange rate was great. Can you stalk this pair online until the price drops somewhere? If not, just get them now and take care of them as you would a newborn baby. Do not lose the extra pair of heel tips that come in the box — you will wear these shoes for years and you'll also maybe cry when you've worn through the two pairs of heel tips they came with and you have to switch to a weird light tan color because they didn't have the dark carmel shade at any cobbler in the city.

5. How do I wear lipstick? I love the idea of it (Holly Golighty puts it on in the hospital to feel like herself again!) but the reality feels greasy and unpleasant, no matter how fancy/expensive the product. How much pre-moisturizing should I be doing? How do I keep it on, especially as I am a chronic lip-chewer? How do I stop it gathering in those yucky balls of residue at the corners of my mouth? Is lipstick, in fact, a giant con?

What are you even talking about! What are these "balls?" Are you by any chance only using Grandma Maxine's stash of those tiny Avon lipstick samples from the 1970s? If so, stop it, but also send them all to me. I miss the smell.

First, lip-chewing and lipstick do not go together, but neither do lip-chewing and not having wrinkles around your mouth or lip-chewing and not looking like a nervous pre-teen. Stop chewing your lips! Chew gum. Chew a carrot. Chew on this: it sounds like you might need to get into the habit of conditioning your lips and possibly exfoliating as well. I'm genetically predisposed to lip-chewing and inside-of-my-cheek chewing, so I feel you. What works for me is using this Neosporin lip treatment every night before bed and brushing my lips a tiny bit with my toothbrush every morning before applying either some lip balm or lipstick. Give that a try for a few weeks and see if those bits you're trying to chew off disappear. Also, rather than moisturizing under your lipstick, thus impeding the lipstick's ability to stick, try getting either a lipstick with moisturizes in it or applying some balm over your lipstick every so often.

And then there's the nasty truth about lipstick: you have to reapply pretty often it if you want it to look good, even the stuff that says it'll stay on for 12 hours or whatever nonsense. See that picture of yours truly up there? Though I don't remember that night, or year, I can guarantee you I put lipstick on IMMEDIATELY before that photo was taken for posterity. There's no magic to it, just find a mirror and reapply. And then don't chew it off!

6. This is not a question, but an announcement: I'll be teaching a workshop on mid-60s hair and makeup — think Mad Men – this weekend in Montauk, NY (ooh, la la!) at Create & Cultivate. If you'd like to come, enter HAIRPIN at the checkout to get $40 off admission.

Previously: Caftans, Baby Gifts, and What Is Up With BB Creams?

Do you have a question for Jane?

322 Comments / Post A Comment

Nicole Cliffe

JANE SPEAKS TRUTH TO POWER, #3. Do not go to that wedding! Buy yourself a present instead.

Hot Doom

@Nicole Cliffe YES. Her question made me think of the part in Great Expectations where Dickens is making Pip think 'yeah, we tend to make the most effort for the people who are dicks to us.'
Or was the A Queer Chick? I don't honestly know, but whoever said it, LW oughtta follow THAT.

The Lady of Shalott

1. Fill in your eyebrows! A brush, a little dark (or darkish, or matching-your-hair) powder, and BAM. Trim your brows if necessary (if you're hairy like me), CAREFULLY, then comb them, fill them, and bam. You already look made up.

2. Don't go to weddings full of awful people.

3. Exfoliate your lips! After you rinse your toothbrush, brush it gently over your lips, then dry and apply tons of chapstick. Chapstick all the time. Repeat for 2-3 days for severely chapped lips.

4. I also have a terrible, fretting, fucked-up relationship with money, but here is a pearl of wisdom from my dad: Money is there to buy the things you need, and when you're done with that, to buy the things you want. Seriously. You can't take it with you. Amortize out the cost of the shoes--are you going to wear them once a week? Once a month? Take the cost of the shoes and divide it by how many times you're going to wear them every year. If that cost is amenable to you, just buy the damn things.


@The Lady of Shalott Additionally, for #3: NARS crayons. I'm not a brand name makeup person; 95% of my health/beauty products come from drug stores. However, the NARS lip crayons at Sephora are surprisingly resilient and non-greasy.


@The Lady of Shalott Re: #3 - Yes! I have an ever so slight variation that has fixed what was a lifelong dry-lip problem. I have a vibrating toothbrush (I am sure a regular would work as well, as long as it is gentle bristle) and I always keep an old head. I spread a bit of Vaseline on it and gently brush my lips with it, and it works like a charm.

so what?

@The Lady of Shalott #4, yes, same here and that is how always how i always decide what to buy. for instance, i recently purchased a very expensive pair of shoes for work -- more than i have ever spent on shoes. i agonized over whether or not to get them for weeks, but then i thought about how often i would wear them and realized that even if for some reason i am only at my current job for another 3 months and then i never wear them again, the cost of the shoes still ends up being less than $2 per shift. and i decided that i will pay $2 per shift in order to not have aching feet/legs/back every day.


Oh man, I am having so many flashbacks to my thin brows/baby bangs days...despite having half baby bangs right now.


Eyebrow girl: if you can, go to a Bobbie Brown counter and have them do your brows for you, show you how to do it, and then buy the stuff they put on you. They're really good at this stuff, and their eyebrow filler stuff is better than pencil for this kind of situation.


@thebestjasmine I agree that she probably needs some more heavy-duty brow-creating help and products now, but once they grow back a bit but are maybe still patchy, I swear by this stuff:
I find it easier to use than powders and pencils. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong, but when I have used pencils I end up with distinct lines rather than the soft fill and definition I want, and powders always get everywhere. Browlistic is kind of like a brush/pen, it's super easy to use, it works great, and it stays put.


AHHHHHH, do the bangs! I haven't seen my eyebrows in two years thanks to bangs, and I hardly miss them.

elysian fields

@werewolfbarmitzvah BUT BUT BUT do they stick to your face and make you sweaty and miserable? Do they? I need to know! I love bangs but I'm terrified that they would make my life miserable if I got them, because of the facial sweat factor. Or that I'd get even MORE forehead zits then I already have (sob) from my hair touching my face all the time.


@elysian fields The face-sticking thing is surprisingly not that big an issue (at least it hasn't been for me). The forehead zits ARE admittedly a bit of a plague, though. But when there are bangs on top of the forehead zits, nobody has to know.


@elysian fields Not if they're not too thick and heavy. If they're just little, they kind of blow around and chill out, but if it's crazymotherfreakingtarantino hot, headbands are your friend. Also they mean you don't have to do anything with your hair, so yay! Lazy bonus.

Cut them a little bit at a time - try wispy bangs. If it's not right, cut another layer of hair into bangs on top of that. Just eddddddge into banginess. And maybe also have wipies around when it's hot, no one will think you're weird, and everyone will want to be your friend.

Fiddle dee dee

@elysian fields Also, if you have bangs forever and ever, when you get older you have fewer forehead wrinkles. Do it! I'm getting mine back on Thursday.


I have bangs and still obsess over my brows every day despite the fact no one can see them, but THE WIND. Jane speaks the truth. Next up on the bangs' enemy list is the bike helmet. ALSO, obsessive habits are tough to break, I like to refer to my brows as my bonsai tree.


@elysian fields Depends on where you live but here in Texas, yes they sure do make your life miserable. And also the zits thing. Your worst fears: confirmed. But if you live in a more temperate climate (and honestly who doesn't?) there may be hope.

fondue with cheddar

@elysian fields A few months ago I got bangs for the first time since...well, let me put it this way, the last time I had bangs I used a ton of Aqua Net on them. My skin is oily and I'm prone to zits, so I was really afraid the bangs would make them much worse. But surprisingly, I've gotten very few zits on my forehead since, and the ones I have gotten have been tiny and negligible. I do blot the oil from my forehead with a tissue once or twice a day. The only time they stick to my forehead is when I'm really sweaty, like exercising or spending a lot of time outside on a hot day. The only drawback for me has been the fact that I can't go out in the morning without showering because my bangs look greasy when I wake up.


@jen325 Dry shampoo!

fondue with cheddar

@klaus Okay, I've heard of this dry shampoo thing, but honestly you could have said nuclear fission and I'd have just as much understanding. How does it work? So you put this powder in your hair and it soaks up oil, I get that. But how do you get it out? It just seems like it would feel dirty.


@jen325 You let it sit in for a few minutes and brush it out. My bangs don't get oily 'til day 2-3, and yeah, there's no making it feel clean at that point, but it does take care of the greasy bangs issue. I use Klorane.

fondue with cheddar

@klaus Wow, lucky you! My hair gets oily the next day no matter what, even if I shower right before bed, but other than the bangs it isn't always obvious until I've been awake for a few hours.

So you just brush it out, and it all comes out? You can't see any powder in your hair afterwards? My hair is dark, and I always imagined you would be able to see it.

Thank you for enlightening me!

Does Axl have a jack?

@jen325 Honestly? I just stick my bangs under the faucet and wash them that way when I'm in a serious hurry.

fondue with cheddar

@armyofskanks I never thought of that! Sounds pretty awkward, though. Maybe I just have the wrong kind of faucet.

Does Axl have a jack?

@jen325 It is kind of awkward and involves turning your head sideways and practically sticking your face in the basin and such, but it works for me with a normal bathroom faucet!

fondue with cheddar

@armyofskanks I'll keep it in mind! The dry shampoo might be a better choice for me though since my scalp gets oily, too.

Finally, I can go out for breakfast before showering and not look gross! The people at the local diner always see me at my worst.


I find baby powder works just as well (if not better) than dry shampoo and is way cheaper! But you have to be extra careful not to use too much and to properly blend it in, especially if your hair is darker, so you don't have mysterious white spots..

fondue with cheddar

@maebe33 My hair is dark so I don't think it would be a good idea for me.

But that reminds me of a funny story. One time when I was a kid I thought it would be fun to make my brother look like an old man by putting baby powder in his hair. Like...a LOT of baby powder. His hair is really thick, so I imagine it took a long time for my mom to get it out. Surprisingly, I don't recall getting yelled at for it.

A. Louise

@jen325 The other answer is to JUST wash your bangs in the morning. I know this probably seems obvious, but it took me something like 7 years to figure this out. I've got below the shoulder brown-almost-black hair so I do have issues with the powdered stuff, and my somewhat curly hair needs tamed with water and a firm blow-out to behave anyway. Just tie the rest of your hair back, wash them in the sink, and dry! Presto.


1. That eyebrow situation happened to me EXACTLY, except when I started crying I had my mom tell them off. BECAUSE I'M A GROWN UP. But UGH SERIOUSLY it was terrible. They were uneven and she ripped off the ends, too! All this happened after I specifically told her I did NOT want thin brows and I just wanted them cleaned up and shaped. (Obviously this was the first and only time I went to this salon.)

I ended up getting some side bangs and went to a make up counter for advice. Eyebrow powder sort of helped me out and I also didn't touch my brows for 6 weeks. This happened 3 years ago and I think I've had my brows waxed maybe 4 or 5 times since then because I'm worried that one more bad waxing could make me bald forever. But the shape DID come back and I didn't lose my arch.


@triplea Brow waxing! WHY?! Like, seriously. I get mine threaded, when I can be bothered (otherwise I pluck 'em myself, but it's nice to have an expert shape them every now and again). It's dirt cheap and there's more skill required than just globbing on some wax and ripping it away, so it seems to me less likely that you'd end up with a disaster. Mine always look lovely after they've just been done. The idea of waxing kind of terrifies me.


@glitterary The reason I get waxed is because I am lazy and hate plucking, and waxing gets all the little tiny nearly invisible hairs that I can't pluck and thirdly I like to get them tinted when I get them waxed.
Does threading get rid of all the little hairs, and do threading salons offer tinting? I've been curious about this for a while.


@queenieliz I think, if you have thick brows, threading is brilliant, but you should be careful if you do not, as they often take away too much. It is, however, excellent for cleaning the area above your brows. It will make your nose run and eyes water like a skinned-knee, but that's manageable. I think the answer is to specifically ask for threading or waxing on the obvious places, and make it clear you want tweezers for shaping.


@queenieliz Yes, threading gets the little hairs! I have bushy brows naturally, and I'm kind of scared of a drastic change, so I always ask them just to tidy and shape them a bit and not make them too thin. And I've not had problems with them just threading for shape. @Tailfeather's right about the eye-watering, though--it always makes me want to sneeze.

I first got mine done in a random little Asian beauty place, which seems to be the best bet in the UK--not sure if it's the same in the US. They've started doing it in one of the major pharmacist chains here now as well.


@Tailfeather also, waxing makes me break out in horrible red bumps for 1 1/2 weeks, threading does not.


@triplea I had a lady not only WAX MY EYEBROWS into oblivion, but she also burned the bejesus out of me. I still have a scar and I still hate that lady.


@all Also, it is actually incredibly easy to thread your own brows at home. Youtube search for threading tutorials, and go nuts.


@SarahDances I had no idea you could do it yourself! I'm going to try this.

Reginal T. Squirge

I know I'm taking a huuuuge risk here by expressing my Straight Dude Opinion on how women should look... but...

Ladies: please don't ever touch your eyebrows. Never ever ever.

I mean, do whatever makes you feel good/happy/like you look amazing but, seriously, never touch them.

Jane Marie



@Reginal T. Squirge there was a period in my life where every time (EVERY. TIME.) I went to get my underarm landscaping taken care of, the aesthetician would say, all breezily, "And your eyebrows, too, right?"

NO MA'AM, NO SIR. Leave them alone. They are fine the way the good lord made them.

Then in law school I looked around and whoops, I was the only one who wasn't doing anything to/with her eyebrows. So weird. I got my eyebrow pierced instead.


@Reginal T. Squirge But mine look like two friendly furry caterpillars making their way across my forehead for a hug.


@Reginal T. Squirge i respect your love of natural brows, or maybe just hated for unnatural brows. it's weird not to have an aesthetic preference, i get it, but you can pry my eyebrow grooming routines out of my cold dead hands. I DON'T CARE IF I LOOK CRAZY, in fact i hope i do so strangers don't talk to me on the street!


@Reginal T. Squirge I LOVE BIG EYEBROWS. Maybe not Andy Rooney big, but big enough that the person bearing the brows doesn't look permanently surprised.

(Also, my mom had very thin eyebrows due to overplucking when she was a teenager. After however many years of drawing them on with an eyebrow pencil, she got light eyebrow tattoos. Totally helped fill in the gaps -- without looking like a Sharpie.)


@Reginal T. Squirge This is good advice for moooost people except ladies like me who have to carve "normal"-looking eyebrows out of their face with tweezers. Secret-unibrow-havers of the world, unite.


@Reginal T. Squirge

"Take my Straight Dude Preference for what it's worth. But. I think natural brows on women look great. They're a really attractive look."

Giving an observation, but not telling people to do particularly anything.

Or just finish your comment with "if you want me to think your brows look good."

Also, I have "untouched brows" which means I have actually brows that look untouched but they aren't really because I have the strays, which wander all the way up to my forehead, waxed. Most women I know do something to their brows. Do you reallllly mean untouched? Or do you mean touched so they look untouched?


@glitterary I have eyebrows exactly like Bert from Sesame Street - straight across, no natural arch, tendency to unibrowyness. All I do is go to a reallllllyyyy good (read: $$$$) brow place 2x a year and then follow the line with my handy dandy tweezers the rest of the time.


@Reginal T. Squirge i mean i guess to me this is the equivalent of telling all men never to shave their beards. yeah, it's my preference to see a man with a beard, but it's also none of my business what they wanna do with their faces.

The Lady of Shalott

@PistolPackinMama Yeah, this. Tamed, I have nice, full brows. Untamed, I have strays that wander down to my EYELID and about a full inch up above my brow. And a bunch in the middle. AND they grow to be really, really, really long and scary. Trust me when I say I have spent a lot more time looking at my face than random people, and I know for a fact I look nicer with a little bit of grooming than Wild Hairs 7: Untamed And Unrestrained.


@Reginal T. Squirge Totes agree! Even though I kinda like my eyebrows now, they still require Work, and I wish I had never, ever touched them and could start from scratch now that I have a clue what I'm doing. I sincerely believe that eyebrows are the defining factor in whether you appear high/low maintenance (not in a grody sexist way, though, ew), regardless of whatever else is on your face.


@allofthecrafts Yes! Mine don't look "done" at all, and I don't fill them in or anything, but they need a fair bit of tidying. @PistolPackinMama's right--most attractive "natural" brows probably require some maintenance.

@Reginal T. Squirge You've never seen untouched brows. What you like is a thicker, natural-looking brow with a subtle arch.


@The Lady of Shalott It is possible that our Straight Dude Friend REALLLLY means it and knows exactly what he is saying when he says what he says.

But in my experience, men typically have no idea how much work it takes to look "natural" of face and hair and brows and often body hair. Or cute and casual of jeans and t-shirt, even, sometimes.

So, yeah.


@The Lady of Shalott I once had a (male) professor with amazing eyebrows - giant and bushy with these long curly hairs. With dedication I'm pretty sure I could achieve something similar over the course of the next 40 years. Every time I pluck renegades I feel I am betraying him slightly, but I still pluck.

@PistolPackinMama I was about to type that men seem to have this idea that all women can roll out of bed, throw on a cotton sundress, walk into the middle of a sunny field of flowers, and look amazing. No, that will make you look like ass.

"Natural" makeup = eyeshadow base, 2 shades of shadow, mascara, moisturizer, primer, foundation (light coverage, built up over red blotches), blush, some bronzing powder, highlighter, and lip tint. Yes, that is what it takes.

Reginal T. Squirge


Yes! That's exactly how I should have stated things to begin with. But...

@everybody else

I have heard lots of dudes give lots of really, really dumb reasons (related to a woman's physical appearance) for rejecting a woman (hair too short/voice to high-pitched or low-pitched/feet/etc.) but I have NEVER heard a dude say anything about natural eyebrows. Not even comments in the positive for any kinds of lady eyebrows. For the most part, we don't even notice them. I've only heard comments in the negative for too-thin/non-existent/drawn-on brows.

That said... Do you, girl. Let it all go. I wanna see the unruly shit. I'm talking full-on Young Madonna joints. I'm talking Frida.

Reginal T. Squirge

Also, yeah, any knowledge I have of the natural look is the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure. But eyebrows are just not worth the risk.


@glitterary I read your name as part of that sentence and came away with a vision of glittery furry caterpillars going in for a hug and I was like, BUT IF YOU PUT GLITTER IN YOUR EYEBROWS NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
Also, yes, power to the undercover unibrow people. I relentlessly pluck mine every morning and night so that I can have thick, arched, dark, TWO brows. And I receive constant compliments on my natural-ness. Ha. Haha.


@Reginal T. Squirge Yeah. Both Madonna and Frida were doing things to their brows. In the case of F. it was a deliberate counter to the Greta Garbo brows of her day, and Madonna was doing whatever it was she was doing. But both of them made choices, and they both manipulated their images to make that choice.

Madonna could not wear that much lipstick and not have done something to her brows. Shape, fill in, trim, something.

Also also, I wear (MAYBE) tinted moisturizer and usually lash primer and mascara, mostly some kind of sheer lip color, and sometimes liner.

No foundation, no primer, rarely eyeshadow.

And I? I am perceived by a lot of 18-22yo male students as being a very butch lady indeed. Never mind I wear dresses nearly every day.

Unless you know the lady in particular whose looks you are discussing, it's probably wise to assume you like a particular look and not a particular state of natural or unnatural brow.

Further observation. Madonna's heavy natural brow? REALLY an 80's natural brow.


@Reginal T. Squirge Eyebrows are one of those features you just don't notice until something is really unusual about them - but there is a big difference in how my face looks overall when my eyebrows are groomed vs not at all groomed. It's subtle, but it's there.

And I'll give you Frida, but trust a girl who was old enough to love/worship/emmulate this particular Madonna incarnation - those brows are GROOMED. Thicker than is the current style, yes. But absolutely, without a doubt, groomed. Shaped, brushed, possibly even filled in.

Reginal T. Squirge

I knew I was going to end up in over my head. Surprised it took this long.


@PistolPackinMama Oh... wait. I also have my brows dyed when I have my hair dyed. Otherwise I am a very red-haired lady with very blonde brows. Which to me is just jarring.

Natural, ha. Hahha.


@Reginal T. Squirge Well, now you know. Which is a good thing. It's totally cool to have preferences. It really is. But it's foolhardy to assume that everything "natural" you see on women's faces or bodies is natural. It might be. If it is, that's great. But it probably isn't.

Unless a woman is freeboobing (and then she is doing things to the look of her boobs by the choice of top she is wearing, usually, but not always), even undergarments are doing things. Even the ones you choose because they are comfortable or whatever.

Compare a fitted and poorly fitted bra on a woman, and you will see how much work a good, fitted, plain, bra does to the way a bust looks. Or at least, on me, a lady with DDs. The difference is huge. (ha ha)

Reginal T. Squirge


Fiddle dee dee

@PistolPackinMama I just started dying my brows. Same thing, redhead with blond brows. Now auburn brows, And I am SO happy. Why did I not do this sooner?

@Reginal T. Squirge I would also like to point out how problematic it is to state that you like "natural" whatever. Because usually that is assuming what "natural" is, or imposing your own beauty ideals and expectations on to another person. And quite frankly, most men in this country have never seen a "natural" female body -- unplucked, unshaved, etc. Hairy legs, hairy pits, unkempt eyebrows, full bush, etc. Think about your own expectations and interpretations of "natural."

By expressing a desire for a "natural" look, one is merely expressing a desire and liking for just another aesthetic. But it also is fraught with assumptions about what women's bodies should look like or do look like, and most of the time involves criticism of a woman changing her body ("I like the 'natural' look and not so made-up.'")


@Reginal T. Squirge Knowledge is power, yo.

Now you can avoid the insidious "I like a natural woman" line. The line that makes any woman who doesn't fit whatever natural thing it is, or anything natural at all, go "oh. Well, that isn't me."

You'll be doing the sisters a solid if you just avoid that whole trap.

ETA: SE-- Yes. Just so. Some women have very thin, sparse brows. Some have super thick ones. Some have none at all for whatever reason.


@okaycrochet Glitter eyebrows, oh my god. I feel like I need to do that now. It would be awesome. Why is this not a trend yet?

Reginal T. Squirge

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's be clear: I never stated a preference for All Natural Everything. I was only talking about eyebrows.

@PistolPackinMama PREACH.

Dude, here is what is happening to my body "naturally:"
-bushy insane eyebrows that would make Frieda proud
-thanks to slavic heritage and polycystic ovarian syndrome, hair everywhere. Jawline, chin, collar bones, boobs, bellybutton to crotch hair line, all of it thick and dark and ridiculous.
-a bustline that is currently making a new friend. That new friend's name is "Gravity."
-Pale as fuck legs.
-Weird hair color -- every hair on my body that isn't on my head is dark, including my brows. My head hair is dark blond/light brown and I dye the living crap out of it to make it look "natural."
-thinning hair on my head (thickening spray and volume mousse ALL THE WAY)
-blotchy red cheeks
-wrinkles on my chest when I wake up. Cleavage wrinkles, if you will.
-cellulite. ass, thighs, etc.

Above is what a "natural woman" looks like. It is not the "pretty girl frolics in the field!" look that everyone imagines. It is not a Dove commercial. It is an ugly, hair, shower-drain-clogging, Tweezerman buying, Sephora shopping nightmare.

@Reginal T. Squirge I get that. I get that it's "just eyebrows." But for another guy, it's "just makeup," or "just hair color" or "just _____." And assumptions about what is natural, and the way "natural" is thrown around to describe a very not-found-in-nature aesthetic is problematic. It does nothing to politically help solve the problems surrounding the way women's bodies are addressed or discussed in our culture.

Nicole Cliffe

@stonefruit AHHHH I have a friend whose waxer said: "and your upper lip?" and she was all NO THANK YOU I DO NOT REQUIRE THAT SERVICE, politely, and the waxer said: "are you sure, not the upper lip?"

Not. A. Good. Strategy.


@Everybody I think I might have "natural" eyebrows, save for the occasional pluck of an outside-the-line stray that I can't not notice. Whether this is laziness or the fear that I'll screw it all up and look permanently surprised or that I obsess elsewhere, I have no idea.... they seem to look the same every day though, which I guess is good? One less thing to bother with, I suppose.

My sister overplucked once and ended up with eyebrows that ended in line with the outside edge of her irises. This was not good, and I think they never completely corrected themselves.


@Reginal T. Squirge I think a lot of men are just sort of clueless about what goes on between a woman and her Tweezerman. And her hair dryer. And flat/curling iron. And her make up bag. Some women prefer that, and want everyone to think that they are "natural" and effortless; some women prefer that you acknowledge the effort; and some women don't really care either way.

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with, "I love your eyebrows."

Reginal T. Squirge

Seriously, though, thanks to everyone for dropping knowledge and being helpful while still being so polite about my ignorance. I'll take all the extra information I can get and try to be more mindful.


@S. Elizabeth Ha, that's roughly my "natural" makeup routine too! It takes me 20 minutes (and $$$$ foundation) to look like I'm not wearing makeup.

One time I was on a work trip and we were going out to dinner with a big group of people. We were in a tropical country so some of my makeup had melted off, and I refreshed my eyeliner/shadow before dinner. When I got to the hotel lobby, my (male, obviously) boss said pleasantly, "You're wearing makeup!"

I was confused. "You've never seen me without makeup," I said.

He frowned at me. "Oh," he said. "I guess I never noticed."

If I showed up anywhere without it, he'd notice, trust. "Natural" my ass.


@S. Elizabeth

re: "Above is what a "natural woman" looks like. It is not the "pretty girl frolics in the field!" look that everyone imagines. It is not a Dove commercial. It is an ugly, hair, shower-drain-clogging, Tweezerman buying, Sephora shopping nightmare."

Never having seen you in real life and without The Grooming Ritual, I can't comment, obvs. But. I will say, I have been a lot of places in the world. And the only people who are that kind of physical "nightmare?" Wearing stage makeup and playing Rapunzel's evil captor in a pantomime.

So I am just sayin'. Statistically speaking, this nightmare seems a bit unlikely.

And it doesn't really matter what I think, anyway, of course. It matters what you think. So.

<3 <3 <3 <3


Actual conversation:
Male classmate: "Are you okay?"
Me: "uhh... uh..?"
Male classmate: "You look really tired, or sick, or sad. Or sick? Should you maybe go home?"
Me: "I'm fine. I'm just not wearing makeup today. But that you for telling me that I can effortlessly look like shit."

Poor male classmate looked SO embarrassed.


@Mira I applaud all of you skilled enough to successfully achieve the natural look with makeup. I don't wear a lot and I am not opposed to going without any (but I prefer at least some beauty balm or a light powder), but even the little bit I use (mascara, some kind of lip stuff) >i>looks like makeup (to me, at least; I doubt anyone else looks that closely). Not that there's anything wrong with any level of makeup; I just think it's a cool thing to be able to do it so deftly for a light look.

And now that I am thinking about this, I also applaud someone who obviously does "the works" to the extreme and looks fabulous! I never quite got the hang of it (even "supposed to be messy" eyeliner, which you'd think would be easy enough) but sometimes I want to be like, "YEAH, I put a ton of makeup on and I want you all to know it!" I feel like I just look like a kid who got into my mom's vanity though.


@Hellcat Hahaha I do not mean I'm actually good at applying it! Lord knows, to other people I may or may not look like I'm wearing spackle, I have no idea. (Clearly my boss is not a reliable observer.) I just mean I typically don't like to wear a lot of color. After I started reading this column I finally invested in some better foundation/moisturizer/concealer and I think it's made a big difference in the overall level of natural-ness vs. the drugstore stuff I used to use. (Thanks, Jane!)

I have pretty terrible skin, so unfortunately wearing minimal (or God forbid, no) foundation isn't really an option for me. The vast majority of my makeup routine is spent taming current acne or covering over the Remembrances of Acne Past. I would kill to be able to feel comfortable in just some beauty balm!


@Reginal T. Squirge You can come compliment me any day. My "beauty" "regimen" consists of making sure I have two eyebrows and that the strays aren't slowly advancing on my hairline, as I would end up with forehead-mohawks if I didn't. No makeup; I've worn foundation (via mineral powder) all of twice in the last year. Except for the strays, my "natural" look is in fact pretty much what I naturally look like.

@S. Elizabeth I'd be pissed if someone said that to me, too, but I think it's just more the break in routine that throws people -- you don't look like you usually do, ergo you're sick. I get that on the very rare occasion I do wear foundation; if people have noticed anything, it's that I'm suddenly a bit more pale than usual, and that makes them ask if I need to go take a nap. The break in my otherwise ruddy-faced routine seems to be the operative factor, not what I actually look like.

(Not that it isn't still a stupid assumption on your classmate's part, of course. And "you look really tired" isn't anything that I'd want to hear except from maybe my very, very best friend in the whole wide world.)


@Mira I got lucky genetically with fairly even (if pale) skin, I guess, hence the sparse routine, which is also due to my laziness and ineptitude. But, on the flip side, it's sensitive and will randomly, out of nowhere, break out in little hives. So that adds to the lack of makeup too because I'm sometimes scared to branch out from the bare minimum and then have to go running around for some kind of allergy meds.


@this thread Look, y'all, what's bugging me about this thread is this bullshit idea that ALL women pluck/wax/shave/wear makeup/dye, whatever. Because when you push that idea, you really, really push the "you're not a good woman or proper woman unless you do this" corollary. I don't wear makeup, shave anything, pluck anything. I don't have a problem with anyone doing whatever they want of those things to feel good for themselves! Whatchu wanna do is whatchu wanna do as far as I'm concerned. But even having things like the tag "how to be a girl" means that, guess what! I don't get to be in GIRL club because I'm not wearing enough eyeliner or whatever. It's bogus. Also, this quote: "It is an ugly, hair, shower-drain-clogging, Tweezerman buying, Sephora shopping nightmare." is a pretty fucking horrible thing to say to those of us who do tend to keep it somewhat more "natural" (although hopefully without the superiority complex that word implies. Seriously, fuck that word.)


@tales Short version: it sucks to read this shit and get the message: YOU DON'T GET TO BE IN GIRL CLUB.


@tales Maybe they will let us into the Woman Club, though?!! Though as it is summer I am shaving my pits so I do not cause the weak-hearted to faint in the street, what a pain.


@tales THANK you. YES.


@Reginal T. Squirge and everyone,
I didn't realize either that eyebrows were a thing the apparent vast majority of women altered! Oops. I think I am that girl who rolls out of bed and throws on a cotton sundress for a ramble in the field? My "beauty routine" is hair-brushing and face-washing. Girls who own no makeup! We exist!


@PistolPackinMama Yeah, I had to explain something similar to a male friend of mine once. He prefers a "natural" look (and he has sweet reasons, I guess; he thinks it's sad for women to "hide" their natural beauty), but he thinks he prefers a genuinely natural, no make-up look. I love him, but he has a special rant on the subject that I just had to call him on once. I think he was specifically speaking out against eye makeup? Anyway, I looked right at him and said, "I am wearing mascara right now, and you can't even tell, can you." He could not. He did not know what to say.

I truly believe that many men do not know at all what is involved in different types of makeup. That's why it's fun having brothers who do theater. They know some of the behind-the-scenes of makeup, so they don't say kind but naive things about your face decor.


YES. (I registered in order to like this)

I mean...to everyone else, thanks for telling me that I look like ass because I don't pluck my eyebrows or wear make-up? I guess? And that everyone thinks that, even guys who claim otherwise, because actually they're just too silly and uninformed to be able to recognize the universal, uniform make-up wearing, eyebrow-plucking ways of women?

I mean, I get that societal standards of beauty for women/excessive demands while still appearing 'natural'/etc etc are super problematic and something lots of people aren't aware of. But you can make that point without saying that all women who don't do things to their eyebrows appear sub-human.


@arabidopsis I...don't think anyone has said that "all women" need to do things to their eyebrows, or that anyone who doesn't wear makeup looks like ass? I feel like I look like ass without makeup, that doesn't mean that anyone else does, or really have anything to do at all with what anyone else does in the cosmetics realm. I've seen plenty of ladies criticizing their own bodies (don't do that! we're all beautiful!), but not other people's. My girlfriend doesn't wear any makeup, ever, and I obviously think she's the most beautiful woman in the world. (I'm actually super interested by what the reminder of the male gaze did to this particular thread!)

Also, my skin is bad enough that I would not be able to function socially or professionally without makeup, so you (general you) can pry it out of my cold, dead, unmanicured hands. I mean, I get how you're feeling because I sometimes feel the same way when people are discussing Down There Waxing, or pedicures, or other sorts of things that I see as unnecessary but have somehow achieved the status of Things Girls Do, but then I remember that it's something other people do for their own reasons, and it really doesn't have anything to do with me.


@Changeling And we don't look like ass!

(I was rather flattered the other day when my best friend told me her husband had told her I was looking good lately. And there's always my best TSA story ever, which involved the guy looking at my license, frowning, saying "huh" a few times, then grinning hugely before crowing, "You lookin' fiiiiiine, girl. You keep that up!")

sceps yarx

@Reginal T. Squirge Man, I gotta disagree with the "there's no such thing as natural beauty" vibe that's going on in this thread. I use some foundation to cover acne. I never touch my eyebrows (which are light colored, admittedly), even to pluck strays. I wear mascara sometimes. I have never "primed" any part of my face in my entire life. And you know what? I am super hot. I really am. My best friend is even hotter than I am and she never wears a bit of makeup. All men love her. I mean, the fact is, some people win the genetic lottery. And for me, body autonomy means being free to groom or not groom however you see fit, with no shame either way


I certainly didn't mean to disparage anyone for choosing to wear make-up, for any reason. I certainly use it when I want to dress up for special occasions, and you know, I brush my hair and shave my armpits, whatever. And I'm also still a student, so I'm not subject to the same kind of pressures that, ex, professional women are.

I don't have a problem with people pointing out that for many women, a 'natural' look is seriously manufactured, or any of the other points raised in this thread. It just felt to me that comments like this "I was about to type that men seem to have this idea that all women can roll out of bed, throw on a cotton sundress, walk into the middle of a sunny field of flowers, and look amazing. No, that will make you look like ass," which generalized an experience to all women, were somewhat exclusionary and a little insulting. I have done that exact thing, minus the field of flowers, and I might not have looked like a model, but I don't think I looked like ass.

Perhaps I was too quick to take offense, and I'm sorry if I've misunderstood anyone's points, or given offense myself.



This whole thread started as a comment not on what women do but on what men think women do. Clearly, this is not where we are ending up.

My decisions about my body neither validate or invalidate anyone else's choices about theirs. And if it wasn't clear in anything I have written above, I'd like to make that clear now.

As with fat and weight, what people do and don't do to modify their bodies is none of my business unless they ask. It's also totally value neutral.

What bothers me a whole lot is that because women's value is coded through their physical acceptability as defined by a bullshit patriarchal system apparently:

1) It matters if how we look is artifice or natural.

2) It matters if men have a preference about natural v. artifice.

3) Assumptions about what should look natural and what should look like artifice are more important than the reality of how people look the way they look.

And crucially, however any particular woman chooses to modify her body or not is an opportunity for her to be doing something wrong.

Lastly, I think the "looks like ass" comment... yeah, you could read it as a generalization to all women. But, in the context of that comment, I read it as the author commenting on herself, and specifically about herself as a person with PCOS, which is a condition that messes with the hormonal system dealing with, among other things, body hair. Including eyebrow hair.

SE of course can comment if I am wrong, but I am willing to bet that none of that was about anyone but herself.

@PistolPackinMama Yes, thank you. Please note that my "shower drain clogging" comment was a reference to the body hair mentioned in my list. And no, I cannot go out without shaving because it is awful and makes me feel awful. I have hair on my face and neck. Thick, dark, visible hair because of an endocrine disorder.


@hopelessshade I'm not getting the vibe of "all women" or "look(s) like ass," and definitely no "subhuman" here. You do what you want, is what I'm getting, and you, the individual, put on/take off what you want to add/remove to not "look like ass" to yourself (and "ass" is obviously a subjective term). If you feel better with some stuff on there, OK--do it; who cares? I read no one saying that anyone has to do anything in particular; what I read was that much of what we consider "natural" is maybe a term that means "not obvious makeup" (as in, every knows someone doesn't have an electric-blue ring around her eyes or whatever, but if it looks pretty, do it if you want). Plus, eye of the beholder and all that shit.

I don't know, but I myself don't consider shaving one's armpits or using mascara as unnatural, for example; it's just... tending to something one doesn't want there or emphasizing something someone does want there. And those things say nothing about a woman's "naturalness."


@Hellcat *"everyone knows," I mean. Sorry; wine.


@Mira This right here:

"I'm actually super interested by what the reminder of the male gaze did to this particular thread!"



@Bebe but not everyone has that much going on between them and a tweezerman, blow dryer and straightener and makeup bag. some people don't even have those things. are there actually women who hide there beauty routines from men so they think their hair is really straight or something when its not? maybe i am clueless as hell? also i dont have a straightener and my bf and me share a studio apartment so what could i really hide (lol) besides like the occasional bikini pluck. damn maybe there is one thing! but seriously . but i guess my question sort of is,for most women is there SO MUCH "going on" with all those products? maybe there is. again clueless. its not like i never use beauty products i just can't imagine all of those things, i tend to just focus on hair softness/skin clearing.



Seriously. I am heading for a bunker, with graham crackers, canned frosting, cookie butter, and Nutella in hand.

Dude A: I like [what I assume to be] natural.

Chorus B: to look what people assume to be natural, I have to engage in these many modifications [list here]. Which means what? I am insufficiently womanly because I feel I can't pull off unmodified beauty?

Chorus C: I don't modify my looks and I like them fine and so do a lot of other people. So who are you to say there is no natural beauty? Or to be sufficiently womanly I have to engage in body modification?

Right. I'll be out sometime in August. I can survive on frosting until then, right? Right?

@Angelena I think the comment about "what goes on between a woman and her tweezerman" was a joke, but a half-joke. I think some women don't really advertise the amount of work they put into grooming.

My tweezerman and I have a special relationship (<3 u plucky!)


@S. Elizabeth You sound kind of angry about all the maintenance you do. Have you thought about slacking off a little?

This is a weird argument. Maybe Reginald T. Squirge knows how maintained the "natural" brows he is lusting after are and maybe he doesn't but it's kind of bizarre to claim everyone out there who's au naturel is actually some kind of similacrum of nonchalance. I assume there is a vast range of maintenance commitment and an equally large range of how much maintenance it takes to reach the current beauty standard. I wonder how many women were angsting over their inability to grow Brooke Shields/Susanna Hoffs eyebrows back in the day?


@arabidopsis I certainly wasn't offended, and I didn't mean to offend you or anyone else either. I would just hate it if someone felt that I (Stranger on the Internet, obvs, but still) were judging them for not wearing makeup every day, you know? I actually deeply resent the vast amounts of time and money I spend on makeup. Rolling out of bed and into a sundress sounds like it would be amazing.

Obviously, for a lot of us this stuff is intensely personal, but it's also political, in one of those many fun ways the patriarchy has devised for us. Fraught with danger!


@Reginal T. Squirge
I hope you don't take this at all personally, though. You came at this from the start acknowledging ignorance and that you're stepping into a minefield. The response speaks to me to the general problems with general assumptions.
I don't think you deserve to be piled on for a respectful approach to a touchy subject.

@Maryaed My own feelings about my routine are my own. And it's more complicated than wanting to slack off, it's about feeling very strange about a body that I don't like and I feel like I have little control over. I'm not angry at my routine, I'm angry that bodies that look like mine are societally frowned upon when left unplucked, unshaved, etc. And I'm angry at myself for not being cool and awesome enough to embrace my body's differences because I think that what my body does is ugly and I don't like it, and it feels very "off" when I wake up to a lovely dozen or so thick hairs on my otherwise fine decolletage. Don't even get me started on boob stubble.

Boob. Stubble.

I don't think it's weird to have a conversation to have about the idea of "natural" beauty when so much of the perception around it doesn't account for actual, real differences in human bodies.

Reginal T. Squirge


It's cool! Everybody be cool!

I knew what I was getting into when I wrote the first comment. I never really felt like anybody was attacking me anyway. I defended myself a little but then it became this whole other thing and, like I said, in over my head.

This kind of thing helps me learn that I should probably not comment on things that I don't know too much about.


@Reginal T. Squirge All I saw was someone saying not to sweat an eyebrow too much for the sake of "the boys," and offering a view that indicates an eyebrow is not typically a dealmaker or -breaker. Maybe it is to some, but not Reginal. Maybe he didn't realize that "deliberately shaped" (or, god forbid, "overwrought") and "natural" weren't exactly the same thing, but his point is that there is no "have to" involved? I think that's nice to know though, of course, opinions vary. But his is probably helpful to someone under the impression that all guys think an eyebrow must look one certain very specific way.

Reginal T. Squirge

I was mostly just trying to point out that eyebrows are not as important as some people seem to think they are.


@Reginal T. Squirge I hope it doesn't appear as if I'd presume to speak on your behalf; I just thought your point was generally a nice one to take the time to make.


@PistolPackinMama Popping back in to say that I definitely get the natural-fetishizing is bullshit thing that seems to have been the real thread from the start. (Hence my attempt to call it out for being horrible at the end of my earlier comment.) There's, like, this hierarchy of natural-ness thing that goes on that is extremely messed up, ESPECIALLY in the male gaze, when, yes, the actual statement is "I want you to look totally unblemished with shiny hair on your head and no hair anywhere else BUT ugh oh my god I don't want to be able to TELL or KNOW that you're wearing makeup or anything. What are you, high maintenance, geez, gross." And, of course, it is easier to flaunt the societal grooming conventions when you fall a little closer to them; less pressure to shave your legs if you have fine, hard to see hair, less pressure to wear makeup the fewer blemishes/scars you have. Which is why, aside from leaving people alone to do whatever they WANT, it's also good to remember that the pressures making them feel like they NEED to are much, much stronger depending on your body's adherence to certain norms. What rubbed me (and probably some of the other people on here) the wrong way, I think, is the feeling of generalizing experience that sort of ends up contributing to those societal pressures. OKAY SORRY FOR THE TOME.


@Reginal T. Squirge If this thread leaves you with nothing else, maybe the takeaway should be... in public discourse about beauty, X-feature isn't a big deal. Until someone with/perceived to have power decides to make an issue of it by moving the arbitrary goalposts of sufficient womanhood and makes it a big deal.

This is why anal bleaching and labiaplasty have even become things. Five years ago the bleachedness of your anus? Not even relevant. And now somehow it's become a thing that some people at least feel is an issue of sufficient womanliness and attractiveness.

Personally, I am baffled by this trend, but I don't run society, so my bafflement isn't worth a whole lot cultural capital-wise.

If it weren't a big deal, you wouldn't have said anything, no one would have felt the need to point out that they experience it differently, and then no one else would have replied they disliked the way their experience was being elided in the ongoing conversation.

It does matter. I am glad you don't think it does (except you did?). But even if individual women don't particularly care about the (non)treatment of brows, the general discourse does care.

It's stuff like this that on so many levels operates as an oppressive mechanism. In this case (a critique of your privilege) by provoking some pretty heart breaking self-criticism from women, by having some women spend time and money on a regime, by providing a perfect opportunity for divide and conquer tactics.

Patriarchy fucking sucks. And it's 1AM and instead of being asleep or, you know, working on my actual work work, I am awake and pissed off that I even started in on this issue, because I certainly haven't done much for communitas around here today.

fondue with cheddar

@Hellcat "eyebrows that ended in line with the outside edge of her irises" I call those "Doberman brows".

fondue with cheddar

@tales THANK YOU FOR THIS. I do feel left out by all this "how to be a girl" stuff, because I'm a very low-maintenance lady and sometimes I feel like it's not okay to be the way I am. I'm lucky enough to look decent enough without makeup and eyebrow maintenance (though I do look better with it) so it's just not worth it to me to spend all this time getting ready in the morning doing my hair and makeup. Now that I have bangs I spend a couple minutes with a blow dryer and a round brush after my shower and that feels like a lot to me. I rarely shave my legs unless I'm going to wear a dress or bathing suit, and I only shave my pits when I wear a sleeveless shirt. The only time I wear a dress, makeup, or heels is when I go to a wedding (and even then I don't always wear makeup). I don't push my cuticles back. I've never had a manicure or pedicure. I haven't worn nail polish since 1996. I had a facial once but that's just because my friend was in cosmetology school. I don't care for the color pink. I don't dye my hair or use "product" in it. I don't have pierced ears and don't regularly wear jewelry. The only hairstyles I know how to do are a ponytail and a simple braid. I didn't start moisturizing until age 28 because my friend/makeup consultant for my wedding was APPALLED and admonished me for it.

BUT I have two X chomosomes. I have boobs and a menstrual cycle. I am a girl/lady/woman/gal/chick/broad/whatever-word-you-like.

I've been starting to feel like I need to change, that I shouldn't be the way that I am. And surprisingly, some of those feelings come from things I've read on The Hairpin, this safe place where we can all be ourselves. I've got no problem with "how to be a girl" type stuff, in fact, it's interesting to see how the other half of my half live. But I would love to see more posts on here that relate to ladies like me (though I must admit I don't know what that would be), and I'm sure I'm not alone.


I don't want to seem like I'm minimizing the feelings of anyone who has been put off by this, but I've always read the How To Be A Girl tag as very tounge-in-cheek, and assume that's what was intended.
As in, this is what Society deems to define what a Woman is, take it or leave it based on level of interest.
Hell, the simple fact that they're done as advice and tutorials implies an awareness that this is a community of women less inclined to care or have cared.

Is that too 'splain-y? I just don't want anyone to feel pressured by it! We love you all just the way you are and just the way you want to be!



"I've got a perfect body but sometimes I forget
I've got a perfect body 'cause my eyelashes catch my sweat"

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven No, I feel the same way as you do about it. I don't feel anyone is trying to pressure anybody into being a certain way, and you're right, the advice is definitely given in a way that accommodates those of us who have no idea how to do such things.

I'm not put off by it; I think it's great! And I know that our wonderful community has love and respect for all ways of being. But conventionally "girly" things and people* are well-represented, whereas I'm not seeing any suggestions on how to dress or groom when you're not girly and don't particularly want to be.

For instance, I'm approaching 40 and still wear a t-shirt and jeans most of the time. I feel like I need to change, because the older I get the more I feel like I'm dressing like a kid and I need to have a "grown-up" style but still be casual and comfortable with maybe a touch of girliness now and then. Do I have to choose between girly beauty routines and looking like crap, or is it possible to look good without all that complicated skin care and makeup stuff? I'm sort of like a guy, only I don't particularly want to look like a guy. I guess what I'm saying is that some of us could use a "how to be a non-girly girl" feature.

*And by "people" I suppose I mean Jane. But please know that I'm not knocking her. Jane and her contributions are wonderful, and in no way am I suggesting that I would like to see less of her!

fondue with cheddar

@glitterary The idea of glitter eyebrows worries me. What if the glitter falls into your eye?! I'm constantly getting crap in my eyes even when I don't put tiny flakes of shiny plastic in my eyebrows.



Will we get to a point where much like spelling mistake/grammarian instincts, we don't have to educate straight cis males on their witless contributions to the privilege of the patriarchy? Can a statement about eyebrows just be a fucking statement about eyebrows? Will people on the Internet give someone the benefit of the doubt they'd give to a stranger at a cocktail party? Or if not the benefit of the doubt just some good old fashioned keep-their-own-counseling? Probably not. I mean I couldn't resist posting.

On my Internet grave it will say Smack: A Lifelong Feminist; The Radfems Are What Did Her In.

fondue with cheddar

@smack Those who had reactions to his statement can't help their feelings. They told him about their feelings, and now he understands more than he did before. He seemed to appreciate the feedback even if it did make him feel defensive a little uncomfortable.


Now let me get this straight. There are those of you who are naturally lovely ladies who also have the confidence to rock the untouched look

........and you feel left out or pressured to change????

I mean, I do understand somewhat that its not fun when you feel like you're the only one that isn't interested in something. BUT I feel a bit of baffle as well.

Please don't feel sad or left out or not good enough. I would love your looks/confidence. It would save me oodles of time each day (and money!). I think it's fantastic that there ARE ladies out there who are legitimately low maintenance.

I love me some fun makeup tutorials, and I do not feel I look my best without a bit of "natural" looking makeup. But please know that while you're feeling a little left out or excluded by your lack of interest in such things, I am incredibly jealous of your natural beauty and high confidence in your look. I think we all just secretly envy each other. The grass is greener and all that.

Reginal T. Squirge


Apparently, The Hairpin stopped supporting IE so now I have to comment from my phone which is mad slow. So expect delayed comments and more grammatical errors from here on out.

Anyway, yeah, I just took it as people speaking how they feel and that's exactly how people should speak. Look, this whole thing is a party to which I wasn't exactly invited so I need to remember that I'm a guest here. Still, all knowledge is a good thing and I can now go forth with the bits I didn't completely understand before


@Xanthophyllippa ahahaha you killed me with that. What a wonderful compliment. I know this would be a bad idea, but I would have wanted to hug that lovely TSA guy.

sad story time: I was flying back from Central Asia in 2000, and the lady at customs looked at me, looked at my passport, looked at me, looked at my passport, and said, in tones of disgust, "So are you a man or a woman? Because I can't tell."

DUMBASS. /Red Forman


I wouldn't stress about it too much. Your style sounds a lot like mine, but I'm just on the girlish side of low/no maintenance.

For clothes, get a good, comfy blazer! Makes anything, but especially a T and jeans look "put together" and not at all girly.
Fitted pants but not tight, dark wash jeans, "fancy" Ts and sweatshirts (Holla, Edith!), blouses that can go casual or fancy, comfortable yet cute shoes...
And as far as grooming goes if you have nice, non-fussy skin, then just keep doing what you're doing. If you don't feel you need something than don't bother. So much of makeup is just trying to get to a baseline from a perceived deficit. Even out skin tone, cover blemishes and under-eye circles. Mascara so it actually appears that yes, you do have eyelashes. If you look like you shower regularly and have mirrors, then you're golden. Everything else is just for personal satisfaction and/or fun!

fondue with cheddar

@The Spectacular Lady J Heh, I think you overestimate my "natural beauty and high confidence". There's a big difference between effortless beauty and not putting forth the effort. The world tells us that it's not okay for us to be the way we are, and it's not just the media, it's also the people we love who say, "Wow, you look so good when you wear makeup!" They mean well but what we hear is, "You don't look good most of the time."

I guess I just wish someone on The Hairpin would help people like me learn how to look our best. It's not that I don't want to look good, it's just that I'm not a mascara/updo/pencil skirt/heels kind of lady. I know there's something in between that and frumpy-housewife-who-let-herself-go, but I'm in my thirties and still haven't figured out what that is.

And now I'm going to do yet another google search for "low maintenance haircuts" and come up with cuts that only take 20 minutes to style.


@Reginal T. Squirge Thanks for being polite and grateful for the comments you've gotten, in the face of what would be a cyclone of zany hate on any other corner of the internet. I know that no one needs cookies or high-fives for being a nice person, but I wanted to let you know that I really, really, really appreciate the way you received all the comments. The Hairpin is one of two places on the internet I feel safe in commenting from the acknowledged POV of a woman (seriously, the internet is a terrifying place for me to be publicly female), and part of that is because of the respect that commentariat displays, even when learning about new/uncomfortable/challenging positions.

And @PistolPackinMama and @S.Elizabeth, a thousand thanks for your answers. I was so impressed by the ways you explained things, often hinging on personal experiences, or grounded in the male gaze; I didn't read any of them as personal attacks on other people's autonomy or choices. And they rang really true to me. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I know I'm late to the thread, but I couldn't read it yesterday because I had already engaged in a really long conversation about appropriation of indigenous imagery, and I didn't have the the teaspoons to get involved with another tricky and emotionally engaging conversation. I sort of skimmed the racist books article and was overwhelmed, though I think today I'll have the time and energy to appreciate it.

I'm just wicked glad that the Hairpin talks about this stuff, and does it nicely. Enthusiastically, and in good faith.

fondue with cheddar

@NeverOddOrEven I appreciate your suggestions and I don't want to seem dismissive, but simple "just wear this and this!" solutions don't work for everybody. See, the other reason I feel like some of these posts don't apply to me is that I've got a body type that is difficult to work with (very short, a little heavy, and busty), and a lot of clothes (including blazers, unfortunately) look terrible on me. Blazers make me look fat, button-down shirts pull open, tops without a defined waist make me look pregnant, skirts and dresses look terrible with my thick calves and ankles. Once I find a size that's big enough to fit my boobs, it's huge in the waist. I've settled on jeans and girly-cut t-shirts because they work well enough with my shape and because clothes shopping is torture.

There was a post awhile back about what kinds of topics we would like to see featured more, and I guess I should have said "how to dress when you've got a weird body". I'm sorry for all the whining and complaining, it's just hard sometimes to be abnormal in so many ways.

sceps yarx

@PatatasBravas I agree, The Hairpin is the only place I feel comfortable with being "publicly female". Actually it's the only place I feel comfortable with being publicly ANYTHING. Seriously, this is the only internet thing I ever post on! And this conversation has been fascinating and fairly civil, which is awesome. <3 u pinnies!

@jen325, I'm kind of a fashion nerd, and when I need some outside-the-box dressing ideas, I look at photos of Japanese street fashion. Not the crazy ones that glue stuffed animals all over themselves, but the regular cool-cat Japanese kids. They usually have really different ideas for silhouettes and combinations. Maybe you'll find something that inspires you!


Well, I highly doubt you're as "abnormal" as you think. The one-cut-fits-all approach to clothes is far more strange than your body could possibly be.
But yea, that sounds shitty. Like that What Not To Wear cliche of having to buy something that fits the largest part of you and tailor the rest. It sounds like a huge expense and pain in the ass, but might be worth investing in? Again, the cliche of buying less at a higher quality and price point. Tailoring would probably open up a lot of options for you; I hate to think of someone writing off entire articles of clothing (plus I'm just a really, really big blazer fan).
It's also a very Adult sounding thing, having a tailor.

sceps yarx

@jen325 Also, it sounds like your body type would look super bangin' in a lace-up bodice. Not a corset, just a fitted bodice like you would wear to a renaissance fair. You can wear them over a button-up shirt with jeans, or even over a scoop-neck t. It's a little daring but super-flattering. One thousand years of busty European ladies can't be wrong!

fondue with cheddar

@sceps yarx There's definitely a lot more crazy stuff than normal stuff, but if I take some time to delve through there are some neat ideas. Thanks for the suggestion!

@NeverOddOrEven I know I'm not actually abnormal (except for my height, which is shorter even than petite clothing), but according to clothing manufacturers it's like I don't exist. I know that tailoring would offer me a lot more options, and I know that there are stores where I could find clothes that fit better, but both of these require more money, and I'm just not in a place where I can do that right now. Hopefully someday soon! A fellow 'Pinner recently introduced me to eshakti.com, and I love that you can order reasonably-priced clothing that is customized or sized to your measurements for a small fee (and sometimes free). I recently ordered a top from them, and I'm hoping it works out. Unfortunately, they seem to be mostly dresses but I'll take what I can get. It's just so frustrating that I can't just walk into Target and buy something cute, you know?

@sceps yarx I do look good in lace-up bodices! But I'm 38 years old now and it just doesn't seem appropriate anymore. I'd look like one of those ladies that's trying too hard to be young and sexy. Plus, I can't exactly wear something like that to work.


@stonefruit Ahhhhh. For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, a nice lady from Afghanistan who used to thread my eyebrows would do one, hold a mirror up to it and say "here you look nice." Then she would hold it up to the undone one and say "here you look like man."

Occasionally she would say "don't worry, I won't make you look ugly, even if you voted for George Bush." Pronounced "Boosh."

Then she would say "In my community only married Muslim women thread their eyebrows." SIGNIFICANT PAUSE. "Doesn't your mother miss you? How could she let you travel without a husband all the way to Europe."


I loved her. But the "you look like man" part was a lot funnier to her than it was to me. (Although it was pretty funny, to be fair.)


@jen325 WORD on the blazers and button downs thing. I am short in the torso, wide shoulder, big busted, and have a spare tire.

Blazers do not make me feel good unless they are superbly fitted and usually of a vintage cut. Which are often very feminine, so aren't particularly useful for your needs.

And when I do wear them, I wear them with things that have no collar or buttons for the same reason.

How do you feel about cardigans? If you have classic ones, and a structured one, they kind of do the job of a blazer without being a blazer.

Also, I ramped up my spending on Ts and will buy shirts cut like t-s but made from silk, or buy really quality ones. And I am ruthless about culling them from my closet when they look worse for wear.

I solved a lot of my issues by deciding dresses and skirts are where it is at, because trousers are a hassle. But. Investing in tailoring really is worth it to have them fitted through the waist and to deal with length. It helps a lot if I do want to wear trousers.

And, lastly, how do you feel about accessories? Watches are a thing these days, and a really handsome, well made man's watch or woman's watch that is bigger than the usual looks like a million bucks, I think. If you wear specs, intentionally striking glasses are a thing you think about once and then forget about and wear on your face.

And, I don't like wallets. They are a hassle. I keep my cards and cash in a cigarette case. Which also come in really striking designs, you buy once, and never think about again.

Same with outerwear. A great wool coat for winter makes you look super-polished.


@S. Elizabeth Maybe, maybe not. If anyone has seen my brows, they've seen untouched brows. In fact, I don't wear any make-up on a daily basis. And I don't have great skin, so everyone sees my zits. *shrug* I'm not going to claim I'm "hot" or pretty or anything. I mean, people w/o make up on look...like people w/o make up on. You can see all the pores, and stray hairs and blackheads. You know, just like on a dude's face.
I think what dudes have trouble understanding is the intense pressure that women feel to look a certain way. Not just pressure from advertisements, but more localized social pressure, especially in the work place. And I think that concept is totally alien to a lot of guys, who since birth are constantly told why they're great, instead of the myriad ways in which they are lacking.


@D.@twitter Truth: the most shocking part of this thread, for me, was that Reginald T Squirrel is a REGINALD, not a REGINA as I had been lazily reading for monttthhhs. I thought Regina T. Squirrel was just a sassy straight-talkin' lady. From New York, for some reason.


@BoozinSusan Now I have visions of a Depression-era Broadway Follies lady in my head. With a cigarette holder and a Brooklyn accent. Called Reggie.

Reginal T. Squirge

My physical appearance in The Real World ("True storaaaay!") is pretty much the exact opposite of this. As I've mentioned before, I more closely resemble Inspector Gadget after a bike accident.

fondue with cheddar

@Reginal T. Squirge Wow, I really don't want to betray your anonymity by asking you to show us a picture from it but...I really wish you would show us a picture from it!

So you're a twisted hunk of metal? That's pretty cool, I guess.


@jen325 Seconded. To use an overused phrase: "Pics or it didn't happen." Ayyyyy!

Reginal T. Squirge

Can't helpy ya there. I despise any and all pictures of me and destroy them as soon as I am aware of their existence. So... joke's on you, Jack! I don't really exist!

If you're ever in Portland, though, I encourage you to stop by a Hairpin meet-up and/or Book Club meeting. Then you can personally view my gruesome visage in all its splendor.


To use an overused phrase: ..Gomberg Law


I encourage you to stop by a Hairpin meet-up and/or Book Club meeting. Then you can personally view my gruesome visage in all its splendor.....Click Here


I have a beauty woe. I got to Germany today and I blew out my "universal voltage" hair straightener the first time I plugged it in. I'm going to sue GHD. I was going to get a new one when I came back anyway because it is really old, so losing this one (even though it was super nice) isn't a big deal in and of itself, but now I have lame hair and have to try to buy a new straightener in Serbia tomorrow. Grrrrr.

Re. shoes: I, as a college student, acquired an insanely expensive dress that I have never really worn because it's so expensive/fancy/weird that I could literally only wear it to the Oscars or something. It makes me feel terrible every time I think about it or look at it. I just want to throw it away. So, don't buy the shoes if you'll feel too guilty to wear them, but if you will actually wear them, then buy them.

@Ellie Oh honey, don't throw the dress out. Throw an Oscars party in your apartment/dorm/whatever and wear it. Save it because you'll need it and you love it. Put it on when you're having a quiet saturday night and drink wine while watching netflix in it.


@Ellie Re: Hair straighteners in foreign countries. I feel your pain. Immediately before my long-awaited first chance to see the Eiffel Tower at night and immediately after fully blow drying my curly hair into a puffy frizzy mess, my hair straightener decided it was not having anything to do with French electricity. Rather than embrace the natural look, I decided that applying olive oil to my head would solve the problem. It did not. Bright side: I was so excited when I found out about Eiffel Tower did the sparkly thing that I forgot about my oily head. Also, my boyfriend/ traveler-in-crime once told me he didn't know I had curly hair. He thought that some days I just didn't comb it.


@Ellie How awesome is it you already have a wedding/civil partnershipping dress, should you ever get married or civil partnered?

Have a Really Unusual Wedding/Partnering/Oscars Party. Just wear it. SE is right.


@Ellie I have two fancy dress problem solutions. 1) Get invited to a Charity Ball. It's like grown-up prom, and you get to feel like a do-gooder. 2) Get some friends together who also have impractical dresses, agree to a glam night out, and then if anyone asks, you say you've just come from the opera/a charity ball/a wedding.

Second thought - it's worth it to have one U.S. straightener and one Euro straightener. It's sad that you lost your old friend, but now you'll have a Euro one and will buy a new U.S. one and this will never happen to you again!


@Ellie Don't buy a hair straightener here in Central Europe. It's humid as hell right now, anyway. Embrace the natural curliness, wear scarves, and be on vacation!

Unless you're living here. In which case, be aware that such things are commonly purchased at electronics shops here, not in beauty shops, and try to find a Media Markt or a Saturn for the greatest reliability!


Thanks for the good suggestions guys! @Tailfeather: I actually have thought that it would be perfect to wear to a charity ball. I am only 24 though so I am a little young to get invited to those things I think? I don't know. The origin story of the dress is that my mom bought it for me because she felt sorry for me for having had and recovered from an eating disorder so the whole thing is a ball of guilt and bad associations. But maybe I can create a new one sometime . . .


@profelaurenneni Oh! Thanks for the good tips! I'm here for eight weeks and I have a total complex about my hair and hating it being wavy, so it'll probably make me happier in the long run to just get a straightener, but I'll take tomorrow to think about it I guess. I legit am loving the weather though!

@Ellie Oh honey! Okay, here's what we're going to do: When you're back in the U.S., find a charity that you like that has balls. (Are you in Boston? The Fenway Health women's ball every spring is a blast!). Save up and buy a ticket, or save up a buy two tickets and bring a friend. Make it an organization that you like, or means a lot to you, or does great work. Karma! You'll donate money to a good organization, be able to wear the guilt-ridden dress, have a lot of fun, etc. Charity balls! GO TO ONE! :D


@Ellie Invite S. Elizabeth and me over and I'll wear my peacock blue feather boa and my velvet ballgown and S.E. can wear whatever fantastic thing she has in her closet and we'll all sit around and watch "The Devil Wears Prada."


@Xanthophyllippa Can I come? And wear... something. Maybe a black dress, and I will just switch shoes all evening? Shoes and fascinators.


@Ellie Or donate the dress to an organization that gives prom dresses to needy girls!


@PistolPackinMama FASCINATORS. You are automatically invited!


@Xanthophyllippa I have a hot pink one and a dark purple one. Made of feathers.


Oh, Letter Writer No. 1, I hope that you didn't actually have to pay at the register... at which you were crying!


@Hellcat This was my first reaction too -- she should not have had to pay for that disaster!

The Lady of Shalott

@carbonation Oh dear yes yes yes--if you're IN TEARS from an awful salon treatment, no way should you have to pay for that shit! Seriously, learn from my mistakes--once I paid full price and thanked the girl for giving me a disastrous eyebrow wax where I wound up with wax in my HAIR. (You know, my head hair.) Don't do it.


@The Lady of Shalott Now I am wondering if I could cry after getting my hair colored next time... but I've been going to the same guy for years; I bet he'd see through that ruse in a second. Plus it would make it kind of difficult to go back in three months and ask for the same thing. My plan is dumb!


@Hellcat No one should have to pay for a service if they are so unhappy with what has been done. If I burst into tears at my salon, there is no way they would make me pay! I live in a smallish city, and repeat business means everything.


Seriously, girl. Don't go to that wedding. It's hard to pull off suave-and-cool-and-successful-and-over-it if it still causes you that much pain (see: The last wedding I went to. And the dress I wore. And the too-loud laughs I laughed. And the going home alone afterward to just kind of sit and think about how much everything still hurts. Awww).

But hang out with us on the internet! Maybe we can all netflix the same movie at the same time and chat about it on AIM like it's the 90's.

raised amongst catalogs

@Pela I was not the letter-writer but your reply makes me feel good about the world and the people in it. <3


@vanillawaif Thank you :) That's all I really want to do with my life, when it comes down to it - make people happy and the world a better place. :D


Somehow I had forgotten that I too love old lipstick smell!


@teaandcakeordeath That smell is and always will be the "grandma smell" to me. Well, old lipstick smell and Juicy Fruit gum.

Jane Marie

@Bebe Yes! Juicy Fruit or Doublemint. And Youth Dew perfume. And rose water. And and and...


@Jane Marie My grandma always had a tube of L'Oreal lipstick in some coral shade, Juicy Fruit, and kleenex in her purse. Just kleenex she pulled from the box at home, not in a fancy purse pack like we have now. And every time she would give me one, it smelled like Juicy Fruit and lipstick.

Chareth Cutestory

@Bebe With my nana it was orange Tic Tacs in place of the Juicy Fruit. :) Thanks for the reminder.


@teaandcakeordeath I've sometimes wondered if I should buy an old lipstick off Ebay or something, just for the Proustian moment- my beloved grandmother died when I was 12, and I'm sure the smell of lipstick will remind me of her.
On a more revolting note, I believe the reason old pre-1980s lipsticks have that one particular smell is due to the whale by-products that were used to make it glide on so nicely.


@Heike I like your whale product theory! Also, lipsticks all start to smell the same when the oils go rancid.


@Bebe My grandma kept her taken-from-the-box kleenexes tucked up in to the sleeve of her cardigan. Even if she had pockets, or a purse. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Atheist Watermelon

@Bebe Basically, my grandmother was the embodiment of evil- think Betty Draper- and had lost her sense of smell by the time she came to live with us, so she would spray herself with a horrifying concoction of different scents. Due to her lovely "special blend" and the associations I have with it, I can no longer abide (even individually) Youth Dew, Ralph Lauren, Chanel no. 5, Joy Patou, or L'Air du Temps. (Yes. She wore ALL OF THOSE AT THE SAME TIME.) &^%^#%$#

Atheist Watermelon

@LittleBookofCalm suffice it to say that one needed a gas mask if one were to survive a car ride with the woman


@LittleBookofCalm I am absolutely in love with the idea of an evil grandmother who smelled like all of those things at once. Like in a "couldn't make that up if I wanted to" way. How perfectly horrible! I'm sorry you had to smell that though.


(I think youre right about the whales :( )

Mothballs are another grandma smell and dear god I could inhale a bag of them all day. I realize this makes me sound odd.


@Melusina Correct! I just threw away a lipstick from Origins that I bought in 2002 and has been living in my purse, unused, ever since. It had grandma makeup smell.


grandma smell and dear god I could inhale a bag of them all day. I realize this makes me sound odd....gold backed ira

Been There Done That

Can I switch 'wedding' for 'high school reunion' in the third question? Because, ugh.


@Been There Done That It's OK to skip your high school reunion. It's OK to skip weddings full of people who are terrible. It's even OK to skip family reunions if your family is terrible. Life is too short to go to bad parties.


@Been There Done That Seconding Bebe - skip it if it's stressing you out. I didn't go to mine. Firstly, anyone I wanted to keep in touch with, I did. Secondly, was not interested in listening to the judgments about how I should've done something more with my life. Thirdly, what they had organized was completely cheap & kind of pathetic.

So, skip it! And with what you would have spent (maybe) on an outfit for it, buy something groovy to wear to the next 'pinup you attend!


@Been There Done That Hey, nice username/icon combo! "Ben, your codename is... Eagle Two." "Oh thank god."

Been There Done That

@Bebe @dale Thanks y'all. Part of me wants to go on the off chance that the few people I want to see will be there, but I know in my gut it's going to be a suckfest. Cute dress for a 'pinup it is!

@phenylalanine Thanks! "April is Currently Doing That. Donna is It Happened Once In A Dream"


#5, you might also do what I do to curb my lip-chewing habit (mostly I chew when they're cracking due to weather, maybe you do that too). Rather than chapstick, which can feel too waxy, I use Blistex Lip Medex, usually the one that comes in a little pot, but the stick is okay too. It works like a charm, and while you probably wouldn't kiss someone immediately after, it doesn't ever feel like it's lingering hours later.


@dale And to add to that, in the winter, I put hand cream on my lips underneath my chapstick/blistex/whatever (I am kind of a lip balm whore, and will use whatever happens to be in my bag/pocket/car/etc)


@dale Blistex in the little blue tub is my favorite. I stash them all over the place--various purses, my desk, the table near the couch, the nightstand--for fear of being without! Once I grabbed two from the display near a register, and then just told the cashier to ring them all up. And woe to the friend asks to use it and (A) refuses to use antibacterial first or (B) "plunges" as opposed to "skims"! Clearly, this is a bizarre obsession... but, in relation to the topic at hand, I find it works well beneath lipstick.


@Hellcat I don't really know what's in it that works so well, but it's amazing.

Dear Blistex - if you ever stop making this product, Hellcat and I will burn everything to the ground.


@dale That's why I buy tons because what if they stop? That yellow other brand is not the same and way too waxy!


Hey you guys! Hey #4! Attention everybody! This random shoe store in Kansas that I discovered a few years ago is closing and just marked everything down a little more today. They have a few different pairs of Chie Maharas. It's called Habitat. Google. Go. Maybe they happen to have an agreeable substitute for the pair of Chies that you saw?

raised amongst catalogs

@daaannngg I didn't even know sneaker wedges existed until I read this, but when I checked out Habitat I saw almost immediately that they have sneaker wedges half-price. $65. Not my thing, but...someone will buy them.

raised amongst catalogs

@vanillawaif NOT ON SALE ENOUGH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH http://www.habitatshoes.com/see/trovata/natalie_tea_dress


@vanillawaif ARGH YES. So pretty! And at least twice as much as I will willingly pay :(


@vanillawaif Yeah, I know! So frustrating. There's a pair of shoes I love but I'm gonna wait til the verrrry last minute and see if they're still there.


@daaannngg Ugh, $40 shipping to Canada. Worth it anyway? Maybe!

Jane Marie

OMG WHICH ONE OF YOU BOUGHT THE SHOES!? I can't tell if I'm angry or happy.

raised amongst catalogs

@Jane Marie Maybe someone bought them FOR YOU?


@Jane Marie I am not angry, but also not happy, as that was my damned size.


#2 - two words: FANCY SWEATSHIRT!

The Lady of Shalott

@omgkitties Edith????


Yes #5 yes! The little balls and the gathering where your lips meet! I know what you're talking about! I LOVE wearing lipstick and I would wear it every day if it weren't such a high-maintenance makeup thing (as in, reapplying and worrying if it still looks okay). BUT I discovered lip stain (Revlon Just Bitten, to be exact) and I will never go back. It seriously stays put forever. Eating, drinking, lip chewing. It doesn't even leave a trace of color on your coffee mug or whatever, it is insane and I love it. I use the "Flame" color when I'm being all bright-red-retro-y, and "Passion" is a good pink too. Also, when I'm wearing normal lipstick, I put chapstick on underneath it, which helps somehow. Lipstick 4evrrrrrr.


@allofthecrafts Sorry that this reads like a weird ad or something, but LIP STAIN you guys. Seriously though.


@allofthecrafts Agreed! I have switched to lip stain + chapstick and I am never going back! I am pretty sure I accidentally ate more lipstick than I wore.


@allofthecrafts Maybe I am doing something wrong, but when I tried the Just Bitten stuff it went on darker around the edges than it did in the middle, and it seemed like it took so long to color in my lips with what felt like a dried-up magic marker. Am I dumb? Why is such a highly touted thing giving me such trouble? I'd like to like it; I bought two! Oh, and I managed to break the balm part just by opening the top. I am a lip-product menace.


@allofthecrafts how do you make lip stain look good??? I'm a big lipstick person, I wear it all the time, but every time I try lip stain it looks awful after 20 minutes. I exfoliate like crazy first and it looks okay when I first put in on, but then after a while it looks patchy and crazy, like an outline AND a line down the middle? And then I can't get the weird bits off my lips! Help me!! I feel like if I could get it right lip stain would be so awesome!


@Hellcat I can't do stains, and everyone recommends stains all the time! They do the same thing on my lips... it looks bad, it's all around the edges and then you can see every little bit of dry skin. Using my generic clarisonic on my lips has helped, as do the 4 metric tons of lip balm that I use weekly, but I've given up on stains.


@Hellcat Are you me??? Two of them, dark around edges, gone in middle, broken balm... we are the lipocalypse.


@insouciantlover @Gina@twitter I just tried it again just now and same thing--a big, darker-than-the-rest patch on one spot. The fact that it was a pretty deep color (Midnight) probably didn't help, as the slightly lighter one (Beloved/Adoration) worked a little better. When I apply it, I feel like I am having to pull too much and ending up with a jagged line. I will say, though, that the balm feels pretty nice (though who knows how many times someone like me would reapply it, and thus wear out that end way before the other one) and the color does stay put... almost too well, judging by my struggle to get the Midnight off.

@okaycrochet E-mail Revlon. I did and they sent me $25 worth of coupons, with which I bought something that I wasn't too much of a spaz to use.


@Gina@twitter I have not only super-dry lips, but super like...peel-y lips? like, if I don't exfoliate super hard with a toothbrush I have flaky lips all the time, and chapstick doesn't help dead skin flakes that are already chillin' (ew ew sorry y'all). When I use lip stain, I outline my lips with it first ONE TIME (like, I do not go over it again) and then I fill in the middle as much as needed, cause it seems to always look darker around the edges. You HAVE to let it dry all the way for like 30 seconds or so (your lips will feel real weird) or else it will not stay on. Use the chapstick over it pretty often. When I go to touch it up if it even needs it (which is usually after like....6 hours) I rub my lips with a kleenex and get as much of the chapstick and stain off as I can, then reapply. Also, I always have better luck with the darker colors than the lighter ones. When I use the red, it stays on FOREVER, but the pink one usually gives me a little bit of trouble.

Oh also, you might have just bought a crappy one by accident. Sometimes I'll go to buy the same exact brand and color and when I get it home and open it it just doesn't work. If you call or email them they'll send you coupons!

Also ALSO, sometimes I just exfoliate my lips by rubbing them with my fingers sorta hard. The skin like, pills up? Sort of gross (but satisfying?) and it works.


@allofthecrafts i also get the little balls in the corner of my mouth, which is gross. but lip stain is not the solution for me! i even have that just bitten stuff and it looks amazing for about 10 minutes and then wears off unevenly so i look like i have blotchy yuck lips. revlon lip butter has been the closest solution for me.


@Hellcat Excellent idea. I just sent them a well-written lament in my "regretfully disappointed customer" voice. Fingers crossed!


@okaycrochet I would bet they get a few complaints about the balm breaking off. It's in there so precariously! Or... we are clumsy brutes.


@Hellcat I've heard about the balm-breaking-off thing with that lipstain before....and I was extra careful because of it, so I somehow managed to keep it intact despite my fumbly fingers. That stupid balm is just stuck on the end like a pencil eraser...! I love that stuff but seriously, crappy idea.


@allofthecrafts wait wait, which Just Bitten are you guys talking about? I tried the "stain stain" (as I call it) marker kind and it was terrible! And the balm broke! But now there's a new one that's more like a pencil with the balm built in. It works really well (at least the darker colors, I have not tried any of the lighter ones).I have a bunch of the Tarte lip stain pencils and I think these work way better and are equally as minty aaannnnd are only $7 at Target.


@allofthecrafts For me, the first balm broke/mostly melted, but I have another one and it seems to be much more stay togethery? I think it varies batch to batch or something. I definitely never use the balm and just use one of the many other lip balms I have hanging around instead.


@Megano! @allofthecrafts That balm is not structurally sound!

@contrary OOOH! I might try this; a pencil might be...hmmm, more controllable, especially with a dark color?


@Hellcat I am very much in favor of pencil over lipstick. I love the NARS matte velvet pencils but...my wallet...it hurts. I keep trying to get more of these Revlon pencil dealies at my CVS but they don't have them yet (I have extra bucks and coupons and Revlon is on sale! THEY WILL BE FREE! I feel like I'm on extreme couponing!)


@allofthecrafts oh so much love for Just Bitten! the red! amaze! its the only lip colour I can wear, and every time I wear it I get mad compliments, and celebrate that I don't wind up with it across my face and no longer on my lips. @all, when I bought it the woman in the pharmacy told me to be be careful of breaking the balm, and I've managed not to snap it off the 3 I've been through, but yeah pretty delicate. you can put another balm over the top instead, if it's gone (snapped or used up)? and re: patchiness - I do a couple of layers for solid colour coverage.. but some things just don't work for different lips I guess? :(


@contrary My favorite pencil ever is called Beech from The Body Shop(ppe?). It works so well and looks like the color was made for me! And a little lip balm over it keeps it comfortable.


@allofthecrafts I DO THAT TOO.

so what?

@contrary ooooh i love the tarte lip stain pencils. they are sold at target?! i had no idea. those suckers are $24 at sephora, which means i have only ever purchased one. i need to go to target.


@so what?
No, re-read. She's saying the Revlon version is good and cheap, and sold at Target.


@NeverOddOrEven right, I think the Revlon ones are comparable/better than the Tarte ones. They probably have more gross ingredients in them, but I will live.

so what?

@NeverOddOrEven ohhh i see now. oops. well in that case i still need to go to target to try the revlon ones.


I might have to check them out too. I think I've already side-eyed them in Walgreens.

Here's my dilemma though - I'm pale but with highly pigmented lips. So pretty much any lip product I'm looking for would make them lighter, not darker or redder or rosier or orangier.
Am I stuck with lipstick? Stains and glosses and balms and all that aren't going to do jack for me, right?


@NeverOddOrEven My lips are very pigmented too, and I find the Revlon stains do work in darker colours. If I want to do pink, it doesn't really do anything. The Revlon lip butters are actually pigmented enough that I can wear them.


Even the lighter shades? Because those look like more my jam.
I have the peach flavored Baby Lips and the lightest of the Burt's Bees tinted balms which are okay, but are too sheer to make much of a difference. And lighter lipstick just looks so obvious to me. Not to mention the maintenance factor, which I'm just not at all willing to deal with.


@NeverOddOrEven I have a Bubblegum pink one that works on me. Peach might not though, I haven't tried it. I have a coral one and it's very pigmented.


@all I am OBSESSED with Fresh Sugar tinted lip balms. Sugar Plum is fantastic. I also agree that the pencils are awesome. I think the reason people tend to get the clumpy balls is because they're dehydrated. That's the only time it happens to me.


The Baby Lips? I have the bubblegum pink one too, but it's more bright and less pale, which is what I'm looking for.
I like it though, I've just shyed away from it since I reapplied once and my husband turned around and said "What the hell happened to your lips?!"
I hate him sometimes.


@NeverOddOrEven I have dark lips too, and that's why the lip stain is good in my opinion -- the color soaks into your lips instead of sitting on top of them. But that also means you have to stick with the darker pinks and reds and whatnot, otherwise it just won't show up at all.
Also, BABY LIPS BABY LIPS YESYESYES! I have the cherry one and it's so sheer but like, just a little bit better than the color of my own lips! Love it.


Thank you for writing in, #3. I am going to send Jane's response to my best friend who is intending to go to a wedding full of horrible people in the fall. She can come visit my boring house in the middle of nowhere instead.


omgosh you just reminded me! I had a dream over the weekend that I was hanging out with Amber Rose and she convinced me to get a haircut where we completely buzzed one entire side of my head and cut the other short like Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby and I was like "idk Amber I'm not sure I can pull this off" and she was like "nah girl that's so fly" and then I bashfully realized that I had seen her mostly naked online and I got kinda shy and just got the damn haircut.

Oh Amber Rose, you!


@insouciantlover This is the best dream.


Wedge sneakers are coming back?! I had a pair of Candie's that looked like wedged converse and I wore the hell out of them in junior high.

@cherrispryte I wonder if those godawful Steve Madden platform sneakers will come back in style?


@S. Elizabeth My one true "Boy Was My Face Red" moment was when I was wearing enormous platform mary janes and a babydoll dress and did a spectacular faceplant in a crowded hallway.

Oh, 1998. You were kind to no one.


Everyone! YSL totally solved the lipstick problem with their Glossy Stain. I am up to 4 of them now and was even checking out new colors at Sephora this afternoon, because it's all I want to wear. The color stays forever and your lips don't dry out. I've worn my favorite one, Rouge Enamel #20, to two wedding recently and didn't even have to reapply once. (And I literally NEVER STOP eating or drinking at weddings.)


@punkahontas YES! It is pricey but so worth it. I will probably save the money the YSL cost before the summer is over since I've stopped being tempted to pick up a random lipstick every time I go to Target.


@aitch Exactly! A couple awesome ones instead of a million crappy ones.


@punkahontas Keep wanting to try the YSL Glossy stains, everyone raves about them. Just wondering if the colors are too bold/bright for work?


@celeec4@twitter A lot of them are bold, but there are a few that are totally work appropriate. I just bought the light coral one, #7 and it's really pretty. I also have #15 that is a cool pink. (My bold ones are #11 and #20 and I adore both.)

I think they have a lot more colors online, but so far I've only bought ones I could try on my hand at the store.


@celeec4@twitter #5 looks super natural on my lips, at least. If you just do one light coat it gives you a kind of tinted chapstick look, with two coats it looks a little more lipstick-y but still definitely work appropriate. And it really does last forever.


Pull an Amanda Palmer, get rid of the rest of your eyebrow hair, and draw some cool squiggly designs instead!


Lipstick: buy lip butter. I think it's Revlon. You can get it at CVS. It feels like chapstick, and it's like 8 bucks. I swear to god it's the greatest.


@PieLady i like your name


@piekin and i just read what you wrote and second that revlon lip butter is uh-amazing.


@PieLady Yeah that Lip Butter stuff is the best. I have like 4. But I also like the lipstains! And apparently there is a Revlon chubby stain gloss stick thing now? It's not here in Canada, but apparently it is pretty great.


@PieLady In Australia, they're $15-$20. So depressing.
And don't get me started on the price difference between Rimmel in the UK and here!


@PieLady It might be similar (except possibly more expensive) but my favorite, swear-by-it, lipstick is Korres Mango Butter Lipstick. I think they are $18 each? I have the natural pink, natural purple, and coral shades and they are basically allllll I wear.


i just wanted to chime in for LW#1 and say that my mum lost her eyebrows during chemo and she used the anastasia brow kit and the stencils on her bare-ass browbone and the results were awesome and looked better than when she had real eyebrows. so there is still hope!


The first time I bleached my hair, the hair stylist lady suggested I bleach my black eyebrows as well. My eyebrows and hair ended up not matching because A) my eyebrows burnt off and B) I was left with eyebrow shaped welts that the salon swore was just bad staining. To this day (many, many years later), I cannot wax or thread my eyebrows because the skin is so thin. :(


@njellybean OW. Did she not know that bleaching ≠ "douse with Clorox?"



My eyebrows are twinging in sympathy.


"First, lip-chewing and lipstick do not go together, but neither do lip-chewing and not having wrinkles around your mouth or lip-chewing and not looking like a nervous pre-teen. Stop chewing your lips!

Cue me immediately stopping chewing on my lip, then sitting up straight and sucking in my gut for good measure. I may be sitting alone in my apartment, but I am sitting with confidence! Thanks, Jane.

I am more lipstick-fearful than lipstick-averse, but fwiw, I had a coaching session at Sephora. The result was Clinique "Almost Lipstick" in a shade I would have never picked. I think it wears well, and you can really control how much color you build up.


@TheLetterL Oh, I was gonna agree with the Almost LIpstick, but then I realized mine is not that; it's Clinique's Different Lipstick (in Angel Red--it's a good one for those of us on whom the more daring reds look clowny and messy after a few minutes). But now I want Almost Lipstick too!


@Hellcat Me! Me! I cannot wear red without looking clowny and messy! Angel Red, you say? I'm on it.

Definitely try out the Almost Lipstick in the store. The one I ended up with (Chic Honey) does not look the same in the tube and on my face.


@TheLetterL Oh, is that the line that came from the popularity of Black Honey? That's a good one too, and the color in the tube is definitely not the color that shows up on your lips, but it's a nice, deep colr without being a dramatic color. And, yes--Angel Red: enough red that it is red, but not the high-maintenance kind that works only on a select (LUCKY!) few.


@Hellcat Yup, Black Honey was the first. They're up to eight colors now (and I kind of want them all). I will keep an eye out for Angel Red next time I'm at a Clinique counter.


@TheLetterL I love Black Honey, and you will love Angel Red--I am sure of it!


In re LW#3 (whether to go to the wedding with horrible people):

Although I don't necessarily disagree with the advice not to go to the wedding, I just want to float the suggestion that there may be value in going.

If you are a "man vs. herself" kind of person and this is an event where, for whatever personal reason, it matters to you that you show up, you can do this. And the payoff may be wonderful.

Listen, people can be assholes, and maybe some of those assholes will be assholes to you at this shindig. It can and does happen. But, having done this very thing myself once or twice, here is my advice. Watch Pretty in Pink, paying particular attention to the scene where Andie goes to her prom.

"I just want them to know they didn't break me."

Channel that, and maybe a little C.J. Cregg (from The West Wing - she always helps). Head up, shoulders squared, smile with your eyes (SMIZE). Get a drink, have a conversation with a stranger, and leave early. Then go meet some real friends for a victory beverage of your choosing and never give those assholes another thought.


Oh God, all the eyebrow horror stories are reminding me why I have not gone back to get my brows waxed since high school. And you know what? My eyebrows look fine! I just have to tweeze every day, no big.

Is It a Hat?

Wait, Jane is an inside-of-cheek chewer too? I'M NOT ALONE!


@Is It a Hat?
I feel so validated now - I'm not alone in my cheek chewing and lip rubbing.


@Is It a Hat? Me too! I make the most hideous, pursy grimaces. My way of trying to quit is to puff out my cheeks so they don't touch my teeth. Like a BLOWFISH.


#5: I get that stuff at the corners of my mouth too, and I don't bite my lips. If I'm feeling gross, I just wipe off with a paper towel in the ladies' and then reapply. That's maybe... once in a long day? And it happens more if I'm talking a lot (I'm a teacher). I've found it happens less if I lipstick and then alternate with tinted balm.

Non-yucky lipsticks I love: Sula (natural and very cheap at Ulta), Clinique Color Surge Butter Shine.

Alternative: tinted lip balm! Burts Bees tinted lip balm is ultra flattering and $7. It just feels like chapstick. I like it in Rose, myself.

#2: What you need for sneaker wedges: Black skinny jeans and an attitude. Those would totally play in Chi-town. So jeal!

Also: I have never, ever plucked, waxed, or altered my brows in any way. I am given to understand that I look like a normal human. If it makes you feel better, go for it. If it doesn't, why bother?


@fishiefishfish Yes that Burt's Bees stuff is the best! If you want to go fancy, #5, the Fresh tinted balms are really nice too (mine was a Sephora sample), but they cost like 3 times as much and the price difference probably isn't worth it.

I pluck my eyebrows just to get the strays between my brows and my eyes, but I don't bother with "shaping" them. Co-sign the "if you don't want to deal with it, then don't" manifesto.


@fishiefishfish Yes Burt's Bees tinted lip balm! I bought literally 4 of the nutmeg color (bathroom,car,purse,desk) and it's so perfect for my skin tone. And since I am also a lip biter I don't feel bad that I'm basically eating lipstick because it's All Natural (I hope that's true).

so what?

@fishiefishfish i love the burt's bee tinted balm and also neutrogena's new tinted balm. so moisturizing, with the nicest sheer color. tinted balms are my jam, especially on these humid summer days when i don't want to wear any makeup. they really brighten up my face.


Ugh Hairpin I came to this post way too late but I realized I need to ask a beauty-related question and this is the perfect place unless I wait until the Friday open thread. So in case anyone is here and still reading: how do you get your makeup to stay on your face when your skin is oily and you break out every time you use face primer? Like, we're talking high-end, MUFE/Smashbox/Urban Decay primer with MAC foundation, and that shit slides right off by the time I get to work in the morning.


@cosmia have you ever used those oil-blotting papers? The ones that are blue and then turn translucent when they soak up your face-oils (ew but awesome)? They take up the oil but they don't mess up your makeup. I probably use like 5 every day. Theyre THE BEST. But maybe that'll help keep everything in place?


@cosmia My new favorite routine is BB cream as primer, so after I wash my face in the morning, it's toner (that step is important!), moisturizer, Smashbox BB cream, then foundation. I use Murad skincare products and MUFE foundation and it sounds like we have similar skin types. Maybe give that a shot? The BB cream is a lot nicer to my skin than the MUFE primer seems to have been.

Also, do you use powder? I use one from Bare Minerals and it seems to do a good job of keeping my makeup there.


@cosmia Seconded on the Bare Minerals powder. I don't use foundation because it feels too heavy when added to my own grossness, so I use tinted moisturizer with SPF and then translucent Bare Minerals over top.

I like the Boscia blotting papers infinitely better than the blue Clean and Clear ones, which I used for years. They're $10 for 100, which is actually about the same price as the C&C ones (those are $5 for 50), and they seem gentler? My face gets less rebound-oily after I use the Boscia ones. Result= fewer papers used= less gross skin and more savings!

Between the Bare Minerals and the Boscia, my super oily skin is better than it's been in ages. I was at a wedding in 90 degree heat and after the ceremony didn't blot-- or think to blot!-- all night. I never imagined such a carefree skin night.

(ALSO: I recently read that oily skin doesn't get nearly as many wrinkles. Rejoice, oily-skinned ladies of the world, for we shall triumph).


@cosmia I use milk of magnesia. It works sooooo much better than all of those primers. I think beautybargainhunter on youtube taught me about it - look up her video on it, and your life will neva be the same!! I have very similar skin to yours and it works SO WELL. Also, I like to wait until I get to work and put my makeup on there, which also tends to help for some reason (I'm 10 miles from my job, but there's also a temp. variance of about 10-20 degrees - always cooler at work -between the two, so that might explain it)

ETA: here's the video I was referring to...


@cosmia have you tried a primer that doesn't have silicone in it? I have pretty moderate acne, and any primer with silicone in it really exacerbates the oil production/breakouts. Murad has a new line of makeup that has salicylic acid in it that mattify really well (they might have ones without the acne medicine in them as well). I would also use a fine setting powder + blotting papers (the Boscia ones that @fishiefishfish mentioned are awesome, get ones that have powder on them!)


@cosmia This: http://www.decleor.com/aroma-duo.php
It is expensive but it works. I also got a sample for another brand (Vitamine and Sea), not sure if it works as well though. It may seem counterproductive to put oil on your face, but it does actually work. I'm not totally grease free, but definitely significantly less so.


@Mira I thought the whole point of those BB creams was that you didn't have to use anything else?


@cosmia I used to be an oil slick, but my face has been much less oily since I switched to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. (This took a few months to achieve.) It doesn't overdry or make my face feel tight, so my skin doesn't retaliate by pumping up the oil level.

For makeup, I use Clinique BB cream with Bare Minerals Mineral Veil over. (And BM blush and brow powder in between. Eye makeup goes last.) I rely on the SPF in both types of makeup, since when I use SPF moisturizer, I need way more powder. For me, the BB cream has replaced SPF moisturizer, concealer, and powder foundation. (Never routinely used primer or liquid foundation.)


"Terrible things are constantly happening, you know? And they get more frequent and much shittier as time goes on. Life."

This - a hundred million time - this this this
Its a hideous pay-off for living into your 40s (soon to be 50s).


(alternatively, a slightly different look but pretty much foolproof:

cashmere velvet candy cane

Letter writer 5, I know what you're talking about with the lipstick gunking up in the corners of your mouth! I don't even chew my lips or anything, so I don't know how it happens. Here is what I would recommend to prevent that from happening and to make your lipstick last longer: Exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub or just a toothbrush (focus on the corners of your mouth), apply a thin layer of lip balm, and here is the key thing: use lip primer. I use the Too Faced kind. Then apply lipstick, blot, apply again, blot again. This is what works for me, anyway. I touch up my lipstick every few hours, but that is nothing compared to having to reapply it every half hour when I don't do the first three steps.

Hope this helps!


(eee... that was full of typos. Here is a less muddled version of the hardest hit section)

If you are pale, get a spray tan. Either way, cover yourself in some shimmery bronzey type stuff like from Too Faced. Get a jade mani-pedi. YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A GODDESS AND NO ONE WILL DARE EFF WITH YOU (OR TRY TO EFF YOU). This will allow you to seem so warm and so aloof all at once.


OMG how are more people not talking about chie miharas?! They are without a doubt my favourite kind ever. I have blister prone feet and can't walk in heals to save my life but I LOVE chies. They are clouds for your feet.


@lissaliza What's the fit like, width-wise? I have kind of wide feet and most higher end shoe companies seem to cut their shoes extra narrow. It's weird having the money and the desire for expensive shoes, but being stuck with cheap shoes because at least they aren't cut for kangaroo-shaped feet.


@MilesofMountains I think they're pretty narrow...I have really narrow feet. Definitely try them on in person, then. (i love that about expensive shoes, me having stupid little baby heals and all)


LW5: Get thee some Revlon Colorstay liquid lipstick (example here: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/revlon-colorstay-ultimate-liquid-lipstick/ID=prod6003839-product). It stays on FOREVERRRRR. You put in on in thin layers so it's kind of like a stain, but it ultimately builds up to a true lipstick look. I like Top Tomato for a red. I have about 5 different colors of it.


@clairapluie Yes! Brilliant stuff, also Maybelline Superstay, same sort of thing.

Feminist Killjoy

wait but the wedge sneakers are amazing


LW1: benefit brow zings. get the lady at the counter to show you how. my eyebrows have never. looked. better.


But the funny thing is, once I penciled them in, no one noticed unless I told them. It's weird how people never notice eyebrows unless you mention it.
Also I never used to be a lipstick person until I bought Poppy King for Jcrew which was on sale recently. It's BRIGHT red and goes on real nice (you can layer it for varying brightness) and is the kind of bright red that you can wear with everything and makes you look just a tinge crazy but like in a good way.
So yeah.

fondue with cheddar

Tiny, spindly, uneven eyebrows with large patches of hair missing are the way mine look when mine are well-groomed. They cover a large area, but they're very sparse. I'm afraid to get them waxed, so I pluck them with tweezers. I have to carefully choose which hairs to pluck because one or two hairs too many are enough to make my brows look terrible. I wish I had thick eyebrows.

Atheist Watermelon

Sorry to threadjack, guys, but I had a beauty-related question: I am brokety broke broke, but I reaaaaallly want to dye my hair red. Not, like, Cyndi Lauper fire-engine red, but a natural red (think Allyson Hannigan, maybe?) I used to temp dye my hair reddish in high school, and actually have great coloring for red hair (I'm super pale with freckles and a slight pink undertone to my skin). I have naturally medium-to-light brown hair with a few grays starting to sneak in, and am terrified of getting box color because I really really don't want to wind up with that old-lady-auburn look, but can't really afford to get it done at a salon. Any suggestions...?? Should I just save up money and go to a salon? Also, is it possible for me to dye my own eyebrows without blinding myself?


@LittleBookofCalm I don't have advice on the eyebrows, but I have done alright with box colour in the past. I don't know what that old-lady auburn look is though. I think I've used the clairol natural essences or something like that. It's really hard to get the natural red colour, usually what I find is I dye it and it goes dark/auburn-y red and then fades to a lighter colour that was the original colour I was going for. I just had my hair dyed and I requested "copper" for the main colour and it is pretty natural red looking I guess. So maybe look for copper colours in the store, but I think I'd be scared to do that myself for fear it would turn out orangey.



@LittleBookofCalm you can use Just For Men beard dye on your eyebrows (they might even make eyebrow dye). I have never done this, but my friend has and she didn't go blind. I don't know if JFM would make the right red to match your hair though (do they make red? I've never really looked.)


@LittleBookofCalm I have pretty much exactly the same coloring as you and I've been using Clairol Natural Instincts in Cinnaberry for a few years now. It's a really nice auburn red that looks more natural on me than my real hair color!

But yes, towels EVERYWHERE. Otherwise your bathroom will actually look like a murder scene.


@LittleBookofCalm I used to have pretty good luck with Feria; they have lots of reds. And a lot of times things can be SUPER BRIGHT for the first few days, but every time you wash your hair it fades and gets increasingly natural-looking. I'm pale and freckly like you, and when I used to box-dye my hair red, people tended to assume it was natural until I told them otherwise. And if you want it to look like the real deal, avoid the burgundy-looking reds and seek out the Anne-of-Green-Gables-esque copper shades.


LIPSTICK POINTER. I read this in a magazine years ago (Cosmo? Seventeen?), but it maintains its relevance. It works best with better quality lipstick, obvs, but it certainly helps even cheaper lipstick stay longer. 3 steps, repeated as many times as you think you need:
1. Apply lipstick.
2. Blot. I use toilet paper.
3. Powder. I use translucent face powder because that's what I have. Divide a square of toilet paper so that it's one-ply, place it on your lips, and powder over the tp until the lipstick feels set and matte.
Repeat all steps until you feel like the lipstick is there to stay.

It's worked for all types of things for me, including events where I'm drinking and/or occasionally pecking a friend/bf. May also work with eating if you're careful, but I never eat carefully.


This is making me appreciate my eyebrow lady. Yvonne at The Perfect Brows in Atlanta!


#4, If you love them, truly LOVE the shoes and can't stop thinking about them, they are worth it. Shoes are one of the few things I will spend money on because you can take them to the cobbler and get them fixed over and over again and have them forever. Well made shoes are a good investment. As long as they're not something trendy, like sneaker wedges. ;) Once those are out, they are OUT.
Good rule of thumb: classic/versatile pieces-spend the cash, trendy pieces, go cheap. Then you won't be sad when they're over.


Can I pull of filling in my brows to make them thicker if I wear otherwise minimal makeup?


Sure, why not? It may look weird to you at first but I doubt any one else would give it a second glance, so long as it's not completely off-color or something.
It just takes a while to get used to seeing yourself with different features.


Spending a lot of money on clothes or shoes gives me extreme anxiety that my body/foot size/shape will change and I won't be able to wear the item anymore, thus rendering it a complete waste of money. Because this fear is actually not unreasonable, I pretty much never spend over $100 on any item (other than tall black boots after spending three years looking for the perfect pair).

Prostitute Robot From The Future

Jane, if you want that old lipstick smell, try Byredo's Loose Lips: http://carolinesmode.com/caroline/art/225910/on_my_desk/. I've been eyeing this candle for a while and keep almost buying it, but it's just too darn expensive for, well, a scented candle, basically.

Creature Cheeseman

http://images.thesartorialist.com/thumbnails/2012/05/51512BeatriceR5366Web.jpg sorry i'm bad at links but this wedge sneaker outfit was on sartorialist a while back

Harris, Emmeline

About lips - this is my ONE but very transformative beauty tip in life: get a facewasher and put it over your index finger. then very precisely and gently, exfoliate your lips in the shape that you want to emphasise. make sure itäs not too different from your normal shape (unless you are deliberately sporting geishaness) and you will look just like you but more defined and extra pretty. This is especially good if you have on some kind of foundation. My sister and I refer to it as Popping Your Lips! Then you can add lip balm. If you're putting on lipstick, though, don't do this, as if you leave the foundation on your lips it might help everything stick.

Bangs/fringe. I just got a proper sideswept fringe after years of being too scared to try it, and it looks amazing! and isnät a particularlz commitmenty one - I suggest you try that - the kind that you can brush back into your hair/ put in a pin if it doesn^t work. You should try it! just maybe not before these events in case it's haywire - maybe for those you should just do all the eyebrow magic. First comment!

Harris, Emmeline

PS with the facewasher, just use one layer, don't fold it. Also every time you're doing this you're exfoliating so keep putting on balm. I vote Burt's bees pomegranate.

Ellen Ziebarth@facebook

I'm normally just a lurker and I know this post is old, but I had to comment on the Neosporin lip treatment. that stuff is MAGIC. Seriously. I don't know what they put in it but it WORKS.
occasionally, my lips totally dry out and the corners start to crack and it's itchy and painful. nothing except this stuff works. and I found it totally by accident- I just grabbed it at Target one day, started using it at night, and about a week later I went "huh. the cracks are gone and my lips are super soft. this is awesome." (sorry for the rant, but seriously. MAGIC.)


Horloges wordt verder opgedeeld in kleinere categorieen op basis van hun functie of complicaties.  Lichaamsbewegingen, met name de normale beweging van de pols, want het kristal optreden vergelijkbaar met een gewicht. Dameshorloges 4) Heeft de watch winder heeft een automatische dagelijkse ON / OFF-functie? Met deze functie, moet de winder gebruikers niet te resetten of aan / uit van de winder dagelijks. Voordat je winkel voor uw volgende horloge, of het nu een Citizen horloge of een Invicta horloge of een horloge voor die kwestie, is het een goed idee om te weten hoe horloges worden ingedeeld.


I think have some more curb appeal. I have one great outfit idea in mind, that includes a mini, chambray and lots of gold video girl jewelry. But, I could use some inspiration to make sure they get more action than that. These are pretty on-trend, maybe I am not the only one? carpet cleaning redhill


I'm really stressed and totally panicking and walking out of the salon sobbing was such a low point for m invisible dog fence installation


Bobbie Brown counter and have them do your brows for you, show you how to do it, and then buy the stuff they put on you. They're really good at this stuff, and their eyebrow filler stuff is better than pencil for this kind of situation. food storage


But, I could use some inspiration to make sure they get more action than that. These are pretty on-trend, maybe I am not the only one? source

Muhammad Shahbaz@facebook

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r and have them do your brows for you, show you how to do it, and then buy the stuff they put on you. They're really good at this stuff, and their eyebrow filler stuff is better than pencil for this kind of situation. pictures for instagram likes


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Please help, I'm really stressed and totally panicking and walking out of the salon sobbing was such a low point for me. youwatch


The bright side: excluding the possibility that the universe did this to prepare you for sudden hereditary hair loss, your brows will be back in about two months if you leave them to their own devices. ibcbet bandar bola


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