Monday, July 16, 2012


Beauty Q&A: The Most Beautiful Bright Lipstick in the Land

1. I love how lipstick/stain looks on other ladies. I always have. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that I can't seem to find one that looks right on me. Makeup has always been a bit of a struggle. My mother was raised a Mennonite (she is 60 and has never worn a stitch of make up), and my father was a Baptist preacher. Make up was verboten at our house. I never had anyone to show me how to choose shades or apply or contour or blend. I am a natural redhead with pale skin and lots of freckles. Reds and berries seem to add years to my age, and also make me look like those ladies who are screaming outside trailers on Cops. I tried a sort of peachy color once, but it looked downright orange on me. Ugh. I am clueless.

You should write a memoir. Who cares if nothing has "happened" yet? All you do is write a chapter about what you're doing right now, then steal tell your mom's story, then tell your dad's story, then tell the story of them meeting, then tell a bunch of stories about being the daughter of a Mennonite and a Baptist preacher, then jump back to what you're doing right now. It's going to be a great book.

Now, thank you for giving me an excuse to talk about my new favorite lipstick. In the past I would've encouraged you to play around with Dior Addict Extreme lipsticks. They come in super fun, bright colors, but are kind of sheer and go on smooth and aren't too intimidating in actual practice, despite their aggressive name. You can try them on at Sephora, and I still think you should, after you try — and ugh, again, I hate the names of makeup sometimes! — Lancome's "Color Design Sensational Effects Lip Color" in Corset. It's right here. It is the most perfect, universally flattering, non-red but still a bright color lipstick I've ever come across. I even checked the reviews on Sephora just now to be sure I'm not overselling it. Missmichelle88 says "Corset is Ah-mazing!":

"A make-up artist suggested this color to me (corset) and I fell in love! It's the perfect pop of color for me and what's great about it is that it looks good on every skin tone. I turned my girlfriend on [to] this color and she has a very dewy complexion with fair skin while my skin is very olive with golden undertones but it looks fantastic on us both! I think it's very versatile and can be worn both day and night. I just simply layer it a bit more for a dramatic look in the evening and then I'm ready to go!"

Movin' units.

And don't forget that bold lipstick is difficult to pull off if you don't have any other makeup on. It can look really cool as long as you have flawless skin and are a supermodel or that girl from La Roux, but otherwise you'll want to keep this in mind:

2. I am a regular shaped lady looking for a button down shirt/blouse. Shouldn't be difficult, right? WRONG. I have been trying on button up shirts for nearly six months and CANNOT find one that doesn't pull at the breast button! I am faaaaaar from bosomy, but even when I'm trying on shirts that are a size larger than usual, they still pull! I would like to wear a nice blouse with buttons, but I am worried that I will soon have to resort to doing the half buttoned with cami underneath look, which I don't mind but is not ideal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Maybe I've just been looking in all the wrong places? Or do clothing companies forget that women have boobs?

Hm. I'm just going to start by saying that I don't think we have the same definition for "faaaaaar from bosomy." It sounds like you've got boobs! Sorry, but it does. I think you should do two things: first, go get fitted for a bra that lifts those theoretically not-huge suckers up. When they're a smidge higher (or lower, but I don't know how you would achieve that?) they might not pull on the shirts in the same place and that could solve your problem. I've suggested this to a few friends who've had the same issue — one of them  is always popping the same button off of her blouses! — and it was a simple fix.

Also try going up a few more sizes. Hey, did you guys want to know something? SIZES AREN'T FACTS. Fit is. So, maybe you've always been a size M at Banana Republic, except suddenly you can't find a blouse that fits because some executive at Banana Republic read a consumer survey about size Ms feeling a certain way about their boobs, or whatever, so they changed the way their Ms fit. You don't know! Neither do I. Go buy a shirt that doesn't tug across the boob area and get it tailored if the rest of it is too roomy. What you'll lose in terms of dollars to the tailor you'll gain in terms of a shirt you can actually wear and time spent not shopping for six months all over town.

3. So I'm not sure if this is your turf , but I have this great room in a house that I share with two other people. There are two walk in closets, my own full bathroom, and a living room area to myself. I love so many things about the place. The downside (because there always is one when apartments are this awesome) is that it is in the basement and the ceilings are made up of those ugly foam drop ceiling tiles. These tiles are so thin that I can hear every phone conversation my room mate has in her room on the floor above mine. Thus my fantasies of having complete privacy for my bedroom romps are shattered and I am forever relegated to my boyfriend's one bedroom apartment for sexy times. I just... HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HOW OLD HIS PILLOWS ARE, UGH!

To get to the point, I need a suggestion for something to disguise my ugly ceiling tiles in my bedroom and hopefully sound proof it as well. I realize that may be a tall order but I would settle for making my ceiling less cringeworthy.

Side note: I'm six feet tall and I would guess that my ceilings are about seven feet. Something that drapes too low would result in a tangled mess when a bobby pin in my hair catches in an elegant loop of fabric.

This is sort of A Clean Person meets Handy Femme question, but I've actually done this before so you've come to the right place. It's a messy, big project, because there's not a chance in hell I'm going to tell you to pin some tapestries from Urban Outfitters up there and pretend you live in an opium den in your parents' basement.

Step one: Measure your ceiling and then go to Home Depot and say to someone who works there, "Hi, my drop ceiling is seven by 11 feet and I need some rolls of insulation to throw up in there because my upstairs neighbor talks too much." Then buy what they tell you to buy.

Step two: Take all those drop ceiling tiles out. Be sure to cover all your belonging with a sheet when you're taking them down because things will get crumbly and gross with ceiling crap. Now, if you want, you can buy new ones or you can spray paint the ones you already have. Or you can glue beautiful paper to them. Or any number of paint/decoupage combinations you can imagine. Do that to all the tiles! Boy, is this messy.

Step three: Get a friend to help you with this one and wear gloves — insulation is made of sharp little pieces of fiberglass and they can get give you microscopic cuts all over your hands and that is not good. So, with the help of your friend, row by row, replace the now-beautified ceiling tiles and unroll that insulation up in there as you go. Here's a little more on that from This Old House. Keep the insulation away from light fixtures if there are any. It should help with the noise and keep it cool in the summer, warm in the winter.

4. A few weeks ago, you told a reader who looked older than she was how she could appear younger. I have a similar/opposite question: how on earth do I look older? I am 29, but regularly get told that I look 19 or 20. I recently started graduate school and I teach my first class this fall. I hope to stop being mistaken for an undergrad at some point. I’d also love to seem more approachable to respectable, age-appropriate men (but god, who wouldn’t?).

I feel like I’m doing everything I can: sensible heels, a nice handbag, and makeup. I’m short with a small frame, and have olive skin, deep-set eyes, and full cheeks. I could probably do better on my hair, which I wear long and unstyled or in a loose, high bun. I also tend to laugh a lot and say “like” and “um” more than I should, which probably isn’t helping my case.

What should I try? Wear more makeup? Less? Hold back on the concealer and let some undereye circles show through? “Contouring?” What is contouring?! Can you recommend some professional but non-frumpy hairstyles? Or a finishing school that will help me appear more confident and mature in unfamiliar situations? Help!

YOU LOOK JUST LIKE WINNIE COOPER. Trust me, y'all. She wouldn't let me post her photo, but she looks just like Winnie Cooper. I think you should grow your bangs out. (OMG I'm telling someone NOT to have bangs, whaaat!?) Super thick, straight across bangs can be — uhhh — kind of juvenile? I guess it depends on the rest of your face, but for some folks who already skew young, it can look very "first grade class photo," you know? So grow them out into a side-swept look or just get rid of them altogether. By growing them out, not shaving them off.

You could also start doing something VERY ADULT with your looks, such as wearing a dark lipstick with very little eye makeup. Or an extreme cat eye. Or going for a crazy lady tunic/leggings/cool boots uniform. You know, adopt a statement look that screams, "I am not a teenager!" Or you could just decide you're okay with looking younger. Literally all of the problems are worse problems to have.

Also:  no backpacks.

5. I have the driest skin!!! It's ashy and rashy-ish. Do you have any soap and/or lotion recommendations? Should I go to a spa and get my skin buffed?

Do NOT buff it! hat are you even talking about!? First, drink more water. Second, move to a humid climate. Just kidding. Second, maybe go to a dermatologist to be sure you don't have a rash or worse? They'll usually just say you have "contact dermatitis" which is a fancy way of saying your skin is irritated, no duh, but then sometimes you'll come home with a prescription cream that'll make it all better. So try that if you can.

And if you're showering every day, stop. Truly! Aim for every-other or every third day. All that hot water and soap is working against you keeping moisture in your skin. When you get stinky pits, or other places, just cleanse with a washcloth as needed. And then on the days you do shower, try using soap from Aveeno — they specialize in products for extra dry or rashy skin. I also really love their oatmeal bath treatment. It's helped me with swimmers itch — the price you pay for having the best day of your life swimming in a gravel pit! Also, as soon as you step out of the shower, moisturize with a simple oil like this one from Neutrogena. For some reason I always find it at Nordstrom Rack for half price? And this Calming Creme from Eucerin is the bomb for super dry skin. I know that all sounds like a million products, but I'm a sucker for beauty rituals, especially naked ones. "Now is the time I put this on my skin, and now is the time I put that on my skin, and now is the time I really wish I had bought that vintage silk robe on Etsy."

 Previously: Bitter Pills.

Do you have a question for Jane?

Photo by OtnaYdur, via Shutterstock.

238 Comments / Post A Comment


For the redheaded lady looking for lipstick: I'm a pale redhead (let's not talk about "natural") and my favorite lip stain is actually Benefit's cheek stain, Benetint. It goes on sheer but is the perfect amount of color and you just add some lip balm and go.


@Yahtzii I'm pale with red hair and I know this goes against what she said about orange, but if I had all of the money, I would wear this Givenchy Rouge Interdit in Fruity Orange.


@Yahtzii I am not a super pail redhead, but I would just like to take a moment to profess my love for Staniac's Beauty Queen. It looks intimidatingly dark in the tube, but it goes on your lips and your cheeks super sheer. It is the best.


@meganmaria I second the staniac recommendation - you can layer it up for more color if you want, but the overall effect is dewy, rosy, and lovely.


@Yahtzii Also a pale redhead - can't go wrong with Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Sheer red, very cute. I am also very in love with "Damage" by Nars - it's a bright-ish pinky-purple, and looks like a darker version of your real lips.


@Yahtzii Another pale redhead here. For an everyday reddish color, try Korres lip butter or glaze in Pomegranate. Both products are amazing, sort of cheap and come in a bunch of colors. For a nighttime look, a Sephora make up artist told me to try dark purple-y colors which I laughed at but it is really correct, no competition with hair.


@ba-na-nas Orange! Not peach! Orange orange orange! Or coral.

Clinique chubby stick's orangey color is nice. Urban Decay's color saturation crayon thing in BRIGHT ORANGE is nice if you do Jane's full face of makeup tutorial above.

But try orange or coral, not peach.

A brilliant Pinner on here said to try it, and I did, and this pale redhead is now an orange lipstick convert.

I also picked up a Sephora lipgloss in ORANGE that is nice and sheer, but orange.

Orange. Try it.


@LMac I was going to suggest Black Honey too; It seems so universal... didn't it kind of get a reputation for that? I'm not a redhead but I'm pretty pale, and I've also always had a terrible time finding a red and/or deep lipstick (the dark ones always ended up to be too magenta, the brighter ones too orange, the deep ones too clowny. Anyway...). I also recently got Clinique's Different LIpstick in Angel Red and I love it. It's red but... muted, I guess? You can definitely tell it's a red-red but a bit less dramatic against pale skin (I like the dramatic, but I also have trouble with the maintenance throughout the day). It feels nice too.

There's a pencil from The Body Shop called Beech that's one of my old favorites and I think it might be one of those "good on everyone" types. I use it as you would a lipstick, not just a liner, and it works well with some Blistex (or gloss of your choice; I just need that Blistex) on top. A nice thing about it, I find, is that when it does start to wear off, it does it very evenly--no leftover line around a blank lip, or fruit-punch mouth.

And Urban Decay has one called F-Bomb; it's a fat pencil. It's brighter than Angel Red (on me, anyway) but tamer (and more right) than a lot of others I've tried. I read about that one on Punkahontas's blog.


@LMac Here to second Clinique's Almost Lipstick. Black Honey looks good on everybody, ever. I have friends with all the different hair/ skin color combos and I am very pushy about this product. Clinique has Almost Lipsticks in new colors now and they all do a good job of adding a little idiot-proof color and keeping your lips moisturized. (I love bright lipstick but it's always a bit of a production for me);

Aileen Jeffries

@Yahtzii Black Honey does look great on everyone, including we pale redheads. In terms of general color family, I would recommend pink. Darker colors will age you. I like Mac's Plink. Also, use a lip liner that's close to your natural lip color for some definition.


@Yahtzii Ugh, noooo, nooooooo, Black Honey looks HORRIBLE ON ME. And I can't figure out why! I want to like it soooo much. Alas.


@lauraruth Ooh, yes - Pomegranate! I couldn't find mine once and thought I'd lost it for good and couldn't remember what it was called and spent loads of time googling in a panic before it turned up. It also looks great dabbed on cheeks. Bright! Soft! Youthful! Natural! Glowy! Everyone should buy one right now, as soon as I've stocked up.

My favourite trick with trying out a new bright lipstick is to apply something neutral (like Mac Hug Me) to the whole lip first, making it really 'finished' and tidy . Blot. Then apply the bright colour in the centre not-quite-to-the-edges, leaving the corners of the mouth natural. Smack your lips together a couple of times to blend a little. This often helps me 'graduate' to the whole-bright-lip thing.

Ah lipstick. So much fun.


@CurlsMcGirlypants Try Black Lily. That one's my fave.

New Hoarder

@PistolPackinMama @I am currently wearing Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in shade 40- Satin Bright Orange. I LOVE lipstick, have a ton of them, but this is the only one that makes my teeth look bright white! I have been told I am "quite fair" (though only in my face), and I have freckles, so reds are usually hard. I wear a lot of coral and orange!

sceps yarx

@all Let's take a step back and summarize: it doesn't matter how pale you are, or even what ethnicity you are, what matters is whether you have warm undertones or cool undertones in your skin. Those of us who have warm undertones will advocate for orange and warm-muted reds. Those of us who have cool undertones will advocate for purple and pinky colors. My theory is that the paler you are, the more important it is to figure out what your undertones are, because fair skin catches a lot of light and shadow, and you want to make sure you're not clashing with the colors your skin naturally projects.


@sceps yarx That is such a good point about paleness making undertones all the more prominent. I'm definitely coming back to this thread when I'm looking for new lipstick shades.


The Lady of Shalott

I LOVE how Nordstrom Rack sells all kinds of fancy body and makeup products for cheap! Stila makeup palette for like $15!!!!

Also this column makes me feel slightly better about not having bangs--my hair is curly and my natural part is dead center, so bangs would be so tricky and I can't commit to blowing them out/straightening them every single day. So instead I dream about how they would soften my face a little bit, but mostly I just think about how much work it'd be to maintain them.


@The Lady of Shalott Sometimes bangs just aren't the answer! I mean they're great, but not for everyone.


@The Lady of Shalott I had bangs for quite a long while but got rid of them when I went back to pixie-land, and recently was looking through old photos (and by old photos I mean all of the Photo Booth pictures on my computer) and my husband said, "yeahhhhhh, THAT was a haircut you had." I was shocked! I don't totally agree with his dislike (sometimes they were really cute!) but I am glad to know the bangs are a "sometimes" look for me, not a hairstyle I can rely on always looking good, if that makes any sense.


@The Lady of Shalott I have curly hair, too! I sometimes reaaally wish I could have bangs because I get really jealous of seeing everyone else with amazing bang.

But! I trained my part to on one side, and then got my hair cut with some face-framing layers, and depending on I get them cut, I can get a couple of small-ish curls to act as almost-bangs, and it's adorable (I hope, eeep!).

Mrs. Coach McGuirk

@The Lady of Shalott Nordstrom Rack's makeup is mostly great except once I got one of those Stila package things with the Illuminating tinted moisturizer (which I used at the time) and a bunch of other stuff that I probably won't ever use, but still it was like $12 instead of the usual $24 for just the moisturizer, and it definitely gave me a weird rash for like, two months, until I figured out that I was getting it from the moisturizer. Clearly, it was old or something. So now I stick to things that won't ruin my face if they are a little past their prime. I have also graduated to Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizers.

Mr. (coach) McGuirk gets his American Crew (The Official Supplier to Men TM) Pomade there all the time for a steal though.


@Mrs. Coach McGuirk American Crew totally is the MEN tm hair product, isn't it? My bf uses the stuff in the blue tub, because it's matte so he doesn't get the wet hair 24/7 look. That shit is expensive!


Dry skin lady! Get the Buffy bar from Lush, it's amazing for dry skin, and it will mean that if you use it in the shower every day you can still shower every day.

Also, Mennonite mom lady: Go to Bobbie Brown at a makeup counter and get them to do your makeup. They are my favorite department store makeup people, because they're all about making you look fresh and pretty with makeup on, not crazy like M.A.C. They'll teach you how to do stuff, and give you a little picture of what they used on you, so you can replicate it at home (and also with other stuff that you may not have bought from them).


@thebestjasmine I just got this Lush shower gel the other day called The Olive Branch, and it has olive oil and . . . some other shit that makes your skin all soft and of course it's Lush so it smells glorious. Lush will take care of all your beauty needs!


@Yahtzii Also for dry skin lady: Lush Dream Cream! It's the only moisturizer I've found that makes my super dry, super sensitive skin happy. And it smells delightful.


Or just coconut oil. It does all the things so it's cheap and doesn't clog your house with a million bottles.


@thebestjasmine Cerave is also a suuuuuper moisturizing lotion for dry skin friend to check out. It works really well for me!

@thebestjasmine This came at the best time ever! I'm in super uber dry California after spending my whole life on the east coast and the lack of humidity is making my skin/hair freak out. Ugh.


@Yahtzii The olive branch (and prince shaving cream) are the only things I allow near my insanely angry legs! And the smell is so amazing


@thebestjasmine : YES. Or Chantecaille and Stila are also pretty low-key.

Also, Bliss Body Butter. I've bought no other body moisturizer for... geez, well over ten years. Lemon + Sage is the standard, but I like the Snow Wonder scent tons even if it does have sparkles in it. Amazing, smells gorgeous, super moisturizing (great for feet!), and it is the ONLY thing I've ever used that doesn't make my legs go red and bumpy and burning/itchy if I put it on right after shaving.


@collier See, I hate lotions that have any kind of scent (unless it's my perfume, but that's hard to find in a lotion that's actually moisturizing) so as much as I love Bliss Body Butter, I don't tend to use it. Coconut oil is great and I use it for my hair a lot, but it's hard for body because you have to be really careful to not get clothes all greasy -- it's good at night in the winter sometimes, because then I just put on old pjs and go to bed. I adore the Buffy because it just smells cocoa buttery and exfoilates as well as moisturizes.


@thebestjasmine UGH, I went to a MAC counter (we don't have Bobbie Brown in Australia that I know of :() to get a new foundation, and they put it on me, and I was like WTF WHERE DID MY FACE GO. (and then I bought it anyway out of 'You put this on me for free so I'd better buy it' guilt)

Soooo over the top. I don't want to BURY my skin, I just want to make it look a little more consistent. Body Shop foundation works way better for me. MAC foundation is buried in my cupboard.


@thebestjasmine : Hrm, yeah, I totally get that. One reason I like the Lemon + Sage is that it's a nice scent while applying, but doesn't usually linger much... and if it does, it's just kind of herbal and doesn't fight with my perfumes (I only wear quasi-masculine wood 'n' leather stuff, like CdG's Standard and Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur).

Cocoa butter I cannot abide (no sweet smelling things ever!), but I will give a big squealy thumbs up to Lush's Dark Angels scrub. Omg, love it.


@thebestjasmine that Buffy Bar is FANTASTIC. Seriously love it. Plus, I dunno if any of you ladies have keratosis pilaris issues, but that, the ocean salt scrub, and not being bored enough to pick at them really helps. For my annoying KP I use the buffy in the winter/when I'm not wearing tons of sunscreen and ocean salt in the summer. It is kinda pricy though. :\


@NeverOddOrEven And you can cook with it, too!

@thebestjasmine How are you putting coconut oil in your hair and not ending up with a head so greasy you could season a wok? I tried it once - once! - and even after three washes, I still had a giant splotch of hair (where I was testing it) that looked like an oil slick.


@Xanthophyllippa Two things: 1) I have super super dry hair; and 2) I don't use that much of it. But really, I think the first is the bigger thing, my hair just sucks up the moisture. I rub it on my hair when it's dry (on a night when I'm going to wash it) and let it hang out there for 30 minutes or so, and then I wash and condition as usual. Mostly I do this in the winter when my hair and scalp are extra dry.

Sunny Schomaker

I feel like today's column speaks to my past experiences.

#1 - I am a lipstick junkie. However, it involves a lot of trial and error since it can be hard to judge how a lipstick will look on you. You just have to experiment. I like to try out a new shade range with the cheapo drug store stuff, so I have an idea of what color families look best with my skin/hair combination. Also, when you're getting used to a shade, you might feel better about blotting some of the color away.

#2 - A well-fitting bra will do wonders, but a hidden snap/hook and eye between the offending buttons is a low-cost fix (a lot of button down shirts have skinny plackets, which can cause a lot of pulling).

#4 - Sophisticated accessories. Claim to be a child prodigy. Gloat 10-15 years down the road.


@Sunny Schomaker Even better (i.e. lazier) than having to add snaps, I have this tape called "Bra-ZA!" (hah) and you just tape the gappy parts together. You're probably supposed to take it off to wash it than reapply but I have not done that because I'm lazy and it seems to last for a while, really keeps those suckers from gapping.

Chesty LaRue

@Sunny Schomaker I know looking young will be awesome one day, I'd just like to get to a point in my life where I don't get ID'd every damn time I go to buy beer. Like, I'm from Alberta, legal drinking age is 18, and I still get asked for ID all the time (I'm 31). When I'm old and only look kind of old, things might be great, but being treated like I might be 17 for the last 14 years is just.... annoying.
Not that this is really adding much to the discussion, but I feel you, LW #4


@Chesty LaRue I'm 35 and grew out my grey hair partially due to laziness, partially due to not wanting to be referred to as "kid" at work anymore. However, I've gotten to the point of enjoying the looking young bit. THIS IS THE BEST PART.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Sunny Schomaker Yes! I came down here just to say what you did for #2.

Bibo Designs@twitter

I've had pretty normal skin in my adult years but a few weeks ago it got really, REALLY dry and any lotion I put on it caused it to burn like crazy.

I asked a friend with sensitive skin what she used, and she told me the secret. The heavens opened up, a choir of angels came to my window. COCONUT OIL.

At first I balked at rubbing oil all over my bod, but my friend assured me that I wouldn't turn into a pimply mess.

So now I rub it on my face at night/in the AM. I put it in my hair, throw on a shower cap and let it sit for awhile, then rinse, and then no longer have to use conditioner for like three days. I use it on my legs after shaving. I got a jar from Trader Joe's for $5.99. You just warm up a tiny bit in your hands and I swear it's the best thing that ever happened to my skin/hair/legs.

I know I sound like the president of the Coconut Oil Lobby, but really I'm not! Just a formerly dry skinned, dry haired lady who now smells like delicious coconut macaroons and has a dewy visage.


@Bibo Designs@twitter Coconut oil is the shit. I have a jar in my shower for beauty stuffs and a jar in my kitchen for food stuffs.


@Bibo Designs@twitter
Related to this, I would suggest she try to oil cleanse. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_cleansing_method) It is seriously THE BEST for any type of skin. I had tons of problems with my skin after college and I've been oil cleansing for about 6 months and now it's perfectly clear.


Proceed with caution though: so many have great experiences but an unlucky few (me) do not react well. So many zits... And this was not a "purge". Lasted forever and made new parts of my face a problem : /


@Bibo Designs@twitter Oh oh coconut oil! Amazing to use inside and out (from separate containers). I balked a bit at putting it on my face because of clogging worries (although I do use it on my neck where I get hives-y type drying), but I've found that jojoba oil is SO GOOD for your face. According to the super-cheap bottle I bought at Trader Joe's, it's the oil that most resembles your skin's natural sebum, which I guess helps your skin from freaking out and overreacting when it gets dry and you soothe it with the oil? Regardless, it works really well - like 3 drops for your whole face, it's fab as a makeup remover, I'm pretty sure my pores were less obvious, and if you're like me and can't resist de-gooping your pores, I swear it made that easier, too.


@Bibo Designs@twitter I've gotta get in on this coconut oil! So many of you speak so highly of it and I love a simple solution for all of the things! Plus, I love all things coconut (except some vodka I had; it tasted like a candle). Yes, coconut oil!


@NeverOddOrEven Yeah, the oil cleanse did the same for me. It was wonderful for about a week or two, and my ever-present black heads actually started going away...and then I started breaking out like crazy. I was heartbroken.

Sarah Pin@twitter

@Bibo Designs@twitter As a warning: The oil cleansing method shouldn't really be done with coconut oil, because coconut oil is comedogenic; meaning, it's very likely to clog pores. You can use it as a body moisturizer without too many problems, but you shouldn't put it on your face. (Same with cocoa butter and shea butter.) Olive oil and castor oil are non-comedogenic and fine for face-washing, which is why they're what most OCM guides recommend. Safflower oil is also okay.

You do have to be really careful not to let any water drip into the bottle of oil, I assume because letting it stand in there will result in bacterial growth; regardless of the reason, oil you've gotten water into will make you break out. It's best to either do the whole procedure in front of the sink, or to apply the oil in front of the sink and then get in the shower to rinse it off.

All that said, after about a year and a half of doing this I gave up and switched the Clean-and-Clear oil-free foam cleanser, because it's faster and doesn't screw up the drains or produce piles of oily washcloths. My skin's dryer, but that is a sacrifice which I am presently willing to make.


@Sarah Pin@twitter
I always seem to be the exception to the rule - my skin, face and all, loves coconut oil. It even helps the irritation I get from tapes and adhesives.
Castor and jojoba though? Fucked my face UP.


@Hellcat I always seem to end up on this thread thanking whichever Pinner originally suggested cleansing with sesame oil. I have been doing this for about a year now, and it has been fantastic for my super-oily skin.


@Bibo Designs@twitter @everyone else in the coconut oil lobby: YES! could not love coconut oil more. skin, hair, hair masks, OCM (with castor oil, which also makes it softer) - yes, I also read that its comedogenic, but I LOVE it on my face, and certainly haven't noticed any problems so far.. just increasingly wonderful skin! I'm open to switching to olive (which I do also love on skin) for OCM, but for now I am a raving coconut oil pusher!


@NeverOddOrEven YES. I really, really wanted it to work and I tried for a good three months. Ended up having to go to a dermatologist because I broke out so badly. I'm not sure why oil cleansing works for some people and not others.


@twinkiecowboy Me three. Zitty and greasy and DULL skin. Finally kind of irritated around the eyes and nose, which I think was due to the castor oil. I was using castor oil and olive, but I switched out the olive for sweet almond oil on the advice of some internet person. The sweet almond oil still didn't work for my face, but it's the loveliest body moisturizer. Absorbs nicely for an oil and smells of nothing.


@Bibo Designs@twitter I also love coconut oil for the face and have been using it continually for a year now. The idea came to me because I use it as a leave-in wash-out conditioner for my hair, like generations of Indian women before me. When I came off the BC pill I was breaking out horribly for more than a year, but I also had terribly dry skin all the time. Rubbing coconut oil into my skin in the shower has really only helped me, shrunk my pores, gave my skin a natural glow, and improved texture.

I don't know what this comedogenic/non-comedogenic business is on about, but those labels have never been good predictors of what actually causes me to break out.


@sevanetta I would actually love to cleanse with sesame oil, because the smell of all those other oils grosses me out.


@cosmia Grapeseed oil! Barely smells, basically does the same thing as olive oil. Except it doesn't leave you smelling like an Italian restaurant.


Not to contradict anything that Jane said, but the most important thing to have when choosing a bright, bold lipstick is confidence. Even more so than perfectly applied foundation. I recently spent several weeks searching for the perfect neon red lipstick. And I've actually worn it out of the house a couple of times! The color I ended up getting is searingly bright, and I know I don't have perfect skin and my eye makeup isn't always immaculate, but I swear no one said anything about it or even looked at me funny! And I felt great wearing it. I know Jane likes to hype the high end makeup, but if you are not used to makeup or comfortable with it the bargain stuff is a great way to start. (go to an Ulta if you can, they have HE and drugstore stuff; and sales, unlike Sephora)


@queenieliz Yes! Confidence is key. Russian Red is my go-to lipstick, and I swear, I wouldn't have been able to pull it off on any random Saturday before but now I rock the hell out of it any time I want. For me (pale skin, dark hair, green eyes) it is THE colour. I just bought my second tube. That with foundation, NARS blush in Orgasm, and some liquid liner and a lot of mascara and I feel like I can conquer the world and look totally put together doing it.


I am a young-looking 32 and when I went to grad school and started teaching last year I bought a bunch of what I call "teacher drag." Basically, pencil skirts and cardigans. I taught three days a week so I bought three of each and rotated them. It made me feel teacher-y, so I think it helped me act more teacher-y.

I also realized that looking young with your students is a non-issue. You're standing at the front of the room so you're already an authority figure.

raised amongst catalogs

@Cavendish Thanks to your description of your "teacher drag," I picture you as Carol Vessey from "Ed," the greatest television show of all time. RIP, "Ed," and for crying out loud, get put out on DVD in my lifetime.


@Cavendish oh, how I wish that were true for me last spring when, at 23, I student-taught in a high school... looking young and waif-y is not a help.


@Cavendish Yes, everything you say is true!

I also wear a pretty grown-up looking necklace if I'm wearing a sweater or a solid-color dress, and that seems to up the grown-up and formality levels too. But in general: students love the structure of roles and really want you to be the authority at the front of the room -- sometimes too much so -- it will be fine.


@MalPal oh, the high school atmosphere is very different from college, I think.

one cow.

@vanillawaif Marry me.

raised amongst catalogs

@one cow. Only if you put on the suit of armor.


@MalPal Word... I bet there were some non-advantageous moments. It doesn't help that I am super-enthusiastic.

one cow.

@vanillawaif AHHHHHHHHH!


@harebell Yeah. I'm old enough to be (some of) my students' mother, and there are still a couple students each semester who are pretty blatant about not taking me seriously. When I still taught the freshmen, I used to get former high school football players who would stand as close to me as possible and try to loom ominously. It doesn't help that I'm 5' and look younger than I am.


@Cavendish That reminds me of my friend who leaves for work every morning talking about wearing "corporate drag."


Redhead: corals and peaches are your friend, don't get discouraged by one bad one! Also maybe bring a friend with you who likes makeup and also will give you an honest opinion.
Also: SIZES ARE BULLSHIT. Seriously, they are different everywhere, don't feel bad if you have to go up different sizes at different places. I am often a different size depending on what time of the month it is. Bodies! They are weird and crazy.
Also their customer service is the pits but eShakti does have some button up blouses (not your plain basic ones, but if you want some exciting, cute, colourful vintagey ones) and you can have it custom sized and their seamstresses know what they're doing.


@Megano! Damnit, I've never heard of this eShakti site until just now. This is bad....very very bad.


@HeyMatilda They take FOREVERRR and I have had some customs issues with them, but their clothes are great, and the custom sizing is AMAZING


As a lady who is faaaaaar from *not* bosomy, here is my button down shirt trick: a hook and eye. Find a shirt that fits everywhere but where you get a wee annoying gap (this won't work with a big gap or if the shirt is too damn tight on your boobs regardless). Then sew a hook and eye in between the buttons where the shirt pulls. Minimal sewing skills needed! Just make sure not to sew all the way through the shirt on the side that will show -- just sew only to the inner layer of cloth, if that makes sense. Much cheaper than tailoring.


@myrtalia YES YES YES. or, if in a pinch, use a safety pin! I am not bosomy, but depending on where the buttons are on a shirt, there will sometimes be a gap. Pin it and look marvelous.


@myrtalia Or snaps! I just learned how to sew snaps between all those crucial buttons and it makes me like all my shirts a lot better.


@myrtalia My mom bought these "As-seen-on-TV" self-adhesive snaps, Style snaps. Has anyone used these? I haven't tried them yet. They can also apparently be used to hem your jeans.


@Punk-assBookJockey I've tried Style Snaps to put up some new pants. I got two wearings out of them, so they're cool as long as you don't expect them to be permanent (although apparently, you can also rinse them off and they can be used again).


@TheLetterL Well that's pretty good! Even if they just hold up for a full day of wearing, that's pretty good. I read on the box that you can rinse them to reuse them, but I was skeptical. I will have to try them out on my blouse gaps and pants that are too long (the joys of being short and curvy)!


@Punk-assBookJockey I will report back if I try washing them. Also, holla at being short and curvy.


@myrtalia I also have this problem with the shirt gaps and I agree with the advice about the bra. My other 2 pieces of advice are to go to Thomas Pink and buy yourself a button down. They have great sales at the end of the seasons and the fit will change your life. Second -- Hollywood Fashion Tape -- it's double sided clear tape and costs like $5 on amazon and in 30 seconds your boobs will be all contained and gapless and you can walk out the door.


I will forever be a broken record on this point, but in addition to all the other suggestions for dry skin lady- Cetaphil. Use the cleanser as a body wash and buy the big tub of the thick moisturiser. The mister has icthoysis as well as eczema, he tells me the Cetaphil range is the only thing that's been user friendly and helped his skin.


@NirvanahCrane Hmm. I always feel like Cetaphil is super drying, but I've only used it for washing my face.


@bitzyboozer I use it to remove my make up but then I'm fairly oily so it doesn't worry me. It did wonders when I was on Accutane and my lips started falling off due to a reaction to a lip balm, it had them kissable again within the week. But of course, everything is each to their own!


@bitzyboozer I wonder if maybe you're using the oily skin version (the bottles are almost identical). I accidentally got that one once and it dried my skin out a ton. The regular one does not do this to me.

Mad as a Hatter!

So I'm still doing the whole Birchbox thang, and a couple of days ago got the Stila lip glaze in Camera. It is probably the best lip color that I've ever had, AND I had my pale, redheaded friend try and it looked good on her too! And it just smells yummy!


@Hello sweetie YES! I just got that too and I usually hatehatehate lip gloss, but I totally love Camera. Not sticky or thick or weird. Birchbox FTW.


@fishiefishfish I just got my Birchbox and it has A PAIR OF EARBUDS in it!!!! WHAAAT??? I do wish I got that Stila lip glaze too, it sounds fab.


@punkahontas My Birchbox has not yet arrived and I got my shipping notice on the 6th so I'm full of rage.


@Hello sweetie My birchbox last month had a stain in it that I like a lot: The Balm Stainiac. It's a lot easier to apply than the liquidy benefit stain with the like, nail polish brush. It's a gel with a lip-gloss type applicator.


@punkahontas I got the earbuds too! They don't sound so great but it's always nice to have an extra set of earbuds around. And my cat loves playing with them.


@punkahontas Yes, love the earbuds! Haven't tried them yet but they are so pretty!

The Staniac stuff made my lips swell up. Anyone else? I am sad about this. I feel vindicated by receipt of the Stila glaze.

Mad as a Hatter!

@fishiefishfish My lips didn't swell,but it still wasn't the right color for me at all. I actually just ordered the Stila three pack yesterday and am unnaturally excited!


@fishiefishfish Yep, totally made my lips swell and made them irritated. I was so mad, because I really liked the Stainiac until I realized that, the color was great on me, and the pigment was much stronger than Benetint, which never even shows up on me.


@thebestjasmine Sorry that happened to you, but I'm glad it wasn't just me. Everyone was raving about it online and I was so bummed.

Also, earbud update: They do not work. Not like "I'm fussy about headphones and the balance is off!" but like, "Sound does not come out of both of them at the same time". A for effort, Birchbox, F for execution.

Amy Gremillion@twitter

Bahaha Jane Marie - your vodka cran was pretty much my daily college French-class routine. Of course I always shared with my bff!

Nicole Cliffe

I am a makeup idiot (though I appreciate it in theory!), but as a Professional Book Person, I second Jane's request for LW#1 to write her memoir.


1) I just bought and LOVE YSL's Glossy Stain (or whatever it's called) in some kind of bright coral. I don't even know if it's flattering I just love it. Somehow both bright and sheer and glossy forever. Much easier to wear than lipstick. My co-workers keep telling me I look nice in vaguely accusatorial tones, which for sure means I'm doing something right.

2) If it's pulling just a little, sew a little snap in there between buttons. I think if you have both a bit of boobs and a bit of shoulder, it's inevitable. Sometimes I tape my shirts shut with tit tape. Mostly I just wear knits, because irons and dry cleaners are the devil.


@RobotsNeedLove I am so in love with YSL Glossy Stain! I have four now. Actually, five, if you count the backup tube of #20 I bought after a minor freakout that it was discontinued.


@RobotsNeedLove ysl glossy stain for all the wins! #5 is the best for that, "I'm not wearing makeup I just naturally have rosy red lips" look.

chunk lite

Wait - No backpacks?! JANE! I live in NYC and i have a lot of stuff! How do I carry it without breaking my shoulders? BACKPACKS!!! They are literally the best thing. And I feel like I look rugged, maybe? Don't get me wrong, sometimes I would like to look more like a grown up and less, rugged? but what would I even use?!


@chunk lite Messenger bag, messenger bag, messenger bag. Manhattan Portage if you're feeling rich (they wear like IRON, I swear, and have amazing customer service), L.L.Bean if you're not (back-to-school season is coming up; check the two-a-day markdowns). Messenger bag!


@chunk lite I know, when I carry around my laptop and a few books, if I had it in a shoulder bag it would be killing my neck by the end of the day. Am I the only one that can't stand lop-sided weight? A backpack may make me look younger but it's better than the alternative healthy option which is a rolly bag. That would make me look geriatric.



Distribute the weight in more than one bag! I became a handbag-and-tote woman a few years ago and it was a wise move. Bonus: purses and totes last longer because I am not overstuffing and making handles break. (And yea for messenger bags! Especially hauling books.)


@chunk lite
if you have to wear a backpack, just make sure it doesn't look like something you would buy when you were in high school. i.e. no Jansport.


@chunk lite I covet the Boardwalk backpack from Namaste. An elegant backpack, if that is even possible. http://www.namasteinc.com/products/handbags/handbags_all.php


@Maryse42 oh my godddd, I know where my allowance is going next non-rent paycheck ... I LOVE the espresso one!!

chunk lite

@Maryse42 that is GORGEOUS ,but I don't think it's quite big enough to fit a change of clothes and a laptop. womp womp. The thing is - I WISH i liked messenger bags. I like the way they look but i either wear them on one shoulder like a purse (ow!) or I wear them across my chest and get neck chafing from the strap and it makes my boobs look ridiculous b/c of how it intersects them. Not pretty!

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@chunk lite Yeah messenger bags were not meant for the busty.


To the #1 lady - you might have broad shoulders! I have broad shoulders and am also sort of (though not extremely) bosomy, and have pretty much given up on button down shirts. They always pull, they never fit, it's just not the look for me. I've accepted it and now moved on. You could always try blazers and pretty camisoles if you need biz cazh wear. They are my go tos.


@janedonuts this is a good point. I am definitely not well-endowed but I am broad shouldered and I have a lot of the same problems with button down shirts as my bosomy friends, even though the tension is coming from my shoulders and not my boobs.


@janedonuts I have big everything, and the Converse brand button-ups at Target work on me. They have stretchy side panels, which doesn't look as bad as it sounds and helps them a) be more comfy and b) fit better.

I bought them when I was still a 38D, and I have shoulders like a linebacker. Worth a try!


@janedonuts WORD. Rugby-Shoulders here is quite bosomey AND has big shoulders

I don't do button downs anymore either. It sucks, but such is life.



OH MAN YES. I was scrolling down seeing "hook and eye!" and "snaps!" and thinking "but those never work for me :(" and also how short sleeves or sleeveless button downs do fit better... It's the broad shoulders thing. And also hips.

I've the worst time finding tops that look good professionally and have LONG SLEEVES that fit in the shoulders and hips without being huge through the boobs and waist and make me look all sloppy. I'm yea close to learning to make my own shirts. Why don't clothing shops make clothes for people with wide hips, tiny waists, and wide shoulders anymore? :( I may feel fat when I get dressed, but I'm not fat at all when I'm naked!

Sounds like it's no more attempts at button downs for me, even though they've always been my favorite type of shirt.


@janedonuts Thank you! I was just going to comment that the gaps aren't always the product of boobs -- I'm weensy tit-wise but have a serious back from too many years of competitive swimming, and end up with shirt-gap every time I try on a button-down.


Shirt lady! If you are willing to pay over $100, you might want to try a shirt by Rebecca & Drew -- they are sized by bra size and body type for a gap-free button-down shirt experience. Good for business times!



Seconded! I have a shirtdress from Rebecca & Drew that is flattering, comfortable, and button-gap-free. They have sales!


@Stickynee Oh my god I did not need to find out about these people. I want a shirt dress! But 260.00 is a lot of money. But if it is a great shirt dress... AGH AGH GAGHLAKJHSKJBSLV



So I don't usually read this column, being a dude and all, but after scrolling past on the ol' Google Reader I just had to stop by to ask what search terms you used to come up with that spot-on stock photo.

Jane Marie

@stuffisthings first i tried "tight blouse" which was UGH, then "blouse button" which gave me 212 PAGES of results, then finally "tight button" did it. who knew?

glow bug

Regarding the button-down issue--I have double DDs and have had to sew that two-inch area on all my button-downs closed in order to stop shirts from either gaping or flying open.

It just means you have to pull the shirt on/off instead of buttoning up, otherwise it's an easy fix and you don't need to spend the entire day making sure you're still decent.


@pigforker Yeah, I just sew closed of my button-up blouses and pull them n. Way easier than fidgeting with pins or gaps.


The ceiling project is amazing and I love it. I would like to add that in addition to gloves, LW should ask at the hardware store about appropriate eye protection and a respirator (dust mask). They're not necessarily expensive, depending on what you're trying to keep from inhaling, but totally necessary for dealing with insulation, especially when it's above you and falling on your head.


@laurel Yes! And long sleeves. Minimize that skin exposure. All those microscopic cuts all over your hands from not wearing gloves? Really not pleasant when they are in your respiratory system or on/around your eyeballs.




I accidentally put two contact lenses in one eye today (pre-coffee, not a morning person) and that was bad enough to deal with.




@laurel : YES. Also she should definitely do the attempt at noise-dampening (and see if it makes enough of a difference) before proceeding with any decorative whatevers.

There are tons of panels you can buy to replace those pock-y ones, though I guess you don't want to shell $$$ for a rental. If you feel like shopping, though, Outwater.com is a great start. They've got the reproduction tin ceiling panels, plus all kind of others made for those suspension systems.

Painting them is doable, but a pain. To get paint into all the little divots, spraying would be ideal, but for canned spray paint you'd need probably at LEAST 8-10 cans, and likely more. That shit does not go very far, and also limits your color choices. Doing them with a thick-napped roller would be better, then you could use the same paint (with mini roller or foam brush) to do the suspension grid.

If you don't have any lights or vents in the ceiling, you could do a shirred fabric cover pretty easily. Say the room is 10 x 12, you want the fabric running longways, you'll need enough 12-foot lengths to fill the width (well, call it 12.5 foot lengths). To get proper shirring, you need to at least triple the width. So if your chosen fabric is five feet wide (most upholstery/drapery fabric is 54-60" wide), you'd need six 12.5 foot lengths, or about 25 yards. If you use a really sheer fabric like tulle (which is GREAT for this purpose), double that. Fabric.com has 108" wide tulle for $2 per yard in a billion colors.

Easiest way to mount it is to get pre-primed (already white) 1x2 trim / ledger from the hardware store and have them cut it into suitable lengths (for a 10' room, two 5' lengths would be pretty easy to work with). Cut fabric into lengths, pinch and staple one end along the pieces of wood for one side of room, mount to wall studs with a couple screws. Then pull it across the room (tight!), mark where the fabric's far end should be attached to the wood, staple that side, then mount.

Wow, that was STUPID long. Sorry. I'm totally in Remodeling Mode right now and have given HomeDepot and Lowe's a few thousand bucks and door knobs and cabinet hardware and power tools and now I'm off to make new slipcovers for porch sofa cushions pls kill me.


@collier I just love this. Mostly because it reads like you typed it one breath. As in "hereisvitalinformationokaygottagoslipstocoverokaybye".



@collier: That was amazing.


@laurel @PistolPackinMama : HEAD ALL FULL OF MATH, CANNOT STOP, need my good scissors no not those the other ones, where are my cigarettes, bobbin tangle, fuck that was supposed to be twenty-SIX inches wide, how can I be out of velcro, forgot to order new screwdriver bits (deep breath)....


@collier @PistolPackinMama I can't explain how hard I'm laughing at the sequence of these two messages, like, the cat curled up on the desk behind my laptop is poking her head around to glare at me for disrupting her nap. Okay, gotta go, slips to cover.


@PistolPackinMama OH OW. Also, "eyeballwhimper" made me laugh harder than was strictly necessary.

Auntie Maim@twitter

I have terribly dry, sensitive skin with periodic outbreaks of eczema, and I recently discovered Eucerin's Calming Body Wash Daily Shower Oil -- it is an oil-based shower gel, and it really helps my skin not feel dry and tight when I get out of the shower! Love it, even though my husband insists on calling it my "shower grease."


@Auntie Maim@twitter I just had to get a big old thing of Eucerin Calming Creme (which is a funny name--like you smear it on someone you want to calm down) because I think humidity (I'm in North Jersey) makes my already sensitive skin itch! Is this a thing? Ugh, it's awful. But maybe I should add the shower grease to my shopping list too.

Auntie Maim@twitter

@Hellcat Ugh, the humidity itch is totally a thing for me, too -- any situation where normal people sweat, I just get red and itchy.


@Auntie Maim@twitter Oh, good... well, not good, but I'm glad that I am not a mutant (for this, anyway). While everyone else is running around all, "Eggghh, it's soooo hot!" I'm fine temperature-wise, but scratching at myself like an animal!


@Hellcat "Sir -- sir -- SIR! We can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. Either you stop flailing enough to let me apply the Calming Creme, or I'll call an orderly to hold you down."


@Canard Ahahhahhaaaaaa! "Don't Creme me, bro."


@Canard I would give a jar of that stuff to my bestie and tell her to feel free to slather it on me as she saw fit.

...which I now realize sounds rather dirty. Well, she IS kinda hot...


Jane, you are the best! As the only person on Planet Earth who looks like hell in Clinique Black Honey, I'm trying really hard not to run out to the Lancome counter right this second. Thank you.


@HereKitty Nope, we're on the same team here. Black Honey looks -awful- on me.


@HereKitty Don't count out the rest of the Almost Lipstick line, though, if it seems like it might be your thing. Many more options now!


@TheLetterL Thanks for the tip!


Shirt lady: I feel you. I feel you so hard. I used to be you! I had so much trouble finding shirts that were simultaneously long enough in the torso and arm, big enough in the boob, and not square everywhere else. And I was so tired of hearing the “tailor it” advice. Though it’s probably still good advice? Whatever, I hate errands.
So I just shopped and shopped and shopped and finally found what I was looking for. Which may not be what you are looking for, but it might be – MEXX. Their shirts are long, have room for boobs, are fitted in the stomach/waist, and have long arms. They’re a bit pricey compared to the stuff you’d get at the Gap or Monaco or wherever mannequin-shaped people shop, but they’re very well made so it’s ok.


@gobblegirl Full disclosure: I used to work at NY&Co so I got a lot of stuff really cheap which may have helped endear it to me, but I always had luck with their button downs. I'm sort of hour-glass-y, and I found that their shirts would button over my boobs while not being insanely large in the waist (although it did depend on the bra I wore). But the shirts always came to below my hips, which I liked, and the stretchy-ish material was forgivable and long-wearing.


@MoxyCrimeFighter Whoops, "forgiving," it is.

Lily Rowan

@gobblegirl I have found that even marginally more-expensive button-downs have better button placement, and it's so worth it!

Although now I hate all of my button-downs because they are cotton and wrinkle immediately and horribly. I should starch them, but ugh.


@gobblegirl Banana has two cuts of their button front shirt, one of which is cut for people with Shirt Lady's exact problem. I don't have that issue, myself, but I've seen them work for (some) other people.



I just tried on Banana's shirt the other week and it was AWFUL. Yeah, it fit in the boobs, but I couldn't move my arms freely and there was like a YARD of extra fabric in the waist. The saleslady looked at me when I came out of the fitting room all sadfaced and was like "oh, wow, you weren't kidding about being hourglass-shaped". (Also, I have broad shoulders?) It might be worth a try, but because I don't have a flat belly at all, the tightness around the hips was exaggerated, which made the extra fabric in the middle look even worse.

ANYWAY YMMV, but I didn't find them any better at all. :( My favorite shirt is a short sleeved one from Ann Taylor LOFT that is gathered along the placket - the short sleeves accommodate my shoulders and the gathers keep it from pulling against my boobs/hips. Unfortunately, they seemed to have changed the fit since I bought it because recent versions fit a lot more boxy.


also, regarding clothing sizes! This is a rehash of a rant I made the other day, but I have four pairs of jeans from Levi's in the same cut (531, now discontinued) Two of them fit perfectly, one sits too low on my hips and I can't even get the last pair over my thighs! Clothing sizes are a total lie, even the same item from the same manufacturer can be wildly different!


@queenieliz The same thing happened to me last time I bought Levi's! I tried on a few styles, found one I loved, bought that pair and another in the same style but different wash only to realize once I got home that Pair #2 was a size or two too small. Of course, the fault there was kind of on me because it turned out that the fabric content on the two pairs was totally different and I probably should've checked that first but come ON. I don't think it's strange to assume that two pairs of pants, seemingly identical except for color, would fit the same way.


@queenieliz Yes! And you'd think a classic like stupid Levi's would not fall prey to this nonsense! I used to love running into Kohl's or wherever and just grabbing my old standby from the shelf without trying anything on. Oh, jerks.


@Jinxie @hellcat What!? How are they the same "style" if they have different fabric content?(the worst part of my story is three of the pairs I have are the same color, "wash", fabric content and all three fit differently.) Ugh...totally lost faith with Levi's, wish I could afford any jeans from a company that was producing them domestically.

Auntie Maim@twitter

@queenieliz I have a friend who worked at Gap years ago -- we had a good laugh after she was instructed to tell customers the jeans were "hand cut," hence the variation in fit among different copies of the same style and size. As though that's a selling point. Then she got a different job.


I HAVE OPINIONS ON ALL OF THESE TOPICS!!!!! Except maybe the home decor question, which I haven't fully read yet. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE!!!!!!!


Dior Addict DOES make an excellent, semi-sheerish, very hydrating lipstick. I currently wear it in New Look, which is a bright reddish coral color that would be EXCELLENT on a redhead. Try it in Sephora and see what you think. Otherwise, I'd say take baby steps and use a brightly colored gloss. I've recommended this before and I'll recommend it again: the Clinique Chubby Stick lip balm thingy. It's the best thing. It has a ton of color but it's very sheer, and it's very moisturizing. I use Chunky Cherry, which is the best thing in the world, but I bet the watermelon or strawberry colors might show some promise as well. Also: Korres Mango Butter lipsticks. I haven't been able to find one in awhile, but if you find it, try the coral!


I wish I could wear lipstick. I always feel like an idiot when I have it on. Any tips on how not to feel like an idiot? Is it just that I've got the wrong color? I feel like any color I've ever tried just looks clown like against my very white skin.

Busty gals- Hollywood magic tape is your friend. Or just go up a size. I just gave in at one point and even though I'm a small everywhere else, I'm sporting a very large set of DD on top. So while I wear a size 4 skirt, I will sometimes sport a size 8-10 top. It takes me forever to find flattering tops as a result- because you can't have it be too billowy everywhere else either. Ugh. Boobs.


@Kirs I think as mentioned above, confidence helps! Liquid courage also counts, haha.

I am wicked pale, and I only recently graduated from "tinted Burt's Bees lip balm" to "tapping on some MAC So Chaud with my fingers" and will perhaps one day go wild and just drop that stuff on my lips like Jane does in the video. In the meantime, I recommend the pat-pat-pat layering with fingertips until the lipstick color is nice enough for you, but not too scary! Then strut forth and conquer your daily tasks.

And it is really hard to guess at what colors work, so experiment with cheapies is my only advice besides the classic "give your face to a professional at a counter."


@Kirs hah, I have the opposite problem. I buy my bikini tops in extra small and the bottoms in... large. Wahhh.


@Kirs I think lipstick is like filling in your eyebrows: it'll look weird and ridiculous to you until you get used to it, but to everyone else you look fine.

@Kirs Follow the Jane rules in the video, but also realize that you're probably just not used to how lipstick looks on you. You also may be applying it too lightly (you're super afraid of it so you put on a half-coat and it's not even and makes your lips look sort of weird and OH GOD) or too heavily (gobs of goo). The "on too heavily" becomes a big problem with drug store lipsticks because they're sometimes not an awesome consistency and/or not super pigmented.

You also might be wearing really saturated, matte, opaque lip colors, which are awesome when you're up for it but are sort of Lipstick 350, while you need Lipstick 101.

Find a sheer lipstick. Nars makes great sheer lipsticks. I've also become a HUGE fan of Revlon Lip Butter (so awesome and so great!), which is sheer and nice and has just a little bit of cute color.

You could also try a lip liner first -- line your lips, then fill them in. Apply lipstick with a brush over it. It gives you a little more control and the color doesn't feel too "lipsticky."


@MilesofMountains That analogy speaks to me! I totally fill in my eyebrows and remember that the first few times I did it it did not look right- but now I look weird if I don't. Maybe I just need to stick with the lipstick. I'm gonna give this thing a whirl. Why not?

Thanks for the tips, ladies.


@Kirs Oh man this is totally none of my business, but the phrase "very large set of DD" just set me off into Bra Evangelist Mode. The only way "very large [letter size]" could make sense is if you mean that you're that letter size at a "very large" band size, but if you're a size 4 skirt, that seems unlikely to me. So uh. Are you sure you're a DD? I'm cringing about how pedantic and intrusive this sounds, but seriously, as a newly-fitted 32G I have weird religious fervor about trying to get other people into the right bra size. And if you have an actually-fitting bra, it makes it way easier to get the blouses fitting -- I find that my new bras make me look way "tidier" (less droopy and actually smaller) than my old 34DDs did, and never any quadboob to boot.


@Jawnita I promise I'm a DD ;-) I sorta meant very large in relation to the rest of me. I've been told by more than one gentlemen caller that I have a "comic book body" Tiny waist, giant tits. I find that band size often depends on what brand bra I'm wearing. For years I stuffed myself into 36C until a very good friend told me "Kirs, you have giant boobs. You are not a C cup. We are going to go buy you a new bra." Professionally fitted at 34DD. Although I've recently lost some weight, so I might go back and get refitted.

fondue with cheddar

@Kirs I have the exact same problem; once a shirt is big enough to fit my boobs, it's huge in the waist. I don't have a comic book body but my waist is smaller than my bust and hips. I'm a size 12 and 5'0", so accentuating my waist makes a huge difference in the way I look. Also, larger sizes tend to be longer than smaller ones, which is bad for me. Tailoring is great, but it's expensive when you have to tailor everything in the waist, sleeves, and length. My solution is that I don't buy button-down shirts. :/


@jen325 You have my body! (...you can keep it and I'll find a taller one to use.)


@Kirs I started with lip stain, got used to how that looked, worked up to strongly colored lipgloss (pale redhead here, but newly redheaded, so I was excited about actually being able to wear colors without washing myself out) and then actual lipstick.

And sometimes you just gotta put it on and walk out of the house and convince yourself that you look fabulous. Present with enough fake confidence and no one will notice (this is what I did with "Red Revival" lipstick for Rocky Horror. It worked. I mean it was also Rocky Horror-- if you ever feel like being daring, go to a show like that. You will not be the strangest looking person there.)


DRY SKIN. You're speaking to the owner of the driest skin in the world right now. For the body, after exfoliating with whatever body scrub falls into your lap, use Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Enriched Lotion. In spite of it being called a lotion, which implies something thin and watery and terrible, this stuff is powerful, and while it smells like bodily fluids, it gets the job done. For the face, meanwhile, I have something very special to suggest: Clarins Santal Oil. You will have no dry patches. Your face will not freak out and erupt into a rash. All of your life's problems will be solved. It's not cheap, but it will last a long time, and most importantly, it WILL solve all of your life's problems.


@werewolfbarmitzvah It's so funny, and I don't mean any disrespect at all, but I find it hard to believe that so many people complain about their dry skin. Like, dry skin is a piece of cake to take care of compared to oily skin! You can apply tons of lotions, oils, use exfoliants, the list goes on and on. Us unnaturally oily people have to buy non-oily lotion and wash and blot our faces constantly. No fun!


@MalPal It's the painful cracks I get on knuckles/feet that slays me about dry skin. All the fucking lotion in the world will not prevent at least once a year the cracked bleeding. I fully expect when I am an old diabetic lady to be on hyper skin vigilance watch.


the angry little raincloud

@werewolfbarmitzvah I have heard wonder stories of that Clarins stuff. Hmmm. I've been using a Vichy moisturizing serum underneath another moisturizer (although, thankfully, not right now. It's hot & humid enough that I get a reprieve from double moisturizer for two months). I wonder how the Clarins stuff stacks up to the Vichy?

Also, dry skin person, if we're talking body skin, my favorite body moisturizer is La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume. I had really irritated, really dry sky on my legs, and it was one of the few things (in addition to getting laser hair removal, but that's another story) that worked. Melts in quickly, no gooey afterfeel, reasonably priced. I prefer it to both Aveeno & Eucerin.


@the angry little raincloud @werewolfbarmitzvah oh my gosh, you guys are making me feel so bad for complaining about my "dry" skin. It's not nearly as bad as you describe, at least not in summer, but why does winter exist? I still would like to find an affordable face wash that both cleanses and leaves my skin feeling less taut than a drum head though!


@MalPal yeah...but you oily people will never get wrinkles until the day you die...you win some you lose some.


@PistolPackinMama ARGH, bloody knuckles!! Every year, no matter how much lotion/cream/whatever I use, they just crack open, and before I realize it, there's blood on my clothes. Or my paperwork. Or my books. Don't mind me, I'm just the serial killer cataloger.

Sigh. And working with paper all day long just makes it that much worse.


@the angry little raincloud I've been using a lot of oils nowadays because they seem to absorb into my skin better than creams do, and the Clarins is the best oil I've used so far. My favorite part is that it's ideal for extremely sensitive skin. It doesn't make my face sting in anger the way most other products do (including Cetaphil! My face becomes enraged by whatever the ingredients in Cetaphil are). I'd say maybe see if you can charm your way into a free sample to try it out before laying down the big bucks.

Anyway, while dry skin is more straightforward to remedy than oily skin is (find the greasiest thing in the room and slab it on, and you're generally on the right track), it does come with its own set of fun issues. It can be more sensitive and prone to mortifying rashes than oily skin, it can get weird and scaly sometimes, and as queenieliz mentions, the early wrinkling is a big problem. I have had to go General Sherman on my face every time I find the beginnings of a fine line, to make sure it doesn't get a chance to deepen into an abyss. I keep alternating extreme moisture with extreme exfoliation and extreme Retin A usage. Extreeeeeeme!


@PistolPackinMama My right heel has had a giant crack for at least a decade. It comes and goes - right now it's gone, blessedly - but always comes back in the exact same place and is the exact same size. It cracks, I cut back the edges and trim off as much of the callus as I can without bleeding (if I'm not already, since it often cracks open when I'm walking and I don't realize it until my sock is covered in blood), then sand the entire thing down with a foot scrubbie that looks like a tiny parmesan cheese grater. It heals, and then two months later it's back again and I start the process over.

@MalPal I have dry skin in that special way where I've had it my whole life. I remember going to the pediatrician when I was about 13 and watching her be shocked because I was one of the only teenagers she had seen in her 20 years as a pediatrician with dry dry skin instead of oily breakout skin. I have actually had Rx strength moisturizer for the winter because I get so gross and dry. Lotions... meh, they're hit or miss. A lot just seem to stay on top of the skin and don't really absorb into the skin OR they absorb and your skin is still dry and you're like "WTF, skin? Why are you so thirsty today?"

My forehead currently feels like sandpaper. Sexy, right?

the angry little raincloud

@werewolfbarmitzvah Thanks. I will try to get a sample of the Clarins oil in the fall, when I need to switch back to serious moisturizing. (I hate hot weather, but there's something to be said for not wanting to scratch my skin off right now!)

Speaking of which, I've tried two anti-ageing/retinol products that have worked really well with my dry skin, and actually helped, I think, the overall dryness. Avene Ystheal lotion (the one for dry skin) is great; I can only use it every other day because I'm sensitive, but overall I think it has really helped. And the Roche Posay Redermic retinol lotion is amazing. No irritation. Zaps both wrinkles and the occasional zit, and has generally improved my skin's texture and clarity. I don't wear foundation anymore; at most, I just need concealer on my nose. In other words, aside from the ongoing dryness, I have the best skin of my life, and I'm in my late 30s. (I promise, I do not work for either company! The products just work, and aren't insanely expensive. Not cheap cheap, but not crazy.)


@S. Elizabeth I just had a vision of me trying to use your forehead to sand down the giant crack in my right heel. Why yes, I do have a totally fucked-up imagination; why do you ask?


And finally, there are much worse things in this world than to look exactly like Winnie Cooper.


you guys....MAC RUSSIAN RED. you will look so hot, I promise.


@mynamebackwards YES. All the yeses to this. With the brick red lipliner (aka the secret to looking like your lipstick stays all day when in reality a lot of it rubbed off on that bagel and you accidentally ate it and then you left some on your coffee cup, but your lips look perfect and then you can reapply whenever you remember or never. But probably after two meals would be good).


She actually IS La Roux :-) haha


LW #2, they are kind of pricey but I really like Rebecca & Drew button downs. They are sized by bra sizes, so you can find one that fits, and they have double-buttons at the bust so they don't gap. If you keep an eye out for the occasional sample sale they're a little more affordable. http://www.rebeccaanddrew.com/


My fave lipstick tip is just to find a cheap brand and experiment. I bought four or five different $4 lipsticks in superbright colors last summer at Ulta and have been experimenting ever since.

The brand I got was Sula, and it's supposed to be all natural also, so there's that. Cheap thrills!


"Size is not a fact, fit is" should go on a goddamn gold-leaf decorated throw pillow.


Dry skin lady: maybe just stop washing your face so much? Mine was a combo of oil-slick with dry flakeyness until I cut way back on the washing. I wash with a gentle cleanser at night to take off my makeup, then slather on jojoba oil. In the morning, I never wash my face, and when I get out of the shower I put a "calming" moisturizer on it. Less oil, no more flaky dryness.

the angry little raincloud

@MilesofMountains On this front, I'd recommend a micellar cleanser: Bioderma if you're in Europe; Roche Posay makes one, too, although I've found it doesn't remove everything. Bioderma is fantastic, actually, but not easy or cheap to get in the U.S. I do like the Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel, though. It's great: not too drying and works really well in conjunction with hot-cloth cleansing.


Okay Jane seriously, how do you also know about ceiling beautification? That was imprrrrressive.


Just here for whatsherface from La Roux. Unf.


@CupcakeTattoos Also the beauty advice. I'm here for it all, really.


Lady #2 is not lying. I am a 36B (WITHOUT broad shoulders) and I run into the too-small-in-the-bust problem all the time. I use a teeny tiny safety pin to close the shirt gap.


Lady #2: I am a lady with ...let's leave it at a fairly prominent set of lady bosoms. Along with a good bra (and the back of a safety pin) that many of the other Ladies have suggested, a fantastic thing to look for a in a woman's button down are darts in the front. I have a lovely DKNY one (sale rack of course) and the darts allow the fabric to fit properly across the chest so it doesn't tug and gap.

Straight-line button downs are not the solution you are looking for. An extra perk of the darts is that they'll improve the fit and look of the shirt as well.


@briarnoir I was just coming down here to say that! Darts, whee!

WHERE the darts are is also important. A dart can be pivoted to anywhere in the blouse (starting in the side seam! Bottom hem! Neckline! Armhole! Converted to a princess seam but that is a different story!) as long as it points to the apex of your bust. Like, mentally extend the line that the dart makes. Does that line your nipple? Yay, buy that blouse! Does it point somewhere else on your ribcage? Boo, pass it up!

Different stores seem to pattern for different boob-placements. I was trying on a crazy assortment of brands in Goodwill last week, and the darts ALL pointed to different places. Actually, that might not be a terrible idea: go to a vast thrift store and try on ALL THE SHIRTS and note what brands fit you?

I've also heard that one should look for the boob button to be directly over the apex as well. I have no idea if this is true or not, since I've never FOUND a blouse with a button exactly at the fullest point of my (seriously, only like a B/C) bust. Hmph.

fondue with cheddar

@VolcanoMouse I've never found a blouse with a button over the apex either!

Darts are great when you're an average-sized person, but I'm 5'0", and while darts give me a waist they also make the shirt bunch up because shirts are designed for people with longer torsos than mine. Even petities, although there seems to be an assumption that petite means tiny all over, so finding petites that fit the boobs is hard, too. There are plus sizes and petite sizes, but why are there no plus-size petite sizes?


@jen325 THANK YOU! Not everyone who's 5' tall is also a size 0. Yeah, I'm looking at YOU, Banana Republic.

Also, 5'6" is NOT "petite."


I'm wondering if Corset was sold out before or after this post. Did anyone click through and buy it?




@Jade Heyooooooo!


@PistolPackinMama Hollaaaa




@Jade Pretty much.

I have one shirt from Express from, like, 2000 that I still maintain meticulously because it is the only one that has ever fit me properly. I need to get that shit remade a thousand times over.

fondue with cheddar


My grandmother just gave me a bag full of clothes that no longer fit her, and her style isn't very grandmotherly so there was some good stuff...including a button-down shirt that just happens to fit me perfectly. Why can I never find this in stores?!


Letter 1, part of the problem is you're just not used to seeing that kind of makeup on *you*. Write down some of these ladies' suggestions that appeal to you, and hit up your local drug store for similar type products on the cheap that you can experiment with. Then have girlfriends over for Booze And Makeup Night...and tell them to bring favorites from their own stash for everyone to try. Who doesn't love going on and ON about their fave products? Judging from the responses here, NOBODY, THAT'S WHO.

(I'd throw my own faves out here, but I'm pretty much always wearing gloss instead of lipstick.)

Howeeeever... strong lip color on your pale self might be too much, on its own. Maybe try ramping up your eye makeup before you go full lipstick? That'll both balance your face out, and also prevent you from feeling like OMG CLOWN MOUTH.


For button down shirts: ALWAYS get them tailored. ALWAYS!!! Unless you, by some grand miracle, managed to find a button down shirt that doesn't need altering in some way, just get it tailored. Get a few sizes up if you need to, in order to have the button(s) around the bust stay closed, and then get it tailored to fit the rest of you (PRINCESS SEEMS!!!). And to underline what Jane said, try on tons of different sizes--each place (annoyingly enough) has DIFFERENT sizing standards. You could wear a 00 in one place and a 6 in another store. It's ridiculous.

That being said: I used to work at Ann Taylor and never really had a problem with their shirts, and I was able to get them in my "normal" size.

Another quick fix: If you're only getting very slight gaping, you can sew in hook and eye closures in the spaces between the buttons to keep everything nice and smooth and closed. I remember reading that here a while back, actually....


@CurlsMcGirlypants : Princess seams are truly the ONLY way to go if you have any kind of boobs at all. JCrew used to do a lot of truly fitted shirts, but now theirs (and usually Banana's too) are all "bust darts (which are useless) and MAYBE back darts if you're lucky."

This cut on a shirt only works if you A) are shaped like a hot dog or B) only plan on fastening the three buttons nearest your waist.

You can try LandsEnd -- they do often have quite a lot of officey shirts with actual princess seams, though sometimes the fabrics are scritchy and the color/pattern selection isn't best (although : tons of sizes, multiple sleeve length options, and many are available in Tall sizes if you're tall or just like longer shirts).


LW #4: I have noticed lately that one thing that seems to separate the "mature" look from the more "juvenile" look is jewelry, specifically nice necklaces and bracelets. The best for looking older, it seems to me, are matched sets of necklaces and earrings, but classy looking sets, not matchy-matchy bridesmaid type sets, you know? But yeah. Some nice jewelry. The young 'uns can't afford it/haven't acquired much yet, so normally the only ladies with good jewelry accessories are those beyond their undergrad years.


@Minx Oh I totally agree, the kind of jewelry you wear makes such a difference! A couple of years ago I realized that I can't wear cheap looking jewelry anymore, it looks pathetic. I gave a bunch of my old high school jewelry to my little sister. I only wear nice-looking jewelry now (aka nothing plastic-y or overtly fake-looking). It really makes a difference in your look.


@MalPal Oh three words - Macy's Jewelry Clearance!


@Minx I'd say plastic's ok if it's large vintage-y bead type stuff. The ladies in my office wear some awesome pieces and it really pulls a look together.
Some women are dripping with diamonds...Some women are dripping with pearls...

@Minx I wear a lot of chunky vintage-y bead type stuff and I have my favorite bracelet which is a crazy-cat-lady style diamante thing. But it's very deliberate and chunky and "heck YES I am wearing this!" And for costume jewelry, it's well made and not trying to look real. I think that's often the difference between "trying too hard"/pathetic and being able to pull it off. Chunky huge fake pearls are the same way -- massive crazy multi-stranded pearl necklaces are awesome.

I swear I don't look awful every day. I just really love vintage shops.

A classic set of pearls -- pearl studs, a pearl necklace -- is always appropriate.

Laura Graber@facebook

for all people with boobs who want SHIRTS:


expensive but AMAZING!

fondue with cheddar

@Laura Graber@facebook AAAHH all the images are broken on the pages I want to look at (except the product pages). I don't get it; the models all have small boobs.


@jen325 Isn't there also some kind of clippy-thing you can get to put on regular shirts? (I don't really know as I gave up on non-stretchy shirts years ago bc I hate getting stuff tailored and nothing ever fits my torso right).


Also yes: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659939274/androgyny-inspiring-personal-confidence-one-shirt


No idea how it works on redheads, but a shout out to Essence for making lipstick I like that also happens to be CHEAP. I impulse-bought a handful of the stuff on a drug store run, and had two strangers tell me I looked pretty the day I tried it out. I've been wearing Red Carpet (sort of an orange-y red, but not in a scary way) and it seems to work with my pale skin/dark hair/green eyes. Non-drying and $2.99!


I've struggled forever with the issue of looking freakishly young. I feel like dressing up in "grown up" looking clothes just makes it worse - I look dowdy, or like a kid trying to play dress up. Somehow those clothes just do not make me look older, only dumpier. Like, if I wear a pencil skirt and a cardigan (which I do quite frequently because I love them) it looks fine, but it's also kind of "look at that 20 year old ironically trying to dress fancy." So I have just sort of taken to announcing "I am old!" to everyone that I meet who asks me if this is my first job out of law school, etc. Like, I just say, "nope, I worked at this other job for 7 years!" and then their eyes bug out and then I declare, "I'm actually quite old! I'm 36!" It is awkward but it sort of works.

Nevertheless I would LOVE advice for how to get age-appropriate uys to think of me as a suitable dating partner, because that has never happened in the history of my life.


@WaityKatie Should be age appropriate GUYS, not "uys."

Regina Phalange

@WaityKatie YES to everything you said - when I try to "dress my age," I look like I got loose in my mother's closet. Men my age are usually concerned that if they talk to me, Chris Hansen will pop out (probably doesn't help that I'm often spotted drinking lemonade...)
I'm about one more ID check away from conspicuously eating Lorna Doones and muttering about tax reform.


@Regina Phalange Ha, yes, I'm sure my predilection for hoodies doesn't help me too much either. But I get tired of everyone acting like looking young isn't a "real problem." Maybe it's not a real problem if everyone knows your age and just thinks you look great for it, but when you're single and no one approaches you ever because all decent humans assume you are jailbait, what's so wonderful about that?

Regina Phalange

@WaityKatie Yep. (I should note, I was once told by a sassy-yet-wise older relative to "stop dressing like Juno, she could wear hoodies, she already found someone willing to knock her up," so, that's my sartorial bent in a nutshell.)

I'm working on it, but again, I tend to look very "high school junior borrowing Mom's blazer for the big Model UN convention."

I'm also working on a scowl, because I've had some unfortunate David Wooderson incidents lately, and that is NOT my steeze.

Nicole Cliffe

On one hand, I disapprove of your relative's outfit-shaming, on the other hand, that is a really solid diss.


@Regina Phalange That Juno quote is all kinds of disturbing and hilarious. I always feel like a model UN contestant whenever I have to wear a "real suit." And I mean, yeah, I could try wearing heavier makeup, but the fact still remains, I have freckles and they can't really be covered up by anything short of that stuff that they use to cover tattoos. I'm going to get gray hair pretty soon but then I will probably just look like Tavi whatsername when she dyed her hair gray for Fashion.

For what it's worth, I scowl all the time; it doesn't even help!

Regina Phalange

@WaityKatie @Nicole Cliffe I'm glad you all understand all that is weird and awesome about that quote. My family may have bequeathed me some unfortunate aging genes, but damn if our burns don't scorch.

I've pretty much resigned myself to a life of misfitness. There was a brief spell in summer 2010 where I could pass my Chucks off as Kristen Stewart chic/Lily Allen nostalgia, but I think that window may be closing. I look forward to becoming a mom and snagging quality Northface from my ungrateful adolescents.


i'm a pale redhead who is similarly obsessed with the idea of lipstick and was filled with anxiety about how to actually pull it off. but then one day i thought, "YOLO," and bought myself cheap long-wear lipstick from target. maybelline superstay in the reddest shade i could find! i enjoy wearing it, get many comments on it, feel saucy when it's on, and manage to swallow all of my fears about how stupid i look. IN SPITE OF THE ODDS. i recommend just buying a weirdly bright shade of red and just going for it. no matter how ging you may be!


LW #1, I found a relevant website/article for you! I hope this is helpful! Love, A Wannabe Redhead



For those looking for shirts that fit- here is a kickstarter for a company committed to making button down shirts with ladies in mind. Looks pretty awesome to me: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659939274/androgyny-inspiring-personal-confidence-one-shirt


On the topic of button downs--there's only one that fits me these days with ZERO pulling, and that is Brooks Brothers. The downside of course is price ($100 full price) but I don't regret a penny of it. I wear the slimmest fit and it's not tight, it's flattering, the collar is SO crisp and stands upright, and I wear it all the time. You'll feel like an old tennis mom, but go to Brooks Brothers!


also - BUY A DUST MASK IF YOU WORK WITH FIBREGLASS! make sure it's for fibreglass/NIOSH approved. the skin irritation is not as bad as having it in your lungs. to prevent the rash, when you shower after getting fibreglass dust all over yourself, let the water run over your skin and do not immediately start touching your skin as soon as you get in, bc that drives the shards of glass deeper in. just fyi.

@Asya Pritsker@facebook You may have just answered all of my questions and solved ALL of my problems. Everyday Shea. I'm going to try that.


I'm probably going to just submit this as a question, but I'm going to Beauty Brands today so I wanted some immediate input. ($12.99 liter sale!) Has anyone ever used Nioxin?

I have the most build-uppy hair. I have to clean my hairbrushes every week or two, and should probably do it even more. I don't even use that much product, nor do I let the shampoo or conditioner sit for even a full minute. I use that Neutrogena clarifying shampoo sometimes, and it's okay, but I'd like something for everyday use that just maintains a nice look, moisturizes, and adds shine. My hair is thick, short, and mostly straight. (It will dry wavy without a blowdryer, but I use a blowdryer every day that I work.)

My stylist recommended Nioxin to me b/c it cleans your scalp well, but their brand is apparently all about thinning hair, which I thankfully don't have (yet, anyway.) Does that matter? Also, I read it has sulfates, and I am interested in not using sulfates. I guess if it's an awesome shampoo, I'll do it, but I keep reading stuff about sulfates being bad.

Also, what about Biolage?

I am not interested in going the no-shampoo route right now, if that matters.


LW4: I think doing something a bit more special with your hair could help. Would a bob work for you? Something at or above the top of the shoulders but somewhere below the chin. A sleek, precise bob can be incredibly grown up without looking dowdy.


Ok I just bought Corset and HOLY SHIT. It's amazing.


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