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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

400

Beauty Q&A: Remember Crystal Gayle?

1. Over the past six years, I sort of accidentally grew my hair 3 1/2 feet long. It all started because, after years of short cuts, I decided I wanted to look like a mermaid when I got out of the shower — and when it didn't stop growing, I figured I'd let it do it's thing. But it still hasn't stopped, and now I'm kind of sick of it? Plus I'm getting married next September, and I don't want to get upstaged by my own mane. I decided a while ago that whenever I cut my hair, I'd sell it. "The Gift of the Magi" and Google both tell me this is a Thing, and I hear healthy/untreated hair like mine is worth a lot of dough.  

The problem is, I can't figure out how best to make it happen. I live in NYC, so ideally, I'll sell it in person. I mean, there have got to be places in this city that buy hair! Right? But how does one go about finding them? In this regard, Google is entirely unhelpful. Do you have any idea how to go about doing this?

Accidents happen. You should donate it.

I don't know where you can sell it in person, but ask a few large, local salons. The internet seems competitive though, and that might mean more money. Let's turn into an "Oh my god!" squad and marvel at online human hair auctions, some still attached to people's headsTHIS IS A THING. Thousands of dollars are being exchanged. Who are the buyers? Look at all this hair. Hair, hair, everywhere. This lady has as much as you! Is anyone else creeped out? You might be in a second...

"10 Russian Human Hair Ponytails on ebay Auction!!!"

We need to get to the bottom of this, but the bottom is a long way down. 

Now, everyone watch this movie so I have someone to talk to about it:

2. I am 23 years old, living in New York City, and pursuing my master's degree. I am also rather petite, and generally look much younger than my age. Random strangers in the elevator have felt compelled to offer guesses at my age, and I have gotten a range of 15 to 18. In a project I was working on recently, the running group joke was that no matter what I wore, I looked like a schoolgirl, and they weren't entirely wrong. I'm starting to worry that my looks mean that I'm not going to be taken seriously when job hunting post-graduation. I know perfectly well I'm smart enough to assume the authority my field demands, but I also know I don't tend to look like someone who can hold her own in a room of clashing opinions. I guess I do sometimes dress somewhat frivolously– I prefer skirts and dresses to trousers, and am a huge fan of the cute patterned tights section on ModCloth. But even pieces that would look perfectly normal on other twenty-somethings — a colorful dress, a tweed skirt — make me look like I've just wandered out of home room at Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows. How can I find the sweet spot between not looking 16, but not being forced to resort to a wardrobe consisting entirely of charcoal-colored pencil skirts and sensible shoes?

First off, those people from your group project sound like REAL GEMS.

But... I think we should maybe try to hear what they were attempting to get across. People aren't the best at saying what they actually mean, and they're usually very uncomfortable offering unsolicited advice, especially if it might hurt another person's feelings. So we make fun of someone instead, like a bunch of adults. Yeesh. I bet they just felt a little uncomfortable for you. Let's take this as an opportunity to grow and change and become the person you are in your head. ModCloth, for the most part, is for teenagers. No more ModCloth for you! Be honest: you, specifically, cannot be trusted around dandy prints and frilly flounces, so steer clear. That also means no Anthropologie, but hopefully that'll be easier to avoid since it's prohibitively expensive.

Also, do you have virgin hair like Letter Writer #1? Chop it off and throw some grown-up color in there.

I don't want to waste everyone's time giving you a shopping list or a bunch of specific Do's and Don'ts for those cursed by youthfulness, but I would like to implore you not to look at this as being forced to conform. Only you are in charge of projecting the mature adult living inside your schoolgirl shell to the rest of the world, and it sounds like maybe you've been pandering to the shell. There's absolutely a happy medium between Pippi Longstocking and Miss Marple. I mean, c'mon. If you're going to wear printed tights, go nuts and mix them with a bunch of other prints — preferably some geometric ones and not all flowers and polka dots. Then people will think you're eccentric, not 15. Actually, I know I said I wasn't going to give you assignments, but you should just copy everything Alexa Chung does, especially her business attire. That means tone down the folksy, cutesy stuff, but don't cut them out entirely. Add more black, and then add even more black.  This can be accomplished at H&M, just stay away from any item that makes you wonder, "Am I too old to wear this?"

(And PS: You're 23. It's okay if you look a million years younger than the rest of us, for now. Haters gonna hate.)

3. I got a $100 gift certificate to Sephora for Christmas and I need help with what to spend it on. I'm somewhat comfortable with the basics, so maybe something a little out there? Something I would be hesitant to try if it was real money? I've been reading about highlighters and people seem to swear by filling in their eye brows with something. What do you think? It's burning a hole in my pocket, but I don't know what I want/need.

Just mail it to me to stop the burning. I'd splurge on one super-indulgent skincare item, since those things are often out of my price range. Like a Clarisonic Mia, the little travel one that costs $120. Sure, every few weeks I'm convinced the brush is actually making my skin worse and giving me zits, but that's probably because I forget to use it every time I wash my face like you're supposed to and also because I always get zits, no fault of any machine's. But maybe it'll be your new favorite thing? Or how about a serum and a powdered sunblock? Or  what the fuck is this Brazillian Peel stuff? Let's find out!

As for fun and experimental makeups, you've already got the right idea with the highlighters and eyebrow junk. Those are actually both in my daily routine — absolute essentials. The best highlighter I've found at Sephora is from Josie Maran. Yes, I used to like High Beam, but Josie's is better. Then again, I haven't tried this new one from Benefit, so you should get that and let us know. For a powder version, if you've never had one of Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Bricks before, see if you're on board. They're fun. And the standard pencil from Anastasia is perfect for filling in and brushing your brows. Plus, they make the rest of your brow care so easy with videos and their other tools.

Here are a few more dream products I'd scoop up if someone dropped a Sephora-shaped hundo in my lap: this eyeshadow palette everyone goes bananas over for some reason, this makeup brush set, you can never have enough of this hair powder, this self-marriage proposal kit, and this Fresh lip balm set because I go through/lose a million of them a year.

4. How am I supposed to use Retin-A and night cream? Can I apply both at the same time on the same areas? Any other Retin-A best practices? I got very little instruction from my derm, just "apply on and around your nose, and work up to doing it every day," so any guidance would be appreciated! 

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE BECAUSE I STUDIED HISTORY AS AN UNDERGRAD, BUT I DID GET STRAIGHT As, SO... My main feeling about the efficacy of Retin-A is that as long as you're putting it on skin, it's it'll figure out how to do it's job. Sure, maybe it'd do it better if you wash your face, pat it dry, apply the Retin-A and then wait an hour to put creams on top or whatever? I'll grant someone that. But get real! We got books to read in bed. I mix mine right in with my night cream or serum. In particular, this Philosophy serum really helped me get through those first few months of Retin-A without irritation. And yes, building up is key. At most, start with half a pea-sized dollop once ever three days for a few weeks. Then go to every-other-day, then every night.

So, that's my answer: fuck it, just put it on your face! Also ask your derm more questions next time. Also-also I apply it everywhere except for my eyes and lips, though I do tap it onto my crows feet, but you can do whatever you like.

Previously: Cheap Creams, Jeans, and Long Hair Dreams.

Do you have a question for Jane?



400 Comments / Post A Comment

Sunny Schomaker

I would just like to say that both the Clarisonic and Philosophy's When Hope is not Enough have changed my life.

And Sephora is seriously the most effective enabler ever. The only other place I can get lulled into such a spendy fugue is Whole Foods.

raised amongst catalogs

@Sunny Schomaker I would like to hear more of your story, especially as it pertains to the serum. I have a Clarisonic brush but don't use it regularly (although I was way into it when I first got it). The serum, though...does it really work? Does it minimize facial hair, as it claims to? Someone TELL ME MORE.

robotosaur

@Sunny Schomaker Ugh, I know. I really should just unsubscribe from their emails so I don't get sucked into buying something because they have whatever fancy free samples look appealing. But browsing makeup on the internet is my favorite thing! I just can't do it. Plus I bought enough of my Christmas presents there this year that I'm now in their top-secret high rollahs club so I get even MORE opportunities to augment my spending with the lure of free samples...

ponymalta

@Sunny Schomaker Ditto-- although I use the Clear Days Ahead cleanser with my Clarisonic. My skin is so, so, so much better since I started using them.

Sunny Schomaker

@raised amongst catalogs Personally, I'm sure that facial hair claim is crap, but it does seem to boost any moisturizer I may care to use. When I run out and am too poor to get a new bottle, my skin does seem to look duller. I also swear by the vitamin C booster, although it can sting like a BAMF.

raised amongst catalogs

@Sunny Schomaker It *seemed* like crap, so thank you for confirming that. Maybe I'll swing by Sephora and shamelessly load up on samples.

Jill_Tata

This movie has changed my life forever. The faith that this family has is inspiring and astounding.@k

Judith Slutler

Long Hair Questioner: if you live in a larger city, try looking for wigmakers. I sold my hair to a guy who used to make wigs mostly for musical theatre productions, but now makes them mostly for people who've lost their hair for medical reasons. So some of that might provide you with useful keywords?

It wasn't super lucrative, but it was some nice extra cash. One thing I wish I'd known while growing my hair out is that split ends really reduce the length of hair that can be usefully... ummm... harvested? Anyway, don't be disappointed if they tell you that like a fourth of your hair can't be used.

Also you should have the stones to do what I didn't and tell the wigmaker that you are doing a conceptual art project and you want to see / photograph the wigs that are made from your hair. Really I would love to see what my hair looks like on other peoples' heads...

Judith Slutler

And yeah, you could donate it, but who says you shouldn't take financial advantage of the renewable resource growing on your own head???

garli

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yeah as some one with long hair that I guess is pretty nice I get ragey when people tell me to donate it. I like it where it is!

So everyone should do what they want with their body.

hallelujah

@Emmanuelle Cunt @garli Yup. I would get so indignant when someone would tell me to donate it. I need money, & cancer kids are getting plenty of wigs, probably! Not my most charitable moments but I stick by them.

kimkrypto

@Emmanuelle Cunt From an article I read recently, LfL gets a HUGE number of donations, and also a huge number they can't use, so they're constantly throwing hair away. I don't think they're a bad project, but I don't see any reason why someone shouldn't profit from their own freaking hair.

sceps yarx

@Emmanuelle Cunt Hi everyone, it's your friendly neighborhood Cancer Mom here with a report from the front lines: CANCER KIDS DON'T WEAR WIGS. Seriously, I've been going to the pediatric cancer clinic at least twice a month for four years, and I only saw a wig ONCE, and it was on a teenager, and it was one of those bright pink fake-hair ones. Kids don't wear wigs because the chemo and steroids they have to take make their skin itchy and uncomfortable. Some of the older girls wear soft scarves and beanies, but all the little ones and most of the older boys just rock the baldness. Also, by the time a kid is on enough drugs to make their hair fall out, that's the least of their worries. Lost hair is no big deal compared to nausea and chronic pain. And sometimes friends and family shave their heads for solidarity, which is a lot more meaningful than covering it up. I don't even know who gets the Locks of Love wigs, because it sure as heck isn't cancer kids. Alopecia kids, maybe?

leylusha

@sceps yarx
Yep, alopecia. I was pretty surprised to find out about that a year ago, but it makes sense. I don't see anything wrong with people whose hair falls out (for ANY medical reason) getting the hookup. But I also think it's ridiculous when short-to-medium-length-haired people tell long-haired folks to donate their hair. Just grow your own dang hair and donate it yourself if you actually are that concerned for the recipients of the donation!

siniichulok

@leylusha I think this is what I will say the next time someone tells me to donate my hair. Thanks!

squishycat

@sceps yarx I did have a classmate in the 6th/7th grade who wore a wig to school after her chemo made her hair fall out but she was healthy enough to attend semi-regularly. For some reason she quit wearing it when her hair was still really short (and curled like, practically flat onto her scalp, idk).

Punk-assBookJockey

@all I work in a cancer center (not a kids one, just adults) and work with American cancer society to give people wigs. It is a really great program! BUT I think what a lot of people don't realize is that almost ALL the wigs we give away are not human hair, they are synthetic. Sythetic wigs can look amazing now! I have two Pantene Beautiful lengths natural hair wigs available to show people and no one has EVER chosen one of them over a synthetic wig. The synthetic ones are easier to care for, they self style, aren't as hot, and they look great and come in a better range of styles and colors. So don't feel like you need to donate your hair if you'd rather sell it, there are plenty of good synthetic wigs being given to cancer patients for free!

Jaya

There's also this way to donate your hair! http://www.pantene.com/en-US/PanteneBeautifulLengths/Details/beautiful-lengths-make-the-cut.aspx

garli

@Jaya Yes! Please don't use locks of love, they are aren't upfront about what they do with the hair. Not that adults with permanent hair loss don't deserve wigs, but they just let the "cancer kids" thing go with out correcting it and I hate that.

Pizzahut

I want to chime in and say there are quite a few hair donation orgs out there. If you did decide to go this route (though there is no shame in selling your hair instead) a quick search will turn up a number or groups who would appreciate donations.

Jane Marie

@Jaya updated! thank you :)

A. Louise

@garli Seconded. If you're gonna donate, Do NOT use Locks of Love. Not that what they do isn't great in theory, but they get so many donations (according to my hairdresser) that they wind up either selling them off to smaller organizations or just THROWING THEM OUT.

Find a local charity that creates wigs for kids/adults in need in your area. It'll be a huge help instead of a drop in the bucket (or one that misses the bucket entirely.)

Also - don't let them snip it all off in one ponytail, but do sections around the head to make sure the hair is all one length. A piece from the top of your head has to grow a lot farther to reach your shoulders than one on the bottom.

(Can you tell I'm a nerd and am thinking about donating my hair? Research. So much research.)

SarahDances

@A. Louise I've donated twice, and both times it was to Beautiful Lengths. Whichever place you choose, make sure you check out their website for donation instructions. Beautiful Lengths specifically requests that you cut it all off in one ponytail, for example.

cinnamonskin

@Jaya word. I cut my hair off when my mom was diagnosed (and she is cancer-free with a PHD, woot!) but after watching "Good Hair" amongst other things...do your research. Oh, and cut your hair if you feel like it. It grows.

dotcommie

The thought of having 100 free dollars to spend at Sephora and not knowing how to spend it is mind-boggling to me. Look, I can help with decision making. Just...send it along my way.

Also, don't get the Clarisonic if you have sensitive or rosacea-prone skin. shit can be brutal.

Mingus_Thurber

@dotcommie I have really sensitive skin, as in the "sensitive" brush-heads for the Clarisonic will open up wounds in my face. I just switched to the "delicate" heads, and OMG I LOVE IT. I can use it every day! My skin isn't screaming red! It's not too dry!

The "sensitive" heads are more like "for your arms and legs" for me, and the "normal" ones are "take all the skin off your elbows."

Lu2
Lu2

@Mingus_Thurber --Yes! I agree with this assessment! I started off with the "delicate" heads and loved my Clarisonic Mia for months. Then I got the bright idea to give "sensitive" a whirl, and wow, I can feel the difference. (Not good.) I can't wait to go back to "delicate." It is plenty scrubby for me, and I'm not really even that sensitive skin-wise, at least historically. Maybe my skin type changed.

Bed Monster

@dotcommie Chiming to add another thumbs up for the delicate brush head. I tried the Clarisonic two years ago with the normal brush head and ended up returning it since I got scratches on my face (seriously). I've been getting eczema patches on my face in the past few months due to exposing my skin to cleansers that are far too harsh for my skin type. I went for broke and bought a Clarisonic Mia, a delicate brush head, and a whole line of skincare products meant for sensitive skin. My skin isn't perfect yet, but it's way better than it was a month ago.

Knowsey

@Bed Monster Tea tree oil will help your eczema, as will coconut oil! I have a weird patch on my forehead, and start with the tea tree oil (make it flaky, but clears it up faster) and then switch to coconut. After a few days it looks a lot better.

fondue with cheddar

Woah, I was just thinking about Crystal Gayle the other day for the first time in years. I saw her on Sesame Street (or was it The Muppets?) and I thought she was soooo pretty and had that incredible hair and I wanted to be her when I grew up. She even had a pretty name!

raised amongst catalogs

@fondue with cheddar Yep, she was my Beauty Ideal when I was a little kid. I may or may not have (except I definitely did) dream of singing "Just You And I" with Eddie Rabbit, who was also Very Handsome to me when I was young. If you think I'm gross for having a childhood crush on Eddie Rabbit, I don't blame you.

stonefruit

@fondue with cheddar ME TOO ME TOO ME TOO! It was Sesame Street, and I drove my mom crazy with wanting my hair to be that long. (Nevermind that my hair does not actually ever get that long.) It was honestly a formative experience.

Jinxie

@fondue with cheddar Was Crystal Gayle the lady who had the nose ring that connected to an ear ring with a chain? 'Cause I was both obsessed with and terrified of/for her because of that nose/ear rig.

raised amongst catalogs

@Jinxie You're thinking of Jane Child, I think? Loved her. ETA: Yep, double-checked and now I can't stop singing "Don't Wanna Fall In Love." She could really "woooo-woo"!

fondue with cheddar

@Jinxie Are you talking about the lady with the spiky (on top) hair from the laste 80's-early 90's who played keyboard? Her name and her hit song escapes me, but that's someone else. Crystal Gayle was a country singer from late 70's-early 80's.

@raised amongst catalogs Eddie Rabbitt was cute, I can see that!

Jinxie

@raised amongst catalogs Ah - a google confirms that it was Jane Child who haunted my childhood, not Crystal Gale. And man, did she have some awesomely crazy hair.

fondue with cheddar

@raised amongst catalogs YEEESSS that song was SO GREAT.

Beericle

@raised amongst catalogs I love a rainy night AND Crystal Gayle. Ditto on you and your cheese friend that I sooooo wanted my hair to be like hers.

angermonkey

@raised amongst catalogs Are you me? seriously, because I ALSO had a thing for Crystal Gale AND my favorite song growing up was "Driving my Life Away." Oh, Eddie Rabbit... where are you now? (I could google, but I'm pretty sure the answer is gonna be "Branson.")

raised amongst catalogs

@angermonkey Maybe I am you! Oh, and...there's no easy way to tell you this so I'll just come right out and say it. On one of the Youtube videos I watched of him, he was described as "the late Eddie Rabbit," so...he's...in the Branson...in...the sky.

angermonkey

@raised amongst catalogs NOOOO! Wikipedia confirms... Lung cancer at the age of 56. Too bad.

fondue with cheddar

@angermonkey OH is that the "lookin' for a sunny day, woah me..." song? I love that song but I never knew the lyrics or who sang it. I grew up in NJ so country was not generally very popular here, but my mom often listened to the local country station in the kitchen, and mono clock radio speakers aren't the clearest. I loved that song, too! My other favorites (whose names I do know) were "Queen of Hearts", "The Gambler", and "Elvira". Giddy-up-a-oom-poppa-oom-poppa-mow-mow! :D

HeyThatsMyBike

@fondue with cheddar So glad I'm not the only one who loved Ms. Gayle as a small child.

Slapfight

@HeyThatsMyBike With you on the Crystal Gayle love. I grew my hair butt length in devotion.

madge

@Slapfight crystal gayle + 70s linda ronstadt + mary poppins = all my childhood ideas about lady awesomeness

wee_ramekin

Any time anyone says "hundo", I am gleefully transported back to small times when Achewood was a Thing. #sixhundo

raised amongst catalogs

@wee_ramekin Fellow Achewood lover chiming in, just because whenever I find someone who knows what it is/was I am overjoyed.

wee_ramekin

@raised amongst catalogs THESE FANS!

Roxanne Rholes

@wee_ramekin dogg yes, hell of agreed and such.

breccia

@wee_ramekin when i think about no new achewood i get sad and cry like ray smuckles.

raised amongst catalogs

@wee_ramekin "Oh no, I grew pubics. Daddy is gonna kill me for sure."

wee_ramekin

@breccia Or like Cornelius when Ray stepped on his childhood drum.

He had only set it out to take pictures of it in the evening light. :(

highfivesforall

@breccia A BLOO BLOO BLOOOOOOOO

Roxanne Rholes

@wee_ramekin I think my heart's explodin'! THESE FANS!

sarah girl

@breccia Do you cry like A BLOO BLOO

Edit: AGH BEATEN

wee_ramekin

Lie Bot was wrong: it is no more Achewood that is truly the Saddest Thing.

raised amongst catalogs

@wee_ramekin @all Can we just look back on the storyline that involved Mr. Teal, the finch that assisted Cornelius with his computer?
Cornelius: Why would you like to be married, Mr. Teal?
Mr Teal: Simply to have someone with whom to eat honey, and with whom to speak fondly of the honey we have eaten.

highfivesforall

@Sarah H. I WIN

@wee_ramekin Lie Bot lied, obviously.

@Roxanne Rholes I am DEFINITELY not afraid of the fucking POLICE right now!

frigwiggin

@wee_ramekin can't you...SEE

wee_ramekin

@highfivesforall No need to be afraid of the police when you're BoC*.

*Blood of Champion

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin Achewood and I have been knuckleheads since old times.

highfivesforall

@frigwiggin Just a couple of knuckleheads from the day!

ETA: I would totally pay for a quilt that said "Just Some Knuckleheads From The Day!"

frigwiggin

BRB this conversation makes me have to go listen to the theme song MC Frontalot wrote for it...

fondue with cheddar

@wee_ramekin "I have to get married?! But I'm only five!"

I miss Achewood so much.

wee_ramekin

@frigwiggin ♪♫♪♫♪♫ Here comes a Very Special Boy! ♪♫♪♫♪♫

Why yes, that is a song by Freezepop about Phillipe.

fondue with cheddar

@wee_ramekin YAY! I haven't heard that song is so long, and even though I can't listen to it right now, just thinking about it has put a big smile on my face.

frigwiggin

@wee_ramekin Ahhh, that takes me back! I had an online friend from Germany in high school who did a recording of herself singing it for us, it was the most adorable thing. Possibly more adorable than Roast Beef and Molly's wedding. (No, I lie. I may have actually teared up when that happened. Roast Beef came such a long way from Circumstances!)

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin Whyyyyy do none of my friends understand when I recommend Achewood to them. Sob. I truly believe that it's an amazing piece of long-form work and literature and will always hold a dear, special place in my heart. but nobody gets it whyyyyyyyy

fondue with cheddar

@frigwiggin It's definitely an acquired taste. But some people never acquire it even when they try. It's a peculiar kind of humor, and you definitely have to start at the beginning to really get it.

P.S. I totally stole my ex husband's Achewood cookbook when we separated and I am not ashamed.

highfivesforall

@frigwiggin Don't worry, we will always be here for you to quote Achewood with. You can come over and watch Braveheart, all crispy stellas out by the pool, all skirt steaks on the grill.

frigwiggin

@highfivesforall Hey now, it better be rib-eye. Rib-eye is the most nutritious cut of steak.

highfivesforall

@frigwiggin Okay well in that case you sit here and test to see if this is a mimosa, and I'll double check to make sure I'm grilling rib-eye.

frigwiggin

@highfivesforall Okay, good. Also make sure you put a hundred dollar bill put next to the plate at a forty-five degree angle.

wee_ramekin

@frigwiggin Six hundos if you did your dude wrong and need to lay down some class money (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand....full circle!).

wee_ramekin

@frigwiggin Also, no steak for me. I'll take a good, sun-caught perch, fried in honest butter.

frigwiggin

@wee_ramekin Whoaaaa girl, if we're gonna take this into Nice Pete territory, let me just clarify that I am NOT a chemus witch and that this fine cherry pie is all for you.

wee_ramekin

@frigwiggin

What's it like to kill someone, Pete?

It's kind of like...
It's kind of like playin' a basketball game.
I am there
...and the other player is there
...and it's just the two of us
...and I put the other player's body in my van
and I am the winner.

#nopants

LlamaLlama

achewood made me like my own breasts more. boob men!

fuck fuck fuck

@all y'all

i have just read maybe 200 of these??? I LOVE IT. PHILIPPE.

wee_ramekin

@fuck fuck fuck Yessssss...I am so glad you like it!

Remember...

PHILIPPE IS STANDING ON IT.

runner in the garden

@wee_ramekin dogg it must feel sick as hell to receive a comment from a dude

runner in the garden

@wee_ramekin ain't this just sick as hell

nonvolleyball

@wee_ramekin what you ask me the boy's rude.

Achewood is THE. BEST. & I highly recommend the hardcover Great Outdoor Fight book to anyone in this subthread who doesn't already own it.

OhMarie

Oh man, I also have a Sephora gift card (though much smaller--$25) that I've been wanting to spend on something fun/frivolous. I was thinking about the small UD Naked palette, but now the Anastasia brow pencil and highlighter are on my list.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@OhMarie For fun/frivolous at Sephora, I love the sampler sets where you try 5+ lip glosses or mascaras or perfumes or whatever. I usually like almost all of them, and since I like to rotate makeup they last as long as if I'd spent $25 on one awesome full sized lipstick or whatever.

Spaghettius!

@OhMarie I would like to vouch for that brow pencil. But had the woman not shown it to me and then demonstrated how naturally it fills out my eyebrows, and had I not, convinced, walked to the check out in a blissful stupor totally unaware of it's price, I never would have shelled out that much cash on a teeny friggin stick that's really just shitty eyeliner. My two cents.

the angry little raincloud

@Spaghettius! I recently have been thinking I should be doing something with my eyebrows, and I was hoping Jane would mention this. THANKS JANE!

So it's good? I get them threaded already, but I feel like they could use more oomph. I'm pale with dark hair, and I feel like my brows should be even more prominent (they're the same color as my hair, but still.) I don't want to look like Brezhnev or a lesser member of the Politburo. Any other (possibly more wallet-friendly?) suggestions?

Spaghettius!

@the angry little raincloud The reason I ended up with a pencil vs a powder is because the powder does not suit my needs (I have dark brows, but they are on the thin side, and a little sparse where they are widest, and filling them in with powder makes me look very related to Graucho Marx) I finally did what every beauty advice columnist tells everyone to do: go to the store, explain your situation. She also showed me how to use it, which is not how I would think to use it (comb your brows up with a clean mascara wand, draw them on in tiny strokes, go slowly, stop to check your brows in the mirror so you don't over-do it)
I'd just add to this that when you explain your situation, maybe also explain that you want something under x amount. Which is what I should have done. The woman who gave me the Anastasia pencil had powder in her brows and it looked great, so it helps to explore your options.
Actually, you know what? Try the technique she advised me to use with any el-cheapo brow pencil. And please report back!

Lu2
Lu2

@OhMarie and Spaghettius! --I have that Anastasia brow pencil and have loved it, and I've also used powders but have felt "meh" about them in general because of my sparseness issue. But! the other day at Sephora I found an even greater Anastasia pencil:
http://www.sephora.com/brow-wiz-P202633?skuId=1056084

It's super-thin all the way, like an eternal pencil-point, and it makes hairlike lines. I'm going to try this one once my other ash-blonde pencil runs out. (It's not Anastasia; the one I have from A. is Strawburn, because for a while I was going redder with my hair but I've now gone back to more truly blonde. So I went back to my old ash-blonde pencil for now.)

eringthatsme@twitter

@OhMarie I really like the Stila brow marker! It's like a really fine feather tip marker, and at first I thought the colors would be really light for me (dark but sparser brows, really fair skin), but the woman at Sephora set me up with the lightest marker. It comes on really light, but it makes a huge difference for my brows. Because its a marker, it stays on all day and I don't have to worry about reapplying/oily eyebrows causing makeup to slide off. My 2 cents!

FulanaDeTallcan

@OhMarie The Sephora brand eyebrow pencil has a super tiny point for detail, rather then just the blocks of color you get from powders. And it's only $12! (Compared to Anastasia which I think costs two times that?) I also really like the Makeup Forever Aqua Brow (which is a liquid) because you can put it on with a super thin brush to get hairlike strokes and it stays forever on me although I am of the greasy and sweaty variety. It's more pricey, but it seems to last longer than pencil does because you only use a very tiny bit, you don't have to keep reapplying and you don't lose product to the sharpener.

LeafySeaDragon

@OhMarie i want one of these http://www.sephora.com/pro-lesson-palette-green-eyes-P291428?skuId=1332055 all of my makeup is in neutrals and the few colors i have are "wrong" for my eye color.

babs

@OhMarie I vote for the Laura Mercier brow pencil! All of the colors come in both cool and warm tones, which is very helpful for making sure everything matches up.

parallel-lines

Hey Retin-A user--be super careful what's in that night cream! If you're using just a general emollient night cream it's fine to put it on with the Retin-A, but don't put on something with alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide--you know, irritating stuff. That can potentially deactivate the Retin-A cream!
http://www.oprah.com/style/Retinoid-Skin-Creams-Why-You-Should-Use-a-Retinoid

Just use a nice, hypoallergenic face cream until your skin adjusts to retenoid usage or you could get some nasty peeling.

smidge

Having that much money to spend at Sephora would cripple me with anxiety--much like any gift cards, honestly. I love them but WHAT IF I WASTE MY FREE MONEY AAAUGH

Dirty Hands

@smidge I'd obvs try to get samples first of whatever I wanted to buy... though for long-term skin stuff that wouldn't work. Still... sammmmmples.

Hellcat

@Dirty Hands I always worry about free samples because what if I love the thing so much but it costs so much that I can't afford it on a regular basis and I am then sadder than I was before ever having tried it?

Madeline Shoes

@smidge I always use mine to buy fancy things I would never buy myself. Like super glittery Laura Mercier baked eyeshadow. Which turned out to be a great use of giftcard because I am at work (shhh!) and wearing it NOW! If you work in the arts, glitter's ok in the office, right?

breccia

#2 - i am a fellow babyface, except i'm now TWENTY-SEVEN and my coworkers still thought it would be funny har har har to pop in my office last week to say shit like "happy 19th birthday!" and other variants. other stories: giving an interview to a npr reporter and having a stranger who overheard tell me how eloquent i am "for someone so young," out one day and a random dude tells my BOYFRIEND: "it's so nice that you got your daughter out of school to join you today." ugh ugh ugh ughuhghghgh

the only advice i can add, because i clearly have not mastered this, is to find your own style. like, i am not waif-ish at all but frenchy stripes and skinny jeans and flats and a slouchy wool hat make me look hells of sophisticated and sometimes I'm not even carded. find what you feel super hot and awesome in and play to that. the confidence helps. also: find a cool thing to do with your hair, which is vague, i know, but once you find the hairstyle for you, you will understand.

gobblegirl

@breccia My good friend is a petite babyface, and she has to dress very carefully. But the number one thing she did to solve the perception problem (and it was a problem when she was training to be a teacher - librarians at the school at which she was working would shush her) was to get a more grownup hairdo. Long and straight wasn't working for her.

Hellcat

@breccia I like your advice. I am a 41-year-old babyface (carded for booze and often asked to produce my driver's license in casual-acquaintance conversations where age comes up...but most likely never mistaken for a teenager)--which is actually probably not relevant to my issue, really. I'm just constantly wondering if what I like (reasonably priced ModCloth and Forever 21 dresses that I won't freak out over if I ruin, and jeans/boot/t-shirts/cardigans combos the rest of the time, with a sprinkling of '60s and '70s retro and a few moderately gothy things thrown in) skews too young and makes me look like a middle-aged woman desperately trying to cling to the last shred of my youth, and this unnerves me!

I don't think I'm doing that... but I don't want other people to think I am! I'm rarely in an environment where this would ever be an issue, and I think I look nice and even get complimented fairly regularly... but that weird worry about being judged creeps in sometimes (like maybe the people would laugh at the outfit if they asked my age first? Ugh, I am paranoid). Luckily it's only sometimes because I like the clothes I wear. Anyway... long story (that was supposed to have been) short: I like your advice... and the outfit you described. Slouchy is good.

SarahDances

@gobblegirl My best friend (26 at the time) was stopped going through airport security by a TSA agent who thought she was young enough not to go through the full body scanner (12 or younger). She was wearing her hair down, no makeup, glasses, and flats, all of which I think contributed to her looking like a pre-teen.

lisma

@SarahDances I was laughed at by a flight attendant when trying to order a beer.

acid burn

@breccia Okay, so subquestion, what is a "grownup hairdo"? I'm 27 and I feel like I've had a lot of haircuts and the problem doesn't cease. Bangs? No bangs? Long? Medium? Short? It probably involves using PRODUCTS of some kind, right?

NeverOddOrEven

@acid burn
This is also relevant to my interests.

Beatrix Kiddo

@lisma Word. I'm 30 and got carded AT THE MOVIES recently.

Amphora

@breccia I'm also 27 and when telling my classmates (grad school class with a few undergrads) about my engagement they were shocked I was getting married so young.

Grownup hair, at least for me, was buying a flat iron and a bottle of frizz serum and wearing my shoulder-length hair down instead of in a ponytail. But I'm not exactly sophisticated...still throwing out a LOT of clothes from college.

sceps yarx

@breccia lipstick in grown-up colors! Red, mauve, brick...classy colors age you up. No pink, no glitter, nothing glossy. I think with hair, like Jane mentioned, dye is key. I think the idea is to look a bit more expensive and well-kept. Which, unfortunately, IS expensive. Boo!

Dances With Nerds

@acid burn I think of it as shorter and layered. I think that for a lot of people, long, straight, and uni-length (without being really flat-ironed and intentional) reads young. Cuts that require heat styling or which have some product in them tend to look more adult.

But then again I can't keep my hair from frizzing for more than 10 minutes this week, so don't look at me.

Pseudo Pseudonym

@gobblegirl My friend and I are both very short and have had very different experiences. She rarely wears anything more sophisticated than a middle school girl and the patriarchy seems to love it -- lots of middle aged men offering to help her and she doesn't seem to notice any creepy vibe to that. While the "looks like a kid" is also due to our different personalities, she has had many more professional advantages by acting too young than I have ever had by trying to look pulled together and "adult." Maybe if we ever had a female boss? I would never hvve guessed this could be true if I hadn't seen it myself.

NeverOddOrEven

@acid burn
So hair that you have to "do". I don't know about you, but I guess I'll never be taken seriously then.

Hellcat

@NeverOddOrEven With you there. I will "do" it for five minutes max, except on special occasions or the two or three days a week I bother to blow-dry! Luckily my job has come to terms with the fact that I have wild, unruly hair.

Lu2
Lu2

@acid burn --60s-style bouffant.

Amphora

@NeverOddOrEven Don't get me wrong, I spend two minutes with a flat iron on the back of my hair and then rub some goop through it, brush it, and then on with the important stuff. Blow-drying takes so long and I hate the feeling of hot air up my nose.

babs

@acid burn Learn how to blow out your hair! I wash and blow dry my fine/long hair every 3 days or so, using a round brush + Bumble and Bumble's styling lotion and a volumizing serum. In between I use hair powder at the roots to extend it out, or a little texturizing cream on the ends to make the messy look appear intentional. Overall, about 40 minutes a week, and very worth it to appear polished, I think.

Alternatively, find a classy hat. Or do a ponytail/messy bun. Whatever, you look great!

Knowsey

@breccia 33 here, and when the high school kids go around the neighborhood shilling newspapers, they ask if my mom is home. I say no. I mean, she might be, in HER home, in the next state over, but she's not in my home.

OsGirl

Retin A user! It's pretty potent stuff so Jane is probably right that it will find a way to work. The reason that they tell you to wait a half an hour after you wash your face is so that it doesn't irritate your skin. I've been using it for years and am now using Tazorac. My derm told me that the less water in your skin, the less likely it will irritate it.

If you're just starting to use it, I have some thoughts on what worked for me and other friends. Wash your face, apply an emollient moisturizer (to act as a buffer), wait 30 minutes and apply Retin A. I'd start by doing it a few times a week and then work up to every other day. After you've built up a tolerance, apply every day. Eventually (like me), you'll probably be able to slap it on straight out of the shower with no peeling. Just remember to use a pea sized amount. Any more and I find it too much.

It's glorious!

OsGirl

@OsGirl FYI - the technique of applying a moisturizer first is called "buffering." It prevents your skin from getting too irritated because (duh) the moisturizer acts as a buffer. It's just a way of acclimating your skin to Retin A. But it does NOT work with Retin A Micro because that is time-released.

If your skin is not sensitive, you can go ahead and try applying straight on the skin followed by a moisturizer, like 20 minutes- 1hour later.

Bittersweet

@OsGirl Thanks for the Retin-A advice! Thanks also for your avatar, which is beyond awesome, even though I have serious issues with the way the Julia MkKenzie series has played fast and loose with the original plots.

Nicole Cliffe

I am a week into my Retin-A scrip (thank you Jane!!), and am doing really well with every-other-night, heavy night cream applied, like, 20 minutes later.

OH, and my derm had said "insurance will not cover it for aging, do not pay more than ninety bucks," and then my insurance covered it and I had a FIVE DOLLAR co-pay.

Jane Marie

@Nicole Cliffe SHUT UP WHAT IS YOUR INSURANCE

Nicole Cliffe

Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield. AND, the other scrip I picked up was lidocaine because I am getting laser hair removal, and they covered that too! People are dying because their wisdom teeth get infected, but my vanity-based skin needs are being MET.

hotdog

@Nicole Cliffe Yes! I just started my generic retin-A gel (again, thanks Jane!) for acne last night-it cost $10 with BCBS.

But question: why the lidocaine for the laser? I get lasered every month, and I pretty much just ice before and after. I once got a VERY SERIOUS BURN, but that was about six years ago with a very painful, very first gen laser. Now I just pop two ibuprofen an hour before, and never feel anything!

Nicole Cliffe

I have never in my life turned down a proferred prescription for pain relief. Tell me about your lasering happiness level!! I am very pale with very dark hair, and I'm thrilled that that will finally be an advantage.

hotdog

@Nicole Cliffe So, I am very pale with very dark hair also, and I've had about four sessions so far...and honestly, I'll probably need another six. It's not as effective as I'd hoped, but I definitely thinks it takes longer for it to grow back now. Like, before, I couldn't go camping because I grow hair on my face that I have to shave every. single. day. And now, I think I could probably go a few days without that. I cant' really tell if there has been a great reduction in the *amount* yet, because...I shave it too fast so I never know!

But yeah, pretty painless, and make sure they ice, and take ibuprofen-you'll be fine!

OhMarie

@hotdog @Nicole Cliffe I am also a lasering person with very dark hair and very pale skin (also on my face, HIGH FIVE HOTDOG), and it has been ok. Weirdly, I think mine has thinned out rather than slowed its growth. Definitely not miraculous, but also definitely not a waste of money.

the angry little raincloud

@hotdog @Nicole Cliffe What is all this about needing prescription meds for laser hair removal? Where are you going?

I've had lower legs, underarms, bikini, and upper lip done and it was a mostly painless and fast procedure. Nobody's burnt me. The effectiveness has varied. I had 9 sessions on my legs and there is a patch that they clearly all missed, but I can shave that off (once a month) in under 20 seconds so who cares. Same with pits: 3 sessions and, whatever, it's manageable enough now. I'm paler than paper with dark, very thick hair, so an ideal LHR candidate. It's nice that combo came in handy for once.

Also, one place I went used a very nice cooling gel during the treatment: I'd return to them for larger or more, ahem, sensitive areas again. Another place used a laser that didn't hurt at all (but was, in the end, slightly less effective: it was the Soprano XL). The other place was the standard issue YAG laser with no gels, but I was just doing pits so it took 5 minutes and whatever.

filthyunicorn

@Nicole Cliffe I have tried all of the hair removals and my enthusiastic vote is actually for IPL (I am pale with dark hair). It is fantastic if you can find it in your area. Second best is electrolysis IMO, laser hair removal can stimulate hair growth in previously unhairy places (don't say I didn't warn you).

This is my new username

@filthyunicorn Wait what's the difference between IPL and laser hair removal??

filthyunicorn

@This is my new username
From Wiki: "Intense pulsed light, describes the use of intense pulses of non-coherent light distributed over a range of wavelengths from 500 nm to 1200 nm, for removal of hair and other purposes.[1] A related but distinct technique is laser hair removal; the primary difference is that laser treatment uses laser-generated coherent and monochromatic light."
That means nothing to me, but they are definitely different. I recommend IPL!

LadyDee

@Nicole Cliffe Is it okay to schedule a derm appointment to ask for a Retin-A script purely for vanity? Like, my skin's not perfect, but not exactly acne-prone... but I'm intrigued by the anti-aging action. Feeling too guilty to schedule an appointment just for this though. Tell me it's okay?

Nicole Cliffe

Oh, it's totally fine! They expect it. I was charged extra for a "cosmetic consult," and then said "I want Retin-A," and she said "here is how to apply it and here is a pamphlet in case you forget. Enjoy your day."

Nicole Cliffe

They might even do it over the phone if you've been in recently. GET A MOLE CHECK, if you haven't, which is probably covered by your insurance, and ask then. Everyone should get their moles checked, it is so reassuring and sensible. Or, if it isn't reassuring, you're still happy you got it done.

LadyDee

@Nicole Cliffe Hurrah! You have soothed my conscience. Youthfulness (and reassured moles), here I come!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Nicole Cliffe
Oooh mole check! A very helpful, sneaky tip for someone with a spouse who would disapprove of using medical resources for cosmetic purposes. Which is my friend's situation.

Jane Marie

@LadyDee Never feel guilty about giving a doctor money.

queenofbithynia

Sell your hair! I have heard bad things about Locks of Love, and no I can't remember what they are. Doesn't matter anyway. If you ever grow two feet of chemotherapy out your head, then you can feel guilty about trying to monetize it instead of giving it away, but until then, do not.

special_boots

I'm 26 and I'll be wearing ModCloth till the day I die.

I don't know if it's better or worse that I'm 5'8" with strong features and broad shoulders (no one will mistake me for 15, that much is for sure), but I don't give a good goddamn.

Today I'm wearing a red-and-white striped ModCloth dress with an oversized giant-buttoned gray ModCloth grandpa sweater. And I. Look. Great.

Jinxie

@special_boots I agree that wearing ModCloth past the age of 19 is totally doable provided you a) solidly don't give a shit what people think about you, b) live in San Francisco (or an equally quirky/laid back city where no one's going to bat an eye no matter what you're wearing, even if what you're wearing is nothing but a pair of boots), and/or c) maybe balance it out by not doing ModCloth head to toe and get you some nice leather boots or a good, classic coat.

special_boots

@Jinxie I live in Washington, D.C. I work downtown in a big office.

I wear what I like.

Jinxie

@special_boots I pretty much do too! Sorry, I hope I didn't come across as critical/overbearing/over-prescriptive. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of - if you want to wear MC or MC-type stuff but don't want to stand out a ton or look too young, maybe temper the look, you know? For myself, even though I work at a Big Corporate Law Firm, I rarely wear bonafide Professional Lady Clothes. I'm not an attorney, though, so I have a little more leeway in what I wear; so long as I'm not wearing jeans or showing too much cleavage, no one seems to mind what I've got on.

special_boots

@Jinxie Oh, my bad. I get a little hypersensitive because there's this idea that all D.C. women wear boxy '90s-style skirt suits (or similar), and I guess I'm just sick of hearing how conservative and unfashionable my city is and how everyone here MUST WEAR PANTYHOSE (ew).

And I kind of don't agree with Jane's advice to the letter writer (although I understand where she's coming from). I think the woman should tell her loser classmates where they can stick it and continue to wear whatever the hell she pleases (including but not limited to ModCloth). I mean, she's in grad school! She should embrace her freedom while she has it! When it comes job-hunting time, then I suppose she should buy a nice suit or whatever. If she must.

Did you hear the recent Zooey Deschanel quote about how she just wants to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar? That's the world I want to live in, man.

(Although not Peter Pan collars on me, specifically, because they are not flattering to my build.)

Jane Marie

@special_boots i hear you! but i did feel in this case like she was really game to make some adjustments and was at a loss, and we all know how frustrating that can be. sometimes my advice is "dont' worry about it!" and sometimes it's "hey, look over here."

special_boots

@Jane Marie That's fair. It's true that she didn't write to you for advice on what expletives to use toward her classmates, so what you told her was probably much closer to what she was actually looking for.

(I still like ModCloth, though.)

Hellcat

@Jinxie "Temper the look." YES. It's what I try to do but then agonize over whether I am doing it right.

Jinxie

@Hellcat Sometimes I agonize and sometimes I say "Eh, to hell with it" and wear whatever. I seem congenitally incapable of dressing like a Proper Professional Lady, despite years of practice, so lately I've been trying to just embrace the weird more and more since it seems to be my natural state.

Amphora

@Jinxie So I started this new job with my wardrobe of slacks and button-down shirts from the Limited and all the women here are wearing cool funky outfits with like sweater-dresses and boots and accent scarves and things and now I feel like a total dork-church lady. How does one dress LESS professionally?

Theda Baranowski

@Amphora Scarves and boots and awesome earrings. Threadless-style tees under cardigans? Anthropologie on sale. (It happens, and I got an awesome yellow tweed circle skirt that way)

Mostly I just throw accessories at my business casual wardrobe. Of course, I am the Funky One at a bank, so your mileage may vary.

Hellcat

@Amphora What Theda Baranowski said, I think. Get silly at the cheap-accessories places and just build up a bit as you go. Maybe a few colorful cardigans in animal prints or retro-looking ones that have a few sequins? When it's time for new clothes, bring more funky stuff in. And hang onto the button-down shirts too; they incorporate into more daring (for lack of a better term, of course) outfits easier than you'd think.

@Jinxie Yeah, it's the easiest way if you can get away with it, and if you keep it on the correct side of the appropriate line. My office is pretty lax (or I wouldn't be able to wear half the ModCloth dresses I have; they are short!) so that's good. I have always tried to keep one or two things the focal point... like loud tights with a subdued dress, or short skirt with dark tights and flats and maybe a boxier sweater--that kind of thing...

special_boots

@Jinxie Are you on Twitter, by chance? I feel like we have a lot of good comment-thread conversations.

Jinxie

@special_boots We really do have lots of good conversations! Yay, us!
And technically I am on Twitter, in that I have an account, but I pretty only use it to follow other folks easily and almost never tweet. But maybe I should start! I have lots of opinions/silly thoughts that could be summed up in 140 characters or less! Some hag had already taken "Jinxie" when I signed up, so I had to add a "Ms" to my nom de web if you wanna hit me up some time.

gobblegirl

Remember the bit in Chris Rock's Good Hair where they talk about people in India having their hair stolen??!!!?!! The hair industry can be so sketch.

Valley Girl

@gobblegirl I just saw that movie last night! So I thought of that immediately.

raised amongst catalogs

Augh, the mention of Crystal Gayle has me tumbling down a Youtube rabbit-hole of classic country. She is the gateway to Eddie Rabbit, and then Ronnie Milsap, and now I have this crazy hankering for some Juice Newton. I am four years old and riding around in the backseat of my grandma's car! Magic!

charlesbois

@raised amongst catalogs fun fact about me, Juice Newton was the second album (actual vinyl LP) I ever bought. The first was Quiet Riot.

raised amongst catalogs

@charlesbois The very definition of well-rounded.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

When pregnant, my friend Sarah used to get dirty looks and muttered comments about "teen mothers," even though she is older than me and has been married for longer.

hallelujah

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll That happened to me, especially because my fingers were (remain) so puffy I never wore (wear) my wedding ring. I happen to be pretty confrontational though, so anybody who thought to comment were quickly & loudly disabused of their notions.

par_parenthese

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll I got aaalllll sorts of pitying/scornful/poor-teen-mom looks when I was out with the 3-year-old I nannied lo these many moons ago (OHGODS he's like ten now?!) -- he had dark hair and blue eyes and I had just dyed my hair dark and have blue eyes, so I guess that was enough resemblance for casual onlookers, and people definitely thought I was 19 or 20. Wah wah.

whateverlolawants

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll
My mom was married at 24, and her young looks got her so many "child bride" comments. My poor dad. She was 30 when she had me, but looks about 20 in the photos.

hallelujah

I almost sold my very long, jet black hair a few years ago (living on 125th in Harlem, though, it was a very simple expenditure with all the weave & wig shops) for a lot of dough but chickened out & dyed it red instead. HUGE MISTAKE. Do it!

rightclicksave

LW2, I feel your pain! I'm 24 and frequently get mistaken for 15/16 or even younger: one time I was getting a manicure, the technician asked where my mom was, because she thought I was a middle schooler. I'm also very short, so it's hard to pull off some Adult Lady clothes. Shopping in the petites section is an exercise in grandma clothes elimination. I've had the best luck at Ann Taylor (petites) and the petites section of Nordstrom for work clothes. Both stores are expensive but also have good sales, so that's when I swoop. Also, Marc by Marc Jacobs often has clothes in prints that are fun and colorful but not childish...or at least they did like 3 years ago, because I pick up that ish at thrift/vintage stores on the cheap.

I have noticed that I am perceived as an adult when I wear makeup, particularly of the foundation/clean polished eye makeup variety--the look you get if you go to the Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier counter. And that's true at the bar as well as in professional settings. But foundation feels really uncomfortable, and frankly I'm far too lazy to be arsed with putting on makeup every morning. (And, I'm not thrilled about the idea that adult womanhood=makeup. Not that anyone shouldn't wear makeup if s/he wants to wear it, of course! I just don't like to wear it and am annoyed that people think I am a child. Blahh)

So, when I went for job interviews, I wore a pretty, colorful blouse and a black pencil skirt and some nude heels, and threw on some professional-looking makeup and jewelry. And once I got a job, immediately began wearing jeans and T-shirts into the office every day thereafter.

queenofbithynia

@rightclicksave It's weird because I think of the pencil-skirt-heels-full-face-of-makeup look as being a very, very specifically young look, one that I don't think I've ever seen a woman over 25 wearing (in my office, only the interns/externs, and I work in DC which I am told is a notoriously uptight workplace culture.) I would say it seems very business lady costumy, except that sounds pejorative and I think it looks great, actually, though very foreign to me.

I mean, I can usually tell that those women are dressed that way to look professional and be taken seriously, and I assume it works since people dress like this in the context of having jobs(looking professional and being taken seriously have never been goals of mine, or within my reach, so I have no personal experience of this to corroborate or disprove it.)

but I think it's weird that older people advise younger women to femme it up for "professionalism" (and I know it's true, they do) because skirts + heels + full face of makeup reads to me as fresh out of college, really hard. I don't think I have any knee-jerk prejudices about that, or at least I try not to, but I do think it sucks that that particular look is sold so hard to that demographic.

rightclicksave

@queenofbithynia That is good to know! The work uniform for recent grads in my city tends strongly toward the Fakequestrian, which I think is super-cute but not so flattering on me. And I think that maybe when I wear pencil skirts, it alerts people to the fact that I have capital-H Hips, which is a cue that I am in fact old enough to drive/be outside without a guardian. At any rate, though, I'm happy to be confused for an intern instead of an eighth grader, so I'll take it.

sceps yarx

@queenofbithynia I feel like there's a certain type of silk scarf that screams "professional adult woman". Like, the kind that has vague watercolor flowers on it? And you wear it with matching small drop earrings?

queenofbithynia

@sceps yarx

gahhhh

yes, I know the kind of thing you mean. that is what they will make me wear in hell. with a cardigan, I dare say.

FulanaDeTallcan

@sceps yarx YES. My greatest barrier to professionalism, besides my big round baby headface is that I refuse to wear any earrings smaller than 3 inches, and they are mostly hoops. Why does being a mature lady mean tiny earrings? I feel like there is maybe something ethnocentric about it.

area@twitter

I made the fatal mistake of stepping into an argument about gun control on Facebook. Now all I want to do is kill. But the Sephora fantasy shopping is making my rage dissolve and float off. Ahhhh.

Possibly obvious nail question: what are those little extra peely bits on top of one's nails called? The ones that look kind like an extra layer of skin? And how do I get rid of and/or prevent them?

raised amongst catalogs

@area@twitter You mean at the bottom? Like, where there are parts of the cuticle that you can push down and others that just stick there? I think Sally Hansen makes a cuticle removing product that dissolves that stuff.

wee_ramekin

@area@twitter Oh man. That's rough.

I hope the 'Pin posts something about Obama's gun control proposals SOON so we can discuss them like mature adults without our eyes bleeding out of their sockets.

area@twitter

@raised amongst catalogs Not really cuticle, I don't think? It's like a very thin top layer of the nail- keratin, not skin. And when I try to chip at it with an orange stick, it doesn't want to go, so I'm left with this weird whitish border.

raised amongst catalogs

@area@twitter In that case, I am out of my depth and plead ignorance.

area@twitter

@raised amongst catalogs That's okay- thanks for the suggestion!

@wee_ramekin Good God, yes. I posted a couple of public health studies that were shouted down, at which point I said "hope y'all enjoy having your heads up your asses, I'm out" and hid the thread. Of course, this is the same thread where someone opened by saying "(area's friend), don't be a cunt". I should have cut my losses right there. (And then reached through the Internet and given him the throttling he so richly deserved.)

area@twitter

@wee_ramekin (I should note that the friend being called names is a guy, which makes it very, very slightly less horrifying? Enough that I did not lose my shit and rip the original poster apart, which I would not have been able to keep myself from doing otherwise.)

Hot Doom

@area@twitter I think I know what part you're talking about...is it usually towards the cuticle, but raises above a little bit on the nail and can get a bit snaggy and it's almost like a cross between a papery cuticle and a thin layer of nail? That's what I have anyway, and I get rid of it by poking it back with a cuticle stick and then use those little cuticle clippers to cut it away.

Judith Slutler

@area@twitter I know what you mean! I get rid of it by buffing my nails.

area@twitter

@Hot Doom Yes, I think that's it! The ones I have are near the cuticle, but longer and thinner than what I think of as normal cuticles. I'll try that, thanks!

Hot Doom

@Emmanuelle Cunt, @area@twitter, Yes, buffing helps too! I use the four-sided buffing block that has the smoothing side, which works really well.

inglenook with a book

@area@twitter It's part of your cuticle! This blog post explains it well: http://loodieloodieloodie.blogspot.com/2010/11/are-you-cutter.html

sandwiches

@area@twitter hey, so did I! And then I attempted to bow out, but a friend of mine specifically requested that I respond to her comments, even though they were completely ridiculous/nonsensical. Le sigh. I toast you with a saltine and join you in your blood-pressure-lowering fantasy shopping.

PaperbackLady

For LW2: That happens to me a lot. I'm 28 but can look much younger depending on what I'm wearing. Oh, I also teaching Freshman College English so I'm often teaching either much older non-traditional students or kids who think I'm barely older than they are. And, in some cases, I am. I find I always wear my glasses, dress uber professionally, and am just kind of 'authoritative'. You sound really confident in what you do, which is great! People will pick up on that and respond in kind. If they don't, that's really their problem. I had a couple interviews where they basically said I looked too young, which is stupid. I wouldn't want to work in such a close-minded department anyway.

iceberg

Yep, I should have done something with the almost 3 feet of hair I accidentally grew during/after pregnancy, but instead I made my husband hack it off about halfway up, and now it's not even curly any more. *sob* In my defense it needed to go quickly, as we kept finding 2-3 feet of hair wound around baby necks and fingers, and one horrifying time having to pull one 2-foot long hair out of a baby's arse.

RubeksCube

@iceberg I swear (and not to be creepy or anything), but the more of your comments I read, the more I want to sit at your feet and let you tell me pregnancy/baby/child stories full of horror and wonder.

iceberg

@RubeksCube come closer child, for i will tell you such tales as will have you sewing your uterus shut for all eternity.

No, but then one day they come running full pelt at you with arms open wide saying "Hud! Hud!" and hug you with their whole bodies, and it is great.

hallelujah

@iceberg I read one thing about "hair tourniquets" when I was pregnant, & now I am hyper-vigilant about hairs-on-baby-appendages. I also caved to the new-mom hair chop D:, but that was definitely more about vomit.

formergr

@hallelujah Oh man, the Google Images that come up for that are not pretty! I had no idea this was a thing!

RubeksCube

@hallelujah D: D: D:
@formergr I had no idea this was a thing either!!

FulanaDeTallcan

@iceberg My partner has super long curly thick Troy Polamalu hair, and I randomly asked him "Isn't it terrible when you're in the shower and one of your hairs falls down gets in your butt and you have to pull it out forever?" His reply: "Yeah, I guess. But the really bad thing is when it gets wound around the head of my dick. You know, like under the foreskin and you don't know it's there for a while until it starts to choke the life out your wang?" GAHHHH he ruined dicks for me for like a week.

Judith Slutler

@FulanaDeTallcan WHATTTTTTT

iceberg

@FulanaDeTallcan D:

whateverlolawants

@FulanaDeTallcan Oh my god. My boyfriend used to have his hair like that. I will probably not ask him if he had that problem.

LeafySeaDragon

@hallelujah my new mom hair chop was due to the first time hormone related hair loss (uggghhhhhhh) and the second time a baby who was OBSESSED with yanking the hairs at the base of my neck. and no matter how often people say it and it gets ignored: new moms should get haircuts. just leave it alone. hormonal hair decisions are the worst.

Jinxie

@FulanaDeTallcan Ack! Though, not having a penis myself, I'd say his story is less horrible than finding someone else's hair on your person/embedded into your clothing/in your underpants areas. (Thank you, long, dark-haired roommates for shedding everywhere, copiously.)

celeec4@twitter

@Jinxie (totally guilty of being the long, dark-haird roommmate who sheds hair everywhere, whoops)

Munay Pillpa

#2. I had the same problem - just finished grad school and people routinely assume I'm 5-7 years younger than I really am. Whenever I wore a suit, I looked like a child playing at dress-up. I finally went to the Theory outlet to buy something that would fit properly and look grown-up. The salesman asked me all of these questions about buttons and cuts, etc, and overwhelmed, I panicked and said, "I just want people to take me seriously!" Done and done. He picked out something that is both adult and modern. My boyfriend didn't even recognize me when he saw me (which is slightly troublesome, but...).

Anyways, short answer: Ask the storepeople whose job is to help you!

vunder

My friend was just telling me a creepy story about people on craigslist who will not only buy your hair but pay for the privilege of cutting it.

iceberg

@vunder I would NEVER let anyone I met on craiglist come near me with sharp objects, that is just straight up asking to be murdered.

raised amongst catalogs

@iceberg I have the same rule, but it also includes blunt objects. Can't be too careful.

SarahDances

@vunder When I was looking at maybe selling my hair a few years ago, the website I used had several women who were not only selling feet of hair, but shaving their heads and selling the video. I always found that idea so profoundly creepy, but good on them for monetizing it, I guess?

Elsajeni

@vunder I had an acquaintance, as a teenager, who had A Thing about cutting hair. My boyfriend had her give him a haircut once and she made him clear it with me first, on the principle that, even if he didn't think they were doing anything sexy, she did. (Which was very thoughtful of her, really.)

CaitlinWood

Crystal Gayle! I remember reading she's Loretta Lynn's sister and for some reason found that genuinely shocking.

Jinxie

@CaitlinWood No way - she is?? I'd never heard that!

Jane Marie

@CaitlinWood "and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless" OMGGGGGG

Jinxie

@Jinxie Though given the music she sings, and looking at some photos that turned up in a google image search, I guess it's really not at all surprising.

CaitlinWood

@Jane Marie wow! country music dynasty.

PaperbackLady

oo! oo! I picked up my first tube of Retin-A while on a crusie in Cozumel! They sell everything over the counter there. I also got acne med in Belize for $10. Here it would have been $140.

hands_down

Clarisonic question: I have good skin and rarely have breakouts. On the other hand, I am an old and probably should begin some kind of skin maintenance before my husband leaves me. So, would Clarisonic be a good thing for me? Is it meant for anyone to use?

ironhoneybee

@hands_down I'm also an old, and I love mine! But I don't think it in any way contributes to me not looking like an old. I just love exfoliating, is all. I also stopped washing my face with any "cleansers" in the 80s (so old!) and have only used exfoliating scrubby stuff since then. I usually just use mine with a couple drops of oil on it. I've never had particularly good or bad skin, but I'm 42+ and I don't really have any visible wrinkles, so maybe it does work....

To that end, letter writer #2! Congratulations. What is annoying now pans out nicely in your future. Signed, 90s version of you.

nealbledsoe

@hands_down I bought a clarisonic a couple years ago (the full size, professional one, bc I am a chump), for the same "feel like I should start some type of skincare regimen" reason. I like it but am not obsessed with it, and sometimes don't use it at all because it adds another step (mascara removal, not trying to clarisonic my eyes) to my nightly routine and I am LAZY.

Mingus_Thurber

@hands_down I am also An Old (43), no wrinkles, very few breakouts---*since I started using my beloved Clarisonic*. I use the delicate head, since even the "sensitive" one will take off layers of my skin.

For scrubbing off makeup, of which I wear a fucking whore-ton, I use MyChelle Dermaceuticals "Fruit Fiesta" cleanser, or that Simple stuff you can get at Kroger, or just plain old unscented Dove. I use the C-Sonic on my eyes, with the delicate head, because it doesn't irritate my skin.

My skin feels a lot less papery and those itty bitty bumps under the surface are gone now. You'll pry my Clarisonic from my cold, dead etc.

parallel-lines

@hands_down I like mine for when my skin is misbehaving but I don't really use it as much as I used to when I first bought it. I'm 35 and my skin seems to be getting drier, so I've been oil cleansing lately and noticed that seems to help more than the clarisonic. I still whip it out now and then and use it on my chest and arms.

hands_down

@hands_down thanks ladies, that was very helpful!

highjump

I will defend the Naked 2 palate all.day.long. So good for every occasion. I use it for work, I used it for New Years. Like I actually get excited about opening mine every morning and being like "What should I put on my face today?! These are all high quality shades and none of them are off limits for my job but they are still exciting enough to wear out to drinks!" Not a dud in there. It is like finding the perfect little black dress in 10 subtly different shades.

whereismyrobot

@highjump Have you gotten the mini Naked pallette? I have the Naked and Naked 2, and I like them both, but like the original a bit more.

highjump

@whereismyrobot Well the mini is all matte shades which is not as compelling to me. My best friend has both Naked palettes and I used to use them all the time but definitely favored 2 over 1. She was he one who finally gifted me my own.

bitzyboozer

@whereismyrobot I have the original and I love it. I keep thinking about getting Naked 2, but I just can't see myself wearing it as much. The bronzey/neutral shades look way too similar to the ones in the first set, and I rarely wear gray/silver or black shadow.

love and other indoor sports

@highjump I imagine you saying that whole paragraph every morning in the bathroom and can't stop laughing.

supernintendochalmers

@highjump I got Naked2 for Christmas and looooove it. I think I've used every color on it either as shadow or liner and it's so flattering and versatile.

sheistolerable

I was thinking about donating my hair after growing it out for wedding, but I was so sketched out by many of the organizations I found through Google (including Locks of Love) that I decided not to let them get their mitts on my DNA. Locks of Love even says on their website that they don't acknowledge donations! And then when I went to get it cut, the hairdresser snipped off the whole lot at once and kept it . . . So I'm pretty sure she sold it. So LW1, you do you.

vunder

@sheistolerable wait wait, Locks of Love acknowledges donations if you check the box or something. I got a postcard after donating. THE POST CARD HAS A REALLY CREEPY PICTURE. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6172/6196836356_6b6f0c4afa_z.jpg

dj pomegranate

@vunder Whoaaaa that picture was not focus grouped. It does not make me want to donate my locks!

sydwi

I'm 31 and I FINALLY get asked what college I attend. I looked 16 from ages 13-28, so I'm pretty excited to have graduated.

Which is to say, I totally get you, LW2! I love Disney and Modcloth and anthropologie, but I had to severely curtail all of those things in public for most of my 20s. I took to dressing like Emma Pillsbury on Glee (lots of colors, but sweaters and pencil skirts and whimsical jewelry was my uniform for two years) to both look older and train myself into carrying myself a little more maturely, too. Feel it and it will come? I mean, it got me into looking college age, at least. I wear a lot of anthro now, and can even wear the occasional women's cut Disney top out of my house and retain some maturity in the public's eye.

And when we legitimately and naturally look twenty years younger in our fifties, it'll all be worth it. (I hope.)

bocadelperro

@sydwi hey I'm in a similar situation, and I also used Emma Pilsbury as a clothing model (and Kate Middleton, but ymmv). You pretty much said everything I want to say.

The only other advice I have to LW2 is:
if you absolutely need to look your age or older, pull your hair back tightly and wear a blazer. When I was doing my Ph.D. research and had to convince a bunch of old arisocrats to let me root around in their family papers, I wore a blazer and a tight bun every day. I don't know if that's why they let me do it, but they let me do it.

anachronistique

@bocadelperro When I was in grad school one of our professors looked extremely young for her age and was also very petite and fine-featured, and she always wore her hair up and tended towards suits. And almost never wore color, either.

bocadelperro

@anachronistique Yeah that's pretty much me at work, except replace "professor" with "postdoc", and I do actually wear color.

mxel

@sydwi Good point on carrying oneself more maturely. I was (and still am) a young newly graduated healthcare professional. Aside from being knowledgeable in the field and confident in my ability, two things help immensely in not being perceived as a teenager: I lower the pitch of my voice a little, and do not say "like" when talking. Ever.

Mingus_Thurber

@mxel Also, never EVER end your sentences with "okay." As in, "I'm going to take your pulse now, okay?"

That will not only drive your patients crazy, it makes you seem like the situation is eating your head.

xoxo, a young-looking but old and grumpy RN

fabel

Am skipping to the bottom to tell LW1 that yes, you totally should sell your hair! I know this sounds heartless to the children who may need it, but I have this leftover need to encourage hair selling due to this one time a few years ago when I was dating a guy who had very, very long, VERY gorgeous hair & he enlisted me to help him find a buyer, because he was looking to get a haircut. And I took all these photos so he could post them to some hair selling website.

ANYWAY. I think he wound up just donating it, so you should sell yours in order to balance the universe. (Although, if it were me, I wouldn't even cut it at all. My only wedding fantasy is that I have mermaid hair)

Hot Doom

@fabel I'm so glad I'm not the only one who, not only has a mermaid hair fantasy, but aspirational wedding mermaid hair. I love you guys.

TheRisottoRacket

Just FYI the newer benefit highlighter is AMAZING and my best friend is always complimenting how nice it makes my complexion look.

Amphora

@TheRisottoRacket Yes! I use it instead of blush because blush makes me look like a drunk.

Punk-assBookJockey

@TheRisottoRacket Aparently a trial size of it is the 2013 sephora birthday gift, along with a trial size of their newest mascara.

AllisonWonderland

LW4: I think you should call your doctor's office and ask them this question. The answer may depend on what kind of Retin-A you were prescribed (the gel or the cream, and I think there may be different strengths available, too?) and what condition your skin is in. Retin-A can be really harsh on your skin.

StandardTuber

Ok, I have about $200 at Zappos to spend, someone want to tell me what to get?

StandardTuber

@ironhoneybee Whoa that was fast :)

iceberg

@Mabissa these!!! http://www.zappos.com/guess-ureekal-dark-red-texture

bocadelperro

Do any of you 'pinners have a favorite body scrub/polish? I'm currently using Burts Bees Shea Butter and Honey, on the back of my arms, but I'm not totally into it. Any suggestions?

Mingus_Thurber

@bocadelperro Gurl, you just go drop $1.98 on a Salux cloth and your problems will be solved. You can get 'em on Amazon for a little more, or at an Asian grocery/H-Mart type place if you have one of those nearby. They are the best thing ever.

bocadelperro

@Mingus_Thurber I actually live down the road from Mitsuwa (aka Japanese walmart) and they are ALWAYS SOLD OUT OF THESE!! Now I know why!

whereismyrobot

@bocadelperro If you get it on Amazon, make sure to get an actual Salux, sometimes they send knock offs, which are not the same.

Mingus_Thurber

@bocadelperro I no longer have little bumps on my thighs or the backs of my legs, and my skin is so smooth and soft that even massage therapists comment on it. I'll never be without a Salux again.

chevyvan

@bocadelperro Those cloths are nice...but I can kinda over do it sometimes. You have to be super gentle.

I use the salt scrub from Sabon (the lemony-scented one) b/c the oils soften your skin and it smells AMAZEBALLS. It costs like $30, though. It's a major guilty splurge for me. But it's better than the standard Bath&BodyWorks scrub b/c it doesn't turn your tub until a slippery hazard area.

bocadelperro

@chevyvan yeah I used to use the Origins gloom away sugar scrub, but I stopped because it got hit by the beauty product shrink ray. I always liked it because it was pasty rather than greasy. Is the sabon one similar?

RubeksCube

@bocadelperro I use the Lush Ocean Spray for my face and neck once a week. It is infused with vodka. No joke. It's expensive, but it doesn't take much, so it lasts a while.

Nicole Cliffe

Oh, I used to be ADDICTED to that stuff. It's amazing.

bocadelperro

@whereismyrobot thanks for the warning. I usually buy everything on Amazon, but I'll definitely hold out until I see one at Mitsuwa, where I can get the real thing.

@chevyvan that creamy scrub looks like it's up my alley. I've bookmarked that page for future reference. Thanks!

@everyone else aah you guys are awesome! Thanks for all the recommendations!

NeverOddOrEven

@bocadelperro
I've never bought a scrub, so I guess I can't compare, but why not just go the olive oil/brown sugar route? Works a dream for me.

A. Louise

@bocadelperro my mom gave me the Burts Bees sugar scrub for Christmas and I'm in the same boat - too sweet, too oily. Last time I used it I used gobs of it just to try and use it up faster.

I like Bath and Body Works' Orange Ginger Aromatherapy scrub as a replacement for Gloom Away (I love that stuff too!) - almost the same gritty paste texture, and a similar citrus but not sweet scent. And it goes on sale / retailmenot's into my budget.

bocadelperro

@NeverOddOrEven is that fairly pasty? I'm not normally a "make your own beauty products" kind of girl--I prefer my beauty products ready made and in minimalist European packaging. However, I could definitely be convinced to make a scrub if it was the proper texture.

@A. Louise I'll look into that one, thanks! (Gloom Away really is the best stuff, but I am SO PISSED that they don't make the giant tubes of it any more)

NeverOddOrEven

@bocadelperro
That's part of the beauty of it; you can adjust to your preferences.
Use whatever oil you like the smell/feel/price of, throw in whatever abrasive you like, adjust ratio to consistency desired.
There's a ton of different kinds of sugar you can use, or salt, or I'm sure corn meal would work for people with tougher skin.

()
()

@bocadelperro

Sugar, olive oil, and shea butter. Probably keep it in the fridge.

bocadelperro

@NeverOddOrEven that's a very good point! I'll have to look up some recipes and experiment.

KeLynn

@bocadelperro Is this for keratosis pilaris? IME scrubs don't do much, but a lotion like AmLactin does.

TARDIStime

@Mingus_Thurber I used to have those little bumpies on my arms! I bought a pair of exfoliating gloves and a bar of Figs and Leaves from Lush and I'm never, ever looking back.

bocadelperro

@KeLynn those little red pore bumps? Nah, just general scaliness on my elbows and extending upwards. That's good information, though. I will pass it along to my BFF who DOES have those little red bumps.

Lola Cherie

@bocadelperro @bocadelperro Gotta chime in. There's a company called Lather that makes my favorite favorite scrub ever. It's called Foaming Bamboo Lemongrass Body Scrub. It foams up and makes your skin SUPAH soft. Kinda pricey but lasts a while. And smells so good! Totally worth it.

bocadelperro

@Lola Cherie Thanks! I may try that one too!

HeyThatsMyBike

@bocadelperro I learned about the Salux from this site and it has transformed the KP (little red bumps) on my arms. I got mine on Amazon. The seller "Emma's Cosmetics" (or something involving an Emma) sells the legit ones for under $5 - and free shipping with Prime!

Hot Doom

@bocadelperro I loovve the Lush Sea Salt scrub. When I got it in the shop, they also slathered on the lemon body balm ( I don't remember the name of the cream) but it is like pure butter and the combo of the salt plus lemon is divine.

Also, I love me those scrubby glove things, but that's just me.

Slapfight

@Mingus_Thurber Salux is Japanese for crazy soft skin. Ok, it's not at all, but it should be.

whateverlolawants

@HeyThatsMyBike I think that's the user who I bought my Salux from. I was just very careful to check on the seller to make sure I got the real Japanese one. I really like mine!

HeyThatsMyBike

@whateverlolawants Yeah, people have been good about calling out the sellers who send the fake ones in the reviews. But here are two data points saying the Emma's somethingorother is a reliable seller!

whereismyrobot

I think I am the only person in the world who is disappointed with my Clarisonic purchase.

StandardTuber

@whereismyrobot What happen'd?

TheBelleWitch

@whereismyrobot Maybe not! Well, I didn't purchase one, it was given to me as a Christmas gift. I don't get it at all.

whereismyrobot

@Mabissa Nothing, that's the problem. :) I noticed absolutely no difference. From reading the reviews, you would think my skin would be transformed.

Slapfight

@whereismyrobot I had one. Didn't love it either.

chevyvan

FWIW, my derm told me to apply Cerave lotion (you can get it at the drug store) and then apply the retin-A on top.

lynzillla

@chevyvan mine said the same thing! thats what i do too :)

charlesbois

Just chiming in to plug the Olay knockoff of the clairsonic. I looooove it and it was made my usually hideous winter skin look fab. Plus it's only about $35. It does have a small brush so it's best just for face and neck. And I never store mine in the shower because I hear they can get really moldy in there

bocadelperro

@charlesbois ooh that thing + cetaphil in the shower and my skin has cleared up like you wouldn't believe

raised amongst catalogs

@bocadelperro AHHH, really?! I swear I get my best skincare tips from the comments on this site.

bocadelperro

@raised amongst catalogs I have really dry sensitive skin and tiny pores. This gets all the dry skin out of my pores without irritating my skin, so I have almost no blackheads anymore.

I do this in the morning, and hot cloth washing (http://thehairpin.com/2012/11/are-you-sure-you-know-how-to-wash-your-face) with cetaphil in the evening. My skin has never looked better. I've almost stopped wearing foundation!

raised amongst catalogs

@bocadelperro Thank you! Oh, and do you use the gentle formula then? I am also dry, sensitive and an "older lady" (35).

bocadelperro

@raised amongst catalogs I just ran and checked the bottle ("working" from home today) it says "Cetaphil
Gentle Skin Cleanser
FOR ALL SKIN TYPES
Mild, non-irritating formula
Softens as it cleans"
I buy the twin packs of 20 oz pump bottles from costco.

I am 30, and prone to patches of eczema, and since I started this routine (in August) it's been totally off my face and neck.

cinnamonskin

@raised amongst catalogs we are of an age! Cetaphil and Dermalogica exfoliant. I have no idea how the Dermalogica stays dry in the shower - maybe it is witchcraft? - but I love a good combo of fancy and cheap.

See also: Nivea and Kiehls, Pantene and Davines, Popeyes and Makers.

paper bag princess

LW2, I feel you. I am 27 and I look young. Recently I helped a friend move, and her brother (who is exactly the same age as me) thought I was one of her high school students helping out for extra credit. :/

Anyway, I second what some other people upthread have already said: find something cool and grownup to do with your hair, and wear a little makeup. Especially for job interviews, put on your boring-est banker suits until you have the job and can relax a bit.

One more tip: make sure everything fits you well! Rolled up cuffs/overlarge shoulders/gaping buttons all contribute to the impression of a little kid playing dressup. Take a little extra time and/or money to get your stuff tailored and I think that'll go a long way.

Or, move to San Francisco, where everyone wears ModCloth-y stuff. :)

koala

A friend of mine recently sold her hair on a hair-selling site (can't remember the name, sorry). For the most part it was legit, and she got decent offers, but one person offered something hundreds of dollars higher than the others. But then part of the deal he wanted was for her to send him a bunch of pictures of herself with different kinds of bizarre haircuts. She considered it but was creeped out and took one of the lower, normal offers. So you can sell online, but watch out for creepers!

whateverlolawants

@koala What kind of outfits?

I'm a baby faced 26 year old law student. When I was a teacher, this was kind of a problem, but here is what I do:

Find a makeup routine that works for you and --this is important-- looks age appropriate for your actual age. No sparkly sparkle wet-n-wild teenager shit, but also don't go to the Chanel counter with the 60 year old woman and do exactly what she did to your face. Because the Chanel lady typically deals with older women and you will come out of there with matte everything, no bronzer, and weird eyeshadow colors and... you won't have 20-something makeup. Bobbi Brown counters are your friend. Seriously, Bobbi Brown. Explain to the nice person working there that you are 23, in a master's program, and you need some help not looking like a 12 year old. I promise, it will be good.

Figure out the hair thing. Long and natural and no products and kind of frizzy tends to make you look young. You can keep your long hair, but figure out how to wear it. Or cut it short, dye it a nice color, and rock on with your bad self.

You like colorful stuff? Jewel tones.
Hate heels? Find a flat with a pointed toe.
A good pair of jeans that are flattering, find one.

ModCloth... say no. No more ModCloth.

nocomment

@S. Elizabeth That's exactly what I did with my baby-faced friend before she started her post-MBA job. I took her to the Bobbi Brown counter and they taught her what to do. Bobbi Brown is great for looking like yourself, but better.

Pound of Salt

@S. Elizabeth No more ModCloth.

@fatgirlinohio Bobbi is awesome. The bronze shimmer brick = the most lovely highlighter I've ever used.

Susanna

I used to be a moderator on an internet forum for people who had long hair or wanted to grow their hair long, and MAN the problems with had with fetishists...

Fetishists who wanted to jizz in women's braids while they were asleep.
Fetishists who wanted to forcibly cut the long hair of men and women (ever seen a haircut video with lots of YouTube views? It's porn)
Fetishists who were into the idea of women being humiliated by having their heads shaved...

Some of those hair auctions are for fetishists, hence more money if you provide a video. I mean, no harm done to you, and you're in control, but that's what's behind some of the prices.

LeafySeaDragon

@Susanna back way back when i was 15 or 16 i had hair to my mid thighs and wore it in two braids. one day i was hanging out with my neighbor (about the same age a me, i can't really recall but it starts YOUNG apparently) and he out of the blue made some really disgusting comments about how he put up with me because talking made a girls tongue soft (UGH) and how he wanted to tie me to his bed by my hair. :/ it was def a contributing factor to cutting my hair off into a bob shortly after. i'm 32 now and my hair has never gotten past my shoulders since. not just because of that, but all the other reasons that make super long hair a PITA.

Amphora

Our Lady of Intermittent Sorrows sounds about as much fun as Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility

The Lady of Shalott

@Amphora As a kid I really did go to Our Lady of Sorrows and my godfather used to constantly joke "There's a reason they call it Sorrows."

Bitca?

This post is so relevant to me. (Me! It's all about me!) I am 29 and routinely mistaken for 16 and I am pretty sure it has absolutely nothing to do with my clothing or hair choices. I did the whole professional wardrobe and look overhaul when I graduated from college. What gets really strange is when people that know me, or know exactly how many secondary and/or professional degrees I have obtained, just block out what they know my age must be based on how old they think I look. It is apparently easier to believe that I was (am?) a child prodigy than that I am maybe slightly older than I look (or a decade, but who is counting?). This isn't really advice, LW 2, just a bit of a rant. As for advice, the best thing I have managed to do is bring it up occasionally to disabuse people of ridiculous ideas and to have a good joke ready to deflect it. On the other hand, I always did want to be a child prodigy, so maybe this is some sort of cruel wish fulfillment.

And to continue my rant, people get so judge-y about long hair. I have cut off many feet of hair over the years (sometimes in a bid to look older) and the first question asked is always about Locks of Love, making sure that I donated it. What the hell? I get the appeal of the whole kids with cancer thing, but as everyone said upthread, that is pretty misleading and, more importantly, nobody else's business but mine. I did end up donating my hair, mostly because I didn't feel like investigating the sale option and whole point of cutting it off was to get it away from me, so it was a lot easier to leave with the salon and let them do whatever they liked, whether that was charitable or commercial. I think cutting off long hair is a lot like getting a pet and Locks for Love is the shelter option. If you don't go with the shelter option, bystanders interrogate you and make all sorts of ridiculous judgments. Ugh.

Sorry, obviously I have some Issues and Feelings and Thoughts when it comes to these topics.

And LW3, I am envious of that gift card burning a hole in your pocket. I would be buying so many lipsticks right now. In all the frivolous colors.

filthyunicorn

@Nicole Cliffe I have tried all of the hair removals and my enthusiastic vote is actually for IPL (I am pale with dark hair). It is fantastic if you can find it in your area. Second best is electrolysis IMO, laser hair removal can stimulate hair growth in previously unhairy places (don't say I didn't warn you).

The Dilettantista

RE: Question number 3, the Naked2 palette is the greatest thing ever, for daily looks I never use anything else. Easiest best eyeshadow ever ever ever.

nolite_te_bastardes

I am 30 and short and young-looking, and I could be wearing the most matronly thing ever and I still get guessed at 18 years old. There is nothing I can do about it. Also, I teach high school, so doubly uncool. I seriously hear it every goddamn day.

KeLynn

On the subject of retinols: all the packages say to be sure to wear sunscreen because they make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. I DO wear sunscreen, but I also do it because I actively try to keep the sun from wrinkling me up. Do retinols make you more prone to wrinkling from the sun? If so, wouldn't they really only work to un-wrinkle you in a sunless vacuum?

supernintendochalmers

@KeLynn This is like a mind puzzle or something. I'd imagine sunburn = aging skin damage, but then Retin-A reverses the damage soooo wait I'm confused again

Hot Doom

@KeLynn I think because it encourages cell turnover and makes skin particularly delicate after its been applied, exposure to the sun can make the skin burn more easily, rather than wrinkle (though maybe it does that too? Good god, man!). In a way, when I have been overdoing it with the retin-a, it feels almost like a minor sunburn, so I treat it as such until my skin feels less sensitive in a day or two after application.

IStoleTheTarts

@KeLynn Esthetician here! Retinols will initially make you more photo-sensitive, so yes sun protection is very important. However, over time, as your skin acclimates to the retinol it will actually help build up your skin's natural barrier. Retinols won't make you more prone to wrinkling. They increase skin cell turnover and help promote collagen growth. You do have to work up to using them slowly.

As for sun protectant . . . look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical sun blockers (not chemical) that will actually reflect UV rays without building up heat/redness in your skin. I like using a mineral powder with these ingredients as it tends to last longer than a cream that you rub in to your skin. You can also layer your mineral powder over an SPF moisturizer. Hope this helps!

May
May

Uh, NO, don't destroy your hair and wear boring ass clothes when people think you look like a teenager at work. I'm 29, and people at work constantly make incredibly rude comments about how young I look.

News flash: discrimination against young women is DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN. Young men don't have to put up with this crap. So: if you really need to get more respect at work, throw around some power poses and kick ass by doing your job well and being knowledgable in your field. But don't stop being you, and don't stop dressing like you. Instead, when someone is being a mindless chauvinist idiot at work, gently point out that it's a form of sexual harassment and is completely unacceptable. Then smile and make a joke, so they leave feeling bad about themselves but good about you. Misogynist scum.

May
May

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sceps yarx

@May um, yes, thank you. Just because young women don't have testosterone-based face changes doesn't mean we are not adults with full independence and agency! I AM NOT A CHILD I AM A SHORT WOMAN. Who wears patterned tights. Personally, I find it helps to wear classic red lipstick with everything, because it's a symbol of adult womanhood.

@May I honestly think it's more about professionalism. If your workplace is saying "hey, wearing crazy tights isn't okay here, it looks immature," I don't think that's sexual harassment.

Onymous

@S. Elizabeth On the other hand, we're the adults now, we can change "professional" to mean mixing plaids with polka dots if we want to.

@Onymous I think that's something to take up with HR, but that doesn't really fly in most workplaces. I mean, walk to the beat of your own drum and fight that fight if you see it being important, but most people still work for The Man and need to conform a little bit to not get fired.

Onymous

@S. Elizabeth We're the adults now, we can be HR.

Lu2
Lu2

Has anyone used the Anastasia Brow-Enhancing Serum (Advanced)? It's supposed to encourage hair growth, but I can't imagine that it really works, unless it's got something like the ingredient in that weird Latisse stuff that's for eyelashes and (speaking of Crystal Gayle)can turn your blue eyes brown.
http://www.sephora.com/brow-enhancing-serum-advanced-P302628?skuId=1394709#ooid=BtY3VoNTqQoa83uboadA4oQFLsHM64nt
not helpful really

themegnapkin

@Lu2 I don't know about Anastasia Brow-Enhancing Serum, but one of my old roommies used to swear by using Rogaine on her eyebrows. She had overplucked, and said that it made them grow back.

Lu2
Lu2

@themegnapkin Thank you. I've read the serum reviews online (they range from terrible to pretty good), and I think my issue would be that my eyebrow sparseness is not from plucking or waxing, it's just what I was born with. So it's not a matter of encouraging anything to grow back in or reactivating the follicles... I feel like, if Anastasia is going to make some sort of cosmeceutical claim like eyebrow growth, they need to be more specific about what they're claiming will happen: recovery from over-plucking, or lusher brows where none ever existed?

I think I need to return that stuff. It wasn't cheap!

LeafySeaDragon

@Lu2 my eyebrows are clearish ash brown (fairly nonexistant) and i used to dye them. but i've gotten really good and filling them in with eyeshadow. HUGE difference. i've tried all sorts of different ways to do it (youtube! <3)

LMac

Real quick Clarisonic question, cause I'm afeared. I have very dry, pale skin which seldom breaks out. I actually don't wash my face at night (I know) cause it breaks when I do. But the dryness is starting to bum me out - and I moisturize like a mofo. Will a Clarisonic bring all the evil to the surface, or will it make my skin less desert-like? Anyone with a similar face have an idea??

cinnamonskin

@LMac I hope someone answers this, because I am having some sea-breeze-pads flashbacks with the Clairsonic idea. Though my sonic toothbrush is the JAM.

Mingus_Thurber

@LMac My sister's skin is like yours! She loves her Clarisonic, with the delicate brush-head (again with the delicate head). She said the first time she used it, even without any cleanser, her skin seemed less papery and weird and dry (she's 50). You might break out a little more as you're getting used to it, but it cleans so well!

Have you tried First Aid Beauty stuff on your face? It's expensive--$18 for a bottle of cleanser--but damn if it's not the best thing for dry skin ever. It's gentle enough for people who are going through radiation and chemo, but it's thorough enough to get all the crap out of your pores.

Lu2
Lu2

@LMac I think it will be good. Sometimes what appears to be just a dryness issue is actually dryness plus a need for exfoliation. If you get the useless old cells off the surface of your skin, your moisturizer can penetrate better. One question, though--did you leave out a word in the phrase "cause it breaks when I do"? If your skin breaks, not breaks out, when you wash it, that seems like a serious prob. I hope that's not what you meant!

The Clarisonic brush. could be a pretty expensive experiment for you, though. Perhaps you could first try some gentle exfoliating scrub or some sort of gentle "peel pad" application before investing in that.

ciphressinchief

@LMac The Oil Cleansing Method makes my dry skin sooo soft. Google it. My boyfriend has been known to compare my face to a) his Nana's and b) gnocchi dough, two things which apparently to him are the epitome of softness.

rf
rf

@LMac I feel like I should post this higher, but I have incredibly dry skin and decently bad eczema and the Clarisonic with the sensitive head made me break out in red, itchy raised welts all over my face and neck 10 days after I started using it, which then caused some random combination that brought about the worst eczema outbreak of my life (stress?). $50 co-pay to confirm I didn't have scabies and $15 rx steroids and the skin has cleared up but I'm still so goddamn itchy.

cinnamonskin

Jane! I love you, and shaking my fist at myself for the off-topic. But...the intro to Calypso the other day. Do you know how much I love that store now? SO MUCH that I cannot contemplate Sephora.

But oh, the $20 dresses and pink wedges (that were $20 but are now $75?) ...this means I can wear a bag over my face-skin.

(And who buys those dresses at $400 regular price? Carmela Soprano?)

Jane Marie

@cinnamonskin i KNOW. and i don't know. i don't know who shops there enough at the regular price to keep it open as a business. mysteries!

cinnamonskin

@Jane Marie the physical store equivalent in San Francisco: Ambiance on Haight. Ladies be fightin' for the sale racks. I lived around the corner from there and it was A Problem.

In New Orleans, we have Trashy Diva, but it's really best for the, er, hourglass among us.

I only get paid once every three months, but that is the day I read the backlog of your bargain columns and hope against hope the sales are still there. AND THIS TIME THEY WERE CALYPSO I <3 U

Pound of Salt

Does anyone else find the word "petite" a little precious? Can't we just say "small?" (except for ironic/sarcastic purposes?)

Lu2
Lu2

@Pound of Salt I feel the same way about "tiny" as a self-descriptor. It seems pretty extreme a thing to say and bordering on humble-bragging in our "smaller is better" world of women's body-judging. Unless you're literally Thumbelina sized, "tiny" is rather an overstatement. I guess everyone's mileage varies on these questions, though!

Pound of Salt

@Lu2 I agree about YMMV - people all have different associations with words. For me petite is one of those gendered ones that gets under my skin.

@Lu2 Yes, this. "OH hehehehe I'm so tiny!" No, you're a humblebragger.

Lu2
Lu2

@Pound of Salt I hear you. Like "girlfriends," meaning "friend." No, why do women have to have a special kind of friend?

Pound of Salt

@Lu2 Ha I wish guys referred to each other as their boyfriends!

Also yeah for some reason tiny doesn't bother me. Weird how we each make connections to words!

Lu2
Lu2

@Pound of Salt That would be cute! And it sure beats "buddies." Ugh, can't stand that usage, for some reason. Maybe because of the kind of guys I associate with it.

Hellcat

@S. Elizabeth "Tiny" bugs me too, whether someone is saying it about herself or about me or about anyone who is not a little child or a very small pet. My sister uses it often and it gets under my skin; when she refers to me as such (I am 5'4"), I feel like a mutant and when she describes herself with that word, I wonder if she knows what it means. She's 5'9" for cryin' out loud!

@Hellcat How is a 5'9" person "tiny?" That is just irritating. She is 7 inches taller than I am, and *I* am not tiny.

Hellcat

@S. Elizabeth Oy, I don't even know... but I have my theories, one being that she's got some self-esteem issues and fell prey long ago to the whole "smaller/skinnier is better" thing.

She sometimes goes the other way and lets me know in no uncertain terms that "most guys" prefer ladies with more meat on their bones, which can come across as pretty bitchy from my end (and since when do you know what "most" men do anyway, lady?). The thing is, she's neither overweight nor underweight--if she felt like it, she could lose a few pounds without having to buy new clothes, but could also not and look just fine, as usual (I hope that made sense; it was by no means meant to sound judgy or insulting to her... or anyone).

All I know is 5'9" is not "tiny" (ew) and why would you even want to play it down like that? That height is lovely!

@Hellcat So strange. I really hate it when people are all "men like meat blah blah blah!" I'm sorry, but really? Thanks for telling someone that they are fat in a socially acceptable way, instead of that nasty dirty way. You are stellar.

Hellcat

@S. Elizabeth She was actually calling me scrawny/boy-bodied in a socially acceptable way but, yeah. She goes from "I am hideous!" (untrue) to "I am superior to these other girls!" (untrue in some cases, but rude to say in almost all) in a hot second! Kind of the earmarks of insecurity, I guess, so I try to be patient--especially because if I think too hard about it, I feel more sad than annoyed.She's pretty and funny...but not seeming that way when she says shit like this.

However, back in the Buffy years (which actually never stopped at my house), she proclaimed that she's The Dawn--younger sister who out-talled the older one in her preteen teen years. (And I wonder if those would still be relevant Halloween getups?)

@Hellcat Oh dear. And The Dawn thing.... oh boy. Dawn was annoying.

Minx

@Pound of Salt That would be a "bro," I believe.

Lu2
Lu2

@S. Elizabeth I've mentioned my association with the word "tiny" (same as yours) to people who've used it, and it appeared that that was not their intent, because they have different associations with it than we do. That's the way we hear it, though!

LeafySeaDragon

i think it was hairpin that suggested taking fishoil for my hair/skin. i'm a week in - but no negative side effects so far! no happy ones either, except maybe my lips seem less dry.

makeup seems to be considered good grooming. i think it's a large contributing factor to all of the age mishaps.

babs

Coming down here to say that YSL's Touche Eclat is THE BEST highlighter for yer face. Use it on the inner corners of your eyes, on your lids, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid's bow. This plus tinted moisturizer, a little cream blush, and a touch of mascara = people think you don't wear makeup, but you look soooo goooood.

Ashley Rush@facebook

So, does anyone have any experience using Retin-A (I used Micro) and using the Clairisonic? I've been wanting to get one forever, but am scared it will make my skin raw or something using it with the Retin-A! I also have mild rosacea.. so there's that.

IStoleTheTarts

LW4 - Esthetician here! A good rule of thumb for applying any skin care product is thinnest to thickest . . . start with serums/spot treatments/Retin-A/etc, and then apply heavier creams. Thinner products won't absorb as well if there is a barrier in the way.

Minx

Too-young-looking people unite! I blame television and movies for our dilemma. It seems that a majority of the actors and actresses playing teenagers are actually in their twenties. Now the world can't tell the difference between teenagers and baby-faced adults. And no, people of the world, it is NEVER a compliment to say that someone looks like a teenager. When people are middle-aged, it's a compliment to say they look younger than they are, but nobody past teenage years wants to resemble a teenager.

For what it's worth, I tend to get told more often that I look like a teenager when I do the following:

Wear jeans and a T-shirt
Wear janky sneakers
Wear no make-up
Wear clothing that isn't fitted very well (and yes, fitted-ness may require tailoring)
Put no effort into my hair (i.e. no products, no blow drying, maybe thrown in a ponytail)

Now, I do all of these things fairly often anyway because frankly it's not always worth it depending on what you're doing that day. But I avoid them if I feel that looking my age is worth the effort for the occasion in question. Also, on the hair thing, I really don't do much to my hair even on grown-up days. Most of the time I don't use any products or anything, and I have it at shoulder-length. Usually, just blow-drying it with the aid of a round brush does the trick. Ask your hairdresser for tips if you're having trouble with blow-drying. I was blow-drying badly for ages before I finally found out from my hairdresser how to do it in a more flattering, less frizzy way.

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Most of the time I don't use any products or anything, and I have it at shoulder-length. Usually, just blow-drying it with the aid of a round brush does the trick.
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I have cut off many feet of hair over the years (sometimes in a bid to look older) and the first question asked is always about Locks of Love, making sure that I donated it.
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One thing I wish I'd known while growing my hair out is that split ends really reduce the length of hair that can be usefully... ummm... harvested? Anyway, don't be disappointed if they tell you that like a fourth of your hair can't be used.
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I should post this higher, but I have incredibly dry skin and decently bad eczema and the Clarisonic with the sensitive head made me break out in red, itchy raised welts all over my face and neck 10 days after I started using it.
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Most of the time I don't use any products or anything, and I have it at shoulder-length. Usually, just blow-drying it with the aid of a round brush does the trick.
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