I did a face mask post a little while back on a request, and while this is not on a request, I wanted to write it, so I am writing it. wow much story so detail what is wrong with me donate button over there for contributing to my face
I am, uh… not great when it comes to traditionally feminine things. I’m significantly more comfortable in pants, my hair styling can be described as “I wash it,” and bright colors terrify me. For a while, I was also grossly convinced that my lack of interest in “girly” stuff made me somehow superior. That is, thank God, no longer the truth, but I kind of swung back in the other direction too hard, and had NO idea how to do any makeup and was too scared to try, even though I wanted to, and this was true through like, most of law school? And several years ago? I maybe would put on some powder with a crappy brush I got at CVS 6 years ago and had never washed and OOOOH BREAK OUT THE BIG GUNS with mascara. My makeup style could be described as *John Mulaney voice* “you know when you’re 12 and you’re like ‘no one look at me or I’ll kill myself!'”
Enter Sephora. I re-purchased some non-matched, non-tested powder foundation and got samples and earned a reward or something and was like “oooh this is kinda nice I see why people do it” and I tried, y’all, I really did. I figured out a primer that works for me and that I still use, and I bought a perfume, and that was apparently enough effort for like another 3 years.
Then I started working, as a lawyer, and was like “oh no they’re all put together” about other female lawyers, and this was the final push for me to at least look like I tried to do something about my appearance. Is it annoying? Yep! Is it kinda bullshit that I’ve seen older male attorneys stroll up unshaven with a messy tie and sneakers on and no one cares but if I don’t do a winged eyeliner I’m the one who looks like a slob? Yep! Do I do a winged eyeliner? Nope! I am still scared of that!
While part of me resents having to care about my appearance to Make It in the Professional World, a larger part of me is shrugging and/or kind of interested in how makeup can do stuff to your face. I’m still very much into the “natural looking” makeup style (see above: don’t look at me) but I don’t hate my routine, I feel more confident with it, and there is a somewhat indulgent soothing aspect to the ritual of putting on your stuff in the morning. Me Time. I also got a little bit into skin care stuff, and that’s been fun and even more indulgent because there’s no presentation aspect to the skin care stuff and I get to be in PJs for it.
ANYWAY, HERE’S MY STUFF
Is all of this probably (almost definitely) capitalist bullshit specifically aimed at women propped up with vaguely scientific garbage and replacing self-care that requires hard work with self-care that requires spending money? Yes. Do I do it anyway? Absolutely. Leave me and my placebo potions in peace, please. Peace-cebos.
Idk I took some selfies before and after these bad boys and it’s been a visible improvement and to be fair? I’ve spent money on wayyy dumber things. I once bought a shirt that required I wear a strapless bra with it. I own a madeleine pan. I bought a stocking for my dog. (to be fair that last one is hella cute)
HERE WE GO
Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Been using this for like 4 or 5 years and it is GR8. My skin is an enormous jerk and will be like “I’M SO THIRSTY THAT I AM FLAKING” and then if I try to put a moisturizer on it it’ll be like “OH MY GOD, MOM, YOU’RE SMOTHERING ME, CAN I *LIVE*” and I’m then just greasy and angry. Not the case with this bad boy. My skin is apparently combination skin, which means it sucks in all the ways just on different spots of my face, and this gel (not the lotion, because God forbid my jerk faceskin will be grateful to me for even a goddamn second) addresses both of those concerns. Perfect for summer and still enough for winter.
Kiehl’s’s’s’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
(no I don’t say the possessive form of this brand name out loud ever why do you ask)
This one, and Nordstrom. Is it possessive? Is it not? I am convinced that all the cool people say it one way and I cannot possibly get it right. In the same way that a USB drive only has two options and yet I manage to do both of them wrong, thus is Nordstrom’s’s’s’s.
This one was a purchase made on the recommendations of several lovely women, and I’ve been using it like 7 weeks now, and boy howdy is it worth it. I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle, which makes me feel better for calmly peeling off two Jacksons, an Abe, and a Wash for it, and ahhhh my skin looks SO MUCH BETTER. It’s an oil, which terrified me, but it absorbs quick, smells great, has reduced my breakouts, has made my skin look hydrated, and idk, I’m glowing as much as I think I’m ever gonna glow. This stuff has a cult status and I am buying the introductory package and the bumper sticker because I’m here to stay. Plus the bottle looks like a little potion dropper and yo dawg we heard you like aesthetics so we put some aesthetics in your esthetician so you can look good while you look good
philosophy’s Purity Made Simple
Cleanser. Have used this for 5 years. Will probably request to be buried with it. This is a ride or die for me. It takes off makeup, it takes off oil, it takes off sweat (washing my face with this stuff after a long run is like… do you remember seeing snow falling out your window when you were a kid on a snow day? It feels like that), it takes away my worries, it takes away my pains sorry what. It’s good stuff.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light
I didn’t understand primer for a while. Why would I need to prime my face. I am not a Transformer. Laugh at my joke.
Then I started trying one, and it did the opposite of the thing I wanted and broke me out worse and I was sad. And then I tried this bad boy on a whim of “I’m not gonna make any more effort but if my skin could look less creme-brulee-ish by the end of the day that’d be cool” and it WORKED. This is the light version of a very popular primer and I love it and it is great. Feels good, doesn’t break me out, additional makeup says on it, and I’ve gone out with just this on and while I’m not pretty I’m definitely not gross, if you follow. I also realize that this was not their intention when they named it, but “Photo Finish” makes me feel like a pretty pretty racehorse who is Killin’ It. I’m fine, stop looking at me like that. *tosses mane*
This is the one in my bag right now, but I may have had a different one before, and whatever, let’s call it “drugstore version of that Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz” because it is a pencil and a spooly and it is cheap.
I do my brows, now. This practice of mine is not even a toddler yet, and I’m sure I’m screwing it up, but I feel slightly more put together when I do them. And by “do them” I mean brush the hairs and then add more hairs with the pencil. There’s a good chance no one even notices, but I am Framing the Face and Looking Put Together and Doing It For Myself idk idk I’m just tryna not look like hot garbage.
Maybelline??? Eyeliner in Dark Brown
Black eyeliner scares me. I marginally line my eyes and then I get nervous and probably wipe it off and oh GOD, this is the part of my routine about which I am the least confident PLEASE BE NICE TO ME.
Sephora Collection Lash Fantashtic
I’m kidding about the name or am I. This is the first mascara I’ve purchased in a long time, because I was living off of samples forever, and (quietly) couldn’t tell the difference that often? But this guy is good and doesn’t flake which is important because I inevitably rub my eyes like a little forest creature and then hate myself. I also love this because you can purchase a mini size, which is a regular size for me, because okay, how are y’all using all this mascara. How. Is there another part of my body I am supposed to be mascara-ing because how do you ever use up a tube HOW.
Sephora Gel Serum Concealer
This bad boy is the newest member of Sad Lady Makeup Collection, and can stay forever. I lucked out with the color choice since I ordered it online, but this stuff is good – light enough that it’s not like “um you have some cookie dough on your face” but thick enough that it’s not like “oh how cute you put some stuff around the zit to make it more noticeable.” I also use it for undereye circles and puffiness, because this is a thing I care about now. I’m tryna fix my eye situation and I stg if you suggest “why don’t you just get more sleep” I will pay a screech owl to hang out at your house at night.
Clinique’s Almost Powder
This goes on over that primer. It is a pressed powder, don’t let the name fool you. It is apparently part of their “almost makeup” line, which I don’t totally understand as a marketing tool, but screw it, this stuff is good. It has SPF, and while I wouldn’t count on it for a full beach day, it is legit for my commute and stuff. It still looks like my face, but it dulls the crappiness of oil or pigmentation or acne or just like, my face, that I sometimes don’t like, y’know? This was out of stock everywhere for like a month because they were redoing the packaging and I flllllllipped out because NO I had finally found something that worked!!! Don’t you take that away from me!!! You don’t remove the net as soon as I get up the courage to jump!!!! or something!!!! but everything is fine and they are still making it and I got a fancy brush that I sometimes clean so I can apply it to my face. I legitimately thought for a while that those little white circle-y things were the be-all end-all of application. Why don’t they teach you this stuff I hate womanhood
I don’t know how to put stuff on my mouth. My go-to is Jack Black’s lip balm (which is seriously fantastic and like 7 dollars and lasts forever and just, yes, go get some, it is marketed to men but screw that noise) but it is clear and has no real aesthetic qualities. I always feel like a tiny child playing dress-up when I wear any kind of lip stuff so I just don’t. God. This started off happy and then just tanked. MOVING ON. Get this stuff it has lasted after a brief dip into the ocean it has SPF it will protect your lips and water your crops and pay your student loans.
This list/me are both a work in progress, we thank you for your patience during construction.