Getting Some Grays? WHAT TO DOOOO?! (Cue Unnecessary Despair)

I have a confession that I once swore to take to my grave – I have some gray hair. I got my first gray hair when I was 16. I started dying my grays when I was 24. I’m 25 now, and it bums me out. I did come up with a pretty cool solution, though, and I’d like to share it if you’re interested.

If you are just like FUCK YEAH I HAVE GRAY HAIR then good for you. I’m not one of you, but it takes all kinds.

Dying your hair can be pretty shitty for its long-term health. Temporary dye, though? Not so bad. “But I’d have to dye it so often!” you cry. Well, newsflash. If you don’t want anyone to notice you have gray hair, you’ll have to dye it all the time anyway unless your hair magically never grows. Or you get a wig. Or you put it up in a bun and wear hats. Or you wear hijab and don’t care if your close family and female friends know you have gray hair. You get what I’m saying.

I love my hair color so I didn’t want to dye it all away. I also didn’t want to try to approximate my hair color, because it would probably be wrong and also that’s boring. So I bought a box of black (good staying power and looks cool) 28-wash hair color and used my fingers to cover up all the areas that have gray hair – mostly around my temples, and a little near the crown and in my bangs. I pulled the hair dye all the way down the hair even though the gray is only right at the top, because to do otherwise would look ridiculous. I put a couple other randomly-placed black streaks in so that it wouldn’t be so obvious what I’d done. Then I waited 15 minutes, washed it out… conditioned it… waited for it to dry… and voila. I look fucking cool and not like I’m aging at a terrifyingly rapid clip.

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See the black streaks mixed with my natural color? Subtle but cool.

This is really easy and I managed to go about a month and a half/two months without having to dye it again (probably because I dyed it black and that has super staying power). Also I stopped pulling out my gray hairs because then they grow back and they’re all short and stick straight out and are hard to dye.

Even if you’re horrible at home beauty, this is super easy. Try it if you want. Or rock that gray hair/hat/headscarf/wig/hands-covering your-head-at-all-times. Your choice! Choice is beautiful!

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Surprising Anti-Aging Tips

I am always on the hunt for good anti-aging advice and so much of it is the same – oh wow, sunscreen helps prevent aging? Sleep is good? You don’t say. But every now and then I come across a piece of actual good advice I’ve never heard before, so I figured I’d share these gems with you all. Even if you don’t care about your appearance, many of these tips will help simply keep your body healthy and high-functioning as you get older.

1) Wear plenty of sunscreen inside on a rainy day. I know I said sunscreen was a basic, and I wear it every day, rain or shine. That said, until recently I didn’t put on my sunscreen until I was getting ready to go outside (10-15 minutes before, to give it time to work) but I recently read that it’s important to wear sunscreen even if you’re not stepping foot outside all day long. Even if it’s winter. Even if it’s raining. Those aging rays are still penetrating your windows and affecting your skin. If you’re like “oh hey, what about Vitamin D?” here’s my thought on it – you know those 60-year-old hippies with weathered faces and limber yoga bodies? If you want to look like that (and no shade if you do, it’s totally cool) then get your Vitamin D from the sun. If you do not want to look like that, get your Vitamin D from your food and from supplements.

2) Put on your sunglasses when walking to the mailbox to get your mail. That’s right, wear your sunglasses all the time. Not only will they prevent crow’s feet and wrinkles around the eye area, they’ll protect your actual eyeballs from the sun so you don’t damage your vision as much when you get older. Also make sure you wear your sunglasses (and sunscreen) if you’re on a plane during the day – the sun’s rays are even stronger up there. Ditto for if you’re skiing or snowboarding – the sun reflects off the snow and can damage your eyes. Good thing sunglasses look cool as fuck, huh?

3) Don’t brush your teeth for 20 minutes after eating. Don’t brush your teeth right away! You might think you’re helping, but brushing right after eating (especially something acidic) is the worst thing you can do because it attacks your teeth when your enamel is compromised. You’re better off drinking water and/or chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes and then brushing your teeth. (Same for after you throw up, if you are ever so unlucky).

4) Don’t drink from a straw or water bottle all day long. This one surprised me – a dermatologist in an article I read (where? I don’t remember) said she cringes when she sees women drinking from water bottles all day long. It’s great to stay hydrated, but she says it’s better to sip  water from a glass at home and get a water bottle with a spray-top so you can squirt it in your mouth while on the go. This also preserves your lipstick! And makes you look like you’re running a marathon :(. If you’re pursing your lips all day long, you’ll get lines around them like smokers get.

5) Don’t use too many harsh anti-agers before you need them. Dermatologists are a bit divided on this, but in general it seems you shouldn’t use retinol products very often until you actually need them, because they can thin your skin and make it more susceptible to damage. And definitely if you are going to use these products, load the fuck up on that sunscreen.

6) Get buff. LIFT WEIGHTS. Women who say they’re afraid of getting too bulky drive me CRAZY. I will beat the shit out of you if you talk like that in front of me. It is IMPOSSIBLE because you do not have the testosterone to bulk up. You are not going to look like a body builder unless you work really fucking hard to do exactly that. And if you’re afraid of looking strong because you want to look skinny and dainty, get out of here. Want to break a hip when you’re 65? Don’t lift weights. Weight training is good for your bones and studies show people with arthritis who lifted weights and pushed themselves physically when they were younger have greater range of motion and ability to actually use their bodies when they get older. Lift weights or crumble, ladies. 

7) Limit (or eliminate) animal proteins. There’s a reason you’re hearing a lot about quinoa, Meatless Mondays, and Vegan before 6. This one’s a little complicated to explain here because it goes against a lot of what we’ve been taught (but let me just remind you that much of what you know is because the vast majority of health educational materials delivered to elementary school students are produced by the dairy industry, and there are many powerful lobbies for the dairy/beef/poultry industries but there’s no broccoli lobby). There’s a lot of conflicting opinions on what humans should be eating, so you’ll have to do your own reading and make up your own mind, but the data really convinced me and I stopped eating animal products five years ago. If you want to know more, check out the book The China Study – you can read some of it for free on Google Books here. I was an inveterate meat-eater so when I read that book five years ago, you bet I was surprised. But I don’t want cancer or heart disease and now I’m more hopeful I won’t get them.

8) Value getting older. Societies with the most centenarians tend to be ones that value old people and look up to them as wise, knowledgeable, and important pillars of society, whereas American culture is often sickeningly youth-driven. I can’t think of a single 19-year-old who is cooler than Helen Mirren, so I feel pretty positively about getting older, and I’m convinced that will help me reach 100 (or pass it, I hope). I do remember where I learned this one – http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_buettner_how_to_live_to_be_100.html

Obviously if you’re tanning, smoking, and eating three square meals of Cheetos a day, these tips won’t help much. But if you’re already living a healthy life and looking for an extra edge, hopefully you learned something! It’s not just about the way you look. It’s about quality of life. “Life fast, die young” may be a fun slogan to excuse a lack of consideration towards your older years but unless you commit suicide you’re more likely to “Live fast, die slowly for decades with limited mobility and a great deal of pain.” You’re welcome.

I Wrote a Mission Statement for My Life

It’s super dorky, so be warned. Anyone who writes a mission statement for their life clearly takes themselves too seriously but it just came to me and so I wrote it down. I retain every right to be embarrassed of it later and claim I never wrote such a thing. But right now I think it’s beautiful so here goes.

I want to draw a picture of a life. A style of life. A life that is beautiful, adventurous, worldly, historical. Lived outdoors in the splendor of nature and in spaces that reflect the majesty humankind is capable of. A life that is free and wild, and kind, and crazy, a life that reads books and smells perfume and cares about those who walked this earth before. A testament to innovation with a soul, an exploration of the human instinct to tempt the impossible and to make our days lovely as a work of art. A life lived in books and trees and fabulous clothes, a life lived by individuals who are unafraid to be themselves and to make the most of our tiny, short, huge, immeasurable existence.

What do you think? I figure I’d also post some photos that I’ve reblogged on Tumblr recently that represent this feeling to me.

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New Makeup Haul

I got a bunch of new makeup! Want to hear what I think about it? I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t!

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NYX eye primer – does the job.

Maybelline blush – it’s blush, you know. It works.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm – I was really hoping for a pigmented balm (that’s what you’d expect from the name, right?) but it really doesn’t look any different than Chapstick on your lips. That said, I naturally have pink lips so if you have pale lips you’ll probably see a bigger difference. And once my 4-year-old brother drew on his face with it I could see that it is indeed pigmented.

L’Oreal lipstick (in Target Red) – love it! Good basic red lipstick, not too dry and fairly good staying power.

NYX blue liquid eyeliner – This stuff is the shit. Why didn’t I own this earlier???

L’Oreal concealer crayon – love it. Great creamy texture and good coverage. So nice.

Revlon powder – good stuff but doesn’t come with a puff, just a brush. I prefer a puff for powder, personally.

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Revlon ColorStay Whipped Foundation – I love this shit. I wear it in the winter because it’s super moisturizing but it also blends in well. I like it a lot.

L’Oreal Liquid Eyeliner – good stuff and it reminded me an important lesson I had forgotten – LIQUID EYELINER SHOULD HAVE A BRUSH TIP. FELT TIP SUCKS DICK.

Arbonne mascara – it’s good! Fairly basic – it’s not going to look like you have falsies on but I also haven’t really seen it rubbing off on my eyelids, which makes me happy. Also if you want to look like you’re wearing false lashes you should probably wear false lashes.

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HHere’s me wearing new makeup! You can see that the balm is pretty sheer.

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Blue winged eyeliner is now my jam.

Well there it is, I hope you all have learned from my cosmetic exploits.

Who do I think I am, Florida? (a.k.a. New Nails)

Got a fill at Nail Citi in Lawrence, Kansas – I’m here visiting my family! But never taking time off of looking fierce. What would my dad’s cats think?

Also my parents haven’t made a single crack about my nails, which I found surprising. Usually my family comes in the “function over form” variety. But they’ve probably just accepted by now that I’m a weirdo. I moved to LA and bought giant gold hoops, nothing I do now will be surprising.

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I decided I wanted red, orange, and pink on my nails because fuck this 30 degree weather.

Fight the man forever, love you, stay crazy.

Never Buy a Body Scrub Again!

Big Bath and Beauty has been trying to con you out of your money with products you can eeeeasily make at home in like 60 seconds. Don’t let The Man win. Make your own body scrub for the bath and shower.

Step One) You have a pretty jar left over from some other product, right? Here’s mine:

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Step Two) Fill it with equal parts coconut oil and sugar. Just spoon some coconut oil in there – no need to melt it first – and then some sugar. Stick it in your shower where it will stay warm and easy to just mix around with your finger and then apply to your body. It will exfoliate, moisturize, and cost you mere pennies.

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Stick it to the man.

 

 

How can I be a confident feminist who also loves beauty and fashion?

I am a feminist. I fundamentally like myself. I love makeup. I love my hair. What gives?

I used to feel some sort of conflict between loving traditionally feminine things and feeling a desire to adorn and enjoy my appearance with being a feminist (which everyone should be) and loving myself for who I am. So how can I be a confident feminist who also loves beauty and fashion?

1) Feminism is about choice. I should be able to wear all the makeup I want, and I should never have to wear makeup if I don’t want to. I shouldn’t be fired because not wearing makeup is “unprofessional” and I shouldn’t be denigrated for loving red lipstick and outrageous eyelashes. Men should be able to wear makeup. Sometimes I hear people point to cultural norms such as a bias against men wearing makeup or skirts as proof that there’s sexism on both sides and feminism is outdated, but this only proves that anti-woman sentiment is ingrained in our culture and feminism is as needed as ever. Men aren’t supposed to wear skirts or makeup or be stay-at-home parents because these are seen as traditionally female activities, and traditionally male activities and attributes and more valued in our culture than traditionally female activities and characteristics.

2) Human beings love beauty. Show me someone who doesn’t love a beautiful sunset, a great song, or a lovely scent and I’ll show you someone in the throes of a deep depression (which I have been in the past, no judgies here) or who is dead. People love beauty. We see it in other people, in landscapes, in animals, in art, in nebulas and stars and galaxies, in cells under a microscope. Beauty is everywhere and we fucking love it. It’s an important and enjoyable part of the human experience. So why wouldn’t we want to touch and see and smell beautiful things on ourselves? I love the feel of my curly hair, the look of my red lipstick, touching my glossy nails, smelling my coconut perfume.

3) I do what I like and I don’t listen to anyone. I don’t hate anything about my appearance. Nothing. I’m 5’6″ and a size 10, really pale, and I’ll never get a Brazilian. I don’t like my body because it’s perfect according to cultural beauty standards, I like my body because it’s a human body. It’s fascinatingly complex, helps me experience the world, and constantly surprises me. I did nothing to deserve being born, I fucking lucked into it. So I’m not into beauty and fashion because I want to disguise features that I hate or conform to a cultural beauty standard. Wear shoes your boyfriend doesn’t like, get a tattoo your mom hates, play football. Whatever.

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When I was three I asked my mom to take my picture because I felt pretty that day.

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Love ya.

Nails NAils NAILS

Nails. Hard skin-type stuff on the end of your fingers, or a ferocious symbol that says “Fuck you, I’m a woman” from the moment you wake up? Shit, you’re even a fierce-ass bitch in your sleep.

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See? That’s from Tumblr, by somebody or other. You know how Tumblr is.

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I finally convinced a friend to get acrylics with me and, as you can see, we look cool.

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Here I am right afterwards in a photo I sent to my mom because I knew she would hate that I got fake nails so I figured I  might as well fess up immediately.

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And here I am a few minutes ago, about a week after getting them put on. I swear to God, I will be buried with these nails. I don’t understand how I went 24 years without them. Have I been a fraud this whole time, languishing in a pit of un-glamorousness? I know the truth now – I am a lady with fabulous nails and I will pay $16 every two weeks to keep up this integral part of my soul.