by: Samantha Irby
AND POOR AS FUCK. Last summer I wrote a brilliantly hilarious, yet totally useful and informative, beauty post meant to help you beautiful girls survive these slimy dog days of summer. It is nearly impossible to look like a clean, crisp slice of gorgeous when the air outside is like boiled mucous. M”agazines try to fool you with cute trick words like “dewy” and “glowing,” but we know there is nothing more infuriating than having your entire face slide off and land in a pile of gelatinous goo at your feet the minute you step outside to go to work. AT SEVEN IN THE MORNING. I have never “glistened” a day in my wretched goddamned life. I have looked “sweaty” and “gooey” and “sticky” and “disgusting as fuck,” but never have I ever been standing on the corner waiting for the bus in the middle of August looking “summery” or “fresh.”
So I gathered all my little potions and creams, lined them up on the edge of my sink and wrote an exhaustive description worthy of a beauty feature in Vogue (okay, a tear-off checklist in US Weekly). And you know what I got for my troubles? A bunch of angry-ass bitches tweeting @me that $12 is too much for a bar of french soap! DAMN HOOKER, I DIDN’T KNOW. Well, now I fucking do. And now that I am $3500 in debt to the loan shark who paid for my teeth, fancy french soaps are off my fucking list. So, here is my summer beauty post: drugstore edition. For broke bitches like us. Buy that shit, ho!
1. Nothing makes me feel more healthy and beautiful than walking into a motherfucking Whole Foods. All of that fresh bok choy and kale just smells so vital and alive! Who cares that I zip right past it while making a beeline toward those dark chocolate salted caramels? They come from Whole Foods = IT’S GOOD FOR YOU. Also, the Whole Foods hot bar is what real love feels like when you are single and tragic. Not kidding. Whole Foods is how sad people get to feel like they’re having a lovingly homecooked meal every once in a goddamned while. Don’t believe me? Stop by on a Thursday night, around 6:30 – 7:00. All those tables are filled, friend. There’s your annoying cousin, yelling into her cell phone while eating nine pounds of salad. Over by the window is your old high school history teacher, scowling at an outdated issue of the New Yorker and muttering into his soup. And here’s my ass, stalking some dude on Facebook while regretting the blackened fish to seasonal vegetable ratio on my plate. (When soccer moms are impatiently watching me, I pretend to like cabbage.)
I have never been a big fan of pointless, unsweetened liquids. But we need them to live. 365 electrolyte enhanced water is a fancy way of saying “cheaper than smartwater, ho!” And that’s what I buy to keep my hydration game up. I also drink a lot of Vita Coco, even though that shit tastes like drinking water out of a dirty glass or something. I also loves me some Kiss My Face products, and that olive and aloe hand cream makes jerking a hot dude off a breeze.
2. I have a cold right now, which means I am the opposite of beautiful. Talk about adding insult to fucking injury. Sneezing makes my teeth rattle inside my skull and the shit dripping out of my recently-excavated face holes looks like death goo. I got some airborne tablets because Vitamin C blah blah blah, but they taste like concentrated sunshine. Seriously, so tart. The chick at Walgreen’s recommended these Robitussin nasal relief pills; another fail. Here is what works: Sudafed 12-hour cold. And I know, it’s a pain to stand in the pharmacy line with all of those crazy diseased people, but it’s worth it.
3. Revlon is giving me fever, lately. Somebody must have finally told mass-market makeup manufacturers that bitches are a tired of spending all their rent money at MAC and b still trying to look like drag queens. So up stepped the game. I am obsessed with bright orange cheeks (TRY IT, DON’T BE SCARED) and they have fed my addiction with this new photoready cream blush in coral reef. The texture isn’t all gross and won’t melt in the sun like typical cream blush, plus it costs eight fucking dollars. So just shut up and get it already. They also have these lip balm pencils that are totally not at all incredibly similar to clinique chubby sticks that are also a major jam. I’m into nudes lately, so I bought a nude one and an orange one. The technical name is Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, but that’s fruity. So instead I call them knockoff chubs, cuz that’s gangsta. If you still like some heavy lip action even in the heat, their regular lipsticks are okay. Not amazing, but okay. That orange one is called “siren” and makes me feel like a hooker. Which is why I bought that shit.
4. Now listen, jerks. Let me level with you: I cannot live without a handful of luxury items. I just can’t do it. Nothing makes me feel more special than frivolously wasting money I should be using to pay my electric bill on some useless cosmetic I will probably never take out of the package. So deal with it. Smashbox primer is made from angel tears and unicorn hair, and it doesn’t feel so unjustifiably extravagant when you buy it in trial size. But you need it. Especially because it will make your skin look good enough that you don’t need foundation, because BITCH IT’S HOT. Benefit brow-zing is amazing because I am too fucking lazy to go get my eyebrows waxed and nobody can tell. Perfume is expensive and makes my eyes water, so I wear oils. Kiehl’s Musk Oil is a #1 pantydropper. I wear that, mixed with some other oils, and dudes literally bark at me on the street. Woof.
5. Psst, here’s another secret: I have an itchy scalp. Cry me a river, I know. I can’t give advice to white women about hair. Staring at the hair products section in Target or Ulta makes me hyperventilate. HOW DO YOU HOES DECIDE? Seriously, how does a woman with bone straight brown hair decide which shampoo to use? Is it packaging? Scent? Whatever your friends use? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. I narrow my haircare product shopping down to two key factors: ”public head scratching is vile” and “these curls can’t look dusty as fuck.” So, based on that, I use some form of Head and Shoulders dandruff control (see? I told you I was sexy!) and a leave-in curl definining moisturizing spiral gel cream hydrating oil rinse balm spray. Gah, shit for curly hair is always called something ridiculous that gives you no fucking idea how well it will work. What the fuck is a “hair smoothie?” Is it going to make my head a greasy pouf or a nest of adorable ringlets? YOU ARE NOT HELPING ME, PANTENE. Lately I’m using Paul Mitchell conditioner to tame this dusty slave hair which, despite it’s pretentious name, you can get at drugstores in Chicago.
6. My house is an Aveeno house, obviously. My absolute jams: Smart Essentials nighttime moisture infusion, positively radiant daily mositurizer SPF 30 (yes, black people, EVEN YOU), daily moisturizing body lotion and daily moisturizing body wash. I’m not a stickler for brand loyalty, but this cheap shit works. And yes, I only started using them a couple months ago for the sole purpose of writing this post and as soon as I’m done I’m going back to my Creme de corps and Purity Made Simple. I really like bar soap, especially when it’s hot out, because fussing around with body washes and scrubby poufs is really a winter activity. I like to just wash what stinks and go before I faint in a hot shower or freeze half to death in a cold one. So most days I use Kiss My Face olive soap. And same goes for all that bedtime face washing: who can be bothered? I keep those Ponds face cleansing wipes by the bed and, if I’m not too hammered, drag one across my face before passing the fuck out. I don’t shave my armpits, so I use dove deodorant, because it conditions my armpit hair. Real talk.
7. I should’ve written all this stuff down, because even though I am squinting at this picture I can’t see shit. For reals, I don’t even know what some of that garbage is. And I’m getting tired. Here’s what I think is left:
- Nail polish: L’oreal in Hyde Park, Revlon gel in velvet rope and jungle?, and two Essie polishes I cannot for the life of me remember the names of. Ooh, and a bottle of Seche Vite, which is the GREATEST QUICK DRY TOPCOAT ON EARTH. Seriously. Even in the heat! And I use straight up acetone from Target to take that shit off.
- Face things: Benefit benetints, because if I don’t do anything else, I will put on some cheeks. MAC Studiofix is my face jam. I can’t buy base at Walgreen’s and, unless your skin is exactly that of taupe pantyhose with no undertones whatsoever, NEITHER CAN YOU. I don’t wear mascara or eyeshadow, but I will put a little Vaseline on my eyelids at night. Trust me, just try it.
- Mouth: There are some lipsticks there but I don’t have a clue what that shit is. Is that a L’Oreal gloss? Maybe. Probably? My mouth guard/false teeth business is in that blue case, though. And that is probably the only accessory I really need. Except I hate wearing it. But OMG LOOK AT MY ORANGE CHEEKS.
Note: This post was originally featured on the author’s blog, Bitches Gotta Eat, and was republished with permission. You can find the original here.
Samantha Irby is a writer and performer who mostly makes jokes about hot dudes, diarrhea, kittens, and magical tacos on the internet at bitchesgottaeat.com. Seriously. Go read it. In addition to co-hosting The Sunday Night Sex Show, a sex-positive live lit show, she has performed at Essay Fiesta, Write Club, This Much is True, Grown Folks Stories, The Paper Machete, and Story Club, among others. She opened for Baratunde Thurston during his “How to Be Black” tour. She has been profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times as well as in Time Out Chicago, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus and Jezebel. Samantha and partner Ian Belknap write a comedy advice blog at irbyandian.com.