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hide your skincare, hug your friends
Alternative title: be nosy and loving.
Most people, when met with the judicious opportunity to freely albeit secretly snoop through another person’s bathroom, decide to open the medicine cabinet and inspect every prescription and drug on the shelf. I tend to snoop through and investigate people’s skincare array.
I believe, not dissimilar to medication, that people’s skincare picks and habits are indicative of who they are as a person, much more so than we’d care to presume.
I won’t bother you with my own personal opinions of each skincare brand, because we all like what we like, and #ourfaceourchoice, but I will say this: if they use brands like Cerave, Glossier, and/or Clinique, they can hang. And I’m not even being a snobby asshole (even though I tend to be.)
Cerave users (besides that ever-loved Renewing SA Cleanser, that Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 is an absolute keeper) are people that actually give a shit about the condition of their skin and what they put on their face, but wouldn’t flippantly resort to hundred-dollar eye creams and toners just because Gwyneth Paltrow said so (this is not a statement of disdain towards Gwyneth Paltrow—she is the mother I never had, she is the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don't know a better person.)
Glossier babes (an inclusive term) are my typa babes, if we are being frank. They have taste, they probably pop their pussy to vintage and current Miley on the weekly, and they know how to dress. They procrastinate to the last minute but that’s perfectly okay. They have a cart full of clothes at Aritzia or Zara but won’t check out because splurges are scary. The thing to notice is whether someone uses Glossier stuff from both skincare and makeup sections. You can call me a superficial [negative label], but whenever I see someone with Glossier makeup and skincare on their bathroom counter, my respect and admiration level towards them goes up +10. What’s in my personal Glossier arsenal you ask? Boy Brow (Brown), Stretch Concealer (G7), Perfecting Skin Tint (G6), Priming Moisturizer Balance, Cleanser Concentrate, and Priming Moisturizer RICH.
Folks who use anything Clinique are superb tier folks. This is not only opinion, but, too, fact. I of course am biased, because I have been a religious user of their Liquid Facial Soap for years. These are the kind of people you want to go on a trip with: they’re always down, and down for everything at that; when it comes to a drink, they’re gonna have it; they know how to order food at restaurants; and they will give you a blanket as you pass out uber-inebriated on the sofa as opposed to just leaving you for dead in the dry, icy tundra that is the living room at night.
Anyway, yeah. Stalk everyone’s skincare regimen: best friends, family, your first date. You may be surprised about what you learn. Also, I promise to stop talking in TikTok-audio.
I tend to think that voice-of-our-generation Katy Perry may have been onto something when she begged the question: “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” It’s so overlooked because no one takes Katy Perry seriously, but sometimes you have to stop singing the song and start reading the lyrics. (Don’t do this to Lana Del Rey’s discography, though, because then you may start getting intrusive thoughts a la me whenever Change [who am I to sympathize when no one gave a damn?] and/or Fucked My Way Up to The Top [life is worse than I confess] comes on shuffle.)
Per Perry’s advice, I, the plastic bag in this scenario, started again by spending more time with my friends I don’t spend nearly enough time with. Two Saturdays ago, I made the trek from the farmland that is my college town to San Francisco, which is decidedly my new favourite city in the world (sorry, New York City), to see a friend I hadn’t seen since pre-p*ndemic. We jumped from one cocktail bar to another, taking shots and talking shit, openly receiving and dumping our most recently garnered trauma from the past two years. In between spicy mezcal cocktails and oolong-infused rum at The Treasury, over French Onion Dip and Brussels Sprouts at Macondray, we told stories, confessed secrets, and caught up to the current chapter of one another’s lives.
And then a week later a group of girlfriends and I went to Napa in celebration of a friend’s birthday. Again, we drank, we danced, we laughed. We drank peach mimosas and ate Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets. We went thrifting was accused of shoplifting a bracelet. We were turned away at a rooftop bar and resorted to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant with the sauciest enchiladas in the region, which was a-hundred-percent a better time than if we had gone into said bar.
On Sunday night, on the tail end of aforementioned impromptu staycation at a friend’s house in California Wine Country, I partook in some greenery (
I am a self-proclaimed non-smoker slash alcohol exclusivist, but when in Napa, right? Is that what they say? No?) and walked out onto the field behind my friend’s house and took a deep breath ( in the middle of life-ending coughs, of course—I never smoke weed, I told you!) and looked up at the sky. It’s hard to put into words, and I’d really rather not sound like a baby smoker, but I felt so fucking inconsequential at that very moment. The stars were shining. Vast and bright and big and canopied the night sky with glitz. It occurred to me right then how insignificant my life was.
And no, such thought, as much as one would assume of me (and reasonably so), didn’t engender nihilistic, fatalistic sentiments that walk the lines of “my life is so insignificant, fuck it all, I’m giving up and living under a bridge and ask passersby riddles.” Nothing like that.
Instead, magically, somehow, I was inundated with unusual dispositions of hope and prospect that linger the lines of “I am but a particle of fragmentary matter in this stunningly, strikingly limitless world, galaxy, universe. I am insignificant and that is the beauty of it. It matters not where I end up and what I do. The things I sweat over and lose sleep about do not matter. They are insignificant just the same. My worries. My stresses. The pressures I perpetuate upon myself. The non-grace I adorn myself with. My lies and my falsities and my stupid fucking bullshit. None of it matters. I should just live my life, and truly live it. To live and to thrive and to enjoy life. That’s what I need to start doing. To bring an entirely new meaning to what is to be alive.” I cried. And then, with my friends, I laughed.
sh*t I like
BIRKENSTOCK Boston Clog: here’s the thing – I’ve had these shoes since May last year as a random present from my sister (she has a habit of supplying me with novelty things like these very steppers and slapdash Venmo’s of $10 with captions like “Pistachio latte on me” and/or “for your croissant fix”), and while I recognize they are stylish A-F and wear them from time to time, I never did quite succumb to the obsession towards it the way so many have. ‘Til now.
Filets of tilapia: I’m sorry, but who gave tilapia permission to taste this good? If you know me, you know I don’t discriminate on my finned proteins, but of late I’ve been ignoring the Atlantic salmon at Trader Joe’s and talking dirty to tilapia. Please get into it. (I season mine with nothing but pepper and grill on a skillet. Then in the last 30 seconds of cooking I throw about two handfuls of spinach to ~sNeAk mY GrEeNs iN~ [so yum though, so no apologies here]. From bottom to top: steamed white rice, spinach, tilapia, kimchi
Goorin’ Bros Panther Hat: who would I be if I didn’t have a trucker on? As the most basic motherfucker in the world, it’s a true profundication why it’s taken me this long to get me one of these. But late is better than never, so here I am.
Ghosts of New York by Jim Lewis: here’s a book I have yet to read, and yet here I am speaking about it. I was at a bookstore downtown about two Saturdays ago and read the first page and was enamored by it PDQ. The gag is that I haven’t yet gotten the privilege of sitting down and reading it, but just the promise of it alone is enough for it to make it on this list. I have a feeling this’ll be good. Will report back.
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