Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ten Things Tuesdays: War Paint

Life can be hell, but it's easier when you look pretty -- or at least as pretty as you can. Take today for instance.

I was in a cab heading to work from the gym, as I was late for an interview. My cabbie was a very nice Haitian fellow whose name was, unsurpringly, Jean. This is unsurprising because one time someone -- who seemed to have some authority on the matter -- told me that every male in Haiti is named Jean. I guess he was right.

Jean was in a big hurry to get me to work. In order to do so, he decided to take a wrong turn on to a one-way street. I screamed and waved my arms in the back seat, "No, no, no, this is a one-way street, TURN AROUND!" as we nearly had a head-on collision with another cab. Stressful, right?

But boy did I feel better that at least if I died, the EMTs who hauled me away would mourn that such a put-together lady died tragically young. I egotistically imagined the falsely fawning adjectives the tabloids would indubitably attach to my name. Had I left home looking my worst, I'd probably be no more than blotter ink in the back of the paper. And screw that! If I die in this city, my mug BETTER be splashed all over the front pages of the Daily News the next day.

So today I am going to expose to you my embarassing, soft, white underbelly. I am going to share with you the ten beauty products/habits/helpers without which I would not be myself. I am scared that now that you have this list, you will come to my house and steal these things, and I will melt and my feet will roll up under my couch or something.

I would like to pre-emptively defend myself by saying that although I may sound like some icky Long Island fake-nail makeup junkie, I am not. I spend less than five minutes in the morning "putting on my face," as my mother calls it. (See? SEE why I have issues? My face is already there!)

1) MASCARA. Thanks to my redhead status, I have very light strawberry blonde lashes, and my eyes virtually disappear unless my eyelashes are coated in a nice layer of black goo. I'm no Tammy Faye, but I will NOT leave home without mascara. I even put it on when I go camping -- secretly, in my tent. I'm neurotic about my mascara, but I also know that this particular mental tic can be traced directly to a specific adolescent trauma. When I was in eighth grade a member of my family -- who shall remain nameless -- took a hard look at me and said, "Isn't it about time you started wearing mascara?" Of course, he was right. I do look better with mascara. And you will have to pry the tube out of my gnarly, dead claw before I stop using it.

2) Eyebrow pencil. Thanks again to my bloodnut (which is what Australians call redheads), I also have strawberry blonde eyebrows. You can't see them unless I give them a little oomph with a pencil. Without it, I look as though someone shaved my brows off in a cruel sorority prank. Because I never want anyone to think I'm a sorority girl, I make sure to help out my eyebrows every day.

3) Eyelash curler. I'm no dog, but my sister won the brunt of the genetic lottery in our family. She punched her way out of the womb with perfectly formed muscles (my mom attests to this) and has never had to do a thing in her life to maintain them; this irks me to NO END, since I am the athletic one in the family and have to work my ass off at it. She dodged the family curse of child-bearing hips and cellulite. As a little extra frosting on her pretty pretty princess cake, she also got eyelashes so long, curly and thick they threaten to tangle up in her bangs. In order to stave off jealousy that might drive me to rip them off her face, I use an eyelash curler. It gives me the approximation of her eyelashes (only after, of course, I've gooped on a few coats of mascara).

4) Stairmaster/treadmill/eliptical machine/gym. OK, this isn't something that you spackle onto your face, but I consider a consistent workout schedule the most important thing you can do to make yourself less ugly. Without it, I'd likely be 20 pounds overweight, bloated, acne-ridden, and worst of all, totally depressed. That would lead me to hit the bottle, become even more depressed (and fat!) and the cycle would just continue. I shudder to think what my life would be like without the mood-elevating effects of exercise.

5) Sleeping pills. My favorite men to ensnare in my "web of obsession" are those who have an Ambien prescription -- one they like to share, that is. In fact, I think that will be one of things I'll require of my next boyfriend. I mean, I can't seem to find anyone who can sexually fulfill me, commit to me, or even AMUSE me for gosh sakes, so AT LEAST have the courtesy to PUT ME TO SLEEP. Ambien is too darn expensive under my insurance plan, and I fear that sooner or later my stopgap Tylenol PM is not gonna cut it. You see, I have periodic bouts of insomnia, and I will not tolerate them. I just won't. Because then what happens is I stay up drinking Scotch until 4 in the morning, I can't make the a.m. gym run, my skin looks like crap, and I'm crabby to boot. Mommy's gotta have her pills.

6) Origin's Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. I used to have this boyfriend who did something really annoying. He had huge windows in his bedroom. I'd wake up on a lazy Saturday, the room flooded in light. He'd look at me lovingly as I lay facing him, and move his hand toward my face. "Ooooh, here, just let me get that...." he'd say before he'd turn his fingers into a vile set of pincers and squeeze a blackhead out of the top of my nose. This infuriated me to no end, and it hurt like hell. All I wanted was a little nookie and instead I got an unwanted, excrutiating facial. Something had to be done, and that something was Origin's Clear Improvement charcoal mask. I don't care if you have a gallon of West Texas crude stuck in your pores, this stuff will mop it up like a Bounty paper towel taking on blue stuff.

7) Shrimp cocktail. Eat it for dinner instead of a burrito or three take-out boxes of Indian food, which should be saved for hangover days. It's tasty and zingy, and it helps you stay thin.

8) Aveda Confixor hair gel and Aveda Brilliant pomade. This stuff smells AMAZING. As for how it works, here's my testimony: the other day, I went to the gym, did an hour of cardio, and sweated like a hog. A hog, I tell you. Afterward I decided not to wash my hair because I was just going to go home, get up in the morning, and go to the gym again. I took my ponytail out, shook out my hair, ran my fingers through it, and my hair still looked, dare I say it, pretty good. I can't ask much more than that of my products.

9) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream. Start using it in your 20s. Start using it before you have to call in the heavy-duty $200 eye cream with crushed pearls and whale semen in it. Trust me.

10) Coty Airspun Powder. This stuff is six bucks for a tub that's big enough to last you, like, a year. And yet for some reason, they still put it BEHIND THE COUNTER at Duane Reade -- do they think people are going to snort it, or are they just doing it to add one more hassle to my day? Yeah, screw you, I buy all my make-up at a drugstore. And it works just fine. Look at my porcelain complexion!

That's how I try to stay acceptable looking. The end.


Blogger Guy said...

And every woman in Haiti is named "Marie."

1:32 PM  

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