While I was home over Christmas, I had my yearly facial with the awesome esthetician I’ve been seeing since I was 15  (15, and then in the throes of dermatological unpleasantness).  She is the mistress of the art of extraction, and my first visit to her was as much a cultural touchstone of my entry into modern womanhood as my first trip to the gynecologist.  Though no less painful than my first pap, at least the esthetician rubbed my face and shoulders down with essential oils, and I had glowy skin a week later, once the zits she coaxed to the surface and the redness had subsided.  The gyno just poked me with a metal spatula and gave me the pill… which made me break out.  (Sudden stroke of brilliant idiocy – spas that also offer pap smears!  I am trademarking that business idea right now.  Whole Women’s Health & Beauty sees you inside and out!).

Sadly, after treating my skin for almost 15 years and my own mother’s for 30, our esthetician was hanging up her tweezers, imported creams, and bug zapper to retire.  This would be the last proper facial I will have in a while, as I’ve yet to find anyone half as good.

Lying back in the chair, listening to Enya, snuggled in my quilt, wholly safe in the hands of a professional, I was sad, and wanted to mark the occasion somehow.  What about… a lip wax?  I’d been annoyed at the downy hairs on my upper lip for some time.  Terri is the only person I would let wax and pluck my eyebrows, given her skill, and the only person I trusted to tell me if an upper-lip wax would be a terrible mistake, or a bold move forwards. (more…)


Oh, y’all. Sometimes this beauty business weighs heavy on my heart. Not only did I hear just this morning that Scarlett Johansson is dieting off her famous, fabulous, enviable curves, but I also got this email from our pal J. Gold:

I’m young. I take good care of my skin. Apparently, though, I must walk around with a quizzical, eyebrows-raised expression on my face at all times because for about a year now I’ve noticed faint horizontal wrinkles on my forehead when I get all up in my bizzness in the mirror. I tried to will away my concern about this as vanity, I gotta deal with aging, you can’t see them if you’re more than two inches away from me blahblahblah until two weeks ago, when I met a 25-year-old (or so she said) who had canyon-deep forehead wrinkles. It aged her terribly and was all I could focus on when I looked at her. It wouldn’t have wigged me out if I’d seen wrinkles like this on a forty-year-old, but this woman was 25. I am now terrified of developing wrinkles like this. Is there anything one can do to prevent wrinkle formation or help smooth them out if you’ve already got ’em? I’m a fanatical sunscreen wearer; is there any other goop I can put on my face to improve the linage situation? I don’t want to be a Nicole Kidmanesque botox-head when I’m older, but I definitely, definitely don’t want a forehead with huge horizontal lines in it. Help!

klingonSrsly, y’all. I look in the mirror sometimes and worry that I’m turning Klingon.

Siiiiigh. Insecurities are such a bitch. But J. Gold’s concern is a legitimate one, and it’s one I happen to share. See, if there’s anything J. and I have in common (besides living in the same state, having mutual friends, and possessing a shared love of sequins and general air of radness) it’s our skin type. So don’t get upset by what I’m about to say. I’m not jumping to any misguided conclusions, I know exactly of what I speak. In short, J: you are so WHITE. I feel your cracker pain, girl. Of every trait I could have gotten out of my crazy-mixed-up heritage, I had to get the Irish-ass skin. Native American cornsilk hair, potato famine skin. Dammit! Oh well, my point is that pale skin is akin to porcelain in both appearance and fragility. Structurally speaking, typically the fairer one is, the thinner and weaker their skin. You know how they say ‘Black don’t crack?” Well it’s pretty much true, and as you follow the color spectrum on down to the truly melanin-deficient, you get more wrinkle-prone skin.

Basically what I’m saying is: your genetics have predisposed that you’re kind of screwed. Sure, there are things you can do to try and stave off wrinkles, but when your dermis is a structurally sound as onion paper, acceptance of the inevitable is the only true path to sanity retention. Now that you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal case of Honkey, I’ll walk you through the coping strategy after the jump. (more…)