Monday, January 26

Fancy Sweatpants, Ann Taylor Loft and Punctuations

My best friend Darla has been trying to convince me for years that Ann Taylor LOFT is cool, but because of my urge to disagree and inherent dislike for graduating to a non-teen mall store, I never believed her. Imagine my surprise when we stumbled into the store while shopping on a trip to Charleston together last fall, and I found myself blown away by where all the cute adult clothes I've needed forever had been hiding. (All hanging out there, together, without me!) Coincidentally, their in-house brand Lou & Grey had reached out to me to do a bit of writing just one day earlier, so as all kismet-touched events tend to be, this one was no less magical.

Fast forward a handful of months and a couple of seasons later, and an ode to every high school volleyball player and outbound flight passenger's bottoms of choice, the sweatpants, was born. It's a beautiful diatribe on the varied history and inspirational moments in the life of the fleece sets, and tees up the miraculous invention that is the "work jogger", a comfy cozy sweat that with enough attitude and the right top, can be worn to the office for extreme cozy.

If you don't own one of these, you are seriously missing out on a level of unprecedented comfort on par with feather duvets and officially backing out of bikini wax appointments. Check out the future of daytime comfort over on their blog, The Ampersand, and if you don't believe me that the sweats are so G.D. important, then just take a look at this:

So, so, so cute. Lou & Grey's got more likes than all of mine from this year combined on this bad boy. See? Trash your jorts and miniskirts: these joggers are all you'll ever need. (Besides a pile of snacks to curl up on the couch with.)

Saturday, January 24

Fashion Police — 2/2/15

I DONT KNOW WHO THIS PERSON IS ON THE COVER. Does this mean I'm old? Should I actually be watching The Bachelor? These people look normal, are they celebrities? I'm so confused. But what I'm ~not~ confused by is...the ridiculous things people have worn this week!

I'm deeply saddened that I didn't get to make any jokes about the horrific Golden Globes dresses of two weeks' past, but it's OK. There's enough Kimmy K and candy-coated dresses to go around:

Tuesday, January 13

I Got My Hair Done Twice In The Past 24 Hours And No One Knows, Cares

It takes a lot for me to put effort in. Showering is tricky. Shaving, ugh. I own a small library of dry shampoo but often don't use it because bending down to fish out the bottle and lifting my arms up to judje is mad tiring. Yet, even with all that intense laziness, I somehow due to unforseen circumstances got my hair professionally blown, coiled and curled twice within a sub-24 hour timeline.

No, no, I didn't somehow have a whirlwind girl-on-girl romance with Alli Webb or have my hair colored, hated it, and gone back to get it fixed. (Which, by the way, does net a free blow.)

The first style came courtesy of Glamsquad as the culmination of my expedition of staying inside for an entire week, a story that will be up on Racked sometime in the next few weeks. I'll hold out to discuss the service until the article's up, but my hair was, as I like to say, Toddlers and Tiaras'ed to the maxx, a fiercely buoyant look which no more than five friends at my overly-fed Golden Globes party got to enjoy.

Sprint forward to earlier this afternoon, when my ill-planned wedding hair trial meant that, not only was it raining dragon tears in New York, but I was going straight from a fresh blowout (a phrase I don't even feel fancy enough to type) to ANOTHER BLOWOUT. Fucking oops.

Now, had I been an opportunist (or a big fan of my own face), I could have thrown on six different outfits last night, taken three weeks worth of selfies and lived a lie for a near-month that I, too, was now a Glamorous New York Woman who would never leave the house in used pajama items, oh, most days of the week. But what did I, a mega-putz with mega-tousled hair do instead? Tuck it all under a hat and ignore it, knot it in a bun and in no way revel in the ticking time bomb that is good wavy hair before it falls.

While the top half of my head is currently in that perfect cross-section between YouTube beach wave tutorial and tressed-out Gossip Girl fringe character, my bottom half is clad in an oversized used men's Tabasco hot sauce shirt that I bought from an (adorable) Airstream trailer at a flea market. Essentially, my head wants to be a glamourpuss and my body wants to be a Dad who drop his pants, put his feet up and would prefer to be left alone.

I've felt stuck in the middle of beauty and, well, beast-like for a while now, and this two-time hairsplosion feels significant to this battle, even if I'm not sure which side it has pushed me on to. It may have taken me until this and a few recent makeup appointments to realize it, but I've started thinking that maybe I'm just one of those people for whom beauty just doesn't "take". You know, one of those girls who becomes a Bratz doll version of themselves whenever an eye palette is involved, or have insecurities about their nose emphasized by putting blush near it. And I swear, I am NOT begging for compliments. I just honestly think I'm one of those people who does not look better when they're clean, fancy and shining like a well-polished diamond, but instead when they're covered in a thin layer of dead skin cells and oil in yesterday's clothes.

I've always assumed it was a weird paranoia stemming from an earlier incident back in high school. The only time I got my hair done back then was for prom and it was traumatic, not because it was done in my mom's gym's salon, but because I showed up with supes-dirty hair, expecting it to be washed and thus maximizing the worth of the process. They refused to clean it because "it wouldn't hold", and instead dry-styled the greasy pieces as is. (This was a karmic opportunity for me to learn a lesson about cleanliness that I, sadly, opted not to take.)

But, as this all-eyes-on-me beauty routine has emerged as I prepare for my one woman show, Forever Unclean Adult Woman Marries Nice-Looking Man, I've started to realize it wasn't that one hairtastrophy that made me think I'm not a capable of transforming into a "beauty person". It's that I just have one of those heads that doesn't look so much better with stuff around it.

Now, this isn't a theory that has gone unproven. After these appointments, from my perspective, I feel like I'm walking around the city as a Broadway dance ensemble member, rushing through the streets with big blown-out hair and a messenger bag emblazoned with the phrase "There are no small parts, only small actors," leaving all normal-haired people in my dust. But when I interact with people with post-appointment hair or makeup no one has really...noticed much. Exhibit A: I went out to dinner after a makeup trial last week and apologized for "this whole thing", a phrase that was mistakenly interpreted for me looking tired and worn-down. Exhibit B: I texted my boyfriend a photo of myself at home with the above pictured 'do, and he basically responded asking when my trial was. (Boys.)

I truly didn't realize I was so far below the level of general above-the-clavicle upkeep that my wedding looks didn't even register on people's radars as being unusually fancy. I put on makeup every day, I at least try to do ~something~ with my hair, but I guess I'm so low on the threshold of trying that when I try my beauty best, it just looks like a day where I miraculously didn't phone it in.

Now, I know I'm worrying about nothing. These are trials, the people I'm working with are incredible, and when I'm wearing the dress with the veil with the flowers and the gabbing elderly Jewish folk, yes, the cogs in this beauty wheel will all come together and I'll look like a capital-b bride. But, I don't know, there's a part of me that always feels like unless my face is caked-up like I'm onstage in children's theatre, I'll never feel like I really look so different. (Some of you know what I'm talking about — when it's not makeup, but a faaaace.)

I'm at a real Bone Thugs crossroads when it comes to image. When it comes to my head-and-shoulders appearance, I'm teetering on the brink of fully giving in or fucking giving up. There's a large part of me — the part of me that has a scary brand affiliation with Sephora — that wants to give it a try. That wants to wake up an hour early, blend contouring sticks into my cheeks until I look like someone needs to force-feed my now-skeletal face and have the need to own multiple white eyeliners, but then there's the real me, who knows I don't have time for better-than-you woman hobbies like perfecting a low-calorie brownie or mastering beach waves with my straightening iron.

My wedding trial makeup was great! The hair is so great too! But I think I have it fixed in my brain that more is more is more is more, and unless I look like a #TBT of someone's '80s mom, it doesn't count. It really might simply be because the darker your makeup is, the more severe it is, and when you're of alabaster hue as I am, there's nowhere you can really go before looking like a white-backgrounded Pollack splatter painting. It might even be because my hair is naturally wavy, so making intentional waves just makes me look like a more organized version of my every day face.

Hell, maybe I'm just biologically behind and my features still need to settle into my face. Either way, until then, I'm just going to watch this video to the :43 second marker and feel SO, SO, SO, SO, SO much better about all of this makeup madness. So much better. So much.

Saturday, January 10

Walk, Jog, Run, Collapse.

When it comes to critiquing running indoors, you should the person who hates it with every bone in their body: me! The last time I ran regularly was in high school, when a three-mile cross-country race was bookended by bread-a-paloozas. Every Saturday morning, we'd have to wake up early to race against neighboring schools, but Friday nights would be a carb-o-load buffet at a team member's parents' house, and post-race, a free-for-all chow down. I've been conditioned to shove tin trays of cheesy vegetable lasagna in my face before putting one foot in front of the other, so running for fun with no promise of morning bagels or dinner loaves is not something I'm willing to do.

While researching the new explosion of running-based training classes, though, I started to remember how there's something to ~slightly~ enjoy about the process. Sure, $34 is an absolutely insane amount of money to pay to run on a treadmill when you could buy a gym membership for a little more, but putting money towards accountability and not an admission ticket to a room of equipment may be just the thing to help you see results.

If you're curious about the soon-to-explode trend of treadmill classes — or if they're handing out gold bars along with the sign-up fee — check out my latest story on Racked.

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