I randomly found a very, very old email thread tonight, and I had to share:

—– Original Message —–
From: me
To: my friend
Subject: Re: Hey
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 11:53:39 -0800

> JB told me when she emailed him to let him know she was pregnant. That’s great for those guys, I wish her all the best. I was sort of dumbstruck by it, in a I-can’t-believe-people-our-age-are-reproducing kind of way. I mean, intellectually I am aware my body physically could have pumped out like 10 kids by now but it still freaks me out because apparently mentally I am only 9 or so. I morbidly watch those shows on TLC like Maternity Ward where they show women all in pain and smooshing out babies that emerge covered in jello and it.flips.me.out. The husband is always there all supportive and *watching* all the action that is going on downtown, too. I told JB whenever we get to that point off in the reproduction-horizon he is not allowed to LOOK down there during the whole birth process. Then again, I am 9 right now, and maybe will grow up soon.

From: my friend
To: me
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 9:19 PM

> I know people my age give birth. it is a simple statement of fact that I went to high school with and knew several girls who gave birth before we even finished 12th grade. but I think the film we saw in 9th grade biology class of the “live birth” did something to me, and each time the concept of giving birth is mentioned and applied to MY life, I am reduced to that terrified, disgusted 13 year old. I don’t wonder why there are men who can’t have sex with their wives after they see them give birth. it is completely unfair, yes, but understandable. consequently, I refuse to watch “maternity ward”.

While many of my close friends have kids, janet is the first of my close FEMALE friends to give birth. I have known that janet wants kids all along, but I let myself believe that she’d go on as tongue lasher/career woman forever. and i never thought she’d bear children before lisa… who is also on a mission to become pregnant right now. while I am very happy for them, this whole scene is giving me issues.

From: me
To: my friend
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 4:12 PM

> Yeah. When JB read Janet’s email, he was at home and read part of it to me. I said “well, that’s great!” and then slid into a weird funk that resulted in me randomly blurting, about an hour later, “I certainly hope you don’t wish *I* were pregnant!” He was like “Ummm…no.”, probably mentally adding “PSYCHO”. It was weird to hear cause it’s someone my own age, deciding ON PURPOSE and everything, to have a child. I mean, I can’t even water my plants regularly. I started brooding on how she was all multitasking with her career and probably a houseowner and oh by the way also growing a *whole entire person* in her spare time. That was the night I watched a whole hour of Maternity Ward and snapped at JB about how he wasn’t going to be allowed to look Down There during that moment, whenever that moment should be. Him: “Umm…ok.” (PSYCHO). Because really, I know it’s a beautiful moment and angels are singing right then and whatever but how could you ever look at it the same again? And what happens with all that pushing if you have to go to the bathroom…like #2???? Oh, god.

From: my friend
To: me
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 2:35 PM
> i don’t know how to tell you this exactly, but before you give birth… they give you an enema.

This is what I look like right out of the shower, with a towel on my head:

Screen shot 2012-03-18 at 11.51.10 AM

And this is what I look like (at least the weird-lighting iPhone photo version) after I’ve spent about 45 minutes primping, fussing, blow-drying, and spackling:


If you’re thinking there isn’t a THEATRICALLY DRAMATIC improvement between the first photo and the second, I’m right there with you. Why, I remember a time when I’d put on a little makeup—uphill both ways, in the snow—and it would be like, damn, girl, you sure clean up nice.

Now it takes a ridiculous amount of effort just to appear as though I’m not wearing much makeup at all. Forget smokey eyes and defined cheekbones and dramatic contouring and all that, for me it’s pretty much all about trying to look awake and somewhat refreshed. My entire makeup strategy is this: REDUCE THE HAGGARD.

Since I really, really love it when other people talk about what beauty products they enjoy, I’m going to tell you about some of my favorites for Operation RTH. (This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, but I have included some Amazon affiliate links which you can always delete.) If chatting about makeup isn’t your thing, may I recommend this super-awesome video of a 4th grader’s first ski jump, which doesn’t at ALL seem like the kind of thing that could make you cry, but it totally will.

Okay! Here’s what I use on a regular basis, in the order I apply it:


Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish Treatment. This is a very unromantic-sounding moisturizer, but I absolutely love it. I feel like it helps my skin stay clearer and less dull (although this sort of thing is also highly affected by what I eat), and it absorbs quickly with no gloppy films or scents.

Missha M Perfect Cover B.B. Cream. I recently switched to this cream foundation after I started noticing that the Bare Minerals powder I’d been wearing for years was starting to … settle into my various face-creases. This is a Japanese product I’d never heard of and I bought it solely based on its positive customer reviews, and I’m very glad I found it—for me, it does a great job of providing even coverage while still remaining sheer and breathable. I’ve been wearing the Light Beige color, which is pretty light, I’d try a darker shade for the summer (I think “Natural Beige” is about as dark as this line goes, though).

It does leave my face a little shiny as the day wears on, whether that’s because it’s a cream or because of the SPF 42 factor. But it doesn’t look oily like other liquid foundations sometimes do, so I don’t really mind.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer. There’s no product on earth that can eliminate the major dark eye-circles I’ve been blessed with, but this concealer makes a pretty big difference. It last forever, too—I think I bought this tube like 2 years ago.

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. After I put on the foundation/concealer, I dust this all over to set mah shit.

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder. I use this powder to fill in my brows (with a narrow brush), and I also sweep it over my cheeks and just under my brow bone. Another long-lasting item, because I’ve had this little box forever.

BareMinerals Multi-Tasking Powder in Summer Bisque. I sweep some of this on as a sort of eyeshadow, from lid to brow. It doesn’t have a color, exactly, it just creates a smooth, finished look that also hides the fact that I don’t have perfectly groomed eyebrows.

Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Stormy Grey. This is about the only eye pencil I’ve found that goes on smoothly to create a subtle amount of line. I use a small amount on my top lid only, which gives a little boost of definition.

Benefit High Brow. Speaking of boosts, this product is insanely awesome and it’s hard to describe why. It’s basically a very light creamy pencil that creates a highlighted effect—I draw it under my brow line, then blend. It’s like, poof, instantly refreshed.

-2 16-51-00
NARS powder blush in Orgasm. There’s a reason this blush is a cult favorite, it’s super easy to blend and the subtle golden/pink-ish color seems universally flattering. Plus: orgasm. Heh.

Blinc Mascara. I don’t use mascara every day, but on the days when I do, this is the best I’ve ever tried. It goes on like a dream, without creating gloopy lashes that stick together, and it lasts—with no smearing—until you wash it off. For extra va-va-va-voom effect, aim a blowdryer at your lash curler for about ten seconds before curling your lashes (thanks for the tip, Sarah Lena!), then apply your mascara.

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm. Last but not least, the best lip balm in the whole world, bar none. Not sticky or overly shiny, super-natural soft color. Love this stuff.

WHEW. Yeah, it takes a fair amount of work to REDUCE the haggard, but since the alternative is EMBRACING the haggard, so be it.

Tell me, what are your all-time favorite beautification products? What do you use on a regular basis?

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