Head to Toe: A Gal’s Guide to Being Socially Acceptable (Maybe Even Desirable)

I’m tired. I’m only 32 years old and I am overwhelmed by maintenance. It is hard being a girl if you want to be considered socially acceptable, let alone desirable. And even if you have your bodily sh*t together (okay fine, not the best turn of phrase), what about your lawn or your car or that leaky something-or-other you swore you’d fix when you moved in or YOUR KID? None of it will maintain itself. It is, I’m realizing, our purpose in life to just keep maintaining sh*t little by little until we die.

And can I just say I am SO OVER showering daily? Unfortunately, showing up in the office looking like I’m on the run from zombies isn’t the best career strategy, so I at least shower before work.

But if you must run from zombies, sleeping with
the boss is a valid strategy.

What follows is, from head to toe, a collection of things women are assumed or expected to do to our bodies in order to be seen/heard/smelled in public. By all means, feel free to add to it. Our culture has been doing so for centuries!

If we’re being good little girls, we will show up to work/happy hour/dates/parties with all of these things accomplished. I have to admit I’ve never had my ears pierced or dyed my hair, but I’ve felt pressured to do both. Also, I am [ahem] slightly behind schedule in my hair removal routine. What do you want from me? It’s frickin’ January, people.

At some point in my life, I have felt pressured to do every single thing on this list. And ladies? I. Am. EXHAUSTED.

Yep, seems about right. Especially the sound effects.

So, I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up what I believe to be a slightly more accurate depiction. At the very least, it’s closer to what goes on in my own head.

What about you? Which part of your daily/weekly/monthly routine do you find most irritating? What can you think of that I am forgetting (or maybe just in complete denial about)?

Get a Leg Up

I know for a fact I’m not the only woman in America who boycotts leg-shaving the second the temperature drops below 70 degrees. It’s not just because I’m excited to wear cute tights (because let’s face it, full-leg argyle tattoos might be a smidge over the line). It’s because once the weather cools, I develop epic itchy/dry skin on my legs.

Don’t believe me? Here is a clip from the movie Cabin Fever clip of me shaving last winter:

For the last couple winters, shaving my legs has been torture. Actually, it’s notsamuch the shaving as it is the effects of the shaving. I could moisturize until I start sweating cocoa butter but nothing would stop the itching. It would actually keep me awake at night.

Well, not anymore, ladies! I have unlocked the secret formula to smooth, non-itchy legs in winter. And much to my surprise, moisturizing wasn’t the key ingredient. Are you ready for this?

Wow, you’re about to be very dis… appointed.

1. Sugar scrub. That’s right, I have learned that I have to exfoliate the sh*t out of my legs to prevent itching. Let me rephrase that: I have to rigorously scrape off layers of my own skin in order to prevent skin irritation. F*cking bodies, how do they work? I personally trust Tree Hut Body Scrub ($7.49 at Ulta) to get the job done. I love it so much I recently purchased a pack of 3 on Amazon. It’s a sickness, really.

2. Lube. I use shaving lotion — NOT cream — to grease up the ol’ gams. My Pure Romance consultant, Julia, would be so proud to know that I swear by their Coochy product for this. Bonus: you can also use it as hair conditioner.

3. Moisturize. DUH. Tree Hut makes lotion to match the sugar scrub scents, so that’s what I’ve been using. I haven’t found a body lotion that blew my mind since Benefit discontinued their Touch Me Then Try to Leave… Cream, which was smooth like butter and smelled ever so faintly of unicorn kisses. So if you have a body lotion you love, DO TELL.

What are the key parts of your leg hair removal regimen?

All That Glitters

I’m picky about perfume. I don’t want to smell like a teenager, an old hag, or desperation. I used to wear Sarah Jessica Parker’s Endless, but those ironic a-holes discontinued it. I think it’s back now, but I’m not done with my tantrum yet. Is expecting a personal apology from SJP unrealistic?

Sephora helped me choose a new scent with a magical book that tells you what your future will smell like. Mine, surprisingly, was not Diet Dr. Pepper and steak farts.

After testing a couple bottles, I went with Ralph by Ralph Lauren and was delighted to find that it had a matching lotion. Take THAT, Sarah! Yeah, that’s right. I dropped the Jessica Parker. 

Not so fast, though. My buzz was totally killed the first time I used the lotion. I was aghast to find it contained glitter. GLITTER. I am talking about teeny tiny shiny colorful sparkling pieces of bullsh*t on my (young but still) adult body with no Halloween costume to justify it.

Like any other (heteronormative, first world-dwelling) girl, I have a special place in my heart for glitter. But once you reach high school — ok, maybe college — there becomes such a thing as TOO MUCH FRACKING GLITTER.

That goes double for you, Mimi.

I convinced myself that it was pointless to waste a perfectly good scented lotion. I immediately regretted that decision when the travel size bottle I kept in my work bag ‘sploded. I’m guessing the only other human ever to witness such horror is the doctor who performed Mariah Carey’s C-Section.

I’m starting to think what happened with my bag wasn’t an accident. How far reaching do you guys think SJP’s influence is?

Some Beauty Really Is Skin Deep

“Enjoy your facial, you pervert!”

These were the words of my husband, Joe, as I walked out the door to get my first professional facial and massage.  Gawd, I love that man. And I’ll have him know I did enjoy it. A lot. I was not so fond of the part where the girl takes a magnifying glass and analyzes the sh*t outta your complexion, though. That’s about as relaxing as a pap smear.

But something magical happened that day. She asked about my skincare routine and then told me I had beautiful skin and I shouldn’t change a thing. Sorry, come again? Am I actually doing something healthy for my body? SOMEONE THROW ME AN EM-EFFING PARADE.

Not exactly what I had in mind. And yeah, you totally look boyish, Scarlett. EYEROLL.

What follows is my facial skincare routine, and I promise you it is not perverse in the least, despite what my husband says. I have combination/oily skin, so obviously this routine won’t work for everyone.

1. Have good genes. I am not kidding. I totally believe that my good genes are partly responsible for my good skin. Not everyone is so lucky. I just wanted to brag about acknowledge this before we move on. (Thanks, Mom!)

2. Exfoliate (in shower): I use Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub ($4.29 at Ulta) once or twice a week in the shower. I mostly need it on my chin, forehead, and the creases below either side of my nose to get rid of flakey skin. You don’t need much, so it lasts a long time. It smells like delicious mint, so it’s like brushing your teeth except on your FACE.

3. Moisturize (after shower): I use either Oil of Olay (~$7 on Amazon) or a generic equivalent. Giant Eagle has a TopCare version and you can also find Equate at Walmart for $5.47 or in drugstores. I like this because it doesn’t feel too heavy but it gets the job done. One bottle can go a long way depending on how much you use daily.

4. Cleanse (before bed). This is the last step for me because I do it at bedtime. I use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (25 pack for $4.97 on Amazon). It’s mostly to remove makup, but I usually give my whole ugly mug a once-over for good measure. Since these last less than a month when you use them daily, I try to buy in bulk on Amazon.

Bonus Tip! The woman who did my facial said it’s better for your skin if you sleep on your back. It lets oxygen get to your pores and keeps your face from smooshing around in your dirty pillow all night long (that’s singular dirty pillow, not plural).

So, what products do you love to use on your face? Comment, GO!