Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oral Fixation:Obsessive Compulsive Teeth Whitening

Something to smile about.
  Hello all,
Sorry I've been lax with the updating, but I've been preoccupied with pimping myself out vocationally. I did manage to land interviews with Aveda and MAC so I'm hoping for good news this week. I know you don't really give a shit about me or my life, so I will make with the beauty tips now.

 I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that anything I've ever done that was good for my health was first motivated by esthetics. Shallow and sad, but true. I had smoked on and off since I was about 16 and only quit to save my poor teeth. I'd been preoccupied with my teeth since a boy in 9th grade told me I was a "4" but I would have been a "solid 8" if I straightened them. I decided I didn't care, I had already watched too many movies starring Kirsten Dunst and Jennifer Jason Leigh to think only perfectly straight teeth were attractive, so I would proudly show them off. But to do that they had to be WHITE and stay that way.

 I know you all want to hear that you can smoke and drink coffee hourly and still have beautiful teeth, but you probably can't. I sure can't. For my teeth (and skin) to look their best I've quit smoking and only drink water. green tea, coconut water, and white whine. Okay, and a rainbow of alcoholic beverages.  But that doesn't count doesn't.

Them shits sparkle!
   I did do that Zoom Whitening thing twice It was fine, it helped a little. Know what blew that out of the water? Fucking Crest White Strips. Yupp. Not an original recommendation by far but they work!  You have to get the Intensive Professional Effects Level 5 one though, I've heard other people have bought the less intense ones and did not get great results. Buy two packs, use the first one every day as directed until it runs out. Here's a heads up that I could have used:around the 5th day your teeth will HURT. But keep going! Pain is beauty, right? Then use the second box for touch ups. Do one once every couple of months to keep teeth looking their best.

 I also use Aim Toothpaste, and I swear by it. On a shelf bombarded with fancy expensive toothpastes claiming new and exciting levels of whitening power it's easy to overlook basic, $1.99 Aim Whitening with Baking Soda...but don't. This stuff works, it really keeps your teeth white unlike anything else. I first got turned on to this toothpaste because my dad was cheap and bought it from the dollar store. I was shocked  (and maybe a little appalled after spending 12 bucks on some Crest bullshit) that this was the best toothpaste I had used. 

Whitening Booster gel by Arm&Hammer is also pretty awesome. You add it to your toothpaste and it boosts the whitening power. It's relatively cheap and it works.

 The last item I'm going to evangelize is Luster Now! (yes, exclamation point) Instant Whitening Toothpaste. It's this blue tinted substance that is basically like a toner for your teeth. It will instantly make your teeth look great  for hours. As far as I can tell it doesn't actually "whiten" it basically just gets rid of any sort of yellow tint.

 So that is my method thus far: Mix the Aim, the Whitening Booster, and the Luster Now! on my toothbrush morning and night. Use the White Strips once every few months. It's been working great so far!

Toothpaste bukkake.

 If you've been finding any of this blog helpful or enjoyable, shoot me an email or a tweet. Make my life worth living ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Lady Grooming Habits Are About My Control Issues, Not Men

 Well I'm sick, and bored and got into a twitter um...heated discussion with @meghanemurphy about her recent article on Feminist Current. She says a lot of things that make sense like how "Make up is a product of a culture that places tremendous focus on women's appearances." Sure. Fine. That's true. But I totally disagree with her assertions that women only wear make up etc. so straight men will find us attractive. And if you say you do it for "yourself" or other women you are a liar. I'm sorry, it's way more complicated than that.

 Meghan says that what men want has seeped into our culture so much that women have internalized the male gaze and think they need it. Maybe that's true for some women, but calling anyone who says differently a liar is extreme in my views. I have always worn what made me feel attractive, and could not care less what men thought. I've had so many men tell me they like me better without make up or I don't need it or whatever. Don't care. Not that I wear a ton anyway I just wear my BB cream and lipbalm daily, but I used to do a full face in HS. And my boyfriend at the time hated it! Did not care. Still wore it every day. We are given messages about what straight men want, but we are also given messages from the fashion industry, which is run by women and gay men. There are a lot of things thrown at us that say "be this!" for all sorts of reasons and I feel a lot of women are like me, they pick through it and only keep the things that resonate with them. I like the things that I like and that's that. Did the things that I like originate somewhere? Sure. Is that somewhere always the mind of a straight man who may or may not want to fuck me? Not necessarily.

 Straight men apparently want to say they "hate make up" but really want women to put in a lot of effort with natural make up. The last time I heard this actually being true was with a boy in high school. Any guy who's actually lived with women or had a long term relationship has seen them put on make up and knows the difference. Or they just cannot tell the difference and therefore you don't even need to put in the effort. If I complain to my bf that I look like a mess when I just wake up, he says "no you look the same" (which great, I'm glad I'm out walking around looking like I just woke up!) but really they usually cannot even tell when you're wearing make up most of the time, so if you are doing it for men it's probably a waste of time.

 I am the first to admit I'm totally vain. I insist on looking a certain way at all times that's up to my standards. And guess what? Those standards are probably way higher than most men's standards! Men have hit on me in my pyjamas. Men have hit on me when I'm sick. Men have hit on me when I'm sweaty. I've seen some of the women men find attractive and been like...her? Hell I've seen some of the women in Maxim and other men's magazines and been like...her? I have of course worried that I was not attractive enough in general. But I have NEVER ever worried that I was not attractive enough for men. I have seen some really unattractive people who did not even have good personalities land some decent men. It's the way of the world. The whole thing just makes no sense. It's weird and it mildly annoys me, but whatever kind of a wildebeast you are, trust me you can get a man. And you don't need make up.

 When my skin was at it's worst I never believed my boyfriend when he said he didn't notice. Then we hung out with a friend of mine who had a huge sty near his eye. Thing was hideous. It had it's own personality and political leanings. When I finally asked my friend about it, after an hour of conversation my boyfriend said "oh...I guess you do have one." After a freaking hour of staring at this guy's face. This is what we're dealing with, ok? Anyone who's really that concerned about not impressing that baffles me. I am not perfecting my cat eye for a group of people who for the most part would not recognize a sty on someone's face. I find that idea profoundly ridiculous.

 Now other women are a different story. Of course I try to look nice for other women! Other women actually have taste. Other women will notice that I've  painstakingly matched my lipstick to one of the many colors in my dress. Men? Yeah right! Doing this for men is a huge waste of time. When I'm out in the world I don't look at men, men are boring, I look at other women. And naturally I want other women to look at me.

 The compliments from other women aside, it's mostly a control issue for me anyway. As I said in my XOJane piece, the less in control I feel in my life, the more I turn my attention to myself. Unless I'm really pressed for time, I shave everything every day. Even when I'm single (and I'm not into sex outside a relationship) because the hair on my head is not naturally black so therefore....and I find that aesthetically not pleasing. I had a boyfriend who would have liked it very much if I let it grow out down there. Nope. Cause it wasn't about him.

 I will only care if a guy (or anyone) thinks something about me is unattractive if I agree with them. The only time I cared that a guy didn't like my haircut was when I knew the hairdresser fucked it up anyway. When this guy I went for a few dates with on OKC said I should get my teeth straightened the only thing I felt was annoyed at his nerve. I like my teeth, so I did not care.

 I will acknowledge that some of the things I like are things that are considered generally attractive by men or the media or whatever, but some of them are not. Sure I like clear skin, and big boobs, and small waists, and light eyes. But I also like crooked teeth, and being pale, and ethnic looks, and all different sizes of women. I receive the same messages as everyone else about "what's attractive" to men or otherwise, and sometimes I agree with the media and sometimes I don't. I pick and choose. I'm not saying people aren't shaped by these things, but we are not ONLY shaped by these things. We have a choice. We can like wild curly hair, because our awesome cousin who we looked up to growing up had wild curly hair, we can like big noses because a pretty teacher we had in grade school had a big nose, regardless of what the media tells us. The media doesn't have the be the only thing that influences us.

 Some things about me fit what's considered attractive by society and some of them dont, but I've decided I like the way I look generally and no one is going to convince me otherwise. The only way that would change was if something that I currently like changes into something I don't like personally, even if other people like that. If I woke up tomorrow and had naturally straight hair I would be really upset. Not everyone is this way. Some people care way more about what the media says than me. That's fine, I understand why. Some people care more about what men think than me, that's fine too. But don't call me a liar because I don't.

 I certainly wasn't goth in my Long Island High School so men would find me attractive. They did anyway (I'm telling you, not very strict standards), but if they didn't I wouldn't have changed. I look the way I do because that's how I feel on the inside I guess, that's what makes me feel like myself. Make up, clothes, hair, all of it. If women only did these things for men, we would all look like Playboy Bunnies and the world would be very boring.

 Sorry for the rant, I am bored and sick and need a distraction.

I love this one dearly, but do not give a shit if he likes the lipstick I'm getting all over him!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Realistic Goals:How I Got Relatively Decent Skin

 Happy New Year all! I had a lovely time this year, but unfortunately got sick somewhere around 2 am. Boo! When I'm sick I pretty much stop being a person for a couple of days because I'm a huge baby, I didn't even wash my face last night. I know, so bad. But the good thing I noticed was how nice my skin looked considering.

 As I detailed in a previous post, I had started a new skin care routine a few months ago and I figured I'd give you an update on how it was working. The short answer is very well! I know other people who give advice or recommend products to the good skin challenged are all "your skin may suck, but with this it could be perfect!" I mean not that that can't happen, but unless you take Accutane or something (which I even did...and no) you will probably not go from looking like a slice of peperoni pizza to having flawless perfect skin. Especially if you are past the age you should have "grown out of it" or you have sensitivities/allergies in addition to the plain old break outs. But that doesn't mean you should give up, quite the contrary.  I'm sure everyone would prefer flawless skin, but as someone who's had "problem skin" I'm going to freely admit I'd totally settle for "normal" and I'm betting the rest of you would too. Since I've been following my regimen my skin has been perfectly average. I've had a few small break outs during my period, but no cysts, nothing day ruiningly huge, and some redness, but not a single hive. It's not amazing skin. It's not skin that people would stare at on the train like it's the second coming of Christ, but it's fine. It's not irritated and angry looking. I go through the day not thinking about it for the most part. I have never been able to say that before. Everyone's skin is so different and there is totally a chance these things will not work for you, there is even a chance they may stop working for me someday, but I am sharing them in case they happen to be what you need.

This is how my skin looks right now, with no make up (except for NYE remnants of some very hard core eye stuff that I refuse to break out the make up remover for):
Sorry for the terrible lighting in my house!

There is a reason I usually wear lip products, huh?
Trying to give a good sample size of lighting/angle etc
Some faint scaring, but nothing awful.

 Here is the list of what I'm currently doing/using:

Vitamins/etc: 2500 mg Biotin-Morning, 12g Flax Seeds 3-5 days a week.

Wash: The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion-Morning and night.

Tone:Lush Tea Tree Toner Tabs-Night

Treat:Clindamycin-Night, The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion-Night

Moisturize:Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator-Morning

Mask:Lush Love Lettuce-Night

Clarisonic once every 2 weeks with Aveda Enbrightenment Cleanser

 So far this is really working, hope that trend continues. If you're prone to allergies and irritation I recommend also using a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer on a daily basis. There were a few days my skin looked good so I went out without wearing anything and my skin got all irritated, the cream provides a barrier between your skin and the air if that's an issue for you.  Hope this works for you!