Some days, mascara works better than coffee when it comes to waking yourself up. Slick on some black or brown, wiggle to reach each lash, and voila–you look like you got a full night’s rest, and your eyes look defined. Who needs 8 hours of sleep when you can wake yourself up in 8 wiggles of a wand? Don’t answer that.
So, any woman, from tomboy to girly girl (why do descriptions of women’s personal styles have to be related to children?…I digress) can agree that mascara is a great, no fuss way to put some pep in your face, but there’s always a debate over which mascara we should use. Covergirl churns out Cover Girl models cycle after cycle that tell you to buy their latest mascara innovation, but you’re mostly paying for the packaging and endorsement instead of a quality product. But, at 8-10 bucks a pop, who can complain? It does the job, it doesn’t leave you black rings under your eyes that make you look like a drunk hamburglar, and you’re fine. It met the status quo.
Look, I’ve settled a lot in my life. I’m sure you have, too. I’ve taken mediocre jobs, I’ve made mediocre test scores, and you betta beiliiieeeee I have taken many-a-medicore lover–but why?! Because it’s easy, convenient, and isn’t that big of a commitment if you’re only putting $10 on the line, right? Well, I think that is ridiculous. It’s time to treat yourself to the better things in life. It’s time to peek into the treasure chest that is luxury beauty products. It’s time to meet your new fabulous, fancy, albeit cliche best friend, Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara.“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” Chanel Mascara says, puffing perfect O’s from her long cigarette, eating some type of negative calorie salad, or something. Meanwhile next to her is your old party girlfriend Covergirl, who is smoking a Newport and stuffing her face with cake a la Sweet Dee in Sunny. We loved that party girl, but we’re getting older, and cake and cigs just aren’t a good look anymore.
This mascara rings in at a sweet n’ pretty $32.00. Drug store mascara is usually $8.00. It doesn’t take a genius to see that single digits are less than double digits in price, but hear me out! Mascara is used every single day, and has the life span of about 4-6 months from opening. So, at the very least you are using this item for 122 days (about 4 months) at .26 cents a day. Not so bad, huh? Just don’t do the math for your 3 month maximum lifespan of your $8.00 mascara. Math is hard. Let your mind relax.Here’s another fun math problem! If you can just swap making your own coffee instead of grabbing a Starbucks for a week, you can afford the best mascara on the market for about 4-6 months. Doesn’t seem too painful when you think of it like that, right? I understand the importance of coffee. I believe in coffee. It’s the single most important staple in my food pyramid of chicken nuggets, protein shakes that are curdled with powder, and Diet Coke. If I can brew some coffee and throw it in a thermos instead of strolling over to a Barista named Pistachio, you can, too.
Look, I understand, money is tight for everyone, and I am no exception. I am incredibly frugal and saving as much as I can, as I hope many of you are, too. I admit I do not have as many bills as my friends. I do not have college loans, and I don’t pay rent because I pay it in being mortified that I live at home. I still have bills, but they just don’t compare to the bills my friends in NYC and LA, or anywhere else, have. I get it. $32 is a seemingly dumb amount for a simple beauty product, but try to look at the cost benefits here.
This mascara not only volumizes, but it separates each individual lash with one small wiggle of a wand. I prefer black mascara, but it also comes in Brun (brown) and Purple. On top of that voluminizing, mascara tends to get very clumpy and make your look like a spider, but this mascara is also light as a feather. *Puts mic out to audience* How light is it? It’s so light you can put it on your bottom lashes without worrying about raccoon eyes or clumping. The look can easily go from casual to dramatic with just an extra coat, which is a huge plus for those of us who are not the best with eyeliner smoky eyes. Sounds typical, right? Well, let’s look.I apologize that my eyes are red. Allergies are killing me, and I just got home from a long day of work. I don’t think I need to tell you how different each eye looks. You, like me, have eyeballs. I never put mascara on the bottom lashes of my eyes because I already have dark circles under my eyes from sleeping 8 minutes a day. See? I’m as dramatic as my mascara! Hear me groan! My mascara looks perfect, and like it was just slicked on. I put this make up on 10 hours ago, in the car, while driving to work. See how I only have a little bit of darkness under my eyes? That could be mascara, or it could just be my face. We will never know. What we do know, is this stuff not only works, but it looks flawless. All. Day. Long. Now, removal. Ah. Is there anything better than taking off your make up after a long day? Mascara is always the hardest to take off, because it is just so stubborn to stay on forever and let the party continue even when it’s time for bed. I have so many pillowcases ruined by mascara, and it isn’t only from me flailing my face into them to muffle my crying. I expected removing Chanel from my face would be pretty difficult, especially because my lashes have taken such a liking to her, but it wasn’t too hard at all. Ok, please tell me you at least giggled at that. No? Whatever, I thought it was funny. Anyway, that was one haphazard slick of Clinique’s Take the Day Off balm and I looked like a clown that checked into rehab. I will admit removing was not as easy as application, but god forbid you have to splash water on your face several times to remove dirt, oil, and make-up from your face, am I right? Verdict: TREAT YO SELF. Buy it. Nordstrom has a sale this Memorial Day weekend with “Mascara Madness” where you can buy 2 mascaras and get one free. That’s a year and a half, 18 months, 540 days, of impeccable eyes for around $65. It is a bit painful to take that first plunge, but it will be so worth it. Hit up Nordstrom this Memorial Day weekend and get in on this deal! There’s also a half-yearly sale lasting through the 31st boasting up to 40% off of items throughout the store. Or just buy it online at Nordstrom, or any department store. That’s the beauty of Chanel. She’s ubiquitous with beauty, and any retailer is eager to sell her, and any customer is happy to have her.
A year ago today I got out of the most toxic relationship in my life. It was not easy. Actually, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There were good times shared with my love, most of which were outweighed with disastrous lows. There were fights, stealing, lies, but above all else, there was delusion, as most relationships create over time. After 8 years, the ride had ended. It was time to crank up some Taylor Swift and stuff my face with fast food, because I ended my relationship with alcohol, and I had no idea what was going to happen next. Little did I know, everything was going to change for the better–it just took hard work and time to get there. My first step was leaving Los Angeles to move home to start over, so-to-speak, in Ellicott City, Maryland.
A year ago I was on a plane from LAX that was delayed several hours, giving me plenty of time to think about just what I’m doing with my life. I was half-drunk the night before when I told my best friend as I nursed my, what is now my last, drink called “Baby’s First Bourbon”, and said to her out loud for the first time, “I think this is my last drink. I’m quitting. I’m really scared”. Now, we all have been there when a friend groans those 4 little words “I’m never drinking again”, and we are always there for them, especially when they snap out of it come Friday at 5 PM to bring on another round of liver roulette, but this time was different. My friend could tell. I could feel it, too. We knew this was the end of not only my time in Los Angeles, but the end of an era. My life was going to completely change forever. We called it a night and went home, fell asleep together, woke up first thing in the morning, and hugged goodbye. Neither of us were ready to accept that it was really over, and our skin-tight friendship was going to change. It had to. My other friend drove me to the airport and tried to hold my hand, to show support, but I bat it away, because feelings are bad, bad, bad. He pulled up to LAX, where I once landed with a dream and a cardigan, to drop me off with a sobering reality and my very last hangover. We hugged goodbye, I stole a loner cart to carry my bags because I secretly wanted to be caught and delay my return home, and I was off to Maryland to live with my completely unaware parents. They knew I was moving home, but they had no idea what was going on with me in my head. No one really knew, or at least knew how to deal with it. They just knew I was always on the verge of tears and explosively angry all of the time, a common result of alcoholism, but they didn’t really know why. I didn’t really know why. Now was my time to figure it out, and boy, was it clear as day when I put the drink down to figure it out for myself.
The emotional baggage that comes out of the closet when you decide to no longer drown it with whiskey quickly fades away when you’re sobbing in your parent’s guest room for no reason aside from thinking about where you life has gone. I was at a low that I would love to wish on every person who has wronged me, because it was a terrible experience. I didn’t see any hope in the future, and I was so weak emotionally and physically that I found no joy in life anymore. My parents had to go on vacation while I was alone in an empty house, and I just sat in bed, contemplating what I wanted to do. I was scared. No, I was terrified. The murky waters of alcohol drained and the pieces of my life were clogging up the drain, waiting for me to scoop them up and examine just where it all ‘went wrong’. But nothing went wrong, I just went about coping with what wasn’t right in a completely incorrect way.
I did sobriety my own way, which involved moving home from Los Angeles, simply choosing “not today”, writing for sober blogs and maintaining my own blog, therapist visits, and psychiatrist visits. I struggle with depression and manic anxiety, and the therapist/psychiatrist visits went hand-in-hand with recovery and getting back on medication. The anonymous programs weren’t a great fit for me, but I attend them on occasion to support friends and to be around people who understand what it’s like to compromise your happiness and life with a drug. One of the best parts of this experience of sobriety is I can only really thank myself, because only I could make this choice on my own, and only I could stop numbing my feelings with the easy escape of drugs and alcohol. That beats any high a drug could attempt to offer. I absolutely had professional help and support from my parents and friends along the way, but no one held a gun to my head and made me put the bottle down. That was all on me, and only me. That’s an incredible feeling of pride I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because they don’t deserve to be happy, of course.
The first 100 days of sobriety are the hardest, and it’s not because of alcohol cravings. It’s not the alcohol you crave, it’s the escape. You realize how bored you are, because you aren’t drinking to waste time and energy. You also realize you don’t have any hobbies or or a life outside of partying, and that can get downright depressing. That’s where the therapy really helped, because I was at a complete loss as to who I was and what I wanted. I was able to redirect my map of life and figure out what I wanted, which was exhausting to even think about. I wrote every day for a sober blog to share how I felt, hoping for anyone who was in the same boat as me telling me those magic words “I understand how you feel”. I was shocked at the support I got from people of all ages from all different walks of life. There are so many people who quit drinking, and they were all looking for exactly what I wanted: a community. The writing helped me navigate through my muddled thinking and figure out what was bothering me, what I wanted for my future, and if it was normal to feel so incredibly lost yet optimistic at the same time. I felt accepted. I felt loved. I felt like I was going to be OK, even if I didn’t quite feel OK. Sobriety, real sobriety, anyway, needs a community. You need support. You need to talk about it. Whether you choose to go to a meeting or write like I did, the support was what got me through those heart-wrenching first 100 days. In those 100 days you will lose all of your friends just about, you will lose a sense of who you are, you will lose a ton of weight (the only thing that kept me going at first), and you won’t sleep a wink, so you have plenty of time to think about good ole alcohol and how he’s doing just fine without you. Those 100 days were the best, hardest, most painful 100 days I’ve ever had to experience, but once I passed that threshold, I lit up a cigar, ate some Chinese food, and kicked back, because I knew in my heart I could finally do it. I could beat this habit. I am better off without him. Without them. Without all of that toxicity that made me that miserable person I once knew. I could really do this. I was doing it. I did it.
I moved from LA for many more reasons besides wanting to get sober. Sobriety was the least of my worries. I realized that it was not my dream to work in production anymore, and that I just really don’t fit in with or like the West Coast mentality. I don’t even like the beach, for God’s sake. Los Angeles is a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it is filled with self-aggrandizing people who don’t stimulate me, especially in the entertainment world. It just isn’t for everyone. But I stayed for my friends, I stayed because I don’t quit anything, I stayed because moving was a huge, exhausting hassle, the excuses go on. But then I realized my only reasons for staying were for other people, and none of them were for me. I love comedy and I never performed, nor did I want to because I was so depressed that leaving the bed to shower was an ongoing battle. I was working incredibly long hours at jobs I didn’t care about to pay my bills, and I knew they weren’t leading me anywhere. I never wrote anymore, and I began to resent everyone and everything, all because I was miserable and not doing anything for myself. I would date guys who were actually really good people (???? Not clear) and brazenly use them for meals, going out, and a punchline. I still feel gross about it, especially because I know how it feels to be used. Most of them are dating nice girls now…probably?
I also was the group jester that people relied on to make them laugh and have fun, and I filled the role, as most comic folk tend to do. It takes two to be resentful, and I for sure dug my own grave, right down to my crunchy, bitter core. I don’t harbor those resentful feelings so much anymore, but there are some people I had to let go of when I got sober simply because I knew our friendship was a sham outside of alcohol. I was far from a perfect friend, but I was also not treated well by a lot of people I used to consider close friends. With that being said, I chose to never stand up for myself. I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by pretending to be OK and their friend. I did that way too much and that would make the friendship end in a much worse way than it needed to over the years, simply because I didn’t have the courage to end it or express how I felt. I’m sorry for hurting people when I was trying to relieve myself of the burden of needing to confront a friend. I guess I just assumed I would be treated perfectly, which can’t really be achieved unless I set the standards of how I expect to be treated. I let it seem OK, and thus people did whatever they were used to doing. It is as simple as that. I know those people aren’t reading this, but in case you are, I am sorry for taking the easy way out. I know you’re fine without me, and, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m fine without you, too. That doesn’t mean I don’t harbor guilt from being immature. I hope you’re well.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, I empathize with you and also implore you to talk with them honestly and without hypocrisy or judgment. That is a tall order, but expressing your concern in a caring way can at least make them evaluate how their actions have been affecting you and others. If you are looking for advice on recovery or anything, please message me. I would love to talk about my journey with you if it can help you get sober or at least consider it. However, when it comes to your friends using, it’s unfortunately a very slippery slope that can easily cost your friendship, especially if you aren’t sober or have gone through recovery yourself. I’m by no means saying I can now officiate interventions because I am sober, but I know if my friends who were black out the night before told me I had a problem, I would resent them and definitely not feel comfortable being around them. At the end of the day you’re dealing with a very sick person who is at a debilitating low in their self-esteem, and they will be extremely sensitive to what you say. If the situation seems too extreme for even a decent conversation, there are a lot of resources you can find on sober websites that can be a better guidance.
I wish I could tell you that the user “will figure it out” but most of the time it takes a devastating rock bottom to want to get sober, especially at our age. I was very ‘lucky’ to have what happened to me to lead me to seek sobriety and change my life, and I still struggle with coping with those events every day. Toxic relationships don’t end the first time something bad happens; they end when you’ve had at least several months or years of misery to really drive the point home that YOU ARE NOT GOOD TOGETHER, JUST STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER AND MOVE ON. But I was in love, and love is as blind as it is drunk, right?
When you’re sober, you face everything that you numbed, and I was numbing a lot. I was still vehemently upset over things that happened in 2007. There were a lot of repressed feelings that came out of the dark after I got sober, and you will have to work with a professional (in my case) or a sponsor to dissect and cope with them. It will be the hardest and most painful thing you will have to do, but the end result will make you feel so free, there is literally not one person in the world who regrets it if they take it seriously and commit 150%. That is a fact. I am not perfectly happy and I have bad days, but I can face them like a normal human instead of a petulant teen who didn’t get her way. It’s liberating to act your age…sometimes.
Life will always be difficult and challenging. You can’t control that, but you can control how you react to it, who you allow in your life, how you teach people to treat you…I learned the hard way, but sometimes that’s the most effective way to learn. Choosing sobriety cost me a lot of ‘friends’, relationships, jobs, living situations, independence, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I can handle my struggles with my mental illnesses with so much more grace, and my crippling sensitivity and insecurity have become humbling blessings rather than hindrances. I can see the people in my life for who they are: some bad, some good, some saints. You will cut out at least 75% of the people in your life, not because they don’t support you (everyone will for the most part) but because you love so much more that you can’t fit anyone who doesn’t mean the world to you into your life anymore. The fair-weather friends will arrive out of the woodwork and they will say they’re proud, which they are, and you can graciously accept their kind words, but you don’t feel anything else for them. They’re human and couldn’t handle you at your worst. That doesn’t make them bad people, but it doesn’t make them your friends.
Like many people in the comedy world, I am incredibly sensitive and pretty insecure about a lot of things that no one who likes me notices. I’m also introverted. I have trouble being around people and especially if I’m not making jokes to get through it. I am also cursed with excellent social skills, and people tend to confuse being good at talking to others with extroversion. It makes no sense unless you’re a gregarious introvert. There should be a group for us, where we talk a bunch then withdraw completely to our cell phones at the end of each meeting. When I left my bed when I was depressed, I was punching in at a shitty part-time job, pasting a smile on my face so people don’t ask the worst question for a depressed person, “what’s wrong?”. I over compensated with alcohol and drugs because for once I felt “on” when I used. I felt like I could talk to anyone about anything, and I didn’t fear the rejection. I felt extroverted, for once. I certainly couldn’t of dated without it, being that I still felt like that gangly middle schooler that lives in all of us. It also didn’t help that my friends were what guys wanted to fuck and I succumbed to being the designated ugly fat friend (ie: the ever-sensitive acronym, DUFF), without the invite. I’m neither ugly or fat, and I still got plenty of attention from guys, but I carried myself like a duff, and thus was treated as such. It’s funny because I always blamed LA for not “getting attention” from guys because I’m not a petite actress, but when I came back to LA in February, I felt completely different. Guys were all eager to buy me a drink or talk to me, and I really didn’t look much different, but I carried myself in a way I never did in LA. I was just happy. I was with my same petite actress friends, I was confident, I was sober, and people notice a smile in a sea of frowns and botox. What I’m saying here is shut up, you’re beautiful, you’re just feeling insecure and ridiculous, and that’s normal. There are plenty of writers and producers who think you’re hot (at the very least), and who on EARTH thinks hot guys are attractive? Oh, everyone? Ok. My bad.
It’s funny that I relied on alcohol to make friends or talk to guys, because I am astronomically better without it in every facet of my life. I am a much better friend, a better worker, a better teammate, and a WAY better date. I feel freer than I did with alcohol or drugs because I know that this is the real me talking, and if someone doesn’t like it, then they just don’t like me. It’s not “oh I was drunk and annoying and that’s why they didn’t call” or other dumb excuses, and that has absolutely re-defined my social life. I have been complimented on how radiant and happy I look more than I ever have in my entire life within just one year. I also have been bought way more drinks than I ever did when I drank, which is such a drag, because I really just want them to buy me mozzarella sticks. I never really felt beautiful before, and now I feel fucking gorgeous. Some people may not agree, and I don’t care, because I know that I feel great and I’m trying my best and at least all my girlfriends tell me I’m pretty on Instagram so WHATEVER. I go out with my pretty friends and I feel like I belong, not that I have to put on a show to fit in. It’s a way I’ve never felt before when I drank. I never realized how much I felt I had to over compensate until I took away the crutches of alcohol and fell on my face. I dusted off the dirt, knocked the mud out of my ears, and voila: who knew self-respect was hiding just below that layer of adolescent insecurity? I still have my insecurities for sure, but now I have self-esteem that I really worried I would never be able to build back up again.
The numbness you experience when abusing drugs and alcohol takes away the pain, but it also numbs you to how it’s depleting your self-respect and self-esteem. It begins to numb you as to how you want to be treated by significant others or friends. It numbs you to realize when you should have ended a friendship years ago, but hold onto it because you believe you aren’t worthy of a good friend. It makes you call people friends over the years and they don’t remember to wish you a happy birthday, and you cry yourself to sleep, and brush it off the next day like nothing happened. They will hook up with a guy you had a rocky history with and tell everyone not to tell you, and when you find out, they mock you for ‘still caring’ instead of apologizing, and you just agree with them that you were out of line. You’ll surround yourself with people who gossip about you constantly, under the guise of ‘concern’, and yet never bring that concern to your attention. You’ll put all your eggs in baskets that never return your favors when you need them most. And it sucks. But that’s what happens when you use: you don’t earn many real friends. It makes you gravitate toward people who show they care about you as little as you do. It numbs you to anything good about yourself, and bleeds out all of your weaknesses. Toxic people are attracted to it. They can smell it from a mile away. The good people slowly slither out of your life because they know there is nothing they can do, and they’re wise for pulling away. The user won’t notice that; the narcissism envelopes and cascades over them with self-loathing. Users only become susceptible to those who treat them the way they like to be treated: like shit.
Those of you who stuck with me after everything are in my life forever. I am thankful and appreciative. I now don’t look at who I lost, but now I look at what I’ve gained. Who was there. Who made me smile. Who went out of their way when it wasn’t convenient for them. That’s what matters now. That’s what makes me so happy and so lucky. It’s obvious who you are, because I’ve told you in some way or another. The even better part is that I don’t feel angry toward people who weren’t there for me, either. They just aren’t people in my life, and that’s ok. I never felt that way about people before. Here lies reason 34967 why quitting drinking and drugs was a great moment for me.
I had a lot of fun times but most of them were forgotten or become distant blurs of what we considered to be fun. It became more of a Stockholm Syndrome, if anything. “This is what we are supposed to do while we are young, right? This has to be fun. THIS IS FUN!” well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun some times because I did. Then I turned 22. The ride had ended. The high couldn’t be reached. It was smooth depressing sailing from here on out.
Today is a great day. I’m thankful to my parents for helping me by letting me move home completely unplanned and without warning, because I was too proud to tell them how I was feeling and what happened to me. I’m thankful for my therapist and psychiatrist for helping me dig into what got me to this breaking point, and what to do to cope and be the best I can be. I want to thank myself, me one year ago today, as I was nursing a drink the night before, realizing I needed to quit if I ever wanted to be better. Commitment is not my strongest suit, and I am glad to see I can commit if I find the right person to love. I just never thought that person would be me.
Just a recap, in 365 Days, 8,765 Hours, 525,948 Minutes Sober, I have done the following:
- Moved across the country to live with my parents #humblebrag
- Worked in customer service for the largest Sports Apparel franchises, and now as a stylist at one of the largest Luxury Department stores in America
- Had over $50,000 in restaurant sales as a waitress
- Started performing Improv and re-started Stand Up Comedy
- Made new friends from all walks of life
- Lost 35 pounds and can run 11 miles (unfortunately I need a lot more work on my health…french fries, man)
- Started my own freelance styling and eBay boutique with over $2,500 in sales
- Launched this professional website with a launch of over 250 visitors in one day!
- Traveled to Boston, DC, New York, Raleigh, San Francisco, The PCH and Big Sur, and re-visited Los Angeles
- I bought Taylor Swift’s 1989 and I don’t care who knows it
- Had some interviews for jobs that didn’t amount to anything, but opened future doors
- Have built great relationships with my parents, family, and old friends
- Went to doctors!!! (big phobia of mine)
- Rekindled my love for writing, comedy, and fashion again
- Read BOOKS. READ, people. READ!
- Saved over $4,000 in drinking costs (alcohol, drinks at bars, Ubers, ‘I’m sorry’ brunches)
- Built a savings account, a CD, made investments, and became financially literate
- Saw Ace Enders and Brand New live in concert (again)…Attending Governor’s Ball in June. Remembered how much I used to love listening to music and playing music
- Quit drinking, a-duh
And, most importantly…
- Found out how to have fun and be happy (sp?)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading and your support! I’m doing what I can to keep it up, and some days are easier than others, so your kindness does not go unnoticed. Hopefully there will be a 2 year re-cap next year, but I just have to take it one day at a time. Here’s to another 365 Days, 8,765 Hours, 525,948 Minutes Sober!
Stay tuned. I’m just getting started.
This week I was welcomed on to The Rawal Report podcast to talk about the controversial film “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” now streaming on HBOGo and HBONow and HBOTheCableNetwork. Since I was a petulant teen bursting with my own ‘teen spirit’ (please forgive me), I have loved Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. His posters hung in my room, and I devoured every article I could ever read about him and his tragic life. He was a walking contradiction, where he hated attention, but wanted to be successful, he wanted to be lazy, but he would write a song or create art every day while unemployed, he wanted a family, but pushed away his own family, he hated drug addicts, he became one, he hated phonies, he married Courtney Love….need I say more? Even his journal entries (shown in the picture above) show his self-awareness of just how contradictory he can be.
I admittedly don’t watch movies, but Raj watches enough for the both of us, and it shows. I had a lot of fun talking about one of my favorite rock legends and the best rock documentary I have ever seen. Nirvana fan or not, you have to see this film. From the home footage, the interviews, to the animation, it’s a masterpiece that even Cobain would appreciate. Give it a listen, and I hope you enjoy it! Please do yourself a favor and see this film, but don’t skip on the tissues.
The thing about skin problems is that it’s on display for everyone; you can’t gloss over it with your personality, or mask it with an impressive job. It’s there, and it doesn’t care who sees it. My biggest skin problem since I was bustling with puberty and headgear is acne. Unfortunately for me, my skin has continued to be acne-prone well into adulthood, and I have tried everything, and I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. From the celebrity-endorsed Proactiv to the fetus-mutating Accutane, if it promised to make my skin clear, I tried it, to little to no results to show for it. My visits with the dermatologist would be border-line aggressive, as he too would get angry with my skin, grabbing my cheeks with his thumb and index finger, turning my face back and forth like a pimply-bobble head, disgusted with what he saw time after time. I didn’t really mind the Dermatologist in grade school, I was missing first period for appointments either way; however, once I got to college, it just became another doctor to deal with on holidays. I told my Dermatologist on the phone “I’m cured!” and I swear a white head blossomed on my nose as a result of my white lie, but I just was done with the charade. I just wasn’t going to have perfect skin, and I am not interested in going to another doctor during winter break. Out-of-state college kids, can I get an Amen?
No filter/No kidding!!! Girl, you don’t need make up, but you definitely need a better acne care regiment
I came to ‘peace’ with my skin and just invested in expensive cover-up to make my scars and bumps look like some type of mild-skin condition that only I would notice. My friends always assured me they never noticed my problem skin, which was nice and appreciated, but if they knew the lengths I went for them to not notice, then they would understand why I was always self-conscious about it. After 15 years, I ‘accepted’ that I just was never going to have good skin, and looked forward to the novelty of not having to deal with wrinkles since I haven’t outgrown pubescent zits yet. That being said, I still give any new acne product a try, but I never expect it to really work–just as long as it makes some slight difference, I am on board. That is, until I came across GlamGlow Super Mud.
This little 3 ounce silo of charcoal and a bunch of fancy buzz-words packs in at a whopping $69 at Sephora, so I never even imagined giving this miracle mask a try. It has won every beauty award from every magazine, from every race, from every species. They call it “the best mask you will ever use” and people swear on their children that the product works. Either people are liberal with child-swearing, or this stuff really does the trick for problem skin, but I just wasn’t going to dish out that kind of money. Then I found it on amazon for $45, and thought “what do I have to lose?”, and found myself becoming a real-life infomercial spokeswoman. The packaging for this product is worth at least $25 as it has “HELLO, SEXY!” on the front of a pop out pamphlet describing all of the amazing benefits of this product. Once you get through all of the schmoozing, you come to the little container, and realize all you have to do is slab some black goo on your face, let it sit for 20 minutes, and wash it off. But this mask is different.
Seems like a simple charcoal mask..so why is this so expensive?
It goes on smooth at first, with a little bit of the Teoxi Leaves that apparently rebuild collegen proteins in my face or something strewn across my face, and it smells great. Just sit tight. Wait for, say, 3 minutes, and you’ll see. The mask begins to dry, and in turn it shows all of the dirt-clogging GUNK that has been trapped in your pores that you never realized were brimming to the rim with bacteria and dirt. I shower every day–sometimes twice, depending how gross I feel after a meal–and the drying GlamGlow made my skin look like my face was dragged in asphalt. “Suzanne, stop being dramatic. it didn’t look THAT bad”.
See those black marks everywhere? That’s a cemetery of dirt, grime and oil. Who needs a colonic when you can just flush out pounds of toxins on your face? With a thin layer of super mud, my face could hardly move as it dried. I would try to talk to my parents who just stared in disgust, which usually only happened when I shared a bit I was working on as opposed to my skin care regime. 20 minutes had passed, and I washed the mask off with a Clairsonic Mia 2. A simple rinse just will not do for this mask. You will need a sander to get this off, but that’s a testament to just how well this mask works.
annnnd this is how I look now!!
Ok, I wish I looked like that at all times without make up and some photoshop. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all lived with a photoshop face? Anyway, here’s how it turned out–
After I sanded the mask off and put some oil-free moisturizer on my red face.
I wish I could say I patted my face dry a-la a Clean and Clear commercial and revealed perfectly photo shopped skin, but when I looked in the mirror, I did see a difference in how my skin looked immediately. My skin, although it still has acne, is–dare I say it–glowing. It has a radiance that seemed to only happen when I see my server carrying my food to my table. The size of my blemishes have significantly shrank and the redness is mostly from the result of the Clairsonic scraping the mask off my face.
My verdict: BUY, BUY, BUY! This series of masks also come in Anti-Aging masks, Hydrating Masks, and Dual-Cleansers that can cater to any skin type. In my experience the mask has made me initially break out a little, and then eventually the acne goes away to a much more manageable amount. It has not healed my chronic acne, but it has made my entire face glow to the point where I am running on 45 minutes of sleep and I am still complimented on my skin. They also sell daily cleanser versions of GlamGlow, but I have not found a cheaper version than Sephora’s $69 price tag. GlamGlow has an entire array of skin care that I can’t wait to get my hands on when I have some more disposable income, but if you want to find the masks at an affordable price, Amazon.com is the way to go. If you have Prime, you are 2 days away from the best skin of your life. I am like the wise bearded man from Men’s Warehouse when I say, “you’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it”.
Here’s a link to all of the GlamGlow Amazon products, including Travel sizes for $10, perfect for first-timers via Amazon.
Has anyone tried the GlamGlow Cleansers? The Eye Brightening Pods? Or is anyone else a GlamGlow addict? Leave your story below!
I had a client who was looking for something to wear to a Summer wedding in Napa Valley. She is 28, a guest of the bride, and wanted to make a statement without out-shining the bride. Her personal style was described as classic, but she wanted a bit of a twist. She was a dream client, because I myself love classic, timeless pieces that have some *oomph* with a statement accessory.
My lovely client gave me her sizes and a budget of $350 to put together an outfit that she can wear to the Napa Wedding and to future cocktail events. With a slightly larger budget, I was able to go for more quality, timeless pieces, which, once again, is my personal wheel-house.
1. Ann Taylor: Classic Sheath Dress in Taupe $128
What we came with is this classic A-line dress with a slight V-neck in a neutral Stone Taupe color at none other than Ann Taylor. Ann Taylor gets a bad rap because it has a muddled clientele, and it can either be cubicle shabby or office chic. It’s a mixed bag, but I found this dress and knew it could not only be worn at future summer cocktail events, but can be worn in the office. Win-win.
2. What Goes Around Comes Around NYC: Vintage Hand-Made Black Sheer Cardigan with Gold Embellishment $45 (Originally $450!!!)
Ok, I have some explaining to do. This cardigan was an amazing find that came my way at a shopping fundraiser event I planned in 2013. What Goes Around Comes Around NYC is a luxury Vintage boutique that has the most beautiful, luxe, and, well, expensive one-of-a-kind pieces. They graciously donated several pieces to our event for us to sell, and this cardigan for some reason never got sold. I gladly accepted the cardigan into my closet, and wore it about once to a Christmas party. It’s not that I didn’t love it, and believe me, the compliments were endless when I wore this, but it just never fit with my personal style. It was so gorgeous I couldn’t part with it! That is, until I realized this cardigan would be exactly what my client needed to amp up her cocktail attire. I sold it to her through my eBay boutique store for $45, and I am happy to pass this beautiful piece to someone who will give it the proper wear it deserves!
3. Halogen: Gold Skinny Belt $28
Don’t know how else to pitch it. It’s a gold, skinny belt, and it gives a nice touch to the neutral canvas of the taupe. I love belts and dresses, and I always think it pulls an outfit together. My client also isn’t big on jewelry and doesn’t even have her ears pierced (!?! so #normcore), so this is a perfect way to add some “jewelry” without over powering the statement cardigan.
4. Sam Edelman: Nude Pumps $104 (Originally $130)
When it comes to a neutral palette, there just isn’t anything better than either a pop of color on the shoe, or going nude. I prefer going nude, especially when you already have a lot going on up top. In order to bring all the gold tones together, this heel compliments all the accents together, and has a heel that isn’t so high that you will be teetering around the banquet hall, dying to sit in a chair. I am notorious for taking my heels off the second I get into my location, and it completely defeats the purpose of dressing classy. No one looks classy with heels in their hands, trust me. My client and I agreed on a solid 2.5 inch heel, and this was a perfect fit. Poof! Outfit complete.
Total Outfit Cost: $305, $45 Under Budget
I found this series of questions from my college neighbor/dear friend/overall role model, Carolyn. She has a blog about her amazing weight loss journey, and is as inspiring as she is sarcastic. Check out her blog here! You won’t be sorry (except for letting yourself go and making excuses about it, like me). The questions are more pertinent to fitness, but hey, I could use some fitness goals other than having a less audible groan when I get out of bed.
Let’s Myspace it up a l’il bit and let you get to know more about me, why don’t we? I wanted to take it seriously, so I apologize if it isn’t a bucket-o-laughs. I rarely evaluate my life, so I thought these questions prompted some thoughts that haven’t crossed my mind often enough. Enjoy!
1. When did you start blogging and what prompted that decision?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Despite how much I run my mouth, I am much better at writing than talking when it comes to articulating my feelings, thoughts, etc. As I attempt stand up, it has been teaching me more and more about how to get my point across without rambling, and has helped me tackle my Phonological Dyslexia, which is an auditory dyslexia. After years of speech therapy it is under control, but is still triggered by nerves aka public speaking, and I have always used that as an excuse to never read aloud in class, to speak in public, etc., and I don’t want to do that anymore. I used blogging as a platform for my comedy and writing, and now I want to continue writing to help me get over my childish fear of mixing my words up on stage. I guess I haven’t fixed my rambling problem just yet.
2. What one thing are you most proud of in your life?
Ironically, I’m most proud of my work in events in Los Angeles than anything I have done in comedy. I was so blown away by how I could work in an office and make my painfully controlling Mother be proud of me. I learned a lot about myself, about work ethic, how to deal with tough personalities, just about anything you need to make it in a big city. After that experience, I felt confident that I can take on anything. Sadly for my Mother, it also reminded me that although I can swing being in an office, I am just not cut out for it. I am meant to work solo, but now I know I can collaborate effectively. I never thought I could work in a cubicle and be happy, and for a while, I was! It ended and it was tough, but it ultimately made me realize I am meant to do comedy and to be independent with my work.
3. What is your favorite way to work up a sweat?
Eating an In-n-Out double-double animal style.
4. What is your next fitness-related goal (ie. run a certain distance, lift a certain weight, etc.)?
I saw my friends run a half-marathon in DC at the We Run DC Women’s Half Marathon, and it was so inspiring. They ran and got a Tiffany’s necklace and some really nice swag. I want to participate in runs, so maybe just being able to do a 5k without walking/contemplating suicide? I miss playing sports, too.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I struggle a lot in the “life” department. I let anxiety hold me back at every turn, I don’t properly handle my manic depression, the list of excuses goes on. Since I made this move to Maryland, I have been making a lot of strides in achieving my first goal of just simply being happy. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been happy. I’ve been less-depressed, but that’s about it. I know it’s cool to be angsty and mad, but I don’t want to be that person anymore. Once I achieve the most moderate level of normal-human happiness, I know everything can fall into place. But here are some goals:
In 5 years, pending my emotional well-being, I want to be in shape, to have traveled as much as my finances allow me, to be working as a stand-up, to be content as a bartender in between gigs, to have written at least one movie script I love, to have written a season of the television series I have been tinkering with, to have made a television appearance aside from my infamous news segment in college, to have a healthy relationship with my friends and family (I can’t even fathom a healthy romantic relationship), and to be a published author.
6. What’s your favorite way to spend a day (should you find yourself with absolutely no plans or obligations)?
Sleep all day and hang out at the The Comedy Store in Los Angeles all night. I am a complete night owl, and prefer it that way.
7. What is your favorite meal?
Sushi–always. Sashimi, hand cut rolls, anything; but never fried! That’s just offensive.
8. If I could visit one place in your hometown (or where you currently live), where would that be and why?
BWI airport to get the fuck out of Maryland because obviously.
9. If you could have lunch with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
I want to hang out with Chelsea Peretti. She’s one of the few favorite comedians of mine that I didn’t get to meet/see live, and I feel like we would have a great time being weird and sarcastic together. Plus, she hangs with a bunch of comics that I love, too. So there’s an opp for a lot of fun friends to crash.
10. What’s the first website you visit when you turn on your computer (or phone?)…other than your own blog ;)?
Instagram on phone. Twitter on computer. Always looking for jokes.
11. If I was to look in your purse, what would I find?
Napkins, retainer, earrings, miscellaneous crumbs, make up, check books (plural), wallet, a disposable camera that doesn’t work. You’ll find that I’m a Jewish Grandma.
Now that Summer is approaching, what better way to spend your days listening to podcasts? Podcasts are radio’s prettier sibling that allows you to listen from the privacy of your own car with the fresh breeze of recycled cool air from your air conditioner or the wind blowing in your hair as you careen into a ditch off the 405. I’ve been consumed with a lot of media (of the comedy persuasion, of course), and thought I’d share with you some of my favorite pieces of entertainment to get through those long drives in traffic and those never-winning battles with insomnia at night.
I’ll start this post with some obviously obvious Podcasts you needed to obviously start listening to yesterday because duh.
Ten Minute Podcast: This podcast stars some of my favorite comedians/funny guys, Chris D’elia, Bryan Callen, and Will Sasso. It’s ten minutes of these three long-time friends complaining about Coachella, becoming different characters like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, their number one fan, Shawna, or they just slur their words together to make, for some inexplicable reason, the funniest sentences you’ll ever hear (for example: you got a boyfriend? = y’gah’boyf?). The podcast has been around for 2 years, and has been my favorite since day one. Even with their new advertisers, they make jokes about their product placement, and even offer 50% off your first order of Nature Box, a wholesome snack delivery, at http://www.naturebox.com/tenminutepodcast. If you don’t have ten minutes, follow Chris D’elia and Will Sasso’s hysterical vines @chrisdelia @willsasso. Those are two of the four vine-ers that I can honestly suggest you to watch without feeling inherently guilty for wasting 6 seconds of your life. tenminutepodcast.com
Here’s my favorite podcast from April 2013. A year ago. It’s when Chris recorded his one hour special (White Male. Black Comic) and they discover a new way to say “You’re jealous as fuck.” I bring to you, Jealous Sz’Fuck http://tenminutepodcast.com/2013/04/30/tmp-jealous-szfk/
WTF Podcast with Marc Maron: I truly hope this isn’t the first time you heard of WTF, but if you have, I’ll withhold my judgement if you listen right away. Marc Maron is everyone’s favorite neurotic grump who broadcasts in his garage in my wonderful neighborhood in Highland Park, Los Angeles. He is a terrific interviewer that cuts the bullshit, gets to the bottom of people’s back stories, and is, above all else, very funny. He interviews comedians and UCB alumni, so you are guaranteed to be entertained for the one hour (or more) long podcast. He has an app for your iPhone that is perfect for your long drive home. Download WTF with Marc Maron (for free!) and listen up. If you want a taste of Maron’s sense of humor, check out his specials (he’s been around for decades), but I am pretty fond of his most recent Netflix special “Thinky Pain” and his new series “Maron”, which just started its second season just last week. http://www.wtfpod.com
One of my favorite WTF podcasts was with Maron’s estranged unknown comic friend Louis C.K. You can listen here (it’s 2 hours long, but totally worth it. The interview begins at around 25 mins in) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gw125AZtDU
How Did This Get Made: Have you ever seen a movie so bad that it’s amazing? Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas talk about some of your favorite horrible movies, and I can’t believe I have to elaborate more on why you need to listen to this podcast. It’s the easiest topic to humorously discuss, with the funniest people out there. Jason Mantzoukas is my favorite comedic actor at the moment. http://www.earwolf.com/show/how-did-this-get-made/
Here’s my favorite How Did This Get Made of “Sharknado” featuring Scott Aukerman. Need I say more? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYy_RGKHrE8
Take Me Home Podcast: Here’s a podcast that isn’t run by a bunch of super rich comedians that do a podcast in between their trips to the bank! That’s first and foremost one of my favorite qualities of this podcast. The podcast is hosted by comedians Tyler Meznarich and Parker Searfoss who are stationed in Los Angeles. The podcast talks to comedians about their hometowns and the news that’s going on in their towns, and it is so, delightfully funny. Parker is one of my favorite people/comedians and he is as infuriatingly funny as he is kind. Sometimes I just sit and listen and bang my head against the wall because I didn’t think of Nicolas Cage starring as myself in my dreams. Everyone is funny on the show, but I have to be biased and say that Parker steals the podcast every time. Subscribe to the podcast and help them get the advertisement (aka money) they deserve. Do it. DO IT. DOOOO ITTTTT, YOU FOOLS!!!!! www.takemehomepodcast.com/
Call Chelsea Peretti: I can’t believe I almost forgot my favorite solo podcast, “Call Chelsea Peretti”. Chelsea Peretti is hilariously insane, with her incessant use of sound clips of “ding ding ding looks like we’re out of time, goodbye” to callers she finds to be boring, to making raps about Wolf Blitzer. Although the podcast is solo, she seems to have a blast just messing with callers for an hour. The podcast has usual topics of the day, and then people call in to discuss with her. Chelsea uses her wonderful sarcasm and soundboard clips to communicate with the usually boring callers, because compared to Peretti, who is really even interesting? Who can compete with a soundboard? Not me, that’s for sure. I even downloaded her Call Chelsea app for what I think may have been the best $1.99 I’ve ever spent. *queue the “you’re my favorite caller” sound*. I have never feared bear attacks until I listened to this podcast, and now all I wish is that I’d be in one so I could have the slightest shot at not only being a caller, but being worthy of participating in the podcast. http://www.feralaudio.com/show/call-chelsea-peretti/
Here’s my favorite song she made, in honor of Wolf Blitzer. It’s, as you can imagine, called “Wolf Blitzer, I Love You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkwcdnmXyKo
Sometimes the answers to all of your problems lie in the cracks of the ceiling.
The crevices that tell you what you want, what you fear,
what you can or can’t
do at that moment.
Your dreary eyes scan the blank wall to find splotches of paint from sloppy applications
that were made years ago, and they remind you of mistakes that you made and have yet to mend,
or to accept that you can’t change.
The lonely cobwebs float in the wind from the propelling ceiling fan that’s set at a moderate speed.
It creates a disguise of a comforting chill in the night.
The waves of wind hit between your toes and occasionally a stray patch of hair with dry split ends;
you don’t notice when you have it
but you do notice when it’s gone.
You wonder how the cobwebs feel to be widows of homes past.
You feel empathy for the withering spools of silk, realizing you know exactly how it feels.
The ghost of a home reminds you of old ceilings past, and wondering if they are being stared at by lonely souls tonight.
The ceiling holds you down, it protects you from the cold night, it shields you from rain and traps recycled air,
but most importantly, in those last fleeting moments before your eye lids sink, it’s the mirror of your subconscious.
The reflection isn’t always the best,
but that’s the thing about dry wall,
it can’t lie.