Things You Can Wear While Dying Alone

If my Facebook feed is to believed, the world is probably about to end by flooding again. After all, what other reason is there for everyone to be paired up two-by-two? Okay, maybe we’re not in the midst of a Noah’s ark scenario, but still – I can’t go a day without seeing somebody’s wedding or engagement. Over 10 of my Facebook friends are expecting babies this summer. What’s a single lady to do?

Well, she’s to look on the bright side! You all may have locked down someone to care for you in your old age, but I have something just as precious – the ability to wear a bunch of really, really unattractive items without getting myself dumped.

Now, you may be reading this and saying “but Molly, my fiancé is my best friend and he loves me exactly how I am! I could dress like a bag lady and he’d still think I was the belle of the ball!” To you folks, I say this: I hope you’re right and that you have a love so beautiful and picturesque that it looks like a film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Except with nobody getting a disease or going off to war, I mean. But also, can you PLEASE  just let me have this ONE thing?

Like, I can wear these things:

Frownies:

WTFrownies

Frownies are scraps of paper that you stick onto your face at night. Theoretically, after you tape your face down it can’t move as much, so you should wake up a little less wrinkly and a little more beautiful. This is a good thing to do if you don’t necessarily want to die alone, but aren’t getting any younger and don’t make, you know, Botox money. Let me tell you, nothing makes me feel more beautiful than waking up at 2 in the morning to find myself frantically clawing bits of calcified paper off of my face. If you don’t want to shell out cash for Frownies, you could probably make your own with construction paper, Elmer’s glue, and self-loathing. Frownies are a special privilege for ladies who are dying alone.

Pineapple:

Curly-haired girls, this is the best thing ever and I only learned about it like 3 years ago. You know how you seriously cannot wash your hair every day or it looks like a ball of brillo? But you know how, after you sleep on your hair, it gets all frizzy and the curls all break up? PINEAPPLE, ladies. Just gather all of your hair up onto the tip-top of your head and secure it with a scrunchie. Yes, a mega-high ponytail and yes, a scrunchie. You’ll look like a curly Michelle Tanner. Your curls stay in place, don’t get stretched out like they would with a low ponytail, and you don’t get a ponytail bump like you would with an elastic. It’s a special hairdo that you can only wear if you’re in the middle of dying alone, because it’s kind of embarrassing. Note: when you have adult company, I suggest piling your hair straight above your head on your pillow so that you look like a troll doll, and just hoping that it goes unnoticed. It doesn’t work as well as the pineapple, especially if you move your head around, but it’s better than nothing and you won’t wake up with the dreaded brillo-head.

Sleep Cap:

It’s like a Halloween costume for a “Hot Pilgrim.”

Even more unattractive than the pineapple, I present the sleep cap. It’s a satin bonnet that protects your ‘do, keeps your hair from getting puffy or tangled, and makes you look like a sassy colonial woman. If you are dying alone, you might as well look like a modern-day Felicity Merriman in your sleep. Sleep caps are really for single people because they’re so awkward that, in the course of a relationship, you have to broach the subject of it as delicately as you would confess that you have an STD. “So, I have something to tell you. And I don’t want you to look at me any different, or think of me any different. And if you want to slow things down after I tell you this, I’ll understand. The fact is… I wear a sleep cap.”

“Play Clothes” when you get home from work

Do you remember when you’d get home from elementary school and you’d have to change into your play clothes right away? Maybe that was only those of us who wore uniforms. Anyway, as an adult you can really do the same thing. You can change into your workout clothes, hit the gym, then never change out of them. Or, you can put on sweatpants or pajamas and nobody will judge you. If you’re going to die alone, you might as well do it in comfort.

“Boyfriend” Anything

Ladies, let’s face it. There’s no way in hell anything that is “boyfriend” fit looks like you borrowed it from a gentleman caller.  Literally every pair of pants I own that could fall into the “boyfriend pant” category is actually a regular pair of pants that I bought a size big because I didn’t try them on, or got before accidentally losing 8 pounds or something. Let’s just call these what they really are, “comfortable clothing that I wear when I’m not trying because it’s cool if  I die alone.” I don’t think I’m fooling anyone into thinking I stole my jeans from a 5’2 man with a butt.

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Tips for Fox’s Reboot of The Swan: 2004 Hot vs. 2013 Hot

If you haven’t been up on your reality show gossip, you might have missed some big news — Fox is bringing back The Swan! In case you’ve forgotten, in the early 2000s there was a brief trend on reality t.v. where unfortunate-looking people got their faces did. Surgically, I mean. Those shows were the Swan and Extreme Makeover (the real Extreme Makeover, before it was about bringing joy to selfless people and making you cry).

The thing was, this format seems like it was part of a moment in time. Think back to 2004 or so. We followed every step of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Lindsay Lohan was a hot damn mess, but still a kind of adorable, age-appropriate mess. Britney Spears was a party girl with nary a Jayden James nor Sean Preston in sight. This photo really captures the zeitgeist of the time:

Never Forget. Also, what context put these 3 girls in the presence of wood paneling? It looks like my late grandparents’ house in Appalachian NY.

It was a really, really awesome time for boring or unimaginative girls. You could be cut- and-paste hot so, so easily. Heavy fake tan? Check. Get crazy skinny? Check. Nasty ratty weave that looks like you scalped a blonde Barbie Styling Head? Yep, that too. Fake boobs, denim mini skirt, plain tank top? Check, check, check. If it was daytime, you could wear a terrible velour sweatsuit. If you wanted the word “juicy” printed across your ass, then the word “juicy” was printed across your ass.  You had to buy a pricey bag to carry your dog around in, then if you were out of money for a dog, you could just get a rat or mole from nature and say it was a chihuahua mix. Then you just topped it off with a really boring or bored attitude – see, eg, the Paris Hilton “that’s hot” vocal fry/drawl.

It was probably not the best era for those of us who were more goofy and pale, but it was good business for makeover shows. Cut-and-paste hot really lent itself to The Swan’s format. Once you cleared off any iffy facial features (hook nose, giant gums, hairy warts, what have you), you just had to add the right elements and, at the end of the hour, you had turned an ugly duckling into a sort of skanky-looking swan.

The thing is, this isn’t really the look these days. There’s a whole different thing happening in 2013. I don’t even know what to call it. Quirky-hot? Anyway. With that in mind, I think these are the elements that the new Swan should incorporate:

1) Surgical Facial Quirking

If the subject has a boring face, then the staff plastic surgeons need to make it interesting. But like, the right kind of interesting. We’re not going to go all the way to ugly, more like adorable …  in a way where it’s still believable when the subject says that the cool girls used to pick on her in junior high.

Some options: The Bambi (eyelash lengthening and eye-widening surgery).  Permanent light freckling (not like freckle-freckles. About ten adorable ones, across the bridge of the nose). Colored contacts to add flecks of gold so that the subject’s eyes are so pretty that she can claim to be self-conscious about it. Infinitesimal tooth gapping. Nose upturning.

2) Ukulele lessons 

Accompanied with “how to sing like you’re from the ‘30s” voice lessons. The end project is a YouTube channel.

3) Shopping

The subject learns to shop from small online outlets, so that when people ask where she got something, she can say “oh, I don’t know, I think it’s vintage?”

4) Diet

Whomever the subject is, if she wants to be the ideal 2013 lady she can probably benefit from more recipes from Pinterest . I suggest cooking classes and recipes that involve quinoa, kale, or cake pops.

5) Manic Pixie Dream Quiz Show

The subject has to provide the correct answers to the following questions: What is your favorite music? (Answer: Anything on vinyl). Do you like kittens? (Answer: No. I LOVE kittens.) What was the best decade? (Answer: Any anything from the 1920s through the 1990s is  acceptable, but probably not the ’70s or ’80s, which were objectively speaking the least adorable decades of the 20th century).

6) Hobbies:

I don’t know, probably a blog.

Honestly, I feel bad for all of the boring or unimaginative ladies in our modern times. In 2004 all you had to do was look sort of tan and uninterested. These days, there are so many Etsy shops to monitor and so much individualistic nail art to create and so damn many hair braid configurations. It’s got to be exhausting.

But despite all that, rebooting the Swan for 2013 has to be one of the best ideas Fox has had, because watching all of this transpire is going to make for some great t.v.

Editor’s note: If you’re reading this, and this sounds like you and your friends, it’s all in good fun. This sounds an awful lot like me, too – I  can’t help it if music sounds better on vinyl and I want to go online shopping with Daisy Buchanan. I also have a cat named Mabel who used to be an adorable kitten. I win at Swan: 2013!

DIY: Hair Chalk

If you spend hours like me in the dark hole that is Pinterest/and or Instagram, you’ve seen girls with long hair don’t care flaunting their hair chalked manes. It’s basically a quick, easy, temporary way to add some color to your hair without going all out. My friends and I recently went in on some chalk and did it for the first time. Here are the results!

Step 1: Purchase a box of chalk – aka soft pastels. If you can’t find it at your local Sally Hansen or beauty store, head over to Michaels and grab a box of pastel chalk. Works just the same.

Step 2: Select the piece of your hair you’d like to color and wet it. A lot of internet hair “experts” say to spritz the strand with a water bottle, but wetting it over your bathroom sink works just as well.

high class operation we run here

Step 3: Take the chalk of your choice and color the strand in an up and down motion using the long side of the chalk. If it seems like the chalk isn’t sticking to the hair like you want, try wetting the chalk. Make sure all of the hair is completely covered. This part might get a little messy, so use caution.

the red hair chalk looked like i was bleeding out from my skin. cute.

Step 4: Use a straightener or hair curler to set the color in. We used a wet to dry straightener that worked perfectly. And it seems self explanatory, but the chalk will get on your straightener. It’s easy to wash off, but you might end up with a multi colored flat iron when you’re all finished!

Step 5: Take selfies in the bathroom

Tool Tally: 1 (Caitlin helped with the photo taking too!)

Step 6: Show off your new ‘do! Like I said, chalking is only temporary, but should stay in until the next time you wash your hair. How do you do your chalk?!

Eva pulls off her best Kelly Osbourne impression. She chose white chalk to use on her red hair, and we think it kind of turned out a fab light purple!

My red came out awesome too – except I had to wash my hair the next day, so it lasted approx 8 hours. Til next time!

Gradient Nails That Won’t Stress You Out

If you’re like me, online nail tutorials can be an exercise in inferiority. I look at photos, read descriptions, and ultimately realize that these internet manicurists have better hand-eye coordination and fine-muscle skill than I ever will. I mean, that’s why I don’t play sports, frankly. I feel like if we all lived 200 years ago, those girls would be embroidering dainty needlepoint samples, and I’d be chopping wood or checking bear traps.

After some trial and error, I figured out a gradient nail look that even I can’t mess up. SPOILER: the trick is covering everything in sparkles.

You will need: basecoat/ topcoat (some people use separate nail polishes, but I just use any ol’ clear one; a white base coat really helps if you’re using neon colors, though), two other nail polish colors you want to blend into each other, sparkly nail polish or loose nail sparkles (my fave), saran wrap.

Tried-and-true Sally Hanson in Gunmetal, and one of my favorite nail polishes ever – China Glaze in For Audrey.

1) Base coat. I don’t know if this really does anything but I feel like you’re supposed to do it.

2) Paint the bottom ⅔ of your nail (that is, from your cuticle up) in your first color. No need to be too precious with it. We’re not, like, using tape or anything, although if you’re into that then good for you. But you’re from the big leagues, baby, and this is more of a AAA farm team operation here.

See? Not too precise. Step 2 is on the left and 3 is on the right.

3) Paint the top ⅓ of your nail the next color. Ideally, you’d have two shades that blend well into each other. I did gunmetal and aqua, but sky’s the limit. Pink and white look nice.

4) Do a couple more coats. Did you get nailpolish all over your cuticles? Me too! It will come off when you take a shower.

5) Let everything dry pretty well. It’s a good time to watch t.v. but a bad time to watch t.v. while eating a snack, since your nails are wet. But you don’t have to dry for too crazy-long, because we aren’t done yet!

6) Take your second color, and brush a bit over the top half of the first color, where the two colors meet (so, roughly the middle ⅓ of your nail). You really don’t have to be precise. Then, while it’s wet, bunch up your saran wrap and blot it. You should end up with an effect of the colors blending in with each other, but it might not be perfect…

(L) The top color brushed halfway down the nail; (R) A somewhat janky gradient – actually just a marbled effect in the middle of the nail. It usually looks better than this, but this will do just fine.

7) But that doesn’t matter! You’re just going to put glitter all over everything. If you’re using glitter nail polish, wait for the other coats to dry and then brush a bunch on. I’m really into these loose sparkles lately, though. I got mine from Avon. They’re like magic! You just brush on a clear coat, then dip your nail in when it’s still wet. You get a much thicker glitter cover, and if you wanted to, you could just glitterize the very ends of your nail. However, your gradient will probably be messy enough that you’ll want to cover it up a bit.  You will want to wait a good long time before applying a topcoat, though, because otherwise you can kind of cause a glitter migration. By the way “glitter migration” is, I think, what we used to call it when people would make a mass-exodus in the middle of a terrible movie when I worked in a box office — in honor of this Mariah flick, of course.

See? AMAZING. You can sprinkle it over your nail instead, it’s just a little less magical that way.

Ta-da! Glitter everywhere. It’s like a damn Ke$ha song up in here.

There you go! I hope you didn’t stress too much, and got to watch some quality t.v. I’m sorry I told you not to have a snack. That was kind of mean, but you can go get one now if you want. Aren’t your nails pretty? I thought so.