The crap on my dresser, a five dollar bill and my actual, beautiful, made-up face.

When I was working nights at this very website, I spent a lot of time after my shift was over watching YouTube makeup tutorials until my brain felt clear enough to finally fall asleep. That habit, which has continued even though I no longer work nights and can reset my brain in a variety of other ways, has likely led to the awakening of the product monster that lives within.

I am not low-maintenance, but I’m not high-maintenance, either—I hover somewhere around the middle. For some reasons, I will do a full face on the weekends when all I’m doing is smoking a little marijuana and walking to the Urban Outfitters down the street to paw through the sale section, then come home. I like makeup! I like skincare! I like patting things into my face and throwing buckets of cash at Sephora in an attempt to reverse the aging process and make my skin look like it belongs to a well-hydrated infant.

Here’s how all of that goes.

Good morning, it’s 7:30 AM.

Here I am, awake and really cute.

As we crank up ye olde bloge machine at around 8:30 every morning, I am generally awake by 7:30 or so. My alarm goes off at 7:30 and I usually drag my carcass out of bed and hit the shower by 8 or so. I tried to shower at night, but I hate the way my hair looks when I sleep on it wet, so I take a tepid shower in whatever hot water is left. I’m not fussy about hair care, so I use whatever smells nice and looks okay at Duane Reade. Currently, that is Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo two to three times a week, Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner, and then a hearty scrub with a millennial pink bath sponge and this Olay Exfoliating Body Scrub. I will wash my face in the shower with Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Cleansing Gel because it has hylauronic acid in it to plump my little dumpling face and because it is gentle and doesn’t feel like it strips my face of anything. I could be wrong, but who knows. The entire shower process takes like, 10 minutes, tops.

When I have emerged from the shower, I will grease my bod as if I were rubbing down a side of meat, or a large, artisanal chicken, with whatever lotion I have. Right now I’m out of the Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil that I love so dearly; instead I use this St. Ives Soft and Silky lotion that smells okay, feels kinda sticky and still leaves me the slightest bit scaly. It’s fine, it’s all fine. I’m fine. I’ll get something better, later.

I will let this lotion absorb into my flesh while I make a blog and drink some coffee.

Good morning, it’s 10:30-??? AM.

Once it is time for me to put on clothes and get dressed, etc, I will begin the arduous process of making my face look alive and vibrant and “fresh.” At the beginning of this process, I thought I had a lot of stuff that I don’t use, but it turns out, I use a lot of stuff! Who knew! Not me!

Some stuff.

Anyway, if I’ve washed my hair and plan on wearing it down, I will visit the hair care section of the vast skyline that is my dresser and mush some stuff into it. I have wavy-ish hair that falls flat if you look at it funny, so I do what I can to enhance its wave. I also am bad at heat styling, so I just don’t do it! First I spray a shitty L’oreal texturizing mist that I bought on a whim in an attempt to encourage, uh, texture. Then I smoosh a golf-ball size blob of the L’Oreal Air Dry It Ruffled Body Mousse and wait for my hair to air dry. Then I go to work! When my hair is not freshly washed, I put a spritz or five of the Bumble and Bumble City Swept Finish throughout my hair and pull the entire mess into some sort of “bun.” I pin it with bobby pins and try to avoid getting the tiny bird’s nest on top of my head caught in anything that would threaten its structural integrity.

I’m late for work now—10:40???? AM.

It is now time for me to stop pretending I’m being photographed for an Into The Gloss #shelfie and to actually put my face on and get on the goddamn train. My skin is now under control due to Retin-A and double-cleansing and the slow but unstoppable march of time, but I like to look like I’m covered in Instagram filter. This is the arsenal of shit that gets me there.

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I moisturize with this Shea Moisture African Black Soap Troubled Skin Moisturizer that has a bunch of natural stuff in it; it makes my skin feel smooth and matte and I love it!!! I will also tappa-tappa-tappa little blobs of Cerave Eye Repair Cream around my eyes because it makes my concealer go on nice and I should take care of my eye skin. Great. Sometimes If I am feeling very dry, I will also plop out a little drip of this Kiehl’s oil my sister gave me that is supposed to “brighten” my face. I’m not entirely sure if it does, but it smells good! So I love it.

Once I am properly moisturized and/or shiny, I will get to the spackle. Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Hybrid Complexion Perfector smells plasticky like a Barbie foot and makes my skin look smooth but not flat, but also just nice; I use a squirtle of that plus a dash of this Dr. Brandt luminizing primer that I got in my Sephora Play Box, just to save a step and because mixing things is fun. I used to use that disgusting Beauty Blender knockoff, but now I just use my gross little fingers. Concealer is new for me and I love it because it’s nice to literally erase years of not sleeping properly in two seconds. Right now I j’adore the Milk Flex Concealer and use it in Medium Tan, which is probably too light. Oh well! The Urban Decay shit is in Medium Dark, which is better for my summer carapace rather than my late fall, so I just slap on the concealer and then beauty blend my entire face just to make sure that I am one regular color and that shit is blended.

LOTTA STUFF GOIN ON HERE.

It is at this point that I realize I am late and must find socks, get dressed, finish, etc. Everything else is done in a rush. For eyeshadow, I’m not going for a full LEWK for a Tuesday; I’ll just blend a shitload of this Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer on my eyelids and call it a night; blush is only if I look dead after all my other stuff is done. Today I did, so I used Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk. There’s a L’Oreal Lash Paradise Clump-Free something mascara that I will use, but I do NOT curl my eyelashes, because I think it makes me look weird; also if I decide to wear glasses, my lashes bump up against the lenses and that makes me angry. Having bangs means that I ignore my eyebrows completely. The final touch is highlighter.

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I have many highlighters and generally wear at least three, blended strategically across the high points of my chipmunk face so as to make it look “natural.” For this haphazard look, I used a layer each of the Fenty Match Stix in “Yacht Lyfe” and “Rum;” a schmear of the Milk Holographic Stick in Mars; a dabble of Glossier’s Haloscope in Moonstone; and one teensy droplet of the CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight. I may look insane at the end of this process, but no matter!! That’s what the unflattering lights of the subway are for—to figure that shit out. I also fuck with a lip; today it was this Merle Norman lip pencil I had lurking in my drawer forever. No clue where it came from, but I’ll guess that it is at least three jobs’ old.

Oh, and if I remember, I will spray so much of this Maison Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning perfume on that I offend the cats. LET’S GO TO WORK.

I am home now, it’s sleepy time. 10pm-???

The evening ritual is less complicated than the morning ritual, but involves much more ritualistic patting and serums and tinctures. This point of my regimen makes me wonder if I’m going to eventually melt my face off via a combination of acids. If so, fine! Replace it with a new face. Give me baby skin. Fix it!

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I remove the dreaded mask that is my face with a Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Towelette and then retreat to the restroom, where I attempt a weak double-cleanse; first this Skin Therapy Cleansing Face Oil and then this Burt’s Bee’s Orange Essence Facial Cleanser because it smells nice!! I love it when it smells nice. Every night I rub the following shit into my face: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum; a healthy bloop of Differin; more Shea Moisture moisturizer; SOMEtimes more face oil if my face feels “bad.” Twice I week I cover my face in this acid peel from the Ordinary, and pray that my flesh melts away to reveal the beauty that lies underneath. That’s it. That’s “all” I do!!! I love it and i hate it in equal measure—that means Big Beauty has won.