Weekend Links

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
― A.A. Milne

Happy weekend, kittens! This week I think I cracked a freelance challenge and think I’ve made major progress on a number of items on my main contract To Do list. This weekend we are on the hunt for a vintage jacket for Jeff, the house is a ruin which must be set to rights, and a great deal of food shopping must be done. We are currently making at home brunch and preparing ourselves for some major adulting!

Let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments, and enjoy the early fall day (for you northern hemisphere dwellers).

Glossier launched in the UK and of course I put in an order. Skincare is life. However I got an unexpected treat in a sample of their upcoming fragrance which, you will probably not be surprised to hear, I really like. Get thee to the website if you want to try it out.

Victoria Beckham’s Top Shelf post is worth a read. And note taking.

Learning to want less.

And it’s super attractive! (See also, my athletic, intelligent, queer-and-female-ally, and all around decent person husband.)

*Takes deep breath.* MAKING PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE IS THE POINT OF THE BOOK.

I am not a person who has protected her writing time, so I needed to read this.

This piece on the (general) mid-life crisis state of Gen X women is…quietly harrowing.

Necessary to my cold weather daily bath habit? Possibly.

Wakanda forever! (I am so excited about this movie.)

I teared up reading this story, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Sali Hughes unleashes and I cheered aloud to read her thoughts. Because a bunch of middle school boys once surrounded me, the only middle school girl on the bus, and told me to “shut [my] mouth and spread [my] legs” when I asked them to cut out the explicit talk. Because a middle school teacher, praising my work ended the conversation with, “If only you were five years older!” Because the last time I had to complain about inappropriate speech in the workplace was last month. Because I was aggressively catcalled walking home from work yesterday. I have two decades worth of these stories, and almost every women I know does too. #MeToo

Be good, men.

This is joy inducing.

Album of the week: Mr. Davis, by Gucci Mane

Empties Update

“My dad used to say makeup was a shallow girl’s sport, but it’s not. It’s armor.” 
― Courtney Summers, All the Rage

Back in April, as part of my Style Month project, I shared several months worth of empties–the products I’ve used to the last drop. I remain pleasantly fascinated with empties videos or posts from other writers and of course, I’ve been on a bit of a kick when it comes to thinking and writing about consumption myself. So obviously as soon as I had hit publish on my last post, I began stockpiling items as I used them up for an update. Six months later, it’s time for an update!

I’ve bought very few new products in the last half year and so have been able to use up quite a few things to learn more about what I like, what I hate, what I swear by, and what I think is just not worth the money.

Not too bad, C., you may say. Seems manageable until you–

Oh god, what kind of monster am I?!

Skincare first! There were quite a few repeats in here as this is my second bottle of Sunday Riley Good Genes, at least my bottle third Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, my second Clinique All About Eyes Rich eye cream, and third Kate Somerville ExfoliKate scrub. All of these are beloved favorites, but I’ve made a commitment to use up much more of my own beauty stash before I allow myself to repurchase any of these items (particularly as they aren’t exactly cheap). You may be surprised to hear that I dislike a Glossier product, but their Super Pure formula is my least favorite of their three serums and I wouldn’t repurchase it. The Pestle & Mortar Superstar retinol oil was excellent, but I’m road testing a much cheaper version from The Ordinary which thus far I really like! Speaking of, I also finished off a bottle of hyaluronic acid serum from the The Ordinary displaced another Pestle & Mortar similar product as well. Quality doesn’t need to break the bank, kids!

Another bottle of Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser down. I already had a bottle of this on stand by that I purchased over the summer, but I’m ridiculously lucky and got two free additional bottles from attending the Glossier pop up earlier this summer, and then scored another back up as the G-team apparently mailed out some gift boxes as follow up to that press event later in the summer. Because they are freaking brilliant at marketing. Long story short, I haven’t had to repurchase this in a while, but I fully intend to when my stash runs down again. It’s a really good product, perfect as a morning cleanser or a second cleanse in the evening (if I’ve been wearing a full face of makeup and SPF all day). My evening cleanser for months has been the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing gel–a gel/balm formula that turns to oil on your skin. It dissolves most makeup and doesn’t strip your skin in the slightest. The Kiehl’s cleanser has been included in this stash for the sake of honesty. Technically it was Jeff’s product but I made liberal use of it in the shower and contributed to its demise–so into the bag it went! I’ve used up two masks, the Aesop Parsley Seed mask and Moisturizing Moon mask. I may repurchase them someday, but I want to try some similar products from other brands first…once my current mask stash is depleted. I definitely would not repurchase the Tidal cream by Sunday Riley–odd smell, nothing special as a moisturizer, and sparkly flecks in it to boot.

Hair continues to be my personal Waterloo, but here are some of the mane-taming products I used up recently, along with a couple of shower bits. I’m not precious about my bathing and use Jeff’s razors and bodywash without shame. In fact, I’m positive I missed at least two bottles of bodywash that rightly should have been included in this confessional but recycled them first. Oops. My eczema continues to wreak havoc on my scalp, hence the two different medicated shampoos (also probably not an honest reckoning), but I did manage to make it through two bottles of conditioner. A powder style dry shampoo and leave-in conditioner round off the pack. The powder smells wonderful but I would not repurchase as I’ve found a much better spray formula. All the other items, however, are pretty much my standard shower rotation and their replacements are in situ.

While we’re being honest, that comment about stealing Jeff’s face wash? Same for deodorant. I just don’t see the point of the pinker, lady-friendly stuff when he has a perfectly good can of product sitting on our dresser that I can swipe. The Certain Dri roll on, however, is definitely mine. Also in the spirit of full disclosure, this stuff is fantastic and when I use it regularly/properly, it’s a miracle product. I tend to pick up a bottle whenever we go back to the States. I also used up a No 7 make up brush cleanser from Boots (great product!) and a bath oil from Sanctuary Spa. I take a bath almost every night, especially in cold weather and prefer oils to bubbles…even if it means I have to scrub the tub more regularly. It’s a small price to pay for zen.

Finally, some make up! Er, kinda? It takes me quite a while to get through make up products, though you may remember my recent discovery of the MakeUp Rehab reddit community which has inspired a number of “use it up” personal challenges for me. If I do another post like this six months from now, I’m hoping to have a few empty makeup tins and pans to add to the pile. This time at least, I made it through yet another tube of Maybeline Full ‘N Soft mascara–my go to for years. Glossier Boy Brow did good service in the beauty wars and its replacement is already in rotation. I loved this hand cream from Elizabeth Arden and will definitely be buying a full sized tube once my seemingly infinite amounts of other travel sized lotions have served their time. Finally, I used up a bottle of Hermes Jardin sur la Nil perfume which I loved but am happy to part with as friends after a four year run.

Your turn, kittens, if you feel up to oversharing in the comments. Do you keep track of items that you use up–if so, what and why? Is my fascination with personal consumption at all interesting or just weird? Let me know your thoughts, I’m braced for impact!

Weekend Links – Lady Rage Returns!

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.” 
― Joseph Conrad, Chance

Hi kittens, it’s been a while since we had a links post dedicated almost entirely to lady-rage, so let’s do that. It’s a bit exhausting to be living in an age of real-time…everything. It feels as if we don’t get breaks between scandals or bombshells anymore and that can wear us down (or me at least), but the one bright spot is that a lot of things can also be confronted in real time now. Behaviors and trends that have been allowed to percolate in the shadows are now seeing sunlight. It’s ugly to witness what has been tolerated or protected for far too long, sometimes, but necessary to go through.

Let me know what you are doing this weekend in the comments! I’m working on a freelance assignment and lounging. I may do some laundry and talk Jeff into helping me clean the bathrooms if I’m feeling really frisky!

Fuck this noise! Whenever friends or family members ask me when I’m moving back to the states, my default answer has become, “You do know I have healthcare, birth control, and maternity cover options here, right?”

The reactions to this game’s release are…telling.

RIP.

Shock, surprise, etc.

So excited about this! I loved Planet Earth II and Sir David Attenborough’s voice is the most soothing to doze off to whilst watching documentaries.

I don’t think I covered this in last week’s links so let’s talk about Harvey Weinstein and long-running rumors bursting into the light.

The Cut talks about why it took so bloody long for years of rumors to become confirmed fact, including what women are up against in trying to go up against a rich and powerful man and why they are doing so in the current cultural moment.

The Cut also argues that calling the current epidemic of behavioral bs we’re confronted with these days “toxic masculinity” doesn’t go far enough. I can’t say I disagree.

Speaking of, yes. Let’s please talk about the radicalization of white men more. Like, now.

Because this shit is happening while white guys are buying arsenals and no one bats an eye until a mass shooting suddenly “just happens.”

To summarize: sorry, patriarchy, we’re coming for you.

Led by Emma Thompson.

There’s a new true crime podcast to fall for…and I’m preparing to lap it up with a spoon.

How nerd culture went toxic: a helpful twitter thread.

Goodness. I don’t need this. And yet…

David Frum sums up my worst ideological fears. A horrible president is bad. If military figures circumvent a president’s constitutional authority, a historically bad precedent is set for future generals to do the same–perhaps for less altruistic reasons. We have a civilian commander in chief for a reason…I have not yet grappled with what that means for someone like me who is certain that the current incumbent is doing harm to both the office and national prestige and safety. Where do I draw a line if I believe that, in wanting perhaps to do the right thing, military leadership permanently damages the powers of the presidency now in a way that may come back to bite us all?

Album of the week: Masseducation by St. Vincent

Weekend Links

“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.” 
― Keith Richards

I have nothing new to say about politics this week. The president an unmitigated error enabled by the party he ostensibly heads but doesn’t lead, and no one is publicly doing anything to corral his mistakes in tone, temper, and judgement–I say nothing of policy because apparently he can’t either. His disaster relief efforts have been extraordinarily uneven (to be generous) and his constant racist dog whistles just keep coming.

Meanwhile, there was another horrific massacre and the usual “now is not the time to talk about gun violence/control/policy/legislation/statistics” talk, though I’m gratified to see pushback on this from a variety of media corners. When is the right time to talk about it, pray tell?

Ugh. It’s a news heavy links post this week, kittens, but there are some good morsels thrown in there to lighten things up. Tell me what your weekend plans are in the comments!

It’s time to stop finding convoluted explanations for significant amount of the President’s word and twitter vomit.

Man Repeller has a piece about the fading halcyon days of the EIC of major magazines and wonders what the future holds for such roles. I’m conflicted. I know print is changing (I do NOT believe that it is dead), and that magazines (like almost every other platform) have become glorified advertising campaigns…but I still see the role of the editors as needed in wider media culture. Living in a world with almost infinite products and services, I see the role of a good editor as to provide a consistent, thoughtful perspective on what is worth your time and what isn’t. Less gatekeeper and more curator. Almost the whole of each of my social media feeds is dominated by editors whose POV I admire and whose taste and judgement I trust.

Where does the Libertarian wing of US voters go from here?

McKay Coppins of The Atlantic filed a great piece of reporting, but one that’s also a bit frightening. Never have I been less thrilled to fear my biases are all being confirmed.

While we were ******* sleeping, I guess?!

David Brooks proposes that what Republicans need to reclaim their party is a better narrative. I don’t disagree. I also say, ditto Democrats.

I am fanatical about lipstick. I also reject this utterly.

As you wish.

HAHAHA. It’s funny because nothing matters anymore.

Literally nothing.

NOTHING. (Update.)

This story on how frustrating it can be to resell clothing is both annoyingly true and interesting. As a consummate secondhand shopper I do occasionally sell on my own things, but some attempts at this have been much more successful than others.

Album of the Week: Raised Under Grey Skies, by JP Cooper  

Las Vegas

People are awful and capable of terrible acts.

People are incredible and capable of extraordinary acts of kindness, courage, steadfastness, integrity, bravery, and selflessness.

These ideas are simultaneously true. Our great tragedies are almost followed by great heroism, whether every day acts of generosity and support or bigger acts of self sacrifice.

But I’m sick to the teeth of the tragedies.

Five Things I Loved in September

“O love, turn from the changing sea and gaze,
Down these grey slopes, upon the year grown old,
A-dying ‘mid the autumn-scented haze…
― October, by William Morris

It’s October! Time to break out the cashmere and boots!

Okay, it may be my favorite time of year, but we still need to salute the good things of the month just gone, so here’s a short list of things that brought me joy in September.

MakeupRehab Reddit
I discovered this subreddit a while ago, but have only really got involved in in over the past couple of months. It’s a community for people who love all things beauty but may have lost control of their spending habits, fallen for the marketing hype on sub par products, and generally want to be smarter consumers. It’s a fun platform for talking about budgeting and critical consumerism, all through the lens of blush and eye shadow, and all based on mutual information and encouragement. Of course I loved it! A real focus is not shopping for shopping’s sake, which I gravitated to immediately. As a self described beauty junkie (you know how many lipsticks I own…) I’ve been thinking a lot about my beauty consumer ever since my Style Month project–which as you may remember, included a week dedicated to makeup and my bathroom shelf. Well, I’m still a beauty junkie, but reading and participating this subreddit has helped inspire a number of style goals and personal challenges, and encouraged me to use what I own in smarter and more proactive ways. My use-it-up challenge was inspired by a post I read here and I’m on track to deliver a positive report come Halloween! My year of “less but better” rolls on.

 

Looks basic in the pan, looks unbelievably natural and pretty on the skin.

Cargo Blush, in Tonga
Speaking of makeup! After using my Cargo blush in Tonga exclusively for weeks, I got the thrill of hitting pan on it–something I haven’t done on a powder makeup product in a long time. So satisfying.

 

So smug. So unapologetic.

Vintage shopping
An evergreen topic, but this month I finally found something I’ve been looking for for nearly two years: a vintage military style jacket that made me look like I was on a campaign to invade Russia in the 19th century. I found it, and I found it in a deep green. My Cossack Pirate came through yet again!

 

The First White President, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This already made it into a weekly favorites, but I’m signal boosting again because this longform essay has had me in its grip ever since I read it. As mentioned, I’m one of those ignorant fools who honestly believed we as a country had made more progress on race than it’s being revealed we have. This POV was utterly down to privilege I didn’t understand or realize I possessed and ignorance of the lives and lived realities of my countrymen. Shame on me, and shame on lots of us.

 

Travel
Jeff and I have been married for the better part of a decade, but have taken almost no holidays that involve just the two of us. Normally we travel with or to see family, occasionally we travel (with great pleasure!) with friends, but almost never alone. Seeing family is of course wonderful, but family can come with unique stresses that mean that visits aren’t always relaxing, and we live very far away from our mutual clans which means that’s seeing them usually involves an exhausting, multi-timezone slog that also diminishes rest and recharging. When we are with friends, we tend to want to milk enjoyment out of everything and so throw ourselves into food, fun, and exploration. Traveling alone meant that we were able to do only what we enjoyed and wanted to do, at the pace we wished. It was glorious. We’re already planning our next trip.

 

Weekend Links

“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” 
― Groucho Marx

This week the president took on the NFL. In the words of the philosopher, Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Huge.” The Health and Human Services Secretary stepped down ostensibly because he made the administration look bad with indiscreet displays of wealth and poor judgement in using resources. Which frankly doesn’t bode well for the rest of his cabinet. Which in turn frankly doesn’t bode well for the rest of the citizenry, given how understaffed our government is. There’s just too much news to recap here, so I’ll leave it to the links.

This weekend we continue our deep clean for the seasonal change, we’ll do some brunch, and I’m working on a fun freelance project. I’m also working on some blog posts so I can stop being such a ridiculous writing bum. In the meantime, here’s another teaser Santorini post, and enjoy your links. Let me know of anything worth sharing in the comments!

How to help Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The dangers of American tribalism.

Honest to goodness lion in winter. Disagree with him (and I do, often) he is an elder statesman who will be missed when he retires or passes, and I am sorry to hear his health prognosis is poor.

Good, it’s actually 2017 after all.

Disgusted this happened, thrilled at the response. I will never not be proud to be an Air Force brat.

Good lord. *fans self*

I don’t even have children, but I think a lot about emotional labor, both at home and in the workforce Jeff is a great feminist husband and we have a pretty gender equitable household, chores-wise, but it would be a lie to say that I haven’t had the exact same emotional experience over the box of gift wrap as this author!

Brand new Lizzo!

Miss Piggy is “over the frog.”

Hugh Hefner passed away this week and the think pieces flowed. Here’s my favorite.

This conversation on PBS NewsHour about how the overall news, with particular focus on how Republican party is/may (depending on your POV) becoming victims of their own PR and the president’s ability to steer the media, is both interesting and insightful.

Album of the week: Visions of a Life, by Wolf Alice