lashing out

I need another beauty service like I need a hole in my head. I already have a hair appointment every 4-5 weeks when the grays start to betray me, multiple waxing services every 3-4 weeks, manicures and pedicures regularly, personal training sessions at Fitness Together and spin + barre classes at Biker Barre almost daily. (Do fitness expenditures fall in the beauty services category? I think so as they do result in a more beautiful body and improved frame of mind.)

I also have a plethora of beauty products, although I’m more conservative than you probably think I am. For example, when I find an eyeshadow palette I like, I use it everyday until it runs out. I do have my regular products that get purchased routinely, such as primer, tinted moisturizer, my awesome sunscreen I use on my face everyday, loose powder, pressed powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, mascara, eyeliner… oh and an army of lipsticks and glosses.

But then there’s so much I don’t do. For example, I don’t ever fake and bake. I don’t get blow outs (though I admit I would if my hair were longer). I don’t get facials with any regularity. My hair appointments are confined to cut and color; I don’t get extensions, perms or keratin treatments. My nails are my own. I don’t have a single tattoo.

So it’s with all this in mind that I’m contemplating adding a new beauty treatment to my regime.

I had been admiring a new friend’s eyelashes and finally got the opportunity to inquire about what kind of mascara she uses. I have been loyal to the Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara for at least six years, but lately I have been in the mood for a bolder look. The problem is, I find every mascara except this one leaves that horrible ring around your eyes, even the ones that profess they don’t. Anyway, I was prepared for her to say Dior Show or Great Lash or one of the others I knew would disappoint me.

But instead I was shocked by her response.

New Friend: I don’t ever wear mascara or eyeliner (big heavy internal sigh from me) because… my eyelashes are totally fake! I have eyelash extensions.

I never even knew such a thing existed.

The technique involves gluing 75-125 eyelashes to your existing ones in a manner that leaves you with thicker, longer and more glamorous lashes. The results are stunning. (I’ve spent some time reviewing before and after photos.) I have never wanted hair extensions but I admit I’m very tempted to try out this procedure. It’s a financial commitment, but to have perfect Elizabeth Taylor-esque eyelashes that wouldn’t smear in the pool, run during a crying jag or melt off due to sweat would be worth it. And who wouldn’t love to wake up in the morning looking “totally done while being completely undone” to quote my lash mentor.

As a society, we go to great lengths to enhance our natural beauty, and while beauty is more than skin deep, feeling good about yourself radiates through and in the level of confidence you project. I’m all for feeling empowered by the choices we make, even those choices that involve a glue gun near ones eyeballs.


they’re here… knew the cool mornings and breezy evenings wouldn’t last forever, no matter how much we hoped that DC would miraculously find itself with weather less swampy and more typical of San Diego.

But I didn’t expect to walk outside this morning, after hearing it was a mere 68 degrees outside, and feel like I had stepped smack into a hot washcloth. While I know that 3 months from now, a day like today (mid-80s with moderate humidity) will be a relief, today it felt oppressive. The days of only wearing a dress once before it goes to the dry cleaners start now. Heat and humidity are officially here.

What’s a woman to do? I’m not prepared to embrace a shiny face for the next four months. But I also don’t like the look or feel of over-powdering. I mean, who are you kidding? No one is so perfectly composed, even if you were born and raised in the south and have humidity in your bones. And secondly, how much product can one’s pores take?

I’m not normally one to reveal all my secrets, but those of us who live in a steam-room four months out of the year need to stick together. Aside from my primary goal, which is to dodge from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office to air-conditioned bar, and ignoring the obvious (like eschewing foundation) here are five things that I can’t live without in the summer. But the deal is you have to share back.

The number one thing that I reach for in my office drawer when I have a meeting or need to to freshen up is the Bobbi Brown Blotting Papers. Especially if you need to de-shine before noon (because, come on, it’s just wrong to have to reapply make-up when the clock still reads A.M.) one of these babies goes a long way.

My second summer must-have is a relatively new product: the Trish McEvoy Instant Pick Me Up Lips. I’m normally more of a lipstick girl, but this time of year, lipstick can feel so heavy. This product, which adapts to your own body temperature for the perfectly glossy pink, gives you a healthy glow that looks pretty even if you feel like you are melting.

The third thing I can’t live without relates to something I can’t live with. I cannot and will not wear panty-hose, and since black opaque tights just don’t work in the summer, I must have a pedicure at all times. If I haven’t had time, I wear close-toed shoes. No exceptions.

If we are going to be hot and sweaty all summer, we might as well embrace the glow. I am newly fond of a fresh take on an old standby. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has long been part of my morning make-up ritual, but her new (to me) Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer really does provide the radiant glow it promises.

Last, but not least, summer calls for a cool and crisp rosé. Copain Wine Cellars produces a lovely one and if there were ever a reason to open a bottle of wine, the arrival of heat and humidity seems like as good a reason as any. After a glass or two, you may forget that you feel like a puddle of tepid water with perfectly groomed toes.

bag lady
My Scout is the size of the pink one but in the orange color.

I am by no means a small purse woman. I usually blame the fact that I have to carry a larger-sized handbag on my being a mom, but when was the last time I actually toted around crayons, pacifiers, or matchbox cars in my bag? Frankly, the real issue is that I can never narrow down exactly what lipstick I want to wear (and often I combine two or three colors to make my own custom-perfect shade) and honestly, lipstick takes up a lot of space.

Okay, maybe not.

But I also have this huge wallet. When I bought it four years ago, I remember the sales woman at Nordstrom saying, “this is lovely, and it can double as a clutch.” Seriously? Where would I put my lipsticks? In the change pouch? I don’t think so. And while I do have a few clutches in my repertoire, I have to admit that I rarely use them. I need my keys. I need my iPhone. I need my iPhone charger since my iPhone only carries a charge for about 45 minutes these days. I sometimes carry my iPod too (especially if I’m metro-ing) because if my iPhone dies and if I am stuck with an 18-minute wait for the orange line in the direction of New Carrollton, I want something to listen to.

Then there are my eyeglass cases. I can sometimes get away with only carrying one, and the regular glasses and the sunglasses take turns being housed it in, but it has to be the bigger of the two cases because my sunglasses don’t fit in the case for the eyeglasses and if I am going to PT or the gym or some place where I might need to take both pairs off, then I need to bring both cases.

I didn’t really keep any of this in mind when I asked my friend Janna from The Finicky Filly to order me the Kate Spade Essex Scout in orange. In my spatial-judgmentally-challenged mind, it looked like it wasn’t that much smaller than the purse I had been using since August. After all, I wasn’t buying the Kate Spade Small Essex Scout. But in practice, my new orange purse is small. It can barely fit my mammoth wallet. I have to narrow my daily lipstick selection down to two options (today’s choices were the Trish McEvoy “Instant Pick Me Up” Lip Shimmer and the new Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur). My keys seem too bulky and of course I need my iPhone charger. (The iPhone was conveniently being carried in my coat pocket.) No iPod. No crayons, pacifiers or matchbox cars.

The other night, my seven-year old saw my new purse laying on my bed and started petting it.

Colin (adoringly): Mommy, is this your new purse?

Me: Yes, do you like it?

Colin: I love it. (Pause.) When you don’t want it anymore, can I have it?

I don’t think that Colin realizes that while the cross body style of my bag is very Indiana Jones, he can’t fit his entire retinue of treasures in the Essex Scout. Maybe a couple of his smaller twig wands, a Lego gun and one of the knives he cut out of cardboard. But certainly not all his rocks, his corks (he has a lot of these) or his bottle cap collection. Not to mention his lip balm (he is my son, after all). But that is beside the point since I am far from giving Colin his own Kate Spade purse, even one that has been used.

This week I was lucky. It was rainy, so I didn’t need the sunglasses, and since I was carrying around my computer bag, I could use it to stash the surplus items that I didn’t fit in the purse. And I was only carrying around one cork.

Yes, I have a cork collection, too.