When A Compliment Is Actually A Disguising Insult

If you are not in the mood for a fiesty rant, I suggest you keep scrolling.

If that sounds like it might be your jam, then buckle up, because we are about to delve into the proper way to compliment a woman. And how very sad that this even needs to be said in the year 2019. And by the way, I’m talking to both men and women, so no gender is without fault here.

Some background on this topic:

I am a 34-year-old working mom of two great kiddos, ages four and one. Despite living on the surface of the sun, otherwise known as South Florida, I like to run marathons in the small amount of spare time I have left. And like most moms, working or not, the self-care struggle is real. I just can’t seem to make time to do it all.

Last month, on my high holy holiday, Amazon Prime Day, I purchased a heated brush for straightening hair. Now since it’s always hot and humid AF where I live and I have the devil’s curly hair, I straighten my hair only a few times a year. Mostly because it costs a lot to get done professionally and it takes a long time to do myself. If I have a spare moment, I’d honestly rather be running or reading.

So the other day I try out the brush and straighten my very long hair. It looked glorious. I was feeling like Beyoncé for about two days. But then I wanted to run and so that required a hair wash and pretty soon I was no longer Becky with the good hair.

While running, I began reflecting on how many people had given me backhanded compliments about the hair. FOUR this time:

“No offense you look so much younger with your hair straight.”

“Why don’t you straighten it all the time?”

“Wow, I didn’t even recognize you.”

“You should really take time for you more.”

I wanted to tell these people to mind their own business. I wanted to explain that one and a half hours just for hairstyling is unrealistic for a mom of two kids under five. I wanted to mention that I’d rather have rock hard leg muscles than pin straight hair. I wanted to tell them they insulted me. Instead, I said nothing for fear of being rude.

Upon reflection, I became more angry. I realized this always happens when I straighten it. In fact, I was one of the only kids with curly hair in my elementary class and I was bullied for it. I often felt pressure when I was younger for smoother hair so I could fit in more. So I have spent a damn lifetime being shamed because I don’t wear my hair a more socially acceptable way. Fast forward to now, and I am super comfortable with my curly hair and I don’t care what people think of it. I love it.

What I do care about is that I have a daughter who is one and a half years old and also has the devil’s curly hair. It may be unrealistic, but I want to nurture her self-esteem and confidence in this harsh world. It seems that women are more subject to these shitty opinions from both genders. I don’t want my daughter to take 20-30 years to be comfortable with her hair style options or her self image in general.

And the wild thing is that hair is only one small part of a bigger problem. It’s an appearance issue. Women, how many times have people asked you if you are sick or depressed because you don’t have makeup on your face? This is a definite thing and I have spoken to many others with the same experience. People also tend to get very opinionated about telling women to dress in a certain way (i.e. “You look so much better when you do not wear so much black,” or more color, less patterns, more skin.) You get the idea! And don’t even get me started on that crap where women are told to smile more. The list goes on and on. Why do people keep saying such shitty things to women? Why aren’t women building each other up instead of tearing each other down? Because it’s socially acceptable to disguise an insult as a compliment?

This. Is. Not. Okay.

So just some general guidelines to remember when speaking to each other about appearances:

If you want to compliment someone, do just that. Say they look nice. Tell them they look like a rockstar, or Beyonce, or anything KIND. But please do NOT:

– Ask them to look a certain way more frequently.

– Tell them how much better they look as opposed to the regular hot mess they are.

– Instruct them to do anything related to their appearance. (It is just not your right to do so!)

– Finally, if you’re not sure if it’s rude, don’t say it!

Let’s practice these rules ourselves. Let’s teach them to our kids. Keep compliments kind, with no judgments on the side! Surround yourself and your family with people who do this and maybe our kids will have to deal with less BS than we did. The reality is that we cannot keep teaching our daughters to break through glass ceilings while also quietly accepting rude judgements about their appearance.

Now excuse me while I proudly take my Mufasa style mane out for a run.

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Why You Should NEVER Sleep With Your Mascara On

At the end of the day, the last thing we want to do is wash our face. When you’re exhausted, bending over the sink can make you feel like you just just might fall face first into the water. And no one wants that.

But even though it’s a major pain, washing your face before bed is super important. Especially if you wear mascara.

If you don’t take the time to wash the mascara from your eyes, you could be setting yourself up for some serious trouble. Not only are you messing up your skin by not washing your face (and clogging your pores), you’re doing more damage by not removing your mascara.

Think about it: when you put mascara on, your eyelashes get heavy from the weight of the makeup. Over the course of the day, you’ll either rub your eyes or things will fly in them, like an eyelash or dirt particles. You’re introducing bacteria into your eyes that wasn’t there before — and that bacteria can do some major damage to your eyes long-term.

“Any product that isn’t taken off has the potential to not only clog your pores, but also cause irritation, inflammation and infections. Inflammation around the eyelids can also lead to lash loss,” says Dr. Alexis Granite, a consulting dermatologist for Kiehl’s, in an interview with The Sun.

During your sleep, your face is rubbing against your pillowcase. All the crud that lives in your pillowcase — dust, dead skin, hairs, maybe traces of drool or snot, plus the dirt and oil from your face — is smeared all over your pillowcase. You’re basically rolling around in your own nastiness. And all of goop could be setting up shop in your eyes, even when you’re sleeping.

Luke Arundel, resident optometrist for Optometry Australia, warns of two common eye makeup mistakes that could lead to long-term eye damage. First, don’t apply makeup to your inner lash line, aka the waterline. So many of us have been doing it for years, but it’s really bad for your eyes. You could be spreading bacteria on the surface of your eyeliner. And since it’s hard to get the waterline truly makeup free, bits of eyeliner and mascara could be making their way into your eyelids, causing irritation.

Second, it’s important that you’re aware of expiration dates for your eye makeup. Because of how expensive mascara can be, we understandably want to use it for as long as possible. But here’s the problem: our eyes are super sensitive, and mascara wands, especially if you wear it everyday, are super gross.

“The microbiological analysis of 40 mascara samples revealed the presence of bacteria and fungi which can cause nasty bacterial eye infections,” Arundel explained to The Daily Mail.

He explains that legally, cosmetics companies don’t have to put expiration dates on their products, but it is commonly suggested that you toss your mascara after three months. Yes, really.

Look, we know you’re tired AF, but you’ve got to take a few minutes to wash off your mascara at night. Most makeup removers will do the job for you, and there is no shortage of variety when it comes to makeup removers.

And if you’re still not convinced, maybe this little gem of a horror story will convince you to wash your eye makeup off every single time. Theresa Lynch, a 50-year-old woman who lives in Sydney, Australia, went to the doctor after having prolonged issues with her eyes. She claimed constant irritation, discharge, and an uncomfortable feeling under eyelids. But no one was expecting what they were about to find.

Because Lynch didn’t properly remove her eye makeup every night, flecks of dried mascara had made their way under her eyelids. Doctors found 25 years worth of dried mascara flecks had calcified under her eyelids. The flecks had literally become embedded into her inner eyelids. Oh.My.Gawd.

Thankfully, they were able to be surgically removed, but the procedure took 90 minutes. Unknowingly, Lynch had done major damage to her eyes. Dr. Dana Robaei released the pictures of Lynch’s inner eyelid as a cautionary tale. And since she had never seen something so bad, she published a study on her findings. The remnants became “subconjunctivital concretions,” which is basically a form of conjunctivitis. When you have 25 years worth of mascara build up inside your eyelids, the amount of damage that could be done is a lot.

“Every time Theresa was blinking, these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision. If the scratch on the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be a potentially blinding but that would be rare,” Dr. Robaei explained to The Daily Mail.

Even though they were able to remove all of the concretions, there was permanent damage. Lynch now has scarring along the inside of her eyelids, which will certainly cause problems. And the surface of her cornea is scratched. Dr. Robaei equates the damage done to someone throwing sand in your eye. It’s that level of irritation.

If you want to avoid a fate similar to Theresa Lynch, wash your damn face. Removing your mascara isn’t actually very difficult or time consuming, and you’ll be happier in the long run. You don’t want to go blind because of not washing your damn face.

Experts recommend using a micellar water to remove your mascara and other eye makeup. There are multiple forms of micellar water, and it’s easy to use. Soak a cotton round or cotton ball and gently swipe it over your lashes. You will want to repeat it a few times to make sure you’ve removed as much as you can. Afterwards, do another rinse of your eyes with warm water to make sure you’ve gotten as much as possible.

Yes, washing your face at the end of the night is a total pain in the ass. No one will argue with you on that. But the risks are not worth the time saved.

Seriously, just wash your face. It’s not worth losing your eyesight.

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I Love Getting Dressed Up — And I Do It For No One But Me

When I was 6 years old, I was out with my mother at the grocery store and saw a woman wearing pantyhose, red high heels, and blue eyeshadow. I’d never felt so drawn to anyone during my few years on earth and I couldn’t stop staring at her. The way she was dressed looked like how I felt deep in my soul.

On the way home, I told my mom I needed pantyhose, red high heels, and blue eyeshadow immediately. I was hoping we’d stop at Sears and pick some up. Perhaps we could flip through the Montgomery Ward catalog when we got home and order it all up.

But alas, that’s not what happened. She told me I’d have to wait until I was 16 to own any of those things. I felt like I was going to burst as I sat in the back of our Caprice Classic. When we got home, I stomped off to my room and spent the rest of the afternoon crying and putting on 25 coats of cherry chapstick on the mirror hoping it would darken my lips.

There was no way I could wait another 10 years to be who I truly was. And wearing heels and dressing up was definitely who I was — I knew it.

I didn’t grow up watching endless Disney movies. I had no preconceived notions that a prince or strong man would come save me if I dressed up.

I wanted to wear pretty shoes, jewelry, and dresses so I could look at me and love how I felt.

To this day, almost 38 years later, I feel most like myself when I dress up. I don’t care if I going out to a nice restaurant or the grocery store.

Wearing heels puts me in my happy place. Doing my hair makes me feel better. When I wear a dress or favorite pair of jeans, I’m my best self. It feels like like a second skin, not a mask.

I wore my first pair of heels in the 7th grade (thankfully, I didn’t have to wait until I was 16 because I stole my mother’s red high heels and snuck them to school).

In college, while most of the students were wearing Birkenstocks and baseball hats — a look I love and tried but it wasn’t me — I wore a lot of wrap skirts, dresses, and polished nails.

People have asked me why I’m dressed up at least once a week for my entire life. I’ve received more eye rolls than I can count.

They ask where I am going. They figure I just came from a party or a work meeting or a special event.

And sometimes they ask in a disgusted way, “Why do you dress up all the time?”

My answer is this: I do it for me (certainly not to offend anyone, but damn, sometimes people seem offended), because it makes my outside match my inside. It’s not a chore for me. It brings me joy; it’s cathartic.

There is something to be said for physical comfort, sure. I love a nice pair of leggings and a T-shirt every once in a while.

But I’m more mentally comfortable when I spend time on myself. I feel alive when I hear my heels clicking on the ground, and fuck, if putting certain things on my body, no matter what they look like, gives me a mental boost, why wouldn’t I make that small effort?

I have three kids and I live in a small town. Some may say I don’t fit in (like my oldest son who wishes I’d tone it all the way down), but I don’t. I can’t because I would be shrinking myself to fit into a box I don’t want to be in.

When I want to put on stilettos, I do. I don’t care where the hell I’m going because I’m not slipping those fuckers on for any other reason than how they make me feel.

I don’t care what other people wear. I’d never ask someone why they are wearing sweatpants or why they don’t style their hair, but for some reason, people feel you need a reason to get a little fancy. And if you don’t have a reason, people want to know why you would want to inflict that type of torture on yourself.

There are many times I’m dressed up more than anyone else in the room, but I don’t feel out of place. I’ve gotten the side eye when I’m pumping gas in thigh high boots, and I’ve been told I stick out like a sore thumb at family gatherings or in pictures. I don’t check in with my friends about what they’re wearing for girls’ night out because I’m going to wear what I want anyway, so what’s the damn point?

I’ll never forget that lady I saw back in 1981 buying iceberg lettuce in her patent leather heels. She made an impression on me and it probably had a lot less to do with what she was wearing and a lot more with how her clothes made her feel.

Cheers to wearing whatever the fuck you want without having a reason. If you need me, I’ll be at the grocery store in my red heels.

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Let’s Talk About Skin Care Through The Decades

Let’s just get it out in the open: Our skin matters. It’s the largest organ on our body, and we should try  to take care of it.

And no, it doesn’t make you vain or narcissistic if you want your skin to look its best, invest in occasional (or regular) facials, or your skincare routine takes you longer to complete than cleaning your entire house.

For many women and men, it’s a hobby of sorts. I love slathering on a nice serum after I’ve done a hydrating mask. I’m in my 40s and my skin drinks that shit up like a thirsty dog at the bark park on a summer’s day.

But that wasn’t always the case. In my 20s, my skin was plump and luminous without having to do much. In fact, I think I used the same lotion for my whole body, including my face. I shudder at that thought now.

In my 30s, I noticed the laugh lines stuck around after laughing, and now that I’m in my 40s, I’m starting to get dry patches on my face (especially around my mouth), in places that were never dry.

Because our skin care needs are changing as we age, we set out break down our skin and what it (typically) needs through the decades. Slap on a mask, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get down to business.

20s:

Licensed aesthetician and co-founder behind Sarah Nicole Skincare, Sarah Payne says taking care of your skin in your 20s is a great way to be proactive and ensure your skin will look great later. “This is when starting good skincare habits, like daily SPF and antioxidants, are incredibly important,” she says.

You skin is still producing collagen and elastin, but that is starting to slow down. In your late 20s, if you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun or smoked in your lifetime, this is when you may start to see the damage from that. It’s never too early to start antioxidants and a low dose of retinoids as a preventive measure, says Payne. And you should be wearing SPF every day. Yes, every day.

Dr. Anthony Young, holistic anti-aging health and wellness expert and author of The Age Fix, says your 20s are a time when your skin looks great with little effort — even if you go on a bender the night before, it’s not as noticeable on your face as it is when you age.

He adds this is a great time to start getting mini-peels on your lunch hour and start microdermabrasion.

30s:

This is when my friends and I started looking in the mirror and saying, “What the actual fuck? These lines, or that spot, weren’t there last night when I was washing my face. Please send help!”

Payne says this is because “cell turnover is slower, dull skin and uneven texture become a reoccurring theme and a highlight of our skincare routines.”

This is also when our collagen and elastin production slow way down. If your skincare routine has been minimal up to this point, you may start (everyone is different) to see pigmentation from sun exposure and more pronounced lines especially around the eyes, mouth, and forehead.

“Starting an acid toner now as well as adjusting your retinoid dose can help your skin,” says Payne who adds, “Don’t forget to adjust your skincare during the dry/cold months.” For example in the winter as we age, we may not need to exfoliate the skin as much. You can try a gentler cleanser, or exfoliate less if you notice your skin is becoming more dry and irritated even if you haven’t changed anything about your normal routine.

Dr. Young says these are the years when your acne might creep up again, even if you haven’t had to deal with it since your teens — acne and wrinkles are such a delightful combination to sport at the same time, aren’t they?

Dr. Young says this is a good time to start with painless radio frequency skin tightening like ReFirme, which is a non-invasive, painless way to tighten up your skin. This treatments are optional, of course, and not necessary to having healthy skin.

40s:

This is the decade our skin produces less oil, says Payne. And I can attest — I’m witnessing that firsthand, and I’d never though I would say I miss my face oil, but here I am.

Something else that starts to become more scarce in our skin at this age are lipids, fatty acids, and cholesterol. Your skin begins to feel less firm and plump and you may notice some sagging. “This is when you want to start using a product with hyaluronic acid if you haven’t been already. It helps to support dry skin and maintain a plump appearance,” she says.

Dr. Young adds that this is definitely the decade where past damage begins to show and many begin to freak out about our skin’s appearance. You may even notice your skin has a grayish hue and is less vibrant.

Microneedling is something you can look into, but the recommendation is finding a properly trained aesthetician or dermatologist, versus trying it at home (especially your first time).

50s:

Payne says your 50s are when you really notice the sagging, especially around your jaw line and neck, “as skin elasticity decreases.” Your skin tends to become thinner and more dehydrated as your skin stops producing as much hyaluronic acid, says Payne.

Continuing to do everything you’ve done in past decades to care for your skin is imperative in your 50s, but again, don’t forget to adjust accordingly, recommends Payne. If you need to back off exfoliating or up your retinoids, what matters is your skin looks and feels good. What worked for you when you were younger might not be working as your hormone levels change.

Even if you’ve taken good care of your skin, lines begin to deepen. “This is the time when good skincare is essential to keeping your skin looking as youthful as possible,” says Dr. Young.

60s:

You will notice more sagging and drying of the skin in your 60s that is often accompanied by “an increased sensitivity and redness,” says Payne.

At this age, even if your diet and skincare routine is on point, Dr. Young says you may want to turn back the clock by using, “lasers, peels” and some may “even consider surgery.”

Payne says even if you don’t want to invest time in your skin, the most important thing you should do, no matter your age, is apply sunscreen.

Taking time every day to reduce to signs of aging goes a long way. “It’s all about commitment and consistency and should be done every day,” she says.

Keep in mind your skincare routine isn’t all you need to take into consideration when it comes to putting your best face forward. Dr. Young says it’s important to remember hormones changes and diet are important factors as well.

I can say, as a woman in my mid-forties, regular facials, using sunscreen every day, removing my makeup each night, and acid exfoliation products have been game changers for me. You don’t have to be an expert on skincare or spend a lot of money, either. A little care can go a long way.

However, if you are noticing big changes to your skin or see something pop up that doesn’t look normal, it’s best to contact a dermatologist and discuss your options.

In the meantime, have fun with your skincare routine, and find products you love. Loving the skin you have and feeding it the best way you can will pay off in spades later on.

The post Let’s Talk About Skin Care Through The Decades appeared first on Scary Mommy.

I Have Short Hair — And Yes, I Actually Do Care

When someone without children complains to me about how tired they are, my knee-jerk reaction is to scoff and resist the urge to punch them in the throat. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I’m melodramatic, inappropriate and self-righteously dismissive. Not just dismissive — contentiously dismissive. And yet, I still devote a great deal of time every day to reminding myself that parents are not the only legitimately exhausted people in the world. Everyone is struggling with something I know nothing about.

“Be kind,” I tell myself, “adulting is a shit show.”

However, on any given day, I am functioning on four hours of sleep or less. So it can be hard to see past the end of my own upturned nose when “constantly exhausted” is just my factory setting now.

My son stopped sleeping through the night at three months old. We started off great though. Unlike most babies, he took to sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches with one-to-none night feeds almost as soon as we got home from the hospital. It was a saving grace after a traumatic birth experience, recovering from an emergency C-section and postpartum depression. But the three-month sleep regression hit like a Mack truck and I haven’t slept through the night since.

At a time when I felt less like myself and the most out of control, I fixated on my hair. I was exhausted. My body wasn’t my own nor was it recognizable and my hormones ran roughshod over my emotions. My hair was the one thing I could manipulate. The one thing that gave me a sense of agency. The one thing I could control.

Until I couldn’t even do that anymore.

Childbirth, stress, low iron and a B12 deficiency were a simmering witch’s brew in a cauldron of total defeat. The hair loss was alarming. The thinning was frustrating. I turned to thickening products, backcombing, clip-in extensions and flatiron curls to desperately hide everything I felt was being taken away from me.

One day I looked in the mirror and my hair was mostly gone and completely damaged. I felt like Gollum in the Mines of Moria. My scalp constantly ached from the heavy extensions I wore daily. For the last 18 months, I had used my hair as a homing pigeon to deliver the message that I was worthy. After 18 months of abuse, that pigeon flew the coop.

I slumped onto the side of the tub in my towel. She was gone. I’d lost her. The last of the old me swirled down the drain with the rest of my pre-baby naiveties.  I grabbed the phone without pause and sent an SOS message to my hairstylist. I hadn’t been to the salon since my wedding day. It was time to call in the big guns.

She chopped it off. Almost all of it. Right up to my ear lobes in what can only be described as a pixie that didn’t make the cut. I succumbed to the dreaded “mom hair.” But here is the thing about the mom cut… if you call it that, you’re an asshole.

Women are judged for literally everything. For having babies. For not having babies. For staying at home with those babies. Or working full time while someone else raises those babies. We just can’t win. If we keep our long luxurious locks, we are superficial. If we invest the time and energy into any style other than the signature messy bun, we are vain. You can’t possibly be a good mother if you are spending time on your hair and makeup instead of with your children.

But then if we cut it we are instantly cliché. We have let ourselves go. We care only about being a mom and not at all about being wives or sexual beings. Cheryl Wischover sums up this conundrum perfectly in her Vox article “How “Mom Hair” as We Know It Came to Be:”

“Having mom hair implies that your hair and appearance are not your main focus (the correct value, per society) because your children are. You don’t care what you look like; you only care about your family. Hair is an afterthought that should be easy and practical.

Despite the fact that we approve of this so-called value in moms, we still mock them for it, because moms really do have to have it all. Sex, sure, but not too much, do not admit to liking it, and definitely don’t advertise it on your head, for god’s sake. Be practical, but also have a sense of style — to a point, otherwise it’s vain. Be spontaneous, but don’t go nuts with that, okay? Do not waste 45 minutes putting your long hair into a complicated fishtail braid. You have to get your kid to soccer practice on time.”

And what about our husbands? Don’t we care what they think? The short answer is no.

But the very very long answer is yes.

I shouldn’t care what my husband thinks about something as trivial as my hair. He loves me for me right? Everything else is just extra. But the truth is, I care deeply about what he thinks. I care deeply about what he sees when he looks at me. I care about being a good mom, a good wife and I also care about being good to myself. About getting what I want and doing what makes me happy. As women we are attacked with the pervasive and abusive message that our value is intimately tied to our outward appearance. And this external physicality serves as a resume for our sexual prowess. And after all, isn’t that all that matters when it comes to finding a partner? What you have and how you work it? Keep your waist small, your chest supple, and your hair long and slightly tousled. Because you aren’t your best you unless you look like you’ve stepped off the pages of a Cover Girl spread.

Just kidding, NO.

I have a mom cut now. But it’s not because I let myself go. And it’s not because I don’t care anymore. I had to let it go because I cared too much. My fried, split ends were the perfect metaphor for how I was feeling on the inside — a sparse, empty, and fragile shell of the girl I used to be. Desperately trying to hang on to the old parts of me that I thought were the lifeblood of contentment. But they were dead foliage that needed to be pruned and cut away. I have the mom cut because I didn’t have a choice. It was emergency amputation now or go bald from the damage (and I do not have the bone structure to pull off a shiny scalp and big earrings). The hair was brittle and had split almost to my scalp. The impossible expectations I put on myself to be a certain person and look a certain way had also burned me out and left me friable. They were the unwinding of a rapidly fraying rope. It was time to cut that rope and put my feet back on solid ground.

I have a mom cut. I changed something about myself but I didn’t change me. I will spend time making it look chic. I will spend time applying my makeup and choosing a fashion forward outfit. I will spend time making sure I feel good about the way I look. I’m a good mom who understands that caring for myself doesn’t mean I care less about my child or my marriage. So that means I will spend time on all the things that make me happy — most of which are my baby boy and my loving husband.

I have short hair, and yes, I do care.

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20 Looks We Wish Would Make A Comeback

The fun thing about fashion is most looks always make a comeback every few decades. We are seeing it now with overalls, boyfriend sweaters, and Vans being worn by all ages.

But many of us have requests for styles that just aren’t coming back into fashion. We may desperately want to sport the look again, but we want validation that it is okay to wear things again by seeing others do it first.

Then again, who cares if it’s okay — we can rock whatever look we want! That said, here are 21 looks we want to see take another spin:

1. White Keds

 

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Pairing a pair of white Keds with anything from our favorite cut-offs to a cute skirt instantly transformed us into Baby from Dirty Dancing.

2. Legwarmers

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Leg warmers were an easy way to give your outfit some personality and it was the one thing we didn’t mind our Grandmother knitting for us. And no, they weren’t just for working out.

3. Mullets

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We all miss this even if we don’t want to admit it. The mullet was easy to maintain and a great way to show all the different sides of you. You hair stayed out of your face, yet people were able to display their beautiful locks cascading down their backs.

4. Steve Madden Slipons

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These shoes were everything. In fact, I’m don’t think I know one woman who didn’t own these. If seeing a pair doesn’t make you feel nostalgia and take you back to a simpler time, we can not be friends.

5. Sweater Sets

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How many of you went in to a tizzy when you saw a neatly folded table of sweater sets at The Limited Express? I’d lose my mind and feel compelled to get every color. They were so versatile — you could wear the sweater tank alone or with the button down cardigan. You could wear the cardigan alone, with a button down under it. You could mix and match the colors. You could wear the sweater tank with the sweater draped over your shoulders — the possibilities were endless.

6. Shoulder pads

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Who doesn’t love a strong shoulder? I remember buying sets of shoulder pads to go under my bra straps because in the ’80s you didn’t leave home without them. These fuckers went under every sweater, every t-shirt, and every jacket. Supposedly they tricked the eye to make your waist appear smaller, and we all had collections of shoulders pads stuffed in our underwear drawer.

7. Spiral Perms

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How convenient to get a spiral perm and not have to work for an hour every morning to get your damn beach waves right. With one very expensive chemical treatment, you could have cork screw curls for months.

8. Oversized Jackets With Ties

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An oversized suit jacket with a tie and your favorite jeans is such a smart look anyone can pull off. My friends and I used to peruse the racks of thrift shops and our father’s closet in high school looking for the perfect hounds tooth or corduroy blazer and tie — so Diane Keaton.

9. Baggy Clothing

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A lot of things are very fitted these days. We’ve got the skinny jeans, suits have more of a tailored look, and t-shirts are now made to show off our bulging assets. There’s a reason why we strip all that nonsense off as soon as we come in the door–tight-fitting clothes makes you feel bitchy. We miss the oversized-everything look.

10. Jams

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The length, the wild floral prints, the oversized pockets, Jams had it all. And when worn with a matching shirt and florescent sunglasses, you know you felt unstoppable.

11. Stirrup pants

AMAZON.COM

These puppies made boot-wearing a breeze. If only these would come back into fashion, it would be so much easier to keep our pants in place and we wouldn’t have to worry about jeans creeping up our calves when sitting down.

12. Velcro Shoes

AMAZON.COM

Life was so easy when all we had to do we slip on our kicks and Velcro them shut. Sometimes we got creative and did a little crisscross action.

13. Sturdy MaryJanes

AMAZON.COM

What happened to these shoes? They are practical, they are comfortable, and they grip the ground like nobody’s business. Plus, they’re the cutest with little socks and skirts.

14. Big Hair

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Now, everyone is trying to tame or flatten their hair that wants to be horizontal instead of vertical. There are exactly one million flat irons to choose from, flat iron spray, and a shit-ton of ways to de- frizz and tame your mane. I miss the days when it was acceptable to walk around looking like you put your finger in a light socket. It was so much easier to tip my head upside down, plaster with gel/mousse/spray, scrunch, give the bangs a big upward curl, and go.

15. Velour Jumpsuits

AMAZON.COM

These were amaze and I wore these colorful, squishy suits before, during, and after each of my pregnancies. You were casual and comfortable and looked pulled together simply because you were wearing all one color and material. Also, you could go from day to night in these suits of leisure by trading in your flip-flops or sneakers for a pair of heels.

16. Swatch Watches

AMAZON.COM

My Swatch Watch collection from the ’80s was on point. And the best part about these watches was you didn’t just wear one watch at a time. You wore as many as your wrist could handle. Three to four usually gave you the look you were going for — which apparently was always knowing exactly what time it was.

17. Big-Ass Hair Bows

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How satisfying was it to Aqua Net the shit out of your hair, throw in a big bow and call it a day? It was most definitely a look, and whether you had a big velvet clip on or would tie one on yourself with a hair scarf, you were in Vogue.

18. Timberland Boots With Heels

How glorious to be able to walk down the street in your shit-kickers to show you can chop wood with the best of them, yet that heel in the back gives your legs a little boost and makes you feel hella sexy.

19. Rugby Shirts

AMAZON.COM

A rugby shirt looks great with jeans, sweatpants, and your favorite skirt. They are part dressy because of that formal collar while being sporty. If you were in doubt about how dressy an event would be, a rugby shirt (especially your Benetton rugby shirt) never let you down.

20. Tretorns

AMAZON.COM

These were the sneakers to have in the ’80s and early ’90s. They were the cutest white sneakers and the Tretorn symbol came in different colors or plaid. I recently spotted a pair on Amazon and had to have them — I’m not above buying something for myself because I had the same thing in 6th grade. It’s okay to nurture your inner child through footwear if you need to.

I have always been on team “Wear Whatever The Hell You Want,” so I say, if you love it, bring it back in style your own damn self, and if it never catches on, at least you are feelin’ fine.

The post 20 Looks We Wish Would Make A Comeback appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Folks Are Getting Penis Facials And Vampire Facials, And We Have Questions

The first time I heard the term “penis facial,” I immediately assumed it could only mean one of three things:

1. Something really gross I saw in a porno once and don’t want to talk about.

2. The typical exfoliating, purifying, and moisturizing process involved in a facial, but for a penis.

3. Something to do with a penis slapping some poor person in the face? I don’t know.

It turns out, there aren’t any actual penises involved in penis facials, or… not directly, anyway. Though, I might be even more horrified by what a penis facial actually is than what I thought it was. The procedure involves taking the severed foreskin from an infant’s circumcision, using the fibroblast from that bit of skin as a culture for growing new skin cells and creating a serum to apply to the face.

SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

I mean, using infants’ severed penis to get pretty? I just… is this what happens when a person has so much money that they have to think up weird shit to do with it? Or is this honestly the very best way for a person to never look their age? What even is this?

Also, I can’t be the only one seeing this scenario like some super twisted real-life version of a Disney Villain. I’m picturing Charlize Theron as the evil Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman, obsessed with maintaining her beauty, except instead of collecting the life force of young maidens, she’s collecting foreskins. Diabolical.

And penis facials aren’t the only, um… unique beauty procedure filthy rich people and/or celebrities engage in. Here are a few others that have us scratching our heads:

Placenta Creams and Facials

Sheep placenta, pig placenta, and yes, even human placenta. Eva Longoria has been known to use placenta cream, Jennifer Lopez gets placenta facials, and those willing to unload a whopping $10,000 can get actual human placenta injected into their face to maintain their baby soft glow and utterly defy mother nature and gravity. These are donated placentas, of course, though I’m not sure how I’d feel about my placenta being used for superficial purposes if I thought I was donating for medically necessary procedures like skin grafts for burn victims. But maybe we could all just keep a bit of our own placentas after giving birth and inject ourselves when we need a little self-care boost. I’ll start a Pinterest board. (Not really. Don’t do this.)

Vampire Facials

Also known as the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facial, this very bloody cosmetic procedure involves drawing your own blood, separating out the platelets, and injecting the platelets back into your skin via a process called microneedling. The growth hormone in platelets, along with the stimulation from the needling, is meant to encourage cell turnover and restore a youthful glow. YIKES.

Bird Poo Facials

This is a procedure in which you smear actual, literal bird shit on your face. Granted, it’s fancy nightingale bird shit—said to be high in urea and guanine, which moisturize and brighten, respectively, and yes, it’s sanitized and dehydrated and stuff, but still. WTAF. Harry Styles and Victoria Beckham have been known to engage in this tomfoolery.

Snail Slime

So I don’t even understand why this one is so expensive. The mucin from land snails apparently does have elastin, glycolic acid, and protein in it, but why not just go for a hike and find some land snails and let them crawl all over your face? You could lay in the mud and get a free mud mask. Who needs to spend hundreds at the spa?

Bull Sperm Conditioner

This protein-rich (yuck!) hair mask combines the semen from Aberdeen Angus Bills with Katera root and is meant to strengthen hair and promote growth. It isn’t even that expensive, but… OMG WHY? I’m not eating for the rest of the day.

Snake Venom

This anti-aging cream is made from actual active snake venom which is supposed to freeze facial muscles but, you know, without paralyzing you or… killing you. Who needs Botox when you can use all-natural deadly snake venom?

24k Gold Face Masks

This $300 and up treatment uses literal 24k gold leafs to create a face mask that supposedly renews cells, improves skin elasticity, and reduces wrinkles. If I ever got one of these, I’d wear that shit around town on my face like jewelry. Because seriously, what do they do with the gold after they use it? Recycle it and use it on other people? Trash it? Make a bracelet?

And these procedures are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unusual and expensive beauty treatments. I love a good facial as much as the next gal, but I think I can do without smearing blood or semen or placenta on my face in the interest of beauty. Give me a good clay mask and a nice hyaluronic acid serum, and I’m good to go. But if we are ever able to collect and cultivate maiden’s life forces in a non-invasive, consensual, non-murdery way, sign me up, because really, who doesn’t want skin like Charlize Theron’s?

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Stop Using Abrasive Scrubs On Your Face — Use This Instead

I love having a clean, smooth face. Honestly, there are few things that feel better to me when it comes to my own body maintenance than fresh, clean skin. As I get older, skincare is something that has become more of a priority, and even though I don’t go as bonkers as some of my friends, I do have a bit of a routine.

And up until fairly recently, using a walnut face scrub was a part of that routine.

But I’m here to tell you my friends, we must stop using the face scrubs we’ve been using. Abrasive scrubs, like the nut shell ones made by St. Ives (or their knockoff versions) or even salt or sugar face scrubs, are actually harmful to your skin. They are not exfoliating you or making you glow.

Just stop using them.

But why? It feels so good when you can feel the scrub sloughing off layers of dead skin from your face. When you use an abrasive scrub, you have instantaneous results, or so it seems. You can see that your skin looks brighter, or feels softer as you slather on your facial moisturizer (please for the love of god, don’t use body lotion or anything other than facial moisturizer on your face).

Yes, this is all true, but here’s the thing about abrasive scrubs: they could actually be doing more damage to your skin. How exactly? Well, those larger granule scrubs could be tearing your skin. That’s right, tearing your skin.

Skincare guru Paula Begoun, who founded skincare company Paula’s Choice, told New York Magazine’s The Cut, “When you scrub skin with abrasive scrubs, they put micro-tears into skin. They make your skin more vulnerable to environmental damage, pollution, and sun damage.”

Well, shit.

And here we all were thinking that we were doing our skin a service by slapping a scrub on a couple times a week. But it’s not just Begoun who believes that abrasive scrubs are nothing short of garbage. Dr. Dennis Gross, a prominent Manhattan dermatologist (with a bestselling skincare line himself) agrees that abrasive scrubs are unhealthy.

“Scrubs are a primitive way to exfoliate,” Gross The Cut. “It’s like using sandpaper on your face. If you look closely at the sandpaper surface, you’ll see lots of scratch marks, and that’s what happens on the skin.”

Gross and Begoun both believe that using abrasive scrubs, like our beloved apricot scrub, can actually make your skin age faster, and that is the opposite of what we want. No one wants to walk around looking like Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove.

Stop Using Abrasive Scrubs On Your Face -- Use This Instead

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Nonetheless, there are some dermatologists who believe there’s a place for granulated scrubs in a person’s skincare routine. Dr. Neal Schultz says that abrasive scrubs may not be a bad thing if used correctly, but that the key is using a finer granule of scrub. A micrograin or paste-like scrub will not do as much damage. The best are microbeads, but those are super bad for the environment (to the point where they’re being banned in the UK), so those are out too.

How long and how often you use a scrub can also play a part in it. You shouldn’t be exfoliating every day; three times a week is sufficient.

But if you’re telling me not to use an abrasive scrub, what can I use?

Fear not, there is another option for exfoliating your skin to get it baby soft. They are called chemical exfoliants.

If these exist, why didn’t I know about them?

Abrasive exfoliants are considerably cheaper than chemical exfoliants. They’re also a lot easier to find; you can walk into any store that sells skincare products and be able to buy an apricot scrub or something similar, and only spend about $5 bucks. Chemical exfoliators come with steeper price tag and are not as easily attainable in the drug store.

“From reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles to hydrating the skin and treating acne, using an exfoliating acid is the key to more youthful, glowing skin. These exfoliants include ingredients such as glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHA, and enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple,” celebrity aesthetician Renee Rouleau tells Byrdie.

These chemical exfoliants do the same things we are looking for in a scrub: they promote skin cell turnover and make our skin look brighter and clearer, but they’re doing it in a far gentler way that won’t lead to undercover damage. The idea of putting chemicals on your face can be intimidating, but they are a lot better than tearing it with nut shells. If you’re curious to try a chemical exfoliant without breaking the bank, here are a few:

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Sephora

There are several different sizes to these simple daily pads. A simple two-step process that has the same potency is what Dr. Gross uses in his practice without the time and price tag.

Bliss That’s Incredi-peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads

Amazon.com

These overnight pads will work their magic while you sleep. Again, these are super simple to use, just swipe on clean, dry skin and then follow up with the rest of your skincare routine.

Tarte Knockout Tingling Skin Treatment

Amazon.com

Tarte makes a toner skin treatment that will minimize the look of your pores and clear away excess oil, without breaking the bank. Of course, if you want to splurge, then you can go for the “holy grail of exfoliants.” These products work fast, and they last a long time since you only need 4-5 drops for your face with each use.

So please, please, please, put down those abrasive scrubs! You can still save your skin, so you don’t look like the old crone from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the school pickup line.

Editors may receive samples and/or a share from purchases made via links on this page. All opinions are our own.

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This Will Change The Way You Think About Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

I looked in the mirror and about had a heart attack.

What in the hell was that on my face? When did those dark puddles under my skin show up? Why in the hell doesn’t my mirror have a built-in Instagram filter that makes me look 10 years younger?

Most days, I just shrug it off. My list of things to do is too long for me to worry about bags under my eyes. But on this day, at that moment, I just stared.

In fact, I looked at my face and had a hard time seeing anything else. I know, it’s a truly unproductive thought to occupy my headspace but evidently, I wasn’t thinking clearly this morning.

My daughter came into the bathroom and saw me just staring into the dead space under my eyes. My face close to the mirror.

As teenagers do, she moved on quickly to the story she had come in there to tell me.

I kept staring into the mirror.

“Mom, are you listening to me?” she asked impatiently.

I was only half listening.

She obviously couldn’t see the disaster I was dealing with.

“Yes,” I said in a slow, drawn-out manner. “I’m just a little pre-occupied with these dark circles under my eyes.”

Then my daughter said something that was either a profound glimpse of the strong young woman I am raising or a genius move of manipulation to get me to listen to her story.

“Mom, what if your bags hold your superpowers?”

Revolutionary! A lightbulb went off in my head!

Yes! I have dark circles because I’m a working mom. After working a full load for clients, I go pick up my daughter from school and the work of being a mom continues. I can’t watch TV shows past 10 p.m. because I’m either working late in my office at home after my daughter goes to bed or I’m exhausted and fall asleep every time I “rest my eyes” during a commercial.

I have dark circles because I’m a single mom. I stress about having enough money. I wonder if the gap in my child’s heart will ever heal. I do the tough parts of parenting alone with no one to back me up in an argument with a very opinionated teenager.

I have dark circles because I’m a mom. ALL moms worry. We just do. About everything and nothing. About things we shouldn’t and things we should. I know to give myself grace. I know I am a good mom. I know God will take care of us and yet, I still worry.

I have dark circles because I’m an aging mom. I’m getting close to 50. I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I lie there awake counting the minutes. I write emails in my head I’ll never remember. I solve problems. I’m very busy in my head at 3 a.m. Then, just when I start to drift back to sleep, my alarm goes off.

Yet when I look closer (not at my face, Good Lord, NO!) at my life… I see what I’ve done.

I see a happy, pretty well-adjusted kid (who is in therapy just to make sure I don’t miss anything).

I see a career I love that provides for us and lets me use my talents.

I see persistence, and hustle, and grace, and wisdom and humor.

My superpowers. And they’re all right there.

The post This Will Change The Way You Think About Dark Circles Under Your Eyes appeared first on Scary Mommy.

TLC Is About To Ruin Your Holiday Season

I was pretty excited for the holiday viewing schedule when I heard Kurt Russell was playing Santa in The Christmas Chronicles, but once I discovered that Doctor Pimple Popper was throwing her hat in the holiday ring, I realized my holidays are going to be very complete.

I know, I know, most of you are reading this and wondering what Dr. Pimple Popper has to do with Christmas, and to be honest, I can’t answer that question. That’s like trying to explain why some folks watch Die Hard at Christmas time. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because it’s happening, and it’s going to be disgustingly amazing.

Now if you are unfamiliar with Dr. Pimple Popper, or you haven’t been keeping up with her rise to fame, here are a few details. Sandra Lee, M.D., aka Dr. Pimple Popper, is a board-certified dermatologist, skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic surgeon who has a very popular YouTube channel with over a bazillion subscribers. She was a serious Internet craze a couple years ago, but now she’s a certified celebrity with her own show on TLC, which, according to Cosmopolitan, had the network’s highest-rated debut since 2013.

Wrap you head around that. I’m just thrilled to know I’m not alone in watching this dark internet sort of nastiness.

Now, if you’re still reading, you must be interested, so here are the details: It will be an hour-long holiday special called The 12 Pops of Christmas. I assumed they’d call it Merry Cyst-mas, but I’m not a in a position to make that call (but seriously, it’s a genius title, so if you work for TLC, have them send me a check, mmmkay?).

From what I can understand, the show will be a Christmas countdown of some sort, but with human body extractions. I assume this will be with at least 12 different patients, unless they’ve found some sort of a human advent calendar filled with puss instead of chocolate. It’s anybody’s guess.

“This is a busy time of year for Dr. Lee, as her patients are looking to remedy their skin issues before attending festive parties, family dinners and the endless photographs that are taken throughout each holiday season,” a press release from the show reads. “With her office decorated in all the usual holiday trimmings, Dr. Lee and her elves will ensure a merry good time for all as they squeeze, pop and extract their way to better looking skin.”

Like all Dr. Pimple Popper fans, I have questions. Most importantly, what holiday treats would pair well with this festive hour? Spice drops, éclairs, fruitcake, pumpkin pie, and anything with a cream center or a resemblance to puss would really bring the special to life. You can almost taste the fun, I’m sure.

Another big question: Should you watch alone or is this family viewing? Well… that depends on your family, I suppose. It might actually be inspirational for a young kid to become a dermatologist, and that’s awesome, kind of like how the moon landing made some kids want to become an astronaut. But honestly, is the Dr. Pimple Popper special as important as the moon landing? Maybe, but probably not.

In my home, I know for a fact that I will be watching it alone, hiding from everyone (mostly my wife), so they won’t judge me. But that’s the thing about Dr. Pimple Popper and her videos, it’s an acquired taste, no doubt about it. In my opinion, there’s something so very calming about her work, almost like watching a lava lamp, and I am sure to fall asleep that night dancing on gumdrops and that aren’t actually candy, but pimples.

Too much? Sorry.

I suppose this post can be taken as a recommendation or a warning. The 12 Pops of Christmas will premiere December 13 at 9:00PM ET/PT on TLC. If you are looking for something wholesome on TV after the kids go to bed, and the thought of eating your late night, cream-filled treat might be ruined by watching a cyst removal, you might want to mark the 9th with an giant X and stick to Netflix.

If, on the other hand, you’re like me, and watching this sort of thing makes you excited, then by all means, put your jingle bell socks up on the coffee table, sip your hot cocoa, and enjoy.

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