1. Baby powder
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: For someone with lifeless, white-chick hair like myself, baby powder is a gold mine. It takes a good 15 hours before my hair looks like it had sex with duck sauce and, as a result, I used to just wash and blow-dry my hair every day. Now I can go days (well actually, 3 days max.) without washing my hair; I can let it steep and bask in its “natural oils,” as they say, without looking like Edward Scissorhands…thanks to Johnson & Johnson. The greatest part about this product is that it’s the cheapest and most easily found in homes (say, the dude’s home where you crashed the previous night), despite the fact that there are products out there made for this sole purpose (re: dry shampoo). I’ve found that dry shampoo will zap any softness right out of your hair, which I have no time for because its softness is pretty much the only thing my hair has going for itself.
The directions are as follows: There are no directions. One time I poured an entire bottle of baby powder on my head. The trick is to flip your hair upside down and shake it out so as not to look like Paula Deen. Oddly enough, it also adds body to your hair too.
Um, so I’m not sure if I’ve told you yet, but scrunchies are kind of IN. That, or they just look disturbingly good on me. Either/or.
I bought a cheap 6-pack of colorful scrunchies at CVS the other day, with whom I’ve been smitten ever since. They’re literally the knight in shining armor—your very own Sir Lancelot—for bad hair days. They’re also really big and obtrusive, which gives the appearance that your hair is thicker than it actually is. Personally, I’m a fan of the scrunchy-high-ponytail look, but it also looks sweet in a low, messy braid.
But sometimes, you hit that 3-day mark and still don’t have time for a shower (re: you’re “busy”/lazy), in which case a beanie will serve as a very good and kind temporary friend.
4. Just the feet
When I’m feeling dirty, typically 85% of that feeling comes from my feet. Even if I can’t smell them, they’ll still feel dirty, and that feeling will stay with me all day long. Try rinsing your feet off—under a tub faucet or in a sink if you’re nowhere near a shower or you’re using a chick’s bathroom who you kind of hate. I swear, you’ll not only feet tremendously cleaner, but there’ll be a sprightly kick in your step too.
If my nipples could talk, they would be nonstop praising the Vaseline gods. We all know Vaseline is a useful chapstick and moisturizer for our lips, but did you know it’s also one of the best and only ways to relieve chapped nipples? It’s also great to apply around your eyes. If you find yourself looking kind of drab without any makeup handy, apply a little vaseline below your eyebrows and it’ll brighten up your face. You can also use it as an alternative to mascara, which I highly recommend, not least because it’s also known to make your lashes thicker and longer.
6. Sleep on your back
For all my lazy henchmen, here’s a beauty tip that takes negative physical exertion and one you can also do while sleeping. Simply avoid sleeping on your stomach—or smushing your face into your pillow. Assuming you’re actually lazy and therefore haven’t washed off your makeup before hopping into bed, this trick ensures your makeup stays intact, leaving you with one less thing to do in the morning. If you’re an irreparable face-in-pillow sleeper, then at least try to avoid the eyebrows. If nothing else, keep your eyebrows colored in and intact.
7. Don’t bring chocolate into bed
Often it’s not about what TO do but what NOT to do. Something that’s always worked for me: if you could just TRY and not bring that Toblerone into bed with you. You’ll look (and feel) better in the morning. Promise.
8. Mexican shower
For those unaware, this is when you don’t shower, but drench yourself in perfume instead. Don’t hate the messenger—I didn’t come up with the name. I’m just an admirer and advocate of its transforming powers. And if you ever have $60 at your disposal, I urge you to invest in the Jo Malone white jasmine and mint scented cologne.
If there’s one thing to keep on your person at all times it’s moisturizer. No makeup will make you look good if its applied over dry, cracking skin. By contrast, moisturizer breathes life into your face (especially if applied everywhere, even over closed eyes) and you’ll often notice after applying it that scarcely any makeup is necessary.
10. Pen manicures
I can’t remember the last time I got a professional manicure. After buying a good nail file, a handful of nice colors, finishing gloss, and a buffer, I realized spending $40 to have someone do it for me is a complete waste.
Even if your nails are professionally did, they are still liable to chip. Which is why you should always have permanent markers in a slew of colors ready. The colors don’t even need to match your polish. As long as they’re vaguely in the same palette, you’re good. Then, touch up your nails with the pen. The only catch is that permanent marker typically doesn’t stick to your nails so you can’t really wash your hands or touch anything! Yay.
11. French braid
Another great remedy for thin, lackluster hair is the ol’ french braid headband thingy. Start from the front, take a handful of your hair and start french braiding.
Someone once told me that there’s an ingredient in Blistex that makes it addictive and I wouldn’t for a second doubt the veracity of that. Blistex doesn’t just de-chap your lips, it’s like adding a thing layer of icy-hot to your lips, minus all the stinging. It’ll make your lips feel and appear fuller, while giving your entire face this snow-bunny-like glow. Trust me.
13. Give yourself a trim
When you have as little hair as Ido, you quickly learn the uselessness of going to get a $100+ professional haircut. It’s been two years since anyone other than myself has cut my hair, and the best part is I can do it any time I damn well please. I really recommend trying this out for yourself. Especially if you find yourself having to look good without any hair product. Literally just take all of your hair into one hand, do one clean snip, and your hair will feel like a born-again virgin.
14. Beacon’s Closet
Or whatever your vintage store of choice is. A move like this is best reserved for the mornings after you’ve slept at a dude’s house and don’t feel like strutting into work wearing yesterday’s exact outfit.
Get yourself a piping hot cup of tea, put your face over it, and just breathe. It’s your very own mini steam room that will make you look less like death than you already do. Then, when you’re done, you can take the tea bags and lay them over your eyes to reduce puffiness. The perks of doing this on public transportation are twofold: it will make your eyes less puffy and no one will go near you because you’ll look fucking weird.