Archive for November, 2008

In the dead of winter, keeping a stiff (and smooth) upper lip.

Some people mark the arrival of winter by the first snowfall, the first lights on the trees, or the first time their car refuses to start. For me, winter has officially arrived when I have more than three types of lip balm in my bag.

Because both my parents have fairly dry skin and I’ve spent my whole life going through fairly punishing winters, between late November and early March I basically molt. I don’t mind having dry skin–it’s fairly manageable–but having chapped lips drives me up a wall. I hate how it feels, I hate how it looks, I hate the idea of it, I just cannot deal at all. So in addition to exfoliating my lips in the shower, slathering stuff on them at night, and just generally touching and poking and worrying about them constantly, I load up on products and keep those around all the time in the event of sudden flakiness.

Carmex is my go-to. I’m one of those consumers who gets sucked in by the no-frills packaging because I think that it somehow denotes sincerity on the part of the manufacturer. This also explains my loyalty to Neutrogena products–everything just seems so medicinal! But Carmex is, like, crazy medicinal. They don’t even advertise because they know that people like me will see these little yellow-lidded pots in line at Walgreens and go “ooh, this must be legit.” I tried using the Carmex in a tube, which was alright, but I think the pot is way better. I slather this stuff on before I go to bed at night and it does wonders.

I don’t even know if I can buy Chapstick after “I Kissed a Girl.” I used to love the cherry flavor but now whenever I put it on I just feel like I’m making a pop culture reference. I also like (and carry) Burt’s Bees, but really, when it comes to lip products, I go for the stuff that comes in a pot. It just seems more legit, you know? Tubes are for weenies who want nice kissable lips when it’s convenient for them; pots are for people whose really need it. However, tubes work well for me during times when it’s not exactly socially acceptable to be dipping your finger into a container of petroleum jelly–class and church, basically. Actually, class has never stopped me from going for the Carmex. So, just church, really.

Rosebud Salve has become the official lip product of hipsters across the United States. It’s sold at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and now American Apparel has it on their website. Makes sense–it comes in a sweet old-fashioned tin pot, so it looks extra low-maintenance and cool when you’re pulling it out of your canvas tote bag, like something you stole from your urbane fur coat-wearing grandma’s house rather than the Chapstick that everyone else picked up at Walgreens. I like this stuff because it doubles as a moisturizer for dry hands, so I’m not tempted to carry around a little bottle of hand lotion around with me and look like a total freak.

However, I think that Rosebud Salve is going to get dethroned really soon though. You heard it here first–Bag Balm is the next big thing. This stuff is disgusting. It looks like someone repackaged and sold the grease can in your refrigerator. It also kinda smells. It’s meant for cows. But it. Is. Amazing. If your lips or hands or elbows are really awful, slather some of this stuff on before you go to bed at night and I will guarantee that you will wake up feeling as if tiny angels scrubbed at each troublesome skin cell on your body with the finest of tiny angelic loofahs. It is divine intervention. Plus, look at that packaging. Not only is it tin–the hippest metal around!–but it has udders on it. I don’t carry this stuff around–I would lose friends, seriously, it’s really gross–but we have a big thing of it at home and you better believe I use that stuff on the regular. Expect to see it on a vanity in the background of next season’s Anthropologie catalog.

November 22, 2008 at 1:52 pm 2 comments

Everyone: We’re just like us!

I just spent the past ten minutes watching Twittervision. If you check it out, I recommend the 3D view–it’s kind of cool, watching the globe spin. Someone complains about her sore throat in Sweden, then in AustinĀ  someone marvels at the price of gas. It’s obviously voyeuristic, but also strangely lonely to watch.

Twitter’s still really foreign to me, and so I’m still not sure how I feel about it. It makes me all warm and fuzzy to think that people are concerned with the minutiae of others’ lives, but the oversharing side of it kind of creeps me out. Yeah yeah, says I the blogger, but at least I’m not posting what I ate for dinner.

It’s not like blogging, though. Twitter isn’t the place for grand and unique pronouncements about the world–there’s a 140-character limit! Twitter is for the little things, the tedium. Which is, I think, what makes it so absurd to people, myself included. But I also think that the inherent tedium in Twitter–I made a casserole, my bike’s broken, the baby is teething on Nana’s wooden leg, the dog won’t sit when we tell him to–provides people with a sense of peaceable unity with one another. It’s less rigorous than blogging, but it’s a lot less manically hostile, too.

November 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm 1 comment

Here’s hoping.

What a long journey it’s been. Good luck.

November 3, 2008 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment


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