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Ghoulish Delights Scream Queen Elixir This is a magical combination of oils whose dank, weedy, maple syrup smell is a little off-putting at first, but which masterfully tames the savage beast that is my sensitive, easily inflamed skin. I use it before bedtime 3-4X a week, and my face feels so lovely when I wake up! You can probably get away with using a tiny amount, but I really slather the stuff on. Have you seen The Greasy Strangler? It meeee. (Also, Amanda– a Greasy Strangler product maybe??)
Jewelry by Flannery Grace Good Flannery creates extraordinary, intensely personal, one-of-a-kind bejeweled pieces that make the perfect gift of celebration for a loved one or friend, or a treat for yourself, or a surprise for your beloved spooders. I have collaborated on several custom pieces with Flannery and I learned immediately that to do so is to trust your heart and guts and sketchy ideas with a fabulous human who is not only a consummate professional, but a genuinely empathetic, compassionate and infinitely creative soul who has the ability to craft tangible, magical works of art from your most nebulous, ridiculous dreams. Looking for something beautiful and ready-to-go? Her gorgeous cicada rings are sold exclusively through Creatura House Gallery, where you can stop by to peruse them in all their shimmering splendor (or, I do believe, you can purchase them online as well!)
David’s Tea Iced Tea Infusers This “all-in-one gadget to steep, ice AND sip your tea, at home or on the go” is a thing that I didn’t even know existed, and now I can’t live without. I am constantly looking for water-but-better ways to stay hydrated during my work day, so this definitely fits the bill, AND you can take it with you on drives. I know that’s a “duh” sort of thing, but to be truthful, it just never occurs to me that taking snacks or drinks with me, on the road, is something I’m allowed to do. It somehow feels like cheating? At life? Like things that make life better or easier are somehow a bad thing? I need therapy.
Coobie Bras Sometimes I feel like I might be the one human-person-with-boobs in the entire world who is not all about flinging off their bra at the end of the day. You know, I actually like wearing a bra. I don’t enjoy the feel of my jumblies jiggling and jumping around, or even just sort of hanging out on my chest, under my clothing. It grosses me out. So yes, I’d even sleep in a bra if I could. And now I do, for I have found the ultimate sleeping bra. These bras are light and unstructured, so they are perfect for night time, or just around the house. Sometimes I even exercise in them! They may not have a huge range of sizes, which is a downside. I believe right now it’s just S-M-L and “Full”.
AltarPDX House Line Speaking of a full range of sizes, I cannot speak highly enough to what the good folks at Altar are doing right now. Independent designers who specialize in my particular preference of dark clothing–high quality pieces, somewhat minimalist and devoid of frou frou and frill but with interesting, shapes, structures, and subtle, yet eye-catching detail–and who also create these beautiful things for a full range of body types and sizes…well, that’s an elusive find, isn’t it? And with body positive activism becoming more and more visible and vocal, you’d think these brands and creators would get on board with the idea of inclusivity because, hey, our big bootied money is yours for the taking! So when I saw that one of my favorite online/brick and mortar shops (I’ve been there once! It counts!) is taking great strides to represent and offer clothing for every type of body, I could have cried with happiness and gratitude. I particularly love their Megumi dress, pictured here in a dusty rose red, but it’s a customer favorite, so no doubt they will have more in black at some point!
Splendid Spoon: Loved this meal delivery plan as a reset to my system! I opted for the Program 2.0: five days worth of smoothies and soups for breakfast and lunches, with a one day full cleanse. Full truth: I didn’t love the smoothies for the cleanse day and skipped them, so next time I order, I’ll probably just stick to the soups. I usually make my own smoothies daily at home anyway, so I don’t feel like I’ll be missing out on too much without them. The soups were super hearty and filling, I couldn’t ever finish them in one sitting. Use this link for $25 off your first order!
cloudLibrary & OverDrive apps: Library apps! For listening to audio books! For free because it’s the library! Tell me all the audio books I need to be listening to!
Ebates: I signed up for this “cash back for shopping” service a few years ago and promptly forgot about it. I was reminded by some ad somewhere, so I logged into the account & installed the Chrome plugin, and despite being sort of creeped out at first, I’m totally into it. I’ve received a few payouts so far from it and have opted to get “paid” in Sephora gift cards, so now I feel less guilty when I order more makeup that I really don’t need (but obviously cannot live without). Another referral link: get $10 back on your first $25 purchase using ebates!
Lord of Misrule shower cream from Lush: I stockpiled this last year, and am down to my last bottle. An herbal blend of patchouli, peppercorn, and black pepper with an additional vanilla sweetness, it smells absolutely perfect. Lush, if you can hear me: Please, please, please bring this back.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask: a forever favorite • starting my black & purple garden with tons of inspiration from the #HekateGarden hashtag on IG • Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette : I’m obsessed with the yellow & orange shades! • b&w Polaroid film and disposable 35mm cameras • smokey quartz clusters and obsidian spheres • postcards from traveling friends • Pomegranate flavored everything • living in hopes that summer is almost over and I’ll stop melting any day now
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask – I began wearing a sleep mask intermittently a couple years ago. I’d never considered it until I found myself regularly being woken by daylight rudely piercing the gap between my bedroom window and its shade. That’s when it dawned on me (oof, sorry not sorry) that a sleep mask was precisely what I needed. The mask worked wonders for preventing the light from disturbing my slumber, but it wasn’t very comfortable. It felt stiff on my face and the strap rubbed those tender spots right where the tops of my ears meet my head. Recently something prompted me to ask for sleep mask recommendations and, once again, my fabulous friend Jo came to my rescue with a sleep mask that she loves and also happens to cost a mere $8. This mask is so soft and light and comfy, it makes the one was I using previously feel like I’d strapped a piece of cardboard to my face. This is like a gentle pillow for my eyes and I plan to buy a second one for travel.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil – I strive to take good care of my skin, but I’m also prone to laziness and well aware that physical self-care is one of the first things to fly out the window whenever my mood dips. With these things in mind, I’m always interested in products that help me take care of myself while possibly also reducing the number of steps involved in doing so. I want a skincare regimen, but sooner or later I won’t be able to keep up with half a dozen steps (or more) every morning and night, which invariably makes me feel worse than I already did. So! The sweet thing about this cleansing oil – aside from its effectiveness as a facial cleanser – is that it doubles as a makeup remover. That means I can skip using makeup remover wipes before washing my face and just get right to the face washing. Oh, and thanks again to Jo for recommending yet another winner.
Luna Sleeping Night Oil by Sunday Riley – Two things that I love about this oil – in addition to how my face looks the next morning – are that I don’t need to moisturize after applying it (once again, it’s all about reducing steps in the regimen) and it comes out of the dropper a deep and beautiful greenish blue that vanishes into your skin as you apply it. I take my joy wherever I can find it and this stuff feels like I’m applying a magic potion to my face.
Tom Ford Oud Wood Shower Gel and Deodorant – I love the smell of Oud and aspire to own Oud Wood by Tom Ford in all its forms. Thus far I only have the shower gel and deodorant, because sometimes you need to treat yourself to a truly decadent shower experience or the delight of deliberately sniffing one’s armpits. I suspect I’m not alone in this. Sarah recently posted a cathartic fragrance-related rant on her personal blog that resonated with me, a line from which feels particularly relevant here.
“I believe that the wonderful thing about fragrance is that it makes you feel beautiful in ways that have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with your appearance.”
Fragrance is a powerful thing. When my mood is low or perhaps I’m just having an especially uncomfortable day in my own body, the right perfume – while not actually fixing anything – never fails to help bolster my mood. Recently I was hanging out at one of my favorite Portland bars – I was dressed up, made up, and bedecked in some of my most beloved psychic armor – when I realized I’d forgotten to put on perfume. Suddenly I felt utterly naked and also weirdly vulnerable and I couldn’t shake that feeling for the rest of the night. Perfume is an armor all its own.
So back to the Tom Ford shower gel and deodorant. These aren’t everyday products for me, if only because of their price. But I also enjoy having things that I only use when the moment calls for them and only I know just which moments those are. Perhaps this is me waxing melodramatic, but I feel that these Needful Things of ours aren’t always simply products or garments or objects we like, they’re part of the myriad rituals we create for ourselves, sometimes without even realizing it.