I Keep WHAT In My Medicine Cabinet? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

I often joke that my bathroom looks like a beauty aisle at Duane Reade because of the ridiculous number of blushes, lip glosses, and random moisturizers hanging out on my Ikea over-the-toilet storage shelf. But there’s something else I’m accumulating besides makeup. My little collection is hidden inside my medicine cabinet. Wanna see?

This is my stash of beauty products…

I have a bunch of quotes that I love taped to the door so that every time I open it, I get inspired. It’s a great way to begin and end each day, and I’ve decided to keep going until the whole space is covered.

….but I value these inspiring quotes more.

Here’s what I have so far:

1. “You’re never done paying your dues.” –Sam Fine, makeup artist

My friend Andrew shared this quote with me. We were talking about the vicious cycle of ambition we Type A people often create for ourselves–as soon as we achieve one goal, we immediately replace it with an even loftier one (or five). It’s like no matter what, there’s always something bigger, better or something-er to strive for. Hence this quote.

2. “Proximity is power. If you put yourself in positions for good things to happen to you, if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices, if you’re patient and persistent, you dream big and focus small, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.” –Robin Roberts, Good Morning America Anchor

Hmm, let’s see: Living by this motto has helped Robin Roberts score a co-hosting gig on GMA, a game-changing interview with President Obama and a spot on the Forbes “Power Women to Watch In 2013″ list. Not too shabby. I love it when super-successful people acknowledge the importance of working hard and not giving up. Those are two values that I think are very underrated these days (I blame sex tapes and reality television).

3. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, OK? Getting happy.” –Stephen King, author

A few months ago, I read On Writing by Stephen King which is part memoir, part how-to-be-a-writer handbook. It is genius. The nugget of wisdom above reminds me to block out all the noise and self-doubt in my head and just write what feels natural to me. Yeah, it’s a bit corny and idealistic, but it helps me get unstuck when I feel stuck.

4. “Write your own part. It’s harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them and no one can stop you.” –Mindy Kaling, writer and actress

These words jumped out at me from Mindy’s hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. She was referring to her breakout play, Matt & Ben, which she wrote with her best friend, but the statement also applies to her new series on Fox, The Mindy Project. I learned from New York that she’s one of the few women of color in the TV biz that is a creator, writer, producer and star of a show. So she’s onto something with the whole “write your own part” idea. Forget trying to fit a mold and make a completely different, way better mold!

5. “It’s important not to fit perfectly anywhere.” –Pete Holmes, comedian 

The guy that hosts the You Made it Weird podcasts said this during one of his shows and I thought it was great. The point he was trying to make is that it’s better to be able to play to a bunch of different types of crowds versus just one. I think that’s true in life, not just in stand-up comedy.

6. “Workout today and you will reach your goal and feel good.” –Me

I wrote this note to myself to give me that extra nudge I sometimes need to take my butt to the gym. Does it always work? No. But I like seeing it anyway.

So that’s it. Just thought I would share the uplifting words that run through my brain while I put on my eye cream.

Would you ever stick quotes inside your medicine cabinet, or am I total weirdo?

Update 9/25 4:52 p.m.: The original post didn’t include an attribution for quote #1. Andrew informed me that it was the legendary makeup artist Sam Fine who said it!
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Up Close & Beautiful: A Glimpse At Kilo Kish’s Beauty Stash

“I wouldn’t really consider myself a rapper. I was half-kidding when I started,” says Kish.
Photo: Ibra Ake

If you haven’t heard the smooth, impossible-not-to love voice of Florida-bred, Brooklyn-based musician Kilo Kish, I suggest you immediately download her debut EP, Homeschool—and prepare to get hooked. 22-year-old Kish, whose real name is Lakisha Robinson, delivers her rhymes in a unique way that Time describes as “bouncy, sweet and spoken-word like.” Both her stage presence and sound are 100 percent consistent with her beauty routine: low-key yet effective. Here are the products she relies on to get get gorgeous.

For a pretty pout: “I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees lip balm. I also like YSL lipsticks because they don’t make your lips feel super-dry.”

Her daily hair routine:“I wash with shampoo maybe once a week if that, but I detangle and condition my hair in the shower every morning. I think Pantene has one of the best conditioners for detangling. After I’m done, while my hair is still wet, I use either Kérastase Crème Oléo Curl or Kinky Curly conditioner and I put regular olive oil on my ends to keep them soft.”

What makes her skin look great: “I use Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Toner and Ultra Facial Lotion on my face every day.”

Her secret brow-tamer: “I always use clear mascara to keep my eyebrows from going everywhere.

Credits: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tube ($3), Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick SPF 15 in Noir Lacque ($32), Kérastase Crème Oléo Curl ($42), Pantene  Pro-V Curly Hair Series Moisture Renewal Conditioner ($4.19), Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner ($11), Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion ($26), Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara ($6.40).  

Do you use any of these products? Which one would you steal from Kilo Kish’s stash?

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Uh Oh! Are You Using The Wrong Kind Of Wipes Down There?


According to Stacy Lyon, creator of Healthy Hoo Hoo, an awesomely named line of vaginal hygiene products, we all might want to reconsider what we use to freshen up our vajayjays.

You would think feminine wipes or baby wipes from the drugstore would be gentle enough to use on our lady parts, but Stacy says many of them contain parabens and ingredients that might cause irritation. “Parabens are very effective chemical preservatives. However, they can mimic estrogens, which are known to play a role in the development of breast cancers.  In fact, parabens have shown up in 99% of breast cancer biopsies!  Also, baby wipes are not pH balanced for women—they are more alkaline, thus can disrupt the acid mantle,” Stacy says.

As for the wipes that are designed for women, the chemicals used to make them smell great aren’t ideal for cleansing genitals. “Fragrances and masking agents are often some of the strongest and most industrial ingredients in health and beauty products.  Even items labeled ‘for sensitive skin’ often contain ingredients such as Iodopropynyl Butycarbamate or 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1. I don’t want those kinds of things anywhere near my sensitive parts,” says Stacy. Me neither!

Here are a few more of Stacy’s must-know health tips for down below:

1. Wash around your vagina, not the vagina itself.  “The trick to intimate cleansing is to avoid the vagina but get the rest; otherwise known as the vulva or the external genitalia. That’s where sweat glands are located and thus become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. With that in mind, if you prefer a soft–really soft–wash cloth then go ahead and use it. Just be super gentle.”

2. Stick with mild a vaginal cleanser or bar soap. “Avoid liquid body wash as it’s often irritating to the vulvar area which can lead to burning or itching. The only bar soap my OBGYN [recommends] is Cetaphil because its one of the lower pH bar soaps available. Even if a bar soap is made from petted Himalayan goats doesn’t mean it’s mild. What makes a soap optimal for intimate cleansing is it’s pH factor.”

3. Opt for water-based or silicone-based lubricants. ”A water-based personal lubricant is a great choice because it is gentle, water soluble and washes off the skin. Silcone is a bit thicker and lasts longer, but it’s also a bit more slippery. Either one is a healthier choice than mass-market brands containing petrochemicals and parabens. I love Good Clean Love.”

So that’s the scoop. I haven’t tried Stacy’s line yet, but I’m definitely sold on the idea of using kinder, gentler products on my, uh, hoo hoo. How about you?

Pictured below: Healthy Hoo Hoo Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($13.99), Wipe Travel Pack ($4.79) and Gentle Feminine Wash ($12.99).


Last Call: Which Summer Beauty Trend Are You Still Rocking?

OK, guys, you’ll have to forgive me because I did something borderline unacceptable for someone who claims to love beauty trends. I went through the entire summer without getting a single neon manicure. Gasp! Shocking, I know. But I decided to FINALLY get with the DayGlo nail polish program, even though it’s a bit late in the game. Why the sudden urge? I blame Serena Williams.

While she destroyed beat her  opponents during the US Open, she wore a neon yellow-ish green headband with her tennis outfits.

Here’s how Serena looked during the 2nd round.

She also wore a bright band for round three.

And she sported the same poufy ponytail + neon band look when she won the final on Sunday.

As I stared at the sweatband, I was thinking (a) Serena has never looked better on the court and (b) the color of the band would make a really great nail polish color. And then I remembered that already own one that matches almost exactly: SinfulColors Nail Enamel in Neon Melon ($1.99). I brought it to Polish Bar of Brooklyn (my college friend Tricialee’s salon) and got this manicure:

I paired my fluorescent nails with Minx appliqués on my ring fingers for a little edge. Like it?

The SinfulColors shade might be hard to find now, but Love & Beauty By Forever 21 Nail Polish in Neon Yellow ($2.80) is another good option.

Did you miss the boat on any summer trends? Which summery looks are you still clinging to?