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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Summer: Season of the Bottle Tans

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Here’s the thing: the sun is bad for you. It causes skin cancer, premature skin aging, wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, and sunburns just aren’t attractive:

red

All that being said, I love the look of a golden glow. Doesn’t everyone prefer the look of sun-kissed skin?A faux tan is THE best way to sport a darker complexion, for all the reasons listed above and these added benefits: it evens out your skin tone, so you need less foundation/concealer; it takes about 10 pounds off your appearance; it leaves your skin moisturized as opposed to the drying effects of the sun. It’s 2013, time to step into the shade and slap on a good sunless tanning product.

My natural skin tone is a true ivory:

pale

Notice that I am a whole shade lighter/pinker than my dear friend Katie, who is herself a fair-skinned beauty. In order to look NOT albino, I have to rely on sunless tanning lotion:

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After just a couple of applications, I’m nearly as tan as my gorgeously olive-skinned bff, Jessica! I have tried at least 50 different products, and all of them are pretty comparable. What I have figured out is that for my skin type/texture (dry and prone to rough spots), lotions are far better at providing an even tan than a mousse, and my bare hands are more favorable than a mitt/gloves. In general, the drugstore products are every bit as good as the high-end and department store offerings, mostly because they all use the exact same ingredient: DHA. NONE of them smell good, no matter the claim on the bottle; after 6 hours or so, they all make you smell like a beer-soaked piece of moldy bread…As awful as that sounds, I promise you it’s better than skin cancer.

I also prefer to switch up the brand every couple of uses to avoid becoming too orangey or too muddy, as nearly all products tend to lean one way or the other. Here is my current collection:

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Why is there a white wash cloth pictured? Because nothing exfoliates better than a good ol’ fashioned wash cloth! Most exfoliating scrubs leave behind a residue, which is like kryptonite for DHA–it can’t penetrate the skin if there is an oily barrier. Of all of these, my two favorite are probably the Palmer’s cocoa butter for it’s initial chocolatey scent and beautifully even tan, and the L’Oreal sublime bronze for it’s super natural looking brown color.

Here’s the regiment: exfoliate in the shower, paying extra close attention to inner wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. After you are thoroughly dry, massage in the lotion as you would any moisturizer, using sparingly on wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. Wash your palms with warm, soapy water, taking care not to splash. Using your damp washcloth from the shower, gently swipe off some product from wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, AND your hairline. Let the product soak in for a few minutes. Use this awkward time standing naked in your bathroom to organize and clean out your medicine cabinet, read a magazine, or paint your toe nails. When the lotion is mostly absorbed, put on your pj’s and go to bed. Why should you never use tanning products during the day? Well, in addition to the whole moldy-bread smelly thing, any moisture will wreak havoc on your tan. It’s too difficult to completely avoid sweating/washing your hands/coffee spills/rain during the day, so just don’t go there.

Need one more awful sunburn to inspire you to break out a sunhat and buy a bottle tan? Here’s a picture of my darling boyfriend yesterday, fried extra crispy:

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xo

40 Books to Read Before You’re 30

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A couple weeks ago, a Buzzfeed list of the “65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s” circulated Facebook, and I have to say I was seriously disappointed…Not just in the choices on the list (or not on the list), but that anyone would accept Buzzfeed as a credible source on must-read literature! That’s like asking the Queen of England to create a list of the funniest fart jokes or Honey Boo Boo Child to recommend diet and exercise tips. This is NOT a knock on Buzzfeed– I love a good list of the “16 funniest lies you can tell a child” as much as the next girl–but basing your summer reading list off their recommendation? Ludicrous!

Now, what makes my list more trustworthy than Buzzfeed’s? Well, for starters, He’s Just Not That Into You didn’t make the cut. Oh, and you’ve probably already read half of these books. That’s the point–if you’re pretty damn close to 30, you should have already come across many of these reads because they are cultural pillars of our society. I must note that I do not like all these books, in fact there are several I would say aren’t even “good”, but they should be read.

I must admit that I found this process to be tortuous. There are books I spent hours reflecting on, and still regret not putting on the list (Wurthering Heights, The History of Love, Harry Potter!), but I wanted to condense it to just the essentials. I’d love to hear your feedback, though–what would you have skipped? Added?

In no particular order…(Click on the title to go to Amazon to read a description/order)…

Fiction

1. The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

3. The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

4. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

5. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

6. The Giver, Lois Lowry

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

8. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkein

9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

11. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

12. The Princess Bride, William Goldman

13. Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

14. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

15. East of Eden, John Steinbeck

16. Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift

17. Slaughterhouse V, Kurt Vonnegut

18. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

19. Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer

20. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

21. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

22. Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

23. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

24. The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay

25. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

26. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen

27. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

28. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

29. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

30. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

31. The Plot Against America, Philip Roth

32. White Teeth, Zadie Smith

Non-Fiction

33. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls

34. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand

35. In the Garden of Beasts, Erik Larson

36. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond

37. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt

38. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

39. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer

40. Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt