Buy This: The Gift of Fear

If you’ve been following this blog since its inception, you know that I used do some product reviews of things I liked. I stopped for a while until I just realized that I could potentially be getting free stuff in exchange for advertising.

So, small businesses and marketing departments, please send me your free wine, Luna Bars, Dove body wash, hand made Etsy headbands…. just whatever crap you got lying around in the back, and I will write about it. But, no Diva Cups; I repeat, I DON’T WANT ANY DIVA CUPS.

So, my first review is for a book that I think can save your life and the lives of thousands:

734736_f260If you like any flavor of Law and Order and practical tips on how to not get murdered, The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker is the book for you.

Basically, the book is about trusting your intuition and it teaches you how to consciously predict whether someone is a violent threat to you. The first couple chapters are about how women can protect themselves from men before an attack happens, and Gavin uses real stories to illustrate his points. It is both exhilarating and terrifying, and maybe don’t read this right before bed.

He says:

“At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will murder them.”

– Gav-Gav de Becker

Basically, Gavin just gets women, and he kind of goes on this adorable feminist rant for a couple paragraphs, and full disclosure, I am in love with him. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and look at his picture at the end of the book. There’s no harm in pretending that Ryan Gosling is advocating for your personal safety.

I hope I didn’t lose the male readers, because the rest of the book is about violence that can happen to anyone and how to predict/prevent it, so basically mass shootings, stalkers, how to fire a crazy person, etc. The information is both incredibly timely, yet only includes references that date back prior to about 1997, so get ready for some pre-9/11, OJ Simpson nostalgia.

Seriously, get this book, it’s both practical and fascinating, and you don’t have to be me to like it.

Now, ‘scuse me while I get back to spending 7 hours watching the Jodi Arias trial.

Obsessed With: Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil

If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be:

1. We’re all okay.*

2. Don’t ever date a stand up comedian.

3. Don’t over pluck your eyebrows.

*Actually, it was Jewel who wanted to tell you that. I, personally, think we’re screwed. Enjoy this beautiful weather we’re having– we’ll all be under water soon.

Numbers 2 and 3 were sound advice, though.

Eyebrows are something you really need to be careful with. If you over-pluck, a perfectly attractive face can suddenly look like it belongs to an extra in a whore house scene on SVU. An even bigger risk is that your eyebrows might not grow back. I remember in middle school, there was this weird trend where girls would pluck off half of their eyebrow (I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean that like they’d literally pluck off the second part of their eyebrow. The tail to the shooting-star, if you will). May God bless those girls and bestow them with the ability to grow back the other half of their eyebrows.

Women, don’t be afraid of an ample brow, and don’t hesitate to fill them in a little, either.

I use Anastasia’s Perfect Brow Pencil in Strawburn, $22 from Sephora and Nordstroms because it’s the business.

I just like to draw ’em in like this is third grade art class and then comb them out with the little brush. It makes everything even and perfect and lasts all day and blah blah blah. Basically, I’m one step closer to this girl:

Eyebrows 4dayyyz. Give in to it, ladies!

Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush

It is so easy to lose me. In a literal sense, like you might very well misplace me because I’m so small and cannot be found in crowds. Since we live in a world of survival of the fittest (you guys know I write to you from 1940’s Germany, right?) so I’ve had to adapt so I don’t get lost at Third Eye Blind concerts, never to be heard from again. The first step was to dye my hair red- it’s easier to spot because it’s brighter and stands out in a sea of mostly brunettes and blondes (so it was also for narcissistic, center-of-attention purposes), and tonight the second step–to find a nail polish with the highest amount of glitter density– was completed tonight, thanks to Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush nail polish line.

Now when I’m lost, all I have to do is wave my infant hands around until someone sees the emergency flare and comes to find me. Extremely effective.

And it comes in all sorts of fun colors!

This was Razzle Dazzler, $7 at any drug store.

But can you put a price on safety?

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Sometimes I’m just overcome with exhaustion over the basic maintenance of the human body. Besides eating (another taxing activity), I think showering, hair styling, and make up application are some of the most frustrating activities because no matter how many times you do it, you will never be done.

Did I accidentally just plagiarize that whole first paragraph from The Bell Jar? Talking about the endless succession of days as represented by the task of keeping up with personal hygiene is a little Sylvia Plath-y. At least I maintained some light-heartedness by expressing this thought with a cheerful visual aid.

Though I’m hoping that my feelings on showering don’t point to a bigger issue, I do have something that stretches out a little time between showers. In previous blogs I’ve talked about my love of affordable dry shampoo, but recently, I’ve developed a more profound  love for completely over-priced dry texturizing spray.

This is Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray. It works as an alternative to dry shampoo, but it doesn’t show up white on your hair that you have to brush out. It also doesn’t have to be used on greasy, depression hair, either. If your hair is flat you can spray this in and get a little volume, then every time you shake your hair out during the day the volume pumps back up. It also smells really nice. It also costs $40. My parents got me this for Christmas, so I plan on asking for this at every holiday and then stock piling it for the future.

Victoria’s Secret Tan Enhancing Shimmer Lotion

Denise Richards on Watch What Happens Live

2011 was truly Denise Richards’ year. Nothing could be better for your career (other than an actual job in said career) than having an ex-husband fall into some drug-fueled crazy spiral, while you stand by tending to your young children with grace and nobility. We saw two examples of how an ex-wife with two of your children can react to their former love taking in two stray porn stars…and let’s just say someone is going to end up with two damaged, drug addled and/or promiscuous teenagers on their hands while the other… is probably going to end up with two slightly less damaged, drug addled and/or promiscuous teenagers. I’m just guessing that the ex-wife (Brooke Mueller) who is in rehab right now (soooo that leaves her kids to be in the care of…. Charlie?) and insists on doing ill-fated reality shows with Paris Hilton is going to have crazier offspring, than our Audrey Hepburn of Playboy, Denise.

Denise Richards’ legs also had a really great year. If I were Paula Deen, and I was in Crayola crayon naming business… and Denise’s legs were drawing implements, I would name her legs “Bronze Butter.” (Wow, sorry about that. Grasping at straws).

Denise mentioned on Watch What Happens Live that she uses a body bronzing/concealing lotion called RCK, which is $40.

Now, my legs hardly see the light outside a pair of Old Navy yoga pants, so I can’t rationalize this purchase regardless of the results. However, I found Victoria’s Secret Tan enhancing Shimmer Lotion last year, and for only $12, it’s totally worth the purchase.

It really makes a difference- your body gets a nice glow, and it evens out the tone of your skin. I’d be curious to see if there is even a big difference between the two products… so RCK, if you’d like to send me a free bottle, I think I could carve out some time to do a blind test for you to post here. On my very, very prestigious and influential blog.

Blistex Deep Renewal

One thing I can’t stand is when people are delusional about their looks. Not their looks overall, like ugly or pretty, but when someone complains that their butt is too big, when in fact their butt looks fine. Now their ankles on the other hand…

Just kidding, all of God’s creatures are beautiful! I just think that people shouldn’t be afraid to own what’s super sexy about them and brag about it to everyone. If we all allowed ourselves to brag about something then it would be socially acceptable and we’d all feel pretty good about ourselves, right? Aw, man. I’m sorry if you can’t deal with how smart that was. Give me five minutes and a bottle of pinot and I could probably cure world hunger, but whatever.

So I’ll start: My lips are what the 90’s would call ‘the bomb.’ I’ve gotten some great feedback on them. There are only two problems I have with these lips, 1. It takes so much lipsticks to fill in those puppies! and 2. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that they will get wrinkly and deflated due to age.

Now, I realize that I would only be so lucky to be old because that means I’m not dead, right? I also realize that it’s only down hill from here and after a certain point there’s only so much I can do; I will get yucky looking. Or I’ll look like the beautiful Helen Mirren, but she still has wrinkles, too. I just don’t want my poor lips to be affected. I get that when I’m 70 I will look old no matter what, but at that point I will be close enough to death where I’ve forgotten about looking good and just focused on eating as much as possible. I’m talking about when I’m in my 50’s or 60’s- I don’t think it’s too much to ask to hold onto my lips up until then.

Especially if you look at my parents. Those two have passed along some top notch DNA. No wrinkle lips for my mom. I’m very optimistic for the future.

Despite my bright horizens, I still want to take the necessary steps now to insure my pillow lipped future.
I’ve been using Blistex Deep Renewal for a couple years now. It has anti-aging ingredients and the all important SPF-15. I can’t stress how important an SPF lip balm is. The other day I was taking a walk, and I felt like my lips were a little hot in the sun. I put this on and they cooled down, so I assume it was the SPF protecting me from the sun trying to steal my youth for it’s own Hocus Pocus-like benefit.

I guess I won’t know how well the anti-aging stuff worked for another 20 years or so, but it feels like putting satin on you lips, so again, I’m very optimistic.

This stuff will run you about $3 at any drugstore.

Oh hey, does anyone else want to brag about something? Maybe you’re saddlebag-less? I cannot relate but would love to hear about it. Nice teeth? Me too, but go on.

Obsessed With: Urban Decay Setting Spray

All my life I’ve dealt with having a very oily face (LITERALLY, my whole life. Child birth was super easy for my mom- I just slipped right out 3 weeks early… )

(…sorry that was disgusting and not true).

But really, I do have some oily skin. I’m wiping my face down whenever I get the chance. I laugh at those little 2 by 3 inch oil blotting sheets. If I ask you for one, don’t give it to me because then I’ll ask for 3 more to finish the job. Every trip to a public bathroom I steal one of those sanitary toilet seat cover papers and blot to my heart’s content. One of the cutest things about me is  whenever I’m at a restaurant, I like to use the little papers straws come in to mop up my face (boys, may I direct you to the top of this window where it says “Contact.” You can direct all love letters to the email address listed there).

All this blotting is really just a Band Aid for a bigger problem, and I finally found something that seems to cure it, at least for the day. Urban Decay’s Setting Spray collection includes a “De Slick” that I tried recently, and I really recommend it. It goes on and absorbs quickly, I didn’t get oily all day, and my make-up stayed in place for hours. I’ve also tried the regular setting spray, which kept me less oily and kept my make-up in place also. I don’t need to try the moisturizing spray because I can just apply olive oil directly to my face to get the same effect.

Each 4 oz bottle is $29 at Sephora or Ulta.

Obsessed With: Organic Coconut Oil

For about the last two weeks my mother has been interrupting everything I say with a fact about the benefits of coconut oil. I imagine she’s been telling everyone else about it, to0 because she told me all about the spirited conversation she had with a Trader Joe’s employee about how wonderful it is, and that fingers crossed, they’ll start selling it there again what with the recent popularity of coconut water and all.

One of the things my mom said coconut oil is good for is weight loss, but it has a fair amount of calories in it. Now, I know some things have a lot of calories but are still good for you because of healthy fats, and are fine in moderation like avocado and almonds. This is irrelevant to me until it’s sweater weather, and I don’t have to be in Vegas wearing a bikini in a week. Come pumpkin latte season when I can just wear oversized flannel, I’ll go back to being some organic hippie with my couscous and my quinoa and only eating free range chicken once a week, but until then it’s cancer causing sugar substitutes and grilled meat for every meal!

Back on track, back on track. Annnyway, I haven’t really had enough of this stuff to see if it does help you lose weight, but I have experienced it’s miracles in other areas.

1. Put a tablespoon in 8 ounces of hot water and drink before going to the gym for energy. Its like having a Redbull but without the ingredients that we’ll find out in 10 years gives you a case of the epilepsy-s. However, this is also drinking oil in hot water, which isn’t great, so I’d say weigh your options in terms of what’s more important, an electric storm in your brain from years of ingesting chemicals or drinking hot oil.

2. Buy some coconut oil lotion and put it on whatever bad things happen to your skin. I’m pretty sure it can cure anything. I have only witnessed it cure my sunburn, but I can only pray I am stricken with some light eczema, so I can see if it clears that up. I had an accidental sunburn last week on my arm, and when I burn it eventually turns to tan, and it had started to tan, but there was still a lot of redness. I put some organic coconut oil lotion on before bed, and when I woke up, all the redness was gone.

You can also use it in cooking (it’s great in couscous instead of using butter to cook it. It really holds the coconut flavor). The unrefined stuff is better than refined, and I use this brand of oil and this brand of lotion.

Tell your friends! Spread the gospel! Unless you are a weirdo who doesn’t like coconut, then you will hate this stuff. Seriously, I’m annoyed by people who don’t like coconut. Just explain to me what’s not to like? I would love to hear this.

Obsessed With: Chandler Farm Body Butter

I recently started doing temp work (which, I believe, is what people mean by the saying “living the dream”) and this past weekend I did some promos for Chandler Farm body butter and lotion. Basically, I just stood at a table in front of a display and tried to get people to buy it.

Now, yes, this is actually a good product, but this post is partly about that and partly about me spitting some truth on all you lotion users because now I know a thing or two.

So the reason why this stuff is good is it’s natural and organic, but what’s more is there’s no petroleum in it- because oh, guess what? Petroleum gives you breast cancer, and it’s in practically everything. In Europe, you can use petroleum in cosmetics, but it has to be completely pure and safe, but in America petroleum can be any level of purity, so the same petroleum used in shoe polish can be used in your lotion. I hope you sleep well tonight, FDA!

This lotion is also free of parabens (breast cancer), sulfates (more cancer), and formaldehyde-producing preservatives (cancer cancer cancer).

The lotion also smells/feels nice…and, again, doesn’t give you cancer, which is always considerate.  You can get it here.

Here’s some other information that will make you feel depressed. It’s all the ingredients thats are going to kill you/bad for the environment but are legal in the US, anyway (from the Chandler Farm site).

Palm Oil: Over harvesting of palm oil has threatened the survival of the Orangutan in the wild. With our current rate of harvesting, the Orangutan could be extinct from the wild in as soon as 10 years. Palm oil is prevalent in Bodycare, Food, Bio-Fuel.

Parabens (methl-, ethyl-, propyl, butyl, isobutyl-): “Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.”- Gorgeously Green

Phthalates: “These horrid little synthetic chemicals are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairment in lab animals exposed during pregnancy and after birth. They are often hidden under the term, “fragrance.”- Gorgeously Green

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES): “This ingredient is a foaming agent that is derived from coconut oil. It is used in brake fluid and antifreeze and also in a huge variety of skin care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, bubble bath, and soap.There is a great deal of controversy surrounding SLS, as many feel that it is not only a proven skin irritant but also could be carcinogenic. The Environmental Working Group considers it to be a carcinogen.” – Gorgeously Green


Obsessed With: Truwhip

I love me some fat free Cool Whip as a lil’ treat on the days between binge eating sessions when I eat like a normal human who possesses some form of self restraint. However, Cool Whip is essentially just made out of edible chemicals (and by “edible” the scale here is, like, edible being Play Doh and non-edible being Plexiglass).

Truwhip, though, is just like fat-free Cool Whip, but it’s:

  • 100% natural
  • 70% organic
  • no GMOs
  • no hydrogenated oils
  • trans fat free
  • gluten free
  • no high fructose corn syrup
  • no polysorbate 60
I like to make a sad, diet ice cream sandwich made with two honey brown rice cakes with Truwhip in the middle and the sides rolled in sprinkles and then frozen. It tastes nothing like ice cream, but it’s, like, mind over matter, ya know? Just concentrate until it’s ice cream (like the food fight scene in Hook). Either way, it’s a nice alternative to Cool Whip.