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Friday, February 11, 2011

GLAMOUR! with Kira! - Unisexy Favesies!

Hello! Welcome back to GLAMOUR! with Kira!
I'm very excited to get the ball rolling on my incredibly important column where we take life's toughest questions head on. We don't back down from really staring those questions in the face. Today, I am going to answer a question that no one has had the balls to ask yet, and that question is: Kira, what are five of your favorite products that a man or a woman could use? Hard hitting stuff. I know.
I love giving suggestions. Some may call it being bossy, but they should shut up because I am only trying to be helpful. I like to help! What to buy, what to say, where to go, how to do things...there is basically nothing that you can buy/say/do that I don't have some thoughts on. I am full of opinions and I want everyone to benefit from my wisdom (so wise, this wisdom.)
(When Gabe said he was getting a Shiba, I sent him an email BRIMMING with very helpful suggestions based on our own experiences with our Shiba. I realize in hindsight that the email I sent was far, far, FAR longer than was appropriate and was more 'the ramblings of a mentally disturbed individual' length, but at the time, I just really felt like I had a lot of wisdom to share! Gabe sent me back an email that said, "Thanks!" and that's it. And I was like, "Really? That's it?" And he was like, "Um, I am trying to avoid telling you that you're a scary nutbar. So, thanks!" Good times!)
But this isn't a one-way street, this Suggestion Avenue. It is a BOTH ways street! I love getting suggestions on products that are amazing! I might not read the book you suggest ("Fool me once [The Secret Life of Bees] shame on you; Fool me twice [Water For Elephants], fuck you and your awful taste in books." - an old saying) but if I read a couple of positive reviews about a new beauty product, I will buy the shit out of that product. ("Why don't you just buy the product and leave the shit behind?" - Mr. Kira) ("Slow down with the parenthetical asides, Kira!" - everyone) Sometimes I buy the product and it sucks, but I don't let that stop me for long! I will just go right out and buy some more products!
Someday I will write a gritty, behind-the-scenes, expose of the beauty industry and find out whether or not ALL the suggestions they make are just advertising or if some of them are genuine, but until that HUGELY ANTICIPATED day comes, I will offer you some suggestions of unisexy (FELLAAAAS!) products to buy, and you will be able to feel confident that I'm receiving no financial compensation for these suggestions. (HEY, SPONSORS! TOTALLY AVAILABLE! EMAIL ME!) These are products that have stood the test of time with me, have been in regular circulation for more than five years, and to which I always return. So, without further ado...
Things (In No Particular Order) Which I Buy And Buy Over And Over Again Because They Are Great And Which You Can Feel Comfortable Buying Regardless Of Your Gender (Catchy title!)
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
It is entirely appropriate that there is a glowing corona of magnificence around this bottle because this shit is seriously the greatest, most wonderful product ever, in the history of all worlds, in all space and time. It's mild, cheap, and it comes in a tidy pump top bottle that is fucking HUGE and will last you forever.
I seriously hate washing my face. I mean, I'm cool having a clean face and I like not having zits and stuff, but I hate the physical act of washing it. It's such a lame time suck, and it is absolutely the last thing I want to do before I go to bed or when I'm getting ready in the morning. Ew, and when you're washing or rinsing your face and the water drips down your forearms, into your sleeve?! GAH! Top 10 pet peeve. Hate it. Worst. ("Definitely the very worst." - the Sudanese kids Gabe likes to link to)
One of the best things about Cetaphil that you don't need to wash it off! You just slather it on, rub it around, and use a washcloth (dry even!) to wipe it off. This stuff is so mild you just WIPE IT OFF. It leaves a gentle, nice little "emollience" - which I assume is a layer of moisture, but could mean anything, really - so your face doesn't feel all tight and dry after. It feels fresh and clean and lightly moist, like a rose petal! Also, PRO TIP, I keep a salt shaker full of baking soda in the shower and mix a mound of baking soda with a pump of Cetaphil for a nice mild scrub!
Cetaphil is one of those products that every magazine has talked about before because it's recommended by dermatologists all the time, and is always in Best Products Ever lists, as an all-star. I've used it for so long that I've actually gotten bored of it and tried other cleansers, but I always come back to it again. It's quiet, unassuming, but perfect, like Converse low tops. I am not charting new territory with this recommendation, merely adding my small (but hauntingly lovely) voice to the deafening choir singing hosannas to this product. Cetaphil! Cetaphil! CETAPHIL!!! HUZZAAAAH!!
(Tiny caveat: This is not at all a hippie product. I really try to minimize the amount of chemicals in my life, and this isn't the best. It's totally not the worst! But it could be better, and less full of endocrine disruptors and stuff. I haven't found a hippie alternative that I like as much yet, but if I do, I'll let you know.)
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
Look at that nutso package! It's fantastic! But what hides inside is even better. It's this thick goop, made of olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, ROYAL jelly and bee propolis, that can seriously be used for anything. I put it on my legs after I shave. Mr. Kira uses it as a pomade. I rub it on scars, and on my feet when I get out of the shower. I also rub it into my cuticles! It is just endlessly useful. You put a bit in your hand and rub your hands around to warm it up and just go for it!
It's kind of pricey, like $20-ish, but the containers last for a long time and it's so useful, that the cost per use is probably fractions of pennies. Also, seriously, look at the package! No, Egyptian Magic! Blessings unto YOU. It is possible that I am in the Illuminati now, actually.
(Tiny caveat: Bees may or may not be oppressed during the making of this product, which usually wouldn't bother be because whatever but since we're having bee trubs, I am hoping that this is a cottage industry that the bees can use to attain financial independence, and not basically a bee sweatshop. I don't understand how bee products are made.)
Swiss Army Knife Keychain
I am on my 4th one of these little honeys because I keep forgetting to take it off my keychain when I travel, but even if I end up on my 1,000,000th, I will never stop putting this on my keys. Snagged nail? BOOM! Nail file!
Want to wear those new flip-flops right out the door but need to remove the price tag? KA-POW!! Knife!
Split ends? LOOSE THREAD?!! SHAZAAAM! Tiny scissors!
It has everything I/you need for our busy, urban, on-the-go lives! (I had the one with the toothpick and tweezers for a while, too, but I chose the tweezer-free silver one because it holds up better to getting battered and the tweezers suck anyway.)
Speaking of tweezers...
Tweezerman tweezers
Again, this is old news, but no less true for being stated again and again - Tweezerman tweezers are the fucking best tweezers ever. They have nice, sharp, clean, edges, and I think they resharpen for free or maybe you can send them back for a small price? I don't know because I've never had to have mine resharpened because they're perfect the way they are. I'm a DIY style gal when it comes to brow shaping and these are the only tweezers I will even allow to sit in my medicine cabinet because other ones are just shameful bullshit. Men! Mr. Kira uses these for ingrown beard hairs and splinters all the live-long day. (Not ALL the live-long day. Just some days. Sometimes. Like, just when he has a splinter or an ingrown hair or something.)
And, last but certainly not least, we have...
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
I have much stronger feelings about lip balm than I think most people would find reasonable. It is only within the last year or so that I have begun to ever leave the house without lip balm of some sort in my pocket. Like, dog walk? Lip balm. Liquor store? Lip balm. I just hate it when you really need some and you don't have it. That is a very unpleasant experience and I spend a lot of my life coming up with ways to avoid those sorts of discomfort. (See: Swiss Army Knife Keychain with nail file.)
This lip balm is an old standby. It's a nice consistency - not too thick, not greasy - and it stays for a while. Each tube lasts for a satisfyingly long time. I am mistrustful of petroleum-based lip products, too, so I like that this isn't made of gas. It's cheap, it's sold everywhere and it has a minty tingle. Actually, sometimes when my lippies are chapped, I don't enjoy a minty tingle, so I also have the Honey one, which is a little thicker and hasn't got mint in it. Men, Mr. Kira uses this plenty, also.
That concludes my first ever FULL-LENGTH column here on MOBFD. I hope you enjoyed it! I would like to hear a favorite uniseXXXy product of yours! Maybe I will love it and it will achieve INSTANT stardom by getting profiled on this VERY blog! Wouldn't that be so exciting for you and that product?? I haven't decided what I will do next, but I'll be in touch, okay?


  1. Can I add two favs? Ok good. Thanks. (These are for GIRLS ONLY!)

    I swear by Benefit Benetint. It's a red-pink liquid that comes packaged like nail polish, right down to the little brush. I rub it on my cheeks and they get that perfect flushed-but-not-trying-too-hard look. I don't wear foundation, and I'd imagine it wouldn't look the same rubbed over that. BUT! I love it.

    Also. CoverGirl Outlast Moisturizing Topcoat. It's not topcoat in the nail polish sense. It's a clear lip gloss that is sold with their Outlast lipsticks but also is sold separately. It makes lips comfy like chapstick but also a little glowy. It's thin and not sticky. God, I hate sticky lip goop. It's also not made from anything oil-based, so you can use it over lip stains and other lipsticks and it doesn't take it right off.

    I basically wear the Benetint, Topcoat clear lipstick, and mascara and call it a day. I'm always on the hunt for a new mascara to try. Any suggestions?

  2. Now, regarding Benetint. I've always wished it came in a balm-like consistency. I don't like the thin stuff. I used to use the Benetint lip color that came in the little pot but I hate those "stick your filthy fingers in this pot" containers and I kept hoping it would just come in a colored chap stick thingie because I really did LOVE the color. I am newish to the world of cheek color, because I'm naturally pretty rosy-cheeked, but I could see how a stain might be good since it sticks, as opposed to a balm which would fade fast, or a powder, which looks to dry. INTERESTING. Maybe I should get a little bottle to re-try.

    I am VERY interested in this Moisturizing Topcoat. I don't want to scoop myself, but I'm really into long-lasting lip stains, but they can be so drying and my lips tend to be pretty dry already. So this non-drying, NON-OILY-so-it-won't-make-my-stain-come-off sounds basically perfect.

    I am really into Cover Girl Last Blast right now. It goes on nicely feathery and not too clumpy, but layers well for over-the-top crazy, if that's what you like.

    Everyone in the world swears by Diorshow, and I like it, too, but even the waterproof formula smears under my eyes within a couple of hours and it drives me crazy. No one else complains about it, so maybe I have mutant eye hollows or something. During the summer I basically only wear Diorshow in electric blue, and pinkie lip stuff. For some reason when the blue inevitably smudges, it looks less sloppy and more whimsical.

    And, I always have some tried and true Great Lash, just in case. It's like my Cetaphil - always there, maybe not the star, but my favorite supporting player. It goes on nice and thin, so it layers with more subtlety that other ones.

  3. What products do you use on your dog? I use Top Paw Gentle and Tearless Puppy Shampoo on my Chihuahua, but I think I'm ready to spend more and get to the next level of crazy dog owner.

  4. I've got a couple of faves that both the man and I enjoy and use religiously:

    Heritage Aura Glow: This stuff is INSANE. It's basically massage oil, but I use it for everyday moisturizing in the winter. You just slather it on freshly shaven legs straight after a shower and it is so wonderful. I use the rose scent because that shit is bangin' but they make it in like a trillion different scents. This might not be as widely available on the west coast because it's made in VA Beach, but I get it at Whole Foods and my local coop in NC.

    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap: It's more than just an insane label! This is probably the only product I replace religiously because I use it for EVERYTHING. I even use it to replace toothpaste when I'm super desperate. It makes an awesome laundry detergent. It also comes in all sorts of scents. I can't use it on my face because it dries it out, but everywhere else it's awesome.

    Lubriderm lotion with SPF: This is my summertime lotion standby. It's got SPF 15, which isn't enough if you're ghostly like I am and are going to be out in the sun, but it's perfect for avoiding incidental left-arm driving sunburns. Also, no man is ashamed to buy it.

  5. I have to use Cetaphil soap because of sensitive skin, but now that I've tried it I'd probably use it all the time anyway. It's awesome. Unfortunately, because of my peasant-stock ruddy cheeks and exceptionally pale skin, I have to wear foundation every day, but I recently started using Bare Minerals, and it's been wonderful. No more breakouts! As far as lotion I love anything with lactic acid--it exfoliates as it moisturizes (or so I've been told), which is good for super dry/sensitive skin.

  6. My mascara recommendations:
    Pricey - Clinique High Impact mascara. It's a splurge, but it's sooo nice. It doesn't clump or add bulk to your lashes; it just lengthens and darkens them for a really classy look.

    Normal: I use L'Oreal Beauty Tubes. This stuff is fantastic! It goes on in two coats - a white primer, then the black mascara. It doesn't smudge, because it's not soluble in oil at all. Instead, it comes off with just water...and it comes off in tubes. No more racoon eyes, ever! It can look a teeeensy bit clumpy compared to the higher-end stuff, but if you're careful putting it on you'd never notice a difference. Until you take it off in 10 seconds flat, that is!

  7. Chris - I'm mildly embarrassed to admit that we've never washed our 2 yr old Shiba. I think we're kind of superstitious because it seems like our Husky never rolled in gross stuff aside from directly after her baths. Huskies and Shibas both have super thick, fluffy, double coats, and I know shorter haired dogs get muskier faster. I don't have any good recommendations for brands, unfortunately, but I remain in favor of a largely No 'Poo mindset, for dogs, too. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    Superglue - I've never used the Aura Glow, but I used their Rosewater Spray for years and LOVED it. I used the one that was a mild moisturizer, which was SO nice during the sweaty, hot summers. The Aura Glow looks right up my alley!

    Baby Friday - I use Bare Minerals, too, and so far I really like it. I don't usually wear foundation but for times when I want it, that stuff it really nice. I also Macgyver my concealer by patting on some concealer stuff from Benefit (maybe Erase Paste? It came in a little sample pack and isn't labeled) and then putting the Bare Minerals over it and it's the best concealer I've ever tried. (I don't actually know how to do foundation or concealer correctly, so Bare Minerals is perfect for me. Nice and forgiving!) I also really like their Mineral Veil that's moisturizing. Have you used their lip glosses or anything? I prefer a more lipstick/balm consistency, but their glosses are pretty great.

    Gobblegirl - I have High Impact, too, and I like it a lot! I prefer a sluttier lash, and that is a little too tasteful for me, but I use it for adult occasions when looking like a showgirl isn't appropriate. I've never tried that tubes stuff, but I won a free bottle of the Blinc brand in a Lucky contest (yay?) so I should probably try it out. What if it's the mascara that unlocks all the secrets of the universe for me??? Especially since I get junkie runaway eyes, this might be a good option for me!

  8. How do you no 'poo a dog? I am very curious about this, as bath time with two pitbulls is a chore, and yet, I can't imagine their corn chipper feet going full on dorito. I am afraid of what would come next.

  9. DS3M: I have no idea. I mean, I'm sure someone, somewhere has come up with a method, but I am not privy to that information. We No 'Poo our dog by just never washing him. He smells a little doggy up close, but it's never been bad enough for us to wash him. During the summer we might hose him off, but never shampoo.