Five Beauty Essentials

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When I was 19 or so, my boyfriend du jour told me how wonderful it was that I looked the same when I woke up in the morning as I did when we went out at night. And I thought, really? Doesn’t everyone? Oh, bless your heart, naïve-as-hell 19-year-old me. Here are some great tips for those of us who no longer wake up perfect without even trying.

Gel Manicures

I treat myself to these, because as a jewelry artist, I make myself into a walking billboard when I go out, and that means rings on every bruised, scarred, stained finger. Regular polish? Never again. While chipped nail polish may be a cute look for a teenager, it’s not so becoming on women over 40. Gel manicures fix all that. It’s a small price to pay to look like you give a shit about fingernails.

Weleda Skin Food, $14.50 Click to buy!

Weleda Skin Food, $14.50
Click to buy!

Weleda Skin Food

As far as my skin’s concerned, Skin Food lotion is a five star feast. It goes on a bit greasy, but the healing results are beyond compare. I worked outside in the desert for years, and my hands would crack and bleed and feel like they were on fire, not to mention looking like they’d been attacked with miniature machetes. I can’t count how many lotions I tried that irritated my already messed up skin and made it worse. This one works. Really, really works. I turned my brother onto it, and in a few short weeks it fixed the dry elbows he’d had for 20 years.

Rick Simpson Oil

I know, I know, it’s not really what you’d consider a beauty product…But how beautiful is a scorching case of Tinactin-resistant athlete’s foot your ex was kind enough to share with you? If you don’t know, you don’t want to. And if you take the oral pharmaceutical athlete’s foot meds, you need to monitor your liver function, I shit you not. I applied the RSO topically, using a toothpick to dab a tiny bit of it on my rawest, nastiest spot – we’re talking open sore here – and within two weeks of daily application, it was GONE. Athlete’s foot probably won’t become a qualifying condition any time soon in any of the semi-medical states, but if you have athlete’s foot and a card, go for it.

Crest 3D White

Crest 3D White, 2pk, $7 Click to buy!

Crest 3D White, 2pk, $7
Click to buy!

Not long ago, I was about to suck it up and spend hundreds of dollars to get my teeth professionally whitened. About a week before the appointment with my dentist, I ran out of toothpaste, so I decided to switch to this brand because it claimed my teeth would be “5 shades Whiter in 5 brushings.” And guess what? They totally were. It was really quite a shock – no more stains. It works better than white strips, and at about $6, it’s a much better deal…Which is a good thing, because since I’ve discovered it, I’ve been brushing my teeth about 30 times a day.

Naturally Fresh Deodorant

Naturally Fresh Deodorant, $3 Click to buy!

Naturally Fresh Deodorant, $3
Click to buy!

The verdict is still out on whether anti-perspirant actually causes breast cancer, but the active ingredient, paraben, was found in every single tumor in a recent study. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every paraben-free natural deodorant ever invented, and most of them left me smelling like honeysuckle-scented body odor. I use the unscented Naturally Fresh roll-on and it actually works quite well. It may not be as heavy duty as real antiperspirant, but it’s the best choice if you want to go natural without smelling like a VW microbus carrying 12 hippies back from a week-long camping trip in a heat wave.