GREETINGS FROM THE RABBIT HOLE: Beauty Products For When Depression Eats You Alive

You may feel like the black hole inside of you is swallowing up everything decent and good in the world, but in the meantime, you can look and smell nice.

Jul 6, 2012 at 1:00pm | Leave a comment

On any given day, I'm probably not happy. As I type this, I'm not happy. That's just who I am. I can't remember the last time I was happy, content even, for more than a few minutes, an hour. It's the lot I've been dealt, some spoiled DNA and a broken brain. Wah wah.

However, I love beauty, and I love writing. Even in the worst depths of my depression, I still manage to throw all natural bath powders and bubbly "soaks" into the tub and scrub myself with luxurious French exfoliants and lather up with jasmine scented shower gels. Beauty is an escape, and that revelation isn't anything new, especially not on this website.

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Fragrance and mood stabilizers: kind of the same thing.

But I digress. Right now I am in a weird state of misery straddling a sense of feeling productive, a weird mood that bipolar types get into when they get a glimpse of their potential. So I am writing an article, an article about products I like, ones that I have been using lately that I've found particularly intriguing. Products that have the ability to transport me somewhere else or bring up some kind of image or memory that makes me feel better, temporarily. So let's hop to it.

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Atelier Cologne's Orange Sanguine ($150, ateliercologne.com)

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I want to go to there.

When I received my sample of this cologne, it came with a postcard printed with the image above. Incredible marketing, really. This cologne represents a place, a time of day. It sets up a vibe of eating breakfast and sipping coffee on the balcony of some swanky hotel in the south of France, early Summer, not too hot, breezy. You're wearing the perfect striped shirt and some tortoise sunglasses, having a good hair day. You have plans to to lounge on the beach from noon 'til sundown. It smells like Summer on your skin, sweat but not B.O. (obviously, no one wants a perfume that smells like B.O.), like that spritz of juice that comes off an orange as you're peeling it (and in my case, lands right on my eyeball and burns like hell.) No responsibilities, no cares.

Notes are blood and bitter orange, amber, jasmine and sandalwood. All my favourites. It's $150 a bottle, but hey, beauty is aspirational. You're not gonna kill yourself because you have this perfume and maybe someday you'll win the lottery, and that postcard will be your life. It could happen.

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LUSH Ro's Argan Body Conditioner ($29.95, lush.com)

You put conditioner in your hair after you wash it, so why not on your skin? This stuff eliminates the need to lotion up after a shower and it smells AMAZING. The scent is described as "rose jam" which to me, brings up the image of a quaint English garden with tiny little cakes and scones and someone dressed like they're from Downton Abbey serving me tea (Sarah Woolley, that is what England is like, right?). And I don't even watch Downton Abbey but whatever.

I bet this stuff is what Kate Moss's wedding smelled like. That and cigarettes. Sometimes I use it as an actual hair conditioner. Sometimes I'm tempted to eat it (but I don't, because I'm not a dumb toddler).

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Try to tell me this picture doesn't look like it smells like rose jam. Photo via Vogue.

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Infinity Sun Glow On The Go Sunless Tanning Spray ($40, shop.infinitysun.com)

Real talk: most sunless tanners smell like hot garbage. This stuff doesn't. It has sandalwood, lavender, ylang ylang and rosemary leaf oils in it to cover up any gross chemical smells and to soothe and moisturize your skin. However, it doesn't smell herbal at all. It smells like vanilla, very sweet.

I used it to keep up my tan until I got lazy and didn't care anymore, but I would encourage any miserable people to try this and give themselves a nice glow. Because someday, should anyone venture into your horribly dark cave of shame, you might want them to see you as someone relatively healthy looking. Or I don't know, you can stay pale and scare them away because maybe you don't want them there and you want to be alone. I'm not the boss of you.

What products keep you (relatively) sane? Tell me. Or just listen to this nice song, it might make you feel better. Whatever works.

You can follow me on Twitter. Sometimes it's sad: @hannahejo. I also joined Instagram, same username. Hi.