The first things that go when I'm stressed out are sleep and my appetite. I've been kind of stressed. And my DOG, do I love sleep.
As I type this now, with my elbows hugged in, the joints rubbing up against my protruding ribs and bugging the hell out of me. I keep telling myself that I'd rather have those horrifying nightmares I used to experience than the longest early-morning hours of staring at the ceiling with racing thoughts. But we've all been there.
Whilst I keep telling myself "This too shall pass" -- even though I had no idea what that really meant or even its source until I pointed out the phrase in tattoo-form on some topless guy at a gay bar, asked where it was from, and he said, "Um, the Bible?" -- I'm keeping my nightstand stocked full of the essentials that kind of, sort of, help lull me into at least that stress-dream state. Or at least serve as some inanimate friends for when I'm like OH GOD WHY WON'T I SLEEP ALREADY WHY GOD:
1. Jimmyjane FORM 2 Vibrator ($145)
Until I purchased this, my only toys consisted of some cheap vibrating lipstick from a sex shop on Hollywood Boulevard and a knock-off rabbit my ex got for me for Easter that busted after a couple of months. I wasn't in the position to make this not-SO-necessary "splurge" at the time. After getting a deal on it from Babeland (sign up for their newsletters if you haven't already -- they always have great sales!), knowing Jimmyjane was a great company, and figuring I was in my mid-20s and it was thus time to make a classy adult purchase, I went for it.
With four vibration modes and five power levels, the FORM 2 is a POWERFUL little thing that also kind of resembles an "Adventure Time" character, non? It's waterproof and comes with a charger so you never need buy new batteries. It also comes with a 3-year warranty.
2. Pretty Box From World Market (here's a similar one, $49.99) of Lipsticks
Keeping beauty products I'm not planning to use before bed by my bed used to befuddle me. Every time I attempt to move my precious box of lipsticks somewhere else, though, I always ended up putting it back on my nightstand.
I think there's something so sensual and sexy and HOT HOT HOT about picking out a lipstick and putting it on before going out. So its proximity to my magical cloud bed makes perfect sense.
I'm not going to get into all the details of my lipsticks, as we've written about them on XO a trillion times before. HOWEVER: I will tell you there's a disgusting story behind that Dior lipstick -- not anything sexual; it more involves me, whiskey, and my top-notch treasure hunting skills on bar floors and also poor judgment (I'm horrible and should die of some germ disease, I know).
But it's luxurious, creamy, and you don't even need a lip liner with it. So there.
Also, my most recent purchase --the Viva Glam MAC I -- is my favorite new product-I-don't-really-need-but-kind-of-do. It's so true-blue RED. You can wear a stupid t-shirt and jeans, not brush your hair, put on this lipstick, go out, and everyone will think you're famous, or at least friends with someone famous.
I HIGHLY recommend this classic lipstick as a gift for your makeup-loving friends as it looks like hot fancy rich people sex on many different kinds of skin tones.
3. The Trifecta of Beauty Sleep
I got this baby sample of Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil from Sephora and damn you, tiny samples, for you've converted me into a new lifetime customer! I rub a pea-sized amount of the oil between my palms and lightly massage it all over my face and down into my neck. My face GLOWS in the morning. You can also use it on your cuticles and in dry hair while it's damp before drying. Versatility!
Next up, Bag Balm, Or: The Best Sort-Of Cult Product Ever. Made in Vermont and originally formulated to heal chapped cow udders (owie), this amazing gunk kind of resembles Vaseline, but it's not as oily and doesn't smell. I coat some on my lips nightly.
I got all the girls from my first-floor dorm room freshman year hooked on scooping their skinny sorority girl fingers into the BIG tub I had at the time before lights out EVERY SINGLE F-ING NIGHT (again, freaking out about bacteria isn't really my thing).
If you get gnarly chapped hands during the winter, you can also slop this stuff all over your hands, cover them with socks, zzzz away, and wake up with hands that are baby-model soft. This is what my sister does each winter and TRUST, she gets some serious Crypt Keeper action whenever it gets cold.
Tiger Balm is a pain reliever that kind of works like Icy Hot -- but it has a tiger on the packaging. Seriously, though, the smell isn't as potent, and since it's a balm, you can apply a thinner layer and so it's not so messy. I use it on my knotted-up neck instead of the muscle relaxers and pain relievers I was prescribed but had to pour down the toilet 'cause they proved to be too much fun.
4. Kindle White + Books (+ Bobby Pins, Everywhere, ALWAYS)
Because other than snoozing, reading is really the best way to check out of reality.
Currently reading Meg Wolitzer's "The Interestings" on Kindle. Must read "Good Bye To All That," for obvious reasons. But have you read "Manson" by Jeff Guinn? I'm still searching for a book that's THAT amazing.
5. Lady Ear Plugs
These pink ear plugs ($3.99) are kind of annoying since they're pink and therefore for LADIES (I just like pink!).
6. Smelly Sleep Mask
This Sonoma Lavender Sleep Mask ($19.99) is a little pillowed, so it blocks out any light, and is filled with crushed lavender and essential oil. Serenity! I bring both the ear plugs and my mask with me on every flight I take and say, "Peace out, sucka pigs!" to my seat mates and crash, always.
What's on your nightstands, xoJaners? Any recommendations? Or perhaps -- PICTURES!? As we all seem to be voyeurs here.
I talk too much about myself on Twitter: @caitlinthornton.