LESLEY'S LIST: Six Obsessions Currently Occupying My Ever-Wandering Attentions
I’ve been in a weird mood lately. Crying at science, wishing my whole wardrobe was uniformly black, seriously googling “how to dry cut your own curly hair” -- and yesterday I spent twenty minutes admiring my own backfat in my bathroom mirror. And while it may be a known fact that I have more ego than our comment section has cutting and clever rejoinders, this is a bit over the top even for me. I can’t even feel particularly sorry about it either.
HI EVERYBODY! I know we’re way overdue for a list, so I’m remedying that today. My point above is that it might be a little strange and tangent-riddled, but I’m confident we’ll get through this together.
Kinky-Curly’s Midnight Miracle
I got my hair cut in an actual salon by an actual verified hair person this week, which is a special and infrequent event. The infrequency is exacerbated by the fact that I am not currently in a committed relationship with a single hairstylist, so I’ve spent a couple years now bouncing from one certified Deva Cut specialist to the next, endlessly searching for The One. Is this what being single was like? I’ve forgotten.
My most recent one-cut-stand was nice enough. He did a reasonably pretty job on my hair, and upon discovering we were the same age, we eagerly reminisced over having gone to the same gay clubs in the 90s. But then he asked me about my “products.”
“What conditioner do you use?”
“Kinky-Curly’s Knot Today.”
Puzzled expression. “Who makes that?”
“The, uh, Kinky-Curly people?”
Repeat with all of my hair stuff. I kept thinking, Dude, you cut curly hair all day long! How do you not know what these brands are? I understand that they’re not salon products, but you can get them at Target!
Don’t get me wrong: DevaCurl makes outstanding stuff. I love a few of their products at certain times of year, because as I’ve previously discussed, my hair goes through cycles of products that work brilliantly and then suddenly stop working at all and then work brilliantly again. But for my particular hair, right now, I am liking my Kinky-Curly/Goddess Curls cocktail.
ANYWAY, moving on to this actual review. Did you know that Kinky-Curly makes an overnight treatment? Neither did I! Apparently you can only get it online (probably because it’s made of stardust and pegasus feathers and magic, although the label just talks about a "botanical infusion" of hops, golden seal, yucca and calendula, aloe, coconut oil, and soybean protein, that’s probably meant to throw us off). It’s like a big secret that I only discovered on my last trip to the New York office, when Marci gave a me a bottle of it along with a heap of other beauty products, because Marci is just super generous like that.
This mystery elixir is called Midnight Miracle, and I’m just ridiculous enough to love that it comes in a label with a shooting star on it. Unlike many deep treatments (like my long-preferred old standby, the Coconut Oil Overnight Plan), Midnight Miracle does not make your hair weigh fifty pounds. Nor does it require heat, or make a mess of your pillows when you try to sleep in it. It’s actually a lightweight foam you smush through your dry hair, and aside from it making your hair instantly sheen-y, it doesn’t really feel like it’s doing much.
But SURPRISE, it is! My hair feels stronger, less frizztastic and generally healthier as a result, and because it’s less messy than other options, I’m more likely to actually continue to use it on a regular basis. My main problem with using a lot of these treatments is that I simply don’t do so with any commitment, because I start to resent the mess and the ick. That said, I’ve been using Midnight Miracle twice a week for almost two months, because it makes it to easy to do.
I do want to make clear that Midnight Miracle is not a heavy-duty moisturizer. It provides protein and lightweight moisture, which works really well on my particular hair texture (spiral curled, but very soft and not especially thick). If you need something more dramatic, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if this sounds like something you and your hair would dig, I highly recommend.
DIYing My Stuff To Make It Awesomer
Can we talk about my newfound obsession with embroidered patches? In an age when we can design and buy garments and accessories emblazoned with a photorealistic print of whatever we want, from a plate of brussels sprouts to our cat’s ass, patches seem an oddly lo-fi and analog way of decorating our shit. At best, you can get patches that you can iron-on, but in most cases they should really be sewn down for security.
I’m a little bit obsessed. I have a few oversize vintage-style canvas bags (here’s one example I particularly like), which I often use as everyday carryalls since I can fit my laptop and a bunch of other crap in them, and as much as I like the vintagey look and the way they sniff, “I don’t care about your Bag Trends Agenda,” they can be kind of boring.
I don’t even know what made me think of looking for patches -- I suspect I was overwhelmed with nostalgia for last summer when I could go out in a denim vest and not freeze to death, and I was thinking it would be nice to find some small patches for said vest, which I will probably never wear again, because I am surely going to freeze to death before spring reaches Boston.
Where was I? PATCHES. Whatever the reason, I looked on Etsy for some patches, and I found that there are some unexpected options out there. For example:
These are mostly larger patches, and in my case I’ve stuck to one per bag in a decidedly out of character move toward moderation -- but I also like the idea of doing clusters of little patches as well. (I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting lots of vintage Girl Scout badges for this reason.)
In other DIY news, I’ve been similarly obsessed with procuring a cropped floral-printed sweatshirt. Again, don’t ask me where this came from -- I swear sometimes I invent my own problems. Regardless, I couldn’t find one that was sufficiently fat sized.
In the days when I had free time, I did a lot of sewing, and I made most of my own clothes for a few years. So while I knew I could probably make said sweatshirt, I really didn’t want to track down some expensive-ass specific fabric and then procrastinate actually figuring out the pattern until July. Instead I bought this sweatshirt a couple sizes too big and cut a foot off the length. Because the top is made from knit French terry, it doesn’t ravel -- instead it just curls a bit, which I think adds to the effect.
I liked the result so much, I did it twice.
It was seriously the easiest thing ever. Victory!
Suzanne Vega, “Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles”
Suzanne Vega has a new album out. Do I need to say more about this? It was actually released back on January 31, but I have been really behind on these lists, so you shall hear about it now.
In my brain, Suzanne Vega lives in the castle with all the other artists whose music has been a consistent part of my inner soundtrack since I was a teenager, and given that the residents there are a strange and motley collection -- Morrissey, Tom Waits, Kate Bush, Robyn Hitchcock, Nina Simone, and so on -- I can only imagine what the dinners must be like.
Vega’s new album is called “Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles” which already sounds like something I’d like, and the music doesn’t disappoint, combining Vega’s effortlessly bright voice with a variety of textures and covering a lot of archetypal, historical and literary ground, from Tarot to the Bible to Mother Teresa, Epictetus, Pandora and her box.
As for individual tracks, the grindy grunginess of “I Never Wear White” is instantly appealing, but I’m growing partial to the folky “Fool’s Complaint,” and the sublime “Silver Bridge,” which I just can’t stop listening to.
Silk’s Vanilla Coconut Milk
This is only new to me, it seems. And it’s kind of on the sweet side. I wouldn’t use it on cereal, for example.
But oh gosh, deployed in the cold-brewed coffee and the endless fruit and vegetable smoothies that keep me alive because I lack time, energy and focus to cook most weekdays, it is a magnificent revelation. Is there another brand of this y’all recommend? The only other coconut milks I’ve tried have been the shelf-stable kind, and they were kind of watery.
Bombay Bicycle Club, “Luna”
In closing, enjoy this music video because synchronized swimming is amazing.
Have a brilliant weekend, friends.
Hey, if you want to see the stuff that makes these lists before they get made, plus a whole lot of other crap, maybe follow me on Instagram, because I talk about most of it there first.