It's gonna get sappy up in here.
My closest friend freshman year of high school was completely obsessed with this tattooed upper-classman. As she audibly fantasized about how much she wanted to stick her tongue down this guy’s throat as he sauntered across the cafeteria, I kept my eyes fixed on his girlfriend, Jessica.
While every girl in my WASP-y school outside of Chicago donned Ugg Boots, Jessica wore cherry-red vintage heels. She dyed her hair a bold auburn, had this sharp asymmetrical bob, kept her skin pale, and had tattoos. This musician who front-manned the raddest rock ‘n’ roll band at my school wrote songs about her. She was a fucking high-school muse!
Fast-forward three years: I started dating an older guy with sleeves and a mohawk named Ryan. Ryan was friends with Billy, a bassist in that aforementioned rock ‘n’ roll band. Billy was now dating Jessica.
And I forget exactly how it happened, but we were all together -- scummy dudes with their lovely ladies -- and Jessica and I ended up alone. She turned to me and said, “You know, I usually think all the girls Ryan dates are really fucking dumb. You’re pretty cool, though.”
Six years later, neither one of us is with those guys. But, duh, Jessica and I still love each other!
This is us when she came to visit me in New York in January:
Wait. This is better:
When we’re out together, many people think we’re sisters, and thus, we get a lot of attention, as everyone is an incestuous pervert -- or at least appreciates family bonding. Sure, we both have similar facial features, like big honkers, long faces, and narrow eyes. But we do our makeup EXACTLY the same. (I think even the night that picture was taken who got to wear the red lipstick was an ordeal.)
There’s also this eerie thing that happens when we haven’t seen each other for a year -- ‘cause she’s moved to New Orleans with a train jumper and then to Brazil with an artist and I’m like, in New York, yelling at everyone in my office about “This fucking website redesign” -- and our hair is styled EXACTLY the same.
I know Jessica has affected my beauty style in a literal sense: She has her cosmetology license, and has bleached my hair white-blonde many times ‘cause she “likes the way it looks.” When she and I road-tripped in SoCal, in between eating mushrooms in hotel rooms and partying with a New York-based band and a rapper named Cupcake, she taught me how to apply liquid liner and told me how people with “our” eyes should put mascara on the top lid only.
She sends me bottles of nail polish that I swear are always the “it” color six months later, which is precisely when I start hating it and refuse to wear it. (She brought me these Essie nail stickers, and these ones, too, this past time she came. They’re dope!)
Sometimes, though, I feel as if I’ve ripped off her beauty style since the moment I met her. (Or maybe even saw her? Except I didn’t get that close to her face.) I mean, it wasn’t like I wanted to BECOME her -- I just wanted to be pretty and cool. Exactly like her.
My mom certainly played a part in the products I use, or how I’ve developed my beauty routine. We have the exact same skin! But to justify my affinity for gravitating toward products that make Jessica and I basically look like the same person, I’m going to call her my “beauty big sister.”
(This isn’t meant as a diss to my actual older sister, who thinks makeup is disgusting, dramatically coughs every time anyone sprays hairspray -- even though she’s an artist whose favorite medium is SPRAYPAINT -- and wore Ugg boots and bronzer to high school -- for Halloween. Side note that she was a child model, so please feel free to devise whatever theories you want from that.)
Since I DO realize Jessica and I are different people, I asked her to give me a list of her favorite beauty products that are VERY unique to her and her lifestyle (she’s a server at this deliciously amazing restaurant in Chicago called Bad Apple and goes to college -- I just edited one of her papers) so I cannot steal them. But perhaps you can. (Hell, I may steal one. Or two.)
Take it away, Jess:
1) Stila Waterproof Eye Liner, $20
Hands down the BEST eyeliner I’ve ever used is Stila waterproof liquid eyeliner. This shit is INSANE. I’ll literally put this on at 10:30 am, run my ass off at work for 11 hours, and it hasn’t even budged. Also, I’ve woken up after a long night out, and an even longer night in the bedroom, looked in the mirror in the morning, and the only thing still in the right place is this liner. No joke.
I have acne-prone skin. Bioelements Oil Control Sleepwear is a godsend. After taking off my makeup and sweating profusely at the restaurant, I have a lot of clogged pores and a few tiny little bumps that are on their way to becoming monsters. I use this as a moisturizer before bedtime, and when I wake up my skin tone is even, pores are smaller, and pimples that were clearly there the night before have shrunk (if not completely disappeared). It can be a bit drying in the winter, so I’ll put it over a super light oil-free moisturizer. In the summer I’ll use it daily -- I dab it on my T-zone for extra oil control.
3. Essie Good to Go! Fast Drying Topcoat, $6.99
Essie’s Good To Go rapid dry topcoat is wonderful when you have to do your nails on the go. Nothing can dry paint 100% in 20 minutes, but this will help if you are hanging around the house, want to paint your nails, but don’t want to stare at the wall with your hands splayed in front of your face for an hour.
My biggest beauty pet peeve is chunky, crusted eye concealer that cakes underneath my eyes. On the other hand, I have dark circles. In the winter, I LOVE Tarte's Smooth Operator. It’s luscious, moisturizing, and heavy duty enough to cover circles, yet smooth enough that it doesn't cake.
In the summer, Nars Concealer stick ($22) rules. It has the coverage and moisture I need, yet it’s still light enough that it stays in place when the rest of my body is melting.
5. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap, $16.99
OH MY GOD. I discovered Dr. Bronner’s liquid body wash when I was house sitting for a month. I will NEVER buy another body wash. EVER. The peppermint one is perfect for the summer, giving a refreshing burst of cool to me and my private parts. The almond one is comforting and soothing in the winter. It never dries my skin out, it’s au natural, fair trade, and it has eighteen different uses. Also, this lasts for, like, six months. (The last one I bought was in September. It’s March and I still have a third of the bottle left. BOOYAH!)
OK so I prefer Make Up Forever’s Liquid Eyeliner but now I suddenly need tingly soap. What do you think? Do you have a beauty big sister? Did your mom ever tell you to get Botox? (Because that’s when I stopped taking beauty advice from my mom.) Who’s influenced your beauty style the most? Or are you like, SO ORIGINAL? Tell me!
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