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Being polished does pay off. We all have different approaches: some girls rock a full-MAC-force-field every night, others go for fresh-faced innocence. Smoky eyes, doe eyes, matte lips, nude lips -- a look can work brilliantly for one girl and fall flat when replicated on another. This post is dedicated to the most bizarre and effective beauty secrets I picked up during my time in the club. I’m not gonna cover stuff that’s been done to death, such as how to apply the perfect cat eye or what shade of red is my favorite. Some of these tips probably fall more into the category of health or lifestyle, but when you’re pushing your body hard more nights of the week than not, rejuvenation strategies are an essential part of maintaining beauty. Let’s get into it!
WATER FOUNDATION APPLICATION I learned this one from a stripper in the UK who made an excellent series of beauty video tutorials that have since been deleted. First, start with a high-coverage foundation, preferably with a bit of a warm tone if you can get away with it. MAC Studio Fix is a favorite of strippers the world over, but I personally love the Classic Flawless Finish Foundation by Le Metier de Beaute. Prescriptives Flawless is also amazing, but unfortunately only available online. OK, onto the steps:
1) Apply primer as usual.
2) Splash your face with water. Take a stippling brush and dip it in running water. Don’t be afraid if it’s dripping; you want it almost saturated.
3) Pump out about half the amount of foundation you typically would apply on your fingers and dab it equally on cheeks, forehead, chin, nose.
4) Swirl the wet stippling brush to distribute the foundation evenly. It should look like it’s sitting on the surface of your face.
5) Let dry for about 30 seconds. Dab a dry foundation brush all over your entire face to blend and set the foundation.
6) Apply concealer as usual. A heavy concealer is good to balance out the lightness of the foundation -- the best I’ve found is by Amazing Cosmetics. Your skin should now be fully covered but dewy and glowing. Plus you conserved product!
COFFEE FOR CELLULITE
Filtered lights can disguise a lot, but when you’re up close and personal with a customer, there’s no hiding your butt dimples. Not that they care! But you do. Especially when you’re off duty at the beach actually trying to look hot in real-life light for real-life boys. A homemade scrub with coconut oil, brown sugar, and coffee grounds applied to “problem areas” before showering several times per week (or before each shift) can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Work the mixture into the skin and let it set for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Tanning also evens skin texture, and cult product Maui Babe Browning Lotion not only is the fastest and most flattering tanning product I’ve tried, but also lists coffee as an ingredient.
The most hated individual in the club is the girl who wears Sally Hansen Airbrush or scented lotion onstage, putting her coworkers’ lives in danger on the regular. If you want to be silky soft for work but don’t want to get knocked out when a bitch goes flying into the crowd attempting a Flying Showgirl minutes after your Body Butter’d butt greased up the pole, add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil to a bath and soak in it, then towel off as usual.
EAT YOUR COLLAGEN
Collagen and hyaluronic acid are two of the usual suspects in most anti-aging skincare products. But did you know that there are supplements you can take that are more effective and work from the inside out? During a trip to Japan, I became obsessed with the Japanese “beauty drinks” sold in every drugstore that contain collagen and hyaluronic acid as active ingredients. When I came back to work, I had the skin of a 17 year old minus the acne -- the fine lines around my eyes and mouth were noticeably reduced and my pores were smaller. You could argue that the newly acquired glow was due to 10 days of the Japanese diet, but I’m sort of a health freak in my normal life and consumed predominantly ramen and Asahi while I was away. These products aren’t available in the US (at least not for cheap -- hence me stockpiling 30 of them in the airport), but a supplement like this one from NOW Foods delivers the same effect. Bonus: It’s good for your joints, which are no doubt aching from more abuse in a couple of months than some people could ever rack up in a lifetime.
DETOX HEAVY METALS…OR DRUGS…WITH CERTO
Certo is a miracle product made from fruit pectin (a naturally occurring substance contained within cell walls of fruits) that your job-seeking pothead friend is no doubt already familiar with. Certo chelates heavy metals and is proven to be excellent for overall detoxing and health, even if you’re not trying to hoodwink your probation officer or get a vanilla job. Like the aforementioned hyaluronic acid supplement, this stuff is great for your joints and is a folk remedy for arthritis.
NEUROCRANIAL RESTRUCTURING FOR FACIAL SYMMETRY
Did you get Botox? Is there something different about your hair today? These are some of the comments you will get after this admittedly bizarre-sounding chiropractic treatment wherein balloons are inserted in your nasal cavity and inflated, repositioning the sphenoid bone and centering the entire face and body. Symmetry of face, wrinkle softening, enhanced vision, better balance, relief from TMJ, increase in height, and realignment of joints are just a few of the benefits I have personally experienced. This treatment is expensive, but a lifesaver for those that repeatedly push their bodies to the breaking point. In addition to healing people with conditions ranging from strokes to deafness, my chiro regularly treats rock stars, porn stars, boxers and martial artists to keep them in top shape.
EXTREME SPA DATES ON THE CHEAP
Fuck the fancy day spas that your friends with paychecks and budgets spring on -- your needs are different. You don’t need to relax, you need to get beat to a pulp by a deceptively scrawny Asian woman with the muscle of a 250 lb body builder and no mercy. Yelp “Tui Na,” “traditional Chinese medicine,” or “acupuncture school” and then make an appointment with the dodgiest result. The rate for my favorite place in Chinatown is $45 for an hour massage and cupping. TCM and acupuncture schools also typically offer cheapo (or sometimes free) rates if you act as a model for a class.
DUST OFF LIMP HAIR
Washing your hair every day is damaging, time consuming and completely unnecessary even during back-to-back shifts. To fight grease and keep volume, dust the roots of your hair with baby powder, then style as usual. Dry shampoo can also be used. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo is great for blondes who want to keep brassiness at bay (Karl Lagerfeld uses it on his white).
POST-SHAVING CHAFING PREVENTATIVES
I confess: I have only had one bikini wax in my life, and it was in preparation for Burning Man so I could dress like a ho and get radically fucked up all week without having to worry about such banal things as pubic hair. Yeah, I should’ve played like a real hippie and just let it grow, but I’m far too vain and secretly prudish for that shit. Getting naked consistently and keeping a waxing schedule is nearly impossible even for the most sparse and organized of us, and every stripper I’ve talked to either shaves or has invested in electrolysis. Chafing naturally decreases as the body adapts to daily scraping sessions, but using Neosporin as a shaving cream or applying gel deodorant after showering eradicates redness, irritation and ingrown hairs.
RE-ENERGIZE WITH ELECTROLYTES
Unless you’re 20 and rocking the hot mess look, you probably aren’t looking or feeling good when you’re dehydrated. Whether the culprit is of the responsible (caffeinated errands) or devious (cocaine and tequila until sunrise) nature, you can quickly get your brain and skin back into shape by drinking warm lemon water mixed with packets of Emergen-C or Airborne throughout the shift.