Real & Actual Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Advice Smackdown, Part II

Yeah. So, sorry about the abruptly truncated Advice Smackdown yesterday.

Me, Last Tuesday: Wah! Send me questions! Now!

Y’all: Ok! Ok!
Y’all: *send dozens of excellent questions*

Me, Last Two Wednesdays: Meh! Never mind!

First, there was work. Then? There was a burned-out light bulb in my sensual office mood lighting. Then? A headache from the vile scorching ceiling lights I had to use instead.

After work? There was my rock star food critic husband who wanted to go out for dinner to a new place. Then? There was wine. And then Lost. And then baseball!

You see? There was simply NO TIME for any further advice. None!

(Official Amalah Stance on the World Series: Although we are usually a staunch Yankee household due to husband’s upbringing, I was all about the Red Sox. This caused more than a little marital strife, but as I am from Philly, home of the Curse of Billy Penn, I really, really needed to see that a city’s curse can eventually be overcome. In like, 80 years or so. Go Phillies!)

So the Smackdown will continue today. Because seriously? I’ve got nothing better to write about. Hooray for fall-back plans!

First question coming soon, right after much coffee and maybe a nap…

Dear Amalah,

Recently I have become ALLERGIC to make-up. I threw away practically all of my make-up, which was mostly cheap drugstore brands anyway, because ALL OF IT was making my eyes super-puffy and I was turning into Puffy the Puffy-Eyed Pufferball every time I put on even a teeeeeeny bit of mascara. On the verrrrry tips of my lashes. Or base. Thinnnnly spread. And my eyes would say, "I think you need to rip us out, now. Seriously." and swell to the size of Jumbo Jet Puffed Marshmallows.

So I might begin trying some other make-up brands, to see if any of THOSE turn me into Puffy the Puffy-Eyed Pufferball. Upscale, classy, Amalah-style PRETTY make-up. But I don't know where to begin. Oh Great Amalah, WHERE SHOULD I BEGIN?

Yours in Make-Up and Pretty-Thing Love,

Puffy the Puffy-Eyed Pufferball

Years of wearing theatrical pancake make-up turned my skin into a bitter and hardened old lady who don’t get irritated by nothing, because she KNOWS irritation and you young whippersnappers don’t know how good you’ve got it. I’m not allergic to anything and frankly can poke my eyeballs directly with a mascara wand with no effect. So your question is kind of out of my area of expertise, since I only care to know about things that actually apply to me. And also myself.

But I consulted with a friend who claims to have highly sensitive skin…to the point that it gets red and angry if she just WALKS BY the Maybelline display at CVS. Her advice? Almay on the drugstore end; Prescriptives on the high end.

And this is why God invented Sephora. You can go play with all the high-end make-up before you buy it, so you can go there and conduct highly unethical experiments on your own eyeballs without having to fork over money. So go, but do not go near anything that is not clearly labeled “Hypoallergenic.”

Also! Eye makeup remover. For sensitive eyes. Try Clinique. Do not argue and do not say that washing your makeup off with a general cleanser is enough. It is not.

Also also! Buy some nice brushes. Don’t use those crappy little spongy brushes that come with eyeshadow. Don’t use your fingers. Wash your brushes every day with warm soapy water.

Also also also! Replace mascara every six months or less.

(Good God, when did I become the Makeup Nazi? You know there was a time when I owned exactly one Maybelline pressed power compact and a Revlon lipstick in a color entirely too dark for me? And now I’m suddenly the Voice of Makeup Reason and Extravagance? The hell?)

Dear Amalah,

I have no knitting or hat making abilities whatsoever, sorry.  Instead I'm sending you a picture of me in a silly, silly hat.  Of course when I forced my husband to take my picture in the Coach store, I was sure I'd think of some utterly clever way to work it into a smackdown question, but no.  It turns out I'm not the least bit clever.

So here.  If this doesn't convince you NOT to drop another hundred clams at Coach, I don't know what will.

Your loyal fan,


PS - Any advice on how to get my evil hair to stop doing that evil thing it does in the photo would be loverly.

OK, let me state for the record that I never once considered getting that hat. Not. Once. I tried it on at the store and Jason and I both cracked up, because that is a pimp hat. I don't care that it says Coach on the inside and is trimmed in the finest vachetta leather: that's a Snoop Dogg Pimp Hands Hat.

I do own two Coach hats, however, and I'm not apologizing. They are fucking adorable. I bought one on eBay and the other was a birthday present from my friends. And I repeat: are fucking adorable and I look super cute in them and they are not pimp hats.

Also, what evil thing is your hair doing? I see hair being...well, hair. Curly hair too, which I do not have, at least not since my dear friend Humidity went away.

If I had your hair? I would use Cat Walk's Curls Rock Curls Booster on it, then emulsify some Bed Head After Party into my hands and give my hair a few good scrunches.  Then I'd spray it with Bed Head Head Rush Spray Shine. Then I would put on my cute non-pimp Coach hat and post more adorable pictures of myself on the Internet.

Dear Amy,

To paraphrase the inestimable Sars, I super extra hate this goddamn job. For the record, I got my bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Women's Studies. I know. So practical, and it really comes in handy at my nonprofit grunt job. Here's the real problem: lately my boss has been on my ass about taking sick time, even though a)it's not excessive, b)I always try to make up the time, c)I've got plenty of sick time still coming to me, d)I'm legitimately sick, and e)I usually drag myself in even when I'm feeling like hell. Oh, and I am an awesome worker, which my boss freely admits. There's not a chronic medical problem serious enough for me to talk to HR, as was my boss's suggestion, but at the same time I do occasionally need to take time off.

These are my options as I see them: I could get myself fired (which seems to be looming on the horizon anyway) and collect unemployment while I'm in grad school. I could suck it up and try to keep this job by, you know, never getting sick ever ever again. Or I could look for another job, one that is actually more in line with my dream profession, which is journalism. So, any suggestions, O Queen of Everything? Also, any advice on how to land another job without losing this one in the meantime? (Also also, sorry for the crazy length; feel free to abridge the hell out of this.)

--Fraulein N

Step 1) Get flu.

Step 2) Drag sad sick ass in anyway.

Step 3) Lick everything in boss' office.

Step 4) Repeat as needed with with cold sores, stomach ailments and intestinal parasites.

While your boss is sick? Interview your sweet little ass off. Don't go on unemployment, because it sucks. You have to go to the UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE and wait in line with UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE who are sometimes unemployed because they are DIRTY and CRAZY and OTHERWISE UNBALANCED.  And then you fill in sad little forms and give them to someone who totally thinks you're lying about being unemployed just because, and then after you go through all of this they give you a tiny little check that comes out to be about a nickel for every dollar you made before.  Before taxes, which they STILL MAKE YOU PAY, YOU, THE UNEMPLOYED.

Oh! And then you have to tell them about any interviews you go on so they can call the people post-interview to find out if they think they will offer a job to you, the unemployed slob who is totally mooching off the government and getting like, $200! A month! Get a fucking job you hippie!

And then? If you get offered a job? You like, HAVE to take it, because unemployed slobs are not allowed to be picky. So you end up taking a shitty job where your boss makes you pick up her dry cleaning or find out what happened to that one restaurant she ate at that one time that isn't there anymore but could you find out WHY it closed and could you do it now?

Yeah. This happened My friend. Yeah. She said it really sucked ass and you should find a job that will offer tuition reimbursement for grad school, because that infomercial dude is on CRACK when he says the government wants to give you money to go to school.  The government would like to give you anxiety attacks and maybe an ulcer, but it really REALLY doesn't want to give you any money.

Dearest of the Dear, Her Royal Highness and Prettiness, Not To Mention Wittiness Who Owns The Cutest Of The Doggiest:

Please help.  I will be applying for several jobs in the coming days and while my cover letter and resume are stellar...STELLAR, I tell you, I do lousy, lousy, lousy in the interviews.  Because you are the Queen of Everything, that means you are the Queen of Interviews.  Here is my problem:  I get nervous.  I get nervous and start sweating and sitting on my hands in an attempt to prevent them from flailing about uncontrollably.  I apparently believe that the correct answers are posted somewhere on the ceiling of the interviewer's office and, sometimes?  I'm not really good at using flowery language.  As an example, had I ever been a janitor in my lifetime, I would never have thought to say, "Custodial Engineer", I would have just said "janitor".  So, when they ask me those questions where they want the truth but everyone really knows that they don't really want the truth, they want to see how well you can b.s. your way through the answer, I either blurt out the truth or I say, "Weeellllll..........." which is followed by a long, what I hope appears to be a thought provoking pause so that they think I'm highly wise and am flipping through my Thesaurus in my brain but of which has yet to successfully fool anyone.

In other words, how DO I answer, "Why do you want to work here?" without bluntly telling them, "Because I need a job."

Thank you your fantastically, fabulously, stunningly beautiful gracious and kind Queen of Everything.

~Someone Who Never Says, "Expanding My Horizons" In My Objective On My Resume

(Again, somehow I went from someone who Was Complete Unemployed Basketcase and Could Not Get a Job Anywhere That Didn't Totally Suck to the girl who Knows All About Jobs and Interviews. How did that happen?)

(Oh, wait. The unemployed basketcase wasn't me. That friend. Yes.)

You know what? You need to CHILL OUT. Nobody wants to interview anyone who's all, "I'm a self-starter! I'm proactively synergistic! I quantify concrete deliverables!" Hate people like that.

I actually prefer people who aren't polished interviewees. I hate the interviews where the candidate is practically screaming  "I TOOK A COURSE ON HOW TO INTERVIEW! PLEASE NOTE MY FIRM HANDSHAKE AND ENDLESS SUPPLY OF CANNED ANSWERS! MY BIGGEST FLAW IS THAT I WORK TOO HARD!"

All that says to me is that you've been on too many damn interviews and should probably have a job already. Stop "looking for the right fit of opportunities to develop your existing skill set that will utilize your experiences and challenge your professional growth." Pick a job and shut up. They're pretty much all the same.

So stop thinking of yourself as a lousy interviewee. Instead? You are the no-nonsense candidate who will cut through the bullshit and actually speak plain English. Your resume speaks for itself. You only showed up for a free bottle of water and to see if this job is even close to worthy of you and your kickass cover letter. Oh, and to check out the office restrooms. Make sure they provide seat covers. Trust me on that one.


type a

lost! LOST! loave the lost! but i missed the last 20 minutes last night - catch me up!


Much agreement about the Phillies curse now needs to end. Nice to see Schilling and Francona win this.


Lost. Jesus. Boyfriend and I are totally and utterly obsessed. Like, we can't wait for Wednesday at 8. It can't come fast enough. And did you not totally know that Korean woman spoke English?? I knew she did, and I was waiting for her to bust out. OK, I could go on about this freaking show forever, so I'll simmer down now.


"Lost" totally rocks. The most awesome new show of the season.

On the make-up front, may I suggest Bare Escentuals in addition to Amalah's wonderful advice? I buy mine online ( or look at for local stores that may carry it). It is made from micronized minerals and is very gentle but AWESOME coverage and great colors and I just love it. It doesn't do anything mean to my pre-rosacea/screamingly sensitive skin.


I would like to let you know, Amy, that Sephora just opened a store. At King of Prussia. Which you and I will be going to the next time you get your fool ass up here. Start saving!


Darn, I hardly ever watch tv (like maybe an hour a week, tops).. and then I kept hearing all this talk of Lost - so I checked out the website this morning, and now I really wish that I would have been watching this show all along. I must catch up...


Clinique products are awesome, and Amy is right - washing your face is simply not enough. I go over my face with a cotton ball full of Seabreeze after washing, and like, half my foundation is on the damn thing when I'm done.


Thank you for the sage advice, Your Highness. I am now off to purchase Rock Booster, Head Rush and After Party. Should I expect to wake up with a hangover?

Fraulein N

Okay, I totally did not think about how I would have to encounter actual UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE at the unemployment office. So thanks for reminding me, because ... ew.

Oh, and Lost is indeed about eight kinds of awesome. As are Clinique products.


Um, unemployment? Can be done over the phone now and the internet. And they don't bother you, you just log on and say you can't find work.

No, I'm not kidding. There are so many unemployed people now, they can't keep up with everyone.


My closest Sephora is in Chicago - 3 long, long hours away. So sad. And, oh my goodnes I don't know what I would do if I couldn't wear make-up. I would never ever leave my house is what I would do. You can do everything over the internet these days.


You are right. It is they who should be nervous. Nervous and sweating as they see me walk out that door after the interview and have to kick themselves for not offering me the job with an outrageously high salary right then and there.

I knew you would know the answer.


i can only say...

you makin me laugh

...thanks. i needed that. ;)

The comments to this entry are closed.