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A Letter to the Editor

Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Dear Amalah,

Are those black fishnet stockings you are wearing really work-appropriate? Come on now.

-An anonymous coworker all up in yo' grill

Well, as the ONLY person here today who did NOT get the memo that we could dress casual? I think y'all look like a bunch of damn slobs.

Grr. GRR!

Okay, on with the real Smackdown. This week's questions were extra-super-girly, so guys? Sorry. I mean, I'm not giving advice on yeast infections or anything, but it's all make-up and fashion and stuff. So maybe next week all you boys can ask questions about burping and how to get laid in under three dates. The address is Go for it.

Dear Amalah,

I don’t know if I’m the only fingers-applying-foundation person to think this after reading your post, but – apply foundation with a brush? I suppose I knew in the back of my mind that it was done, but I honestly have never given a lot of thought to the advantages. I just thought it was another I’m not so sure, since you seem to know a lot more about makeup and various beauty products than I do. Is there a special kind of foundation that you have to use, in order to apply it with a brush? (I currently use foundation from Mary Kay, that comes in a little tube, and – horror! – pat on with my fingers.)


Ok, let's think about this for a minute:

Fingers = dirt + germs = oil = zits = unpopularity + dying alone

My mother was an extremely wise woman (even though she let me go off to college without ever telling me to pluck my eyebrows). The day I entered puberty she came to me with a tub of Noxzema and this advice: "Keep your damn hands away from your face."

Touching your face causes blemishes, people. Do you not know how dirty your hands are? Everything they've touched? Everywhere they've been? The amount of fecal matter found in even the most spotless bathroom? (Sorry, there are Krispy Kremes in the kitchen and I'm trying to resist.)

If you rub makeup into your skin with your fingers, you are piling on the oil and dirt and basically sealing it into your pores with a protective layer of flesh-colored cream. Now: I don't have great skin. It's tempermental and likes to respond to high-pressure situations by breaking the fuck out. But switching from my fingers (or even worse, one of those makeup sponge things that are the equivalent of rubbing your face with a toilet brush) to a foundation brush CHANGED MAH DAMN LIFE.

(Also the discovery of the Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Complexion Soap, available at odd places like Whole Foods and Border's Books, but good Lord, it's the best.)

So allow me to walk you through the process. (WARNING: AMALAH WITHOUT MAKEUP ON AHEAD. AAAEEEIIIII!!!)


After you've washed your pretty little face, get out your moisturizers. Ideally you should use one for your face and one for your eyes and neck. I use Ahava, who really need to send me money. Also more facial moisturizer, as I am almost out.


Use the tip of your ring finger to apply moisturizer around the eyes. Tap lightly, don't rub, don't shoot your eye out with your BB gun, etc.


Obviously you'll need to use your hands to apply the facial moisturizer. Apply a thin layer and rub in lightly. LIGHTLY. (I believe this may seriously be the worst picture ever taken of me. But I share for the good of complexions everywhere, because I'm good like that.)


This is a foundation brush. Also a toilet, but that's a whole other photo essay. You want a solid brush with synthetic bristles, as they are easier to clean and retain less germs. A good brush will cost about $20 to $40, but will save you money on foundation in the long run as you'll waste less product. (Fingers, sponges and natural bristles will absorb your makeup.)


Squirt/pour/pump your foundation onto the back of your hand.


Tap. Tap. Tap. Welcome to the most boring photo essay ever, boys. Perhaps next week you can submit some questions about sex? Or hookers? Or beer? I like beer.

Img_1597 Img_1598

Apply the foundation in wide semi-circles starting at your nose. Gently use the top of the brush to conceal those nasty eye bags. Also, those are not zits on my forehead--those are scars from the time I donated precious life-saving forehead cells to starving children in Africa. Totally.


Wash your brush out with warm soapy water.


Ta-da! You are a now a movie star. Time to go grocery shopping.

Dear Amalah,

I have these Ugg boots that I absolutely love.  They are ugly but oh so warm and fabulous and so make me feel like I'm walking on a cloud.  However, I find myself in a quandry. 

Yesterday, while at our tiny post office, an acquaintance (yes my village is that small, we see people we know every friggin' day) admired said boots but was quick to point out an apparant faux pas.

"Aren't you supposed to wear those over your jeans?"

Huh?  "Huh?"

"Yeah don't you wear those with your jeans tucked in?"

"Well I don't really know, I know they are warm and squishy and make my feet feel good."

"I'm not sure but anyway, I like them!"  said the observer.


So anyway, I find myself in a quandry.  Do I make myself a slave to the fashion trend, even though I feel a little like Sissy from Urban Cowboy when they are tucked or do I just wear them however the fuck I want to wear them because I live in gee dee village so remote and isolated, no one besides said bitch will care? Oh yeah and because we have about a foot of snow on the ground.  Have asked my trusty friends but since you are the queen of everything, I thought I'd ask.

See this photo and yes I realize I need to mop my kitchen floor. 

You so rock.


Ugg. Ugh!

You probably aren't going to think I rock anymore once I tell you that Ugg Boots are the ugliest fucking things in the entire world, except for maybe these.

I hear they are super-comfortable, which does nothing for me, as I have not felt my feet since 1996 when I tossed out my combat boots in favor of stiletto mary janes. You want comfortable footwear? You stay home and wear fuzzy slippers. You go out in public? You wear cute shoes that pinch.

I'm sorry, that's just how I feel. Uggs and Mukluks and Hush Puppies are against my religion.

But as I can tell that you are really attached to your sherpawear boots, I will address the tucked/untucked debate. There's something about tucking the jeans in that screams "fashion victim." There's something about leaving the jeans out that screams "let's pile in the minivan and go get Arby's." But if you must make a decision, let me remind you that discussing what Paris Hilton does (as I noticed your commenters did in favor of tucking), is NEVER, EVER the right answer. Gah.

Dearest Benevolent Monarch,

My [college] roommate is a crazy bitch.  She has made my life a living hell for the past 11 weeks.  For example, she does not have class until 11 am, I have class at 8 am. I have to get ready IN THE HALLWAY so that I don't disturb her! She speaks ill of me to everyone she meets, and says that I am a loser for blogging/reading blogs.  What would be the best way to exact revenge upon her?

Your loyal reader until the bitter end,


I had a bitch-ass roommate too for a semester. She turned our room into a nail salon so it always smelled like acrylic tips and polish and got drunk and cheated on her boyfriend in the bottom bunk and played gangsta rap all the time except for this one Garth Brooks song she liked to line dance to (I've Got Friends In Low Places) and her favorite movie was Dirty Dancing and she stole stuff. She also decided she hated me about halfway through the semester and started talking shit about me because I like, WENT TO CLASS and fucking STUDIED AND SHIT.

I was clearly a huge pain in the ass. Lord.

I exacted my revenge several ways:

I made ramen noodles in the room every damn day even though she hated the smell.

I dropped her VHS of Dirty Dancing behind the dresser and told her I thought someone stole it.

I told her all sorts of horrible ghost stories about the campus and how our dorm once was a hospital for an influenza outbreak and that bodies were buried in the intramural fields. She believed me and started staying in her boyfriend's dorm a lot more.

I helped her change her password to Penn State's online student services site so I was able to access her grade reports and print them out so others could see that it was, in fact, possible to have a GPA of 0.32.

I changed her email password occasionally, just to fuck with her.

I told her boyfriend she was cheating on him.

Good times, good times. I'm sure you can think of something similarly creative. Like telling her the wrong date for class registration so by the time she registers there are only 8 a.m. classes left. And then she can get her sorry ass ready in the hallway.

(Which...dude. No. Stop doing that. Let the poor princess learn that sometimes you just have to wake up before the absolute last minute in life.)

(Also try putting Garth Brooks on in the morning. She'll LOVE that.)


Have a happy Thanksgiving everybody. We're cooking! Really! And I will post about it. Eventually! I will also try to get my mom and dad involved in an entry and will see if I can get either of them to include the F-word. So yeah, I'm gonna be pretty drunk for the next two or three days. Yay for pilgrims and smallpox!



I love the Burt's Bees Garden Tomato products - the toner is also wonderful. Heck, I love Burt's Bees everything...

Happy Turkey Day Amalah!


Hmm. I'm thinking I need to try the foundation brush. Since I hit 30 , my skin has been being a bitch, so any help I can get I'll take. Also, Uggs? I kind of want to vomit when I see them, but I live in Santa Barbara where every single girl wears them with the TINIEST denim skirt imaginable. And the Uggs are usually pink. Happy Thanksgiving, kids!


I live in Alaska people, give me a break. I'd love nothing more than to wear Manolo's but couldn't really enjoy them because I'd be laid the fuck up on my back. I could maybe perch them on top of something in clear view and admire them from afar. Really it would be a waste of Manolos. Pink Uggs for that matter, would turn out the same way. I did, however, love the shit out of your reply, and so wish we even had a fucking Arby's...or that I even had kids for that matter. But the Paris Hilton thing sealed the deal. I shall wear my hideous boots under my jeans. Arby's, here I come! Thank you dearest Amalah.


And of course you still rock. Like a girl who wears ugly shoes and lives here can really be offended. Takes a lot, trust me and NEVER EVER apologize for your own opinions. Damn, if I didn't want to hear it, I shouldn't have asked, right?

Fraulein N

People should think twice about wearing something called "Uggs." Like, for real. Also? It's cracking me up that your roommate was all about the gangsta rap ... and Garth Brooks. Hee.



The part about wearing cute shoes that pinch - thank you for validating me.


to zandria,
go to sephora and have them give you a makeover.. you may end up with $200 worth of makeup, but it will be the best makeup you've ever used and it comes in the prettiest little packaging.


Foundation? I'm supposed to wear that...? Crap.

Have a great holiday, Oh Queen! MWAH!

suzanna danna

Your parents say "fuck"?


That was great. On my way to work towards beauty!! Have a wonderful Holiday oh Queen..


Christ you make me laugh! I'll never look at UGG's (which by the way I agree with you on) the same way (despite living in Canada where they are not only UBER trendy but sadly convenient)


I bet you can't get your parents to say fuck.


Cry. Cry cry cry. I missed advice day AGAIN. I will go buy some Mukluks now and wear them in shame.


Being the ripe old age of 41, I've had a pair of Uggs for about 17 years. I only wear them when it's ultra cold and when I go to Arby's in my Ford Windstar with my three kids. However, in spite of their uggliness, they are squishy, warm and wonderful. I am not a "tucker". If it's really snowing the snow can get inside your boots, therefore defeating the purpose of wearing them. And Paris Hilton . . . eeeewww. Anything to NOT be like her.
The story of your college roommate scared me. I fear you and the devious havoc you could wreak. However, you are a great resource for future reference!
May you, Jason and the wee one's have a great Thanksgiving!


No one should be wearing ugg boots... ever...same goes for trucker hats. Even if you're a trucker.


Having my question answered by the notorious Queen of Everything makes me feel all warm and squishy inside! Or…maybe that’s just my skin, reacting to the as-yet unbought makeup brush. (Why didn’t MY smart mama ever tell me to keep my hands off of my face?)

I thank you for the wonderful step-by-step photo guide, and for your bravery in appearing (temporarily) without makeup. :)


I don't think I've ever commented here before, but I just have to. I am the proud owner of a new foundation brush, and I'm in love with it, my foundation, and my newfound dewy complexion. My God! I'm BEAUTIFUL!


Amalah, you look beautiful!

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving was good! Mom didn't hurt mister Smalltree again, but maybe this weekend, so dad is thinking bout hog tying mom down like the time he tied her down to the car and brought her home after he found her in the woods, and I'm very thankfull for that because I wouldn't be hear typing this comment now!

Have a nice weekend!


Dear Amalah,

How did you become such an amazing dispenser of advice? Pictures?! You're an evil genius. Or just evil. Or just genius.

I cannot be sure.



Thank you sooo much for the advice. The evil scheming has begun!


Going to buy a foundation brush this afternoon. Makes BRILLIANT sense!

Toss the Uggs now. Seriously THROW them violently out the window. There just *HAS* to be winter footwear out there just as comfortable that isn't nearly as Fugly.

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