Beauty Products Will Destroy You, & Not Just Financially

Because apparently we’ve gone from Feminist Socialist Revolutionaries around here, with Mike gone, to a Blog About Shoes, Dresses, and Cosmetics, here’s some delightful news: nail salons are germ-factories and lipsticks are full of lead.

It’s not just lead we’re slathering on our mouths, either. According to Mother Jones, a variety of lip-products tested contained all sorts of elements from the Periodic Table:

In a small study out last week, researchers asked a group of teenage girls to hand over their lipsticks and glosses and tested them for toxic metals, including lead and cadmium. Though metal content varied widely from brand to brand, they found that women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Depending on the lipstick, in some cases women who slathered it on (14 times a day or more) were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese. Lead, a metal that humans should avoid exposure to entirely, was detected in 75 percent of the samples.

Mother Jones, it goes without saying, doesn’t wear makeup. If you must, though: “The FDA’s 2012 test found less than one part per million of lead in Wet n’ Wild, Bobbi Brown, and Shiseido brand lipsticks.”

Great! Now what about our nails? They / we are doomed, too, according to the New York Observer


Sleep Gadgets That Work?

Recent events have established the crucial importance of sleep: we, especially those of us in lower income brackets, don’t get enough of it, and the lack of it can contribute to our untimely deaths. But even if we do have or make the time, and invest in a good mattress, and practice appropriate sleep hygiene (no laptops in bed, guys), sometimes sleep remains elusive.

Refinery 29 has rounded up seven sleep gadgets that are effective and worth the money.

Sleep feels like a college I will never get into. Like, my teachers are all, “Sure, apply to Sleep. You never know!” But then they leave brochures for Insomniac online night classes on my desk, because who are we kidding? Over the past few months, I decided to throw some technology at the problem. Don’t get me wrong; I’m well-versed in natural remedies and the importance of sleep hygiene. I work out, my supplements are stocked, and my phone is chock-full of guided sleep meditations. Usually, that stuff (plus, some classic breathing techniques) does the trick. Sometimes, though, I need a little extra help. 

These range from goggles that counterintuitively pulse lights at you called “Glo to Sleep” ($30) to a “Serene House Angel Ultrasonic Scentilizer Aromatherapy Diffuser” ($191) which sounds like it should do your laundry for you and then dip your feet in oil. Babygirl is also a fan of a white noise app I downloaded for free from iTunes so, you know. For what that’s worth.


Saying Yes to the Dress, Pt 2: KLEINFELD’S

Ringing the Universe Room were more racks of dresses than there are stars in the heavens: ivory dresses, cream dresses, dusky rose dresses, apricot dresses, even a couple of goth-style black dresses for effect. (No one tried them on.)


Aspiring To Be An Effortlessly Cool Woman With $400 Shoes

Emily Gould continues to write essays that unearth all the feelings under our barely-conscious money behavior, i.e., essays that we wish she would have written for us. This one is an excerpt from that one book, Women In Clothes, which is an anthology filled with writing by women that focuses on “style and its deeper meanings.”


Ask An Assertive Person, Vol 1: Discounts

I’m unafraid to ask for student discounts, corporate discounts, damaged-item discounts, and the nebulous “Is there any way to get a better price on this item?” discount at chain stores and other places that I suspect will want to accommodate me.


Paying for the Things You Never Fathomed You’d Pay For

I was at lunch with a friend a few months ago when he looked down at his watch and said, “Oh I just got a message from [so-and-so]—I’ll need to dash off in 15 minutes.”


Open Thread: When Do You Replace Your Phone?

EXCLUSIVE: Mike has had his iPhone four years and the battery is dying so he thinks he’s going to spring for the new one.

Ester says she only gets new electronics of any kind “when my brothers tell me to and/or buy them for me, and/so i still have a 4.”

Nicole has had her phone since 2012: “I do not know when I will replace it. I’ll probably replace it when it stops functioning to the point where it becomes unusable. It is already slow and I’m already thinking, ‘ooh, I’d like a better phone,’ but I bet I’ll wait until at least next summer or probably longer. I also have a HTC EVO.”


I shattered my phone about a year ago and emailed my friend and former coworker Marco, who is an app developer, what kind of phone I should buy. He was basically like, “I have a lot of phones lying around, you can have one.” I was supposed to give it to him once the new one came out a few months later but um, hi Marco I’m sorry I still have your phone.


Mike: Before that I had a flip phone that I think I had for another four years. So I guess it really is every four years for me.

Meaghan: Your phone is like political office!

Mike: Omg. I just looked down at my phone and it texted me “FOUR MORE YEARS!!!”


If You Have to Pee, Pee in a Baby Store

I have been sitting on this for months and waiting for the right opportunity to share it. I’m not sure what I had in mind, though. Terry Gross interviewing me about my bathroom habits?

Okay here it is. This is, I feel like the most important thing revealed to me about humanity when I had a child: every baby store I have ever been inside of has a beautiful, luxurious, publicly accessible bathroom in it, and a salesperson beaming and excited to show it to you.

Land of Nod? Bathroom. Giggle? Bathroom! In the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, Caribou Baby has an excellent bathroom. Jake’s Mini Mart, which is on North 9th St. between Bedford and Driggs, has a great bathroom right next to the register. Fancy soaps! Lotions! It’s absurd.

If being out and about in a city while having a bladder has been as much of a problem for you as it has for me, keep an eye out for crazy baby stores. After you pee you can sit in their overpriced gliders and pretend to discuss something baby-related while you enjoy the air conditioning. I did this today, which is where I took the picture of these delightful chickens, $45 apiece.


A City that Drives You So Crazy, You Buy a $4,000 Jacket

Our pal Mary H.K. Choi has a collection of five essays about leaving New York (but, it is, of course, more than that), which you can buy in the form of a Kindle single for $1.99.


Link Roundup: Happy Marriage?; Telecommuting; How to Shop IRL

1) Thanks for the cheerful morning read on how most of us will not end up happily married, Quartz!

Just as most Americans want to believe that they will get rich someday, most Americans want to think that they will have a marriage of far-above-average quality. … What we do tell people is that happy couples are really no different from unhappy couples. Either they have found some secret formula for happiness (and if you buy the right book/attend the right seminar/take the right product, you will be happy too!), or they have learned to lower their expectations to the point where they don’t feel the sting of disappointment from incompatibility, loneliness, sexlessness or boredom. The first case is akin to Senator Marco Rubio testifying that America is “a nation of haves and soon to haves.” It is theoretically possible for any single individual to become wealthy, but it is unlikely that we are all going to be rich anytime soon. The second is like saying that rich people don’t have more money than poor people, just a better attitude. 

This is not a well written article. (“There are many theories floating around about why greater gender equality have not put an end to divorce in America.”) Does that mean the thesis is wrong? I hope so. The dream of being contently coupled should be more accessible than the dream of being Scrooge McDuck. There is, after all, an infinite amount of happiness in the world, and only a finite number of gold coins.

2) Women and childless men, don’t ask to work remotely