12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 12 Femme Essentials

December is here, and therefore, so is 12 Days of Girly Juice, my year-end wrap-up series! In the next month, I’ll summarize my whole year in selfies, sex toys, sexual encounters, tweets, and more. But today, we begin with a subject that’s dear to my heart: beauty and fashion! Here are my top 12 must-have femme items of 2017…

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani lipstick in “Lucky Red”

Last November, I went to Rome with my mom, and it was momentous. All day every day, we walked around that ancient city soaking up world-famous sights. It was almost too much beauty and history to handle, and made me feel like I was buzzing right out of my body with deep glee and meaning.

One day, we visited the Spanish Steps. Sitting on those stairs surrounded by other tourists, I felt called to buy something that would remind me of this place. I didn’t want gimmicky miniatures or boring old postcards, so I did what any consumerist femme would do: I walked into Sephora. (Yes, there is a Sephora opposite the Spanish Steps. Yes, it is a strange, anachronistic place. It’s like femme purgatory: surreal and always bustling and highly unlikely.)

I wanted a lipstick, since that’s the cosmetic item I use most often and also the one I associate most with glamour. I figured it would make me happy in subsequent months to be able to think of said lipstick as a souvenir from glorious Rome, and to tell people that when they asked about it. Suitably, the one I went with was by Italian brand Giorgio Armani. It’s a cool-toned, bright red that makes me feel like a 1950s movie star or a high-gloss spy. It goes on satiny and dries to a slightly more matte crimson that stays put better than almost any other lipstick in my arsenal (which it damn well better, for $43). It’s my favorite red lipstick I’ve ever owned, and I have owned a lot. And that mystique only has a little to do with where I bought it.

Coach turnlock tote in turquoise crossgrain leather

I bought this on sale for half-price last holiday season, and it has served me well all year long. Not only is it the most aggressively, delightfully vivid shade of turquoise I’ve ever seen, it’s also roomy enough for almost all my various adventures. I’ve taken it as an overnight bag to sex-dates at beaux’ houses, as my carry-on when shuttling back and forth between Toronto and New York, and as a gig bag when en route to photoshoots or porn-y events that required wardrobe changes. It has lots of pockets, which I tend to stuff with extra tissues, mints, love notes, bobby pins, lipsticks, vibrators, business cards, supplements, and lube samples. It’s my dream bag and I adore it.

Tarina Tarantino heart necklaces

I have three of these now: one small purple/green/turquoise one, one larger one emblazoned with Queen Alice, and (my favorite) one giant pink sparkly one that attracts stares and compliments wherever I go. I bought the Alice necklace direct from the company during a sale, and snapped up the other two on eBay, since they seem to have been discontinued. They make me happy every damn time I wear them.

My heart necklaces function like day collars for me: they sit heavily around my neck, grounding me, reminding me of how good I am, keeping me on task. In times of emotional turmoil, they also feel like shields for my heart, deflecting negative energy and keeping me safe. I hope to collect a couple more – maybe a blue one and a black one – because we all need more sparkly hearts in our lives!

Perfume

It’s hard to pick a specific perfume here, because I’ve loved so many this year! Under the influence of The Dry Down, a mega-poetic newsletter about the philosophical and emotional side of perfume, I started buying perfume samples galore to try out. This is much cheaper than committing to full bottles of particular scents, and also makes more sense with the mercurial way I tend to fall in love with a perfume for a while, then move on to a different one.

Some of my 2017 fragrance faves: John Varvatos, a spicy, masc-leaning gourmand. Leatherstock, which smells like straight-up leather and which I like to combine with other scents for an extra kinky dimension. Tom of Finland, which is like pressing your nose against the pheromone-laden skin of someone attractive and comforting. Memoirs of a Trespasser, the scent of a rugged, babely adventurer come back home to roost. Carnal Flower, which smells like (per Helena Fitzgerald) “monied femininity.” Good Girl, a somewhat heavy, almost overbearingly feminine scent that reminds me of slutty honey. And most recently, Noel au Balcon, a hyper-festive wintertime scent that reminds me of cloves, oranges, honey, and the champagne-fizzy excitement of a tipsy conversation with an interesting stranger at a holiday party.

H&M skater dresses

H&M did a wonderful thing this year: they made what is basically the perfect dress, as far as I’m concerned, and released it in 15+ different colors and prints. Best of all, they priced each dress at $15.

I own said dress in 10+ different colorways now, and they get more wear than practically anything else in my closet. They’re just exactly what I want from a dress: comfortable, flattering, versatile. This year I wore them on dates, to shows, in photoshoots. I danced in them, kissed in them, partied in them, even occasionally fucked in them. They are perfection and I’m so glad I stocked up.

Yo Sox

Last month, I settled in for a phone sex session with a handsome gentleman, and he asked me – as phone sex suitors are wont to do – what I was wearing. I’d promised to wear something nice for him, something that made me feel sexy, even if he wouldn’t actually be seeing it. “I’m wearing a T-shirt, some panties, and a pair of kneesocks,” I told him, truthfully. He made a sound that was half-gasp, half-growl. I smiled.

My enduring love for knee-high and thigh-high socks comes partly from the predictable reaction they get out of many men, and partly from how they make me feel in my kinky little heart. When I’m putting together an ensemble designed to make me feel like a babygirl, girly socks are a vital part of the look. This year I discovered Yo Sox, a company that sells whimsical socks both online and in their brick-and-mortar store on Toronto’s Queen Street West, and I swiftly fell in love. It’s hard to feel sad when there are unicorns or whales prancing across your feet!

Tiny black shorts

Another H&M acquisition, I bought these minuscule shorts for $15 on an impulsive shopping trip in April. They ended up being a go-to for me all summer, garnering tons of compliments and making me feel cute in a way I rarely feel when my chubby bod is being shown off so flagrantly. They work well with crop tops, bralettes, and even over tights for a more cool-weather-appropriate outfit. I even wore them a lot while mired in post-breakup depression, because they felt effortless and accommodating.

BH Cosmetics Smokey Eyes palette

I didn’t do full-on fancy faces as often this year as I have in previous years, because frankly, most of the time I just couldn’t be bothered. But I did buy this eyeshadow palette on the recommendation of a femme friend, and it has served me well for many dress-up occasions this year.

The deep blues and purples flatter my hazel eyes. The silvers and greys allow for striking smoky looks. The pinks fulfill my deepest femme desires. In summation: this palette rules.

BH Cosmetics spooley brush

Another great find from this cosmetics company: the best eyebrow brush I’ve ever used. I’ve written before about Anastasia Dipbrow, my go-to brow product, but I’ve neglected to mention the importance of the brush you use to apply it: Dipbrow is finicky as hell and you gotta have your tools on point. This one has a spooley (i.e. eyebrow comb) on one side and an angled application brush on the other, so I can flip back and forth quickly between shaping my brows and filling them in. I use this every day and it has made my makeup routine both more efficient and more joyful!

Danier vintage leather jacket

Leather was important to my aesthetic this year. In fact, I’m possibly developing a bit of a leather kink (she wrote, having recently fallen asleep cuddling a leather impact toy to her nose so she could smell it all night long). One of my most beloved leather possessions is a jacket I inherited from an older cousin years ago. It’s simple, sexy, and classic. And it makes me feel like a total badass.

Many times, I’ve considered upgrading to a more classic motorcycle style, but having tried on many such jackets, I think they’re boxier and more boyish than I can comfortably pull off. The blazer-esque fit of this one seems to match my aesthetic better and I like it. Although, I must say, if I ever encounter a hot pink leather biker jacket, I might have to buy it on the spot…

Lacy bralettes

There is something about cute bralettes that makes me feel adorable and put-together even if I am essentially wearing underwear in public. My favorite ones are by Aerie, as they strike a balance between aesthetics and comfort that one rarely encounters in the realm of lingerie. Most of the ones I currently own are either turquoise or pink (how predictable) so I’d like to expand my bralette color palette in the coming months. Maybe I need one in red, yellow, or black…

Animal Hair internal clitoris necklace

I bought this necklace to advertise my sex-nerdiness and it certainly does the trick. Everywhere I go, people either say, “What is that?” or “Oh my god, it’s the internal clit!” I enjoy the way its hot pink shade sets off pink lipstick and pops against all-black ensembles. Animal Hair makes a light blue one too, so I think I’m gonna expand my clit collection in the new year!

What were your favorite fashion and beauty items of 2017?

Monthly Faves: Teddy Bears, Tongues, & Tarina Tarantino

This month I turned 25, spent a lot of time partyin’ and socializin’ with friends, and had plenty of fulfilling sexual experiences! Here’s hoping April was a prescient preview of the sexy spring and summer to come.

Sex toys

SheVibe sent me the Adrien Lastic Caress (full review to come!) and I’m surprised by how much I like it so far. It uses rotation and silicone attachments to stimulate the clit in a cunnilingus-esque manner, sort of like the Sqweel and Sqweel Go – but it also vibrates, which amplifies the sensation. I’m contemplating writing a post comparing various oral sex simulators, because damn, I love them when they’re executed well.

• Speaking of oral sex simulators… I’ve gotten back into the Satisfyer a bit this month. The suction creates a slow build of arousal compared to a vibrator, but sometimes that is exactly what I want.

• Teddy Love sent me their product, an undeniably horrifying teddy bear whose face vibrates. I haven’t been able to bring myself to apply it to my genitals yet, but I have delighted in showing it to partners and watching terror bloom on their faces.

Fantasy fodder

• Receiving oral sex tends to fall by the wayside in my fantasy life until I meet someone who’s really good at it – and then it reenters my sexual awareness at full force. I got good head from a couple o’ cuties this month, so I’ve had tongues on the brain. Unf.

• I went on some dates this month with someone who is a very good kisser… Like, very, very good… Like, “there is usually wetness dripping down my thighs afterward” levels of good. He’s got the actual lip-lock on lock and also does a lot of the peripheral things I love during makeouts, like grabbing my ass and holding me down by my wrists. So I’ve been fantasizing a lot about good kisses since then. Ugh, please tell him to come kiss me some more.

• I think I’m developing a bit of a premature ejaculation kink?! (In porn, anyway. Not so much in real life.) When I’m high and therefore disinhibited, a lot of my porn searches lately are phrases like “she makes him cum quickly,” “he can’t help but cum,” “he tries not to cum,” and so on. I confessed this growing interest to Bex, who knows my kinks super well, and they replied: “Honestly, that makes perfect sense. A dude being surprised by how good something (probs a BJ) feels so he loses control and comes instantly? That’s totes you.” Ah. Yes. That does make perfect sense, now that I think about it.

Sexcetera

• This month I had sex with a straight cis guy who a) didn’t assume I’d be into intercourse, b) was highly skilled at mid-sex verbal check-ins that were both reassuring and hot, and c) said to me at one point, “I want to see you come. How can I make that happen?” Gosh, I love it when partners are attitudinally a good sexual match for me: non-pressure-y, adventurous, unpresumptuous, and more about pleasure and fun than meeting certain culturally prescribed goals. Swoon!

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I enthused about my favorite erogenous zone, the A-spot, for Glamour, and detailed my experiences with a vaguely biphobic doctor for Daily Xtra. I blogged about wooden dildos and the silly realities of sex for Ignite. I made some sex-nerdy confessions on SwingTowns. On our podcast, Bex and I talked about porn and ruining the mood, interviewed Kenton of Funkit Toys, and on 4/20 we got high and laughed a lot.

• In April I had 25 orgasms – fewer than average for me, because some depressive spells tanked my libido for a bit. Two of those orgasms (8%) were from partners; the rest were solo.

Femme stuff

• For my birthday, I bought myself an Alice in Wonderland necklace from Tarina Tarantino. It’s big and over-the-top and I love it.

• H&M makes a flattering $15 fit-and-flare dress in multiple different colors and patterns. I own eight of them now. It’s a problem. Except it’s not a problem at all. I think my current faves are the blue gingham and red floral ones. Soooo foxy!

• I got my makeup done for a friend’s wedding, and it was such a fun novelty. I’d never worn false lashes before, and couldn’t stop staring at my cartoonish babeliness in every mirror. My turquoise bridesmaid dress rounded out the look.

Little things

Hippo Campus’ new album (it is all I want to listen to right now!). Coaching/consulting sessions where I feel helpful and useful. Fun cam shows! Having a full plate of writing projects. Spicy salmon sushi and big helpings of edamame. Editing podcasts in a café window seat. Conversations with smart friends about strange psychosexual phenomena. Drinks-dates where our conversation crackles and flows. Twitter crushes. Interviewing hilarious smart people for exciting projects. All-day breakfast. Dancing to Taylor Swift with a bunch of new friends in Hamilton. Listening to the Flop House while soaking in a hotel bathtub at the end of a long day. Beautifully-wrapped presents. Polite and respectful suitors. Bex’s dapperness. Seeing my friends win awards. Good listeners. Learning new things. Sexting as negotiation. Really good coffee.

Monthly Faves: Good Girls, Pussy Pumps & Sexting Suitors

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Hot damn, it’s summer in Toronto! I can already tell that this is going to be a season of fun, flirting, makeouts on sunny hillsides and impulsive late-night fuck-dates. Let’s make it happen! Here are some of the things that made me happy in the early days of this glorious summer…

Sex toys

• On a Come As You Are mission with Lavender, I spotted a hot pink clit pump and had to have it. I’ve experimented with clit suction in the past, but the only pump I owned was terrible-quality and didn’t work for my body. This new one is Serious Business and actually does what it’s supposed to: increases bloodflow and sensitivity with pleasant (though intense) suction. Next I want a partner to use it on me!

Tantus recently ran a sale on some of their long-discontinued products, so I snapped up a lime-green Sherbet in an impulsive fit of dildo materialism. It’s even better than I expected: the bulbous, ridged head does good G-spot things, and the chartreuse shade makes me smile. Tantus sure does know how to make sex toy geeks convulse with glee.

• Forever enamored with the Magic Wand Rechargeable (though not enamored enough, apparently, to call it by its proper name instead of “the Hitachi”). I use it so often that it stays on my bed at all times for easy access. Vibratex, ya done good.

Fantasy fodder

• I’m sick of crushing on people I’d have to buy a plane ticket to have my way with. There are far too many long-distance flames in my life as is, and it can be sheer torture for the heart and/or genitals. And yet I recently found myself sexting with a fellow who lives across the pond. One of my most intense orgasms this month happened when I used the Double Trouble‘s big end inside me, pretending it was his fist – after (and only after) I’d gotten his permission to come. (Y’all, I really need to stop writing about hot beaux while I’m in public. I am a mess at this café right now.)

• Are you tired of hearing me talk about blowjob porn yet?! I’ve discovered a subreddit dedicated to one of my favorite porn subgenres: scenes featuring deepthroat BJs where the receiver comes deep in the giver’s throat. Admittedly, I’m not into the term Reddit has given this act, “throatpie” – I’d rather think of it as advanced-placement swallowing. (If you’re not sure where to start, it’s hard to go wrong with Heather.)

• I often daydream about my ideal poly situation: two or three consistent partners who love me a whole lot and who each bring out different sides of me. This is mostly a whimsical, romantic line of thinking, but naturally, sometimes it takes a turn into sexytown too. This month I pondered that time I accidentally had two sex-dates in one night but imagined it happened with a primary and secondary partner… *sigh* Bring on all the compersion and cuties, please.

Sexcetera

• I’m addicted to Nick Jonas’s new album, Last Year Was Complicated. (Man, what a title.) It’s catchy, sexy pop music that makes me want to dance the night away and/or get fucked to a pulp – but, like a lot of modern mainstream music, it’s problematic from a feminist perspective. The song “Good Girls” was the impetus for me writing about my relationship with that phrase, because it felt psychologically painful for me to hear my favorite epithet thrown around so carelessly in Nick Jonas’s mouth. (“When did all these good girls decide to be bad? Dancing up on the table, getting back at your dad. Who’s the asshole that told you that’s what you have to do?”) Hey, Nick: your music makes me wet, but your politics dry me right back up again!

• With minimal fanfare (at least, for my attention-slut M.O.), earlier this month I officially linked this blog to my real-life name and identity. My About page now bears my name (hi! I’m Kate!) and links proudly to my other internet homes (journalism portfolio, music, personal Tumblr). Nothing’s really changed, and you can still call me “GJ” if you want! I was just getting sick of keeping my two identities so separate; it felt like I was hiding part of myself from the world, and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m not ashamed of what I write here, and if some conservative rubberneck in my life finds my blog and is offended by it, that’s on them. Thanks to all of you for supporting me through this transition and always being the loveliest, sweetest readers!

Femme stuff

• I like to wear my collar when I’m feeling subby and small. It gives me a sense of calm and directedness. But it’s not always appropriate to wear what is clearly a kink accessory, so I’ve been experimenting with necklaces that act as “day collars.” My Tarina Tarantino pavé heart necklace is a current fave. I also own a pearl necklace that’d work well, especially given, y’know, the other meaning of “pearl necklace.”

• This month brought a couple of occasions for me to get all femmed up, rockabilly-style. I’m suuuuper into that look: simple matte eyeshadows, sharp-as-hell winged eyeliner, natural-looking blush, and an impeccable red lip. Every time I do my face this way, I think, “I should do this every day!” but then I remember how much I love other looks, like hot pink lipstick, smoky eyes, and even a bare face from time to time.

Little things

Making a “mental health contingency plan” for days when boys are setting off my mood issues. Iced soy hazelnut lattes. My black rhinestoned shorts. “There will come a day when I just order a BJ and a cuddle from you and put you in an Uber at your earliest convenience…” Smiley selfies your friends send you from bed where they’ve just banged each other silly. Shake, Rattle & Roll. Quoting e e cummings poems to people you’re about to kiss. Cute boys who cover my songs. Life advice from my mentors. Marijuana puns. People who use the word “date” when they ask you on a date. Planning a potential sexy tour of New England. Andy Shauf’s new album. Woodhull dreamin’. Femme-flagging. Exchanging saucy nudes with beautiful Twitter femmes. My new computer. “You can’t stop desire; I’ve tried, but you’re fuel to my fire.” Setting goals. Party-planning with Bex. The Adventure Zone. Writing residency proposals and book proposals. Dan McCoy. Peanut butter chocolate Haagen Daaz. “Touching you with no hands.” A cute boy thanking me for taking him on a “tour of [my] subconscious” and then saying, “I’m gonna go in for the kiss now.”

 

What were your sexy favorites this month, angelfaces?

On a Sex Blogger’s Desk: A Sexy-Weird Mini-Altar

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I have long been obsessed with totems: physical tokens which represent, and remind you of, a mental or emotional idea. I believe you can invoke magic, meaning, passion and purpose through the use of these small symbols. Magic, the way I see it, is a blend of attitude and action: when you’re reminded of your intentions all the time, they stay in the forefront of your mind, making it likelier that you’ll take small (and big) steps toward them every day.

A totem, the way I view it, can be any item that reminds you of something you want to feel or something you want to accomplish. Lately I’ve been enjoying the process of maintaining an altar of sorts: a collection of these totems, grouped together in one place, to remind me of what I’m trying to bring into my life.

My little mini-altar is a grey stone bowl that sits on my desk, perched atop a piano-shaped music box. It’s positioned to the left of my computer, so its presence looms lovingly over every moment of work I do at my desk. It’s filled with objects that keep me on-task and feeling good whenever I look at them.

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Central to my altar right now (it changes frequently) are two vulvas: a custom-made vulva ring I commissioned from CatStache Accessories, and a turquoise silicone vulva cast that was a gift from Colin at Hole Punch Toys. Obviously, sexuality is central to my work – especially the encouragement and validation of the sexuality of female-assigned-at-birth people – so these vulvas act as a daily reminder of the Power of the Pussy! Colin also gave me a cast of a butthole, so that’s in there too.

I bought a quartet of beautiful dice at a Long Island nerd shop last time I was there visiting Bex. They viscerally called to me when I saw them in their display case, even though I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons or do anything else that would necessitate me owning dice. I think I was drawn to their nerdy-fun energy: most of the people I’ve ever been attracted to are nerdy enough to participate in stuff like D&D with great enthusiasm. (Cough, the McElroy brotherscough.) The presence of these dice in my altar reminds me of the type of romantic and/or sexual partner I’m always trying to attract into my life, and they also remind me of how much I love nerds in general. Sex nerds are my ideal readers here; I connect so deeply with nerds’ extreme enthusiasm and obsessive love of their interests.

Last week I went out dancing at a bar with my friends Dan and Sarah, and drunkenly bought an expired vintage-looking condom from the vending machine in the bar bathroom. It’s in my altar now because it makes me laugh (“Do not use as a substitute for a condom,” the packaging dares you in a distinctly 1970s-looking font), but also because it reminds me of how absolutely crucial sex education is. There are people in the world who wouldn’t know how perilous it could be to use an expired, “for-novelty-use-only” condom, and that kind of gap in knowledge is part of what I’m working to eradicate with my sex education work!

When I had coffee with Kidder, my sex-positivity hero, he gave me a box of gifts, including a signed copy of his book, a new-in-the-box copy of a sexy card game he developed when I was but a youngin’, and a silver coin emblazoned with the “Sex is Fun” logo. That coin holds a place of honor in my altar, because it reminds me that my heroes are people too, and that maybe someday I’ll be somebody’s hero the way Kidder was for me.

Tucked into the top of my altar is a white index card folded into an origami heart. Periodically I like to write down my current hopes and wishes and do some kind of magic ceremony with the piece of paper to release my wish to the universe, whether that be burning it, shredding it, or just folding it into a meaningful heart. I don’t even remember what’s written inside this particular heart, but the sight of it makes me happy.

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I own lots and lots of crystals. Like a lot of magical items, I’m not 100% convinced of their ability to make magic in the ethereal sense of rearranging the universe and attracting specific things into our lives, but I do think they serve to remind you of what you’re trying to achieve, and that’s always a useful thing. Each crystal in my altar was chosen for a specific purpose; some of my favorites are my rose quartz wand (for encouraging self-love and compassion), a chunk of labradorite (for quelling anxiety and overwhelm), citrine (for prosperity and higher self-esteem), and amethyst (for increased creativity and intuition). Sometimes when I meditate about my hopes and dreams, I like to clutch a rose quartz heart in one hand and a carnelian heart in the other; those are the love and sex crystals, respectively, and it feels divinely right for me to combine their powers and use ’em together.

I own a lot of jewelry, some of which I keep in my altar because it holds specific meanings for me. I have a rose quartz point necklace, to (again) evoke self-love. (Never enough rose quartz!!) And I have three rings: an emerald and diamond ring given to me by my high school girlfriend (to remind me I’m capable of being loved deeply), a ring my late grandmother willed to me that features a panther with glowing jade eyes (to remind me of my inherent feminine power and bravery), and a blue topaz heart ring I bought myself (to increase my writerly powers). Sometimes I stack them all on my fingers when I leave the house, on days when I need cheerifying and emboldening.

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There are a few things my altar is missing, that I’d really like to find for it:

• A penis, or at least some kind of phallic symbol (other than the semi-phallic rose quartz wand up there). There’s a lot of vulva-energy in this spread and I wanna balance that out. A miniature dildo would be ideal!

• Something that reminds me of Bex. They’re my best friend, my romantic advisor and my favorite shoulder-angel. I want a little symbol that basically functions as a reminder to ask myself, “What would Bex do?”

• Something kink-related, like a tiny handcuffs charm or a heart-shaped lock. Kink is an important part of my sexuality and even my spirituality; it’s odd that it isn’t represented here.

• Maybe some specific mementos from happy past sexual experiences. A receipt from a drinks-date. A matchbook from an illicit hotel. A chocolate wrapper from a romantic weekend. I think these things are imbued with colossal positive energy and we can always use more of that!

Do you have any kind of altar-like space in your home? How about tokens that serve to remind you of what you want? What are they?

12 Days of Girly Juice: 12 Femme Essentials

12 Days of Girly Juice is a year-end celebration of all things girly, sexy, pleasurable and fun. Y’all know the kind of stuff I write about: sex, relationships, beauty, fashion, self-improvement. That’s the stuff I’ll be highlighting on this here blog, in big juicy year-end lists, for all of December. Today, we begin with femme goodness. Enjoy!

 

I have the type of personality where I get obsessed with things for short periods of time and then move on. That’s especially true when it comes to objects designed to be used up, upgraded and replaced, like beauty and fashion items. (Oh, dat consumerist escalator. It never stops!!)

That said, there are some femme obsessions that endured through most or all of my 2015. Here are some of them…

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Lip Products

If I ever stop thinking Bite lipstick in “Violet” is the most beautiful hot pink I’ve ever seen, you have my permission to check my pulse to make sure I’m not dead. Because I have a feeling I’ll be in love with this babe for a very long time.

Creamy, pigmented, and long-lasting, its formula is so gloriously on-point that I can throw it on and not worry about it for the rest of the night. And the shade – somewhere between fuchsia, purple, and Jem-and-the-Holograms neon pink – lights up my whole face and just makes me feel like me.

Another favorite lip hue this year was NARS Audacious lipstick in “Charlotte.” I stalked it on swatch sites, ogled it at Sephora, mercilessly Googled it, trawled its Instagram tag. I was a girl possessed. When I finally got my hands on it, it wasn’t quite all I had hoped – it gets crumbly and patchy if I dare to drink a coffee while wearing it, let alone eat an actual meal – but that color. Oh, that color. It is the sexy cranberry of my most glamorous Christmasy dreams. I dutifully reapply as needed, even if that’s 3 or 4 times a night, because it makes me feel like a starlet in a climactic, snowy love-confession scene.

My lipstick list would not be complete without MAC’s “Fashion Revival.” It came out in MAC’s limited-edition Matte Lip collection and I SNAPPED THAT SHIT UP because it is the most, most, most perfect fall/winter color. Described as a “deep raspberry,” it’s somehow a pink with all the drama and glamor of a great red. Fuck. Yes.

While TokyoMilk Salted Caramel Lip Elixir doesn’t lend any color to my lips, I had to include it in this list because it’s been my go-to “gonna-get-kissed-tonight” product since I got it. It’s thick and moisturizing without being sticky or gross, and of course, it tastes like caramel. I’ve known a lot of boys who refuse to kiss lipsticked ladies, but it’s hard to turn down kisses from someone who tastes this good.

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Other Makeup

Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder was a recommendation from Jaclyn Hill and I’m sure glad I listened to her. I dust this on top of my foundation with a brush, or pat it on with a makeup sponge, and it keeps my face oil-free for… well, until I next wash my face, whenever that might be. As someone whose T-zone would ordinarily make a fantastic Slip ‘n’ Slide for tiny people, I have to say this is pretty damn impressive.

MAC Liquidlast eyeliner is the real deal. Cry, walk through a rainstorm, sweat, rub your eyes, get fucked with your face buried in a pillow, and the rest of your makeup may smear but your eyeliner will still look fresh as hell. It’s gloopy and hard to apply and the brush is weird, but it’s still the only eyeliner I’ll wear if I think I might be crying, sweating, and/or having sex. Which, let’s face it, is most days.

I used to be terrified of blush, because I blush a lot as is. Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty” converted me, though. It’s super pigmented and easy to blend, and the color really does look natural. It also straddles the line between pink and red, so I can pair it with just about any lipstick. Perrrrrf.

I would be remiss to leave Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade off this list. It’s such a daily staple for me, such a given and a must-have and a “duh!” part of my beauty routine, that I almost forgot it. But it is vital to my look. My eyebrows are like Samson’s hair: without ’em, I’m nothing. Thanks, Dipbrow, for another year of power brows.

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Clothing

I’m cheating a little by lumping all my polka-dot dresses into one item on this list. OH WELL. When I look back at what clothing made me feel reeeeal femme ‘n’ fabulous in 2015, these dresses take the cake. I bought blue and black ones at Loveless Boutique, a goldmine of rockabilly gorgeousness I serendipitously discovered next door to my hairdresser’s salon one day. The green one was a thrift-store score, and makes me feel like a Scooby Doo character. Too lovely!

I’ve been obsessed with thigh-high socks for a long time, but this was the year when I started wearing them on a regular basis. Whether rainbow-striped or sporty, from American Apparel or Sock Dreams or anywhere else, I just love them. And as a bonus: in my experience, wearing thigh-highs gets you a lot of sexual attention…!

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Jewelry

If you’ve seen me in person at a sex-related event in the past few months, I’ve probably forced you to look at my vulva ring. It’s a custom job from Catstache Accessories and I’m obsessed with it. There is nothing quite like the reaction I get from people when they realize it’s a vulva… and then when I tell them it’s my vulva, specifically.

My other fave accoutrement this year was my eyeball necklace. I spotted the pendant in a display case at the Lincoln City glass studio where we made our own glass dildos, and it was so strange that I just had to have it. I threaded it onto some white suede string and now it often holds a place of honor between my breasts, staring creepily back at anyone who dares to ogle me.

 

What were your favorite beauty-and-fashion items in 2015, my loves?