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: Rainbow Glitter & Nipple Clamps

It wasn’t my most libidinous month, on account of mental and physical illness, but I managed to squeeze in some good experiences nonetheless! Here were some of my fave things in September…

Sex toys

• The Standard Glass S-Curve has been my favorite dildo all year and this month was no different. It’s just… so… good.

• I moved out of my parents’ place earlier this month, taking with me all the toys I actually use regularly and leaving behind the rejects and redundancies. I’m glad, however, that one toy I left behind is the original Doxy wand (I took the slicker, rumblier Doxy Die Cast with me to my new place). With a Doxy at each house, I’m guaranteed giant, thrumming orgasms whether I’m at home or staying at my family’s for a night. Perfection.

• You might know Weal & Breech for their amazing handmade wooden paddles (and if you don’t, you SHOULD), but did you know they also make wooden nipple clamps now? I bought a pair of purpleheart ones this month and they are very pretty (and highly effective).

Fantasy fodder

• Sensory deprivation orgasms (like in this porn scene) are carnally intriguing to me! Now I want some cute domly person to strap me down, blindfold me, put noise-canceling headphones on me, and “torture” me with a wand vibe… I mentioned this to a new beau and he said he’s interested in trying it, though I think I’d reeeally need to trust someone before I’d feel comfortable letting them do that to me.

• There is so much filthy Brooklyn Nine-Nine fanfiction out there, y’all. This one is a recent fave. Brief “plot” summary: Jake quizzes Amy on historical facts and police trivia as part of a teasing foreplay game. (Send me your dirty Jake Peralta and/or Rosa Diaz fanfic links + headcanons, please. They nourish my soul.)

• I sexted with a Twitter crush this month, and mid-cyber-fingerbang, he noted that good sex is a blend between pleasure and tension. (See also: TEASING IS GREAT.) Sometimes a good tease turns me on more than the part that actually gets me off, y’know?

Sexcetera

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I consulted and reported on the Sex Toy Awards story in the new print edition of Glamour. I wrote about gags and muzzles for Stockroom. I was interviewed about ageplay and communication for the Off the Cuffs podcast. Pedro Marques interviewed me about my career. I reviewed one of the new Fun Factory Battery+ vibes for Peepshow. On our podcast, Bex and I talked about platonic kink, exhibitionism, orgasms, and interviewed Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg.

• Orgasm stats: this month I had 24 orgasms, an uncommonly low number for me, due to the aforementioned depression and sickness. Two of them (8.3%) were from a partner. That brings my total for the year up to 247 so far.

Femme stuff

• I ran out of my perennial favorite pink lipstick, Bourjois Pink Pong, so I’ve been wearing Sugarpill lipstick in Girl Crush a lot instead. I don’t like the formula quite as much (it’s a bit drying), but the shade is fantastic and I love the glittery, hyperfemme packaging!

• I’m currently haunted by the new rainbow glitter Doc Martens, which don’t seem to be available in Canada yet but which I desperately need. (Um, send me an email if you’re feeling generous!)

Little things

My new room! Making out with a random guy who recognized me from Instagram at the Horseshoe Tavern (#SlutLyfe). Finding new favorite haunts in my new neighborhood (ya gotta have a café, a bar, a 24-hour grocery store, a bookstore, and a sushi place, at the very least). Listening to the Flop House endlessly. Working on my boundary-setting. Visiting the Condé Nast offices in NYC and having great chats over coffee with my editor at Glamour! Seeing the McElroy brothers do a live show in Brooklyn, making friends with the girl sitting next to me, and drinking a giant, bright green Long Island ice tea-esque cocktail while laughing my ass off. Spanking Bex at their birthday party. Going to the theatre with my mom. Hitting 6,969 Twitter followers. Wine and pizza night with a fellow femme. The woman in front of me at Waiting for Godot who got so offended by how much I was laughing at the play that she left at intermission (!). Catching up with my little brother over coffee. A photoshoot in pink leather on my balcony (oh, just you wait!). Tiny shorts weather.

Femme Resolutions For Age 25

I turn 25 tomorrow! Aaahh!

Birthdays, much like New Year’s Eve or the start of a new school year, always feel to me like a time of renewal and overhaul. I often make lists of goals and intentions for the coming year when one of these milestones rolls around, and this time is no different.

However, a lot of the intentions that came to mind for me around this birthday have been fashion- or beauty-related. It makes sense: I’m noticing lately, even more than usual, how massively my presentation can affect my mood and demeanor. So I’m setting myself the following style objectives for the year to come – all in the service of feeling good moreso even than looking good.

Fuck pants forever. Look. You wear pants if you want to. I’m sure they look great on you. But I just don’t think I can do it anymore.

Oh, I own a couple pairs of jeans, for those once-in-a-blue-moon spells where I want to dress like Shane from The L Word or a male British underwear model on his day off. And I certainly own plenty of leggings, which I layer over and lounge in. But by and large, I am a skirts-and-dresses girl, and pants can fuck right off.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sacrificed questing for the pair of pants that would change my mind on this matter. The closest I’ve ever come were some vintage skinny black slacks that made me feel like a chic German schoolboy, or some near-perfect skinny jeans from my local thrift shop. But pants never quite feel like me. They always feel like I’m playing a character. I find them uncomfortable both physically and mentally.

So this year, I will not shop for pants. I will not try to figure out how to shoehorn pants into my style. I will not wear pants, except on days when the notion of doing so actually excites me (a rare thing). I will rock my skirts and my dresses and I will not try to be somefemme I am not.

Big hair, don’t care. Now, admittedly, my hair is not “big” by everyone’s standards. Bigness of hair is a spectrum! But in recent years, I have mastered the art of making my hair as wide and wild as it can get. My routine involves curl-enhancing conditioners, DevaCurl gel, vigorous scrunching, and a Turbie Twist microfibre towel. When I do it right, it results in a fucking lioness mane.

I’ve noticed that big hair gives me confidence like almost nothing else. It doesn’t eliminate my social anxiety, but it overshadows it a little. Tossing my curls around feels flirty and babely in a movie-star kind of way, and I want more of it. So I resolve to wear my hair big and curly as much as possible this year!

Shiny boots, shiny heart. Black leather boots are a signature part of my look; I wear them almost every day. The ones in heaviest rotation over the past couple years are my Frye harness boots, Frye engineer boots, and L.L. Bean winter boots. They make my heart sing, the way their severe stompiness balances out my airy-fairy femme ensembles.

But keeping leather boots looking good requires care and upkeep. They need to be regularly cleaned, conditioned, waterproofed, and shined. With proper maintenance, a good pair of leather boots can last for decades – and I intend for that to be the fate of mine!

Every couple months, I give my precious boots a thorough cleaning with saddle soap, and then shine ’em up with mink oil. I also just got my harness boots resoled because four years of wear had ground the soles flat. They are looking so lovely, and I will keep ’em that way!

Lipstick love. Gahhhd, I feel so foxy in lipstick. Hot pink. Bright red. Deep cranberry. Intense violet. Whatever. I want it on my face.

But despite my love for lipstick, I often skip it, because I worry it’ll draw too much attention to me, or it just seems like too much work. So for the coming year, I want to make an effort to wear it more often. Like so many other things on this list, lipstick makes me feel better about myself – but only when I make it a priority in my getting-ready routine.

It helps a lot to wear formulas I know are gonna stick around with minimal reapplication necessary. Some current faves in that category: Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani, Maybelline mattes, and anything by Bite.

One new tattoo. I’ve had a couple tattoo ideas floating around in my brain for months now, and I wanna get ’em done. It’s just a matter of deciding to go ahead with it, sending some reference materials to an artist, and booking a consultation appointment. Aaahh, the very thought is giving me joyful heart palpitations!

I think I want to go back to Laura Blaney, who did my “good girl” bows. She made me feel super comfortable, and her work is stunning. I have a feeling she’ll be able to give me exactly what I want.

Do you have any fashion-and-beauty goals or intentions currently?

Kiss and Make Up: High School, BJs, and the Disappearing Act

Kiss and Make Up is my new series wherein I review makeup according to how it held up in a sexual scenario. I hope you dig it!

making kissy faces with my friend Cadence in 2010I sprung for Duwop’s Lip Venom in the winter of 2010, when I had a new boy to kiss and it seemed desperately important that my lips look good. I’d wear the cinnamon-y gloss layered over MAC Russian Red (as pictured) or just on its own, and it would do its signature magic of irritating my lips into a plumper appearance. I loved it: the sharp spicy taste of it, the telltale tingle, and most of all, those plush pillowy lips it gave me. What an amazing invention.

My boyfriend, however, was less enthused. “What is on your lips?” he whined one day, mid-makeouts. The Lip Venom, he said, was stinging his lips. I apologized and wiped it off, as if this pretty pink gloss was the only obstacle between us and high-quality kisses. Truth be told, he was a distressingly bad kisser (by my tastes, anyway), and I wished he could’ve upped his game as easily and quickly as I upped mine by taking off that painful gloss.


I wore NARS Schiap lipstick the last day of Playground Conference in 2015. It paired well with my blue dress, pink handbag, and pigtails. In fact, my outfit was apparently so good that when I walked into a panel session late, I immediately got a text from my dom fuckbuddy, sitting across the room: “Oh god, you’re wearing thigh-high socks and a short skirt. I’m going to be thinking about eating you out all day.” This is a very good text to get at 11 in the morning.

NARS semi-matte lipsticks smell like clean laundry (so sayeth Sofie, who is correct). They go on satiny-smooth, and usually look good for several hours, even if you’re quaffing coffee like I was that day at Playground. However, put to the makeout test, they cannot hold their own. I discovered this when, later that day, I gave a hotel-room blowjob which morphed into an impromptu threesome – by the end of which, there was absolutely no lipstick left on my face. I smoothed on some peppermint lip balm to soothe the irritation I’d accrued from kissing a scruffy boy all afternoon, and that helped.

In my post-sex debrief with Bex over mac and cheese that night, we talked about how kissing someone who’s wearing lipstick is a lot like going down on someone who’s on their period. It’s messy, and maybe embarrassing, and I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want to do it. But I’ll like you so much better if you do.


me in pigtails and Pink Pong lipstickI fell in love with Bourjois liquid lipstick in Pink Pong at a drugstore and bought it on the spot. It was everything I most want in a lipstick: an eye-gougingly bright cool-toned pink, an opaque formula, a pleasant scent (pink grapefruit?), even a punny shade name.

Unlike many liquid lipsticks, Pink Pong felt comfortable once dry, and didn’t render my lips dry or cracked, even after many hours of wear. However, that dry texture is what allows truly long-haul lipsticks to stay put (and why Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge comes with a clear gloss you’re supposed to wear on top of it). My new Bourjois treasure passed neither the makeout test nor the blowjob test.

That was the month when I was seeing both a boyfriend and a beloved fuckbuddy, alternating between them like my life was a buffet of good dicks (which, let’s be real, it often is). I wore Pink Pong to boyfriend’s house one afternoon and blew him while he sat on his couch like a king, arms spread wide, head dropping back in quiet pleasure. When we were done, I ducked into the bathroom and saw that there was no lipstick left on my mouth. None whatsoever. There sure was a lot on my hands, though. (Uhh, my BJs are pretty handsy.)

Later that week, I wore Pink Pong to my fuckpal’s place and we made out like teenagers in his cheap, squeaky bed. When he served us a post-canoodlin’ snack of spicy salmon sushi and Magnum ice cream bars (quelle gentleman!), he wiped his mouth on a napkin and the white scrap came away pink. “Aww, Kate, look, your lipstick’s all over my mouth,” he said, with an affection I had never known any boy to feel about my lipstick before. It made me want to kiss him a whole bunch more.


me in Maybelline Rich Ruby lipstickIn the late summer I briefly had a “spanking buddy.” It was a sweet deal. I’d go over to his place, we’d talk about the Adventure Zone and MBMBaM and other fine McElroy products, we’d vape some weed, and then he would spank me. The spankings were excellent: rhythmic, firm, and merciless. He always left both my sets of cheeks blushing.

One such night, I showed up with a full face of makeup, and by the time we said goodnight, there was none left at all. My lipstick of choice for the evening was Maybelline’s Rich Ruby, a creamy, matte, cool-toned red that normally holds up pretty well through food and drink. But it did not hold up through a spanking. Granted, when I get spanked, I typically bury my face in pillows/blankets/couch cushions, and sometimes I cry, and that combination of friction and fluid is not kind to makeup.

“How’s my lipstick looking?” I asked my spanking buddy when I raised my head off his bed, post-beating. He peered at me curiously and said, at last, “It’s not bad… it’s just… not there.” Indeed, it was not. My lipstick was gone.

After I left his place and went home, I got a text from him. “I found your lipstick,” he said. “It’s all over my blanket.” I laughed and apologized, and we said goodnight.


When my FWB came over to our sunny Airbnb in July to shoot BJ porn, I was nervous to the point of pacing and raving. “Hey, shh, it’s gonna be okay,” he told me. “You’re gonna be great.”

He had brought some underwear options, and asked for my help deciding which ones to wear – possibly as a tactic to distract me from my own jangling nerves. We eventually settled on some turquoisey boxer-briefs. “They’re moisture-wicking,” he commented, for no apparent reason, because he is a weirdo.

Just before filming was to begin, I knelt in front of him, my face all done up. On my lips was a combo of ColourPop’s lip pencil in Heart On and Bite’s fruity lipgloss in Bellini. I wasn’t at all confident it would stay on my face, but then, smeary lipstick is a selling point of BJ porn for some people. “I’m gonna kiss your dick through your underwear a bit before I start,” I jabbered nervously at my FWB. “Sorry in advance if I get lipstick all over these beautiful boxer-briefs.”

“It’s okay, they’re moisture-wicking,” he replied, and so there is a moment in the final porn scene where I giggle like a dork, and that is what I am giggling at.

By the time we finished, my face featured almost no lipstick but a euphoric, nervous-no-more kind of smile.

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 12 Femme Essentials

It’s December, and that means 12 Days of Girly Juice kicks off today! It’s my annual year-end series where I compile the best of the best from my whole year: everything from selfies to tweets to sexual encounters. Today we’re focusing on femme stuff – my favorite things that made me feel feminine, fancy and fiiine the whole year long.

img_5213

Hair

Bobby pins. There are some tragically unsung heroes of the beauty world – a really great hairbrush, a black eyeliner that is truly black, an eyeshadow blending brush that just works – and bobby pins are one of them. This year I used them for three primary purposes: to set my hair in pincurls (after creating the curls with a turquoise NuMe curling iron), to erect the front part of my hair in a triumphant pomp, and to pin bandanas into place so I could rock those rockabilly vibes all day long. I always carry bobby pins in my purse – they’re equally great if you need to pick a lock, scrub ash out of your bong’s bowl (#StonerLyfe!), or pin your bangs out of your face for an impromptu BJ. Soooo useful!

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. This is the good shit. I have so much hair-admiration for my curly-headed sex blogger friends – Epiphora, Suz, and Hedonish, to name a few – but my own curls have always been hit-or-miss, because taking care of curly hair is so much work. However, this year I found a routine that works for me and creates excellent curls when that’s what I want to do. After washing and conditioning my hair, I use a cotton T-shirt to “scrunch” the excess moisture out of it, and then I flip my head over and scrunch in a few dollops of DevaCurl gel. Once that’s done, I cram my gestating curls into a Turbie Twist to help them dry even more. After at least an hour of turban’ed time, my hair’s ready to be taken out and air-dried – at which point, it becomes gloriously curly. DevaCurl’s products are brilliant, and the Ultra Defining Gel, in particular, rocks my world. I can go multiple days without needing to re-set my curls because this stuff keeps ’em in place for so long. YESSS!

Bandanas. I have always loved the rockabilly look – I gorged my eyes on SuicideGirls and old Bettie Page photos from practically the moment I discovered the internet – and I’ve attempted to replicate it to varying degrees of success over the years. In mid-2016 I briefly dated someone who loved that look, so I’d sometimes dress up as his good little Rosie the Riveting, complete with bandana, winged eyeliner, and red lipstick. I adore that aesthetic so much that it endured in my life even after that relationship ended. I especially love the delicious subversion of “queering” this classic 1950s look by choosing my bandana colors according to the hanky code.

img_5218Cosmetics

LORAC Pro palette. I am an extravagant femme, and therefore, I own an excess of eyeshadow palettes. There are many I love for their outlandishness or uniqueness – the Sugarpill Sweetheart palette, for example, or the Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher palette – but LORAC Pro is my favorite and most-used one, by a longshot. With its eight glitter shadows and eight mattes, all brilliantly pigmented and wonderfully blendable, it’s simply the most versatile bunch of neutrals I’ve ever owned. Whether I’m doing an everyday look or going all-out glamour-femme, I’m likely to reach for my LORAC Pro palette.

img_5216“Sleepy Sloan.” This is the name Tynan gave to the essential oil blend she custom-made for me, even though its effects don’t have anything to do with sleep; it’s just a cute name. I still adore this fragrance as much as I did when she first blended it for me. There’s a drop of it on the collar of my shirt or dress most days I go out, because it comforts and uplifts me.

Revlon lipstick in “Fire & Ice.” I didn’t think much of this lipstick when I first bought it. It’s a classic red that leans slightly orange, which has traditionally not been my jam; I’m more of a blue-based-reds girl. But this color has really grown on me: it’s punchy, saucy, and assertive, just like me on my best and boldest days. Slicking my lips in Fire & Ice gives me an easy confidence, a high-femme swagger. A tube costs about $8 at any drugstore, an admirable value for such a potent mood-booster.

img_5220Bourjois Rouge Edition liquid lipstick in “Pink Pong.” My other lipstick favorite in 2016 was, naturally, a bright pink. As a diehard devotee of pink lipsticks, I have lots of favorites – Bite’s “Violet,” NARS’ “Schiap,” and Revlon’s “Smitten,” to name a few – but this cool-toned, velvety pink really stole my heart this year. It’s not as long-lasting as some other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, but it’s not as drying, either. If you’re looking for a hot pink that’ll light up your face and make your femme heart sing, this is one I’d recommend.

Clothes & Accessories

Aslan Leather collars. I have two: a pink one Bex bought me for my birthday and a black one I bought myself. I love them both. They’re comfy, good-lookin’, and they signal a bit o’ kink without being too over-the-top to wear in public. Oh, Aslan, why are you so good to us?

img_5221My hot pink Kate Spade purse. The model is the New Bond Street Florence. I bought it on a deep discount back in early 2014, but at that time, it felt almost too brashly femme for me; I was shyer then, and less willing to dress in a way that would command attention. But this year, I really “grew into” my gloriously pink handbag. It’s also conveniently big enough for my beloved MacBook Air, so I tote this bag on work-dates, weekend getaways, and airplanes. It makes me feel equal parts businesslady and fancy femme, and really, what more can you ask for?

MeUndies. I’ve enthused at you about these brilliant underthings before; I won’t repeat myself too much. Suffice it to say: it feels almost sinfully gratifying to swathe one’s genitals in lush, comfy fabric that’s covered in ghosts, donuts, dinosaurs, or little dancing dudes. All underwear should be this adorbz and well-made.

img_4819My new glasses. Before 2016, it had been a couple years since I’d gotten new glasses with my current prescription, and it was time. I’ve been trying to be braver and more authentically “me” lately, instead of always reverting to the shy, compliant little girl I’ve been forever, so I opted for some bold-as-hell frames when I bought new glasses this year. One pair is blue, one is black, and they’re both huge and distinctive. I feel like a hot nerdy bosslady when I wear them, which means I’ve been wearing glasses more often instead of just busting ’em out when I really need them. Hooray!

9279227874_ddd0ab3a62_kFrye harness boots. Mine are the 12R style in black, and I bought ’em back in January 2013. Since then, they’ve become my footwear of choice for so many different occasions: parties, dances, loungin’, adventurin’, performing at porn galas… Whatever my schedule calls for, really! This year I wore them in MaltaRomeMinneapolis, Chicago, and Alexandria, among other places. These boots are such a signature part of my aesthetic that Caitlin said they felt like they were cosplaying as me when they wore a floral-print dress and boots. Here’s to plenty more exciting exploits in 2017 and plenty more stompin’ around in these durable, glamorous boots!

What were your favorite beauty and fashion items in 2016?