The Business of Being Femme

How has everyone been doing with their resolutions so far? I'm not a big believer in the New Year being some blessed time to dramatically change your life, no more so than on a rainy day in April or a summer's day in June. But with the end of a year I suppose one can step back, get a bit of perspective, and have a clearer idea of what the coming year or years should look like.

So far, I've finished one book (Portia de Rossi's Unbearable Lightness) and am halfway through another (Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere). I've checked out the horses for adoption on Petfinder, perused the ads for horses for sale on Craigslist, and looked at leasing options, all thanks to a friend who happens to be something of an ex-horsewoman and has me looking at gorgeous Selle Francais and Dutch Warmbloods I cannot afford (as they are so fancy and can run you $80,000). We've dipped into our bottles of Evan Williams Single Barrel and Maker's 46 bourbon. Not a bad start for six days in.

Perhaps your resolutions involve your beauty routines! I'm always trying to simplify mine, but I thought it would be fun to show you what's in my medicine cabinet and on my vanity! (Maybe at the end of the year I can compare to see if it's changed very much, too.)

Face 01. Cleanser: Lush Bûche De Noël 02. Toner/lotion: Lush Eau Roma Water 03. Cream/moisturizer: Lush Skin Drink + Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 04. Facial mask: Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic 05. Exfoliator: Rotation between a few favorites: Dermalogica Microfoliant, Origins Modern Friction + Brighter By Nature (twice weekly) 06. Make-up remover: Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil

Body 07. Shower gels/soaps: Lush Flying Fox 08. Body lotions/creams: Aveeno, Cetaphil 09. Anticellulite/firming treatment: W H U T, am I supposed to be doing this? 10. Body exfoliator: Homemade Sugar Scrub 11. Hand cream: Origins Smoothing Souffle 12. Lip balm or lip treatment: Pure Vitamin E Lip Balm or Lush's It Started With A Kiss Tinted Lip Balm 13. Perfume: Changes Daily!

Hair 14. Shampoo/conditioner: Lush Assortment, Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo + Conditioner (surprisingly vegan, paraben and gluten free), Aveda Clove Shampoo 15a. Mask or other treatments: Ken Paves Healthy Hair Boost Up Color Drops, Bumble & Bumble Creme de Coco Masque & homemade masks 15b. Styling Products: Frederic Fekkai Beachy Waves, Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, some awesome stuff I got in El Mexico, Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream, TRESemme Heat Tamer Protective Spray 15c. Styling Tools: BaByliss Pro Porcelain Ceramic Straightening Iron (1.5"), Conair You Curl Curling Wand, a blow dryer, a really old school spiral curling iron

Make-up 16. Foundation: Perricone Active Tinted Moisturizer in Tint 02 17. Powder: MAC Mineralize SPF 15 Foundation (Loose) in Light Medium , Palladio Herbal Dual Wet Dry Foundation in Cypress Beige 18a. Blush (Powder, Highlight & Bronzer): MAC Mineralize, Cargo, Besame (too many to name just a few shades), Stila 18b. Blush (Stain): Lush's It Started With A Kiss Tinted Lip Balm, Sephora Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain, Tarte Ring It In Cheek Stain Set 19. Mascara: MAC Zoom Lash, L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes, Clinique High Impact Mascara 20. Lipstick/lipgloss: MAC, Besame, Clinique (too many to name just a few shades) 21. Eyeshadow: MAC, Cargo, Stila, Laura Mercier, Besame 22. Eyeliner: MAC Shadesticks, MAC Greasepaints, Laura Mercier, Besame Classic Masterliner Pencils

Thrifted tunic, Silence + Noise skinnies, Gap scarf, Dolce Vita for Target boots, Freebird by the Sak crossbody bag, earrings are a gift from the tomboy for Christmas (slippery like a snake!), Pier One wooden bangle bracelet, Banana Republic cocktail ring, awesome foam axe with rabbit fur trim from Paxton Gate - Curiosities for Kids.

(From Saturday, January 8th) Today was awful. I woke up slightly hungover from my femme date at the Original Plumbing Fashion Issue party last night, we're out of everything one would use to make a deliciously greasy breakfast, and then we sat down with coffee and saw the news. My head throbbed with grief and shock and the kind of despondence that senseless, wasted death comes with without fail. It was impossible to divorce politics and the impact that something like this will have on our country from the fact that real people are still sitting in real rooms with their broken hearts, obliterated from the loss of their loved ones even as I type this.

I looked at my very grounded and mature daughter, watched her watching the news with us, peering over my shoulder to look at the Sarah Palin map of the United States that I'd been screaming at just a few minutes ago, thinking of the social atrocities she's seen in her short life (9/11 in preschool, sitting on shoulders at useless anti-war protests in kindergarten, wars that carried her through grade school and junior high, the ups and downs and rallies and phone banking and fighting for marriage equality, the daily routine horrors of misogyny), her bright future humming with the beginnings of certainty despite all of it, and I suppose out of self-preservation a calm, quiet numbness washed over me. I went about the rest of the day, running errands, eating dinner with my family, hosting my book club for the night.

I can't think about the ambitious little nine-year-old girl who died today because I can't, I just can't, as a mother. I called my mother today, and she was happier than usual to hear from me; my little brother's been in boot camp for the Marines for a week now, the news can't have helped any. We didn't talk about Congresswoman Giffords, the little girl, or the five others who died because we can't, just can't, as mother and daughter. We talked instead about his call home this week, the menu for our Super Bowl party in February, an upcoming ski trip.

In seventeen years, when my petite is thirty years old and calls me out of the blue on an overcast Saturday afternoon, I hope this country is a better place to live than it is right now. It has to be.