This Kitty Says No to Misogyny for President

This Kitty Says No to Misogyny for President


My husband has decided that there is a new theme to my blog/life. The theme is WINTER IS COMING. And it involves the hoarding of moisturizer and the purchase of clothing never required for my entirely temperate existence up until this moment. San Francisco and New Orleans, the only two cities I have ever lived in, do not have "winter". You can always wear shoes with some kind of cutout. You do not need a real "coat."

For many years I resisted a move to anywhere that would have winter. I was terrified of the concept. It became something like a joke in our family. "HAVEN'T YOU SEEN GAME OF THRONES?" I would whisper scream at my husband, "THE WHOLE POINT OF THE DAMN STORY IS THAT WINTER IS COMING, AND THAT'S BAD!!!!" 

Well, turns out I love winter clothes, and I am actually loving the process of hunting down warm things (like this thrifted coat from The Real Real) and the true sign of the apocalypse is that we legit have the Night King trying to take over the world. GOT references abound here, but stay with me.

We live in a world where there is a profound stratification between the haves and have nots. Things have been relatively good for awhile, but part of that came from burying our heads in the sand and not dealing with the big, tough issues. There are powerful families/corporations who control huge swathes of our world and act in their best interests, which is not necessarily for the good of all. All but a few turn their backs on taking care of people. Meanwhile, there is a female leader who has quietly but diligently been working to make the world better for everyone. Has she made mistakes? Of course. She is a leader but she is also a human. She is a little scary (or a lot scary depending on who you are) and she doesn't care that the world has been run into the ground by men for so long. She has a somewhat controversial husband who she loves dearly. Her children are everything to her, and their power is her power. Am I talking about Khalessi or Hilary? You tell me. Here's what I do know.

This scary white reincarnated corpse, who we as a society createdwith our fear and our frustration, is literally trying to take over the world.

For a long time I've been scared of Trump in that jokey, ironic way that so many of us smug liberals are for a long time, but this video has set off a primal fear in me.

How can I, as a woman, ever feel safe with a leader who thinks because he's "famous" he can do whatever he wants to my body. Grab it, put things in it, maybe even take things out of it (we know how he feels about "fat chicks") and it just stopped being funny.

Trump is a bad, bad man. 

Hillary needs our support - not just our grudging acceptance but for us to push all our apathetic friends to vote. It takes effort to go to that polling place, wait in that line, take time out of your day. But the alternative is scary enough to me. I want to be Jon Snow, bravely mobilizing against the enemy, not one of the villagers burying my head in the sand and waiting for the endless winter of horror brought on by the Night King. 

Show your support with this chic AF "Slayary" Shirt (because damn us all if she doesn't SLAY that Night King) 66% of the margin goes to Hillary for America. And yes, I know Slayer is a heavy metal band, but I rock the vote, so there.

How to Do a Natural Glowing Dewey Foundation with Coverage

How to Do a Natural Glowing Dewey Foundation with Coverage

Let me start by saying that I had to do a complete make-up and skincare overhaul. I started seeing a new dermatologist because the hormonal acne on my chin was OOC. It was painful, throbbing, leaving behind red and blue discolorations and I think at one point I had more pimples below my nose than I'd had on my face the whole of 2015. New city means new water, new weather, even new sunshine (my other doctor told me that in Chicago we are so far north that we don't even get an adequate amount of Vitamin D from sunlight here!) All of that, combined with my hormone therapies and of course, stress, meant my face was a mess. Basically the sahara desert from the nose up and a teenage boy taking recreational steroids from the nose down. Gah.

So my awesome new dermatologist has me on a science magic regimen and it is working. So when he told me I needed to redo my cosmetics and then gave me a long printed list of his approved picks... Well, I went to Sephora and I did a major online purchase (some of you saw and commented on my instagram stories.)

So, enough about my very specific and personal skin problems. Let's get to the good stuff. I've spent the last for days playing with my new haul and have come up with a magic formula that makes my skin look incredible. Even as I heal (which means I've got some pigmentation on my chin, some irritation around my eyes, and a whole host of other things you CANT EVEN SEE because this routine is so on fleek) I love how light this feels, even though I know there are hella products involved.

Let's begin:

1) Start by prepping the face with a moisturizer. I'm currently using and loving Atopalm's sensitive skin friendly daytime undermakeup moisturizer (use this link for $10 off!) I am obsessed with it because it was developed by a dermatologist with severe dermatitis and it mimics the skins natural lipids and is awesome for dry, sensitive, eczema prone skin.  That basically goes on from the nose up. From the nose down (aka the breakout zone) I'm using a specially compounded nogenic moisturizer that my new dermatologist made just for me.

2) Apply the photography fluid as a primer to the cheeks, nose, undereye and forehead. This kind of scary looking lotion (it's white and shimmery) actually dissolves into skin forming a gorgeous, smooth canvas. ,

3) Because I like my "baby contour" by placing the photography foundation in golden tan just on my cheekbones and in the "3" (over the brow, cheekbone, chin) on my face.

4) Then I cover my whole face in paper thin layers of  oil-free foundation applied with beauty blender + mist. I start with a pea sized drop for my whole face and then layer more on my chin where I need fuller coverage.

5) I spot treat the acne spots on my lower face with this creamy, dreamy blemish fighting concealer, then pat to blend with my finger. I've tried a bunch of these and this one is head and shoulders above the rest for coverage and not getting a weird pilling texture. It lasts decently well (not the whole night, but maybe one touchup? not bad for those pain in the butt blemishes.)

6) Using my fingers again I apply the glossier stretch concealer around my eyes. Then I place the  no bronzer bronzer under my cheekbones and  haloscope in quartz on top of my cheekbones.

7) I finish with brows and last night's mascara. Here I've got on boy brow in black followed by a brow pomade to fill in the growing out spots.

How Tissue Expanders Work

How Tissue Expanders Work


Hey Guys, for some of you this post will not be relevant - but after the 5th person sent me a message on instagram asking me about my breasts, I realized I had a duty to write a blog post and explain somethings.

Before I go into it though, let me give you a 101 for those of you not currrently undergoing a mastectomy with reconstruction.

When a mastectomy is performed, the doctors make an incision and remove as much breast tissue as possible. Often times they will attempt to "spare the skin" especially the nipple. This depends on the location of the tumor and ensuring they get adequate margins (space between the lump aka the cancer and the healthy tissue) because cancer is microscopic. The larger the margins the more likely to get it all out. For example, I was unable to save my nipple (see photos) because the tumor was pressed so close to the skin that they had to remove a very large section of the skin from my chest in order to get good margins.

The removal of all this breast tissue and skin is the mastectomy. Think of it like an amputation, they need to ensure that all the damaged/sick tissue is removed so they work hard to scrape out as much as possible.

After, if you opt for a reconstruction, what you're left to work with is not the same as if, say, you were just going to get breast implants. You've got less skin, and also no breast tissue - both of which are what holds that implant in place. In order to work around that, during the removal of tissue the doctor will insert what's called the chest expander.

The chest expander is a flat, deflated implant with a magnetic pump. This magnetic pump can then be located so a doctor can insert a needle and slowly reinflate the implant, expanding the "chest" slowly. I say "chest" because there are two ways to do this, the most common and most likely to get good results is actually done by inserting the expander underneath the chest wall. This makes the expansion more "uncomfortable" but provides better support long term for the implant.

So that's the basics.

Here's the part that gets confusing.

Once the expander is in you have to heal for a little bit. This time frame varies based on your doctor. During this time your chest is completely flat. Once you are ready, the doctor begins to slowly inflate the expander. You go in on whatever your schedule is (mine was weekly) and they add in as much as you can stand (it's uncomfortable slash potentially painful if you do it too fast.) The inserting the needle part looks scary but feels like literally nothing - those nerves were severed during the mastectomy and have not knit back together yet. That area is totally numb. The painful part is the expansion, which feels sort of like you've done too many pushups.

Once the expander is as big as your chest/skin will allow, then you have to wait.

For me this was the hardest part.

The expander is shaped like a perfect circle. It's hard as a rock. It's located in a weird place on your chest. It does not move at all when your body does. You can feel it scraping against your ribs on the inside.

This is the part where I freaked out. This is what most of the questions I get on instagram are about. This part is horrible, not because of physical pain but because of the toll it takes on your psyche.

It looks bad. Not like sexy, porn star fake boobs.. Like there's an alien shaped like an upside down bowl trying to burst through the skin of your chest.

There is a very strong feeling of "holy shit, is this what I am always going to look like? It's terrible."

No, this is not what it's always going to look like.

The point of the expander is to create a "capsule" of scar tissue.

Hence the waiting. My doctor once told me if you did the swap too early it's "a bloody mess in there" and you can't build a good shape. He explained that the capsule is like a fist of scar tissue. The tissue is strong and shapeable to hold the implant. During the reconstruction, they score the scar tissue (here he expanded his fingers creating space between them) to make the shape of the breast. Then he moved his opened fingers in different shapes to show how he could basically do anything with this "capsule" including matching perfectly the shape of my other, natural breast.

This is the part that I think a lot of people don't understand, hence the blogpost. I recently described it to someone like an orange peel. The fleshy pulp is the soft implant. The peel is the scar tissue capsule. Once it's "healed" you can then shape that peel however you want, something that wouldn't be possible with the thin, papery flesh that covers the individual peels.

This process can be frustrating because it takes about 6 months all in. The mastectomy and expansion is a lot of hurry up and wait. You need to heal, then get opened up again, then heal again. There are many steps, each one taking a varying amount of time depending on your body and how it heals.

But once it's all done, you can have breasts that look like whatever you want. I chose something slightly perkier than natural, but closely resembling my 16 year old chest. Not so pert that people automatically assume they are not natural, but they kind of wonder.

You will have cleavage. They will be soft. You will no longer feel the hard, flat edges of the expander sliding along your ribs. You may even need to wear a bra sometimes (I do to workout, and to sleep because it's more comfortable).

It will get better, they will be gorgeous.

Ask me anything, I am here to answer whatever questions you might have.

Sending lots of love and healing vibes.

How to Wear Brown Lipstick

How to Wear Brown Lipstick

Listen, I'm not going to tell you again that fashion is repeating itself. I already wrote beautiful metaphors to acknowledge my feelings of deja vu. I've talked about how 90s Dena would love my current look. I also remember hating it every time my mom would notice me in something cool and "new" and would say "OH, I remember wearing those." But mine are different Mom. I can hear myself whining. You don't need that from me. It is all same, same but different.

Take brown lipstick. Something I thought I would never never be into again. It's back. It's just a saturated, punched up, dirtier nude. It looks sexy. It's flattering on lots of skin tones when it's done right. This time I will not be wearing it with eyeliner as lipliner. I will not be slicking my hair back except for two pencil thin pieces which will hang languidly in my eyes. I will also be wearing blush (something I did not get in high school) and I will have found a color that plumps my lips instead of sending my upper lip receding into my gum line.

My current favorite? The wash of subtle brown that is Leo by Glossier. And no, not just because of the name, although I love the name.

Instead of using it to bash people over the head with my edginess, and my sporty lipstick wearing contrariness, I am going to channel the emo sophistication of a super model. 90s Gwenyth Paltrow, not 90s Gwen Stefani (love you girl, your style rocks, it's just not for me anymore!)

So, I pulled out my most sophisticated stops. Big amber glasses. Camel coat. Black cut-out turtleneck with true black high waisted jeans.  French Girl air dried hair. Nod to 90s raver chicks with my beloved "candy" bracelets from Roxanne Assoulin + apple watch stack. Fuzzy Slippers. Ok, maybe there's a little Stefani in there after all.

The Feel Better Pink Bath: Muscle Healing Oils and Masks

The Feel Better Pink Bath: Muscle Healing Oils and Masks

I gad a triple whammy last week - chemo + flu shot + lupron - and my body was aching. It was brutal. I could barely get out of bed and when I finally did I felt sore and gross and yucky. Nothing an amazing bath can't fix right?

I'm recently obsessed with this amazing muscle therapy bath oil which turns the water a perfect shade of pink, doesn't have a strong medicinal smell, and magically melts away soreness.

Combined with a host of amazing masks: Glossier Green Galaxy to detox, followed by their super serums, some rose balm on my lips, my favorite Mizon snail essence sheet mask, and the ouai treatment masque for my locks. Top it all off with my delicious warm & cozy candle (which I also used as body lotion on my feet and hands after soaking!)

I emerged from my pink bath feeling more like dewy, energized self - and then promptly went back to bed. #healing #fuckcancer

Also shown: Oversized "Bath Mat" (It's actually just a normal rug we use as a bathmat, tbh)

Lazy Political Halloween Costume 2016 Don't Grab this Pussycat

Lazy Political Halloween Costume 2016 Don't Grab this Pussycat

What do you wear to a costume optional Cards Against Humanity tournament benefitting the Hillary campaign? Answer, whatever you have lying around the house. In my case this meant making "kitty ear buns", a cat eyeliner, all black including (very important) a Hillary shirt (you can totally make your own) and then you're out the door.

Easy as voting. ;)

Here's what you'll need:

2 hair elastics
2 bobby pins
black eyeliner
the ability to draw a straight line on your face (probably the hardest part)
all black clothes
Hillary shirt

1) Make two small pigtails at the top of the head using the elastics.
2) Wrap the tails around the base to form two ears, securing with bobby pins.
3) Apply cat eye.
4) Put on black clothes.
5) Walk around all night saying "I do not want to be grabbed by a yellow crayon pretending to be a presidential campaign. Can you explain tax evasion to me?"