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Rebecca Santiago | Is So Vain

Heavy−duty face shellac

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 06:03

A mere week after making my ‘Year of Awesome Skin’ proclamation, I’m typing this column on a Saturday night with an alluring purplish rash on my chin. This is not necessarily because I am the worst beauty columnist in the world, although, well, maybe.

No, it’s because I decided to get experimental and try an earthy−crunchy, Whole Foods−y peanut butter today — you know, the kind you, like, stir. Even though Skippy and its uber−processed ilk have been working just fine for me so far, I decided, Hey, why not go for something healthier? To better to my body. My soul, even. And this is what I get.

I could, of course, acknowledge that I ate something I’m allergic to and, you know, not eat it again. But instead, I’m going to fall back on my absolute favorite coping mechanism: denial.

See, I find it terribly unjust that I cannot eat the things I want to eat. I am allergic to apples, for god’s sake! So, I’m just going to ignore my body’s very clear revolt and slap shellac on my face until it’s all “rash? What rash?” And for that, I need the very best foundations and concealers that money can buy.

Side note: Whatever gender you identify as, you should feel cool using these products. Makeup and gender performance is complicated, but this stuff just makes your skin look like your skin, only nicer. So, if you’re hung up on the makeup thing, get over yourself and help me help you fix your face.

Now! These products are so hot−ifying that you could, in fact, go out on a Saturday night with a horribly disfigured chin, and no one would be any the wiser. It’s true! I’m only staying in because I’m committed to you fools. All right, enough preamble. The stuff:

1. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($8.99, CVS). How I love a BB cream. If you, like I, consume fashion magazines like a crack fiend consumes ... crack, then you’ll know that “BB” stands for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm,” depending on the company. It’s supposed to be one hell of a multi−tasker — a sunscreen, acne−blaster, moisturizer and makeup product, all in one tube. I’m not sure if they live up to the hype, but they are, at the very least, gorgeous on the skin.

A bunch of companies have them, but I like Maybelline’s because it goes above and beyond its drugstore price tag. Also, these come in five shades, which may not sound like a lot of variety, but trust, it is. What I’m trying to say is, these aren’t just for white people! Woo!

2. Make Up For Ever High Definition Foundation ($42, God, this brand is so French. Its name alone makes me crave croissants. Anyway, this foundation is pricey because it blends into your skin perfectly, mattifying the oily bits and moisturizing the drier areas. I use a sponge to apply mine over my BB cream in problem areas. The foundation spans a gazillion shades, so, like the Maybelline BB, it works on anyone. Also, it’s is non−comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores or cause acne. Duh, margarine−y makeup is pas chic du tout!

3. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($33, Last step! Dab this butter−smooth, non−comedogenic concealer directly onto zits, dark under−eye bags, horrible chin rashes, what−have−you. Use your finger to blend it with foundation if it looks too greasy, or the BB if it looks too stark.

And, voila! You’re ready to face the light of day. Or, you know, to hide in your bedroom and write 600 words about how awesome your fake face looks. Whatever.



Rebecca Santiago is a senior majoring in English. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @rebsanti.

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