Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.
Many changes occur in your life after you have a child, but one of the more devastating is that you look like shit. Seriously, the trauma alone of giving birth is enough to permanently alter your face, but then the subsequent rapid cycling of every feeling on the hysteria spectrum distills a lifetime's worth of emotional wear and tear down to just a few weeks. Top all that off with months of a delirious kind of fatigue from not sleeping for more than two or three hours in a row, and you'll probably be startled by the world-wearied old lady staring back at you in the mirror. Makeup, which was once a fun indulgence to exaggerate your features, now seems like a necessity to make you look less like a creature.
I was faced with a two-pronged problem: I needed to wear makeup and I didn't have time to apply it. I marvel at the girls on the different iterations of Teen Mom. Their eyes are constantly caked in eyeliner and mascara. How do they find the time for that? I got my mom to come over and babysit so that I could practice putting on a face. I timed myself. It took me 45 minutes to do a "natural" look. The lion's share of that was spent on my eyes. Less like a window to my soul and more like a window to an abandoned crack house, I imagined people would want to avoid looking into my eyes for fear of what lurked within. Curling and lengthening my lashes seemed to help by making me look more awake and redirecting attention away from my bags. But it was all very time consuming, and sleep is so precious now that I'm not going to wake up an extra 45 minutes earlier just to do my makeup.
My solution was to go the semi-permanent route by getting eyelash extensions. I am in love with the results. I no longer wear mascara or eyeliner and even at my most disgusting moments, like very early in the morning or after a sweaty gross workout at the gym, there is always an element of glamor to my face. It's kind of nice to look in the mirror again and be like, "Ooh!" instead of "Oh." Additionally, I no longer have the perpetual black/gray under-eye smudges from half-worn makeup that used to exacerbate the dark circles under my eyes.
The procedure is painless but a little time consuming. Depending on what kind of look you're going for (thickness, length, and curl) the application process can take over an hour, since each lash is individually glued to your own. But I'd rather carve out an hour one Saturday a month—in which I get to sleep while one person does my lashes and another gives me a complimentary foot massage—instead of spending tens of minutes in my bathroom working on my eyes every single day. It can also be a costly habit. The salon I go to, JJ Eyelashes in NYC, is about $120-$200 for the initial application and then $40-$90 for the monthly fillers, depending on your style. But for me, as a working mom, the getup-and-go element to my day makes the extensions worth it — my time is what's most valuable.
Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.