Beauty for Dummies: Ode to Baby Powder
Now here’s an investment piece.
I feel like we spend a lot of time talking about how easy and rewarding it is to wear a dress or skirt or blouse or sweater or one particular pair of shoes several different ways, creating the illusion of completely disparate uses, and therefore eliciting a sense of victory for having purchased the items in question.
What we don’t do enough is dive into our medicine cabinets and consider the equally multifunctional nature of some of those cheaper-to-obtain items.
Today’s Beauty for Dummies started as a race against (the) time (it takes to reapply lipstick that is constantly fading) in the form of learning and subsequently teaching a frequently used beauty secret: that if you dab a bit of powder between two layers of applied lipstick, the color stays on perfectly through the duration of however long your night/day wants to be. However, this concept quickly became a larger conversation about the vast ways in which one can use baby powder.
I am told that the last time I took baby powder this seriously, I had diaper rash.
Though the pharmaceutical dust and I have come upon one another several times since its plastic perforated head and my uni-crack first met (once because I knew a guy who did not wear underwear and thus used baby powder to keep his penis from chafing when hung up against his jeans, another time because I dressed up as a George Whipple for Halloween), never has it seemed as evergreen, fruitful and valuable to the course of my enhanced-being as it does now.
Well, what started as my craving for a new dry shampoo quickly parlayed into my forgoing the traditionally marketed-as-shampoo-for-dry hair talc and instead taking the new-age, highly popular concept back to its place of birth: the Johnson & Johnson aisle at Duane Reade. When I landed there to pick up the baby powder, it occurred to me that the powder would also, as aforementioned, function as the bridge between my layers of lipstick to ensure it practically never came off (which I first applied on Sunday evening and, mind you, still kind of hasn’t).
After that, the flood gates opened. Amelia shared why she uses baby powder: to stop her eyeshadow from gathering in the creases of her eyelids. She also remembered that makeup artists have been known to lightly dust the powder onto their clients’ lashes in between layers of mascara to create the illusion of a thicker, longer set.
Then we got more utilitarian about its prolific uses.
Sometimes I wear New Balance sneakers without socks. I know, it’s gross, I just hate when they show above the sneakers. Often and obviously, my feet smell post-shoe removal. I’m clearly not about to throw out a pair of sneakers that make me look Scandinavian so what do I do? Either suck it up or blast the shoes with powder. It a. cuts the odor like a scissor to my hair, a1. smells like nostalgia in the form of cute infants, and b. makes me feel like an Olympic gymnast.
A trick we culled from Charlotte decrees that baby powder will do a fantastic job at absorbing oil stains on clothing. While the spots don’t always disappear completely, the talc does an astonishingly better job than the combination of detergent plus washing machine alone.
Much more interesting, however, was the final sliver of knowledge she bequeathed us regarding the powder’s breadth of capabilities:
I wear a lot of necklaces — like six at any given time. I rarely take them off, so what will often happen is that I’ll wake up in a state of panic because the chains around my neck have clearly submitted that they planned to choke me the night before. So far they haven’t won (this may upset some of you) but where their attempts fail a messy tangle arises, and I inevitably have to find the clasps, unhook them one by one and slowly take all of the necklaces off.
Once they’re off, the knotted chains find themselves betrothed to one another in a capacity that seems incapable of divorce. This is where the baby powder comes in — to function as annulment papers and make the metal tethered to its own kind near impossible to stay that way. It’s not that different from dry flour forcibly partitioning a cutting board and wet dough.
I’d recommend keeping the necklaces on while you detangle because it’s a sufficiently more fun challenge, and then you get to walk around with a huge white spot on your chest all day! Cool!
How do you use your baby powder?