For obvious reasons, I was drawn to February Glamour's beauty section, themed "The Hair & Makeup Guys Say They Love." (Hopefully, the reason I was thumbing through a women's mag like Glamour in the first place is also obvious—my job.) Did the magazine's editors hit the nail on the head when it came to reading the opposite sex's mind? Well, sort of. Besides the slight twinges I felt when seeing the more subjective statements, such as "Guys love it when you don't try too hard, but as any makeup artist will tell you, 'low-key' requires some essentials" (i.e., men want you to look natural, but trust us, not too natural!), I was generally amused by their suggestions. Try a "baby pink" lip stain, for example, since "no one likes kissing goop," or one of four skin-softening products—because "your outfit's cute, but what about when it comes off?" Sure, the notion of doing specific things to please a man isn't new—or necessarily 'wrong' or 'bad'—nor are the recommendations (whiten your teeth, wax, spray tan, do a face mask...), but there's something in how the info is presented, especially in light of this recent debate about makeup and self-esteem, that seems a little...old-fashioned. And, flipping through these pages, I wondered, Is this why women are so messed up when it comes to guys and what they want? Because, if you read every word in any number of magazines and websites (including this one), you're taking in lots of often conflicting information about what guys want, what looks pretty, what doesn't, what's in, what's out, how to do "natural" skin but using lots of makeup, etc. Is all of this helping or hurting?
With that question in mind, may I present to you, without comment, Glamour's 9 Things You Can Do When A Guy's Not Around:
1. One word: extraction. Follow up with an anti-blemish salicylic acid gel.
2. Break in those new five-inch heels. Strut around your house and accessorize with a pair of keratin manicure gloves.
3. Wax your happy trail. If you're doing larger areas, blast Pink so you can scream as loud as you want.
4. Try out clip-on bangs to see if you should do the chop. Go to the grocery store to gauge reaction.
5. Get a spray tan. Spend the next 10 hours naked while you dry.
6. Watch an aerobic sexercise DVD. Laugh hysterically. (But take mental notes for later.)
7. Apply whitening strips. Spend the 20-minute wait watching Buffy/SATC/90210 reruns, obviously.
8. Trim your bangs. Try not to trim your brows.
9. Find hiding places for: ingrown-hair aids, cold sore gel, and cellulite cream. [Ed. note: God forbid your boyfriend discover you're an imperfect human specimen!]