Hey, it’s my turn! Following the tradition set forth by ITG contributor Or Gotham, and most recently, Emily Ferber, I humbly submit my “Bottom Shelf.” You know, the ugly, unglamorous products that get the job done, but that will never make it out and into the world of beautiful beauty products. We’re talking your foot stuff, your acne goo, and other various medicated items with fading, aesthetically perplexing labels. If The Top Shelf is Instagram, then these guys are Skincare Reddit—where pragmatism thrives and design goes to die. Everyone’s got a Bottom Shelf. Journey with me through mine:
What it says: “Damn those tantalizing infomercials.”
An effective contraption that asks just one question: “Use me in private, please?” Because using the Ped Egg is like taking a cheese grater to a parmesan wedge. Shavings, everywhere. The attached compartment meant to capture your dead skin cells is moderately effective, at best. As a self-proclaimed clean freak this troubles me deeply, but there’s no other product or device that makes my feet feel smoother (better than the Clarisonic, the Pedi Perfect, and beyond). Just keep a vaccuum cleaner handy.
What it says: “My other bag is a fanny pack.”
Like many of the moisturizing products I own, this was a purchase informed by my little brother (he has eczema and the war stories to prove it). Usually there’s a tradeoff when it comes to body lotions: light but not greasy, or greasy and wildly moisturizing. Or, so I thought! I don’t know how those wacky formulators over at Gold Bond pulled it off, but herein lies maybe the only body lotion in the world that moisturizes crazy well without leaving a greasy cast. Dermatologists love recommending this stuff. And I do too, especially now that I can go from moisturizing my arms to yanking off my deodorant cap without a quick hand wash in between.
What it says: “Skincare is my Olympic sport.”
Emily has written about the limitless possibilities of a good headband, and I’ll be the first to tell you that the lady has a point. How the heck else are you supposed to wash your face without risking a few errant water drops landing on your hair? If you’ve got curly hair and you wear it straight, you know… Too ugly and utilitarian to be even vaguely considered as “fashion,” a handful of drugstore headbands have spent a lifetime in my bathroom. I wear them under my shower cap or when I’m at the sink and protecting my hair from even a whisper of humidity. The soft fabric ones work best, and I dump them after a year or so when my big head has stretched the band to capacity.
What it says: “I’m sorry I can’t go, I have a date with Bravo.”
I’m not ashamed to admit that this is a recurring character in the drama that is my typical Friday night. Much to my fiancé’s dismay, I marathon the Real Housewives episodes I missed from earlier in the week while giving my cuticles a trim. It ain’t pretty, but it’s relaxing. The perfect counterpart to balance the chaos that is Ramona Singer.
Photo via ITG