Kelly's 24-Hour Product Diary: How Long Should You Keep a Hair Dryer? 


My alarm is a nine-month-old puppy, and she goes off at 7 a.m. I take her to the dog park for an hour before work most mornings. If you can believe it, I wear sunscreen for this excursion because it’s our only weapon in the war on time, even at 7 a.m. in the winter. I put on my glasses, my beanie, my dog’s sweater (on her), and some Cetaphil daily facial moisturizer in SPF 15 (on me) and hit the park. It’s there that I drink my first cup of coffee while making conversation with the other dog owners. Good group.

I’m back by 8 unless the puppy does that thing she sometimes does where she refuses to get back on her leash. Once home, I feed her and the older dog breakfast. While they chow, I floss with Oral-B glide in mint. I brush my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush with soft bristles because of gum recession. When I was 17, my dentist told me I had gum recession and that it would “be an issue my entire life” and as a result I’ve always been very concerned about gum recession. My preferred toothpaste is Arm & Hammer because it tastes like baking soda, which I like, but they didn’t have it last time I went to the store, so today I’m using Crest.

Now it’s time for the shower. My hair’s most pronounced quality is its greasiness. Nothing will change this, and after years of trying everything under the sun, including not washing my hair for an entire summer, I’ve reverted to a much more reasonable approach: just washing my hair every day. I wash my hair with Garnier Fructis 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. Many times I’ve been told that shampoo and conditioner combos are neither shampoo nor conditioner, so why bother, but I like it, so to that I say “Whatever! It works! I don’t have to explain myself to anyone!”

As I have since I was 14, I wash my face with Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser. I’ve recently begun using a Clarisonic Mia, which is a little battery-operated face brush. I think I like it. I spent a lot of money on it so I better like it. I wash my bod with Dove sensitive skin shower foam. That’s sort of the whole story there.

When I’m out of the shower, the older dog has usually ambled her way into the bathroom. She hangs out while I get ready most mornings. It’s either because she loves me, she’s sick of the puppy torturing her, or both. I butter up my neck, torso, and limbs in CeraVe moisturizing cream while worrying about the time. Without fail, every time I do this part of my routine, I think about how it’s good practice when roasting a turkey to rub herbed butter under its skin. It’s almost always 8:17 by the time I get to this step, and I have to be at my computer at 8:30 to start the workday. Oh! A quick word about my relationship with moisturizer: I love it. But! I didn’t grow up using moisturizer. I don’t know how this happened. I just… didn’t use it. It’s not like I didn’t need it, because my skin was always dry and itchy. And then when I was about 25, my roommate asked, “Why don’t you use moisturizer?” I didn’t have an answer. It was so basic, but I’d missed the boat on it. It was as though no one had told me about shampoo. The whole ordeal made me question what else I was missing that was a basic fact of life for most other people. In other words, I found it humbling.

I’m going to tell you something that’s going to shock you: I wasn’t using toner until about three months ago!

Next stop: face. I’m going to tell you something that’s going to shock you: I wasn’t using toner until about three months ago! Then my coworker, friend, and confidante Joanna Rothkopf told me that toner “goes on the face and makes your skin good,” which I wanted. I picked, more or less at random, Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion from the brand Fresh, and it was a good choice. I put that on my fingers and smudge it around my face. Ordinarily, I’d use a cotton round, but I’m out. As you might suspect from the name, it smells like black tea. I don’t know if it’s “delaying age” but I really hope it is. Next, I put on eye cream on my orbital bones. My other coworker, friend, and confidante, Madeleine Davies, recommended Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado for this purpose. I put a tiny bit of coconut oil mixed with a couple drops of tea tree oil on my eyelids because they get dry. Bodies are weird. My husband likes to make this joke about how a lot of the stuff I put on my face involves food in some way. He’s like “Am I in the bathroom or the kitchen?” (Ehhhhhhhh!)

When I bought the toner, they gave me a free sample of their Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream, which I put on next. It has an absurdly long name full of nonsense (nectar???) but I like it. I liked the sample so much that when I used it up, I bought the bigger pot, which is exactly how the free sample gambit is supposed to work. Instead of feeling tricked by this, I accept it as a nice piece of harmony in the universe of consumption.

I’m guessing that no one has ever told you to use sunscreen every day, even in the winter, and even when it’s cloudy. So, you should use sunscreen every day, even in the winter, and even when it’s cloudy. I use Elta MD UV Clear in SPF 46, for skin with acne. If could only use one product for the rest of my life, I would choose this one. It is my desert island product, which is, I feel, an excellent choice, since desert islands are sunny.

I’m now very concerned about the time so I waddle out to the bedroom to get dressed. I put Almay Unscented Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant for Sensitive Skin under my arms. Getting dressed is generally very easy for me since I basically wear the same thing every day: jeans and a black shirt. I am truly the Steve Jobs of Jezebel.

I put a drop of Moroccanoil (Light) in my palms and rub it on the ends of my hair. This product smells great and makes me laugh because there’s no reason on this earth that Moroccanoil should be one word, and yet here we are. I let my hair air dry a little bit during the morning blog rush.

When that’s over, I dry my hair using a Conair 1875 Styler if it’s winter. My mom gave me this hair dryer when I left for college—she had two of them and gave me one. As I type this, I realize that was insanely long ago, but until this very moment it had not occurred to me that there might be a better product on the market. But I like it so much because of the brush attachment situation and my mom has the same one, so when I visit her at her apartment, my hairdryer routine remains uninterrupted. One way you can tell that this is very old is that when my older dog, who is now 15, was a puppy, she chewed up the top corner of the brush attachment. Is it gross that I still have this?

I want to pause here to discuss bathroom accessories because my plants are showing in the above photo. I enjoy reading product diaries a lot, but less for the actual products than the stuff that people have in their bathrooms. I look at high-res photos of a woman with perfect skin and varnished nails and see that she has a fiddle fig in the background next to her tub (which invariably is either a retro pink or an exquisitely clean white-on-white curtain and tub situation). I think to myself “she has that skin because of that plant.” I feel that, ideally, one’s bathroom should feel airy, fresh, and spa-like (you’re like “don’t we all, Kel!”). I live in an apartment in Brooklyn so this is hard to achieve, but I try. This is why I bought this glass shelf at Ikea and installed it above the towel bar.

I really enjoy arranging all my stuff on it. Daily, I think to myself, perhaps one day I shall write a product diary, and people in the comments will admire my glass shelf. When I took this photo, I styled it a little because usually that jar is full of cotton rounds. Like I said earlier, I’m out of those right now, but I thought it looked weird to just have an empty jar up there, so I filled it with q-tips. Also, I removed my contact lens case, which is usually there, but I thought it looked kinda ugly.

Makeup time, baby. Everyone at Jezebel loves highlighter. I want to jump on the Fenty Beauty bandwagon, but won’t until I use up my Nyx “Dose of Dew” Face Gloss which I rub on my upper face cheeks (?) every morning. There have been three and only three constants in my life since the age of 14: the aforementioned dog, the aforementioned Cetaphil face wash, and Benetint. I’ve been putting three dots of this stain on my cheeks, one on the bridge of my nose, and a few dots on my lips every day since George W. Bush was president and I will do it until I die (which, given the direction things are going on this planet, will probably be in like 3 years) or until Benefit stops making it.

I use a brown Almay pen eyeliner but only on my top eyelids. Then I put Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara in jet black on my upper and lower lashes. I use Glossier Boy Brow in blonde on my brows, which I stopped threading a few years ago and never looked back. Last, I rub Vaseline on my lips and a roll of Kiehl’s Musk Essence Oil on my wrists. In the summer, I substitute West 4th Brand’s Scout scent. I don’t really have much of a sense of smell, but as I approached 30, I felt like I had to at least try a “scent.” I have a couple male friends who wear that Kiehl’s scent and I liked the idea of smelling like a well-groomed dude, so that’s how I picked that one. The other one I picked because it was the first half of my twitter handle. I know that’s stupid. Sue me.

At work, I put more Vaseline on my lips as needed. Also more moisturizer, since now that I’m on that train and it’s left the station, there’s no jumping off!!!

Before bed, it’s Cetaphil time again, followed by Differin which is a retinoid you can buy over the counter now. I don’t use that every night because the package told me not to. I tend to really listen when packages tell me how to use stuff. On nights when I’m not using Differin I use a few drops of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum. But tonight is not that night.

My coworkers recently roasted someone whom I will not name for tweeting about how she likes to put lavender oil on herself in stressful situations. I laughed along with the crowd, but later that night, went home and put a dab of, yes, lavender oil on my neck before bed. Guess what, it was great and soothing and I’ve done it every night since. I dab my neck in my normal fashion and go to bed thinking about how this, like the moisturizer, was a humbling experience.

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