Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mason Pearson

There are some things I discovered living in Hollywood that are total princess purchases. These things/treatments never go on sale and people don't care because they are completely must-haves for idiotic girls like me with disposable income. Chi flat irons, sidekicks, Ugg boots, oxygen facials, Tory Burch flats.

Added to this list are Mason Pearson hair brushes.

Dudes, these brushes do not fuck around. You really can't go back once you've used one of these. I was totally happily using my cheapo Goodie brand or whatever from CVS, but then one day Debbie from our hair department brushed me out using a Mason Pearson and I was like sprung for life.

Depending on what type of hair you have, you get either mostly boar or nylon bristles. The bristles stimulate your scalp in a gentle but awesome way, and make everyone's hair look shiny and full and bouncy. Mason Pearson is an old English company and Mr. Pearson was an actual inventor and engineer who has a real "Professor and the Madman" look about him. Totally awesome.

I'm one of those people who would literally pay a person a hundred dollars to play with my hair and scalp for twenty minutes so I especially dig these brushes. If I'm on my deathbed, I want my husband or daughter to play with my hair as the morphine slowly saps the life from me or whatever. It just feels so good.

Also, I heard they used Mason Pearson on Natalie Portman when she played Queen Padme in Star Wars, and man oh man did she look pretty.

Good for: Girlfriends. If you give your girlfriend a Mason Pearson brush, you are guaranteed action. I mean, come on. How old-fashionedly awesome is it to give the lady in your life a hairbrush?? It's straight up O.Henry suitorly type behavior. Also, it shows you are paying attention to stuff but aren't like a total dandy (yeah, I'd say if you're a guy and use a Mason Pearson brush, you might want to keep that to yourself...that seems kinda gay). But as a gift, forget it. Swoon central.

Price: from $75 to $135. (I know. Craziness. But all you need is one for the rest of your life.)

if you search around the net, you can find a bunch of places that sell Mason Pearson. The best discounts were at:

www.baycitiesbeautystore.com and ebay.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Forrester & Best Treadmill Mix, Ever

I don't want to brag, but I recently totally transitioned from running a 10 minute mile to a 8.5 minute mile.

My old strategy for picking up speed on the treadmill was to pretend like my mom was kidnapped at gunpoint but if I ran fast enough, I could like, save her somehow. Even if you have a vivid imagination, which I do, that's pretty hard to commit to that for longer than 20 seconds, because in the back of your mind you're like "this is totally fake, you fucking idiot." and you start thinking about something else and slow down. Also, it's weird.

I got faster doing two cool tricks. (By the way, huge disclaimer: I am so not an athlete. I run because I am a comedy writer who eats like three-course lunches every day and trail mix and if I didn't, I'd have to wear elastic pants every day, instead of several times a month.

I also happen to do believe that whole exercise-releases-endorphins thing but if I'm being totally honest, it's the not-wanting-to-get-super-fat thing that makes me exercise.) The first trick I learned from Brent Forrester.

Brent writes on the show this year. He has no body fat and like eleven Emmys. He grew up in Malibu and is extraordinarily positive and high energy. For whatever reason we get along great. Brent is also a nationally ranked aquathlete, which is a real thing even if it sounds like I made it up. You'll have to look it up yourself, but the point is, he's terribly fit and gave me this great tip about running: To get faster, he suggested I shift variables in my running and then reward myself. Here's how: I made the incline on my treadmill very high at my 10 minute mile for 2 minutes, which was super hard and completely sucked. But then to reward myself, I turned off the incline but MADE MY SPEED FASTER, which was a sneaky way of tricking my legs to totally run faster. It feels a lot easier than the incline but it's still faster than my former pace. Brent's so smart. He also wrote on the Ben Stiller show.

Which was one of my favorite shows ever growing up. So, double awesome.

But Mindy, what did you BUY?

I happen to have on my iPod the single best running mix ever made. It's a compilation of songs bought on iTunes or given to me by friends and it kicks so much ass and makes running so fun. So instead of pretending my mom is held at gun point, I pretend I'm a featured dancer in the music video of most of these following songs.

iTunes has several versions of workout mixes, but I think mine is better.


Hung Up - Madonna
Mass Romantic - New Pornographers
Love at First Sight - Kylie Minogue
Yeah! - Usher
U.R.A.Q.T. - M.I.A.
Beautiful - Snoop
Gold Digger - Kanye West
Days Go By - Dirty Vegas
Dirrrty - Christina Aguilera
Chewing Gum - Annie
Check On it - Beyonce
Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
My Love - JT
Damn I Wish I was Your Lover - Sophie B. Hawkins

Then I cool down to:

Long December (live MTV version) - Counting Crows

and if I'm really, really good, I'll do crunches to:

Remember the Time - Michael Jackson
Inside of Love - Nada Surf

Good for: Yourself. Friends who exercise.

Price: $28 or so, but come on. You already own "My Love" and "Check on It", right? Oh god, please say yes you guys.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day "Potatoes"

Who doesn't love St. Patrick's Day? There is zero pressure to entertain anyone, spend money, or cook or dress up or anything. There is no emotionally draining element to this holiday. You are only required to consume thousands of calories of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and heavy dark beer and maybe later have drunken sex. Totally low maintenance, high fun holiday.

So, I don't want to ruin the holiday or irritate people by encouraging a little bit of fun consumerism on this day. But listen up you guys. There is nothing wrong with buying your favorite Irish friends these awesome Sees Candies St. Patrick's Day Potatoes. These are so fucking cute, weird, and delicious.

First of all, Sees Candies deserves a bit of a shout-out. Sees is a homey, un-hoity, west coast confectionery chain famous for giving away crazy amounts of samples if you stop by any store. As far as I can tell, there is no East Coast version of Sees. We only have cold, expensive, prissy Godiva stores at the mall and stuff. Places that subscribe to the philosophy of tons of free samples are the best ever and deserve special spanks. So there's that.

Second of all, how fucking enterprising of the scientists at Sees to come up with candy "potatoes". That is so weird and gutsy, man. Who the hell wants to chomp into a raw potato that might hopefully taste sweet? I have to give props to something so risky.

Here's the description of the "Potatoes":

"The center is See's famous light and airy divinity, full of white chocolate and loads of California-grown walnuts. Hand shaped and enrobed in See's delicate milk chocolate, this spud is then rolled in a special blend of cinnamon and cocoa powder. Finally, for authenticity, the 'eyes' of the potato are applied using pine nuts."

Just so unbelievably cute. And See's divinity is a hard-to-find, old-timey, awesome kind of airy, white fudge which melts in your mouth.

I only have two Irish people in my life. One is my friend Steven (very tall, quite thin, gets drunk easily, I out-eat him regularly) and Ben (quite tall, very thin, gets drunk easily, I also out-eat him), and I think a good sweet Sees Potato will fortify their stomachs and keep them from teetering over into an alley and getting mugged (or carjacked like in Six Feet Under, this is Los Angeles, after all) this St. Patty's Day.

Good for: Irish friends, teachers, moms, little kids

Price: $17 (for 6 individually wrapped Potatoes)

p.s. This year, if we get out of work in time, I think I'm going straight to Molly Malone's on Fairfax. I can walk home from there and the food is great.

I'll get a Shillelagh sandwich (totally delicious Irish club sandwich) and several Sam Adams lights (I know, I know. But guys, I can't drink Guinness or Beamish or whatever. I'm not Cameron Diaz in "Something About Mary". I drink that shit and I get crazily fat. There are limits.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat

Miracle Product Alert!

As I've gotten older, I've noticed more darkness around my eyes and mouth. I can't even believe I'm confessing this. I guess I had to come down from that pristine Mindy Kaling pedestal eventually. Sorry guys. Oh well.

Anyway. Sometimes if I don't sleep enough I look like a raccoon.

Super cute, right?


We all agree Oprah has the best fucking skin and makeup ever, right?

She looks like a bar of milk chocolate. I can't even deal. Part of it is that Oprah famously uses highlighting.

All our skin can look kind of ashy and uneven, and this YSL concealer makes everyone look like their skin was as even and flawless as Oprah's. No matter how hungover or strung out you are, you will look like a happy, well-rested bad-ass. And the reason why this YSL concealer is better than another high quality concealer, is because of it's highlighting abilities, which kind of diffuses light smoothness in dark places.

They say (and it's true):

"a take-anywhere pen/brush, adds a touch of light or banishes shadows and signs of fatigue from the eye area, hollow of the chin, contour of the lips and sides of the nose."

I wear Luminous Toffee, but it's easy to find your color, there are only four shades. Wear it under a great foundation (I use Amazing Cosmetics powder foundation, which is loose and light but gives awesome coverage for my pimple-prone skin. Sigh. Yes, I still get pimples.)

Good for: females who swear by concealers, and those who have to be at work at 5AM on a semi-regular basis.

Price: $38.50 at nordstrom.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Society for Rational Dress

I like brands that take themselves extremely seriously. Jeans manufacturers seem to do it the most: People's Liberation, People for Peace, True Religion. They sound like terrorist organizations and I love that. It makes me feel like the $230 I am shelling out for jeans is going to some freedom fighters or something.

So I was over the moon when I discovered this Society for Rational Dress jumper.

To be honest, I don't know the brand that well. I just stumbled upon it when I was trolling for a limited-run Mike&Chris hoodie on shopmava.com. This is how I find most of my favorite things, by accident.

I love jumpers. Yeah, I know some people think they're awful, but I think they're talking about the terry cloth trash-heap kind that as modeled by Jessica Simpson in her "Public Affair" video.

Don't get me wrong. Jessica looks hot, but this is not a look any person NOT in a Brett Ratner video or in a Applegate/Longoria sandwich can pull off.

That's why this little silver silk jumper is so rare and awesome. Everyone looks great in them. It's a fairly modest tank, with unexpectedly long shorts, and all in a shimmery silver. Jumpers are young and awesome, and make people look not-serious but sexy. And silver, as many magazines have pointed out, is the new gold. You offset the conservative length of the shorts with sky-high stilettos. Paired with sheer black tights, drapey chains and sparkly eye makeup...awesome. Or, no tights and these sick silver Marc Jacobs boots:

(My rule of thumb when you wear silver or gold you should match your shoes to go with the outfit - then you look sleek and polished like a unstoppable metallic bullet! Total commitment to the metallic = total badass impact of the look)

And both are on sale. Boo-Yah!

Good for: when you need to get dressed up for something but want to be awesome and young-looking, not classic.

jumper: (also in black) shopmava.com: was $209.00, now $83.60, I'm sorry how fucking sick is that????
boots: Marc Jacobs, amazon.com was $700.00, now $459.00

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Door Gym

There's nothing "frivolous" or "fun" about this product. This wonder of design is all about getting shit done, by which I mean using your own body weight to blast your lats into rippling landscapes of unbridled power. If you have a doorway in your home with a standard lintel (I believe that's the right term), your door gym can be set up in seconds and removed in seconds, with no damage to the doorframe. I love my door gym so much that every time I've gone apartment hunting in LA, a prerequisite has been a doorway that could accommodate it. Many of my friends have purchased a door gym on my recommendation, and if there's one thing you may have noticed about my friends it's that our shoulder breadth-to-waist width ratios are extremely impressive. Those ratios don't come about by not having door gyms, people. They come about by yes having door gyms.

Cost: $who gives a shit, you can't put a price on physical perfection
Risks: Shirts become tighter, Body becomes deadly weapon that can be used for ill, Government constantly pesters you to head their new super soldier unit

Tempur-pedic Pillows

First, the caveats. This is a sleeping pillow. You'll need other pillows for such uses as propping yourself up while you write in your diary, making a fort, fighting, and creating a comfortable sex-having topography.

And this is a firm pillow. If you're one of these folks who likes a weak, floppy pillow, look elsewhere.

But I'm a firm pillow man. I like Swedish scientists to determine how firm my pillow should be. And if you're like me, you'll want the latest in viscoelastic technology. I sleep deeply and thoroughly ever since I equipped my bed with one of these guys. Every day at work I look as energetic as this lady.

Price: $39 to $399 for the Grand. What sultan of comfort has that I wonder?!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

60 Thompson

This weekend I was in New York City and it was pretty badass, if I do say so myself.

Mostly because I got to stay at 60 Thompson, in Soho.

I would move into this hotel if I lived in New York or was a kept woman. I'd totally replicate Eloise's life in the Plaza, but at 60 Thom.

(For those of you not female, Eloise is the little girl who lived at the Plaza Hotel with her Nanny in Kay Thompson's classic little girl's book "Eloise".)

60 Thompson is tucked away on the corner of Thompson and Broome, two adorable little streets in Soho. (My favorite Soho street of all time is Greene Street. Oh my god, it's insane. I would give all my toes to own a loft on the corner of like, Greene and Broome. Seriously. Never again could I wear sandals, just for an apartment there.)

The inside of the hotel is sleek and minimalist, but comfy. Thombar, the bar on the lobby level, is a quiet little pick-up joint, not cheesy, but dim and sexy.

And the room! The mini-bar was stocked with Dean & Deluca snacks of every variety, including their famous chocolate bars (I had the Cookies & Cream). The room also comes with copies of hip and helpful magazines, like TimeOut and Papermag. I could've spent a rewarding day just lying on my oversized hotel bed reading magazines and eating D&D parmesan wafers and Dewars. I almost did this.

The great part of staying in Soho is that you wake up, walk outside and every store is a gorgeous little boutique. Barbara Bui, Wolford, Miu Miu, Alpana Bawa. Or it's a huge, fun flagship store like Prada or H&M. And the restaurants! Inside of 60 Thompson itself is the best Thai food in New York, Kittichai.

I will also add that the hotel room came with an "intimacy kit", which I loved. It was like they were saying "We are so awesome you will be having sex in this hotel." And you most likely will.

Price: $250-$1000/night
good for: trips to New York that you want to romantic and hip and completely memorable.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Great Line

Ben Franklin: "Actually, I was never president."
Michael Scott: "Yes, but Ben Franklin was."

Good work, Kaling.

Fucking weirdo episode.