The Heat of A Summer Thigh – The Great Friction Battle

Gentle Readers,

I am a dress-loving femme.

Once I hit 25, my thighs decided it was time to become acquainted. They previously were happy to stand apart and acknowledge one another from a distance. No longer. They love each other and cannot abide separation. But like many loves, there is friction in their relationship.

My thighs cannot be made to play nice on their own, but they refuse to be kept in separate quarters. I had to come up with a solution so that we could all live in harmony, without confining myself to pants when it is oppressively hot in the summer. I needed the freedom to move and the freedom to not perish of heat stroke.

I tried many solutions and can now help everyone solve their personal thigh-fight.

Solutions for Summer Thighs

My least favorite, but workable solution is Anti Monkey Butt Powder. It is calamine and cornstarch. Softening and drying. It is effective, but I don’t like how messy it is to put on. Squeeze some into your hand and then rub it onto the body part that wants less friction. Some always falls from your hand to the floor. There is always residual on your hand. You have to immediately go to the sink to wash it off. Not a convenient solution when you share your bathroom with two others who don’t want you walking around trailing powder.  I love the name though, because I giggle easily. 7/10.

My next workable solution is Friction Defense, aka Chub Rub. It comes in a tube similar to deodorant. You apply it to whatever body part you want to slide easily against something and let it do it’s magic. I love this product. I previously used “BodyGlide” for runners, but I grew frustrated with the company. The company used to sell one BodyGlide product and it was in a nice gray package and marketed to everyone. Suddenly, they decided that they needed one for men and one for women. There was absolutely no difference in the product, but the packaging became blue or pink. The pink one was also priced higher. That pissed me off. There is no need to gender friction. Then I found the Gold Bond version I’m using now and it is also cheaper than BodyGlide.  Definitely workable. The only drawback with this product is that sometimes you have to reapply based on heat and humidity. I keep a stick in my purse. 9/10.

My actual favorite solution is super femme and no one is surprised. Bandelettes are beautiful. You measure your thigh to figure out the appropriate size and then you wait for these lovely helpers to arrive. They come in multiple colors and sizes and I adore them so much. My thighs are protected and get an extra bit of sexy that absolutely impacts my strut. Just put them on and go about your day knowing that your thighs are safe and gorgeous. 10/10 would buy again.

What are your summer wardrobe protection mechanisms?

My Frugal DIY Hair Routine

Gentle Readers,

You know that I have a frugal face-routine, and you will not be surprised to learn that my hair routine is similarly personally tailored and low-cost. I spend less than $2 a year on the products I need to look fantastic.

I have a very short hair-cut and was frustrated at the amount of money I was spending on shampoo and conditioner and products. It felt wasteful. It was also just silly since none of the products did precisely what I wanted.

I have very clear vanity needs. I want to look a very particular way. I like that women stop me on the street to tell me how much they love my hairstyle. I even had a woman at my podiatrist’s office ask to take photos of my hair, because she is a stylist and wanted to try and replicate it.

Everything that touches my head is created by me.

I ditched traditional shampoo and conditioner nearly two years ago. I read around and asked my friends, and learned about the No Poo movement (a horrible name).  I thought it was worth a shot since the ingredients were simple and were things I had around my house. I was also intrigued at the idea of washing my hair once a week. Shorter showers means less water waste and more time sleeping in.

On Sundays, I wash my hair.

I have a little container I bought at CVS that holds some baking soda and water. I use a squeeze bottle with a lid that closes so it does not dry out. That’s all you need. I personally add tea tree oil,  which is good for my scalp since my hair is so thick. I don’t like the smell of tea tree, so I add in some mint oil  to have a smell I like that adds a little scalp tingle.  I pour some into my hand and scrub it into my scalp. I leave it in until I feel the tingle and then rinse it out. After that, I use a bottle that is 1/4 apple cider vinegar and 3/4 water as conditioner.  I make sure to rinse thoroughly because I don’t want to smell like a salad. Once I’m out of the shower, I warm a tiny bit of coconut oil in my hands and put it through my hair as a deeper conditioner. That’s it. My hair is clean for a week!

I like my pomade to have a little bit of shine, but mainly I want it to just let my hair’s glory come through.  My current favorite version is easy to make and much cheaper than buying a product that someone else made for me.

I use a glass bowl and a pot as a make-do double-boiler. In the glass bowl I put some Shea butter or coconut oil and then half as much Beeswax.  It melts quickly on a low heat. I stir it and watch carefully to prevent burning. Once it is all melted down, I put on my potholders and carefully transfer into a little metal one ounce container. I let it sit with the lid off until it solidifies. That’s it. My pomade is ready for 8-12 months. You only need a little when your hair is short.

The shea butter version feels a little greasier, but is nice in the winter when my hair just wants a little more love. The coconut version is my go to in the summer when looking crisp is my greater goal.

Sometimes I add an essential oil for a little scent, but not much, because I don’t want to cause anyone to have an allergic reaction around me. I try to have so little in that only someone who actively tried to smell my hair would know.

Do you make any of your own hair products? Share your recipes below.

 

Expensive Shoes Can Be A Frugal Investment

Gentle Readers,

I love shoes.  As a lesbian who refuses to allow fashion to hurt me, I have some problems finding appropriate shoes for my professional work environment that follow my personal aesthetic. This problem is compounded by my walker’s lifestyle.

I am on a mission to have 5 pair of amazing shoes that I can wear for work and play. I want one pair per day of the work week.  Dressing in a manner I like is important to me. I perform my gender, and my shoes are a huge part of that. I also know that good shoes need a day or two to breath between wearings to extend their life. I am at 3 pair of amazing shoes. I’m on the lookout for 2 more.

I buy (or am gifted) expensive shoes because I prefer quality construction that is meant to last. I want shoes that I will be wearing for decades. I want shoes that do not harm my feet. Not all expensive shoes are expensive because they are good. You must be careful. I focus on quality construction and classic styles. I don’t trust brands.

You’ll notice that I do not wear heels, but I like a fancy look as I am a fancy lady. Finding shoes that work well with dresses at fancy events is a mean-feat if you ignore heels, but it is doable.

I have a further problem in that I have smallish feet. I adore men’s dress shoes, but most do not come in my size. I’m excited about Tomboy Toes, but I cannot personally recommend them yet as I have not worn any. If I hadn’t had work shenanigans impacting my finances, maybe I would have tried them this summer. Sigh.

These shoes, the Lita, from BedStu are my go-tos. I have them in a color they no longer sell. But they have been my main-stays for two years. I paid nearly $200 for them, and get them re-soled every year for ~$60. Absolutely worth it. I can walk in them day after day and never have foot pain from them. Most women can tell you how incredible that is.

I also appreciate Fleuvog’s Tuxedo Flats. Unfortunately, they are not available any more, but these are close.  They are beautiful and narrow. Perfect for fancier events, and do not cause me pain from standing. Sadly, they do not include much by way of arch support so they can not be for daily wear. My feet just won’t allow it.

These are the most beautiful shoes I own. I feel like I can take down any enemy when I wear them. I wear them like armor. I wear them when I anticipate a client is going to be tough. I still need to take them to the cobbler to stretch the toe-box a tiny-bit, but holy cow are they beautiful!

A good cobbler will lengthen the life of your shoes by many years. Especially if you are like me and do not drive, but walk and use public transportation for all your needs. My shoes and feet need this pampering so that they will both last me many decades. Men can expect this in their dress shoes, and I think all genders should be allowed this non-luxury.

Where do you find your professional shoes?