Female Things—tampons, stilettos, adhesive bras, bejeweled phone cases, CC creams—are sometimes annoying, sometimes terrifying, and always baffling. We’ve covered most of them in our October issue, but apparently that’s just Level 1. Hassle. Here, in the spirit of soldiering on, we advance to Level 2.
1) The menstrual cup
As if tampons don’t make you squirm enough. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a cup ladies can insert in their vagina to catch menstrual flow. Made of silicone and shaped like a bell, the menstrual cup needs to be emptied out and cleaned twice a day, then thoroughly sanitized at the end of the menstrual cycle. It’s safe to reuse for years (so it might be in your girlfriend’s life longer than you), and yes, it does come in different sizes.
2) The kilay arsenal
If you’re still wondering why your girlfriend takes forever and a half to get ready, take a look at how intricately done her eyebrows are. That shit doesn’t draw itself. Kikay kits are so early 2000s; now it’s all about the kilay kit. On-fleek eyebrows are a status symbol of sorts, and to achieve them one must have: brow pencils, brow powders, brow gels, brow mascaras, a steady hand, and laser-sharp focus. Homegirl needs to concentrate. So don’t talk to her when she’s doing her eyebrows. Don’t ask her what’s for breakfast. Do. Not. Even. Breathe.
3) The lipstick collection
If you’ve ever eavesdropped on a conversation between two girls about lipstick, you know things get pretty intense. An excerpt, in 100% alien-speak:
Girl #1: OMG I love your lipstick! What is it?
Girl #2: It’s Lumiere from the ColourPop KathleenLights collection! It’s matte but not drying, and super pigmented and long-wearing.
Girl #1: It looks so bold on you but I feel like it’ll be more MLBB on me.
You: *silently wonders if he’s stumbled into an alternate dimension*
And if you’ve ever snuck a peek at a woman’s lipstick collection, you know it’s equally mind-blowing. To you it’s a massive bunch of red and pink tubes that all look alike, but she’ll swear on her life that this one is mauve and that one is a chocolatey plum. The only relevant question: is it MOMOL-proof?
4) The highlighter
“As in ‘yung Stabilo?” is one thing you shouldn’t say to a woman unless you want to broadcast your ignorance. “Babe, parang ang shiny ng mukha mo?” is another thing you shouldn’t say unless you want to be given the silent treatment for hours. Here’s the lowdown: a highlighter is a cream, liquid, or powder that’s applied on the high points of the face—cheekbones, brow bones, the tip of the nose, and the chin—to “strobe” the skin, i.e., make it look all nice and dewy. When complimenting women on this makeup trend, proceed with caution. “Glowy” and “sparkly” are appropriate adjectives to describe her face. “Oily” is not.
5) The serums
Those tiny bottles she keeps on her bedside table may look like they contain an inconsequential mixture of water and oil, but those actually cost more than your Olympic Gold Medal Air Jordan 5s. Serums, the superstars of the skincare world, pack a whole lot of (expensive) goodness to keep your girl’s complexion smooth, even, hydrated, fresh, and soft as a baby’s butt—in short, that stuff’s sacred. She won’t let you near any of her precious serums, but she might throw the next best thing, a sheet face mask, your way. Those things are AWESOME.
Now you know what to show and tell your barber
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