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Heart-Shaped Pendants Are Terrible and It's Time Someone Said So

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Please For the Love of God Stop Buying Heart-Shaped Jewelry for Valentne's Day

Hi there ladies, quick poll: Do you have any heart jewelry lying around? I say “lying around” because I’m willing to bet that if you do own something — a $29.99 heart-shaped pendant on a chain, perhaps — you aren’t wearing it.

That’s because, to put it bluntly, most heart-shaped jewelry isn’t cute. Sorry if I’m offending anyone here, but it’s the unfortunate truth. It’s generally terrible. At worst, it makes the wearer look like she’s playing Pretty Pretty Princess, and at best it screams “I didn’t pick this out for myself!”

Which leads me to something else about your heart necklace that I’d put money on: You didn’t pick it out for yourself. It was a gift given to you by your grandma, or more likely by a man — a clueless man who has been tricked into thinking all women like heart jewelry, thanks to the sheer volume of saccharine, pandering ads run by Zales, Kay, and Jared around Valentine’s Day.  

Despite what Jane Seymour would have you think, there are many of us who don’t like heart-shaped tokens of affection. I’ve got three heart pendant necklaces, all given to me by well-meaning boys, and all of which have been buried in a drawer for the past decade. A friend told me she was given two in elementary school, and she still suspects to this day that they were stolen from the boys’ mothers. (Honestly, I doubt they minded.)

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As a gift, a piece of heart jewelry is a total and complete cop-out. Can you think of anything less personal and more cheesy at the same time? It’s a shallow expression of intimacy and love that doesn’t bother to consider what the giftee actually likes, unless she happens to be part of the small cadre of adult women who are actually super into heart pendants.

Just in case you think I’m a scorned lover, I promise this is not a rage against a dumb boy for buying me ugly heart jewelry. Nope, it’s a PSA. It’s an open letter to try to save a few clueless bros from embarrassment, and a few would-be owners of heart necklaces the awkwardness of having to pretend you like something that you just really, really don’t.

It’s also an appeal to Zales to PLEASE, STOP TELLING PEOPLE WE LIKE THOSE HORRIBLE “INFINITY” HEART PENDANTS, and a plea to Kay to just cut it out. Do you really need to make over one  thousand varieties? Do you have to add angel wings, too? (It’s not just the mall brands, either. You’re an offender too, Tiffany. David Yurman, we see you.)

If you really want to buy jewelry for your significant other, I suggest waiting until V-Day passes — because come on, it’s the heart-shaped pendant of greeting card holidays — and buying her something legitimately cool that fits her aesthetic.

And should you need suggestions, we’ve got you so freaking covered. Cory Baldwin, shopping editor 

Feature
Buying $40 Bath Bombs Isn't Self-Care
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Ever since the election, there’s been a question that perplexes Taz Ahmed, campaign strategist for 18 Million Rising, an organization dedicated to increasing Asian-American civic involvement. It’s not how to move forward at a time when the government is unleashing attacks on Muslims and immigrants, or what kind of work she needs to be doing to safeguard her community. No, the question that Ahmed can’t quite figure out how to answer is much simpler: "What's your self-care regimen?"

A recent episode of #GoodMuslimBadMuslim, the podcast Ahmed co-hosts with comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh, begins with the two women dissecting the deceptively simple query. “My self-care regimen is sitting on my carpet and crying while I look at the popcorn ceiling,” Ahmed jokes. “Is that what they mean by self-care regimen?”

When I call her a week and a half later, Ahmed explains that it’s not that she’s opposed to self-care; she just finds the question baffling. “As a daughter of immigrants, my parents were always just trying to get by and figuring out where the next paycheck was coming from, just trying to get food on the table,” she says. “There wasn’t ever a point where my mom was like, 'Every day you need to breathe intentionally for 15 minutes.' That wasn’t something I was raised with."

And at a time when self-care is being used to refer to everything from cashmere socks and pricey pencil sets to staying hydrated and remembering to breathe, the conversation can get even more confusing. Is self-care an essential survival skill or a collection of luxury lifestyle accoutrements? Who is self-care for, and how are we supposed to talk about it?

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Just like my skincare regimen, my makeup routine involves a stupidly high volume of products and a whole lot of layering, all resulting in what I consider a “very normal face.” I guess it’s a version of the popular and maligned no-makeup makeup look, the one that gives the appearance of even, glowing skin and naturally rosy cheeks and in fact takes a fair amount of time and money to achieve.

This has always been the beauty aesthetic I’ve been drawn to, never wanting to appear like I’m trying too hard, but very much wanting to be beautiful, or at least more beautiful than I am without makeup. I know there’s all sorts of patriarchal bullshit tied up in these feelings, but also, fuck it: I look better in makeup. I just do. You probably do, too.

I’ve spent the last 17 years perfecting my cosmetics lineup as new brands and products have come onto the market, and I’m quite pleased with my current concealer of choice. Concealer, of course, is the most important component of the no-makeup makeup look.

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It is not, however, great for undereye circles. And here’s where I admit I actually use two concealers every day: the Hourglass concealer for blemishes and discoloration, and the Clinique Airbrush concealer for undereyes and shadowy areas that need a bit of brightening.

Anyway! The Hourglass stick! It’s great! It’s also reasonable at $34, half the price of its closest competitor, the $70 cult Clé de Peau concealer. The CDP version is slightly larger than the Hourglass one, though certainly not double the size; I only have to replace my Hourglass concealer once every six months. Hourglass also comes in 10 shades to CDP’s six, though neither are as inclusive as the similarly-priced Nars version (17 shades!) or the Bobbi Brown version (also 17 shades!), both of which I haven’t tried.

Bonus tip: Instead of throwing away a totally used stick, I like to wear it down to the almost-bottom, make that my on-the-go concealer I can throw in any purse/backpack/what have you, and buy a fresh stick for my makeup bag. —Julia Rubin, executive editor

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