I Think I Saw You in My Quarantine Dreams.
Hi y'all! Anya here.
By this point, there's nothing new about quarantining that hasn't already been said. It sucks, it's depressing, humans crave social interaction and this girl really misses (1) cuddling her cat, (2) munching on a TLT at YEAH! BURGER, (3) hugging her mom, and (4) attending shows (shout out to missing Yves Tumor and Molchat Doma). Obviously, quarantining is the best thing we can do to collectively combat COVID-19, so we gotta do it. In the grand scheme of things, I am not one of the countless essential employees working to maintain America's health and sanity, so I am definitely NOT suffering. My heart goes out to anyone continuing to work, maintain some semblance of normalcy, and/or support loved ones, from the doctors clocking in 24+ hour shifts to the baristas, cashiers, sex workers, etc. Three of Swords is definitely in your corner.
For those of us fortunate enough to be working from home, waking up and knowing that you're going to be eating, drinking, laughing, crying, and generally existing within your four walls for the next ??? days can be difficult. There are many great suggestions out there regarding what you can do with your new free time, but here are some personal activities/suggestions from yours truly. These activities and items have brought me the most joy in the past few weeks. We can only read so many articles that suggest taking a walk and journaling, after all.
(1) Tape/pin artwork onto your walls:
Is being surrounded by a drab, uninspiring space depressing you? If you're like me, the answer is yes. Being in a room that feels 100% "you" can brighten your mood, get your creative juices flowing, and provide a sanctuary from negative energy. You know those promo cards you get in packages when you order clothes, makeup, etc.? They usually have some great art on the front and/or back, they're small enough for a cool collage, and they're FREE. Some businesses that I have received unique, artsy cards from include Rituel de Fille, Society6, Lvnea, and Sugarpill. If you don't have any of these cards, but you do have access to a printer, print out your favorite images and give your naked walls some clothes!
(2) Start a photographic time capsule:
Some of the most fascinating information we know about the past has come from informal photographs taken by everyday people. Start taking photos! Stage a photoshoot in your home. Take selfies with your mask on. Snap a shot of anything that can be connected to our current situation. Many museums are accepting COVID-19 related photos, so send your best ones their way! This is your chance to become an official historian.
(3) Dress up:
When we look good, we feel good. Don't feel obligated to walk around your apartment in heels and a bodycon dress, but doing something as simple as trying out a new hairstyle or dusting off your favorite club top can pep you up. If you've been feeling indecisive about a new hair color/cut or makeup style, now is the time to take the plunge! Guess who's already trimmed their bangs and bleached their eyebrows? This girl. If you're feeling wild, maybe even consider investing in a stick-and-poke kit. Not going to lie...I might show up with a new DIY tattoo in the next few months. Do your research and stay safe if you're planning on joining the stick-and-poke club!
Now onto the miscellaneous things that have brought me joy while quarantining -
(1) Slow Burn, a collaboration with Boy Smells & Kacey Musgraves:
I LOVE CANDLES. Candles set the mood and provide an aesthetically pleasing touch to your space. I prefer warm and spicy scents, and Slow Burn, a candle collab between the chic L.A. brand Boy Smells and country darling Kasey Musgraves, hits the spot for me. Its notes are incense, black pepper, elemi, guaiac, raspberry, tonka, amber, and smoked papyrus, and it comes in a gorgeous ombre rose gold glass. It burns veeerrryyy slowly, so while it is priced at $39, you definitely get your money's worth. I am burning it as I write this, and I'd describe it as "smoking weed and burning incense in a Sephora". If that sounds good to you, check it out!
(2) Glossier Stretch Concealer and Boy Brow:
Who doesn't know about Glossier? Their products, marketing, and ~vibe~ are minimalist, refined, inclusive, and fun. I feel the most authentic and beautiful when I am wearing a light wash of my favorite makeup, and Glossier's Stretch Concealer and Boy Brow help me perfect my preferred look. The concealer is buildable with (imo) light coverage and a dewy finish. My skin is oily and acne-prone, and it does not melt away or break me out. The Boy Brow is a brow wax that grooms your brow hairs and keeps them in place, something that is super important for anyone with thick brows like myself. It leaves no flaky residue and it lasts all day. I will say that it is smaller than it appears online, so don't expect it to last longer than a few months. It is priced at $16, while the concealer is $18.
*If your complexion is similar to mine, my concealer shade is G9.
(3) Gathering Swans by Choir Boy:
If you've up-to-date on the many post-punk/synthwave/darkwave/synthpop bands that have released music in the past decade, you know about Choir Boy. Their newest album, Gathering Swans, is flames. Between Adam Klopp's gorgeously deep, beautifully melancholy vocals, hard-hitting lyrics, and some amazing synth/guitar/bass/sax to fill up the sound, Gathering Swans has been on rotation since it was released last week. If you only have time for one track, "Nites Like This" is a standout.
*Fan of this album? If so, be sure to check out The Dew Lasts an Hour by Ballet School, a criminally underrated, Berlin-based synthpop trio. One of the best albums in the genre.
(4) Belladonna of Sadness:
How do I even begin to describe Belladonna of Sadness? An erotic anime drama/horror released in 1973. Little dialogue and little actual animation, because most of the film is dialogue paired with still images drawn in a lush, psychadelic style. Topics include economic inequality, class conflict, abuse, witchcraft, and female liberation. Definitely not without its problematic elements, but you will be enraptured by this film while watching and long after it ends. I once read an article describing it as beautifully obscene, and I could not agree more. I consider this to be the best film that I've watched in the last year, so I cannot praise it enough! If you're a fan of Lars von Trier, particularly Nymphomaniac and Antichrist, this is right up your alley.
*DO NOT watch this with your parents or children.
(5) Mielle Rosemary Mint line:
Let's end on a self-care note! If you have a 3B+ curl pattern, you need this line in your life. I am currently using the Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil and the Multivitamin Daily Styling Crème, and both have made my scalp and hairline feel clean and my curls feel bouncy, defined, and refreshed. My hair is undoubtedly curly, but unlike a lot of people with similar textures, it's thin. Because of this, many products tend to weigh my hair down, but this oil and the crème do not. Plus, if you're a savage like me and don't wrap your hair at night (I know, I know), the oil/crème combo will allow you to sleep with your hair out and wake up with few, if any, tangles. The prominent scent of this line is, you guessed it, rosemary and mint, so using it will make you smell like a sexy forest witch. Could you ask for anything better? Both items only cost $10 each, and you can purchase the entire line at Target. Support an amazing black-owned business!
And we're done! I hope this post inspired you and encouraged you to try out some new things! Being in quarantine blows, but you can make it blow a little bit less. If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, don't hesitate to reach out!