Let’s get this out of the way first: I have weird health issues. In the past decade, I’ve battled a rare allergic reaction (resulting in a night at the ER guzzling lidocaine), developed a calcium crystal similar to a kidney stone (it formed near my spine and left me semiparalyzed for three days before doctors were able to oust it), and endured boring old hypothyroidism. Managing these (ahem) extracurriculars while holding down a job as Portland Monthly’s style editor—and running a nail polish company on the side—means I’ve developed a bonkers wellness regimen to keep my body on track.
There are the blissful two hours a month I spend at Lisa Pate Acupuncture with dozens of needles in my belly and feet, and one under the eye, to cure an incessant ocular twitch. There are the intense, breathe-through-the-pain massages and cupping sessions at Bodhi Tree Clinic that leave me looking like I just made out with an octopus, all to keep the once-debilitating migraines and weird neck stones at bay. Add on bimonthly therapy to talk through my empath-workaholic exhaustion, YouTube home yoga, and gardening in all weather, and the time adds up.
And then there’s the vanity routine I long ago succumbed to—because in my world of pretty things and frequent public speaking, feeling like you look good is a vital piece of the puzzle. The costs surge quickly, and I sacrifice my budget elsewhere. (I’ll resole these fringe boots for the next three years to keep my lips coated in glossy red now.) On my current, nonnegotiable roster: eyelash extensions from Midori Lashes so I never need mascara and keep a low-key Disney princess vibe, Urban Waxx sessions for brows and nethers, and pints of pure coconut oil, slathered from top to toe. Plus: methodically painting my nails, crisp rosé in hand and RuPaul’s Drag Race keeping me company.
Sometimes, things get a little ... outré. Recently, I went full Kardashian, visiting Dr. Heather Friedman to try a process similar to Kim’s infamous “vampire facial.” Blood was drawn from my arm, spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and stem cells, heated into a gel, and then injected into my face a dozen times to fill out little lines and plump this pout. Yes, I may now have the beauty regime of a medieval countess—and one that costs $800 per session (disclosure: I tried it free for research). Mad, you say? I’m feeling too good to question it.