CONVERSATIONS WITH OLD PEOPLE: What is the Best Highlighter?

Perhaps your Facebook feed is full of important issues, but recently mine has become nothing but sponsored videos of people applying contours and highlights to their seemingly “ordinary” faces, transforming into runway models right before my very eyes.

Obviously it’s all entirely fascinating. And what is even more obvious is that these people are using product far superior to my occasional drugstore bronzer/sparkle blush combo impulse purchase (those never work, by the way). These aged eyes cannot make out the products these vloggers quickly wiggle in front of their open palms, nor do I care enough to read through the comments for the answers to my questions. I watch the videos in a Facebook auto-played loop and then check my Instagram for the fiftieth time and go to bed.

Best makeup highlighter 2017
illustration by Molly Marcucci

But I KNOW some of you must have the answers to my shiny (in just the right places) face questions. What do you use? How much does it cost? IS there a drug store option worth trying? And where do I, with my very long oval face, apply it?


CONVERSATIONS WITH OLD PEOPLE: How do you get ALL the mascara off?

conversations with old people hoito how to take mascara off

I LOVE mascara, I truly do. It was the first piece of makeup I really became enamored with and the thing I would pick if I could only have one. If I forget to put it on, I WILL stop at the closest CVS to pick up a new one. My allegiance has varied over the years. There was a nearly decade long run of Diorshow Blackout (until I finally got tired of always have black under my eyes after about twenty minutes of wear), I’ve loved Maybelline Manga (those cartoon ads really spoke to me), and lately I’ve been doing L’oreal Voluminous. I am going to return to the Manga, more black.

ANYWAY. What I don’t understand and can not figure out is: HOW DO YOU GET IT OFF? Not most of it, but ALL OF IT? No matter how much I wash my face, or how many makeup wipes I use, there is always a dusting of it under my eyes in the morning. WTF. What am I missing here? Is there a trick I never learned to truly getting off ALL EVERY SINGLE LITTLE PIECE OF DUST MASCARA?

Tell me, please.

(PS – I tried the L’oreal Extra Volume Collagen and it’s WHOA GREAT. But not worth the hassle. It lasts about 3 days and any attempt to take it off will leave you with a gooey, cakey, rubbery mess. So gross and weird.)


My hair is wavy to curly and sometimes I wear it wavy and sometimes I wear it curly and sometime I wear it straight. But ALL the times I want my ends to be STICK STICK STICK straight. Super straight. It girl in the early aughts straight. Kim K now straight. BUT HOW? Inevitably, the ends always curl in. How do you make it stop? HOOOWWWWW?!


First, I straighten it. Usually I put a spray on when it dries. Then I try to keep it straight.

Things I’ve tried:

  • Straightening it for an extra long time. (IE keeping the straightener on the ends forever.)
  • Bending it a bit in the opposite direction so that if it curls, it ends up straight.
  • Hairspray.
  • Various pomades. (Usually ends up weird textually, like more shiny or piecey then the regular hair.)
  • All the dry shampoos and texture sprays. (These are good for the bulk of the hair, but do not keep the ends from curling.)
  • I’ve started watching youtube videos where teens with gorgeous piles of hair show you how to do it but I’ve only got like a dozen strands of hair and they take about 30 minutes just to straighten their millions of hairs, so I’ve never gotten to the end where they might tell me how.

Not one of these works for any longer then it takes me leave the house. TELL ME. Do you straighten you hair? Do your ends stay straight? What do you put on it/in it? What are the tricks? HALP ME.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Before we posted this, we decided to switch hosting platforms and amazingly, despite our advanced years, we managed to import ALMOST EVERYTHING! Except this post and the next one. So I’m just going to paste the initial comments below and continue on with all of our lives.]

Previous comments:


lol I love this post. I can commiserate on the only having twelve hairs on my head. My hair is thin and curly/wavy. Make sure your hair is COMPLETELY DRY. I will blow dry my hair at night, sleep on it then flat iron in the morning (so zero moisture is present). I flat iron pretty small sections -I feel like that plays a big part in keeping it straight. I run a paddle brush through and while it’s at the ends of my hair, I’ll lightly mist hairspray, wait a few seconds then pull the brush out.

That sounds complicated lol but it works for me!!!


—- OK! Yes, I can do that! (I think?)

I sort of sometimes run the whole hair through. I could stand to take a minute for smaller sections. The paddle brush and spray tho. I will try!!! Sounds like you need some coordination but I will try!!


CWOP: Desperately Seeking Undies

Married, old lady in desperate need of good quality, but reasonably-priced, full coverage undies that won’t show horrible panty lines, but also won’t fall apart when machine washed and dried. Will accept granny, low-rise, boy short and bikini cuts. Comfort is key. Must fit under too-tight, high-waisted jeans.

Looking to throw out my entire unmentionables drawer and start from scratch. Will be buying in bulk. RECOMMENDATIONS AND HELP PLEASE!!!

Throw a #glittersmudge on the end of your comment to be in the running for our Glitter Smudge Kit Giveaway!

Illustration by Molly Marcucci

CWOP: Drinking Collagen

Reader ‘C’ writes:

“Ingestible collagen. I’m interested. Tried it once in a health bar and it was reaaally bad, but maybe that’s because it was health bar? Have also heard of people putting it in their coffee.”

And I thought “oh good idea – let’s talk about that!” and then got caught up in regular life stuff and forgot. So … APOLOGIES TO YOU, DEAR READER.

What made me remember was seeing a good friend after a couple of months whose face was putting out such a glow, I was instantly a) speechless, b) jealous, and c) worshipping at her sun goddess altar. What was she doing to get that glow? Drinking Dirty Lemon.

Couple of thoughts here:
1. That is EXPENSIVE.
2. I’ve read you can get the same benefits from animal bones, so like, making your own chicken stock has the same amount of collagen and is definitely less expensive.
3. There are also powders you can add to your food, as noted by reader ‘C’ above.


CWOP: Should We Be Shaving Our FACES??

Thank you SO MUCH for your response to our new Conversations With Old People feature! We’re so excited to not only try to answer your questions, but also have our own life’s mysteries solved by Numero Uno You-Know-Who-YOU-boo-boo-bee-doo-I Hate Valentines Day-Ha-Cha-Cha-Chaaa.

Let’s begin with a reader comment that sent me straight into outer space …

Reader S.A. writes:

“One thing I think everyone needs to do is shave their faces once they pass 35…there is nothing scarier than a face full of long peach fuzz to me. Then again maybe I should simply embrace my old…hmmm….”

Wait wait wait a second. How much peach fuzz are we talking about here? Am I shaving all of the hair on my entire face? Will I like that? Have you TRIED IT? Reader S.A. you must follow up with more information NOW. And if we’re all supposed to start this at 35, have I been walking around for the last two years with a face full of grotesquely long peach fuzz hair??

I’m going to go ahead and assume that this is not a universal necessity JUST YET. However, I will say that trimming one’s nose hairs can make a huge difference. There you go everyone, I trim my nose hair. Although, that’s probably not related to my age – a super mean ex-boyfriend told me I should do it like a decade ago in my 20s, and then later when I mentioned his criticism of me to my now husband, he had such a huge negative reaction to us even discussing my nose hairs that I thought the whole thing was unnecessary, but he was wrong. My nose definitely looks better after taking that extra 30 seconds and just trimming them. I mean, why not?

SHAVING IS A WHOLE OTHER THING. What you are you guys doing?? Is this the secret to perfect makeup application??

Discuss in the comments, please.

CWOP: Let’s Talk!

Have you been following the HOITO journey, feeling so invested, but maybe a little left out? Do you have QUESTIONS? We also have questions! Let’s ask each other questions!

At the moment, we’re thinking a lot about wrinkle creams, skin resurfacing, that black pore mask all over Facebook, that serum that makes elderly people look like thirty year olds RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES, lash treatments, Balayage, spray tans, Pat McGrath, clip-in extensions, bikini line grooming, buying Korean beauty products on Amazon, cellulite, breast augmentation, $400 hair dryers, middle part vs. deep part vs. no part, microblading, micro-needling, Baby Feet, art manicures, how to look good in pictures, teeth whitening, lip liners, contouring and a strange divot that runs down one side of Veronica’s face.

What are YOU thinking about? Add your ideas in the comments and be sure to follow along for new CONVERSATIONS WITH OLD PEOPLE to join the discussion!