This Is Us

Photo: Amparo Torres O. / Flickr

I must admit something. I have Covid-19-inspired face lust.

We’ve been watched by the walls of our homes since March 2020 and have seen too few real, in-person faces. It’s all been face porn, watching characters on TV as our pets stare on. …


Emerging like a fresh-faced phoenix from the burning shards of an autocracy and perching herself on the lectern of the White House Press Room, there Jen Psaki was — subtly blushed and freshly mascara’d. …


Brooklyn exploded when Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election. I was sitting on my stoop chatting with a good friend as a joyful yell leapt out a window near us. …


a closer look and the debate lewks

The over-produced debates on high def TV’s are indelicate when it comes to faces. Onscreen, the candidates resemble a coked-up friend at 2am who is shouting, shimmying, and sweating at you. It’s all so fast and loud— especially at last night’s South Carolina debate, with everyone waving their hands like they’re out raving in 1997. Never in my life have I seen so much face-skin! The exact texture, so visible we can feel it. Every make-up decision is obvious, making every mistake glaring. Not a single eye-brow hair escapes the blinding truth of the cameras.

Do you feel guilty and petty for questioning appearances on TV? Do you yearn to speak to someone about it? It’s ok! The made-up faces of public figures tell us a lot. …


Let’s explore symbolism, parallels, and basic parts of speech, y’all!

Michelle Wolf didn’t shame Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her appearance. She told a joke addressing Sander’s hootenanny of lies to the White House Press Corp, while hypothesizing she uses the ash-of-her-lies to create a ‘perfect smokey eye’. …


Everything is great so let’s get glam!

Courtesy of Munch and Fil Vocasek

Hey guys! It’s me. Thought I’d holler at y’all with some hot tips on how to achieve a sultry smokey eye, in case you’re feeling particularly femme fatale this season, or are in a hurry to achieve some beauty goals since it could…


I first felt that I could be my own person when I realized I could put something bright on my lips. I was allowed in elementary school to wear lipstick when performing in plays or dance recitals, or I could ‘play’ if I asked properly, and would ask if I could wear the color up an down the block before removing it. I was a born bright-lip exhibitionist. I’d sneak into my mom’s make-up drawers and would slather colors on my face and lips until I felt satisfied. It took layers until I felt that click of satisfaction. When it was right, it was brain-buzzingly perfect.

Upon my entering 7th grade, I was told “You can pick ONE make-up product, and put it on here at home, and then that is it.” I decided on an Estee Lauder orang-ey pink and I put it on and on and on and on and until until it was…


There’s a siren going off my head, growing louder by the day since the new administration took power. It blares as certain faces flash across the screen. I could be talking about so many things, but I’m currently talking about makeup. My brow furrows as I ponder how all of this has happened. Who is powdering these faces?

Maybe most of us are simply used to it now — but haven’t you once wondered: Why is Trump Orange? IS Steve Bannon actually OK, health-wise? Why does Stephen Miller look like he’s sweating under so much matte makeup? Who did Kellyanne Conway’s makeup today? She could look better! Is…


how potions and beauty routines connect me to my roots

My great grandmother Nana wore Oil of Olay and smoked Menthol Kools. She was a warm, solitary woman with tight curls who sat in a faded green chair and told us stories about growing up poor during the depression. She made strawberry jam and crafted my cousin and I beloved dolls out of towels which we creatively called ‘towel-dolls’. What I remember the most is the scent of Olay with a gentle ‘cigarette smoke’ note.

It’s a poignant perfume, which is why I can’t use Oil of Olay to this day. That scent is tightly held in the corner of my brain reserved for memories of Nana. The descriptions of so many that I’ve loved…


Squanting- Verb used to describe the runwalksquat with hand apologetically raised that people do when rushing to cross street against the light. Squanting is also a popular form of forward movement when rushing to an approaching train. It is important to note that squanting makes one move more slowly than…

Sarah Graalman

Makeup Artist. Writer. Dip-maker. www.sarahgraalman.com

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