Hello! And welcome to “Thank Us Later,” a new feature at The Frisky, which we just came up with last night! Given that we are a bunch of ladies who work together, sometimes–in our chat cave–we end up talking about awesome products we use or have discovered or find fabulously helpful, in order to help our colleagues — as Amelia would say — “live their best lives.” So, instead of keeping all this vast wisdom to ourselves, we’ve decided to start sharing some of our magical miracle products (that we personally use and have found to be effective) with you, our beloved readership!
As you may or may not have noticed, I am not a lifestyle writer. I mostly cover politics and other newsy stuff. I do, however, have wicked good skin, and that is what I am here to talk to you about today.
Although I come by this naturally–and my mom says I’m not really allowed to dispense skin advice because she insists I could “slather [my] face in bacon grease and still not get a zit”–I maintain that there are still some things I do that could be helpful to others. For one, I never put soap anywhere near my face. Like, I wash my face with olive oil and if I need to exfoliate I throw some used espresso grounds in there. It’s a pretty dagofabulous process, but I swear that it works.
For another, I use Albolene–which I often refer to as my “Ancient Drag Queen Secret.”
Once upon a time, well over ten years ago, my galpal, the lovely and talented Miss Pandora Boxx, said to me “Ever wonder why drag queens have such good skin and pretty much never age? It’s because we take our make-up off with Albolene.”
I had never heard of Albolene before that point, which she found surprising given that I was a theater geek and Albolene was a thing used to take off stage make-up. But still, totally new to me. In that same conversation she also told me to never pull my eyelids out when applying eye makeup, and though I will never manage to heed that advice (I have deep-set eyes, ok?), I have now used Albolene to take off my make-up for over a decade now. I also have barely aged. Coincidence? Maybe! But also Pandora has looked pretty much the same age since I met her when I was in high school and she was my friend’s drag mother, so there’s definitely something to this.
What you want to do is use the Albolene to take your make-up off at night, but leave a film of it on overnight. Then, you will wake up in the morning and be all glowy and shit. It’s pretty amazing. It’s also incredibly cheap. A tub of it is like, $10-$15 at Walgreens ($15ish on Amazon), and it will last you for YEARS.
The best thing is though–it has multiple purposes! And you know what’s great? Shit with multiple purposes!
My favorite trick, which I learned off of their website, is the Albolene facial. You smear a bunch of it on your face and leave it on for like, fifteen minutes, and then scrape it off with a business card or a piece of cardboard. This is immensely satisfying, because when you scrape it off, the gunk is like, greyish black from your dead skin and all the dirt in your pores. It’s super gross and I love it. Sometimes I’ll even repeat the process until it comes off totally clear, because I have a full and exciting life. The reason this works so well is because the Albolene basically opens up your pores, which allows you to then just get all the crap out of them. It’s also a great way to exfoliate and moisturize at the same time.
Apparently, you can also use Albolene to shed water weight during a workout, and this is a thing done by wrestlers and boxers and whatnot. I have never personally done this, but it probably won’t hurt you to try. At the very least, you’ll just be very moisturized. If I ever actually get around to trying it, I’ll let you know.
During the winter, when my lips are chapped, I mix the Albolene with some sugar and rub my lips with it until it dissolves, although you can also do this with coconut oil or whatever.
If you break an eyeshadow, you can can mix it with a dab of Albolene and turn it into a cream shadow. However, what I’ve been really successful with is rescuing dried out pots of gel eyeliner (which I often manage to ruin by leaving the top off of, because I’m an idiot). Just stick a dab of it in there, throw it in the micro for 20 seconds and you’re good to go. I’ve also used Albolene plus smears of powder blush, bronzer or eyeshadow to make some makeshift lipstick.
Here’s a disclaimer though–Albolene is made with paraffins and mineral oils. Some people have a problem with that, I do not. It’s up to you to decide what you want to put on your face, but this has definitely worked for me, and everyone who has ever tried it has thanked me later.
Original by: Robyn Pennacchia @robynelyse