Heaven is a place on earth: Shen Beauty

When I’m not writing novels for teenagers, I write copy about other stuff. Important stuff, like diaper absorbency and liver failure as a risk factor for persons taking certain kinds of drugs. Sometimes the people with whom I work in the real world (as opposed to the dog I work with in my preferred “work environment” aka my apartment) do super awesome things, like give me gift cards to places like Shen Beauty.

Today, to reward myself for all of the late nights I’ve been working lately, I took my gift card on down to Court Street in Brooklyn to blow my entire balance on little beauty goodies for myself. 

Shen Beauty is the kind of store where I could mindlessly waste an entire day. In the back, there’s an entire shelf of big fat soy-based Lafco candles that smell like the most posh and decadent houses of my friends’ parents when we were growing up. The “berry” scented candle is a fave. But my heart belongs to “Office” which smells like Rosemary & Eucalyptus, and Ski House, which theoretically smells like an alpine woods with cedar burning in the fireplace, but to me just smells like rich-ass people in a big-ass cozy house counting money. My kind of candle! Ski House now belongs to me. The super helpful (and gorgeous) sales woman at the store gave me a good tip – when your candle has burned down to a sad stub, put it in the freezer, and then you can pop the rest of the old wax out and keep the cute little glass jar for other uses.

I also was on the look out for the vanilla bean lip scrub, but my eye was caught by the Bobbi Brown foundation. I am insanely pale, so pale that people often ask me if I’m feeling alright (and I am). Foundation is something I typically avoid because I am an afternoon napper and I don’t like waking up to beige smudge stains on my pillow. True story. But foundation, as the women of Shen Beauty tell me, is a winter Must. It covers dry skin during winter months better than powder. I’m a must-see-to-believer so it’s fortunate that most products at Shen Beauty are available for try-on. With the help of the store’s manager I tried on the lightest shade and was kind of stupefied at how much better my skin looked, even in natural light, with the tones evened out.

So, I blew my entire gift card before I even got to the shelves of fancy soaps from Italy and Spain in the back. But that’s OK, because I live three blocks away and vow to be back!

And the moral of this story is… it’s the holiday. You’re doing a lot of nice things for other people these days, so don’t forget to do a little something nice for yourself! Even if that “little something nice” is wasting an hour trying on delicious hand lotions at a store that smells like jasmine. 


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