A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: beauty tips

Foot Care 101

Here’s something you might not know about me: I have nice feet.

In fact, my feet are definitely my favorite part of my body.

Wanna see?

You know you do.

Wait. Let me just pull them out of the sand first…

Iris has lovely feet. See? What did I tell you? Nice, eh?

Look at the pretty arch, the well balanced toes, the noticeable lack of any corns, bunions, calluses, or hammer toes. I love my feet.

My feet are SO nice, in fact, that I was even a bona fide foot model once! True story. One time a couple of years ago my friend Laura the photographer got a gig to take pictures for a local sandal company and she asked little ol’ ME to be her sandal model for the company’s new ad campaign.

Here’s the original picture that Laura took. Damn that girl has skills.

And save your wise cracks…it totally doesn’t bother me that my face is cropped out. I’m used to it. We all have to work with what the Good Lord gave us, right?

See what I mean?

So here’s Laura’s photo as it appeared on the sandal company’s website a couple years ago:

Pretty exciting, no?! I just did it as a favor for Laura… it was never supposed to be a career move for me or anything. She told me later that an enormous wall-sized poster of this image was displayed at the sandal company’s annual convention. If I had any idea that my body was going to be so popular I would have charged more than a pair of rubber sandals. Geez. Story of my life.

Anyhoooo, I bring this up because low and behold, about a month ago, one of my toenails just up and fell right off. It’s the little piggy that stayed home, not the one that went to market.

It was devastating.

Being a nice Catholish girl, I immediately assumed it was due to my excessive pride in my feet. What’s that bible verse about pride coming before a fall? Yeah. That one.

So I went to a podiatrist to find out what the heck is wrong with me. I was afraid it was a fungus and since flip flop weather was right around the corner, I certainly could not risk having toenails that look like BBQ Fritos.

And what with ads like this on the TV…

The Lamisil “Digger” Ad (totally gross, watch with caution)

I don’t need to tell you that I was completely freaking out! How effin’ gross is THAT?

But my lovely Caribbean podiatrist said in her breezy rhythmic accent: “No. It’s not a foooongus.  It’s from trooooma.”

Huh? “Trauma?”

“Yes, trooooma. Did you drop someting on your toe?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Did you stub it on someting?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“It could be from your shoes. Sometimes nail trooooma occurs over time from eel-fitting shoes.” (ill-fitting)

OMG. That’s got to be it. My signature leopard pumps, perhaps? Shit.

I started having visions of having to wear shoes like this:

Oh. No. Sorry. Not going to happen. I’d rather gnaw both my feet off with my teeth than wear those things.

Instead, I decided to do some research and find out how to better care for my feet so I could avoid losing more toenails or having to wear orthopedic shoes. And since it’s Just the Tip Tuesday, I’m going to share my new knowledge with you, dear readers.

Feet are very important and complex body parts. I’m not a podiatrist, so if you have serious foot problems, please seek professional advice. But if you are just interested in some basic foot-care tips, stay with me. Unless you are a podophile, then please leave.

First of all, each of your feet contain about 250,000 sweat glands, which can produce as much as 1 pint of moisture as water vapor per day. Holy CRAP. Who knew?

Now, listen. Just because you own a pair of state-of-the-art SmartWool socks that are designed to be temperature regulating, moisture absorbing, and antimicrobial, doesn’t mean you don’t have to change your socks everyday. Duh. Change your socks, dumbass. Every day. Wash those mofos. Dirty socks can lead to fungal growth. Ewwww.

And don’t just wash your sweaty socks, wash your feet daily with soap and water too. That dried sweat is bacteria’s favorite food. Did you know that food odor is merely the excrement of the sweat-eating-bacteria? Yep. How nasty is that?! It’s not the sweat that smells, it is the bacteria’s POOP. I said POOP, people. Are you listening? Daily foot washings will remove that stinky bacteria poop and the bacteria that poops it. Wash your feet!

Keep your toenails trimmed, and trim them straight across, never rounded, to avoid ingrown toenails. Also, neatly trimmed toenails are less likely to rub up against the front of your shoes and cause troooooma to the nail bed. So this look is definitely out:

And for more than just the crazy length. Damn. How does that bitch even walk? And just so we’re clear, basic care FIRST, decorate SECOND. I mean really. You wouldn’t paint your house if the siding was warped; you’d fix the siding first. Same with your toes. Gaw.

Wow. Just. Wow. Sorry about that.

But speaking of which… my Caribbean podiatrist says we should give our tootsies a break from nail polish now and then.  The nail beds can’t breathe when they are covered in paint or lacquer. She says the winter is a good time to take a break. Remember that next winter, okay? Or for my Aussie and Peruvian friends, remember that now.

And lastly, did you know that most foot ailments are due to neglect and abuse? According to the APMA (The American Podiatric Medical Association), shoes that do not fit can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot disorders. So don your F-Me Heels in moderation and alternate them with something more comfortable and supportive. Your feet will thank you, and so will your friends and family who have to look at those barking dogs all summer long.

very humbly yours,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris

How to Look Fabulous for Your Age


Today is my birthday.

This is me 47 years ago, when I was a baby:

See that? Even then, personality PLUS.

Based on this photographic evidence,
here’s what I’m predicting I’ll look like in my golden years:

Which isn’t bad, considering he’s about 119 years old in this photo.

And that, my friends, brings me to my Just the Tip Tuesday tip of the week.

Always lie about your age.

I’m actually 41 today.
But I always tell people that I’m older,
so they will be dazzled by how well-preserved I am “for my age.”

I’ve been doing this for over a decade and it works like a charm.

Case in point: Betty White.
She’s not really 82.
That bitch lies like a rug.
She’s really in her fifties.
But she wouldn’t be nearly as hot as she is right now
if she told the truth about her age.

Try it.

It’s a lot cheaper and less painful than plastic surgery.

with love and white lies,


© Copyright 2001, The Bearded Iris.

Extreme Makeover of the Soul

Extreme Makeover, 10 Years Younger, What Not to Wear, Ambush Makeover, The Biggest Loser, and more…these are all hit reality shows dedicated to helping people change their lives by changing their faces, bodies, hair, lifestyles, and/or wardrobes.  I believe this trend started in 2003 with the mega-hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a show that profiled one poor schmuck who (supposedly) needed help in five areas of his life: hair, fashion, cooking, home decorating, and culture.  I loved this show when it first came out, mostly because of the dynamic “Fab 5” cast and the way they interacted with each other.  I also enjoyed how they made over so many elements of a man’s life and not just his appearance.  But the newer shows that have jumped on the reality makeover bandwagon are so much more shallow.  Most of them focus on physical appearance alone and send the message that the way one looks is everything.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression!!!

I am so disturbed by this trend in television.  It perpetuates superficiality.  The worst ones, in my opinion, are the shows where someone narcs on a friend who “needs” a makeover and then that person is videotaped unbeknownst to them for several weeks so the show can gather evidence about their fashion/beauty crimes.  How mortifying!!  I would most definitely have an instant aneurism if I discovered a hidden camera in my closet recording me dress and undress.  (Note to self: discard all stained and ratty panties ASAP.)  And it is sooo awkward when the surprised targets of these shows are not open to the notion of a makeover and try to defend their choices to the arrogant experts like Stacy and Clinton on What Not to Wear.  I saw one episode of this show where they ambushed a woman who worked for some global cause like Feed the Children or Amnesty International and treated her like a fungal-ridden toenail just for wearing tapered jeans. The horror!!! This was a woman who had dedicated her life to helping others and serving humanity. Clearly current fashion trends were not high on her priority list.  But did this woman really NEED a makeover?

Yes, Stacy and Clinton, I get it.  You know what looks good on different body types, and when a person looks good, they feel good.  And when you feel good, you can accomplish even more good in the world.  Yes.  True dat, double true — a little self-esteem boost never hurt anyone.  And I do agree with you that tapered jeans make anyone look fat.  But so what.  What if you felt good about yourself before you were thrust into that 360° mirrored room and were perfectly happy until you discovered that one of your best friends didn’t like the way you look or dress?  How helpful is that?  And isn’t the world actually better with different kinds of people in it?  So, even though you think you are doing the world a favor by making over a biker chick into a Brooks Brothers model, you are actually just creating a little army of look alike lemmings with no individual style.  What fun is that?  And what would you do for a living if you didn’t have other people to make fun of?

The other show that really burns my biscuits is 10 Years Younger on TLC.  This show takes a person and stands them in a sound-proof box in the middle of a busy shopping area.  They then invite passersby to comment on the boxed person and make guesses about how old they are.  An average guessed age is calculated and then we get to see pictures of this person in their prime.  Cue the tears and the condolatory host tenderly asking “What happened to you?  How did you get this way?”  The typical subject of this show is simply a mom who who “let herself go” due to the unrelenting time and energy demands of motherhood, but the producers really hit pay dirt when they get a single mom with three jobs who has survived a series of family tragedies and has no dental plan.  After the tears and a promise to take better care of themselves, the subject is then whisked off to a dermatologist for chemical peels, laser treatments, and Botox injections, followed by a trip to the cosmetic dentist for veneers or Zoom whitening. Later they receive personal miracle sessions with a makeup artiste, hair genie, and personal fashion guru.  The big finish occurs when they stick the physically transformed person back in the box and inevitably the looky-lous guess that she is between 10 and 20 years younger than she was before the makeover.  Big fucking deal. Do you think it really matters that these women look 10 years younger when what they really need is insurance, some family support, and education to get a better paying job?  Maybe looking better will jumpstart their motivation to take better care of themselves.  But I’m guessing that they won’t be able to maintain the highlights and Botox injections when they are chasing toddlers and trying to put food on the table.

I think we’ve got this one backward, folks.  Instead of targeting people who don’t fit the bill on the surface, perhaps we need to focus on things that really make a difference to the bigger picture.  Focus on the forest instead of the tree.  I propose that it might be the more fashionable, surgically augmented, aesthetically “put together” people who may need a makeover for their souls. Now that would be a good makeover show: “Extreme Makeover – Soul Edition.”  Just imagine….a show where good looking, fashionable, shallow people are outed for their lack of philanthropic deeds by friends and co-workers and are ambushed and held in a cell while a team scrutinizes their contributions to society. Volunteer work? Charitable contributions? Random acts of kindness?  Recycling?  Then they are forced to rethink their style choices so that they will have to give a certain percentage of their income and time to charity and good deeds each week.  What?  No time for a facial peel because you were busy at the soup kitchen?  You made HOW MUCH by selling off your designer purses for charity?  WOW!  Now this would be life transforming….and for more than just one person at a time.

I am knocking myself out to teach my kids that inner-beauty is more important than outer-beauty.  These makeover shows tell us the opposite.  Just imagine what could be accomplished in this world if we switched our focus from external appearances to the beautification of the soul.  The following was written by Audrey Hepburn who was asked to share “beauty tips.”

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows.

The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.

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