We all have one of those girlfriends that always makes us feel better. One night a few months ago when I first moved to Portland and I was depressed I was texting with mine–the writer Kassi Underwood. Not to be confused with the American Idol winner Carrie Underwood who I do sometimes confuse her with. They’re both gorgeous and they’re both vegan!

Somehow, during our Friday night texting, the subject of make-up and skin care products came up. Kassi texted me this:

“That’s my pinky. Next to my pinky is a $20 sample tube of La Mer. Mindy Kaling said she knew she’d made it when she could afford to supply her mama with Crème de la Mer, a full bottle of which costs about $1,900. I guess I haven’t made it, but you gotta start somewhere.”

Mindy Kaling wrote that here on her website, where she does a skin-care round-up. Funny, because I recently quoted Mindy Kaling to someone. On The Happiness Project she wrote that her friend’s dad once told her, “The best revenge is living well.” I liked that.

Sort of related, I bought an eyebrow pencil which has changed my life. I used to use the Cover Girl brand, but it doesn’t have anything on this one I got called Anastasia Brow Wiz.  It makes my brows look so much better and the color really matches!

Good eye-brow day

I miss Kassi. Can you tell? We met about a year ago. We shared a bed at the AWP Conference in Chicago and giggled late into the night. We watched Girls on YouTube. She read at the Hudson River Loft Reading series that I used to host at my house. She’s writing a book. She inspires me. Here we are last spring in Hudson, New York, with the writers Joe Riippi (Joe just sold his Novel, Research to Civil Coping Mechanisms! CONGRATS, JOE!) and Robb Todd (author of STEAL ME FOR YOUR STORIES).

Joe Rippii, Kassi,  Robb Todd, and me.

Want to know more? Go to her website. Read her essays: “A Lost Child, But Not Mine” in The New York Times and “Get Your Politics Off my Grief ” in The Daily News.  And  oh: Why A Memoirist Can Be a Songwriter But Snooki Can’t Be a Novelist.” 

Watch this video winning the Pro-Voice Storytelling Award.

And look out for Kassi’s upcoming memoir, tentatively titled: YOU OWE NOTHING. She described it to me like this:

Three years after my abortion, my ex-boyfriend names his daughter the same name I mentioned.  Faced with relentless baby dreams and a whole lot of questions, I set off on a nationwide search to heal. I fumble hopefully through post-abortion rituals offered in the Buddhist, Catholic, and Jewish communities. On a road trip in California, my mother enjoys a lovely vacation — palm fronds, vineyards — while I wrestle with my decision in sessions with a pro-choice therapist, reproductive health scholars, and an abortion healer in a seedy motel. The world often replicates my own internal conflict, but I do find healing, Chloe, my dear, and the answer isn’t at all what I expect. Also: I do not get engaged or married or pregnant at the end of this book.

Oh–and for mascara, I lovelovelove BUXOM. What do you use?? Tell me about your eye-care products. Please.



  1. Awww, Chloe, EYE MISS YOU! Thank you for this lovely ode to our friendship. Writers don’t let writers write without great skincare products. Your brows look stunning. Mind-blowing essays live behind those brows. P.S. Congrats, Joe!

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