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October - December 2010     VOLUME 14 ISSUE 4
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“How to Stay Dreamy When You’re Dead” by Gina Covello

Gina's Gems
as told to author Lucienne Diver

First off, if you’re a zombie, I can’t help you. I don’t think there’s any skin care regimen in the world that’ll keep your skin from sloughing off when you’re many days dead. Maybe supplement your all-brain diet with some Twinkies once in awhile or something else loaded with preservatives. Or, wait, pickles! Pickled eggs, pickled pigs’ feet…all kinds of really gross stuff gets pickled. If it works for them, it should work for you. Beyond that, may I suggest accessorizing with air fresheners. Maybe some Febreeze earrings and a nice pine pendant. Even so, you may want to stalk downwind. I’ve also got to think that darkness is your best lighting. You know, as in total, lunar or solar eclipse darkness.

If you’re a werewolf or some other shifter, well then, you’re not dead…except maybe for your social life once a month, so this post really doesn’t apply to you. Although, all that stretching of the skin, popping of joints, ecetera and so forth…. You probably want to make sure you’ve got a killer moisturizing regimen with some secret ingredient to promote elasticity. And I hear Acai is the new wonder-berry for joints and anything else that ails ya. All the cool kids are drinking it.

Now, if you’re a vamp like me, chances are you’ve got a complexion problem…as in your face shines like the moon, as pale as parchment. Self-tanning lotions just make you look like an Oompa-loompa. What’s a guy or gal to do? Okay, you’ve got a few options. Guys, you can spike your hair up, pose a lot and tell everyone you’re going for the Robert Pattinson look. Although, when possible, it’s best to be a fashion leader rather than a follower. Gals, your options aren’t quite as appealing. You’ve got, um, Morticia Addams from The Addams Family and maybe Bellb atrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, but neither of those is going to necessarily net you a date for the prom. My solution? Shell out for the professional spray tan. Unless, of course, you’re going goth, as I had to for a super-secret mission (which you can read all about in ReVamped…names changed to protect the “innocent”), in which case, you’re already golden.

Next: make-up. I’m totally not a philosophical person, so soul…no soul, who’s to say, but I think the biggest argument for fangnation being close to damnation is the fact that we have to spend all eternity with no way to fix our hair and make-up. That’s got to be the ultimate cosmic joke, right? No reflection can equal serious stylistic suicide if you’re not careful. Now, in Vamped I tried to turn my own stylist, which didn’t work out so well for me, but if you’ve got the means to support your minions, I say go for it. (In fact, in just a couple of days, I have a piece on “The Care and Feeding of Minions” posting on the Magical Words blog for those so inclined.) If not, you may want to practice with someone you trust to tell you whether your make-up makes you look like a mime and your hair a hornet’s nest. Remember, practice makes perfect.

If you’re actually going for the Bellatrix Lestrange look, like for Halloween or something, frying your hair with a really bad perm ought to do it. If that doesn’t work, try the old finger-in-a-light-socket approach. Being mad as a hatter never hurts either, but sometimes you can go a little too far with the method acting. If you find yourself poking pointy sticks at bespectacled boys, pull back just a bit. Especially if said poking involves cackling as you mutter Latin-sounding words in an ominous voice.

Clothing: I don’t care what decade you died in, it’s vitally important to be au courant with fashion. You know how you can tell it’s important? The French invented au courant, and Paris being the fashion capital of the world… You get me? Good. Anyway, you don’t want to trail behind on the latest fashions or become totally irrelevant. And don’t worry, your comfort zone will come around again. Fashion seems to recycle every thirty or forty years or so, just like television. I mean, bringing back Hawaii Five-O and The A-Team…what’s that all about?
Remember, blood is never fashion-forward. So if you tend to be a messy eater, I totally recommend bringing along a change of clothes or at least a handkerchief to dab at the overflow. Because, really, bibs rank right up there with adult diapers as things to be avoided at all costs.

Okay, so we’ve covered skin care, cosmetics, clothing and costuming. I guess we’re good. Follow my advice and you’ll be looking fine into forever. Just because you’re old as dirt doesn’t mean you have to look it.

Gina will be appearing (and her author Lucienne Diver) on October 23rd at the Cooper Memorial Library for the Trash to Fashion program during Teen Read Week.  Her latest novel Re-Vamped will be released in October.