Things I Bought That I Love: American Apparel Puff Sleeve Chiffon Top

I once heard that Steve Martin, when he found an item of clothing he liked, he would buy 10 of them so he had them in every one of his houses and could replace it for years. I love that kind of borderline obsessive behavior. Well, to be more accurate I guess I just like most things Steve Martin does– this is what’s hanging on the wall of my house when you walk down the hall.

I have these same inclinations but I have to curb them, because I know that no matter how hard it is to find a pair of awesome, perfectly-cut-for-my-body jeans, that I get bored of things very easily. I’m a sucker for trends and I’ll always want to change things in about 4 months.

Wanting to change your wardrobe frequently means that most of my clothes can’t be expensive. That’s totally fine by me, because I don’t like the pressure of not getting fancy clothes lost, stolen or Tabasco’d. Yeah, Rick Owens is fabulous, but am I really going to go to my job as a COMEDY WRITER IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY and wear some haute couture leather leggings and booties? In a perfect world where all the writers on my staff have their same brains but look like Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl, yes. But that’s not my life. Whenever I get too fashion-y, someone on my staff says “Why do you look like a Sister Wife?” or “Oh, are there auditions for the Rhythm Nation video again?”

All this to say, my wardrobe contains my fair share of American Apparel. American Apparel is a daunting and amazing place. It is a place where disinterested teenagers whose nipples you can see through their shirt help you try on lycra bootie shorts while you listen to 80′s Paula Abdul played ironically. Or is it retro, and not irony? I have no f’ing idea. You see?

My big Steve Martin-level volume purchase was of four puff sleeve chiffon tops by American Apparel. Here it is:

I love a good puff sleeve top. With the right amount of a puff, a puff sleeve top can appear both lady-like and child-like, in the very best way, if that makes sense. I bought this in black and can wear it over jeans, or tucked into a skirt of pair of shorts. It is so flattering on the arms and fitted in that American Apparel way. Because it’s chiffon, it can be dressed up or down.

I got it in black to wear with a red Herve Leger skirt and it went together beautifully. I have also worn it over jean shorts. It’s so versatile I find myself wearing one color or another about three times a week. That’s why I have four of them. The very best thing about it is that it doesn’t have an annoying zipper or buttons. You just throw it over your head, jam it into your skirt or shorts, and call it a day. I hate delicate blouses. Who do you think you are? And if you get makeup on it, you can fling it off and wipe it off with water– it dries instantly.

Good for: Girls wanting to look demure in a hurry but are really cheap slobs.



Things I Bought That I Love: Urban Decay Naked Palette

I surprisingly travel very light. This is because there is no hell greater than waiting for luggage at baggage claim. It’s just such a snoozy chafe of a time, like waiting for fingernails to dry at a manicure. I’d rather travel with a backpack full of mini travel-sized Purell and men’s deodorant than check in my full-sized bottles of stuff I actually love. And there’s no way in hell I’m ever siphoning my products into travel-sized containers and labeling them and making sure everything’s packed snug and tight so nothing spills. What am I, addicted to boredom like some OCD goddess? I’m not doing any of that!

So when I travel, I like to have things that can play double-duty. One bra can last a week (Sorry it’s gross but it’s true. Who needs more than a single good bra on a trip less than 7 days?). Socks sometimes get worn inside out. And it goes double for makeup. My eyeliner now gets dabbed on my brows as brow pencil. A tiny blot of Chanel Shanghai Red lipstick serves as a great blush. And I usually only take one eye shadow, and it has to be a palette.

Like everyone on the planet, I think Kim Kardashian looks prettier with no makeup on. Now, of course that’s from when I think she’s not wearing makeup, which was an episode from Season One of Keeping Up With The Kardashians when she was crying because she let out some secret sex photos of Kourtney from high school, or something. She just looked so pretty and normal.

She seems to enjoying wearing makeup, though, so more power to her. I like crazy fortune teller glitter nails, and if anyone told me I looked more demure without them, I’d say, “Sorry dude, it’s not about what you like better, it’s my nails.” So that said, Kim K. kills a smoky eye. It’s usually gold and smoky, which is pretty on everyone.

The reason I love this Naked Palette by Urban Decay is you can make any conceivable attractive eye look in one palette. If you want to look like Kim Kardashian on a trip to Beatrice, you can do that. But you can also look like Katie Couric if you want to. I defy you to find an eye makeup look – short of Gaga – that you can’t do with this palette.

Right now you’re thinking: “Yeah, Mindy, we weren’t raised in a poor orphanage, we know about color palettes.” The difference is: Urban Decay is famous for shimmers, glitters and bold, rich saturated statement colors. While playful, their shadow colors last. For my oily lidded eyes (sorry guys, gross but true), Stila, Chanel, Nars and Urban Decay are the best-staying colors. And now Urban Decay has a palette that– for them– is downright conservative. At $48, you will basically have every color you’d ever need, in rich, high quality, lasting pigment.

This palette was used to create my bright, simple eye for this great Bust Magazine photo (photo by Emily Shur.)

Good For: Female travelers who want lots of makeup options, and not a back-breaking travel experience.



Things I Bought That I Love: You’re Hanging Out With Mindy, A Mix CD by Samantha Ronson

Here’s a small example of why I’m an extremely lucky person. Besides living in America, having parents who put a premium on higher education, having my health and all of those larger, incredible, very macro Mindy Is Lucky factors, I’m also lucky to have great friends.

In honor of my book coming out last Tuesday, my lovely and busy pal Samantha Ronson made a mix CD in honor of the event. Now, I have a lot of busy friends, but very few are as non-stop travelers as Samantha, who in the same week might be DJ’ing an princess’s sweet sixteen in Kuwait and then jets off to DJ a new swanky club in Las Vegas. Her constant stays in hotels is why she has an encyclopedic knowledge of Law & Order. It’s great.

Months ago, I tweeted I wanted to make a mix in honor of my book, thinking “Hell, I’ll just buy 17 songs on iTunes and burn a couple dozen copies and hand them out at book signings to interested tweens.” Samantha immediately offered to mix it for me. A few weeks before my book came out, she’d call me at 1am or so (this is when she’s at the studio, this is normal for music industry people) and ask me for a few songs. I gave her some cools ones and Samantha said, “Come on, these aren’t real. Tell me your dorky ones that you really love.” Busted but relieved, I confessed my dorkier ones.

Samantha’s mix is amazing. It’s perfect for getting ready for a party, for psyching yourself into working out, and just for having on when you’re cooking a microwave Healthy Choice dinner at 10:30 at night when you come home from work starving (this might be only relatable to me). It’s so much fun. Once burned, my friend Marissa Ross and her boyfriend Ben Blascoe designed these hilarious and funny CD covers.

I love that they made them goofy but cute and still in the theme of my book cover. Aren’t the songs the best? I love that Samantha included one of her new songs on there– it’s so great and makes me feel really special. Now, publishing my book lives in two mediums, which is awesome! Later this month we’ll be giving away copies of the CD, which I might be able to get Samantha to sign.

Now when I become a creaky old lady boring my grandkids with stories of my younger days, I can show them my book and give them a CD, which will likely be a charmingly archaic form of storing music.

Good for: People who wanna dance! And who like my book.



Things I Bought That I Love: Pink Sneakers

I love working out, but only if it’s completely on my terms. I can only work out solo. I‘m not one of those cool people who is totally fine with someone asking if they can join me on a run. For me, I’m like: “Why? Why would I want to have you run with me, and bear witness to my slowness and the intense look on my face as I’m thinking of elaborate revenge fantasies to get me through my short three mile jog?”

I do like wearing cute workout clothes. My first season on The Office, when I was 24, I used to walk to the gym and work out happily in my gym clothes from Costco and Target. I love baggy gym clothes-– sorry guys, they sop up sweat! But then on the way back to my apartment complex, two separate tenants asked if I was the cleaning lady who was supposed to show up that day. I thought it was funny. When I retold the story at work for everyone’s enjoyment, my friend BJ told me, kind of sternly: “Mindy, you shouldn’t wear baggy gross workout clothes. You’re on camera now, people might see you.” This is the one time my friend BJ and my grandmother would have given me the exact same advice.

This scared me but was a good criticism, not only for people on camera, but just, because I should always aim to look palatable, right? Ever since then I’ve tried to curate a comfy but somewhat cool gym “look”. Usually it’s a long-sleeve tshirt from a place I like, like Quebrada Bakery (near my parents home in Boston), Flight of The Conchords, or The Strand or something. Pants are usually some kind of fitted and flattering Lululemon or Lucy yoga pants (can’t do capri, because I only have mismatched socks and refuse to spend a moment of my life matching socks).

Sneakers are where I, Mindy Kaling, take the f’ing lead. Pink sneakers, to be exact. Without tooting my own horn too much, I love wearing cool kicks and get compliments on them all the time. Here are my favorites!

The K-Swiss California R. These are pretty badass. And by badass I mean, a little nutty, but in a good way. It’s a strong commitment to pink to wear these. But strong commitment is what has given us such fashion luminaries as Nicki Minaj and Gwen Stefani. I imagine the Tooth Fairy wears these on her nightly deliveries (I mean, she flies, but she’s gotta wear some kind of shoe).

The Puma H Streets are great for stairmaster and elliptical but I don’t use them for running. I once spent almost 40 minutes admiring them in the mirror of the Crunch gym on Sunset. (This is actually pretty tame behavior for this gym, which is the home of a certain creepy 80’s film star who just wanders around hitting on girls.)

A more demure celebration of pink, I love these Lunarglides by Nike. They say: “Hey, I’m may be fashion-interested and girly but I’m here to work out, guy.”

And lastly, the most commited of the pink shoes, these sleek/strange/awesome fuschia Asics Gel Speedstar. For Athena herself.

Good for: Girls and Women who love pink, and love to sweat! Heeeey!!!



Things I Bought That I Love: Gap 1969 Snakeskin Print Legging Jean

The legging jean has ruined life for me. I don’t remember the last time I wore proper jeans. And jeans without stretch? What are those even? Gross.

I, like most Americans, love the Gap. Besides having Christmas ads that single-handedly usher in the season without annoying people (like no other company has ever done), they have the best basics at the best prices.

Isn’t that cozy and Christmas-y looking, but like, urban and cool too? Like a Christmas scene from a 70’s Woody Allen movie. I also love buying a statement piece here, like a pink patent belt or neon green tshirt, or anything trendy, so if I only wear it once (or never) it’s not like I’m out of a ton of money.

And these snakeskin print legging jean are the definition of trendy.

Now, considering that I think leopard print is a new basic, I personally think these aren’t so outrageous. Throw on a black sweater or blazer and some statement earrings and you can probably go to work, and then a party afterwards in these. I also think they’d look great tucked into black boots. Or with a deep red tunic sweater over them.

Guys, come on. They’re $69.50. Try them!

Good for: fun fashion girls and thin gay dudes.



Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Mindy?



Things I Bought That I Love: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)

A year and a half ago I started writing a book that comes out today.

I am so terrified, you guys. Not because I don’t think the book is great-– which it really is, I swear-– but because it is the first thing I’ve ever done creatively that is 100% me. There hasn’t been a more complete representation of who I am then this book. So win or lose, it’ll all be on me.

Remember this summer, when that Beyonce documentary, Year of Four, came out?

It’s only twenty minutes or so, and I recommend you watching it. It really resonated with me; Beyonce’s tirelessness, her sense of fun, her passion for making music, her love of fashion, her decisiveness, and especially, her ambition, are all on display. Ambition in women is not rewarded all the time, and in this documentary, it is celebrated. I was writing my book at home in my parents house when it came out and it really inspired me. Not so much in content (I will never be in as many fabulous situations as Beyonce Knowles), but in its spirit. She works her ass off, because she loves her craft, and she loves being a baller.

Even though it was an intense personal journey writing the book (don’t worry-– that was just the process), the material is funny. It’s stories about my childhood, essays, my friends, my phobias, a few romances, Hollywood, how I got where I am now. You’ll really like it, guys. I promise.

Good for: Anyone who has read this far in my blog.



Things I Bought That I Love: The Body Shop Cactus Body Brush

Let’s talk about the softness of women’s skin. Skin softness is a common preoccupation for dark-skinned women. I swear there must be (and should be!) a documentary about lotions and the dark-skinned woman. I have dark brown skin, and no fancy department store moisturizer seems to be moisturizing enough to keep my legs from goin’ gray midday. I have to use the CVS special Eucerin or Lubriderm “calming cream” or “heavy-duty” moisturizer that is sold to either women with comparably dark skin or medically parched burn victims. I don’t care though; I save a ton of money not buying fancy lotion this way. (Tangential observation for dark-skinned women: Isn’t it annoying when you go to a hotel and they have body lotion and it’s so thin and non-moisturizing you’re like: this could basically be water?).

In this economy it is great that I can keep my skin smooth and soft with various low-cost methods. One is my no-frills CVS skin cream regimen, as I’ve mentioned. The other is my Body Shop Cactus body brush.

My lovely mom has been telling me to scrub and moisturize my skin since I was a tiny kid watching her put on Oil of Olay on her face. Maybe it’s an Indian thing, but where others simply pumice their feet, my mom would advise me to gently pumice my elbows, knee and upper arm skin. Then, post-shower, a deep and nourishing lotion application. I still do this and not to sound all braggy but, I have been complimented many times for my soft skin (but never for my greasy-and-yet-still-dry hair! You win some you lose some.)

There are two things I’m proud to say I introduced to my mom. The first is Crème de la Mer (When I got my first staff writers check for The Office, I bought my mom some Crème de la Mer. This insanely great and hideously expensive face cream was my “Look, Ma! I made it!” present to her that I make sure to keep her supplied with).

The other is the Body Shop Cactus Brush. It’s scratchy and great and gets gunk off your back/legs/feet while exfoliating. You can’t get soft skin from loofahs. Loofahs are for the freaking birds. Literally. I’d like to see some birds flying around with loofahs in their mouths and maybe building nests with them. They do nothing.

Loofahs, I am so on to you.

The Cactus Body Crush is $15 and I replace mine twice a year (oh fine, once a year. I’m lazy). I use it every day in the shower.

Good for: People into softness, or need an inexpensive gift for a friend or lover with
scaly skin.




There is an omitted chapter from my book called “Robo-Bath”. It was based on an idea I’ve had since I was a teenager about a device that would bath you to your specifications, all while you lay in it, sleeping or zoning out. (Unsurprisingly, this idea was invented during a time in high school when I was trying to get into college and staying up really late to do homework, and waking up super early to get to my singing group rehearsals, which were at 7am before classes started).

Robo-Bath would be a human-shaped plastic mold that lay flat in your bathroom. All you would do is open it, punch a few buttons, and it would close on you. Shampoo, conditioner, and all varieties of soap would be pre-filled into Robo-Bath. Then, warm water would rush into the Robo-Bath, wetting your entire body, and tiny brushes would scrub you clean while you breathed through a plastic tube.

Even though I think Robo-Bath is an amazing idea and will one day make me the billionaire I deserve to be, I cut the chapter from the book because it made me seem a little crazy.

The closest thing I can currently find on the market that approximated Robo-Bath is the Clarisonic Brush. The Clarisonic Brush is a handhelf electric facial brush approximately the size of a men’s electric razor. It gently but vigorously cleans your skin and stimulates it so your face is super rosy when you leave the shower.

I like mine so much I bought a travel size, the Mia. I was worried that an electric facial brush would wreck my skin, but it doesn’t get that intense. It just sort of purrs on your skin and makes the most of your face wash. I also use it on my neck and elbows, which I never remember to clean.

Good for: People who are lazy, like me, but want good clean skin.



Cool Press For “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”

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TimeOut New York

Entertainment Weekly