Unlike years past, I did not ring in 2019 with a Notes-app litany of thoughtful resolutions. I just knew I wanted to be the best version of myself: Face snatched, journalism career poppin', platonic and romantic relationships nurtured, and my body treated like a temple. On my quest to be this fresh, glowing Caroline, I tried Amber Rose's SlutBox. My goal in trying Rose's subscription crate ($29.99 a month) was to see whether it could help me feel more sexually confident— maybe even Amber Rose-level confident in my sexuality.
And what better time to experiment than January? The beginning of the year is all about rebirth, so it was the perfect time for determining just how I was supposed to be a better version of myself in 2019. Having tried the box throughout the month, though, the results were not what I expected.
I do feel more sexually confident thanks to the SlutBox, but not in a loud or ostentatiously sexy way. It helped me feel glamorous and well taken care of, which is crucial — for both my own well-being and that of my romantic relationships. The SlutBox reminded me that yes, even when you're working on yourself in relation to others, it's actually best to be self-indulgent or "selfish" sometimes. You can’t give from an empty well. When adulting is kicking you in the teeth, hit "reset" and work on yourself first.
I stumbled across Rose's subscription crate while scrolling through Instagram last year, but I've been following her career for some time now. My first encounter with Rose was the 2009 VMAs. Middle-school me was flabbergasted at the sight of this carefree brown woman with a shaved head who unapologetically embraced her curves. I turned to my mom and asked, "Who is that?" She explained that Rose was Kanye West's girlfriend. Although the night would be overshadowed by the inciting incident of West and Taylor Swift's beef, Rose left an impression on me.
Fast forward to me being a budding feminist in undergrad. I was intrigued by the idea of a SlutWalk. I was also impressed by the way Rose reclaimed the word "slut" and seemed so sure of herself. Soon enough, I would be looking to @amberrose on Instagram for aesthetic inspiration. She was one of the main femme-presenting people I looked to for courage when I shaved my head in 2017.
Now, it was time to investigate what Rose was up to next with the SlutBox, "an inclusive, feminist beauty box curated by MUVA herself to empower, uplift, and celebrate everything that makes you sexy, unique and totally fierce." I didn't know quite what to expect. But I knew it would be a mix of cosmetics and items that would come in handy during sex. For example, December's SlutBox included eyeshadow, lipstick, lube, and a vibrator. November gifted subscribers with mascara, kama sutra oil, and period sex wax melts.
On Day 1 of trying out the subscription crate, I simply unboxed it and marveled at the goodies inside.
January's box was a collaboration with sex-positive, body-positive, LGBTQ+-inclusive newsletter Salty. The box included a Salty-themed booklet with a guide to the goods, complete with "Hoe Tips" on how to use the products, and articles about sexual health. There were also profiles of drag queens Cherry and Tayla Macdonald, as well as a "Sluts Unite" section highlighting cute posts of people with their SlutBoxes.
It was encouraging to flick to the Libra "Whoreoscope" and read, "Now is the time to get sh*t done... These are the golden days where just about everything will be goin' your way. You'll be lookin' and feeling your best, so don't stay cooped up at home." January also brought lip balm, blush, a condom, glitter pasties, a guide to anal from sex toy company b-Vibe, bath salts, a face mask, and CBD oil-infused gummy bears. I made a mental note of how and when I'd use everything in the next coming days.
On Day 2, I figured I'd trying incorporating the lip balm and the blush into my regular makeup and skincare routine.
Adulting lately has made me face-moisturizer-and-go type of gal. At best, I'm opting for shimmery no-makeup makeup looks that make me look like I've spent the summer in Tuscany. Or Narnia. I did my usual routine and finished with L.O.V. Liason Dewy Gel Blush Stick ($13). As someone who likes Glossier's Cloud Paint ($18), which is ultra-buildable, I found this blush to be quite smooth and subtle. The brush on the end of the stick was ideal for blending. Overall, I think the blush would look good on any skin complexion with warm undertones.
I worship at the altar of Glossier's Balm Dot Com ($12) to keep chapped lips at bay. While trying out the SlutBox, I switched over to a FOUR Organics' lip balm ($18 for a three-pack). The name comes from the balm's four ingredients: Coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba oil, and peppermint oil. Putting it on gave my lips a good little minty feeling and kept them pretty kissable. Reports say I was even more kissable than when I use Balm Dot Com, because the texture isn't as sticky.
On Day 3, I ended work early, so I made the most important plans a human being can make: To catch up on sleep. I made use of the One Condoms UltraFeel 2-in-1 Condom ($15 for a 10-pack) — fun fact, condoms come in handy to keep sex toys hygienic — and got ready to sleep. That's where the Not Pot Vegan CBD Gummies ($39.99) came in. I had recently read an article about how CBD gummies helped a woman overcome insomnia. So the idea of CBD gummies as a sleep aid — as opposed to something to simply take the edge off — was fixed in my mind.
I didn't feel anything for awhile, so I to music and danced around since I had the house to myself. But an hour or so later, I was off dancing with CBD-infused sugarplum fairies. I set my alarm so that I could take a 45-minute nap. I snoozed it, and woke up an hour and some change after I intended to. When I finally did get up, I could access it as one of those fierce naps where you wake up not knowing the year or even your own name. Since then, I've eaten just one other CBD gummy to wind down a couple hours before bedtime. The gummy also helped here, putting me into a restful sleep.
On Day 4, I decided to indulge in a nice hot bath, complete with a face mask. I emptied a healthy amount of Jersey Shore Cosmetics' Salty B!tch Bath Salts ($27.50) into the water. Then I applied RAEKA Beauty's Turmeric and Cucumber Peel Off Mask ($29.50 for 75 ml) and lowered myself in. It was high-key an introvert's dream to have the house to myself, my favorite podcasts blaring from the shower speaker, and my skin being pampered by these SlutBox products.
The only thing I haven't had the chance to try out yet, regrettably, are the Be Appeeling pasties ($8). Every box gets a different set and I got the these daring, sparkly black stars. The most going-out I've done lately was drinks and churros with a friend. It wasn't exactly an affair that warranted pasties, but I'm going to keep brainstorming.
Incorporating products like the ones from SlutBox have made all the difference in my life and relationship. Not only am I less grumpy in the mornings, according to my girlfriend, but I'm also more energetic throughout the day. She observed this change in me when it comes to mundane activities and when we went over to my parents' to spend time with my mom. My girlfriend has also noticed a difference in our bedroom activities, since I'm more frequently in the mood. The route may seem indirect, but treating myself with the SlutBox goodies did set me up to be more sexually confident in 2019.
We've also been more in tune as a couple. Following my loose set of 2019 resolutions, I've been drinking more water, cutting down on dairy, getting more sleep, and handing out more "no"s to protect my energy. These are all things I didn't do enough in 2018. Not doing so made me perpetually irritable, which wasn't good for me or for my partner. Now that I've made a switch to taking better care of myself — with the SlutBox at my side — I have more patience. I can put more effort into helping with dinner and not letting my temper get the best of me. My girlfriend also noted that we've been better connected, communication-wise, since I've started my trial of the SlutBox. I feel better about my body and my mind, which in turn, puts me in a place to be more radiant, more sexually confident, and a better me.
Of course, you do self-care for yourself — that's literally in the name! But it's good to remember that self-care benefits the people around you, too. If you feel like you're running on empty, remind your friends and lovers that taking time to be "selfish" is a win-win for everyone.