It’s National Best Friends Day!

It’s National Best Friends Day today, and the good folks over at shomi were curious about your best friend behaviour! In honor of their new exclusive series Playing House (about childhood besties raising a baby together), they surveyed over 3,000 people to see how BFFs like to stream together and what they like to watch together. Check it out:



Who’s your TV BFF? What do you stream with your IRL BFF? Let us know on Twitter @SamMaggs and @shomicanada using #NationalBestFriendsDay!


Calgary Expo Schedule 2016

Calgary Expo, the very best con in Canada (in my humble opinion) is this week, and I’m going to be doing a whole lot of things there. I’ll also likely have a signing time on Sunday with ARCs of Wonder Women to give away, but that’s still TBD.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of everything I’ll be hosting this weekend! Please come up and say hi if you see me!

Wednesday, April 27

I’m going to be on City TV’s Breakfast TV at 8:20am, and CTV’s Noon News at 12:30pm, heck yeah.

7:00pm – Sam Maggs: Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
John Dutton Theatre, Calgary Public Library Main Brance,616 Macleod Trail SE
I have my very own event with WordFest before the Expo! Come see me talk with Shelley Youngblut and ask me any of your questions about writing and geekery and then I’ll sign your book after and we can be friends and I’m just really excited about this!! You can get tickets here.

Friday, April 29

7:00pm – Battlestar Galactica, Corral
Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck), Grace Park (Boomer), and Tamoh Penikett (Helo) are totally going to be on stage with me, dang.

8:00pm – Geek Girl Gathering, Palomino E
Come and hang out for the evening with me and some excellent local geeky gals, including Kara Swanson, Stephanie Chan, Malory Lyness, and Alexis Ly!

Saturday, April 30

11:45am – Spotlight on Charles Martinet, Boyce
It’s-a Mario!

2:30pm – Fangirl’s Guide signing
At the CCEE PR booth, right next to Weta in the BMO building!

3:30pm – Spotlight on Phil LaMarr, Boyce
If you’ve ever watched anything with a voice actor, you’ve heard him.

5:30pm – Kids’ Costume Showcase, Corral
There’s gonna be some cuties here.

6:00pm – Costume Contest, Corral
I’m going to chat with some folks on-stage during intermissions who will be creating costumes live on stage! So rad.

Sunday, April 31

11:00am – The Malfoys, Corral
Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton, you guys. For realsies.

12:45pm – Voice Acting in Gaming, Boyce
Let’s hang out with Nolan North and probably nerd out about Uncharted 4.

2:00pm – Spotlight on Steve Blum, Boyce
He’s Spike and Grunt, it’s a lot to handle.

See You in the Emerald City

Aww yiss, it’s Emerald City Comicon time! You can catch me at any of 5 panels, 2 signings, and an evening event, so definitely please come say hi and we can high-five and that will be pretty rad.


Thursday, April 7

5-6pm: Book Signing
Quirk Books Booth #215
Signing with Hope Nicholson for Secret Loves of Geek Girls. Also signing The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and ARCs of Wonder Women (it doesn’t come out til October, so come get your copy early!). 

Friday, April 8

12:30-1:30pm: Secret Loves of Geek Girls
Room T302
Secret Loves of Geek Girls is an anthology dedicated to sharing the stories of love, sex, and dating from women in the fandom industry. From comic creators to video-game developers, fangirls to sci-fi authors, the anthology is a new mix of prose and comic stories from established and up-and-coming creators. In this panel, contributors to the anthology discuss their stories and the process of developing the anthology.
With Hope Nicholson, Roberta Gregory, Irene Koh, Laura Neubert, and Megan Lavey-Heaton.

1:30-2:30pm: Moving Beyond the Strong Female Character
Room T303
Representation is important in all forms of media – so how do we go about making sure that creators continue to improve their work? It’s not enough to just make Strong Female Characters – we need well-written, fully-developed female character in our comics, video games, TV shows, and movies. Join our panelists as they chat about their favorite lady characters in media, what they think could be improved, and how we can go about making those changes.
With Hope Nicholson, Leila del Duca, Jen Bartel, and Babs Tarr.

6:30-7:30pm: Be Your Own Superhero: Intersectional Feminism in Comics
Room W603
Ms. Marvel and Bitch Planet are blowing up the world of comics; but being a good feminist isn’t just about getting as many female-led titles on the shelf as possible (though that doesn’t hurt). Representation matters to everyone, and diversity of all kinds both behind and on the page makes a huge difference in the stories we read and the ideas we internalize. Join our panel of comic pros to chat about all the different strides we’ve made in representation of race, gender, and sexuality in comics – and how we can strive to do better.
With Jody Houser, Irene Koh, Kristafer Anka, Fionna Adams, Amy Chu, and Chrystin Garland.

Saturday, April 9

2:45-3:45pm: Fangirls at the Forefront
Room W603
Creators are cool, but you know who makes the geek world go ’round? You, fangirl. With the massive growth of social media in the past five years, female fans have an unprecedented voice in the world of geek media. Fangirls – essentially 50% of the audience for all geek media – are changing comic books and video games from the ground up, from online campaigns to cosplay to cons, we’re everywhere. Join a panel of awesome fangirls with out-of the-box jobs in nerdery – from authors to community managers to entrepreneurs to event planners – who can advise you on how to be the best fan you can be.
With Sarah K. Fetter, Kristin Lindsay, Irene Bradish, Trin Garritano, and Marlene Bonnelly.

4:30-5:30pm: Book Signing
Quirk Books Booth #215
Signing The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and ARCs of Wonder Women (it doesn’t come out til October, so come get your copy early!)

7pm: Worldbuilders Party
Come play table top games with me and a ton of people way more famous than I am – for charity!
Tickets available here.

Sunday, April 10

1:00pm: Not Just A Trend: Female Protagonists in Video Games
Twitch Stage (and broadcast live on Twitch)
For years, women who both play and work in video games have been demanding better representation. Not that we don’t all love Lara Croft, but women in games deserve to be as nuanced, strong, flawed, kick-butt, and even clothed as their male counterparts. With the industry finally trending in the right direction, join our panel of industry professionals to discuss the future of female protagonists in gaming, which games they love for representation, and what they’re looking forward to playing the most in 2016.
With Amy Swank, Asia al-Massari, Cara McGee, and Trin Garritano.

Week 11 Skincare Update: I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit BP

Soooo some bad news: taking Benzoyl Peroxide down to once every two days made me break out all over my chin and jawline. Which isn’t amazing. I’m also under a lot of life stress right now between personal stuff and job stuff, and the last thing I need is to be hating the way I look on top of it all. So (for now) fuck quitting BP! I’ve already eliminated it from my cleanser and scaled the cream back to one a day, so I’m using 1/4 of what I did when I started – a huge improvement.

I still want to swap out my Proactiv Toner and Cream for the CosRX products, but honestly right now I just really need to try some more fun stuff on my skin because everything else in my life is a trash fire. So here’s what I’m going to try every couple of weeks, in order!

Then I’ll have hopefully some new stuff added to my routine! At which point I’ll swap out the Proactiv Toner for my COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and then once again start trying to remove the BP from my routine.

The thing is, I really feel like if I wean myself off the BP and replace it with stuff like COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Skin Food Peach Sake Toner I will be able to stay clear. But I just really cannot deal with that right now.

Week 8 Skincare Update

Super quick update because my process is super boring lately!

I have miraculously managed to take my 5.5% Glycolic Acid toner (AHA) down from twice a day to just evenings, which is awesome. I’ve noticed a couple of tiny pimples, but nothing crazy like when I was using the MISSHA FTE. For the next two weeks I’m going to try to reduce the use of my 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide cream to once a day as well. I think by reducing my use of both of those products by half, my skin should be noticeably less dry.

To replace my Proactiv Repairing Lotion (Benzoyl Peroxide) I think I’m going to order the Paula’s Choice 2.5%, and like I mentioned last time I have the 7% Glycolic Acid AHA from CosRX to replace the Proactiv Toner. But honestly, what I would love to do after this is see if I can wean myself off the BP and the AHA entirely. The BP is super drying and chemically and gross and the AHA is photosensitive, and frankly, if I can get rid of them both I think I would be healthier and better off.

So even though it puts off the rest of my fun stuff a bit (ugh!!!!) I think I’m going to slowly start to eliminate the BP from my routine – first once a day, then once every two days, then every third day, etc., until I can finally just (HOPEFULLY) not use it again ever. Some people basically explode into a disgusting pimply mess when they quit BP, but I’m hoping that by doing it slowly instead of cold turkey my skin won’t go into crazy withdrawal.

I’m super scared about this because to be honest I love my perfect skin and I’m terrified of looking like a pimply teenager again. But I really do want to be healthier and I don’t want to be slathering parabens and shit all over my face for the rest of my existence so… I’m going for it. PRAY 5 ME.

Week 6 Skincare: Hoo Boy

Okay, so I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted about this, but I’ve been having some serious trial-and-error and it’s been messing me up a little. Here’s what I’ve been using (morning and night) that’s been working for me:

  • DHC Oil Cleanser
  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser
  • Proactiv Toner (5.5% AHA Glycolic Acid)
  • Mizon Snail Recovery Gel
  • Proactiv Repairing Lotion (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide)
  • Etude House Moistfull Eye Cream
  • Etude House Moistfull Cream

For a couple of weeks, I tried using the MISSHA First Treatment Essence and the Etude House Freshner before the Snail Gel and that was a mistake. I broke out all over my chin and it was a horrible disaster, and because I was bad and didn’t do one thing at a time I can’t be sure what caused it (though I’m 99% sure it was the MISSHA, which is a real shame because I’ve heard such good things about it).

SO, what next? I’d really like to start adding sunscreen to my morning routine (essential), as well as a sleeping pack at night (I’ve been having some dryness in the Toronto winter). I also have yet to start using any essences, face masks, ampoules, or serums. But I think my first and most important priority (boring as it is) still has to be getting myself off of Proactiv. Womp womp.

To replace my Proactiv Toner, I have the CosRX AHA Whitehead Power Liquid (7% Glycolic Acid), and I still need something to replace the Proactiv Repairing Lotion. The thing is, everyone says that your acids should only be applied once a day MAX (once every three days, ideally), and I’ve been using motherfucking Proactiv Toner on my face twice a day, every day WITHOUT SUNSCREEN EVEN THOUGH IT’S PHOTOSENSITIVE since I was 15 years old NO WONDER MY SKIN IS LIKE A RAGGED PIECE OF BURNT BACON, GOD. So what I really want to do, before starting any other products, is just lower my acid use to once a day. I’m sure that’ll be fine. Right?


Okay, so here’s my plan for the next like… several months, I suppose, which each step taking two weeks:

  • Reduce Proactiv Toner to evenings only
  • Reduce Proactiv Repairing Lotion to evenings only
  • Add sunscreen to morning routine
  • Transition to CosRX AHA evenings only
  • Transition to new Benzoyl Peroxide evenings only

I know I’ll still be using the same chemicals on my face, but using them less frequently and with better formulas, I’ll feel better about it overall. Once I’ve done all that, then I can finally start adding all the fun stuff to my routine.


Oh well, at least I’m basically never on camera anymore. SMALL MIRACLES.

Week 1 Skincare: So Far, So Scared

Week 1 Skincare: So Far, So Scared

It’s been just over a week since I dove headfirst into all of this wild Asian Skinscare (that’s a typo, but it’s staying) nonsense, and I have to say: so far, nothing catastrophic has happened. There’s some good news and some bad news, so let’s get to it.

I wanted to start using all my shiny new products at once, but the folks over at r/AsianBeauty basically told me that idea was REALLY, REALLY HORRIBLE. Trying one product at a time ensures you know exactly what your skin is reacting to if you do have a bad reaction to something (which makes sense, but I’m so impatient!). They suggested I start with the sunscreen, but I had to be on set this week and my MUA would not be into it; so instead, I started with cleanser.

I removed the Proactiv Cleanser from my routine (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, pH 4.7-5.2), and replaced it with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (main ingredient Olea Europaea Fruit Oil with some Tocopherol, which both have a rating of 2 on the comedogenic scale), and the Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser (pH 5.5, almost completely non-comedogenic save Butylene Glycol, which is in basically all Asian Skincare). Also, because I’m bad at instructions and because my face had been exfoliated every day on Proactiv, I decided to bust out my SkinFood Black Sugar Wash-Off Mask for every-other-day scrubbing.



I was admittedly a little concerned about losing the Benzoyl Peroxide in the cleanser, because that’s what gets right into the skin – but I’m still using the Proactiv Toner (5% Glycolic Acid) and the Proactiv Repairing Lotion (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide), so I’m not going entirely cold turkey. Knock wood – I haven’t had a single breakout yet! And the horrible under-skin bump I got on the 12-hour plane ride home has calmed down nicely, which is great.

The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is amazing for removing my make-up. I use it on a dry face with damp hands and just smoosh it everywhere, especially around my eyes to get off my mascara and under-eye concealer. Then I take a second to rub it into my face to improve circulation, or something, I guess. I rinse and then use a tiny bit of the Hada Labo (you hardly need any!), and it removes all of the oil and garbage like a dream. I think the comedogenic ingredients in the DHC haven’t been bothersome because you wash it all off your face almost immediately – along with all the bad stuff it bonds to.

My favorite thing, though, has to be the SkinFood Black Sugar scrub. It smells so good, surprisingly like lemons, and it’s super effective; I’ve been taking a nickel-sized chunk, rubbing my hands together, and then rubbing it all over my face before rinsing it off. I’ve noticed the biggest difference in my skin the mornings after I’ve used this: I have a chronic blackhead/pore problem on my gigantic nose, and they’re basically invisible when I wake up. I’m kind of amazed.

So all of that is great! Less Benzoyl Peroxide, three new products, a week and a half, and no messy breakouts so far. Asian Skincare, maybe you’re alright.

But I said there was some bad news, and there is: right before I left for Tokyo, I was out of both moisturizer and eye cream, and (in my skincare ignorance at the time) walked into Sephora and asked for basically whatever the gal helping me recommended. She set me up with Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm and Ren Clean Skincare Global Protection Day Cream. This, as it turns out, was A Mistake.


The Ren moisturizer has made areas of my skin all red and bumpy – probably because it is filled with comedogenics like Myristyl Myristate (a 5 on the scale!), and level-2 Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum indicum Seed Oil, and Tocopherol. Nope this shit off my face immediately. As for the Caudalie eye cream (Sorbitan laurate and Tocopherol) – I now have an under-eye milia (a hard, white bump) for the first time in my life, which I’m going to have to get removed by a dermatologist. Fuck me!!

So as much as I want to try the sunscreen next, there’s no doubt in my mind that after my two-week cleanser trial period is over, I’m going to be switching out my moisturizer and eye cream. What a disaster.

But Asian Skincare, really great so far. Just, fuck this other shit. They’re going to have to put a sharp thing near my eye! Fucking hell.

So I’m Doing This Asian Skincare Thing

So I’m Doing This Asian Skincare Thing

Okay, so this is going to be pretty radically different from my usual writing in that it’s not going to involve any dragons or Winchesters or even any pop culture at all (I know I KNOW). Instead, some of you had mentioned that you were interested in reading about my completely amateur journey from using Proactiv to a fairly intense Asian skincare regime, and I am on a twelve-hour-flight and need to kill some time, so here goes nothin’.

I started using Proactiv when I was about 15; I was dancing every day for hours and sweating that much while wearing stage makeup was killing my face. It was preposterously effective; I have no idea if starting birth control about three years later even did anything for my skin because I’ve basically had no issues with skincare since starting the good stuff.


The problem is, no matter what Adam Levine might try to tell you (seriously, why are we listening to that guy anyways in regards to literally anything?), Proactiv was not made to be used by humans beyond puberty. The active ingredient that keeps your skin clear is Benzoyl Peroxide – like, basically you’re bleaching your face on the reg, which is why everyone who uses it ruins their towels. Peroxide basically rips all the moisture directly out of your face, a surefire way to guarantee you’ll have wrinkles by 25; and, despite the fact that I use a moisturizer (Lush Enzymion) and eye cream (Caudalie Reservatrol Lift) twice a day, every day, every make-up artist I’ve ever had chastises me for how scaly and dry my disgusting face is. (But so pimple-free!! Eep.)

SO, in an attempt to stop peroxiding my face, I’m going to try the wild multi-step Asian skincare regime everyone is so bananas over. What I have realized since deciding this is that all this shit is actually SUPER FUCKIN’ COMPLICATED, and involves customizing your routine based on specific ingredients, issues, brands, and more. It’s fucking whack and I am way the hell out of my depth. If only someone could analogize this shit to TNG episodes or something so I could actually understand it all.


In the research I’ve done over the past few days, here’s what I have vaguely managed to glean about Korean skincare:

  1. It’s all about the double-cleanse, meaning in the evenings you use an oil-based cleaner first to bond to all the gross crap on your face (like sunscreen – a daily must – and makeup), followed by a gentler milk or foaming cleanser to get the oil and any remaining garbage off.
  2. Knowing the pH balance of your face and the products you’re using on your face is like super hella important. Apparently most cleansers (especially American ones) have a high pH (9+), which is what strips all the moisture from your face. What you want to look for is a cleanser with a pH around like 4-6. (Proactiv is about a 5).
  3. You have to customize your routine based on products that contain ingredients that will work towards whatever your personal skincare goals are. Which… actually makes a lot of sense, when you say it like that. My main issues are acne and preventative anti-aging, so I want to look for products with ingredients that fight breakouts and wrinkles.
  4. There are a lot of different, confusingly-named products and you have to use them all in a specific order – layering thinnest to thickest for best absorption.
  5. You can do an abbreviated routine in the morning, and save the whole massive shebang for before bed.

I think, anyways; please keep in mind I am literally the opposite of an expert and this is what my internet research has led me to believe. If you have a correction for me please, please let me know.

Now, you are supposed to introduce only one new product to your face every couple weeks so that you can determine for a fact what works for you and what doesn’t. This is a problem for me, because I can’t just like use 2/3 of my Proactiv steps; the cream is ineffective without the toner, etc. But I can’t JUST use an oil-based cleanser on my face and nothing else for the next two weeks – so you see my dilemma. I think I’m just gonna go all-in, and try removing things one by one if they make me go all funky in the face. I guess. I’m so scared, you guys. [ETA: The kind folks over at r/AsianBeauty convinced me that this is a TERRIBLE HORRIBLE IDEA FOR BAD BABIES so I am going to be an Adult and go one product at a time while keeping the rest of my routine the same, so I can determine what does or does not break me out. I am going to start with cleanser, then suncreen, then moisturizer, then toner, in two-week increments.]


For acne, I have learned that you have to include something in your routine called BHAs and AHAs, which are acidic chemical exfoliators. For some reason, the thought of putting acid on my face makes me feel way more comfortable than peroxide. These are your “actives” (yours may be different depending on your skin issue; but they’re certainly MY actives) and you use them after your cleanser but before you start moisturizing and shit (that goes on for fucking ever btw, my face is going to be so shiny??). AHAs and BHAs will only work at a certain pH (too high and they do nothing; too low and they give you chemical burns, cute). You have to wait about a half an hour for them to fully absorb into your skin before moving on to your next step, because whatever you put on your face after them is going to have its own pH. This is like chemistry class! I was only good at chemistry until you had to start envisioning molecules in three dimensions, and my brain just doesn’t work like that.

Okay, so based on that information, and a ton of online product reviews, here are the products I’ve gotten either in full or sample sizes to test out on my face in the next few months and hope that I’m not just one giant ball of zits by the time convention season/book tour season starts in March, or like… the next time I have to be on a 40-foot IMAX screen (do you know how big that makes a pimple?????) LET’S-A GO:


Oil-Based Cleanser: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
This is actually a Japanese product, but it’s a huge seller there and people love it so??? In future, I may try The Face Shop’s Rice Water Cleansing Oil if I’m not pleased with this. If you’ve never used an oil-based cleanser (my first was Lush Ultrabland) it’s WILD how much gunk comes off your face with it.


Foaming Cleanser: Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser
Another top-selling Japanese product that beauty bloggers swear by. The key here is that it has a low pH of 5.5. I also grabbed Skinfood Wildberry Cleansing Foam, but it has a much higher pH of 7.5 (it just smelled so nice, you guys). People say the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick will change your life so hard but it’s sold out like everywhere on this green earth so fuck it.


Actives Party!!! This is the fun and slightly terrifying stuff I don’t really understand yet, but here we go regardless. You start using these once every few days and try to build up a tolerance before using it daily. At first they’re supposed to make your skin flip the heck out as it spits out all the garbage inside it, and then it evens out (so they’re products with diminishing visible returns, but keep you constantly a-okay – kind of like Proactiv!)

  1. COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A Sol – this is a toner you use to bring your skin down to the proper pH for the actives to work properly. I think when I use the Hada Labo Cleanser I won’t need this, but I’m scared of ballsing up the actives so I’m going to use it anyways. Wait 15 minutes.
  2. COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid – the Internet agrees that this is The Stuff. The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid apparently leaves you greasy like a oil slick so no thanks. Wait just til it absorbs, and then
  3. COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid – for all that other gross crap in your skin. Wait 20 minutes so they can neutralize and so you don’t mess them up with your next product.


Exfoliator: This is a 2-3 time a week thing; you don’t want to go nuts with it. Unless doing it more frequently works for you, I guess, apparently. God. I hate this.

  1. SkinFood Black Sugar Wash-Off Mask – people lose their minds over this, idk. Scrub that shit on your face and then wash it off.
  2. Cure Natural Aqua Gel – another Japanese product women swear by. This is a chemical exfoliator – you use it one or two times a month in place of the regular scrub. Basically what happens is you put a thin layer on your skin and then you see it turn into all these little balls all over your face and they are BALLS OF YOUR OWN FUCKING DEAD-ASS SKIN HOLY SHIT


Toner: Etude House Moistfull Freshener
I can’t believe I’m using a product line called “Moistfull” on my face but these are the depths to which I have fallen in my desperation. Toner in K-beauty is way different than American heavy-alcohol, rip-every-drop-of-moisture-from-your-faceholes toner; this stuff just preps your face to absorb all the moisturizers you’re about to stack on top of it (whatever that means). The Moistfull line has a lot of collagen so it’s good for anti-aging; it was also readily-available in Japan, so I got a lot from them. In future I may try Su:m37’s Waterfull Refresher or SkinFood Peach Sake Toner (good for acne apparently!)


Essence: Etude House Moistfull Essence
Basically the entirety of the Internet wants you to know that Essence is the reason Korean women look as good as they do all the damn time, but despite that I still can’t figure out what the fuck it actually IS. It’s like… a light, liquid-y moisturizer?? Fuck if I know. I’m using this collagen one, but got samples of the slightly more expensive Missha First Treatment Essence, which is supposed to be comparable to the holy grail of essences, the $100+ one made by SK-II; but I would literally only ever shell out that much money for a made-up beauty product if Jensen Ackles himself descended from the sky to apply it lovingly to my face before returning to the clouds whispering “Destiel is canon.”


Ampoule: Etude House Moistfull Ampoule
I don’t even fucking know anymore; I guess ampoules are like super-concentrated liquids that intensely do whatever specific thing that particular ampoule is supposed to do (??? What). Anyways, sticking with the collagen, though I might later try the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule, purely because it promises to active science on my face.


Face Mask Party!! Here’s where you put on those weird Jason-looking motherfuckers, the sheet masks that are soaked in different ingredients. The Korean ones are meant to be used about twice a week and come in all different flavours (brightness, anti-aging, moisture, etc. – the Etude House variety pack is great for first-timers); but everyone in Japan is legit ALL ABOUT LuLuLun masks, which are designed to be used daily. I got a box of the pink ones (normal, hydrating) and a box of new ruby ones that came out for Christmas that I don’t know what the heck they do because it was all in Japanese and they’re too new for online reviews, but they had bees on the sign so I went for it. I got a Tony Moly Lip Patch, too, because I hate my perpetually-dehydrated lips, and some Etude House Collagen Eye Patches just for the under-eye area. You leave these on for like 20 minutes to an hour while whomever you live with makes fun of you.



Emulsion: Okay, I guess this is like the K-beauty version of moisturizer, though apparently there are “emulsions” (lighter) and “creams” (heavier). There are also gels which are like for daytime??? Fuck me, I don’t know, I got three in a blind panic.

  1. Etude House Moistfull Emulsion – moist
  2. Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream – apparently (ethically harvested) snail shit is like healing face magic and you’re supposed to rub it all over yourself to look good forever?
  3. Kosé Sekkisei Emulsion – this is THE fancy-ass moisturizer in Japan.


Eye Cream: Etude House Moistfull Eye Cream
The internet’s favorite Moistfull product. I’m gonna be so fuckin’ moist, you guys.


Night Pack: Tony Moly Dual Effect Sleep Pack
I think this is called an “occlusive” maybe? It seals in all that garbage you just put on your face overnight. I also got samples of the Laneige Water Sleep Pack, which people say is a Korean skincare gateway product; but as you may have noticed, my gate is way the heck down already.

So… that’s it. That’s the whole shebang. At night, on days where I would exfoliate and face mask, that puts me at like 14 steps? With wait times for the actives and the mask? That being said, I doubt there would be a day where I would have to do ALL THE THINGS. Plus, in the mornings you can reduce your routine – I think Foaming Cleanser, Toner, Eye Cream, Essence, Emulsion (exactly the number of steps I do currently with Proactiv, which is 3 steps, plus eye cream and moisturizer). Some people add a “facial mist” but am I not already so fuckin’ moist?????? Same with the v. popular “facial massage,” like, I just don’t know, man. I don’t know.


The other important thing to note here is how huge sunscreen is as a daily under-make-up thing. When I first read that, I was hella grossed out because sunscreen is thick and white and gloopy and break-out causing no matter how “face friendly.” But fear not, friends; apparently Asian sunscreens are WAY different, and the best ones are Japanese. They’re all SPF 50+ (UVB protection for sunburn), and they have this second rating system called “PA” for UVA protection as well, (against aging and cancer). The newest and best rating is PA++++ (lmfao what even, damn). I nabbed Bioré UV Aqua Rich (people love this stuff and it has no white tint) and Shiseido SENKA Mineral Water (nearly impossible to find in stores in Japan, even, it’s so popular). The other point of interest here is that AHAs are photosensitive, so you’re basically fucked to hell if you don’t protect your face.

This is way longer than I thought it would be, but that is all the knowledge I have to give. If you have knowledge you would like to give me, please hit me up on Twitter @SamMaggs. Let it never be said that I don’t take clear skin seriously. I know it would be so much easier to just stay on Proactiv, but I’m really afraid I’m going to look like the cryptkeeper by 35 if I keep it up.

I’ll be posting about my progress as I go so, you know, try to contain your excitement about the future state of my potential facial outbreaks. THANKS FOR READING IF YOU’RE STILL HERE.


PS That took two and a half hours of flight time, heck yeah. 9 more to go.

PPS Before you have a heart attack over my wallet, everything was SO CHEAP in Japan – that DHC Oil Cleanser was $6 as opposed to the $28 it retails for on Amazon. So don’t worry!

CLOSED: Spooooopy shomi Halloween Giveaway Time!

Want to win an awesome free Halloween gift basket from the good folks at shomi? HECK YES YOU DO AND IT’S SUPER EASY. ZSeZtPTFFT_Vfm3y7VQdY1MTQ3W0bPfUwEfwO-1bXoM

The sweet but spooky swag bucket includes:

  • American Horror Story: Freak Show Funko
  • iZOMBIE bento box
  • iZOMBIE chopsticks
  • iZOMBIE brain stress ball
  • Purple shomi skeleton gloves
  • candy!

This is all in celebration of their scary shows, #31DaysofHorror movies, and the epic start of shomi’s poltergeist mini-series, The Enfield Haunting (which premiered on Facebook – the first time a Canadian company has ever done that! So rad.)

TO WIN the basket, all you have to do is a) be in Canada and b) tweet the following by EOD October 31st:

I’m watching The Enfield Haunting & entering to win a Halloween gift basket from @shomicanada @sammaggs! #shomiAWin

Good luck!!


Let’s Be Friends at New York Comic Con 2015!

Oh wow, it’s NYCC time again! I can’t wait to see all your beautiful New York faces and share some high fives for friendship.

Here’s where you can find me!

Wednesday, October 7th
Doctor Who Costume and Trivia Contest, 10pm at The Way Station, Brooklyn
Part of New York Super Week – and it’s sold out!! I hope you got your ticket!

Thursday, October 8th
She Made Me Do It: Fangirls Lead the Way, 8pm room 1B03
As the demographics of the industry continue to change, this Panel focuses on the impact of female Fans (not female creators) and how they are changing comics from the ground up in surprising and positive ways. More than ever, their grassroots efforts can be seen everywhere from comic shops and conventions and from cosplay to social media.

Friday, October 9th
New York TimesOUT Presents Gay Geek Culture, 4pm room 1A01
We’re talking about gay geek culture in Novels, Broadway, Cosplay, TV, and the internet. Come and join in the conversation with me, novelist Damon Suede (Bad Idea), Broadway performer Paul McGill (Spider-Man: TOTD), Cosplayer Tony Ray, Actor Andy Mientus (Pied Piper on “The Flash”), Photographer/Producer Judy Stephens (Marvel Entertainment), and moderator Jude Biersdorfer. Presented by The New York TimesOUT.

Post-Gay Geek Culture Meet-Up, 5:15pm room 1E03
If you want to chat with me or any of the other panelists from the gay geek culture panel, come on by!

Co-Ed Geek Girl Slumber Party, 9:30pm at The Striker, 123 E 24th St.
Lorraine Cink (Marvel’s The Watcher, Hero Complex) is hosting a Co-ed Geek Girl Slumber Party – NYCC style! Boys welcome! This new variety show embraces all that is pop culture, comic books, geekery, niche internet fandom, and a healthy dose of feminist positivity! So put on your jammies and get ready for 7 minutes in heaven as we gossip, read fanfic, sing-a-long to nerdy jams, and play games with your favorite geek personalities! With me, Charles Soule (Comic Writer Lando & Uncanny Inhumans) Margaret Stohl (YA Writer, Black Widow: Forever Red) Michael Hartney (30 Rock) Kirk Damato (Buzzfeed), Megan Sass (NBC Diversity) & a special SURPRISE guest! Get your ticket now for $10!

Saturday, October 10th
Women in Geek Media – The Sequel!, 2:45pm room 1A01
The follow-up to last year’s wildly successful Panel! With the explosion of social & digital media, women & minorities have become a strong voice on the web, but there’s work still to be done. Maybe you love all things geek and want to make it your livelihood – but aren’t sure how to break in. Some of the most successful women in geek media weigh in on the challenges they’ve faced and offer advice on how to overcome obstacles, build a personal brand that resonates & a career doing what you love.

Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy Signing, 4pm at Quirk Books booth #2236
Do you want me to sign your copy of Fangirl’s Guide? Do you want to get a copy of Fangirl’s Guide and have me sign it? Do you want a free poster or button? Do you just want to have some good chats? Come by the booth and let’s hang!

That’s it, babes! See you there!