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Because I Earned My Degree From Google University

By Amalah

Today, I want to take you on an extra-special journey through the Mind of Amy, as I demonstrate my typical thought process as I read through a typical question.
(Bold text is our intrepid question-asker-person, while everything in italics and parentheses is mine, as you know how much I love me some parentheses.)
Dearest, Wisest Amalah,

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • mdvelazquez

    September 13, 2006 at 11:18 am

    I will second the TiGi hair products (Bead Head and Catwalk).
    You might also consider:
    BeadHead’s Boy Toys Body Building Funkifier or Small Talk 3-in-1.
    Catwalk’s Texturizing Pomade and Curl Amplifier

  • poorlysorted

    September 13, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Amy–your answer for the first question was spot on. After high school years of gorgeous, clear skin, I developed a rash on my forehead in my freshman year of college exactly like this person described. It developed very slowly, and multiple doctors told me it wasn’t acne in the beginning. They thought it was allergies, or dry skin, or ezcema. I just had a very, very slow developing case of acne.
    I waited too long to see a dermatologist and suffered from very ugly acne scars. I was put on a dose of benzaclin and tazorac, and late switched to benzaclin and differin. They cleared up my acne, but if I stopped taking them, my acne would develop very slowly again–starting with red bumps and finally developing into pustules (grossest word EVER!) If my daughter or son ever gets acne, I am taking them to a dermatologist right away. I think that Laura should do the same, and get on some good medication.

  • Heather

    September 13, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    This may be cheating to ask a question via comment, but it’s just a follow-up to the whole foundation primer thing (which I am very intrigued by, and giving serious consideration to purchasing). My question: Do you still moisturize BEFORE applying the primer?
    Thanks! Sorry for sneaking a question into the comments, all stealthy-like!

  • Kari

    September 13, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    1. Hysterical, awesome and perfect picture for your answer to question number one.
    2. Your answer to question number two gave me a serious Project Runway flashback – Catherine Malandrino’s thoughts on Vincent. Awesome.
    3. I don’t use it (I’m a tinted moisturizer kind of gal), but Laura Mercier’s primer is often heralded. I love her tinted moisturizer, so I imagine her primer is pretty kickass as well.

  • mim

    September 13, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Until she has a chance to visit the dermatologist, maybe Laura should try out the clear skin regimen at It’s just basically gentle face wash (pay dry gently), lots of 2.5% (less drying works just as well) benzoyl peroxide all over the affected area, then oil free moisturizer.
    I also love parentheses, obviously. And I love the non non non non non non non by Catherine Malandrino:)

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    Amy Corbett Storch

    September 13, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Heather: Definitely moisturize first, THEN use the primer.

  • epoh

    September 14, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    This is completely un-related to this week’s column (because, really, who needs to stay on topic? not me!) I went and picked up some of that Philosophy face wash you recommended a while back and HOORAAY! Thank you so much. My skin is fabulous once more.
    I wish you all fabulous skin as well.

  • Krisbell

    September 14, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    I have SUPER oily skin and love the idea of a primer. What’s the breakout factor, though?

  • pitt_chick

    September 15, 2006 at 12:10 am

    I’d go to a different doc too. That whitehead-ish rash might be rosacea. Several docs told me that mine was acne before I got proper treatment.

  • Amy Corbett Storch

    Amy Corbett Storch

    September 15, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Krisbell – My skin is pretty oily and prone to blemishes, and I didn’t notice any problems after I started using primer. It seems to be pretty breathable stuff, and provided you’re washing your face really well at night, you shouldn’t break out with it.
    As for rosacea, I have to say her photo looked nothing like the photos of rosacea I found online (or have seen on friends who were diagnosed), but still. All the more reason to get a second medical and non-internet-based opinion.

  • Isabel Kallman

    Isabel Kallman

    September 15, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    First, you channel Catherine Malandrino with “non. non. non.” for Vincent.
    This week, PR’s Kayne’s channeling you! “I’m not a bitch. I just play one on TV.”

  • Kate

    September 18, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    Aww, you’re still using Google. My soul hurts. 🙁
    I still like you, though, Amy.

  • The Muse

    September 19, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    Andrea – It sounds like our hair could be similar. I’m (un)lucky enough that with some coaxing either way, my hair will go straight (a lot of coaxing with a blowdryer and flat iron) or curly (a little coaxing with some anti-frizz and curl-enhancer and maybe the diffuser if I’m feelin’ it). For the curls, I SWEAR by John Frieda Frizz-Eaze Dream Curls. I found this stuff about a month ago, and nothing I have tried before it has given me curls that are so soft and bouncy and non-crunchy. And, (and!) it’s great for the 2nd-day restyle where you don’t have to wash, but need to give them a spritz & a pick-me-up. Plus, its a regular drug-store product, so its a bit easier to try out before the Tigi products that Amalah mentioned (which I have also tried, but didn’t like quite as much).
    Enjoy! 🙂