• The Toxic Issue

    Cameos: Reek Bell, Lauren Cook, and Clare Mao

    The Toxic Issue
    Cameos april 2016 001

    Cameos: Reek Bell, Lauren Cook, and Clare Mao

    We asked your internet crushes questions so that you don’t have to...

    Meet Reek, Lauren and Clare as they share their style icons, beauty routines, and the projects that they are excited about.


    Reek Bell

    Pronouns? She/her.

    Handles? @reekbell on all social media.

    Where did you grow up? Mostly Jersey and Texas.

    Style icons? My friends because the way their styles are often expressive of different parts of who they are, unapologetically. I’m also inspired by Kayla phillips, of the hardcore band Bleed the pigs, Sanam Stali of the BBHMM video, and a black lace wearing Lisa Bonnet. I prefer to only wear black colored clothing, love lace, satin, lots of jewelry, lipsticks, and a mix of sneakers and heels.

    Beauty routine? I try and wash my face every night, and use coconut oil or shea butter before bed. I wear lipstick everyday, sometimes even when I’m just watching tv at home. I take a long bath every new moon, and I’m fairly serious about my eyebrows. When I can afford to, I go get them waxed at this spot I’ve been going to since i moved to Oakland. I don’t trust most people, including myself, to wax my eyebrows the way I like them to be.

    Problematic fave? Detective shows like Law and Order SVU and Criminal Minds.

    What do you wanna be when you grow up? Abundant, free from exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.

    Wanna hype anything? I’m really enjoying the latest work from DJ Jihari Terry and the artists of Black Salt Collective.
    Excited to converge with my friends of Fresh Air Gang, the homies Jasmine Gibson, Soleil Summer, Kc Ithoan, and Willam Lukas. We all will be in the bay area this summer working on some events together. This militant friendship circuit has been a comforting place of validation in my life within the last year. They make me want to really be alive.


    Clare Mao

    Pronouns? She/her.

    Handles? @clare on Twitter; @clare.mao on Instagram.

    Where did you grow up? Queens, NYC (specifically: Flushing, Whitestone, Flushing again, and then Fresh Meadows); also, the Internet.

    Style icons? My best friend @eastmountainsea, and Kid Cudi circa Coachella '14.

    Beauty routine? A bowl of medium-grain rice every day, and regular moisturizing. IDK. I don’t have one. Please someone give me a beauty/grooming routine, I’m lost otherwise. For example: I read somewhere online that you should only wash your face with cold water, and then I read somewhere else online that you should actually wash your face with warm water. So now when I wash my face, I turn the cold water tap 1/2 the way on and just barely nudge the hot water tap on. What do you even call that temperature? Probably the same way you feel reading this beauty routine answer. Sorry.

    Problematic fave? NYC public high school Asian boys who love sneakers and luxury import cars.

    Favorite emoji? The thinking emoji.

    What do you wanna be when you grow up? The rich man’s version of the current me.

    Projects or works that you wanna hype? The AAWW x Feminist Press anthology! Mine and @j__mechu’s Tinyletter, OPEN BAR!


    Lauren Cook

    Pronouns? They/them/she.

    Handles? Website, Twitter, Instagram.

    Where did you grow up? I grew up and still currently live in Upstate NY.

    Style icons? River Phoenix because of the way he wears a t-shirt and jeans.

    Beauty routine? Sometimes I rub bentonite clay all over me. I put lavender oil in my armpits and jojoba oil on my nose and castor oil on my eyebrows and scalp. I made this hair salve that has chamomile infused olive oil and coconut oil for my dry ends. I let God do the rest.

    Problematic fave? McDonald's.

    Favorite emoji? My favorite is the beige shoe. I also like the candle, the spider, the snail, and the cow.

    What do you wanna be when you grow up? I am still waiting for the day I become a famous actress. Maybe a doula. I also want to have a lot of beehives and a red pickup truck.

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