Review: My Pretty Zombie “Drugs Like Me” Blushes in Benzodiazepine, Fluoxetine, and MDMA
I am not sure exactly how I feel about how everything was packed. The blushes were packaged in a box wrapped with the kind of stiff ribbon you give to small children who ruin everything they touch. Tied to the box was what I initially thought was a pepper, but which turned out to be a finger that was mysteriously painted red. The owner of My Pretty Zombie definitely has a love of “camp” that I do not share.As much as I may protest this fact, it’s clear that my buying choices can be easily manipulated by the perfect theme, and my My Pretty Zombie Drugs Like Me blushes are the quintessential example of this. I am not a recreational-drugs kind of lady, so 6-MAM and PCP don’t have the same sort of special place in my heart as therapeutic drugs. If I’m being totally frank, I probably wouldn’t have purchased the Benzodiazepine blush and I definitely wouldn’t have purchased the Fluoxetine blush if it weren’t for their awesome names. (MDMA I bought purely for the pretty color.)
I would love it if My Pretty Zombie extended their Drugs Like Me blush line to include a wider variety of therapeutic drugs. (I would buy all of them.)
The blushes are packed in square containers. Although the sifters were taped up when I originally got the blushes, it took all of about ten seconds for the sifter to be totally meaningless due to my spill-y-ness. And, since the product is easily stuck in the screwy parts on the side, I do lose a bit of product every time I open up these blushes. Like most loose powder products, you have a lot of flexibility on the level of pigmentation you get from the product. These will get you anywhere from “Why did you paint your face red?” to “You look nice today!”
Drugs Like Me Blush in Benzodiazepine
The Drug: Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is our chief inhibitory neurotransmitter. It binds at a few different receptors, including the GABAA receptor. When the GABAA receptor is triggered by GABA, it hyperpolarizes the neuron. You need hyperpolarization (depolarization) for the neuron to fire. Thus, when GABA binds to GABAA, it makes it harder for the neuron to fire.
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are referred to as GABAA receptor ligands. When they bind to the receptor complex, they make it easier for GABA to bind by locking the receptor into a formation that binds with GABA. This means that GABA binds more frequently and you get less neuronal firing.
Behaviorally, this translates to a sedative effect that is also anxiolytic, anti-convulsant, and hypnotic. It’s usually prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, panic disorder, and alcohol withdrawal.
The color: Benzodiazepine is a dark red with a hint of ruby sparkle. My Pretty Zombie touts that it is ideal “for that embarrassed/just got slapped look!” I actually think that description frightens away a few customers and sells the blush short. Red blush is awesome for creating a natural flush. As much as we can drone on about how “natural” conventional blushes are, no one is fucking blushing a coral color. That’s just not a thing. Red blushes look like you are actually blushing.
Drugs Like Me Blush in Fluoxetine
The Drug: Serotonin (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter that affects mood. One common correlate of depression is insufficient levels of one or more monoanime neurotransmitter (the other culprits include norepinephrine and dopamine).
When neurons fire into chemical synapses, they release neurotransmitter molecules in little packets called vesicles. The neurotransmitter hangs out in the synapse (the space between two neurons), where it can bind to receptors on the post-synaptic side. Once that neurotransmitter is cleared out, it stops affecting the post-synaptic neuron.
Neurotransmitters can be cleared out either by being broken down or being sucked back into the pre-synaptic neuron in a process called reuptake. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), one of the most common treatments for depression, inhibit the reuptake process. This keeps the serotonin in the synapse longer, so it can continue to stimulate the post-synaptic cell, enhancing the effect of the serotonin. For many, this can alleviate substantial symptoms of depression.
Fluoxetine (better known by its trade name: Prozac) is one of the most popular SSRIs.
The color: Fluoxetine is a muddy yellow with subtle white sparkle. My Pretty Zombie describes it as a “post-it note yellow with a blue shift”. “Post-i note” seems apt, as long as you are talking about the dreary-colored ones we have in my office, but I’d say that claiming a “blue shift” is pushing it. No shift is evident when the blush is actually applied, and when it’s swatched, it looks like a pearly white shift at best.
It’s not as unwearable as one might imagine. On my cheeks, it almost picks up an orange-like color that looks a little bit like, well, blush! Still, you’d definitely have to like the “I’m coming down with a very sexy case of scurvy” look to be interested.
Drugs Like Me Blush in MDMA
The Drug: MDMA, frequently referred to as ‘ecstasy’, is an amphetamine that uses monoamine transporters to enter neurons. There, the molecules inhibit vesicular monoamine transporters, leaving high concentrations of the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) in the cytoplasm. It even phosphorylates the transporters, causing them to reverse direction and release even more monoamines.
Because of all these extra monoamines, users feel very positive, often experiencing mania-like symptoms. Hallucinations, derealization, and depersonalization are also common effects.
The color: MDMA is a bright pink with tons of golden shimmer. My Pretty Zombie calls it a “rosy pink with a gold afterglow”, but I don’t think it’s rosy at all! If anything, it’s tulip-y. This is the most conventionally flattering of the blushes that I tried.
Overall, I’m happy with these blushes and have had a good overall experience with My Pretty Zombie! I’ve pre-ordered from them and, although I didn’t put any in my second order, I would definitely consider buying more of these blushes.
The My Pretty Zombie blushes retail for $8 for 0.12oz of product, putting them at the moderately-priced $66.67 per ounce.