Let's talk about skin care and make-up. I want to bore all my male readers (and probably many of my female ones) to tears. My stat counter is giving me numbers that are much too high these days, most likely due to NaBloPoMo. Gotta do something to remedy that.
Not really, but I just got back from an Arbonne party and the topic is on my mind, plus I've got no other inspiration for topics today, so this is it.
I've been blessed with fairly good, clear skin. When I was an adolescent my skin care routine consisted of Clean and Clear face wash and nothing else, and (not to brag, since it certainly wasn't by my own merits, but I'm just stating facts here) my friends always talked about how lucky I was to have such nice skin. In the winter if I noticed painfully dry spots I'd dab some baby lotion on my face, but for the most part I did nothing, and looked fine. Sigh. Those were the days.
Heading into my twenties, I upgraded my regimen a wee bit, and actually started using moisturizer! (I know!) The basic Olay stuff caught my eye on the drugstore shelf, and I had no complaints when I started using it, so I kept using it. The biggest benefit I got from it, although I didn't realize it at first, was the built-in sunscreen. My face has really benefited from not getting lightly sunburned all the time. In the cleanser arena, I didn't so much upgrade as make a lateral move, from Clean and Clear to St. Ives Facial Scrub. It worked fine. I didn't have any problems, but then, I'd never had problems with my skin.
Fast forward to fairly recently, when I started to notice that my skin doesn't look nearly as even and fresh and firm as it did five years ago. I'd been reading Amalah's Advice Smackdown since its inception on her personal blog, and I'd never felt tempted by all the products she talks about, figuring that my basic clean-and-moisturize regimen was working fine for me. But as I started to feel more dissatisfied with that regimen, I went to her archives for help, and decided I needed a tinted moisturizer.
Since I'd always been happy with my drugstore moisturizer, and since the price tags on the higher-end stuff made me cringe, I decided to try the first tinted moisturizer I found on the shelf, which was Neutrogena's basic SPF moisturizer with a light tint. Would anyone else be interested in trying it? I have most of a tube sitting in a drawer in my bathroom. I highly do NOT recommend it, as every time I put the stuff on, my face starting itching horribly within an hour or two. Also, the "light" tint was too dark for my fair skin, so it looked bad anyway.
(It still kind of shocks me that I have fair skin now. As a child I was one of those kids whose skin is brown by the end of May, and my face was dark-ish to match. Somehow as I've gotten older this has changed. Maybe the sunscreen had something to do with it? Anyway, I am now deathly pale. My current moisturizer is in the shade of "porcelain." Porcelain! I am delicate and pale, possibly consumptive. Be careful, I might faint in your lap.)
After my bad experience with Neutrogena's tinted moisturizer, I decided I needed to just get something high-quality that wasn't going to make my skin mad at me. Also, I needed a good concealer for the ever-more-noticeable bags under my eyes. (Remember when I asked for recommendations?) Also, I'd been noticing that my forehead had been breaking out regularly, which was a new thing for me, so maybe it was time to upgrade my cleanser as well.
Is it possible that anyone is still reading this? I'm the one writing, for heaven's sake, and I'm boring myself nearly to tears. Man, the depths that we sink to for NaBloPoMo.
At any rate, I saved up a pretty good chunk of my allowance and took a trip to our mall's brand-new Sephora, and got some new products to try (all of which I'd seen recommended various places on the Internet). Currently I'm using the Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer (in porcelain!), and a Stila Cover Up Stick. This stuff has made me realize that "you get what you pay for" is a cliche for a reason. I'm still planning to do some more shopping around and trying different stuff to find the products that I love best, but I'm happy that I'm in a place now where I can look in the mirror at my clean-scrubbed, blotchy face and have some ways to make it look acceptable to me.
It is a little sad that my days of washing my face once a day and looking great anyway are over. This new phase is definitely more expensive. But it turns out it's kind of fun too. I used to hate to shop. When did that change?