Beauty, News/Opinion

Good Skin Days

This post’s title might be a tad misleading. This isn’t going to be the sort of thing where I tell you what skincare products to use to achieve glowing skin (psst… the secret is fruits & veggies) or what is the best concealer to hide your dark circles. You can find that information anywhere, really. The blogosphere is flooded with opinions and products meant to change your look but more importantly how you feel. Because isn’t that really why we wear makeup? To feel better about ourselves? A swipe of red on our lips can make us feel sexy and invincible…while hiding our spots and “imperfections” can make us feel pretty and confident. This is what we are searching for when we scan the beauty aisles at the drugstore. This is the reason the beauty and skincare industry make billions annually and own our wallets. What we are truly looking for, is happiness.

I have been on a ride filled with ups and downs when it comes to makeup. I grew up with a lot of interest in beauty, and even at one point thought I would become a makeup artist. I even ran a blog for years that was completely devoted to skincare and makeup. I would hate to know the amount of money I’ve spent on beauty products, but I will tell you it is A LOT. Over the past year I have changed my life in too many ways to count. I have shifted my focus inwards and don’t seem to gain the same joy I used to feel when purchasing products or spending money in general. It sounds so flippant and douchey but I have really come to know that buying things doesn’t make me happy. For months after watching the True Cost documentary, I didn’t purchase a single item of clothing. After looking into the insane amount of waste we accumulate from packaging, I pledged to myself to use up the tons of products I had stashed under my bathroom sink. It was an experiment that I didn’t go into so consciously, but the results were eye opening. On a practical level, I saved so much freaking money, it’s actually crazy. But on a personal and emotional level, I felt so damn free. My happiness was no longer determined by an outside source, and I felt like I was really getting to know myself.

It sounds so flippant and douchey but I have really come to know that buying things doesn’t make me happy.

I let go of hundreds of things…clothing, shoes, but mostly tons of makeup products. I passed them along to friends and family who were so excited to have them. Of course there were times where as I handed them over, I had pangs of “oh shit, do I want to do this?” but I realized the pain was only over the cost of the item, not what it could do for me. I had spent $42 on a luxury powder highlighter, and it did absolutely nothing for me…I was so mad at myself. How could I have wasted so much money on these items? How could I have wasted so much time thinking and obsessing over how I looked? The only thing to do now, was move on.

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Now I have a small drawer full of products, which I am still constantly whittling down. It is quite hard because I am given products to review on this platform, and I am constantly finding new things I want to try and share with you all. But the items that I use now, they don’t hide my face. I don’t worry when a blemish peeks through my skin… because I am human and I am now very comfortable being me. I like seeing my skin, and my eyes, and even all the features that I so foolishly used to hate about myself. I often need to remind myself that my face isn’t going to change, it is mine. It is the one thing that only I have. I can’t tell you how many times I have spent an hour or more attempting to trick myself and others that I have razor cheekbones with contour, only to look at myself in the mirror afterwards and feel worse. Because I am seeing a version of myself that I don’t recognize, the “natural” look I was going for appears clownish to me, and I simply don’t feel like me.

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So this is me. This picture is unedited, and in painfully high definition. The products shown above (8 in total, if you include lash curlers) are what make me feel good, but also feel like me. This is a good skin day for me, even with the scarring along my cheeks, the hormonal breakouts on my chin, and the uneven texture across my entire face. This is a good skin day for me because I can walk by a mirror and feel good about myself, not because of the perfection, but because of the acceptance.

& because I know I’ll be asked…here are the products shown in the image above:

After applying sunscreen and moisturizer, I use the Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream to even out my skin tone and provide a very light coverage that allows skin to still be seen. I then use the Glossier Stretch Concealer under the eyes, around the nose and on any blemishes, I love how this product doesn’t appear patchy or too opaque. I lightly fill in the holes in my brows with the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium and brush them up with the Pixi by Petra Clear Brow Tamer, you can buy at Target. I use the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Honeymoon Honey on my lips and cheeks for a subtle flush. I have a dinky Revlon Lash Curler from the drugstore that works just fine, make sure you use those extra foam inserts they give you, just switch it out every few months. I prefer brown mascara, it’s less harsh. I’ve been testing out the Pacifica Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Stardust which I really like, and it’s not waterproof and lasts. Lastly, I use some Homeoplasmine on my upper cheeks as a dewy highlight and usually add some to my eternally dry lips. I picked this up in bulk on my last trip to Paris, but Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream or the Honest Company Healing Balm are totally comparable products available in the US.

Just remember, you are pretty great. And you are pretty. We are all “flawed” and all have things we hate about ourselves, and it’s just dumb. As the wonderfully beautiful Jenny Slate once tweeted, “It’s so weird that bodies are bodies and that’s it, but we just can’t get over it.” So whether it’s our face, or our body, let’s just get over it.