The January issue of The Writer came to my house on the weekend of December 8 and there was one article in it that really spoke to me. It was called "Your Journal, Your Self" by T.F. Joyce. The premise is a reminder that writers should be true to themselves by keeping a journal that really chronicles their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and most importantly, captures their voice, their true self.
The part of the article that really got to me was that the writer was explaining their own tendency to "cloak" their journal entries in code languages, third person narration, etc., for the sake of anonymity and I can completely relate to feeling that need, but it's true, when you look back, there's a disappointment in the lack of frankness, the masked self, the missing pieces.
My New Years' challenge to myself is to keep a real, unguarded journal of myself. I want to capture my voice, nourish it, make it my own. I bought myself a beautiful journal -- which always is a great incentive for me -- and I've already started writing in it, because I don't believe in New Years' resolutions. If I want to do it, I start doing it. So that's what I did!
Last week a friend of mine posted a Facebook note asking her girlfriends to share their skin care and make-up regimen so that we could all benefit from learning each others', and I thought it was such a great idea, I decided to write a blog post about it! It's true, sharing your personal care can be a great way to teach friends good ways of caring for themselves, and can also help you to learn where you might be doing something wrong.
I believe that skin care is step one to any beauty regimen. If the skin you're applying make-up to isn't healthy underneath, that make-up won't do it's job as needed! My foundation skin care is Serious Skin Care which is sold on HSN. It all started with a sample of the C line face wash, and it became a love affair ever since. It makes my skin feel silky-smooth, it keeps away blemishes, it prevents uneven skin tone, and it works on wrinkles! I use the A line and the C line, alternately, and I'm bad at using it every day, but I usually succeed in convincing myself when I look in the mirror and tell myself, "You're almost 30. Take care of your skin now while it still looks good, because you'll regret not doing it when it's too late." I mean, even once the aging process becomes visible, it's not too late to reverse it a little, but I'd rather work on keeping it healthy now. The lines come with a series of washes, scrubs, moisturizers, skin food, and eye cream. It's all very gentle and soothing to the skin. It's amazing to see blemishes clear up because of vitamins instead of because of harsh chemicals like alcohol.
My make-up changes periodically, when something better comes along. I use a mix-and-match collection of products based on what's been my favorite. My make-up is very simple and no-nonsense because I'm a super low-maintenance person. I'd rather just get it over with and move on with my life!
I use a foundation, pressed powder, mascara, eyeliner, and once in a great while, lipstick and blush, but not every day. Some days, if I'm just running around or going to the gym I will skip the eyeliner, but I've recently been introduced to be best eyeliner in the world, so I have lately been wearing it every day. I'll get to that in a moment!
My foundation and pressed powder are the L'Oreal True Match with Sunscreen. I'm all about the pale! I never tan anymore--haven't since I was about 19 years old. My grandma, my best friend's dad, and my father-in-law have all had experiences with skin cancer, and while those have been for various reasons, it doesn't seem right to mess around with your odds.
The mascara I'm currently using is Maybelline The Falsies. I've been kind of a rouge mascara user lately. I've gotten tired of my usual and wanted something with volume boost! We'll see where I go from here.
My previous eyeliner was Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen, which is applied like a marker, but I was never happy with it. It's always too hard to get right on the lash line, which I need because my lashes are so light. And then... *cue angel music* I was at Target the day before Thanksgiving and they had already brought out these sale items...buy 1 get 1 free for make-ups. I picked a waterproof liquid black eyeliner. My eyes have been thanking me ever since! It's Revlon Color Stay Liquid Eyeliner in a little tube, and I have never experience anything go on so perfectly smooth. If you look closely in the mirror while applying it, you can see it dry. It changes from shiny to matte in about 10 seconds. I have not had it come off yet, and I've even cried a few times while wearing it! (Changing birth control makes me emotional. Don't judge.) Anyway, it can be good to use the marker to make the line, and then the liquid to fill it in.
My blush is usually Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends in Pure, but I recently picked up L'Oreal True Match Naturale (see above link to True Match line), just because of my love of the True Match line. So far, it's just okay. I think I need a slightly darker color, but the one I really wanted was sold out at the time.
If I wear eye shadow, it's always silver, but to be honest, I usually don't bother. Eyeliner and mascara is all i need. Lipstick is occasional, but not frequent. I got a great little tube from Vanis when I went there for my wedding make-up and I usually wear that now, or the Neutrogena tinted lip balm.
I started having my hair done at a professional salon in about 2006 when I made friends with a girl who worked at a luxury salon. I've never looked back since! My hair has been healthier, happier, and prettier. The salon uses Kerastase products which are a little out of my budget, but I use their products for heat protection, mousse, and conditioning treatments occasionally.
My shampoo is a few steps down from that, but still a few above the grocery store brands. I use Redken Blonde Glam shampoo and conditioner, though sometimes I venture out into their other lines, like the Full Body line. I love the Blonde Glam because it smells like grapefruits, and feels clean and adds brightness. Also, just as a but of advice, I only shampoo my roots, and only condition below my head. This keeps hair cleaner near the scalp, because when you think about it, that's really the only place that gets dirty. As long as the shampoo runs down the rest of the hair, there's no need to scrub the length. All that does is promote damage, split ends, and dullness. I also seldom blow dry my hair because it dries relatively straight.
I've only had short hair twice in my life--when I was 13 and when I was 19--and it's been almost 9 years...I'm thinking about taking the plunge again. My hair grows so fast, it can't really hurt!
You might wonder what this has to do with skin and hair health! I think it's very important for women to have a workout regimen, but also to supplement their body with added nutrients. Most people don't get all they need even from a balanced diet, and let's face it, most people don't eat a balanced diet either! I take a daily multivitamin from Optimum Nutrition that's LOADED with everything you need in a day, as well as Smart Fats, and/or Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil. I also take Branch Chain Amino Acids, Glucosamine, Protein, and Calcium when I'm lifting. All of these supplements help maintain a strong and healthy immune system and good hair, skin, and nails. I also periodically take probiotics to improve digestion, simply because my experience has shown me that poor digestion leads to poor sleep and that leads to bad skin!
When I slacked off on my supplements for a few months this summer, no joke, my fingernails and toenails all started breaking off. I think that the body starts to love the nutrition and when it's gone, it really shows as a deficiency.
For women not engaged in active working out, I still recommend the multivitamin and Smart Fats, but you may also choose to take Andrew Lessman's Hair Skin and Nails formula. (Also, his Friendly Flora probiotics receive great reviews...I have usually used Pearls myself, but may give his a try.)
My Beauty Resources
In case you've never visited this website, I think every girl should know that Lauren Conrad's website, The Beauty Department, is an excellent resource for hair, skin, nails, and more! You should definitely check it out.
Also, about a month ago, I happened to pick up Allure magazine (it's the Keira Knightley issue still on the shelves now) and there was a "Black Friday" special for a beauty box for $29. I snapped it up immediately! It arrived with at least $150 worth of merchandise in it, and I was ecstatic. I've been trying out all kinds of new products, including that Neutrogena tinted lip balm that I mentioned above. I don't know if any of these items will be added to my future routines, but if they are I will definitely let you guys know!