Blessing and a Curse – Part 1

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how great I had back when I was younger…or even just in my 20s…you know, before I hit my 30s and everything caught up to me.   I feel like I have a lot to talk about w/my blessings/curses so we’ll make Part 1 – Skin, Part 2 – Hair, Part 3 – Weight.   Maybe I should have renamed this series:  Yearning for the Fountain of Youth.

Anyway, I’ve posted before how I’m a late bloomer – especially when it comes to my skin.  I had porcelain skin in high school.  While my friends were learning how to apply make-up and learning how to hide their flaws with said make-up, being BFFs w/Oxy,  and trying every “zit-zapper” drug store brand under the sun, I would bask in my extra minutes of sleep because I wouldn’t have to do any of the above.  I would just shower and go.  At night, I never really washed my face either (don’t judge!).  If I did, it would just be water.

I felt like I had to start taking care of my skin though (???  I don’t know why, I thought I was missing out on something).  So, I started the Clinique 3 step program.  However, I was not consistent at all.  I remember throwing out cleansers and such over a year later.  I never learned how to pick the right foundation or concealer shade and therefore, never learned how to apply it either. All I would wear was powder.  I wore other make-up, eventually, like eyeliner and lipstick/gloss/balm/etc., but nothing to hide flaws or even my skin tone with.  I had it good…REAL good.  I was blessed with porcelain skin.

Fast forward to when I was 19.  A friend of the family, who was pretty much my Aunt, commented on how beautiful my skin was.  At this time, I went back to Clinique and even added a scrub as my skin was starting to get obviously oily.  I told her what I was doing (although still not consistently) and she said to keep up with it.  I don’t know why I didn’t listen.  Always listen to those old family friend/aunts who give you advice when they have a right too (she was in her 50s and not a pore in sight!).

Fast forward again to when I was 25.  I finally moved out of my parents’ house (I stayed home for college…wasn’t allowed to dorm b/c I was a girl – that’s a whole other story).  I moved to downtown Jersey City to a BEAUTIFUL luxury 3 bedroom apartment w/2 of my friends.  My skin had a hard time adjusting to the water (I guess it was hard water?), my stress level went up because of being on “my own” (with roommates, but still), more bills than usual (I paid some when living at home w/parents to help them out) and stress at work and I had my first bought of breakouts.  I mean, serious HUGE pimples popped all over my face.

I had no idea what to do or how to handle it. I didn’t even want to go out w/my friends at times.  I didn’t want to go to work.  I didn’t want to go anywhere, but stay in my room.  I didn’t know how to fix it or hide it.  I didn’t want to see a dermatologist because I didn’t want them to put me on something that would bring all the dirt and what have to the surface (I heard horror stories of how people broke out more, at first, before they got better).  I was in mid-20s and finally coming / blooming into my own.  I didn’t realize being a late-bloomer also applied to my skin.  I felt like a kid going through puberty.  At least when you’re in high school, you have others to commiserate with.  I had no one.  The curse of having beautiful skin while everyone else suffered – I never took care of it or learned how to.

Eventually, my skin cleared up, but I now had battlewounds (aka acne scars) to show what I went through.  Fast forward again to 27 when I was pregnant with my first, Beans.  After the shock of it all, I took motherhood to the extreme where everything was about her.  I don’t regret that at all.  I do regret not taking care of myself.  I couldn’t find that balance.  I didn’t know how to make everything about her, but not forget about me either.   This happened for ALL of my girls.

Fast forward again to 3 years ago – early 30s.  I finally started to stare at myself when I looked in the mirror.  Before that, I would do everything so quickly just to make sure my hair wasn’t all over the place, my clothes weren’t inside out and my eyeliner wasn’t smeared/smearing.  What I found, scared (vain) me.  My pores had gotten big and visible.  There is no reversing that.

Starting last spring, I have tried to really take care of my skin.  I can’t undo the damage, but I can try to hinder anymore damage from happening or at least slow it down.  I’ve gotten good with washing my face 2x /day.  I’ve been trying different cleanser lines, but haven’t quite found one that works well – all the time.  Clinique still works for me, but I’m trying to find something that will control my crazy oily producing face.  I swear sometimes I feel like I can fry an egg on my face (sorry for that visual).  It doesn’t help that I now sweat easily (happened after pregnancy weight gain than I never lost).  I finally went to see a dermatologist and she happens to also have oily skin so she understands my woes.  She’s got me on some retinoid and trying Cetaphil’s new line for acne prone skin (wash and moisturizer).  I ran out of my Clinique Acne Solutions line (lower your volume if you’re going to click on that Clinique link) so it was good timing.  So far, so good, but the weather has also started to cooperate (read as:  not 100 degree hot) so we’ll have to see.

Just an FYI though, I did like the Clinique line.  Right before I started using it again, I was breaking out around my jawline and cheek area…heat related?  I don’t know, but it cleared pretty much within a few days.  Cetaphil is looking like it’s working for me too, so far.  Maybe even comparable to Clinique or maybe it’s because I’m also using a retinoid.

I wish I had my old skin back, but at least now, I’m teaching my girls that it’s important to wash up every night – for now, I’m letting them just use a washcloth and water everynight…just to let them get into the habit of it.

What a blessing it was to have porcelain skin, but also a curse because I took it for granted and never took care of it and so never knew how to take care of it until later on in life… #firstworldproblems,Iknow

In Love w/Rouge in Love…and Lancome

It should go on record that it took me a few days to write up this post due to all the links, apprehension of posting so many shots of my face (almost sickening, right? um yeah, ALMOST. lol) and well, life happens… Thing is, I liked talking about beauty and skincare and my finds…so hmm…will be the 1st or the last? Only time will tell, right? Because again, LIFE HAPPENS. I’m now a Mom to 4 – 3 girls (ages 6, 4 and 18 months) and 1 7wk old puppy…

Emma Watson for Lancome's Rouge in Love lipstick line

Emma Watson for Lancome's Rouge in Love lipstick line

Thanks to In Style magazine, Emma Watson’s ad pictured on the left ( (aka “Hermione” in “Harry Potter”) and Michelle Phan, I’m now more aware of Lancome products and decided to give their new lipstick line, Rouge in Love, a try. Doesn’t hurt that our local department store was also giving away free gifts with purchase.

At first, I wanted a springy color and so I tried on and liked “Roses in Love”, but, they didn’t have any in stock so I’m waiting for my order to arrive (actually, just got delivered). I remember it’s a brighter pink that I’m used to, but a nice pop of color change for spring.

Then, I came back the couple of days later and tried other colors and fell in love with “Cocoa Couture”.
Lancome's Rouge in Love in "Cocoa Couture"

It’s hard to see from the picture, but it’s a brownish-red or reddish-brown. I’ve been on a hunt for a deep red or brick red and this seems to have hit the nail on the head. Of course, depending on the lighting, it’s either more brown or more red, but I still like it. It’s almost like a throwback to the 90s. Who remembers Brenda Walsh on 90210? Or Tejana sensation Selena? I haven’t found her red in 1 tube (I can combine 2 sephora shades to get it) so my search is still kind of on, but for now, I’m happy with this one.

Me w/Lancome's "Rouge in Love" in "Cocoa Couture"
Natural light inside the bathroom (yes, I know I have dark circles under my eyes… not fond of using concealer…mainly b/c I haven’t found my right match and I’m usually rushing).

Bathroom mirror.

Outside natural light (car visor).

After a few hours and drinking tea
After a few hours and drinking tea and water.

crooked sunglasses...thanks uneven ears!  lol

Wore off a bit and you can see my dry lips coming out from under, but it’s more red than brown now.

Still, I’m in love w/Rouge in Love 🙂 It goes on nicely and is creamy and soft (my dry lips were dry already prior to using Rouge in Love) and it lasts a long time…not quite 6 hours, but long enough.

Also, I’m using their Dual Finish powder as my foundation…not bad, but again, my face is oily so I need to use a whole bunch of other stuff to control it still. So, here’s a pic of that w/the freebies.

L-R: Blue bag in the back, Dual Finish powder (NOT a freebie), Visionnaire, Moisturizer, Eyelash Primer, Eyeshadow Quad and the pic below has the lippie.

Lancome Color Design in Love It
Color Design in “Love it” (which, I also love, by the way)…

And, not even 1 day old, here’s Shrimp’s artwork. Apparently, lipstick needs to be lip-shaped as well:

I think I’m turning into a Lancome convert…Not pictured in the freebie above is the face wash it came with…Creme Mousse Confort. It’s for dry skin, but I tried and I love it! Love, LOVE, LOOOOVE the smell! I also ended up getting the toner too – Tonique Radiance – which also smells sooo good!

Still pretty oily though…probably need a different cleanser. The only thing is, I hope my aesthetician lets me use all of these Lancome products. She was kind of keen me using their products 😦 Guess we’ll find out.

I never thought of myself as Lancome loving, but I believe I am now.

Foundation: Lancome Dual Finish in “Buff II” via Bergner’s
Eyebrows: Anastasia – Beauty Express in “Brunette” via Sephora
Eyeliner: Jordana retractable in “Smokey” via Walgreens
Eyebrow Shape: waxed by some girl I will never go back to. Not used to them being that thin AND super un-even!
Mascara: Maybelline Falsies in “Blackest Black”
Lip Color: Lancome Rouge in Love in “Cocoa Couture” via Bergner’s department store
Nails (orange): Sally Hansen “Crushed” via Target
Nails (dark): Opi “I’m Fondue of You” via nail salon 😉
Sunnies: Ray Ban – Cockpit via Sunglass Hut
Earrings: Pearls from Street Vendor on “The Boulevard” – Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Visayas – Philippines
Sweatshirt: Blue Hoodie – Polo by Ralph Lauren circa 2007
Orange Longsleeve: Old Navy circa 2006
Green Contacts: Fresh Look Colorblends – Green via
Necklace: Tiffany’s – Elsa Perreti Cross

Too Old For This!

Last week, out of nowhere, I broke out. All of a sudden, I had 3 pimples. I don’t know if it’s because it’s getting warm out and my overly oily face is producing oil at a faster rate or because I’ve been working out and sweating and not always able to
jump into the shower right away (ahhhh motherhood) or the fact that I’m just being reminded that I was (and maybe, still am) a late bloomer.

Late bloomer w/huge pores 😦 Ugh, I’m putting myself out here…this is a pretty close-close up of my skin and how horrid it has become. I had NO idea that skincare included facials at least once a month and that exfoliating should be done once a week…maybe 2-3 if you have oily skin like I do…Oh and let’s not forget masks…once a week. Yes, I went on a skincare research overload and all of this, I only learned about last summer. I always thought facials were just for relaxing and pampering. I don’t remember Mum going through all of this, but then I just realized she has visible pores too. I guess she didn’t know either.

As part of my resolutions, I’m trying to take better care of myself so, I’m off to get a facial tonight…or a peel or something. Whatever. I’m going to see an aesthetician(sp?) for a consultation and we’ll see what the next steps are. I just hope there’s some hope left. I know there’s no way that I’ll ever have small pores again, but I hope there’s something that can be done to even out the texture of my face.

Note to all of you out there, especially you young ones who think you have perfect skin – which may, now: NEVER go to bed w/o washing your face or at least removing your make up. I’m told, and I’ve read, that’s the #1 cause for clogging pores and making them huge!

I only really started wearing make up a few years ago (and still not everyday), but never really made it a habit of taking my make-up off (don’t judge!). I used to have porcelain skin way back when…all I would wear was maybe powder. I couldn’t figure out how to apply foundation and I’m actually still learning…So, I never had to remove make up (because I barely ever wore it) or never found it necessary to wash my face before bed (again, don’t judge me!). I’m so paying for it now 😦

Let’s file this under: “Things I know now”…and “I wish I knew then”…and “Older = Wiser”.

Can you really not teach old dogs new tricks?

Disclaimer:  I am posting via my phone so I don’t have links ready…will update tomorrow…

I used to have perfect hair and perfect skin.  Fast forward 15 years later and I am now struggling how to hide my flaws and figuring out how to do the smokey eye look…I am so make-up challenged!

I turned to youtube and found Michelle Phan’s site (@RiceBunny on Twitter).   She is phenomenal!  I just wish I had the right products or even knew how to choose them (I still don’t have the right concealer/foundation shades).  I tried following the smokey eye tutorial and ended up looking like I got punched in the eye.  Me thinks me needs more practice…

I also realized that I really need to get into a skincare regimen and ticking to it…including facials…preferably those that do some kind ofresurfacing…is that a dermabrasion?

*sigh* these things are usually known by the time one is in her early-to-mid 30s, n’est-ce pas?   But, I’m willing to learn…let’s hope I can.