Wax Funtimes + New Great Cheap Moisturizer!

Despite the horrible weather on the east coast, I made it to my long overdue brow and lip wax. I was three weeks behind due to a migraine, my surgery, and then painkillers. Yesterday’s post is a before and here is my after. 🙂





(the second one is filtered because I was in horrible lighting)

(the first one is pink because it was literally a minute after getting waxed)

But ladies, how about that mascara?! This one is from the drugstore and is really impressing me. It is Maybelline Full and Soft. On me it feels very light and fluttery but it separates and lengthens gorgeously. I didn’t even curl my lashes today and I still got a very flirty, lifted look. I haven’t had any smudging with this one, but for some reason mascaras don’t ever smudge on me (knock on wood).

On to the moisturizer —



I got mine for about $12 at Ulta. I am not a huge fan of the scent (or any scent in any moisturizer) BUT…

it is knocking my beloved Cerave out of the park right now. My skin has been so extremely dry and flaky lately that it has needed something thicker. This derma e moisturizer is heavy (which I love), 75% of it sinks right in and the other 25% remains a little dewy (not shiny or oily) and makeup goes on fine over it. I’m sure it would all sink in if one applied less, but I really need a barrier between my poor skin and my apartment’s heating system.

It doesn’t have SPF, but I’ve read that it mixes well with other products. I will try mixing my Cerave with SPF in with it. Today for my wax, I went with just this moisturizer and a floppy hat for sun protection.



(me being a total selfie goober in my new hat and marc jacobs lippie)

I hope you have a wonderful snow/ice day if you’re with me on the east coast! Drive safe. 🙂 And treat yourself to a long bath and a sheet mask for a pampered evening.

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February Favorites

Wow, I’ve been blogging for three months! So WordPress is a favorite. But here are my makeup/skincare/fashion favs of last month:

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation



This has gotten me so many skin compliments, even though life had my skin acting crazy in February. It worked perfectly over my usually heavy moisturizer with SPF and mix of primers. The shade 01 was perfect for me and left me looking glowy without a highlighter. Blush and bronzer blended perfectly over it, and whatever I put on my face lasted all day (even if I wore a winter hat!). Awesome coverage, not at all drying, and super quick to work with. Looks like skin. I’ll repurchase it when I run out for sure.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso



I used this almost every day in February. It adds the perfect amount of dimension back to your face after a fuller coverage foundation, and it has a soft sheen, so you can skip a highlight. It fades well with bronzer or looks fine without it. It has awesome staying power, especially with the drugstore price tag! In March, I have a feeling I’ll be reaching for more pinks and corals, but Luminoso will always be my standby.

Nude Lipstick



I was tired of bold winter shades by the middle of February. I wanted a pale as pale can be nude, and I bought several (oops) at the drugstore. I don’t have a single favorite, but I love the Maybelline mattes and Wet n Wild lippies. I also enjoyed pairing pale nudes with NARS Orgasm lip gloss. When I wasn’t wearing that, I was combining…

Buxom White Russian & Rimmel Eastend Snob





This is a my lips but pinker and not-too-glossier but oh-so-plumper combo. It just looks so… fertile. Something sexual about how lush my lips look right after I draw them on with these two. They are both new to me, but I think they will definitely be year-round repurchases.

Tightlining



These days, I don’t leave the house without tightlining. It was torture the first few times, but I’ve found a much easier and peaceful way to do it that I’ll soon share on here. Tightlining, whether you are only wearing a shimmery nude shade and mascara or a full blown smokey eye, makes the eyes and lashes stand out that much more. It makes one look so much more awake and doe-eyed. Now that it’s easier, I actually look forward to it!

Aquaphor and Lanolin



I actually layer these if my skin is flaking no matter how much exfoliating and moisturizing I do. I use the mix like a spot treatment overnight and in the morning before I wash my face. When I take it off, what was rough is all of a sudden baby soft and supple. I have been using it on my lips, around my nostrils, and between my eyebrows all of the time with fantastic results. 

My New Handbag





(mine is the blue one)

This was a great deal, it goes with everything, it’s perfect for spring, and it has tons of pockets! I adore it. It is made out of a very soft but durable feeling vegan faux leather.

Pukka Three Ginger Tea







Isn’t the box so pretty? I bought it to help the pains from my advanced acid reflux, but it is surprisingly sweet and delicious! It really warms you up from the inside. Ginger and licorice are good for digestion while turmeric is an anti-inflamitory. So it does me loads of good with every sip, and it looks great on my countertop. I found mine at Vitamin Shoppe.

There are my month’s favorites. My least favorites would be mascara drying up and this nasty cold damp weather in Virginia. But spring is coming, and opportunities abound.

What are some of your transitional favorites?

January Favorites

I’ve been a makeup minimalist this month, but that doesn’t mean I’ve used less products. Just the same things over and over again. A few of these are repeats from December, but they’re the real stars.

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Cerave A.M. and P.M. moisturizers, five pumps each. My skin drinks it up. I’m glad it’s cheap!

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And I use this Cerave eye cream day and night. It really makes a difference with puffiness, dark circles, and dryness.

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This has replaced all lipgloss this month. It looks like gloss, but it actually helps soothe chapped lips! I always have a tube in my pocket, in my bathroom, and by my bed. My lips are forever glossy and healthy.

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I’ve been using this CC cream daily instead of foundation. It evens me out, I can mix it with my darling Cerave, and I don’t need to set with powder. I have been loving the feeling of it on my skin. It supposedly diminishes acne scars, as well.

Some bath favorites:

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This shampoo bar and conditioner from lush make my hair feel 1) really really clean, 2) really really soft, and 3) really really shiny (not in a greasy way). They both have a light herbal scent which I love. I don’t have to use any extra hair product to get the shine I like. I use pomade sometimes, but I’d rather not, because it makes bed head a nightmare and Lord knows I can’t bother to wet my head on a daily basis. So these two are favorites for this month and onward.

Other bath favorites include everything else from Lush I have tried (mostly bubble bath products)! I’m a pampered bath lady.

Oh, one more makeup item.

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Dipbrow is a new favorite. I use it everyday because otherwise I’m nude!

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And this topcoat is a stunner. Dries quick, super shiny, no chips for days. What more could one wish for?

Coming soon: blog post on my top ten lippies (that I will project pan) (project pan is a verb you guys)!

acne and ocd/bipolar disorder (picking)

I struggled with acne since I was about 14 years old — menarche. That’s 8 years of spots and spending money on over-the-counter/herbal remedies that never quite worked. Until I saw a dermatologist in ~November, I was taking stabs in the dark as to how to make my biggest insecurity go away.

I was also “taking control” as only someone with OCD can. I picked. It mixed with my hypomania in a vicious way. I’d focus in on one thing — the texture of my skin and how I could make it better! Of course!

And I picked and I picked and I picked until I looked like a meth head and then I picked some more.

I was always fully aware that picking made it look worse and was likely to make it more infected. But my mind is not quite logical with some things. (a symptom of OCD is being fully aware that your rituals make no sense in the logical world.) I didn’t really have any reasoning for the picking save for this:

*hand drifts to face* (bad habit) oh no there’s a little bump maybe I can squash it *squeeeesh* oops damnit Martha you’re not supposed to do that maybe scratch it until it’s completely smooth *uses dirty fingernails to damage layers of skin and create dime sized scab from pin prick sized pimple* maybe that other scab on your chin is ready to go and *peeeeeel* damnit where’s a tissue I’m bleeding in public this is embarrassing

Sound gross? I know, I know, it was like I couldn’t help but publicly shame myself multiple times per day. And that was part of getting through picking — remember the shame, don’t touch your face. Remember the shame. And you don’t have any tissues.

Top ways to stop picking:
-wear fake nails. this makes it near impossible. this is by far my top tip. It gets you out of the habit of picking, even after you stop wearing nails.
-knit/crochet when you have idle hands. and keep at it. and start a new project when you finish another.
-eat. something that requires two hands, like shelling peanuts.
-shift your focus from picking to moisturizing. it doesn’t happen overnight. but it is another way to control skin texture and it is also a way to be kind to yourself.
-sit on your hands if you feel them drifting toward your face.

and of course,
-read up on OCD, if you have been diagnosed. once I was diagnosed, I read a lot of articles on picking and OCD, and they helped me to recognize patterns that were the disorder. I previously thought I had no self-control, and I was destined to have scabs on my face 5ever.

But now I have clear skin, nothing to pick at. If I get a hormonal zit, I let it be. It dies, thanks to RX creams I still have on hand.

Another note– I see a lot of beauty bloggers and people on the acne tag who haven’t seen a dermatologist but complain of horrible acne and spend hundreds of dollars on anything that might work. I have spent a total of $150 on three months of seeing a dermatologist, and less money on new skincare items/medications that have all worked that the doctor recommended. Below I include all products for acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It’s a lot cheaper than guessing in the dark for years with spots on your face. My advice is to see a doctor!

Products I currently use:
-Cerave A.M. and P.M. facial moisturizers ($28 total)
-Cerave eye cream ($12)
-Cetaphil facial cleanser ($4)
-PCA pigment bar ($30 bulk)
-Avar-e pigment lightening gel (RX) (free)
-doxycycline every other day (RX) ($10)
-Cetaphil cream ($15 bulk)
-Aquaphor ointment ($20 bulk)

seldom use anymore now that acne is dead:
-Epiduo (RX) (free)
-Aczone (RX) (free)
-Eletone (RX) (free)
-PCA blemish bar ($30 bulk)

This is just an example of what clear skin has cost me financially. I consider it money well spent. Most of these products last me forever (the bulk bars claim to last a year) (the bulk creams will probably outlast them).

If you pick your skin, do some research and free yourself. 🙂 And cough up and see a doctor about those zits if they really bother you and lower your self-confidence. You deserve to feel great in your skin.

~*treat yo self*~

skin, hair, and nail things that have treated me well in November and December

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This little eye cream in a tube by Cerave is convenient, hygienic, inexpensive, and very moisturizing. If I forget this for a day, I notice. When I started using it, I noticed that my eye makeup (foundation, concealer, and shadows) went on a hell of a lot better. I have tried more expensive eye creams, and this one tops them, in my humble, pharmacy-skincare-fanatic opinion.

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My heavy-duty moisturizers. I use the Cetaphil cream on my face almost every night and some mornings (let’s be real, I don’t get my shit together until the afternoon). Makeup goes on fine over it. It’s super rich but not greasy. I also use it after a shower/bath all over. It’s cheap, a jar lasts forever, and it feels so luxurious! I spot treat with the Aquaphor. Flaky nose, lips, brows, scabs (gross), whatever. Once every week or two I put on a thin layer on my whole face overnight. It doesn’t break me out, it just banishes any dryness (can you tell how much I obsessively hate dry skin?).

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My holy grail every day or I’ll die moisturizers. My dermatologist told me to use them, and she is a saint. Or a god. Or something. They are exactly the same except for the one marked a.m. has sun protection. They sink right into the skin and leave it soft but not shiny. Foundation applies like a dream over them (after a primer) (haven’t tried without a primer because I am a believer in the priming).

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THIS STUFF. MAN, OH MAN, THIS STUFF. If you have acne scars, BUY IT NOW. Get your ass to Sephora and drop the dollars because this gets rid of them!! I know, I know, there are some scary studies about lab rats who were dunked into super-concentrated vats of hydroquinone. But I quit drinking and smoking and diet coke. I will keep rubbing hydroquinone on my face. Shoot me (please don’t it will leave a scar!) (or do, the scar will be gone in two weeks!).

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My cleansers. I have a special place in my heart for these guys. Washing my face twice daily is so soothing. I get so… so zen about the whole thing. In the morning I just use the Cetaphil, like my dermatologist told me to. I love this cleanser. I love all of these cleansers. Sigh. At night I use the rest all mixed together. The Biore black cleanser seriously gets all of the shit out of your pores. My derm did not tell me to use this, but commented on how perfectly empty my pores were after I started using. Yeah, I said using, like drugs. It’s that good. The scrub is a super cheap, fine scrub that is suitable for daily use and smells nice. The Blemish Control Bar is a sacred thing. It contains sulphur and salicylic acid and other goodies that beat acne-causing demons out of your life with brass knuckles. It somehow does not dry you out or sting you in the process, because It is kind. My derm sold me the Blemish Control Bar. Miracles come in little jars.

My cleansing routine is intense and not for the faint-of-heart. So was my acne! But now it is gone. Gone!

When I go to wash my face at night, lover says, “is it okay if I watch an episode of Frasier while you’re in there?”

Frasier was our thing that we watched together.

Face routine, you’re tearing us apart!!

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Basic chapstick. I buy the five-pack and have one in every coat pocket and two (?) in the bathroom. I use it every night and under every lipstick or gloss. My lips stay nice. (I have not yet mentioned on this blog that I am a professional trombonist. I am not kidding. I am working on a degree in trombone, of all things. So my lips have to stay nice. They are the only thing making me any money.)

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Hair and nails. I always get “your hair looks nice today!” when I use it’s a 10. I don’t know what it does, exactly. It really does feel silky. And the Crew pomade is my favorite pomade of the moment. I use it when I want to look polished and extra androgynous. The nail treatment has made my nails super strong. They never break anymore. My nails barely bend (and they are long). It looks fine on its own, and it works very well as a base coat.

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These make your scalp feel like it is brushing its teeth, and it feels amazing. My super thick hair is shinier and more manageable since I started using this line.

You might be able to tell that I am a tad OCD about skincare. So be it. It calms me down. That’s kind of the thing with OCD, the rituals calm you down. But at least these are socially acceptable and okayed by someone with a degree.

BB/CC Cream Stockpile for the Apocalypse and a Review

How did this happen?! How did I give into the BB and CC cream craze and why oh why do I want Estée Lauder’s EE cream?!

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Now that I’m doing Project Pan, I might as well add in a Project Tube. I’ll wear one until it’s done around the house, when I walk the dog, whenever I don’t feel like doing a full face of makeup. I’ll start with Yes to Grapefruits CC Cream.

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It has SPF 18 and promises to even and brighten skin with evodia fruit. Never heard of it… but I’ll put it on my face. 🙂

before/after

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And then set with Rimmel Stay Matte powder:

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Review: My skin drank it up very nicely. It is the only moisturizer I used. No extra creams or serums. The coverage is decent but leaves much to be desired. It covered most scarring and redness on my forehead and cheeks, but still let my freckles show through. It attempted to cover thing-on-my-chin. It really needs to be set with powder, as the SPF makes it a bit too shiny for my taste. I’ll happily use it until it’s gone, but I won’t do much other than walk the dog and do household chores in it. And then it’s on to the next zombie from the BB cream graveyard…

take care!

xoxo

Martha