“I Am a Working Professional” FOTD

It’s busy season at Day Job, and unfortunately that means the more I want to wear sweats and look scrubby, the more I have to look “put-together.” Life is funny like that.

Aims:

1. Don’t look like shit

2. Don’t take forever

3. Last long enough I can attend those inhumane 4:30 pm Friday meetings (that could have been e-mails)

Method:

1. Pat a bit of jojoba or sweet almond oil on my face. I’ve been wearing actual foundation lately — I have to use a sponge and everything — and the one I’m using in particular goes on better with a dewy base like this. I tried it with a “sticky/tacky” oil-control type base and it clung funny and my cream blush/contour/highlight/etc. blended out like shit over top.

2. Undereye concealer just in that innermost hollow near my nose to avoid creasing and future mascara smudging. Brow gel. Try to convince myself to run a pencil through the gaps and asymmetry in my brows. Fail.

3. Pretend I can convince other people into thinking I have bone structure by running a contour stick under where a cheekbone, in theory, would be. Blush as medically necessary to then convince them I am alive. Highlight because I fucking love sparkle.

5.Take a bigass eye crayon or a sparkly eyeshadow and smudge that shit on the lid and take a tiny bit underneath the lower lashline too. If I’m feeling real crazy, I might even take some eyeliner on my waterline before mascara.

6. Now that all the face makeup has settled in as much as it’s gonna, I go in with face-concealer; waiting until the foundation is set keeps me from using too much.

7. Lipstick. Check for it on my teeth. Rub it off. Have lipstick smeared all over my teeth the rest of the day regardless.

Result:

WPFOTD

Do I look close to a two weeks notice to you?

Blush Diaries: Becca Beach Tint “Guava”

Becca’s shimmer souffle leaves me in an odd puddle of ennui, but this beach tint is a little better, at least.

Guava

I’d try more beach tints if there weren’t really good liquid blushes that are less pricey, maybe. Guava is sheer and pretty and lasts a decent amount of time (not all day, like my ELF Cream Blush palette); but it’s like my on again, off again partner. I like it when I think to use it (more than that Watermelon shimmer souffle), but it’s out of sight out of mind when it filters its way to the bottom of my makeup bag.

GuavaBecca1

It’s alright, I guess. Maybe if I’d gotten a more unique color I’d have stronger feelings about it. The formula and this shade don’t leave me with any complaints, per se, but I’m not excited to reach for them. (This also looks really not good on the lips. Don’t let Becca lie on you like that.)

Bonus: When No Selfie is Working but You Got a Blog Post to Get Up:

beccaguava2

I’ll never be a beauty blogger, really.

Lipstick for When You Hate Your Job

Does this title sound like click bait? Because that is honestly and unironically what this post is about. (It’s more likely than you think!)

I’ve been struggling with the Day Job more than usual lately. And I mean that very genuinely in the “crafted my two weeks notice before I left last Friday and have it queued up and ready to go the next time I’m faced with bullshit” kind of way. Unfortunately, I don’t have a patron that would support me if I just up and left with no backup in place (though applications are open for that coveted position!), so I’ve had to rely on other ways to get me though my hopefully numbered days at Day Job. Of course, because it’s me, that means lipstick.

Makeup gives me joy and as I’ve mentioned before a bright blush and lipstick gives me joy most of all, since I don’t even have to worry about blending it or winging it evenly or anything else complicated. Here are some of my fave bright and happy lipsticks that allow me to fake it until I make it, so to speak:

Reds:

Red

Left to Right: Besame “American Beauty,” Clinique Pop Lip Color+Primer “Cherry Pop,” Revlon Super Lustrous “Fire and Ice,” LA Colors “Cherry Red,” ELF Tinted Lip Balm “XO Red” (d/c?), Clinique Chubby Stick “Chunky Cherry

The Clinique Cherry Pop (don’t think I don’t see what you did there, Clinique) and Besame American Beauty are my standouts in terms of color + formula, since I usually prefer cooler/berry reds anyway. That ELF one is a straight up lipstick though — that’s one light swipe shown there. Don’t let the name fool you. If you’re looking for sheer, the Clinique Chubby Stick or one of the Revlon Kiss Balms (I think the red one is Cherry or Apple something?) would be better.

Pinks:

Pink

Left to Right: J.Cat Beauty 24/7 Hydrating Lip Stain “Hikilicious,” Korres Liquid Lipstick “Raspberry” (d/c, but I think you can still find this one here), Soap and Glory Sexy Motherpucker “Pommie Girl,” Revlon Lip Butter “Lollipop” (d/c), Colourpop Ultra Glossy “Kink” (d/c), Almay Liquid Lip Balm “Pink Pout,” Revlon Kiss Balm “Fresh Strawberry

For some reason, the Soap and Glory Pommie Girl and the J. Cat Hikilicious both photographed darker and a bit more brown than they are in real life, no matter what I tried with my limited lighting and photography skills. Pommie Girl is definitely a rosy, deeper pink, but is absolutely lighter and brighter than the swatch above. Same for Hikilicious, which is a peachy-pink color in real life (think those peachy-orange roses in the grocery store, then up the saturation level by about 50 points. You can see it in action here). I love both of these formulas though; the Soap and Glory matte formula is a drugstore sleeper cell, and Pommie Girl and Cinnamon Kiss are “oh shit” makeup bag staples.

Etc:

Wild

Left to Right: Colourpop “Crystal Ball” (d/c), Sephora Colorful Glass Balm “Adjust Your Tiara,” Sephora Colorful Gloss Balm “Peek a Blue,” NYX High Voltage Lipstick “Twisted,” (Now rebranded as “Turnt Up”? NYX what?)  NYX Round Lipstick “Haute Melon,” Revlon Kissable Balm Stain “Rendezvous

I will buy Rendezvous until they stop making it, and when that happens I will cry many rivers. I think it’s actually the only lipstick I have ever fully run through and repurchased. The Sephora glosses are sheer enough to get away with in most work settings — you can tell, especially with the blue, that a little something is going on, but it’s not like Crystal Ball, which is full on green goodness and not something I could wear to a meeting with my boss’ boss, but can bust out on a Friday when no one is there to see me giving them the cosmetic middle finger anyway. (Fair warning, the blue can go into “been drunk-slurping a Burger King Ic-ee” real quick if you goop on too much).

Some days, of course, there is no other option but to show who I am inside:

Dark

Left to Right: J.Cat Beauty 24/7 Hydrating Lip Stain “Fantasy Dreamer,” Besame “Noir Red,” BITE Beauty “Liquorice,” The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes “Charming,” Colourpop Ultra Glossy “Furry” (d/c)

Charming pulls deeper and much more plum on my lips, as seen in this unfortunate drunk snapchat:

Snap

But I know on others it stays more true to the nudey-rosewood color seen above. The darker colors of that J. Cat stain can be a bit finnicky, but when I can be assed to take the time to apply it properly it is beautiful. Both the Bite and Besame lipsticks are beautiful and luxurious feeling, as well, (Besame wins for longevity, if that matters to you), and “Furry” is one of my favorite Colourpop purchases of all time. All of these are good eggs, is what I’m saying.

I haven’t busted out my only remaining black lipstick yet, but maybe I’ll wear it when I’m going out in a blaze of glory?

I know lipstick isn’t for everyone, and this might not help you deal with your employment hell if that’s the case. My only other suggestion would be:

Ice-Cream

The birthday cake flavor is real good, too.

How do you motivate yourself in our capitalist prison? 🙂

Being Borderline + BadBrain FOTD

I’ve mentioned being Borderline in passing on this blog before, in addition to having Bi-Polar Disorder and other co-morbid fun times. I wanted to do a little post about what that means in real life terms since I’m toeing the edge of an episode or a downswing or whatever and ready to chat about some of the things I’ve been feeling and thinking recently with regards to mental illness and interacting with the Neurotypicals(TM).

Borderline Personality Disorder is a Cluster B Personality Disorder, and it hinges on instability with regards to interpersonal relationships, emotions, and identity, among other things. Upon hearing this, a lot of (neurotypical) people try to say that everyone gets mad at their friends, or needs validation they are doing a good job, or feels lost sometimes as to who they are and what they want. And you know, on a good day, I know that everyone does.

But BPD is not that. It’s not that for me, and I don’t think any actual Borderline would agree with it, either. And it is very hard to not get pissed off when you have to hear it again and again, and are expected to listen patiently like a “good mentally ill person,” since they are “just trying to help.”

If you are chronically or mentally ill in some way, hearing things like that undercut your very real symptoms and the very real impacts they have on your very real life. It’s near gas-lighting, and for myself having or being BPD, this especially grates. One of the worst catch-22s of BPD is that it can become your identity so quickly once you finally have a diagnosis or a name to call how you’ve been feeling that even if you hate it (and boy, do I hate it! 🙂 ) having someone try to take that from you is like changing the forces of gravity. I don’t want to be sick, but in some ways I feel like I have to be in order to “be” in many senses of that word. If I’m not Borderline, who or what am I then? What is left if you take that part away?

Worse yet, because BPD makes you question who and what you are, a lot of Borderlines question that diagnosis anyway — that they’re making their symptoms up, or feeling like they’re just doing this “for attention” — but that very train of thought is a symptom in and of itself; constantly questioning the validity of the diagnosis is part of living with the diagnosis. When my experiences get re-framed in the context of “everyone is like that, really!” I don’t know if I can adequately express how disorienting it feels, and what that can trigger.

(Yes, everyone does that. Why am I so weak I can’t handle it like everyone else? What else am I making up for attention, what else am I using as an excuse? How can I be such a bad person to think my experiences are so much worse than everyone else’s? People have it much worse than I do, what do I have to complain about, really? I couldn’t tell you, since I now know I’m making not only my BPD symptoms up, but also my BD symptoms, my anxiety, the swings, splitting, all of it. Maybe even my PCOS and Endo. I’m making those up too, why not?)

I can try to understand why some neurotypical people feel the need to do that. Maybe they think they are being supportive, to let me or other people know they aren’t alone. I think more often because of the way BPD symptoms are described, people misunderstand them and orient them in their own experiences. Because, for example, if the DSM says one of the characteristics of being Borderline is “an instability in goals, aspirations, and career plans,” they all flash back to when they changed their major midway through undergrad and don’t understand the depth of what that means or feels like to someone who cannot regulate their emotions with any consistency and lacks a centralized sense of self. That’s not an isolated incidence of existential panic or debating a career change, it’s a chronic state of being.

Anyway. A lot of this was prompted by me mass-unfollowing a lot of borderline-centric tumblrs recently due to this type of Discourse(TM), and I wanted to share my thoughts and also maybe give people who wouldn’t otherwise get one a look at what BPD looks like in real life.

BBFOTD

On my face:

  • Hard Candy Sheer Envy Pore Defense Primer Serum. Since I am coming out of an episode that left me unable to wash my face consistently and on the verge of a dermatological revolt, the willow bark and witch hazel in this primer help me stave off the inevitable bad brain breakout. That I deserve, you know, because what kind of adult can’t get up to at least rinse the grime and dirt off their face? 🙂
  • Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Color Correct Cream in Sheer Nude. Since not being able to wash my face has also left me flaky and dry, the soothing ingredients in this aloe based cream help hide the flakiness where I’ve scratched or picked at my face trying to self-harm my guilt away post episode.
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. Since I seemingly lost my favorite Jordana brow gel (that left me crying for several minutes this morning, unable to stop myself from looking for it even though I knew it was lost, and I can’t even keep up with a little tube of makeup), this overpriced impulse buy keeps my brows visible on my puffy, bloated face, from all the water I haven’t been drinking and junk food I’ve been eating.
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Brightener. Since my episode I’ve been sleeping maybe two hours a night the past week or so, since the thought of sleeping triggers my paranoia. I don’t want anyone asking me about it at work — because what would I say? — so this lightweight, easy to blend formula helps hide the evidence.
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light. This is another overpriced impulse buy, since I literally cannot help myself from spending money irresponsibly 75% of the time. The emollient formula glides over the scabby, flaky parts of my face I cant help but mess with.
  • Pacifica Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Mascara in Abyss. Who knows when my next outburst or meltdown will be? I could split on my Bein, my co-worker, or my dog at the drop of a hat, and this lightweight, smudgeproof formula keeps me from those melodramtic racoon eyes when I have a little cry in the bathroom at work.
  • Revlon Kiss Balm in Juicy Peach. Since I’ve been gnawing at my lips constantly, trying to internalize all my shit and assimilate with the Neurotypicals(TM), a nice hydrating, sweet-smelling balm will help heal the scabs and dry patches I’ve got lingering.
  • A smile! Two weeks ago my coworker started talking to me about his friend’s “crazy, Borderline wife” who was ruining his life. No way I would let them know I’m struggling with the same illness that apparently only matters in the context of making other people’s lives harder. BPD folks are manipulative and abusive, don’t you know?

 

Blush Diaries: Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle

I struggle with loving this blush in the same way I struggle loving a lot of men who show relative interest in me. What I mean is, it is (and they may be) perfect on paper and yet I remain uninterested.

BeccaSS1

Too personal?

BeccaSS2

I got the Beeca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Watermelon/Moonstone as part of a Becca kit like last summer? Maybe even the summer before? I thought the shade was off from the get go — Becca’s Moonstone highlighter on its own is too dark for me, and coupled with this almost ruddy red watermelon color swirled throughout I thought it exacerbated the worst parts of my complexion, namely the redness and texture I already have, since this absolutely leaves a sheen on the face. Being that I was already flushed, sunburnt-peely, oily, red, and sweaty during the summer I bought this, I was struggling to think of a reason to hold onto it.

Laziness won out and I kept the kit to avoid trekking back to Ulta to return it, and this sat unloved and unused in my bag for no small amount of time until I was — would you believe it — running late one day and this was the first blush I could get my stubby hands on.  I nearly went without for the reasons listed above, but I decided to feel the fear and do it anyway, or whatever.

And it didn’t look half bad? Like, I liked it a lot, actually?

It can absolutely go too red if I’m sunburned or otherwise dermatologically compromised, and the sheen can be a bit sweaty looking if I’m not careful. But it lasts all day on the blush eating face I have and it looks natural and pretty…if I only I wanted to love it! I don’t know how many uses I’ll get out of it before it dries up on me, and even if these weren’t discontinued I don’t know that I’d buy other shades. The formula is nice and the color is pretty but it brings me no joy. Alas!

Blush-Diaries2

I’m wearing the Becca Shimmer Souffle here along with my trusty Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Berry Brown, FYI!

If you want another reason why I’m not cut out to be a beauty blogger, this poorly lit selfie is the only picture I could grab of this blush because I was chomping at the bit to go blow my paycheck at Ollies:

OlliesBooks

The “Oh Shit” Makeup Bag + Bonus “I Have Fucked Up” FOTD: Late For Work Edition

I am a recently converted but strong believer in keeping a makeup bag in the purse, backpack, car, etc. I’ve upgraded to such a bag from just having a few (or twenty) lipstick tubes rolling around in the bottom of my purse because it finally hit me that rather than be five or ten minutes late to my office trying to rush to look semi presentable at home, I can toss all my shit in my bag and take five minutes in the bathroom at work while my decrepit computer boots up.

(Wake up earlier! I hear you suggest. Go to bed at a reasonable time! You cry. I don’t hear you over the sound of frantically spraying dry shampoo.)

Anyway! Some days makeup isn’t a priority. That’s life. But undoubtedly I’ll get called into a meeting or get roped into drinks or dinner after work and want to spruce up a bit. The result is something along the lines of this:

MB1

Thrilling, exciting, groundbreaking. I know.

I don’t attempt any funny business or cool-girl shit when I’m pressed for time or fucks to give. I conceal the extra terrible parts of my face, slap enough color on to look alive, and hope the lights are dim enough to make up for the difference. To do so, I keep a few things in my bag:

  1. Concealer
    • My forever fave is the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. I can use this easily as a foundation as well if my skin is really not having it and it’s just the easiest for me. If you don’t want to shell out that $50 or fiddle with a pot you have to put your fingers in, NYX HD Concealer would fit in nicely here since it’s so easy to blend.
  2. Eyebrow Gel
    • Do I look like the kind of heifer that can bother with a pencil? (Even if I need it) I want my brows visible, so people know I have them, and that’s all I’m really asking for. And it adds shape or something to my otherwise shapeless, moonlike face. Whatever. I’ve been using the Jordana Fabubrow and will probably not be going back to the Glossier Boy Brow, if that tells you anything about how I like it.
  3. Cream Blush
    • I’m wearing the Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee in Honeymoon Honey here, but I believe they are discontinuing these? (2017 is where joy goes to die??) I usually rely on my ELF Cream Blush Palette, though. The colors blend easy and give you enough options to work with — that peachy color I throw in the crease of my eyelid if I have a spare second for definition, and if you really wanna get wild you can pat them on the lips pretty comfortably. The mirror is also massive and wonderful and so helpful for the chronically late and unprepared.
  4. Mascara
    • My Lash Discovery Waterproof is dead as a doornail, so I’m going through this Define-A-Lash I impulse bought at Target since it was on clearance. I’d suggest something that’s mostly just lightweight and not prone to smudging when you’re slapping it on like a NASCAR tech does a tire at a pit stop.
  5. Lip Gloss/Colored Balm

bag

Honorable Makeup Bag mentions are a pair of tweezers, a lip balm, and a letter from you, to you that reads “get your shit together.”

What are your procrastination-friendly makeup faves or tricks? What do you keep in your makeup bag? I’m nosy and want to know!!

The “I Have Fucked Up” Skincare Routine: Low Spoons Edition

In some ways, maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to give skincare advice. Or rather, maybe you shouldn’t listen to it. My skin isn’t perfect even after years of fiddling with my routine, and I have been known to slather 10% benzoyl peroxide over my entire face at least three times in adulthood, when I should absolutely know better.

Still, I have thought about doing a skincare post for a while and after fucking up the way I have…you know, lemons and lemonade, etc. etc. etc.

Basically, due to chronic illness and bad-brain problems, I don’t always have the spoons for skincare. Sometimes I don’t have the spoons for getting out of bed, much less exfoliating and toning or even splashing water on my skin, even if I know I need to. I’m just coming out of such a slump, and now I have to deal with it, no matter my reasons for getting there. I have a few rules when reckoning with post-episode skin, and mostly they center on treating myself as gently as I’m able. That means not berating myself, first and foremost, but also resisting the urge to use a lot of scrubs, clay masks, peely-things, and most everything else fun and joyful in my skincare collection. I don’t usually have the spoons to do those anyway so soon after clearing out of the hell-brain fog, but god do I want to when I see clogged pores on my face. But I try to know better, and here I am, sharing my wisdom with you.

I want to mention that I saw a similar post on Snow White and the Asian Pear a few weeks ago, which also nudged me to do this post now. They have looooooads of Korean skin care recommendations, if you’re into that, and I also quite like their own skincare philosophy as they explained it in the post. Check it out if spoons are not usually an issue for you and you don’t mind a few extra steps!

Steps 1 & 2: Cleanse, Goldilocks. 

I’ve gotten in the habit of doing a two step oil cleanse morning and night and I hate to say that it absolutely makes a positive difference. Previously I had done a two step cleanse at night and just massaged grapeseed oil onto my face in the morning to cleanse, but since I started using Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil I’ve really enjoyed it more followed with the Glossier Milky Jelly. The Palmer’s formula is thinner but also doesn’t sink into the skin even after lots of massaging like the grapeseed oil, (which I like and dislike) and combined with Milky Jelly (which, dammit, I have been unable to find a real dupe for) all my makeup, sunscreen, etc. is totally gone without leaving my skin at all stripped, red, or two-sizes too small.

Two cleansers when you’re low on spoons and coming off of maybe not even washing your face at all for any amount of time might seem excessive, and some of y’all may not need it, but I definitely feel the difference in terms of getting my skin clean and avoiding those clay masks I so love to do but aren’t the best when I’m dehydrated, flaky, and also clogged up, all of which inevitably happen after hellbrain happens to my routine. What I’m saying is to Goldilocks it — your cleanser needs to work to remove the grime you’ve accumulated but not strip your skin and send it haywire overcompensating for a stripping cleanser when you’re already toeing the line of breaking out.

Step 3: Tone, if you can be assed to 

When I’m low on spoons I can’t say this is my priority, but a nice rosewater spray (I’m trying the Mario Badescu one right now) really makes me feel a bit special. I love rose anything, and if I have the time and ability for a spritz or two I love to use something that’s useless in all reality in terms of skin care benefits on its own but is really just there to make me feel nice. Coming up from an episode I need all the help I can when I’m feeling vulnerable or crummy.

Step 4: Moisturize, but not too much

I’ve been using the Palmer’s Skin Therapy Face Oil regularly for coming on over a month now and I will definitely repurchase it. It’s a nice midway oil — not to thin or too thick, absorbs easily and actually seems to do something for my face (and looks hella under my Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer if I wear it during the day). And while I love it, when I’m already a bit clogged from a lapse in my routine I like something even a bit lighter — Sweet Almond Oil or Argan Oil, especially during the day, and my beloved Rosehip Oil at night. I’ll use the Palmer’s every other night in this case, sometimes underneath the rosehip.

My usual daytime sunscreen is this Andalou Naturals Un-Tinted BB Cream but when my skin is especially sensitive the high zinc content in this can feel stingy and a bit drying and just not nice. I’ve also tried to use the L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Renew SPF 30, which I love in some ways and absolutely hate in others. If you know of another sunscreen oil I’d love to hear about it. This one feels more silicone-y than nourishing like an oil, doesn’t fully absorb, and makes me smell like I’ve been rolling in my dad’s cologne even from several feet away which in turn makes my eyes stream like I’ve just watched an ASPCA commercial marathon.

But I do love it, in theory.

Undoubtedly, I will break out in some way even after all this. It’s unavoidable but not the end of the world; I spot treat as usual with BP or Neosporin at night and go about my life with my KA SSE shielding me from the world and earning its hefty price tag and place in my makeup bag until it clears up.

When my skin is feeling more balanced after a few consistent days — even a week or more, ideally, if I can wait that long — of the above, I may go in with a scrub, (this one remains my favorite, which looks like it would be harsh and scary but is quite gentle) which I only really use every two weeks or so anyway, and may throw in a clay mask, though obviously not on the same day. Not even within several days of each other, probably. The only other thing I’m sure to do is go in with my ELF Lip Scrub as religiously as I’m able and follow with my very glamourous Medicated Blistex and some type of ointment-like balm, either Glossier Balm Dot Com or Aquaphor. My lips get fucking shredded gnarly so easily, this is necessary to feel human again.

All in all, I just try to be easy with myself in all ways when I’m coming up from what feels like the pits of hell and try to be careful to view my skincare as self care as opposed to “fixing” the many various problems on my face, a lot of which are admittedly self-inflicted. I don’t beat up on myself for not being able to stick with a strict routine when the badbrain happens, I really, truly try to not pick at my face, and I keep the new routine simple as I can (Cleanse, moisturize, spritz if possible) to ensure I can stick with it as I’m getting my feet back under me.

But post bad-brain hair recovery? That’s a whole other animal. I’ll get back to you when I work that one out.