“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from “The Death of the Moth and Other Essays”
Monday afternoon. Sunny and cooler, 46 degrees.
Today’s post debuts my new category: Monday Maquillage, which will focus on my most recent forays into all things beauty related, like makeup, skincare products, tools, etc. As I had mentioned, I’ve spent roughly the last three years obsessed with all things makeup related, rather than spending time on here writing simply because it was an easier distraction. And if you find it ironic that a self-professed hermit bothers with makeup, you wouldn’t be wrong. I mean, do I wear it for the dogs? No. My spouse? No. Who then, you might wonder . . .
Well, me. I buy makeup and skincare items for me—because I like to, because I enjoy it, and do I really need a reason to have an obsession with makeup brushes and Korean skincare? Not really.
Anyway, I thought that since I’ve been doing so much research in these areas, that I would share some of my finds with you on a semi regular basis, depending on the weather, my whims, and your responses (if there are any). So without further adieu . . .
“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ~ David Richo, from The Power of Coincidence
One of my best finds over the last few years is rosehip oil. I know, sounds weird, right? But hear me out. Prior to discovering facial oils, I eschewed anything oil related because my skin has always been oily. To combat that, I used a lot of alcohol based things like toners and cleansers, and I tended to go for anything oil-free, but in spite of this, I always felt like I had an oil slick on my forehead by noon. When I was still working full time, I used to retouch my makeup at lunchtime because most of it had melted by then.
Then I read a post by someone that literally changed my entire approach to oil. In this post (sorry, author long forgotten), the woman said that the more we try to combat facial oil with the kinds of products that I had been using for a very long time, the more oil our skin will produce because we’ve stripped all of the natural oils from our skin. To compensate, our skin produces more oil. Makes sense, right?
So if you use oil as a moisturizer or as a cleanser, your skin becomes more balanced. I can testify to this because I no longer have an oil slick on my forehead by noon. The oil that I’ve been using is by Molivera Organics, and it can be found on Amazon, for around $12 for 4 ounces, such a good buy.
“What is my worth, if I cannot be attractive? What is my worth, if I cannot attract attention? . . . The language of feminism was meant to answer those question by reminding women, and men who live outside the self-prescribed boxes of gender, that your worth is inherent, it arrived when you were born, it stays with you long after you die.” ~ Chinwe Ohanele, from “Afromentality-Shame”
In a related vein, another product that has become a staple in my skincare regimen is a toner, specifically Thayers Alcohol-Free Toner, in Rose Petal with Aloe Vera; a 12 ounce bottle on Amazon costs around $7.60. I say around when quoting Amazon prices because prices go up and down, and I pay less for some things that I have on my subscription with them.
This toner contains witch hazel, to which some people may be sensitive, but I find that it does wonderful things for my skin. I use this immediately after washing my face in the morning and before using my essence.
The essence is part of my Korean skincare routine, which I’ll save for a later post as it’s pretty involved. But let me just say that my skin looks better now than it did when I was 20 or even 30. Yes, I know that part of that is because of my good genes, but another large part of it is that I now know more about my skin than I did in my youth. Trust me, you are never too old to incorporate a good skincare regimen into your days and nights.
“There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe, from “Ligeia”
Let me just pause here to say that I never thought that I’d be writing about makeup and skincare on this blog, never thought that I’d have a post category called “Monday Maquillage” (French word for makeup). In fact, once I stopped working and went out on disability, I went several years without wearing any makeup at all, and my skincare routine consisted of using facial wipes and washing my face in the shower with a pretty strong exfoliator.
So what changed? Well, I changed, not fundamentally in my beliefs or my politics, but in my approach to myself. I decided to spend a little more time on self-care, like primping. That, and I discovered subscription boxes, both the bane and boon of my everyday existence.
Man, I really wish that I had thought of selling people monthly subscriptions to makeup, skincare, food, snacks, cigars, wines, socks, whatever . . . It’s such a simple idea that has blossomed into a major business, in part as a response to the public’s desire to do more shopping online as opposed to brick and mortar stores.
Anyway, I began simply, as most people do, with a single, $10 monthly subscription to Ipsy, one of the more popular monthly subs, but then, as with most things in which I find an interest, things spread from there. My love affair with subs is also a post for another time. I just wanted to mention how I got on this whole beauty kick in the first place. In fact, I once tried to convince Corey that if he opened an online store selling nothing but Korean skincare and makeup that he’d rake it in. He didn’t listen to me, and now that market has exploded. Oh well . . .
So that’s about all for today, just two mentions of two very affordable products, and as with most things about which I opine, there will be more later.
Music by Sara Bareilles, “She Used to be Mine”
You do not seem to realise that beauty is a liability rather than
an asset—that in view of the fact that spirit creates form we are justified in supposing
that you must have brains. For you, a symbol of the unit, stiff and sharp,
conscious of surpassing by dint of native superiority and liking for everything
self-dependent, anything an
ambitious civilisation might produce: for you, unaided to attempt through sheer
reserve, to confute presumptions resulting from observation, is idle. You cannot make us
think you a delightful happen-so. But rose, if you are brilliant, it
is not because your petals are the without-which-nothing of pre-eminence. You would look, minus
thorns—like a what-is-this, a mere
peculiarity. They are not proof against a worm, the elements, or mildew
but what about the predatory hand? What is brilliance without co-ordination? Guarding the
infinitesimal pieces of your mind, compelling audience to
the remark that it is better to be forgotten than to be remembered too violently,
your thorns are the best part of you.
~ Marianne Moore