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Secret Indulgences

Time-Wasting Guilty Pleasures

Step 1 is Cleanse
You can barely tell that I’ve applied the cleanser.

Documentation of actual unscripted situations, otherwise known as reality TV, has not appealed to me. This was up until one lazy Sunday afternoon on flipping through the channels I happened upon a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon. Hours later I found myself absolutely needing to know was Kim really going to marry Chris Humphries? On a more recent episode, Kourtney (who’s pregnant with her third baby) was upset that she faced the real possibility of becoming a single mother of three children because her paramour, Scott, is not a reliable person.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when out of boredom I thought I’d catch one episode of Bachelor in Paradise (I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to understand how this series was gonna work). I don’t have to tell you that this was a bad idea because just like a MacDonald’s French fry (you can’t eat just one), the same holds true for Bachelor in Paradise. All I can say is if you can hold out until the series has ended you can watch On Demand for back to back segments at your leisure.

Even though I wasn’t particularly crazy about the show, I’m still trying to come to grips that I’ve shamelessly watched all 11 Bachelor in Paradise episodes. This show featuring previous contenders from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is set in what can only be described as Utopia. Here the contenders vie for a second chance at love as they explore new relationships.

Essence of Beauty

What I found Interesting was the female vs. male reactions when new bachelors or bachelorettes were introduced to the group (during the rose ceremony at the end of each show two people always had to leave). Each time a new bachelorette would come on the scene we would see the other women talking about the beauty of the newcomer. Keep in mind all these women are gorgeous and I thought hmmm if these women felt threatened by what they perceived as a more beautiful woman then this feeling must be sort of a universal epidemic.

Historically women compliment other women but sometimes the nicety sounds as if it comes from a place of envy or lack of self-esteem. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say with over 7 billion people in the world all of us are going to come across someone who is more this or better that than us. The point is even with this many people on the planet each and every one of us is unique.

Step 2 Exfoliate
Just a dab of the exfoliator will do you.

The Foundation to Makeup

Not too long ago I talked about the time my mother told me I should never leave the house without my makeup. After mulling it over a bit my mother wasn’t saying this to be mean (even though I can look all kinds of crazy without my face on), she comes from a place of ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, looking her best. Even though it’s been years since she was diagnosed with Dystonia she still gets up early every morning, cleanses herself, applies her makeup and gets dressed. Most days she doesn’t leave her apartment but this routine is one that has remained with her since she began wearing makeup.

Me on the other hand, I can take it or leave it but when I need to present the best me, I put on my makeup. Let’s face it if makeup didn’t enhance our appearance the cosmetic industry would go broke.

Early in the year I said that the outcome of fantastic makeup was in a good skin care regimen and I still stand by this statement with one major change. For many years I used Mary Kay’s Timewise and after checking the reviews on I decided it was time to sampled new products.

After using the various samples I selected a simple 3-step routine that I use morning and night. It’s been about 4 weeks now since I made the switch from Mary Kay to the new product and my skin looks and feels wonderful. The thing I like most about my skin is that it appears tightened, toned, and even the under eye bags don’t seem as prominent. I’ve uploaded pictures demonstrating the 3-steps and below I explain what I’m doing in the photos:

Step 3 a dab of Moisturizer
I just dot the moisturizer all over my face and rub into the skin.

Step 1 Cleanser – Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser: When I used the samples of this cleanser I fell in love with its silky, smooth texture as I worked it into my dampened face. Unlike the previous product I used, this formula is very easy to work with and it wipes off easy with a warm wash cloth. It comes in a convenient pump bottle and it only takes one pump per use.

Step 2 Exfoliant – Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion: This product (which sheds dead skin) also comes in a pump and like the cleanser, I only use one pump each time I use it (a little goes a long way). Then I dot the lotion on my forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin then, gently rub it into my skin. I should note that when I used the sample 3% AHA lotion my skin was tingling so I consulted with one of Paula’s Choice representatives who recommended I try the 1% BHA.

Step 3 Moisturizer Plus SPF – Mary Kay Age-Fighting Moisturizer: Though the TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser didn’t score well on this moisturizer fared okay due to the SPF. Plus I still had some left and I’m using it until it’s gone. I can tell you that the Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 samples were very good.

This new skincare routine is so simple and more importantly I love the results I’ve obtained. Next week we’ll review Paula’s Choice Supercharged regimen.

“There are a lot of things that are personally uncomfortable to show, especially me without makeup and completely bloated or crying. But I’ve realized that it’s time for me to show my audience that you don’t have to be perfect to achieve your dreams. Because nobody relates to being perfect.” Katy Perry

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Skincare has Limitations

Andalou Luminous Eye Serum
Andalou Luminous Eye Serum

Nooooooooo, please say it isn’t so!!!! Skincare has limitations??? That’s it – my hope for a miracle cure has been dashed to pieces forever.

The only people over age 18 who will be looking their age are those in their 20s to 30s because the rest of us are trying to look 20 years younger. I’m paraphrasing here but this was the summary of something I heard or read last week.

It seems that gone are the days of wrinkles and gray hair symbolizing a badge of honor for a life well lived. These days, with the exception of a few remarkably self-assured people, the masses are striving for everlasting youth.

I made a personal vow to not put myself through any invasive procedures to erase wrinkles though I do get hair coloring every now and again to cover my stray gray hairs. Lately I’ve been pondering the idea of getting my hair colored gray (depending on the shade it looks so sharp) thus this will put an end to masking my gray.

If you recall last Monday I did a post on my under eye bags/shadows and how I was using an eye cream for 12 weeks in an effort to minimize the issue. In response to that post a friend of mine from high school pointed me to a great resource. Thank you Janet!!

Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12 Percent
Ulta Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12 Percent

My friend Janet referred me to a very comprehensive skincare/makeup website that going forward I will use as a resource. The following excerpt is what got me:

Then at the age of 25 (and I’ll never forget this moment), I read the ingredient label on a skin-care product I was using and the fourth ingredient was acetone. That’s nail polish remover! From that moment on I began reading all of the research I could find on skin care and eventually I was able to put together a skin-care routine that completely transformed my skin ~Paula Begoun

In addition to her personal philosophy on skincare, I like Paula Begoun’s (Founder of Paula’s Choice) no-nonsense approach. “Skin care has limitations” is attributed to Paula as is this bit on eye cream:

Unless eye creams contain cosmetic ingredients (like mica or titanium dioxide) that help conceal their appearance, there isn’t an ingredient in cosmetics that can eliminate or even reduce genetically dictated dark circles, puffy eyes, or sagging skin around the eye area. ~Paula Begoun

Telling it like it is makes Paula Begoun my kind of person. When you take in account that the worldwide cosmetic industry pulls in over $170 Billion* dollars a year, it takes guts to make a comment about a product to which so many use as a treatment for their issues.

The 5 other qualities I like about Paula’s Choice are:

  1. They have a “No Animal Testing policy” and are members of the Leaping Bunny Program.
  2. They are strong community stewards by supporting a number of charitable organizations.
  3. They are dedicated to being an environmentally conscious organization.
  4. The Beautypedia section of the site contains over 45,000 expert reviews on skincare products. The 2 products pictured are rated as “Best” the highest rating. They even explain how the rating system works.
  5. And lastly on Paula’s Choice “About” page they even have a section on Accessibility along with instructions.

Ultimately, each of us should be concerned about what we put in, on or to what we expose our bodies. And since it really does take a rocket science degree to understand the ingredient labels and subsequent interactions, we must rely on trusted individuals to provide us with accurate information.

As for my baggy under eyes, since I am genetically predisposed to have them it’s back to the drawing board.

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” ~Samuel Ullman