Cosmetics are my thing… I was making some adjustments to my pages yesterday and realized something that I feel I owe a bit of explanation for. In my “about” section I mention loving fashion magazines, but not (usually) being able to afford the price points they generally advertise for fashion, then turn around and list only high end lines of makeup and skin care on my favorite products pages. As this may be a bit confusing for some, I thought I’d take a moment to explain why…

Photo 268

Done for a Carnival themed event

I work in an industry that requires (and pays) me to wear a lot of makeup everyday (note the picture to the left)… Ok, so maybe not that much every day, but definitely a lot more than the average person wears on a day to day basis. In addition, I don’t have to pay for the vast majority of makeup I wear. There are a few staples I have to purchase now and then, but even that’s few and far in between. Most of what I have, I get for free, and because I work with high end products, that’s what I wear. Also, I’m an artist at heart and have a lot of free time. I’m the daughter of two art majors and the grand daughter of 4 artistically gifted people as well. It was probably inevitable that some artistic ability get passed down to me and as it happens, my niche happens to be in writing and makeup. And considering that I’m single and have no children, that works out pretty well! I have time to glue feathers on my face when I feel like it.

All of this is not meant to be a sick bragging session, but an attempt to be realistic and honest. I make it a habit professionally not to recommend things to people just for the sake of a price tag, so it’s not likely that I’m going to be label whoring in an arena where I’m not getting paid either. I just want to establish an honest rapport with my readers, so when I talk about a cosmetic product you can count on these three things:

  • It wont be from a discount retailer.
  • I have tried it and I feel that it’s effective and does what it claims to
  • I probably haven’t had to purchase it myself.

Photo 474

A more realistic look at what I'm required to wear daily.

Having said all of that, I do believe in using quality cosmetics. Not to speak disparagingly of drug store brands, but when it comes to my skin there are some things I refuse to compromise on. As an artist, the condition of the canvas is of extreme importance to me, as a 28 year old woman, the appearance of wrinkles on my canvas is of even greater importance to me. Quality skin care is something I’ll always be willing to spend money on because I have to live with this skin for the rest of my life and because I’m covering it up with 30 different things a day and poking it with make up brushes, not to mention just your average aging and environmental damage concerns, skin is a priority for me, and honestly I think it should be a priority for everyone. Perhaps not the degree to which it is a priority for me, but even if you aren’t doing to your skin on a daily basis the same things I am, how many people tan, (see: sun damage in about 10 years)? How many do the old yank the outer corner of your eye to the side to straighten out the lid so you can apply eye liner (hello crows feet)? If you walk out of your front door, work under florescent lighting, don’t drink enough water… pretty much just live, it’s having an effect on your skin that I feel deserves some attention. And, while trends in fashion will come and go, your skin is yours forever, so sometimes that attention to what goes on your skin should also be an investment. I could go into quality of ingredients, delivery systems, parabens vs. no parabens, but I’ll spare you the complicated details and get to the bottom line.

There are 5 items I never compromise on because I feel like they have the greatest impact on the well being of my skin. No matter what else I may use in my life time, I will always purchase what I feel to be the best quality version of these things, are you ready? Drum roll please…

  1. A good exfoliator. I talked about this in an earlier post, but I cannot stress the importance of exfoliation enough, and even more so a good exfoliator. The reason I refuse to compromise on exfoliation is not solely based on it’s effectiveness in removing dead skin, but more importantly how it’s removing the dead skin. I’ve never had a problem with acne, just occasional blemishes, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that even those rare and random blemishes have began to leave slight discoloration if I even so much as think about touching them. How this relates to exfoliators, specifically physical ( i.e. “scrubs”) , is that if the agent being used in the product to resurface the skin (walnut pieces, apricot pits, and what have you) aren’t ground to perfectly spherical beads, they can cause tiny abrasions in the skin that with lead to dark spots, red spots, slight scaring, and uneven texture that can impact the way skin looks and feels. The type of technology involved in producing exfoliators that wont take more than just the dead skin off of your face isn’t cheap, and in my personal and professional opinion, it’s an investment worth making. When skin is properly exfoliated, it gives your other skin care products the opportunity to work more effectively, and anything else you put on your face (foundations) will look twice as good.
  2. Eye cream. The eye area is delicate, it moves a lot, wrinkles first, not to mention it’s close to your eye ball. I don’t really feel like this is a topic that demands much explaining. If it’s going near my eye, and is something that’s meant to seep into my skin. It’s going to be really well made. I care too much about my vision, to not be sure that the products I’m using there are safe and meant to go there.
  3. Foundation. Simply put, your foundation makes or breaks the rest of your makeup application. It doesn’t matter how perfect your eyes look, if your foundation doesn’t fit your skin in texture, finish, and tone, no one is even going to notice your eyes.
  4. Eye Shadow Primer. A little tool that is still too little known among makeup wearers. It helps your shadow stay on, which means you put your shadow on once a day instead of over and over and over again, which means you touch your eye less… (am I beginning to sound like a broken record?)
  5. Last, Lipstick/gloss/stain. You ingest it. The average woman eats 6 pounds of lipstick in a year. Need I say more?

So there you have it. I hope this entry is effective in explaining where I am coming from and leaves me looking less like a snob then I fear I look at times. ;>