Thursday, April 25, 2013

My lifesaver is lemon, Lemon Aid that is.

Living by a coast for a large part of my life, I had never really experienced horrible acne problems due to to the salty sea air and temperate conditions. Despite occasional breakouts from stress, school schedules and hormonal fluctuation I WAS very lucky to always have smooth, even skin tone - that is until I suddenly moved to Louisiana last October. Without warning my skin started breaking out as if my life depended on it, and within a few months a few light scars turned to numerous dark ones and suddenly stopped fading. 

Being someone who works with people on a daily basis, I want to look my best, so I started looking for answers as to what was causing this sudden reaction. I was told many times that the air is what's to blame. According to skin care professionals, Louisiana's air is  horribly polluted and thick, and the constantly changing weather and pressures causes acne problem and the best way to deal with it is to just keep up my beauty routine. While everyone provided the answers as to why, my  makeup routine suddenly stopped providing how to cover my new-found  problem. Despite my unchanging beauty routine my skin responded like a picky eater at a salad bar. By the time the 6 month mark of living here and the 3 month mark of working overnights hit last month, I'd officially crossed into pizza-face territory, even while wearing my best concealer. For the first time since starting a makeup routine 5 years ago, and all the beauty tricks I had acquired since then from fashion school and beauty-obsessed friends, I had run out of ideas.

 It wasn't until last week after my haircut I caught a glimpse of myself in Ulta's big beauty mirrors and cringed. My concealer had now become so jarringly different than the color of the scars it was trying to cover up  that it was painfully obvious I was wearing makeup, but it was doing nothing to help me anymore. I walked through the beauty department and asked a sales girl how to properly cover my acne. She quickly removed my makeup and looked at my scars and present acne, carefully inspecting like an OCD drill sergeant. In my determined mind set, before she could even decide what to try first, I mentioned I'd heard about a green product used to cancel out the redness of acne, based on the color wheel principles. The sales girl without question ran off and grabbed the only product  in the entire store that would work. My suggestion ended badly though as to my horror even after using my usual foundation on top of the green product she applied, I looked like I had green scales instead of red acne; the green was far too much for my fair skin tone. My heart sank at the thought of not being able to find something to hide my scars. Then another sales girl overheard our frustration, came over and asked "What about Lemon Aid?"

I raised an eyebrow and thought to myself "They sell lemonade?". The other sales girl exclaimed "OH yes! Lemon Aid would be perfect!!!!", and she scurried away to grab whatever it was. I sat there, confused and uncertain as to what they meant before she came back moments later back with a small black compact. Sensing my apprehension, she opened it to reveal a lemon-colored product with a similar consistency to lip balm, and I went from confused to incredulous. The 2nd sales girl smiled and explained that concealer actually causes more acne since it doesn't allow the skin to breathe by horribly clogging the pores. I believed her since her makeup looked flawless, but the idea of putting yellow on my skin tone made me sink into my chair like a kid getting a haircut for the first time.

And at that, without hesitation, the other sales girl whipped out a brush, dabbed it in the compact and began to paint my face. When she was done, I glanced in the mirror to see soft yellow marks on my skin where my red acne once was, but before I could utter a word of protest about the yellow color she then picked a foundation  from a shelf beside her and gently smoothed the lightweight cream over my whole face. After a moment she stood back and smiled in a way that only meant one thing; she did good and I was going home with less money in my bank account.

I turned again to the mirror slowly only to see my jaw drop in astonishment: my acne was almost completely gone. I could still see the slightest hint of a scar or two, but my worst acne, my worst scars were 98% gone, hidden under the magical products. My skin tone looked healthy, glowing and even, and I suddenly felt like being in the daytime, instead of hiding behind a desk at night. I turned back to her, smiled, and asked the most important question in any makeup store, "How much?"

My Life Saver

This product is like a 3-in-1 - It is actually made to cancel under eye circles and redness on eyelids, but it works just as well to cancel the redness from acne and scars. This under my foundation is so beautiful and flawless I could kiss whoever created it. I recommend it for anyone who experiences under eye circles, scars, or acne redness that just won't quit, even with makeup on. The best part is, it's incredibly inexpensive and it's an easy integration into any beauty routine to replace concealer, and this product won't clog pores due to it's lightweight composition.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to fix your ailing flats

Good morning lovelies!This morning I went into my closet to grab a blanket and saw my favorite  Style & Co. flats I had snagged at a thrift store back in California for only $3 sitting on the shelf gathering dust. They had been in perfect condition and were my go-to for any outfit because of the rich purple color and adorable silver studs since I had found them last February, until recently that is.

They have always gone with everything, so I was more than sad when I realized about 2 months ago that my flats were starting to loose their studs on the sides and in the front. For anyone who's ever experienced this before with any pair of shoes, it can be more than disheartening. Especially when that shoe doesn't need to be tossed because it's still a good pair of shoes and the color hasn't faded, it just needs a bit of love in the embellishment department.

It broke my heart when I had the urge to wear them to work the other night and realized they just didn't look professional any more because of those big gaping holes. It was then I decided to do something about it on my first day off this week.

As I sat down with shoes and tweezers in hand, I realized that if those rivets could fall off and leave the material underneath looking presentable, then that meant they weren't IN the fabric, only ON TOP of it.With this realization I grabbed my extra strength glue and went to work.

Within an hour I had made a cute pattern out of the studs on my shoes and turned the big holes into a really cute look.

With the extra studs I had pulled off to create this pattern, I filled in any holes in the pattern that needed to be, and the rest I stored in a ziploc bag in case any more fall off in the future. 

Fix Your Flats Tutorial

1.) Get a pair of tweezers and clear, extra-strength glue with a small spout/opening (You don't want it oozing all over and then staining the fabric of your shoes if you have to glue studs back on)

2.) Determine the pattern you want to make - It might be best to make the ones you want to pull off to make the pattern or use something that comes off easily and doesn't leave behind a mark.

3.) Do a test stud/piece on the side by the bottom to see how easily they pull off. If you see that they're not coming off easily or they're ruining the fabric underneath, it might be a good idea to re-think your strategy and maybe glue larger embellishments over the studs instead.

If they're coming off and not ruining the shoe underneath, go slow and pry them off carefully.

4.) Wear your new shoes around every day with pride knowing that instead of donating or throwing them out, you saved your shoes. Your feet with thank you.