Anyone who considers makeup a trifling thing has not experienced its magic. Lipstick has gotten me through some tough times. When I'm feeling crappy, it lifts my spirits. When I'm anxious, it makes me feel more in command. When I'm plagued by doubt, a quick application is a badly needed act of self-love. Makeup allows us fake it until we become it. For a few bucks, we can be the person we want to be on the outside until the inside catches up. I can tell you from experience that a pot of rouge is a lot cheaper than therapy.
What better form of obfuscation exists than skincare and beauty products? I'm of the mind that if my skin is good and my hair in shiny and my eyeliner is rockin' and my lipgloss is fab, no one will notice that I'm twenty pounds overweight, have no interest in fashion, and can't be bothered to reheel my shoes. Whether or not this is true, it does cheer me up to whip out a beautiful compact and powder my nose.
When I get stressed out and strung out, I let things slide in a big way – and I'm at an age where doing nothing to take care of myself really isn't an option. This vacation, I decided to get back on the wagon –nothing drastic like EXERCISE (please, people - anything but exercise) – and take care of what the good Lord gave me.
Here's what I brought with me:
Caudalie Divine Oil: I got a $10 sample bottle of this beautiful, fast-absorbing oil for face, body and hair and I'm rationing it like I'm on a long ocean voyage and it's my last tin of sardines. It smells better than the necks of a thousand Tahitian babies and has a lovely soothing, smoothing effect on everything it touches. I can't say enough good things about this stuff.
Kiehl's Rosa Artica Eye Balm: Again, a sample, but I will definitely pony up when I'm done with it. Thick and moisturizing for the crepey skin under my eyes.
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask: Polishes up the complexion with fruit acids, so no nasty abrasive bits in this mask. Stop scrubbing the crap out of your skin, people. It's terrible for you.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum: For a cheap over-the-counter product, I think this serum is pretty great. I slap it on before bed and wake up with baby's butt face.
Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 30: Cheap, oil-free, wearable under makeup. Does the job, as confirmed by my deathly pallor.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment: This is my desert island pick. I don't know what I would do with out it - I use it for everything from moisturizing dry lips, hands, cuticles, elbows and knees to adding a little glow on cheekbones and creating a rocked-out glossy eyelid, to taming frizzy hair. I have about five tubes going at one time.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser: I have hardcore dark circles and this cheapie does the trick. Without it, people ask me if I'm sick.
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny: As good as any high-end brand, and it's THREE DOLLARS.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Flipside: Love a teal-rimmed eye in the summer. Doesn't budge, which is good because everything else on my face is going south.
E.L.F. HD Blush: As good as this stuff and it's THREE DOLLARs. Get all of them for a pittance, apply a teeny-tiny amount with the E.L.F. Small Stipple Brush and glow from within, bitches.
L'Oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Blushing Sequin: More of a highly pigmented balm than a lipstick, this little tube is fool-proof and perfect for hot weather.
Benefit Watts Up: Champagne-colored highlighter that creates bone structure where chubby cheeks live.
Color Club Nail Lacquer in The Rain in Spain: Bright coral by day, neon coral by night. Love this for summer, and for its diminutive size (who finishes ever finishes a full-sized bottle of nail polish?). Check it here on my nailzzzzzz.
Burt's Bees Sun Protectant Lip Balm: I am permanently scarred by an account of a guy whose lips were so sunburned and chapped that he bled all over his sandwich. Don't let this happen to you.
Kai Perfume Oil and Body Butter: This is what I imagine Sophia Loren smells like when she's vacationing in Sardinia. I swear to God, I think it gives me bigger boobs when I wear it.