A Trio of superb beauty products for summer
It seems I must offer apologies again for falling off the map. Crazy busy, utterly exhausted, pulling my hair out in not-attractive fashion—these would define me the past three weeks. But—at least my skin hasn’t been killing me with dryness!
I’ve had a few emails, so let me explain what’s going on chez nous a bit more. MP had his ankle replaced. As in, they took part of it out, then put a new mechanism in. While knee and hip replacements are fairly common these days, ankle are still new, and they are far more complicated. The operation went fine, and his doctor was very happy at the last check-up, but here’s the thing . . . for a month or more, MP’s ankle cannot move. Not a lick. To make sure this happens, the operation includes the building of a “retention device” (i.e., cage) around his ankle and legs comprised of spokes shooting into his foot and calf. In other words, physical therapy is still a ways off; right now he’s largely flat on his back, though he uses crutches like a Jedi-master.
The most challenging part of all this, for me, is incorporating into my life all the things that MP took care of. Cooking? MP did it. Washing dishes? MP did it. Grocery shopping? Most of the time, MP did it. Driving anywhere? MP did it. Taking trash to the burn pit? Picking up mail? Picking up anything? Likely as not, MP did it. Now I have to do it, and that’s without my work pausing even a little bit. Though thankfully he’s starting to cook again . . . . whew.
Before I sound like a lazy Cat, I’ll defend my prior way of life with one word: work. Between the full-time job of editing and the hours upon hours of printing and photography . . . the truth is that left to my own devices, I’d just eat granola & yogurt and sausages straight out of the package. That way, I don’t have to stop working and the clean up is minimal. But here’s the important thing: My chief New Year’s resolution was to work less. I’m not a fan of the American way of life of work, work, work and kill yourself in the process. It’s too much stress. So, I decided that I was going to work much less. Cue belly laughter. My second resolution—a spending freeze—was connected to this. If I was working less, then of course I couldn’t spend money I didn’t have.
Neither resolution has been fulfilled. I’ve worked incessantly—and spent like crazy.
But how about personal New Year’s resolution number three—pay more attention to my toilette? Things happen to the skin and to hair when you’re stressed out all the time. And even more things happen to your skin and hair when your climate is almost consistently 0% humidity. Thankfully Beryl has discussed this on her blog; this really isn’t my imagination. I live where skin cells and hair follicles die. Only here’s the thing . . . in addition to not cooking, cleaning, driving, grocery shopping, and everything else, I haven’t been paying attention to my skin. The thought of even washing my face at night was way too much to bear, and I left my hair to rot for almost a year.
So—in some ways, I’ve been using the hanging of the exhibition and then MP’s operation as a wake-up call—a chance to reset the clock and attend to those New Year’s Resolutions after all. I still work, work, work, but I’ve been spending leisure time elsewhere than in blog land. For instance, I’ve been washing my face! Or, I’ve been rubbing botanical oils into my skin! And that’s where this series of posts on hydration and la toilette come in, because I want to share with you some fabulous finds.
First: La Mer lip baume. Since before Christmas, my lips have been a mess. Dry, dry, dry doesn’t begin to describe what they were like. I’d exfoliate with a washcloth a couple times a day, yet still they cracked and flaked. After purchasing half a dozen different products, from inexpensive to expensive, I finally asked a sales associate in Nordstrom at the Mall of America (thank god for road trips!) to recommend the best product she knew of. She immediately led me to La Mer. My heart did a little spasm (we all know that La Mer is expensive), but I bought it. Why not have a little faith? Two doses later—the texture of my lips was perfect. In the past month, I’ve had to exfoliate my lips once (after not using the baume for a few days). Hands down worth more money than I paid for it.
Second: Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. I try lots of hand creams. They all fail. I use tubs of shea butter from Whole Foods, expensive creams from Santa Maria Novella, crap from any o’ where—they quickly show themselves a waste of money. Part of the problem is photo chemicals. The other part is the dastardly climate and water here. This Kiehl’s cream works (others in the line do not). I even use it on my ugly little toes that develop icky cuticles. In one application, my hands and feet are—and feel—moisturized again (with no awful cuticles in sight). First wonder of the beauty world IMHO.
Third: Shiseido sunscreen. I use sunscreen only from Shiseido after experience taught me that all sunscreens are not equal and that this company WILL keep me from getting burned—all without messing with my skin. This spring I’ve been using the new Urban Environment UV Protection Cream 40 SPF. It’s great, just like I expected, though a touch drying like most of their thicker sunscreens are. Of course, any extra “urban” protection might be lost on me, so I think I will go back to the more liquidy face/body 55SPF bottle. Since I haven’t been using concealer or foundation, I don’t know how it interacts with face make-up—but it works well with face powder as long as you let it dry for a few minutes.
Last . . . The three resolutions above weren’t the only New Year’s resolutions made and then promptly ignored. Oh no. The most awful resolution was resolution number four: wake up early. I am not a morning person. I hate mornings. I put off trying to become one with the dawn. Resolution number five was just as awful—start going to the gym again. For the past three weeks (except for one morning a week!), I’ve been getting up early and heading to the gym before I start work. This is the biggest reason for not blogging; it takes up two hours a day (it’s a long commute) and leaves me irritable and blah. But I’m doing it, my muscles are popping out, and my body feels tons better.
Next time, I’ll talk about hair . . . a salon in Iowa City (again, thank god for road trips!) restored mine.