Beauty

My First Facial

OMG you only now got your first facial?!

Yeah, yeah, I guess I don’t get out much. How I made it to my late thirties without a facial is beyond me.

I thought this would be a fun topic to blog about, so I got a recommendation from my sister, is good friends with an esthetician. Both of my sisters have seen Melissa for years, so I knew I was good hands.

Melissa works out of an unassuming office building, and I loved the tranquil pale blue walls and gold accent art on the wall. She had prettily arranged products for sale on shelves, and the chairs at reception where white.

After filling out four pages of forms about my skin, allergies, etc. I got settled onto her table. She popped on a Pandora playlist of soothing music like oceans sounds, and it wasn’t hard to relax.

The first thing she used was a green tea antioxidant cleanser, then added a 17% glycolic acid cleanser to help exfoliate. I honestly couldn’t feel my skin being cleaned, but the cleanser smelled fresh and was cool on my face.

She then put a fresh, hot washcloth on my face to wipe it off. That felt ah-mazing. It was hot, rough, and took to sweet-smelling potions off my face.

Melissa then put a paper mask over my eyes so that I wouldn’t be blinded by the super bright light she put in my face. She carefully examined my skin for imperfections, blemishes, and to see what needed the most work.

I try to take really good care of my skin; and Melissa commented how good my skin looks for my age. I slather on my Oil of Olay in the morning and then creams at night. I also avoid the sun like the plague. Melissa decided that I needed a good exfoliation more than anything else

The next thing she used was an antioxidant facial oil. She did a facial massage, lightly rubbing my forehead, eye sockets, cheeks, chin, neck, and shoulders. It was fantastic. I very much enjoyed chatting with Melissa about skincare up to this point, but I slipped into a numb stupor and simply enjoyed my tired skin being massaged.

Melissa then put on coconut papaya enzyme with what felt like a makeup brush. It was cold, goopy, and tickled. But it did the trick and sloughed the dead skin cells off my face.

The last thing she put on my face was hyaluronic acid serum to moisturize, soften, and to bind moisture to face. It contains vitamin C to moisturize and brighten the skin. Then she put on a moisturizing goji berry mask on top of it, which had a great peppermint smell to it. The berry mask tingled just a little bit, but that’s how I knew it was working.

Then she covered my eyes and steamed my skin. I could feel the tingle deep in my skin, though it was maybe a little uncomfortable to have steam on my face on a hot August afternoon. It wasn’t too bad—it only lasted eight minutes.

She also massaged my arms. She had to very nicely tell me to relax here, because my default mode is “tense” pretty much all the time. It was by far the nicest part of the facial.

Then she finished with another hot towel.

I will tell you Melissa has a new devoted customer. My skin looks and feels bright, clear, and like I had five years taken off. And that massage made my stress melt away. Melissa’s knowledge about skincare was mind-boggling, and I learned more in one hour than I had in the previous ten years about my skin.

Because she charges such reasonable prices, I can see this as something I can enjoy every couple months. I look forward to seeing her again!

Have you ever had a facial? If yes, what do you love about it? If not, what’s holding you back? Comment below!

Why You Should Wear Red Lipstick

Marilyn Monroe. Taylor Swift. Dita Von Tease. Gwen Stefani. Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

What do all these people have in common?

Red lips. Crimson. Scarlet. Vermillion. Ruby. Cerise. Carmine. Matte, shiny, or glossy. Whatever you call it, they know how to take the color red and rock it as their signature color.

I don’t wear red lipstick every day, but when I do, someone often tells me, “That’s such a great shade on you. I wish I could pull it off!”

Well, I’m about to let you in on a little secret. You can pull it off. For those of you who have always wanted to wear red lipstick, I am going to give you reasons why you should and what you need to do when selecting a shade. Hopefully it will give you the boost you need to try it yourself!

There are a lot of reasons to even consider wearing red lipstick in the first place:

  • You can wear no makeup except a red lip and still look pulled-together. I wear very little makeup as it is, but when I wear red on my lips, no one cares if I did my eyes or am wearing foundation. Your lips will be there front and center!
  • Red complements nearly every color you wear. There’s just something about it – it matches every color under the rainbow (except maybe pink…I personally don’t mix the two), so you will always look polished.
  • It makes you stand out in a crowd. Do you ever see a woman wearing a beautiful shade of red and envy her for it? That could be you. In a sea of colored lips, the red is definitely a show-stopper!
  • It is a timeless color. Think of every old-timey actress you can. How easy is it to imagine her in red lipstick? It’s not hard at all. Purples, pinks, corals, and earth tones come in and out of style over the decades, but red is eternal.
  • There is a shade of red that will perfectly match your skin tone. Not all hues of red were created equal, but some time at a makeup counter will not be wasted!

Below is a chart from InStyle magazine about which shades of red will work best with different skin tones:

Skin tone Undertone Lipstick shade
Fair Cool Raspberry
Fair Warm Red with an orange undertone
Medium-light   Pinkish red
Medium Yellow Tangerine
Medium Gold True red
Medium Neutral Blue-red
Golden   Berry
Tan Warm Orange-based
Tan Neutral Bright cherry
Tan Cool Merlot
Dark Warm Opaque blue
Dark Cool Ruby or wine

 

Note that “cool” undertones mean you have more pink or blue hues in your skin. “Warm” is more yellow or peach, and “neutral” means you have a combination of all the above.

Again, if you’re completely confused by this chart, make an appointment at a department store makeup counter. They’re almost always free, and their expert advice can get you started. Many will even give you a sample to try. If they do, take it to your local drug store to find a budget-friendly substitution!

I hope this post has inspired you to consider buying a tube of red lipstick. Because it is so eye-popping and timeless, you really can’t go wrong. And there is definitely a shade that will flatter you, so what are you waiting for?

What is your all-time favorite lipstick shade? Comment below!

Glamour’s Special Plus-Size Edition: Worth the Cover Price?

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Would you plunk down $12.99 for a newsstand magazine? Most of us probably wouldn’t.

But when I heard Condé Nast’s Glamour magazine was doing a 96-page special summer edition for women size 12 and above called Chic at a Any Size!, I happily shelled out the hefty price for my own copy.

I want to share with you my thoughts on this expensive magazine before you get your own copy. Was it worth the investment?

 

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Yes and no.

For the most part, the magazine is has pretty standard, run-of-the-mill photo shoots with the lovely models Ashley Graham, Precious Lee, and Iskra Lawrence. Plus-sized bloggers, designers, and models offer style tips. There are good interviews with Zac Posen on the importance of tailoring and Lena Dunham about not giving a rat’s ass what you look like no matter what size you are.

The content is evergreen and besides the good style tips, the best piece in the edition is the article “How Do You Feel About Your Body?” Sadly, American women surveyed feel worse about their bodies than in the 1980s. Social media makes it harder for women to stop comparing themselves with images they see of their friends and celebrities. I was interested to see:

  • 47% of women think they don’t need to be skinny to attractive (down from 80% in in 1984).
  • 76% of American women hate their stomachs the most. The thighs were the most maligned body part in the 1980s.

The most buzzworthy piece was a reprint of an insipid 2015 interview Amy Schumer written by her own sister. Schumer addresses sexism in comedy, rules for hooking up, and muses about her size, “…I think it’s good to see someone saying: I have a belly. And I have cellulite. And I still deserve love…And not to apologize.”

While that sounds nice, Schumer went on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week to address that. Sitting in an awkward, unladylike pose, she proclaimed, “What I learned is that people don’t really like being classified by plus-size. We don’t need these labels. It should just say what size you are, right?” To which the sheep in the audience burst into applause.

While this issue is geared to women size 12 and up and Schumer claims to be a size 6 or 8, I think she does women a disservice by calling for an end to labels.

I cannot think of a single store where plus-sized clothing is identical to the straight-sized ones. Schumer needs to realize that labels do exist. I wear many labels in the day: I am a woman, plus-sized (or even fat, I don’t mind the word), white, Midwestern, single, childless, an employee, single breadwinner, pet owner.

Labels describe me and help paint a picture, but they are not the essence of who I am. Words I use to describe myself like funny, generous, intelligent, and loyal are closer to the core of who I am than the words that pigeonhole me into categories. I’m fat. So what?

And it actually took me the first 22 years of my life to be comfortable enough in my own skin to embrace the “plus-size” label. So why is Amy Schumer knocking the term, which the issue of Glamour never uses to describe her? They say she is a “Woman We Admire,” right there on the cover with the hilarious Melissa McCarthy, eternal Adele, and the beautiful Ashley Graham (who has also been known to eschew the term “plus-size”).

If you want a pretty coffee-table caliber magazine, I think the $12.99 is worth the price. If you want some good style tips, learn about a few new clothing lines, and see body positivity in action, I highly recommend this edition.

However, almost everything here is prettily repurposed content. You probably don’t need to spend the money, but sneak a peak when you are in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Whatever you feelings, my hat’s off to Glamour for this magazine. I am excited to see their collaboration with Lane Bryant for a fall collection!

Have you seen the magazine yet? What are your thoughts on Amy Schumer? Comment below!

The Lane Bryant Ad That Was Banned & Why You Should Care

Size discrimination. The final frontier.

From mainstream media to how people treat us in everyday life, far too many people still judge us women by the number on the scale and our clothing labels.

You would think in the tolerant 21st century we would have to put up with less and less of this crap, but sadly, this is not the case.

This became sadly evident in a recent 30-second Lane Bryant commercial that was banned from the airwaves by both ABC and NBC:

Starring SI cover girl Ashley Graham, new mom Tara Lynn, Denise Bidot, Georgia Pratt, and Precious Lee, this ad features plus-size models, rolls, curves and all. They boldly proclaim what their bodies allow them to do while they nurse babies, kick box, do yoga, and sport denim in stiletto heels. From wearing flowing dresses to nothing at all, these women are celebrating Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody campaign.

It should be a celebration of all bodies, but instead, ABC has flat-out refused to run the ad. NBC won’t air the spot either, citing that the ad doesn’t meet the FCC’s “broadcast indecency guidelines.”

What’s the big deal? Why should you care?

This just goes to show that size discrimination continues to be real. OK, I get this ad isn’t appropriate for daytime TV. But let’s face it—network TV has thrown us far worse. From Paris Hilton or Charlotte McKinney selling Carl’s Jr. burgers to famous vegans stripping down for PETA, advertisers always use women who wear less than these five models to hawk their wares. But a size 16 woman?! Apparently the double standard is very real. And very not cool.

The commercial depicts very normal-sized women just like us. Lane Bryant does still have a long way to go in diversity (all the models are 14/16 and hourglass shaped), but since the average American woman is a size 14, what is it specifically that ABC and NBC object? Why shouldn’t all bodies be celebrated? Are they trying to alienate a key demographic?

What does your body allow you to do? I love this ad’s message because it celebrates our bodies’ victories no matter what the size. My size 18/20 body was made to run 5Ks, do yoga, and love this one life I have.

You have the power to make your voice heard. There are a few things you can do to make your voice heard on this subject:

  • Contact your local ABC and NBC affiliates via social media to voice your opinion.
  • Thank CBS for keeping a more open mind and allowing the commercial to air.
  • Get in touch with Lane Bryant to let them know you support their message of love at any size and their #ThisBody campaign.
  • Support Lane Bryant with your business.
  • Don’t let this be a one-and-done headline. Keep this topic of discrimination in advertising alive by discussions with your friends and family.

While this may seem like a trivial topic, it is sad two of the major three networks have intentionally decided not to air this commercial. It shows women whose size is very much the norm and it carries a message of empowerment. However, ABC and NBC have decided to cite vague obscenity laws to mask blatant size description. In the end, we, the plus-size community, lose out because our voices and images continue to be underrepresented and ignored altogether.

What do you think about the video? Are NBC and ABC being discriminatory? Comment below!