Stuff for bad skin

Picture via

Picture via

I have bad skin; always have; probably always will.  It broke out in an angry blaze around Christmas.

1952 acne medication ad

I blame illness and lack of sleep and stress and sugar.  But it’s been better in the last few weeks. (Other than the small percentage I get from Amazon, this isn’t a promotional post, honest!  It’s just that I went to Sephora and it’s given me a new lease on life, or at least on my face.)  I think these items have helped:

1. Nice foundation: For the first time in my life, I bought big-girl foundation from the makeup store instead of cheapo stuff from the drugstore.  Sephora has this Color IQ computer program in their stores, and it finds a match for your skin tone from all the products they carry.  My match is “Dim the Lights” by Buxom (ooh la la).  Wow, it feels and blends so much better than the drugstore stuff.   It’s paraben free but *wamp wamp* has some nasty chemical sunscreen in it.

I also bought some primer, because I was on a roll.  I wonder, though, whether the cosmetic company executives are laughing at us behind closed doors.  Does primer really do anything?  I am dubious, but regardless, the primer + nice foundation combo lasts longer than the drugstore stuff alone ever did.

2. Indian Clay Healing Mask: This is great for pulling junk out of your skin and shrinking your pores.  Plus it’s cheap and all natural.  My one problem with it is that it clogs up my sink.  So for now I kick the can down the road and rinse it off in the bathtub or with a wet washcloth.

3. Avalon Organics COQ10 cleansing milk and wrinkle defense creme.  I like that the cream is SPF 15 and uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, not any of the nefarious chemical sunscreens.  The cleansing milk is non-drying.  During the summer I use Neutrogena Naturals cleanser, which is a bit stronger.  I use coconut oil to remove eye makeup.  I’ve also used Yes to Carrots SPF15 moisturizer, which also avoids the chemical sunscreen ingredients.

4. Aveeno Eczema defense hand cream: I’ve tried many of the all-natural cream and lotion products and they seem to just sit there, not soaking in, on really dry hands.   This is the only thing so far that worked for my chapped hands (I don’t have eczema so I don’t know how it works on that).  It has some petrochemicals, which I haven’t had the energy to care about yet, but it doesn’t have parabens or phthalates.

*I never cared much about going all-natural, organic, etc. until I realized that a lot of the politically incorrect ingredients mess with your hormones.  Between hormones wrecking my life and puberty threatening in the not-distant-enough future for my girls, I’m trying to stay away from the estrogen-mimickers*

5. Oil of Olay hair remover duo: Doesn’t burn skin off!  Less painful than waxing.  I would love not to have to use this stuff, but alas.  Eventually I’d like to try laser hair removal but I always find more fun stuff to save up my money for.  Apparently hand-held, home laser treatments are entering the market.  Anyone tried these yet?

Back to you, Jenna, for more Five Favorites!

Pioneer Woman Love

Who loves the Pioneer Woman?  I do.  Confession though: I’m not even subscribed to her blog, and I don’t know what she’s up to lately except that she has a t.v. show (had a t.v. show?).  I don’t cook much of late, am not into photography, and don’t homeschool.  So there’s not for me there these days.  But I still love Ree.  And when I do cook, I love her recipes.  So much beef!  So helpful when one buys half a cow at a time.

So, linking up with Hallie, on an I-should-get-to-bed-but-want-to-write-the-most-random-post-ever whim, here are my favorite  posts from Mrs. Best-Blog-By-A-Non-Papist Drummond:

1.Her pot roast.  Her pot roast!  To die for.


Honorable mention goes to her Sunday night beef stew:



2. I get compliments every time I make these mashed potatoes.  Something along the lines of, “Wow, what did you do with these mashed potatoes that make them so tasty?”  The answer: they’re not mashed potatoes.  They’re cream cheese and butter with a bit of spud mixed in.  Yum.

3. This recipe for Potatoes Romanoff is a recipe from another blogger, posted on Ree’s spin-off blog of sorts, Tasty Kitchen.  Kind of like mashed potatoes, but cheesy and fluffier.

4. Something about this post makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.  I read it out loud to Pat and was laughing until I had tears in my eyes.  Maybe I’m just wistful because my kids hardly ever let me sing.

pioneer woman journey

Journey with Ree Drummond


5. Finally, I’ll always be grateful for Ree’s recommendation for this lovely and inexpensive concealer, which also works well as a highlighter.

Oh, and finally, she has my china (Spode Blue Italian)!  Kindred spirits fo’ sho.

What about you?  Are you a PW fan?



What I Wore Sunday: Confessions of a Vain Mommy?

This is what I wore to Mass today.

New red coat (clearance find!) from Anne Klein.  Chutzpah to wear purple tights with nude heels from Martha.

New red coat (clearance find!) from Anne Klein. Chutzpah to wear purple tights with nude heels from Martha.




Scarf close-up

Scarf close-up

The girls wore matching gold sparkly dresses and pink sparkly cardigans.   Have I mentioned how much I love having little girls?

IMG_1405 IMG_1406 IMG_1407 IMG_1408 IMG_1409


What I really want to write about, though, is last week.  Last Sunday, I spent over an hour (okay, almost two), getting myself showered and dressed, working on hair, trying out an eyeshadow technique I saw on Pinterest, etc.   Pat got himself and both girls ready.  We then gathered up the girls and their accoutrements into the van in our typical rush.

Before we left, Pat snapped a pictures of me.

IMG_1326[1]Ugh.  Well. . . . That was a waste of time.  (I truly truly am not fishing for compliments here.  A lot of you left sweet, encouraging comments last week, which made me feel much better and which I appreciate.  Still, subjectively, I was not happy with how I looked.)

We got to our pew and I looked down to see that Girl 1’s tights were on backwards, so the dingy part that is supposed to be on the bottom of her foot was instead on the top.  Her shoes were on backwards and . . .

My own fingernails were dirty.  With eyeshadow, I think.

I don’t believe our God is one to play “gotcha” with us.  But, man, I sure felt I was being taught a lesson.

Somehow, the hours before Mass have become “me” time, and that just doesn’t seem right.

Is God glorified when we put on nice clothes for Mass, when we wash and nicely arrange our hair, when we put on a bit of makeup?  Sure. Is He glorified when I perfect the latest eyeshadow technique from Pinterest and spend long (futile!) hours with a round brush trying to get my hair to look like Kate Middleton’s?


I’ve  never been a high maintenance kind of girl (at least not as far as the externals go, emotional maintenance is another story).  So, I’ve always felt silly, vain, when I spend a lot of time on my appearance.

And yet, after having two kids and turning 30, I’m convinced it’s not a bad thing to have a nice two-hour stretch once a week to take care of myself: to take a long shower, to take whatever depilatory measures are necessary, to “do” my hair nicely, to play around with makeup.  It’s not a bad thing.  It might even be a good thing.  It’s not just vanity.  (But yes, I realize it is a luxury I am extremely blessed to have.)

At the same time, it doesn’t feel right to do it on Sunday morning.

So this is where I was going to write about how I’ve started making Saturday evening my “me” time: taking a nice long shower, putting my hair in Velcro rollers overnight, picking out my outfit, maybe doing my nails, so that I can get ready quickly in the morning.

But then real life intervened.  We stayed out late at a lovely gathering of dear, old friends.  Once we got home and got the girls to bed, my tired mommy bones weren’t up to anything more than going to sleep.  Then this morning, my Saintly Husband let me sleep in, and I had about half an hour to get ready.

Somehow, though, like the way I turned out a bit better this week:


I’m not really sure what the moral of the story is here.  Spend time with good friends whenever you can, and get as much sleep as you can, I suppose.  All the same, next weekend I will try to implement my new Saturday night routine.

My hair looks better when I do the Velcro rollers anyway.  😉

Fireman’s wife with curlers in her hair, ca. 1955. Photograph by Honoré Desmond Sharrer. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

As usual, I’m linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.  Check there for lots of Sunday finery!