One Pale Girls Beauty Faves

Okay, so it’s no secret that I’m pale. Generally, I love my skin. I’ve never been into tanning or trying to change how I look. Okay actually I do like a little tanning moisturizer in the summer months to make my legs just a couple shades less pale… but most of the time I love my skin tone.

The problem with pale skin, for me, is that every tiny mark shows. Tiny scar? tiny zit? tiny bruise? It’s all so easy to see so it only takes a couple little imperfections before the little imperfections are all that’s noticeable on my face – especially for me looking at myself!

So this week I’m sharing a few of my pale girl beauty faves! I am nowhere near the super skin and makeup pro’s out there so this is for your everyday pale girl just trying to get by!

First up – Sunscreen! The easiest way to help your skin is to protect it from damage. I swear by Neutregena because they are a skincare company first and foremost so their sunscreen will do more than protect your skin from a sunburn! It feels so much nicer than regular sunscreen and never causes me the rashes, itchiness and acne that other suncreens can.

But of course, sunburn or not, acne happens from time to time. So what’s my fave way to get it gone, and fast? I am totally hooked on the entire line of Kate Somerville products but my biggest must-have is this powerhouse acne treatment: EradiKate. I use this stuff before bed or before makeup and it immediately lessens swelling and redness.  Within a few hours I don’t even notice the zit anymore. It’s awesome!

Let’s talk makeup. I’m nowhere near as talented as some of the makeup bloggers out there.  I do have my beauty faves though. I really love Kat Von D’s products and I especially love that as a beauty icon she celebrates her pale skin and doesn’t try to change how it looks. It makes it easy to love her products and feel great as I pick up the lightest shade on the shelf. I use her primer as a base for her liquid foundation.  When I’m feeling the need for a little extra contouring or a little extra coverage I reach for the concealer and powder foundation (this helps with an extra matte look, too!)

PS. Nothing beats Urban Decay’s setting spray for serous all day all night wear!

I make my pale skin pop with a bold lip – now I know, I’ve seen the bold lip trend on every skin tone and it looks amazing on us all – but I’m here to remind pale girls to have some fun and not shy away from the bold shades that catch your eye! Personally, Too Faced Melted Matte is my line of choice and you really can’t go wrong with any of their shades.

Now outside of your everyday beauty you might want to do a little extra pampering.  What better way than a facemask? The Glamglow Multimasking set speaks to my very soul because there’s nothing this boss babe does more than multitasking so why not bring that flare into my beauty routine?

And what about the rest of my body? Girl, I got you!

Since literally like grade 8 I’ve been fighting imperfections and uneven tone all over my body using Bio Oil. It’s a classic. You’ll find a million new products released every month advertising the same stuff but honestly, I’ve never found any that work as well as bio oil. After years of use the biggest thing I can say is yes, it works but you’ve got to commit to using it. Nothing delivers results if you only do it occasionally!

I like to add a little daily feel-good with a moisturizer too.  The oil is a great way to fight uneven skin tone, scars, stretch marks and imperfections but it feels pretty utilitarian. I like to give my skin some extra love with some coconut based moisturizer like this one from the body shop!

Woo – that was a lot of links and suggestions for my fave products to show my pale skin some love and keep it looking its best. I hope you found a few ideas and maybe your own new fave product.

What are your go-to products to keep your skin looking it’s best?

 

 

Essential Oils are Only a Drop in the Self-Care Conversation

When it comes to essential oils I may be a casual user living among skeptics. I call myself a casual user because, as you likely know, there are people out there whose endorsement of essential oils would have us using them for literally everything. They’re like a more complicated coconut oil – collectively a miracle remedy for all things.

*in case you haven’t been on pinterest this year – coconut oil in all of its forms is praised as a miracle product for your hair, skin, health… you name it! Put it in your coffee, your shower and on your skin. Essential oils are like that, too, but in drop form and with more complicated delivery methods.

I’m not saying they aren’t beneficial (I mean honestly, like coconut oil for many reasons!) but I do stop short of recommending every person I meet use this or that oil and blend for whatever ails them.

Actually, I think essential oils are important and do give us a reason to start a way bigger and more important conversation. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

How my Love Story with Essential Oils starts:

Really I was pretty passive about the whole essential oil industry. Curious, but not curious enough to have taken action. I’d used lemon oil to flavor my water and I knew lavender was good for relaxation and sleep. That was kind of the extent of my knowledge and I wasn’t quite ready to hop in the bandwagon to pursue a greater knowledge or use.

My girlfriend bought me a beautiful diffuser necklace that I’d been admiring and that’s really what initiated my active use of essential oils.

I struggle with mental health ups and downs. As a teenager some research revealed I am likely affected by S.A.D or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It basically means that come winter, when the natural urge is to shelter ourselves from the cold and take in less sunlight, I suffer. My body and brain don’t balance my mood-affecting chemicals quite right without a good dose of sunlight and so I spend a lot of the colder months feeling depressed.

Luckily, because this overwhelming sadness is a balance issue and not because my life is actually sad, there’s lots I can do to lift my mood. No one remedy is a fix-all and nothing really makes it go away entirely. It’s still a battle but each year I discover more weapons at my disposal and feel a little stronger in this fight.

When Maggie gifted me the diffuser necklace she included the essential oil Bergamot, which the store had suggested as a mood lifter. Since then I’ve also purchased one called Liquid Sunshine and for long work days, one called Quick Study.

While putting the necklace on doesn’t instantly protect me from feeling down or off balance, it does give me a lot of hope. I think it’s possible that it genuinely encourages subtle changes in my mood. More importantly, though, it can act as a placebo. The idea that I should feel good with the aid of these scents is a powerful reason to open my mind and embrace each and every shred of positivity that I can find.

Even beyond the actual scents and oils, just seeing the necklace is a sweet reminder of how loved I am and that I am far from alone in this fight. That, too, is a mood lifter.

There’s more to be said, though:

So I said earlier that I think essential oils and this conversation are a gateway to something bigger, and more important. That thing is self care and mental health as a whole.

There’s a lot of pressure these days to take time for self care, self love and nourishing our own mental health. While I do think encouragement and support for these efforts is critical, putting pressure on people to accomplish these activities in a certain way or with a certain style is counterintuitive.

When we talk about essential oils we are talking about just one way to look after ourselves, stay contentious of our minds and bodies, and strive for improvement. However it really is just one way in to the conversation. The list of “ways in” to the self care and mental health conversation is endless. Anything you do to make yourself feel good, look after your mental health and look after yourself as a whole qualifies.  Nobody can tell us what’s going to work for us.

I’ve been relatively open over the years about my struggle with my mental health. Even when I haven’t been super open, it’s sometimes hard to hide. This has meant lots of people have provided well meaning suggestions on how I can stay healthy.

I welcome all suggestions but have learned over the years that the combination of things which will work and make me feel healthy is entirely unique. It’s a collection of small actions, rituals and choices that add up to a lifestyle.

And here’s the big secret – I’m not always good at it.

I know getting up at the same time every day puts my mind in a good and productive place for work but I still like sleeping in. I know that bubble baths and music give me space to unwind but I don’t always make the time. I know that something as simple as brushing my hair can lift my confidence but sometimes my topknot has a lifespan of like 3 days.

The thing is, without fail, I recover.

I like using essential oils but I couldn’t just write about that when it’s part of something so much bigger.

The coming fall weather and my recent dabbling in essential oils has brought this to mind. I don’t think it’s fair how some products try to dominate the self care market when self care is so inherently unique. What may make a world of difference for one person may have no impact on another. It doesn’t have to mean that the product or the people are right or wrong. It’s just a fact in self care.

I can only tell you what I know and what my experience is. I’m enjoying surrounding myself with the scent of sunshine and hanging on to the hope I find in this locket. I can tell you essential oils might make you feel well or they might just smell nice.

Whatever it is for you, celebrate it. =)

The Art of Balancing Yourself with those you Love

I firmly believe that our relationships should not define us entirely.  Who are you when your spouse is at work? With their friends? Visiting family? Your relationship is, of course, a huge part of your life and will define many parts of the life you build together.  This is no reason to lose sight of who you are when you’re alone.

There’s an art to balancing yourself as an individual – giving attention to that self, doing things you enjoy by yourself – and yourself as part of a partnership, or multiple partnerships.  Come to think of it, this applies to friends too.  For my single girls out there who are living it up and building a life with your close friends (I see you, and I support you.), you are still your own person and not just a member of a friend group.

So here are my thoughts and tips for embracing your identity when you’re alone and balancing it with your identity as its related to other people:

Hobbies that others aren’t invited to

So you say you’re thinking of taking a class on something or trying out a new activity – you don’t always have to invite everyone else who may enjoy it.  You’re not obligated to include them every time. You get to make a decision about when it’s something you want to invite them to do with you and when you want to branch out on your own.

Things you do as an individual you don’t have to do alone

Just because you didn’t invite your partners or close friends to this thing you’re doing for yourself doesn’t have to be a solo activity.  Maybe you’re catching a yoga class or joining a community sports team.  You can meet new people and enjoy a social activity all for yourself.  This isn’t about developing yourself in isolation so much as having a self that isn’t described in relation to another person.

Think of it this way, if you join a community sports team with your partner you’ll be people who joined as a couple – referred to by others on the team as so and so’s partner, etc.  But if you join without your partners you can be known for traits that are all your own, like your humor or your skills.

Family might still be involved

Maybe you’ll have something you always do with your mom, or a sibling.  Someone who has known you outside of your current relationships and will appreciate you in that light.  This walks a line in that if your activity involves other people like a team or class you might still end up defining yourself in that activity by your relationship to the family member you joined with.  That being said it’s a balance between being defined by your relationship to someone else and being known as your own person by the people around you.

It can change over time

You don’t have to have your set of things that you pick right now, and are all yours, and you do them forever.  Maybe there’s a series of new things you try or seasonal activities you enjoy.  It’s more about spending time valuing yourself and nurturing your own identity, and less about consistency in how that time is actually spent.

It’s one of the few areas in our lives where I don’t think consistency is particularily important for success and growth.

It doesn’t have to be only yours forever

When you do fall in love with somthing you might end up inviting people from your important relationships to join you in it after all.  Why deny them the chance to enjoy it just because it started as something you did without them?

There can be other things you do without them, as long as you’re paying attention to giving yourself that time.  Not to mention, if you’re inviting someone into an activity you’ve established yourself in you’ve already escaped totally defining yourself by your relationship to them at the outset.

 

All in all I think it’s easy to do things with our partners because they make us feel safe.  That’s why they became our partners, right? It’s part of loving each other to offer comfort and support to each other, and it’s easy to want to bring that comfort and support with you on new adventures.  In a world where I have three partners who I enjoy spending time and trying new things with I have found the importance of remembering who I am when I’m on my own. It’s a matter of knowing that appreciating and nurturing my own identity does not diminish my relationships or how fully I give myself to them.

What’s your fave hobby that your partners choose to sit out of?