Category Archives: Face Make-up

My Battle With Acne

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I can remember the first blemish I got.  It was in the sixth grade and a boy who sat next to me made sure I knew I had it.  He said, “You have a zit on your face!”  It’s funny what kids say sometimes.  From about sixth grade to my Junior year of high school I battled with mild/moderate acne.  Through those years I probably took about two acne medications that didn’t really do the trick for me.

My Senior year of high school is when my acne started to get worse.  I hadn’t changed any of my habits so I couldn’t really explain why my acne was worse.  I went to the Dermatologist again and they prescribed me a medication that kind of worked.  She also gave me a pamphlet on Accutane but my mom and I didn’t really look at it because I wasn’t interested in taking it due to the health risks I thought I heard.  After a few months of taking the medication and putting on some medicated creams (Differin) I noticed a difference.  I thought I beat acne for good even though I still had some blemishes.

The summer after my Senior year I went on tour with the Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps. to perform with the color guard professionally.  We traveled all over the United States and were out in the sun for 12 hours.  My acne was fine up until a month before I was supposed to go home.  That’s when it got extremely worse.  I felt acne all over my face and then it moved to my back where it was all over my shoulders.  I didn’t know what was happening.  Maybe it was because I was wearing a face full of make-up and then performing a 12 minute show in 115 degrees?  I’m not exactly sure how to pinpoint it.

I got home from tour and just couldn’t believe how bad my face was.  Even when I was home in the air conditioning, my acne was only getting worse.  In fact, it was becoming painful.  I could feel every time a new blemish was forming and it was not pleasant.  There wasn’t a spot on my face I could touch where it wasn’t covered by acne.  I went back the dermatologist where he diagnosed me with Cystic Acne (severe acne) and said that I should start a form of Accutane.  He reassured us that the health risks my mom and I have heard are not entirely true.  He told me that I would have to get blood tests every month to check how my kidneys were doing and make sure that my triglyceride numbers were not crazy.  Blood tests also are used as a pregnancy test because you are absolutely not supposed to get pregnant on Accutane because of birth defects.  After you get your blood tests you are supposed to take an online quiz that makes sure you are using the medication properly and you are well informed.  Once you’ve jumped through all of these hoops then you could take the medication.  I’ll be honest, all of this terrified me but I knew that this was what it was going to take to finally get rid of my acne once and for all.

Before I started the Accutane though, I tried alternative remedies.  I got acupuncture, tried different vitamins, bought this disgusting powder to put in my water that would clear me of acne.  I drowned myself in water.  I tried everything I could possibly think of but none of it was working, I had to take Accutane.

Accutane did start to effect my body.  My skin and eyes were CONSTANTLY dry, if I was in the sun for five minutes without sunscreen I would get badly burned, and I did experience some hair loss (but not a lot so don’t freak out).  My doctor told me that I shouldn’t be out in the sun for more than about two hours.  Not being out in the sun meant that I couldn’t march with the Blue Knights the next summer since we are out in the sun all day.  Plus with the blood tests and the health risks of constantly exercising on Accutane it really meant I couldn’t do it.  I had to take the medication twice a day for six months but it only took a month for me to see the difference.  I could look in the mirror and actually see the majority of my face without acne.  After three months, there wasn’t a single blemish.  Everyone around me noticed and were shocked by the difference.  I was too, quite frankly.

Now I’ve been off Accutane for three months and only get a blemish once a month.  It was worth it, to me, to take Accutane even though it meant that I couldn’t do what I love.  I knew it was better for me to be on the medication so I wouldn’t get deep scars.  So this is it, this is my experience with Accutane and, it might not be for everyone, but it definitely worked for me.  I can even go out without any make-up on my face which is wonderful!  I didn’t think I would ever be able to.

For those of you with acne let me just tell you that you will get through it and I know it’s hard.  Don’t forget that you are beautiful no matter what.  If you’re concerned with what people will think/say just remember the people who truly love you won’t notice the acne because they’re just noticing how beautiful you truly are.  After my experience with Cystic acne I remember that I had no confidence and I did not feel beautiful but I look at all of the people around me and they didn’t say anything.  In fact, they made me feel so beautiful and showed me that looks really aren’t everything.  People love you for who you are, not what you look like.  🙂

This is me before Accutane

This is me before Accutane

After Accutane!

After Accutane!

Thank you to all of my readers!  I hope this was encouraging!  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to comment.  Much love ❤

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For Those of Us With Acne, Acne Scars, or Red Marks on Our Faces!

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Alright, so you know how you read all of those magazines and they tell you what foundation you should wear and how you should apply it for acne or scars but they ALWAYS feature a clear-faced model?  It’s annoying, right?  Well I once had severe cystic acne and I was SO embarrassed to go out in public (I took a form of Accutane and it worked wonders, I’ve been acne-free for about three months now!).  I used to walk with my head down and would rarely look at people when they talked to me (and I never did that before I had acne).  So I knew I had to find good make-up that really allowed me to feel confident and yeah, the make-up doesn’t make the bumps go away but it helps a lot!  And now that I have some scars and red marks left over from my acne that same make-up routine still works for me! Now let’s get started!
~Side note: I have yet to find a make-up that actually fills in the scars so with the make-up I use, at certain light angles, you can still see them but it’s not as bad if I weren’t wearing anything!

Step 1: Wear moisturizer, preferably one with SPF so you don’t have to worry about putting actual sunscreen on your face (I know for me even if the tube said oil-free I still feared a break-out!)  I’m currently using a moisturizer called “CeraVe” ($15.99 at Walgreen’s) which has worked wonders for me since my skin has severely dried out since taking Accutane, however it does not have SPF in it so I must rely on my foundation for that (which I will tell ya’ll about a little later).  However, if you don’t want a “super-moisturizer” like the one I use I suggest Neutrogena’s “Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration” with SPF 25 (apprx. $12.97 at drugstores or Walmart).  I used this moisturizer before I was on Accutane and did not contribute to any break-outs and was very smooth on my skin and kept it moisturized!

Step 2: Primer!!  If you haven’t heard about this, you’ve definitely been missing out!  Primer essentially makes it so that your foundation will stay on your face and not sweat or melt off, which used to be one of my biggest annoyances!  For this, you will need to apply about a dime-sized amount or however much you need to lightly cover your face.  For this I recommend using “Smashbox Photo Finish” ($36.00, Ulta).  This product is amazing, it helps to reduce shine and is oil-free, so no break-outs!!

~The picture that I took after apply the moisturizer and primer shows some red (but not all) on my face which is right where my acne targeted.

 

My face after putting on moisturizer and primer

 

Step 3: Now is the time to start noticing the cover-up!  We are going to use a foundation.  Now I know it is strongly advised to NOT use your fingertips as a way to apply make-up but I have found that the heat from your fingers actually helps blend in the foundation more on your face.  If you don’t feel comfortable with this process, that is fine! You can still use a triangle sponge which helps cover your face at all angles but be sure to dispose of the sponge after every use as it can hold in the bacteria from your face and spread more acne if you use it again!  For my foundation I use Maybelline’s “Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup” ($11.99 at drugstores) with SPF 18 sunscreen but I DO NOT use the sponge applicator on the top of the product.  Now, I am young so it might be confusing as to why I would put on a foundation that is supposed to be for “lines & creases” but I have read that collagen (which is in the product) actually helps hide acne scars…which I am all for!!  Plus I find that this product just hides the redness and bumps really well, and trust me I’ve tried hundreds of products (and I’ll probably post another blog comparing them).  With this make-up I put on about a quarter sized amount which is enough to cover my face but not too much where I have to rub some of it off.  It’s also important with foundation to make sure you blend up to your ears and onto your neck so the look is more natural.

~As you can see in the picture there is some red present on my face still even after applying the foundation.


  After applying concealer

Step 4: Now ya’ll will think I’m crazy.  I use Dior’s “Air Flash” ($62.00, Dillard’s, Sephora, and other locations) which is another foundation but looks and sounds like spray paint.  Let me tell ya, this product is AMAZING!!  There is nothing out there that quite compares to it, and I know it’s on the pricey side but you will not regret buying this!  Yes, I use two foundations only because I want full coverage and that’s exactly what it provides.  This product is also tricky to apply.  My recommendation for application would be to hold it about 8″ away from your face and start by making a cross down your face.  Start from just below your hairline, as to not make you hair the same color as your skin, down your nose and down your neck a ways to blend in the color (we’ll go back and make sure the neck is completely covered a little later).  Then take the spray and go across your face horizontally from ear to ear.  Then go in a “Z” form across your face and spray any areas that may have been missed in the process.  Now, if you are fair skinned like I am you’ll want to make sure you spray your neck to really blend it in to look natural.  Even the lightest color Dior provides is a little too dark for my skin so I must blend, blend, blend!!  Let it sit for just a second and take about two fingers and gently push the product on your face and blend where needed.  I suggest letting this product sit on your face for about 10 minutes before you apply any powder products on top!  Beware though this product does get on your eyebrows and lips and will cause you to look like a ghost!  I would also suggest getting an eyebrow pencil to really amp up your look, and even though we might not always notice them, eyebrow’s sure are sexy!

  

As you can see this makes me look almost ghostly…but it will be fixed!

Step 5: After you finish possibly putting on some eye make-up, like I do, and you have waited about 10 minutes you’ll want to apply some powder products so you look normal.  I put on a light foundation powder by Revlon called “ColorStay-Pressed Powder” in fair (about $9.99 at Walgreen’s).  After that I put on a Victoria Secret’s bronzer in “Tantastic” (about $16.00) which adds more color to my face and gives it a soft, shimmery glow.  I finish off with Covergirl’s “Instant Cheekbones” in purely plum.  I really like this blush, especially for my fair skin, because it contours it very well and gives a nice pink sheen on my cheeks.  There we go! All ready to go!

Before and After!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to comment!  I have been battling with acne for years and have tried a lot of make-up regimes out there  and I finally found one that worked for me!  I owe a lot of my thanks to Sephora because one of their employees introduced me to a few of the products I mentioned and is the reason that I feel more confident! 🙂  I will also do a blog about my acne later on so stay tuned!