When I was in high school I was extremely blessed. My skin got through 4 years without so much as a single blemish of note. College was much the same story. I often looked with a mixture of pity and morbid curiosity at those who suffered from acne. As I entered my early twenties though, there was a shift in the weather, and I started to experience breakouts. Which I was entirely unprepared to deal with. I had always washed my face with a facial cleanser and toned and moisturized. Nothing in my routine had changed, but still, I found myself with red bumpiness appearing hither, tither and yon.
This led to years of frantic searching for the *right* combination of skincare products. Things that would render me blemish free and dewy, able to face the world without makeup. Like most people, I only had minimal success. Neutrogena, Almay, Clinique...it didn't seem to matter, none of them quite did the trick. I spent about 2 years relying on a combination of Neutrogena "Pore Refining" products that kept things, *mostly* under control. Even then though, it was only mostly. On my best day, I still required some sort of make-up to hide some discoloration.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding were very good to me in this aspect. My skin had not looked so good since high school. And I loved it. And I think on some level, it was why I was so happy to have my babies back to back...I was able to go for a solid 3 year period without having to suffer problem skin too badly. Alas, this too had to come to an end, and I went back to my routine.
It was around this time that I got hit with a terrible and fateful bit of insomnia. I laid in bed, listening to my husband snore, and the baby grunt and couldn't find the remote. The TV programming switched to an infomercial, and I sat there helpless to look away, as some lady extolled the virtues of some make-up line that seemed to hinge on a product called "Mineral Veil" and apparently only worked if you "swirled, tapped and buffed". In my late night delirium it seemed interesting. And more expensive than I would be indulging in any time soon. And it was an infomercial, so I divined that it must be a buncha whooey.
Oddly enough, the next day when I went into work, I stumbled upon one of my employees applying her make-up. Even from a distance, I could clearly see her swirl, tap and buffing herself. As I got closer, I couldn't help but to ask, "Is that that Mineral Veil stuff?". It was. And she loved it. And continued on to gush about the wonders of Bare Minerals. What an odd coincidence.
A few weeks later, I was again trolling for sleep with no success when the infomercial came back on. This time I thought to myself "Excellent! It was only midly intersting the first go round, so this is *bound* to knock me out." The next day, we left for a trip to Disney, where we met up with my step-son and my husband's ex-wife. She and I got to talking, as we were wont to do, and somehow, the subject of make-up and skincare came up. Turns out, she had been using Bare Minerals for a few years and loved it. It was at that point that I decided that the universe was trying to send me a sign. When we got home from vacation, I ordered a starter kit, loved it and have never looked back. I have since turned at least 3 friends on to the stuff, because it is wonderful. I find that my skin always looks better if I sleep in one or two nights a week.
It was around that time that I also stumbled upon the philosophy line of skin care. Their Purity Made Simple and Hope In A... lines made my skin look better than ever before. I happily trotted up to Sephora every chance I got, and stocked up.
Then we moved. And the only way for me to stay stocked was to order my make-up and skin care stuff online. Which I hate. I finally found somewhere within driving distance to buy the make-up (which honestly I only need to replenish every year or so), but no dice on the philosophy products.
I recently ran out, and have been trying to find a suitable, less costly replacement that I can buy in a local store. I figure if I can find one, great! If I cannot, then I will feel less guilty about the indulgence.
I have re-tried Neutrogena, and find that I don't like it.
I am now trialing the Burt's Bees Radiance Line. The jury is still out. Anyone else use this, or have any insight?
Do any of you have any good recommendations? By the way, in case you were wondering, no one paid me to do this. Though if they would like to... ;-)