The Skin I Live In

March 1, 2015


Once a year, without fail, I stop wearing make-up. All make-up. Not for any paticular reason, other than I just can’t be bothered. Maybe its my skin telling me it needs to reboot, and this year it’s happening right now. It’s not a huge leap for me, my standard day-to-day is mascara, brows, blush and, if I’m feeling fancy, a lip colour, and if not, just Vaseline for my perpetually dry lips. No foundation, no cover-up. The most I do is BB creme, and even that’s rare and has been a new addition to my make-up bag only since last summer. It’s not that I have perfect skin, far from it, I’ve just never been that into make-up. Partly, I’m sure, from growing up as a tomboy, partly due to my mom.

Most girls learn their basic make-up tricks from their mothers. My mother never wears a stitch except on special occasions, and even then it’s a little bit of mascara, some eyeliner and a lipstick. So I learned from magazines, friends, or trial and error. The one thing my mom did teach me was skin care. She was always moisturizing and using suncream. She taught me to tap my fingers on my face in circular motions to promote blood flow, use steam to open my pores and (her unusual trick of) rubbing watermelon rinds on my face to exfoliate. She was always going on about letting your skin ‘breathe’. Suffocating it with make-up was a big NO. This ultimately led me to have a complex about foundation, one I didn’t realize was odd until university.

I thought all girls would have received similar advice about letting their skin breathe. I mean, breathing is pretty important. Since I didn’t wear any foundation or cover-up out of fear, I just assumed that no one else did either, at least not on a regular basis. In high school, when I went through the inevitable ‘pimple phase’ I would walk through the halls and wonder how none of the other girls broke out. Then, in University I started living with a friend who I had known for several years. She always had flawless, pore-less skin, which I envied. When I saw her for the first time without any make-up, I was shocked. Her skin, although not that bad, made me realize the power of make-up. And I soon discovered that most of my other friends with beautiful ‘natural’ skin were also always wearing foundation. Instead of making me want to learn how to apply this flawless face (which took my friend the better part of half an hour), it made me focus even more on skin care.


Since I’ve been in my ‘no make-up phase’, (see the above selfie that I promise is honest-to-gawd-no-make-up-no-photoshop) I thought it the perfect time to share my current skin care routine. While I might not know how to cover it up, I do take proper care of it. I always start and end my day by washing my face. Lately I have been using my new obsession Thermal Black Cleanser by Boscia. It heats up while you massage and leaves your face clean but not dry. If I have make-up to remove I use Neutrogena Naturals make-up remover first. I prefer it to oily make-up removers and it even gets off my mascara without any strenuous rubbing.

I’m obsessed with moisturizer, something I definitely inherited from my mother, along with her dry skin. In the mornings, after my face is clean, I’ll use Clinic’s Dramatically Different moisturizer. It’s not a heavy cream but quenches my skin’s thirst. Then, something with an SPF like this Aveeno daily moisturizer, regardless if it’s summer or winter, rain or shine. At night I prefer something a little more nourishing. Origin’s Intensive Night Creme is thick but absorbs quickly and smells amazing. Once a week I use a deep cleansing mask, Clear Improvements by Origins; it tingles and my skin feels very soft afterwards. Drink Up Intensive overnight mask (also) by Origins is another favourite that I will buy over and over again. I use it three to four times a week depending on my skin. If it looks a little dull or tired at night, I will use the mask instead of the moisturizer, and when I wake up my skin looks so refreshed.

So while these products are great there is no product to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle or drinking lots of water (another skin trick my mother always advocated). While you could have perfect skin with the right make-up tricks, I will always choose to look like myself all the time, not just after I have put on my face.

– Dress like a man, act like a woman – KL

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