the daily grind

If you guys weren’t already aware, I’m a girl who suffers from acne. I’ve struggled with acne since I was 15, so it’s been about 6 years now. The acne itself is much better now, mostly under control, but I still have some scars that will take a little bit longer to fade away. So in the mean time, I usually just hide them from view, and it gives me a confidence boost and makes me less self conscious about them.

Make-up and acne is a tricky sea to navigate because you’re constantly hearing about how your skin needs to breathe and you shouldn’t clog it up. At the same time, acne medication tends to mess your skin up by making it swing from being an oil bucket to dry as sandpaper. And it peels. Peels so very badly and painfully. When your face hurts from all the peeling, you don’t want to even consider putting anything on top of that. Nevertheless, I’ve figured out a routine that works well for me, and it isn’t burning a hole in my pockets, and it has in no way made my acne worse.

To put in some perspective, my routines are all grounded by the fact that I’m a college student (and a somewhat over-committed, extremely busy one at that) and don’t have the ability to spend a lot of money on luxury products. Drugstore brands are my best friends. I’m generally out of the house by 7.30am (give or take a bit depending when classes start, or internships, as I am working at the moment), and again, as a college kid, that means I wake up just an hour earlier and do everything that needs to be done in less than an hour. Speed is of essence, and not doing anything unnecessary. I’m usually out for anywhere between 10 and 15 hours a day, leaving in the morning, and only being back home at night, and that means it is important for me not to clog up my pores. Skin needs to breathe.

So here’s the daily grind: I usually have some Oxy Cover on my face when I go to sleep, to work on those nasty zits, so I wash my face first thing in the morning with Himalayas’ Neem Face Wash, or Foam. I’ve grown to like the Himalayas’ Neem range of products, and this face wash removes everything off your face, including any make-up, which is an added bonus. I’ve also learnt that Indian stores in Singapore sell this for a few dollars cheaper than the drugstores like Watsons and Guardian, so it’s worth making a visit to stores in Little India to get cheaper prices. I also use the Neem Face Pack pretty often. It looks ridiculous on you (as do most masks), but it feels so lovely.

1 - the daily grind

Clockwise from Left to Right : Revlon Photoready Foundation in Medium Beige, DrGL Sensitive Skin Pressed Powder in Medium, Revlon Colorburst in Rosy Nude, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Honey, Hurraw! Vanilla Bean Lip Balm

These are the main things that go on my face daily. After washing my face, I add on some moisturiser if my skin is dry, and then just use a little bit of foundation, and when that’s dry, some powder to set it properly. I got this DrGL powder from an event, and was hesitant to use it in place of my usual Maybelline powder, but after doing some research, I found out that it is a really legit brand, and this product is made for sensitive skin. It is really great, but I don’t think I can afford to replace this with another one because it’s really out of my budget. (It costs SGD108, if anyone’s wondering. The Maybelline powder costs less than SGD20, so it’s a huge difference)

That’s all I do to my face, and all I have time for. I’ve realised that using foundation tends to make your lips a little dull looking, so lipstick always helps. I’ve been gravitating towards lipsticks since I started college. I was always a lip balm girl, and making the change to lip stick felt like part of the process of growing up and not being a kid anymore. Plus, they’re fun.

If you’re interested, my makeup pouch came free with an edition of Elle magazine a year or two ago. It’s a cloth/PVC combo, which means it’s got great cushioning for your makeup, mostly waterproof (you can wipe it with an alcohol wipe), and it says Beauty Addict. I like this quite a lot.

2 - lipsticks

Left to Right:  Revlon Colorburst in Rosy Nude, Maybelline Watershine in R22, The Body Shop Delipscious in 05 Sheer Elderberry, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Honey

These are my four most-used lipsticks at the moment.  I’ll admit I have way too many for my own good, but these four are the ones I keep coming back to as they’re more neutral colours, as compared to my Topshop Infrared lipstick, for example. I also have a L’Oreal Glam Shine lipgloss(in creamy peach), but I don’t use it on an everyday basis as I find lip gloss too shiny and sticky in general. It does smell sweet and lovely, though! I use on special occasions. Out of these four, I’ve had the berry shade the longest, and I’m actually pretty sad that I’m almost through the whole stick. This lipstick is super moisturising, it does not dry out your lips at all. It’s what I turn to when my lips are dry and I can’t be bothered to layer lip balm and lip stick. Maybelline watershine’s wonderfully moisturising as well, and it’s a shade of red that suits me, I feel. I bought it on a whim, but I liked how it’s not too bright, but is still red. The balm stain was an impulsive buy I got recently while it was on a pretty good sale, and I’ve been feeling good about it so far. I like how it’s pink, but a muted pink, but I expected it to be a little more moisturising. The Colorburst lipstick is the one I carry around with me all the time. It’s a lovely nude shade that doesn’t stand out too much, but still brightens up your face. It’s the bestest.

3 - miscellaneous beautyLeft to Right: Sukin Natural Deodorant, Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion, Ralph Lauren Big Pony #1 Rollerball, Johnson’s Baby Cologne in Lasting Blossoms, Evian Face Mist

These are other things I enjoy in particular. I like my Sukin spray deo, and the Cetaphil moisturiser is well worth the buck (it costs about SGD20 here I believe). I’ve had to look very hard for good moisturisers for my face, and I’m so glad I’ve found one that works well for me. Some days my skin just drinks up the moisture this lotion provides, and it makes any dry patches disappear within days. It’s really lovely. It can be a bit heavy for some people, though. The Evian face mist is something I thought was a gimmick. It’s spring water in spray form! You shouldn’t pay money for that, right? I got a can when I was going on a long 24-hour flight to the USA last summer, and this worked really well on the flight. It’s not like you bother with makeup on planes, and when the air gets dry, this was a real saviour. I use it now and then when I know the air’s going to be dry (i.e. sitting around under the air-conditioner at work)  and it helps prevent my skin from drying out.  Ralph Lauren rollerball has proven to be extremely useful, and it’s a nice pick me up when I’m getting sleepy at work, as is the baby cologne, which is lavender scented and calming.

Acne shouldn’t stop you from using products, it’s just that some products irritate your skin more than other, and as long as it’s non-comedogenic, it shouldn’t make your acne worse. It’s also helpful to have a few great products that work for you, and keep using them as opposed to changing products all the time. That works for me.

Diet control has played a huge part in controlling my acne, and I’m going to have a post on that soon because it is phenomenal how the latest changes I’ve made have improved the condition of my skin. It is marvellous, magical, and I am healing both on the outside and the inside. That feels sort of glorious after 6 long, difficult years.


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