Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm High Maintenance, Not A Diva

I was first diagnosed with eczema when I was five. I am now a few decades older ... I refer to my eczema as the curse and blessing from my dad (I look much younger, but this mess has been a true pain.). I've had consistent, chronic flareups until a little over year ago.

That's when I decided to do my own research and found that I have a lot of triggers; sulfates, SD-type alcohols, most preservatives & emulsifiers, nut oils, cocoa & shea butters, most essential oils (Alcohol is used in the distillation of most essential oils.) and aloe (Go figure!).

Pyrithione zinc helps, but most of the products out there include ingredients that are my flareup triggers. After major web searches and product testing, I found my "holy grail routine":

  • Noble Formula Zinc Soap (for face, scalp & trigger areas)
  • Skin Cure Zinc Spray (by Young Again, mixed with olive oil)
  • Healing conditioners from L'anza 
  • A trigger preservative-free Natural Honey Whipped Body Creme, from Etsy seller Wild Herb. 

I also noticed that I would get a flake or two if I ate too much sugar, breads or dairy. Luckily, it all paid off ... I've been flareup free for over a year now.

Luckily, my high maintenance doesn't affect my ability to wear makeup (usually that is, as long as the product doesn't have SD alcohols or perfumes) ... I love to add a touch of sophisticated glam to my look.
Photo courtesy of Pupa
Here are my favorite must have products:

1) Pupa Glossy Eyeliner in Extra Black
It creates the darkest, glossiest, most glam line ever ... I'm talking serious glam, hands down. I think Pupa is replacing this with a version from their Professional line. It's most likely the same, but to be safe, I bought extra 'cause it's "my liner".

2) Nars powder blush in Luster
This is "my highlighter". It instantly brightens my skin and gives good glow without the obvious metallic flakes.

Photo courtesy of Sephora

3) MAC Studio Finish Concealer
This is where, in my opinion, MAC excels.

4) Ben Nye Contour Wheel in Mojave
I prefer to use the mixture of the two brown-based colors on my cheeks. My coloring is a hot, milk chocolate with yellow and red undertones ... For contouring, other blushes just won't do.

Photo courtesy of Ben Nye

Photo courtesy of L'Oréal
5) L'Oréal Lash Architect Carbon Gloss Mascara
The color is an inky, glossy wonder when applied. Unfortunately it becomes more of a matte color when dry (I learned that volume-building mascaras include powders to increase volume.). Now, I think it doesn't make sense to pair a glossy liner with a matte mascara, so I top it off with 6) e.l.f. Wet Gloss Clear Lash Mascara.

7) NYC Loose Powder Eyeshadow in Expresso
The color is rich, yet looks very natural on my skin, and it has a great texture.

8) Smashbox Limitless Longwear Lipgloss 
These glosses really do last for hours unless you drink/eat/wipe/kiss them off.
Photo courtesy of Sephora