Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Love Your Skin Link Up

So my beautiful friend, Katie, over at Pretty in Pale, invited me to join the LOVE YOUR SKIN link up.  She   collaborated with  Erin from Shades of Gray and a Pinch of Pink to discuss her obsession with skincare products with her passion for raising awareness about melanoma. So when I got the invite from Katie today, I had to say yes. I mean first of all, it's Katie. I'd write about mud and rats if Katie asked me to. Second, I get to talk about my two passions, loving yourself as you are and melanoma awareness. And finally, by now you must know that I rarely pass on a chance to talk about myself. Maybe it's the (almost) oldest child syndrome. I just enjoy being heard and never had a chance with two younger sisters taking all the attention. (Love you both!)

In order to participate, all I had to do is answer the following ten questions- honestly- and she promised no judging.  So, judge not, or judge away if you'd like, I am not afraid to admit that I am not perfect. Think about how you would answer these questions and PLEASE share with me. I love to get feedback and read about what you are thinking!

1.  What's your daily skincare routine?
My daily routine has downsized greatly since having two kids, ages 4 and 3. I imagine sometime in their teens I will once again become a slave to my beauty regime, but for now I wash my face in the morning and put on sunscreen. If I remember, I will use my Vivite Daily Antioxidant Facial Serum.

At night when they are asleep, I have a little more time for myself. I use my Clarisonic brush and Vivite Exfoliating Facial Cleanser. Then I use Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. I usually try to wait a while between layering, so if I don’t fall asleep or get lost in an episode of Scandal or Once Upon A Time, I will then use Vivite Replenish Hydrating Creame and Vivite Revitalizing Eye Cream.


I was introduced to the Vivite line early last year when I bought a Groupon for some photofacial sessions (in a desperate desire to get rid of some of my sun damage.) These have been helpful in my neverending fight against sun damage.

2.  Have you ever used a tanning bed?
Unfortunately, yes. I used one on and off for about 6 to 8 months in my very early 20’s. BIGGEST REGRET OF MY LIFE. BIGGEST!

3.  A skin product you could never live without?
Sunscreen. I literally cannot live without it!  Everyone should get used to wearing it all the time at an early age.  I also would go nuts without a good exfoliating scrub for my face.  I love that “clean” feeling at the end of the day.

4.  Thoughts on spray tanning?
I used to think it was the GREATEST thing ever, although I have only had it done once. I was happy with the results, but concerned after reading the latest reports about how DHA could possibly  damage DNA and could actually promote the development or cancers, it’s just not worth it.  You can see my pictures from my MANY tans that I don’t have today, just the damage done by them.

5.  Favorite brand of sunscreen?
This is somewhat of a work in progress right now.  I am on a search for the ULTIMATE sunscreen with only GOOD stuff in it.  After my diagnosis of melanoma, I discovered that my favorite sunscreen contained a form of vitamin A, the main ingredient of Retin-A, which I used to put on my skin at night to help my acne. Each tube of prescription Retin-A came with a HUGE warning about the importance of wearing sunscreen when using it, because it made your skin more susceptible to sun damage.  So why would I have vitamin A IN my sunscreen? Just doesn’t make sense to me. I am currently trying Elta MD, California Baby, and awaiting for some ThinkSportKid to arrive.

6.  Biggest skincare splurge?
This one is tough.  There’s the $100 a tube Retin-A I used to buy 2 to 3 times a year. I used it to keep my acne in check (SO worth it). Then there were the forehead injections of Botox right before my wedding. Yes. I was only 31, but I have these wrinkles on my forehead that I earned from making faces at all people who either annoy me or my former students who would drive me crazy in class. I am a very expressive person. You can tell what I am thinking and feeling by reading my face. Unfortunately, my eyebrows are huge ways for me to express my annoyance. People swear they barely notice them, but it’s the first thing I see when I look at myself in the mirror.

 7. Celebrity with the most perfect skin?
I still tend to lean towards those women with NATURALLY tan skin as being the most beautiful, but I have definitely learned to appreciate some of the much fairer celebrities out there, especially the ones who have dark hair like me, with lighter skin. Wish I had picked up how beautiful that is a LONG time ago.


Had Lana been around (on TV that is ) in my early 20’s, maybe I would have appreciated my natural skin tone. She is beautiful and  she has those dark features I have (hair, eyes, eyebrows). I hope all young, dark haired, fairer skinned girls will start looking up to her as someone they can appreciate as fair and beautiful.  Notice the irony? I find her the fairest of them all, but she is the evil queen. 

8.  Feature you're most self-conscious about?
My VERY white legs. I used to consider my legs one of my absolute best features. Blessed with great calves from my dad’s side of the family and muscular quads from dancing, my always tan legs were something I was proud to show off. Once I got pregnant with my son and stopped wearing shorts for pretty much an entire year, my legs got snow white. So much so, my mom would constantly remark on how white they were. It’s tough for me now to show off my legs when they aren’t tan.

9.  What do you think about Botox?
I think if a few injections make you feel a little better about yourself, go for it. HOWEVER, this cannot be the ONLY thing that makes you feel good about yourself. Also, there is the huge risk of harmful effects they could discover down the line from Botox that we have yet to find out du It’s only been around about 20 years.  
But be afraid, be VERY AFRAID of too much. I had a few injections in my forehead and I promise you , for a month my left eyebrow sagged lower than my right. I was warned this could happen, and guess what, it did! I think this is why my eyes look crooked to me in my pictures even today!

10.  I feel most confident when...
I feel most confident when I am smiling and/or laughing. I feel like when I am truly happy everything about me can be beautiful. It also helps if I am wearing a cute outfit, shoes, and my hair is combed, but those days are few and far between lately. Smiling brings out my inner glow. The only glow we are ever really meant to have.

 One of my favorite pictures of myself. Notice I am NOT tan, but I am smiling. Every part of my face is smiling. When you are happy, you are beautiful. Remember that. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. No matter what age you are, if you aren't totally in love with yourself, what are you waiting for? It's time. Think happy thoughts!

Thanks for reading. Thanks to Katie and Erin for having me as part of their link up.

Until next time practice safe sun and self love!!!


  1. Loved reading your post, beautiful girl!

  2. I love it! Thanks so much for participating!

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! A few people have mentioned the Clarisonic so I might need to jump on that bandwagon. And you're right about that picture of you, you do look so happy and beautiful :)