context, baby

Obviously, the goal here is to write out my thoughts on products, but what does that even really mean without context? Our needs are inherently unique, so I thought maybe it would be helpful to give you some insights on my needs and preferences so you can better interpret my babbling.

This is going to be a LOT of information mind you.

Here we go:

on the topic of hair:

color: dark brown

density: lots of it

weight: fine

porosity: low

texture: 2b (wavy)

concerns:

scalp dryness/itching

dullness

breakage

dehydration

ingredients i avoid:

silicones

coconut oil

proteins

Like many girls, I hold a lot of my self esteem in my hair. I’ve always liked my hair, not that I’ve thought I had the best hair in the world but to be honest, people constantly expressing envy over a feature I have was enough to convince me that what I’ve got is some good stuff and I ought to be happy about it. About 5 years ago I developed a condition called Pili Torti which is “characterized by short and brittle hairs that appear flattened and twisted when viewed through a microscope”. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this change totally wrecked me mentally and emotionally which sounds absurd but when you’re proud of something specific about yourself and you tie a lot of your self worth in that thing, the loss is weighty. At first I thought I did something wrong, didn’t oil or deep condition enough. For years I blamed myself for the decline in quality of the hair in my crown area. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I found myself in a google search marathon at 3 am and stumbled upon the condition. Relief and disappointment. It might not have been my fault, but there is also nothing to really do about it.  So, the only thing I can do really, is appreciate the good hairs on my head and try and make the best of them.

I look for products that are highly hydrating but don’t weight my hair down as the individual strands are quite fine. Since I’m low porosity, I find that proteins make my hair *very* brittle, and there is a lot of danger in occlusives since they can lock out hydration from entering my hair, which I desperately need.

on the topic of skin:

I’m aging, it was bound to happen at some point but we’ve arrived at the marker in my life where “anti-aging” or “age prevention” products are appealing to me. I’ve been lucky, and aside from my skin reacting poorly to fruit juices, dairy, and over drinking alcoholic beverages, I have quite normal skin.

I am quite reactive to silicones, they make me insta break out and trust me if they didn’t I wouldn’t have any issue with them but it took many years of ingredient elimination to find out that they are indeed the culprit.

I live in south central texas, which means all year round its either the AC or heater running on full blast, which makes for some dehydrated skin.

I find that my skin dehydration exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and pores so really all three of those concerns can be knocked out by layering hydrating toners to the max.

I’ve started to see some sun spots on my cheekbone area, so I’ve been working on reducing those by exfoliating regularly and alternating vitamin c serums with some form of vitamin a. I have not started to, but am interested in, a full blown retinol situation because if my forehead lines set in I will feel a bit sore about it.

I will make a note that when it comes to my body skin, it’s a whole ‘nother story. The skin on my body has a boundless thirst and is super prone to dryness. I also have issues with itching following the dryness, and scratching causes raised bumps which become painful to the irritation of scratching, and here and there I find I am capable of scratching to the point where I will draw blood, so regular exfoliation and diligent moisturizing is necessary. Aside from that, yea, elasticity issues, cellulite, spider veins, the usual.

concerns:

dehydration

hyperpigmentation (sun spots)

loss of elasticity

fine lines

enlarged pores

cellulite

spider veins

itching

dryness

ingredients i avoid:

silicones

coconut oil

habits i avoid:

dairy

fruit juice

excessive alcohol

on the topic of maquillage:

desired effect:

dewy

sheer

preferred formulations:

creams

liquids

balms

things I avoid:

anything fussy

anything too pigmented

anything drying

anything too scented

Less is more for me. My face has some quite androgenous features, larger nose, thinner upper lip, bold brows, and I feel like it doesn’t carry makeup very well. I  very quickly look resemble a child who has stumbled upon her tacky aunt’s beauty stash and has gone a little too ham.
 
I like to keep things *chill* for my base, just even out my skin tone, maybe use a luminous primer to keep things looking hydrated.
 
My brows are already a lot, so I just need something strong enough to hold them upright because I enjoy that fluffy af look.
 
For my lids, I wear some pretty large glasses and I find that you can’t really see a whole lot of lid action through them so I honestly don’t really bother with anything there.
 
Lashes, I require curled at all times, I have very round eyeballs so my lash curler of choice will not agree with those who have flatter eye shapes.
 
Cheeks, I could not care about bronzer or contour or highlight but *blush*?! Well I like blush. I wanna look overheated all the time.
 
Lips, I like. balm, stain, or balmy gloss. Lipsticks are fussy and I don’t have the patience for them. I never mess with liners. It needs to look natural enough that nobody will notice when it inevitably fades. And of course it must be hydrating because I can’t stand the feeling of dry lips, I don’t know how anyone deals with not having freshly balmed lips at all times.
 
It gets a bit more complicated when we get into the colors I reach for or avoid and I think we’ll discuss that in a dedicated color theory/consideration post because that topic is a LOT.