beauty

How I Cover Scars & Blemishes with Drugstore Makeup

Pin it, baby!

Pin it, baby!

I have battled acne since eighth grade. I have tried all the expensive products, I have gone on medication, I have tried all the natural remedies, I have balanced my hormones, I have changed my diet a hundred times, and my skin just breaks out bad once every month. I also scar very easily, which has left me with permanent marks on my face from my teen years when my breakouts were far worse than they are now. I used to go to expensive makeup stores and get top quality products to give me the appearance of smooth skin.

I spent a lot of money. It came to a point where I realized the hundreds of dollars that were going into covering my scars and blemishes and I just wasn't okay with it anymore. I decided to go on a hunt for drugstore products that would provide great coverage, natural shades that matched my skin tone, and didn't give my husband a heart attack every time he checked the balance of our bank account.

After trying a bunch of different products, I was astounded to find that the drugstore makeup I settled on was actually, in my opinion, better than the high-priced makeup I had been using before.

Today I'm getting into a really vulnerable place with you all for the sake of maybe helping someone else with skin problems. I'm not looking to get emails about products that I should try or things that worked for someone else who needed to clear up their skin, I'm not looking for rude comments about what my face looks like naked, I'm not even looking for compliments. I simply want to inform and help others who might feel like I do about their skin, and just want to cover flaws (and be able to afford it) so they can leave the house with confidence.

Here is my skin without any makeup, freshly washed, on a pretty bad breakout day, without any filters or editing.

As you can see, there is a ton of scarring on my temple, where I once had extremely bad cystic acne in high school. Yesterday there was more redness, things are dying down today as I treated my breakouts last night. But this is a pretty typical day during my "breakout week", as I call it.

Here is what my skin looked like the day before yesterday, on my worst breakout day, with makeup on, in natural light, no filter or editing of any kind.

Sure, you can look closely and see a couple breakouts, but there is a world of difference here, and you'd never guess that I have two blemishes that are completely inflamed and painful. You'd also never guess that every single product I use on my face is from the drugstore, the most expensive one ringing up at $12.99. 

Here's what I use...

Primer: Rimmel London Stay Matte

I learned through experience that primer is a must-have. I use to skip it, but once I found a good one at a high-end makeup counter and saw how it filled in indented scars and smoothed out my skin, I never went back. Finding a good primer at the drugstore was a challenge since most of them are total crap. Rimmel London's did not disappoint. In fact, I liked it just as much as the expensive one I was using before than cost me $30. This one rings up at around $5. 

Concealer: Hard Candy Glam Heavy Duty Concealer & pencil

This. Stuff. Is. Amaaaaaaaaazing. I cannot boast about this concealer enough. It changed my life, really. Use the little pencil to draw a circle around a blemish, then put a tiny dot of concealer over it, and it will be minimized almost completely. Some makeup artists say to use concealer under your foundation and some say over. I have found that using it both times is very effective for how marked up my skin is. I apply a dot of concealer to each blemish or heavily-scarred area of my face immediately after applying primer, then I use my foundation, then I do the pencil-concealer technique. I use a shade lighter than my foundation. I have only been able to find Hard Candy's products at Walmart, which I hate, but it's worth a quick stop for this magic. You can also buy it online once you know which shade looks best on you. My previous concealer was about $25. This one works 100% better and is only $6. 

Foundation: Revlon Colorstay Whipped

I'd say finding a foundation was the most difficult part of this process for me. I am very picky about my foundation matching my skin color exactly, and I need a lot of coverage, but don't like to look like I've got pounds of makeup caked on. Revlon Colorstay delivers. It gives me a smooth, flawless finish, and BONUS: it stays on all day! I very rarely need to reapply to go somewhere at the end of the day. I have seen this foundation at Target for $10.99 and I've seen it for $12.99. Either way it's a heck of a lot better than my old total, which was anywhere from $30 to $79. Ouch. 

Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte Long-Lasting Pressed Powder

I had been using a translucent loose powder by NYC when a friend of mine mentioned how much she loves Rimmel London's powder for the extra coverage it gave her. I tried it out and have been using it for over a year now. I once used a powder that cost $65 at Sephora, and in total honesty, I feel like this powder comes

very

 close to the coverage and finished look that powder gave me. This rings up at around $4.

Note: In my experience, what you use to apply your foundation makes a huge difference. After speaking with a makeup professional and trying different options, I have found that using a natural hair foundation brush gives the best and most flawless finish. I have used several different brands ranging from high to low prices, and I didn't really notice a huge difference. The one I have now is one I grabbed at Walmart the last time I picked up concealer, and I love it as much as the expensive one I bought at Sephora last year. 

Those are the products I use as a base to cover blemishes and give me more of a flawless canvas to work with before I move on to the rest of my makeup. I hope this helps! If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask in the comments. I'll always get back to you.

Note: Since these products contain ingredients that can agitate skin prone to breakouts, it's important to wash it off every night and give your skin plenty of makeup-free days to breathe!

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NOTE: This post was written years ago, and since then I have learned so much and have partnered with 13+ year makeup expert, Jaime McLaughlin, to help you confidently apply makeup.

she also joined me for a super fun episode of THE PURPOSE SHOW!

The Problem With Eva Mendes' Sweatpants Comment

Eva Mendes recently made a comment that's gone viral, and has moms everywhere upset, and maybe some feeling a little demoralized. While yesterday, she came back with an apology statement (read: brushing it off as "just a bad joke"), I find it hard to believe because of how shamelessly her initial comment was said.

Whether her comment was just a joke or kind of mean, it really doesn't matter to me. I don't keep up with celebrities by any means. I usually only hear about things that "go viral" in passing via articles on Facebook, and I normally only read the titles. With Eva's comment though, I looked into it because someone that is idolized, put on a pedestal, and watched by many women in the world said something dispiriting to real life moms.

Let me say, I am not here to harp on Eva Mendes, to talk badly about her, or shame her without her being here to defend herself. What I am here to do is shine a little light on grace from this small stage this blog has brought me, because I want to do good from here. I want to encourage mothers, not discourage them with my words. And right now, I feel like there's a dusting of discouragement over real life moms.

So, I may be wrong, but from what I gathered while looking into this, Eve Mendes and Ryan Gosling have been dating off and on since late 2011. They have a newborn baby together and are not married. I mentioned her comment to my husband this morning and asked for his thoughts.

"The problem with her comment is, whether it was a joke or not, they aren't married, they're still dating, she's been a mother all of what- a few months?- and her status and her boyfriend's status means that she has a ton of pressure on her to be perfect. I think this is more about who she's dating and the pressure there than it is about everyday moms, but if she can't be comfortable around the father of her child, then there's a problem. That isn't real life."

He's right. Real life is messy and raw and hard. It doesn't consist of personal trainers and chefs, nannies and superstar boyfriends. For us, it's commitment to love no matter what, it's putting your kids before yourself, it's getting dressed for the day based on how much you're going to be crawling around on the floor with your babies, and being comfortable in the refuge of your husband's promise to love you.

As Brian said, "It's one thing to completely let yourself go and not put in any effort. It's another thing to be a beautiful person who I adore, and be comfy in sweatpants because cleaning and playing is what your day is made of. Personally, I love when you wear sweatpants. You're cute in everything, But we've loved each other for a decade, we've created four human beings together. We aren't still dating and we don't have anything to prove. The two situations aren't comparable."

If you've been around this blog for a bit, you know that I have talked a lot about putting in effort to your physical health and appearance for your husband's sake, but sweatpants are not the problem here. I've said before that most of my days at home with the kids are spent with hair fixed and a little makeup, a cute tee and sweatpants. The "number one cause of divorce" isn't your cozy pants. I'd say bitterness, unhealed heartbreak, and selfishness are the top contenders for that title.

A husband's opinion? "Take care of yourself, feel beautiful, love your husband, be a happy wife, and he won't even notice the sweatpants."

Depression + Motherhood

If you've been around my blog for awhile, you probably know that I struggle with depression. Today I want to really open up and talk about it, in hopes that it will raise awareness and help somebody. Depression and motherhood are common acquaintances, and not enough people are talking about it openly.

At the end of my first pregnancy, I began to feel "off". I was sad, uninterested in the things that I normally loved, and I couldn't figure out what exactly it was or why I felt that way. After Bella was born, I fell into severe post-partum depression (PPD), which lasted for about 18 months. My case was a bad one. I physically could not get myself out of bed. I am not a person who enjoys relying on others; I'm a go-getter, an I-got-this kind of person, and I normally enjoy waking up and getting out and being productive. I felt my depression physically, it was so bad. It felt like I had black clouds stuck in my head and pressing down on my chest, causing severe fatigue and a feeling of hopelessness. I had no natural motherly insincts. It was like they wouldn't stick to me because I was so immersed in depression. When Bella would cry, I felt nothing. Not anger or irritation, not sadness or sympathy... just nothing. My baby's cry had no affect on me, and neither did her cooing, her laughter, her growth. I was lifeless. When I watch videos of myself at that time, I can't help but cry. I wish I could reach out to that girl and take away her pain. I was so confused by what was happening to me.

We lived with my parents at the time, and my mom and husband both saw there was something very wrong, but didn't know what or why or what to do. When they tried to talk to me about it or help me, that's when the only emotion I sometimes felt would come out- anger. I got a prescription for an anti-depressant from a doctor but I didn't want to accept that kind of help. I was scared of what the drug might do to me, and I didn't want to become a robot. I didn't take the meds and the depression held on until about fifteen months after Bella was born. The clouds lifted a little, and I became pregnant again. I believe the hormonal changes in my body caused my serotonin (the happy hormone your brain produces) levels to boost, and I felt the depression had passed completely around eighteen months after it began.

The hardest part of this part of my life is that my depression was so deep and debilitating, that as I look back, there are blank spaces in my brain, and I have no memories of my baby girl during her first year of life. When I look at photos or watch her baby videos that I am in, it freaks me out because I do not remember being there at all. PPD took over my body, my mind, and my life, and it robbed me of the most precious memories that should have been mine to remember the rest of my life.

 When my second child, Leland was born, PPD hit me again. I panicked at the thought of losing my bond with my son and my memories. I went right away and got medicine, which helped get my serotonin level where it needed to be in six months' time, at which point I weaned off the medicine. The important thing to note here is the type of depression. For me, this was not the "baby blues". It was an extreme, life-altering, deep depression that was ruining my life and my family. It was not a situational depression (brought on by difficult circumstances). It was a chemical imbalance that needed to be treated just the same as if I had diabetes.

I did not have PPD at all after my third baby, Hudson was born. It's funny because there was so much bad going on in my life that I think I should have struggled with depression, but I had absolutely none. This confirms even more that what I experienced before was an imbalance that I could do nothing about without medical help.

Although I didn't struggle with PPD after my last birth, since I became a mom, I have battled on and off with depression (situational depression and depressive "lulls", not the same thing as PPD). Having gone through so much and experienced both, I can tell when what I'm struggling with is a lull, and when I have a chemical imbalance that requires medical help. I hadn't really had more than a bad week for three years until a couple months ago. I woke up one morning and could feel the difference. I didn't want to get out of bed, hopelessness seemed to have settled over me overnight, and I felt fear get me. I was depressed. Again. For those who haven't struggled in the past and are unclear about depression, it is very real, it isn't an excuse to be lazy, it isn't a thing of the imagination, it can become physically painful, and it does not mean you are being punished for something wrong you did. I have heard all these things said to me, and I will not tolerate any such comments, let me be clear on that.

For me, depression looks like this:
Lack of interest in things I normally love, like reading, Zumba class, being outside, writing, going out to dinner, etc.
It's usually accompanied by anxiety.
Daily tasks feel as daunting as climbing a mountain. Seriously. Getting off the couch to switch the laundry feels completely overwhelming. Showering, doing my makeup, and getting dressed for the day doesn't happen.
Avoiding family and friends.
Binging on junk food.
Just not caring in general, about anything.
Snapping at my kids a lot more than just the usual end-of-the-day burn out.
Feeling really unhappy and irritated with my life or my day.

In contrast, for me, a lull is just a bad day or maybe a bad week, where some of the things I listed above come into play and I am not myself. A lull comes from getting overwhelmed, giving in to my tendency of laziness for more than one day, not spending time with the Lord, not getting out of the house much, a difficult time in my marriage, or not taking care of myself (health, and emotions). A lull goes away quickly and pretty easily. Depression lingers and is very heavy, but can still be overcome.

It is so easy to brush off the signs of depression and ignore it, but it's a serious thing that will be helped by accepting the problem and prayerfully seeking treatment- whether that means you need medicine to balance yourself, or you just need to make yourself better through personal changes. Today I really just wanted to clarify what depression usually looks like and also clearly explain the differences between a lull in the daily grind and serious depression. If you feel you may be depressed, please feel free to email me with any further questions you might have!