I know for this ChronicBabe blog carnival we’re supposed to write about our tips and techniques for taking care of ourselves. I could write about hot water bottles or bags of frozen peas, drugs that help or meditation techniques that make me feel better. But I’m not going to do that.
For me, the most important part of taking care of myself goes beyond flares and remission, beyond migraines and PSA. For me, the most important thing is simply this: What can I do to make myself feel more like the me of old, the healthy me, the me that didn’t worry about self-care tips and tools?
And that’s a mite trickier. (At least, for me it is.)
I don’t know about anyone else, and I’m certainly not trying to be a mouthpiece for all patients — or even all of us out there with PSA — but I struggle to find a balance between the me-that-was and the woman that’s here now. I’m not even sure if striving to stay true to that girl is healthy or even feasible, but at this point in my life, it’s something I need to at least try to do.
So. How do I do it?
First things first. I am all about makeup tricks that make me look like I’ve got a healthy glow, instead of a pale, bags-under-eyes whatever the opposite of glow is. Un-glow, maybe. For that, my friends, I need makeup and skin products. Not a ton, mind you, but some are certainly needed to mask lack of sleep or a face taunt with pain. But before you can put makeup on, you must start with a clean face. In the morning, that means two Aveeno products: the Positively Radiant morning scrub and the Positively Radiant moisturizer with SPF 30 in it. I don’t compromise on the SPF. It helps my face look brighter because it’s got some kind of light-reflecting pearls in it. I don’t know really how it works, but it does, so I don’t ask questions. On days when I’ve got puffy bags under my eyes, I’m a fan of the Aveeno Positively Radiant. But, when my dark circles are so bad that they’ve got to be concealed, I use MAC’s Fast Response Eye Cream, which is a great base for under-eye makeup, but not so much for de-puffing the eye area. To conceal, I’m a big fan of the Physician’s Formula concealers, for under the eye and for the odd pimple I get.
So. Not looking tired anymore? Check.
Now, for the rest, I love to use the makeup I used before I got sick. I’m a fan of MAC, L’Oreal HIP and some Revlon eye makeup. You’ve got to use what works for you. But, to look really awake, I curl my lashes and apply one coat of mascara. I already have long lashes, so I use a volumizing formula, like L’Oreal’s Volume Naturale, or Cover Girl’s Eye Lights in Ruby Negro (since I have green eyes).
I don’t use foundation because my skin’s pretty good. When I did, I liked Neutrogena’s tinted moisturizer; it looks like your skin, but better. I’m also a huge fan of Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Blends for blush or NARS blush in Orgasm, which looks good on pretty much everyone. For lips, I go back and forth between a few different lipsticks. I use Jemma Kid’s nude lipstick, but it’s a bit drying, so I put on some Rosebud Salve underneath. I have a MAC cream lipstick in a red/magenta colour to use when I want some drama. I also love Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolor (I have three!). It’s really hydrating, so I don’t need to worry about lip balm underneath.
Now, for hair. On bad days, days when I’m not up to blow drying or running a flat iron through my hair, I use John Frieda’s curl collection and air dry my hair. Once it’s dry, I just put a bit of anti-frizz cream on it and I’m good to go. And I don’t know about the rest of you PSA ladies, but my skin is super dry. I love Nivea’s body lotions; they are amazing and keep my skin super soft.
And that’s it. It just takes 20 or so products to keep me looking like I did before I got sick. But, when I look better, I feel better, so that’s really important to me. What tips and tricks do you all use to keep the world from knowing just how bad you’re feeling?