Last month I took my son out to dinner. As the waitress brought our check, she said that my skin looked amazing and asked what I used. I gave her a brief rundown (Retin-A and a new CC cream) and encouraged her to try it out for herself. As she left, my son looked at me from across the table and said, "Your skin may look amazing because of that stuff you're putting on it, but you're still going to die one day." (He can't help himself - He lives in New Orleans, surrounded by cemeteries.) After making a mental note to work on his conversational skills before he's old enough to date, I made a decision to finally see my doctor for a much overdue checkup.
I hate going to the doctor. I don't know why I hate it so much, but I do. Because I don't get sick that often, I find it's easy to let checkups slip by. But I knew that I needed help, had known it for at least a year. There was the sudden onset of anxiety, the lack of mental acuity and the inability to focus, the general exhaustion and fatigue, the irritability, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, a creeping sense of depression, the needle on the scale that didn't move backwards no matter how little I ate, the pain I was starting to feel in my bones and joints...I thought that I was experiencing perimenopausal symptoms, something a girlfriend's doctor had said could start as early as your mid-thirties. That thought was depressing, too. My skin might be in good shape, but it didn't feel like anything else was.
I finally went, and after a battery of tests I got an early birthday present - a prescription of Synthroid and Vitamin D. A low thyroid and a Vitamin D deficiency (clearly I've been too good about using sunscreen) could be responsible for my entire litany of complaints. The rest of me was just fine, with menopause out in the distant future.
It will take a little while for me to start feeling better, but I feel hopeful, something I haven't felt in awhile. I've also started taking my health more seriously, partnering with a friend for regular exercise and taking advantage of the umpteen green smoothie recipes on the web to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Because really, what good is younger looking skin if you feel like crap?
PRODUCT NOTES FOR THE YEAR:
SKIN: Overall, I find I'm using less makeup than ever before and I've stopped using foundation altogether, a big money saver.
I've been an ardent fan of Smashbox BB Cream (in the new shade, Light/Neutral, which is perfect for me). But it was sold out when I needed it and the saleswoman suggested It Cosmetics' CC+ Cream, a full coverage CC Cream that I can wear without moisturizer underneath (impossible for me with the BB Cream). I apply it with a damp BeautyBlender sponge for sheer coverage, but it's buildable to almost a full coverage foundation. With a light hand, I think it's absolutely gorgeous on skin. To set it, I use a dusting of Smashbox Halo Powder.
BROWS: Thinning brows are definitely an issue, but I'd rather have thinning brows than see any sort of pencil line. I think the Smartbrow set is absolutely worth the money if the color match is good. I found the Brunette to be slightly too light for my natural brow color and Brown/Black to be slightly too dark. But the effect of it is really nice and natural looking. A better color fit for me (and less expensive) is Gimme Brow from Benefit Cosmetics.