Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Natural Beauty

I tell you sometimes it's just so hard to be naturally beautiful!

Wait, wait, wait.

Before you start hurling tomatoes at me give me a chance to explain.

I have good skin. I didn't do anything to deserve it and I don't treat it with much respect but the fact remains that my skin is pretty great. A nod goes to genetics on this one I guess. (In case you're already seething with anger at this post let me reassure you that genetics did me no favors in other areas and on top of that I'm obese so I have to savor and relish the gifts I was given. Ok?)

I have been pregnant twice before with exactly zero adverse effects to my skin. In fact, I think I probably had that pregnancy glow that just makes a lady radiant.

Or at least I like to think that I did.

This time around something has gone terribly wrong. Somehow some wires got crossed somewhere and instead of radiant glow I got a heavy dose of acne and "the mask of pregnancy."

What is "the mask of pregnancy" you might ask?

It's not a cool superhero accessory like you may have been led to believe. There are no sparkles or glitter involved whatsoever. Instead, it's a change in pigmentation on all the parts of your face that stick out. For someone with a robust face such as myself that means the area right above my eyebrows (but not my whole forehead), my nose, the apples of my cheeks, the space between my mouth and my nose (what is that called?) and a little bit of my chin.

I had heard of the mask before and assumed it was a redness or something and dismissed it. My face looks sunburned whenever I so much as walk across the room (I may be a little out of shape) so I figured if I ever got the mask no one would even notice. Easy peasy right?

Nope (insert sobs here)

A few weeks ago I went on a field trip with my youngest son at a beach. I got a little too much sun and came home thinking I had a weird sunburn and that my face was going to peel. Fast forward a couple weeks and my twins were having the same field trip and my face had still not peeled. I dutifully went along as a chaperone once again and this time I brought along a giant hat to shade my face and used SPF 70 twice during the field trip because my skin had acted a little funny the last field trip. Should have been safe right?

Oh so wrong!!!

I got back to school at the end of the day a hot, sweaty, red mess. Its really dirty at this particular beach so I thought I had a fine layer of dirt on me when I went in to freshen up in the bathroom. The ladies in the school office all commented that it looked like I had gotten a little too much sun. I went home that day and immediately poured the sand out of my shoes and hopped into the shower to scrub the grime of the day off. I came out squeaky clean.

Except for my face.

Those sticky out face areas I mentioned earlier all still looked like they had a fine layer of dirt on them. I was horrified!!! I googled, I scrubbed my skin raw and I made my husband try several different face masks with me to get rid of the problem (its not fun to do a mud mask alone!). Turns out your skin can react to the sun funny when you're pregnant and that it can be a cause of the mask. I bemoaned my situation on facebook only to discover that lots of people had it and some said it lasted years. YEARS!!!

Fast forward to the present and I have mostly been ignoring it. My face is red all the time anyways so I hoped no one would notice. I cringe every time I look in the mirror though. The other day I had to work on the playground field unexpectedly and I was unprepared for sun exposure. The mask darkened :( Then I caught my sister staring at my face with concern and discomfort the other day. She didnt know how to nicely tell me that I had 5 oclock shadow and/or dirt on my face. I explained the mask thing but her comments were the last straw.

So today I bought makeup. As previously noted, my natural beauty did not require any makeup up to this point in my life. I go bare faced all day everyday. It took 3 layers of different products and all sorts of goof ups this afternoon to get to a point I considered passable. And this is the point where I remain.

I now wear makeup and will for the foreseeable future. If you always wear makeup, more power to you. I have no problem with other people wearing it. It's just not something that I ever do. A little eyeliner and mascara occasionally sure, but that's it. I don't even know what some of the different products are, much less how to apply them etc... I'm considering getting one of those free beauty lessons at the Macys makeup counter but I know I'll give in to pressure and buy overpriced things I don't need. So for now I am braving the foundation and cover up section of the local big box store alone.

At this point I am not brave enough to post a picture of the mask or my attempts to cover it, but maybe someday.

How about you? What do you do to achieve "natural beauty"? (It is so weird to put on 3 layers of goo to attempt to look like you are wearing nothing) Did you get any weird pregnancy skin problems?

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