Great recommendations

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After my sister shared her beauty essentials, I ran right out and bought one of the more affordable items: L’Oreal’s Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream.

Some of the online reviews said it made your skin turn orange. I ran that claim past Bran and she dismissed it, so I pulled the trigger. And I love it! It goes on like a white moisturizer the color of vanilla bean ice cream (it has little color flecks in it) but has a mattifying effect. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a slick of make-up. I feel more like myself. Love that!

P.S. I just have to give a plug to Wal-Greens. The ladies who work in the beauty area keep a plastic recipe box of coupons, and they hook you up! She gave me all kinds of discounts. Amazing service from a lady who probably makes minimum wage.

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When I was a teenager, I had horrible acne. I was super self-conscious about it and always wore heavy foundation. In school, I would go into the restroom during class and spiral into picking my face in the mirror until it was red. Then I’d step back and go, ‘Oh shit, what have I done? I have to walk back into class now!’ My poor mom tried every drugstore medication she could find. I used Noxema, Clearasil, intensely sting-y astringents, all that business. She even answered an ad in the local weekly paper for some homemade stuff that we went and picked up at some lady’s house after work one night. Looking back it was obviously a scam, but she was desperate for me. Eventually, on a pretty modest weekly income, she paid for me to see a dermatologist and I got on stuff like tetracycline and weird stuff you had to keep in the fridge. I was on Retin-A before it was fashionable.

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Still am!

Anyway, I finally went on Accutane. I am grateful to whoever invented that scary but seriously effective little pill; it is a lifesaver.

Years later, breakouts don’t rule my life but they still happen. I took my sister’s advice — I know she’s sworn by this stuff for years — and picked up some Persa-Gel. The stuff works great for garden variety breakouts.

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Before I blogged about Bran’s skin care picks, she had texted me about this stuff and it was on my bathroom counter a few days later. Obagi’s Vitamin C – 20% serum goes on in the morning, and has a smoothing, tightening, glow effect. It could be in my head but my skin seems healthier since I started using it.

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Lastly, a great recommendation from the Cupcakes & Cashmere blog: Bioelements Kerafole mask. The C&C blogger leads a life that makes me seethe with envy. She spends half her day doing her blow-out and picking out her $800 outfit, and the second half decorating her awesome L.A. bungalow. Money is no object in her world. But I still read her because occasionally I get some good ideas, and I like to live vicariously through her.

She mentioned this mask so I went online to read the reviews. People were RAVING about this stuff. Not one negative comment. So I gave it a try. It looks like almond butter but smells like cinnamon and clove. It has a warming effect — okay, some might call it “stinging” effect — when you first put it on. In my book, that’s a good thing. It means something is happening. They say “it purges your skin of toxins.” Now we all know that’s a bunch of marketing hooey but it did make my skin really soft and smooth. It even seemed a little clearer.

Sometimes this beauty stuff is so mental, isn’t it?

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