Beauty Blog: January Faves

After two years of “letting myself go,” I decided to get back into the world of beauty.

Screenshot from West Side Story; graphic by me.

The crazy thing about depression is that it will absolutely make you despise the practices that can actually help you feel like a person. This can range from not brushing your teeth to not showering. For me, it was beauty.

Before my depression consumed my life, I used to meticulously apply winged eyeliner eyes and curl my lashes every day. I loved perusing the shelves of the local beauty supply store with my mom — who’s a cosmetologist (and medical assistant and accountant and resident Wonder Woman) — or dreaming of all the fancy vials of skincare products I’d buy at Sephora if I had infinite money. Beauty was something exhilarating and fun. It wasn’t a necessity, and I certainly didn’t need makeup to feel pretty or anything, but it brought me joy and gave me a routine.

But two years ago, I fell into such a deep depression that even washing my face seemed like an arduous, insurmountable task. I simply just stopped caring about my appearance, but in an unhealthy, detrimental way. Luckily, I made life changes that got me out of the hole I was in, but I never really got back into the habit of doing beyond the bare minimum until a few months ago. Now, I can at least put some damn blush on!

That’s all to say: I’m back, bitch! While I’m no YouTube MUA or TikTok beauty queen, I’m gonna start blogging at least once a month about the beauty products or trends I’m obsessed with. It’ll be fun! Have any ideas or recommendations? Tweet me: @IzzieRamirez or respond in the comments. Let’s get to it!

Note: All of these items were purchased with my own money or gifted to me from my mom. These brands are not paying me to blog about them!

Skincare:

Fresh Sugar Face Polish
Yes, I know I can make my own sugar scrub at home for less than $5. I know. But this particular scrub oddly reminds me of the sweet tea I’d have back home. Plus it’s not harsh. I tend to use this 1–2x a week in the shower, especially if I worked out that day. It’s a treat if you can swing it, but be careful, you’ll get addicted!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Face Oil
I would have never bought this for myself since a one ounce bottle costs about 52 bucks, but I scored this bad boy as a Christmas gift. The smell can be overwhelming if you’re not into lavender or primrose, but for me, it works. Also, you only really need 2–3 drops for your skin to feel moisturized. I don’t really know if it actually reduces fine lines — I don’t really believe in anti-wrinkle propaganda anyway—but I’ve noticed that I don’t have to use as much moisturizer during the daytime anymore!

Hair:

Living Proof Curl Conditioner
Okay, story time: I have the horrible, horrible tendency to buy shampoo when I mean to buy conditioner. I don’t know how this happens, but my brain short-circuits and refuses to pick up the bottle I meant to buy. My shower has four different types of shampoos right now, when I meant to replace my Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Conditioner (which is lovely!!!). Anyhow, I have been out of conditioner for a month and no one near me sold Carol’s Daughter and I was reluctant to order a drugstore shampoo online, so I went ahead and got this Living Proof one. Let me tell you, it’s soooooo good. Both my boyfriend and I have curly hair and our curls went from soft but okay to defined and spiraled! Also, it smells like grapefruit, aka my fave scent! Once I run out of shampoo (lol), I might try its sister product.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer
Since I was already ordering the Living Proof conditioner online, I figured I may as well get some hair products too. This shit goes hard. It’s kinda reminiscent of the It’s A 10 Leave In Conditioner I used in middle school, but it’s way more effective. I put some in my hair last night after I showered, and I woke up with curls everywhere (good, but they’re all in weird places). I’ll probably use this next time during the day and not at night as a styling product. I don’t know how it does as a heat protectant since I don’t blow dry or straighten my hair, but I’ll let y’all know when I do…

Body:

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream
I despise grandma-smelling lotions. I also hate it when it doesn’t absorb into your skin. This lotion, thankfully, has none of those qualities. It glides onto your skin, gets quickly absorbed, and smells like nothing. The platonic ideal! I’ve had this lotion for years and sometimes I delude myself into trying a different one and then I get disappointed because nothing can compare to the texture of this one from Neutrogena. It’s also affordable!

Makeup & Tools:

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Spice
I’m a big fan of Fresh’s products, if you couldn’t already tell, to the point where all my friends and family members know to buy me their gift sets for my birthday or for Christmas. I have several trial-sized versions of the different Sugar Lip Balms (specifically Rose, Poppy, and Tulip) that I love and use regularly, but I was looking for something a bit more neutral. I’m glad I bit the bullet: Spice is a warm desert rose color and it looks great on my olive skin. It’s a shame that it will only be seen on me during Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future.

Elf Eyelash Curler
I personally don’t believe in buying expensive eyelash curlers because you need to replace the rubber pad regularly. This one from Elf is cheap ($3!), easy to clean, and works with my downward-facing lashes. It’s also a great eyelash curler for someone who is just starting out and doesn’t want to spend a ton on something that might go unused!

Writing about climate, culture & comida wherever I go. Work in: GEN, Bitch Media, VICE, Jezebel, and then some. Medium’s resident Gen Z kid.

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