Is it an image of success? Or one of failure? It’s a strong word that. Failure. And I believe we use it way too much. Because really, just having got out of bed and fixed the sheets is a success. If you’ve got a pet you’ve probably fed it and possibly yourself. You may have said a prayer if you’re a religious person. And most of us will already have an idea of what we want to do with our day and been in contact with friends or family.
So really, the day will have got off to a fairly good start.
But have you said anything positive to or about yourself today? Or have you focused on the negatives? The washing up left in the sink from last night’s dinner or the hoovering that needs doing?
I’ve written recently about self judgement and the ways in which others judge us. Or at least, the way we think they’re judging us.
I’ve been in hospital not too long ago and when going through my medical history and what medication I’m on, the nurse’s voice often turns to a bit of a whisper when going on to ask about my alcohol consumption and what I’m doing about it.
Immediately I feel judged and ashamed. I feel like a failure.
The image of the below was sent to me when I was going through a particularly tough time. And when I spoke to friend of mine who is very religious she told me to rememver that Jesus doesn’t judge me. He loves me. And he forgives me. That’s positive self talk.
So why do we judge ourselves so harshly?
If we take the statement from the image and apply it to ourselves we face the question of why we allow ourselves to believe the judgements of others or our assumption of their judgements?
Perhaps instead we shout be asking: what is that person thinking and feeling? Can we help them? The obvious reaction might be to feel resentment towards them but does that help us ourselves or them?
I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. But maybe this is the exception to the rule.
I don’t have the answers to any of these questions but they’ve been circling round in my head and I’d love to hear what anyone’s thoughts are. (if you’d read this post this far. I know it’s a bit of a ramble).
And there I go again – self judgement and assuming no one will find it interesting. I want to read more into what has been written on the topic and I’ll blog about what I find out.
As the old adage goes: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
But what if you are both the subject as well as the beholder? Oh mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Right now, not me.
The other day I had a seizure in the street and dropped face down onto the pavement. 8 hours in casualty, stitches a cross my lips and a trip to the emergency dentist to confirm the mess I’d made to my teeth and I definitely feel anything but beautiful.
My chin looks like a firm blue plum, there’s crusty bits of blood on my face covering bruises that are too painful to scrub at. And don’t even get me started on my lips – the source of said stitches.
All in all, however much I try to tell myself it’ll pass all I can see reflected back at me is one hell of an ugly duckling.
But despite my desperate desire to layer on make-up I understand enough about beauty products to know that a lot of it will only dry my skin out further. And I mean, who wants to highlight chapped and stitched up lips dressed with flaking lipstick?
So I’ve been experimenting with lotions and potions that I’m hoping will help speed up recovery and give me the blank canvas I need to begin make-upping again. (in a later post I’m going to try out some new looks, break the make up regime rutt).
One of my favourite deep moisturising creams is Diprobase. The doctor has given it to me on prescription but I’m fairly certain it can be bought over the counter. It’s basically a very simple, perfume-free moisturiser and can be worn throughout the day as such. At night time – when no one can accuse you of looking like Mrs Doubtfire when she/he goes for the cream cake face mask as a disguise – you can layer it on thick. Applied prior to washing it can act as a barrier cream to stop the skin drying out. And there are other similar products such as E45 and Sudocrem that work well too.
Also, don’t turn your nose up at baby oil. As the name suggests it’s designed for, well, babies. But as far as I’m concerned it’s a lazy girl’s (ie me) moisturiser. Just slap it on after your bath or shower whilst you’re still wet and then dab dry. Et voila, baby soft skin in minutes.
For less intense hydration, nivea and simple are my favourite high street brands because my skin is prone to reacting with anything too perfumed and I find these much more gentle.
If I could afford it I love Clinique face creams and Clarins too.
But really, don’t dismiss the more affordable brands. They’ve served me well these past (I refuse to say how many!) years. And whilst I am going make up free by veritable force, why not try giving your skin a day off once a week?
As Audrey Hepburn once said: ‘Makeup can only make you look pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t help if you’re ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the makeup.’
Another product I’ve been trying out is scar oil (a previous seizure left me with a cut above my right eye). I’ve been using Bio Oil religiously since around Christmas time and it’s now almost gone. Of course, this can’t be used on open wounds and it does take until the bruising has gone down before you know what you’re working with and what difference it is making.
And it’s not just topical lotions and potions that help skin. Walk into the likes of Holland and Barrett and you are confronted with a multitude of products to help dry skin, greasy skin, sensitive skin, scarred skin… You name it, there’s almost definitely a herb based cure.
I love lavender. Not just because it helps me sleep – another route to healthier, brighter looking skin – but as documented on the 100percentpure blog, it’s good for treating acne, detoxifying skin, preventing wrinkles, unclogging pores and has anti-inflammatory properties
Lips wise, Nivea is once again near if not at the top of my go-to list. It might sound rather un-sexy but it’s plain, simple, and I’ve found my lips absorb it really well. Within just a couple of days of using it my peckers were smooth and pain free (this test was done prior to the whole stitches debacle).
Things I try to avoid are products like Vaseline, which I’ve found can dry out lips, and Carmex. Yes it tingles and feels nice but my lips become in a way addicted to it, so that if I stop using it they go straight back to how chapped and possibly worse as they were before. Blistex is another one. Great in small doses but, for me at least, not a long term
I’m sure there are far more expensive products out there – some that will work wonders, others for which you are simply emptying your purse for a brand name.
For now I’m happy with my simple, perfume-free options. And here begins my no make-up experiment. Enforced initially, yes, but I’m going to see how long I can last and what difference it makes to my skin.