Me, me, me

This sounds like a selfish post because it is. It’s not my fault but hubby’s and I think he partially regretted bugging me about it because now, he’s created a MONSTER!

Every time we go shopping, he’ll ask, “What do we need?” and after rattling off the odd grocery or home item, I’d follow on with, “Do we need to get anything for HIM?”

Of course, I’m referring to our son and usually, it’s either his nappies, cereal, toiletries, toys and lately, clothes.

With very limited time between the two of us nowadays, we operate on a “grab-and-go” mode and to the-last-thing-I-want-to-do-is-shop hubby, this m.o. works perfectly for him.

So…I was quite surprised when on a couple occasions, he actually asked me to stop thinking of the baby for once and not go to the baby food section or baby clothes sections. He was actually quite nice to suggest,

“Don’t you NEED anything? Don’t you WANT anything? Can you think of yourself for once?”

In my mind, I was thinking:

      1. a relaxing holiday at a beach hotel lazing in the room/pool and pigging out
      2. a very good aromatherapy massage
      3. a badly needed facial
      4. a professional haircut
      5. a resurrection of my yoga classes with the instructors I like
                 6. a whole new wardrobe

Hmm…I must come across as real shallow woman. But in reality, I’m a real grunge. In fact, Sandra Bullock’s FBI character in “Ms Congeniality” is very much me except that I’m not blessed with a slim body, straight manageable hair, height, oval-shaped face, normal skin, perfectly-shaped eyebrows, perfect nails, small feet, plump lips etc. So, you can imagine, for me, to look decent takes a lot of work!

Ok, I don’t look this:

But neither do I look like this:

So, how? I’m quite vain actually but it’s just that I couldn’t be bothered to do the whole make-up thing every waking day of my life. And right after delivery, I found it really hard for any clothes to fit and ended up wearing almost every one of hubby’s XL sized t-shirt and shorts on casual days besides the early preggiewear. I was so exhausted from the first-time-Mum paranoia, breastfeeding and work that I DIDN’T REALLY CARE how I looked.

Until one colleague pointed out that my son is such a handsome boy, the mummy should also look pretty, and not like the maid! Ok, that’s quite unfair towards maids but generally, maids are not lucky to get benevolent employers who would kit them up well…anyway, point well taken. It was time to DO SOMETHING!

I didn’t get 1-6 but I did run an inventory check on my skincare and makeup. I found my 6-year old make-up collection by Elizabeth Arden I’d got for my wedding and a whole make-up pouch of lipsticks which I hardly use. I found some of the EA lip pencils and lipsticks mossed over so I chucked them immediately. Then, I opened up each lipstick in my pouch and SERIOUSLY WONDERED if I was stupid or anal when I bought them because almost each one of them was this fuschcia-y color which didn’t go with my skin tone at all!

Next, I grouped up skincare items into one or two containers – anyone knows where I can get one of those nifty-looking make-up cases that professional make-up artists use (glammed up version of men’s toolboxes)? Very useful for a pack rat like me.

Not bad as I still had a range of cleanser, toner and moisturizer by Dermalogica, which costs a bomb! I’m not sure if it works on my skin coz I have to have combination skinlah but I love the smell of the moisturizer. I’m quite used to an alcohol-based skincare range so when these alcohol-free stuff came into the market, I found the clear toners quite difficult to adjust to since the don’t leave you with that CLEAN, SCRUBBED feeling alcohol-based toners do.

However, the Bobbi Brown range of make-up I bought 3 years ago (foundation cake, concealer and blusher stick) turned out to dark for me. How do I know that? I slapped all of them on one day and a few people asked if I’d been in the sun a lot in Sri Lanka. They’re only 5% used so I managed to persuade my darker skinned sister to adopt them and hopefully, use them and not store them even longer than I did.

I really envy a friend of mine who uses the cheapest stuff on the block i.e. drugstore brands like Maybelline, Revlon, Nivea or Olay and they work great on her. On me, I’d get the worst case of blackheads, whiteheads and oiliness or maybe I haven’t tried them long enough? One cheap and good thing that works on me is Maybelline’s liquid foundation – it smooths on well, stays on long and is also quite good on shine control. Cost? RM39.90 for a tube vs. >RM100 for the Bobbi Brown one. I’d read about a new gel-based one which I may try after this one runs out.

I don’t know about other ladies but I found that my skin tone and texture changed a bit after pregnancy. During pregnancy, my skin was great (sigh.) I think it’s turned slightly lighter but it’s also greasier now and with no time/energy for facials, my blackheads are having a ball. In an effort to address the situation, I bought this and this from Lancome. I’m more cost-conscious now and also don’t squirt out dollops of the product anymore.

On another occasion, I found that I needed an eyebrow pencil. Eyebrows are one of the toughest zones for me as they’re not naturally shaped, which means I’ve got to tweeze, brush and trim those caterpillars into place. And if I’m not careful (which happened once), I’d tweeze more than I should – leaving me with blank spots in exactly the same places on both brows. He he I’m more careful now. Anyway, I’ve got the eyebrow pencil now, settling on one by Estee Lauder, which on hindsight, costs too much for just a pencil.

Finally, with so many stupid fuschcia lipsticks, I needed a nice, brown-toned one that would go with almost anything, that I went to my favorite Clinique counter. The only ones they had were Berry Freeze, which looks awfully dark on me now and Allheart, which is quite a nice color but I didn’t dare get it for fear it’s in the cool region too. I settled on a nice shade from Estee Lauder and wow, I didn’t realize that lipsticks cost a good RM60++ now…where are the old days of RM42 per lipstick? Even then, I complained but my cursed dry lips really needed Long Last Soft Shine ones. I’ve tried Revlon, Maybelline, Loreal, MAC and even Avon but found Clinique to have a nice texture.

With my armory stocked up now, I have been diligently slapping on the works this past week. And I’m aiming to get my skincare and make-up routine done in 10 minutes tops. Is that a reasonable speed? I’m currently at a tortoise pace of almost 3o minutes.

Sigh, the things a woman has to do. I blame it all on the magazines who dish out beauty advice according to the age groups…to think I used to read the section titled “twenties” 😛

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  • Sasha Link

    Hi..i uses cheap stuff like maybelline also and i love it. For nice foundation look, use a slightly wet sponge and use it to apply foundation all over. Can’t use the maybelline liquid foundation dunno why. A good lipstick that is moist and nice is Christian Dior Addict. Very nice for me cos i have dry and chapped lips.. For the eyes..I dont use eyebrow pencil…cos to me its abit fake. So use the tiny brush and colour palletes..much natural and fast!

    and yes..Mommy should look YummyLicious!!!

  • Anonymous Link

    Kitty, I like your latest post. Unfortunately or fortunately, looking good is part of being a parent – to make our kids feel good and proud of us.I also think we are a better parent if we think of ourselves more often. I don’t stop going to baby section in supermarkets totally but will not buy if its not necessary. Well, we only do our best don’t we!

  • Kit Link

    Sasha – You use Maybelline too? I’m glad to know. I know Bobbi Brown sells eyebrow powder but so $$$ wor. Know any cheaper alternative?

    Anonymous – I like the tagline “Looking good is part of being a parent”! Hubby was saying our son may want a hot looking Mum when he’s eleven or so to show off to his friends hehe