For veracity’s sake, I’m not wearing any makeup – Beauty Blogger, indeed…

So today, i’m feeling a bit under the weather – it’s that time of year for an auto-immune flare, and on top of that, i’m about due for the ol’ Crimson Wave; so i’m feeling about as fabulous as you’d expect. Cramps, aches, stomach issues, chills, and cranky as Hell. Luckily, i’ve got the day off (as I imagine a lot of you do). This time of year can be a real Bitchkitty for us Sick Chicks – the crazy weather (for those of us living in places like Chicago, where it’s 45 one day, and -20 the next), the Holiday pressure, family weirdness, etc…it can all add up to a big ‘ol case of the Mean Reds.

It’s definitely important to step back and take a day to take care of yourself – for some of us that’s easier said than done, but trust me, it’s important to do if you don’t want to ultimately make things worse for yourself.

Even if you’re NOT a Sick Chick, taking time for yourself this time of year is important – it’s far too easy to get over-stressed, having your resistance compromised, and end up getting sick. Or just wildly irritated with everyone who crosses your path. Not good. After all, we can’t just go cutting a swath of destruction through humanity right in the midst of the holidays because we didn’t take a moment, now can we?  So take a page out of Holly Golightly’s book – grab a croissant, put on your tiara, take a seat on the bathtub/sofa , and listen to your Auntie Monday.

Now, i’m pretty anti-social (possibly even sociopathically so…er) to begin with, so I have no trouble holing up in my apartment with my cats without communicating with another human being for an entire day, except for the nice ladies on Reddit about Asian Beauty stuff, Facebook, and Instagram. I don’t have to leave town for Christmas, so I can do that.

And since I don’t have anything pressing to do, everything else can wait. The only thing that needs to be done is the dishes, and they can wait until later, when i’m feeling a bit more human – which I will, once i’ve had a couple cups of weirdly flavoured but delicious coffee with a metric ton of cream, then finished nourishing myself with a good, healthy breakfast – because even if you’re not feeling like eating when you’re having a flare-up of your chronic illness, or if you’re suffering from depression (and the Holidays are prime time for chronic depression sufferers!), it’s important to keep yourself well-nourished, or you’ll just end up getting sicker. It’s important to take responsibility for our health, because no one else is going to do it for us. Then, i’ll do some pointless meandering on the internet, playing with the kittens, a nap, and then the real fun begins!

I’ll begin with a hair mask, then my weird Brussels Sprouts sheet mask that I picked up at Choc Choc, followed by some more K-Beauty treatments, and then to finish up, a nice, hot shower. By then, I should be feeling up to posting, and then, maybe i’ll even have an appetite for lunch. Considering how hard i’m PMSing, I doubt that will be a problem.

SO! Onward and upwards – keep reading to see how i’m managing my Mean Reds today…

After a healthy breakfast of ground turkey, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic and eggs over easy over a tiny bit of rice (because when i’m premenstural, I cannot resist the bit of grains) and some delicious, delicious coffee, I do my two-step face wash with my Klairs Deep Black Cleansing Oil and Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser  – also from Choc Choc. Can I just live there, Leah?!  I do the double wash in the a.m. because I use the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil at night most nights, and this morning I was up at 4:30 (thanks again, kitties!) and couldn’t go back to sleep.

NOW they want to sleep…

Not being able to get back to sleep when the little beasties wake me is always a sign i’m getting sick, by the way – so I got up and slathered some of my Ginseng Serum on, followed by my Drunk Elephant Lala Retro cream because I was feeling super tight and dry. That’s a lot of product over night. Plus, again, my skin was feeling super-dry, and the oil just gives me that extra punch of moisture.

I decided that while I did a face mask, i’d also give myself an Olaplex treatment – since I bleach my hair, I try to do an Olaplex at least once a week. It keeps my hair super-soft and healthy between bleaching/toning. I leave it on usually between 20 minutes to an hour, so I wet my hair before washing my face. After that, I patted on my Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence to prep my face for the Mask. Then, I was ready to go!

Olaplex,you’ve saved my bleached-to-Hell hair. A little goes a long way.

 

Good for your bod – good for your face? I’ll find out. For SCIENCE!

Right away, I noticed that this Skinfood Brussels Sprouts mask, unlike the excellent Snail Mask, smelt ever so slightly of alcohol! That did not bode well – and since the writing is all in Korean, I just decided to take my chances and slap it on and see what happened…for SCIENCE.

This is how you get a man on the internet!

Well, it dried out fairly quickly, and felt fairly cool but not all that moisturizing, which was ironic because it’s supposed to be for dry, rough skin (or maybe it’s meant to GIVE you dry, rough skin? It’s the only thing that’s in English on the package).

But, I still lay back and chilled out (although taking photos is not really relaxing, ha!).

Red, itchy cheeks/nose and pronounced naso-labial folds and various fine lines -AWESOME!

Once I peeled it off, I noticed that my skin had patches of red on the cheeks and nose, all my lines were blaring out at me like a neon sign on a strip club in Vegas, and i was feeling extremely dry! Not good. Pretty sure this had alcohol in it. Obviously i’ll have to step up the post-mask treatment to take care of the dryness. I’ll definitely not be repurchasing this mask!

Once I’m in the shower, which i’ve got on super-turbo-hot, I immediately rinse the mask off really quickly. Then I just stand there a bit to let the water un-knot my sore muscles. Generally, i’d take a bath and just soak for a long time – but somehow I ran out of candles, and I absolutely CANNOT take a bath with overhead lights on. It’s just gross. Ambiance is important! So instead, I just let the hot water beat into me for a good long while. Which feels awesome, because not only am I fighting a flare-up of Hashi’s and Lyme, but i’m PMSing like a MF.

 

My platinum pixie’s Dynamic Duo

Once I feel a bit less like an Ent, I cool the water down a bit and get to work on my hair. I rinse the Olaplex out, then use my Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo to help tone the yellow out of my hair. This stuff is extremely pigmented, so I don’t leave it in long. Also, a little bit goes a long way – the first time I used it, I put a quarter-sized amount in my hair, like i’d do with most shampoos, and I had a violet-coloured afro on my head that took forever to rinse out. Less is more. Then, I condition with the Amika Bust Your Brass conditioner. This is BY FAR the best, most pigmented violet conditioner i’ve ever used. It smells amazing, too. I love this stuff. Once I am out of the Dry Bar shampoo, which lasts FOREVER, i’m going to try the Amika shampoo as well. You get a huge bottle of the stuff, and i’ve had it for months and months. It really works well, and is a must if you have platinum hair. I give myself a little scalp massage with the conditioner, then rinse it out.

Now, when you’re having a pampering day, you do NOT bother with shaving and all that crap in the shower or bath. That’s too much like work. This is supposed to be relaxing. Save that crap for another time. Who are you trying to impress, anyway? You don’t feel good. Somebody should be offering to rub your feet. If nobody is on hand to do that, then you gotta do this shit for yourself.

Now, it’s time to finally get out and work on my skin. I put on Spotify. Something chill. Four-Tet and Thom York Radio. Sure.

I assess the damage. Dry. Ugh. I take my Missha Time Revolution Essence Moist and pat in about 5 layers. My skin is so sensitive, that’s about all it can take of the fermented stuff i’ve noticed. Feels good. The redness is going down. It’s looking alive again! I let that soak in, then break out my Drunk Elephant C-serum. It’s been a couple of days since i’ve used it, and my skin needs all the help it can get after that mask. Then, I put some of my I’m From Ginseng Serum on over that. Now, my skin is starting to feel GOOD. It takes away the rest of the redness and irritation. My skin really, really likes that serum.  It saved me from a bout of hives recently.  Is there anything this stuff can’t do?

Something about putting all these luxurious essences and serums on my skin just makes me feel decadent and self-indulgent in the best possible way. My muscles are nice and loose from the insanely hot shower. Next, I put on eye serum, eye cream, then finally, my new Mizon Firming Solution Collagen face cream (which I will review soon). The whole nine yards.

My skin looks SO much better now than when I first took off the mask!

 

It’s a transformation!

I even put in hair-cream, even though i’m not going anywhere. I dry my hair, too. I hate dripping hair, it makes me feel cold. Then I pull on my hideously pink, comfiest pajama bottoms and a tank top and softest robe, and put on perfume – I think I mentioned that I wear perfume every day of the week, even when i’m not leaving the apartment. It always makes me feel better!

And now, i’m ready for lunch and blogging. I feel a bit better than I did when I woke up. Yes, my body still aches, and i’ll probably take another nap before long.

It’s still only mid-afternoon, so now i’m going to screw around online, listen to music, read my book, and probably watch something dumb on Netflix.

Yes, the holidays are still looming, and yes, I am still not feeling my best – but taking a day to pamper myself makes all the difference in the world, and may even fend off a full-blown flare-up of my auto-immune illness.

So take a day to yourself, or an afternoon or evening! Hole up by yourself and do a mask (just not the Brussels Sprouts one!), get a manicure, take a bath with some nice smelling oils, and leave your damn phone off. Eat something healthy. Drink water.

I promise, you’ll thank me later.

Happy Holidays, Kumquats! Talk to you tomorrow

XO – Monday