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Welcome to Sun Protection Week.

I’m using “week” very loosely here because I probably won’t be able to sustain seven consecutive days of writing. I’m not a blogging superwoman like Liz and my offline life is as chaotic exciting as my online life. I’ve been brewing this blog series for a while now. Are you excited? I am!

Enough foreplay, here we go!

To be honest, I am very confused by whether I need to use a separate sunscreen when my moisturizer or foundation already has SPF. This should’ve been a no brainer.

Most of the dermatologist-written articles I’ve read seem consistent in saying that I need to put on sunscreen in addition to any other face base that already has sun protection.

But seriously, if you’re as oily as I am, doing the sunscreen + face base combo is like over-layering icing on a cake. The icing will slide down eventually and the whole thing will look like a mess.

Anyway, I’m not the type to take recommendations as they are so I decided to read more on this. I googled for how SPF is measured and what constitutes enough sun protection.

Apparently, SPF is determined by testing 2 milligrams of formula per square centimeter of skin.

I took it to mean that 2 milligrams of foundation with SPF30 rating offers the same protection as 2 milligrams of sunblock with SPF30 rating if applied within the same size surface area.

It is said that this is equivalent to a conservative 1/3 teaspoon for the whole face, the teaspoon rule. That means that if I want to get all the SPF from my foundation alone, I have to apply 1/3 teaspoon of it.

One of the sources of my confusion is:

milligrams = unit of mass/ weight; and
teaspoon = unit of volume

Looks like 1/3 teaspoon is just an estimation (hello me, of course it is). And I don’t think there’s a direct conversion of milligrams to milliliters — and I’m not about to determine the density of my foundation just to get an accurate conversion of volume to mass.

Be that as it may, it’s already settled that I won’t put 1/3 teaspoon of foundation on my face. But the more important question is:

Will I put on my face 1/3 teaspoon of sunblock?
My answer is NO. That will look like me channeling my drunk inner geisha. Anyway, is there really a brand of sunblock that looks decent enough spread out on the face — at that volume??? If you know of one, tell me.

As I try to imagine it, I feel like I put the same amount of either sunblock or foundation when I wear each solely.

What I know now is — and I can not speak for dry or normal-skinned people — 1/3 teaspoon of sunblock or a combination of sunblock foundation is the same banana to me. This is what I mean by that:

amount of grease churned out by my face
+
1/3 teaspoon of sunblock or a combination of  sunblock and creamy anything
=
cake icing analogy
aka melting down face

Whatever it is that I put on my face — be it sunblock, foundation, or a mix of both — I’m sure that I always do not reach a third of a teaspoon. It would be the same less-than-1/3-teaspoon any which way I do it, every single time.

Right now, I think I’m not putting enough sun protection by derm doctors’ standards, and — gulp — I’m ok with that O.0

Although… I think I may be doing something else to mitigate sun damage… But more on that later in the week.

I have to be honest and say that I haven’t actually compared how 1/x teaspoon of sunblock looks like versus 1/x teaspoon of foundation. Maybe I’ll do an experiment on that.

What do you think?

 

I don’t think I am beautiful in the “pretty” sense of the word.

I say that not in a bad way and not relative to what other people look like.

I don’t think that it means I don’t love myself or that I have dangerously low self-esteem. I refuse to accept that self-esteem and confidence can only come from believing that you are pretty “beautiful”.

I couldn’t agree with Dove’s #IamBeautiful Ad Campaign 100% because I don’t think there’s something wrong with accepting that I am what I look like — not ugly, not pretty. What I look like is just a set of features that make me me. How I measure my worth is no longer hugely dependent on my physical features.

You might be thinking how ironic it is to read something like this from a blog hobbyist who writes mostly about skin care, makeup, and healthy living. Obviously, I care about my body and how I present myself to the world. How hypocritical of me. I know.

But in the whole pie that is me, only a slice represents my external attributes and my attention to them. This blog is also just a tiny slice of a whole that I could also write about but choose not to (I’m looking at you judgy person who thinks that in the advent of Haiyan, PDAF scam, and the world hunger crisis, all I care about is prettifying myself.)

I used to be very affected by my physical features and it impacted my self-esteem. I tried to build it again by shifting most of my attention to the other slices of the pie.

Trying to convince myself I am “beautiful” did not work because most of my attention was still on how I look like. When I shifted my focus on the other parts — the good and bad that make me the wonderful person that I am — I began to love myself.

That being said, the ad inspired a lot of people to see themselves in a different light. I have a feeling that many women realized how harshly they judge themselves (just as I used to). Who am I to argue with success?

But, if in your quest to building self-esteem, after using up a dozen bars of dove soap, you still didn’t become successful in getting yourself to believe that you’re “beautiful” — maybe give my strategy a try?

P.S. Many Filipinos are modest i.e., pa-humble :P

Could that be the reason why it took longer for them to name what they find beautiful in themselves? Just a thought.

What do you think?

I only started wearing and exploring lipsticks about a year and a half ago, when I was employed by a company in the health and beauty industry.

When I say lipstick, I meant, those in-your-face ones that don’t get people confused if it’s really lipstick or just a tinted lip balm.

I remember that two of the first lipsticks I bought were Ever Bilena’s matte lipsticks, Mirrored Mocha and Mauvey. Both are MLBB-type lipsticks and I only wore them during management meetings where everyone else looked professionally dolled up.

My lipstick adventure progressed when one time, while preparing for a presentation, one of my project team members told me, ‘Rae! Naglipstick ka pa, di naman halata!’ She then handed me an opaque red L’Oreal Color Riche lipstick. Too bad I can’t remember the shade so I could give credit to the lipstick that changed my makeup-wearing life.

At that time, since I’m not really a lipstick wearer, red was too much of a color for me. Also, I used to have an unfounded belief that red lipstick won’t ever work on me even if I haven’t tried it yet.

BUT. I was on a “challenge accepted!”-mode so I braved swiping the bullet on my lips. When I held the mirror to check my face, I was surprised that I looked good in it.

That gave rise to me being known at work as someone who loves strong-colored lip color. Now, it’s like the safe-color-lipstick-wearing Rae never existed.

I’m not proud to admit that the reason why I didn’t wear lipstick before wasn’t just because of practical reasons. Partly, it was. But mostly, it’s because I didn’t think my lips were suited for color.

Most lipstick swatches are on lips that are plump and luscious. The upper lip always has a sharp and defined bow. My lips are far from plump and luscious, and my upper lip is only slightly dented. I assumed that my lips are just not meant for lipstick. I know, my logic-formulation skills can be unreliable sometimes.

Seeing that red lipstick on me somehow reinforced my self-love.

Ruby Woo

Swiping my first ever red lipstick was like broadening my horizon. I felt like I was able to do something that I initially thought I can’t or won’t ever do.

It was not that the lipstick was the source of my confidence. It was realizing that there’s enough confidence in me to be able handle walking around with red lipstick on and not be bothered by people who believe that only fair-skinned girls should wear red lipstick — or not to care when people say in a somewhat teasing way, “Ikaw na ang naka-red lipstick!!!”.

Wearing red is very gutsy. Maybe, if I had the guts to wear such attention-grabbing color, I might just have the guts to do everything else I thought I can’t do.

P.S. I was inspired to write this post because of a youtube video by Chescalocs. I can relate to her story so much that I got somewhat teary-eyed.

P.P.S. The lipstick I’m wearing in the photo is MAC Ruby Woo.

P.P.P.S. I didn’t mean just red lipstick, it could be any other bold color, or makeup item, or literally anything we don’t attempt to try just because of an opinion we have of ourselves. We are our own prison. Let’s free ourselves.

I haven’t posted an update re: my de-stashing project, but it’s still in progress. And as I go on with streamlining my skin care and makeup stuff, I realized that minimalism might be more kind to animals than just boycotting non-cruelty-free companies.

If I buy only non-cruelty-free stuff, but in quantities so much more than what I can consume, I’m doing nature a disservice.

Nature = Animal Habitat

To take part in not taking care of nature is, in a sense, animal-cruelty, right?

And here I am swallowing a bitter pill.

It’s only in recent years that I was able to build my self-esteem.

I felt unpretty. I would sulk a little bit whenever I see beautiful girls on the covers of magazines, on the street, on tv, and anywhere else. I don’t look it, but I do sulk. I wished I was pretty like them and it hurts that I am not and will never be as pretty.

I would feel irrationably threatened that my boyfriend will cheat on me or will drop me like a hot potato as soon as someone artistahin comes along. It’s embarrasing. I am not proud of it. But it’s true.

I’m not the type to just sulk though. I googled for ways to help me with my situation, to build self-esteem, and to make me feel good about myself.

A lot of them centered on grooming, prettifying, and convincing myself that I am beautiful.

So, as it said on the internet, I would look myself in the mirror and tell myself “I AM PRETTY.”

Then, I would do prettification activities. I’ll be able to convince myself that I am pretty almost to a point of believing it but I don’t.

As soon as I see someone really good-looking, all the sulkiness and feelings of low self-esteem would roll back inside.

Every now and again, someone would give me a compliment and tell me I’m pretty. I will always say thank you, give a genuine smile like I’m some a sort of confident person, and then brush it off afterwards.

I know that someone might find me pretty, but not that type of pretty that would break necks, or stop cars, or get offered a job at a modeling agency. No, that will never happen.

Then, I began to think…

There must be something wrong with convincing myself that I am pretty to be able to build my self-esteem. It’s kinda like having a skinny body and telling yourself, “I am curvy.” Or it may be the other way around: telling yourself you’re skinny, when you’re every inch athletic.

It’s LYING to myself.

I am born with a specific body type and a set of facial features: and despite prettifying, I know there’s a limit to how pretty I can get. It’s bound to stop somewhere. Hanggang dun na lang talaga ang igaganda ko.

No matter what I do, this is what I’m born with, no amount of skin care, make up, clothes, or whatever can make me look like I just stepped out of a VS runway show or whatever stereotype it is that is considered really stunning.

And don’t even try telling me, “But Rae, those girls are glammed up, airbrushed, and photoshopped!”

I know that. But there are still people who are drop dead gorgeous without effort. The thats-just-makeup way of making someone feel good is not sustainable. Just as convincing-yourself-you’re-pretty wouldn’t be if you don’t actually believe it.

So, I tried something else.

I looked myself in the mirror again and told myself, “I AM NOT PRETTY”

Ouch. Hearing it from me, out loud, for the first time hurts so bad.

Then I followed it with, “I am not a pretty girl and THAT’S PERFECTLY FINE.”

I have a big nose, I am pimply, and my eyes are somewhat uneven. I made peace with these things and all the other things I don’t like about me.

I began to realize that true confidence comes from accepting yourself and how you are created.

Something like: “I am born like this and I’m ok with it.”

I decided to love myself and my flaws. It came to a point that my physical flaws don’t bother me anymore. My respect for myself and my self-esteem was no longer reliant on how I look like. On bad skin days, I still feel good. And now that I’m back to being overweight, I still feel confident.

If there’s something I can improve on, I will do that. But I’ve accepted stuff about me that I can’t change, like my height and my bone structure.

If I can’t be a pretty girl, that’s ok, it doesn’t I don’t have worth. There’s a lot more in me than un-prettiness.

When I see myself now, I don’t see pretty. I don’t see ugly either. I see ME. A person and not an object to judge as this or that.

The feeling-pretty strategy might work for some. But it’s just not for me.