There’s a lot of controversy that surrounds the idea of “faking it.” A lot of people argue that you should just be natural… when it comes to makeup, that is. A lot of critics believe that if you’re buying into the beauty industry, you’re buying into patriarchal ideals of beauty for women as well. However, I believe that makeup allows individuals to exert creative and artistic expression while skincare products have the ability to help one achieve healthy-looking skin. I’m no dermatologist, but I’m a big believer that healthy skin results from internal balance; if your hormones are all out of whack, pimples, redness, et cetera, may show up on your face, back, neck or wherever sebaceous (oil) glands are present. (Why do you think people start having eruptions during puberty?)
Moreover, even if chocolate and French fries haven’t been scientifically proven to cause skin issues like acne, it can never hurt to take care of your skin from within by loading up on nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A is a frequent ingredient in prescription medications for the skin such as Differin, Retin-A and even Accutane. Eating vitamin A-rich foods like sweet potatoes and apricots may help improve the skin. However, one must consult with their physician before making any alterations to their diet. Vitamin A-rich foods can actually cause more harm than good if a patient is currently on prescriptions like Accutane.
In addition to healthy eating, exercise benefits the skin in helping to sweat out toxins; I analogize it to a steaming, a common practice used by estheticians at spas. Overall, a healthy, balanced lifestyle (with as much sleep as possible) can help one achieve a glow.
Nevertheless, we are in college. It’s difficult to muster up the energy to go to the gym after all the readings and papers assigned. While Brandeis has expanded its menu, a lot of the food in the dining areas is still quite unhealthy. Thus, I’ve picked out some of my favorite (mostly inexpensive) beauty buys that can help us to “fake” looking our best.
- Aquaphor: This is my go-to lip saver. It comes in all sorts of sizes, from a big jar that will last you a lifetime to tiny tubes you can stash in your purse. I not only use this on my lips, it’s a great cuticle cream and it gets rid of rough patches on the feet. Just dab some on, put socks on and go to bed with it. In the morning, your feet will feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom! You can even use it as a protectant if you get a paper cut. There are many more ways to use Aquaphor, and it’s a cheap alternative to more expensive creams and salves, but it works just as efficiently!
- Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque: Masques are so fun to put on with friends while you’re in the dorm. You can do it as a fun activity with your friends on the weekend or apply it and continue studying. Generously slather this one on (avoiding the eye area, of course), and let it dry for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it hardens. It is a bit difficult to remove, so I recommend gently working a warm, soft washcloth around the area you applied it to until it’s gone. Or you could apply it pre-showering (just make sure that you wear a bathrobe or button-down so that you don’t get it on any clothes). The results are instant and gratifying because your pores will look less visible and it magically reduces redness. If you have one of those major “underground” pimples as I like to call them, you can leave this on overnight.
- La Roche–Posay Solution Micellaire Physiologique: CVS carries this wonderful French line of products. I initially was introduced to their moisturizer, but I have to say, this makeup remover is their all-star. We have all had late nights where even removing makeup seems like horrible pain in the you-know-what. Therefore, if you wake up in the morning with eyeliner all over your face, this will remove it all in one swipe of a cotton round. The best part about this makeup remover is there is NO STING. I have tried many a makeup remover, and this one is as gentle as they come.
Benefit “That Gal” Brightening Face Primer: I definitely think face primers are underrated. This
primer can be used alone or under makeup, and it casts a pretty sheen on your face even if you previously were looking sallow. The pink fluid comes out, and all you need is a little bit to brighten up your cheeks and blur any imperfections.
- CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion: This lotion is great for under makeup or to just keep your skin hydrated, and it’s noncomedogenic! Some moisturizers feel sticky, some don’t sink in and some are too heavy, but this one is just right.
For more information on any of the products mentioned, visit: