Skin Care and Other Beauty Resolutions

Since I am part of the Live Well Lived panel via BlogHer and furiously trying to stop the tick-tick-tick of the hands of time (on my skin) this post couldn’t be more perfect and a great opportunity for me to share what I’ve learned so far about skin care.

My “New Year, New You” beauty plan actually began last year, when I decided it was time to start taking better care of my self. Namely, my skin. It’s especially important since I am nearing the middle of my fourth decade and Mother Nature suddenly has a wild sense of humor.

I admit, I am bad about washing make up off prior to going to bed – but I get an A+ on wearing sun screen, hats and other preventative measures. It just may be too little too late, as I lived at the beach in my early 20s and don’t remember owning sun screen, let alone a hat or any other sun-blocking methodology. It was all sun, all the time. And now, I’m paying for it.

What are your beauty resolutions for 2012?

My number one beauty resolution for 2012 is to remove make-up off at the end of each day – and with the right equipment.

I purchased a Clarisonic – an electronic face washing device that uses sonic micro-massage to remove dirt, oil and makeup from pores. The results are much more effective than soap and washcloth. I cleanse my skin with Cetaphil – the #1 rated cleanser by dermatologists – as opposed to soap or other harsh ingredients. Added bonus – Cetaphil has a clean and fresh smell that I find very calming at the end of the day.

After cleansing, I apply a retinol based product – which was prescribed by my dermatologist – only I don’t use it nightly, as it’s too harsh. In rotation, I use either Josie Maran Argan Oil, or a night cream – depending upon how much hydration my skin needs. Winter in Montana is brutal on the skin.

How do you plan to shake up your routine?

I am shaking up my routine by adding a special treatment monthly – either a facial, glycolic peel or micro-dermabrasion. I have moved beyond the regular wash-n-wear and into the “direct hit” level of skin therapy assistance.

I tried a Micro Laser Peel earlier last year (after an applied topical anesthetic, the outermost layers of the skin are literally blasted away with a laser). My dermatologist recommended a series of three treatments, yet after the first treatment, I simply couldn’t go back again. Not only does the laser treatment hurt intensely, the recovery of 2 to 3 days is most unpleasant. Yet, if results are your goal, this treatment is far superior to the less evasive treatments like chemical peels or micro-dermabrasion.

Next on the docket was a glycolic peel which was very cost effective (regularly $85 and I got it for half-price), much less painful than the Micro Laser Peel and speedy! The topical ingredient is left on the skin for only 3 to 5 minutes before getting washed off. Again, for best results this treatment should be completed in a series, and I only had the budget and time for a single application. I will certainly add these chemical peels to my regular maintenance routine (every few months or so.)

I have not yet tried microdermabrasion, but since it is less evasive than the Micro Laser Peel, I’m sure on the pain scale it will be less evasive as well.

The Results?

The Micro Laser Peel had the greatest effect, removing many sun spots, and greatly reducing the appearance of fine lines – yet it’s too painful to consider a second treatment. The glycolic peel was speedy and left my skin looked refreshed and glowing. Also, since using the Clarisonic on a regular basis, I’ve noticed  improved texture and honestly my skin has never felt cleaner after using this device.

TIP: Find local spas or dermatologists, and join their mailing lists. It’s a great way to try different procedures and many times for half the regular treatment price. Some of my local favorites are Aesthetic Medicine, Rogers Dermatology and Spa Ridge.

Do you have any beauty resolutions?

What have you tried?

What do you recommend?

Visit Life Well Lived Sweepstakes starting on January 26th  and enter to win a Kindle Fire and a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

I’d love the hear your thoughts. Beauty for all – and all for beauty (and better habits in 2012!)


…And The Winning Photos Are…

Part of what makes this blogging journey worth the endless hours spent belaboring over which words to use and which photo to publish, is when it develops naturally.

Authentically, if you will.

Several years ago I began printing all of my photos (what few photos I do actually transform from digital to paper) through a website called Snapfish.

How did I find Snapfish? I cannot recall, I just know they do a fabulous job, and the prices are crazy low. IĀ consider them my own personal print-house.

So, imagine my delight to find Snapfish is a sponsor of BlogHer11. They also held a contest recently, in which I entered. A representative on behalf of Snapfish contacted me today.

This is what they said:

Hi Katie,

Thank you for submitting your photos for the first-ever Snapfish/BlogHer Best of
Blogs 2011!  We have selected #3 (sepia tone pier and water) and #12 (sunset over
plains) photos to be included. 

Also, please confirm that 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 6 will work for
you to be available for a special book signing with all the selected recipients at
the Snapfish Creation Station in Booth #332 in the Expo Hall of the San Diego
Convention Center. 

Thanks and congratulations!
On behalf of Snapfish

{Heavy, cleansing sigh.}

What can I say?

I’m one happy – and most grateful – blogger.


…and the winning photos are…

{Authentic Note: Snapfish is not endorsing An Authentic Life for this post. An Authentic Life’s photos won fairly and squarely without any financial compensation. Or based on the premise that glowing things would be said about Snapfish. Even though they are really great. And worthy of aforementioned praise.}

Week in Review – Nov 27

What a whirl-wind week, full of turkey goodness.

For a look back on what you may have missed, check below…

Monday, November 22, 2010

Decorating the Thanksgiving Day Table

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fresh or Frozen

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Blessings

Friday, November 26, 2010

Decorating the Christmas Mantle

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Code of the West

Welcome to An Authentic Life

Authentic posts are made daily, whenever possible, although I have come to learn that balance is a healthy and necessary part of living authentically.

{Besides, an occasional day off keeps the laundry and dust-bunnies at bay. And, Sexy Hubby appreciates a home-cooked meal every now and then.}

What does it mean to “Live An Authentic Life?”

Only you can answer that question for yourself.

For me – and the purpose of this blog – with everything I do, I try to take a positive approach. Inherently, I believe everything happens for the good.

Even the bad.

Life “happens” to TEACH us how to grow and to learn to become better, more solid human beings.

In my posts, I share my foibles with you, in the hope we can learn from each other. Support each other. Save each other from dreadful mistakes.

Or worse, regret.

Do I always succeed? Absolutely not. Therein lies the beauty of living authentically. When you are true to yourself, truth finds a way to trickle into all aspects of your life. At least it has for me.

I wish the same for you.

You can find An Authentic Life on Facebook and Twitter – join the Social Media Conversation.

An Authentic Life is a syndicated member of the publishing network, regular contributor to Montana Parent Magazine, and a founding memberĀ of the Montana Social Media Network.

Thank you for spending a few of your precious moments here with me.

Student Handbook

The sophomore brings me the back-to-school mile high stack of papers to peruse, and read, and sign. Amongst the packet is the Student Handbook, which we are to “review with our student” and sign simultaneously.

The Table of Contents alone is nearly two pages long, including everything from “Skateboards and Bicylcles” (I am not kidding, I copied it directly) to “Academic Honesty,” “Gangs and Gang Activity” (really, in our little cow town?) to (this is the one that killed me) “Pregnant Students.” (I am so glad my father isn’t reading this handbook.)

I shout (as the sophomore has already retreated to his room,) “Don’t we need to go over the Student Handbook?”

“Mom, it’s the same handbook from last year.” What am I, stupid or something?

I begin to thumb through the thing, which is odd for me. Usually, I just sign and return to the student/child. But, I was intrigued. Also, Sexy Hubby gives me a hard time for not reading every single line that I sign. Whatever. It’s not like it’s my contract or something (which I did read line for line, in case you’re wondering.)

The first question, whether or not “I give permission for my child to attend all walking field trips.”

We live in a cold weather state, where it snows more than it doesn’t and shit is stretched out for miles. Once you leave the city limits, it’s two hours east or three hours west to the next major town. Now, I’m curious as to where they will walk, but that’s not the question asked.

I check “YES,” and move to the next question.

“I have read and understand the Technology of Use Agreement. My child agrees to abide by the rules herein.”

Again, I shout to the sophomore, “Do you agree not to access or download any illegal, pornographic, abusive, obscene or harassing material from the school’s computer.”

“MOM!” he says. That’s means no, right?

The next section is fairly routine, the bell schedule, lockers, hall passes, and school phones. School phones? What teenager in this hemisphere doesn’t have their own cell phone?

Next on the list is, Dress Code. This ought to be interesting.

“The appearance of any young person is primarily the responsibility of that individual and their parents.” (Great!)

“The board considers student dress to be inappropriate when:

It creates a safety hazard for said student or others (i.e., spikes).” Wait? Are there Raider fans here?

“Inappropriate or excessive cleavage is not allowed.” (Speaking for myself, I didn’t have this problem until I was 27 years old AND nine months pregnant!)

Other noteworthy items, “Law enforcement is required to be present at every dance.” WOW! That’s a new one!

I was actually surprised at the level of detail that outlined, “UNDERSTAND WHAT CONSTITUTES PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING.” After further review, it seems I am in default, “presenting the work of parents as your own.” I don’t know of a single paper written by my older, now adult children, that weren’t heavily edited by me. Although I never wrote a paper from start to finish, like other mothers that I know (you know who you are!!!)

I was actually relived to see a section regarding BULLYING. I remember hearing about Phoebe Prince, the 15 year old girl from Massachusetts, who tragically commit suicide after incessant taunts, text messages, Facebook postings, and physical threats. Every parents worst fear.

Closer to home, and not long after learning about Phoebe Prince, we had our own issue with bullying. It got to the point I had a tough decision to make. Ignore it, or take a stand.

Thankfully, I took a stand, but it was not easy, and I was terrified that I would make matters much, much worse for my son. Yet, the thought that kept plaguing me, if I do nothing, and something bad happens, I will never forgive myself. Ever.

I received much advice (right here in these blog pages) and am thankful to report, our incident was quickly resolved. I know other parents aren’t as fortunate, and my heart goes out to them.

I believe schools, in general, are on the right track with regards to bullying, and on the very last page of the Student Handbook is a CONFIDENTIAL BULLYING INCIDENT REPORT.

I sure hope no one has to use it this year, but am very glad to find it included herein.

Proud Authentic Announcement

An Authentic Life's A Beach

I am so pleased, and excited and humbled to announce that An Authentic Life has been graciously invited to become part of the publishing network.

What this means to my readers? Not much.

I will still be blogging as close to daily as possible.

What this means to An Authentic Life?

More exposure, and the ability to reach a wider audience.

To share.

To build a larger authentic community.

And perhaps make some new authentic friends.

I appreciate your time spent here.

I value each and every one of you.

Thank you from the bottom of my authentic heart.

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