A beautiful life is just too expensive.
My mother and grandmother were both blessed with beautiful skin. Smooth and youthful.
I was blessed with this same skin. But mine came under attack from an angry army of hormones who raged war on my face for years.
My skin is scarred and pockmarked, which I hide under a layer of makeup. Makeup which costs me R415 a bottle, cheaper than some famous brands but still a hefty chunk of cash. I go through a bottle every two months or so. I’ve tried cheaper brands but the price is reflected in the quality.
Always wearing makeup leaves my skin dry, my eyes itchy and tight. I do try and let my skin breathe. Especially on Sundays. But for work, for social events. Makeup is a religion.
I still suffer from the occasional hormonal outburst, although this has been brought mostly under control by the Pill. What’s left, I can deal with. But the scarring hasn’t faded.
A few years ago, at the tender age of 22, a beautician told me the skin on my decolletage was that of a forty year old’s. Damaged by an outdoor, South African lifestyle. Sun, sea and sand.
I have sensitive skin. I break out in rashes often. My face and chest blush deep red at the slightest temperature change. My whole body was covered in eczema for almost a year. An aqueous cream rash once had doctors testing me for measles and every time I go to Decodance I wake up with an angry, scaly chest. Aircons are my worst enemy and I am very nervous about what I put on my skin.
I once spent R3000 on Dermalogica products and noticed no difference. I spent a similar amount on Clinique products, which caused a violent allergic reaction after two uses. So, bad experience has dampened my enthusiasm for spending huge amounts on products recommended by beauty salons. I want real people reviews.
I would genuinely, truly, love to be on an efficient skin care regime. I would love to treat my skin to the whole range of QMS Medi Cosmetics. I would love to soak my chest in Mama Mio’s Boob Tube. I want the best quality, the most natural products. I dream of healthy, glowing skin and of people gasping and saying, “You look ten years younger than that”.
I will, I’m determined, to go for laser treatment on my face to try smooth away the battle scars of my teen years.
It’s the monthly costs that kill me. I use Johnson’s face moisturizer, something I can pick up in Pick n Pay. I remove my make up at night with Elizabeth Anne’s Special Baby Shampoo. Beauty fundi’s are probably shuddering at the thought of my poor clogged pores.
My make up regime is counterproductive. I buy expensive make up to cover blemishes on my skin; I can’t afford the products to prevent the blemishes on my skin.
It’s a choice I have to make. What my budget covers. I don’t have DSTV or a maid, I do have a personal trainer. I do wear Estee Lauder foundation. I do have medical aid.
That’s what I can afford. That’s where my priorities lie.
So, beauty experts and everyone else, what I want to know from you is what is the one product you would base your reputation on? What is the one product you credit your glow to, the one product you would give up your monthly groceries for?
I can’t afford to buy things I don’t need. I need to know that what I invest in will change my life.