You know what's gross? Shingles. How do I know? I know because I'm the genetically inferior kid who got chicken pox three times (Before you pop CAPS LOCK on and start shouting at my mother — calm down, I was vaccinated). I thought it was over when I hit my twenties. Alas, I didn't outgrow chicken pox, I grew into shingles.
It's a winter thing. It's a stress thing. It's a scales-on-my-neck-and-face-thing. It's horrible. Even if I don't go full swamp monster, I can tell shingles scales are on the way when my glands swell, my joints start to hurt, and my face breaks out. I'm talking deep, stubborn under-the-skin pimples, scabby little blackheads, and flakey dryness. Does this sound strange, unusual, and filthy nasty?
That's because it is. Moving on...
Just kidding! I would like to take you to this photo I took the other day while laying siege to Tynan's post on the very best celebrity collab makeup lines:
This is the unedited version. I edited out the doorframe in Tynan's piece because, frankly, it's embarrassing that I don't own a tripod. Anyway — my professional skills aren't the point of this piece. The point is that you can't tell my face is dry in patches and I have horrendous dark spots hither and thither all over my face. If you're thinking, boo hiss — that's just really good lighting. You're not fooling everyone. I bet everyone on the PATH train flinches away from your scales, you aren't entirely wrong. The light is great in this photo. Not so much in this one:
See my dark spots? Probably a little bit, but not much because I have a secret arsenal of products I use to cover up my breakouts, dark spots, and flakey sewer monster skin.
I have Marci (and January's seasonal lack of sunlight) to thank for this amazing foundation. She got it as a gift and it was too dark so naturally I accepted it as a hand-me-down and patiently waited for my summer tan to fade out completely.
I apply both the concealer and foundation with my hands à la Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body (you know the scene where she tragically applies palmfuls of cakey foundation over her flakey succubus skin?) because, even though I love my beauty blender, I don't need any extra bacteria compromising my immune system and sinking into my pores.
The foundation is velvety, smooth, and wet, but it straight up melts into your skin, leaving you with a smooth, smooth surface. Because it melts so easily into my skin, I use less of it than I would another foundation so I am a) extra glowy and b) my pores don't get as clogged. Want to get mad over the price tag? That's fine. Get mad. However, it's La Prairie, the AMEX Black Card of full coverage foundation. I've used the same little pot (?) for four months and I foresee it lasting for at least three more. AT LEAST.
I've written about my love of Josie Maran in the past (ugh, my hair was sooooo bad then) and a little of this Argan Oil Illuminizer goes such a long way that the brand has updated their packaging since I purchased mine. See the golden, dewey spots on my face in the photo below? Those are not actually golden, dewey places; those are my horribly dry patches. With or without foundation — this illuminizer diffuses and softens dark spots, redness, and scales (if you happen to have scales).
Josie Maran's makeup contains Argan Oil which makes it extra super duper blendable and moisturizing. On my bad skin days, I'll apply it on top of a full coverage foundation or mix it into concealer to give the glow of a nice diffusing powder without drying my face out. On good days, I'll mix it with any old moisturizer or sunscreen.
Jane recommended this to me before my worst-skin-ever bender started (her friends use it every day, but she just has it sent to her apartment and then lets it gather dust. HELP ME HELP HER).
Less pricey than the La Prairie foundation, but equally velvety and likely to melt into your face — this lifesaver from Hourglass works on two levels. Like all the products in this post, it offers a lot of coverage without drying out your skin and keeps it's dewy quality throughout the day. It also happens to good for you skin which is important when your immune system is tanking and you want to cover up the carnage without exacerbating the problem. While some foundations dry out throughout the day, delving into every crack and creating dusty haloes around your janky clogged pores.
This foundation doesn't do that. In fact, it's the opposite — it hydrates your skin through the day. I mix it in with my la prairie foundation to make them both last a bit longer and because the skin tint adds an extra layer of "glow." Honestly, the only downside of this product is that it sits so well that if you're not a religious face-washer, you may forget to wash your face at night. That's how good it is.
Using these — AND ONLY THESE THREE — products on my face keeps any and everyone from knowing that I'm one bad night's sleep away from a shingles situation. Better than that — by using moisturizing, "good for you" products, I was able to avoid the toxic nastiness that makes a skin problem a cyclical situation. I mean, seriously, can you tell I'm sick here?
Have you ever gotten shingles? Are you riddled with scales caused by some other wacky illness? Tell me all about it. I can empathize.
Editor's Note: One of our readers pointed out (read: called bullshit) on me not including a bare face photo in this article because, duh. I might secretly have perfect skin. I might be inventing a shingles diagnosis for the sake of an article. Well, dear readers — I've updated the article with my blotchy face BECAUSE I LOVE YOU MORE THAN I LOVE MYSELF. You're very welcome.