I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
You know those things that you have in your brain list that you’ll buy next time you have a fat account balance but instead you withdraw a bunch of twenties on a Tuesday night to pay your dog walker or buy a mid-range crop top made of up-cycled vintage fabrics that some hot chick on Instagram that you’re too cool to follow so you just type her name into search to stalk her anyway convinced you that you needed? Ugh, THAT bitch. Fine, I'll follow you--you're so hot.
So, for me, one of those things was a Clarisonic. Do you guys wanna know the others? A new wallet, a keychain, and a bed. Maybe a facial steamer, because that seems like something I’d need as a beauty editor. Well, maybe I could get one of those for free?
Which brings me to how I acquired my Clarisonic: it was free. Like, it hadn’t hit me yet that I had moved to New York to become a beauty editor for Jane Pratt’s new website until I was zzzzZZZZzZzZ-ing my face with a free Clarisonic brush.
Even staring through what was probably eight months worth of white toothpaste spew on the mirror of my shcrap apartment, the sudden rush of realizations about where I was and what I was doing with my life all came to me at once. I would have cried if I were capable of real emotions anymore. Launching a website makes you half-robot. OMG--unintentional robot-takeover reference and proof that it’s all happening.
Some people say that earning something--like, saving up for it and then giving all of your money away--makes you appreciate what you have more. Those people probably ate lead-paint chips when they were toddlers. Nothing feels better than getting free stuff. Nothing.
I mean, I guess it does feel better to givethantoreceiveblahblah. But you wanna know why? Because you’re making the person you’re giving stuff to feel the second-greatest thing ever. You are. It’s a power thing--you’re, like, humping their leg alpha-dog-style.
Back to the Clarisonic: I sooo would have bought one anyway, because it’s just one of those things that every person who considers themselves a beauty person has to at least try, right? At this point, it’s like saying you’ve never curled your lashes or deep-conditioned to not have tried a Clarisonic. Having one felt very rite-of-passage, like I had gained some credibility. And I honestly thought that it was the key to mythically perfect, beauty-editor skin.
I had honestly never even really considered myself a beauty person. I still don’t know what I’m doing here, but at least now I realize that I am here and this is how things are going to be for a while. Maybe? And I’m about to tell you guys about this face vibrator, DAMMIT.
The first time I used it (Jane swiped me an Aria from the props at the launch party--thanks Jane!), I rinsed my skin extra-well after I was done, thinking that there was some weird soapy residue leftover. It felt like there was a smooth layer of wet, greasy moisturizer covering my face. Then I realized that there wasn’t, the brush had exfoliated my skin so well that it was just that smooth. Crazy, ya?
So one thing that I’ve quickly learned about myself is that even given all of the resources and having incentive to look perfect every day, because, like, it’s kind of my job, I’m not going to follow any semblance of a responsible beauty routine. It’s a personality and lifestyle-type thing, and I don’t have that kind of personality or lifestyle.
(I should note that my skin is what they call “combination.” I get dry sometimes, I get oily sometimes, I get zits sometimes. Sometimes it’s perfect, but only for about two weeks tops.)
In fact, the only times I’ve ever “achieved” more than a week of a really great skincare regimen is when I was really sad! I was sort of (not diagnosed) depressed, I didn’t go out to be with friends or meet new people; I just stayed home and focused on brushing and plucking and exfoliating and moisturizing and braiding and white-stripping to look nice for all the people I never saw.
This article is leaning toward the sads a little--ugh I just wanna push it back, but the point I’m trying to make is that it’s OK to not have a normal skincare routine! You’re not a bad person! You’re not irresponsible! It’s a weird standard that everybody thinks that they need to “achieve” and oh my GOD I hate when people say “achieve” when it comes to beauty. You’re not “achieving” anything--this isn’t the Olympics or the UN. We’re talking voluminous hair and exfoliation, neither of which are achievements.
ANYWAY! I’m really happy right now! I have great friends up here, I’m still in touch with the ones I love from home, I’m in a great new apartment that I love, and I feel loved. But I sometimes don’t schedule super well and end up writing until one in the morning and fall asleep on my friend’s couch without cleansing, toning, and moisturizing or robot-flossing. It’s not a big deal, and maybe I’ll get a zit or a dry patch, and that’s not a big deal either. You don’t just suddenly become ugly--handle it and move on, you know?
Point: Clarisonic isn’t the magical key to having perfect skin, despite my yearning. I’ve tried ONE thing that is the magical key to good skin and I’m waiting to write about it until I try it again, because it worked so well I’m afraid it’s a fluke.
Clarisonic brushes are great exfoliators because it’s a gentle kind of exfoliation, and the back-and-forth vibration really, REALLY gets into your pores to clean everything out. I’ve tried the peels, scrubs, many, many different kinds of facial exfoliators. This is the best. And that’s a great place to start if you’re looking for that kind of unattainably perfect skin that you don’t already have, and that people who do have were probably born with. Acceptance.
Right now I’m using the Shu Uemera Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Cleansing Oil as a first step to remove most of my makeup or whatever is on my face from the day, and then I go in with the Clarisonic and this Primavera cleanser (also really gentle and doesn’t dry out my skin--I kind of love it!) to really clean my face.
I’ve been toning with either the Pevonia Skin Perfecting Toner, which is a bit more action-packed, what with the retinol, if my face is feeling really dull or a bit cystic, or FACE Stockholm’s Swedish Beauty Toner, which is more gentle if I’m feeling dry. Then I end with prescription Epiduo allover for acne, an eye cream, and Aquaphor on the edges of my nose to keep them from getting flaky.
I realize if I actually followed all of these steps every night, I’d have a near-perfect face that doesn’t require makeup; but that means repetition and commitment. Then life happens, and I’m like, “whatever.” Concealers exist because most people don’t have mythical beauty-editor skin. It’s not something to stress about, which will probably just make you break out anyway.
What say you of Clarisonic brushes? Some people are sensitive to the standard brush head, so has anybody tried switching to the acne one to see the difference? Seriously curious about this, because that’s the one complaint I hear about Clarisonic brushes when it’s not a glowing review.