Saturday, 18 February 2012

Finding My Wonderwoman Alter-Ego

I doodled a series of stick figure pictures the other night, when I was waiting for a turn on the computer. I had been wondering how I'd ever get time to finish the various graphic & website projects I've simultaneously begun, in the variable time between getting fractious children to bed, and one of them waking up again (thus causing me to fall asleep along side him/her, for the rest of the night.)

This one's dedicated to any parent who's ever found it difficult to have quality time for themselves:

Now it's time to go. As I sit here wasting time on the computer, I'm missing out on serious quality time with the kids, quality time with the dishes waiting in the sink (still), the vacuuming, the large pile of 'too much stuff' to sort through in the bedrooms, the pantry that needs cleaning out (don't get me started on the fridge), the sprawling train tracks waiting to be rebuilt across the lounge floor (after the vacuuming), the batch of playdough waiting to be made, the overgrown lawn....

I'd like to have a Wonder Woman alter-ego to deal with the majority of this (or a paid cleaner, or a Really Helpful Teen as opposed to Really Apathetic), but who am I kidding? This is all just Normal Every Day Woman stuff. Suck it up Callie!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Mirror Mirror on the wall....

Avoiding the mirror is why it's taken several weeks to realise I once again have Trump hair. A clear sign that I should probably make more of an effort. (Or 'an effort'. In general. Truth be told.)

My weekly make up routine is to coat my eyes in black eyeliner at some point throughout the weekend, and spend the rest of the week pushing that same application back up under my eyes until it finally wears itself off. A 'mud masque' is what the Lily Bug gives me when she's been outside jumping in puddles and has squeezed my face with her hands as a way of saying 'shuush mum, don't tell me it's time to come inside yet'.

In all honestly, I barely even remember to look in the mirror before I leave the house.  Most days, I can actually have a shower and brush my teeth without flicking a single sidelong glance at the looking glass. I probably walk around with toothpaste at the corner of my mouth far more often than I'd ever like to know. Which is why ignorance is bliss.

So when a skin care product was sent out for me to review, I was slightly bemused at the notion that I now had a reason to push my face up to the mirror (you'd think a little bit of pride in ones appearance would be a motivating factor in the first place eh?)

Here I am, prior to Olay. Serious.
The product? Olay Total Effects 7-in-one Day Cream with SPF15. The back description of the packaging promised to fight the following:
1. Fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Uneven tone.
3. Age spots.
4. Uneven texture.
5. Dryness.
6. Dullness.
7. Pores

Wow. Did this product have its work cut out for it with my lined, tired, dull, dry, uneven and open pored skin!

As you can probably determine by my opening sentence alone, I'm not a skin care routine kind of person. That whole process of cleansing, toning, moisturising... even applying sunblock. Way too much effort for me. Partly because I'm deeply cynical of beauty product pick up lines, and partly because I've been existing on a combination of 4 hours sleep per night, a bucket of caffine per day and sheer force of will for so long now, I think anything that promises to fight my body's age signs is facing a losing battle.

But, I gave this product a shot. And okay... Maybe I even hid it greedily from the rest of the family, and secretly reveled in having something to put on my skin other than coffee dribbles and toothpaste.

First thing I noticed about Olay Total Effects is that it was nice to apply. It felt nice and light on my skin, didn't leave a grease slick in its wake, and absorbed quick enough for me to apply make up shortly afterwards (yes, I busted out the all-but-forgotten Shisedo Moisture Mist for the occasion. Being that I was finally at the mirror and staring bleakly at my tired tired face, I realised I needed it.)

There's another reason why I usually make no effort to wear moisturiser. In times past, I've had issues finding something that my skin doesn't react to, and that doesn't make my make up slide off my face and pool at my feet.

My lil' bottle of Olay Total Effects promised to be formulated for sensitive skin, but I'd tried 'sensitive skin' moisturiser before, and ended up with nasty itchy under-the-skin bumps all over my face and neck within a fortnight. With Olay, I was pleasantly surprised to find my skin didn't react negatively at all. Not a bump. Not an itch. Not after a week, not after three. And, my make up stayed in place over top of it. Bonus.

I was also really pleased to be wearing something with SPF protection. I HATE putting gross and greasy sunblock on my face, but my inner-goth tends to steer clear of the sun anyway so I tell myself it doesn't matter. Except for those days where I've spent 3 hours in the full sun while at the beach with the kids. Stupid inner-goth for forgetting the children LIKE to go out into sunlight with their mother. Thanks to Olay, I was able to spend an afternoon at Western Springs Park with the munchkins, and not wind up with a burnt nose. Awesome sauce.

But wait, what about those 7 Signs of Aging? Unfortunately I have to tell you I didn't have visitors stop by and jump back in shock while declaring "Callie! You remind me of that Star Trek episode where the people grow younger as they age!" But, that could be because there were no visitors...  But although my age lines are still present, I do think it helped with the dullness somewhat. I'm prone to skin breakouts once a month, but during this trial, I didn't suffer that problem.

I'm still sitting on the fence as to how effective Olay Total Effects was at fighting those seven signs of aging, but I have to admit that after a fortnight or so of applying it every day, I started feeling good about my skin. Maybe it was the power of suggestion, maybe it was my body simply feeling grateful for getting a bit of TLC. We may never know...

But, I've given you a 'before' picture, now I'll leave you with an 'after' shot. Let you decide just how effective this product was....

After Olay. Rrrooowl!