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Hiatus 

I’ve been away for a while, and actually I’ll probably be away for a good while longer. 

Coincidentally, my last post was #100 in these chronicles  so it seems an apt place to take a break. The reason for this break? I’m getting ready to start my own business!!!

I will be a Lularoe dealer, not familiar with it? Check out their website here

And if you want you’re welcome to like my Facebook page here. I don’t have my storefront open yet so the shop now button will be inactive as of posting, I’m still in planning stages. 

I’m sure I’ll still post periodically and I’ll be sure to have this months various Halloween makeup looks up at the end of the month. Here is a sneak peak for you. 

But your always welcome to follow me on Instagram for crazy makeup year round @lularoemichellestpeter

And as a side note we finally got the gallery wall in our living room all finished out… it only took us 10 months 😛


Though we still have a massive stop sign to hang 

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So Vain 

I have a new Vanity!!!

Ok, like most things I own it isn’t “new”, just new to me. I received this desk as a hand me down gift from Mr. Smith’s aunt. 


The sewing machine from it still works by the way. 

 

I got it sanded this spring but work stopped as soon as the heat hit and we were off running around the country. 



I finally got around to working on it in earnest these past couple of weeks. 


The verticals supports and panels weren’t sanding out as well as I liked so I opted to paint them. 


The top and the drawer fronts however  were a glorious grain so I decided to stain them as close as possible to my bedroom furniture. 


We (my mother and I) lined the drawers with contact paper to protect them from the cosmetics that will go inside.

Beemer helped too


The hardware that was in the desk to begin with matched our furniture pretty well so I just cleaned it up and reattached it. 


Before I set up my inordinate amount of makeup on the desk I placed a plastic sheet (it’s actually from a poster frame) on the desk to prevent makeup getting embedded in the wood grain. 

I finally got to take all of my makeup out of bins and put it in real drawers in a proper vanity.


And yes that is a mechanics stool. 

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First World Whining

Well half of the house is (semi-) cleaned, though that’s primarily because most of the mess just moved to the other half of the house. 

This whole “let’s just travel all summer” thing is a strange cycle of cleaning house so we can “come home to a clean house” when in reality we just come home and throw all our things wherever they may fall just to have to pack them up again.

Between Florida, North Carolina (which we just got back from earlier this week) and Michigan (which we are headed to next week) we will have been home about 3weeks in the moths of June and July. 

Next year we are definitely stretching out our traveling over more than just two months. 

Enough of my first world whining. 

I didn’t take many pictures while in Raleigh. We go there as often as we can since our best friends and godsons live there. However I did take somepictues of my amazing new hair


My best friend has different color hair every time I see her. Purple, blue, teal or some amalgamation of all of them and I’ve always wanted to have funky colored hair but haven’t had the guts to do it myself and won’t pay the price to go to a salon. Since she does her own, and does it beautifully I convinced her to give me some subtle colorfulness. 

Instead of doing an all over bleaching (because it terrifies me, and my hair despite being very fine does not lift very well) or attempting to do a balayage we decided to go old school and use a highlighter cap 


Stylin right?

We used a 30 volume developer so it didn’t take nearly as long as it usually does for my hair to lift. And since I had some previous balayage highlights it just added some extra dimension and lightness for the pigment to grab on to

We used several different colors to do my hair. All pravana brand, we used a vivid purple, a locked in red, locked in blue and various mixes of the three.

Because the colors were developed at different times and placed over different color highlights I got all different colors.


Some orange, green, yellow, red, purple, blue, we inadvertently oil slicked my hair and it’s amazing. Pictures don’t do it justice, I’ve gotten so many compliments on it already. 

Though it doesn’t show up in the pictures as well the vivid purple came out as the brightest of the bunch so I think I’ll stick with those as opposed to the locked-ins for the next round. But, now I have yet another excuse to go to Raleigh regularly, gotta keep my hair looking good 😀

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A long absence, and a long post

Well it’s been a while.

I have several ongoing projects that are currently on hold either due to upcoming plans, budget restrictions or,  the weather (and by weather I mean 95+ temperatures)

But I might as well do an update on my accutane experiences. So it’s been about 7weeks since I started and so far relatively good. 

My skin feels amazing by comparison to how it used to. No inflammation. No pain. Very few cysts, and the ones I do have are small and pretty painless. 

It’s taking a bit of getting used to. I’ve always had combination skin verging on oily, particularly in the summer. This summer it’s nothing but dry. All of my usual products which generally have some kind of gentle resurfacing acid in them (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, ascorbic) absolutely burn my skin. 

I’ve had to completely overhaul my skin care routine. It’s actually kind of fun considering I do this for a living yet I am generally stuck in my ways and will only ever change out one thing in my routine at a time, and rarely at that. So here are some things I’ve found particularly helpful.  

First The Essentials


Even if I don’t put anything else on after washing I mist my skin with Jurlique’s rose water balancing skin mist, and put on generous amounts of First Aid Beauty’s (F.A.B.) Ultra Repair Cream. Even before I started accutane I adored the rose water mist for its soothing quality, but now it’s an absolute essential. Ultra repair cream which I have recomended to countless people with dry and irritated skin has been a life saver for both my face and body. 

The Cleansing Essentials


Now that my skin is dry not only do I have to hydrate it more but I have to be more meticulous with exfoliation. Unfortunately because it’s sensitive on top of that I can’t go my usual route of chemical exfoliation. For my face I’ve been using a gentle powder exfoliate from Farmacy it’s a combination of enzyme exfoliate with gentle physical exfoliation. Gentle enough to use weekly without any irritation to my newly sensitive skin. For every day makeup cleansing I’ve been using F.A.B.’s Milk oil cleanser. 

The skin on my body has always been a bit on the dry side it’s just a bit dryer now, but I’ve not had the sensitivity I’ve experienced on my face. So I don’t have to worry as much about over exfoliation. I’ve been using a scrub from target. It isn’t foamy but does have little exfoliation grains in it, and in conjunction with an exfoliating glove from eco tools it works great for everyday cleansing. If I need an extra scrub I’ll use (not pictured) Peter Thomas  Roth’s Irish Moor Mud cleanser. I can’t use it for my face anymore but it gives an excellent chemical exfoliation to the body when used in conjunction with the glove. 

As noted by the presence of Dry Bar’s Sake Bomb nourishing shampoo and conditioner even my hair and scalp have been dry. This is the first set of hair products I’ve tried so the verdict is still out on it.

Pampering


 I might have a slight mask addiction. I always liked sheet masks. But as you can probably tell I am now obsessed. My all time favorites are Farmacy, Dr.Jart water replenishment as well as Sephora’s lip masks. They are all made of this hydrogel material that is absolutely amazing. 

The Splurge


Tatcha is hella expensive. But oh my gosh does my skin love it now. Their luminous dewy skin mist is something I never thought I would like. Dewy was like a dirty word when I had oily skin. Now spraying that on my face feels like taking a dunk in a pool. It feels absolutely marvelous. And their Indigo soothing triple  Recovery cream I can’t say enough about it… 

Anyway… Sorry I took a long absence… Then I wrote a really long post, I’m actually going to be out of town this coming weekend so I likely won’t get a post up then either… But I’ll give you a hint where I’ll be 


I’ve got a train to catch…


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Jumping the gun

I was going to do a post on our coffee table but it’s in the process of drying in the garage so In anticipation of 100 followers on WordPress and in celebration of having hit 100+  likes on my Facebook this week, not to mention swiftly approaching 100 posts and two years with what started out as a little experiment, I thought I would round up some of my favorite posts. PS if you haven’t liked my Facebook page you totally should, I sneak in extra posts and updates there, so you should definitely click here. The hyperlinks are included in the text and pictures if you feel like checking out each post.

At the tippy top of the list will probably always be my series about my antique desk. I actually have another desk that will get a refinish this summer. I’m  beyond excited for that. 


If you want to see the whole series start here but here are the individual links 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
 

And bittersweetly to accompany my desk is the post about my mother in laws chair


Thanks to being in a new house I’ve had lots of great projects recently, my particular favorites being the hallway full of frames. 

And of course our new/old entertainment center soon to be joined by a mid century table which you may have seen a sneak peak of in one of my recent posts

Let’s not forget about remodeling that bathroom, that was pretty awesome. 


I’ve also got to give love to my Halloween makeup posts 

Of which this past fall’s look went a wee bit viral on Pinterest… Oh right did I mention I’m on Pinterest…. I’m on it a lot  my username is ItsybitsyBows… Cause TinyBows was taken 

And last but not least an early favorite is my clock turned lantern.

 

If you guys have any projects  you want to see drop me a line in the comments. 

Clearing things up

I’ve been working a lot of nights so I haven’t had the chance to do many projects around the house, nights throw my whole game off. 

But much like last week I have some skin stuff to go over. 

This week I started on accutane. I’ve struggled with deep, cystic, nodule, acne for a very long time. I thought “well maybe I’ll grow out of it.” “Maybe it will at least get better.” But I won’t (my father still struggles with it) and it hasn’t, if anything it’s gotten worse.

I’m sure that has to do with genetics and the hormonal changes that have come with age. 

Luckily I’ve never been self conscious about my acne. I was never bullied, I’m perfectly fine going out without any makeup on. For me   the main problem isn’t the way it looks or emotionally feels , it’s the way it physically feels. Anyone who has had cystic acne knows what I mean. It’s a terrible inflammatory response. I’ve had ones swell to the point I couldn’t move my lips properly and I’ve been getting really annoyed at being so reliant on anti-inflamatories. 


This is before birth control or accutane 


5 days into accutane 1 1/2 months into birth control 

So on to accutane. I’ve only been on it for 5 days and I’m already starting to feel the effects. 

It started the other night when I absent mindedly scratched my arm in my sleep, just the act of doing so woke me up and my arm continued to burn for the next half hour 

That’s how dry and sensitive my skin has become in such a short period of time. Since then I’ve had to completely reassess my skin care routine which is both strange and oddly satisfying. Strange because I’ve only ever had one skin type and that’s combination-oily. I have dryer areas of my skin but for the most part it’s pretty normal verging on oil prone,  at least my face is. My body has always leaned towards the dry side which is probably why I felt the effects more quickly there. 

And it’s satisfying because this is what I do for a living. I’ve had a pretty set skin care routine for a good long while now, and though I’ve introduced a few new things here and there and eliminated others I’ve never had to start from scratch. 

It’s going to take me a while to figure out exactly what will work but luckily there are lots of resources open to me from the blogging community, my dermotologist and of course my coworkers and other peers in the world of skincare. 

It’s not all itchiness and cracked lips and dry skin though. Even though I’ve only been on it a few days I’ve had a few little pimples appear overnight and be gone within a few hours. I’m not prone to little pimples all I get are gigantic deep ones that bever come to a head  so apparently  it’s clearing something out. And I’m already discovering that my inflammation has lessened. 

One thing is for sure I will definitely be taking the advice  I gave myself last week and slathering on the sun screen. 

Also I’ll be sure to give you guys updates of my progress. 

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Sunshine 

I hadn’t intended to do a blog this week, I have two furniture projects in the works but wanted to wait til they were done to post but I thought I might do a little life update. 

  
(Sneak peak, I’ve also had a couple updates on my Facebook if you want to follow me there) 

I don’t really talk much about work on here. I had started this blog to talk a bit about skin care and beauty but I get enough of it in my job So I’ve avoided it to focus on projects around the house.  But today I was reminded that I probably should talk about it occasionally. 

My top inquiry is always, and has always been hyper pigmentation. And here I was outside, with fresh scars, and no sunscreen.

This is what I got in return for that 

   
  

Hyper pigmentation can come in many forms but it all has the same cause; malanocytes. Those are the cells in your body that produce melanin which is the substance in your body that gives your hair,  skin, and eyes their color. Melanocytes are “activated” by ultraviolet light and basically act as a natural sun block. You can see in the picture above how my sunburn is concentrated around the areas where my scars are, these are the melanocytes in action producing melanin to protect that new skin. 

Some times these melanocytes get all clumped together for no reason at all, because of scaring, or because of hormones in the case of a “pregnancy mask”and create hyper pigmentation. Sometimes they clump by genetics and you get freckles or birth marks. 

In the case of scaring you are exposing new skin to the sun and your melanocytes are running to the rescue to protect it from harsh UV rays. Yay for melanin, boo for cancer causing UV rays. In fact some forms of skin cancer occur when your malanocytes become mutated due to those UV rays. 

 I was only in direct sunlight for maybe 10minutes and not all at once. However I spent a good two hours in the shade. Yes you can get a sunburn in the shade, you can get a sunburn in winter, you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. 

So. Wear sunscreen. And listen to your own good advice. 

Also get a good blender… This is why I’m getting nothing done this week, because it’s strawberry season and I have a new blender. Behold…