Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Repurchased! VI

I am madly, passionately, violently in love with this product. It has coverage like foundation, but feels infinitely more nourishing. It swipes easily into the skin with my fingertips, blurring imperfections without heaviness.
The "Illumination" means that there's a subtle sparkly sheen; now, you know me, I'm usually loyal to matte. It is available in a non-sparkly version which I had bought initially, but Ta commented that my skin was glowing while wearing the illumination version. So I can compromise on my principles every so often. 

While it does proclaim "SPF 50," I do not feel my skin is protected enough with the thin layer I apply, so I use an additional SPF lotion beneath it. 

Originally, it was only available in Fair and Light, so I mixed the two. They have added more shades since, including a Fair Light which matches me perfectly. 
I'm a big believer that cheeks should be buffed pink (and not bronzed), and this is an ideal shade for me. I made mistakes in the past where my blush was too strong a fuchsia.
The color is also buildable; I apply less on weekdays than I do on erev Shabbos (I also use it for Shabbos Face). I believe it's matte, or at least very close to.
My daily Face involves vitamin c serum, then a layer of liquid SPF, which is topped with the above CC; by the time I'm done, my Face looks rather shiny, as though the whole edifice can slide right off.
A dusting of this, and everything is set, the whole day. Shininess is gone, and stays gone. I don't need my blotting sheets anymore!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Shadchan Documentary

I initially planned to rewatch "The Wedding Plan," but opted for the suggestion Amazon offered, "Make Me a Match," a documentary about three singles and two shadchanim in Israel.
Technically, it's about an engaged "older" woman (34! Heavens!), an American aliyah-nik, and a divorcée

I was really turned off by the scene when the divorcée meets with her shadchan (she possesses a well-known reputation, and also set her up with her ex), who crudely describes her best option: Pounce on a widower! 

When shidduchim are rendered as such, as survival of the fittest, I want to puke. Is that how it works? Play the game, roll the dice, be there at the right time, and then you'll get a spouse. 

Gross. I wouldn't want to marry like that.

Ortal, the spunky gal whose wedding is the opening scene, was told by a rabbi to daven for 40 days by the Kosel. She wasn't eager to do it—it was winter, parking sucks, but she davened wholeheartedly, asking Hashem for His salvation. Before the time was up a rabbi called with her shidduch.  

I like that story a lot better than "stalk widowers." Shiver. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Adam and Chava

Bruce Feiler was inspired to re-examine the story of Adam and Chava, and discovered messages about love and relationships in the process.
1. Modern science will agree: It is not good for humans to be alone. 

2. A couple is one unit, not two individuals operating separately together. 

3. Love is not a passive experience; it is an active one. 
Romantic love is a myth. You don’t choose a partner because you love him. You love that partner because you chose him.  
4. Love is not a meet-cute story followed by effortless bliss. 
But love is not a moment in time; it’s the passage of time. It’s the long-term practice of reinvention, reconciliation and renewal. Love is the act of constantly revising your own love story.
5. When they lose a child at the hand of the other, they grieve together and have another son. (Contrary to popular belief, couples that break up following the loss of a child are in the minority.)

6. Adam and Chava are the first couple, and remain so.
In a world dominated by “I,” Adam and Eve are the first “we.” Just look at how we remember them.
Not Adam. Not Eve. Adam and Eve. Theirs is the first joint byline.
Ma always used to talk about being a "team player." I have a nephew, for instance, who is pretty much in his own head. He's not really that aware of the needs and wants of others. 

Han observes that the "older single" friends of his who moved out to live on their own tended to become more self-minded. When one can live without waiting for the bathroom, running out to grab a forgotten ingredient, or babysitting, that can create a mindset that is hard to adjust to once one is married. 

Adam and Chava are usually referred to as one entity, the first example of a couple. Because they were created together, there was no question about them not being ideal for each other, despite the ups and downs. As Feiler notes, Adam defers to her, rather than God, presumably because of love. They are a team. 

They were created together. They sinned together. They were exiled together. They always remained together.  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Let Girls Be Girls Any Way

When I was a kid, I officially did not want to be a "girlie girl." The books I read always had boyish heroines who played sports and climbed trees. I actually suck at sports—Ma despaired of my inability to catch a ball, unlike her—and I didn't really understand the need to climb a tree. 

Also, to my detriment, I had a weakness for Barbies—but I will contend that to this day, I have an aversion for the color pink. 

I tried my best to be a tomboy in every other way, which meant wearing my brothers' outgrown sweatshirts as casual attire. I was so lame. 

I refused to wear makeup to Luke's wedding, when I was 15. That would definitely make me a girly girl! Although my gown was magnificent and I had flowers in my hair and sparkling jewelry. Eye pencil drew my imaginary, arbitrary line. 

At some point, I stopped fighting. Sephora was calling to me. Clothing that fit was calling to me. Pretty shoes were calling to me. 

I was reminded of my evolution by this article, "Like Tomboys and Hate Girlie Girls? That's Sexist." The author, a feminist that also used to eschew "girlieness," now finds herself stumped by a 6-year-old that loves pink, Barbies, and froo-froos. She realized that by welcoming her older daughter's tomboyish tendencies, she was still valuing masculinity over femininity.
Via AlexandraJustineChapman
Additionally, there are plenty of (straight) men who have what could be considered feminine qualities (like a fondness for hand cream), for which they have been mocked. 

As the author, Lisa Davis, explains, makeup is not about being alluring to men. If anything, the majority of my dates found my Face horrific. Rather, it is a "fun and creative form of self-expression."

Especially since the arrival of a number of "girlie girl" nieces, as well as others who are not, I've comprehended there is no right or wrong way to be a girl. As long as "like, whateverrrrrrr" is not part of their lexicon.

Friday, January 4, 2019


"How can you know, though," she said, "if someone isn't for you after just one date?" 

Han and I shared glances. "Um, very easily?"

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Rise of the Diets

Every once in a while, a new diet takes social media by storm. There are countless before and after shots of dramatic results proving the great success rate and the grateful customers. "In only three weeks" "In only two months" "In only four days" the testimonials proclaim, along with insane amounts of poundage lost. 

The current craze has pretty dramatic parameters. I know personally that my own body would biologically go berserk if so deprived. 

I've been obsessing a little with body types. A woman I know, after a few kids, is so insanely slender that she looks like she's levitating in her high heels. Then I speak to another three-time mother who's frustrated because she can't shed the baby weight (and yet she's still built something adorable). I wonder at the methods of the women who idly lick an ice cream on the street as they stride on toothpick legs. 

Yet I have not been drawn in by the idea of a dramatic diet plan. I'm not delusional; I know when I cheat. I know when I take too many portions. I know that I have to rediscover my self-control. I also know that weight is not gained overnight; yet many expect to not only shed it overnight, but that will remain a permanent state even if they revert to their old habits.
Changing habits is HARD. So, so HARD. Yet more people find it easier to stick with a dramatic, short-term program as opposed to learning a healthier, long-term lifestyle. I'm proud with the progress I made. But I still have farther to go in terms of not letting food run my life. 

Some people prefer all-or-nothing approaches, but that methodology rarely works in general. Going slowly, tackling one bad habit at a time, is healthier and more likely to generate permanent success. It's not like one can do this diet then go back to eating half a challah every Shabbos meal. Change is required. Which is HARD. Blurgle. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Repurchased! VII Skincare

It took me a long, long while, but I FINALLY found a vitamin c serum in pump form, as opposed to dropper. I was never keen on the dropper. It exposes the serum to the elements, to air, to contaminants, decreasing the potency over time.
I was adamant about a pump or tube, and now that I've found it I go through it like matzah vaaser. I also love the consistency; most vitamin c serums found on Amazon performed well, but other options—including a very expensive one from Sephora—was sticky, or did not melt into my skin, or left an orange(!) residue.

In the mornings, I use witch hazel toner with a cotton pad (instead of washing my face) to prep my skin, then apply the Kleem (on top goes SPF, then makeup). 
The above are the ones I have tried and loved. Additionally, there is an Essential Renewal Gel (10%) for oily skin types, and an Enhanced Renewal Cream (12%) for dryer skin.

I have been a fan of this line when it was still called Alpha Hydrox. These are anti-aging treatments of various percentages that do lovely work. I rotate them with my retinol products (but I haven't yet tried their retinol cream).
For those who are new to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), it would be wise to apply a layer of Cetaphil moisturizer first, then this on top. The serum, for instance, is so potent that it stings if I put it straight on my face.   
Differin, at 0.3%, is still prescription; this one, at a lesser strength, is available over-the counter. While it is referred to as an "acne treatment," the main ingredient is a retinoid, which means it's for anti-aging too.
The same premise applies as with the AHA; apply Cetaphil first, then this on top. (A dermatologist told me to do that, by the way.) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Mamma Lushon

Every family has their own language, and that unique vocabulary can live on. 

In my family's case, cutely mispronounced baby words can cling for decades. For instance, as a toddler, Luke said "dahngess" (which is actually Yiddish for "worries") instead of "downstairs," and to this day, we say "dahngess." Then the next generation of kinfauna left their mark, and in short order. Luke's now 6-year-old son used to say "chapach" instead of "garbage," and I seem to be stuck saying the same. 

Then there are the European pronunciations from my parents' backgrounds. "Interasant" for "interesting"; "stoordy" for "sturdy"; "banant" for "banana." 

Then, when one marries, the spouse introduces their own family language. One of the reasons why I feel like I can be completely myself with Han is his ready acceptance of my verbal quirks, as this vocabulary is so much a part of me that it's unthinkable that I can let it go. 

"Shoin nisht the vaaser," Babi would say when washing hands. "Frozen meat doesn't rot," Zeidy would say regarding the health benefits of frigid weather. Quoting my grandparents, my parents, my siblings, the kinfauna—it's comfort, it's continuity. 

I thought of this while reading Deborah Tannen's "My Mother Speaks Through Me." Her mother died nearly 15 years ago.
I was grateful to be reminded that whenever I open my mouth to speak and my ears to hear, my mother is still with me.
Luke is a scientist; he told his kids that Babi will always be with them because they carry her DNA, she is literally in them. DNA can be seen in action, I have noted. I look like my father's side of the family, but Luke constantly says my mannerisms are like Ma's. When I echo her words, when she quoted her parents' Yiddish and Hungarian, I feel as though she is not gone, but with me.