Have you ever wondered what you would eat for your last meal? Melanie Dunea has. When she’s not interviewing people for her site My Last Supper, she spends her time as a freelance portrait photographer and casual instagramer. And this week, Melanie is sharing her favorite beauty, food, and photography tips on the Birchbox blog.
I used to dodge kisses from my Grandmother Oma at bedtime, not because I didn’t love her, but because her face was always greasy. Sitting in front of a vanity mirror, dressed in a lovely robe, she would slather layer upon layer of cream while going on about the myriad benefits of moisturizing. “Trust me,” she would say. “When you are old, you won’t regret having taken care of your skin.”
I took her words to heart and by the time I was a teenager in the ’80s, I was blowing over half my paycheck ($4.35/hour working in the school cafeteria) on—you guessed it!—moisturizer. Lotions, creams, serums, fluids, balms, salves, emulsions and unguents. You name it, I was daubing onto my face, lids, neck, shoulders, knees, and toes.
Today, I’m downright obsessive compulsive about my skin. I treat it with more care and tenderness than Ebony and Ivory, my beloved childhood goldfish, or Boxer, my much-adored cat. My skin regimen is completely inflexible. It doesn’t matter what state I come home in; I always remove my makeup and wash my face. I use a morning cream, a night cream, and an eye cream. I rarely set foot outside without applying sunblock and donning a hat. And, I have a facial every six weeks, without fail.
So, you can imagine my horror when, performing a routine inspection of my usually flawless complexion one night, I discovered a pimple. My facialist and complexion guru recommended, of all things, a $10 clay mask from the grocery store. Packed with 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, purported to be the “world’s most powerful facial” and promised “deep pore cleaning.” The straightforward instructions called for mixing the mask’s clay powder with apple cider vinegar then applying the concoction to your face with the warning to expect to “feel your face pulsate.” A deep sizzle was more like it which, combined with the vinegar-scented, Shrek-colored mud drying onto my face, was enough to send me into a near panic state. But, after rinsing, the spot was practically a distant memory and my skin appeared positively aglow.
Since then, I have become a devoted mask-er. Best of all, unlike Grandmother Oma, my skincare secret doesn’t leave me unkissable— well, not for long.
We love a good mask too. Our editor’s favorite? GLAMGLOW Mud Mask for its instant results of brighter, smooth skin.