"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Maya Angelou
Welcome to L.A. Vida Color, a beauty blog focused on skincare and makeup!
A quick story about me...
My love for beauty products grew out of necessity. I started breaking out when I was about 16, and they weren’t tiny little whiteheads and blackheads. They were honking cysts and nodules that made my face hurt. They appeared in the worst spots too, like right on the end of my nose, so I looked like Rudolph the Reindeer for weeks. On top of that, my face was a grease machine and I carried blotting papers with me because my face was so shiny all the time.
That’s when I first discovered foundation and powder. I caked MAC Studio Fix powder on my face like crazy to hide all the dark marks my acne left on my face. Well, that left me looking like a matte ghost, so I applied thick black eyeliner, mascara and shiny lip gloss to add some color back into my face. My makeup and skin care obsession was born.
An obsession is born
I started scouring Makeupalley.com and Specktra.net (popular beauty forums at the time) to try and find the best makeup and skin care for my breakouts. The information available online at the time was definitely more limited so this was much harder back then. I spent countless hours researching ingredients, putting whatever money I had towards trying new products, all in hopes of clearing up my skin.
At the same time, I started experimenting with all kinds of makeup. If I couldn’t get rid of my acne, I figured I could at least wear fun makeup that would make me feel better about myself. I loved wearing blue mascara from the drugstore, metallic purple Urban Decay eyeshadow, face glitter from Skinmarket (anyone remember that store!?), and bright pink MAC Lipglass that gave my lips a plasticky shine. I got my hands on all the colorful makeup I could afford. My love for colorful makeup is partially what inspired me to name my blog L.A. Vida Color.
Despite enjoying makeup, I became incredibly self-conscious about my skin in high school, and it didn’t get better in college either. I spent a lot of time hiding in my dorm room because I didn’t want people to see my skin. I envied most of my friends who had clear skin and never needed foundation. I would get anxiety if anyone asked me to hang out last minute because I needed enough time to conceal my acne. Other times, I just declined invitations because it was such a hassle (especially if it was a sleepover, because I’d have to go to bed with makeup on if I did go).
The good news is, this gave me plenty of time to continue researching ways to get rid of my acne. I tried everything from drugstore products, ProActiv, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathic remedies, at home light therapy, retinol serums, acid peels, prescription antibiotic and retinoid gels, various prescription pills, facials, etc. Nothing worked, and I was incredibly frustrated I wasted so much time and money on my skin.
Finally, in my mid 20s, I visited a new dermatologist who listened to my story and told me to try Accutane. Accutane? I didn’t know my skin was that bad. “It’s not,” she said, “but your acne is very stubborn and this medication can really help you.” I was hesitant because I knew this was a strong medication with a lot of potential side effects. But she assured me we would start on a low dose and my health would be monitored. (Side note: I am not advocating this medication, and you should talk to your derm first if you are even thinking of taking Accutane!)
I agreed to take it, because I already exhausted so many options. And, wow. My skin cleared up 100% within a few months, and my oily skin was now normal. I was SO happy that I could leave the house without putting makeup on, after so many years. I knew I couldn’t take Accutane forever, though. I didn’t want to anyway, because of the potential side effects. When my derm took me off the medication, she warned me that I needed to stay on top of the skin care routine she recommended, otherwise my breakouts would return.
I was so happy I was no longer a slave to my skin care routine, and I didn’t do much beyond washing my face and slapping on moisturizer, maybe the occasional face mask. I was just relieved I didn’t have to spend so much time on my face. My skin stayed clear for a few years without me doing much.
comfortable in your own skin
Slowly but surely, my breakouts started coming back. My derm was right. I regretted taking my clear skin for granted. But I took this as a cue to start treating my skin right, and working on my health overall, because your skin is a reflection of your health. My journey ultimately led to me starting this blog.
My skin still isn’t perfect, but I now know my skin so much better and how to care for it. I have a better appreciation for skin care and makeup, and I love sharing what I’ve learned with others.
I want to share my journey with you on this blog, in hopes that you might find something useful to help you feel better in your own skin!