I’m a Skincare Blogger and I Have Skin Cancer

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Sunscreen is my favorite part of my 7 step skincare routine; as someone who is usually the lightest shade in any given foundation, I am not friends with the sun. I’ve been wearing SPF daily for at least five years, constantly wear sunglasses, and have a bit of a penchant for berets and baseball caps. I also pen skincare reviews almost daily and make sure to fit my annual skin screening in each February.

So, imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from my dermatologist saying my biopsy came back positive for skin cancer and I need to have Mohs surgery. I’d had my screening nearly two weeks before and she took a biopsy from a small, raised, reddish pink spot near my temple. I assumed it was negative when I didn’t hear back in the typical seven day window.

Having a biopsy isn’t too concerning; most doctors prefer to err on the side of cautious over-testing than risk missing a possible issue. I’ve had four biopsies taken over the past decade and all were negative. However, skin cancer has run in my family for generations and I’m sprinkled with freckles and moles, so annual screens are necessary. My parents have had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) unfortunately. From their experiences, I learned about the different types of skin cancer and thankfully wasn’t terrified when I was diagnosed with BCC, the most common form.

Still, I’ve been questioning my diligence around reapplying sunscreen throughout the day and wondering if maybe my chemical exfoliants or (infrequent) retinol usage caused this. I’ve taken a step back from blogging because being diagnosed with BCC made me feel like a bit of a failure as a “skincare expert.” How could I possibly share my opinions and recommendations when my own defense routine let me down?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, BCC is “usually caused by a combination of cumulative and intense, occasional sun exposure.” That means over the course of a period of time. Forgetting sunscreen once last September didn’t cause my skin cancer; I’ve had that spot on my temple for at least a couple years. No routine is a perfect shield and my genes are already vulnerable to skin cancer despite what I’ve done to minimize sun damage. In other words, this is not my fault. I’m a skincare blogger and having skin cancer doesn’t make me a failure. Noticing that the spot changed colors over the past few months and scheduling my appointment makes me proactive in supplementing my daily defense. We all should be more proactive when it comes to our skin, especially considering that non-melanoma skin cancers are the most frequent cancer diagnosis in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.

My Mohs surgery is scheduled for a couple weeks from now (planned around an overseas trip or I would have done it sooner!) and should completely remove the cancerous cells and hardly leave a scar after it heals. If you take one piece of advice from any of the hundreds of posts I’ve written, please make an appointment for your annual skin screening.

Drugstore Dud or Delight: Pixi Eye Reflection Shadow Palette in Natural Beauty

The perfect everyday palette

No secrets here: this one is a complete delight! I’ve exclusively been wearing the Natural Beauty Eye Reflection Shadow Palette since Pixi Beauty kindly sent this over a couple weeks ago. The shade selection is right up my alley and the formula is beautiful as well! I would highly recommend this palette, especially for $24.

The mattes and satins are soft without being powdery and they layer and blend out nicely. The shimmers are truly the star of the show here as they catch and reflect light better than any other drugstore shadow I’ve tried (and probably most of my expensive palettes too!). I apply the shimmers with my finger and get intense color and coverage in one swipe. You can also use a brush to diffuse the pigment a bit if you want something more subtle.

I’m loving the neutral color scheme with a great mix of warm- and cool-toned shades. There are a couple options for crease colors, the perfect matte bone shade, and several shimmers in a variety of depths. I love how you can create so many different looks with this palette! I’ve done a nice all matte look, a simple one shadow shimmer all over the lid, and even a dramatic smokey eye. Because it’s so versatile, I think this is an awesome every day palette and it would make a great travel option too.

Here are the swatches! From the top left we have Sheer Sand, Metal Mauve, and Petal. The second row is Antique Rose, Rose Clay, and Metallic Rose. Then there’s a warmer row with Deep Taupe, Foiled Bronze, and Soft Brown. Lastly, the bottom row is Chocolate Brown, Cocoa Shimmer, and Bronze Gleam.

I continue to be impressed with Pixi Beauty, you guys! The quality of everything I’ve tried is fantastic, plus the line is quite affordable and there’s the convenience of grabbing anything during your next Target run.

So there’s another delight this month! What have you been loving from the drugstore?

Get Ready With Me: Pixi Glow Cake and Kaleido Cosmetics Vacay Vibes Palette

An easy, orange-y look

I’ve been using these palettes so often lately! Here’s a quick demo of one of my go-to looks plus the rest of my makeup routine and favorites at the moment!

Check out swatches and my full reviews for the Pixi Glow Cakes and Kaleido Cosmetics eyeshadows.

Atelier Beaute Chanel Photo Diary

A beautiful experience

Anastasia and I popped by the new Chanel store last weekend and it is a stunner. I was thoroughly impressed with how thoughtful the experience feels; it’s chic, accessible, relaxed, and high end. The space is very Instagram-able, of course, and it feels playful in a refined way.  The standard for hygiene was top-notch too, with some innovative lip samples I’ve never seen from any other brand. I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but the fragrance experience was the highlight for me. I would definitely recommend stopping by at 120.5 Wooster Street! Here’s a little photo diary:

Morphe 15T Palette Review and Swatches

A colorful, wearable palette!

This is my very first Morphe palette thanks to BookSparks! I collaborated with them on this Instagram post and have been enjoying this palette so much that I wanted to share it here too. It’s the 15T Your True Selfie palette and it has a variety of warm brown, red, and orange tones along with a purple and the bottom row is full of green options. I love the color selection! It’s unique in my collection, but I find myself reaching for it quite often.

There are shimmers and mattes in this palette; in general, the shimmers are more consistently smooth and pigmented compared to the mattes. For example, #MorpheBabe, #StrikeAPose, and #Throwback all performed beautifully – they were pigmented with just one swipe, didn’t skip at all, and weren’t chalky. However, #IWokeUpLikeDis, #SorryNotSorry, #OOTD, and #RelationshipGoals felt slightly drier and the swatches were patchy. Thankfully, you can blend them out pretty well on the eyes, but I still prefer the first three.

The shimmers on the other hand were creamy and easy to swatch, plus they apply beautifully on the eyes with no fallout. The only shade that’s a little off is #DopePic; it’s more of a matte with glitter running through it and created that same patchy swatch.

Here are the swatches from my elbow up to my wrist:

  • #MorpheBabe
  • #StrikeAPose
  • #DopePic
  • #NoFilterNeeded
  • #BlendTheRules
  • #IWokeUpLikeDis
  • #SorryNotSorry
  • #OOTD
  • #Throwback
  • #RelationshipGoal
  • #Artist
  • #Before
  • #After
  • #WerkIt
  • #Glam

Here’s the look I created inspired by The Gilded Wolves cover! It’s a subtle smoky eye – something I would definitely wear on a night out. I’m more comfortable wearing “no makeup” makeup for every day, but I love playing with color and green is one of my favorites! I used #StrikeAPose, #WerkIt, #After, and a tiny bit of #NoFilterNeeded. I also went in with a matte cream shadow single for my brow bone – I think this palette is missing that along with a pale shimmer shade.

Overall, this palette is so versatile and you can create looks for both day and night, for work or play. The warm mattes make a great, simple look to define the eye while the shimmers catch the light in a beautiful, attention-grabbing way. You can keep it neutral or add pops of colors. For $16, I would definitely recommend it!