EDITOR’S NOTE: Beautypendence brings you the final installment in this three-part series about growing back hair after chemo. (See first post about my mom’s experience here, and second post from Sarah, a firsthand account here.)
Mary Beth is best friends with one of my college roommates, Leslie. I’ve always known MB as fun-loving, witty and beautiful. Cancer hasn’t changed that one bit. She and I share a love of film, but Mary Beth actually gets to work in the biz. However, her healthcare coverage isn’t ideal for cancer treatments. Last weekend her friends hosted a benefit in Austin in her honor that I was unfortunately out of town for. However, we can all still help her out by making a donation! I asked Mary Beth if I could share this Paypal link with my readers. I know any amount you contribute will be greatly appreciated. And now, her story, in her words.
In May 2012 at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIe Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. My first thought was: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phillipians 4:13). It was a scripture I would repeat many, many times over the next year. And with that, my battle with cancer began.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been known as “the girl with the pretty, long blonde hair.” I’ve spent many nights as a child, squirming in my chair while my mother painstakingly rolled my hair in pink spongy rollers, in hopes that I would wake up with a head of curls like my fellow cheerleaders.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Beautypendence is proud to bring you this three-part series about growing back hair after chemo. (See first post about my mom’s experience here.) Sarah and I were in the same arts administration graduate program at the University of Oregon from 2003-2005. Not only is Sarah an outstanding museum professional, she’s a wife and mother of two super cool kids. Plus, we have Sarah to thank for this brilliant blog series idea! I know you’ll enjoy reading her story below, written in her own beautiful words.
The idea of me writing a post for a beauty blog is sure to have anyone who knows me rolling in the aisles. I’m about the last person on earth anyone would expect to do such a thing!! I’m renowned for telling my hairstylist “Give me something easy,” and it took cancer to really give me an appreciation for makeup. A few months ago I wrote to Jenn, goddess of all things beauty related, and encouraged her to write a post about growing-out hair. Staying true to her desire to keep this blog very first hand, she asked me to do so instead. So here it goes…
University of Oregon Arts Administration Masters Class of 2005 – Sarah is in the back row with glasses
A couple of months ago, my friend Sarah from grad school contacted me. It’s been eight years since we graduated, and we live several states apart, but thanks to the magic of social media, Sarah knew that I had this little beauty blog. She asked if I could write a post about growing out hair after chemo treatments. I was saddened to hear that Sarah had gone through this since we had last seen each other but flattered that she thought me worthy to give this important topic the due it deserved.
With my parents, graduation from UT Austin in May 1998 – my mom was 48 and has only faint hints of gray
One of my early and favorite posts on Beautypendence was about my longtime hairstylist, Mark. I created a super cool collage of my hair over the past 10 years. Per the historical record, I’ve been wearing my hair fairly long since about 2009. This summer I cut a few inches off, but the weekend before last, I was ready for major change.
I’ve always been attracted to short hair. Short hair is so chic and stylish, two qualities I really felt my long hair was lacking. I’ve always communicated to Mark that I want my hair to be a little sexy, and a little rock and roll. Versatility is also important to me. I get bored wearing my hair just one way all the time.
While the runways continue to parade models with long hair, Hollywood has definitely jumped on the short hair train. Think Ginnifer Goodwin (so fierce), Emma Watson (tres chic), and my current hair inspiration, Michelle Williams. Her recent ad campaign with Louis Vuitton is so gorgeous I can hardly stand it. I brought these photos in to show Mark. (Hairstylists love it when you bring them photos!)
It’s now been two years since Beautypendence launched in September 2011. Wow! In that time, not only have I partaken in wonderful spa treatments and tried on A LOT of makeup, but I have learned tons about skincare. More specifically, I’ve honed in on what works best for me. We are all unique and different, so each of us requires a customized routine.
I have dry skin, fairly sensitive with mild rosacea. My skin responds better to gentle treatment. The more I do to my skin, the angrier it gets at me. All in all, I count myself lucky. (Thanks for the good genes, Mom!) But don’t you doubt for a second that I work at maintaining my healthy complexion. Here’s a look into my current skin regimen, day and night.
The makeup experts say that if you have dry skin, then cream blush is a better option over powder blush. And if you read the reviews on Beautypedia, Make Up For Ever has one of the best-rated cream blush options. Many times I’ve tested their HD Microfinish Blush at Sephora, and the strong pigmentation scared me off every time. Last fall, at the Make Up Bag Remix event, I finally received proper instruction direct from the source, and now it’s a favorite item in my makeup kit. Don’t worry, I’ll share with you the trade secret to using this fabulous cream blush.
HD Blush comes in 14 shades, and per the website, “Its mattifying and light-reflecting pigments were specifically selected for a perfect application.” The shade I bought was the one the Make Up For Ever artist used on me – 6 “Quickie”, a salmon pink shade. Paraben free, dermatologist tested, all that good stuff. Continue reading
If you’re a frequent reader, you may notice that I’m currently in a trying-out-new-lip-makeup phase. With the hotness of Texas summer, it’s tough to get motivated about trying new anything on my eyes, face or cheeks. For the past few months, I’ve been going sans foundation. For my Beautypendents living in this heat and humidity, you know what I’m talking about. Lip color is a fair compromise for a makeup fanatic in sweat-inducting weather.
Always a sucker for a new, buzz-worthy drugstore brand product, I just had to try Almay’s new Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm. Kate Hudson loves it, and she wouldn’t lie to us, right?
Viva Day Spa is celebrating it’s eighth anniversary. If you read my interview last year with the owners, it’s easy to see how they’ve stayed in business in Austin for so long. Not to mention the consecutive years that Viva has won “Best Spa” in the Austin Chronicle, among other local awards.
Viva Day Spa has two locations, the original on 35th Street and another on South Lamar. Eight years young, Viva continues its dedication to fine service for the mind, body and spirit in a warm and relaxing environment. I was tickled pick that they invited me to indulge in a complimentary treatment. Continue reading
A few months ago I was in California, and my awesome sister Emily (by the way, I have three sisters, all awesome) gave me a grab bag of goodies from SKINFOOD. Knowing that her little sister loves makeup, Emily wanted to share this line of Korean products that are now sold in San Francisco, where she lives. I haven’t tried all the products she gave me yet, but I did try this Vita Tok Lipgloss. It’s fabulous!
Now that I’ve moved to San Antonio (Oh, did I mention that yet? By the way, I’ve moved to San Antonio!), all I can think about are all the many beauty service providers in Austin I haven’t written about. However, I have many friends and commitments that keep me closely tied to the Capital City, so now Beautypendence will have bi-regional – Central and South Texas – coverage. HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?!?
Okay, getting back to the order of the day. Visiting AWAY Spa at the W Austin had long been on my agenda. Fortuitously, I had a bachelorette weekend to attend, with accommodations booked at the W. Thanks to my friends at the hotel, I was able to book a Susan Ciminelli Signature Facial at AWAY while I was in town. Continue reading