Superficial Interventions – Cosmetics, Self-esteem and Recovery

Urban Decay's "Cannonball" and Too Faced "Better Than Sex" mascaras

Urban Decay’s “Cannonball” and Too Faced “Better Than Sex” mascaras

The other day my husband asked me why I was tweeting about bumper stickers from my @MyGuts4Garters Twitter account, when wasn’t it supposed to be about Ulcerative Colitis? I said no, it’s about living with Ulcerative Colitis, which means it’s about everything to do with having an invisible disability while trying to be normal. I’m pretty sure someone with Ulcerative Colitis a) encounters pithy bumper stickers on a daily basis and b) wouldn’t mind a little humor or distraction. If I only blogged about symptoms, medications and daily UC-related frustrations, I’d shoot myself. Talk about focusing solely on the negative and being obsessed with it to the point where it consumes your every waking thought! It’s bad enough that you feel it day in and day out, hour by hour. These days, I find myself trying not to think about it. I just want to be N-O-R-M-A-L. There are thousands of women like me out there–and I’m including preteens and teens all the way up through 99+ here–who are dealing with the nasty symptoms of IBD and wanting to feel cute, pretty, feminine, and/or sexy. And what do women who need a pick-me-up do? Well, many of us turn to cosmetics. There’s science behind it: “superficial interventions” such as makeup, manicures, hair, etc., “ease distress. . . looking good helps [patients] feel better and gives them more confidence to cope with their disease” according to Dr. Thompson in the article “Why more hospitals are using cosmetic services to help treat cancer.” In the same article, a cancer patient is quoted as saying that simply putting on her wig “takes the stress away” and that “stress is the enemy to getting better.” Amen, sister.

So with that in mind, what am I here to do today? Share my trial-and-errors with mascara. There were a lot of duds, but the hands-down favorites are Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and Urban Decay Cannonball waterproof mascara. Too Faced wins for adding extreme length and volume, and Urban Decay does the same–slightly less in the volume department though not by much–while being supremely waterproof. Want to boost Cannonball’s volume-adding abilities? Use Dior’s Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum as a base first, then apply your mascara of choice. Prefer your non-waterproof mascara but want to waterproof after the fact? Apply Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat, which does a terrific job of smudge-proofing an otherwise very smudgy mascara. Think face-smooshed-into-a-doughnut-pillow-on-a-massage-table-for-fifty-minutes smudge-proof. Your cheeks might have pillow lines, but your eyes won’t have raccoon circles! One less thing to have to worry about given everything else on our plates. So ladies (and gents), though mascara may not be your personal go-to, you deserve a boost. Seek out your superficial intervention today!

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