It's Your Turn To Come To Peace With Your Acne

It's Your Turn To Come To Peace With Your Acne

Your blossoming blemish isn't the high viscosity volcano you think it is.
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For many years, I've gotten pretty used to people observing my face as if they were looking for the corresponding constellation to their horoscope on an astrological map.

My pimples are the last thing I see in the mirror before I go to sleep. I really wish that, instead, the only spots on my face I'll ever have to worry about are the ones that appear on my window reflection at night when the stars decide to show off their sheen.

I guess you can say I live a pretty lavish life, rich in stares from people who make poor eye contact with me while I talk because they're counting every little bump and pustule on my face. Every zit I fail to zap, and pimple I refuse to pop turn into dots that connect and spell, "look away."

If you've never felt this way about your skin, you're allowed to think that I'm overreacting. Also, I'm sure you're also livin' the life. Except, you're rich in stares from people who have the same look on their face when they can't seem to find any words on a crossword puzzle.

Hold up — are you telling me out of envy that having less-to-non-problematic skin isn't so great anyway because we draw blanks on people's faces?


Yes, I do envy you. I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for my having to publicize my personal pimplums. Oh, shoot — I meant to say problems. What I'm trying to say is; I am not totally disregarding the fact that maybe you have baby-butt skin because you clear out (no pun intended) stressors of physical insecurity by avidly sticking to a high-intensity skincare routine.

I could be right; I could be wrong. What you're probably right about is my needing to make peace with my lumps and bumps. Now what you're probably wrong about are the "duh" suggestions you're about to float my way: Wear makeup less often. Try this cream. Throw away that brand of face wash.

Even if it was never your intention to think that way about me, I blame the ten years (and counting) of uninvited guests on my visage for eternally delaying my chance to practice "self-confidence." It really is all a genetic thing.

L.O.L. The last sentence you just read is a lie. Well, sort of. Long story short, I started dealing with breakouts when I was 11 years old. It wasn't until later down the road I finally came to peace that having problematic skin works in my best interest because:

1. I have lots of company when I look in the mirror

There's some sarcasm there.

2. Trust me, I know now better than ever that no one out there is actually sick and twisted enough to only pay attention to my zits.

A funny thing that my little brother said to me during a face-to-face conversation when his forehead suddenly became a topographic volcano map was, "Hello? My eyes are down here." Now if this pimple were to pop right then and there, boy its flow would have been high in viscosity. Should I even explain the animation below that I chose to describe that monstrosity?

I know; why did I dare expose my little brother in that way? If you look at my face at profile angle against the light, the outline of my cheeks and forehead is closer to resembling a city skyline than that of the flatlands of the Midwest. So I get it.

There I go again, exaggerating my acne. (Although, what I just said attests the fact that real-life Photoshop isn't a thing. No matter how expensive your foundation is, hun, you're not gonna flatten those lumps and bumps.)

Welp, I guess that pretty much sums up all the T.M.I. (too much Irysh) glory I had to squeeze out for you today.

Pun intended.


Cover Image Credit: Jerrin Concepcion

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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5 Big Tips for Spray Tans And Tanning Beds

If you spray tan or lay in tanning beds, here are some helpful tips to achieve the best tan.

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Now I'm not calling myself an expert here by any means, BUT, I do happen to work at a tanning salon. So I've picked up some extra tips and tricks along the way to help people achieve the best authentic (or fake) tan possible. Whether you use the beds or actually spray tan, these might help you out on your next visit.

(If you are totally against sun-bed tanning for obvious reasons, please skip over this article. I realize this is a choice at everyone's own discretion, so if you don't agree with it that's completely fine. This is specifically for those who choose to tan because they want to!)

1. Tingle is for your body, not your face 

Please...for the LOVE, do not put a tingle lotion on your face in the tanning beds. Just don't do it!!! This lotion is not made for areas this sensitive. It's horrible for the thin layer of delicate epidermis that your facial skin has (which is supposed to be treated with face-friendly products only). AKA, products that were made specifically for your face and formulated with careful ingredients.

(Side note for anyone that does not know what a tingle lotion is/ what it does: It pulls the blood vessels under your skin to the surface creating a red "tingle" reaction which allows the sun rays to penetrate more deeply and effectively; creating a quicker and deeper tan.)

If you really do care about tanning your face, like I do, then make sure to invest in a quality facial tanner made specifically to tan your face in the tanning beds. This is the safest option with the best benefits (won't clog pores, won't harm facial skin, and it'll have important vitamins for your face in it, etc.).

2. Tan-extender is a MUST 

This is so important with any tanning routine! If you are going to pay money to achieve good color, you need to make sure you're doing everything possible to extend and retain that color as long as possible outside the beds (otherwise, what are you paying for?). Using cheap "tan-extender lotions" from Walmart or local drug stores can contain alcohol, sulfates, and other drying properties that actually strip your tan and take away moisture from your skin.

Big no from me.

That's why it's always important to get a true tan extender from a local tanning salon to ensure the quality of it is real and trusted. Your tan extending lotion should actually be doing something to help your tan, not hurt it. If you're using a tan extender daily in place of your regular lotion, you'll see a huge difference in the life of your tan. (As well as silky smooth skin, so who doesn't love that?)

3. Barrier-cream is your best friend

If you spray tan regularly, I'm sure you can back me up on this. Barrier cream is essential to any sunless-tanning experience. Barrier cream is basically a cream that you apply (before you spray-tan) to areas that are dry, or prone to dryness that the spray tan might stick to while you are spraying. It blocks the spray and helps reduce the amount it will accumulate to a certain area, like normally your hands. Your hands tend to have the ability to turn orange while the rest of your body looks fine. This can be because of dryness, as well as the micro-lines we have from our fingerprints and creases. So lather on that barrier cream like your life depends on it; you'll thank me later. (Most salons will provide this cream, but others might make you buy it. It can vary but just ask if you're not sure.)

4. Pre-spray tan routines are essential

If you regularly spray tan, or are spray tanning for the first time, it is so important to have a pre-spray routine. First couple of things to do/ keep in mind:

1. Shave & EXFOLIATE

I put exfoliate in all caps because so many people can forget this crucial step, but it is such a big deal to have a clean, fresh layer of skin for your spray tan to stick to. This will ensure the best overall coverage and color of your spray.

2. Rinse your body with water and soap

3. Don't put on any body lotions after exfoliating/ shaving, leave it completely dry before you spray

I've seen too many people apply buttery body lotions before they come in to spray tan and then complain when the spray doesn't stick to their skin. This is because lotions like that create a thin film that can allow the spray to slip right off, so just come with a clean layer of skin and you're all set.

4. When you arrive to spray, make sure you have a PRIMER

Using a primer lotion specifically made to prime your skin for a spray tan is what will give you the best spray possible, as well as help it last on your skin. USE IT!

5. Switching between beds will get you the darkest 

This is something not everyone understands (I didn't either until I was educated on it) but NEEDS to understand because it can change your tanning results drastically. If you are tanning in the beds, it's essential to switch up the type of tanning beds you are laying in every time you go. This means that beds that strictly build your melanin (lower level beds) are not meant to be used every single visit. In order to get the color and darkness you want, you have to lay in beds that have bronzing bulbs as well (higher level beds).

This means that the higher level bronzing beds are actually bronzing the melanin in your skin that has been produced, which is allowing you to achieve the deepest tan possible. If you are only laying in a "building bed," you will eventually hit a tanning Plato and your tan will not continue to develop and darken in these beds. It hits a stopping point because your skin can only go so many shades darker until it has produced all it can produce without further help. In order to break this Plato and continue getting darker, you have to bronze the melanin already there.

Same goes for the higher level beds. If you are only laying in higher level bronzing beds and not switching it up every couple of times to tan in building beds, your tan will not excel. This is because the bronzing beds are meant to bronze the melanin that you ALREADY have produced in your skin (since they don't build melanin, they're only meant to bronze it), and if you don't have any melanin produced or being produced, then you don't have anything to actually bronze. You have to have a good balance of switching between the building and bronzing beds in order to actually continue achieving the best tan possible.

(Side note: melanin is the dark pigment produced by your skin when exposed to sunlight — artificial or natural)

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