One Week Later

Has it been a week already? The end of the semester whirs by between last-minute student make-up work (like the whole semester’s worth for some of them), term papers and finals…ugh. Luckily, I love teaching. It gets me through that nasty time of the school cycle.

But I’ve been too busy to keep a close eye on my little experiment here. So, this is what happened:

  1. I used the Reverse regimen for a week: Saturday night, Sunday morning and night, Tuesday morning, Thursday morning, and Friday morning. If you follow the directions on the box properly, you use the four-step (four product potions) every other morning for the first week. I screwed that up, but oh well. The point is to get your skin used to the product slowly. Doing anything slowly is difficult for me.


Each item is numbered by the order of use. For those who don’t pay attention enough (me), that’s a pretty good feature.

2. I knew from trying a mini facial sample before I got my hands on this box of Reverse skin care that I liked how my skin felt after the micro-derm scrub and the lip serum. Nothing is greasy or heavy, very light, but highly moisturizing. But I wasn’t prepared for that addictive clean, smooth feel on my skin. Regardless of whether or not my skin transforms into pure, radiant beauty or not (lol), I loved that feel. That’s probably why I couldn’t skip Friday’s morning wash like I was supposed to.

3. After a week of using the Reverse on and off, not only I but my 18-year old daughter noticed my forehead looked smoother.  Last night at my niece’s birthday dinner, two of my sisters confirmed that my forehead did look smoother (maybe the power of suggestion, though, since I mentioned it first). I made a few people there feel my forehead, which, for introvert me, must mean that a glass of wine on an empty stomach emboldens me far too much ūüėČ

Maybe it’s too hard to tell since the two shots are not from the same angle or distance, but these forehead shots are one week apart.

Am I a hopeless dreamer or do you detect a slight softening of the lines?

3. And the third thing that happened was this:

I slept with those puppies (acute care strips in the blue and white package) all night for my lovely crow’s feet (if you’re negative) or laugh lines (if you’re not). Again, selfies are not my strong suit, so maybe the effect is not coming through. I’ll leave it to you, dear viewers, to examine the effects.

I’m not sure how this experiment will turn out, but so far, it’s a lot of fun!


A Question of Beauty

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood with my four siblings, factory laborer father, and stay-at-home mother. My upbringing instilled in me a solid work ethic and a never-take-anything-for-granted mentality.

From my father, I learned responsibility. You work hard and long (12-hour days six to seven days a week), even if your work is sucking the life blood from your veins. It’s the right thing to do when you have a family. You have no choice.

From my mother, I saw hard work. She was always home cooking, cleaning, gardening, and raising kids. She did everything. I also learned honesty and the power of words from her. In her house, I didn’t fear the punishment for sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night as much as I feared the punishment for lying about it. Her brand of torture was hours-long lectures–with quizzes at the end.

But I also learned about self-deprecating humor and body insecurity from her. She clearly thought she was ugly and fat. My father often took the cues from her to deal low blows that reinforced that poor self-image. She gave him the lead, and he took it.

So, I grew up thinking that my power came from my mind, my intellect, and my words. Outer beauty was not as important as inner beauty and strength. I’ve patterned my life on those seeds planted and harvested so long ago.

That’s why, when my father now remarks, “You look in great shape!”, I knee-jerk reply,

“For a fifty-seven-year-old.”

Or when I’m told, “You have long eyelashes,” I counter

“It’s mascara.”


In both cases, the reply could simply be “thank you.” But that would imply that I accept the compliments as true. It’s easier to rely on what’s ingrained in me–to suspect the praiser as blowing smoke or mistaken. I’ve adapted my mother’s disbelief in owning physical beauty.

Hard-wired beliefs are hard to shake.

My quest for the last few decades has been to perfect inner beauty with kindness, compassion, good thoughts, and service. As a teacher, writer, lawyer, coach, and volunteer, I’ve grown wisdom–a little bit. I’m inclined to forgive and accept people–just as people.

Have I afforded myself the same? Somewhat, yes.

What does this have to do with beauty?

Here I am, able to choose a new path as my children grow up and out on their own and my parents settle into their growing old and away. New beginnings from endings. I chose skincare products. Huh?

Have I turned desperate or superficial in my older age? No, that’s just defensive judgmental shit talking. I’ve tried to be okay with the ravages of time in my face that I failed to protect and love all these years. Mostly, I am, but some days, the mirror bums me out.

Why not look and feel better if you can? If a product works–any product–I’m all about singing its praises. And better still, if it works for others, I’m doubly all over it. Because then I get to share with others something that makes me happy.

This is the challenge and hope for me–to improve my skin. I want to look better, fresher, brighter, and younger. Most importantly, I don’t want to feel guilty or self-judging about those desires.

But the greatest outcome would be to watch others transform. That appeals to both my loving heart and my scientific mind.

Do you ever feel guilty for wanting to look more beautiful? Or is it just me?









In the Beginning…

For the record, I’ve never been a skincare person. I use whatever product. My mom used Ponds cold cream, so I slathered that on for years. Then, when the lines turned to ravines in my face, I started reading labels on skin care products in the beauty aisles of Target or the local drug store. I probably tried three or four anti-aging formulas with retinol, L’Oreal, Oil of Olay, Rock, and others I can’t recall.

My daughters recommended Lush products, which are all-natural and vegan, so I have been using a soap wash on my face with whatever is on sale for moisturizer. That’s probably why my skin is so damaged. My skin care regimen has been largely the I don’t care skin care regimen.

So, I went to the hydration celebration thingy at my mentor’s gorgeous home. I learned some more about the products and played guinea pig for one test strip that I stuck on my crow’s feet on the right side of my face. You’re supposed to leave it on all night, but I had it on for about two hours. At the end of the night, we took pictures to show the¬†comparison from

At the end of the night, we took pictures to show the comparison from the right (with the strip) to the left side.

The left side crow’s feet ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†The right side crow’s feet after 2 hrs

Others at the party said they could see the difference. Can you?

I’m probably blinded by the up-close wreckage of my face to see anything. Like so many others, I’m sure I’m my worst critic.

These are pretty good photos for the before pictures of my journey. I started the Rodan and Fields Reverse product line two days ago. Note to self: read directions. lol. I guess you’re supposed to start with the four-step morning process–wash, toner, moisturizer, and sun screen–every other day, once a day. I did Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night. I finally read the directions this morning after my mentor asked if I was doing the treatment every other day. Dead giveaway when I replied, “Why?”

And I tell my students that all the time–follow directions!

Curious to see the one-week comparison photos? Me too.


And We’re Off


Image Source

I signed up the day before yesterday.

I’m a writer and teacher by profession. In a former life, I was an attorney. More importantly, I’m a mom, wife, daughter, sister, yogini, and human. ¬†I’m an introvert (I recharge my battery in alone time, not with people) and a skeptic by nature.

So what am I doing in direct sales? I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.

A friend of mine gently but firmly persuaded me to do this. She’s enthusiastic about the product, so,¬†naturally, she’d want to share it with others. But she’s also in business, and I’m a bit of a people pleaser. But not a pushover, so I must be ready for something that pushes my limits–once again.

Regardless of the motivation or history, I’m here. And I’m ready. Sort of.

The next part of this adventure, besides attending my mentor’s product meeting and wading through a myriad of messages and information bits, is to get some of this stuff on my skin and watch the magic happen.

And I hope I transform–physically and psychically. It’s time for a change. I hope everyone can see it. I’ll post the before photo tomorrow–when the journey really begins.

Peace out, my friends. Go Ducks!

Until then…

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