The Day I Remembered I am Already a Lady

Posted on May 31, 2011


I’ve read and heard several times, that here in Korea, looks not just matter but it can make or break you. So, I was not surprised that cosmetic shops here are just like convenience stores. They’re everywhere.

Back home, I don’t really care how I look like and this is without exaggeration. As long as I’m comfortable with what I wear, I’m good. Usually, what I wear is what’s on top of the stack of clothes in my cabinet so it seems like I only use several clothes. I don’t like applying lotion because it feels too sticky especially when it’s hot. There was even a time when I used to go to the office wearing flip flops.

Not that I don’t wear make up. At times I do. Like, once in a blue moon. Sometimes, my friend or my sister applies make up on my face and that’s it. I feel too lazy to do it on my own and I don’t really know much about it. I only know how to use face powder, chick tint, mascara and lipstick.

Also, I have a very sensitive skin thanks to skin asthma. I am almost allergic to everything. It is also common for me to develop an allergic reaction to a product that I’ve been using for the longest time.

Last 2009, I had an unknown condition and became unresponsive to medication. Not even steroids helped me. At first, I thought it was just a severe allergic reaction but the dermatologists I consulted were considering Systemic Lupus Eryhtematosus, an autoimmune disorder (immune system can’t recognize which cells are good and which are bad. Thus, it attacks even the good cells.)  All of them advised me to have a skin biopsy to confirm my condition.  As a Registered Nurse, I know how serious it could get and that made me cry every night for a week. It was hard and it did not help that whenever I have to see the doctor I need to go alone. I was in denial and was not even willing to have the biopsy at first because it will leave a scar on my face.

 October 2009 we went to Ilocos and a few weeks after, the rashes started showing on my face. November 2009, in SG it became a butterfly rash, a distinguishing characteristic of SLE

After several months, my condition got better. There were less rashes and it was not as itchy as before. I finally mustered the courage to have the biopsy but suddenly the rashes disappeared. It became intermittent. I found out that there were things and circumstances that trigger my condition whatever it was. I can’t feel stressed. I can’t eat chicken everyday. I cannot have sleep less than 7 hours and we’re talking about continuous sleep. Even baby powder (J & J) burns my skin. I can’t be under the sun unless I use a sun block that has SPF of 80. These are just some of it.

It was a drastic lifestyle change. At times, I feel envious of girls who can wear make up, those who can stay under the sun while on the beach, those who can enjoy KFC’s hot chicken and gravy. I wanted to enjoy life as normal. Like the way I used to.

When I arrived here, I only have Physiogel cleanser and moisturizer, AVON lipstick and ChapStick lip balm. These are the only products I can use without resulting into an allergic reaction when I was still home.

I don’t have a vanity kit only a small pouch with these items

Then there was this time, when it suddenly hit me, why not try if their products here work for me. It was scary because I might end up not just wasting money but full of rashes again. I don’t have insurance here and I’m living in Seoul on a shoestring. However, unless I try I wouldn’t know. Stubborn as I am, I decided to buy.  I bought mascara first, a body spray and a concealer. I can’t buy all of them at the same time because again I have limited budget.

On my next visit to the shops, I bought BB cream, hydrating mist, face powder, blush on (they call it blusher), other variants of mascara, kabuki brush and an eyeliner. It took me a couple of hours to buy these because I tried looking for trial packs first so I can see whether the product is good for me or not without wasting too much. However, there are some that doesn’t have small versions so I had to buy the regular size.

Good thing that most of it worked well on my skin and hopefully I wouldn’t develop allergies to these products any time soon.

We had a term break for two weeks and I spent some of my free time watching youtube videos on how to use these items. Next time, I’d like to learn how to use an eye shadow but I guess I’d be able to do it during summer vacation.

Although I still like my face more when I’m not wearing any make up I also realized that I’m not getting younger. Though, I feel good even if I’m only wearing a shirt and a pair of jeans, I have to look good once in a while. Beauty may not be all about the physical but it still includes it. Taking care of one’s self includes wearing a nice pair of shoes and a fab dress at times. Better enjoy this now while I still can.