Trial and Error (Mostly Error)

Being your own Guinea pig

Aren’t labels, advertisements, and commercials great? I think they’re great. They let you know exactly what the product is and exactly what it intends to do. You know, like how that new perfume instantly transforms you into that perfect individual that’s simply got their life together and spends the days strolling through beautiful cities and attending galas.

Make up commercials are my favorite. I love the mascaras that are infused with some kind of super growth serum that give you mutant eyelashes upon first use. They’re great.



But seriously, ludicrous commercials aside, we rely on product promotions to pick our products. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (when the product works). We’ve all mentally clasped our hands tightly around the throats of one of our closest friends because they recommended the “best product ever,” and it turned out to be not the best product ever. The thing is, we’re all different and we react differently to certain products. How then, do we find out what works for us? We become our own Guinea pigs.

Haven’t you always wanted to be a Guinea pig? Me too!

The life of a Guinea pig is a hard and expensive one though. It really is all about trial, observation, and error—many errors.

When I got to college, I suddenly got it in my head to change my makeup. Why? Because the counters at Macy’s are pretty and I’ve always had a thing for looking at makeup (even though I loathe wearing large amounts of it). Call me crazy, but I just don’t fancy that feeling of being buried under layers of powder. Crazy huh?

So anyway, I took myself to Macy’s and convinced myself, without any help from the lovely people at the makeup counters, that I needed to change my makeup to Estée Lauder because, why not? I started with concealer and foundation and then I went back the next weekend and got the Advanced Night Repair Serum, and then I went back the next weekend and got something else I didn’t really need. Pretty soon, I had their whole skincare line and some of their makeup (again, I don’t use that much make up to begin with).

Let me take a moment here to say that I actually really love Estée Lauder’s products. I really do. Alas, it was not meant to be.


After about a year of using Estée Lauder exclusively, I began to really notice that I was breaking out. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Breakouts are, after all, the ailment of the young people. But, once I’d ruled out things like: using sunscreen on my face daily and drinking more water, I decided that my face needed a little extra help.

I returned to my friend Macy’s and purchased a Clarisonic MIA 2. (I absolutely love this thing and I’ll talk about it in another post). Even with the help of the Clarisonic however, the breakouts continued to be persistent. Finally, after going home for a break and needing to go through, not one, but two facials, I decided I needed to change my makeup.

Was I 100% sure that I was allergic to my makeup? No. Trial and error my friends. Trial and error.

But now what? And which line? And what do I do with the remaining Estée Lauder stuff? Now, you go to your usual makeup store (we don’t have Macy’s where I’m from, but my usual store is just as good). You ask your usual sales representative which line. You wrench out your heart, try not to think about the money, and throw away the remaining Estée Lauder makeup.

And that’s what I did.

I switched my skincare line to Biotherm and my makeup became a mixture of Guerlain and Chanel (I’ll outline my daily routine and products in another post). How did I know these would work for me? I didn’t. That’s part of the glamorous life of a Guinea pig…(I told you it was hard and expensive).


Luckily for my wallet, things seem to be progressing well (it seems my skin was just not meant for Estée Lauder). But, as always, I’m keeping a close eye on changes and reactions.


2 thoughts on “Trial and Error (Mostly Error)

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