What it’s REALLY like trying to get a kidney transplant

The first thing I did when I was told I needed a kidney transplant was start to research all about the process. Online they make it seem so peachy and easy. My experience has been anything but. The first and most valuable piece of advice I got my my nephrologist at the hospital was you call and you don’t stop calling until you get an appointment.

Unfortunately, this process is not something you can do all on your own and it requires a lot of back and forth.

I am currently on the waiting list at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, and I have been working with them for my living donors. According to their website they’re supposed to have an “expedited process” for people with living donors; and they give a general timeframe of three months waiting for those without living donors. (Here’s the link for those of you who want to see for themselves: http://www.wakehealth.edu/General-Surgery/Abdominal-Transplant/Transplant-Surgery.htm )Let me tell you right now this is INCREDIBLY inaccurate. First of all my paperwork was sent in on February 8th, (I remember this date specifically because it is my moms birthday) my dialysis center received a notification back that it was received and that I had been “accepted” to be a patient. Well after a few weeks of calling around to see what the next steps were I finally found out that my application had been “lost” and I would have to re-apply and be approved by a surgeon again.

So finally after re-applying I as well as my dialysis clinic got a second letter confirming my acceptance and in that letter they stated they would be in contact with a date for my education class shortly. Well after waiting weeks I called and called and called, and finally after waiting MONTHS (yes months) I called and threw fit because my most likely living donor (my sister) needed to have the surgery over the summer, as she works at a university and it was already April. Finally they rushed to get me into to the education class, which they acted like a big deal.

We received a packet in the mail which detailed all the information you need to bring with you to the class, all the appointments you need before you get a transplant, as well as some forms you need to fill out and bring with you. So I went around collecting all my medical records (getting my blood type was ironically the hardest information to find, although I had received a blood transfusion months earlier and I have had multiple surgeries) and showed up to my education course with everything ready and 4 living donors.

When I arrived at the education course I was shocked. Not only did most people not fill out the forms that were mailed to us, only 8 out 20 people showed up for the course. YES you read correctly 8/20…. for those of you bad with fractions that is 40% as in less than half. So 12 people didn’t care to come to an appointment for a literal life saving surgery. The best part of all is they didn’t even attempt to call people in to take up the vacant spots, and it makes me wonder how many times could I have been in this “always full” education course in the prior weeks when they lost my paperwork and I was waiting for a spot to open up in a course.

Well on the day of the education course a very nice nurse saw that I had all my stuff together and came in halfway through the course and said “we had an appointment open this afternoon would you mind staying after so we can test you” obviously I was like DUH ILL STAY OBVI IM TRYING TO GET THIS SURGERY LIKE YESTERDAY. So we stayed and I got all my testing done except for the stress test which I had to go over to the hospital to get, and they scheduled that for me before I left and gave me instructions, and directions so we could return in 2 weeks for that.

After I completed that testing for my living donors began, and if I thought the initial application and education process was a mess little did I know what I was about to face. First of all as the recipient they don’t tell you ANYTHING. Literally you don’t know who they’re testing, or if they’re testing anyone, and the living donor coordinator literally won’t even talk to you. I slightly understand this, they’re the advocate for the donor, but they should at least be able to tell your coordinator what the heck is going on without revealing any medical information. Like hey, one of your donors was ruled out but you have X more on your list.

As the living donor, they will completely forget about you if you’re not right on top of it. Luckily for me, I have known all my living donors and they are pretty good about keeping me in the loop as to what is going on. Multiple times I have had to call, as well as my living donor, to complain that nothing has gotten done or nobody knows what’s going on at all. Three to six weeks go by and nothing has been done and they offer no explanation as to why.

So slowly donors get ruled out and three months turns into 11 months with no end in sight.

Keep in mind during this whole process they wanted me to go inactive on the waiting list for a deceased donor, which I did initially but after dealing with them and seeing how incompetent and slow they were I decided to go back active as I am fairly certain I would never get an update to go back active on the list, and therefore never would be active.

So if you’re waiting to get a transplant, strap in it’s a bumpy ride, and make sure you’re ready to annoy the transplant center (I literally recommend calling once a week so you know they’re working on it).

Also, if anyone who has any pull is reading this PLEASE change your policies so recipients can know something and we aren’t just sitting here in limbo waiting, also Wake forest needs to consider firing all of their administrative staff, or hiring more if they’re seriously that bogged down that they continually lose people’s medical records.

Lastly, if you want to donate me a Kidney, or are willing to be a paired match (basically you donate someone else a kidney and their donor gives me a kidney… more information here: https://www.unos.org/donation/kidney-paired-donation/ ) please contact Colleen Sheehan at (336)713 – 5675 or csheeha@wakehealth.edu and say you are interested in being a living donor for me, Tracy Self, birthday 4/2/91.

Going Au Natural: My Slow Switch to Natural Products

So, with all the time I have had on my hands I’ve been reading a lot on the benefits of switching to natural and organic products. Also, I believe, although this is not backed by science in any way shape or form my toxic environment (mentally, physically, spiritually and all that jazz) helped to accelerate my kidney failure. So, I have made the decision to lessen the amount of chemicals I am willingly putting in, or on (and therefore by default in) my body.

Notice I say lessen. I say lessen, because I am not going on a Kourtney Kardashian style gluten free, dairy free, soy free only organic diet. FORGET THAT. I love gluten, I love cheese, and at this time I plan on keeping both of them around. I also say lessen because I literally have an addiction to makeup (although, ironically, I probably only wear it like once a week because I’m lazy) and 98% of makeup, and 100% of the makeup that I own is not organic or natural and I’m not giving up Urban Decay anytime soon. Actually I take that back, I own one lipstick and 4 lip crayons, and one lip primer by Bite beauty, which if you didn’t know is a company that makes their cosmetics out of all edible grade ingredients, however, their formulas are not my favorite at all. Basically, overall I have found that natural and organic make up just isn’t on the level that chemical packed makeup is on, and I’ll keep exploring it, but the chance of me giving up all those pretty potentially toxic beauties are slim to none.

So I started my transition to natural products by going to the first store that came to mind for natural products, LUSH. If you don’t know, LUSH is a potentially overpriced shop that has recently become higher on the radar because of  their vast selection of bath bombs that are in an array of colors and scents, and yes, some even have glitter! Ever dream of taking a pink bubble gum scented sparkly bath? Well this is the store you go to do just that. BTW that bath is going to cost you $8 plus whatever the water costs but it will be fun for the 20ish minutes you’re in there until the water gets cold. Now I have used some lush products on and off from about 2012, so I was not unfamiliar with their offerings, however I’ve never made the complete switch. So I went to the lush store, and mentally prepared myself for coming out with a painfully expensive tiny bag of delicious smelling products.

I ended up buying the following products: Coalface (a bar soap facial cleanser), Imperials (moisturizer), Respect Your Elders (soap), American Cream (conditioner), Jersey Bounce (shampoo), and Tender is the Night (massage bar – to be used as lotion). I actually am not unhappy with any of the products performance. I am, however, unhappy with the price. I figured though this would be a good an investment, and easy way to wean off of my formal chemical heavy products, so I don’t loose to much sleep over it.

Products that I am highly considering not switching: Coalface, and Imperials. I think my bar of coalface cost $9 and I feel like I have barely made a dent in it. I have pretty amazing skin (thanks genetics) and I’m pretty sure I could basically just throw water on my face and have minimal breakouts, but this leaves my face feeling super clean. I thought I wouldn’t like it because it was a bar not like a liquid/gel that I have traditionally been using but it still lathers really nicely, and has a nice gentle exfoliation. Imperials was $25 for 1.5oz which I know is steep, but this stuff is so thick I use such a little amount. My skin is normal to dry and I feel like this offers plenty of hydration without making me oily. Also, for what its worth my sister also likes it, but she has the same skin type as me.

Products that were good but I will not be repurchasing: Jersey bounce, American Cream, and Respect your Elders. Okay lets be honest, there are 1000 other natural soaps out there, and I didn’t really find that Respect your elders lathered super well, and it smells okay but not so good that I’m going to be buying it again. Jersey bounce was good shampoo I just HATE the packaging. It comes in their traditional black tubs (which if you save 5 of them you can return them for a free face mask) but it means I was scooping out WAY too much product. I thought at first it didn’t really lather, but once you add a lot, not a little of water this stuff LATHERS. Anyway, it was good, but I use it way too fast and it costs $10 for like 10 uses so like NO bye Felicia, I’m over it, trying something else. The American Cream Conditioner was good but nothing to write home about. It smells delicious, but doesn’t leave my hair exceptionally soft or anything. I did use this way less than I used the Jersey Bounce so I still have some left, which I will be using up.

Undecided product,Tender is The Night. I love the way this smells. It’s also pretty affordable, but you literally can only wear this if you’re completely okay with being greasy feeling, which I don’t like to go out in public feeling greasy, so this is a night only product for me. So I guess I will decide later if I’m using this still.

In the meantime, I have purchased The Honest Company products to try and see if I like better, because they free of harsh chemicals, cruelty free, and many other things, and WAY cheaper, also if you’re buying 5 products over the price of $7.19 you can save money by creating a bundle. I’ll write more on this in another post because we will be here all week if include it, and this post is already too long.

I also decided to switch my deodorant. If you’ve not been living under a rock, you should have heard by now that the aluminum in traditional deodorants have been linked to breast cancer among other things. If you haven’t just google search “aluminum in deodorant” and decide for yourself. I decided to purchase the LAVANILA Sport Luxe Deodorant because YouTube made me do it. I’ve heard about this “Healthy Deodorant” everywhere and the YouTubers supposedly love it. Well let me tell you something, this stuff does NOT work for me.  I think something in this product makes me sweat more, because I literally smelled WORSE using this than using no deodorant at all (yes, I tested this theory). I read a lot on switching to natural deodorants and how its rough for a couple of weeks because your armpits are detoxing from all the years of using your choice of poison was (mine was pH balanced Secret) so at first I thought it was just that, then I decided one day to experiment and wear no D.O. (I know I’m a gross human being come at me; but in my defense I’m dying, and I was just laying around the house that day anyway) and magically I didn’t stink. I also started doing more research and found a couple of studies that suggested the less you wear antiperspirant the less you sweat and stink. Which I think is true, because The Healthy Deodorant isn’t antiperspirant just deodorant, but I think the film of goop under my arms just blocked airflow and increased sweat. So now I’m trying a spray on formulation also by the Honest Company.

So I literally cannot believe you read all this about the stuff I’m putting on my body, but I hope this inspires you to do your own research and start to remove toxic things in your life, be it products, humans, or other things.

My Diagnosis of End Stage Kidney Disease

Many of you have heard through the grapevine that I was recently diagnosed with end stage kidney disease. Mostly because I’m selfish, and it’s much easier for me to write a story once rather than tell everyone individually, I’ve decided I’ll re-start this blog with the story of my diagnosis, as well as what we know so far.

On December 26th, I was at my parents house for Christmas and I was fatigued, congested and coughing, so I went to a local urgent care and was diagnosed with bronchitis and sent away with an Rx for an inhaler and steroid. Two days later I went back to DC (where I was living) and continued with my life. After a few days, I started feeling worse, however, I assumed it was the side effects from the steroid, as there are so many horror stories I was reading on the internet.

After a few days of barely being able to make it up the stairs, I finally decided it was time to go to the emergency room in the late hours of the night on Friday January 8th. I was assuming my bronchitis had progressed to pneumonia when I was literally sitting in bed and could barely breathe. So my aunt packed a bag I slid down the stairs on my butt, and after a debate on which hospital we should go to (there are quite a few in the DC area as you could guess) we were on our way.

If you ever need to get into the emergency room fast, just tell them you can’t breathe. Literally they took me right back, and there were other people waiting in the waiting room. After getting asked at least 55,000 if I have asthma they finally got the memo that I do not after my response was “Unless I have sudden onset severe asthma at the age of 24, then NO, I do not have asthma.” The nurse was very nice and gave me this magical breathing treatment which made it much easier to breathe, but did not make my breathing normal. Whatever that was I really want one for the next time I actually have a cold because it was THE BEST.

So the whole time I was getting these breathing treatments I had about three nurses trying to get my IV line in because I have the worst veins ever. A breathing specialist (I think thats what he was at least) came in and had to take blood from an artery (I think this is what he was telling me) so the nurse just had him take blood for all my labs since my veins were not cooperating. Then we continued with more breathing treatments, and more poking to try and find a good arm vein.

Eventually, the ER doctor came in and said “Stop everything, she is in kidney failure.” I looked at my aunt and said, “well I guess we better call my mom now, and tell her to pack a bag.” I had elected to not call my mom, who lives 4.5 hours away in the middle of the night for pneumonia as it really isn’t that big of a deal (in my opinion) and all I was going to do was lay around while they gave me antibiotics. For any of you who know anything about medical stuff my creatinine level was at 15 point something. For those of you who don’t know anything about medical stuff a normal creatinine level for women is between 0.5 to 1.1. If you want to know more I suggest google, because I am not a doctor, and am probably one of the least qualified individuals to give you any kind of medical information.

At this point they know dialysis is necessary. This requires some kind of special IV thing that I know nothing about other than the fact that the needle was way too big to go into any of my arm veins (they already had a horrible time with the regular IV) so they had to put it in my neck which was actually, in my opinion the worst part of this whole thing. Inserting it took like two seconds, and it didn’t hurt, that was’t the issue. The issue is that I was born with a genetic no chin, and a genetic no neck (thanks mom) aka I have a fat face, with a short neck so they had all these things taped partially to my face and partially to my neck, making it hard for me to move my neck.

They took a quick chest X-ray and saw that my lungs were surrounded fluid, which was the cause of my not being able to breathe, at this time they decided the best course of action was to sedate and intubate me so they could begin treatment.  I woke up two-ish days later, while I was sedated I got two dialysis treatments, a kidney biopsy, three units of blood, echocardiograms, x-rays.

After I woke up the waiting game began. I had dialysis treatments every other day and they checked my levels to see if I was regaining kidney function. My kidney biopsy came back from the Mayo clinic and showed that 18 out of 20 glomeruli (the part that filters your blood) were clogged, and I had end stage kidney disease, and IgA Nephropathy (again consult webMD or google for more information). Slowly but surely, I regained my strength and I moved from the SICU, to the ICU, to acute care, and finally was released from the hospital on January 20th.

Rather than undergoing treatment by myself in DC, I have returned to my parents house while I receive further treatment. The doctors in the hospital as well as my local nephrologist have given me a variety of options for future treatment, however both agree that transplantation is the best option for me. With a successful transplant, I will go completely back to normal life, there is no special diet, no dialysis ect. My other options are to do peritoneal dialysis (which is at home, again consult google for specifics), for life, or until I get a kidney transplant. This would require me to connect to a machine at night for 8-9 hours a night, however I would live a normal life otherwise, I could maintain a job, eat a less restrictive diet. Lastly, is to do hemodialysis at a center three days a week. This is what I’m doing currently, as peritoneal dialysis requires the surgical placement of a special catheter which takes weeks to heal, and the transplant process takes multiple months as well.

I hope this answered all your questions thank you all for your support, I will continue to update everyone as we have more information.

About Me

Hello! I’mYouTubeImage Tracy and up until January 2016 I was your average, early to mid-twenty’s American white girl. January 8, 2016 I was hospitalized for kidney failure, and shortly after I was diagnosed with end stage kidney disease.

I started this blog a while a go, and like most people, didn’t keep up with it. With my newfound free-time, I have decided to resurrect this blog to, A) give me something to do, and B) keep everyone updated on my treatment process.

I love to read, love fashion, and beauty products, so I will be making a variety of different posts, if you’re here for one type of post only, please look for the post type under the categories menu.

Skincare every 20-something should have begun yesterday

I constantly get asked how I look like a 14 year old when I’m clearly not 14. The truth is, I have really good skin genes but, I do work to take care of my skin, everyday. Are in a post-grad and still doing the same skincare routine you did when you were 12? well you probably need to get it together and re-vamp because your more sophisticated skin needs more sophisticated care.

The biggest tip I have is to stay hydrated. When I say hydrated I do not mean college ‘hydrated.’ I mean drink water. Why water? When you become dehydrated your body naturally draws water from your tissues (skin) and draws it into your blood. When you become dehydrated all those fine lines and wrinkles just love to come out to play, and nobody wants that.

The next tip is something that for some reason 20-somethings think they’re too young for, and that is eye cream. The skin around your eye area is delicate and often the first skin to age. I personally like to use a lighter eye cream during the day and a nice thick eye cream at night. Using an eye cream keeps your under eye skin hydrated, which makes you look younger and more awake.  If you suffer from dark circles around or under your eyes its probably due to poor circulation. Pick up your eye cream morning and night and do rotaries to increase circulation. Rotaries are exactly what they sound like: rubbing your fingers gently in a circular motion around your entire eye socket. Do it for 5 days straight, and thank me when people stop mistaking you for a zombie.

Another thing that 20-somethings think they are too young for but are not is a dedicated night cream. Why do you need a night cream? Night is when your skin rejuvenates, and you want to keep your cells hydrated so they can work most effectively. I personally have a dry skin problem so I use night creams that are targeted for dry skin. Also, night creams are usually anti-aging and I don’t usually use anti-aging products during the day, and its never too early to start.  Plus, I’m trying to not get wrinkles until I have at least one foot in the grave. Next time your at the store pickup a night cream, and thank me when your skin looks better than Beyonce’s.

A very important part of my skincare routine that I do not think gets enough love is multi-masking. Now a lot of you are probably like what is multi-masking? Multi-Masking is using different masks on different parts of your face. This is much more effective for your skin, because most people have different things they need to target on different areas of their face. Personally, I like to use a charcoal mask on my nose and on my chin because those are the two areas I am most prone to breakouts. I then use a hydrating mask on my cheeks, and depending on the week will either use a clay or anti-aging mask on my forehead. My biggest tip, is look at your skin, and break it into areas and treat each problem area individually. Make sure you don’t over do it with masks, once to twice a week is plenty.

The next item I’m not going to go into very much because we’ve all heard it probably about a million times. Wear SPF every day. Yes that includes the winter because the sun still is out in the winter. Or don’t wear SPF and look like a leathery wrinkly mess…. your loss, not mine.

Another thing you have probably hear all the time is remove your makeup every night. Yes every night means EVERY night. I’ve heard every excuse…. you’re tired, and its late, and you’re currently the number one customer on the hot mess express. Leaving your makeup on, ages you, clogs your pores, and makes you wake up with glued shut panda eyes. Just take a makeup wipe, and remove your makeup, even if you don’t cleanse your face, its better than nothing.

Last but not least, take care of your lips. Yes your lips, that means exfoliate and hydrate them, who wants to walk around with your skin looking flawless and then a crusty set of lips. Ew. Fact: Crusty lips will make your whole face look older. Use a good lip balm or treatment day and night.

So there it is my friends, my not so secret, secrets to keeping your skin looking good, and to continue getting ID’ed at bars into your upper 20’s and low to mid 30’s.

Book Review: Twenty-one Year Rule by Alaina Stanford

21yearrule  Publisher: Hypnotic Publishing; 2 edition

  Format: E-Book

  Released: July 15, 2014

  Grade Rating: B –

 

Amazon Summary:

Bash sacrificed everything to save his sisters life, including his freedom. After three years of parole, he’s finally ready to start over. When he meets a young ski instructor named Grace, falling in love was the last thing he expected. Bash can see his future in Grace’s eyes, but his past won’t let him go.

 

Review:

Let me start this review by saying, this is the third book in a series, and I have not read the first or second book. I however, did not find the story to follow because of this. This book is a fast paced thriller, and was a truly enjoyable and easy read for me, however I just could not bring myself to give this book an A because of the poor writing.

Let me just get the negative out of the way first. This book needs to be proofread, multiple times. There were so many simple grammatical and spelling errors that it was distracting. I’m pretty sure at one point near the beginning of the book she even calls one of the characters by the wrong name. The other thing that drove me absolutely insane during this entire book is that the narrator changes so frequently it makes the story hard to follow at times. I will be completely honest and say I have yet to find a book with multiple narrators that I absolutely love, because I feel it’s unnecessary and distracting. I would not be complaining as much if the narrator would change every chapter, but there are literally changes every few paragraphs, which I just personally do not enjoy at all.

Now on to the positive. The opening scene to this book is amazing. Literally AMAZING. If you want something that’s going to come out slap you in the face and say this is why you are reading me, this is it. The author continues the adrenaline pumping scenes throughout the whole book, and she does not set you up for disappointment. This book is part thriller, and part romance, which sounds bizarre but somehow works perfectly together.

I would love to go on and give details, but I would ruin the story. If you are looking for a quick and easy read and enjoy crime or thriller novels I would pick this up. If you are a true romance lover and you do not like thrillers, then definitely skip this one. This novel is somewhat graphic (in the gore sense not the sexual sense) at times, and I would be hesitant to give this book to young readers. Although the writing style is not my favorite, I will be putting the first and second books on my list of books to read, because these are the perfect quick leisure reads.

Book Review: Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Grey

 Unrequited

  Publisher: BookBaby

  Format: E-Book

  Released: May 26, 2014

  Grade Rating: A

 

Amazon Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world’s biggest boy band. Is she the only girl in Sydney who can’t be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden? 

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now. 

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth’s twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn’t get it—and where is her best friend? 

When did life get so crazy? Kat’s just an ordinary schoolgirl. 

Isn’t she?

 

Review:

When reading the summary I was questionable whether it was going to be a flop or not. This is such a cute story, and because of that I had to give it an A. I am aware that this is not a remarkable, world changing novel, however it is everything you want in a YA novel. It’s a very quick read, and the author does a great job of capturing the mind of a teenage girl, and made me very reminiscent of my high school days.

First of all, the characters are written perfectly in this book, and Kat is the perfect depiction of a girl in high school. The first kiss, the confusion about her feelings, her insecurities are all depicted perfectly so that she is 100% relatable. Every relationship in the book makes sense, and goes perfectly together to create a truly page turning novel. SPOILER ALERT: the two love triangles in this book could not have been more perfect, and made sense. I also like that although the characters were younger than I am, I could easily see them as one of my peers, and they were rather versatile, which is unusual for me in most YA novels.

The story is clearly a stretch to what would actually happen in real life, but a good YA book isn’t a good YA book without some reality stretching. The author progresses the story in a natural way, without feeling too over-embellished, and stretching from what could turn out to be a series of perfectly aligned coincidences. She knows exactly when to add in a twist or development to keep your attention.

Overall, this story is perfect for a beach read. The story has some romance, but nothing steamy so it is appropriate for yonger readers as well. I highly recommend it to any teen, YA, or someone looking to re-connect with their inner teenager.

Book Review: The Shadows of Paradise City by Brad Allen Hoover

TheShadowsofParadiseCity 

 Publisher: BookBaby

  Format: E-Book

  Released: May 30, 2014

  Grade Rating: C-

 

 

 Amazon Summary:

The Shadows of Paradise City follows fifteen-year-old Benjamin as his post-high-    school-dropout world unfurls, chronicling his time as a graveyard dishwasher at the  campy International Café, his time at the library where he pursues an education and      prepares for the high school proficiency exam with eighteen-year-old college dropout Bayer Eitenne’s help, and his time as an unwitting drug runner for a shady cafe patron. Things go bad the night before the exam when Benjamin is robbed of a drug delivery he has stuffed into his pants. Johnson, Benjamin’s drug dealing boss, pursues the thieves on a maniacal quest to get the drugs back, dragging Benjamin along with him. As his world closes in around him and the stakes increase, Benjamin must come up with a plan to escape this mess, which threatens not only his future but his life as well. The Shadows of Paradise City humorously explores the nature of education and friendship, but more importantly, chronicles the significant and often ironic events and people who shape our lives.

 

Review:

When thinking of a grade for this book I teetered between a B and C because I did enjoy the book, and it was quite a good read I just feel that it was missing something, and that is a good ending. The story progresses naturally, and the complex characters keep you engaged throughout the whole story.

The dark humor of this story is intelligently written, and the author created the perfect characters to relay the message in a non-offensive way. When I first started reading this book I thought it was going to have a strong political undertone, and the author wanted to use dark humor point out how society is becoming dumb. As the story progressed I realized that the author did not actually want to feature this idea. So I then thought he was going to highlight how bureaucratic our education system is, well I ended up being wrong again. I am not a firm believer that every book has to have a deeper, more meaningful message, but the beginning of this book was written so perfectly to deliver these two messages that I must say this is the main reason I am not giving this book a higher rating.

Along with the fact that I feel the author passed up a rather great opportunity to add some real meaning to an enjoyable book. I feel that the ending was rather lack-luster. It does leave it open for a sequel to be written, however, I am unsure that a sequel would improve upon this story, as it seems it was originally intended to be written as a single book.

Overall, if you are a fan of dark humor, or a hipster, I feel you would enjoy this book. I do think that younger readers, may be less disappointed by this read as they will likely miss the fact that the ending was only so-so and the author had the ability to make such a bigger impact.

The Foundation Series: Choosing the Proper Foundation

No matter who you are, you should not have just one foundation. Why do I say this? Isn’t this a waste of money? Again, my response, is No, it isn’t a waste of money. Nobody’s skin is exactly the same every single day of the year, in the summer you might be on the oily side, and in the winter you might be on the dry side. Most people are darker in the summer than they are in the winter. Your skin may be breaking out because it’s that time of the month, or just because it wants to hate you. Your skin may be flawless because you just found the perfect skincare routine. Anyway, you get my point, your skin changes almost daily, so why treat it the same, when it has different problems.

If you’re having a good skin day, maybe you want a base, but you don’t need the coverage, go for a product with light coverage. If you’re having an okay skin day, go for a medium coverage foundation. If you’re having a bad skin day where your face is red and breaking out and you’ve got a big date to go on go for a full coverage, and double up on the concealer.

On my good skin days, I usually go foundation-less, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a base. On these days I use a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. Now how do you choose the correct BB cream or tinted moisturizer, these products don’t usually come in a million shades, so even if Laura Mercier makes the best tinted moisturizer ever, if there is no shade to match your skin, it’s not for you. I know some people mix 2 shades to get their color, but honestly, I don’t feel like doing that if I’m looking for light coverage. For me Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain is the perfect color for me in the winter, because I am extremely pale.  In the summer when I’m “tan” Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Nude or Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Blush are the best for me.

BB cream (or Beauty Balm) is the newest craze and honestly I have only tried a few, and really haven’t found many that really work for me. My favorite that I’ve tried is the Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB cream, the only problem with it is, it only comes in one shade and my skin has to be between tan and pale to use. Honestly this is the only one that I’ve found that I like, but I kind of gave up on them, to be fair.

Some days my skin is not happy with me, or I’m going to an event, or out and I know pictures are going to be taken, so I want something with more coverage, to give my face a more even complexion. On these days I go for a foundation that is medium coverage. I do not really have problem skin, so I try to stick with products that I know are not going to clog my pores. I have found that the Clinique Even Better Makeup with SPF 15 in the shades buff and cream whip works best for me depending on how tan I am. This foundation does not make my skin feel heavy, and it has buildable coverage so I don’t have problems if I have few red spots. I also find this to be very hydrating, almost to the point where if I’m lazy I might be guilty of skipping moisturizer and going straight for primer (whoops).  A drugstore brand that I find is works pretty well is the Revlon Nearly Naked in Vanilla, however this product is not as moisturizing as the Clinique, and has slightly less coverage, but I’m pretty sure It’s about 1/3 of the cost so I don’t mind that much.

I am extremely lucky, and my “bad” skin days are some people’s good skin days, so I rarely need a true full coverage foundation. I do sometimes want to be glam though so for these occasions I have one full coverage foundation that I like. The Lorac Natural Performance Foundation in Shade NP 2 – light is flawless on me in the winter when I am pale. I mean seriously, when I want to look airbrushed, this is what I reach for. While it is oil, fragrance, and paraben free one time I accidentally slept in this stuff (I know I’m bad) and it did clog my pores and give me a few pimples. Other times when I’ve wore this and washed it off before going to bed there have been no issues so I really can’t complain. I do have to make sure that I wear a good moisturizer with this because I find it to be on the drying side as well, but I feel like this would be a problem with any full coverage foundation.

I rarely ever only use powder foundation as I do not think they look natural at all.  Sometimes I will use a powder foundation as my setting powder if I feel like I need just a tad bit more coverage. I personally like the Diorskin Nude compact, I have shade 33 Apricot Beige, but that is only for the summer months, because it is slightly too dark for me right now.

My best advice on finding a good foundation that works for you is to go to Sephora, be shameless, and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. They will ask you a million questions to find the perfect one. If you don’t feel comfortable buying something without sampling it for a few days first tell the associate who is helping you and he or she will make you a sample. I do not recommend doing this without buying something else though, because I always just feel so bad taking up a ton of someone’s time without purchasing something. Best of luck to you, may the foundation odds be ever in your favor!