Don’t let people tell you your 30s will be the best time of your life in a tone that suggests your looks will fade so you better find inner peace. Vicki’s Pick is a weekly beauty column that features Vicki’s all-time favourite beauty products and latest discoveries for women in their 30s who plan on staying pretty on the outside for a long, long time. Inner peace is optional.
For someone in her mid-30s, I’m still surprisingly prone to pimples that grow large enough to warrant their own location status on Google Maps and constantly make me reconsider the versatility of the balaclava as a cutting edge fall/winter fashion statement. As a firm believer in the beauty philosophy that “expensive may not be best but it probably is,” I recently added Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula ($79 for 450mL) to my skincare regime. It’s already one of the current key players in my ongoing adult acne prevention strategy, but even my new favourite face wash isn’t strong enough for the odd “power pimple” – an atrocity that I’m 100 percent sure is the demonic lovechild of sleep deprivation and unregulated caffeine consumption.
Ever since puberty introduced me to hormone-aggravated facial pustules, I’ve taken a sick pleasure in fighting pimples. Back in my teenage years, I’d round up my vainest of friends and split the cost of gas for the hour-long drive from my hometown of Montreal to Plattsburgh, New York just to pick up bottles of Oxy 10 at Walgreens. I had discovered – beginning on the pages of YM Magazine, no less – that Oxy 10 was a product so powerful and dehydrating to the skin that it was actually only available south of the border. It’s illegal status in Canada (where the less exciting Oxy 5 was our best zit-fighting option) made me certain Oxy 10 must be my best defense against the worst puss of the universe and, thus, needed to be mine. Now that I’m older, I’m more worried about inducing premature wrinkles than I am about rocking volcanic pimples… so that means Oxy 10 is out, and expensive and therefore elitist products are in!
Right now as I’m writing this, I’m in bed just after 9pm with a new episode of The Good Wife… not to mention Kiehl’s Blemish Control Daily Skin-Clearing Cream Treatment ($39 for 30mL) quickly drying on a not-yet-ripe-enough-to-pop monster-zit. If it wasn’t for the Kiehl’s cream, this would be a cry for help, especially since the pustule in question is just left of the center of my forehead. It’s impossible to style up with a brown eyeliner like a Marilyn Monroe-worthy mole, but I’m Dalai Lama zen about it. I know that, after this awesome cream works its magic overnight, the zit will lose all its attention-seeking powers. With 1.5 percent salicylic acid, this acne cream is strong enough to fight even the meanest, more stubborn pimples – but like any Kiehl’s product it’s also gentle and doesn’t mark up my skin with dry, discoloured patches the way lesser brands can. Looking good for my age shouldn’t mean making a choice between high school-worthy acne and Benjamin Button-esque wrinkles.