Age

Dressing for Your Age is Overrated

I’m almost 36 now. Am I supposed to dress like it? Because it’s come up in conversation, but I don’t want to.

I recently bought a short skirt to wear for the winter. It’s admittedly super short, so I’m wearing it with tights and stilettos. However, I have to say that I look super cute in it — I won’t even be modest. I have great legs, and I love showing them off. (Now, if only I had a flat stomach…)

But when I showed my parents, they suggested it was too young for me and that I should dress my age! I’m sorry, but I’m not going to adult like that. Oprah even says that women over 40 should have hair shorter than their shoulders — and I’m keeping my long hair FOREVER. And if I can keep it blonde, more power to me!

I decided I’m going to dress for the age I look like and not for my age. Therefore, I’m going to dress like I’m in my mid-20s. I don’t know what people in their mid-30s wear, but I know that I don’t want to wear it.

What am I supposed to do? Throw away all of my short skirts and dresses? Sell all of my Lilly Pulitzer dresses, skirts, skorts, and shorts because they’re too short, bright, and have too lively of prints for somebody my age? (It will be a cold day in hell before you pry my Lilly Pulitzer from my dead hands.) I’d basically have NO wardrobe if I got rid of everything considered too young for my age.

Moreover, I love my wardrobe the way it is now. I don’t want to buy more mature clothes. I don’t care if I look like a mature adult. I’ve always dressed differently and more distinctly than everybody else, and that will NOT change anytime soon. I love looking unique. I don’t follow trends — I make my own.

Perhaps I’m inadequately adulting by refusing to dress my age. But why would I do that when I love dressing like I’m young? Age is just a silly number and a feeling. I still feel incredibly young. So why not dress like I am? Who cares if other people disapprove? I’ve never cared what they thought before — this is not the time to start!

I’ll inadequately adult in this way until I’m old and gray. I refuse to change who I am! Dressing for your age is way overrated.

Skincare

Adult Freaking Acne on a Budget

It’s been almost a year since I previously wrote about my adult freaking acne, but I looked back on the article and thought to myself, “God, Lindsay, you couldn’t suggest more affordable options?” Because if you’re anything like me, you can’t afford to buy the items on that list consistently. Hence, I’ve come up with a much cheaper regimen that still works. 

Okay, so I may still use Make Up For Ever foundation and Tarte concealer, but other than that, my skincare and makeup routine is much more affordable. And I thought I’d share it for those of you who are also dealing with adult freaking acne.

Keep in mind that this routine is for oily skin that breaks out. If you have combination or dry skin, these aren’t the products for you!


Morning Routine

Solimo Daily Acne Cleanser — This is the Amazon brand, but it’s great. It has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide for your acne. You can buy it for $6.10, which is much cheaper than the Murad face wash I recommended in my last post.

Solimo Deep Cleaning Astringent — Another great Amazon brand find! It has 0.5% salicylic acid to help curb your acne. Unfortunately, you can only buy it in a three-pack, but the price is still right at $12.47!

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner w/ Aloe Vera Formula — If the Solimo astringent dries your skin out, I recommend Thayers Witch Hazel for your toner. It has four-and-a-half stars and nearly 72,000 reviews! You can find it for $9.59.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen for Acne — Sunscreen is a no-brainer. Not only does it keep your face looking young, but it can help prevent skin cancer! It’s a MUST HAVE! This one is SPF 55. Life Hack: Put it on the top of your left hand when you’re driving in the sun. It will keep your hands looking young! This is $10.97, but worth every penny!

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer with 0.5% Salicylic Acid — Too many people, especially those with oily skin, skip moisturizer because they’re afraid it will make their face even more oily. But you can’t ignore this crucial step in your skincare routine! This moisturizer is not only great for oily skin, but will also help your acne in the process. You can get it for only $6.67, and there’s currently a $1.32 coupon!

Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer — I’ve tried primers in many brands at many price points. I thought nothing could beat Make Up For Ever’s (ridiculously expensive) primer, but I was wrong. This is wonderful for oily skin, and really does keep your face matte. And the price is definitely right at $3.63.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Setting Spray — I used to swear by Urban Decay’s De-Slick Setting Spray, but NYX’s setting spray is even better! Your makeup will stay on all day long — even when you’re sweating — and your face won’t look oily at all. At $6.73, it’s a steal!

Night Routine

Garnier Micellar Water — Removing makeup can be a pain in the ass, especially if you use waterproof mascara. But this micellar water will take it all off in no time! One (BIG) bottle is $6.40.

Reusable Makeup Remover Cloths — These, along with the micellar water, will take your makeup right off in minutes. You may think these aren’t worth buying, but you’d be dead wrong! You can buy a five-pack for only $7.99.

CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks — After washing your face and putting on your toner/astringent, this is the item to use! This is one of the more expensive items, but it’s worth it if you have acne scars! Besides, CeraVe is known for being very effective for skincare! I’ve never used a product of theirs that doesn’t work as advertised. It’s a little pricy at $16.97, but worth the money.

Tea Tree Oil Face Cream for Acne-Prone Skin — This is a great nighttime moisturizer that isn’t greasy at all. It fights acne and soothes acne scars as well. With four-and-a-half stars, this product is $14.48.

Neutrogena Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel — This is an excellent spot treatment at a great price. It has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide for acne, and is one of the cheaper (and better) spot gels. It only costs $6.89, but there’s currently a coupon for $1.89 off.

Occasional Mask

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay — This is not only great for acne and acne scars, but brightens your skin! You can use it with water or apple cider vinegar, but I highly recommend apple cider vinegar. To be honest, I need to use this more often because it makes my skin so smooth and beautiful! You can purchase it for $14.95 for one pound or $19.95 for two pounds.


I don’t recommend starting all of these products at once to be used every day. Instead, start by using them 2-3 times a week until your face gets used to them, or they may dry out your skin. And flaky skin isn’t any better than acne-prone skin!

I still have adult freaking acne even though I’m about to turn 36! I know I can’t be the only adult dealing with this horrible curse. Hopefully, this skincare treatment will work for you!

Friendship

Thirties and Friendship

For most of our lives, it’s so effortless to make friends. Our parents set up playdates. We have pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. It’s even easier if you join extracurriculars. You find yourself with a built-in set of friends that you don’t even have to worry about.

I’m an extrovert and I was always in extracurriculars, so I always found it easy to make friends. In high school, I was in so many clubs, it was insane. Sure, I had my own clique, but I was kind of acquaintances with everybody in my grade. I found everybody to be nice to me. But my clique was close-knit and I just knew we’d be best friends forever. And we were, up until the point that we got involved with college. The only exception was my best friend from first grade, who is still my best friend to this day.

I continued the extracurriculars in college, plus added work, which gave me even more friends. But my sorority gave me the strongest friendships. I hate to be cheesy, but sharing that ritual and tradition with my sisters meant the world to me, and made me even closer to them. I lived in the house for two years, was on the executive board for two years, and was nominated for Homecoming Queen. Needless to say, my sorority was my life, though I participated in other extracurriculars. And I just knew we’d be best friends forever. Unfortunately, people move across the country and it’s not so easy to keep long-distance relationships. I’m still close to a few girls I can consider close friends, but with their busy lives and time differences, things get challenging.

So how do you make friends in your thirties? That’s a damn good question. Unfortunately, our parents can’t just set us up on playdates anymore.

I’m trying Bumble BFF. It’s on the regular Bumble app — you just have to change the mode from dating to BFF. It worked for me once. I met a great girl on there who I get along with wonderfully. Unfortunately, she’s an introvert, and I’m not sure how interested she is in keeping the friendship going. But I’m going to try to make it work anyways.

And I’m going to keep trying on the app, because there are so many cool girls on it. (Honestly, they all seem way cooler than me, so I’d be lucky if any of them would want to hang out with me…) In fact, I had two matches today that I need to get back to. Of course, just like a dating app, I won’t be compatible with everybody, but it’s worth a try, right?

I think the app is a great idea. There are a good amount of people my age, some of whom have just moved to my city, who are searching for friends. Plus, so many people have dealt with what I have — their friends have moved away. It’s not like we were supremely awful and our friends all ditched us. Life just happened. So I highly recommend the app to anybody who is going through this. (It doesn’t just apply to thirty-somethings, either. I’ve seen twenty-somethings and forty-somethings on there.)

Making new friends is scary even for an extrovert like me. So cross your fingers, wish me luck, and wish upon a star. I’m tired of being lonely and not having girlfriends. I’m ready to change my life for the better.

Health

Thirties and Mental Illness

I’ve always been very open about my mental illnesses. I feel I need to be open about mine even though it’s hard sometimes. But I place such an importance on ending the stigma. It would be pretty hypocritical if I left it up to everybody else to be honest, wouldn’t it?

I’ve dealt with depression since I was five. It’s genetic and I dealt with the trauma of losing two sisters by that age, so it’s no surprise I was so young. I was on antidepressants by the time I was ten. I have been on them since that time. My anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder with panic attacks) started when I was 23 and in my last semester of college. I’m also on medication for that. Luckily, I don’t have panic attacks as often as I used to. Sometimes my anxiety flares up quite a bit, but it’s usually much more manageable than my depression. I’m dealing with a bit of a depressive episode right now, but I know I have upswings at times, so I’m waiting for that. Unfortunately, I never feel normal.

I’ve learned how to deal with my depression and anxiety. They’re always there in the background, especially my depression. They’re always with me. They never go away. But I understand how to handle them. They don’t trick me anymore and lead to suicidal thoughts. Instead, they give me gifts, like the inspiration to write poetry.

But I won’t lie. I’ve been suicidal at times. I’ve attempted suicide twice, most recently in February 2019 when I couldn’t handle my PTSD. I was in the hospital for almost a week, and later that year, attended an intensive outpatient program.

I got PTSD because my ex-fiancé was abusive. It was mostly emotional, but sometimes physical. People ask, “Why didn’t you leave?” And that’s a great question. I didn’t realize there was anything wrong. Even though I was 30-32, it was my first relationship, and I thought I was at fault for any problems we had. Narcissists are good at making you feel that way. After two years of abuse, when I realized I was being badly hurt, I moved to my parents’ house in June 2018 with PTSD.

But unlike my depression and anxiety, which I knew how to deal with, I couldn’t figure out how to handle my PTSD. It was like this monster following me around. I was terrified of everything. I became angry and fearful and pessimistic and hopeless. (I’m actually the most optimistic and hopeful person I know, depression or not.) I became somebody I didn’t like. I became somebody I didn’t even trust. If I couldn’t see what was happening then, was I right about what was going on now?

It took Ketamine Treatment and therapy twice a week from November 2018 to current to get over it. But I did. I moved on from him a long time ago. It took longer to move on from my PTSD.

Except when I go in my house. He trashed my house and I still have PTSD when I go in there. But I’m going to fix it. I appreciate my parents so much. They’ve been an amazing support system, and I couldn’t have ever gotten better without their endless generosity and allowing me to live in their house. But it’s been three years now and it’s time to face that PTSD, no matter how hard. I plan to clean it and move back in during June. I’m going to make my house my own again. I’m going to make sure it doesn’t remind me of him at all. It will be mine. And I will be free again.

If you’re dealing with mental illness, please get help! You don’t have to be ashamed or keep it a secret. You’re not alone. Therapy really helps. And if necessary, medications really help as well.

The Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. You can chat with somebody at the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Skincare

Adult Freaking Acne!

I had adult braces in my 20s. When they were gone, I thought all of my troubles were over. My teeth were beautiful, my skin lovely, and I was a wonderful size 2. Ahh, to be young and beautiful!

However, my hormones have proven me wrong about all of my troubles being over. While adult acne is not even nearly as close to as bad as adult braces, it’s still pretty horrible. I haven’t had acne since I was 16 and went on Accutane… and it decides to come back in my 30s? Right as I’m beginning to date?

Sometimes I’m pretty sure the world is playing a cosmic joke on me, only I don’t find it so hilarious.

But I recently read that this actually happens a lot to women my age, and while my first move (and your first move) should be to go to the dermatologist, I actually have some good makeup tips perfected over the years for adult freaking acne (or teenage freaking acne) that are actually really good, so I thought I’d share them for those who happen to be going through the same thing.

First, pick a good skin care routine. Murad is expensive, but it’s worth it. This includes moisturizer. You may think if you have oily skin that you should skip it — I thought this for years — but you should NEVER skip moisturizer. They have some good ones for oily skin, like the one I listed below.

Face Wash — Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser

Moisturizer — Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion — Blemish Prone/Oily Skin

Acne Spot Treatment — Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment

Now for the fun stuff… the makeup! I LOVE makeup! I have drawers full of it. I could probably use two big drawers just for eyeshadow palettes alone (though those, unfortunately, aren’t necessary for acne, so I don’t get to talk about them), and I have tried just about every primer, foundation, concealer, powder, and setting spray that exists. There are not many areas in which I’m an expert, but I definitely know what I’m talking about here!

Primer (you may or may not use primer… but you NEED it) — Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Matte Rescue Mattifying Gel

Foundation (this is good because it has coverage, but isn’t too thick. Blend this and concealer with a beauty blender.) — MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Concealer (this has thick and perfect coverage, but is fine when paired with a medium coverage foundation and minimal coverage powder… if you only get one item, this is IT) — Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Powder (minimal coverage — perfect for that foundation and concealer) — NYX Cosmetics #NOFILTER Finishing Powder

Setting Spray for Oily Skin (just like primer, you NEED a setting spray. They’re gamechangers.) — Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray

I am VERY aware that all of this costs a lot if you’re buying it all at once, and I could get into dupes that work close to as well if this were a makeup blog (or if anybody is interested), but these are the cream of the crop, so I figured I’d start with those.

And that’s how we cover up our adult freaking acne the best we can. It won’t be perfect. Nothing will be. We just have to remember that we’ve got hormones running through our bodies that men don’t have — sometimes they’re a blessing, and sometimes they’re a curse. I’d say that we have the upper hand in being girls a lot of the time when it comes to men, even in our thirties… maybe we women deserve to be taken down a peg sometimes by adult freaking acne.

Dating

Dating App Hell

Only the lucky few who met their spouses in college or somehow in real life soon after college have not experienced this unusual brand of torture. Since I’m a month away from turning 35 and I certainly won’t meet anybody in real life due to COVID, I turned once again to the dating apps that have always been an easy, yet somewhat awful way to meet men. I’m getting older and there are certain things in life that I want that I don’t have forever for, so I figured I may as well give it a try, even if I completely sink.

I’ve only been on there a few weeks, so I only have a few bad stories this time, but I certainly haven’t received any amazing messages like last time, when a man wrote me a poem to ask me out. He was far too old for me, but I appreciated the effort nonetheless. Of course, there were many more horror stories the last time as well, like the guy who showed me on the date that he had looked up my address. That didn’t creep me out at all

I believe a man should pay for the first date as I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I always offer to go dutch, and would never be offended if that’s what he wanted to do. I know dating is different now than it used to be, and going dutch happens often. Therefore, I believe that if I don’t have enough money to go dutch on the date, then I don’t have enough money to go on the date… I should not have to force the man to pay for me because I’m not responsible enough in my finances!

Interestingly enough, the opposite happened on my date this weekend. When the bill came, he told me he didn’t have enough money. Well, sir, I didn’t, either! If he had warned me before we went out, we could have put it off until we could have paid dutch. But I ended up paying for all of the Lyfts and the bills. The worst part is — he didn’t even thank me. I’ve never had a date pay for me and not be incredibly thankful to him for picking up the tab. It’s a kind act and should be thanked. But all I received was silence. I found it so rude!

And I don’t mind picking up the tab every once in a while — when you’re dating, you really should switch off. It’s not fair for the man to pay every time. But for him to do this on a first date without warning me in advance and then not thanking me? I’m sorry, but it was just bad manners. I could have forgotten and forgiven it, but there were some other red flags, so I will not be seeing him again.

Another guy with bad manners never made it to the date stage, but just showed up in my messages. He maintained that great sex was part of a good relationship. Of course I agreed — everybody would. He then asked when I would be ready to sleep with him — would I sleep with him on the first date? I declined and explained that it takes me a little longer to get physical than that. He then asked about the third date. I told him that while I have no judgments about people who are comfortable sleeping with somebody on the first, second, or third date, it takes me quite a while to get sexual with somebody, and the third date isn’t long enough for me. Perhaps that’s a crazy answer in this day and age… I haven’t taken a poll. However, I don’t believe it’s such an oddity like he made it out to be. He then asked me for a timetable of when I’d be ready for sex! I told him I didn’t know… but I knew then that the timetable for him would be never and told him that I was probably not the right match for him if he was looking for a physical relationship so soon. I blocked him rather quickly, lest he not get the hint I had given him.

Of course, there have been some quite nice men on the dating apps who make it feel less daunting, but they are generally hell. I look forward to meeting these men and I just hope we have the same chemistry in person that we do over texts. Only time will tell. I’m sure I will have many more stories of dating app life, so I’ll update you of the hell (and hopefully heaven — yeah, I know, I’m quite the massive optimist) that I find on them.

Family

Living With My Parents… In My Thirties

I actually do have a lot going for me as a 34-year-old that others would be jealous of. I’m debt-free, I have a great credit score, I have no student loans, and I own my own house (which is paid off) a mile away from my childhood home in a nice neighborhood. It’s small, but it’s enough for me, and I love it. I built it as a fixer-upper when I was 24 and we basically gutted it, so I moved into what was pretty much a new and lovely house built just how I wanted when I was 26. It even had my one request — a pink shoe closet that I recently acquired a small (and cheap) chandelier for. (My — over 100 — shoes deserve only the very best!)

However, I’m currently living with my parents, and I have for a while WAY too long. I found myself in an abusive relationship that ended in 2018 when I was 32. He completely trashed my house, but even if he hadn’t, my PTSD was so bad that I wouldn’t have been able to live there at that time. I still have problems going there, to be honest. So I’ve been living here for two-and-a-half years. There are parts living here that haven’t been so bad. My parents are two of my best friends, so I’ve enjoyed spending time with them. However, they’re still my parents. And while they’ve kept me great company during COVID, it’s time to move back into my house.

So it’s time to get that trashed house in order. I honestly didn’t know a person could trash a house so badly. I didn’t know it was possible. It’s like he played a game: what is the worst I can do to this house before I move out? Break the air-conditioning? Check. Ruin every room? Check. Break the dishwasher? Check. Somehow make tons of dents on the refrigerator in a way I’ve never figured out how? Check. Break the drawers inside the refrigerator? Check. I’ve procrastinated on getting back in there — I may despise cleaning more than anybody on this earth — but I’m dating now.

There’s nothing less sexy than inviting your date back to your parents’ house to watch Netflix (but really have a makeout session). Besides, I know my dad. He would find a reason to come in the room even though he never comes in my room. Ahhh, just like the good old days of high school twenty years ago…

I guess within the next few months, I’ll be getting my house back into order, so I can cuddle while watching addictive television shows and have makeout sessions. It’s nice to have somebody cook for you and clean the majority of the house, but if I had to give it a grade, living with your parents in your thirties when you’re dating, even if they’re as wonderful as mine, gets a big ‘ol F.