My Weird Face

Ok so this isn’t just about my face, it’s about my skin as a whole. But as the face is on show all the time it is what bothers me the most.

Some may have seen me recently without a scrap of make up on- I’ve not worn any since the 28th January. This is really difficult as I love make-up, especially red lipstick and may of my friends and acquaintance’s associate this with me.

I have to admit Blogger extraordinaire Bangs and a Bun wrote a post that inspired me to write this- find her Dirty Little Secret here.

Some of my more regular readers may know I suffer from eczema, I have done in varying degrees since I was a child.

It was always on the manageable side, just in the crack of my elbows, but by the time I was 25 it started to spread everywhere. At the time I worked for a huge cosmetics company behind the counter in a well known department store in Manchester.

It got to the stage where I had to have time off sick because of my skin. My face looked like I’d had an accident with boiling hot water- I couldn’t stand behind the counter and try and sell beauty products looking like I did- it was putting people off.

Everything I was putting on my skin seemed to make it worse – even simple things like Aloe Vera gel. To cut a long story short I paid for a blood test kit which tests for food allergies- lo and behold Dairy and Eggs were flagged in red. As soon as I cut them out my skin improved. (this is why I’m always on about vegan baking).

It hasn’t ever been the same since though- hypersensitive, sometimes even just to water and when I get a flare up my face is often the first and worse to show it- looking like I’ve been beaten up or had a awful accident (the skin around my eyes puffs up so its a great look).

Since then I’ve had blood tests on the NHS- results of that one showed an allergy to dogs which I already knew about. I’ve also had two lots of patch tests done one about two years ago and the other in January this year.

I’m basically allergic to most things in cosmetics, especially lipstick; lanolin, any kind of perfume or fragrance (including natural things like essential oils), certain kinds of SPF, certain kinds of preservative mainly found in lipsticks and randomly perm solution! Even things I thought were unfragranced/unperfumed are still not safe- the hospital have basically said if it smells nice its probably not safe for me to use.

Big WAH!!!!!!!! Its not that its going to stop me from wearing make-up on an evening out- I’ll probably just have to slather on the steroid cream the next day.

Skin is amazingly clear and eczema free after  two weeks of zero cosmetics except for the hormonal spot!

I know there are much worse things that could be wrong with me…. At this rate I’ll be starting my own cosmetics line!

Anyway- in the words of Bangs- thanks for listening- any advice would be welcome!



  1. Lindsay Cowie
    February 13, 2012 / 9:50 pm

    I can really relate to this as I have it too and sometimes it really gets me down! I used to have it when I was young, then it went and now I’m in my 20s it’s come back, and quite badly over the past few months too – the worst part is scratching in the night when you don’t know you’re doing it! That’s a great idea doing the allergy tests; I’ve often wondered if I’m allergic to something. I know it’s hard but I’ve found my skin to be at its best when you don’t scratch… I’ve often thought about doing a post like this but I chickened out, so thank you for this!

    • February 13, 2012 / 10:09 pm

      Hi Lindsay! Thanks for your kind words, the tests are expensive but I think worth it especially when it gives you some kind of direction after having no clue! I agree about the scratching thing- I don’t even realise I ‘m doing it sometimes!

  2. February 13, 2012 / 10:26 pm

    Hi Susie, I don’t suffer from excema but I really sympathise, must be hard for you. I struggle to find lipsticks I can wear without affecting my lips and making them really unpleasantly dry and cracked, and I’ve had to discard quite a few. My day to day look is more chapstick and lip gloss, but I do love a red lipstick and I have to limit when I wear it. Shame ain’t it. Gwynxx

  3. Miss Matilda
    February 13, 2012 / 10:27 pm

    A friend of mine used to do allergy tests, I’ll ask er for you xx

  4. February 13, 2012 / 10:39 pm

    I can understand what you are going through and taking care of yourself is far more important than glamming it up although that is imp to all vintage gals. Have you researched if there are any companies who make specialized makeup?? You just have work around your condition just like I have to with mine but at the end of the day, you will still be able to do what you love just at a more delicate pace. Happy to hear your skin is feeling better!!! Big hugs!!! xox

  5. February 14, 2012 / 7:07 pm

    It must have taken a lot of courage to write this, and I really sympathise with your plight. My image of you is of total glamour – you can really turn it on, young lady! – and even without makeup you glow, as that picture above proves.

    You’re lucky to look so fabulous au naturel (and you do!) and I hope you find something to ease your condition so you can enjoy your red lipstick again without uncomfortable consequences. I wish I could help! x