This post is sponsored by NxN.
A few years ago, I showed up at a client's office for a meeting and was immediately asked if I was feeling okay. Because (groan groan groooooan guys don't ever say this to people) I "looked really tired."
I felt fine, and had actually slept very well the night before. What happened is that I forgot to put on any foundation or concealer, and -- GASP -- had inadvertently revealed my actual human face to my coworkers.
This weekend, on the other hand, I went out on a date night with my husband and very much deliberately left the foundation (and concealer and bronzer and highlighter and all that other jazz) at home. Nobody said I looked tired, and instead Jason told me several times that I looked pretty.
Yes, he's biased. THAT SAID, my skin! Look at my actual human face skin right now.
It's 39 years old and it is happy.
So let's talk a bit more about my skin, because this is a blog and that's what we do here: It is technically combination, though probably more on the oily side overall. Other than the occasional hormonal breakout, I've outgrown the acne that plagued me as a teenager. BUT after years of torturing it with unspeakably harsh, chemical-laden products, my pores are gigantic and prone to all sorts of lovely congestion and blackheads. I thought I had a reasonable handle on my skincare routine (although using a face soap you have to steal from a hotel isn't the most sustainable or convenient regimen) ...but then at my most recent visit to the dermatologist, there was much tongue-clucking over the state of my pores/blackheads and a recommendation for benzoyl peroxide.
I nodded and pretended like I would consider the advice, even though 1) I've used it before, and 2) will NEVER use it again, because it sent my poor skin into a wicked sort of overdrive: My t-zone went nuts with oil production overcompensation, while the rest of my face withered up in patchy red dryness. Also, hives, lots of hives. No thanks. I'd love to have great skin, but at this point in my life I'm happy to settle with good-enough skin, rather than risk making everything a million times worse with harsh, irritating products.
And I admit that I was similarly skeptical/cautious when NxN asked to send me a skincare kit to try and possibly write about. My skin is already pretty temperamental from the oily/dry perspective, then when you add in the million and one ingredients that give me hives...well, I'll try it. But don't get mad if my skin pitches a massive hissy fit and calls the whole thing off.
I was willing to try it, though, because NxN is free of artificial colors and fragrances, plus no parabens or sulfates. It's hypoallergenic, made in the U.S., and never tested on animals. I like all of those things! Those are good things. So a couple weeks ago I stated using the product lineup for oily/combination skin. And you know what? They are also very, very good things.
My pores are CLEAN. Like, deep below the surface crud that I'm 90% positive hasn't budged since puberty is now GONE. No zits, no dry patches, no redness, no hives, no mid-day oil slick of shine to powder away. I use the cleanser daily, alternate a couple times a week with the mask and the exfoliator, add in my moisturizer and then basically wear the primer alone, with just a touch of blush, mascara and lip pencil.
(And my eyebrows, which practically do not exist on their own at this point. Thanks, junior-high friends, for all your terrible sleepover beauty advice!!)
Get $30 off your starter set! The first 100 readers will receive the Zero Shine System for Oily/Combination Skin By NxN for only $9.99. Simply click here and enter in the code AMALAH. (Note this is a membership site and products will ship every 45 days, although you can cancel, skip or edit your shipment preferences at any time!)