Most of you are probably wondering why I am writing about my future mother-in-law…what does she have to do with this little passion project of mine? To this, I say: far more than you are prepared for. Here’s why.
Marta Kurland (whom I fondly refer to as my “pending”… she started it, I can’t take full credit) is actually partially–if not wholly–responsible for my skincare addiction. She introduced me to Peach & Lily and regularly keeps me apprised of the latest skincare trends. She ensures I am up to speed on everything from the new “hot” serums and moisturizers to various facial tools and procedures, some a little bit more unique than others. She also happens to take amazing care of her skin (she would humbly disagree) and I envy her. Also, if given a choice she would choose wine over cute shoes which, surprisingly enough, I can absolutely respect.
This brings me to the official introduction of my newest blog segment: “My Mother-In-Law Tries Every Skincare Product I Share with Her On Instagram Without Me Asking”. Yes, it’s true. I’ll tag Marta in some skincare ad with some intriguing product or device and the next thing I know she has purchased it, tried it, and given me her full detailed evaluation on the merit(s) of the product in question. Basically: buy this, or don’t bother. I am not lying to you when I say this has happened on more than one occasion without me even subtly hinting at the idea that she would be my guinea pig. She is just that selfless.
This segment will document all of the products I now (lovingly) force Marta to try. Some will be the most talked about in Hollywood (because there is always something, right?) and others may just be techniques or products I have been curious about over the years. Regardless of the backstory, Marta will try the products, take pictures of herself using the products (everyone loves a good before & after), and answer all of the questions I have about them, rating them all at the end on a scale from 1-5. My hope is that we can help you (my small handful of readers) uncover the truth behind some of these ambiguous skincare promises, and cut through the clutter to help you figure out what is truly worth it from a lifestyle and financial perspective.
But, before we dive into the products, I sat down with my pending MIL to get a better feel for her skincare philosophy, and to ask some deeply personal questions. So, let’s meet the woman behind the face mask.
Are you comfortable telling me, and my readers, your age? No, but I will anyway–59.
Because I like to pretend I know what this says about you: what is your astrology sign? I am a Taurus. I am practical, trustworthy, and stubborn as a bull.
Me too! On being stubborn. But I am a bitch about it, you are much nicer. What is your spirit animal? An elephant. I am in awe of them and aspire to be like them–they are smart, have amazing memories, and have impeccable balance despite their size and mass. Moreover, they are a matriarchal society and I love a woman in control!
You’re in control, let me tell you that much–Jerry and the boys wouldn’t survive without you. But, tell me more about this concern with balance. Balance is key as we age. Not only physical balance but a balance in our lives. That took me 59 years to figure out, or at least accept.
Preach. I hope Alex learns this soon! As a child what did you want to be when you grew up? A vet or a lawyer. But I faint at the sight of blood so being a lawyer was a more likely match.
So that is where Alex gets it from. Did this come true? Yes! Although I thought I would be a criminal lawyer because I loved to read crime novels. Instead, I practiced as a real estate lawyer. I would have been a really good litigator because I am so good at debating (arguing), but that would have brought out a negative side of me that I opted to keep hidden from the masses.
What is your skincare philosophy? Simple, clean, sun-avoidance, and hydration, hydration, hydration. This is also my fail: I tend to hydrate from the outside-in with creams, but don’t ever drink enough water.
Has your skincare philosophy changed over time? Yes, I literally did nothing but wash my face with hand soap until I was a young adult. I never knew about good skincare or sun protection until I was in my late 20s–a little too late.
Are you in the apparently small population of humans who wash their face in the morning? Because my skin is very dry, I only sometimes wash my face in the mornings I mostly just rinse. Otherwise, I do a good cleansing at night with a Clarisonic (not as good as you do, my pending) and then use serums, night cream, and facial oil. I also use different masks, mostly those you’ve told me about.
Well, I think rinsing is washing… apparently, some people don’t even do that! I can’t even stand the thought of leaving the germs from my pillow on my face all day but maybe I am a germaphobe. Selfish question: Do you think Alex and I will have fat babies? *laughs a little too hard* I think they will be born normal size and then slowly morph into fatties, albeit very cute fatties. I will love them unconditionally regardless. Then, they’ll get back down to normal size because they will be very athletic.
It’s a joke how athletic Alex is. I’m regularly annoyed by it. Next (real) question: Thinking back to your 20s and 30s, what is your biggest skincare regret? What do you wish someone had taught you? I regret not knowing more about sun protection (24/7, 365 days a year). I wish someone had taught me a good routine with that in mind. Now my skin is dry and sun damaged from years of being outdoorsy (and from being a fair skinned redhead).
Because I have to ask now, what is the biggest fashion mistake you’ve ever made? Any decade. Wearing brown pants and a purple shirt on a group horseback riding trip in Yosemite. Photos were taken and saved and oh, I weighed 200 pounds and had very short hair. It was a total fashion disaster all around. I was also a pre-teen–not sure if that makes the situation more appalling or more excusable?
I need to see this. I can’t find the picture, but it was posted at the local Marie Calendar’s for a night so I am not shy about sharing it. I did find this old one of me and Jerry.
What is your goal for skincare now? Try to repair what I can of my years of sun damage, minimize the look of my wrinkles and sagging jowls, and do my best to avoid more sun-related damage. I am my worst critic.
How much time are you spending washing/prepping/masking your face day to day? I spend 5-10 minutes in the morning and about 10 minutes at night. Unless, of course, I am experimenting with any one of the many products and masks you’ve told me about, in which case my night routine can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.
Sorry, I am insane, I can’t believe I’ve more than tripled your time in front of your bathroom mirror!!!! Let’s hope the results will be well worth the time!
It’s my dream to have a child with dark auburn/red hair a la Emma Stone. Do you think we have a chance? One can only hope…
Now you’re making me nervous. Okay, back to it…Whose skin would you opt to receive a facial transplant from if you had the chance? Good question. Now I have Emma Stone on my mind, and I think she’s beautiful and funny (and she has good lips). Gwyneth Paltrow also. Because I am fair skinned and a redhead, that’s who I tend to admire because I know how difficult it is to maintain. I also like a natural look so I eliminate those who have had too much help. I’d love to look like Jane Fonda at her age, but she’s had a lot of help–though most of it does look natural.
Jane Fonda is #goals. Now, what’s your top drugstore beauty buy? I love Neutrogena. I use their Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer ($16) and Hydro Boost Water Gel with Hyaluronic Acid ($20). Which reminds me, I need to start using the latter again.
Did you drop Alex on his head when he was an infant? No, but Jerry may have…
What piece of skincare advice has stayed with you the longest? Well, since I learned about skincare way too late in life, I’d say sun protection and avoidance would be the most important and one I (clearly) stick too.
Why do you listen to me? Because I know you do your research and you have beautiful skin. Besides, I’m scared of you…*laughs*
I’m scary?! Is this why you turn in your “homework assignments” to me so promptly? Why am I scary?! You are not really scary at all – I just wanted you to feel powerful. I admire your intelligence, drive, humor,and honesty. As you know, you can say just about anything to me and I do not get offended. I mostly turn in my “homework assignments” so promptly because I am a very type A personality and I like a short “to do” list.
Okay, real talk: if we become internet sensations, what would you name our brand/business? The MoLo’s Get Real. Get it–more Laurels?!
Roger that. Slightly terrifying thought, but off we go…