Monday, December 15, 2014


Last Summer, I was scrubbing my cheeks with baking soda in the shower (like ya do) and thought, Yes. The whole world must know immediately about my skin care regimen.

Since that day, I've had the idea about 8,000 times, but there are two roadblocks to telling this story, and the first would be my Eyebrow Ditches.

You have fine lines. I have two perpendicular creases from years of squinting into the sun, even when it isn't even shining. Even when I'm wearing sunglasses. They say brown eyes are supposed to be the tough brutes of all the irises, but if that's true, why did I once sit in that giant robot chair and explain to my optometrist, "My eyes smell my mascara and it bothers them." (Just, why?)

A few years ago my sister and I were marveling about how wrinkle-free we were. I'm not even playing right now. If you have a sister, you know this is legal. One month later I turned 34 and overnight, many parts of me revolted. My face seized up, only the opposite. I became one of the wrinkled ones.

And in case you're worried now, no, I do not have body dysmorphic disorder. I know what this is because in Abnormal Psychology I had to "diagnose" my friend who thought he was bald, but actually wasn't.

The point is, it seemed that only someone with flawless skin or should yammer about her face scrubs. Meanwhile, I have a history of clogged pores, oily skin, saggy eyelids, and that weird cluster of something by my left eye that causes people to sometimes ask "What happened??!"

The second roadblock: Jesus.

This is embarrassing, okay? It's complicated in my head. As you may have noticed, my blog enjoys a scattered whimsical vibe. At some point I made the unconscious non-decision to not back myself into a corner, which results in me baring my guts about poverty and adoption and God one day and talking about brussels sprouts the next. It's confusing even for me. I have friends who say their top priority is to honor God with every word they write, and I nod along, but now and then I feel a visceral itch to emotionally purge my crushiest movie stars* (during the Advent season oh my gosh) or my first world J Crew problems and I'm left feeling like Jesus probably scrolls pasts me in his reader on those days.

It's true, I was created with a bent toward loving products. My adolescent dream job was to work at a drug store so I could memorize the mysteriously weird names of make-up colors all day. Yes, I did once write a letter to the editor of Teen Magazine airing my grievance that they didn't include recipes on how to make make-up from household products, but you know this embarrasses me, so why are you bringing it up???? (They didn't respond.) It felt like a major blow when I was eventually hired at Meijer only to be sent to the shoe department rather than HBA (if you don't know what that means, I'm shocked you're still even reading).

Shannan Martin is wrought with complexity, this much we know, but a post about janky skin care products? NO ONE CARES, ESPECIALLY NOT JESUS.

Or does He? All I can tell you is, last week I got an email from a reader asking what skin care products I use and it might as well have been a dove with an olive branch in its beak or a burning bush. 

So if you're wondering why God hasn't answered your prayers recently, it's because He's been busy coordinating my blog schedule and considering the lilies of my pores. So to speak.


Since we can't even handle any more ado, here is my skin care regimen, or as I like to accidentally say, my "skin care regime." (If, like me, you grew up on a cocktail of blue Noxzema, Apricot scrub from the devil, and the blue Sea Breeze, "regime" actually makes perfect sense.)

I scrub my face most mornings in the shower with a little bit of baking soda, sometimes mixed with a drop of Maddie & Sophie Cleanse oil. Lauren Conrad told me to do this and because baking soda is cheap and I have an affinity for reality TV stars who retained their common sense, I listened. It changed my life. In a way.

At night, I wash my face with some generic version of the Oily Skin version of Cetaphil.

After that, I rub a few drops of Maddie & Sophie "skin" oil all over my face.

Yes, I have oily skin and my life was forever changed by skin oil. It balances my pores in a magical way and it also somehow keeps them from getting that gross, clogged way. I have always been prone to break-outs (and still sometimes am) but this has never caused me trouble, and if you would have told me about this trickery when I was a teenager, I would have spit in your hair.

Note: both Maddie & Sophie products were given to me as a gift from a friend, so I did not personally pay for them. They aren't cheap. BUT. 1) They last forever (my first bottles lasted exactly one year) 2) They give me results that renew my faith in possibility and hope 3)They're certified organic, gluten-free, and totally natural and 4) the "cleanse" smells like an orange Dreamsicle.

Note: "cleanse" is currently sold-out but will be available again in January. AND...Maddie and Sophie is giving one bottle away to an FPFG reader. Just leave a comment telling me anything in the world about a product you love. Or, just say Hi. I'm easy. I'll pick a random winner sometime in the next week.

Rounding out my faves: this Nivea lip balm. I am allergic to going to bed with dry lips, and this gives a tiny hint of rosy color, so I use it in the morning, too, when I'm trying to be extra fancy as I take my kids to school in my pajamas.

I grabbed the Lacura night cream a couple weeks ago at Aldi. I loved their eye cream because it smelled like honeysuckle. This doesn't grab me in quite the same way, but it's nice to switch it up every now and then.

My "look".
(Can we call it that?? Please?)
Sloppy ponytail, a little bit of make-up, doing selfies on the front porch with our oldest son, Robert, in his #BITE ME hat. Naturally.

I do wish my lips were voluptuous enough to cover my gums, but  I don't hate my skin. Guys, I'm practically 40! Hand to heart, my skin is in better shape than it was 5 years ago. Amen. (If anyone knows the antidote to a fivehead, please approach the podium.)

These are my go-to make-up skin products du jour.

That Wet 'N Wild (576A - Rose Gold) lipgloss will rock your face off. It's so wrong, it's right.
At first you don't know what even got into you and why you're carrying its frosty self around.
Then you notice the way it makes you seem like you have a little bit of a tan even in December and you pledge your eternal love.

NYX concealer and blush are both from Target (I like a brighter blush. Sue me.) The ribboned Oil of Olay skin corrector concealer has been discontinued but I need it so bad that I hawked an arm and bought it on Ebay for nearly $20. (When it arrived with an orange clearance sticker on the lid, I raged.)

I discovered that Ben Nye banana powder on Pinterest with one of those before/after shots and ordered it without blinking twice. I don't always use it because I'm happy with a combination of the other two, but sometimes I sweep a layer of it over the other two when I'm looking extra terrifying or when I care more than usual, whichever comes first.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm not an extravagant, impulsive shopper at all, except when it comes to covering my dark circles that would frighten a seasoned Celtic warrior.

While we're on the topic of some of my personal, appearance-related flaws "quirks", let's talk about the fact that I have the hair follicles of a hairless cat.

This was in my swag bag when I spoke last year at Hope Spoken and it changed my flipping life.
Fine-haired ladies? Meet your lover. It sprays out like invisible air, but somehow makes you look like you aren't going bald after all. It's the literal breath of angels. Literally.

I'm afraid of how much it actually costs...hold me, it's $32! But I still have one arm left, and I will buy a replacement can of this mythical hair product in the near future.

I recently had $10 of my monthly "Blow" (thinking spending cash, not drugs) burning a hole in my pocket and these small body butters from The Body Shop were on sale 3/$10. Boom. My favorite scents are (from bottom) Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit and Olive Oil, which actually smells like legitimate spring, not an Italian ristorante.

Finally, for the man in my life and maybe yours, this Mr. Beardsmith beard oil. Because guys, I don't know how to tell you this, but Cory is growing his beard again. We'll all survive. I'm sure we will.

On a positive note, this oil will make it more manageable and more deliciously scented (#7 is my fave), as proven on the beards of many of our bearded friends. And it's just $12 a bottle. (Use the code FPFG15 at check-out for an extra 15% off through the end of December!!!)

If your husband or boyfriend or brother has gifted follicles, this would be the perfect Christmas gift.

There you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about something you wanted to know nothing about at all.

We can all agree, this was God's work.

Question: What's your go-to product? I truly and sincerely want to talk about ALL OF THEM.
Tell me something in the comments for your chance to win the magical "cleanse" oil!

Also, bless you forever for making it through this monster post.
Happy Monday.

*this is begging to be updated