Body, Bottles Down
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Quitting Booze Made My Beauty Products Work Better

Sobriety makes beauty products work really well

In Italian, “vita” means “life.” I think finally, I’m getting mine back. (Photo Credit: Andy Kropa)

Clearly, by writing this column, you can see that I’m open about being in recovery. In fact, let me properly introduce myself to you: “Hi, my name is Susan and I’m an alcoholic.”

Nice to meet you.

For the past 21-plus months, after many failed attempts to get sober (including three stints in rehab — luckily I’m still below the Lohan count, I believe), I feel like I’m finally on my way. I feel like I’m finally starting to understand what this sneaky beast of a disease can do, and has done to me (and my family), and what I need to do, each and every day, to keep it in check.

To put it in the simplest of terms, I finally realized I had to stop drinking or I would die.

And right now, sobriety is starting to suit me. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster — between AA meetings and group therapy and one-on-one therapy and time spent with my sponsor — sometimes I just feel like a raw walking wound, stripped of my old boozy skin, while slowly growing a new one that is very, very fragile.

But that’s not all my life is about, and when I need a little break from therapy, AA, spirituality and slogans, I turn to the fluff. And since I’m obsessed with beauty (I even write about it sometimes), that’s when I revel in this deliciously wonderful fact of my sobriety: Now that I don’t drink anymore, my beauty products really work. Like they never have before.

Because I’m no longer using Benefit’s awesome Erase Paste (1) to hide dark, sleep-deprived, lying eyes. Instead, I use it to cover up under-eye spots that I’ve naturally inherited, and that are also the result of sun damage and age. This concealer comes with a really useful mini spatula that makes it so easy to camouflage those suckers with serious precision. It’s one of the best under-eye cover-ups out there.

Physicians Formula’s Mineral Wear Bronzer (2), which I’ve worn for years, finally adds that sweet, summery glow to my forehead and cheeks again, rather than merely disguise the fact that my skin was literally starting to yellow. It’s also talc-and paraben-free, as well as hypoallergenic.

I’m also no longer caking on Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Foundation (3) to mask a pallid, uneven, and untrustworthy face. Now, I smooth it over clean, moisturized skin, which gives me natural looking, even coverage that accentuates a cared-for appearance. Plus, it contains a skin-saving shot of SPF of 20, so I’m automatically protected from the sun.

TN24_sober_beauty_270And finally, I no longer have to coat my lips with layers of Vaseline every a.m. after biting them to bits during blackouts. Now, not only are they smooth, thanks to a daily application of Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment (4), but I can also wear one of my favorite lipsticks again — NARS in Roman Holiday (5). The creamy color goes on smoothly, and the amazing, color-rich pigment doesn’t get stuck in the disgusting, self-inflicted tears I used pick at on my pout.

Point is: I still use these products, but no longer for the purpose of trying to cover up evidence of my addiction. I’m using them simply for what they’re for: beautifying. And because I’m no longer living on a toxic, dehydrating diet of vodka and vodka (with maybe a cracker or two in between), I’m giving them a real chance to work. A chance I truly never gave these products before.

What beauty products do you swear by? Obviously you don’t have to be an alcoholic to be dependent on certain brands. Tell us your faves!

13 Comments

  1. Stacy Morrison

    Oh, you are seventy-six flavors of awesome. You were before, too, but now you’re sober seventy-six flavors so that’s even more fantastic! I struggle with my drinking and your post about not wanting to give it up sounds many bells in my head, so thank you for that. I also adore beauty products — and I miss the beauty closet at Redbook so very much! I totally agree about Erase, by the way. That shit is awesome. Looking forward to reading your column here. xx

  2. Susan Linney
    Susan Linney says

    Thank you so much, Stacy–your feedback means so much to me! I learned so much from you during those RB years, especially about bravery.

    And man do I miss that beauty closet, too!
    xx
    Susan

  3. BRAVA !!!! DEAR SUSAN, I KNOW YOU SINCE YOU WERE THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORL! AND I KNOW YOUR STRUGGLE WITH THE BOOZE AND IT DOESN’T SERVE ANYONE WHO IS TRUGGLING WITH THE DISEASE. I CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR STRENGTH AND WILL POWER TO ACHIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE TO DATE AND COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET TO HELP OTHERS ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. ..BRAVA !

  4. Thank you so much for writing this. I struggle with my alcohol intake, on and off, and honestly, at first, I wasn’t even going to read this. But I saw “Beauty” in the title and couldn’t resist. I love how you tied these two topics together. You reeled me in, gave me some good beauty reccomedations, as well as some things to think about in terms of my own lifestyle habits. Nice job.

  5. Susan Linney
    Susan Linney says

    Wow — thank you, Joyce. I’m glad you decided to read it! And I appreciate your comments — if nothing else, try that Erase Paste. It’s like magic.

    -Susan

  6. I was reading Ladies Home Journal in my dentist’s office and your beautiful face jumped off the page – I carefully removed the page and googled your name – whatever you use sure gives you a wonderful smile and sparkling blue eyes and your cleavage shows no need for extra weight 🙂
    What’s a fellow doing reading Ladies Home Journal? Remember John Lennon’s words in A Day In The Life – “I read the news today, Oh boy!” Sgt Pepper’s album
    Keep those beautiful photos coming – I will keep looking for your various web sites
    Don’t worry – I am not a stalker – and I also dislike Brooklyn ;-( Ron ….a new fan

  7. Rachel Hallas says

    Congrats Susan on your sobriety! You’re a fantastic writer, and it’s refreshing to read something so honest. Being very honest and open about your experiences is an important part of accepting yourself and coming to terms with your problems, whatever they may be. Remaining open and honest involves risk and vulnerability but there is no other way to be as far as I am concerned. Thanks for being so honest, I have read all your articles and I think they are lovely.

    • Susan Linney
      Susan Linney says

      Thank you, Rachel! That’s so nice to hear. I’m thrilled you’re liking my column and you’re right, honesty can set you free in so many wonderful ways.

      Thanks so much for reading. Hope all is well!
      xx
      Susan

  8. Pingback: Scented Secrets: How I Used Perfume to Cover Up My Drinking | Tue Night

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