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So remember that article that I wrote sometime way back when on the LUSH Herbalism face wash? Well, I stopped using it only because it was a pain in the ass to get out of the pot and not manage to get water INTO it when showering, and the weird off-putting smell was finally getting to me.

So the last year or so, I was back on the over-the-counter bullshit promise of Neutrogena. Clear skin! Be fresh! Be beautiful? You know what? No. Fuck you, Neutrogena. You did nothing but give me dry patches and clogged pores.

I had heard about DevonneByDemi because, well, Demi Lovato – songstress extraordinare – makes the product. I know, I know. Another celebrity hocking some bullshit product that promises whatever-the-hell. But let me tell you, this is different. This is actually GOOD!

Since the website was having a sale due to the holidays, I decided to buy this online. I don’t have terrible acne, but it’s annoying enough. I was fortunate enough in high school to not suffer from heavy acne. But as an adult, it’s been more than annoying to me. I break out mainly on my chin, sometimes on my forehead and every once in a while on my nose. Nothing too scary, thankfully. I did some research into other reviews, watched some YouTube videos and the like before finally deciding that this could possibly work for me. I get oily in my T-zone, but not to the point of being able to scrape it off and use it as fuel for my car. I’m dryer on my cheeks, I have uneven skin tone and can sometimes be blotchy.

It took about a week and a half before I finally got my package. Mine came with a a bonus gift. A purple heart-shaped facial sponge which I love and use every time I wash my face at night to get all my makeup off. I ended up purchasing just the basic package. Face wash, hydrating mist and the 2-in-1 moisturizing primer.

DevonneByDemi says that their product smells like lemon, but honestly? It smells like cake batter to me. Like Funfetti cake batter, and I am NOT complaining one bit. I like cake. If you don’t like cake, get the hell out of my life.

I have been using the product for almost a month and I have definitely seen a change. In fact, I could see the change (& feel it) almost immediately. On my first try, it removed every single bit of makeup lingering on my face. After using each product in its designed order, my face felt softer, slightly firmer yet bouncier at the same time. The rudeness in my cheeks wasn’t as prominent.

After the first two weeks, I had the inevitable “my skin is detoxifying by finally pushing out the last of the bad crap” breakout. This is bound to happen with any skincare routine you do. You’re skin is conforming and finally giving in to what you’re putting it through to make it good again. However, after a couple days, it finally died down and I am for sure seeing a breakthrough.

I can sincerely say that after using this product every morning and evening and just sticking with each step, my skin is clearing up and becoming the skin I’ve always dreamed it to be. I’ve noticed that I’ve been wearing my foundation less and less thick. In fact, I’ve been wearing concealer under my eyes (of course) and then just lightly dabbing my Too Faced Born This Way foundation on my face before buffing it all in with my foundation brush.

Am I going to take a No Makeup “Selfie” like Demi Lovato asks you to do to promote her product? Yes, BUT not yet. I feel like I am almost there, but not quite. I have faith I will be, especially since (as of late) I’ve been seeing the major changes for the better happening.

So, if you’re a male or female who are between the pimple years and wrinkle years, don’t have overtly oily skin or the most horrible acne, I would honestly recommend this product for you. I think Demi Lovato has done a wonderful job of actually being involved in the making of this product as well as using it herself. I also love her whole idea of self-love and wanting women of all ages to be more confident in themselves and in their skin. To me, that’s enough to get me to buy whatever you’re slinging, and Demi is serving an amazing product. I can’t wait to see how much better it gets from here.

Hey kids! Wow, have I been MIA or what? My apologies! I need to update this thing. I’ve been watching Netflix and playing games, but it’s been a “dead time” for games recently. No, I have no interest in Metro Last Light, & especially no interest in Remember Me after the hellaciously bad reviews I’ve read and watched. But, ill bring a nugget of something. That is, if anyone is reading!

ImageOver the past year, I’ve heard of this documentary. I’ve heard it called controversial. I even believe it upset people, but not exactly for the right reasons. Personally, I had put off watching it for a very long time, mainly for my own issues of bullying. I, myself, was a victim of it. I’ll tell you my story further down.

The documentary follows different stories of bullying. First, you meet Alex, a boy who is an outcast. He has the stereotypical “nerd” or “geek” look to him. He’s quiet and shy, and in the beginning he just deals with the bullying that is brought upon him. Within the first few minutes of the film, you are thrown into his every day life. When he asks another boy to be his friend, the boy responds with something along the lines of, “I’m not your fucking friend. I’m going to take a knife and cut your face off. You watch, I’m going to bring a knife and kill you.” My mouth dropped. I didn’t know how else to react other than to just be shocked at the response the boy gave to Alex. All Alex did was innocently ask him to be his friend, and to be told such horrible things? Sickening.

You also meet the parents of a boy who killed himself due to bullying, a girl who is in juvenile detention because she brought a gun on a bus due to being bullied so much, a lesbian girl, and finally you meet a husband and wife whose son’s funeral you get to witness. The boy was 11 years old.

It’s a scary, realistic view of what goes on between kids. Riding the bus is not quiet. It’s not full of laughter. Bus drivers see the things that go on behind them on the bus. They hear the language being used. They do not do one damn thing.

I found this movie to be incredibly sad. It brought every emotion that I possibly had to the surface. I found myself yelling at the principal of Alex’s school when she told his parents that, “I rode that bus route before. Those kids were nothing but perfect angels.” Well, of course they are going to be, you dumb fucking cunt. Excuse my language, but that just brings a fire up inside me that just…I just can’t. Nope. Are you kidding me? Is that a joke? Are you FOR REAL?! I honestly suggest, whether or not you’re a parent (but especially if you are one), to see this movie. It will shake you.

So why does this movie make me so fired up? I was a victim of bullying. A lot of it. Being a kid wasn’t easy for me at all. In fact, the only things I can really remember about my childhood are those horrible times. When I look back on when I was a kid, I never enjoyed it. I like being an adult, paying bills and everything, moreover being a kid. I wouldn’t go back to that even if you paid me millions of dollars.

I grew up fat. Just plain fat. Not like, crazy obese like you see with some kids, but just…I was fat, ok? I felt like a lot of the times, instead of getting to know me for me, kids judged me on what I looked like on the outside. I was considered lazy, useless, ugly, etc. Little did most of them know was that I was on a youth soccer team (& was good at it), I played community kids softball, I played outside…a lot. I wasn’t an inactive kid. In fact, I was very active. I just had unfortunate genetics.

I remember playing dodgeball in middle school, and instead of throwing balls at the rest of the kids on my team, the opposing team all threw dodgeballs at me, and me only. I remember a girl, whom I thought was my best friend, tell the whole school that the reason I was fat was because I was pregnant. Hello, I was eleven. I hadn’t even gotten my period yet. In my science class that same year, someone had put blood (or something similar, I really don’t have any idea) on my seat. It was dried, but when I sat down, I didn’t even see it. So, I sat on it, not realizing it until a boy (one of my several bullies), told me to stand up and look at my chair. Sure enough, there was the dried blood. That’s when all the kids in my class started chanting, “Brooke got her period.” I had never felt so humiliated in my entire life. Thankfully, my teacher took it upon herself to “punish” the rest of my class, but I don’t know what giving them extra homework really did to adjust their attitudes. I went home early that day. I remember having a meeting with my mother, the girl who spread the rumor about me being “pregnant”, her mother and the principal. The school did nothing. I remember having a meeting with my parents and the principal on the dried blood incident. They did nothing.

I remember the last time I ever rode the bus. I’d been dealing with being shoved, head slammed into the window and the like, but it came to a head when I was trying to sit in the back of the bus on our way home. I was one of the last few stops, so I wanted to sit in the back and read my book. This boy stopped me saying that I wasn’t “cool” enough to sit in the back of the bus. I told him that I could do whatever I wanted to. His response? Lifting himself up on the back of the bus seats and kicking me so hard in the chest that I fell backwards, smacking my head on the bus’ floor. I told the bus driver. He told me to “shut the hell up” and sit down.

My mom spoke with the principal and the bus driver on the incident. They did nothing.

I remember sledding one day with my friend Cathy in upstate New York. Her family were watching me while my parents were in Italy. A boy that had been bullying me wouldn’t leave me alone, calling me a fat ass, ugly, and the like. He punched me. I had finally had enough, reeled back, and punched him so hard in the face, that he fell backwards. His mouth was bleeding. He told me that I was “dead.” We left the sledding area, needless to say.

I remember a boy (mind you, I had ONLY boy bullies, minus the girl that spread that rumor) poking me, pushing me, calling my names messing with me one day at school. I’d never even spoken to him before, but for some reason, I was his target. It was hat day at school. I was living in Davenport, IA at the time. He kept flipping off my hat and shoving me. When I got to my science class, I had finally had enough. He flipped my hat off and then him and his friend squished my desk together so hard to hold me in. He was behind me. I took my mechanical pencil and scraped him along his stomach. The principal tried to pin it all on me, tried to suspend me. I called it self defense. The science teacher, who was in the class at the time this was happening, did absolutely nothing. He told the boy, “She told you to stop.” And that was that.

Being violent back to these kids was never the solution. However, I can sympathize with those that do act out violently against their bullies, only because when you are pushed so hard, beaten down so much, sometimes you can’t do anything else other than react. I honestly don’t remember hitting the kid with my mechanical pencil. Nor do I overly remember punching the kid in the face. I honestly think that I just blacked out. Anger took over so much that my body just shut down and reacted out of instinct.

By the time I got to high school, I had absolutely NO self esteem. By my sophomore year, the only happiness I felt was by cutting myself with razors. It let the pain out. I didn’t do it for attention. I didn’t want anyone to see it. So, I wore long sleeves…all the time. I remember sitting in French. We were given scissors to work on a project. I kept mine hidden when the teacher came to pick them up. She had then put on a video for us to all watch. I just sat there, scissors open, cutting myself in the middle of class. I didn’t know how to handle emotions anymore, and I just didn’t want to deal with life as it was.

So, I planned my funeral. I sat in my room one night and wrote out a list of all the items I owned and then assigned them to the friends that I did have to have when I died. My stereo and cd collection would go to Sarah, my clothes to the Salvation Army, this to that person, that to this person…etc. I wrote out a letter to my parents assuring them that they would be better off without a daughter who couldn’t really live. Who couldn’t enjoy anything. I wrote out options. Pills, hang….we didn’t own a gun, so that was out. I was truly a shell of a human being. I put it all under my bed, went to sleep, and then went to school the next morning. That night I was going to do it.

Fortunately, my mom was cleaning the house and made her way to my room to vacuum and straighten up. She had found everything. I came home and both my parents were home waiting for me to talk. My mom was crying, my dad could barely look at me.

Over time, I got help. I saw a therapist and took medication. Nowadays, I am a much happier person. There are times where things are still hard. When I have my lows, boy….I have my lows. It’s hard to not internalize my feelings, but I force myself to talk to people so I don’t let it build. I don’t take medication anymore, and haven’t since my sophmore year in college. I am thankful for my mom, my dad…most of all, my husband. The friends I have now….all of these people have saved me, whether they know it or not. They help me remember that life is worth being here for.

So, if someone you know is being bullied, please see the following link for help:

http://www.stompoutbullying.org/livechat_portal.php

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from self-harm and depression, you can find help here:

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you are a friend of someone who is being bullied, or is suffering from depression/self-harm, be the voice that they need. HELP THEM. They will appreciate it in the end. We don’t need anymore kids dying from this….

It's A Funny World...

I had to update to send my condolences to Boston in light of the recent events that took place earlier today. Boston has been one of my all time favorite places to visit, and it makes me so sad that this has happened. I know that, in the world we live in, it was only a matter of time before another tragedy struck. I hate saying that so, so much…but we cannot be naive to the society & world in which we reside.

In times like these, I wish all the Superheroes that were ever created were on this earth. We already have the villains. I wish there were more heroes. The police, fire fighters, strangers and medical personnel that responded so quickly to the event are those superheroes.

But to the person, or people, that caused that event. You are a coward. To use your bombs and to hide away and hurt these people….to murder the ones who did die. You are a sick individual (or individuals). You deserve every bit of karma coming your way.

Please, keep Boston and the people who live there, were harmed, or killed, in your thoughts. For tonight, they all need a hero.

“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” – Alfred Pennyworth

Since I beat Bioshock Infinite, I’ve been going through the stages one goes through when they finish an amazing, breathtaking, beautiful, organic and thought-provoking game. It’s much like what one goes through when they’re done reading a book that they’re very much into. First you have the joy of knowing the ending. Then complete and utter sadness. Depression, maybe? Then you just…are. 

I’m very much happy with the ending of Bioshock Infinite. I’m not going to give anything away if you haven’t finished, but all I’m going to say is is that it’s brilliant. Now, I’ve played games before that have really made me think (Assassin’s Creed, for example), but never as much as Bioshock Infinite has. Michael and I laid in bed the following morning talking about “doors”, parallel universes and String Theory for a good two hours last Saturday morning. 

Anyways, so I’m not all sure what to do now. Right now I feel like video games are at a lull. Nothing is really out that I want to play. I rented Final Fantasy XII-2 a few weeks ago, but I feel like doing a review on that is several months too late. Let’s just say it was fun. I paid actual attention this time on how to use Paradims which helped me on my quest to awesome. Also, thanks to my husband (Michael) for also teaching me. He’s quite the Final Fantasy fan…or was at one time. It was fun to pass the time. 

I’ve been putting off playing my Assassin’s Creed DLC for the Tyranny of Washington. Are all three even out now? I’m only 1/2 done with episode one. Ugh. I fail. I stopped playing the first DLC only because of some fucking glitch that would make my game freeze up, and all gamers know that that is one of the most annoying things on the planet. Right there next to lagging, no internet connection and annoying 12-year-olds screaming filthy things no 12-year-old should even be saying.

On the bright side, they’re releasing a new Batman game that will be coming out this October. It’s not being put out by Rocksteady, but people who’ve worked on the previous two Batman games are on the project. AND, Rocksteady has also given them full permission to use the same software. So far they’re going with the name Batman: Origins (the last I heard), but it’s not going to be an origin game per say. As a huge fan of Batman (and the last two Batman games – Arkham City in particular), I’m super psyched about hearing this. I hope our GameInformer magazine gets here soon! It’s supposed to have Batman on the cover with more details on the upcoming title.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching The Buried Life on Netflix. I loved the show the first time the seasons aired, so since it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, I wanted to watch it all over again. Duncan, Ben, Jonnie and Dave are the four most amazing dudes I think I’ve ever seen on tv (or read about). They’re always so kind to those they came in contact with on their show. They really do inspire you to be a better person, and the show is a reminder to just live your life. Don’t let things just be, you know? Even by that simple question, “What do you want to do before you die?”, it just…wakes you up. 

What’s something I want to do before I die? Meet the brother I never knew I had until December 2012. I’m adopted, and for a good 29 years of my life, I never knew that there was another sibling from my birth mother that was given up for adoption. I had even met my birth mother when I was 19, and she never told me. A year ago, I was just curious again to find her (we had lost touch), so I scoured the Internet to see what was up. I came across her obituary. She died three days before my husband and I got married. Of lung cancer. Thankfully, the obituary had the name of my biological half-sister. So, thanks to Facebook, I was able to find her and talk with her. She was able to answer a LOT of questions that I didn’t have a chance to ask my birth mother. Then she told me I had a brother. I was shocked. So, my birth mother had me first & gave me up for adoption. Had another girl and kept her, then the brother, then Holli (the sister I talk to). I’ve seen one picture of him…on Myspace. He has a Facebook, but I haven’t had the courage to write to him. 

 

…I don’t even know where to begin with that…

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