From Dec. 2015-Feb. 2016 trying to get this blog up was a mess; a hassle even. Every podcast I listen to promoted Squarespace, so I thought I was set when I purchased my domain in December. Well, the design limitations were too rigid for the functionality that I wanted, so it was time to migrate. In the midst of transitioning to WordPress, I did not realize that I was not receiving emails. I figured all of these makers, experts, and bloggers must be busy. No problem.
Luckily, cosmetic chemist Gavanne Davis sent me a DM on Instagram saying she has been trying to contact me. Literally, weeks before launching, I learned about MX records. For a month I could send emails but not receive them. I thought my reputation was ruined. Here I am, a new blogger and not responsive to people who I am soliciting help from. After contacting people using my personal email, it was evident by the responses that I was overreacting. There was a resounding, “Ok, girl. Let me know if you need anything” and I was relieved. Yeah, I’m that worrier in my friend groups.
One maker who has always been encouraging is Jasmine Kelley from Onya’e Naturals. She has been supportive throughout this entire process and even referred her friend, Amber Lucas, to be featured for Herglow. Between finding new brands, taking weeks to create an Instagram posting schedule (shout out to Later), being inspired, and trying to create structure around my publishing, I am here on this beautiful Saturday morning, hours before meeting with my mentor, to bring you this month’s skin profile with Amber Lucas of A Mused Blog.
Tell us about yourself
I am Amber Lucas and I am 30 years old. I was born in Washington DC, raised in Hawai’i, and I now live in Northern California with my cat Eloise. I am a content creator and a social media marketer. I like to create silly and corny jokes late at night to entertain myself when I can’t sleep.
How has your skin changed over the years?
Growing up, starting around 7th or 8th grade, I developed mild acne and by the time I graduated high school it became severe; so severe that when I was living in Los Angeles, a woman at the makeup counter in Century City mall refused to sell me makeup! It was mortifying. I tried everything: veganism, sleeping in mud masks, the toothpaste trick. All were pretty futile. However, in college I became a raw vegan for two years and went on birth control. It was a miracle. My skin was not only clear but also glowing. I stopped wearing makeup, as I thought that my skin looked better without it! Eventually I stopped my raw food diet (it simply wasn’t sustainable on a college/dorm life budget) and I went off of birth control because I hated how it made me feel. In college my skin went from being oily to normal, which I think it still is today. I have a much healthier relationship with my skin now.
What do you love about your skin & what are your concerns?
I have a small dusting of freckles under my eyes and across my nose. I love them! I also love my skin as a part of my heritage. I am mixed. My mother is Danish and my father is Haitian. It’s a combo that usually keeps people guessing and I love that.
I’m concerned with preventing premature signs of aging. I know that there is beauty with accepting one’s age and aging gracefully, which is something I hope to embrace when the time comes, but I also want to take care of my skin the very best that I can, so I make sure to always keep it moisturized and protected from the sun.
Walk us through your morning and nighttime regimens with your favorite products.
My morning regimen is pretty simple. I keep a small, refillable jar of coconut oil on my counter. I melt a small amount between my hands, rub it on my face, and let it sit while I brush my teeth. Then, I place a warm washcloth over my face, wipe clean, and take an additional small amount of oil and gently rub it across my eyelids and lashes. Lastly, I prep my skin for the day with Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base before starting my makeup routine (my foundation has SPF).
In the evening remove my makeup with Bioderma Micellaire Water, coat my face in coconut oil, and repeat the same process from the morning to make sure all traces of makeup are gone. Then, I pat Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion into my skin. Next, I apply Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum (turns out birth control can cause skin discoloration, even after the hormones are no longer in your system) and then moisturize with Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream and La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5.
I take hyaluronic acid and evening primrose supplements daily, to help promote healthy skin and collagen production.
If you had to pick one product, what can you not live without?
Probably coconut oil. It’s such an amazing product; I use it on my hair and skin, apply it to my eyelashes to encourage growth, use it as makeup remover, skin moisturizer, lip balm, and for oil pulling…the list goes on and on.
What’s your favorite brand and why?
I’m not sure I have a favorite brand. When I have a skincare concern, I will usually start with natural remedies such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, or honey. From there I will look into Japanese, Korean, or French skincare for more stable remedies. I have found that they have a very gentle approach to skincare and they put a lot of emphasis on bringing out the natural beauty of the skin.
Are there tips you can share that have changed your skin care practices?
My advice would be to be gentle. There are so many products out there that want to leave you squeaky clean, rip out your blackheads, or scrub away dry skin. Be gentle. Skin is a living, breathing organ that should be handled with care. I have learned that the gentler I am with my skin, the better it responds. Drink a lot of water, meditate, and get enough sleep as possible. Stress, lack of sleep, unhappiness, and alcohol all show up on your skin.
Also, if you use a washcloth, use two in rotation; one for the morning, the other for the evening. This will allow the cloth to fully dry between uses and prevent introducing bacteria to your skin!
How do you avoid a skin crisis?
I try to remain as consistent with my skincare regimen as possible; the fewer changes in my routine, the less surprises (i.e. acne) I will have. I drink plenty of water and green tea, maintain a healthy diet high in fresh fruits and veggies. Olive oil and coconut oil also keep my skin happy and healthy.
How do you pamper yourself?
I love to hike and to be outdoors, so any chance I can get to be outside and feel the fresh wind on my face is a joy for me. I can easily lose track of time, and I often refer to mountaintops as my sanctuary. It puts my mind at ease and helps me to process whatever I may be going through at that time. Also, sheet masks are a simple luxury that I love to indulge in.
Who is your melancrush?
Is it fair to say my family? Just two years ago my extended family found me through Facebook, and they are all so beautiful; a melanin rainbow of light to dark skin with every shade in between. They have big beautiful eyes, and I am captivated by how unique and stunning each one of them is.
Who do you attribute your beauty to?
I attribute my beauty to my mother. She taught me at a young age to take care of my skin, develop a regimen, and that consistency is key. I was always going through her bathroom drawers and experimenting with her skin products. It helped me grow an appreciation for skincare early on.
How do you shop for skin care products and where?
I read lots of reviews before I buy a product. I read blogs, watch video reviews, and ask lots of questions. For shopping, I shop everywhere: Trader Joe’s, Amazon, Sephora, Easy.
What would you like to see in the beauty aisle?
I would love to see more all-natural products and a gentler approach to skincare. I have been able to address all my skincare concerns by simply being gentle and selecting gentle ingredients. I think it is important to work with your skin, not against it.
What would you like to see on Melanglow?
I love the skincare features that you share of other women’s regimens and I would like to see more. I grew up not seeing other’s who looked like me and this is such a beautiful website to be a part of!