Sunday, June 30, 2019

Review: The Book of African Proverbs by Gerd de Ley #BookAfricanProverbs #AfricanProverbs #GerdDeLey

(product photo courtesy of

$15.00 US/$20.00 CAN

Have you ever listened to a proverb that someone told you and thought, there has to be some truth to that? Usually there is. Often proverbs, idioms and sayings are based in truth and have come to take on a life of their own in time. Halloween, a perfectly innocent holiday, has roots in pagan religions of Northern Europe. It is the celebration of the end of the harvest and the beginning of Winter, the lean cold months which reminded the ancients of death. The actual Day of Halloween was called Samhain (Sow-ain) and the veil between the living and the dead was supposed to be thinnest at that time. This is an example of good American origin story. You can create proverbs from this. 

The book is divided up into different kinds of proverbs and has content names like "An Unbreakable Spirit", "A Tradition of Storytelling", "The Value of Hard Work", "Food and Good Times", "Animal Wisdom" and "Words to the Wise".There is also a bibliography were all the quotes came from, although matching it up with the quote you are trying to find is a nightmare.  

These quotes and sayings are definitely something you need to keep an eye out for your own mother now. Here are a few of them:
  • Allah, preserve us from ,"If only I'd known"--Hausa
  • Don't ask me where I am coming from, ask me where I have come from.--African proverb.
  • One blow will not knock down the strong man.--Nigeria
  • All the world fears time but time fears the Pyramids--Egypt
Those are a few in the Unbreakable Spirit Section. Now let us o the A Tradition of Storytelling section. 
  • Repetition is the mother of knowledge.-African Proverb
  • Silence is also speech.--Fulfulde
  • Silence is more that just a lack of words. --Egypt
  • Words are like spears. Once they leave your lips they can never come back.--Yoruba
  • A child that asks questions isn't stupid--Ewe
  • He who learns teaches--Ethiopia
Life and Death Section.
  • What is the use of consulting a dead man's horoscope--Senegal
  • Death makes no appointment-Ashanti
  • Eternity gives no answer--Liberia
Section entitled The Value of Hard Work
  • Authority does not depend on age--Ovambo
  • A back does not break from bending--Egypt
  • A bald headed
  • man will not grow hair by getting excited
On People
  • A woman who has not been twice married cannot know what a perfect marriage is--Nigeria
  • A woman's stomach does not grow if she is not pregnant.--Ethiopia
  • Divorce a young woman and you make another young man happy-Ethiopia
Food And Good Times
  • Friendship is honey but don't eat it all--Morocco
  • An onion shared with a friend taste like roast lamb--Egypt
  • Don's despise the nut, one day it will be a beautiful palm tree--Angola
  • An orange never bears a lime-Sierra Leone
From the Animal Wisdom Chapter
  • The fowl digs out the blade that kills it.--Somalia
  • When a fly does not get of a dead body, he is buried with it.--Ashanti
  • A fly does not mine dying in coconut cream-Swahili
  • When the hyena drinks, the dog can only look on. --Hausa
  • The horse that arrives early gets good drinking water--Zulu
All of these proverbs are to a point and make sense when translated. They also make sense with the idioms of our language. This would also make a great coffee table book, home library book or fun book to give as a gift. The Book Of African Proverbs retails for $15.00 Us/$20 CAN. It can be purchased online at or

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram:iamthemakeupjunkie

(This was sent for consideration)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: The Joy Of Cycling #JoyOfCycling #bicyle #proverbs #quotations #quotes

The Joy of Cycling: An Inspired Collection Of Quotations For The Urban, Sport & Recreational Cyclist
$12.50US/$15.00 CAN
This is definitely a book you might get as a gift for someone you know who is a rabid cyclist. It is one of those books that is definitely not for sit down reading but is more like a coffee table book or one that you would leave in your bookcase and pull out when you need a quotation. That is not to say it isn't good, because it is. And the wisdom applies to all walks of life. 

The book is divided up into seven chapters. The introduction. A mechanical Work of Art, Freedom of Movement, Perseverance, A Simple Joy, Journey of Wellness and the Conclusion. Using a bicycle is like using a little bit of heaven. You ride carefree through the wind and the streets just moving so fast. When there is no traffic out is is the best!!!

Here is a good quote: "It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport."-Scott Martin

"With humans it is like the bicycle. Only when we are movin can we easily keep balanced."-Albert Einstein

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike".-John F. Kennedy

""A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." I really hate this expression. I bet fish would really want bicycles."-Meg Cabot

As you can tell there are so many famous people who gave expressions about cycling. This is a great book. I have a friend who is into cycling and this book is going straight to her as a form of therapy. It can be purchased online at for $12.50 or or at their stores. 

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me on Instagram:iamthemakeupjunkie

(This was sent for consideration)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How to Create a Balanced Life in a Season of Stress and Chaos

Stress is a serious issue—it’s not something to just shrug off. It’s partly responsible for a lot of health and behavioral problems, as well as skin breakouts that shatter the confidence of some people, especially teenagers who are already dealing with a lot of hormonal changes in their bodies. Although stress in moderation is a normal part of life, how people react to it makes the difference between losing their minds or taking care of themselves and, ultimately, creating a balanced life.

According to the Global Organization for Stress, more than seven in 10 Americans reported experiencing stress in the past year—and that number is only increasing. For every 75 people who suffer from stress, one person will eventually develop panic attacks. It’s important to note, too, that stress is not only a personal struggle. It affects each and every American. For instance, the American Psychological Association reported that stress-related issues are costing the US economy some $300 billion a year.

With that in mind, here are five ways to create a balanced life amid stress and chaos.

1. Take a breather
This might sound simple, but who says the solution has to be complicated? When you feel like the task is too overwhelming, just walk away from it for a moment. Go out for a walk to clear your mind. Play a video game if that relaxes you or watch some funny videos on YouTube. It doesn’t matter what type of distraction you need. The important thing is to take a break.

2. Use stress to your advantage
Contrary to the common misconception, stress is not always bad. If you channel it the right way, you can use it to turn in a project within the deadline or perform on stage before a huge crowd. Stress is part of your fight or flight response. You will notice that, under stress, your heart races, your muscles tense up, and you become hyper-aware. Sometimes that distinct reaction can help rather than hinder.

3. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Admittedly, Type-A individuals will have a hard time loosening up because it’s so contrary to their own personalities. It does take a bit of practice to ease up on your expectations. This doesn’t mean that you switch excellent results for mediocrity, of course, it just means that you can’t always expect perfection because you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

4. Don’t forget to take care of yourself
You only have one body and you are not doing it any favors by killing yourself for work. According to House Method, one way to create a more balanced life when you’re stressed is to prioritize self-care. Whether you go Netflix and chill or get that much-needed manicure, what you need to do is to decompress and pamper yourself.

5. Live a healthier lifestyle
People often overlook the importance of having a healthy body. It’s been widely documented that having a healthier body will result in a healthier mind. When you feel good, your outlook instantly changes for the better.

These are simple behavioral changes that will drastically improve the way you deal with stress. It’s easy to say that you only need to have a positive outlook, but you actually have to work at it to be consistent.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Top 6 Eyebrow Tips from the Founder of Wink Brow Bar NYC and London #bosladyofbrows #WinkBrpwBar #UmbreenSheikh #Threading #Eyebrows

Tips from Umbreen Sheikh, Founder + CEO, Wink Brow Bar


Throughout the decades, brow looks come and go. Full, bushy brows evoke 80s-era Brooke Shields. Super skinny brows scream late 90s. Recently, the perfectly painted “Insta Brow” has been having a major moment.

For 2019, a more easy-going, lower-maintenance, natural brow is trending. To achieve this look, we tapped brow guru Umbreen Sheikh for her best tips. As a licensed cosmetologist and Founder + CEO of Wink Brow Bar, Umbreen is a bonafide brow savant. Here’s how she – and her teams at Wink’s multiple locations in New York City, Brooklyn and London – are helping clients live their best brow lives.

Umbreen Sheikh’s Top 6 Brow Tricks 

1. Assume the position
While you might think you need to park yourself thisclose to the mirror to precision-groom your brows, that isn’t actually the case. “Standing too close can throw-off your brow proportions, and make you lose perspective on the overall shape,” says Umbreen. “For best results, stand at least one foot away.”

2. Break out the brush
Short on time? At the very least, give your brows a thorough brushing. Stroke up and over, and then anchor your arches with a dab of brow gel or clear mascara. (More on brow gel shade-selection below.) FYI, the Wink tool of choice has an angled side and a spoolie on one end, so consider investing in a brow brush of similar quality. You’ll be using it every day, so it will pay for itself in no time. 

3. Select your ideal shade
Picking the perfect, slam-dunk shade of gel, pencil or powder is crucial, so this is where you need to spend real quality time. As a general rule, you’ll want to match your hair roots, which are typically one shade lighter than your brows. “Most women want their brows to add definition to their face, and not ‘read’ as harsh or aggressive,” says Umbreen. “Matching your brows to your roots does that.” With one exception, Umbreen cautions. “If you’re blonde, go a shade darker than your roots. Otherwise, you’ll look washed-out.” NOTE: If you opt for professional brow tinting, which lasts for up to four weeks and is among Wink’s most popular services, you can skip this shade-selection tip altogether. How easy is that?

4. Get a little nosey
One of the very best things about next-level brow grooming, whether you master it yourself or pop by Wink for professional assistance, is that it allows you to visually alter the shape of your nose. Thinner, wider – whatever nose look you’re after, beautiful brows can help you get there. If you’re opting for thinner, Umbreen recommends drawing an imaginary vertical line from the tip of your nose to the beginning of your brow, and then focusing your shade-filling right there at the start. To make your nose appear wider, do the opposite and focus your shade-filling at the end of your brow, not the beginning.

5. Pencil (or powder) it in
Whichever shade format you choose, the absolute key to success is to follow the basic shape of your existing brow. Go easy, and only add color between hairs, as needed. “The idea is to shade, not ‘draw’ your brows on from scratch,” says Umbreen. “The goal is a soft, subtle look that lends definition. Straight, hard lines are to be avoided at all costs.”

6. Between brow appointments, “cheat” with concealer
Pressed for time? If you can’t make it into Wink or carve-out 15 minutes to do a thorough DIY bathroom brow-grooming sesh, Umbreen recommends adding a dab of concealer on the most unruly hairs. “Whatever you do, resist the temptation to just yank them out,” she says. “Brows add so much structure and personality to your face that you really want to take your time, and groom properly. Or better yet, head to Wink, and let us help.”

* * *

Peace and Embrowerment to all! 


The #BossLady of Brows, London-born / New York-based Umbreen Sheikh is on a mission to embrower every woman she comes in contact with.

A second-generation cosmetologist, Umbreen learned the ancient technique of threading from her mother, who owned several London salons. In transferring this centuries-old knowledge to her curious, capable daughter, little did Umbreen’s mother know that she was setting the stage for a brow-centric beauty empire.

Of course there were plot twists along the way, namely Umbreen’s decision to attend University at King’s College London and obtain a degree in Biomedical Sciences. But it was a post-University move to Manhattan that would eventually bring Umbreen, full-circle, right back to brows.

After marrying in 2003 and relocating to New York with her seasoned financier husband, Umbreen spent time in the publishing world, as the PR Director for a niche magazine. Simultaneously, she was starting a family of her own. By 2011, she had two children. And once her tots were securely tucked away in school for most of their day, Umbreen knew it was time to get cracking on her career.

But what to do?

Like all visionary entrepreneurs, Umbreen started with what’s known in the biz world as a  Need-Gap Analysis. What product or service was she – and busy, demanding, like-minded women just like her  – missing?

It wasn’t long before Umbreen landed on next-level organic threading as the ultimate unmet beauty need. By 2014, she’d developed the concept for Wink Brow Bar. And ever since, she’s been in full-on growth mode – adding locations, services and products at breakneck speed. Seguing from luxury threading studio to immersive beauty brand, today’s Wink is covering all the bases.

In addition to caring for her family and running her business, Umbreen is heavily involved in philanthropic endeavors. As a committee member of Developments In Literacy, she has helped educate 27,000 Pakistani girls. She is also a Lotus Circle Advisor for The Asia Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to advancing the rights and opportunities for women throughout Asia.

Umbreen resides with her family in New York City. 

* * *

Peace and Embrowerment to all!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Review: Summer's Eve FreshCycle Cleansing Cloths & FreshCycle Flushable Cloths #SummersEve #FreshCycle #CleansingCloths #FlushableCloths #PeriodCleansing #MenstrualCleansing #EverydayCleansing

(product photo courtesy of

14 Individual Wrapped Cleansing Cloths/24 Flushable Cloths $4.99
The first thing I want to say is that I do not want to make any women feel bad about themselves in this piece. This is not a shaming piece. It is piece about something we all have in common: period odor or even everyday matters of freshness. I know that as a woman and having spoken with at least 100 different women along the years, I feel that women are often bothered by this subject more that you think. That is why there are products dedicated to it and a whole feminine hygiene section.  

When we were younger we were often made to feel ashamed of the odor of our vaginas and what was going on there. We were told that any odor was bad, so wash yourself all the time to get rid of it. Which is actually not what you should be doing. Once a day is enough. Make sure the odor isn't very fishy, which can indicate bacterial vaginosis. Or an odd odor that happens with yeast infections.

FreshCycle Flushable Cleansing Cloths helps boost freshness throughout the day, use them while on your period or any day of the month. They are made with a patented odor-reducing ingredient. FreshCycle gently reduces period odor or any odor without dyes, alcohol, and parabens.They have a nice light fresh, scent and the cloths are balanced to a woman's pH level. Plus, gynecologists give them the green light for everyday use. Why? Because they have been proven to reduce period odor, they have clinically tested safe scents, the cloths remove odor causing bacteria, are pH balanced and don't contain dyes or parabens. Finally, the product gently cleanses and freshens. 


  • Cleansing Cloth Softpack: For external use only. Open the lid, apply pressure to break perforated seal and pinch away label. Remove 1 cloth and close lid. Unfold cloth and gently wipe from front to back. Use only once and flush only one cloth at a time.*
  • Individually Wrapped Cloths: For external use only. Remove cloth from foil packet, unfold, and gently cleanse intimate area, wiping from front to back. Use only once, and flush only one cloth at a time.*

(Summer's Eve® FreshCycle™ Cleansing Cloths Flush Friendly™ technology has been tested by an independent lab to ensure that they meet the INDA/EDANA guidelines and testing protocols for flushability, to determine that when used as directed**, they break up and disperse within 60 minutes after flushing, and that they are safe for most well-maintained sewer and septic systems **Failure to follow Instructions for Disposal may lead to system damage and/or regulatory violation. If a problem is noticed, dispose of in trash and do not flush!)

How Do the cloths work? 
Extremely well! After using both of them, I can say I don't have a preference for any certain product, both of them work extremely well. I love how well each one makes you feel fresh again and conquers odor so quickly. I must say with certainty that you have to stick to the front to back rules so you don't get a bacterial infection. That's always the best way. It also may mean using more product too. So be it. Just cleanse properly and you won't harbor a UTI that is hurting you the next week.

These cloths leave a nice fresh light floral scent in the vaginal region that isn't overpowering, or too cloying. The nice thing is that these are also flushable and portable. So they can be taken in your handbag with you on the go. Also no need to worry about running out. And if you do, head on over to your nearest Walgreens. Rite-Aid, CVS, Target or Walmart to pick up any new ones. There is also a No-Rinse Washable Foam in the line too but I did not get to test that. 

I would highly recommend these to women in need of a freshening product during the day for your period or any time you need it. Goodness knows we've all had those days...feel your freshest with Summer's Eve. Known for its dedication to women's freshness and needs. Like Summer's Eve on Facebook:; Follow Summer's Eve on Instagram: and Subscribe to Summer's Eve on YouTube:

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram: iamthemakeupjunkie

(These were sent for consideration)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Review: UD Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen #UDPerversion #FinePointEyePen #urbandecay #sampleproductreceived #waterproofeyeliner

(product photo courtesy of

Urban Decay also came out with a waterproof version of their Perversion Fine-Point Eyeliner. This eyeliner helps you achieve cat-eye perfection in just one stroke with the Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen. They ultimate liquid liner just got a major upgrade. The innovative brush-tip lays down semi-matte, blacker than black pigment with precise, effortless application. The new flexible brush gives you full control over your shape and flick with ease. Plus, the waterproof formula keeps going until you say when! From office tours to after hours, plus any sweat sessions in between!

Here is a photo of the eyeliner:

My eyes are downturned so I cannot due a regular flicked eye. It just comes off looking like a clown did it, But with this unite Pen, it is easy to get the liner you want. Just apply from the inner to outer corner then start outside for your v, start on the up portion pull down and meet at the corner. Then fill in. You will have a small inverted v flipped every time you flipped your hair.

Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen retails for $22.00. Purchase at and will be available everywhere Urban Decay is sold ASAP. This will be available at,,,, and at Urban Decay Flagship stores, at ULTA Beauty and at some Macy's stores. Like Urban Decay on Facebook:; Follow Urban Decay on Twitter:@UrbanDecay; Follow Urban Decay on Pinterest:; Follow Urban Decay on Instagram:; Follow Urban Decay on Tumblr:; Follow Urban Decay on Snapchat at

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram: iamthemakeupjunkie

(This item was sent compliments of Urban Decay)

Review: Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara #sampleproductreceived #urbandecay #mascara #urbandecaycosmetics #perversionwaterproof

(product photo courtesy of

When Urban Decay introduced Perversion Volumizing Mascara to the world we didn't know we had such an old party friend of ours in hand. But its's back in our good graces and ready to help! It is prepared to take on any challenge. And this party friend is even better than ever. She got a facelift on the side and can now play in the water too! So can after mu=u j

Do you have killer days, workouts and splash zones that just come at you? Well come on!!! Perversion Waterproof i our super-intense, blacker-than-black mascara and it doesn't quit, even during your hottest moments. Want to touch up before the big afterparty. Done and done.

This ultra-creamy, lengthening, and volumizing formula coats each lash and never gets brittle or clumpy. So you can apply coat after coat. Our nourishing blend of proteins, amino acids and honey extract promotes growth for bigger, blacker, and healthier eyelashes. So the biggest fans and makers of Perversion got together to introduce it another way. The best way to apply Perversion Waterproof is to For even longer, stronger, and healthier lashes, prep yours with Subversion Lash Primer before applying Perversion. Sassy Trick: Wiggle the high-tech volumizing brush side-to-side, from root to tip on each lash to help separate and define.

Here are pics of me wearing the new mascara and also wearing the new Perversion Eyeliner with the mascara: 

above: nothing on my eyes

above: UD Perversion only

above: UD Perversion Mascara and Eyeliner

I love the waterproof mascara because it doesn't come off, it wears extremely well and it is the best waterproof mascara I have ever used. It takes a bit to dry, so you have several seconds to put on multiple layers. Which is good, at least you will look amazing. It allows you to keep putting on multiple layser without getting crispy. I'm definitely for a mascara that does that. 

Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara is available now at and will be available everywhere Urban Decay is sold ASAP. They are available at,,,, and at Urban Decay Flagship stores, at ULTA Beauty and at some Macy's stores. Like Urban Decay on Facebook:; Follow Urban Decay on Twitter:@UrbanDecay; Follow Urban Decay on Pinterest:; Follow Urban Decay on Instagram:; Follow Urban Decay on Tumblr:; Follow Urban Decay on Snapchat at

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram: iamthemakeupjunkie

(This item was sent compliments of Urban Decay)


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Review: Supergoop ZINCSCREEN 100% Mineral Lotion #supergoop #zincscreen #100percentminerallotion #mineralsunscreen #sunscreen #skincancer

(product photo courtesy of

1.7 fl.oz./50mL $42.00
Supergoop ZINCSCREEN 100% Mineral Lotion is the mineral sunscreen answer that everyone has been looking for. Do you have sensitive skin and cannot wear regular sunscreens with chemicals because they irritate your skin, causing red, itchy bumps? Does it give you acne? Does it do both? That is the real bad blow, when it causes both acne and the inflammatory itching. Or do you have acne and cannot wear any sunscreen at all? Now you can. How about oily skin? This one's for you! Some people cannot wear chemical sunscreens. I can but I personally prefer mineral ones if I can get them. 

Mineral sunscreens are different from chemical sunscreens in one very key thing. A mineral sunscreen, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, works by reflecting the sun's UVA/UVB rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens, like octosalate, absorb the UVA/UVB rays into the skin. I don't think it is good to have them absorbed into the body at all, especially when one such as myself is at such a high risk for another skin cancer.  

Supergoop is a company famous for endorsing their entire line around sunscreen!!! Yay! Hoorah!!!!! That is good for me. I love it. I must be the only person who gets excited when she goes to try on new sunscreen. Especially from Supergoop, my favorite sunscreen company. They make Unseen and now ZINCSCREEN. This is a 100% mineral sunscreen that covers both UVA/UVB rays. It contains 13% zinc oxide. It is not micronized or nano, nor is it any sort of smaller molecule. It is SPF40. And it is a lightweight, non-nano, lotion that provides daily protection from the damaging UV rays and helps protect from blue light (awesome) and pollution too. It has a blendable, skin brightening pink tint that wears well underneath makeup and works beautifully on it its own. This product is best for sensitive, acne-prone, or oily skin. It is made with 'clean' ingredients like winter cherry, coconut fruit extract and blueberry extract to help nourish and shield your skin from other aggressors. "Get ready to be pretty in zinc..." Winter cherry is known to help protect your skin from atmospheric pollution (great if you live in a city) and from blue light, which is the visible light that’s emitted from your phone and computer. Coconut Fruit extract helps to increase moisture levels in the skin and decreases transepidermal water loss. In other words, it’s hydrating! Blueberry extract is high in antioxidants, which help protect the skin from infrared-induced free radical damage.

ZINCSCREEN should not affect sensitive skin at all. It has been formulated for even the most sensitive and acne-prone skin types. I have 26 years experience dealing with acneic skins and if they say that it works on acneic skin, I have to believe them. Furthermore, the non-nano zinc oxide actives (which are larger than 100 nanometers in size) sit safely on top of your skin,  while also helping to soothe skin and reduce redness. The difference between ZINCSCREEN and Superscreen is ZINCSCREEN is a 100% mineral lighter-weight lotion that works best on sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin types, while Superscreen is a clean chemical moisturizer that delivers intense hydration for normal or dry skin types.

I really, really like this product. It doesn't leave any white residue on the skin, instead having a brightening effect that is quite pleasant. I would rather have a beautiful pink lotion than a white mess. I also like the fact that it helps with blue light (of which I am exposed to daily) and pollution. We are always exposed to pollution. Remember, wear your sunscreen daily, even is there isn't any sun out. I am 48 and have had a Basal Cell Carcinoma on my arm.  This is my second brush with skin cancer. Twice before 50. And I have not been in the sun in 20 years. 

Supergoop ZINCSCREEN 100% Mineral Lotion retails for $42.00 per 1.7 fl.oz./50mL. It can be purchased at Like Supergoop on Facebook:; Follow Supergoop on Twitter: @supergoop and Follow Supergoop on Instagram:

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram: iamthemakeupjunkie

Monday, June 3, 2019

My scare with SKIN CANCER at 48: I have a BASAL CELL CARCINOMA on my arm. #skincancer #iamthemakeupjunkie #basalcellcarcinoma #hemangioma #mole #skinlesion #lesion

My Scare With SKIN CANCER at 48: I Have A BASAL CELL CARCINOMA On My Arm. 
lesion before biopsy was taken: a confirmed basal cell carcinoma
In my life I have accrued a lot of sun damage. I'm not going to lie about it and act like I didn't go out in the sun a lot when I was little. My mom and grandmother took me to Nags Head Beach on the Outer Banks, NC when I was 5 and I got sun poisoning. I remember being very sick and having the worst sunburn. The sunburn blistered and I had a fever, vomiting and a very bad headache. And a lot of itching. 

Then when I was older I would go swimming and not reapply, although I would always start out with sunscreen. At least my mother or grandmother meant well. They knew me. They knew with my blonde hair, very fair complexion and blue-green eyes that I couldn't go into the sun at all. After all, my genetics was believed to be all German and some British and Scottish at that point. With my very fair complexion, blonde hair and blue-green eyes, I'm a Fitzpatrick I on the sunburn and skin cancer risk scale. That means I have the most risk for skin cancer. 

I continued to stay out of the sun in my teens and had a couple of bad burns in my early 20's when I was in Greece with my Greek husband, who has enough melanin in his skin that he turns black in one day of being out in the sun, whereas I turn into a lobster after 15 minutes of being out in the sun. So in Greece they use yogurt as a method to help soothe and heal the skin (more later). That was the last time I ever burned in the sun because ever since, I never stay out in it and I always wear a SPF30 of higher when I am in Greece or anywhere like Florida, Myrtle Beach or the Dominican Republic. And I make sure to reapply.

However that didn't seem to stop the damage that had already accrued in my skin, which took what looked like a regular mole and changed it into what I thought was a squamous cell carcinoma (and what the dermatologic nurse practitioner thought was a hemangioma or blood tumor) into their office the very next day after I noticed it. I was lucky to get in the next day I thought. I didn't think it looked like a basal cell carcinoma or a melanoma at all. When I went in, he said it looked like a hemangioma, because it looked like it had stalks to it. But two days ago I got a call saying that the lesion was a basal cell carcinoma and that I have to go back in, get the rest of the margins excised and get 10-15 stitches. Just look at the photo, you can see the lesion amongst the keratosis pilaris on my arm. 

Here is a photo of it after they left the scab from taking a biopsy:

excision after biopsy was taken

Here is a larger view of my lesion, along with my keratosis pilaris (lol):

lesion before biopsy was taken: a confirmed basal cell carcinoma

I know it's kind of hard to see the lesion. I'm going to see if I can get the photos that the dermatologist's office took. The lesion was close to my shoulder and even with steadying my camera it looked blurry. As you can see the lesion is red, irregular, it bleeds and it is slightly painful (which the nurse told me is usually good). It used to be a mole. Then all of a sudden it turned into that very suddenly and one day I woke up and saw the lesion there. It couldn't have been more than a couple of months because I looked at my arms all winter and didn't notice anything different. Even after getting most of it out now, it still hurts when I press on it. That is where they have to get the rest of the margin out I suppose. 

I did my Ancestry DNA. Turns out I am much more fair-skinned than I thought. I am only 30% Germanic Europe, 57% England, Wales and Northwestern Europe, 5% Ireland and Scotland, and 5% Swedish 3% Norwegian. I don't even know where the Swedish and Norwegian came from. But all of this does explain why I am so fair and it explains why I don't tan at all. I am of mostly Northern European extraction. The German in me explains why I am 6'1" and that could also be explained by the Swedish and Norwegian but the paleness of skin could be explained by every darn genetic extraction I have. 

Your risk for skin cancer is at the heart of the Fitzpatrick scale: This scale was designed by by John D’Orazio, Stuart Jarrett, Alexandra Amaro-Ortiz and Timothy Scott. 

Here you can see the palest of the pale have the highest skin cancer risk because they have very little melanin in their skin and they burn and do not tan, you can also take into account eye color. 

  • Type I (scores 0–6) always burns, never tans (palest; freckles).
  • Type II (scores 7–13) usually burns, tans minimally
  • Type III (scores 14–20) sometimes mild burn, tans uniformly
  • Type IV (scores 21–27) burns minimally, always tans well (moderate brown)
  • Type V (scores 28–34) very rarely burns, tans very easily (dark brown)
  • Type VI (scores 35–36) never burns (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown)

The Fitzpatrick classification schema for human skin color was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick as a way to estimate the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. It was initially developed on the basis of skin color to measure the correct dose of UVA for PUVA therapy, and when the initial testing based only on hair and eye colour resulted in too high UVA doses for some, it was altered to be based on the patient's reports of how their skin responds to the sun; it was also extended to a wider range of skin types. The Fitzpatrick scale remains a recognized tool for dermatological research into human skin pigmentation.

I am always a Fitzpatrick I on the scale and my risk for skin cancer is very high. I have known this since I started studying skin in my teenage years. I have tried to avoid the sun and used sunscreen as much as I can but I know that my time in Greece didn't prepare me for the Mediterranean sun. My ex-husband is a VI on the scale and luckily our daughters are a Type III or Type IV. Depends on the daughter. 

If I get a bad sunburn what should I do to heal it? Well there are a couple of things you can do for it. Take an anti-inflammatory med like a NSAID (aspirin, ibuprofen). That will help with the pain and inflammation. It should help take down some of the redness too. If you have it aloe vera juice soaked cloths would be good to lay on the sunburn. Those will help soothe the sunburn and ease the peeling, the redness, etc. If you don't have aloe vera, get your hands on some regular Greek yogurt. Spread it on the burn. It will help soothe and ease the pain with the lactic acid in the yogurt. Greek is good because it is thicker and more potent. 


I will write more after I get the margins cut out and I get the stitches. 

Until Then~

Marie Papachatzis
Follow Me On Instagram:iamthemakeupjunkie

Featured Post

Review: SEPHORA PRO Palette in Warm #SEPHORA #PROPaletteinWarm

(product photo courtesy of www.sephora,com )  SEPHORA PRO Palette in Warm $68.00 This deluxe eyeshadow palette with 38 warm color...

Girl Up

KVD Vegan Beauty