Welcome to At First Blush...An honest to goodness beauty blog. If you have already read the "About Me" page,  then you will know why the word "honesty" is in my tagline. I believe in helping people to feel and look their best, so why give a dishonest answer just to appease a person who is going to walk around wearing the wrong shade of lipstick thinking it looks good? I'm not like that. 

Here's the lowdown on me:
I have been a practicing and licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist for 8 years now. I love it. It's completely what I was meant to do in life. I am sure of it. 

Here's how I got there:
Teen acne got the best of me at age 14. It never left. I was big time into sports and competition, so you can only imagine the inner competition I had with other girls my age with spotless skin. Like my friend who used Noxema everyday, and didn't get one pimple. I believe she still does. Makeup was my lifesaver. That may sound superficial to some, but when you have acne (I'm not talking just the occasional zit, here), it can turn your world upside down. I remember my mom bringing me to the Clinique counter the summer before high school to get a "make over," and I was hooked ever since. My skin looked flawless for once. That made me happy. I was able to go confidently through life. Night time was the worst. Removing my makeup and staring in the mirror at the big red bumps made me angry, sad, and lonely. Nobody could understand how debilitating it was to feel the need for cover up 24 hours a day. My friends were amazing. Anytime I complained, they would always say, "Dawn, it's not so bad. It looks worse to you than it does to everyone else." Really? Nobody wants to kiss a puss faced monster. That' s what I felt like-a monster. I even loved my skin after my basketball games because the flush I got seemed to just blend everything together in one rosy glow. At age 17, I went on Accutane. It's a high dose form of vitamin A, with sever side effects. I didn't care. I wanted clear skin. It cleared up a bit, then I went off to college. It stayed pretty consistently clear with the help of birth control.

I graduated college with a BA in English, and went on to work at an IT company as an office administrator. I hated it. The only score was getting a free gym membership and playing basketball with the guys on my lunch break. I daydreamed of many careers as I filed papers. I thought about working with children, so I did. I quit that job and started as a Pre-K teacher. That lasted almost 2 years. The day my Papa passed away, I made the decision to be what I truly wanted to be. I sat my parents down and told them I wanted to use the money Papa gave me towards my education as an Esthetician. I thought they would get angry with me for "wasting" money at college, but they never once mentioned it. Mom and Dad always told me I could do anything I put my mind to, and so I did. I never looked back. I fell in love with the school's white scrubs, my organized "theory" binder, the colorful world of the makeup room, and the smell of the wax wafting through the air. I was an A+ student. My teacher's loved my curious nature, and my tendency to ask a lot of questions. I rarely opted to "receive" during practical, because I wanted my hands to learn what to do. My mind was a sponge, soaking up every last detail of performing facials, waxing, and, my personal favorite, makeup artistry. After 6 months, I was a licensed Esthetician, and landed my first job, where I gathered quite devoted and loyal clients. 

Why this blog?
I am a mom of a 21 month old. I don't work as much as I used to, and this is a great way for me to use my brain, and stay up to date with everything I love to talk about. Plus, it gives me an excuse to read up on my favorite beauty magazines and books. I would love for you, my readers to trust me, and feel free to ask any questions that you may have. I have compassion and dedication to helping women look and feel fabulous. I know what it's like not to feel 100% on the outside as you do on the inside, even 75%. I will write about everything from skincare for any age or skin type, new and upcoming ingredients, makeup tips and trends, and product reviews. Thank you in advance for your loyalty to my blog and for forwarding it on to your friends! Maybe one day I will be thanking you live from the Today show. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?