Friday, March 1, 2024

‘Thank GOD I Did That’ – The Smartest Decisions We’ve Ever Made, and How They Changed Our Lives

In partnership with Dermalogica 

You get a lot of moments in life when you look back and think, ‘Well, THAT was a good decision’ – and a lot of moments where you look back and think, ‘Why the hell did I decide to do THAT?!’ 

Ah well, c’est la vie, right? 

Still, there have been some defining moments in our lives that we’re so happy we chose to do. So here, to celebrate Dermalogica’s new Smart Response Serum – it’s an absolute gamechanger that adapts to your individual skin’s needs and micro-manages your skins needs, helping to rehydrate, soothe, brighten and/or firm you skin by ‘turning on’ key technology where and when your skin needs it (essentially, the work is DONE for you and we’re living for anything that cuts down on admin!) we’re looking back with a bit of gratitude and revealing some of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made.

(And trust us, with the smart ones came a bunch of dumb ones – but that’s a story for another time!) 

Emma – Living alone for three years

I know the word ‘spinster’ gets bandied about a lot but I’ll tell you, the three years I lived alone – and sometimes in the company of cats – were some of the most freeing times of my life. 

Was it a financially viable decision? Absolutely not. 

I house-sat for a year of that time but for the other two, I was paying $320 a week while on a $50k a year salary. I had zero savings and the majority of my money went on a studio apartment that was a) next to a strip club that pumped out base music from 2pm to 5am and b) occasionally flooded with swarms of cockroaches. Glamorous, it was not. 

But it was liberating. Having a room of her own is a gift that not only gives women a break in between stages of their lives, it gives them the opportunity to make friends with their own company. I knew that on a Friday night, when I got home and shut the door, that I wouldn’t have to see or speak to anyone for a whole 48 hours unless I wanted to. I didn’t have to be polite, or smile, or heck, even wear pants, if I didn’t want to.

Kelly: Investing in my skin

Why is it when you’re tasked with thinking of the smartest decisions you ever made, your brain instantly jumps to the bad ones?

Like the time I thought block strips of blonde highlights in my raven-dark hair would look chic, or when I thought my tiny Toyota Levin could get up the side of Mt Ruapehu in a blizzard. Or when I decided going into media would be a great way to afford a house in Auckland someday.

Oh, you poor sweet child.

Still, looking back there have been some pretty smart ones too. Starting Capsule. Microblading my eyebrows. Learning how to make my own candles (I’ve saved a FORTUNE).

But the smartest decision I’m grateful for the most at the moment is actually putting some effort and investment into my skin.

Dermalogica’s new Smart Response Serum, RRP $255 – sponsored content or no sponsored content, trust us – it’s fantastic.

As you enter your 30s, you really start to notice your skin acting, erm, a wee bit differently. Lines appear from nowhere, textures and colours change and you find yourself somehow with both wrinkles and pimples at the same time, which seems like a gross betrayal from all the magazines I read in my youth that promised teenage acne would be ‘just a phase’.

As the most impatient person on the planet, a ‘skincare routine’ doesn’t come naturally for me. I reckon if I was a bloke, I’d be one of those three-in-one kind of guys, who has just the one bottle in his shower for all purposes. I like to get out the door fast, or conversely, fall into bed even faster.

But I’ve now chosen to look at skincare differently. The more I do now, the better my 70-year-old face will be and I love that for Future Kelly. I’d love to be one of those women who age gracefully, who, yes, can’t live without an anti-ageing serum, but who also embrace the natural changes in their face as a badge of honour – a visible representation of the privilege that is getting older.

Now, I look at my morning and night skincare routines as a bit of ‘me-time’ – a little touch of calming luxe to bookend the day, no matter how crazy or stressful it’s been. And I’m finding it’s helping me begin and end the day with a little clarity and happiness.

You can’t get much smarter decisions than that.

Alice: Investing in my mental and physical health

A little like Kelly, when I looked at this topic my mind went completely blank. Yikes. Had I made ANY good decisions? Had I ever even made a decision?!? (Our minds are strange wee beasts sometimes). But thankfully (after a short reel of mistakes!) the good ones started flowing.

Like, the morning I woke up and decided it would be the day I left an unhealthy relationship, the afternoon I said yes to my first magazine job and the night I said, ‘I’m in!’ to Capsule. Living on my own for five years was wise (Emma is on the money with that one), then deciding to move further out of the city to live right by the bush was an outstanding choice. And yes, there were certainly a few times when I swiped right when I shouldn’t have, but the time it really mattered I got it right. And every time I decided to use my passport – whether it was to travel alone, with friends or a partner – was always a great decision.

If I’m honest, the only decisions I’ve made that I regret are ones where I went against my gut – or when I didn’t prioritise my own health. The decisions to invest in my own health and wellbeing – whether it was a course of acupuncture, a much-needed getaway on my own to Samoa, or putting some boundaries in place in my life – are ones I’m forever thankful that I made.

And the key choice that led me there was investing in my mental health by seeing a therapist. I saw a couple of different ones before finding her (like dating, it takes a while to find your match), but Lordy, was it worth it. I went after a few friends started doing therapy and I wondered if it might be something I should try. I figured it’d be good to get a bit of help getting my head straight after some boy drama, and my physical health wasn’t in a great place, so maybe I could address my stress levels? Instead, it opened up a whole new world for me, and now I can actually see why and when I’m about to make a choice that goes against looking after myself and can push myself back on course. It’s the decision that has then led on to making more and more right decisions – I couldn’t recommend it more!

Dermalogica Smart Response Serum, RRP $255. Available now, click here

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