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November 2, 2005

Full Flush

At some point during the early grips of puberty, my body began to express anxiety in a rather peculiar way. Beginning at the collar of my shirt, irregular, disease-like splotches creep up my neck to my cheeks. Depending on how much adrenaline is pumping through my veins, the red blotches appear on my chest, arms and hands.

My mother took me to several doctors when this first occurred; we monitored everything that I ate, checked for food allergies, and finally settled on a primary diagnosis�sensitive skin and overactive nerves. The doctors� advice: learn to live with the fact that you will be splotchy, and for Pete�s sake, chill out.

I never did achieve such zen, but seventy-five percent of the time, I am okay with looking like a person with a skin disease. I have come to grips with the fact that I will be splotchy during any public presentation, any moment of excitement or anxiety, and that, for the most part, people will say "Is there something wrong with your face?" and then get over it.

Recently, Lex and I have been looking over potential wedding photographers. It has occurred to me that almost every shot of the bride will probably include red blotches. I know that this is part of who I am and all that warm and fuzzy stuff, but can they Photoshop that shit out? Will the 8,000 lbs of makeup that one is supposed to wear (but which I am still battling over) cover my natural splotchiness up?

Posted by callalillie at November 2, 2005 8:50 AM | Random , Wedding


Wedding photographers always edit the final pictures; the proofs are unedited but still, when I look at our proofs, I still can't get over how already-edited they look. Maybe we just lucked out, or maybe we were just so happy, who could notice a splotch or pimple? I suspect it's the latter.

Posted by: deb at November 2, 2005 10:40 AM

i'll try and find a photo of the splotches-- they're pretty visible. like i said, though, i'm not crying about it or wanting to hide...i was just curious. wedding photos always look so polished.

Posted by: corie at November 2, 2005 10:42 AM

ugh I get splotches too except they appear in the form of oh-my-god so itchy red hives on my arms and legs. Also, ulcers. What 16 year old gets a stress-induced ulcer? Yep, me.

Posted by: yp at November 2, 2005 12:16 PM

hives! ick! thankfully, this is just weird shaped spots. they usually go away after a half hour or so, or just spread until they combine into one beet red face.

Posted by: corie at November 2, 2005 12:33 PM

i think i've seen the splotches too.

you should go with a full body outfit. or a birka. a nice, white birka.

Posted by: tien at November 2, 2005 2:08 PM

If these splotches are anxiety-caused, and one's wedding is certainly a time to be anxious [if only for the party/family gathering/big to-do sense] then your family and loves ones will understand if you look splotchy. Ask cosmetics counterpeople about what type of makeup to use. ULTA has Bare Escence natural powder-type foundation if you don't want to layer on the goop. With my skin problem, I need extra heavy duty foundation, but maybe you can get by with softer stuff.

Posted by: Divaah46 at November 2, 2005 2:35 PM

yes, tien, i am sure you've seen them. they occur not just during anxiety, but any time that there is adrenaline in my system-- so when i am excited, anxious, embarrassed...and um, drunk.

Posted by: corie at November 2, 2005 3:19 PM

I happened upon your blog long ago and haven't been back in a while. Luckily, by chance, I've stumbed upon it again. Lucky because I'm getting married this spring too, so it's nice to read about someone else's anxiety as the date draws near.

As for your photo-dilemma, have you considered going with black-and-white photography? If you're a traditionalist, I know that option is probably out. Perhaps for the reception? BW always makes everyone look better.

Posted by: Todd at November 2, 2005 3:53 PM

I say, just wear a red dress. 1, you'll be much more bold and sassy, which we like, 2, the splothces will def not be noticable, and 3, you ain't fooling nobody in white anyway.

Posted by: Jason at November 2, 2005 3:57 PM

I like the birka idea. It's original. Who wants to look like another David's Bridal copycat, anyway?

Posted by: Anika at November 2, 2005 4:17 PM

Tweaka, I nominate you to draw me a fashion sketch of this wedding birka. This RED wedding birka.

Posted by: corie at November 2, 2005 4:19 PM

I have the same problem - I flush really easy, when angry, hot, stressed out, you name it. It was worse in high school but still happens. People think I'm having a heart attack or badly sunburned. Even my MOTHER has asked me if I got too much sun! I don't have too much advice for you on the wedding pictures (although black & white could probably mask the problem) but I feel your pain. I wonder if you just talk to the photographer about it, if s/he might have suggestions?

Posted by: ms. frizzle at November 2, 2005 6:48 PM

Photoshop Master William Fuentes can Photoshop any Spotty, bochy or color imbalance's on anyone during anytime of the day the sun or any source of light falls on. The Clone Brush can work better then any oatmeal soap money can buy.

Posted by: William Fuentes at November 3, 2005 12:14 AM

I'm another flusher and I hate, HATE wearing loads of makeup but I've found the follwing foundations actaully help with the redness: Stila and MakeupForever (both available at Sephora). They're super light so you don't look like you're wearing a mask. I'd suggest staying away from the greenish concealer stuff that's supposed to cut out redness, it's nasty and it always shows despite the claims to the contrary. E-mail me if you want more suggestions.

Add me to the list of B&W photograph suggestions, and don't worry, you'll look beautiful whichever route you go!

Posted by: anne at November 3, 2005 6:43 AM

I don't think you should worry about it at all. If that's what happens to you, then that's just part of you. I've known you for 20 years and only realized it was a significant issue for you b/c you told me! Flushing has never been noticable to me--and all the pictures I've ever seen you in you look beautiful. I'm not a fan of make up. If you remember my wedding I had a very light neutral powder and some eyeliner. I fought tooth and nail not to wear lipstick, but I'm glad i did wear a little color b/c you wouldn't realy have even seen my lips in the photos at all if I didn't. Also, I think some black and white work will give you a nive alternative to close ups if, when you see the pics, you are really bothered by an color in your face. Point is, just don't worry about it. You'll be beautiful no matter what.

Posted by: kar at November 3, 2005 11:29 AM

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