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Wedding Hair Jitters…& Oh Yeah, What’s the Deal With That Monistat-Gel-As-Primer Stuff?

By Amalah

I am a new reader and already a convert. I have switched to Philosophy Hope in a jar and Hope in a tube. My skin is already glowy which is really great because I am getting married in October and I want to look my most fabulous so that my future husband has an inappropriately high expectations for how his future wife will look. (I haven’t mentioned the newlywed 15 yet ssshhh!)
Anyhoo, here’s my issue, my hairstylist of 10 years has been drooling over the chance to do my hair for my wedding. She is doing our whole bridal party for FREE as a wedding present. Woo hooo! Right? WRONG! I do not like how she styles my hair. I love how she cuts and colors my hair and she always gives me huge discounts because of our friendship so I don’t want to hurt her feelings but I am totally scared that I will hate my hair and have a complete meltdown on my wedding day. PLUS did I mention the FREE?? Because really we are on a wedding budget that has been blown twice over and I really can’t add anything more without an ugly discussion with the bank, ahem, Fiance’.
Oh and one last thing if you aren’t too busy… What is the story with the Monistat stuff being used for a primer? It was in the comments so of course I decided to try it. I don’t think it does anything special. I don’t know if that is normal or not because I tried the Smashbox stuff and didn’t notice anything earth shattering there either. What am I supposed to be looking for? Also, is that Monistat stuff ok or is it just weird to put cooch stuff on your face?
Ok, I am done! Thank you for listening! You are my favorite blogger, I am excited everytime I see a new post on any of your pages!

Okay, here’s what you do about the hair thing: find a photo of EXACTLY what you want. Go out and buy every bridal, prom and/or hairstyle mag you can get your hands on. Enlist friends with a general description of what you want (up? down? sleek? curly?) and have them scour red carpet photo galleries on the Internet for you.
Take this photo to your stylist and request a pre-wedding dry-run style session. Tell her you just want to make sure the style works for your hair type, but don’t be afraid to be firm if you notice she’s going off in a…ahem…slightly more creative direction than you’d like. Keep the focus on that photo and everything you like about it.
HOPEFULLY, she’ll get the point and stick to the style you’ve provided. If not, you’ll at least have the opportunity to go home and see if the style can be tweaked a little into something you like better (junior-high prom tendrils sprayed and pinned back, extra top poof smushed and deflated a bit, etc.), AND THEN YOU SPEAK UP ABOUT THESE THINGS NEXT TIME.
If you’re a giant chicken (like me), you can phrase it all nicely, but still, SPEAK UP.
“So last time those spiral curl tendrils around my face went straight after 40 minutes, so I’d rather have all my hair off my face for the real thing.”
“Could you tease the top a little less? I lost chunks of hair last time when I combed it out and I’d rather avoid that on my wedding night, yanno?”
And etc.
The dry-run style is nothing out of the ordinary — tons of brides have one ahead of time to make sure that their dream hairdo is actually, you know, do-able — and it will probably help calm your fears of Terrible Wedding Day Hair with an extra chance to tell her what you like and what you don’t. Which you will have to do. Clearly. Emphatically, even. Yes, she’s your friend and she’s doing your hair for free and THAT IS INCREDIBLY AWESOME, but…you are still allowed to be honest with friends (in a polite, diplomatic way) and express your likes and dislikes about the hairstyle.
powder-gel.jpgAnd oh, about that Monistat stuff — Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Gel, to be exact.I rushed out and bought a tube after reading this great review by Isabel and all the “me toos!’ in the comments. I was a little skeptical (I don’t usually have great luck with MacGuyver-like approaches to cosmetics), but the active ingredient in the Monistat chafing gel is dimethicone, which IS found in all of my favorite high-end foundation primers, albeit in a much smaller amount. Dimethicone is the sole “active” ingredient in the Monistat, with an over 1% concentration, while it’s usually on the “inactive” ingredient list on other primers, with less chemical-soundy stuff like Vitamin E and aloe getting top billing.
My first impression of the Monistat gel was…whoa, this is stuff is seriously… dimethiconey. Heavy-duty, managing to feel both greasy and powdery at the same time. Dimethicone is a silcone-based polymer, and in cosmetics it’s responsible for that silky-smooth feeling all over your skin — you’re essentially putting a thin layer of silicone in between your skin and your makeup. The silicone absorbs oil and shine and gives your makeup a nice, even base to slide effortlessly over, meaning your foundation goes on easier and stays put longer.
But is increasing the amount of silicone on your face better? Seems to be, for some people. Since the Monistat is meant to go on sensitive, moist areas and keep them dry, it totally makes sense that it should keep oily skin on your face under control. (Which is what I notice with the Smashbox and Dr. Brandt’s primers that I love — less shine, less oil.)
But personally (and this is why I’ve dragged my feet and never written an official Price Tag Cage Match about the stuff)…it made me break out. Like, RIDICULOUSLY. The coating of dimethicone was too thick, too much, and the oil my skin produced got trapped underneath and wreaked complete, utter havoc. Bumps on my forehead, zits around my nose, blackheads on my chin and whiteheads all along my under-eye circles (also known as millia, something I’ve actually never experienced before IN MY LIFE). This was after…oh, two or so days of use.
I got the hint. I stopped using it.
But! I later found out that I was about 10 minutes pregnant when I first tried it, so I figured that probably had something to do with it. I put off reporting my experience and waited until my skin calmed down later in the pregnancy and tried again, this time on clear, glowy pregnancy-glow skin.
Same thing. Bumps and whiteheads and blemishes, no matter how thin of a layer I attempted to use. Bah. So more…MacGruber than MacGuyver.
So there you have it. My much-delayed opinion on “that Monistat stuff.” To be fair, it sounds like I’m a weird exception to the rule, since you can find TONS of testimonials from oily-skinned users who experience zero breakouts or problems and LOVE the idea of a super-cheap alternative to pricey primers. But hey, at least I can always use the rest of my tube for its intended lady-parts purpose.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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