May Life Update – Sharing my life and more

May Life Update - Cordelia is wearing the BlackMilk DC-OMETRY EVIL V DRESS #bmdcometryevilvdress
Wearing my BlackMilk DC Ometry Evil V Dress

Hello, Hex Squad! Today I’m sharing my May Life Update with you. I talk about personal things happening in my life, share some product recommendations, and more.

Everything purchased by me unless marked as PR. All opinions my own. Thanks for shopping through my affiliate links as they help to keep my site alive at no extra cost to you.

Blog Anniversary

Photo of beautiful colorful flowers from my neighborhoodPhoto of beautiful colorful flowers from my neighborhood

One of the biggest events of my May Life Update for me is that May 14th marks 16 years of Phyrra being around as a blog. I started briefly blogging about beauty on my Livejournal, then went to Blogger, before finally moving over to WordPress. Zero regrets to sticking with WordPress. I do have a lot of disappointment with how Google has continued to hurt little blogs like mine in favor of Reddit, Quora, and big advertisers who can afford to pay for ads monthly.

I continue to put out quality, unique content written by a human, and Google continues to bury my content beneath paid advertisers. It feels like I can never find good product swatches of makeup products anymore, and I blame Google for this, as I’m sure that I’m not the only person who struggles to find real makeup swatches.

If you love little blogs like mine, please share our content on places like Reddit and Quora, since those seem to be the only places Google values.

Sourpuss Closing

For all my alt fashion and gothic fashion lovers out there, Sourpuss Clothing is closing by the end of June 2024. Right now everything is 40% off. I’m sad they’re going out of business after 24 years. Please support small indie businesses and bloggers when you can.

Pocket Tripod by Geometrical

Geometrical Pocket TripodGeometrical Pocket Tripod

Dave and I love the Pocket Tripod! I received the Pocket Tripod in PR and have been looking for an excuse to share it with you since January, so it made it into my May Life Update. It’s literally the size of two credit cards in thickness and there are different attachments that allow it to hold any model of phone. It holds my iPhone 15 Pro Max with no issues and lets you take photos without asking another person for assistance. I especially like to put it around knee level and angle it slightly up to make me look taller. When you’re 5’4″, every little thing helps!

I have it in matte black, but if I were to purchase again I would snag the Thunder Pink. It also comes in a soft Jade Green and a matte white.

Find the Pocket Tripod on Geometrical’s website and Amazon. It’s perfectly sized to take anywhere.

The New Menopause by Mary Claire Haver

The New Menopause by Dr. Mary Claire HaverThe New Menopause by Dr. Mary Claire Haver

Lately, I’ve felt deeply neglected by the medical community and I wanted to touch on why in my May Life Update. Despite paying an exorbitant monthly amount for health insurance, securing timely appointments and comprehensive medical care remains a struggle. It often feels like pulling teeth to get the necessary support.

Regarding perimenopause, PMDD, and women’s health in general, I’ve felt isolated and overlooked because my doctors seem to lack expertise in these areas. There’s a disheartening sense that if you’re not planning to have children, your health concerns are not a priority. Even gynecologists, who should be experts in managing health issues related to menstruation, have frequently been unable to provide the help I need.

Dr Mary Claire Haver

Through my friend Sinead Norenius-Raniere, I discovered Dr. Mary Claire Haver on Instagram and began following her work. Her captivating reels about menopause and perimenopause resonated deeply with the experiences I’ve been going through. When I learned she had published a book, I immediately pre-ordered it. Reading it has been life-changing.

If you’ve watched my video No One Wants to Talk About It, which discusses perimenopause, you’ll sense my frustration. Reading through the comments, you’ll find that many others also describe this as a profoundly isolating experience, often with little to no support or guidance from medical professionals.

It’s Hard to Find Doctors Educated on Perimenopause

Please consider reading “The New Menopause” if you’re facing challenges similar to mine. My gynecologist is not a Certified Menopause Practitioner (CMP) nor is she affiliated with the Menopause Society, and her lack of knowledge in perimenopause and menopause has significantly affected the quality of my care.

When I approached her about my symptoms—feeling bloated, gastrointestinal issues, tired, unwell, lower sex drive, and rapidly gaining weight—her response was dismissive, suggesting that “this might be your new normal.” She acted like I was trying to fat shame myself instead of listening to the symptoms that I shared and I was deeply dissatisfied with her approach. Consequently, I’ve taken it upon myself to educate and advocate for better care, as it’s clear she isn’t equipped to do so.

Find a CMP

A Certified Menopause Practicioner would have told me that my recent inability to eat nightshades, joint pain, low energy, and suddenly inflamed from head to toe might be related to perimenopause. If I cannot get the help I need from my next gynecological visit later this month, I’ll be picking a new doctor who is a CMP from the list on Mary’s website. Find Certified Menopause Practicioners here. Unfortunately in my area, there are only 3 doctors who are CMPs.

I’ve already gifted “The New Menopause” to my sister and a few friends. It should be required reading for every OBGYN.

How I’m Managing Perimenopause

As part of my May Life Update, here’s how I’m managing perimenopause. I’m using an estrogen patch that I change out twice a week, an estrogen pill that goes in twice a week, a daily testosterone cream, a daily hair pill, and a daily progesterone pill. What I do is likely to be different from what you may need to do, as everyone’s hormones vary. The most important thing is talking to a qualified doctor who can help you.

Daily Meditation

As you know, I’ve done daily gratitude journaling for years. It literally rewires your brain to be more positive and optimistic, which has the added benefit of better life expectancy (multiple NIH studies have proven this). I meditate on and off as well.

Lately I’ve been doing guided meditations with Dave right before bed as a way to improve sleep. As of this May Life Update and having embraced this practice for the past two months, I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping deeper and sleeping longer. I’m far less likely to wake up between 3 am – 6 am randomly, and if I do wake up, I’m able to fall back asleep faster.

Galaxy Aura Nails

Glow in the Dark Galaxy Aura NailsGlow in the Dark Galaxy Aura Nails Galaxy Aura NailsGalaxy Aura Nails

I created this galaxy aura manicure recently. I used Apres Natural Short Stiletto nails for my base (Thumb 2, Index and Ring 6, Middle 5, Pinky 8). Below are the products used and step by step how I applied them.

  1. After applying my Apres Natural Short Stiletto nails with Painted Desert Cactus Gelly Plus (HEMA free and HMPA free), I applied one coat of Madam Glam Behind the Scenes (deep midnight blue) for my galaxy base color.
  2. I mixed iGel Creamy Peach (peach cream with green glow in the dark) with Madam Glam Casual Friday (soft peach with gold glitter) to create my perfect soft pastel peach color for the swirly glowy galaxy in the center of the nails and sponged this color on.
  3. After using Daily Charme Chrome Gel, I applied a thin layer of FUN Lacquer Shooting Stars powder on top of the galaxy to add the pink to purple to blue shift.
  4. I sealed everything in with Painted Desert Glossy Top Coat.


Kinship Self Reflect Sport Sunscreen SPF 60 ReviewKinship Self Reflect Sport Sunscreen SPF 60 Review

You all know how crucial SPF is to me. Wearing sunscreen is the top anti-aging measure you can take to protect your skin, prevent cancer, and reduce signs of aging. Consider this your friendly reminder to wear sunblock. I just had my annual dermatologist appointment, and I’m thrilled to share in this May Life Update that I have no skin cancer—yay! My dermatologist is also a big fan of the SPF products I use. Here’s what I use:

Remember to apply SPF every two hours when you’re outdoors. I set a reminder on my phone to avoid forgetting and risking a severe sunburn. When using Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 50, make sure to rub it in after spraying, avoid inhaling the spray, and always use it in a well-ventilated area.

But What About Makeup?

If you’re wearing makeup outdoors and need to reapply, I recommend using the Milani Make It Last Sunscreen SPF 30 Setting Spray this year! I just ordered another bottle of this one.

In the past I’ve used Supergoop (Re)setting Refreshing Mist SPF 40. Another option I might try in the future is the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF – SPF 50 Face Sunscreen and Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray, as that brand used to make my favorite full spectrum SPF 50 face cream.

FUN Lacquer Lavender Platinum Diamond Magnetic Gel Polish

FUN Lacquer Lavender Platinum Diamond Magnetic Gel PolishFUN Lacquer Lavender Platinum Diamond Magnetic Gel Polish

While I have loved most of my Fun lacquer products, I’m disappointed by Lavender Platinum Diamond Magnetic Gel Polish. Despite using my U shape magnet, the results are just too subtle for my taste. I only did one thin coat and I did cure immediately. I’m disappointed and don’t recommend this color unless you’re really into subtle.

Unstable Unicorns

We recently hosted a game night and had a blast playing Unstable Unicorns. If you’re looking for a fun, fast, friendly game to play, I recommend checking this one out. We also have Here to Slay, which I want to break out next time!

Final Thoughts

Cordelia is wearing Urban Decay Unbreakable Vice Glossy Lipstick for her May Life UpdateCordelia is wearing Urban Decay Unbreakable Vice Glossy Lipstick for her May Life Update

I’ve been slow to create content in 2024 because my primary focus is on my health and getting better. After my health is my work, then everything else. If you’re following me for makeup, you’ll see the most if you follow me on Instagram as I’m working to create more makeup brush swatch reels. Lots of requests for those!

I always love to hear from you and if you want to chat, the best place is in the Hex Squad group. I appreciate you and your love and support over the past 16 years!

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