Beauty Buzz: What makes you feel beautiful?

wordswag beautiful

We recently asked Northwest Arkansas moms what makes them feel beautiful for a chance to win a photo shoot experience with Marsha Foster.

The responses we received were fantastic and a few made us tear up. It reminded us that we live among some amazing mothers.

In case you missed reading the comments on that giveaway, we wanted to share a few of them with you so you could think about what your answer would be to: What makes you feel beautiful?

Chelsea: A good lip gloss and a sunny day can do worlds for me!

Stephanie: I feel beautiful just being me. I see the beautiful children I have made and the battles I have conquered in my life and I smile each day at the wonderful things God has provided to me and my kids.

Lindsay: I feel beautiful when I’m running.

Rachel: The way my husband looks at me when I am holding our daughter, that is what makes me feel beautiful.

Traci: As a cancer survivor with many physical scars, sometimes it is really hard to ever feel beautiful. This is not typically my kinda thing, but I can’t help but wonder if it would make me see myself in a different light and feel beautiful despite the physical toll my body has taken.­­­

Cammi: I feel beautiful when my attitude is good.. Smiling and being kind and just having an overall positive outlook on life :)

Amanda: I am beginning to feel beautiful now for the first time ever (long tragic story, I’ll spare you the details). I feel beautiful when my fiancee looks at me with “that look”, smiles and says ” I can’t believe I have you”. I’d love to surprise him with boudoir photos.

Stephanni: I feel beautiful when I look at my kids. Knowing they love me unconditionally no matter if I’m in a baggy sweatshirt or all fixed up for an outing, they think I’m beautiful.

Lisa: I feel beautiful when I read how precious I am to my Savior. Also when my students tell me I look 25!

Sharon: Being a breast cancer survivor makes me feel strong and beautiful!

Angel: I feel the most beautiful when I’m just being me. Making people smile and empowering women younger than me. Catching that random stare from my husband and having him tell me he is the luckiest man alive. Holding my babies and knowing I made them. Looking at myself in the mirror and holding my head high no matter the day, making someone else know how beautiful they are. That makes me feel beautiful.

Jennifer: I feel beautiful when my husband gives me that second head turn when I’m getting ready. He always compliments me but it’s that second smile that brightens my morning.

Shannon: Many things can make me feel beautiful including a good nights sleep, a new outfit, a hair cut, a compliment from a friend, and knowing that I am a child of God, beautifully and wonderfully made!

Ashley: I feel most beautiful out in the woods. Natural light, minimal makeup, gorgeous backgrounds.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the giveaway. We think you’re beautiful, mamas. Battle scars and all.

Beauty Buzz: Get a head start on upcoming make-up trends

makeuptrendsBy Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

First of all, I have had a wonderful article on beauty-related ways to stay cool in the hot weather in my back pocket the whole summer.

I have been mentally preparing these little nuggets of information and waiting for the right time. But every time I went to write it, we had a freak cold front.

I had my list of products, my opening line, and my funny quip to wrap it up, and then bam, a beautiful 72 degree day. C’mon nature! Some of us have plans! Some of us promised, PROMISED, our kids we could swim on Friday, or carefully laid out a weeks worth of clothes for a very picky 5 year old.

But, it looks like summer has officially passed, so I am throwing in the proverbial cooling towel (which you will hear all about next spring), and I’m embracing the cooler weather and diving into what’s hot for fall.

NY Fashion weekNYFW just wrapped up (that’s New York Fashion Week for those of you who didn’t say “huh?” and then Google it like I did).

Technically, the fall show is designed to debut collections for Spring 2015, but if you like to stay ahead of the trends, now is the time to start implementing some of the beauty looks to walk the runway.

Here are a few of the NYFW trends:

A natural face continues to be a dominating look with designers, but took on a more ethereal glow with a dewy complexion and a nude lip. The glowing look designed by NARS Cosmetic’s Francelle Daly for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show was created using the new Jubilation Dual Intensity Blush, which will sadly not be available until spring. NARS recommends trying the South Beach Multiple for a similar look while we impatiently wait.

For a natural lip, the designers leaned heavily on the use of nude lip balm. I love the ease and non-sticky (it’s a word now) texture of Aquaphor for my lips. The multi-purpose moisturizer can also be dabbed onto your eyelids for a natural sheen to brighten your eyes, instead of the glittery white powder eye shadow you’ve probably been using. Aquaphor is also great for those raw, rashy spots babies get in their chubby little fat-rolls…just sayin’.

More subdued nails also made a showing, but the nail art craze was not completely forgotten. Models for Monique Lhuillier walked down the runway with peach and cream nails in an ombré effect.

Eye makeup ranged from nonexistent to “who would ever wear that”, but a smokey eye never goes out of style and was seen with softer brown shades or with a hint of winged eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner applied girl about townand tipped up at the outer corner is a fun look for the upcoming holiday parties.

If natural just isn’t your cup of tea, you are not alone. The models who were selected for the Carolina Herrrera show dominated social media, posting multiple selfies wearing bright fuschia lipstick. According to Vogue, the shade of the moment is MAC’s Girl About Town.

Braids are still having a moment, thank goodness, but were less bohemian than the looks we saw during the summer. Instead, hair was slicked back to the crown with a single plait in back. This did vary from a traditional braid to intricate fishtail braids, but polished was the common denominator.

Typically, I roll my eyes and skim right over articles about runway looks, because they are so rarely wearable. The lovely, glowing faces this year, however, kept catching my attention and are both beautiful and achievable.

If I can just get past the fact that it takes more effort to look natural than made-up some days…hmmph, I’m just not going to think about it and enjoy the moment.

AndiHave a question for Andi Douglas, a mama of three who loves hair, make-up and researching fashion trends? Email her at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. She loves to review products and write about them in a way that always makes us smile.

Beauty Buzz: 10 Common Make-up Mistakes with Foundation

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

While cleaning out my old magazines, of which there are dozens stashed around the house, I came across a great article in the October 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Even though it’s not recent, an article called Ten Makeup Missteps”, which focuses on foundation, caught my eye because of the timeless advice on applying foundation and the fact that my summer glow is long gone and it’s time for me to start wearing makeup again. Here are the 10 Missteps and how to avoid making them:

  • Your makeup seeps into pores and lines. Prep skin with a primer, which fills in all the nooks and gives makeup something to grip onto.
  • Your skin is dry and flaky. Mix a drop of moisturizer into your foundation.
  • You choose your foundation color by matching it to the skin on your arm. The skin on the inner part of your arm hasn’t had the sun exposure your face has, so the color is not the same.
  • You apply foundation all over. Eyelids and ears don’t need makeup.
  • Your makeup stops at the jawline. Be sure to brush a little foundation on the neck area. You don’t want your face to be one color and your neck another.
  • Your skin appears mask-like. If your makeup looks too heavy, it’s best to wash it off and start again.
  • You use a darker foundation to look tanned. Stick with your regular shade, and warm the tone with bronzer.
  • You forget to take a quick look in the mirror. Take the time to rub out errant foundation streaks. *I am so guilty of this, after applying in a rush in the dimly lit playroom, I am always shocked at the spots I find in the car mirror.
  • Your foundation is over a year old. Pitch it. Oxidation causes the shade to darken and it may be harboring bacteria.
  • You forget the cardinal rule. Foundation should enhance skin, not conceal it.

Now if my husband asks, I can say this is why I keep all of those magazines. You never know what great advice you might forget!

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: Clumpy foundation?

Dear Andi,

When I apply my foundation it balls up in little clumps. What’s up and how can I fix it?

The last thing you want from your makeup is added texture on your skin. There are two reasons this happens and you can tell by the look of the offending clumps.

Dry and crumby: You need to exfoliate! The friction of applying foundation, especially if you use a sponge, is loosening all of the dead skin cells on your face. Yuck, wash clothsright?

A gentle face scrub, like Origins Modern Friction, once a week will slough off the dead skin.

Also, using a washcloth to wash your face, or disposable face wipes, instead of your hands will keep dry skin at bay.

Wet rolls: You need more time! I know that’s the most obvious statement ever said to a mom, but in this case I think it can be achieved.

Your foundation is rolling off your face because of too much lotion. Either your lotion is too heavy for your skin (try switching from a cream to a lotion) or you are not giving it enough time to sink in.

Easy solution, put your moisturizer on when you first wake up, then brush teeth, make breakfast, or one of the other million things moms do every morning, then come back and apply your makeup.

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: I’m too young for wrinkles!

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.com

Dear Andi,

I’m trying to be realistic about the aging process, but I feel like I’m getting wrinkles much earlier than my friends the same age. Is there something that could be causing this?

Barring basic genetics, where my understanding falls somewhere around “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” there are habits you may have picked up over the years that are causing you to get more wrinkles than your contemporaries.

Unfortunately, some of the damage may have been done years ago and can’t be undone, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late.

Smoking, for one, even “socially” is notorious for causing the fine lines around the mouth that plague many women. (This of course is a superficial side effect, but we all know the spiel on smoking. If you’re not sure, ask your 3rd grader who will be brutally honest with you.) If you’re still a smoker, it’s not too late to stop and work on reversing the damage.

tanning bed gogglesTanning is more commonly associated with skin discoloration and age spots but still attribute to the new and unwanted texture that is aging your skin. Even if you have finally started listening to the warnings and applying the SPF, those baby oil days by the lake have a delayed effect that can take you by surprise.

The way you rest your head on your pillow can cause wrinkles to form on the dominant side, no matter how soft your pillow. I’ve heard plastic surgeons say they can tell which way a person sleeps just by looking at their face…yikes. Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid the repercussions of your “beauty sleep”. Strategic placement of pillows can help you retrain your natural sleep position.

The same trouble can arise if you regularly lean on your left hand while working at a desk or rub your eyes and forehead in exasperation when you have told little humans TO PUT ON THEIR SHOES for the hundredth time.

Although it is almost unavoidable, pulling on your eyelids to put in your contacts or apply eyeliner can slowly reduce the elasticity of the delicate skin around your eyes. Try using your less dominant ring and pinkie fingers to pull the lids since they will be weaker.

So, what’s a mom to do?

Laser treatments, chemical peels and retinal treatments can help erase surface wrinkles and injections like Botox and fillers can root out some of the deeper wrinkles. But, none of these are permanent and can’t improve your overall skin quality on their own. That can be achieved by always using sunscreen on your face and hands (yup, unless you are a true southern belle and wear gloves everywhere, your hands are being constantly exposed to the UVs) and drinking plenty of water, as well as the changes I listed above.

I want to clarify before I go, there is nothing wrong with aging gracefully and loving the laugh lines you earned listening to endless knock-knock jokes, or the crows feet brought on by squinting into the sun at hundreds of baseball games.

I will never not have the freckles I earned at my many summer camps but the fact that my skin no longer bounces back after I apply eyeliner really bums me out. Embrace what makes you unique, including the steps you take to feel confident and beautiful.

One last thing: I recommend not watching videos of people getting injections online unless you are a healthcare professional or want the heebie-jeebies the rest of the day. (Shudder)

AndiAndi Douglas is the mama of three little ones and when she’s not playing house, reading them a book or trying to get them to go bed on time — adores playing with makeup. She loves to answer your beauty questions (including those about hair) so send ‘em on over! Just email them to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: One mom’s take on nail art

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.comBy Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode Beauty Editor and mama of 3

I’ve ignored it, I’ve denied it, and I’ve ridiculed it, but I think, now, it’s time to accept nail art, because it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It’s even getting easier to achieve these detailed creations.

The latest direct sales business I have seen popping up on my newsfeed is the vinyl nail-decal company Jamberry Nails.The design options are seemingly endless (ie: I got sick of trying to count them) and they can be applied at home, during the post-bedtime bliss, while sneaking your secret stash of good chocolate.

After reading this honest review by mom blogger Mrs. Wiggle Bottom, I think these are very simple to apply, once you get the hang of it, but like ay product, would not be for everyone. I can totally see getting these for a special occasion and the Mommy & Me sets would be too cute for spa themed party. At $15 a sheet, which yields several  sets of snazzy looking nails, these cost more than a solid color of polish, but are a fraction of the cost of a salon visit.

Maybe you are a DIY-er at heart, or a fabulous artist. Or just the type of person who likes to casually accept praise over your nails depicting famous internet grumpy cat nailskittys, mention that you had a little free time and then moonwalk away. Unfortunately, most of the tutorials that caught my eye require several different colors, and unless you regularly wear Grumpy Cat grey on your nails, you will have to supplement your nail polish collection.

The good news? Consumer Reports did a recent test with 7 different popular nail polish brands and found, that  after 10 days of wear, the winning polish was the cheapy brand Sinful Colors, available for only $2 a bottle at Target (where I happened to have a really dorky-mom convo with the teenage cashier, who did not find my Consumer Reports  research interesting). You might want to get an old pallet and some modge podge to DIY a nail polish rack with all that free time you have.

Hopefully, we can stay out of our rain boots long enough to show off those stunning new toes and you can admire your perfectly coordinated chevron nails as you push your little one on the swing. Now, since the name Jamberry is making me irrationally hungry, I am going to see if my kids have any Easter candy stashed away.

NOTE: If you’re really into nail art and all things polish, check out the LacqLustre blog, which is where we found the impressive shot of “Grumpy Cat” nails pictured above. The ideas on this blog are seemingly endless! (We loved the look of the “girly pearl nail art” and the “herringbone nail art.) Have fun, mamas!

AndiAndi Davis is the mama of three little ones and when she’s not playing house, reading them a book or trying to get them to go bed on time — adores playing with makeup. She loves to answer your beauty questions (including those about hair) so send ‘em on over! Just email them to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: Help! My eyelashes are breaking off!

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.com

Dear Andi,

My eyelashes are starting to break and look sparse. I think it may be because I have to rub so hard to get my mascara off. Do you have any ideas for how I can make my lashes healthier while still wearing mascara almost every day? Help!

Ouch, that does not sound like a fun way to end your day. I also like to wear mascara every day, even on a bare-faced day.

vaselineFirst thing, you need to have the right tools for removing your mascara. I’m assuming if it is this hard to take off, that you are using a waterproof or long-wear formula. Either way, water is not going cut it.

There are oil based eye-make removers, but any type of oil (ie: olive oil, baby oil) will get the job done. Since coconut oil is the duct tape of the beauty world, I’m recommending you pick up a jar. Baby shampoo or petroleum jelly can also be used and will not irritate your eyes.

Once you have chosen your cleaner, saturate a cotton ball with it and hold it against your lashes for about 20 seconds while the oil does its job. Begin GENTLY wiping the underside of your lashes upward, in the same motion you apply your mascara. It may take a few passes to remove it all, so GENTLY repeat the motion. A q-tip can be used to GENTLY remove the mascara closest to your lash lines.

Remember to GENTLY wipe, not tug at your lashes. Are you sensing a theme here? Let me GENTLY remind you that the skin around your eyes is very delicate and any rubbing will cause you to get wrinkles or droopy eyelids at a younger age.

The oils applied daily will help to repair the damage that is already done.

After you wash your face, apply a small amount of coconut oil or Vaseline to your lashes to help replenish them while you sleep.

eyelashesIf you want to give your lashes a break from the daily routine, give eyelash extensions a try. My sister got some recently and I was blown away! They last about 3-4 weeks, and then you just need a touch-up to maintain the fullness.

Contrary to popular belief, extensions will not damage your natural lashes.

If applied properly, they fall out with your eyelashes at a normal rate, which is why a touch-up is needed. You don’t have to wear mascara to make your eyes pop, so it can be a huge time saver, but if you can’t resist or need a little extra oomph for a night out, only apply mascara to the tips of the lashes to avoid clumping at the base.

Eyelash extensions are rising in popularity and are being offered at more salons and can cost over $150 for a set. I recommend getting references or ask about the training a technician has had. It is definitely a splurge, but the results are really impressive.

If your eyelashes are naturally full, but maybe too blonde or light to make an impact, try having them tinted a darker shade so they stand out more for around $15. This might help you need mascara less and give your eyelashes a break from time to time.

Now, let’s all wish this rain away so we can send the kids outside to run off some energy.

Otherwise, I will probably have cried my mascara off by bedtime and this will all be a moot point. Happy Soggy Summer!

AndiAndi Davis is the mama of three little ones and when she’s not playing house, reading them a book or trying to get them to go bed on time — adores playing with makeup. She loves to answer your beauty questions (including those about hair) so send ‘em on over! Just email them to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: How do I heal my super dry hair?

Dear Andi,

My hair is so dry and brittle from the winter. I know you usually answer makeup and skincare questions, but I need help! What do you recommend I do to get my hair looking good again?

I think we’re all ready to leave that crazy, roller coaster winter behind, including the damage it did to our skin and hair. And I will always take an opportunity to talk hair when it comes my way.

The best thing you can do for your hair is making the switch to sulfate-free shampoo. I don’t totally understand the science behind the new lines of hair care that are growing in popularity but I was sold after just one use.

The first difference you’ll notice is the lack of suds involved.

Although the bubbles can be used to sculpt a super awesome Mohawk, they serve no real purpose when cleaning your hair.

I have incredibly dry hair, even on the best day, and one wash after making the switch to sulfate free, I was blown away. I had straightened my hair and was so excited that I had “second day hair”.

I have tried a couple of different brands and keep going back to the affordable, and conveniently available L’Oreal line of sulfate free hair products. They have formulas designed for color care, curly hair, silky straight and thickening (I’m a little bummed I couldn’t keep the rhyme going).

All of the lines have two versions: one normal and one for repairing hair. I like to alternate them every time I buy based on the super scientific principle of “why not”, but definitely start with the reparative formula this time. Also, a leave-in creme conditioner will help you to detangle your hair without adding more damage and is well worth the extra time.

masqueNow, at the end of a long, brutal season, treat yourself with a hair masque like the EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Deep Nourishing Masque from L’Oreal.

Apply the mask to towel dried wet hair and wrap your hair in cellophane, then go pick your kids up at school and scar them for life…

(Just kidding, unless you’re looking for creative new punishments.)

Do heat your cellophane wrapped head with a hair dryer set on warm and allow it to cool. Then, rinse it out in the shower as usual.

Last but not least, step away from the blow dryer (after your hair masque, of course) and the hot styling tools for a while.

Natural texture is in style right now and summer is a perfect time to try it out.

You can DIY a beach hair spray to get the vacation look by mixing a little salt with water in a spray bottle. Mind blowing, right? Or a texturizing creme will help give your hair some oomph.

If you feel bare without a sculpted coif, try out some of the super on-trend braided styles on Pinterest. If you’re not on Pinterest, please tell me what you do with all that free time..have you written a novel yet?

If you can’t break the hot habit, protect your hair by applying a heat protectant hair oil or coconut oil before styling, avoiding you roots. Also, apply a little olive oil to the plates of your flattening iron once a week.

Okay, to summarize: Sulfate free hair products, be super lazy and stop fixing your hair, and search braids on Pinterest. Done! Sounds like the formula for a pretty stellar summer!

AndiAndi Douglas is a mama of three who loves to play with makeup (and hair!). She shares her advice and real-life adventures with makeup and makeup accessories here on Motherlode. To ask her a question, just email it to mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com. CLICK HERE to read previous installments of Beauty Buzz or search the site to see if Andi has answered your particular question already.

Beauty Buzz: How to be gorgeous through pollen season

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

bumblebee-flowerI woke up yesterday about to claw out my itchy, puffy eyes.

Allergy eye drops and two Claritin later, I ventured outside (to go to Rhea Lana, of course) and saw the culprit: a thick layer of yellow pollen covered my car. Ah-choo! And there went my make-up and any hope I had of looking like a normal, functioning human being.

Ideally, I would close myself up in a bubble for a couple of months, but the kids insist on playing outside, participating in group sports, getting fresh air, yada-yada-yada…all things I suffer through with a smile on my face and a pocket full of kleenex (mostly unused). 

There are a few tricks and tips to surviving this bloomin’ season with your dignity intact.

If your main complaint is:

Puffy Face: Brace yourself because my advice is two-fold and both suggestions suck.

Dunk your face into a bowl of ice water in the morning or use a wet washcloth that has been chilled in the freezer to calm and depuff your skin. To avoid puffiness altogether, you might want to avoid alcohol consumption. Yes, that means no more wine on the patio.

When I started having crazy reactions every time I imbibed, Dr. Hedberg of Hedgerg Allergy told me I was not, in fact, allergic to wine (whew!) but the alcohol caused my pores to relax and open up, allowing all of the airborne allergens to invade. Basically, everything you usually feel in your eyes, ears and throat, was happening directly on my skin. And it was itchy…really itchy. I believe I have an extreme case brought on by having my third baby (another great hormone mystery), but the pore thing is real. There, that’s me being all science-y.

Itchy, watery eyes: If you haven’t already, now is a good time to try waterproof mascara. Yes, it can be drier than traditional formula and can flake. It helps to replace your mascara every 3 to 6 months (which you should do anyway) or you can add a drop of saline to rehydrate your mascara to buy a little more time.

If you’re hesitant because it is hard to remove, a hot shower usually does the trick or sitting with a hot, moist washcloth on your eyes before bed. Harsh makeup remover or tugging at your lashes is going to do way more damage than sleeping with a little mascara on. And since it’s waterproof you don’t have to worry about mascara ruining your pillowcases!

Dry, red nose: Aquaphor is the greatest all-purpose moisturizer I know and a dab around your sore nose will put you on the road to recovery.

But, you will sneeze again, and blow again, and oh my gosh, when will it stop! so, to cover the redness around your nose, apply a green color concealer with your finger to the problem area. Then continue with your normal foundation routine. 

If you suffer from all of the above: I feel your pain, and we may want to revisit that whole bubble idea.

AndiAndi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup. She shares her advice and real-life adventures with makeup and makeup accessories here on Motherlode. To ask her a question, just email it to mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: How to scale back your makeup routine

Dear Andi,

As a (fairly) new mom, I’m trying to scale back my makeup routine to just a few steps a day. What three products do you think are a “must” for looking polished, but that I can do with a baby on the hip?

quickbeautypinFirst of all, welcome to the club, where you change into your “good” sweatpants to go to the store and a messy bun is a legitimate hairstyle for every occasion.

Everyone says to take care of yourself and have “me” time, even as a new mom, but a 15-minute makeup routine isn’t always an option in a world where trying to go to the bathroom alone requires snacks, a movie and a prayer.

These three steps will give you a polished look and take less than a minute:

1. Foundation or tinted moisturizer: Your own skin tone or age will determine how much coverage you need. I, for example, was fine with tinted moisturizer a few years ago, but as sun damage has started showing more prominently, I need something heavier.

BareMinerals Original Foundation with SPF 15 goes on quickly and can be applied lightly for daytime or a little heavier for a night out. I time myself and it took 17 seconds with extra attention around my eyes and nose (thank you, allergy season).

If you don’t freckle, or had the good sense to protect your skin in your youth, then a tinted moisturizer goes on just like lotion and will even out your complexion.

2. Blush: Now that your face is even, it’s time to add a little color back in. A bright pink blush like ULTA mineral blush in Peony can look a little, well tacky or young, in the store, but when applied with a gentle hand gives a natural flush like you’ve just worked out. Blush with brown undertones can end up looking muddy or too formal for the rest of your natural look.

You can also pinch your blush brush together and do a quick sweep over your eyelids, especially if you’re used to wearing eyeshadow all the time.

3. Mascara: Nothing opens up your eyes more than a coat of mascara applied to your top and lower lashes.

If you have fair skin or blond lashes, brown mascara will create a pretty effect. Since I have brown hair and eyes and usually wear black eyeliner, I prefer black mascara to make my eyes pop. And it makes me feel a little less naked without my eyeliner.

baby lips3b. Tinted chapstick: Okay, so I can’t skip this, but I promised you three steps. And this really doesn’t count since you can apply chapstick driving. walking, or changing a diaper if you’re that desperate.

My absolute favorite is Maybelline’s Baby Lips. It comes in several different shades that are all very light and only costs $3. And it seems to have a pretty high heat tolerance, since I always leave it in the dash of my car. Although, that is of little concern in the neverending winter of 2014.

There you go: face, cheeks, eyes, lips and out the door. And I have personally done all of these with a baby (or two) on the hip. See you on the playground!

AndiIf you have a question for our makeup maven, Andi, just email it to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}.com. She’s a mama of three who totally gets you. We promise.

Beauty Buzz: Make-up 911

MakeUp911colorful (3)By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

We all have a dusty old makeup bag stashed in the back of our bathroom cabinet filled with ill-fated expensive makeup that has cracked, melted or dried up before its time…it was so young and beautiful! Such a tragedy you can’t stand to throw it away.

Until recently, I considered those products lost for good. Thankfully, the geniuses on the Internet (and I don’t mean that sarcastically this time) have opened my eyes to shelf-life saving techniques for your traumatized goods.

Melted lipstick is probably the most common and easily corrected mishap. If it’s still contained in the tube, but can’t be rolled up, you can simply use a lipstick brush for application, which can be a hassle, but you will actually end up with a prettier lip in the end. Most makeup artists recommend using a brush, anyway. If your lipstick has broken off at the base, but is otherwise in good shape, use a match to melt the end, very carefully, and reattach it to the base. Put it in the fridge for at least and hour and a half to secure it.

Cracked blush is one of the most aggravating of make-up injuries, partly because it always seems to happen in the car, and partly because it sometimes happens without provocation. You can undo any breakage with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), a trick I saw on Pinterest via Katrina Lomidze. You simply put a few drops of alcohol into the powder and let it soak in. Then, using the back of a spoon for a smooth finish, “schmoosh” the powder back into shape. Let it sit out overnight; the alcohol will evaporate and leave you with a beautiful, usable compact. This will work on any powder makeup, btw.

I’ve always suspected that when my mascara starts flaking and I send it sailing into the trashcan, that there is actually a secret reserve of unused mascara inside the opaque tube. I wish they’d put a little viewing window on the side like a ballpoint pen, but alas, I have to just guess how much is still in there. Well, no more! Add 4-5 drops of saline solution to the tube; insert your wand a stir. Voila! Fresh mascara! This can be repeated until it’s empty, but remember to always toss mascara after an eye infection.

Maybe you just have a powder shadow or blush that you loved in the store, but hated at home and never took the time to return (been there, done that a thousand times over). Try crushing it up and mixing it with some clear nail polish to create a custom mani…so chic, so cool!

So, there’s a little make-up 911 for you. Do you have any DIY tips for reviving beauty products? Click on the comment button below and share them with the rest of us!

Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. Click here to read more about Andi.

*Photo via Elefanterosado via Flickr

Beauty Buzz: Excessive sweating — cause and treatments

By Dr. Cheryl Hull, dermatologist and owner of Hull Dermatology

One of the conditions I commonly see is called “hyperhidrosis,” or excessive sweating. We all sweat to regulate our inner body temperature, but too much sweating can be frustrating and embarrassing. It can limit the clothes you choose to wear, may affect your ability to do your job, and can excessive-sweating.jpgcreate a lot of social awkwardness.

There are different types of hyperhidrosis, but I’ll focus on one called “primary focal hyperhidrosis.” It’s a true medical condition that occurs on specific parts of the body, with the most commonly effected areas being the underarms, feet, hands, head and face. It usually begins in childhood and there may be a hereditary component.

Available treatments include antiperspirants available as sprays, gels, roll-ons and lotions. The major ingredient in these products is aluminum chloride hexahydrate. The product is applied at bedtime and then washed off the next morning.

Another treatment is oral medications that work to block the stimulation of sweat glands. Since all medications have potential side effects, the benefits must outweigh the risks. These medications are not always very tolerable.

One of the most effective treatments for this condition is the injection of botulinum toxin A. A dilute concentration of this medication is injected into the underarms, hands or feet. The medication blocks the release of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) and is an effective treatment that may last four to eight months. I’ve found this to be a very effective treatment for the condition, and I have patients that return regularly for treatments because they find the benefits so rewarding. Insurance will sometimes cover this procedure for this condition.

If you have questions about this condition and the available treatments, talk to your dermatologist.

*This article first appeared on Motherlode in April 2010. For more info on dermatology-related issues, contact Dr. Hull by calling her office at 479-254-9662. “. For more info, click here to visit the Hull Dermatology website.

Beauty Buzz: Hair above my upper lip

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

Dear Andi,

I’ve started developing dark hair on my upper lip! This is so embarrassing and I need help. Any suggestions for the best way to get rid of it?

When I first read this question, I was suspicious that one of my friends sent it in as a hint for me to take a good look at my own upper lip. I’ve had a problem with facial hair since early adulthood, but since Lexi was born have been neglecting my own Fu Manchu mustache. So, if this was a friend, hint taken…if not, then take comfort in the fact that you are not alone!

Other proof that this is a common problem is the multitude of ways to remove unwanted facial hair.

  1. Shaving: Even though technically you could do this, DON’T. It is too harsh for a woman’s delicate skin and the re-qrowth will be coarse and fast.
  2. Tweezing: Plucking from an area with tight skin, like your brow bone, is effective, but trying to tweeze from the softer skin around your mouth hurts way worse (trust me) and the softer hair makes it harder to grip.
  3. Waxing every 4-6 weeks: Even though I have always thought this would be the best method, I have never done it myself. I’ve always been too embarrassed to ask (which is silly) and since I usually run several errands at once, the thought of walking through the store with bright red evidence of my embarrassing problem slapped on my upper lip is more than I can handle.
  4. Electrolysis: The only hair removal process allowed to make the claim of a permanent solution, electrolysis destroys the hair follicles individually with an electrical current. Youch! Definitely the most costly and it can require several treatments where you’re not allowed to tweeze or wax the remaining hairs while you wait, but the idea of permanent hair free skin is alluring, if you can swing it. 
  5. 5053.jpgDepilatory cream: This is my preferred method for a couple of reasons. Convenience rules my life and since I usually don’t think about removing my mustache until I’m getting ready to go somewhere nice, being able to take care of it at home in 10 minutes is ideal. Also, I find that when it does start to come back in, the hair is soft and less noticeable, not to mention dealing with it in the privacy of my own bathroom. I use Sally Hansen Crème Hair Remover for Face available at the drugstore. Just apply to a clean face and get dressed. When 8 minutes has passed, gently wipe off with a cotton ball, moving against the hair growth and then rinse off any remaining crème. The kit comes with lotion to apply after you’re done, but your normal moisturizer will work fine. Warning: If you miss any hairs and are tempted to reapply, wait 24 hours to avoid a bright red splotch where the cream was.

Overall, you have a lot of options and a lot of company, when it comes to dealing with hair on your lip. Just another wonderful part of womanhood…seriously, don’t we have enough to deal with already?

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama? E-mail it to mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. *This post originally published on nwaMotherlode in 2010.

Beauty Buzz: Sunless tanning tips you need to try

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

Hooray, warm weather and sunshine, Northwest Arkansas! At last!

Time to shed my puffy parka and fleeced-lined leggings for rolled-up jeans and short-sleeved shirts and….AAAACH! Underneath all those layers, my skin is whiter than the snow we are so glad to see melt.  Allow me to slip back into my Uggs and sweatshirt and hightail it to the drugstore for some self-tanner.

I’m sure we all tried self-tanner in high school, and it resulted in orange palms, streaky forearms, and a lot of ruined bras, making us swear of the stuff for good. But, with the push on the dangers of sun exposure, we are all searching for alternative tanning methods. Beauty companies have answered our pleas by  perfecting their formulas and developing better ways to apply.

The unwanted side effects of sunless tanning can be avoided before you ever open the bottle.

Here are some tips:

The golden rule to a consistent glow is exfoliating. An exfoliating product with a gritty texture will remove the most dry skin. They are also really easy to make at home. Pay special attention to your elbows, knees and ankles, or anywhere you’ve noticed darker spots in the past. For some reason, I always have problems around my collar bone, so I give that area a second pass when I exfoliate.

Next, lotion your whole body and wait about ten minutes before applying tanner, to give the lotion time to sink in. If you put some lotion on your hands immediately before application time, it will help keep the color from clinging to your palms. This is also a good idea for under your arms and behind your knees.

Now, it’s time to pick a product.

As far as a color goes, this can take a little trial and error, since different brands have varying formulas based on your skin’s undertones. Specialty beauty stores, like Ulta and Sephora, will often have samples to try or employees trained to help you determine your coloring.

loreal sublime bronzeIf you are still having flashbacks from your senior pictures where you looked like you bathed in Sunny D, you may be a little reluctant to try DIY tanning again. Products like Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer are tanning solutions mixed with a lotion so the effects are more gradual and take several applications to see a huge result. But, the margin for error is much smaller.

If you can’t wait, L’oreal Sublime Bronze has an instant bronzer, which shows immediate results and will also help achieve even coverage. Other formulas can take a couple of hours to show their full effects. 

Now the fun/scary part: Applying the tanner (in my head that sounded all echoey and ominous).

The main rule is to be consistent and make sure you get it everywhere the sun would touch; so, not on the soles or heels of your feet. After it is thoroughly rubbed in, take a dry washcloth and gently buff your knees, elbows and ankles, because no matter how well you exfoliated, those dry spots will still soak up more tanner. If you apply tanner to your face, use the washcloth on your eyebrows and along your hairline as well.

Wait at least 10 minutes before putting on your makeup and clothes, and opt for loose fitting clothes when possible. This is another benefit from DIYing your tan, instead of going to a spray tan joint. I just can’t bring myself to walk all the way to my car at a strip mall bra-less.

Women with darker complexions also benefit from a little bottled sun. Even though you may not be blinding people with your bare legs (sooooo jealous), tanner can help even out your skin tone and gives off a warm, summery glow.

Now, dig out your sun hats and go play outside! I highly recommend a Nerf gun fight with your kids; it’s very therapeutic.

AndiAndi loves playing with makeup/beauty products and writing about her experiences. She welcomes your questions and feedback at Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. 

Beauty Buzz: Andi’s favorite moisturizing products for cold weather

Dear Andi,

In the winter, I start to look like an alligator with all my dry skin. What are your favorite moisturizing products for cold weather?

Since cold weather is about all we are seeing up here (as a Texan, NWA will always be “up” to me), and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, it’s time to stop suffering with itchy, dry skin.

The cold temps are technically not at fault, but more so our countermeasures to the Polar Vortex.

With the heat blaring in our homes and cars, space heaters in the bathroom and blissfully long, hot showers, your skin is taking a beating.

First, the advice that will make you shake your head in denial: NO MORE HOT SHOWERS! Warm is fine; cold is great but insane.

Since I know everyone will be generous with the definition of “warm”, try to keep your shower under five minutes. Your winter hiatus on leg shaving should help with that goal.

honest body oilPrep your skin before getting in the shower by applying a body oil all over your body (skip the face unless you have a specialized facial oil). Body oils are becoming more popular and can be found at the drugstore, but I like the organic Honest Body Oil (honest.com, $9.95).

Warm the oil between your hands and rub into your skin, giving it a minute to soak-in before you get in the shower. (I have not tried coconut oil, but since it seems to be a miracle product, I would love to hear if any of you have any experience using it pre-shower.)

The oil is also great for post-shower moisturizing, but if you crave the refreshing feel of lotion, dermatologists swear by the super affordable staple Cetaphil. The no-frills, fragrance free moisturizer is available at Walmart, Target, online…pretty much anywhere you like to shop. Cetaphil, also, has formulas that are safe for use on your face.

It may be psychosomatic, but since I have started typing this, my itchiness has increased 10 fold. Of course, it could be the wool socks I got for Christmas and am addicted to, or the space heater under my desk draining the last of my moisture.

I’ll just go lather up with lotion and start my nightly ritual of chanting no more snow days, no more snow days, while Facebook-stalking Springdale School District. Stay strong, Mamas, winter has to end sometime!

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. Click here to read more about Andi.

Beauty Buzz: Curing the Dry Skin Dilemma

By Dr. Cheryl Hull, owner of Hull Dermatology 

I’ve been seeing so many patients in my office lately with dry, itchy skin, so I wanted to pass along a few tips that might help if you or your kids are also dealing with this problem. This time of the year the air is very dry. The heaters are on, and the amount of moisture in the air decreases. My recommendations for dry skin include:

1. Avoid harsh soaps. During the summer months with more humidity in the air, our skin may tolerate these products. There is a misconception that for a soap to be effective in cleaning our skin, it must leave our skin feeling “tight.” But this is not true. Antibacterial soaps, liquid soaps, and soaps dove-sensitive-skin.jpgwith fragrance can all strip the moisture out of our skin and leave it too dry. I advise patients to use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. My top recommendations are Dove fragrance-free bar soap, Cera-ve, Cetaphil, Basis, and Aveeno.

2. Immediately moisturize after bathing. I advise patients to only “sponge dry” with their towel when they finish bathing. They should then take a good “dollop” of moisturizer and, using the water on their skin, rub it in all over. This will both block the moisture in and hep hydrate the skin. Moisturize again during the day if your skin starts feeling dry. Use a fragrance-free moisturizer. If your skin is dry, fragrance will only further irritate your skin.

3. Minimize bathing to once daily. Try not to bathe with very hot water as this increases the evaporation of moisture off the skin.

cool-mist-humidifier.jpg4. Keep a cool mist humidifier running during the cold winter months to add moisture back to the air.

5.  For patients that have extremely dry skin, there are prescription strength moisturizers that contain ingredients such as lactic acid or urea that can help. Also, supplementation with omega 3 fish oils can also help.

Hope these tips help keep you and your skin healthy and feeling good this winter!

Note from the mamas: This article originally published in January 2010 on nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz: The 12 Best Beauty New Year’s Resolutions

12 beauty

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

New Year’s resolutions…we all make them and we all break them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start out 2014 pleasantly optimistic and hopeful for the super skinny jeans we’ll wear to next New Year’s Eve.

So here goes, my 12 Beauty Resolutions, one for every month of the year. (I found a list of one for every week, but who are kidding?)

Resolution #1
sephoraDon’t be the Stinky Mom at pick-up. I have never met someone who doesn’t have some form of exercise on their list of resolutions, but suddenly being comfortable in public showers is definitely not on mine. Wipe a facial wipe over your body to get rid of the perspiration, then mist yourself with a body spray infused with salicylic acid, like Clear Radiance body mist (Sephora $29), to prevent clogged pores. Use dry shampoo on the roots of your hair to absorb any moisture before pulling your hair back.

Resolution #2
Grow your hair out, the healthy way. I am the worst about skipping trims to get my hair longer, but always end up having to chop twice as much to repair the damage. Along with regular trims every 6-8 weeks, indulge in a repairative hair treatment once a week by applying a scoop of coconut oil to your hair, focusing on the dry ends. Clip it up and cover with a shower cap. 30 minutes later, shampoo (you will probably need to rinse and repeat) and style your hair.

Resolution #3
Fall in LOVE with coconut oil. Lotion, hair mask, sunscreen, bath oil, cradle cap remedy, heartburn and headache cure…seriously the list can go on forever. Pick up a jar or twenty. Don’t be put off by the solid texture; it begins to liquefy quickly just from the heat of your hands.

Resolution #4
coconut oilStop biting your nails. You can get worms from biting your nails…there, you’re cured. You are welcome.

Resolution #5
Upgrade your beauty routine. The lotion you used as a teenager may still keep you moisturized but it probably is not meant to address your needs as a grown woman. Take the time to figure out what your skin needs now, whether it’s repairing past damage or preventing wrinkles, and pick up some eye cream while you’re at it.

Resolution #6
Nail down your personal style. What pictures did you deem Profile Pic worthy? Was your hair always tousled or stick straight? Are you rocking bright red lips or did you just get of the beach? Find the look you felt the best and make an effort to sport the look more often.

Resolution #7
De-clutter your make-up bag (and cabinets if you feel ambitious). If you pass over a certain lipstick every time because it tastes gross or refer to a certain blush as “Hooker Cheeks”, toss it. The same goes for the expensive but still full bottle of gel that gives you wet head.

Resolution #8
Clean you makeup brushes once a week. If you use sponges, toss those bad boys and buy new. There is a fountain of info on the web on how to clean your brushes, but I’ve always preferred dish soap to get the oil out. Just make sure you wait until they are completely dry before toothbrushputting your brushes away.

Resolution #9
Up your SPF protection to 30 or higher. I know the cold weather will keep your body covered, but don’t forget your hands and neck, which catch stray rays even in the car.

Resolution #10
Keep a toothbrush at your desk or in your bag and brush after you drink coffee, tea or a dark soda. This will help prevent stains from setting.

Resolution #11
Clean your cell phone. Ever notice that your right cheek is more prone to break outs? Every time you talk on the phone, you transfer oil, make-up and germs to your phone, not to mention what your little germ factories leave behind after playing Angry Birds. Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to disinfect.

Resolution #12
Boost your bosom! Treat yourself to a proper bra fitting and something sexy to wear under your mom uniform of T’s and jeans. Most women are wearing the wrong size bra which can cause back pain and poor posture. Not only will a well fitted bra improve your stature but your self esteem and overall sassiness.

The best part about a new year is being able to put all of the forgotten resolutions from 2013 behind you and starting fresh. No regrets, or I-wish-I-hads, only twelve months of potential. And since we’re already a week into January, you can skip one of these resolutions (I won’t tell).

AndiHave a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. Note from the mamas: This story originally published on Motherlode in January 2013.

Beauty Buzz: Andi helps families create a ‘picture perfect’ look for holiday shots

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

‘Tis the season to force your family into matching outfits and place them in nauseatingly adorable poses in an attempt to capture the perfect picture holiday shots.

Since it is hard enough to get everyone in one shot without any blurry toddler hands or scowling teens, you want to at least start out with the right look.

Gone are the days of a whole family in chambray shirts (admit it, you’ve done this) or all black turtlenecks. Family photographers now recommend bright colors that coordinate but don’t match.

Pick a color theme that works for everyone.

My family looks good in blue, so we usually stay in that family, but reds or greys seriously wash out a few of us.

Adding layers, like scarves and jackets, adds a level of depth to the picture and can provide easy props for some action shots.

When I get dressed up for somethin’ fancy, I dig out my nighttime makeup that has some sparkle to it.

This is a major no-no when it comes to having your picture made, since the camera and flash will magnify every grain of glitter. If you have a teenage girl in your house, it would behoove you to sneak in the day before pictures and confiscate anything that has the word “fairy” in the description or has visible chunks of glitter in it. Remember, those sneaky sparkles like to hide in products like bronzers, blush, and lip gloss.

Enhance your natural features by strategically highlighting your eyes and cheeks. Use a darker shade, like a bronzer, under your cheekbones, under your chin, along either side of your nose and along the outer corners of your forehead. Apply a lighter color to the tops of your cheeks, the corners of your eyes (right by the bridge of your nose) and right under your eyebrows.

Please, please, practice this at home before picture day.

Go outside and take a couple of tests shots in natural light. You will be able to see instantly where you may have over applied or accidentally made your nose look needle thin.

Switch your eyeliner and mascara from the more subtle browns to black. The contrast created with black mascara and eyeliner will make your eyes pop.  Also, use a shimmery gloss on top of your lipstick to create a natural pout.

Don’t forget about the men in the family, especially the poor teenage boys who generally resist wearing makeup to cover the battle with their hormones and the effect it has on their skin. Oil absorbing facial tissues like Clean & Clear Oil Control Blotting Papers will fit discretely in your guys pocket and will keep a shiny t-zone from stealing the spotlight.

For pimples, blemishes or a razor cut, a little concealer will do the trick. But if that’s too “makeup-py” there are several tinted spot treatments that clearly fall under the medicine category.

Remember that the best way to catch a winning photo is to be natural and try to have fun. Oh, and use Photoshop and lots of bribes!

Beauty Buzz: Great beauty gifts for tweens and teens this Christmas

Dear Andi,

My nieces are just starting to wear makeup. Do you have some fun makeup/beauty gift ideas for Christmas?

Dear Fun Aunt,

Being a preteen or teen is such a fun age for experimenting with makeup. There are no trends you are too old for. Your smooth, youthful skin glows with any shade. And, best of all, your family gets to collect blackmail photos of you that will bring them laughs for years to come.

Gift box sets with millions of options seem like the biggest waste to an adult, but to a teen it is an opportunity to try on a new personality every day. You can find the convenient gift sets everywhere around the holidays, ranging from Hello Kitty to M.A.C., but I adore the Ultra Totes for Beauty Blockbuster kit ($18 at Ulta) because of its trendy bronze bag.

bbuzz 4

bbuzz 5For the tween who wants to wear makeup like big sister or mom, but still needs to keep her sweet baby face, make her a little stocking filled with some goodies. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm ($2.99 at Target) has a light color like a lipstick, but the moisturizing benefits of a balm and it doesn’t get goopy like gloss.

Add in a blush in a bright pink because the color will resemble a natural flush, and a creamy colored eyeshadow with a little shimmer. I love Rimmel brand makeup when experimenting with colors. It is a great quality for the price and no tears will be shed when it is inevitably dropped or lost.

If your niece is getting to the age where she needs more coverage, she will be forever grateful for an introduction to Bare Minerals with the Your Starting Lineup kit, available at Ulta for $39. The natural foundation is easy to apply and difficult to overdo. I will mention that I find Bare Minerals blush and bronzed to be very saturated and can lead to the dreaded chin line for inexperienced makeup wearers.

bbuzz

I know its not makeup, but I adore these new products by Crayola. Apparently, like our little girls, the crayon company is also growing up and branching out into beauty products.  The Crayola Color Changing Scrubby morphs into a new shade when exposed to hot water. The Crayola Mini-nail polish kit transports me straight back to my childhood and the joy of getting a brand new box of crayons, and the bright hues are totally on trend. For your more adventurous girls, The Crayola Hair Color Stix will brighten up any coiffe. These make me wish I still had a stocking hung by the chimney!

bbuzz collage

Have fun with it…options are the key to a budding fashionista. So, go hit the makeup aisle, assuming we are ever able to leave the house again! Seriously, four snow days and a weekend…not cool Winter, not cool.

AndiIf you have a beauty question for Andi, email it to mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: How can I brighten up my look for winter?

Dear Andi,

Are there any new trends you would recommend for the winter? My makeup routine is so boring lately.

Dear reader,

As the weather cools and my summer color fades, my complexion is turning as grey as the skies. Ugh, dull and boring describes my look perfectly right now.

The minimal makeup and nude lip I wear all summer are looking dull with my winter wardrobe, so it’s the perfect time to mix it up and explore the fall trends.

The fastest way to brighten up your look is with a new lipstick. Wine or burgundy lip colors are being spotted on red carpets and runways alike and since a wine colored lipstick can have either red or pink undertows it is more versatile than a traditional red lip.

lipstickWhat finally made me see this as a wearable trend was the Kat Von D Foiled lipstick in F.T.W. (Sephora, $20) featured on thebeautydepartment.com. The combination of the metallic specks and an application with a lip brush made the color light enough for everyday wear.

Or try a more affordable version with Ulta lipstick in Good Year for Wine (pink undertones) or Sangria (red undertones), $8 each.

Another idea: eat enough cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving to stain your lips red for a few days. That’s my plan.

The number one trend I am seeing for winter 2013 is a cat eye. Traditionally, a cat eye is when you use black liquid eyeliner along your upper lash line and wing it out and up to create a dramatic eye. Liquid liner can be tricky and, frankly, scares me a little.

A toned down version would be more of a kitten eye, created with a pencil or kohl liner and winged up only slightly at your outer lash line. Because the wing itself is more subtle, combine the technique with another great trend and use navy blue eyeliner. The color makes hazel and brown eyes really pop.

For the makeup pro, or someone who is not squeamish about almost touching your own eyeball for sake of beauty, lining the inside rim of your your lower lashes with a metallic gold eye pencil is a fun evening look paired with a smokey brown eye. Your eyes sparkle, and no one will be able to look away. Be warned if uninterrupted eye contact makes you uncomfortable.

cat eye

If you are addicted to braiding your hair, like I am, don’t be sad that beach season is in the past. Thanks to the glorious Jennifer Lawrence and a little movie she’s in (you may have heard of it, Hunger Games?), braids are only getting more popular.

To winterize the trend, try for a more polished look by spraying a toothbrush with hairspray and brushing back any fly always. The tiny bristles will tame the fuzz without giving you a shellacked appearance.

As a mother, be thankful for any time that you ave to spend a moment on yourself, because taking pride in your appearance gives you confidence and feeds your energy; energy that you need to keep up with your kids when school is out and the combination of tryptophan and pumpkin pie has turned them into tiny terrors.

Be thankful for the kids old enough to help with the cooking, at long last, and the tiny hand print turkeys posted to the fridge that fall off every time you reach for the milk. And for the three year old that says you look beautiful when you still have curlers in your hair and flour covered pajamas on, because children see true beauty.

Happy Thanksgiving, mamas!

AndiAndi is mama to 3 and lover of all beauty trends and products. If you’ve got a beauty questions for her, email it to mamas@nwamotherlode.com.

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