Beauty Buzz: Best self-tanning products to give you that summer glow in winter

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By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3

I have officially lost the very last touch of my summer tan.

Of course, I wore sunscreen everyday and I would never lay out while my kids are swimming and I am extremely grateful my nose doesn’t grow when I lie. I do lather up my kids like crazy and gush over my little redhead’s porcelain skin so that my kids never feel the need to bake themselves, promise.

Unfortunately, I grew up as the only fair skinned child in a family of olive complexioned beauties and the “healthy tan” idea is really hard to shake. Thanks to bronzer and cardigans, I hadn’t noticed just how pasty my skin had gotten until the heat wave this weekend when I dared to wear a tank top and got a good look at my dayglow arms.

Since I am at least disciplined enough to stay away from tanning beds, that means it is time to find the best self-tanner out there.

We ’90s kids know the struggle of making that transition from lathering ourselves in baby oil to using orange-tinted lotions when we all realized that using actual radiation wasn’t the healthiest way to get a glow.

But at-home products have come a long way since then and there are a lot of options available now:

St. Tropez in Shower Gradual Tan is a little pricey at $25 (Ulta) but the convenience of applying it in the shower and being able to rinse 3 minutes later with no messy residue makes it worth it. One reviewer did notice that self-tanner smell later in the day and advised making sure you rinse completely to avoid dark spots, but otherwise reviews have been top notch for the product.

shower tanner

You probably remember when Jergens Natural Glow Lotion made its debut and there is a reason it is still around and consistently on Best Of lists. The daily moisturizer works gradually for a natural glow and is available in two different shades at a reasonable $8.50 at Target. Its newest formulas has also eliminated that DHA stink that seems to be the biggest complaint about self-tanners.

jergens natural glow

If you have had a spray tan before and loved the result you may like L’oreal Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Salon Airbrush Self Tanning Mist. It’s a mouthful, but at $11, definitely cheaper than a spray tan by a real pro and worth a shot. The ability to spray it on without rubbing will eliminate the dreaded orange palms.

For the moms out there who like to DIY your own sunscreen and want to avoid chemicals, Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion ($9, Walgreens) is free of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum, while still being highly moisturizing and providing a tropical glow.

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The real skill behind self-tanner application comes with lots of practice and some good prep work:

Shave before a applying (this seems like a given but just in case) and exfoliate like crazy. A homemade sugar scrub applied in the shower should do the trick unless you have some really tough spots, like the elbows. If that is the case, for a few days prior use a petroleum based product on your scaly bits and let it sit.

Last piece of advice, if your friends say you are starting to look a little orange, it means you are looking a lot orange and you need to step away from the bottle or explore some other brands. Just like with makeup not every tint suits everyone’s skin tone and it might take a little exploring.

Hopefully, the winter doldrums will get me in the habit of maintaining a sun free glow and I won’t be so tempted when summer roles around. This nice weather has me all optimistic! (AndI refuse to acknowledge it’s about to end.)

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: New year, new ‘do!

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3

Recently, I came across a Pin entitled “Not New Year, New You, but New Year, New Do! and I thought: What a fun, positive way to jump-start your New Year’s resolutions.

Unfortunately, the Pin led to a slideshow of the most ridiculous, unwearable hairstyles I’ve seen outside of New York Fashion Week.

But I still love the concept and wanted to encourage everyone to mix it up as we enter 2016. Nothing gives you more confidence than a great haircut, and confidence gives you energy; energy you can parlay into one of your other resolutions that have, honestly, been on your list since 2006.

Cut your hair, girl!

If that seems intense it’s because I am trying to convince myself. I have had really long hair for a few years now. People comment on it, ask if I have extensions, bemoan their inability to grow long hair, want to play with it (okay, that’s a 6-year-old, but still).

So, I think I can’t cut it…what a waste! But I am bored to death with the hour and a half process of drying, straightening, curling and then ending up with the same freaking style day after day.

The super-popular, ain’t goin’ nowhere “lob”, or the long bob, is a great way to maintain some length while removing a lot of bulk (ie: drying time). Like a traditional bob, a lob is cut slightly shorter in the back than the front to allow for more swing but is usually shoulder length or longer so you can still add plenty of long layers.

Megan Fox’s transformative chop is my current inspiration, you know, since we are basically twins. Don’t you love it:

megan fox, haircut

There is nothing more chic or confident than a pixie hair cut. I loooove them. Can’t do it myself because I’m a big chicken but develop major girl crushes on anyone who can pull it off. Get one of the many apps available for “trying on” a hairstyle and experiment a little. My dad got us one of these programs for the computer once and I remember putting in an actual disc and scanning in a photo.

When we put my mom’s hairstyle on my sister we all screamed because they looked identical and that’s the last time we used it. But I digress; remember, hair grows…nothing is permanent, so go for it.

If you have gone short before and are stuck in that crappy in-between stage, take a page from Kaley Cuoco’s book, as described in this Glamour article, and regularly trim the back until the front has a chance to catch up…No mullets, please. Also, adding texture will help camouflage and wonky layers.

If you are happy with your length or still waiting for it to grow, nothing makes an instant impact like a new color. I have done everything from dark brunette to blonde, to the dreaded 90s streaks and even a brief period where my hair was hot pink and my mom made me wear a hat when I was home.

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“Bronde” girl

I have finally landed on the flattering and easy to maintain “bronde”, a combo of brown and blonde (clever). Basically, this is achieved with golden highlights over my naturally brown hair. I think it is a cousin of what we used to call “dirty blonde” but has a much better ring to it.

Bronde gives the brightness that is so appealing in blonde highlights but without the headache of drastic roots.

I can not stop staring at people with multicolored, alternatively hued, rainbow (whatever you want to call it) hair.

To the woman at preschool drop off with purple hair: I am so sorry for ogling you. I think your hair is beautiful and have always, always wanted blue or purple hair. It does not fit my life style, my upbringing, my husband…it will never happen so I resign myself to hair envy voyeurism.

I am inching my way toward a couple of modestly placed colored extensions which are a great alternative for anyone looking to dip their toe into the rainbow colored hair fad. Because of their popularity, most salons have them available or you can buy your own at stores like Sally Beauty Supply.

If you decide to go for it and dye your hair, be warned. Dark hair will not show the color without bleaching it first, and that can damage your hair and you would have to wait several weeks before correcting it, if you choose.

For the blondes, it will show for sure, but even a temporary color will be with you for a very long time. I once used colored hair spray for a party and it clung to my blonde highlights for almost a month.

I am going to leave you with one surefire, confidence-building New Year’s resolution: compliment a stranger every day. I didn’t say it would build your confidence necessarily, but I bet by making someone else feel good, you will start to smile a little more and nothing is more beautiful than a genuine smile.

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: How to rock a red lipstick

Beauty Buzz category bannerNote from the mamas: We know many of you are going out for New Year’s Eve, so we want to share one of our favorite posts written by Andi Douglas, fellow mama and beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.com. Andi knows how to rock a red lipstick and she shares the tricks with us here.

Dear Andi,

Is red lipstick really wearable? How do I pull it off?

Bright red lipstick is everywhere. However, making red lipstick into a “Do” is one of the world’s great quandaries.

First off, you need to balance the bold color by going easy on the eyes. A little primer and mascara will open up your eyes without drawing too much attention. Can’t break the eyeliner habit? Try white eyeliner to brighten and define around your eyes.

No sparkle or glitter makeup, please. Keep it simple. Same goes for your blush. Don’t try to match your cheeks to your lips. Stay with a natural rosy glow and let your lips be the showpiece.

Now, the tricky part, finding the right shade and making it look good.

Try orangey reds if you have fair skin; go with deep brick shades if your skin is dark. Medium and golden skin tones look great in true reds. Finding the right shade takes trial and error, so you need to go to a makeup counter and test them out.

Sephora is great for this, because of their wide variety. (You can find a Sephora at the Pinnacle Promenade Mall in Rogers and there’s a mini-Sephora inside the JCPenney store at the NWA Mall in Fayetteville.)

A lip stain can be like training wheels for red lips if you are a little nervous. Try Mark Kissink Lip Tintmarker in Red Siren. A long-wearing gloss is also a great way for a more subtle hue, while still playing with color. Revlon Color Stay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato is a glossy, vibrant red with staying power. It’s also great for layering to give you shine once you find your perfect shade.

Ready to embrace the crimson pout?

Make sure your lips look great, because everyone will notice them, by de-flaking with a washcloth first and priming with a lip balm.
Next, you will need to dig out your old lip liner. You can find a matching shade or use a liner that is close to your natural shade (which is great to have in your bag, anyway). Line and fill in your lips, smudging the edges with your finger. This will prevent bleeding without a sharp outline.
Apply lipstick on top with a lip brush, then blot and repeat. It is worth the time to get a smooth finish that will last.

Red lipstick looks glam and is on trend, but it also makes your teeth look whiter and brightens your whole face. Have fun with it and smile a lot!

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: How to make people think you washed your hair

Beauty Buzz category bannerBy Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

I love my warm, cozy bed. A love so deep that it can only be rivaled by my love for my pillow.

I actually hated this pillow when my husband first stole it from his parents’ house. It was too dense and had a funky smell and I insisted it be kept as far away from me as possible. But like any classic romantic comedy, we had our meet-cute one night and the rest is history.

The perfect combo of this underdog pillow and my bed means that I will do just about anything to stay in bed in the mornings. I am baffled by people who get up before dawn to wash, dry, and curl their hair. You know sleep’s a thing, right?

Because of my ambition to stay in bed (sounds much better than laziness) I have found multiple ways to stretch a blowout. The added benefit: skipping a few days between washes is much healthier for your tresses than a daily rinse, lather, repeat. Not only can shampoo and hot showers be drying but added use of heated styling tools will definitely contribute to split ends.

The use of dry shampoo is largely touted in the beauty world, so you have probably tried it before. Unfortunately, the wrong kind can leave you with heavy locks and a flaky scalp and would scare anyone off for life, especially brunettes.

beauty buzz hairLuckily, Morroccan oil has released a dry shampoo for both brunettes and blondes, each formulated for the specific hair tone, to rave reviews. If you’re in a pinch, I’ve had better luck with a sprinkling of baby powder and then a shot of cool air with my blow dryer than with untested dry shampoos.

The disappointing truth for all you dry shampoo addicts is that too much use can clog up your hair follicles and lead to dull locks and, at the worst, hair loss. Yikes. The good news is, there is a way to keep indulging and protect your scalp.

Just like the skin on your face, your scalp will benefit from regular exfoliating. Rather the culprit be dry shampoo, dry winter skin or dandruff, exfoliating your scalp will stimulate hair growth and give your hair more lift. I am plagued with dry skin on a good day and can’t wait to add this step to my hair care regimen. Most products I found are sadly on the pricey side, but should last a while since they only need to be used once a week.

caviarALTERNA Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial (Sephora, $36) is a clear standout with its bristled applicator that provides a heavenly scalp massage. The use of caviar and fruit extracts will leave your hair feeling nourished instead of dried out.

Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask is surprisingly odorless and non-abrasive for a product containing salicylic acid. It will leave you flake free with younger looking hair. Although this appeared to be a cheaper option, I had trouble finding a consistent price from a familiar website (Amazon ranged from $11-$30).

If anyone finds this brand locally, please let me know in the comments.

Another interesting innovation for scalp health is a copper bristled brush. Goody Styling Therapy Copper hairbrush (Target, $10-$11) is available in two different sizes to cater to different hair lengths and gently massages your scalp to minimize flakes and build up. I’m hoping the paddle brush will be in my stocking Christmas morning!

paddle brush

Now that your scalp is squeaky clean, there are a few simple changes you can make to prolong a blow-out:

Try not to touch your hair or fuss with it much. The oils from your hands will quickly weigh your tresses down. The same with brushing as it will drag the oils from your scalp all the way to the ends of your hair. I actually use a hair pick or comb if my hair is not too tangled to smooth my hair and only in the morning and at night. This also helps maintain any styling so I don’t have to use my hot curling iron as often.

Avoid putting your hair in a ponytail or bun as long as possible. The weight of your hair concentrated like that will make your hair look flatter and greasier. If it still falls flat, add some bounce by curling your hair away from your face.

If you can’t stand it and have to pull your hair up at night, fish out your old scrunchies or use crease minimizing hair ties that you can find pretty much anywhere now.

If frizz is what plagues you, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase or sleeping in braids for the curly haired crew. Also, just lightly wetting your hair will reactivate any products you already applied and takes much less time to dry than a full wash.

If you need to eke out just one more day, never underestimate a strategic braid, which are still going strong in the fashion world.

And finally, when you really, really should have washed the day before, put on a cozy hat like these monogrammed toppers from Logo ‘n’ Stitch in Springdale. Do a combo hat and braid and you just bought yourself one more day of sleeping in.

logonstitch, 400

Fair warning: If you ever see me with a hat and a braid tucked into a bun, you might want to cross the street. It means I’ve gone full hibernation and have only ventured out for necessities, like food or wine.

Have the Merriest of Holidays and Happy New Year!!!!!

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: Eyebrow tattooing, tinting and great brow products

Beauty Buzz category bannerBy Andi Douglas, beauty editor and mama of 3

For some reason, lately, I have had several in-depth conversations about eyebrows and I’ve realized this is something I am weirdly passionate about. I didn’t start waxing until my 20′s and was shocked by the difference it made in my overall appearance. There’s a reason eyebrow shaping is called a ten-minute face-lift. When done properly, it can raise your brow so your eyes look more open and youthful.

One discussion I had was about eyebrow tattooing. Because trends change in brow shape as much as anything else, this scares the bejeezus out of me, and I’ve always been firmly in the “no-tattooed-makeup” camp. However, I saw an article about eyebrow tattooing and thought maybe it’s not all bad. Of course, we don’t all have access to a tattoo artist to the stars, so be careful when making a choice. Find someone you trust with a huge portfolio of past work. They should be willing to give references and not just pictures because photos can’t always be trusted. It’s even better if you know someone personally that has used their services and can tell you about their past experience. Stay as close to your natural brow shape as possible and stay away from any shape that could be considered a passing trend (i.e.: full brows with a square corner, high arches and a thin brow).

If you’re not infinitely confident in all of your beauty choices and would like something less permanent to enhance your brows without daily maintenance, you will like eyebrow tinting. Basically, this involves dying your brows a darker color and can be done at most salons when you have your hair done. It’s especially useful if you have dark hair but blonde eyebrows or brows so fair that you can’t see them from a distance. If you want to try this at home, The Beauty Department has a great tutorial. I love her recommendation of using a semi-permanent color for a more natural effect.

elf eyebrow kitI have full brows that, as long as I wax or pluck, look pretty good on their own. But, inexplicably, after having my son I suddenly had a bald spot right in the middle of my left brow. Hormones are fun, amiright? So, I had to start filling them in and discovered that they looked amazing when more polished and really made my eyes pop and pulled my whole look together. Who knew? My new favorite product is the e.l.f. Eye Brow kit. The combination of a wax and powder provides a natural look that I can apply in seconds.

I always follow up application by combing my brows in the right direction with a toothbrush. (A little piece of advice: don’t use the free toothbrush your kid got at a parade unless you want to hear them complain about how you “stole it” every time you do your makeup.)

clinique eyebrow mousse2A friend told me today that she just got the Clinique Eyebrow Mousse to try on her light eyebrows. I have not tried this myself, so I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of the long-lasting formula. (If you have tried it before, let me know in the comments.)

I have to mention my new favorite place for a last-minute waxing: Nails Spa on Joyce Blvd. (in the same parking lot as Pigtails and Crewcuts) takes walk-ins and only charges $8 for an eyebrow wax. I swear my eyebrows grow in overnight and go from groomed to Groucho with zero notice, so I have a tendency to just walk in and take whoever is available. I have had several ladies work on my brows since I discovered this gem last spring and have never been disappointed.

Now that you have your eyebrows well-groomed and defined, you will totally fool your kids with your surprised face when they gift you with another pair of slippers this year.

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: How to be runway ready for Thanksgiving

Beauty Buzz category bannerBy Andi Douglas, beauty editor and mama of 3

I’m talking about the runway–the Big Show. The most important walk you make all year…the walk from the kitchen to the dining room carrying The Turkey. donna reed1You have planned for weeks, obsessed over the menu and Pinned 20 Thanksgiving how-to articles and now every eye is on you. You want your friends and family to think Donna Reed and Bobby Flay had a love child and she’s bringing them a turkey.

This is, personally, my first year hosting. I’m excited and looking forward to having two full families in my house (*quietly hyperventilating*) and showing off my inner Martha. In September I ransacked Hobby Lobby and bought all of my decor, setup my tables and took pictures and then stored everything in my bathtub until after Halloween. Because I’m an adult. But as much as the effort to pull this off might kill me, I don’t want to look it. Effortless grace is the goal.

Just like dinner prep, anything you can do the day before is a life safer. Give yourself a mini mani and pedi while you wait for your dough to rise (just kidding, while your rolls defrost) with a fun, autumn twist. Jamberry nail wraps have enough designs to choose from so that everyone can find a match, from the classic Apple Cider (love the base color), to the adorable Faux Fox and the very timely Gobble, Gobble turkey motif.

jamberry collageOn the big day, a combination of moisturizer, primer and foundation will help your base stay put all day. The trick is giving each product time to absorb before adding the next layer. If you are as impatient as I am, self-time by adding in tasks between application (ie: moisturize then fix your hair; prime then dress the kids). If you have not used a primer before, e.l.f. has a line of primers for several different skin types. I use the e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer that “fills in lines and creates a flawless finish,” but at only $6 a bottle, you can definitely afford to experiment. FYI, I found it at the Fayetteville Walmart by the mall but the Elm Springs Walmart did not carry the brand, so don’t be deterred if it’s not at your usual store.

donna reed2If you really want to emulate a 50′s housewife: try not to touch your face. This sounds a little restrictive, but back in the day a woman would never have scratched her forehead at the table or rested her cheek in her hand while having a conversation. Don’t get me wrong — boo gender stereotypes, yay equality — but most of your foundation is lost due to these commonplace gestures.

One of my strongest memories of Thanksgiving at home was seeing my mom get up before dawn to put the turkey in (well, hearing about how she got up before dawn to cook the turkey while I laid on the couch and pretended to be sick because I was a brat). A late night prepping, paired with an early morning can make for some pretty gnarly circles under your eyes.

lorac double feature concealer and highlighterPrep the area with eye cream, as it plumps the skin and helps conceal the offending veins. Apply concealer with a yellow undertone to counter the purple color of the circles. Lorac’s “Double Feature” Concealer and Highlighter (Ulta, $25) promises “red carpet worthy correction” while “the other end lightens and brightens.”

Always apply concealer after your foundation. You will need to use less that way and you most likely remove half of it while applying foundation anyway. Using your ring finger, dot your concealer under your eye your eyes, starting at the inner corner. Allow the concealer to sit for a minute, so it will be warmed by your skin, therefore easier to blend. Gently tap the concealer to blend, again with your ring finger. In case you wondered, you want to use your ring finger because it is the weakest and will minimize pulling or tugging on the delicate under eye skin.

november 17 post too facedOkay, now that you’ve prepped, primed and shellacked, let’s add a little sparkle to wow your guests. Coordinate perfectly with your centerpiece a festive eye shadow palette like Too Faced Rock ‘n’ Roll Eyeshadow Palette (Amazon, $32). This palette encompassed all of the colors I’d envisioned for fall, but you can use it for inspiration for buying individual colors. That green would look gorgeous with brown eyes! And the names make you feel like the rock star you are for pulling off an awesome meal.

Now, you’re ready to eat, drink, be merry and then slip into a blissful turkey coma while everyone else cleans up! Gobble, gobble, y’all!

mr rogers look for the helpers275Note from Andi: I was writing when news of the tragedy in Paris broke and I am heartbroken at the loss. In times like this my favorite quote is one by Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Keep Paris in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season. Pray for peaceful hearts. Promote kindness and goodwill. Be a helper anywhere you can and be thankful. Thanks for being a community to aspire to, Mamas.

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Andi

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: Northwest Arkansas moms share their favorite beauty products

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What beauty product are you most thankful for?

‘Tis the season for everyone to start posting what they’re thankful for on Facebook. I never participate in the ritual because I can not be serious for 30 days straight and I’m not sure my sarcasm would be appreciated (ie: I’m thankful my kid finally cleaned his freakin’ room!)

However, I do understand the joy that can be found in appreciating the little things in life.

Maybe you had a nightmare day, but, hey, you got to use a brand new razor this morning. Or your kid just up-chucked all over his lovey, but you were all caught up on laundry and the washer and dryer were free…score!

In the spirit of giving thanks, I asked some lovely moms which beauty products they’re most thankful for. Here are their favorites:

Olay Regenerist Luminous overnight mask gel moisturizer. With skin as dry as mine, the cooling moisturizer feels like heaven. I use it during the day, too. I’m a rebel! ~ Andi

porefection concealerMy Lorac POREfection concealer is perfect for the dark circles under my eyes. ~ Morgan

A Chi flat iron. I use it every day. ~ Brandi

Rodan and Fields night cream is a nightly staple for me. ~ Lisa

Rodan and Fields Reverse regimen is my new favorite. ~ Amy

*I’m not all surprised that R and F was mentioned twice. I barely go a day without someone mentioning it.

Deodorant because you’re not very pretty if your stinky. ~ Lisa

Gold Bond hand cream. I keep it in my purse and use it all the time. ~ Lynda

Makeup Forever HD translucent powder. I read somewhere that it is like “photoshop for skin” so I was all in. I do think it helps people like me whose pores are large enough to drive a truck through. ~ Gwen

makeup forever

*Thank you for providing the first product I want to try from this list and an image I may never shake.

My Sephora “Full Action” mascara. ~ Shannon

Toothpaste because I talk too much to not have fresh breath. ~ Desty

boots no. 7Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense kit. Seriously, my skin looks like my 6 year olds now. Looking back at selfies I can see a dramatic reduction in the lines around my mouth and eyes. ~ Stephanie

Estée Lauder eye cream. Really good for those little lines we all get around our eyes. ~ Patty

I can’t think of anything. ~ Nikki the natural beauty

After randomly assaulting my friends with questions, I am very thankful for the diverse group of women I have gotten to meet through my kids activities. You all made me smile today and that totally makes up for having to help my stubborn first grader with her math homework.

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode. She received a complimentary facial from Revive for an honest review of their services.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

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Beauty Buzz: What’s it like to get a microdermabrasion treatment?

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By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

Despite my penchant for high ponytails and a wardrobe mostly supplied from the teen department, I am actually in my (gulp) late thirties and have started noticing the telltale signs of age on my face.

In an attempt to get ahead of this sinking ship, I have been looking into more extensive skin care options than just a daily wash and lotion. I know enough to realize dry skin is behind the bulk of my problems.

A microdermabrasion facial seemed like a great first step, but a google search encompassed everything from spinning brushes to facial wipes and a whole bunch of images of 20 year old models. It did not really answer my questions. So when Revive Medical Spa offered to have me review a micro-facial, I jumped at the chance to answer some of the basic questions that others might have, but aren’t sure how to ask.

First of all, let me just get this one out of the way: You don’t have to take off your pants. I know, who would ask that? This gal, right here.

You are provided with a nifty towel wrap that leaves your shoulders and collarbone bare for the treatment and then you get under cozy blankets on a heated table. You will want to be comfortable, so I went pants free but you can skip shaving if you want because you’ll be tucked in nice and tight. There, now no one else has to embarrass themselves with that question.

I was also provided with a oh-so-glamorous giant terry cloth scrunchy (that is my best description) to get my hair out of the way. I, of course, forgot a rubber band and dug through my purse to find the world’s tiniest elastic to wrangle my mane. Learn from my mistakes, wear your hair in a bun if it’s long enough to be a burden. Also, no matter how giant that scrunchy is, the lotions and scrubs used will most likely make it into your hairline, so you’ll probably want to wash your hair anyway.

I went in full makeup (I was trying to “represent” or something dorky) so the first step was removing every last bit. Sleep in that day and go bare faced; save yourself the trouble. If you aren’t going straight to the spa, just put on your activewear like you plan on working out.

kat at Revive

Revive aesthetician, Kat

Once she had a clean slate, my aesthetician, Kat, exfoliated my skin using a brightening scrub with buffing grains. She gently massaged the product onto my face, neck and collarbone. Apparently, anytime someone touches my neck I think I’m being murdered for a split second. Maybe I should review a psychiatrist next.

Then, she applied a fruit acid toner to complete the exfoliation. She warned that it could sting a little, so Kat held a fan on my face during the process. Either it was a really effective fan or the toner isn’t that bad, because I barely felt anything.

This prep work is to get your skin ready for the big show: Microdermabrasion.

I admit, I had no idea what to expect here and was pretty nervous. I had been told to keep my eyes closed because of the toner but I couldn’t resist a peek once I heard a machine click on. I peeked, so you don’t have to. The whirring sound was coming from a small wand that reminded my of the sprayer at the dentist office but a little fatter. Not the calming effect I had hoped for but it turned out to be quite nice.

The tool feels like a tiny vacuum sucking away all of the dead skin and anything clogging your pores. The aesthetician slowly pulls the dime sized tip across your skin of your face and down onto your neck.  After the first pass, I asked Kat to turn down the suction because it felt a little intense, but after a couple of more swipes, I told her she could turn it back up.

Andi selfie at Revive, facial

Andi selfie at Revive!

The only place I felt any pain was on the thinner skin underneath my neck. Kat did tell me that most people are more sensitive there so I sucked it up and didn’t say anything. Later that day, I noticed that a had a hickey like stripe on my throat, where I had noticed the pain. Lesson learned: do not be afraid to speak up if something doesn’t feel right. Kat could have easily adjusted the suction for that area of skin and I will tell her next time.

Also, I’ve always heard the warnings to not get a facial the day of a special event and this is why. You never know how your skin will react to a treatment. My bruise was minor, easily covered by makeup and gone within two days, but I did have to listen to my husband joke about my hickey for that time.

After Kat was done, she applied the most wonderfully cool milk mask and massaged my hands and arms while that set.

Of course, the best part was petting my own soft skin afterwards. My nose has been plagued with blackheads and dry patches for as long as I can remember, and it was perfectly smooth. I literally could not stop touching it and looked completely crazy at Walmart afterwards. I, also, couldn’t stop trying to smell my own face. I may be on a Walmart watch list now.

This is considered a “zero turn around” facial, meaning you can immediately put on makeup or work out, whatever you would normally do without any recovery time. But you will probably be so happy with your glowing skin that you will want to go makeup free for a couple of days.

When you do have to dip back into your cosmetic bag, you will notice your makeup goes on smoother and your products absorb better into your skin.

Kat recommended repeating the facial every 4-6 weeks. Now that winter is here, this would be a perfect treat instead of your summer pedicures and it will help combat the drying effects of winter.

Andi, 150Andi Douglas is a mama of three and loves to play with makeup and other beauty supplies. She likes to try new products and services in the name of beauty editor here at nwaMotherlode. She received a complimentary facial from Revive for an honest review of their services.

Beauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

Revive-BeautyBuzz-Bottomofpost

Beauty Buzz: 45 thoughts I had while getting a massage

Beauty Buzz category bannerBy Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

I recently had the opportunity to receive a Swedish massage at Revive Medical Spa in Fayetteville. I realize there are people in the world who can walk into a massage, strip down, turn off their brains and just enjoy the experience. I am not one of those people. My hatred of an awkward silence and penchant for verbal diarrhea translates into an ongoing mental dialogue with myself, and honestly, my conversation partner is not all there.

45 Thoughts I had while getting a massage:

(I am introduced to Judy and escorted back to a massage room.)

Spa-Girl-Graphic11. Judy seems nice, not at all intimidating. I can do this.

2. Do I leave my underwear on? Yes. No.

3. Can’t do it. Yes. I’m so Baptist.

4. Who puts the slippers on to walk two feet to the table?

5. Hmmm, I look kinda sexy when I look up in the mirror.

6. This is as close as I will ever get to boudoir photos.

7. I’m so embarrassed for me.

8. Judy’s coming back in. Do I stick my face in the hole? That seems rude.

9. She just asked if I was uncomfortable sticking my face in the hole…WRONG CALL!

10. Find the gap for breathing and forcibly relax.

11. Medium or light pressure? I don’t want to seem like a wuss. “Medium.”

12. “Are you comfortable?”
Physically? Yes.  Socially?  No. (I said “Yes”)cat-307311_640 small

13. My stomach keeps growling and I sound like I’m purring like a cat.

14. Maybe I am purring like a cat.

15. Nope, definitely hungry. The decision to skip breakfast for fear of “tootiness” was not wise.

16. She keeps using my name.

17. I’m awful with names. Maybe she wrote it on her arm.

18. Okay, I’m going to zone out while she works on my “hip area”. Don’t need to think too much about that.

19. Does she think it’s weird I left my underwear on?

20. massage shouldersWhat’s more awkward, granny panties or a thong?

21. Aaaah, lower back heaven.

22. She tucked the sheet into my waistband. I think it’s helpful! Or she’s trying to get it out of the way….I have to let this go.

23. Movin’ on up, to the east side…

24. Oh no! She found the knots in my shoulders. This is always bad.

25. This is medium pressure? What’s hard?

*fyi: I asked Judy afterward if she increased the pressure on my shoulders to work out the knots because it was very tender, and she said she actually decreased the pressure because I visibly flinched. Turns out I am just a wuss and have freakishly knotted shoulders. This did remind me of the advice I received once to take ibuprofen an hour before a massage.

25. Ow, ow, ow, aaaaaaah…got the knot out.

26. Ah, the front part is the best. That sounds weird. Oh wait, I’m just thinking that so who cares.

27. Oh wait, I’m going to write this for everyone to read.

28. Ach! Hands around my neck! Nope, she’s not killing me.

29. She keeps wiggling my arms trying to get me to relax them, but suddenly I’m hyper-aware of my bones.

30. I feel like one of those cloth dolls with wires in their arms. RELAX!no kid zone massage

31. Oh, did I remember to check the kids folders last night?
32. NO! NO KID ZONE!

33. Aaaaaaah…

34. Where does she keep getting the lotion? I swear that time she did not take her hands off of me and still got more lotion.

35. What kind of wizardry is this?

36. My skin is going to look so awesomely moisturized. I’m glad I wore a skirt.

37. Lol, remember that Will and Grace where the girl massaging Grace says she goes where the tension is..

foot massage38. Mmm, the eye mask feels cool.
*Judy looked at me bewildered when I said it felt cold. Apparently, the eye mask has no specific cooling qualities.

39. Oh, the foot cream does smell good. Bad move, Cady.

40. Oh no, I fell asleep.

41. Can’t…sleep…through…relaxation…zzzz

42. Dang it!

andi revive with caption43. I don’t know much about reflexology but I’m afraid a full hour massage might put me into a coma.

44. I don’t want to be dooooone. *crying on the inside* “That was perfect, thank you.”

45. I definitely need to do this again.

Like most things in life, once I can get past my fear of being naked around strangers, I have a pretty good time.

revive medical spaBeauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

Revive-BeautyBuzz-Bottomofpost

 

Beauty Buzz: The prettiest trends for fall

Beauty Buzz category banner

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

It’s that time of year again. The Thanksgiving aisle at Hobby Lobby has been picked clean and the first Christmas commercials have been spotted. We must be on the cusp of fall!

So throw out your pink nail polish and bright lipstick and switch everything to fall colors.

Just kidding, you can wear whatever you want because ‘Merica, but if you are looking to mix things up a little or like to color coordinate with foliage, here are the best beauty trends for the upcoming season:

Black Eyeliner: I always get especially tingly when a classic smokey eye is at the top of a trends list because I can’t not wear my black eyeliner (that was an intentional double-negative, so it’s cool). And with Amy Schumer’s glorious shout-out to “the girl who gave me this sort of smokey eye” during her Emmys acceptance speech Sunday night, I have a feeling its popularity is going to grow as fast as Amy’s career. Who doesn’t want to be Amy Schumer right now?

Peach or Rose-colored Blush: I type this with an audible sigh of relief, that a more natural glow is quickly replacing the heavy contouring that has been in vogue a la the Kardashians.

You may have noticed a gap in my beauty coverage on this topic because I simply can not wrap my mind around using so much makeup that you literally change the shape of your face. And I am slightly nervous that if I try it and love the look that I will be forever disappointed in my normal, less angular cheekbones.

To get the easy going glow, try Warm Soul by Mac  or Peachy Cheeky by ELF.

Mascara: Okay, that’s a little simplistic, but if you haven’t tried it already, now is the time to start using mascara on your lower lashes to achieve a Twiggy-esque, eye-opening effect. Twiggy actually used to draw her lower lashes on with liquid liner (don’t do that) so don’t be disappointed if your lashes seem sparse in comparison. This is another thing that I have always done and it never occurred to me that it wasn’t normal. I’m kind of pumped…I feel like this is really my year!

Metallic Manicures: Anything that shines will always garner attention (we are kind of like raccoons that way) but too much shine on my face makes me feel like I’m trying to get into T-Swift’s squad.

Nails, both finger and toe, are a fun way to experiment with some shine and feel at home in the way cooler PTA squad.

blue nailsNeutral colors were hot for Spring, so an easy update is adding a “dew drop” effect with copper polish by using a toothpick to add a few strategic dots of color before your polish has dried. Using the same copper polish on your toes will give you a coordinated look without being too matchy-matchy.

If you love color, color and more color, the metallic blue of Essie’s Aruba Blue is for you. This is actually the exact color I want to use in my bedroom, so I may carry a bottle around to look at fabric. Find inspiration wherever you can, right?

I apologize for not finding any Pumpkin Spice products for you to try, but from what I understand you can literally find them anywhere, at any time, and in any form.

If I stumble upon a PS eye cream or something, I promise to update immediately. Until then, I will just have to settle on a PS coffee from the Kum and Go (because a Starbucks habit can get expensive and cut into a girl’s beauty budget).

Happy Fall Y’all!

revive medical spaBeauty Buzz is sponsored by Revive Medical Spa, which offers a full range of medical, cosmetic, and therapeutic services, with the latest technology and knowledgeable clinicians and staff. Located in Fayetteville, Revive serves the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. Revive’s massage therapists and estheticians personalize every relaxing service to each guest’s individual needs. “Your visit will whisk you away and leave you feeling revived.”

Revive category sponsor, cropped

Beauty Buzz: Best lip balms heading into fall

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

When the kids head back to school, it is glorious! Freedom, sweet freedom!

For about a week …

Then the after-school activities start up and the homework assignments and the morning fights over what to wear because your daughter REFUSES TO WEAR THE CLOTHES YOU BOUGHT HER! Okay, deep breath. I had a point.

As we get back into the swing of things, I’m finding my summer makeup of chapstick, tinted moisturizer and mascara is not enough for all of the meet-the-teachers and PTA meetings. I look less “I’ve been hanging at the pool all day” and more “I just rolled out of bed and may have forgotten my bra”.

Yikes, not the look I’m going for. But it is still way too hot for full makeup that is probably going to melt off sitting at soccer practice anyway. Luckily, there is a magical product that lights your whole face up, adds color and makes it looks like you care (even if you kind of don’t) and that is lipstick. As Elizabeth Taylor said, “Put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

When you are still in the in-between stages of summer and winter makeup, the perfect solution is tinted lip balms. They add color while still hydrating when you are sweltering in the sun and will prep your lips nicely for the drying, winter months ahead.

baby lipsMaybelline Babylips lip balm is my personal favorite because of it’s super moisturizing properties as well as it’s lack of a distinct flavor or smell (as a compulsive lip-licker, flavored anything is a major no-no). The Grapevine shade pairs well with my normal lip stick choices for when I want more color but still need the moisture, but I am dying to try Berry Bomb, that boasts a sweet berry tinge.

If you know you are going to be stuck in the sun with no shade (I’m looking at you, soccer fields) don’t forget to protect the delicate skin of your lips. Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm with SPF 20 in Soft Caramel provides protection and leaves you with a beautiful cappuccino hue.

neutrogena cropped

I went out to dinner this weekend with some family and three of the women pulled out Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm after dinner, all in different shades. Traditional Burt’s has been at the top of every chapstick list I’ve ever read but I didn’t realize how large of a selection they had now. With Shea butter and plant oils combined with the famous bees wax, you can’t go wrong.

burt's bees cropped

If you have the self control to not lick your lips and you always steal the Bonne Bell chapstick out of your daughter’s Easter basket, then try NYC Applelicious Glossy Balm. The sweet smelling gloss leaves a pinkish-red sheen.

colorburst croppedIf you’re looking for more color saturation but still want the benefits of a balm, try Revlon Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Sultry. Revlon combined a long lasting lipstick with a trio of moisturizing butters to achieve hydrating color that lasts all day. This is going on my shopping list right now.

One of the other benefits to tinted lip balms is the ability to add multiple layers for more color or one light layer for just a touch of blush.

That makes them a perfect starter for tweens who are suddenly wanting to wear makeup to school or for special occasions. As our junior high yearbooks can attest, it is so easy to go so wrong in the early stages of make up wearing.

Two words: mood lipstick.

Happy Back to School! I hope you enjoyed that 15 minutes of free time.

Beauty Buzz: I’m pregnant and my face is breaking out. Help!

Dear Andi,

Eek! I am pregnant for the first time and thought I would have a beautiful, healthy glow. Instead, I am breaking out like a teenager. Any tips?

Dear First-Time Mama:

Well, the good news is that the breakouts generally decrease the further you get into your pregnancy and your body adjusts to the flood of hormones attacking your, already, overwhelmed system. Also, it’s one of those pregnancy side effects that you conveniently forget about once you are holding your baby in your arms and you will be just as surprised by your pubescent skin problems the next time around.

For now, the best advice is to drink lots of water and try to hydrate your skin as often as possible. That little bundle of joy is stealing as much fluid from your body as possible, which leaves your skin flaky and dry.

All of those flakes lead to clogged pores and increased blemishes, so exfoliate with a gentle cleanser, or mix a little sugar in with your normal face wash.

If you want to try something stronger to zap a zit, be leery of the usual Retin-A products or anything medicated. Because your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun when you are pregnant, you could end up with giant patches of sunburn on your face, which might distract from the pimple, but not the way you wanted.

When in doubt, call the nurse at your OB or your dermatologist. If you do see a specialist make sure you let them know you are pregnant, even if superstition would normally prevent you from sharing the good news too soon. Not all medications, even topical treatments, are safe for moms-to-be.

A little bit of cover-up and strategically applied make-up might help until the baby-acne fades away. If you don’t usually need cover-up, use the thicker part of your foundation from the lid or rim of the bottle. Dab lightly with your finger and blend.

More good news, we’ve all been there and can sympathize. Good advice also for later, when you are grocery shopping and your new baby has pooped something horrific and is screaming at the top of his lungs. Good Luck!

Have 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: When there’s a fungus among us (how to prevent it)

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

kids feetI recently discovered that my toddler has ringworm, a circular, scaly rash. First, I was relieved that it was not an actual worm, despite the name, but, in fact, a skin infection due to a fungus. Okay, still pretty disgusting, but very common and, thankfully, easily treated with an OTC anti-fungal cream.

Summertime is a prime season for different kinds of fungal infections to rear their itchy heads, since fungus thrives in hot, moist environments. Wet swimsuits, public pools and sweaty carseats spell trouble to the delicate skin of your little ones.

And, since most infections are very contagious and kids have no boundaries, there is no shame when your kids show up with a scaly rash (No shame, I tell you…don’t judge me).

Athlete’s foot most commonly manifests as a burning itch between the two smallest toes and can spread to the soles of the feet, an anti-fungal cream is the best treatment (seriously, just start buying this stuff at Sam’s Club in a tub), but prevention is always better.

Wear flip-flops in public showers or the pool bathroom and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on shoes. If your kiddos are keen on going sock-less during the summer, sprinkle foot powder in their shoes to prevent moisture.

The netting in boy swimsuits looks itchy enough without adding a case of jock itch. Symptoms are the typical burning itch in the groin and thigh area with a circular, red raised rash with elevated edges and flaking or cracked skin (ouch!) and can be treated with an anti fungal cream, powder or spray.

Summer-Remix4Boys are not the only victims of a wet swimsuit. Yeast infections of the skin can cause a red, scaling, itchy rash around the groin or armpits, and often have raised pimple like bumps.

Skin yeast infections respond well to medicated creams. You can mix your own using diaper cream (like Desitin), an anti-fungal cream and a zinc oxide cream.

Vaginal yeast infections, which can also be caused by lounging in wet swimwear, may require suppositories or an oral medication for proper treatment, so consult a physician. In the meantime, lay off of sugar, since yeast thrives on it, and serve plenty of natural yogurt to build up healthy bacteria.

beach ballNow that we have sandal weather (finally) you may have noticed that your toenails are thick and discolored and may be painful. Or, you were lucky like me, and the lady doing your annual pedicure announced loudly that you have a fungus on your toes. Awesome.

Nail fungus is not caused by poor hygiene, according to Web MD. Did you hear that, judgy pedicurist? In fact, it is difficult to determine the origin of an infection and they are very common in runners. No that I run, but I could. Unfortunately, they are very difficult to treat and even heavy duty oral medications only cure about 50% of infections.

There are a lot of home remedies that friends have sworn by, including a hot foot soak in water mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Also, applying apple cider vinegar to your toes may help. Listerine mouth wash can also be applied directly and smells much better.

*When in doubt, a doctor can confirm any fungal infection with a test and stronger treatments can be prescribed.

Did I effectively skeeve everyone out? Well, at least I didn’t torture you with graphic images. There are some things you can never un-see, trust me! Happy Summer!

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: How to go makeup-less this summer

Dear Andi,

During the summer, I hate wearing makeup. How can I look my best with a bare face?

Andi: With this sticky heat and frequent trips to the pool, I have been taking a vacation from makeup, too. I haven’t worn foundation in over a month and not only have I not missed it, but I haven’t had one blemish or breakout…a pleasant surprise.

originsThe natural look is all about the prep-work. If your skin is in good shape, people will notice your natural glow, not your lack of eye-liner.

Start by exfoliating away the dead skin that dulls your skin and leaves it uneven. My mom and sister both rave about Origins Modern Friction: Nature’s gentle dermabrasion (Dillards, $37.50) and are so enamored they actually bought me my own so I could try it and they are right…I love the gentle exfoliating and saw an instant improvement in my skin’s tone.

Of course, you need to moisturize, but as I’ve gotten older, regular face lotion isn’t enough. BeautiControl’s Regeneration Skin Renewing Lotion tightens my skin while moisturizing, which helps to minimize those pesky lines that are popping up everyday.

The common misconception is that foregoing makeup means you don’t care what you look like or don’t try and that just isn’t true. But, nothing will make you look more like a crazy bag lady than rogue eyebrows and without the distraction of make-up, a neglected brow will be all the more obvious.

If you are new to this amazing, yet torturous, grooming routine it’s a good idea to go into a salon to have an initial brow shaping and then maintain it at home with tweezing. In the past, I was anti-tweezing and had a waxing about once a month, but there has been a lot of talk about how waxing can cause your eyelids to sag over time so I gave in and have been brow-scaping at home.

softlipsFor slightly less painful tweezing, pluck after a hot shower so the hair follicles are loose. If you have a lot of work to do (like I do right now) a cool new trick I learned is to put a little Orabase mouth ulcer cream on your brow to numb the area first.

Most importantly, do not over-tweeze! With no makeup on, a full brow will add much needed color and dimension, where an overly plucked pencil-thin brow will be a stark contrast to you otherwise natural face.

Finally, keep your lips hydrated with Softlips Lip Balm, available at Walmart. It is super hydrating, but leaves a matte finish that looks great by itself or over lipstick.

Going bare can take some getting used to, but when people tell you look nice or compliment your glowing skin, it feels wonderful, because it’s all you!

Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama? E-mail it to mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

remix (4)Note from the mamas: The Summer Remix symbol appears on posts previously published on nwaMotherlode that were noted as a “reader favorite”. If you missed the original publication date, we hope you’ll enjoy this encore performance. Happy summer!

Beauty Buzz: Sunless tanning tips you need to try

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

Hooray for warm weather and sunshine, Northwest Arkansas! It’s officially summer.

Now that it’s swimsuit weather, I need to 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.

Andi, 2014Andi 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: How to apply your makeup so it stays puts on Prom Night!

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3

Throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care…’cause you’re leaving the kids at home and going to Mom Prom!!! Woot-Woot! This is the first year I’ve been able to attend and I am so pumped for a chance to get dolled up and dance the night away.

However, I do not want to dance my makeup away.

A trip to Ulta and a little extra effort will keep you Prom picture ready all night long (and there will be pics available for free download after the party thanks to MJW Photography, so you want to be ready).

Just like Maria taught us, “Let’s start at the beginning, a very good place to start.” Make sure to exfoliate your face and neck so you have a smooth surface to start with. When dry skin flakes off, it takes your makeup with it.

Prep your face with a silicone based moisturizing primer, like Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer to smooth out your skin for a clean canvas. Always allow moisturizing products at least 5 minutes to completely sink in before moving on to your makeup.

When looking for foundation, oil-free formulas stay put the longest and a light dusting of translucent powder will help to absorb any oils that are makeup zappers.

Eye makeup is an easy and fun way to amp up your normal look for a fun night out, but raccoon eyes by 8:30 may not be the look you are going for. Liquid and gel liners last longer than pencil and are great for trying out the popular cateye look. But if you have shaky hands like me or true love connection with your pencil, use a slant-tip brush to trace over your eyeliner with a matching powder eyeshadow to help it stay put.

makeupIf you are afraid you might get caught up in the nostalgia of it all and end up weeping in the girls room, waterproof mascara is a good investment. To avoid the clumping that tends to come with the long wear formula, barely touch the wand to your lashes and apply in quick, thin layers before it has a chance to dry.

There are a couple of options for making your eyeshadow last through every photo op. An eyeshadow base topped with a powder shadow will set the makeup in place. Or slightly dampen your eyeshadow brush with water before applying. This will make your colored shadows more vibrant, so you may want to experiment a little before the big night.

My blush is always the first to go, so I end up pinching my cheeks halfway through the night. A gel, liquid, or cream cheek stain can be a little tricky to use but have major staying power. Blend with the tips of your fingers for a natural glow. And don’t be afraid to test out your favorite lipstick as a blush substitute. That is what I use for my girls dance recitals because it stands up to wandering hands and major meltdowns much better than powder blush.

If you prefer your powder blush (I’m with ya sister), rub a cotton ball or pad in your blush and put it in a snack size baggie in your purse for on-the-go application.

Finally, to keep your pucker picture perfect, first line your lips with a neutral colored lip liner to keep your hue in it’s place. Then, apply several thin coats of your lipstick with a brush. This allows for the pigment to sink for a longer lasting effect.

Now your makeup will look as good as your dance moves until they play “Closing Time”. Do they still play that? I have no idea; it’s been so long since I’ve been out…OMG, I’m so excited! Start warming up your Roger Rabbit and Cabbage Patch!

P.S. — If you feel hopeless with makeup, no worries. There will be a GLAM SQUAD at the Mom Prom! Brieshi Salon & Spa professionals will be there to touch up your makeup and hair. We’ll feel like celebrities!

Andi, 2014Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her your hair and makeup questions to: mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: Smoothies to make your skin look healthier

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode beauty editor

If you have a grade-school student in your house then you definitely know Earth Day was last week and were treated to all kinds of guilt inducing fact bombs about the environment.

You may even have had a Coke bottle taken directly from your hand and thrown into the recycling bin before you were finished. Sure, she can’t seem to get a tissue in the trash to save her life but my kindergartener was going to make dang sure mom’s soda bottle was someday made into carpet.

Our generation grew up during an innovation boom, where there was some new laboratory-created miracle product to try every day. Who wasn’t pumped about Oleo before we found out it causes major potty problems? Eek! And you absolutely had to rush out and buy all new lotion with Q10 when it hit the market.

The more we learn and experiment, the more people are overwhelmed by the flood of data and opinions available via the internet and we are starting to return to more organic, natural ways to maintain a youthful look and lifestyle.

So, in honor of Earth Day I found some natural, healthy and yummy smoothie recipes to make your skin glow. Nothing is more comforting than finding solutions in your veggie crisper instead of a plastic jar.

Bobbi Brown, makeup guru, demonstrated how to make her breakfast smoothie for healthy skin on GMA last week and it looked easy and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Coconut Milk
  • Two scoops of protein powder
  • Little bit of cacao nibs
  • Ice
  • One banana
  • Handful of berries
  • Kale leaves
  • One scoop of hemp seeds

Blend well and enjoy!

I do not usually keep protein powder on hand, but I like the idea of starting my day with the energy boost without taking the time to make eggs. Here’s a recipe for a protein-packed smoothie using cottage cheese for a delicious creamy texture.

pineapplePina Colada Smoothie

  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • a splash of coconut milk
  • coconut flakes
  • fresh pineapple

I have never been a fan of the texture of cottage cheese but this seems perfect for a summer day and does not have the tangy flavor of greek yogurt, a favorite protein source in smoothies.

Here are a few ingredients to add one to your regular favorites for an added boost to your skin:

Sunflower seeds: a good source of copper for glowing skin and hair, they also have protein, Vitamin E and folate.

Almond butter: a popular alternative for people with peanut allergies, almonds and almond butter can help protect your skin from UV rays via Vitamin E.

Tropical fruits: the Vitamin C found in pineapple, papaya, kiwi and other tropical fruits helps your body to produce the skin firming protein collagen. BRB, going to Hawaii! (Note: Or we can all go to the NWA Mom Prom on May 30th. Tropical themed this year and I hear they’ll have lots of tropical fruit and fruity drinks. Woo-hoo!)

If you’re like me, you’ll find a recipe you love and then make it so often you kill it. I definitely see an untimely demise for that Pina Colada smoothie. So, share your favorite concoction in the comments so we can all enjoy. Happy “Mom, that’s soooo bad for the Earth” Day!

Andi, 2014Andi Douglas is a Northwest Arkansas mama of three who loves to play with make-up. We’re lucky that she shares her beauty tips, tricks and finds with us here. If you’ve got a question for Andi, contact her at mamas@nwamotherlode.com. She can also answer your hair questions.

Beauty Buzz: How to clean your makeup tools so you don’t get sick

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode beauty editor

If you’ve been anywhere near social media in the past week, I’m sure you saw this story about a young mother who was paralyzed after using a friend’s make-up brush and contracting a bacterial infection.

Helloooo, worst fear realized.

Although this was an extreme case and it would be rare to share something as personal as makeup with someone who happened to have a staph infection, even everyday oils from another’s skin can mess with your personal balance and cause breakouts.

Or perhaps you think you would never, ever share because “ew”. But if you have little girls in the house that like to play dress-up or teenage boys who might sneak some concealer to hide a blemish, you may unwittingly be encountering the tiny little germs that your family has brought home with them.

Still think you’re immune? At the very least, dirty makeup brushes disrupt your makeup application and that $40 bottle of concealer is going to be a waste.

So now that we have the heebie-jeebies, let’s talk about the proper way to clean makeup brushes:

baby shampooOnce a week, after you’ve done your makeup to allow for drying time, run your brushes under warm water focusing on the tips. Put a small amount of baby shampoo into the palm of your hand and swirl your brush around, similar to how you apply your makeup, to work the shampoo into the bristles.

Rinse under the warm water again, gently squeezing the water out until it runs clear. Be sure not to pull hard at the base because that will result in loose bristles over time.

Although baby shampoo will get the job done, I like to use a grease cutting dish soap for my foundation brush because it seems to cut through the oily product better. This will work the same on makeup sponges but those do need to be replaced every couple of weeks since they are more difficult to get a deep clean.

If you are in the habit of sharing makeup brushes daily with a roommate or your daughter, a daily brush cleaner, like this one from Sephora, will help keep your brushes fresh between deep cleaning.

Sharpening your eyeliner should remove any tainted bits if shared, but don’t forget the little smudgy thing at the end!!! Give it a cleaning as well, especially if you have shared it lately.

mascaraSadly, there is no way to clean a mascara wand and once it has been reinserted into the tube your mascara becomes a tiny jet black incubator for all kinds of bacteria. Regardless of who all is using your mascara, it is recommended that you replace it every three months, especially if you are prone to sties or other eye infections.

This is why I stick to drugstore mascara instead of splurging on the pricier department store brands. I just can’t make myself throw away a $25 mascara, but $7, I can handle.

If it’s been awhile since you took the time to clean your tools, you will be shocked by how good it feels and will quickly get hooked on the weekly ritual.

If you feel like freaking someone out this week, ask a stranger in a public restroom if you can borrow their makeup and watch them back away from you like you’re the carrier monkey from Outbreak.

Andi, 2014Andi Douglas is a Northwest Arkansas mama of three who loves to play with make-up. We’re lucky that she shares her beauty tips, tricks and finds with us here. If you’ve got a question for Andi, contact her at mamas@nwamotherlode.com. She can also answer your hair questions.

Beauty Buzz: Finding the best razor to shave those spring/summer legs!

shamrocks

By Andi Douglas

I don’t know who found a four leaf clover or had success with their leprechaun trap, but thank you for using your wish to bring us a few days of golden sunshine!

Over the weekend I was so happy to enjoy a much-needed break from the dreary, rainy, cold weather we’ve been trapped in for the last 3 years or so (that’s what it feels like, anyway).

Did everyone ditch their Uggs, roll their jeans up to capri length and soak up 6 inches of sweet, sweet sunlight?

If you are like me and completely unprepared for the sudden spring weather, you ran to the bathroom sink to shave up to your knees so you could get your kids OUT OF THIS HOUSE.

It was while balancing on one leg and lathered up with baby shampoo (because it works, ladies), that I realized I once again bought the wrong stinkin’ razors. I can never remember what brand I like and they all look the same in the packages at the store.

So, once I tight-rolled my jeans so they worked as a tourniquet to stem my blood loss, I got to researching: World’s Best Razors.

razorFor beginners, and clumsy people like myself, I really like the Schick Silk Effects Plus. The refillable razor has a rounded handle that is easy to hold and maneuver. It has a thin ribbon of aloe for extra moisturizing and each blade is fitted with tiny wires to prevent cuts and razor burn. I was actually really excited to find this one. I used it for a long time, years ago, but lost track and couldn’t remember the name. Yay, me!

Hands down, no question, the most positively reviewed razor is the Gillette Venus Embrace. The 5 blades provide a clean, long lasting shave. The Embrace is available in both disposable and refillable options but both options will be more costly than other brands.

ankle picIf you are a fan of razors with a shaving gel strip, the Gillette Venus Spa Breeze has white-tea-scented spa strips on either side of the razor that eliminate the need for shaving cream or lotion…for the first few uses.

Some users found that the gel gets “goopy” when exposed to water and would run out before the razor was dull. An alternative are razors with moisturizing strips. They don’t replace shaving cream, or my kids 2-in-1 shampoo, but will help keep your legs hydrated post-shave.

Depending on the time of year, $12 for an awesome razor makes perfect sense, but other time (ie: January) I want the cheapest thing that will still get the job done. The Bic Soleil Bella Disposable razor provides a great shave at a great price, $6 for 3. Bonus: they have scented handles! We don’t know why…

A few online reviewers tested out the theory that men’s razors are actually better than women’s for shaving our legs and other bits.

With the exception of the Gillette Mach3 Turbo, most men’s razors finished at the bottom of the ranking. Even the Mach3 had reports of wearing out faster than its female counterparts, so the minimal savings don’t seem worth it.

I grew up using Daisy Razors and felt very girly and fancy. Now they feel like a cheese grater on my legs.

My mom still uses them and I honestly don’t know how she has survived…PTL. But, to each her own, I guess. Once you decide which razor is your personal favorite, take a picture of the package with your phone and save it in your contacts, that way you always have it with you. Just say no to crappy, sadistic razors from now on!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Andi, 2014Andi Douglas is a Northwest Arkansas mama of three who loves to play with make-up. We’re lucky that she shares her beauty tips, tricks and finds with us here. If you’ve got a question for Andi, contact her at mamas@nwamotherlode.com. She can also answer your hair questions.

Beauty Buzz: Make-up trends that are new for Spring 2015

By Andi Douglas, beauty editor and mama of 3

I guess the ankle-deep snow we received this weekend means it’s going to be a while before we can start showing off our new Spring wardrobes.

But I have TWO bits of good news to share! That’s right, I’m seeing the silver lining.

First, all of the stores have started releasing their Spring lines, which means that you can pick up warm, cozy sweaters on the cheap that you get to wear right now. And second, you can start experimenting with the new spring beauty trends anytime.

Let your hands do the talking, or more of a whisper really, with a nude nail polish that blends with your natural skin tone. Of course, there is no universal “nude” so it may take a few minutes of exploring in the nail polish aisle, but here are a few of my favorite hues:

For fair skin, Don’t Pretzel My Buttons by OPI Nail Lacquer.

OPI nail polish

For medium skin, Royal Blush by Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure.

sally hansen complete salon manicure

For dark skin, Hot Cocoa by Essie.

essie

If you like a little more volume from your nails, negative space manicures are hot right now and super easy to DIY with a little tape.

Nude lips are always on the list of what’s in, but are highlighted this season with a natural face, which was very popular on the Spring runways. The good news is you don’t need to invest in any new products to pull this off and it’s especially convenient for you Super Moms.

The trick to the real natural look (not the one that requires more time and make-up than your prom look did) is good skin maintenance. So, exfoliate regularly and moisturize religiously. If you haven’t switched to a night time cream or mask for the winter months, now would be the time. Okay, so that’s one thing to buy, but you’ll thank me!

e.l.f. purple eyeshadow paletteTime to look to the brighter side of Spring by adding a purple eye shadow to your regular routine. The e.l.f. Essential Flawless Eyeshadow palette in Party Purple has every color and step you need to try out this new hue and is only $2. Two! Dollars! And it’s labeled step by step for the most amateur of us.

Still a fan of neutrals but want to mix it up? Black liquid eyeliner flipped up on the edge will add some whimsy to your eye makeup. Skip the bottom eyeliner and let your adorned lids get the attention to be on trend.

Prep your pucker because bright, bold lip colors are here! Usually paired with a very neutral face and eye, wearing a lip stain or cream in berry will be a show stopper. Hues range from bright, playful raspberries to somber, deep blackberries.

This is one of the times you need to choose based on personality, I think, but try some samples, because subtle tones that pull blue or yellow can make a huge difference based on your skin tone. Leave the edges soft, i.e. no liner, but keep the color from running by using a lip primer, which, I found in the e.l.f. section for $3. I can’t even…

Go wrap a floral print scarf around your neck and don your white jeans (it’s okay now, I promise), ‘cause we’re bringing Spring, dang it, no matter what the weather guy says!

But if the temps do drop low enough that we all resort to wearing ski masks to pick-up, we’ll just have to work extra hard on our eye makeup, I guess.

Andi, 2014Andi Douglas is a Northwest Arkansas mama of three who loves to play with make-up. We’re lucky that she shares her beauty tips, tricks and finds with us here. If you’ve got a question for Andi, contact her at mamas@nwamotherlode.com. She can also answer your hair questions.