Beauty Buzz: How to style your hair for No Heat November!

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

Some of you may be suffering through itchy scruff or 70s mustaches for No-shave-November or Mo-vember to support your hubby. My hope for you is that he’s going for the full beard and not the ‘stache.

I don’t know what started No-Shave-November but I don’t see why women shouldn’t have an excuse to dial it in during one of the busiest months of the year. Sure, we can skip shaving our legs, but honestly, you were probably doing that anyway once the temp dropped low enough to pack away your shorts.

So what’s the plan for the unbearded half of the world?

NO HEAT NOVEMBER!

That means no blowdryers, curling wands, hot rollers, flattening irons, nothing heated. Get your hair healed and healthy before holiday party season starts and save yourself some precious time. Pumpkin pies don’t make themselves, people! Or buy themselves, no judgement here.

If you have naturally straight hair, trying to gain volume at the roots will most likely be your biggest problem. You can fake it by creating a deep side part and pulling the front section of hair back and twisting it before securing with bobby pins or a clip. This creates a simplified pompadour. Also, prepping your hair with a volumizer, like TGI Catwalk Root Boost will help give a lift at the roots of your hair while it dries.

curl-and-style-milkIf your hair naturally wavy or curly, then frizz control will be your burden. A good curling cream and proper drying techniques will work wonders. Try Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk gently applied to your towel dried hair. Speaking of towel drying, think more like wringing a sponge than ruffling feathers; a gentler approach will go a long way to taming flyaways.

Once your hair has dried some, try putting it in braids to sleep in. I do four small braids to get the top half of my hair and then incorporate them in to two larger pigtail braids. It takes me a solid twelve hours for my hair to dry but I always regret if I take it out too soon, so plan for that time by washing your hair in the evenings before bed.

I personally can’t do a sock bun. My hair is too thick and long but I have seen it successfully curl hair with no heat, usually on mod length, more fine hair types. An alternative for longer-locked ladies is the headband method:

You might look like your cosplaying Game of Thrones during the process, but it really does work. Place an ½ inch elastic headband across your forehead and down below the crown of your head, leaving it on top of your hair. Take a one in he price of hair and twist it then loop it through the headband, front to back, until you reach the ends. Continue this until all of your hair has been wrapped. If you have crazy thick hair, you may to work the pieces in like a French braid to get it all to stay. Let it dry completely and, bam, perfect mermaid curls!

braided-hairOnce you have bypassed the blowdryer, you may still be unhappy with your natural style. Second only to the mom-bun, braids will be your new best friend. If you are not familiar with Dutch braids, they are very similar to a French braid, except you place the pieces under instead of over as you braid. What I like about this twist on a classic is the braid ends up being sightly raised instead of flat against your head, giving the illusion of volume. It also makes it easier to tug on the edges of the braid to make it fuller and wider, also adding depth to your style.

Braids will work for wrangling rogue bangs or tucking in frizzy ends or just adding a few casual plaits to that one weird section that does whatever it wants….the possibilities are endless!

Now use all your extra time to enjoy this beautiful weather or hit it out of the park by embracing Dino-vember or go Give your man a big kiss, but on the forehead because Ouch.

Happy No-Heat-November, Mamas!

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: These beauty treatments sound scary!

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode beauty editor

BOO! Did I scare you? Did I? Did I? BOO! How about now? I got you that time for sure!

Is anyone else living this Halloween nightmare? Having to pretend scream over and over for a 100% unscary and non-stealthy little one is enough to send you to the grave, or at least hide behind the pretend grave in your neighbor’s yard with a glass of wine.

andi-lawyerHalloween has never been my favorite. I don’t decorate with cobwebs, at least not intentionally, or dress up like a scary decomposing corpse. I was more in the cutesy nod toward a costume camp. We were lawyers, can’t you tell? Thank God I had black stirrup pants to complete the look.

So, the idea of Halloween-themed beauty treatments that leave you looking more glam than glum is right up my alley.

Etsy seller TheBubblingCauldron has come up with several spooky offerings to treat your darker side, especially if you are a Walking Dead fan (I heard Sunday was kind of a big night for the WD fandom).

The green, chunky texture of the Zombie Scrub will slough off all that dead skin that tends to accumulate posthumously or, you know, from everyday life.

Her cheeky list of ingredients including hemlock and swamp water would make this a fun gift or party favor, but in actuality contains perfectly legit ingredients like honey and sugar. Also, the Witch Cream lotion would be a cute nod to the season and a treat for your guests in a powder room.

If vampires are more your horror genre of choice, the Vampire Facial will lure you in like Dracula’s thrall. Or if you are just really into fuller skin with less wrinkles, that’s okay too. This is a more organic alternative to traditional fillers. Using the patient’s own blood to create a serum by extracting the platelet rich plasma, the esthetician then injects the blood back under the layers of tissue.

The immediate result is a plumper face, minimizing lines, but in the long term, the treatment boosts collagen production and provides overall clearer skin. The day of, you will look pretty red and a little scary, so bonus if you have this done on Halloween, you have a built in costume that will scare the pants off the neighbor kids.

Although cheaper than a facelift, the pricetag of over $1200 per treatment might be enough to make you hide under your bed, but the results should last about 15 months. If you would like to see the cringey procedure yourself, Kim K was kind enough to share her experience, as well as a less dramatic take on the procedure by Ruthie Friedlander from Elle.

hay-baleIf you like some traditional fall Halloween decor, but find yourself with the conundrum of how to get rid of leftover hay bales when it’s time to deck the halls, have I got a treatment for you! Hay Bathing! It is a very real thing, mostly in Europe for now where spas charge you actual real money to sit in a bathtub of warm, fatty (wth does that mean) hay and absorb the restorative, and itchy, properties whilst opening and cleansing your pores.

Made popular when farmers and biblical heroes of yore would lay their weary heads down in the comfy hay and wake r-eenergized (who’d of thunk it?), people are jumping right on that hay wagon. Guys, I can’t even with this one…I literally shook my head the entire time I wrote this part, but I promise I’m not making it up.

Now I want you all to take good care of yourselves and be healthy this Halloween. Make sure you steal all of the dark chocolate out of your kids buckets and stick to red wine because it’s good for your heart — and your soul — to be honest.

Have a Boo-tiful week, mamas!

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: Andi decodes beauty terms like strobing, oxidizing and dry brushing

By Andi Douglas, mama of 3 and nwaMotherlode beauty editor

With a job title that is basically “Booty Wiper”, I don’t get to sit down and have a quarterly review telling me all of the great things I have accomplished recently. The closest I get is spending a full day at the park and everyone leaving in the same pants they arrived in. So, sometimes I seek out affirmation in non-conventional forms.

dictionary-artFor example, I get a ridiculous thrill out of helping my kids with their vocabulary words or figuring out the big words in books. I realize that, as an adult, being able to determine the word they’re trying to sound out from across the room just by context clues is not exactly rocket science, but you take what you can get.

I’ve always relied on my avid reading habit to fuel my vocabulary, but with the age of the Internet and the natural fluidity of language, everything’s gone all whopper-jawed (I got that from my granny, not a book) and I find myself in a head scratch over certain terms, especially in the increasingly creative world of beauty.

I’m going to try and clarify a few of those beauty terms that give me pause when they cross my news feed:

Strobing

My Definition: Flashing lights at a club that used to be fun but now give you an instant migraine.

Beauty Definition: The opposite of contouring, strobing uses highlighting to define your facial features. The goal is to highlight the highest points of your face, ie: above your cheekbone, to create a radiant complexion. If contouring always seemed a little too harsh for you, but you still would like some definition, The Everygirl gives some great tips based on your specific face shape. Just remember that this is Instagram-worthy strobing and you can easily tone it down and apply these tips for an everyday look.

strobing

Oxidizing

My Definition: The reason my dad said I should wax my red Blazer in high school so it wouldn’t fade, which I didn’t do, hence my pink Blazer in college.

Beauty Definition: Just like metal that is exposed to water and air can begin to rust, your foundation can be affected by elements such as oxygen, the oils in e-l-fyour skin or other products and begin to change color. That is why you may think your makeup looks great when you leave the house but when you catch your reflection a few hours later you have taken on an orangey hue.

To prevent this annoying chemistry lesson, start with a primer before foundation to create a shield between your makeup and the oils in your skin. After you have applied the rest of your makeup, dust a layer of finishing powder on top, like e.l.f. Perfect Finish HD Powder. Despite the white color, it is translucent, just apply with a light hand.

Finish off your look with a spritz of setting spray, kind of like hairspray for your face. Nyx Long Lasting Setting Spray comes in both a matte and a dewy finish, and is affordable and raved upon in reviews. If you still feel like oxidation is an issue, try buying your foundation a shade or two lighter. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

nyx

Dry Brushing

My Definition: Bridget Jones’ hilarious and relatable pre-date ritual to minimize her cellulite. (I was at least on the right track with this one.)

Beauty Definition: If you didn’t try this at least once in the double-aughts, you might want to look into it now. Dry brushing is the process of literally brushing your entire body with a soft bristled brush before you get in the shower, hence the dry, to exfoliate, increase circulation and release toxins from your system. The increased circulation is what can minimize the look of cellulite.

Also, exfoliating before you shower helps you to get a closer shave so another perk for getting great gams. The detox aspect is fairly new and why spas are now offering dry brushing as a treatment option. Since you guys are pretty aware of how I feel about getting naked at spas, you can understand why I will be investing in a couple of brushes for private sloughing, one brush for the face and one for the body.

These are just a few of the terms that I think cause a lot of confusion in the beauty world. I have a whole other list of “what-the’s” just for hair that I will be defining for you soon.

Until then, go throw around some big words at the playground and bask in the glory of being slightly smarter than a preschooler. Hasta la vista, Mamas! (Bam, I know Spanish, too.)

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: 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 the first few weeks.

Then the after-school activities start to feel impossible and the homework assignments continue piling up — 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 fall!

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: 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 eye shadow 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 is pretty inexpensive. And it seems to have a pretty high heat tolerance, since I always leave it in the dash of my car.

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!

Andi, 150If 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: What to do when you’re too tired (or lazy) to hair & makeup

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

Y’all, I am tired. This should be my golden year: all three kids in full time school and in the same building…easy peasy.

I had big plans to paint some rooms, volunteer, start my novel, the usual stuff. Cut to me, sitting on the couch eating cereal from a bin for 3 days straight.

There’s no real reason I should be this exhausted, but I have just lost the will to dress and fix myself to look like a decent human being. Today, I downgraded from walking the kids to school in the same workout pants I’ve worn every day, to walking them in the sweats I slept in. Unacceptable, or at least slightly embarrassing.

One of my goals was to start going to the gym every day and to look like a supermodel by Thanksgiving, obviously. Sadly, after walking the kids to school and then hobbling home because of a hip spasm, I realized I was going to have to work up to working out.

The Lazy Girl Thigh Workout created by blogger Christina Carlyle promises that I don’t need to leave the house or even stand up. Done! I might hit my new goal of being able to fit back into my jeans by Thanksgiving…baby steps, people.

Lazy girl thigh workout, cropped

Sometimes eye shadow is just one step too many in my routine, but without it my eyes still look tired. Brush a little of your blush or highlighter on your eyelids after dusting your cheeks. You can switch to an eye shadow brush or be even lazier and just squish the end of your blush brush together and use the tip. Guess which one I do? I love the ELF Blush in Glow.

It works as a highlighter and blush; perfect for adding a little shimmer to your eyes.

I almost never skip my mascara. One quick coat, even if I’m otherwise bare faced, helps give my face a little more dimension. Eyeliner on the other hand requires precision and is not something I can rush, especially since my pencil is almost never sharpened and I don’t want to risk another eye splinter.

Harper’s Bazaar has a great trick for creating a quick smokey eye that mimics the look of eyeliner.  Close your eye and run a pointed shadow brush with shimmer eyeshadow (a smokey brown or gray would look great, too) over both your top and bottom lash line at the same time. Lightly blend the edges with the brush.

Ponytail cropAnother trick that I have adopted recently cuts my hair curling time in half, if not more. Put your hair in a high ponytail and wrap 2-3 inch pieces in your curling iron, working it down the curling iron to get a spiral curl. Once you are done, take the ponytail down and shake out your curl.

Some people can easily achieve this by splitting your pony in half, but I have too much hair. I kind of rolled my eyes the first time I saw this, but the randomness it created made my curls look more natural and beachy. I was sold.

If my description still has you a little kerflumped, here is a great tutorial. She uses a hair wand but a traditional curling iron works just as well and it is perfect for second day hair.

One of my favorite 30 second hair do’s when I just can’t stomach another ponytail or messy bun is a knotted side pony. You can adapt this in a half up-half down version, also. It adds a little something special to a normally blah ponytail.

So, if you are naturally lazy like me or tired from actually doing things you should be ready to go out and totally fake it. I’ll be on the couch pretending like I’m super sad about the kids going to school and that’s why I didn’t clean the kitchen.

Happy Back to School, Mamas!

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: How to make people think you washed your hair

By 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.

Summer-Remix4I 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 cute hat! Do a combo hat and braid and you just bought yourself one more day of sleeping in.

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: How can I fix lumpy 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.

Andi, 150Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at andi@nwaMotherlode.com.

remix (4)

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

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

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!

Note from the mamas: This post first published on nwaMotherlode.com in July 2014. We brought it back since it’s a reader fave!

Andi, 150Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback about Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at andi@nwaMotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: 3 Makeup Essentials for Busy Moms

remix (4)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?

First 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.

quickbeautypinThese 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 timed 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 when you see it in the store, but when applied with a gentle hand it can give you 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 eye shadow 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.

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: Ideas for how to wear the new trend, rose gold

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor and mama of 3

What wonderful spring weather we’ve been having! April showers bring May flowers and all that….wait, it’s June?!? It’s summertime you say?

I wondered why all these kids keep hanging around. Just kidding, I’m a mom, I counted down to summertime the way my kids count down to their next teeth cleaning but this odd weather has definitely thrown our summer off.

There is one trend that screams spring to me that I am happy to bring it into this weird summer/spring hybrid we’re having: rose-gold.

I have preferred rose gold jewelry over traditional yellow gold since I got my Aggie ring, Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of ‘01 Whoop! (and yes, you have to say that all in one breath, it’s in the code).

The first time the hue caught my eye in the beauty world was when Ashley Tisdale dyed her hair with the slightest tinge of pink combined with her golden locks. We are all getting used to the mainstreaming of brightly hued hair, but the subtle color really appealed to my more minimalist styling. Tisdale called it the “rose filter IRL”.

For cosmetics, the metallic rose gold pigments are universally flattering because they are neither too gold or two silver. If you consider yourself a makeup junky then you probably have at least one Urban Decay Naked eye shadow palette. The Naked3 palette (Sephora, $54) has every rose gold neutral you could ever need, along with some subtle browns for blending and pale metallic pinks that work as highlighter.

If you are more interested in experimenting with rose gold colors before making a big investment, the e.l.f. Rose Gold Palette is a great dupe for the Urban Decay version. One of the praises of the pricier brand is how pigmented the colors are, so you may have to add a little more of the cheaper brand to achieve the same look.

ELF rose gold palette

MAC fabby lipstickOne of the defining features of rose gold makeup is the slight metallic tinge, so wearing it as a lip color may not be for everyone. Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Gold will add a rosey hue without being too heavy. If you prefer a traditional lipstick, try M.A.C. lipstick in Fabby or Fetish, both have a metallic sheen but Fetish is a darker color than the neutral Fabby.

For those of you who don’t wear much makeup but still want to get in on the trend, this delicate and sentimental bracelet from Etsy dealer GracePersonalized caught my eye. Can we do reverse Father’s Day gifts? Is that a thing? Because I want these for my girls right now! If you have time, peruse the rose gold options on Etsy because I saw a dozen things I wanted and would have kept going but apparently my kids are out of school.

Don’t wear jewelry either? No problem! The pink-tinged metallic is working it’s way into home decor too. Check out this stunning coffee table available from Home Depot (I had no idea they had furniture!) It’s so shiny!! Don’t worry, they sell glass cleaner, too.

Rose gold table, Home Depot

Okay, I am about to fall down a rose gold rabbit hole here, and apparently my kids need to eat three whole meals a day. When you have time (LOL!) take a cruise through the makeup aisle and see if any other rosy options grab your eye. Please, share your finds below so I can shop vicariously through you!

Happy Spring, er, Summer, Mamas!

Andi, 150Got a question for Andi about hair, makeup or rose gold? Shoot her an email at andi@nwamotherlode.com. She loves questions and trying out beauty products on your behalf!

 

Beauty Buzz: New trend in facial products

may2016 600By Andi Douglas

You may have noticed a new trend in the beauty aisle lately. It seems our girly, pink and white cleansers are being replaced with much scarier dark gray or black formulas. Um, these do not look clean. They are intimidating and new and have serious benefits if you can get by the weirdness.

african black soapThe first of these products to catch my attention is African Black Soap, a bar soap primarily made in Africa. According to Treehugger, it’s made from the ashes of locally harvested plants and barks such as plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves, and Shea tree bark. The mixture is then boiled and additional oils and Shea butter are added to create the secret recipe. My husband has been testing out the bar soap and lotion and has seen much improvement with his sensitive skin. The affordable soap, only $4.50 at Walmart, exfoliates and moisturizes gently yet effectively. Two warnings: some people have reported that your skin will get worse for about a week before it gets better (this was not the case with my hubby), and I recommend getting a little travel soap holder for it because the dried black suds dripping down your shower wall can look a little terrifying. Just ask my traumatized 5-year-old.

The charcoal infused product that caught my attention was the Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer. Apparently, charcoal attracts dirt and oil and essentially sucks it out of your pores which leads to visibly smaller pores. I have no idea if this is technically what is happening, but with the addition of microcrystals for exfoliating, I have noticed that my skin feels smoother and have not had any breakouts. Biore also has added Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore strips that are very similar to the classic pore strips we all love, except that they are now black and the charcoal should enhance the product’s effectiveness.

elizavecca milky piggy carbonated bubble clay maskProbably the most unusual product of all is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask.  It’s goopy, muddy gray texture takes some getting used to but feels wonderful once it starts to wor. The Korean made mask begins to fizz and bubble up, cleaning deep into your pores. Available through Amazon, the packaging is all written in Korean so I had to google instructions, but you basically smear a decent layer over your skin and wait about five minutes as it reacts. I forced another dance mom to try it with me in the church bathroom and we couldn’t stop laughing at the tickly sensation or jumping a mile and staring at the door every time someone walked in. Thank you, Sherry, for humiliating yourself for me. Embarrassment loves company!

One thing we learned is that it’s very hard to wash away completely using just the sink and a towel, so now I apply the mask while my shower heats up and then rinse under the running water. I got gobs of it in my baby hairs the first time….and then had to sit through a four hour dress rehearsal. I’m smart. A little side note: the link I provided is a combo offer with the Elizavecca Green Piggy Collagen Jella Pack. It is the grossest-feeling lotion I have ever seen and is like “the blob” as it morphs back to its original shape every time…I Loved It!!!! My skin looked so smooth after using it, and it has a ton of collagen in it for skin firming. Sadly, after scouring the Internet for ingredients in English, I discovered it contains propylene glycol, which I’m allergic to, but I loved it so much I still wanted to share.

So, come to the dark side with me and explore these new shady products. Tap back into your goth phase because black lipstick and JNCOs (Lord, help the children) are making a comeback, people!

Andi, 150Have a question for Andi, beauty blogger and fellow mama of three? Andi welcomes your questions and feedback to Beauty Buzz. E-mail her at andi@nwaMotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: Three popular beauty treatments compared to childbirth

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty buzz editor and mama of 3

glamour girlHappy Mother’s Day, Mamas! I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing day, or a relaxing 15 minutes, at least, if you still have little ones at home.

I received a brand new coffee maker because everyone knows keeping mommy well caffeinated is money well spent.

As I was reflecting back on the days when I became a mommy three times over, one thought kept running through my mind, “Dang, that really hurt.”

So on that note, here are a few popular beauty treatments that hurt almost as much as *childbirth {and are almost as rewarding}:

1. Microblading is a semi-permanent treatment for reshaping, repairing or filling in sparse eyebrows. Different than permanent eyebrow tattoos, microblading lasts up to three years with just an annual touch-up, and has a much more natural look.

During the two-hour process, the technician will use a special microblade (kind of like a tiny exacto knife) that deposits color close to the surface of your skin leaving fine and crisp hair strokes, as opposed to the broader strokes of a traditional tattoo needle. At $300 and up, it may seem a bit extravagant, but the closest alternative would be eyebrow extensions that can cost around $200 and have to be maintained regularly.

I have seen countless before-and-after pictures and they look amazing! I have not seen it in person, but in photos you can not tell it’s not real hair.

* A topical numbing cream should decrease the amount of pain, so on a childbirth scale, I’d say it’s about equal to delivering with an epidural; you know what’s going on but it’s all good.

lip color2. Permanent makeup, or cosmetic tattooing (ranging from $300-$1000), can be very beneficial for minimizing your daily routine or as an alternative for people with allergies to cosmetics.

Because of the delicate nature of the tattoo, the pigmentation is deposited close to the surface of the skin so it can fade over time, but is still considered permanent because it can not be removed easily. So, be sure it is what you want.

Lip, eye, and eyebrow tattooing are the most common applications, but the technique can be used to cover scars or redefine facial features. A friend of mine recently had her eyeliner tattooed on both the upper and lower lash lines with a very fine line that helps define her eyes. She loves it and has no regrets, but did warn that it hurt A LOT. Her appointment definitely would have a language warning if televised.

* I’d say it’s like the first time you have to poop after having a baby: the fear is the worst part, it seems to take forever, but a huge relief when you’re done.

3. In relation to talk about waxing, you may picture eyebrows or even the extensive leg area, but for the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the big kahuna, a Brazilian wax.

For around $60 you can have a stranger clear out your bikini area…all of it…seriously…yeah there’s hair back there, too.  Now the good news is, the more frequently you get waxed, the less it hurts and the less your hair will actually grow back.

I like to think you have scared it into submission. Since I am not a character on Sex in the City, I’m going to go ahead and leave it at that.

* But I can rank this beauty treatment on my super scientific scale as having a baby in the car on the side of the highway: You just close your eyes, grit your teeth and try not to think about who’s seeing what. At least it will be over fast.

Okay, ladies, if you are woman enough to try one of these techniques, just remember your Lamaze breathing and look forward to that happy time afterwards when you totally forget how awful it was and decide to give it another go.

It took me about a year after each kid; hopefully I won’t wait as long between waxing.

Andi, 150Have 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: DIY dry shampoo, makeup brush cleaner & face exfoliator

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

EARTH DAY!!!! I’d been saving these ideas for an Earth Day post all year and then I messed around and missed it.

Oh well! These tips are good for any day!

mason jar

Seriously, it all fit into this mason jar

There are so many ways to DIY your favorite beauty products now, which is a great way to not only save money but cut down on your own personal waste. If you aren’t feeling motivated, feel shamed by this article about a young woman who can fit all of her trash from the last few years in one mason jar (pictured). It worked on me!

And just think of all the pretty jars lined up on your vanity instead of a basket of half-full aerosol cans.

Dry shampoo is a busy mom’s life preserver, especially in the spring when baseball overlaps with soccer which overlaps with dance, and testing…*sobs quietly into dayplanner*

Well, let’s be honest, dry shampoo and baby wipes. But, I find the spray formulas to be too heavy for my hair and way too easy to overdo, causing flaky scalp and heavy locks.

This easy, brush-on powder by Top Knot is a perfect alternative:

dry shampoo

Via Top Knot

For Lighter Hair:

  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Essential Oil (optional)

For Darker Hair:

  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ tsp Essential Oil (optional)

Just shake the ingredients well in a jar and apply it to your roots using a powder brush. You can either brush your hair to distribute or flip your head over and blow dry on cool for a few seconds.

Now that you’ve freed up so much time by not washing your hair, you can tend to some of those little chores that usually get bumped to the end of the line, like cleaning your makeup brushes. You can buy brush cleanser but that means you would have to leave the home section of Target and make it over to Beauty, without getting distracted by that little section of outdoor stuff by the books, and that’s never going to happen.

clean brushes

Via At Home with Kristyn Cole

With just two ingredients you can DIY a cleanser that is just as effective, according to blogger Kristyn Cole. First, fill a bowl with ½ cup warm water, then add one tablespoon of olive oil and Dawn dish soap. Starting with your smaller brushes, swirl them gently on the bottom of the bowl, then rinse under running water until it runs clear.

I had trouble telling with my dark sink, so I squeezed them out over a white cup. Make sure you dry your brushes bristles down or the water will seep into the wooden handle causing the bristles to fall out.

Now that it’s finally starting to warm up and feel like Spring (real spring, not the one we had this winter) this fruity face mask concocted at Beauty Editor is calling my name. The natural alpha-hydroxy acids found in a peach exfoliate can cleanse your skin:

Blend ½ a ripe, mashed peach with 1 egg white. A little water may be needed to help with the blending. Apply to your skin and leave it for 20 minutes before washing off. 

I love a good DIY and a way to use all of those tiny candle jars that I can’t bring myself to throw away. I’m not saying I’m going to turn totally “hippie” but I can guarantee that I’m neither washing my hair nor shaving my legs today, so there’s that. It’s water conservation, so it’s cool.

Andi, 150Have 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: Swimsuit season meets CoolSculpting technology

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.com

This sponsored post by Andi Douglas, beauty editor at nwaMotherlode.com and mama of 3

Okay, so you know you have a good friend when you start a phone conversation with, “I just learned about the coolest new treatment at Revive Spa that gets rid of your fat pockets and I thought of you,” and she doesn’t hang up on your blunt a*s.

Revive coolsculpting adBut I promise, I was not being rude and truly thought she could benefit from CoolSculpting at Revive Medical Spa. The website offers good information and a couple of interesting videos explaining the process but, if you’re like me, web info doesn’t always absorb.

So I went in to get a better idea of what a “360° consultation” entails.

I questioned that poor girl until she probably wanted to stick the suction thing on my mouth but hopefully I covered all of the Q’s you might not think to ask yourself. So settle in because I got a lot of A’s.

Q: What do I wear?

Anything you want for the consultation and treatment. Out of all of my trips to Revive (remember my massage and facial experiences) I was the least naked at my CoolSculpting consultation, so Yay! You are shown to a private room, much like a massage suite and will don the world’s most unflattering paper shorts.

I promise, I had every intention of taking a picture for you guys but forgot. And considering I was wearing striped knee highs I got at the dollar store right before because I couldn’t find socks without holes in them, it would have been a doozy. You will just have to trust me, they are comically billowy but still better than standing around in your skivvies. You can leave your shirt on and just lift it up if you are interested in treating your abs. This should give you an idea of just how much you have to shave.

Q: What happens during the consultation?

Once you have changed, the technician will ask you to stand in front of a mirror with your feet spread slightly (there is a small hexagon on the ground to guide your placement). I wanted the full experience so I had her check all of the areas available for treatment (except the chin).

That is the abdominals, love handles or flanks, and the outer and inner thigh. For my stomach and sides, I lifted my shirt while she squeezed my skin together looking for specific fat pockets to treat and using a plastic u-shaped guide to see what tool would fit best. It is a little uncomfortable but is fast. For my thighs, I lifted the shorts up one leg at a time so she examine the area. Overall, not too bad. The worst part was the full length mirror you stand in front of during the process.

Q: So what areas are an option again?

Under your chin, upper abs, lower abs, flanks on the side and lower back, inner thigh and lower thigh, if you are eligible.

Coolsculpting Revive Medical Spa

Q: What happens during the treatments?

I have not gone through the treatments myself, but I asked as many questions as a I could. You will lay on a table, much like a facial or massage table, and expose only the area being treated (ie: rolling up your shirt for your abs).

coolsculptingOnce you are settled, the technician will place a suction device, like the one pictured, to the target zone and turn on the portable unit. This is the suction cup used for abdomens. There is a tiny version for under your chin and a larger, flatter version for your thighs.

The CoolSculpting machine sucks the pocket of fat away from your body and begins cooling it. Until you become numb from the cold the tugging sensation can be uncomfortable but will eventually subside. The freezing process kills the fat cells and breaks down the fatty pockets.

Because Revive had two CoolSculpting machines, they can treat two zones at a time and each cycle takes about an hour. So, if I was to have my side and back flanks done (awful word, now you know why we call them love handles), that would be four zones, right side, left side, right back, left back, and would take around 2 hours.

They will soon have a television to watch or you can bring a book or listen to music, whatever you do to relax. You do need to have each zone done twice, so two days of treatments about a month apart.

Q: That seems like a long time. Will there be pee breaks?

Yes, you and your bladder will be very comfortable.

Q: Who is a good candidate for CoolSculpting?

The ideal candidate is a man or woman within 20 lbs of your target weight. CoolSculpting is not as invasive as liposuction or other fat removal procedures and targets the small areas of fat that you just can’t seem to shake with diet and exercise. That is what made me think of my friend. She is an avid runner with 3 kids who eats healthy but is always concerned with the little fat pooch on her lower abdominals. This is perfect for that.

Q: Who is not a good candidate?

A lot of people have the potential, but if you do not change unhealthy eating habits or exercise regularly, new fat pockets can reform. Also, some people just aren’t built right for the machine to be effective.

I, for example, am not eligible for the leg treatments. For the machine to properly attach, the fat on your thighs need to form a point and mine were too flat. Huge, but flat. If I were to proceed with the treatment, I could end up with indentations or pitting.

So, if you visit another facility and they say you are not ideal but they can do it anyway, put your pants on and get out of there.

Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out for you, just be glad you found an honest tech and then join me in a 30 Day Squat Challenge.  Also, pregnant and nursing women would be a no-no because of the physical stress on your body and people who suffer from hernias.

Q: What is the turnaround time?

The actual recovery time is minimal. You can be back to your normal routine the next day but will want to wear compression garments the first couple of weeks when exercising.

There will be some redness and if you are prone to busted capillaries or bruise(like if you had hickies all the time in high school), you may see that but it dissipates in a normal amount of time.

Q: How soon will I see results?

This is not an instant fix. If you have your two treatments one month apart from each other, you will see results in two months, which is pretty quick. But, if you have a reunion or vacation next week and want to slim up fast, this is not the way. CoolSculpting will actually cause bloating the first few weeks. So plan ahead or you’ll be stuck with Spanx.

Here’s a video with more info about CoolSculpting (click here to visit Revive’s website to see more CoolSculpting videos):

Q: Will CoolSculpting reduce cellulite?

Big sad face on this one, but no. Cellulite is actually a fibrous band that pulls down on your skin, so killing the fat around it does not minimize the appearance. The tech has pictures she can show you but it’s something you can’t unsee, so you might want to trust me on this one.

Q: Is this a good alternative to a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is often recommended to reduce excess skin caused by extreme weight loss or pregnancy. CoolSculpting targets just the fat, so it will not help reduce excess skin, sorry.

Q: Can I have my arms and upper back done to reduce back cleavage?

Not yet. They are working on developing different size cups to potentially treat those areas but nothing has been approved yet. Once again, if you visit someplace that says they can, know that they are not following proper regulations.

revive medical spaQ: Will a c-section scar inhibit my treatment?

Because this is a noninvasive procedure, previous scarring should not affect it, as long as it has been more than a year or cleared by your surgeon.

Q: Is CoolSculpting a permanent solution?

Essentially, yes! Once the fat pockets have been frozen and dissipate they are gone for ever. But, new fat cells can form if you don’t follow a healthy diet. That is why this treatment is ideal for people who have made a life change and are committed to it. So, not me, yet…but I’m working on it.

Q: How much does it cost?

This is of course a rough estimate just to give you an idea, but each zone costs approximately $750. So, my flanks would be four zones that need to be treated twice. There is a significant price reduction for multiple zones and cycles if paid all at once and they do work with a financing company if needed. I am the world’s cheapest person, but since this is a one-and-done treatment, even I am psyched about the potential.

I think I covered quite a bit, but if I missed anything let me know. I will be happy to ask any ridiculous or embarrassing questions you have. That’s the beauty of journalism…it is the ideal “I’m asking for a friend” cover. Very freeing. Or book a free consultation yourself. It’s great, you get to model some sassy shorts and there are mints up front. You can’t go wrong. Have a good one, Mamas!!!!

Click here to visit Revive Medical Spa’s website — and to get more details about CoolSculpting. Note from the mamas: Andi was invited to write about Revive’s free CoolSculpting consultation for this sponsored post on nwaMotherlode.

revive spa, rocks 700

Beauty Buzz: Simple ways to rescue old or damaged makeup

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!

Andi, 150Have 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.

Note: This post originally published on nwaMotherlode in April 2014.

*Photo via Elefanterosado via Flickr

Beauty Buzz: How to deal with under-eye circles

By Andi Douglas

I am 1001 times over the dark circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. Once only a problem for Hungover Andi, they have become a daily struggle and the realization that this is caused by *gulp* the thinning of my skin due to aging sent me spiraling into the five stages of grief.

Denial: Dang, the lighting in my bathroom is awful…I’ll look better once I’m outside.

Anger: This is ridiculous! I’ve never had dark circles before and I WILL NOT have them now. Period.

Bargaining: Okay, if I start going to bed an hour early instead of searching Pinterest and I drink 8, no 10 glasses of water a day they’ll go away. Yeah, that will work.

Depression: If I’m going to look like a raccoon I might as well just sleep all day and create a burrow on the couch. Loafin’ Joes delivers; I’m just a fat raccoon now. Call me Rocky. *sigh*

Acceptance: Siri, how do I cover these freaking under eye circles?

So, here I am admitting that I need to add a couple of extra steps to my beauty routine which I can accept, because to be honest, I wasn’t really getting that extra hour of sleep anyway.

If your dark circles are accompanied by puffiness there are a few ways to minimize those bags. Preventatively, cut down the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet. Both lead to water retention and increased swelling. You can also sleep on an extra pillow to help drain the fluid that is accumulating around your eyes and apply a cold compress or chilled spoon under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning.

To help hide the discoloration, follow these 3 steps:

1. Prep your skin with an eye cream: Dab a drop of eye cream along the under eye area starting on the inside corner and working your way out. There are a jillion under eye creams on the market because we all know our “wisdom” shows first in our eyes, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples and test it out. A couple of top-rated options are Mario Badescu Skin Care Ceramide Eye Gel , particularly effective for puffiness if you keep it in the fridge, and Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, which lives up to it’s name.

under eye circles2. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them show: I bet Elsa depuffs her eyes every morning with her icy touch but not all of us are that lucky. Gently dot concealer along the under eye area using a thin concealer brush and starting at the inner corner of the eye were circles are darkest. Choose a concealer that brightens and has a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple color of the dark circles. (FYI: Here’s a great guide to what makeup brushes are for what)

3. Seal the deal with powder: Prevent the concealer from settling into creases and wrinkles throughout the day by applying a light translucent powder on top. Or you can use a matte eye shadow two shades lighter than your skin.

If you too are suffering with the loss of your 30-second makeup routine and having trouble coping, there is a support group. We meet at the Chick-fil-A playground in our active wear.

P.S. If your dark circles happen to be brought on by a new baby, a stomach bug raging through your house, an elementary school yearbook deadline that required several all nighters (true story), or having to wait up late for a tardy teenager, you wear those bags with pride, Mama!

Beauty Buzz: Makeup tips for when you want to wear your glasses

stained glass window, bbuzz

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

You know you’re a mom of elementary-aged kids when your inspiration comes from an outbreak of pinkeye.

I received the dreaded call from the nurse at 8:30 Friday morning. Of course, it was party day and, as homeroom mom, I was in charge of the the festivities and this left me scrambling. It’s also how I ended up with a “stained glass” Valentine’s Day window to cheer up a 6-year-old who was “feeling really sad about missing her party” and is a master manipulator (see the sad girl pictured above).

Anywho, this all led to me suffering from psychosomatic pink eye and not wanting to wear my contacts. Hence, the inspiration: Makeup tips for when you want to wear your glasses! Although I tend to only wear glasses by necessity, thick frame spectacles are very on trend right now.

Here are a few tips to make your eyes (all four of them) look their best:

1. My biggest glasses woe is the smears I get when my lashes hit the lens, and I don’t even have long lashes like some of you. Lengthening mascara only will add to this problem, so try a thickening or volumizing mascara instead.

If you are a frequent glasses wearer, eyelash tinting can give you the look of mascara without the hassle, but spend the extra money and go to a trained esthetician for the treatment. Curling your eyelashes away from your eyes will make your eyes appear more open, as well as minimizing any lash to lens collisions.

eye shadow2. One reason you might not feel your best when wearing glasses are the dark shadows created by the frames themselves. Uh, I have enough shadows under my eyes without extra help, thank you very much.

3. Brighten your lids with a universally-flattering, champagne-colored eyeshadow, like the long wearing Colorstay Eye Shadow in Champagne by Revlon ($4.29).

4. Don’t skip your under eye concealer, even if it seems like that area will be covered by your frames. A light reflecting concealer, like YSL Touche Eclat will conceal and brighten to counteract the pesky shadows.

5. Don’t neglect your eye liner either. Think how expensive and dynamic a picture looks when it is double framed. If you are nearsighted and your lenses make your eyes look smaller, try lining both the top and bottom lash line with dark brown or black liner for an eye popping effect. If you are farsighted and lenses make your eyes look giant, try a light brown or white eyeliner to define your eyes without being too bold.

6. Of course, none of this matters unless you have the right lenses for your face. Choosing new glasses can be the most exciting and terrifying decision you make. They are expensive and a pain to replace and you have to see them anytime you look in the mirror.

A few tips for picking just the right frames:

  • If you have a strong prescription, the smaller the frame the thinner your lenses will appear at the edge, since lenses gain width as the curve outward. Sadly, that means the giant hipster glasses that look so cute on your friend will probably make you look like Urkel. This is advice I really, really wish I had in the fourth grade when I had bifocals that covered half my face. The good news is the giant butterflies on the side probably distracted from my coke bottle lenses.
  • Make sure your eyes are centered in each lens and that they do not fall too far below your eyebrows.
  • Pick frames that contrast your face shape. For example: If you have a round face, choose square or cat-eye frames. I found a great guide to face shape in regards to glasses at All About Vision.

I am seriously jonesing for a new pair of glasses now. I’m also having major awkward-phase PTSD as I remember the array of horrific glasses I have worn in the past. Thanks for that, Mom! I don’t care how much I wanted them, you should not have let me get pink glasses with metal butterflies…

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.”

Revive-BeautyBuzz-Bottomofpost

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

Beauty Buzz category banner

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.

bb

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.”

Revive-BeautyBuzz-Bottomofpost

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.

andi post

“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.”

Revive-BeautyBuzz-Bottomofpost