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.

Beauty Buzz: How to tame your frizzy hair, NWA moms!

By Andi Douglas

In the spring, I pull my hair up into a bun because of the wind. In the summer, I pull my hair up because it’s too hot.

I have a brief period in the fall when I straighten and curl my hair so the new teachers don’t know what a mess I am, but then I get too busy to make a hair appointment, and it goes back up in a bun.

And my excuse in the winter is the dreaded static electricity (dun-dun-dunnnn). But I have decided to take back winter! As part of my New Year’s Resolution to look less hermit-y when I leave the house, I vow to properly fix my hair at least once a week and keep it down.

My reality check came when a fairly new friend, whom I see on a regular basis, was shocked to see that I have long, naturally wavy hair when I wore my hair down last weekend. So, I am off to battle! No more unruly, static-y hair!

The phenomenon, which made for a really cool day in third grade science, occurs when the temperature drops and the air dries up. Negatively charged ions abandon your hair and leave the positive charges behind, where they resist each other, thus causing the “flyaways”. That’s about as much science as I’ve got, but your third grader can probably tell you more.

dandelion

So, now that we know why we look like a dandelion for most of winter, let’s look at ways to fight back:

Run a dryer sheet over your hair, top to bottom. Since I tend to be allergic to most scents, I have not tried this myself, but apparently the rest of the internet has with great success. If you tend to wake up with crazy static head, try rubbing a dryer sheet over your pillow before bed.

Choose an ionic blow dryer. I bought an ionic blow dryer years ago, because that was what you are supposed to do, but I had no idea of it’s purpose. Apparently, it emits negatively-charged ions that neutralize all of the positively- charged ions wreaking havoc on your hair. It also is meant to leave more moisture behind as it dries your hair to help combat static and frizz. I noticed a lot of “supposedly-s” when researching this, so I am a little skeptical, but I still leave my ion switch turned on just in case.

Spritz your hair with a leave in-conditioner or hair spray. Both work, but for different reasons. Hair spray will tame the flyaways while conditioner will add moisture to eliminate the static. Hair spray makes my dry hair brittle and gross, so I can’t wait to try the leave in conditioner as an alternative.

Use a frizz taming product on the ends of your hair. Frizz may not be an issue for you if you have fine, straight hair, but it is two sides of the same coin. An oil like Moroccanoil Frizz Control or a hair serum like John Frieda’s Frizz Ease will do the trick. If you suffer from an oily scalp and cringe at the thought of adding oil to your hair, you should be protected by sticking just to the ends, but avoid brushing your hair, because you will pick up that oil from the end of your tresses and transfer it to your roots and you will wonder why you look like you took a dip in a pool in the middle of your work day.

Speaking of brushing:

Do not use a plastic comb or brush. A metal tool is conductive and does science-y stuff to neutralize the static. By the way, I know I sound like a dingbat, but apparently all of the science I learned in school has been replaced with the knowledge of which cream is best for which diaper rash.

Choose a hat made from wool, cashmere or cotton. Hats made from synthetic fabrics will aggravate the static. Also, loose hats like berets and newsboy caps will help minimize flat hat hair once you lose your topper.

Now wish me luck! I’m having my hair done on Thursday and pledge to wear my hair down for one month. And when you see me next week with my hair in a bun, please be kind. I have good intentions and three kids.

Andi, 2014Andi Douglas loves hair and makeup products. She likes to share her finds — and tips — with us here. If you’ve got a question for her on the topic of beauty, send it to us at mamas@nwamotherlode.com. Have a beautiful day!

Beauty Buzz: Great ideas for organizing your makeup + tools!

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

My New Year’s resolutions are rapidly becoming my early spring resolutions, but I’m not giving up yet. Along with the usual lose weight, work out and eat better, I’ve determined that organizing my house is at the top of my list.

The common spaces, filled with toys and crafts and about 50 pairs of shoes, seem a little daunting to start, so my plan is to tackle my bathroom cabinet first. Unfortunately, since I haven’t slept for more than 2 hours at a time since October 2011 (thank you toddler beds and teething) my progress has stalled a little in the planning stages.

Thanks to Pinterest and Google searches, though, I am full of great ideas that I plan to implement as soon as my mom can come visit to give me a hand.

For the true makeup artist, this is a clever way to have easy access to all of your brushes. Jen from A Thousand Words used coffee beans but the filler possibilities are endless.

If counter space is an issue but you hate digging through drawers for all of your beauty, this genius magnet board seen on Laura Thoughts is a genius solution. And easy to do with an upcycled frame and old refrigerator magnets.

Okay, I know that I couldn’t achieve this impeccable DIY shelving unit whipped up by Christin at Pregnant with Power Tools on my own, but the overall look can be achieved with cheap crafting or kitchen storage. Don’t let vertical storage space go to waste!

What I like most about these practical storage solutions created by the Family Handyman is how much they remind me of something my dad would do. He can “McGuyver” anything out of zip ties, including a Topsy-tail and a cup holder for my first car.

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 at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.

*This post originally published on Motherlode in January 2012.

 

Beauty Buzz: How to rock the red lipstick

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, 2014Have a question for Andi Douglas, 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: Gift ideas from around Northwest Arkansas

By Andi Douglas, Beauty Buzz editor and mama of three

Christmas, Christmas time is here…

(Raise your hand if you sang that in the Chipmunk voice in your head.)

Anyway, this year a tiny miracle has happened and I am basically done with my Christmas shopping. Crazy, right? So, instead of running around in a panic trying to find a Magic Mixer for my daughter, I have been able to spend the two mornings a week I am childless popping into some of the fun little shops in town.

If you are not the kind of person who impulse bought so much on Black Friday that they are out of money for any other gifts (I didn’t say how I finished my shopping), here are some ideas to fill your stockings:

For the native Arkansan in your life, these darling studs from Bella’s Gifts in Springdale are only $4.95! My Christmas gift was a Silhouette Cameo, so everyone is getting homemade gifts from me this year, but I don’t want to torture my tween-age niece, so these earrings are the perfect little add-on or stand alone with one of the coordinating Arkansas necklaces.

andi earrings cropped

We are blessed with an abundance of flea markets and craft shows in our area, where local “treasure” finders and artists can showcase their wares. One of my favorite shops to pop into is Midtown Eclectic Mall in Springdale. It is just the right size for a quick stop and I always find something to buy, like these old books repurposed into art for a bookcase. They make great teachers gifts or a treat for your favorite bookworm. Pink Lilly, who you have probably seen at Rhea Lana or The NWA Boutique show, has a permanent booth here also, if you like adorable, unique, personalized kids clothes.

Andi book art

Alright, I am aware that this is a beauty column, so here you go. One of the owners of Beyond Urban, a new boutique in West Springdale (right before Tontitown), had been a faithful user of Clarins lotions ($$$$$) before discovering the Divine Skin Hydrator by Alberini International ($16). The in-shower andi divinebody moisturizer is unscented and “conditions your body like you condition your hair.”

Seriously, it must be amazing based on the dreamy look the young lady helping me adopted as she described it.

**I would like to make a special note about this sweet associate. I walked in with 6 minutes until carpool and acting like a loon. She walked me around, let me take pictures and didn’t blink an eye when I sprinted for the door with the promise to come back tomorrow because I so need that dress in the window. I was the epitome of an exaggerated cartoon mom. Bless her heart!**

Now, you can’t buy body slimming undergarments for just anyone. Maybe your sister or a BFF or your Mother-in-law…LOL, please don’t do that last one. But if you have a special bond with someone and feel comfortable with a gift that says, “You look lovely with the right amount of spandex”, then Nikibiki slimming tanks at Beyond Urban are perfect. They have a variety of colors and lengths available. Dear Santa, please bring me the means to control my fudge-belly.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the men in your life. Okay, I kind of did, but I happened upon the beautiful work of Walker Wood Works, at Beyond Urban. The local craftsman uses Ozark hardwood and reclaimed lumber to create stunning pieces for the home or office. He makes wood jewelry, too (jaw-dropping, btw) but this is supposed to be about the guys. And doesn’t your husband need a one of a kind cutting board? For the kitchen? That you can use too? I think he does! Or a cool clock? You can also find Walker’s work at The Mustache in Fayetteville and Bentonville.

Andi clock

Shopping for myself is fun, no doubt, but shopping vicariously through you guys is great because I get all the fun without the credit card hangover. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (hopefully, one without a stinky toddler foot in your face)!

Andi, 2014Andi, mom to three adorable kiddos, loves playing with makeup and hair. Lucky for us, she shares all her tips and tricks with us here on Beauty Buzz! If you have a question for Andi, send it to mamas@nwamotherlode.com.

Beauty Buzz: Help! I have dry skin and lips!

Dear Andi,

My lips are chapped, my skin is dry and itchy, and it’s only the beginning of winter! What do you recommend for these problems?

A: It seems like we went from summer to winter just like that — and the abuse our skin gets from sun exposure to the dead of winter with cold winds and heated homes is sapping every bit of moisture from our skin, with no time for recovery.

This is leading to a particularly itchy holiday season. Now is the time to get ahead of the game and prep your skin for what is predicted to be a loooong winter.

First of all, the biggest culprits for dry skin and chapped lips are not the elements bombarding you outside, but the comforts we take inside the house. Cranking up the heater sucks up all the moisture in the house, leaving none for your parched skin. 

waterSo, get ahead of your New Years resolutions and resolve now to increase your water consumption. Bonus: Having a belly full of water will help keep you from overindulging on holiday treats (at least a little…mmmm, fudge).

Also, it seems counter-intuitive, but lingering in a hot shower will make your skin drier. In theory, we should all be taking short, lukewarm showers, and that might be fine and dandy further south, but it’s cold up here in the mountains and mama needs her steam. So, to combat the moisture-zapping effect, lotion every inch as soon as you get out of the shower. Try switching to a heavy duty cream or lotion infused with shea butter, like Nivea Smooth Sensation ($7).

Gentle exfoliating several times a week is the most important step to ridding yourself of the inevitable dead skin that plagues you. We are all used to the body scrubs with little grains of sand or sugar in them, but if used too often or too aggressively, the traditional scrubs can leave tiny cuts or scratches on your skin and aggravate the problem. An alternative is chemical exfoliation. Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin uses a combination of AHA, BHA, and PHA to gently exfoliate while moisturizing.

Dry skin is especially noticeable on the gentle skin of your face that is constantly exposed to the elements. Unless you want to scare the pants off of everyone by trying to pick up your kids wearing a ski mask; I don’t recommend it.

Unfortunately, when see those patchy spots of flaky skin, the temptation to pile on lotion will only protect your skin from further damage — but it won’t actually solve the problem. You have to exfoliate. The dream would be one perfect product for every skin type across the board, but sadly, there’s no such thing.

My recommendation is to look at your favorite skin care line, whether it be Olay, Estee Lauder or Mary Kay, doesn’t matter. If your skin reacts well to it, look to the same line for either a chemical exfoliator or something gentle like jojoba beads. Finish off your routine with a lotion with sunscreen. Even though we associate sun damage with warmer weather, those UV rays haven’t gone anywhere and even reflect off of snow and clouds for a double whammy. Also, chemical exfoliators can make your skin more susceptible to burns.

aquaphorNow, to prettify your pucker! One more time: exfoliate. Yes, even your lips, but no one wants to put a yucky chemical that close to your mouth, so this is a perfect time to DIY a scrub with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a dash of honey. To repair already dry lips, gently rub your yummy scrub in circles on your lips. Once repaired, prevent any more flakes by keeping a protective product on your lips at all time.

My kids and I like the flavor free Aquaphor and the silicone like substance is great for protection and repair. It is also great for chapped ears or a red nose. If you want a little color, Baby Lips by Maybelline comes in several different hues and isn’t sticky or flavored like some glosses. I cannot resist licking my lips if I wear anything flavored..like a 3 year old…it’s a real problem.

Okay, now that I have been sitting here itching the entire time I wrote this, whether it is psychosomatic or my own neglectful skin care, I’m going to go douse myself with body balm and curl up with a cup of cocoa…or wine. We’ll see how smoothly bed-time goes.

Happy Thanksgiving, my Lovely Ladies!

Andi, 2014Andi, mom to three adorable kiddos, loves playing with makeup and hair. Lucky for us, she shares all her tips and tricks with us here on Beauty Buzz! If you have a question for Andi, send it to mamas@nwamotherlode.com.

 

Beauty Buzz: Best products for whitening teeth?

Dear Andi,

What’s the best toothpaste to quickly and safely whiten teeth?

A: Let me review my morning schedule: wake up, wake three more little people up, dress self in fresh sweatpants, dress three more little people, put on kids shoes, put them on again because someone took them off for no reason, brush everyone’s hair and construct two perfect ponytails, redo my messy bun, spend 30 seconds brushing teeth and run for the door.

Nope, no room for a leisurely teeth whitening treatment while I apply my makeup and  catch up on correspondence (and this is a seriously Reader’s Digest version of what has to get done everyday).

But I do always squeeze in brushing my teeth, every single day, mostly so I don’t have to hear a super honest 5-year-old tell me my breath is stinky. Thanks, kid. And I spend more time before bed because brushing for two minutes straight and flossing is as close to a spa treatment as I’m getting anytime soon.

Alas, my teeth continue to yellow with age, especially compared to those brand new dazzlers of my little darlings.

For busy moms, I recommend  whitening toothpastes. They really do make a difference as a daily maintenance routine to brighten your smile and help keep them from continuing to yellow.

arm and hammerOne of the most popular and effective brands is Arm & Hammer Advanced Whitening Toothpaste. Although it does contain a small amount of peroxide, the baking soda is the magic ingredient.

If the idea of chemicals, like peroxide, concern you, Tom’s of Maine Clean Mint Simply White Toothpaste, is an effective, all-natural toothpaste that uses silica, an ingredient derived from sand, as a surface stain eraser. No worries, the paste is smooth, not gritty.

Some people are prone to sensitive teeth. This can be genetic or brought on by habit, but no matter how gentle your whitening toothpaste is, it may increase your sensitivity. Try Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste to not only whiten but protect your teeth against future enamel wear.

If you were wanting a drastic and immediate change, like say for upcoming holiday card photos, an at-home whitening treatment is the way to go, whereas toothpaste is better for maintenance and a gradual whitening.

The pricey kits and seemingly endless options can be a little daunting when you are in a rush at the store. But at-home teeth whitening has come a long way and is not as scary as when it first hit the market.

 As long as you follow the directions and times on the package, home whitening kits are very safe. On that note, SET A TIMER. Set two timers. Appoint a Time Captain to watch the clock for you. Do what you gotta do to remember to remove the solution at the right time. A prolonged treatment isn’t necessarily dangerous, but can cause sensitive gums and teeth for a couple of weeks.

And no one wants to end up like Ross in “The One With Ross’ Teeth”. And now I can’t stop laughing when I picture it.

ross white teeth

whitening traysAnyway, every six months or so, invest a little time and money and do a full whitening treatment. Aquafresh White Trays have a prefilled, flexible tray that is user friendly and particularly effective on stains between your teeth.

I, personally, cannot make myself use the trays even though they are supposed to be great. I must have PTSD from wearing braces or something but I fear them like my kids fear green vegetables.

Rembrandt Advanced Whitening Strips take a few more days but also have noticeable results in only a few days and are not slimy feeling like other brands of strips.

Now you should be able to post tons of awesome holiday selfies without having to use a questionable Instagram filter to disguise your not-quite-pearly whites. So long, Sepia!

Hello, #nofilter. (Did I do that right? Am I like the cool kids now?)

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

Beauty Buzz: What makes you feel beautiful?

wordswag beautiful

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

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

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

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

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

Lindsay: I feel beautiful when I’m running.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

makeuptrendsBy Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few of the NYFW trends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: 10 Common Make-up Mistakes with Foundation

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Clumpy foundation?

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: I’m too young for wrinkles!

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.com

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what’s a mom to do?

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: One mom’s take on nail art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Help! My eyelashes are breaking off!

beauty buzz, nwaMotherlode.com

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: How to be gorgeous through pollen season

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

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

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

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

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

If your main complaint is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: How to scale back your makeup routine

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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