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?

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Make-up 911

MakeUp911colorful (3)By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Photo via Elefanterosado via Flickr

Beauty Buzz: Excessive sweating — cause and treatments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Hair above my upper lip

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Sunless tanning tips you need to try

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

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

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

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

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

Here are some tips:

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

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

Now, it’s time to pick a product.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty Buzz: Curing the Dry Skin Dilemma

By Dr. Cheryl Hull, owner of Hull Dermatology 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 beauty

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor

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

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

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

Pick a color theme that works for everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Andi,

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

Dear Fun Aunt,

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

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

bbuzz 4

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

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

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

bbuzz

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

bbuzz collage

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

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

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

Dear Andi,

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

Dear reader,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cat eye

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving, mamas!

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

Beauty Buzz: Red hot lips

Dear Andi,

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

Dear Red,

origins lipstickFirst 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.

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 longwearing 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 lipliner. 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!

AndiHave 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: Low-key looks for mama on Halloween

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

I’ve never been a big Halloween fan and put minimal effort into past costume attempts, the most recent being at least ten years ago. But, now that I’m responsible for planning my kids’ costumes, I find myself wanting to join in the fun.

Does that mean I’m going to go all Kiss and don full face paint? Uh, no. But these Halloween-inspired beauty tips are just the right amount of whimsy for a mom who still has a PTA meeting or a 9-5 to attend.

halloween eyesThis thought process was kick started when I saw this stunning eye makeup tutorial (above) from thebeautydepartment.com. (Click here to see the entire tutorial.) I love using different colored eyeliners and already have a purple and the necessary shades of shadow in my random sample/freebie stash.

I am a big fan of NYC or Rimmel makeup for these one-time-use makeup needs and you may even discover a perfect shade that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

If you are a fan of nail art, a candy corn inspired manicure is a yummy way to show some spirit. The tutorial for this manicure (below) was found on Pinterest of course, and made this seem doable, or even easy to an experienced nail artist. (Click here to see the tutorial over at the original source, thebeautydepartment.)

Halloween nails cropped

Still, seems daunting? Try alternating solid color nails for a similar feel.

If a true costume look is what you need, never underestimate a washable marker. I used this last year when my 3 year old daughter decided she wanted to be daddy for her Halloween party at school. A markered-on goatee and some of her brother’s razorback gear and she was ready to go.

The good news: when she decided to be a cat that night, all I needed was a diaper wipe and a black marker and, bam, instant kitty. It was so much easier to both apply and clean off than face paint, it was a perfect choice for a finicky preschooler.

Now, check out some of the many and varied events going on in NWA to show off your fab look and have a Spook-tacular Halloween! Sorry, was my lame pun too scary for you?

Andi Andi loves playing with makeup and answering questions about makeup. If you have a question for her, email it to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Beauty Buzz: BB cream?

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

BB creams?

What on earth could that mean? If you have noticed this buzz word (phrase?) popping up in beauty mags, you are probably curious as to what this actually means and the benefits of shelling out the extra dough.

I, personally, thought it referred to a spherical BB, as in “you’ll shoot you’re eye out”, and figured it was just another gimmick.

But, I dug a little deeper and think I may have found the key to my lazy-girl beauty routine.

BB stands for beauty balm, which translates to a rich, moisturizing, multitasking cream.

The common denominator to most of the creams is a moisturizer with SPF protection, but depending on the formula you choose, your BB cream can also fight acne, smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture and even add a light tint. All that on one easy step…sold! Take my money, please!

GarnierAh, speaking of money…like most beauty breakthroughs, the BB craze started at the top of the makeup counter food chain and trickled its way down to my beloved drugstore aisles.

Here are two top choices, great for everyday wear and special occasions:

Garnier Skin Naturals Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-in-One BB Cream smells delicious (always a bonus) and leaves skin with a natural looking glow and evens skin tone and texture. ($12, Walmart)

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 40 can be worn with or without foundation and is available in four different shades, making it easy to match to almost any skin tone. ($39,Sephora.com)

Just like any new beauty trend, eventually every brand will have its own version, so your choices will have a plethora of choices to match your skin type or needs.

At my tiny Neighborhood Market I saw 4 different Garnier formulas of BB cream with varying shades, which prompted my little research product. Anything that saves me a few steps and gives me more pillow time sounds okay by me.

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: Transitioning makeup from brunette to blonde

Dear Andi,

I recently went from a brunette to a blonde. My makeup looks too dark now. Any advice on what colors I should be wearing now that I have lighter hair?

Dear Blondie,

blondeI love to change my hair color, mostly from dark brown to honey blonde highlights, but I’ve also experimented with red, maroon (thanks Toni and Guy) and an ill-advised hot pink. There was a time in my life that I had to wear a hat every time I saw my grandmother!

It was during the maroon fiasco that I broke down because it couldn’t be re-dyed for at least a month and the harsh color made me look like a ghost.

Thankfully, my mom intervened and took me to get all new makeup, including foundation, which I’d never needed before. That is when I learned my first lesson on changing your makeup when you change your hair color.

Since your foundation should blend as close to your natural skin tone as possible, you shouldn’t need to replace the pricey base coat. However, anything you use to add color will probably need to be changed.

When you go lighter, shift your colors into neutral tones.

Pale pink blush and a nude lip-gloss will give you the fresh face associated with blondes. On your eyes, apply a beige shade from lashes to brow and highlight your crease with a shimmery peach. For me, I have trouble lightening my eyeliner all the way to the recommended light brown or taupe because I just feel naked without my black eyeliner, so I’ve found dark blues, greens and purple give me a softer look while still defining my eyes.

For your eyebrows, remember that they are naturally supposed to be a couple of shades darker than your hair, so you probably won’t need to dye them. Simply changing your brow pencil from dark brown to the taupe intended for blondes can close the gap between shades.

BrunetteIf you go dark, you may need to add a little more color back to your skin with a bronzer and deep pink blush.

Dark hair pairs well with dramatic eyes (Yeah, black eyeliner!) and red lips. Think The Kardashians vs. Lauren Conrad, pretty much exact opposite but both beautiful.

And not to ignore the gingers out there, these rules also apply when you vary between different shades of red, like strawberry blond to deep auburn. If you are trying red for the first time, shades of dewy apricot for the cheeks and lips paired with sheer green eye shadow (or my new fav, dark green eyeliner) will give a warm glow to match the warmth behind your new fiery red mane.

Now that the kids are out of the house, maybe you have the time to hit the salon and try out a new color.

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: Advice for concealing a scar for family pics

Dear Andi,

How should I cover my scar for upcoming family photos?

Some people look at their scars as a badge of honor, but I see the scar on my chin as an embarrassing reminder of sub-par roller skating skills, so I understand the desire to minimize the appearance of a scar.

medermaUnfortunately, no scar can be completely erased but you can minimize the appearance by applying a daily scar reducing treatment, like Mederma scar cream plus SPF 30. I like the combo cream because plastic surgeons recommend protecting your scar from the sun to keep it from darkening. The cream will also help soften the texture if the scar which will make it easier to cover over time.

Place a liquid concealer over your scar and gently blend it into your scar. Resist the temptation to glob it on if you need more coverage, just keeping blending it in by thin layers.

Blend your foundation into the concealer using your fingertips, a sponge or a foundation brush (my favorite). For a particularly dark scar try Dermacolor Skin Camouflage, a professional grade foundation system, available on Amazon for around $27.

Finally, dust a light coat of powder over your foundation to set your makeup and make the scar less shiny. This will especially help in photographs.

Most of all, remember that your scar is more obvious to you than anyone else and they will only be looking at your beautiful smile.

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: 10 Make-Up Missteps

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode beauty editor and mama of 3

remix (4)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.

foundationYou 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 forgot 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: How to deal with rosacea

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

remix (4)Most of you have probably seen rosacea, whether you knew exactly what it was or not. It’s a common skin disease that frequently begins as a tendency to flush or blush easily.

With time, rosacea progresses and develops into persistent redness in the center of the face. The redness is caused by tiny, unstable blood vessels that open easily. People with rosacea can also develop acne-like bumps that express clear fluid.

About 50% of rosacea patients develop symptoms involving the eyes that are often described as a burning, stinging, or gritty-type of sensation. Left untreated, this can lead to serious eye complications. In more advanced cases of rosacea, people, especially men, experience thickening of their nose by enlarged oil glands.

Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic condition, and several different factors can make it flare. To effectively treat rosacea, it’s important to have an individualized plan for each patient and to include advice on how to avoid the triggers.

Here are some tips I advise my patients on:

1. Practice good sun protection. Sun exposure seems to be the most common trigger. Seek shade when possible, limit exposure to sunlight, wear protective clothing, and use non-irritating broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.

2. Avoid certain foods and drinks. Spicy foods, hot drinks, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages are common rosacea triggers.

3. Protect your skin from extreme hot and cold temperatures. These can exacerbate rosacea. Exercise in a cool environment. Don’t overheat. Protect your face from cold and wind with a non-irritating scarf or ski mask.

4. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging your face.

5. Avoid cosmetics and skin care products that contain alcohol or other irritating substances. Use hair sprays properly, avoiding contact with facial skin.

6. Keep your skin care routine simple. Fewer products are better.

7. Note flushing episodes. The above are common triggers, but what causes rosacea to flare in one person may not trigger it in another.

In addition to advising patients on the above tips, there are prescription medications, both topicals and pills, that are prescribed for patients in combination with the above recommendations. These treatments are effective, but improvement can take time. To treat the broken blood vessels and persistent redness, we commonly use laser treatments.

For more info on rosacea or any other dermatology-related issue, contact Dr. Hull by calling her office at 479-254-9662. For more info, click here to visit the Hull Dermatology website.

Beauty Buzz: Yummy foods for glowing skin

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor

remix (4)Recently, I discovered a list of yummy foods that will help me get glowing skin while stuffing my face.

The experts at www.lifescript.com published a list of 10 complexion-boosting foods that actually sound good. I was expecting suggestions like water (duh) and spoonfuls of olive oil and instead found a list of do-able goodies and useful recipes.

Face Food #1: Avocados
Even though I will not be indulging in this creamy fruit (I claim to be allergic), it is full of essential oils and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin, inside and out.

“Niacin (vitamin B3) is especially important for healthy skin, and avocados contain lots of it. Niacin, an anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated skin and red, blotchy skin. One avocado has 3.8 mg niacin – 27% of your daily need,” according to LifeScript contributor Jennifer Gruenemay.

In addition to your tried and true avocado recipes try blending half an avocado with yogurt and frozen berries to make a creamy, nutty-flavored morning smoothie.

bagFace Food #2: Mangoes
Another great smoothie ingredient, mangoes have more than 80% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, which maintains and repairs skin cells. Also, as an antioxidant, vitamin A fights free radical damage that can prematurely age the skin.

Face Food #3: Almonds
I keep a baggie of almonds in the car, for when hunger strikes, to keep myself from pilfering the kids fruit snacks, but I had no idea they provided 150% of my daily need for vitamin E. Vitamin E’s rich oils moisturize dry skin, and its antioxidants protect against skin damage and premature aging.

Face Food #4: Cottage Cheese
This is one food I have avoided in the past, due to an aversion to funky textures, but I am determined to give it another try. The selenium in cottage cheese teams up with vitamin E as a powerful free radical-fighting antioxidant duo. Plus, it’ll protect against skin cancer (WOW!) and fight dandruff, a major cold weather problem for me.

Face Food #5: Acerola Cherries
Since cold weather is death to this delicious fruit, you may have to save this tip for warmer temps or stick to a dried version, but it will be worth the wait. One of these cherries supplies 100% of your daily allowance for vitamin C, which is a boost for your skin and health.

Let me know if you find any Acerola, also known as Barbados or Cereza cherries, because I am dying to try out this recipe from Lifescript: Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

Face Food #6: Oysters
You either love ‘em or hate ‘em, but regardless of how you feel, your skin will thank you for the zinc filled delicacy. They fight pimples because they’re rich in zinc. The zinc fights pimples (no more adult acne, please) and boosts elastin with the help of vitamin C.

Face Food #7: Baked Potatoes
Need more elastin? Eat one baked potato (with the skin) to get 75% of your daily copper need, which works with vitamin C and zinc to give you tighter skin.

mushroomFace Food #8: Mushrooms
There are a hundred ways to add this fungus to your daily menu. It’s rich in Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps in tissue maintenance and repair, and especially beneficial if you suffer from rosacea.

Face Food #9: Flaxseed Oil
I know a lot of mom’s who use this additive to enhance their kids PB&J, but I don’t think many have thought of the benefits to themselves. It’s the omega 3s that benefit your skin, and flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of this essential fatty acid. Just one teaspoon per day will hydrate your skin and help unclog pores that lead to unwanted blemishes.

Face Food #10: Wheat Germ
Another sneaky mom trick that we should be using on ourselves: wheat germ is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that’s crucial to skin health. Without enough biotin you will fall victim to itchy, dry skin.

Sprinkle wheat germ on yogurt for a tasty way to get more biotin in your diet.

Or try these Apricot-Wheat Germ Muffins.

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: How to go makeup-less this summer

Dear Andi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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