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!

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Get rid of these happiness killers

At the end of the day, what most of us want (for ourselves and for our families) is to be happy. But sometimes bad mental habits can get in the way of the sad facehappiness we should be feeling.

Recently on our Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio segment (which airs at 7:45 a.m. weekdays on Magic 107.9) we discussed a Time magazine article that outlined what those bad mental habits are and how to get rid of them to boost our overall happiness level.

Click the play arrows on the audio bars below to hear more about the habits you can kick to the curb this week. Come on get happy!

Happiness killers: Slouching; Taking too many photos

Happiness killers: Workplace bullies; Lack of exercise

Happiness killers: Procrastination; Toxic relationships

Happiness killers: Taking yourself too seriously; Not getting enough sleep

Happiness killers: Never being alone: Not talking face to face

Devotion in Motion: For your hard days

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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

I’m writing this devotion on Tuesday, and I feel one thousand times better than I did yesterday. That’s because most preachers feel terrible on Monday. On Mondays I typically find myself fighting fatigue and a dark mood. Yesterday I told people the same thing that I always say on Monday: “I’ll feel better monday-and-coffee1tomorrow, when Tuesday gets here, just by virtue of the fact that it won’t be Monday.”

I’ve asked a lot of pastors for their opinions, and the consensus is pretty much unanimous. Monday is a hard day for preachers. My brother-in-law, Dr. Ron M. Buck, told me when I entered the ministry that he thought a minister should take a different day besides Monday for his day off, because Monday is pretty much shot anyway.

I asked Bro. C. E. Wall, one of my mentors who’s nearing the age of 80, what he thought of the situation. He told me that for many years he preached twice each Sunday and then went to work at the Highway Department bright and early Monday morning. He summed it up simply: “Oh, John, Mondays were rough. Tuesdays were always better, but Mondays were rough.”

I’m not sure why Mondays are so hard for preachers, but I have some theories. Most preachers work really hard on Sundays and are really happy on the Lord’s Day. As so often is the case, an emotional high is followed by an emotional low. Sometimes we get so wound up that it’s hard to get to sleep Sunday night.

I like my friend Bro. Archie Taflinger’s idea the best. He believes that sometimes we probably don’t take care of ourselves the way we should on the other six days of the week. He says that when we preach on Sundays, the Holy Spirit works in us and through us. God is so much stronger than we are that our frail bodies are overworked by His presence. I think there’s more than a grain of truth in his explanation.

Everybody has a hard day now and again, and I think that’s especially true for mothers. God has placed mothers in a ministry that never ends and that never has a day off. Yet, one thing I have learned is absolutely true. When you’re tired and blue, it’s important not to focus on the way that you FEEL but on what you KNOW to be true.

We walk by faith and not by sight. We are saved by our faith, not by our feelings. The promises that God told us in the light are still true in our darkness. And Jesus’ last promise to His children before He ascended into Heaven is this:“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So, dear mother, take heart. The light of Jesus is always with you, even on the cloudiest Monday. And Tuesday always comes again, right in God’s perfect timing.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the preacher and his wife are on their way to visit kinfolks.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Married to a frequent flyer

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

Well, that was a first. I just finished a conversation with my husband and there was 30,000 feet of vertical space between us at the time. Using the plane’s Wi-Fi connection – which they charge you for, of course – he texted me from a flight headed for… somewhere. He probably told me, but I’ve already forgotten. Chicago? D.C.? It might be one of those. At some point all the itineraries start to blur together.

Lately his job has him winging his way around the country pretty often, which has forced us to adjust to a new normal at our house. We’re getting used to american-airlines-planeseeing luggage by the door, and the kids know that although the end of the day might not bring Dad home, the end of the work week will.

When the kids were babies and toddlers, I thought Tom was lucky to go on trips. Business dinners with no chicken nuggets. Hotel rooms with housekeeping. Plenty of adult conversations. And a chance to temporarily escape the daily dirty diapers and the sibling arguments about who’s a “stupid head.” What’s not to like, right?

But now that the kids are older and I’m no longer supervising everyone’s bodily functions, it’s easier to run the family headquarters alone when Tom has to be away. But that doesn’t mean I like it. (Okay, truth be told, I kind of like it the first night he’s away because I get to watch whatever cheesy, dumb romantic comedy I want without hearing a single complaint or tolerating his eye-rolling. But after that first night of complete remote control domination, I start to miss him. His absence makes the week drag by, and my nerves seem to fray more easily.) Parenting just works better as a tag team sport.

Though I used to envy those business trips, I now often feel sorry for him as he packs up for yet another trip. Though I don’t travel extensively, the trips I’ve had through airports in the past few years have felt more like a cattle drive, only not as glamorous. (After all, cows are never badgered about the size of their carry-on luggage, and they don’t have to put their tiny shampoo bottles in Ziploc bags. Lucky bovines.)

For the most part, business trips require rushing, waiting and logistical juggling, not to mention the patience to endure a drastic reduction in your personal space while you and hundreds of strangers are crammed into increasingly tight spaces. (At least a cattle drive happens on the wide open range.) I’ll pass on the cute packets of airplane peanuts if it means I don’t have to shuffle and shimmy down a crowded airplane aisle and then lunge toward the last scrap of overhead bin space. I’d much rather sprawl out on the sofa at home and watch reruns of dumb romantic comedies. But maybe that’s just me.

Of course, there are plenty of great reasons to travel – reasons that make the not-so-pleasant parts of getting there more than worth it. Seeing the ocean for the first (or tenth) time; hugging family members who live several states away; tasting pineapple on the beaches of Hawaii – all great reasons. But schlepping through airports and nondescript hotel rooms to see the inside of yet another conference room is not nearly as exciting as it might seem on the surface.

So to my sometimes travel-weary beloved, and to all of those who earn a living while earning frequent flyer miles (even when they’d rather be home), you have my admiration and my sympathy, too. May your free upgrades to first class be frequent. May your headphones be noise-cancelling. And may you safely come home again soon.

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.