Beauty Buzz: Serums that are popular, but also affordable

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of three beautiful kids

How’s everyone doing on their New Year’s resolutions?

I’m doing pretty well, transitioning my family to cleaner eating, meal planning and cooking at home every night…I’ve only made 2 new recipes that were inedible, yay!

Then I have the resolutions that literally never even got started, like waking up earlier in the mornings. Unconscious Andi is not a big fan of change and likes the excitement of getting 3 kids dressed and lunches packed in 20 minutes. Man, what a rush!

But I do have one change that I am making steady progress on and that is improving my skin care and beauty routine. Some things I have known about for years and just ignored, but others still elude me and I am determined to break the code. 

So, I’m going to be hitting you with a little Beauty 101, starting with the mysterious serums. I’m sure that the women who are in their 60s and still look 30 have known about serums for years, but this is a new step for me.

Serums are a highly concentrated delivery system for formulas targeting a specific problem. Applied after toner, but before moisturizer, a serum can penetrate deeper for better results because it does not contain the heavy ingredients found in lotions. With this in mind, a serum does not replace your moisturizer, even if it has moisturizing benefits. Also, since it is so concentrated, a little goes a long way and only needs to be used once a day, preferably in the morning before your makeup.

Shopping for different serums can be daunting…they can be very expensive and the options seem almost endless. Look for a product that contains antioxidants, like vitamin C, anti-inflammatories, like zinc or aloe vera (this will help neutralize redness), and hydrators like amino acid. Stores like Sephora will usually offer you  sample to try, but their product lines will run toward the more expensive end. Reading online reviews on Amazon, Ulta and Sephora’s websites will definitely give you an idea of a product’s effectiveness.

Just be aware that some serums can be irritating for women with rosacea or eczema, or used in conjunction with a nighttime retinol product, so if a reviewer seems to have an isolated adverse reaction try digging a little deeper.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw you out into the world with this vague idea of what to buy. Here’s a list of popular serums that won’t break the bank:

No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum

serumMy sister uses this affordable line of skin care from Target and loves it. This serum will battle fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles in one serum.

Pixi by Petra Hydrating Milk Serum

This nourishing serum combines rosehip oil and vitamins to plump up your complexion for a firmer, more radiant appearance.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum

Neutrogena is a staple in the beauty world and this retinol filled anti-aging treatment is no exception to its stellar reputation for being both effective and affordable.

Luminositie Skin Care Nourish and Repair Eye Serum

lumonositieBecause the skin under our eyes is the first to start thinning and dark circles are like the Girl Scout badge of motherhood, sometimes you want a more targeted product. Luminosities serum will banish dark circles, fine lines and puffiness.

Philosophy No Reason To Hide Total Tone Correcting Serum

That is a long name because this budget buster packs quite a punch. It will soothe and minimize redness, shrink the appearance of pores and “interrupt the life cycle of dark spots.” I’m not sure what that entails but it sounds amazing!

Unfortunately, I am not able to try every one of these amazing products myself because, first of all, I have sadly not won the lottery, but also, because I am allergic to propylene glycol (and byproducts) which is in everything.

I seriously teared up in Target when I realized I couldn’t get the No7 serum and I go cross-eyed reading ingredient labels every time I need a new product. So if anyone has a tried and true serum you can’t live without, please drop me a note in the comments. Happy Tuesday, Mamas!!!

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

Giveaway: $100 Shopping Spree at The Cannery Market

Happy Monday, mamas! This is the time of year we get the itch to do something new to the house. Maybe it’s the winter blahs that make us want to get organized, paint a few walls, or find a new favorite piece of furniture we can’t wait to bring home.

So this week we’re going to indulge that urge to get something new for the New Year by sending one of you to our favorite place to shop for one-of-a-kind furniture, home decor, gifts and antiques — The Cannery Market in Bentonville. The winner will enjoy a $100 shopping spree! (We love free shopping money!)cannery market sign1

If you haven’t seen The Cannery Market yet, you’re missing out on one of the coolest vintage shops in NWA. We know the owner, Jennifer Hansen, personally and there’s no one better at finding those amazing, high-quality pieces that only get better and more interesting with time. These are the kinds of pieces (old and new) that tell their own story and make a room feel special. As Jennifer puts it, the shop “specializes in uniques.”

Jennifer and her husband source almost everything in the store (it’s not a flea market). This means they’re constantly refreshing the store’s inventory with carefully curated and beautifully staged pieces at great prices. Each time you shop there, it’s a new adventure. If you’re looking for inspiration, wander through and get ideas from how she’s staged each room. (They do offer design services, too.)

If you like affordable, unique pieces you don’t see at chain stores, this is your kind of place. There’s nothing “cookie cutter” about it. (Follow The Cannery Market on Facebook and Instagram to see some of the newest arrivals. Just be aware that things can sell FAST once they’re seen online so you’ve got to pounce on them quickly.)

To see all the awesome in person, swing by the shop Wednesday — Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4:30 p.m. (Cannery Market is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.) Call Jennifer at 225-1808 if you’re hunting for something specific. 

Here are a few of Jennifer’s favorite pieces that came through The Cannery Market doors during the past year. Scroll down to see how to throw your name in the shopping spree giveaway drawing.

IMG_2877We had a big crush on this distressed, white Ethan Allen bench. Classic, timeless, lovely.

IMG_2880Each piece is interesting alone and together they are stunning.

IMG_2878As self-confessed “word nerds,” we’re loving this original Underwood Typewriter case, which was re-purposed as a side table on casters. Genius!

cannery1How many places have things like a vintage, four-pane window? Special find.

 HOW TO ENTER: To throw your name in the online hat to win the $100 Shopping Spree at The Cannery Market, click the word “comment” located right under the headline of this post. Then scroll down and add your comment by telling us what you’d love to find at The Cannery Market OR what piece shown here is your favorite. (Winners are always chosen at random.)

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emailINCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

You can also earn extra chances to win by being one of our newsletter readers. Newsletter subscribers get free access to the good stuff, including exclusive giveaways (like this one), information about local events, local mom interviews, recipes and more.

The nwaMotherlode newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything awesome. CLICK HERE to sign up. We won’t fill your inbox with info, no worries. We only send out newsletters when there’s something in it for you — and we know you’ll be interested in hearing about it.

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Instagram. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

For more info about The Cannery Market, click HERE to visit the shop on Facebook. Watch your inbox because we’ll notify the winner via email by Friday.

 

Giveaway: Tickets to a funny kids’ show at Walton Arts Center

The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket

Well, it’s Monday again, mamas. How was your weekend? We hope it was good, but it not, we’ve got your cure: A ticket giveaway to see the awesome kids’ show The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket!

We’re giving away 4 tickets for the show at Walton Arts Center on Saturday Feb. 18th. Woo-hoo!

ABOUT THE SHOW:

Henry and Bucket are best pals, although sometimes you wouldn’t think so! Like all good friends they have their ups and downs, their battles and reconciliations, their shared adventures and, at times, a need for their own space. But as long as these two friends are together, transforming their rusty, dusty, battered and bockety world of discarded objects into a place of wonder, their adventures can take them anywhere. Lots of visual humor for the kids :)  This show explores what friendship is, what happens if it goes wrong, and how you can fix it.

What’s it like in the Bockety World? Here’s a little video:

HOW TO ENTER: If you’d love to win these tickets to see The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket at Walton Arts Center, click on the word “comments” (right under the headline of this post) and scroll down to the bottom of the comments posted by other moms.

Then write a quick comment telling us — in honor of Henry and Bucket — your best friendship advice. What’s your surefire secret to making a new friend — or keeping one for years and years? If you can’t think of any advice, just tell us which qualities you love most in a friend :)

You can also email your answer to us at giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com.

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emailINCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING: Help us spread the word about this giveaway by emailing your friends and family about the giveaway. We’ll give you an extra chance to win for every person you tell. Just be sure to put giveaways@nwaMotherlode.com on the CC line of your note so we can give you proper credit.

Our newsletter subscribers get access to the good stuff, including exclusive giveaways (like this one), information about local events, local mom interviews, recipes and more.

The nwaMotherlode newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything awesome. CLICK HERE to sign up. We won’t fill your inbox with info, no worries. We only send out newsletters when there’s something in it for you — and we know you’ll be interested in hearing about it.

BE SOCIAL: You can also earn extra chances to win by commenting on our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or following us on Instagram. If you do any of those, just mention it in your comment or email so we can give you proper credit.

We’ll choose the winner on Friday! If you want to go ahead and grab tickets to this show, CLICK HERE to visit the Walton Arts Center page with more details and ticket prices. There are two shows on Feb. 18th and tickets are only $8!

The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket

Devotion in Motion: Enjoy this time

12 ¶ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  Psalm 90:12 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Twenty-eight years ago I became a public school teacher. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my father at that time, as I was extolling the benefits of working in the field of education. “It really has a lot of benefits, Dad. I can retire after only 25 years.”

My father was a man of few words. If he said anything at all, his words would invariably be important, true, or humorous (or some combination of the three.) I’ve always remembered his reply to me: “Boy, you’re going to be amazed. Those years are going to go by quickly.”

clockAs I look back on the past decades, I can tell you with certainty that never have truer words been spoken. The years have passed by in a blur. Over the past 28 years, I’ve gone from being a father with tiny babies to man who is awaiting the birth of his first grand-baby in nine short weeks. And, yes, this week I filled out my retirement papers with the Mississippi Public Educators Retirement System. Where does the time go?

So, this morning, I just want to give a little advice and encouragement to all of you who are still in the process of raising babies, toddlers, school kids, or teenagers. First of all, realize that they are going to grow up fast. You can’t stop time, but you can slow yourself down long enough to be thankful for the blessings of each day as you are raising your family.

As I look back, I don’t have a lot of regrets about this; I believe that (for the most part) I’ve consciously had fun with the blessings I’ve been given as Susan and I have raised our sons together. And I want to encourage you with something I’ve witnessed throughout my lifetime. God is present and faithful every step of the way. There is happiness and blessing available at every stage in our lives—from childhood to old age. You just have to down enough to look for the Lord’s presence and His gifts.

So, take a little more time this week to truly see what God has done for you, and do your best to “live in the moment.” Take time to enjoy your babies and the blessings of these good years—whatever stage of life you’re in.  After all, they’re going to go by quickly.

rp_john-l-cash-212x300.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 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 rain this week is catching us up from the drought.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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The Rockwood Files: Digital memory lane

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

If you’re on Facebook or save digital pictures online, you probably get the same emails I do – the ones that show photo memories taken on the same calendar date several years ago.

Last week I got an email with photos of our youngest when she was only 3-years-old. She was outside playing in one of her first big snowfalls. There’s a picture of her bundled up in a puffy pink coat with a fur-trimmed hood, beaming at the camera with her bright blue eyes and cheeks tinged pink from cold. She was lying down in the snow while her dad moved her arms and legs to teach her the correct snow angel technique.

kate snow collageThe only thing I don’t like about these emailed photo memories is the realization of how quickly things are changing. That bundle of pink from seven years ago is now a tall 10-year-old who has decided that pink is far too “little girl” for her these days. If I tried to carry her on my hip like I used to, her long thin legs would dangle down past my knees.

Meanwhile, her two older brothers have gone from toddlers to teenagers in what feels like no time. The pitter patter of their little feet has morphed into something that sounds more like a herd of horses tromping through the house. When the teen horses gallop into my kitchen, they turn into hungry hippos, plowing through pizza rolls and chicken nuggets like a handful of Skittles.

hamburgers-575655_640 (2)They eat so many burgers that the Chick-fil-A cows have filed a restraining order against them. At this point, I’d guess our sons have a body composition that’s roughly 97 percent burger, 2 percent pizza rolls and 1 percent sarcasm.

For a long time, I consoled myself that at least I was still bigger than them, but now even that claim is gone. At 5 foot 8, I’m taller than the average woman but my 15-year-old passed that mark last year. He enjoyed his vertical achievement far too much for my taste. It’s hard to be authoritative when the person you’re lecturing can pat you on top of the head and call you a “good little mommy.”

Of course, the kids aren’t the only ones changing. It’s happening to Tom and me, too. When I see those photo memories Facebook keeps delivering, there’s no denying what our 40′s are doing to us. We’re grayer and slightly squishier than we used to be.

A few months ago, Tom and I went out for date night to try a new hot spot downtown. We sat in the bar area of the bustling restaurant so we could feel as cool as the twenty-something hipsters surrounding us. We ordered drinks and toasted to our Friday night freedom. But then Tom couldn’t read the fine print on the dinner menu. He asked if I had any reading glasses in my purse, so I dug out the only pair I had and handed them over. The glasses have red frames and a delicate floral pattern adorning each side.

There he sat, the love of my life, all dressed up for date night and wearing old lady glasses. It didn’t bother him in the least. You know why? We’re officially too old to care, which I suppose is a good thing. Nonetheless, I now carry a pair of his silver reading glasses in my purse. It helps preserve whatever scraps of our youth we have left.

Our new dependence on reading glasses makes me wonder if teenagers throughout the centuries have been getting away with things simply because their middle-age parents can’t see what they’re up to – literally.

So far, our tweens and teens are taking it easy on us. And we need them now more than ever because they’re great at reading small print, fixing the Wi-Fi, and eating leftover pizza. Although their childhood seems to be racing by, there’s real joy in watching them become the adults they’ll one day be.

And thanks to all the photo memories bouncing around in the digital “cloud,” those precious baby days and snow angels will still come back to me – one email at a time.

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.

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