Jul 312020
 

A new word has entered our lexicon, maskne, or acne from wearing a maskWith the advent of having to or choosing to wear masks in public, a new word has entered our lexicon. . . maskne. This, of course, is acne due to the wearing of a mask. If you have acne-prone skin, anything disturbing it will tend to cause breakouts. But even those not normally prone to acne are seeing zits, inflammation and redness due to the conditions created by wearing a mask. Our facial skin is used to being out in the open. And, by the way, this is NOT a should you or should you not wear a mask. This is a better way to help maskne.

Standard Stuff

You can always use the standard OTC acne treatments. These things are chemical farms, though, and I’ve had enough of that stuff on my skin to last three lifetimes. But, again, many of them DO work and, if it’s your only option, you may want to try it. CAUTION: If you are over the age of 20, please do NOT use Clearasil. It’s made for super oily teen skins and will turn you into the Sahara Desert unless your face is normally an oil slick. There is a better way to help maskne.

My New Way Begins With Lavender

So now we get to my favorite method, essential oils. Do they help? Research says yes. And one of the words I use most often in my oily adventure is LAVENDER. I think if I only had one bottle of essential oil it would have to be lavender although I’m not a big fan of the smell. (Getting more used to it, though.) I put it on my itchy bug bites last night and wham, bam, thank you ma’am. . . they stopped itching. It’s good for all kinds of skin things, acne being only one of them. Since we’re not supposed to touch our faces, put it on a cotton ball and spot treat. It’s a super gentle oil.

Tea Tree Oil

Lavender DOES have some competition in the acne department, though. The biggest contender is TEA TREE OIL, another one I can’t stand the smell of. LOL Despite the smell, its healing benefits are legendary. Add one to two drops of this oil to a cotton ball and spot treat. You can also dilute it if your skin is super sensitive. Dilution of an essential oil with a carrier oil does NOT reduce its effectiveness. NOTE: If you have oily skin normally and not just in our age of masks, don’t use coconut oil for carrier oil as it can clog your pores.

Frankincense

One of my faves, FRANKINCENSE, can also be used to combat maskne. The boswellic acids contained in this beautiful oil are capable of soothing inflammation and killing the bacteria that causes acne (P. acnes).

Thyme

And my favorite nightly back rub, THYME, is also a champion of the cause. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that Thyme is an effective way of killing P. acnes. NOTE: Do NOT apply Thyme to your eyes or get it near them.

Rosemary

ROSEMARY has also been shown to damage P. acnes. It’s is currently being studied in the lab as an antifungal, too.

Cinnamon (or Cinnamon Bark)

CINNAMON (cinnamon bark) is good for more than baking. It’s also proven effective at fighting P. acnes. There have been studies that seem to show a reduction in menstrual pain as another benefit to this wonderful sniff.

A little research will turn up a few others in your search for a better way to help maskne.

Sadly, Maskne is here to stay for a while. So grab your favorite essential oil and have at it! You should also check the video below for tips on how to properly wear and care for your mask.

DISCLAIMER (1): I am NOT a medical or scientific professional and nothing you find on this page is intended as medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical care. References are given for certain statements and facts which are not my own. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.

DISCLAIMER (2): I am a Young Living Independent Representative. If you follow the links for the various essential oils you will end up on a website with my member number on it. If you follow it and purchase, I will receive a small portion of the sale. My member number is 18641551 if you’d like to join me on my oily adventures. 🙂

 

Jun 122020
 

This is me in full makeup. But not all makeup is suitable for all skin types, no matter what it says.Some great new makeup product all the celebs are gushing about on Instagram is the new must-have. It screams “good for all skin types.” You’re in like Flynn, right? Well, you may be, but that largely depends on how many candles are on your next birthday cake. Good for all skin types is good for all skin types except when it isn’t. When’s that? When it’s not good for aging skin.

Why am I NOT an All Skin Type?  HINT: We’re old! 🙂

By the time you’re 50ish, your skin is probably dry or at least drier than it was in your 20s. What you may not know is that your skin is thinner, too. Here’s a great article that explains it well.

Aging Changes in Skin Care (Medline Plus)

The Fat Layer Thins

If you read that article, you will see that your subcutaneous fat layer thins. If you already have a thin face, it’s gonna look thinner. Me? I’m still waiting for cheekbones. LOL Seriously, though, they say that certain medications are absorbed by the fat layer and losing this layer changes the way some meds work. If you experience anything out of the ordinary while taking a new medication, call your doctor immediately!

So Whaddya Do?

First, figure out what your main skin care concerns are. For me, that’s something to even out the color patches on my face. I have a lot of discoloration thanks to medical conditions and the drugs to combat them. Not complaining, really. I’m alive. I have wrinkles. I’ve tried to cover them but only plastic surgery or Botox will help and I’m not doing that. So for me it’s the hunt for the perfect foundation.

I Know You Use Something, OBH. What?

Right now, I’m using the Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless foundation. It’s a cream in a compact and it looks like swirled silly putty at first glance. But it goes on really smooth and doesn’t feel heavy at all. It’s about $12 in Walmart last time I checked. In CVS it’s closer to $17. Yikes! I also like the Too Faced brand in everything. It’s somewhat pricey. Anastasia of Beverly Hills is another good line but much pricier. Both lines are vegan if that means something to you. You have to experiment. It’s the only way.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with any brand mentioned here and I get nothing from plugging them. This is simply what I know about and/or use. However, if anyone from these companies reads this and wants to hire me, hit me up in a comment! 😉 )

Application Matters

So now that you have found IT, the perfect foundation in a coverage you love, do you just slap it all over your face? First, take a good look at your no-makeup face in a big mirror with decent lighting, as close to daylight as possible. Be honest. There are spots on my face that have sunken in slightly and some of my spots have heavier pigmentation. If your skin is fairly even, apply the same way all over. For me, I start with a thin layer all over and then build coverage on the spots that need it. One caveat. . .

DO NOT HELP GRAVITY!!!

I have read one tutorial after another that says to apply your foundation with downward strokes so you don’t rile up the hairs on your face. Everyone has hairs on their face, usually very fine and not visible. Howsumever, you won’t catch me stroking downward. UP, UP, UP for this ‘ole gal! Gravity has done enough with dragging my skin towards the floor. I’m not giving it any help! Your choice, but I recommend UP strokes. My hairs will recover from being riled up.

One Thing to Avoid

I hate to say this because I love the stuff, but mineral makeup is not good for aging skin. In fact, it rarely looks good on skin over 35. It was becoming all the rage when I left Elizabeth Arden years ago. It kicks serious tushy on oily skin. For dry skin? I think it makes you look way too powdery and flaky. For that matter, if you have AGING dry skin, I would avoid any powder as much as you can. Choose cream instead. I DO use a setting powder when I am all finished, but it’s very light and doesn’t leave that powdered doughnut look on my face.

Are You Tired of it ALL?

Many women are tired of makeup by the time they reach their senior years. If this is what makes you happy, by all means do it! Get yourself a good cleansing and moisturizing routine and show that beautiful skin to the world!!! For me, I feel better with at least my face covered so I don’t look like a patchwork quilt. I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup as I wear very thick glasses for nearsightedness. A little mascara and maybe a pale shadow for brightening MAY make their way to my eyes but it’s mainly face coverage that concerns me. Your face; your pick. You show YOU to the world in the way that makes YOU feel your best!

About the Video:  Gotta love a gal who pounces her foundation on, right? Angie gives great tips for applying foundation to dry aging skin. Well worth the 12 minutes. Enjoy!

 

May 292020
 

Too many women suffer painful feet by wearing ill-fitting shoesThe agony of da feet. It’s a just one of those things women have to go through to be fashionable, right? Maybe, maybe not. There’s no agony if you wear the right size shoes. Do you wear your proper shoe size? Do you even know your proper size? If you don’t, here’s how to deal with and fix the agony of da feet.

What the Experts Say

Alexis E. Dixon, M.D., DISC Sports & Spine Center, Marina Del Rey California, writing for the ortho-dot-com site, says that as people age, their feet grow wider and flatter. The fat pad under the bones in the ball of the foot begins to thin. This can cause pain while walking. And referring to a study conducted by The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS), in which researchers examined the feet of 356 women, they found that 88% of the women were wearing shoes that were too small for their feet. Most of them had not had their feet re-measured in over a decade and more than 50% reported experiencing daily foot pain from their shoes.

A Little Personal History

I didn’t like feet for the longest of time. Wouldn’t let anybody touch mine. I didn’t get my first pedicure until I was over 60. Feet were something you stuck your shoes on. That was all. But then I got into essential oils. I’m sensitive. The best way to test out an oil you may be sensitive to is on the soles of your feet. And did you know your entire bodily system is marked out on the soles of your feet? Well, I didn’t. Now there was no longer any way to avoid my feet.

It took me a long time to buy properly-fitting shoes, too, despite the agony of da feet. In high school, I wore a size 7.5 shoe. Guess what? Now I’m a 9 or 9.5. And keep in mind I’m only 5′ nuttin’ honey. My mother said at least I wouldn’t blow away in a strong wind. HAH! For some reason, I didn’t mind buying a size 9 but adding that extra half-size got me, even if the 9s were tight. I felt like I was declaring myself a bigfoot or something. Well, duh!!! I DO have big feet. Now I know my sizes in all my favorite brands. But oh, to be a size 7.5 once more!!!

Here’s How to Get a Good Fit

First off, find someone who can measure your feet properly with a Brannock device. If there’s no Brannock device, try on several sizes in the style you want and walk around on a HARD floor. There are carpets in shoe departments for a reason. The shoes feel better. You should buy your shoes late in the afternoon, too, as your feet swell throughout the day. Make sure you have enough toe room. And, please, buy the right size, no matter what the number. Don’t like that number? Once you get your shoes home, take a black permanent marker and scribble over it. Once you’ve decided not to return them, that is. And don’t tell yourself the shoe will break in. If that shoe doesn’t fit who it will break is YOU!

Another friendly tip. Please don’t buy those narrow pointy toe shoes unless your feet are shaped like that. And lower your heel expectations. Those 4″ hoochie heels you sported in your 20s will drop you on your ass in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond!

You may have to look around a lot more to find a well-fitting shoe that you actually like and enjoy wearing, but they’re out there. I’m tough picking out shoes. Mine are mostly flats and things with athletic bottoms on them. When I was in high school, we used to say we were wearing sit-down shoes and a stand-up girdle. Well, my days of sit-down shoes are long gone. What’s a girdle? 😉

Wearing high heels, especially in the wrong size, can definitely cause the agony of da feet.

May 122020
 

Here are five ways to slant your writingThis post is something that’s been a long time in coming. I was always “going to do it” when I was writing more a few years back, but. . . after seeing something recently that set me off and reading many of today’s news articles, I thought I would let you in on some of the secrets in the hopes that you’ll spot this “stuff” as it appears and think for yourself. It’s not all that hard to slant your writing if you follow my guidance.

Provocative Headline

This is the one that irks me the most so it’s going first. It’s actually what got me spinning this tale for you right now. Same identical news story in the body. Two different headlines. Which one would you rather read?

“One day after reopening, an ice cream shop was forced to temporarily close because customers didn’t follow social distancing rules” Ho Hum, no social distancing.

“Ice cream shop closes day after reopening over harassment from patrons” OH NO, HARASSMENT. . . get the tar and pitchforks!!! (Shades of “Shrek” 😉 )

Here’s a link to the second story so you can read it for yourself. The story is the same. It’s only the headlines that are different.

Not Explaining Yourself in The First Paragraph

If you took a Journalism class back when I went to college, you were told to make sure you had the Five Ws in the first paragraph, i.e. Who, What, When, Where and Why. That set the story up for the reader to dig into as you elaborated on each of those. Well, in today’s world, it ain’t necessarily so. It’s been proven that many people are headline readers, you know, of those provocative headlines described above. They won’t get into your story if they’re confused by what’s not in the first paragraph. Also, if you’re writing for money, they’ll click out of your story faster than the speed of light and you’ll lose your pennies for readership. So write that provocative headline, confuse your reader right from jump and lose money. It’s a great technique if you just want to dazzle someone with your point of view in the headline and then not give them anything substantive to read.

Inflammatory Words

Get out your Thesaurus, folks! The headline yells, “Smith RAGED at his opponent!” When you get to the meat of the article, IF you do, it says, “He said that his opponent lied.” The angry synonyms for the word said are the most guilty. Well, the words aren’t guilty, but the author’s use of pejorative terms for it is. You said something, but your opponent says “you screamed,” “you raged,” you harangued,” “you blasted,” “you lambasted,” yada yada yada. Somewhere when reading you will find that it’s simply something someone said.

This also works for adjectives, too. If someone made an error, they simply made a mistake. But if you really want to fling arrows of blame at them, they made an EGREGIOUS error or a HORRENDOUS error. OMG it was THAT bad? You get the idea.

Use an Unflattering Picture

You know how when you make a Facebook post it gets more attention with a photo or other picture on it? Same thing with news articles which are now mainly read on electronic devices and always have a big pic to draw your attention. Don’t like who or what you’re writing about? Pick a photo that is most unflattering. This is ably demonstrated by someone who tweets a lot. Those not in his corner pick the ugliest pics of him that they can. It works! And if you have live photos on an iPhone, you can slant your writing by separating the images and picking the yuckiest one.

Call Your Subject by Last Name Instead of First

This may seem somewhat minor, but you engender more sympathy for your subject when you use a first name. Say you’re writing about Kim Kardashian. (Who hasn’t, right?) Calling her Kim makes her personable, the girl next door (HAH!). Calling her Kardashian is colder. It makes you think of her business empire and all the unflattering things you’ve read about her over the years. So if you’re writing nicey-nice stuff about Mrs. West, you call her Kim. Hate her guts? Call her Kardashian or Kardashian-West.

My main purpose in writing this is to get you to think next time you read something in a newspaper, whether online or on paper. Or if you’re writing, how you can or can’t slant your writing. Any writer half worth his or her salt can do this easily. Op-Ed pieces are designed to get you to agree with the author. Regular news articles shouldn’t be. Their job is to report what happened. Funny thing about that, eh?

News stories should report the news, not become op-ed pieces

May 052020
 

Before Plague

Guess who’s back? And I’m even older and more busted than ever. LOL How’s quarantine treating you? Scary stuff, huh? Speaking of scary, have you met the real you yet? I mean, of course, uncut hair, undone nails, no facials and whatever other treats you do for yourself on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong with this, nothing AT ALL, but. . . a lot of us have had to face the mirror and see a stranger. Actually, a lot of us is ME. I’m “a lot of us.” Looking at your quarantine self is one thing. Loving your quarantine self is another thing entirely.

First Look

The first time I looked at the flat gray hair, the wrinkles (oh, the wrinkles!!!), the droopy eyes and the rest of it, well, I ran for the makeup drawer and threw on a metric ton. That was okay for a while. But one day it was, like, “Why bother? You’re not going anywhere. Your husband, daughter and grandson (fellow quarantiners in this house) have seen you in worse shape. Just be you. You’re old. Get used to it.” Easy to say. Not so easy to do.

The Yucky Mirror

The first few days. . . I’m lying. . . weeks were tough. Who was that old lady looking back at me in that mirror? I mean, yeah, my hair has started to gray but this old broad was doggone near totally gray with wrinkles all over the place, discolored skin and. . . hey, did you get the number of that crow that stomped all over my eyes? Being perfectly serious for a moment, I was really shocked. Was I that good at using makeup to hide all this stuff? Did Mother Nature hate me all THAT much? Apparently, the answer to both those questions was yes.

Plague Me

The Selfies From Hell

After I got used to looking in the mirror and when I could stop crying, I started taking a few selfies here and there. Think you look bad in that dastardly mirror? Wait until you see what your damn phone does to you!!! At first, I erased them all. I wasn’t having it. There was no way on this earth that I could look THAT bad. Or could I?

Acceptance Comes Slowly

As the days dragged on by and the selfies piled up, albeit slowly, I started getting used to what I saw in the mirror AND in the camera. I didn’t like it. Was I going to go back to the old me and just keep using the makeup for no good reason except to delude myself? I wasn’t sure. I put some on here and there. And then it went to just a lot of moisturizer. And then it went to. . . me. The real me. The me that is now. The 67-year-old me with wrinkles and crepey eyes, turkey neck and a myriad of other unflattering accouterments. And then it didn’t hurt so bad. And then it didn’t hurt at all. And then? Well, hell, it’s me. I earned every single one of those wrinkles. I earned every one of those damn gray hairs. I earned every sagging part of me. And you know what? It’s just. . . me.

And Now?

Well, I’m back to learning to love myself, which is where I was when this plague took over the world. Would I like it better if I looked like I thought I did with the war paint on my face? Yeah, I would, but guess what? That’s not really me. Me is the old lady looking back at me with all the imperfections, yeah, the ones I’ve earned over a long and pretty decent life.

The Future

And when all of this is a memory, will I start with the makeup again? Will I try to alter the me I’ve become and learned to love? I want to say, “Hey, this is me and this is what you’re getting from this point forward.” I want to say that. If I do, will I mean it? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, yeah, I always want to look my best, but if this IS my best, well, I guess I’ll have to accept that. But if part of loving your quarantine self also includes a little powder and lipstick, count me in!

The Crow

The Beautiful Crow That Stepped On My Eyes