Achieving a Flawless Base by Guest Blogger Kalyn Foggy 

For our 4th and final week of our September Beauty Series we welcome Kalyn Foggy as our guest blogger! She gives us a lesson in how to acheive a perfect canvas for the rest of our makeup!

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I think achieving a flawless base is at the heart of every good look. Even with dramatic eyes or bold lips, with so much attention being drawn to the face, a flawless base is a must.

Luckily for you, I’ve spent like, 14 years of my life fumbling through makeup and techniques and have developed the perfect formula to achieve a flawless base.

Good Skincare Routine

You may or may not know that a good skincare routine is where good makeup application starts.

Imagine your skin as your canvas and makeup as paint. A smooth and taut canvas looks much better painted than a bumpy, crinkled one, right?

Skin that has been cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized is much more prepared to receive foundation. And a good mask, such as the Mary Kay Deep Cleansing Charcoal Mask, gives you added benefits as well.

Luxury Foundation

The next step in achieving a flawless base is selecting a foundation that works well with your skin type and matches your undertone.

I exclusively use the Mary Kay TimeWise matte wear foundation. This is hands down the best foundation I’ve ever used. I used to be a foundation hoarder – owning 6-8 foundations at any time – until this baby entered my life.

I love that it’s formulated with skincare ingredients, so it’s actually improving my skin as I wear it. I remember when I first started using it and how soft my face felt after I would remove it.

And since it comes in two different formulas – one for oily/combo skin and one for dry skin – and a gazillion shades, there’s something for everyone. #win

Blend, Blend, Blend

Application is the last and final step to achieving a flawless base. The trick is to blend the foundation right into your skin.

Personally, I love to use a damp makeup sponge to blend in my foundation. It’s great for all skin types! If you have dry skin, a damp sponge helps to put more moisture into your skin. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, it helps to absorb any excess foundation or concealer, avoiding cakiness and heaviness.

Once you think you’ve blended it in enough, spend another minute or so blending it. Seriously, it will make a difference.

Following all of these steps will ensure you have a flawless base. I love seeing my skin transform from good to great in the mirror every morning!

In conclusion, I’d like to thank Alanna for this opportunity to collaborate with her! I love creating beauty content and helping my fellow women.

Do you have any tips and tricks on how you achieve your flawless base?

What’s your current favorite foundation?

Running the World

When I started this blog, I really didn’t know what would come of it. I started it at a time where I had a lot of emotions taking over me, and I thought maybe writing them down would help. It did. I debated a little bit about whether or not to make the blog public or not but decided I would because as much as it was mostly for my mental health, I thought perhaps it might inspire someone else. I also thought a happy side effect *might* be someone noticing this blog who could help me figure out a way to reach my surgery goals faster…but really, I didn’t expect it to get many followers or views and expected it to fizzle out quickly regardless of any “big plans” I had in my head.

I need to cut it out with this doubting myself crap! This blog has gone so well! I have gained followers on InstagramFacebook and subscribers here on this blog. Everyday I am astounded by the number of new visitors and views I’m getting from all over the world! 

My blog has had viewers from all of the highlighted parts of the map!

I still don’t really know what will come of this or for how long it will continue, but I’m so thankful for the support and for this outlet. I really hope I can keep it going for all of us! 

On that note, I have some exciting news to share! 

  I ran my first race since my injury this weekend. It was the Run The World 5k at Kent State University where my son is a freshman. This race supports the study abroad program and I thought it was a great race to participate in since my son is required to study abroad for his major. Besides that, I loved the idea of exploring his campus on a run! 

I’d planned to register for this race a long time ago, but then when I sprained my ankle I put off registering because I was unsure if I’d be ready. I ended up finally registering the day before the race, so I hadn’t exactly prepared myself the week leading up to it like I normally would for a race. I babysat late the night before and got up early for the race not feeling well…but I kept calm and carried on, laced up my new Saucony Ride 10s and gave it all I had! 

The race fell on a day that is pretty significant to me. One of my very best friends had a beautiful son named Tyler who was born on September 9th, 2001. Tyler lost his life when he was 7 years old to a pediatric brain tumor but race day would have been his 16th birthday. Like I said, I was not feeling well when I woke up for this race…but, I will always run for those who can’t. Especially Tyler…always for Tyler. 

I felt really awesome during my run in spite of being a bit under the weather. I didn’t get a PR but considering all of the factors I thought would make it a terrible run, I was extremely happy with my time and ranks! It was also a really fun run which is the most important thing! 

Something else very cool is in the works that will take me a bit more “global” as well!  I was approached at a race a few months back by a lovely woman from an internet radio station who asked if she could interview me about running. I love running, but I wasn’t sure I was quite what she was looking for. I’m still a fairly new runner, and I’m not even the greatest at it. Apparently though, that is exactly what she wanted. Relatable, down to earth talk about running and what everyone can gain from it.  I recorded a show with her which will air September 19th at 2pm EST and will be replayed after that. 

I think it went really well, because she messaged me telling me that she spoke to a local running store and we have a meeting set up for this week to talk. She said they are interested in possibly partnering with me for a weekly show or sponsoring one for me! I’m praying about it. It sounds like a very incredible opportunity to share my story and inspire people…maybe brand myself a little for some unknown reason that God will surely reveal to me down the line! I hope you’ll tune in to hear me! I’ll be sure to link all of the shows here on the blog. 

Track Tuesday: Favorite Running Music (Part 3)

I realized when I went to write this, that I haven’t made a blog post since last week’s Track Tuesday ! Not good, Alanna! 

I haven’t been neglecting my readers on purpose, I promise! Time just got away from me a bit as I started a new job, my 3 year old began preschool, and my oldest child began his freshman year of college! 

My youngest child on his first day of preschool.

My oldest baby on his first day as a college freshman.

I’ve also been trying to get refocused on my fitness routine and slowly building my mileage back up after my injury. It’s left me less time to write, but more time listening to my playlist to find some good tunes to share with you! Check out each link to hear the songs and let me know if any of them make it onto your playlist! 

1. Allegretto- Bond

This has been one of my favorites for awhile now! A modern string quartet composed of beautiful young ladies plays this ubeat tempo song that has a great buildup to a powerful ending. 

2. Fitz and the Tantrums – HandClap

I love this one! Great tempo and beats for running. This is such a fun song. 

3. Two Steps from Hell- All is Hell That Ends Well 

This one just came on my Pandora for the first time yesterday and it’s a great orchestra/dubstep mix. Wait for that beat drop at 3:05 minutes in!

Sorry for the short but sweet post today! Sometimes life happens. For those that are waiting for some makeup and beauty features on this blog, stay tuned. I have big things planned for the month of September! 

PR

A PR is limited only when you stop trying for more. Don’t quit. I won’t.

Personal Record. 

It’s a term any runner is familiar with. We strive to beat our OWN best time or pace. We celebrate it when we do. It’s a race only against ourselves. Nobody else is needed in order for us to win…or lose. 

In my first 5K race, I placed 2nd in my age group. My time was good. Lots of people were faster than me… many were slower. I was not unhappy with my time. I was proud! I was so happy and nobody was going to take that away from me. 

In my 2nd 5K race, I knew I wanted more. I knew the variables would be different. Different competitors, a different terrain, different weather (good golly, the humidity! 😓) , different everything! Except me…I wouldn’t be different unless I tried to be. 

Because I knew so many variables were different and I was inexperienced at that point in understanding exactly HOW, I just randomly set an odd goal. “I want to at least place in the top 15 in my age group…and beat my time from the last 5K.” Don’t ask me why I said that about the top 15. That was so random and unnecessary. I couldn’t control how many people ran slower or faster than my best…heck, I didn’t even know how many people were running in total, let alone in my age group! For some reason though I felt like I needed a way to compare myself to others. 

I began my race, and it was a hard one for me. I started off really strong but maybe too hard with too much humidity and got lightheaded. People started passing me…what felt like tons of people. Definitely more than 15 people…I tried to notice how many appeared to be in my age group.  I was ready to call my husband not even a half mile in to tell him I quit. 

Then, I remembered the other part of my goal. The important part. I wanted to beat MY own race time. I could control that. So, like Forrest Gump, I was running. 

I ended up placing 4th out of 21 in my age group this time. Not 2nd like in my last but I beat my own time. I didn’t get a medal for 4th, I didn’t “win” against my competition but I knew that I’d beat the only person in that race that I was really competing against. Me.

My race stats from my first 5K compared to my 2nd 5K showing that I didn’t place as high against my competition, but beat my own PR.

I feel like a lot of people worry about my state of mind when it comes to my body image after the weightloss. They think I’m comparing my body to other people. That I’m striving for perfection…or a theoretical “top 15 in my age group”. I’m not. I promise I am not comparing my body to yours or Kylie Jenners or Marilyn Monroe’s or anyone else. 

I am unapologetically striving for more from myself though. I’ve EARNED that with the efforts I’ve put in. 

If I don’t train for a race, I have nobody to be angry at but myself if my time is not up to par.  If I train hard, I know my time will reflect that. 

I’ve trained HARD for this body. Hard. I’ve logged every bite of food for over 500 days. I’ve put in hours at the gym and worn through countless pairs of shoes to get here. I went from not being able to do a single “modified” pushup in a workout to doing 90 decline pushups in a workout. I’ve gone from not having any core strength to doing advanced abdominal exercises while smiling through them (I LOVE medicine ball situps on a decline with russian twists, ok?!). 

My body is not reflecting the efforts I’ve put in because of my stubborn skin that can’t be exercised or dieted away. It’s OK for me to want it gone. I’m not vain. I’m not letting other people’s bodies determine how I feel about mine. I’m just trying to get my outside to more closely be the “result board” that reflects the effort I’ve put in to get to this PR. 

I want to word this next part carefully…

I’ve gotten many, many, many messages and comments from other moms who say they have loose skin as well and were never obese like I was. They tell me that pregnancy did that to their body. They remind me that I may have had the loose, saggy skin even if I never carried or lost all that weight. That I may have ended up with a stomach that looks like this just from carrying 4 children. 

They remind me that I am blessed to have gotten the chance to carry and birth 4 children because some don’t get that chance and please for one second don’t think that I don’t agree! 

Some of these women have learned to love and embrace the bodies they have because of the story their body tells. 

I UNDERSTAND and RESPECT all of that. I do. I think it’s BEAUTIFUL and admirable. I feel like I would likely feel the exact same way if I were them.

I’m not them. This is not their story. This is mine. 

Yes, my body tells a story of my children but it also tells the story of the many years of abuse I put my body through. This story is the one I want to forget. 

 I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. I hated the old me. Its ok for me to want to forget her and be done with her. Anyone who knows me will recognize that I’ve never hesitated to cut toxic people from my life without a second thought so why should I feel differently about trying to let go of my old toxic self? I did not hate myself BECAUSE of my weight. I ended up that weight BECAUSE of how much I hated myself. 

I just want to embrace and love the new me without it being tarnished with reminders of some very dark times. 

Please, try to understand. Stand by my decision as friends and encouragement. 

I know every person who messages me is trying to help me feel better. They are trying to show solidarity or give a different perspective. They mean well and are trying to be helpful. I’m not mad at any one of you for trying but I will tell you that despite your best efforts or intentions it is not helping. 

I don’t expect anyone who hasn’t lived through exactly what I’ve lived through to understand my feelings. That’s not why I am writing this. I’m writing so that when someone who IS feeling this way stumbles across this blog, maybe they won’t feel so alone and ivalidated.

I’m not striving for perfection. I’m not here to compete against anyone but myself. Only I will ever understand the tough competitor I can be against myself…

A PR is limited only when you stop trying for more. Don’t quit. I won’t. 

Running Away

Nomatter how far I’ve come, I can never run away.

Nobody warns you about this part. Ok…maybe they do, but you don’t listen. 

You don’t listen because you think it won’t happen to you. 

You think that getting fit and slim will be all sunshine and roses. You know it might be hard to get there, but in your head you think that once you’re “there” everything will be perfect. 

It’s not.

That’s not to say it’s not good. There is so much good that has come from this! 

I will say without a doubt that if I could have felt the way I feel now for just one day when I was heavier, I would have started my journey so much sooner. Being able to go up a flight of stairs without getting winded, running with my kids, having a normal blood pressure for the first time in years and perfect bloodwork (and avoiding the morbid but warranted warnings from my doctors that I may not be around to see my kids grow up!) these are all amazing things. These and many other wonderful outcomes that I’ll save for a future blog post. 

It’s not all good though. 

I’ve noticed people treat me differently. I don’t blame them. I AM different. I’m a completely different person than I used to be. Sometimes they miss the old me, but I don’t. I wasn’t happy then. I didn’t like myself then. Not because of my weight…my weight was a by-product of a lot of self-hate. So while some miss the old me, I’m begging them to try and love the new me the way I do! Unfortunately, just as they are stuck on not wanting to get to know the “new me”, I refuse to hang on to the “old me”.  Therefore, we grow apart. That’s ok. It’s life. However, just because it’s ok it doesn’t make it easy. 

My body is still betraying me. How can a body that I’ve pampered and groomed and treated with such care still go against me?  I’ve fueled it with the right foods and the perfect amount of calories and macros. I’ve taken time everyday to stretch and strengthen each muscle. I’ve rehabilitated the organs I abused for so many years. I shed 110 pounds… I’ve done everything I could to show my body that we are not what we used to be and part of my body disagrees. 

Let’s call this part of my body Ms. Skin. She’s a bitch. 

Ms. Skin tries to act like she’s on my side. She claps for me when I run. She hangs from my arms and stomach and thinks she’s cheering me on. *clap*clap*clap*

Ms. Skin doesn’t realize how much it hurts. Ms. Skin doesn’t care about the rashes that could develop because of her clapping. She doesn’t know that I hate running without headphones because I need to drown out the sound she makes. Ms. Skin doesn’t realize that the faster I try to run to get away from her the more she holds me back. 

Ms. Skin doesn’t care that tucking her into my clothes makes me appear much bigger than I am. 

Ms. Skin doesn’t understand how embarrassing and uncomfortable it is to refuse to do exercises my trainer assigns that involve jumping because of how much pain she causes me. 

Ms. Skin doesn’t care about how my 3 year old tells me my stomach is “just like a monster”. 

Ms. Skin doesn’t care about the rude comments from strangers. 

Ms. Skin just likes to cling to me, reminding me of the “old me” that I hated….Reminding me that I can change and control so much but that nomatter how far I have come, I can never run away.

Miles Apart

Those runs took her miles apart from where she started.

Once upon a time, there was a mom. Her entire identity was just that. Mom. Nothing more and nothing less, because we all know that the title of “mom” is nothing to sneeze at.

Way back when, she used to have hobbies and interests outside of motherhood. She even worked outside the home and was quite good at every job she took! But alas, with the arrival of her 3rd child there also came mysterious health issues. Pain, suffering, anxiety, joint and nerve issues and way too many careless prescriptions from the doctors had her spiraling out of control and farther and farther from being the woman she once was. She almost lost herself entirely. She was sick, body and mind. She took the pills the doctors prescribed her as she was told not realizing how she was being poisoned. The pounds piled on, she missed out on time with her her family, her muscles grew weak, her soul weary until she physically and mentally gave up. She was using a walker to get around. She was a recluse in her room and people grew around her while she missed it all.

Eventually, something came over her…a power she’d never known before and wouldn’t see again for a long time. It was determination. She threw out all her pills and said “No more!!” they weren’t helping her and she felt they were making her worse. She was right. With the medicines out of her system she regained a little bit of her health…not all…but enough that she made a decision that since her family didn’t quite feel finished she wanted one more child.

This mom loved her 4 children with all of her heart. As these children grew, and needed her less she became panicked, for she knew not what to do if not completely submerged in them.

Her hobbies consisted primarily of “mommy groups” which she attended with her youngest. She made friends with other mothers of young ones through La Leche League, and Babywearing International and other such groups and really felt like she had found her place and her people. Of course, many of these friends were just starting these families and this mom was on her last child. She couldn’t keep her child from growing to maintain breastfeeding and babywearing as the glue that held these friendships together. She loved and valued the relationships she formed with these people but noticed and acknowledged that having kids the same age isn’t always enough.

By this point, her weight had gotten out of control. She wasn’t one of those moms that shed pounds while breastfeeding but, in fact her body seemed to store fat during this time. Her preemie child needed to be fed a lot and due to the time she spent focused on nursing him in the beginning, she grew roots into the couch where she remained for years nursing him into toddlerhood. Depression led to binge eating…which led to weight gain…which as it often does, led to more depression.

This mom was 260 lbs and lost. She hated herself and needed a change.

She joined a gym. It had a tanning bed. She loved tanning (spare the lectures, ok? This has a happy ending.) and so she told herself if she got nothing else out of this gym membership, it was a good deal for a tanning package. She just made a rule for herself that if she wanted to go tan, she had to do some exercise first. She’d walk slowly on the treadmill for 30 minutes. She’d sweat, and pant. She wanted to die. It was HARD and it was embarrassing, but she promised to do it before she tanned so she stuck it out.

Little by little it got easier, and eventually tanning wasn’t what got her there. It was that treadmill! She craved it. The fitness bug had bit her and there was no turning back!

She hadn’t changed her eating habits yet at this point but started noticing the “calories burned” counter on her treadmill. She wanted these to mean something, and so she downloaded the free MyFitnessPal app on her phone and began logging her food. She stuck with logging everyday and suddenly the pounds started falling off. She got more motivated and tried different activities. She enjoyed this and was seeing results!

She was finally beginning to find herself. Her confidence was growing, her waist was shrinking. Her kids were still her focus, but in a different way. She wanted them to grow and she wanted them to be inspired by her!

Before she realized it, a year had passed and she’d lost nearly 100 lbs. When you get that close to your goal weight the pounds come off more slowly and once again she felt a little lost. For this entire year she had shared her “weekly weigh ins” and was so encouraged by others. It kept her motivated and gave her purpose. Some weeks she wouldn’t lose any weight and she realized she needed to set new goals.

She decided she wanted to become an athelete. 36 years old is a perfectly reasonable age to start something like that, you know! 😉

She hired an amazing personal trainer and began lifting weights and even running! Running miles, and miles and miles….

Those runs took her miles apart from where she started. She went from using a walker….to placing in races. She went from 260 lbs… to 149.6 lbs. She went from wearing a 3X….to wearing a small. She went from wearing a size 20….to wearing a size 4. She went from resenting how her body failed her…to loving all it could do.