Not Your Mama’s Mary Kay!

For our 4th and final installment of the September Beauty Series, the lovely Kalyn Foggy wrote a guest blog about how to achieve a “flawless base“.  She also sent me some Mary Kay items to review for my readers.

I will admit I was hesitant to include Mary Kay in my blog at first because of some very unpleasant encounters with pushy sales consultants in the past.  It just left a bad taste in my mouth and I thought this was a company I didn’t want to support in any fashion after those experiences. 

However, I have interacted with Kalyn almost daily for the better part of 2 years and knew she wasn’t like those other consultants. I’ve never known her to be pushy with her brand or use dishonesty to make a sale.  I trust Kalyn and really knew that she wouldn’t recommend something to me that she didn’t honestly believe in and that she would respect and appreciate any feedback I gave if I ended up not liking something. 

Kalyn sent me the Clearproof Deep Cleansing Charcoal Mask ($24) to try which is said to be suitable for all skin tones and types. 

Mary Kay makes these claims about this mask:

Kalyn also included the Liquid Foundation Brush ($10) with a note that said it was to be used with the mask! The brush was soft and smooth. I really loved the way it felt and it makes me curious to try more of their brushes to see if they are on par with this. Several years ago I had some Mary Kay brushes that were pretty scratchy but this was so lovely! Have you tried their brushes lately? What do you think of them?

I applied the charcoal grey mask, which was very creamy and reminded me of the consistency tempera paint with the brush and immediately loved the way it felt. It had a faint minty, herbal scent. Normally, I’d just apply a mask with my fingers but this not only made the application neater, it also made it feel like a spa treatment. If you decide to get the mask, obviously the brush isn’t neccessary, but I’d recommend it! 

The mask had a gentle cooling sensation, which I enjoyed. I like to feel something happening when I use a mask so I enjoyed it. It was a very mild sensation and not painful or irritating at all. 

I let the mask dry to matte lighter shade of grey and rinsed off with warm water. It rinsed off easily without staining my face, hands or sink. My skin was left feeling quite comfortable even before moisturizer which surprised me since it’s an oil absorbing mask. I was pleased to find that my skin wasn’t red, because some “tingling” products can do that. Instead my skin appeared glowing and more even. My giant pores even appeared smaller! 

I really enjoyed this mask all around and will continue to use it. I’m anxious to see how my skin improves as I use it over time. 

The item I was most excited to try was the Timewise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation ($22)

Mary Kay describes this foundation by stating:

Kalyn did a wonderful job color matching me! All I had to do was send her a makeup free selfie taken in natural light. She matched me to the shade “Beige 5”.              Mary Kay offers this foundation in 23 shades so it seems like there is a good possibility most skin tones will have a good match in this line! 

I intially noticed that the packaging was not my favorite. This foundation is a true liquid and the plastic squeeze tube didn’t seem like an ideal way to package it.  I feel as though a foundation with this consistency would do better in a tube with a pump. The only reason being, that if you need to set the tube down mid makeup application it kind of seeps out the top unless it’s capped back up. It has the potential to be messy or cause you to lose product. I think a thicker liquid or cream in this tube would work…but for the thinner liquid consistency I think they chose the wrong delivery system. I was just careful not to set it down without the cap to avoid spillage. 

I applied this using a damp beauty sponge and it went on very evenly and was so easy to blend. It had great medium to full coverage and built up to a very full coverage easily. As I blended it, it melted into my skin but also dried down to a velvety matte finish. I have normal to oily skin and found no need to even use a powder with this, which I loved! The less layers I need to apply the better!

The foundation blurred my pores and covered my blemishes well.  The color not only stayed true throughout the day but I felt as though the foundation actually began to look better as the day went on. I enjoyed the way it looked several hours later even more than upon initial application!

This is definitely a foundation I will reach for often. Especially on my oily days as not a drop of oil peeped through all day…even without powder! Color me impressed! 

To top off my look, I used the Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick ($18)  in the shade “Rich Truffle”.

Mary Kay says that this lipstick will deliver:

I felt it went on smoothly.  I think semi-matte is an accurate description of the finish. One layer definitely gave me a matte look without being the least bit drying or flakey. I was able to build it up a bit and it became a little more like a soft satin finish. I went for a couple of hours of true color and it stayed vibrant even through drinking some coffee. It is not transfer proof but does wear down evenly without getting patchy. It did not survive through my meal but when it wore off it did leave my lips very soft and comfortable so I didn’t dread reapplying it like I do with some matte lipsticks. I enjoyed the fact that it didn’t have an unpleasant taste or smell.  I thought the packaging looked really nice and felt nice in my hand. 

I’m very glad I decided to give Mary Kay another chance.  I was overall extremely pleased and pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed these items!

 I’m baffled that there isn’t more hype surrounding the fabulous foundation! I never knew I was missing out on the perfect matte foundation until Kalyn sent this to me and I really wish I’d known sooner! Make sure you share this blog post so people know! 
 

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!

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. 

We Get Fly With a Little Help From Our Friends

If you’ve read my previous blog posts (and I hope you have!), you’ll know that support means a lot to me. I could have never lost 110 lbs, or gained the confidence to train for a race without some encouragement and support from my friends. I wouldn’t have a campaign to raise funds for my surgery without my friends and I definitely would not have learned to improve my makeup skills without my friends. 

Many of my newfound makeup skills came from Facebook groups where some wonderfully talented women come together to share tricks, tips and product recommendations. In these groups, there are many women who help support their families this way by merging their passion for makeup artistry with a direct sales business. Some of these women have become good friends of mine that I’d love to support.  Stay with me…

I know those words can scare people. Direct Sales. Sometimes direct sales can get a bad rap because, let’s face it, anyone can join these businesses and not everyone is cut out for it. Not everyone is honest and not everyone has manners.  However, some of the most talented women I’ve seen in these makeup groups are using these products and loving them…loving them so much that they have started successful businesses around them and are consistently rolling out stunning looks using these products.  Some of these women have become my good friends and mentors. They definitely know their stuff and they definitely are not trying to pull any funny business with me. Because let’s face it, mama ain’t got no time for funny business. *Snaps Fingers*

These are simply gorgeous, talented, hard working women who know a thing or two about cosmetics and I’d love to introduce you to a few of them over the next month! 

I am doing a month long series in September where these ladies are so confident in the products they swear by that they are sending me some of their favorites to to try and honestly review! The proof is in the pudding, right? 

Please follow along during the month of September as each week I highlight one of four direct sales beauty companies. I will do my own honest review of the products I’m sent and give my opinions and a representative from each company will also do a guest blog post to tell you about their favorite products and why they love them. 

So stay tuned because every week in September I will be digging into these products to see what I really think and we will all get to hear from the following beautiful brand reps! 

 Jessica Gray is a 34 year old mother of three young boys. She has been married to her husband for over 6 years. LimeLIght by Alcone has been her passion since March of 2016. It’s new to the direct sales field but backed by over 50 years of experience in stage and screen makeup.
Rebecca is a stay at home mom (WAHM) and wife from Southeastern Ohio. She has three daughters, all within different stages of development. Nothing could possibly get more exciting than the thrilling rollercoaster hormones of a teenager, a threenager and a “middle child”. Makeup is a passion for Rebecca, because of this; she recently discovered her love for Younique products and its amazing sisterhood.
Tegan is a 23 year old mom of 2 girls from Montana who began working with Maskcara beauty because of the freedom it gave her to work from home. She is a part time dental assistant but loves the freedom Maskcara gives her to put together two passions in her life, makeup and her girls while working from home.
 Kalyn Foggy is a 26 year old mom to daughter Clementine and wife to Derek. She has been celebrating her Mary Kay business for two and a half years. She loves that she can empower and embolden women through elite skincare products and a professional makeup line.

Goal Digger

I’ve come to realize that I thrive on having goals. I need to have my sights set on something big and I flourish as I work towards achieving it. 

I’ve come to realize that I thrive on having goals. I need to have my sights set on something big and I flourish as I work towards achieving it. 

I’ve gotten away from that a bit lately and I’m ready to jump back, in a big way! 

My goal for over a year was to lose 110 lbs and when I reached it, I set another goal. I wanted to do something athletic and decided a 5k would be the next thing to shoot for and after achieving that, I set another goal. I wanted to get my skin removal surgery. This is where things got complicated. 

I had hopes and expectations that my insurance would cover that surgery. I knew insurance wanted to see stability in my weight as evidence that I was maintaining. I had already hit my goal weight and was perfectly content maintaining if that’s what needed to happen. I enjoyed the freedom I had for awhile since eating to maintain takes so much less thought and effort than eating to lose.  When insurance denied my coverage I kept the goal of one-day getting this surgery, but of course now I see that this is a very long term goal. Saving the money is going to take me a very long time…

I have been sadly complacent since then. My eating habits haven’t been awful, but I’m not proud of them. I’ve neglected to log some meals. I was running pretty regularly but wasn’t making it to the gym. Then, of course that nasty ankle sprain kept me from even running and I ate more out of panic, depression and boredom. Cheese and carbs are my comfort foods. 

I decided I need some new goals to get me back on track and think that publishing them here is just the accountability that will get me there. What good is a fitness blog from a chick who just writes about her past achievements?!?

So, here it goes…

My first new goal is to lose 10 more pounds, and I hope to do this not because I’m unhappy with my weight but because I probably should have had those additional 10 pounds in my initial goal from the start. I didn’t because my goal of 110 lbs seemed impossible already, but I knew back then that I wanted to because this would take my BMI to a “normal” range. Right now, I’m still technically considered “overweight” and in 10 lbs I won’t be…but, it’s really not about that. It’s more about knowing that the only reason I left those 10 pounds out of initial goal was fear, and I’m just not afraid anymore. 

My second goal came courtesy of a good friend of mine who announced on Facebook that she is looking to run a certain kind of race in the future. A certain kind of race I thought I had no interest in doing. Unfortunately for me, when one of your best friends tells you she found a great training plan and it sounds super doable you just add run a half marathon to your list of goals. Then you immediately regret typing it because now there is no turning back! 

These are not going to be easy to achieve. Losing weight when you are obese is a lot easier to do than when you weigh less. These 10 pounds will be worlds more challenging than the first 10 pounds I lost. Running my first 5k was hard…but a half marathon is 10 miles more than that and I’ll be training after an injury that kept me from running for over 3 weeks.

I’m hoping all of these challenges I’ll face in my near future will at least help me create some interesting content for this little blog! Feel free to let me know what kind of documentation of this journey you’d enjoy seeing. 

Now it is time for me to turn in and rest…I’ve got big goals waiting for me in the morning. 

Thoughts 8/13/17 10:43am

If you tell someone you want them to be happy…

If you tell someone you want them to be happy and you truly mean that…try listening to what they say will make them happy and support it instead of trying to change their mind about what might make them happy. You might find that just showing unconditional support could teach you both something. 

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.