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! 
 

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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?

Maskcara Beauty: An eye opening experience in highlight and contour!

It’s week three of our September Beauty Series, and this week we are exploring Maskcara Beauty! Maskcara Beauty is a newer direct sales company founded by blogger Cara Brooks and their consultants are referred to as “artists”. Tegan Kesler is a Maskcara Beauty Artist who earlier this week wrote us a fabulous guest blog explaining how she gets her perfect highlight and contour! Tegan sent me the Maskcara Beauty IIID Foundation HAC which translates in simple terms to a highlight and contour duo that works as a foundation that gives your face 3D depth instead of the “flat” look you get with traditional foundations. You can read more about the concept in Tegan’s guest blog post! It’s a super innovative new way of applying foundation that I had to experience for myself. 

The packaging is stunning to say the least and what Tegan said was the cherry on top to why she joined this company. The tins are all unique and display beautiful imagery. 

I also recieved a magnetic compact to put the tins in which was very asthetically pleasing, wonderfully handy, with a great quality mirror and a very helpful diagram explaining where to apply my highlight and contour. 

Even with the diagram and some tips from Tegan, I was very intimidated at first. I’d tried other cream contours before and had such a difficult time blending them out that they ended up in my “reject makeup” basket. I tend to prefer a powder contour. 

I told Tegan that when I first started playing with the IIID Foundation that I experienced about 50 thousand thoughts and emotions. I had moments of “What the heck have I gotten myself into, this is terrible!” to “OMG best product ever!” and everything in between. It’s a product that comes with a learning curve for sure but as I played with it I figured out how to make it work well for me. 

Some things to note, the highlight portion is very, very creamy and soft. A little goes such a long way! If you use too much initially you will have a hard time working with this beeswax based product. However, applied lightly it gives a nice light to medium coverage. It can be built up to fuller coverage but it was a little tricky for me to do that so I prefer it for lighter makeup days. The highlights are bright and warm toned and give your complexion a fresh and awake look. They are used to bring foward and brighten the areas of the face they are applied to. They work perfectly to brighten the undereye area and no separate concealer is even needed, in my opinion! I love that!

The contour shade is used to add definition and depth to your face. These shades are a bit “stiffer” and firm than the highlight shades. I assume because you really want your contour to kind of “stick” where you place it. It still blends out easily…but not too much to where you lose your contour. These are cooler toned to mimic a natural shadow. 

Together, they blend seamlessly to give your face definition with just one layer. The finish is quite dewy and glowy.  The feel on the skin is kind of odd to me, but not in a bad way. Just odd.  It’s not heavy at all. It’s very light feeling! However, it also has a strange way that it kind of sits on top of the skin rather than disappearing or melting into it. It feels smooth and almost a bit tacky when you touch it with your fingers, but not in such a way that it transfers or rubs off. Definitely a unique texture that might not be for everyone, but like I said, I didn’t mind it! My husband said my skin looked “more natural than usual” which I took as a compliment. He mentioned it several times how much he liked how it looked on me. 

After using these products numerous times since recieving it, I can say that I prefer to  wear it like this on days where I’m going for a “no makeup” makeup look v.s. using it for my “full glam” days. This is not a negative, because my quick natural days happen a lot more often than my all out makeup days. I will often want to throw on just a touch of makeup when I’m working or babysitting, or even when I’m going out for a run so that I look a little more put together but not “made up”.  This is perfect for those days because as I mentioned, it gives more definition to your face than traditional foundations. Before, if I just wanted a little coverage on my skin, I could get that with a light layer of foundation but then I’d still need to add a bit of contour, blush and highlight or my face would look flat. By the time I added the other steps I would have so many layers of makeup that I may as well have gone full glam. I’d end up looking like I was trying too hard. Because this works as multiple steps in one layer it is a very quick way to get an even more natural version of what used to take me a lot more time. 

For my more glam days, I felt the coverage was a bit too light and as I mentioned, it was a little difficult for me personally to build up, and it was almost too natural looking for my taste so I discovered that using a matte foundation all over on those days and then strategically using the HAC shades to brighten and define over that was a perfect compromise. I’d defintely recommend trying the products this way if for some reason they didn’t work for you in the way they were intended. 

I think if you have very oily skin you will need to experiment with different primers, powders and setting sprays but for other skin types it will work well. 

I think this is a product I will definitely want to purchase in the future when I run out and I am officially converted to cream contour fan after using Maskcara. At only $12 a tin it’s very comparable price wise to drug store foundations but with much higher quality.  The tins are small but you use so little that if used correctly they should last a very long time! I looooovvvvveeee that this direct sales company appeals to a budget conscious makeup enthusiast! If you want to try this product that I enjoyed so much, you can shop for it directly through Teagan’s shopping link or you can join her Facebook group and she can help color match you and answer any further questions you have about this innovative new foundation concept! 

In the “Limelight”

I am loving this September Beauty Series and I hope you’re enjoying it as well! For week 2 of the series I’d like to thank Jessica Gray for her guest blog contribution and for sending me some goodies from Limelight by Alcone to try and review honestly for my readers! 

Some of the items sent to me came directly from Jessica’s stock, but some of it came shipped directly from the company and can I just say… it was impressive.  Not only did it come to me quickly but the packaging was beautiful and really made it feel special. 

The items came shipped in sleek, nice quality box, all tied up with a chic black bow.
Inside the box, the items were neatly wrapped in tissue paper which was secured with an embossed metallic seal.
The items inside were equally impressive in their packaging. Modern black and white with a splash of watercolor is their signature.

The items I recieved first and began playing with right away were the 10 Years Younger Makeup Finish ($28) setting spray and the Waterproof Complete Concealer ($24). 

According to Limelight by Alcone the setting spray is said to:

“Reduce the signs of aging while holding your makeup in place! 10 Years Younger keeps makeup from setting into fine lines and wrinkles, prevents makeup from melting or sliding and guarantees fewer touchups. This ultra-fine mist is clinically-proven to prevent creasing concealer, fading foundation, and will keep colors vibrant for up to 16 hours. This product is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and was formulated for use on all skin types including highly sensitive skin.”

In regards to the Waterproof Complete Concealer, Limelight says:

“Made famous by world-renowned makeup artists, this camouflage concealer creme is considered the best professional cover up. It is long-lasting, waterproof, and opaque yet feels light on the skin. Artist use it to conceal but also to highlight and shade features. It can completely conceal tattoos, veins, dark under-eye circles, and skin discolorations.”


I went to work applying these to test their claims right away.

At first, I felt like I got a poor color match from Jessica (she matched me by having me send her a makeup free selfie taken in natural light). This concealer appeared to be a bit darker than what I’m used to and it worried me that it wouldn’t work for me to use as an eyeshadow primer, undereye concealer, and overall highlight like I’d normally use my concealers. I had read that some people use this concealer as an all over foundation so I tried it that way first since I thought the shade was better suited for that. Well, I was wrong…the color was way too light for me to use that way and unfortunately I didn’t care for the way the concealer used as a foundation looked on my skin. I have a lot of texture to my skin and it really amplified that. It might work well for someone with smaller pores and less acne scars, but it did not work for me.

Back to the drawing board! I applied my regular foundation routine and used the concealer as concealer and it was a whole new ball game! Turns out, you should trust your “Beauty Guide” (Limelight Consultants) because they know what they are doing with the color matching. It was a perfect shade for me to use as concealer, afterall! The cream formula took a little getting used to, as I normally use a thinner concealer. A little goes a long way which is great news if you are on a budget like I am, but figuring out how much to use and the best method to apply and blend was a bit of a learning curve for me. I feel in the end it was worth taking the time to play with and figure out!

I finished off my makeup with the 10 years younger setting spray and I loved how fine the mist was! No large drops of liquid, just the perfect even mist. It’s a little pricier than what I normally use, but it is a bigger bottle and with the mist being so fine and even I feel like it may go further in the long run.

I really loved how the concealer brightened my under eye area.

I put these supposed “long lasting” cosmetics to the test by not only wearing them throughout the day, but also during a 6 mile run and because I’m lazy for science over night! 

My makeup freshly applied, and the next day after a 6 mile run and a full night’s sleep.

 I was very pleased when I woke up the next day! My shadow was still pretty vibrant, my foundation stayed mostly in place, and my undereyes were still quite bright with little to no creasing. If I hadn’t had more makeup to review the next day I might have been able to get away with just a few touch ups to make it through another day of wear…for science, of course. I’d say if it can last through all I put it through, these will definitely work for anyone in normal conditions to keep their makeup fresh through a work day or night out! 

The day after I tried those items, I recieved a package from Jessica which contained Limelight’s Perfect Mascara ($20) and a single of the Perfect Eyeshadow ($12) in shade #19 “antiki bar”. 

 

I went right to work creating a look with these along with the other products! 

Once again, overall I was pleased. The mascara as claimed was clump free and went on easily. I was even able to build it up without clumping which I loved. I wouldn’t say the length it gave me was anything to write home about, meaning my lashes weren’t noticeably longer using this mascara than many others I’ve tried, but it did visually lengthen them from their usual state before mascara. It gave me the whispy seperated look I like in a mascara. If you enjoy a very volumizing mascara this may not be your top choice for your top lashes, however I think it’s probably the best mascara I’ve used for my bottom lashes in a long time so it may be worth considering just for that! 

The eyeshadow swatched nicely both with a brush and finger and it felt super creamy and appeared quite pigmented! I was excited to try it on my eyes. Unfortunately, using a dry brush on my eyes left much to be desired with this particular shade. I got very little color payoff on my lid. Shimmers can be stubborn like this and it’s usually easily remedied by either applying with your finger or by wetting your brush. 10 Years Younger Makeup Finish to the rescue! I used it to wet my brush and I was pleased with the results. It seems like an overall nice formulation but it wasn’t something that blew my mind. The shade I recieved is however stunning, honey and I will use it again especially for the fall! 

Overall, my opinion is that Limelight by Alcone, although quite new to the direct sales industry, proves that their 50 years in the stage and screen makeup industry can assure you that you really are getting a quality product. If you want to try any of it for yourself, please let Jessica be your (beauty) guide! 

 

Marathon Makeup by Guest Blogger Jessica Gray

As part of our September Beauty Series we welcome guest blogger Jessica Gray to tell us about her marathon makeup routine!

How do you keep your makeup in place all day long? This is an age old question and something I have spent so much time perfecting over the last year. All these terms like primer and setting spray make it sound like you are prepping for a renovation right? But taking just a little extra prep you can stay looking refreshed all day. This is all about my top favorite types of products to keep you looking your best.

Jessica can help you create your own marathon proof makeup look!

A waterproof concealer is super important to me, I’m sweating all day with three kids running around. I also have little time to touch up my face. So I want a concealer that covers my dark circles and blemishes but also stays right where I want it. No slipping and no streaks from sweat (or tears).

Next up is a fantastic mascara that gets my straight lashes a little curl, adds some volume, and takes them to lengths they can’t achieve all on their own. My perfect mascara is a formula that does all of the above without any flaking whatsoever. Because again, maybe tears and lots of little hands touching my face.

Another must have is an eyeshadow that doesn’t fade through the day. I prefer coppers and pinks with my skin tone. With hooded eyes as well, the crease tends to get a little muddy half way through so give me tons of pigment! I want that little bit of color to keep popping until bedtime.

Finally, the most important key or method to my madness, if you will, is a tried and true setting spray. I need this to be tough. I need it to help keep my makeup from settling into fine lines and keep my makeup vibrant. It’s like staining a deck without sealing it all, no fade please! 

LimeLight little black box, double layer magnetized palette $38

10 years younger finishing spray manufactured by Skindinavia $28

Waterproof complete concealer $24 

Perfect mascara $20 


Pick and choose your own shades-

Double blush palette $40 (single $22)

6 well perfect eyeshadow palette $64 (singles $12)

Minimalist Makeover: Full Face Using Only 5 Products by Guest Blogger Rebecca Weed

As part of our September Beauty Series we welcome this week’s featured guest blogger Rebecca Weed as she shares her tips for a minimalist makeover!

Not every woman has a designated area for her makeup. Some women have bins full of different products whereas others have a single small bag. This is what’s called, a minimalists makeup bag; foundation, blush, eyeshadow, mascara (a must!) and some type of lippie. Did you know, however, that you can create a FULL face of makeup using just those simple items? I’m talking the works-the highlight, contour, brows and even eye liner! Say whaaat??

Here is how you can use these 5 simple items to put on a full face:

Start with your base. Every artist needs a clean canvas to start with; yours may or may not be with foundation, but for the sake of this blog, we will use foundation. I apply mine with a blending bud but you can use your hands too!
Contour. Yes, I said it and it can be done using the products in your little bag. Can you guess which one? Right! Eyeshadow, it is the most versatile product out there. Use your finger, a contour brush (if you have one) or a fluffy brush to add some depth to your face just under the cheekbone.
Add some color to those beautiful cheekbones! Sure there’s the blush you have in your bag, but why not try something a little different? Say you left your blush on the counter at home?? (*gasp* it’s not like you ever forget anything…*insert eyeroll*) It’s ok, don’t panic! Use that beautiful shade of pink from that lippie and just pat a touch of it onto those gorgeous cheekbones. A little too much pink? Use your blending bud or brush to blend it out.
Your eyes need a little color too right? Right! Thank goodness for that eyeshadow (or the blush you forgot at home…)! Keep it low key, nothing bold, just a pop of color to make them stand out.
Hmmm what will you do about eye liner? I mean, to put on a WHOLE face you have to do a wing of some sort. That’s ok! No worries, that beautiful lippie triples (yep I am going there!) as an eyeliner. It’s easy peasy and super cute, besides, who said your wing had to be black? To apply, simply put a little of that liquid lipstick on the back of your hand and use a small angled brush to apply just at the lash line and wing it out!
Highlight girl! You deserve to shine! Again, that eyeshadow palette you have comes in handy when it has a light shimmer shade so, glow baby glow!! Rub your finger over that beautiful shade (Tender, in my case) and dab it along the tops of your cheekbones. Voila! You can now be seen from Heaven! Guaranteed pass through the Golden Gates.
What about those brows?? Oh heaven knows you can’t do a full face and not do those brows! It’s a good thing you remembered to grab your eyeshadow! Grab that small angle brush again and lightly touch the shadow of your choice. Start outlining your brows first to get the desired shape and then fill them in. Don’t forget to blend so that it looks natural and not all Groucho Marx-y.

Of course, your lashes have to be in check as well. Every girl has this makeup product in their bag no matter how much “makeup” she wears. 

Last, but certainly not least, your lips need love too. Tired of the same old color? Remember that blush you forgot at home (but conveniently found in your bag to do this look?)? Take your shadow brush (or your finger) and lightly sweep it over your lipstick! 

This look was created using 5 items. Here is the list: Younique Touch Mineral Foundation (Velour) $39, Moodstruck Addiction eyeshadow palette #4 (shades: arrogant, brave, tender), Moodstruck Epic Mascara $24, Moodstruck Powder Blush (Supported) $29, Splash Liquid Lipstick (Sentimental) $27 all available for purchase here.

Moral of the story-You don’t need to spend hundreds on makeup to paint your canvas. Improvise using your imagination. After all, that’s what art is, right?

Rebecca can help you put together your minimalist makeup bag!

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. 

Track Tuesday: Favorite Running Music (Part 1)

Track Tuesday!!

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor to check my ankle today, and I am happy to report that I got the go ahead to slowly begin running again! *happy dance!*

I thought it might be fun to start a little something I’ll call “Track Tuesday” where each week, on Tuesday (duh), I will share a few of my favorite songs to run to! If you like them, add them to your running playlist! If you hate them, tell me why! Feel free to leave some of your favorite tracks to run to in the comments as well! 

Hopefully you will find some new artists and genres you will enjoy! I’m always looking for something new to try as well. 

Each link will take you to an official YouTube video for the song. Please comment on the video that you were sent by Muscles, Miles and Mascara. Enjoy! 

1. 300 Violin Orchestra – Jorge Quintera

300 Violin Orchestra by Jorge Quintera is probably my most favorite song to run to! It’s a track that has been used in trailers for action movies and in numerous sports videos. It’s a song that makes me feel strong, powerful and fast! This was the last song that came on just before the finish of my first 5k and therefore holds a very special place in my heart as a runner! 

2. Roundtable Revival – Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Sterling is a name you will hear often on Track Tuesday. She is an adorable little violinist, composer, dancer, and performance artist who plays some incredible electronic classical crossover dubstep…which happens to make for wonderful running music in my opinion! Upbeat and strong! 

3. Army of Kings – Audiomachine

This song makes me feel like I’m running in one of those motivational videos up the side of a mountain or something! Audiomachine will likely make a few more appearances on Track Tuesday, as well. They are a production company from California that produces some really powerful epic music. 

Rash

Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to change.

Yesterday I discovered a nasty little surprise.  

Oozing. Stinking. Angry. Painful. Itchy. Weeping. Inflamed. Burning. Disgusting. Embarrassing. 

I got my first full blown rash from the loose skin I am carrying around after my weightloss.

After insurance denied me coverage to have this excess skin removed, many people suggested I “encourage” rashes. You see, insurance companies often like a long history of rashes before they will cover this surgery. 

“Almost” rashes like I typically get aren’t good enough. The fact that I need to constantly think about preventing rashes isn’t good enough. Having to figure out which clothes will not fold my skin certain ways where it will rub during a particular type of workout isn’t enough. Having to worry about making sure I can clean and dry myself promptly after sweating or risk a rash under my skin isn’t enough. Having to use anti chaffing cream and powders regularly to avoid a rash isn’t enough. 

No, the inconvenience of these things isn’t enough. 

They need you to have the rashes. Oh, but not just have them. Have them and suffer from them badly enough that creams don’t clear them up. 

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s bullshit. 

So, I refused to “encourage” these rashes. Mostly because…..ew, gross. Secondly, because I think these people who intentionally let their skin get that bad are doing a disservice to everyone else. These fabricated rashes minimize what other people actually suffer from. Lastly, I’m not a perfect person, but I try to be honest and transparent. 

Therefore, I am careful to do everything I can to avoid rashes when I can. I’ve done a good job so far. I’ll see red and sore patches sometimes after I wear a certain item of clothing…or after a certain kind of workout. I just care for that sore area right away and take measures to keep the skin healthy, clean, dry and comfortable. 

Despite my best efforts I’ve ended up with a rash. Its really gross. I’ll spare you from pictures. Its quite uncomfortable. It’s definitely a nuisance and I’d be much less grouchy right now if I’d been able to avoid this. 

However, I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. I know I’ve spoken a lot about wanting surgery to remove this skin over the past few months. I’ve been met with doubt by a few people over these months. Many who have implied my desire for surgery was for mere “cosmetic” reasons. Even though I know what I deal with daily, some of these comments got into my head and made me question myself for a moment. Was I overreacting?

I have a follow up with my doctor today so she can check my sprained ankle. I plan to show her the rash while I’m there, hopefully get some treatment advice and I’ll have her document it. Maybe someday, I’ll suffer enough for insurance to take my need seriously. 

In the meantime, at least I can take myself seriously and try to distance myself from the doubt that others want to infect me with….like an incurable, persistent rash.