Archive | January 2017

Over 40 Doesn’t Mean Over the Hill! Check Out These Ageless Elegant Beauties!

I recently began selling Avon again and someone said to me, “You may have a hard time. Only old people buy Avon and they don’t really buy makeup anymore.” I couldn’t let it go…I just had to ask. “What’s old?” The person said very calmly, “People over 40.” I had to work hard to keep my hands to my side. In my mind, I saw one hand rising up and leaving five red marks across that young lady’s cheek!

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Someone get the shovel and dig the hole! I’m 48 so I guess I’ll be in my final resting place soon.”

NOT! 

At age 40, you have just begun to live! You are wiser, more confident, have a better understanding of your own personal style, and can clearly communicate your likes and dislikes. Those of us over 40 have a sexiness…a sassiness…in us that didn’t exist 20 years ago. Can I get an amen?

To prove my point, let’s take a look at some “old” celebrities and see how they’ve aged. Each of these ageless elegant beauties is exceptionally attractive and wears…(get ready)…makeup!

 

Candace Cameron has been in many other roles, but to me, she’ll always be DJ Tanner from “Full House”. Yes, DJ Tanner is 40 now and looks great.img_2533

ANTM creator Tyra Banks still looks like a top model herself at age 43.img_2505

Did anyone else know that Cosby kid Vanessa Huxtable was over 40 now? Tempest Bledsoe is glowing!
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Being “Mary Jane” star  Gabrielle Union should also enjoy just being herself as well. At 44, she is stunning!
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Now Fish Mooney on “Gotham”, Jada Pinkett Smith looks as good today at 45 as she did on the Cosby hit “A Different World” where she was cast as the sassy Lena James. 
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Supermodel Naomi Campbell is flawless at 46. 
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Has this woman aged? Rapper/Singer/Actress/Producer/Model/Talk Show Host Queen Latifah is exceptionally talented and simply gorgeous at age 46. In fact, she has become more attractive over the years.
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Jenny from the Block, aka J. Lo, looks wonderful at 46.  I’m sure running after her adorable twins keeps her fit and feeling young!

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Leah Remini, J. Lo’s bestie, is a young-looking 46. Some people remember her from “The King of Queens” but I remember has as Zack’s girlfriend on “Saved by the Bell”…and she looks the same!

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Everyone knows Kelly Ripa from “Live With Kelly” (nee Michael and Regis). Does anyone else remember Kelly from “All My Children”  as Haley Vaughn in the 1990s? Haley…er…Kelly, hasn’t changed much.

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“Friends” star Jennifer Aniston is drop dead gorgeous at 47. She has been through so much and still smiles. I cannot be the only one routing and cheering for this woman! 
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Vanessa Marcil was always beautiful to me and has not aged since her days on “General Hospital” or “Beverly Hills 90210.” I can’t believe she’s 48!img_2495

No way! Actress Ashley Judd is 48 and is as pretty as she was when I first saw her in the movie “Kiss the Girls.” 
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Cosby kid Lisa Bonet is 49. The former Denise Huxtable has perfect cheek bones!img_2519

How does Halle Berry manage to look as fabulous at 50 as she did in her “Cat Woman” costume?
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Another supermodel and ageless beauty…the beautiful Cindy Crawford at age 50 who still looks fabulous with her signature beauty mark/mole.
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Salma Hayak looks exactly as she did when I first saw her in the movie “Fools Rush In.” However that was 20 YEARS AGO…she is now 50! That is hard to believe.
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I was a HUGE fan of “The Facts of Life”.  In fact, I wanted to be Blair! Lisa Whelchel is still as pretty as ever at 53. 
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I don’t care how many roles she has had since “A Different World,” Jasmine Guy will always be the rich, spoiled, annoying, Whitley Gilbert to me. Oh, how I loved that character! The southern belle is now 54.
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Ageless TV and movie star Michelle Pfieffer is now 58. I will never forget her roles in “Scarface” and “Married to the Mob”. She is still lovely…and those eyes! 
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Supermodel and Uptown Girl Christie Brinkley makes 62 look sexy, doesn’t she? How does she manage to look this gorgeous? Wow!
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Huh? Bern Nadette Stanis of “Good Times” fame is 63? Unbelievable! J.J.’s little sister Thelma still looks DYN-O-MITE!
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How does Patti Labelle manage to have such flawless skin at age 72? She looks at least 20 years younger.

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This is a bonus three-for-one! Who was not a “Charlie’s Angel” fan in the 70s? Here are the three original angels pictured together. Jaclyn Smith (left)  is now 70 and hasn’t changed a bit. Kate Smith (right) is looking great at 68. (Sadly, Farrah Fawcett in the center died in 2009 at age 62.) 

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If Tina Turner has been rolling on the river, the fountain of youth must empty into it. The “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” singer is 77 and looks as if she still has those “Proud Mary” moves!
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The always classy Diahann Caroll is unbelievably 81. She starred in Julia, the first weekly series to depict a Black woman in a nonsterotypical role. She continued in this vein, defying stereotypes, as Dominque Deveraux, Blake Carrington’s long-lost, black, half-sister on nighttime soap “Dynasty.” I’ll bet she still looks amazing in those gowns!
Women In Film 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards

Lastly, how can we forget the lovely Betty White who will be 95 in just over a week? She is as witty and charming as ever and is wearing that stuff old people don’t wear…makeup!

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To those of you who think ages 40 and over are old, you are sadly mistaken! We are living wonderful lives and there’s a market out there for fabulous women from their 40s through their 90s who want to continue to look and feel good! My Grandma Irene died in 2011 at age 91. She attended church regularly well into her late 80s, wearing her lipstick each Sunday.

My guess is that most women want to look and feel pretty. Over 40 doesn’t mean old. In fact some people say 40 is the new 20! If so, then 50 is the new 30, 60 is the new 40, etc. God, I love being 28!

Ponder this quote from a Huffington Post article titled “40 is the New 20”: “When you’re twenty, you live life without regrets. When you’re thirty, you have a lot of regrets. When you’re forty, you just live life.”

Gotta go now…I’m going to live life.

Peace.

Primer Review 

Everyone by now knows I sell Avon. When I started this blog, I promised to be honest about products. If I like it, I’ll tell you. And if I don’t like it, I’ll tell you that, too…even if it’s an Avon product. This is one of those times. 

I have the Avon MagiX Face Protector. The original price is $11. Well…er…how do I say this? I’m not completely unsatified with it. It does what it’s supposed to do. It smooths my skin in preparation for my foundation. If it’s on sale, I’ll likely buy it again. 

Avon MagiX Face Protector


Some people absolutely love it. It has received great reviews from customers on the Avon website. But let me be candid – it is just not my fav. Some people claim it’s the best thing in the world and that their skin looks awesome with the Avon primer alone. That is not the case for me. It feels good, but it makes my skin look chaulky. Perhaps it’s just not the best product for dark skin. Oh well…nothing personal…it happens. 

In my opinion, the best primer I’ve used surprisingly has been Elf’s Hydrating Face Primer – something I can grab easily from my local drug store. 

Elf Hydrating Primer


It is fantabulous (yes, I made up a word) and it costs only $6. It smooths so nicely and goes on clear, making such a nice canvas for foundation. In fact, it made my skin look and feel flawless after my foundation was applied. 

I feel better now that I got that off my chest. 


Some people may call me crazy for not speaking more favorably about a product I sell or they may believe that I’m adversely affecting my business. I say not. My opinion is that I have a responsibility to be honest. To those who love Avon primer, great! I am happy to sell it to you. To others, I just want to give my opinion so that you can make a decision of your own. 

How can you trust me when I speak highly about a product if I can’t be honest about what I don’t like? You have my word. I will always be honest with you. 

How to Select a Fragrance

Most women love fragrances. We like to smell good and we enjoy when people are attracted to our scents. Many of us have multiple bottles of perfume neatly arranged on our bureaus or vanity tables. Sometimes we wear different scents for different occasions. For example, I have a fragrance for daily use, one for church, and one for ultra special occasions. The latter is usually my most expensive perfume. We may receive perfume as gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and from our significant others on Valentine’s Day. But do you know how to pick the right scent for yourself? With so many choices, how does one even begin? Is there a method? And how are scents formulated?

If you’ve been reading my posts, you already know that I’m a researcher. If I want to know something, I’m going to find out and then share it with you. So let me share my findings about fragrances.

Each fragrance has a top note, middle note, and a bottom note (also called a base note). The top note is what you smell immediately upon application. Do not make a decision based on the top note because it dissipates quickly. The middle note is sometimes called the heart note because it forms the “heart” of the perfume. The middle note appears around 2-30 minutes after a fragrance is applied. The bottom note brings a rich, deep scent about 30 minutes after application and tends to linger, well up to over 24 hours. Together, the middle and bottom notes are the main parts of the perfume. 

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Carefully compare the notes to the application to see how long each lasts

I think after some wear, we become immune to our fragrance. There are times I’ll spray or dab on a fragrance at 7:00 AM before work. I’ll go to a meeting after work at 7:00 PM (12 hours later) and someone will tell me I smell good and inquire about the fragrance. I’m always floored because by that time, I can no longer smell it! But that’s clearly evidence of the base note in the perfume lingering. And it seals the argument of why we should never choose a perfume based on the top note alone.

Here’s a simple way to test a fragrance:

1. This first step is easy. Smell it. Take a sniff to get a general idea of the smell. Do you like it? Don’t buy it yet. Proceed to step 2.

2. Dab it on your wrists, wait a few minutes, and take a whiff. What do you think now? But it’s still not time to make a purchase. You want to wait until the middle note takes over and smell it again.

3. Smell it again after 30 or more minutes. Do you like it now? Did you know that our skin and chemical makeup can alter the way a fragrance smells? Do you think your chemical makeup enhances or diminishes the fragrance? Now you can make a purchase. If you still like it, it likely meshes with your chemical makeup.

Are you aware that fragrances don’t smell the same on everyone? It can smell one way on a friend and smell completely different on you. If the scent smells good on someone else, you should still test it on you! This is why we also can’t rush to the store to buy a celebrity’s signature scent. From Elizabeth Taylor , J. Lo., Mariah Carey and Beyoncé to Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga…you may love them as performers, but you should test their scents before buying them.

Here’s another tip: be wary of the fragrance lady in the department store who gives you the sample on paper or sprays your wrist when you enter. Even if you like it, DO NOT BUY RIGHT AWAY! Remember, you would only be smelling the top note which doesn’t last. Wait for the middle note to take over. Walk around the store…finish your shopping…wait at least 30 minutes and sniff. Do you still like the smell? If so, go for it! If not, then it simply isn’t for you.

Some department stores have samples vials you can take with you. Ask for them before making a purchase. Then you can follow the steps above to be certain that the scent is something you truly like.

In the event that you don’t have or can’t get samples, you’ll have to research. Read descriptions and reviews of perfumes. Perfumes are generally categorized as follows: floral, fresh, oriental, and woodsy. If you know you usually don’t like woodsy scents, then research and don’t purchase scents with that description. Let’s take a look at the descriptors for each of these categories:

Floral – think very feminine and flowery scents like jasmine or fruity floral scents, like strawberry or pomegranate

Fresh – think clean, crisp, the smell of air after a rainfall, citrus-like, green, etc.

Oriental – think musk, nutmeg, and vanilla

Woodsy – think outdoorsy like sandalwood or cedar

Take a look at the perfume below, Avon’s Far Away, and notice how the notes and the types of scents describe the perfume in the example below:

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FAR AWAY – Top Notes: peach, freesia Middle Notes: jasmine, osmanthus, orange flower Base Notes: vanilla musk, sandalwood, amber

Avon knows fragrances. Many people think of Avon as a makeup company. However, it was actually started as the California Perfume Company in 1886. As such, Avon has been in the business of scents for over 130 years. (Click here to shop for a fragrance in the eStore.)
Avon is aware that some fragrances are better suited for specific personalities. Before making a purchase, you may want to also consider taking one of the Avon fragrance personality quizzes below. One is posted below for you to try.
I did this quiz and found that I am mostly B’s: Chic and Sophisticated.
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Good luck selecting your next fragrance…let me know if this post helps you!
Raquel

Color Correcting Concealer – I Tried It!

Yesterday, I posted this piece on color correcting concealers. As one with dark circles under my eyes, I just had to give it a try. Dark circles have always been a problem for me. I recall in third grade, Robert Long decided to change my name from Raquel to Raccoon. All of the other boys in the classroom got a kick out of it and of course, joined in the teasing. I became Raccoon for the rest of third grade. Ugh! As a result, I’ve always been self-conscious about my dark under eye circles.

With memories of third grade on my mind, I was ready to conceal and cover up this morning! It is recommended that people with skin tones of medium and darker use red or orange concealer to hide those dreaded circles. So I used a reddish-orange concealer (bottom right on the photos below). I applied with a concealer brush to be sure to get in those crevices where my finger couldn’t reach – that space in the inner corner of my eye and just under my bottom lid. Afterward, I covered the correcting concealer with one that more closely matches my skin tone. The concealers I used were nothing fancy; just a kit I picked up for very cheap in my local beauty supply store.

Now…this is where it gets interesting. I always wear a foundation to work. However, as an educator, I haven’t been to work since December 23rd because of the holiday break, so I haven’t been wearing it regularly. After 11 days off from work, today was my first day back to work, but my whole morning routine was out of whack. Can you believe that I forgot to put on foundation today?!?! I had simply put on eye shadow, mascara, and lipstick after blending in my concealer. I didn’t realize what I had done until I was washing makeup off my hands. You see, I typically squirt foundation on the back of my hand before applying it and have to scrub hard to wash it off when I’m done. This morning, THERE WAS NONE THERE! OMG…I had forgotten to put it on! I looked at the clock and I was running late. There was no time to put on foundation. Egad! I was prepared to look a mess today.

I jumped in my truck and rushed to work. I was afraid to look at myself, but took a quick peek in my rearview mirror anyway. Then I took a longer peek. Then I stared. I said to myself…”Hey, I don’t look bad!” I was shocked.

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In addition to using the correcting concealer, I had used concealer to highlight and contour, but I had forgotten to use my foundation first. Amazingly, the concealer was all I needed! The concealer hid every flaw without the need for foundation. Unbelievable! I now see that use of concealer can save time in the morning without the added step of applying foundation; and that it will also save money in that I will likely need to purchase less foundation moving forward.

In this photo, I began with Avon MagiX Face Perfector to prime my face. Then I used reddish-orange concealer to cover my dark circles and a variety of concealers from the kit (pictured above) to highlight and contour. On my lips, I’m wearing Avon True Color Perfectly Matte Lipstick in Adoring Love and Avon SuperExtend Mascara in Black on my lashes. 

Hmm…not bad for 48! God bless concealer!

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Color Correcting Concealers

I started wearing makeup decades ago. I only recall concealer coming in various skin tone shades to cover dark circles and other flaws. Today, there are concealers in multiple colors, each with a specific job. Let’s take the time to gain some understanding about color correcting concealers and how they work.

Very few of us have perfect skin. Some have dark circles, some have discoloration, some have redness, etc. Let’s take a look at The Color Wheel below to see how to pick the right concealer.

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Notice the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors on the wheel above. A primary color is a color that can’t be made by mixing other colors together. You can see on the wheel that primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. A secondary color can be made by mixing primary colors together. For example, red and blue make purple; and yellow and blue make green. (I remember that from elementary school art class!) A tertiary color is made by mixing primary and secondary colors. Colors opposite each other on this wheel are called complementary colors (for example: blue and yellow).

Question: Why is this important when choosing correcting concealers?

Answer:  Because color correcting makeup will cancel out any discoloration of its complementary color.

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Notice how these colors complement/neutralize each other

Do you have….

  • Redness or broken capillaries? Try green concealer. It will neutralize the red.
  • Unwanted yellow overtone or sallowness? Try a lavender concealer; or perhaps blue. 
  • Dark under eye circles, particularly on fair skin? Try pink concealer (which is more like peach or salmon). This color is actually a mix of red, orange, and yellow hues and dark circles are often a mix of blue, purple, and green hues. 
  • Purple or blue bruises or veins? Try yellow concealer. Yellow may also work for some on under eye circles. 
  • Dark skin (deeper than medium) and dark under eye circles or other dark areas? Try orange or red concealer.
  • Flawless or near flawless skin?  A neutral concealer will mask your minor skin imperfections. 
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Correcting concealer palette

Color correcting isn’t for everyone. You may have already have a system that works for you. If not, give it a try and let me know how it worked!

Raquel

Happy New Year

I like to think of the word YEAR as Your Exhaustive Annual Review. I believe it’s important to reflect on the past year for my personal growth. I think about what was successful and try to figure out why. This is important to determine so that I can repeat it intentionally moving forward.

Some incidents are simply a part of life’s cycles and are beyond my control, such as the death of a loved one. I think about those, too. Do I need to scream or cry? If so, I do it! Sometimes this can be cathartic and I allow myself this moment.

What is hard is reflecting on unsuccessful occurrences or things that have caused us to be hurt or angry. Many of us attempt to ignore it and leave it in the past year. We act like if we don’t think about it any longer, then it never occurred. I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of this. However, that’s a big no-no! I’ve learned that if I don’t reflect on the negative, some things are destined to be repeated unintentionally. It is foolish to repeat negative events that could have been prevented. As painful as it may be, I have to spend some time on these things. What happened? Why? How did what I do or say contribute to it? What could I have done differently? Who else was involved? Did this person help or hinder? With whom do I need to associate less or not at all? Critical thinking upon the negative has been important for my own learning and growth. It has proven to be the most beneficial because learning from the negative can help me to create more positive situations. My belief is that if I can learn from the negative, then I’ve taken something positive from it.

So going into 2017, remember that YEAR means Your Exhaustive Annual Review. Let’s look 2016 in the face, the good and the bad, and be prepared to make 2017 even better!

Happy New Year!

Raquel