Category:

Beauty

Tarte, Sugar Rush, Tarte Cosmetics, Best Cosmetics for Teens, Best cosmetics for Generation Z

Earlier this spring my favorite cosmetics company, Tarte, launched a brand new sister brand called Sugar Rush. You may be wondering why I care. I’m already devoted to Tarte but as in all things, there is always room for improvement. I’m not just looking at cosmetics for me anymore, after all, I am raising two young ladies. I’ve got a tween and a teen who want nothing more than to raid my makeup drawers.

Disclosure: I was provided some products in the Sugar Rush collection by Tarte but all opinions are my own.

The thing is it’s always been my belief that makeup isn’t necessary for girls that young because they are so absolutely beautiful, as is. Ah, remember when your pores were that small? Remember when you looked that rested? Oh and let’s not forget about the creaseless, voluptuous faces of the youth. But, I remember even then wanting to use makeup as a creative way to express myself and I know that’s what our young girls want to do too.

READ ALSO: How to Teach Teen Girls to Put on Make Up

Tarte’s Sugar Rush is made especially for Generation Z. The packaging is cute and fun, like the girls using it. However, it’s vegan and cruelty-free which makes me feel better about spending my money on it and allowing my girls to use it.

Tarte, Sugar Rush, Tarte Cosmetics, Best Cosmetics for Teens

Did I mention everything in the Tarte Sugar Rush collection is under $30?

The thing is that it’s make-up and skin care made with good-for-you ingredients. Even though it comes in super cute packaging and is perfect for your favorite Generation Z girl, the quality is just as good as what you’ve come to expect from Tarte over the last 20 years.

Can you even believe that Tarte has been around for 20 years? Tarte has always been committed to cruelty-free cosmetics so what better way to celebrate their 20th anniversary than by evolving the brand with the launch of Sugar Rush.

READ ALSO: The Parents Guide to Teen Slang

This colorful new collection uses quality ingredients to create long-lasting wear, skin-loving formulas with recyclable packaging that aesthetically pops. Everything in the collection is cruelty-free, vegan, naturally derived, dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic which is perfect for my girl with sensitive skin!

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls

The collection offers a nice variety of skin-care and makeup picks including two eye shadow palettes, lip products and facial products. Sugar Rush also has a few cute skin-care and brush sets and sweet, summertime scents that conjure up memories of the beach.

Sugar Rush may be “powered by glitter and good vibes” but it’s also backed by the high quality and reputation of Tarte. My girls are in love with the collection and so am I.

Tarte, Sugar Rush, Tarte Cosmetics, Best Cosmetics for Teens, sugar rush sweet slice eye cheek palette

I can’t get enough of the Sugar Rush vacay day rollerball and Sugar Spritz body spray. Bella is loving the cake butter whipped body butter and Sugar Rush sweet slice eye and cheek palette. Gabs can’t get enough of the Couple Goals double-ended lip gloss, squeezy clean face wash and star factor cleansing face brush.

Overall, we love Tarte’s Sugar Rush collection and, more importantly, I feel good about letting my girls put it on their face.

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Latinas in business, Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

As a woman who loves fashion, one of my favorite things is jewelry. While clothes allow me to express my personality, beautiful accessories have always had a special place in my heart because no matter what my weight or circumstances, accessories always fit and make me feel beautiful.  Ladies, I know you get this.

I was introduced to Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski a few years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite everyday jewelry brands. I love versatile, high-quality pieces that I can wear on different occasions depending on my mood. I really appreciate that the pieces look beautiful and wear time and time again without losing their luster yet are affordable.

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

Disclosure: I was provided Touchstone Crystal products by Swarovski Crystal for review purposes but all opinions and love of the Touchstone Brand are my own.

READ ALSO: Every Woman Deserves Sparkle in Her Life

Some exciting things are happening over at Touchstone Crystal. Touchstone just named Graciela Balmori Head of Latina Development as part of an effort to more personally cater to it’s Latina customers. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Balmori and getting the scoop on what her plans are for developing that initiative.

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

Q: As a Latina woman myself, I know we like our fashion and accessories, how will Touchstone market to Latinas differently than the general market? What steps will be taken to personalize the advertisement experience for the Latina market? Women of color models?

Answer:

Touchstone Crystal is part of the 120-year legendary, trusted Swarovski family of brands (www.touchstonecrystal.com).  Over the past seven years, TC has experienced fantastic success and growth so it’s very exciting for me to join the company right now.   In fact, we are the fastest growing division in Swarovski—over the last two years our sales have more than doubled! Swarovski has a rich heritage of craftsmanship, design and crystal innovation and the brand is a regular on the red carpet.  Swarovski also collaborates with the world’s most famous fashion houses and brands.

Through my role as Head of Latina Market Development at TCS I’m introducing the brand for the very first time to many Latinas and I know they will feel embraced by our thriving community of empowered women and our supportive team.  At Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski we have two offerings:   1) Our exclusively designed jewelry product line and 2) Our unique, rewarding (and proven) home-based business opportunity.

When I explored my new career opportunities with Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski, I instantly learned that TCS is built upon the same driving forces valued in the Latino sector:  1.  On-trend product   2.  Growth potential and 3. Entrepreneurial spirit.  The more I learned about how in line TCS is with Latinas, the more I felt like it was love at first sight! Our Integrated Marketing Strategy (an intentional decision not to run a separate Latina Division) has us all working in unison to support the success of every woman.

Debi, I’m glad you asked about advertising because TCS has already been featuring multicultural models in our catalogs and brand imagery.   After I joined the team, we discussed incorporating more family imagery: a daughter placing a Touchstone Crystal necklace on her mother for the first time or a young man buying jewelry for his grandmother, girlfriend, mom — or all three! We want our ads to resonate passionately with consumers because they portray the values of our Latina market while also strongly reflecting mainstream trends, too.

Q: How will you appeal to the Latino narrative?

Answer:

Latino business entrepreneurs tend to see their business as an extension of themselves. As you know Debi, as Latina women we care deeply about our families and our communities. I have met thousands of Latino entrepreneurs and read lots of research and what I have found is that there are common reasons for why Latinos start their own businesses such as the desire to provide a better future for their family, to purchase a home, to offer a better education to their children and to elevate their entire family’s financial status.

I feel very strongly about the Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski business opportunity because I know first-hand the impact it is having for real people – real women I have met or connected with online. We are already incorporating the personal success stories of Latina Consultants through our marketing materials and on social media. The real life narratives of our Latina Consultants are filled with success on so many levels for many reasons:  quality, price, ease of business, plus support and community.  Not to mention Latina women love our sparkle and style!

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

Here is a recent success story from one of our Latina Consultants:

“The best thing about this business is helping to empower women to have the confidence to pursue their dreams – big or small, whatever they may be– through my Touchstone Crystal business. I’ve rediscovered the leadership skills that I put aside while raising my family, plus my passion for helping other women and the confidence needed to run my own business.  My biggest joy is watching my two sisters, Laura and Imelda, grow in this business.  They both joined TCS a month after I did and I’ve seen wonderful changes in their incomes and their happiness! For us as sisters it’s been so much fun doing this business together. We talk on the phone every day, help each other set up events, and share business ideas.  Of course the ,icing on the cake is we get paid for sharing jewelry that we love! Touchstone Crystal truly supports us – and they are committed to our growth and success. I’m proud to share it with Latina women.”
– Martha, Touchstone Crystal Business Leader

 

Q: Will there be a new line or different pieces made to reflect the Latino spirit and the colorful culture?

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela BalmoriAnswer:

Our jewelry designs are inspired by Swarovski’s trend experts.  They explore the globe for style trends regularly. Swarovski creates new crystal colors and innovations each season and Touchstone Crystal is lucky enough to have access to this world-class expertise.  We are always listening to product feedback from our customers and consultants and we continually launch new pieces year-round…so the answer is stay tuned!

Q: How will you cater to the Latino market? What will you do to make Touchstone the go-to product for Latinos?

 Answer: 

Our goal is to make TCS the go-to opportunity for Latina women looking to start a business because we offer a fantastic income opportunity, wonderful flexibility with a great line of quality jewelry, and a business strategy supporting expansion into the Latina market.  We are welcoming Latina women all over the US to the TCS team every day.  As they say, actions speak louder than words and TCS is committed and passionate about this!   Your readers can find out more on our website.  https://touchstonecrystal.com/regional/our-opportunity-rewards

You and I both know that with a purchasing power of about 2.13 Trillion, according to The Latino Donor Collaborative, if Latinos were categorized as a stand-alone country they would be the ranked as the 7th largest country in the world by GDP, making us even bigger than other countries like India and Brazil!  Wow, right?  And Touchstone Crystal wants to give pathways to success to our community.

The beauty of starting as a Touchstone Crystal Consultant is the simple business model, a minimal financial commitment of just $139, and the heritage and credibility come with being a Swarovski company.

Swarovski is also investing in new technology to make our entire business completely mobile in every respect. We know this is extremely important to our demographic – according to Nielsen, “nearly 3 out 4 Latinos own smartphones (72%), close to 10% higher than the average in the U.S.”

Owning your own time, having the freedom and flexibility to work around the things that matter the most to you like: family events, school activities, meal times, charities, vacation time, all while having a lucrative business is priceless.  This is why I joined TCS and why I know my Latina sisters will, too!

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

Q: What is your goal for Touchstone and the Latino market?

Answer: 

At Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski we believe all women deserve to shine every single day. Our goal is to share our beautiful, affordable jewelry and offer our proven business opportunity to the entire Latina Community in the US.  We feel confident that by making Latinas feel valued and supported we will help more women accomplish their personal and professional goals.

Currently, we’re expanding in all regions and offering new Consultants training and mentorship opportunities.

Since I was raised by a mother with a home-based business career, nothing makes me happier than to pay it forward via my new role at Touchstone Crystal and to help other women achieve their dreams with our unparalleled opportunity.  My mother came to this country from Mexico as a newlywed, pregnant with her first child, with nothing but a small suitcase in hand. She was offered the opportunity to own her own direct-sales business and it changed the course of our lives – affording college educations for all of her children, several homes, nice cars, and a very comfortable lifestyle.   As a result of my Mom’s perseverance, she taught me to dream big, too.

I feel so grateful that Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski is allowing me to offer women the same kind of opportunity so that I can help other women and their families– just like my Mother did.

As the daughter of an immigrant myself, I can relate to a lot of Ms. Balmori’s story. And as a mother who works from home, I know how important it is to have the option to be there for your children and help provide financially, as well. I was raised that where there was a will, there is always a way. Aside from just being a company that provides beautiful pieces for women, Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski is the way for many women to pursue their will regardless of race, religion or circumstances. Touchstone Crystal is giving all women an equal opportunity.

Fashion, jewelry, Touchstone Crystal, Swarovski, Head of Latina Development, Graciela Balmori

Thank you Graciela for sharing your story with us and I’m looking forward to seeing all the great things to come at Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski.

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tarte cosmetics, How to teach teenage girls to put on make up, make up, how to put on make-up, raising teen girls, beauty tips for teens, beauty tips for tweens

When I was a tween and a teenage girl, I was forbidden from wearing make-up. Not even lip gloss. If I was really slick, I could, maybe, get away with some shiny chapstick. Thank you Lip Smackers. But my teenage self had no idea how to put on make-up.

My dad was very old-fashioned and opposed to the thought of any sort of male looking in our direction and harbored even more disdain at the thought of us growing up. So, needless to say, middle school was the pits and even asking how to put on make-up was about as offensive to our dad as asking how to get pregnant.

Disclosure: I was gifted some of the products I use by Tarte cosmetics but all opinions on how to put on make-up and love for the product are my own.

Aside from the obvious and prevailing normalness of hormones, gangliness, body parts changing at lightning speed and an overall collective ugliness that hits everyone in those awkward years, I wasn’t allowed to paint my fingernails, shave my legs or wear lip gloss. It was just me and my caterpillar eyebrows fending for ourselves in a world of shaven legs and make-up.

READ ALSO: I shaved my 7-year-old

Honestly, I didn’t wear anything above that shiny Lip Smacker until prom. PROM! I was 17 and had never put make-up on my own face. Now, on this point I do agree with my dad, teenage girls are naturally beautiful. They really don’t need much but, I mean PROM, it’s like the closest thing you get to your wedding at 16 and 17. You want to be extra. More than Lip Smackers anyways.

Prom day came and I had my hair professionally done. Of course, it was a disaster because the hairdresser took my natural curls and made them into spiral curls and I looked more like Shirley Temple than I had any of intention of looking. Then there was the situation with my prom dress that needed last minute alterations. My prom date was awesome enough to pick up the dress, only to find out 5 minutes before we had to leave that she took the chest area in too much. So the girl who never wore make-up and had just secretly shaved her legs, had 17-year-old cleavage coming out to attack her date. You think that was bad?

My brother was dating my best friend so we were double dating to prom. My brother picked up the flowers from the florist and promptly put them in the freezer. They turned brown. They looked dead. I would have been hysterical had it not have been happening to me.

Then my friend offered to do my make-up. I figured why not since I had no idea what to do and compared to the terrible hair, come atcha cleavage and brown flowers…I needed a win.  In retrospect,  I should have just asked for a how to put on make-up tutorial but alas, there was no YouTube when I went to prom… just friends with good intentions and less skill. How bad could it be?

Bad! It could be awful. I looked like a goth princess. You see how that could be distracting? I had to wash my face off, and apply Lip Smackers as my mom tried to brush the Shirley Temple curls out of my hair. It was the worst. I was crying and mascara was streaking my cheeks. My poor prom date sat in the living room wondering wtf he had gotten himself into. You know, if my parents had planned this, they would win at the game of blockers for sure.

This is why I decided (that night at prom) before I ever had sex or children that I would never let that happen to my girls. When I went to college, the first thing I did was learn to put on make-up. Don’t get me wrong, during the day (most days of my life) I still love a bare face. I’m good without it. But when I go out, I want my face to look like it came to impress. I love make-up.

For me, applying a beautiful face of make-up is respecting the occasion and the people that I am spending time with, in the same way one would dress up to go out. I feel like putting no effort in reflects badly on me, like I don’t care about what I’m doing. But it’s not all about make-up. Beauty comes from within and sometimes beauty is pain. I mean, those fancy braids that look all carefree, they hurt going in. I’ve taught my girls this from the get.

READ ALSO: My Daughter Taught Me an Invaluable Lesson

The girls are ballerinas and perform on stage a lot, so at the ripe old ages of 11 and 13-years-old they already have more make-up experience than I did in high school. But, as anyone who has seen stage make-up, you know it’s not appropriate for daytime wear on young girls. It’s very heavy and dramatic because it’s purpose is to be seen under harsh, bright house lights. I’m trying to teach the girls that you can be creative, expressive and have fun with make-up without being overly dramatic and look-at-me-ish. I’m also trying to teach them that beauty isn’t just about what you look like, it’s who you are and how you behave; it emanates from within like a light.

How to teach teenage girls to put on make up, make up, how to put on make-up, raising teen girls, beauty tips for teens, beauty tips for tweens, tarte cosmeticsHere is what I’ve been teaching my tween and teenage girls about how to put on make-up:

 

1.Beauty is pain.

How to teach teenage girls to put on make up, make up, how to put on make-up, raising teen girls, beauty tips for teens, beauty tips for tweens

2. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, maintain your suppleness and skin elasticity.

How to teach teenage girls to put on make up, make up, how to put on make-up, raising teen girls, beauty tips for teens, beauty tips for tweens, tarte cosmetics

3. Wear huge sunglasses to keep yourself from squinting in the sun and to protect your face from the damaging rays of the sun.

4. Clean your face daily. Never go to bed with a dirty face. I use St. Ives Apricot scrub.

5. Use witch hazel after you clean your face to make sure it’s clean.

6. Moisturize your face. Moisturize your neck. Moisturize your hands and make sure that your daytime moisturizer has SPF in it. Also, moisturizing lippys never hurt anybody. My favorite for the girls is Tarte lip quenchers.

7. Always wear sunscreen

8. Don’t pull at your skin. When applying moisturizer rub up and dab around the eyes.

9. Buy good cosmetics and less is more. This is what I have found to be true for me anyways. The more pigment, the less you have to use.

10.  Apply primer and your make-up will last longer.

11. Apply setting spray and you will look flawless all day.

13. Curl your eyelashes before you apply mascara, even if you aren’t applying mascara.

14. Do not pluck your eyebrows. All of us moms who lived through the 90’s can tell you from below our anorexic eyebrows that all of the castor oil in the world can’t bring them back to life. I miss my Brooke Shields caterpillars.

How to teach teenage girls to put on make up, make up, how to put on make-up, raising teen girls, beauty tips for teens, beauty tips for tweens, tarte cosmetics

15. Love who you are because let me tell you what…confidence is the most beautiful thing a girl can possess.

What’s your best beauty secret for tween and teenage girls? At what age were you allowed to wear make-up? How do you teach your daughters about how to put on make-up?

 

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Ivory, focus on the important things, mother and daughter

Some days, I miss the quiet chaos that we existed in when the girls were little.  I know it sounds crazy because I’ve waited so long for my girls to be “old enough” to be self-sufficient. The day they could get their own water or fix their own bed. I felt like I waited for those milestones forever.

It was like that first year of motherhood, waiting for your precious little one to be able to learn to roll over, crawl, pull themselves up and eventually walk and talk. That year felt like a lifetime. Why do we rush that first year? We actively encourage and cheer them on. Don’t we realize we are only rushing our own letting go? Independence will come soon enough on its own.

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with P&G but all opinions are my own.

I’m as guilty as anyone. I was thrilled when Bella turned 13 because suddenly, I realized that I could leave her home alone while I went to the grocery store. Then, I got to the grocery store all pumped up on the fact that I could get in and out without anyone slowing me down or asking me for everything they fancied.

However, I realized almost immediately that I was alone and, as grueling as our trips to the store may sometimes feel, those moments together are when the good talks happen. Memories happen in the aisles of the grocery store, at the mall and even on those car rides to ballet class every day. They keep us connected so laughter and those deep, long conversations can happen organically. So what if the price is buying some overpriced flavored water or froyo once in a while?

The decision was a made a few years ago to try to remember to slow down; to take the moment and drink in the present. I simply remind myself that they won’t be little forever and before I want to let go, they will be off to college. If I remember that, I won’t rush the experience away.

They are girls are bigger now, closer to young ladies than babies but some things don’t change, like bath time and bedtime. There’s still lots of bedtime cuddles and stories (more often now the daily school gossip rather than books) and my absolute favorite part of the night, the hair brushing and braiding.

The girls know how to brush and fix their own hair but every night after bath time, they come to my me and ask, “Mommy, will you braid my hair?” I used to get a little tired of it night after night because I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t just do it themselves. I’ve since realized it’s an excuse to chat and it’s a comforting ritual that we’ve done since they were toddlers. How could I ever say no?

Ivory, focus on the important things, mother and daughter

They come to me smelling fresh and clean, and we all exhale. Letting out the tensions and taking in all the relaxation. That clean and fresh smell of them brings me right back to bath time when they were babies and it reminds me to slow down; to live the moments and enjoy the journey. That smell reminds me to focus on the important things right there in my arms; my babies and remember that nothing else is more important.

We recently started using Ivory body wash and we love it. I’m not new to Ivory products. They’ve been around for over a century. Ivory products are made pure and give me peace of mind. Starting with the purest bar of soap 138 years ago, Ivory continues to uphold the standard of using only pure & purposeful ingredients in its products.

Ivory, focus on the important things, mother and daughter

I remember my Grandma Daisy kept Ivory in her house when I was a little girl and would visit her. If my grandma and my mom trusted Ivory for their families, I feel like I can too. Also, I love that it’s safe, pure and gentle enough for my entire family, no matter what age.

 

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Gray Away, hair coloring, covering gray hair

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Everpro Gray Away. All of the thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Do you have gray hair? I know, none of us like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing. The thing is graying hair is natural and for some genetics dictates when you’ll go gray and it can be before your dirty 30 celebrations. Gray hair does not discriminate.

I have several friends who’ve decided they were just going to let their hair go naturally into that gray night. Not me. I hate to admit it but I’m a little vain. And what’s wrong with caring about what you look like anyway? Nothing!

My husband’s hair is doing the salt and pepper thing and it looks good, to me. I think he looks distinguished. Of course, our daughters are begging him to dye it because they said it makes him look old. I say whatever makes him happy.

What makes me happy is not having gray hair. I got my first gray hair when I turned 30. In fact, I believe it was some cruel birthday gift that year. I promptly plucked it. Then, when we had Bella, I got another one. When we had Gabs, I got one more. I told the Big Guy, I had one for each of them. I could deal with that. Like battle scars, I wore them proudly. I ‘m just kidding, I plucked them every single time they came back.

Gray Away, hair coloring, covering gray hair

Then one day, the gray hairs decided it was time to have a party on my head. At first, it was a small gathering. I would pluck them. But now, it’s a full-out rave on my temples. And I don’t look distinguished at all but rather I look like Grandpa Munster and if I try to pluck all of these, I will surely be baldheaded. I know I can’t pull that look off plus….hello, vain!

I comb my hair so that you don’t really see it. Sure, it’s like a bad woman comb-over but it hides the grays. I’m keeping these grays on the down low. Have your rave but everybody doesn’t need to know about the gray party taking place on my head.

Then, I gave up and started coloring it but guess what? Grays come back really fast. It’s like they are color resistant.

So what did I do? Desperate times, desperate measures my friends. I started using my mascara on the temples. It does the trick. Only there is one problem. I have wavy/curly hair and after you style your hair and then try to mascara your temples so you actually don’t look as old as your Grandmother, you will quickly realize that the hair that you put mascara on dries hard and straight. So you have all of these straight black hair sticking out of your head and you look like you should probably be institutionalized and to be honest, I’m trying to fly under the radar to that end.

I knew there had to be something better. I mean, we live in the 21st century. We can alter our entire physical being. We can stop the aging process. You’re telling me we can’t hide a few grays? Come one, get outta here. My mama always said where there’s a will there is a way. I had to find a way.

I found Gray Away. I tried Everpro Gray Away Root Touch-Up Magnetic Powder but it also comes in a root concealer spray. But me and an aerosol can could get ugly so, I opted for the magnetic powder. Sounds simple right? Too simple. But it works. Watch!

 

Voila! That gray party is hidden in plain sight. They get to party on. I get to not look like Grandpa Munster and we all keep our cool.

Do you have issues keeping the gray hairs at bay? Are they making you look older than you are? Ready to get rid of them without spending all of your time and money at the salon? Want to know more? You can get the complete scoop at GrayAway.com  and Gray Away is available at your favorite retailers including Walgreens!

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Clean and clear, teen, tween, back to school, skin care

Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with CLEAN & CLEAR and #WeAllGrow Latina Network but all opinions about how to make back-to-school easier for your tween/teen are all my own.

Back-to-school is difficult for parents and kids alike. However, for tweens and teens it’s especially hard. They go away for the summer looking one way and chances are they come back looking completely different. Crazy things happen to their bodies and their faces when all those hormones are surging through their bodies.

They leave school in the spring looking like a kid and return in the fall with a growth spurt, a voice that’s changing, a body that is metamorphosing so much that not even they recognize themselves in the mirror and probably some skin issues. It’s a crazy time of year for so many reasons.

As we prepare to go back to school and get back into our routines, there is a lot of stress. Not just the regular back to school shopping for clothes and supplies but when your child is a tween/teen you have to include shopping to address your child’s skin concerns.

My daughter is 12-years-old and she is changing so fast that I hardly recognize her from one day to the next. That is no exaggeration. Growing from a child into a young lady is hard work. There are so many things going on inside and out that I want to make this time of transition as smooth and easy as possible so I try to help her navigate this time of her life with the least amount of stress and confusion.

Her skin has begun to suffer the effects of the hormonal changes. I don’t think it’s fair that she has to deal with acne on top of all the other changes so I started teaching her how to take care of her skin when she was about 10-years-old, the same age that her little sister is now.

We’ve tried all sorts of different regimens but nothing seems to work. She doesn’t have bad skin per se but she is getting a few small pimples. She’s an athlete; a dancer who performs 6 days a week. Part of dancing is dressing the part and that includes stage makeup which is terrible for her skin. She’s been having breakouts and she is not loving it at all.

 

Clean and clear, teen, tween, back to school, skin care

 

Recently, we started using Clean and Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser, Deep Action Scrub and Deep Action 60 sec shower mask. They are easy to use and the simple to follow instructions make it easy for my tween to stick to her skin cleansing routine.

 

Clean and clear, teen, tween, back to school, skin care

The CLEAN & CLEAR® Morning Burst® Facial is a unique gel cleanser specifically formulated with effective cleansers and vitamin-enriched BURSTING BEADS® to awaken skin. Cleansers gently remove dirt, oil, and impurities, while BURSTING BEADS® with vitamins gently dissolve as you lather to help revive and awaken skin’s look.

Clean and clear, teen, tween, back to school, skin care

Steps for Using product

  • Start with clean hands.
  • Use those clean hands to splash water on your face.
  • Squeeze a small amount of cleanser onto wet palms – a dime-size should do it.
  • Work into a lather. Place the now foamy cleanser onto your face and use your fingertips to gently swirl it around…circles, figure eights…that type of thing.
  • Feel the BURSTING BEADS® start to break apart. Oooh…
  • Rinse your face thoroughly then pat it dry with a towel.

 

CLEAN & CLEAR® Deep Action 60 Second Shower Face Mask is designed to work with the steam of your shower to deeply, but gently exfoliate away traces of dirt, oil and dead skin that can clog pores. You’ll be able to feel the deep clean as the tingling sensation builds, and in just 60 seconds, your skin will look brighter, healthy, and feel refreshed!

Directions: Wet your face then squeeze out a quarter-sized amount of the mask onto your palms.

  • Apply to mask evenly all over your face.
  • Now the important part: Let the mask sit on your face for 60 seconds… feel free to multi-task during this time.
  • After the quick 60 seconds is up, gently massage your whole face as you rinse thoroughly off.
  • If you get some in your eyes, no need to panic, just rinse your peepers with water.
  • Use 2-3 times per week alone or right after your favorite cleanser

CLEAN & CLEAR® Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub is designed to invigorate skin by cleansing pores deep down and gently exfoliating surface skin. The CLEAN & CLEAR® Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub provides a tingly, cooling sensation as you gently massage the scrub on skin — the unmistakable, revitalizing feeling of a deep cleansing action.

Directions:

Wet face. Gently massage all over face, avoiding eye area. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Good for daily use.

How do you make back-to-school easier for your tween/teen?

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calavera, beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead makeup

Do you celebrate Day of the Dead, also known as, Dia de Los Muertos? Always wanted to dress up but had no idea where to start? Well, I’ve got the perfect and easy Day of the Dead make-up tutorial? Celebrating Day of the Dead will never be easier than with my Dia de los Muertos make-up tutorial.

We celebrate it as one of our culture’s most sacred traditions. One of our favorite things to do besides building our altar to honor our dead is I to dress up as La Calavera Catrina. All the makings of the perfect DIY Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos Costume, was in my closet.

Halloween and Day of the Dead are right around the corner. Every year at this time we start trying to figure out what our Halloween costumes are going to be and what our costumes for the annual Zombie walk might be. Yes, we’re that family. As they say, a family that costumes together stays together.

This year I went Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, makeup for the zombie walk.

While the Big Guy and our girls are getting their zombie on, I prefer to dress up as la Calavera Catrina, more universally recognized as the Day of the Dead Doll.  Dia de lo Muertos royalty.

READ ALSO: How Disney’s Coco got Mexican Culture Right

I love the vibrant colors and the fact that I get to share my Latino culture with my daughters in such a big, beautiful way. I stick out like a flower among weeds with my make-up compared to all the zombies. Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy and it’s perfect for adults and kids.

The hard part is getting the make-up off but with a quick trip to WalMart, I can pick up a package of Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and removal is easy peasy.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get your very own Day of the Dead look with this Dia De Los Muertos Make-Up Tutorial:

 beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead makeup

  1. First, begin by spreading an even layer of the Clown White make-up all over the entire face, except the eye sockets, with a sponge, and set with powder. It is important to set the color with the powder, because the black lines and color on top may get smudged unless you place a barrier in between.

beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead makeup

2.  Next, sculpt the perimeter of the eye sockets with black liquid eyeliner, it allows you be more precise with your lines. Then intensify the area by blending a matte black shadow in the same hue over the top of the entire eyelid and filling in.

beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead

3.  For detailing, I used a black liquid liner with a precise tip, and drew an upside-down heart on the nose, two rows of scalloping, connected by a circular motion, that surrounded the eyes and the two small circles on either side of my cheekbones. Mark out seven lines in a V-shape on your forehead. I made a jewel in the middle of mine. Connect the lines with curved shapes to create a spider weUse the same liquid liner to draw the two lines on your cheeks and draw a rose on your chin.

READ ALSO: How to Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos

4.  Use a color wheel of your choice to fill in the scalloping around your eyes, your jewel and any other designs on your face that need color. I set the color with more translucent powder, not too much, just enough to keep the color from running.

beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead

5.  Moving on to the lips, I wanted red lips so I used my red lipstick to draw in my lips. Then with the black liquid eyeliner, I drew in the intersecting lines across my lips. I let all lines dry well and then went over with liquid eyeliner again.

beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead

6.  With the liquid liner, add a few dotted details over the face, and a flower on your chin. Touch up individual areas with the color palette of your choice as needed, and after a few coats of mascara.

calavera, beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead

 

After showing off your gorgeous la Calavera Catrina Dia de Los Muertos makeup on day of the dead or Halloween, you can easily remove it using Neutrogena Makeup remover cleansing towelettes. It will effectively dissolve all traces of dirt, oil and, most importantly, makeup, even the waterproof mascara that you used to make your Calavera eyes pop. The cloths are ultra-soft and gentle with superior cleansing technology that is clinically proven to easily remove 99.3% of the most stubborn Halloween makeup. One step and you have clean skin with no residue.

calavera, beauty, day of the dead, make up tutorial, dia de los muertos, day of the dead, day of the dead make-up tutorial, dia de los muertos make-up tutorial

What are you dressing as this Halloween, Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos?

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Every wonder how to look younger longer? I’ve been spending a lot of time traveling to sunnier climates this summer, which is awesome because the weather in the Midwest has been lukewarm on most days. I like all four seasons and this rainy, snowy, lukewarm with rain season stuff is not working for me so I travel to hot weather and sunshine every chance I get. However, being that I am not 17-years-old anymore and just as I know that gravity is my mortal enemy, I also know that the sun can take it’s toll on my skin. You better believe there is a price to be paid for that sun kissed look and it’s high.

I have a friend who is a dermatologist and I once asked her over Sangria, friend to friend, “ What’s the best brand to use to fight wrinkles and the affects of aging?” I expected recommendations for Botox and microdermabrasion STAT but instead she came in close and whispered, “Olay.”

My reaction was,” WHAT? The stuff my mom uses?” Yep, the exact same. I was completely ready to save up and spend the big bucks because after all, I need to do all the preventative care I can because I decided a long time ago that I am too chicken for a facelift so I need to work now to keep it from falling in the first place.

I kept thinking maybe she was pulling my leg because could it really be that simple? I should have just listened to my mom from the beginning? No way, life could not be this easy. The fountain of youth could certainly not have been hiding all these years in plain sight.

Well as a wise woman, my mom, once told me, “It’s better to be safe than sorry!” So, I went to my local Walmart and bought a few beauty goodies. I figured if I was going to try it out, I might as well go where I could get the most bang for my buck.

I picked up a couple Olay® Ultra Moisture Beauty Bars, Olay Regenerist® Micro-Sculpting Cream™, Olay® Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream and CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner pencil combo. I bought all the Olay products because I wanted to test her theory and I have to say, I think I’ve seen a difference over the past few weeks.

I mean, I don’t suddenly look 25 again but I think I look pretty spry and vibrant for a 42-year-old and without Botox, I’d say that’s a win. Not that I have anything against Botox, I just like having a face with expression. I’m a hand talker and if my face didn’t react, I’m pretty sure that I might frighten small children. So thank you to my friend for sharing her beauty secret and protecting the little people of my town.

What’s your favorite beauty tip or trick to look younger longer? Share it in the comments and one lucky reader will be randomly selected to win a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart to purchase your own Olay or Cover Girl favorites. Winner will be selected July 30, 2015.

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was provided Wal-Mart gift cards by P&G to purchase product but all opinions are my own. 

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your truth is a lie, moms and daughters, comparing yourself to your mother

It started with 3 gray hairs. I got my first one when I was 30 and I joked to the Big Guy that he was to blame. With each child, another gray hair appeared. And then one day, it was like the three gray hairs got together and decided that it was their sworn duty to populate the right side of my head. At first, for many years, I plucked my three gray hairs. I took joy in knowing that many women younger than I had many more gray hairs. Not that I took joy in their misfortune but I had to enjoy the small victories, afterall, the baby weight wasn’t going anywhere.

But now, if I try to pluck all the gray hairs, I will have a definitely noticeable bald spot because when half your head is bald…people tend to notice. F*CK! I gave in and I dyed it. No biggie. I dyed it in my 20’s all the time, you know, to make it maroon or red or highlight the hell out of it. Back when I had money for such luxuries. Those were the days, back when I got massages, manicures, pedicures and was always tanned. For many years, I gave up the nails because long nails and babies don’t mix ( same reason I gave up the dangly earrings) it was just too dangerous to chance.

I went back to manicures and pedicures but I just don’t have the time in my schedule to go get my nails filled every two weeks and I refuse to not, so I spent 3 hours removing them myself Friday night. OUCH! I love pedicures but now, I’m obsessed with flesh eating disease and I just can’t enjoy myself. It’s like eating a Big Mac, too damn risky. Then tanning, well, of course, I’ll be the freckled Mexican to get melanoma and that just scares me too much. Spray tan it is. Wait, but then someone might have to see my in a bikini because I’m not crazy for the Oompa Loompa look of the spray tan booths. So, pasty and pale it is with a side of freckles please, govner.

But back to my gray hairs.

I suppose when I get the time this summer, I will go spend the $200 to have my hair cut and dyed. I can wait. And then it happened. As I was plucking my womanstache ( because even though I’m seemingly going bald from plucking my grays on my head, the hair on my upper lip is going stronger and darker than ever) I noticed my eye brows needed sorting out after the explosive cyst debacle. That’s when I saw it…a gray hair in my eyebrow. Wait! Not one but two!!! Sonofabitch, what am I Santa? Guess where it was? The right side of my face. The left side was the swollen explosive side last week.

To add insult to injury, just as my vision is now clear as a bell, I noticed the unthinkable…a white eyelash! What the? Is that even a thing? Thank God I’m hardwood down below because if I ever see a gray pubic hair, I may just die of old age on the spot!

My question to you is does the salon offer services for dying rogue gray hairs in your lash and brow area because I need that service. It took me 20 minutes to single out that one damn silver lash.

You know when I was a kid, I used to say that I was half White and Half Mexican ( because I am a half breed…insert Cher song here) and I would draw an imaginary line down the center of my body. My parents are 65 and my dad only has a couple gray hairs and barely a crows foot. My mom’s family gray in their 20’s. I think I’ve finally figured out which side is which…the right side is definitely my Caucasian side and the explosive left side, is definitely my Latina side.

Don’t even get me started on my achy bones, dark spots and skin tags. Getting old sucks. Thank goodness for wisdom and alcohol. I’m looking forward to the inevitable dementia that will set in and cause me to forget all of this.

What caused your first gray hairs?

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Neutrogena, #ChooseSkinHealth, skin health, woman, pool
This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with NEUTROGENA® and Latina Bloggers Connect but all opinions are my own.

The weather has been beautiful lately. All these blue skies, sunshine and warm weather will soon give way to lazy days spent lounging by the pool. These are my favorite but it also brings with it my alter ego, the freckled Mexican. Yep, I’m an anomaly. I love to be tanned but with it come my 1 million freckles. I think they are adorable spread across the bridge of my 7-year-old’s nose but not so much on my own face.

I want to avoid the congregation of freckles and stave off any brown spots, so I have started wearing sunscreen like it’s my job and lots of big floppy hats and giant sunglasses when I’m down at the pool. Seriously, people probably think I’m some sort of celebrity. If it weren’t for all of my pack mule antics of carrying all of our own sunscreen, snacks and towels I’m convinced people would mistake me for Sara Ramirez more often.

I’m Latina so I will never have lily-white alabaster skin, nor do I want it, but I would like to have a nice, even olive complexion and more importantly, I do not want skin cancer. Do you know that skin cancer is the number one of preventable cancers? Melanoma scares me. It’s right behind breast cancer on my list of cancers that I obsessively fear.

Let’s face it; my breasts didn’t work for breastfeeding so I’ve convinced myself they are out to get me. Just like my freckles, I see them appear and my mind instantly jumps to the elderly gentleman that used to come into the store I worked at, missing half of his nose because of skin cancer.

Tanned skin is beautiful but you have to be safe and protect it if you want to avoid cancer and wrinkles. Don’t even get me started on wrinkles. The older I get the more I feel like Dracula in the sunlight but instead of disintegrating or bursting into flames, crows feet and laugh lines are slowly, creeping in. So now instead of just moisturizing, I’ve been using sunscreen all the time.

NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer sunscreen offers superior sun protection and skincare benefits in one elegant formulation. NEUTROGENA’s Dry-Touch technology instantly absorbs excess oils and leaves skin feeling soft, clean and fresh—never greasy or ghostly white. What’s more, the sunscreen is non-comedogenic and water and sweat-resistant, so it won’t clog pores and run into eyes, it’s perfect for wearing every day.

Neutrogena, #ChooseSkinHealth,  skin health, woman, pool

The Wet Skin is a revolutionary line of sunscreens that are specifically designed to adhere to and protect wet skin, dampened by swimming, sweating or humid weather. It’s perfect for long days at the pool or when working out. I like to take long walks around the neighborhood when it’s nice out and Neutrogena makes sure the entire family is protected, especially my daughters who do happen to have the lily-white alabaster skin.

Keeping your skin healthy is more important now than ever. You protect your children’s skin from the harsh effects of the sun; now do the same for yourself. Your kids need you around. I want to be around for my grandchildren someday, preferably with my entire face in tact.

Neutrogena, #ChooseSkinHealth,  skin health

If you’d like to find out more about how to protect your skin, please join us at our NEUTROGENA® #ChooseSkinHealth Twitter Party on May 19th at 7-8PM EST / 4-5PM PST.

Choose you this summer. How are you choosing skin health?

This is sponsored post in collaboration with Neutrogena® and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

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