More Than Just Makeup, Thoughts of the Day

Vitamin C Key?

What do these have in common:

Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, chili peppers and kale.   RIGHT! Vitamin C.

I learned that as a kid. However, I somehow thought that oranges had the most Vitamin C… now I find out there are other foods with more.  Who knew?

A half-cup of chopped or diced chili peppers delivers 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Plus, researchers from the University of Buffalo found that capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot, may help relieve joint and muscle pain, according the ABC News.   Wow! An added bonus!

One of the things I’ve found time to do in my new world of ____ “retirement”? ____ has been to read more about the things I find curious or have just taken for granted. Google is a marvelous tool.  I could stay busy for hours!

So, I spent a little time today looking up the benefits of vitamin C in skincare.  There’s tons of information available and since I’m not a scientist or vitamin C authority, I had to do a lot of reading.

Why did my interest peek? 

Because it’s the time of year in Texas that the skin fights a real battle. The sun, the wind, the chlorine, the sun. Have you ever experienced the Texas sun?  Scorching, bright and beaming. Cooking an egg out on the sidewalk is a reality. Being at that age, my skin is a little more delicate than I think it was back in my sun-thirsty days.  So, I’m out to define my summer routine to make the best of enjoying my beloved Texas sun.

Here’s what I found:

Oregon State University provides information through their Micronutrient Information Center on a variety of topics. I found this one on Vitamin C.

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C

While there are tons of facts in the article, many that I don’t understand at the first reading, below are the ones that grabbed my attention:

Human studies often assess skin health by changes in depth or number of wrinkles and by the individual’s perception of skin health. Two observational studies found that higher intakes of vitamin C from the diet were associated with better skin appearance, with notable decreases in skin wrinkling (51, 52). The use of vitamin C (3-10%) in topical applications for at least 12 weeks has been shown to decrease wrinkling (21, 23, 25, 27), reduce protein fiber damage (25), decrease apparent roughness of skin (21), and increase production of collagen (26, 27). Topical vitamin C has also been shown to reverse some of the age-related structural changes in the interface between the dermis and the epidermis (22). However, the effects of topical vitamin C are not apparent in all individuals, and interestingly, one study found that individuals with high dietary intakes of vitamin C showed no or little effect of a topical administration (26).

Human studies with subjects using topically applied solutions of 0.6%-10.0% vitamin C or its synthetic derivatives have not reported adverse effects (14, 19-27).

 Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration.

For years, I’ve known about the Vitamin C serum, but I had lots of products that I enjoyed and didn’t see the benefit of adding yet another. While I like the taste of fruit and veggies, I would not claim to have a high intake of Vit C.  As time moves on, I realize the collagen appears to be fading away and my smile lines are turning to somewhat finer tuned lines.  Maybe the time has come to consider the Vit C angle of skin care.

I looked at a few products that claim 20% pure… the above article and others I read stated 0.6%-10% had “not reported adverse effects”.  The price varies from $19 to $199.  I have trusted ANEW products for many years, so naturally that’s where I turned first. At a retail price of $30, it’s in the lower price range and as we all know, Avon (who features the ANEW brand) has sales on a regular basis, so I can probably catch it for less.

Here’s what Anew writes:

Vitamin C Brightening Serum is a patented formula that contains a high concentration of 10% pure Vitamin C, which protects skin from sun, pollution and other aggressors. 1 fl. oz.

https://www.youravon.com/lil
ANEW Vitamin C Serum… for Texas summer skin protection.

BENEFITS
• Skin looks smoother and clearer and even toned
• Enhances skin clarity
• Fights overall photodamage
• Improves skin tone and resiliency
• Visibly improves skin’s imperfections
• Contains vitamins C and E
• Oil-free
• Dermatologist tested
• Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and non-acnegenic
• In 2 weeks, skin looks brighter, smoother, clearer and more even-toned*

TO USE
• Use AM and PM after cleansing as your treatment before moisturizing. Gently smooth over cleansed skin in an upward and outward motion, avoiding the eye area.

*Based on a consumer-perception study

 

It states that in 2 weeks a difference might be noticed. The University article states 12 weeks of use in their study showed results.  However, I also read that two vitamins could work together to provide more benefits and the Anew Vitamin C also contains Vitamin E.  Also, I’ll note that skin that is fresh, and exfoliated properly will receive the product better and results should be faster.

I think I’m in.  I’ll make the twelve-week commitment. Remember, the benefits can be that the skins appearance could be improved.  That sun damage I’ve experienced needs a little work. I think it’s worth the effort. Twelve weeks should protect me through the bulk of the summer. I use day cream that contains SPF (very responsible, you think?). And I’ll continue with my night time routine.  What are the steps you’ll take this summer to protect your face?

Summer is a great time in Texas. Lot’s of outdoor activities, sun and more sun. With big floppy hats, SPF protection, chili peppers and vitamin C, I’m in the mood for the summer sun and, of course, in my new world, that’s all about living better!

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It's About Living Better, More Than Just Makeup

Brighten the Gray!

It’s a dull day!

The spring weather brings excitement, and not always the best kind, in Texas.  Last year it was tornadoes everywhere and so much hurt and loss. This year, so far, it’s rain.  Gloomy rain on my part of the earth… and lack of rain on the other part of the state.  I think people who live in small states don’t always fathom the incredible size of Texas.  We can have all types of weather in one state at any given time.  The old saying “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes,” is often true and you could really add… “just drive 100 miles… it will change”.

Today, though, is dull.  It’s cloudy, and gray outdoors.  My attitude tends to follow.  I feel cozy in the winter when the fire is roaring, open and free when the sun is out and air is warm, and dull when it’s gray, cold and rainy in April.

So, here’s the routine to bust out of the dull hum-drums.

WATER… lots of it.  Room temp and ice cold. With infused fruit and just plain. With ice cubes of frozen fruit and warmed with herbal tea. With lemon slices and cucumbers.  WATER!

Fresh fruit for breakfast. Served cool and maybe on a bed of cheese or some yogurt for dipping.  Maybe in a shake!  I’m looking for glow and shine here!

A  break for my conversation with father God and jotting some notes or completing a discovery task.  Briefly sketching out my day “wants” with my “musts”.  Adapting them to the weather.

Mental note: chocolate is great on dull days!  So are pj’s and a popcorn!  However, eating healthy will certainly help cure a gray days dull! Lots of people take vitamins to restore their shine and glow.  Take this vitamin quiz to get a better idea of which supplements are good for you.

Another good way to send the dull-drums packing is to play music.  I love to play the old standards. Piano playing is therapeutic for me.  Sometimes I turn up the volume and  listen to upbeat pop or old rock, dancing with the broom while I attempt to focus on sweeping!  Singing along and dancing energetically is a great way to brighten your day.

ahdiat-fanada-381637-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Ahdiat Fanada on Unsplash

My granddaughter can’t wait for rain! She grabs her green frog boots and splashes every puddle. One foot, then two. It’s a favorite rainy day activity… removing any gloom in that home on a gray day! We could do that, too!  You are never to old to splash!

Whatever you do on a gray day… don’t give in.

Turn on the lights, make up your face and glow! Call an old friend and renew that acquaintance, save some blooms before they drown and arrange them where you can enjoy the nature.  Cook a great meal and open the perfect bottle of wine!

It’s about living better... and it’s up to you!

 

Airess Adventures, It's About Living Better, More Than Just Makeup, Thoughts of the Day

The Magic of Adulthood

Something happens when you are a young parent.  Every baby seems a bit brighter than the last, more talented than the neighbors child and more calm than the kid at the day care.  Oh, and those eyes! How adorable and did you know her poop smells sweet?

I remember one evening after work, sitting in my mother in law’s den after dinner talking about all the important lessons I wanted to teach my newborn.  Music, (classical, of course) books (Chaucer, thank you) and museums (art!).  I went on and on about what was available in our large city and how important it was for my baby to know all of them.  She said (probably in an effort to get me to stop talking), “I’m sure you’ll give your baby a wonderful life and then, you’ll have to enjoy the magic of adulthood”.   I didn’t understand.

Every child has challenges and rewards… even the golden and seemingly perfect require special attention that keeps a mom busy from daylight to dark.

Teens stretch the boundaries, practicing what we taught them as babies, to see if it will get them to adulthood at a quicker pace.  Letting them (and encouraging them) to reach a little further with each experience may be a little tough, but necessary.

How else will they learn to properly react and to make those secondary decisions? Tethers like rules, curfews, dress codes, speed limits, allowances… all are about living better in the future.  They are the seatbelt that keeps our children safe in the traffic of life.

Then the true magic happens.  They live to adulthood.  They graduate, make a few decisions, regret a few choices and reboot to survive nicely… without you.  Making that adjustment is easier for some parents (and children) than others.  It can be a sad time or a glorious freeing time.

Some however, must be stuck in the middle for a bit.  Being stuck in the middle can be an obvious bother to the new adult and the parent… that’s where I was for a long time. Stuck in the middle. Between their childhood and their adulthood. Between guiding and nurturing and helping them move on! Eventually, they move and finding your place becomes a little more difficult.

Stuck in the middle is like being forced to live the life of a wall flower. With emotions swelling up when you (think you know) know the answer, they won’t listen and both are afraid to take that step out – for fear of offending someone or being outdated and just flat wrong, or being ridiculed for a belief.  After spending years as the teacher, all of a sudden they can think for themselves and you wonder… “who told them they could do that”?  It’s humorous when you think of it.

Just recently, I discovered the magic of adulthood means someone else can plan the menu for a get together, take a dare and live through it, purchase clothes for the grandkids and be the helping hands this world needs. These magical adults can have their own opinions, disagree with mine, change their spiritual direction and move away!  They can move into a house, mop their own floor, fix their own car, shop for food and stay away for months, if they like.  They’ve learned the magic of adulthood and are living it.

So what does this magic mean for me?  freestocks-org-547542-unsplash.jpg

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

The magic of adulthood allows me to move forward, pretend they aren’t sneering at my suggestions or political views, and enjoy their children and their futures from the side.  The magic of adulthood is not just for the children, it’s for all adults.  Music, art, museums without the diaper bag, road trips, laundry for two instead of for five is a snap, and trying new dances or walking paths can be an adventure. Enjoying the passion of entrepreneurial fun for profit, practicing music again, sharing free time as a local volunteer may be rewarding for some.

It’s looking pretty bright out there.

So, here’s to the magic. Here’s to the babies, now grown and gone from my lap. Here’s to the freedom to have beer at breakfast or champagne with lunch.  Here’s to time… to walk, to visit, to read and write.  To play dominoes and cards, to create beautiful gardens and clean guest rooms.  More music, art and museums, too!

The magic of adulthood awaits us, one and all and it’s definitely living better!

Airess Adventures, Growing the Business, More Than Just Makeup, Products!

Follow the Routine

feet
Skin care is all about the routine

I’ve spent a good amount of years working in the cosmetic industry as a consultant, representative, employee and customer.  (this post includes affiliate links) The routine is always the same. The products may differ, but the routine is what’s important.

 

Photo by Frank Vex on Unsplash

Science teaches us that the skin responds to our efforts, environments and consistency.

When we drink plenty of fluids, exercise, protect it… we live better.

Here’s the basic facial skin care routine, my two cents are listed in red.

  1. Cleanse twice daily.   Use a cleanser (not soap) that meets your skin’s needs. Moisture in everything… plus oatmeal or lavender if your skin is easily irritated. Exfoliation “beads” (if you work outdoors or are in a dirty environment) – there are cleansers for every skin type! Be sure to PAT dry… don’t rub your sweet skin!
  2. Exfoliate.  When you exfoliate a couple of times each week, you open up your skin to the benefits of moisture and any other treatment you provide.  Without removing the dead cells, the treatments and rich moisture applied will just sit on top… wasted.  There are all types of exfoliants. Every company has their top seller and the price ranges are unbelievable. Shop wisely. Here are my two favorite exfoliate products:  Anew product line has several and it just depends on your preference.  I really like the Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid.  It’s a product to gently exfoliate and retexturize at the same time!  And, I love the Bamboo Polish Facial Exfoliant from Luminess, as a daily gentle scrub. It smells like banana’s! One tip: don’t use dipilitories or products containing alcohol immediately after exfoliation unless you want to enjoy an uncomfortable stinging sensation and possible redness afterward. 
  3. MOISTURIZE, girl!  After showers, while your pores are warm and cozy and OPEN, take advantage of  opportunity to give your all-over skin a break! Even better, if you can add it IN THE SHOWER!   Then don’t forget to cool your body down before leaving the shower. 
  4. SUNSCREEN EVERYDAYWithout doubt, we know that the sun can damage our skin in a very short period of time! Fifteen minutes and WHAM! got ya!  Everyday, whether it’s in the Day Cream or the Sunscreen Lotion, there must be SPF15 or more! Personally, a daily SPF15 and foundation which contains SPF are part of my routine. 
  5. DOUBLE CHECK.  While you are adding that excellent moisture, notice if there are changes in your skin appearance or texture. If there are…treat them and if needed, go to the Doc! 
  6. TREAT.  If we are lucky and determined, we live longer.  We may choose to, as my friend said, “look great for my age”.  I agree with her that looking too young is unrealistic and stressful. Looking healthy and not older, is a much better option.  Exfoliation regularly, applying sunscreen every single day and using retinol laced products help us to achieve our best look.  MOISTURE is most important, but applying it to clean, new skin is required.  Choose treatments wisely, from eye creams to dark circle removers and skin tightening products… all require the above 4 steps before benefits can be noticed. 

 

That’s the routine. Simple and straight-forward. Do it and benefit. Skip it and try to make up time later.  Like I said… skin has some self-healing properties.  It can rejuvenate with your attention to the details.  I encourage you to make it part of your effort to live better!

Growing the Business, More Than Just Makeup, Products!

Play in the Traffic to Build Your Business

Building a business?

Whatever you do, MAKE A PLAN TO PLAY IN THE TRAFFIC!

We learn to make friends as children. Usually with our cousins or siblings, first. Then at day care or primary school. Remember, the teacher reminding us to be kind, to share, do our own work and to be fair?   Those rules in relationship building still work today, especially in business.hannah-rodrigo-320734-unsplash.jpg

So remembering those lessons, let’s consider our business contacts.  What type of person do we want as business partners?  How many new business partners will it take to make a positive change in your business?  What will my new business partner act like in our relationship?

Photo by Hannah Rodrigo on Unsplash

Having identified the type and number of similar behavior-ed partners needed, it’s likely you’ll identify their traffic pattern.

Where do they play?  Do they spend time at ball fields, on running trails or online?  Do they eat at great restaurants, shop at finer clothing stores, travel to places you love?  Do they love a great deal and wear your brand?

Where do they work?  Do they work in offices, dressing trendy? Do they work outdoors and have sun-kissed skin and calluses?  Are they tech-smart or tech-challenged?

Where do they live?  In apartments, with lots of people around them or in single residences, maintaining beautiful yards and entertaining others at dinner? Are they rural, soaking up the peace and quiet or in the hub of controlled chaos or excitement?

Discovery is important as you intentionally plan to Play in Their Traffic!

After you PLAN to create new contacts, build your strategy for meeting your new business partners. Having friends as business partners will definitely be a better way to live.

Practice giving compliments.  Genuine, beautiful statements of truth.  Take a couple of hours to play in their traffic.  Where are your ideal partners sitting on park benches? Where are they having coffee, what are they reading, which walking trail do they visit, which events will they attend and very important… may I join them in social media groups.

That’s where you meet people.  For every person you make eye contact, find an amazing attribute and compliment it!    “You have beautiful eyes”, “you should wear blue everyday”, “what an adorable bracelet”,  “precious children”, “I love the way you wrote that post”, “thank you for helping me understand” – –  be real!

When you make eye (or private message) contact,  your door is open!  

Now practice those relationship building lessons you learned as a child.

Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things. 

So… PLAN.   Choose a time and be prepared with information, conversation starters and yes, your short 30 second blurb about your business (in case the opportunity presents itself) . Enter your plan on your calendar and highlight it when you completed your task. Share your calendar with a partner who has agreed to ask you about your day.

INTENTIONALLY, sit in the traffic until you have met your goal of contacts.    That means you started the conversation, received their contact information and have their permission to contact them again!

How will you continue to build the relationship?

Connect through Social Media… text a “hello, I’m glad we met… here’s my link”, text.

INTENTIONALLY, revisit the traffic area, you’ll know them the next time. If there’s interest in the beginning, you may choose to visit the traffic weekly, monthly or maybe more. Go with your gut. Can this person be my friend, my business partner? Should I introduce this person to another partner?

Follow the rules of your youth: Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things.  BUILD the relationship from contact to friend.

Email or text:  ” I wondered if you’d like to visit when I see you at the coffee shop tomorrow” “I’m thinking I need to buy some new running shoes, do you mind if I ask what brand you wear”. “The friend I mentioned yesterday will be running with me next week, I’d like to introduce you”…  “I don’t know if I mentioned, but I …”

Mail:  Send cards for holidays, birthdays (it’s on FB), etc.  Write personal notes to your new friend, share experiences.

Consistently, work the plan to build contacts.

Consistently, work the plan to build the relationship with each contact.

Change, the “contact” label to “friend”.   By really getting to know your new contact, you’ll build a friend. We never have enough friends.

I’ve read that people find more jobs and opportunities by networking with those they know.  I personally find this to be true.  Every team member I have personally recruited started as a contact and progressed to acquaintance and then friend.  Sometimes it’s months before they need my business, sometimes it takes years. But, always, we are working on the progression of contact, acquaintance and friend. Maybe, they’ll choose me as a partner, maybe I’ll choose them by  being kind, polite, sharing, doing our own work and fair in all things. 

So, go Play in their traffic.  Remember the childhood rules of relationship building and enjoy building your own team… and growing a group of friends that fit in your life, and business, in a most comfortable way. It’s about living better!

 

 

Growing the Business, More Than Just Makeup

Running Out Of Time?

How many days do you run in circles?

Today was my day. I had three items on my Bling list.

  1. Change the beds.
  2. Schedule social media posts
  3. Listen to 2 development webinars.

Have you used Bling? It’s a fun and Free Messenger App that helps me stay on track… if I keep my phone close.

I find using a digital calendar and keeping the deets in the notes section to be a grand help. Every evening before I retire, I check my calendar, lay out everything I need, enter the quickie notes in Bling and wash my face.

The few minutes that little routine requires, allows me to sleep peacefully and wake up confident. There’s nothing like an organized mind and a clean face on a lavender scented pillow case!

To make it even easier, I have beautiful containers labeled by day. Each time I schedule a follow up or delivery, I place materials in the coordinating day container, schedule any tasks I need to complete before the appointment and relax. When I schedule every step, I know the meeting will be a success because I consistently plan. By the time I’m ready to prepare for that day, I can usually find it already assembled. Just grab my materials for the day and go!

Each week I take time to prepare 30 sets of handouts. Sometimes it’s labeled samples, sometimes postcards, some are brochures or flyers. Each morning, as I enter the office, I pick up five or six and determine how they’ll be distributed. Maybe they go in the day container or the mailbox. However it gets done, the day is not done until I’ve made the contacts. How can I follow up, if there’s nothing to follow?

As your own organization system takes shape, you’ll be finding extra time for fun or work. Just remember… leave some white space so you can join an impromptu lunch with friends or a video call with the granddaughter. Networking with friends and business associates is never wasted time.

Take it one step further… Here’s an example: Monday I work from home – no scheduling of errands, but it’s a great day for changing the beds, etc. Tuesday is volunteer day, errands are scheduled before and after. Wednesday mornings are a great time for recruiting, as long as I get home to be with my granddaughter by 3. See, you may find breaking down your days for maximum efficiency helpful and while it takes time to get in the habit, it’s well worth it!

Hint: if you prefer a paper schedule use a pencil for flexible appointments, ink for the unchangeable. Using a white eraser keeps it neat. On my digital calendar I end each flexible entry with F (flexible).

Granddaughter’s are not flexible and she loves gingerbread cookies-they go in the Wednesday container!

Becoming the organized master scheduler of your time allows more flexibility for you! Believe it or not… creating an intentionally organized life is… a matter of living better!

Growing the Business, More Than Just Makeup, Products!

Today Could Just Be Different

Today COULD be the day that everything changes.

When I awoke and stepped on the cold tile floor, I thought… “why am I doing this?”

For just a few dollars, I could purchase a small rug that would make my feet warm when I wake up in the mornings.  For a few dollars more, I could probably buy some new house-shoes and for just a few hundred, purchase carpet.   So, “why”?    I’m waiting.

reach for the sky!
Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash What can you lose if you go ahead and start now?

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

I’m waiting to make the right decision for the new flooring. Of course, the decision hasn’t settled on me yet.  So my feet get cold.  I don’t want to buy a rug, because when I settle on the flooring, I won’t need it.  Same with the shoes.   That’s why.  I’m waiting.

When I started my Avon business, I had waited about 6 months from the first time I thought about it.  In that 6 months, I didn’t make any extra money and I didn’t meet any new friends and I didn’t add any new skills to my life that could make a difference.  The price of the start up kit changed and the incentive offers changed – but I waited.

FINALLY, I moved in the right direction… starting my business with a sweet lady with an English accent that really kept my attention!  I met new people, banked some cash and best of all… added some skills to my life that changed me forever.   It was a gradual change, but it began with that first decision.

If you are waiting on something to ‘settle’ on you before you make an important decision, let me encourage you to move toward the ‘decidin’ part’, as my grandmother called it.  Get on with it and enjoy meeting others, earning extra money and adding skills to your life.  It will change you.

I hope you’ll choose to join me at Avon.  But, first… I’m off to choose a rug!