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Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The Japanese word for “pretty” and “clean” is the same; kirei. The very first thing I have to say about true beauty is:  Wash. Your. Face. ! I admit I am not the best as I have never been great about washing my face at night, but that is a terrible example! My daughter is great about it and a good example for me. She cannot go to bed without washing her face. That is how we should all be; wash your face, brush your teeth. Is that not in the top ten of our Mom-Lectures? I know it is for me!

1. Wash your face: Night
This means removing any eye-makeup with a preferably non-oily eye-makeup remover. I love Mary Kay’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover however you can get a similar (not as good) version at Walmart; the Equate brand. L’Oreal also makes one. The thing to look for is two liquids that must be shaken together before using. Because I like eyeliner and mascara (lots of mascara!), I tend to use two cottonballs for my eye makeup removal; per eye.
I then wet my face and hands and suds up the facial cleanser in my hands before applying to my face. I rub the obvious areas; the T-zone (forehead + nose), my cheeks and my chin. I also wash my eyes to be sure I get all the makeup off. It is important to use a mild facial cleanser. I like Dove “soap,” which is not really soap (1/4 cup cleansing cream!) but it is good to get something that is made for your skin type. There are different types of cleansers for oily, normal and dry skin. Sometimes I use a washcloth to make sure it gets really clean especially if I have been sweating. I also use the washcloth to remove any remaining eye makeup (yes it takes a lot of effort to get all the eye makeup off).

2. Pat dry:
This means you do not rub your face in the towel so that you remove several layers of skin onto the towel. I rub a little but, mostly try to “pat” gently. I do not like to drip all over so I actually do a little wiping.

3. Moisturize & Eye cream:
Whether you are washing at night or in the morning it is always important to moisturize. I will probably talk about this more later. Always use eye cream around the eye.
It takes very little! Like the size of this à (@)ß seriously! That’s all it takes! 
Always apply with your ring finger because that is your weakest finger and you do not want to pull on the skin around your eyes—no reason to make extra wrinkles or start them too early! Pat that small dot onto both ring fingers and pat around your eye. I smear it around on my fingers and pat it under my eye and in the corners where I tend to get dark circles.
Then apply about a pea-sized dot of face moisturizer to your face. Be sure it has at least an SPF of 15. Apply it to your cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. If you have short hair you should apply it to your ears and a little on your neck. You might need more than a pea size. Because I no longer can afford Mary Kay products I’ve started using Simple brand moisturizer for both day and night moisturizing. You will probably want two different kinds; a Deeper moisturizing for night and lighter one for the daytime.

That is a basic “Face Wash” in preparation for sleeping or applying makeup; depending on whether it is morning or night.

This video is a basic face wash. It is kind of lame but the best one I could find. Watch the techniques for washing and applying moisturizer:

I know it is vitally important to wash and deep moisturize at night but I admit that I lax occasionally because I am tired. Boo! I can say there is a noticeable difference in my skin when I do! Also, my face feels better and my makeup goes on more smoothly when I wash & moisturize appropriately at night. And who does not want a better complexion and smoother skin? That actually results in using LESS makeup!  

The best video I could find about night care is by Michelle Phan (aka Ricebunny). I will have more about her as I post makeup tutorials, etc. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

His Name is Jacob

My son Jacob has 48 chromosomes, his X and Y chromosomes doubled so he has XXYY. One name for it is Klinefelter’s Syndrome XXYY variant. We sometimes refer to him as a “Double-Male.” I do not really want to get into what all this does to him; suffice it to say that it makes him different. The Wikipedia entry is an excellent resource for most people and was written by a doctor we know and admire for her work researching this rare phenomenon.

Saturday I spent the day at Kaiser Urgent Care and Kaiser Hospital in Irvine Emergency Room because Jacob jumped off a swing and landed on his arm wrong; he dislocated his (left) elbow again. It is the third time we have had to have it reset. It has been more than three years since the last incident and I had hoped his body had recouped enough that it would not happen again. I was mistaken, as was he, and I got to go with him.

He was sweet the whole time. He was in pain but took time to tell me he loved me --even before the meds kicked in! LOL He was mad at himself for getting hurt and thwarting our plans but all I felt was concern that he would  be taken care of quickly and with great compassion because he is, after all, one of my babies. They did not fail me, or Jacob.

Jacob is not an easy child. He has no filter. He feels pain, he hollers. He thinks something, he says it. He gets mad, he reacts. I try my best to make sure he understands what is going on because he makes assumptions and reacts before he realizes there was nothing to react to. I try not to baby him. I try not to shelter him too much; but at the same time I struggle with trying to prepare him for as normal a life as possible. It was easier when as a baby I took him to a therapist and they taught him how to walk, or talk, or eat and even to lick his upper lip. All things he could not do without being taught. Now we are learning there are similar things with social skills and other basic “human” skills that Jacob does not understand.

He is a good kid and wants to do what is right but most days are a real struggle for him. And for us.