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By any chance do you, like me, have an image of your mom in red lipstick applying powder to her nose? This image is indelibly printed in my brain. . . along with another image that actually makes me squeamish: remember the fox stoles of the 1950s? I can’t even go there.

Not surprisingly, I grew up thinking powder was the requisite product for calming down that ever-present shine which seemed—on my nose at least—to be akin to a car headlight. It apparently was part of my nose’s DNA. . . despite the fact that the rest of my skin kept getting drier!

Over the years, I tried and discarded many powders since none seemed to work on my nose for more than 10 minutes. But a few months ago, I discovered the ultimate fix for the shine. If you, like me, seem to be blessed with a permanently shiny nose—stay tuned for this tip—along with other tips for your face, cheeks and lips.

Who knew there were relatively easy fixes for a few of the consistently pesky makeup challenges out there that many of us have faced in the past few years? Though I wish I’d known some of these sooner . . . the old axiom holds true: better late than never.

Tip # 1: Solving the Shiny Nose Dilemma

Avoid putting moisturizer on your nose. Instead, put an eye primer that matches your skin tone on your nose! One of the purposes of eye primers is to form a protective barrier which keeps the oil on our eyelid area from causing creases and smudges when we wear eye shadow This protective barrier works just as well on our nose and on our entire T-zone area where many of us have oilier skin.

Tip #2: Creating a Flawless, Natural Foundation Look

For many years I’ve applied foundation with my fingers . . . and more recently a buffing brush (a densely packed, soft brush with a flat top). I was sold on how much more natural my foundation looked when using a buffing brush . . . until about six months ago. I finally broke down and tried a product I’d been avoiding for several years because I thought it would take too much time. The product I’d been avoiding was the makeup sponge.

After trying the sponge for the first time, I stared at the reflection in the mirror with what I can only describe as a dumbfounded look. Even with my less than perfect eyesight, I could absolutely see a difference. When applied with a sponge, the foundation made my skin look like my skin, but definitely better!

Start by either putting a dot of foundation on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin or putting some foundation on the back of one hand. Then wet the sponge thoroughly. Next, squeeze out the water and then give the sponge a final squeeze with a paper towel. Then pick up the foundation on one area of your face with the sponge—or dip the sponge into the makeup you’ve put on the back of your hand—and then gently press the sponge onto each area of your face.

It’s important to gently “bounce” the sponge and not rub since the bouncing motion presses the foundation into the skin. Somehow the moisture on the sponge combined with the sponge’s texture in addition to the bouncing motion, produces a flawless finish. And by the way, once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take more time than using a brush or your fingers!

Tip #3: Applying Blush While Creating a Beautiful, Natural Glow to The Skin

As we know, most of us need to add more moisture to our skin to combat the two

“d’s” our skin experiences as we accumulate a few more years of life and laughter: dryness and dullness. And, since we also lose pigmentation in our skin over the years, adding a soft, natural flush of blush can truly help us look more radiant and vital.

So, here’s a quick tip to add both color and radiance. A cream blush can go on smoothly and flawlessly and add more moisture to the skin. Many of these blushes come in a “stick” formulation. Instead of applying the blush stick directly to your cheeks, dip one of your fingers into a small amount of moisturizer and then rub the moisturizer onto the top of the stick so you’re picking up some of the color of the blush. Then apply the blush in an upward sweep from the middle of your cheekbones (starting at the outer corner of your pupil) upward toward your cheekbone. The moisturizer will enable the blush to go on more smoothly while adding more moisture and a lovely glow to your skin.

Tip #4: Keeping Your Lipstick from Feathering Into Lip Lines

Oh how easily lipstick can seem to “migrate” into those vertical lines above and below our lips! There are a few simple “fixes” you may want to try. First stretch your lips so they expand horizontally. Then apply face primer or concealer along the bottom and top of your lip line so the primer and/or concealer “fills in” those lines. A number of makeup lines also make a somewhat waxy lip line filler which can also be used. Since I really have an issue with feathering, I use both a lip line filler and a concealer. You may also want to put a very light application of powder on your lips as well (also with your lips stretched out). This helps lipstick adhere to your lips better. Using a lip liner will also keep lipstick from migrating.

The formula of lipstick you choose can also make a difference. But here’s the conundrum: matte lipstick doesn’t migrate into our lip lines as easily as a more luminous formula lipstick. But matte lipsticks can also dry out our lips and–since they are “flat” and don’t reflect light—can make us look more severe and older.

On the other hand, more luminous lipstick formulas bring more light to our lips which can help us look our best but can migrate into fine lines more easily.

So what’s a woman to do? I recommend using a matte lipstick formula to help prevent feathering but applying a light coat of gloss (only in the middle part of your lips) over the matte lipstick to give your lips beautiful light and glow.

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Margaret Manning on recently focused on a topic that deeply resonated with many of us: “Are You Living Where Your Soul Feels at Home.”

As she and blogger Elizabeth Dunkel pointed out, many of us have lived in a place for career or family reasons. Or perhaps we lived in a place we once loved but which no longer speaks to us. Perhaps we now yearn to be near mountains or oceans or forests or farmland. What we crave is not only different for each of us—it can be different at different points along our life journey.

As I thought about this topic, a memory flooded back to me of an exercise I often included in a stress management class I taught for many years. Since the process of exploring and completing this exercise often resulted in some powerful insights and “aha” moments for many in the room, I thought you might find it interesting—and fun—to do. It’s from a wonderful book called Wishcraft: How To Get What You Really Want written by Barbara Sher. Barbara is a career/lifestyle coach and author whose books have sold millions of copies. (By the way, another one of her really wonderful books—with a great title—is I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was).

For this exercise, give yourself some time—and a location—where you can sit undisturbed for 20-30 minutes with either a pen and piece of paper or “screen” in front of you . . . whatever you want to use to make it easiest for you to write out your thoughts.

Your Ideal Day

The title of this exercise is “My Ideal Day.” Barbara suggests we write out in present tense and in exquisite detail a description of our ideal day. This isn’t a vacation day, but a picture of a day—from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed--that would exactly fit who you are—your wants, desires, temperament and personality. Don’t limit yourself to what you think is possible. . . unleash your imagination and describe this day as if you had absolutely no limitations of any kind: all the time, money or other resources and talents you might desire. I realize this is difficult for most of us to do, but please give yourself total permission and freedom to create this perfect day just for you.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get up? Where, how and what will you have for breakfast? Are you alone or with someone? What are you doing between breakfast and lunch? Again this is your fantasy and no one else is going to see it . . . so curb in that tendency to censor yourself! Where are you for lunch and what do you have? (And by the way, you may want to have breakfast in Paris and lunch in Morocco. That’s fine . . . remember you have unlimited power and resources!)

As you think through the hours of your ideal/fantasy day, keep three helpful things in mind: Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with?

Your Next Step

Hopefully you felt more and more relaxed as you wrote out the elements of your day. Often as I watched people work on this exercise in my class I’d also see lots of smiles on people’s faces. And I hope this happened to you as well. Give yourself some time to fully relax and enjoy all the parts of your ideal day.

What’s Absolutely Essential For You?

Next, look over what you’ve written and highlight or underline those things which are absolutely essential to your happiness. . . .What things are absolutely indispensable for your happiness as you move forward? Then note what things are optional, but desirable and finally what things are just frills.

One woman who completed this exercise found—much to her surprise—that the first thing she’d wanted to do in the morning was to go horseback riding. As she told us about this, she had tears streaming down her cheeks. She hadn’t ridden a horse since she was a young child and realized how much she missed it. Even though her circumstances didn’t allow her to own a horse, she vowed to figure out a way to find a way to go riding on a regular basis.

Another student realized that no matter where she went during her ideal day—whether indoors or outdoors—she found herself surrounded by flowers. She realized what a difference it would make for her to have at least one flower on her desk each day.

Someone else realized that she’d been attracted to travel locations and activities where she enjoyed bright, joyful colors: an outdoor bazaar, a fabric store and a jewelry shop. But her house and clothing were primarily composed of dark or neutral colors. She decided to go shopping for some bright throw pillows for her couch!

What’s Your Goal?

What’s the one thing from your ideal day exercise that really seems indispensable to your happiness and well-being? It can be anything . . . big or small. What else is important to your happiness? Can you do some brainstorming and plan some steps to eventually get these things into your life? If you’re not sure how you can do it, get together with a friend to brainstorm together. You may even want to get together with a group of friends to do this exercise and then brainstorm about how you might each reach one of your ideal day goals.

How did you feel as you worked through this exercise? Did anything pop up that surprised you? Is there one thing you know you will do—as a result of this exercise—to bring more happiness into your life?

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Are any of you fans of The Great British Baking Show?

Though I neither cook nor bake well, I have to admit my husband and I are both hooked on this show--as is our 25 year old youngest daughter! She's described it as "comforting" and I think that really says it. There's no shouting, the diverse group of contestants is fascinating and the setting and music are lovely and upbeat.

And I'm also a huge fan of one of the judges on the first six seasons: 83 year old Mary Berry. Not only is she knowledgeable, delightful and charming, but I was delighted to learn that she's become a beauty and fashion icon! Check out this lovely article about her in the British publication The Mail:

And yes, I must confess, I'm obsessed with the gorgeous pink lipstick she wears which I've come to find out is from Max Factor. We certainly all remember Max Factor makeup from our childhood (after all, who could forget that pancake makeup!), but who knew it was still around? And could there be a more perfect name for her favorite lipstick color? It's called "English Rose"!

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