Steps To Applying Flawless Foundation

Creating a flawless foundation may appear difficult especially after several attempts that will end up with blotches, patches and caking. When you look at magazines, you will see cover girls with full coverage and flawless foundation—no no caking, streaks, or patches. The truth is, there are tips that you can follow to achieve a flawless foundation application:

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•Wash your face.
It is always important to have a clean face before applying foundation. Using a good facial cleanser, gently cleanse your face. Continue to work on a lather. Remember to wash and not rub. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water.

•Apply a toner.
Apply a facial toner after washing your face. It removes the excess dirt from your skin. It also removes the residues from your facial cleanser. It not only freshens up your skin but also balances you skin pH after washing. It is best to chill the toner before use to help close your pores.

•Apply moisturizer.
Facial moisturizers help solve issues such as drying, oiliness, and aging of the skin. Most of the moisturizers out in the market contain organic ingredients that help keep the skin healthy-looking. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to choose a moisturizer that has a label saying “non-comedogenic” and “fragrance-free”. For the blemish-prone skin, experts recommend the use of tinted moisturizer. This type helps even out the skin tone and discretely covers the blemishes of the skin. Apply a hefty amount of moisturizer. This is good for the skin since it re-hydrates the face and brings back the lost moisture due to facial cleansing and chemical exposure. Be sure to apply the moisturizer all over the face and the neck. Let it stand for about ten minutes before proceeding to the next step.

•Apply primer.
Apply a primer over your face. This serves as a makeup base for smoother application of make up. Primer can help prolong your makeup application. The advanced formulation of makeup primers helps treat, protect and smooth the skin. It also helps in fighting off the appearance of wrinkles caused by sun exposure and aging. Best buys are those that contain botanical extracts that help diminish redness and blemishes. Some primers also contain sunscreen protection to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun.

•Choose a foundation.
Select a foundation that is suited to your skin tone. Try on at least three different tones on the back of your hand to determine the best foundation that suits your skin. Apply a small streak from the lower cheek to the upper cheek evenly using a dabbing motion.

•Foundation application.
After choosing the best foundation tone, you can now proceed to coverage. Apply a quarter cent-amount of foundation at the back of your hand. Dip a damp makeup sponge or foundation brush into the foundation. Make sure to keep both sides coated. Apply the makeup in dots over your forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. Blend in an outward motion working toward the hairline and jaw line. Use gentle outward strokes. Finish off by brushing some loose powder over the face and neck.

For a slightly sun-kissed look, apply a hint of bronzer over the cheeks, chin and forehead. Applying your makeup foundation using these methods could help you achieve a flawless look.

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Foundation For Oily Skin

Causes of Oily Skin

  • Oily skin may be caused by a variety of factors including hormones, genetics and even the foods you consume. The sebaceous glands in your skin make the oil, which is secreted through your pores. An overproduction of the oils that are made in these glands can cause oily skin.
  • Foundation Types for Oily Skin

    • For those with oily skin, you are not without options when it comes to foundation makeup. Powder-type foundation, whether it is loose or pressed, is one of your best bets when it comes to a foundation makeup that will not only last all day, but soak up excess shine as well.

    Powder Foundation

    • A powder foundation makeup comes in both loose and pressed powder forms and can be applied with a loose powder brush, kabuki brush, makeup sponge or powder puff. A powder foundation helps to soak up excess oil and keep your face looking matte throughout the day. Keep in mind that the applicator you use to apply your powder foundation can harbor excess oil and bacteria, so make sure to clean or replace your powder applicator regularly to keep from spreading oil and bacteria back onto your skin.

    Mineral Makeup Foundation

    • For those wanting a natural oily skin foundation makeup alternative, a mineral makeup product would be the right fit for you. Mineral makeup foundation is also a good choice for those with sensitive skin because it doesn’t have the harsh chemicals and ingredients that are often found in typical powder-type makeup.

    Tinted Moisturizer With an SPF as a Foundation

    • If you feel that layering your moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup leaves your skin oilier than it was before, then a tinted moisturizer may be another option for you. Combining a moisturizer, sunscreen and light color in one product, a tinted moisturizer with SPF can replace all three of these products for you. Try a tinted moisturizer with SPF in lieu of a foundation and then dust a loose powder on your T-zone for an added mattifying effect.

     

     
    If you have oily skin, you know that finding a foundation for your skin type is tough. A liquid or cream foundation makeup may just slide off. Fortunately, there are foundation makeup options for those with oily skin.

“Makeup Artist take a big chance on her fantasy skills.”

 

Down through the years Lashundra enjoyed making women look and feel there best. Her artistry started  in 2000 when she decide not to style hair for a living anymore, makeup became a passion of Shun beside music, so the talent was put to work  with  enhancing family, friends, and church members. Artistry took a while before she learned how to blend eyeshadow very well, and knowledge on cosmetics, brushes, and skin tones.

Lashundra  accepted a job in the mall as a beauty advisor, she worked for LANCOME cosmetics, and loved working for the company. After a while of all the training and experience she decided to take a big chance on her fantasy skills of art, and  become a freelance make artist in Memphis. Shun is now a well respected mua, in her hometown doing bigger and better opportunities.

I, Lashundra Easton would like to do celebrity makeup , and get more exposure for better opportunities in my career. However, I’m still learning new techniques to embrace my artistry skills. If anyone would like a makeover here is her information. http://www.facesbyshun.com, booklteastonmakeup@gmail.com. Stay tune with watching her beauty skills grow!

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Fantasy Girl Contest

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Contest Information

 Join Here

Email – makeupmafiainfo@gmail.com send me your name, number, address, and website.

Deadline: Dec 18, 2015

 Winner will be announced Dec 19, 2015 on all social media and advertised on “Makeup Mafia Memphis” website.

Prize: $100.00 worth of cosmetics mailed out to the address given in the email under your name.

Fantasy Girl Contest 

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Fantasy makeup offers an opportunity to use vivid and extreme colors and ideas. It’s creative design at its best. There are no limitations and you can draw inspiration from anywhere. The key ingredient for visual impact is to use bright colors that contrast and then add an unexpected element. Discover the fabulous looks you can create.

 

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Fantasy Makeup Designs

In this section of the Makeup Notebook you’ll find a number of techniques to push your design skills beyond limits.

The emphasis is on using cosmetics to create your designs.

With a few simple tricks you can alter your favorite colors and use them transform your look for photos and special events.

Then use wild colored contact lenses to enhance your look.

Take your vivid colors and your cosmetic brushes and get started today.

Go wild with eye makeup and colored contacts!

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Fantasy Makeup Looks

Fairy Makeup – For the little girl in all of us the new focus on fairy looks bring back memories of enchanted childhoods. Learn to create fairy designs with vivid eyeliners and eyeshadow colors.

Vampire Makeup – Vampires are back! The vampire craze is hot and you can go subtle or dramatic. It’s a look that will take your breath away. You can even combine it with Gothic style for a romantic version. The choice is yours.

Gothic Makeup Tips – This edgy style offers lots of creative opportunities. It’s daring and you can morph one design into a variety of looks. It takes smokey eyes to a whole new level. You can easily transform it into a vampire look in just seconds.

Face Painting Cheek Art – Yes, you can do face painting cheek art with makeup! You’ll learn simple face painting tips like what to use in place of glitter and how to make your body art last throughout the night.

Halloween Makeup – These are Halloween looks for adults. When you’re in a rush and have only a few minutes the best fantasy makeup tip is to focus on your eyes. Adapt your favorite designs for year round wear.

Fantasy Makeup Inspiration

Where do you draw inspiration when you want to create face art? Anywhere!

The best tip for creating stunning designs is to think vivid color. Color that makes people do a double take and glance twice. Look around you for incredible color combinations.

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Take clues from nature for colorful designs.

For instance, take the colors from a favorite butterfly photo and then adapt them to yourself. Yes, it’s bizarre and that’s why it looks so striking on the human face.

When the color is applied in a small free-form design it will naturally look more subtle. If you want drama use vivid or dark color and use more area for the design.

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Digital Cameras Capture The Fun

When you create looks you love remember to capture them with your iphone or digital camera. It makes it easier to refer back to. You can either recreate the same look or modify your designs. Plus, if you’re face painting with children then you are creating memories for a lifetime. Document your favorite designs with a digital camera for your own Makeup Notebook. Remember to note the colors you used, brushes, temporary tattoos and glitter eyeshadows. If you adapted an airbrush stencil then note which one worked the best.

Tips On Skin Care: Cleansing, Moisturizing and Anti-Aging

To keep your face looking as youthful as possible, you need to proper skin care. Here I show you how to properly cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your skin while never leaving the house without at least 30 SPF sunscreen. I’ve dubbed this process “The Basic 4-Step Skincare Regimen,” which I outline in this article. I also include organic skincare tips for the growing number of you who are concerned with putting only natural, organic products on your skin.

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How you care for your skin is utterly dependent on the type of skin you have:

oily, normal/combination, dry, sensitive or sun- damaged.

The Basic 4-Step Skincare Regimen

Step 1: Cleansing
You need to find a good cleanser that your skin responds well to, and stick with it: See the best cleansers for your skin type. You can find a good cleanser at the drugstore. There’s no need to spend $40 on a fancy wash. Avoid bar soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. According to Rona Berg, in her book, “Beauty,” a French cosmetics executive once told her, “Soap should only ever touch your skin from the neck down.” I agree. Choose a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin or a clear cleanser if you have oily skin.

For you organic types, you can cleanse skin with milk or yogurt (who knew?).

Be careful not to cleanse too often, you risk over-cleansing skin, see signs you are over cleansing your skin. You really only need to wash your face at night to remove makeup and sunscreen, which can clog pores. If you have dry skin, conorganicsider cold cream like Pond’s, which the French use or make your own organic cold cream using this simple cold cream recipe. Simply apply cream, then wipe off, no water needed (if you have hard water, it can be especially harsh on skin). Most women prefer the water method: Use warm water to loosen dirt and clogged pores. Use a dime-sized bit of cleanser, then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. I personally swear by my Clarisonic Mia, as does pretty much everyone I know who has one.

Make sure to remove eye makeup with a proper makeup remover. The area around the eye is delicate so don’t pull or rub too hard. You can also use olive oil as a natural eye makeup remover. Find out more in Use Olive Oil as an Eye Makeup Remover.

In the morning, a splash of lukewarm water is all you need (I find it’s great for removing excess oils from your nightly moisturizing). Never wash your face with hot or cold water (both can cause broken capillaries).

Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their weekly skincare routine. But trust me, if you start properly exfoliating your skin, you will notice an almost immediate difference. According to Berg, one of the reasons men’s skin looks more youthful than women’s is because men tend to exfoliate daily when they shave.
In my article, How to Exfoliate, I share all my tips and tricks to proper exfoliation. Including why you should throw out the loofah.

There are several exfoliating options that I use weekly.
A facial scrub. You can buy a great scrub or make your own. I prefer sugar scrubs to salt ones, but it’s just a matter of preference. See my list of the best facial scrubs or try out a recipe using brown sugar and coconut oil in Make a Face & Body Scrub With Sugar and Oil.
A washcloth. Put a dab of cleanser and a sprinkle of white refined sugar on a damp washcloth and massage skin in a circular motion. After a quick rinse, any sign of dead skin is erased. If you have dry skin, try extra virgin coconut oil.
Microdermabrasion. You can buy microdermabrasion kits. I have and found quite a few I like. See my list of the best facial scrubs and microdermabrasion kits.
Chemical peels. In the hour it takes to get a chemical peel, you can take a year from your face. Can’t afford the price tag for a monthly peel? Try some over-the-counter peels that work over the course of a month. I prefer MD Skincare’s.
Retinoids. Retinoid (such as Retin-A or the more moisturizing Renova) also work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells while also generating collagen in the skin. “Collagen is the skin’s structural fiber,” dermatologist Dennis Gross said in O Magazine. “As we get older, it breaks down, creating lines and large pores.” Skincare experts disagree on all sorts of things, but most of them consider retinoids to be a miracle skin saver. I’m addicted to Retin-A, which I pick up in Mexico on my yearly jaunts.
Should you use a toner? Some people swear by toners, but many beauty experts do not (I once read a skincare expert claim, “toners are only for copy machines”). Toners are meant to remove all remaining traces of oil, makeup and dirt, but a good cleanser should do this. I firmly believe it’s up to you. If you like the way your skin feels with a toner. Buy it. Use it. Enjoy it.
Step 3: Moisturize
While I know of at least one famous beauty editor who swore skin doesn’t need moisturizer, basically everyone else I’ve read disagrees and is an adamant believer in it. A basic rule of beauty is that if you have dry skin, you should invest in a basic moisturizer. So how much should you moisturize? Your skin will tell you. When your skin is tight, it’s crying out for moisture. Be careful not to over-moisturize — this can clog pores.
See my list of the best moisturizers on the market. For you natural girls, nothing beats a good oil for your skin. You can use extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. Learn more in Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as Overall Body Moisturizer.

Are eye creams necessary? Well maybe. Some beauty experts strongly recommend eye creams. Why? The skin around the eye contains no fatty tissue and is therefore very thin and susceptible to wrinkles. Special eye creams are formulated to “thicken” this area. Yet other experts (including the beauty editors of Allure in their new book) claim your daily lotion works around the eyes just as well.

Step 4: Apply Sunscreen
The #1 cause of wrinkles is sun damage, so it’s important to use a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF from your early years on even in winter and on cloudy days. A great trick is to purchase two moisturizers: One for night and one for day that includes UV protection. Don’t use moisturizers with sunscreen at night, the ingredients are not meant to be used 27/7 and can aggravate skin. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it contains Mexoryl (found in my favorite sunscreen La-Roche Posay) or Helioplex, found in Neutrogena products.

Shape your Eyebrows Like a Professional

Locate Your Starting Points

Flip your tweezer (try Tweezerman Slant tweezer, $20, tweezerman.com) upside down so the open end is pointing downward, and place it vertically alongside the outer edge of the bottom of your nose. The point where the vertex lands marks the beginning of your brow (which should also be about one inch above the inner corner of your eye). Using an eye pencil, draw a vertical line to demarcate the start of each brow, then check that the space above the bridge of your nose is centered between them. Remove the strays that fall in between.

1. Brush your brows upward, then use brow scissors to snip just the very ends of any long hairs and repeat brushing downward, says eyebrow pro Lashundra. Trimming the hair before tweezing will reveal the brow shape and remove the weight and bulk so that you can create an ideal shape.

2. Begin by holding a pencil parallel to the side of the bridge of your nose. The inner edge of your brows should start here. To determine the highest point of your arch, place the pencil parallel to the outside corner of your iris. Angling the pencil diagonally from your nostril to the outside corner of your eye will tell you where your brow should end. Another foolproof way to locate your arch: “Look at your face straight on in the mirror and find the highest point of your brow. Tweeze directly below it for a perfectly placed arch,” says Shun.

3. Mark the spots you just mapped out with a brow pencil, then begin tweezing or waxing accordingly. Remove no more than two rows of hair to maintain a natural effect. You may also need to remove just a few hairs from the top of the outer edges to create a subtle downward slope. If you have thick brows and want a more dramatic arch, remove an additional row from under the peak of the brow to create a more pronounced arch and to keep it from appearing straight and flat.

The shape of your eyebrows might be communicating a false message about what you’re feeling. In a study, researchers digitally altered a photo of a woman’s face to create different eyebrow shapes.

Even subtle variations in the brows had a significant effect on how the woman’s mood was perceived. Here is how you can pluck the perfect eye-brows:

There are three different kinds of eye sets: normal, close and wide set. Eye set is recognized by measuring your eye from the inner to outer corner.

If your eye measurement is the same as the distance between your eyes that means you have normal set eyes and your brows should start in the inner eye.

If distance is more, then you have wide set eyes and they should start from further in.

If the distance is less, then you have close set eyes and your brows should start a little past the inner eye.

Angle the straight edge so that it lines up with the outermost edge of your nose and the outermost edge of your iris. You should look straight ahead — both your face and your eyes should be looking directly forward at the mirror. Wherever the line intersects your eyebrow is where the peak of your arch should begin.

Angle the straight edge further so that it touches the outermost edge of your nose and also passes along the outermost edge of your eye.

Use an eye pencil to draw a line along the bottom edge of your brow; it should be above any stray hairs and it should follow the natural shape of your brow’s top line, which may be angled, slightly curved, or even straight. Pluck the strays below the line. Your eyebrow should be between ¼ and ½ inches at their thickest.

The arch should peak above the outer rim of your iris and lie right on your eyebrow bone: Mark the point with your eye pencil and then remove hair along the bottom, from your inner brow point to the peak point, says http://www.facesbyshun.com After the peak, shape the tail. Make it slightly thinner than the main part of your brow, tapering at the end.

How To Contour Your Face

Where you should contour:
  1. On the sides of your forehead and along your temples to make this wider area appear more narrow.
  2. The area below your cheekbones starting from your ears to in the middle of your cheeks, and then curving down to your jawline to lengthen your face.

Contouring and highlighting are like chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream: best together. First, let’s review these makeup techniques before getting into the mind-blowing contouring maps that follow.

Contouring is when you use a matte (read: not shimmery) powder, cream, or pencilproduct that’s two shades darker than your skin tone to shade areas you’d like to define or reshape, like your nose, forehead, chin, and cheekbones.

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Highlighting (or strobing) offsets contouring by accentuating areas of your face with light concealer or highlighter. To properly highlight or strobe, use a concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone or a highlighter that flatters your complexion to emphasize the areas of your face that naturally catch the light.

Figure out which contouring plan is right for you based on your face shape. Here’s a handy guide:

Diamond Face Shape

How to tell if your face is shaped like a diamond:

  • Your hairline is more narrow than your cheeks.
  • Your chin is slightly pointed.
  • Your face is longer than it is wide.

Where you should contour:

  • ​The area below your cheekbones starting from your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks.

Where you should highlight:

  • Under your eyes in an upside-down triangle shape and along your brow bone to brighten your eyes.
  • In the middle of your forehead and the middle of your chin to help broaden these naturally narrow areas.

Heart Face Shape

How to tell if your face is shaped like a heart:

  • Your cheeks are wider than your hairline.
  • Your chin is narrow and pointed.
  • A true heart-shaped face also has a widow’s peak.

Where you should contour:

  • Along the sides of your forehead and temples to create balance between the wider upper half of your face and the more narrow lower half.
  • The area below your cheekbones starting from your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks.​
  • The small area right below your chin to soften the point.

Where you should highlight:

  • Under your eyes in an upside-down triangle shape, which brightens your eyes.
  • In the middle of your forehead and the middle of your chin to help broaden these naturally narrow areas.

Oblong Face Shape

How to tell if your face is oblong:

  • Your face is almost twice as long as it is wide.
  • You have no major points along your jaw, chin, or hairline.

Where you should contour:

  • Along your hairline to create the illusion of a lower hairline.
  • Under your chin to make your face appear a little rounder.
  • The area below your cheekbones starting from your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks.

Where you should highlight:​

  • Under your eyes in an upside-down triangle shape to brighten your eyes.

Oval Face Shape

How to tell if your face is shaped like an oval:

  • Your face is 1.5 times longer than it is wide.
  • You have no major points along your jaw, chin, or hairline.
  • Your face resembles an upside-down egg.

Where you should contour:

  • The sides of your forehead just slightly to make your hairline appear a little more narrow.
  • The area below your cheekbones starting from your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks.

Where you should highlight:​

  • In the middle of your forehead and the middle of your chin.
  • Under your eyes and along your brow bone to brighten your eye area.

 

How To Self-Care for Family

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First, Care for Yourself

On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too.

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Effects of Caregiving on Health and Well Being

We hear this often:, “My husband is the person with Alzheimer’s, but now I’m the one in the hospital!” Such a situation is all too common. Researchers know a lot about the effects of caregiving on health and well being. For example, if you are a caregiving spouse between the ages of 66 and 96 and are experiencing mental or emotional strain, you have a risk of dying that is 63 percent higher than that of people your age who are not caregivers.1 The combination of loss, prolonged stress, the physical demands of caregiving, and the biological vulnerabilities that come with age place you at risk for significant health problems as well as an earlier death.

Older caregivers are not the only ones who put their health and well being at risk. If you are a baby boomer who has assumed a caregiver role for your parents while simultaneously juggling work and raising adolescent children, you face an increased risk for depression, chronic illness and a possible decline in quality of life.

But despite these risks, family caregivers of any age are less likely than noncaregivers to practice preventive healthcare and self-care behavior. Regardless of age, sex, and race and ethnicity, caregivers report problems attending to their own health and well-being while managing caregiving responsibilities. They report:

  • sleep deprivation
  • poor eating habits
  • failure to exercise
  • failure to stay in bed when ill
  • postponement of or failure to make medical appointments for themselves

Family caregivers are also at increased risk for depression and excessive use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Caregiving can be an emotional roller coaster. On the one hand, caring for your family member demonstrates love and commitment and can be a very rewarding personal experience. On the other hand, exhaustion, worry, inadequate resources and continuous care demands are enormously stressful. Caregivers are more likely to have a chronic illness than are non-caregivers namely high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a tendency to be overweight. Studies show that an estimated 46 percent to 59 percent of caregivers are clinically depressed.

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Taking Responsibility for Your Own Care

You cannot stop the impact of a chronic or progressive illness or a debilitating injury on someone for whom you care. But there is a great deal that you can do to take responsibility for your personal well being and to get your own needs met.

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Identifying Personal Barriers

Many times, attitudes and beliefs form personal barriers that stand in the way of caring for yourself. Not taking care of yourself may be a lifelong pattern, with taking care of others an easier option. However, as a family caregiver you must ask yourself, “What good will I be to the person I care for if I become ill? If I die? Breaking old patterns and overcoming obstacles is not an easy proposition, but it can be done—regardless of your age or situation. The first task in removing personal barriers to self-care is to identify what is in your way. For example:

  • Do you think you are being selfish if you put your needs first?
  • Is it frightening to think of your own needs? What is the fear about?
  • Do you have trouble asking for what you need? Do you feel inadequate if you ask for help?
  • Do you feel you have to prove that you are worthy of the care recipient’s affection? Do you do too much as a result?

Sometimes caregivers have misconceptions that increase their stress and get in the way of good self-care. Here are some of the most commonly expressed:

  • I am responsible for my parent’s health.
  • If I don’t do it, no one will.
  • If I do it right, I will get the love, attention, and respect I deserve.
  • Our family always takes care of their own
  • I promised my father I would always take care of my mother

“I never do anything right,” or “There’s no way I could find the time to exercise” are examples of negative self-talk, another possible barrier that can cause unnecessary anxiety. Instead, try positive statements: “I’m good at giving John a bath.” “I can exercise for 15 minutes a day.” Remember, your mind believes what you tell it.

Because we base our behavior on our thoughts and beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions like those noted above can cause caregivers to continually attempt to do what cannot be done, to control what cannot be controlled. The result is feelings of continued failure and frustration and, often, an inclination to ignore your own needs. Ask yourself what might be getting in your way and keeping you from taking care of yourself.

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Moving Forward

Once you’ve started to identify any personal barriers to good self-care, you can begin to change your behavior, moving forward one small step at a time. Following are some effective tools for self-care that can start you on your way.

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Tool #1: Reducing Personal Stress

How we perceive and respond to an event is a significant factor in how we adjust and cope with it. The stress you feel is not only the result of your caregiving situation but also the result of your perception of it—whether you see the glass as half-full or half-empty. It is important to remember that you are not alone in your experiences.

Your level of stress is influenced by many factors, including the following:

  • Whether your caregiving is voluntary. If you feel you had no choice in taking on the responsibilities, the chances are greater that you will experience strain, distress, and resentment.
  • Your relationship with the care recipient. Sometimes people care for another with the hope of healing a relationship. If healing does not occur, you may feel regret and discouragement.
  • Your coping abilities. How you coped with stress in the past predicts how you will cope now. Identify your current coping strengths so that you can build on them.
  • Your caregiving situation. Some caregiving situations are more stressful than others. For example, caring for a person with dementia is often more stressful than caring for someone with a physical limitation.
  • Whether or not support is available.

 

Steps to Managing Stress

  1. Recognize warning signs early. These might include irritability, sleep problems, and forgetfulness. Know your own warning signs, and act to make changes. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed.
  2. Identify sources of stress. Ask yourself, “What is causing stress for me?” Sources of stress might be that you have too much to do, family disagreements, feelings of inadequacy, or the inability to say no.
  3. Identify what you can and cannot change. Remember, we can only change ourselves; we cannot change another person. When you try to change things over which you have no control, you will only increase your sense of frustration. Ask yourself, “What do I have some control over? What can I change?” Even a small change can make a big difference. The challenge we face as caregivers is well expressed in the following words modified from the original Serenity Prayer (attributed to American Theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr): 

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    and (the) wisdom to know the difference.”

  4. Take action. Taking some action to reduce stress gives us back a sense of control. Stress reducers can be simple activities like walking and other forms of exercise, gardening, meditation or having coffee with a friend. Identify some stress reducers that work for you.

 

Tool #2: Setting Goals

Setting goals or deciding what you would like to accomplish in the next three to six months is an important tool for taking care of yourself. Here are some sample goals you might set:

  • Take a break from caregiving.
  • Get help with caregiving tasks like bathing and preparing meals.
  • Engage in activities that will make you feel more healthy.
  • Goals are generally too big to work on all at once. We are more likely to reach a goal if we break it down into smaller action steps. Once you’ve set a goal, ask yourself, “What steps do I take to reach my goal?” Make an action plan by deciding which step you will take first, and when. Then get started!

Example (Goal and Action Steps):
Goal: Feel more healthy.
Possible action steps:

  1. Make an appointment for a physical check-up.
  2. Take a half-hour break once during the week.
  3. Walk three times a week for 10 minutes.

Tool #3: Seeking Solutions

Seeking solutions to difficult situations is, of course, one of the most important tools in caregiving. Once you’ve identified a problem, taking action to solve it can change the situation and also change your attitude to a more positive one, giving you more confidence in your abilities.

Steps for Seeking Solutions

  1. Identify the problem. Look at the situation with an open mind. The real problem might not be what first comes to mind. For example, you think that the problem is simply that you are tired all the time, when the more basic difficulty is your belief that “no one can care for John like I can.” The problem? Thinking that you have to do everything yourself.
  2. List possible solutions. One idea is to try a different perspective: “Even though someone else provides help to John in a different way than I do, it can be just as good.” Ask a friend to help. Call Family Caregiver Alliance or the Eldercare Locator (see Resources List) and ask about agencies in your area that could help provide care.
  3. Select one solution from the list. Then try it!
  4. Evaluate the results. Ask yourself how well your choice worked.
  5. Try a second solution. If your first idea didn’t work, select another. But don’t give up on the first; sometimes an idea just needs fine tuning.
  6. Use other resources. Ask friends, family members and professionals for suggestions.
  7. If nothing seems to help, accept that the problem may not be solvable now. You can revisit it at another time.

Note: All too often, we jump from step one to step seven and then feel defeated and stuck. Concentrate on keeping an open mind while listing and experimenting with possible solutions.

Tool #4: Communicating Constructively

Being able to communicate constructively is one of a caregiver’s most important tools. When you communicate in ways that are clear, assertive and constructive, you will be heard and get the help and support you need. The box below shows basic guidelines for good communication.

Communication Guidelines

  • Use “I” messages rather than “you” messages. Saying “I feel angry” rather than “You made me angry” enables you to express your feelings without blaming others or causing them to become defensive.
  • Respect the rights and feelings of others. Do not say something that will violate another person’s rights or intentionally hurt the person’s feelings. Recognize that the other person has the right to express feelings.
  • Be clear and specific. Speak directly to the person. Don’t hint or hope the person will guess what you need. Other people are not mind readers. When you speak directly about what you need or feel, you are taking the risk that the other person might disagree or say no to your request, but that action also shows respect for the other person’s opinion. When both parties speak directly, the chances of reaching understanding are greater.
  • Be a good listener. Listening is the most important aspect of communication.

Tool #5: Asking for and Accepting Help

When people have asked if they can be of help to you, how often have you replied, “Thank you, but I’m fine.” Many caregivers don’t know how to marshal the goodwill of others and are reluctant to ask for help. You may not wish to “burden” others or admit that you can’t handle everything yourself.

Be prepared with a mental list of ways that others could help you. For example, someone could take the person you care for on a 15-minute walk a couple of times a week. Your neighbor could pick up a few things for you at the grocery store. A relative could fill out some insurance papers. When you break down the jobs into very simple tasks, it is easier for people to help. And they do want to help. It is up to you to tell them how.

Help can come from community resources, family, friends and professionals. Ask them. Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and exhausted or your health fails. Reaching out for help when you need it is a sign of personal strength.

Tips on How to Ask

  • Consider the person’s special abilities and interests. If you know a friend enjoys cooking but dislikes driving, your chances of getting help improve if you ask for help with meal preparation.
  • Resist asking the same person repeatedly. Do you keep asking the same person because she has trouble saying no?
  • Pick the best time to make a request. Timing is important. A person who is tired and stressed might not be available to help out. Wait for a better time.
  • Prepare a list of things that need doing. The list might include errands, yard work, or a visit with your loved one. Let the “helper” choose what she would like to do.
  • Be prepared for hesitance or refusal. It can be upsetting for the caregiver when a person is unable or unwilling to help. But in the long run, it would do more harm to the rela-tionship if the person helps only because he doesn’t want to upset you. To the person who seems hesitant, simply say, “Why don’t you think about it.” Try not to take it personally when a request is turned down. The person is turning down the task, not you. Try not to let a refusal prevent you from asking for help again. The person who refused today may be happy to help at another time.
  • Avoid weakening your request. “It’s only a thought, but would you consider staying with Grandma while I went to church?” This request sounds like it’s not very important to you. Use “I” statements to make specific requests: “I would like to go to church on Sunday. Would you stay with Grandma from 9 a.m. until noon?”

Tool #6: Talking to the Physician

In addition to taking on the household chores, shopping, transportation, and personal care, 37 percent of caregivers also administer medications, injections, and medical treatment to the person for whom they care. Some 77 percent of those caregivers report the need to ask for advice about the medications and medical treatments. The person they usually turn to is their physician.

But while caregivers will discuss their loved one’s care with the physician, caregivers seldom talk about their own health, which is equally important. Building a partnership with a physician that addresses the health needs of the care recipient and the caregiver is crucial. The responsibility of this partnership ideally is shared between you, the caregiver, the physician, and other healthcare staff. However, it will often fall to you to be assertive, using good communication skills, to ensure that everyone’s needs are met—including your own.

Tips on Communicating with Your Physician

  • Prepare questions ahead of time. Make a list of your most important concerns and problems. Issues you might want to discuss with the physician are changes in symptoms, medications or general health of the care recipient, your own comfort in your caregiving situation, or specific help you need to provide care. The physician only sees a moment in time with the patient. Make sure you let him/her know what your concerns are in their daily care/health.
  • Enlist the help of the nurse. Many caregiving questions relate more to nursing nurses than to medicine. In particular, the nurse can answer questions about various tests and examinations, preparing for surgical procedures, providing personal care, and managing medications at home.
  • Make sure your appointment meets your needs. For example, the first appointment in the morning or after lunch and the last appointment in the day(no way!!) are the best times to reduce your waiting time or accommodate numerous questions. When you schedule your appointment, be sure you convey clearly the reasons for your visit so that enough time is allowed.
  • Call ahead. Before the appointment, check to see if the doctor is on schedule. Remind the receptionist of special needs when you arrive at the office.
  • Take someone with you. A companion can ask questions you feel uncomfortable asking and can help you remember what the physician and nurse said.
  • Use assertive communication and “I” messages. Enlist the medical care team as partners in care. Present what you need, what your concerns are, and how the doctor and/or nurse can help. Use specific, clear “I” statements like the following: “I need to know more about the diagnosis; I will feel better prepared for the future if I know what’s in store for me.” Or “I am feeling rundown. I’d like to make an appointment for myself and my husband next week.” Or “I need a way for my mother to sleep at night as I am now exhausted being up every two hours at night with her.”

Tool #7: Starting to Exercise

You may be reluctant to start exercising, even though you’ve heard it’s one of the healthiest things you can do. Perhaps you think that physical exercise might harm you or that it is only for people who are young and able to do things like jogging. Fortunately, research suggests that you can maintain or at least partly restore endurance, balance, strength and flexibility through everyday physical activities like walking and gardening. Even household chores can improve your health. The key is to increase your physical activity by exercising and using your own muscle power.

Exercise promotes better sleep, reduces tension and depression, and increases energy and alertness. If finding time for exercise is a problem, incorporate it into your daily activity. Perhaps the care recipient can walk or do stretching exercise with you. If necessary, do frequent short exercises instead of those that require large blocks of time. Find activities you enjoy.

Walking, one of the best and easiest exercises is a great way to get started. Besides its physical benefits, walking helps to reduce psychological tension. Walking 20 minutes a day, three times a week, is very beneficial. If you can’t get away for that long, try to walk for as long as you can on however many days you can. Work walking into your life. Walk around the mall, to the store or a nearby park. Walk around the block with a friend.

Tool #8: Learning from Our Emotions

It is a strength to recognize when your emotions are controlling you (instead of you controlling your emotions). Our emotions are messages to which we need to listen to. They exist for a reason. However negative or painful, our feelings are useful tools for understanding what is happening to us. Even feelings such as guilt, anger and resentment contain important messages. Learn from them, then take appropriate action.

For example, when you cannot enjoy activities you previously enjoyed, and your emotional pain over-shadows all pleasure, it is time to seek treatment for depression—especially if you are having thoughts of suicide. Speaking with your physician is the first step. (Please refer to the Fact Sheet on Caregiving and Depression, listed below.)

Caregiving often involves a range of emotions. Some feelings are more comfortable than others. When you find that your emotions are intense, they might mean the following:

  • That you need to make a change in your caregiving situation.
  • That you are grieving a loss.
  • That you are experiencing increased stress.
  • That you need to be assertive and ask for what you need.

 

Summing Up

Remember, it is not selfish to focus on your own needs and desires when you are a caregiver—it’s an important part of the job. You are responsible for your own self-care. Focus on the following self-care practices:

  • Learn and use stress-reduction techniques, e.g. meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi.
  • Attend to your own healthcare needs.
  • Get proper rest and nutrition.
  • Exercise regularly, if only for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take time off without feeling guilty.
  • Participate in pleasant, nurturing activities, such as reading a good book, taking a warm bath.
  • Seek and accept the support of others.
  • Seek supportive counseling when you need it, or talk to a trusted counselor, friend, or pastor.
  • Identify and acknowledge your feelings, you have a right to ALL of them.
  • Change the negative ways you view situations.
  • Set goals.

It’s up to you!

 

Credits

1 Shultz, Richard and Beach, Scott (1999). Caregiving as A Risk for Mortality: The Caregiver Health Effects Study.JAMA, December 15, 1999 – Vol. 282, No.23

A special thank you the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program for permission to use information from The Caregiver Helpbook and their Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class Leader Tips Manual. The Caregiver Helpbook, is highly recommended reading for caregivers.

 

RESOURCES

 

FCA Fact Sheet:
Depression and Caregiving

FCA Fact Sheet:
Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration

AARP

Administration on Aging
Washington, DC 20201,
Phone: (202) 619-0724
Eldercare Locator

Alzheimer’s Association

Gambone, James, PhD, Rhonda Travland, MS, Who Says Men Don’t Care? 2011, www.MaleGuideForCaregiving.com

How To Be a Resilient Caregiver

Schmall,V, Cleland,M, Sturdevant,M, The Caregiver Helpbook: Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Legacy Health Systems.(2000)

Sheehy, Gail, Passages in Caregiving, Harper Collins, 2010

Organizations

Family Caregiver Alliance
National Center on Caregiving
785 Market Street, Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 434-3388
(800) 445-8106
Web Site: caregiver.org
E-mail: info@caregiver.org

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research and advocacy. Through its National Center on Caregiving, FCA offers information on current social, public policy and caregiving issues and provides assistance in the development of public and private programs for caregivers.

For residents of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, FCA provides direct support services for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s and other debilitating disorders that strike adults.

Area Agency on Aging
For caregiver support groups, respite providers, and other caregiving services.
Eldercare Locator:
(800) 677-1116

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
Call to find local respite providers.

Prepared by Family Caregiver Alliance. Funded by Alameda County Area Agency on Aging. Revised with funding from the Stavros Niachros Foundation, NY. 2012. © 2003-2012 Family Caregiver Alliance. All rights reserved.

How To Get Rid Of Face Discoloration

If your skin, which was once smooth and even-toned, has gradually (or suddenly) become spotted with discoloration, you’re not alone. Hormonal changes, sun exposure or basic genetics can cause discolored spots in all skin types and tones. While recent spots may respond to topical treatments and sun-shielding habits, deeper, long-term discoloration might need a doctor’s touch. No matter what treatment you use, sun protection is your first defense for keeping skin discoloration at bay.

snapshot4

Step 1

Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day, rain or shine. No treatment for discoloration, whether it’s in a doctor’s office or at home, will be effective if you don’t protect your skin from the sun. For best results, reapply every two hours or any time after you sweat or wipe your face.

Step 2

Exfoliate skin with a cleanser containing lactic or glycolic acid, both of which are mild chemical exfoliants. You can use these cleansers every day, but limit your use to one to three times a week if you notice irritation — irritated skin can be more susceptible to sun damage, causing even more discoloration. You can also use a mechanical exfoliator with smoothing beads. Check for results after six to eight weeks of use.

Step 3

Apply a brightening cream with vitamin C, arbutin or kojic acid onto affected areas. Use only as often as directed on the product’s instructions, and avoid sun exposure while using brightening products.

Step 4

Dab an over-the-counter hydroquinone lotion, which is generally available in a 2-percent concentration, onto affected areas. Avoid the sun and use sunscreen while wearing hydroquinone, or apply in the evening to prevent sun exposure altogether. It may take months to notice any change to your discoloration.

Step 5

Ask a physician if a higher concentration of hydroquinone lotion is appropriate for your skin. Your dermatologist can prescribe a higher concentration, which can provide results within three to six weeks, but it may cause more irritation than the less-concentrated cream.

Step 6

Consult your dermatologist if your discoloration doesn’t fade with exfoliating products or creams to ask about in-office chemical peeling, intense pulse light therapy or laser treatment. These treatments are available only in a physician’s office and may require more than one visit, but they will clear stubborn discoloration faster than topical treatments.

Things You’ll Need

  • SPF 15 sunscreen
  • Exfoliating cleanser
  • Brightening cream
  • Hydroquinone lotion

How Long Should You Keep Your Make Up?

How many months or years you should hold on to your eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, and other cosmetics depends on several factors. Among important considerations when deciding time to toss and replace beauty products: type of make up, how it’s been stored, and whether you’ve had an eye infection. Some make up shouldn’t be kept longer than 3 months, but you can hang on to other paints and varnishes for a couple years.

The United States doesn’t have any laws that require cosmetic manufacturers to include expiration dates on their packaging. Guidelines for when to discard make up are usually doled out by people who work within the cosmetics industry. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an eye on cosmetics manufacturers, and they provide some general advice for consumers.

To get maximum longevity from your make up, buy only cosmetics that haven’t been opened. When you get your goodies home, store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Always close the lids tightly after use.

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Here are some common cosmetics and the recommended shelf life for each after it has been opened for the first time.

  • Mascara: Toss your mascara after 3 months. Mascara has the shortest life span of all make up because the risk of transferring bacteria back and forth from your eye into the mascara tube is so great. If your mascara starts to dry out before its 90 days is up, throw it away. Don’t add water or saliva to your mascara to rewet it. Doing so will only increase your chances of getting an eye infection.

  • Eye pencils: Eye pencils can be kept up to 2 years. To make sure you’re using a clean tip, sharpen before each application.

  • Eye shadows: Keep your applicators clean and your liquid shadows should last 12 months. Powder shadows will keep 2 years.

    If you’ve had an eye infection, you’ll need to throw out all the eye make up and applicators you used from the time you developed symptoms. The virus or bacteria that caused the infection has probably taken up residence in your make up, so using those cosmetics again could cause you to develop another infection.

  • Lipsticks: You can stow your tube lipsticks and your lip pencils for 2 years. As with eye pencils, sharpen your lip pencils before each use.

  • Blushes and powders: Discard your cream blushes after a year, powder blushes and powders after 2 years.

    Think of your make up a bit like you do your food. If it smells weird, develops a film, or has a mold-green tint to it, it’s gone bad and needs to be tossed out.

  • Foundations and concealers: Moisturizing foundations and stick concealers can hang around for 18 months. A 12-month shelf life applies to both oil-free foundations, which can dry out quickly, and liquid concealers.

    Using clean brushes and sponges will help lengthen the life of your cosmetics. Be sure and wash or replace your applicators frequently.

When you open a cosmetic for the first time, write the date on the product. It will help you keep track of how long you’ve had the make up so you’ll know when it’s time to throw it away.