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F o r t y • F i v e

F o r t y • F i v e

F o r t y •  F i v e

I cried the day I turned 40. True story.

Looking back I don’t know why.  I was on a beach with my husband on a romantic getaway, 4 healthy kids back home being taken care of by parents who were still here with me.

And somehow, I had let my mind become consumed by what I thought society wanted me to be and what I thought that turning 40 would never allow.

I had never been that person. My entire life I would have said I was more of a leader than a follower, more of an “I don’t care what anyone else thinks, this is what I’m doing”, more of a confident young woman than a woman that needed assurance from the outside world that she was still good enough.

And yet there I was feeling that exact thing.  On a beach, with a man who loved me, I felt like I had hit a tipping point and it was all downhill from there.

Even as I type this it’s hard to read back and I’m questioning whether I’ll even post it.  Because no one wants to admit their weaknesses, admit they are vulnerable.  Was it nothing more than a fear of wrinkles that had me in such a state that day?  Could I really be that vain of a person that I could begrudge another year on earth if it meant trading in my youth?

I don’t know the reasons, I wasn’t even aware it had happened.  All I knew was that it was not how I wanted to feel, this was not the best version of ME.

Pre-40, Post-40 is how I think about my life now.  Mid life crisis?  Nah. Because the truth is that none of us know when we are celebrating the birthday that is actually going to be the one that marks our “mid-life”.  Crisis? No. A crisis is when you are losing a loved one, or a job, or your home, or going through a divorce, or an illness. A crisis is NOT being given another year to spend on this earth, THAT is what we call a gift.

After that birthday I did a lot of soul searching, priority placing, heart healing, emotional purging.  For lack of a better term... I basically spring cleaned my inner closet.  Got rid of what hadn’t severed a purpose in a couple of years, added items that brought me joy, that made me feel good and I would be easily able to access.

The pre-40 me hated confrontation and literally avoided it at all cost.  The pre-40 me weighed herself 3 times a day, obsessed over every calorie she put in her body and let a neon number on a scale dictate the type of day she would have.  The pre-40 me worried if my decision to stay home full time to raise my family instead of utilizing that University degree was something I would one day question.

But then it happened 💫 the POST.  And it came with a vengeance and never looked back.

The post-40 me who has to watch that her mouth doesn’t get her in trouble because she does not like to back down or be taken advantage of, ever.  The post-40 me who has not stood on a scale since I came back from that beach vacation.  The post-40 me who worries more about feeling healthy and strong than I do about about a neon number.

The post-40 me who sees a {pre-40} nine year old who watches my every move.  Who listens to every word I say and whos biggest compass to what she values about herself will be me and my words.  The post-40 me who is hell bent on showing my daughter that there is nothing more attractive than confidence.

Genuine Confidence.... and it doesn’t come from what I thought it did all those years prior, it does NOT come from the reflection in the mirror.  It comes from what you do for others, how well you love, how genuine your relationships are, how you feel about what you did during the day when your head hits the pillow.

Yes, “you look good you feel good” - it can be true - but it’s like walking on a frozen lake.  If your insides don’t match, if you aren’t walking on a solid foundation to keep you steady than you’ll crack.. eventually.

There is no amount of makeup, botox, filler, hair dye, procedures or numbers on a scale that will do this for you.  These are the things {for me} I now look at as a cherry on the top, like wrapping a package with a ribbon.  But if that sundae has no ice cream, if that package is an empty box than those finishing touches aren’t going to help you live a truly happy, genuine, confident life.

If you’re not happy, get happy.  Stop waiting for someone else to change this for you.  Take inventory of those you choose to interact with, socialize with, give your time to, attention to, heart to.  Prioritize them, feed & water them.. they don’t grow themselves.  Pull the weeds, they are literally sucking the life out of you and yes, preventing you from growing into the person you were meant to be.

I am not just turning 45 today, I am literally doing cartwheels into it.  I am hell bent on making it my best year yet.  On loving those around me the best I ever have.  To find new ways to help those around me.  Of accepting and requiring the love that I know I deserve from those I let hold a place in my life.

Happy Birthday to all of us today, it’s never to late to revamp, start over, change course, start fresh.  You only get one trip here, and you never know when it will be over - make it count, make it special, make it worth it.

















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my favorite makeup

my favorite makeup

I've broken down all my favorites to spruce up my face!  Under each image, if you click on the "Click HERE" icon it will take you directly to a page to give you more info, pricing and ordering options for each one.



I don't usually wear foundation in the day.  Just some concealer and loose powder as a base.  Minimal shadow, eyeliner on my water line (the inside of your lower eye) and some bronzing powder and lipstick.  Since I have eyelash extensions I don't need to wear mascara or liner on my upper lid:


I had my make up done years ago and the make up artist used this one from Laura Mercier and I have never looked back!  I love the brush that goes with it too.  Usually I'll dampen the brush just a bit and mix the two colors together on it.  I use it under my eyes and blend it into the inner eye next to my nose.  I will also put it on the creases of my nose or anywhere else that seems red.

Click HERE 

Click HERE


I don't remember ever using another loose powder.  I have probably had this in my makeup bag for 15 years (not the same one of course).  It comes in an array of color to match your skin tone, they have all the samples in store. After I have applied my concealer I use a kabuki brush (see below) and swirl it in the powder and then then onto my face.


Click HERE


I absolutely LOVE this Bare Minerals brush to apply powder!

Click HERE


I will either do a blush OR a bronzer in the day - not both.

This blush is a long time favorite of mine!  The photo makes it look more bright pink than it is.  It truly goes with everything!

LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Velvet Rope

Click HERE


I've been a fan of this one since it came out from Bare Minerals!  Apply it with their bronzing brush for a perfect application.  When applying, I do my face in 2 halves.  I start at the top of my forehead and make a brush stroke like a number 3 from forehead, to nose, to chin.

Click HERE


Click HERE


You know this is my current favorite!

Laura Geller Liquid Gelato Pillowtop Highlighter

Click HERE

Night time: (or special event)

BEFORE you even think about adding foundation to your face, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use a primer!  It will create a thin base on your skin so your foundation goes on smooth, lasts longer and doesn't sit in your fine lines.  Some people love their primer so much they just use that on their skin and nothing else.  There are lots of great ones out there, some more oily than others so you may need to sample a few before finding the one that works best for you.  This is my current favorite from LANCOME:


Click HERE


Do yourself a favor and stop using your fingers to apply foundation!  The Beauty Blender will change the battle you find yourself in with blending your makeup into your skin flawlessly!  Make sure you damped the sponge well before applying and rinse well after!

Click HERE

You already know this is my favorite foundation - it Cosmetics - but here are another few I love as well!

it Cosmetics CC foundation

Click HERE

it Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye

Click HERE

Makeup Forever HD foundation

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Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundations

Click HERE

Night time Bronzer:

My absolute favorite from CHANEL!  You have to use something a bit damp to apply this product (in my opinion). I use my beauty blender and swirl the tip of it around in the product and then blend it into the edges of my forehead and down into my lower cheek bones.  With this bronzer I would also add a blush.

Click HERE 

Setting Powder:

Make up artists swear that you need to put a setting powder on top of your foundation in order to get the longest lasting result!  I don't always remember to do it but when i do I definitely notice a difference.  This one I love from NARS!

Click HERE 

Setting Spray:

Once you've actually gone to the effort of getting your "face on" the surest way to make it last is with a setting spray.  A few sprays on top of your makeup will ensure no smearing or running or fading through the day.  My Current favorite is from Urban Decay

Click HERE


So first!  I started getting eyelash extensions about a year ago and that has eliminated the need for mascara or eyeliner on my upper lid.  I did however have a favorite from when I used to use them.

My favorite EYE LINER!

This has been my tried and true, no others have ever compared - for years!  It does not run when you sweat and it stays put throughout the day.  It comes off easily with makeup remover.  I use it on my water line, the inside part of your lower eye.

Click HERE

Now that I have eyelash extensions, if I do want more makeup for night or an event I don't like to use a pencil because I worry it will pull the lashes off.  Instead, I take a brush made for eyeliner and wet it a bit and dab it in this powder and then press the powder on in a line across the top of my lashes.  This one is my fav!  MAC Carbon Matte powder.

Click HERE


Usually, I stick with a neutral palette.  Light color on the base and up to my eyebrow.  Medium color on my lid. For night I will add a darker color to the crease.  This palette from TOO FACED has you covered in every shade of neutral.  It takes the guess work out of what colors work together on your eye for the perfect shade combination.

Click HERE


This one from LANCOME has been a favorite in my makeup bag forever!  Probably because it DOES NOT RUN, nor smear under your eyes! 

Click HERE


This is a hard one because lipstick looks different on everyone depending on your natural lip color, your skin tone and hair color - it truly is a personal preference!  I tend to go with rosie pinks, not bright - med to dark.  I don't love gloss because I can't stand my hair sticking to it!  My 2 favorites for the past couple of years have been REBEL ROSE from BUXOM and TWIG from MAC.


Click HERE for TWIG











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Facing the facts

Facing the facts

Maybe you've been thinking about giving it a try, maybe you've tried it and didn't get what you wanted.  Maybe you start to look into it and become so overwhelmed with all your options and what will work for YOU that you decide to re-visit it later.

Maybe it's not for you, maybe you're happy to age gracefully just the way you are.  Maybe you want to fight the signs of aging with everything you can muster up.  Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle.

We've all seen those women (and men) who have clearly treaded too far into the "injections" waters.  It's obvious, it's clear that they have crossed the line of getting a little tweak and turning into a human Barbie.  It's these people who give injectables a bad rap.  

Injectables are not meant to look fake, if they are done properly.  Sure you can always find a doctor who will do anything you ask but I would suggest that this is not the kind of doctor you want to visit.  A doctors goal should always be to educate you, give you your options and then try to make you look as natural as possible.

The question people seem to wonder the most is...


Well it's a big one and there are a lot of differences... from effects to duration to cost.


Are injectables that make you look more rested and youthful by relaxing the muscles around fine lines.  Most commonly injected in the forehead, between the eyebrows, upper cheeks in the "crows feet" by your eyes and less commonly above your lip and even in your neck. 

Botox has been around since the 70's and Dysport was used widely in Europe in the 90's until it was FDA approved in the US in 2009.  Both do the same job but active women tend to report they notice their Botox beginning to wear off sooner than it once did over time, likely due to metabolizing it quicker.  These women report that Dysport seems to have longer lasting effects.

Botox above the lip can be used if someone thinks their smile is too "high", showing a "gummy smile" - just be aware that some report having a hard time drinking through a straw or whistling.

Botox and Dysport are your best choice if you find facial lines are primarily produced by the movement of facial muscles.  Lifting your eyebrows up, smiling, frowning will all produce lines that can be treated with Botox or Dysport

It is recommended that Botox or Dysport be injected every 3 to 4 months.

The cost is based on how many units a patient needs.  A unit will cost between $10-$15 and the average patient can use anywhere from 20 - 50 or more units, again depending on your personal wants.  It's not a cheap commitment, starting anywhere from $300 + per session.

It is relatively pain free and there is no down time.  

You will start to see results with the first week with optimum results occurring by 2 weeks.

It is unlikely your insurance would cover this cost unless you are using it to manage migraine headaches or excessive sweating under the armpits which it has been widely shown to help both issues.


These products, called "fillers" are used to fill in deep set lines and wrinkles that are present whether facial muscles are being used or not.

These are also the products that people use to "fill" their lips.  A filler can be injected into the actual lip or around the edges of the lip to make the lip appear more full.  Clearly there are people who overdo it and end up with what everyone calls "duck lips".  

Again, if done properly, the difference should be subtle.

Fillers can be injected into the folds that run from your nose to the sides of your mouth or into deep wrinkles in the forehead.

Unlike botox or dysport, injecting a filler is more painful and requires a topical numbing cream before hand.  

Fillers can last up to 12 months and can be pricey.  

Unlike botox, you cannot buy it per unit, you buy it per vile which can run about $5-600.  If you use the entire vile you have got your moneys worth but if you are only doing your lips it's unlikely you will use the whole vile and it must be thrown away within the month.

Many women (& men) will do a combination of botox / dysport and juvederm / restylane - this will help relax your wrinkle lines as well as add some volume.  

Again, this is a decision that any certified, qualified doctor can help you decide.

There are still more brands and products that fall within the spectrum of injectables.  I hope I have been able to give you a good place to start if you decide to look into it further.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a reputable doctor.  If you don't know one, start asking around. Is there someone you know who has skin you are always admiring?  Ask her if gets botox - if she does than ask her for her doctors name, if she doesn't, you won't offend her - she should be flattered!

* This post is based solely on my opinion.  I am not a doctor or medical expert so please use this information only as a starting point. 






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Let's talk skincare!

Let's talk skincare!

First, I am not an aesthetician or a dermatologist so everything I'm about to share is based purely on my own experience and opinion.  I have tried close to every technique and product out there (ok maybe not but it sure feels like it) and here are my tried and true favorites.  Some may work for you, some may not - maybe you will try all and love all, maybe you will just find one that you can't live without!  

My skin is not perfect, I was told by my aesthetician that I have "thin skin" - good for not showing scars, terrible for fine lines and wrinkles - I think I'd rather not scar well ;)  I really didn't start paying attention to my skin care routine until my early 30's - yes, I REALLY wish I had started younger but what's done is done and all I can do is try to fix the damage that has already occurred.  Endless trips to the tanning salon and days spent outside in the sun with baby oil on my face - why didn't my Mother lock me in the house???  Just kidding, she tried but I was 18 and truly didn't think past the next day.  

I have learned that skin care is something that I will always invest in, unfortunately it is one thing that you get what you pay for.  Facials and other skin treatments are also something I wish I'd started doing earlier in life - so if you're in your 20's and reading this - START NOW!

As we get older, our skin becomes more dry, it's like life is literally sucking the hydration out of your face. Because of this I'm always on the hunt for products that bring back the hydration, the glow, the youthful look - nothing that has the phrase "matte finish" on it's label lives in my makeup bag.  

I've gotten a lot of questions about my skincare routine so here's the short list - why I love them and where you can get them for yourself.  If I come across something new I promise to update this list and share with you!


If you have never used one of these to wash your face you are short changing yourself on what could be, what lies beneath the surface!  You can use this with any face wash you want, it takes 2 minutes, once or twice a day.  Your skin will absolutely glow after you finish, it's like waxing your car - you will shine!  The cleaning brushes need to be replaced but I have had my actual clarisonic for years and it's still going strong.  Use it once and you will never live without it!



I fell in love with this line of skin care a couple of years ago after using this face wash.  Use it alone or with the Clarisonic for an extra boost.  Its fine granules are massaged around while you are rubbing it in and when you rinse it off your face really does shine!  I don't use it everyday but 3-4 times a week at night gives you amazing results!



This is my day to day, twice a day go to face wash!  I have used it for years, tried other brands and always come back to it.  It's just a very purifying cleanser that leaves your face feeing rejuvenated and fresh.  I also use this with my Clarisonic.



Possibly my favorite skin care product of all time!  To be applied with a cotton ball after you have washed your face, twice a day.  For real, as it's drying on your face you can see your skin changing in the mirror - it's instantly brighter and tighter.  Sometimes I don't even want to put lotion on because I don't want to cover up what the toner has done!  This is for sure the one product I cannot live without!



Okay, probably my second favorite skin care product!  This is actually comprised of 2 tubes (not sure why they can't make it one). One is vitamin C and the other is Retinol - you squeeze a pea size amount from the tube in your hand and mix together and then apply.  Vitamin C,  I have come to learn, is like a little skin miracle and will have you glowing in no time!



Ahhhhh my new found love of oils for my face - my entire body for that matter.  I used to dread being oily but the truth is that oil is what keeps our skin from looking and feeling dry.  Maybe if I was a teenager battling acne I would stay clear from this but now it has become my best friend!  I either drop a few drops on my fingertips and apply directly to my face or I will add a few drops to my moisturizer in my hand before applying.  



Another great facial oil that I love!  This one is promoted by the Kardashians and if it'll give me skin like them well then I'm sold.  Okay not really but I really do love it and it's a great choice for a oil.



I switch my eye creams A LOT!  This one has kind of been a constant for me for the past year.  I'm all about using Retin A in products but a lot of eye creams contain it which can be great for wrinkles but you shouldn't put Retin A on your eye lid.  I need a eye cream that I can put all around my eye!  Don't neglect your lids!



This in another great choice for a eye cream, I would say I like it as much as the Rodan & Fields one.  It's light and airy but dewy and smooth at the same time.  It's also more convenient to be able to get it at the mall than to order by mail - either is a great choice!



This is it, like whipped butter in a jar!  Not the kind of butter that sits on top of your face though, the kind that soaks in and leaves your skin smooth and glowing.  It has been my go to daytime face moisturizer for years. When Lancome first introduced this cream they marketed it as "botox in a jar" which was enough to make me try it, I have been hooked ever since.  Let's be clear, it isn't really botox in a jar, but it's a close attempt and I have never heard anyone I've recommended it to say anything but positive things about it after trying it!


- THIS WOULD END YOUR MORNING ROUTINE - Again, you don't need to use all these products but in a ideal world these would all be on my face before walking out the door!



Basically everything I said about the day cream but this consistency is heavier in the night cream.  It's like a overnight mini-facial, you can feel that it's still on in the morning when you wash your face again!



This is another favorite of mine from this line.  If I were using the R&F night cream I would use it with the R&F eye cream, just a preference.  The Redefine line is their anti aging / wrinkle line and I really noticed a difference after using it.  This or the Lancome would be a great choice for a night time moisturizer!


I do not sell Rodan & Fields, nor do I profit from you buying it - I just really love it!  I wish they sold it in stores but you have to get it through their website.  If someone you know already sells it you can purchase it though them, otherwise it will prompt you upon checkout to find a consultant or you can checkout without using one.


For me, the issue I have with a lot of daytime moisturizers that contain sunscreen is that I am WELL AWARE that I have sunscreen on my face.  They feel sticky and thick and I end up regretting I put them on.  I usually will add a sunscreen separately if I know I'm going to be outside all day but for those of you who MUST have a sunscreen in your moisturizer here are some good options to use alone or on top of your moisturizer.








As hard as I try to sleep on my back, I am a side sleeper for life!  A good night sleep I always get but with that also comes chest wrinkles that are there staring back at me in the mirror every morning!  These silicone pads are like miracle workers and like a face lift for your chest!  I swear if they ever make a body suit I will be first in line!  They gently stick to your chest while you sleep and you then peel it off in the morning, your chest looks smoother than when you went to bed - for real!  It may not be the most attractive thing in the world but if you are someone who is conscious of aging in this area, this product is amazing!  After each use, just rinse lightly with water and you can use again that night.




Oh how I wish this product had been around when I was a pre-teen / teen!  Maybe you are lucky enough to have outgrown that stage in your life where pimples and acne were an everyday battle, maybe you never outgrew it and you still struggle with it as an adult?  

Maybe you are the parent of a child entering (gasp!) puberty and hate to see them battle with acne on top of everything else that comes along with this awkward stage?  

If you fall into any of the above than look no further - this is a game changer!  X OUT is the baby of ProActive - it's purpose is the same but it's marketed for teens because of it's one step process AND we all know that if you're trying to get your child to do something that involves more than one step, well..... it's a challenge.  It is sold in a face wash, body wash and spot treatment.  I can testify that I have seen faces change drastically in a matter of days, acne gone and skin smooth - it really is amazing and I have recommended it to so many other parents. Believe the Infomercial!



I hope you have found this post helpful, I'd love to hear your feedback if you do decide to give any of these products a try!




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Aging gracefully in a society that shows little grace to those who age.

Aging gracefully in a society that shows little grace to those who age.

In 2015, the anti-aging skin care market generated over 2 Billion dollars in sales in the U.S alone.  Does anyone know when it became so offensive to society to age?  Why is it that men are considered to be more distinguished looking while women just turn into trolls?  More importantly, why do WE as WOMEN seem to be the ones who do all the condemning?  We are the judge and jury of our own gender, we are hard on others - we are harder on ourselves.  

(photo: LifeCell South Beach Skin care) 

A short while ago, a picture for my blog was posted on social media.  I released it as a type of promotion I guess, a heads up to the blog I was working on.  I didn't release it for feedback on my appearance, but feedback I sure did get - most of it was positive but a lot was not (and that was after some SERIOUS retouching for heavens sake!) 

So many comments about my age, my face, my wrinkles, my plastic surgery, my botox, my fillers, my fat-ness, my thin-ness, the recent “re-designing” of my face (whaaaat??? I promise there has been no such re-designing). Guess who ALL the comments were from?  WOMEN.... Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters, Daughters…. so much criticism.  What did they want me to do? Apologize for aging?  Well here’s the funny thing about life, as hard as I try (and believe me I do) not to age - I do.  It just keeps happening.  I can compare myself to others, I can try every product and technique out there, I can make myself crazy with trying to look like the girl in the magazine - there will always be a company or person or MYSELF telling me I could look better. 

What a weight we bear as women, never good enough - try harder.  Try this product, maybe it can help you.


Every other commercial is full of the latest and greatest way to lose those wrinkles.  Translation - you really look terrible with all those wrinkles.  We are made to look at those wrinkles like looking at the glass half empty. What if we could change our thinking and look at the wrinkle glass as half full?  What if the more wrinkles you had meant the more life you had lived?  REALLY lived? Like badges on your face for every laugh, tear and emotion you had ever experienced.  Congratulations, you win - you lived a life full of feelings.



I write this for myself as much as I write this for you, I am forever trying to turn back the clock on my face.  As I was writing this something occurred to me… what if I’m not just trying to turn back the clock on my face? What if I’m trying to turn back the clock on life?  What if every time I see a new wrinkle it really is just reminding me of that hour glass of youth?  I don't want this for my daughter.  I don’t want her to feel the pressure of it all.



I want us to be nicer to one another, build each other up rather than tear each other down.  Are the same women who made comments about me aging being that hard on their own daughters? Teenagers are getting cosmetic surgery, fillers in their lips - I can't help but think what they will look like when they hit 40?  What will all that have done to the shell of their face? Yes - I am a firm believer that when you look good you feel good but when is it too much?  It's a slippery slope we jump on when we begin the process of trying to turn back the clock. As much as we fight it, we will all age eventually.  That is if we are given the gift of time, to age - and that it is, a gift. 


(My Mom holding my daughter at 5 months old... holding the hand of her Great-Nana on her hospital bed.  My Nana had waited 5 great-grandsons to have a great-grandaughter.  This was the first and only day they met,  she passed away the following week.  Her hands were aged, my daughters brand new - I like to think she was transferring all the wisdom of those hands into Ava's)

How do we age gracefully?  We do the best we can, we put as much importance on it as is important to us - not the rest of society.  Aging gracefully DOES NOT mean trying to look younger.  It means holding our heads high, our confidence radiating (because you know you have more now than you did when you were 20), being comfortable in our own skin, our makeup (or not) applied how it makes us feel good, our hair done the way it gives US a kick in our step.  You want to get botox? then get it.  Your lips done? then do it.  Your boobs done? You go girl.  Whatever you do just make sure you're doing it for you, no one else.  Aging gracefully will mean something different to each person, please don’t let it consume you - what others think of you that is.  Stop looking at the girl in the magazine, she probably doesn't look like that in real life either.  



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