About Face

Written by Mary Eggers. Posted in General

I closed my eyes as Sonja dabbed concealer under my eyes, on my eyelids, on certain parts of my face. I couldn’t even feel the texture of the product she was using. She stepped away and I looked. Wow… I thought…. my skin looked…. brighter, but in a very subtle sort of way. I expected to have a  whole foundation painted over my skin…. but not so.

“Your make up routine will take 5 minutes.” She told me. “I and i will show you that makeup doesn’t need to be so crazy.”

I have known Sonja since, I don’t even know. She took my spinning classes back int he 2004-ish era and when I came to Mid Town to teach yoga and spin…. we were reunited. I don’t know the technical term for what she does….. she used to work at Scott Miller and now she freelances. She does makeup for weddings and she loves to consult. A few months ago in a conversation I confessed…. I’d love to know what to do with my face. I was beginning  a new position as an RN. I work 20 hours a week as an RN. I used to be a pediatric emergency nurse and through the past few years have slid into the world of case management and now… I am an investigative RN. I need to look put together on the days I need to be in the office. I was interested in looking a bit more professional in this role as opposed to the always on the go athlete that I normally am.

She told me we’d meet at the Bobbi Brown counter at the mall (Not the one who married Whitney Houston…..) and she’d show me the way. Yesterday was the day.

As we stood in front of a vast array of tubes, bottles, pens, brushes…. she assured me not to worry. I fully trust this woman. She’s a natural beauty herself. She’s down to earth, my kind of person. I knew who she was so I put myself in her hands completely. I knew I wouldn’t walk out of there with a clown face on.  It was amazing to watch her in her element. Her eyes LIT UP as she looked over new products, new colors. She got excited over things I didn’t even know existed. It was amazing to watch her. I love to see people in their element.

Sonja makeup

Next she brought out a few eyeshadow colors that were colors I never would have put on my radar. She explained the difference between powder and “long wear cream shadow” and how to put it on with my finger. She showed me how to dab it on and what dark color and light color does. She showed me why I could consider something with sparkle and not matte and how that fit in.

She taught me the right way to apply mascara, why black was the best color for me and why I should stay away from waterproof mascara (It has TAR! Not good for lashes). She taught me how to apply long wear gel eyeliner and exactly how to do it. Same for the lip color. She picked colors I would have stayed away from and showed me how they enhance and don’t look like clown paint. Then my brows…. brows? She took brow color and made them look defined…. and is sending me to get them shaped. Not to look fake or painted on, but to clean up the stray.

When I looked in the mirror I was surprised. My eyes were… highlighted ….. not painted. I loved the feel of the lip color. I loved the feel of feeling like I was not wearing makeup.

Here is my entire makeup routine. Not pictured are the brow color and the eye gel which are on order.

  • Coconut oil for moistrurizer
 
    • Creamy Concealer, beige (Bobbi Brown)
  • Long wear cream eyeshadow, Velvet Plum (Bobbi Brown)
 
    • Peach Barre high shimmer lip gloss (Bobbi Brown)
  • Long wear eye gel liner (Bobbi Brown)
 
    • Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up (Bobbi Brown)
  • Loreal voluminous original blackest black mascara
 
  • Sonja recommends Berts Bee’s radiance facial cleanser, Almay eye makeup remover, and Shu Eumura eyelash curler.

makeup routine

There is my new 5 minute makeup routine.

So what the HELL is this all about? I can assure you…. it’s not a mid life crisis. I can assure you it’s not about confidence. I can assure you it’s not me trying to be someone I am not.

For so many years I have been my own afterthought and I know as a woman, a mother, a wife I am not alone in that. We belong to everyone BUT ourselves. Since I was a kid I have belonged to my sport. I have always revolved my life around age group, high school, college swimming. When you are a swimmer you are submerged twice a day and thinking about your eyes is an afterthought. You just want to eat and be dry.

As an adult I have been a triathlete and the above mentioned things. For so so long my day has been being mom, being wife, coaching, training, time for myself didn’t really exist. Time to care about myself didn’t really exist. It comes with immense guilt.

A few years ago after Ironman Florida Curt, Luc and I were walking through a town. Curt talked me into getting a pedicure. I didn’t want to spend the money ot take the time. Besides I just did an Ironman. He persisted. “It’ll at least help your feet heal.” He said. “Do something for yourself.”

So I did. He was right. It felt great having someone rub my feet, trim my blisters and paint my toenails. The athlete in me revolted….. somehow somewhere along the way athletic women were not supposed to be feminine or girly. But that has since been changing.

I kept up with the pedicures. I loved getting them. Curt urged me to do something more for myself. When I finally retied from this Ironman stuff I found I had the time. Funny when you drop your training from an average of 20 hours to 14 ish…. you can stay awake. You have energy. You can look at other things besides a bike.

When your kids are teenagers and are involved with after school activities there is suddenly a little more time appears. Naturally I filled that with work. Then Curt really began to encourage me to do and try things that were new. This year I have learned to speed skate and snowboard. I joined a running club, began running cross country and indoor track. I learned pilates and barre. I am teaching myself how to knit. I am a coach, a nurse and I teach yoga and spin…. between all of that I work a ton. Curt encourages me to do something for myself.

This is just me….. taking time for me. For once in my life. I have spent the better part of the past few years getting through some things…. and now I am there. I have spent the past few years battling some things that wore me out physically and mentally.

I have learned that it feels good to take care of yourself. It feels good to have brighter eyes, more even skin. It feels good to not be a tired mess all the time.

It feels good that after 13 years of marriage my husband can look at me and say “Wow…. you look beautiful.” Because after 13 years of marriage I still think he’s the most handsome man in the world. And I don’t mind saying…. I’d love to look good for him. There is so much that he does for me on a daily basis I have finally accepted that it makes him feel good to not give myself away to the world all of the time.

In all of this I find it fun to watch the reaction of people. Good, get shocked, get shaken up. It keeps us young, on our toes. Never stop living. Never stop trying new things. Never stop taking care of yourself. It’s okay to take care of yourself. It’s okay to have your toenails painted and your eye brows shaped.

It’s okay to be an athletic female who does these things. We are not trying to be men. We’ve got long hair, curves and beautiful features to be proud of. So be proud of them. Be proud of who you are. Accent your features. Stop trying to fit into the molds of female athletes that should be smashed.

I had fun yesterday. I was so honored that Sonja took the time with me. I loved seeing her in her element. She was so right, beauty needn’t be a long overdrawn process. It’s easy. It’s fun. There are colors to wear and sparkle to have. And you are never too young to discover it.

Game on!

 

Vulcan

Written by Mary Eggers. Posted in General

I was born and raised in Buffalo and ended up settling in Rochester, just 60 miles east. I remained in Western New York because of family, both my biological and created family. Upstate is my home. Rochester and Buffalo are big enough to be cities but at the same time…. feel like towns. These are the places where everyone knows your name.

It’s also…. snow country.

Yesterday we got to experience Vulcan, because these days we name our blizzards! Schools shut down…. heck when hockey shuts down you know it’s legit. The Weather Channel broadcasted from Rochester all day. It was a day to get home, hunker down and build a fire. Of course if you are from these parts training gets done inside, you skip your swim (pools are closed) and shoveling becomes your strength training for the day!

I have been through many winters, snowstorms and many blizzards. They can be harsh but they make us tough. Here are five things I learned growing up in blizzard town.

1. Patience: You can’t control the weather, especially not the snow. My Dad taught me long ago that getting mad at it doesn’t help. He was right! You have to slow down, feel the snow on the roads. Let the snow blow you around a little bit. Understand that getting places takes a little extra time for yourself and your neighbors.

2. We live in the city of good neighbors: That’s actually the tagline for Buffalo but it applies here as well. Simply put, we help one another out. It may be helping one another out of a driveway, snowbank. Shoveling your neighbor’s driveway before they get home from work. Bringing the plow crew coffee. Thanking the employees at the gas stations, coffee shops for being there. I used to be a pediatric emergency nurse and I      worked with the first responders. You thank them and hope you don’t need to see them. They never get a snow day. If you do see them….. you thank them for what they do.

3. You learn driveway management: We have a steep downhill-into-the-backyard driveway. We MUST drive SUV’s to get out. Proper driveway management is a must around here, and thank HEAVEN we have a snowblower. YOU get out there every two hours regardless. If you can maintain the shell of the driveway you are ahead of the game. And you MUST maintain the end of it. Inevitably the town plow will come by and bury you in, destroying your hard work, then the next moment the sidewalk plow kid comes along and does the same. Be on your toes, they move fast. Smile and wave regardless. It’s part of driveway management.

4. You learn creativity: We have a hilly backyard that right now is essentially a luge / skeleton track. If you can’t beat winter you might as well join winter. Homes around here build their own ice rinks. We google “How to build a backyard luge” without a second thought. We are expert snowfort, snowman and snowball makers. We won’t buy those plastic contraptions that make the snowball FOR you. We are Western New York…. we invented snowballs.

5. You learn how to dress: We have a saying around here… There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. If you dress right life is good. Hat, facemask (or scarf), good gloves (not knit) a good coat and boots. Boots that rise above your ankles. You dress the right way, you can outlast anything.

5. You learn to appreciate: In the evening, when it’s dark…. the snow lights up the world. You stand at the top of your driveway… look at your beautifully sculpted driveway and appreciate it. You wave across the street at your neighbor. While you’ve never really met (they are new) you both share that triumphant wave in the air. When the snow does finally calm down the world seems quiet. It seems absent of the chaos of war and terror. It feels peaceful.

You appreciate the birth of spring. The smell of mud. The budding of flowers and the way the trees grow from stark to full of life. It feels like a rebirth and each year it comes. I will be swimming in our outdoor pool by Saturday.

Here is our crazy aquatic director Tim cannonballing into the pool yesterday. This is how we roll at Midtown.

tim pool

Winter was long and harsh this year. It makes us stronger.

As an athlete there is no weather condition I am afraid of. I can handle anything.

As a person….. there is no place I’d rather be. Bring on the four seasons and the beautiful changes they bring. The lessons they have taught me and continue to….. are beautiful. A local kid, who moves to the sun once reported that there was nothing to do around these parts except bar hop and be miserable.

I smiled. You’re just doing the wrong things kiddo.

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