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Outfits Not Just Clothes ...
Lipstick Mistakes
By bernadette Ulsamer

There’s nothing like lipstick to polish off a look and really pull an ensemble together.  Plus, lipstick is pretty easy to use and by far the number one beauty product that just about every woman has in her makeup bag.  That being said, lipstick mistakes are also fairly universal, and depending on how bright or not the shade is, badly applied lip color tends to call the wrong type of attention your look. Until recently I could count on one hand the number of times I pulled off a flawless lipstick look in my adult life. Granted, I only wore lipstick for special occasions and resorted to lip balm for everyday use. But, I’ve recently come to appreciate the power of proper grownup lipstick and have been wearing it more frequently. So, in the hopes of upping my lipstick game I’ve identified the top lipstick mistakes we all make and how to prevent them.
  Lipstick smudges on teeth is by far the most common mishap with lip color. There are two main culprits to this cosmetic blooper—dry mouth and/or too much color on the inner rim of the lip. For the first problem, be sure to stay hydrated, drink some water in the morning before “putting on your face” which is not only good for a dry morning mouth, but also will help your skin look more fresh. For the second, after application pull your finger through your mouth. Stick your index finger in your mouth; create a donut with your lips and then pull out your finger. This will swab off any extra lipstick on the inside of your lips. Definitely do to NOT try this trick in front of people. It’s not the most elegant of makeup techniques.
  Just like your foundation, blush, and concealer, lipstick also needs to be “set” before heading out the door. And just like your face makeup, your lips are sure to stay put with a light application of translucent/finishing powder. Emphasis on the word “light,” you don’t want to “white-out” your lipstick with too much powder. Just a quick dab or two with your fingers will hold the pigment it in place, while still letting the color stay vibrant.
  Even with all of the long-lasting lipstick formulas out there, just one coat will not see you through a full day. If you want to get the most out of your lipstick, then additional applications are necessary. This isn’t an overly involved process; just take a moment (especially after eating) to reapply. Lightly set it with your translucent power, dab with a tissue and you’re ready for the next half of your day. If you’re going out after work a third coat is a definite must to keep your color going.
  Often times when wearing lipstick I’ll apply a lip liner, which is a great way to guide lipstick application i.e. keeping inside the lines, and helps create a fuller lip effect.  However, there have been some cringe-worthy lip liner trends, does anyone else remember that brown liner with a taupe lip craze? Well I do, and I don’t want to go back there. In order to avoid over-lining for a natural-looking lip try applying liner just at the center of your mouth, then put on your lip color. Lining completely around your mouth runs the risk of looking clownish and the more liner, the more chances of it smearing as the day goes on.
  Like your face, you lips also need to be exfoliated every so often. But, unlike facial exfoliates lip scrubs should be on the gentle side, since the skin on your lips is more sensitive. You can even mix up you own product with some sugar and honey, or in a pinch “brush” your lips with a toothbrush, or wipe away dry skin with a damp cloth. Washing away the buildup of dead skin cells will keep your lipstick from looking rough and settling into the cracks.
  And lastly, besides keeping your lips exfoliated, you also need to keep them moisturized. In addition to reapplying my lipstick once or twice a day, I’ve also been using a clear lip balm that I dab on more frequently to keep my lips soft and my color from drying out. Of course, if you want to get adventurous you can use a tinted balm and create your very own lip shade that you can customize with each new application. Talk about polishing off a look!

Self-Acceptance and Love
by Buffy Basile

Over the past year I have been moved to hear of so many readers missing my articles. Although EPIC is keeping me busy, I have missed sharing experiences and thoughts that enter my heart. So I will alternate articles and advertisements in an effort to keep us all inspired. Thank you for missing me.
  Let’s check in with genuine self-love. I am referring to the peace that one experiences when they are finally able to integrate self-acceptance and love.
  During an authentic meditation session at our studio, the enlightened “Kala” Pat Ringling took us on an incredible journey that started with our hearts center. I believe I wept on and off throughout the entire experience while traveling deep inside. We transitioned into a fetal position and were guided to wrap our arms around ourselves. Essentially, giving ourselves a hug. I felt tears running down my face and onto my mat, heavy yet silent tears.
  I felt the strength of my palms press into my skin with intention and my biceps lock tightly. My inner self knew how desperately my spirit longed for affirmation of the self-love so carefully being developed. I genuinely felt profoundly happy. I realized that I have never given myself a hug. Ever. My mind was thinking, “Hey, you’re a good hugger.” While my heart pounded wildly my spirit whispered, “It’s about time”.
  Friends, please be the happiness in your world but start on the inside. The feeling of experiencing your own positive energy and light is like looking into your newborns eyes for the first time.

The Bookworm Sez
By Terri Schilichenmeyer

“Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman
c.2016, Atria Books
$26.00 / higher in Canada
336 pages

“Hey! Look at me!”
  You spent a fair amount of your childhood hollering that. Watch me. Look here. See what I’m doing, because nobody likes to be ignored. In fact, as in the new book “Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman, being invisible is the worst thing of all.
  Civility is dead.
  Britt-Marie feared that was the case these days. In civil households, silverware is stored forks-knives-spoons in the drawer. Windows are clean, clothes are pressed, dinner is at six o’clock and not a minute later. These things are important.
  She said that to Kent many times throughout their marriage, and he laughed. She also asked him repeatedly to put his dirty shirt in the hamper, but he always tossed it on the floor instead. It usually smelled of pizza and perfume.
  Britt-Marie didn’t wear perfume.
  Much as she loved her husband, Kent didn’t appreciate her. Britt-Marie wasn’t sure he even saw her anymore and so, deciding to leave him, she applied for a job. It had been decades since she’d done anything but keep a home and jobs were scarce, but there seemed to be one position for which she was qualified. And so, Britt-Marie went to work as a temporary recreation-center caretaker in Borg, a dying village alongside a half-abandoned road a few miles from town.  
  There was a pizzeria in Borg, an Everything Store, and a post-office, all in the same building, run by a wheelchair-bound woman who drank too much. The village boasted a policeman, a man who received constant packages, a sight-challenged woman with a dog, and a soccer pitch, to which the village’s few children flocked.
  Soccer was everything in Borg – mostly because there was little else.
  Britt-Marie hated soccer.
  She hated her predicament, too, but someone had to clean the rec center. Someone had to give the kids somewhere to go, and step up as “coach” for their soccer team. Eventually, someone had to look at Britt-Marie and really see her…
  What kind of a book do you have when you spit your coffee halfway across the table on page 6 and cry a little, fifty pages later?
  A really good one, that’s what.
  Put this wonderful novel in your hands, and “Britt-Marie Was Here” will slyly tickle your funny-bone, while author Fredrik Backman simultaneously wrings your heart out with both fists. Hilarious and wrenching: it’s that way, partly because of the story itself and partly because of the phraseology used to tell it.
  Readers won’t have to try hard to love the title character in this book, either; Britt-Marie is proper to a fault, but for a most painful reason, and Borg’s feisty misfit residents are perfectly created for her. Those who’ve come to love Backman’s quirky characters, in other words, won’t be disappointed at all.
  “Britt-Marie Was Here” should be your Book Club’s next pick. It’s the novel you’ll carry around because you can’t bear to quit it. If you love a tale that will leave you happy-sighing, it’s most certainly the book you should look for.

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