What No One Told You About Menopause

Too old for Snapchat, too young for Life Alert.

-I’d give credit to whoever said this, but I can’t remember.

Together we can keep our cool. Do what you can to stay cool with lots of ice and toss in a lemon since life seems to be throwing a few your way!

I had lunch recently with friends around my age. We talked about the usual – our kids, vacation plans, and what’s next in our lives with kids off to college. Menopause came up and we ended up laughing about the crazy things happening to our bodies. It felt really good to talk about it – and laugh about it. It’s so important to have good and supportive friends!

So whether you are approaching THE CHANGE, smack in it or post-menopausal, hopefully you will find my list of what I wish I had known helpful – and maybe a little funny too. Or maybe you’ll cry. If you cry you are definitely in one of the aforementioned phases.

  1. You will gain and lose the same ten pounds until you die. At least that is how it feels.
  2. Brain fog is real. Put ticker marks on a piece of paper every time you walk into a room and forget why you went in there. You won’t believe it. I’ll walk in to do the dishes and eat chocolate instead. Label what those marks are because you will forget. Don’t lie to yourself saying you don’t need to write things down.
  3. Anxiety and emotional swings are symptoms of menopause. As if we didn’t have enough of both prior to THE CHANGE. Not only am I as hot as the hinges on the gates of hell in the middle of the night, but I’m crying because the cat that roams the neighborhood looked sad yesterday. I don’t even like cats.
  4. For every pair of reading glasses you buy, buy a pair of tweezers. I swear to you that when I sneeze, yawn or sometimes just breathe normally a hair pops out of my chin. I’ll get in the car and bam! The longest hair I have ever seen is hanging off my chin. And it’s super dark. I have reddish blondish hair. My chin hair is black. Keep tweezers and readers in the console. Place them in drawers throughout the house. Then write on a sticky note that they are in there or you will forget.
  5. You will get side boob. Like overnight. They will pop out like chin hairs. You’ll put on your bra and boob fat will spill out over the bra under your armpit. I’m sorry.
  6. Menopausal belly fat. Cruel. Cruel. Cruel. A pair of tweezers in the console can’t fix this. Supposedly, exercise, increased fiber, healthy eating and understanding the right amount of calories your body needs helps. Burn more then you consume. Blah blah blah. I’m working on it and I’ll report back.
  7. Skin as dry as dirt. Get a Sam’s or Costco membership. Load the cart with Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Oil of Olay and whatever else they have. That’s all I can lend here.
  8. You will quote The Golden Girls. Sometimes Blanche. Sometimes Rose. Maybe that’s just me and not menopause. I think I did this before menopause. I forget.
  9. You can blame stuff on menopause. This is really a bonus of THE CHANGE. If you say something that doesn’t make sense, or sound irritable, or forgot something AGAIN, just say “menopause”. No one knows how to respond – no one dares argue with you. You’ll end up getting a sympathetic look or a hug. Honestly, you won’t care what anyone else thinks. You’re too mad about your new crop of chin hair to care.

While menopause isn’t always funny, it does help to laugh. Try to make the best out of it. See your doctor and talk to your friends for support. If you have useful suggestions, please comment here as I know anyone reading this could use it.

Makeup And Menopause. I Found The Products To Get The Glow Back!

I believe that all women are pretty without makeup – and can be pretty powerful with the right makeup. – Bobbi Brown

I have had the pleasure of spending the past year buying all new makeup thanks to menopause. My combination skin turned to completely over-dry skin. It felt like overnight I was dragging powder blush and eyeshadows (except for Urban Decay) across my skin and it looked like a dry streaky mess. Instead of blending it just sat there. Even some lipsticks looked horrible and would not blend.  My skin looked dull and flaky. Oh, and I started to get acne again. Lovely. Ashen skin with a zit here and there. I’ve never felt better about myself (ha.). Not to mention the weight gain thanks to my new position in life – Post- Menopausal. Trying new makeup has been easier and more fun than the weight issue. More on that later once I figure that out! Anywayyyyy, so I had to completely rethink my diet, skin care regimen and makeup. Thankfully, I love makeup and had a great time reading reviews and trying new products. As well, I was given excellent suggestions from friends going through the same thing. I tried less expensive drugstore products and other than Maybelline mascara and L’Oreal lipsticks, I can’t find anything remotely close to the quality of higher end lines – at least for my skin.  I will say these products last a long time making every penny worth it. They also contain simple skincare ingredients to nourish skin and combat dryness. Now I have that lustrous glow back! And I am getting compliments on my fresh complexion – who doesn’t love compliments?

Here are the products that have made a huge difference in my skin’s appearance:

NARS Light Reflecting Makeup – An awesome much younger woman at Sephora recommended this lightweight foundation that offers light to medium coverage. I used to hate foundation because it was too heavy and crept into lines in my skin. I have only used Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer for years. Now I need a little more coverage. This one is perfect and gives me a natural dewy glow. My skin looks like skin – not makeup. The best part – it is a hybrid skincare and makeup in one – 70% skincare ingredients and great for sensitive skin. The appearance of my skin has improved!

Trinny London – My absolute favorite makeup right now. It comes in cute little pots, and everything is cream based – no powders. The lip colors can go on cheeks and eyes. The eye shadow is very blendable, and I use it to highlight my cheekbones or anywhere I need an extra glow. Amazing. It all goes on with fingers and takes me a few minutes to do my makeup. Sometimes with only two products. My makeup routine is cut in half because the product is so easy to apply and blend.

I love that they always send samples with orders which is great because I now have two new favorite shades I would have never ordered.  One is a bright coral called Cha-Cha and the other a russet rose called Emily. All the shades are named for women who work at Trinny London or who are important to Trinny Woodall, the founder. This makeup gives me such a healthy and fresh-faced look. Even my boyfriend Kevin complimented me on my fresh face! This makeup line truly is fantastic for mature skin.

Eye2Eye Cream Shadows I LOVE:

Vision: A cool mauvy rose. Looks great with Fortune, Wisdom and Empress.

Sun: Warm sunny gold – I use it on my brow bone, inner eyelid and cheeks as a highlighter.

Fortune: Rose gold – my absolute favorite color and I wear it across my eyelid into the crease. Often it’s the only color I put on my eyes. Looks beautiful in the crease of my eye with Vision on the lid.

Empress: Deep bronze with flecks of gold. Love this shade – it looks super dark but goes on a light bronze gold. You can build it to dark – I put it in the crease of my eye with Fortune and Vision on the lid. I dab Sun in the corner and just under my eyebrows. Makes a very strong but pretty bronzy rose gold look

Wisdom: I received a sample of this and it looked like putty. I doubted it. Now it’s a go-to neutral that makes the creamiest base for other eyeshadow. Wisdom on the eyelid and Empress in the crease is a great neutral that makes your eyes pop.

Lip2Cheek colors I LOVE:

Cha-Cha: Bright pretty coral. Don’t be scared. I was. But it goes on cheeks as the softest peachy coral. I love it! Great on the lips with a gold gloss over it.

Pia: Bright peony pink. It is the happiest pink punchy color. I love it on cheeks and lips. I top it with a very light pink lip gloss.

Veebee:  Warm sunset coral. It’s almost a very very light peach gold color. I love it on my cheeks – very subtle peachy glow. I dab excess on my lips and top with Emily Sheer Shimmer.

Sheer Shimmer Lip + Cheek Favorites:

Emily: Russet rose shimmer. I love this color – especially in the fall. So pretty over Veebee Lip2Cheek.

Neesha: Fuschia burgundy shimmer. Don’t be scared. It’s very bright in the cute little pot. It’s beautiful on lips and cheeks. It’s a purply pinky shimmery wonder. Gorgeous with navy.

Mama: Opalescent red shimmer. Don’t be scared! You know how red lipsticks can look dried out and bleed into the lips. Not this one. It’s just a beautiful red shimmer. Not like your gramma wore.

Lip Love:

I’ve only tried one shade. It’s more pigmented than the Sheer Shimmers. I will be buying more!

Sacha:  Metallic gold peachy pink. Love it! I put it over Veebee, Mama, Cha-Cha or wear alone. It’s just really pretty. Great on cheeks too!

I love Trinny herself!!  Follow Trinny on Instagram. Her videos are the best! She is hilarious, down to earth, and talks about real issues that real women face. Menopause, saving money, shopping, you name it. I love her! My favorite video series is Friday Twinning that she does with a lovely girl named Chloe. Check her out!! You’ll want to hang out with her. I do.

Oh! And the pots stack. So you can pack them all together efficiently. I love that!

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow Stick – I have not tried these yet. I met my friend Vicki for dinner recently and she looked gorgeous – as always! Her eyeshadow was so pretty making her eyes stand out even more. Of course I asked her what makeup she used – these three sticks by Bobbi Brown. I will be buying them soon!

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow Sticks in Dusty Mauve, Vanilla and Golden Pink. My makeup in this picture is all Trinny London – Eye2Eye in Fortune and Sun, Sheer Shimmer in Neesha on my lips and cheeks, and Jones Road Shimmer Face Oil in Cool Rose on my cheek bones, chin, and forehead.

Jones Road Shimmer Face Oil – A dream for dry lusterless skin. Bobbi Brown is the magic behind her new line. She sold Bobbi Brown and is no longer affiliated with the company. Now she owns Jones Road Beauty and it is phenomenal. Clean, simple ingredients and beautiful colors. I bought the Shimmer Face Oil in Cool Rose as it was recommended for dry skin. It’s a highlighting bottle of glow filled with antioxidants with lots of vitamins and minerals such as jojoba seed oil. Gorgeous alone over moisturizer or over makeup. I have put it all over my face and I’ve dotted it along cheekbones, nose, and forehead. It was perfect over sunscreen at the beach. Love! Love! Love!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer – A must before any eyeshadow – cream or powder. Makes eyeshadow last and is ideal for mature eyelids. I’ve tried different brands. This one works best for my mature eyelids.

Menopause can be frustrating because it changes our bodies and our skin in many ways. The good news is that there are solutions and products just for mature skin. I found makeup just right for me that enhances my skin and features. I love a natural, fresh-faced look and thanks to these products I have it back! Everything I bought lasts a long time, making the investment well worth it – especially the renewed confidence and how I feel about my skin. Women our age going through menopause need all the support we can get. If something you’ve tried works for you please mention in comments!

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation and Jones Road Shimmer Face Oil gave my skin just the glow I love!

What Does Lemon Luster MEan ANyway? I Get This Question A Lot.

To truly have a zest for life, you must squeeze all the juice out of it….especially the lemons. Believe it or not, they make life even more delicious. The lessons you get out of them make you strong, resilient, and amazing. – Jenny G. Perry

On a trip to Nashville recently with a group of some of my very best friends. A young bride to be on her bachelorette party placed her veil in my hair. I jumped around in it for fun. But really I just felt so much joy being with beautiful and remarkable friends in a fun city on a gorgeous day. I always want to feel that joy and kick up my heels! It’s the epitome of what Lemon Luster is about.

I get this question all the time. What is a Lemon Luster, Why Lemon Luster….so many variations of questioning. Here is the short answer: all of the other names I wanted were taken. Of course, there is more to the story and here it is.

I hit menopause, went through a divorce, and my kids were in high school on their way to starting their own lives. My identity seemed unknown all of sudden. I felt old, nothing I used on my skin or hair was working anymore, I needed to start over in a career, and I wasn’t sure how to approach any of it. If all that doesn’t read like a mess imagine what was in my head.

I was talking to my mom one day about a piece of old furniture I have that is scratched and absolutely lusterless. It’s an antique from my grandmother. It just needed a good polishing to renew its shine and splendor. Cute Judy, my mom, went on and on about this lemon oil polish that she would bring over and we would give it new life and luster. Lightbulb!  I needed to bathe in the lemon luster oil polish. And that my friends became the name of my blog.

If you too are in a similar situation, here is the equation:

Cute Judy + lemon polish + aging + new shine + menopause + dry hair + new purpose = Lemon Luster

So really Lemon Luster is about being our best and thinking the best about ourselves. As well, being a source of light and love for others. With kids about to fly the coop I’m still wondering “now what”. I don’t have the answers but when I come up with something good, I’ll write about it. And if you think of something please let me know! We will figure this out together. This blog is like a virtual porch. Pour a glass of something good and come sit a spell.

Lemons really are one of my favorite things. Here’s a short list why:

  1. I love yellow. It is the happiest color on earth. Lemon yellow just evokes happy.
  2. I love lemons in everything – I can flavor my drink, add the zest to whatever I’m cooking, and then run that sucker around the sink to clean it with the same lemon. MULTI TASKING!!
  3. Lemons are healthy.
  4. Lemons symbolize shine, a refresh, zest for life.
  5. They smell good.

And that is the story behind Lemon Luster. I have more stories – about how I have started over and grown a career, turned dry as desert hair to lustrous once again – it took a while, and how I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I’ll share. To me, middle-aged with an almost empty nest just means I’m walking through a new door to see what’s on the other side. It’s going to be good!