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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pink Ribbon Journey

Recently, my sister asked me to buy her makeup for her birthday.  I often am the one to buy her spa and salon goodies, so this wasn't a stretch, but cosmetics can be tricky.  I mean, friends (or sisters) don't let friends end up looking like Joan Cusack in Working Girl.  I looked forward to the challenge of finding some new and fun products for her.  Plus, I knew I could use an update to my own morning routine - which currently consists of slapping on some SPF moisturizer and lip gloss.  

As I asked my sister what she needed, I realized the conversation reminded me of many discussions I have at my job.  A service we offer patients at the Regional Cancer Center is the American Cancer Society's "Look Better, Feel Better" program - their website is a great resource and I encourage you to check it out.  Whether you're someone who feels just fine with no makeup or wants to know all the latest trends, the goal is to feel confident inside and out.  I hope you learn a little something from my cosmetology adventure!

Important note:  I am not promoting any particular product or store nor giving advice in place of professional guidance.

If you decide that you are in need of a spring cleaning for your makeup, go on-line and do some research.  I polled my friends on Facebook about what products they love, I made sure I knew the rules about the shelf-life of makeup and brushes (I just don't use mascara anymore, it's too hard!), and I reviewed the various top 10 lists and awards (i.e. paraben-free make-up).  This research unearthed for me the miracle that is Micellar water -- really great stuff.  Then, I armed myself with Sunday paper coupons/advertisements and headed out shopping.

Let's all agree that in order for any makeup to work well, it needs a good canvas.  There are countless skincare regimens -- private message me and I can tell you about my use of just about every single one of them.  

Sitting here now, I can list every single soap and cream the women of my family used because each one had such a distinctive smell.  You may be really married to a particular facewash for a variety of reasons, but just make sure you are using cleansing products that make sense for your skin and your budget.  Also, remember that drinking water is an important part of that cleansing regimen too.  And, so is sunscreen.  Use Sunscreen.  Every Day.  Actually, this is one thing I can, as an oncology professional, advise you to do.

Sephora was helpful to me in providing information about the preparation and color correction of the skin and then layering each product such as BB (CC, I'm waiting for DD, seriously, what's up with that?) cream and powder to ensure the best coverage possible.  I think it is definitely valuable to spend time with a specialist to best understand what color hues work best with your skin.  I never in a million years would've thought that putting green stuff on my face would help even out my skin tone.


I was able to find a nice assortment of products for my sister at Ulta, plus there was a free gift with purchase available.  I think taking advantage of these type of gifts is a great way to test out different colors and product types.  I really love the eye shadow palettes that are out in the market.  It's just so much simpler than collecting a million little eye color pots.  Also, my sister and I've decided we have to return to the world of the compact because loose powder is too drying for us; today's compact has come a long way!


Once eqipped with some helpful information, it was nice to head into drugstores and discount stores to search for other makeup items like the Micellar water I mentioned before.  I like having lip balms and hand creams in every room and each car, so it's nice to stock up when I come across a coupon, a multi-pack, etc.  Once my shopping was done, I thought I'd test out my new knowledge!

IMG_20160313_204832.jpgGin Sans Make-Up          IMG_20160314_194503.jpgVoila!

I'm currently trying to perfect my 10-minute look ;-)  The most important part of this whole makeup exercise was that I had fun doing it and it helped me to recognize that when I "look and feel" better, I can help others (my patients) feel good too.  I encourage you to set time aside at the end of a Sunday evening to purge your makeup, give yourself a mini-facial, and start anew.  It's a spring cleaning you won't regret ;-)


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Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area Splash EventMassadYMCA

For the past seven years, Smart Beginnings has thrown the Splash Pool Party fundraiser. This summer, the event will be held on June 24, 2018 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Steve & Cheri Thurston Water Park at the Massad Family YMCA. Tickets range in price from $12 for a single ticket, $20 for couples and $35 for a family/group of four and each ticket also covers a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.