jenifer is a beauty expert for

Introducing Jenifer: Our Beauty Expert and Product Junkie

Who the hell is Jenifer*? I’m the lady who will be bringing all things beauty to We Are Midlife. I’m a self-proclaimed beautyaholic in my late 30s trying to keep my face looking the best that it can with or without make up.

I believe that we can enjoy makeup at any age and I’d like to share with you the things that I’ve found in my journey of experimenting with high end, luxury, and drug store make up. I’m also unapologetically addicted to skincare. I know what is on the market to make your skin glow, where to find something with collagen, or how to make a line or two disappear for a night. And if you just want a great moisturizer, I’m your gal for that as well. (Side note: Best tip, drink ALL the water it’ll give you the best skin.)

A little bit about me, I’ve never had cosmetic surgery but this is not my original face. I had a septoplasty where my nose got accidentally altered for the better and double jaw surgery where my face was purposefully and wonderfully altered. It’s a long, drawn out, genetically messed up story.

I’m married to a brilliant man, Brian. He’s my in-house tech support. Brian owns his own IT company and he loves me, so he’s pretty darn special. We have three children of the fur, of the feline variety, Lola, Lucy and Penelope. We reside outside of Houston, Texas where I work trying to save the world one dollar at a time.

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Look for my posts, about two a month and make the world your own kind of beautiful!

*Yes, Jenifer with one “N” because I was born in the UK and they messed up my birth certificate and my parents thought “What the hell?!”

Savvy Travelers was founded by two women in Orange County California. It solves the TSA travel and beauty problem.

Friday Find: Savvy Travelers Teeth Wipes

When the folks at Savvy Travelers sent us their Jetset Kit and Getaway Kits we both thought it was really practical but only if the products inside them were good.

Savvy Travelers Jetset kit for your gym bag or for travel. TSA compliant for travel.

The Jetset Kit comes with four each of:

No Sweat antiperspirant & deodorant wipes
In The Klear lens, camera & screen cleaning wipes
Take Offz facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer wipes
Speak Easy teeth and mouth cleansing wipes

This is the essential kit you’ll want to buy and throw in your camera bag or computer bag. I am in love with the screen cleaning wipes, they’re also good for eyeglasses. I know this because even after cleaning my computer screen I was able to use them to wipe down my glasses.

Savvy Travelers products are perfect for your gym bag or suitcase. I'm addicted to the tooth wipes.

I have a favorite. I thought that the notion of a teeth and mouth-cleansing wipe was absurd but I loathe gum, mints make me sneeze, and sometimes you can’t get to a sink to brush your teeth midday. I found that the Speak Easy wipes were delicious and effective. They’re minty and my teeth felt like they’d been brushed midday.

When you see the Speak Easy wipes at the Ulta checkout grab a few and toss them in your purse. They’re the size of a tea bag.

If you’re a traveler or a gymgoer the Getaway Kit is probably for you. In a durable plastic travel bag you get two each of:

Klean Upz antibacterial hand and body wipes
Lift Offz nail polish remover wipes – they really work!
Take Offz facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer wipes
Speak Easy teeth and mouth-cleansing wipes
No Sweat antiperspirant & deodorant wipes – I love these!
Bottomz Up booty bidet wipes

All of the wipes are great. I tried them and waited for one to be a dud but that didn’t happen. Savvy Travelers is a woman-owned company right here in California and in spite of being “single serving” beauty products they have tons of green credentials. Tina Aldatz and Margarita Floris joined forces (and they are strong, accomplished women) to solve the travel problem we all have. It’s called the TSA. You can check them out on their site.

A Love Note To Good Skincare

You may have noticed Sarah Maizes’ fabulous ring on Instagram but what you might not know is that her skin is flawless. We had to find out more about her skincare routine. Here’s a picture of her at age 48 with neither foundation nor photoshopping.

no makeup great skin & great skincare

I had to ask her about her skin so here goes:

At what age did you decide to stay out of the sun?

I don’t come from a family of sun worshippers so staying out the sun is the norm to me. My mom never laid out in the sun and I always felt like I was going to melt if I stayed out too long.

Did your mother or someone else teach you to care for your skin?

My mom taught me to wash my face twice a day and to wear moisturizer (and a hat) but that was about it. My obsession with skin care came in my teenage years when I woke up every day with a new zit (or at least it felt like I did). As I got older, I realized I really enjoyed the calming ritual of cleaning my skin. It became sort of a mission to make the ritual effective. I’ve tried everything, from plain on Cetaphil to Clinique to the crazy priced stuff. I remember in college I was using Clarins and washed, toned and moisturized every night – it was the only thing that didn’t make me break out. ALL of my roommates thought I was insane. They still joke about it.

What is your current daily routine?

I’m about to reveal my crazy to you, so you might want to sit down. I wash my face every morning and every night. In the morning I use La Prairie foam cleanser and their radiance moisturizer with 30 SPF. It is honestly the ONLY sun screen I’ve ever used that doesn’t feel greasy, leave a residue or make me break out (wow…I sound like an ad. I swear they don’t pay me!). By the way, Natura Bisse also makes amazing facial sunscreen.

Night time is where my routine gets a little ridiculous, but when you have three kids and work all day, the ritual is just so soothing: For about 30 years I mostly just washed, toned and moisturized, and every week I used a mask of some sort to balance out whatever skin problem I felt needed to be addressed. Once I turned 48 I realized I had to take it up a notch. Now, every night I wash my face, then use La Prairie’s toner, then I tap a little bit of their Caviar extract all over my face and neck – it’s supposedly helps your skin absorb the products better. THEN…I use a tiny drop of anti aging booster and their Caviar Luxe cream. Once a week I wash with an exfoliating scrub before I wash with the foam cleanser. Did I mention you can also do all of this while you sit in a hot tub? Does that make me sound less crazy? No? Oh well…

Oh, and I NEVER sleep with make up on. It’s SO bad for your pores and stretches them out.

How long has it been your routine?

I’ve been following a regular routine since college, but I have only changed the skin care systems 4 times (once I’m sold on a product, I’m pretty loyal). My first facial cleansing system was Clinique but it was so ineffective for the money. Then I used Clarins. I started using Mario Badescu in the early 80’s. They were so small they didn’t sell it in LA so when I moved here I had to have it shipped. Now it’s everywhere and it’s still good, but I feel like it’s better for younger skin. About 5 years ago I started using La Prairie. It was totally by accident too – I had NO intention of spending the money on it. One day I stopped by the make-up counter and put a little of their anti-puff gel around my eyes. A couple hours later I forgot I even put it on until I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window. I looked 5 years younger! I was sold. I’ve been following my latest routine for about three years now.

Will a $335 eye cream change your life? Is premium skincare worth it?

Do you expect that it will change soon?

I think I have a few more years before I need to kick it up a notch again, but at some point I’m sure it will all stop working, and then I’ll just let the chips (and my cheeks) fall where they may. After all, I don’t think Medicare will cover La Prairie. HA!

What do you preach to  your daughters? Is it different than what you tell your son?

ALL of my kids use sunblock and none of us are sun worshippers, so that makes it easier. We’re deep into the teenage years in my house, so good, clear skin is an uphill battle every day. But I do tell all of my kids the same thing – take care of your skin every day and you’ll be rewarded.

Sarah Maizes is a Los Angeles based writer, producer, comedian, and the author of several award winning children’s books including On My Way to the Bath and On My Way to Bed.