I have questions. Hopefully, you have answers. Let’s go.

1) I was a big fan of Bare Minerals makeup for years, until recently when I noticed the powder had started . . . settling, sort of, into my newly-acquired wrinkly areas. Plus, it was making me very shiny, and not in the Firefly use of the word. I switched to Laura Mercier’s “oil free flawless face kit”, and I’m sorry to report the results were neither oil free nor flawless. Worse, the rosacea that I haven’t seen since I stopped drinking over five years ago is creeping back, which, what the fuck? So I need a good makeup recommendation for 30-something, oily, rosacea-prone skin, please. Bonus if it doesn’t cost a trillion dollars.

2) I loved The Hunger Games/Catching Fire and I liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so what else should I be reading in the world of dystopian YA fiction?

3) This week I have to give a presentation as part of my final nutrition class project. Here are some things I’d rather do than give a presentation: hammer a rusty nail through my foot. Kiss Spencer Pratt on the mouth. Listen to forty straight hours of Bob Dylan. EAT A LIVE SPIDER. Do you have any public speaking tips that will prevent uncontrolled terrified urination on my part? Like picturing your audience naked, except, you know, something that actually works?

4) Have any of you ever dealt with a kid who won’t accept help when he hurts himself? When Riley scrapes his knee or whatever, he often loses his shit and howls “NOOOO!” over and over, refusing to let us even approach him. It’s like he just goes into a panic. It’s one thing when that happens at home, but if it happens while we’re out—like if he crashes and burns in a store while doing his patented Look Back Over One Shoulder While Running Full Speed Ahead maneuver—I feel at a total loss with no idea how to calm him down or at least bring the Dramatic Public Scene to a close. Usually we just end up totally frustrated with him, which seems like the worst case scenario for everyone. Any ideas for how to help him get past this stage?

5) This last one isn’t really a question, I just wanted to show you the kids’ school photos, which finally came back. Man, pleasantly surprised doesn’t even cover it. I could look at these all day long, cheesy fake fence and all.

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Shawna
11 years ago

Hm. I know how Riley feels: I got creamed by a golf ball on my honeymoon and shrieked “DON’T TOUCH ME!!!” when my poor husband tried to get within a couple of feet of me.

Unfortunately this is just an instinct and hard for me, a (supposedly) rational adult, to control, so I’m not sure what to suggest you do for Riley other than give him some deep breathing exercises when he’s calm and try to remind him to use them when he’s freaked out.

amber
11 years ago

Cute photos! Very cute. Also, I love how you’d rather kiss Spencer Pratt on the mouth than give your presentation (YUUUUCK).

joaaanna
joaaanna
11 years ago

I can only help with #1: MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation – $26. But put it on with a brush, not the sponge. Great coverage without feeling heavy. It lets freckles shine through, but takes away the redness and uglies.

As for public speaking – I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes speaking in front of others. But I’m a big attention whore, so that’s my excuse. :)

Karen
Karen
11 years ago

I used to use Lancome as well, and I really liked it. It was a little oily, but in a nice, glowy way, and it had good coverage.

As for books: I really liked Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (despite all the annoying footnotes), but if you aren’t up for a book that time-consuming, Susannah Clarke’s book of short stories “The Ladies of Grace Adieu” is really fun.

Lylah
11 years ago

1.) Sorry, I’m clueless about makeup.

2.) Maybe not so much YA, but I think Octavia Butler’s dystopian fantasies are amazing.

3.) My trick for this (and for when I have to do things on TV) is to pick one or two people in the room and talk directly to them. Look from one to the other, though, so you don’t end up looking stalker-y.

4.) My neice is like this. It helps to speak calmly and keep offering help, maybe even trying to lead him over to an out-of-the-way spot in public. At home, it helps to remind him that you’re there if he wants you, and that you’ll check in on him in a couple of minutes. (Both scenarios assume no bleeding or otherwise bad injuries).

5.) Your boys are gorgeous. Am hiding my daughters.

victoria
victoria
11 years ago

Oh, my god, I just read your post on Stir. You poor girl. You’re dealing with truckloads of stress right now, and apparently, you beat yourself up every time you eat a cookie. I wish I provide you with a full time au pair, for free. I wish I could give you more hours in a day, or a clonazepam prescription, or a fantastic pediatrician who makes house calls, something that would really help you out.

Wait a minute: I just realized that what you need is to live in France! Have you seen Michael Moore’s documentary? French mothers get free au pairs and French doctors make housecalls.

Sara
Sara
11 years ago

Public speaking has been a true challenge for me so I feel you. It pisses me off more than anything that my body takes over to make me look like a shaky fool when I know the material better than anyone in the room. Here’s what helps me:
1) Over-preparation. Practice as many times and in as many different environments as possible.
2) Have your transitions down pat. You know the content, but transitions are key in moving you along if you get stuck.
3) 5 minutes before, when your heart starts beating out of your chest or something just as annoying, breath as much air in as possible, hold 3 seconds, exhale fully, hold 3 seconds, rinse, repeat. I’ve done all the breathing exercises I think they’ve recommended and this one is the easiest for me to remember and do as the time gets closer.
4) Don’t fight whatever adrenaline/anxiety stuff is going on. Just tell yourself to ride it out as it’s happening and do your best. It’s going to happen, it’s going to go away.
5) Even if you have the presentation memorized, always have a back-up whether it’s an index card or PowerPoint that you can refer to.
6) This last one is probably not a healthy recommendation, but it once was the only thing that calmed me hell down. I convinced myself that no one really gave a crap about what I was going to say, so I might as well screw up because it wouldn’t matter. My “goal” was to be disappointing and strangely, I stopped freaking and did fine. It’s also worked for me to convince myself how sharing what I’m presenting is helpful people. If my goal is to share knowledge for the greater good of others, then it takes the focus off of me. I get very experimental with the mind trickery.

Let us know how it goes next time!

Janet
Janet
11 years ago

Make-up. I’m 50 and still have oily skin even though I have a few wrinkles as well.

I use Physicians’ Formula mineral powder. It’s has no mica in it so there is nothing shiny to get caught in the tiny lines in your face. I think it cost like $12.00 at the drugstore. I also use a Boots No.7 tinted moisturizer (from Target) beforehand. I think the moisturizer costs about $10.00 for a tube.

Natalie
Natalie
11 years ago

I used to be petrified of presentations in classes. Until I realized that I do code reviews/meetings at work and live through those just fine. The folks in class are just classmates. They don’t sign your paychecks or make pink-slip decisions. That helped me relax, but I’ll also second the folks above. Take props (food to sample) or pictures. Anything that the audience can relate to usually does wonders.

(Just don’t do anything that’s too fiddly.)

Carolyn
Carolyn
11 years ago

I second the Everyday Minerals!

Bobbie
Bobbie
11 years ago

OK, what works for me:
Stress: Bach rescue remedy, 5 drops under the tongue, have been known to wait 20 minutes and (dare I say, REPEAT PROCESS,…. twice) Gets me through management presentations (in front of State officials (!) Blah Blah Blah.) Have even been known to slip a drop or two in Neurotic cat’s ear on occasion. He gets truly pissed, but only for the 1st 5 minutes, then I swear to God, he smiles! (I can only assume it isn’t easy being neurotic…)
For the Shinies: DHC white sunscreen SPF 25 or velvet skin coat, both as primers, then follow with normal make-up…any make-up. Not cheap, both approx. $25.00/each. But feels soooooo soft on your skin–you will be amazed.
Cheap version: Apply make-up, brush on vey light layer of cornstarch, yes, the cooking kind. Absorbs oil for hours.
Good Luck on both accounts.
B.

Becca
11 years ago

I really only have a solution for #1. I loved Bare Minerals for years, but have also noticed the increased shine (more like an oil slick) recently. I have ‘difficult’ skin as well, acne prone and splotchy. I recently made the switch to Sheer Minerals, which sadly you can only order online, but it is completly what I was looking for. It is obnoxiously hawked by Leeza Gibbons (which made me almost not order it) but I swear it works so much better than Bare Minerals ever did (and I tried the matte version of of BM too, no luck). The best part is that I only order one color (bisque works for my fair skin) and no stupid extra layer of ‘mineral veil’ on top, just the one powder and I’m shine-free all day. I think you’ll like it.

lisa
lisa
11 years ago

i think you should consider (if you dont have some already) a good primer. I use smashbox primer and its great for not letting your foundation settle into the fine lines on your face, especially around the eyes.

Love the pictures! so so adorable

karen lee
karen lee
11 years ago

Books – I second ‘Girl with the dragon tattoo’ series – great books – I got it on MP3 (audible books) and I’m so impressed with Simon Vances’ ability to pronounce Swedish towns and names like ‘Hovenstepeverken’ or some shit like that.

Make-up – give it up….nothing hides wrinkles.

Public Speaking – Puking is good – but make sure you have a breath mint in your pocket.

Hysterics – I love the band-aid idea – my kid was a screamer too – I had to just sit by and wait if it was a minor injury; strangely she was very cooperative the one time it was a major injury.

Pictures are adorable.

Kristen
Kristen
11 years ago

Make-up suggestion – Bare Escentuals mineral make-up. Its light, lasts all day, and doesn’t sit in my wrinkles at all.

Rachel
Rachel
11 years ago

Oh missed the bit about it being dystopian. The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy is delicious, especially for anyone who knows and likes San Francisco.

And while it’s usually (but not always) in the adult section, William Gibson is a great one. Part dystopia part cyber punk. All Tomorrows Parties is a good stand alone (also set largely in SF). It is downright creepy at times how acurately predictive he is.

Anne
11 years ago

Do you watch Dexter – a Showtime series? After I read your random thriller-story post a few weeks ago, I realized that you would probably love it and am just now responding now that you’ve asked for book suggestions (not the same thing, I realize…). I just got roped into and only regret how many hours of my life I’ve spent staring at the TV. But that was just a lie because I don’t regret it; it’s awesome. Watch it. I have a feeling you will be hooked.

Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

Help for #3:
Yoga breaths beforehand so you feel in control. Then make eye contact with one (maybe two) person in the audience who seems to be paying attention and give the presentation to them. It will help when the rest of the room goes peripheral. Every once in a while you can glance around to make it seem like you’re including everyone, but keep your focus on your one or two targets and it will keep you relaxed (relatively speaking, of course…). Good luck!

caro
11 years ago

re: make-up. our skins sound remarkably similar! i use biotherm aquaradiance light in the summer (just wish its spf was higher!) and lancome photogenic lumessence, which smoothes wonderfully and lasts ages.

Alley
Alley
11 years ago

1) I use Revlon Colorstay and those oil-absorbing sheet things throughout the day (my forehead’s kinda like the BP oil spill). You may want to write to the people at/try some Paula’s Choice products; my face-care regimen is 99% her stuff and my skin’s usually pretty happy. I’d say use foundation primer, but that stuff just breaks me out.

2) Uglies was all right. People keep raving about Incarceron, but I wasn’t crazy about it. The Maze Runner was very boy-ish but OK. There’s a sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth but I haven’t read it yet. Really, I’m just waiting for Mockingjay. Oh, and I have to recommend Black & White (Icarus Project Book 1). It’s superheroes in a sort of dystopian future. Which sounds kinda lame but it’s awesome and I can’t wait for the second book to come out soon.

3) HA! I had to take a public speaking CLASS in college. So, what you want to do is write out your entire presentation, preferably in outline form. Practice, practice, practice (I don’t know how long your presentation has to be, but time yourself. I talk really fast when I’m nervous and practicing on pace made it so when I gave my actual presentations, I could actually be understood.). Then make 1 or 2 note cards with key phrases/words in order of your outline (don’t write down entire sentences–you just want a guide to glance at to keep yourself on pace. Writing “SLOW DOWN” or “BREATHE” in a different color pen to remind yourself to do so is also not a bad idea.). And what helped me the most during the actual presentation is mind games: I told myself that most people in the class just wanted to get home and were probably not paying super-close attention to me. Took off some of the pressure of having a room full of eyes looking at me when I could imagine most of them were actually thinking about dinner or their sports meet later.

Kym
Kym
11 years ago

I would recommend the Clarasonic face brush, it is pricey, but helps me with the oil factor. I also switched to the matte Bare Minerals foundation that has also helped me out. :)

Good Luck!!!

Kami
Kami
11 years ago

I use smashbox primer on a clean and moisturized face, I just went from bare minerals to maybelline dream liquid mousse. Way cheaper and better coverage, it honestly goes on like butter. We are almost the same age (I think) and this makes my under eyes look pretty darn good! I use Medium 2.5 for the color! Let us know what you choose :)

Bekah
Bekah
11 years ago

So makeup– I can’t believe I only saw one other reccomendation for Mary Kay. :) It is amazing. They have a mineral powder and a liquid foundation option. Doesnt settle. But even more importantly to go with it is their anti-aging Time Wise skin care line to help fight and reverse the fine lines and wrinkles underneath the makeup :) Awesome products. I use them and love them.
Check it out! http://www.marykay.com/rebekahgriffin

Bekah
Bekah
11 years ago

Also…Your boys are absolutley adorable! Great pictures!!! :D

Anne B.
Anne B.
11 years ago

Book Recs:

Gone, by Michael Grant – Sort of like a teen Left Behind, all of the adults mysteriously disappear. I didn’t like the sequel (Hunger) as much, but Gone was well done.

I think your book tastes are a little more hardcore than mine, but I loved loved loved Jasper Fforde’s new book Shades of Grey. It is set generations after an event which wiped out the world we know. It’s not really dark, but has a sense of creeping big brother-ness about it that intensifies. It’s very satirical and it takes a little while to figure out exactly what is going on, but I found it very worth it.

bwsf
11 years ago

Whenever I have to do something ridiculously difficult, such as public speaking, I try to picture myself in the moments immediately after, and think about how relieved I will feel. It’s really strange I know, but it works for me.

mixette
mixette
11 years ago

I had the opportunity to work with a top-notch witness coach years ago and one thing that stuck and has served me well for all kinds of speaking/presentation things:

Don’t tilt your head when talking or taking questions. It undermines your credibility and confidence. Posture counts!

Good luck.

Jill
Jill
11 years ago

I use Loreal minerals and love it. I’ve tried others but haven’t had good luck with them.

Re: public speaking- practice practice practice. You can also try looking over the audience instead of at them, at least until you settle in.

I’m so jealous of good school photos.

Deanna
Deanna
11 years ago

1. Cute pictures!!

2. I have to admit that you were the one who got me hooked on the bare minerals but I had to break up with them, too. My face started to look cakey and powdery. I am back with my stand by of Lancome liquid (bought from ebay) but my sis in law swears I need to try some Mac base but I have yet to suck it up and go to the mall to try it.

3. Public speaking: one trick I use- when you are nervous, your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth and it tightens your jaw and face – making it all too noticeable that you are nervous. Consiously remove tongue from the roof of your mouth. Also, in the begining just say you are nervous or that this is a big deal for you because public speaking makes you nervous. Once you put it out there, folks are more sympathetic and somehow voicing it helps calm you down.

Holly
Holly
11 years ago

Re #1 the makeup: have had rosacea forever. Unfortunately the only things that have worked for me are the $$$ products. It sucks. I use Murad Redness moisturizer (not too bad, lasts forever) and YSL matt touch compact foundation. Not too matte-y, lasts all day, and you only have to use a little to cover a lot.

Re public speaking: Just know your stuff, and pretend like you’re telling someone about a subject you know and love. Conversation. I’m in sales. I do those a lot.

Re Kids: I think my hormones just made my head explode. Cute cute cute kids. Send them to Georgia next time you need a break!

Jae
Jae
11 years ago

Have you tried the Neutrogena minerals stuff? There’s both loose and pressed mineral powder make-up.

Lauren
Lauren
11 years ago

Feed by M.T. Anderson (my total author crush. He is smart and adorable). Awesome, awesome dystopian fiction with a use of language similar to A Clockwork Orange, IMO.

Not Russian, but that kind of wordplay.

Gillian
Gillian
11 years ago

Books!

Many of these have already been suggested, but I work in a Kids’ bookstore so I will tell you what I’ve heard good things about in the dystopian genre

The Tomorrow Series – John Marsden (HIGHLY recommended – fantastic series)

Gone, Hunger, Lies – Michael Grant

Immortal Instruments Series – Cassandra Clare

Chaos Walking trilogy – Patrick Ness

Triskelia trilogy – Carrie Mac

The Enemy – Charlie Higson

For the Win – Cory Doctorow

Birthmarked – Caragh O’Brien

The Maze Runner – James Dashner

Incarceron – Catherine Fisher

Laura M
Laura M
11 years ago

For #3… practice in front of living things. Your friends, your dog, more of your friends, your Honey, your mail carrier, that odd neighbor. Practice as many times as you can… But in front of people. It will make a world of difference.

For #4… When he gets hurt act like it’s no big deal. Of course, listen for the blood curdling screams that let you know he has broken a bone or something but baring that don’t give more than a mild “Oh, looks like you fell off your bike… Ya’ok?” This will give him space to be a big boy, if that’s what he’s craving. Or it will nix the situation where he has the opportunity to say ‘Look at mommy and daddy dance around trying to fix me… Isn’t that a cool sight!’
(Standard disclaimer: I have no kids of my own bit nanny for two under four years old.)
Bon chance! :)

Christine
Christine
11 years ago

As the parent of YA and a middle school literacy teacher, I must recommend the Percy Jackson series. It will not compare to Hunger Games, but the 5 books (much much much better than the movie) are fun and a good read and will hold you over until the 3rd book in the Hunger game series comes out in August.

Also, I love that you can manage to reference Firefly, mineral make fails and Toastmasters nightmares all in one posting. Thanks.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

I’m 32 with combination skin, 2 kids a dog and 2 cats. I feel a on the getting haggard thing. Where are the wrinkles coming from. I swear there’s a new one every week.

I use this:
http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT158&PRODUCT_ID=4386

Followed by this:

http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT158&PRODUCT_ID=251

Abby
Abby
11 years ago

Second/third/fourthing Bare Minerals matte. No idea about how it works with wrinkles (I’m 22, none yet), but it DOES help with shine (I’m 22, I’ve still got acne).

Also, it’s not dystopian, but if you’re a grownup who appreciates “YA” lit, The Westing Game is lovely.

Anna
11 years ago

I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if everything has been said before.

I am a PhD student and these tips I got from a famous professor who is renowned for his great talks.

Write out the entire script. Write it just the way you speak. Use a big font, lots of spacing between the lines, and leave space at the sides. That way, you do not look necessarily like you are reading, and it will be easy – in case you get lost – to find your way back into the text. Highlight important words, mark where you want to stop for emphasis.

Practice your script so that you know it by heart. Therefore you perhaps might not even need it – but in case you get too nervous it is always there and if all else fails you can just read it word for word.

Be aware that there is a tendency to rush through one’s own sentences, so practice your timing and try to slow down. If it feels unbearably slow it is probably the right speed. (This is a much cherished tip from my sister, who’s an actor)

Understand that everybody is nervous and don’t try to fight your nerves. If your hands shake, it does not matter. You have got your script, and you can read.

Good luck! x

Heather
Heather
11 years ago

Hey Linda,
Don’t give up on Bare Minerals yet. They now have a Matte line that I have not yet tried but my hairdresser swears by it. We have salons here that do Bare Minerals (fyi my hairdresser does not work for one) so perhaps you do there too and you could let them know you are about to give up on Bare Minerals unless the settling stops. I bet you could try it out before investing.

H

Lindsay
Lindsay
11 years ago

As to the makeup, I was in the exact same boat with Bare Minerals. I’m almost 32 with combination skin (oily t-zone and forehead), dry cheeks, particularly in the winter. I felt like out of the blue Bare Minerals was highlighting my wrinkles, and my forehead was so shiny I mights as well have spread Crisco over it.

I switched to a new moisturizer(Lancome High Resolution Refill 3X), and used a separate more intense moisturizer for the smile and eye wrinkles (Lancome High Resolution Eye), then I tried Bare Minerals Matte which I LOVE and find to be so much better than the regular stuff, and I stopped using the Mineral Veil as I think, despite its claims, that it was contributing to my shine factor.

Hope that helps.

shizzknits
11 years ago

Oh dear…cutest school pics evah! :) As for the makeup, I use Meow Cosmetics (http://www.meowcosmetics.com/) mineral makeup. There’s no *shiny* in it, and they have so many shades/formulations that you are sure to find something that works. Plus they do samples so you can try out different colors.

The screaming, hurting child: we have one of those too and the only way I can find to handle it is to step back and let them scream for a bit. It’s like they need to get out the panic or something. Then I step in and as calmly as possible, offer my help. Sometimes that works, other times I invoke more screaming. Sorry, no other hints than that. :(

vickey
vickey
11 years ago

I used to be surprised that the more tired I was, the less nervous I would be for a presentation. Part of this is that I just didn’t care anymore, & knew that the presentation was only 30 minutes of my life, and then I could close my eyes. I would psyche myself up thinking, lordy this is only 30 minutes. Even I can get through 30 uncomfortable minutes. Key item – lay off the caffeine. Combined with your adrenaline, you will get shaky. Good luck!

A
A
11 years ago

Propranolol, 10 mg 30 minutes before your speech. Take with lots of water and some food. You need an Rx (and also you cannot be an uncontrolled asthmatic, a rampant cocaine abuser, bradycardic or hypotensive) from your MD/NP/PA but holy cow testicles the shit is MAGIC.

hanna
hanna
11 years ago

Not YA, but definitely worth reading: Margaret Atwood’s “Year of the Flood” and “Oryx and Crake”. I’m currently reading “Hunger Games” and a friend recommended “Life as We Knew it”. Can you summarize the book recommendations for us?

Chloe
Chloe
11 years ago

Aromaleigh mineral makeup. Try it! Horrible shine– no more.

Public speaking– I don’t have any tricks, but it’s always the worst right before you start. I find it helpful to think, it’ll be over in only a few minutes, and no matter how I do, it will be OVER and I’ll never have to make this speech again. I also tell myself that I (emphasis on that I) control how the speech goes, so if I choose to speak slowly and clearly, I can do it, and do an awesome job. I am actually not a bad public speaker, much to my surprise. So I guess it works!

Emily
11 years ago

When you’re speaking in public, most people aren’t thinking about the intricacies of your talk, only its substance. They’re not thinking nearly as hard about your presentation as you are. Just don’t talk about anything too technical and you won’t have to worry about it. As long as people can understand what you’re talking about, they’re pretty forgiving. Especially if everyone there has to talk – they’re all too worried about their own presentations to be very critical of yours.

babelbabe
babelbabe
11 years ago

i JUST picked up Life as We Knew it at the library yesterday evening. I finished it at 1am, chewing my nails all the way. it’s wonderful. there’s also a sequel and a companion book (same events, different location).

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake
11 years ago

K, I know you have TONS of makeup recommendations to sift through and a decision to make, but I’m just gonna throw out my two cents. Get thee to the book store and check out Paula Begoun’s books, go to her websites beautypedia.com and cosmeticscop.com. The last one needs a subscription to view all the reviews but if you buy her book, The Original Beauty Bible, it contains a little insert with a code to get something like 1/2 off. I only had to pay $12 for a year. She has done all the leg work to find products that deliver on their claims. From acne to rosacea to aging issues, she’s got the 411. And she’s not just hocking her own line of products (which are excellent), but actually has reviews on 100s of other products including some damn good drug store finds. My skin hasn’t looked this good since before puberty. Good luck!

Book recommendation
Book recommendation
11 years ago

I didn’t love the Kristin Cashore books; I thought they were good–entertaining– but not great.

Too lazy to read all the comments, so here are a couple possible repeat recommendations:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Gwensarah
Gwensarah
11 years ago

I second the suggestion for Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. The photos turned out great, looks like Riley totally earned that Transformer :)