Tag Archives: Bobbi Brown


16 Sep

This past week we remembered the tragedy of 9/11. The events of that day were played and replayed on the television and radio. There were numerous memorials and gatherings where people recalled where they were and how it affected their lives.  It was an event that we hopefully will never forget, but how soon we do forget.  Just a generation ago they were saying the same thing about Pearl Harbor, can you name the date of that tragedy which killed thousands?  After those events, we were more united as a country.  People were more united, friendlier, happier to be alive.  More people went to church, more people had hope for something better, do we still?  Anyway, it’s all sad.  All of our lives are marked with some sort of tragedy and most of the time only the closest will remember.

It’s like being diagnosed with cancer.  I remember each of the three times I got the call.  I remember the emotions, where I was, who I called, etc.  Now, with my temporary clean bill of health, it’s easy to forget I had cancer cells on my PET scan just a few months ago.  I move forward but I never forget.  When I cough or have a hard time breathing or swallowing because of my paralyzed vocal cord, I remember.  When my throat hurts in the morning and it feels tight, I remember; and when I look in the mirror and see the scar at the base of my neck, it is always a reminder of everything I’ve been through.  When the people I know and love look at me I wonder if they remember or if they’d rather forget.  It’s ok to move forward.  I love the resiliency of kids and I’m happy to say that when I act normal, I hope the kids forget for awhile that I was sick.  The only signs they remember is when I can’t control my cough; they look at me with concern.  Also, when planning for future events like a vacation, now they ask, “If you don’t have cancer this summer can we go on vacation?”.  Yes, we all change through tragedy, but some things we push down because it’s too hard to remember those feelings.  My memories always linger near the surface but it helps me be stronger and that is the hope after any tragedy, an extra dose of wisdom and strength for the future.

This month is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month (along with a few other cancers that have not yet claimed a month).  Those who know a little of my story know that I found the lump on my neck myself.  My voice was hoarse and my throat was sore so I massaged my neck and found a lump.  Take a few minutes and check your neck, you never know.

Today I wear Bobbi Brown Lipgloss in Bare Sparkle-a champagne colored gloss with a pearl sheen, gorgeous alone or on top of lipstick.  Memories are a beautiful, sparkly thing!


22 Aug

This morning I was driving an hour to my first appointment and I started feeling sorry for myself.  The sun was out, I was off to work, my kids were being taken care of by my visiting in-laws today, and we had just come off a great weekend of visiting a themepark (always fun people watching at those places) and just overall relaxing.  I got mad.  I was mad because without the cancer, life is really great.  I asked myself why I still had to be here, year after year, scan after scan, still showing cancer????  I was mad that my family and my friends had to go through this again and I hate being the downer of the group.  The one who has to say, ‘yes, it’s still there,’ or ‘yup, got cancer again.’  I really want to be normal and worry about normal things like what I should wear tomorrow or if my shoes match.  Is this my new normal?  I guess it is, and I’m not happy about it.  Being sick sucks.  I don’t look sick, I don’t feel sick and yet some small cell in my body is trying to take over.  I truly am ok with whatever may happen to me, I’m not ok with the fact that my family and friends have to worry about me again.  I’m sad for them, I’m mad for them.  I’m mad that my kids have to wonder how it’s all going to turn out, I’m mad that my parents,  friends, and the rest of the family have to ask how I’m doing and be afraid of the answer.

I read a quote today, “Life challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”-Bernice Johnson Reagan (thanks Jennifer).  Well, I thought I had me figured out the first, second, and third time, but now I’m getting a little confused.  It’s that roller coaster again and today, yes, I’m mad about it.  Sorry to vent, it’s frustrating.  Is this challenge paralyzing me?  Of course not and I continue discovering new aspects of myself.  In fact, I hope I am becoming a better version of myself daily.  We should all strive to do that, cancer or not.

Today I wore Sue Devitt lipstick in Australian Bight.  On me it’s RED (I probably looked like a Geisha, oh well).  I know it gave me the fighting spirit to forge ahead.  In the next few weeks I will be seeing my radiation oncologist and getting another ultrasound to see if the tumor is growing so I am putting out a challenge.

I would like to put out a ‘RED LIPSTICK CHALLENGE’ for those of you who love life and have the fighting spirit.  Wear red lipstick daily for three weeks and e-mail me how you felt and any stories you would like to share.  With your permission, I will share a few anonymously.  For the men reading my blog, carry something red in your car or pocket as a reminder to live life and e-mail me too.  You can send all e-mails to lipstickjourney@att.net.

I can’t wait to read your stories!  Here are some suggestions for reds:  Bobbi Brown Burnt Red, Smashbox Marvelous, Lancome Merlot, Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss in Brandi, Covergirl Natureluxe Cabernet, Burt’s Bees Red Dahlia tinted lipbalm.  Have fun!

Tic Toc

30 Jul

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure, measure a year. In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, In inches, in miles, in laughter in strife, In Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure a year in the life”…Seasons of Love, from Rent.

Tic toc, all we have is time, how do we spend it?  I learned the news that I had cancer one week before leaving for training.  The last thing I wanted to do was leave my family and friends for three weeks and use those minutes with people I didn’t know.  I listened to this song on my way there and then again on my way back and I discovered that my attitude had changed.  On my way, I thought about the brevity of life and truly the limited time we have and wondered why I was leaving my family during such a critical time in my health.  On my way back, I thought about the new friends I had made and how those moments I spent on the new relationships impacted my life.  At the end of training we were given evaluations individually.  What my trainer told me was that in the beginning he couldn’t figure me out because I was so quiet, but in the end he said it turns out I was a quiet storm affecting one person at a time.  This made me cry.  Since cancer, my life mission has been to make a positive impact one person at a time and his statement was validation that I was doing something right.

You’ve heard me say this before but I will say it again and again.  We impact each person that we meet whether positive or negative, people walk away from each encounter feeling something about you.  Sometimes, it’s just a few minutes and in this case for me, it was three weeks.  What type of impact do you want people to feel after you walk away?  I choose to make it a positive one.  Yes, three weeks was a long time, but the moments I spent with certain people were not a waste of those precious 525,600 minutes.  People are not a waste of time.  So thank you to Michelle, Jennifer, Ashley(TX), Ashely(FL), Lauren, and of course, Fernando.  You have all impacted my life.

For my new friends I wear  2 colors, Chantecaille- Angel Skin ,  a soft pinkish nude, because you were all my angels during training; and Bobbi Brown -Burnt Red because it’s my reminder to live boldly (and because Fernando said he loves red lipstick).  Thank you for the shared tears and all the laughter.

No Fear

29 Jun

Here I am again in the PET scan room (written at 6:30am), waiting the 2 hours until the contrast they injected me with makes its way through my body so they can detect any cancer cells floating around.  Am I afraid? Of course.  Not so much for the test. this is probably my 10th or 11th scan in three years so I’m used to lying still with metal hovering just inches over my face and body.  No, I’m always scared to hear the results (they haven’t exactly been positive most of the time).  I also am seeing my laryngologist this week and that scares me too.  Mostly because I don’t really want to know how close or non-functional my vocal cords are.

After cancer, I don’t really trust my body.  Before each diagnosis, I have felt great (minus an occasional sore throat).  I would love to rejoice each time I get clean results or good news, but even when/if I do I am hesitant and suspicious.  Will I ever get that trust back?  I doubt it.  Will I let it control me and take away my joy?  I won’t let it.  Yes, I believe the fear of cancer coming back will always be there, but even if I don’t trust my body, I will always trust in God who created it and has a perfect plan for me.

All of us have our hesitations and fears but there are many things we cannot control.  happiness is based on our outside circumstances but joy comes from within, from trusting our Creator has a plan although it may be different from ours.  Fear is ok but don’t give it the power to control you and rob your joy.  Life is for the living!

I’m not wearing any metal for my PET scan, but one thing I am wearing is Bobbi Brown Treatment Lipshine in Rosy .  It’s a gorgeous warm pinky brown color that looks great on ALL skintones, not quite a full on lipstick, but also not quite just a lip gloss.  One thing I’ve learned is to live for today and today I choose to have a Rosy outlook on life!

Finding the Right Shade

18 Apr

I will preface this by saying that I am no expert. I am just an everyday woman who has been searching for the right shade and texture of lipstick for at least 20 years, and believe me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING! Have I found it? Probably, but now the fun is on trying to find something better. Anyhow, I decided to first ask the experts on how they decide what the right shade is for women. I visited Diane from Bobbi Brown at Macy’s and Laura from YSL at Nordstrom. Both women said they look at the overall coloring of the person, dark haired women can usually pull off deeper shades while blondes, brighter shades. Generally, they try to match your lip color and either go lighter or darker from there.

Most women have a plum, pink, or reddish undertone to their lips. Mine is plum and to know yours is a good start.  For evening, I go deeper and for daytime I either go with almost the exact color of my lip in a gloss or go a little lighter for a lipstick. I stay away from matte and long-wearing lipsticks because I have naturally dry lips (which my doctor says is because I don’t drink enough water, FYI) and these tend to be more on the dry side. If you are going to wear a deep shade of lipstick, always exfoliate your lips first and then moisturize with a lip balm, this will help the color go on smoother.

So here’s the deal, for day, wear something close to your natural lips tone. In the evening, you can play with darker shades; of course red is a universal color for an evening out, just choose the right red for you (red-brown, red-blue, red-orange…try them on first!). Beyond all the rules…JUST PLAY WITH THE COLORS! Before I left, Diane from Bobbi put me in a hot pink shade…WOW, did it transform the color on my face! While Laura, put on a brown/peach Golden gloss from YSL, again, WOW! Two totally different looks and both very wearable and beautiful!

My favorite brands in terms of color selection and texture are Bobbi Brown, YSL, Christian Dior. In terms of drugstore, L’Oreal and Revlon, although all the new Covergirl lipsticks are also pretty awesome! Now go play!

My Journey Through Thyroid Cancer

11 Apr

It all started with a sore throat.  I am a mom, a sales rep, and a singer and for months I struggled with a sore throat.  After a couple rounds of antibiotics, I sat in my car massaging my neck and found a lump. Less than a week later, I had gone to a doctor, done an ultrasound and biopsy, and was told I had thyroid cancer. Treatment was straight forward, remove the thyroid and drink I-131 radiation. After much research I discovered that thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise but also has a 97% survival rate.  By the end of the same month I was headed for surgery and confident about the results.

My journey took a turn there. Coming out of the surgery, I found out that my cancer was aggressive and that the nerve supplying my right vocal chord had been cut leaving my vocal chord permanently paralyzed. My surgeon told me I would never sing again and speaking and breathing would be strained, I couldn’t speak for months. It was an amazing trek after that. Over the next couple of years I had two more surgeries and endured aggressive external beam radiation which partially paralyzed my remaining left vocal chord.

Today, I am one year cancer free, talking, and miraculously beginning to sing again. I have learned many things:

  • Live passionately because life can change in an instant
  • Use your voice! Tell people you love them; stand up for what you believe in! Your voice and breathing is a MIRACLE!
  • Listen to your body and treat it well
  • Sometimes, God has a plan that is different from yours, just trust Him and go with it

Right now, I am wearing red lipstick, Bobbi Brown Burnt Red.  It’s a rich, creamy red which for me symbolizes my journey and how I want to live from now on, passionate, loving, and full of life!

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