Friday, October 29, 2010

Mimi's Column: Bigger Brain is Bogus, "Baby Brain" is Real

Bigger Brain is Bogus, "Baby Brain" is Real
By Mimi Hecht

Research Shmesearch. 

I mean, usually I'm all for it. I respond pronto when the "baby people" research children's medicines and make necessary recalls. Or when bored mothers spend hours researching, on my behalf, the best new baby gadgets. I enthusiastically concurred when research studies concluded that redheads are more fun (yes, I have a redhead). In all these cases, and hundreds more, research is a mother's best friend. In fact, we love to pull out our affinity for research when a fellow mother makes a claim about a philosophy or product. 

We're like, "Hmm, I dunno, I have to research that." 

Dassi's No-Makeup Day 2: Improving by Removing

Most mornings, the very first person I speak to is Valentin. He works at the bakery on my block (which I frequent for my coffee and bran muffin before heading to my office.) So this morning I walked in and ordered a cake for one of my coworkers - today was her last day :( in the office and we were throwing her a party. As I placed the order I could feel Valentin looking at me just a second too long probably thinking, "Man, she looks awful." And indeed he said, "Hadassah you look a little different the last few days, are you ok?" I laughed and explained to him I'm going 10 days without makeup in a contest/challenge, and confided in him I was feeling a little embarrassed without makeup on. He spread his arms out and exclaimed (loud enough for everyone to hear, I might add) "You don't need makeup! You are very nice looking with makeup AND without makeup! You always make us smile and we love to see your face every morning!" I was speechless.

Later on in the day I read over some of the comments from my Day 1 post. Its so amazing that my personal reality of my self-image can be so drastically different than what the rest of the world sees. Thanks to all of you supporters, it means a lot to me, and its boosting my confidence! Even went out a little tonight with the girls, and surprisingly I was as confident as ever. Hmph! Go figure!

As I lay in bed now, dreaming of my new YSL mascara, and my Nars blush, I picture my clean and unaltered face in the mirror looking back at me... I'm becoming less shocked and finally beginning to recognizer my own reflection again.

Improving by removing,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raizel's No-Makeup Day 1: Day WON!

Well, it's day one and I'm already pining for my makeup. I'm unemployed so I think I have it a little easier; it was no issue going walking this morning without makeup and it was mostly fine hanging out in Starbucks with a naked face. But, as I started thinking about my night out on the town my mind immediately thought, "Ok, now it's time to put makeup on," as if it was like I was waiting to become milchig and now I could finally eat that ice cream. It was strange how natural it was for me, even as I am on day one of my challenge, to slip back into my makeup habits.

I must admit that last night I started to get anxious about my no-makeup days;it almost felt like I was preparing for a fast day and as the day is coming to a close it realized it does feel a little bit like a deprivation (or maybe I'm confusing it with my sleep deprivation).I am starting to feel like, what's the big deal? Why can't I just wear a little makeup? My friends said that they didn't really notice a difference (but I think they are trying to be nice ;) ) but I think I just look more tired. One of my concerns that I mentioned in my Oath was that I would feel less confident and not be as outgoing, but I felt very comfortable and confident today and notice that I adopted this, "who cares what people think anyway," attitude. I know that the point is more about my own perception, but for day numero uno, this will have to do.

This was great for my evening because, in full-disclosure (as is the policy in this challenge), I had a skype date tonight and, even though dating is an exception to the no-makeup rule, I only put on some lip gloss to brighten up my face. No eyeliner and no mascara and it felt great. I didn't get a repulsed look from the guy as my video screen popped up and we still had a great conversation. I do have to thank the other contestant, Dassi, for her observations that she tried to wear colors that naturally enhance and bring out her beauty. It took me a little longer to get dressed today because that's exactly what I tried to do. I wore a teal green shirt that brought out my blue/green eyes that I usually rely on eyeliner and mascara to take care of.

Even with my "who cares" attitude and my mostly positive experience today, I'm still tempted to put on makeup to hit the town. But like I also said in my oath, I know I can do this because I have a moral support network, so thank you wonderful and beautiful makeup-ed and makeup-less women!

We'll see how much I care when Shabbos rolls around...

Stay tuned! :)

p.s. I did give myself a brief pep-talk this morning as I looked in the mirror,"You DO look pretty without makeup," I affirmed, "You ARE pretty." Makeup or not, a lil' self-affirmation never hurts. :)

LadyMama Fashion Finds: Long Skirts

Long skirts aren't just for camp anymore, ladies! 
They're popping everywhere, straight from the runways....

Charlotte Ronson - Fall Ready To Wear Show (NY-August '10)

The switch from autumn to winter is the perfect time to see if you have 
what it takes to make to take a usually frumpy look and make it chic! 

Here are two great versatile long skirts from Urban Outfitters. 





If you're feeling adventurous with your long-wear, try these bohemian-inspired looks from Free People:


Double Print Maxi Skirt


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The No-Makeup Challenge: Raizel's Oath

My "going out" makeup face

My everyday makeup face 

Name: Raizel Druxman
Age: 25
Location: Washington Heights
Committing to wearing no-makeup from October 28th until November 6th 

I usually wear the following makeup on my face: eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss

My favorite feature: My eyes

My least-favorite feature: my eyebrows (I can never figure them out!)

I am excited about this challenge because: I'm intrigued to get out of my comfort zone and challenge my notions of beauty and self-image. 

What I think will be most difficult: Feeling confident without makeup, which translates into still being my friendly, outgoing self.

I believe I can do this because: I have a "support" system of other beautiful women doing the same thing!

More thoughts (if any): I'm really a little anxious about this whole ordeal (yes, it feels like an ordeal!) as I think about a no-makeup Shabbos and going out on Sat nights....eeek!

No-Makeup Day 1: A Zombie Amongst Humans

Read Dassi's intro post here.

I got to my office, and made a b-line for my desk, avoiding eye-contact with my coworkers. 

Dassi's First Morning Makeup-Free

Ok, so this morning as I sipped my coffee and read a magazine before work, I could feel my makeup STARING at my naked face from the other room. I looked toward my bedroom like, "No. Absolutely not." I seriously felt like an addict trying to get clean. I had to hide my makeup from myself! Out of sight out of mind. Right?

So getting dressed, I chose more feminine colors and shapes, more jewelry, and I even curled my hair! Talk about over-compensation!

When I left my building, I felt like a man anyway. It's so weird how I (and probably most girls) have become so dependent on makeup to feel like a woman. I got to my office, and made a b-line for my desk, avoiding eye-contact with my coworkers. Everyone is treating me the same! What the heck?! I don't look like the "Dassi" that has worked here all along. Intruder!!

Today I have to be the front desk of a very busy office, run a ton of errands, and see at least 6 clients this evening... Hope I can become more aware of other people as the day goes along as opposed to feeling like I look like a zombie.


(Check back for an evening post to see how the rest of the day evolved!)

Alice: An inspiring woman

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The No-Makeup Challenge: Dassi's Oath

My "going out" face
My everyday/work face

Name: Dassi White
Age: 25
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Committing to wearing no-makeup from Wednesday 10/27 until Friday 11/5.

I usually wear the following makeup on my face: Mascara, eyeliner, blush, powder, lipstick/gloss eyebrow enhancer. (holy cow!)

My favorite feature: My eyes

My least-favorite feature: My cheeks with no blush!

I am excited about this challenge because: It'll give me a new perspective, I think. I'm looking forward to seeing how people will treat me without makeup, especially since I'm sitting in the front desk of a very busy office all day.

What I think will be most difficult: I'm very curious how my confidence will change, because I don't think I've EVER gone out of the house without makeup since like seminary or something like that. What is it, like 5 years? Jeez! My skin could USE this break! This will be SO hard because I depend on makeup so much. I feel like people take me more seriously when I'm wearing it.

I believe I can do this because: I'm a strong personality! I'm not a quitter, either. Once I start something, I gotta finish.

More thoughts (if any): I'm actually petrified! I'll feel naked without it! But I think that it'll be good... help boost my confidence, and possibly help me to appreciate myself without anything covering ME. Can't wait to see myself without it! I hope I can last the 10 days!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing the LadyMama No-Makeup Challenge!

What's beneath all the makeup? 

If you're the average women, chances are you've become entirely dependent on the magic wands we call lipstick, mascara and coverup. They are makeup miracles - taking our drap, sleepy faces and awakening them to face the world more confidently.

On the other hand....

Do you ever feel like applying all that makeup is a nuisance? Perhaps you've wondered what it would be like to redefine your go au natural? Are you opening to experimenting with the way you relate to your beauty, your femininity?


LadyMama is looking for women interested in taking an oath to go a certain amount of time (a minimum of 10 days) without wearing makeup. Better yet, we want you to share pictures and blog about it! How do you feel on Day 1, Day 7? Do you cheat a little? What are your insecurities, fears? Does wearing certain colors help your overall look when not wearing makeup? How does your skin feel? How does your soul feel?


Sign up by contacting
Take picture of you in typical-day makeup
Stop wearing makeup
Take pictures without makeup
Blog your thoughts and discoveries (with pictures!)
*No-makeup exceptions are reserved for family celebrations

***Everyone who signs up and meets their challenge gets a surprise gift!***

E-mail to get started!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Mom Tip: Stop Doing What You Dislike

Happy Mom Tips
By Rivka Caroline 

Get rid of it. Or find ways to make the loathsome chore pleasant! 

Happy Mom Tip #10
Stop Doing What You Dislike Doing...IMMEDIATELY! 

We know the famous Mishneh about not doing something we don't like to some-one else. In addition to this stellar advice I'd also like to cut the sentence to fit this blog namely : Do not do something YOU don't like. Period. 

Seriously, define what is loathsome to you and commit to get rid of it, outsource it or do it differently. 

Life is too short to be spent doing things that drain you. 

Is ironing boring you to tears? Barter with a neighbor. Still no luck? Call local ironing services and eat macaroni and cheese for an extra night if budgeting is tight. 

Doing things differently involves paring something really fun during the boring task or immediately after. So if scrubbing down the shower is horrific be sure to blast some awesome music or treat yourself to a Skype session with a good friend overseas.

The main point is to identify what is unpleasant and to make it go away...or at the very least be creative in ways to make it pleasant!

Rivka Caroline is an Efficiency Coach that helps moms, individuals and companies be more productive. She lives with her husband and seven kids in Key Biscayne, FL.  Visit her site for more great solutions on exporting stress and importing fun! 

WomenToGo protest targets sex-trade in Israel

Oliver Weiken / EPA
Models wear price tags as they sit behind the window of a 'WomenToGo' concept store in a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 19. The display is part of a protest initiative against illegal prostitution and human trafficking in the country.

Oliver Weiken / EPA
A model wears price tags on her wrist as she along with other models and actresses poses in the window of a 'WomenToGo' concept store in a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 19.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BabyDiner to the rescue!

Quote of the Day: Ignoring a baby's cry

What do YOU think of today's quote? 

“Ignoring a baby's cry is like using earplugs to stop the distressing noise of a smoke detector. The sound of a smoke detector is meant to alert us to a serious matter that requires a response - and so is the cry of a baby.” - Jan Hunt

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Tipping Point

By Mimi Hecht

"I felt deeply that G-d was looking out for my son's reproductive organ."


I was recovering in the hospital after the birth of my son when I
learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer endorsed
routine neonatal circumcision. While my family buzzed excitedly with
plans for the Bris, a hospital pamphlet encouraged me to make “an
educated decision,” presenting me with reasons to opt out of the
pending procedure (on my unknowing son’s behalf, of course).

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