That Thirty-ish Year Old Glow (You know you want it)

I spent most of my weekend sitting around like this:

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I’m not sure what happened, because I felt okay after the AC half last weekend. I had a couple of rest days and then ran four miles at the gym. Still feeling fine, I took my littles to the play gym and when I bent down to put my daughter’s shoe back on, a shot of pain went up my shin and I literally limped around for the rest of the afternoon. Compression and ice feel like old pals after spending all weekend together.

I don’t know what to think. I guess it’s still shin splints? I’ve never dealt with prolonged pain from running, so I have no clue how long it will take to heal. Boooo. Over the weekend, I was a bit sore in the mornings but once I got moving, I felt better. I haven’t done any cardio (I had planned on the elliptical but a busy weekend got in the way), but I’ve been fine during my strength workouts. I even did legs/butt on Saturday (my fave right now is the Malibooty routine by the Tone It Up Girls, mostly because it’s fun to say “Malibooty”). I’m going to try to run a short distance today-slow and steady- and see how it goes.

During one of my icing sessions, I received the following text from my best friend:

“Have you heard about the ‘toddler glow’?”

Now we both have toddlers, so I thought it might’ve been some new toy, but noooooo. Apparently, it’s a new makeup technique to make women look younger. Specifically, like a two year old. I mean, really. Really? REALLY?!

I researched this “toddler glow” and it seems that what you are supposed to do is wake up at 5am demanding to nurse in the big bed, ask for a cookie, break it into tiny pieces and rub the crumbs in your hair, and get someone to carry you everywhere. Unless you want to walk. Then you scream.

No, wait. That’s just how to be a toddler.

For the toddler glow, you are supposed to apply highlighter everywhere the sun hits, so you look like a a dewy JCrew model. Or like this girl:

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And I want to be like “Eff you, makeup industry. Stop telling me that I should look younger, younger, younger.” It’s so unfair. Just last week, Mer and I were texting about our day (like what we were doing right that second) and I told her I was researching botox. Which is insane, because I’m in my early thirties, and I’m pretty sure Mer fell out of her chair before typing “Whattttttt?!” But I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and I have these forehead wrinkles and the elevens between my brows and I don’t know. I guess maybe I want to look like a toddler? Or I should have been wearing sunglasses since I was one, at any rate. But really, what is next? Should I aspire to look like this?

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For the most part, I embrace my age. Sure, I miss having a perky booty and boobs that didn’t require a push-up bra (it’s crazy to me that there was a time when I could go out sans bra. Madness!). And as I’ve mentioned, I sure do miss that metabolism. But I love my life right now. All these years and choices and life has lead me to this time; with my husband and kids and so many wonderful things. But you know what? I am also a little bit vain and would like to get rid of the elevens.

Anyway, I am a girl who loves makeup and even though I think the name “Toddler Glow” sucks, I already sort of do this stuff.

My friends often ask me what I’m using on my skin. Just last week, my daughter’s dance teacher asked me if I’d recently had a chemical peel because my skin looked so great. (No, ma’am. My baby just started sleeping through the night. And I just got home from a girl’s weekend. I highly recommend it.) Here are some of my suggestions for glowing skin:

My arsenal of illuminating makeup.

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From left to right: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip in Miami Strip, YSL Touche Eclat, Clinique Airbrush Concealer (I AM OBSESSED.), Stila Illuminating Foundation (I mix this with bb cream and apply only where needed), Clinique Chubby Sitck Shadow in Bountiful Beige, Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit, Watt’s Up by Benefit.

I use some combination of these every day. The Clinique concealer is my absolute favorite. It makes me look like I’m Sleeping Beauty, waking from a 100 year nap.

I also recommend actual sleep. Little Dude started sleeping through the night three weeks ago (Yes, he’s 16 months. Yes, that’s a long time to go without sleep.) I feel like a new woman.

Drink your greens.

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It’s supposed to help. My skin has never looked as good as it does when I regularly drink something green.

Get laid. Be safe about it.

Exercise! Obviously.

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Take that, Toddler Glow.

Drink water.

Spend time with your friends. Laughing with your girlfriends is the best.


Tell me your favorite makeup product. Any tips for youthful-looking skin? Or we can talk about shin splints. What should I do?

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…

Girls in Oiselle tanks and white satin sashes,
Taffy that sticks to my teeth, not eyelashes (because that would be weird),
Frigid cold air that does not feel like Spring,
These are a few of my favorite things!

(Okay, not the weather. Florida native here. I had a minor freakout last Sunday morning when Mer told me it was 28 degrees on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.)

It was a wonderful weekend of running and even more laughter, and now I’m home to my most favorite people and a mountain of laundry to fold. (Not a favorite, if you are taking notes.)

Since the AC half was already covered by Mer and Vic, I only want to tell you a tiny bit about my experience, and also share some other things I’m loving right this second:

First, the AC half. I know you are Meridith’s, but if she were willing to share you, we could be sister-wives. (Did I just imply that Mer is married to a race? I guess I did. I’m really tired, you guys.) I only ran once last week because of my shin pain, so I think rest, plus KT Tape, plus the oh-so-forgiving boardwalk helped me achieve a pretty sweet time for this race- I finished in 2 hours, 7 seconds, which is 11 minutes faster than my Princess 2014 time. (Still not a PR for me, blah blah blah. I get so tired of saying that. I get so tired of thinking it. But we runners love to focus on the numbers. Anyway, now that I’m thatclose to a sub-2, I am more than confident that a personal best will happen this fall.) Of course, if I hadn’t been texting my friends while running, I probably could’ve shaved off 8 seconds- but, no regrets.

The best part of this race was seeing our dear friend Anne finish her first half-marathon. The thing about a half-marathon, and running in general, really, is that no one can help you do it. You have to put in the time. You have to do the work. But when you finish? The accomplishment is all yours. Seeing a friend triumph like this is so powerful; for me, it feels as good as it does when I achieve my own goals. I’m lucky to have been there when a few friends crossed that half-marathon finish line for the first time, and the emotional impact hasn’t diminished. I guess I’m a marshmallow. Congrats, Anne!

While in NJ, we went to Target. As one does. Vic and I found these super cheap hoodies on clearance in the men’s section. This kept me so warm, post-race. Bonus- we were matchies.

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I love makeup. A lot. My favorite fun thing right now is this blue mascara from Butter London. I think there are a few other colors- I know there is purple and I’m definitely planning to buy that one. With this, I do a neutral face, and then coat my lashes in blue. It’s very noticeable in the sun and less so indoors and I just love it.

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How excited am I that OVERALLS are in style? Well, I’ll be honest. I’ve been waiting for this moment since 1999. Last Spring, I bought some short-alls because it was way too hot for long ones, but these Madewell overalls made their way into my closet recently and they are the best. More tapered than your 90s overall and I think you are supposed to wear them with cute flats or heels or booties and not birkenstocks (but those are back too, and you can’t see me right now but I’m wearing my EXCITED FACE.)

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I just finished taking another class on Conscious Discipline at my church and I cannot say enough good things about it. We’ve been working on implementing CD in our home for the past few years and it has helped all of us. Without getting too much into it, because this is a running blog, not a parenting blog, and I’m certainly not an expert- CD teaches emotional and social intelligence. You can read more here and here.

This book has finger plays, songs and games to increase your connection to your child- and their connections with each other. I’ve taught the girls a few things that they now do regularly with their brother and us, and we’ve also developed a goodbye ritual that the girls enjoy.

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One more book- The girls and I are currently reading Ramona the Brave. Last summer, we read the first two books in the series, in which Ramona is in preschool and then kindergarten, and now that my oldest will be a first grader soon, we decided to start the next book. I LOVE RAMONA. She’s so sassy and misunderstood and delightful. We still laugh about her singing the “dawnzer” song in kindergarten…you know, the dawnzer lee light.

BABIES. I’ve had more than a few friends have babies recently- three of them in the past three days! My instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with sweet, squishy newborn faces. Thank you, new mamas, for sharing your babies with me. I love seeing them!

Lastly, I love that I’m going to see my chicks in less than three weeks. DC, here we come! I hope you have enough cheese.

Talky! Do you text during races? How do I break myself of this habit? Best thing you’ve bought at Target recently? Overalls are amazing, right? What are you reading? By the way, The Sound of Music is always on my list of favorite things.

What Do You Put On Your Race-Day Face?

When I was a four years old, my aunt let me play with her make-up. Shimmery pink blush, purple eye shadow, frosted fuschia on the lips and voila- I was beautiful. My mom wasn’t happy about it, but after that, it became a ritual. Every time I visited my aunt, I headed straight for her vanity. My experimenting continued as I got older; in high school, my friends and I would drive to the best mall in our city and head straight for the make-up counter at Saks. In college, my friends would “schedule” appointments with me for make-up before sorority functions. I still love make-up. I love to wear it. I love to play with it. I have fun trying different products and colors (I wore a bright fuschia lip recently, much to my husband’s dismay. He prefers my “natural” look). I could spend an hour in Sephora and then head across the street to Ulta. (Sorry, husband.)

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Earlier this month, I went for a run at 3pm. That morning, I applied some light make-up, and neglected to scrub it off before heading outside to exercise. Well, within five minutes, my tinted moisturizer and mascara were stinging my eyes! Ouch. I sweat a lot when I run, and get pretty flushed, so there’s really no need for make-up. If it didn’t melt off of my face (or into my eyes), one wouldn’t be able to see it post-race anyway. I wondered if my friends wore make-up during their races, especially my girly-gals, so I decided it was time for some chick chat.


I don’t think I ever realized that people wore makeup for races until I was getting ready for last year’s Color Me Rad with my friend Heather and she was doing her eyes. And honestly, I was shocked. It had never occurred to me to put makeup on for a race. Even once I knew that this was a thing people do, I didn’t. Most of the time, I’m all ‘I’m a girl! I like pink! I like sparkle! I like pretty!’. But on race day, in addition to being a nervous wreck, I’m all ‘I’m about to go get truly gross and stinky and sweaty. You can keep your eyeshadow, thanks.’ The most you’ll see me rocking on race day is tinted moisturizer. And I promise you, that’s pushing it.


I wear waterproof mascara occasionally. But usually I’m just al natural.


I rarely go out into the world without makeup. The first 8 weeks of Bug’s life were an exception, mainly because I barely knew my own name! I don’t always view makeup as a necessity, but I love how it makes me feel (yes, and look) and I really try to wear makeup with good-for-me ingredients so I’m not gunking up my skin. 

A small fraction of Jess's make-up stash.

A small fraction of Jess’s make-up stash.

At any rate, I do almost always wear makeup on race day. I have to be camera-ready, even if I end up sweating the majority of it off! Typically, I wear a lightweight powder foundation with SPF to get my sun protection on, a coat of waterproof mascara, and a little bit of blush or bronzer to keep me from looking too pale. Finally, I swipe on some lip balm and I’m good to go! 


Nope. None, except for Chapstick. I used to skip it occasionally until my lip started to crack and bleed during the AC April Fool’s Half Marathon. Otherwise, au naturale for this gal. Though I will do my hair sometimes, only to have it immediately frizz up once I start running. Good times, good times.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.


If I remember to apply eyeliner before I grab my homebrewed coffee and leave for work, I consider my morning routine a success. I am a eyeliner and chapstick girl. I wear little and figure that my glasses hide most of what I don’t want people to see. (Please don’t tell me if I am wrong here, I really don’t want to know if the glasses are actually high-lighting wrinkles and dark circles.)

I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear I run without any makeup on. And races? Forgetaboutit. I’m lucky if I can get out the door with everything I need. I have a few friends who style their hair and apply makeup before sporting competitions. Hair? Hell yes, I am guilty as I love sporting pigtails.

A few years back, when I rowed in an 8-woman boat at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, I came across some other masters’ women wearing makeup. The killer? The group applied next to the portajohns, which no longer housed any toilet paper. (Free tip for HOTC-goers – bring LOTS tissue packs. It will save you.)

But those ladies? They were far more concerned about looking great and putting their faces on pre-race and taking some pictures. Me – I’ll stretch, check my footstretchers and use those tissues for a last-minute toilet stop.

Do you wear make-up for a race? Let us know in the comments!