San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Functional Girl: A column

Functional Girl CJ LEGARE

Q. Dear Functional Girl: Every time I have an important event I end up with a monstrous pimple the day before. Do you have any magic tricks that will banish my last-minute blemish? — Patty T.

A. Dear Patty: A few years ago my bestie Julie woke up the day before a wedding with an unfortunate visitor. Panic stricken, she called me and we formed a simple plan of action. The results were nothing short of amazing. By the next morning the size was reduced by 80 percent and we were able to completely conceal it with make-up. Therefore, I’m going to share Operation Banish Blemish with you.

Start by microwaving a wet washcloth for 20 seconds. You don’t want it scalding but you need some heat. Apply the cloth directly to the blemish. Once the cloth cools you can repeat the process for up to an hour. If a head has already formed, this will soften and remove it. If you’re dealing with a large, red, painful bump, this will draw anything inside to the surface. Once the head is gone, gently wash the area and apply triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin). This will prevent infection, help it heal without leaving a scar, and keep the skin supple. Smooth skin is much easier to conceal than a scab.

If, however, you still have a large, red bump when you’re done with the washcloth then it’s time to switch tactics. Apply a purifying mask directly to the spot and leave on overnight. I like Queen Helene’s Mint Julip Masque as a cost-effective choice, and it’s great for sensitive skin. A few hours before your event apply an ice cube to the spot for five minutes. This will help bring down the swelling. Try a few drops of Visine to tone down the redness.

When it’s time to do your make-up, make sure to use a foundation primer first. I love e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer. It fills in lines and creates a smooth barrier over any imperfections, thus creating a perfect canvas. After you apply your foundation, use a brush to lightly dab concealer onto your spot(s). I use bareMinerals Well-Rested.

The coverage is amazing and it’s perfect for any skin type. Set your face with translucent finishing powder and catch that pumpkin coach to the ball.

Q. Dear Functional Girl: I have a friend who is going through a really challenging time. I would like to do something for her to show my support, but I want it to be unique. Any suggestions? — Tiffany L.

A. Dear Tiffany: Your friend is lucky to have you. I think I have the perfect solution, courtesy of my dear friend Jason.

Several years ago he told me about a gift he was making called an “Inspiration Jar.” He cleaned an old jar and then filled it with scraps of paper containing encouraging thoughts. I thought it was a lovely idea then, and I still do. What’s more, it’s a completely customizable concept. You can decorate the jar to your recipient’s taste or keep it clean and minimal.

Fill your jar with enough encouraging thoughts to last a week, a month or even a year. Use inspirational quotes, meaningful lyrics, favorite lines from a poem, humorous shared memories or even your own heartfelt words.

Can you imagine beginning each day with a reminder of how much you are loved? Your friend will never forget her “Inspiration Jar,” or the wonderful gal who reminded her that “this too shall pass.”

Functional Girl CJ Legare lives in Kyle with her husband, Joshua, and is addicted to 2 percent organic milk. If you’ve got a question or comment for Functional Girl, email her here. She blogs at

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