Thursday, June 30, 2016

For over a year, I've had an LED Mask in my shopping cart but never took the plunge to actually purchase.  Today, I think I'm ready to make it happen.  You're probably wondering what on earth is an LED Mask and why would I want to spend good money to buy a futuristic version of Jason's serial killer costume?

I first learned of LED technology years ago.  While walking through a department store, a woman standing next to a display of facial tools tried to convince me to buy a blue LED wand.  "The blue light, she explained, can help eliminate acne.  If you purchase the red wand, you'll experience anti-aging benefits."  I tried my best to keep a straight face but I'm sure she could read the disbelief in my eyes.

How on earth can some colored lights treat any of my skincare concerns?  That concept seemed utterly ridiculous. I didn't understand the power of the LED. But now I do, and I'm ready to reap the beautiful benefits.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You probably have everything you need for your daily hair care regimen. You've got your moisturizer, your favorite oil, and maybe even a liquid leave-in that you break out every once in a while.  But is combing cream on that list?

Yes, combing cream.  You may have never heard of it, but prepare for combing cream to be your hair's new best friend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm on a mission to create the most flawless natural face possible.  First on the agenda compiling a series of products that enhance our natural beauty.  Touche Eclat is one such product.  This morning, I purchased the perfect compliment to Touche Eclat.

Recently, Kim Kardashian announced that she's over the whole contouring thing.  You may recall that she pretty much launched the contouring craze a few years back after releasing an image of her heavily contoured, non-blended face.  The internet went ablaze.  Instagram makeup artists ran with it, as I sat motionless with my fingers laced together, waiting for the trend to subside.

I suspect that it won't be much longer before the natural face is revered once again.  And when that happens, we shall be ready.

Monday, June 27, 2016

One of my worst habits of all time is jumping from task to task without fully completing one first.  It's something I've been engaged in for years.  I recall the time when I was being trained after getting my first dream job.  The girl training me noticed my behavior and calmly suggested that I should finish what I was working on before taking on the next task.  Her words never left me.

But, at the same time, I rarely applied her advice.  I continued to work frantically in an unproductive manner that fueled my disorganization and short attention span.  I self-diagnosed myself as having Attention Deficit Disorder and assumed there was nothing I could do about it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Shiona is one of my favorite people on social media.  She's a Creative Consultant and Freelance Fashion Editor who has extensive experience working with major publications such is Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and W Magazine.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

It's the weekend.  Have you already planned out your cute, casual looks?  If not, allow me to provide  a little bit of inspiration.  It's getting hotter by the day so we've got to get more creative with putting together looks that will keep us cool and stylish at the same time. Check out my short list of outfit inspiration for you to wear to shop for this weekend.
I'm a huge fan of play suits.  They offer the perfect blend of style and comfort.  In my opinion, the long sleeve playsuit is the ultimate summer style piece.  You can easily dress your romper up with a pair of heels and statement jewelry or keep a casual with flats.  The length of the sleeves balance the outfit so you aren't showing too much skin.  I absolutely love the one shown in this pic.  She chose the perfect color to compliment her skin tone.   I have one in military green and it's absolute perfection.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The other day I was browsing through a thread on LHCF where the ladies were discussing their experience with Beautifully Bamboo.  One member shared that she was experimenting with drinking her tea in the evening instead of in the morning after breakfast.  That's when I chimed in and presented my theory that drinking the tea at night could bring additional benefits.

We know our bodies rebuild and repair while we sleep (which is why it's so important that you get your beauty rest). A while back I experimented with taking certain supplements before bed and felt like I could see a difference with my skin in the morning.  Then I started brainstorming what other supplements could add value when taken before bed. The first thing that came to my mind was Beautifully Bamboo tea. It's caffeine free and loaded with the ultimate beauty mineral - silica.  As you sleep soundly, you've provided your body a little something special which it can use for your benefit.  Since silica is essential for building skin firming collagen, drinking the tea before bed would make a lot of sense.

Then a member chimed in and said she too believed in the theory that taking some supplements before bed could be advantageous.  She then goes on to say that post workout would be another great opportunity because of the increased blood flow.

My mind was blown.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A while a go, I swung by the YSL counter at my local Neiman Marcus.  It was a weekday afternoon, and since there weren't many customers around, the woman at the counter gave me plenty of attention.  I later learned that rep who gave me a mini makeover turned out to be a national makeup artist for YSL. I kid you not, Pamela did the most amazing job. She was so talented that I ended up purchasing everything she recommended.

One of the items I came home with was YSL's Touche Eclat.  To be quite honest, I didn't fully understand the full potential of this highlighter pen so I packed it away in my makeup stash where it quickly faded into the background. Then, out of the blue, I stumbled on a mini-video featuring Zoe Kravitz.  Zoe, who appears to be running late, quickly gets ready simply by concealing,  correcting and highlighting.
Within moments of watching the video, I went looking for my tube of Touche Eclat to see if I could mimic her results.

You may remember the article we shared a few weeks back where Jourdan Dunn practically invited us to have full access to her beauty cabinet.  She revealed an arsenal of products, many of which landed on my wish list.

Then Jourdan decided to be extra generous and reveal her Sunday evening skin perfecting routine.  One of the items in her reveal was Skin Owl's Beauty Steam.  It's a combination of skin loving herbs that take your facial steam to a new level.  It sounded amazing.....but a bit pricey.

The idea of enjoying an herbal facial steam seemed too intriguing to pass up.  So I started researching for alternatives.  Soon, I stumbled on an age old beauty secret that women have been enjoying for years to create their most flawless glow.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I absolutely love getting motivated.  My favorite sources of motivation usually come from listening to powerful talks or hearing about stories of others who were able to achieve their dreams.  Whatever the type of motivation, I'm all for it!

But here's the thing....I'm realizing that if I don't constantly refuel my motivation tank, I get uninspired. Soon, my behaviors shift.  Suddenly, I'm not taking action like before.  Once I realize what's happened, I seek out more motivation to reignite my feelings of wanting to take on the world!

Today, I realized that I've been doing it all wrong.....

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm coming back at you with another recommendation for who to follow.  Our feature today deserves an instant follow because she  will bringing flawless wellness and health inspiration into your life.

This woman is a plant based chef and "wellness influencer."  I stumbled on her feed this morning and, within minutes of scrolling, I was inspired to live a greener, healthier life.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The weekend is here. And many of us have set aside time to conduct the almighty wash day ritual. And perhaps we'll do a mini-facial as well.  Since it's summer now, and with the warmer temps, I'm sure most of you are really focusing on scalp cleansing to remove any excess oil, dirt and sweat.

May I offer you a suggestion that could easily provide the best scalp cleansing you've ever had?

For this wash day experiment, I invite you to add one additional ingredient to your shampoo to ensure your hair and scalp are clarified to the fullest.  What's this additional ingredient?
Activated Charcoal face mask

Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm sharing this post as a way of commemorating a milestone in my health/fitness journey. For the first time in a (long) while, my weight is officially back in the 120's  again. I attribute this achievement to a new eating lifestyle that I've recently implemented.  Truthfully, this is the easiest weight lost strategy that I've ever executed. And because of its simplicity, I'm confident that it has become a permanent way of life.

This new way of eating that I speak of is intermittent fasting.  Simply put, I "skip" breakfast and consume my daily calories within a specific time window.  By waiting until later in the day, I allow my body to operate in a fasted state for a longer period of time.  While in a fasted state, your body is able to tap into fat stores versus running on blood sugar.  As we sleep, we enter into a fasted state, once we have break-fast, we supply our bodies with fuel. That's what our bodies use as energy. So our fat stores remain untouched.
swapping out breakfast for an amazing lunch

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My new daily ritual consists of watching Snapchat stories while bouncing on the mini-trampoline.  While getting my workout, I keep my eyes and ears peeled for any glimpses of must have product reveals.

I struck gold the other day when a popular blogger shared her entire nightly routine.  I watched closely as she walked us through her process,  revealing the pricey products that nourish her perfect skin.  As she approached the end of her layering regimen, she pulled out a product, patted into her face then proceeded to rub the rest into her hair.  "It's a universal moisturizer" she explained "it boosts moisture levels of your products and you can even rub it into your hair if it's feeling dry."

What kind of foolishness is this? I thought as she saturated her ends with her facial product.  But soon, disbelief turned into curiosity causing me to quickly capture a screenshot of the product reveal.

Monday, June 13, 2016

For years, I had this desire to launch a business and have full ownership of my time.  The only problem is that I worked extended hours and didn't have much time to invest into building a new reality.  Because time was of the essence, I took on a strategy of utilizing my drive time to the upmost.  I can say, without a doubt, that my commute was an integral part of my success. Let me break down exactly how I used my drive to work as part of a freedom strategy.
1. Learning
In the early years, I would visit the local library on the weekends to select a bunch of audio books to learn from that week.  When I first began this habit, my commute was about 45 mins one way.  In a five day week, I would listen to nearly 10 hours of personal growth content. Jim Rohn advised us to work harder on ourselves than we did at our job and that's exactly what I did.  I'd listen to instruction in the morning and apply the insights during the workday.   In my mind, I was listening to books but, in reality, I was receiving valuable training from various mentors.  Training that would eventually pay off big time.

2. Planning
Eventually, I had my own office and could listen to books while at work.  Then I decided to use the morning drive for a new purpose.  It was time to put my intentions into action but first, I needed to develop strategies .  At the time, I had no clear idea of what to do so I leveraged the drive to work as a time to brainstorm. I planned my day, week, month, quarter and the rest of the year.  Everything did always go as planned but the act of doing so was very powerful.   Once I got into the habit of planning, I could no longer get in a car and listen to the same old songs on the radio when I could be building my future.

Part of the time, I was planning, the rest of the time, I used the commute to activate the law of attraction.  I did lots of visualizing (with eyes open).  Sometimes I would even verbalize my future reality. Example, one time I shared my goodbye speech to my coworkers (even though I hadn't landed another job).  Although it wasn't real, that speech felt, in my car, so intense and powerful. Months later, it manifested in the form of my first work from position.  

Another random thing I would do on the drive to work was switching up the route every so often.  Driving is one of those things that we tend to blank out while doing. You can easily get in your car and follow the same route to work you've driven countless times before, without ever being present.  To me, this is a senseless waste of valuable time.  To keep from being complacent try following new routes and exploring unfamiliar parts of town.  

3. Assessing & Course Correcting
I have this ritual of recording voice memo sessions where I talk about all aspects of my life.  It's kinda like an audible diary.  Once a month, I would update the status of my goals and detail what was working well versus what wasn't.  The end goal was to set intentions for the upcoming 30 days and learn from the mistakes of the month before.  Since then, I've increased the frequency of this habit to a weekly recap versus monthly. That way I increase the probability of actually achieving these goals. I owe so much of my success to this amazing habit of updating my monthly progress and it all started from my long car rides.

A lot of us have big goals.  But at the same time, we have work, family, and other responsibilities.  Instead of remaining stagnant with our actions, let's get crafty about how we allocate our limited time to propel our goals forward. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

When it comes to workouts, I'm not really a big fan of intense ab exercises.  I fear developing a boxy waistline.  That's why I typically focus on fat burning and exercises that target the transverse abdominals.

If you're unfamiliar, the transverse are the core muscles that act as an inner corset.  The stronger they are, the more they pull the waistline inwards.  I first learned of these a couple of years ago and got serious.  My efforts paid off big time in the form of my slimmest waist ever!
strong core inspo.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

If you're familiar with this blog, you know that "going to bed greasy" is one of our known pillars of youthful skin practiced by many celebrity beauties.  We've discussed this at length here, here and here. But sometimes, it's good to be reminded of why we should never, ever, stop this habit.
How is this woman 43 years old?
There's some buzz going around about a recent Snap by Dwayne Wade in which he and Gabrielle are laying in bed.  Everyone is freaking out about the screenshots because it looks as if the couple captured themselves after having an intimate moment.  But if you actually watch the video, you realize that nothing weird happened.  People are up and arms because Gabby's skin is glowing and it appears that her face has that post coital glow.
Screenshot of Gabby's skin covered in oil (with D. Wayde cropped out for decency)
But, if you look closely, you'll realize that her skin is actually covered in oil as part of her go to bed greasy routine.  Here, we have actual evidence of an ageless, flawless celebrity with her face covered in nourishing oil.

But the real question is.....what type of oil is she wearing?

Summer means having to deal with my arch nemesis - frizz. In the early days of spring, I enjoyed sporting my signature hair style consisting of big flexi-rod curls.  Unfortunately, this high humidity won't let my hair be great.

It's time to tweak my regimen a bit to focus on combating frizz.  Every time we wash our hair, water seeps into the cuticles causing it to expand (and weaken). To make matters worse, you then reach for a high pH shampoo.  Unless the pH of your shampoo is under 5.5, the alkalinity will likely promote tangling, frizz, and breakage.  I've noticed increased tangling post wash when it's time to apply conditioner. This is probably due to the lifted scales on the hair shaft (alkaline lifts the scales, acidity seals them).

The solution to my dilemma might be to lower the pH of my shampoo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Since we've wrapped up the month of May, I figured I'd do a quick sharing of a couple new items I acquired over the month.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Years ago, my dad said something that I'll never forget.  In the context of the conversation, we were talking about achieving goals. The example he used to illustrate his point would forever make a lasting impression.  He used the analogy of how we managed our home as how we manage our lives.
In life, he said in his heavy accent, you have to make it how you want it....if you don't like how something is, change it! Just like in your house, if you don't like how a room is set up, you'll move things around until it feels right. This is you have to live your life."

At the time, I took his words as advice as motivation for setting big goals and making them happen.  But, now that I reflect back, I realize that I neglected an important aspect of his words of wisdom.

Monday, June 6, 2016

I'm somewhat of an avid reader. To clarify, I love learning and gathering new information, but at times, I can't be bothered to actually sit down and finish a book.  Then I ventured into the world of audiobooks, and never looked back.  I've consumed countless personal growth books. Some have provided lots of knowledge. Others, have actually transformed me. Today, I've compiled a short list of books that can change your life (just by their title alone).  Sure, you can read them, if you'd like, but if you just do what the book title says, your life will never be the same again.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sundays are perfect for skin care rituals.  In the past, I would end Sunday evenings with an at home facial.  But somehow, I fell away from that habit.

Today I decided to reinstitute the ritual thanks to some major inspiration from Jourdan Dunn. Earlier this week, I posted the full run down of her entire day time and nightly ritual.  But I thought I'd save the best for last.  Because not only does she have a solid morning and evening routine, Jourdan also developed a unique Sunday night ritual as well.
Since today is Sunday, it's highly likely that tonight, Jourdan will settle in after a long, wonderful day, and commence to execute her Sunday evening skin routine.

Let's see what's in her line up.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

 Today I happened upon an Instagram profile that gave me so much life!  If you like a minimalist aesthetic with a little bit of flare, then you need to be following @femmeblk.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The other day I pulled into a local discount store in search of one specific item.  I needed to replenish my stock pile of makeup wipes now that summer was approaching.  My intention was to keep them handy in my bag to freshen up. It gets so hot here that it makes sense to have a cooling, cleansing cloth to wipe my neck, chest, or underarms (if needed).

While standing in the aisle, I immediately reached for the Neutrogrena wipes. But situated right next to them were the store brand which were naturally less expensive.  My first instinct was to disregard the generic wipes but, for fun, I decided to pick them up to compare and contrast.  Much to my surprise, the store brand included various natural extracts along with aloe and plant oils.

I felt really proud of myself.  I seemed to have found a "better" version of  the makeup wipe (or so I thought)......

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Back in the day, I remember when flower accessories were all the rave.  I really dug this craze because, I mean, who wouldn't want to decorate their hair with tiny flowers?

But, like other fads, people moved on to the next thing. most trends, it somehow always seems to roll back around again. Today, we live in a world of festivals and flower crowns, it was only a matter of time before my beloved flower hair clips made an appearance.  
I'm loving this inspiration from Rihanna. Summer heat makes wearing your hair down almost unbearable. I predict that many of you will turn to the top knot as a daily summer style option.  If so, then let's get a little creative.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Are you ready for the beauty reveal of all beauty reveals?  I love getting glimpses of celeb's beauty items but rarely do we see a full disclosure of all the products used both morning and night.  

We've seen the stunning images of Jourdan Dunn in various runway shows and red carpet events.  Along with her perfect physique (which she works very hard at), Jourdan's flawless skin is undeniable. 
Which is why we're extremely fortunate that Jourdan revealed her entire skin care arsenal.  Maybe we can't all buy every item she uses, but we can certainly learn something new by peaking into her beauty cabinet.

Let's take a look.

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