Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer is in full swing.  It seems like every few minutes I'm complaining about how hot it is.  Trying to stay cool is nearly impossible at times.

Not only is the summer heat uncomfortable, but it also causes my skin to start acting up.  I've mentioned before about an observation I made a while ago.  I noticed that people, who typically had clear skin, would experience heightened congestion, oil production, and breakouts during the summer months.

It happens to all of us. I too enjoy better skin in the fall & winter.  I had my suspicions as to why it was happening. But now I've stumbled on info that explains exactly why our skin's oil production goes haywire in the summer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

By now, I'm sure you're all aware that I'm a lover of facials.  Not just your typical cleansing facials,  I'm talking about the ones that have the power to cause multiple benefits to the skin and underlying muscles.  Glowing skin is only part of the battle, we must also be concerned with preserving the integrity of the face as a whole.  Aging is more a matter of bone and muscle loss. If the skin doesn't have a strong structural base, it will sag and fold causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

With that said, I've identified a facial that could promote collagen production while stimulating the bones & muscles all at once.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ever since I first learned of the Korean layering skin routine, I've kept my eyes and ears open to new products and techniques coming out of the Korean beauty industry.  I love how creative they get when it comes to new beauty products and practices.

What gets me even more excited is how they focus on perfecting all parts of the body, not just the skin. Their healthy hair innovations intrigue me. I couldn't wait to stumble upon a Korean hair treatment so I could jump onto the bandwagon.

It seems like I may have found it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

How's life?  Hopefully, things are going pretty well.  You have friends and family that you love, you have a steady job, good health, and a roof over your head.  There's a lot to be grateful for.  But if you, or someone close to you, were to describe your life what would they say?

As long as we have breath in our lungs, we all have a life. But if you had to choose between having a life and living a lifestyle, which would you choose?  You're probably wondering if there's a difference. Let's take a look at the definition of lifestyle so we can create the distinction.

  1. the way in which a person lives.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Since it's Sunday, I'm reminded of my commitment to implementing the new ritual of experimenting and perfecting my makeup.  Today we're blessed have to a lesson from the makeup artist talented enough to have worked with Beyonce.  I've mentioned some tips from Sir John before. Like how he recommends that we use eye cream all over the face for an intense boost of moisture.   He also let us in on how Beyonce skin stays flawless with the help of monthly enzyme peels.  We've received lots of skin care secrets from him.  It only makes sense to learn some makeup application techniques from Sir John since that's what he's known for.

Friday, July 22, 2016

It's Friday. And that typically means payday for most.  I've been engaged in a lot of finance related conversations lately so I figured it was time to once again revisit the topic of financial freedom.

My parents are immigrants who come from very humble backgrounds.  Just having an education was somewhat of a luxury.  They came to the U.S. when I was 6 years old and worked very hard to make ends meet.  My beliefs around money were typical of any child raised by parents who lived in a poor country.  Going to school, getting a great job and working my way to the top was the blueprint to success.

Everything was going to according plan until I was introduced to this radical concept of financial freedom.  Financial freedom contradicted everything I thought I knew about money.  This concept of having more than enough assets to support your lifestyle without any additional income blew my mind.  I had no idea that people out there were living life abundantly without having to depend on a bi-weekly paycheck.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good morning!  I trust that you are well rested and ready to conquer this new day.  Perhaps you started today off with a delicious breakfast.  If I were to suggest to you a breakfast food that many claimed triggered healthy hair growth, would you be interested?

Yes, by consistently eating this high protein option, you might experience a boost in hair growth as countless others have.  I bet you're wondering what this magical hair breakfast food is.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

After learning about the possible health and wellness benefits of grounding, I continued to do some research to learn more about the process.  As a matter of fact, I visited a local park yesterday, found a secluded area and walked barefoot on the grass.  The experience was highly therapeutic and invigorating.

As I watched videos on the topic, I learned that grounding doesn't always have to take place on grass or sand. You can experience some of the benefits from walking barefoot on the concrete (not asphalt).  I just so happen to have a small concrete porch.  For the most part, I don't spend much time there.

But then I wondered, what if I were to give my little porch a makeover.  How amazing would it be to soak in the sensations of the outdoors while in a sitting space I love. I would absolutely love to experience the possible benefits of grounding while lounging in my styled porch.
Off I went to find some inspiration. My main focus was to compile a collection of well designed backyards.  What most attracted me about these outdoor designs is the wonderful use of plants.  Birds of paradise are ideal for the look I want to create.  They're beautiful, modern and minimalistic.
Next, I'll be on the lookout for ways to create ambient lighting using natural stone inspired candle holders.  Since I plan on doing most of the "grounding" work during the day, the candles will serve more as a sensory experience rather than to offer lighting.  There's just something about breathing in the scent of my favorite candle while working.  It's definitely a part of my feel good routine.
Lastly, I'll add one of my favorite elements of nature, river rocks.  They make wonderful accents and really update the look of your outdoor space.  Whenever I see these dark grey stones, a feeling of calm and zen floods over me.  And that's exactly the experience I want to create. When it's all said and done, I'd like the porch to be a little oasis that's reminiscent of far away places.  A place where I can set aside a couple of hours each day to slow down and get reconnected.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I'm an information nerd with a passion for finding quirky, non-traditional techniques for health, wellness, and beauty.  Today, I'm here to share my latest discovery.  But first, a little background.

As I study the topic of anti-aging, I look for ways to promote the characteristics of youth for as long as possible.  I'm learning about the pillars of youth, one of which is adequate blood circulation in the body.  This is a crucial element to optimal health because oxygen and nutrients flood our body when circulation is high.  Younger individuals have naturally high circulation to support their growth and development. Over time, that starts to decline. There are things we can do to promote adequate blood flow like exercising, etc.  But I've always got my eyes open for ways to  increase blood flow directly to the face.  It seems like I've stumbled upon a non-traditional method proven to give you a natural facial glow.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I read somewhere that the younger you are, the less connection your have with the idea of yourself in the distant future.  That's why most young people aren't thinking about saving for retirement.  It seems so far away and not based in the current reality.  We then neglect to create or follow through with any obligations to our future selves.

But the future does arrive.  Not in the form of you, at 70 years old, but as you, six months or a year from now.  That's when we say things like "wow, the year went by so fast."  What we really mean is "I feel like I didn't get anything accomplished in the past year."  We arrive at this place because, for most of the 365 days, we were honoring our present self.
Our present self, is the one who's in charge and makes crucial decisions in the moment.  It's our present self who directs the course of our day. But, there's only one problem, our present self is often too undisciplined to take on such a heavy responsibility. Present self relies too heavily on what she feels like doing at the time.    Yet day after day we fully trust in our present self to have our best interest in mind. She's the boss.  Whatever she feels like doing, she does and eventually, our future self suffers the consequences.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The other day I happen to be browsing an online forum where a member shared her experience.  This individual had a few grey hairs growing in her brows. Once the greys were identified, she immediately plucked (like most of us would).  Then she began to implement a daily ritual of massaging her brows with coconut oil.

What happened next amazed her.  The grey hairs never returned.  At first, she wondered why but after searching online she found others who claimed to have addressed their grey hair using the same strategy.

Friday, July 15, 2016

I have a friend who wears lashes on a daily basis.  It's a habit that she's employed for years. Homegirl has mastered the art of the lash application and can probably do it with their eyes closed.  Deep down, I wish I could sport a pair of long, feminine lashes every day, but haven't yet been able to successfully apply a pair of lashes.  Something about the combination of tacky glue near my eyes and placing the tiny strip precisely in its place freaks me out.

But it looks like my troubles may be over, because there's a new lash company in the market who's determined to make applying false lashes easy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Olivia Nunn's 1 year comparison to demonstrate her "aging backwards" thanks to eating a hyaluronic acid superfood daily.
I bet that if you were to take a look at all of your facial rejuvenation products, you have at least one that contains hyaluronic acid.  The beauty industry knows how critical this ingredient is at keeping our skin moist and youthful. Like silica, hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of those compounds that naturally occurs in our body.  But, as we get older, the amount of HA in our systems deplete, making it harder to retain moisture.

Adequate internal moisture is extremely valuable in our fight to remain youthful.  Moisture expands. That's what makes the difference between a raisin and a grape.  No one wants raisiny skin.  Instead, let's look for ways to keep our HA levels intact.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I recall, after learning about the Law of Attraction and manifestation, trying to implement the concepts right away.  The rule of thumb was to attract "small things" like great parking spots, a free cup of coffee, and such.

For a while, things worked amazingly well.  With enough focus, I could manifest little intentions with the greatest of ease.  But when it came to some of my bigger desires, I seemed to always struggle.  It felt like something was blocking me from experiencing the "harder intentions."

It took me a while to realize that I needed a strategy change.  I was tired of only manifesting small things. I wanted to play in the big leagues.  And once I figured out what I needed to do differently, everything transformed. What I realized was that I was classifying certain intentions as easy to achieve and others as challenging.  They were "big goals" and I didn't know how they would happen.  So they lingered on my list of intentions for years.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

It's Sunday. Time to wind down another successful weekend and prepare for the days ahead.  Sundays are the perfect time to execute a ritual to usher in the new week.  If you don't already have a routine in place, may I suggest the Sunday night facial or preparing your wardrobe for the week.  Tonight might also be a great opportunity to break out your planner and map out your goals.

If those weren't enough, I have another Sunday night idea that I think you'll love.  A popular blogger shared this and thought it was brilliant. On Sunday nights,  why not set aside a little "me time" to play with (or practice) your makeup.

I don't know about you, but I typically only wear makeup when I'm heading out.  Most often, time is scarce and I'll do the same old look that I've done countless times before.  There's no creativity.  Nine times out of ten, I'm only using a tiny percentage of my overall makeup collection. The rest remains underutilized. I basically do the bare minimum acceptable before hitting the road.

We're back with another dose of inspiration for your Instagram feed.
This week's muse is @Tosha_Eason.  She's a true creative who has an eye for stunning visuals.  Her experience in the fashion industry is evident in her beautifully curated images.
Tosha's style is wonderful mix of glam and a little bit of rock & roll.  She's a master at pairing various pieces to create very wearable looks.  That's to be expected because Tosha is also a wardrobe stylist.  Every outfit post she shares is like receiving styling advice straight to your feed.
Oh, I should also mention that Tosha has a strength in interior design.  Not only is she giving us flawless fashion, but she also shares glimpses of her home decor projects.
Tosha's living space.
Tosha in her beautifully designed office.

Fashion and home design inspiration in one? Yes please.   Not only can you stay connected with Tosha on Instagram, but you should also check out her style blog.

Friday, July 8, 2016

My abs are burning. That's because I just finished a morning ab routine while laying in my cozy bed.  I've been wanting to get back into the gym lately but haven't quite made it. In my case, actions that require a lot of motivation are easier if I take the path of least resistance.

This means doing the least amount of work possible.  So I asked myself what's the easiest method of exercise that I was willing to do?  Immediately, Sanford Bennett came to mind.  For those of you who may not recall, Sanford perfected his "glow up" routine after his health and appearance decline once he reached his 50s.    By the time he was 75, Sanford sported a younger, fuller face, thicker hair, and a toner physique than before.

What was his secret?  Exercise. But not the exercise we're familiar with today.  Sanford developed his own methods which included rigorous facial and scalp exercises to address his wrinkles and thinning hair.  We've talked about this in the past.  What I didn't mention was that Sanford developed a workout routine that he did every morning while laying in bed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer's here. Are you sporting your softest, most even toned skin ever?  If not, then listen closely.  You all know I'm a huge advocate for regular exfoliation.  The warmer it gets the more we have to aggressively remove the excess dirt and sweat that accumulates.

Baby soft, glowing skin will not happen unless exfoliation is a part of your regular routine. A little while ago, I expressed my desire to recreate the ultimate body exfoliation experience at home. After learning of the infamous Italy towel used to slough off layers of dead skin at Korean bathhouses , I immediately ordered.

When the towel finally arrived, I couldn't wait to try it.  But, I was a bit disappointed after my first experience.  Everyone boasted about seeing visible evidence of exfoliated skin after one use. I, on the other hand, was very underwhelmed. Little did I know that I wasn't applying the right technique to create optimal results.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

As I'm typing this article, I'm engaging in a somewhat unfamiliar experience.  Wearing a sheet mask on a week day.  It's all a part of my new healthy skin experiment.  Days ago, I treated myself to a 90 minute massage as a part of my feel good routine.  After the session was over, the masseuse began to ask a series of skin related questions.

One observation she shared was that my skin appeared dehydrated.  Truthfully, I wasn't shocked by the news.  I have to admit that I haven't been as diligent as I should be with my daily skin routine.  Plus, I started applying retin A at night and that stuff always dries out my skin.  She recommended some corrective actions but I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Flexi rod sets are my absolute favorite. Their relatively easy and you can get pretty creative with the results.  Most of us are pros at creating drool worthy curls with our bendable rollers.  When it came to flexi rods, I thought I knew all there is to know.  That's until I came across a revolutionary new method that completely changed my flexi rod technique for ever.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I was browsing an online forum, and a woman mentioned that, for years, she did one simple exercise to keep her backside toned and firm.  From the way she described the move, I imagined it to be a series of kickbacks using a chair or stool for support.

From that day forth, I decided that this too will be my signature move.  Every few days, I'd do a few  glute intense moves, alternating between lifting the leg straight back and side lifts (like a dog would when peeing on a hydrant). That simple habit has served me well over the years.

But Tracee Ellis Ross brought us an even better version of the standing glute workout that you absolutely have to try.
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