Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I was a lip balm kinda gal for such a long time.  Deep down I had this unhealthy fear of wearing lipstick.  Since my lips were already pretty full, the last thing I wanted to do was accentuate them.  Another challenge was finding colors that flatter my two-toned lips.

I've finally decided to stop avoiding lipsticks and start embracing them.  I love colors that enhance the natural feminity and beauty of the lip.  It should compliment your overall look, not take away from it.  Which is why I'm really excited to have stumbled upon Charlotte Tilbury's lip color collection.

Monday, August 29, 2016

I'd like to share a story that marks the turning point in the direction of my life. One day, several years ago, I took a morning walk before work at a popular park downtown.  While there I saw a young lady who embodied the vision of I had for myself.  She was physically fit. Her skin was even toned and glowing. Her hair was ultra healthy and she looked really put together.  The moment I saw her, I started thinking about how much I was unlike her.  My mind instantly began to focus on how different my current life was compared to the vision I had for myself.
The negative thoughts grew until I could physically feel it in my body.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Happy Sunday.  Time to feature another stylish Instagram muse.  These are the women who grace our feeds with endless glimpses of inspiration.  The young lady we're featuring today is Alexandria Sho-Silva.
I absolutely love this girl's style.  Particularly, I appreciate how she blends a bit of old Hollywood glam with a modern aesthetic. Her unique take on traditionally feminine looks is quite refreshing.  One thing that Alex does really well is to dress right for her body type.  She figured out what looks work for her and she wears them well.

Notice how most of the dresses she wears have a similar silhouette 
Alex's style is also quite minimalistic.  Instead of centering her outfit around accessories, she chooses to accentuate her look with a bold red lip, voluminous curls, and a pair of statement sunnies. Although she maintains a signature style, Alex also likes to switch it up, from time to time, which is what makes her feed so interesting.
Alex rocking a glorious black and white kimono
I should also mention that our girl is a budding entrepreneur who launched her line of uniquely designed  framed sunglasses.
Be sure to follow Alex on Instagram and check out her website.

After finding a local esthetician school that offered skin care services at a fraction of the price, I immediately scheduled a series of microcurrent facials. I'm one of those annoying clients that like to talk and ask questions throughout the entire ordeal.

Durning my second visit, I asked the nice young lady, with beautiful skin, what her favorite treatment was.  Her answer was a bit surprising.  Instead of microdermabrasion or deep exfoliating peels, she started telling me about a little machine that she claims "made a real difference in her skin."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I just got wind that MAC is launching another celebrity inspired makeup line and I couldn't be more excited.  Typically, I admire these mini collections from afar.  Probably because the colors aren't always as wearable as I'd like.  But they're finally releasing a line that I'm truly happy about.
This time, their muse of choice is Taraji P Henson.  But instead of using her infamous character Cookie Lyons as inspiration, they opted for hues that Taraji herself would wear.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

After learning of the power of acids to eliminate dead skin cells and diminish discoloration I immediately sought to implement it into my daily skin routine.  So far, I've picked up a glycolic acid based cleanser and a serum.

Although the products I chose are pretty mild in strength, I still enjoyed some benefits.  Recently, a facialist checked my skin up close under ultra bright lights and commented on how well the scars were fading.  That made me feel good but, in reality, it's still taking way too long for them to finally go away.

Today I stumbled on a study that detailed the effectiveness of acids on treating discoloration. Turns out that I could have experienced faster results if I had gone with a different type of acid.

Monday, August 22, 2016

One of the first things I sought out to do, after leaving my job, was to connect with entrepreneurs and those who were on their path to freedom.  One thing we all seem to have in common is this constant struggle between wanting to experience success and having to face our fears just outside our comfort zone.

All of us have the same thing in common. Our fears seem so big and so real. But are they or are we making them out to be something they are not?  Are you being petty regarding the things you fear?
[When someone takes a small subject and blows it out of proportion. ]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

You may recall our previous feature on the Plant Based Chef and Nutrition Curator, Sophia Roe.  She's committed to living a healthy lifestyle.  As we know, enjoying a largely plant based diet and drinking loads of pure water will have a positive effect on our appearance. Sophia has radiant skin. But, that's kinda expected, right?  But even with the help of eating really clean, she still has a very detailed routine that takes her skin to the next level.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rihanna is one of those people that can pretty much wear anything and get away with it.  But I think she shines the brightest when she keeps it simple.  One of my favorite looks of hers is this over-sized shirt paired with the distressed skinny jean.
What makes this outfit work is the perfect balance of both masculine and feminine.  The loose fitting button down resembles a man's dress shirt.  Rihanna  then softened the look by opting for a pair of ultra sexy slim heels.

And what's more feminine than the red lip?   I'm sure she's rocking her signature RiRi Woo which is a slight variation from the original cult classic.  Notice the loose curls which also add a feminine element to her otherwise masculine look.  Another thing to point out is how Rihanna sports minimal accessories.  In another snapshot of the same look she's carrying an oversized white clutch bag.  Instead of layering on jewelry, she opted for a few statement rings.
What great about her look is that we can easily recreate it.  All it takes is the perfect boyfriend shirt.  Rihanna is rocking the Will Striped Shirt by Isabel Etoile. After doing a little checking online, I found a wallet friendly alternative from H&M in a men's or women's version.  As fall approaches, I'm on the lookout for outfit ideas that transition easily into the new season.  This look is just perfect for that.  The open toe sandals are reminiscent of summer while the long sleeve top provides a little warmth during the cool autumn nights.

I'd like to thank those of you who've reached out with positive feedback about my financial related posts.  Money can be a touchy subject at times so I tend to want to tiptoe around the topic even though I'm very passionate about it.

Today, I want to summarize how I think money works.  Keep in mind, that this is based on my current mindset. Things may change. And if they do, I'll share any new insights with you.  Money is a funny thing. It tends to reveal our true nature and, most importantly, our mindset.  The way you view and relate to money will essentially determine how much of it you'll earn and keep.

Which is why I want to cover the five money mindsets that will bring abundance in your life.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm a huge fan of flexi rods. They're easy, convenient, and super versatile.  Pretty much any type of curl is duplicatable simply by switching up the technique used to set the hair.  And let's not forget how these bendable curlers are a healthier heat-free option.

There's nothing bad I can say about them.  Yet, deep down inside, I still have lots of love for the almighty wand curl.  I took the plunge and acquired a curling wand set a couple of years ago after watching video tutorial.

My first experience was darn near perfect.  As a leftie, I had to first get comfortable with holding the wand in a way that creates my desired outcome. Once I got that part down, it was smooth sailing from then on.

The curls came out beautifully, but it was what happened next that blew me away.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The other day, I contemplated treating myself to a set of lash extensions.  It's  been quite a while since the last time I had extensions and I thought I'd try something different. Just as I was about to make schedule the appt and invest $150.00 into the experience, I came across a video of a woman with amazing lashes boasting about the results from diligently using lash serum.

I have met several women in real life who have incredible lashes thanks to the daily application of GrandeLash.  Some of these girls had barely any lashes when I first met them. This further solidifies that these lash serums do indeed work.

This week I had a revelation regarding how lash serums work and how we can apply the secrets of lash growth serums towards the length and retention goals we have for our hair.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Since we're in the back half of the year, I find myself constantly reflecting on what areas I need to focus on for the remainder of 2016.  Knowing that there are approximately 4.5 months left in the year really puts a fire in me to move into action.  I want to take focused action that'll set me up for an amazing 2017.

The challenge is, I feel like I've been following patterns that create my current results.  My actions have been, more or less the same.  I need to take NEW ACTIONS to experience NEW RESULTS.  But I'm aware, from past experience, that desire isn't enough.  I need the help of my greatest ally to achieve these goals.  This ally will provide access to powerful emotions and incredible levels of belief.  Both will cause me to move into action and create new results with practically zero resistance.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Recently, I learned about the Micro Current treatment and immediately became infatuated.  I love the premise of using electric currents to stimulate the muscles as it tones and firms.  I needed to experience it for myself. In the back of my mind, the end goal was to eventually purchase and at home Micro Current machine to use several times a week.  But first, I needed to try the professional service to see if it was worth the investment.

The Law of Attraction must've kicked in because days after publishing that post, I ran into a woman at a conference who would help me achieve my intention.  During our short conversation, I learned that she ran a skin treatment center.  The next words that came out of my mouth were "do you guys offer microcurrent?" 

"Yes, as a matter of fact, we do......."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I'm a huge fan of beauty editor Ashley Weatherford.  She and I are kindred spirits when it comes to the love of beauty and skin perfection.  I've featured her insights previously here and here.  So you can imagine my surprise when I was tagged last night by @jennay.jenean who informed me that Ashley would be hosting a beauty Q&A  session on Instagram.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This past week I visited a skin care center for a consultation.  I'm currently exploring a series of treatments that will smooth out the texture of my skin.  I think I have found a highly effective procedure that could transform my skin. I'm excited to try it out later this year and tell you all about it.

Whenever I get the opportunity to talk with a skin care expert, I always try to pick their brain for any tips that I can share with y'all.  During my recent conversation, I picked up a little golden nugget that I've quickly incorporated into my routine.  I'm pretty certain it'll become a lifelong habit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

In a previous article, I briefly mentioned the one time when the CEO of my last organization challenged my thinking.  I was visiting the corporate office to attend a series of meetings with a group of peers.  We were enjoying a catered lunch in a common area when the CEO walks in and decides to grab a bite.

He sits down at a table by himself.  I could sense that everyone was avoiding having to sit with him so I decided to be bold and take on the challenge.  A friend of mine joined me. After breaking the ice, the three of us ate in silence for a few moments.  I then brought up the topic of a 10 day meditation retreat that one of my coworkers would be attending.  The 10-day meditation retreat is a total immersion process. Participants aren't allowed to talk to each other or engage in any other activity besides meditation for the duration of the day.  It's a life-transforming experience to say the least.  The CEO of the company attended the retreat and urged his high level employees to do the same.

Weeks before my trip to corporate a business partner of mine told me that she was attending the retreat but wasn't looking forward to it because she had no meditation experience.  In her mind, meditating non-stop for nearly two weeks was darn near torture. My advice to her was to attend some local meditation sessions so her mind could become accustomed to the process before the retreat.  Since I had some experience with meditation, I knew it took a little while for the mind to get used to operating with stillness.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The week goes by so fast. Each morning we leap out of bed and quickly get started about our day.  Before we know it, the sun has set and it's time to rest up for the day ahead.  This happens a few times and next thing we know, its the weekend.

Weekends are a perfect time to rest up, rejuvenate and get ready for the new week.  Which is why I've decided to engage in a new habit that I like to call the weekend cleanse.  Basically, I'll consider the weekend as a time to incorporates small activities that promote detoxifying and overall wellness.
Detoxing can take on many forms from exfoliation to internal cleansing.  And hopefully, I'll touch on all aspects throughout the weekend. Here's a little bit of what I have in mind.

1. {Lots of Water} - Some weeks, I just know that I didn't drink enough water.  I'm so busy working that I sometimes forget to refill my bottle.  On the weekends, I can try my hardest to make up for lost time.  And since I'll be home for the most part, I can endure the extra trips to the restroom without feeling like I'm causing too many interruptions to my day. Let's be real, a proper detox can not take place unless we're nourishing our bodies with lots of water. So make sure that you do not skip this step.
2. {Nutrition} - Sometimes weekends are cheat days. Meaning, we eat a little less healthy than we normally would.  That's fine, we can enjoy a decadent meal on a Saturday night, but for the most part, I'd like to incorporate highly nutritious components as well.  Last week I located a local juice bar nearby.  Since they bottle raw juices on site, I can save myself the time and hassle from having to do it myself.   Besides enjoying fresh veggie juice, I plan on sipping on chlorophyll and lemon water all weekend long.  Chlorophyll is an amazing internal cleanser.  When consumed regularly, it can help improve digestion, promote healthy skin, and best of all chlorophyll can actually rid the body of odors. And we all know that lemon water can help bring the body to an alkaline state which has anti-inflammatory benefits.  Work related stress raises cortisol which promotes inflammation.  So it's a must that we utilize the weekend to wind down and reverse some of the damaging effects of stress.

3. {Sweating} - I don't like to sweat. But I know it's truly necessary.  And when I do it regularly, there are so many benefits that await.  Sweating is one of the best cleansing activities around.  We just don't engage in it enough.  So I'm making it a mission to fit in at least one good sweat during the weekend.  My favorite way to generate a "cleansing sweat" is via the infrared sauna.  Within minutes of stepping into the sauna, I'm literally covered in sweat.  My second best cleansing sweat technique is from bouncing on the trampoline.  Rebounding, is a natural detoxifier because it activates your lymphatic system.  Tapping into your lymphatic system is super important because (1.) It helps your body remove toxins from the body and (2.) Your lymph system needs your help to get things moving.  If I combine a quick rebounding session with 20 minutes in the sauna, I'll be detoxing in a major way.

4. {Exfoliation} - The other form of detox high on the priority list is exfoliation. The weekend is thee perfect time to pay a little extra attention to our skin.  I try to incorporate some type of mild exfoliation on a daily basis but I can make up some good ground on the weekend. Exfoliating post sweat yields better results than a typical scrub session in the shower. So I'll try to combine sweating + exfoliation on the weekends since I have more time to carry out the process.

I mustn't forget the face. The last time I did a laxative facial steam, I really liked the results.  Henceforth, my skin will get to enjoy this beneficial skin treatment each and every weekend.

And that's just a few of the many options to include in my weekly detox routine. There's also the mental detox component that needs to be included as part of my feel good routine.  Promoting mental focus and clarity on your down time is what will make you sharp come Monday morning.  If executed properly, this weekend detox will serve as the perfect reset button to prepare us for the week ahead.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Wash days are the biggest hassle of the week, I have to dedicate at least half a day to allow enough time for all the activities that take place.  First I'll pre-poo, then wash and deep condition (often under a steamer) then roller set and, lastly, I spend over an hour under an uncomfortable dryer.  Of all the steps, drying is the one that I hate the most.

Hopefully soon, all of my prayers will be answered. Thanks to a loving husband by the name of Martin McCurtis, who made it his mission to re-engineer the hair dryer.  After observing his wife spending hours under the dryer, he thought to himself, "there has to be a better way."  Soon he set about the work of inventing a hooded dryer that can cut drying time by 30%-55%.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I've written countless times about the importance of maintaining healthy collagen levels as the years go by.  The moment you hit 25, your collagen production begins to decline.  Your body still continues to produce collagen, but the rate at which it's produced, and the type of collagen is not the same as when you were younger.

There are a few things you can do to help curb the loss of collagen with supplementation or investing in certain facial procedures. There's tons of info out there about tips and tricks to help maintain collagen but, rarely do you hear them mention the other important healthy skin protein, elastin.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chances are that wearing a little mascara is a part of your daily routine.  Putting on mascara is one of those things that we sometimes do without thinking.  Perhaps you work on your lashes while thinking about the activities of the day ahead.

The other day, I realized that I don't really have a specific mascara application technique. At first, I questioned whether having a certain technique even mattered.  Then I wondered if there was an ideal technique to create an enhanced winged eye.

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