Monday, December 27, 2021

 The deeper we go into the winter season, the more my skin craves moisture.  So, of course, I make the necessary adjustments by breaking out the thicker textured moisturizers.  My absolute favorite is Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream.  I'm not the only one who loves it, celebrities swear by it too!  

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream never lets me down, but recently, I've been craving a little more hydration.  Instead of hopping over to Sephora's website in desperate search of yet another product, I decided to get a little crafty and figure out a way to transform my Kiehl's cream into the ultimate moisturizer.

All it took was a quick-thinking to formulate an ultra-hydrated version.

How did I do it?

Simple.

I added a couple drops of my favorite hyaluronic acid serum to the facial cream, infusing it with maximum hydration.  

I didn't add serum directly to my moisturizer like you see in the image above.  Instead,  I blended a couple of drops with the portion I scooped for immediate use.  The results were extraordinary.  A little serum took my favorite moisturizer to the next level!  Best of all, it didn't cost a single penny.  

Instead of continuing your endless search for the perfect moisturizer, try this instead. 



Monday, December 20, 2021

 

A few years ago, someone in my family suffered a brain injury.  It wasn't until that family member was released from the hospital that I realized how much that brain injury affected daily their life.  I noticed a drastic change in their memory, cognition, focus, and overall well-being.  I couldn't just sit back and watch them deteriorate mentally, so I did some research to find out if anything was available to slow down or reverse the damage.

After a little bit of research, I compiled a list of various supplements to support brain health.  After many months of being consistent use, I noticed a clear improvement in my family member's memory and mental clarity.  The change was undeniable.

Not long afterward, I realized that, although I hadn't suffered a brain injury, my mind wasn't operating at an optimal state. Specifically, I had the hardest time focusing on my work and could barely get anything done.  I knew that a routine of daily meditation could solve all of my problems but I couldn't even focus enough to do it.  

So I decided to take the path of least resistance by asking myself "what's the easiest thing I could do right now to improve my brain health?"  

...the answer was....nootropics.

Nootropics are supplements geared at improving brain health and cognitive performance.  If you've seen the movie, Limitless, you've seen nootropics at work.  Limitless was fictional but there are supplements on the market that improve our focus and brain function.  After seeing the effects of nootropics on my family member, I had to try them for myself.

I bought a few bottles of various brain supplements and combined them in one jar to create my very first nootropics stack.  Last week, I started this experiment where I took a few of the supplements at once to combine their power for maximum effect.  I'm really impressed with the results. For instance, I've noticed a clear difference in my mental clarity within hours of supplementation.  I shared a quick glimpse on IG and got a few messages from people wanting to know more so here's a brief rundown of some of the supplements I'm taking at the moment:

-Pterostilbene - A natural molecule found in fruits and veggies. Blueberries are very high in this compound.  Many people compare this compound to resveratrol which has awesome health benefits. This compound is said to be able to help DNA to repair itself and improve brain function. In a few animal studies, pterostilbene was demonstrated to have a positive impact on working memory while reducing the effects of aging. 

-Vitamin B Complex- A couple years ago, I had bloodwork done to determine my nutritional deficiencies.  One area where I was lacking was in my b vitamins.  Shortly thereafter I got serious and invested in B12 & B6 injections.  One immediate side effect was that I often felt motivated and energized for a few days afterward.  So then I looked into the cognitive benefits and learned about the connection between b vitamins and the brain.  Studies have shown that populations that don't consume enough b vitamins in their diet will often suffer from lower brain function.  In fact, low levels of B 12 is associated with poor memory and decreased brain volume. 

-Bacopa Brahmi - An Ayurvedic herb with cognitive benefits.  Helps to improve age-related cognitive decline.  Studies were done using this herb resulted in the study group experiencing higher memory scores and lower instances of stress and anxiety.

-Ashwagandha- When your mind is all over the place, and you have a lot to get done, your anxiety levels might rise.  That's where ashwagandha comes in.  It's an herb that's known for its ability to reduce cortisol, reduce anxiety and increase mood.  This herb isn't just for our mood, it's also been shown to help improve attention span.  

-Ginko Biloba - Ginko was one of the main additions to my family member's regimen because it's been shown to promote blood flow to the brain.  Blood flow is especially important to someone with a brain injury.  Where blood flows, nutrients go.  Blood flow and improved circulation are also healing to the affected area.   

-N-Acetyl-Carnitine- An amino acid that enhances the production of a neurotransmitter that supports brain function. This supplement really makes a difference in the elderly.  Amazon reviewers often take this in the afternoon to avoid that late afternoon energy slump.

-Fish Oil - Prior to adding the standing nootropics to my regimen, I noticed increased mental clarity whenever I added high-quality fish oil to my routine.  When I took fermented cod liver oil, I had the most vivid dreams ever.  My brain was crystal clear. 

The world of nootropics runs deep so the list above is far from complete.  I'm still learning and researching other supplements to add to my stack.  Since taking brain supplements I feel more like I'm the observer of my actions which allows me to make conscious, clear decisions on my actions versus feeling like I'm stuck in an endlessly repeating loop.

We routinely take supplements for healthy hair, for gut health, or to strengthen our immune system, so why not feed our brain with the nutrients it needs to operate at its peak?


Saturday, December 18, 2021


I own a lot of eye shadows.  A lot.   No matter how many palettes I purchase, I always seem to end up buying more.  Sure, you can blame this on my uncontrolled spending habits, but I think there's a deeper issue at play.  

I've come to realize that when I buy the same type of product over and over again, it's because I'm looking for the perfect version of said product.  In the case of eyeshadow, I'm searching for the holy grail formula with the maximum color payoff.  As someone who has highly pigmented lids that tend to get oily, wearing eyeshadow feels like a losing battle. 

But today, I feel a renewed sense of hope because I may have been introduced to the product that will end my eye shadow buying habit for good.  

Ladies, may I introduce you to Milk's Hydro Grip Eyeshadow Primer

Milk Makeup knows what they're doing when it comes to primers.  Twitter practically bullied me into getting their Hydro Grip primer and I have absolutely zero regrets.  Little did I know that they also developed an eye primer that holds magical powers.  

Check out this video to see exactly what I'm talking about.  


@greeneggsandglam

OKAY NEW FAVE EYE PRIMER @milkmakeup ##makeup ##sephora ##eyeshadow ##GiveWithAllYourHeart ##NBCAnnieLive ##beauty ##viral

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE - Queens Road, Fabian Graetz
I mean..... How can you watch that video and not be totally excited about the possibilities?  I think of all my shadows collecting dust in a drawer because the pigment just wasn't giving what it was supposed to. This eye primer seems to have the ability to help mediocre shadows to reach their fullest potential.  I can't wait to try the Monochromatic Lid using this amazing eye shadow primer.   
 
@roseandben

I really didn’t expect this 😱💫 @milkmakeup ##viralmakeup ##makeupreview

♬ original sound - Rose Siard

Purchasing this single product could end up saving me countless dollars on my eye shadow budget.  Milks Eye primer is a must-have.

Friday, December 17, 2021

 


When I first got into the world of sheet masking, I was amazed at how much moisture one could experience from a serum-laden mask.  But then I thought to myself, "if only there was a way to make this sheet mask experience even better!"  

Not long thereafter, I learned of the existence of the silicone sheet mask covers.

They were basically a dream come true.  These reusable silicone masks were designed to fit (somewhat awkwardly) over your favorite sheet masks allowing for deeper penetration of the yummy serums and essences.  They also offered a ton of convenience by preventing excess drippage allowing you to wear a sheet mask while doing a bunch of household chores. 

I thought my silicone mask cover was pretty awesome and couldn't get any better......

...until I learned that one could use silicone cover without a sheet mask at all. 

The discovery came as I was scrolling through TikTok.  Jessica Alba's account suddenly appeared on my feed.  As some of us may know, she launched her beauty empire Honest Beauty a while ago.  In an effort to promote sustainable beauty, the brand added silicone masks to its lineup.   But, instead of labeling it as a sheet mask cover, they invite us to utilize them without the addition of a sheet mask.  
@jessicaalba

Our @Baby2Baby annual Gala is back! Celebrating 10 years! Committed 2 supporting families living in poverty. Head to ##Baby2Baby 2 c how u can help🤗

♬ took some time off to rest and now its game time - emm.
After watching that TikTok, my very first thought was "where's her sheet mask...how is her skin so glowy?"  That's when I realized that Jessica was using the silicone mask as a tool to trap the moisture and hydration from her skin routine.  

Sheer genius.

This means that we don't always need a sheet mask laying around to infuse the skin with maximum hydration.  The silicone mask cover will trap moisture preventing it from evaporating quickly after application.  Notice how Jessica used her mask as part of her pre-night-out ritual.  I'm a huge advocate of using a sheet mask before going out but I can also admit that sometimes sheet masks can over saturate causing the skin to appear too glossy/dewy (if such a thing exists).   By skipping the sheet mask, she can still enjoy the benefits of enhanced moisture without potentially going overboard. 

If your skin could use a bit of a hydration boost. Give these "mask covers" a try.

Thursday, December 9, 2021


 How's your water intake been lately?  Mine has been kinda sporadic.  In winter we don't get as thirsty so we have to make more of an effort to stay hydrated.  It's easy to get busy and go all day without drinking much water at all.  So I've decided to create a water drinking strategy/schedule specifically to harness as many benefits as possible.  Drinking water is good for you but drinking more water at the right time is next level. 

DRINK WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING

If you're one of those people who let the day slip by without drinking much, my advice is to start your day by drinking a full liter of water.  This little habit will benefit you in several ways.  

1. Drinking water first thing in the morning is the perfect way to increase your daily water intake.  I like to drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day.  It's really hard to fit in 3 liters if you don't start drinking early.  When I start my morning with a full liter, I'm 1/3 of the way to my goal.  Even if I don't drink much water throughout the rest of the day, I've still had much more than if I skipped my morning bottle.

2. If you drink a full glass or bottle of water first thing in the morning, you kick start your digestion.  This time of year, our circulation slows down and one of the easiest ways to increase blood flow and circulation without actually moving your body is by drinking a full glass of water.  If you have sluggish digestion, I invite you to start each morning by flooding your body with hydration.

DRINK WATER BEFORE YOUR MEALS

Once your first bottle of water is gone, make a mental note to drink throughout the day in between meals.     Basically, you start losing the water you consume pretty quickly.  If you aren't taking extra trips to the bathroom, you're losing fluid simply from the act of breathing.  I read that we lose about a cup of water a day through our breath. 

Imagine that.  

To make matters worse, our body will try desperately to supplement its water intake by cranking up your food cravings. So if you're trying to avoid mindless snacking throughout the day, keep your water bottle nearby.  Drinking water before meals has been proven to help us lose additional weight beyond just dieting alone.  This could be because drinking water is such a no-effort way to boost your metabolism.  

WATER BEFORE BED

A couple of years ago, I made the commitment to drink 500ml of water as part of my night routine.  You can read up on all the benefits I experience here.   I've stocked up on my bottles of Fiji and I'm ready to bring this routine back for winter.  This year, I'm gonna go a step further and build out an entire nightly routine around my water drinking ritual. So maybe I'll wear a sheet mask as I sip my bottle  Perhaps I'll also do a quick scalp massage before heading to bed.

PRO TIP// 
Keep Bottles of Water Handy at ALL TIMES.

So now we have no more excuses for forgetting to drink water all day.  Start off with a full bottle first thing in the morning, drink in between meals, and close out the day by hydrating before bed.

Simple. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

 Every year, around this time, I tend to get ultra-motivated about the goals I've set for the year ahead.  Over the past several weeks, I've reached a couple of positive milestones linked to some bigger goals.    Sadly, I often don't reach many of them.  But, thankfully, I was reminded of a life lesson that could create the breakthrough I need to achieve goals consistently.

A few months ago, my elderly dachshund started having trouble walking.  Every time he tried to take a step, he seemed to fall over.   I rushed him to the emergency vet who informed me that my dog had suffered a back injury that would require minimum $10,000 surgery. Another vet confirmed the problem and even suggested that I didn't do surgery because it wouldn't be worth it due to his age (she also subtly implied that I may have to put my dog down because he would never improve).  Discouraged, I went searching the internet for ideas on how to treat disc disease as his condition began to worsen.  Before long, I compiled a collection of supplements aimed to help heal his back.  

Every single day I followed a regimen, that I developed for him, in hopes that I'd see my dog walk again.  In the span of around 2.5 months, he went from not being able to move or stand on his own, to fully walking again. 

 No $10,000 surgery required. 

What do I owe for this unexpected result? 

CONSISTENCY + DURATION.


Once I established a set daily routine to help his recovery, I never wavered from it.  I followed the same exact process day in and day out even on days where he seemed to get worse.  What kept me going was reading success stories from others who followed a similar process.  I knew that if I just kept executing the same steps, things could possibly turn around for my pup. 

 Looking back at those few months, I realized that I wasn't consistent with other routines as much as I was with his journey to recovery....that realization really opened my eyes to why I only achieved my goals sporadically.  

Consistency is a major key but what really made things happen was repeating the same behavior for several months.  

One of my fundamental flaws is taking my foot off the gas whenever I start seeing results.  If I lose a few pounds after eating healthier for a little while, I treat myself to a bunch of junk food wiping away what little results I had.  Creating sustainable results has always been a weakness of mine.  Now, I've come to realize the error of my ways.

Have you already written down your goals for next year? Great!  Now you gotta identify the routine that will guarantee your success.  Like me, you can mirror the routines of others who've accomplished what you desire.  Then you have it identify a minimum length of time that you'll allow before ever giving up.  With every goal established, you should consider dedicating 3-6 months at a minimum.  I once went to a seminar where the speaker talked about dedicating a full year of consistent action in order to reach the big goal she set for herself. In order to stay dedicated for the entire year, you simply set up various milestones along the way so you know that you're heading in the right direction.  

So now that my eyes are opened to the power of long-term consistency, I'm extremely excited for the year ahead. No more will I be discouraged after working on my goals for a few weeks at a time.  From now on, I'm in it for the long game.  This will also lower any potential anxiety or discouragement if I don't experience results right away.  

Consistent daily, long-term, action has the power to change everything. 

Monday, December 6, 2021


 Winter is the time of year when I start paying any mind to my scalp.  I have no choice but to pay attention because, every winter, I'm always dealing with excessive shedding and dryness.  Dry scalp is an issue but today I want to deal with a more pressing concern.  

The other morning I was doing a face massage aimed at toning and lifting my cheeks.  That's when I speculated that some of the facial sagging that I was experiencing probably originated at my scalp.  I thought to myself "I wonder if the scalp experiences aging and how it compares to the skin on the rest of my body" (particularly the face). 

Moments later Google informed me that our scalp does indeed age and it does so at a rate much more rapidly than our face.  So while I'm trying to tone and lift my face, the scalp could be losing laxity and strength. 

  Rapid scalp aging could result in unwanted side effects such as sparse, thinning hair and (theoretically) sagging skin on the face.  So now I have to develop an anti-aging strategy for my scalp.  

Fundamentally, one of the potential causes of scalp aging is the reduction of blood flow to that area.  As we age the size of our hair follicles starts to shrink.  With that comes reduced blood flow and fewer nutrients being delivered to the hair strand.  This is the main culprit of age-related hair thinning.  

I've decided to make increased blood flow to the scalp a priority.  In the early days of my hair journey, I incorporated scalp massages and even scalp brushing into my routine.  But once I reached my hair goals, I gave up on scalp massages because I felt that there was no real need.  Now that I'm older, I've come to the realization that scalp massages are even more necessary than ever before.  So now I will dedicate a few minutes a day to promote scalp stimulation using a massage technique that involves moving the scalp vigorously for maximum blood flow.   

Scalp massages are great but I might take things one step further by bringing inversions back into my routine.  Inversion is simply the process of promoting increased blood flow directly to the head and scalp by hanging upside down.  I used to hang my head off the couch or bed for a few moments at a time.  Youtube is filled with videos from folks who've skyrocketed their hair growth via inversion paired with other growth-promoting hacks like drinking bamboo tea

As you can tell, increasing blood flow will be a priority.  Next on the list is lymphatic drainage.  Scientists are beginning to understand the link between a healthy lymphatic system and hair growth.  Fundamentally, proper lymphatic drainage is key to anti-aging.  If you're a believer in gua sha facial massage then perhaps you experiment with gua sha scalp massage. Proper lymphatic drainage will keep the blood vessels healthy which will enhance the results of my circulation increasing activities (scalp massage).

Knowing what we know about how a reduction in blood flow impacts the scalp and hair, it's no wonder that one of the first signs of aging we experience are the changes in our hair.  We wear sunscreen every day to prevent facial aging but what are we doing to slow down aging where it's happening the fastest?

Increasing the blood flow and circulation to the scalp is step 1 in the overall strategy. We'll talk more about the next steps in future articles.  

  

Thursday, December 2, 2021

By now, I'm sure you've heard about using ice to promote healthier skin.  I first discovered the wonders of cold therapy after experimenting with cold showers.   Initially, I got into the routine of taking cold showers as part of my personal development journey.  But it wasn't long before I realized that my skin loved cold showers!  Not only was my skin soft and hydrated, I also realized that cold water directly on my face made me look more vibrant.

I only get access to the coldest water during winter when pipes are affected by the outside temperature.  Once the weather warms up, my water is cool at best.  That's when I turned my attention to the use of tools developed to bring cold therapy to our beauty routines.  

Over the years, I've tried a lot of techniques. 

-I've placed my jade face roller in the freezer to cool before using.

-I've purchased one of these handheld facial ice rollers from Amazon.  They didn't seem to hold the cold temperatures long enough.

-I also bought the glass cryotherapy globes but predicted that I'd break them so I saved myself the heartbreak.

With each attempt at mastering an easy way to bring ice therapy into my daily routine, I brought myself one step closer to finding the ultimate solution....a silicone-based ice facial mold.  
Here's an example of one that makes a perfectly round ball of ice you can use on your face.

Notice how easy that was for her to use?  Silicone protects the fingers from getting too cold which allows time for you to do a proper facial.  I opted to purchase a larger, dome-size mold that holds enough ice for several sessions without having to refill it over and over.

The very first time I used my new silicone ice face roller, I knew I stumbled on something special.  I kid you not, my skin was glowing by the time I completed the very first session.  Even my hubby mentioned my glow when he came home from work.  This ice facial roller is the real deal, unlike other tools that cool stone, plastic, or metal, you're exposing your skin directly to the freezing cold temps of ice.  

BENEFITS OF ICE FACIAL ROLLING.

Since I have found the world's most perfect ice facial tool, my search is now complete.  Every day, I can treat my skin to a simple routine that will enhance blood flow to the face.  With blood flow comes additional oxygen and precious nutrients that keep the skin looking young and healthy. 

The ice also seems to magically erase pores as the surface of the skin constricts in response to the cooler temperatures.  But my absolute favorite benefit of doing at-home ice facials is how firm and taut the skin becomes.  When it's cold out, our body prioritizes blood flow to our internal organs leaving our extremities to fend for themselves.  I believe that lowered blood flow to any area of the body is a precursor to aging.  Maybe that's why our hands and face tend to show signs of aging before the rest of the body.  My mission in life is to promote healthy blood circulation to my face as much as possible....and I can't think of an easier way to do it than using this.

One benefit I've noticed personally is that if I do an ice facial before using a microcurrent device, I can feel the tiny shocks of the current. This leads me to believe that the moisture levels of my skin are higher allowing the electrical currents to better penetrate.  Ice also helps minimize inflammation which is perfect if you're suffering from breakouts.   Someone also mentioned that her makeup stays on longer when she does an ice facial as a priming step.

The benefits are endless.

Cold showers aren't your thing? Get yourself a silicone ice facial massager.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Are you ready to experience your most hydrated lips ever????? If so, you are in the right place.  For so long I've had to fight the struggles of dry winter lips.  But this year, things will be different.  That's because I've devised a 5 step plan that will eradicate all signs of dryness.  

In the past, my lip care routine only consisted of 1 or 2 steps.  That may have worked when I was basking in 100% humidity but it won't cut it now.  Five steps may seem like a lot but it barely takes any time.  Even if you skip a step or two, you'll still have more hydrated lips than if you only applied balm.  

Our lips don't have as much of a moisture barrier as the rest of our faces so it's nearly impossible for them to stay hydrated from lip balm alone.  Low humidity and wind only work to make it worse this is why we have to build a lip routine that can withstand the harshness of winter.  

STEP 1:  The Lip Scrubber

The first step on the road to soft, healthy lips is exfoliation.  If your lips are visible dry and flaky, you don't want to skip this step.  I was first introduced to silicone lip scrubbers by reality star Nikki Saint Claire.  This tiny scrubber was specially made for gentle exfoliation.  With lip scrubbers, your lips are instantly softer and ready for the next step of your ritual.  
 

Step 2: Facial Essence

Once you have been prepped, the next step will be to add hydrating essence to your lips.  Basically, we're going to follow a routine that's similar to what we would do with our skin.  Facial essence has the consistency of water without over-drying as it evaporates.  Plus it has some pretty nifty anti-aging properties that dry lips can really benefit from.  

Step 3: Moisturizer

Next, we move to the moisturizer step.  I first learned about applying moisturizer to the lips as a tip from a celebrity makeup artist.  Adding this extra step changed the game for me.  There is nothing like the feeling of happing truly hydrated lips.  The problem I have is that if my lips feel dry, I start to lick them. And we all know what happens when we lick our lips.  The saliva evaporates quickly making them feel even dryer than before.  I find that by using a moisturizer, that feeling of dryness is gone and so is the underlying urge to lick. 

Step 4: Facial Oil

Now we move on to a critical junction in this 5 step lip routine.  This is a step that I haven't included before.  Instead of jumping straight to lip balm, I urge you to nourish your lips with a couple drops of your favorite oil.   Unlike balm, oil is meant to be absorbed into the lip infusing it with yummy micronutrients and fatty acids.  It's also the first step that seals in all the work you've done so far.  Please do not use a high shine gloss for this step, you need to use an actual plant oil.  Preferably one that your skin already loves.  Lightweight oils like squalane work well but if you live in a particularly dry, cold area, go for a more nourishing option like vitamin E.

Step 5: Lip Balm 

Finally, we move on to the step that we all know and love.  Our winter lip routine is not complete until we break out the lip balm. I recommend thicker balms like Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Glossier's Balm.com.  These products are designed for optimal lip protection. Their job is to offer maximum protection for all the steps the preceded them.  A lot of people make the mistake of applying balm to dry lips thinking that all of their dry lip problems will be solved.  Unfortunately, they find themselves reapplying balm non-stop hoping to experience some semblance of moisture.   If your lips aren't already moisturized  (not with saliva) lip balm can only do so much. 

Try this 5 step routine for yourself and experience what truly hydrated lips can feel like. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

 

 I've been on a lifelong quest to find little hacks that help extend the life of my nail polish. I envy those women who are able to enjoy unchipped nail polish for days or weeks at a time.  Whenever I go to the salon, I try to buy the exact polishes they used in hopes of recreating a similar outcome but never seems to work out for me.  

This afternoon, I looked down at my nails that were painted just days ago and have already started to chip.  Before painting my nails again, I decided to seek the help of the nail polish queens on social media for any bit of advice that could change the game for me....and I think I may have found exactly what I was looking for.

Because I was short on time, I opted to go to Tik Tok. Within minutes, I learned two little tricks that could make all the difference.  

HACK #1. CAP YOUR TIPS WITH POLISH.

Capping is basically the practice of applying nail polish to the very tips (edges) of your nails.  We do this to add an extra layer of protection to the ends of our nails because that's where chipping typically starts.  

I've capped my nails before but haven't really noticed the benefit of doing so.  That's because  I was doing it all wrong.  Check out the video below to see what I'm talking about.  Pay close attention to how she caps her polish.  

@sonailicious

Reply to @natimcmack this is how I do my nails to make my manicure last... ##nails ##diymanicure ##nailtok ##nailtutorial ##diynailsathome ##foryoupage

♬ Fire for You - Cannons
When applying her nail color, she caps the nail first before painting the length of the nail. She follows the same process on the second coat (cap the nail first, then paint the length).  Finally, she applies the top coat using the same process once again (cap first, then topcoat along the length).   

I've always capped my nails last.  I certainly didn't cap my nails with every coat of polish. That's probably why my tips start chipping within 24 hours of application.  When I tried this method of capping my tips first, I could see how bad my technique was.  When I painted the length first, I couldn't tell how poor my attention to detail was whenever I capped my nails.   It's no wonder why my polish chipped so quickly.


HACK # 2// FLOAT YOUR TOPCOAT

I thought I knew how to apply topcoat until I found this wonderful video that rocked my world. 

@ibdbeautyofficial

Try this topcoat technique called floating! This makes your nail polish last longer! 💅🏽 ##nailcheck ##nails ##selfcare

♬ death bed (coffee for your head) - Powfu & beabadoobee
Topcoat floating is the art of applying your topcoat in a way that creates a greater protective layer to prevent chipping.  I had to pay close attention to the video to spot the difference between normal topcoat application and the "floating" technique.  While "floating" she barely presses down with the brush. This produces a thicker layer of topcoat.  A thicker layer means greater protection which leads to longer-lasting nail color.   

I'm hoping that combining these two techniques will change the entire game for me.  Another tip I found while scoping out the comments was to make sure we allow ample time for the polish to dry fully before adding a new layer.  

I'm extremely confident that by combining these tips, I'm extending the life of my polish by at least a few more days. Who knows, I might even join that elusive club of women that boasts of an at-home manicure that lasts over a week. 

Friday, November 19, 2021


It wasn't long ago that I was singing the praises of using body oil, especially during drier seasons, to seal in moisture.  Body oil is a necessary post-shower essential.  I didn't think anything could top it.  But lo and behold, I'm watching Instagram stories and Karrueche Tran reveals her current in-shower lineup.
Nestled comfortably between her Caudalie's  Vivoclean Cleansing Almond Milk and L'Occitane Neroli & Orchid shower gel is a bottle of L'Occoitane's Almond Shower Oil.  

What differentiates Almond Shower Oil from any basic body oil is that this is a cleanser and body oil in one. According to the product description, this oil creates a "silky cleansing milk" once it touches water.  They also boast that it releases the aroma of almonds and vanilla, which sounds amazing.  Someone in the reviews described the scent as "divine."  Shower oil is also the perfect base for shaving.  If you haven't shaved with oil yet, you don't know what you're missing.  

I can only imagine how nourished would feel by using an oil cleanser in the shower and then following up with a lightweight body oil.  Dry skin wouldn't even stand a chance. If the price tag of L'Occotain's almond oil is a little off-putting, you might want to try Nivea's Shower oil which also cleanses and nourishes, but at a fraction of the price. 

Can't wait to try this. 



Wednesday, November 17, 2021


 Sitting on a shelf in my bathroom is a cluster of various cleansers.  I've collected quite a few of the past years because, in the world of modern skincare, bottled cleansers seem to be the way to go.  I love liquid cleansers as much as the next person but, I'll be honest, they don't really seem to make much difference in my skin.  Sure, they're a bit more gentle, which is especially necessary for sensitive skin, but some seem to be missing that special something that only bar soaps can offer.  

I'm starting to see the reemergence of the soap bars and I'm really excited about it. Especially soap bars formulated to target specific skin-related issues. So today I'm here to pay homage to a few of the hardworking soap bars that'll address your skin's concerns head-on.

Clay Bar

When we think of soap bars, the first thing that comes to mind is the kind that produces suds.  But what if we expand our minds to include cleansing bars made of skin-loving ingredients like purifying clay?  Years ago, I was introduced to Fresh's Umbrian Clay bar and fell in love with the idea that I could "wash" my face with a purifying clay mask.  My acne-prone skin rejoiced at the thought of masking on a daily basis to keep pores clear and healthy....and that's exactly what my clay bar did.  Yes, it's pricey, but it's kind of worth it because it actually lasts forever.  And, if you ever suffer the misfortune of dropping and breaking the bar (as I have), you just pick up the pieces and continue to use them as if nothing happened. When I traveled for work, I took this clay bar with me everywhere, no mixing required.  It's a gentle, everyday clay mask that does exactly what it's supposed to do.




  • + A single ingredient clay bar that gently cleanses and detoxifies the skin.
  • + Easy to use....no need to mix.
  • + Gentle enough to use regularly to clear out pores.



Kojic Acid

Kojic Acid soap gained popularity because of its ability to clear and even skin tone.  If hyperpigmentation is an issue, and you want to address it with your daily cleanser, kojic acid may be what you've been looking for.  The main active ingredient is derived from mushrooms. I read some reviews on Amazon and saw successes from people using kojic soap to lighten armpits, fade burn scars and even treat acne.  This soap seems to do it all. 





  • + Treats hyperpigmentation & discoloration. 
  • + Skin Brightening.
  • + Treats Acne.





Turmeric Soap

Another formidable soap in the war against acne and discoloration is turmeric soap.  We all know turmeric as an amazing supplement with a slew of internal health benefits.  But when used as a soap it can help beautify your skin.  The other day, I randomly added a pinch of turmeric powder to my liquid cleanser, and my skin absolutely loved it.  Both Tumeric and Kojic acid soap provide similar benefits. If you hadn't had success with kojic acid, maybe it's time to give turmeric soap a try.  




Turmeric Soap

  • + Fades discoloration
  • + Evens out skin tone
  • + Anti-inflammatory for acne-prone skin.



Black Soap

Another wonderful soap for pretty skin is my current favorite, black soap.  I first reintroduced black soap into my regimen after seeing this incredible before and after transformation.  Every time I switch cleansers, I always find my way back to black soap.  As someone who suffers from easily congested pores, black soap has become a lifesaver.  It deep cleans and evens out skin tone over time. Authentic black soap bars are somewhat soft and can get a little messy so if you can find a high-quality liquid black soap I highly recommend.  

+ Deep cleansing 
+ Can help clear pores
+ Evens out skin
+ Antibacterial properties to help treat acne.


Exfoliating Bars 

Last but certainly not least are exfoliating soap bars.  These bars are designed to be used on the body (too harsh for the face) and will put your sugar/coffee scrubs to shame.  They're effective and less messy than using a granulated scrub.  Glossier released a body bar featuring bamboo powder as its key exfoliator. But if you're looking for an exceptional exfoliating bar, you MUST try Crystal Peel Collection.  They somehow figured out a way to get microdermabrasion crystals into a bar of soap.  I can't articulate how much I love their bars.  They offer two varieties that are both excellent. Their original bar is huge, very coarse, and will last forever.   It's a must-try.
  • +  Buffs away dead skin using microdermabrasion crystals.
  • + Leaves your body feeling like a newborn baby.
  • + Helps even our hyperpigmentation.


Monday, November 15, 2021


 There's nothing like the feeling of working hard in hopes of reaching a worthwhile goal. Sometimes we dedicate weeks, months, or even years toward creating the reality we envisioned in our minds.  But once we get there, something unusual happens....

Suddenly we find ourselves in a place of being completely unmotivated to continue.  I noticed this pattern while listening to a group coaching call.  A few of the callers had actualized some of their major goals. One woman up-leveled her lifestyle by moving into the home of her dreams situated in a beautiful neighborhood on water.  Another woman manifested income that took care of all her needs (and then some) for several months.  Both were struggling to stay motivated enough to keep working on their goals.  The woman who just moved into her dream home found herself wanting to enjoy the home rather than work on her business.  The woman who attracted abundance was neglecting her clients that she once relied on.


Both asked for help because soon they would need to refocus on earning income again or they'd lose their current reality. Woman #1 was afraid that she couldn't continue to pay on her new, glorious home, and woman #2 was becoming anxious because the newly acquired funds would soon run low.  


We've all been there, grinding relentlessly until you finally reach the desired milestone, and suddenly your motivation to keep going falls off.  I've experienced it first hand. I wonder if that has to do with why I sometimes slow down my efforts before reaching my goals.  Perhaps I don't want to get to the peak then completely lose steam.


So how do we deal with this? Actually, there are two possible strategies: 

SET NEW GOALS.

After woman #1 moved into her dream home, her goals fully manifested so she spent all of her time enjoying her new life (as she should).  But if she didn't want to lose access to this new lifestyle, she needed to create a new goal to keep her motivated.  The new goal doesn't have to be another upgrade in lifestyle, perhaps she could create a goal to automate her business so she can have more free time to dedicate towards her new experience.   That new goal could motivate her enough to restructure how she runs her business so she could fully enjoy her new living space.  


If you launched a business that's suddenly doing very well, perhaps you consider staying in your current lifestyle for six months to a year before suddenly increasing your cost of living.  This allows you to save several months' worth of rent or mortgage payments.  If woman #1 had done this, she could enjoy her new place for a while before having to try to motivate herself into working long days once again.  Instead, she'd probably have to work harder than previously just to sustain the income that corresponds to her new lifestyle.  

When new income enters your life, try to sustain it for as long as possible so that it becomes your new normal.  


SWITCH FROM MOTIVATION TO DISCIPLINE. 

There's motivation and then there's discipline. Both women didn't really feel like working on their business because they didn't really have to (for the time being).  If they allowed their feelings to continue to rule their actions, they'd find themselves suddenly motivated to take action out of fear of losing out on their current lifestyles.  But if they focused on developing new disciplines, they could potentially avoid experiencing worst-case scenarios.  


When you're developing the art of discipline, you take action for the sake of consistency, not an outcome.  People who work out several times a week even though they're already fit are doing it as a discipline.   Discipline is doing what needs to be done whether we feel like it or not. When things are going well and you aren't motivated, it's time to develop disciplines.  

I'm assuming that both women no longer carried out fundamental habits that probably led to their positive outcomes.   Whenever you are unmotivated, focus squarely on developing habits that will carry you forward.  Motivation comes and goes, we can't rely on it to always be around to fuel our actions.  

Discipline is a much more reliable and worthwhile strategy to ensure that your new results become truly sustainable.


Saturday, November 13, 2021

 


It's fall so that means I've been scouring my closet for long sleeve shirts.  Until it's officially sweater weather, long sleeve shirts have come my go-to.   My collection of long sleeve shirts is small but they serve their purpose.  They keep me warm enough to deal with chili temps while still appearing effortless.  

There's just one problem...none of my long sleeve tops have any semblance of style.  They're all plain and basic which works for grocery store runs but what if I want to wear a long sleeve top to meet with friends or grab dinner?

The answer is to go long sleeve + backless. 


There's something intriguing about a blouse that features an unpredictable element.  The open back is sort of a nod to the end of summer.  It's a bold style element that makes the blouse more feminine, elegant, and interesting. The long sleeves give the right amount of balance to the exposed back.  

I'm picking up a few of these blouses for those cool fall days where you can dress up without worrying about long sleeves causing you to sweat.  They're perfect day or night.  Pair them with slacks or dress down with jeans.     It's a must-have silhouette for fall. 




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