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“Paying” for Beauty?

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Nordstrom 2016 Beauty Event goodies!

The Oakbrook Nordstrom Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show hit the ball out of the park in terms of creativity and content (at least for the most part). As a savvy skin care shopper, Nordstrom is near the top of my list when it comes to product availability, style, customer service, and bang for my buck! Who’d have thunk it? A major department store that gives the customer luxury experience as well as price points for all? They did it right this time when so many major retailers are doing it wrong with such things as “restrictive” coupons, misguided marketing campaigns (a.k.a. bait and switch) poor customer service, and anything less than the luxury experience they claim (i.e. Macy’s).

However, let’s get back to the positives and all that was right in terms of showcasing the Fall 2016 Beauty Trends and the awesome fun-filled experience for the woman who knows what she wants-Nordstrom Oakbrook Center, ya did good! While I don’t always comment on these types of events, this time Nordstrom pulled off a creative event in which most went away satisfied (a dramatic improvement over the Spring 2016 Beauty event) having had the luxury experience that we all need a little of from time to time.

This past weekend was all about being the #PhenominalWomanIBe and appreciating myself as a woman. I often tell my clients, “if you are an empty well, there is nothing you have to give to others”; this is so true and unfortunately too many of us think that if we keep being “super woman” others will eventually find us worthy! That’s an untruth many woman tell themselves as they struggle at the “crossroads” of their lives, trying to find contentment as they spin on that hamster wheel going nowhere. I hate to break it to you my sisters, but if YOU do not see the value and unique beauty that YOU bring to this earth, there are few who will see that special essence that you carry within.

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade or pander to the negative; I’m only stating a simple truth that comes when you realize that a healthy and balanced life requires that you set boundaries (protecting and respecting your inner core). Ultimately, you must grow comfortable in your own skin, realize that you can’t please or be everything to everyone, and take care of both your physical and mental health. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m a skin care freak and as such I’m always looking for new tips, tricks and all things natural for maintaining healthy radiant skin.

So what did I DO this past weekend? Well, this #SkinCareFreak was on the hunt,  and I decided not to miss out on attending Nordstrom’s Fall 2016 Beauty Trend Show in at the Oakbrook Mall (Oakbrook, IL)!😘💄 That’s right ladies, my “crew” and I camped out at the Oakbrook Mall in the wee hours of 4am to get first dibs at the beauty trend items (anti-aging, renewal, replenishment, hydration, etc) coming into the season. Needless to say, it was all about protection for the winter, fragrance and yes, cosmetics!💄🙌🏽

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Early bird gift!

As a health and fitness strategist, I believe in creating working strategies for the “WHOLE” woman; not just shedding the unhealthy weight and relationship with food, but also helping EVERY woman appreciate herself and all of the quirks and imperfections that make her uniquely beautiful in her space. In other words, attending this beauty event was not just about checking out the latest in skin care, but about making sure I did what was necessary to “do me”!  That is not to say that one needs ALL these things to feel good about oneself; but what I am saying is, there is something inherently therapeutic about treating yourself to some “me” time, reorienting yourself, and ultimately getting in balance!

Bottom line? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling great and loving what you see when you look in the mirror! Get fit, healthy, and change the way you see yourself by growing and developing on the inside out!Blessings!😘

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Diva Skin? seriously?

Yes I have issues with breakouts a.k.a “eruptions”, discoloration , and just general stuff that only I can see, haha ha! Anyway, short of hiding yourself beneath a vail or becoming one of the mole people, the only sane and effective way to love the skin you’re in, is to KNOW your skin. What does that mean? S.I.M.P.L.E.! GET to know the skin you’re in; literally, make a, what I like to call, “a skin diary” in which you catalogue all the things you love about your skin, what you hate about it, and THEN make a list of ALL the products you’ve been using on your skin for the last month (longer, if you can actually recall it).

Once you’ve completed that list (yes, that’s why I said make a “diary” ’cause this is gonna take a minute ), break everything down from what you use on your skin daily as well day vs. nighttime skincare regimes. Believe it or not, this actually WORKS!! So well in fact, that    in my case, I actually started saving money because either I found out that I was doubling up on unnecessary product and or over stimulating my skin; which equaled D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R. for my Diva skin. While I love my skin now (thank you mom and dad, for good genes, plus sage skincare advice from both doctors and a knowledgeable mom-yes natural and ancient / traditional skin remedies that minimally processed win out every time! Boomsies!), this was NOT always the case.

In my teens and twenties, I ignored a lot of the advice that was handed down to me and I usually ended up crying and babbling to my momma about my terrible skin, my life was over, blah blah blah; you know the usually teen scream, ha haha. Anyway, once I got over myself and started really caring about my skin, what I put on it, and IF my Diva skin was loving my skincare regime, THAT’S when I had my AHAH moment. Once you start treating your skin like it’s a living thing, only THEN will it give you a break (no pun intended *wink*).

This brings us right back to, exercise, diet / nutrition, and mind-body wellness. I don’t think I need to beat that dead horse again BUT, I will; what you put into your body, whether or not you exercise, mental health, etc, ALL of these “THINGS” impact YOUR SKIN!!!  Stress and poor nutrition will kill your skin from the inside out-Those eruptions you’re so “frustrated” about? Yeah, they’re probably tied to your those ding dongs, burgers and fries you’ve been chomping on at work because you were too harried to pack a healthy and nutritional lunches this week alone. I don’t know about you, but it’s been my experience that when overly stressed, I eat crap (junk food is the panacea of emotional and stress eating), don’t really feel like exercising or engaging in anything productive.

I’m just being REAL about my issues, and maybe it’s something you have or have not experienced, BUT this was an area I felt like ranting about so here you’ve got it! For all of you have “celebrity star” skin, you know, the kind that NEVER seems to have issues; just perpetually PERFECT skin (yeah, STOP lying!), this may not be all that informative to you. But for the rest of us on planet earth, STOP and evaluate your skincare regime, your health and fitness as well as your mental health. Blessings on the Journey!wp-1461196251819.jpg

Learn to Color Outside the Lines…

Learn to Color Outside the Lines…

Hey, hey hey! It’s that time again- time to see what all the fuss is about  or not! So the other day I thought I’d make my day off a “spa” and outdoor therapy session 💄🌞 Can I just say, EVERY one needs time to recharge and release stress and negativity on a daily basis.

Anyway, I picked up some skincare goodies😉 along the way, as I get ready for the glorious intensity of summer (*skincare freak alert*) and just, YEAH!! I know, I admit it, summer is my favorite season and I’m going to spend most of it outdoors🌞

I loaded up on some goodies from LUSH , Kiehl’s Fresh, and few odds and ends from my local Fruitful Yield. The big surprise disappointment? The ultrabland fave cleanser! 😕 It was greasy, unwieldy and called for waay too much drama than I was prepared to deal with at the end of the day. Yes it was hydrating, but the clean after the CLEAN UP? NOT worth the drama; look, I might have diva skin, but my skincare can definitely NOT be diva in kind😥
As for the shower gel (it’s called beautiful, still not sure why)? Meh! They discontinued my favorite one so my LUSH journey continues.

Another surprise (in a good way) came in the former of an awesome organic black soap by Alafia. I always get a kick out of seeing beauty secrets from back home getting the spot light 💄🌞😂. I remember my aunties using black soap for literally every skincare mishap, and remember thinking , “wow! This stuff is ugly but it’s like magic)😂

Anyway, given the diva nature of my skin, I decided to try the commercial version with a few drops of my vegan essential oils and, BAAM! AWESOME! This is now on my list of skincare faves💄Uh did I mention it only cost nine dollars and some change for that awesome bottle, plus it’s WAAY cheaper than the LUSH brand of shower gel that left me feeling less than impressed!😉

Bottomline, investigate and find what works for your skin and DON’T be afraid to try something new-color outside the lines for a change….Boomsies😉
P.s. I’ve got tons more stuff to check out so laters😉
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Fun day…Getting some balance back

Fun day…Getting some balance back

So it’s Tuesday, and I’m still feeling “elevated” 😂 from a day off from the craziness of work, demands of life, blah blah blah! I had to take time to reflect, de-stress, and just stop with the overthinking EVERY LITTLE THING! Yeesh, sometimes I think we women drive ourselves batty from stress and majoring in the minor😉🌞
I’m still learning to let go and just embrace life, my fitness journey (with all my fitness buddies💪😉), AND the unknown. ALWAYS make time to for self-reflection, internal growth and healing-balance, balance, balance, is what I try to remember in the midst of the crazy! If you don’t take care of the “inside” you WON’T be able to take care of the outside beauty that is you!😉👠👙
The journey to fitness and health continues along with my review of some great skincare, workout gear and… 💄🔰 Starting >>here<< with more to follow…

Oh my skin!

Oh my skin!

Okay, okay!  Enough about the skincare recommendations!  Here’s the thing, your skincare recommendation is only as good as the “person” who’s giving the review 😐😉 My point is, I’m not recommending ANY product that 1. I wouldn’t use myself ( and I’ve got the diva skin to prove it), 2. Can’t back up their claims (i.e. nontoxic,  cruelty free, etc) and 3. Community and environmentally friendly!

That’s just my rant I guess, but the bottom line is that you need to investigate or research these products for yourself; realizing that a “recommendation” is just that, a RECOMMENDATION and it’s up to you to fact check this stuff!😉

Not only that, some of the stuff people are “reviewing” is mostly all fluff and no substance and waay over-priced to boot! Granted some of it’s worth it (especially if you have very sensitive skin, etc) but a lot of it just doesn’t past muster💄💲Also, just because it cost an arm and a leg or just your first born child *wink* DOESN’T MEAN IT’S ACTUALLY any good or effective so save your money!💲💲

Bottom line, if you don’t take care of your body from the inside out (eat healthy and nutrient dense foods, exercise, etc) even the most expensive “elixir” on the planet ain’t gonna change that rocky road skin into a baby’s butt; sorry I know the truth hurts sometimes, but there you have it!💄😕
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If I don’t use it or haven’t tried it, I’M NOT recommending it…and so I leave you with those few gems and happy skincare hunting!
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Skin Flint…

Skin Flint…

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On the road again..”

Hey!!

Everyone, I’ve some more skincare goodies for you to think about! Incase you’re wondering, all my skincare related  post will all have some reference to skin so here is my next one….it all started with my outdoor therapy outside and about, with a “little” side trip to the Oakbrook Center to complete my ME time.Well, I hoped in my ride and decided ; yep time for a drive he hehe! First stop? You guessed it, LUSH for my total body indulgence (and of course I couldn’t leave without demo-ing some items from their faves list, lol) 🙂
I have a small confession to make *cough* ; I went a little cray cray with the bath bombs because they smelt soo yummy plus, my skin felt awesome! OK this is ridiculous, they’ve gotta have a least one thing I totally hate! Naaw, dang it, I haven’t found it yet.

 

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More goodies

Oh well I guess the search continues…Oh did I mention I totally hated the cupcake fresh face mask? As much as I love chocolate, both the texture and smell soo did NOT work for me. Guess I found something I didn’t care for after all 😦 No point in taking a sample of that stuff home (I got a sample for one of my friends and she, HATED IT!! ).

 

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Say it aint so…

Moving on, I did love the feel and texture of the Ole Henriksen vitamin C serum. I’ve used it in the past and my girls at Oakbrook Sephora were nice enough to remind me why I love this stuff *giggles* !

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My investigation begins…

I’ve tried a few items from Fresh but their Black Tea Instant Perfecting mask didn’t work for me either. If you’ve got sensitive diva skin like mine, I’d pass on it (it had an unpleasant sting to it; which is ALWAYS a deal breaker for me). I’m still going to try this soy mask (it’s actually for sensitive skin) and see what happens!

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If at first…

Till my next skincare freak adventure, blessings y’all and take care of your skin from the inside out….P.s. for more about my journey to health and as a Beachbody fitness coach join me here…

 

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The End?…
All that skin…my review of some fave products

All that skin…my review of some fave products

In all the years I’ve spent traipsing and exploring the smorgasbord of skin care products and fix it’s, I’ve yet to find ONE single skincare line that does this perfectly across the board. It doesn’t matter if it’s Clarins or Lancome, Biore or Neutrogena, NONE can definitively say, bar none, that THEIR skincare line does it all. Those that do, are just flat-out lying to you; and that’s from someone who has learned from 20 years of deep exploration, that first of all, everyone’s skin is different and has its own kind of funky! So, D.E. A. L  W.I.T. H  IT!

I’m a skincare freak for a reason, nothing special; it was just the only way to survive and navigate the eruptions of puberty and later on, I learned to appreciate the benefits of becoming intimately acquainted with my skin and like any great relationship, we’ve come to a harmonious give and take relationship. Namely, me giving it what it needs to thrive and glow, and it, in turn, gave me the benefit of minimal breakouts, having a glowing complexion and yep, reaping the benefits of STILL getting carded when I’ve got a hankering to hang with my girls at the club! LMAO!

My first fave is my Kiehl’s Precision Lifting & Pore-tightening  Concentrate. My skin loves this stuff and it does show, lol…hmm I wonder if I could slather this stuff all over, ha ha! Anyway, while I don’t really see much done for pore size ( I don’t have issues with pore size) it does improve both the texture and radiance of my skin. One of the things I love about this line is that it does not upset my sensitive diva skin (think Mt.Vesuvius, in my teenage and early adult years, sheesh so glad I made it through!)

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Another staple of mine is the rice powder face wash by Tatcha; I literally discovered this gem at my fave Sephora store and it was love at first wash, once  I demoed it in store! Can someone say, baby’s butt soft?! Oh Yeah 🙂
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Now for the 3rd piece of the triad! While I love my Kiehl’s moisturizer, I’ve found that different seasons call for different types of moisturizer depending on what your skin’s crying out for at the time. I recently tried LUSH’s “Gorgeous” moisturizer and I’m going Hmmm, good! I haven’t fully committed to it yet (still sampling it out, lol) but just going by the feel and buoyancy of my skin I’m gonna say YEEEES! The only down side to this gem is that it’s a bit on the pricey side at $87.95 (sheesh, but again good stuff doesn’t come cheap either)…stay tuned for more on this adventure!

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Bye bye clown face; don’t hate!

Bye bye clown face; don’t hate!

Alright ladies, if you’re easily offended then THIS post isn’t for you. As a bonafide skincare freak, I’m here to tell you that rocky road looks and taste good as ice cream; as your skin? Not so much! Just saying, I know the truth hurts but there you have it.

In the words of my dear mamma, “what you eat is what you see” and “it doesn’t matter how much foundation you “spackle” on (lmao, mom was priceless), you can’t hide bad skin!”. In short, if you don’t take care of your skin (from the inside out), guess what? You end up with the rocky road ice cream effect, and as I ALREADY said, that ONLY looks tasty as ICE CREAM!!!
Just making sure you heard me, ha haha. But really, for some bad skin has become an issue of self-esteem,   heartache and literally a  frustration. I’ve been there too! Everyone has skin issues at some point (some both longer and more difficult to resolve than others), but the bottom line is, good skin requires a nutrient rich diet coupled with an excellent  (yes, that does include hygiene in case you’re wondering!) skincare regime (you those things like face wash, toner, moisturizer,  etc).

The “trick” is to find and optimize the one that works for YOU! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) for me, I have “Diva” skin. Yep, you know, that skin that reacts to everything and anything unless it’s babied, lol!

When I was in my early teens and early 20’s this SOOO was NOT funny because my skin kept erupting like Mt Vesuvius anytime I put anything on it that it didn’t like! This from someone who had a skincare freak for a mom too, so it’s not like I didn’t healthy for the most part; it’s just that I didn’t now what my skin needed, what was “setting it off” and upping my skincare regime.

All that said, WHATEVER you do, don’t pack on the camo to cover up problem skin ’cause you ain’t fooling anyone about what’s underneath;  you’ve merely got the CLOWN FACE going, and THAT REALLY ain’t pretty!

Some of my miracle elixirs can be found at LUSH, Kiehl’s, Shiseido,  Clarins, and Tatcha. I know a bit pricey (in some cases) BUT I learned that most of the “cheap” stuff is a real killer and eruption bringer!!! Like I said, educate yourself about diet, nutrition,  and what works for YOUR skin type because we’re all different when it comes to our skincare needs…

 

All about that skin…

All about that skin…

Time for some skin indulgence, and it all starts right here with some of my favorite goodies! I love, love, love me some LUSH natural cosmetics and no, I’m not letting any of it fall out of my hands, Ha, resistance is futile y’all! But on a more serious note, I’ll always remember my mom’s constant mantra of “take of skin, and it will take care of you”, “what you eat shows up on your face”, yada yada yada…

Turns out mama was right and thank God I listened! Diet, exercise and nutrition make up the foundation for great glowy and healthy skin; so put away the gimmicks and tricks to hide the evidence of poor nutritional habits and start taking care of YOUR HEALTH! *love these exclamation points by the way* Anyway, did I mention the whole thing about diet, exercise and nutrition? Yeah? Ok GOOD!! There is no short cut to lovely skin, and barring such things as hormonal changes, genetics, etc, REMEMBER: YOUR SKIN IS THE LARGEST ORGAN OF YOUR BODY, get it? Ok now let’s move on to the fun stuff.lushvs

I fully admit to being a skincare freak and I’m proud of it so there. The good news is, any one can become a skincare freak by simply educating yourself about your health and nutrition as well as those products that act as nirvana for your particular skin type. Everybody’s skin is different in terms of sensitivities, needs, problem areas, etc.

I Was blessed to have a mom who believed that your skin is a reflection of your internal health and it’s also a “canvas” upon which you express yourself through make up and attitude. So over the years I’ve tried just about every major skincare line and their bargain brands too! I’ve learned to “evolve” on my skincare product choices based on the needs of my skin and the consistency of product integrity. Needless to say, I’ve moved away from major brands that constantly “REFORMULATE” certain products in their skincare lines; it works for them, but most of the time my skin yells “No,No, No”.

I’ve got a long list of favorites but my foundational skincare regime is made of skincare lines that use non synthetic natural products and are NOT constantly changing out formulas! Here’s my go to skincare when I want to “ZEN” out after a long day at work. Not only do these products smell yummy, LUSH is known for their natural ingredients…and on that note, it’s time for my dragon ball bath boom and a cup of my new favorite tea from Teavana; LIFE is GOOD!!!

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