30 Days of Inspiration

18 April – Day Eighteen 30 Days of Inspiration

What Are You Grateful For Tonight?

The new normal is very difficult to adjust too. Everybody is dealing with something and no one is going to be unscathed. Individuals are going hungry or running low on food. Individuals are losing their businesses. The stress of not being approved for the small business loans. Individuals are going to work having to face horrific tragedies and in many cases, they are not properly protected with the equipment they need.

Many questions that simply cannot be answered. Will my child fall behind because they were out of school for so long? Will I find another job if my current job falls through? The list is endless unfortunately. It is too much. A lot of pain. A lot of sorrow. A lot of uncertainty.

Tonight, I am going to be simply thankful and think about the positive things in my life and the life of my family. I am thankful that we are healthy. I am thankful that we are going to bed with our bellies full. I am thankful for having access to clean water and hot water to bathe. I am thankful for my bathroom and having a few rolls of toilet paper lol.

As I wind down to go to bed, I’m going to set my worries and apprehensions aside and just fill my mind with gratitude and positivity so I can rest.

I hope you are able to clear your mind, fill it positivity and rest as well. Even if it’s just for one night. As difficult as it is, strive to keep gratitude in your heart somehow, no matter what you may be facing.

Until tomorrow….

30 Days of Inspiration

17 April – Day Seventeen 30 Days of Inspiration

Beauty is Definitely an Inside Job

As I get older, I realize that beauty is definitely an inside job. No matter how many wonderful eye creams, foundations, moisturizers, or lipsticks I’ve purchased and used, nothing takes the place of the basis of great health. I absolutely love makeup. I love the way it makes me feel. I love the way it makes me look.  I get a certain level of confidence and spring in my step when I’m wearing it, but I know the root of it all being brought together is health.   

Unfortunately, we forget about a part that’s even more important than the products-it’s what we’re putting inside our bodies.

Like I said, as I get older, I’ve realized a thing or two.  Things have definitely changed. 

I can’t stuff my face anymore like I did when I was in my 20s with excess sugars and simple carbohydrates like soda, cookies, and cake (ooh la la 🍰) and not worry about bloat or elevated blood sugars.  Not to mention the weight fluctuations because I tended to overindulge with the sweets (hey, just being honest here).  I even discovered a few years ago that dairy was the main reason for the chronic cystic acne I used to suffer from.  Now, in order to maintain my health, which is reflected in my skin I’ve got to be sure to drink enough water daily, I take a slew of multivitamins and generally try to watch what I eat. It has become about moderation for me. It is not a perfect science but it helps!

via Brooke Lark

My skin responds to what I feed my body.  However, I know that no matter what I eat some things are just destined to occur.  Some oily spots are now a little drier, some spots that were never dry are super dry now and need constant attention (my hands and feet).  

via Elle|Styled Stock Society

I realized THAT’S LIFE 🥰.  That’s just part of the BLESSING AND TRADEOFF for continuing to live and I’m not going to complain about it. 

I’m just going to try not to negatively add to the aging process and just embrace and enhance whatever life phase I’m in.   

I’m going to allow beauty to primarily be an inside job for me.

We all know that quality skincare and consistency attribute to having the best skin you can have. When we are living in the best skin we can have, it truly allows the makeup to accentuate our beauty💋.

Here’s to taking care of our bodies by being mindful of what we eat and drink. Here’s to fabulous skin care of all kinds. And my favorite, here’s to luxurious makeup today, tomorrow and forever.💄💋💅🏾

Until tomorrow…

30 Days of Inspiration

4-7-8 Have You Heard of It?

16 April Day Sixteen 30 Days of Inspiration

Have you heard of 4-7-8?  I hadn’t either until about late last spring.  I was listening to different videos on YouTube about mindfulness and gratitude (I’ll link some that I love down below) and I stumbled across a video from Dr. Andrew Weil.

In a nutshell, it’s a breathing technique that helps with relaxation- specifically anxiety and insomnia and a host of other things.  I’ve used it several times since then and it works wonders.  The technique is designed to help you take control of your breathing.🧘🏽‍♀️🧘🏼‍♀️🧘‍♀️

According to Healthline, the 4-7-8 technique can give your internal organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost.  Additionally, Healthline states the technique forces the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath, instead if replaying your worries when you lie down at night. 

That’s definitely a win-win in my book!  How about you? 

In his video, Dr. Weil states it can not only calm you, but with regular practice can help with cravings, slow heart rate, improve digestion and deal with stress/irritations that just happen with life (like when someone cuts you off in traffic).🤦🏾‍♀️🙄

Check out Dr. Weil explaining the technique in this quick 5 minute video.

Dr. Andrew Weil 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

Here is a list of great mindfulness and gratitude videos that are free on YouTube that I love:

Daily Calm |10 Mindfulness Meditation| Be Present https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZToicYcHIOU

Morning Gratitiude Affirmations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEDGFaXYIX8&t=120s

528 hz |I Am Affirmations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icXsnHd_Vdk&t=5s

Affirmations for Health, Wealth, Happiness, Abundance 21 Days https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnWlERK0UJc&t=2481s

Mindfulness Meditation Guided 10 Minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p_yaNFSYao

I hope you give it a try. Remember it takes practice.  Let me know what you think!

Until tomorrow…

30 Days of Inspiration

14 April – Day Fourteen 30 Days of Inspiration

3 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Confidence P.S. You Can Do This!!!

So, you wake up and you just aren’t feeling yourself.  Or, perhaps you are in a little confidence slump lasting a few more days than you’d like. Read on for my suggestions to put some pep back in your step.

1. Get out your lingerie and put it on!  Yes, I mean that teddy, bustier, or lacy bodysuit.  Take it out of the drawer.  Lightly spritz it with your favorite perfume and put it on.  Here’s the thing.  You don’t have to have an audience to wear lingerie.  You don’t need a significant other to wear sexy lingerie.  You can and should wear it for you!💋👠  Wearing a little lace and satin (cotton crotch of course) underneath your clothing can be such a confidence boost.  All day, as you sashay around, be it work, the grocery store, or just lounging around the house you’ll know just how pretty it is underneath it all. 😉

Photo by Uliana Kopanytsia on Unsplash

2. This is tried and true but it’s worth mentioning again.  Play up the features you love.  Draw the attention away from the features you consider or perceive is a flaw.  For example, my abs section is wider than I’d like it to be.  However, I think my rack is to die for😘.  Soooo, what do I do?  I wear blouses, tops, and dresses that accentuate the bust and it  works every time.  I try not to focus on what I don’t like or what I wish I had.  Instead, I just work with my body shape and what I’ve got.  On the other hand, you may want to play up certain features in your face.  Work with your makeup to play up your assets.  If you have beautiful lips…get out that beautiful lip liner and lipstick💄 (hello NYX Urban Cafe and NARS Rikugien)!  You have eyes that are mesmerizing, get out the eyeshadow palette, mascara, liner and lashes and get to work.  Remember you want to play up your features to look like you, not someone else.  Be the best version of you!

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

3. Finally, find a quiet space to just sit for a minute and calm yourself. 🧘🏾‍♀️🧘🏼‍♀️🧘‍♀️  Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.   Then, give yourself a pep talk.  Look in the mirror and repeat some affirmations to remind yourself that you can make it through today.  You are beautiful.  You are important.  You are loving and worthy of love.  You are working toward your goal.  Everyday is a step closer to that goal.  Mistakes are ok as long as you learn from them.  Tomorrow is another day.  There are many affirmations out there.  Do some research and write a few affirmations that resonate with you on a card.  Recite them often, put it where you can see it and when you need that extra reassurance it will be right there. 

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Remember, if you find yourself in a prolonged sadness or a slump that won’t go away please reach out to a trusted friend or a professional counselor for help.  Take care of you. 

Until tomorrow…💋💋💋

30 Days of Inspiration

13 April – Day Thirteen 30 Days of Inspiration

What’s in your makeup bag? 🧐💄💋

If you’re like me you’ve probably been strolling through sephora.com, nars.com, amazon.com…just shopping away.  As I’m getting my goodies every few days, my heart is filled with joy.  On the other hand, I quietly say to myself…where are you going to put this?  Did I already have a shade like this? 🤦🏾‍♀️ Oh my…not again…the clutter is back.

Have you read the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art Of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo?  I read it last year and I really enjoyed the ideas and viewpoints she discusses about clutter.  It really is a marvelous read📖.  What shall I part with to make room? I wonder…..

So, here is my makeup bag at home….

What’s in your makeup bag?  Are you throwing away items to make room for the new stuff?  When I really looked in my makeup bag, I declared that I needed it ALL. It’s my glamour kit, my everyday kit, my retro look kit. YAY💄💄💄😉

However, my makeup drawer is a different story. It’s packed with brushes, eyeliners, lipsticks, lip liners, more foundations, blushes, eyeshadows, primers…you name it. I had a quite a few products that I realized I could toss because I really hadn’t used it.  Then I found some items that were probably past their expiration date, so I erred on the side of caution and got rid of it.

Is my makeup bag and makeup drawer completely clean and neat? No.  Are there still items in there I probably should throw away?  Yes.  The most important question…Is it less cluttered and messy?  YES! YES! YES!   I’m satisfied with that for today😉.

I think I’m going to go play in my new colors…

So tell me…what’s in your makeup bag?

Until tomorrow…

30 Days of Inspiration

11 April – Day Eleven 30 Days of Inspiration

6 Ways to Include Olive Oil in Your Beauty Routine

Not all beauty treatments are luxury boutique purchases.  Sometimes you can find efficient, practical treatments that work right in your kitchen pantry.

Makeup Remover

If you wear long wearing foundation, it is highly likely you double cleanse at night. If you are not familiar with double cleansing, it is simply using an oil, balm or cream base to remove the makeup (including eyes) and sunscreen before you begin washing your face.  In the past I have used Clinique Take it Off Balm, Banila Co-Clean it Zero, Cleansing Balm Estee Lauder and DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.  All three are outstanding products, but I have found that Olive oil (you can mix a little avocado oil in too) works even better! 🙆🏽‍♀️🙆🏼‍♀️🙆‍♀️

The idea is like attracts like, so the oil, balm, or cream breaks the makeup down.  I rub and massage the olive oil on my dry face and then remove with either a wet warm microfiber face cloth or a very soft washcloth. Sometimes I repeat this step.  It also breaks down eye makeup wonderfully and I know my lashes are getting a quick condition too!  After I have removed the makeup and oil I then go on to wash my face.

Body Oil

After exfoliation, a shower or bath, try slathering on olive oil head to toe.  It will make your skin so soft and help seal in moisture.  It can be a delightful experience right before bed.  I apply a light coat of my favorite scented lotion (Philosophy Amazing Grace) on top and zzzzz. 😴🛌

Hair

Olive oil is great as a light scalp oil, pre shampoo conditioner, or hair oil.  Use a VERY light amount on hair or scalp so you do not weigh down your hair.  I like to warm the oil and apply to my scalp then massage it in.  Ooh la la 💆🏾‍♀️💆🏼‍♀️💆‍♀️

Cuticle Care

Dry, ragged, and unsightly cuticles.  Try applying a few drops of olive oil on your cuticles before you go to sleep.  If possible, wear cotton white gloves to get the maximum effect! 💅🏾💅🏼💅

Heels

If your heels look or feel like they need some TLC, olive oil maybe able to help.  Olive oil can soften the skin on your feet and your heels.  If your heels are cracked and very ashy the olive oil will work best when used in conjunction with daily exfoliation with a pumice stone in the shower or bath.  Scrub lightly a little each night and over time you will see the wonderful results. 🦶🏾🦶🏼🦶Wearing white cotton socks to bed after the treatment help too.

Remember the most important thing to any beauty routine or regimen is consistency.  Stay beautiful and loving.

Until tomorrow…

30 Days of Inspiration, Mindset

10 April – Day Ten 30 Days of Inspiration

Practice The Pause

Lovelies! I’m sure you’ve heard of this phrase…. practice the pause🤫.

Always practice the pause

As we go through our daily lives and we interact with others, it’s inevitable that we will come across some unsavory or less than desirable characters.  Although we are all human (which means we as feminine ladies have our days too), it is SO wise to practice the pause. 

We can’t deny that there are some really mean, cruel, jealous and vindictive people out there. 

Instead of reacting to situations (which is often knee-jerk) we can pause, breathe and think.  It allows use to respond instead of react.  At times the proper response is no response or absolute silence.  This gives you choice.  It also allows you to maintain control.  I hear your inner voice and I hear mine too🤦🏾‍♀️.  This isn’t easy and it’s not for the weak.  That’s why we must practice the pause until it comes naturally. Some people really know how to push those buttons, some people are asking for it and really deserve it, but what will it cost you?  How much of your peace will be gone or spent on someone who really doesn’t deserve your energy and focus?

So, am “I” perfect with this way of responding? ABSOLUTELY NOT.  I have been guilty in the past of allowing people to get me off of my game.  I actually would lose focus and put energy into getting someone back. 

What a time waster!  What did I gain?  What did they lose? In both instances nothing.     

That’s why we must practice the pause until it comes naturally.  There is no requirement to give an immediate response to someone’s comment or question.  Don’t feel compelled to rush your words.  Remove the emotion for a quick minute and ask yourself these questions-

What is this person really asking me?

Are they coming from a pure place with positive intentions?

Are they trying to be funny – and it just bombed?

Or was the “joke” malicious or backhanded?

In addition, I think we can (with time) consider having a little compassion for those who are hurting and haven’t healed which in turn causes them to make the CHOICE to hurt others.  Yes, I said it…they have made a choice to hurt others. Within that same compassion, we may have to decide to love from afar, or possibly completely cut ties from them in order maintain our personal peace and self-respect.  Hard choices I know, especially when it is someone you love or really care about.  But as a wonderful friend of mine always says, “You must protect your peace”. Hi Steph!😊. That is something I really take to heart.

Composure is the state of being calm and maintaining tranquility.  It is very difficult to regain your composure once you have lost your balance.  It is also very hard to regain your leverage and respectability once it has been lost.  Whether we want to believe it or not- image is everything.  Let’s be careful to preserve and protect the image we work so hard to build.   Focus on the bigger picture so poise, femininity, and class can shine through.

Until tomorrow.

30 Days of Inspiration

9 April – Day Nine 30 Days of Inspiration

All this time at home can bring on a lot of self-reflection, which is not a skill that is easily mastered.  While we are in deep thought and reflection remember to give yourself grace. 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Give yourself grace for your past mistakes.  Grace for doing the best with what you had. Grace for making the wrong choice when you knew better.  Grace for not loving yourself more.  You get the idea.  Give yourself grace for the past.  It’s over. Forgive yourself and find a way to move forward. 

The most important part of this is to realize that you give grace to others all the time…as we should.  But don’t forget to give a little bit of grace to yourself as well.

Until tomorrow