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Onward and Upward in Beauty: Nine Years & Counting

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{Writing tools of the trade.}

I woke up this morning thinking of my blog. Today it’s nine years old and it’s hard to believe that this tiny space of mine on the internet has been around this long. When I first started blogging everything was so different. I wrote about my day-to-day shenanigans, travels, and all my beauty purchases. I spent most of my time trying a new product, researching, a new product, and buying more products. My research centers then were Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and CVS. I still have these stores, but the Internet has introduced me to some amazing brands I never would have tried or even known.

This was before everything was about being perfectly styled, photo ready at all times, and a perfect life. This year started with a death of my brother and is eerily similar to why I started a blog in 2006. One of my brothers had just passed away and I was searching for something. I’m thankful that I met Tia and started blogging. I’ve met so many amazing people who are now part of my life forever and experiences I couldn’t have dreamed of.

I’m nine years older, admitting to myself and to the world that I’m a creative (believe me this was hard to come to terms with) and need lots of creative time. I’ve signed up for a few writing classes, looking into teaching more yoga (yay!), and committed to leading more beauty retreats around the globe. I realized something was missing and I figured out what it was? I wish beauty was fun for a lot of women. When did beauty stop being fun?

The minute women decided to base our worth on some fictitious and made up ideal that none of us can achieve. Please stop the madness. Perfection does not exist so quit trying. You get one life. Do you? Does it mean going out the house looking a hot mess. No. It means taking care of yourself, on your own terms, and whatever that means to you. There is nothing wrong with a rocking a vibrant lip, mascara that makes your lashes you amazing, and a perfume that brings great memories. For me it’s quiet time with a good book, traveling, a yoga class, good food, great wine, massages, facials, red lipstick, hot pink lip gloss, perfumes, a new manicure, and blabbing about beauty. Beauty is fun, try it. You just might like it.

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Wellness Wednesday: ClassPass for Fitness

ClassPass
{Photo by Jackie Garcia Photography}

Have you heard about ClassPass? It’s a pass to visit various studios and gyms in your area and take all your favorite classes for one set monthly price. Over the past few months I have been able to test out ClassPass and guess what? I am in deep LOVE. Barre, Pilates, yoga oh my!

First off there are a variety of exercises I want to participate in like TRX, Core Power Yoga, spinning and dance. Well, ClassPass allows me to do that. I can take a Monday, 8:00am Pilates, a Wednesday, TRX, my favorite Saturday, 8:30am Heated Core Power Yoga and a chill Sunday yoga class. All you do is reserve the classes online or with their app. Easy breezy.

I will say you have to live in a major metro area to participate in the classes (sorry to my readers in the suburbs). If you commute into the city I still think it’s worth it because there are classes all day. I know most of the fitness classes here in DC cost on average $20 per class so this is a steal. My only drawback? You can only visit the same studio three times in a membership cycle which means I have to make a strategic plan on my classes. It is still worth it in my opinion.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Panic

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Panic

My makeup and my life are in desperate need of a little color injection and NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Panic was the perfect accoutrement to bring my makeup bag back to life. I usually apply 2-3 different blushes most days and I have been wearing lots of neutrals. Let me just say this is a great blush on my brown skin. It gives great color and is perfect for spring. At first glance the colors seem loud. But, with most NARS bright blushes they look phenomenal on most skin tones. Example, Exhibit A. It’s a crazy bright orange, but when you put it on it’s a stunner. It feels amazing on my skin and I’m happy because today there isn’t a windchill below 10 degrees.

The smile on my face is because I know spring is on her way and just this thought brightens my mood. Yesterday I spent the day at a work event, then exploring the city, and finished at the National Gallery of Art for an artist date as per Julia Cameron. It was glorious walking all over the city and being outside. My new blush made it twice as nice. Get this in your arsenal.

Rene Furterer Karité Intense Overnight Nourishing Treatment

RF

One of the questions I get asked a lot is what products I use since I have super short hair. I always reply that I use the same that people with long hair use except for a few exceptions. I don’t have to worry about straightening products, but I’m always concerned with my scalp and whatever hair I have on my head. I’m a big fan of masks and overnight treatments especially in the winter time. Winter equals nourishment in all forms. I’ve fallen for this new leave-in treatment and it’s wonderful. Rene Furterer Karité Intense Overnight Nourishing Treatment is what I have been using over the past month every single week.

I normally apply coconut oil to my scalp, add the overnight treatment all apply, put on a shower cap, turban, and head to la-la land. I wake up in the morning and my hair is soft and my scalp is happy. It’s light enough that you can use it during any season. Plus, let’s be real. Rene Furterer is a great French brand and y’all know how much I love my French beauty products.

Reading Pretty: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Magic copy

I’m sure you have heard of this little book that has become a juggernaut about clearing clutter for EVER. Like ever, ever? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is not only a best seller, but really a game changer. I’m serious. No joke. The book makes you think of everything you own, desire, and love as either joyful or not. It’s really simple. Every item you touch a piece of clothing, paper, or book you ask yourself “does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t it goes. I am a big believer in donating, so after a few hours of using this method I had four large garbage bags ready to go to Goodwill and a shelter. I got rid of all the yoga clothes I don’t wear anymore, coats, shoes, bags, and much more. Also, Marie doesn’t recommend using old clothes as “lounge” clothes so you don’t “save” them. I look forward to the beautiful boudoir pieces I’ve acquired by not recycling them. I honored them for their purpose and let them go.

It not only helped me in what I have, but what I buy. Totally crazy for me. I don’t hoard clothes, but beauty products? Yep. I had lotions I bought in Greece from 2006. Yes, girl. I went through and tossed them because most only had a fourth of product left. This allowed me to really see my favorite winter lotion is the Mario Badescu Olive Lotion. All those half used bottles of watery lotions gone. Now my beauty closet is clean and organized. I didn’t have to KonMari (the term used in this endeavor) my perfume because I am so selective about fragrance that I don’t buy anything I don’t love. All my scents have a meaning and a story behind them.

I did a huge cleaning out and donating of books last year so I only buy books I really love like the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Everything else I read through the library which also helps my wallet. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, read this article from The New York Times. I seriously suggest you read this book. If your new year’s resolution of clutter has gone by the wayside try this method. It’s hard. Be prepared to spend most of the day doing it.

“As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is really important to you in your life . . . focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy.” ~ Marie Kondo

Pretty Beauty Radar: CHANEL Beauty Spring 2015 Collection

Chanel Spring 2015 copy

CHANEL Beauty Spring 2015 is on my radar and totally giving me life. I know according to the calendar Spring is coming, but the snow this morning has me willing and chanting it to come sooner. I know it’s winter, but Jesus I need a break. I hate being such a bitter girl and counting down the months until I’m back in Houston. I just really want to wear my Birkenstocks all day so I’m whining like a baby and not a boss.

I’ve been organizing and cleaning out tons of old makeup and beauty products and excited for the new purchases that are going to make their way to the beauty arsenal. I was perusing Neiman Marcus online and stumbled across these beauties. Oh Chanel. You give me so much joy. I’m still wearing my hot pink lip gloss Jalousie from a few years ago so I decided a bold lipstick was what I needed. The collection is pretty and gives me something to look forward to in beauty. My list includes the following

Nails: Desiro
Lips: Rouge Allure in Elusive
Eyes: Paris Woven
Cheeks: Angélique

What makeup are you looking forward to for spring?

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Download ~ Online Yoga Classes

Yoga Download

Many of you know I’m a yogi and yoga teacher. I am always trying to find new ways to enhance my practice and like to practice at different studios although I have my main studio in DC. Because the weather has been so crazy I decided to try yoga at home via my computer with Yoga Download. There are many online classes and I have decided to try one out every few months to see which one I like the most. First up, Yoga Download.

Yoga Download offers a variety of teachers and a variety of styles.  I will say I have enjoyed practicing with teachers such as Ana Forrest (super hard), Ashtanga, Baptiste, Vinyasa (the style I mainly practice), and more. Classes start at just $10 a month for streaming, but you can pay more if you want to download particular classes to keep forever and can be played without a Wi-Fi connection.

I will admit it felt weird looking at a screen to practice yoga, but after a few times trying the classes I was able to follow along without looking at times. I’m working on lots of strength training through yoga and contemplating getting rid of my gym membership now that the weather is about to get better. I really rather be outside working out.

As with any exercise programing please take it easy. I know we see these glorious mind-blowing yoga poses, but if you aren’t warmed up and listening to your body you can hurt yourself.

Om Pretty!

Pursoma Ocean Potion Bath

Pursoma Ocean Bath

The past few weeks have been pretty cold for me. I love a good bath, but lately my baths have been to warm me up from the cold. Since I’ve been cooped up in the house my eating habits have taken a complete nose dive. All I want in the evenings are deep and rich soups and chowders. Seriously I make a few different ones so every night I can decide which one to eat. I don’t want to go out anywhere. I decided that I needed to detox from all the rich foods and I plan to do that with Pursoma’s Ocean Potion Bath.

Pursoma creates amazing detoxes for the body to aid in outer beauty, but with a strong focus on the inner beauty. These baths are really a game changer in my big girl bath routine. I’ve been studying a lot of natural health routines and baths are an essential part for rejuvenation, detox, and over all well-being. I am always shocked to find so many women don’t take baths. I don’t mean to get clean, but baths to replenish. My holistic team (naturopath, acupuncturist, therapist) all praise baths.

I normally add epsom salts, essential oils, and various foaming bubbles to my bath, but with Pursoma my baths have a purpose. I plan to use them in my detox that I’m starting on March 2 and I know Pursoma will be a big part of my routine.

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