My time has flown. It seems just yesterday I started this lil’ old blog and here we are 8 years later. March for me is a month of new beginnings for me. I moved to DC in March, started my yoga journey, and started this blog. March, you my dear have been good to me. I believe March means so much is because it’s also the month my grandmother was born. It’s because of her I love beauty, luxury, diamonds, books, magazines, and exploration. It also helps that I’m named after her. There are so many people I can thank, but I always want to thank Tia Williams of Shake Your Beauty for asking such a simple question when I met her at a writer’s symposium at Howard University.
Me: “I loved Accidental Diva. I’m so excited to get my book signed.”
Tia: “Your skin is fabulous. What do you use on your skin?”
Me: “I get my skincare in Paris every year. The formulas are different and the French are known for skincare.”
Tia: “You should start a blog?”
Me: “A who? Why?”
Tia: “Because there are women who need to read what you write. That is a love for beauty, honey!”
Since that conversation there have been numerous trips to Paris, my own Parisian Beauty Tour (only 5 spaces left), and major life changes. Blogging has changed so much since 2006. There was no Twitter or Instagram (Follow me @JuliaConey). It’s been such a fun beauty ride. I am grateful to be working hard and doing something I am passionate about after all these years. I love that I am able to travel and hunt for undiscovered beauty items all over the world. It’s not a job. It’s my lifestyle and I love it.
There have been highs and lows – but that’s life. I’m learning to embrace all of it. To be thankful for the moments because life is precious. I am grateful for all the readers who keep coming back to read what I write, the sponsors, companies, and brands that continue to work with me. To my family and friends your support has been everything. To the best mom and aunt in the world. Thank you for buying me perfume at Neiman’s and letting me paint my nails from an early age. It turned out okay. A big shout out goes to my husband. After almost 7 years together (how did that happen) he still supports me and doesn’t question my constant traveling. Ever. I am able to be a better woman and business woman with him by my side. It takes a village ladies and my village is awesome.
I hope you continue to read, be inspired, and find your own beautimous lifestyle.
My motto has and will always be:
BEAUTY IS A LIFESTYLE – NOT JUST A PRODUCT.
Here’s to the next 8 years. May they be equally as beauty-full!
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro is a charming and luscious story of one woman’s search to find herself. I was a very big fan of Tessaro’s Elegance and this book reinforces why I like her as a writer. The story takes place in beautiful cities around the world – New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, and London. All places that I have traveled and are beautiful in their own unique way. I felt reading the book transported me to a by gone era through perfume and prose. As an avid perfume junkie I couldn’t help but be drawn to the complex world of fragrance combining, inspiration and why scent is important. I suggest adding this book to your summer book list. These are my favorite quotes quotes from the book.
“‘Perfume should tell a story – the story of who you are, who you might be, perhaps even of who you fear becoming . . . all of these things are possible. It’s a very intimate element of a woman, just like her signature or the sound of her voice. And it conveys feelings and states of being that have no name, no language. Its very ambiguity makes it truer than words because, unlike words, it can’t be manipulated or misunderstood.'”
“‘Perfumers are always attempting to capture scents that remind us of certain places, people, moments. It’s the great challenge, to capture not only a true scent but one that recalls entire experience.'”
“‘I cannot bear that everyone smells alike. It’s vulgar…There is something wrong, deeply wrong, about an entire room of women who all smell the same.'”
TokyoMilk’s Dark Tainted Love Parfum is a lovely and sexy scent waiting for you to purchase it. It has all the fragrance notes that makes this beauty girl’s heart beat faster and faster. Notes of dark vanilla bean, orchid, white tea and sandalwood work together to bring a unique scent. I’m a little bias. I like BIG scents and I cannot lie. If you are looking for soft and subtle this isn’t your scent. But, if you are willing to open your fragrance palate, try something different, and release your fragrance inhibitions this is for you. Unique is good. I can guarantee you won’t smell this on many people. Margot Elena crafts unique scents. It might be too much for most people in the daylight so the cloak of darkness will work for wearing it. Me? This scent works 24/7.
Coco Chanel said “A women who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” I want a future. What about you?
Happy first day of April! Where did the first three months of the year go? It seems to have flown by. It’s also “green month.” I’m in a constant battle of wanting to be more eco-friendly so I plan to feature some green items that I am currently loving for the month. It’s my last full day in Louisiana and I am excited to return home. I will miss my family, but I am excited to hang out with my husband, prep for a 20-day raw cleanse starting April 8 and get back to my normal routine. There is nothing like coming to Louisiana and slowing down. It refuels me. I have a ritual when I come – Sam’s Club and crawfish in no particular order.
When I arrived last week we headed straight to Sam’s Club like we always do. I have a no book/paper buying for the month of April so heading to the book section was a treat. I perused a few books, but decided to pick up Jessica Alba’s new book The Honest Life. I battled with whether or not I should be writing about another celebrity book. It’s always a catch 22 with me. I think we are in a too-celebrity driven culture, but should I not write about a book I actually enjoyed just because the author is a celebrity. Over the past few days I really got into the book. I took away some valuable information and not just on buying her products.
The book focuses on living naturally as a lifestyle and not just the trend of the moment. I know many people who do juice fasts only to realize they don’t work and are even crankier because they haven’t changed their lifestyle. I talked with my cousin about the dilemma. She is so removed from social media and blogging that her voice is fresh and what I always need when I’m stuck with things like this. She said “You really don’t have a choice. If your review helps one person – write it. Isn’t your blog about beauty as a lifestyle? Well, this book agrees with your lifestyle. I like Jessica and I don’t even know her.” I put the photo of the book on Facebook and a few of my friends wanted to know my honest (no pun intended) opinion.
I think Jessica has done a great job with this book. I call myself pretty organized, but I can say now I’m the proud owner of a label maker. I am a scarf junkie year round and they are everywhere with no organization whatsoever. I plan to organize my scarves, clean out, label and spring clean not just my kitchen but every space in my home. I am excited to really label my spices which have taken a life of their own in my pantry. There are topics on food, home, beauty, style and baby. The book has that easy to read format where you can jump back and forth between chapters – unless you are like me and need to read from the beginning to the end. In reading the book I decided to do a little celebrity Jessica stalking. I looked at her Instagram and Twitter feeds (but I haven’t made the leap to follow). I felt like the book matched the woman and it sounded like her voice. I have a few missteps in the past with celebrity books and you can tell someone wrote it for them.
Thanks Jessica for a great book full of your tips and adorable family photos.
If time flies when you have fun, then it has been a blast over the past 7 years. Yes, 7. Seriously. Where did those seven years go? There have been ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything is a lesson. From the first blog post I wanted to write about my life which focuses on beauty at its center, but on enjoying life at its core. My mission and my goal is to encourage women to live a beautimous lifestyle. It is attainable if you remain true to yourself and realize what works for you may not work for everyone else. It will take sacrifice (no more lattes for me), but it’s worth it.
The motto of All About the Pretty is beauty is a lifestyle, not a just a product. I love a great lip gloss and blush, but I must be able to also apply them at home, as well as, heading out to a restaurant in Paris, eating enchiladas and sipping margaritas in Texas and Louisiana, laying on the beach in Mexico or Kauai, and enjoying family and friends when I get the opportunity. Life is for the living as my friend Jewel so eloquently points out to me.
I purchased the above beauty pouch on my trip to St. Paul de Vence, France last year on my yoga and art journal retreat. The minute I saw it I knew I had to have it. It spoke to my belief on how life should be – Oh! Ma Beaute! (Oh! My Beauty). Beauty is everywhere. It’s inside you, around you, on your next trip, on your next purchase, and it encompasses everything about you.
I am grateful to my readers, the companies that work with me, the amazing friends I have met along the journey, and my husband and family who continue to support me and were the original readers of the blog. It’s been 7 beauty-full years and there isn’t an itch in sight. Mwah!
Wow. That’s what I thought when I woke up this morning. I’m 40. I’m happy and there are no words to explain this joy. It seems in our culture youth is glorified and growing older is frowned upon. Well, guess what? Screw that! I am happy about 40. What’s not to love? It is time as women we embrace getting older. We could be on the other side of the ground. With so many bad things happening in our world, age should be the last thing we focus negatively on. I decided that for this birthday I wanted to make a gratitude list in celebration of this momentous birthday because I am a blessed girl.
- I have a man who loves me. He loves me in all my splendor, quirkiness, craziness, and everything in between. I mean the kind of love where he would sit through Anna Karenina with me just because it’s love. Is it all butterflies and rainbows. No, but it’s love, respect, and mutual values.
- My family is doing well. Family comes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. This means the family I was born into and the family I have acquired through friendship.
- To my best friend for life Cassaundra. I love you so much. You are my rock. There are no words to describe how much you mean to me.
- I feel great and strong. After a few months of not feeling like myself due to a thyroid issue, I feel normal again.
- I am grateful for my friends. I am blessed to have great women and men in my life that I can count on.
- I don’t look 40. I thank Mama Dear for making me take care of my skin. She always said “pretty makeup looks good on pretty skin” and it is the truth.
- I have been to five continents. Let’s think about this. Most people haven’t been to one. I’m planning on visiting the other two in the next five years. Forget the bucket list, I have the expectation list. I’m grateful for my travel experiences. They have shaped me in so many ways.
- I’m proud of myself for finishing 34 books so far this year. I made it a point to only watch really good TV and read more this year. I look forward to surpassing this number in 2013. I wanted to try and get to 40 or 50 books, but life got in the way and that is a good thing.
- I am blessed to have found yoga. Everyday my practice, my breath, and my mat mean so much to me.
- I am thankful for my feet that will carry me across the finish line at a half-marathon next month. I used to be a marathoner and have a few under my feet. The past few years have been rough with injuries. I have been feeling good in my runs and excited to get back to the sport.
- Blogging. Where would I be without it? It’s hard to imagine my obsession with beauty products and travel would lead to all this. The amazing women and men I have met through blogging inspire me every day. Am I still obsessed? You bet.
For this birthday I wanted to go back to the old me. I started last week. As much I as I love my curly hair long, I love my hair short more. So to get this birthday extravaganza month started I went back to what I love – short hair. This is 40 baby! Short hair, no makeup, glowing skin, and happiness. Here’s to the next 40.
I was intrigued by the name Skin, An Apothecary when Iris contacted me about trying the line. The name was different and so was the history. It was started by Iris’s aunt Candace. The idea of a niche family beauty business peaked my interest and I knew that I wanted Skin, An Apothecary products in the beauty arsenal. Wow. The first whiff of the Soy Body Whip in Aspen made me want to weep. It is the perfect scent for summer skin. If I could bottle summer, this would be it.
The company was founded in Aspen and captures its lush surroundings with notes of lime leaf, grapefruit, amber, and pine. After the first application of this body whip I wished my grandmother Mama Dear was living to try it. She would have me on the computer ordering more jars so she wouldn’t run out. The potion lady and my Aunt P will definitely have this in their mailboxes soon. I need a trip to Aspen just to meet this family who created something so divine. I love Women Who Create the Pretty and make me proud to be a beauty girl.
I have gone from sipping Cabernet to now wearing it. Seriously. When I first heard about these wine inspired fragrances I had to investigate. Thanks to Kelly & Jones collection of wine-inspired scents I’m now wearing my cocktail. The scents were created after a visit to Napa for wine tasting. If you’ve never been to Napa. Plan a trip. It’s really beautiful. And just like wine these scents have many notes that appear at different times wearing the scent. It is a perfect blend of wine and perfume unlike anything I have ever smelled. It is so unique people will be asking what you are wearing and it’s your beauty duty to tell them. Although you really don’t want to.