Over time, I've collected bits and pieces of the routine beauty habits that create Karrueche's beautiful skin. For the most part, we've been surviving on scraps, but we are eating today girlies!  

Karrueche recently spilled the details to her entire regimen.  Because I'm such a creeper, I've already uncovered and written about some of what she does to create her glow.  But there were some new revelations in this article that I wasn't previously aware of.  

Let's discuss.
Thanks to an interview from The Cut, we know have full knowledge of the secrets to Karrueche's perfect skin.  I'm sure some of it is genetics, but this girl really puts in work. You can tell that healthy skin is something she's passionate about. These are the type of people that we can learn the most from.  I mean, just look at her skin.
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The first secret that Karrueche reveals is that she's invested in a facial steamer.  She utilizes it to prep her skin prior to masking. This is absolutely brilliant because steaming before any facial treatment will only enhance the results.  When the pores are clear (post-steaming) the hydrating effects of a mask are amplified. Following the mask, she seals all the goodness in by closing her pores using ice cubes.  Here's the running list of celebrities who use ice-cubes in their regimen.

1. Naomi Campbell
2. Pharrell 
3. Jasmine Tookes
4. Karrueche Tran

That's just a few.  If you weren't digging my cold shower recommendation, an ice cube facial is probably the next best thing. 

She then goes on to name off a few of her favorite masks.  Turn out I was right when I guessed that her golden mask was Peter Thomas Roth's 24k Lifting/Firming Mask.  She says it herself in this interview.  Kae's other favorite masks include Glam Glow, Origins and LaMer.  Sounds like a pretty good line up if you ask me.

Beyond the intense masking regimen, we know that Karrueche is a big fan of saunas.  She relies on the sauna as a way to do a major detox on her skin.   She doesn't go into much detail in the interview, but we're already aware that this girl doesn't just sauna, she has a complete sauna-skin clearing routine

 One, not so healthy habit she has is obsessively picking at her skin.  For most of us, this is a death sentence.  Discoloration and acne scars will abound when we mess with our skin.  But, with the help of a steamer or sauna, removing gunk that lays beneath the surface becomes much easier.  That's probably how she's able to get away with it. 

If you're desperate to clear out white/black heads, laying below the surface of your skin, try this multi-step technique.  

The last thing I want to highlight from her interview is a reveal of her HOLY GRAIL skin product.  Although I prided myself in figuring out most of her ritual, I had no knowledge of the ONE ITEM that gets her the most compliments.

Karrueche once splurged on Chanel's Hydra Beauty Serum and has never looked back.  Apparently, this stuff is so good that she immediately restocks once it runs out.  It makes sense to always go back to the product that is guaranteed to generate comments. This item isn't cheap but seems to be pretty amazing.  All the reviews are glowing. If you want to give it a try, be prepared to invest over $100.00.  If you aren't ready just yet, consider trying the hero ingredient and see if you can get favorable results. One thing I noticed was that camellia seed oil was included.  This is the same oil that Gabrielle Union swears by.  I love Camellia seed but I haven't incorporated it into my skin care regimen. I'm definitely going to blend a drop or two into my favorite cream or serum and see what transpires.  Then adding Chanel's Hydra Serum to my splurge list.

One beauty secret that we're aware of, but wasn't mentioned in the article is the fact that Karrueche also indulges in various health tonics & juices that keep her skin glowing from the inside out.  She also goes into her favorite hair products.  But I won't spoil it, you can check out the full interview here
Last night, after showering, I made a bee-line to my stash of facial masks.  My husband, always curious, asks the obvious question.

What are you doing?
I'm about to do a face mask. 
 "Now" he asks.
Yes, now.

Even though we were going to bed shortly, I felt it was the  \most opportune time to indulge in a facial mask. This idea was partially inspired by a series of Instastories that flashed through my screen earlier that day.

The saga featured a series of 3 images.  The first portrayed a young lady, looking slightly tired, asking her followers whether they cleansed prior to bed or in the a.m.  Next, she inquired if she should go the extra mile (beyond basic cleansing) to masking her skin before dozing off to sleep.

Then came a short clip of her rummaging through a draw of infinite types of masks.  Finally, we see her looking like a completely different woman.  Skin glowing like the sun.  The transformation was admirable, but does it make sense to use your precious facial masks only to fall asleep shortly thereafter?

I'm joining team "mask before bed" and I'll tell you why.

In order to understand why masking before bed is so awesome, we must first be aware of what happens to our skin as we sleep.  Sleep is the time for our body to rebuild and repair.  That's why we function so horribly when we don't get enough.  Much of the repair process takes place internal but many of the internal processes have a real impact on our skin.

I mentioned before that our human growth hormone (HGH) levels are at their peak while we sleep.  These hormones are responsible for youthful, healthy looking skin.  When our HGH is outta whack, we end up looking tired and miserable.  When our HGH levels are in high gear, new cell production is at its peak.

You might ask yourself, "if my body is already hard at working rebuilding my skin, why do I need to mask?"  Great question!  When you go to a spa for a facial, do they immediately layer their special treatment products on a cleansed face? Typically not. First they'll likely steam for deeper pore cleansing.  Chances are, they'll even exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Then, they'll layer the nourishing products.  The pore cleansing and exfoliating only help to heighten the overall results.

But, what do we do before bed? We cleanse, add moisturizers, then sleep.

What if we took a few moments to prep the skin first? That's what masks do. They cleanse deeply. They exfoliate. They perfectly prep our skin for the next step.  Your ultra expensive skin creams will be received differently by the skin if you prep it accordingly.

Back in the day, when I had out of control acne, a mask before bed could mean that I'd wake up with clearer skin.  It was a must.

Also, have you noticed that your skin has been a lot drier when you wake up?  Moisture levels in the air have plummeted and your heater is only making the situation worse. Add to this the fact that our skin naturally dehydrates overnight (like the rest of our body).  Imagine the difference your skin could experience if you were to treat yo' self to a hydrating mask just before bed.

 You'd wake up with a skin of an angel.  At least that's what I'm speculating. But you'll never know unless you try this for yourself.

Back when I read a bunch of business-related books. One subject that I wanted to constantly learn about was time management.  My mind runs at 100 miles an hour. This means that I'm constantly jumping from task to task without making much progress.

I'll never forget the time when I landed my first professional job.  The girl training me would teach me a few tasks than observe me while I worked.  After a few moments of observation, the asked me to stop jumping from one task to another so I could actually finish what I was doing.  Being all over the place feels like I'm busy but, in the end, I found myself rarely getting the most important things done.

To solve this problem, I tested out a variety of time management strategies.  Most of them produced positive outcomes. But one strategy, in particular, improved my results by leaps and bounds.
I almost forgot about this technique until recently.  While watching Instagram stories, one woman talked about how great of a day she had. She's a celebrity stylist who eventually launched a successful online fashion boutique.  I've followed her for years and witnessed entrepreneurial growth first hand.

While describing her amazing day, she let us in on the strategy that allows her to produce massive results.

Simply put, she manages her day on an hour by hour basis.

Each hour she takes a moment to look back and asks herself if she made good use of her time.

I first learned the concept of managing each hour in 2005 while looking for a solution for my unproductive days.  The answer came in the form of using a daily time log.  My first few times using a time log was a disaster.  Hours would go by and I'd forget to document my activities.  When I did remember, I had to think hard on what I actually accomplished in the past 3-4 hours.  Sure, I was busy doing a bunch of stuff, but was I actually being productive? Most of the time, I was shocked that I allowed a couple of hours just slip by without even realizing it.

After a few days of tracking my activity by hour, I became hyper-aware of how quickly time would dissipate if I didn't take ownership of it.  My activity changed drastically because I wanted to log something meaningful at the end of each hour.  Even if I didn't complete an important task in an hour, I'd still be satisfied as long as I was working on something of value.  The point of the exercise is to bring awareness to our subconscious action.

Most importantly, hourly time management raises the level of accountability, intention, and focus of our daily activity.

Once I got used to tracking my hourly activity, I took it to the next step by building my daily to-do list using this format. Simply put, I tried to plan my day on an hour by hour basis (before the start of the workday) then challenged myself to maintain this schedule.  A-list celebrities and successful individuals are so busy that they plan their day using the same (hour-by-hour) format.  I heard that Ryan Seacrest plans his day 15 minutes at a time.  They don't allow half a day to slip by without accomplishing something critical.

People throw around the term time management loosely but, to me, this is the true definition of managing your time.

 First, decide what's most important (and what will provide the most impact), then design your most optimal day.  One that you would classify as amazing.  Then create a daily schedule of how you will execute this day (hour by hour).  Things will pop up and your schedule will change.  Chances are, you won't be able to perfectly ahere to that schedule. But, if you start with a solid plan, you'll likely have one of your most productive days ever.  The more you implement this technique, the better you'll become at executing it to your satisfaction.

For fun, try printing out an hourly time log and track your time this week to see how powerful this technique can be. 

(*Another way I apply this technique is to simply set an hour countdown on my phone. Each time an hour passes, my phone buzzes, I reset the timer and I log how I used the hour*).
The year is quickly coming to a close.  How was 2017 for you? Was it amazing? Are you confident in what lays ahead for you in 2018? If you're fully certain that 2018 is geared exceed your expectations, may I offer some advice on how to change your life's direction?

Perhaps there are some goals on your list that you struggle to reach.  Have you ever considered that part of the reason why things aren't falling into place is because of who we are "being."
I've heard multiple people talk about who they are "being."  Whenever my brother wants to accomplish something bigger than he's done before, he doesn't work harder, he shifts his focus to creating a personal transformation.

Years ago, I attended a seminar in which the facilitator invested quite a bit of time on the topic of who we are being.  Basically, our way of being is a culmination of our current actions.   What we do repeatedly (and how we do it) is who we are being.  I know that this concept might be a bit confusing but stay with me.

When you want to create change, but you're operating the same way you always have, it becomes a real struggle.  You can work harder and see some modest improvements.  But if you're trying to create a total transformation, you'll have to really work on yourself.  You'll have to learn to operate in a way that naturally creates (and attracts) amazing results.

Sounds good, but how does someone become amazing?

a·maz·ing
əˈmāziNG/
adjective
  1. causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.

    "an amazing number of people registered"

    synonyms:astonishingastoundingsurprisingstunning, staggering, shockingstartling, stupefying, breathtakingMore
    • informal
      startlingly impressive.

My favorite definition of the word amazing is "startlingly impressive."  Let's say you have a goal to earn six figures in 2018.  When you take an honest look at your actions, would you label them as startlingly impressive?  For myself, I can say that, in most instances, my current way of being is average, not at all impressive.   And I can directly link my results to the way I have been operating.

All of us have experienced times in our lives when our repeated actions have astonished us.  We get laser focused and put a ton of intense effort into what we're doing.  Before we know it, we're enjoying the fruits of our consistent labor. Recently, I watched a video featuring an up and coming fashion influencer.  Her life has changed drastically since she starting gaining notoriety for her personal style and sense of fashion.  When asked for advice about how someone could alter their lifestyle like she has, her response was "become amazing and you'll attract amazing."

Her words really resonated with me because it caused me to take a look at my most recent behaviors. After a bit of reflection, I realized that I wasn't operating in a way that will create astonishing results.

It's time to do some course-correcting.

I'm taking her advice. But, I'll tweak to say "be & feel amazing and you'll attract amazing." If I haven't been operating in an amazing way, I may not suddenly feel motivated behave differently. But, feeling amazing is the ultimate catalyst for me to move in a direction where my actions will follow suit. This basically means raising my vibration by implementing my feel good routine.  When we feel amazing, it because way easier to do amazing things.

Once I start feeling amazing, I'll ask myself, "is what I'm doing now going to create the amazing results that I want?" Would someone look at my actions and be astonished by what I'm doing? Who are some people that I would classify as amazing? What are they doing? Who are they being?"  

Becoming amazing doesn't happen overnight.  It's a process.  You don't have to operate amazingly at everything you do, just in the areas where you want to experience or attract amazing results.  We're trying to match our vibration with what we want to experience. Being amazing is how we get there.
A couple of months ago, I traveled to another state to visit a friend for her birthday.  Before leaving, I was doing pretty well with my eating habits so I set an intention to return home without gaining any extra weight.

At one point a group of us went out for breakfast.  Instead of ordering fresh squeezed orange juice, I requested a cup of hot water and several lemon slices.  This warm lemon tea helped keep me from polishing off the home fries on my plate.  A friend sitting beside me was happy to lend a helping hand and take the rest.

I was proud of my self for choosing warm lemon water in hopes that it would help curb my appetite. But little did I know that this one act could also help prevent junk food related fat gain.
This is according to a study of rats in which researchers were determined to learn if supplementation with vitamin C impacted the effects of poor eating habits. The subjects were divided into 3 groups.

Group 1: Was given their normal diet.
Group 2: Ate a horrible diet consisting of fries, cookies, chips, bacon, chocolate, etc.
Group 3: Ate the horrible diet plus a regimen of vitamin C based on their body weight.

Eight weeks later, the rats were assessed to see if there were any differences.  The results were astounding.  The vitamin C group somehow gained much less body fat than their counterparts who ate the same with no supplementation.  They only gained slightly above control group.  Somehow, vitamin C impeded the growth of fat.

Researchers theorize that antioxidants, like vitamin C, impede the production of certain hormones directly related to obesity.  One such hormone is cortisol.  This is the "stress hormone." When cortisol is released into the bloodstream, blood sugar levels to rise.  Spikes in blood sugar set off a series of reactions that promote fat storage (especially in the abdomen).  Taking your vitamin C can offer some level of protection, especially if your diet isn't up to par.

This study was done on mice but how does it translate in human subjects? In another study, obese individuals were kept on a fat restricted diet for a certain number of weeks. One group added vitamin C to their regimen, the other group took a placebo. Both groups lost weight, thanks to caloric restriction, but the vitamin C group seemed to experience a slightly greater loss of fat. How cool is that?

Keep in mind that vitamin C is highly unstable. Much of it is destroyed when exposed to typical food preparation process.  If you eat a bunch of processed foods, you should consider adding it to your vitamin regimen.  I haven't supplemented with C in a long time but I'm definitely adding this back to the lineup.  Knowing how it combats fat gain is an extra incentive.    It's a great supplement to take with your meals.

Let's not forget to also include foods high in vitamin C in our diets so our body can have access to natural sources of this fat-inhibiting nutrient. Lemons are just the start.  But there are many other fruits & veggies that offer ample amounts of vitamin C such as bell peppers, kale, tomatoes, kiwi, papayas, melons, etc.

Lemon water, although not at the top of the list of vitamin C rich foods, provides that extra benefit of feeling fuller so you can consume fewer calories per meal.  Plus it can help you digest your meal. That's a win-win.