I've craved Kevin Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer immediately after stumbling upon Ashley Weatherford's skin care regimen.  I had no idea what to expect, but the name alone (sensual skin enhancer) made my mouth water.  This stuff is magic on my textured scars.  The consistency is super thick but it melts into the skin like butter.  Which is part of the reason it covers so well.  What I love most about this product is that it can be used in so many ways.  It can be a concealor, a highlighter or a foundation, depending on how you decide to use it.  Some skin enhancer lovers enjoy mixing with primer or moisturizer to thin out the texture.  A little goes a long way, so even though you get a small amount of product, you only use a tiny amount.  Sensual Skin Enhancer is so yummy that I grabbed two shades SX14 (lighter than my skin) + SX15 (an exact match).  I love both equally.

The last thing I needed was another shimmer product but Becca Skin Perfector has brought me out of retirement.  After watching rave review after rave review, I couldn't take it anymore.  Without a doubt this has to be one of my favorite purchases.  What makes Becca's Skin Perfector so amazing is the tiny particle size of the shimmer.  It blends with the skin incredibly well.  Therefore, you will not look like you have specks of glitter on your face.  It's the most flawless glow ever.  The shade I chose was Topaz.  My camera didn't do a great job of accurately capturing the shade. Topez is a much bronzier color, you can see a better representation here
My staple foundation for years was MakeUp Forever HD Foundation.  It did a marvelous job of covering my obvious acne scars.  But, good skin care practices and consistent exfoliation has really changed my skin. So I started looking for a great quality foundation with a more natural finish.  Nearly every comparison review of MakeUp Forever HD vs NARS Sheer Glow gave NARS the advantage.  NARS sheer glow is a perfect match for my skin and looks extremely natural on my skin. It looks like my skin, only better.  I love it as much as the Giorgio Armani foundation which was also on the wish list.  My only gripe is that I don't really like the packaging. I wish it came out in a pump.  Unlike what the name suggests, this doesn't give you dewy skin.  But it's definitely a non-dry formula which makes it a great foundation for fall/winter.  
 I haven't had a chance to use these WrinkleResist24 eye masks yet so I have no initial thoughts.  But Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner stole my heart after I first tried their sample size.  You get great color payoff and long wear for the price.  Definitely one of my faves.
I've already raved about Murad's Invisiblur.  I have needed this product for so long.  Sometimes, I can't be bothered with wearing foundation. I just want to go out, makeup free with only sunscreen.  None of my sunscreens would allow me to do that.  They all had a whitish tint.  Murad goes on the skin FLAW-LESS-LY and leaves absolutely no trace.  The only thing you notice is a slight blurring of the skin, making it look smoother.  Now, you can leave the house with only sunscreen on and look great.  I don't care how much it costs, Invisiblur is my knight in shining armor. What makes me love it even more is that it contains anti aging peptides to actually improve the skin.  In the past, I would put on sunscreen out of necessity...it wasn't one of my favorite steps in my regimen. But now, I absolutely love applying my sunscreen because it actually ads value to the final look. Because it's also a primer, my makeup looks even better with it on.  I will say that Invisiblur does matte out the skin (without drying it) so anyone with oily skin might really like this.   I mean, what else can I say about Murad?  It's literally a dream come true product for me.

For most of my life, I suffered from chronic acne which seemed to get worse the older I got.  The only reprieve I experienced was during the fall and winter months.

My skin seemed to calm down a bit.  I could actually leave the house without feeling embarrassed by crazy break outs.   Fast forward to the present.  Excessive acne breakouts seem to be a thing of the past.  Nowadays my main concerns are primarily around the elimination of skin discoloration and deep scaring.

Because of the shift in seasons, I notice that my skin is behaving a bit more.  There's less congestion in my pores, and it's not as oily as usual.   It takes less work to keep clear.  Could this be a wonderful side effect of my recent bout of healthy eating? I sure hope so. My first thought was of how I could take it easier on my regimen for the next several months because I probably won't experience another major breakout until 2016.

Immediately, I began to challenge my limited thinking.  Instead of sitting back and coasting on my skin care until spring, why not get really aggressive and allocate all of my energy on finally achieving flawless skin? If I won't break out for a few months, then NOW is the time to get aggressive with treating discoloration. This is like invading the enemy camp ground while they're sound asleep.  Victory is a sure thing.

So here's the battle plan.  The strategy is to focus on deep exfoliation and intense moisture.  Ideally, I'd like to complete a series of oxygen facial treatments (once a month or bi-monthly) until spring.  Oxygen facials are perfect because they incorporate deep exfoliation and intense moisture at once.  I was watching a reality show recently where Naomi Campbell made a guest appearance before a big fashion show.  While there she made a single demand request that all the models receive an oxygen facial before the big show.  That's how phenomenal & necessary this facial is.

As soon as I run out of my current cleanser, I'm transitioning to Phace's low pH cleanser.  Hopefully this will keep the skin in perfect balance and ward off over drying.  Lately, I've started adding a couple drops of pure mandelic acid to my cleanser to test out the impact of daily chemical exfoliation.   So far, so good.

Of course winter is the perfect time to step our water drinking game up.  Beyond that, I'm committed to making sure I sweat regularly during the cooler months.  I completed a second infrared sauna session a couple days ago and I can't wait to go back. The amount of deep cleansing that happens during a sauna session is real.  Immediately after the intense sweat, I start scrubbing my skin for dear life.   I'm convinced that if I maintain this routine over the winter that my all over body glow will be in full effect by next summer.

So, as you can tell, instead of taking it easy this winter, I plan to go hard.  Now is the time to make huge progress and maybe our results will be multiplied because we don't have to work against our over active summer skin.  It's just a theory but I'm willing to try it out.  If your skin seems to calm down during the winter months, I urge you to take the proactive approach. Instead of easing up on your efforts, multiply them and create and absolute best skin of your life.
I have a pretty extensive nail polish collection. Part of the reason is because I was buying random colors that I wasn't really in love with.  Sometimes I would grab a handful of bottles at blogger events.  After filling two storage containers with nail colors I barely used, I changed my strategy.

From that point forward, I would only grab colors that I was obsessed with AND that went well with my skin tone.  No more wild experimentation.  Only colors that I would reach for over and over again.  Here's a list of my favorites thus far:
Essie Sand Tropez
No joke, I've purchased Essie's Sand Tropez at least 4 times.  The first time my eyes laid on this color was when "Basketball Wife" Draya Michelle posted it on social media immediately after her manicure.   Within 24 hours, Sand Tropez was in my hands.  I get the most compliments when I wear this color. Sand Tropez is thee perfect neutral nude.  I have lots of nude polishes but, hands down, this has to be my absolute favorite.
OPI's Taupeless Beach is another color that I purchased after first sight.  The image above caused me to get in car, drive to the store and with the intention of not returning home until I got what I wanted. Actually, I wasn't able to determine the true color of image above.  After a little research, I came to the conclusion that Taupeless Beach was that shade I desired.  I wanted a mauvey-grey polish for the longest.  Every time I wear this shade, I keep staring at my nails.  I totally understand why the woman felt compelled to prop her feet on her car door and snap this pic.  Taupless Beach makes me so happy. 
Revlon// Gray Suede
Random Snap of Revlon Gray Suede
Before Essie's Sand Tropez came into my life, there ways Revlon's Gray Suede.  This is another polish that I've repurchased multiple times.  It's a less gray/more nude version of Taupeless Beach. Unlike Sand Tropez, Grey Suede does have some pink undertones to it.
Speaking of pink. On my want list is OPI's Steady as She Rose.  I love pink nails but I still haven't found my every day pink nail shade.  Steady as She Rose may be the answer.  Since my local beauty supply store didn't have it in stock, I'll have to grab it online.  Is this not the prettiest soft pink shade you've ever seen?

Once I have Steady as She Rose in my clutches, I'll be on the look out for a pink shade similar to the one above.  I can't tell what shade this is so I badly need your help.  What's your favorite soft pink nail color that you can't live without?

Happy Monday!  We're already midway through November.  In several weeks, 2015 will be over and we'll be entering into a new year.  This time of year is really special to me.  To me, the countdown to the approaching year makes me want to step up my level of action.  The procrastinator in me loves deadlines.  Which is why this time of year excites me so much.

In the past, I would work all year long then request vacation the last two weeks of the year.  My supervisors thought I was taking time off to visit friends and family. But in actuality, I was at home working long hours on my side business.

When January 3rd came around, I'd return back to work feeling very accomplished because of all the progress made.  Looking back, I would say that last two weeks of the year have made a huge impact on the results I'm experiencing today.  That simple act of intention is altering the course of my life.

I'm here to inspire you to develop your own End of Year Ritual.  Sometimes we fail to focus on our goals throughout the year.  This ritual helps you make huge progress by placing heaving focus on creating the life you want.  I've maintained an end of year ritual for years.  Some years, I'd dedicate the entire two weeks towards business building.  Other times, I'd create a consistent health and fitness routine.  One year, I decluttered my entire home from top to bottom.  My favorite year was when I invested the two weeks into developing a robust beauty & daily self care routine.

This end of year process allows you to take a look at your current status while identifying the areas in your life where you need to make the greatest amount of progress.  That way you aren't scrambling to make changes in your life on January 1, 2015.  That rarely works.  I prefer making the changes before hand, then making commitments on Jan 1 to continue this behavior into the brand new year.

I'm bringing up this topic a little early because this year, instead of creating the end of year ritual, I'd like to starting "living into" the end of year ritual.  Meaning, instead of using the end of the year to declutter, I'll declutter ahead of time and enjoy the experience of being in a clean/organized environment.  Instead of trying to lose a few stubborn pounds at the end of the year, I'll do it now, then I'll enjoy my new body by picking up a couple of dresses. My goal, the last two weeks of this year, is to live into my desired life for 2016.

 Living into an experience is a powerful tool in the creation process in so many ways.  I know the end of the year is super busy. The holidays are in full effect, you've got family in town, you're cooking meals for 100 people.  I get it.  But if we aren't careful, that time slips by and, before we know it, 2016 is here and we feel no closer to our goals than at the start of 2015.  Let's try something different this time and live into our destiny.

Posted in Uncategorized.
I haven't talked much about dating and relationships on this blog.  Although I have a bunch of thoughts on the topic, I'm not an expert.  But, there's one piece of advice that I've repeatedly given out to friends, family and co-workers that I must share with you.

I came to this conclusion as a result of my past profession.  Over my career I've interviewed and hired hundreds of candidates.  Sometimes the process works well and, other times,  we recruited what we thought was a great candidate only to find out that we made a serious hiring mistake.

Tired of repeating the same cycle over and over, I decided to approach the process differently.  My new process worked so well that I had to tell the other hiring managers.  Each manager that implemented my recommendation noticed improvement in hiring the right person. They were all grateful for my advice.

The advice I gave out was actually dating advice applied to the hiring process.  Because, in my mind, interviewing and hiring was similar to dating and getting married.  Now, I share these words of wisdom purely as dating advice.  In fact, I actually had a conversation with a guy yesterday who recently got out of a bad relationship.  As he was sharing the story of what went wrong, the red flags jumped out at me.  The first thing he said, after I gave him my world famous advice, was "I wish I would've heard this earlier."

Here it is......Here's the dating/relationship advice that could change your life.  Listen close.

When you are dating/courting.  The natural tendency is to identify what we like about the person, or what we have in common.  Once we've identified those traits, we tend to only focus on them to the point of ignoring (or explaining away) any of the negative traits.

My advice is this.  When you are dating, make a list of the "negative" traits you see in the person.  Negative simply means traits that don't align with what you want in a partner.  In the case of the guy I was talking to yesterday, one of her negative traits was that she wasn't a communicator.  He loves to talk and wants someone who can engage in lively conversations. But the woman he was engaged to would communicate via text versus having robust conversations.  You're probably asking yourself, "why would a guy who loves to communicate propose to a woman who barely wants to talk?"  Because he committed a common dating mistake of only focusing on what he liked about her.  When I asked him to really articulate what he loved about her, he couldn't give me any substance.  The answers were extremely shallow and he realized that once he tried to verbalize them in a way that made sense.

Instead of focusing on everything you like about a suitor, I invite you to take inventory of the misaligned traits that peak out during the dating process.

Once you have a list of non-aligned traits, I want you to multiply them by 10X!

After you've multiplied the undesirable traits by 10X, ask yourself, "am I still willing to accept this in a partner knowing that I will have to deal with this issue times 10?"  If the answer is yes, then you are clear to proceed.

Let's say you are dating a handsome guy who seems really into you.  He's super funny, cute, open to new experiences and loves being around you.  But you see faint signs of a few traits that you aren't fond of.

1. He gets so excited that sometimes he doesn't let you finish your sentences before he starts talking.
2. His car is a bit messy which bothers you slightly because you're a clean freak.
3. He sometimes will cancel last minute to go out with friends.
4. He avoids conflict and doesn't like to talk about his feelings or things that really concern you.

Those are just a few things you notice.  They're not serious enough to break up with a person over.  Now you multiply each trait by 10X which could look like this.

1. He's so into his opinions that he always interrupting you mid-sentence.
2. He's a total slob which means that you have to pick up after him all day, every day.
3. He always puts friends and family over you when it comes to his free time.
4. Your relationship is empty and void because the two of you don't discuss important matters.

I realize that the list above is an exaggeration and might not happen.  But, I want you to think like it can and WILL happen.  Why? Because as the dating euphoria wears off, the negative traits will grow in intensity.

But, if you look at the list (multiplied by 10X) and you say, actually, I can deal with these issues, then feel free to move forward.  Please note, there is a difference between "I can deal with... and "I can change this about him".......

Please, please let go of any thoughts about trying to change a person.  That's a losing battle that will require lots of time, energy and emotional power.  It's draining and almost never works.  This is not about changing a person, it's about what you are willing to accept.  What if you say to yourself, " I can't accept having someone always interrupting me and not allowing me to express myself."   Now, you have a decision to make.  Do you break up with the guy right now? Maybe.

You can also continue to date and observe whether you see signs of the non-negotiable trait(s) becoming worse. It's a good idea to let the person know, in a calm manner, that you noticed sometimes he doesn't allow you to finish your sentences then see what happens.  If he makes a real conscious effort to shift his behavior.....great!  But exerting tons of effort to change a person is not the answer.

I've seen too many people completely ignore red flags then enter into long term commitments only to break off because of a sign that existed since day 1.  Don't waste time and energy on a "unqualified candidate" when there are tens of thousands of people who meet your minimum requirements.

Use this method as a way of preventing unhealthy relationships and, essentially, wasting your time.  Nobody's perfect and this isn't about finding the perfect person. It's about recognizing which "flaws" are tolerable and which are a no-go.