The last thing I need is another lip gloss.  I have dozens of them.  With that said......I'm going to pick up one more.

Why? Because this lip gloss keeps appearing in my life and I'm finally going to take the hint.  Everyone raves about this drugstore gloss and it's now time for me jump on the bandwagon.
It all began when Kendra Bailey released her full skin reggie video.  I've been on a few of her Instagram lives and people were always asking what product she uses on her lips which always appear so naturally hydrated. Imagine my surprise when she revealed that her holy grail lip balm was by a brand we all know and love.

Once the secret was revealed, I filed that piece of information away until later.  Shortly afterward, this image flashed across my Pinterest feed.
After poking around a little in the comments I was bombarded by a bunch of people who praised the wonders of this amazing gloss-balm.

This stuff is AMAZING! it seriously makes your lips feel so good. It has like this cooling effect and it smells so good and it makes my lips look so good. I recommend this 10/10
This stuff is the bomb and smells soooo good! Can be used as lip balm AND a gloss!

I have tried this and it’s definitely a great moisturizer for the lips 👄 through these cold months!
My favorite love it

I stand by this lip gloss its sooo good!

I tried it and I love it! Super moisturizing
Not only is this lip gloss "super moisturizing," it's also enriched with SPF.  Warmer days are ahead which means we'll be spending more time outside.   If you're like me, you might be making the fatal mistake of layering sunscreen on your face but leaving your lips to fend for themselves.  I have one lip balm enriched with SPF but it does a poor job of hydrating and I barely use it.  Neutrogena Moisture Shine seems like the ultimate solution to all of my woes.

I'm picking some up today.

How was your weekend?  Did you catch up on some much-needed rest?  Or were you busy taking care of errands that you can't fit in during the week? Perhaps weekends are a time for socializing and hanging out with friends.

I really want to tell you how I've been spending my weekends for the past few months......because it's changing my life.
It all began back in November.  I wanted to do a little sprucing up around the house before the New Year.  It's kind of a tradition to get rid of some old stuff here and there but this year, it took on a totally different meaning.

Instead of just throwing out old things I didn't need, I decided to set a clear intention for my life.

My intention was clear, "to improve my life in one way or another before the new week began." I took on a compound effect approach to improving my life, one weekend at a time.   EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND I do something that I think will positively impact my situation.

And it's been working beautifully.

For the first phase of this "life enrichment project,"  I've focused mainly on elevating my environment.  I know myself. And I know that I'm heavily influenced by my surroundings.  When my home is cluttered, disorganized, neglected, I'm thrown off my game.   I also know how amazing I feel whenever I walk into a really nice restaurant or hotel.  It's undeniable.

So, every weekend, I dedicated a little bit of time towards enhancing my home in one way or another.  Some of the changes were small, some much more substantial.  As long as I could say to myself on Monday that I made a positive impact on my environment over the weekend, I was happy.


I began this journey because I needed to take an active role in creating my ideal life. Law of Attraction experts say that attracting what you desire becomes so much easier if you raise your personal vibration by making sure you're always feeling good.  When my environment is right, I feel absolutely amazing.  I'm not just cleaning my house on the weekends, I'm slowly transforming it into the vision I have for my ideal living space. When I reflect on how much progress I've made from when I first started this ritual in late 2017, I'm amazed.

When I held a full-time job, I utilized my weekends to slowly build the business I enjoy today.  I can't say enough how much you can get accomplished just by dedicating a few hours each weekend towards making your dreams a reality.

Weekends are a powerful opportunity to make great things happen.  Don't let it slip by.

Since taking on this mission of improving my life in some small way, every weekend, I've experienced countless benefits. The first, and most obvious, is that I feel amazing!  And because of this, I have been attracting good things into my life on a consistent basis.  It's incredible to watch it unfold and I can't wait to see/experience what lays ahead.

If you want to try this for yourself, you must first answer this important question, what raises your vibrational energy the most?  Do you feel your best when you look your best?  Are you energized by new experiences & environments?  Or are you fueled by sharing amazing experiencing with others?  Maybe you get your joy from self-care rituals like going to the spa.  Put some thought into it, reflect on those the times when you felt absolutely amazing.

Once you've clarified what most inspires and elevates you, take on the mantra of making small, incremental upgrades in those areas on a weekly basis.  Infuse that which makes you happy into your life.

The reason why it's important to make weekly, consistent improvements is that we need to stay consistent. And we want to compound our results.  Doing something once or twice means nothing. But if we keep building on what we've done before, we magnify our outcome.

The point is not to allow week after week to pass by without improving anything in our lives.  That's a huge mistake.  Especially since we have direct control of what we do with our time.  Let's give a small portion of our weekend towards creation-based activities.

I promise that you won't regret it.
As you may already know, I recently touched on the topic of incorporating the help of vitamin C in the battle for flawless skin.  The article was inspired by a comment I read on a forum where a woman who loaded up on vitamin C to battle a stubborn cold experienced glowing skin as an unintended side effect.

Once the article was published, I received a comment that was so valuable that I felt the need to continue this conversation of vitamin C and how it can transform our health & our skin.

Here's what the commenter had to say:
"Lypo-Spheric vitamin c packets have proven to be the very best. They really help with collagen production and overall immune system. The liquid packs also absorb into the blood stream faster. Not only do they improve the skin but you should read about cancer prevention through vitamin c. I take. 2 packs a day 1 in the am and 1 in The p.m. After about a week or so I started to notice that my skin was glowing my pores looked smaller and everyone around me was getting sick except me. A month later my blemish marks are noticeably fading. To experience these types of results so quickly was very motivating for me because with natural products typically you have to take them for a very long time (and faithfully) to see results which is nothing wrong with that but instant results are always nice."

I don't know about you, but the comment gave me goosebumps.  This person was basically putting us on to her glowing skin vitamin C secret.

Immediately, I darted to Amazon to look up Lypo-spheric vitamin C and was introduced to a world that I never knew existed.  Hours later, I read dozens of reviews just like the comment above from people who transformed their skin thanks to the highly absorbable, ultra-potent form of vitamin C.

Here are just a few:
 "It's only been a week and I noticed a difference in my skin. And I did what other reviews said. Take a shot glass with juice and knock it down. I can justify the cost if my skin changes this much for the better."

- I have noticed the big increase in my skin's elasticity and lines disappearing. More energy and definitely noticed my body improving on myofacial pain issues. 

- The most important thing is that it does its job and boy does this company get it right. My skin is glowing and I feel wonderful. A must-have for your supplement pyramid! I won't be buying other types of vitamin c anymore

- This stuff is amazing. Just put it in a small amount of water and drink all at once. Easy. I started taking this with a collagen protein supplement and within a week my skin was nearly glowing, much smoother and clear-toned. I had read that the body needs Vit C to use collagen. The collagen I was taking was not doing all that much until I added this Vit C . Then I saw a difference.  

- Using this lyposomal vitamin C makes my skin perfect in the craziest way, like it's glowing and practically juicy. I'm not really exaggerating either, as I got compliments on my skin - something that's never happened in my life before. I have this one giant wrinkle between my eyebrows that pretty much disappeared when I used this product for three months. I also have/had bacne, which disappeared as well, but has reappeared since switching away from this.

- I bought this not too long ago and I'm down on my 20th packet. It gives me extra energy and I noticed a huge difference in my skin. My skin feels more glowing and tighter. I will definitely continue taking this one as long as I live. Great product overall! Will recommend to everyone. ;)

This was just a sampling of the glowing skin reviews.  I came across so many more.  Apparently, when people take vitamin C in liposomal form, they experience optimal benefits.  Liposomal means that the nutrients are in a highly absorbable form that easily assimilated into the cells and bloodstream due to its molecular size.  And, can we talk about how much more powerful our collagen intake will become once we supplement with enough bioavailable vitamin C?  I get excited just thinking about it.

After I wrote the first article on vitamin C and its potential skin benefits, I went out and bought some low-cost capsules.  Unfortunately, most of it won't be absorbed.  Hence, those wonderful skin benefits  I hope for may never manifest.  Thank God for this anonymous person who left the comment that could possibly change my life.

As I researched the skin benefits of incorporating high-quality vitamin C into my life, I soon learned of the amazing medicinal properties of this antioxidant.  I'm sure we're all aware of how vitamin C can help us a common cold. But I had no idea that vitamin C was used in stronger doses to treat a slew of chronic illnesses.  If you search on YouTube, you'll find a slew of medical professionals proclaiming that most of us aren't getting enough vitamin C in our diet.

In the animal kingdom, most species have the ability to produce vitamin C to help fight against illness.  Most of them naturally produce extremely large amounts of this powerful antioxidant on a daily basis.  Humans, for some reason, can't make vitamin C internally.  So we have to supplement through diet. Most vitamin C advocates claim that we don't get nearly enough to keep our immune system strong.  Especially in the highly toxic world we live in.  That's why we're always fighting colds, infections, and other ailments.

I'm not here to tell you how much vitamin C you should take a day. But I do want you to do some research.  Perhaps some of us are vitamin C deficient and don't realize it.  Most of you have a vitamin C serum that you apply each morning in hopes of creating brighter, healthier skin.  Perhaps incorporating a high-quality vitamin C internally is the missing piece that will unlock our skin's greatest potential.

Is it just me or have you noticed the flawless skin trend on Instagram?    Not too long ago my feed was saturated with heavily contoured faces coupled with an opaque matte lip.  Slowly, things started to shift and everyone wanted to show off their bare face.  Once these skin selfies started gaining traction, my timeline became flooded with image after image of the most beautiful skin I've ever seen.

My prediction is that perfectly poreless, glowing skin will be huge this spring & summer.  We need to get ready.
I've been on my skin perfecting journey for a while now.  Currently, my skin is doing ok, so I was going to chill for a bit.  But I realize that there's still work to do so I must keep trekking forward.  There's no slowing down until I reach my ultimate goal of achieving skin that looks absolutely extraordinary without a stitch of makeup.  Once that foundation is built, wearing makeup will only enhance the final look.

So let's discuss what we need to do between now and spring to experience near-perfect skin.

1. Drink Water. 
 I'm not going to expound.  I'm just going to acknowledge that all of us have probably been drinking way less water than we should over the past few months.  It's time to get back on track.
 ~Drink Water.~
~Drink Water.~
~Drink Water.~

2.  Nourish with veggie juices.
Days ago, I watched a video on Youtube of featuring 3 individuals. All three of them are avid juicers and consume more green juice than most our water intake.  One thing they all had in common was they appeared to radiate with a healthy glow from the inside.  Some of us have experienced this glow first hand after a juice cleanse.  Our skin responds to nourishment.  Even if you can't do a full fast/cleanse, just add them to your current regimen. Maybe some beet juice here and there or perhaps an apple cider vinegar lemonade tonic.  I'm bringing chlorophyll water back into my daily routine because the benefits were too good pass up.  Figure out ways to incorporate more greens into your diet and do it consistently.

3. Eradicate Breakouts 
If you're battling active acne, I suggest you give this regimen a try.  Basically, homegirl cleared up her skin in a major way simply by incorporating black soap, witch hazel, and rose water spray.  Speaking of witch hazel, I've seen this miracle toner praised for its acne fighting abilities by countless individuals.  Yesterday, I picked up some witch hazel cleansing pads that I can swipe over my face, neck, shoulders, and back.  I'm determined to do everything in my power to keep breakouts from forming.

4. Eliminate Congestion.
I've come to realize that treating congestion below the skin's surface is a powerful strategy that helps keep my skin clear.  If I allow too much time to pass without deep cleansing, I'm setting myself up to experience breakouts down the line.
This means doing the following:
-Making sure I cleanse with my Clarisonic instead of using my bare hands.
-Steaming regularly using the white head elimination method. 
-Masking frequently to clear pores.

5. Exfoliating.
Listen sis, if you don't include regular exfoliation in your regimen, you will not get the type of results you're looking for.  Glowing skin is the result of light reflecting off young, healthy skin cells.  Unfortunately, as we get older, our skin becomes stagnant and needs our help to remove old, dead, skin. Yes, you can layer on a bunch of highlighters to create a similar effect, but why not create skin that glows in the sun naturally?  Play around with the type of exfoliators that your skin likes.  Just know that almost every single one of your flawless skin inspirations probably exfoliates her skin on a very regular basis.

6. Deep Hydration.
Lastly, let us never forget the amazing wonders of well-moisturized skin.  I don't touch on this subject enough.  Those of us with oily skin don't do a great job of moisturizing because we think it's not necessary.  This way of thinking is highly flawed and downright dangerous.  I was walking around with dry, oily skin for a long time because I thought using hydrating products would worsen the situation.  Once I learned how foolish I was being, I focused on moisturizing and my skin went from greasy to glowing.

Lastly, I encourage everyone to acquire makeup that perfectly matches your skin.  I remember watching a bunch of Fenty Beauty reviews where people were shocked to discover that their current foundations weren't as close to their skin tone as once thought.  I was one of those people.  Prior to discovering Fenty foundation, I tended to go for shades with red undertones.  Then I was told I had yellow undertones and my world was flipped upside down.  When you find a perfect match foundation, you can rock a truly no-makeup-makeup look.  Just a little concealer, gloss, brows and suddenly, you become that girl who glows with very little effort.

There's an important conversation taking place right now about the pay wage disparity between women and their male counterparts.  This topic impacts millions of people and hopefully, the public conversations that are taking place will bring about real change in how pay wages are determined.

Until then, I'd like to give you a few tips based on my experience as an HR Manager on how you can increase your personal salary.
Over my relatively short stint in corporate America, I was involved in countless salary conversations.  I've seen it all. Salary negotiations at hire, merit increase convos, etc.  I've also had access to the salaries of thousands of employees (including those who were above my pay grade).

Based on my experience, there are certain instances in which you have control over increasing your salary and other instances where your options are limited.  I'd like to share my best advice on how you can maximize your earning potential.

First things first, the worst way to grow your salary in corporate America, in my opinion, is by working for the same company for countless years.  You may think this an admirable act. But it's one of the most ineffective strategies and will hurt you in the long run.  When I first was granted access to employee salaries, one thing I realized is that the most tenured employees weren't always the highest paid.  I was shocked to find employees who have been with the company for decades making what they make.  I didn't quite understand.

After a while, I realized that working the same position for extended periods of time could be detrimental to your earning potential.  If you look at your career path from a strategic point of view, one of your ultimate goals should be to maximize your earning potential.  In my experience, it's darn near impossible to maximize your potential if you work with the same employer (in the same position) for more than 3 years.  Their goal is to get the most out of you while increasing your wage by an average 3% year after year.  And, if the company is struggling, pay increases might even limited.

Meanwhile, others are taking the strategic approach and are making more than you (even if you're working harder). Whenever I brought on a new employee, I tried to be as fair as possible and pay them around the same dollar amount as those currently in the organization with around the same amount of experience.  With that said, we still paid someone a little extra if they worked for a reputable or well-regarded company.  The perception was that you were bringing solid experience with you.  But if you grow up in the company, your internal experience isn't as valued as the experience one brings with them.

If you want to make as much as possible while working for the same company, your only option is to take on multiple promotions.  I've seen it happen with my own eyes.  I've processed pay increases for people who went from making mediocre wages to over six figures plus bonuses. They maximized their earning potential by taking on additional responsibilities.   If you don't plan on becoming one of the big wigs, there are other ways to impact your earings.

When I first entered the workplace, I turned down a job similar position at a major hospital because I figured the corporate world open up more opportunities.  Even though the other position offered a higher starting wage, I guessed that swimming in a bigger pond could offer me more opportunities to climb the corporate ladder.  If you work for a company without much room to grow, you should weigh the pros and cons of continuing down your current path.  Observe others who've worked at the organization for many years.  Are they constantly complaining about how much they make?  This is a telltale sign. Yes, everyone wishes they can make more, but if people who've been there longer than you think they are underpaid, you might be looking at your potential future.

Another option you have is to just ask for a raise.  In my opinion, simply asking for more money isn't the most effective option.  Most often, we ask for raises from a place of feeling lack.  Sometimes we feel underappreciated or taken advantage of.  Because of this, our message isn't received by upper management the way we'd like.  It just looks like we're (selfishly) asking for more.  Timing is everything.  Negotiating your salary after a stellar review is much more effective than asking for a raise out of the blue.

An alternative strategy is for you to take on positions where your earnings are directly tied to your performance.  Most folks like to stay away from positions with sales goals.  Understandably, you're afraid that won't do well.  But, on the flip side, people who do well in sales are some of the wealthiest. It's simple, if you bring more money into the company, you'll get a cut.  Nowadays there are plenty of resources and videos online that can teach you to become effective at generating sales.  I believe everyone should have some exposure to driving sales.  It's an ultra-valuable asset to have.  Selling a skill set that will earn you money for years to come.

While you're still employed, take a look around at how much other organizations are paying for "new talent."  Corporate America believes in paying the best for high-quality talent.  If you're performing well at your job now, you might be considered rare talent by the next potential employer.  The key is to do exceedingly well where you are now, then move into a higher paying role internally or see how much you're worth to someone else.  The times when I experienced the greatest pay hikes in my career was when I left for my employer to take on a position with greater responsibility somewhere else.

Ten years ago, the only suggestion I had for those who wanted to earn more was to strive for a promotion.  Nowadays, I invite you to explore the idea of generating money on your own.  You don't have to quit your job. But working isn't the only way to make money.  When I used to process payroll, I realized that some employees lived and died by their paycheck, while others saw it as another of their many income streams. 

Prior to leaving my position, I asked my supervisor for a raise.  I did it as a sign of solidarity because my peers were also asking for pay increases.  In the back of my mind, I knew that these increases weren't likely and, honestly, I didn't care because my business was growing at a decent pace.

In 2018, your goal should be to generate income (no matter how big/small) from a source other than your employer.  You can start small by saying, "I'd like to earn enough non-paycheck income to fill my gas tank."  Then progress from there.   Just know that we live in an ideal environment to create the type of income we desire. The barrier to entry is low so why not take this opportunity to develop a side hustle that helps elevate your lifestyle?