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.

For the longest time, we’ve heard the advice of drinking more water if we want to enjoy beautiful skin (and thriving hair) I’ll never forget that time when I purchased a  super huge water bottle to make it easier to reach “celebrity water drinking levels.”   That time in my life was magical because I noticed a real difference just from adding one habit.

Even though we know the benefits of upping our water intake, it’s nice to see real-life examples of how our bodies respond to adequate hydration.  Today, I bring you a wonderful story of a young lady who challenged herself to drink at least 2 litters a day and how she benefited thanks her valiant efforts.
Morgan’s experiment was short. Only a week. The rules were simple, drink the recommended 8 glasses of water.  But instead of individual cups of water, she consumed two, 1-liter bottles of water a day.

Her journey is shared via a vlog diary. When you first click on the video, you might say to yourself, “she already has amazing skin…..this experiment is a flop.”

Can I challenge your thinking a little bit?

First of all…..Morgan admits that she “already drinks a lot of water in a day.” This leads me to believe part of the reason for her naturally pretty skin has to do with the habits that were already in place.  Water is her primary beverage of choice which already works in her favor.

But, this time, she’s stepping things up by holding herself accountable to drink a specified amount of water on a regular basis.  And, if you pay close attention, she begins to highlight noticeable differences early on in the experiment.  Drinking 2 liters of water a day stimulated the detox process via more frequent trips to the restroom.  The fact that she’s noticing these changes, just a couple of days into the process leads me to believe that she doesn’t drink as much water as she thought.  Let this be a lesson to us that, unless we measure our activities, we don’t truly know the level of action we’re taking. 

Even with her pretty skin, Morgan still suffered from areas of dryness.  But once she got serious about her water intake, that went away.  And yes, she too struggled with breakouts, but thanks to this experiment, she avoided having to deal with breakouts that were laying just beneath the surface of her skin.

One other interesting thing to note is Morgan is physically active.  She’s a dancer and you know what that means…….it means that she’s benefiting from another activity that produces glowing skin….SWEATING!  Four hours of dance practice means lots of sweating and increased circulation.  No wonder why that girl’s skin glows.


You guys know that whenever someone reveals their beauty secrets, I’m all over it.  Today, I’ve stumbled on a wonderful gem.  Super model, Jasmine Tookes, recently uploaded a video of her entire night out makeup look.

Jasmine is such a beauty inspiration because she rocks very wearable makeup.  Her end goal is simply to create a flawless finish.  Isn’t that what we all want?

If you’re dying to know Jasmine’s holy grail foundation, what she applies before makeup for a natural glow and the Charlotte Tilburry lip color that’s an absolute must have, keep reading.
The short video features Jasmine doing her own makeup for a night out.  Since the footage is sped up, we don’t get to see her explain each individual step.  Fortunately, the products are clearly visible so  we can easily identify them.

Step 1 of the process begins as Jas rubs a little oil onto her skin prior to applying foundation.  I’m assuming that she’s already applied moisturizer and the oil is the final step to seal it all in while adding some luminance.  Noni Glow Face Oil is a blend of various carrier oils and extracts.  It’s rich in antioxidants and claims to nourish while promoting an even skin tone.  One of the ingredients is rosehip, which we all know can help brighten skin over time.  If you haven’t experimented with wearing a little oil under makeup, maybe this weekend is the time to give it a try.

Next, Jasmine reached for her holy grail foundation that’s been a staple of hers for years, Giorgio Armani Silk Foundation.  You’ve heard me talk about this foundation before, it’s one of my favorites.  So many celebrities have claimed this as their absolute favorite.  Yes, it’s a little pricier than others, but if you’re looking for a smooth, natural finish, you don’t have to look any further.

After concealing, Jas executes her contouring routine with the help for FENTY Beauty’s Match Stix. To add a bit of richness to her skin, Jasmine dusts her face with Bobbi Brown’s Bronzer.  This summer, while vacationing in the lovely country of Belize, I often admired my skin in the mirror while putting on makeup.  I had this amazing glow thanks to a newly acquired tan.  At that moment, I promised myself to pick up a decent bronzer when I returned home.  Thanks to a timely reminder from Jasmine, I’ve picked up Tawny Brown bronzing powder. Someone in the reviews said that this powder can also double as a blush.  I look forward to experimenting.

She completes the look with a lipstick that has been on my wish list since forever.  I almost forgot how perfect Charlotte Tilburry’s Birkin Brown was as an every day lip color.  Jasmine shows us just how effortlessly this color looks on brown skin.  But don’t take my word for it, check it out.

The deeper we get into the fall season, the more I panic.  I’m already starting to feel the effects of the drier air and I don’t like it.  Every winter, I suffer from this incessant itching that occurs mainly on my upper thigh area.  Since I’m not exactly sure what causes it, I’m forced to attribute it to the low humidity environment.

One of my strategies, this year is to fight against dry skin like my life depends on it.  The other day, I happen to catch an IG live featuring Teyana Taylor.  She revealed that her glowing skin was a result of her “good moisturizer.”  Although I never determined the exact brand her holy grail moisturizer, I came up on some of Teyana’s other skin secrets that have already transformed my skin.
I’ve written countless articles about women who swear by coconut oil for healthy skin.  The most recent featured Blac Chyna’s nightly routine.  Coconut oil is amazing on its own  but Teyana has found a way to make it even better!

The process is simple!  All she does is combine coconut oil with the most amazing, skin loving ingredient in existence……vitamin E.

I’m talking about the pure stuff, without the added soybean oil or whatever.

If any of you have used pure vitamin E on your skin, you know how nourishing it feels.  Imagine the wonderful outcome of combining the two.  I had the pleasure of trying this mixture for myself.  After my nightly shower, I applied the coco-E oil all over (focusing on my legs and feet).  The next morning, I woke up to my softest skin of my entire life!  No lotion could ever replicate this result….ever.

Teyana’s coconut/vitamin E blend may save my skin this winter.

*side note* I have to try this oil combination on my hair as well.

Let’s get back to the topic of her moisturizer that’s so nourishing that her natural glow was mistaken for highlighter.  Although I can’t be sure the exact moisturizer Teyana used, we can still theorize.

THEORY #1
Is it possible the Teyana uses a thin layer of her coconut/vitamin E oil on her face?  Back in the day, I used to go to bed greasy using pure vitamin E.   The compliments I received were never ending.  I walked around with an effortless glow that lasted throughout most of the day.

THEORY #2
Teyana could be using a moisturizer formulated specifically to leave the skin looking radiant.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with adding a tiny bit of your favorite liquid illuminator (like NYX’s Born to Glow) to your moisturizer or foundation.  #JazzmaTaughtUs 

THEORY #3
Perhaps she creates a hybrid of her favorite moisturizer and carrier oil combination.  Adding a tiny bit of oil helps your moisturizer to “stick” and leaves your skin with a glow.  You may have to play around with this depending on your skin type. Some oils (like vitamin E) are suitable for ultra-dry skin.  For normal, oily skin, you may want to experiment with rosehip which is a much drier oil.

Bottom line, you can have glowing skin by enhancing your daily moisturizer.  All you have to do is get a little creative.

I discovered the existence of cleansing balms back when Jourdan Dunn first revealed her entire skin care regimen.  Her cleanser of choice was moringa cleansing balm by Emma Hardie.  That was over a year ago.  I vowed to pick up that cleansing balm but never followed through.
Fast forward to this week when I a received notification that Teyana Taylor had launched an Instagram live video.  She was sitting in the back of an Uber, on her way to the airport to meet her idol, Janet Jackson.  Teyana was super nervous that she might miss her flight so she had a somber, serious look on her face.  The weather was cold & gloomy which explained why she cozied up under a dark hoodie jacket.  Even with poor lighting and her serious face, the girl was glowing. 

At the right moment, Teyana happened to look down at the questions and saw that someone was asking her about which highlighter she was wearing.

“Highlighter? Girl, I don’t have any makeup on….I’m not doing my face until I get off the plane.” She then made a disparaging comment about how to she looked to which everyone responded with overwhelming praise.   Teyana then continued to say “this [is] that good moisturizer.” I listened closely to see if she would reveal a brand but that never happened.

Bummed, I decided to do some digging of my own to see what I could come up with.  But instead of a moisturizer, I was introduced to the skin cleanser that Teyana swears by.


And, surprise!  It’s also a cleansing balm. But not just any cleansing balm, it’s an even-toned cleansing balm that promises to deliver a brighter, healthier complexion.  Best of all, it’s made by brand developed for women of color.  This 3-N-1 cleansing balm has several notable ingredients including oils, plant extracts, witch hazel (for acne control) and acids to brighten the skin.  This is a hard-working product. No wonder why Teyana is so in love.

One of my character flaws traits is my impatience.  I really wanted to try a cleansing balm but I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting several days to receive it.  So I’m like “what do I have in my possession to create my own cleansing balm asap?”

HERE’S WHAT I CAME UP WITH:

1. Coconut oil.
2. Shea butter.
3. Black soap

Dassit!  Only 3 ingredients.  Coconut oil would be the base of the product. Shea butter would give it a nice, rich texture. Black soap would feel nourishing to the skin yet would create the “soapy” effect when I rinsed (plus black soap can help even out skin).

I’ll be honest with you, my final product was…..ugly.  Hideous is probably a better word. Nothing mixed together properly but I couldn’t be bothered with what it looked like.  My only concern was if it would serve its purpose.  And I’m happy to report that it did!

The “mixture” glided over my skin which made it easy to massage. And when it came time to rinse, the black soap came through!  My struggle balm left my skin smoother and brighter looking.  I couldn’t stop touching it.  I finished up the routine with an acid-based toner then moisturized.  I’m a happy woman.

*side note* Perhaps if I would have melted the mixture together and allowed it to harden as it cooled, the final product could have looked more like a true balm. But this is only a theory that I will test out when I have more time.*

The DIY serves its purpose for now, but I still want to get my hands on the real deal.   I may write a part 2 to this post because, while searching for the brand of her “good moisturizer,” I came up on a couple of Teyana’s other beauty secrets.  Stay tuned.