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.

The holiday season is here. Besides the shopping rush, there's something else we have to worry about.  It's a stressful time of year because of all the events and get-togethers that'll fill our schedule.  We're indulging in sweets which means that we're slowly putting on the pounds.  Throughout all of this, we tend to forget about our skin.

Our skin is important now even more than ever because we'll be socializing more than normal. Before attending your holiday gatherings, I encourage you to try a super easy beauty tip practiced by countless celebrities.
The very first time I did this was just before an informal high-school reunion.  My intention was to look young, fresh, and well-rested.  I was able to accomplish this in just one step.

The same principle applies to our holiday gatherings.  Whether it's an office party or Thanksgiving dinner, people will be paying more attention to how you look (especially if they haven't seen you in a while).  Why not present the best version of yourself?

The tip that I'm about to share with you will give your skin that extra wow factor that doesn't just happen randomly. It's especially important this time of year when the air is brisk and dry. I'll share a quick story.  I was online and stumbled on a picture of internet sensation India Love having lunch with Karrueche Tran.  At 21 years of age, India is nearly a decade younger than Karrueche yet most people in the comments pointed out that it appeared to be reversed.

My conclusion for why Karrueche looked younger than her gal pal was due to the difference in the appearance of their skin.  Both had clear, healthy looking skin, but Karrueche's seemed to have a natural glow that reflected light.   They both just finished a workout session so I'm sure that helped.  But I'm also aware that Karrueche is diligent about making sure to go the extra mile for her skin via sauna sessions, masking frequently, and indulging in health tonics.

I'm sure her consistent habits worked together to promote her all over glow.  But what if you've been neglecting yourself lately but you want to quickly create the look of well-cared for skin?

Just do what celebrity makeup artists do......

Treat the skin to a nourishing sheet mask prior to makeup application.  Celebrity makeup artist, Maro Dedivanovic regularly snaps pics of sheet masks that he's included in his pro kit.  Not long ago, Katy Perry participated in an experiment where her life was streamed on live stream 24 hours a day.  When her makeup artist prepped her for a tv appearance, the process always included a sheet mask.

Take a look at the feed and stories of celebrities & pseudo-celebrities prior to award shows, etc.  Chances are that you'll come across several candid sheet masks pics. If you've ever treated yourself to a sheet mask before, you know that it has the power to instantly hydrate.  Not only does it deeply infuse moisture into parched skin, masks also leave your skin glowing.   If you exfoliate it beforehand, you'll only enhance the results.

So before heading to any event this holiday season, be sure to treat yourself to a relaxing sheet mask session (prior to makeup) and glow like you've never glowed before.

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 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.
In the summer, dewy skin just sorta happens.  Once winter rolls around, we may need a little help.  So now, more than ever, I'm starting to reach for my skin mists once again.  I've amassed quite a collection but I always keep my eyes peeled for potential new additions.

It seems that I may have found the next product on my hit list. My intention was to find a facial mist that does  more than just hydrate.  Don't get me wrong, instant hydration is a good thing, but I want my facial mist to provide even more value.  I want it to leave me looking flushed and glowing.

These new facial mists, I was introduced to, might be exactly what I'm looking for.
Social media influencer, Christina Caradona, shared an Instagram where she revealed a couple of  facial mists that the described as "the best skin mists, I've ever used."

Take a look.
  (click on box on bottom right corner of the video to watch in full screen).