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Pretty Faces, Beautiful Souls & Good Livin'

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October 1, 2012 Posted by | Customer Service & Skincare Products | Leave a comment

I am not ashamed: I like skincare and makeup!

me 3I love makeup and skincare! Let me say it again, “I LOVE MAKEUP AND SKINCARE!” From time to time, I encounter people who think working in the beauty profession is shallow. Whether I really respond to these voices depends on whether and how much coffee I’ve had.

My motto is “Pretty Faces & Beautiful Souls” because I believe you must cultivate both. Frankly, I just don’t agree that you can ignore your appearance. Point blank, period. I think people who say that how one looks doesn’t matter only kid themselves. IT MATTERS…A LOT! It does not matter, however, if you ignore who you are as a person. They go together. You cannot overly develop one and starve the other.  If you focus on one, you become unbalanced. You can’t be outwardly beautiful, yet thoughtless and mean-spirited and come across as truly confident and fully beautiful. On the other hand, when you largely dismiss your appearance, you risk not being taken seriously by others and too seriously by yourself.

Whatever it takes for you to feel like a strong and confident person, do that! The trick is to know and accept that we all have parts of us that we tweak.  Likewise, it is important to refrain from judging other’s efforts to feel good in the skin they’re in. I fill in my eyebrows, you may wear Spanx and another person may go to therapy. DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOU!

September 16, 2014 Posted by | Makeup, Skin | Leave a comment

12 Signs You’re Planning A Wedding


Whenever I get a makeup consultation request from a bride, this is what I think she is experiencing….LOL!

Originally posted on The Knot Blog:

Planning a wedding means facing a whole bunch of new situations that you never expected. If any of these scenarios sound familiar then you’re in deep.

1. Everyone is giving you wedding advice.


2. You’ve started speaking a whole new language that your fiancé doesn’t understand. 


3. Wedding blogs are your new best friend.


4. Way too many hours of the day are spent saving photos to your inspiration board.


5. You obsess over your registry lists.


6. Cocktail stirrers with little flags and chairs with garlands genuinely make you happy.


7. You have unfinished DIY projects all over your apartment.


8. You have a hard time keeping wedding planning off of Facebook.


9. It’s a little painful to look at your bank account these days.

10. You constantly question every decision, and your friends are there to reassure you.


11. You have had to talk yourself out of having…

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September 7, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | Leave a comment

WEAR IT ANYWAY! Nobody Cares That You Don’t Like Sunscreen

If one more client tells me that she or he doesn’t like sunscreen, I’m going to just walk away.  I’m going to put the chemical peel on the face, walk IMG_0711[1]away and hope they burn.

Okay, I’m being dramatic!  Besides, my insurance company would kill me, and can you imagine what the Yelp comments would be? LOL!

Seriously, I live in a perpetual search for great sunscreens.  Black people tell me how much they hate the sunscreens that leave that silver/gray tint on their skin because it makes them look dusty or ashy.  Beyond that, regardless of ethnicity, nearly everybody complains about how greasy they can be and how it takes a lifetime to rub in some of them.

I like both of these to the right; but for different skins and different seasons.  I like the Neova product because it has mattifying properties.  It won’t make you greasy.  However, depending on your skintype, you still may need a little moisture.  This product is sun-protection only, not a moisturizer/sunscreen combo.  Therefore, in some cases, I recommend an extra light moisturizer thinly applied underneath this sunscreen.  On the other hand, if you apply it too heavily, it will take you a while to blend it.

The second product, Light Day Sunscreen, by Circadia is great for skin that needs a combination of sunscreen and moisture.  This is also an awesome product with skin that needs a little moisture or who are slightly dry.  Further, it is an awesome winter sunscreen for people who tend to be dry or drier during colder months.

Here are my other favorite sunscreens; however, I don’t sell these products!  Yes, I sell the ones in the picture!


September 6, 2014 Posted by | Customer Service & Skincare Products, Skin | , , , | Leave a comment

Help Me Take Care of Your Skin!

IMG_0705[1]I’m always looking for awesome products for clients to use at home.  When I visit clients for chemical peels and microderm abrasion treatments, the results are ALWAYS better if they take care of their skin between treatments.  Additionally, when clients manage their skin well between appointments, I feel better when they need to prolong the gap between appointments.  I worry less about major relapses and breakouts to fix.  For example, some of my chemical peel clients go on hiatus during the summer.  They know they’re going to the islands or plan to play down the shore.  In such cases, it is better for them to be less aggressive with certain treatments because their risk of sunburn, sun damage, hypo and hyperpigmentation increases.  On the other hand, the idea of fewer treatments is a scary notion for some clients, particularly those with persistent acne.  Both of these products are awesome options to keep your skin on track while slowing down the pace a bit.

The product on the left, Neova Serious Glypeel (Peel-Off Mask), is an excellent choice for sensitive and/or dry skin.  The product on the right, Neova Reveal Exfoliator (20% Glycolic), is somewhat stronger and an effective option oily and more acneic skin.  Moreover, depending on your skincare needs and goals, both are good options to even out your skin tone, to fight mild melasma and keep your skin bright and radiant.

I wouldn’t use either of these products without a relationship with a skincare professional.  While both products come complete instructions, you need an ally to answer questions if aspects of your skincare regimen, skin condition or overall health are unique.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Customer Service & Skincare Products, Skin | , , , | Leave a comment

Support Somebody’s Dream

The other day I was in the msupport2iddle of running errands, and I knew needed to eat IMMEDIATELY!  Once I decided that metabolic breakdown was imminent, I began driving toward Chick-Fil-A; however, as I drove in that direction, I noticed that a new teeny tiny Italian restaurant had popped up in the neighborhood.  On an impulse, I decided to circle the block and return.

As I made the turn to come back, I panicked.  I wondered if the new restaurant would accept my debit card.  I worried that I might not find parking because I had to park on the street.  I even worried that the food wouldn’t taste good.  As I freaked out, I thought about two things.  First, I own and operate a small business, and I, of all people, should be more flexible and open-minded.  I smirked at myself!  Now that I have regular customers who entrust me with their faces, makeup and skincare, dare I dismiss the struggles of the VERY fresh new business?!  Then, I thought about how my friends and I complain about how customer service is forever declining and how the needs of the less than super-rich are being ignored (the potential impact of new FCC rules about Internet speed and the low wages and poorly made goods of certain retailers are but two examples).  If our society is to be balanced, fair(er) supportand productive for everybody, it takes people like you and me.  I’m not saying skip Chick-Fil-A everytime.  Instead, I’m saying pull over and support the little guy or gal who had the courage to open up the tiny cafe in your neighborhood.  Who knows if that’s going to become the next mega chain, your kid’s summer job or the neighborhood gathering place.  Besides, wouldn’t it be awesome to know that you helped someone stay in business, that you help their dream prosper!  Lend your support…

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | Leave a comment

My Favorite Books

booksFrom where did all of these social media challenges and call-outs come?  Several of my sista-friends challenged me to put compile a list of my 10 favorite books.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten some great reads; however, here’s my list!  What’s on yours?

1.  Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
2.  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
3.  1st Sam, 2nd Sam, 1 Kings & 2 Kings
4.  Sula by Toni Morrison
5.  The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
6.  Our Separate Ways by Ella LJ Edmonson Bell and Stella Nkomo
7.  I, Tina by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder
8.  Eat, Pray, Love and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
9.  Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
10.  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | Leave a comment

Wednesday Morning Tip: Build a REAL Netw

Wednesday Morning Tip: Build a REAL Network!

Why I am purging my LinkedIn contacts to include only people I’ve actually met or had interaction with. While this means that my network will grow more slowly, it will also grow more meaningfully.

A STRANGER in my network asked me to introduce her to someone who I know very well. I explained that I was uncomfortable giving a personal recommendation to someone I didn’t know. I offered to ask my FRIEND some questions on her behalf. The woman got an attitude and sent me a nasty-gram! Then, I forwarded the unprofessionally written request to my friend and told her to look out for the applicant. And of all things, the job was for a sales position: FAIL!

My point is, what’s the point of a network that really isn’t a network. Know who is in your circle and nurture those relationships….and be careful who you let into your circle.

September 3, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | Leave a comment

It is Time for New Wedding Traditions

image credit:

image credit:

Not long ago, I was helping a bride get dressed for her wedding.  More specifically, I was helping her to lace up her corset.  Sidebar:  I’m actually pretty good at lacing up corsets.  Because I am who I am (I love pomp and circumstance), I make an entire production of it too.  I tell a bride that I need two attendants to help her get dressed.  So, while Mom watches, I have her bend over to position the girls.  Then, I get the two bridesmaids to stand on either side of her to hold her steady while I pull.  I let her know that the first couple of pulls are the most important because if it’s too lose when we start we can’t fix it at end without taking it a part completely.  Thus, the goal is to make sure she can breathe, wiggle a bit and maybe even jump (we don’t care too much about sitting!)….and to make sure the girls looks like they are sitting up on a shelf (Think Jill Scot and Patti LaBelle).

As I tied the final knot in her corset, I thought, “there are far too many people who follow traditions that they don’t truly value.”  At a minimum, I would encourage people to at least create personal stories to go along with the various traditions they choose to honor rather than doing it “just because”.  For example, and call me a cynic, why wear white when your children are at the wedding unless you really like that color?  I know many women who only chose to wear other colors because they have experienced divorce.  What gives?!  So, you can take your non-virgin self down the aisle in a white dress, but you’re “tarnished” after a divorce and opt for beige?

In a world where most wedding symbolism is only for show, why not create stories and moments that will help you look back on your wedding preparations, ceremony and various activities with joy, love, intrigue, pride and personal significance woven completely throughout?  So, as I helped my bride get dressed, I thought about how much headache it was going to be for her husband to undo that last knot and thought, “wouldn’t it be a great tradition if one of his wedding gifts was a pair of sharp engraved scissors for the purpose of cutting the corset ribbon?”  Rather than spending time trying to undo that little bitty knot, just cut the ribbon, particularly when cutting just the ribbon doesn’t mean destroying the dress.  Note the picture above:  if the man just cuts the black part, the corset ribbon, that can easily be replaced.  The groom could create a story about how he delicately undressed his bride (assuming he isn’t drunk and doesn’t cut the woman and the ribbon).   If the family values chastity, remnants of the ribbon could be given to the children (note:  not just the daughters).

There are lots of things this couple could do to create their own traditions; however, it must start with a commitment to writing their own story.  In my not-so-humble opinion, many couples struggle because they do marriage they way they think other people are doing or have done it.  Your marriage/relationship must tell the tale of your unique love affair and through the vision you’ve set for it.

What will be your love story?  What matters to you?


August 31, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | , , | Leave a comment

Who is coming to your funeral?

Today, I went to church. I didn’t go because I was excited about the message. I went to church because Mrs. Kate died. Ironically, I’ve been reading Stephen Covey materials, The 7 Habits (google Habit 2).

Ms. Kate was one of my grandmother’s friends from church. She was 83 years old and passed suddenly. Given that I grew up with my grandmother, there were many days when I came home from school to find my grandmother and Ms. Kate talking and sharing a drink (whereas I drink wine, “Grandma nem” were big dawgs and drank that other stuff).

When I left for college, Ms. Kate gave me a towels. When my grandma died, she gave me solace with a quiet hug. The last time I saw her, she gave me love straight from her heart.

Again, Ms. Kate died last Sunday and was buried yesterday; thus, I went to church today. Although I live many miles and hours from my family and childhood church home, I attended her service virtually through Facebook pictures and my imagination. I can hear Ms. Jeanette hit that high note and the Anointed Voices of Zion singing Home Over the Mountain. I can see the serving line in the fellowship hall during the repast. I can see Ms. Kate’s children, particularly Barbara and Earnestine and the host of her grandkids and other family members.  Home-sickness sat in my stomach like a boulder.

I went to church because Ms. Kate died, and her funeral made me see how she had nurtured such wonderful relationships over her life. I left home in my early 20s, have moved across the country twice and feel quite transient. I feel like I could pick up and leave tomorrow and nary would a tear be shed. Then, it occurred to me that I’ve built this life, this life of shallow attachments…and I can build a better one.  I realized that I am not just home-sick; I am love-sick.  Since, I happen to like the people at church, why not start with them?

I shall not have a small funeral. There will be tons of people there. By “people”, I don’t simply mean that I want a large number of attendants at my funeral. Rather, I mean, I want lots of people, people who I genuinely touched and interacted with to come to my home-going service. I want one of those Old Zion services where they had to put extra chairs (the metal folding ones) on the sides of the pews. And they will cry…and cry hard. My funeral would be a total fail if the only people who come are “colleagues” (I feel the same way about people who have large weddings full of colleagues). Where are the people who love you and who you have loved?

In the hustle and bustle of trying to build my life, I worry that I don’t make “life-building” and “relationship-building” enough of a priority. I think somewhere in my mind I think that it’ll happen on its own. Deep down, I think I know that isn’t true. Yes, chemistry between people is organic; however, relationships require investment if they are to thrive.

While on my way to church, I called my favorite aunt (never mind the fact that I have three favorite aunts). Ms. Kate, thank you for reminding me that I must water the flowers in my life. Starting with the end in mind…

August 24, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | , , , | Leave a comment

Cabernet Sauvignon, Folie a Deux, California

wine 3I decided to try a new wine and chose this one.   I would describe it as smooth and a bit spicy without any after taste. Interestingly, I would also describe it as hollow. It tasted like the wine itself wine 4was empty with spices on top. I would say the liquid was a delivery mechanism for the spices.  It was almost as if the tannins were largely masked (Tannins alone can taste bitter, but some tannins in wine are less bitter than others. Also, other elements of the wine, such as sweetness, can mask the perception of bitterness. You sense tannin — as bitterness or as firmness or richness of texture — mainly in the rear of your mouth and, if the amount of tannin in a wine is high, on the inside of your cheeks and on your gums. Depending on the amount and nature of its tannin, you can describe a red wine as astringent, firm, or soft (

I wondered if full-bodied wines have a higher alcohol content than lighter wines because I felt it almost immediately, and I drank only the quantity seen in the picture on the left.  So, I looked it up and found that the alcohol content doesn’t simply vary according to the what the manufacturer wants to me.  Indeed, the alcohol-content increases from light to full body. Wines Under 12.5% alcohol (the alcohol percentage should always be written on the wine’s label) are said to light-bodied. These are generally the white wines we think of as crisp and refreshing. Good examples of these wines are Riesling, Italian Prosecco and Vinho Verde.  Wines between 12.5% and 13.5% are considered medium-bodied. Good examples of these wines are Rose, French Burgundy, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.Finally, any wine over 13.5% alcohol is considered full-bodied. Some wines that are normally over this alcohol level and considered full-bodied are Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. While the majority of wines over 13.5% alcohol are usually red, Chardonnay is a great example of a white that often can also be considered full-bodied (

image credit:

image credit:

August 24, 2014 Posted by | Random (wine, food, books....and random stuff) | Leave a comment


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