It’s A New Year.. What Makes YOU Fierce?

It’s a new year and one of my favorite words is FIERCE!  It ignites my passion.. my desire to be strong.. my wish to be fearless.. my ambition to persevere and my goals of being unforgettable!

A year ago in February, my Grama passed away.  We were very close & I loved her with all my heart.  She was one of my most special people: my cheerleader, my mom, my voice of reason, my greatest sounding board and LOVED to watch me dance!  While I was back East for her funeral I stumbled upon a ballroom dance studio I had NO IDEA existed a few blocks from my home in LA.  I contacted them while in NJ (I swear Grama sent me to them) and the rest is history.. I fell back in love with dancing because of the owners Katie & Erick (below) and the wonderful instructors (the events & other students are just a bonus).

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I started dancing at 10 yrs old.  I taught, performed & competed all throughout school.  I turned professional at the age of 19 and continued my career until 26.  I taught ballroom at a Fred Astaire studio from 22-24 yrs old.  I lived my dream of being a dancer and performing professionally all over the country.  But I hadn’t ballroom danced in about 15 years (even just for fun).

Dancing has ALWAYS been my heart, my love, my joy, my passion.

When I retired I couldn’t figure out how to enjoy it for fun.. so I gave it up.

Last February I walked into the studio (shaking & heart pounding – thinking WHAT AM I DOING? I can’t do this anymore!) I was greeted by one of the sweetest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting (or dancing with) and I haven’t stopped smiling yet!   In a year I have lost 25 pounds.. bought a dozen glittering gowns.. danced & sung more songs then I can remember, laughed uncontrollably (while dancing), felt like a princess (more than once) and entered my first EVER competition in December.

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I am FIERCE!  I am having the time of my life.. inspiring others to dare to try something new.. sharing my joy, reminding others talent SHOULD be shared and hoping to become awesome in TANGO (my worst dance, in my mind) by this years end.  I am  not giving up!  I have over done it and injured myself multiple times last year.  But I’ve kept going. I can’t remember as much as I would like to or as quickly as I used to, BUT I AM FIERCE.  I feel good.  I’m graceful.  I’m happy.  I’m taking chances.  I’m NOT giving up!

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What is it that you would LOVE to try this year?  What lights a spark in your heart? What do you do and no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop smiling (this is a problem for my TANGO).  Do that!  Try that!  If it scares you a little, it means there is a WONDERFUL treasure awaiting you on the other side.. it’s wrapped in a gorgeous package with a tag on it with YOUR name.. “YOU ARE FIERCE“.. It’s just waiting to be opened.. discovered.. shared.. and ONLY YOU can unwrap it!

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Remember, DON’T let anyone or anything STOP you.. especially when you soul is whispering to you.. listen to it!  It’s usually IMPORTANT.

Please share your adventures & journey with me!  I can’t wait to hear what makes YOU FIERCE!(because you are)

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New Year, Let’s get real!

There is nothing like browsing gorgeous pictures online or in magazines, especially during award season. I want. I wish. I wonder. Sigh..

Having a makeup artist, hairstylist, great lighting and photoshop editors makes EVERYONE look great – trust me, I KNOW. At the start or end of my day, I don’t even come close to seeing a semblance in my mirror. Do you?

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but those people in the photos aren’t recognizable in their mirror at home after the event – once everything is off.  Good news: They are just as normal as you and I – only they have a BEAUTY TRIBE.

So it’s a new year.. I want to help you with real beauty concerns, questions & frustrations.  I want to give you real solutions, hope and inspiration!  So let’s GET REAL! Who’s with me?

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Here is your first Beauty “TO DO” for 2016.. schedule in #MeTime this year & regularly!  Whatever you have to do; add it to your calendar, phone, schedule an alarm or  stratigically place sticky notes DO IT & be consistent!  Here’s list to help start you off.

I will be back with more TO DOs for YOU and your perfectly, perfect (and annoying) imperfections!  Together we will GET REAL and feel more BEAUTIFUL by the end of 2016..  Cheers!!!  ~Michelle

me time

5 Ways to Beat the Post Holiday Skin Blues

Were you NOT running around packing as much as possible into your days leading up to the holidays? Was I the only one?

The largest organ of our body is our skin. It’s also the greatest “tattle-tale” of what’s going on in our life. It shows STRESS honestly.   

Take a moment, sit down and follow the instructions below to de-stress your skin and put this back in order, post holiday!

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1. DEHYDRATION: Water. (Put in your mouth & on your skin)

Traveling and climate change take a toll on the hydration of our bodies and ultimately our skin. Water is so important for healthy body functioning as well as ALL of our cells. On average, our body is made up of 60-80% water.. So refill it consistently & often, and it will GLOW. 

2. SUGAR OVERLOAD: Skip it & Detox. 

We all indulge more this time of year. Did you know that consumption of processed sugar actually breaks down the good fibers in our skin? I know. I’m bummed too. So go back to limited sugar and stick with the natural forms (fruits, vegetables) and a bite of dark chocolate every other day. 

3. TOO MUCH MAKEUP: Wipe it off (well).  

This is the time of year we dress up more & add extra eyeliner. Take the time to do a second cleanse. Grab a toner with ingredients like salycillic acid, peptides, aloe & haulourinic acid so you are putting them into the skin as well as cleansing. You will be amazed at the amount of makeup residue you will wipe off your skin AFTER washing your face. 

4. MORE LINES & WRINKLES: Mini facials. 

Start giving your skin more love to make up for all the stress. Do a scrub every other night. Add extra eye cream under your eyes. Apply a second layer of moisturizer for a hydrating mask while you sleep. Grab the green tea bags after brewing and apply to your eyes for 5-10 mins. You’re skin will thank you & bounce back. 

5. EXHAUSTION:
Rest. 

They call it beauty sleep for a reason. All our cells regenerate at night. Start winding down a few nights early and allow your body more time to rejuvenate. Not only will you feel better, you’ll look better! Promise. 

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I’d love to hear what you think.. Do you have a specific post holiday skin issue? Please let me know. 

  

Happy Beautiful New Year to you ALL!  ~ Michelle xo

Vitamin C is good 4 You

And your skin. Are you using it?


Anti-oxidants protect skin from future sun damage as well as repairing cells of past damage (those darn free radicals). Let me say that again, Vitamin C helps the skin repair itself!

It helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which slows down with age – hence the wrinkles.

Internal consumption is extremely good for skin as well. Buffered Vitamin C has always been recommended as a good choice for better body absorption.  Vitamin C is water soluble so you if it’s not absorbed by the body, it leaves.  We need to replenish daily because look at all the health benefits..

3 of my favorites are:

Dr. Spiller Vitamin C Line (serum, day & night cream)

Rodan + Fields Reverse Line (vitamin c & retinol combo) and the Sunscreen is the most hydrating I’ve ever used!

Avalon Organics Vitamin C renewal (lip balm)

So whether it’s finding a skincare line with Vitamin C, throwing an orange slice into your tea/water, munching on C based veggies (bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, tomatoes) or supplementing your diet with buffered C (especially during cold & flu season) – start rev-ing UP your anti-aging routine today.

Your skin & body will THANK YOU!

8 Reasons to use toner NOW

8 Reasons to use toner NOW

I didn’t use toner for years. Another product? Another step? No way.. I already have/do too many. I don’t need that (with laughter filling my head).  Sound familiar?

Then I did an experiment. I took a clean cotton pad after using my best cleanser, applied some hydrosol and I wiped. Hmmmm how can that be?  Then I applied all my skincare products and went to grab some much needed beauty sleep.

IMG_0848The next morning, knowing my face was as clean as a whistle I took a cotton pad, applied some more hydrosol and wiped.. YIKES!

How was it possible with a clean face and doing nothing but sleep, I still have sweat & dirt on my face. That was the day I started using toner.

Here’s a picture from this morning.. Guess my mascara wasn’t all off last night. Thank you toner.. I have to say I love you!

WHY Toner..

1. Tightens, refreshes & firms skin

2. Keep pores clean (minimized) & helps prevent breakouts

3. Help pulls moisturizer deeper into skin when applied AFTER toner

4. Combat & repair anti-aging and sun damage

5. Gently exfoliates, soothes & disinfects

6. Is it’s own skin treatment –  adds ingredients like vitamins & antioxidants 

7. Takes off excess dirt, sweat, mascara, misc. makeup & oil (is your 2nd cleanse)

8. It will be your secret weapon (proof is in the pad, see photo above)

WHAT Toner..

Oily skin: Love most of these, astringent & alcohol-free 

Dry skin: Love adding hydrasols & these are great options

Normal skin:  These are good for normal skin – neroli is my favorite

Did I change your mind? Or do you already use toner? Please share with me in the comments below.

DIY: SuperBowl SPAday

superbowl SPAdayIt’s SuperBowl Sunday weekend. Is there anyone else not into watching it or is it just me?  Well here’s what I will be doing.. SuperBowl SPAday!  Self pampering beauty.. Way better than football (at least to me) but maybe I’ll peek at the half-time show.

Here’s how to enjoy yourself while everyone else is in front of the television. Or after the party if you want to catch the game. (Can also be used any day you choose, whenever you’re in the mood or need it!)

What you will need:
Music of choice
Book of choice
Coconut oil
Packet of sugar
Honey
Green tea bags (2)
Candles
Socks/slippers
Favorite beverage

Start by lighting some candles (watching a flame lowers blood pressure), choosing some music (can’t go wrong with Classical or George Winston), pull out your favorite read (I’m addicted to Outlander right now) and pour yourself a beverage.

Pull your hair back with a tie or headband and slip into comfy clothes and slippers.  Take out the packet of sugar and empty it into your hand.  Mix a drop of your favorite cleanser into the sugar and apply to your face in circular movements.  Use warm water to wash your face with the mixture and give extra attention to any dry spots (nose, chin, lips).  The sugar will exfoliate and dissolve within the water as you wash (brilliant).  Rinse your face with cold water to close your pores and pat dry.

Apply a thin layer of coconut oil all over your face and follow by spreading a teaspoon of honey to your entire face & neck.  Pat the honey with your fingertips all over your face for about 1-2 minutes.  This stimulates the cells and encourages product penetration.  Apply coconut oil to your cuticles and grab a book, sitting with your feet up in front of the candles.  If you want to relax instead of read, apply one wet green tea bag to each eye and close.

Allow yourself to sit for 15-20 minutes with the honey on your face.  Then massage remaining oil into cuticles, remove tea bags, rinse face and pat dry.  Follow with one more application of coconut oil to your face & neck, apply your favorite eye cream and top with your moisturizer.

The honey and coconut oil will hydrate your skin and leave it feeling baby bottom smooth (and won’t clog or breakout skin).  The green tea bags will help hydrate, eliminate puffiness and firm.

If you want to sneak a peek at the television, now would be the time or just put your feet back up and enjoy YOU.

Let me know if you’ll be enjoying the game or pampering yourself.

If you like this post please tweet it, pin it, re-pin it and share it with your friends! and of course comments are ALWAYS loved..

Eyebrows: DIY trimming or not?

DIY Eyebrows TrimmingFlashback, 1980s.. I decided I could trim my hair with a mirror and a comb. Facing backwards (what was I thinking) I started combing my curls and trimming the ends. Thinking I did a brilliant job until my Grama turned me around (wait for it..) a few days later and said, “Did you trim your hair? The entire back is 2 inches shorter than your sides.”  And I had curly hair!  Lets not even mention the bang trim.. and don’t pretend that you don’t know.. I bet you all have a story of your own!

First let’s look at what you should NEVER do:

1. Comb eyebrow d023d2ca99ddca043bfbb48ecbd29d83eown and trim
2. Face scissors into hairline and trim (asking for trouble)
3. Comb hair and trim like hair (this should be done by pro) 4. Use a large scissor, actually anything other than a cuticle

I always suggest try using wax or gel to set brows first.  If there are some unruly hairs, you can see if they will settle down before picking up scissors. If after a few days of gelling or waxing, you still have unruly hair (falling down, curling up, sticking out, too long), then grab the scissors (cuticle size only).  Be careful!  You do not want to make holes, gaps or slices in your brow (it’s easier to do than you may think.)

Rules of DIY trimming:
6e92ed562f80ea8fff6984db46ced0711. Always cut less than you think you need
2. Brush hairs UP
3. Face scissors away from rest of brow (tip of scissors should NEVER face directly into brow line, seriously DON’T do it = tears)
4. Trim and brush –  Reset

Remember the hairs from the arch to the end make your eyebrow tail.  If you brush them up and cut them really short you’ll lose the entire end of your brow line.  I only cut the tiniest of tips to start and brush hairs back into place.. then maybe a bit more, always checking my lines.

When cutting the front half of the brows (nose to arch), point tip of scissors into forehead (see photo above.)  Second half of the brow (arch to end) point tip of scissors toward temples.  Pointing the tip of scissors the wrong way, (yes I have personal knowledge of this) it is highly probable you will cut too far in.  Then, we need to chat about filling in the missing hair (coming up next) because you just cut spaces and gaps into your brow.

The most common question when trimming brows is what to do with at very start of the brow. Should they go up & trim or  should they go up and come over into the rest of the brow?  It’s depends.  Is your hair thick is your hair thin? Is your hair straight is your hair curly? And what look do you like?  Look at magazine photos.  Find a brow that is similar to your own natural brow and use that as a guide.

So baby steps and little trims.. brush UP, trim a tiny bit and brush into place.. reset.  I am a believer in using the natural shape of your own brow to create your perfect brow.  If you’re scared.. call your local professional (make sure its a referral.)

Remember both sides of the face are completely different and both brows are completely different. They are sisters, not twins –  we do the best we can to make them match.

Will you trim or NOT trim.. let me know in the COMMENTS below.  If you like this post please tweet it, pin it, re-pin it and share it with your friends! and of course comments are ALWAYS loved..

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Eyebrows 101
New series from the Beauty Boutique..
Your eyebrow questions answered.