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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Hello Gorgeous

Yes I’m talking to YOU!  You are you know!

I have to go with #Gorgeous for my “G”.  Not only because of my business, but because I have been so inspired by honest, pure kindness & Random Acts of Beauty – the adjective to describe it all has to be GORGEOUS!

I believe beauty when inspired, selfless & honest = Gorgeousness!

I was so humbled and grateful to be a judge in the Miss Teen Los Angeles pageant last month.. These young girls were looking for confidence, sparkle, reassurance, friends & beauty.  Every single one of them found it – in my eyes the courage to try something out of your comfort zone, show up with grace & a sense of adventure is always a WIN = GORGEOUS

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A few weeks later, a wonderful friend invited me to a new social media app I have fallen in love with #HAPPIER.

It’s like Twitter & Instagram wrapped in Sunshine..  of course my new addiction.  Inspiring & spreading Gorgeousness – OMG!  Does it get any better?

Why spread anything else but sunshine?

(find me & join me – that would make me “HAPPIER”)

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Happier App Here

Recently someone said, “You glitter bomb people all day with your goodness & light, no wonder they love seeing you.”  BEST compliment EVER.. (giggling)  Then another friend agreed and added, “It’s more like Sparkle Bombs with you.”

I think that is my new “catch phrase” for doing good, inspiring, spreading joy & sharing love.. #sparklebomb -ing.  My personal definition of #Gorgeous.

Then I stumbled upon #operationbeautiful.  For me this is my daily story.. I am joining the movement to post-ing it forward with anonymous notes & random acts of beauty.  You can see the story here.. @beautifulnotes.

This is my first note left on a Keurig beverage maker.  Gotta make someone smile for sure!

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What is your definition of #Gorgeous?

As you can see I have ALOT of favorite “G” words (Grace & Gratitude probably fighting for the top position).

Sometimes it is so hard to find ONE word to describe something.. so just start one letter at a time & #TellYourStory2014.

We be listening.. be GORGEOUS today!

Beauty 2 beat Winter Blues

Paint Your Nails
Paint Your Nails

WINTER BLUES got you down?

Here are some ideas to lift your spirits & make you feel Pretty! (Because YOU ARE!)

1.  Paint your nails:  A little color can make all the difference.  Purple is the “IT” color for SPRING 2014 so start testing out some of your favorites.  Adding a little SPARKLE on top always makes me smile.

Product Pick:  Love Zoya AWAKEN Spring 2014 line, especially Monet topper.

2.  Take a bath:  Warm water and some wonderful smells can take you to a whole new world. Play your favorite music, close your eyes and breathe deeply.

Product Pick:  Pandora’s peaceful stations never fail to lull my clients into beauty rest.

3.  Grab an aromatherapy based lotion:  Applying aromatherapy to your body will lift your spirits and help soften and smooth your skin from chapped, dry skin.

Product Pick:  I am addicted to Shea Butter based lotions with aromatic scents (KleanSpa does custom “scenting”).  I can’t get enough!

4.  Buy a new lip gloss:  This works for me every time.  Apply & Smile.

Product Pick: Urban Decay has a beautiful new line of lipsticks for spring 2014.

5.  Add bangs:  Whether they are feathered, side swiped or curly – change can be good.  It always grows back.

6.  Give yourself a mini-facial:  Clean your face and apply a mask, then take a shower.  (Steam helps the ingredients penetrate) after you’re done wipe it off & apply coconut oil.  Your skin will LOVE it!

Product Pick:  This hydrating mask from Boot’s look delish (love the ingredients).  You can also just apply Honey.  Works beautifully.

I would LOVE to hear what YOU do to “Beat the Blues..”

DIY summer nails (the essentials)

Confession: My BFF challenged me to save money, be creative & do my own nails this summer..  I’m having a blast and these products are ROCKING my world (mani’s)!

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Anything goes this summer for nails. EVERYWHERE you look people are posting pictures of their nails. I have two boards just for nails on Pinterest and each week I post my nails on Instagram and my BFF tags me daily in others pics for ideas. #nailmania

Here are some products that make the DIY experience so much fun!

1. I am in love with glitter (as you can see) but it is killer to take off once it starts chipping! Thanks to my BFF (beauty product addict) for finding at TARGET this polish remover with scrubbing bristols inside that takes off glitter easy as 1-2-3!
Tip: any bits still left on my nails I lightly buff with a nail file

2. Is all in the topcoat. I love gels for their staying power but since finishing REVLON Colorstay shine gel topcoat at CVS my manicures last over a week!
Tip: to extend the life of my manicure even longer I follow with a second top coat 2-3 days after the initial polishing – LOVE Seche Vite

3. SPARITUAL dry & shine drops are amazing! I can layer tons of polishes and follow with top coat then place one drop of these on each nail and lay in bed. They are dry all the way through so quickly.. No more messes or sheet marks on nails. This is a must buy for DIY.
Tip: gently squeeze one drop at the top of each nail while holding your hand upright – drop will run down the rest of entire nail

Here are a few of my fav summer nails so far:

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Makeup Brushes 101

20130228-164323.jpgConfession: So many brushes, so little time.  There are no RULES.. but this may help you start.

Everyone always asks me about brushes. Which one should I get for _______?

The answer is any one you want to use. There are no rules in makeup application. I use my fingers to apply shadow on myself ALOT (not on client though.. LOL). It is an art – Your Art. It is like painting. For different effects there are some basics, but it is all up to you! You can wipe your brow and know pressure is off. I will give you some basic guidelines and my favorites, but really the choice is up to you! 🙂

There are basically 3 types of brushes:

Round (which is circular)

Flat (which is straight across)
Filbert (which is curved) Think of this as your finger.

When choosing a brush, first think of the surface you are applying makeup to. Cheeks, eyes, face – this would work well for a ROUND brush. Liner, brows, contouring – you may want more of a FLAT line to blend. Under-eyes, lips, concealing creases – these areas are curved so a FILBERT would be just like using your FINGER. Make sense? Here is a visual to help.. this is a good guide to help you choose the basics of brushes.

brush-how-toNatural (Sable) hair vs. Synthetic:

Natural hair holds the product best (sable is the most popular and the more expensive, the nicer the hair). Synthetic brushes will not absorb the product and creams slide off the brush better. I use synthetic for special effects, glitter, cream liners, lipstick, etc. Powders tend to slide too much on the synthetic bristols and will discolor lighter hair fibers. If the brush is white or gold, ya synthetic.

These are my 5 FAV BRUSHES/MUSTS (besides my finger) for doing my own makeup:

1. Short ANGLE brush for eyeliner
2. Fluffy FILBERT for highlight under my eyes
3. Tapered/pointed ROUND for blending in my crease in my eye (my MOST fav of ALL I have 6 for personal/professional use)
4. Puffy big ROUND brush for powder & mineral foundation application
5. Full FLAT brush for blush application

As you can see I am creative with my choice of brushes for my personal application. I do use some different choices when working on others. Please share with me what you find works great for you.. I love trying new brushes!

ALWAYS remember to wash your brushes with shampoo or use brush cleaner and allow them to dry THOROUGHLY before putting them away. You should do this at least once a month.

Thanks for stopping by and happy brushing.

Sparkle for those over 30

I don’t know about you.. But I love SPARKLE!
My eyes are drawn to sparkly things & sparkly people.

But what is the difference between glitter and sparkle?
The main difference is if you are over 30 and not going to a party, you may want to ditch the glitter for every day.. But sparkle.. That’s another story.

Sparkle in makeup is more of a shimmer. I tell people it’s like looking at glistening snow.
Accessories, nails, makeup, personalities.. Sparkle can be the perfect addition to your style!
Glitter is small pieces of metal-like flakes and they aren’t as flattering or camera friendly as subtle sparkle (plus you’ll find traces of glitter for days).

But how do you choose products and know when it’s too much?

Let’s start with some of my favorite picks…

Makeup:
I love Merle Normans mineral makeup. Has a light sparkle that flatters & diffuses light.
Bare minerals eyeshadows. They blend like a dream into each other & add sparkle to the eye.
Buxom lip gloss. Not too sticky, but a great blend of shine & sparkle. Perfect alone or to layer over lip pencil or lipstick.
Nars blushes. I adore these products. Most have that subtle sparkle to give your cheeks a flushed glow.
MAC cream liners. Some of these liners have bits of sparkle in them. MAC also has eyeliners with sparkle in the pencil. They are both so subtle but eye enhancing.
Mineral eye liners. My favorite long lasting eyeliners are mineral powders. I find a eyeshadow with a bit of sparkle, wet my liner brush & apply. They last all day without moving.

Stay away from products with pieces of glitter in them or heavy frosted shades.. Just think color with a bit of a glistening glow.

Nails:
Anything goes right now. Nail color is hot.
One of the biggest trends is layering sparkle over colors or tipping nails with a new twist on the French tip. Choice a color and paint the nail or tip the nail and follow with a coat of crazy glistening glitter. That’s so popular right now.
Idea: Start a board on pinterest just for nails.
Here’s mine: http://pinterest.com/michellebouse/nailed/

Hair:
BLING! Was popular for awhile. Tinsel is tied into hair for a sparkling addition. We
Loved choosing colors to highlight the hair.

Of course sparkly headbands and pins never go out of style.

Accessories:
The first accessory I grab is a scarf with sparkle in it. Necklaces, earrings, wrapping bracelets all are great ways to add sparkle to your outfit.
Use a brooch for a scarf tie, a top button on a jacket, hair accessory or added to bracelet wrap. Be creative. Just remember: you want to sparkle, not be one big rhinestone.
Play with some of the subtle additions in your makeup and pick an accessory to enhance not distract. Let me know what works for you!

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