Beauty Tips to Help you GLOW!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Make Your Skin Glow While You are Sleeping, and Wake Up Feeling Refreshed!

How to Make your Skin Glow WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING... (and for those of us who are NOT morning glories), How to wake up feeling refreshed!

If you are anything like me, you LOVE your sleep. Those 8 +/- hours can be a crucial time to give your skin some lovin'. Just because you are knocked out cold does not mean your skin is off the radar. When you snooze, your metabolic rate is lower, so you are not producing as many skin-damaging free radicals. This is definitely the BEST time to use products! Also, your body is not having to work at skin protection overnight, it can instead focus on repairing the damage done throughout the day. Research shows that our products we use are much more effective at hydrating, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and brightening while we are catching those Zzzzz's. 

Wash Off the Day 

If I have said it in one post, I will say it again... Wash yo' face girl. I have heard of many ladies that don't bother washing their faces before bed, especially if they don't wear makeup. But we have to remember that all the dirt, grime, and oil that has gathered on your skin will clog your pores while you sleep. Products will be more effective on a clean face. Left over make-up can cause break-outs, irritation, and broken lashes. 


Again, I have written about this in several posts, but I truly can not stress the importance of exfoliation. I have suggested mixing baking soda and water (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) for a cheap/easy fix. Also you can get a spin brush that works nicely. This gives you the look of fresh, youthful glowing skin by scrubbing off the dead surface cells. Just a heads-up- this process can leave your skin a little vulnerable. Exfoliating away the dull surface layers can make you sensitive to the sun and other elements, so it's best to shed that skin at night.
*Philosophy Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads, $35, moisturize your skin while exfoliating with gentle lactic acid. 
*For dull skin, wrinkles, or pigmentation, experts recommend using a retinoid cream, that encourages new skin-cell growth, boosts collagen production, and also unclogs pores.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Did you know that while we are dreaming away, our body temperature goes up? This causes us to sweat and release moisture, which dries out the skin. That is probably why it is so hard to get out of our snuggly beds in the mornings! This is especially true in the winter months, when you have cold, dry air outside and the heat on inside.
*Clinique Moisture Surge, $34, packs hydration into a non-greasy formula that'll help you stay supple while you sleep. 
*You may also want to try a humidifier at night to replenish the moisture in the air.

Lose the Bags 

I sleep so hard that when I wake up, my face is so puffy- especially under my eyes. It is good to splash some cold water on your face and give it a good massage to get the blood flowing. To reduce the puffiness, fine lines and those pesky dark circles, your best bet is to use a solid eye cream. You want to find something that contains peptides that will signal your skin to create more collagen. 
*Olay Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex, $41.25.

Luscious Lips

Who doesn't want those big plump Angelina smackers? I know I do...We all know it takes more than an over the counter cheapo product to help achieve those babies. BUT you can give them a more supple appearance with a little before-bedtime care. Dip a small toothbrush (or your finger-work with me here..) in a little bit of baking soda and water and brush lightly over your lips to gently exfoliate the dead skin. 

*Aquaphor Lip Repair, $4.29, which contains glycerin, ceresin, and panthenol to help soothe and smooth lips. Put on before bed, after exfoliation.

*Good old fashion Vaseline works wonders!

Sleep Position

This ties right in with the paragraph above. PUFFINESS stinks. Your most comfortable sleeping position may not be the best for your face. I have recently read that the single biggest reason for accelerated aging of the skin is sleeping on your face. The reason for this is because the skin is too compressed and doesn't get enough circulation, so it breaks down and creases, forming wrinkles. Experts recommend sleeping on your back, with two pillows under your head to keep the blood flowing. They also say you sleep face down, fluid pools and causes puffiness. No thank ya!
 *If it's too tough to change your sleep position, consider a silk or satin pillow that won't pull at the skin.


Chill-Out Your Skin

This one is a toughy. When are used to being snug in our beds it is very  tempting to hop into a hot shower. That is actually going to make things worse since hot water increases swelling and accentuates puffy bags. GREAT! No wonder I look like a hot-air balloon in the mornings!  It is recommended that we hold a washcloth soaked in cold water over our eyes for a few minutes. Cold water helps shrink inflammation and puffiness as well veins in your eyes so they are not as red. Also, a little invigorating shock from the cold rag will help wake you up. I tried this when I woke up and as unpleasant as this was during the first initial shocker, I wasn't all that bad. I have noticed a difference in my puffy/pouty face this morning!

Lower Your Sodium Intake

If you need to be up early and look your best, you should definitely avoid eating any salty foods after 6:00 pm. As I mentioned earlier, try and sleep with your head propped up on pillows to help fluids drain. Eating foods with excess sodium (you know, all the good stuff!) makes you retain water. If you eat those foods and don't prop up your head to get the proper circulation the water will go to your face and eyelids. The result: bags and droopy lids that are a clear sign you didn't get enough shut-eye.

Upside Down

This little trick I found is pretty cool. Experts say that for that fresh glow, you want to get your heart higher than your head in a slight inversion. By doing so, this encourages more circulation, which promotes a healthy glow while soothing your mind and reducing stress. TRIPLE WHAMMY! Yoga is an excellent way to achieve this effect. If you are anything like me, you can achieve this by bending over to dry your hair. I am the champion of multi-tasking :) 
Turn Around Bright-Eyes! (That's my JAM)
Speaking of my JAM... another way for me to wake-up is to listen to my favorite music to start my day! On another note, to get those bright eyes to make you look like you are awake and refreshed, it is suggested that you apply a highlighting pencil to the inner rim of your eyes. This little trick counteracts droopy lids, redness, and will make your eyes appear whiter and brighter. Also, when you apply a highlighter underneath your brows and under the eyes on the cheekbones, this will brighten up your complexion.  During the daytime, only wearing eyeliner on your upper lids and lashes visually lifts your eyes. It also drives attention away from those dark circles and fine lines under the eye. At night, you can add the eyeliner on the bottom for a more smoky evening look.
*Benefit Eye Bright ($20) a pale pink liner that helps lighten up tired eyes.

*Hemorrhoid cream shrinks puffiness and wrinkles! 

Rise like the Sun

For me, when I hear a nagging alarm it is like hearing Dumb and Dumber's most annoying sound in the world. It doesn't help me to rise peacefully... It TICKS me off! Studies show that if we are instead woken up by the sunlight, we can be more alert and focused. I sleep so hard, I am not sure if I would notice light coming in my window. But, there are devices that can simulate enough sunlight, it causes you to slowly wake. They create a "sunrise" 30 minutes before your set wake time. Pretty cool, huh? I suggest trying this on a day that you don't have to be somewhere at any certain time... just to experiment if it works for you!
*Philips Wake-up Light ($99.99)

Stop and Smell the Roses

There have been several studies that suggest keeping fresh flowers in your home can make you feel more energetic, enthusiastic, and happy at work. What woman doesn't love flowers? Set your favorites (mine are Tulips) on your nightstand or dresser — anywhere you can see them as you open your eyes. Ahhhhhh, how refreshing :)

Citrus Burst

Did you know that there are certain scents that stimulate the brain causing you to feel more awake and refreshed?There are three scents that get the job done the best... they are: jasmine, which increases the brain waves associated with alertness, and citrus and peppermint scents, which induce wakefulness. So lather-up or spray on your favorite scents, eat a juicy orange, or pop in some peppermint gum and take a deep breath!
Much Love to you All!!!! MegLow

Friday, May 31, 2013

You Are What You EAT- Make Healthy Choices for Your Skin and Body!

                   Here is another way we can GLOW FROM THE INSIDE OUT! 

We have all heard it religiously: " You are what you eat". The quality of your appearance reflects the quality of your diet. Food will affect your skin positively or negatively. Let's be real- you can’t just plow through a bag of Cheetos and expect to have smooth, supple skin. Swap that orange crusty evidence for a cup of cottage cheese and you’ll get glowing results. It isn't about changing habits over night, but it is as simple as one better choice after another. When it comes to your health, the outside reflects the inside. A dull, dry complexion or an oily acne-prone complexion is a blinking neon sign that you’re not eating right. Listed below are some excellent foods that will give your skin the vitamins and nutrients it craves, along with some of the worst foods for your skin.

GOOD Skin Decision #1: Oysters
Some people hate them, mostly due to the ooey-gooey texture. I happen to LOVE these babies RAW. Whether they’re an aphrodisiac or not, oysters are a love-fest for the skin. They fight pimples because they’re rich in zinc. You can't beat that! Zinc helps boost elastin production with the help of vitamin C. This mineral also affects our sebum production. A sebum deficiency is what may be contributing to your acne. 

GOOD Skin Decision #2: Mangoes
Anyone up for a smoothie? Mangoes have more than 80% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, which is why they’re such a GOOD skin decision. As an antioxidant, vitamin A fights free radical damage that can prematurely age the skin. Vitamin A maintains and repairs skin cells. A vitamin A deficiency will result in a dry, flaky complexion.

GOOD Skin Decision #3: Cottage Cheese
Dairy is good for your bones.... sometimes not so much for your SKIN. But it’s the selenium in cottage cheese, that makes those creamy curds another GOOD skin decision. Selenium, an essential mineral, teams up with vitamin E as a powerful free radical-fighting antioxidant duo. It also protects against skin cancer and fights dandruff. 

GOOD Skin Decision #4: Avocados 

Holy guacamole! This yummy, green fruit is full of essential oils and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin inside and out. They also contain lots of Niacin (vitamin B3) that is especially important for healthy skin. Niacin, an anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated skin. 

GOOD Skin Decision #5: Acerola Cherries
Don't mistake this for your average cherry. The average cherry does not supply much of the vitamin C we need. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights skin damage and wrinkles and produces collagen, the structural protein in your skin. Acerola cherries supply 100% of your daily need for vitamin C, which is a winner winner for your skin.

GOOD Skin Decision #6:Baked Potatoes
As hard as it may be, we must set aside the greasy/salty French fries. If you replace those with a big fat steaming baked potato, your skin will thank you. Eat one baked potato (with the skin) to get 75% of your daily copper need. A copper deficiency in your diet can reduce your skin’s ability to heal itself. This essential mineral teams up with vitamin C and zinc to produce the elastin fibers that support our skin structure. 

GOOD Skin Decision #7: Mushrooms
Can a fungus actually be good for your skin? YES- This fungus is rich in riboflavin, a B vitamin that’s vital to your skin. This vitamin is so important for skin repair that the body uses large amounts after sustaining a burn wound, undergoing surgery, etc. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is involved in tissue maintenance and repair, and improves skin blemishes caused by rosacea. 

GOOD Skin Decision #8: Almonds
Almonds are amazing for your complexion. These little suckers contain 150% of your daily

need for vitamin E. Vitamin E's rich oils moisturize dry skin, and its antioxidants protect against skin damage and premature aging. BINGO.

GOOD Skin Decision #9: Flaxseed Oil

It’s no big secret that Omega 3's are troopers for your skin. Flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of this essential fatty acid. Fatty acids dilute sebum and unclog pores. Just one teaspoon of flaxseed oil per day provides 2.5 grams of Omega 3's hydrating the skin. 

GOOD Skin Decision #10: Wheat Germ
Just like with the fungus, it is hard to believe that a germ can be is actually just the nutritious embryo within the grain of wheat. Wheat germ is a great source of biotin, a B vitamin that's crucial to the health of our skin. A biotin deficiency can cause dermatitis (itchy, scaly skin). Sprinkle some wheat germ on yogurt for a yummy way to get more biotin in your diet.

BAD Skin Decision #1:Non-Organic Foods
Eating organic is not just a fad. Studies prove that non-organic foods contain hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and waxes. Yummy! Certain hormones and pesticides have been linked to a variety of diseases and health conditions. Our bodies don’t recognize these chemicals and they often create an inflammatory response. Studies show that organically grown food has two to three times the vitamins, minerals and trace elements of commercially grown food. The more nutrients – which are the building blocks of a healthy complexion - that our body gets, the better our skin will look and LAST.

BAD Skin Decision #2: Processed Foods
During processing, nutrients are broken down and lost. If you eat a lot of these foods, you are setting yourself up for nutritional deficiencies, and such deficiencies always show up in the skin. The better the quality of your food, the better your health and skin will be. Also, these ready-to-go boxed foods have low water content. All foods in their natural/raw state, are higher in water content. This adds hydration to the body necessary 
to healthy skin (assisting in detoxification, etc.) and proper organ function.

BAD Skin Decision #3: Mystery MeatWe have seen the gruesome videos/pictures of what really goes on in these industrial farms. I think we have turned a blind eye to what is going on.  Animals in these farms are being  fed a cocktail of antibiotics, steroids, and growth hormones. Instead of being fed their natural herbivore diet, these animals are crammed with foods to make them fatter faster, NOT healthier. We get a second-hand dose of their chemical-packed diet when we eat these animals. This can create hormonal imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to acne and inflammation piled on top of TONS of other health problems. 

BAD Skin Decision #4: Fried foods 
Antioxidants= GOOD. Oxidants= BAD. When oil is at a high heat, it oxidizes. Oils that sit and are used over again, (how French fries, etc. are cooked) are really bad. These fats are thicker and don’t detox from the body. They can contribute to heart disease, poor circulation of the blood and a weakened metabolism.  Healthy skin requires healthy circulation and metabolism. If you have a weak system, this can lead to a lack of oxygen in the skin, slowing the production of collagen and elastin necessary for youthful radiance.

BAD Skin Decision #5: Dairy
The situation is similar with Dairy products. Most industrial farms feed dairy cows hormones to keep them lactating year round. This doubles their milk production, which doubles the profit- I get it. The bad news is when we consume the dairy products, we get a dose of those hormones too. Dairy consumption has been linked to 
excess estrogen, acne, and a ton of health problems. Moo.

BAD Skin Decision #6: Artificial Sweeteners, Coloring And Flavorings
 Artificial flavors, dyes, and sweeteners are a huge staple in our diets. We think since we are avoiding the extra calories, we are doing our bodies a favor. Really, we are ingesting chemical sets that should not go into our bodies. Our bodies store chemicals like these in our tissues that can irritate and cause inflammation and histamine reactions. No thanks.  

BAD Skin Decision #7: Too much Sugar
Sugar- everyone's guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, it can weaken our immune system. When our immune systems are weak our bodies can't fight off bacteria as well. More bacteria, more infection, more toxins, more ACNE. Now, a not so glamorous topic... CONSTIPATION- there, I said it. Sugar also can contribute to constipation in our bowels, which can lead to congestion in our skin. If you are full of it, your pores will be too :)

BAD Skin Decision #8: Too much Caffeine
If you are like me, I am a grumpy delight in the mornings... until I have my precious coffee. Studies have shown that caffeinated beverages lead to increased cortisol levels in our bodies. Excess cortisol (stress hormone) speeds up the aging process. YIKES. The thinner your skin, the more prone it is to 
wrinkles, fine lines, dehydration and a lackluster appearance. Coffee is also a diuretic that dehydrates us. The better hydrated the body, the healthier the skin appears.

BAD Skin Decision #9: Gluten-Packed Grains
Gluten is word we are hearing a lot of lately. It is a protein in grains that are staples of the US diet. What is crazy is that 40% of adults have some form of gluten or wheat sensitivity or intolerance. Thanks for telling us this NOW! When we reduce our gluten intake, there is almost always a large improvement in complexion and overall health. The good news is that there are more and more varieties of Gluten free foods that are being offered in grocery stores and markets.

BAD Skin Decision #10: Bad Quality Supplements
Poor quality supplements often contain allergens, fillers or hidden ingredients that you don’t know about. It is important to look for supplements that say whole food on the label, have a lot number on the bottle, and an expiration date. Taking too much Vitamin A or Zinc, for example, can dehydrate the skin.

                                            Does this need a caption??

                                         JUST SAYIN'......

I hope this research helps in your quest for glowing and youthful skin. As I am learning more and more about how much our diet controls everything, I am determined to start making better decisions. It is definitely NOT easy, but once you have the knowledge about what your food does to your health, there is no reason we shouldn't make a change. If you have made any changes, and notice a difference in your body, health, and skin, I would LOVE to hear from you!

I heard this quote earlier today: "Decisions of our past are the architects of our future". Let's start making better decisions people!

Much Love, Meg

HELPFUL TIP: You don't have to eat these 10 GOOD Skin foods to nourish your complexion. Try this avocado mask to instantly moisturize your skin:
1. Mash up an entire avocado.
2. Mix in 1 teaspoon flaxseed oil and 1 teaspoon honey.
3. Stir together until smooth and creamy.
4. Apply to your  face and let the mask sit for 15-20 minutes.
5. Rinse clean with warm water.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Is Your Skin Telling You?

Here is a great article with some amazing information that we all need to know! Click here and read >> What is your skin telling you?

It is so amazing how our skin's health is connected with so many other areas of our bodies! What you think may be another pesky break out could really be so much more... Last summer I was breaking out on my forehead (area 3). My doctor told me it was because I was dehydrated. The weather was extra dry, and this girl was not drinking enough water to compensate.  I would have never known to make that connection! This article explains that, and so much more. Pay attention to your skin. What is it trying to tell you? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Avoid Being Your SKIN'S Worst Enemy!

Ok, my last post was about being our own worst enemy when it comes to self-talk. This post is going to focus on how we can be our SKIN'S worst enemy! No matter how much we try to be perfect with our skin care, it's easy to make little mistakes that can lead to a flawed complexion. Most of us don't even realize what we are doing may be too little or even too much. Over time, these little skin sins add up, causing damage and leading to premature aging. So, how guilty are you? Even though I study, research, and am obsessed with skin care... I found that I even do some of these no-no's!
Let's start with the ones we ALL have been preached to about, and will probably say DUH to:


We already know and all can agree that smoking ages your skin prematurely. Smoking reduces circulation to your skin, making it chalky and dry instead of rosy and glowing. Depending on how much you smoke, you can add around ten years to the look of your skin. You skin becomes more prone to wrinkles earlier if you smoke. Also, it becomes weaker and much thinner. This is because of the free radicals in cigarette smoke that attack the collagen and elastic tissue in your skin. Smoking even makes the wrinkles around your mouth and eyes start earlier and deepen sooner. YUCK.... we don't want that!
Falling Asleep without Washing Your Face

I have talked about this is a previous post. Some think it is good to leave make-up on because they think it keeps your skin from wrinkling. That has to be the silliest myth I have ever heard. Yes, hydrated skin keeps you from wrinkling, but dirt, old makeup, oils, and grime DON'T. It's easy at the end of the day to fall into bed, exhausted... Honestly, I have done it more than I would like to admit. I have to remind myself what my face goes through in a day. Leaving it there to fester = NOT COOL. Also, remember to wash your sheets/pillow cases frequently. 
Touching Your Face too Much

Ok, let's just try to paint this picture.... In a day, can you even remember how many surfaces you touch? How many hands you shake? How many times you rub your eyes, scratch your nose, open doors, or go to the restroom?? The worst part is, we truly don't realize how many times we touch the skin on our faces. Every time you do, you subject your skin to germs and dirt from your hands to your face. Also, when we touch our face, we are rubbing off any type of skin protection we have put on, exposing it to damaging rays. Try to pay attention and avoid touching your face. You should wash your hands when you can or try keeping antibacterial lotion/gel handy. When we touch our faces, we are also tugging and pulling at our skin which can make it saggy. Another HUGE thing most of us do is pick, pick, pick. It's tempting to squeeze a pimple or chip away at the edge of a scab. But you have to learn self-control when it comes to your skin. You can cause scarring, and also more breakouts from the bacteria you are putting on your face with your fingers.
Not Using SPF or Only Applying One Coat

I know you have been bombarded with the warnings. We know what we should do. Honestly, most people don't even think about SPF until it is time for damage control later. We can avoid premature again by using SPF. If you do protect your face with a layer of sunscreen every morning, it is important to reapply, especially if you are outside frequently. Sunscreen sweats off, rubs off, and melts in your face, even if the label says that it is sweat proof or that it lasts all day. The best way to avoid washing your face, reapplying sunscreen, then reapplying makeup is is to find a powder with SPF. This way you can use for touch-ups. 
Now, let's focus on some we may forget, or just not know:
You are What You Eat 
Here is one thing I didn't really know: Sugar is one of the worst foods for your skin. When you stuff your face with that honey-bun (Sorry, just saw the wrapper in my trash can) remember that high blood sugar can cause changes to the collagen and other tissues in your skin. This makes it more prone to wrinkling and much weaker. Severe cases of high blood sugar can even cause rashes. Try to stay away from sodas, cookies, candies, and foods that break down in to sugar quickly (LIKE HONEY-BUNS-whoops). Stick to complex carbs that keep your blood sugar steady, and keep off the extra layer of fluffiness.
Avoiding the Dermatologist
OK, OK.... I must admit I am completely guilty of this one. Of course I will go to the dermatologist if I have trouble with the skin on my face. I literally freak out and call right then. But, I do not take the initiative to have an annual exam for moles,  growths, or rashes that could signal a potential problem. As gross as it seems, this is reality folks. Skin Cancer is no joke and can happen to anyone whether you bake in the sun or not. We do need to check ourselves and pay attention to changes in any spots we have, but a trained professional may notice a trouble spot that you might overlook or consider unimportant. In most cases, catching a problem early means it will be easier to fix. My commitment to myself is to have a full check by the end of summer!!!
Dehydrating Your Skin
Most people have dryness somewhere on their faces, like around the eyes.  The signs of moisture-deprived skin include rough patches, tightness, flakiness, and itchiness. Even oily skin can suffer from dehydration. When the skin is dehydrated it over produces sebum to moisturize itself. When your skin is hydrated, it's less likely to suffer from irritation and can better defend itself. If your skin is very oily, look for an oil free lotion or serum. The best choices are paraben and fragrance free. 
Over-Hydrating your Skin

What does our skin do naturally? It regenerates and sheds, right? If you over hydrate your skin, you can trick the skin that needs to shed into thinking it is still alive (yes I just said your skin thinks, heehee). When we over hydrate our skin, the dead skin doesn't shed properly, and the new skin continues to build up underneath. This can cause whiteheads, blackheads, and even the big honkers. The best thing to do is get a gentle moisturizer, and always be sure to exfoliate about once a week.

Neglecting the Neck

Let's face it (no pun intended), most of us pay a lot more attention to our faces than anywhere else.  Our necks and chests usually get neglected. We have to be very careful because the skin is naturally thinner on your d├ęcolletage —I love that word! These areas get just as much sun exposure as our faces. If you ignore these areas, most likely you will start to notice  blotchy skin, broken capillaries, and scaly patches from the sun. We all have seen people who have taken care of their face but not the rest, and it doesn't look like it matches their body!! We don't want that... definitely not attractive or easily fixed.  To avoid this, treat your chest and neck with the same skin care routine as your face (SPF, moisturizers, anti-aging products, etc.). 
Getting Your Money's Worth
Yes, we all can agree that makeup is too expensive. We can also agree that we have certain favorite products that we can't live without- especially if they discontinue our favorite color. It is so tempting to scrape and squeeze until every last bit is gone.  It might make it easier to chunk the make up if you think about is possibly breeding in there. YUCK!! Then we put that on our eyes, skin, and lips? No, thank you. The longest you should keep make up is 3-4 months. 

In a nutshell, these are all ways we are abusing our skin whether we realize it or not. We can take steps to change these habits. Baby steps ladies....Baby steps!

Your skin will definitely thank you! Much love, Meg

Friday, March 1, 2013

Glow From The Inside Out: AVOID Being Your Own Worst Enemy!

We all know that in many life situations, WE can be our own worst enemy. Our negative thoughts and habits can consume us! Let's reflect on what the problem may actually be. If you truly sit back and think, most of the time the problem is ourselves. Our bad choices, our thoughts, our actions or lack of actions, etc. If we get ourselves out of the way, in most situations, we will see some of our problems dissolve or not impact us as negatively. In this post, I will discuss ways to avoid becoming our own worst enemies from our thought processes. Since we are on the subject of being your own worst enemy, and I primarily write about SKIN, coming up in the next post, I will discuss how to not be your SKIN'S worst enemy. Realistically, it is all tied together... negativity causes stress, and STRESS causes health issues, unhealthy relationships, unhealthy eating habits, that all cause unhealthy skin! For now, I want to focus on our inner beauty... after all, we all want to glow from the inside out :) 

One thing I think we can agree to be a common problem among most of us: That little voice in our heads repeating negative things like we CAN'T or that we aren't "good enough". Most of us don't realize we even do this to ourselves. Unfortunately, this internal battle can have such a huge impact on how we feel, function, treat others, and behave in general. I catch myself sometimes thinking things like, "I wish I didn't have so much work to do today...", or "I hope I don't screw this up..", etc. Pretty normal, right? When we make this a habit, we tend to only focus on the negative. The good news is, we can train ourselves to manage how we think. 

Negative thoughts drain us of energy and keep us from being present in the moment. The more we give in to our negative thoughts, the stronger they become. Just like a small snowball rolling along the ground. As it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster. It can spin out of control and cause significant damage. 
We must first realize that we do this to ourselves. Once you read this, start paying attention to your thoughts. Recognize that you may be convincing yourself that you WON'T, you CAN'T, you are NOT, etc. When you are starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed about something, listen to your thought pattern. Are you so focused on what may go wrong? Sometimes we can psych ourselves out before we even try! This causes our sense of hopelessness consume us, and we start to believe that negative voice.
Once you start to realize that you may be doing this to yourself, make note of it. Once you see some of the things you are running through your head, you will realize how negative, degrading, and just plain SILLY your thoughts can be! You will see how these thoughts can impact your performance and overall confidence. Just how likely are you to be successful at a task or even accomplish anything if you have already made up your mind that you will fail?
Once you have taken note of these thoughts, it is time to reevaluate them. You must create a different but realistic approach that you will give you a more positive result. I am not saying to tell yourself things like, "I will always succeed," or, "no one will ever hurt me...", etc. That is just not realistic, and chances are- you won't even believe yourself. Life happens, and sometimes life is not fair. Instead, we should train ourselves to think things like, "I can achieve this, and I will do my best to...". Instead of continuing to complain about how much work I have to do, I have learned to say, "I am so thankful I have a job, and insurance to support my family"... and, "I will do my very best today to do a great job; it will be a good day!"  Trust me, this makes it easier to deal with the day-in and day-out issues we all face everyday. It is all about perspective. We may not be able to control the crappy situations, but we can definitely control our attitudes. The way we chose to react to these inevitable crappy situations truly shows and builds our character.

"Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

We must train ourselves to change these habits. Like anything that becomes a habit, it needs to be repeated. Like anything you were ever good at in your life, whether it be sports, music, math, etc.... you repeated or practiced it daily. It will be easy at first (like a new year's resolution), but also so easy to slack off. Consciously make yourself repeat these efforts, and you will start to see a difference! Pretty soon, you will have a new way of thinking that will become habitual. Make it a habit to be positive, and to lift yourself and OTHERS up.
By learning to manage our thoughts, we can make sure we aren't being our own worst enemy, and standing in the way of your own success and happiness. 
 Much Love, Meg

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Golden Words For Your Skin-Care Regimen: Word # 3

Golden Word Number 3- Protect!!!! 
The biggest bummer EVER: Nothing shows age more than the skin. Fortunately for us, there are some very simple lifestyle steps we can take to ensure our skin looks as young as possible for as long as possible and is constantly protected.
Always, Always, Always protect yourself from the sun. Be aware of what is happening to your skin! The sun can do so much more damage than just give you a painful sunburn. Dermatologists say that prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight causes brown spots; red, scaly spots; drying and wrinkling (YIKES). Worst of all, this can cause skin cancer. But how do you avoid the sun? I know vampires are the cool thing right now, but that is not what I am going for. If your skin does not produce the protective melanin pigment very well or if you are exposed to UV rays before enough pigment can be created and dispersed, the ultraviolet rays kill your skin cells. Even a minor sunburn that produces only a little discomfort and redness destroys the top layer of your skin. It would be just as if you had scorched it with a piping hot iron. 

"Hmmm, I want to go relax, drink Pina Coladas, and get seared repeatedly with sizzling irons...." Said no one EVER.

As annoying and "uncool" as it is viewed to be, sunscreen is KEY. Apply it in the early morning and re-apply every couple of hours. You should apply even more if you are doing strenuous activity or swimming. You could go the diva/fashion route by using wide brim Kentucky Derby hats or a sassy cover up to cover your arms/shoulders. Victoria's Secret knows how to make covering up look fabulous if I might say so.  You can also just avoid the sun from 10am to 2pm when it is the harshest.  In search of "safe" tanning, many people resort to tanning booths/beds. While tanning bed companies will tell you their light machines produce only UVA radiation, the "non-burning" type, UVA rays are far from safe. In fact, UVA rays penetrate the skin even deeper than UVB rays do. Crazy, huh.....Over time, exposure to UVA rays can make skin dry and wrinkled and increase the risk of cancer. 
Even when you aren't baking your buns, it is so important to use a daily sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. There are so many incredible brands that are sheer, light, and not greasy. I wear mine under my makeup. It took me some time to get used to adding that extra step to my routine, but my future self will definitely THANK my present self for doing so! Here is an article from Elle that lists some awesome SPF Daily Moisturizers!
Despite the-concerns of aging and dangers of sun exposure, many of us (MEEE!!), on occasion, get super lazy when it comes to protecting our skin. It took me a while to shun the myth that getting some color from the sun makes me look healthier. As I said in an early post, "Out With the Orange", I feel skinnier/prettier with some color. That is just how it is. The answer to my dilemma was simple. Spray tans are where it's AT. Gorgeous color, luminous glow, ZERO damage, ZERO danger, ZERO wrinkles. If you just refuse to give up sunbathing, take it slowly and let your skin gradually build up melanin to provide some protection.
REMEMBER: The sun can also burn the sensitive skin on our lips and scalp,leading to total discomfort or even skin cancer. Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often. Also, keep head covered, or avoid showing the part in your hair. I usually just wear mine up in a messy bun. Protect yourself on cool, cloudy days as well. Damaging rays are not blocked by clouds. You can still get burned, because UV light can penetrate cloud cover. We must take those precautions even when the sun isn't shining very brightly. Most people underestimate the overcast days and stay out longer without SPF- such REBELS. Keep in mind that even umbrellas or shade trees provide only moderate protection from UV light. They do not protect you from rays reflected off snow, pavement, sand and many other surfaces. UV light isn't reflected by water, but it can penetrate water. Being in the cool, refreshing water does not protect you from the rays.  
Other things we tend to forget when talking about skin protection....Don’t smoke. Smoking limits the oxygen to the skin destroying the collagen and elastin that makes it elastic and youthful. When bathing, be kind to your skin. Try to limit bath time as staying in the shower too long strips the skin of it's natural oils- especially if the water is too hot. Avoid very strong soaps, and always moisturize! Here is a biggie: Try to manage your stress levels, get plenty of rest, and eat healthily. This always kicks me in the rear end. But I have to remember, a balanced and happy outlook contributes greatly to balanced, beautiful skin.
Let's RECAP the Golden Words For Your Skin-Care Regimen:

1: Exfoliate
2: Hydrate

We all want that dewy fresh glowing skin, so we must always be mindful that what we do now effects our skin down the road. Let's make sure your future self THANKS your present self :) Protect the skin you are in!

 Much Love, Meg 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wake up~ Make up

I have recently been asked to write about make-up tips, etc. Thank you so much for the feedback and interest!!
We all have so much potential to look and feel our best. Do we need to glam up everyday? Heck no! The more you dress up and fix up, the less of a statement you make on those special occasions. Yes, bringing out your natural beauty with a little make-up everyday is key. BUT- Even though they are SO much fun, all-out glam sessions are for special events/ nights on the town, etc. 
When it comes to getting ready in the morning (I am still half asleep) my makeup routine has to be quick and simple. Half the time I do this in my car (shhhh). Here are some ways to apply your make up to highlight your natural beauty/features on a daily basis!
*First off, keep your everyday makeup together in one compartment in your makeup bag. Separating it from your special-occasion products will save you the time of trying to find it in the morning.
* I start by applying a BB Cream (Garnier is the best for the money!) to a clean face. It has moisturizers, SPF, and evens skin tone. It conceals blemishes and gives you that beautiful even complexion we all want. It is definitely the BIG thing right now. 

*I apply my mineral powder make-up to add a sheer finish... and for those of us who have the under-eye circles and occasional blemishes, a little concealer here and there will do the trick. My fave is the Maybelline Instant Age rewind concealer.
*I never leave the house without a little blush on my cheeks! This makes you look natural, young, and fresh (unless you over-do it...we aren't going for the Toddlers in Tiaras look here). 

*Lightly fill in the eyebrows- This frames your eyes so you need less makeup to make them POP
*Swipe some shimmery neutral eye shadow on the lid and a slightly darker tone in the crease- Love Mary Kay creamy shadows that dry instantly without the annoying creases.

*Add a little bit of mascara +/- eyeliner. I am OBSESSED with Mary Kay Ultimate Lash and RIMMEL London Lash Accelerator. If you add eyeliner, keep it subtle and soft. 
*Don't forget to curl the lashes!
*Finish with a natural color gloss with a little shimmer

WE CAN'T FORGET THE GLAM SESSIONS!! Check out the link below.

Victoria's Best Kept Secrets | Maskcara

This spoke right to me! LOVE LOVE LOVE This blog :) I also LOVE her mission statement..." I am a make-up artist and lover of all beautiful things. I think most people are twice as beautiful as they give themselves credit for. Inside & out. I am on a journey to change that...". In her blog she teaches about Highlighting and contouring (like in my previous post), and how to get that Victoria Secret Model VAVOOM for nights out on the town! 
I will go more in depth for how to get those sexy eyes and flawless skin for the big occasions we all anticipate in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned, and STAY Fabulous :)