A DIY Nail Tutorial For Even The Most Uncoordinated Diva

I’m the type of woman who sees tons of DIY tutorials and wishes she could accomplish such greatness. I always come across the cutest nail tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest and curse the universe because I’d be hard pressed to achieve dashing designs for my digits with such grace. Have you ever heard of two left feet? Well, I have two left hands (and I’m right-handed). But the tides have somehow turned in my favor, I recently came across the most amazingly simple nail art tutorial, and it’s super cute too! So if you’re looking for a cute new design keep reading, this one’s a total cinch via the good people at Lulu’s. Enjoy!


This chic design is deceptively easy.

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How To Knock Out Negativity’s Two Front Teeth & Keep Your Sanity While You’re Doing It

pow

Dealing with negative people is a fact of life, you will never be able to escape it. Have you ever had a day where it seemed like everyone was barking at you or was in a bad mood? Or maybe you have a boss or coworker who always seems to be in a really negative space? When placed in those situations it’s hard to keep your spirits up, isn’t it? I totally know how you feel.

I work at a very dysfunctional chiropractic clinic, and it is very draining—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually—the said dysfunction is internal and external, so I get it from the front and back end. The doctor I work for is always in a terrible mood, and I know you’re probably thinking, “Come on Shaniece, nobody can be in a bad mood all the time”. Oh, but they can be. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, but it really is too much to deal with. He’s rude to management, he’s rude to patients, and last week he became belligerent and aggressive towards me. This horribly timed blow-up came at the worst possible moment, my grandfather just passed and I’m not coping with it too well. My boss knew this but that didn’t stop him from acting like a complete donkey. So saying that I’m emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually drained would be more than fair.

On top of the normal day-to-day hardships of working with people (I love my patients, they’re the absolute best) and they’re different personalities, quirks and sometimes inflated egos, I have to deal with a middle-aged man that behaves like a two year old. What gives, man?! How could I possibly deal with all of that, the death of my grandpa, searching feverishly for a new place, and other unnecessary negativity? Firstly, I decided to take back control of my energy and my emotions; a person, group of people, or situation cannot take you out of your element without your permission. Then I implemented the following, and you can do the same:


1. Arm yourself with positives.

Load up with whatever positives you can before you tackle a new week. Watch funny movies or Youtube clips, read an inspirational article or two, have a chill day with your friends and put your phone in Airplane Mode, do whatever you need to do in order to get into a positive place. Enrich your life with as much positivity as you can, because everyday is an opportunity for you to be robbed of it. Your job, unexpected emergencies, family hardships and drama, traffic and morning breath from that one coworker who cannot seem to grasp the concept of personal space can all take a toll on you if you’re not prepared.

I like to pray  before I go to work (if that’s not your thing fine, but we’re #TeamJesus over here). “Lord, please allow me to have a great and productive day, allow me to get what needs to be done taken care of in a timely manner, give me the strength to do it, joy to keep me pushing forward…and please don’t allow me to go to jail for choking someone. Amen” I’m just being real but, on a more serious note, I find writing to be so therapeutic; I like to listen to music while I write, I’m actually doing that right now. Classical music has always allowed me to keep a calm demeanor and I focus way more when I’m listening to it. Find whatever positive thing you can and engage in it when you encounter negativity, it’ll become your lifeline.


2. Choose not to mirror others.

Vibes are contagious, and sometimes others’ negative vibes subconsciously influence us. If someone’s rude to you, your defenses go up, and you dish out what’s been served to you. It’s not your fault, you’re human. We all unknowingly become trapped and mirror the negative energy thrown at us to a tee. If someone’s being negative toward you, and you notice it’s influencing for the worst, make a conscious effort to get back in control.

Instead of mirroring their energy, try to help them mirror yours. If they raise their voice, speak calmly. If they’re rude, be and stay polite. That’s how you play it, never react to their negative behavior. Maintain your energy, and stay the course no matter what. You’ll know you’ve got them when they start matching your tone. I once had a patient that, once I said something that he didn’t want to hear, started yelling and hurling obscenities at me. I paused the conversation, told him whatever he had to say could be relayed without yelling, and that I was being respectful to him and I expected him to do the same for me. He immediately changed his tone and apologized for his behavior. After that he was able to express his frustrations in a calmer way and I was able to help him. Problem solved. Always remember your tone has everything to do what message you’re trying to relay, try to keep it as neutral as possible.


3. Allow others to talk your ear off without ruffling your feathers.

Let me offer you this disclaimer before I make my next point: It is not healthy to always listen to someone vent. You have to set boundaries, because letting people treat you like a punching bag is not the move; but when you’re dealing with customers or clients, you can’t exactly ignore them. In those cases just let them vent their frustrations without taking it personally, most of the time it’s the situation that’s making them angry and not you individually. If they are angry with you  (perhaps you unknowingly made an error) put your ego to the side, be honest about it, apologize, and move forward. Create the least amount of friction as possible by shifting the negativity away from you. The same can be done for non-customer interactions, like for someone you actually know. I can honestly say when I sit and let someone vent about why they’re angry I find out exactly what the issue is; this isn’t always easy (because I can be a prideful moth…person sometimes) but it’s definitely doable. Knowing what caused the miscommunication is the most logical and unbelievably simple way to solve it. This is where thick skin becomes a valuable commodity, so develop some.


4. Kindly compliment others whom you dislike. 

Key word kindly: meaning without malice, sarcasm or shade. When you do find yourself disagreeing with someone, make your best effort to find a point they came up with that you actually agree with. Then genuinely take the time to compliment them for their idea. Craziest thing to do during a disagreement but I promise it works. Doing this subconsciously creates a small bond, and it sets a foundation that you can build on for a better relationship in the future. I know it sounds sickeningly Kumbaya, but it’s always better to leave a conversation on a good note rather than leaving behind seeds of negativity.


5. Treat yourself when you feel the negativity getting to you.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a new pair of shoes or jewelry, treating yourself could be something as simple as your favorite food or a great book your friend keeps raving about and a glass of wine. Whatever you choose will be the perfect distraction to help shift your mindset and lift your spirits when you’re down. I just treated myself to an enchilada, a taco, and a quick run through my iTunes and I feel a lot better. You should reward yourself, even a small one, at the end of the day or week. This gives you something mentally positive to hold onto and it’ll help you get through a tough time.


Your positive actions make you a leader, not a follower.

Negative people exist, you can’t really change that; and even positive people can succumb to negativity on a bad day. But you can definitely change how you deal with their behavior, you just have to allow yourself to. You have to change how you react. Is it easy? That my dear is solely up to you, you control how difficult or how smoothly this transition goes (and no one else, remember that).  At the very core of it’s existence, negativity is how you perceive it. You can choose to stay positive no matter what negative people throw your way, and you could even change their moods in the process. In the end, it all benefits you and gets you one step closer to being a more whole and grounded person. Take control of your life, lead it where you want it to go. Don’t let others dictate how you should feel, who made them the boss of you anyway?

(Nobody)

Exactly.

Stay beautiful loves ❤

Foodie Diaries: Bacon-Wrapped Pesto Chicken

I love bacon, in fact, I love it so much I feel like it should be it’s own group on the food pyramid. Chicken is my BFF (sorry, Mercedes), I eat literally every other day. So a dish featuring two of my all-time favorites? I’m so down. I got hip to this dish after a guy that I was supposed to go on a date with (I decided to go in a different direction) suggested to make it together. The date, once it finally happened, was a disaster but I got this awesome recipe so I’ll take that as a win. This recipe is super simple and it is the personification of happiness, so you should definitely try it.


Ingredients:

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (pounded flat)
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons of prepared basil pesto
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Basil pesto:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions for pesto:

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth and season the mixture with salt and pepper. If you’re using it immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

Directions for chicken:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lay the chicken breast flat and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Spread the pesto over the chicken breast, and roll the chicken breast in a slice of bacon securing the roll with toothpicks. Lay the rolled chicken breast in a 9×9-inch baking dish. Pour the vegetable oil over the chicken breasts.

Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the bacon is crisp, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Take the baking dish out and let it cool for five to six minutes. Garnish, plate, and enjoy!

PMS? No Problem: How To Stop It In It’s Tracks

PMS is the devil. Bloating, uncontrollable food cravings, fits of emotional instability, cramps, mood swings—what’s to like about it? The mood swings are the worst ever, I’m dealing with them right now. This morning I woke up in a funk, and it was so hard to get out of bed. I’m on a cleanse and, usually, I wake up with tons of energy but today was different. I walked into work grumpy, even after I had my medium hazelnut iced coffee and that usually shakes me out of the Monday Morning Blues. I was so confused, but then I checked my calendar and noticed I’m right smack dab in the middle of a full blown PMS party (complete with extra bloating and cramps). Fun.

Premenstrual syndrome describes a collection of more than 150 symptoms that strike a week to two weeks before your period makes its monthly debut; this is caused by an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels. As a result you may suffer from stress, insufficient sleep, horrible eating habits, and an overall feeling like poo. PMS sucks but don’t be so quick to raid your medicine cabinet so fast—no matter what your symptoms are, you may be able to fix them with these alternative therapies.


Supplements

Vitamin E and essential fatty acids are PMS rock stars, a study in Reproductive Health noted women who took these supplements twice a day for six months saw major PMS symptom improvements. These nutrients interact with prostaglandin receptors (those little hellians believed to be responsible for cramps). A daily multivitamin should have all the vitamin E you need, I take One A Day Women’s and it has 30 IU which converts to about 22 milligrams. You can take a daily fish oil capsule to get your fatty acids as well, but a calcium rich diet helps control PMS symptoms tremendously too. Make sure it includes leafy greens, almonds, and yougurt and aim for about 1,300 milligrams per day.

Best for: Mood swings, sore breasts, cramps, headaches and acne


Acupuncture

The thought of having needles hanging from your body might may you a little uneasy, but acupuncture can be very beneficial to combating PMS. I read a study that showed this method stifled symptoms in 78 percent of women, that’s huge! Western doctors aren’t really sure how it works, but it’s believed it may increase circulation and elevate endorphins, which enhances your mood and alleviates pain. Most women experienced PMS symptom relief within 24 hours after a session. Depending on how you react to it, you might get treated once a month in the week before your period throws your life in shambles  comes.

Best for: Cramps, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and nausea


Progesterone Cream

Researchers believe most premenstrual troubles arise from out-of-balance estrogen and progesterone levels, so many treatments aim towards leveling out the playing field; this is why the pill is often recommended. Using a natural progesterone cream will have the same effect, there are a few forms that are available OTC and be applied to your inner thighs or lower abdomen before your period.

Best for: Mood swings, cramps, anxiety and insomnia


Herbs

There’s a lot of controversy over whether or not herbs can solve health issues (I personally believe they can), but science suggests they can help lighten the burden of PMS symptoms. Chaste berry (cool name!) may stimulate your endocrine system which may help relieve achy boobs, and those are never fun. Evening primrose (another cool name, it sounds so fancy) may help alleviate anxiety and cramps, valerian root may work as a muscle relaxer which is perfect for cramps, while dandelion root helps reduce bloating. You should definitely consult your doctor before you start a herbal regimen, they can direct you towards how much you need and which ones can work best for you.

Best for: Mood swings, sore breasts, anxiety, cramps and bloating


Sweating and Stretching

Mild exercising can reduce the worst PMS symptoms! I know the thought of moving around more than you’d like to is uncomfortable, but I promise it helps. Working out not only releases endorphins (or “plain slayers”) but it also triggers dopeamine (your natural source of pleasure and satisfaction) and serotonin (a major depression and anxiety fighter). Doing hip and back stretches can increase blood flow to contracted urine, abdominal, and lower-back tension and this eases the tension that leads to cramps.

Best for: Mood swings, cramps, anxiety, and headaches.


Natural Diuretics

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Fluid retention, a hallmark of PMS, builds up as a result of those fluctuating hormones I keep rambling on about and it can make you feel like an overstuffed sausage link. For centuries Eastern doctors have believed that nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B and C act as natural diuretics. Western doctors have finally caught the wave and have been advising patients to snack on bananas, fennel, tomatoes, watercress, and citrus fruits before their periods. And think twice before you rely on your cup of joe or Diet Coke to get things, for lack of a better word, moving. While caffeine might be able to cut down fluid retention, it can also lead to anxiety, so sip with caution.

Best for: Bloating,


DIY Massage

While it may not be as indulgent as the real thing, self-massage can definitely reduce your pre-period woes (#Drake). A rubdown of any kind increases blood flow and eases muscle and mental tension *ahhhh* The essential oils used in massage really make a difference, I live for lavender! It’s a wonderful muscle relaxer, and geranium is a natural estrogen balancer which is much needed during this perilous time we’re all going through. Use several drops of one type of oil in a handful of massage lotion and, starting on your right side above your groin, massage up your waist in a clockwise motion. Once done, move to your left side and work down to your groin again. Doing this for five minutes twice a day during peak PMS time is a surefire way to nix the stressors of premenstrual poopiness. Make sure to use moderate to deep pressure.

Best for: Cramps, headaches and bloating


Clean Up Your Diet

Your diet affects everything—your skin, your mood, your sleeping cycle AND your period. I know it’ll be tough, but you must put down the Cheetos! Refined flour, sugar and processed food have to go! Caffeine needs to be given the heave-ho, stop drinking alcohol (no “buts” please), gluten is officially a no-fly zone, and don’t eat within three hours of bedtime. I know I sound like a diet Nazi but it’s for your own good. Another great tip I learned is to eat evenly throughout the day; skipping meals is NEVER the answer, and it can be harmful to your body. Eating organically as much as humanity permits is the right idea. This tip should be followed religiously for animal products; this helps you avoid ingesting environmental estrogens from pesticides. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but six different steroidal hormones are approved by the FDA for use in “food animals.” They are estradiol, progesterone (those bastards!), testosterone, and the synthetic hormones trenbolone acetate, progestin melengestrol acetate, and zeranol, all of which make animals grow faster and/or produce leaner meat for food. Dairy cattle are often treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. Hormones are banned for use in poultry in the US, but that doesn’t stop chicken producers from marketing their birds as “hormone free”; nor does it stop them from using them. Antibiotics are also routinely administered to animals raised for food, as well. 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the US is used on livestock. That is disgusting!


There are tons of ways to deal with the my-period’s-almost-here blues, and I hope this shed a little light on how you can get the relief you need and deserve (it’s your birthright). One major point I that I feel is absolutely necessary for you guys to keep in mind is that you have to (like have to-have to) deal with your stress! (in a healthy way, so no punching out the kid at McDonald’s for not giving you barbecue sauce for your nuggets….you shouldn’t even be there missy *gives you a stern look*). Stress causes heart disease, trouble sleeping, digestive problems, a drop in overall sexual desire (we definitely don’t want or need that!), and a lot of other problems. Stress leads to worse PMS symptoms and, given the content of this post, that would be a little counterproductive. Lighting candles, trying some deep breathing exercises, and journaling are all great ways to stamp out stress. What are some ways you beat PMS predicaments? Comment down below and let me know.

Stay beautiful my dears ❤

American Apparel Desperately Attempts To Get Its Life Together

After years of blatant overly sexualized advertising under former CEO Dov Charney, American Apparel is now turning the other cheek (pun intended). This change in direction has occurred in an attempt to attract millennials and recast the brand in a “positive, inclusive, and socially conscious light.” The label outlined its plan to take the brand from “chaotic to iconic” in a new presentation filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The move includes distancing the brand away from its racy ads of the past and towards a more inspiring, comprehensive strategy. This new move comes about during the legal battle between the former CEO and American Apparel Inc. On June 12th Charney sued the retailer and board member David Danziger alleging both parties defamed him in an attempt to keep him from winning the necessary votes to regain control of the company.

Last June American Apparel dethroned Charney as chairman and suspended him as chief executive, citing evidence of misuse of company funds and inappropriate behavior with employees. Charney has reportedly been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by employees, and its believed that the behavior went on for a while before the board decided to act. We live in a culture that excuses bad behavior by creative individuals. Artists, musicians and even business leaders with larger-than-life personalities garner respect for their ability to push the boundaries in their specific genres. However, there is a wide belief that people who push boundaries in one area of their lives often have a harder time respecting boundaries in other aspects of their lives. This belief can be used to justify harassment, assault and other harmful behaviors expressed by celebrities and other industry players. It’s one thing to shake our heads at someone else’s wild lifestyle, but turning a blind eye to behavior that crosses the line into non-consensual talk and action is a completely different animal that needs to be put down. Drama aside, this brand definitely needed a new look and I’m glad it’s finally happening. I can’t help but wonder if Dov Charney’s lack of boundaries had anything to do with the company’s super sexual advertising strategy. Hmmm. Let’s look at the label’s worst advertising blunders.


 

AA sexy ad1

AA ad2

AA mesh

AA3

AA4

aa5

AA6

AA7

 

If there was a textbook example of the word “fail”, American Apparel’s advertising strategy would be it. Dov Charney has proven to be a sick son of a….*ahem*. Trouble just seems to follow him everywhere he goes and these troubles are mainly of a sexual nature. In 2011 Irene Morales, a former employee, accused him of making her his sex slave. She filed a lawsuit that sought $260 million dollars, but it was later thrown out in court because it was reported that Morales had allegedly sent dozens of nude photos of herself to Charney after she stopped working for American Apparel. The label’s board did find him guilty of allowing an employee to post nude photos of Morales that was supposedly authored by her. The blog harassed and defamed Morales, but more importantly ran in conflict with certain California laws that strictly forbid falsely impersonating others online. I just find it bizarre that someone would write a blog and post pictures of themselves and say crazy things like that….about themselves. You can read more about the whole debacle here. This scumbag has also reportedly been cited for masterbating in front of a Jane magazine reporter during an interview! He’s also been accused by ex employees of conducting business meetings in the nude.  A video surfaced online of the former CEO dancing nude in the presence of two alleged female employees. American Apparel is one of those brands, like Urban Outfitters, that seemed to be so effortlessly chic and edgy to me but now it just makes me want to gag. This “new direction” is definitely a good idea, but it certainly won’t erase the damage Don Charney has done.

11 Great Style Tips For The Broke & Bougie

These style “bloggers” have some serious explaining to do. I’m all for great threads, and they look awesome, but you don’t have to break the bank to look chic. I see all these great pictures and witty quotes, but not too many posts about how get great clothes on a Ramen noodle budget. Again, I’m not trying to take anything away from these ladies and their tremendous success, but how is this helping the readers? As a blogger, I have to keep in mind that everyone who reads my material isn’t always sitting court-side at the Knicks game or vacationing in the Hamptons every other weekend. Most people can’t be at Fashion Week, and my job is to bring it to you guys *end of rant*. If you have champagne ideas but you’re on a kool-aid budget, I got you, just keep reading.


1. Eighty-six the cheap plastic buttons on your coat or blazer to make your look more chic.


2. A good embellishment can be pricey, so go for a simple bag without too much hoopla (i.e. glitter, sequins, and logos).

H&M Handbag $40


3. Kick your faux leather pumps to the curb and go for ones in faux suede, they look way more posh. 


4. Wrinkled clothes are a no-no — invest in a steamer.


5. Buy a slip! Inexpensive clothing usually isn’t lined properly, and a slip will prevent any and all wardrobe malfunctions (you never want to be that girl). It’ll also help your garments achieve a better fit and give them a more elegant flow.


6. When deciding on what pieces to buy, keep the fabric in mind. Tweed, cotton, and linen often look high-priced, even if they aren’t. Think quality.


7. Pilling knit pieces will have you looking hobo-chic (and that is not a compliment, despite what the hipster at your local Urban Outfitters tells you). A fabric shaver will take any outfit from drab to fab, and all for a measly $8 at Walmart. Go get one.


8. Find a tailor and devote your entire wardrobe to their magical genius. Sure, you’ll be ponying up more money on the front-end, but pieces that are customized to fit your body will always look more expensive.


9. Whatever it is, get it in black. It has a lovely way of concealing the telltale signs of being an inexpensive piece. Plus, everything in black always looks way more chic.

Naomi Harris in Alexander McQueen. Could she be anymore chic? *drooling*


10. Cheaper coats and dresses often come with their own belt or sashes–swap them out for better looking ones. This will hide their humble beginnings.


11. Pamper your footwear. You should take your heels to a cobbler for a good cleaning and to get the heel caps replaced, even if they’re inexpensive. Nothing looks worse than shoes that say, “All my life I had to fight…”


Stay beautiful my loves ❤

How To Get The Best Skin In Your 20s

Your 20s are a great time to start taking good care of your skin, and doing so will prevent signs of premature aging. You want to be the 35 year old woman at Starbucks that gets mistaken for 26? Now is the best time to start working towards that! Here’s a dermatologist-prescribed skin routine that will help you achieve that. And when that time comes, you’ll look back and be beyond happy you got with the program.


Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

Do you wash your face at night? No? Well start…like tonight. That wonderful mix of makeup, skin oils and dirt that you’re left with at the end of the day will not only just lead to blemishes. No, no. Cosmetics can also trap skin-damaging free radicals (really, really bad little suckers created by sunlight, cigarette smoke and pollution that latch onto cells like leeches and cause all types of mayhem that leave you with rough, saggy, wrinkly skin). These little hell raisers float around in the air against your skin and, eventually, lead to premature lines, wrinkles, and crepiness (not to be confused with creepiness, but is just as bad). I like Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash because it removes makeup and grime effortlessly without drying out your skin, and the spearmint scent is heavenly.

After a long day at the old ball-and-chain somehow you manage to fight traffic, crawl up the stairs, and pour yourself into bed. You’re too tired to wash your face and I feel you, no judgement here my friend. Face wipes are the laziest way to clean up when you’re too pooped to go the entire hundred. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are my go-to half-assed cleanup crew when I just cannot get with the idea of standing erect long enough to wash my face after a ten hour workday. Oh, and while you’re at it, give that phone screen of yours a good wipe too. All the dirt and bacteria on it can break you out. Yucky!

Foreo Luna

I know this may look like a self-love apparatus, and while it does vibrate, it’s for above the neck usage. Exfoliating cleansing brushes, like the Foreo Luna, get rid of the layer of dead skin cells that make your complexion look dull and boring. An unlike most cleansing brushes, this one is made of silicone, and that means it won’t grow bacteria so you won’t have to be all Monk about cleaning it. Use it once a day and watch how quickly your skin starts to glow. You don’t have to break the bank with this one, just find a great brush that will help the exfoliation process a smooth and enjoyable one.

Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20

Wear an eye cream with SPF every day. Every. Single. Day. The skin around your eyes is so thin and sensitive, even a few minutes of sun exposure can amount to wrinkles over time. And I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but there aren’t many good eye creams with SPF. Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream SPF 20 definitely creams those other creams. It’s weightless enough to blend well with your makeup and it doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes. Your eyes are young, we want to keep them this way.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Puffy eyes look terrible on everyone and they scream, ” Hey everyone, look at me! I have terrible sleeping habits!” Luckily there are two great ways to get rid of the extra under eye baggage, the first being the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller. It shrinks those ghastly bags with caffeine and a cold metal tip, if you keep it in the fridge it’ll work even better. Another way to zap a less than fab under eye area is with this makeshift mask: take a cotton ball soaked in whole milk, half-and-half, or artificial creamer and lightly dab it in, DO NOT rub it (its sensitive under there). All three contain fat and proteins that will take care of those puffy eyes in about ten minutes.

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel

When your skin has ventured past the help of a tinted moisturizer, a facial peel with glycolic acid will revive it. Glycolic acid is a great exfoliator because it penetrates deep, that’s why its one of the best out. Try Avon’s Anew Clinical Advanced Texturizing Peel pads, they’ve won four Allure Best of Beauty Awards because they really get the job done. Tip: Apply a moisturizer right after using the peel, hydrating ingredients can penetrate the skin much more easily on freshly exfoliated skin.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to have a good moisturizer in your skincare regimen. The best ones use ingredients like glycerine and hyaluronic acid that actually suck water from the air and deposit it into your skin. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is definitely a winner, it’s lightweight formula smells like cucumber (yum!) and gives you dewy skin on the spot.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V

Practically every facialist and beauty editor known to man is obsessed with Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V, and I totally understand why. This breakout obliterating wonderfulness contains niacinimide (which controls redness), lactic acid (which cleans out pores), and sulfur (which laps up oil and makes your skin produce less of it). The only problem is that its kinda hard to get your hands on, there are only seven worldwide retailers that sell this little miracle in a bottle. Thank God one of those places is in New York, you can contact them and place your order over the phone or in person. Rescue Spa in Philadelphia carries it and so does Vicki Morav, which is also in New York. It’ll run you about $57-$59 which isn’t so bad. Now ladies this is an acid toner, so it will burn. A fellow blogger, Kerry over at Skin & Tonics, did an awesome review on this product and found that the original 1970 formula caused a good amount of burning and redness (sooo you should probably opt for the new formula. But hey, it’s your life).

Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50

If you only do one thing on this list (and I hope you do them all because they’re all muy importante) make sure its this: WEAR SUNSCREEN! This is the single best thing you can do for your skin ladies, you should be wearing an SPF 30 or higher everyday. An Australian study found that people who wear sunscreen everyday didn’t appear to age at all, and by at all I’m sure they meant much gracefully. Grabbing a bite to eat and being outside for even five minutes a day without sunscreen can break down collagen in the skin, and in a few years that could cause wrinkles. And while we’re on the subject lets debunk yet another silly myth that’s out there: My beautiful cocoa butter beauties need sunblock too! Yes, the melanin in our skin give us a sun protection factor (SPF) of 13 as compared to 3-4 for our caucasian brothers and sisters,but that does not completely protect us from ultraviolet sun rays. We aren’t immune from skin cancer either, so lather up. The sunscreen needs to be light, silk and sheer enough so that you’ll actually wear it. I like Coppertone Clearly Sheer Faces For Sunny Days because it doesn’t disrupt your makeup and the price tag won’t make you gag.

Okay ladies I’ve supplied you with the goods, now its time to take action. What’s your skincare regimen? Have any favorite products that cannot bear to live without? Tell me in the comments below! Stay beautiful my loves ❤ 🙂