January Favorites

I LOVE watching favorites videos on YouTube! These are the things that people use on a regular basis that they absolutely love. Today I decided to share my January favorites in a simpler format – just a pic of all the things I’m loving and links! ♥ 😍 ♥ ENJOY!

NARS blush (Orgasm), Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette (Mauve), NARS lip gloss (Chelsea Girls), Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, Sunday Riley Ultra Clarifying Face Oil, Saint Laurent Textured Matelasst Card Case (Black), Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores

#PamperMeSunday with Products

20130606-170822I ❤️ watching lifestyle bloggers on YouTube. They talk about everything from fashion to beauty, health, book recommendations, how they structure their days and so much more! I’d say I spend at least an hour each day watching videos (or reading blog posts online). I’m learning different ways to take better care of myself (mentally, physically, spiritually) and it keeps me from sitting in front of the idiot box all day even though nothing is really ever on. Establishing a regular self-care/pamper routine has been one of my learnings and I do it on Sundays since that’s the day I always have time to do a little extra. It also helps you relax before the work week starts!


This post is about having a routine to pamper yourself. To be honest, I’ve never really done this before, nor have I had a staple set of staple products to assist in such an effort. Thanks to YouTube, that has changed!!! 👍🏽💃🏽

When it comes to the routine below, modify the products/steps to fit your budget and/or tastes. i.e. If you don’t do your own nails, skip that step. And before you waiver on the need to do all this / for the complexity… don’t you deserve pampering?? If not every week, then every other week or maybe once a month? I think yes! (Note: The times are just estimates – start whenever you want – and I DO multi-task where it makes sense to speed things up a bit. I also included pictures of my absolute favorite items! and a few emojis because… why not?

_658859507:55 PM Set the tone! Turn off the tv, light a Diptyque (Nordstrom) or Nest candle (Nordstrom) and turn on some relaxing music 🎤 (Spotify). The kind that will help you turn ⬇️ not turn ⬆️! This is a great time to listen to a new album or audiobook. PS: recycle the jar!

07:59 PM Pull your hair back with a headband (Target).

08:00 PM Prep face. Remove  EYE MAKEUP with Lancome’s Bi-Facial Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover (Nordstrom) and Shiseido Facial Cotton (Nordstrom). For remaining makeup, apply Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water (Target) to a fresh Shiseido cotton pad and wipe your face squeaky clean! This will remove ALL excess grime and grit. It’s important to get EVERYTHING OFF before we proceed so this step is extremely important!

08:05 PM Apply SK-II facial treatment mask (Nordstrom) and let it sit for 15 minutes.

08:07 PM Prep nails: Remove nail polish from hands and feet with Pure Body Polish Remover (Amazon), trim then buff (Target). Step-by-step guide here.

08:19 PM Rinse mask off face with lukewarm mater and pat dry with a fresh white hand towel or face cloth – not the one you used yesterday! 😱 (Nordstrom).

08:20 PM Shower (or take a bubble bath if you prefer)


  • Wash hair with Art Naturals Organic Shampoo (Amazon). Divide into 4 sections, comb out and apply It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Conditioner to each section (Target).
  • Buff feet with Amopé Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File (Amazon)
  • Push cuticles back (hands and feet).
  • Splash a little water on your face (it should not be scorching hot) 🚫🔥.
  • Gently massage one pump of Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash onto your face & neck (Nordstrom) then use a Clairsonic for a deeper clean (Nordstrom) and pat your face dry.
  • Clean your body with Fresh ‘Hesperides Grapefruit’ Bath & Shower Gel
    (Nordstrom) and shower gloves (Target). LOVE LOVE LOVE this combination!!! (the gloves provide a gentle exfoliation)
  • Apply *L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil to your body (HEAVENLY!) with an organic sea sponge (Nordstrom, Target) 😍😍
  • Exit the shower

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-7-04-21-pmFace care starts immediately after exiting the shower while your hands are still CLEAN!

08:40 PM Tone your face and neck with Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner (Nordstrom)

08:41 Treat face and neck with SK-II facial treatment essence (Nordstrom)…. let this miracle water soak in for a couple of minutes.

08:43 PM Gently press (DO NOT RUB) La Mer Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream onto your face. You only need a dime size and 1 oz should last you 6-8 months (Nordstrom). 😍💯

08:45 PM Treat your upper and lower eyes with Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (Nordstrom).

08:46 PM Protect your underarms with Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream (Nordstrom).

08:47 PM Moisturize your skin with L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate. The smell is absolutely AMAZING and your hubby/significant other will LOVE you for it!😍😍 (Nordstrom)

08:52 PM Put on your most luxurious pajamas (Nordstrom).

09:00 PM Apply Soap & Glory Heel Genius to your feet (Amazon) and put on some fancy socks (Nordstrom).

09:05 pm Select and lay out your clothes for the next day! Including jewelry, other accessories, lipstick color, handbag and shoes!

09:15 PM Steep you favorite tea in a fabulous mug (Teavana, Target).


09:20 pm Polish nails with Nails Inc base & top coat (Sephora) followed by Bobbi Brown Nail Polish (Belk) in this manner to allow maximum drying/setting time: foot 1, foot 2, hand 1, hand 2, then repeat TIP: Coordinate your nail polish with the outfit you picked out so you’ll feel extra special on Monday!


09:45 PM Curl up with your favorite blanket (Nordstrom), tea and read a book! 📚 (Amazon).

10:45 PM Brush your teeth wit an Oral-B electronic toothbrush (Amazon) and Tom’s Toothpaste (Amazon).

10:50 PM Protect your lips with La Mer Lip Balm (Nordstrom) and hands with L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (Nordstrom) or La Mer Hand Treatment (Nordstrom). I like them both!

11:00 PM Put on a fancy sleep mask and get some zzz’s! (Nordstrom) 😴💤 tip: get the matching pillowcase, too (Nordstrom)

lamerFinal thought: DO NOT rush the process!!! If you find yourself rushing through steps or wondering if you’re doing it right you are missing the point! It’s called #PamperMeSunday for a reason!! Enjoy feeling fabulous! 😘

*This product is not cheap! Use no more than a quarter-size for your upper body and another quarter-size for your lower half. Squeeze your sea sponge frequently to maximize the product.

Smart Toothbrush

It can be hard finding the perfect gift for your loved ones year, after year, after year…. One way to accomplish this is to get gifts associated with “themes” you know they like. For example, if you know someone who is a techie and you want to give them a “Wife of the Year Award“, stay in the tech category and find a way to turn everyday, mundane tasks into something fun! Take a stroll through Best Buy or even do a few internet searches – one of Bri’s Commandments – to get  ideas.

813SZXGLOBL._SX522_Everybody brushes their teeth (I hope…) SO why not give your wife, best friend, lover and supporter, that you undoubtedly love so much the gift of tech in the form of a mart toothbrush! Introducing Oral B Smart Series Toothbrush with Wireless Technology. And guess what? There’s even a FREE app for that! (iOS, Android) This smart toothbrush will not only show you stats about how often and how long you brush but it will also give you feedback on and detect “trouble areas” AND help to ensure you  spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing your teeth evenly. (SIDE NOTE: I recently tweeted about a tip I read from a MyFitnessPal user that said she does 50 leg lifts on each side every time she brushes her teeth as a way to get in a little morning fitness.)  The app can also communicate the NEWS and WEATHER while you brush (serves as a distraction to pass the time) and it will also tell you when you’re BRUSHING TOO HARD.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 6.25.10 PM

If you think this is silly, consider this: The CDC published dental trends and concludes the following from 2013:

  • 83% of children ages 2-17 visited the dentist in the past year
  • 61% of adults ages 18-64 visited the dentist in the past year
  • 66% of adults ages 65 and over visited the dentist in the past year

Shocked? I am! If a smart toothbrush can help make brushing cool again I’m all for it! Oral B  also has a Disney Timer app to distract kids while they brush in a fun an entertaining way (unless of course your kid is a genius that already cares about the news… side eye). You can purchase the smart toothbrush   at  Amazon for $174.99 (currently $20 off). For a sneak peek of what the toothbrush and app can do, watch the video below and also check out the gallery. #HappySmartBrushing

Natural Hair Care

IMG_0050Most of the universe has transitioned to natural hair: The Early Adopters started the trend about 10-15 years ago and those of us who were Fast Followers have been all-natural 3-5 years now; but, there may be some newbies out there, still pondering the move and this post is for you, too! Before I start, let me just say that when it comes to time, different people invest it in different things. Some people like to research & investigate recipes for making their own hair care products – I don’t. Some people prefer to spend $50-$100 on a quick trip to the salon every few weeks/months to let other people do the work – I don’t. (Ok, I do fall prey to this when I get tired and frustrated).

You get my point. So let’s get started because I want to share the tips no one is telling you:

  • Wash and Go No. Some people believe that once they go natural they will be able to rinse their hair, run their fingers through it and go! This is a myth (unless your ancestors are from a certain part of the world). Each and every style requires work and a LOT of it. In fact, maintaining natural hair is more work than having a relaxer. So, if you’re not up to it, take a few moments now to adjust your budget so you can join the salon club if you actually want to look like somebody (there are days when your hair will NOT feel or LOOK the best).

  • Shower Turned Beauty Salon. When you decide to do something with your hair, the shower will be best known to you as your beauty salon. You absolutely must wash, comb out and twist your hair while in the shower, regardless of how you plan to style it. You’ll need an extra 30 minutes for this but you’ll save yourself a TON of time in the end. Your hair WILL shed, a lot. Buy yourself a stop for the drain. You’ll learn to get over it when you realize you do still have hair on your head after the lengthy styling process.

  • Oil and Water Do Mix. Because your hair will be DRY and will soak up EVERYTHING you put in it – sort of like a plant that hasn’t been watered in a few days. The water makes it more manageable (see point above) and the oil adds much needed SHEEN. You can use coconut oil or whatever you like. Some people actually carry these items in their purse. #whateverworks

  • Save your Money on Products. This is probably the most contentious point. FOR ME, fancy or expensive products do not matter. As long as your shampoo is free of sulfate, you win. Find a leave-in conditioner you can actually afford to use a LOT of and you also win. (see point above about moisture). The gel thing didn’t work for me; but, maybe it will for you! Buy a small container and give it a whirl. Also, the product that worked for your friend may not necessarily work for you. Spend your money FIRST, trying inexpensive products to see if you can find something that suits you. There’s absolutely no way around trying out different products and spending a few dollars along the way, unless of course you can share products with a friend. #whodoesthat I absolutely refuse to spend $50 for 2 tablespoons of anything, unless of course it’s liquid gold.

  • Styling. You will struggle. Over. And. Over. Again. No matter how far along you are in your hair care journey. Watch videos on YouTube and ask your friends & family – the key is to plan ahead and be sure to practice before that big picture or work day (remember our talk about time?). You will eventually get tired of that one side-braid you finally learned how to do and when that happens, you will question your sanity. Cry if you must, but you’ll get over that, too. Find an easy go-to style for worst-case scenarios and keep practicing (advice from my sis)!

  • Salon. Sitting for 3+ hours, waiting, watching, wondering when it’s your turn. Your beautician overbooks, all the time. I can’t. I mean I physically can’t. So when I DO decide to take the salon plunge, maybe for a trim (straightening not required), I book the first appointment of the day (same with dentist, doctor, etc.) so I’m in and out, no questions asked, no excuses about being “behind schedule” or “client requesting additional services that threw me off”. Twist my hair while it’s wet and I’ll sit under the dryer when I get home thank you very much! Oh and I don’t play the extra $10-$15 deep conditioning game. As long as you are doing maintenance at home and conditioning on a regular basis, that hot hooded-machine is no different than the $3 pack of conditioner you bought from Target. #ihatehairdryers

Rant complete! LOL So there you have it – the natural hair beauty tips/secrets that nobody is telling you!