My Foundation Routine

I’m working on getting into a schedule of uploading videos every Saturday. Check out the latest video about my foundation routine – what exactly I do and what products I use. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful.

Primer:
Benefit The POREfessional

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Foundation:
Mary Kay CC Cream Very Light

Mary Kay Mineral Foundation Brush

Mary Kay Mineral Powder Ivory 2

Concealer:
Mary Kay Concealer Ivory 1

Healing Tea

This healing tea was a life saver – or should I say throat saver – when I had laryngitis and a super sore throat. It’s easy to make and has a lot of ingredients that are going to not only soothe your throat, but also heal your body.

What You’ll Need:
  • Your favorite mug
  • Hot Water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Honey
  • 1 Green Tea Bag
Directions:
  1. Grab your mug
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of Honey
  5. Add your hot water
  6. Mix everything together until the honey’s consistency has liquified and blended with everything else.
  7. Drop in your bag of green tea and let it steep for about 45 seconds – 1 minute tops. You don’t want your tea to be too strong and overpower everything else. It needs to have a light and subtle taste.
  8. If the tea is too hot, you can add a splash of rice or almond milk (don’t use dairy because it will increase congestion by producing more mucous) and adjust the amount of lemon and honey to suit your taste.

The Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar
  • helps with tummy aches due to antibiotic properties
  • germs can’t survive in an acidic environment
  • contains potassium that thins mucous
Lemon Juice
  • brings down a fever
  • soothes throat
  • fights viral infections
  • boosts immune system with Vitamin C
  • helps flush out toxins
Honey
  • soothes throat
  • helps prevent coughing
  • antibacterial properties
  • contains antioxidants
Green Tea
  • kills bacteria
  • detoxes

*these ingredients have more benefits than just what I listed, but the benefits I did list are the ones that are going to help heal you body when you have the flu or a cold.

Coffee Talk | Photoshop Retouching

Welcome to Coffee Talk where I casually sit down and talk to you about what’s on my mind while drinking a cup of coffee and then we formulate a civil discussion in the comments below.

So for today’s coffee talk I want to share my thoughts on Photoshop and retouching. Given, the controversy of Photoshop has been around a while in the realm of photojournalism, it’s been the last few years that I’ve seen videos and articles pop up all over the world wide web in regards to the retouching and transforming of a model’s physical characteristics in post production. As a photographer and a beauty consultant, I have some thoughts on the subject, but more importantly I want to provide some counter points for what I’ve come to find in the content I’ve come across. I don’t think this subject is as black and white as it’s been made to appear. In fact, there are probably fifty shades of grey in between. (…ha…)

I want to set the stage a little bit first with some things to keep in mind as we delve into this.

Most photographers view themselves as artists. They are trying to create a specific ambiance, image, representation in order to convey a particular message. Depending on the project, this could be their own free creative reign or a specific message that a brand or company has hired them to create imagery for.

Not only that, but there is just as much of an artistic aspect in setting everything up manually as there is editing in post production. Depending on the photographer’s preferences, some prefer to have more play on the set with the actual camera and others prefer the control of the dark room – digital or otherwise – more. And I think that both are equal and complimentary mediums of each other.

In my mind and based on my understanding, as a model, you aren’t you posing for a picture in Hollister clothing you are modeling as whoever they want you to be wearing Hollister clothing. So a model is essentially like an actor, but instead of a movie, it’s a still scene.

For example, Helena Bonham Carter played the Red Queen in Tim Burton’s 2010 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Would she have had the right to be angry that they made her head unusually large in post production when that wasn’t the size of her head normally? What about the fact that they made her face unusually white with makeup? In both circumstances, her physical appearance has been altered. Actors will often times go as far as losing or gaining weight to meet the character requirements for certain roles.

And this leads me to the subject of consent. In every relationship with a model there should be some sort of understanding between the model and the creative team, preferably in the form of a written contract, of what that model’s role is. This is a responsibility of the model to know exactly what he/she is modeling for and if it doesn’t fit their morals, beliefs, standards, etc. then they can walk away. It’s important to keep in mind that modeling is a job that the model is getting paid for and beyond actually modeling they don’t have an opinion in the rest of the process.

When it comes to the consent of a model who has paid a photographer to take their picture, it is once again important to have a written contract between both parties, however the creative process becomes just as much the client’s say as it does the photographer’s. The photographer has to respect the client’s wishes and the client has to trust the photographer’s expertise. I have had multiple clients request that I Photoshop them to make them look better by removing this or that. Obviously not every one will want that so there should be a relationship from start to finish between the client and the photographer so the client is happy with the final product.

Lastly, there is the subject of consent when either consent is not given or when there is no payment involved. An example of this would be celebrities and paparazzi. It’s interesting because of the three, this is the example that should have the least creative license to Photoshop an image yet the one with the most creative license to Photoshop seems to always be what has the most negativity directed towards it.

In the end, everyone wants to look good in photographs because they take something momentary and make it lasting. I think it’s the job of any photographer who is either paid to take a picture of someone or doesn’t have that person’s consent to use their expertise to make that person look their best in the original photograph. It’s hard to draw the line in post production when it comes to making someone look their best because everyone is going to have a different opinion on what that person’s best looks like. Minor touch ups could slide when it comes to blemishes because I think there’s a general consensus out that people could do without remembering their blemishes. After all, they aren’t permanent anyway.

I don’t think photographers or postproduction editors are completely to blame. I don’t really think anyone is to blame. I just think there’s a misunderstanding. I think this controversy is based on poor communication skills as well as a negative reflection of what our society’s standards of “beauty” are. Photographers need to be more honest about their work and models need to be more understanding of the process.

I don’t support today’s standards and expectations of beauty. Nor do I enjoy seeing people’s natural and beautiful figures distorted based on someone’s opinion of what they “should look like”. However, I do think that there’s more to the issue then the media is portraying.

So those are the thoughts that have been bouncing around inside my head recently. What do you think about the Photoshop controversy? And have you ever been retouched in a photo? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to reading them and engaging in a discussion with you.

The Daily Plan – Scheduling Tool

Today, I want to share with you a tool I use to help me with my daily planning and scheduling. Planners are great and all, but I need more than just a play by play of my day. I need a break down of what I actually need to do and accomplish. I’m also a crazy note jotter so I need a lot of space to to have my notes organized. This is something you can fill out the night before to keep you on task for the following day. Because I think this is such a great tool, I’m including it as a free printable download.

How To Use The Daily Plan

| TODAY |

In the top left you can feel free to circle the day of the week and write the date below it for future reference.

| H2O |

Keep track of how many glasses of water you’re drinking each day

| B | L | D |

Make a note of what you plan on making for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

| F |

Hold yourself accountable to your fitness goals by committing to what you will be working on.

| To Do |

Make a list of what you need to do for the day.

| Daily Tasks |

Maybe you need to wake up at a certain time, you want to try out a specific makeup look, or today is your exfoliant day – here you would put reminders for daily tasks.

| 5 Most Important Things |

What are the 5 most important tasks for the day? Pull them from your to do list, goals, events, daily tasks, etc. Make your number 1 priority the hardest task on your list.

| Purchase |

This isn’t a grocery list, but just a place to quickly add a reminder for you to get something you need that you can collectively add to a grocery list before you go to the store. Maybe you ran out of shampoo this morning and you need to pick some up after work.

| Events |

Whether it’s work, a doctor’s appointment, or lunch with a friend, you can remind yourself of those important meetings here.

| Goals |

List the tasks that will help you towards your weekly goal or tasks that help you meet your daily goal. Run 5 miles? Write it down. Complete two pages for your term paper due Thursday? Write it down.

| Notes |

For anything else you can think of, doodles, the phone number of someone you met, what have you.

Hope this could be a smart and effective tool for you to use to be more productive in your daily schedule and working towards your goals. You can download The Daily Plan here.

Exterminate the Flu with a Flu Bomb

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I can’t remember the last time I had the flu. I recall being confined to my bed with the exception of the consistent trips I had to make to the bathroom. This, however, has not been the case. Last week I thought I just caught a cold. No, it’s not as bad as the stomach flu, but it’s much worst than your typical cold … and apparently it’s still a strain of influenza.

Symptoms Being…

  • sore and swollen throat
  • congestion
  • fever and chills
  • tiredness
  • all over muscle and body aches
  • head aches
  • sudden onset

Yuck. I can’t stand being forced to rest. It’s good for the body, I know, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the faster our bodies heal the better. There’s too much to do and too little time to do it in.

So if the seasonal weather has brought unwanted pathogens to your door and you find yourself suffering from the flu, here’s a “Flu Bomb” that will send them packing.

What You Will Need:

*Essential Oils should not be taken internally unless of a therapeutic grade.

What To Do:

  1. Open the capsule and separate both parts, holding the longer one in between your fingers.
  2. Add 4 drops of Thieves
  3. Add 4 drops of Lemon
  4. Add 2 drops of Melaleuca Alternifolia 
  5. Add 3 drops of Oregano
  6. Add 2 drops of Frankincense
  7. Top it off with olive oil as a carrier oil
  8. Cap the pill
  9. Take 1 capsule 3 times a day

Other Ways You Can Heal Your Body:

Stay Hydrated

Get Rest

Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C

Use Peppermint Essential Oil for headaches (read more here)

Use Thieves Lozenges for sore throats

Take 3 Immuplex Standard Process all natural food supplements twice a day.

 

 

 

Citrus and Floral Blend Massage Oil

Spice things up this Valentine’s Day with a therapeutic grade and all essential massage oil for you and your significant other. This Citrusy Floral blend helps with emotional stability and sensuality with fresh, rich, sweet, and tangy scents of citrus and floral.

Benefits and Effects:

  • relaxes the mind
  • naturally elevates mood
  • warms the body
  • stimulates and heightens senses
  • contains antioxidants
  • improves skin health
  • promotes detoxification

What You’ll Need:

  • glass bottle (you can get these from Michaels or another craft store or even find old vintage ones at antique shops and flea markets – just make sure they’re cleaned out before using)
  • carrier oil such as olive, almond, avocado, grape seed, macadamia nut, etc.
  • essential oils: Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit
  • Optional ribbon and tags

What To Do:

1. Take your carrier oil and pour it into your bottle about 1/3 of the way.

2. Add 12-14 drops of Bergamot essential oil

3. Add 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil

4. Add 2-3 drops Grapefruit essential oil

5. Pour the carrier oil into your bottler until it reaches about 3/4 of the way. You will want to leave some room for the oils to breathe so don’t fill it all the way up to the top.

6. You can cork the bottle and feel free to decorate with a ribbon or tag that reminds you what it is.

*Avoid aggressive shaking and keep oil away from direct heat and light.

 

5 Ways to Make Bruises Disappear

Have you ever had a bruise in a really annoying place and you just want it to go away? Maybe it’s on your shin and you have plans to wear a dress or, if it’s a love bite, on your neck when you have work the next morning. What can you do to make those bruises disappear as soon as possible?

1. Eat Oranges

Yep. Fill your body full of things that contain Vitamin C. Vitamin C will help repair any damaged skin.

2. Massage the Bruise

Massage around the bruise from the inside out. The massaging will help circulation in the area.

3. Use a Banana Peel

Place a banana peel, cut to the size of the bruise, with the inside of the peel down, on your bruise. You’ll want to leave it on for 10-30 minutes and do this 2-3 times a day. Bananas have trace amounts of Vitamin K and other properties that help with the healing process.

4. Compression

Use a cold compress if it’s a few hours after the bruise has formed. The cold will constrict capillaries and reduce the bleeding. Use a hot compress if the it’s been a few days. The heat will allow circulation for new blood cells. You can use an ice pack for cold compression and a hot towel for heat compression.

5. Use Essential Oils

Helochrysm is an amazing oil for bleeding, clotting, and bruising that will help take it away in no time.

Geranium helps with the circulatory system.

PanAway will help take away any pain associated with the bruise.

DEVO Day: Love is a Choice

Can we just say … relationships are hard? Relationships are also a lot of wonderful things, but the concept of being selfless and giving up what you want for someone else is not an easy task. In any relationship we have choices we have to make be it a friendship or a marriage. Relationships force two people to learn how to come together and form one unique bond where selflessness and compromise are necessary factors. There will always be differences, disagreements, and arguments between two people because no one is a carbon copy of you. And learning how to mesh the differences of two people who plan on spending the rest of their life together can be the most challenging of all. Love needs to be present in any relationship for it to work. Love is a choice in and of itself, but in a relationship it comes down to a consistent choice whether or not you’re going to act in love.

When we want something from someone or something doesn’t go our way, it’s human nature to seek out change and resolution. Often times we get so caught up in our perspective we end up demanding instead of requesting. Your wife isn’t obligated to make you a sandwich and your husband isn’t obligated to give you a massage. They have a choice to act in love. That choice makes it all the more special and meaningful when someone chooses to bless you with your request instead of being forced to out of obligation because you demanded it. In marriage, a wife is called to submit to her husband. She does this not by demanding, but requesting. A husband is called to love his wife. He does this by acting selflessly.

Not only does this hold true to our earthly relationships, but also our relationship with God. He doesn’t demand that we choose Him, follow Him, serve Him, or talk to Him. He gives us a choice and it’s so much sweeter to know that an almighty God who has the power to force us to love Him gives us the choice to love Him instead after He showed His unconditional love for us by sending His Son to die so that we can have a choice that we as sinners don’t deserve. It’s up to us to act in love by giving those we are in relationships with the freedom of choice and it’s up to us to act in love by being selfless in return when those we are in relationships love us by giving us the freedom of choice.

“We love because He first loved us.”

- 1 John 4:19

As Valentine’s Day approaches let’s not dwell on the Italian food, chocolate, and teddy bears. Let’s focus on choosing to love unconditionally and selflessly those around us.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

- 1 Corinthians 13:13

Following the Golden Rule

There’s a reason why it’s called the golden rule. Gold is shiny, bright, and a sign of success. We’ve all been raised to follow the golden rule; treat others how you would want to be treated. Obviously, we all have a desire to be treated with kindness and respect, but how special does it make us feel when someone puts us before themselves? Simply being aware of someone else and their needs can make all the difference.

Putting others first not only makes others feel good, but also makes you feel good. Following the golden rule should always be a genuine effort, but it’s also the secret key to success. Those who succeed don’t often get to success by thinking only about themselves.

“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back – given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

- Luke 6:38 MSG