When On Vacation…….

For the past month I have been on vacation and thus have not been working on my blog nor any other projects that require my attention. To me, work and vacation just do not go hand in hand as much as I would like it too! I actually came on vacation with the intention of getting some work done but as time went by and activities started filling my days, all work went “bye-bye” out the window. I think, for one to be able to get work done whilst being on vacation, they ought to have a strict sense of responsibility, determination and self motivation. I thought I embodied these traits! But from this experience, I am seeing that I clearly need to work on some things!

I have found it to be extremely difficult to be inspired, motivated and diligent when being faced with the hot sun, a cold Starbucks, shopping, exploring and spending time with my family. Some days I think, where has the time gone! I suppose I ought to feel good about the intent of getting the work done. But on the other hand, I haven’t actually gone through with it so who am I really kidding here?

But without further ado, I am back at it!

To be successful at anything in this life, you need commitment, self motivation and a “no excuses” type of attitude. Once you adopt these traits, you’ll be fit to completely obliterate your goals and be ready to establish and realize new ones.

Feel free to let me know how you balance work and vacation! 🙂

A New Look Never Hurt Anyone!

For some time, I’ve found that my old blog site “thebeautyandlifestylecorner” needed a makeover and some vamping up. Don’t get me wrong, it has been a trooper since first being published but let’s be honest here, if you want to have a successful blog then esthetics is important! People will not be heading to your site if it isn’t esthetically pleasing to them. I also found that my previous name limited my writing and creativity. I felt as though I placed myself in a tiny box where I was only allowed to write about beauty and or lifestyle. Of course, at that point in time I didn’t think of it that way and although I will still be mostly focusing on these topics, I will not be limiting myself to them.

Selecting a name sets the tone for what type of blog you’ll be sharing with the world. So take some time and mull it over before diving head first. The name you decide to choose should be associated in some way with what you intend to write about. That way, readers already get a sense of what your blog is about before clicking on it.

Always be open to reassess and revamp your page when you feel  it needs it. Nothing is constant and everything changes especially technology and trends, so you must be prepared to change along with it. This keeps you on your A- game! 😉

 

Hope you enjoy the new look!

 

Blog

Is It Worth It?

As a makeup artist and beauty enthusiast, how is one to keep up to date with all the new eyeshadow palettes that are being launched every 5 minutes? I mean, are we supposed to run out and nab them all? As an artist, you feel as though it’s your prerogative to do exactly that! You feel as though you must have the latest products, you must test everything, you must be fully equipped to show your clients that you’re are on top of your game!

However, a lot of the eyeshadow palettes that are being launched today are very similar in shades. You will find shades like burgundy, a soft brown intended to be a transition color, a light orange and more than likely a couple gold tone shimmery shades. Granted, the palettes will differ in texture and pigmentation,  but is it necessary to purchase all, given that they are so similar? Will I be missing out if I don’t? This has become my new plight!

Hypothetically, let’s say you’ve finally gone out and purchased the latest and most popular palettes, these have been trending for the past 2 months and you’ve finally got your hands on them! Life is good and then “BOOM!” here come another 3 palettes!  What should you do now? The reviews are even better than the last set! You see my predicament?

My advice here, would be to select the palettes that have the majority of shades you work with on a daily basis. That way, you get your money’s worth and you still indulge in the latest editions. Go to the store, test it and select the one that works best for you. Steer clear from purchasing other palettes that are similar to what you’ve already got, unless your current one is running low.

Hope this helps! 🙂 Saving money and space at the same time!

 

PicMonkey Collage

 

Dear Brides,

Weddings! Let me just start of by saying- “Isn’t this time supposed to be one of the most exciting times in most people’s lives?” Well I’m sorry, but it doesn’t feel that way to me! Don’t get me wrong, there are some exciting points like browsing and shopping for everything wedding related online, wedding dress shopping, ring shopping, planning the most exciting girls night out and of course marrying your best friend. But other than that, It’s pretty darn stressful!

My wedding is coming up in nothing short of a few months and whenever I think about it, I feel myself going crazy! Come on! This is not what I had envisioned as a 6 year old! Most times I have to hit myself with a dose of reality and remind myself that life is no easy fairytale and that I am no longer 6! Some girls dream of every detail of their wedding from this age. They dream of their pretty princess dress, hundreds of beautiful flowers everywhere, 5-star restaurant worthy food, and fancy drinks. Not to mention, having everyone come from far and wide to witness them being married to their prince charming. They think, “I am a princess for one day!” and that’s where all the pressure starts for most brides.

The world has created a certain perception of what your wedding should be and what it should look like. But is this really realistic? As you get older, life starts to happen and it brings with it a lot of different responsibilities. This idea of a fairytale wedding no longer seems practical or smart anymore. It seems expensive! Brides, including myself go through so many ideas of what type of wedding they think they want, it’s actually quite ridiculous! My fiancé and I went from planning a Pinterest worthy wedding, to talking about eloping, to having a small, intimate backyard wedding. What happens, is that you start planning the wedding you think you want and then all the opinions of family, friends, YouTube and Pinterest start flowing in. You get stressed at the cost as well as all the work that has to go into creating this fairytale and then you just want to take the easiest possible route.

Midway, you have to take a step back and really figure out what type of wedding YOU really want to have. Stop trying to please everyone else and remember what this day is really about. It is about getting married to the love of your life. Don’t stress yourself trying to create this perfect setting because guess what! HE doesn’t care! He only cares about marrying you and making you happy! Trust me, I know! I sometimes find myself going to my fiancé to get his opinion on flowers or centerpieces or even what party favors we should have because it’s his wedding too and his opinion matters to me. But  based on his nonchalant responses, I’ve realized this man doesn’t care about all these details that I care about. He, just like most grooms just want to show up, say ”I do” and have a good time with his wife and those closest to him. And who can really blame them? If only us brides had it so simple!

A lot of brides want to create a setting that they can take pride in, they want people to walk in and think how beautiful everything looks and what a great wedding it is. They want their wedding to be spoken about for months later. This is precisely why they go all out and in the process, rack up a hefty bill. You also have to remember that this wedding is for one day! For the average bride, you need to ask yourself these questions; “what about the rest of your lives? what about being able to live after?” After this day, you need to be able to purchase a home if you haven’t got one already, and have enough money aside to start a fairly financially stable life together. It’s not wise to start your life in debt because you ended up having a wedding that went way past your budget.

My tips thus far:

  1. Create a budget and stick to it! – You have to know where you want to give a little and where you want to hold back. For instance, if photography and videography is important to you then splurge a bit on that so you get the quality you’re looking for. Whereas, if party favors aren’t too important, then hold back on those.
  2. Hire a capable, effective and efficient wedding planner! – This is a must if you cannot deal with the stresses of planning your own wedding. This is me! I feel overwhelmed so easily that I am so lucky to be having the best wedding coordinators. This is also important because on your wedding day, you will not want to lift a finger or be stressed in any way. You will need someone to ensure everything is running smoothly, to ensure that vendors are paid and to ensure that everything is set up on the morning of, just to list a few. Weddings can go from 0-100 real quick!
  3. Rely on your bridal party!- They are your friends who love you and who want to help! My bridesmaids are continuously asking to help and God knows I appreciate them! They want to be involved in the planning of your big day so let them! It will take a huge load of you and it will make them feel so involved so you really can’t lose. 🙂
  4. Split up responsibilities among family members!- They too want to help and be involved in your big day so allow them too.

Even though planning your wedding may be one of the most stressful tasks out there, us brides have to try to bask in the moment and remember ”Hey! I’m planning my wedding!!” and just revel in that for a bit, because most times, once it’s over, you probably won’t be having another in this lifetime!

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Establishing Yourself In Such A Saturated Industry

How do you become “someone”  in such a saturated market? This question has become the bane of my existence. A lot of us have the same interests and I have seen a lot of artists out there who are truly blessed with amazing levels of skill and creativity. It would be quite easy to say that these reasons are precisely why they have such a strong presence in this business. However, it is many of these artists who are struggling with making a name as well. In our business, it is crucial to keep up to date with trends and new products. This is OUR industry and in order to create a presence, you need to be passionate about your brand and be on top of your knowledge and skill.

It’s very easy to become another duplicate artist and Instagram icon with nothing new, fresh or original to offer. You need to have your own stamp on your business and your brand. Make it you! You are not the same as every other person out there, so why make your business the same? Stand out and make a difference! You should strive to give the people what you think they’re looking for. Before you became an artist, remember what you liked seeing and reading about, remember your dislikes and your complaints, then go from there.  Figure out what’s missing and cater to that. You can do customer research experiments via social media. Be versatile with your brand and your looks and from that, gage what your followers respond to most. That should give you a better idea of what your following would like to see more of.

Consistency is key! You MUST put aside time out of each day to dedicate to your brand. This will work wonders! Even though it may seem slow in the beginning, it will succeed once you keep working toward the end result.

Never give in to nay-sayers, for they don’t know any better. If unfortunately you are exposed to negativity, use this to fuel your  success. I’ve realized that what some people, especially those in our industry don’t seem to get, is that there is enough success and opportunity to go around. Don’t let that get you down.

When you’re now starting out, you may be hesitant to post your work for fear of what people may say, but I urge you to get over this fear because all this will do, is hold you back. Not everyone is going to be your biggest fan and not everyone is going to support you. This is a reality that will slap you in the face sooner or later, and I always say sooner rather than later. As I’m now starting to create a brand myself, I am facing all of these issues along with many of you, so you’re not alone. Remember, running a business and brand is not a 9 to 5, it’s an all day, everyday. You need to be continuously reassessing your brand and your direction!

Another great way of becoming established is through media mentions and networking. In a previous post, I spoke a little about our industry being a “who knows who” type of industry. Start building relationships with other willing makeup artists, this helps you to get to know the competition as well as form an open line for potential jobs. Always try to get your name out there by whatever means you can! Make connections, it will help boost your business in the long run because at some point everyone needs a makeup artist. You can also try attaching yourself to local tradeshows and events. This will definitely help in building your brand and your client list.

I hope these little tips help! Let me know how it goes! 😉

Stop those Munchies!

If animals and babies know to eat only when they’re hungry and to stop eating when they’re comfortable, then what the hell is wrong with the rest of us? Why do we feel the need to have dessert after a filling meal? Why do we crave snacks and drinks even though we’re not hungry or thirsty? and why do we have a hard time with portion control when it comes to our favorite meals? All of these are challenging for me and I’m sure most of you as well!

I believe that the culprits for these munchies are lack of self control, lack of sleep, stress, depression, hormones and the way our society has conditioned us! I know whenever I feel the least bit stressed, I reach for junk food and whatever snacks I can find lying around,whether I’m hungry or not! Horrible right!

Most of us also tend to be multi-tasking eaters. We eat while we’re on the computer, watching TV, reading and even when socializing. For some reason, we feel the need to have something in front of us to munch on. But what we don’t know, is that our stomachs have “stretch receptors,” which send a signal of satiety to our brain when food hits our stomach to tell us “we’re full!” However, that signal does not work if we’re eating while distracted! So, the key to not overeating is to steer clear from distractions while chowing down. I know this may be difficult at first but it’ll just take a little getting used too and actually remembering to do so!

For me, as a child, my home always had snacks lying around so naturally when I felt hungry, I’d nibble on whatever there was, then go back outside to play. What a happy life! Back then, I used to eat like a bird, never having an actual full meal. I had the smallest appetite ever! But with getting older, naturally everything started changing. I started snacking more and filling up on junk food. I am naturally a petite person, measuring about 5ft maybe 2 inches at most. So, if and when I went overboard with my horrid eating habits, it would definitely become noticeable.

Because of this, I started practicing portion control so as to not go overboard. Two (2) pounds gained on me can look like a lot compared to 2 pounds gained on an average sized human. At first it will be difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it. When I first started, I found it was easy to just cut down the portion sizes of my regular everyday food. I hadn’t changed my diet yet simply because I wanted to get used to the new portion sizes first. It’s also easier to take baby steps into things like this, especially if it’s all new to you. It’s helpful to use a smaller plate size for your meals rather than what you’re usually used to. You can fill up a little plate and it will still be less than what you would’ve been having on your regular sized plate. This tricks the mind into thinking you won’t need more than what’s there in front of you. Once you get the portion control down, you can start adjusting your diet bit by bit.

  1. Cut out excessively sugary drinks and snacks!– I found that when I did this, the cravings weren’t as strong as before!
  2. Substitutions! – if you’re craving something sweet, like chocolate, have a dark chocolate instead, it’s healthier than regular milk chocolate, it helps to lower blood pressure and is filled with antioxidants. You can also try apple slices dipped in a bit of peanut butter for a cool snack. No matter what crazy snack you feel for, there is always a healthier alternative!

To curb your appetite, try not eating way past into the night. If you’re like me and stay up until ungodly hours watching Netflix, and you start feeling munch-ish, drink a cup of tea and nibble on some mixed nuts- that usually fills me up for the night. Once you start incorporating these tips, you should begin to feel a bit more in control. Remember to be conscious of what and how much you’re consuming.

Hope this helps your munchies! 😉

 

 

Beauty and The Diet

We are all aware that eating “healthy” is the way to go for a number of reasons.

Well, for beauty it is an absolute MUST! As far as trends go in the beauty industry, luminous, dewy, radiant glowing skin is in! Companies are constantly coming out with a lot more sheer finish foundations and powders and everyone and their grandma are obsessed with highlighters; including me! We all strive for that impeccably flawless, shiny, but not too shiny, soft and supple skin with and without makeup. Especially without makeup! Who really wants to wear makeup each and everyday from now until the day they die? Certainly not me! That’s why achieving that look on my bare skin is definitely a priority!

Now, this is where lifestyle comes in, I have concluded from my own observations and a bit of common sense, that faces with next to nothing foundation, (see what I did there MAC 😉 fyi: MAC has a new foundation that’s absolutely beautiful for that dewy and sheer look called “Next to Nothing”) must depend on something other than good genes and effective skin care products. Naturally gorgeous skin must start from the inside out and therefore must start with a proper regimen of diet and exercise! Ughh! the worst two things known to man….or at least known to me! I’ve been starting to realize that this is something you really cannot get away from, because believe me! I’ve tried!!

“I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin” says Dr. Jessica Wu (dermatologist and creator of Dr. Jessica Wu Skincare). Well that’s one way to put it into perspective Dr. Wu!

The foods that you eat get broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that the body uses to build up healthy skin. For example, the amino acids from the protein you eat go into building your skin’s collagen. If your diet lacks excessively in protein, then you better start saving for some Botox girlfriend!

Try to cut out processed foods little by little and then all the way. I know that this may seem impossible given the scary number of fast food restaurants our countries have to offer, but we must try! And I say “we” because I am a victim of KFC which forces me to have a love/hate relationship with it, leaning more toward the love part 😥  Nevertheless,  processed, oily, greasy foods temporarily taste good as you’re eating it, but in actuality does your body the most harm once it passes your lips. Once you start to eliminate this, you will start to see a huge difference in the way your skin and body looks and feels. Trust me! I know! Start incorporating more avocados, fruits and veges and lean proteins into your diet. Also try to steer clear of sugary drinks, foods and snacks.

I’m going to be quite honest with you! Everyone always says the same thing. But, from my experience, you just have to find what works for your own skin and your own body. Everyone is different! Some people exercise constantly and eat well the majority of time, yet still have problems with breakouts. So, while diet and exercise may work for some, it may not work for others. You have to get to know your own skin. A good tip is to experiment with yourself. When you eat certain things, take notice of how your body and your skin reacts, then change up your routine accordingly. This I find, helps you to become more in tune with your own body and its needs. Listen to it!

The thing is, we all know how we’re “supposed” to be eating. So then, why is it so damn difficult to stick too? Maybe, it’s a mind thing. Maybe, we just have to decide we are going to eat better and actually do it! Resist all temptation! That is the key! But trust and believe that this change of diet paired with the easiest exercise of all- a little light walking will do wonders for your skin. Once you get a cool sweat in, that’s all you need!

Let me know how it goes! 🙂