Glow Therapy: Candid Conversations With A Skin Specialist

So I’m having an event in NYC! Think of it as a TEDtalk for all things beauty and wellness related. I’ll be breaking down the functions of the skin, how you can get the most out of your seasonal skin care routines & much more. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me any questions you might have about beauty (even professional questions). The best part is you will receive a free skin consultation from me as well! I hope to see all your beautiful faces there ❤ I’m so excited to meet you!

Here’s the link!


20 Under 20: Cute, Quick & Cheap Secret Santa Ideas!

Every year, millions of innocent people around the world are pressured into participating in gift giving with relatives, co-workers and various other human beings. It can be a chore trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without breaking the bank. Luckily, you have my cheap ass to help you! Here is a list of some of the best beauty and wellness gifts for $20 and under (which are all products I have used or will be trying out in the near future! YAY!

  1. Anatomicals Cruisin’ For A Snoozin’ Silk Sleep Mask $10.50
  2. Biossance Body Brush $17
  3. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil $9.80
  4. jKo Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick $10.50 (currently on sale and there’s a color named after me!)
  5. Bevel Shave Cream $14.95
  6. Nasty Gal ‘Clearly Perfect’ Visor Shades $16.00 (on sale for 50% off w/ code GET50)
  7. AVEDA Shammy Cloth $9.50
  8. ZOYA Polish Quad Gift Set $15
  9. Squish-and-Bubble Mesh Mask for Body $10
  10. Soaptopia ‘Rozilla vs. DRYskinea’ Bar Soap $8.55
  11. MAC Lipglass Clear $17
  12. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser $18
  13. Frank Body Shimmer Coffee Scrub $20
  14. The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho $13.74
  15. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Softening Body Wash $10
  16. The Chemistry Brand Retin-Oil $20
  17. Hylamide HA Blur  $19
  18. J. One Jelly Vita 2-Step Mask $6
  19. ARGOtea Owl Infuser $8.95
  20. Creative Professional Large Wet/Dry Detangling Brush $17.90



Coming Soon: Mask Mondays!

You know what pisses me off? Seeing tutorials and skin care vids of women with beat faces sparingly applying mask products to their face. As if they are completely unaware that the skin around their brows, mouth and eyes also needs to be tended to. After providing these women with one too many views, I have decided that I will begin a weekly Periscope broadcast featuring myself and some of my fav masks and other products. Those tuning in will be able to ask me health, beauty and wellness questions. So you’ve got a week to download the app and follow. Can’t wait to see you there!

Not into livestreams and such? No problem! I’ll bring the best questions, suggestions and ideas here for your consumption.

WTF is natural?

I have been gone for a while and I come to you writing with fresh eyes on various beauty topics. One particular thing has been bothering me for a while. What exactly does “natural” mean??

In my time away from you guys, I have sold over $2,000 in revenue as part of my vegan skin care line, Ara By Essence, traveled a little more, read a lot more and become a brand ambassador for a global beauty brand (I’ll tell you guys a little more about it later). All of which has affected the way I view beauty and the lengths that humans go through to feel physically beautiful. While my philosophy for beauty has not changed (less is still more), my understanding has definitely graduated. In my new role as beauty ambassador, I am often asked “Is this line natural?”. I think that what we (people concerned about overall wellness and ingredients) should be asking is if products are toxic instead.

There are plenty of natural ingredients out there that aren’t productive to overall wellness and skin balance. Things like essential oils, coconut oils, hard clay masks and apple cider vinegar are all natural but can throw off our skins natural functions by way of clogging pores, enlarging pores and messing up our pH balance. Being educated on what your own skin “likes” is not enough. As much as we love to hear that our favorite beauty product has some shit in it that comes from a tree, all “natural” products are not created equal!

Some natural ingredients that can be harmful to the skin (especially easily irritated and dry skin) include lavender, eucalyptus, witch hazel, peppermint, lemon, lime, bergamot, arnica.



To Derm or Not to Derm

I have a confession to make. I have never been to a dermatologist. I never felt the need to. I’ve never heard anyone I know going to a dermatologist and being cured without their affliction popping up again in the long run. Most of the time they prescribe some topical creams that serve as a quick fix by striping the skin/body of necessary vitamins, bacterias and nutrients. Me being someone who doesn’t take drugs or even use medicated skin care products, I’m not willing to waste my time at a derm office. 

Many skin diseases/disorders as well as other health issues are just red flags our body is trying to send us regarding our internal health. I always recommend visiting your physician, allergist and/or nutritionist.

  •  Physicians can give you blood tests and let you know what vitamin deficiencies you have 
  • Allergists can let you know what allergies you might have that can be causing inflammation and irritation inside and outside the body.
  • Nutritionists can aid you in creating a plan to intake whatever vitamins and nutrients you are lacking.

It’s really the perfect combination for wellness! Disorders like depression, fatigue, skin rashes, and blood related illnesses can all be treated with vitamins and supplements. 

I currently take 

  • Niacin (key ingredient in Vitamin B) for skin and heart health as well as blood purification
  • Multi strain Probiotics for digestive health 
  • Spirulina Powder for protein, Vitamin K, iron, magnesium, chromium 

Check out this bomb ass chart below to help you figure out what vitamins and supplements you should be incorporating into your diet or taking in pill form to improve your health. 

Transformation Inspiration

Meet Jenn! She is a fireball of a woman whose charisma and love for life I have always admired. Ever since our paths crossed, I am constantly amazed by the way she puts herself out there and pursues her passions with virtually no fear. I have watched Jenn throughout her amazing lifestyle transformation and look to her as a source of inspiration when making healthy life choices. I hope you can too! 
What influenced you to make the decision to transition into a healthier lifestyle? How did your journey begin?
Jenn:What influenced me? I was fat! My health and quality of life were deteriorating. My real journey began with weight loss surgery. After that it was making better food choices and a lot of exercise 

What is your favorite way to burn calories?
Jenn:I don’t have a favorite way to burn calories, but most often I run, dance, and lift weights. 

Did you try different types of workouts? If so, which one was least effective to you?

Jenn:Um…nah I wouldn’t say I tried different types because to me the only thing that differs a workout is intensity. I think that it’s really all the same, just a matter of execution. Everything I did was pretty effective, i just needed to be consistent

What advice would you have for creating a diet plan that works? 

Jenn:I no longer believe in diets. They never worked for me. I believe in making the right choices regarding food and what works for my body. I kno that simple carbs aren’t my friend. So I don’t intake a lot of it. Nor is soda. I have a snacking habit, so I try to snack healthily. 

My only advice would be to learn your body and make small adjustments until they become a habit. It’s the only thing that is guaranteed to work long term. 

Are there any special apps, gadgets, or workout gurus that keep you motivated and consistent? 

Jenn:I love my Fitbit, but I’m looking into apple watch, I like the Nike + app for running.

 I follow a few workout gurus like @massyarias and @qui2health among others. I like to follow @ladydork to remind me that I need to stretch. I also follow a fellow wls (weight loss surgery) patient @bodybuildingbrandi she’s so inspiring, especially since we had the same procedure. She motivates me to get off my ass. @qui2health motivates me to keep going in the middle of a workout cuz I vision her and the weights. And I’m like “Jen, ur only lifting a fraction of that. U got this.”

My personal trainer also keeps me focused and going to my post-support group every so often refocuses me 

Wellness Women Wednesday! 

Ms. Tina Turner (left) and Ms. Jane Fonda (right) have been inspirations to many women in the fields’s of music, acting, theater, and even activism but for a long time I have admired them both for encouraging women to live as the healthiest versions of themselves. For the past 40 or so years, they have been sharing dietary tips and promoting active living. What I love most about them is they live it! They practice what they’ve preached for so long. Both of these women are proof that when you love yourself and your body it will love you back. Today, Ms. Jane turned 79. A few weeks ago, Ms. Tina turned 77. They are both as mobile and radiant as they were 40 years ago. Tina credits this to her active lifestyle filled with dancing (of course) and eating healthy meals. She still tours the world and is able to move just as gracefully as she did in the prime of her career. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ms. Jane, she is not only a famous actress but also one of the original queens of fitness. Some of her recent movies include Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Monster In Law, and the Netflix original Grace and Frankie. In 1988, she put joined her career with her passion for fitness and created the Jane Fonda Complete Workout! It is basically a template for every workout tape that came after it. It is filled with all the fun fashion and dance moves of the era.The best part is the workout is still relevant and useful til this day! Check it out! 

Happy Birthday to these ladies! Thanks to them for inspiring me and giving me understanding of the payoff of healthy living by living their truths! I wish them many more years of life and wellness!!!!!