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!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/glow-therapy-candid-conversations-with-a-skin-specialist-tickets-42162783019

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The Pu**y Peel

As you may or may not know, vaginal care is important to me. Why? Because myself and some of my favorite people have vaginas. They’re pretty awesome but having one is like having a part-time job you never applied for but keep just because you need to make ends meet. Between GYN appointments, waxing, shaving (yuck!), periods and child birthing… it’s like WTF?! When does it end? Not today.

I did some extra shit to my vagina earlier that was amazing and you need to hear about and/or experience! I got a chemical peel on my vag to help with ingrowns, exfoliation and brightening. I have tried a few different brands of peels on my face. All of them were busts. I did not like the tingling/burning sensations or the weeks of dehydrated skin that ensued. The reason I was willing to try again with my vagina was because my ingrowns have gotten worse due to the cold season and the fact that my waxing schedule has changed.

Fortunately for me, one of my very best esthetician friends referred me to Baire in Hell’s Kitchen. They use PCA chemical peels, which have been around for over 20 years. PCA is a science based brand complete with pH balanced products for every day and professional use. They are very education oriented. I love the company philosophy mainly because they offer so many options in peels that otherwise can be very harsh and intimidating.

My appointment was with a lovely woman named Marina. She was pleasant and gentle. We chatted about our shared reservations regarding other brands of peels and direct acids. Because I am completely comfortable busting it open on medical tables, my service was quick and easy (about 25 minutes). Although I did not experience any discomfort, burning or stinging, it is a possibility with others. Luckily for me, Marina was nice enough to check in and make sure I was okay.

So far, my bikini area feels smoother and softer. My ingrowns are a bit more apparent and I am trying my best to not pick them out just yet. The bikini peel service is priced at $75 and recommended to do every 4-6 weeks. I will most likely be doing 6 sessions so that I will see desired results. I want my skin to be completely recovered from all those years of shaving!

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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.

Birth Control Business

My Birth Control Experiences

I promised I would save this topic for a later date. Well now is the time. Let’s talk about birth control… and how much I hate it. Many women (and girls) use it as a way to control their cramps and other physical symptoms of their period like acne. I was once one of them. I began my period at 9 years old. Every month I would become violently ill (fainting, vomiting, etc.). This meant calling out of work every month and missing out on school. PMS would leave me in a deep slump that was similar to depression. I would spend the week before sobbing and hating myself. So naturally, when the doctor presented birth control pills as a solution to my problem, I was hopeful. The dosage she gave me was low. It worked for a couple of months. Afterwards, we went higher. Each time I tried a new brand or dosage, it would work for a short amount of time and then the wrath of my period would return. It was bullshit. After a while, I gave up and didn’t take birth control for a few years.

Then randomly, my sickness got worse. My OB-GYN informed me that it was hormone related and that I should try this thing called NuvaRing to help me out. Im sure she had great intentions… Im sure she thought her medical knowledge and experience was going to be the key to saving me from monthly agony. After reading the side effects of NuvaRing (vaginal infections and irritation, vaginal itching or discharge, headache, nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps, changes in weight or appetite, breast pain/tenderness/swelling, headache and much much more) I decided I would go for it. There are very few things in this life I regret doing. Putting that little flexi circle of hormones into my vag is one of them. Everything went smoothly. I followed the directions. Put it in for 3 weeks and took it out on the 4th week so I could get my period. My period came. I still got sick. Then my period stayed. For 1 year. Not 365 days straight. Sometimes it would stop for a week or 2. I would think I was in the clear. Then it would return.

I consulted with three different doctors in that year. Each of them was completely baffled. One of them was convinced that I had done something to my own body to make it react this way. I got more sonograms than a pregnant woman. All three physicians recommended the same thing: an abortion. Even though there was clearly no baby up there. Apparently, the NuvaRing hormones interfered with the formation of the lining of my uterus. Every month, my body would try to rebuild itself, but the hormones had been so thrown off that it wasn’t happening. The abortion procedure consists of scraping away the lining of the uterus. The doctors were hoping that would allow the lining to come back regulated and healthy. I was not with it. I didn’t think it was a good idea. So i found natural ways to regulate my hormones. After a few months, I was back to my normal violently ill period. I was never more grateful for it!

Birth Control Industry

“Never has a drug whose target population is entirely healthy people been shown to be so pervasively carcinogenic in animals as has Depo-Provera”

-Medical Apartheid, Harriet S. Washington

The birth control business is shady af. Birth control is poisonous af. Prior to reading Medical Apartheid by Harriet S. Washington, all of my misgivings about birth control were simply due to my own experiences. I was skeptical about the use of synthetic hormones to regulate my living, breathing hormones. I was skeptical about the many side effects each birth control had no matter how much the doctor said there was a minor chance of them occurring. I figured if the birth controls are becoming better/more advanced, why the hell are the list of side effects nearly identical?!

Although Washington’s book is about the medical industry and its exploitation of black people in America throughout time, there is a particularly interested part about the inner workings of some birth control studies. For example, the Depo-Provera shot which was given to dogs (beagles), in 1978, before it was human tested. The shot was created with the intention of being a cancer treatment but seeing it helped to prevent pregnancy changed its destiny. All of the dogs developed breast cancer but didn’t get knocked up. So they moved on to phase 2: human experimentation.  Nearly 5,000 were injected. Because they were unable to find funding for the drug, it disappeared for a while. When I was in high school, the Depo shot was proposed to us as a new and easy solution to teen pregnancy. You didn’t have to worry about taking a pill every day and best part of it… no monthly period! I remember seeing commercials on TV for it and being envious of the girls I knew had it.

The birth control industry still texts on humans today. They usually do it in poor third world places like Nicaragua, Venezuela and various African villages. The notion attached to this is that black and brown women in these places are not only uneducated but also not cared about. Because the 17 year old girl in the Bronx does not care if 50 women had to become sterile in order to ensure she and her boyfriend can have unprotected sex. She was not taught to care. The saddest part is, sometimes these drugs are not just tested in third world countries. There have been incidents where drug research companies test birth control on young black and brown girls right here in the U.S. In cities with high teenage pregnancy rates like Baltimore drug companies are partnering with schools to administer birth control to students. This is wrong both because they are underage (with no parental consent) and because they do not have the girls medical histories and could be putting their health at risk.

Moral of the Story

If you read all of this so far, thanks! My point is, when you take hormonal birth control, you interrupt your body’s natural processes. Hormones are a vital part in every system within the body. When they are off balance, you are vulnerable. Also, many of them have life threatening side effects and can lead to major health issues like cancer. I’m not sure about you, but I would much rather have a baby than cancer. And from an humanitarian standpoint, when we give our money (or our insurance company’s money) to these drug companies, we condone their unethical business practices. We create a demand for a product that hurts other people. We give poor black/brown people around the world their death sentence.

 

 

 

 

 

Yoni & Me 

For the past month, I have been walking around with a stone in my vagina (most days). It’s a polished crystal gem that weighs about  half a pound. When my Yoni Egg isn’t inside me, it’s resting in a small velvet pouch or bathing in moonlight on my window ledge cause it’s fancy lol. 

Crystal gems are natural (often colorful) rocks that are composed of properties to help increase certain vibrations within the body. All beings vibrate because we are alive. The food you eat and things you put on/in your body can either help to increase your vibrations or decrease them. So basically, your energy/vibrations are determined by how naturally aligned your body is. Each type of crystal gem does something different for the body (chakras)

Chakra Chart

Choosing my stone took a while. I had to seriously assess myself as a person, think about where I am emotionally and where I want to be. Ironically, the color that is my least favorite was the one that seemed to be what I needed most: yellow. I chose the Citrine  stone. Citrine is known for aiding in open mindedness, acceptance of what is to come, manifesting dreams, emotional balance, pure thoughts and all that other good stuff. 

Aside from spiritual elevation, yoni eggs have been used for centuries to help women maintain vaginal health. It’s like weight training but for your pelvic muscles. Asian women believed inserting jade eggs into their vagina would help to hold in chi (good energy) so that it could be manisfested into positive thought and action. 

Benefits of strengthening your pelvic floor include improved bladder functions, reduced period cramps and more sexual pleasure. Anyone who knows me knowns I’m down for anything that will reduce period cramps (except birth control… but that’s a conversation for a whole other post). The yoni egg process consists of starting with a large/medium size and working your way down. 

So far, I have been using the medium size for exactly a month. I do notice a difference in myself both spiritually and physically! I’m very happy with the changes. I noticed that when I wear it I am more aware of my body. I focus on myself and protecting my own energy when I have it in. Physically, everything from urinating to sex has been different. I plan to continue using it and challenge myself with different sizes as soon as I find a distributor with a wide selection of stones near me. I like to buy them in person as opposed to online because I saw a few links where women were selling used yoni eggs. Yuck! 

My Esthetic Journey

It started at 30,000 feet in the sky while I was working a flight. In one of my many former lives, I was a flight attendant. As a result of being overworked, my body was completely unbalanced, my sleep was irregular, my diet was horrible, my vitamin intake was dangerously low, I had chronic muscle pain, and my skin suffered. I was 21 years old. I have always had issues with anemia and menstrual pain. Every month (since the age of 9), I would get sick and have to call out of work or miss school to deal with uncontrollable fainting and vomiting. I was usually good about keeping track of my period, but this time, it snuck up on me like a thief in the night. I was fed up. I fought through the sickness, worked my flights for the day and immediately went to my hotel room to writhe in pain and research ways to change my life.

With the wonder that is the internet, I expanded my knowledge of natural health remedies, herbs, and wellness. I found out ways to improve my lifestyle and adjust to finding healthier options while I was out traveling. I learned basic food knowledge from documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food Inc. The more I uncovered about the relationship between diet, self care, and beauty, the more interested I became in pursuing it as a career. I also began to heavily consider my future as a flight attendant. Was I willing to trade off my health for a lifestyle I wasn’t truly satisfied with? No. So, I took the steps to enroll in the esthetics program at Aveda Institute New York. I chose them because I felt their ayurvedic approach to skincare and company philosophy aligned the most with my interests.

Since completing the program almost 2 years ago, I expand my professional horizons by learning as much as I can from whomever I can at all times. This means attending lectures and hands on skincare courses. The best resource for that is The International Dermal Institute which offers courses in every major city. Also, subscribing to professional newsletters and publications is extremely helpful. They notify you of new technologies and methods related to your field. But the best teacher is always experience. Practice whatever your craft is on anyone who is willing to be your guinea pig. Try everything you can. Understand that nothing great was built in a day. Then go build!