Grind Time

I've had a lot of catching up to do since overcoming my injuries. It's been lots of early morning, late nights, and long days in between!! With work, school, my online class, house duties, and now freelancing I've been super-dooper busy and something's gotta give. So, I think I'll just quit school.... JK!!!!! I actually graduate next month, so that will free up some time and I'll be sure to only fill it with working out and relaxing. That is until I re-enroll in school, which will be shortly after in the fall. I pretty much don't know how to just sit still, and I'm very envious of my boyfriend for it. Oh well, I must have Jamacian in me somehow as much as I love to stay a busy bee. Until next time, stay beautiful 💋 


Back in Business

Hey y'all!! It's been two weeks since my cast and boot have been off and I'm in catch-up overload!!!! I had done freelance work and hair even with my cast off, but was somewhat limited.  Now it's time to go full force and get back into the swing of things. I've some new projects I'll be working on and can't wait to share. Until next time.. as always, stay beautie-full 💋

Kickboxing Kicked My Butt

So, mid May I was super excited to start working out regularly again. Having been a Zumba instructor and member of a kickboxing gym back home, I just felt like something was missing in my new life and home. Surprisingly, Zumba nor kickboxing was big out here so I was stuck with just regular workouts (which I hate). Week 1 was so amazingly motivating to get me back into the swing of things!! I was so sore for a few days, but it was well worth it. My 2nd week didn't go as smoothly.. and I have a pretty bright pink full arm cast and ankle boot to prove it. I've been broken for 2 1/2 long weeks no and I still have at least 2 more weeks to be casted. No Bueno!!!!!!  

In other news, I got accepted to a once in a lifetime school led by the great Val Garland. Not familiar with the name?? How about Vougue cover MUA!! This course isn't for beginners, but established MUAs that they feel have the potential to make it to the top. There were over 14,000 applicants from all over the world and I was blessed to be among only 1000 students that made it. This class is exactly what I needed to get me out of the stagnant rut I felt I was becoming stuck in at work. Now don't get me wrong.. I love my job, but I love learning and growing even more and that just wasn't happening like I need it to. When you're not getting what you need, you got to go out and figure how to get it. I'm very excited to share my growth with y'all!! Until next time, stay beautiful 💋 

A Few Bumps In The Road


We all go through difficult times. I had just begun to figure out my work, life, school, and newly workout balance. I started kickboxing again last week, and it was just what I needed to get fit again.. that is until I landed wrong doing a high jump shin kick, and broke my hand, wrist, ankle, and foot. Talk about OUCH!!!! I now have a long arm cast and a boot on my right foot. I'll be out of commission for a least a month 😑👎🏾. I have been feeling pretty blue here the last couple of days, but got a little kick of motivation and attempted to try to do my hair and full face of make-up with my left hand. It actually looked pretty good. It's easy to say what you can't do based off of assumptions, but it's more rewarding to at least try and prove yourself wrong. If I can conquer doing make-up with my non-dominant hand, newbies can for sure conquer make-up in general. I believe in you!! As always, stay beautiful ❤️💋😘❤️ 

Poor ankle/foot 😔 

Poor ankle/foot 😔 

The Art of Complimenting

One thing I've always tried to do is to give credit where and when it's due.  As women, we have a tendency to be super hard on ourselves and it doesn't make it any better that ever since the movie 'Mean Girls' came out we've adopted some of their rude tendencies.  Not to mention Instagram should pretty much endorse and fully advocate RBF (Resting Bi*ch Face).. no smiles out of us ladies.  

A couple days ago, while at Chipotle I complimented an older women that was probably in her mid 40s on her cute pants.  Just in case y'all didn't know, flares and wide legs are coming back.. thank the Lord!! Anywho.. as she thanked me, she told me she was asking her friend in line which agency I'm most likely from.  Of course I was confused and it must have shown on my face because she then asked "You do model don't you?" <Nervous/Goofy laugh> No, I'm just a make-up artist.  I was completely shocked because even though my skin has cleared up, I still wish I could be invisible at times because I'm so used to it being terrible.  

The lesson was not for me, but for me to share with you.. don't be afraid to give compliments because you just may get one back.  Never do I ever give empty compliments just to have it reciprocated to me.  I'm always very genuine and try to find beauty and good in as much as I can.  Making others smile makes me smile, and I think we can all stand to do that more often.  Who knew that me giving a nice gesture to some random person would result in us making each other's day!!

Self Esteem Issues.. It's Real

     What's the first thing we do when we wash our hands in the bathroom??  Look in the mirror as we lather up the soap.  What do people most generally do when they're brushing their teeth?? Looking in the mirror.  What about when we get dressed and need to make sure our outfit or uniform looks appealing.. look in the mirror.  I even have one on my coat closet door so I can take one last glance as I head out.  Whether it's while we're driving, passing a window, or even looking at our phone to get a glimpse of how we look.. it's human nature to want to see yourself.  But what about those that don't like what they see in the mirror?? 

     We've all had those days where we feel bloated, or are having a bad hair day.  Simple fixes:  were cute sweats or a messy bun.  What about those who have bad breakouts??  Oh that's what make-up is for, right??  Wrong!! Make-up is meant to enhance one's natural beauty.  But what happens when you can't see past the blemishes and forget about your beauty.  What if you have sensitive skin and even the touch of washing your face or putting moisturizer on causes pain and inflammation?  Now top that up with attempting to 'beat your face' with make-up, just to see exaggerated uneven texture and and discoloration still peeking through no matter what efforts you made to conceal it all.  

     As a person who has overcome and backtracked with my battle with skin issues, I know how it feels to wake up and try to avoid looking in the mirror.  It's easy to just let yourself go when your face is the main thing people look at while in a conversation and you wish you could be wearing your hoodie with the drawstrings tied as tightly as Kenny did on South Park, so no one could see your skin.  Or regretting the days of work as a make-up artist because you get to make everyone look beautiful, meanwhile your make-up is either melting off or flaking off.  

     I wish I could give great advice or words of encouragement, but that's the exact inspiration of this post.  I have nothing yet.  I suffer from self esteem issues that don't partner well with anxiety/depression.  Now, I know some feel bad juju about openly admitting to depression and/or anxiety but that could be the very problem.  How could one overcome the issue if people encourage you hide it or keep it bottled up.  That's just an emotional explosion just wanting to happen.  I however, want to help reiterate that all of the above are REAL ISSUES.  Everyone copes and handles things differently, and that's ok.  I'm still learning how to work on myself and be happy with the person I am inside and out.  I pray that if anything, I could have at least been of help to someone that's feeling like they're alone.. you're not.. we're not!!  Just try to smile when you do manage to get a glimpse and know that once you're down, the only way is up from there.. as long as you don't give up.  Thank y'all and as always.. stay beautiful!! <3

Adult Acne Battle

     I have been dealing with acne ever since I was a pre-teen and things did not get much better for me long term in my adulthood.  I've tried and retried so many things in hopes of conquering this self-confidence diminishing battle.  As discussed before, I decided to listen to my mother, whom as a Medical Esthetician, knew that my skin issues could not be treated without seeing a doctor.  After visiting my esthetician I was instructed to use Toleriaine Purifying Cleanser, the Sulfa-lo bar, and Toleriane Fluide (along with SPF of course).  I was also seen by the Physician's Assistant that works in the same office and was prescribed Retin-A (to use at night).  After only a week I've seen a major oil reduction in my usually super oily skin.  I have a follow up in 8 weeks to see how the Retin-A is working to treat and prevent breakouts.  I have been using the Retin-A for a week now and so far so good.  

     Using Retin-A speeds up the skin's cell turnover rate causing rapid exfoliation, revealing healthier skin.  That being said, some peeling may or may not occur.  It's also best to ease into a Retin-A because if you go in too strong in the beginning irritation can occur.  Years ago doctors advised not to use a moisturizer so that the effects of the Retin-A would be stronger and faster, but that is not really practiced anymore because it's been found that using a hydrator helps drive the product down to cellular level; causing better product penetration.  

     Before trying something new from a professional, I always recommend asking lots of questions to know the why, how, when, and what to expect.  Had I done this years ago my issues may have been long gone.  I suppose the best thing about my journey is that having these ups and downs has made me so much more knowledgable, so now I can in turn help others with similar issues and actually understand what they're going through.  Please never give up, and always stay beautiful!! 

Enough is Enough with Acne

    *Just wanting to apologize ahead of time for the long read, but it's my journey and I want to help others with similar struggles as much as I can.*

      As an esthetician in training, I wanted to make a strong effort to solve my acne issues as I would try for a client.  What I neglected to do was to admit when things were out of my control and seek the help of a dermatologist.  Just a recap.. I have struggled with cystic/hormonal acne since I was a young teen.  I've tried (almost) everything, but hate the idea of being on oral medications long term.  The issue is, when the breakouts are caused by something internal nothing topical can treat or prevent them.  

     For a couple of months I was using products from the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare line and was so impressed.  I loved the Color Smart Cleanser, Alpha Beta Peel Pads, and Sulfur mask from the line.  My scars were getting lighter, and my breakouts didn't last as long but weren't completely gone.  I wanted to kick things up a notch and add the Acne Clearing Pads to my regimen every other night.  For the first couple of weeks things seemed to be going great.  Once I started ovulating I noticed more of the cystic breakouts starting around my jawline like with most hormonal breakouts.  I thought to combat the issue I'd bump things up to every night until after my cycle, and then drop back down to every other night.  Well the problem was, once one spot would go down there'd be another one that would pop up  by the end of the day.  I seemed to have gotten things calmed down a little bit, but received a facial from school.. big mistake!! My skin freaked out!! I honestly can't remember a time other than in high school that it looked so bad.  I literally had people saying "what happened," "are you ok," "it looks so painful."  Well, not only was it painful but also embarrassing.  There's almost nothing worst than being a make-up artist with bad skin (at least when it comes to being in the beauty industry).  You feel like people don't trust your judgement because your skin doesn't look great even with all the make-up.  It got to the point where I wasn't even feeling inspired to put make-up on myself because I didn't like the finished look.  

     Ironically this flare up happened while my mom, who's a medical esthetician, was in town to visit me.  She watched my skincare routine for a couple of days and gave me her honest opinion and recommendation.  She had me stop using the products because she could see that my skin wasn't broken out from acne, it was extremely irritated and I was making it worst by using the Acne Clearing Pads.  She had me stop using those and switch to a gentle cleanser and moisturizer followed by hydrocortisone.  Each day I did this routine my skin became less and less inflamed/irritated.  One day while I was at work she took it upon her motherly self to research estheticians and dermatologists in the area and set up an appointment for me.  I actually appreciated it because all of this let me finally see things were out of my hands.  

     I went to my esthetician, whom coincidentally worked at the school I attend.  She was already very well educated of my acne struggle and the appointment was great!!  She has me using Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser and Toleriane Ultra Intense Soothing Care Moisturizer day and night.  At night she also has me using the Sulfp-lo Cleansing Bar to help dry out blemishes.   I also use Obagi's Benzoyl Peroxide Moisturizer to further dry out the blemishes over night.  After 2 weeks of not using the Dr. Dennis Gross products and only 5 days of using the regimen my esthetician recommended, my face is experiencing almost no breakouts even during my lovely lady week.  Next week she has me following up with the Physician's Assistant that she works with to be prescribed a Retin-A and possibly Spironolactone.  

     Sorry again for the long read!! I just want to be as open about the progress I make, just in case someone out there is on the verge of giving up.  I will of course keep you updated, and until next time.. stay beautiful!! 

Find Your Perfect Foundation

A lot of us let our fear of the unknown get the best of us at times. Make-up in its entirety can be very intimidating with all of the different kinds, brands, and formulas. Not only that, but how do you know where to buy it? Is drug store make-up worth the bargain, or should I dish out a few more bucks to get quality make-up?  

If you're wanting to get some personal insight and a proper color match, I strongly encourage taking a trip to your closest Sephora. They have innovative and exclusive technology called Color IQ that will actually take pictures of your skin and give your color formula, which then tells what colors of foundation match you exactly carried by the store. It goes even further to tell which ones are best for your skin type; and also gives options for darker, lighter, more yellow, and more red.  There doesn't have to be anymore guess work in finding a great foundation for you. The best part about this service is that it's absolutely complementary along with the application of the foundation. Once you've mastered your foundation you can go back for other Mini Makeovers to learn tips and tricks on other areas of make-up like eyes, lips, even the popular contour. 

Just remember, make-up doesn't have to be complicated when taught properly. I hope this helps some of you that may need that little push to overcome your fears of make-up!! Until next time, stay beautiful ❤️💋💄❤️ 

15 Day Face Regimen Update

So, today is day 15 of me using the Dr. Dennis Gross One Step Acne Eliminating Pads.  I'll be honest in saying my breakouts aren't completely gone, but they are drastically less!!  I haven't been experiencing the big, painful under the skin knots that I usually do, nor do the breakouts that I do have last nearly as long. I'm still going through a purging phase, but I'd rather it out than in so I'm fine with that.  My scars are still lightening literally by the day and I don't need as much coverage as I once did to achieve the make-up look I want/need for work.  I'm conflicted as to whether I should keep using the pads until I completely clear up, or if I should go on and switch back to the Alpha Beta Peel pads as I mentioned in my last post. Whatever I decide, I'll be sure to state it in a future post.  Aside from that, I'll definitely be continuing with my regimen of Dr. Dennis Gross products because I'm completely blown away by the results I was able to receive from a product that wasn't prescribed, but that I purchased from my local Sephora. Until next time, stay beautiful!!

Hormonal Acne Update

Still struggle with my battle with hormonal/cystic acne, but I've seen good days. Since mid January my skincare regimen consists of the Dr. Dennis Gross Color Smart Cleanser, Original Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads, Clarifying Colloidal Mask, and now the One Step Acne Eliminating Pads. I also use a Trader Joe's Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil, Cetaphil Moisturizer, and Clindamycin topically. Today I also purchased the 30 day Clear Skin Solutions kit also by Dr. Dennis Gross. It comes with the mask and acne pads mentioned above, but also his All In One Foaming Cleanser ($36) and the Hydra-Pure Oil Free Moisturizer ($76).. all for $45. Great value!! 

The Color Smart Cleanser and Alpha Beta Peels my complexion looked so bright and clear (aside from ovulating and my favorite time of the month 😑👎). My skin was drastically clear of breakout, which overall made me feel great!! This month during ovulation my hormones got out of wack, so I decided to add the One Step Acne Eliminating Pads. I've heard great things about them combating acne.. including hormonal/cystic which is almost unheard of for something not prescribed. Let me just say.. it stings and itches so bad for like 20 seconds, but quickly subsides. With more use the sensations have decreased. I will alternate 15 days of the Ance Pads and 15 days of the Alpha Beta Peel Pads, so my face won't get used to either product and plateaue/revert back. So far I'm only on day 7 and I'm purging, which is fairly typical. I may tweak the alternating schedule if needed, and will update you on how the cleanser and moisturizer I received in the kit work for me as well. Never give up, and stay beautiful!! 


Make Time for Yourself

One of my biggest downfalls is not making enough time out of my day and week to take care of myself. The biggest thing to show for it is my hormonal/cystic acne. Granted, that has nothing to do with my regimen being so these kinds of breakouts are hormonal, but it is something I can relieve somewhat. The first thing I need to incorporate is drinking more water every day. Also, going to sleep earlier so I can get more rest and wake up early enough to still be productive. Next I need to get back on my smoothie kick. When I did herbalife, I can honestly admit there wasn't a time I can recall I ever felt better. I had more energy and my skin was clear and glowing. I also need to remember to take all of my vitamins throughout the day, as well as eating clean more nutritious meals.  It takes being healthy within for it to show on the outside. 

1. Drink enough water!! Divide your weight in half and that's how much water you should be drinking in ounces (100 lbs = 50 oz) at least. If you hate the taste of water, or the lackthereof, add fruit. Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form a nutritionist. This tip is what I found based off of a lot of research I've done on the benefits of water.

2. Incorporate fresh or frozen produce to your diet daily. This will help with the immune system, digestion, and cellular health.

3. Limit your junk intake to only a few times a week, or at a minimum daily.  

4. Set a reminder to take your vitamins and supplements throughout the day. I started placing mine by my keys, that way if I forgot I would realize it before it was too late and I had already left.  

5. Eat Greek yogurt everyday for probiotic health (especially women) .

6. Get moving!! There's literally no reason not to be active. I'll explain in further detail in an upcoming post.



Vitamin D Deficiency

Since college, I've seemed to be quite the problem child of my peers. Getting chronic TMJD in the Army, having a mini stroke from taking yaz birth control. Severe cystic/hormonal acne from the Mirena IUD. Just when I thought it couldn't get any wors, I find out last fall I've become severely deficient in Vitamin D. Some people that acquire a Vitamin D deficiency are lucky enough to show no signs, other than those of which are in their blood work. I, on the other hand, started experiencing symptoms before I even knew I was deficient. 

First, I started out feeling more tired than usual and then progressed to always being extremely lethargic.  Then I started feeling weak. Walking up a couple flights of stairs would exhaust me, and making a couple of trips would have me completely winded. My muscles and bones ached like I'd never experienced before. Household duties were out of the question for a while. I could barely hold my head up because my neck and shoulders had become so weak. It had even taken me over 30 minutes to get dressed for school one day because I had to keep taking breaks inbetween putting on the different pieces clothing and trying to make it from room to room. That was the day I realized something was seriously wrong.

I went to the VA hospital a few days later and they drew my blood for the first time in over a year, which I had always found very strange. It took a month for them to call me with results that I had never considered. I'm now on 50,000 units of Vitamin D per week and have added B6 because I quickly learned the two should be partnered together to prevent loss of energy. Within the first month or so I didn't see or feel much change. My immune system had become compromised and I started having full body spasms and twitching. All of this had me feeling quite low and hopeless. I was becoming afraid that this would forever be my life.

It's been 8 weeks since I started taking the Vitamin D weekly and I'm just now starting to see a small turn around. Unfortunately, around day 5 or 6 I start to revert back to the symptoms I first had. I suppose I should be thankful it's not everyday like before. If this is something you can at all prevent, please try your best to do so. I would never wish this on anyone. If you're currently suffering with this like me, try to keep your spirits up and know it doesnt have to be this bad forever. I'm still praying for a full recovery and am very happy for the progress I've made thus far. 

Brighter Days Have Come (Pt. 2)

As I said before, my skin has transformed completely. I don't know if it's due to less stress, a better water filtration system, the regimen my dermatologist has me on, or what.. but it's noticibly better. There's not a day I go to work and fellow cast members, or clients compliment on how great my skin is looking and wanting deets on what I'm doing. I honestly don't know what to attribute it to, but I'm ecstatic nonetheless!!


Brighter Days Will Come (Pt.1)

So lately I've been really bummed about the ups and down I've been experiencing with my skin. As a reminder, I have adult/hormonal acne that becomes cystic. There wasn't a day my face didn't seem to be inflamed, and painful to touch since I've moved to Virginia. I'd have the occasional clear up, but it was always very short lived. Fed up, I finally went to the dermatologist where I received a prescription for Epiduo and Doxycycline. I was able to notice a change after about a week, but figured it was a long road ahead to better skin with these medicines. Around the three week mark it was moving weekend, and I was unfortunately sick so of course with both stressors I was broken out a little more than usual. Over the next couple a weeks, things took a surprising turn. Tune into pt. 2 to see what journey my skin took me on next. Until then, stay beautie-full!! 

Quick Update

Ok, so despite my fears of failing horribly.. I've continued reading the book I last spoke about to accelerate my learnings of photography basics using the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. As the chapters go on, he breaks things down literally walking you through each screen along with explaining when/how/why to shoot with different modes and settings. With that being said, I HIGHLY recommend Jeff Revell's book "From Snapshots to Great Shots!" I'd also like to thank my dear friend and business mentor Breanna M. for her great motivation speaking great words of encouragement, reminding me of my favorite scripture:  I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me (Phillipians 4:13).  I've also been completing the assignments Mr. Revell suggests at the end of each chapter. It's actually not as hard to grasp as I thought it was going to be <thank God!!>. 

Also, I'm on my second week of the doxycycline and Epiduo regimen my dermatologist has me following. The biggest thing I've noticed is that my skin appears brighter and a lot less inflamed. The lifetime of blemishes that I do get are also greatly reduced and smaller in size, as well as amount being fewer. I'm making sure to use a moisturizer that contains SPF in the morning and a good hydrating moisturizer at night. 

I'll soon be moving and hope to have finished the book I'm reading for my camera so you can see the transformation yet again. Until next time beauties, stay blessed!!  

DSLR Newbie

Never did I ever imagine how much it actually takes to start a blog/vlog/YouTube/photography hobby. I'm SO overwhelmed. First off.. I didn't realize how much equipment is needed for good quality pictures and videos, let alone how expensive it's turning out to be. I went out a got a pricey camera to save in the long run. But then realized I'd need a protective case, lens accessories, extra battery, and a tripod. So I'm all excited when I got home and switched videos for beginners just to find out I should also invest in a remote, better lighting, and a smaller tripod to fit on my desk. So I went out and bought that stuff. Next I start messing with the camera and figure I should probably start reading the users manual because I have no idea what all the knobs and buttons are for.. nope still not cutting it for a beginner. So of course, I buy a big beginners guide for the Canon EOS Rebel T5i and wast lost by the middle if chapter 2. Was this a mistake?  Did I just waste on a grand on something I haven't even the slightest background knowledge of? Oh yeah.. a couple more things I'll need to invest in are another lens and a microphone. Sheesh!! -__-


So I Got a Fancy New Camera.. Now What??

I've been going back and forth for months now on buying a professional camera to take pictures of my work and start a new hobby. I watched so many videos and read so many articles trying to decide. I even picked the associates' brains at stores trying to get their opinions as well. After months and months I was finally in a position to buy one, and now I'm kind of scared to start snapping shots. I now understand why people are afraid to try something new.. we don't want to be bad at it. I've read half of the users manual and I'm still not very confident and almost feeling follows about my purchase. I have to remember everyone has to start from somewhere, and we'll never get any better if we never even try. Wish me luck beauties!! 


New Approach to Acne Treatment

Today marks the day I officially start a new battle against my adult acne. I finally visited a dermatologist after a few years of trying over the counter product flops as well as recommendations from various estheticians, beauty gurus, and articles. The doctor placed me on doxycycline (typical) and Epiduo, which I'm sure many have seen the commercial for. I was advised to use a gentle/basic cleanser and moisturizer like cerave, aveno, and cetaphil. I was shocked and asked "aren't drugstore brands frowned upon in the professional beauty world?" She responded with a laugh and asked "is that seriously what they teach you at work?" I was completely dumbfounded. Apparently most makeup and skin care products aren't made with the harsh ingregients and oils that they used to be, and the only ones to really worry about are theatrical cosmetics ( and seriously.. who wears those on an everyday basis?).  I did a little more research and it says not to use anything containing sulfa, or salicilic acid with the product. I downloaded the Epi-tracker app to keep track of my progress. Praying for the best!!