Arbonne April Giveaway

SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!

Start your spring cleaning by getting rid of all the chemicals and enjoy the ALL NATURAL products by Arbonne.

Arbonne personal care products are formulated WITHOUT:

  • Animal products or byproducts (vegan certified)
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  • PABA
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Triclosan
  • Hydroquinone
  • Gluten
  • These petroleum-based ingredients: benzene, mineral oil, petrolatum or petroleum jelly, phthalates, and toluene.

Arbonne nutrition products are formulated WITHOUT:

  • Artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners
  • Animal products or byproducts (vegan certified)
  • Cholesterol
  • Trans fats
  • Gluten

Now, for the Giveaway! My cousin, Nicole, is hosting a giveaway between now and April 26th. All orders placed with Arbonne (input her ID at checkout) will be entered to win a Free FC5 Shower set! Arbonne makes excellent products that love nature and promote beautiful healthy skin naturally without chemicals and artificial ingredients. Pure, radiant beauty and care!

Click on the image below to be taken directly to the Arbonne website and remember to enter in Nicole’s seller ID at checkout (14774833). Enjoy and good luck!

ArbonneAprilgiveaway

For Martha Stewart, the Secret Is Routine

The New York Times recently posted the article below on Martha Stewart’s beauty and makeup regime. For a woman of 72, Martha looks pretty spectacular. Her secret surprised me. She uses a lot of oils and serums. I was stunned to find out that a lot of the products she uses are relatively affordable. Now the same routine doesn’t work for everyone, but as you age, piling on the hydration is key to preventing wrinkles and signs of aging. Go Martha!  

The Martha Stewart Beauty Regimen: Fitness, Skin Care and Diet

JAN. 8, 2014

Karsten Moran for The New York Times

It turns out that the Bedford, N.Y., bathroom cabinet of Martha Stewart, 72, is as well stocked as its gardening shed. The many products help prime Ms. Stewart for on-air appearances like her show, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School,” which began airing its third season on PBS last week.

SKIN CARE

I get up a couple hours before I’m supposed to leave in the morning and I’ll put on a mask. I like the Yon-Ka Gommage 305 or the Susan Ciminelli Hydrating Gel Mask right now. Or I’ll use the collagen mask from Mario Badescu or the Chanel Correction Lift, a firming mask, which works great for me. I’ll do this about five days a week and I don’t repeat the same mask two days in a row. I’ve always done this — well, basically since I discovered masks. I have to wear makeup for photo shoots, television and appearances, so I have to make sure my face is extremely clean in the morning. Then I shower and I wash it all off.

I slather myself with serums. First, it’s a toning lotion. Right now it’s either the Yon-Ka Lotion or a more specific spray, like the rose spray from Mario Badescu. I spray my whole face and body and then its Susan Ciminelli Marine Lotion from head to toe. I use the same products on my body as I use on my face. I don’t think there’s really any difference between the two, so the more moisturizers and serums you use, the better off you are. Then I might use a vitamin B or SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum. I’ll also put on Clé de Peau or SkinCeuticals moisturizer. With all of these serums, I find I don’t have to put on an eye cream, although my facialist insists I put one on. Sometimes, I will and the Clé de Peau is good or Caudalie has one — it’s the fancy one from their high-end line — and it’s very good, too. At the end, before any makeup, I use SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense. If I’m not going to use foundation, I’ll use the tinted version, or if I use foundation, it’ll be the white one. Otherwise, I do my best to stay out of the sun. That’s very important. I do a lot of outdoor activity like gardening and I try to cover up and do SPF. Actually, I just bought a new sun hat that goes over your riding helmet. It’s pretty ugly, but it works.

‘I slather myself with serums.’ But first, a toning spritz or two.

If I’m traveling that day, I’ll be sure to have my Yon-Ka Lotion with me, which is a spray. On a recent plane ride to L.A., I sprayed myself five times. It’s hydrating, so I don’t look like a prune after flying.

I never go to bed with makeup on. First, I steam my face with a hot washcloth and then I use the AmorePacific or Shu Uemura cleansing oils. Johnson’s baby oil works really well, too. I use those as cleansers and they’re also excellent makeup removers. I like oil because it keeps my skin very moist, and it works for me. I don’t get clogged pores.

MAKEUP

I was told years ago by my daughter, Alexis, that I shouldn’t leave the house without makeup on. You’ll pay for it if you don’t because somebody will be there with a camera snapping away and you’ll look awful or just plain. I put on a light foundation, usually the AmorePacific tube called the Moisture Bound Tinted Moisturizer or the Clé de Peau Refining Fluid Foundation. I really like the YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch stick, which is fairly new I think. Then it’s Bobbi Brown bronzer. For mascara, I use Clinique High Impact mascara or I just got a new one from Givenchy. It has three little balls almost — it’s very cute. I got it from a makeup artist at John Barrett, when she did my eyes for the ballet. It’s a little short mascara but it makes your eyelashes look elongated. Also, I’ve used Latisse and it’s really helped. People should try that. It really works. I use a gloss on my lips. I use Buxom — I like the Samantha color — or a little bit of a lip pencil. I stick with nude colors, and maybe at night I’ll wear red and it’ll really stand out.

Quench time: The sea, Vitamin C and New York spa line Susan Ciminelli.

FRAGRANCE

I’ve been wearing Fracas since I was 19. I’ll put fragrance on three times a day. I’m thankful every day that they haven’t altered their formula. Although, I did just discover a new one by Hermès called Jour d’Hermès. It’s lovely.

HAIR

I use different shampoos. For me it’s like with skin care: I try to use a variety. I have to wash my hair almost every day because I have to have it done for pictures and stuff. Frédéric Fekkai Ageless shampoo and conditioner and Shu Uemura, the green line, are my two favorites. For styling, I don’t like a lot of mousse. I do use Sally Hershberger’s Texture Blast, which is like a hair spray, but just at the roots. I have really good hair and I don’t like to plaster it.

Robert Piguet’s classic Fracas and Yon-Ka lotion are some staples.

Parvin at John Barrett has been my colorist forever. She’s the blond expert. I think she’s the busiest colorist in New York. I like her because she does it in an hour so you don’t have to spend all day sitting there.

For cuts, I’m not fussy. I’ve been to Kevin at Frédéric Fekkai in the Mark. I’ve gotten my hair cut twice at Sally Hershberger recently, and they’re fabulous, too. There are so many fantastic haircutters in the city. Everybody’s hair looks much better than it used to.

Otherwise, Daisy Schwartzberg does my daily makeup and styling. Kevin from Fekkai will do styling for photo shoots, and Katsu from John Barrett does my blowout. They’re all good.

SERVICES

I’ve been going to Mario Badescu for 45 years for facials. I try to go at least once a month. For brows, Julia Haaland at John Barrett does them when I get my hair done. Luda, also at John Barrett — where else in New York can you get everything done at once? — does my nails almost exclusively. And she’s the best massager in the world. I stand, walk and hike and I still have good feet, and I thank her for that.

FITNESS AND DIET

Exercise is a necessary part of the day. I went to the gym this morning. I have a really great trainer in the city. We’ve worked together for at least eight years. Or I do yoga with James Murphy. I like to spin, but I don’t have enough time to do it. I also have a green juice that I drink every single morning. It’s very important. You can be the most beautiful person on earth, and if you don’t have a fitness or diet routine, you won’t be beautiful.

Score a Rock-Solid Core

I love variety, especially with a workout regime. Too quickly do I get bored and tired of the same old routine. This is when my workout begins to slacken and I get bored and distracted. In order to keep it fresh, fun, and invigorating, constantly add new things. Try Zumba or crossfit. Bounce around to various gyms. I often go where the deals are. I check Groupon and Living Social regularly for fitness deals and switch it up every few weeks. I also check out articles such as the one below for new workouts to incorporate. 

Here are some awesome core workouts that are super effective and full of variety. They come from yoga, Pilates, barre, crossfit, among others. The following text and images are courtesy of Shape. Sweat on! 

The Best Abs Exercises from Every Type of Workout

Combine these 14 moves for a truly hard-core routine that’ll flatten your belly in a flash.
Score a Rock-Solid Core

Confused whether Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, CrossFit, or something else entirely is the best way to work your core? That’s probably because they all include some amazing abs-toning exercises. Combine the best from every discipline to strengthen and chisel from every angle for a truly hard-core workout.

How it works: Do a 3- to 5 minute dynamic warmup. Complete each pair of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest between, then repeat the pair for a second set. Rest 30 to 60 seconds, and move on to the next pair, again performing two sets. (You can also add any of these exercises to your own routine.)

You’ll need: Yoga mat, kettlebell (5 to 15 pounds, depending on your level)

1A: Bob and Weave

1A: Bob and Weave

Though it’s usually used in kickboxing to maneuver around an opponent’s punch, the bob and weave move is also a killer way to work your obliques and abdominal wall (in addition to your legs and back)—all while keeping your heart rate up for a greater calorie burn.

How to: Stand with feet wider than hips, shift weight into left leg, and lift right heel with arms “on guard” (elbows bent in front of ribs, hands in fists at chest level). Quickly bob and weave from right to left by lowering into a low squat, tracing a letter U with upper body from the left to the right. Immediately repeat to opposite side, keeping abs pulled into spine the entire time. Do 10 quick alternating reps.

1B: Front Kick

1B: Front Kick

When done correctly, a front kick in kickboxing isn’t just a great move to sculpt powerful legs and fend off attackers, it’s also an effective way to synergistically work important core muscles like your abdominals, back, and hips.

How to: From a split stance with left foot forward and arms on guard, shift weight into left leg and bring right leg into a chamber (bending right knee up toward chest). Quickly extend leg, exhaling forcefully through mouth while kicking out from hip and leaning torso back slightly, pushing out through ball of foot. Return leg to chamber, then step right foot back into left split stance (arms remain on guard the entire time). Do 10 quick reps; repeat on the opposite side.

RELATED: 10-Minute Abs and Arms Workout Video

2A: Curl and Cross

2A: Curl and Cross

Great for developing strong, pulled-in, flat abs, the curl and cross combo often found in barre classes will definitely make you feel the burn!

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Inhale through nose. Keeping chin relaxed on chest and eyes straight ahead, exhale as you slowly curl upper back off the floor, drawing navel deep into spine and holding onto backs of thighs with hands. With shoulder blades lifted off floor and middle back pressed down, bring body up an inch closer to legs. Lower back an inch. That’s one rep. Do 20 quick reps then move into the cross curl by turning shoulders toward left leg and moving both hands to outside of left thigh. Repeat inching movement for 20 reps to the left, then 20 reps to the right.

2B: Pretzel

2B: Pretzel

Another barre exercise, pretzel is a killer core strengthener because it works the glutes, lower back, and obliques together, which forces you to use your abs to balance.

How to: Sit with right leg bent at about a 90-degree angle in front of body and left leg bent at 90 degrees behind you. Reach arms toward the floor in front of right leg, shifting weight slightly forward, lining up chest over right leg, and keeping spine naturally straight and abs engaged. Lift left leg off the floor as high as possible without moving torso, and bring hands to prayer, pressing palms together and shoulders down to hips. Pulse left leg up an inch or two higher, then back down an inch or two without touching the ground 20 times. Repeat on opposite side. (Too challenging? Keep hands on the ground during the movement instead of bringing palms to prayer.)

3A: Crow

3A: Crow

If you’ve ever attempted crow arm balance before, you know how much your abs (especially the lower region) have to work to keep your body up in this yoga posture. If you’ve never tried it, start off with the set-up version and then gradually advance into the full pose.

How to: Lower into a deep squat with knees wider than hips. Lean forward and place hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart, elbows bent. Round back and engage abs by pulling them into spine as inner thighs squeeze sides of torso, shifting weight into arms and lifting up onto balls of feet. Hold pose here if needed, with toes lightly on the floor, or try lifting feet completely, pointing toes, drawing heels close to tailbone, and balancing on arms for up to 1 minute.

RELATED: Step-by-Step Breakdown: Crow Pose

3B: Half Moon

3B: Half Moon

It may not look like your traditional abs exercise, but half moon will have your core muscles working like crazy to help keep you from falling over during this balancing yoga pose.

How to: From standing, fold forward, placing hands on the ground beneath shoulders. Keeping soft knees, transfer weight into right foot, then lift left leg high behind you. Keep right fingertips on the ground, open left hip on top of right, and turn torso to the left. Extend left arm straight up and look up toward left fingers. (If it’s too tough to find your balance at first, try placing a yoga block under the supporting hand to make this pose a little easier to master while building strength and flexibility.) Hold for up to 1 minute; repeat on the opposite side.

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

4A: Mermaid Side Plank

While all of Pilates is centered on the core, the mermaid side plank in particular does an amazing job of working your abs from every angle.

How to: Begin in a side plank position with right hand directly under shoulder, left arm extended to the ceiling over shoulder, left leg crossed over right, and edges of feet pressed into the floor. Engage abs and press away from the floor with right side of body. Inhale and look up to left hand. On exhale, reach left arm under and behind body, bracing abs in tight to spine, lifting hips up (body resembles an upside-down letter V), and pivoting on balls of feet. Return to the starting position. Do 6 reps; repeat on the opposite side.

4B: Teaser

4B: Teaser

The signature Pilates teaser is so much harder than it looks, so be patient. Don’t forget to use your breath to maximize your abdominal strength and control with every rep.

How to: Lie faceup with knees bent at a 90-degree angle over hips, arms extended by ears, abs drawn into spine, and ribcage flat (avoid letting ribs pop open with arms overhead). Inhale and begin to roll up through spine, lifting head and shoulders off the floor, reaching fingertips toward feet as legs extend straight and lower about 10 degrees toward the floor. Exhale and draw abdominals in deeper to spine to continue rolling up, lowering legs a little further, until body is in a full V-sit position, balancing on sitz bones. Hold for 1 count. Reverse movement to lower back to the starting position with control. Do 6 to 8 reps. (Make it more challenging by starting with legs extended straight on the floor and rolling up into the full V-sit from there.)

5A: Que Te Mueve

5A: Que Te Mueve

This oblique-targeting, hip-swiveling Zumba move‘s name means “what moves you.”

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Take a wide step to the right, pivoting on feet to turn right toes out and lift left heel off the floor as hips swivel left and arms swing to the left of shoulders with elbows bent and hands in fists. Quickly step left foot into right, turning hips back to front and swinging arms to the right. Take two quick steps to the right, then immediately reverse to the left. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

5B: Merengue Out and In

5B: Merengue Out and In

Keep bumping up your heart rate without any impact on your joints while continuing to work your obliques with this simple and fun merengue out and in Zumba step.

How to: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Shift weight into left leg as right foot steps out to side slightly wider than hips, pushing left hip back as right hip rotates slightly forward and left arm swings in front of body and right arm back with elbows bent. Immediately step left foot out to repeat the movement. Repeat again with right foot, this time stepping foot in, doing the same with the left until feet are back together. Move quickly to an out-out-in-in rhythm, keeping weight toward balls of feet to make it easier to shift side to side at a fast tempo. Repeat for at least 30 seconds.

6A: Windmill

6A: Windmill

The very nature of kettlebell training typically engages your abs with almost every move, and the windmill is killer for your obliques, cinching in your waist.

How to: Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, left toes slight turned out and right toes turned to the right, knees slightly bent. Holding a kettlebell in left hand with bell behind hand, extend left arm to the ceiling, keeping wrist straight. Engage abs and reach right hand to inside of right thigh, looking up to kettlebell, shifting weight into left leg. Hinge at hips, lowering torso as right arm slides down to inside of right calf or ankle, extending left arm in line over shoulder. Press back up through left side of torso to return to the starting position. Do 6 to 8 reps; repeat on opposite side.

6B: Turkish Get-Up

6B: Turkish Get-Up

A functional kettlebell move, the turkish get-up is a popular one because of how effective it is, engaging your entire body while working your core during every second of the move.

How to: Lie faceup with legs extended and hold a kettlebell above chest with a straight right arm. Extend left arm out to side and bend right leg so foot is flat on the floor. Engage abs and use left hand to sit up while keeping right arm extended overhead. Push hips off the ground using right leg and left arm, and quickly swing left leg under body to end in a kneeling position with right foot forward and left knee on the ground. Still holding right arm overhead, stand up, quickly stepping left foot about hip width from right. Stand tall while holding weight in extended arm. Reverse the move and return to the starting position. Do 3 reps; repeat on opposite side.

RELATED: The Best Yoga Poses for OM-My-Gosh Abs!

7A: Hollow Rock

7A: Hollow Rock

The hollow rock may sound innocent enough, but don’t be fooled—it’s a dynamic core CrossFit exercise that will have your abdominal wall working overtime.

How to: Lie faceup with arms extended overhead by sides of ears and legs pressed together and extended out straight at about a 45-degree angle from hips. Engage abs and lift head and shoulders off the floor, bringing body into a slight C curve. Gently rock forward, maintaining curve, lowering legs closer to (but not touching) the ground, then rock back toward shoulders, keeping head slightly off the floor (arms remain extended by ears and legs extended the entire time). Do 8 to 10 reps.

7B: Burpee

7B: Burpee

We know you love to hate burpees (we do too), but they are not only super effective for sculpting your abs, these CrossFit staples burn a lot of calories to help blast off fat faster so you can see the results of your hard work sooner.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Squat and place hands on the ground under shoulders. Keeping abs tight to spine, jump feet back into plank position and immediately lower into a pushup. Extend arms back to plank and jump feet back into hands, landing in squat position. Quickly jump straight up, reaching arms to the ceiling. Do 5 to 10 reps as quickly as possible with good form.

500 Followers Giveaway

Oh wow! Look at that! I have FINALLY reached 500 followers. This marks the halfway mark for my Bucket List goal of 1,000 followers. As such, a giveaway is in order! A set of three lip balms from Herbivore Botanicals. These are 100% natural, vegan, and are smooth and luxurious.

Lip Balm Set of 3. Large 1 oz tins. Gift Set. 100% Natural. Vegan. Lip Butter Set.

To enter, please leave a comment below with contact information, phone number, email, anything I can reach you by. Winner will be chosen on March 20th. Good luck and please share my blog with your friends to help me reach my Bucket List goal of 1,000 followers.

Lupita Nyong’o Speech on Black Beauty Essence Magazine Black Women In Hollywood Award

Best speech I’ve heard in a long time. Very touching and equally upsetting. I’m sure this has made the rounds already, but watch, listen, and learn. It is so important for young women and girls to have confidence in themselves and the way they look. While beauty should not be the most important thing, it does have an immense impact on our self-confidence and in turn can affect our success and quality of life. Everyone is beautiful, some in different ways than others, and it is important for individuals to recognize this within themselves.

DIY Moss Shower Mat

I absolutely LOVE this idea! Any way to get nature indoors and I’m all for it. This is such a fun project and its exciting to see it grow and transform. The bathroom is a great place for tropical plants as well. They thrive on the humidity. The following text and images are courtesy of eHow. Have fun and enjoy!

How to Make a Moss Shower Mat

By Chelsea Hoffman

Bring a forest wonderland right to your bathroom with moss mats.

If you want to do something creative and eco-chic, creating your own moss bath mat is an enjoyable craft project. A moss shower mat utilizes live moss to provide cushion and grip for stepping out of the tub or shower. Knowing how to make your own gives you the opportunity to design your green moss bath mat into any textured design that pleases your bathing environment.

Things You’ll Need

  •  Plastazote foam roll
  •  Scissors
  •  X-acto knife
  • Stencils
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted moss plugs

Instructions

  1. Measure and cut two sheets of plastazote foam from the roll at 24-by-12 inches each. This plastic-foam material is what is used in making commercial moss mats, and is ideal for wet-dry use.
  2. Lay one of the sheets of plastazote in front of you and place a large stencil in the center. It can be of any shape you want, but simple geometric shapes are ideal for beginners. Trace the shape with a white crayon, since the plastazote material is dark in color.
  3. Cut around the shape tracing with an X-acto knife. Cut down through the entire depth of the material, and push out the cutout shape, leaving a perfect hole in the shape of the stencil. Do this as many times as you want on the material. Place smaller stencils around the large cutouts and repeat, as you please.
  4. Squeeze a line of hot glue along all four edges of the second sheet of plastazote material. Layer the sheet with the holes over it evenly, pressing the edges together. This creates a single mat of about 2 inches thick. The top layer features perfect molds for filling with moss.
  5. Moisten the top layer of the mat after it has dried for an hour. This gets it primed for the moss. Spray it with a fine mist of water from your shower head or a spray bottle.
  6. Fill each “mold” in the top layer of the mat with your own selection of moss plugs, which can be purchased online or from specialty nurseries and gardening stores. Irish moss, Spanish moss and some forms of live sphagnum moss thrive well in these living eco-shower mats.

Tips & Warnings

Place the mat near your tub or shower as you would any other shower mat. Simply shower and step out on it. The soft, plush moss will absorb the water dripping from your body as you towel off on it. This, in turn, provides the moss with enough moisture to thrive.