Monday Motivation | What are you doing to stimulate your growth?

7.06.2015

Over the next several months, I'll be (re)implementing a series of actions aimed to stimulate massive personal growth.  The main reason I'm doing this is because I'm ready to experience a new level of results.  The current version of me isn't capable of bringing out those results.  So I have to expand in order to achieve this new level.

After writing yesterday's post on rebounding and how it stimulates the lymphatic system, I got to thinking about how it's an analogy to life.  When we're born, our DNA has all the necessary framework to foster our physical growth.  The first 20 years of our lives we're constantly changing, constantly growing.  It's much like how our circulatory uses the heart to pump blood throughout the body.  Delivering nutrient rich blood to the organs doesn't really require much effort from us.  Our heart pretty much takes care of everything for us.  The lymph system, however, needs active involvement (in the form of movement) otherwise, things stagnate.  If you're passed the teenage years, your physical growth has pretty much peaked.  Now it's time to focus on your personal growth.

But, unlike physical growth, your personal growth doesn't happen to you.  You have to cause it to come into existence.  You have to get up everyday and contribute to your evolution.  If no action is taken on your end, your growth stalls.  Things become stagnant.

I firmly believe that the results I'm experiencing now is the direct result of the work I've put into my personal growth up to this point.  I realize that in order to double and triple my current results, I've got to multiply my growth.  The place to get the most leverage, when it comes to personal growth is in the morning ritual.


Now that I work full time from home, my morning aren't as productive as they used to be. Most mornings consist of waking up and checking emails from the night before.  Once that's done, I go to the office to check stats and start the workday.  Most days I do a little meditation with hubby before he heads to work and I try to listen to a motivational video while working but this won't foster the kind of growth I need to create the kind of transformation I'm seeking.

I've decided to reinstitute the hour of power.  This is where I intentionally wake up earlier than normal and begin a series of actions that nurture personal growth.  After waking up, I'll drink water, then oil pull while search for motivational videos to listen to while rebounding.  Then I reconnect with my vision by reciting affirmations and visualizing my intentions.  Once all of that is complete, I'll capture thoughts and ideas on paper (via journaling), read scripture and pray.  Then I'll get clear on what to create for the day ahead.

I anticipate to raise the level of clarity about the specific actions that align with my intentions.  I also expect to go throughout the day feeling exhilarated after having completed the morning routine.  Then there's the compounding result of exercising every morning and daily visualization.  Beyond  the morning routine, I plan on incorporating a couple other growth measures like attending a business/success seminar in the month of July and possibly taking on business coach to work with 1on1.

Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, tells a story of how he lost half his business, and his home, during the economic crisis of the early 2000's.  Desperate for help, he called a friend for business advice and instead his friend asks Hal, "are you working out every day?"  Hal was a bit caught off guard by the question because he couldn't see how exercising could make any difference in his business.  After the conversation, Hal Googled the habits of millionaires, CEOs and other successful people and found the common thread--the morning routine.  Hal then made the decision to implement his morning routine by waking up at 5:00 am the next day.  Two months later, Hal doubled his income, improved his health and shared his experience with others.  Hal saw his results replicated by others who implemented a powerful morning routine and felt inspired to create the book.

Hal also talks about implementing a 30 day challenge with the new morning ritual so that we stick it out long enough to see the long-term results.  If you feel a little stuck in a rut, take a moment to reflect on how you start your days.  And if you're acting, thinking and feeling the way you did a year ago, maybe it's time to foster your personal growth.  Time to evolve.


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Update | The benefits I experienced when I consistently rebounded.

7.05.2015

You may remember a post I did a while back after first getting my rebounder.  The plethora of benefits was the motivator for my investment.  But after I had it for a while, the novelty wore off which put my mini-trampoline in danger of becoming one of those long forgotten pieces of exercise equipment.

Bellicon Trampoline
Sometime last month, I decided to really put my rebounder to work, especially since I didn't have as much time to make it to the gym.  When I came consistent, I started noticing a some really wonderful benefits, so I thought I'd share.

We all know that the main benefit of rebounding is to the lymphatic system.  This system help the immune system by removing waste, dead blood cells, cancer cells and toxins from the body.  Our lymph fluid, unlike our blood, only moves in one direction through our body.  Since the lymphatic system has no pump to move it upwards, it requires motions of the muscles and joints to pump the liquid upwards.  Since we have 3X more lymph fluid in our body than blood, it's important that we pay careful attention to make sure our lymph system doesn't become stagnant.

Whenever I rebound, I find it necessary to take my hair down.  That's because I always sense a small movement of my scalp as I bounce up and down on the trampoline.  They say rebounding exercises every muscle in the body.  I like to think that I'm strengthening my scalp muscles whenever I rebound so I focus my attention and intention to increasing blood flow to that area.  It also helps me relieve tension from wearing tight hairstyles.

Most times, I only jumped on the trampoline for short sessions of a couple of minutes each, but when I started using it for longer duration, I started noticing interesting results.  First benefit was improved digestion.  There's no doubt that jumping up and down on a trampoline sparks full body circulation.  It stimulates all of your internal organs, including the digestive system through the stimulation and contraction of the digestive track.

Beyond digestion, I experienced a deeper level detoxification.   I noticed that my sweat from rebounding differed from doing other exercises.  The rebounding sweat seemed stronger,  like it was a true detoxification.  It was a interesting experience to say the least.  That's when I knew the power of actively working out the lymphatic system.  Another benefit I'm now noticing is a reduction of cellulite in the back of my legs.  Rebounding and regular massages are the perfect combination for smooth, flawless legs.

Then I learned about therapeutic rebounding which involves jumping on the rebounder for 1-3 minutes every hour.  This method is used by cancer patients to super charge their immune system.  Since our white blood cell count increases short a short period of time, while rounding, it makes sense to bring our body to this place of elevated immunity 10-12 times a day.  I'm definitely going to rebound much more frequently now that I'm hip to therapeutic rebounding.

Unlike my weighted hola hoop and other random exercise equipment I have lying around, the rebounder gets used regularly.  It's so easy to do that it hardly ever feels like working out.  The benefits have been phenomenal.  When I think about the elements that promote youth, the first things that come to mind are oxygen, water, and detoxification.  On a cellular level, water and oxygen are nutrition. Without them, the cell dies.  Cells also need an efficient way to get rid of waste otherwise, it can not survive.  The mini-trampoline takes care of two of the three.  Drinking adequate amounts of water is up to you.
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Fit Friday | Don't allow your thirst cravings to make you fat.

7.03.2015

I'm home throughout the day and often move around the house from one room to another.  The kitchen is the center point of the home and I find myself frequently crossing through the kitchen to grab a handful of snacks, on the way back to the office.  It's been like that for a while now.  I'll work for a while, then suddenly, I have a snack attack and rush to the kitchen for a handful of nuts or chips, or whatever's handy.

As you would imagine, I'm not pleased with this newfound habit.  So I asked myself, "what else can I do besides constantly running into the kitchen for a snack?"  In an instant, the answer came to me "drink water!"  Ok, I thought, I'll try that.  Actually, before filling my water bottle, I reached into the fridge for some coconut water.  Within moments, the coconut water was consumed and instantly, I felt a level of satisfaction that I could never experience by devouring a serving of chips and salsa.
I then proceed to fix a cup of fruit infused bamboo-chai tea and refilled my water bottle.   Throughout the day, I feasted on healthy liquids each time I took a work break.  My body felt great!  Energy levels were high and suddenly, I even found the motivation to conduct an impromptu declutter session using the Marie Kondo method from her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  It was like I had been awakened.  What I'm really excited about was how my hunger cravings were pretty much gone.  I could walk through the kitchen without feeling the need to reach for something.  And by dinner time, I was able to enjoy a smaller meal with complete satisfaction.

Without realizing I fell into the trap of mistaking thirst for hunger. I'd heard of the theory of thirst disguised as hunger before but dismissed it because, to me, these were two different sensations.  But, if I'm honest with myself, my body was producing natural cravings and I my first action was to appease it with food.

  Today, I awoke full of energy which I used to fit in a brief workout first thing. If I continue to feel as good as I did yesterday, I hope to get a lot more decluttering in.    Don't get me wrong, I'm not replacing food with water, but I completely underestimated how often my body required additional water intake.  Now I'm keeping the office is stocked with coconut water, fruit (bamboo) tea, water and lemon water. My advice for you is this, whenever you feel cravings setting in,  address it first with liquid.  Not only could you experience amazing benefits but you could save yourself a couple of unnecessary pounds in the process.







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Why my first Hair Botox experience was a complete fail.

7.01.2015

A couple of weeks ago, I excitedly shared with you the Hair Botox hair treatment.  What made it so amazing was the idea that one could infuse their hair with amazing ingredients without any concern for harmful chemicals.

My options were to visit a salon for the treatment or purchase the system online and attempt to do it at home.  The prices for the product online was not cheap but I figured that it would even out considering how many applications were in one package.  After a little reflection, I decided on Kashmir's Hair Botox. When the package arrived, on wash day, I was absolutely stoked!

After getting familiar with the instructions, I prepared for my first Hair Botox experience.  To start off, you're required to scrub the hair clean, using clarifying shampoo, to create the ideal environment for the product to penetrate.  Once that's complete, you dry the hair as much as possible before beginning the process. Once my hair dried, I mixed two products in the package together (per instruction), divided the hair into 4 sections, and proceeded to apply.

When I first opened the package, I took a whiff of the "smoothing treatment" that came was part of the system.  Everything smelled nice, so no alarms went off.  The treatment had a light consistency and was fairly easy to apply.  Per the instructions, I began applying the product from root to tip, making sure that everything was evenly applied.

Then something interesting happened.  I noticed my eyes start to get irritated and water.  At first I brushed it off because it didn't seem like a big deal.  Onward, I continued applying product.  The more I applied, the more irritation I experienced.  At this point I'm wondering if I'm really having a reaction to the product or if I'm imagining it.  I NEVER react to anything.  I don't consider myself sensitive and I have no allergies. But there was no denying how much my eyes were burning at this point.

Immediately I grabbed the bottle and scanned at the ingredients.  In my haste and excitement, I neglected to look review the ingredient list beforehand.  There it was, in the second line of the ingredient list--formaldehyde.  I was shocked!  That was the absolute last ingredient I expected to see on the list.  At this point I had a decision to make.  The fumes were rising in the air and I had to act fast.  I tried my best to keep applying, but eventually, the irritation became unbearable.  I jumped in the shower and gladly washed it out. The directions state that I should blow dry and flat iron after rinsing but I was afraid of causing more inhalable toxic fumes with the addition of heat.

One the ordeal was over, I contacted the company and exchanged a few messages.  It turns out they offer a formaldehyde free version of hair botox called Hair Biotex.  I, unfortunately, was fooled by the marketing tactics of using the words "Hair Botox" on a keratin treatment product.  Although I was extremely bummed, I still longed for the true hair botox experience.  That's the reason I decided to try again with a truly formaldehyde free formula.

The replacement product has arrived and the first thing I did was check the ingredients to conform that it was true Hair Botox treatment.  Once I get a chance to try Majesty Hair Botox, I'll do another update.
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Must Have Essentials for Girls with Puny Lashes.

6.30.2015

If you're one of those women who aren't blessed with a huge set of lashes, I empathize with you.  Lashes offer such a huge advantage on those days when you want to execute a five minute makeup regimen.  Healthy, lush lashes and a well arched brow can do amazing things for one's look.  Which is why it's imperative that those of us who aren't lash endowed have some tricks up our sleeve to make miracles happen.

Let's start with the absolute basics.  Lashes are just hair.  And as such, they respond positively when they receive a boost in nutrition.  Which is why you should feed your tiny lashes either internally or via topical application.  I've seen the wonders of consistently applying lash serum day and night with my own eyes.  Girls with skimpier lashes than me suddenly had an enviable pair thanks to their consistent efforts.

If you aren't into applying a topical lash enhancer two times a day, opt for an internal supplement or, do like I did and whip up a large cup of bamboo tea as part of your daily ritual.  At first, I wondered why my lashes seemed a little longer than normal until I remembered that I'd been regularly drinkng from a large (gallon size) batch tea that I'd store in the fridge.  Frequent bamboo tea refills have paid off and, suddenly, my lashes are now visible again. Don't take my word for it, check out LA Shopper's recent review on Amazon where she too proclaims the wonders of newly visible lashes thanks to indulging in the silica rich tea.
Now that I've got some lash action going, it's time to take it to the next level.  The absolute best thing you can do to enhance your lashes is to opt for cult mascaras known for situations just like yours.  On one trip to Sephora, I was introduced to Benefit's They're Real thank's to an eager sales girl who insisted that I not leave the store without having purchased it.

Actually, she was right, it was a pretty good mascara.  One reason why I love it so much is due to the unique wand which has a tiny spiked ball on the end. This little mascara ball easily finds those teenie, tiny hairs hiding in the corners.  The wand really helps me to create a more flirty look.  Especially if you're going for visibility over volume.  But then things get interesting when I layer Benefit's They're Real with MAC's Zoom  Lash.  I stumbled on Zoom Lash years ago when Kim Kardashian's make up artist used it to create her signature spidery lashes.  What I love about his mascara is how highly pigmented it is.  The wand is much smaller than "normal" which makes it much easier to maneuver through tiny lashes.  Zoom Lash is a wet formula,which requires you to use a little extra patience and care during application.  But, the payoff from this mascara makes it all worth it.

The trick to getting the most from your mascaras is to layer them for the double the impact.  If you purchased one, and aren't too happy with the results, see what happens when you layer with the other options in your makeup kit.  Another quick tip for making your lash line more visible is to line the inside of upper eyelid with a dark pencil.  This makes the base of your lashes appear darker, which gives them a fuller look.   This is especially helpful if you have a hard time reaching the base of your lashes with mascara.

And when you want to go for even more va-va-voom with your lashes, get a little a help from a lash curler.  Probably, the most well known brand is from Shu Uemura.  As with any purchase, you truly get a quality product for the price.  I invested in one years ago and have been happy every day since.

Curlier lashes are just the start, if I really want to amp up the lash power, I lightly warm up the curler before use, transforming it into a lash curling iron of sorts.  Once done with the routine, you can take it to the highest level by trying out the lash trick made famous by Audrey Hepburn's makeup artist.  Basically, after carefully applying mascara, she'd go back and meticulously separate each lash using a tooth pick. This would allow every single lash the opportunity to shine and get rid of any unwanted clumping.

Then, of course, you always have the option of grabbing a pair of falsies for a quick transformation. But, truthfully, I love the idea of sporting healthy natural lashes that accentuate your eyes, adding a bit of femininity and enhance your natural beauty. Best of all, they can turn you from a doe-eyed baby doll to a cat eyed vixen in just a few short minutes.




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Motivation Monday | Put a down payment on your goals.

6.29.2015

Welcome to a fresh start of a new week.  Hopefully, by now, you've created your intensions for the next 7 days.  If not, then please set a little time aside to do so.  One thing I'm really conscious of, when I set my goals for the week, whether my actions will point to the end goals that I want to achieve.

If you were to ask me to describe the things I want to have or experience, I'd easily rattle off a 3 or 4 things from my list.  But if you asked me what I did last week that brought me closer to that outcome, I'd probably hesitate for a little bit before coming with a few weak responses.  From my responses, you could easily determine my level of commitment to the outcomes I say I want.

Are you interested or are you committed?

I really want to eliminate much of the clutter from my environment.  That would make me so happy.  I've already identified the areas that I'd like to target. But, when the weekend comes, I do other things and the clutter remains. Or, I declutter small areas instead of doing an entire space.  To me, this implies that I'm interested in living in a completely clutter free environment, but I'm not fully committed to it.  There are other things higher on the list of my priorities.  I have to be honest with myself and really decide if the outcomes on my list of intentions are things I'm interested in or if I'm committed to having them in my life.  Once I've made that distinction, that's when things get interesting.

Let's say I put "take a trip to Thailand" as one of my intentions.  The next question I'd have to honestly ask myself is whether taking a trip to Thailand is something I'm saying because it sounds cool or is that something I really want to do.  If my response is that I really wanted to go, then I'd decide if I'm committed to making this goal happen.  If so, then I've got to move it to the top of the list.  Kinda like when I'm browsing through movie options on Netflix.  Suddenly, there's a movie I'd like to see and I move it into my queue.  The next decision I can make is whether to leave it a the bottom of the queue or move it up.  The higher I move it up, the sooner I get to enjoy it. If my list of movies is already pretty long, there's no telling when I'll actually get to see that movie.

One sure way to give some of your goals priority over others is to put a down payment on it.  A down payment is when you do something in the present that allows you to enjoy it in the future.  It separates you from those who are "just looking" and puts you in the category of "I'm ready to buy!"  Without a down payment, no one takes you seriously (including yourself).  But when you do something in the present that represents what you want to experience in the future, you put some powerful things in motion.

Some examples of putting a down payment on your goals can include:
  • Creating a separate bank account to automatically save for your business, dream getaway, new home, etc.
  • Adding glimpses of your future life into your current routine (see weekly massages post).
  • Finding someone who's done what you want to do and get actionable steps on how to create a similar path.
  • Preparing the things you'll need if your goal does manifest (example: updating your passport, creating an ideal home office if you want to work from home, buying clothes in the future size you intend to be and hanging it up as a visible reminder). 
You know when you're getting serious about your goals because there are signs/evidence of your future in your current reality.  If no outwards signs exist, you haven't put a down payment.  Without a down payment, you're like that guy who says he's serious about a future commitment but what you're really doing is stringing your goals along.  You say that you want a future with the vision you have in your mind, but in reality, you're playing games.  It's time to get serious. Time to commit and time to put a ring on it.  

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Gabrielle Union reminds us to step our water drinking game up.

6.28.2015

One of my favorite posts of all time is on the topic of how Beyonce, Adriana Lima and Gabby Union drink a gallon of water a day to keep their skin perfectly flawless.  That post resonated with a lot of you and it sparked off a water drinking challenge that would change lives.

You can imagine how elated I was when to stumble on this pic, while scrolling through Gabrielle's Instagram feed.

It depicts Gabby, as she shows off a partially filled gallon of water.  In her caption, she writes about accepting a 30 Day Transformation Challenge which appears to be spearheaded by celebrity trainer Luther Freeman.  Gabby--miss overachiever, is actually pictured with her 2nd gallon of water for the day.  Yes, she's upped the ante to two gallons.  And notice how she's included a couple of lemon wedges to transform the water into an ultra alkalizing beauty tonic.

If there's one tip I'd like you to take away from this post it's this: The bigger your water bottle, the more water you'll drink.    When I first became serious about my water intake,  I grabbed this huge 56 oz drinking bottle.  It was a little cumbersome at first but it definitely served its purpose.  If I could drink two of those a day, I'd reach my goal. And, to be honest with you, it was pretty easy to do.

Then I started using a smaller (regular sized) water bottles for the sake of portability and my water intake immediately went down.  This was unacceptable.  Whenever I needed to make up for slacking on my water intake, I'd drink directly from a 3 liter bottle.  But, what I haven't yet tried, was drinking directly from a gallon.  I really like the idea.  And I love how she includes a few lemon wedges in there as a way of claiming that entire gallon as hers.  Someone as consistent as Gabby is with her water intake deserves to enjoy glowing, flawless skin at 42.  Thank you, Gabby, for reminding us to keep going so we can reap the rewards of ultra-hydration.




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Style Obsession | The Kimono

6.27.2015

June is coming to an end and soon we'll be in the throws of summer.  Although I love warmer weather, I always seem to have an issue with attire.  It gets crazy hot/humid here which means that it's not uncommon to find young ladies wearing low cut tops and super skimpy shorts.  That's never been my thing 'cause I never felt comfortable wearing shorts in public (weird, I know).  I just don't want to attract any unwanted attention so I choose to cover up as much as possible.

But I think I've found the answer to how to look stylish and modest while wearing cute shorts and camis.  Ladies, I present to you, the kimono.

Charlotte Russe Kimono size S 
First, they make for amazing beach cover ups on your summer getaway.  A lightweight, stylish cover up is what will set you apart from other beach babes.  Even when you're not laying by crystal clear waters, the kimono is versatile enough to be worn pretty much anywhere.
What I love about cooler weather is how easy it is to amp up your look by simply throwing on a leather jacket or whatever cute jacket you have in your closet.  In the summer, things get a little more complicated, especially when you're trying to stay as cool as possible.  That why I adore this as a viable option.  Notice how it transformed my basic cotton dress into something special.
The best thing about these kimonos is how it feels like you barely have anything on. If fact, they generate a cool breeze as you move.  Flowy kimonos make you feel all glamourous like you've got your own personal wind machine.  Oh and I love this full length to add a little bit of coverage when I'm wearing more revealing attire.  I definitely have plans to pick up a couple more. One that stops around mid thigh and maybe another full length.  I'm deciding between this one from Nasty Gal or this one from ASOS.

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I've turned my Korean Treatment Essence into a high end facial mist

6.26.2015

Hey, good to see you again.  I want to tell you about something I did which just saved me nearly $100.00.  You see, after I became addicted to Evian facial mist last summer, I discovered that Chanel carries a luxury facial mist infused with skin loving ingredients. Evian was cool and all, but I wanted to add a little something extra, beyond water, to my skin with every mist.  I fell in love with the idea of rejuvenating the skin with antioxidants and hydration at any given point of the day.  But alas, the $90.00 price tag kept me at bay.   Y'all know I have no problem splurging on higher end items but I really couldn't see myself putting that kinda money on a 1.7 oz bottle in which the first ingredient is water.

Time passed and I filed away the idea of a nutrient rich facial mist.  I figured that eventually the answer (or product) would eventually come to me.  And, I'm here proclaim that the day has arrived!

You all know how I've been indoctrinated into the Korean Skin Care Ritual.  This intense layering method has exposed me to a new type of product.  Steve Jan made me a believer in facial treatment essence which led to the discovery of Missha's First Treatment Essence.  This stuff makes sweet love to my skin every morning.  I don't know how to explain it...it's like a water that moisturizes (not just hydrates--there's a difference).  It feels like water, but then it sorta behaves like a moisturizer on my skin and it leaves behind this subtle little glow.  It's fantastic.

The other day and had this bright idea.  What if, I get a tiny spray bottle and lovingly pour a little Treatment Essence in it, to carry in my bag?  That way, I can mist my face with the blend of amazing extracts and pro-youth yeast ferment whenever mood strikes.  Let me take a moment of reiterate that Missha's Essence looks and feels like water but there's no water in the ingredient list.  This means that every ingredient is purposeful, yet it feel like you're misting your face with an infused water.

The minute the idea struck me, I ran into the room to see if it was possible.  After grabbing the bottle off the counter and taking a look, I'm relieved to find out that I can easily remove the plastic stopper and have full access to Missha's miracle water.  Because they give so much product in one bottle, I can afford to distribute some into small spray bottle.  Off I went into the land of internet shopping to find the perfect little spray bottle.  My requirements were clear, I needed a glass spray bottle, small enough to fit into my tiniest makeup bag. I chose glass because the original product came in glass and I wanted to stay consistent. Plus a glass mister would make me feel all luxurious, and stuff, every time I used it.
It didn't take me long to find these perfect little misters on Etsy for a couple of bucks.  They're super cute and come in a set of three.  I can use the others for perfumes and whatnot.  If you travel frequently, you'll enjoy these.  It took 2 seconds to fill the bottle and voila!  I had my very own high quality, high end facial mist.  I didn't realize how concentrated the Essence was until I used it as a mist.  It delivers high levels of moisture in an instant.  I think I may create a diluted version (by adding a little water) for those times when I want more hydration and less moisture (if that makes any sense).  Whenever I mist with the pure essence, I take a moment to massage the product in.  If I diluted to include more water, I could just mist and let it evaporate.

I'm still experimenting but I had to run in here and share the good news.  If you still haven't tried Missha's First Essence yet, you are missing out.  I went back and reread my initial post where I predicted that my face would improve over time with consistent use, and I was so right.  My skin looks really smooth and more even toned.  I could attribute those results to daily facial exfoliation, but I've read other accounts of others who've also experienced skin altering results from this product so it's not all in my head.
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How to Create Flawless Skin in 7 Days.

6.25.2015

I received a comment on a recent post linking to an article on how to get flawless skin in 7 days.  The article was ok, but left a lot of valuable info out. So decided to write my own little "how to create flawless skin in 7 days post".  I'll start by saying it's darn near impossible to get flawless skin in 7 days.  But, you can drastically improve your skin within that period of time.  You just have to adjust your actions to match the level of concerns keeping you away from your goal of flawlessness.  There are times when you've got special occasion coming up and it's imperative that you make an impact on your skin quickly.  Hopefully this guide will help.

Beyonce & her flawless skin.

I'll break this post by severity of issues and how to drastically improve those issues in 7 days or less. But first, we must define what flawless skin means, that way we all have the same idea of what the end goal is.  For the purposes of this discussion, flawless  (1)skin is free of acne, (2)hydrated,  (3)smooth, (4)even-toned, and (5)glows (reflects light).  I like to work on my skin in phases.  For example, when I was troubled with cystic acne, I wasn't trying to create glowing skin. I had to get rid of the blemishes first. And when I did, I realized that I had work to do to get my skin smooth and even toned.  Glowing skin is cool, but if you have discoloration from previous scarring, it takes away from everything.

If you have active acne, clearing it should be your first priority.  If the acne is persistent (meaning, it's not some random flareup), you have to do something drastic to clear it in 7 days.  My recommendation is to focus heavily on your internal environment.  Treating it using only topical methods is like playing whack-a-mole.The name of the game is to reduce/eliminate the inflammation in the most effective way possible.  This means you'll cutting out foods such as dairy, sugar, anything fried, and wheat.  Basically, you want to starve any internal issues that could be feeding your constant breakouts.

To speed up the cleansing detox process, you want to add lots of alkalizing foods into the mix.  Green salads are you friend.  And you should be drinking (lemon) water like a freakin' fish.  If you want results within 7 days, you've got to get serious with it.  When it's all said and done, your skin will not only look better but you'll feel tremendous and maybe even shrink your waistline.  It's a win-win.

  If you suffer from the occasional break out, you also want to follow the advice that I gave above. Your issue may be because you've slipped a little in your water intake. You've indulged in rich foods more than normal and your skin is gently reminding you of your mishaps.  All you have to do is get back on track.  You also want to take a few extra precautions like washing sheets/pillow cases, cleaning your cell phone, not touching your face and the other random stuff that create sporadic break outs.  I'd also recommend you conduct a couple at home facials to help move the purging process along.

 What if you're one of those people who don't really get breakouts but you're skin isn't as fantastic as you'd like it to be.  The good news, since you don't have to worry about dealing with visible blemishes, you can skip directly to the step of trying to achieve glowing skin.  You've got a  couple of options.  One would be to exfoliate regularly, removing the surface skin blocking the world from seeing all of your beauty.

Let me tell you two examples of experiences where my co-workers transformed their skin. One had smooth even toned skin but wanted to take it to the next level.  Her course of action to was feed her skin by doing a 7 day juice fast.  We hadn't seen each other for a few days and when I saw her again, she had the skin of an angel.  She couldn't stop raving about what the juice fast did for her skin and it showed.

Another coworker took a leave of absence for a few months and when she returned, the first thing I noticed was her skin.  She wasn't terribly attractive and her skin wasn't really her best feature.  But when she came back, her skin was suddenly above average.  After exchanging pleasantries, I was like "so what are doing differently to your skin."  Oh, she responded, I don't use soap any more, "I scrub ever day." 

It's that simple ladies and gentlemen, the formula for flawless skin can be boiled down to:
1. Feed the skin
2. Exfoliate to allow fresh skin, gorgeous to shine.





If you're like me and you've got your acne under control but you're dealing with scarring, your options to address this within 7 days are:

1. Find an amazing full coverage foundation.
2. Treat yourself to a facial peel.

My first experience with a peel was awesome and I really need to do it again.  Within a week, years of stubborn scarring had reduced drastically leaving behind baby smooth skin.  Since then, I've been taking the slow and steady approach to reduce acne scars but, in all honesty, I need to get serious and do a peel again.  I'm thinking of doing the VI Peel that claims amazing results, regardless of skin type.

In all honesty, the peel experience wasn't my favorite, watching the top layer of your skin peel off is somewhat unsettling.  My ultimate advice is to maintain regular habits that give you great skin.  For instance, a powerful daily routine will do wonders for your skin (see Korean layering method post). And I can't tell you the number of people who left comments on the blog and on Facebook about how much their skin improved after jumping on the "drink your water" challenge. Anytime you talk to someone with incredible skin, they will likely tell you about their high water intake.

Long story short, do the right things for your skin on a regular basis and you won't have to worry about creating a total transformation.  Don't be that person who has to work frantically to address skin issues, be the one who's known for always having great skin.
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