Meet Chicago Native, Natalie Butler. Natalie is dedicated to sharing her knowledge to world! With a strong passion for makeup, skincare, technology, business and empowerment, get ready to take the ride of your life!
Pinterest is a search engine. It’s meant for discovery. This is where people go to find solutions, ideas and inspiration.
The internet is swarming with new content each and everyday.
Think of Pinterest as “the best of the best on the internet.” It’s a way for users to bookmark what they’ve found to be helpful.
What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur or marketer?
If they pin your content, you are gaining credibility and authority which will strengthen your marketing strategy. Word-of-mouth advertising will always be
effective! If someone is pinning your content, they’re endorsing you so their friends, family and followers can discover you as well. You are increasing your total exposure. Pinterest is the perfect way to drive traffic to your site in order to generate more leads and business.
One way to get the ball rolling is to make sure that YOU are pinning your content.
Currently, I average over 4 million monthly viewers per month on Pinterest with close to a 9% engagement rate! I’ve used Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog, e-commerce site, appointment booking sites, lead capture pages and even Youtube videos. The possibilities really are endless. If you’re thinking you don’t have time to learn about another social media site, trust me, I was just like you but this is where Pinterest has proven to be worth it many times over!
Having a Pinterest marketing strategy is crucial!
How does Pinterest compare to Instagram and Facebook?
In terms of engagement rates: anything within the 1-3% engagement group is considered good on Instagram. While anything higher than 1% is good on Facebook. As you can see, my engagement is over 3x higher than industry standards and I’m not spending a whole lot of time on social media.
Because Facebook and Instagram are social media sites, they’re meant to be social. This includes a great deal of liking, commenting and responding. In order to get engagement, you have to give it with traditional social media sites. With Pinterest, your focus is more on publishing engaging content. Every once in a while, I’ll get a comment on a pin or a direct message but it’s not really the standard.
Paid or Organic Reach?
Unlike many other social media platforms, Pinterest encourages shopping and also leaving the platform. Just think, Instagram doesn’t have a way for you to include an external link in your caption.
Facebook promptly notifies you that you are leaving the platform and going to a potentially dangerous site (scary!). Posts or status updates that include an external link are also known to get lower engagement because the visibility is lower. Social media sites are stingy and want to keep you on the platform UNLESS you are willing to pay.
We’ve already moved towards a pay-to-play marketing environment and it’s only going to get worse. Facebook set the pace and you can expect to see Instagram closely following in 2020. Heads up: look for more ads in Instagram stories.
Though paid advertising is possible on Pinterest, you can still get above industry results with organic Pinterest marketing strategies. Yes, that’s right!
Helps Out Content Creators
As you begin to pin and engage with certain content, not only will Pinterest update your home feed to include your interests, but it will also send you an email with pins and boards that are similar to yours! As a marketer, this is golden! It gives you a way to learn more and get a better idea of how to create pins that your audience finds interesting and it’ll give you some content to curate so all of the focus isn’t on you trying to create 10-20 new pins per day. PLUS, it will also send emails to other users that will include YOUR profile/pins/boards to help you increase your reach.
The Ability to Be Discovered
Pinterest is a search engine so not only can you search for a specific solution or problem, it will find recommendations that you may find helpful. You don’t need to know the exact verbiage to produce results. It will show you what is most common with others who have searched for something similar. Unfortunately, the only way to search Instagram is through the use of hashtags. If you don’t know which hashtag to use or search for, you have no way of being discovered. You can’t search for a sentence on Instagram. Furthermore, you can search a public domain such as Google for a solution and be directed to Pinterest but you won’t be able to do the same with an Instagram post.
Which is better: social media marketing or Pinterest marketing?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love Pinterest. I do! It’s the perfect place to position your brand or business where vanity metrics such as followers and likes mean absolutely nothing! When I had less than 1,000 followers, I’d amassed over 1 million monthly viewers! So it is great for people who are creating content and want that content to be seen with the world!
One of the downfalls of Pinterest is the fact that it can take longer to get results. Social media such as Facebook and Instagram are instant compared to Pinterest. If you have an event that’s coming up this weekend, you can quickly get the word out on Facebook whereas the momentum may not begin to churn on Pinterest until a few weeks. It’s possible to have “viral pins” that generate quicker results but as a newbie getting started, it can be a bit difficult.
With that being said, I suggest using both: social media and Pinterest. Social media as more of a short-term strategy and Pinterest for long-term. You can repurpose your social media content and include it on Pinterest. This will allow those who aren’t following your social media profiles to discover your content.
Think of Pinterest as a long-term strategy. While posts usually drown within hours on Instagram and Facebook (minutes for Twitter), Pinterest has been known to still generate traffic weeks, months and even years after it has been pinned.
Now that I’ve talked your ears off about Pinterest, let’s discuss common Pinterest marketing mistakes that are getting in your way.
Be sure to avoid these top 12 mistakes when creating and implementing your Pinterest marketing strategy:
Treating Pinterest as a social media network – I know, I know. Just about every source you pull up considers Pinterest to be a social media site or network; however, it is indeed a search engine — a visual search engine. Think about times where you’ve searched Google or Bing and a Pinterest recipe/image popped up. Look at Pinterest as the visual equivalent of Google. This is why it is so important to carefully consider how you name your pins. Descriptions such as “dope”, “oh yea” or the other captions you’d use on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat don’t work on Pinterest. No one Googles “oh yea” unless they’re looking for a gif or hilarious meme but they do Google “how to lose belly weight.”
Your profile isn’t optimized for search engine optimization – going back to my last point about changing how you view Pinterest. Unless you have a larger, well-known brand, most people won’t be searching for you by name. The good news: over 70% of the searches on Pinterest are unbranded meaning they’re not looking for a specific person or company, they’re looking for a solution. Use this to your advantage. Tell people you have what they’re looking for. This will make your pins and profile more discoverable.
The good news: over 70% of the searches on Pinterest are unbranded meaning they’re not looking for a specific person company, they’re looking for a solution.
You haven’t researched your target market – we no longer live in the world where you can be an effective marketer by yelling at people to buy from you. Instead, you have to consider the buyer’s journey. What are they looking for? How can you help them? What are other things they struggle with? How do they speak/communicate? Are they formal/informal? Once you start to create and curate content with your target market in mind, they will look at you as the trusted authority and will be more likely to purchase from you or sign up for your next course.
Your pins aren’t pin-worthy – over 80% of Pinterest users are scrolling the platform using their smartphones. You want to make sure that your image is optimized for smartphones. Vertical pins are known to perform better than square and traditional social media images because they take up more real estate on the user’s phone. Also, make sure the picture and message are visually clear. If you want people to engage with your content, you have to draw them in. A random picture of a black background (unless part of a photography project) usually won’t draw people in. They need to know what’s in it for them on the other side of that click. Design tip: experiment with the different pin formats: video, Shop This Look and Standard.
Your profile is boring – now this ties back into #3. If you haven’t researched your target market, you haven’t created an “experience” for them. You want people to come to you at different stages in the buying process. Your Pinterest feed shouldn’t be filled with random things that your audience won’t be able to relate to. This makes it easier for them to choose not to follow you. Keep it fun. Look for color. Remember, you want to be helpful but you can only help someone if you have their attention. Give them some eye candy (up to your interpretation).
Not pinning your own content – I can’t begin to tell you how many profiles I’ve seen that only have blogs from other content creators, they also have their own blog or website. Of course, you want to mix it up. No one likes a person who only talks about him/herself but at what point are you introducing them to your content?
Not directing traffic to your site – I’ve run across quite a few people who are uploading their own content such as pictures but they don’t have any website attached. Therefore, when someone is interested, they click on the photo to learn more only to be directed to a larger version of your picture. Make sure you are always directing traffic somewhere. Pinterest loves this! The more people engage with your content, the more they show your content to others!
Not being consistent – yes, you can still drive traffic weeks, months and even years after you’ve pinned content; however, as with time, we become better. We learn how to finetune, optimize and adapt to recent changes. As you become better or gain more experience, you’ll attract a new audience who hasn’t been exposed to your earlier content. Pinning one time and calling it quits doesn’t give your audience confidence or reason to return.
Not setting up a business account – business accounts are free. They give analytics so you can better understand your viewers. With analytics you can see other topics that your audience likes to view. If you are considering paid ads, you’ll need a business account. Make sure you completely set up your business profile!
Not hiding irrelevant content – because Pinterest is a wonderful source of information, it is natural to want to pin ideas for yourself; however, if your interests are vastly different from your target audience, hide the irrelevant boards. When people visit your profile, it should be clear what you do. If you have that you are a beauty consultant and then have a board for baby goats, it is going to throw your audience off! You can still look up cute goats and pin them but just make sure it’s not getting in the way of your personal brand by hiding that board.
Not preparing for trends – going back to the statement earlier with Pinterest being a long-term strategy, it may take weeks or months for content to begin to circulate. Don’t wait until the week of Christmas to start pinning Christmas ideas. Even with a significant following this can be a disaster because people were already looking aka discovering new ideas weeks or even months ahead of time. Give people time. Set ideas in their minds before it happens so they have enough time to do research, learn a little more or put themselves in the position to afford it.
You fell victim to the follow-for-follow – in quite a few Facebook groups and maybe even on other platforms, I’ve noticed the opportunity for someone to leave their social media handle or profile so another member can follow them. Once they follow you, you return the favor. If you can’t connect with a person or brand’s content, you shouldn’t follow them. Following them but not interacting, kills their engagement rate which means their content is less likely to be discovered by others. If you don’t find it valuable or helpful to either you or your audience, do both of you a favor and not follow.
They need to know what’s in it for them on the other side of that click.
Have you heard? I have a beauty group now dedicated to giving daily tips, beauty hacks, skin care tips and inspiration! Want to be part of The Beautiful Tribe? Click here to join the Facebook group to connect with other beauty lovers, get helpful advice and share your passion!
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Have you ever been online and saw someone’s skin and thought it just looks flawless? Like naturally flawless? Like doesn’t look like they’re wearing any makeup or foundation and makes you question if they’ve ever been hit with puberty? Well, that was my goal! Sometimes, the “made up look” just isn’t needed or wanted for your everyday run to the grocery store. Luckily, I finally found something to give me that perfect skin look!
Seriously, I can’t believe it myself! I am a full-face, make-up beat-to-the-Gawds type of girl but for the past five months, I’ve ditched foundation.
Previous Foundation Routine
For those of you who don’t know, here were my makeup steps:
Concealer to Shape Eyebrows
Now on to the Foundation Routine
Liquid Foundation – usually mixing two shades especially during season changes
Concealer to Highlight Under Eyes, Forehead and Chin
Contour Cheeks and Nose (no forehead contour – I like my big forehead how it is)
Translucent Powder to Set Face
Tinted Loose Powder to Set Highlighted Areas (avoids giving the ghostlike look in pics)
Strobe Cheekbones, Tip of Nose and Cupid’s Bow
In that order!
Now some may say that is too much but trust me, baby, my face would be flawless! Look at the pictures if you don’t believe me.
But in recent years, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time focusing on my skin health. This means finding the appropriate products for my skin: skin type, skin concerns, sensitivities and skin care goals. Proud to say I have my regimen down to the T!
I’m at the point where now I can enjoy the fruits of my labor! Old acne scars have cleared up and even the gray patches that formed as a result of an allergic reaction have faded to the point that they’re almost non-existent.
Not to toot my own horn but my face is looking pretty good! And now, it even has a natural “glow.”
My last skin care quest, or should I say trophy, was the Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant and when I tell you, my skin has never felt so soft! It’s like a newborn baby lives on my face!
But back to the topic, I’m finally at a point now where I feel “comfortable” in my own skin. So I’ve streamlined my makeup process and I thought I would share it with you.
I have never received so many compliments on my skin in my life! Even random strangers tell me how beautiful and healthy my skin looks!
Do You Really Need to Wear Foundation?
Truth is: most of us don’t NEED full-coverage foundation. I know, I know. Most makeup gurus and YouTube stars all sport the full-coverage foundation so it seems like a must, right?
Full coverage foundation is best if either you are going to be on-the-screen (i.e. theater, movie, camera, etc) or if you have problematic areas that are very noticeable. Because it’s full coverage, it completely gives you an even coverage — washing out your normal coloring. For those of you wondering, this is why we contour and use blush. It gives the face some “dimension” and character so we’re not flat drawings on a sheet of paper. Used sparingly, they make us look more natural. Of course, you can add more contour to sculpt the face or other body parts but that’s a topic for a different day.
Most of us can do with either a medium coverage, light coverage or even sheer coverage foundation or base.
Common Issues When Using Foundations
Applying too much gives a cakey look or flakes
Hard to match perfectly
Finish can sometimes look unnatural in different settings
Can possibly clog pores which is horrible for acne-prone skin
New Foundation Routine
On Wednesday, I attended a meeting with the American Cancer Society and literally at least six ladies stopped to tell me how “flawless” my face was which reminded me of when I was in Puerto Rico (less than two weeks ago). A lady said my skin was just glowing and she wanted to touch it. So I decided to step outside to get a good picture. And yes, I zoomed in just to show you.
This is NOT a foundation. I repeat this is NOT a foundation. This is tinted moisturizer.
So here is my current everyday makeup routine:
Brows (concealer now optional)
Mascara (I’m still learning how to apply. I used to be messy because I knew the falsies would cover it up)
Tinted Moisturizer — applied with beauty sponge (I have a thing against applying makeup with hands)
Translucent Powder to Set
That is it! Yes, my makeup and foundation routine has been cut in half.
It’s affordable — you can get it for $9.99 plus save an additional 10% off when you shop online
It does as it promises: blurs imperfections, tints and hydrates skin
It’s lightweight and breathable — doesn’t feel heavy
It’s illuminating so gives your skin a dewy, glow aka young, youthful, healthy appearance
The shade range is perfect for all complexions. I love that I’m “Medium” meaning there is something for my darker beauties
It’s easier to blend so you don’t have to worry about getting the “perfect” match — perfect for beginners
A little goes a long way
Healthy for the skin — contains passion fruit, chia and sunflower seeds plus Vitamins E and B5
Lasts all day — it was over 95 degrees in Puerto Rico and it didn’t budge plus I’ve done my fair share of partying and it lasts all through the night
With my oily/combo skin, I was concerned about adding another “moisturizer” on top of my moisturizer but surprised to see I didn’t look like an oily mess
Perfect for everyday wear — because it easily blends and matches your skin, you don’t have to worry about mixing foundations (thus saving product and money)
It’s water-based so perfect for oily skin and you don’t have to worry about it clogging pores.
Though it’s a moisturizer, you can build the coverage. I have a birthmark on the left side of my face and it isn’t noticeable in either of the pictures above.
Tips for using:
Still apply your regular moisturizer BEFORE the tinted moisturizer and allow all skin care products to soak in before applying the tinted moisturizer. Applying regular moisturizer will give your skin the extra barrier and protection while also helping the product glide easier on to the skin.
Because it is lightweight and water-based, some people may feel it is “runny.” For better control, apply a few dots directly to your face. Then blend with beauty sponge, brush or your fingers.
Start with light coverage all over and apply a second layer on areas where you’d like a little more coverage.
For oily or more mature skin, set using a loose or pressed powder. I’d suggest a translucent powder so it doesn’t alter the shade/tint. If you know that dewy or illuminating finishes don’t flatter you, this may not be the product for you.
Where It Could Possibly Use a Little Improvement
Unfortunately, the formula does not contain SPF or sun protection; however, I have mixed feelings about this. In the beauty industry, we’ve come to expect it in almost all of our products. Normally, especially for those of us on the darker side, SPF in foundations usually causes that awful “flashback” look in pictures so we look like we’re related to Casper.
Now because I already use a sunscreen with SPF 50 rating, it really doesn’t matter to me anyway. Though I feel this is an area of improvement, it’s not a deal breaker for me.
Do I Recommend the Magix Tint Tinted moisturizer?
Of course I do! Four years ago, I discovered the Magix Face Perfector and absolutely fell in love with it! I still use it today! It’s non-negotiable! So when I heard that the Tinted Moisturizer was coming out, I had to jump on it. It’s like the Magix Face Perfector mixed with a moisturizer. No brainer to me!
I’d recommend it to the busy lady on-the-go, the lady who wants to simplify her foundation routine, the lady who’s tired of being foundation matched and still not getting the perfect shade, the lady who’s just getting started with makeup and wants to keep it simple or the lady who takes great pride in her skin and doesn’t want to mask it.
Magix Tint Swatch (look closer and you can see the shimmering/luminescent glow):
We all know that I am a lip gloss addict, so when it came to the new Crave Lip Gloss, you know that I was not going to miss out on this opportunity! The Crave Lip Gloss is the latest addition to the scented makeup craze.
The lipgloss was officially released in the beginning of February 2019 but I had the chance to try them out back in January.
Originally, I purchased 7 of the 12 shades; however, I soon added two more to my lip gloss collection.
The lip glosses aren’t sticky at all and perfect for my fellow lip gloss lovers!
Definition of everyday look:
To make sure we’re on the same page, I’ll give you my definition of everyday. To me, everyday simply means that one can wear the lip gloss without makeup. You know sometimes applying any cosmetic product without a full-face or even an ounce of makeup can look a little out of place like applying red blush on a bare face. For me, everyday is simply a bare face or nearly bare face.
It is still one of my favorite lip glosses; however, I love that the Crave Lip Gloss has more shades than the Glossy Tube which is only available in six shades. I also like the fact that it’s scented which can be a super fun way to draw attention to your lips by a special someone if you get what I mean 😉
Thoughts on each shade and scent:
Chocolate Brownie – I love how deep and rich the color is but with that being said, it was too dark for me. This would be awesome for someone with a more medium to darker complexion. I love the little silver specks in the gloss as well. It would be a way to jazz up an otherwise blah lip look. Though this lip gloss is too dark for me, I absolutely love it! I love it for my darker skin women and love that they thought about my beauties of darker skin tones.
Pumpkin Latte – This color reminds me of a purplish brown. When I applied, it tinted my lips immediately even with the thinnest layer. For some reason, it reminds me of a coffee drink. It doesn’t smell like straight coffee but it puts me in the mood of a warm sweater, some-type-of-coffee-drink-while-cuddled-up-on-the-couch type of day. I’m not a coffee drinker and the smell of coffee repulses me but it isn’t bad.
Cherry Creamsicle – Very unique. If you love the smell of cherries, you’ll like it. With the thinnest coat, I still had a bit of a tint (may be due to my slightly lighter complexion). I applied more and it was a light raspberry tint with golden tones.
French Toast – This was the very first shade that I tried. It is more like a deeper shade of pink. It smells more like cinnamon (I’m guessing from the french toast). The color is deeper in pigment and certainly noticeable. With the thinnest layer, it is very noticeable on me. You could wear this shade without any additional lip product and still achieve a more “made up” look. The scent is great and not one of the stronger scents.
Salted Caramel – Of the 9 lip glosses that I have, this is the strongest scent. If you love salted caramel or even Garrett’s popcorn (Chitown!), you’re going to love this. I applied this and went to breakfast. I was smelling my lips more than the breakfast! It’s one of the more translucent shades and looked more neutral on me with a hint of gold. Apply it heavier and it’s a more translucent golden tint. It would be noticeable if applied heavier but not to the point where it looks as though you’ve applied a gold-peel face mask.
Strawberry Glaze – Shockingly, this is another one of my favorites! It has a more translucent color so it’s perfect for either an everyday look or to help dazzle up your existing look. In my opinion, it’s a must-have because of its versatility. It also has a very faint scent so shouldn’t be too distracting and doesn’t really smell like strawberry to me. It smells more like pink bubble gum.
Strawberry Glaze on top of a pale nude lipstick (the lipstick almost looked like chalk on the ground):
Peach Bellini – there’s a special place in my heart for this one. Orange is my favorite color and this shade is very pigmented. With the smallest amount, you could see the orange tint on my lips. I’ve yet to try this with makeup on so right now, it is my least-used lip gloss. Hopefully, I can change that soon. I also like the smell of it. It’s a bit fruity. Doesn’t smell 100% like a real Peach Bellini but it isn’t far off (maybe this is what it would smell like without the liquor).
Citrus Sangria – This one really surprised me and is a close runner for my favorite! I love the fruity scent. I was a little nervous about the color so I applied it in a thin coat and it is SOOOOO pretty on me. It looks almost like nude lip with a little iridescent touch to spice it up just a bit but it’s not overpowering. I applied more just to see how the color would look and it is more pigmented, making the gold more noticeable. I feel this would look better for a made up look but if you’re just running to the gas station without an ounce of makeup, the best route is just a thin layer and it’s perfect for everyday.
Birthday Cake – this is the closest shade to nude and will more than likely be the replacement of the Glossy Tube in Natural Nude if they were ever to discontinue the Glossy Tube lip glosses. Birthday Cake is my absolute fave out of the 9 that I have! It’s perfect for multiple skin tones and the scent is not as strong so if you aren’t a lover of scented makeup, this should not bother you!
This is hands-down the best lip gloss! What I love about it:
The scents smell delicious
The lip glosses aren’t sticky at all
You can build up for more color
You guys should know by now, I’m a former MAC Cosmetics girl. I’d never bash the company. My all-time favorite lip gloss is the Oyster Girl! If you’re feeling generous, send it to me! I’ll rock it 😜 but right now, I’m head over hills in love with the Crave Lip Gloss. Ladies, you can still slay and not break the bank!
A little story:
One day, I went to visit my cousin. We’re six months apart and grew up as if we were twins. As I’m entering my car, I pulled out my lip gloss and applied it. After she saw how it looked, she ordered FOUR of the True Color Glossy Tube Lip Glosses in Natural Nude. Remember, we’re like twins so she was also a MAC girl and paid almost $20 for one MAC lip gloss so she figured she could get 4 for the price of one (taxes included 😄).
She was always a MAC Lipglass in Clear type of gal. She’s been buying it since we were teens! But you know me, I love to experiment 😄
Now you guys, this has been happening for probably a year and a half. Each time she’s running low, she just texts me and I get it for her. Imagine her savings: $17.50 vs $3.99… It’s a no-brainer!
Note: look at the time stamp on the messages. You can see she’s been ordering the same lip gloss for over a year now. Yes, I switched from Android to iPhone in that timeframe.
Last week, she texted saying she needed more lip gloss. Like the best pal/cousin/twin that I am, I gave her one of the Crave Birthday Cake lip glosses. Guess what? She asked for two more!
Two faves meaning the Glossy Tube lip gloss and the Crave Lip Gloss. When you’re like external twins (not to be confused with fraternal), you develop your own language LOL
So this blog wasn’t really supposed to be about someone else’s opinion but somehow we got here 🤷🏽♀️
You don’t have to take my word for it. Just look at the texts. The Crave Lip Gloss is one hell of a dupe for the MAC Lipglass and once you get your hands on it, you will not turn back!
Now that I’ve experienced the Crave Lip Gloss and sat down to reevaluate my lip glosses. I am even more convinced that I get the other three: Honey Tea, Cucumber Spritzer and Minted Apple. The colors are more sheer and appear to be iridescent which would be a great way to spice up an everyday look.
To see more swatches of the Crave Lip Gloss or to get 10% off, click here.
Have you heard? I have a beauty group now dedicated to giving daily tips, beauty hacks, skin care tips and inspiration! Want to be part of The Beautiful Tribe? Click here to join the Facebook group to connect with other beauty lovers, get helpful advice and share your passion!
Let me just start off by saying this is not your typical review.
In short, my answer is yes. Yes, I tried the Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant for the first time yesterday which also happened to be my birthday and I approve. Follow along if you’d like to know more and I’ll also share some things I did not like about this peel just to be fair.
Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant
The Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant is new to the market. It hasn’t even been out for a complete month yet but you guys know me and my love for skincare 🙄 I had to try it 🤷🏽♀️
I’ve been recently experimenting with the Vitamin C Brightening Serum and figured I should also give this a go.
What Does the Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant Promise to Do
According to Avon, the invigorating warming face peel gently exfoliates your skin while delivering a warming sensation (when activated with water!) to open pores and remove impurities. 3.4 fl. oz.
BENEFITS • Dual exfoliator combines vitamin C flakes + natural seeds to buff skin • Skin instantly feels softer and looks brighter • Allergy-tested • Dermatologist-tested • Suitable for sensitive skin
Why Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for decreasing dull tired skin and has also been known to help lighten dark spots. You all know my past with dull skin and of course, I’ve had a few blemishes so for those wondering my skin is not perfect; however, I have noticed major improvements with my skin and I’m proud of where I am.
My current skincare routine:
I am a big fan of simplicity. In the morning, I usually stick with micellar water and moisturizer. Post-workout or to remove makeup, I double cleanse with micellar water and my favorite refining scrub then I follow up with toner and moisturizer.
I exfoliate on Sundays and Wednesdays. This past Sunday, I figured why not go all out and really pamper myself like people weren’t waiting for me to go out and celebrate 🎉
After cleansing with my Anew Refining Daily Scrub, I followed up immediately with the Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant. I still had drops of water on my face from cleansing. According to the directions, water will help activate the peel and you will feel it begin to get warm.
What I Immediately Notice about the Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant:
The first thing I noticed other than the color of the exfoliant is the smell. I have allergies and citrus either causes me to flare up, have trouble breathing or itchy eyes. This exfoliant caused none of the effects though I could smell a very faint citrus-like (not full on citrus) fragrance. The consistency was a little thick and the texture has some grittiness but it wasn’t too textured where I feared it would be too abrasive. If I had to compare it to something, think of a cornbread batter. It didn’t feel like the typical micro-beds.
How to Apply the Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant:
The rundown: so I’ve had this peel exfoliant for five days and I’ve used it three times already: on the first day – once as directed and the second — well let’s just say you should always read directions before applying skincare products LOL
How I applied it on the first day: cleansed, while face was still damp, applied directly to my face so it immediately gave me a warming sensation. Left on for about a minute, removed and followed my normal routine plus applied makeup.
Got home. Used refining scrub to remove makeup and I noticed my skin was still soft from the morning application! Dried my face and applied the exfoliant (as directed). My face was still very soft.
The third time I used it was that following Wednesday. Please note: you should only use the exfoliant 2-3 times per week. Using it twice in one day was very risky to say the least!
According to the directions: shake tube prior to using. Smooth over face, avoiding eye area, and massage gently for up to two minutes. Rinse well with cool water and experience a warming sensation as formula opens pores. For best results, follow with Anew Vitamin C Brightening Serum.
Immediate Results with the Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant:
1st Try with Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant
2nd Try with Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant
I noticed the exfoliant appears to be very opaque when applied to damp skin as opposed to dry skin. I believe this may be due to the fact it was easier to spread. Going back to my first impression, the consistency is a little thick like honey so if it’s diluted with the water droplets left on my face, it made it easier to smooth over and even reapply. Here’s my dry face after the second time I used the exfoliant (same day, two applications):
I am absolutely in love with how soft my skin feels! I don’t think my skin has ever felt this soft!
My Results Using the Vitamin C Peel Exfoliant:
What I didn’t like: In all fairness, I hate that it is called a “peel”. You cannot peel the exfoliant off. It is more like a dry rub that you put on your face and rinse off with water. It takes A LOT of effort to get it off and it can also discolor your sink (temporary).
What I liked:
Effective: my skin felt baby soft after the first application and I noticed an old scar from a post-workout pimple appeared lighter. Word to the wise: don’t pick at blemishes.
Exclusive: one of the few warming face masks on the market that contains Vitamin C
Gentle: you should exfoliate 2-3 times per week; nothing more. I’ve used this peel exfoliant in the morning and then my favorite refining daily scrub at night to remove my makeup and my skin still felt moisturized from the first application. This formula is non-drying.
Fragrance: I have sensitives to citrus and though this has a light citrus smell, it is very faint and not overpowering.
Pocket-friendly: the average Vitamin C Peel for example, Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel, usually runs about $58 at Sephora,Macy’s and ULTA. The Anew Vitamin C Warming Peel is $26 but the intro price is $14.99 plus you can sign up for 10% off here.
My overall score of the Vitamin C Warming Peel Exfoliant: 9.5/10
I give it 9.5/10 and honestly, I may be a little too harsh on the scoring but hey! My opinion 🤷🏽♀️ They promised the exfoliant would make your skin feel softer. On the softness scale, I give it 10/10. They said it would also make your skin brighter. I’d also give it a 10/10. On the left side of my face, I have a birthmark. I never really pay that area too much attention. Immediately after I used the exfoliant, I noticed my overall face was brighter but the few blackheads that were near my birthmark were gone and the persistent pimple scar on my right cheek was significantly lighter. This was after the first application, with me using it incorrectly might I add!
Therefore, the product really does live up to it’s promises but I’m still somewhat disappointed in maybe the marketing/naming as well as the fact that it takes some time to remove. I don’t know if different sinks are more susceptible to staining (temporary) but the basement vanity did and the master did not so I guess I’m impartial 🤷🏽♀️
Why is it still a must-have? You can clean your sink and “peel” isn’t a make or break. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of girls crying while removing peels so it actually may be a good thing plus my skin has never felt this good. I am a believer.
I want you all to meet my one and only baby — Smoke! He’s about 15 months old now and look at the difference!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this…
Everyone knows I’m crazy about Smoke (just look at my personal Facebook).
When I got him, he was in a house with 17 dogs. My husband didn’t even know I was getting a dog. We said we’d discuss it. Then he said no…. and well, we know how the rest of it goes (I do not suggest this at home) 🤣🤣🤣
Because I kinda made the decision on my own, I couldn’t tell him this… He still doesn’t even know. My best friend and I went to check Smoke out.
He was about 7 weeks old. They told us he couldn’t touch the ground because Parvo was high in the area.
So I decided to try something new: shaping my eyebrows with facial hair removal cream.
Disclaimer: before you apply any hair removal cream, always make sure you do a patch test 24-48 hours BEFORE applying hair removal cream to the entire section!
To shape my eyebrows, I followed the steps below:
1: created an outline of desired eyebrow using brow definer
2: applied thick layer of facial hair removal cream untidy hairs (above and below the outline)
3: let the removal cream sit for 3-4 minutes
4: tested small section to make sure removal cream was ready to be removed
5: used tweezers to pluck any stubborn hairs
1: filled in brows with the same brow definer
2: used spoolie brush to brush definer into brows for a more natural look
That’s it! I skipped concealer since my brows looked pretty clean without and overall, I loved the more natural look!
Avon True Color Glimmersticks Brow Definer
Avon Skin So Soft Fresh & Smooth Sensitive Skin Facial Hair Removal Cream
Avon Pro Brow Brush w/ spoolie
Wet paper towels
Chapped and dry lips are one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. It seems like no matter how much you lick your lips or how much lip balm you apply, nothing works! Maybe it’s because you aren’t properly exfoliating! Each week, take 5 minutes to pamper yourself and apply this dry lips treatment for softer, fuller and healthier lips!
Self care is so crucial for happiness, confidence and peace of mind.
I usually do a lighter workout on Sunday’s and do a full body at-home exfoliation covering face, body and even my lips.
My lips have always been on the drier side but with my recent lifestyle changes, they’ve been extremely dry lately.
I’ve realized that since I’ve decided to become more healthier, my lips suffered the most. A natural response for me was to lick my lips while exercising. I’d probably lick them a minimum of 8-10 times while exercising. Because my lips were dry and dehydrated, I either licked more or applied A LOT of lip products because I just didn’t feel it working.
I formed darker marks around the corners of my mouth and the bottom of my lip. It was either a mixture of dead skin or the discoloration from licking my lips excessively. Plus, the bitter Chicago air only made it worse.
Not only were my lips dry but they began to accumulate hardened dead skin, skin tried to peel and my lip glosses looked horrible. Thankfully, I learned about lip care and since I’ve been following this method, my lips have lightened and feel so much healthier.
Are you battling dry lips? Many people don’t know why it happens so I decided to list some of the most common reasons behind dry lips to help you identify and prevent them.
Most Popular Reasons for Dry Lips:
Exposure – the skin on the lips is thinner than the rest of the face. Dry winter air and sun exposure sucks the moisture out of the skin with the lips taking the most damage.
Dehydration – many people do not drink enough water or eat enough fruits and veggies which contain high water content.
Licking – licking lips is a natural reaction when the lips feel dry; however, the moisture from the saliva is only temporary which causes you to lick your lips more frequently — drawing out moisture.
Medications/illness – some illnesses cause lips to either dry or discolor as well as the medications used to treat certain illnesses.
Irritating foods – citrus and other acidic foods, salty foods and spicy foods are known to be very drying.
How does exfoliating help get rid of dry lips?
The skin normally “turns over” or sheds once every 28 days or so. This means, as the days go on, unless you are properly exfoliating, the dead skin sits on top; therefore, preventing or lessening the absorption of the moisturizers you apply.
If your lip balm doesn’t appear to be working or you still suffer with chapped or dry lips, you want to make sure you exfoliate. Remember to be gentle!
Do not over-exfoliate. Only exfoliate once per week and at night. By removing the top layer of skin, your lips become more sensitive. Let them heal while you sleep.
Steps to get rid of dry lips:
Step 1: pick your exfoliator.
You can either make a lip exfoliator or purchase a premade exfoliator. I make an exfoliator using one parts sugar to one parts extra virgin olive oil. You can use regular olive oil if you have it available. I’ve also heard of others substituting the sugar for salt; however, I hardly use sugar and this gives me a reason to use the big bag I purchased. Plus, sugar is a natural exfoliator.
Add the ingredients in a bowl and stir until you create a paste.
Optional: add 1/2 – 1 raw honey to the mix.
Step 2: rub the exfoliator in gentle circles (may also use soft-bristle toothbrush). You do not want to over-exfoliate or rub the lips raw. Exfoliate for no more than 1 minute.
Step 3: wipe off with warm water using a towel, warm water directly from the faucet or a damp paper towel. Do not rub the lips. Simply pat off the scrub.
Step 4: apply hydrating lip balm. Soon after you finish removing the exfoliator, apply your lip balm of choice to lock in moisture and prevent further damage.
Step 5: apply a BOMB lip gloss (optional for you but non-negotiable for me). In this pic, I’m wearing the new Crave Lip Gloss in Strawberry Glaze. the new lip gloss is scented, tinted, infused with Vitamin E (which is great for lips) and it’s very long-lasting without being sticky!
If you are repairing your dry lips, apply the hydrating lip balm liberally. You may need to apply several times a day so apply as needed. Make sure you apply before heading outside to prevent further damage.
My favorite treatments for dry lips and chapped lips:
After exfoliating, I like to use Beyond Color Lip Conditioner. It has retinol and collagen to help your lips feel smooth, plumper and decrease dryness. Because it contains retinol, I only use at night (when I exfoliate) or if my lips feel dry at night, I’ll also apply. You can also use the lip conditioner underneath your lipstick which I’d highly suggest if the formula is very drying or matte finish.
During the day, I use Moisture Therapy Intensive Healing & Repair Moisturizing LipTreatment Balm (this stuff is AMAZING). It only costs $2 but so worth it! It’s long lasting and contains Hydraboost Technology which mimics the skin’s natural defense to protect during the day and seal in water to prevent degression dehydration. It’s also suitable for sensitive skin — unscented and no flavor to irritate the skin. I use this every day and whenever I have the urge to lick.
Using the steps above, my lips are nice and smooth which makes my lipsticks and lip gloss look nearly perfect — no peeling skin, flaky, rough patches or uneven coverage!
Seriously I can’t believe I’m showing this picture.
Hard to say, but I put on some weight after I got married.
Back in 2007, I joined Medifast and lost 66 lbs.
Since being married, I almost gained it all back.
And men really don’t make it any better.
My cousin said it looked like I “ate Natalie”… joking or not, that hurts 😦
Another cousin “Hey big girl” 😦
I couldn’t even get mad at them because I knew being this short and having that much weight on me wasn’t good.
My Health Scare in 2007:
Eleven years ago, I was back and forth in the doctor’s office. I became anemic… TMI: I bled so heavily, I soiled through clothes in less than 2 hours. I actually had to stop going to class because I couldn’t sit that long without leaving a mess. Unsuccessfully, they prescribed 3-4 birth control pills per day to try to control the bleeding. Pills weren’t 100% effective and the only thing that changed was I began to have migraines, tired and I felt like I wasn’t ‘here’ — I was merely existing. The doctors said the bleeding may have been my body’s way of trying to get rid of some of the weight. They said I gained so much weight in a short amount of time that my body was just trying to survive.
That’s when I made the decision to get healthier and dropped the weight by enrolling with Medifast. After I lost the weight, no more heavy bleeding.
When Did the Weight Start Coming Back:
I was doing good maintaining for years until I moved back home to Chicago, got an office job and met my now-husband.
I started to feel the weight coming back and began half-watching what I ate but not serious about working out — wondering why my new “health” routine wasn’t working and why the scale continued to climb?? Eventually, I just stopped wearing certain clothes. Stayed out of jeans. At one point, I even stopped looking in the mirror longer than I needed.
I felt like I let myself down. I knew that I needed to do better but I just couldn’t get my stuff together.
I started feeling sorry and sorry for myself.
BUT here I am today … I refuse to be a victim to my own BS. I know that I can do it but I had to stop hoping, wishing and praying that it would be easy and that it would happen overnight. I had to make a level of commitment to myself that I would not give up on myself.
I still have more to go but I’m in such a better place mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Instead of crash diets and the constant up and down, I decided to fall in love with the process of getting healthier. I wouldn’t put too much attention on the scale, mirror, or anything that would deter or discourage me in this journey. I had to fall in love with working towards becoming a better me.
Realizing I’m Losing Weight:
I was standing in the kitchen.
My husband walked in. His first response: DAMN!!! YOU ARE REALLY SHRINKING!!!
Not a ‘hello, ‘hi’, ‘honey, I’m home’, ‘nice to see you’, nothing 🙅🏽♀️
Now, he’s been commenting on my “shrinkage” almost every week. Almost like he’s surprised.
To be honest, I’m surprised!
Not that I’m not happy about it but in my mind, I’ve been saying I’m messing up.
I still eat whatever I want. This weekend, I had cake, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese and I’m pretty sure something else that most diets would frown upon 😂 No, I don’t eat like that everyday for those wondering 👀 but I don’t really have many limitations.
The only “good” things I’ve been doing are staying away from candy and learning about moderation. I’ve never been big into fried foods or a lot of salt (thank my mom for being a nurse).
Each day, I kept telling myself that “I’m going to get it together” because my lifestyle didn’t reflect a “good diet” and each day, I lied to myself and gave in to my temptation 🤦🏽♀️😂
I had to figure out how was I actually losing weight.
My Daily Routine (Accidental Intermittent Fasting):
– I drink water in the morning with my metabolism boost (around 8 – 9 a.m.)
– I start working (usually follow up with business leads and help team members) 👩🏽💻
– I exercise for at least 50 minutes 💪🏽💪🏽
* My “easy” days are Sundays and Wednesdays which are also the days I exfoliate. On these days, I do a 30-minute exercise video at home.
– By the time I’ve showered, it’s about 12 – 1 p.m.
– Eat lunch
– I continue working either following up with customers, creating content for blog or podcast, or beauty consultations
– I take my hunger block before my last meal (I eat before 6 p.m. on most days)
– Most of cravings are gone so I’m not snacking
That’s it! I’m not counting calories or carbs (nothing wrong with that if you do, I’m just too inconsistent 🤷🏽♀️)
My results after three months with my new lifestyle change:
Of course, now knowing what I’ve been doing, I hop on over to my best friend Google and learned about intermittent fasting. Apparently, I’m doing the 16/8 but because I take the hunger block, I don’t eat many times in the window of eating and I’m not late night snacking either (which was my biggest downfall)..
I have NOT been looking at the scale.
My clothes are hanging or getting loose, I’ve been more energized AND my workouts are better. At one point, I needed to break after 8 minutes of Tae Bo. This week, I realized I could do a full 45-minute video without pausing 😱
Neck Gainz (LOL):
Disclaimer: of course, before beginning any exercise or diet, make sure you contact a medical professional.
Why Do I Feel Intermittent Fasting is Working?
Before I began working from home, I had a very sedentary lifestyle running the marketing firm. It was an office job downtown so I’d usually grab a bite to eat and tons of snacks. We weren’t surrounded by many stores and I didn’t want to leave out during the day. I’d sit at my desk majority of the day, staring at the computer and snacking. I had to be up around 5:30 a.m. every morning and made it home around 4:30 p.m. By the time I made it home, I’d be too tired, mentally exhausted or lazy to work out. I’d watch some tv or take a nap and then it would be time for dinner. Now that I’m thinking about it, I may have been snacking and eating throughout the entire day.
While still in corporate, I made the decision to lose weight. I vowed to eat better and also began going back to the gym. I was very strict on my diet, almost to the point of 100% restriction. I saw some results and was very happy.
After they closed the business, I started working full-time from home and saw myself falling back into my corporate lifestyle. I didn’t wake up as early as 5:30 a.m. but I’d get up around 7 a.m. One perk of being in corporate and downtown Chicago was the fact that I took public transportation. I’d walk about 1 mile from the train station to the office so roughly 2 miles per day — usually at a VERY leisurely pace unless it was winter.
Now, I spend a lot of time in front of my tablet and without needing to leave the house, unless I have to meet a client, I have no reason to go outside. My puppy doesn’t like to walk much. If it’s too warm (above 70 degrees) or too cold (less than 50), he tries to spend the least amount of time outside as possible. We’ve walked for 5 minutes before he plants himself and refuses to move.
Needless to say, I fell back into the trap of no physical activity which is what I PERSONALLY need. Not only does exercising boost your metabolism and help you tone but it puts me in a happier and more productive space. Without it, I was unhappy once again. I made the conscious decision to start working out. As I worked out, I realized I had more energy and then I came to the conclusion that I needed to focus on HOW I ate.
With diets, they were too restrictive. I don’t eat a bunch of fried foods or sugars but I couldn’t keep up with most diets because I still craved and yearned foods that aren’t usually “diet-approved”. I’d sneak a bite here and there and eventually what turned out as a one-time cheat turned into a binge and eventually, just knocked me out of my journey altogether. I no longer restrict myself and now I no longer overindulge.
How Did Intermittent Fasting Affect My Travel:
We recently went to Jamaica and the following week, went to a marriage retreat. The convenience of intermittent fasting is what really sold me. When traveling, I noticed I couldn’t make time to eat 5 – 6 small meals like I’d done previously with Medifast (and like most common diets suggest). Between the beach, water activities, tourist attractions, etc, I couldn’t just stop everyone and everything to eat every 2-3 hours. I also noticed my options were limited. With most traditional diets, I wouldn’t have been able to truly embrace and experience their foods and culture.
Most of the time, I didn’t carry a purse so protein bars or snacks weren’t even that good of an option — I only carry totes which are just too big for fun. I didn’t have the time and/or resources to meal prep while traveling either. In the end, for me, dieting can really be a challenge when trying to live a regular lifestyle. It can be so inconvenient which is why many people just give up. With intermittent fasting, I don’t have to really put too much thought into what and when I’m going to eat. It really complements my lifestyle.