Roses, Gold Accents, Jewelry, Minimal, Beauty, Hair Inspiration, Nails, Natural, Off The Shoulder, Pink

BEAUTY IN B L O O M

As summer winds down and the LA heat surges on, I felt what better time than now to talk skincare, hydration and protection. Whatever the season, there’s always a reason to protect and repair.

PRESS PLAY.

Paul-mitchell-pro-tools-Beauty-In-Bloom-rose-bun-4.jpg

I have vivid memories of watching my mom wash her face at her vanity and applying an assortment of gold-capped creams in various shapes and sizes. Whether she realized it or not, her nightly ritual undoubtedly set the tone for me at a formative age to care for my skin. This was my first memory of beauty as well as learning from someone who led by example.

It’s safe to say beauty has always grabbed my attention. As I’ve grown, my definition of beauty has evolved with my experiences, which have shaped my affinity for the elusive concept. A newer understanding that came with maturity was the notion of a beautiful mind. I often look to nature for answers. Like a rose in full bloom, life has taught me through the temporary and ever changing essence of evolution, that external beauty can only last so long. In order to endure and find lasting beauty, we must go beyond the bottle, beyond the facade to the root.

roses, pink, beauty, bloom, summer, off the shoulder, updo, wavy hair, bouquet,

Having experienced problematic skin this year for the first time ever, I was blatantly faced with the duty to explore beauty deeper than skin. Where this journey began was with the external. Because let’s face it, as humans we care about the physical. This idea of ‘keeping up appearances’ intrigued me. I sought to understand humanity and why we’re so quick to find resolve in a bottle before doing the true work of checking in with ourselves to see what gives.

With patience, diligence, positive habits and the help of a few good brands, I can tell you I’ve begun a healing journey to natural beauty rooted in nature. I’m positive I’m not alone, as I’ve talked to numerous people dealing with similar skin issues. So lets jump into part one of a series dedicated to skin care, health and beauty, working our way from the outside in by peeling back the layers.

Introducing my quick fix saviors that understand the importance of results without forgoing your skin’s health. These bad gals go beyond the pretty packaging to deliver quality performances and optimal health with honest ingredients.

IMG_8364.JPGProducts shot and digitally designed by Morgan Ryan. (Left to right).

MDSolarSciences, Mineral Creme (50 SPF)Regardless of your whereabouts, there’s always a need for SPF. Living in the outskirts of Chinatown in LA has posed some serious cultural conditioning in terms of skincare; like watching women shield their skin from the sun with umbrellas on the reg. Although I haven’t gone that extreme, I have upped my sunscreen game whilst learning a thing or two from these folk. 

MDSolarScience has got sunscreen down to a science, seriously. This cream is nearly perfect and speaks to all skin types and personalities (especially those wary of the typical SPF smell and finish). It’s oil-free/fragrance-free plus mineral/ antioxidant enriched to create the perfect base for your everyday look as it aims to repair and protect. I personally love to use it as my primer as it additionally creates a soft and smooth matte finish.

SheaMoisture, Jamaican Black Castor Oil:  Ah, restoration to the rescue! This powerhouse has been used for centuries because of its high concentration of Omega-9 fatty acids. I can tell you hands down, castor oil is my secret weapon in my beauty arsenal. Castor oil can be used alone, which I often do for an occasional scalp and eyelash treatment to promote growth. It can also be used in conjunction with other oils to create an oil cleanser for acne-prone skin (a recipe I’ll be sharing next time). Word of advice, a little goes a long way as it’s super drying.

SheaMoisture, Hydrating Mud Mask:  Typically I enjoy getting my hands dirty and concocting my own homemade masks. In those rare occasions where I need a quick treatment, this little guy has me covered. Plus anything travel size seems more fun than the original, or at least it does to me. (Mini M&M’s and fun size candy, I’m lookin’ at chu).

The scent is comprised of the healing aromas of shea butter, myrrh and frankincense. This trifecta comes together to create a rich blend that is soft and feminine. Despite most mud masks, this one doesn’t seem to harden like most, making it easy to remove with a damp washcloth. Skin is left smooth and supple with noticeable improvements in radiance and youthfulness.

SheaMoisture, Olive & Green Tea Body Wash (w/ Avocado)My grandma’s evening ritual was a lavender bubble bath. Apparently rituals run deep, as I’ve definitely acquired the habit of partaking in a regular epsom salt bath. My current obsession has been to elevate my experience by running a capful of SheaMoisture’s Olive & Green Tea Body Wash under running water. Skip the lotion; these ultra-moisturizing ingredients got you covered, every inch. 

That’s enough about me ~ what are some of your favorite skin care brands? I’d love to hear about your regime/journey to natural beauty in the comments below!

Photographed by Marc Sacro in partnership with John Paul Mitchell Systems

Arrows, Baby Blue, Choker, Summer Trends, Lookbook, Sleeping Beauty, Natural Waves, Hair, Paul Mitchell, Model, Lashes, Choker Trend, Desert Style, Festival Season, Zara, Los Angeles Lifestyle, Fashionista, Redhead,

| R E N E W A L | APRIL MAV HAVE

IMG_5055

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.”

– J A C K  KORNFIELD

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

After the busyness of last month, the focus of April was to reset and renew. Spring is here and is encouraging us all to pause, reflect and recharge our batteries. I like to consider this season as our annual mind, body and spirit tune up.

Last week I made my way to Indio, CA with Evan for a Coachella Party hosted by Paul Mitchell at the Merv Griffin Estate. Using this opportunity to escape the city for the day, we set off into the desert to recharge our batteries.

I began to experiment with some simple techniques during the trip, which I have continued to explore since returning to LA. As a result, I have created a one-week reset plan, which I’m excited to share with you today! The most beneficial method for myself was the ‘detox.’ I focused on taking a break from social media as a means to reconnect by de-connecting. Ironically, when I unplugged, I recharged more efficiently. I’ll jump into that a little later on.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Being busy is somewhat of a requirement in our modern day society. Unfortunately when we are too busy, not only do we forget to live, we actually become counterproductive. Our healthy habits begin to slip and our communication suffers; we lose focus, connection and sight of our intentions.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be permanent. With some minor adjustments we can get back on track and be ready to roll. So let’s get started! Here’s my one week guide plus a brief description of what I learned through the process of pausing to reflect and remembering to live a little.

Floral Wall, California Nightlife, Beauty, Natural Waves, Hair, Paul Mitchell, Model, Lashes, Choker Trend, Desert Style, Festival Season, Zara, Los Angeles Lifestyle, Fashionista, Redhead,

Patron, VSCO, Peace, Zara, Coachella, Paul Mitchell, Smiles,

MIND

_________

A27A5783

A27A5784

1). Write, Write, Write! 

By doing this one-week challenge, the most noticeable block I was experiencing was lack of communication. I was harboring feelings and thoughts that needed to be expressed. Locked inside, I found it extremely relieving to write it all out; my thoughts, feelings, anger, resentment or even a difficult conversation I needed to have. It was therapeutic not to mention helpful in wrapping my head around difficult thoughts and feelings. Instead of worrying, stressing or reacting, I released, resolved and relieved.

Your Turn: Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Take 10 minutes to simply jot down your thoughts, feelings, tasks, fears, gratitude, you name it. By emptying your mind onto the paper, you make space for the new. Instead of spending precious time worrying about something, you gain your time and sanity back while reducing stress.

A27A5766-2

2). Meditate

The way I became most aware of this lack of communication was through meditation. By engaging in this practice I was able to focus not only on my mind but also on my body. My friend Ashley came over this week to help me clear the energy in my apartment. While she cleansed my place with sage, I meditated for 20 minutes. During the process I noticed a heavy soreness in the left area of my throat. I realized I had blocked energy there because I wasn’t speaking my truth and in return this was causing me stress. By calming down my central nervous system I felt a sense of comfort, safety and relief in having an answer to a question I didn’t have before meditating.

Your Turn: The wonderful thing about meditation is that it’s an excuse to do absolutely nothing. If it’s new to you and you’re wondering, “how can I do absolutely nothing?” I suggest a meditation app such as Headspace for extra guidance or listen to some Zen music and chill out.

Beginner: Begin by counting your breath as you inhale (1 2 3), and (4 5 6) as you exhale. Continue for 1-5 minutes. Moderate: Meditate on a positive mantra or word with each in breath, and release it’s negative counterpart on the out breath (ex. inhale; serenity | exhale; anxiety). Do this for 10 minutes. Challenging: Inhale through your nose for 5 counts, hold your breath for 5 counts, exhale through your mouth for 5 counts. Get into a place of total awareness and see what is brought to your attention. Continue for 20 minutes.

A27A5780-3

A27A5775

BODY

_________

A27A5653

3). Take A Walk

When Evan and I first arrived in Indio we decided to get out and wander. A moment of nostalgia washed over me of Summer’s in New York as a kid drinking root beer floats as we sipped on Mission Hard Root Beers. I felt like I was in two different places at once until I was swept back into the present moment and we began our next adventure by foot. We found a neat neighborhood with some interesting houses making our walk scenic. Not only did we find a great location to shoot some fun images, we also got to move our legs, which felt amazing after sitting in the car all day.

Your Turn: Movement is essential in keeping our bodies at their best. I’d say every opportunity you have to walk instead of driving, take it! The days are longer now and the weather is nice so if you feel drained, get up and out. Just a few minutes a day can improve your lifestyle. Getting up and moving not only aids in digestion but it also provides us with energy and uplifts our mood. Try a 5 minute walk around the block during a lunch break and reap the rewards.

A27A5619-3

4). Nap

One of my personal favorites, nap time. Restoration is not possible without sleep. This is the time when our bodies repair themselves from all the stresses, toxins and activity of the day. Last week I couldn’t get to bed early so I took a 30-minute mid-day nap after work. I noticed I was more productive and the quick nap made my work day more pleasant.

Your Turn: Busy lifestyles usually go hand in hand with sleep deprivation. As a means to fit as much as we can into a day, we put sleep at the bottom of the list. I think it should be our first priority because without proper rest we can’t function at our best. To make up for this, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier and notice how you feel in the morning (trust me, your food cravings, mood and overall energy will improve). Make up for lost shuteye by getting a 20 min snooze in during the afternoon if possible. If you work a 9-5, take advantage of that lunch and find a quiet space to close your eyes for 5 minutes. Just make sure to set an alarm!

A27A5612-2.JPG

SPIRIT

_________

A27A5753

5). Donate Time

I donated time last week to helping my mom enter an Instagram contest as well as my community by participating in this years LA River Cleanup with Quixote. It was an amazing opportunity to bond with my co-workers while doing something meaningful for my city.

Your Turn: Spending time doing for someone else uplifts your spirit. The one thing that we lack these days is attention. Think about the last time you spent time with a friend or family member and gave them your full-undivided attention. No distractions. No expectations. When we invest our time, we invest in quality relationships, which nurture the soul. The best gift you can give someone is your attention. It not only is a gift to them but yourself. Simply give and experience the feel good vibes.

IMG_5204

 6). Personal Ritual

I focused my nightly ritual this week on the sensory experience of touch. I’ve become more curious about protecting my skin from toxins and how to calm or relieve dis-ease through reflexology. I tried dry brushing for the first time and began to do nightly massages. After my bath I’ll use my favorite massage oil by Shea Moisture and gently work the oil into my skin from my feet up. Once I’m done I’ll simply lay in bed and close my eyes to relax. This truly has made me feel so beautiful and has a soothing effect as it helps me ease into a peaceful nights rest.

Your Turn: Reconnecting with yourself through self-care or any other ritual is a great opportunity to just be with you. The key is to find something your enjoy so that it doesn’t just become another task on your to-do list. Rituals are personal so this should be unique to you. It can be as simple as lighting some candles or incense, praying, writing in your journal, taking a bath or sipping on a cup of soothing tea before bed. Maybe it’s a combo of a few of those! Whatever it is, do it well, do it consistently and remain connected to yourself and your higher energy (whatever that may be for you)!

A27A5636

A27A5730-2

MIND BODY SPIRIT

_________

A27A5786

7). Detox | Take A Break

For myself, the most beneficial above all has been a digital detox. Unfortunately my profession made this a bit difficult but I made progress by minimizing the time I spent consuming and posting on social media. Over the past two weeks I’ve done two, five day breaks where I didn’t post. What I noticed was people actually engaged with me more and for longer. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder even online.

Your Turn: This is your practice so do what ever feels best for you. Maybe you need to focus your detox on the body so you try a cleanse. Perhaps the media has been swaying you too much so you refrain from reading the news for a day. Maybe toxic relationships are causing you stress so you create some healthy distance from those people. Take note and see where life seems to be giving you the most trouble and allow yourself a break, no guilt.

A27A5716.JPG

Blue, Tiles, Palm Springs, Desert Homes, Desert Fashion, Festival Style, Prada Accessories, Marc Jacobs Clutch, Macrame Shoes,

I hope this helps and you get out there and try some of these tips this Spring. Who knows, maybe one or two of them will stick and become healthy habits you just can’t quit!

_________

Photography

E V A N  WOODS