Nuturing my Scalp with "Nature's Candy"

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My friends at Maple Holistics recently sent me an amazing bottle of shampoo and I wanted to share my experience with you. For as long as I can remember I've had to deal with an itchy scalp and a mild dandruff problem. Over the years, I've corrected the dandruff issue and it's not a problem for me anymore, but I've still had to deal with the itchy scalp. This shampoo has helped tremendously to address my scalp woes and I have been not only grateful but pleasantly surprised. Despite the title of this post, this product, unfortunately, doesn't contain anything sweet nor is it worth consuming. 

Let me share with you all of the ingredients and benefits of the shampoo before I share with you my personal experience.

Ingredients: Aqua, Jojoba Oil, Botanical Keratin, Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil.

Benefits: Promotes healthy hair growth.Can slow hair loss, shedding, and thinning hair helps prevent flaking and dandruff, capable of soothing an irritated scalp, the potential to naturally eradicates lice, and leaves hair and scalp rejuvenated and fresh.

Amazing right?! Not many shampoos dedicated to scalp rejuvenation dedicates its benefits to help hair growth. This shampoo (if you haven't been able to gather already) is completely 100% natural and cruelty-free. 

My experience with this product was an overall good experience. I was looking for a few things in particular, would this product dry my hair out? Would it actually relieve my scalp woes? I was happy to experience no dry hair and a freshly rejuvenated scalp. I'm currently transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair. Throughout this transition comes two different textures of hair. On texture is drier than the other texture, therefore the shampoos that I'm using have to be moisturizing and not drying to my tresses. I could tell immediately once I squeezed the product into my hand that it has moisturizing properties. Unlike other tea tree oil shampoos that I've used in the past, this particular shampoo didn't offer a loud minty smell or a tingly after effect. Since I'm so used to that type of shampoo experience, I had to get used to this new experience. The smell of rosemary stood out to me the most while shampooing my hair.

I'm sure the question you want to know and need an answer to, "Are you going to keep this as a staple product in your shampoo routine?" The answer is yes! I say yes for a few reasons, the product is all natural, therefore sulfate free, and it actually helped my scalp. After two good shampoos (I tend to shampoo my hair three times; I'll explain this process later) and allowing the product to sit on my scalp between these two shampoos (rinse and repeat) I could feel my scalp "relax".

This shampoo is definitely a product I would recommend you try. It's currently on sale for less than $9. Yes, you read that correctly, less than $9. You can make your purchase today by visiting the link here

If you can't decide which product to try amongst the many of product offerings available, take advantage of their Free Product opportunity!

Do you currently have a Tea Tree Oil Shampoo that you love? If yes, what do you love the most about it? Sound off in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

 

Peace and Blessings, 

-xoxo Kelly Nicole 

Girls Night In

I know it has been forever since you’ve heard from me, but it’s for good reason. I’ve been preparing new content and fresh ideas for my new space here on the web, Blushed and Co. Miss Nic’s Elegant Edge has undergone some serious growth and revamping. The vision of the blog is still the same. All things beauty related with a heavy splash of myself intertwined throughout the content. 

When I’m not blogging, I’m working my passion as a freelance makeup artist. If you click around the site a bit, you will see exactly what I’ve been doing as of late. To kick off the new site and the merge of both of my passions into more than just a business but a brand, I’m hosting my first Instagram Live event “Girls Night In”

I will be doing a live makeup demo and I’m inviting all of you to grab your girlfriends and join me for a fun night of Q&A and girl chat! Make sure you come ready with all of your makeup questions. Feel free to drop a question below and I will make sure to cover it during the live event! 

Hope to see you there! 

 

 

-xo Kelly Nicole

The Best Met Gala 2017 Makeup Moments

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Traditionally held on the first Monday in May, this year’s Met Gala happened on the 1st of May and gathered many celebrities eager to show off their extravagant style. Given the fact that this year’s theme was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, in honour of 74-year-old Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, it’s no wonder why we’ve seen so many extraordinary beauty looks. Makeup played a major part in every outfit, so here are some of the best Met Gala 2017 makeup moments.

All about the cat eye

Gigi Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailee Steinfeld, and many other girls at the Met Gala ceremony had one thing in common – they all rocked cat eye flick but each one of them still looked unique. It’s because cat eye is such a classic yet versatile makeup technique and, as such, can be used to complement many different styles.

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Hailee Steinfeld made quite a dramatic look while Ratajkowski and Sasha Lane took the classical look to a whole new level by using bright colours to define the eyelid. The result? Magnificent look that perfectly adds up to the Rei Kawakubo theme.

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Hair as an accessory

Technically, a hairstyle is not part of a makeup look but this year’s Met Gala changed the rules a bit. Namely, many celebrities took a chance to use their hair as an accessory and presented some of the most interesting hairstyles so far. From Zendaya’s and Solange’s huge hair to Cara Delevingne’s and Rita Ora’s futuristic hair that mimicked a snug cap and took three days to make, it’s clear that, this year, celebrities really outdid themselves.

 

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Celine Dion, on the other hand, rocked her debut on Met Gala and complemented her edgy black Versace dress with sculpted black headpiece along with dramatic, dark eye makeup. The whole look resulted in the stunning appearance of the Canadian diva and confirmed that Met Gala is the place where some of the boldest trends are born.

Showing off your true colours

Rei Kawakubo’s work is all about edgy cuts and bright colours, so it’s no wonder why this year’s Met Gala was such a colourful event. Besides gowns, various hues could be seen on the faces of celebrities, especially when it comes to eyeshadow. Lupita Nyong'o and Selena Gomez are good examples, but Rihanna’s colour block makeup look was so cool it drew attention away from her fascinating statement dress. You can tell she fully embraced the Comme des Garçons theme and that’s why her matte fuchsia eyeshadow all over the lids and cheekbones is considered to be one of the most successful Met Gala makeup moments.

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To recreate this look you need some bravery and high-quality makeup – just be bountiful with the eyeshadow and finish off the look with a matte lipstick in the same shade. This monochrome look is very powerful and can be interpreted in many ways.

Orange is the new red

When it comes to lipsticks, classical red will never go out of style but it might have to scoop over a bit and make some room for the new trend – orange lipsticks that dominated the Met Gala ceremony. Kendall Jenner’s naked dress might have drawn all of the attention but her bright orange lipstick was certainly worth looking at. The same goes for Zendaya’s fabulous look – her huge parrot print gown and bushy hair were complemented marvellously with the peachy shade of lipstick and natural-looking eyebrows. The best thing about this orange lipstick trend is that you don’t have to spend a lifetime looking for the right shade – every shade seems to look good on any skin tone, so go ahead – make your pout orange.

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Known also as “the East Coast Oscars” and “Fashion Prom”, Met Gala ceremony is so much more than that. It’s like a high-end costume party – a place for celebrities to play with the given theme and give their own interpretations. For the rest of us, Met Gala is an inspirational event where the trends are born and, this year, we had the chance to see some of the most extravagant yet quite wearable ones, so it’s clear we’re going to have an interesting summer when it comes to makeup and fashion.

 

Author BIO:

 

Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends, makeup and natural beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in fashion and beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: LA Fashion, Viva Glam Magazine, Just Haves, How to Simplify and Carousel.

 

Find her on: Twitter  Google +

Graced to Slay

Today marks 30 years of life, overall 30 years of Grace. I know when you initially read the title of this blog post what you were supposed to see was a picture of me rocking my first signature tee, don't worry they are in production as you're reading this and will be available soon. However, I’m sure you assumed this blog post was just another phrase coined by a makeup artist. Although this may be true to a degree, makeup was not the original thought behind this simple phrase “Graced to Slay”. When these three words came to me I knew it described everything that I have dealt with and have been dealing with on a personal level over the last decade of my life. 

I have been Graced to Slay. Kelly, what do you mean, “You’ve been Graced to Slay” I’ve been graced to take on any and all challenges and still come out on top of them all. The “challenges/changes of life" will be something that you have to deal with, great or small, but you have to know that you have what it takes within you to come out on top of those challenges and it appear as if you’ve never had to deal with anything. That is a huge part of God’s grace. You can go through a situation where you should be seriously affected and/or damaged and you come out on the other side as though nothing ever took place.

I have found myself over the past decade dealing with things I would have never imagined myself having to deal with as an individual. Growing up, I didn’t have a cushy lifestyle, but I had everything I needed and at times a little more. It was when I left home after high school and moved out of student housing on my own that life began to really happen. The past decade revealed a lot of things to me. I quickly learned who was a friend and a foe, who could be trusted and who couldn’t, how to maintain life as an adult, how to deal with sudden health changes, how to get over a broken heart (a few times too many), and most of all how to overcome the challenges I faced on a daily basis. Talk about a reality check on a surmountable amount of levels. At some point in life, we will have to endure such things and more.  There is good news, we can overcome those same things, as I always like to say with grace and a smile.

I once had a friend tell me how she was amazed that I didn’t look like what I was dealing with at the moment and everything I had been through up to that point. She made a point to say that you’re always smiling, laughing, and making sure your appearance is A1. It wasn’t that I was working overtime to mask my challenges, but I was working overtime to make sure my challenges didn’t get the best of me to take me out completely.

I remember when I rented my first apartment, I had to sleep on an air mattress because I couldn’t afford a bed. The only furniture I had in my huge one-bedroom apartment was a table with three chairs, a desk, a midsized sofa, all given to me from an office space that went out of business. It was also during this same season I worked three jobs and I only had enough money to pay rent, utilities, and occasionally groceries. I opened my fridge one day and all I had was a waffle from the Waffle House, a can of soda, and a stick of butter. I was seriously adulting while going to school full-time. As my former boss would so eloquently say, “The Struggle was Real” yet I continued to take one day at a time.

I’ve worked a few jobs, quit a few jobs…I’ve even had to deal with a job where I was affected by cutbacks and my paycheck was a big fat question mark at times. What did I continue to do during this time, especially during the cutbacks, continue to show up to work and do my job, sounds crazy to some… but I showed up to work anyway. During this time there were periods of time when I didn’t know when and if I could/would be able to make ends meet.  My car has stalled on the interstate in the midst of heavy traffic, I’ve had to catch the bus late at night when it’s scary and walk a mile alone just get home. All of these were challenges that I have had to deal with and find my way through. Someone one may be reading this and they may be thinking these are not even worth discussing! This is what’s makes us different yet the same, our challenges may be different, but it is evident that life’s challenges are real and we both have what it takes to get through our challenges great or small. Honestly, I'm scraping over the top of a lot of different things to paint a picture. However, what is your story/testimony? Have you shared it?

This is where “Graced to Slay” comes from, the ability for one to overcome what they are going through no matter how great or small. It’s simple encouragement to remind yourself that you can get through whatever you are currently dealing with. Your challenges don’t come to take you out, they come to make you stronger.  It doesn’t matter what you’re facing today, tomorrow, next week, next month, a year from now. You have what it takes to overcome those challenges!  

One thing that has helped me a lot within the past few years has been exercising the power of confession or for somewhat may be considered daily affirmation. Since today is my birthday, I wanted to do something a bit different and instead of being so focused on receiving gifts, I wanted to give something away. I created a free downloadable for you guys. It’s 30 daily affirmations that you can say aloud daily to help push you along and through anything that you may be dealing with. I encourage you to take the time look at your life and create your own affirmations that fit your current life’s situation. There is power in behind the words that you speak! I must admit if I didn’t start to change my outlook on life, my mind, and my language I probably would still be somewhere lying on my air mattress wondering if this what life has to offer me? I don’t have it all figured out, but I do that I am not where I was and for that I am grateful. If you don’t remember anything else, remember that every day is a new day and with each day comes new grace to take on the challenges you face! You, my friend, have been graced to slay!

 

Peace and Blessings

-XO Kelly Nicole

Download your 30 Daily Affirmations 

The Journey towards Self-Love and Self-Discovery

The journey to self-love is a journey that is not easy to embark upon, but it’s one that is well worth it.  As a woman, I’ve experienced low self-esteem therefore, my confidence has not always been at its highest. I realize now that it’s a part of the human experience to deal with such things, but I have also realized that we can gain control of these experiences and determine what we allow to affect us.  I’m one of the many people who may still watch episodes of Catfish on MTV. It bothers me to watch/hear the reasons behind the motivation to Catfish people online. Most of what I’m hearing is always centered around one simple fact, they don’t like themselves and it’s easier to pretend to be someone whom they are not online. It’s a common thing that happens today and I’ve discovered profiles online that have used my pictures, although I’m semi flattered, I’m also extremely confused and utterly weirded out. Why is that we struggle with being the individual that God created us to be? The beauty of it all is that we are not supposed to look the same, we are not supposed to be the same, and we are not supposed to offer the world the same thing. We were created differently and uniquely because our purpose in life is both different and unique.

The basis of self-love is discovering who you truly are as an individual and loving those things that make who you are as an individual. You can’t fall in love with a person you don’t know. We live in a society that makes a point to emphasize the importance of being loved by someone else, and making that the priority in life while failing to emphasize the importance of loving yourself first. In order for someone else to love you, you have to first love yourself.

 

Since I've been single and I've had lots of time to myself.  I've been able to really get to know Kelly as an individual, love everything about Kelly, and overall become this individual who loves herself and knows herself. Here are a few things that I've done during my time being single to help me love and discover who I am as an individual.

1.   Take yourself out and treat yourself to something you know you deserve/like. Go purchase that item you've been putting on hold for whatever the reason and purchase it. You love it and You know you'd enjoy it! Go treat yourself! Love yourself to buy something you know you'd enjoy and love because you deserve it. 

2.   Do something you would normally do with a group, alone. For example, go to the movies alone, eat lunch at a cafe alone, go to a restaurant alone and have dinner. (At first this may be awkward, but this is something you have to grow into).

3.   Enjoy a night on the town doing things you love (if your friends aren't interested in going, go alone). Go visit that Museum, go to the Open Mic Night, go to the exclusive event for one night!

4.   Volunteer to meet/assist new people. There are many organizations that you can volunteer and render your services. It's a great way to build your resume, make connections, learn a new skill, and meet new people!

5.   Join a small group and make new friends, you will discover new interests and actually have some fun. 

Learning to love yourself is the first step towards building your confidence. Just like most people I have struggled with low-self esteem and confidence issues. Today, I'm most certain many people wouldn't believe such a thing, but it's true. If you can learn to love yourself first just the way God made you, you can ultimately boost your confidence. Make sure you check back later for my post about how you can boost your confidence before 9AM

1 Simple Way to Simplify Your Morning Routine

Hey Beauties and Beaus, 

This post will be simple, sweet, and straight to the point. If you're anything like me in the morning, you're probably scrambling to get things together to be on time. Okay, so maybe not, maybe you're one of those individuals who are on time to everything. Unfortunately, I'm not like that. I've learned to be on time and I'm still growing to that place. Considering all things, I figured out a way to help me get cute and out the door on time. 

The one simple rule to simplify your morning beauty routine is simple...Organize the night before. That's it! easy right?! Get everything ready the night before so when you wake up, you don't have to be in a hurry to finish all of the essential meticulous steps needed to start your day. Most days I tend to wear the same makeup look. The only thing that may change is the lipstick color, what pair of eyelashes I may wear, or what foundation I decide I want to use. Hopefully, I'm not indecisive when I wake up because this usually goes over rather smoothly. I tend to determine what I'm wearing the night before and contemplate my makeup look. I make sure to lay out all of the tools and/or products necessary to help me get ready on time. There is nothing worse than trying to find brushes and products when you're in a hurry. It seems as if everything is missing. 

Make your routine simple and your time valuable by simply organizing the night before. 

 

 

How to Combat Dry Skin During the Winter with Actually Organic Argan Oil

Hey Beauties and Beaus, 

According to our furry friend Phil, there are six more weeks of winter amongst us. I'm not altogether sure how accurate he may be because my weather app predicts 73-degree weather after a cold rain storm tomorrow. Either way, the air has been cold, therefore drying and we know how that can be on one's skin. I have personally experienced the aftermath of the weather change and how it can cause your skin to dry out and look and feel like the Sahara desert. It's a bit annoying. 

Amazingly my new friends from Actually Organic sent me a bottle of 100% all natural Argan Oil that can be used on my skin, hair, and nails. I decided to use it on the skin as a moisturizer and it has changed the outlook and feel of my skin drastically. I squirt a few pumps into my hand and apply it to my face after I cleanse and tone. I've also applied the oil to my legs after a fresh shower and shave. It instantly improved the feel and texture of my skin and gave me a natural glow. My skin instantly felt soft and smoothe to the touch.

What I loved the most about this oil, it's not heavy. When I think of Oil I immediately think of something heavy that will weigh me down or make my skin feel too greasy. I could tell this was unlike any other type of oil I was familiar with because I could apply it to my skin and go to bed and wake up with my sheets not being oily.

Here are some quick facts about the Naturally Organic Argan Oil You MUST BUY!

There's no rancid smell, no other oils mixed in, no fragrances to cover up poor quality. You don't have to worry about this being a synthetic Argan Oil. It contains no preservatives and no Chemicals. The oil has not been heated, but cold-pressed. It's simply pure Argan Oil.

 After using this oil you can expect younger, firmer looking skin - This oil contains a natural source of essential fatty acids and vitamins A and E, this particular argan oil has anti-aging properties and can be applied as a daily moisturizer for healthier looking skin.

 Lastly, it can be used as body, hair & face treatment.  It restores elasticity, softens wrinkles and fine lines, heals dry scalp, and restores nutrient content to skin cells treating an array of skin conditions. Argan oil can nourish and moisturize, eliminating scaly, flaky skin, and has been found to help with skin conditions.

Find our more about Actually Organic's Argan Oil and More by visiting the links below:

ActuallyOrganic.com

 Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/actuallyorganic

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ActuallyOrganicMorocco

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/ActuallyOrgani3

Inspirational Ideas for Your Living Room Decor

As the heart of your home, the living room is the place where you can share happy moments with your family and friends, but it’s also your personal sanctuary where you can retreat to when in need of peace and quiet.  Since this is the area where you spend most of your time while at home, it should be comfortable, stylish, and, most importantly, to your taste.

Stylish Colors

You can do wonders just with colors and all it takes is a little creativity and imagination. If you want to create an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication in your living room, you should go with the one hue that has never gone out of style – white. Whether you use it just for the backdrop, or for bigger furniture pieces, white always provides you with a variety of possibilities to experiment with other colors. You can always complement the elegant, white décor with bolder hues. For example, you can give your living room your personal touch and go with a red accent wall for an amazing effect. If you’ve been following the recent trends, you’re probably aware of the popularity that Pantone’s Greenery enjoys in the world of interior design. As a symbol of energy and new beginnings, this green-yellowish hue is perfect if you want to bring a sense of novelty into your living room, while keeping up with the trends. Another popular color palette consists of neutral, often muted tones that can be combined with darker elements or stylish, metallic accents. Regardless of the colors you pick for your living room, just remember to be consistent in order to create an elegant, cohesive look.

Area Rugs as Décor Statements

Not only will area rugs make a powerful décor statement, but they are also a great way to connect pieces of different designs and create smooth and natural transitions from one style to another. It also provides you with the opportunity to experiment with different patterns and break the monotony of a monochromatic design, giving your living room a modern look. By layering several rugs of different materials, you can give your space depth and richness, while create a unique, aesthetic appeal.

Furniture for the Visual Appeal

Depending on your taste and personal preferences when it comes to interior design, the furniture you choose for your living room should fit into the overall style of the space. If you’re fond of both the eastern and western culture, you should consider Japandi – a new trend in interior design that represents a mixture of the popular Scandinavian style and the minimalist Japanese design. The Japandi furniture is simple, yet elegant, with handcrafted low pieces of muted hues and clean, simple lines, giving your living room a sense of effortless beauty. If you decide to go with the chic Bohemian style, you should include bolder vintage pieces covered with natural materials with oriental patterns. When it comes to the modern style, you can create a note of sophistication and glamour by combining modern and antique pieces in muted tones. The main principle you should follow if you want a high-end space is symmetry – keep this rule in mind when furnishing your living room.

The Play of Patterns

Don’t be afraid to introduce patterns into your living room – they will create a stylish and livelier ambiance. If you’ve opted for more neutral tones, you can use patterns for accent details, such as cushions, curtains or lamps, to break the monotony. Whether you choose floral designs, polka dots, geometric shapes or animal print, try to stay moderate in order to achieve the best effects. In addition, you can combine different patterns as long as you link them with the same color and opt for the smaller scale ones.

The Power of Lighting

If used properly, lighting can completely transform a space. Not only will they create a specific mood in your living room, but lights can also be a powerful décor statement. By opting for a Industralight decorative lighting fixture, you can create a unique and rich atmosphere of coziness. You can opt for a glamorous metallic chandelier that will draw your guests’ attention upwards. If you have a reading nook, place an elegant floor lamp with a task light in the middle to have both functionality and style.

Your living area should be the reflection of your own personality, so always make room for your favorite pieces. With some of these décor ideas, you can restyle your room in a personal, yet elegant way.

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The Power of Lighting

If used properly, lighting can completely transform a space. Not only will they create a specific mood in your living room, but lights can also be a powerful décor statement. By opting for a Industralight decorative lighting fixture, you can create a unique and rich atmosphere of coziness. You can opt for a glamorous metallic chandelier that will draw your guests’ attention upwards. If you have a reading nook, place an elegant floor lamp with a task light in the middle to have both functionality and style.

Your living area should be the reflection of your own personality, so always make room for your favorite pieces. With some of these décor ideas, you can restyle your room in a personal, yet elegant way.

My 2017 Beauty Resolutions

Happy New Year Beauties and Beaus! 

We have made into another year! I appreciate you rocking with me thus far and sticking close by my side. This year will be a great year and I will venture into some different topics and hopefully, I will experience some new things that I will be able to share with you. I hope the New Year has been great to you so far. So let's get into my 2017 Beauty Resolutions/Goals.

I must add that I don't really believe in establishing New Year's Resolutions. This list of things are goals that I desire to accomplish this year 2017 in the area of beauty. Each of these things that I'm about to share are ways to help improve taking care of myself from the inside out. There will be tons of other things that I will commit to doing this year, but I wanted to share these few things with you. 

 1. Incorporate Dry Brushing into my bath time. What is Dry Brushing?  Dry Brushing to keep it simple is exfoliation. It helps to remove dead skin cells, improve the appearance of cellulite, improves blood circulation, helps to shed excess water weight, cleans pores and helps with lymphatic support. As a bonus, you walk away with smooth skin.  Can you believe I purchased my brush last year and only used it once? Shame! My focus is to dry brush every night before showering. Don't worry, I will post more about Dry Brushing at a later time and give you my results. 

 2. Double My Water Intake. Currently, I drink lots of water. I've never been the type of person to not like water. I actually love water, but because one of my goals is to stay on my fitness journey and loose more weight, I desire to double my water intake. Drinking water, as we all know, is great for the skin, helps to encourage weight loss, and just simply overall healthy. The end result for this year would be to drink a gallon of water per day. 

3. Never Skip out on using my Pumice Stone. I read Woman Habits by Shanel Cooper-Sykes (MUST READ) a few years ago, I recall her mentioning the importance of exfoliating your feet daily in the shower. The end result is smooth crust-less feet! I mean who wants to go to bed with crusty feet? Let's be honest, lotion and baby oil can only do so much. Exfoliation of your feet each night helps to improve the moisture you apply after you shower. I was faithful with using my pumice stone, it's just some nights I tend to forget. So the focus is never skipping out on using my pumice stone. I must have radiant soft feet this summer!

 4. Get more sleep! I must admit I don't get much sleep. The body needs approximately 8 hrs of sleep each night. I tend to get anywhere from 5-6 hrs each night. I know, it's bad. I'm a busy bee and I'm always focused on doing something during the wee hours of the morning. My goal is to make sure I go to bed at midnight each night to ensure I have at least 8 hrs of sleep. I need all of the beauty rest I can get! I'm getting older and I see now where the 5-6 hrs of sleep each night is only working against me concerning my overall health. 

 5. Use Under Eye Gel Daily. Well, I'm sure you already know why this made the list. The lack of sleep! Using an under eye gel helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also helps to de-puff that hideous lack of sleep bags. My goal is to find a really good one. I've tried a few, but I have yet to find one that screams "Kelly I belong to you for life"! My goal is to improve my under eye area to help improve the appearance of my under eye highlight I spend countless amounts of time on each morning. Giggles. 

I wish you tons of love, happiness, and success this year 2017! May you reach for the stars and accomplish all that you desire to accomplish! What are your beauty resolutions/goals for 2017? Have a great under eye gel/serum you can recommend to help me out? Leave comments below!

 Until next time Peace and Blessings! -XO Kelly Nicole.

Holiday Glam: Makeup Before and After

This video was filmed two years ago (insert side eye emoji). I found the footage still hanging tough on my computer. I decided to upload it and share it with you guys. My sister is the muse and model. We had a great conversation and plenty of laughs. It was just a little too much to share with everyone, so I added some music and sped up the hour long plus video.  I will be back on my channel soon with new videos! I hope you enjoy this one. As an artist, trying to make my way in the industry, it's great to see how far I've come just from two years ago. 

www.kellynicolemua.com

BlackHairSpray.com "It's A Wig" Swiss Lace Boston Lace Front Wig

My friends at Black Hair Spray (dot) com sent me this gorgeous fall ready hair unit and I am absolutely in love! It's rare that you find a unit like this one. Check out the video below and some of my selfie game that has been "fleeky" since I've started wearing this unit. I didn't mention it in the video, but there was absolutely no shedding. 

 

Unusual Vegetables, but Healthy

Around the greengrocer's shops from time to time often appear various types of unusual vegetables. Most People don't know what they are and so tend to pass them by for the better known ones.

Some information on these unusual vegetables may be helpful in persuading the housewife to purchase them for occasional variety.

Leeks, known as the aristocrat of the onion family, perhaps because they do not taint the breath, are available most of the year except in the hot weather. Boiled or braised, cut up raw in salads or used in a leek and potato soup they have a delicate flavor which later earned them the title of "Poor man's asparagus."

Capsicums or peppers (the big bell variety) are available here all the year round. They are richer in Vitamin C than any other vegetable, having in the cooked state seven times the amount of this vitamin contained in an orange, while uncooked, nine times the amount.

They are prepared by removing the stalks and central core to which the seeds are attached. They can then be sliced in decorative rings for salads or garnishes, and their bright color and crisp texture add interest and variety.

They are delicious stuffed with creamed fish, or leftover minced cooked meat moistened with gravy or tomato puree, or any other savory mixture. They can then be topped with bread crumbs, dotted with butter and baked in a moderate oven for half an hour or until the breadcrumbs are browned.

The small cucumber-shaped marrows which are seen in the shops from about spring to the beginning of winter are zucchinis. They are delicious thinly sliced with the skin left on and cooked till tender in a covered saucepan with a little oil, and a sliced onion and tomato.

Egg plants are the coconut shaped vegetables with the black shiny, skin. They are available from spring till the beginning of winter and are tasty cut up and fried in oil either, plain or with a batter.

Another unusual vegetable is the curly leafed endive. This is seen around the shops most of the year except during the very hot or very cold weather, it is sold in bunches and has a leaf like a very frilled lettuce. It is a good substitute for lettuce in a salad and it can also be cooked.

Kohlrabi is a turnip-shaped vegetable, purple in color and tastes rather like a swede. It is available most of the year except in the hot weather.

The vegetable or fruit which makes a delicious entree is the avocado. It has a high fat content so is better served with a rather vinegary French dressing. Although rather expensive it is very tasty for special occasions. It can be served either well-seasoned on bread with sea foods, especially prawns and crab, or dipped in lemon juice or white vinegar and seasoned and served with salads.

If these vegetables are too unusual in their flavor alone some of them can be combined.

Chop up a leek, a pepper a zucchini, and an eggplant with an onion and a few mushrooms if desired, season well, and fry gently in oil. This can be served as an entree or with an egg dish or a grill and makes a delicious different and quite nutritious savory.

Summer Scents with Body Fantasies Try On & Review

My new friends at Body Fantasies sent me some amazing products from their body spray collection recently, and I am IN LOVE!! I had the pleasure of interacting/meeting with Body Fantasies at the Family Dollar Fabulous Blogger Event and I had a great experience. I have owned tons of different body sprays and many different scented candles, from my experience with Body Fantasies it takes a lot to create the perfect scent. You would be surprised to know what goes into making a scent become the scents we smell and love.  Check out the video below and Go grab Coconut Fantasy NOW!!!

Find our more about Body Fantasies Here: http://bodyfantasies.pdcbrandsusa.com/
Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BodyFantasies
Follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bodyfantasies/
Follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyfantasies

How to Maintain Youthful Skin

Have you ever wondered why some people show aging of the skin so much earlier than others? There are some factors beyond our control, such as heredity, but much can be done to maintain youthful skin.

You should become aware of factors involved in bringing about premature aging of the skin so you can take steps to delay this process. For example, aching feet make wrinkles.

Vitamins have a definite effect on your skin and complexion. B2 and B6 vitamins are beneficial to your nervous system, and thus are fundamental for well-being, for your nervous system affects every part of your body.

If you are lacking in the B vitamins, your breathing can be hampered, stress can be put on your heart, and your circulatory system can be affected. You may have poor elimination due to nerves and impaired efficiency.

All these things trigger changes in your skin. One of the first signs of irregularity is blemishes. Poor circulation gives you a dry skin.

Unfortunately, a deficiency of vitamins will often not show up for years. Just because you have no problem today, do not take this precious state for granted. It is a condition far easier to prevent than to cure.

To prevent premature wrinkles, your daily diet must contain sufficient amounts of tissue, and muscle-building proteins. Your complexion, as well as other parts of your body, can be kept youthful mostly by the protein foods which supply all the essential amino acids.

If you are getting inadequate supplies of protein, tissues begin to sag, causing wrinkles.

Complexion proteins are found in meats, cheese, milk, eggs, and legumes. Your diet must also be rich in vitamin C. Between the protein cells of the skin is a cementing substance, collagen, which needs a sufficient supply of vitamin C. Oranges, grapefruit, and tomatoes are all rich in vitamin C.

Vitamins help keep your skin lovely from the inside; external aids are the extra touch that help complete the job.

Your skin is like a valuable plant that must be watched over tenderly, constantly, and with enough knowhow to keep it in flourishing condition. This means that every day, without fail, you must take time to give it some care.

Of course, the basic beauty treatment for everyone is easy, bargain-priced, and vital. It is cleanliness. Oily skin welcomes the medicated approach and clean-ups two or three times a day.

Dry skin, particularly young dry skin, calls for gentler care than the oily kind in the form of lots of water, little soap, and moisture lotion under powder.

Thorough removal of makeup, surface dirt, and perspiration, come what may, is the way to help keep your skin blemish-free and conditioned.

At the moment, there's available a special liquid skin cleanser for daily complexion care; it takes the form of creamy emulsion and removes cosmetics and grime thoroughly in any kind of water and without scrubbing.

The better your complexion, the prettier your makeup will be. This is good news because the new natural no makeup look is the in trend of the moment.

In other words, the look to aim for right now in makeup is a light touch of "coverage," plus even color tone.

Color is glamor as well as news in this season's lip and eye shades.

Smooth pastel, deeper pinks, and coral shades with a shimmer finish are the lipstick pets right now. Very pale whitened and washout-pink lip shades are out.

Some older women will undoubtedly prefer the look of the pink verging on red lipsticks because of their sophisticated appeal. All are permissible and fashionable.

A pretty-girl mouth begins with the natural shape of the lips, but you can improve on nature by using a lipstick brush to draw a prettier shape.

Ideally, lips should be dry and free of cream before applying lipstick.

Now, the eyes. This season the trade is sponsoring the wide-eyed, innocent look. The trick here is to keep the eyes in focus without loading them with heavy liners, shadow, and circles of deep brown and black mascara.

Instead there are soft tones of lilac, blue, turquoise, and beige eyeshadow linked with slightly darker eyeliners from the same color groups.

6 Tips to Improve your Skin Texture by Detoxifying Your Body

A wise person once said that our body is like a temple, and it should be treated as such. When you eat a certain type of food, you have to think about the way it will affect your entire body, including the skin (which is indeed the largest organ of the human body). The skin absorbs nutrients from the food that you eat, but it can also become damaged, in the situation that too many toxins gather inside the body. The detoxification process can improve your health overall, but it can also allow you to improve your skin texture significantly. Let us find out more information on the subject.


#1 Watch out for protein sources
When you want to detoxify our body truly and improve the texture of your skin, you have to take into consideration the sources of proteins. When you consume a lot of meat and dairy products, the skin will suffer as well, with the risk of acne being considerably higher. If you want for your skin to look better, you need to concentrate on eating proteins from vegetable sources as well.


#2 Say no to sugar
Cutting back on sugar is one of the best ways to detoxify your body and restore its normal functioning. The more refined sugar you consume, the more extensive the skin damage is going to be. Sugar has been confirmed to promote the aging process, leading to the appearance of facial wrinkles and damaging the structural matrix of the skin. If you want your skin to stay firm and youthful, you have to satisfy your sweet tooth through other products. An excellent alternative is a stevia, which is an herbal sweetener with positive effects on your health.


#3 Alkaline diet
It is said that our health begins to suffer, the moment we include more and more acidic foods in our diets. If you want to eliminate the harmful toxins accumulated inside the body and clear the skin at the same time, you need to consume more alkaline foods. Among these foods, these are the most recommended choices: parsley, apples, lemons, pears, almonds and kale. Keep in mind that an acidic diet can also affect the health of your bones, teeth and hair, so make sure to concentrate on including more alkaline foods in your daily menu.


#4 Antioxidant-rich foods
One of the main reasons why our health declines are related to the damage done by free radicals (oxidative stress). In time, this damage can lead to the appearance of chronic disease, affecting the health of the skin at the same time (premature aging). All of these problems can be easily solved by including more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, especially those that have a low glycemic index (so as not to affect the blood sugar levels). These can help you improve the texture of the skin and also to eliminate signs of tiredness, such as the dark circles under the eyes. Recommended choices include fresh fruits, colorful vegetables and green tea (great antioxidant value). 


#5 Grapefruit Cleanse
Even though there are many fruits out there that promise to help you detoxify your body, not all of them are as efficient as grapefruit. To eliminate the toxins accumulated inside the body, you will have to eat the only grapefruit for a couple of days. This might prove out to be difficult at first, but, as you will get accustomed to the detox process, you will see that it actually has a lot of benefits to offer. A grapefruit cleanse perfect for the removal of toxins, having a positive effect whereas the aspect of the skin is concerned. 


#6 Green juices
Vegetable juices are perfect for a detox session, as they are filled with healthy nutrients and vitamins. They can help you eliminate toxins stored in various parts of the body, especially at the level of the gastrointestinal tract. Among the recommended veggies for such juices, there are spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, and avocado. You can mix and match them as you want, enjoying their delicious taste and high content in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Moreover, these are going to offer a healthy glow to your skin, helping you look more fantastic than ever.


In conclusion, once you manage to detoxify your body, you will also improve the aspect of your skin. Always remember that a healthy diet is the best method of keeping your entire body in a good state of health, not only whereas your skin is concerned. From time to time, it is recommended to perform a detox cleanse, either by eating fruits that have such properties or by going on the juice cleanse. Always seek out to use fruits and veggies that are in season, as these have an amazing taste and they are clearly fresh. 

The Beauty of Not Giving Up

 

This is not a typical beauty blogger post. I’m aware that as a beauty blogger, the focus is typically highlighting the importance of taking extra particular care of your outer being. However, as I have matured, I have realized the necessity of taking care of the inner man is equally important as taking care of the outer man. Who really cares if you’re the prettiest or flyest individual in the room if your personality and character are not pretty or fly? I wanted to make an effort to add more content to my blog which focuses on more than just the typical makeup and hair post. I wanted to make sure that I address the other side of beauty. Beauty can be found in everything around us, we just have to open ourselves up to see the beauty in things that most would otherwise overlook.

A little close to a year ago, I was sitting at my computer contemplating deleting my blog and youtube channel off of the internet. I had made up in my mind that I had literally outgrown it and overall it just wasn’t yielding the results that I thought it would. I was seriously sitting at the computer staring at my blog for about an hour trying to decide if I should push the delete button. I had literally located the delete blog page and I was weighing all of my options in my head.  In the moment, I had no idea that I was being contacted by a well-known popular family brand that I’ve been familiar with since I was a child. Thanks to Google and their email interfacing changing, I wasn’t receiving any of their emails.  Right before I was about to select the delete option, I head a small voice say “Don’t delete your blog”…I know it sounds a bit strange, and because I know I haven’t lost my mind, I know it was God. I was simply thinking, okay so I don’t delete the blog, that must mean I have work to do. To make a long story short, I found myself finally making contact with the brand which had been reaching out to me for months. I had no idea they were doing such a thing, as I was trying to make the decision to press delete, they were contacting me to work with them because of my blog and my youtube channel.

I said all of this to say, you may be at a point in your life where you feel that you are ready to give up and just say forget it. The thing about giving up is that when you give up, you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to see the full outcome of what could be taking place in your life. The very thing that you are ready to quit on could be the very thing that puts you in front of thousands of people and could even increase your life. The true beauty of not giving up is the process of growth which takes place as a result of hard work and dedication. You can actually look back and see that the process didn’t completely take you out, but it allowed you to grow and overcome things you didn’t think you would overcome. If I deleted my blog and youtube channel, I would have lost my following, my hard work, and my content. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, starting over is NOT easy and it requires more work from you compared to choosing not to give up. However, there will be instances where you gain more by letting something go, and I would say to you to be aware of the difference. If you have truly put in hard work and really been dedicated towards something, you owe it to yourself, the people who support you, and the people who don’t support you to keep going until you reach the finish line.

Here I am in this month’s issue (April/May) of Ebony Magazine as a featured blogger. Thousands of people have seen my face. If I had deleted my blog, I would literally flip though this issue and see everyone else but myself. Don’t give up beauty…keep going. Enjoy the process of growth as painful as it might be, but just remember that a butterfly didn’t gain it’s wings and beauty overnight. It had to go through a process.

[VIDEO]: Classic Bridal Makeup Tutorial ft. Skindinavia (Plus Discount)

It’s Wedding Season, I know it can be stressful planning your big day. I wanted to take the stress out of your big day by creating this easy natural glam bridal makeup tutorial. It’s simple and most importantly affordable. I partnered with Skindinavia to bring you this look. 

Check out the links below for a discount and a Bridal Makeup Guide created with love by me. Best Wishes!

Get 15% off, FREE shipping and two FREE pocket-sized sprays by following this link (code is SET15): http://bit.ly/1TR3mDg

Get A Copy of Blushed Digital Magazine The Bridal Edition  http://bit.ly/1HJy1r2

P R O D U C T S    U S E D

EYE BROWS:

NYX Eyebrow Pencil Dark Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade Dark Brown

MAC Studio Finish: NW 40

FACE:

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray (Oil Control)

Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer

NYX Gotcha Covered Waterproof Concealer

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Cocoa

Maybellline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation 355 Coconut

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish: Dark

EYES:

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Primer

NYX Eyeshadow Base in Natural

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: YDK (Mobile Lid) Tease (Crease/Transition Color) Busted (Outer ‘V’)

Urban Decay Naked Palette: Naked (Brow Bone Highlight)

Elf Cosmetics Gel Liner (Winged Liner)

Milani Supreme Kohl Liner (Lash line)

MASCARA:

Top/Bottom Lashes: L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black (Waterproof)

LASHES: Ardell Natural Whispie Lashes

HIGHLIGHT/CONTOUR:

LA Girl Pro Conceal Toffee

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (Med/Dark)

Sacha Cosmetics Butter Cup Setting Powder

Contour: Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette (Medium to Dark) & Sleek Cosmetics Contour Palette Medium

Top of Cheeks Highlight (Strobing): Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette & Sleek Cosmetics Contour Palette Highlight

BLUSH

Milani Romantic Rose Powder Blush

SETTING SPRAY

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray (Bridal)

LIPS: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (Truffle Tease) Benefit Ultra Shines Lip gloss (Life on the ‘A’ List)

FTC disclaimer SKINDINAVIA sponsored their feature in this video

9 Effortless Ways to Make Your Pores look Smaller

Pores are important for your skin health because they provide oil to keep it hydrated and soft. But, just because they are essential for healthy skin doesn’t mean we have to put up with enlarged pores. How many times did you stand in front of a mirror and thought about how big your pores were? Pores are more prominent when they are dilated, infected or clogged. This happens due to two reasons: genetics and age. Some people have oily skin which is prone to clog and enlarged pores, and this occurrence can also develop due to natural aging process. Although it’s impossible to shrink your pores naturally, there are many ways you can minimize their appearance. This article presents nine genius ways you can do so.

 1. Wash your face properly

 We’ve all heard about this rule: wash your face with hot water to open up the pores and rinse with cold water to close them. According to experts, it’s just a myth. In fact, this rule doesn’t have scientific backing. What’s even worse is that switching from hot to cold temperatures while washing your face can cause excess dryness, irritations, and rosacea flare-ups. Instead, you should wash and rinse with lukewarm water to keep your skin healthy.

 2. Use a charcoal face wash

 As it was mentioned above, excessive oiliness characteristic for oily skin type and large pores go hand in hand. This is why people with oily skin are prone to clogged pores and acne breakouts. There’s an easy way to get rid of the excess oil, and it involves charcoal. Activated charcoal is the beauty ingredient of the moment, and it’s added to cleansers, face masks, etc. To tackle excessive oiliness and thereby minimize your pores, you can opt for charcoal face wash. How does it work? When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and get washed away when you rinse.

 3. Tighten up the skin

 Losing collagen and elastin is the natural part of aging process. Both collagen and elastin are building blocks necessary for tight skin and pores. When the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers is impaired, your skin starts to sag thus causing facial wrinkles. Scientists believe that losing collagen and elastin is the reason why pores shift from around to droopy or teardrop shape. To address enlarged pores and signs of aging, you have to tighten up the skin with the help of right ingredients such as yeast extract that strengthens and firms pore walls thus decreasing their diameter and restoring circular appearance.

 4. Exfoliate wisely

 Exfoliation is the process of getting rid of dead skin cells and other impurities from your skin’s layers. It’s the most important aspect of a healthy skincare routine, and it’s also inevitable for healthy and minimized pores. With that being said, you should be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin. Over-exfoliating causes pore-engorging inflammation which is the opposite of what you’re aiming for. Additionally, swap gritty scrubs for gentler alternatives. Aim to exfoliate about twice a week or once if you have sensitive skin.

5. Use sunscreen

 Sunscreens are largely underestimated, but they’re powerful allies in a fight versus skin damage and signs of aging. Besides oily skin and aging process, the sun also contributes to enlarged pores. How? UV rays break down collagen production which is essential for tight pores. Applying sunscreen every day prevents structural damage of the skin.

 6. Invest in anti-aging retinol-based cream

 Another way to minimize your pores is to invest in a quality anti-aging cream. These products address multiple signs of aging, boost the synthesis of collagen and improve the elasticity of the skin, all of which are necessary for minimizing pores. Ideally, you should aim for anti-aging creams made of all-natural ingredients including retinol.

 7. Have a regular skincare regimen

 Keeping your face clean is mandatory for healthy skin without clogged and enlarged pores. Establish a regular skincare routine, in case you don’t have it, which will consist of cleanser, toner (optional), and moisturizer/night cream. Clean your face twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime, to eliminate dirt, makeup residue, excess oils, and other impurities from your skin regularly. This will prevent pores from clogging and enlarging.

 8. Wipe down after workout

 Wiping down after your workout prevents sweat from clogging your pores. That’s why you should keep towelettes moistened with gentle cleansers in your gym bag. Instead of rubbing your face with towelettes, you should pat gently. Why? It’s because rubbing could irritate your skin.

 9. Remove makeup before bedtime

 You should never sleep with your makeup on and always make sure you wash your face and apply night cream before you hit the sack. Leaving makeup on when you sleep clogs your pores thus stretching them out over time.

 Although pores are essential for healthy skin, enlarged pores can affect our confidence. It’s needless to mention that larger pores indicate makeup residue and other impurities are clogging thus causing acne breakouts, excessive sebum production, and dull complexion. This article showed you nine useful and effective ways to minimize your pores. Remember, healthy skincare routine is a step in the right direction. 

References

 

1. http://www.allure.com/beauty-products/2015/activated-charcoal-beauty-products#slide=1

 

2. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/how-to-shrink-pores

Spring Fashion & Beauty Tips #FDFabulous

Spring is officially here and I am beyond ecstatic about the warmer weather! On a recent trip to my local Family Dollar, I stumbled across the Family Dollar ‘Just Be’ collection and found the perfect compliments to any spring day. Of course, I couldn’t leave without passing through the makeup section and added a fresh new scent and some vibrant LA Colors to my collection.

To help you look fabulous from head-to-toe this spring, here are a couple ideas from my lucky finds at Family Dollar:


Outfit 1: With the warmer weather approaching, I found the perfect pastel-colored sleeveless top and paired it up with chevron inspired maxi skirt. I decided to tie the top up a bit to add some sass to my outfit and completed the look with a pair of ‘Just Be’ sandals.

 

Outfit 2: After catching my eye with this gorgeous print, I immediately fell in love with this ‘Just Be’ romper. The material was incredibly comfy, plus, it has pockets! Coupled with a gorgeous white blazer and some wedge sandals from my closet, this outfit definitely made me feel FAB-U-LOUS!

 

Outfit 3: The third piece I found was a beautifully striped dress that is both flirty and chic. Add a pair of these gorgeous ‘Just Be’ sandals and a denim jacket and it’s the perfect dress for that springtime BBQ or night on the town.

 

To give your look a little pop, don’t forget this Spring’s must haves, LA Colors Cover Up stick and 18 color eye shadow palette for a fresh face, Gel-like Polish for the perfect pedicure and one of Family Dollar’s Body Fantasies for a flirty springtime scent.

 

Be sure to visit your local Family Dollar and create your style, so you can stay fresh and fabulous all day.

Get your favorite brand name products at your neighborhood Family Dollar.