Beautiful Voices: Kaia Roman

Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Kaia Roman. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.

Kaia Roman is the author of the new book, The Joy Plan (Sourcebooks, July 2017). She teaches Mindfulness to elementary school students in Santa Cruz, California and is a blogger for mindbodygreen and other sites. She writes about how she went from joyless and anxious to grateful and optimistic so she can remember how she did it if she forgets. For everyday joy and mindfulness tips, sign up for Kaia’s newsletter at TheJoyPlan.com. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Who do you feel you are today?

I’m a human being doing my best to be a good person. I’m a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I’m incredibly blessed to teach Mindfulness to elementary school children and work as a freelance writer, doing work that inspires me every day. I’m also an author—my first book, The Joy Plan, came out on July 11. But mostly, I’m just a person trying figure out this crazy journey called life, one day at a time.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

I’ve faced hard times in my life for sure—I grew up poor, experienced terrible bullying and lots of instability as a child, went through a painful breakup before I met my husband, and I have an autoimmune disease and a collagen disorder—but my biggest challenge was figuring out how to manage the connection between my thoughts and my experience of reality.

When I discovered how to train myself away from being anxious and negative and instead to be positive, optimistic, and joyful, I was flabbergasted! I wrote it all down and turned it into a book that I could put on my nightstand and pick up whenever I forgot how I did it. However, my life isn’t perfect and it never will be. I know now that my experience of life isn’t about the problems or triumphs I’m experiencing on the outside, it’s about the interpretation of it all that I’m experiencing on the inside.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I faced a devastating setback not too long ago, my best friend Niko suggested an idea that sounded crazy to me at the time. Make joy your top priority for 30 days, she told me, and it will transform your life. And crazy as it seemed, she was right.

Today I have a career that I love. I got a publishing deal. I teach mindfulness to kids at an amazing school. I have a beautiful family. I have the ability to work and live in multiple countries. I’ve come a long way since I first decided to dedicate 30 days to joy as a last resort before I slipped completely into the abyss of depression and anxiety. It’s not all rosy though. Some days, the bed still bed pulls me like a magnet and the world feels like a scary place to me. But I know how to catch myself now, and how to turn my thoughts, words, and actions in the other direction. All thanks to that piece of crazy advice from Niko.

Where and when do you feel most at peace?

My favorite place on Earth is a magical redwood forest outside of Santa Cruz called The Land of the Medicine Buddha. The air is sweeter in that forest than anything I’ve ever smelled, and when I’m there, I feel peace permeate every cell in my body.

When I can’t visit in person, however, I go there in my mind. In Mindfulness class, I teach my elementary school students to imagine their own personal happy bubble they can go inside any time they like. I lead them through a visualization where they decorate their happy bubble however they want inside. I’ve heard some pretty creative descriptions: a bubble filled with cats (and jello), a bubble where it’s always Christmas, and a bubble that’s a library in the sky.

We all need happy places, real and imagined, that we can visit whenever we want.

What does beauty mean to you? And what are your words of wisdom to other beauties out there?

I love Anne Lammot’s quote “Joy is the best makeup.”

Just like exercise, eating vegetables, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water, joy is important for our mental and physical health. It’s a habit that we must prioritize and practice every day.

If money were no object, what would you be doing?

Not long ago, I would have had a very different answer to this question. But thankfully, today, I can honestly say that if money were no object there is not much that I would change. I mean, I would certainly be able to give a lot more money away—and I would love that—but my life, what I spend my time doing and who I spend it with—wouldn’t change much. It took me over 40 years to truly be able to say this, but I love my life!

What makes you feel beautiful?

I’ve had psoriasis since I was four years old. It varies in severity, but sometimes covers up to 90% of my body. When my husband looks at me and says, “I don’t see your spots, I just see you, and you are beautiful to me,” I melt from the warmth of his love. But when I can have enough compassion and self-love to look in the mirror and say the same thing to myself, that’s when I feel truly beautiful.

What do you do when you want to pamper yourself?

When I’m overwhelmed, anxious, confused, or frustrated, it all seems to melt away if I take a bath—at least for a little while. There’s something about hot water, especially infused with Annmarie essential oils—it activates my creative mind while shutting down my worries, and helps me see a clearer path, a new way forward, a perspective I couldn’t see before.

I write my best blog posts in the bath (always keep a notepad handy) and have been known to stop and take a bath in the middle of my workday if I’m struggling with a project. After a quick soak, my thoughts are clear again and everything is easier. I used to think that taking baths was lazy, a waste of water, and a luxury I didn’t deserve.

I gave up on baths for years, even though I love them. But now I realize—anything that gives me greater clarity and eases my anxiety is the opposite of lazy! It makes me more productive (and more pleasant to be around) in the end. And the water? One or two more family members, some of them furry and four-legged, will enjoy this bath after me. I’m sorry it took me so long to figure this out, and give myself permission to relax and let go, but I’m so glad I finally did.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Much Love,
Annmarie Skin Care

(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at newyou@annmariegianni.com.)

The following post Beautiful Voices: Kaia Roman was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

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Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day Three: Visualize

By Emily Fletcher, Founder, Ziva Meditation

You did it! Here we are at day three. I know that yesterday’s task was especially challenging, but I hope you pushed through the resistance and felt liberated by freeing yourself from your phone. As promised, today I’ll tell you about an extremely valuable tool. It releases stress and can lead to mind-blowing sex, raises at work, and the most shiny, authentic version of you.

Day Three: Let’s Detox

It’s 2017 and we have access to the world’s most advanced external tools when it comes to skincare (hello, Annmarie Gianni). But what if I told you that there is an internal tool you probably haven’t tried yet – and it can reverse your body age by up to 15 years?

Sounds crazy, right? It’s not. I’m talking about meditation and there are more and more studies heralding its ability to reverse your brain and body age each week. It has no side effects and, in a recent scientific study, Tufts University proved that meditation can increase skin elasticity and rejuvenation, making you look and feel more than a decade younger. To be clear, chasing youth is not the goal. Chasing the health and optimal performance that many of us enjoyed more of at a younger age is a more delicious goal, in my opinion. Youth and health are not synonyms, so best to be specific when cultivating your reality.

We all have two ages. Our chronological age, that number that graces our birthday cakes, and our biological age, which is measured by blood pressure, auditory performance, and visual performance. It’s essentially how old your body acts and feels.

Now, we don’t have any control over our chronological age, and why would you want to? But our biological age? That we can do something about.

Stress was Making Me Gray at 26

Before I became a meditation teacher, I was a performer on Broadway. My last gig was to understudy for three of the leading roles in A Chorus Line, which means I was thrown onstage at a moment’s notice. It was so stressful that I started going gray at the tender age of twenty-six, and I had been plagued with insomnia for over 18 months. But, on the first day of my first meditation course I slept through the night…and I have every night since (and that was ten years ago). Soon after, I also stopped getting sick, I stopped getting injured and I even stopped going gray. It was amazing to see and feel this happening for myself, but it never gets old hearing the same results from my students.

When people ask me what my favorite thing about teaching meditation is, I always say, “selfishly, I love opening my email to find notes from students sharing how much their lives have changed since learning Ziva Meditation.” Not long ago I was in a cab between meetings when a notification popped up from one of my students, Jenna Dewan-Tatum:

“People keep noticing a change in me. They say, ‘you look so radiant!’”

If you’ve ever seen Jenna, you know she’s already radiant, but meditation has given her a megawatt glow.

How Meditation Actually Reverses Your Biological Age

While the benefits of meditation are seemingly endless (better sex, sleep, energy, and parking karma to name a few), I want to dive into is the science behind how meditation actually reverses your body age.

We all know that stress is bad for us, but I’m here to break the really bad news: doctors are calling stress the Black Plague of our century. Chronic stress can lead to any number of psychological and physical problems like heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, insomnia, allergies, various skin disorders, depression, immune system weakness, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. And guess what? Your skin is not immune to stress. This is where psychodermatology comes in, the field of dermatology that focuses solely on the connection between human emotions and the health of our skin.

So, What Does Meditation Have to Do With it?

It is the most powerful stress-relieving tool we have. Let’s look at some stats of how meditators have been affected since starting a daily practice.

A recent study showed that meditators are hospitalized at rates of  87% less than non-meditators for heart disease, 55% less for benign and malignant tumors and 30% less for infectious diseases. Plus, research has shown that meditation increases focus & attention and improves multitasking ability. It can also improve memory, enhance creativity and improve out-of-the-box thinking. This thing is no joke.

Day 3 Challenge: zivaDETOX Guided Visualization

That’s why I’m so excited that our day three brain detox challenge is to experience a guided visualization created specifically for you: zivaDETOX. It’s a downloadable audio designed to help you move out of your critical mind and into your creative mind. There is huge power in guided visualization; it can bring you into the present moment and remind you that you don’t have to ‘clear your mind’ in order to get the benefits. I hope you love zivaDETOX and use it whenever you feel you need to. But the real power is in the meditation technique we teach at Ziva.

You must have seen lately how many game changers are coming out of the woodwork touting the benefits of meditation—everyone from the Seattle Seahawks to Oprah. It used to be the secret weapon of the super successful because they had access to meditation teachers that the rest of us didn’t—but we are on a mission to change that.  This is why I created the world’s first online meditation training.

At Ziva we want to share meditation with as many people as possible. The Ziva Technique is a powerful combination of the best meditation, mindfulness and manifesting tools. You graduate from the training with a powerful practice to take with you for life. This practice is so powerful that you will be left feeling (and looking!) extraordinary. Please join me for a free intro to meditation talk in NYC, LA, San Diego, Tallahassee, or online from anywhere in the world at zivaMIND.com.

Did you love this guided meditation? Tell us in the comments below!

The following post Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day Three: Visualize was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day Two: Phone Fast

By Emily Fletcher, Founder, Ziva Meditation

Hi friends, welcome to day two of our Three-Day Brain Detox. Did you enjoy your new Balancing Breath Technique? It’s amazing what some alternate nostril breathing can do. If you haven’t tried it yet, I know it looks a bit silly, but close your office door and give it a go.

Day Two: Let’s Get Emotional

Today we’re going to examine how technology impacts our emotional lives. We live in an age of distraction. It’s a constant uphill battle to stay present. I’m a meditation teacher and I used to sit down to meditate and find myself twenty minutes later answering all those ‘urgent’ emails on my phone. That is, until I heard this story…

There was a college professor who gave a famous lecture on ping pong balls and sand. In it he said to imagine that you have a jar, a few ping pong balls, and half a glass of sand. Now imagine that you pour the ping pong balls into the glass, and then you pour the sand in around it. As long as the ping pong balls are put in first, there’s plenty of room for them and the sand within the jar. Now, if you were to start over, but pour the sand in first, the ping pong balls wouldn’t all fit back in the jar.

The ping pong balls represent the priorities in our lives. The things we want to prioritize. Getting enough rest, eating well, exercising, being productive at work, etc. What you’ll find is that when you prioritize the truly important things (the ping pong balls) and you put those into your life first, then you have plenty of time to incorporate everything else (the sand). There will be plenty of time for online shopping, scrolling Facebook and Instagramming.

The problem is, if you start your day with those non-priorities, then you will find that it will be quite hard to fit the important things in. Things like making sure that you eat well, get your work done, or get a full night’s sleep. And that is when life feels a lot less elegant.

This again is where psychodermatology comes in. Reminder: psychodermatology is a cutting edge field in the dermatology world that focuses solely on the connection between human emotions and the health of our skin. Think of it this way: it’s impossible to live a rom-com life when you have a horror flick playing inside your mind.

Day 2 Challenge: Phone and Social Media Fast

Saddle up, because I am coming for what may be your biggest addiction: your phone. For day 2 of your brain detox, I challenge you to use no social media during work hours, and when you’re off work (let’s say 6pm-8am) go ahead and turn your phone off.

That’s right, off. This may be hard to believe but phones do have a handy ‘off’ switch that many of us rarely use.

For extra credit: don’t bring your phone into the bedroom. Save the bedroom for sleeping and sex, nothing else.

Getting jittery? Already feeling withdrawal? I believe in you. You can do this.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
—Steve Furtick

The world of social media is wonderful for so many reasons. We are able to connect with that teacher that changed our lives, or that friend from high school who moved across the country. But, after a while, the constant stream of information can start to mess with our minds. We start to compare the reality of our own lives to the highlights of everyone else’s. This can take you down a rabbit hole of compare and despair. The truth is that no one’s life is puppies and unicorns all the time, and in order to gain some perspective, it’s important to sometimes put the phone down.

Just do it. You’ll feel like a meth addict reaching for your pipe for a while, but push through. You are stronger than your phone addiction. Instead of connecting on a social network, try connecting with your actual human network. Get tea with a colleague, go to spin class with a friend, take a stroll with your partner. This is why we are on this planet: to connect, to learn, to share joy. I truly believe this, and we are all so lucky to be witnessing the people and beauty of the world around us.

You’re doing great. This is brave work. Once you are back online I’d love to hear about your social media and phone fast in the comments below.

Tomorrow is the third and final day of our Brain Detox Challenge, and I’m excited to share with you a very special gift that I created specifically for the Annmarie family. It will have some super strong effects and introduce you to the tool that reversed my gray and cured my insomnia. You’re not going to want to miss this one. See you tomorrow.

How did  your social media fast go? Let us know in the comment below!

The following post Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day Two: Phone Fast was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day One: Breathe

By Emily Fletcher, Founder, Ziva Meditation

Hi, friends. I’m Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation, a school for high performance that teaches a powerful meditation practice for people who like to get more done in less time. More on that later. Over the next few days I am going to share with you the most powerful ways to detox both body and mind. You will also learn the single most powerful skin-clearing, gray-reversing, stress-relieving tool I have ever found.

Day One: Let’s Get Physical

Today we’ll start with ways to detox physically, tomorrow we’ll focus on detoxing mentally, and on day three I’ll share with you a special gift that we created just for the Annmarie Skin Care family. Ready to dive in?

For the last decade, I’ve been studying how external elements affect our bodies and performance. Here’s what I’ve learned: the cleaner your body is the better it performs. This might sound like a no-brainer, but so much of our lives involve dealing with intense demands (traffic, kids, mother-in-laws) and physical toxins (ahem…cocktails, candy, processed food). It’s up to us to purify and bring the body back into balance where it thrives.

As a meditation teacher I see people respond to these demands in two ways: people who either think they are stuck with their circumstances or people who believe it gives them their “competitive edge.” But stress is not doing anyone any favors in the performance department. Stress is linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, insomnia, allergies, skin disorders, depression, weakened immune function, the list goes on. Basically, stress is bad for you, and your skin is not immune.

Your skin is your largest organ. It has no secrets; it’s like a report card of what’s happening inside. And we all know that what we eat and put on can affect the beauty of our skin. You know how great your skin looks after a 5 day yoga vacation vs. your kids’ last pizza party. But there’s also an entirely new, cutting-edge field called psychodermatology that focuses solely on the connection between human emotions and the health of our skin!

Luckily, Annmarie has us covered externally with the most wonderfully organic, safe and effective skin care products, so today let’s dive into how to detoxify from the inside out.

Day One Challenge: Balancing Breath

For day one of the Brain Detox, your challenge is called Balancing Breath, a simple but powerful tool to release stress, balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and bring you into the present moment whenever you need it. Try using it today before an important meeting, after a challenging interaction with your kids, or any time you need to take a step back and chill. A full how-to is in the video link below.

Besides the immediate energizing or calming effects (depending on your needs), the benefits of this exercise include:

  • Oxygenating your blood
  • Oxygenating your organs
  • Reducing stress
  • Balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain

So, why do we care about balancing the two hemispheres of our brain? It’s more important than you may think. The left brain is in charge of reviewing the past and rehearsing the future. It’s in charge of language and critical thought. For most of us, the left brain is overdeveloped. And our poor right brain, which is in charge of the present moment, creative problem-solving, intuition and connection, is atrophying. The right brain just doesn’t tend to get as much love, which is bad news if you’re a fan of living a life of joy and fulfillment.

So use your new Balancing Breath technique when you want to get out of your head and into your body. Bonus points for using it every day. Your blood, organs and brain will thank you. Once you’re able to decrease your daily level of stress, your skin will thank you, too.

Check out the video link below for step-by-step instructions for Balancing Breath. See you tomorrow for your Day Two Challenge!

Click here for your step by step Balancing Breath technique

Did you try this technique? How do you feel? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post Your Easy Three Day Brain Detox Day One: Breathe was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Oily Skin: What It Is, How to Cope, and the Best Facial Products for You

oily skin

Seems we always want what we don’t have. If we have straight hair, we wish it was more wavy or curly. If we have curly hair, we spend all kinds of time straightening it.

The same seems to apply to skin—those of us with dry skin wish only for more hydration, while those of us with oily skin get so fed up with the endless shininess!

“I have super oily skin with large pores,” says one of our blog readers, “we are talking shiny after an hour of my morning cleanse.”

This sums up the problem with oily skin very nicely—shininess and large pores. Is there anything you can do that will help? We have some solutions for you to try.

What is Oily Skin?

Some people think they have oily skin, when in truth, they have combination skin—oily only in the T-zone, or the forehead, nose, and chin areas. Truly oily skin typically has the following characteristics:

  • looks shiny or greasy everywhere
  • appears thick and coarse
  • has enlarged pores
  • occasional breakouts

One way to test your skin to see if it is truly oily is to wash it in the morning with a gentle cleanser, pat it dry, avoid applying any make-up or lotion, and wait an hour or two. When you look in the mirror, if your face is shiny and covered in oil, you have oily skin. If your cheeks are dry but your forehead and nose are shiny, you have combination skin, which we’ll cover in another post!

What Causes it?

Oily skin is caused by over-active sebaceous glands that produce excessive amounts of skin oil, called “sebum.” Typically it is hereditary, meaning that if one or both of your parents had oily skin, you may have it, too. In addition, exposing the skin to too many products that upset its own natural balance can also trigger the over-production of oil.

What Are the Problems Associated with Oily Skin?

If you have oily skin, you may also suffer from the following problems:

  • Clogged pores: too much oil dirt and clogs pores
  • Shine: oily skin looks shiny and greasy
  • Runny Cosmetics: you have a hard time keeping makeup in place and often have to blot and reapply

The good news is that oily skin ages more slowly than dry skin, so when you move into your 40s and beyond, you may actually be thankful for your oiliness!

“I’ve learned to love and embrace my oily skin,” says another one of our readers. “Look at all those poor women out there with dry skin who constantly have to replace what we already have in abundance!”

Daily Routine for Combatting Excess Oil

Even though your skin may age more slowly than other types, that’s little consolation when you’re looking at large pores and shine. When looking for ways to help control your oil production, start with some basic steps.

  1. Wash only twice a day. Even though the oil crops back up within a couple hours, resist the urge to wash again. If you strip the oils too much, your skin will react by producing even more, which is definitely what you don’t want. If you wash off that excess oil more than that, use water alone.
  2. Use a dissolving cleanser. You want your cleanser to gently dissolve the oils and deeply clean at the same time. Try our Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser, which is formulated specifically for oiliness. It will remove dirt, excess oil, and impurities without harsh chemicals, and will help unclog pores. Use warm water, and massage the cleanser into your skin for at least one minute before rinsing off.
  3. Tone carefully. Again, the danger here is over-stripping your natural oils and causing a backfire in oil production. You want a toner that is gentle but effective. Try my Rosemary Toning Mist, which helps clean and give the skin a balanced appearance, plus it is a leave-on toner, which provides lasting benefits.
  4. Balance the oils in your skin. This is critical in oily skin types, and the step that most people struggle with. You know the problem is too much oil, so you try to get rid of that oil, but oftentimes that means harsh products that just strip the skin, damage the outer layer, and lead to increased oil production in the long run, as well as accelerated aging. Natural oils have an amazing ability to work with the body to balance the way your skin looks, which is why I’m so sold on them. You may think, “apply oils to oily skin?” But just try it—you’ll be amazed at the results, I’m sure. Use the Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin, made especially for oily skin types. Apply it every day after cleansing and you’ll notice a more balanced look.

Eight Tips for Oily Types

Once you’ve got your daily routine down, it’s time to add in a few extra steps that will improve the appearance and behavior of your skin.

  1. Use a mask 2-3 times a week. Masks help reduce the oily appearance on the face for days at a time. Plus they can help pores appear smaller. Try our Purifying Mud Mask, which uses mineral rich clays to give a toner and tighter appearance to the skin.
  2. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Try the Kaolin Micro Exfoliant, which leaves your looking skin smooth and clean. Just be careful not to over-exfoliate, because that can cause skin damage and may encourage your skin you produce more oil.
  3. Consider your diet. Foods high in fats, sugars, and unhealthy oils can cause a negative reaction in your skin. Choose healthy fruits and vegetables and lean proteins, and cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  4. Try witch hazel before applying makeup. It’s a natural salicylic acid toner. Wiping your face before applying makeup will help soak up excess oil without stripping your skin.
  5. Use a light moisturizer. It can be a little counter-intuitive, but using a light moisturizer with infused ingredients that cleanse can help your skin balance out its own oils overtime so that you don’t stay so oily.
  6. Use oil-free cosmetics. When choosing makeup products, always find oil-free or “non-comedogenic” products that won’t clog pores.
  7. Don’t overdo powder. You may think that more powder would help soak up excess oil, but it can actually get cakey and may encourage your skin to pump out more oil. Apply powder sparingly only on shiny areas, and use a matte translucent formula.
  8. Remember sun protection. No matter what kind of skin you have, you need to protect it from the sun, which is enemy #1 when it comes to aging! Look for zinc oxide formulas.
Do you have oily skin? How do you cope? Share your wisdom in the comments below.

The following post Oily Skin: What It Is, How to Cope, and the Best Facial Products for You was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

How to Make a Concealer Using Annmarie Skin Care Products

Of all of our products, our Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation is the most versatile. The shades make a beautiful nude palette for every part of your makeup routine. You can use it as a dry or liquid foundation, eye shadow, lip color, bronzer, eye liner, and even concealer.

We have been feeling especially interested in making a creamy concealer with the Minerals lately because it involves a cool skin care hack—which we’re always looking for—and one of our favorite products, the Anti-Aging Eye Cream.

Before we jump right into the “how-to,” let’s cover our bases.

What is Concealer?

This may seem obvious to you, or it may be that you’re new to makeup and you want to make sure you have your terminology down right. (If that’s the case, you’re starting off right with organic products!)

In the easiest explanation possible, the best concealer is a color corrector for your skin. It’s a cosmetic product that helps to give you a flawless finish by hiding imperfections (blemishes, redness, dark under eye circles, large pores, etc) and blending colors together to make one beautiful complexion.

A Few Helpful Tips

Before or after. There is some debate about using concealer before or after your foundation. The choice is totally up to you (everyone on the ASC team does things a little differently) but the goal is always the same, the flawless finish, so try it both ways and keep blending until you have the look you’re going for. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll be easy to see what works best for you.

The color. You want it to be a little bit lighter than your foundation itself so that you can lighten up those darker spots but this isn’t your highlighter—remember that you’re blending the concealer into your skin tone and using it to help create your base so try just one shade lighter to start with.

The texture. The best concealers tend to be super creamy and a bit thicker than your foundation. It’s there to hide your blemishes and dark spots so you can expect it to be extra coverage.

The application. This you want to use slowly and sparingly because it’s lighter than your skin tone and thicker than your makeup base so if you use too much or don’t blend enough it can be a dead giveaway that you spent a while on your look (and let’s face it, we’re always going for that, “I woke up like this” ease). So use small dots and apply a little bit at a time around those areas you’re wanting to lighten up, blending as you go. The best way is to use a makeup sponge so that you know you’re getting an even application and blending.

How to Create a Concealer with Annmarie Skin Care Products

Step one. Tap a little bit of your preferred concealer color into the palm of your hand—the amount of Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation you use is going to depend on how much you concealer you’re making. One-two taps is great for just around the eyes, add an extra tap or two if you’re working with coverage on your cheeks or forehead as well.

Step two. Pump a bit of the Anti-Aging Eye Cream into the palm with the minerals—like with the minerals, you’ll want to use more or less of the eye cream depending on where you’re using it. Just one pump is usually good for around the eyes but you may need to add a bit more if you’re using it on other places as well.

Step three. Mix the Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation with the eye cream until you have the consistency you like—this may take adding a bit more of one or the other, just be sure to work slowly as you add. (There is a little bit of a learning curve here, but once you get it, it’s a breeze.)

Step four. Apply. Using a small brush, sponge, or your fingertips place small dots around the eyes and anywhere else that needs a bit more coverage than your base makeup.

Step five. Blend it in—take some time with this step, good blending is the cornerstone of the flawless face so even if it takes a while to get the hang of it, it’s worth it.

Continue steps four and five until you have the coverage that you want. Then finish your makeup routine!

Do you have a favorite way to apply concealer? Let us know in the comments below!

The following post How to Make a Concealer Using Annmarie Skin Care Products was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

The First Two Steps to Making Better Health Choices Every Day

Contributed by our good friend, Debra Atkinson

There’s no better way to say it—healthy choices are trending!

All around the globe more people than ever are consciously making choices about the food they eat and getting more exercise. That’s great news. Both because it means that we’re healthier as a species and because you will encounter less resistance and more support on your health journey than at any other time in history.

Resistance is important because whether you choose to start on your health journey or you have to make those changes you will encounter resistance. Simply put, change is hard, even if you want it. Let’s look at how it can make us stumble and what we can do about it.

Combating Resistance

The first thing people change on the health journey is diet. That means more healthy fats, reducing sugar, and eliminating processed foods—even if you’re excited, it creates internal and external resistance.

If you’ve been conditioned potentially your whole life to celebrate, mourn, reward, and sooth with foods that didn’t serve your health. It’s understandable that you’ll experience some resistance to change.

You’re surrounded by the cake pushers at a birthday party or a client brings you their grandma’s homemade cinnamon rolls and “you have to try one.”
What about when your plan is to exercise 30 minutes over lunch and your colleagues urge you to try the new BBQ spot instead and if you don’t go you’ll be the only one who says no—that’s resistance.

You’ll face resistance when you’re beginning an exercise program, or when push comes to shove in your daily life. When you’re just starting (or restarting), you may have doubts or worry when you don’t see the results you want right away.

The truth is, even though health is trending, it’s not the norm (yet). Half of our population hasn’t started their health journey so here are some helpful tips to keep you on track when you’re encountering resistance in your journey:

Grab a friend. Having others in the boat with you who are trying to change is much more helpful than going it alone, remember everyone has to deal with resistance.

It’s still ultimately up to you. Your choices will be unique to you, your health and fitness needs, and your pace. Pace yourself and listen to what you need to complete your goals.

This is your struggle. You’re going to move through stages of change and adapt new habits faster (and slower) than other people who might be going through changes alongside you. No one else has to live in your body, so do what feels right, and healthy, to you.

How to Keep Making Healthy Choices

Even as a committed exercise enthusiast who preaches the good exercise word, I still experience resistance after 36 years. An eye-opening road trip this past week has me reflecting on why I feel so good after spending 28 hours in the car in the past 5 days!

I exercised every single day exactly the way I planned.

It wasn’t easy, in fact, there were a lot of logistical obstacles and time constraints—sound familiar? I realized I’ve let resistance get the best of me too many days when I’m in my regular routine. I’ve let my work squeeze the exercise time into such a narrow window too many days in a row.

This great feeling from my daily roadside stretch is a feeling I intend to keep, so if you’re ready to get or keep a higher energy too, here’s how.

Attention

Pay attention to the choices you do have control over. That is the first part of this two-step process to making healthy choices everyday. It’s just a matter of simply paying attention.

We think we don’t have any choice over the meal served at a conference we’re attending, but we do have some choice about what we eat beforehand. Don’t be afraid to be the squeaky wheel and ask for special meal requests.

Remember that at a restaurant, the menu is simply a suggestion. An entree served with a sugary sauce can usually become a grilled entrée without sauce.

Intention

Make the choice that makes you answer “yes” to the question: does this serve my greater health goal? So many of us are juggling work, family, home maintenance, laundry, and meal planning—and those things are a part of the human experience for the majority of us.
Things in our lives that feel like obstacles we could very easily use as excuses are actually reasons to take better care of ourselves.

When you begin to approach each choice during your day with attention and intention, one by one, your healthy choices outnumber the ones that sabotage your progress.

Be attentional and intentional about your own choices with these ideas:

  • Carry snacks with you in case what’s being served isn’t something you want to eat.
  • Ask in advance what will be served.
  • Use menus as a suggestion and ask for what you want.
  • Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier so you can get some exercise.
  • Ask a co-worker to go with you on the walk or to the gym over lunch.
  • Move before you eat a full meal. Moving will make you feel better about yourself, have more energy, and ultimately, it helps us make better choices about the food we choose. A short 10-minute walk or stretch session is all it takes.
How do you practice Attention and Intention? Let us know in the comments below!

Resource:
https://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/eu/nielseninsights/pdfs/Nielsen%20Global%20Health%20and%20Wellness%20Report%20-%20January%202015.pdf

The following post The First Two Steps to Making Better Health Choices Every Day was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.