Coming with me to 2016…

The year is nearly up, and I refuse to make a single resolution. Instead, I’ve set short term goals (like getting the tint pulled off of Liz’ front windows ’cause after 5 years I got pulled over… AS IF! #lagirlproblems) because there’s a much better chance of achieving them. While there is plenty for me to leave behind in 2015 (the motto for the new year is SIMPLIFY), there are some practical items that I’ll be dragging along with me.


Jade (thin) Yoga Mats. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal but when I tell you that I keep several of these in my car, one in my suitcase (it never gets unpacked), jade matand one in the house… I’m not kidding. Since I probably exclusively practice yoga (what do I mean probably, and WHY haven’t I cancelled my gym membership? SMH Goal for 2016. Yep), I can pull one of them out anywhere and practice or meditate. They are damn near like a security blanket at this point. I love them because you can literally fold them down into a small square like a scarf and shove them into the tiniest spaces. They weigh next to nothing, and they grip like nobody’s business. That and a little bottle of homemade mat cleaner and I’m good to go. Since I’ve been training private clients (and the #1 excuse is: I don’t have a yoga mat), it’s easy to whip them out and lay them down and declare DOWNWARD FACING DOG. 😉

Habibi SPIRIT Deodorant

You’d think that a person who has access to so many fragrances wouldn’t SPIRIT1opt for the one universal unisex one, but I’ve been using this deodorant every single day since formulating it over the summer. The scent is light and non-offensive, and busts funk on men and women with a single swipe. Between practicing and teaching, there’s little to no time to freshen up between classes so literally a swipe is all I have seconds for these days. The best proof is after class #3 and someone is like: “You smell so fresh…” there have been times when I’ve lifted my arm to take a whiff, just to make sure they’re telling the truth. I gave them as gifts after my last training, and now all my yogi omies are singing the praises. It’s good stuff, even if I am a little biased.

Holika Holika Aloe Gel

Man look. I’ve already talked about having no time. When I tell you that there is a holika aloebottle of this in just about every mobile thing I own (I’m talking gym bag, purse, car…). First of all, the packaging is mad convenient. There’s a ton of product and a little bit goes a long way. If I have to shower at the studio, it goes head to toe… HEAD TO TOE. I’ll even slap some on the edges of my hair to keep it flat under my wrap (natural hair DO care) because the sweat/pouf struggle is real. It keeps my skin under control in a pinch because with all that heat, some bacteria is bound to try to sneak in these pores… and I am NOT having it. I rinse my face between classes, slap on some gel and follow with my next must have.

HABIBI Seven Veils Luxury Serum

It’s probably real raggedy for me to be toting this around like it didn’t seven veilscost a damn mint to formulate. But my excuse is that I make it, so I’ll take the hit for being ratchet with it. I keep one tucked safely a bubble pouch (see… raggedy) in my gym bag. I will run a pump through my hair with the aloe (what did I say about the pouf struggle?) and always ALWAYS one pump on my face. Sometimes a little around my eye and lip area. Everything gets so dry after teaching hot yoga, so healthy moisture non negotiable. Habibi was born of a need to deal with my own skin problems. So I practice what I preach early and often.


I’ve been using NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer since it came out years ago. I’ve converted many a makeup skeptic to its wondrous finish and staying power. Now I hear that NARS is getting cute and thinking about discontinuing it. Why… WHY malagaFOR HELL would you discontinue one of your absolute best products? That had better be a rumor. As soon as I found out I had an appropriate meltdown and bought two. I might get two more while you playing. That is NOT cool NARS. Not cool at all. I swear up, down and all around by this stuff. And trust me when I tell you I’ve used all manner of foundations and tinted moisturizers and nothing holds a candle to this stuff for natural finish and performance. I’m so mad about this. I’m going to drag this relationship on for as long as humanly possible. Hmph.

beauty bakerie

Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips are a recent discovery for me. They require quite the learning curve (I’ve ended up with lips drier than the Sahara Desert… walking around lookin’ like Ashy Larry with a hint of color), but once you master the art of putting these babies on, they do NOT MOVE until you take them off with an oil based cleanser. They’re not kidding about the staying power. Although I love Dose of Colors, these actually last longer. I’ve worn them while teaching the hottest, sweatiest yoga classes, then food and drinks after, and my lips will look as good as the moment I first applied it. These lippies are EVERYTHING. Love.

And every oily girl must have Innisfree No Sebum Powder in her arsenal. Forget innisfreewhat you think you know about HD powders and oil control everything; this little pot of magic is cheap and highly effective. On my oiliest days I layer the tinted moisturizer BETWEEN layers of this powder. Stuff’s epic. I buy them 3, sometimes 4 at a time. Like the aloe, there is a pot of this everywhere I  need to be, including a backup in my glove compartment. I’m so serious about this powder. The only thing that would make it better is if I could get it from my local beauty supply instead of having to raid every few months.

That’s it! I’m dragging all this goodness into the New Year with me! What are ya’ll carrying through with you?




A Rant on Teaching, Learning, and Living

It’s said that the best teachers first make the best students. The longer I teach yoga, the more I realize this is true. In the past two years I’ve learned a lot about speaking, listening, absorbing, and breathing in the things that serve me.

I once had a friend who was generally annoyed by her best friend. This friend was constantly giving ‘advice’ on things, often when it was not solicited. On this particular occasion, the best friend was going on about how to properly fill in eyebrows. My former friend (who is rather sensitive about her half brows and has actually mastered the art of filling them in for her face shape) quipped “I really think she could stand to benefit from a set of braces, but I’m polite enough to keep that to myself.” The point was, sometimes in an effort to help we end up causing harm.

I have found this particularly true in my new yoga community. Because I work in a culture of feedback, there are plenty of people around me willing to offer ‘advice’ on how to  best teach my classes. Some of the advice is completely logical and is easy to apply and grow with. But some of it is  ego-based, and it comes across with the intention to ‘show me a better (read: their) way’ instead of opening up to the possibility of actually learning from me. To say that this is annoying is an understatement. I’m learning to see ‘through’ the advice to the person giving it, assess the intention behind said advice, and adjust accordingly. I’m learning to breathe. But MY GOD sometimes I just want to cuss.

Sound anti-yogic? It is. It’s also pro-human. Since I am both yogi and human, that contradiction surfaces from time to time.

One teacher in particular (for whom I have a great deal of respect) is guilty of this. It’s my opinion that she feels she can learn nothing from me.  While I respect this, here’s what chaps my ass: why do you insist on taking my classes if 1)You don’t feel that you can learn anything from me and 2) if you’re going to use it as an opportunity to criticize every breath? The last time she gave me ‘advice’ I completely changed training plans to better suit my peace of mind. How’s that for impact?

Here’s the truth: I USED TO BE HER. I gave advice when NO ONE ASKED FOR IT and (more importantly) WHEN NO ONE WAS TALKING TO ME IN THE FIRST PLACE. The essential cost of this practice is often not realized until the window has closed and we are caught gazing upon the ruins of something once beautiful. Sometimes it takes the reflection of your former self to recognize the harm you’ve done to others.

In our practice of feedback, we are often asked to consider two things: Is it kind? Is it necessary? If the answer to either of these things is no, please shut the hell up. Just take the class, breathe, and smile. Maybe open up to the possibility of learning something from an unexpected source… like a zygote teacher who’s working to blossom into a full grown yogi.


Lip Service: By Terry Baume de Rose Trio

So we’re just not going to talk about the last few months. Okay? Okay.

It is highly appropriate that my return come with one of the most decadent indulgences of the season: By Terry Baume de Rose Trio. This insanely expensive trio of lip balms is packed with 24 carat White, Yellow and Rose Gold.

by terry


About four years ago I bought the Baume de Rose Holiday Edition in Rose Gold (I might have talked about it here). Here’s the thing: I use it every day at least once a day (either to moisturize or enhance a lip color), and I STILL HAVE IT. Now granted, I can see the bottom of the jar. But the point is it’s lasted me a ridiculously long time without going rank (Hey Tom Ford/Estee Lauder: you getting this?) or going gross. All you need is a pin-head of product to cover both lips. It’s pretty amazing.

by terry 1by terry replace

Even though they are balms, each one swatches gorgeously. They’re packed with shimmer and they work alone or over a lip color for an extra sparkly terry 2by terry 3by terry 4by terry 5


I’m not sure these will last me the same four years, but I know I’ll get plenty of use out of them.