Breath, Body and Tracy Anderson Method

Okay.

So after decades of giving Miss Tracy Anderson the ultimate side eye, I dragged my tail into a multi-task bands class at the request of Amazing Human and Habibi Ambassador DaLette Anderson…

And I never left.

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Here’s the thing. Bands KICKED MY ASS. Like, for real had me sitting down and questioning my life choices. What I didn’t realize was, there was more to come. So after I got my weight up (so to speak), I ventured into atTAin.

What in the Sam Hell…

Y’all. LISTEN.

Attain is a warmup, a light arm workout, and the most intense precision mat training for legs you have ever come across. I swear that Tracy is straight trolling us sometimes like “I wonder if they are really going to do this?” Insanity. Most of the moves come from the core. That means, less sit-ups than you ever thought you needed. And although Miss Tracy has been caught on camera talking shit about yoga and Pilates (the internet is forever y’all), I spot a LOT of both yoga and Pilates in the moves. Which might also explain why my body embraces them. Now, in her defense, the video I saw was from years ago, and if Tracy doesn’t do anything else, she learns and she grows. That is an admirable quality. Because anytime you can go from being called all kinds of crooks and liars (Indiana is all: ‘The North Remembers ‘) to being celebrated as THE GO TO PERSON for a life and body change… I’m just saying.

She’s good. She pays attention, she’s not arrogant about the moves (she’s known to modify them if they don’t work precisely the way they are supposed to), and she’ll get results. I lost three inches the first couple of weeks. And then when I realized I was paying an arm an a leg to ‘drop in’ to classes, I joined. Screw it.

Make no mistake, this is the most money I’ve paid for ANY KIND OF ANYTHING per month, and I take yoga for free! Insanity. But it’s strengthened my yoga practice, my Pilates practice, and my sleep (and y’all know how much I value my sleep. Maybe you don’t. But yeah, it’s a thing). Overall I just perform better. Oh, and those little annoying last few pounds just fell off… never to be seen again. Everything is tight and toned and my flexibility kicked up right nicely. And I’m no spring chicken, so when I tell you that my 43 looks 25… I’m not playing. Because clearly Tracy ain’t playing with me.

Did I mention that we work out in a heated room with springs on the floor, surrounded by humidifiers? Yeah. That too. Thank goodness I teach at Corepower, where heat and humidity are the order of the day. Otherwise, there would be some serious misunderstandings around here.

I’ve taken several Master Classes with Tracy herself, and I find her to be giggly and engaging and extremely positive. She talks to everyone, jokes, laughs off missteps and is overall a hyper-energetic and positive human being. I get measured every month, get tips on eating and moving and doing what’s best for MY body (not anyone else’s). Tracy long-time right-hand Maria Kelling takes excellent care of me, reprimands me lovingly when she catches me sitting on my ass drinking water and staring hatefully at the trainer and pushes me to get my cardio in to handle this body. Ashanti (best manager ever) makes sure I’m taking care of myself when I travel and gives me tips to keep going. It’s been 4 months, and I feel amazing. The environment is positive (we all smile and encourage each other… because Lord knows the workout is hard enough without having to also deal with someone’s attitude). I’ve become a better yoga practitioner, a better teacher, and a better listener of my body. Tracy is not for everyone. You have to be willing to do the work, and not expect a quick fix. It will challenge you to go further than you think you can, and do ONE.MORE.REP. The trainers do everything (and more) than we do, and they are a testament to untapped resources of strength and determination. I have a lot of love for those women (who are all in the above video. Truly amazing human beings). They bust their tails, and encourage us to get out there, smile and do the same.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing since year got kicking. Like I said, it’s not for everyone. But I can say in this moment that it’s definitely for me.

PHAME 2017

Hey!

Yeah, I know. And I won’t get into the massive sweep of changes that is my life. But trust and believe it’s taken a moment to get grounded and get back online in a significant way. This weekend was PHAME. I need to know what’s going on because a lot of stuff at this convention you can easily find in your neighborhood ULTA and/or Sephora. Not much more. PLUS, I see that it’s open to the public now. I guess IMATS killed the game with letting in every person on earth with a YouTube channel and PHAME had to get on board. No matter. It was still pretty dead. Maybe the era of the makeup expo is taking a turn. I did manage some curiosity for Moira Cosmetics, which appears to be a Korean brand based in LA. Price point is IMG_2100gorgeous (of note since I’ve been in a serious relationship with DECIEM of late). So we’ll see what’s what. I picked up mostly skin care to check out for AGENDA, and a blush palette for myself and a contour palette for my sister.

This was my PHAME face. There are plenty of pros who will give you guys all kinds of complicated Instagram face. Y’all know I am not the one. On me is Gleam Melanie Mills in Peach Delux and The Ordinary Coverage Foundation in 3.0Y (which is my dead on shade… like it was made for me!). Natasha Denona Duo Glow in Alba is on my cheeks and eyes, and Sugarpill Trinket is on my lips… also lined with Louboutin Lip Liner in Safki. That’s some random dark brown liquid eyeliner that came in a random press kit (seriously, there’s no label on it but it works perfectly for me) and Louboutin mascara.

 

As you can see, mostly the usual suspects. I said hi and gave some hugs, and as I’m sitting here typing this and looking at that picture of Dose of Colors, I’m wondering HOW THE HECK I FORGOT TO GET CAMPFIRE LIQUID LIPSTICK FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME????? Ugh. I forget it at Naimies, at PHAME… hell, I forgot it at IMATS. Whatever. Maybe it’s not meant for me to have.

 

I sincerely love Crimes Of Beauty. Ever since I met the owner years ago, I am here for her apparel and makeup bags. Once upon a time, she had a mug that said Wake Up. Slay. And I neglected to get it and regretted it. Now she’s got sweats that say it so you KNOW I had to do it this time!

 

Yeah.

I picked up a few things… nothing major. Mostly stuff for review and a few goodies for my baby sister…

 

All in all, not too shabby. I HAD to support Miss Melanie Mills of Gleam, because she’s just the most awesome. Same for Crimes Of Beauty. I love those women… always a smile, a funky pose, a hug and genuine love. We need more of that the world over.

Hey…

…YES I know I’m raggedy. Listen, between y’all emailing me and hitting me up on Specktra and sending me Facebook messages…

I’m here.

Habibi has been taking me to TASK! Let me tell you, it’s an interesting thing when your company is like HAHAHAHAHAPHUCKYONEEDTOSLEEP and decides to grab hold and breathe on its own. In what seems to be ‘out of the blue’ – I have requests and upticks in business sales (and customer ones), inquiries, distribution plans, production shows, professional interest and use, and private labeling…

LISTEN.

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I started Habibi 13 years ago, and always wanted it to be 100% honest in terms of ingredients, claims, and longevity. That means I moved incredibly slow to make it well known. I was hesitant to reach out, slow on the uptake of reactions, and kind of minimized its actual impact. There are a crap-ton of companies out there who promise to change your skin and your life from the very first application. Trust me, as a reformed product junkie I have sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into those claims. I’m sure I’m not alone. It took me a long time to make the switch from product victim to product innovator. And for that I had to leave these borders. US skincare is lacking for me… always has been. And it honestly wasn’t until I got eyebrow deep in Asian skincare that I really started to understand synergy… particularly without the use of chemicals or harsh (even natural) ingredients. I made friends with several Chinese Herbalists and learned about the value of ‘balance’ and ‘harmony’ between the user and the product… much like the balance of organ function to harmonize the entire body. Sound esoteric? It probably is. But you know what? It works.

That’s why the serum changed into the awesome sauce that it had the potential to be. That’s how GAIA was born (body care is coming people!), and that’s how subtle upgrades (from the elimination of shea butter in face moisturizers to the addition of tremella mushroom in the face and body serums) began to form and take tangible shape. I pulled back, moved some pieces around, and came up with a whole new level of awesome. Add to that streamlined packaging from bottles to shipping…

…all while continually filling orders…

…and it’s been a busy season for ya girl.

SO. I’m back. I am. Viseart Warm Mattes has been making my life beautiful and a full review is coming. So is the foundation one I promised because honestly I’ve been using the same stuff for more than a year, and I think it’s fair to say they are actual favorites. I love and miss you, and I haven’t forgotten about you!

Love & Light and Ciao for now!

 

Creating Space for Creative Space

I had the most amazing night.

I was a guest at Tantris Yoga. The GM invited me for a restorative class, and I was able to experience this week-old Yoga Center without the pomp and circumstance and distraction of opening night. I was able to experience the space as my most authentic yogic self.

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LOOK AT THIS SPACE! Wait… I have more pictures:

Right? RIGHT? Just gorgeous. Tantris is owned by Russell Simmons (he of Def Comedy Jam and the notorious Rush Card), and honestly he did the damn thing. This space is just gorgeous. Serene and yogic and practical all at once. Such detail. I haven’t even gotten into the actual practicing space (which I have not photographed… yet), which features the most amazing floors and windows. And there’s heat! INFRARED HEAT! You know I’m taking my tail back there for a heated class as soon as my little car can carry me through the canyon…

The class I took was restorative. Goodness knows I needed it, because 2 days of back to back strength yoga with the incomparable Nick Wilder have left my glutes and hamstrings in a STATE. I released my joints (there were literal POPS in my hips and low spine) in the best way with the help of props and deep breathing. It was everything. The class was taught by the Tantris GM Karen Russell. She has a way of making you release by imitating a ‘yawn’… and suddenly you’re yawning and releasing and falling asleep…

It was really over too soon. She said ‘final pose’ and I was like WHAT? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY…

So good.

Afterwards, we chatted and she told me they’re holding auditions..? SAY WHAT? Ya’ll pray for me ’cause I’m for real trying to live there. No joke. Oh, and Habibi too. What, you thought I was gonna leave my baby behind? No dice.

I love this space. Here’s hoping it loves me back.

Suqqu Foundation

I just need Suqqu to come to the United States so I can stop spending so much freakin’ money on shipping.

Okay.

I got my hands on the new Suqqu Foundation, and was more than a little skeptical out the gate. First, my actual color (#35) is sold out, so I went one shade up and got #30. No, I don’t recommend this because pigment correction is a pain in the rear. Honestly, you’re not going to have all of those correctors in your arsenal unless you’re a pro, and if you’re only using them for your own face, then you’re wasting your money. But I got #30 and sure as ever, it’s a hair too light. But it’s really nothing that a nice dusting of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pressed Powder in Dark can’t handle.

I was all set to share swatches and photos, but don’t you know I can’t download them? Boo! These are directly from my phone so it was easy to just ship them to this platform. I’ll get the swatches up as soon as I can figure out the download.

This stuff is SO FREAKIN’ GOOD. Puts Chanel’s Sublimage offering to shame, at a fraction of the price. You need such a little bit (I’ve overdone it a few times). The lightest swipe blurs imperfections and really sets the skin up nicely. You can use it a little heavier to conceal, but you really don’t need it. I love this stuff. A little pressed powder on top and you are seriously good to go. In terms of staying power, it beats Chantecaille Future Skin (which I adore) because even though the latter is a gel formulation, this one doesn’t separate itself from the skin like Chantecaille can. It wears all day with very minor blotting… and even without blotting you just end up with a lovely glow vs. full on greaseball.

I’ve put #35 on my wish list, but if I never get it, I’m not really sad about it. I can do just fine with this one. It’s such a functional foundation, and really sets the standard for what a cream formulation should be.