Dear Yoga Teacher: YOU SUCK!

peace

This is what I wanted to tell the two women who walked out of my class last night. Since I started teaching at Crunch, an increasing number of people have been coming to class. At first I was concerned because the clients were used to meditation and deep breathing, but not much movement. But my classes are classified as ‘Yoga Sculpt’ — which is more of a power flow. You don’t have to be super strong to take the class (I offer modifications), but you do have to be willing to work.

They were not.

The gym recently added an additional yoga class, since they’re starting to get so popular. Last night was the first day of the new class. When the clients started arriving, I knew I’d have to modify my flow. Many of them started the class by declaring ailments, surgeries, and general discomfort. So I tossed out my original plan, and began to wing it with deep breathing and modified stretches.

One woman lasted 5 minutes. In the time it took me to take a full revolution around the room (I will often scan the room to make sure everyone is comfortable and in the right position), she was packed up and out the door. Okay… no worries.

The other woman lasted about 10 minutes longer. But then I asked the class to inhale and lift their right leg…three legged dog

She snorted and mumbled something. I checked to make sure it wasn’t something urgent (pain, discomfort, ect), but she was in the pose and not waving me down for assistance. Okay.

Then I asked them to flip their dog and take Wild Thing…

wild thing pose…and that was it!

She was over it. She slapped her mat together and huffed out the door. Alrighty then!

I kept on with the class because you can’t stop down the whole operation on account of a couple of people. Plus, I had clients in this class that were much older than these two, with 3 times the charisma and desire to TRY. And in the end, that is all I ask. Every pose is not perfect, or comfortable, or something that you’ll get on the first try. That is why it’s called a PRACTICE. You have to keep working at it… working for it. The strength will come. The flexibility will come. It is not the destination, but the JOURNEY that helps you get the most out of your practice.

Now, having said all that… the truth is that I was more than a little disturbed. I’ve only been teaching professionally for a month or so, and my client list has steadily grown. This is the first time I’d been rejected not once… but twice. We’re not supposed to take anything personal, but damn if I was thinking about that at the moment. It’s not so much that I was upset that they might not like the flow… as I was worried that maybe I hadn’t modified/compromised ENOUGH.

There’s a thought. How much do we adjust to cater to the needs of others? Everything isn’t for everybody. My classes aren’t going to be at the top of everyone’s must do list. Logically, I know that. Emotionally, it’s a different story.

Halfway through the class I had everyone come back to Samastitihi and take stock. I joined them.

samastitihi The truth is, those exits threw me off. I was already ‘winging’ the flow to accommodate some of the newer students.  We still had 30 minutes to go… and with or without those women, the rest of the class wanted to know what came next.

So we went through the rest of the class. And at the end, one of my regulars came up and verbally hi-fived me (she may have suspected that I needed it). I was grateful.

I went to bed last night thinking of what I could have done differently. By the time I fell asleep I realized… it didn’t even matter.

Namaste.

The Gratitude Project: Body Talk

sleepIt’s late enough for me to go to sleep now. I deserve it. After 3+ months of adding new things while trying to maintain old things, I’m worn all the way out.

I got a wild hair about a magazine, and then the damn thing took off. Who knew? I got some help, moved some things around… and it’s still ticking along. But I need to delegate some more because running interference between writers and copy editors is not.fun.

This week was particularly interesting. I finished XP (Master) training at CorePower Yoga, and was supposed to take this week to get it together. But then another store wanted Habibi, and Crunch had paperwork (lots and lots of paperwork), and I’m running all over the world… answering texts and grabbing the saltiest food I can find along the way.

Not good.

I’m not sure when I slept, but when I did… it was restless. I dreamed about being Charlotte Tilbury Arrives In America: VIP Beauty Launch Event Presented by Nordstrom At The Grovelate, missing deadlines, and screwing up in class. Friday I was supposed to join the Charlotte Tilbury fray… but life got in the way.

Today, I tried again. I was RIGHT.THERE … literally about to turn into the Grove parking lot, when the most amazing migrane on earth smacked me dead between the eyes. I nearly crashed my car. DA HELL man…

My body is like TAKE YOUR BUTT HOME. NOW!!! My mind is whining “But…. CHARLOTTE!” Body didn’t care. Body won.

So I came home, juiced a green remedy to take the pain away, and now I’m about to take my butt to bed. I’m sad about missing Charlotte, not sad that my body gave me a wake up call.

I am Grateful For…

The good sense to know when to have a seat.

Goodnight.

Yo…

… still one more class to go before my CorePower Extensions training is done, and I’m already working like I’ve been doing this for the longest time. WTH man…

crunch

Yesterday I got a call from a friend, wanting to know if I could come audition within a couple of hours to teach yoga? What? Okay. So I pack up my ‘yoga gear’, throw on a few malas and stride into Crunch Fitness preparing to do my best namaste. It didn’t work. The woman who hired me (yes, I got the job) is more interested in what I can DO, not what I say. Oooookay.

So I launch into my best Warrior 3… and HOLD…

warrior3

… and hold…

And she blurts out “I like you. You got the job.”

Alrighty then.

Then a whole bunch of other stuff happens. There’s legalities (no touching/adjusting the students!), paperwork (are you a legal resident… what is your mother’s cousin’s firstborn’s second cousin’s name?), and a handshake.

So  here’s the deal:

Twice a week, I’m all about Power Yoga at Crunch Fitness in Northridge.

October 19th, I’m teaming up with Lorna Jane for a (free) Flow in Sherman Oaks. See my Facebook Page for more details.

I’m training to be a ‘Pilates Body’ (more on that later).

I’m booked for private sessions through November.

Habibi Bath & Body is headed to Finland (not me… just some products), and we picked up a new account in Northern California.

Life has changed… things have changed… I have changed.

Here’s to new Adventures!!!!!

The Gratitude Project: Standard Operating Procedure

fearorloveMy latest lesson involves something new: the observation of how we act and react. According to someone with more knowledge than me, we only operate from two places: FEAR and LOVE.

Which do you choose?

That is now the question for me in all things… both personal and professional. Being aware of the motive is the tricky  part. Most of the time I just react. Case in point:

I was contacted for an interview via an introduction from a mutual friend. I figured maybe she wanted to learn a little more about me, and a lot more about Habibi. I’m game. So she sends me the questions (which arrived in my inbox at some ungodly time on a Sunday morning), and from what I can gather… she doesn’t want to know about either.

The questions read like some kind of entrance exam for a college kid looking for a gig at Abercrombie & Fitch. Like, it sounds good on paper but in reality it’s a lazy way to interact with someone you have no real interest in. After 23 years as a journalist, this is ‘style’ (if you want to call it that) of passive interaction is of particular interest to me. ‘Pitch yourself’ and ‘Finish this sentence’… and I’m sitting there like WITEFH…

No.

Either you want to talk to me or you don’t. It’s of no consequence to me either way… but this list of homework assignments you’ve decided to email me isn’t gonna fly.

So I stew about it, then decide to laugh about it, and decide to share my stewing/laughter with the mutual friend. She was not amused. Several scathing texts later, I diffused the situation and moved on. I had decided that I was going to answer the questions the way that I wanted to. Because hey, if you can’t be bothered to actually explore the idea of a viable interview, then I can’t be  bothered to give one.

This is admittedly a craptacular attitude to have.

Hindsight being 20/20 and all… it is what it is. I only liked one question (Rolling Stone or Inc. Magazine?). ROLLING STONE (duh). When she asked for a final thought I said:

IT MATTERS HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE.

It does. I certainly need to take my own advice on this one because I wasn’t very nice. She’ll likely trash the interview. She’d be justified in doing so. Or maybe she’ll get over it and talk to me some more. Or not. Here’s the thing: I don’t know that I operated in fear. But I do know that I didn’t operate in love. Given those choices, I know I should have been better.

I am Grateful For:

The ability to recognize when I should have made a better choice, and the resolve to learn from my mistakes.

I am ever a work in progress…

Namaste.

 

First Impressions: Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blusher

What?

Yes, I know it’s a LOT of Charlotte Tilbury of late, but please bear with me. They JUST started offering international shipping. And after the nightmares about Selfridges sending smashed up products damn near a month after payment cleared, I’m glad I waited for the Tilbury website to offer direct shipping. The products are getting here in 3 days now. Just outstanding. I’m nearly done. Just a couple more eye pencils … and the foundation (when it becomes available) … that’s it. For real.

Meanwhile:

I arranged them in order, so that you can see how they actually look in real life, because I think the colors on the website are not representative of the actual product.

From the top left: First Love, Love Glow, Ecstacy, Love Is The Drug, Sex On Fire, and The Climax.

At first glance, I think that every single one of these blushes in universal in some way. I was worried that some of them would go ashy on my warm skin tone, or turn some pale skinned beauty into a pumpkin… but every single one of these is flattering. I can’t use every one as a blush, but they also work well as highlighters. And that ‘pop’ of color in the center is genius. It’s technically two products in one pot, because you can absolutely use the colors separately.

First Love

The outer ring works as a stunning highlighter on me, and the inner color adds a bit of peach. It reminds me a LOT of Rock & Republic Blush In Call Me, when blended together. We may have found a dupe!

Love Glow

This is a warmer version of First Love, with a little more ‘pink’ thrown in for good measure. It’s not exactly a cool shade, but I think it’ll work well on cooler skin tones. These blushes are buildable, but I’ve found that they really don’t need to be build up. Initial swatches pulled up a lot of pigmentation on both the outer and inner color. I dare say you might have to use a light touch, and then build to your desired intensity.

Ecstacy

As you can see this color is more pink than peach. It is a LOT like NARS Orgasm, but it’s definitely more of a pink color. The shimmer factor is a bit higher with this one too (like Orgasm). I understand why this is the current favorite among internet beauties, but I think everyone is missing out by passing on First Love. I think that color is more what I expected Ecstacy to be. First Love is much more golden peach.

Love Is The Drug

Pink. I was surprised by this one. I really expected it to be more peach, based on the internet renderings. But it’s definitely a lovely rose-colored pink. It looks absolutely amazing on me, and I feel like with a light touch just about anyone can wear this blush. It’s gorgeous.

Sex On Fire

Again. Pink. This one is more of a deep violet-rose, but still in the pink family. Now, if you look at the website, this looks like a peach with a bronze center. It’s not. This will give off a very ‘flushed’ finish (reminds me of the original Benetint) without looking like you’re doing the most.

The Climax

This is basically a bronzer with a highlight. This will work as a blush on deeper skintones, but beware of the shimmer factor. I don’t sense discoball (yet), but I see the potential. This is a shimmery bronzey color, and that center color works beautifully as a highlight on medium to dark skin tones.

Overall, I like every single color. I’m surprised at the differences between what I thought I was going to get and what I actually got in terms of shade selection, so in that respect I’m glad I bought them all. Had I been looking for a deep peach color with Ecstasy or Sex On Fire, I might feel differently.

The colors cover the gamut in terms of shading, skin tones, and undertones. And they all have shimmer in them. A few of them have a more ‘matte’ center, but for the most part these are shimmer blushes. Since Charlotte Tilbury is all about getting that ‘glow’ – I’m not surprised.

The pigmentation is excellent, and the quality is superb. The blushes are silky, pick up with just the lightest touch of a brush, and transfer to the skin beautifully. There is no powdery buildup, no dusty residue in the pot, and absolutely no ashy factor with any one of these blushes. They all translate neutral to warm, so I dare say that in some respect all of these blushes are universal. It really just depends on what color you want.

I  hope these pictures shed a more honest light on what these blushes look like in real life. Swatches are coming. Ciao for now!

Product Review: Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher

I was really REALLY hesitant about this product. Makeup base products are the worst to purchase online, because there’s no real way to account for undertones.

I finally took the plunge and decided to get Charlotte Tilbury’s retoucher in #3, then doubled back and also got #4 (because someone initiated a soundbite about #4 “being suited to olive/indian tones” and unfortunately it was picked up by every echo on the internet).

The Retoucher works almost exactly like (maybe better than) Chanel’s Eclat Lumiere. Forget about YSL Touche Eclat (everyone was comparing it to Touche Eclat…), because The Retoucher only matches Touche Eclat in terms of the way it’s packaged. It’s more opaque than Touche Eclat, and doesn’t perform the same. What’s inside is more on par with Eclat Lumiere in terms of formulation, and By Terry Touche Veloutee in terms of performance.

#3 (on the left) is more to my tastes, as I prefer to ‘highlight’ the high points of my face. For comparison, the color is much like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC35. It’s warm enough, with neutral undertones to suit warmer skin tones perfectly fine. #4 (on the right) looks like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC42. It nearly matches my skin perfectly, and works well over blemishes and minor discolorations. It’s warmer and ‘peachy’ and will beautifully highlight medium to darker skin tones with yellow (not red) undertones. On a red undertone, I suspect this will go ashy.

Now, Charlotte claims that this formulation is ‘makeup as skin care’ and is full of all kinds of goodies to make the under-eye area more … fabulous. Having actually used makeup as skin care (I always go back to By Terry), I have to say that at least for me… these claims are rather inflated. I have seen no change after a week of constant use (and I’ve been paying attention). It’s a concealer. It’s a lovely concealer, but at the end of the day, it’s makeup. It’s no more effective than Armani’s Maestro Eraser (which also claimed to do wonders for the eye area, but just ended up being concealer).

I love the thinness of this formula. Just a little bit goes a long way. And at first it’s worrisome because it looks sheer, and like you’re not going to get any coverage. I prefer to ‘pat’ it on, because if I move it before it is halfway set, I notice that it tends to streak. But it sets nearly matte, and once it’s on, it STAYS on. Unlike Touche Veloutee (which is heavy and very opaque), once you put this on, it doesn’t look like you’re actually wearing any makeup. It adheres to your skin, adjusts, sets, and stays put.

The only drawback to this product is color matching. Because it’s not available in the states, matching is tricky. I understand that the first two colors have a pink undertone, so that’s something to keep in mind. I do want Charlotte to come out with some darker colors, with more of a red undertone so that all beauties can get the chance to enjoy this product.

 

Product Review: Charlotte Tilbury (Haul #2)

Well this couldn’t have come at a worst time. 🙂 All this lovely eye makeup that can go NOWHERE NEAR MY EYES! Boo! At least not for another week or so. The next ‘installment’ of my Charlotte Tilbury exploration arrived at AIM Towers… featuring a selection of ‘not so basic’ shades of Rock n’ Kohl, Brow Lift (in Cara), Feline Flick (duh), Eyelash Curler and Bar of Gold.

As I get to experience these products, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Charlotte Tilbury makeup line is very much like Rock n’ Roll. The scene can be ‘glamorous’ and give off the illusion of perfection and freedom in every conceivable way. Everything (and everyone) is awesome, beautiful, amazing, perfect… and then you sober up. And you realize that while some of it might be cool, some of it is tacky as hell. And that’s about right for this makeup line. Some of these products are ON.POINT. But some of them really have you  like WITEFH………………..

I’ll leave you to figure out what that means.

Onto the haul:

I absolutely did not need this eyelash curler. But I gave it a try anyway, and I am so glad I did! This is actually a really good curler. It’s ‘looser’ than your standard variety (Shu Uemura), but is really gentle on the eyes and gives one hell of a curl. Works better than my Shu Uemura, and that’s SAYING something. No ‘pointy’ looking lashes when you’re done. You get an amazing curl with little to no pressure. This thing is excellent.

This is decent. Not fall out of your seat amazing, but not horrid either. It’s a good eyeliner. Better than NARS (well, they all are), but not as good as By Terry (still the best). Good mid-range eyeliner. Easy to handle, and very precise. Not a ‘must have’ unless you’re in the market for a good eyeliner pen. I’m not mad at it.

Now THIS is nothing short of AMAZING. The Brow Lift is GENIUS. Seriously. Charlotte took the Anastasia and Tom Ford sketch for eyebrow pencils and improved it 100 times over. Stuff’s PERFECTION. Sheesh, I can’t get over how good this thing is. First of all, the color is on point (Cara… for brunettes). It’s cool and a little grey and works perfectly with my dark brows without making me look a mess. The pencil itself separates into THREE sections, with a highlighter in the middle (that actually works and doesn’t look a shimmery mess), and a brush on the other end.

The best part is that after 16 hours of wear, my brows look like I JUST DID THEM. I’m the oiliest girl on the planet, and even after my skin has turned into an oil slick, the brows are perfectly combed, filled in, and NOT GREASY LOOKING. This is key. No matter what I use (from pencils to brow powders), my brows look oily by the end of the day. Not with this stuff. It doesn’t move until you take it off (not the highlight either). Highly recommend.

Haven’t tried these yet (can’t). But these are the colors that I got. I figure a basic eyeliner is like a cheese pizza; if you can’t get the basic formulation and performance right, then it doesn’t matter what else you pile on it… it’s still gonna be garbage. That’s how I feel about colored eyeliners. If your black is trash… I’m not even going to bother with the rest. I’ll try these out and get back to you.

And now we arrive at what may be the tackiest and most trifling thing in the entire line. This damn Bar of Gold. Charlotte… for real… just NO. Let’s see…where to start:

This packaging is cardboard. CARDBOARD. C.A.R.D.B.O.A.R.D. Once I got over the size of this tiny little annoyance (the pot is actually on par with a standard highlighter, but most companies have the good sense to put said pot in a more substantial package), I realized that the thing was cardboard. OMG. So pissed.

There is nothing, NOTHING luxurious about this product. It’s BASIC in the most BASIC of ways. You can get better packaging at your local drugstore. There is no weight to it, no beauty, nothing. It’s a basic highlighter in a cheap cardboard box. If it hadn’t cost so much… I’d give it to my niece. She’d never know the difference from the Wet n’ Wild and NYX stuff she currently sports.

And the product itself… not amazing. The highlight portion of the Filmstar Bronze & Glow is MUCH MUCH better. It’s actually warmer, if you can believe that. This ‘gold’ goes ashy on me. WITEFH for real! How does gold go ashy on a warm skin tone? SMH There was little to no thought put into this product. Maybe after one too many shots of gin (and some other stuff) …  the Tilbury team thought this might be a fantastic idea. It is not. Not by a long shot. Ya’ll stop getting drunk and brainstorming! Dammit.

This product just pissed me all the way off (as if you couldn’t tell). I want an apology to EVERYONE who paid for this because it is absolutely shameful.

Thus concludes my thoughts on Haul #2. Swatches next. Ciao for now!