Reflections

Peace

Today, I’ve taken the time to reflect on what has occurred in my life over the past 365 days (and I urge you all to take a few moments between the partying to do the same). This past year has put me through many tests, of my resiliency, my loyalty, and my heart. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I am capable of (physically, emotionally, and mentally), as well as some VERY hard lessons in patience and faith. I’ve never been one to make resolutions (this could have something to do with my resistance to commitment, I suppose); I’ve just always resolved to be a better me. And that is a daily goal for me, not just a yearly one, or one I recite every December 31st.

In retrospect, there are so many things I could have done and handled differently, but you can’t really get back up if you’ve never fallen. As a result, I’m always thankful for the falls that come complete with cuts and bruises, and the scars to prove they actually happened. 2013 has been so much about change for me, and I’ve squashed a lot of fear and stepped out in faith in order to grow. I close this chapter with the hopes of a brighter and even more exciting one in 2014, and I pray for blessings and strength for myself AND the ones I love. Challenge yourself this year, but always strive to make every year your best year ever. Have a wonderful and safe New Year everyone!

Me!

I Tried It: Lancome DreamTone Serum

So every once in a while, people send me stuff (for free), ask me to try it, and then write about it. I’m still waiting for someone to send me a free Bugatti (do you hear me Bugatti???!!!!). Anyway, this time, the wonderful people at SheSpeaks, in conjunction with Lancome, sent me a full-sized bottle of Lancome DreamTone Serum. Before I go any further, I want to stress that this product was complimentary, and I am in no way required to give it a favorable review. And we all know I don’t have an issue telling you how I really feel about something. We’ll start with the packaging first.

Lancome DreamTone

That right there is a sexy looking bottle. I opened the package and was almost afraid to use it, and then I got excited, because at a retail price of $98 a bottle, I thought there might be diamonds inside! Unfortunately, when I used the pump, the only thing that came out was serum. Bummer. The description that came with it claimed it would “correct dark spots, color imperfections and uneven skin tone”. Now, I don’t generally have “bad” skin. A little oily, yes, but for the most part, it’s treated me pretty good. That is, up until the last few months. I’d been dealing with a lot of stress, and it was beginning to take a toll on my skin. I switched to some new products, but some damage had already been done, leaving me with residual discoloration (I didn’t have the sense to take a picture beforehand, so you’ll have to trust me on this one). I was instructed to use this product twice a day, under my moisturizer, for four weeks. So, did it work?

Lancome Selfie

That is my “bare-faced zero makeup just came back from the gym exhausted from a long day” selfie (I take the most awkward selfies). If you look closely enough, my skin tone is pretty even, and wait, is that a, a, a GLOW?!?! If this were a few months ago, I’d probably be a little hesitant to go out in public, even to the gym, without a little concealer to cover up any discoloration. But lo-and-behold, it actually worked! If it can even my skin out in four weeks, I would imagine it would help someone with more serious skin tone issues over a longer period of time.

Would I recommend? I know it’s Lancome, but $98 for someone with real issues could be pretty pricey, even if it’s worth it. I feel like there isn’t much left in this bottle, so you would have to replenish every 5-7 weeks. If price isn’t an issue for you, then by all means, go for it. There may not be diamonds in the bottle, but there IS just a little bit of gold.

This Mortal Life

I am heartbroken over the passing of Paul Walker. Did I know him? No, not personally, of course. But many of us get to “know” celebrities by the moments we share with them in movies, from photos, from their work in the community. Many of us begin to think of these celebrities as our friends and family, so their untimely deaths have a deep impact on us. For others, though, I think it conveys something deeper, some aspect of ourselves that we have to examine.

Direction

It doesn’t just mean we won’t see our favorite star on the big screen again, in something new. It’s so much bigger than that. It sharply reminds us of our own mortality, and that can be scary. It causes us to take a step back and examine our lot in life, our paths, to see if we’re really where we want to be. It makes us hold on to that loved one just a little bit longer, makes our kisses last a second more than usual, makes us bite our tongues instead of harshly rebuking our partner with venomous, hurtful words. Essentially, it reminds us that we only have this one life, this one chance to live fully, to give our all in a positive way.

Live with Purpose

Today, you have to ask yourself: what can I do to live life fully? If tomorrow wasn’t a guarantee (which it is undoubtedly not), what would you do differently? How would that change your outlook and game plan for the day? I challenge you all to love yourselves enough to be the best you possible, to live in the present and enjoy every moment of it. That isn’t to say that you should live recklessly, but you should live with intention. Leave the fluff behind and focus on what is important, what helps you grown and learn and love…what helps you BE. May all of those who didn’t have the opportunity to wake up today rest in peace, and may you all take that as your cue to live a life of peace and purpose.

Paul Walker

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