You don't know what you've got til' it's gone, and when it comes to having clear skin, this statement is 100% big facts. Gone are the days where I could rinse my face with some Dollar Store brand body wash and go live my best life without fear of giant blemishes, rashes, and unexpected pimples. Now, my skincare routine takes approximately 20 minutes and $200 worth of products from Ulta and honey, my time and my money are spent.
With growing up comes bills, responsibilities, and worst of all, adult acne, and although you may be in the struggle season right now, sis, your glow-up is on the horizon and it may only take a few trips to the dermatologist and a new skincare system to get your face all the way together.
On a recent episode ofELLE's Wake Up With Me, R&B singer Justine Skye gave us the 411 on the morning routine that keeps her skin both hydrated and healthy AF. Along with checking her horoscope, Justine says that she prefers to ditch the morning java and start her day off with a dairy-free Matcha latte. She explained:
"I'm obsessed with matcha. I have to have it. I don't have to have it, but I would love to have it every day if I could. This right here is a nitro latte. It has almond milk and coconut milk in it. I try not to drink or eat dairy because it's not really that good for you. I tried that coffee thing that everyone does for a little while and I realized that it gave me anxiety and kind of like, panic attacks. I don't know. My heart would start beating really fast and I would start going crazy and like what's wrong with me? And for some strange reason matcha, which is supposed to have more caffeine than coffee, doesn't do that to me."
After eating some banana bread, checking her texts, emails, and horoscopes, Justine is off to jumpstart her skincare regimen, which is a delicious hybrid of Kiehl's and Clinique products that you should get your hands on ASAP.
Scroll below for details on the acne-prone routine that keeps her glow-on-go at all times:
"First, I use Acne Solution Cleansing Foam to wash my face and then I just pat my face. I try not to like rub it too bad."
"Next, I use Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion. It's kind of like an astringent. You shake it up and I get one of these lovely cotton pads and I just like put a little bit on there and I just wipe my face with it, focused on the nose area cause I feel like it's a lot of build-up in there."
"I use Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream and I mix it with a little bit of Daily Reviving Concentrate, which is like an oil that really just hydrates my skin. I use three drops of it. Massaging your face does help a lot, gets the blood flowing and circulating so you don't have bags under your eyes and stuff like that."
"I travel with this, I keep this in my bag at all times because it just hydrates your face, you know like whenever it's feeling dry at whatever point. I'm not putting on makeup today because I'm just going to rehearsal. I want my skin to breathe and be healthy and just like get all the vitamin D from the sun and charge up my melanin, you know?"
"I use this skin hydrator; one and a half pumps of that. And then this one, I don't really like massage into my face. I kind of just pat. And this is the glow guys. This is how you get the glow. Amazing, isn't it?"
A Handy, Dandy Toothbrush
And you can't forget to lay those edges, sis.
Clear Eyebrow Gel
"I always have to have my eyebrows in place, so I just used some clear eyebrow gel."
Featured image by Instagram/@JustineSkye.
Originally published on October 30, 2019
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This post is in partnership with Amgen.
The seemingly simple task of taking a breath is something most of us don’t think twice about. But for people who live with severe asthma, breathing does not always come easily. Asthma, a chronic respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs, affects millions of people worldwide – 5-10% of which live with severe asthma. Severe asthma is a chronic and lifelong condition that is unpredictable and can be difficult to manage. Though often invisible to the rest of the world, severe asthma is a not-so-silent companion for those who live with it, often interrupting schedules and impacting day-to-day life.
Among the many individuals who battle severe asthma, Black women face a unique set of challenges. It's not uncommon for us to go years without a proper diagnosis, and finding the right treatment often requires some trial and error. Thankfully, all hope is not lost for those who may be fighting to get their severe asthma under control. We spoke with Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq. and Jania Watson, two inspiring Black women who have been living with severe asthma and have found strength, resilience, and a sense of purpose in their journeys.
Juanita Brown Ingram, Esq.
Juanita Ingram has a resume that would make anyone’s jaw drop. On top of being recently crowned Mrs. Universe, she’s also an accomplished attorney, filmmaker, and philanthropist. From the outside, it seems there’s nothing this talented woman won’t try, and likely succeed at. In her everyday life, however, Juanita exercises a lot more caution. From a young age, Juanita has struggled with severe asthma. Her symptoms were always exacerbated by common illnesses like a cold or flu. “I've heard these stories of my breathing struggles, but I remember distinctly when I was younger not being able to breathe every time I got a virus,” says Ingram. “I remember missing a lot of school and crying a lot because asthma is painful. I [was taken] to see my doctor often if I got sick with anything so I was hypervigilant as a child, and I still am.”
Today, Juanita says her symptoms are best managed when she’s working closely with her care team, avoiding getting sick and staying ahead of any symptoms. Ingram said she’s been blessed with skilled doctors who are just as vigilant of her symptoms as she is. While competing in the Mrs. Universe competition, Juanita took extra care to stay clear of other competitors to ensure she didn’t catch a cold or virus that would trigger her severe asthma. “I would stand off to the side and sometimes that could be taken as ‘oh, she thinks she's better than everybody else.’ But if I get sick during a pageant, I'm done. I had to compete with that in mind because my sickness doesn't look like everybody else's sickness.”
Even when her symptoms are under control, living with severe asthma still presents challenges. Juanita relies on her strong support system to overcome the hurdles caused by a lack of understanding from the public, “I think that there's a lot of lack of awareness about how serious severe asthma is. I would [also] tell women to advocate and to trust their intuition and not to allow someone to dismiss what you're experiencing.”
Jania, a content creator from Atlanta, Georgia, has been living with severe asthma for many years. Thanks to early testing by asthma specialists, Jania was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child after experiencing frequent flare-ups and challenges in her day-to-day life. “I specifically remember, I was starting school, and we were moving into a new house. One of the triggers for me and my younger sister at the time were certain types of carpets. We had just moved into this new house and within weeks of us being there, my parents literally had to pay for all new carpet in the house.”
As Jania grew older, she was suffering from fewer flare-ups and thought her asthma was well under control. However, a trip back to her doctor during high school revealed that her severe asthma was affecting her more than she realized. “That was the first time in a long time I had to do a breathing test,” she describes. “The doctor had me take a deep breath in and blow into a machine to test my breathing. They told me to blow as hard as I could. And I was doing it. I was giving everything I got. [My dad and the doctor] were looking at me like ‘girl, stop playing.’ And at that point [it confirmed] I still have severe asthma because I've given it all I got. It doesn't really go away, but I just learned how to help manage it better.”
Jania recognizes that people who aren’t living with asthma, may not understand the disease and mistake it for something less serious. Or there could be others who think their symptoms are minor, and not worth bringing up. So, for Jania, communicating with others about her diagnosis is key. “Having severe asthma [flare-ups] in some cases looks very similar to being out of shape,” she said. “But this is a chronic illness that I was born with. This is just something that I live with that I've been dealing with. And I think it's important for people to know because that determines the next steps. [They might ask] ‘Do you need a bottle of water, or do you need an inhaler? Do you need to take a break, or do we need to take you to the hospital?’ So, I think letting the people around you know what's going on, just in case anything were to happen plays a lot into it as well.”
Like Juanita, Jania’s journey has been marked by ups and downs, but she remains an unwavering advocate for asthma awareness and support within the Black community. She hopes that her story can be an inspiration to other women with asthma who may not yet have their symptoms under control. “There's still life to be lived outside of having severe asthma. It is always going to be there, but it's not meant to stop you from living your life. That’s why learning how to manage it and also having that support system around you, is so important.”
By sharing their journeys, Juanita and Jania hope to encourage others to embrace their conditions, obtain a proper management plan from a doctor or asthma specialist like a pulmonologist or allergist, and contribute to the improvement of asthma awareness and support, not only within the Black community, but for all individuals living with severe asthma.
Read more stories from others like Juanita and Jania on Amgen.com, or visit Uncontrolled Asthma In Black Women | BREAK THE CYCLE to find support and resources.
The end of the year brings about a peculiar dilemma: whether to rest or “go hard” before January 1 hits.
It’s easy to feel conflicted with the notion that every year has to be ended on a “strong” note. However, when we look at the winter season as a whole, it represents a time when nature and humans slow down, embrace ease, and hide away from all the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Winter, in particular, is a time to hibernate and draw inward — with freezing temperatures and holidays leisure time all providing us a reason to stay indoors. So, when it comes to hitting the reset button before the new year, it’s all about listening to the rhythm of the season and detaching from external influences that push grinding into the new year. And seasonal living is showing us how to do it.
What Is Seasonal Living?
Living seasonally is the practice of adapting one's lifestyle and activities in harmony with the changing seasons. This approach recognizes and embraces the natural cycles of the Earth, acknowledging that each season brings its own unique characteristics, opportunities, and challenges.
The beauty in seasonal living is how it fosters a deeper connection to the natural world and encourages us to be more attuned to the cycles of the seasons.
We can appreciate how the flowers bloom in spring, the way summer brings us warmth, how autumn is a time for harvest, and the way winter calls for restful hibernation, but we can’t have one without the other. So when winter comes, it’s natural to feel the urge to do less and power down in accordance with the time of year.
Embracing Seasonal Living In Your Lifestyle
Because every season offers something unique, embracing seasonal living can also mean adjusting one's activities, hobbies, plans, and even dietary choices based on the time of year. For instance, summer tends to be a time of eating light, with crisp salads, market fresh seafood, and vibrant cocktails, while our winter cravings typically lean on the side of being hearty, warm to the touch, and nutrient-rich diet to keep us fuller for longer.
The same can be said for how we adjust our lifestyle and daily habits. The wintertime is the perfect setting to reflect and plan. As the year comes to a close, it naturally brings up a desire to look back on our goals, and the transition from one season to the next can be a time to assess goals, make plans for the future, and appreciate the progress made.
While it’s reasonable to want to punch out a few last-minute goals from your vision board, it’s also okay to celebrate all that you have achieved and mark the rest down for top priorities to hit in the new year.
The wintertime is the perfect setting to reflect and plan.
How To Power Down For The Season:
Less Doing, More Planning.
If you didn’t hit every goal you had for the year this time around, that’s okay. All this means is that you’ve already got a headstart on what goals you’d like to tackle for next year. Living seasonally encourages mindfulness and an awareness of the present moment, so it’s less about taking more action, and more about reflecting on what actions you’d like to take in the coming year. Journal, make your vision board, and express gratitude for all that you’ve achieved this year. If no one’s told you already: girl, you did that!
If there’s one thing we call sharing at this point in the year, it's collective exhaustion. We’re tired, burned out, and simply want to turn our brains off for the foreseeable future. And if that’s you, give yourself the permission to do just that. Unplugging is a simple way to turn the dial down on outside noise and take your eyes off what everyone else is doing, and return them back to all the beauty in your life.
Embrace Small Gatherings.
While it may not be the best to be “outside” and partying like it's summertime, a small gathering with friends and close loved ones can be the perfect antidote to beating those winter blues. The wintertime can be a lonely time of year if you’re living alone or away from family during the holidays, but you can always lean on your immediate community of friends to create a sense of connection during this time.
Sleep A Little More.
Let’s be honest, daylight savings time has us all a little disoriented. But since we can’t fix it, we might as well embrace it. This is the time of year when listening to your body is the best way to take care of it, so if you’re feeling more tired and ready for bed at an earlier time, go for it. Take advantage of the extra hours of darkness and push your bedtime an hour or two; it could play to your benefit.
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Featured image by lisegagne/Getty Images