I'm sure I'm not the only one who was left in shock when retail stores and nail salons closed their doors indefinitely with no warning. Part of me was offended that there wasn't some sort of notice, I thought we were better than that. But here we are, quarantined at home with no idea of when the great outdoors will open up again. And while most of our days consist of showering (or not), only to put on a new pair of pajamas (or not), pro-MUA Kierra Lanice is giving us the glow up we all need, from the comfort of our own homes.
She's one of the millions who have felt the sting of the COVID-19 fallout. And while we're appreciating the beauty industry much more now than ever, Kierra, whose work has been featured on major events like the Grammy Awards, has launched virtual beauty consultations, which easily serve as a way to give us the star treatment at home; all while making sure her business not only stays afloat but continues to thrive during these unexpected times.
From doing personal assessments of her client's makeup bags to custom tips on how to maximize their own skills, Kierra's virtual beauty consultations are a perfect fit for novices and her fellow makeup pros alike.
xoNecole: We live in a different day and time where everyone is trying to adjust to their new normal, whatever that might mean for them. What inspired you to offer virtual makeup sessions?
Kierra Lanice: I want to help people bounce out of their funk. Yes, I think that it's very important to take a pause. We're in the middle of a global pandemic. It's OK to grieve, it's OK to not feel like doing anything. But you can't let that paralyze you.
At the beginning of this, I was really bummed out. I had just wrapped up tour dates with [Grammy-nominated artist] Rapsody. The last show ended up getting canceled, and so all this stuff started happening. I was disappointed because the tour was something that was huge for my career, but the moment I felt myself starting to spiral and my mind starting to go under siege, I knew I had to do something. People are depending on makeup artists. Just as much as this is affecting me, it's affecting the people I take responsibility for making feel beautiful. If I'm down in the dumps, how much more are other women?
"Just as much as this is affecting me, it's affecting the people I take responsibility for making feel beautiful. If I'm down in the dumps, how much more are other women?"
What’s the biggest concern you’ve heard from women when it comes to beauty and being quarantined?
You see these videos, they have 50 different steps, an hour and a half 'Get Ready With Me', and women want to know, 'Can I look this fly, can I feel this confident without using so much time?' That's been one of the things I've been trying to do is debunk the myth that it requires 25 products, an hour and a half. But at the same time, it's OK, since we do have extra time on our hands if you want to explore. If you say you'd never wear red lipstick, now is the time. Nobody's gonna see you! Try it, wear it around the house and see how it makes you feel. You might be surprised!
What will each woman walk away with after a session with you?
They'll leave with a better understanding of their skin and their face shape. That's something I've been very strategic with talking about… knowing how to shop better. They'll also get digital handouts to refer to and reference when doing their makeup. Just something that makes it more than a one-time thing. They can implement it into their regular routine. My favorite part is that it's customized specifically for them.
"I always say skincare is just as important as brushing your teeth. If you take care of your skin, it will take care of you."
How important is it for us to still practice healthy skincare routines - even though we’re not outside as much, and our skin isn’t exposed to bacteria as much as it used to be?
I always say skincare is just as important as brushing your teeth. If you take care of your skin, it will take care of you. Who knows how long this social distancing this is gonna last. I would hate for, on the other side of this, for us to come out with even worse skin. Now is the time to really start buckling down and creating these routines, getting in the habit of doing specific steps, even if it's just starting with a cleanser and a moisturizer. If you're a person who doesn't do anything to your face, start now by getting in the habit of doing this, so when we do come out of it and you start wearing makeup again like you normally would, your skin knows how to react and bounce back. Even though we're not going out, even though we're not as exposed to the skin, skincare from A-Z, finding a good cleanser, using a good moisturizer for your skin type, all of these things are important. We're responsible for taking care of our skin, cleansing it, and making sure we're protecting it.
As someone who provides self-care for others, how have you practiced it yourself during your downtime?
Every day, or at least twice a day, I'm putting on a new mask! Just because. I've been experimenting more after realizing I'm actually resourceful. In the past, I've spent so much time getting my nails done. I can do my own nails! And even braiding my hair.
As much as I love a good lazy day, there's something about putting on lipstick and doing our hair with nowhere to go.
For more of Kierra, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image courtesy of Kierra Lanice
Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images