One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight is the lack of instant gratification. I mean sure you feel great for going to the gym, breaking a good sweat and eating healthy but the actual pounds take a while to drop off. I’ve officially and I say officially as in “consistently” been working out since May 2015. That’s when I first started BBG. I thought it would be a short term thing, I work out for 3 months, lose my target weight and stop working out. My bounce back is fast but this time, around it took me a lot longer than expected to lose the weight. I always here people say fitness is a lifestyle change but I just wasn’t ready to commit until I explored all other options first. I’ll take you down a trip of memory lane for a minute so you can understand why I came to the decision I did today!

I started out doing BBG from May 2015-August. You can read all about my progress here, I documented it thoroughly. It was an amazing workout plan with a great sense of community, but I missed the gym and pumping iron so after 4 months I got tired of the resistance training that I was doing with BBG.

New things

In September, I got a new job and could afford a gym membership so I made the switch. I wanted to push myself to be out of my comfort zone so I decided to start taking classes; Zumba, body pump, spin, and yoga.  It really helped boost my confidence, make friends and learn different styles of working out. Zumba was great for cardio, Yoga for rehabilitation, Body Pump for exactly as the name sounds-pumping iron. I loved classes, and still do but they weren’t helping me tone the way that I wanted too. The classes didn’t work with my work schedule (lifestyle adjustment right?) and so sometimes I was able to go and other days I couldn’t. You add the holidays season on top of rainy weather and my gym routine quickly withered away. I was gaining the weight back and loosing all my muscle definition that I had with BBG.

 

Fast Forwardddd

Now fast forward to present day and I can say with certainty that I’m not where I want to be. I have made immense progress, I mean after 8 months of working out how could you not? But with the new year being here I’ve had some time to reflect on both the pros and cons of my workout routine and also include the other big factor; eating healthy.

I said all of this to say that I wanted to share with you my new goals in hopes that we can both be encouraging to one another the way we were when I was doing BBG. Those posts have brought me a lot of traffic and engagement and I figured why not bring it back and document my second go at it!

My new routine will be as follows:

Monday: Abs + Back. I start my week with this because it’s the part of my body I struggle with the most. I want to alwasy start my week of strong in case other things come up that prevent me from going to the gym

Tuesday: Legs +. I always pair leg day with something but sometimes I switch between arms and chest.

Thursday-Same as Monday

Friday: Same as Tuesday

Saturday: Misccellanous. Sometimes I’ll take body pump, other days Zumba, and as the weather gets better I will probably start hiking.

I wanted to find ways to incorporate BBG into my routine again, but the fact of the matter is I get a lot of gratification from actually lifting weights and working on the machines. For some reason it’s so hard for me to get in the groove during resistance training.

As always I will be updating you all with my progress! Thanks for all your support!

 

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I was blessed with great skin. It’s as dry as the Mohave desert but aside from its dullness, it is healthy. I don’t have any scarring, hyperpigmentation, bags or wrinkling around my eye. The worst thing I have is a few freckles and a dimple –which I like to think adds a little character. Even though my skin is naturally healthy I still have to work at making sure it stays that way. I’ve listed a few things that I currently do to keep my skin clear!

DRINK WATER

I’m sure you’ve heard this one a million times but I promise you it works. I actually don’t like water, and I certainly can never get through the necessary “8 glasses” a day, but ever since I’ve started to get in shape I’ve made more of a conscious effort. One of the ways I love staying hydrated is to infuse it with fruit (for cold drinks) or add lemon and honey (for warm drinks). I recently bought a thermos mug and it’s been great for my morning cup of water. I can get in 160z before 10am, not to mention the water that I drink during my morning workout.

HAVE NO MAKEUP DAYS

I love no makeup days. Something just feels wrong about lying around in my sweats with a full face of makeup on. I wear makeup during the work week, but since my weekends are typically spent with close friends and family I like to use that as a time to let my skin have a break. I prefer light makeup as is, but if your someone who likes a full glam face everyday then a break is definitely needed. You also end up cleaning your face even more, stripping it of its natural oils because you’re trying to scrub the heavy makeup off. If you need to exfoliate then by all means do so, but it shouldn’t be because of an overuse of makeup!

STOP SAMPLING SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

As beauty bloggers, or just a girl who likes to watch YouTube it can be easy to get sucked into different skincare hypes. I will admit that even I’ve fallen for this a few times (current regret is the glamglow youthmud mask) and it’s ended up causing more damage to my skin than good. My skincare routine is ivory soap. That’s it folks! I wash my face everyday with plain ole ivory soap. Once a week I wear a hydrating mask (another “YouTube made me buy it” product) and it’s been doing wonders during the cold season. But the point is once you find something that works stick with it! My suggestion would be to have one holy grail item for each issue you have and use it as needed. For me during that time of the month I like to use Sephora’s Green Tea Mask to help get rid of the pimples.

Keep anything you put on your face clean

Makeup girls this one is for you! I will openly say that cleaning makeup brushes is something I don’t do as often as I should and my skin has definitely paid the price. I used to keep my brushes out on my desk, my very “prone to getting dust” desk. The dust would settle in my powder brushes and I sometimes would even notice it until after I had used the brush. I now store them in my vanity desk but the point is make sure they stay clean (and that goes for you beauty blenders too). Another good one is changing your pillow cases. Drool, plus old makeup, plus dead hair and whatever else could possibly be on your pillow is a recipe asking for a pimple. Anything that touches your face on a consistent basis should be as clean as possible!

What do you do to keep your skin clear and healthy?

Kierra Lee

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I’ve been consistently working out for a year now. One whole year since I decided to dedicate time and energy into living a more healthy and active life. I’ve tried just about every single trick in the book to make the process quick and easy, but there is nothing “instant” about losing weight. You have to have discipline, consistency and most of all be real with yourself about your expectations. The hardest part for me was finding something that worked and I liked enough to continue doing. Today I’m sharing with you all what some of those things are!

Purchase a workout plan

This was the first thing I did when I started working out. Last year this time I was coming off 3 months of unemployment, and could hardly afford a gym membership. I needed a one-time fee item that required minimal equipment and didn’t interfere with my new work schedule. BBG (the Bikini Body Guide) was the best option for me. It’s a 3 day a week, 30-minute workout for intermediate/beginner. You can work at your own pace but if you stick with it the results are amazing (you can see mine here). Not to mention the community on Instagram is incredibly supportive. I did it for six weeks and it helped trim off a lot of weight!

Join A Class

Once I got more settled into my new job, I wanted to start working out at the gym again. I had lost a lot of inches (don’t know the weight since BBG encourages you not to weigh yourself) and had built enough confidence in myself where I felt comfortable working out in front of people. There is something about working out in a room full of other people, who are equally sweaty and tired as you but still manage to push through it. With BBG, I was working out by myself or with a friend and now I had an instructor and other experienced gym goers (who by the way give amazing tips). It gave me something to look forward to at the end of my day. I took Zumba for cardio and Body Pump for weight training. Both high-intensity classes and loud, so if you’re into a more “yoga-ish” environment then those classes aren’t it! I absolutely love both classes and if you need the extra encouragement this is a great choice.

Create your own plan

Both the above choices are amazing but they are at someone else’s pace. BBG was a preset workout plan, and although I got more versatility with my classes I still had to follow the instructors lead. After 6 months of doing BBG and classes, I was ready for a change so I made my own routine; something tailored to my problem areas. I carry the majority of my weight on my back and stomach so I cranked up the ab and back exercises. I also don’t like resistance training, working on a weight machine is more my style. I can also better track my progress by knowing how much I was able to lift/push on one week vs the next. Free weights and machines are also faster. I’m in and out the gym in under 45 minutes, 30 if I skip cardio. I keep my workouts quick and to the point giving me plenty of time to enjoy the rest of my day. With classes, your stuck with a set class schedule and that started to become difficult for me. If I got off work earlier I didn’t want to have to wait until 7:15 for my Zumba class to start when I could have already been home and had dinner.

Diet

My mom hates working out, especially in the gym. She thinks walking and clean eating is all she needs, and for some that may be true. But if you’re really trying to drop pounds you are going to need a healthy balance of both working out and clean eating. I’ll be honest and say this is one of the hardest parts of losing weight; controlling my appetite for everything greasy and sweet has been a huge challenge. The first thing I did was get rid of the bad snacks. Yup I’m a snacker. I could live off chips, candy, and soda for dayssss. I knew that if I wanted to really drop pounds or even just maintain what I already have that I had to cut those things out. I started portion dieting; 3 snacks a day with 2 small meals. You essentially eat every 2 hours, never really allowing your body to truly become “hungry” which is when all the cravings start to happen. I’ll be doing a full breakdown of my portion eating routine later, but for now know that coming up with a healthy diet is detrimental to your weight loss plan!

What are some of your tips for losing weight?

Kierra Lee

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cover fx custom drops., foundation, makeup

I’m the type of girl who spends hours in Sephora swatching different foundations, only to leave empty handed. Everything I find is either too full coverage, not the right shade- which might I say there are a lot of companies that are not very brown girl friendly, or the foundation simply doesn’t have any wow factor. Either way, I always end up disappointed, or mad at myself for even trying. My current foundation collection is so wimpy I shouldn’t even call it a collection. I have the Nars Tinted Moisturizer and the Luminous All Day Weightless foundation. I’ve had other foundations but none worth keeping. I prefer light coverage and I can never seem to find the right shade and weight to my liking until I discovered the custom cover drops which have seriously been a dream come true.

WHAT IS IT

The Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is a bottle of pure pigment that can be mixed with other oils, lotion, primers etc. Anything that you would normally put on your face to prep and prime can be mixed with the cover drops. They have 4 infusion drops specifically made to blend with the cover drops but they are pricey ($44) and since you can mix it with anything it’s probably better to stick to your normal primer or just plain ole lotion. If you want light coverage the recommended drops are 1-2, Medium to full is 2-3 drops. Essentially the more coverage you want the more drops you should use. The shade range is phenomenal, it’s offered in 25 shades so you have plenty of options. I actually had to sample two different shades since I couldn’t tell which one would match me properly.

cover fx custom drops, foundation, makeup, beauty, product review

HOW I USE IT

I’ve mixed mine with several different things. The first was the hydration primer by Smashbox. I liked this combination but it made my skin feel overly wet. It was as if I added too much moisture to my face. I have also used it with lotion and got the same result. I decided to try using it with mattifying primers and that was when I got the best results. I have dry skin so I thought using a liquid foundation with a hydrating primer would be exactly what my skin needed but instead, the combination made me look too oily. I tried mixing it with a sample of the Dior everlasting primer which I mention in my haul a few weeks ago, and it was my favorite foundation look! Unfortunately, the primer is almost $50 and I didn’t want to get addicted to a product that was above my normal budget.

I’ve also used it with Makeup Forever Step One Mattifying Primer, and the Custom infusion drops that are meant to go with the cover drops. I liked the MUFE primer although it wasn’t as good as the Dior one, it is a more affordable option. The infusion drops were a total bust for me, I didn’t like the smell of them and they were too oily. But I’m also not into applying oils to my face so if you are then it may be a good choice for you.

PROS

Creating your own coverage: I love to have the freedom to tailor my foundation to my needs. For days when I’m going to work I wear it lightweight, and on days when I’m going out for dinner or dressing up I can make it fuller coverage.

Shade Range: The options are really endless. I can easily find both my winter and summer shade in this line. If you are a makeup artist this would be good to add to your kit.

CONS

Not Travel-Friendly: Since you have to essentially “make your foundation” it can get a bit messy. I mix mine in a small little cup, but this isn’t the most accessible for a girl on the go. You can mix it on your hand but I think that’s messy and you end up wasting the product.

Pure Pigment: The fact that is pure pigment means it doesn’t have a lot of the additives that normally make foundation have some lasting power. The foundation stays very well but only if you have the right mixture. Once you’ve figured out your perfect combination then you’ll love it but it does take some tweaking and trying new things.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall I love it. The versatility I have with this is amazing and exactly what I’ve been looking for. If you are someone who struggles with some of the same things I have then this would be a perfect option for you. If you don’t like the product at first glance then I recommend trying it with a different base. I promise you it makes all the difference!

What’s your favorite foundation right now?

Kierra Lee

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Recently I’ve been trying out some new beauty products that I wanted to share with you all! Normally I save posts like these for when I have tried and tested a product so that I can give a thorough review but sometimes I buy things that don’t end up making it to the full review round. Often times the most you hear of a product is when I haul it, so I thought this would be a good way to share with you what I think after the first use.

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge

There will definitely be a full review on this later but my initial impression of it is that it’s amazing! I’m a huge fan of RT brushes, so I had high expectations with their sponge; regardless of people’s thoughts in comparison to the beauty blender. It does soak up a lot of product but I love that for when I’ve applied a little too much of something.

Glamglow Thirstymud Mask

San Francisco has been quite chilly lately, which is not helpful for my desert dry skin so I decided to get this for a little pick me up. I’ve heard amazing things about Glamglow so I was eager to sample the hydrating mask. I love the fact that it has no discoloration and is relatively thin compared to my previous experiences with masks. I have found that I need to apply some lotion afterwards, but that’s probably because I only leave it on for 20 mins. I’ve heard that people who leave it on all night have better results.

Glamglow Youthmud Mask

I went into to purchase the white mask, but they didn’t have the sample version so I bought the black one instead. I’m not sure If I left it on for too long (20 mins) or if the mask is just too harsh for my skin, but when I rinsed it off I had red spots on my forehead and parts of my cheeks. They looked like mini welts on my face. I’m assuming it was an allergic reaction that I had and two days later I broke out. I still want to use it, but I probably will apply it as a spot treatment instead of all over my face.

Marc Jacobs Decadence

My last Marc Jacobs fragrance was a little disappointing. I spent a whopping $80 on daisy dream only to find out that it has absolutely no staying power. Maybe it’s the mixture with my body chemistry, or maybe the scent is too light and airy, but either way it made me weary to buy another fragrance. This time I decided to try a stronger warmer scent. It definitely is distinctive but it’s slowly growing on me. The fact that it comes in the shape of a handbag is an added bonus!

That’s it for this round of first impressions! Feel free to comment below on anything that you’ve tried!

Kierra Lee

 

 

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