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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I’m one of those people who plans everything out. I establish a to-do list every day, with a detailed itinerary on what my goals are and how to finish them. Sometimes I spend so much time planning that I don’t actually end up doing anything. Crazy how that could happen right? Over time I’ve had to develop little ways to get myself to actually be productive. I figured I would share them with you all in case you could use them too!

Turn the lights on

This may seem obvious, but I personally like to work in dim lit environments; especially when I first wake up in the morning. I light a candle and easeeee into my day, but on days I have a lot to do I’m more productive when I turn the light on. You’ll notice that when the sun is out it inspires people to be more active, as opposed to when the weather is dark and gloomy.

I have the lights on right now- in case you were wondering.

Sit at a desk

I loveeeee my bed. Especially in the cold winter months, I would rather have my fleece sheets than a hard chair. I must admit though that sitting upright makes getting things done a lot easier. You’re less prone to laying in bed and taking a nap mid day (guilty) or letting Netflix mind control you while you aimlessly sit in bed doing nothing. Trust me, we have all been there….

Create the right environment

If the two options listed above aren’t available to you in your home then go some place else where you know will thrive. In the summer months, I love to work outside. I remember when I was in college being in a library could be so stifling. My allergies usually meant I couldn’t stay outside for long but nonetheless, I got a lot of work done. For others, it may be Starbucks, library, or a local restaurant. Whatever that environment is, utilize it!

Utilize time efficiently

My commute can be long and tiresome. However, it is idle time with wifi access that could be used to be productive. If you feel like there is never enough hours in the day then this is where you can steal some extra time! If you’re at work and have a canceled meeting, use it as some time to catch up on something that may have normally been put on the back burner. If you’re on the elliptical at the gym, bring something that you could read (for me it’s blog posts). You’d be amazed at how much idle time you may have in a day!

I know that sometimes we all need to take a break and unplug for the day, but these are just some tips on how to manage your time effectively and accomplish your daily goals. I hope they help you as much as they do me!

Kierra Lee

 

 

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april goals

Every month I set new goals for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I have new year resolutions too, but I think there is something healthy and refreshing about having short-term goals. I’m somebody that tends to move from idea to idea, new adventure to new adventure, so this is my little way of keeping myself entertained!

Crack down on fitness

I have fitness goals, very reasonable fitness goals, but for some reason, I always end up talking myself out of them. I set a plan in motion and by the time I get home I’m too tired to do anything else but crawl in bed. So I decided, instead of working out after I’ve commuted home, that it would be a good idea to work out without going home first. Typically I come home after my 1hr 15 bus ride, unwind for the day and then head to the gym. Sometimes my “unwinding” ends up with me not going to the gym at all. So instead I’ve decided to pack my gym clothes in the car so that I don’t have to go home first after work. Hopefully, without the added of distraction of being home I’ll be more diligent with my routine!

Teeth Whitening

Random I know…I’ve spent years perfecting my teeth (thanks to my nasty habit of sucking my thumb), but I’ve never understood how people could spend 100’s, and sometimes thousands on whitening remedies. There are so many affordable options nowadays that I’m excited to try some at home whitening tricks before I go cashing out the big bucks. Don’t get me wrong, my teeth aren’t disgustingly yellow or anything but I mean who doesnt want pearly white teeth?

Consistency with my Blog

I have several posts in the vault but no time to organize and set them up for scheduling! It’s frustrating because my work week is so slammed that I can only work on the blog during the weekends. I have to utilize every moment (currently watching a movie and blogging as we speak) just to get things done on time. I don’t want to throw things up on the site just to have content, but I promise that some new and fun things are coming your way!

What are some of your monthly goals?

Kierra Lee

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