due date.

No tears. No feeling sorry for myself. Good food. Family. The beach.

a celebration for Jolie.

Yesterday (Oct 24,11) was supposed to be my due date. I used to wonder how I feel on that date, never anticipating the unfortunate event that would have occurred. After Jolie's brief time on Earth, I still wondered how I would feel on this date. Granted, babies don't usually arrive on their exact due date, but the days leading up were emotional nonetheless.I kept trying to figure out what I was going to do when Oct 24th rolled around - I knew I didn't want to go to work (my therapist agreed) but I didn't want to sit at home crying all day either. Last minute my husband decided we should head down to Florida - perfect! My mom organized a little get together for our family to come over and have a little celebration for Jolie. Before the night was over, we wrote messages on pink balloons that I had gotten for and then released them into the sky. Everyone got to say that they wanted to Jolie since they weren't able to meet her. It was definitely an emotional moment - I was able to keep it together until I saw my little sister crying. Releasing those balloons were symbolic of what my pastor told me earlier that day, that as much as it hurts, eventually I have to let go. As much as I don't quite know how and as much as I feel guilty about "letting go", I know that I have to in order to be a good mom to my future children. She'll always be my first born, and her brothers and/or sisters will know her when they're able to understand but I can't carry around this sadness and anger forever. That being said, there's no template on grieving and I will continue to take it day by day. May my little girl rest in peace.
ps: thanks for the pictures Kimi

LACQUER LIFE | a polka dot case study

When I saw Essie's "Case Study" on the shelf, I couldn't help but take it home with me (after paying of course). I know I said I was going to leave Essie alone, but this color looked so yummy - I couldn't resist. "Case Study" is from their new Fall Collection, which consists of a myriad of rich hues that compliment the seasons. Initially when I put it on, it seemed too close to last weeks color. It didn't help that my husband asked me why I bought the same color again (men!). I ended up painting that previous color on my ring finger and realized that there was a clear distinction between the two. Once it dried, I then decided to paint polka dots to tie it in together.

I've yet to purchase Top Coat - does it really help? Is one better than the other? I need recommendations.

oprah's life class: ego

I know this blog has seemed a little impersonal this week - but there hasn't been too much going on besides work and going to the gym. I have become even more obsessed with Oprah this week though. Please tell me that you're watching her new show Oprah's Lifeclass. This show has made me look at myself in a way that I never have before and I've been looking at life so differently...maybe that's why this week has been so pleasantly uneventful. My favorite episode so far as been the one about ego. Through watching that show I realized that a lot of things in my life that made me unhappy were brought on by my ego, especially the thing that seems to bother me the most - not having the career that I want. I am not an egotistical person - but we all have an ego and tend to define ourselves with things outside ourselves - our jobs, our cars, titles, etc. Watching this episode made me realize, that I am not "less than" because I don't have the career or paycheck that I want. I am enough. What I do for a living has nothing to do with who I am. It may seem kind of silly, but that was a big moment for me. That was where my personal ego, came into play. For you, it may be something else. For Oprah, it was her weight.

Have you been watching Life Class? Which lesson most resonated with you so far?

MY WEDDING FEATURE + You Don't Know Jacques !!!

Apparently, Essie is no match for my frequent dish washing, constant house cleaning and nightly twisting of my afro. As much as I love their 5th Ave color, I was barely getting any wear out of it before it would start chipping away. I hit up Duane Reade yesterday for one of my (now all too frequent) drugstore beauty product fixes. I was on the hunt for the perfect neutral shade for Fall, and I found that in "You Don't Know Jacques" by O.P.I! This is totally different from the bright shades that I'd typically purchase (usually some shade or red or pink). I love it! I think this is my new favorite...I also think I'm developing a nail polish addition...and I HAVE TO get my hands on that Rainbow Connection shade that's included in the new Muppet Collection.
I also wanted to let you know that I was interviewed by the super sweet Audrey over at "Chronicles of A Future Wife" where my wedding is featured today. Make sure you stop by and check it out. Enjoy your Wednesday!

Reader Question: How To Get Rid of Acne + Scars

Reader Question: I just read your post on Honey and I was wondering something.
My face breaks out like crazy and sporadically. There are days it's ok and others when
it's out of control. Do you have any tips to reduce the amount of acne/breakouts on my face?
And when it comes to discoloration (from popped pimples and such)
do you have any tips to make them better?
- M

Water should be your new best friend! I cannot stress the importance of drinking water if you have acne prone skin (it took me forever to figure this out). Part of the reason for acne flares, is the imbalance of hormones in our bodies - by drinking water, you're flushing out those excess hormones that aid in causing breakouts. Water also carries nutrients to every part of the body, so it will hydrate your skin by delivering the proper nutrients needed for skin repair.

Create A Regimen & Be Diligent With It! Creating a regimen is essential to reducing acne. Washing, toning and moisturizing your skin should be done both morning and night. With acne prone skin, it's extremely important to keep your skin clean and ph balanced. In addition, exfoliating once a week is great as well to make sure you don't have an dead skin accumulating, which would then create more breakouts. When looking for a regimen you want to purchase products that either contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

- Try The Oil Cleansing Method. I haven't personally gotten around to trying  oil cleansing method as yet (hoping to order my oils soon and I will share my personal experience with it) but everyone who has done it swears by it and no longer feel the need to purchase commercial products. The OCM involves applying oil directly to your face. You're probably thinking, "if I have oily skin, why would I put MORE OIL on my face?" - hear me out...oil actually dissolves oil. By using the correct oils on your face, you'll actually be cleansing your pores of bacteria. For acne try Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Hazelnut Oil or even an Evening Primrose Oil { most of them can be purchased here }

If You Wear Makeup, make sure it's not oil based. Ever get those tiny little bumps under the skin and can't figure out where they came from? It might be your makeup. Some makeup brands are commedogenic, meaning that they clog the pores. You need to avoid these like the plague! They will only complicate your skin further. Be on the look out for water based or mineral makeup which are non-comedogenic and in some cases will actually help your skin.

Change Your Pillow Case Often You want to make sure that you're face is on a clear surface every night

Preventing & Treating Acne Scarring:
- Do not pick at your face. Popping or picking at pimples will both increase your breakouts and leave scarring.

*** To get rid of exhisting acne scars, I always suggest a microdermerbrasion (this treatment will change your life, it reduces acne as well as scars). If you don't have the extra cash to shell out to an esthetician or dermatologist for this treatment, you can always purchase an at home kit to do it yourself.

- Chemical peels are also done by an esthetician or dermatologist. But let me say, only do this if you have to and make sure you do an extensive amount of research prior to chooseing someone to perform this procedure on you. This would be the absolute last resort, but when done effectively, the results are amazing.

- ...and of course, you can always go the home remedy route by experimenting with rubbing Rosehip Seed Oil on your face for 15 minutes per day, applying aloe vera gel or juice to the affected area when fresh (it reduces the chances of permanent scars), using lemon juice as a spot on treatment  may be beneficial as well

I hope you've found this helpful and if anyone has any
questions about todays post or has any other skincare questions, don't hesitate to shoot me an email 

Use HONEY To Get Picture Perfect Skin This Winter

Long time readers of my blog know that I've been promising to post skincare and makeup tips forever, but I haven't. I have to say that I'm obsessed with skin - mainly because I had the worse skin growing up. I've suffered from acne since the age of 8 years old and have used every product and have gone through every treatment known to man. While I was home in Jamaica a few years ago, I went to my favorite spa and had an "aha" moment while there. Upon returning to The States, I immediately enrolled myself in school to become a Skin Care Specialist/Esthetician. I attended those classes during the day, while simultaneously attending makeup school at night.With the wealth of knowledge that I accumulated, I've been able to help others as well as myself. I now think it's hilarious when people tell me I have great skin because they have no idea what a mess my skin used to be and the process I've had to go through to get it under control...well, when I'm not being lazy.

With the impending arrival of Fall/Winter, I thought this would be the perfect time to share some affordable skincare tips with you lovely ladies. Save some money to put towards your holiday gifts and look to your pantry to find what you need to have great skin.

Todays lesson is on HONEY - a natural moisturizer.

The biggest challenge for our skin with cold weather, is that it gets dry. Between the harsh winds outside and turning on the heat inside, you're prone to loose some moisture.

Honey is a humectant, it pulls in and locks in moisture while replenishing moisture levels. However, it's important to note that it will not make your skin oily. Honey will leave your skin supple, as it supports rejuvenation  and also aids in protecting the skin from sun damage, acne and works as an anti-aging ingredient as well.

Here are a few simple ways to incorporate honey into your skincare routine this season:

Honey Bath|
Add 1/4 cup of honey to your hot bath water for silky and luscious skin.

Honey Face Scrub|
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely-ground almonds (almonds are a good exfoliant)
2 tablespoons dry oatmeal
Add a bit of yogurt (or you can use lemon juice) - add as much or as little as you need to get it to the texture of your liking

Directions: Massage the mixture gently your face face and then rinse with warm water.

Honey also works wonders on hair - but I'll touch more on that later. Do you have skincare questions? Feel free to shoot me an email (curlyandnerdy@yahoo.com) and I'll answer your questions here on THE BROWN.BERRY


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