Stop Living to Please Others (and Start Taking Care of Yourself)

Stop Living to Please Others (and Start Taking Care of Yourself)

Living Well

By Louise Antonette Fandiño-Santos of Mommy Practicality

Do you ever catch yourself trying to fit in a group, by doing certain things that are against your beliefs?  Do you sometimes compare yourself to others like your high school batch mates and weigh who has a better job position or who’s successful in business?

I admit to doing this before.  I avoided reunions because I was too insecure.  I stressed myself in being updated with the hottest showbiz gossips or keeping up with whatever was the popular TV series, for the silly reason of having something to talk about with my lunch buddies.

But I got tired. It got too tiring to keep on striving for the approval of others.

Sometimes we are our worst critic. We always find the faults that no one even notices.  This really has to stop, though.  In this complicated, demanding, fast-paced, and critical world (thanks to the Internet and social media), the successes of other people are magnified.  Why? Because most people on social media only display what they want other people to think about them.  People always try to impress other people.

Why would one display her stained life?  If today was ten years ago, I would say I am guilty about pleasing other people all the time that I forget to live my own life and appreciate what I already have. When I had enough of that false life, I started finding my center, loving and focusing on myself more.  I became happier and more at peace when I started celebrating myself.  It wasn’t an instant shift of mindset and situation, it was a process.

Here are some steps that we can all take, if we want to stop comparing our lives to others, stop trying to please everyone.

1. Make An Inventory of What Brings You Joy.

Just like decluttering your home, you can declutter your life and retain only what brings you joy. Make a mental list of people (yes even people) and situations that do not bring value to your life.  After you’ve made an inventory, find a way to keep interaction with them (whether online or offline) to a minimum.  If they are on Facebook and you are not comfortable unfriending them, you may hide their posts on your timeline or unfollow their feed. I’m not sure if you’ll agree with me, but these people are usually those who rant everyday with so much intensity and foul words on their statuses. Find a prudent way to keep your distance from these people. You don’t need to get affected by them if you decide you don’t want to.

I have a long time friend and we were really close before.  Whenever we’d talk though, she would often talk endlessly and negatively about her past, about certain people I don’t even know and her situation. Every time she’d talk this way, I knew I would absorb her negative energy.  She’s the type who’d unload her problems to you, ask for advice but never follow any. I just got really tired of this habit of hers: Whenever we’d talk, I always felt sick and my shoulders would fall heavy.  I decided I had to let go of her. We’re still friends, but I slowly disappeared from her life.

Today the people in my life are quality people who bring joy, happiness and positive influence.  They may be few, but they all bring out the best in me.  These are my family, very very few relatives, three to four closest friends, and my life mentors.

2. Invest More Time and Effort On People and Things That Make You Happy.

So you’ve created your list from tip #1 and you’re aware who these people are. Invest time and effort in also making them happy, letting them feel loved and important.  These are the people who — when you invest in them — will return a thousand-fold of positive reinforcements to your own life. Exude positive energies to attract positive feelings and thoughts. Prioritize above all your relationship with God, then with family, followed by your friends.  You’ll soon notice the changes in your life when you surround yourself with love and happiness all the time.  It seems like nothing’s going to go wrong and if ever there will be hurdles along the way, you’ll breeze through it and know that you can rise above it.

3. Realize Your Self-Worth.

Let’s face it: We can’t “be” all or “have it all.” There will always be people who can do things better, who are more popular than us in our circle, who are richer or have traveled more. Do not let what others have undermine what you have in your life. Look deep inside you and learn to see your beauty and value.  Through the eyes and love of your family and friends, you should realize how special you are as a person.  You should realize that and affirm that to yourself.

The fact is: We don’t need to always keep up with everyone else. Because in fact, living slowly and savoring the moment is always better than rushing and being chased by people and circumstances.  Once you’ve realized your self-worth, there will never be a need for you to compare yourself to others. It is true freedom, when we don’t feel the need to impress others and get their approval.

These things will make you love and appreciate yourself more and make you live your life more liberally.  You will feel the freedom from others’ opinion of you.

Follow your heart’s desire.
Live according to what makes you happy.
Live more meaningfully and find your contentment in that.

Have you ever experienced trying to keep up with others and living to impress others that you forgot about yourself?  What did you do to address it?

Go with the FLOW

Go with the FLOW

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I’ve been a fan of the Flow Girls for some years now. Monica Manzano, Noelle Hilario and Denise Bernardo are powerhouse entrepreneurs, mothers, good friends and “kindred spirits,” too, especially in the way we view this idea of “designing lives we love.” It was sometime late last year that the girls asked me to facilitate a component of their year-opener Flow Retreat last January 29 to 31, dubbed “Nourish & Renew: A Detox Retreat”, which was held in Tali Beach, Batangas, at the restful Windward House resthouse. It was an intimate, relaxing stretch of days that combined yoga, healthy meals, detox workshop, and a journaling workshop, all aimed at helping the ladies to attendance to start 2016 on a positive note.

I only got to stay from the 29th to the 30th, as we celebrated Krista’s 1st birthday on the 31st, so I’ll be sharing some photos of those first two days.

What I love about the whole concept of the Flow Retreats is that they are always filled with meaning, and are intentionally helpful and empowering.

Here’s how Day 1 went, which was basically just an opening circle followed by the first of many healthy meals.

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The small but fun group that weekend: Carla, Jess, Sam, Rax, Noelle, Monica, and yours truly (Vito and Monica’s Maya, making an appearance, haha.) At the opening circle, we shared why we decided to be at the weekend retreat, what our expectations were, and what we hoped for, looking forward to 2016. It was nice to hear everyone’s intentions!

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

Day 2 was really when the formal activities began. Of course, we began the day with breakfast by Edgy Veggie: a wonderful, meat-free and fresh breakfast of vegetarian longanizas, eggs, tofu scramble, brown rice, yogurt and fresh fruits.

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Before the journaling workshop, we took some time to stroll on the beach (I forgot to take photos of that!) and hit the swimming pool, too. I brought my family along so they could vacay it up while I did my workshop. Flow Retreats are family friendly, you know, and so is Windward House.

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windward house tali

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The journaling workshop was similar to those I gave in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and the L’Indochine travel journal event. This time, I chose to focus on helping the participants start their year right, through journaling. The initial prompt was to begin the first spread of their journals with a manifestion or declaration of how they wanted to feel this year. No goals, no resolutions; just feelings. I learned this from Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, which I’ve been applying for the past two years. It really helps to declare how you want to feel for the year, because then these feelings become the guideposts for your decisions, your progress.

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

flow retreat tali

I always love using beautiful tools for journaling, so I chose a lovely notebook for each girl to use, along with a selection of embellishments for their pages: washi tapes (I have loads!), patterned papers, postcards, Passion Cards, stamps and ink pads, scrapbook decals, etc. Everyone got right into laying out their opening spread and writing their intentions for the year.

flow retreat journaling workshop

flow retreat journaling workshop

flow retreat journaling workshop

flow retreat journaling workshop

flow retreat journaling workshop

flow retreat journaling workshop

Journaling has been one of those “detoxing” habits for me, especially with all the digital noise and distractions that abound! I work in digital and social media, so I’m connected all.the.time. Having a journal helps in purposely tuning out all the distractions of the digital world so that we can focus inwardly, and process our thoughts and feelings without any machinery. (I’m thinking of doing a journaling gathering soon — want to join me?)

The rest of Day 2 went on with more yummy meals! I particularly loved lunch on this day: Asian salad, cold soba noodles, tofu teriyaki, vegetable stir fry, and sweet energy balls for dessert. Sooooo good!

edgy veggie flow retreat

edgy veggie flow retreat

edgy veggie flow retreat

edgy veggie flow retreat

Noelle’s detox session in the late afternoon was enlightening. I admire her and Monica for living this authentically healthy lifestyle SO much! There was just so much information on how to make small changes in our daily habits, so that we look and feel better overall. Noelle took us through a daily ritual of detoxing: morning oil-pulling, dry brushing after showering, toothbrushing with natural toothpaste, exfoliating and oiling our skin for wellness. She does all of these, so no wonder she always looks fresh!

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We also got a crash course on how to create our at-home detox arsenal, thanks to these products: all-natural dry brush, Body Oil (from Brown Belly), Laurin CoCoMCT, shea butter, Gargoyle, moringga tea (for energy).

flow retreat detox

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Monica also gave us tips on how to detoxify our homes, such as finding replacements for everything and anything chemical-based. She talked about essential oils, all-natural cleaners, the proper way to wash fruits and vegetables, organic food choices…. the lady is seriously walking her talk, and THAT’S why I call her an “earth mama”!

flow retreat detox

Day 2 ended with sunset yoga on the roofdeck of Windward House. It was a session of Yin yoga, which is restorative and relaxing, very appropriate for us as the weekend slowed down even more. I love yin, because it helped me greatly in preparing my body for Krista’s birth, which was a gentle birth. (Monica was my pre-natal yoga coach, did you know?)

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flow retreat yoga

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flow retreat yoga

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Everyone received a lovely goodie bag from the weekend with gifts from our sponsors: Organic vanilla body care items from A Vanilla Story; a yoga tank top from Flow Retreats; aloe vera products from Aloe Cure; discount vouchers from The Juice Barista and Brown Belly Swim; and of course, a journal and starter prompts from Make it Blissful.

flow retreat yoga

Flow Retreats always have workshops, mystery tours and retreats going on, so I invite you to check out their NEW and improved website for details! (Yes, new and improved, thanks to our Digital Diva Website Service (that’s our complete website development experience, a collaboration between me and Fancy Girl Design Studio)! Flow Retreats is now powered by WordPress and WooCommerce, so you can shop for healthy goodies, book your retreats, and read their latest blog posts for updates!)

Flow Retreats website

Beauty with intention.

Beauty with intention.

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It was such a treat to collaborate with the beautiful Cristina Madara on her newest concept, The CBeauty Lounge, an experience of customized beauty. We held it last November 28th in the Benefit Cosmetics branch of BGC Central, which turned out to be the perfect venue for the nine energetic and passionate women who joined us that day. Many of them were attendees of past Make it Blissful blog workshops, Blissmakeries, and of course, all were readers of the blog! (Thanks, girls! It meant so much to me to have you there!)

For a backgrounder on what CBeauty is, you may want to revisit my post about Cristina here: Customized Beauty with Cristina Madara. I had been wanting to collaborate with Cristina ever since I learned about her workshops, and it was in early 2015 that we connected. However, motherhood and a slew of other things prompted us to push the event to November, which turned out to be timely since the concept of “face wardrobing” would be a fresh new start in skincare and makeup, for all of us!

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Benefit Cosmetics Philippines was our gracious host and product sponsor. We learned how to use their products correctly and for the best results, thanks to Cristina’s teaching and guidance. I love how the Benefit product display can be converted into a workshop space!

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Our official hashtag was #MakeitBeautyFULL. For me, it means that beauty is far more than the products we use. Beauty is an intentional state of mind, which is something Cristina and I agree on totally, and the use of products for one’s beauty wardrobe is part of what makes a woman whole and complete in her person. We believe that beauty radiates from the mind, from the heart, and by knowing how products work, we believe that women can be empowered with knowledge that will help them bring out their best qualities, starting with the most obvious: skincare and the enhancement of our best assets using thoughtfully-selected makeup.

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I won’t go into specifics of the workshop, as the content is really privileged information for those who attended the workshop. But what I can say is that during the workshop, Cristina made one thing clear: There is no silver bullet for one’s particular kind of skincare and makeup routine. Just as a fashion stylist recommends certain cuts, fabrics and tailoring to a client, a “face wardrobe” is an informed, intentional attitude towards our personal care choices. The perfect face wardrobe combines the best practices of skincare (cleansing, toning, moisturizing, anti-aging, exfoliating) with the enhancement of your facial features — which is what makes personal beauty unique to each woman.

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It was very satisfying to see the ladies learning the best practices for skincare: from how to properly apply something as basic as a moisturizer, to the proper intervals in between products for the optimal results. Some of the ladies realized they were missing out on essential steps, like sun protection or moisturizing, and it helped that Cristina was there to provide guidance. We spent as much time on the skincare component as we did on the makeup portion, which is what makes this CBeauty Lounge experience far more intentional than other makeup workshops out there.

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Cristina is a trained and certified image consultant, which means her job is so much more than teaching about skincare and makeup. She specializes in empowering women with the mindset to be their best selves, and uses face wardrobing and personal branding in the process. It’s quite a unique approach, and our CBeauty Lounge only scratched the surface, really. (In fact, a full consultation with Cristina can never be compounded into an afternoon workshop! Inquire with her for details about her image consultancy services: cristinamadara.ca)

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I so loved these women who attended. Like me, most were self-confessed makeup virgins, haha! We got more than just makeup advice though. After talking to some of them after the event, we all agreed that makeup was just a snippet of the valuable knowledge we learned that day. To summarize, I’d like to state the learnings in three points:

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1. Beauty is personal. Own it! Each of us is beautiful not because we look like models. Beauty is individual, it is uniqueness, it is special to each one. Workshops like these help us to affirm that beauty, in the midst of other women who acknowledge the gifts we might otherwise gloss over, even ignore. I know everyone really owned their beauty that day, because no one left without a huge smile and a happy heart.

2. Confidence can be taught. I know what it’s like to be clueless about makeup and skincare, and this has at some point affected my self-confidence. It’s not even silly, because makeup is really meant to just enhance what we’ve been born with. Knowing how to use skincare and makeup, however, is empowering because we feel we have an extra “boost” when we put ourselves out into the world. Learning how to properly care for ourselves is not vanity (which is selfish by nature); rather, it is a sign of confidence, of self-worth. Having an inner confidence that we CAN do and accomplish our goals and dreams is absolutely healthy and means we possess a healthy self-esteem.

3. We are all empowered to be our best selves. Beauty isn’t simply skincare and makeup. Those are just tools to enhance our God-given qualities. Beauty is an expression of our hearts, our authentic selves. When we are internally “right”, meaning we are of good moral character, we are selfless, we practice virtue, these qualities will shine outwardly, in our physical appearance.

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To inquire about having a CBeauty Lounge customized beauty workshop, contact cristinamadara.ca, or visit instagram.com/cristinamadara. Drop by the #MakeitBeautyFULL hashtag to see more photos of this event.

Blissful with Luminisce

Blissful with Luminisce

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It was a picture perfect day, that Sunday two weekends ago. I didn’t know what to expect as I entered the renowned French restaurant, Le Jardin, atop the W Building in Bonifacio Global City. But as soon as I set foot inside, I was totally smitten by what had been prepared. Sure, it was a pretty picture of a gathering (as you’ll soon see in these photos below!). Everything was a feast for the eyes, but what captured my heart the most was the effort and passion poured into this intimate Sunday brunch gathering.

make it blissful with Luminisce

You see, last November 22 (the day after the Blissmakerie), the current batch of Make it Blissful contributors got together for a private event, planned by one of our own blissmakers, Audrey Angcos, and her friend Doctor Kaycee Reyes, founder of the skincare center, Luminisce. Kaycee (as we all now call her) wanted to treat the blissmakers to a day of bliss and pampering, and planned the entire event with Audrey as the event planner and coordinator. Aptly called “Blissful with Luminisce,” it was set to be a morning-to-afternoon event where we could all relax, bond and share a meal, have a photo session (!), and then wind up with some shopping and pampering. And yes, like any Blissmakerie, Audrey and Kaycee planned a beautifully presented Blissful Box, too!!

Allow the photos to tell most of the story. I’m sure you will enjoy them!

make it blissful with Luminisce

Here’s Audrey welcoming us to the Blissful with Luminisce gathering! She had a vision early this year to create a beautiful event that would realize her passion for events, while at the same time helping others. Out of her own generous heart, Audrey decided to create this event for Doctor Kaycee’s skincare clinic, Luminisce, as a way to authentically present the brand and its services to real women (and that’s us, the Blissmakers! We’re so lucky!)

Audrey planned the entire event with Kaycee, and took charge of finding a venue and crafting a program. Everything was designed to bring a sense of light, clarity and beauty, all of which are qualities of Luminisce as a business.

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For starters, Audrey found the perfect stylist to execute the vision for the event, our good friends from Boqueria Lifestyle Market, Steph & Lady BadoyThey transformed a naturally-lit portion of Le Jardin into a French-infused modern setup, complete with the prettiest details:

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boqueria lifestyle market

make it blissful with Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

We each introduced ourselves and our blogs, since most of us (except for Audrey, of course) were meeting Kaycee for the first time. It was all so prim & proper, and yet, it wasn’t, haha! I suppose this gorgeous table had us feeling like we were playing “tea party” or something! But the intros were warm and full of laughter, except when I turned on the waterworks, LOL.

make it blissful with Luminisce

The lady of the hour, Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger

make it blissful with Luminisce

Toni Tiu of Wifely Steps, and Maricel Mendoza of A Sweet Cottage

make it blissful with Luminisce

My good friend mama Tina Rodriguez of Truly Rich & Blessed

make it blissful with Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

Me and my forever sidekick, haha! Oh, Krista.

Le Jardin prepared a special menu just for our party, but sorry, I don’t have photos of everything, hahaha! Everything was super good, though, trust me!! I want to go back to try everything on the menu, so…. Ton! Hello! Hahahaha!

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make it blissful with Luminisce

After our extended brunch, we were treated to mini makeovers and a portrait session! These were real treats for us, so thank you Kaycee, Audrey, and Sir Celwyn our photographer, for making us all look beautiful. (I’ll post photos of our portraits on the complete event album on Facebook, just gimme time to do that.)

After lunch, each of us were given our Blissful Boxes. “This is the first time Martine doesn’t know what’s in the Blissful Box!” Audrey quipped, and I was SO.HAPPY. Hahaha! I’ve worked on the past three Blissmakeries and their respective boxes, so this was such a treat for me, because I was simply attending and not working on the gathering at all, haha! (Thanks, Audrey! Please produce nalang all the other Blissmakeries, LOL)

make it blissful with Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

make it blissful with Luminisce

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Our Blissful Box sponsors were lovingly curated by Audrey and Kaycee, and we were in love with all of them! The photo above shows us with our handpicked Humabi Bags (@humabibags), a social enterprise whose “bags for a cause” help women in need & kids who can’t afford to attend school. Here’s what was inside each Blissmaker’s box: Blissful Box, LuminiscePro Studio Exclusives makeup sponge (@prostudiobeauty); Zin Sciracha Salt (@zinmanila); Whisk roasted garlic & rosemary jam (@ilovewhisk); Lulu Swing taco organizer (luluswinghttp://instagram.com/luluswing); Airees Creates handmade notebook (@aireescreates); Atsui striped athletic top (@atsuiPH); Hey Jow “Follow Your Heart” necklace (@heyjowPH); Notepad, Calendar Pad and greeting card by For the Love of Prints (@fortheloveofprint); Noteworthy clay tags (@noteworthy_ph); A Vanilla Story hand sanitizer (@avanillastory); Bits & Pieces teaspoon set (@bitstopieces);  Anma luggage tag (@anmalifestyle); Luminisce brightening cream and SPF 50 sunblock (@luminisce_official); Olive & Diego bracelet (@oliveanddiego); Birthday Calendar by I Am Artisan (@iam_artisan); Blessings by Fad canvas tote (@blessingsbyfad); Curves Gift Certificates (@curvesphilippines). (Not shown here are healthy vegetable chips by The Honest Crop (@thehonestcrop), wrapping supplies & craft sets from Hallmark (@hallmark_ph).

The afternoon was spent in the pretty office and clinic of Doc Kaycee, which was a two-minute stroll from Le Jardin. We walked on over there right after our individual portrait sessions, and enjoyed a relaxing, post-lunch treatment. The office, too, was styled by Boqueria Lifestyle Market, and made ready for tea-time and snacks.

Luminisce BGC

Luminisce BGC

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Luminisce BGCHere’s me with Van and Toni, after we all enjoyed our luxurious facials and individualized treatments. Sweet! Thank you, Kaycee and Luminisce, for taking care of the Blissmakers! We were truly refreshed. As for me, I was able to consult Kaycee about my recent flare-up with atopic dermatitis of the hands. It was due to stress and my asthma tendencies, and it’s really been bothering me! Thanks to the treatment that afternoon (along with Kaycee’s specific prescriptions for topical meds and emollients), I’m happy to report that my hands are 90% fully recovered! I feel soooo much better! Kaycee also taught me a few lifestyle changes I had to make, so that I wouldn’t flare up so easily again.

What a blessed afternoon. It was the perfect year-ender for us as a team of collaborators, and the perfect pre-birthday treat that I needed. Audrey, you are a magician, and I am soooooo happy at how you pulled off this “private Blissmakerie” — bravo! I can’t wait to work with you next time, again! To Kaycee: Thank you for your generous heart and your genuine concern for each of us. We are truly blessed because of Luminisce and this blissful business you have begun. May God reward you! You can count on us for support!

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To see more photos of this special Blissmakerie by Luminisce, please visit our Facebook page. Make sure to also add Luminisce on Instagram (@luminisce_official), and visit their website at www.luminisce.com

Caring from the inside out.

Caring from the inside out.

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I remember the first time Vito got really sick and needed to be hospitalized for a mild case of dengue. He was only 18 months old. Since then, we’ve been more vigilant about how our family takes care of our wellbeing. It’s no joke when your little one gets sick, and a week in the hospital was more than enough to convince a new mom like me to take proactive steps to ensure our health.

In our family, we have a few best practices to help us along. I’m sure you’re familiar with these if you have a family of your own. Ours are pretty straightforward.

1. Wash hands, especially when arriving home.

I don’t like to be all judgy and self-righteous, but it freaks me out when I see people in the mall restrooms not washing their hands. Like, right after using the toilet, I’ve seen employees from food establishments and retail stores not wash. Of course, there are lots of moms and kids who don’t either. It’s scary to think just how many germs are in public areas, and how many viruses are floating around! So when we’re at the mall (and I really only go to ones with nice restrooms, on purpose!), I remind my husband and son to always wash their hands, before eating, after meals, and of course, after going to the toilet. It’s the same when we arrive home: The rule is to wash hands as soon as we get in the house. As a result, we don’t usually have colds amongst us.

2. Eat well.

We’re not a hundred percent organic, cold-pressed juice, all-natural eating family. But we do buy our food from good sources and make things from scratch! We make sure to not buy canned goods that aren’t at least organic (like canned tomatoes); we buy organic vegetables and meats as much as we can. Little purchases like these (albeit more pricey) have a positive effect on our health, because less pesticides and chemicals in our food means more nutrients. We eat a lot of nuts, leafy greens (every meal!), root veggies, organic eggs, free-range meats and produce, and we try to eat more red rice than brown or white (stress on “try”!).

3. Supplement.

Everyone in the family is proactive about taking supplements so that the food we eat works better for us. I believe only using supplements from brands that I can trust (like Pharex, of which we’ve taken the vitamin E and B1+B6+B12 supplements, for overall cellular strengthening and antioxidant power).

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4. Exercise.

OK, to be fair, my husband is the only one doing regular exercise these days — I’ve been delinquent since I gave birth. My son also gets to run around regularly, and play basketball with his dad and lolo. Me? I think the last legit workout I had was a couple of hours before I went into labor (I was doing prenatal yoga). But yes, exercise, exercise, exercise is an essential part of caring for oneself from the inside out. (Mental note, Martine! Get jiggy with it!)

So these are how we stay healthy from the inside out in the family. Simple, right? How about you? What are some simple steps you take in caring for your family’s health from the inside out?

This conversation is brought to you by Pharex.

Customizing Beauty with Cristina Madara

Customizing Beauty with Cristina Madara

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The first time Cristina Madara and I “met” was over Instagram (gotta love Instagram!) We’d been following each other and liking each others photos, until one day she emailed me about a collaboration. That was waaaaaaay back in January, when I had just given birth, and after months of emailing, brunch meetings, and some more waiting and planning, we finally came about with a concept for a collaboration. But before I tell you more about it, I wanted you guys to get to know Cristina, and why her advocacy for “curated beauty” is really all about making things — you, you beautiful lady! — more blissful. Here’s her take on her passion.

1. Talk about Cristina Madara interests, works, and passions in life.

I am an Image Consultant whose specialization or niche is in beauty.  My interests include reading and researching skincare and makeup technologies or innovations, learning makeup techniques from acclaimed artists, YouTube beauty vlogging, reading, writing and creating.  I am a very visually inclined person.  Working with colors and palettes in different mediums always excites me and always learning.

My work is largely comprised of consulting for brands and conducting image workshops for companies and individuals.  I work closely with beauty brands creating marketing campaigns and events that enable them to reach the right demographics and help them get the correct language and messaging of products or collections across.  With individuals I work closely on helping them achieve a more effective overall image by enhancing their personal branding by developing their appearance, behavior and communication skills.  For companies, I have done consultation from conducting image workshops for front liners to developing specific skills for executives or for television purposes i.e. developing speaking skills for hosts/ talents.

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My true passion is being able to share and show how image truly has a powerful impact on how effective we are in the different roles we have in life; and enabling men and women to not only have that understanding and mindset but showing them how them can fully utilize these aspects in order to be more effective individuals.

As a woman and specifically knowing the pressures that society places on them to look a certain way, I am most passionate about showing women how beauty is not as overwhelming and time-consuming as it is perceived to be.  It is something that is very attainable given the right tools, products and techniques.  It is not something exclusive to only the wealthy or the naturally blessed ones.  Beauty is personal; it is customizable to fit ones needs, budget and lifestyle.  I am passionate about empowering women by showing them how they can create their own beauty without being dependent on a makeup artist, the salon or a dermatologists.  As someone, who has been dependent on all those, I am passionate in sharing the wisdom and knowledge I have gained through the years that have enabled me to be my own make up artist and my own dermatologist.  It has almost been a decade since I have truly needed or solicited the service of either and once I was just as clueless and dependent as the women I see today.  It is never too late to learn your beauty.

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2. How did your image consultancy come about and how has it made your life more purposeful?

I began in fashion working as a merchandiser and retail manager for brands such as ZARA and H&M Canada.  My job involved travelling around Canada and training front liners on customer service, image how to communicate etc.  It required me to always look a certain way and I learned how to speak and communicate effectively for different audiences whether that be peers, CEO’s, staff or customers. Being diplomatic, politically correct, stern yet effective were some skills, which I naturally picked up along the way.  Image in fashion is a very very important factor in where you would go.  Your image is your personal brand and global fashion retail had taught me that first hand.

In the middle of my ZARA career I took a month to study Image Consulting in Milan Istituto Marangoni.  This was 2005 and this industry was still very new. I learned the overall aspects of Image from makeup to beauty to styling. In 2010, I further enhanced my Image Consulting by taking Gillian Armour’s Professional Image Consulting based in San Francisco and in 2012 taking Color Analysis Certification with Karen Brunger of the International Image Institute based in Toronto Canada.

My organic growth of my love for beauty led to Makeup certifications from celebrity acclaimed make up artists; such as Scott Barnes in 2014, Kandee Johnson in 2011 and Koren Zander in 2011 as well.

All these led to my natural evolution as an Image consultant with a specialization in beauty as I am today.

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It has made my life purposeful because I know that it is what I was meant to do.  It is not a job, it is where I find that I am most effective and make most use of the skills that I have been uniquely given. Everything that I have ever been naturally inclined to has found its summation in the work that I do today. The confidence I am able to instill and nurture in others through my work and the overall message that – image is not about frivolity its about being effective individuals and similarly being respectful to others by the way we pay attention to these details.

3 .Tell us about CBeauty the Brand.

CBeauty is a myriad of brands in one umbrella CBeauty Enterprises.  It is both products and services.

In products, I have CBeauty or Coconut Beauty, which is a skincare line, developed primarily with the use of the superstar ingredient of coconut oil.  On my website, I have Curated Beauty as well which is a selection of international brands and products which I highly use and recommend.

As a service, CBeauty pertains to the beauty or individual image consulting services I customize for groups or clients.

4. Take us through the experience of CBeautyLounge

The CBeautyLounge aims to be a very different kind of beauty workshop.  It is not limited to just learning how to put make up or your typical make up workshop.  It is more centered towards individuals experiencing beauty through discovery.  It is a neutral space where clients are able to use and learn how to practically apply different beauty products and customize their regimens more according to their needs and being able to effectively address these needs versus watching a demo of unrealistic looks not applicable to their daily lives.  The focus of the lounge is to enable women by a more realistic and attainable approach to beauty as well as making them understand how to harness products and tools more towards their specific needs.  The focus of the lounge are the attendees and not the looks, products or brand but instilling an attainable beauty.

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5. And now, we are collaborating on your signature event, CBeauty Lounge — yay! What will make “Make It Beauty-Ful” a unique experience for practical and simple women?

Make it Beauty-Ful is about making real women understand how beauty works and how it is attainable and customizable to the needs, budget and time constraints that a modern day woman would have.  Being in collaboration with Martine de Luna who is a true representation of this woman, balancing work and family, Cristina will customize a 2 hour session that addresses the three main concerns most women like Martine has.

i.e. what is my necessary skincare, how do I create an easy polished look in a few minutes etc…

Make it Beauty-ful is a workshop for real women with real needs.  It is a venue and a conversation that most brand oriented-events fail to have.  At the heart of this session is to enable women to truly create a workable and attainable beauty regimen that is both practical yet effective.

It will enable women to free themselves from misconceptions about beauty and the dependence on others to find and know their beauty.  Through this session I am confident that we leave with inspired and empowered women who now have the ability to personalize and customize their beauty.

cristina madara CBeauty Lounge

 

 

 

 

 

To reserve a slot:
1. Send an email to rsvp@cbeauty.ca
2. Subject: Make it Beauty-Ful RSVP
Also will do a social media campaign to help spread the word:
One winner will be chosen to receive the complete “Make it Beauty-Ful” Beauty Kit