Re-Centering: Finding My Way Back to Me

This new year has brought me a wonderful new opportunity: my own business. And while it really was a dream come true, it’s been a lot of work. And because of it, I’ve forgotten all about my New Year’s goals! But the great thing about life is that every day is a new opportunity. So here I am, already coming closer to another new year and I want to think about some things I’d like to cross off my list. Before writing this post, I was following the 21-day meditation challenge by Deepak Chopra and Oprah and the focus was practicing gratitude. Before attending my clients, I would start with daily meditations and it was really eye-opening because it’s the smallest things that we forget to do: say thanks, be thankful and appreciate daily love and gifts.  So regardless of things that you may have not been able to get around to, remember to stop for a second and be grateful for the things that you do have.



Beach Proof Beauty Tips

Have you felt this heat wave? I’m excited to start making my way to the beach and enjoy the beauty of the waves and relaxing atmosphere. While I try to go bare-faced to the beach, there’s always something extra I want to apply before leaving the house for a primped look. Here are a few beauty tips you can use for a day at the beach.


1) Switch to water-resistant and sheer foundation. During summer, less is better for your skin and using a sheer foundation gives you an even look without blocking your pores.

2) Use foundation that is up to 4x darker than your natural skin color. Instead of bronzer or unprotected tanning in the sun, fake the look with a darker foundation and make sure to blend evenly on your face, neck and chest area.

3) If you are going out after your beach day, add a bit of powder at the tip of your nose and your t-zone area. This will re-balance your skin and provide a fresh look.

4) During summer, use tan or peach colored blush for a hint of color. Add the blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend forward.

5) Illuminator. I like to add illuminator to areas that will already be touched by the sun (nose, brow bone, cheekbones).

7) Cream eye shadow stays on longer. If you need to add some more color or sparkle for your beach outing, cream shadow is the best choice for a lasting look.

8) Apply waterproof mascara. If you are going to be getting in the water, nothing looks worse than runny lines of black makeup down your face.

9) Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. This is the most important beauty product to add to your everyday beauty routine, whether hanging out at the beach or any location. Don’t forget to re-apply if you are spending the day at the beach for sun protection.


Do you have any summer beauty tips for a flawless day at the beach or the pool?



The Importance of Sunscreen

Yesterday marked the first official day of summer and as an esthetician, having the perfect sunscreen to protect the skin is more important than making sure I choose the cutest bathing suit for my weekend beach trips. You see, the sun is responsible for the vast majority of visible aging. It can lead to pigmentation, reduces skin elasticity and degrades the skin texture. But besides physical appearance, the sun can lead to skin cancer – one of the most common cancers in the United States. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, the risk of developing skin cancer is directly related to the amount and intensity of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure one receives from the sun. However, one can limit excessive UV exposure and protect the skin with the use of sunscreen.


So what sunscreen should you be using? Going to the store can become overwhelming with so many different options to browse. Different sunscreens have different numbers – do you know what they mean? Here are a few things to consider when buying sunscreen:


  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen – this means that it protects agains UVA and UVB rays.
  • Some skin care products already have SPF in them, and  this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun.
  •  However, if you work outdoors or are going to be doing outdoor activities for a longer period, it is important to add sunscreen with a higher SPF.
  • SPF – Sun Protection Factor – means the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned.
  • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends both adults and children use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before any sun exposure to ensure that all ingredients bind to the skin.
  • Use enough sunscreen to cover your face, neck, ears, chest, shoulders and all areas that will be exposed to the sun.
  • It is noted that the average person needs about 1 ounce of sunscreen on the body.
  • Ocean water and perspiration wash sunscreen off your skin so choosing a water-proof sunscreen is important and remembering to re-apply as needed.
  • If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use a water-based sunscreen.
  • If you have sensitive skin, look at the ingredients and make sure to stay away from any sunscreens that contain para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).

Choosing the right sunscreen for your skin can be confusing. But it really is a life and skin-saving factor that should be taken care of. If you have any questions regarding skin protection during the summer, come in for a consultation and take advantage of our summer sunscreen promo: All sunscreens are 10% OFF this month! I use and offer Image Skincare; these sunscreens range in SPF protection from 30-50 and come in a variety of finishes and application options to keep your skin healthy and happy.


Eating for Healthy Skin

02e1c6cd1935b0ead0d116287d2230a6Many women I know are constantly battling new diet programs ensuring to lose a few pounds. Eating a donut usually means adding a few calories to our body weight and having a milkshake is destined to make our bodies jiggle. But what about eating for your skin? A lot of skin care products now highlight fruit extracts and natural oils that aid in clearing up skin and making it glow.  Yet other times,  certain foods cause skin allergies to flare up. So what foods should we eat for healthier skin and which foods should we be avoiding?

Foods to Enjoy

  • Avocados: full of biotin, Vitamin C and E, antioxidants and obvious moisturizing effects that promote anti-aging and leaves your skin  soft and hydrated. Avocados can also aid in reducing redness and irritation.
  • Nuts: You’ve heard it many times and, it’s true! Nuts contain Omega3s that hydrate the skin and provide a youthful glow.
  • Berries & Papaya: these fruits are filled with antioxidants which aid in protecting the skin from environmental radicals and the sun.
  • Grapefruit: contains lycopene and Vitamin C so it protects the skin from the sun AND fights wrinkles.
  • Coconut Water: it’s good to hydrate the body, but it also hydrates and plumps your skin.
  • Dark Chocolate: RICH in antioxidants, fatty acids and flavanols that are all great for the skin. Not only does it reduce roughness and protect the skin from sun damage, it promotes glowing skin by increasing blood circulation due to the cocoa that relaxes the arteries.

We could go on with this list but you get the picture. Foods that are rich in color, natural and high in vitamins will no doubt make you feel better and showcase that liveliness on your face.


  • Processed Foods
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Carbonated Drinks

Basically, the same foods to avoid while dieting are the same foods that cause our skin to become irritated and inflamed. Delicious they are, but because of their high dose of sugars, unhealthy fats and other ingredients that are sometimes hard to pronounce, can affect the body including the skin. These foods are most common to cause acne, redness, inflammation, dryness and don’t protect against the sun.

The foods you eat don’t only affect your waistline. Remember that the skin is the largest organ of your body. So feed it with foods that will make it strong and keep it beautiful. In case you need a boost, try this delicious Skin Glowing Detox Smoothie I found on Pinterest a few years ago. I’ve never actually made anything that I pinned but luckily I had all the ingredients in my fridge one day, and it was a very tasty drink! I felt good because I was putting good-for-you ingredients into my body, and I also felt glowing because of the rich vitamins I was feeding my skin.

Avocado smoothie with mint leaves. Healthy drink.

Different Skin Types & Best Care Tips

Oily skin, normal skin, dry skin – you’ve heard these terms all your life thanks to the beauty magazines and the desire to maintain beautiful skin. But what exactly do they mean and what is the best way to create a skin care regime with the most appropriate products?

1e57501df2d9fa8fced7709370ac34d6There are four different types of skin, which can change over a period of time: Normal, Oily, Dry and Sensitive. Some people also have combination skin on different areas. Skin types are different because of different factors that include your skin’s water content, oil content and level of sensitivity.



Normal skin can basically just be that you don’t see any visible problem factors such as acne, redness, dryness or oily factors. However, it is just as prone to pores, wrinkles and spots at any time.  Remember to use products that won’t cause dryness or make your skin feel greasy. You’ll want to use cleansers that are water-soluble and a moisturizer with sunscreen.


You hear a lot of people complain about having oily skin and being able to find the perfect beauty regimen. It can be caused or sometimes made worse because of stress, antibiotics or other hormonal imbalances. For those with oily skin, try to use products that are in liquid, serum or gel formulations. Alcohol-free toners are essential products in your beauty routine as they minimize large pores and remove any dirt or dead skin cells that can lead to clogged pores. If you re still having trouble with oily skin throughout the day, incorporate oil-blotting papers and light pressed powder like the Mineral Rice Setting Powder from Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.


Dry skin is most apparent when the skin does not retain enough moisture.  This can be a result of use of harsh soaps and chemicals or certain medical conditions, as well as severe weather conditions. Make sure to use sunscreen daily as sun damage can slowly make your skin less and less able to hold moisture. You can also incorporate a pure plan oil like olive or jojoba oil and apply it to dry areas after your moisturizer.


A combination skin type is when two or more skin types occur on your face at the same time. It can be dry or normal in some areas, and oily in others, such as the T-zone. The T-zone is the nose, forehead, and chin area. Because of the mix, you may have to use different products on different parts of your face. You’ll want to avoid products with irritants or fragrance and make sure to avoid getting lotion and/or cream moisturizers on the oily parts of your face.

Sure, taking care of your skin can seem like an overwhelming routine but using the right products can create beautiful results. As a certified and knowledgeable esthetician, it is my job to care for my clients’ concerns and enhance their features with products that will work best for them. If you need help in determining your skin type and finding appropriate products to care for your skin, make an appointment today for a consultation. You can also check out the beneficial facials available.


Houston, BBQ & NovaLash — A Weekend Trip to Remember


Two months ago, I was able to take a weekend trip to the city of Houston, Texas. Not only was I going to see a close friend who had recently moved from California, but I was also going to take a NovaLash advanced training course with world-renowned lash guru, Sophia Navarro10897866_406335806207344_8214475142820161082_n

It was a busy weekend sight-seeing and indulging in tasty BBQ and queso dip. We experienced a little bit of the Texas hot weather, but overall it was such a wonderful time seeing the different neighborhoods and tasting delicious flavors.

After all the fun, it was time to learn. My Monday class involved 8-hours of one-on-one training, paying special attention to lash extension techniques and application. For this, I needed a model to practice and asked my friend – a lash extension newbie – to participate. She gladly took the offer because who doesn’t want a flirty set of full lashes but as a lash extension newbie, I was interested in her questions and experience. Check out what she had to say!

“When I think of lash extensions, I think of some luxurious beauty treatment that only celebrities get like J.Lo’s mink lashes. I remember Girl’s Night Out events and fake eyelashes were always such a hassle to put on and they always felt like I had glued them on my eyelids so I didn’t think lash extensions were going to be any different. During the process, I kept imagining I was going to look too exaggerated for an everyday look but when I looked in the mirror, I was so surprised to see how natural and beautiful they appeared! They were light, soft to the touch and as if they were a part of me already.”

photo 1

NovaLash Extension Selfie Day 1

“My favorite thing about the lashes was how they stood out when I had no makeup on! I dabbed a little bit of concealer and some blush and I was ready to go! It definitely shortened my makeup routine time because the lashes really stood out, I didn’t have to bother with piling on everything else. Adriana also added NovaLash Candied Lashes to the end, it really created a slight, fun sparkle to my look. Adriana would say I already had beautiful, long lashes but that was really with the help of about 20 coats of mascara. With the NovaLash extensions, that wasn’t necessary and I loved it!”

photo 3

NovaLash Extensions Week 2

“Because this my first time with lash extensions, I was afraid to wash my face. I didn’t want to accidentally take them all off. But since I wasn’t wearing any mascara, it was easy to carefully clean around my eye area. The lashes didn’t fall out easily and it took a while to notice when it was time for fillers. I liked how natural lash extensions looked and my favorite part was obviously the inexpensive face lift it provided. Here are a few tips I put together if you are thinking about lash extensions but haven’t made your appointment:

1. Make sure you go to a trained professional. Not only will they properly and beautifully place the lashes, but they have also been trained in proper sanitation and disinfection techniques and use professional products to properly apply lashes. Depending on your area, lash extensions should be done by a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist.

2. Free your schedule for up 2 hours. Applying a full set of lashes can take up to 2 hours. I had imagined this to be a quick process but learned that because I was getting individual lashes versus a full lash strip, it took time. If you don’t have too much time to spare, consider doing a half set and you can always add on after.

3. If a must, use water-based mascara.  This was a main concern of mine since again, I was used to applying about 20 coats of mascara for a full look. I was tempted to use mascara one day to make my lashes even more dramatic but only added to the tips of the lashes so when I cleaned them, I wouldn’t have to rub the lashes to remove any makeup.

4. Lash extensions will last between 4-8 weeks. This is different for everyone and you’ll notice lashes falling out here and there. You can always make an appointment to fill your lashes and feel free to contact your lash specialist if you have any other questions for maintaining these bountiful extensions.

-NovaLash Extensions  “Newbie “Nancy Mora


An Evolution of the Eyebrow


Beauty and Fashion – a daily change of trends and an evolving movement to capture the essence of the time. It’s interesting how a piece of clothing or a shade of lipstick can take us to a different time in history. You tell me ‘bell bottoms’, I automatically think of the 70s. You show me an eyeshadow palette with bright blue, purple and pink hues and suddenly I get in the mood for an 80s dance party. It interests me to see past beauty trends and when I come across iconic eyebrows throughout the decades, it’s so amazing to see how a different brow shape distinctively marks the feel of the time. 


Clara Bow


In the 1920s, the star of silent films Clara Bow was the trendsetter for women everywhere. Her thin, straight eyebrows were actually an asset for her acting career as they were used to show emotion and feeling in silent films.






Joan Crawford


In the 1930s, eyebrows were still prominently thin but slowly began to shape into a more curved look. Most sites indicate that this was done to give a dramatic look or a ‘very ‘striking appearance’. 






Grace Kelly


The 1940s focused on a more feminine look that still included a high arch but opted for a natural, round shape. 





liz taylor

Elizabeth Taylor


Well hello eyebrows! The 1950s boast of full, arched and perfectly shaped brows. Filling in brows to create a dark and perfect arch was more common. 





Sophia Loren


Would you believe me if I told you that in the 60s, most women shaved off their eyebrows and then colored them back in? It’s true! Sophia Loren is infamous for her voluptuous eyebrows but take a closer look and you’ll notice the detailed penciling to resemble natural, full brows. 





Stevie Nicks


The Hippie Movement began in the 70s when it was all about earth-loving, free-flowing peace ‘n love. Eyebrows were plucked to a minimum and left in their natural shapes. 









Don’t you just love the 80s. Big hear, bright colors! From letting their brows go au natural, this was definitely a statement during this era. 





Drew Barrymore


 There’s a tendency to repeat trends and the same goes for beauty. In the 90s, we saw thinly, shaped brows on our celebrity favorites like Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston. 




Cara Delevinge


Most recently, runway beauties are sporting full brows as their signature beauty mark like Cara Delevingne. 






Although some looks are a bit more extreme than the others, I love the classic looks that have evolved throughout the years. Just remember that no matter what the trend, always make sure your brows are the right shape for your face and acquire a look that’s classically you. 









Brows: The Do’s & The Don’ts

eyebrowsWhen I saw this picture, it made me laugh. As a brow specialist, I can relate to many of the eyebrow memes on the internet. But as a brow specialist, it worries me that there are still those that underestimate the beauty of well-groomed and shaped eyebrows. So today I’d like to give you a few tips and tricks for eyebrows that are meant to make a statement. 

1) Visit a Professional. The first step in achieving the best shape is to visit a professional that will properly shape your brows according to your face shape. I’m not just saying this because I am a brow specialist, however, I do pride myself in the work that I do. My clients enjoy the attention and detail they are receiving to highlight their own beauty.  Make sure to communicate to your brow specialist if you have a look preference: do you like them full and defined, just cleaned up or do you want to have a full arch? Although not always a reliable source, I like what  Wikipedia says about eyebrows:  “they are also important to human communication and facial expression.” 

2) Maintain with the Right Tools. Pointed tweezers, slanted tweezers, rounded tweezers, straight tweezers — do you know the difference? Some are best to use for waxing while others are made to protect the skin. Speak with your esthetician or brow specialist so they can advise you on the best tweezers for your brows for at-home maintenance.

3) Don’t Overpluck In-Between Visits. We see a few hairs growing and we reach for tweezers. It’s ok to let these unruly hairs get in the way before you book your next appointment. Not only will you prevent a too-thin brow, but it allows a brow specialist to further define your arch or brow form.

4) Fill In Your Brows. Sometimes adjustments must be made to make your eyebrows look like perfection. If you have thin eyebrows or have gaps, you can easily fill them in with a brow powder, pencil or gel. For those who have thick eyebrows, maybe filling is not needed, but you can define them when you focus outside of the brow area.

5) Don’t Use a Magnifying Mirror. Have you ever seen yourself on a magnifying mirror? It makes me want to cringe! I see all sorts of blemishes, hairs and what I consider to be flaws. When you use a magnifying mirror to groom your eyebrows, you are more prone to over pluck as you can see just about every single hair that most people won’t even notice. 

Eyebrows matter.If you need help re-shaping your brows or just need a quick grooming, book an appointment today. Not only can we define the look that is best for you but we can also recommend products to help you maintain and groom while at-home. You can book an appointment via email: or call me at (805) 232-4221. Appointments are available Tuesday thru Saturday, by appointment only.




Self-Proclamation: Being in Love with You


I think I’m a pretty amazing woman. I hear it from my mom, my boyfriend, my friends and I swear even my cat. But it’s very rare that I ever tell myself how great I am doing. Putting myself down, feeling disappointed — that’s more common. It makes me sad to realize how I don’t compliment myself for things I do or accomplish and I know that I am not the only one. As the month of ‘love’ continues, I hope that you remember to show love to yourself. You are beautiful, you are smart and you are amazing! I know it sounds like something you read on social media everyday but how many times do you hear it from yourself? As much as a perfectionist that I want to be, I want to make it a goal to compliment myself once a day. And honestly, it shouldn’t be a goal – it should come naturally right? Using a different mindset for how I treat myself, how I speak to myself and how I take care of myself, I am hoping to make it a habit to accept myself as I am. 

Love, Lashes & Chocolate

February has always received a negative reputation because of the dreaded holiday: Valentine’s Day. The ultimate goal has always been to ensure a date or gorge in chocolate-ful sweets while cursing those that are in love. This year, I really want to focus on accepting this holiday, but most importantly – accepting myself. Even though we are constantly being told how to look and what to wear, it’s most important for women to start accepting themselves and their worth. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about having a significant other or showing off the biggest bouquet of flowers; it should be about what it’s really all about: love. Treat yourself to a piece of chocolate, to a nice cup of coffee, to whatever makes you happy because true love means accepting yourself and knowing your own worth and beauty. It’s a healthy approach to take on for 2015 and it’s definitely one I am working on for myself.

To celebrate YOU, I’ve created a special facial treatment just for the month of February! Indulge in my 30-Minute Orange & Dark Chocolate Facial Treatment. This decadent facial features a creamy, hydrating vitamin C cleanser to hydrate and nourish skin, followed by a vitamin C enzyme masque that provides gentle exfoliation (perfect for smoothing out sensitive, dry and dull skin) accompanied by a skin stimulating facial massage. I will then follow up with the decadent Chocolate Softening Mask with CoQ10 from Farmhouse Fresh. This mask works as a skin softener, wrinkle defender and skin revitalizer! While the mask sets, enjoy a freshly made in-house dark chocolate and brown sugar hand and arm scrub. Then complete your facial with a professional eyebrow shaping – all for $60 (a $75 value).


If it’s a flirty look you want to master, add some shine to your eyelash extensions with LASHcandy by NovaLash, available in two colors: Sugarplum (purple) & Licorice (black). All LASHcadndy lashes are individually dipped in glitter then freeze dried, creating the perfect lash to add a touch of subtle glamour to your flirty fringe. Add LASHcandy by NovaLash to your eyelash extensions during the month of February for just $25 (normally $30). 


The month of February is not just for roses and snagging a Valentine. Make this month the beginning of self-love while pampering your senses and taking care of the star in your life: you.