Beauty & Skin

  • I Quit Nail-Biting After 30 Years, and with These Easy Tips You’ll Stop Too!

    nail-biting mommyrandr valerie pierre

    So you’re a nail-biter. Yeah, me too. I’ve been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. Despite my social butterfly exterior, on the interior, I’m quite the nervous nellie. How I became this way I do not know, but what I do know is, I cope with this nervousness by nail-biting.

    I was bad when it came to this. I would bite, pick and peel them. When I drew blood I vowed to stop but it wouldn’t last long. I was embarrassed by my hands, always hiding them. But it took one chance event that would change my nail-biting urge forever….ok, for the last 30 plus days.

    How did I overcome my urge for nail-biting, and how can these tips help you?

    I got a mani

    This is how it started. I found myself in a pickle last month as I needed to get some professional photos taken of me for business purposes. The photographer told me, “Val get your nails done because your nails now are not gonna cut it.” So I took my ass to a neighborhood spot over on Myrtle Ave in Brooklyn and got a mani.

    nail biting valerie pierre mommy r+r mommyrandr

    While I wasn’t feeling my mani at all that didn’t stop something from triggering in me to decide from that moment on I would STOP biting my nails.

    Listen, I’ve been making this same pledge for about 30 years and I only managed it once for my wedding in 2008. Sadly my newly grown nails wouldn’t see my honeymoon as I clipped them off before the end of the night.

    So why the sudden change now? For one, I overall liked the way my hands looked. I had grown woman hands and it completed the look of my hand with my wedding ring. Secondly, after two weeks with the silk wraps, I was able to overcome the feeling that comes along with having nails. It’s a weightiness and the ability to feel the nail on the tips of my fingers. It’s this feeling (along with that nervous inner voice) which causes me to peel and clip my nails. But because I had spent money to get my nails done I was less inclined to pick at them, although I did Google ‘how to remove silk wraps’.

    But I stayed the course and kept them for a full two weeks, and removed them as I saw it was time to let them go. Now the true test would begin. Besides mani’s, what other ways could I keep my nail-biting tick at bay?

    Paint my nails

    The first thing I did after removing the tips was file my nails and paint them. I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Hardner (cause that’s all I had), and they looked good. But something was missing. So I decided to shop for some nail color. It’s fall so I chose Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in two shades: Blackjack and Queen of Hearts and after a couple of applications, my nails looked fantastic! It’s amazing how much growth one can get over 14 days.

    With my nails freshly painted I knew I didn’t wanna do anything to fuck them up. So I became more mindful of the activities I was doing so I wouldn’t chip them. I had the urge to pick at them but how shiny and healthy my hands looked kept me from getting my clippers.

    nail biting valerie pierre mommy r+r mommyrandr

    Keep my hands busy

    If you’re looking to keep your nails intact then you need to keep your hands busy. I have a fidget spinner that I keep at my desk and when I feel the urge to pick at my nails, which is all the time, I whip out my spinner and give it a whirl. It gives my hands the needed distraction that will deter me from focusing on my nails.

    Keep my nails manageable

    I plan on keeping my nails around this length. The shorter they are the less maintenance I will have. But if they get longer they’ll become a distraction. I’m already finding myself obsess over how my thumbnail clicks against my phone screen. There’s something about that sound that intrigues me. Also, by keeping my nails at a certain length means I can continue to do my own mani’s in between salon visits.

    Remember to take my vitamins

    The day after I got the silk wraps I carried my ass down to Target for some Hair, Nail and Skin vitamins. I got the gummy kind as those are the only ones I will remember to take, cause candy. These 3 little gummy squares a day is giving my body the extra boost of vitamins it needs to keep my hair healthy, my skin clear and my nails super strong.

    Take it one day at a time

    The fact is while your nails grow quickly, it will take time to get them where you want them. So instead of worrying about how much time it will take for your nails can touch your palms when clenching a fist, celebrate not being able to remember when you last clipped and picked with your nails.

    Are you ready to take the challenge?

    So if you’re ready to end your nail-biting urges join me on my 30 Day Nail Biting Challenge. Just because I made it 30 days so far that doesn’t mean I’m completely out of the woods. This simple calendar (which is downloadable) will keep you on track of your progress. Check off each day you keep your nails intact. Celebrate your milestone at the end of the month, and every month after that. If you slip up, it’s okay. Start over as many times as you need till it becomes a way of life.

    nail biting valerie pierre mommy r+r mommyrandr

    CLICK TO DOWNLOAD SHEET

    Be sure to stop back to share your progress.
  • HOW A CLINIQUE MAKEOVER SNATCHED MY WHOLE LIFE

    I’ma start this off out the gate and let you know, I am NOT  a makeup person. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s I wore it all the time.  But the older I got the more my makeup routine became less and less. So less I was down to the bare minimum of eyebrows and chapstick. Then as I entered my 30’s I discovered bronzer and blush and added them to my small arsenal, that also included a concealer stick and a few lip glosses.

    But, with my upcoming vacation I wanted to expand my tiny makeup case to include some new items. Only I needed a starting point, and I got one by way of an invite to a Clinique event at Bloomingdale’s hosted by my blogger friend Nicole from Mommy Tips by Cole. I had heard so much about this company over the years from so many different women that I needed to check it out for myself.

    When I got to the store I was greeted by Nicole and my makeup artist for the afternoon Chi Crawford. After we talked about how I liked wearing my makeup and what type of face I would like for her to apply I felt as if I was in good hands.

    The first step she did was use makeup remover to take off the little bit of makeup I had on.

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    Then she got to work.

    I have combination skin that can get oily skin at the drop of a dime so I wanted to use products that would not add to the oil that would eventually build up. So I went for matte everything.

    She used the following products to create a face that was so flawless that it made me wish I had planned for somewhere to go after the event. This was truly the first time that I was pleased with the results of having my face done in a department store. Like many people, we are sometimes leery about what the artist is doing but Chi used her magical skills and beat my face to the gods.

    When I saw the finished product I couldn’t stop looking at myself, and neither could other people because they were staring at me HARD.  I knew I looked great, and therefore I felt great!

    The main products used to create this look included:
    Beyond Perfecting Foundation Concealer
    Airbrush Concealer
    Prett Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen
    True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer
    Clinique Pop Lip Colour Primer (in Cola Pop)

    Despite the fact that I had on so much makeup that didn’t stop my face from being able to breathe. Clinique makeup is light and airy. It felt as though I had no makeup on. It didn’t feel packed on. I was pleasantly surprised as I never used tricks such as highlighting and slight contouring. I have the urge to learn these techniques now.

    Clinique has completely snatched my life. I love this brand and going back to my old foundations I used to wear would be impossible.  My life had been changed and I fully get what all the hype is about. Only it isn’t hype it’s pure FACTS!

    Oh, and let’s talk about that sweet gift bag I received.

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    I inside of that cute tote bag was: Moisture Surge & Moisture Surge Intense cream, Step 1 Facial soap, Step 3 Facial lotion,  Repairwear laser Focus, Chubby Stick shadow in charcoal, dual Mascara and Lipstick in glazed berry, Lipstick in tender heart and shadow quad. I purchased the Stay Matte foundation, eyebrow pencil in black/brown, the 3 step facial cleanse and lipstick in cola pop.

    My stylist Chi Crawford

    #chicrawfordbeauty #nycmua #CliniqueImpactProTeam

    A photo posted by Chi (@chicrawfordbeauty) on

    Following the event I caught up with Chi to learn more about Clinique products, and to find out what products every Clinique newbie should have in their makeup case.

    What are the top 3 items every first time Clinique shopper should buy?
    1. Sonic cleansing brush
    2. 3 step skincare ( 1-4 depending on skin type)
    3. All about eyes rich cream

    What products do you recommend to help reduce oily skin since the summer is so hot?
    Clinique pore refining solutions instant perfector

    Moms have only but so much time to get ready. What can moms do in 5 minutes to get us from looking like we just woke up to looking fly?
    1. Mascara (of your choice)
    2. Airbrush concealer (to brighten under eye area and look awake)
    3. Bronzer (on cheeks and temples to add a warmth and soft glow
    4. Lip gloss (of your choice)

    If you would like your makeup done professionally then I recommend that you give her a holla, and be sure to follow her on Instagram.

    Check out my Snapchat video  from that afternoon.

    *Update I didn’t buy the foundation that I’m wearing in the pictures because I wanted to try a smaller quantity of makeup before going for a larger bottle. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been wearing the Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup and it does not run or make my face look like an oil slick. I’ve been out in 90 degree heat and my face stayed dry and in place with only slight oil on the bridge of my nose. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. So if you haven’t tried Clinique I highly recommend it.

    FYI: This post contains affiliate links that earns Mommy R+R a small commission which goes toward the upkeep of this website. 

  • TRESSENOIRE BRINGS THE NATURAL HAIR SALON TO YOU

    I am the first person to admit that I have a love hate relationship with going to the hair salon. I love going and feeling pampered as someone massages my scalp and styles my hair. But, it’s the how long I have to sit in a salon that keeps me from going as often as I should.

    The sheer pain I feel when I have to wait my turn caused me to pay closer attention to my stylist so that I can do my own hair at home. Over the years I got really good at it. I learned to perm, lay tracks (a.k.a. weave/extensions) and color my own hair. It got to the point where I would only go to the salon for a trim and curl, and even stopped as my hair grew out and I learned to cut and style my own hair.

    I can easily say the last time I was in a hair salon was probably 10 years ago, and I’m okay with that. I’m telling you my selfishness knows no bounds. And speaking of my selfishness, ever since I was a child and my mom started taking me to get my hair done (at about 9 or 10), I’ve always envied those who were lucky enough to have a stylist style their hair at home. I mean think about, I wouldn’t have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to leave my house, be left under that dryer way longer than necessary with the rim of the hood burning my neck, or sit through my stylists third snack break in two hours. Oh the joy of having someone show up to my door when I was ready and only focus on styling me from start to finish.

    25+ years later…

    My doorbell rings and my personal stylist for the afternoon, Onica from TresseNoire is at my door. Who would have thought that I would ever get to experience personal one-on-one hair styling. And guess what? YOU can get it too! TresseNoire brings the natural hair styling experience from the shop to your home. Owners Regina & Octivia (seen below) heard and understood the frustrations of women who were trying to locate salons with skilled stylists, flexible schedules and an atmosphere that felt inviting and relaxing. It’s sad salons like this are hard to come by. So they thought, hey why not locate stylists and have them come to you!

    tresnoire

    Booking an appointment is so easy, and I really had no hesitations, except, what if I didn’t like my hair afterward? But I really didn’t let it worry me too much. I trusted that I would be in good hands. Onica, my stylist was on time and beyond professional. We instantly hit it off, and when I thought I was going to do work while getting my hair done but it immediately turned into me saying screw work and I enjoyed the moment chatting with her. Cause I mean who wants to work while they’re getting their hair done? Nobody.

    Aside from talking about life she gave me tips on how to keep my hair healthy and suggested products that I should try to maintain the style that I was getting, and my hair overall. This information would be especially important since I had never wore my hair in two strand twists before. This style would last up to two weeks so knowing how to maintain it is crucial.

    Midway through (which was about 45 minutes in) she showed me her work so far and it looked great! It took her a little longer than normal because of the kids. You know they don’t let you enjoy anything for too long before finding trouble to get into.

    My hair looks good right???

    I know you wanna know how you can get hooked up too. So let’s talk about how easy it is to book your appointment. Visit their website, click ‘book appointment’, choose your city (right now its NYC or Philly), choose the type of styling you want

    tressennoire

    and provide them with additional information, such as hair inspiration and the length…then book. That’s it! You will get a confirmation email immediately following and you’ll be all set. If there are any questions you can email them and they will get right back to you. I loved that the most. They have great customer service!

    Overall, this was the best hour and a half of me time (even with my kids in the next room) that I ever spent. My style lasted just about 2 weeks as predicted. I’m going to book Onica again for my cruise this summer. I had planned on learning to do my own braids but now that I have TresseNoire just a click away, why should I?!

    See how great it looks when she was done!

    To book your TresseNoire appointment visit their official website.

    *For the purposes of this review I was given one complementary styling. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • GETTING SUDSY ON NATIONAL BUBBLE BATH DAY

    It’s National Bubble Bath Day – who knew such a thing existed. I love that people will take the most random thing and celebrate it. Don’t mistake it, this not a complaint. I love good bubble bath, when I can actually take one. This dilemma doesn’t stem from the fact that my kids don’t allow me to shower in peace, but from the fact that my damn tub is too small. As a tall gal unless I’m in a jacuzzi no tub will fully contain me. Now in those rare moments when I’m forced to sit in a regular tub I’m left debating if my legs will be propped up on the wall so that my waist up to my neck can soak or if my upper half will be cold so my legs can soak.

    But just because I’m not able to take one that doesn’t mean bubble baths still can’t be celebrated.

    Creating The Perfect Bubble Bath Experience At Home

    In order to have a pleasurable bubble bath experience it needs to be more than just fitting in the tub. You need to set the mood. The best way to do that is to gather your favorite fragrant bubble bath and candles for during your bath time, and plush towels and robes for afterward. And don’t stop there, bring some tunes in there as well. I am a huge Sade fan so I bring her everywhere I go. She soothes me. By the time I get out of the bathroom 45 minutes later I feel like a new woman.

    Invite Your Mate

    Speaking of setting the mood, fill the tub up halfway and ride it with your…

    bubble bath

    Why bathe alone when you can bathe together. That’s all I’ll say about that.

    Make Your Own Bath Soap

    If you’re in the D.I.Y mood then you can make your own bath products. According to Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home, “One of the perks of making it yourself is that you can mix a unique bubble bath based on what your body needs,” and she’s absolutely correct, especially for those who have sensitive skin and need to be mindful about what they’re putting on their bodies.

    Here are two Janice Cox recipes to try on your own:

    Old-Fashioned Bubble Bath
    In a clean container, mix together ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 egg white. Pour the entire mixture under the running water as you draw your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, which will attract and retain moisture in your skin. The egg white helps create stronger, longer-lasting bubbles, for a nice, fluffy bath. For extra-dry skin, consider adding a tablespoon of light oil, such as almond or light sesame.

    Foaming Vanilla-Honey Bath
    In a clean container, mix together 1 cup light oil (almond, sunflower, or canola), ½ cup honey, ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. To use, shake gently to remix and pour ¼ cup under the running water as you fill the tub. This recipe yields about 16 ounces, or enough for 8 baths.

    They also make excellent gifts as well. Sharing is caring.

    Now we can talk about bubble baths and bath products all day long. But what really brings the entire bubble bath experience together is your surroundings. A shitty, uninviting bathroom isn’t going to do anything but leave you still feeling stressed. So let’s take a look at some of the most luxurious on the planet.

    Top 5 Most Luxurious Hotel Bathrooms:

    bubble bath
    Ritz Carlton Suite in Hong Kong (Photo Credit: Ritz Carlton)
    bubble bath
    Four Seasons Hotel George V Suite in Paris (Photo Credit: Four Seasons)
    bubble bath
    Four Seasons Seychelles’ Serenity Villa (Photo Credit: Four Seasons)
    bubble bath
    Mr. & Mrs. Smith Boutique Hotel location unknown (Photo Credit: Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
    bubble bath
    Southern Ocean Lodge at Kangaroo Island Australia (Photo Credit: Southern Ocean Lodge)

    I love them all but my absolute favorite is the last one. If I were to ever check in I’d never leave. I’d just tell the next guest to ignore me as I’ve taken up permanent residency in their bathroom.

    So there you have it ways to indulge and enjoy as you celebrate National Bubble Bath Day. How are you going to celebrate?

    *This post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn this website a small commission that goes toward keeping this website active.