Angelique Miles is a Fitness Enthusiast and native New Yorker who brings all that she’s got to Harlem. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Angelique for about 9 years and truth be told, it is because of her I ventured out into forms of fitness that I didn’t think I would ever do, such as CrossFit and Bikram Yoga. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start the year off with HerOwnSkin.com’s Real Women Series without a killer in the gym. She is the meaning of the quote: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” – George Burns. Read on and find out why…
1. Why is fitness important to you?
Fitness is important to me because when I look good I feel good, and what is life if you don’t feel good? Also, as a mature woman, if you don’t work out, you are out of shape. Fitness is the fountain of youth.

2. What are your top 3 favorite workouts and why?
My top three favorite workouts are (all are subject to change from time to time except for Barre):

Barre classes (Exhale, Physique 57, PureBarre, The Bar Method, etc)
I have loved barre classes since first discovering The Lotte Berk Method, the mother of all barre classes back in the 90s. I love it because you get a full body strengthening and stretching workout in one hour. When I am taking barre consistently, my whole body is lean and tight, not bulky – and I am more flexible to boot!

Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga – a system of yoga classes that runs for 90 minutes and consists of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises. It is ideally practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees and 40% humidity. I am currently at the tail end of a 30 day challenge (Bikram every day for 30 days). My first 22 days were really rough, but now I feel like I have had somewhat of a breakthrough. It is in no way easy, but I’m finally getting into a sort of groove. Benefits include increased flexibility in muscles, connective tissues and tendons, it helps prevent injuries, and detoxifies systems of the body. Even after I complete the challenge, I plan to practice 4 times a week.

Strength Training
Weights, resistance training, calisthenics. Nothing sculpts my body like strength training. Over age 40, muscle mass declines. Over 50, muscle loss really begins to outpace the rate of muscle gain. The way to prevent this is strength training. Because let’s face it, lack of muscle mass means flab. Sad face.

Honorable mention – Running
Running is not my favorite thing to do, but when it comes to shedding pounds, there is no competition. Whenever I commit to running several days a week, the pounds come off. I am not a long distance runner – the most I have ever run is a little over 4 miles, but I plan to do more in the future.
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3. The best part of my fitness journey is…trying new things, meeting a whole new community of people – and looking good!

4. What advice would you give another woman who is thinking about taking her fitness to another level and how would you advise her to stay motivated?
My only advice would be that a fitness journey starts in the mind, so really put your mind on fitness. That may mean different things for different people. For me, it is the first thing I do in the morning. I also know what kind of workout I’m doing the night before. Basically, schedule and plan your workouts and stick to it. What keeps me motivated is seeing the changes in my body.
5. What is your ultimate fitness goal and how do you plan on achieving it?
My goals change from time to time. Right now it’s a 30 Day Bikram Yoga challenge. Later this year I plan to run a half marathon (if my shins let me). I have considered entering a bodybuilding competition, but I love food too much. I will be 50 this year, so I guess I would say my ultimate fitness goal is to be fit throughout my 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. My ultimate fitness goal is to look great in bikini until they put me in the ground!

Well there you have it! Angelique Miles has shown us that fitness is a lifestyle and we all can conquer it if we put our minds to it. How will you conquer your fitness goals this year?

You can find Angelique Miles on many Social Media Platforms. Drop her a line and tell her Her Own Skin sent you!

Twitter: Angelique Miles
Pinterest: Angelique Miles
Instagram: Angelique Miles

xo IKA



Carline Dumerlin-Folkes works in the field of higher education. She is a certified motivational coach who is dedicated to helping individuals become their best selves through individual coaching & empowering workshops. Carline specializes in workshops for young women ages 11-19. Not only is she incredibly intelligent, hard-working and successful; but she is also my friend. I’ve known Carline my whole life. To have a friend, sister, and cheerleader who can motivate you to become the best person you can be doesn’t come often. I’m blessed to know her and now you can know her too!

1. What inspired you to become a life coach, especially for young adults?
I have been working with students/young adults for 10 years now. While supporting them in an academic capacity I couldn’t help but notice that many of them were dealing with issues that were not being addressed. These issues often spilled over into his or her school life and resulted in many of them earning poor grades, dropping out of school and making bad decisions. Instead of sitting around, I decided to follow my passion for helping young adults, especially young women and provide individual coaching and motivational workshops to help them deal with the complex issues that they face each day.

2. The best part of my job is…
…when I know that my advice and my support helped someone to get back on the road to becoming his or her best self.
3. You wear many hats. How do you find time to do it all?
I do!! I consider myself to be pretty organized ( just don’t check my closet!) so it helps with multi-tasking. I definitely need to write things down so I use a Passion Planner (get one here!) which is totally awesome and really helps me to get focused on my goals. I also rely on support from my husband and family to fill in the gaps because I often have speaking engagements or need time to plan workshops, etc.

4. Is there anything you wish you could change?
I wish I could change the idea that you have to be stuck just doing one thing. The truth is that you can have many passions. Also, your passion doesn’t always have to be connected to a paycheck. If it is, fabulous! If it isn’t, that’s OK too! Whatever happen to doing something just because it makes you happy?

5. What advice would you give another young woman on following her passion?
I would tell her to go for it!! There is nothing worst than having regrets about what could of or should have happened. Write down your goals! Give your dreams life by speaking about them. Create a vision board to help you get and stay focused. Do something each day that your future self will thank you for.
6. What else is in store for Carline Dumerlin-Folkes?
I plan on helping more young women through my workshops and individual coaching. I am currently finishing a morning motivational book. I am also in the process of developing a stationery line.

You can find Carline on many Social Media Platforms. Drop her a line and tell her Her Own Skin sent you!

Twitter: CoachCarli11
Pinterest: Coach Carli
Instagram: CoachCarli
Facebook: Carli Coaches
Website: www.CoachCarli.com



Ever click with someone instantly? That’s what happened when I ran into this fierce Latina in the office. Actually what really happened was I looked at her and thought, “I have that same Phillip Lim dress, WHO IS THIS GIRL???”
Paulina Virgen is not only fashionable but a strong minded woman making life happen in New York with her husband and fab cat Schiaparelli. What a name! Even her cat is working it! Her blog, North 7th & Bedford speaks volumes for women. What’s your preference? English or Spanish…because each post gives you the language option. SCORE! It’s one thing to give us fashion lovers great content to read and vivrant photos; and another thing to represent exactly who you are while doing it. She does it in Her Own Skin. I’d say we have a winner here.

1. What made you decide to become a fashion/lifestyle blogger?
I was working at Ralph Lauren Collection and Spencer, my then boyfriend, now husband, was away the whole summer for work. I wanted to do a little soul searching while he was gone since I really hadn’t lived by myself in a long time. I’ve always been very independent but not having him around gave me all this free time and I was excited to do something creative with it. I was sitting at my desk at work one day when my co-worker ran up to me with a copy of British Vogue and said “Did you see this?!” – Somehow Vogue had gotten their hands on a picture of me during NYFW and included me in a spread with Miroslava Duma and Kate Foley. Next to being photographed by Bill Cunningham, it was probably my proudest fashion moment. I thought ‘You know…maybe I could do this for the summer. Play dress up, take pictures and see what I can do with it’. My posts started as private because I was very self-conscious of sharing my thoughts and pictures publicly but when Spencer got back from his work tour we started taking pictures together and it was fun! It was like our little thing that we did together. He’s an awesome photographer and super encouraging of everything I do so I feel my most comfortable taking pictures with him.

2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
There is always inspiration to be found in the women of New York City – they are SO cool! I may walk by someone and think ‘wow, that’s amazing…I need a pair of shoes like that’. I also like to see the shows when they come out.
I often see movies, old & new, and may find something eye catching there. There was a brief point in my life when I wanted to do costume design so I always pay attention to what people wear in movies.
3. What are your top 3 fashion pieces that you think every woman should own?
1) A great bag – Everyone needs a bag they can wear to work, bring to dinner and out to a bar. My personal favorite is the Proenza Schouler PS1. It is easy to bring from day to night.

2) A little black dress – It’s important to have something you can just throw on in your closet for those last minute dinner parties.

3) A comfortable pair of heels – I’ve found that an uncomfortable pair of shoes can really ruin your day so if you want to look good you have to FEEL good.

4. What advice would you give another woman who is thinking about pursuing her passion (fashion, beauty, lifestyle, etc.) and taking it to another level? How would you advise her to stay motivated?
I would say you have to remember everyone started somewhere and it wasn’t easy at first. You just have to do what works for you because the path someone else took may not always be your path.
5. How do you find time to get it all done? Working full time and giving your followers what they love!?
It’s definitely not easy. I have to give priority to my job (because it pays the bills!) but any chance I get I dedicate to my blog. I’ve learned to manage my time and work on the things that are most important first and take note of what can wait. Everything is important but there are only so many hours in the day. I do believe that as women we sometimes doubt that we can have everything – the career, husband, children, friends – but there’s really no reason you can’t have it all. You just have to learn to prioritize.

Well there you have it ladies; straight from Paulina’s mouth. What a great example of a woman making it happen! You can have it all. GET IT! Socialize with Paulina at the links below….. Tell her I sent you!

xo IKA

Website: http://northseventhandbedford.com
Instagram: @northseventhandbedford
Twitter: @north7thbedford
Pinterest: @north7thbedford
BlogLovin’: North 7th & Bedford



It’s a joy to talk about a woman who can inspire us all. Desiree Verdejo, a corporate lawyer turned Harlem’s new beauty guru and owner of Vivrant Beauty; a boutique for women of all hair textures and skin tones. Desiree took a risk and it flourished! Vivrant Beauty is a chic boutique housing a range of products mostly owned by women. J’ADORE! I had the pleasure of making a visit to Vivrant Beauty for the Grand Opening in Harlem last week. Mimosa’s, rich desserts, a DJ and store full of must-haves! I left with a new line specifically made for “under hair care”. It’s haircare for the tresses that often get neglected underneath braids and weaves called Girl + Hair (owned by a woman)!

Desiree’s dream became a reality and is carrying on brilliantly in HER OWN SKIN.

"It’s frustrating when you are going to a job that is not fulfilling and your mind is elsewhere."

“It’s frustrating when you are going to a job that is not fulfilling and your mind is elsewhere.”

1. What inspired you to open up your own premium beauty boutique?
Honestly there were a lot of incidents and realizations that led me to work for myself, pursue a career in beauty and open a premium beauty boutique but one of the first moments that pushed me in this direction was about 5 years ago. I’d just “big-chopped” and was in the market for hair products for my newly curly kinky hair. I recall going to my local Korean beauty supply store to find hair products. The products for natural hair, or at least the more expensive brands that I was seeking out, were behind the counter and there was no one there to give me any guidance. It made me realize that there are a lot of people profiting from selling to women that look like me but very few people catering to us.

2. The best part of this journey has been…
Meeting other dynamic women that have carved out fulfilling careers. There’s no doubt that I’m a beauty-junkie but the majority of the brands that line our shelves are women-owned and my interactions with these beauty entrepreneurs have been the most inspiring, educational and satisfying aspect during this process.
3. What are your top 3 favorite beauty products?
This is the hardest question to ask a product lover but a few things that immediately come to mind are:

1) Ren’s Glycolic Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask – I’ve always had acne prone skin, one of the major reasons that I know as much as I do about skincare and ingredients, and I’ve finally gotten my break outs under control. My current obsession is getting an even skin tone. I’ve seen great results with this mask for clearing up scarring and it also leaves your skin with a fresh glow so it definitely a weekly go to for me.

2) Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Green Tea Shampoo – I’m never really impressed by shampoos and usually reach for the one that’s the least horrible, the least stripping, etc. This sulfate-free shampoo is great, though. It leaves my hair feeling clean and moisturized, and it also smells really fresh and clean.

3) Denman Brushes – There are a lot of women that dedicate a day or half a day to washing, treating and detangling their hair, especially if they have curly or kinky hair. I am definitely not one of them. I enjoy the process of keeping my hair healthy but my routine is quick. I can mention a few of my favorite detangler hair products but I always use them with the Denman D3 brush to get the job done. I think that every woman with natural hair should have one. When I’m wearing my hair in an updo, bun, crown braid or any style that requires a sleek look, I reach for my Denman D82 Boar Bristle brush to get a natural sheen before I even add any product. I’ve learned that quality hair tools are just as important as the products.

4. What advice would you give another woman who is thinking about leaving her current career behind to pursue her dreams and how would you advise her to stay motivated?
It’s frustrating when you are going to a job that is not fulfilling and your mind is elsewhere. I practiced law for seven years and for the last two years, I was plotting, planning and daydreaming about “this beauty boutique that I want to open one day.” I would advise such a woman to work towards the idea that’s haunting her even while she’s in her current career. It’s not always realistic to drop everything to chase your dream career (and the practical woman in me wouldn’t advise that) but definitely start a blog, launch a website, prepare your business plan, take an internship if you have the time, head to conferences in your field of interest, begin the research and conversations that will lay the groundwork for you to transition.

One thing that I believe, in life generally, is that when it is your time, you will know it. For years it was hard for me to leave my legal career behind but once I made that decision, the opportunities that presented themselves and the people that came into my life made it very clear that I was on the path that was meant to be. It helped that I had been researching and preparing for the moment. I am glad that I didn’t wait until the day that I could dedicate all of my time to Vivrant Beauty to start laying the foundation or I would’ve missed out on a lot.
5. Talk about entrepreneurship. How does it feel to be the WOMAN in charge?
Free. Scared. Nervous. Confused, Excited. Ambitious. My feelings are all over the place but being my own boss and building my own brand above all things feels very liberating. My corporate career was pretty pleasant but there were so many standards that I felt I had to suppress myself to meet. I can recall, for example, days where we had client meetings when I had to reach into the back of my closet to grab the navy blue and grey suits, and the pale lipstick that I reserved for those occasions. Not physically standing out definitely felt like the name of the game in that environment. As an entrepreneur, its completely the opposite, I’ve had to express my story and experience in every decision from the store design and product selection, to something as small as our business card or daily social media posts. Being myself and infusing that self into what is ultimately the Vivrant Beauty brand has been a thrill.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, for example, I wake up at 6AM every day feeling like I could’ve started earlier because ultimately I realize that everything, every employee, every bill is my responsibility. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.


There she is friends; an inspiration! Have you ever dreamed about doing something totally different or something you’ve always wanted and took the steps at pursuing it? Well, here’s one way a woman made her dream a reality! Her Own Skin Loves this Vivrant Beauty! If you’re in the Harlem area, visit Vivrant Beauty at 220 Saint Nicholas Avenue. Visit the Vivrant Beauty Website or find this new beauty go-to on Instagram at VIVRANTBEAUTYNY

xo IKa