JANUARY 2016 OBSESSION

I’m like a skin cleansing psychopath! Or so I thought! I came across a new cleansing staple and I’m never letting it go!

African Black Soap is my new favorite thing and total obsession. I decided to try it after I came across a YouTube video. This You Tuber has the most amazing flawless skin and mentioned that African Black Soap was the ONLY thing she used in the shower. Who would I be if I didn’t try it myself? I did and it was an instant win.

The current brand I’m using is Nubian Heritage. What’s great about this particular bar soap is the oats which makes the cleansing process extra special because of the exfoliation. You cannot lose. One tip, make sure you moisturize thoroughly after cleaning. African Black Soap wipes your skin CLEAN of everything! Even moisture! This type of clean is always worth a try!

My next round will be in it’s natural form. Nothing is better than NATURAL!

xo IKA

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A REAL WOMAN: FITNESS ENTHUSIAST ANGELIQUE MILES

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…
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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.
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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

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MY NEEDS VS. MY WANTS

Guys, I literally don’t need a thing when it comes to beauty, fashion and all materialistic items! I get overwhelmed by my own thoughts sometimes because I love every package, print, color, shape, texture of so many different things all year round. But when does it become too much? I think there is definetly a point when you need to seperate your wants and your needs. It’s about having balance in life.
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WANT: Something you would like to have
NEED: Something you have to have

Here’s the truth. In actuality, you only need a few things to survive in this life right?

-Enough food and water to maintain your health
-Shelter
-Health care and hygiene products (just the basics, i.e. soap, toothpaste, shampoo etc.)
-Clothing (not the way we may often think, but just the things that keep you comfortable and appropriate)

Everything outside of the above i.e., name brands, expensive cuisine and drinks, a big house, and new car, is a WANT!

So what does this mean? Should we only buy the things that we need and nothing else? NO! We’re not here to just survive, we’re here to live! While keeping life in perspective, every now and then it’s rewarding to ourselves to get a treat; something that makes us smile. Don’t get me wrong, some of my treats are probably more than just a treat, but you should know me by now! I can’t help it! lol

The point I’m trying to make is, regardless of what you have or what you want to have; life is about PERSPECTIVE. I have a loving family and amazing friends who make life worth living. That’s a blessing! Every now and then I take a moment to figure out what it is I want and what it is I need. At the end of it all, I’m happy. Before you realize that time has passed you by, make the best of your situation. Ask someone how they’re doing. Take a friend out for a drink. Buy your mom a present. Be kind. Life is too short. Live it the way you WANT!

xo IKA

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THE BEAUTY BUDGET

How many of you are obsessed with beauty products like I am? It can get expensive if you’re not careful! I mean, I don’t only go for high end beauty products. I dip and dab into them all! But I thought it might be a good idea to give you some of my favorites at low, medium, and high price points. No particular category here, just a few items that I would collect no matter the cost.

HIGH-END FAVORITES:
LAURA MERCIER AMBRE VANILLÉ SOUFFLÉ BODY CRÈME: Ugh. Soooooo good! Talk about luxury feeling. This has been in the house for years and I can’t get enough. There are several other fragrances, go for what you love 🙂

NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL: Guys, seriously….J’adore. It’s a small amount of product for $26.00 but this is one lip pencil that won’t go unnoticed.

CHANEL N°5 EAU DE PARFUM SPRAY: From the time I was a littel girl, my Grandmother told me, “Ika, you don’t leave the house without wearing your perfume.” What can I say; it stuck with me. And this treat will stick with you too! All time favorite fragrance!

MIDDLE GROUND GOODIES:
OLE HENRIKSEN GREASE RELIEF CLEANSING CLOTHS: Removing my makeup has never been more relaxing. Love these so much that I gave one to all the girly cousins at Christmas.

PHILOSOPHY PURITY MADE SIMPLE: A staple in my home and affordable. This doesn’t disappoint as a facial cleanser!

BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR POURED: Highlight lovers unite! Top of the line if you ask me. The reason I love it is because it gives a subtle finish but still makes a statement. How many products do you know do that?!?!

LOW-END BEAUTY SECRETS:
E.L.F MATTE LIP COLOR: Listen here! This $3.00 lip pencil holds weight! I’ve applied this in the morning and watched it last an entire day. Just buy every color…you’re allowed!

NYX POWDER BLUSH: Such pretty tones are packed in these small packages. Cheap enough to cover every mood!

NUBIAN HERITAGE AFRICAN BLACK SOAP: This is new to my collection and I’m never letting it go. This all natural soap cleanses the body to perfection and smells lovely. You’ll need to follow it with a great body cream because it truely get’s down to the nitty gritty. The oats add exfoliation! I can’t get enough!

Here you have a few of my favorites at every price point. Be sure to check out my obsessions at the end of every month for more goodies! Prices will vary, yet quality will always be on top!

xo IKA

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