Author Archives: Jennifer Devlin Waller

About Jennifer Devlin Waller

In a media-centric world, where products-du-jour are launched as fast as the seasons change, where sexy advertising campaigns promise the fountain-of-youth and instant results, can indie beauty brands compete? Lacking a Madison-Avenue marketing budget, indie brands invest in quality ingredients (over advertising), which make their products often superior to their mass-marketed cousins. They are the “greatest products you’ve never heard of”. I am the founder and CEO of Celtic Complexion, a luxury artisan skincare company based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Skincare for the Witchy Woman; Why Wiccan and Pagan Women Love Celtic Complexion

Defining Wiccan and Pagan Beauty

Julia, the Wandering Witch, wiccans, pagans

Julia, founder of Witches of Down East, a pagan women’s group in Maine that meets monthly and celebrates the major Sabbats together

Modern day Wiccans and Pagans have a strong ancestral connection to their Celtic heritage, so it was no surprise that I was approached by a modern day witch to review our products. Julia is the founder and main organizer of a women’s pagan group based out of Maine called The Witches of Down East and is a practicing witch with a Celtic neopagan background.

She found us on Instagram and as soon as I saw her picture, I knew she was destined to be a Celtic Complexion Beauty. After reviewing her website, The Wandering Witch, I knew she would be a great fit to review Celtic Complexion.

As much as she wanted to know about skincare, I wanted to know about what it was like to be a witch. I only knew of two witches; Samantha from Bewitched and Glenda the good witch from The Wizard of Oz and I was positive they had nothing to do with being a modern day practicing witch, so l asked her my most pressing questions, so that I could get to know more about her practice.

First, how did you hear about Celtic Complexion?

Julia: I found Celtic Complexion after looking online for an organic, skincare company for dry skin. After going directly to your website and reading about the story behind Celtic Complexion, I knew I had to try it as I suffer from rosacea and very dry, sensitive skin. I had no idea that this was common in people of Celtic background until reading it on your website.

Next I want to talk about the percentage (approx) of witches that are of Celtic descent:

Julia: The most recent survey done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in 2008              (https://web.archive.org/web/20110706003852/http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/table-ethnicity-by-tradition.pdf) estimated that.04% of Americans (over a million)  identify as New Age (Wiccan/Pagan/Other) of this percentage 84% identify as white. Gathering from that data, I would guess at least 50% of self-identified witches have some Celtic ancestry.

The only thing about this topic is just to stress that you don’t have to be of Celtic origin to be a witch or to worship the Celtic gods or follow a Celtic tradition. There are a few pagan traditions that are quite racist..so we want to avoid being affiliated with those folk!

What is the definition of a witch?

Julia: The most basic definition of a witch is someone who practices magick. The word itself is thought to be derived from the old English Wicce (where Wicca gets its name as well), which means to bend or shape. A witch can be of any religion or of no religion. There are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, and pagan witches. One really common misconception about witches is that we are evil and that we all practice black magick. This is simply untrue. There are some witches who do use magick for harm, but the large majority of us it to spread positive energy, goodness, and healing throughout the world.

What are some rituals you practice?

Julia: I have daily, monthly, and yearly rituals in my practice. I have a daily meditation and devotional practice where I connect with my gods, ancestors, spirit guides, as well as local spirits. A lot of my practice is based around learning and I am always reading history and folklore to help deepen my faith, (currently I’m reading the Roman accounts about the Celts!).

On a monthly basis, I do spell work based on the phases of the moon. During the Full Moon, I usually take a cleansing salt bath, bathe my crystals in moonlight to recharge them, and do any work that I have been saving for the occasion. During the year, I celebrate the pagan wheel of the year. We have 8 major holidays or sabbats. As a Celtic witch I celebrate these holy days from an Irish/Celtic perspective and honor the gods associated with these days. I.E. during Imolbc, I work with Brigid, during Lughnasadh I honor Lugh etc.

You can read Julia’s full review of Celtic Complexion here on her blog

You can follow her on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/the.wandering.witch/

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How a Celtic Woman Ages

How a Celtic Woman Ages

All women age, but some faster than others, and if you’re reading this post, and you a Celtic woman, I have bad news for you (but GREAT news at the end, so keep reading!).

A Celtic woman is often identifiable by her skin. It’s the sole reason we go to see all of those period dramas at the movies! The fair skin heroine walking around a lake holding a parasol, spoutin

The iconic Celtic woman, pale skin lass, fair maiden

The iconic Celtic woman

g literature, while her handsome suitor pines to brush a kiss upon her cheek.

However, we’re not going to be the fairest of them all forever. First, the bad news. The skin of Celtic woman ages in the following ways:

  • Thinning of the skin layers (epidermis and dermis)

As a Celtic woman begins to age, her skin layers may become thinner/smaller or less dense. This is because of its dry nature and sensitive surface.

Research also proves that skin sensitivity increases up to 56% as Celtic women age, and that this can be associated with up to 10% drier skin after age 20. (Great!)

  • Fine lines on the face

Fine lines may be long or short. They are often a result of the thinning layers of the skin. This is followed up by the depletion of the collagen mass which is said to go at the rate of 1% per year.

The fair complexion of Celtic women makes them more susceptible to UV damage, which results in collagen breakdown, making skin less elastic. (Are we having fun yet?)

  • Weakening of skin vessels and functions

The barrier function of the skin may become weakened as Celtic women age between their thirties to forties. This has been associated with a reduction of the metabolic processes of the cells, loss of skin moisture and reduction of skin elasticity.

These skin changes can be evidenced by the increase in dryness and roughness of the skin, some appearance of age spots often called hyper pigmentation and ultimately, wrinkles. (Time to start drinking!)

  • It becomes more prone to rosacea

As Celtic women age, their skin may become more rosacea prone. This skin redness if not tended to properly, is one of the major ways that the skin of Celtic woman ages. (That’s because we started to drink!)

  •  Wrinkles

Wrinkles will become deeper and more pronounced as the Celtic woman ages. Delicate skin in youth (when not properly cared for) becomes rougher and drier as we age. (Thank God we Celtic women have a sense of humor!)

How a Smart Celtic Woman Ages

Ok, so we got dealt a double-edged sword. Our iconic pale skin is enviable in youth, but as we age…Well, you get the picture. Look, anything worth having is worth keeping. If I had a body like Elle Macpherson, I would work out every day to maintain it too. Thankfully, I don’t have to uphold that standard!

The good news is, you can slow down the hands of time considerably by taking care of your

skin. Skincare with the right balance of potent plant oils, the right diet, lots of water, fresh air and the right attitude can practically take a decade off your physical age.

For more tips, join us in the Celtic Complexion’s Beauties private Facebook Group, and for the best anti-aging skincare for a Celtic Woman, take a look at our award winning Celtic Jewel.

Celtic Woman Skin Problems

Rosacea; The Biggest Skin Problem of the Celtic Woman

The iconic Celtic woman is blessed with  smooth, fair, beautiful skin that is enviable, but  your skin could have skin challenges of its own.

As a typical Celtic woman with the usual delicate skin, there is a huge chance that you are prone to the “Curse of the Celts”, more commonly known as rosacea.

 Jennifer Waller, Founder of Celtic Complexion , celtic woman

Jennifer Waller, Founder of Celtic Complexion

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes acute redness and skin irritation, and it is regarded as one of the major challenges every Celtic woman has to battle. Over 16 million individuals in America have been diagnosed with this skin disease, so if you have sensed some symptoms of rosacea, do not fret, you aren’t alone.

Causes of rosacea

The causes of rosacea are largely unknown, some people believe it is caused by spicy food, alcohol and weather changes. On the other hand, many have agreed that it has something to do with reaction to the sun, delicateness of the skin of Celtic women, and ancestral connection (because people from Ireland and the Celtic region as a whole commonly suffer from this).

Scientifically, recent studies in Finland have related rosacea with underlying systemic low-grade inflammation. This inflammation is a complex biological response to harmful stimulants which may lead to rosacea and consequent swelling, heat, pain, and blotches.

How to know if its rosacea or something else?

Rosacea could be easily mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn or the common acne. This skin problem is believed to be more frequent among Celtic women because of their light, delicate and fair skin. It is characterized by redness, the growth of red bumps on the face like pimples and rashes.

At first, it may start with few red spots on the face and in order to determine if you have rosacea or just some skin irritation, you need to watch out for how it feels; rosacea is often itchy and it stings slightly; also, with time, it often flattens into skin and leaves red discoloration on the face.

Severe rosacea if left untreated can lead to superficial dilated blood vessels (making them visible) and ultimately rhinophyma (a condition causing development of a bulbous, large and ruddy nose).

Is it contagious?

Medical experts have confirmed that rosacea is not contagious, and cannot be incurred by mere physical contact; so do not worry about passing it on to those close to you. Albeit this, you need to still pay attention to this skin problem and treat it as earliest as possible to prevent it from escalating into rhinophyma.

If you are having challenges with rosacea as a Celtic woman, this blog is full of useful tips you can use, as well as product recommendations that are best to control rosacea, and habits to avoid.

You may also receive a free copy of Holistic Solutions for Rosacea by signing up for our newsletter by clicking here

St. Patrick’s Day Skincare Tips for Sweet Colleens

St Patrick’s Day: Skincare Tips for Sweet Colleens

Celtic Complexion Founder Jennifer Waller

Celtic Complexion Founder              Jennifer Waller

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but not everyone shares the skin conditions of the thirty-four million people of Irish ancestry. Those with this pale, ruddy skin have been described in books as  a “pale lass”, a “sweet colleen” or a “fair maiden”, but what the books don’t talk about is that while the iconic Celtic complexion is fine textured and beautiful on youth, it is often prone to redness, burns easily and can show signs of aging earlier. In order to keep the skin looking fine and free of blemish, those of Irish ancestry must use alternative products than what is normally found on store shelves.

Jennifer Devlin Waller, founder of Celtic Complexion Luxury Artisan Skincare shares these tips for keeping skin beautiful all year round.

  1. The foundation of beautiful skin starts with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, polyunsaturated fats. Avoid processed foods, sodas, alcohol, dairy and grains as these will all cause puffiness, inflammation, and under eye circles. Additionally, a poor diet contributes to rosacea, which is a common skin disorder that causes redness in the cheeks chin and nose area.
  1. A good physical zinc-based sunscreen should be applied daily to protect the skin from prematurely aging. Fair skin has the least amount of melanin, a naturally occurring sun-block that protects our skin cells from the harmful effects of ultra-violet radiation from the sun and those rays are unavoidable. Think of sunscreen as anti-aging insurance. Look for a physical sunscreen with a high percentage of zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
  1. Avoid synthetic chemicals, dyes and fragrances in your skin care products as these contribute to sensitivity. Look for products with plant and marine based ingredients instead.
  1. Easy on the exfoliants. While it’s true that exfoliation does increase cell turnover, being overly aggressive strips the skin of its natural defense layer (called the acid mantle), which weakens delicate skin over time. Skip the Retin-A and glycolic acids, and opt for gentle exfoliants such as lactic acid and enzymes and use no more than twice per week.
  1. Use high quality supplements designed for anti-aging. A good diet is the preferable source of vitamins and minerals, but modern day farming practices rob the soil of vital nutrients needed for mineral-rich crops. Plants do not create minerals. Minerals have to be absorbed through the soil, and if they are not present in the soil, then the plant’s roots cannot take them up, and therefore they will not be present in the plant. These are the most potent for anti-aging:
  1. Vitamin C: Prevents sagging skin by strengthening collagen and elastin, the structural substances which give your skin tone and resilience.
  2. MSM Sulfur: MSM is necessary for collagen production.  Sagging skin and wrinkles, as well as dry, cracked skin are all developed through a loss of collagen.  MSM works together with Vitamin C to build new, healthy tissues.
  3. Selenium: Protects skin from free radical damage, increases the elasticity of the skin and safeguards the skin against uv damage.

While there is no stopping time, skin’s aging process can be slowed when skin is taken care of properly, when healthy turnover is promoted, and moisture is introduced to the skin.

This St. Patrick’s Day, Celtic Complexion Luxury Artisan Skincare will celebrate it’s 7th Anniversary with a BOGO sale (buy-one-get-one-free). No coupon needed, everything in your cart will be doubled.  celticcomplexion.com

How to Live the Life of Your Dreams

I am an avid reader, always have been. I feel life long learning is the key to staying young. One book that had a profound effect on me was The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. He taught a radical concept of living the life of your dreams, however, as good as the concept was, I had never been witness to anyone who was enjoying the freedom he spoke about. With that said, I made it my intention back in 2008 to one day live like he did; happy and carefree.

I wish I could tell you that I snapped my fingers and voila!  It would take a radical change in my thought process to accept that I could create any life I wanted. I had to end negative patterns that no longer served me, I had to believe that I was worthy of such magnificence, and I had to learn to accept help and guidance from both the seen and unseen. In other words, I had to be in “receiving mode”.

I have certainly had my share of life’s challenges, ups and downs but since setting my intentions (planting my seeds) I have managed to create a thriving business, attract the most amazing husband, travel to wonderful places, and live in the house of my dreams. In other words, everything I put on my vision board so long ago, has come to fruition.  

One of the biggest challenges of my entire life was getting a hold of my health, and losing the extra 40+ lbs I had been carrying around for the last couple of decades. It was the last frontier! When I finally made up my mind to start a health journey last summer, the weight came off pretty effortlessly. Many of you followed my journey on Youtube and on our FB page. I ate nothing but raw juice for 60 days, and I never felt better in my entire life; energy and vitality flowed from every pore.

In short, I became reborn.

But it’s not about just the juice. I know this because I have been drinking juices on and off since 2010, and although there were short term success, nothing was ever sustainable. You may wonder why it stuck this time…what I did differently…so I am going to share the secret to how I now live the life of my dreams.

Juicing (or whatever sensible way you chose to be healthy) is only one part of the equation. Another part of the equation is loving yourself unconditionally as you are, right now because you cannot change a body you hate. You see your cells are always listening to you. Your words are programming them for either health or disease. This is true of weight and of aging in general. Those women I know who are always referring to themselves as “old”, “over-the-hill”, etc. generally tend to look old and tired.

Once I grasped that concept, I felt remorseful for speaking to myself so negatively for pretty much my entire life. After all, I wouldn’t speak to a little child like that. So, I began to sing my own praises (whether I believed it or not). Admittedly, it was very awkward at first, but in less than a year since adopting my new “love language”, it’s now a normal part of my routine. My mantra is “I am loved, cherished and adored. I am healthy, strong and beautiful”. I say that every morning before my feet hit the bed, and every night before I fall asleep and these days, I believe it!

Another thing that I consciously changed was the negative chatter around me, whether it be from friends, family or the media (and that includes social media and TV). I removed all of it from my life. I put a love bubble around me and have not let anyone or anything burst it.

I noticed last year that social media in particular was really effecting me. I am very perceptive to energy and vibration and it seemed the entire world was at war. I was being constantly bombarded by what people hated. I started to dread every time I opened Facebook. I gave everything the clip for my own sanity. Not to say I completely deleted every social media app, but I did remove them from my phone and took back my time.

This can be challenging as a business owner, not to be tied to your phone or social media 24/7, but I believe in quality over quantity and when I’m happier, I believe that vibration carries over into the product making process.

Getting quiet (by removing the negative chatter) enables you to truly listen to what your body is telling you. Without being influenced by the outside world, you start to hear yourself more clearly. My body was telling me that it wanted to have more fun.

Hmm. More fun. I wasn’t sure what that meant, so I tried a lot of things. Things that got me out of my comfort zone, things that I never thought I’d enjoy and as a result I’ve never laughed or smiled so much in my life!

For example, exercise was always viewed as a chore, something that had to be done in order to conform my body. I dreaded the gym. Now my exercise is doing the hula hoop while I listen music, dancing while I clean the house, and sweating my butt off while gardening. It never feels boring. I actually smile when I’m doing these activities.

The final piece of the equation is to find your tribe. Surround yourself with like-minded people who support your dreams. Sometimes this means making new friends. Find people that uplift and inspire you, make you laugh, and dare you to dream big!

One of the things I’ve done this year is to visit many of my good friends scattered across the country. My fellow dreamers if you will. Some of these people I haven’t seen in decades, but we picked up right where we left off, and it was as if no time had passed between us.

One friend in particular was my work husband back in the day. We worked at the cosmetic counter together at Nordstrom back in the mid 90’s. We hadn’t kept in touch after I moved on, but we did reconnect last year on Instagram.

He never posts anything too personal, he keeps it whimsical and happy, so when I saw a picture he posted of himself, I was alarmed at his appearance and called him right away.

It turns out, he has had several cancers the past couple of years and is now dealing with an inoperable brain tumor. After the initial shock, I told him I was buying a plane ticket to come visit and a couple of weeks later I was there for a long weekend.

He told me upfront that I was there for comic relief and that he didn’t want to talk about illness. I wondered on my way out there how I was going to find the strength to do that. But…when I walked in his house, saw his bright big smile and heard that infectious laugh of his, I knew it would be ok.

We pretty much sat on his bed the entire time, watched Feud (the FX drama about the feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis),  Say Yes to the Dress marathon, relived old stories from our shop girl days and ate grilled cheese sandwiches.

It was one of the best vacations I ever had.

Big picture stuff did come up, but not in the way you think. He said to me “Do you remember how stressed out we use to be to make our numbers? Do you remember how we had to have the right clothes? Do you remember always talking about losing weight? It all seems so trivial now. I only care about family and cultivating relationships with the people I care about”.

At that moment, I decided to really step it up and focus on what is truly important. His words were such a gift to me. When I boarded the flight home, I got a text that thanked me for the visit and for adding a bit of brightness to his routine…and then he said he was scared. I cried all the way home.

When I got home, I made a list of everything that is no longer serving me and either sold it or donated it. I am using those funds to take a month long road trip with my childhood friend Sandy next month.

I also made a list of everything that makes me truly happy, things that feed my soul and made a declaration to myself to do them. Often.

I like love to make things beautiful, create ambiance. I love to write hand written letters and draw art on the envelope. I love to be in my garden and grow beautiful, colorful flowers. I love to read. Most of all, I love to love. I want my friends and family to know how much I love and appreciate them.

I also wish to be a blueprint for someone else. I want someone to say “hey, she did it, I can too!” I used to think that Celtic Complexion was my legacy, my swan song, but that is only the beginning. I am expanding it.

I am creating a retreat for women who need to be nurtured, to put themselves first, to disconnect from the world in order to get quiet and listen to their heart. To be surrounded by the beauty of nature. I envision this retreat as a gateway to what is possible, with a supportive helping hand leading the way.

Celtic Forest Retreat. That’s my next chapter. What’s yours?

Celtic Forest Retreat Logo

 

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day; Skincare Tips for Sweet Colleens

Jennifer-11Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but not everyone shares the skin conditions of the thirty-four million people of Irish ancestry. Those with this pale, ruddy skin have been described in books as a “pale lass”, a “sweet colleen” or a “fair maiden”, but what the books don’t talk about is that while the iconic Celtic complexion is fine textured and beautiful on youth, it is often prone to redness, burns easily and can show signs of aging earlier. In order to keep the skin looking fine and free of blemish, those of Irish ancestry must use alternative products than what is normally found on store shelves.

Jennifer Devlin Waller, founder of Celtic Complexion Luxury Artisan Skincare shares these tips for keeping skin beautiful all year round.

1. The foundation of beautiful skin starts with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, polyunsaturated fats. Avoid processed foods, sodas, alcohol, dairy and grains as these will all cause puffiness, inflammation, and under eye circles. Additionally, a poor diet contributes to rosacea, which is a common skin disorder that causes redness in the cheeks chin and nose area.

2. A good physical zinc-based sunscreen should be applied daily to protect the skin from prematurely aging. Fair skin has the least amount of melanin, a naturally occurring sun-block that protects our skin cells from the harmful effects of ultra-violet radiation from the sun and those rays are unavoidable. Think of sunscreen as anti-aging insurance. Look for a physical sunscreen with a high percentage of zinc oxide as the active ingredient.

3. Avoid synthetic chemicals, dyes and fragrances in your skin care products as these contribute to sensitivity. Look for products with plant and marine based ingredients instead.

4. Easy on the exfoliants. While it’s true that exfoliation does increase cell turnover, being overly aggressive strips the skin of its natural defense layer (called the acid mantle), which weakens delicate skin over time. Skip the Retin-A and glycolic acids, and opt for gentle exfoliants such as lactic acid and enzymes and use no more than twice per week.

5. Use high quality supplements designed for anti-aging. A good diet is the preferable source of vitamins and minerals, but modern day farming practices rob the soil of vital nutrients needed for mineral-rich crops. Plants do not create minerals. Minerals have to be absorbed through the soil, and if they are not present in the soil, then the plant’s roots cannot take them up, and therefore they will not be present in the plant. These are the most preventative anti-aging supplements for the skin:

a. Vitamin C: Prevents sagging skin by strengthening collagen and elastin, the structural substances which give your skin tone and resilience.
b. MSM Sulfur: MSM is necessary for collagen production. Sagging skin and wrinkles, as well as dry, cracked skin are all developed through a loss of collagen. MSM works together with Vitamin C to build new, healthy tissues.
c. Selenium: Protects skin from free radical damage, increases the elasticity of the skin and safeguards the skin against uv damage.

While there is no stopping time, skin’s aging process can be slowed when skin is taken care of properly, when healthy turnover is promoted, and moisture is introduced to the skin.

Beauty Tools

My 3 Must Have Beauty Tools

I am asked every week about beauty tools; which ones work, which ones are worth the money, etc.  When I was a practicing esthetician, I was introduced to a lot of tools. Some were great, some not so great. Just like with skincare, there is a lot of information out there and often times it can be conflicting. Today I want to share with you my favorites, the ones I can’t live without.

1. The Ashley BlackAshleyBlackFasciablasterFACE Guru FaceBlaster: If I was stuck on a deserted island and I could have ONE beauty tool, THIS WOULD BE IT! If my house was on fire and I had to grab one thing, THIS WOULD BE IT! Never has a product so lived up to it’s hype like this one has. My skepticism quickly turned into utter disbelief at what this little tool can do for sagging skin and wrinkles. I simply massage my face with it 5 minutes a day (after the shower) – paying close attention to my neck and jowls (AKA as “problem areas of the woman over 40”) and it firms it all up, instantly. I have turned on every customer, friend and family member I have to this little workhorse. The beauty is, it’s a lot cheaper than a plastic surgeon! $99 Link: https://ashleyblackguru.com/Faceblaster-protocols/

diamondbuff-microdermabrasion-exfoliation-tool-d-20160428093531443~4858222. The DiamondBuff Microdermabrasion Exfoliation Tool – This was my go-to tool as an esthetician (it was called Dermafile back then) because it was a portable exfoliation tool made with crushed diamonds (and who doesn’t love diamonds?!). It is a holistic/natural alternative to micro-dermabrasion. It deeply exfoliates the skin, leaving it glowing (just like micro-dermabrasion but without the high cost, and possible down time). The company made it available to the public and in my opinion, it’s something that every woman should have. $59.95 Link: https://www.hsn.com/products/diamondbuff-microdermabrasion-exfoliation-tool/8085488

ClarisonicMia13.Clarisonic Brush – The gold standard of cleaning brushes. I have three, the Mia model is my favorite because of it’s compact size. Every time I cleanse my face, it feels like I’ve had a spa treatment – and that’s no surprise because when I worked at five star resort spas, we used these brushes on clients to deep clean the pores. I’ve tried using the cheaper/knock off versions over the years, but always come back to the original. It’s even safe and gentle enough to use on my rosacea (with the sensitive skin brush head). $129 Link: http://www.clarisonic.com/facial-cleansing-brushes/mia-1-CL370.html?cgid=Devices&dwvar_CL370_color=White#start=3&cgid=Devices

 
Beauty tools compliment great skincare and can turn your bathroom into a spa. I encourage you to work with them and be sure to let me know how they are working for you.

 

wizard-of-oz

Never Meet Your Gurus

I think we can all relate to that that iconic scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy pulls back the curtain to reveal the All Mighty, All Powerful Oz is simply a flawed man, with his share of shortcomings, not the guru everyone thought he was. I think that’s a powerful lesson everyone can learn from.

If you’ve read my blog post about my humble beginnings in high school as an Estee Lauder Beauty Advisor, you know how I came up the ranks of the cosmetic department. At 17, I was too young and naïve to question anything, I just enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to work in the food court like my friends and that I got free products! Rule #1: never bite the hand that feeds you.

In the ten years that followed, I guess you could say I was mesmerized by the industry, heavily influenced by celebrities and models (a world that I would never be a part of, but happy to live vicariously through). I remember having serious conversations to my colleagues about Sharon Stone’s makeup in Casino and waiting patiently to devour InStyle magazine from cover to cover each month.

I think I have scars somewhere on my body from the Spanx and stilettos I wore to work each day, and I’m definitely a few hundred eye lashes short, thanks to the daily faux lashes I wore.

Looking back, it all seemed so Stepford-esque, but what do you expect from your twenties?

As much fun as I thought I had, there was a sadness in me, one that could not be filled up with enough lipstick, happy hour margaritas or relationships, although I had no idea about this sort of thing back then.  I believed things happened to me, not seeing the big picture that I was attracting every situation in my life because of how I felt inside. It’s called patterns people, and we all have them, even if we can’t see them.

The underlying message of my industry is “you aren’t good enough by yourself, buy this and you will be enough”. There was a reason I was in debt to Nordstrom and had a mini Sephora in my bathroom. Rule #2: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid

The first time I met one of my gurus was shortly after I had been crowned a Nordstrom Beauty Director. The pay was dismal, but the opportunity to meet my makeup idols was priceless. I felt like a tweener meeting the Beibs.

This celebrity makeup artist had created an empire, and she was certainly considered Box Office Gold in the eyes of Nordstrom. She sold out events in every store when she did personal appearances. Women lined up to get a personal makeup evaluation (and then her team of makeup artists would execute the look she recommended).

I felt giddy to be in her presence, little ole’ me, but here I was in a room with my colleagues, standing ten feet from her! PERSONAL INTERACTION!

I had butterflies in my stomach for a week prior to meeting her, writing down exactly what I wanted to know, which mainly had to do with how she started, what were her early influences, how did she set trends, etc. I was approaching this training like a Sixty Minutes reporter preparing for a Castro interview.

She blew in the room and smelled like gardenias.  She was a no nonsense kind of woman, and got to work right away. I imagined her critiquing my artistry, giving me an insider tip or two…but she got right to work with her agenda, and that agenda was sales. Period.

She told us how many brushes were expected to be used in each makeover and how to sell at least three. “I built my business on brushes”.  For the next four hours, I learned how to use and sell 27 brushes.

Now in her defense, she was running a business and making money is akin to business. She did nothing wrong, it was my own expectations that weren’t met which caused me such disenchantment that day. There was just such a disconnect between the public persona and the business mogul that I felt a little mislead.

The second, third and fourth time I met (different) gurus (all in my own industry), I was also sadly disappointed because the person didn’t live up to their well written bio. Rule #3: Never underestimate good PR.

By the time I reached my forties, I personally started to shift. Actually, that’s an understatement. I started shifting like the Earth’s tectonic plates, and I yearned for truth and authenticity. I was discovering things that seemed unimaginable to me just ten years prior that set me off to an entirely new trajectory.  I became more interested in health, wellness,  mind/body/soul connection than with makeup trends.

I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland peeking down the rabbit hole.  That can be both exciting and scary. I’ve always craved truth, but it wasn’t until my forties until I knew how to seek it.

Which brings me to my next encounter with a guru.

I am an avid reader and I love to research, so when I learn about something new, and it resonates with me, I get massive butterflies in my stomach. That’s a sign from my intuition that I’m on the right path, pushing me to explore further.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

There is so much information out there to follow. Just look in the aisle on any book store in the diet section and there will be hundreds of books describing the end-all be-all way of eating. Same thing goes for an internet web search, but the results can be millions of pages of info, and most of that info is completely contradictory!

I felt completely overwhelmed when I started my own health journey, and that’s why I felt nothing worked and why I ended up returning to the eating habits of my youth. “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know”.

Eventually though, my quest for knowledge led me to finding someone who I felt spoke the truth. I read a book of his, and was inspired to watch every single YouTube video he ever made. The videos were very DIY and the quality was not great but the message was very clear, and you could tell he followed his own advice. I had never heard of him before so for the next year or so I researched the things he recommended, adopted some of them and experienced great results. Over the next five years, his popularity increased and he began making appearances in mainstream media shows and commercials (with a much more refined look – Made for TV).

My everyday not-so-glam look

Then one day I was talking to a friend who knew of him and she said he started to live up to his rock star status (of the health world) and was quite the ladies’ man on his book tours. She didn’t imply anything inappropriate; he is after all single, but suddenly I felt different about him. I think in my mind, he spent his nights meditating on a mountain and maybe that’s due to his Instagram account. Rule #4: All photographs are accurate; none of them is the truth.

When I started Celtic Complexion, I thought the success of my business would solely be about the products.  However in order to be competitive, to stay in the public eye, to climb the ladder of indie success is to engage with the public via social media.

It’s not enough to make a great product, you have to be accessible and on fleek (I actually had to look that phrase up after my step son used it in a sentence) after all, Indies are the face of their brand. From a marketing perspective I get that, but from a personal standpoint it can feel like a lot of pressure.  It can also feel a bit inauthentic.

If you are part of my health coaching program, you know I preach to stay off social media as much as possible, to covet your privacy and to get outdoors.

I actually practice what I preach. That’s why you won’t see me replying to a Tweet instantly, or answering messages from our Facebook account 24/7. And don’t get me started about Instagram. I resisted it for years.

Let’s get this out there once and for all: 99% of the time I wear black yoga pants, a fitted t-shirt, Sketchers, no makeup and a ponytail.  It’s my uniform. It transitions effortlessly from packing and shipping to the grocery store to after school pick up. Instagram is pure fantasy and reminds me of the days I would be at my grandma’s house and get to play dress up in her shoes and jewelry.

I only share this with you, lest you bump into me at the grocery store one day and be disappointed. Heck, who am I kidding, you probably wouldn’t even recognize me!

Despite that fact, you will always get a product from me that will exceed your expectations, and I will personally reply to all of your correspondence.  I stand behind my products, and go out of my way to make you feel welcomed into the Celtic Complexion family.  Rule #5: Point your compass north and be your own guru.

Steve and Jennifer Waller

How to Rekindle the Romance with Your Spouse

Rekindling Romance with a Couples Photo Session

Rekindling Romance with a Couples Photo Session

Being an entrepreneur is stressful enough, but when both spouses are entrepreneurs, it can really be stressful!

Mr. Celtic Complexion and I work together, live together and play together. That’s a LOT of together.

Thankfully, we get along swell 95% of the time, but that 5% is very passionate “persuasion” time. When it comes to the marriage partnership, it’s pretty smooth sailing, but when I have my CEO hat on, and he has his COO hat on, lets just say, sparks can fly.

When this happens, the last thing we want to do is look soulfully into each other’s eyes and dance around the kitchen making dinner together. Entrepreneurs rarely turn off. There is always a “great idea” to discuss, and you must be an inherent “creative financier”.

To balance the time we spend working, we have a standing weekly date night, where we dress up and romance each other. No shop talk allowed.

Jennifer Waller Celtic Complexion CEO

After the initial awkwardness wore off, we had fun with it!

The past two weeks we’ve had to postpone date night for very valid reasons, namely I am launching another complimentary business to Celtic Complexion, and it’s taking up a lot of time. I noticed when we don’t have that designated time, we both become cranky and we feel disconnected, so last week I decided to plan something out of the ordinary for date night (and hoped he would be up for it).

I found a very creative local photographer whose style I greatly admired, and booked her “romance special”; meet in a gorgeous local park at sunset for a half hour of canoodling, and she would document the special moments. Her images are dreamy confections of love and romance – so I signed up right away.

Most couples only have portraits done for their engagement and/or wedding, and that time can be very stressful for couples, so the images may not capture the true essence of the couple. Contrast that with a lovely stroll through the park, holding hands with not a care in the world.

Harlequin Romance novel

Is this too much to ask?

I’d like to tell you that my surprise was met with welcome enthusiasm. I mean, what man wouldn’t want to get dressed up and play Rhett Butler to my Scarlett O’Hara? Mr. Celtic Complexion is probably like most men, not really comfortable in front of the camera and would rather be anywhere than trying to channel his inner Harlequin romance novel cover.

In fact, earlier that day, we were having one of those “passionate discussions”, and the last thing we wanted to do is get dressed up and be lovey-dovey with each other, but after the initial ten minutes of awkwardness, we really got into it. We were laughing about private jokes, and soon forgot that Andrea was even following us.

The time went by quickly, and when the sun melted over the horizon, our session was over. The flirting and laughing continued the rest of the night through dinner.

Receiving the actual pictures was almost a bonus. They arrived a few short days later, and we sat on the couch looking through them like giddy teenagers flipping through a yearbook.  I see in these pictures two best friends who have weathered a lot of storms, who are still madly in love with each other. I see a comfort level that wasn’t there when we got married, that can only come from the passage of time.

Steve&JenniferFEB2017-6

Our version of the Harlequin Romance novel cover

Steve and Jennifer Waller

Best friends

Unlike the distraction of a movie, this date rekindled our romance, and affirmed why we got married in the first place. It’s so important to rekindle that fire regularly, in some small way because at the end of the day, LOVE is what’s most important, everything else is just background noise.

Photography by: Andrea Dawn

 

 

 

Beauty CEO Reveals That Raw Juicing Does More for the Skin Than Skincare

21 Day Juice Fast Results

Juicing results, before/during/after

I get the same question from just about all of my customers (who are mostly Gen-X and Baby Boomers), and that is “What is the best product to improve my skin?”

The truth, as I am about to reveal, has more to do with what you are putting in your body, rather than what you are putting on your body. I do share this with everyone, but the advice seems to be glazed over in hopes that there is a quick-fix miracle I can sell them.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that great skincare can vastly improve one’s complexion, however it can only do so much. It’s kind of like working out with a personal trainer, but still eating fast food every day…there is only so much progress you can hope to achieve.

I decided to put my own advice to the test, and follow every single thing I recommend to my own customers, to prove that you have the ability (in a relatively short period of time) to change your skin’s tone, texture and evenness. So I cleared my schedule to embark on a three week journey through the mountains, with my best friend in tow, to see how much my skin could change. We did this all in a little vintage travel trailer, who I affectionately call Alexis Carrington.

We reluctantly took “before” pictures and measurements of ourselves, and set off into the summer heat for a glamping adventure.

I went into the woods expecting to report back on how to make certain juices (recipes) and how great my complexion looked (and it did!), but what I discovered was something so life-changing and cathartic, that is has completely changed me at a cellular level, and I feel compelled to move in a different direction with my life (more on that later). I could have called this the “Ten Years Younger Road Trip” because that’s exactly what happened.

In case you missed it, my previous blog entry explains why I chose raw juicing for this experiment. I have done raw juice fasts in the past, but it was more of a struggle for me, and I was never able to sustain long-term changes in my behavior. I did continue to juice after my fasts, but I also did other things (alcohol, processed foods, etc). All of this lead to puffiness, inflammation and rosacea flare-ups (as you can see from my before picture above, in the top left photo).

What I believe was the missing component to make long term changes was a mind/body/spirit connection. I viewed the fast as a punishment – as in “I can’t wait to get off this fast and then I can enjoy real food again”. I even joined a few raw juice Facebook support groups, but although they provided great recipes, most newbies in the groups seemed scared, depressed and defeated (especially if they could not keep it going after a few days), and the emphasis is always on juice recipes. That’s great, but in my opinion, it’s one small piece of the puzzle.

This time, I prepared much differently for the fast, and yes I use the word prepare, because just like you  wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, you can’t just jump into a raw juice fast without some preparation. I now believe this is why so many people attempt and fail at juicing, because they didn’t train properly first.

I created a plan-of-action…The Glamper’s Guide to Juicing, and not only did it enable me to go through the 21 day raw juice fast with ease, I came home and decided to continue my juice fast for a total of 60 days!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By the way, if you aren’t familiar with the term glamper/glamping, it means glamorous

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

My 1972 Shasta Compact, Alexis Carrington

camper/camping. It brings five star ambiance to nature (complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and chandeliers!). It takes the “roughing it” out of camping.

To be successful at this, you need to have the right mind set going in.

The first thing we did was to make a date to disappear, and then made no apologies for it to anyone. It may seem selfish. It is, but you have to be selfish in order to take care of yourself first so that you can be healthy for your family. This proved to be the hardest step, because we had to rely on others to help us with kids, animals, work, etc.

If you think you can’t get away for three weeks, then take a week, or a weekend. The point is, you have to remove yourself from distractions so you can focus on yourself 100%. You can make the time if it’s important enough for you. Look at it this way, if your doctor told you that you have something wrong with you, and he is putting you in the hospital to figure it out, you would probably go, no questions asked because they are “doctor’s orders”. Nobody would even question it, they would figure out a way to get things done in your household.

Why wait until you are sick before you do something so life-changing that it could prevent you from getting sick?

If I was not doing this for the benefit of my customers, I wouldn’t have told anyone about my decision to do a 21 day juice fast (except of course my husband) because all of the sudden you will get everyone coming out of the woodwork giving you health advice and opinions, most of them negative. I believe this is because they don’t  understand how juicing works (it’s been done safely for centuries, and all religions observe some kind of fasting rituals), or they read sensationalized headlines about juicing designed to scare people.

Nobody can make the decision to change your health; not your spouse, friends, family or doctor. Only you can. It’s up to you to educate yourself about your health, and what it means to be truly healthy.

Before we left, we both watched three documentaries about juicing (which explain the science behind it): Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Hungry for Change, and Super Juice Me. We also downloaded them so we could watch them during our trip. That really kept us motivated.

If you are experiencing a disease (as opposed to just wanting to look better or lose a few pounds), I encourage you to also watch The Beautiful Truth. The way food is poisoned (with pesticides), genetically modified, and processed (with additives and chemicals), it’s no wonder we are a nation of obese and sick people. It effects your weight, the way you age, and your health.

There are chemicals in food that make us crave it, in fact there is an entire industry of food engineers whose sole purpose it is to make you crave it more, so you will buy it more. It’s all about profit. Then when you get sick, you go to the doctor who prescribes medication (which cause all sorts of side effects). Then you get strange diseases (which were unheard of fifty years ago) and you get depressed, so you eat to numb yourself, or to cope with the depression and the cycle continues.

When you are able to break that food addiction (and lose the cravings for sugar, salt, processed foods), you lose the brain fog (which you may not even realize you have), and have more energy that you could possibly imagine. It feels like you are a child again.

I eliminated alcohol, processed foods, and refined carbs (sweets) and added a juice or two (daily) for the two weeks prior to leaving. This made it MUCH easier to transition into just juice. The last time I did this, I partied like a rock star up until the day I started the fast (to be fair, it was the month of my birthday and Thanksgiving, so there was a lot of celebrating going on), and it was a big mistake. I had detox symptoms (feeling sick) for the first four days and it I felt awful. I believe it happens to a lot of people who don’t properly prepare, and that’s why a lot of people give up after a few days.

We chose our route based on the weather. While it was summer, it was much cooler in the Blue Ridge mountains than in the rest of the country. We chose to camp because it would get us off the grid (we rarely had cell phone or internet service), and the campgrounds were off the beaten path and away from temptation, i.e. restaurants. We also wanted to be as active as possible, and it doesn’t get more active than camping, where most conveniences are gone and you have to move around a lot. The walk to the bathrooms alone were far.

As far as the cost, we camped for three weeks at different campgrounds, and the total for lodging was about $650 total. Add to that gas, activities (such as zip lining, water water rafting, a movie on rainy days, etc), food purchased at local produce stands, and the whole trip was about $1,000 each.

Something remarkable happened as a result of being off the grid, and I also believe this helped us succeed. We were not exposed to any negativity or fear from the media. When you expose yourself (even peripherally) to the news, it will make you anxious, angry, even fearful. This causes your body to be in  “flight-or-fight” mode, which releases the hormone cortisol. Add that “out there” stress to the everyday stress of commuting, picking up kids, dealing with work, arguments with your spouse, preparing meals, etc. and it all adds up to a lot of cortisol being released. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.

Imagine three weeks without hearing about shootings, Isis, the presidential race or the Kardashians?! Imagine not being able to have any internet or cell service. Then imagine no dogs in your bed, no alarm clock ringing at 7 a.m. or no kids to get off to school. It was Pure Silent Bliss! It was almost too quiet at first – but soon we found our body’s responding to the natural circadian rhythms of nature and we slept more soundly and deeply than at any time in our lives.

Good sleep is essential for cellular repair. We woke up just about every day looking refreshed (not like we had to go back to bed for a couple of more hours).

Our physical exercise plan was simple. Make it fun! I brought along a weighted hula hoop (purchased at Target), and Sandy brought her exercise bands, but the majority of our exercise came from walking (we walked just about every morning and again when the sun went down), hiking trails in the parks, cleaning our campsite, and preparing our juices.

Our mental exercises comprised of journaling, EFT (also known as tapping), vision boarding, reading books from authors that inspire me.

The recipes we chose were simple. We made four different recipes which we got from the Reboot with Joe website.We did the Low Sugar Green Juice, The Original Mean Green Juice, Hot V6 Juice (this was our favorite!), and Beet the Heat Juice. We read all the testimonials from that website too, which are all very inspirational.

On week one, we drank 4-5 juices per day, one every 3 hours and lots of water! It seemed like we were in the bathroom all the time in the beginning. One week two, we lost our urges to eat (this happens on day 4-7, it varies by person), so we only drank 3 juices and more water. By week three, we had one juice in the morning and one at night.

For three weeks, we maintained a can-do attitude. We didn’t sit around whining about what we couldn’t have, or count the days till we could. Our spirits were high, and each day brought us to new heights. This is hard to put into words, but as we got healthier, and our cells became nourished with real nutrients, we became happier! I consider myself a very happy person anyway, but when you add the nutrition element to it, it is simply incomprehensible at how GOOD you feel. It’s euphoric! I felt reborn!

“Ah, so THIS is how we are supposed to feel!”

It was at this point in our fast (week 3) that we both decided to extend our fast to 60 days when we got back home. It’s also the same time I decided to make some real big changes in my life. I made a decision to be 100% happy every single day, to do things that make me happy, to be around people that make me laugh. When you take care of yourself first (the body), everything else falls into place.

Look, I know we aren’t going to live forever, but if I get to choose how to live out the remainder of my life, it will be to live with love, integrity, intention and perfect health. I had been doing pretty good with the first three parts of that equation, but hadn’t realized how much the health influenced the other areas. I guess that’s what they mean when they say mind/body/soul connection.

In the silence of the woods, I heard my true calling…which is to inspire and enlighten others on their own journeys. To help show them the way by example.

Up until now, I have done that, by making clean skincare. Since I founded Celtic Complexion in 2011, I have received hundreds of testimonials from women who thank me for changing their skin, but I want to make an even bigger impact and reach greater amount of women. I don’t want to just change skin, I want to change lives!

Celtic Complexion isn’t going anywhere, I am just expanding to create something bigger. I combined everything I’ve learned about natural health, applied it, tweaked it, and saw incredible results for myself.  In just three short weeks, I lost 21 lbs, 10 (over all) inches, lost 3 dress sizes, and my blood pressure (which had always been elevated) was normal. I also lost 3% body fat and my BMI went down 2.71%. IN THREE WEEKS.

I had a blood lipid panel done two days before I left (to establish a benchmark), and I will have them done again at the three month mark and share my before and after results.

As I begin the second phase of my fast, I am going to do something I have always wanted to do, but never had the time or will power to do, and that is a full body cleanse that was highly recommended to me a few years ago. For maximum results, they recommend you fast. Now that I have that down, it will be easy. It’s by Blessed Herbs and it’s a 21 day internal cleansing kit that cleanses your colon, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, lungs, blood, skin and lymphatic system. That link will give you 20% off, so you can save a little (and they will in turn give me a 20% coupon for referring you for my next cleanse).

This raw juice fast turned out to be much, much more than seeing superficial skin condition changes (rosacea). It also went beyond weight loss (in fact, we didn’t take a scale with us because we didn’t want the focus to be on weight loss). Instead it focused on creating a new way of living, a road map of how to age and feel great (from the inside out). We found how to create joy around these changes so it was actually fun to do. Raw juicing was only one component of the much bigger picture. There were so many subtle nuances that were drawn upon to achieve this monumental change in our lives.

When we were out there, we met lots of very nice people. They were mostly retirees who were 70+ years old. A few stuck out in my mind. Annie would walk by our set up every night and wave and smile. It happened to be her birthday during the week we were there, and she was smiling and almost glowing. I never ask a lady her age, but she volunteered that she was 84. If I had to guess, I would have thought she was at least a decade earlier. I asked her what her secret was, and she said “I eat very modestly and kept moving every single day!”

At another camp, we met Ralph and Darlene, who we later found out had been married for 63 years. They were hiking the same (strenuous) trail we were up the mountain. When we arrived at the top and sat for a rest, they came up beside us and we ended up chatting for a while. Feeling a bit homesick for our husbands about now, we asked them to tell us the secret to a long marriage, and Ralph said “being healthy enough to enjoy ourselves.” Talk about an ah-ha moment.

In this youth-obsessed society we live, we are being force-fed images (unrealistic images I might add) of women barely out of their teens as the standard of beauty. Honestly, how much of a challenge is it to look young when you are young?! It’s almost inescapable too – magazines, tv, internet. How often do you see real healthy women in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond? Those are the women we should be looking to for advice, but in order to do so, you have to seek them out because they won’t be found in the mainstream media.

I don’t believe we have to throw our hands up and say “it’s too late, I can’t change”. I now believe that not only can you be healthy as you age, but you can get better with age too. One of the women who inspires me the most is Ernestine Sheperd, she is proof that you can change at any age, as long as you have the desire to do so.

We need many tools in our toolbox to help us navigate, and I’m building a brand new tool box. Instead of searching for my tribe, I am creating my tribe…stay tuned!

 

Chief Executive Glamper

Chief Executive Glamper

Happy trails,

Jennifer