Tag Archives: anti aging

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





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.



Make Peace With Your Current Self

I have been in the beauty industry since 1985, and remarkably it has never made me feel beautiful (Surprise!). In fact, it has, for the most part made me feel “too_______” (fill in the blank). I can remember (at 17 years old – the year I started my first cosmetic job) looking at a Clarins poster for cellulite that had a 13 year old model and wondering, “Should I be using this?”

Here’s the thing, marketing was created to make you feel insecure about something and then sell you the cure. You end up spending your whole life not feeling like you measure up, when you could have just looked in the mirror and been happy with what you see.

Have you ever looked at a picture of your younger self and wished you looked that way now? Or, do you remember when you first saw that picture and thought “Ugh, I look horrible”?  That kind of thinking keeps us from embracing the Now You.

Our bodies are constantly changing, based on a million different factors (age being just one of them). That wrinkle that showed up right outside my eyes in the last two years was caused by all the smiling I’ve been doing since I got together with my husband. Those little broken capillaries by my nose, were no doubt caused by the amazing Pinot Noir I discovered a Rams Gate Winery on my last annual friend trip to Napa. And that little pinch of “extra” on my waist, was caused by that delicious hand made baklava that my mom I shared when she last visited.

You get my point.

You will never be your 18 year old self again, so don’t waste one second of one minute looking back. When I use skincare, I want it to make me the very best I can look right now. If you are using skincare or cosmetics to look like your 25 or 30 year old self, you will be disappointed. The best ‘anti aging” advice I can give you is to fall in love with the Now You, because I’m here to tell you, you’re beautiful just the way you are!





woman using bath brush

Ancient Beauty Secret for Softest Skin Ever

Wouldn’t it be great to do something for two minutes and get a massive return on your time?

Dry brushing is the answer. All it costs is about ten dollars (for the brush) and two minutes of your time. Dry brushing isn’t new, it’s been around for centuries, but it has fallen out of favor for the latest-greatest fads, but it’s benefits can’t be ignored.

Your skin is the body’s largest organ, and in addition to protecting your organs, it is a major organ of detoxification. Dry skin brushing can eliminate 25% of the toxins in your body each day (that’s one pound of toxins!).

Here are the wonderful benefits of dry skin brushing:

  • Stimulates lymphatic drainage
  • Exfoliates the skin by sloughing off dead skin, which enable your body moisturizer to work better
  • Helps facilitate detoxification
  • Increases circulation
  • Rejuvenates the nervous system
  • Eliminates clogged pores

Not bad for something that costs so little and requires minimal effort! Here are some tips for using the dry brush:

  • Brush towards the heart
  • Brush while the skin is dry
  • Brush before showering
  • Brush towards the heart

You can pick up a dry brush at any Whole Foods, Target or on Amazon.com. You can care for your brush by washing it and letting it air dry once a week. I love the feeling of applying pure coconut oil on my skin after I dry brush and shower, there is NO comparison. Note: if you have very dry skin, or sun damaged skin, allow a couple of weeks before the “ahhhh” feeling to occur, but it will happen if you are consistent.


How to Create an Anti Aging Retreat at Home

Everyone has a unique, special talent. Mine is creating beauty and ambiance, so it’s no surprise that I now own a company in the industry that defines beauty. I am the queen of “curb appeal” and I love designing a space that makes me feel beautiful in it.

Beyond skincare and makeup, which can make you look and feel beautiful, there are things you can do to your space that will also contribute to feeling beautiful. My own theory of being able to contribute to an anti aging retreat is this: stress causes premature aging, by creating a space that uplifts you, it will reduce stress and therefor reduce aging.

Here are my top ten tips to creating an anti aging retreat.

1. Plants & flowers: Plants detoxify the air and produce oxygen and more oxygen means your skin looks AMAZING! They will remove toxins that lurk in your carpet, air conditioner and paint. some great indoor plants to try are: golden pathos, peace lily, ferns, palm tress and my favorite, orchids.

2. Lighting: I Hate fluorescent lighting, HATE! It will drain your energy and make you look sick. The first thing I do when I move into any space is to replace the lighting with beautiful fixtures, dimmers and warm light (incandescent or LED). Do you ever wonder how fancy restaurants do so well? Beyond great food, it’s the lighting. They usually have flattering light that complements all skin tones.   If you can’t replace the overhead lighting, then add beautiful table lamps (I love Home Goods for lamps).

3. Aromatherapy: The strongest sense you have is your sense of smell. The way your space smells will either inspire you and uplift your mood, or it will repel you and make you want to leave. I use an aromatherapy water diffuser (which you can pick up at Whole Foods or Amazon). I use some of my favorite aromatherapy blends and it smells like love in my house. I take my diffuser everywhere I go (especially hotel rooms) so I always feel at home. I also have soy candles but the diffuser is so much easier and I don’t have to worry about flames, and I can use it while I sleep. When I throw a dinner party, I light my favorite incense up the walk way to greet my guests as they arrive.

4.Music: I don’t know what I ever did without SONOS (a HiFi wireless speaker system) and Pandora (Music streaming service). I have playlists for every mood and I listen OFTEN. My SONOS speakers enable me to rock out without disturbing the entire family. When we are making products, we are tuned on to Horace Silver and Nightmare on Wax stations and it makes the day go by so lovely, we’ve even been known to stop and slow dance in the middle of production. I much prefer music to TV and it has a way of slowing us down so we can enjoy life’s little rituals.

5.Himalayan Salt Lamps: I have over a dozen throughout my home. These soft, pink lamps. The simple answer is they give off negative ions and these negative ion molecules give you a sense of well being. They also detoxify the air and reduce the electromagnetic frequencies in your home.

For more information about the benefits of salt lamps, watch this short video from Dr. Mercola:


Here is another great article about the importance of Salt Lamps:

The Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt Lamps

6. Crystals: Crystals operate by naturally focusing and magnifying the body’s innate energies, which dissipate and equalize mental, emotional and psychic stress. They further alleviate suppressed or unreleased pain, and help one to make desired shifts in every aspect of one’s being. The results are an elevated quality of life in all areas, including personal growth and optimum health.

I have placed mookaite jasper (Anti aging crystal) and rose quartz (love crystal)  all over my home and in my gardens to help increase the vibration of the home.

You can read more about the anti aging benefits of mookaite in my last post: http://www.celticcomplexion.com/blog/can-the-fountain-of-youth-be-found-in-crystals/

7. High thread count sheets: We spend over a third of our life in bed, so it makes sense to use the highest quality thread count sheets for an ultimate “beauty sleep” experience. You will always wake up on the right side of the bed when you sleep on soft sheets! My “splurge” sheet set comes from Boll & Branch. At $250 for a set, they aren’t cheap, but they will probably last a lifetime! https://www.bollandbranch.com/sheet-sets







Fountain of Youth Crystals...Mookaite Jasper

Can the Fountain of Youth Be Found In Crystals?

Women have tried everything in the name of youth; Creams. Injections. Surgery. Photoshop. But what about crystals? I first became interested in crystals when I had a lot of time on my hands during my ten day raw food retreat. I happen to pick up a book about crystals and stumbled upon a particular stone that is known for its anti-aging properties… my heart began racing! I’m all for every kind of support to help slow down the hands of time. Before I tell you about this anti-aging crystal, let me explain how crystal energy works.

“Crystals grow in the earth’s crust over millions of years at high pressures and heat making them the objects on earth with the most energy. Having a crystal on you or within your electromagnetic field (3 feet surrounding you), raises your vibrational level by refracting and reflecting light into your auric field. This is a process much like acupuncture, which filters out stagnant energy. Though crystals will also filter their unique properties into your auric field as well.

Crystals are capable of receiving, containing, projecting, emanating, refracting, and reflecting light – the highest form of energy known in the physical universe. They not only move energy around the human form, but propel energy around the globe, and are often utilized within the areas of science and technology. Crystals have been useful in everything from lasers for microscopic surgery to biodynamic farming, but can be found in everyday products as well such as wrinkle cream.

Crystals operate by naturally focusing and magnifying the body’s innate energies, which dissipate and equalize mental, emotional and psychic stress. They further alleviate suppressed or unreleased pain, and help one to make desired shifts in every aspect of one’s being. The results are an elevated quality of life in all areas, including personal growth and optimum health.

For centuries crystals have been used to heal. Such experiences have been documented in Sanskrit and thread various cultures and civilizations throughout time. The Mayans, American Indians, and various Latin American and Indian cultures all contain histories rich with stone healing. It is in fact debatable whether jewelry was originally invented for adornment or healing.

Each gemstone embodies a unique energy with a specific kind of healing. Our popular questions section shows you how to choose the right healing stone for your system. You do not need to meditate to experience a shift from a crystal. Crystals are science that can be experienced in an awakened state.”  Source: http://www.consciousjewelry.com/stone_pages/how-do-crystals-work

Now back to the actual stone. It’s called mookaite jasper.

“Part of the reason why your body physically ages, is related to your attitude towards aging, and your belief that it is inevitable. While this is true to a degree, your physical body responds to your way of thinking, and the more you believe in the aging process the more you physically age.

One of the things that is powerful about the vibration of Mookaite Jasper, is its action to help you to change your beliefs about the inevitability of the body’s degeneration. The energy of this crystal helps to raise the vibration of your body and the vibration of your thoughts that relate to aging, helping you to feel younger in your attitude to life.

Mookaite Jasper stones may take some time to have an effect… rather than a quick fix… as they are working to change ideas that have taken many years to become beliefs. It is a good idea to place a piece of Mookaite Jasper under your pillow, so that every night its energy will help to slow aging you while you sleep. By aiding you to change how you think about the whole process of getting older, they may help you to slow aging in your body.

Often the way you age may be related to genetic patterns that you have inherited, but some of these can be cleared, and this crystal can help with this. It aids you to clear unhealthy genetic problems from your auric field and this includes patterns that may be causing aging.”       Source: http://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/mookaite-jasper.html

I found some beautiful pieces on Etsy (just search “mookaite jasper”) and I keep them under my pillow, on my bathroom vanity and I also started a little ritual where I put all of my Celtic Complexion retail products within a circle of these stones. The stones themselves are not expensive, and I have looked into having a necklace made with these stones so I can wear them on my body (you can buy already made necklaces and bracelets on Etsy).

Do they work? Well, the jury is out for me simply because I’ve just started using them, but I’m all for a new tool in my anti-aging toolbox!