New Things A’Brewin’

It’s time for change! I’ve waited 2 very long years while building a solid client base, to introduce a few more services to Elements Salon’s Menu. The time has come…it is now that the awaited time is looking me in the face, instead of miles away. Even though I’ll remain in the space I’ve used since September of 2012, I feel it’s time to stretch and see what happens. So if you’ll bear with me while business continues to grow, I’ll make you as comfortable as possible while we explore together these new services. Well, actually, there is only ONE new service, the other two I’ve done for many years…just not in North Carolina.

So…without further ado, I present to you these add-on services. I do believe they will be just what you were hoping for. They are: 1). Reflexology 2). Waxing 3). NovaLash Eyelash Extensions

Following is a thorough description of each:


Reflexology 3Reflexology is a therapeutic method of relieving pain by stimulating predefined pressure points on the feet and hands. This controlled pressure alleviates the source of the discomfort. In the absence of any particular disease or aliment, or any abnormality, reflexology may be as effective for promoting good health and for preventing illness as it may be for relieving symptoms of stress, injury, and illness.
Reflexologists work from maps of predefined pressure points that are located on the hands and feet. These pressure points are widely known and believed to connect directly through the nervous system and affect the bodily organs and glands. The reflexologist manipulates the pressure points according to specific techniques of reflexology therapy. By means of this touching therapy, any part of the body that is the source of pain, illness, or potential debility can be strengthened through the application of pressure at the respective foot or hand location.
Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the nerves in the body and encouraging the flow of blood and oxygen. In the process, reflexology not only quells the sensation of pain, but relieves the source of the pain as well.
Anecdotally, reflexorelexology handlogists claim success in the treatment of a variety of conditions and injuries. One condition is fibromyalgia. People with this disease are encouraged to undergo reflexology therapy to alleviate any of a number of chronic bowel syndromes associated with the condition. Frequent brief sessions of reflexology therapy are also recommended as an alternative to drug therapy for controlling the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia and for relieving difficult breathing caused by tightness in the muscles of the patient’s neck and throat.
Reflexology applied properly can alleviate allergy symptoms, as well as stress, back pain, and chronic fatigue. The techniques of reflexology can be performed conveniently on the hand in situations where a session on the feet is not practical, although the effectiveness of limited hand therapy is less pronounced than with the foot pressure therapy.


In a typical reflexology treatment, the therapist and patient have a preliminary discussion prior to therapy, to enable the therapist to focus more accurately on the patient’s specific complaints and to determine the appropriate pressure points for treatment.
A reflexology session involves pressure treatment that is most commonly administered in foot therapy sessions of approximately 15-30 minutes in duration. The foot therapy may be followed by a brief 10-minute hand therapy session. No artificial devices or special equipment are associated with this therapy. The human hand is the primary tool used in reflexology. The therapist applies controlled pressure with the thumb and forefinger, generally working toward the heel of the foot or the outer palm of the hand. Most reflexologists apply pressure with their thumbs or index finger, bent; however, some also use simple implements, such as the eraser end of a pencil. Reflexology therapy is not massage, and it is not a substitute for medical treatment.
Reflexology is a complex system that identifies and addresses the mass of 7,000 nerve endings that are contained in the foot. Additional reflexology addresses the nerves that are located in the hand. This is a completely natural therapy that affords relief without the use of drugs.


Patients receive treatment in a reclining position, with the therapist positioned as necessary—to work on the bare feet, or alternately on the bare hands.
A reflexology patient removes both shoes and socks in order to receive treatment. No other preparation is involved. Even though no prescription drugs, creams, oils, or lotions are used on the skin, the reflexologist may use an organic ointment to cut down on the friction caused by skin against skin, and create a better environment for success.
Reflexology is extremely safe. It may even be self-administered in a limited form whenever desired. The qualified reflexologist offers a clear and open disclaimer that reflexology does not constitute medical treatment in any form, nor is reflexology given as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The ultimate purpose of the therapy is to promote wellness; fundamentally it is a form of preventive therapy.

People with serious and long-term medical problems are urged to seek the advice of a physician. Diabetes patients in particular are urged to approach this therapy cautiously. Likewise pregnant women are cautioned emphatically to avoid reflexology during the early phases of pregnancy altogether, as accidentally induced labor and subsequent premature delivery can result from reflexology treatment.
A consultation with a reflexologist is recommended in order to determine the safety and appropriateness of reflexology therapy for a specific health problem or condition.
Side Effects…
Because reflexology is intended to normalize the body functions, the therapy does not cause a condition to worsen. Most patients find that pain diminishes over the course of the therapy. It has been noted, however, that some patients experience greater discomfort in the second session than in the first session, because a significant easing of pain and tension is generally associated with the initial therapy session. As a result, when pressure is reapplied to the tender points of the foot during the second session, the sensitivity has been heightened. This increase in sensitivity may cause minor additional discomfort for the patient.


eyebrow shapingWaxing is a form of semi-permanent hair removal which removes the hair from the root. New hair will not grow back in the previously waxed area for four to six weeks, although some people will start to see regrowth in only a week due to some of their hair being on a different growth cycle. Almost any area of the body can be waxed, including eyebrows, face, pubic area (called bikini waxing), legs, arms, back, abdomen and feet. There are many types of waxing suitable for removing unwanted hair. At this time, however, ELEMENTS SALON WILL BE OFFERING FACIAL WAXING ONLY!

Strip waxing (soft wax) is accomplished by spreading a wax thinly over the skin. A cloth or paper strip is applied and pressed firmly, adhering the strip to the wax and the wax to the skin. The strip is then quickly removed against the direction of hair growth, as parallel as possible to the skin to avoid trauma to the skin (i.e. bruising, broken capillaries, ingrown hairs caused by hair follicle trauma and lifting of skin). This removes the wax along with the hair.


The following factors are known to make those that are waxed more prone to “skin lifting,” where the top layer of skin is torn away during waxing treatment.

  • Taking blood-thinning medications
  • Taking drugs for autoimmune diseases, including lupus
  • Taking prednisone or steroids
  • Psoriasis, eczema, or other chronic skin diseases
  • Recent sunburn
  • Recent cosmetic or reconstructive surgery
  • Recent laser skin treatment
  • Severe varicose leg veins
  • Rosacea or very sensitive skin
  • History of fever blisters or cold sores (waxing can cause a flare-up)
  • Using Tretinoin, Tazarotene, Adapalene, Azelex, or any other peeling agent.
  • Using hydroquinone
  • Recent surgical peel, microdermabrasion orexperience ingrown hairs, red bumps, and minor bleeding. This is more likely to occur when waxing areas with thick hair, especially the first few times when follicles are strongest. peel using glycolic, alpha hydroxy, or salicylic acid, or other acid-based products.

Benefits and Drawbacks…

It is an effective method to remove large amounts of hair at one time. It is a long-lasting method. Hair in waxed areas will not grow back for two to eight weeks. When hair is shaved or removed by depilatory cream, the hair is removed at the surface rather than the root. Within a few days, the hair can be seen at the surface. With these methods, hair tends to grow back in a rough stubble. Areas that are repeatedly waxed over long periods of time often exhibit regrowth that is softer.

There are many drawbacks of waxing as well. Waxing can be painful when the strip is removed from the skin. Although the pain is not long-lasting, it can be intense, particularly in sensitive areas. You may also experience ingrown hairs, red bumps, and minor bleeding. This is more likely to occur when waxing areas with thick hair, especially the first few times when follicles are strongest.


NovaLash ExtensionsLet’s start with what eyelash extensions are not. True eyelash extensions are very different from the traditional “individual” as well as “strip” lashes. Many use the technique of applying multiple fibers at once on, or in, the natural eyelashes. These techniques of applying what is known as “flares”, “clusters” or “individual” lashes were originally used as part of a makeup application. These types of false eyelashes are really meant to be worn for only one day.

Many people do tabbing with different types of adhesives, sometimes with nail adhesive or adhesive intended for hair weaving and extensions. It’s a quick and easy operation to perform; however it can be very damaging to the natural eyelashes to apply several fibers at once. It will prevent the various phases of the natural growth cycle from growing, resting and shedding because all the lashes become stuck to each other. Therefore, they are best for daily use only. Sleeping in them can pull and tear at the natural eyelashes and cause breakage and lash loss.

True eyelash extensions are single fiber artificial eyelashes with a tapered tip and blunt base. They are intended to be applied one at a time to one single natural eyelash hair. When applied properly, extensions do not have the opportunity to cause damage to the natural eyelashes. In fact, they grow, rest and shed right along with the natural eyelash to which they were applied, so there is no damage to neighboring eyelashes.

In order to avoid problems with extensions, it is important to start with healthy eyes. Here is a list of a few conditions in which you would not be a candidate for eyelash extensions…

1). Blepharitis

This is an inflammation of the eyelid, or more specifically, the eyelash follicles. It can be bacterial related, or a defect in the skin barrier and/or other immunological problems. It can even be that the very glands that produce the fatty tears that keep the eye moist become clogged. This results in inflamed, clogged glands, and become painfully dry, red irritated eyes. Allergies that are manifested in the eyes, can successfully wear extensions, if they are faithful to clean them properly every night before bed. Extensions will collect pollen and as we sleep, we will rub our eyes, causing more allergic reactions to happen and possibly cause inflammation. Common sense is the answer.

2). Conjunctivitis

Also known as Pink Eye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the clear mucous membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid as well as the outer surface of the cornea. Caused by bacterial infection, viral infection and allergies, this condition is not contagious…but can be spread by touching door knobs, tables, etc.

3). Ocular Rosacea

This is a condition associated with rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that affects around 10% of the population. The main symptom is inflammation. In some cases broken blood vessels and acne-like bumps may be present. Facial flushing with alcohol consumption is common. Redness is often seen on the cheeks, nose and sometimes eyes. You will most likely be sensitive to light and have red, inflamed eyelids, swollen eyelids, itching, burning, makeup sensitivities, dry eyes, a gritty feeling in the eyes, clogged sebaceous glands on the margins of the eyelids, conjunctivitis, and blurred vision. There is no cure for rosacea and ocular rosacea, but there are treatments available that help keep the symptoms under control.

4). Dry Eye Syndrome

Healthy tears are composed of three basic layers. If one or all of the three layers are produced in the wrong quantities, problems with dry eyes can occur. There are many health conditions and many medications that can cause and/or contribute to dry eye syndrome. Menopause is often associated with decreased production of tears; symptoms of thyroid disorders and medications often include increased or decreased tear production. Allergy medications, oral contraceptives and blood pressure medications can cause dry eye symptoms.  There are many treatment options available when you consult your physican.

Cosmetic surgery of the upper eyelids can sometimes cause dry eye syndrome, as well. If too much skin is removed from the upper lids, the eyes may not close properly, which can lead to evaporation of tears. Excessive removal of under eye (lower eyelid) fat pads can also cause the lower eyelid to droop and roll outwards. This drooping can prevent the upper and lower lids from coming together to form a tight seal when the eyes are closed.


Two things…

1). Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of each of these new services, you can make an informed decision as to whether you would like to “throw your name in the hat” and get on the list of regular appointments, before all the desired spots are taken. Keep in mind we are in transition, and am having to make do with a small (yet comfortable) space. I am so excited to offer these services to you.

2). Coming soon…Elements FINALLY has a website! The domain name has been purchased but the hosting and content have yet to be formed. Hopefully we’ll have it up and running by mid-December. You may check from time-to-time, at, just to see if anything has become live yet.

Little Known Facts on Ruining Your Hair

I’ve heard many a comment (I believed to be untrue, by-the-way),that one does not care how their hair looks. They may have become tired of trying to make their hair look as good as what they see in magazines, or even on their friends. So, they give up trying and decide, “It’s just hair” or “I wasn’t blessed with great hair.”

I thought I might tackle just a few reasons why hair doesn’t respond to our demands. Here, you’ll see 9 mistakes that can really mess with the final outcome.

1). Overly brushing hair to create shine

 All we need are a few strokes from that awesome brush, to spread the natural oils from roots to ends. An associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Amy J. McMichael, M.D., commented that anything more than a few strokes from a brush is unnecessary friction, which can lead to breakage.

2). Daily shampooing

Want to know why hair usually looks it’s best the day AFTER you shampoo? It’s because the natural oils from your scalp have had a chance to extend to the ends of the hair. It creates luster and control…just as it’s created intent. However…some of us have an excess of oil in our bodies, that excrete just a bit more than necessary. If you have trouble with breakouts, or acne, you don’t have a choice but to shampoo daily to keep the oil at bay. One more thing you could try, however, is the use of a dry shampoo. And sad to say, they are not all created equal. A really good one is, KMS Hair Play Makeover Spray. Spray at the roots and restyle with a blow dryer, on low heat setting.

3). Forcing tangled hair through a comb from roots to ends

Although a comb is easier on fragile wet hair than a brush is, tugging it from scalp to ends can cause mid-length breakage. Have you ever noticed all those tiny hairs waving in the wind? That’s from this sort of treatment, or from yanking ponytail holders out of the hair instead of gently unwinding them. If there are tangles in the hair, first spray a little leave-in conditioner on the surface, then work your way up the hair strands by combing tangles out of the hair from ends to root, not the other way around.

4). Blow-drying the hair while it’s dripping wet

I doubt many, if any, actually do this…but just in case someone might think they can skip the step of squeezing excess water out of the hair before hitting it with a blow-dryer…think again. If you are taking more than 15 minutes to dry your hair, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Heat damage will go over-the-top and styling will be very difficult. The preferred way to dry hair would be to wrap the hair in a towel for five minutes, then let the hair air-dry for another five. That would be the time to add any styling products you might want to help shape and protect. Now, you have positioned yourself for a beautiful finish!

5). Scalp ignorance

For the hair to be it’s best, your scalp needs attention. Massaging with your fingertips will stimulate blood flow, which in turn, allows the proper amount of oxygen to reach the follicle…where the hair bulb is created, and produce what we call “healthy” hair. This will also help the cellular turn-over rate to be more in line with what it’s supposed to be, creating new cells constantly for a healthy scalp.

6). Not every brush is created equal

Choosing the wrong brush can not only ruin your style, it can get snagged in your hair and cause that dreaded breakage. Generally, the longer your hair, the larger in diameter your brush should be. I, personally, find it hard to work with the boars hair bristled brush, and prefer the wire or hard plastic teeth brush…the ones with those tiny round balls on the end. And even those can get tangled in the hair, if you’re not sectioning, then blow-drying small sections at a time. A word of caution: over time the plastic will fray and become split on the ends, or lose their balled ends. Toss the brush and purchase a new one. To create volume, use a round brush; to smooth hair, a paddle shape is best for long hair. If your hair is short, and you like the “close-to-the-head” look…just style, as you blow-dry, with your fingers.

7). Avoiding hair spray

Yep…you read that right! It’s gotten a bad rap, in my opinion, and it’s all because one does not use it correctly. First, let me sing it’s praises. Hair spray contains a polymer that actually locks out humidity. Most tell me the alcohol content dries their hair, when in reality, the alcohol evaporates before it even hits your head. It’s the polymer in the spray that gives your hair that dry feeling. And that is why a little goes a long way. You want to use just enough to hold your style. And one more thing…spray at least 10-12 inches from your head. If you get closer than 10 inches, the likelihood of having “helmet head” is extremely high. This may sound extreme, but when using anything flammable, try not to breathe it in. Hold your breath, spray, and leave the room…or at least have the room ventilated and not closed in, while spraying the product. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

8). Fastening your ponytail in the same spot…day after day

Strands tend to get caught, and broken, in bands. Try alternating the fastening point. Move it up a half inch one day, then down the next. And just like everything, bands continue to evolve. I was shown a new hair band a couple of days ago, that impressed me. My daughter was wearing this really cute band on her wrist. I asked what it was. Turns out it’s a hair ponytail holder made out of a very soft, stretch material, that actually has strength to hold heavy hair (that’s another topic to address, later).

9). Masking dandruff…not treating it

It amazes me, in this day and age of technology, that anyone on the planet would think oils and pomades would mask dandruff, and  “get them by”. Too often we try an easy fix, which doesn’t address the real issue. There is a difference in those dry flakes that fall out easily when running fingers through your hair…and dandruff. The first is an issue with dry scalp and can be treated by using less styling products, shampooing frequently to loosen the cells turning over faster than they should be, and rinsing the scalp with a product called “Sea Breeze”…it’s an astringent that can be found over-the-counter at various retail stores. To identify real dandruff, scratch your head then look under your fingernails. Is there evidence of what seems to be “wet & white” stuff? This stuff will cling to your nails (and hair). It has to be either washed or scraped off. That is dandruff. If it’s dry and flakey, and easily brushes off whatever it’s on, most likely it’s an issue with dry scalp, which comes mostly in the winter months where there is just too much dry heat in our homes, and/or too much product laying on the scalp for too many days. Dandruff will not just go away when the seasons change. Since it’s an inflammatory scalp disease unrelated to dryness, a shampoo with salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide or tar, will be needed to eliminate the wet flakes. If not taken care of, it will make your finished styles look droopy and oily, and you will always be scatting that itchy scalp. Healthy scalp…healthy looking hair.

There are many ways of styling the hair to make it look flattering…some more simplistic than others. They all have one thing in common, that being a healthy environment from which to grow. The skin is the largest organ our body has and the entire host needs care. Bacteria find places conducive to multiplication. The warmth they find in covered places such as the scalp, is such a place. To neglect proper cleaning and care will result in damaged hair and even hair loss.

Be passionate about maintaining the health of your hair, just as you are about the rest of your body.

Find more information about Elements Salon at




Summer Sweep, New Client Drive

ImageI cannot believe Elements Salon will be two years old come September 1st. Where has the time gone? As these past two years have played out, there have been many a day I didn’t think would end, as I waited for my client base to begin building. And now…two years later (really???), the business is still trying to get it’s footing in a huge market..with not just a few similar industries…but many! It’s true that when you spit in any direction, you just may hit a hair stylist.

We’ve done well, however, for the location we decided on. That being 22 other stylists who have their individual rooms, that connect one to the other…and literally surround mine. Their price base is none the same. Some are very low dollar (competing with Fantasic Sam’s, Great Clips, etc.), some (one or two) are higher end, as mine is. Not even one of them have “started new”…they all came with their client base already in place, having lived here most of their lives and having been in the beauty industry almost as long. Very cool! And, even though I tried to convince my own faithful clients of many years (back in Oklahoma), to hop a plane and come see me on the regular basis they were accustomed to, just didn’t gel with them. They mumbeled something about it costing too much. I even tried bribing them, by offering a beach trip with me. Some promised (with that cute little sideways smile) they would. How I would love to see them all again and introduce them to my fabulous North Carolina clients!

So…to kick off Summertime, Elements Salon (that’s me), in North Carolina…has decided to have a Summer Sweep, New Client Drive. I’m accustomed to promotions. Mostly with retail products, however. Never my services…except to give back to the faithful clients, with referral dollars and loyalty credits. But, if I want to survive here, I’m having to stand back and take another look at how I’ve always done business. I believe in myself, in my abilities. If I mess up, I find out why and what I need to do to “fix” it. I trust what I’ve spent time and money to accomplish. I believe in me, and I believe in the One who directs my steps and gives me the ability to shine.

By giving away my services (to first time clients only), ImageI am hoping to compel those that are looking for a change in hair stylists, to allow me the privilege of showing them just how great their hair can look, and how completely relaxing the atmosphere is at my place of business…causing them to become regular clients. This will tell the true story. Just how good are you, Mary? It’s a tough market here, and I’ve had a few surprises since 2012. But, it’s caused me to dig a little deeper, to hone my skills a bit more, to look for solid ground, and possibly better myself at what I’ve done for almost 40 years.

Change is inevitable. Environment has it’s differences as well. I never dreamed I’d get to work with those in the movie industry, nor with other professional vendors in time-lapsed, wedding styled photo shoots, or being hired to style hair & make-up for  beach weddings. How exciting for a small town girl that has found herself starting over (past her prime…I might add), getting to do what she loves on a much larger scale! With a bit of trembling, I always say “YES!” 

Want to know what the Summer Sweep is all about? Here it is! 

SUMMER SWEEPS – Sharing the Love, New Client Drive…
Now through August 31st, when you book an appointment, you’ll receive a gift certificate to pass on to a friend who has not been to Elements Salon before. The card will be from you to whomever you choose and will entitle the receiver to a free hair cut, valued from $30-$60. When that lucky guy or gal books an appointment with me, you will receive a 20% THANK YOU discount on your next visit! So call me today to schedule your next visit and SHARE THE SUMMER LOVIN’!

Please feel free to share a link to this blog with your friends, family, co-workers…people on the street, and it just may get you 20% off your next appointment with me…should that person call you for a certificate and book their appointment before August 31st. If you are an established client of mine, you will need the gift certificate for them to bring to the salon. It has to be the original, and cannot be copied from this blog. Thus the booking of your own appointment in order to secure the certificate(s).

Everyone have a great 4th of July celebration, be safe, don’t forget to plan your next appointment at Element’s Salon and SHARE the LOVIN’ this summer!



Most of us would agree that change is not only necessary, it’s unavoidable. Sometimes we get to control an element of that change we feel coming our way, sometimes we don’t. Heather did.

We all face change…in one form or another, fairly regularly. For me, I am trying to find my “nitch” in social media, beginning with switching up Elements “Elemental News” that comes to you as a monthly newsletter. Seeing as how most of the population is extremely busy and most likely never reads it in it’s entirely (I’ve checked with y’all…ya can’t answer the questions I throw at ya that’s addressed in the newsletter), I’ve decided to make the bulk of the present newsletter as a blog post, and leave the Elemental News as a one pager that gives you the heads up on that month’s specials. And I may throw in a tip or two along the way.

This month, in the salon, I had the experience of transforming a style that had endured our unusally long and cold, winter season and was now needing transformed for the hot, North Carolina summers.

Heather came in with a big smile on her face, ready for the change. Little did I know just how much of a change she was going for. But I immediately loved her ideas. Many people come wanting “change” but one that is unrecognizable as being changed. Just a bit of difference on angles, a muted definition, a bit (1/2 inch) of length taken off. Rarely do I get a gal that will pull out all the stops. Well…Heather pulled out all the stops and gave me free range of motion. The results were nothing short of breath-taking. Well, that’s my opinion, at least. 😉 The last time I felt so giddy was when I was given the opportunity to change Lindsey’s hair. If you get my newsletters, she’s the one featured in April’s Elemental News.

The year 2014 has thrown the beauty industry into wild and bold expression that gives vent through the bleaching, then coloring of clients hair… green, blue, pink, purple, and a variety of rainbow shades. Some with multiple colors on one head! Some are really very pretty…some are a hot mess. I’ve noticed the artistic nature of the beauty professional being inspired by different colored birds, flowers, and skylines and applying those colors to the human species. I’ve often wondered if the Hunger Games movie, and all the diversified hair colors that were portrayed, has had anything to do with stirring up the creating of unnatural (for hair) pigments and playing the creative artist by placing vivid colors on protein infused hair strands…that would normally be exclusive for pictures and walls. Yet, for me…I still love the warmth and softness that comes from a realistic perspective. Call me boring…I just like seeing things in their natural element.

The highlights chosen for Heather, were of a soft nature, as was her cut. We didn’t go extreme pixie on her, but pixie, none-the-less.

Heather is a busy mom with a 3 year old little (in the loosest form of the word) boy. Like most mother’s, she doesn’t have a lot of extra time for herself and isn’t one that spends time standing in front of the mirror. She not only wanted, but needed, a fresh, new haircut for the summer months. Heather wanted to lose the “ponytail express” look and have something easy to style while giving her a cute and sassy look.

I just heard from her this morning. She was telling me how much she loves her new look. “I feel lighter, younger, and sassier,” she said. Alright! The goal was met! “I get compliments all the time now, and my husband loves it so much he wants me to keep it short all the time,” said she. “I feel like a better version of myself.”

Let me know what YOU think of this transformation. Would you have done anything differently? If so, what?

Forge on, Passionistas!

Heather P. April 16, 2014 #4

BEFORE the transformation

Heather P. April 16, 2014 #3

Heather P. April 16, 2014 #2 Back & Front (in mirror) of AFTER, and side view only

Heather P. April 16, 2014


Formula for Success…in a Nutshell

The year 2012 brought many things with it, and dropped it’s load of opportunity directly in my path. My eyes, nor my intent, never wavered…until I found myself in the thick of it all. Moments became days, days became weeks, and weeks turned into months, of having to summon up that very important ingredient to success…patience.

Yet, sitting here and reviewing the last year and a half, I find another ingredient to success…a greater one perhaps, has captured and destroyed, the doubts and questions of possible wrong decisions. That ingredient? Gratitude!Image

Gratitude is patience in action. Patience, a valuable commodity, will wait for financial gain instead of settling for actions that will separate us from what God has put in our line of vision. Memo: A good idea may be to write out what it is we are grateful for before heading to bed each night.

Formula #1: Gratitute = Patience = Timing = Success

Commitment is another attribute of success because it motivates us. It sustains us when we’re not sure whether our actions will pay off. It carries us along through the difficult times and vaults us forward during the good times. Commitment and motivation produces the courage needed to take action. The definition of failure? Waiting for others to tell us what our next step should be.

We must decide what our life is about, and tie that to our day to day actions. The more we understand our purpose, the greater our commitment, the greater we are motivated, the more action we’ll take, and the greater successes we’ll achieve.

Formula #2: Commitment = Courage = Action = Success

I have found, in my 40 years in this industry, there to be one more very important ingredient for success. That being our ability to connect with people.

Empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) lies at the root of every successful product and service. Without empathy, how can we know what customers want or need? Without empathy, how can we know what our product or service is worth? We must understand their needs, their dreams, their desires, so we can be a part of making them a reality. We must listen more than we talk. And when we listen, really listen. Admittedly, I have to work on this one continually. But, when I am able to keep my mouth shut and listen, great things happen. Connection happens, empathy happens, relationship happens. We should always treat others as we want to be treated.

Formula #3: Empathy = Insight = Relationships = Success

That’s it…3 formulas for success. Let me hear from you. Do you agree, disagree, or are you indifferent? Is there anything else you would add to this list?

Preparing for the Wedding…things to consider




As soon as you got engaged, everyone was asking to see the ring…or just in passing noticed “sparkly” coming from your direction. It’s the perfect time to keep those nails and hands primed and pretty with a regular manicure. This is your chance to experiment with colors (pretty mauves, pinks, and french tips) and get to know your manicurist. When you get your nails done, look at your nail bed. Shape your nails to match, giving your hands and nails a balanced and elegant look.

To Consider: The week before the wedding, splurge on a shellac manicure. Shellac Manicures use UV technology for a harder and smoother finished nail. They’re a bit pricier but can last up to two weeks (and beyond)…with no chipping! Maybe your wedding planner can suggest this as a gift from a friend that might not be able to make the wedding.

Brides HairHAIR:

All brides search for the perfect hairstyle for their wedding. It’s a day they want to look beautiful, knowing that all eyes will be on them. There are so many hairstyles right at our fingertips, through the world-wide web searches, there’s simply no need to have your style as an added pressure…if you find the stylist that has been proven to deliver the talent. That’s easy enough, right? Not really. Find someone who is willing to have a trial run at doing your hair, and any of the bridesmaids that want their hair professionally done, as well. You want the whole wedding party looking great for those photos you’re about to pay for. Remember nothing is perfect, however. You are about to make wonderful, lifelong memories. Let yourself laugh along the way. Enjoy the time spent preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

To Consider: If you have chemically treated hair, refresh highlights, and/or color, two weeks before the wedding. Also ask your stylist to do a deep-conditioning mask on your hair. It will restore strength to the hair and add back the shine that bleaching can rob your hair of.


Brides SkinThe best time to prepare your skin for the big day? To get the best results, you should start preparing your skin (as well as your nails and hair), six months before your wedding. It sounds extreme, but it can make a big difference!

The regime should go something like this…

  • Oily Skin: Cleanse, tone, moisturize, morning and night. Many people skip the toning, but for oily skin it can mean the difference in great skin as opposed to splotchy, half-clean skin. The toner will remove left over cleanser and any makeup residue left behind. It’s an important step for those with excessive sebum production. Be sure to pat dry the face, to where it is only slightly damp, before applying the moisturizer. Remember…oil and moisture are two completely different conditions. Having a moisturizer will not clog your pours and make the oil worse in your face. Even oily skin can become dehydrated.
  • Dry Skin: Cleanse, tone, moisturize…night time only. It’s important to wash the face every morning to get the sleepies off the face, but “cleansing” is just robbing the skin of it’s needed natural moisture. The only step needed from there is to add a protecting moisturizer, since moisturizing is an important step for the superficially dehydrated skin. So, don’t forget to apply your anti-aging, or cellular restoration moisturizer before applying your daily makeup. And…dry skin knows no age. I’ve seen the very young with skin that lacked the needed moisture to keep it elastic, smooth, and radiant.
  • Treatment wise I’d recommend brides have a professional facial every month (beginning six months prior to the big day) since the facial therapist will be able to recommend suitable aftercare that compliments your professional facials to ensure your skin is perfect for your big day! Please don’t attempt a deep cleansing decongestant facial the day before, as it will inevitably lead to breakouts! Instead opt for a light skin smoothing, rejuvenating, hydrating facial which will not only ensure a radiant looking skin complexion but also provide the perfect smooth canvas for your make-up application.

To Consider: Stress, anxiety, normal wedding planning, can get the sebaceous glands in an uproar. If, God forbid, a zit shows itself on your wedding day, there are topical solutions that you can purchase over-the-counter. Be leery of those that claim immediate action. They will dry the spot out so harshly, that your skin could react in peeling at the site. And still have the blemish. A safe, and old fashioned, remedy is to apply a dab of toothpaste (or tea tree oil) on the break-out. When it’s time to apply make-up, use a concealer that matches your skin tone. NEVER PICK OR PUSH WITH YOUR FINGERNAILS! Use a kleenex between the two index fingers, to gently encourage extraction of the full blown zit (that’s the one that already has produced a head).  Never force. You don’t want a bulls-eye on your face the day of your wedding. 


Not only is the skin on your face important, so is the rest of it, from neck to toes. A great way to have beautiful skin, is to Brides Bodyexfoliate the dry skin from the body, every time you shower (or bathe). There are a few ways to do this. One is to use an exfoliator that can be purchased at any retail chain, or at your favorite beauty supply store. You can also make your own, from ingredients in your kitchen pantry. Mix equal parts of brown sugar & olive oil and smooth onto you skin. Works great as an exfoliator for the lips also. No one wants dry or splitting lips, especially on their wedding day.

Another way is to use a body brush daily. This is really effective to help smooth away dead skin cells, and stimulates the body to eliminate toxins and helps to release any water retention.

To Consider:  Body brushing works best if done after a shower, (though your skin must be dry). Body brushing should take no more then 30 seconds to do. Use the brush quickly but firmly brushing over the skin, always towards the heart. And remember to replenish the moisture in the skin with your favorite body lotion. The ones with less fragrance in them, are the best.

Snacks for the Wedding Day Prep Room:

One last thought, as you prepare for the day that’s got you doing double (or triple) time. Don’t forget about your physical needs for that day. In all the hubbub, it will be easy to forget the details that come with taking care of yourself. Maybe your wedding planner has this under control. But just in case…here are a few ideas.

1. Apples 

Brides ApplesApples are the super-food snack to have by your side on your big day. Not only do they scrape plaque off teeth and fight bad breath, but they’re also loaded with Vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system, so you don’t get sick on your honeymoon. Added bonus? Apples are a steady source of healthy carbs, which will boost your energy levels. Cut them into small slices so you can eat without smearing your lipstick. 

2. Almonds
These nuts are packed with protein and fiber that will keep you feeling full without having to pig out before the ceremony. Brides AlmondsThey’re also a great source for Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that keep your skin glowing and can help speed up weight loss. Limit yourself to a few handfuls though, as almonds tend to be higher in calories.

3. Popcorn
Brides PopcornWhile people often view popcorn as just a movie theater treat, it’s a great and (gasp) healthy alternative to many other readymade snacks. Its light and airy consistency means you can eat a lot of without actually taking in too many calories, and since it’s packed with fiber it will keep you feeling full longer. New research has found that it’s also rich in the polyphenols, an antioxidant that’s proven to help reduce cell damage and ward off diseases. Just be careful to steer clear of brands that are heavily salted and processed, as these delicious add-ons can leave you bloated.

4. Dark Chocolate 
I fully believe that every girl deserves chocolate every day, but this belief is especially true on your big day. Just a little dark Brides Chocoaltechocolate helps boost heart and brain functions. And on top of that, it’s loaded with flavonoids that help control your blood sugar levels and, with steady consumption, can prevent type two diabetes. And the best part, other than its amazing taste, is that it will boost your mood and leave you feeling even happier. Just be sure to save this treat for before you slip on your gown to avoid any stains.

5. Cherries
Brides Cheeries 2Often referred to as a super fruit, cherries are chock full of antioxidants that fight heart disease and cancer while also promoting brain functions. This sweet snack also contains melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycle (since you probably haven’t been getting much with all of the wedding planning). Eat a handful of cherries before you start getting dressed to prevent any stains. Be careful of biting down on a pit…you wouldn’t want a broken front (or any, for that matter) tooth.

To Consider: From the time you arrive at the place you will be getting ready for the wedding, someone will always be in the room, needing questions answered, always a well-wisher and always someone ready with a camera. Excitement will be the norm for that day. It can become difficult to keep energy levels up when you’re “on show” for twelve or more hours at a stretch. You will need a few minutes every few hours or so just to be able to go somewhere quiet and collect your thoughts, regroup,  think about the man waiting for you, have a glass of water, check your lipstick or just be uninterrupted for a few minutes so you can enjoy the day more.