if you show

someone the sun in your bones

and they reject you

you must remember.

they hurt themselves this very same way.






By Nayyirah Waheed

Her compilation of poetry, Salt, is a must-read.

Inspirational and thought-provoking.

You can also find Nayyirah Waheed on TwitterInstagram, & Tumblr.


Conservation Required

I’m obsessed with all of the beautiful plant life in California: palm trees, succulents, moss, vines, so many vibrant flowers…

Such a different landscape here on the West Coast, as compared to growing up on a farm in the Midwest. The ground feels different, the plants here in San Diego, alien-like and fascinating.

I am so appreciative to be able to wake up and take a walk each day, surrounded by these lovely things, sprouted from the earth. Surely, this is a feeling that most California transplants experience. 

The sense is a little surreal, especially in juxtaposition with my lifelines back home, posting photos of snow and sleeping trees. Although, the snow has been so minimal this winter, it doesn’t feel the same. 

It’s got me thinking about climate change, and the rate at which our earth is being altered.

It’s scary.

We need to conserve our natural resources and change the harmful ways in which we’re slowly draining the earth.

We could make a change if we would all just commit.

Here is just one of many petitions to encourage global citizens to speak up about climate change,  this one originating in South Africa by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The Change.org petition calls upon U.S. President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to set a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Radical, yes. But, possible with cooperation and tireless work. It’s all part of a bigger picture, that so many of us are failing to recognize. 

Click here to lend your voice to the solution! It takes literally, one minute. 

Photo taken in my backyard, 3/12/16.

Follow me (@mixx_cia) • Instagram


Sunday Skincare 101

For the last several years, I’ve spent my workdays educating people on skincare basics, talking about products and ingredients, different methods of application, searching for ways to help them achieve each unique skin mission.

I can say one thing for sure, everyone likes things their own way, and the ‘typical’ regime can vary from 1 holy grail item to a 15-step skincare routine.

As with everything in life, each individual will gravitate towards their own way of doing things.

Whichever route you opt, while caring for your body’s largest organ, make sure that you’re covering these basic needs.


Find a gentle, water-soluble cleanser removes debris, oil, and makeup. Splashing your face with water will not be enough, you need to remove the dirt and bacteria that has accumulated from the air outside or your pillowcase at night.

I recommend washing your face once at night, and again in the morning. Tailor your cleanser to your desired results. Does your skin feel dry & parched? Then you’ll want to find a soft, hydrating cleanser. Looking to control shine or oil? Aim for a purifying cleanser.

‘Cleansing’ also means different things for different people. A full-face application of makeup is going to require more specialized attention than a bare face. My daily routine involves playing around with lots of makeup, so in my skincare routine, the first step is to remove it!

Double Cleanse is my go-to, daily. First, an OIL CLEANSER to remove all traces of makeup, gently and effectively. Oils have recently trended in the beauty world, and there are many great makeup-removing oils to try. They can be beneficial for more reasons than one, helping to hydrate skin and nourish eyelashes. This also eliminates the need for a cotton pad and targeted eye makeup remover. (Although, I will still reach for this one every so often, if I’m wearing a particularly dark shade of lipstick or large amounts of eyeliner/mascara.)

Next, wash with your basic cleanser, chosen depending on your skin type. This cleanser will be able to do it’s job even more effectively, since you’ve already cleared away any makeup and dirt with the oil.


Toners with skin-repairing ingredients soften and replenish the skin’s surface immediately after cleansing. They also help reduce redness and dry patches, clarify the skin, etc. There are many variations of toners, skin-type specific.

Pay attention to the ingredients! Most toners contain alcohol, make sure to steer clear of those ones. Look for a gentle, alcohol-free toner. A great basic is Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel.  $7


But, be gentle about it. Always gentle.

Exfoliants remove built-up dead skin cells, and aid in the turnover of new skin. Physical exfoliation is fairly self-explanatory, manually exfoliating the skin with a device like the Clarisonic, or using a cleanser with grains/beads.

Chemical exfoliation is a lot less intimidating than it sounds to a skincare rookie, and yields some pretty awesome results. Imagine your skin as many cells, held together by a “glue.” Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) works by loosening up this glue and letting the cells fall away easier. This helps to reveal brighter, healthier, and plumper skin beneath. It is most commonly found in three forms: Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic.

BHA is short for Beta Hydroxy Acid. BHAs are a bit more complex than AHAs. They work by penetrating and detoxifying pores. This is what makes them preferred for oily and acne-prone skin. A commonly-used BHA is salicylic acid.


Depending on what you are trying to perfect about your skin, choose a treatment in the form of SERUM, OIL, CONCENTRATE, etc. to enact change. This is where skincare becomes so complex and beautiful. There are endless blends of skin-improving ingredients, new products and lines emerging every day.

You can layer several treatments together, just be mindful of ingredients and don’t mix anything that may cause an unwanted reaction.

I’ve mentioned checking out the ingredients several times now, and that’s because it’s essential to get the most from every step in your routine. Educate yourself on what works for you. Try out different things, and take a little time to research common ingredients. Always take a look at the label and be aware of what you are applying to your skin.

Some different types of treatment:

For skin brightening & dark-spot fading, I love Murad’s Essential C line of brightening products. Especially the Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum.

Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle. Start with these BEFORE you start to see the lines. Prevention is so much easier than repairing damage. Pay special attention to the eye area, where you first start to notice age.

Hyaluronic Acid is a key skincare ingredient, as it helps to repair the skin’s moisture barrier and bind moisture to the skin. Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream is a favorite of mine. Look for this on your moisturizer’s label. $18


Don’t skip this step. Even if you have oily skin–you MUST use a moisturizer! The number one misconception that I hear working in the industry, is people thinking that moisturizer is only necessary when their skin feels dry. Nope! Always! You need  to apply moisturizer every morning and every night, after cleansing/toning/applying treatment.

Choose a moisturizer with SPF. Sunscreen is a MUST. If you are completely in love with a moisturizer that lacks SPF, no worries, just add a sheer SPF liquid into your cream/lotion/gel/oil. Shiseido has a so many great options of SPF coverage.

This should always be your last product applied, to lock all of the precious ingredients that you chose so carefully in previous steps.


I have a selection of masks and peels to supplement my routine, every few days it’s something new. So much fun to be had here.

Caudalie has a great Instant Detox Mask with bentonite clay, to tighten pores and detoxify the skin. $39

Raw Honey is excellent as a mask for hydration, or you can opt for a less-sticky packaged option.

Lately I have been loving these one-time-use sheet masks from Sephora. $6 each

Your skincare is so important! Explore your options and try new products. My collection is constantly expanding, I love trying out new things and creating cocktails of multiple products.

Drink as much water as possible, and wear your SPF!

Don’t sweat the small stuff, stress is your skin’s worst enemy. Radiate!

Photo via Harper’s Bazaar.

Valfré: Artist Spotlight

I need to give a shout out to the talent at Valfré. Hey girl, hey! Love you!

Valfré is an LA based label that was founded by artist Ilse Valfré.

Bold and unapologetically tongue-in-cheek, Valfré has quickly become a global source for the creative and wild-at-heart.

Her art has evolved into an entire collection of unique and adorable cell phone cases, journals, clothing, jewelry & more

Keep up with Valfré on Instagram and Facebook.

ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram
ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram
ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram
iPhone Cases, ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram
ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram
Man Tamer Choker in Pink, ilse Valfré (@valfre) • Instagram


Some of My Favorites

Working in the beauty industry for the past 4 years has afforded me the opportunity to play around with the creme de la creme of products. From skincare serums and masks to lighting palettes and longwear lip colors, I’ve tested them all and very much enjoyed the luxury of surrounding myself  with these lovelies.

Here are a few of my favorite things..

Hourglass Mineral Veil Foundation Primer

I love this stuff. Super sheer, with excellent color-corrective properties. Great for calming redness. It perfects my skin and creates a smooth canvas for applying foundation. $18-72

Korres Mandarin Lip Butter Stick in Rose

I’m completely obsessed with this. Use it everyday, keep it in my pocket obsessed.

An instantly hydrating and softening lip treatment and tint in one. I love the color and the way that it it feels on my lips. $16.50

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Brand new moisturizing cream from an amazing natural skincare line.

2 forms of hyaluronic acid hydrate & plump your skin, while papaya enzymes smooth and exfoliate. Alpha-arbutin and exotic floral extracts help to brighten hyperpigmentation spots and illuminate the complexion. $65

Too Faced Lip Injection Plumping Gloss

Constantly attempting to increase the volume of my lips, I’ve tested my fair share of plumping glosses. I love the ones that tingle. This one is a definite win. $22

All of these products are available at Sephora.

 Photo by Tricia Cathcart 

Follow me (@mixx_cia) • Instagram

Dropping the Weight of Jealousy and Envy

There will always be people who will be better than you at things you’re good at. There will also be people who will be worse.

Don’t worry yourself with that.

Free yourself of the immense stress of needing to be ‘better’ than another. You are in competition with nobody but yourself, the person who you were yesterday, last week, last year.

Don’t compare yourself to others. We are each travelling on such unique paths in life, along the way creating the experiences that determine who we ultimately become.

We all have different talents, and unique ways of going on with our lives, and interesting ways of dressing and adorning our bodies. These differences are what make life beautiful. Interacting with each other and appreciating these qualities, that’s what makes a memory, a connection, a relationship.

The more the merrier. Teach one another.

2016 baby.

Don’t associate your victories or losses with anybody but yourself.

Instead, extend a helping hand to those who may benefit from your guidance. Celebrate those who have accomplished what you hope to–and learn from them.

Change is constant. Nothing stays the same for long, accept this and move more fluidly, in both mind and body.

Allow yourself to enjoy the uncomfortable moments, those disagreements and crossroads of opinion. Proceed with grace and hunger for knowledge in these moments. Look for what you can take away from the situation.

Be honest with yourself. Live your truths, unapologetic. Not everyone will like the decisions that you make, the way that you choose to play out your deck of cards, but that is OK. It’s OK. It’s OK.

It’s perfect, because you said so.

It’s yours.

That’s the only reinforcement that you need.

Artwork by Ambivalently Yours