Ask Us Beauty Magazine: Better With Age 2023

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Beauty Experts

learn what our advisors have to say

Springtime Product Picks



new book Share My Life

Must-Have Items to make traveling easy

to try for a healthier & happier life


to ditch the scale

Designer Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger shares her passion for fashion

MARIA Shriver Living the Best Version of Herself





CONTRIBUTORS Ali Landry Amber Shaw Ari Zucker Dr. Beverly Pedroche Carrie Ann Inaba Diane McMillan Elena George Jessica Fenyin Jordan Peden Kylie Malcolm Laurie Yannon Wing Marcia Agius Marianne Pienias Nia Dennis DEAR BEAUTY ADVISORS Dr. Anahita Azharian Dr. Garth Fisher Dr. Marcy Crouch Dr. Basheerah Ahmad Dr. Roger Schechte Stylist Jessica Spaziani Mawhir

THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING BRANDS THAT PARTICIPATED IN THIS SEASON’S SPECIAL EVENTS AND GIVEAWAYS. Averr Aglow Carolina Creekhouse Colorescience Desert Harvest x Wunderlich SOHO Hair F & W Style Ilia Beauty Lauren Vena Ragen Jewels Shop F Major Seis Cosmetics Serucell ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES advertising@ CONTACT Contact Us at or visit our website at

GUIDELINES Ask Us Beauty Magazine looks to provide our readers with educational and empowering content. We ask our contributors to share their stories through their own words and beliefs. Our content providers are not employees of Ask Us Beauty, and while we do seek out contributors that we consider subject matter experts to the stories we share, we do not represent or guarantee their contributions and note that we are independent of the information they provide. We are committed to providing accurate information. If an error is brought to our attention, whether grammatical or factual, we will be happy to make the appropriate changes. Please feel free to contact us Ask Us Beauty Magazine participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorial chosen products through our links to retailer sites. These are products/services that we believe may offer value to our readers. This does not affect our decisions on the products or services we select. We always want to champion that our readers decide for themselves on all beauty/wellness decisions which is the mission of our platform.

MISSION Ask Us Beauty Magazine is a quarterly magazine with content designed to educate, empower, and inspire individuals on all things beauty and wellness. This is done by bringing together people of all backgrounds to share their knowledge and stories through our pages. Whether it’s through products, services, procedures, or personal brands, our mission is to change the narrative, allowing each one of us to define beauty on our own terms. Why? Because we believe beauty is not limited to our outside appearance. It is within us. It is in our professional lives and our personal passions. It’s in our health and wellness and our relationships with our families, friends, and loved ones.




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Photos courtesy of Hayes Valley Medical


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on’t let anyone tell you you’re past your prime.”

Women around the world cheered when Michelle Yeoh gave her acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars. It was the anthem women have been shouting for years and the reminder the world needed: we get better with age. In your prime, past your prime—when is this prime? The definition of ‘prime’ is “a time of great vigor or success in a person’s life.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some major successes and setbacks at all different stages and ages. That’s why I think our ‘prime’ stems from the unpredictability and experience that fundamentally shift what’s celebrated and how we see aging. In a few short months, I’ll be hitting a milestone: the big five-oh. Sure, it’s bringing me a few more aches and ‘where did that come from?’ moments, but it’s also bringing back memories of some of my favorite ‘prime’ stages. This milestone is a time of reminiscence of the carefree (and sometimes reckless) days of youth that, though often flooded with doubts and insecurities, will always bring a big smile to my face. It’s a time of realization of someone different looking back at me in the mirror and an admission of efforts to try and slow the aging process. It’s a reminder that I have changed and evolved and that my mindset in this ‘prime’ stage of life is unparalleled.

and, of course, the appreciation of self. I can say with certainty that I am better at life than I was twenty years ago, and what could be better than that? Inside this issue, you will read beautiful stories from individuals who are better at life now, too. These women and men have, through life’s prime and supporting stages, triumph and tragedy, come to understand that life is a constant ‘how-to.’ They are learning each day to cultivate and celebrate growing older and growing wiser. They are getting better with age. I hope you enjoy!

When thinking about turning 50 and this “Better with Age” issue, I had to dive into my why. Why do I


personally feel better with age? I believe it’s because

Michelle Emmick

much of the uncertainty of my youth has been replaced with security and a deep appreciation of all things—health, relationships with friends and family, 8






Written by Marianne Pienias

INTO YOUR BEST LIFE T he beauty of life lies in the unexpected.

St.Petersburg-resident KellyAnn McLaughlin Jenkins once defined her life as a swimmer

and lawyer, but that is such a small piece of who she is today. Let’s see, she has traveled to all fifty states; she is a partner at InVigorate, an IV clinic; she is a partner in Sauvignon, a restaurant; she runs an on-line media news source, Burg Edition. She’s also a partner at LGBQ Social Club and is a lawyer, too! Oh, did I mention that

she has just completed the World Marathon Challenge, 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days?! Yes, I think it is fair to say that 38-year-old KellyAnn is a prime example of someone who is getting better with age! It is true that the only thing certain in life is that it will change. When KellyAnn finished law school, she dreamed of being a high-end lawyer with long hours and big-time cases. Well, she was, but not for long. 10


Through life’s turns, she discovered that she has an entrepreneurial gift. She found more joy in helping others, especially females, start businesses. And due to lack of time and a gym, she discovered she likes to run…a lot! And each day her life gains more purpose and becomes a little better. How does this even happen?! According to KellyAnn, it all boils down to knowing yourself and acting on your passions. She admits that in her early thirties she was a people pleaser, but as she has gotten older, she has learned to go for what she wants, and that has made all the difference. She advises us to not limit ourselves, and “If you believe you can do it, you can.” KellyAnn will soon enter her forties with no signs of slowing. As she continues to learn and grow, she is determined to combine her passions and live her life to the fullest. And as the world continues to turn, I truly believe there is no such thing as a coincidence. When she first started training for the Marathon Challenge her younger sister was diagnosed with MS. KellyAnn combined her love for her sister with her love for running and raised $30k to fight the battle against MS. She continues to fight for her sister and those afflicted, and if you are inclined to contribute to this worthy cause, visit When I asked KellyAnn her definition of beauty, she hesitated, and, not surprisingly, said her definition has shifted over the years. She eloquently replied that beauty is knowing yourself and living your life authentically. Congratulations to KellyAnn on all of her accomplishments, but I have a feeling the best is yet to come!



View Aging From a Different Lens Written by Marianne Pienias

culture in her 50s, and eventually started photography at the mature age of 60 to add a new medium of depicting ageless beauty through photos. And if that is not impressive enough, she has started making short films, writing books, speaking, and linking with health organizations to help give hope and inspiration to all, for aging is an inevitable process. Alex, who is now creeping into her mid-70s, says that the most beautiful aspect of aging is the freedom it brings. She eloquently states, “In general our responsibilities diminish as we get older, which means we have more time to devote to whatever it is that lights our own personal fire.” She encourages people of all ages to do their best to stay healthy and keep moving forward. She stresses that we all need to find and live out our passions, whether it be a sport, music, art, or even enjoying time with friends and family.


ge is just a number, and the bigger the better! I am a true sports fan, and most of us would agree that the second half of any game brings the most excitement. Well, life is your biggest game, so strap on your seatbelt and get ready to take on the best years of your life! Being a former college track athlete, I was drawn to a Facebook photo of a beautiful woman heading for the finish line of a 200-meter track race. The joy on the woman’s face is magnificent and the lady’s sense of pride is undeniable. The athlete was 72 years old, and the photographer responsible for capturing the moment is Alex Rotas. Alex Rotas, a zealous anti-aging activist, truly has a glass-half-full mindset. She embraces the art of aging with passion and optimism and is determined to change the negative stereotypes associated with aging. She, herself, has embraced her second half as she closed her academia career and seamlessly evolved into a documenter of positive aging. Alex went back to school and earned an MA and a PhD in visual

When it comes to beauty, Alex says the most “attractive” are not the ones deemed as perfect, but the ones who are engaged with life. I love her advice to not sweat the small stuff and to be that person everyone would love to share a cup of coffee with. Those are great words of advice, and, Alex, I would love to meet you at the nearest Starbucks! For more information on Alex and to view her work visit BETTER WITH AGE


By Nia Dennis @niaadennis



hey say good things take time, and I have to

me were the very things that made me special.

say I agree. In just 24 short years of life, I have

Over time, understanding that I was more than a world-

learned lessons of value that I wouldn’t have

class athlete empowered me to shine brighter than I

been able to understand had they happened at an

ever had in my gymnastics career. It led to me gaining

earlier time. In other words, everything happens for a

a lot of attention on social media during my final years

reason. So trust the path you are on; accept the highs

at UCLA, which then led to me opening the MET Gala in

and the lows of the journey.

2021—something I never thought possible for myself.

Growing up, I was always impatient (still working on

To my younger self, I say to you: Learn to remain

this). I wanted things when I wanted them, and when

patient on this crazy journey called life. Learn to have

they didn’t happen right away, the negative self-talk

compassion for yourself during the low times, as you are

would creep in. When I didn’t make the Olympic team

your biggest critic. Don’t be scared to fail at new things

for gymnastics in 2016, my world was shattered. I

or old things. Failures are just lessons; it is not the end of

thought my goals and dreams were over. But, once I

the world. Keep your chin up and embrace all the layers

arrived at UCLA, I learned that the layers deep within

that make you, you.









Written by Michelle Emmick

“Wow, Maria Shriver!”

I want to be an anchor of a morning show; I


I was in this place of a to-do list. The beauty

his was the response from everyone with whom I shared that THE Maria Shriver was our next cover feature—a more than

warranted response. Because Maria is a wow; she’s more than a wow—she’s a superwoman. Maria Shriver is a Peabody and Emmy awardwinning journalist, bestselling author, producer, former first lady of California, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM), mother of four, philanthropist, and, oh yeah, she’s a member of the Kennedy family—as close as it gets to royalty in the US. Most recently, at the age of 65, Maria added entrepreneur to her list of accomplishments, founding the brain health and wellness brand MOSH. I mean, seriously, someone get this woman a giant S to wear on her chest. When Ask Us Beauty selected the Better with Age theme for this issue, we thought about who the best representative of that mantra would be. It had to be someone who is a champion of aging, someone whose personal journey is honest and reflective, someone who isn’t afraid to walk the path of reinvention, someone who radiates beauty inside and out. Enter superwoman herself, Maria Shriver, who, among all her accolades and achievements, has unreservedly gotten better with age. “I can’t remember anything in my thirties or forties. I was rushing through my life,” says Maria. “Sometimes I talk to people, and they say, ‘Remember when we did this?’ But I don’t remember. I just ran through life because I was so intent on, ‘I want to get an anchor job;

want to win a Peabody; I want to win an Emmy.’ is now I’m on this path where I know that’s not what life is about. I know life is about this conversation we’re having right now. I know life is about the experience—the dinners I have with my daughters and my sons and the people and partners I work with. I know the power of presence that comes with age.” According to Maria in her New York Times bestselling book, I’ve Been Thinking, ‘presence’ is a gift you give yourself by being present in your own life. “We spend a lot of our lives not in it. By that, I mean we’re thinking about the future, we’re thinking about the past, we’re thinking about our to-do’s. We’re thinking about all the things that went wrong—things that threw us off our path. And because of that, we miss a large part of our lives. I spend a lot of my days now trying to notice things that I didn’t notice when I was rushing through my life. I make a practice of breathing, of meditation of gratitude, in the morning and the evening. I look around; I try to slow myself down, all in an effort to be present in remembering the day, remembering the moment, remembering the experiences so that I’m actually in my life as opposed to not being in it.” This wise mindset comes from years of experience—the kind of experience that’s only acquired with age. “It comes from having your heart broken. It comes from being disappointed. It comes from realizing that what I thought life was all about was wrong. It’s about being present.” BETTER WITH AGE




Maria’s wisdom has also come to include

health, and I want to share what I learn. That

approaching health and beauty gracefully,

doesn’t always come easy because when I talk

with an emphasis on caring for what’s on the

about the brain, I’m asking people to invest and

inside—especially the brain. As the founder of

believe in beauty they can’t see,” Maria shared.

WAM and a Strategic Advisor on Women’s Health

What many people don’t know (myself included,

and Alzheimer’s at Cleveland Clinic, Maria

until recently) is that a new brain develops

has dedicated much of her time to searching

Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds, two-

for answers about brain health. With a career

thirds of which belong to women. “Alzheimer’s,

in journalism spanning four decades, she’s

dementia, and brain degeneration is something

an expert at asking the hard questions and

that can happen to all of us,” Maria told us. “And

sharing the information she gathers. “I’m always

what we do in our twenties, thirties, forties, and

researching to understand more on women’s

fifties impacts how we live in our sixties,



seventies, and eighties. Nobody told me that. I

bar out there focused on that or that had the

had to discover that on my own, which is why

ingredients that MOSH does. I thought we could

I’m trying to shout it from the rooftop, so that

use this bar to also talk about research, to talk

people your age, my kids’ ages, and everyone

about Alzheimer’s, to talk about the importance

will be able to live with a different trajectory than

of brain health, and then give back to research,”

perhaps my generation.”

said Maria.

In her quest to promote healthy living, Maria

Maria shared that when her son moved in [with

partnered with her son Patrick to create MOSH, a

her] during COVID, he recognized her passion and

protein bar made for the brain—aka ‘brain bars.’

recommended she take the leap and invest in

“My son and I, and a group of scrappy other

herself and her idea. “He gave me the courage and

people, are working to build a brain brand

the kick in the pants that I needed. He let me think,

company that will eventually include other

‘You know, you’re not too old. You can do this!’”

products. We started with a protein bar because I’m a protein bar fanatic. I always have them in

As a lifelong learner, Maria is having fun with

my travel bags, in my handbags, and in my car.

the process and feels like she’s aging backward.

So many of the bars that I was eating gave me

“It’s been extraordinary,” she said. “I’m working

a headache or a stomach ache. As I did more

with individuals in their twenties. I’m learning

and more research on brain health and bars

acronyms I’ve never heard of before. I’m learning

on the market, I realized that there wasn’t any

about supply chains and flavor profiles and all



kinds of things that I never even knew existed. I’m

over the years, the Maria Shriver name comes

learning how hard it is to make a protein bar that

with a rolodex of top researchers, doctors,

has a shelf life that does what you say it does.”

advocates, and activists, all interested in helping. “I’m constantly trying to work with people who

Maria’s long-term vision for the brand is to

have the same mission and have the same

expand on its give-back initiatives for research.

activism and advocacy that I do,” Maria shared.

“I want to build this company so that you can go down the aisle and see products and say, ‘I know

Maria and her team also deliver content

that’s the brain brand, and I know that those

promoting a brain-healthy lifestyle through their

products and that company are putting out

newsletter, The MOSH Pit. “I’ve met great people

what’s good for my brain health.”

in the last 20 years as I’ve been doing this work. I know a lot more about the brain, about women’s

And while a MOSH bar is not going to prevent

health, and about a brain-healthy lifestyle

Alzheimer’s, Maria is passionate about the

because of my work.”

brain-healthy lifestyle it supports. After all, everything we do, from how we sleep to how we

And through her work and experience, Maria

connect to the work we do, all starts with the

knows that when it comes to aging, she is living

brain. That’s why keeping our brains in shape is

the best version of herself. “I like myself better

just as important as keeping our bodies in shape.

today than I ever did before. I feel like I know

“I’m trying to advocate for an overall brain-

myself better. I understand myself better. I’ve

healthy lifestyle. MOSH is a vehicle for me to talk

done a lot of work to understand myself. I’m a

about these things.”

big proponent of therapy and the importance of really understanding yourself, your triggers, and

What sets MOSH apart, in addition to its taste and

the blocks that you, and you alone, have created

brain health benefits, are the people working with

or why they came about. You have the power and

the brand. Having built countless relationships

the responsibility to alter them,” she explained. As




I like myself better today than I ever did before. I feel like I know myself better. I understand myself better. I’ve done a lot of work to understand myself.


Maria reflected on how she’s become better

who understands the path we’re on—the same

with age, she practically glowed with the grace

with my media company, Shriver Media. My

and wisdom of a woman who, for all intents and

children are extraordinary, and I’m so grateful.

purposes, is the epitome of success.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I’m blessed, and I’ve

“I’m behind the, ‘Let’s deal with all of that’

worked hard to get here. It hasn’t been easy, but I

stage. Raising children is behind me. I took care

like where I find myself today: better with age.”

of two parents as a caregiver; that’s behind

And that, Ask Us Beauty readers, is how a

me. I’m not married, and so, for the first time, I

superwoman closes an interview.

have myself to focus on. I look forward to what’s

Visit and https://

next. I love the work that I’m doing. I have an

ambitiously small media company. I produce documentaries. I have a digital platform [The

How do you define beauty?

Sunday Paper] that really excites me. I work

I define beauty by my energy. I used to define

with people I admire and respect. I do MOSH. I

it strictly by how I looked, and now I define it

have built the world’s first Women’s Alzheimer’s

by how I make people feel and how I feel. It’s

Prevention Center with the Cleveland Clinic

how I walk in the world, the energy I put out,

in Vegas, and I’ve now partnered Women’s

and the energy I bring to my relationships. It’s

Alzheimer’s Movement with the Cleveland Clinic.

not the same when I walk in the room now as

My advocacy has a home, and my mission there

it was when I was 25. I walk into the room now

is clear. My mission is clear with MOSH, and I feel

with a different energy, but, I think, equally sexy,

like we’ve built a team that will help us grow and

equally beautiful.








By Laurie Yannon Wing | @medianewsblast


he word “spring” means to rise, leap, or thrust forward. The world wakes up in the springtime, and suddenly there are sights, sounds, and scents bursting from nature. The weather starts to get warm, and the flowers begin to bloom. This is the season of fresh beginnings. The simple pleasures of spring are available to all of us and cost absolutely nothing. Here are some ways for you to put some “spring” in your step: •

Open up the windows and let in the fresh air.

Deep clean and organize your home and office. Less clutter means less stress.

Take afternoon walks and feel those happy endorphins.

Create a vision board to keep your dreams and

Never Lose Focus

NIKON Z 30 Built to capture high-quality images and videos to be remembered for a lifetime, the Z 30’s key features include a compact, light-weight design; user-friendly controls; frontfacing vari-angle touchscreen LCD; 4K UHD video capture capabilities, and it’s compatible with NikonBridge App.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

BREATHTAKING ROSES BY SCENTIFOLIA are baseball-sized, fragrant garden roses that are sure to amaze. Just follow the easy care instructions to see 26


goals active. Take lots of pictures, so you can bring back these moments.

Pick or buy fresh flowers to brighten up a room and your mood.

Cook healthy meals with fresh, in-season veggies.

Put on crisp, clean sheets and cozy PJs for a good night’s sleep.

And always make time for your loved ones!

These small acts are a daily reminder of how important it is to take care of yourself and live in the present moment. Start adopting habits or changes you’d like to see in your life, so you can feel refreshed and alive! Here are some favorite springtime product picks:

your roses grow from buds to beautiful blooms that will open fully and fill your home with the most amazing fragrance. The roses will be shipped directly from the farm to your door, guaranteeing you the longest-lasting roses you can buy.

Bee Happy

THE BEESENTIAL SHOWER GIFT BOX is famous for those who love natural bath and body products. Beesential is a family-owned beekeeper company that offers a range of natural personal care products. With the Beesential Shower Gift Box, you can choose which shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, cream, and lip balm you want included to customize a gift for your favorite someone.

Life Is Better With Your Smile

NEWSMILE INVISIBLE ALIGNERS provide straighter teeth and smile confidence for 75% less than the cost of braces. Day or night aligners meet your smile needs. Monthly payment plans are available and are HSA/FSA eligible with 100% approval. Results are guaranteed, with free retainers and teeth whitening.

Pajama Day Every Day

DAGSMJEAN STAY COOL PJS BY AKTIVA is eight times more breathable than cotton to keep you cool and comfortable even as the temperature rises. The super smooth NATTCOOL™ fabric with evaporative cooling also keeps you dry with exceptional moisture-wicking abilities. www.

Make a Skin-Vestment

KARAMMD TRIFECTA is the only three-step system your skin needs for clinically-proven visible results. This regimen covers the entire spectrum of anti-aging skincare for people of every age and skin type. Rinse, Quench, and Illuminate work together with precision doses of over 20 actives, including Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, and Sodium Hyaluronate to provide deep cleansing, active hydration, and collagen stimulation for rejuvenated, healthy, glowing skin.

Dare To Dream, Then Do It

Transform your life with the LOVET VISION BOARD KIT – the perfect tool to help you achieve your dreams and create a life you truly deserve. With this Vision Board Kit, you can ditch the generic posters and boring notebooks and create a personalized vision board that speaks directly to you.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Limoncello

FABRIZIA is a family-run business and the leading limoncello producer in America. They import all of their lemons directly from their very own lemon grove in Italy and use them as the foundation for all of their products, including their award-winning limoncello. That very same limoncello is used at their bakery to make cookies, biscotti, lemon loaves, truffles, and other lemony deliciousness!

Once You Need Less, Then You’ll Have More

The No-Nonsense Home Organization Plan by Kim Davidson Jones of Lock and Key Home Clutter invades your personal space—and your mental space. The No-Nonsense Home Organization Plan helps you quickly and sustainably transform your home into a calm, orderly, safe haven. The seven-week plan walks you through your residence room-by-room, breaking the work into small daily tasks to simplify the process.

It’s A Beautiful Day To Save Lives

LIFEVAC AIRWAY CLEARANCE DEVICE is the original choking rescue device that saves lives. This simple, safe, and effective Airway Clearance device can be used to save the life of a friend, family member, or colleague in the event of a choking emergency. LifeVac has saved over 750 lives worldwide. BETTER WITH AGE


Trending Up

healthy, joyful way. It took work and a lot of courage to believe that I am not disrespecting my family but that I am creating a fulfilling, happy, and communicative

By Ari Zucker @ari8675

environment for my immediate family and our day-to-


have to ask you to read this with humor and a

What is your ‘better with age’ story? Share it with us, or

smile on your face like we are sharing a glass

share it with friends. Spread the love of your transition!

of wine or enjoying a morning coffee together. I

know it sounds cliché to say, “I’m getting better with age.” Maybe it’s just annoying, especially when most of us think it’s just what we have to say because we are getting older — when gravity has taken hold of our beauty, and our former injuries stop us from being as active, and our bodies are not what they once were. I will share with you a little about my “better with age” story. Like many of you reading this, we still have parents that may have gone through the depression or lived the journey through your grandparents. They come from a hard-working, ‘don’t complain’ mindset that can really take a toll on one’s choice to think positively. There was no sharing your problems with people; that was definitely shunned. My grandmother would take a waiter or waitress’s tip off the table when we were finished at a restaurant, not because of the service but because of the depression she had to live through. It was automatic for her to be frugal. However, I respect what she was doing only because of the things she experienced. Getting old had its toll on her. My point is that we were all raised to think a certain way. We are essentially programmed to think the way our parents, mentors, and coaches teach us through our teens, twenties, thirties, and even into our forties. When we finally decide to change the way we think and we realize we don’t have to think like our parents, it’s a beautiful moment. Once I discovered I got to make different choices, those choices significantly changed my life. That is when I realized, “Wow, you really do get better with age!” I personally chose not to react to things the way I learned from my family. I chose not to do things exactly the way I was taught. I chose to audit my life and shift my thoughts to what matters to my family and me in a


day life.


Developing Your Intuition: TIPS FOR MAKING QUICK AND ACCURATE DECISIONS AS YOU AGE By: Kylie Malcom and Edita Hill


s we age, we accumulate a wealth of

As you age, you will also develop other valuable

experience and knowledge that can be

qualities that can enhance your intuition:

harnessed to develop our intuition. Our “gut

feeling” can be a powerful tool for making quick and


accurate decisions. However, developing our intuition is

Your accumulated experiences give you a more

a lifelong journey that requires practice and reflection.

nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the world. This makes it easier to make intuitive leaps

Here are five tips to help you develop your intuition:

and trust your gut feelings. •

1. Pay attention to your body.

Self-knowledge As you become more self-aware, you can better

When making decisions, pay attention to any

recognize and interpret the signals your intuition

physical sensations you may experience. These

sends you. This self-knowledge also helps you

sensations can be a sign of your intuition trying

filter out external distractions and focus on your

to communicate with you. Do you feel tense or

inner voice.

relaxed? Do you feel excited or fearful? Listening to

your body can provide valuable insights.

Reduced cognitive load As you get older, your brain becomes more efficient

2. Trust your instincts.

at processing information. This makes it easier to

While it’s important to balance intuition with logic

access your intuition and make quick decisions

and reason, trusting your instincts is crucial. Don’t

without getting bogged down in details.

dismiss your intuition altogether. Trust your gut feeling, and use it to guide your choices. 3. Practice mindfulness.

Confidence Your growing confidence in yourself and your abilities can help you trust your intuition more

Take a few minutes each day to practice

readily and act on your gut feelings without second-

mindfulness. Sit quietly and focus on your breath,

guessing yourself.

paying attention to any thoughts or feelings that arise without judgment. This can help you become

Developing your intuition is a valuable skill that can

more attuned to your intuition over time.

serve you well throughout your life. By paying attention

4. Reflect on past experiences.

to your body, trusting your instincts, practicing

Reflect on past experiences where you relied on

mindfulness, reflecting on past experiences, and

your intuition to make decisions. Evaluate how it

embracing uncertainty, you can become more attuned

turned out and whether your intuition led you in the

to your intuition and better equipped to make quick and

right direction. This can help you better understand

accurate decisions.

how your intuition works and when it’s most useful. 5. Embrace uncertainty.

So, take a leap and start developing your intuition today.

Embracing uncertainty is essential to developing

It’s a surefire way to get better with age and live a

your intuition. You won’t always have all the

beautifully balanced life!

information you need to make a decision, but trusting your heart and inner knowing can help you make the best choice possible in the moment. BETTER WITH AGE


Healthy EATING

By Tammy Hugh and Izzy Cross

Grilled Cauliflower Steak with Mojo Cubano Ingredients Cauliflower steak 1 large head of cauliflower 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 4 tablespoons of mojo Cubano, recipe below Mojo Cubano 2 cups of chopped Flat Leaf Parsley 1 TBS of minced Garlic 1 minced Fresno Chili 1 TBS of fresh squeeze lime juice 1 tsp Lime zest ¼ cup of Red Wine Vinegar 1 Cup Ex. Virgin Olive Oil Directions Heat grill to 375 F To make each cauliflower steak, trim the rounded edge of each cauliflower half, leaving about 1 1/2-inch-thick slices that still have the stem attached. Save the trimmed cauliflower for another r ecipe. Grill cauliflower until desired char. In a mixing bowl combine parsley, garlic, Fresno chili, lemon zest, vinegar and lime juice. Add olive oil last. This sauce gets better with time. You can keep it refrigerated for up to a week. Serve cauliflower steaks with a generous spoonful of mojo Cubano on top. 30


Cauliflower Risotto Ingredients 3 tablespoons Butter 1 Shallot (minced) 2 tsp. garlic (minced) 1 head Cauliflower riced (about 16 0z) ½ cup Heavy Cream 4 oz. low fat cream cheese ¼ dry, white wine ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan ½ teaspoon Salt ½ teaspoon Cracked Pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, thyme, or rosemary.

Nutrition Information YIELD: 4 SERVING SIZE: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312 Total Fat: 21.1g Saturated Fat: 13.3g Cholesterol: 66mg Sodium: 546mg Net Carbohydrates: 16.3g Fiber: 6g Total Sugars: 5.3g Protein: 17.9g This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

Directions Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the riced cauliflower and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, salt, and pepper and stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender, and mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley before serving. Chefs notes: Risotto is such an incredible dish but full of carbohydrates, by using riced cauliflower in place of risotto you can cut down on carbs and increase nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. You can also add vegetables, proteins, or seafood to the dish. BETTER WITH AGE










A BEAUTIFUL CHAPTER By Carrie Ann Inaba IG: @carrieanninaba


am in the middle of a chapter—a deeply educational chapter in my life. I’m not completely on the other side of it yet, but I’m listening and paying attention while the chapter forms. I am learning so much about the person I have become, the person I have always been, and the person I have yet to be. I started the year with an intentional break from social media. I took time away from all things entertainment related to take a personal inventory. So much had happened in the past few years (to all of us), and I felt a calling from my spirit to look inward and shut out everything else. It’s something we all need—a hibernation to take care of all the things we have pushed aside due to work, relationships, and health issues. I’m so fortunate to have the luxury to do this. Life is hard, and the need to pause when possible to take inventory of who we have become instead of continuing forward in dissonance to who we have actually evolved into is important. So much of whom we identify with is outdated after all we have been through, and I don’t mean the pandemic. I mean life—growing, raising families, building careers, surviving, caring for others, following our dreams. And then we get to a new stage, an older and more lived-in stage, and we are the same but different. So in order to live a life that really is fulfilling, it is my opinion that we need to be in alignment with, at the very least, our own self and spirit.

myself again, and the reintroduction has been fascinating. Storms have come, gone, and appeared again when it came to my health, which, in turn, showed up in my emotions. I realized I needed to slow myself down even more. I’ve been nonstop since I left for Japan to pursue my career at the age of 18. Building my career and maintaining relationships has taken all my focus and energy for so many years. But, I’m 55 now, and this may be the first time I’m doing exactly what I need—and only that. Now I am taking care of all the things in my home and my personal life that I have neglected. And while caring for my home and my heart and showing gratitude for my sanctuary and safety, I’ve been learning so much. There was so much to tend to; so much had been neglected, unexpressed, and troubled. My hope is that my journey is a message to all that we must follow our instincts, even when we don’t know where that will lead us. Every single day is a gift, and we owe it to ourselves—I owed it to myself. And while I thought this chapter would be a few months-long journey, it has turned out to be an adventure I want to stay in longer. Life is full of surprises. It is beautiful here, and the chapter continues.

I have spent many years feeling out of alignment, living with Sjorgren’s syndrome, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia. There have been so many shifts in my body and in the world around me. I’ve been taking time to get to know BETTER WITH AGE



Written by: Amber Shaw IG: @msambershaw Website:

to Ditch the Scale and Reclaim Your Power


hen it comes to staying healthy, it’s easy to fixate on the number on the scale. I know because, for years, the scale ran my life, and I let it dictate my every move and my every emotion. Every morning, I allowed that three-digit number to tell me whether I was good or bad, what I was allowed (or not allowed) to eat that day, whether I deserved to feel confident that day, and whether 36


or not I spoke kindly to myself or I allowed the negative self-talk to be in the driver’s seat. The truth is I outsourced my happiness, my worthiness, and my value to the scale — until I said no more. I vowed to ditch the scale and start finding ways to value myself, regardless of what the scale said. I had to learn to detach my emotions from the data. Because that’s all the scale is — DATA, a

very small piece of data that has ZERO to do with who you are as a woman, a mother, a partner, a friend, a daughter, and a soul. Instead, I started focusing on my total health and on non-scale victories, like reducing cravings, having more energy, feeling comfortable in my clothes, sleeping better, and getting stronger. All of these things matter when it comes to your health and wellness. Here are five reasons to ditch the scale and focus on your total health instead: 1. The scale only tells part of the story. Your weight is just a number, and on its own, it can’t tell you that much about your overall health. It’s important to focus on more than just the numbers on the scale. Consider other variables, such as body composition, bone density, energy levels, muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, and body fat percentage. All of these create a more accurate and comprehensive picture of your health and well-being. 2. It doesn’t account for fluctuations that have nothing to do with gaining body fat. So, let’s talk about the basics — like WHY the scale moves, even when you feel like you’ve been doing everything right. There are a number of possible variables: • Sodium, carbs, and water retention • Heavy workout the day before • Lack of sleep • Certain Medications • Hormone Fluctuations All of these things can cause the scale to go up due to fluid retention. So the next time you step on the scale, you can confidently know that you did not gain 3-5 lbs (or more) of body fat overnight! You can calmly remind yourself it’s water weight and give yourself some grace.

3. It can keep you stuck on the dieting rollercoaster. Seeing that number on the scale can be discouraging when you are trying to lose weight, leading you to make drastic changes to your fitness, diet, and overall lifestyle. Oftentimes, the obsession with the number on the scale is what keeps women stuck in the vicious cycle of dieting. The truth is that sustainable weight loss is a slower process of building a healthy lifestyle — and this takes time. 4. It can contribute to an unhealthy body image. When you fixate on the number on the scale, you’re likely to forget all the other ways your body is amazing. You’ll start to obsess over every inch and every pound, and that can be really damaging to your mental health. 5. It can own your self-confidence. The number on the scale can take you from feeling good to hating yourself in under three seconds, but this is solely because you let it do so. You are so much more than that number. When you let go of the scale, you allow yourself to focus on your progress and how you actually feel in your body. You create space to be proud of the changes you are making and the momentum you are building toward a healthy lifestyle and a healthy you! When you put your energy on these markers and let go of the scale, not only will you stay more consistent with your healthy lifestyle, but you will be much happier as well. So, stop looking down at those numbers on the scale and look up to a brighter and healthier you.



Dee Ocleppo HILFIGER


Written by: Michelle Emmick

esigner, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and philanthropist Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger is an unstoppable woman. Dee was born in Ohio and grew up in Rhode Island near the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). There, Dee’s unbelievable journey began, as she found herself enthralled in the modeling world.

the students came up to me and my girlfriend on the street and asked us to model in their fashion show,” Dee shared. “That was the first time I ever thought about it or thought I could do it. We modeled in their fashion show, and that’s when I got the bug. I always loved fashion, but that’s kind of what hooked me into it.”

“My very first foray into modeling was when one of

At just 16 years old, Dee began a part-time career in



modeling and continued this passion throughout her college years in Dallas. After college, Dee’s passion took her to Paris, where she pursued modeling full-time. There’s no question that Dee’s successful modeling career would have lasted much longer, but her behindthe-scenes collaboration with her husband of 15 years, iconic American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, ushered in a natural progression toward a path to design. “I never had plans to go into design, yet I always loved it and believe it’s a great creative outlet. I was kind of always on the sidelines whispering in Tommy’s ear, giving my two cents into the collections. One year, he was doing a preppy collection, and I said, ‘You should do a Pappagallo bag like the ones made popular in the 60s. You could change the covers.’ I started describing in depth about this bag. I think he was either bored with all my descriptions or just wanted to distract me,” joked Ocleppo, “but he really encouraged me, and he’s like, ‘Well, why don’t you do it?’” Dee took her ideas and made a prototype, sharing it with Mindy Grossman, who at the time was head of Home Shopping Network. “I thought it would be

a great product to sell and demonstrate on air, and the designs did really well,” Dee shared. Because the handbags were so well received, Dee was motivated to create a highly specialized luxury product crafted in Italy. Dee eventually became the Creative Director of Judith Leiber and the Founder of the Dee Ocleppo Collection and her timeless pieces and designs are sold internationally by high-end retail partners like Harrods and Saks. After years of traveling the world and immersing herself in style throughout the fashion business, Dee expanded her collection to include exquisite shoes and sumptuous silk and cashmere goods. Dee says she’s inspired by the people and places that have been a part of her experiences. “I design based on the desire of what I like to wear. I would say my style is more kind of classic. I always like to say it’s on trend, but it’s not trendy. I like really good quality things that I can hold onto and keep for a while. I’m not so much into producing fast fashion or things that just are in one season,” she explained.



According to Dee, there are a few essential pieces that are always great to have in your closet: a versatile blazer, a quality trench coat, a good cashmere sweater, a classic black cocktail dress, and a great pair of slingback shoes. “I just came out with the new spring collection. I have these incredible strappy sandals. It’s not a super high heel; the leather is padded. I’ve never worn a more comfortable shoe,” Dee revealed. Dee utilizes her fashion expertise in many ways, particularly philanthropy. One of the organizations she’s involved with is GLAM4GOOD, a non-profit organization that celebrates social impact and empowerment through beauty and style. Started by Dee’s girlfriend Mary Alice Stephenson, a renowned fashion and beauty expert, GLAM4GOOD provides life-changing makeovers and transformative fashion experiences for everyday heroes and people in need. “It’s so beautiful to see how fashion and beauty can really uplift people and change their mood and the way they feel about themselves,” said Dee. As we concluded our conversation, I spoke with Dee about our issue theme, “Better With Age,” and about her personal definition of beauty. Dee believes confidence is the key to getting better with age. “I think you’re just more comfortable in your skin, and for me, I’m more comfortable with who I am and more confident. When it comes to fashion, at a certain point, you establish your own style.” In the case of beauty, Dee has come to understand that health and self-care are at the core. “I think it has to start with health. Real beauty is a healthy body, healthy skin, and really taking care of yourself. It starts from there, and then it works its way outside.” Dee’s passion for fashion and long-standing career from model to mogul is celebrated throughout her brand. You can learn more about her gorgeous collection by visiting IG: @deeocleppo / @mrshilfiger



SAY CONFIDENCE WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. The Dee Ocleppo Spring ‘23 Collection is here, and with it all the shoe and handbag styles a woman requires for effortlessly communicating confidence and elegance in the coming season. In true form, Dee has once again delivered a collection that is both timely and timeless—seasonal, yet forever classic. Shop these essential styles at



A Natural

APROACH TO BEAUTY IG @moracosmetics


ora Cosmetics was born from necessity. Founder Minara El-Rahman shares some of her story with Ask Us Beauty.

Minara: I started Mora Cosmetics because when I had a high-risk pregnancy, I had to change my entire makeup routine. I had to become more mindful of the makeup ingredients I used. Once I started to do research, I realized that a majority of the makeup that I was using contained potentially harmful ingredients. The makeup brands that did contain safer ingredients weren’t pigmented enough for my brown skin. Not only that, I realized no makeup brand even labeled themselves as halal. That’s when I decided to create a clean, halal, and vegan makeup brand intended to be universally flattering and highly pigmented to show up on all skin tones. As a visibly Muslim woman, I have noticed that beauty brands are starting to embrace models that are visibly Muslim but [the brands are] still not thinking about our needs as a community 42


when it comes to makeup. That is why Mora Cosmetics is so special. We not only speak to Muslim beauty consumers, we truly think about them every step of the way when we create beauty products that can be used by all consumers. The concept of ihsan (excellence) is used in everything we do as a beauty brand. We strive to use ethically sourced ingredients, use sustainable packaging, and ensure that we give the best experience to our customers. Our hero product, the Satin Sheen Multistick, was made with sustainability in mind. You can use it as a lipstick but also as a blush. This means fewer products to clutter the environment. Can you imagine a world with less beauty clutter? Ultimately, we created Mora Cosmetics as a love letter to my community and to the beauty world at large. You can learn more about Mora Cosmetics by visiting their website

Meet the women behind

Mora Cosmetics MINARA EL-RAHMAN Minara El-Rahman is truly a beauty maven at heart. Born in New York City, a city well-versed with beauty, she used to stash her mother’s lipsticks in her Hello Kitty purse in grade school. Not satisfied with the limited color palettes of makeup in the 90s, Minara would often hunt beauty specialty stores like Ricky’s NYC for pigments and custom blend her own perfect colors and then sell them. Her mother would tell her to start her own makeup line. After finishing law school and moving to the Bay Area, Minara was inspired to live a cleaner, more sustainable life. When she tried to find a clean, halal makeup alternative for her makeup, she couldn’t find anything and decided to launch Mora Cosmetics.

JASMINE DAYAL Born and raised in California, Jasmine Dayal has always had a passion for the environment. Initially beginning her career in Silicon Valley, she eventually made the jump to working in the beauty industry with Sephora. Sephora further developed her interest in clean beauty and helped lead her to start Mora Cosmetics with Minara El-Rahman. Jasmine has always been very eco-conscious and wanted to see a product that was sustainable, kind, and accessible. With Mora Cosmetics, Jasmine gets to engage in her passion for beauty for all. BETTER WITH AGE



Written by: Michelle Emmick

Photo credit Will Sterling


rammy-nominated rapper and actress Da Brat and her wife, self-made mogul Jesseca ”Judy” Dupart, have a lot to celebrate these days. They’re expecting their first child together, spearheading a wildly successful hair care collaboration, and, you guessed it, getting better with age. As the CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products, Judy has built one of the fastest-growing hair care brands in the U.S. A hair care empire was not part of Judy’s original life plan. Still, after a long career as a hairstylist, someone encouraged Judy to start her own product line. Coincidentally, she had a client at the time who



happened to manufacture product, and this client offered to help Judy in this new venture. She started with a product that helped with hair growth and quickly learned how to leverage the power of social media. Judy’s business exploded from there. “I think what worked is me being fearless and disrupting traditional marketing,” Judy shared. “I’m a straight shooter, and I was able to really relate to my consumers.” Judy’s social media marketing strategy began with finding people local to her area and inviting them to the salon for free products and services in exchange

for exposure on their platforms. She even got creative by recording clips like a remake of the show Cops. “We called it the ‘Edge Police,’” said Judy, “and in real-time, we showed up in cop uniforms and knocked on people’s doors to slick their edges down. You were forced to see a tutorial whether you wanted to or not because you were watching our social media, almost like a skit.” This genius marketing campaign garnered insane popularity and created a high demand for Judy’s product in small mom-and-pop beauty shops and hair stores. Meanwhile, Judy did her research, asked questions, and ultimately learned the ins and outs of distribution and buying. By the time high-profile meetings started rolling in, Judy had drummed up an exciting media buzz and produced impressive e-commerce sales. She was ready. The Kaleidoscope collection, inspired by her wife Da Brat’s iconic braids, includes six products, each with a unique set of benefits. These products are perfect for braids, twists, wigs, weaves, locs, and ponytails, and they have been flying off the shelves—the Miracle Drops alone have sold close to four million bottles. Both Judy and Da Brat have led accomplished careers, and they both agree they’ve gotten better with age.

For Da Brat, age is about wisdom. “You know, when you become famous, you feel untouchable. A lot of things happened to me,” shared Da Brat. “My anger and temper were horrible. I went to prison for getting into a fight. I think wisdom comes with age—understanding the things you go through, the things you know you will never do again, and the places you never wanna go back to. I’ve learned so much and grown with age,” she said. Judy agrees that wisdom makes aging beautiful, but she also believes love plays a big role. “It’s the learning, and it’s also love. Love in our teenage years and in our twenties is learning what you’re not gonna put up with. With age, we mature and realize how to be able to keep peace and manage love appropriately. It’s making sure that you know the love language of the person you’re with and how they like to be loved. It’s compromise, and it’s patience. You have to meet your partner halfway because you’re not gonna agree on everything. So the things that you don’t agree on, you figure out a happy medium, so the both of you can be happy,” Judy added. In addition to wisdom and love, age has also made way for a new chapter in Judy and Da Brat’s stories. The two recently married and are expecting their first child together. “I never thought in the nineties I would be sitting here with a baby in my belly,” Da Brat reflected. Judy, who has three children, wanted ‘Brat’ to experience carrying their child—something Brat was not sure about at first but has since embraced. “It’s been a happy journey so far for both of us,” she shared. New experiences are something Da Brat loves about her age and this season of life. “The work I’m doing now is very different than the music industry,” she said. “I go to stores like Walmart, Target, and Sally’s, and I see myself on shelves. It’s crazy to see my face on products. These are stores that I’ve been going to since I was a child.” Between their hair care collaboration and their personal joys, Judy and Da Brat have certainly found their fair share of the beauty—and wisdom and love—that comes with age. To purchase Kaleidoscope products, visit https:// or head to select stores, such as Walmart, CVS, Sally Beauty, and more. @kaleidoscopehairproducts, @sosobrat @darealbbjudy BETTER WITH AGE


Photo Credit: Watkins Multimedia Group

It’s Time to

UPDATE Your Beauty

Elena George Celebrity Makeup Artist @elenageorge1mkp


e all know, when you look good, you feel good, and with so many beauty products and resources available, there is no excuse not to feel great about your appearance. Beauty products should always be used to enhance your beauty and move with you through the times. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut by using once popular make up styles, but that can make you look dated and add years to your appearance. As the times change, so should your beauty routine. It’s important to step out of your comfort zone, so instead of sticking with the same make up day after day, start incorporating a few new products and techniques to boost your look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a bold lip color or eyeshadow. You might be surprised at how good you feel when you take a chance and try something new. When it comes to updating your beauty routine and 46


your make up, from drugstore to high-end, there is something for every budget and beauty concern. My advice is to not be afraid to ask for help. Popular beauty retailers offer a wide range of products and have team members on hand to give you tips and recommendations. Another great resource for learning new beauty techniques is YouTube. There are countless tutorials available. If you’re not sure where to start, try searching for tutorials that focus on your specific concern. For example, if you want to learn how to contour your face, search “beginner contouring tutorial.” You can also find inspiration on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest which are filled with beauty influencers sharing techniques. Along with beauty websites and publications, there is no shortage of information to help you update your beauty. Elena’s Tip Want to update your look by making your eyes look instantly bigger and brighter? Apply white eyeliner to your lower waterline. Click here or visit to check out Elena’s video tutorial.


Written by: Jessica Fenyin @jessicafenyin



id you work hard all year with facials, skin treatments, and expensive serums? Don’t let all that work go to waste! The solution is sun protection. Sunscreen is necessary all 365 days a year, as the sun’s damaging rays are very harmful to the skin over time. Because there are many types of sunscreen, you must find the one that is right for you. Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreens Mineral sunscreens are typically regarded as safe. They sit on the top layer of the skin to deflect UVA/ UVB rays and provide a physical barrier between the skin and the rays. I, personally, always choose mineral sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the top layer of the skin. They tend to work by absorbing the UVA rays, and they are known to be more water and sweat resistant. My top mineral sunscreen recommendations: • ILIA Beauty C Beyond Triple Serum • CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen • Biossance Squlane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen • Innisfree Daily Defense UV Sunscreen • SAIE Sunvisor The most important thing to remember is that wearing sunscreen is key all year round. There are plenty of options to choose from, so do your research and make a decision that fits you and your lifestyle. Let’s keep the sunscreen conversation going! Connect with me on Instagram.

XO, Jessica @jessicafenyin BETTER WITH AGE







rowing up in The Bronx, New York, Suhay Gonzalez was fascinated by graffiti and soon found ways to express her artistry through makeup. Early on, she knew in order to achieve her goals she needed vision, good work ethics, and discipline. She obtained her degree in Business Administration and Accounting and continued her education at Yale University’s School of Management to enhance her leadership and management skills, followed by executive education courses at Harvard Business School. She gained insight in a complex, integrated world while working diligently to represent with integrity her culture and women overall. Soon after, she earned the position of Chief Financial Officer. Her professional career with the federal government has been instrumental as she embarked into entrepreneurship. Suhay Gonzalez, the sixth child of her Dominican father, found serenity after the loss of her mother to Glioblastoma Brain Cancer by launching her own company, Seis Cosmetics. As the founder and CEO, Ms. Gonzalez merged her passion for finance with her love for makeup. As a woman of color, it is important for her to be diverse, inclusive while creating products for everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, complexion, or gender. Seis Cosmetics offers a variety of products from Sugar Lip Scrub and overnight Rose Lip Mask to exfoliate, nourish, and hydrate your lips. Offering exceptional lipsticks, such as the Semi Matte Vegan Lipstick, available in 14 gorgeous shades, formulated with vitamins to maintain soft, hydrated lips because we all deserve to have kissable lips. The Infused Lip

Gloss is a plant-based hybrid product. It is made with organic ingredients, to include Cannabis Sativa Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil & Olive Oil. The applicator glides on as lipgloss but delivers full coverage that feels similar to a lip balm. Another popular product is the Advance Luxe Gloss, a featherweight formula delivering a unique blend of natural emollients, vitamins, and high-definition extended shine. Seis Cosmetics was developed with meticulous attention to details and is proud to be certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny. With less than 2% of venture capital going to womenfounded start up businesses, Suhay Gonzalez funded 100% of her business. Determined to bring awareness to brain health, Suhay has a portion of the profit donated towards brain tumor research in honor of her mother. “I consciously made the decision to convert my sadness into something beautiful! My purpose is to deliver superior cosmetics for a cause!” Ms. Gonzalez is an indie brand owner with a philanthropic soul. She is proud to serve her purpose and make an impact on this world while making people feel beautiful. Instagram @seis_cosmetics Facebook @seiscosmeticsllc TikTok @seiscosmetics





You Don’t Need to Fix it to Get Better By Dr. Anahita Azharian @drazharian @theshopaholiclibra


ecause I am a plastic surgeon, my day — from when I wake up to when I go to sleep — is a constant focus on appearance. I am also a woman. It is hard not to translate that onto yourself and not to notice your own flaws in the mirror. When I look at a picture, when I take a picture with my friends, we’re all looking at one thing, and my focus goes to what I’ve been trained to see and how I can make it better. Who doesn’t wanna look great and look a certain way? For me, especially in my profession, it goes even further because my entire day is meeting people that come to me because, for one reason or another, they are unhappy with the way they look. Aging is scary. Our generation has been programmed to put emphasis on physicality and beauty. Socially, the expectation is to be young, beautiful, and perfect, which is associated in part with being female. Even the cartoons we grew up watching and the princesses in some way taught us we need to have a particular look, so when we wake up one day and see that things are not how they used to be, it just suddenly hits you out of nowhere, and it becomes very scary. I am all for self-improvement, and I joke around with people and say that I work in the candy shop because I have access to a lot of things and am not afraid to take advantage. I am also aware of the internal growth that comes with aging. I think with age we become wiser and smarter about how we approach life, and, in some way, that compensates for those flaws we undoubtedly see in the mirror, bringing more value compared to the physicality of what you have when you’re younger.



It’s not uncommon for a woman to come in for a consultation, especially from some of my male counterparts, where the dialogue starts with, “I can fix you — I can make you look 20 years old.” I never tell a patient that I can “fix them” or make them look like they did when they were 20 years old because, one, patients don’t want to be spoken to that way, and two, the truth of the matter is we can’t [fix them]and we shouldn’t. What we, as plastic surgeons, can do is help you look and feel your best, and that’s exactly what I try to focus on for myself and my patients. I, too, am aging and am going through those similar feelings like you [do]when I look in the mirror. But, as I tell myself, “Here’s where I am. I can’t go back in time, but I am confident and unapologetically me.” I am true to who I am and what I believe in. I understand now that everything on the outside — everything that was so important in my youth and what I relied on — fades away. When all is said and done, it’s about living our best life, doing what makes us feel good about ourselves, and embracing all the amazing positives that come with aging. Dr. Azharian is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr.Azharian approaches her patients with the understanding that all people have a unique set of needs to accomplish their goals, while maintaining their individuality. Dr. Azharian offers a full array of cosmetic and reconstructive surgical and nonsurgical procedures for the face and body. Visit

An Exclusive Interview With Dr. Garth Fisher, M.D., Plastic Surgeon Interview by Kellie Galvin

World-renowned Plastic Surgeon Dr. Garth Fisher joined AUB Beauty Director Kellie Galvin to discuss plastic surgery. Garth Fisher, M.D. ®, is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has an office in Beverly Hills, CA. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Fisher specializes in aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery of the face, nose, breast, and body. His busy practice includes A-list celebrities, entertainment and fashion icons, Fortune 500 executives, royalty, supermodels, and other medical and licensed professionals worldwide. Because of his clinical judgment, incredible surgical results, and comforting bedside manner, Kellie went directly to Dr. Fisher to answer some of Ask Us Beauty’s reader questions about facial plastic surgery. *interview has been condensed* AUB Kellie: Dr. Fisher, can you talk about facelifts and provide some facts for us? For example, who’s a good candidate, who’s not, and if not, what other things should they consider? Dr. Fisher: People always ask, ‘What’s the new facelift?’ I think that’s the worst question to ask for anything. What we want to be asking is, ‘What works the best?’ Sometimes it’s something that’s been time tested—five years, 30 years, whatever it is—but not something that’s just been out for six months. What I’ve seen in my career is that most of the time, these procedures/services are gone in five years; they just go to the side because they just aren’t really good techniques. What’s going on today is more of an enhancement in marketing ideas than it is really an innovative technique. So people have to be very cautious of that. I focus on a natural result when I talk to patients about faces, and you want a result that’s going to endure. You want the safest procedure, and you want to hide the scars. You don’t want to distort any hairlines or structures, so you can wear your hair up. I am not a big fan of people who are 25-35 years old getting facelifts. I think it’s terrible. To be a good candidate, you have to

have the tissue laxity that requires a facelift—someone who’s got dissent of the cheeks, nasal labial folds, jowls, neck issues, and they want to enhance that. The biggest question is that you have to decide when you want to pull the trigger. I tell people, ‘Pick the time in the next 15 years of your life that you want to look your best.’ The longer you wait, the more dramatic the result, but I think there’s an appropriate time when risk meets reward. That’s when you choose to do the facelift, and the first facelift you do should be the one that’s most extensive. I don’t believe in these minimally invasive facelifts that last two years, unless you’re 75 years old and on a lot of different medications, since you can’t be under anesthesia for very long. When you choose to do it, do it right. You’re going to look better for the rest of your life. AUB Kellie: What do you think about individuals who get procedures at different stages/ages? Dr. Fisher: It makes people look weird when they start BETTER WITH AGE


5 Tips For Helping A Friend With Mental Illness By Dr. Beverly Pedroche, Psychologist IG: @drpedroche

As I age, I become more aware of the importance of friendships. And while we all enjoy brunch with our gal pals, laughing so hard that wine comes spewing from our noses, and hours-long phone calls about the mundane, it is very likely that someone you love has, is, or will experience problems with their mental health. After all, one in five Americans lives with a mental health condition. As we get older, let’s commit to being better friends — during the good times and the not-sogood times. compartmentalizing. For example, if you had one procedure in 1997, maybe doing the lower eyelids, and in 2003 you did the cheeks, in 2007, the jawline, and so on, it ends up looking like the wrong lid on the wrong jar. It looks off. If you really want a great look and you want to blend in so you look refreshed and like yourself, then you have to take a more conservative but holistic approach. A facelift will help you with tissue that’s fallen down— sagging tissue, extra skin— by removing it and elevating it back to a more youthful location. A facelift is not good for changing the quality of your skin. That’s another procedure we do as an addition. AUB Kellie: What do you want individuals considering a procedure to know? Dr. Fisher: Look at before and after pictures to see if you resonate with that style because there are stylistic differences. Do your due diligence, do your research, talk to a qualified and experienced doctor whom you feel comfortable with, and really get the right information before making your decision. It’s important to know all the risks and what the recovery period will be. That’s the openness that I welcome in my practice. Listen to the interview in its entirety at ​​AUB Podcast Ask Us Beauty Magazine. Learn more about Dr. Fisher at IG: @garthfishermd 52


If you have a friend with a mental illness, you may find it difficult to find the right words to say or to know how to be supportive. While there is no one-size-fits-all technique to support a loved one struggling with a mental health challenge, here are some ways that you can be helpful: Encourage them to seek professional help. Help them find a psychiatrist and psychologist. This task can be

really daunting for someone who is struggling with low motivation, diminished energy, or lack of focus. Call their insurance company and obtain a list of local providers. Help them complete the intake paperwork. Offer to give them a ride to their appointment. Ask them if they would like to talk about how they feel. Compassionate listening (or deep listening, as it is referred to by the Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh) is listening solely with the purpose of relieving the suffering of another. This is not the time to make suggestions, provide corrections, or solve problems. Just listening with compassion helps them to suffer less. Being heard can be cathartic and healing. Ask them, “How can I be helpful to you today?” Many of us have a hard time asking for help. Let them know you’re willing and available. Make some gentle offers. Everyday tasks can be challenging when struggling with a mental health problem. Offer to share the pot of chili that you made or to pick up some groceries for them while you’re at the grocery store or to walk their dog. It’s often easier for many people to accept specific offers rather than reply to a vague offer of help. Be non-judgmental. One of the primary reasons that people do not get help for their mental illness is due to stigma. Remember that words matter, and comments like “Cheer up” aren’t helpful. Seek opportunities to learn more about mental illness through websites like and Obtain psychoeducation and support from a therapist of your own. Having a friend who doesn’t judge can make all the difference for a friend with a mental illness. Supporting someone else can be overwhelming and stressful, but learning how to strategically help them can make the process more effective and less troubling. If your friends are struggling, you can aid in their recovery process, and your friendships can become better with age.

Ask Us Beauty Reader Question Every time I laugh or sneeze, I have incontinence. It’s only gotten worse after having three children. What are my options? Great question! The first thing to note is that this is very common; in fact, one in three women experience a pelvic floor muscle issue after having a baby. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal. The type of leaking you’re referring to is called “stress incontinence,” and this happens when there is a force downward on the bladder, like a laugh or a cough or a jump, and the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that support the bladder) can’t quite cope and can’t hold urine in. There are many reasons for this, with childbirth being the most common reason for pelvic floor muscle damage. So where do we go from here? First and most importantly, we need to start rehabbing the muscles and teaching them how to contract properly with your abdominals, and then we move on to strengthening. And strengthening is not only doing Kegels. Strengthening includes working on both types of muscle fibers found in your pelvic floor and working on endurance in control. The first step is to connect the pelvic floor with your abdominals. So, gently draw in your lower abs (while laying down with feet flat) and squeeze your pelvic floor up and in, like you are picking up a blueberry with your vaginal muscles. Hold for a count of five, and then rest. Then, we continue to make exercises harder and more specific to the problem activity, i.e., jumping. To learn more about what to do next, follow us @ thedowntheredoc on social and visit our website, www., to enroll in our PostPartum Power online program. Hundreds of mamas have experienced less leaking, better sex, and a lifestyle they love once they get their pelvic floor muscles working properly again! Dr. Marcy Crouch, Board-Certified Women’s Health Physical Therapist, is the owner and founder of TheDownThereDoc, an online health company providing women with necessary birth preparation and comprehensive postpartum recovery programs. Dr. Crouch is located in Auburn, AL. IG: @thedowntheredoc BETTER WITH AGE


It’s Time I to L’Evate You!

f you’ve never worked with a holistic expert, you may not be familiar with what they do for your overall health. As a holistic expert, Dr. Basheerah Ahmad, aka Dr. B, helps individuals live their best lives through a 360-degree approach. “We look at everything— what you eat, how you’re sleeping, your day-to-day, we even talk about your past traumas. When it comes to holistic health, we’re addressing the mind, body, and spirit,” says Dr. B.

By Michelle Emmick

A highly sought-after International Health and Wellness Expert with a PhD in Natural Medicine, Dr. B is the personal nutritionist for Steve Harvey and the Wellness Director for Steve Harvey Global. “It’s a dream job,” shares Dr. B. “As you can imagine, we laugh a lot, but he cracks the whip, too. Mr. Harvey, aka Mr. H., loves things done in the spirit of excellence. He invests in everyone’s health. He brought me on so that all of his employees have access to personal training and nutrition. He is committed to a healthy lifestyle for all.” Not only is Steve Harvey committed to his employees, but he’s also committed to impacting a healthy lifestyle to the world through the L’Evate You brand. “Mr. H has shared his story of how a busy lifestyle can negatively impact your health. When he personally committed to making changes in his life, he felt great, energized, and wanted to help others feel the same,” Dr. B tells us. Harvey teamed up with the leading nutritionists to create L’Evate You, a not-your-average greens powder with many ingredients that changed his life. “It doesn’t have those harmful toxins that slowly creep up later and cause harm,” shares Dr. B. “This was important in the product development, and it’s such a huge part of who Steve Harvey is. He wants to help others live a healthy lifestyle, and this is a product they can use every single day that’s effective and also affordable, which is equally important to him. The greens can be added to a smoothie, fruit, yogurt, and all types of recipes. You can put it in your water, and it actually tastes good, I promise. I know I’m a nutritionist, so people think I have no tastebuds, but this tastes really good!”



One of the main reasons Dr. B. supports L’Evate You’s product is that it is specifically targeted to address mitochondrial damage and provide cellular repair. “Mr. H. understood that there was some [mitochondrial] damage going on because that’s what happens as we age. And then include our day-to-day—our eating, our stressful lifestyle—all of those things wear down on what you would call the mitochondria, which is kind of the furnace of the body. That’s where energy is produced. Damage also happens because of our environment—our air quality, our water. Even if it’s been fortified in some ways, sometimes those additional chemicals can wear down the mitochondria. If those are not functioning correctly, and if the mitochondria cannot continue to produce enough energy molecules, that’s when you start to see other things decline. Cells need to be healthy because every single part of our body is made up of cells. Our body needs greens, and these products provide a daily serving of greens, vitamins, antioxidants, and essential nutrients. The feedback regarding how much energy people have after just a month of taking L’Evate has been so rewarding!”

great for bones, great for immunity; K2 is great for blood. Iron is often needed as well and is one of those things you want to check with your doctor before just picking up. I love immunity blends, one that has a lot of vitamin C, and make sure it’s with Liposomal, which can be absorbed by your body more efficiently. And don’t forget calcium!”

In addition to L’Evate You products, Dr. B. recommends taking a multivitamin that’s specifically for you. “A lot of times we hear ‘multivitamin,’ and we just go and get something off the shelf or that we saw online. But how many of us have actually paid attention to the blood work from our doctor telling us our specific deficiencies?

Purchase your L’Evate products at

Most of us are very deficient in vitamin D, especially vitamin D3 for women—vitamin D3 plus K2. Vitamin D is

Photo Credit: Hales Photo

How have you gotten better with age, Dr. B.? I’ve gotten smarter because I accept who I am. I love this person that I’ve become with the bumps and the bruises, the ups and the downs, and at the end of every day, I can honestly say that. As I age in a world where Westernized society likes to tear women down or speak against aging as if it has to be something that’s negative, I embrace it, and I’m doing life well here. I feel good. That’s something that only comes with age. I couldn’t agree more! According to Dr. B. and Mr. H.,taking care of our bodies is no joke, and it starts with putting the right information into our minds in order to get the nutrients we need to live our best lives.

@basheerah_ahmad @levateyou @iamsteveharveytv



Ask Us Beauty Reader Question I am 51 and have wrinkles and age spots. I was maybe considering a laser treatment. I’ve also been hearing a lot about exosomes. Can you provide more details on what it is and if it could help? Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that are naturally produced by cells in the body. They contain a variety of molecules, including growth factors, proteins, and RNA, which play a crucial role in cell-to-cell communication and signal transduction. Exosomes have been found to have powerful regenerative properties that can stimulate tissue repair and regeneration. When it comes to reducing wrinkles and age spots, exosomes can provide a safe and effective complement to treatments like laser therapy. Exosomes can help to increase collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. They can also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, contributing to the formation of wrinkles and age spots.

redness, swelling, and discomfort. Exosomes are a gentle and natural topical solution that works with your body’s regenerative processes. ExoCel Bio exosomes go through a rigorous quality control protocol, making them the most comprehensively screened and effective exosomes in the world. They consist of purified, intact exosomes containing regenerative biomolecules to enhance the rapid anti-inflammatory and regenerative response. If you are looking for a natural and effective way to rejuvenate your skin, a laser treatment with exosomes may be the perfect solution. ‘

Dr. Roger Schechter, the Chief Medical Officer of ExoCel Bio https://www.

One of the major advantages of using exosomes is that they are a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t require any downtime or recovery period. Exosomes are the perfect complement to laser therapy, which can cause

Ask Us Beauty Reader Question I’ve had the same hairstyle for years—shoulder length and pin straight. I’m ready for a drastic change. Any ideas or advice for a cool hairstyle for a woman about to turn 45? And how can I be confident in my decision? Thank you so much for writing! There are so many fun style options for women in their forties. We are starting to get edgier, and I love it. Here are some current style trends to complement your daily maintenance routine. I recommend a high, textured bob for the morning warriors. If you’re feeling a little more spontaneous, you can add some asymmetrical lines to the cut. Blow dry it upside down and use texture spray for ‘pieciness.’ If you’re not a morning person, stick with clean, layered 56


lines, like undercuts and a-line bobs. You can also add a cute side bang for a dash of daring. These styles are easy to blow dry upside down and go. The right stylist will help guide your decision, making you feel comfortable, no matter what you choose.

Jessica Spaziani Mawhir Salon Owner/Stylist IG @ETownStylist





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Love, Loss, & Infertility By Monica Bivas @monicabivas

nfertility is the inability to conceive a child naturally after a year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. This diagnosis affects millions of couples worldwide and can result from a range of factors, including medical conditions, age, lifestyle, and environmental factors.


How to Cope With infertility as a Couple

The struggle to conceive is a challenging and emotional journey for anyone who experiences it. While it’s a deeply personal and sensitive subject, it’s essential to recognize that infertility can bring unique and unexpected challenges to a couple’s relationship. From feelings of frustration and disappointment to stress and anxiety, infertility can cause a range of emotions that can be overwhelming for both partners.

Here are some tips on how to cope with infertility as a couple: • Communicate Openly • Seek Professional Support • Take Care of Yourself • Explore Treatment Options • Maintain Intimacy • Join a Support Group

In this article, we’ll look at some of the challenges couples may face, offer tips for coping with the emotional strain of infertility, and explore some of the resources available to help you and your partner through this challenging time. Whether you’re just starting to explore your fertility options or have been trying to conceive for some time, we hope this article will offer valuable insights and support.

How to Cope With Pregnancy Loss as a Couple

How Can Infertility Affect the Couple’s Relationship? Infertility can affect a couple’s relationship in many ways, both emotionally and physically. Here are some relationship problems that could arise due to infertility: • Stress and Anxiety • Emotional Distance • Blame and Guilt • Sexual Problems • Social Isolation • Financial Strain • Different Coping Mechanisms 58


By working together and supporting each other through the challenges of infertility, you can strengthen your relationship and increase your chances of conceiving.

Pregnancy loss is a devastating experience for any couple. The emotional pain can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to navigate this tragic time. However, by working together and supporting one another through the grief of pregnancy loss, you can strengthen your relationship and find healing and hope for the future. Here are some things to remember when coping with pregnancy loss: • Allow yourself to grieve and process the loss • Always communicate with your partner • Seek professional support from a therapist or counselor, preferably one who has experience working with couples who have suffered pregnancy loss • Join a pregnancy loss support group • Take care of yourself and prioritize self-care.

The Financial Impact of Infertility on Your Relationship Infertility can also have a significant impact on a couple’s finances. The cost of infertility treatments and related medical expenses can quickly add up, placing a financial strain on couples. Here are some tips on how to manage the financial impact of infertility: • Develop a plan and be prepared for potential expenses • Explore financing options and seek support from organizations that offer assistance with infertility treatments • Consider alternative paths to parenthood, like adoption or surrogacy, which may be more financially feasible

the emotional and practical challenges of infertility. However, there are ways for couples to cope with infertility and come out stronger on the other side. Coping with infertility requires patience, resilience, and a willingness to work together to overcome the challenges that infertility presents. By taking care of each other, seeking support when needed, and working together as a team, couples can find hope and healing and build a stronger and more resilient relationship.

The Benefits of Couples Therapy During Fertility Treatment Couples therapy can be an effective way to navigate the emotional challenges of infertility and improve communication, connection, and support between partners. Here are some benefits of going to therapy: • Improving Communication • Managing Stress and Anxiety • Identifying and Managing Expectations • Strengthening Emotional Bond • Managing Difficult Decisions

Conclusion Infertility is a complex and emotionally draining experience that can significantly impact a couple’s relationship. It can lead to feelings of isolation, grief, and stress, and it can be difficult to know how to navigate BETTER WITH AGE




orn in Colombia, and raised in sunny Miami, FL, founder and creative director of De La Heart Gigi Vogel wanted a way to share her ancestral beauty and wellness secrets with the world—and help everyone discover the transformative benefits of self-love and self-care. After years in the fast-paced and stress-filled fashion industry, Gigi realized she needed to take a different path—one where she could live with purpose, find balance and restore her health. She began researching holistic wellness practices she could incorporate into her daily life and studied health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Her studies deepened her knowledge of plant-powered nutrition and natural therapies to promote well-being in both mind and body. Gigi turned to social media to share her advice and experiences with the local community and quickly gained a global following. From there, she created the tools she and her followers needed for optimal wellness. De La Heart’s first launch, The Body Massage Tool, brought together the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage and traditional Colombian maderoterapia (wood therapy). Hand-crafted with love in Colombia, this essential tool allowed individuals to easily perform their own detoxifying, stress-relieving, and immune-boosting self-care ritual in the comfort of their own home. Since then, De La Heart has grown into a talkedabout and trusted brand that provides natural body and face care tools, plant-based skincare,



and body-sculpting essentials. And they’re not stopping there. They’re looking forward to a beautiful future, and they’re dedicated to bringing you the self-care essentials you need for your mind, body, and soul. Q. Can you share a bit about De La Heart? I founded De La Heart in 2017 as a way to share love and promote wellness through accessible rituals. While on my own wellness journey, I

Q. What are some benefits of your at-home lymphatic drainage massage kit? A regular lymphatic drainage massage practice helps to reduce inflammation and fluid retention, promote a healthy immune system, and leave your mind and body feeling refreshed and energized. In addition, it can help gently release tension in your fascia (your body’s network of connective tissue), leading to smoother-looking skin. Shop at

discovered the transformative power of lymphatic drainage, as well as ancestral beauty secrets and community insights from my native Colombia. This inspired me to create our patent-pending Body Tool, a simple yet effective tool to bring the traditional lymphatic drainage ritual into your homes in just a few minutes a day. From there, I’ve continued to explore and test products and rituals, developing and bringing the best to our community, including a dry body brush, facial dry brush, visors, oils, and more. Based on the principles of wellness, mindfulness, lymphatic health, high performance, and healthy aging, De La Heart continues its dedication to making wellness accessible to more people and promoting a healthy and mindful lifestyle. BETTER WITH AGE




Making an Impact CHERYL POLOTE WILLIAMSON IG: @ cherylpwilliamson


r. Cheryl P. Williamson is an influential Dallas

families, careers, and community relationships can

businesswoman, philanthropist, highly

thrive. Soul Reborn focuses on transforming the lives of

sought-after transformational speaker,

disadvantaged, disenfranchised women by educating

mindset coach, award-winning filmmaker, an executive

and equipping them with the tools for life and business.

producer of Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa

From volunteering time to clothing donations and more,

Alpha Sorority, the author of many best-selling books,

there are many opportunities to serve at Soul Reborn.

including Affirmed: 365 Days of Positive Thoughts and

If you are interested in finding out more or making a

Actions to Start Your Day, the editor-in-chief of Cheryl

donation, please visit

Magazine, and the owner of Affirmed By Dr. Cheryl, an affirmation journal and candle company. This woman is

“I created Soul Reborn to empower and impact women

making an impact.

within my community and beyond by providing resources, connections, opportunities, and grants that will

Amazingly, Cheryl is also the founder of Soul Reborn, a

bring about transformational results in their lives and

Dallas non-profit that serves as a catalyst for women

businesses. Impact requires acts of service and acts of

who have experienced significant trials during their

change and I’m dedicated to delivering impactful results

lives. Through personal and professional programming,

by empowering as many women as I can for the better.”

Soul Reborn helps women to heal, identify their purpose,

- Cheryl P. Williamson

and fully use their unique talents and gifts so that their BETTER WITH AGE




Maybe It’s Time for You to Change Your Mind Your mindset reshape doesn’t have to be a huge career

If you begin to take the necessary steps, even just one at

shift like Gail’s. It could possibly show up as learning

a time, to achieve your goals, change your worldview,

a new skill or getting certified in something you feel

or change how you feel about yourself, the complete

gifted at. Maybe it’s serving in the community or just

empowerment you will feel will be a total reset for your

being there for a friend or acquaintance who needs your

life. It’s amazing that when you choose to make one

encouragement and help.

small improvement in any area of your life, the state of your mind, heart, and soul begins to change and

Are you fulfilled? What needs to change? Are you willing

reshape almost immediately. It’s the best feeling! Money

to take the risk to receive the reward? If you are truly not

can’t buy it, no one can give it to you as gift, you cannot

happy deep within, you can make that choice to take

borrow it—it’s all you and your determined spirit not to

steps to reshape the area of your life that is no longer

settle and to build the best version of you.

serving you. You can be happy; you can be fulfilled; you can create a life you love. Mindset is the key—it all starts there. Your mindset can either stop you or propel you; it’s your choice.

Refusing to Settle

I decided to admit what was really going on in my life

Something in me resisted, hard. I wasn’t going to let my

and my body. I turned to my girlfriends—friends I’ve been

friends or myself throw in the towel. I wanted so much

close with since before kindergarten and who knew me

more for us. I said, “Oh, no! It’s not going to go down like

well. When I finally acknowledged what was going on

this, . I want to live a vibrant life. I’m willing to fight for it!

and asked if they were going through any of the same

I am going to fight for every hair on my head. I am going

things, one said, “Oh Ali, that’s what happens when we

to fight for making love and actually wanting to. I am


going to fight for good quality sleep. I am going to fight for the energy to run around with my kids, laughing and

“These things are inevitable,” another said. “After all,

playing with them instead of sitting on the sidelines of

we’re over forty.”

my life This isn’t working for me so I’m going to change it. I am going to reshape this area of my life because I am

I was stunned. They were passing all these things off

worth it!”

as aging—as if feeling miserable was predestined, unavoidable. Adapted from Reshape Your Life: Don’t Settle Because You Are Worth It. Copyright © 2023 by Ali Landry. Published by Thomas Nelson. IG: @alilandry BETTER WITH AGE




A Journey of Love, Faith, and Redemption Written by Michelle Emmick


our-time Grammy®-nominated R&B legend KEM is a natural-born storyteller, so it’s no surprise that his new memoir, Share My Life, would be a beautifully guided and heart-centered timeline of his journey to selfdiscovery. Like the music he sings, his stories are filled with emotion. Share My Life is KEM’s journey of love, faith, and redemption. “I’ve always shared my story from the stage and from different platforms that I’ve been privileged to be on, but the book was the perfect vehicle for me to expound on some of the themes of my life, some of the influences in my life, and my spiritual journey overcoming addiction and homelessness. It’s not a self-help book proper, but my hope is that by having experienced great healing and great transformation, I can positively impact someone else.” KEM’s authenticity and vulnerability, shown throughout his work, are built on a foundation of faith. “It’s the foundation upon which I’m allowed to sit and have this conversation with you; it’s infused and ingrained in my music. I look at what I do as a ministry. I am a secular artist, not a gospel artist, but I believe I’m speaking the language of someone who’s seeking to have better outcomes in their lives.” KEM’s spiritual walk began when he got sober in 1990 at age 23, after finding himself in and out of soup kitchens and shelters—stories he shares in his book. Far from a rags-to-riches story, KEM grew up with college-educated parents, a house, and a two-car garage in the suburbs. Compellingly, KEM shares that he didn’t know how to live, but through his journey, he found a place of surrender for his life. “I became teachable. I realized I don’t have the answers. And sometimes, when you don’t have the answers, that’s the best place to be because now you can be taught.” In addition to his strong faith, a big part of his redemption came from therapy. “Therapy was everything—allowing ourselves to look over our lives and peel back layers.” KEM had been sober for over a decade before he started therapy during a pivotal time of crossroads in his life. “I had just signed to the Motown label and had been chasing a record deal since I was a teenager. That was the dream, and now here it sat in my lap. I always thought that landing the deal or having success in the business was going to be the thing that made everything okay, but that was not the case. It doesn’t make everything okay. As

fantastic and rewarding and validating as it is and as big of a blessing as it has been in my life, it didn’t resolve and solve everything. There was so much left in my life that had not yet been dealt with.”KEM’s memoir details exactly what ensued during those years and how he took steps in faith to understand and gain the tools necessary to heal. “Your mind is everything, and there is no shame in taking care of yourself. For me, therapy was transformative.” Having personally experienced some of life’s most difficult circumstances, KEM now uses his platform to give back. In 2012, KEM launched a nonprofit to support a cause very near and dear to his heart. Mack & Third is an organization built on the premise that no basic human need should go unmet due to a lack of resources. “I’m a staunch believer in supporting any cause, just like the people who helped me when I was in the darkest period of my life. No matter where we sit, we can be effective in helping another human being.” KEM’s journey is an amazing story of perseverance. From his earliest days making music and selling records out of his car, to his self-released first album, KEMISTRY (which went on to sell over 500,000 copies), to becoming an internationally renowned R&B singer/songwriter with a Platinum-selling album, two Gold-selling albums, five Grammy® nominations, eight #1 hit singles, and sold-out tours and shows, KEM is an example of what love, faith, and redemption can bring. At 55, KEM is better with age and just getting started. When it comes to getting better with age, KEM says aging is mandatory, but getting old is optional. KEM’s incredible memoir Share My Life is available in print and audio at Simon & Schuster, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Bookshop, Indie Bound and wherever books are sold. Check out KEM’s music at, and follow him on IG @musicbykem. To commemorate 20 years in the game, KEM’s first album KEMISTRY will be released as a live version- “Anniversary - The Live Album”. He is currently on his Soul II Soul tour with superstar artist Grammy-winner Ledisi and Musiq Soulchild. Visit https:// for ticketing information.








BEAUTÉ IN TECH By Christina Rodriguez @Beauteintechmagazine





he new generation of internet is described by the buzzword “Web3.”. A new era of the internet has begun.

How does Web3 affect you, and why should you care? Do you know what the term means? Everything associated with the new internet is referred to as Web3. A blockchain’s main function is to decentralize all data and ensure people have access to their digital identities. Currently, we are using Web2, which is all social networking platforms; your data isn’t yours, and many apps are free because your data is used for advertising purposes. Due to this, you get pesky little advertisements on the side of the website. By using your Facebook profile, Facebook advertisers are able to track your shopping and browsing habits and advertise products to you accordingly. Decentralized internet, cryptocurrencies, and the future of money are all powered by blockchain technology. In addition to the utility (or what you give access to when you create an NFT to monetize), a smart contract is what makes it so valuable. An NFT is useful in many ways. The beauty industry, the fashion industry, and Starbucks are just some of the many markets that we’ll be begging to see benefiting from NFTs. NFT stands for non-fungible token, a digital asset representing ownership of a unique item or piece of content, such as a digital artwork or collectible. As an entrepreneur, there are a few key things you should know about NFTs:




NFTs are created and stored on blockchain technology, which means they are unique and cannot be replicated or replaced. NFTs can be used to monetize and sell digital assets, such as artwork, music, videos, and other forms of creative content. NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible allow creators to mint and sell their NFTs to buyers. NFTs can be used for a variety of purposes beyond just selling digital art, such as creating digital collectibles, gaming items, or digital real estate. The value of an NFT can fluctuate depending on demand and rarity, so it’s important to do your research and understand the market before creating or investing in an NFT. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the legal and tax implications of creating, buying, and selling NFTs in your jurisdiction before you start your journey.

Christina Rodriguez is the founder and editor of Beauté in Tech magazine, the destination for all things tech with a female focus. She’s also the host of The Fit Beaute Report, a podcast heard in over 25 countries worldwide and ranked #130 in the tech news category on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Christina travels the world to meet industry leaders in blockchain and cover tech events, and she’s interested in informal STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning communities for Black and Brown middle school girls. She is committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce by preparing girls of color for future STEAM studies and careers. Christina holds a certification from the Blockchain Council as a certified Metaverse Expert. Email











TELLING IT LIKE IT IS By Laurie Jabbar @shesa10times5

hen women look back to their young adult days, we can all remember those ‘seasoned’ women who unapologetically spoke their minds and fearlessly told it straight. Whether in a supermarket, a restaurant, or a shopping mall, they authentically and gracefully called things out, and we younger adult women would observe and think, “I can’t wait until I can handle my business like THAT!” As we age, our mindsets only grow stronger, more genuine, and more resolved. For every crease and wrinkle we gain on our faces, we also gain a bit more armor around who and what we stand for and believe. It’s a magical process that we mature through, and we’d like to think it starts and ends with tolerance.


tolerant of life’s imperfections and roll with it—often with a smirk or chuckle.

The road behind us can be clearly visible in our metaphorical rearview mirrors, and we adjust our lenses completely and comfortably. We put less energy into the unimportant elements of life that don’t fill our hearts and minds. That spill on the rug, the lost item, or running late to an appointment no longer gives us stress. Our kids not being perfect or our partners not doing things as we expect doesn’t trigger us. Instead, we become more

With age, we finally settle into our tolerance lanes. We finally understand that the air we breathe in is the air we breathe out—no more apologies or second-guessing. We’ve earned it. With age, we get better.

At the risk of speaking from both sides of our mouths, we aging women also LOSE tolerance. We know more, put up with less, and expect more from those around us. We invariably tighten our circles, cut off negativity and dead weight, and are at peace with loss because we have finally recognized we can only do and hold onto so much. As the number of trips around the sun increases, our need for more decreases. We only tolerate what brings out our best.



Marci Hopkins @hostmarcihopkins @wake_up_with_marci

Wake Up

With Marci f everything is around alcohol, if your


Thank you so much for joining us, Marci. Let’s

relationships are struggling because of your

talk about your book. Can you share an overview

drinking, if your work is struggling, if you’re

of what it’s about?

just having difficulty in all areas of your life,

It really covers my life, my trials and tribulations,

and it all goes back to your drinking, then that’s

and what I went through. It starts with the story

probably because you have an addiction.

of my trauma, and then it goes into my addiction and, ultimately, my recovery.

Marci Hopkins is an award-winning TV personality and creator and host of Wake Up

It’s kind of a blueprint of my recovery, if you will.

With Marci, a talk show of hope and inspiration.

However, it’s not a 12-step book. My intention is

She’s also the author of Chaos to Clarity: Seeing

to help others, whether we have the same story

the Signs and Breaking the Cycles, a harrowing

or not. You may not have an addiction, but I want

personal account of her journey through abuse,

you to be able to take something helpful away

addiction, and healing. In addition, as a recovery

from this book and move towards a happier life

expert, Marci uses her lived experiences to

through healing mindset shifts, resources that are

educate viewers on television networks like Fox,

available, action items, and introspective work.

CBS, NBC, and ABC. What is your advice to someone who thinks they Ask Us Beauty had the pleasure of speaking with

may have a drinking problem? How do you know

Marci about her story, her book, her show, and

you have a drinking problem, and how do you go

what it means to get better with age.

about seeking help? The first thing I’d say is that if you are thinking about your drinking a lot and questioning if



you are drinking too much, then you probably do have some sort of problem, or at least something you need to look at. You could possibly be at the stage of a really bad habit and be able to start making some shifts for yourself. Maybe the first thing to do is talk with a family member or someone you trust. You could talk to a therapist or look online for support groups. They now have 12-step meetings online, and you don’t even have to turn your camera on; you can just listen in. You can decide if it’s something that resonates with you, something you could connect with, something that could help you. If you are deep in addiction, you need [medical] help to withdraw safely. Making the decision to get help for an addiction is the hardest thing you will ever do. It’s so overwhelming, and it’s so hard to feel all the feelings you’ve been masking. But there’s so much help out there. Let’s talk about your show. The name “Wake Up With Marci” is a play on words. Tell us about how you came up with that name and a little about your show. When I was trying to come up with a name for the show, ‘wake up’ popped into my head all of a sudden. So that naturally kind of unfolded into a morning show. The show is about waking up your subconscious. It highlights stories of those who’ve gone through hardship and ultimately triumphed to give hope to others. I’m so grateful for the people who come on my show and that I get to learn from them and connect with them. There are so many beautiful souls out there.

This issue is about getting better with age. How do you feel you’ve become better with age? I used to only care about what was on the outside; I thought that’s all I had to offer. It always mattered what I looked like on the outside because I didn’t think I had anything on the inside to give. I didn’t know who I was. I was very insecure. I didn’t know my own value. As I got older and through my recovery, my confidence started to grow. I started building self-love; I started evolving as a person and connecting to myself, understanding who I am. And that growth and evolution, striving to be the best person I can be, has made me feel like I shine. I really believe that our beauty stems from our self-confidence and how we feel about ourselves. And if you can live in a place of gratitude and respect for yourself, you start to view life in a different way. Visit to learn more about Marci, her show, her story, and Chaos to Clarity: Seeing the Signs and Breaking the Cycles.



PEACE OF HAPPY By Jamie Watkins


s a happiness coach, I am often asked what makes me most happy. I say it’s embracing the freedom to choose. The

further I get on this journey called life, the more I can appreciate having choices. Think about that menu at your favorite restaurant. Even when you know you’ll choose the same thing every time, it’s nice to know you have options. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I love this quote because it speaks directly to my belief that happiness is a state of being; it’s a mindset. And while we may all know the feeling of being happy, we don’t always lean into the idea of it being something we get to choose. The ‘pursuit of happiness’ makes the idea of grasping it seem unattainable. It’s this thing we’re always working towards. I challenge you to shift your perspective and see happiness as something you can choose by cultivating a series of, what I like to call, higher habits over time. This helps you to rewire your brain by consistently choosing to be happy through a conscious and deliberate effort. I know this to be true because I’ve been able to consistently cultivate happiness over the last 13 years of my life. How? I chose to embark on a journey of self-love, which led me to leave a mentally and emotionally abusive marriage. I chose to practice forgiveness. I chose to use my voice. I gave myself permission and time to heal, and I allowed myself to be open to love 74


again. That was the series of higher habits that changed my way of thinking and cultivated happiness. On a smaller, day-to-day scale, this may look like giving myself a few minutes to sit in frustration before taking five deep cleansing breaths and repeating a mantra: “I choose to let go of this frustration. It’s not serving me. Instead, I choose to be happy.” Then, I pair that intention with actions that support how I want to show up. It’s a practice that, over time, has become part of who I am. I share this so that you, too, can cultivate happiness by leaning fully into the fact that you get to choose. So, start incorporating higher habits in your own life and know that a little goes a long way!

Jamie Watkins is a mental-wellness advocate, keynote speaker, coach, author, and host. Known as the “Happiness Coach,” Jamie is the founder of My Peace of Happy, LLC, a coaching, consulting, and community brand dedicated to empowering women. Taking a proactive approach to the mental health crisis, Jamie empowers and equips women with the tools to improve their overall well-being, prioritize their purpose, and create lifestyle success.



Inspire Always

Marcia Agius

IG: @_inspirealways. Website: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” As we age, the wisdom we gain leads us to a clear conclusion: that kindness really does matter and truly makes a difference. As a result, the Inspire Always community has launched the Kindness Circle. So many people are seeking purpose and meaning in their lives. For many of us, the path is difficult to navigate because our daily lives are fastpaced and full of competing responsibilities. We also tend to believe that giving back needs to be big and bold, requiring much more time and effort than is necessary. Membership in the Inspire Always Kindness Circle aims to solve this dilemma by creating an engaged community, [making] spreading kindness and giving back fun and easy. Join us by visiting our website

Rosanna Pagliaro IG: @rosanna_sd.ambassador released and shared with the world. Favorite Quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou What inspires me? Loving people with my whole heart is the one thing that truly inspires me. I believe that love is the driving force that connects us all. Love is compassion; it’s acceptance of who and what is around you and giving a space in your heart even when you may not understand. Love is support for someone when they are struggling and broken and need someone to lift them up to help them find their way. Love is protection, knowing that you always have someone in your corner that you can reach out to day or night. Love is joy, peace, patience, giving, and kindness. Love is being of service and always finding time to help put a smile on someone’s face. Love is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving! (Mother Teresa) But most importantly, Love is being free of judgment while sharing who you know yourself to be while being comfortable with whom you are sharing it. My mission in this life is to be rooted and established in Love! La Vita E Bella!



Lisa Pinnock IG: @lisampinnock Favorite Quote “I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world… when someone asks me why I cry so often, I say, ‘For the same reason I laugh so often because I’m paying attention.’” — Glennon Doyle Melton What inspires me? Music lights up my world on a daily basis. Being a music educator allows me the unique opportunity to share my gifts and love of music with our young people. Seeing their joy, particularly during the last few trying years, has been incredibly rewarding. I get really excited when I see people shining their inner lights brightly through whatever challenges and obstacles come their way. And that includes me! Over the past few years, I’ve found writing to be one of the most effective ways to share your authentic self. And it doesn’t matter what medium you choose… just write! Helping others to lean into the writing process has become my passion and purpose. It takes heaps of courage to share your personal story with the world, but taking that brave step can also serve as a pathway toward healing and personal growth, where inner strength can be realized in the midst of vulnerability.

Stephanie Jackson Site: IG: @beacon_coachingca What inspires me? I’m most inspired by overcomers — those who have faced tragedy, difficulty, struggles, and adversity and have come through it better and more beautiful for being broken, like the ancient Japanese art form Kintsugi, which takes something that’s broken, making it stronger by repairing and putting it back together with gold. It’s this gold in us that, when refined, we can rebuild and experience life in new and different ways, especially when we share our stories with others; we then shine a light forward and help light the way for someone else. I find resilience incredibly attractive.

Nadia Cerelli IG: @nadiacerelli What inspires me? What inspires me is the opportunity to directly affect change. It is what you have done with life that really matters in the end. Nothing is more important than knowing that you’ve touched people and made a difference.

Women’s W Business League @womensbusinessleague

omen’s Business League (WBL) is where powerhouse women come to connect, grow, and prosper. Built on

core values, like kindness and community, the mission of WBL is to encourage, empower, and inspire women to achieve the highest and best version of themselves. WBL has reignited the power of networking by bringing female entrepreneurs together to share resources and promote their businesses. It is a strong and supportive space where women of all backgrounds can uplift one another with passion, energy, insight, and empathy. The strength of the connections created among our members drives results in business and life. Join us for our signature event, The Summer Soiree, on August 17th at the Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill, MA. Please find details on our website at



Small Town,

Big Heart Written by: Jordan Peden


ame a small town with more history, arts and

For women like Lisa Munter, Heather LaFountain, and

culture, fine dining, shopping, recreation,

sisters Staci and Amy Snider, that couldn’t be more

natural beauty, and thriving downtown

true. But these ladies aren’t just on the receiving end

charm than Saratoga Springs, New York. Go ahead; we’ll

of Saratoga’s vast and luxurious amenities; they’re


contributing to them.

Luxuriously tucked into the foothills of the Adirondacks,

When Lisa Munter saw a need for a service that helps

Saratoga Springs has become one of Upstate New

local nonprofit organizations with fundraising efforts,

York’s premiere destinations. Some are drawn by

she got right to work. It wasn’t long before she looped in

the town’s historical significance (i.e., The Battle

her longtime friend and neighbor Heather LaFountain,

of Saratoga and The Saratoga Race Course); some

and together they launched Knitt. This revolutionary

come to bathe in the region’s natural mineral springs,

philanthropy platform connects donors and nonprofits

touted for their healing powers. Others flock to the

to maximize the giving relationship. With Knitt, users

local, state, and national parks and museums, the arts

can create a free profile to receive curated networking

and entertainment scene, the five-star food and drink

that aligns with their goals and interests. As Lisa says,

offerings, and the boutique shopping and wellness

“It’s for philanthropy.” Luckily, Saratoga is

experiences. And while Saratoga Springs is both alluring

the perfect home for a venture of this nature. “We kind

and inviting to out-of-town visitors, it’s an even better

of feel like we’re in this magic unicorn bubble because

place to call home. “We like to say Saratoga is a great

there are over 160 nonprofits in this small county, and

place to live, work, and play,” says Richie Snyder, Vice

the amount of philanthropy that happens within this

President of Communications for Saratoga County

community is just off the charts,” Lisa shares. According

Chamber of Commerce.

to Lisa and Heather, the giving in Saratoga goes far



beyond the dollars and gets to the heart of grassroots

renowned designer. She opened Snider Fashion,

organizing, volunteering, and just plain helping out. “It’s

a working atelier, in Saratoga after moving back

a very ‘close-Knitt’ community,” says Heather. “I’m

before the pandemic. In her combination showroom/

always very proud to tell people that I live here. This is

manufacturing space, Staci creates and produces

a vacation spot for most, but we get to enjoy it year-

designs for her namesake brand, which is influenced

round. I just feel very fortunate to be here.” And she’s not

by her athletic career and sold in retail stores around

the only one.

the country. “My design aesthetic has a lot of athletic components in it, and part of why women love the

Staci and Amy Snider grew up in Saratoga Springs, and

brand is because they can transfer it from day to night,

while their educational and professional endeavors

but there’s a functionality and comfort to it,” Staci says.

pulled them away from home, they both ultimately landed back where they started. Now, their businesses are part of the beating heart that makes Saratoga Springs special. Staci entered the world of fashion after retiring from a professional running career, becoming a world-



Though it’s rare for such an acclaimed creator to set up shop in a small town, Staci believes the rich history and nature, thriving downtown, and strong sense of community make Saratoga the perfect place for the boutique. In fact, Staci’s work has become a cornerstone of community involvement, as she invites aspiring teen designers into her studio as part of a high school internship program. Living in Saratoga also allows Staci to still participate in NYC’s fashion scene, maintain her active outdoor lifestyle, and do what she loves in her hometown, near her sister.



Amy rediscovered her passion for wellness and beauty

Together, Lisa, Heather, Staci, and Amy help make

while living in Mexico by adding kinesiology and dental

Saratoga “a great place to live, work, and play.”

hygiene to her repertoire. She returned to Saratoga to study esthetics and open a business of her own. Inspired

Visit them online!

by the Spirit of Life Fountain in downtown Saratoga’s

Saratoga Springs & Saratoga County

Congress Park, Spa Cascada came to fruition with the


slogan Rehydrate Your Spirit as the guiding principle.

IG & FB: @saratogacountychamber & @saratoga.

“I really wanted to capture elements of history and my


upbringing in a small town to put that into the business model and the business meaning and creation,” says


Amy. Many years later, with a growing clientele of


both locals and visitors, Amy is proud to have kept

IG & FB: @getknitt

that mission at the heart of her spa. She’s also proud to support the Saratoga community by donating

Staci Snider – Snider Fashion

products and services to local fundraising efforts and


participating in Dress For Success, a program that

IG & FB: @stacisnider & @stacisniderfashion

helps women feel and look their best when going to job interviews. And let’s not forget that Amy and Staci

Spa Cascada

provide their neighbors with the perfect self-care


setup in downtown Saratoga Springs. “Our regulars are

IG & FB: @spacascada

going to shop at Staci’s store and then come in for spa services, and it’s so nice that we have that closeness in our community and share so many clients and relationships,” Amy shares. BETTER WITH AGE





hen I was four years old (and then again at age 5), my parents sent me to England – alone – to spend the

summer with my grandparents. This life-changing experience ingrained in me a love of travel that has become part of who I am. Those were courageous decisions by my parents, and I’m so grateful for their foresight! Because of those trips at such a young age, I established a deep connection to my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins — most of whom still live in the UK. I’ve continued this tradition with my kids, and we’re lucky to have taken many family

sweater that’s very flattering. It’s the only item in my

trips to Europe. We recently went again, this time to

closet that I own in several different colors. I always

celebrate my dad’s life, and had a wonderful time

take it when traveling.

together. I believe that traveling to different places, experiencing new cultures and meeting people from

The ATM t-shirt is my number one t-shirt choice, and

diverse backgrounds brings out the beauty in others …

you can wear it all year ‘round. Same with the J.Crew

and in ourselves.

cashmere sweater — it’s a basic I’ve had for years, and it still looks good. An oversized poplin shirt is stylish

Today, I thought I’d share a handy packing list with

and practical, and if you tie the J.Crew sweater over

the 12 must-haves you need in order to make travel

your shoulders, it will give you a little warmth — but

easy and effortless. I’ve referred to this list on many

you’ll still look cool.

occasions, especially since I traveled more in 2022 than I ever have — almost monthly. All the items I find

I love faded denim, and these jeans by Mother are my

useful are below, like the black scarf I take on every

current favorites. I also really like Mother Hustlers in

single trip, or the Beis Weekender bag that holds all

white. They both look great with pretty much anything!

your necessities. And the biggest game changer of

If you want comfy travel pants, the Varley Parkhurst

all? Compression packing cubes! I also shared some

Joggers are my new favorites – they’re lightweight, and

travel gear that actually works. Keep reading to get a

super comfortable to wear on the airplane.

few ideas for your next trip — no matter where you’re going. Happy travels!

For jacket options, this Rag & Bone Slade blazer is perfect for travel since it’s a knit style, so it’s

The J.Crew Juliette Cardigan is a versatile, longer 82


comfortable. Bonus: you’ll also get the look and



polish of a blazer. A lightweight sweatshirt is also

I love these monogrammed jewelry cases & travel tags

handy to take on a trip — this Anine Bing one is a

by Mark & Graham. They both come in many different

favorite, it looks good with both jeans and joggers.

colors, and you can customize them to your liking.

Dresses hardly take up any room and are super easy

A good pair of sunnies is a must, both for looks and

to pack. When you’re going somewhere sunny and

for eye protection. And, of course, you should never

the temperature is 70 degrees or above, they’re a safe

leave home without a hat! Baseball caps are trendy,

bet! It’s a one and done vacation outfit - a little black

but they also protect your face from the sun and work

dress is always in my suitcase.

magic on bad hair days.

Highly recommend the Veja Campo sneakers for

Finally, get yourself a suitcase you like. I prefer hardside

travel; they’re comfy and stylish, and I’ve been

spinners that come in a few different sizes. Sometimes

wearing mine everywhere for months. These new

you just can’t get everything into a carry-on!

black patent Sam Edelman Bay slide sandals are extremely comfortable — they feel updated and

I hope these suggestions are helpful and make

casual, but also look kind of dressy and just plain cool.

planning your next trip exciting and easy!

Lastly, I always bring a tote to carry my iPad, papers, phone, water, snacks and travel essentials. This YSL Canvas tote is practical; it stands up when you load it, and it adds a little pattern to your outfits!

TRAVEL GEAR THAT ACTUALLY WORKS These compression packing cubes are my #1 musthave while traveling, and they’re essential for staying organized while packing. The Beis Weekender Bags sell out almost instantly, and for good reason … they’re amazing! I use mine as a carry-on for a flight (it has a special trolley strap to slide over your suitcase handle), or for a quick weekend getaway. This Bagsmart travel bag is my favorite makeup organizer. I take it on every trip because it’s easy to carry, and it keeps all your makeup and skincare products in one place and easy to see. And, you can hang it anywhere! Similar to the Juliette Cardigan, this cashmere/silk scarf acts as a mini blanket on the plane — it’s super thin, and stylish, but it also keeps you warm! 84



My journey in fashion began at Nordstrom over 25 years ago as a buyer, manager and stylist. I gained firsthand knowledge of trends, market demands and the business of retail, and made lots of friends along the way. However, my greatest “aha” moments came during my years as a personal stylist. While in the dressing room one-on-one with clients, day in and day out, I came to this simple realization: in order to build a successful, stylish wardrobe, we need key pieces that work well together and can be worn over and over again. So, after an incredibly fulfilling career at Nordstrom, I wanted to put all my knowledge, expertise and passion in one place – and that’s why I created my website, So Susie. So Susie is where I share everything I learned in the dressing room and make recommendations so you can put together outfits for real life. I work very hard to make So Susie informative, beautiful and inspiring! WEBSITE/SOCIAL HANDLES: Website: Instagram: @susie.wright Pintrest: @sosusiewright YouTube: @SusieWright



Mommy Makeover in Miami


elebrity makeup artist of 22 years Lauren Vena launched her first book, My Mom... The Best Mom Ever, during the height of COVID in 2020. Little did she know that her hashtag #makingtheworldbeautiful would take on a new life. Women started sharing their stories and hardships on their journey to becoming moms. Inspired, Lauren gathered up her hair, fashion, and photography colleagues who also dedicated their services to treating hard-working moms to “Mommy Makeovers.” This initiative started locally in small-town New Jersey when Lauren received hundreds of nominations for deserving moms to get made over. Lauren and her glam squad have opened this campaign to moms across the United States and continue to make the world beautiful one mom at a time. Ask Us Beauty was onsite for an amazing event in Miami to celebrate moms. Sponsored by V/O Med Spa and led by celebrity Makeup artist, Author and Speaker Lauren Vena, Pro Celebrity Photographer Jessica Cirz and Celebrity Master Stylist Eddie Wunderlich, and Directory of Photography Isaac Perez, the star-studded LV Mommy Makeover Gala was a charity fundraiser for the nonprofit organization



Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center and a beauty transformation weekend for two deserving moms, Aimee Tompkins and Melisa Cassiliano. This inspiring event was a magical weekend of making dreams come true!

Know a mom deserving of a makeover? Visit EVENT SPONSORS @jessicacirzphotography @eddieWunderlilch @izzyperez @raerearden @makeupartist_lv @viomedspa @jaymackmuzik @askusbeautymagazine @littlechompions @mariabloemendaal_realestate @desertharvestaloevera @realhomechef @eatfreshkitchen @anaisnailspa @ragenjewels @gothamgym @caseyrglover @studio3dbrowsfl @chewinggumboutique @josephribkoff



Celebrating FRIENDSHIP

Written by: Samantha Sheppard IG:


here is nothing better than having great friends, especially the ones who have been by your side through life’s ups and downs. Friendships keep us healthy and full of life! The intimacy, support, equality, and emotional bonds we have in our friendships are unique. Samantha Sheppard has been friends with Sarah Thayer since high school, and just like these two ladies, their friendship has grown better with age. Sarah and I met around 1996 - her freshman year [of high school]. We were 15 and 16. I’m a year older than her, and our birthdays are four days apart. We lost touch after high school for several years; however, we reconnected through business eight years ago and have been inseparable ever since. We both live in Central Pennsylvania, about 30 minutes apart (but we hang out every week). Sarah is the kind of friend that you never want to be 88


without. She will always pick up the phone when you are crying, remembers the smallest things that make you laugh, and is a relentless cheerleader of even the craziest of ideas. Sarah understands the importance of being able to truly listen and encompasses the true spirit of what authentic friendship is. She makes me a better person, and I wouldn’t want to go through life without this beauty. Sarah is the first person to offer to help and will always show up with my favorite coffee just to make me smile. She does that for all the special people in her life. Sarah goes the extra mile with a huge smile. She is a classic beauty because her authenticity allows her to shine everywhere. June 8th is National Best Friend Day! Do you have a best friend you want us to highlight? Send us a nomination @ advertise/application/


Father By Marianne Pienias

“At least they are still talking about me.” -Dad


y dad is a very funny and wise man who loves to talk. He is always animated and telling stories, giving his two cents, wanted or unwanted. There are times when we are on the phone and I’m trying to tell him about my friends or co-workers, and he would jokingly interject, “Did they ask about me?” So, as I am typing this, I am both crying and laughing. Of course my dad had a heart attack this week when we are in the middle of creating our “Better with Age” edition. Well played, Dad, well played. I find it interesting that the little things, like his crazy sayings, that I once found annoying, are what I’m cherishing the most these days. There are so many instances when I’m having the best or worst day, something will trigger a little voice in my head and bring a smile to my face. I have to give one more example- because that’s what my dad would do. Some of you may be thinking ok, enough already, but, like my dad, I’m going to keep going because I believe I have a valid point to make. Whenever I thought someone wronged me in some way, my dad would always tell me, “You just need to be crazier than them.” And one day, back when I was a high school teacher, I confided in my dad that a kid was pounding on my door and swearing at the top of her lungs, but the principal brushed it off saying the

student was having a bad day. My dad simply told me the quote and said, “Go pound on the principal’s door and start swearing at him, and then say you’re having a bad day.” Like my dad’s story, this article has a point, a reminder to all that the circle of life is inevitable but does not have to be sad. And life is like a good book: sometimes you rush through the pages because it is interesting, terrifying, and exciting at times, but in the end, all the loose ends get tied up and you close the cover as a wiser person. And as much as you are tempted to reread the book again, it will never be the same. The first time was perfect, and the memories are everlasting. And one last story, for real this time! The cardiologist was patient. He endured countless stories from my dad who was rambling on and on about his wife, his daughters, maybe even high school, but the doctor knew he must plan his exit, for he had a job to do and other lives to save. The doctor tried to nonchalantly escape by sliding to the door, but my dad, with eyes of a hawk, said, “Wait! I know your time is important, but….” But the cardiologist had his number and simply replied, “Obviously you don’t. Bob, is this next story a joke or even have a point?” Touché! This doctor is good! Crazy, but I know that cardiologist will always remember my dad, too. Yes, maybe I was embarrassed for a moment, but more proud that he is my Dad, and, in my eyes, a Legend. BETTER WITH AGE




hrough the Decades” was the theme of a recent sand sculpting festival that reminded me how the past is often

used as building blocks for the future. The festival comprised of 1,000 tons of sand and more than 14 artists working together to create an experience for visitors to travel back in time through five decades. Mission accomplished! I was overwhelmed by the flood of memories from the tented time capsule and the art of popular throwbacks from the 50s to the 90s (does anyone else remember Mr.Potato Head or the infamous Kool-Aid Man?!). So how does this trip down memory lane connect with this season’s issue of Getting Better with Age? As decades pass us by, we learn so much. We gain experience through life’s greatest lessons that we can take with us into every stage of our life. In reflection on my 20s, I just knew I had all the answers; my 30s were spent figuring out my path, my 40s were spent becoming comfortable with life’s choices, and now that I’m in my fifties, I’m living my purpose. Getting better with age? You betcha! For me, getting better with age is not getting better at things; it’s more about learning lessons and using them to get better at life. The movement of time isn’t something to be feared or dreaded—it’s something to

Co-Founder & Managing Editor

be embraced and is new territory for the future! As festivities get underway to celebrate the second anniversary of Ask Us Beauty Magazine this June, we are so grateful for the amazing stories so many of you shared with us. Thank you for allowing us into your hearts and home. We have enjoyed the journey, embraced all the lessons learned, and promise the best is still yet to come!



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