Ask Us Beauty Magazine: Holiday Beauty 2022

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5 Tips

to improve your holiday food mood


MUA Elena George

Christie Brinkley The Beauty of Happiness

Stretch your holiday budget with GMA’s

DEALS & STEALS Tory Johnson

Jewelry Designer

Kendra Scott’s new book

Born to Shine

Activate the Power of Your Skin From Within SERUCELL.COM | @SERUCELL






SENIOR EDITORS Marianne Pienias Jordan Peden

COVER Photography by Anna Gunselman IG @annagunselman


CONTRIBUTORS Ali Landry Amber Shaw Arianne Zucker Diane McMillen Dr. Beverly Pedroche Elena George Josie Bissett Laurie Yannon Wing Marcia Agius Marianne Pienias Jordan Peden



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 the 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


Discover the results that only Nitrogen Plasma Technology can deliver. What made you decide to offer the all new AgeJET Eye treatment? We were looking for a standout eye treatment and AgeJET Eye met our rigorous requirements. It is an easily delegated treatment that doesn’t require intraocular shields, has minimal downtime with highly reproducible and consistent results. Where do you find the most value in AgeJET Eye? Patient comfort is a big advantage for the treatment. However it is also very quick to perform, and patients frequently reschedule themselves due to result satisfaction. What has the patient response been from those who have had AgeJET Eye? Since we launched it the response has been very positive. The number of procedures has been increasing monthly from patient referrals. We’ve had to do very little marketing to date to fill the schedule. How soon can AgeJET Eye results be seen, and how long do they last? Results from AgeJET in terms of texture begin immediately after the skin sheds post treatment. However studies with plasma technology have shown results to continue to improve up to a year. We have only had the device for less than a year so I can’t personally speak to longevity since our patients are still well within the collagen and elastin production cycle but we expect result duration to be consistent, if not better than, with traditional modalities for skin tightening and resurfacing. How do results of the AgeJET Eye compare to other common non-invasive cosmetic treatments? In my opinion the AgeJET Eye treatment is in a class of its own when it comes to energy treatments around the eye. By providing a means to treat the entire eyelid skin architecture with a controlled safe energy source we are seeing quicker results with less downtime than with fractional or ablative procedures.

Tawni Weaver, Founder and Owner of Renu Medispa What makes Renu Medispa so exceptional is the philosophy Tawni upholds and adheres to without exception: to be THE BEST. Period. Tawni understands that to be the best, it must begin with her. As such, she has immersed herself in the finest training available in this field. Tawni holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University, as well as advanced training in drug physiology, chemistry and physics.

AgeJET made my skin so much clearer, tighter, and younger looking that my friends were asking what I had done. When I told them it was an awesome new plasma skin treatment, they literally called the office to schedule an appointment. - Sarah W. (Columbus, OH)




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contents: WE SALUTE YOU








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Let it glow, let it glow



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AUB’S Book of the Month




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am often asked the question “Why a magazine?” My first response is to answer with the question “Why not?!” When it comes to a career, it’s

about finding work that is fulfilling and rewarding. That’s how I feel about Ask Us Beauty. We tell stories that are significant to us and others, and I believe we make a meaningful impact by doing so. Our platform bestows me a sense of purpose and makes me feel connected. It allows me to ask questions, be involved and informed, and find out how others are impacting the world, so that we can share their purpose too. It personally brings me happiness and keeps my hope alive during these crazy times we live in– because there are so many amazing individuals doing incredible things, who are spreading goodness by sharing their gifts that enrich not only their lives but the lives of others as well. I hope to always recognize that beauty and help bring that beauty to the masses. I’ve read that having purpose is the purest form of motivation because when you are pursuing the things in life that give purpose, you know that your work, your contribution, and the example you lead becomes helpful and inspirational to others. How beautiful is that?! Most people are about creating a better life for themselves and for their loved ones. That doesn’t always come easy. Some people were born into a generation of ‘do whatever it takes to put food on the table.’ For some, it’s life’s circumstances or limiting beliefs that create opportunities for learning and growth. Then there are others who come out of the gate knowing their purpose and have a clear path to get there. Here’s the thing, there is a spark that lives inside each of us, and the more curious and involved we are in life, the sooner that passion and spark will ignite. So how do we get lit? (much different context here than the young kids’ use of the word, but still appropriate) If you have not yet found that inner calling and ways to make an impact, start by figuring



out your strengths and your passions. There’s some self-discovery involved, but you can also try getting outside of yourself. Do for others, volunteer, pay it forward. The options are limitless, and I promise it will get that flame a little hotter. Inside this issue, we are showcasing individuals who are living their purpose, who found their spark and sharing it with the world. My hope this holiday season is that everyone finds that spark inside them. Because you have something, we all have something, and when we find it and use it, that spark can turn into a wildfire of hope, happiness, and a lasting impact for all to feel. Let’s get LIT!



Are you ready for an authentic connection? Expect Exceptional. Never Settle.

(800)490-5369 HOLIDAY BEAUTY


Michelle Monique Williams


ichelle Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey, and joined the military at a very early age: “I knew early on that I wanted to be independent, avoid debt, and be an example for others, so I joined the Army National Guard right after my 18th birthday.” Michelle served in the New Jersey Army National Guard for eight years while attending college and earning her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. While assigned, Michelle responded to Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene, providing support to the citizens of NJ. “I’ve held various positions, including HR Specialist at the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, The Yellow Ribbon Coordinator, and HR Sergeant at the 250th Brigade Support Battalion. In 2016, I transferred to Louisiana Army National Guard, where I served as a recruiter, operations sergeant, and now as an HR Officer for the 199th Brigade Support Battalion.”

@iammichellemonique In 2021, Michelle started The Everything Elite brand, a custom apparel and accessories line, in hopes of inspiring people, including her daughter Riyan, to be the best at whatever it is they’re doing. “When you learn that you have the power to do anything, you unlock a sense of being where you no longer accept mediocrity. This is the vision behind the brand, to “Be Elite” and protect that energy.” Michelle shared some words of wisdom with Ask Us Beauty on the importance of exposure and how it can change your mindset. “The more you see in the world allows your perspective to be open to change. If I can give advice to others, it would be to know that you have limitless potential - if you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands. Do all things The Elite Way.”




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Small Town,

Big Heart Written by Jordan Peden



Beer Mama Brunswick, ME


shlee McLaughlin is a chef, brand manager, mom, forager, dog lover, travel enthusiast, cannabis advocate, and beer connoisseur from Brunswick, Maine. As The Beer Mama, she shares her love of beer, parent humor, knowledge of plants, and general expertise with the large following she’s amassed over the last ten-plus years. Ashlee’s title as The Beer Mama was set into motion when she began stopping into Portland’s Novare Res Bier Cafe after work, where she’d plug away at her “chalice list” and ask questions about the beer. “Eventually, my friends and family got sick and tired of hearing me talk about beer all the time, so I thought, ‘Fine, I’ll tell the internet.’” She started posting selfies with each beer – something no one else was doing at the time – and her account took off. Having garnered local, national, and international attention, The Beer Mama is proud to bring recognition to people and places in small-town northern New England. Ashlee’s made a home and a name for herself in a state where the beer and the people are onein-a-million. “There is a level of candor and authenticity that you receive in Maine that you don’t get anywhere else. These are just people who work hard and appreciate the things they do, and every single one of them is out to build a little bit of something, have their little corner of the world, and then support the people around them. The sense of community and diversity [in Maine] really make this place so special.” You can follow Ashlee on Instagram @thebeermama.



Small Town,

Big Heart



Amanda Forman – ABURA


mall-town charm can be hard to come by in a city, but Portland, Maine’s Deering Center neighborhood captures that charisma, thanks to people like Amanda Kate Forman. Amanda is, among many things, an Esthetician and the Founder of ABURA, a self-care studio and skincare line that harnesses the power of botanical ingredients. ABURA was born of Amanda’s belief in the ritual of self-care and her gift for the creation of all-natural products. “Prior to opening the Abura shop, I had a small Esthetics practice in a private office downtown where I offered facials and used only the products I made. I had a small display shelf for clients to purchase products, which turned out to be a big hit,” she shared. In 2019, Amanda discovered the Deering Center storefront space through what she calls a “serendipitous occurrence,” and ABURA opened its doors in April of that year.

made of. “For me,” Amanda says, “beauty is all about confidence. It comes down to feeling comfortable with who you are and how you present yourself to the world.” Having personally struggled with acne and insecurities, Amanda knows how important it is for her clients to understand what works for them and why. “When I see a client, I don’t just want to tell them to use this or that; I want them to know how each product is beneficial, so they understand how to maintain their skin health. There is something incredibly rewarding about being able to contribute to someone’s selfconfidence.”

Since then, ABURA has become a self-care oasis, where large picture windows shed natural light, lush greenery thrives, and clients are greeted with good energy by Amanda and her sweet pup Chloe. At ABURA, clients can purchase Amanda’s handmade line and other natural products from women-owned brands. Skincare essentials–from oils and serums to balms and masks to perfumes and mists–abound in the idyllic shop, but one of the most intriguing things about ABURA is the way Amanda invites and incorporates the Deering Center community, which she describes as a “little safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Portland.” Shortly after opening, she began hosting events, allowing the community to interact with her space and providing opportunities for learning and creation. Amanda told us she “started holding workshops and private events at the storefront, where adults and children could learn how to make their own bath and body products and other items like candles and herbal tinctures.” ABURA also offers facials, body and massage treatments, waxing, brow and lash tinting, and you can even pop in for a tea or tonic beverage. Think of it as a one-stop wellness destination. That holistic wellness and the confidence that comes with it is exactly what Amanda believes beauty is

By that definition, Amanda and ABURA are beautifying the Deering Center neighborhood with health, wellness, kindness, and a firm belief in the ritual of self-care. You can find ABURA online at: Instagram: @aburaskincare






The Beauty of Happiness Written by Michelle Emmick


nside every issue, we ask people what their

was considered ‘model type.’ Ironically, it was

definition of beauty is. There is no right or

those exact attributes that helped me attain

wrong answer because we believe individuals

the success I did. It took time to gain confidence,

can and should define beauty on their own

and over time, and all the things I experienced, it

terms. Once in a while, we hear beauty defined so

put life into perspective for me.” Christie shared

movingly that it makes us stop and pause, wanting

that those learning years, combined with being a

to read it again because the words ring true and

mother, were the genesis in finding her courage

real. In this instance, those words came from the

and learning to speak up for what she believes in

icon of beauty herself, Christie Brinkley. Christie

for herself and others. Christie is a hard-working

shared her sentiments inside the pages of her New

activist and a passionate humanitarian, using her

York Times bestselling book, Timeless Beauty, a

celebrity for good causes. “When you become

book that still provides classic tips and takeaways,

confident in what’s important to you, you become

even years after its release. Of course, it does-

grateful. I wake up in a good mood, and I start

classic, just like Christie.

the day by always counting my blessings–for my health and family. I believe the key to happiness

Christie’s definition of beauty is this:

is practicing an attitude of gratitude. And that

“That special something that makes a person’s

happiness, that’s what keeps you youthful!”

eyes sparkle with humor, that makes a smile genuine and kind. It’s something in a warm hearty

That mindset has positively impacted Christie’s

laugh that lights up a room. It’s an open hand

life and has rippling effects on all who meet

and heart, lending support to those in need. Full-

her. Because what makes her beauty stand

spectrum beauty that comes from someone’s

out above all else lies in her own definition–

soul. People have searched the world over to find

someone who is genuine and kind, with a sparkle

the fountain of youth, but guess what–it’s right

in her eyes and a laugh and smile that can light

inside each and every one of us, in our own heart

up a room, but, most of all, someone with an

and soul! That is the fountain of youth because

open hand and heart.

that’s the part of beauty that will never fade. That’s the beauty you want to cultivate.”

After an astounding almost five-decade career, what makes this one-of-a-kind beauty so magical

And cultivate she does, by living her life rooted

is that she is still surprised by the impactful role

in happiness. Part of that happiness stems from

she plays as a champion for women by creating

a strong sense of self-belief. “Years ago, when

and preserving beauty. Christie shared that she

I started in the modeling profession, I was very

looks to the women ahead of her who faced

insecure. I never felt like I had model looks or was

the aging process with a certain kind of grace.

the model weight. I looked different than what

“I think, for me, seeing smart, beautiful women HOLIDAY BEAUTY


like Lynn Redgrave, Candace Bergen, and Jane Fonda was my guiding inspiration. It’s important– representation–and if I can inspire others, I am honored. I want every woman to know it’s up to you how you are going to age. Let’s face it; a good hair day is a good hair day. And when you feel good, you’re glowing! Do things for yourself. Practicing mindfulness and trying to fuel your body with that good energy, good nutrition- that is magic.” Christie has been vocal about her healthy lifestyle and her reliance on following the rainbow diet, a menu filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. “I believe we can influence our bodies by feeding our body colors,” she told us. Christie also shared that one of the worst things we can do to our bodies is drink sugar. As a part of her happiness mission, Christie took on the challenge of finding something amazing to drink, producing Bellissima Prosecco & Sparkling Wines. “I love this brand so much! Zero sugar, all organic, all vegan. We started with three Proseccos and expanded with two more. And now I am very excited to announce that we are currently launching five new still wines, and like all our wines, they are made with 100% certified organic grapes certified vegan, and all five are zero sugar and delicious! I am especially thrilled with my first two red wines, a cabernet sauvignon and merlot. They are so good, and I can’t stress enough to everyone that it’s OK to enjoy a glass of wine.” In addition to healthy eating, Christie says a key to staying vibrant is staying active. One of the many ways she’s stayed active is by staying in shape. Christie has been a long-term spokesperson for The Total Gym. “Years ago, they approached me, and I needed to try it for myself. I thought it was great. It worked every part of the body, it was a great price, and it was a fun way to exercise. 18


You can focus on the mind-body connection

and owner. SBLA Beauty’s mission is to empower

or workout while watching TV. I believed in the

women everywhere to age beautifully on their

product and believed it could help others. Now,

own terms by providing an alternative and a

here we are more than 25 years later, and it’s still a

compliment to expensive in-office cosmetic

bestselling total body equipment!”

procedures. The revolutionary beauty tools deliver results, which is what captured Christie’s attention.

America’s most successful, recognized, and

“I know not everyone can go to the dermatologist,

down-to-earth model has made it her mission to

and I also know it’s nice to do something good

help others feel beautiful. “I want people to know

for our skin–get a little lift and boost.” Touted as

they have options. Everyone’s situation is different,

the neck’s best friend, the line offers four distinct

and I have always run my businesses by asking,

serums delivered in signature sculpting roller

‘how is this product going to make people’s lives

ball wands that are airtight to keep the active

easier and ultimately happier?’ If I get behind

ingredients active and at their most powerful

something, it’s because I use it myself.”

potential. All of the products are fragrance-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and

This was exactly what brought Christie to SBLA

vegan. Both the neck and facial wands target

Beauty and led her to become an ambassador

the areas where we show signs of facial aging. “I



started using them, and I was so excited. A few

much easier with the eye wand smoothing out my

years ago, I needed something to help with the

lids and laugh lines. I do, however, want to look my

wrinkles, and these magic wands do the trick.

best, not different, and that’s one of the biggest

As a result, my skin looks smoother and I have

benefits of the SBLA beauty line. How great is it to

seen great results. I use it on my face, neck, and

have a product that helps tighten and improve the

decolletage. It has helped immensely with sun

skin texture, It’s like having an eye lift in a topical

damage, and for someone like me who still loves


the sun, I can apply, let dry, and still use sunblock. It doesn’t dilute, and I still get the results.”

Whether it’s to tighten, smooth, plump, or reduce, one thing we know for sure, and what was


SBLA Beauty recently introduced the Eye Lift Wand,

reiterated by Christie throughout our interview,

which Christie says is unbelievable. “The eyes are

is that there is no better investment than the

the windows to the soul, and I don’t mind having a

investment in yourself. “The effort you put in

few lines around my eyes, but I do find that when

will impact your overall happiness. We all have

I use the SBLA Eye lift wand, when I want to do a

choices, and I want everyone to be happy and live

real makeup and apply eyeliner, it just goes on so

their best life.”




Christie is certainly leading by example and using

day filled with light and happiness. We’re certain

her gifts to live her best life. “I’m doing what

because we can go right back to her very own

brings me the most joy, and I feel grateful every

definition of beauty that describes her best: that

day.” Christie shared that she loves this time of

it’s right inside each one of us, in our own heart and

year and looks forward to the holidays where she

soul. Christie has certainly found the fountain of

can spend time with her family. “On Thanksgiving,

youth so many are seeking. Her secret is classic

we gather in the kitchen, and we cook up a storm.

because that’s the part of beauty that will never,

For Christmas, we usually go to our home in the

ever fade.

Caribbean.” You can purchase SBLA Beauty by visiting www.


No matter where she is, or whom she shares her and Bellissima Prosecco & Sparkling

time with, it’s certain Christie Brinkley is living each




Premium Wines with a premium taste, just the way you like it. The best of the Italian classics and unique Zero Sugar Wines. Always made with 100% organic grapes, certified vegan and of the finest quality. Naturally unique, naturally delicious. Bellissima is created to celebrate life’s most beautiful moments amongst friends, family, and lovers-to-be. So have fun. Smile. Laugh. Love. Open your eyes to all the beauty the world has to offer. And in those moments, remind yourself: #LifeIsBellissima., IG: @bellissimaprosecco




Q: “

What is the best holiday gift you have received or, the best gift you have given…


I have received is a book that I write in every Christmas season. There is a space for favorite photos, who you spent Christmas with, dinner plans, favorite gifts, etc… I’ve been doing this for years since. My favorite gift I gave were ornaments with all of my grandparents, who have passed. They had their picture on them, dates when they lived, and a beautiful saying on the other side.





My mom gave me my parent’s first Christmas tree ornament for my tree. It’s 57 years old. Heather Marie Family tree from a genealogy site. I ended up connecting with two relatives I never knew I had!

Answers by Beauties... I gave my parents hand-drawn pictures of their grandkids from and they loved them. JANINE


Cooking classes with my hubby (I don’t know if he was trying to be funny but we had a great time!). That same year, I gave my hubby Amazon Astro which is a robot for home monitoring with Alexa. Astro is super cute and dances too! SHANTEL


The best gift I have ever received was a donation of honor from Heifer International. It was such a unique gift and it was really cool to know that I made an impact. My best gift was to someone who seemed to have everything except Starlink and who had no idea what it was! AIMEE


My daughter and I run a drive every year for our local animal shelter. DENA

The best gift received was a dog to take with me back to college and he’s been my best friend ever since. The best gift I’ve given was coming home from school earlier than I was supposed to. My parents were so surprised. TANI

A donation made to Disabled American Veterans. TAMMY



By Ali Landry for @alilandry @reshapebyalilandry

A Touch





his year has flown by. I’ve been busy

She taught them how to love themselves through

writing my first book, and I can’t believe it

self care. She believed that self-love is the greatest

is scheduled for release early next spring.

healer of trauma. I saw the truth of this first-hand. It

There is a chapter in the book about beauty, and as I

was a beautiful thing to witness. These were some of

was thinking back to the early days of my career in LA

the most impactful moments of my life.

when I was eagerly learning all the Hollywood beauty secrets, I fondly remember these days because of

What really impressed me was that Vera treated

a woman whom I met, who not only was the most

the girls just as she did all the celebs- with love

fabulous esthetician in town, but she was the one

and respect.

who taught me about true beauty. Vera passed over 10 years ago, and to this day I still I was gifted monthly facials at an exclusive spa in Bel

have some of her products. Seeing them reminds me

Air called Vera’s Retreat in the Glen. It was one of the

of her, of her love, of her spirit. I feel so grateful to be

wonderful perks of being Miss USA. The owner of the

a part of her life and to witness her love in action. She

spa was an amazing woman named Vera Brown, and

taught me never to judge anyone, to always look past

she became for me the gold standard of what beauty

their exterior, and to search for their heart and really

looks like.

SEE them.

Vera was an angel, always helping others and genuinely connecting with people. I was so drawn to her heart and her beautiful spirit. She was in her 70s when we met. To me, she epitomized Old Hollywood. Even if celebrities such as Nicole Kidman or Whitney Houston were in the lobby of her spa, Vera always kept it real. She treated everyone like a rock star. She worked with famous stars, but she also served women in shelters and juvenile halls. She believed every woman is beautiful. To my great delight, Vera took me under her wing, and she taught me the standard by which I measure beauty. Vera invited me to her house one day where she was doing a little day retreat for the girls from MacLaren Hall. She wanted to know if I would help, and I immediately jumped at the chance. Whatever she was doing, I wanted to help. I learned that MacLaren Hall served girls who were in the state system. Vera was incredible at being

As we all move through this busy and celebratory

present with them. She told them how beautiful and

time of year with sparkling lights and glittering tinsel,

perfect they were. She taught them how to care for

be sure to find a minute to share some of your heart

their skin and hair. Some had never received that kind

with our sisters out there who may be in need of an

of attention. She’d hand them a mirror and say in her

extra touch of love this holiday season.

sweet voice, “Look at yourself! Aren’t you lovely?” HOLIDAY BEAUTY


Connection Holiday Gift Guide By Lauren Zoeller IG: @laurenzoeller


he holiday season is almost here, and with it brings cozy dating scenes and deeper connections with the ones you love. Since this issue is all about hope and happiness, I wanted to share with you my favorite “Connection Holiday Gift Guide” for deeper intimacy as you navigate the holidays with the one you love. Whether you are newly dating and trying to break the ice or in a long term partnership looking for spice, this guide will give you the gifts you need for a deeper connection this holiday season. For the Single One Looking To Avoid “Small Talk” Check out {THE AND} Question Deck: Dating Edition. If the date is going well, cozy up in the corner of your favorite hang spot, grab a yummy drink, and pick from 180 questions to ask your date. This is a great way to connect quickly, find out what you both have (or don’t have) in common, and avoid the awkward ‘first date silence.’ {THE AND} Question Deck: Dating Edition $29 For the Seasoned Couple Looking for A “New Adventure” Check out The Adventure Challenge Book: Couples Edition. Take your relationship to the next level by trying new adventures that you never would have thought of for date night. From painting a masterpiece to slow dancing in the moonlight, your adventure is a surprise until you scratch off a challenge. The best part? Once your adventure is scratched off, you have to do it! The Adventure Challenge Book: Couples Edition $49.99 For The Friend Looking For “Deeper Intimacy” Check out Esther Perel’s game of stories Where Should 28


We Begin? Based on a time when Esther Perel was sharing stories with her closest friends, this game is meant to ask the questions that rarely get asked in intimate circles. This game can be played with any one person or a group of people to get to know your people on a deeper level. Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories $40.00 For The Couple Looking To “Spice It Up” Check out the Spicer App for Couples. With 12,000+ questions available for swiping. This app is designed for couples to explore their sexual desires in a secure app designed to spice it up. Link your partner with a discreet code, answer your sex questions, and then view matches you both like. Break free from your daily routine by sending dares to your partner while tracking your sexy time in their customized calendar. Spicer App FREE w/ paid upgrades Regardless of the level of connection you are looking to find with others this holiday season, there is something waiting for you! Remember, “True love is not a hide and seek game: in true love, lovers seek each other.” —Michael Bassey Johnson Bio: Lauren Zoeller is an entrepreneur, host of The Aligned Love podcast, speaker, author and certified dating & relationship coach. As the Founder of The Aligned Love Experience™, Lauren is an expert practitioner in reparenting, generational healing and Somatic Experiencing. Through her work, she created the proprietary Voice Activation Method™ that has been used to help thousands of men and women heal from past trauma and take ownership of their future. Her business endeavors are dedicated to helping build schools for underprivileged children in Honduras with The Boundless Foundation, a philanthropic organization whose mission is to end generational cycles of scarcity and poverty.


Gifts for A YOUNG BEAUTY Memory Stitch

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The Most Wonderful TIME OF THE YEAR


he holidays are a time for family, traditions, good food, and warmth. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few from the list below to hold on to from the past and be open to creating new experiences. Create your own holiday magic this year by stepping out of the ordinary and making different memories you’ll treasure in the years to follow, such as:

• • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • •

Wear matching Christmas or Hanukkah family pjs Watch holiday movies together Get a Christmas tree from a tree farm Bake Christmas cookies Watch a tree lighting Light the menorah together Go ice skating Cuddle by the fire with hot cocoa

Hoops, There It Is!

Bring the fun of arcade basketball home with Pop-A-Shot’s most popular game: the Home Dual Shot! Pop-A-Shot is the original arcade basketball game setting the standard since 1981. The Home Dual Shot offers sturdy construction, wheels for mobility, and the most accurate electronic scoring system on the market. $199.99

Dashing Through Snow!

The WOW Bobsled Snow Tube feels like you’re driving a snowmobile with the unique shape of a Bobsled; a one-person snow tube you can ride kneeling or sitting. The shape of this inflatable snow tube provides a shield from the snow, and the two molded handles help you keep a tight grip. The PVC slick bottom allows for a fast and fun riding experience! Lastly, the durable construction features heavy-gauge cold crack PVC with heat sealed seams, so you can trust this tube to help you make memories all winter long. $89.99 30


By Laurie Yannon Wing

Build a snowman Celebrate the birth of Jesus Make a gingerbread house Sing Christmas carols Create laughter by wearing an ugly sweater Drive around the neighborhood and marvel at the holiday lights Participate in an annual toy drive and/or angel tree to give back to others Listen to holiday music Take a family holiday photo Go shopping for gifts

Speaking of shopping, let’s not forget presents! Here are some of the latest & greatest products that we found for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life.

Game On!

RiotPWR Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) is a must-have for gamers. It turns any iPhone into a portable Xbox. The controller is designed after an Xbox controller with the same buttons and controls, requires zero batteries to use, comes with 1 month free of Xbox Game Pass, and has a unique pass-through charge feature so gamers’ phones can be charged while playing. $69.99

Don’t Get Cold Feet

Polyver Sweden - A classic, timeless pair of premium, high quality winter PU boots that are warm, light, waterproof and comfortable. Polyver boots are tested in the heartland of the vast Swedish forests with clear lakes and snowy mountains. Every single detail is derived from that experience to guarantee to keep the whole family’s feet warm and dry in cold, wet weather. $100 - $185

Candy Cane Wishes And Nutcracker Kisses

Bonnie & Pop Chocolate-Popcorn Basket 3-in-1 Nutcracker Toy Soldier Tins - Delight your loved ones with this magical set of three toy soldiers from the Nutcracker Suite. Pop off their hats and discover a variety of treats like peanut brittle, peppermint candy cane or Peppermint Taffy, caramel popcorn, chocolate covered Oreo cookies, assorted gourmet truffles, and yogurt pretzels. This eye-popping collection comes in three colorful and collectible gift tins that can be split up into three gifts, used as stocking stuffers and used again for holiday decor. $54.99

Kiss The Cook

Whip up delicious meals this holiday season with Phantom Chef Cookware. Crafted from aluminum for even heat distribution and a tempered glass lid with a wooden ‘stay cool’ handle to prevent burns. Non-stick, non-toxic, dishwasher safe, the Complete Cook six piece set has all the cookware you need. Comes in festive holiday red, grey, green, black and navy. $256.00

Take Care Of Your Tootsies

My Pampered Bundle — because your feet never take a day off, so take care of them! This luxury set includes a foldable, easy to store Foot Spa with infrared light to improve blood circulation, aromatic bath salts, foot brush/pumice stone and a one-of-a-kind, patent pending foot towel with strips to dry between your toes. $149.95

Don’t Throw In The Towel

The Spa Dress® New in Eco-Friendly Bamboo is the first outfit made to wear in and out of the spa, at home or travel. Wear as a slip-on towel, beach/pool cover up and it’s usable as a dress-before-you dress.

Stretchy top lightly supports so it doesn’t drop when you need a towel to stay up, offering a new way to use and wear a towel with less wardrobe malfunction. $89.99

We Are Santa’s Elves

Need help with your Christmas Elf and its shenanigans? Whether you love him or loathe him, the Elf on the Shelf has become a popular Christmas tradition with the kids. While seeing your kids’ reactions is worth it, it’s not always easy to come up with ideas for your Elf on a Shelf. The Snowflake Complete Elf Prop Kit takes the guesswork out and turns the Christmas Elf into a spectacular, 24-day holiday tradition! Set up takes just a few minutes per day and each kit comes with a doll stand, wooden easel, velcro dots, putty and almost everything else you may need. $130.00

Keep Calm and Clutch On

“All Things Possible” crossbody clutch purse by Tayshia Adams - For a donation to World Vision of $120, you will receive the “All Things Possible” crossbody purse designed by TV host, multimedia personality, and World Vision supporter Tayshia Adams. This purse carries your essentials in style and is handcrafted by fair-trade artisans in India. Your donation provides essential care for Ukrainian children and their families who are caught in the midst of the humanitarian crisis there.

Everyone Has A Story To Tell

Tell Me Your Life Story series - Discover things you never knew about your family in these beautiful keepsake books for mom, dad and grandparents. The 200+ guided prompts helps capture stories and meaningful moments. The end result is a timeless keepsake of your parents’ or grandparents’ stories and life lessons that can be passed down to share with your children and future generations to come. $9.95 HOLIDAY BEAUTY


The Real Deal


ho doesn’t love a great deal, right? Especially during the holidays when we often spend more than we have or should. No need to panic; we’ve got the woman who is helping us take the stress out of the holidays when it comes to shopping! Tory Johnson created “Deals & Steals,” the popular weekly shopping segment on ABC’s Good Morning America, and she has helped shoppers save over one billion dollars in the last ten years! She also curates weekly segments for daytime’s popular gabfest The View and monthly bargains for LIVE! Kelly & Ryan. Tory is so obsessed with online shopping that she launched, a marketplace site named for the average number of packages she receives daily, given her line of work. Tory has always loved being a service to others, and she’s been able to catch the hearts of so many by being above board in all aspects of her life, both personally and professionally. In her best-selling book The Shift, Tory shares her personal discovery of a happier life through the grueling details of overcoming hard times. Tory has always had good intentions, which oftentimes led to putting others first: “I’ve always been much more comfortable serving others than I am at taking care of myself. I don’t say that proudly, as I’ve learned that self-care is essential.” Tory reveals how she learned to not let others’ needs interfere with her own wellness. After a life-long struggle with weight, Tory lost over 60 pounds in a year and, to this day, has kept the majority of it off. She recalls how her weight battle intensified when her mom became ill: “When my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, we relocated her from Miami Beach to live with my family in our New York City apartment. Unfortunately, the move was right when the pandemic hit and the whole city began shutting down. I worried about everything–work, COVID, caretaking, and the unimaginable: facing life without my mom. The stress of caring for her weekly doctor visits and several intense hospital stays that were worsened by strict COVID protocols—led me back to that too-familiar, mindless, emotional eating. While I recognized what I was doing, nothing seemed to get me to revert myself 100% back to the healthy habits I had worked so hard to form—no amount of meditation, exercise, positive self-talk, or tight clothing. As I am still slowly working to recover 32


Tory Johnson @ToryJohnson

from my slip, I don’t allow my imperfection to hold me back or derail my happiness. That alone is progress.” We couldn’t agree more, Tory. And while Tory enjoys making an impact on others by sharing her relatable personal stories and shopping strategies, Tory is also particularly passionate about supporting small businesses. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, the heart of our communities, the first people to donate to school auctions, the ones who hustle to keep storefronts open to maintain vibrancy in our neighborhoods. The COVID crisis dealt a blow to countless small businesses that credit my ’GMA: Deals & Steals’ segments with providing a much-needed lifeline over the last three years. When their retail pipelines were crushed by store closures, canceled purchase orders, return requests, and extended payment terms, product makers began scrambling for fresh ways to sell goods. My segments offered a singular opportunity to reach millions of viewers, move thousands of units, generate immediate cash, and acquire new customers — all in one day. The media often gets a bad rap, but this is an extraordinary example of using a national platform for good. I’m honored to have been given the privilege of airtime on GMA, and I’m immensely proud of the impact of our ’Deals & Steals’ series.” As Tory heads into the holidays, she shares that the holiday season is her Superbowl! “It’s the chance to play Personal Shopper for millions of TV viewers who look to me to help stretch their dollars for their holiday gifting. I never tire of hearing the excitement from our shoppers who gift products they purchased by watching my segments!” Personally, Tory says that she cherishes time away with family. “Every year, we plan a fun trip to make new memories. Whether it’s far from home like Japan or a couple of weeks in Miami, nothing beats being surrounded by the people I love most.” Tory lives in New York City with her husband Peter and their twins. Jake is a third-year veterinary student at Tufts University, and Emma works in tech e-commerce. Stretch your holiday budget this season with Tory’s holiday guide

One of my many backdrops while appearing on GMA from home throughout COVID

Mother’s Day 2022 with my kids Jake and Emma

On the boat off Miami Beach with my family last Christmas at home

On the set of GMA



The Five Elements

To Add to Any Outfit To Look Holiday Ready The holidays are here! After years of being at home, I am so excited to celebrate and wear all the fun outfits. Don’t stress! I know that getting ready for holiday parties can feel a little overwhelming, especially when we’ve been spending so much time in our sweats. Let me give you the great news. No, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a whole new outfit. When it comes to being holiday ready, I believe there are five elements you can bring into any outfit to make it look festive: Sparkle/Shine, Pops of Color, Fur, Plaid, and Velvet. (And I’ll bet that you already have most or all of these elements in your closet!)

I always say the key to looking great is to not overthink it or try too hard. The simpler, the better. Think about one of your upcoming holiday events. Now, I want you to grab your favorite black dress or your favorite jeans and a pretty top. Next, we’ll add one of five elements to that outfit, and you’ll be holiday ready in no time! With each of these elements, you can go as big and bold as you want or keep it really subtle and subdued. 1. For sparkle and shine, think about accessories. Jewelry, shoes, and bags are an easy and inexpensive way to make your outfit look holiday ready. It can be as simple as a pair of sequin, diamond, or metallic earrings. You can also add a metallic shoe or clutch in silver or gold. 2. Add a splash of color. Pops of red and green always look festive! Keep it simple and apply a really bold red to your lips and nails, or find a red or green blazer to toss over your dress. The key here is to pick one or two festive colors. If you have a green pant or blazer, keep the accessories simple and add one pop of red on your lips or nails. Mixing too much red and green can look costumey. 3. If you have a fur coat, now is the time to let it shine! Other subtle ways to bring in this luxe element are a scarf or fur collar (Amazon has lots of inexpensive options) that you can toss over your coat or dress for a rich touch of texture. 4. Plaid is another fun way to bring in a touch of holiday. Wear your holiday tartan plaid button-down with a beautiful black skirt or with an elevated pair of jeans and a heel. Plaid accessories around this time of year and can be found in shoes, purses, and even jewelry. 5. Finally, velvet is a classic holiday fabric that can be found in everything from blazers to pants and dresses. Even the classic button-down can be found in velvet fabric. Wear it unbuttoned over a lace-trim camisole, and pair it with your favorite denim. The key to looking balanced is to bring in just one or two of these elements to your outfit. My only exception to this rule: a bold red lip goes with anything. Happy Holidays! Erin Stoll is a personal stylist and creator of Style Thief Fashion. Follow her on Instagram @stylethieffashion for more style tips.





Improve Your Holiday Food Mood By Amber Shaw


spent most of my life dreading the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the family time, traditions, and magic this time of year. But for years, I allowed

my anxiety around food and fear of gaining weight get in the way of fully enjoying the season. Right around October of every year, I would start stressing about “packing on the pounds.” I stressed about going to holiday parties because I didn’t know how to stay “on program” with the diet of the week. I often felt shame and guilt for overindulging (maybe even binging) at the family gathering the night before, or I frequently found myself head first in a bag of cookies just to deal with all of the holiday stress. And more times than I care to admit, I said “no” to holiday get togethers just to be sure I stayed true to my “diet” du jour. This was my life, until I decided to make a change. I learned how to build an enjoyable lifestyle that gave me the freedom to occasionally indulge without the guilt and without derailing my goals. I learned to give myself a little grace and reminded myself of the “big picture.” I also learned some simple tools for navigating the holidays while also moving the needle with my health goals. Here are 5 tips that can get you through the holiday season without gaining the 10lbs you think are inevitable and give you the joy and peace you (and your family) deserve. 1.

Focus on satiety: During the big gatherings, focus on eating to satisfaction. You do not have to deprive yourself, if you eat in moderation. You don’t need to count calories or over-analyze the ingredients.



Instead, focus on filling your plate with 80-90% meats and healthy veggies – foods that will satisfy you – then leave a little room to have a treat or two. If your meal satisfies you, you’ll be much less likely to overeat. 2. Don’t forget the water: Staying hydrated is key year round but can be especially beneficial around the holidays. Not only can it help to regulate your appetite, but it also can help lessen the next-day effects of those holiday cocktails (which can lead to more snacking and binging)! A good rule of thumb is to aim for half your body weight in ounces.

3. Load up on the fiber: Eating foods high in fiber prior

comes to your health and wellness goals is about

to a big event can help prevent overindulging. The

progress over perfection. It’s about embracing the

fiber takes longer to digest and can help you to stay

seasons of life and giving yourself the space and

fuller longer.

grace to simply do the best you can.

4. Get to steppin: Don’t stress about hitting every

Remember, life is short and precious. Don’t fixate on

workout over the holidays. Keep it simple and just

your waist and waste another minute missing these

focus on moving your body daily. If 10,000 steps

moments, especially around the holidays.

feels impossible, aim for 5000. Just move. xx, 5. Be kind. I know it can be so easy to beat ourselves


up when we don’t achieve perfection. But the truth is the key to creating a sustainable lifestyle when it




The True



ver since I was a little kid, I loved using my

imagination. That and my love for animals. I was an introvert growing up, so I spent a lot of

time with just me. I always had pets, and they made me extraordinarily happy. I found myself making clothes for my dolls, creating mazes out of shoe boxes for my pet rat, and making a bunny obstacle course for my rabbit. It filled my heart with happiness–with just these little things, this time with me. I realize NOW how valuable it was to allow my imagination to fly and be creative and how it brought joy to my heart when I finished my creation. As we grow into adults, a lot of that simple joy dissipates, especially when we have larger issues we have to deal with. But what if you could take those pieces of your childhood that you were so fond of, recreate that sense memory, and mold it into your life today? Recreate a current version of your young self that carries joy, happiness, and hope in your heart. With the world in the state that it is today, we need more than ever to reach down in our minds and pull out from the shadows our love and light for our unique selves. I believe that when we win our current fight over fear with ourselves, there is no holding us back from all the good we can create moving forward. It starts at home with you. When you can impact yourself and your family first with the true gifts you were given from birth, imagine how you will affect people outside of your family with that same energy. Paying it forward is a gift we all have. The simplest way of doing that is being kind to yourself first. I will forever be grateful for my life lessons. I am even more grateful for sharing them with you. I am an example of someone who brought my childhood light back into my life. Children see things much differently than adults. I love to bring my childlike expression into this adult land to fill your heart with kindness, hope, and happiness. Thank you for allowing me in your life through this article.




ZUCKER @ari8675



Let it Glow, Let it Glow,

Let it Glow @elenageorge1mkp

Tis the season- so let’s put our best face forward and bring on the sparkle and shimmer! As you get ready to celebrate at the company holiday party or get a night on the town, it’s all about the glow and Celebrity Make-Up Artist Elena George is helping us achieve it by giving us the best products to get a sun-kissed look or golden glow this holiday.

Danessa Myricks Beauty

Yummy Skin Glow Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

Price $17

A skincare-infused, radiant priming serum that hydrates, preps, and pro-

Natasha Denona

Price $34

HY-GEN Primer Serum

A lightweight primer serum with


a dewy, plumping finish, HY-GEN


infuses skin with up to 72 hours

tects skin for a lit-from-within glow.

of continuous moisture while Kevin Aucoin

balancing oil in the T-zone for an

Glass Glow Face and Body Gloss

instantly glowing complexion & fresh, baby-skin feel.

Highly coveted universal, multi-pur-

Price $48

pose gloss highlighter for face and

body creates youthful looking,

Natasha Denona

well-hydrated skin. Price $32

Bronze Cheek

A multi-use cheek palette for brilliant sunkissed skin, the BRONZE

Physicians Formula

24-Karat Gold Collagen Setting Spray


PALETTE features 4 luxurious, hydrating cream & powder formulas that drench skin in

A complexion-enhancing and plump-

molten summer glow

ing collagen setting spray that delivers

Price $59

a luminous finish and imparts a subtle

golden sheen.





Thrive Causmetics

Brilliant Face Highlighter™ Skin Perfecting Powder Highlighting powder that helps to even skin tone and won’t settle into fine lines or pores. Price $34

Body Bling Hollywood’s favorite alternative to self-tanner. Instantly gives skin a sun-kissed glow and shimmery radiance without the effort of a self-tanner. Price $42 products/brilliant-face-highlighter-skin-perfecting-powder Inglot

Face And Body Illuminator Light textured, oil free liquid illuminator that contains pearlescent molecules. Shines and shimmers wherever you apply it, giving definition to the body contours.

A one-of-a-kind diathat applies like a 3D glit- face_body_illuminator-65

tering veil, delivering pure, show-stopping sparkle all over the face and body. Price $40 products/diamond-bomb-


Moonlight Illuminating Face Primer This lightweight, glow boosting primer extends makeup wear, works well with other products and blends seamlessly with the skin to create perfect canvas for the ultimate makeup creations. Price $30 Scott Barnes


Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil mond-dusted highlighter

Price $19



all-over-diamond-veil-how-many-carats Elena’s Tip-Don’t overdo it! It’s easy to get caught up in the shine and shimmer but too much and you can start to have a foil paper look! A little goes a long way!

let it glow

clean. simple. skincare



Bigger Than Beauty Karissa Bodnar Thrive Causemetics




arissa Bodnar is the Founder and CEO of

Join the cause, simply by purchasing their products

Thrive Causemetics, a high-performance,

vegan, cruelty-free direct-to-consumer

cosmetics brand. Karissa built her purpose-driven business by combining her love for the beauty industry and her passion for giving back. This combination goes far beyond the surface and has created an impact beyond measure. Karissa’s company was inspired by a young woman who led her life with great purpose and with a burning desire to help serve others. That young woman was Kristy LeMond, a close friend of Karissa’s who lost her one-year battle with cancer in 2013. Kristy was only 24 years old. Karissa, as a Makeup artist and product developer at the time, used her talents to help her friend feel beautiful and confident. And it was Kristy’s spirit and heart that became the driver for Karissa to begin her mission to honor her friend’s life, give back, and use her gifts to empower and inspire countless women’s lives. Since 2013, Karissa has done just that by creating amazing products and donating profits from every purchase to help women thrive. Thrive Causemetics has donated over 100 million dollars to date.



Inspiring Beauty Karissa is always finding inspiration in women, naming products after those that are making an impact. One of the styles is Thrive Causemetics’ easy-to-apply, wear-all-day false eyelashes called Kristy Faux Lashes™, named after her dear friend who inspired her to start the cosmetics line. Karissa’s latest inspiration came from Jade Anderson, a millennial media maven and Social Media Director at Rock’n Robin Productions. The Emmy Award-winning producer and Thrive Founder met when Jade produced a segment for the digital series Thriver Thursday.

It was during that time that a friendship was built, and Karissa wanted to honor that relationship by naming one of her new product colors after the superstar producer. Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner™ is a smudge-proof and budge-proof eyeliner for all-day wear. The Jade (teal shimmer) is gorgeous, just like Jade.

Jade & Karissa






Best Kept Secret TO SKINCARE




hani Darden is considered the secret

actually help to make skin more bouncy and

behind Hollywood’s most flawless faces.

plump. My Retinol Reform is clinically proven to

Expert esthetician Shani sets herself apart

address multiple anti-aging concerns from the

with her results-oriented approach to skin care.

appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to uneven

Her passion for simple yet effective solutions has

texture, dullness and even loss of firmness.

earned her clients’ trust and respect in a town

Utilizing a time-release encapsulated retinol, this

where beauty, health, and wellness standards

formula delivers a consistent stream of retinol

are high.

throughout the night to minimize irritation often experienced with retinol products. It also contains

Shani trained as an esthetician under a leading

an AHA, which helps to brighten and smooth skin,

dermatologist before eventually going out on

so you get both immediate benefits and long-

her own. She developed a passion for creating

term results.

products she could not find, sending clients home with custom-made formulas between visits.

Should I be changing up my skincare routine with

Her Retinol Reform® serum quickly built a huge

the seasons?

celebrity following. Today, Shani is sharing her

If you’re using all the right products for your skin,

proven formulas and trusted expertise so people

you shouldn’t need to change up too much as the

everywhere can achieve their best skin.

seasons change. In the summer, you may want to switch to a lighter moisturizer. In the colder winter

In June 2019, Shani opened her first flagship studio

months, you may need a heavier moisturizer

in Beverly Hills, where she treats clients, develops

depending on your skin type. I also recommend

high-performance formulas, and shares her

using a humidifier year round, as well, to help

expertise with her followers on social media.

support healthy, hydrated skin.

Ask Us Beauty Reader Questions:


There are so many places that offer services for skincare. What should I look for or be asking to find the right esthetician?

AUB Favorite Retinol Reform®

One of the most essential parts of a facial are

A game-changing treatment for

extractions.However, it’s so important to do

firmer, youthful-looking skin, this

your research and make sure you’re seeing

multitasking anti-aging serum

someone who is experienced in doing them. My

combines firming retinol with

Signature Facial includes a light chemical peel,

brightening lactic acid to visibly

extractions if needed, and treatments such as

soften fine lines & wrinkles, even

vibration therapy, oxygen therapy, microcurrent,

tone, smooth texture, and add

cryotherapy, and LED light therapy. I recommend

radiance in as little as 14 days.*

finding an esthetician whose facials incorporate

The gentle, yet potent, time-

as many of these elements as possible.

release formula delivers a steady stream of encapsulated retinol

I’ve heard Retinol will thin my skin. Is that true?

throughout the night to minimize

Absolutely not! Retinol does the opposite. As

the irritation of ordinary retinol

Retinol helps to boost skin’s elasticity, it can

while transforming your skin. HOLIDAY BEAUTY


Inspire Always

IG: @_inspirealways. Website:

“Every act of kindness creates a ripple with no end.” Recently I have been amazed and humbled by how the Inspire Always community has spread kindness. Our #52weekkindnesschallenge has truly shown me the power that small acts of kindness can have on a community. The ripple effect has been truly amazing. Kindness really is contagious, and it can be given to others or ourselves. Over the last few weeks, we have bought coffee for someone who needed one, smiled at a stranger, did something unusually kind for ourselves, hugged a senior, and donated clothes to those in need. Every one of these acts of kindness has had meaningful benefits for both the giver and the receiver. Let’s keep Spreading Kindness

Karen Samuels

Gina Hatzis

Maria Berglund

Judy Librach

Instagram: @mymentalstory_

Instagram: @GinaHatzis

Instagram: @inkindboxes

Instagram: @theblissminute

Favorite Quote: “She’s not fragile like a flower. She’s fragile like a bomb.” - Rahul Singh

Favorite Quote: “There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.” -Michelle Obama

Favorite Quote: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” - Mother Teresa

What inspires me: Moms inspire me. They show up every day for their families and give all that they have. They are so strong, loving, and hard working, and yet often undervalued, and underestimated. To the moms reading this, I want you to know that I see you, and I appreciate you!!

What inspires me: I love to help people find and follow their bliss, whether it’s on the radio when I’m interviewing guests, or in a Life Coaching session when I watch my clients transform and become illuminated as they connect to their passion, purpose, and enlightenment. I’m inspired by kindness, people who show up for others, and by those who put love in their hearts without judgment. I love people who live with gratitude, compassion, benevolence, and a desire to see everyone connected to their best and most elevated self. I’m mostly inspired by those who notice all of the blessings in their life, and know how to find at least one beautiful thing every day. What ultimately inspires me is helping people take one step closer to finding their bliss.

Favorite Quote: “I’m a pro at falling down but an ALL-STAR at getting right back up again.” What inspires me: Helping and watching others turn their pain and challenges into their own passion/power to live a positive life full of love and laughter.



What Inspires me: Inspiration is a funny thing for me. Sure, I’m inspired by a beautiful sunset or someone’s act of bravery. But what TRULY moves me to take action is regret–both my own and in the women who came before me. My midlife awakening was birthed from longing, realizing that life was fleeting, and I didn’t want to arrive at the end of my life only to discover that I hadn’t truly lived. The #1 regret of the dying is living a life according to the expectations of other people, and that wasn’t going to be me. I made a commitment to not betray myself any longer, and, instead, to commit to small daily acts of inspiration that make me excited about life again. My life is barely recognizable now. I’m never going back. And I want to take every woman with me!

Connecting PASSION with a Purpose Kaley Ronayne @paleykaley


aley Ronayne is a Michigan-born beauty who followed her dreams. From her early days of local productions and programs at Boston U to landing her early major roles in shows like The Carrie Diaries and Lifetime’s Army Wives, acting was always her passion. Kaley has gotten to show off her acting chops in numerous fan-favorite shows such as Gotham and Quarry, and now she is a regular on Fox’s hit TV series The Resident. There is no doubt Kaley is making an impact by showing us that you can work hard, craft your skills, and do what you love. The actress and writer shared with Ask Us Beauty that in addition to her current drama series role as Dr. Kincaid

“Cade” Sullivan, one of her favorite roles played to date has been Dee O’Hara in The Right Stuff. The Leonardo Di Caprio-produced, Disney+ scripted series shares the incredible story of America’s first astronauts and is based on the bestselling book by Tom Wolfe. “It was such a fun challenge to tackle a real person, and I loved doing a period piece. I also loved how my character wasn’t defined by men; she stood on her own two feet and took care of herself.” And as her professional life continues to soar, Kaley says it’s the importance of making an impact that she finds herself always coming back to. “Given the state of the world and the collective trauma that’s been felt over the past few years, it’s so important for me and all of us to have a sense of hope and do what we believe can make a lasting impact. That always stays front and center in my mind.” We look forward to watching this beauty continue to soar and do what she loves!

A few questions for Kaley When you have downtime off the set, what does selfcare look like for you? I love self-care! My favorite place to go on a day off is the Korean Spa. I love to spend the entire day there and get the works -- massage, scrub, baths. It’s the best. Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? Watching It’s a Wonderful Life with my family on Christmas Eve. We all basically know the script by heart, but it never gets old! What is your definition of beauty? Beauty is authenticity. Whether it is a person or a painting, when something is not trying to be anything but itself, that is beautiful.







ece Meadows is the founder and CEO of Prados Beauty. She was born and raised in Arizona but currently calls the traditional

homelands of the Piro-Manso-Tiwa people (Las Cruces, NM) her home. She is an Army wife, mother of four, a published poet, and makeup artist. She finds great joy in helping others and currently serves as the founder and President of her nonprofit The Prados Life Foundation. As an Indigenous woman whose ancestors are of the Yoeme and Numunu people, from presentday Sonora, Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, she loves learning about her culture, languages, and practicing their traditional ways. She created Prados Beauty to bring light and awareness to Indigenous peoples, their stories, true history, resiliency, and beauty. Creating space for Indigenous peoples throughout Turtle Island in the beauty space is her mission, and we can all see that she takes great pride in that opportunity. At Prados, they are building a community of dreamers and misfits who choose to follow their own paths in life. They encourage our youth and their supporters to push the boundaries of conventional thinking. Prados has a commitment to help Native communities and those in need by establishing the Prados Promise. In addition to donating a portion of their proceeds to Native communities in need, they do charitable work in those communities and support other Native entrepreneurs on their website and social media.

Photographer Nate Lemuel Image@darklistedphotgraphy by Lorraine Young and Makeup by Aaron Paul



Thee Beauty Coach 3 tips that can help you feel worthy within Amber Krystal @theebeautycoach


mber Krystal is making an impact on both men and women through her platform that educates, empowers, uplifts, and inspires individuals to make positive choices and changes and be the best versions of themselves. As a board-certified licensed Esthetic Instructor, Amber says that she started coaching when she was a substitute teacher many years ago, and she continued her love for coaching when she opened a spa in her hometown. “I started beauty coaching there as I was meeting a lot of different women from many different backgrounds that were going through difficult times that I had personally gone through myself, so I felt compelled to talk with them and help them through those aspects of their lives.” Amber offers 3 Tips that can help you feel worthy from within 1. Be Healed- It’s important as an individual that you are healed from past traumas, brokenness and toxic patterns that keeps you in a state of lack. When you are not healed in those areas, you will continue to move in a state of immaturity in every area of your life. 2. Be Whole- Wholeness qualifies you. It will qualify your purpose and your destiny in life. When you are not whole, you end up sabotaging the very thing that is supposed to be produced in your life. 54


3. Be Mature- Maturity comes with a price. Oftentimes, we are not fully developed as an individual because we are not willing to pay the price of dismantling all negative, toxic, and dysfunctional thoughts and patterns that we’ve learned over time. Learn more about Amber and her beauty coaching services on her website: Do you have someone you would like to nominate? Submit here or go to… https://askusbeauty everyday -beauties/

Winner of

Ask Us Beauty Everyday Beauties



A Mother’s Story of Hope written by Kim Mather, Liberty University School of Behavioral Sciences A lot of mental health issues were brought on by his pain, and depression became an inevitable concern when there seemed to be no relief in his foreseeable future. I had to be an advocate for my son and rode the bull hard for many years. Our family sought every path to healing for Isaac, including traveling to New York City for a week each month for a very extreme treatment called Plasmapheresis. If you have ever gone through a long medical journey, you know the price tag is steep; however, the quest to keep going never has a price tag when it comes to your child’s health. I remember praying, specifically for $2,500. But why does it always have to be so tight? Why can’t there ever be any excess? These questions were still lingering in my mind, until one day when


e had just arrived home from a family vacation in Maine. Two of our boys went out for a typical run one early evening. One came back energized, and the other came back unusually fatigued. A month prior, Isaac was outdoors fishing and hiking and was bitten by a tick – a tick we never saw. Isaac became debilitated, and his life was forever changed. He was bedridden at the age of ten years old from complications associated with Lyme Disease and two co-infections. Isaac’s faith was tested during this time. Isaac questioned what good could possibly come from such a trial. Over the next seven years, there were many ups and downs, and Isaac began to struggle with a whole host of chronic health issues, including a brain inflammation, CIDP, an autoimmune disorder, OCD, and a tic disorder “Tourette Syndrome.” 56


the unthinkable happened. It was a Saturday, two days before we were to leave for the next treatments. I pulled out a card from the mailbox, a card with a check for – you guessed it –exactly $2,500. Wait – another check slid out of the same card, but for $5,000! I was numb and paused to soak in this grateful moment and miracle. It was a mother-son duo that bolstered our faith. For many months a home nurse came to our house to administer an additional treatment called IVIG. There were many days Isaac could not even get out of bed; he began to lose the ability to sit in a chair because the pain was so bad. He started bringing his laptop to bed to create music. Quitting seemed like an easy option. But the Lord had other plans. Isaac daily lives with his Tourette’s; however, the Lord has brought much healing to his life spiritually, physically, and mentally. Isaac has seen many doctors across the country and has had test after test taken over the years. It was like peeling layers back from a colossal onion. It is hard to say what exactly helped him. He started going to a chronic pain and wellness clinic and started using their protocol of bioenergetic sprays, which he noticed seemed to help immensely. He was blessed with many individuals, families, ministries, and churches who gave generously and prayed fervently. Isaac is finally back to doing everything he once used to be able to do before his sicknesses. But now he can do even more. He now uses his story and experience to be vulnerable through the music he creates, and I continue to be a believer that all things are possible. I live by my mantra: Never give up hope and celebrate the victories. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14. You can follow more of Kim’s son Isaac’s story at or his website HOLIDAY BEAUTY



The Right Therapist Clinical Psychologist Dr. Beverly Pedroche



going to share with you five tips for finding the right therapist for YOU!

with immediate availability? Are you receptive to telehealth? If so, this will open up your search of providers to your entire state. Create a list of these practical questions before starting your search.

ave you had less-than-helpful experiences in prior attempts at therapy? Or do you just not know where to start when it comes to finding a therapist? The bad news is that there’s no one therapist for everyone. The good news is that I’m

1. What do you want from therapy? Probably the most important consideration when searching for a new therapist is figuring out what you want from therapy. Why are you seeking therapy now? You may have multiple reasons; that’s not uncommon. Do you want support dealing with stress or developing coping skills to manage depression or anxiety? Perhaps you need help working through a specific problem or adjusting to a recent life-change. Identify your goals ahead of time. 2. Be specific. No one therapist specializes in everything, so once you’ve narrowed down your goals, you’ll want to find a provider who’s a specialist in that area. Specificity in defining your problem also helps you find the best match based upon your needs. If, for example, you began experiencing depression after giving birth, you’ll want to seek out a therapist who specializes, not just in depression, but in postpartum depression. If you’re recently divorced and you need help adjusting to that life-change, there are therapists whose specialty is for that specific scenario. It’s appropriate and to your benefit to ask potential therapists whether they have specific training and/or experience working with people who have difficulties similar to your own. Think about it; when you have a specific medical problem, you seek a specialist. The same goes for mental health. 58


3. Consider the practical questions. You’ll want to know if they accept your insurance or what their rates are. Does their schedule work with your scheduling needs? Do you need someone

4. Style and personality matter. What’s their general style or “therapeutic orientation?” In other words, how do they “do” therapy? If you’ve had therapy before, what type of therapeutic approach worked or didn’t work for you? Do you prefer a therapist who’s highly interactive? Someone direct? Or someone who spends more time listening? Do you favor a personality that is more of a quiet, chill type, or someone energetic and dynamic? No approach is right or wrong, but because the relationship is the most important component of effective therapy, this is a significant consideration. 5. Be prepared to shop around. While you may find the right therapist for you on the first attempt, it’s possible that you may not. Trying more than one therapist isn’t unusual, and isn’t a poor reflection on you. Don’t feel obligated to continue with a therapist that isn’t the right fit. Be patient with the process; don’t give up. Therapy is an invaluable investment in your mental health, and finding the right therapist for you is worth the effort and will be life changing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Stick with it, even though it will be uncomfortable at times. After all, change and growth are never easy, but you are worth it!



In Case You Missed It…


Answer Reader’s Questions Plastic Surgeon:

since made a comeback with a change in the type of

Dr. Anahita Azharian

thread material and placement technique. The PDO thread lift is commonly used to achieve the above-

The number one

mentioned “Fox Eye” look. PDO, or polydioxanone,

question we get from

is a type of dissolvable suture. These sutures, or

women is about the

threads, are placed under the skin and used to pull

mommy makeover.

the outer corner of the upper eyelid up and laterally

Can you explain more

toward the temples. It also lifts the outer portion

about that?

of the eyebrow. While the threads dissolve within a few months, theoretically, there is a stimulation of

A mommy makeover is not a procedure. It’s an

your body’s own collagen and scar tissue that helps

umbrella term used to refer to any surgical needs a

maintain the result.

woman may want after having kids, and now they want to feel good about themselves. There are all

Some pros of this procedure include that it is

shapes, sizes, and different mommies, and each

minimally invasive and can be done under local

wants and needs something different. One person

anesthesia. There are no true incisions or large cuts

may need a breast augmentation, another person

in the skin and no visible scars in the skin. There

just a tummy tuck, another person may need both.

is also very little to no downtime, and results are

The procedure is very personalized based on the

instant. The cons include that the results rarely last

needs of the patient.

over six months to a year and there is potential for visibility of the threads or bunching under the skin, Facial Plastic and

scar tissue formation, and extrusion of the threads


through the skin.

Surgeon: Dr. Ashley Guthrie

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive

People are getting

Surgeon: Dr. Jennifer

threads put in


their faces for this procedure. Can you

At a basic level, what

explain more about

is a rhinoplasty?

that option and the pros and cons of choosing a non-surgical approach?

A rhinoplasty is a surgery that can


Threads are, interestingly, an older procedure that

change the appearance of the nose. The surgery

largely fell out of favor in the early 2000s because of

involves changing the underlying structure of the

concerns over their safety and efficacy. They have

nose to which the skin conforms.


What are some reasons a person would seek a

As with the signs of Sugar Face, it’s not just the


obvious sweet foods that cause problems— refined carbohydrates that the body turns quickly into

To fix a hump on the bridge, lack of a bridge, large

glucose (aka those with a high GI, or glycemic

tip, wide nostrils, or droopy tip. There are many other

index) also cause an inflammatory reaction. In fact,

requests, but these are the most common.

researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that eating a high GI meal raises levels of inflammatory markers three times higher than a low


GI one.

Dr. DiAnne S. Davis Dr. Laxmi Mehta, Are tanning beds


really bad for you?

Noninvasive Cardiologist

Yes. Tanning beds are a big no-no. The

I am 43 and go in

years of tanning

for a physical every

can expose your

year. He always says

skin to unregulated harmful ultraviolet lights (UVA

everything looks

& UVB) that can lead to early signs of aging and

good, but I don’t

development of skin cancers. Using tanning beds

really know what I should be asking or checking

before the age of 35 can increase your chances

when it comes to my heart. What questions should I

of developing a melanoma by 59%, and that risk

be asking my PCP?

increases with each use. Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop a melanoma

When patients see their primary care physician, they

if they engage in indoor tanning bed practices.

should be asking about their numbers and what they

Indoor tanning can increase the risk of developing

mean. For instance, what is my blood pressure? Is

a squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell

my body mass index in the normal, overweight, or

carcinoma by 29%.

obese range? What are my cholesterol levels and what is the ideal range for me? What are my risks for getting heart disease and what steps can I take Dr. Nigma Talib

to reduce my risks of developing heart disease? It is

Naturopathic Doctor

good to discuss what types of exercise you are able to perform and whether you would benefit from a

How much does sugar

dietary consultation. You should come prepared,

affect the signs of

know your family history, keep your own chart of


your blood pressure readings and prior cholesterol levels. You also want to develop a jointly agreed upon

In the United States,

“health plan” or goals for the upcoming year and

the average adult

discuss potential progress check ins or short-term

consumes about 130


pounds of sugar every year. Increased consumption of sugar can lead to the production of advanced glycation end products.



LIVING UP TO HER TITLE Dr. Anahita Azharian

and Beyond @drazharian @anahita_azharian


hen you are introduced, do you ever state your profession? The common question upon meeting

anyone new: what do you do? We know we are so much more than our jobs, yet we often become so wrapped up in our careers that it’s how we identify. What about those who have their job title sitting in front of their name? Queue Dr. Anahita Azharian, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. This talented doctor is proud of her achievements and wants the world to know the importance of self-identity. “We often become so tied into our career that we lose focus.” For a profession that takes years of rigorous learning and experience to become high level, it’s not surprising. Dr. Azharian has set out on her own journey for a well-rounded identity. “I had to first start with a mental shift and really look at what else brings me joy and happiness.” And for this doctor, her happiness showed up in something that she has loved her entire life: fashion. “I’ve spent years of my life dedicated to medicine. I love my job. I love being a surgeon and spending countless hours in the operating room. However, I don’t want to put myself in a box with a one-dimensional definition of who I am. I love a lot of things, fashion being right at the top of the list. In my current profession, it’s so easy to be judged if you’re not walking around wearing scrubs or a lab coat. If I show up at a medical conference in something form-fitting or 62


outside of what is defined by society as ‘doctor appropriate,’ there is a probable chance I’m either getting disrespected or looked down upon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I am ‘one of the front desk girls.’ With doctors primarily showcasing women on their website and social media, why is it not ok for a female doctor to show off her style and form?” According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the male-to-female ratio of plastic surgeons is approximately 5:1, and when it comes to patients having cosmetic procedures, well, we’re still coming in at 90% female. “Whether I am in the medical profession or any other profession, we need to move past judging a book by its cover. I can show up in a doctor’s coat, and I can wear a beautiful dress, both fabulous, both me. Expressing my individuality outside of a defined dress code doesn’t discredit my ability as a surgeon.” Dr. Azharian is changing her narrative and introducing herself as a woman who works in medicine and in fashion. “Both industries play a huge role in raising personal confidence. I want to celebrate that. I have the opportunity to transform the lives of women every day, and there’s nothing better than when I see them get dressed up and show themselves. I relate to them because I feel the same way, and my hope is that I can make an impact by showing others that we can be analytical and creative; we can work as a doctor and a fashion influencer. As we move through into a new year, I look forward to this chapter and partnering with Ask Us Beauty, a platform that is changing the narrative and showcasing beauty in all its forms.”




Organized INSIDE & OUT Ashley Hatcher


aspirational and clients seeing it occur with their own belongings empowered them to keep things in order. Now I bet you’re wondering just how on earth you accomplish beauty in a space like a linen closet, but I promise, you can get there. Here are a few quick things you can do to make your spaces beautiful from the inside out:

Declutter. This one does not feel sexy at all, but one of the biggest keys to a beautiful space is not having a cluttered space. This doesn’t


mean you have to get rid of everything, but if ’ve organized thousands of spaces over the last several years as a NEAT Method franchise owner, and while each space

had its unique challenges, my goal was always the same – to create a beautiful and organized space. I wanted every space to be functional too, of course, but as I returned to refresh spaces our team had previously organized, I started to develop a theory that beautifully organized spaces lasted much longer than just functionally

a while or will never use again, your space will immediately feel lighter and airier.

Get Inspired. I won’t tell you to start a Pinterest board, but I will say that you should be on the lookout for visuals you aspire to achieve in different areas of your home. Your final space may look nothing like what you thought it would, but it will give you an aesthetic lens to start

organized spaces.

seeing your home through.

In fact, during the space reveal, if a client said,

Be Consistent. Not every space requires

“This is so pretty, there is no way I’ll be able to keep this up,” I knew that that client would do an excellent job of keeping everything in order. The pride that came with the feeling of beauty, at least in home organization, was typically 64

you can eliminate the items you haven’t used in


organizing product, but when it does call for product, just make sure you are consistent. It’s totally fine to use a variety of products in a space, but make sure that you don’t use too many types and that you also consider product height and spacing into your equation.

So much of home organizing focuses on behind closed door spaces, so the biggest compliment clients could ever give me is they loved their {pantry / closet / cabinet / linen closet …} so much that they wanted to leave the door open. So my challenge to you as you go about your organizing journey is to organize your space so beautifully from the inside out that it makes you want to leave your doors open. Ashley Jones Hatcher is a business consultant that works with entrepreneurs across a variety of fields on strategy, design, and products. She is the former Chief Growth Officer of NEAT Method, a luxury organizing company, where she was responsible for creating strategies to support the growth and retention of NEAT franchise owners’ businesses. Prior to this role, Ashley worked as a professional organizer and owned NEAT Method’s DC location. In the organizing community, Ashley is known for her design eye she uses to create organized spaces that are not only practical, but also very aesthetically pleasing and sexy. Ashley is based in Houston and her work as an organizer has been featured in Apartment Therapy, Brit + Co, Essence, InStyle, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Woman’s Day, and as a recurring contributor on the TODAY show with Hoda & Jenna.




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Meet CEO & Founder

Shannon Blake

After more than 25 years of selling housewares and stationery products to large US retailers, I founded Carolina Creekhouse while being home during the pandemic. I got so tired of the gross area rug in front of my kitchen sink. Between kids, pets, food spills and dirty dishes, it was a constant battle to keep the area clean!


I set out to create a “wipeable” solution that could withstand the heavy traffic, be wiped clean, and be both pretty and practical. After finding the right material and USA manufacturing partner, the FloorFlat was born! I absolutely love owning a small business. There is nothing better than creating a team that believes in my “make it happen” mantra. In my freetime, I enjoy time at home with my family and friends. We are also in the midst of renovating a farm to enjoy with our horses and mini farm animals.



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Born To



esigner, founder, and philanthropist Kendra


Known for her dynamic use of color and genuine

Scott started her company in 2002, just three

materials, Kendra’s commitment to innovation, quality,

months after her first son was born and with

and detail has taken her small start-up to a billion-

only $500. Going door-to-door to Austin boutiques

dollar business and has won over loyal fans, media, and

armed only with a tea box full of her jewelry, Kendra

celebrities alike. With over 2,000 employees, Kendra

captivated businesses and customers with her vibrant

Scott boasts a thriving web business and over 115

personality and unique eye for design.

standalone stores, and the brand has expanded beyond


fashion jewelry into the categories of fine jewelry, home décor, and beauty. Today, her namesake company continues to operate out of Austin, TX, with a state-ofthe-art corporate office complete with design lab and an industry-leading distribution center, both catering to her employees’ career goals and family-life balance. With Family and Fashion as two core pillars of her business, Kendra maintains a focus on the third pillar of Philanthropy in all she does. Since 2010, the company has given back over $40 million to local, national, and international causes. In 2021 alone, the company partnered with 10,000+ local causes through the Kendra Gives Back program, funded 6,040 metastatic breast cancer research hours through Breast Cancer Research foundation, raised over $450,000 for families touched by tragedy, and more. Now the self-made billionaire has taken on a brandnew venture, adding another title to her list of many, as an author. Her new book Born To Shine is one you do not want to miss and is our Ask Us Beauty Book Club Pick!

Q & A With Kendra Interview by: Michelle Emmick

Born To Shine is an authentic, inspiring, and laugh-

One of my favorite quotes from inside Born to Shine is

out-loud memoir. This book shares Kendra’s personal

“If you look at the struggles in your life, they have all

journey, and it

happened because there’s something amazing waiting

jumps off the

for you. There is an open window. This moment is going

pages with so

to make you stronger in the future.” Tell me about that!

much humor, relatability,

I believe that everyone has immense and innate value,

and heart. I

and that our job is not only to shine ourselves, but to

was honored

find the shine in others, too. Once you discover your true

to receive

passion—your why—it becomes easier to rally behind

an advance

that vision and purpose. When you are motivated by

copy and the

a cause bigger than you, challenges and roadblocks


become opportunities for learning and growth instead

to ask Kendra

of failures.”

about some of the standout

Inside one of the chapters you share a beautiful story

moments and

and reference a powerful and simple concept, “Live the

lessons from

Dash.” What does it mean to you, and how important is

the book.

that to happiness? HOLIDAY BEAUTY


To “live the dash” was something I learned from

Authenticity is so important because those innate

my best friend Holley, who lost her life to metastatic

qualities that make you unique are what make you

breast cancer back in January 2016. It refers to the dash

special! Let go of the idea of perfection, which is a myth,

between a person’s birth and death years. When Holley

and lean into what makes you unique. That’s my secret

was diagnosed, she knew her life would be shortened

sauce to life.

and decided to focus on living intentionally, or “living


her dash” to the fullest. Living the dash to me means

It’s clear in your writing and the pillars of your

filling my life with as much joy as I can and taking

business that family is your foundation. As you reflect,

advantage of the time I have. This includes spending

especially after writing the book and recalling so many

time with my family (and fur babies!) and advocating

life lesson memories, what stands out, and what do

for female entrepreneurs. Living your dash the way you

you see inside yourself that reflects the incredible

want to is critical to happiness – no one can dictate

influence your parents and family have had on your

what happiness means to you except you!

success, joy, and kindness?

You write about the importance of authenticity

I am immensely lucky to have such a supportive,

when it comes to finding success, peace, and

hardworking, and loving family that has taught me

happiness. We couldn’t agree more! Why do you

more than I could ever imagine, and I continue to learn

believe this is so crucial?

from them every day. But above all, I am thankful for


how my parents and grandparents taught me how

alone, we partnered with over 10,000 local causes

to work and how to love. They inspired me to head

through the Kendra Gives Back program.

programs like Kendra Gives Back and Kendra Cares, which are truly rewarding.

This issue is celebrating hope and the holidays. What do the holidays look like for you, and do you have a

Let’s talk about making an impact! For anyone who

favorite holiday tradition?

doesn’t know, can you share a little bit about all the various Kendra Scott philanthropic programs?

It wouldn’t be the holidays without my husband, our 6 kids, and 4 dogs! I always look forward to spending time

At Kendra Scott, giving back is a part of our DNA, and

with all my kids, and we have so many fun traditions.

we believe giving back is the truest form of success.

Some of my favorites include decorating our Christmas

We are committed to giving back year-round to

tree as a family, baking cookies together, and hanging

causes that enable women and youth to live their

the stockings on our mantle.

healthiest, brightest, and most empowered lives. Not only does a portion of our annual proceeds benefit

Ask Us Beauty is on a mission to showcase beauty in

charitable organizations, but we are also proud to

all its forms. We believe it’s in our professional lives

oversee our very own philanthropic programs. Kendra

and our personal passions, our health, wellness,

Cares is our creative arts program, which brings the

family, friends and loved ones. How do you personally

magic and joy of our Color Bar™ to pediatric hospitals

define beauty?

across the country and allows patients and their caregivers to design a customized piece of jewelry

I couldn’t agree more that there are all different forms of

at no cost. To date, the program has expanded into

beauty! Beauty to me means celebrating those unique

over 30 pediatric hospitals across the country, and

traits that make you one-of-a-kind. Thank you Kendra

we can’t wait to continue climbing. Kendra Gives

for sharing your story and making an impact!

Back, our community giving program‌, allows anyone to host events, virtually or in-person, for causes and

Born To Shine is available here

organizations you care about most. In the last year




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You’ve been performing since a very young age. How have you navigated through, and what are a few things you have learned throughout your years as a professional artist? My mentor Quincy Jones always told me that you can never be a better musician than you are a person. They say, ‘don’t meet your heroes,’ but every time I have met mine, they have always lived up to their work. I think this sentiment has everything to do with that. They are able to reach a masterful level of greatness because they are good from the inside out. Keeping this in mind while


YANOFSKY @officialnikkiy

navigating through my career (which took off when I was really just a kid) has helped me to handle myself in a way I am proud of. Throughout my entire career, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that if you’re a nice person, your music will reflect that! Another valuable lesson I have learned is not to be too proud. It’s essential to have confidence in your own abilities, but it’s also super important to be open to good


advice when it comes your way. ontreal-based jazz singer/songwriter Nikki Yanofsky has a voice and jazz style that made her an international sensation at the

age of just 15 years old. From headlining major jazz festivals, playing at Carnegie Hall, or performing with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Nikki’s uplifting gifts have been bringing joy and happiness to people around the world for years. Her latest masterpiece Nikki by Starlight just released October 21st.

Questions For Nikki Tell us about your new album, Nikki By Starlight I have never been more excited for a project to come out. This is my first album that I have co-produced. I approached it as if I were around when these jazz standards were being written. The tracks are all original arrangements that honor the era they come from. My vision for this album was to recreate a truly vintage jazz experience, both for purists and for the new generation. Every day people are falling in love with music they’ll never have a chance to experience live: Frank Sinatra,

In addition to making an impact with your music, you also make an impact through your philanthropic efforts. Can you share a bit about those efforts and what it means to you? Giving back is a core value of mine. It’s what connects us. All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we are on the receiving end of that help or not, I wholeheartedly believe that we can all make a positive difference in each other’s lives. Music has the ability to connect us in some divine way, and I think it’s a beautiful tool that we are able to use for good. Since it is our holiday issue, do you have a favorite holiday tradition or memory? Absolutely! On the first night of Hanukkah, I love to give my family their presents, light the menorah, and eat lots of latkes!!

Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, and the greats. I am truly hoping to offer modern audiences a gateway to relive that classic jazz magic. HOLIDAY BEAUTY



We Are Free Birds


any of us midlife mamas face the emotionally daunting task of dropping our kids off at college and saying goodbye to the lives we have known. Couple that with the scenario of this being either your only child or the youngest of your brood, and the change is more significant. Whether we like it or not, the cadence and dynamics of our households will never be the same. Like many of you reading this, we “She’s a 10 Times 5” mamas recently faced the milestone of dropping our youngest off at college. As such, we have spent many hours discussing what our new paradigm of motherhood will feel like, and what this new phase of life will become. Change is never easy, but completely altering who we are as moms is next level. According to traditions and social constructs, we are now deemed “Empty Nesters.” (Insert scratching head emoji please.) Yes, we no longer have our kids at home on the regular. Yes, our kids are now adults and carving their own lanes in life. But empty nesters? We aren’t here for that new label. Anything starting with “empty” doesn’t sound or feel like a club we women of purpose should want to be a member of. It has an undertone of negativity and alludes to a phase of loneliness, even darkness. When we drop our youngest off at college, we are anything but empty. On the contrary, our hearts are FULL. Full of memories, promise, sadness, happiness, hope, pride and LOVE. We are now part of an intricate dance of push and pull, and it’s not meant for the unprepared or weak of heart. We parents want to pull our kids close. We wish to protect them and continue



to help them navigate, as we have a road of success, mistakes and experience behind us. We unsuccessfully try to explain that we see the forest through the trees. Our kids, however, push. Push us ever so slightly, and, sometimes overtly, away. They want space to make their own paths and their own mistakes. They want to celebrate their individuality and purpose. So, we wait for the calls, FaceTimes, visits and any sign that indicates they are pulling us back in. Although it feels different, they eventually all do. We “She’s a 10 Times 5” mamas have decided we aren’t empty nesters...We are full and free! Full of possibilities, hope, and promise. Free to try new things, spend more time on our personal passions, make new relationships, and experience new things. We are entering a new lane of life where we can focus more on our individual selves. JUST. LIKE. OUR. KIDS. This is our next chapter, and we have earned our wings to fly and create our own separate flight patterns. We should harbor no guilt, as our kids are watching and wanting us to have our independence and self identities. They don’t want us shackling our happiness and purpose to them—they want us to show them what it means to fully live. We aren’t Empty Nesters, we are “Free Birds,” and our nests are merely our collective landing strips, and the roots and homes our adult kids always find their way back to. As we say in every episode...”Let’s Do This!” IG: @shesa10times5 FB: She’s a 10 Times 5

Timeless BEAUTY Diamonds in the Rough Written by Marianne Pienias


appy Diamond Anniversary to Marcel and Theresa Levesque! Not Silver for 25, not Gold for 50, Diamond- for 75 for years of marriage! According to Google, if a couple makes it to 70, they are in an exclusive club that represents one tenth of one percent of married couples. 75 is so rare that it doesn’t even warrant a statistic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Defying the odds, Marcel and Theresa

banter never gets old. I took the liberty of asking their eldest son John, and he simply stated, “They just work.” Theresa, who is very Irish, and Marcel, who is very French, could have been like oil and vinegar, but magically they united, and the rest is history. They are the proud parents of John (74), Michael (64), and Maria (60). They have seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

celebrated 75 years of marriage on July 26, 2022. What makes their love story extra unique is the fact that they have known each other for almost 100 years. That’s right, they were next-door neighbors on Central Avenue in Lewiston, Maine. They grew up within feet of one another, and almost a century later, they are still together. Marcel enlisted right out of high school, as so many did during WW2. In 1945 he was granted a leave to go back home to visit his ill mom. When he arrived at the hospital,Theresa was already there by his mom’s side. She graciously offered to leave to let Marcel have alone time with his mom, but he said, “No, we will go home together.” It is assumed that he knew from that walk home that she was “the one.” Ironically, Marcel did not ask Theresa for her hand until the day before their wedding. Theresa’s mom asked Marcel if he was ever going to propose, and Marcel got down on one knee right then and there. When I asked the humble couple for their secret to a long-lasting marriage, Theresa jokingly responded, “I do everything he asks”; however, Marcel was quick to refute her response as BS and succinctly added, “We just get along.” I guess it’s safe to say that playful

According to their “children,” Marcel and Theresa live their lives like everyone should, treating others as they would like to be treated. They have always remained loyal and never thought twice about serving their country, their community, their extended families, and, of course, each other. The most recent testament of their love was displayed this past August. Their thoughtful children surprised Marcel with a trip to visit their hometown in Maine to enjoy some real seafood one more time. On his return, he vowed to Theresa that he would never leave her again. When Theresa asked why, Marcel simply replied, “Because I missed you, dammit!” Theresa is 95 and Marcel is soon-to-be 97, and they are still so full of love. Marcel had two aunts that lived to 102 and 107, so we are wishing the couple the best. Hopefully they will make it to their Oak Anniversary. Yes, I had to look it up, but 80 years of marriage is called Oak!




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he holidays are such a wonderful and beautiful time of the year. Despite the hustle and bustle of daily life, the magic

of the holidays brings intentional acts of gratitude, kindness, and community to fruition. Creating this holiday issue definitely brought us joy and is one of life’s gifts that will, hopefully, keep giving. We at Ask Us Beauty are humbled by the support from our partners, contributors, and our everyday readers. It is our great privilege to provide a platform of truth so that consumers can make informed decisions about beauty and wellness products, procedures, and services. Thank you for sharing your lives and allowing us to pay your gifts forward to readers everywhere. With a passion for making a positive impact, Ask Us Beauty has chosen to highlight One Simple Wish, a charitable organization that strives to instill happiness into the lives of those who have been affected by foster care and childhood crises. For every digital subscription purchased, 50% will go back to this incredible foundation. If you would like to grant a wish and change a life, visit https://www. to learn more! As 2022 comes to a close, it is important for us to be grateful for what we have and focus on being even better. We encourage everyone to stop and smell the roses before diving into a new year. Take the time to celebrate the beauty around us. “Auld Lang Syne” is one of the renowned Scottish folk songs that many of us will hear, or attempt to sing, as midnight approaches on New Year’s Eve. It reminds us of the past and ushers in the new year. So, celebrate your past beauty and make 2023 even more beautiful. Cheers!





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