The Secret Power of RED Lips

Spring 2019 @ Textures By Nef

Spring 2019 @ Textures By Nef

Victory Red

By Andrea “Andy” Hargrove

How do u feel after putting on lipstick in the bathroom mirror before walking out the door? A ritual you may have seen someone performing before you were “allowed” to participate. After a few conversations, we all agree it’s a certain something about lipstick that revs up our personal power at any moment of any day.  I see it as an act of optimism towards yourself and how you want to show up in the world. Disclaimer: I am not selling lipstick, I just wanna talk about how it makes us feel. How it made the women marching Fifth Avenue of New York with red lips for voting rights in 1912 feel. Or how in 1945 how it made the people suffering on their sick bed feel human again. Or walking into a room to pitch your idea to investors.

My left brain questioned the validity of lipstick’s connection to personal power.  In fact,  a recent Harvard journal extends “the lipstick effect” with a connection to academic achievement. Lipstick is magical. It’s not about just a look; Lipstick has a contagious feel. We paint our lips with colors called Savage, Vendetta, Clapback, and the list goes on to describe this initiation of personal power we unleash.

The open diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin at Belsen Concentration Camp moved me to write this post today. His vivid words told real horror stories about people in captivity during World War II. He went on to tell a story about a large delivery of lipstick from the British Red Cross: 

“I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity."

The mission of the British Red Cross is to mobilize the power of humanity so that individuals or communities can deal with and recover from a crisis. The audacity of red lips in the midst of trauma changed the narrative of this special group of women. I get to resound a moment of personal power in a place designed to destroy any trace of hope. As defined by Barack Obama,

“Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.”

Lipstick may not be your thing but it really does carry a certain something for generation after generation to express something big in a small way. So next time you catch a feel from witnessing someone wearing a bold lippie, there is probably an inspiring story behind those lips.

Goal Diggin'


Let’s talk about sustaining our New Year goals because quite frankly we have to,

right? If intentions are not set you are sailing in the wind completely to someone

else’s steering. We can’t control the wind but dammit if I don’t even try to steer

my own ship! Great goal setting starts with centering yourself from within.

Where in this world are you in the least bit passionate? How can intentions steer

you toward personal fulfillment? Lastly, what is a starting point of action you can

take today?

If you are looking for a way to allow internal guidance try this new technique

called #blindfoldedyoga. I know it sounds very Bird Box-ish but please stay with

me. Bird Box has become the new trigger word for us all who suffered through

this Netflix drama followed by endless memes on social media. However, blind

folded yoga is a game changer if you’re ready to realize next level body

alignment. With eyes closed feel your shoulders rest back as your inhale tucks

lower back for a strong out breath. Pick a simple yoga pose that does not

require a lot balance to start like down dog-> table -> mountain pose sequence.

Focus on breathing and body alignment. Was that not amazing?!

May your intentions for 2019 respect the current of the soverign winds and your

head create an action plan that aligns with your heart. Now get those hands to

work and grab your dreams.

5 Facial Hacks

So you decided to book a facial but not sure which one to choose?

Well let me reassure you, choosing a facial is not a test! Not knowing which facial will serve you best is exactly why estheticians like me share an entire industry to serve your individual needs.


Skip the guesswork and come ready to relax with my top five tips to improve your facial experience.

  1. Dress for success. Wear comfortable layers that can be removed leaving your arms, shoulders and decollaté completely bare.

  2. Snap a picture of your skin care products. Let your esthetician know what your routine looks like so s/he gets a fuller picture of your skin profile than just looking.

  3. Arrive 15 minutes early. Room for margin is always a good idea. The last thing you want is to be rushing to your spa appointment with nowhere to park and no idea where the restrooms are located. 

  4. Snooze your smartphone. Do not disturb is a wonderful feature that will only allow important calls to come through. Furthermore, let your people know you'll be unavailable for one hour. So go ahead and take your smartwatch off. Silence is golden.

  5. Detach. Now that you have nowhere to be and your tribe knows you are getting pampered, allow your mind to clear of your worries for the moment. It's a great time to practice mediation or just focusing on your breath. 

The Day I Un-friended Kermit the Frog

By Andy


Client: I’m so tired. I should wash my face before I go to sleep.

Evil client: Wash it in the morning. It’s not like your face is getting any dirtier while you’re sleeping.


Me: My face has been so clear! I really shouldn’t drink at my friend’s birthday party.

Evil Client: She just got fired from her job.



Client: Damn my underarms need to be waxed. DAMN Andy is booked today!!

Evil client: Shave it just this once.

Me 48hrs later: FML.


Andy: Can’t believe she shaved right before her wax appointment. How am i supposed to--

Evil Andy: Vengeance is mine said the tweezer.


Beauty Of Style Recap!!

Sending a Warm Thank You to You!

We would like to send out a warm thank you to everyone who came out and showed out at Beauty of Style!
We had a blast and more importantly we enjoyed you! Take a look at the few shots we were able to grab from the event!

Photo Credit: Shante` Fagans


By Andy

All this talk about fitness and facials has brought up some trending topics like: What kind of skincare products should I put in my gym bag? Well the main focus is to keep the skin properly ventilated,  prevent odor, and shower without losing moisture. There are so many fun and easy ways to keep a healthy glow instead of a melted mess across your face. After all, you might meet someone at the gym! How many times have you ran into a “potential” or even better--a former “situashionship” mid-workout at these social clubs we call gyms?  A healthy fresh glow is EXACTLY what we would like to be wearing while shaking hands with our past or possible future.



Today’s market for training apparel has skyrocketed in every retail store from Meijer to Lululemon. One key feature to look for is cool-wick technology. The ability to allow the dampness of sweat to dry during your workout will aid in staying fresh WHILE you train instead of transforming into a breeding ground for bacteria. Bacteria is exactly what causes odor--not sweat.


Also, I have found natural deodorants that contain baking soda are perfect for swiping along all skin-creases (not just your underarms). My only disclaimer is that baking soda used under the arms daily will cause hyperpigmentation in most cases for ethnic skin. Yikes! The baking soda is just too strong for everyday use (I will spare you my collection of pictures from case studies). However, between the thighs and/or bikini-line could benefit from a thin layer to prevent odor causing bacteria and reduce cystic acne.


Skip the impulse to carry full sized anything to the gym unless you are leaving it in a locker overnights. Travel size bottles of your personal care products are a must when packing your gym bag. If you can’t buy the travel size version, make your own! Empty 4 ounce bottles are sold at big box retailers like Target in the aisle where travel size toiletries are sold. Just fill your with your prefered cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Before you leave the aisle, throw a small cornstarch body powder and facial towelettes in your basket as well. Thank me later.


Lastly, I recommend packing a moisturizing body bar. No packaging. No spillage. No brainer. Rub the bar directly on your post-shower skin and store in the cool reusable tin (Baby Belly Bar, Peacock Room Detroit).  Look at you...saving a tree or two. Now zip up your bag and get your fine self back to work feeling like a million bucks.





Fitness & Facials Recap!!

The highlight was the post-workout conversations about what challenges we face with our fitness goals and how DIET is the hardest part to get under control. Friends were educated on their individual skin-care needs after receiving a 10 minute steam facial massage. Powered-up with tips and motivation to have a successful week! 

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