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11 things that are better than coffee

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Red lipstick
An hour of reading magazines
A cold shower
Green juice
Winking at a stranger
Dancing naked in your room
High heels
A cart wheel
Ice cubes on your ears
A gorgeous bra
10 deep breaths out the window

Enjoy waking up.  Save coffee for your dates and ploys to get them to come upstairs.

Love,
Sarah

Beauty secrets from my makeup artist

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Today I want to introduce my good friend and personal makeup and hair artist, Melissa Hoffmann. Melissa has been doing my hair and makeup for my photo shoots, videos, and special events since we met when I first moved to San Francisco 3 years ago. After working with her, she is the only one I let touch my face. I loved the way she did my makeup and hair so much that she suggested a lesson to teach me how to do it myself.

After my lesson with her, I started getting tons of compliments on my makeup and hair, which felt amazing.

Melissa and I have a shared beauty philosophy, that beauty comes from the inside but it doesn’t have to stay there, and every woman deserves to feel beautiful. Something amazing happens to our energy, our spark, our self-confidence when we spend time pampering ourselves and use products that make us feel good. 

I’m so happy that I get to introduce her and share some of her wisdom with you today. Make sure to check out her blog for her weekly beauty tips on how to be your most beautiful self.

Melissa is going to walk you through how to go from Drab to Fab, both in how you look, and how you feel.

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Go From Drab to Fab.

Have you ever woken up, looked in the mirror and felt like you didn’t look hot? Maybe you are having a bad day, or feeling down and discouraged. Or maybe you feel like this every day because you are too busy in the morning to do your hair and makeup and end up leaving the house feeling frumpy. Or you feel guilty about spending an hour or more on your morning beauty routine because it feels superficial and frivolous. You feel like you should be doing something more productive, like taking care of the kids, or working on your business.

As a Makeup and Hair Artist who works with hundreds of women, from entrepreneurs, to new moms and brides, to models, I hear this a lot (yes, even from the models!). They tell me that they often feel drab and unstylish, or don’t know how to do their hair or makeup so they think, why bother. And believe me, there are plenty of days that I feel frumpy too.  Don’t let it keep you down, sometimes you have to fake it until you feel it, and I can help you with a few easy tips (and some words of encouragement).

The best way to do this is to do your makeup and hair (and wear a fabulous outfit, but I’m going to let Melanie Kluger handle that next month). I know sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend time getting ready. But let me tell you why this is so important:

Doing your makeup and hair can bring out your inner confidence. Think of how you feel after you leave your hairstylist’s salon with a new haircut and color. You feel amazing, right? Now don’t you want to feel that way every day? You can just by taking an extra 30-60 minutes (or more!) to pamper yourself. And there’s nothing vain or wrong with wanting to feel and look pretty. If you hear that negative voice in your head telling you this, make sure you tell it “I am beautiful and I am worth it!

When you start your day with your makeup done and your hair looking great, you’re going to feel more confident, be in a better mood, and show up as your true self at work and in your daily interactions with others.

Here are some simple tips to help you look like you’re on top of the world.

1. Have a beautiful, glowing complexion. Nothing looks more polished and pretty than having beautiful skin. And even if you weren’t born with clear skin, there are lots of ways to look like it. Use a tinted moisturizer or foundation to even out your skin tone and cover up any redness, dark circles or blemishes. You can use a concealer too if you need extra coverage. Don’t forget to apply a pretty blush to your cheeks. I love Nars Orgasm, there’s a reason why it’s a cult favorite. Extra points if you use a highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and a bronzer for a sunkissed glow.

2. Do a soft smoky eye. This is Sarah’s favorite personal look (you can see a before and after of her below), and it looks amazing on everyone. There are many different ways to do a smoky eye, but this is a simple way to achieve this pretty look. Start with a light bronze eyeshadow swept all over the lid and into the crease. My favorites are Toasted from the Naked Palette (Urban Decay) or Mulch from MAC. Make sure to blend all your edges with a clean fluffy brush so there are no hard edges. Take either a dark brown, charcoal or black kohl pencil and line the top lashes and a little into the bottom lashes. Rather than lining under the lash line, put your pencil into it and and dot in between the lashes. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because you’re going to smudge it. Now you can take a qtip or a smaller stiff brush and blend your liner back and forth on the top and bottom. This is what gives smokiness to your eyes. You can use your bronze shadow on your small brush to help smudge the liner even more. Now finish with 1-2 coats of your favorite mascara.

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3. Wear a fun lipstick. The color can be your choice of either natural or bold, but do wear color on your lips. Not wearing anything on your lips can make your makeup look unfinished, and this is all about looking fabulous. I love wearing a hot pink, coral, or sexy red when I’m feeling drab. I instantly feel pretty and better about myself, and people will take notice. It shows confidence, even when you’re not feeling it. If you don’t have one, I recommend splurging on a ridiculously expensive one from a premium cosmetic line. And what better way to squeeze in a little retail therapy that won’t break the bank. For the ultimate in treating yourself, I’d go with something from Chanel, or Tom Ford. For a more affordable treat, I love the fuchsia Girl About Town from MAC or Sarah’s favorite, So Chaud from MAC, a beautiful orange red. Now I know the “rules” say you’re not supposed to wear a bold lip with a smoky eye, but makeup is art and an expression of how you feel, so throw out the rules and do what makes you feel good!

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4. Try a new hairstyle. Getting out of your hair rut can really help you fake a good mood that can turn your day around. Stalk Pinterest for inspiration and just play with your hair. You can add some loose waves with a curling wand, a fun hair piece like a headband or clip, or put in a braid or two for a fun, boho vibe. Get rid of dull, greasy bed head with some dry shampoo, teasing or flipping your head over for a good shake and a light shine spray and you’ll be a new woman.

5. And last but not least, don’t forget about showing a big smile. If you take care of your yourself every day, your smile will come naturally.

Trust me, doing a little extra TLC for yourself when it comes to your hair and makeup will do wonders for improving your self-confidence. In the comments below, let us know what beauty secrets you have for faking it.  Even better, post a picture on Instagram of you modeling your beauty tip and hashtag #fromdrabtofab, and don’t forget to tag @sarahejenks and @melissamariemakeup so we can see your fabulous self.

If you want to learn more about working with me to find your signature beauty style, or for free makeup and hair tips, visit my blog and sign up for my weekly Beauty Bites at www.melissahoffmann.com.

Stay beautiful,

Melissa

 

Here’s your schedule for LIVE FREE

So many of you have asked for more details about what the week will entail, so we thought we’d paint the full picture for you.  Take a deep breath and take it in…

After packing your bag with your five favorite outfits, comfy pj’s that pair of shoes you finally have an excuse to wear, you head to airport and board the plane destined for San Francisco.

You land at SFO, grab a green juice at The Plant in Terminal 2 and set off to baggage claim to meet the three women who you’re carpooling with to Sonoma.  As you walk through the terminal you feel a little nervous to meet these complete strangers. Sure, you’ve been chatting with them on Facebook, learning about their businesses, relationships and why they’re coming to LIVE FREE, but you’ve never gone to an event like this without knowing anyone, and it’s a bit nerve wracking.  You take a deep breath, a sip of green juice and hope to god you don’t have to spend the next 2 hours in a car with a total psycho.

You recognize one of the women from her picture on Facebook, “Hi are you…?”. The woman shrieks with excitement gives you a huge, long hug and you take a sigh of relief.  She’s normal, even warm.  Excellent.  Soon after you connect with the other two women, more shrieks of delight fill baggage claim, you make your way to Hertz, talking the whole way, get in the car and set off for wine country.

The tunes are cranking, the sun is pouring in the windows and everyone is sharing the basics… where they’re from, what their career is, if they have kids… and after all that stuff is out of the way, you get down to the real stuff – the break up that encouraged one woman to change her life, the new business someone is starting, the desire to have more time with her family… real stuff.  You can’t believe how easy it is to talk to these women, like they’re the friends you’ve always wanted but could never find.

When you arrive at the Lodge at Sonoma you’re greeted by a warm sunny day and beautiful foliage.  The bell man greets you at your car, takes your bags and shows you to check in.  Once inside the lobby, which is filled some of the comfiest couches you’ve ever seen, you see small groups of women chatting and you wonder if they’re here for LIVE FREE.  One woman catches your eye from across the room, squints to bring you into focus and takes a few steps closer.  “Is she looking at me?” you think.  And suddenly a light of recognition pops onto her face and she screams your name, “You look just like your picture!” and then, yes of course! Three weeks ago you responded to her post about needing a roommate for this retreat.  “I already have our room” she says as she grabs your bag, “let’s go get you unpacked”.

She takes you out past the pool – cool, and sparkling blue with gorgeous lounge furniture all around.  You weren’t sure you wanted to put on a bathing suit… but this just may convince you.  She takes you to the back of the property where there are a collection of small cottages.  She opens the door and you’re greeted by a sitting room and two fluffy beds with amazing bedding.  Together you settle in, get to know one another and get ready for the cocktail party.

At 8pm you make your way to the other side of the pool where a group of women have started gathering.  You approach cautiously, not knowing exactly who to talk to, but you see one of the women from the trip from the airport and go over to say hi.  She introduces you to a women she just met who happens to be in a similar line of work and you instantly find a million things to talk about.  Suddenly you feel a hand on your shoulder and turn around. It’s Sarah!  She gives you a big hug and welcomes you to Sonoma.  Even though you’ve never met, she knows your name and your story.  You talk for a few minutes, she introduces you to Nisha, who asks you how things are going with your new website.  You give the report and are grateful that she remembers your story about firing your designer back in July and how you’ve been struggling to find a new one.

As the night goes on you meet so many amazing women.  It seems like everyone here does such cool things, are from all over the world and are just so… NICE! What a breath of fresh air.

Though it feels like you could be up all night, you take Sarah and Nisha’s advice and go to bed early to get rest for the next day.

Friday morning you put in your leggings and head to the great lawn for yoga. You’re greeted by one of the most serene, beautiful women you’ve ever encountered, and Michelle leads you through an incredibly relaxing, enlightening, feminine practice.  You finish feeling strong and calm.  “I should start my day like this every day!” you think.

You head back to your room, shower, put on your favorite jeans, new silk top and high heeled boots (you never wear heels, but when in Rome) and head to the Stone Room with your roommate.  You walk in and think, “was there a wedding here last night?” No, you realize, this is all for us.  Amazing.  The room has the tallest ceilings with huge beams and rough stone walls.  The tables are decorated with gorgeous flowers and the french doors lead out to a beautiful green lawn.

You find a seat next to two women you spoke with briefly the night before and wait for things to start.  You hear the music start to build and before you know it everyone is on their feet dancing their faces off.  You’re not one to usually to get down at 10 am, but hey, why the hell not!?

After a quick intro, Sarah launches right into the first lesson on Clarity.  Through out the lesson you start to identify your ideal life including moving to a bigger apartment, how to restructure your business, hiring a new assistant, the need to get to yoga more, how you want a garden and a dog and maybe…. a baby, what? You had no idea.  It all seems so big, so scary. “How am I ever going to make all this stuff happen?” you worry.

Then you break for lunch and walk outside to the most incredible spread of fresh veggies, salads, fruit and organic meat.  Sarah leads everyone in a mindful eating exercise and you enjoy your leisurely lunch with five other women sprawled out on the lawn.

For the rest of the afternoon Sarah & Nisha give you strategies to make shit happen.  You plan out your whole calendar including your day, week, month and year.  Then you had to get on the phone and actually cancel some things and sign up for that yoga class.  Sarah & Nisha want to make sure that what you talk about isn’t just dreams, you’re starting to really make them a reality.

The ideas are flowing and you’re getting so excited about what you want to create and you spend the rest of the afternoon masterminding with other women, troubleshooting where they’re stuck and getting support for yourself.  At one point you feel particularly stuck so you steal Sarah away for a quick one-on-one to get her opinion on something.

After a quick dip in the pool (you felt oddly at home in your bathing suit, weird) you shower and put on this super fun cocktail dress, something you would never wear, and head to the room for dinner.

The room is filled with soft candlelight and all the women look HOT.  You’re handed a glass of champagne and introduce yourself to a woman you haven’t connected with.  “This is so unlike me” you think, “being such a social butterfly, but I just feel so oddly comfortable and confident.”

Dinner is perfection.  Delicious, gorgeous and the WINE. Oh.My.God the wine.  I mean, you imagined it would be good since you were in Sonoma, but this is just beyond.  Sarah and Nisha really didn’t skip any corners.  You think about how nice it is to have all of your meals planned for you.  You’ve been to so many other conferences before when finding people to have dinner with you is a challenge and super awkward.  You never know where to go or how to split up the bill.  It’s so nice to just have things handled for once.

On Saturday you’re so psyched to get back to work after another amazing yoga sesh – god Michelle is gooood.  Sarah and Nisha talk about how to really leverage your time and talents, and Nisha teaches about the intersection between ambition and ease.  You didn’t realize just how much time you were wasting on stupid stuff.  You can finally see how you can work less AND make more.  After lunch you learn all about feminine flow and how to use it in your life.  You’ve never given femininity much but oh man, this is powerful stuff.  Sarah finishes with a lesson on body image and she made everyone cry… didn’t expect that one!

On Sunday morning you wake up a little sleepy after an incredible night.  You can’t believe the dinner Sarah and Nisha planned. What a surprise that was.  When you get out of bed you step on your wet towel.. “I forgot we went skinny dipping, ha!” you think and hop in the shower.

After breakfast you go straight to the room for your final lesson on relationships.  Sarah explains how as women, relationships are our foundation and the source of our joy.  Without good girlfriends and an amazing lover, we can’t create the life, body and businesses we desire.  They brought on an amazing panel and we spent most of the morning getting laser coached on our specific challenges with our relationships.

After another amazing lunch on the lawn we all pile in limo buses to go into wine country.  You spend the rest of the afternoon in awe of your surroundings at one of the most beautiful wineries in Sonoma.  As you taste wine and take in the scenery you reflect on all that has happened the past four days.  You have a clear plan for the next week and next year. I mean everything is booked, cancelled and ready to go, no long to-do list to tackle on Monday.  You’ve eaten well and worked out every day so you’re feeling strong and sexy.  You’ve met incredible friends, signed a new client and finally found a designer you love.  And more than anything, you just feel happy, calm and content.  You can’t remember the last time you felt like everything was going to be ok. “ Life is good” you think, and go back to drinking wine.

So there it is, a snapshot of LIVE FREE Sonoma.  If you’re feeling like you’re meant to be there, we would love to have you.  Secure your spot at LiveFreeRetreat.com

There’s something in the air – have you felt it too?  Big things are opening up as we move through summer into the fall, and looking ahead at the new year.  We’ve decided to keep registration open for a while, but the deadline to register for 3-payments is August 22nd.

If you’re hoping to come but haven’t made it happen yet, let Danielle know ASAP so she can help you figure out the details…let’s be honest, we’re more powerful than we give ourselves credit for!  If your heart is called to be there, we know there’s a way.  Let us help you figure it all out.

Lots of love,

Sarah & Nisha

The personality flaw most women have

I’d be lying if I said that past few months have been easy.  Becoming a Mom is rough sh*t.  And I’ve found myself from time to time putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect.

To be the perfect Mom
To be the perfect Wife
To have the perfect Life
To have the perfect Body

It can be all consuming.  But luckily, I’ve done enough personal work and have visited this place of perfection (you’ll read about one particularly low point below) enough that I know how to deal with it.

I’m so happy to give you today’s Throwback Thursday because it touches on this topic that so many of us struggle with.  If it’s anything I’ve learned, perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be.  You’ll see what I mean:

Today, I want to give you a window into my personal life that I’m pretty embarrassed to reveal.

My reflection scowled at me with disgust as I was getting dressed.

I felt so fat.

Yep. Fat.

My inner bitch came out with guns blazing. She told me that feeling fat was the unacceptable flaw that could ruin everything: my business, my relationship, my beauty. Toast. What would I have if I lost the one thing I had worked so hard at getting? A body I loved.

I was a puddle of grief, embarrassment and panic.

Luckily, my higher self (aka soul, intuition, inner light), the part of me that helped me heal from emotional eating in the first place, was able to talk some sense into my inner bitch relatively quickly.

She reminded her that weight gain is a sign that something is out of balance, that an emotion, a need, a void, requires tending to and nourishment. There was something to learn in all of this. I reminded myself that weight is just a big red flashing sign that something is seriously wrong. It was the arrow pointing to where I needed to focus more energy.

So I’ve spent the past month being curious about the lessons my body was teaching me, trying so hard not to cancel all social activities and go on a juice cleanse, because just getting rid of the “fat symptom” feels like the easiest thing sometimes, even for me, and I teach this stuff.

But my higher self knew there was a lot to learn from the discomfort and rushing to get out of it was only going to send me right back to feeling like shit.

So I sat and let myself feel fat for several days. It was incredibly uncomfortable. I hated it, but honestly, it turned out to be an amazing process

Here’s what I learned:

Our definition of perfection is masculine. We define perfection as linear. Our goal is to go in one direction towards a specific end point and when we reach it, we strive to stay there.

Masculine perfection is unwavering, stiff and permanent… I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a penis, so that’s not gonna work for me.

The feminine version of perfection is ebb and flow, expand and contract, wild, and unpredictable. Think of the ocean, tides, puberty, pregnancy, giving birth … always expanding and contracting, rising and falling. An exhilarating roller coaster.

Perfection is not about straightening out the roller coaster, it’s about strapping in and knowing that’s it’s going to be a wild ride. Ups and downs, dizziness, nausea. But when you expect it, it’s not so maddening, in fact, it can be really fun.

There’s nothing imperfect about gaining a little weight, or maybe not losing enough. It’s part of the ride. And the key to healing is forgiveness, love, learning from the falls and knowing how to start moving (slowly) back to where we know we feel our best.

Your task for the week is to accept your “imperfections” as normal, and still hold a vision for your ideal.

It’s so much more fun to be human, than it is to be perfect. Tweet it.

I can tell you from experience, that adopting the ebb and flow as perfect is incredibly healing. As I became more comfortable with the uncomfortable, looked for the lessons and continued to engage in my amazing life without rushing into a diet, my body responded lovingly by letting go of the weight that no longer served her.

Love,

Sarah