t h i r t y things I learned by 30.

My 30th birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year so it was doubly special for me! I celebrated the day before with all my best friends and family at Malibu Wines and Beer Garden. It was by far one of the best birthdays, ever and I’m SO thankful to everyone who showed up that day. I was truly surrounded by the people who make me happiest. Then, for my birthday/Mother’s Day.. my family and I lounged the whole day together while cooking homemade pasta and a delicious feast for dinner. It was just perfect!

For the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about life and things that are changing as I’m getting older. Mainly, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned in my last 29 years and who I want to surround myself with on a daily basis. I compiled a list of 30 things I’ve learned by 30 and I wanted to share them with you!   

E N J O Y!

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  1. always be kind // “always be kinder than you feel”
  2. have patience // I struggle with this in certain situations but I’ve come to realize how important it is so it’s something I work on daily
  3. timing is everything // this is probably the hardest one for me, to realize things happen for a reason and when things don’t work out, I have to know that there was a reason for that
  4. my person is out there and that opportunity will present itself when it’s time // the older I get, the more challenging this is to accept, but deep down, I KNOW it’ll happen.
  5. choose to do something every day that makes you happy
  6. never compare your path with someone else’s ; everyone is different
  7. surround yourself with people who feel like sunshine // by 30, I can honestly say I found the group of people that make me the happiest and give back the same relationship in return
  8. try to step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while.
  9. pilates is my life // started this at 27 and will be continuing forever.
  10. there’s nothing better than the feeling of working hard and earning your own money
  11. family is everything
  12. try to learn something new every day
  13. not everyone is your friend and that’s ok // keep being friendly, but don’t always expect to get that back.. the right ones will prove themselves
  14. eat healthy, workout and take care of yourself but if you want that in n out burger or to eat those fries with that salad.. DO IT and be happy about it.
  15. embrace your flaws, no one is perfect // I know I’m far from perfect and I have flaws so embracing them has been big for me
  16. having more than one cat doesn’t make you weird // I’m not a “cat lady”, I am compassionate about rescuing animals of any kind and animals are my life, cats are just best in apartments.
  17. it is SO okay to say NO // this is huge for me and it started after my surgery. I say no to things I honestly just don’t want to do and it’s the greatest feeling
  18. be YOU // in life, on a date, with your friends or with strangers. Don’t change your true self to try and fit in. You’ll be loved just as much for your true self.
  19. balance is hard, try your best // sometimes life is crazy and sometimes you think you can’t handle it, but you can. Take a deep breath and take one thing at a time.
  20. look up from your phone more // this is challenging, but it’s something I’m trying to do more around family and especially out to lunch or dinner
  21. ALWAYS find ways to laugh until your stomach hurts // this is truly my #1. I’m always laughing and it’s SO important for my well-being. There’s nothing better than laughing till you cry with your friends and family
  22. don’t just dream, dream bigger //  take your dreams to the fullest. never stop dreaming and making goals for yourself
  23. if you love someone, tell them & show them // this is everything I am. It’s one of my biggest traits. I love doing stuff for people, making them smile and helping them out. It’s how I show my love
  24. if you want to spend an hour on social media or watching silly tv, do it // you are your own boss and you’re human.. especially now at 30. If it brings you joy, continue that because you need some time in every day to zone out and be with just yourself
  25. priorities change // towards the end of my 20s I realized my priorities were changing but now I can truly say how real it is. Suddenly that night out late with a new friend doesn’t beat a night in with the family.
  26. save save save your money.
  27. choose to do something every day that makes you happy
  28. love what you do for a living, with every bit of you, or you’re wasting your time
  29. never give up, in work and in life
  30. rule your mind, or it will rule you // be positive and be kind to yourself and the things you’ve always wanted will come true

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my life lessons!

xx, Coco

Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

About a week ago I found out that  M A Y  is Skin Cancer Awareness month and to be honest, if I hadn’t had skin cancer before, finding that out probably wouldn’t stand out to me as much as it did. Skin cancer is unfortunately pretty common, but extremely treatable if caught early. I can’t strive it enough (and my family and friends know this too well) HOW important it is to get checked out by a dermatologist, YEARLY. Skin cancer can show itself in a variety of different ways and it’s something I’ll never understand, so I totally and completely trust my doctor. Skin cancer can appear out of nowhere or come from a mole that’s changed over the years. Either way, even if you think you’re fine, it’s good to get checked JUST TO SEE.

While I was looking into this topic more, I found an article talking about how survival rates for Melanoma are increasing and I wanted to scream in joy! SO wonderful to read something like that. It’s the deadliest skin cancer because it’s deceiving but with regular check ups and knowing the A, B, C, D, and Es of skin cancer you should be just fine!

A is for asymmetry

B is for border irregularity

C is for color variation

D is for diameter

E is for evolution or change

Listen, in no way am I sharing this information to scare you. If anything, it’s to make people MORE aware of what’s on their bodies and if there’s something weird, go to the doctor. Always wear sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day, especially at the beach or outdoors all day. Wear hats and STAY OUT OF TANNING BEDS!

Lastly! Here are some products I recently invested in for the summer (especially), but can and should be used daily!

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  • Amazing for reapplying sunscreen throughout the day and fighting shine! >> Sunscreen Setting Powder
  • This stuff is so cool! Poof of powder along your part and in your hair provides sun protection and adds a little volume too! >>   POOF Part Powder

Check out the whole website! They have every kind of sun protection product you could ever imagine. They make it SUPER easy to reapply all day! Supergoop

Get your skin checked. Stay out of tanning beds. Wear sunscreen. And  A L W A Y S, always, ALWAYS reapply!

xx, Coco

tan tan, baby.

Okay, so I’ve never entered a tanning bed once or really ever had the patience to lay out and get a nice tan. Then, the whole melanoma thing happened and it scared me enough to EVER want to do those things or really be in the sun at all for long periods of time. So, because of all that I tend to get airbrush tans or use self-tanners, but I’ve never been a person who’s known the most about them or even had one that I could say was THE ABSOLUTE BEST, until….. N O W.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the hands down, best self-tanner you’ll ever lay your hands on: Sunright Insta Glow. This stuff is incredible and the best part about it is, it’s good for you too!

Benefits of Insta Glow:

  • doesn’t streak
  • no stained hands
  • a perfect golden glow
  • formulated for your face and body
  • works with your skin to give you your perfect shade
  • fast drying
  • develops instantly, and darkens up to 30 min after application
  • no strong odors
  • buildable, for desired darkness
  • lasts up to 7 days!

My friend Jordan, from college, and I recently started catching up through Instagram and not only did I notice how perfectly golden tan she was, I needed to know HOW! She started telling me about Sunright Insta Glow and how she sells it as well! I was blown away the minute she told me everything and knew it was something I wanted to try because it seemed so different than what’s on the market today. I also liked that it wasn’t something I could just go out and buy, I had to get it from her and it seemed more special that way! Once it came in, I really couldn’t wait too much longer to try it and as soon as I did I was HOOKED. She wasn’t kidding! This stuff is pure  G O L D. It’s not just me who thinks this tanner is amazing too. In 2018, it was declared the best sun care/tanning product and it’s so well-deserved!

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Since trying this product for myself, I’ve turned 3 or 4 of my friends onto it too and once they tried it, the texts poured in about how incredible it was! I’m so happy to have found a self-tanner that gives me that perfect bronzed glow while also being really good for my skin at the same time! I use it weekly, for events and can’t wait to use it all summer and trick people into thinking I worked for that tan!

See for yourself! Order yours today through my girl, Jordan! She’s the best and sells a lot of other amazing products too! She’s also a fitness instructor and has a ton of good tips and tricks to a healthy, fit lifestyle!

Find her here >>> Jordan McClanahan and tell her you found her through me! or my blog!

Happy tanning!

xx, Coco

modernly dating

 

Dating in today’s society is not like it used to be. I won’t start by saying chivalry is totally dead, but it’s definitely what’s missing. When my parents grew up, dating multiple people at the same time was perfectly normal. Nowadays, dating more than one person is almost frowned upon because that shows that you aren’t serious about what’s in front of you or you can’t make up your mind. To me, it’s all about finding that perfect person for you, seeing what’s out there and discovering what makes you happy. If you don’t leave your options open, you could be shutting yourself off from “The One.”

         That brings me to the low down of dating today. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be! I believe the dating game has changed drastically and will continue to change as the years go on. What I have trouble wrapping my head around is how hard it is to get a second date these days. Something as silly as that, but believe me when I say, it’s challenging. I want to say dating apps are great and make it so easy for us single guys and gals to meet people, but they are quite the nightmare as well.

         Technology, for one, has radically changed the world but add in trying to find a date by swiping through an app based on how attractive you find a person through a series of photos and you mine as well just toss your phone over a cliff. Dating through apps has become such a norm in today’s society that if you’re single and not part of at least one, you’re judged because how else will you meet people? Gone are the days of striking up friendly conversations at a coffee shop or grocery store that lead to first dates that sweep you off your feet. Now, we swipe right on picture in the hopes that we match with that person, start chatting, make plans to meet, and pray you don’t get “ghosted.”

         Ghosting is described as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” This is something that very well could have been around for ages, but it wasn’t until dating online that this term came into full effect. It happens everyday and it’s caused by both genders. How I see it is in these apps you’re given an endless supply of men and women to sort through. You happen to match with a few or so at a time and naturally start conversations. Once there’s a lull in a conversation or someone says something that completely turns you off, it’s then easiest to just stop responding than figure out how to tell him or her you don’t want to continue. For me, honesty is the best policy and although it hurts sometimes to be told the reasons why someone doesn’t want to continue talking to you or seeing you, it’s for the best. The worst is when it happens after getting invested in that person. Maybe you’ve gone on 3 or 4 dates with them and you think it’s going great and then poof, they’re gone and you never hear from them again. Listen, I’m not going to lie and take the high road here, I’ve ghosted before but in my defense it’s been in the early stages of a conversation when it’s not going anywhere or they say something inappropriate. But, now after it’s happened to me personally more than a handful of times, I realize how frustrating and upsetting it can be so I prefer to be totally honest now, even if it makes me look like the bad person.

         With all this said, there are easily a million ways dating in today’s society is successful too. Meeting people in any kind of situation is hard, but not impossible. Dating apps open a whole new window of meeting people on top of the good old-fashioned way. However, to make the act of meeting someone possible, you need to put it out in the universe that you are ready. I’ve learned, through many friends, to write down your intentions in a journal. It doesn’t have to be everyday, unless you want to but write down the things you want in life. For instance, write down what you’re looking for in a partner and all the little details. Physically writing it down puts it out into the universe and good things will follow.

         I have no doubt I’ll meet my person one day, but I’ve come to realize it just takes time and patience. No one is on the same schedule. Everyone’s path is different and when it’s your time for that certain happiness, you’ll know. You won’t question anything and it will just be right. Never give up and never settle for less than what you deserve. Find someone who loves you more than you love them and someone who never stops trying to make you happy. Everyone deserves to have their own happily ever after, when will yours begin?

While writing this up, I came across this article about some rules for dating and it really stuck with me. I hope you find this helpful or at least learn a thing or two you didn’t realize before!

C H E C K  I T  O U T   ——– >  Modern Dating Rules

xx, Coco

the MAKEUP ARTIST journey.

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The journey to starting any career takes a lot of work and lot of time. I didn’t grow up thinking or dreaming of becoming a makeup artist. It kinda just came to me one day and I’ll always be thankful for that day! My mom is a cosmetologist so I grew up around her doing our hair and makeup for everything as well as for our friends growing up. I like to think it was kind of built into me, in a way. However, it’s still not something I grew up wanting to pursue myself. I always imagined myself working with kids in some way, preferably holding babies daily, but that’s not really a career…. so! After going to college for a year for Child Development and not really knowing where I wanted to go from there.. I started brainstorming and for some reason makeup school kept popping into my head.

I told my parents about my major life switch up and at first they were hesitant because they thought that meant I was dropping out of college. No, no and NO. I would never do that, I just needed to find something that I could make a career out of as well. I enrolled at Makeup Designory for the Summer and then transferred to California Lutheran University to finish my last 3 years of college. 3 years later, I was an official makeup artist graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and I was ready to start my career!

Starting out in the makeup industry (or entertainment industry) is  H A R D  W O R K. Even if you have some sort of connections, which I did, you still need to make a name for yourself and hope that these “connections” will continue to use you. I can confidently say that it took about 3-5 years for my career to truly take off. I worked hard, I worked for free, I worked for experience, I networked, I did jobs I wouldn’t normally choose, but all of it WAS WORTH IT. Now, 11 years later, as a freelance makeup artist, I am proud to say I still absolutely love what I do for a living and I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I love that each day is different and I’m constantly meeting new people. I love that I get to  make people feel beautiful every day and put my creativity to work, all the time.  I love that I get to travel and meet other makeup artists in the field. And lastly, I love that I work for myself and own my own business.

With all this said, there are some things that I stand by and think are extremely important to succeed in this industry:

  • Freelance life is hard. Sometimes you don’t know when the next job is coming, but don’t give up. If you love it, it’s worth it.
  • Get a little side job. Whether it’s nannying, bartending, or something creative.. it’ll help with the slower months and put you at ease.
  • If you’re just starting out and just graduating makeup school.. never ever say NO. Say yes to any job that comes your way. Whether it’s for experience, trade for print or no money, IT’S WORTH IT. All the experience you can get and all the people you can meet will only help you in your career in the long run. Some of my very first jobs were the most influential. Also, you need to make a name for yourself and prove yourself. Don’t expect to start getting paid the big bucks right off the bat. Have the right attitude and it’ll all make sense. I PROMISE!
  • That being said, one other thing I feel strongly about is attending makeup school. I know YouTube can teach people just about anything these days, but attending an institution aimed at teaching you the proper skills and techniques is very important. Popular makeup these days is very different than the classic makeup techniques and on-set etiquette, so I really can’t strive it enough.. Go to makeup school!
  • Always always ask questions. If you’re on set and working for someone, pick their brain. The more knowledge the better! Shadow makeup artists that you admire and learn how they work. Send emails and reach out to companies for information too! It’ll show that you’re eager to learn and always interested.

I know these are things that I feel strongly about but almost on a daily basis, I’m contacted about helping someone become a makeup artist or start out in the industry so I feel like this is some information that could help those people! And, I really hope it does!

Thanks for reading!

xx, Coco

melaNOma

 

Going to the doctor, for me, has never been something I enjoy, but I know it’s necessary… (especially after my whole brain tumor experience.)

So, the dermatologist is no exception. I’m a fair, freckly, girl and it’s important to get that kind of skin checked. Granted, I’ve never been the type to spend my time in the sun without sunscreen though. There have been a few times that I’ve gone without it and regretted it completely, not going to lie about that.

About two years ago, I had a pretty busy year and at the end of it realized I had missed my yearly skin check appointment. I had also noticed two very small freckles on my shoulder that seemed to stand out more than my others. Of course, I thought nothing about it really. I’ve had moles removed because they looked weird before and it’s always been nothing. So, I scheduled my skin check, just to make sure everything was okay. I have a pretty amazing dermatologist, who truly is one of the only doctors that makes me feel super comfortable, so I’m lucky about that. In these appointments, my doctor looks over my body, scans for anything that stands out and also asks if I’ve noticed anything weird. But, pretty much right before she asked me that, she noticed my shoulder and said, “I don’t like these and I want to take them off.” Again, didn’t think much of it because that’s happened a few times before. So, a shot in the shoulder, a few shaves of skin gone, and 1 stitch later, I was dressed and on my way out… results would come in two weeks when I went back in to get the stitch removed. IMG_7554

About a week into my two weeks of waiting, I received a call from the office stating that I needed to call them back ASAP. – This is NEVER a call you want to receive – Even if it’s not bad, a doctor calling you and saying that before you’re supposed to hear from them is BEYOND scary. So, even though I was shaking and super nervous, I called them back. And here’s where they go wrong again.. telling me I need to come in to discuss results and not tell me over the phone. OF COURSE I FREAK OUT AND IMMEDIATELY GO TO BAD THOUGHTS. Who wouldn’t?? Everyone told me to just wait and see, don’t worry until you have a reason to worry, but this one was hard for me. I wanted to believe everything was okay, I did, but sometimes you just can’t control how you feel. A day or two later, I went back in, shaking with nerves, ready for anything. My doctor came in and almost immediately said the words, “so, we got your biopsy back and it is Melanoma.” MELANOMA. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’m too young for that. That’s not right. Are you sure?? But I always wear sunscreen and I’ve never set foot in a tanning bed!! But, it was true, unfortunately.. and I almost immediately broke down in tears. I had been holding it all in waiting for the news and I just couldn’t hold it any longer. Everyone knows Melanoma is real and it’s scary but I truly never thought I’d hear those words about ME. So, of course, right off the bat, as soon as I calmed down, I started asking questions. She assured me we caught it so super early and that it’s the kind we could take care of in-office and I wouldn’t need extra surgeries or chemo. Thank goodness!

My surgery was scheduled for a week from then with the doctor who owns the practice so I definitely felt comfortable, even though I hadn’t met him. I went to my appointment on my own (which, to this day, I’m still proud of myself for. I don’t usually do major doctor appointments alone!) I wasn’t necessarily worried about this surgery, more about the recovery and the shots they use to numb you. I was used to getting 1 or 2 shots for a biopsy, but when the nurse told me I’d be getting 7, I just about choked! IMG_7558These Lidocaine shots HURT. I like to think I have a pretty high pain tolerance with what I’ve gone through in my past and the fact that shots/IVs never hurt me and my tattoo didn’t hurt but HOLY MOLY the pain from these shots is killer. So, one by one she gave me the shots and I just cringed and held my breath until the very last one, which hurt the most!! Don’t know how that’s possible! My shoulder was just about as numb as it could be and now, it was time to wait for the doctor to be ready and my shoulder to be prepped. I was left alone for a while before it started and I got so nervous that I was shaking and I thought I was having a reaction to the shots for some reason… another reason to bring someone with you! The surgery went well, fairly quickly and 12 stitches later.. my melanoma was out of me with a check up scheduled for another week or two later.

The check up went better than I expected. The stitches came out and I was told they got ALL THE MELANOMA! Celebrations were in order for sure. Best news ever. It was a little bump in my story and now I could move past it… although with Melanoma comes check ups every 6 months.. but I was okay with that. IMG_7557I want to always make sure there’s nothing there and if there is, that it’s taken care of right away. Because this skin cancer totally scared me and caught me off guard, I decided to share my story on Facebook and Instagram. It wasn’t for people to feel bad for me, at all, it was to make others aware that even if you’re not in the sun or you’ve never been in a tanning bed, this could still happen to you. Be proactive and get checked!

Exactly 1 year later, from my diagnosis, and I’m feeling great. Happy I got through that and that my first 6-month check up was clear! Coming up on my second and all I can do is pray that it’s just the same. This scare taught me a lot. It taught me to always be proactive about going to the doctor even if it’s just something you’re unsure about and to always always always use sunscreen. Reapplying is key!

Don’t wait…. Go get checked now!

Thanks for reading!

xx, Coco

The Busy Life

I used to seriously lose my mind when I was really “busy” in college and so on. I guess I never really knew what it was like to be busy  F O R  R E A L. “College busy” is overwhelming but it’s also because you’re too busy trying to have fun as well and meet so many expectations. Being busy in real life, in your career, is totally different and I kinda love it. IMG_7387

As a freelance makeup artist, the work never ends. Even if I’m not “on set”, I’m constantly working to get.. MORE work! Emails, networking, socializing, planning, and working on my website are examples of what I’m constantly doing for my career. I’m not going to lie, I don’t do that every second of every day that I’m not on a makeup job, but I assure you I’m always networking and that’s pretty cool, in my opinion. Almost everyone I meet and talk to happens to know someone in the “industry” which leads to possibilities of work, so networking isn’t that hard at all! My main focus is that those “meetings” lead to something in the long run.

On top of being a makeup artist, I’m a part time nanny as well. This partly stems from me never being able to give up my love for kids and also, it just adds to my love of staying busy. When makeup is slow, I know I always have my nanny job. For me to be sane, I need to know there’s always some way of bringing in some money, or else I’d lose my mind… So, with all that being said, I’d say a lot of the time I’m a normal type of busy as in two jobs, but not always crazy. When it gets crazy it’s when I’m on set for a few days to a whole week, on top of my personal life and other side makeup jobs I may have that week/month (for example, planning and designing makeup for an almost 200 member Showchoir). And, although sometimes I may panic or stress out or need a large glass of wine to get through it all, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There’s something about being stressed out for a little bit that makes me appreciate the outcome and what I do even more than I’d ever think. Being busy for me is my jam and I’d take it over the alternative, any day!

I’d love to know what you prefer! Even if it’s just that you love the amount of work you currently do in your 9-5 job, or if you have a job like me, or multiple jobs or that you just prefer to do your work and then have nothing to do for a while as well! It’s who you are and everyone runs differently and that’s just so cool to me!

xx, Coco

valentine’s day or just another day?

Let’s be honest here… Valentine’s Day is really just a day made up by Hallmark to celebrate love. Don’t get me wrong, if you celebrate it or you want to celebrate it, go ahead! But, for the single people out there.. it just tends to make us feel like we need to reach these expectations by Valentine’s Day to join in on the fun.

That’s definitely not the case. Valentine’s Day can be about any L O V E you have in your life. Your friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, cat or dog. Whether you go full out, dress up and go out on a date or stay home with take out and pjs on, is up to you to decide! And for the ones of us without a significant other to celebrate with but feel like you need to, it doesn’t matter! Go out with your girlfriends, have some cocktails, go full “Sex and the City” and enjoy yourself! Or, stay in and have an excuse to drink a lot of wine and eat a lot of chocolate. Don’t let society make you feel like you neeeed to celebrate v-day a certain way!

Either way, regardless of what you do that day or week.. it’s still a fun holiday to dress up for. I love the website Vici Collection lately and that’s where I got my super cute “Heart on the Sleeve” sweatshirt I’ll be sporting for V-Day! They have an endless amount of cute clothes and accessories but their valentine shop is to die for! I picked out a few of my favs below!  ∨∨

(Also! Don’t worry about just getting it in time for Valentine’s Day! You can sport these beautiful prints and colors all month!)

Josephine Crochet Top

Heart on my Sleeve Sweatshirt

I Love Carbs Sweatshirt

Chicka Pocketed Romper

Piece of Work Puff Sleeve Top

Hot Tamale Knit Sweater

Red Carpet Ruffle Wrap Dress

Sugar Mama Fuzzy Knit Sweater

Red Hot Pocketed Jumpsuit

And last but not least, my favorite and best new purse!

Highland Bag- French Rose

I hope you enjoy all these looks! They go from casual to fun to full on Valentine’s- fancy- date -night out! But yourself something fun and enjoy the holiday however your h e a r t desires!!

xx, Coco