About two years ago, I was standing outside my friends interior design shop in Westport, CT. It’s across the street from the train station headed to NYC. I noticed a woman walking in my direction toward the train platform. She looked beautiful. Guess what, I did…? I told her how pretty she looked and that I loved her dress.
She was wearing a chic little black summer dress, Chanel purse and shoes. She stopped and said, “thank you so much, I wasn’t sure if it was too short to wear at my age.” (Aside: She was maybe in her late 40’s early 50’s. Not old at all.) I told her that she looked beautiful and I meant it. She smiled and thanked me. As she continued her hustle toward the train, I noticed the zipper on the back of her dress was not zipped all the way up. I politely yelled and ran up to her to tell her and pointed out her ‘almost wardrobe malfunction.’ She allowed me to zip her up and graciously thanked me again with an even bigger smile. It’s just a simple reminder that it doesn’t take much to be kind. It doesn’t take much to stop competing and start supporting each other. So please, stop the competition. We need each other. Let’s support each other. Isn’t that the story we want to tell?
“Be the type of person who cheers on others, compliments strangers, and encourages people to believe in themselves. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing.”
One of my favorite lines from ‘Love Actually’, and I have many, is “Life is full of interruptions and complications.”
These disruptions are not always convenient and often force us to pivot.
As a divorced, single mom of three, I know it’s not always easy to ‘just pivot’ but over time I learned it was necessary.
For example, this is the first article I’ve written here in a long time. Partly because our world was turned upside with the COVID lockdowns and the other because I had to pivot.
I was spinning my wheels as usual working full-time, granted from home, but still working 50+ hours a week, focusing on my kids, my health, staying connected with friends over weekly Zoom happy hour calls and keeping up with 18th Style on Instagram.
I knew something had to give, so I chose to focus on my kids, my health, my friends and my day job.
I know 2020 was a very difficult year for so many and I’m deeply sorry to those who lost loved ones, lost their jobs and suffered setbacks.
2020 for me, was a year where I was able to spend time with my kids. Time that I will never get back, a time that I am forever grateful for. My oldest leaves for college in September and I can’t imagine what life is going to be like without her here with me everyday.
So as we look ahead, there will be more interruptions and complications, it’s life…but perhaps we can try and focus on what’s in front of us today. Our friends, our family and the little things because as they say…
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things
My dear friend Lisa stopped by yesterday. It had been a few months since we last saw one another (she only lives 15 mins away , but we text almost every day). We were talking and just catching up. She has two boys 2 1/2 and 2 1/2 months. She is a rock star mom. Gets up early before the kids to meal prep, do laundry and everything else that we moms like to do, without distraction, before the kids wake up. Oh and she gets dressed, puts on some makeup and makes time for her. We were talking about
I was telling her about the launch of my website and she asked me a question, “Could I please talk about about being a ‘real mom.” I am sure you might be thinking, ‘what is a real mom?’
Being a real mom is sharing the good, the bad and the real. That our kids are not perfect and that it’s ok to be a mom AND take care of yourself. That you can be a great mom, eat healthy, workout, get dressed, go to work and put on makeup. That it’s ok to make yourself a priority too.
I am the mom of three girls, they are my priority and I adore them. But it’s not always pretty or perfect and it’s difficult. Think about this, we are moms are raising these children to be decent human beings with character and integrity, while trying to maintain our own sense of self.
I think many of us put our kids first so much, that we forget about ourselves. We’re so busy trying to be the perfect parent (which does not exist), many trying to make up for our parents mistakes, some of us helicopter parent, some go above, beyond or way overboard to compensate for our parents short-comings and I get it.
Unfortunately, along the way, I believe that we forget about ourselves. Remember, that you were Lisa, or Dawn or Renee BEFORE you had children and you’re still that person, a little different, but the same.
We are all so busy with our day to day lives, that we don’t block any ‘me time’ in to our days. So let’s make a conscious effort to do that,it may not easy, but try.
I know some days it’s not easy. I always plan my week: kids ‘stuff’, work, fitness…everything. Schedule the time, it helps!
My goal on these pages is to share my life and experiences. Past, present and the overall journey as Lisa calls, ‘momming.’
I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. I am a mom, just like you, navigating these crazy waters.
Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Julia, hair-stylist, make-up artist and founder of Brush Beauty Inc,and B3Balm, an all-natural and organic skincare line that is dedicated to take the guessing out of what you’re putting on your skin.
We met years ago through one of my best friends from college and I have to say, Julia is one the coolest gals you will ever meet. She is all about supporting women, helping people and giving back. This is one of the many reasons why she started B3 and one of the many reasons why I am a Brand Ambassador for this incredible brand. I hope you enjoy our interview.
18th Style: Where are you from?
Julia: NYC, I grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx.
18th Style: Tell me about your day job?
Julia: I do hair and makeup for commercial print and TV. My clients consist of NBC, ABC, FILA, Brooks Running, Tom Ford to name a few. I also own Brush Beauty, Inc and B3 Balm. Brush Beauty is a small boutique agency with artists all over the US and B3 is my new all natural and organic skincare line.
18th Style:How do you balance motherhood, life and work?
Julia: I cry and drink. Just kidding, I don’t do either of those… that much. I breath, I try to be conscious of the fact that I do the best that I can and make sure that I make the best out of the time that my daughter and I spend.
Luckily, a lot of my work is done from home now (not the makeup, of course, but B3 and the managing Brush Beauty), so I am able to pick her up from school or help her with her homework, or just sit and hang with her. I think for me it has become about priorities and realizing I can’t get it all done in a day and that that is OK. That spending time with my daughter and my husband is more important than getting the last thing for the day done – that one thing that NO ONE but me will notice if it gets done the next day instead.
18th Style: Please tell everyone more about B3.
Julia: B3 Balm is me being tired of the toxic products that we surround ourselves with. I knew it was possible to make a lot of the same things that we use day to day, make it better AND make it better for us. B3 is an all natural and organic skincare line.
As a makeup artist it was important for me to be able to give my clients something I could stand behind and, also, give them something they can use when we aren’t together – something they can use and not wear makeup too.
B3 Balm is about empowering people to feel good about themselves and, mostly, about giving people a few moments where they can breathe and pamper themselves. Sometimes, we don’t have more than 3-10 minutes in a day for ourselves. When I take five minutes to apply my skincare, it is five minutes to myself, pampering myself with beautiful and all natural products that make me feel really good and beautiful.
18th Style: What is your hope for B3?
Julia: My hope for B3 is success. Not only success in the marketplace, but success in making people feel beautiful in their own skin, naturally. We also give a portion of our proceeds to different charities and civil rights organizations, so I really hope to be able to make an impact with those donation in the future.
18th Style: How do you spend your free time?
Julia: On B3 haha. It’s new and I do it solo at the moment, so it takes a lot. But otherwise, I like going to the gym, I love sitting on my couch and mindlessly watching a show, talking and seeing friends, seeing family.
I would say my most favorite is a free day with my family where we end up taking a beautiful hike and eating out and just spending a day together making memories and having fun. I also just started taking a drawing class, I needed to do something that wasn’t work – art for art sake – something just for me.
18th Style: Who inspires you?
Julia: Ooof! There are so many. First and foremost, it was my mother who passed away 15 years ago. She was one of the most beautiful, fearless and bad-ass women I ever knew, and she was my mama.
Second, I would say my daughter. She has that same bad-ass fearlessness and it is just really cool to see who she is becoming and what she loves to do.
My husband is a constant source of inspiration. His work ethic is mind blowing and his desire to want to help and love is beautiful.
My dad who is retired from being an educator, but still does incredible and beautiful photography and my step mother who is a VP at Yale University.Talk about smashing the glass ceiling and being a boss!
Beside them, I have SO MANY talented and incredible family and friends – being a makeup artist and being able to watch and be inspired by creativity is incredible.
Also all these beautiful moms who work so damn hard, whether being home or working – being a mom is no joke and to see so many kick ass women do it in so many ways is beautiful.
18th Style: Who inspires your style and what’s your favorite store or brand?
Julia: I have always had a love for McQueen – I think his vision and execution was mind numbing. The beauty and old-soul darkness in his designs were some of my very favorites. I like to think that that energy is something that drives me.
18th Style: How would you describe your style?
Julia: I have a few different styles and it depends what I’m doing. When working, I want to be stylish, but I also need to be comfortable, so that is always a struggle. I really love the old t-shirt, jeans and boots vibe – I really only get dressed up when I have to.
18th Style: Favorite quote or saying?
Julia: “Now, for today.”
18th Style: Anything else you want to share, feel free. 🙂
Julia: Sure, I think when making life and job decisions, it is so important to look at quality of life and what you are gaining or losing by making those decisions. Sometimes the big title isn’t worth what it comes with outside of work – I think we (myself very much included) tend to forget that we work so that we can enjoy our life and not the other way around.
I don’t want to regret not living my life and not spending time with the people I love and doing things that fulfill me, to me, that is worth making a little less money for a lotta more happiness.
Want to try B3?
Click this link and receive 10% off your purchase by entering the code, Renee10 at checkout. xoxo