Trusting Yourself & Loving the Skin You're In | Secrets and Lessons

Ari is the Creative Director Assistant. Meet her mother, Tonya


When I was young, I thought my mom was magical, a goddess, the coolest woman ever. Now, I realize she's all of that and more. My mom is the most loving, gracious, and strong person I know-- and those powers are beyond magic. She's taught me to be honest, loyal and true to myself. For that, I am eternally grateful. Love you mom!



  • What’s your biggest beauty mistake? (an era of bad makeup, not washing your face at night when you were young etc.
    My biggest beauty mistake...I would say was following trends. And what looks good on another person might not look good on me. For instance coral colored lipstick--I thought that coral was just so pretty when it was in that summer, and I bought coral, and I just couldn’t find my shade. So that was my biggest mistake, following trends. If there’s something that’s an oldie but goodie that works for you, you can stick with it cause trust me, it’s gonna come back around.

    Favorite beauty tip/secret?
    A lot of people ask me that! As I’ve aged gracefully, so I’ve been told. I would say lots of sleep, and no drama. You know, stress can’t be avoided but drama can. So I try to have a drama free life. But as far as eating as healthy as I can, a lot of spinach and greens. And taking care of my skin. I think that taking care of your skin, cleaning your pores, washing your face, getting lots of sleep, drinking lots of water, getting that exercise in and having fun and smile! I think it all comes through.

    What’s your current beauty routine? What makes you feel beautiful?
    Every four weeks I get a facial. I do different face masks twice a week, and I wash my face religiously at night and put on moisturizer at night with vitamin C. I do what’s good for my skin because everyone’s skin is different. What makes me feel beautiful is when I am in my natural, my skin is pretty and clean, you know right before I go to bed. I think I feel beautiful when my skin is flawless. But I also feel beautiful when I’m made up, when I get to go out on the town and put on makeup and lashes, and feel just confident. And confidence to me is beauty.

    What’s been the best/most memorable time in your life?
    There are a lot, I think when I had my lovely daughter who is interviewing me. That was a lovely time for me. And when I graduated with my first masters degree, that was really fun. And when I started the charity for when almost 3 years ago. That was a memorable time because it made me feel like I was giving back.

    Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
    I think the best piece of advice I’ve gotten, and that I want to give to my daughter and other women is to not allow someone to set your limitations. Sometimes fear kicks in and you listen to other people, and they can be negative, about whatever you aspire to be or want to do. And the fear, along with self-doubt and no support, sometimes you feel like you can’t do something. And a lot of it is when people are in your ear. Your abilities should not be set by someone’s limitations of you, that’s the best advice I can give a person. That’s number one. Number two, don’t let your past dictate your future. Just because you may have had a rocky start like I did in life, doesn’t mean that you can’t surpass that, that you can’t go further and further. You can. It just has to be within you.  So whatever generational curse, I don’t believe in that. Yeah, it’s there, but at some point you have to wake up and say who am i what am i capable of? Just because your mom didn’t do it, or your father or your brother, and you look back and say if they couldn't do it I can’t...that’s not true. You’ve got to believe in yourself. With those two things, you can not fail. And even if you do fail, say ok I tried. And try again.

    If you could talk to your twenty-something year-old self, what would you tell her?
    Oh man, I would tell her so much. First of all, another guy is gonna come along! So don’t worry about that! But seriously, I would tell her that tomorrow comes. As long as you’ve got breath in your body. I know that right there in that moment when something happens that we don’t foresee or we didn’t think was gonna happen and it happens and it seems like the whole thing is gonna fall apart and we can’t see passed that go to bed and when you wake up, if God blesses you to wake up, then you can try again. So never just think that because you had a setback that that’s the end of your life. It’s not, it’s probably the beginning. I would tell my 20 y/o self not to sweat the small stuff, and confidence comes with age. You’re gonna grow into the woman you need to be if you keep living, you will. Make your mistakes! Have fun and make your mistakes. But at some point, you gotta learn from them.

    Have you been in love? What has it taught you?
    I have been in love. And what it’s taught me is that it shouldn’t hurt--love shouldn’t hurt. And I think that being in love is when it’s all fluffy and perfect and its wonderful and it’s new. And it’s a great state of being, but it’s not going to last forever. But while you’re there, it’s happiness and it’s joy and you feel good. But what it’s taught me is that everyone doesn’t deserve your love. If you really look at it, that in love is so sacred, everybody doesn’t deserve it.

    How do you show someone you love them?
    By supporting them and, not just with money yeah that’s one thing. I show people I love them by being in their lives and accepting who they are, and accepting that they’re gonna make mistakes and that I’m gonna make mistakes with them. Showing a person you love them means you’re going to accept all of them and everything that comes with them. Whether they’re pursuing something or they’re falling on their feet flat, you’re there as support. I try to be honest with people. And people will tell you, Tonya, she may be a lot of things but she’s not a liar. I try to be honest with people and I show you I love you by being honest. And it’s hard to be that way because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but when you love them you want them to be their best. You have to show them sometimes with tough love.

    If you could give me one lesson in love, what would it be?
    I think you should love openly, but cautiously.

    What does self care look like to you?
    Self care to me is when I’m taking care of my mind, and my spirit as well. You have to protect your spirit. Isolation sometimes, deep thoughts, deep breaths, soaking it all in. And you know facials and all those things are good too, but I think self care means you have to take care of your mind. Your heart, yeah we’ve talked about that. But rarely do people protect their minds, and their peace of mind. So to me self care is contentment, peace of mind, and taking a break from it all when you need to. If you wanna sit back and sip on some wine in your backyard and look at the sky, you know. Self care means you have to take care of your whole, your mind body and your spirit.

    How do you make time to tend to yourself?
    When I need to i’ll take a break, I disconnect from the world you know the internet. Cause you know it’s always scrolling, your finger moving and going, sometimes i just put it down. And just watch an old movie, or sit in peace, read a book, learn something. So I think sometimes you just need to disconnect from the world, and just be in your own mind, your own space. You don’t always have to have things movin and goin and noise. Sometimes you just sit there, and just meditate. And soak it all in. I do that! Sometimes I just don’t want to be bothered, I gotta take care of me.




    Speaking of self care, check out how Ari customizes the Deep Detox Mask to treat her skin!




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