The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation


I’m an on-again, off-again meditator. In today’s world, it can be challenging to take a few minutes of “me time” every day to balance yourself. No matter where you are in your life, odds are there are many things vying for your attention, but it’s actually in our best interest to take some time each day for meditation. “Meditation” can be an intimidating word, but it can be as easy as taking just a few peaceful moments to clear your mind.

I’ve always felt my best when I have 15-20 minutes to meditate at the start of everyday. The time I set aside for meditation also improves this way. It becomes easier and easier for me to reach a ‘clear’ space, the more often I meditate. Like everything else though, the practice of meditation is a habit, and somewhere along the way my meditation habit stopped, so now I’m working to get back into it.

In the meantime I try to find other moments to calm my mind. It can be 60 seconds of clear thought, 10 deep and uninterrupted breaths before moving on to something else (these can be done in the car or in any private space), or 5 minutes lying down in bed before sleep just appreciating the day. It can also be journaling, or taking a brief walk. The true purpose is to put space between your thoughts and the amount of time spent thinking them, with the goal of being present. Allowing yourself to be present, without interruptions, creates designated time for clarity to bloom.


The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

If you do a quick Google search for “meditation,” there’s a long list of philosophies and schools of thought that you can dig through. If you’re interested in learning more about them and choosing one that fits your lifestyle best, go for it! If not, though, don’t worry. You can reap the benefits of meditation without having to dive too deeply into a practice. Below are a few simple steps to straightforward meditation.

  1. Find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie down — however you’re most comfortable.
  2. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Feel free to use props, such as a pillow or folded blanket, if you need to.
  3. Slowly try to calm your mind. Don’t try to block any of your thoughts. Instead, try to notice and accept them as they appear, but don’t dwell on them. Just surrender to that noise in your brain.
  4. Relax your body – start with your shoulders, then unclench your jaw and continue to relax as you calm your mind. Meditation can only really happen if your body is able to relax, so make sure you’re comfortable and feel free to move around until you find the right position.
  5. Sit quietly for a minute, or up to 20 minutes and focus on your breathing.
  6. When you’re ready to get up, try to bring movement and intention back into your body and mind slowly.

How Will Meditation Benefit You?

  • Meditation can help regulate emotions, including anxiety. By learning how to clear your mind and simply exist with your thoughts you can better control the emotions that you feel. For people who have anxiety, this can lead to better control over that anxiety.
  • Meditation can help you stay focused. One of the most challenging aspects of meditation is allowing thoughts to occur without getting distracted by them. Essentially, you’re focusing on the task of not focusing. By doing so, you can learn to have greater control over your mental focus, and this can lead to better productivity and concentration throughout the rest of the day.
  • Meditation makes you take a closer look at whom you really are. When you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s hard to pretend that you’re someone you’re not. Through meditation, you can see first-hand your reoccurring thoughts and feelings so you can confront, change or adjust them. Meditation can be used as a tool for growth.
  • Meditation is wonderful for your skin. Stress is very hard on your skin —from frown lines to a dull complexion; it can take a toll on your skin’s health. Meditation helps you overcome stress and take a more confident, thoughtful approach to situations that, eventually, can help eliminate stress before it even appears.

    Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

    Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

    “Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

How to Protect Your Skin From the Cold Weather

How to Protect Your Skin From the Cold Weather


As the temperature begins to get cooler, the air has an impact on our skin. Cooler temperatures mean drier air, and drier air means drier skin. In addition to the weather, our age, average amount of sleep each night, stress level, and air quality (think working from home vs in an office) all play a role in how our skin feels and looks during the colder months.

It’s easy to assume your skin is in need of intense moisture during these months, and while that is true; there are other things that can be done to keep your complexion soft and healthy.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE TYPE OF MOISTURIZER YOU’RE USING

During the warmer, more humid months of the summer, you can get away with a lighter moisturizer. A light lotion is perfect for keeping your skin hydrated without feeling as though you’re suffocating under a mask in the heat of the summer. In the fall though, it’s time to up the ante on your moisturizer by opting for a cream or more substantial lotion. This will provide more intense moisturization — and you may be surprised by how quickly your skin absorbs it due to the drier weather.

CONSIDER ADDING A HYDRATING SERUM OR OIL

Applying a hydrating serum before moisturizing or applying light oil after moisturizing could be just what your skin needs to keep it glowing and smooth. Hydrating serums are formulated to deeply penetrate into the skin and therefore can deliver nourishing ingredients into deeper layers of the complexion. Whereas applying facial oil can help lock in moisture while also adding a protective layer to the skin.

REMEMBER TO EXFOLIATE

The outer layer of our skin is made up of cells held together by lipids, which helps to hold moisture in our skin. But colder weather can slow down the production of sebum and alter cell turnover, which can cause the skin to dry.

While increasing the intensity of your moisturizer will work wonders for keeping your complexion bright during the fall months, don’t forget to exfoliate! Exfoliating two to three times per week will remove dead skin cells and allow your complexion to glow no matter how quickly the temperature starts to drop.

Because exfoliation can take a lot out of your skin, it’s important to use a product that’s effective and packed with vitamins so that it contributes to the health of your skin while removing dead skin cells. Genuine Glow’s Brio Exfoliator is a wonderful product for all seasons and especially cooler weather, as it provides your skin with vitamins that promote tissue growth while healing and calming your complexion. Additionally, it’s perfectly suitable for sensitive skin — unlike harsher exfoliation products that can irritate and inflame the skin.  

With dead skin cells gone, your skin will produce healthy cells to replace them. This creates a healthier skin texture, which translates to fewer lines and wrinkles. And exfoliation clears the way for moisturizers and other products to be better absorbed by the skin.

Last tip; don’t skip your eye area or neck. The skin around these areas are thinner than your face, and need just as much care as your complexion – so don’t ignore around your eyes or your neck.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

My Brand Story

My Brand Story

Nicki Carrea - My Brand Story

My Brand Story – The evolution of Genuine Glow


As an avid traveler who has been everywhere from Ethiopia to Beverly Hills, I’ve been able to see a plethora of beauty routines first-hand.

But it was the amazing skin of people who primarily used natural and organic ingredients that always stood out to me. After 10 years of working a fast-paced and stressful job for a Fortune 500 company, I started having my own skin issues like cystic acne, hyperpigmentation, a dull complexion, and scaly stress patches. So I decided to turn to natural and healthy ingredients to improve my complexion, but had trouble locating products that were both an easy and clean solution. It’s not that they didn’t exist, but it was tricky to narrow down all the messaging and isolate 1 product that offered results instead of just being ‘natural.”

Talking to holistic practitioners, dermatologists, and through my own independent study, I identified the core nutrients the skin needs to become its healthiest version. After partnering with an organic farm on the West Coast, the first Genuine Glow exfoliator (Brio) was born out of the knowledge that healthy food and healthy eating are the foundation for overall physical health; therefore healthy skin care ingredients are the foundation for overall skin health

After success running Genuine Glow as a small, local business, I was able to turn Genuine Glow into my full time job and expand the company. In the first few years Genuine Glow received some notable mentions in magazines and blogs and was nominated for 3 CEW Beauty Awards (Best New Indie Skin Care, Best New Cleanser/Scrub (Brio), and Best New Indie Beauty Brand) as well as being mentioned as a Top 50 breakthrough beauty brand.

Just as it felt like Genuine Glow was taking off by landing a contract with Ipsy, my Mom suddenly passed away and I had to step away from what I built. If you’ve ever lost someone incredibly close to you, you know it shakes you at your core. You aren’t the same person anymore. Your priorities shift – and mine did, so I needed to take time to heal and really evaluate what my priorities now were, and what would be the next step for me.

In May 2019 I started to become deliberate about what I wanted to do next and what was important to me, and I decided to rebrand Genuine Glow as an inside-outside beauty company. While we still manufacture our hero product (Brio Exfoliator) because it’s an incredibly effective product that delivers results, it’s paired with an equal focus on inner wellbeing. I’ve learned it’s impossible to discuss true beauty without acknowledging the importance of our mental health and wellbeing.

On the outside my Mom was beautiful and successful, but she suffered from depression for years. And after she passed away, I experienced my own struggle with depression. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people over the age of 12 take anti-depressants, and it’s been reported that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years.

Because of my years in the beauty industry as a customer and brand owner, I’ve witnessed how the images we see and the words we hear effect our psyche; and it’s my mission to promote the importance of recognizing inner beauty when it relates to what we as a society consider to be beautiful. We can’t operate as if a lipstick shade, rosy cheeks, an ideal weight, or a great selfie are enough for us to achieve happiness and satisfaction.

Rebuilding Genuine Glow from the ground up, Brio’s packaging colors were chosen because they promote confidence. The light citrus scent of the exfoliator has been proven to make people feel happy, and exfoliating is one of the easiest things we can do to improve our complexion. On top of that we take a positive approach to explaining our skin care and refrain from using words traditionally seen in beauty advertising that can promote self-doubt and insecurity. No one should hold back from sharing their gifts and talents with the world because of insecurity. Lastly I launched a blog that highlights stories of connection so there’s a dedicated focus on the things that matter – the things that connect us. It’s a place for people to read personal essays, contribute their own stories, and feel a sense of community.

Now in our 5th year, Genuine Glow is ready to expand our message, audience and reach!

Nicki Carrea - Fortune 500 recording sessionNicki Carrea - Corporate World Nicki Carrea - adventures around the worldNicki Carrea travelingBrio's early days Nicki Carrea - Genuine Glow 2015 event Start of Genuine GlowGenuine Glow Beauty Awards      Brio Face Polish Genuine Glow icon  Brio Face Polish


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn 

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

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