What’s Your Story: GG from All the Many Layers

Creator and author of All the Many Layers, GG writes about the ways in which she overcame the challenges she encountered in life by finding her own voice and following her passions. With her blog, she aims to inspire and empower women to be their best selves no matter what they have been through, and I think she is doing a beautiful job!  I had the pleasure of working with her on my own feature, which I talked a little bit about on my blog a couple weeks ago, and I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure to work with her!  She regularly covers issues like self esteem and inner beauty, and works with other female bloggers to create inspiring feature pieces in addition to her own content.  I hope that you will find inspiration in her story, and find the power to share yours with others. Reading her story, I am reminded of one of my all time favorite quotes:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

Without further ado, here’s GG in her own words…

“Hi, I’m GG. Writer for hire. Soulful living expert. Daydreamer Extraordinaire. Shameless about my love of big hair, pretty things and deep thoughts.”

all the many layers


By GG Renee

I was excited when Maha asked me to share my story with her readers because storytelling is my passion.  It’s only my favorite thing in the whole world.  There’s nothing more inspiring to me than a woman with a story and a sparkle in her eye. So here’s an abbreviated version of mine.

There are so many ways that life has thrown me for a loop.  I got pregnant right when I was on the cusp of twenty-something, professional woman fabulosity.  Recent college graduate. First job.  I was 23.  I never expected to be a single mother. I never expected that marriage and family would become such a complicated issue for me.

I didn’t expect to acquire a lifetime of debt before I was 25.  I didn’t understand the implications of what I was doing or how my spending behavior was linked to deeper issues.   I didn’t expect to find myself at 28 sitting on a couch in my therapist’s office crying my eyes out saying that I’d ruined my life. Completely and utterly disillusioned with the woman I thought I was supposed to be, worried that my messiness would affect my kids.  I had two at that point.

Over time, I realized that I needed to get back to the fundamental basics of who I am as a human being. Not as a woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Just as a human being. What comes naturally to me? What excites me? Comforts me? Sustains me?  What is inside of me that I have been so afraid let out?

So I started writing and life started making sense.  I stopped beating myself up and took a creative approach to life.  Now I live to find the beauty in everything, even the things that once made me feel ugly.  I write to inspire complex women to be vulnerable, follow their hearts, and explore their extremes.


all the many layers

GG applies her everyday makeup look!

You can read more about my story and the stories of many soulfully beautiful women (including Maha Maven!) on my blog, All the Many Layers. Thank you for the opportunity to share.  xo GG

GG’s Face of the Day


In the photo, I am applying Cover Girl Queen Collection Bronzer in Brown Bronze.  Before I applied that however, I used Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream.  If I’m keeping it really quick and simple, say to run to the store, I wear this alone.  If I’m going out and need longer wear or more coverage, I use the bronzer as well.  When I use concealer I use Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer.  I have Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow on my eyes in Bad to the Bronze.  As you can see, on an average day I like to wear just enough makeup to give me some glow and some shimmer, but I don’t like to fuss with too many colors or techniques unless the occasion calls for a bit more drama.  I have on NYX eyeliner in black (I think!), I usually use black or dark brown and Maybelline Falsies Mascara.  When I wear blush, I have been using IMAN’s blushing duo. Oh! And I have on NYX lipstick in Sparkling Beige.  I’m bronze beige everything, huh?  LOL.


GG’s Beauty Secret

My favorite beauty secret is grapeseed oil. I use it for everything.  Makeup removal.  Facial moisturizer. I mix it with castor oil to oil cleanse my skin. It’s a great heat protectant when I use heat in my hair.  It’s natural, it’s light, it’s rich in antioxidants, it’s anti-aging and it evens skin tone.

chipped nail polishI hope you enjoyed this entry, as the inaugural post for my Inspired Beauty features!  If you are interested in sharing a story with my readers, please feel free to contact me at Maha@mahamaven.com! Be sure to cc TheMahaMaven@gmail.com. mask to even out skin tone


Hey guys! I have a new review for you, and it’s one I actually feel pretty strongly about. I used to have one of those drugstore flat irons that are really bad for your hair…it looked more like a toy than a flat iron, and it burned my hair pretty badly. And the smell? The worst. So I decided to invest in some worthwhile flat irons: The Sedu Revolution from Folica.

sedu pack

Gorgeous Packaging

I absolutely love these flat irons! I have two, the 1″ and the 1.5,” and I am so happy to have them both.  This iron has a max voltage of 20, and the plates are Tourmaline and Ceramic.  It is ionic, with a beveled edge and it heats up from 170° to 450°.  When you buy from an authorized retailer, the Sedu Revolution comes complete with a 2-year warranty.  It has a 9′, ergonomic swivel cord and the body of the flat iron has a gorgeous matte black finish that’s no-slip.  The packaging is so beautiful, you won’t want to get rid of it.



As someone who is really particular about hair health—hello hair journey—I need a flat iron with adjustable temperature, and the Sedu Revolution has amazing range.  It can go as low as 180 and as high as 450.  While I never use either extreme, it’s nice to know I have the option.  There is an indicator light that tells you whether the iron is heated or not—the red light means it is heating up, the blue light means it is cooling down, and when the indicator light flashes red and blue the flat iron is ready!

This iron just rocks! It’s so great I had to get a second one, and they aren’t cheap.  My sister actually got it for me, and I was ever so grateful.  It leaves my hair very shiny, and straight with one pass.  I have never had to go more than one pass with this, and my hair is pretty difficult to get smooth.  Most importantly, I never feel like these scorch my hair or leave it with a flat iron smell.  They do not make my hair dry or brittle, and for that these flat irons are definitely holy grail status.

Does it curl beautifully? Yes! And with ease.  The 1″ is great from my bangs and hard to reach areas, while the 1.5″ allows me to quickly style and straighten the length of my hair.


sedu revolution

The 1″ and 1.5″



Now the importance of this oversight could be pretty crucial depending, but for me it was not a big deal: it does not auto-shutdown when left on.  This means if you forget to turn it off or unplug it, then you will meet your iron just as you left it—on and hot.  This is not a big problem for me because I really never forget to unplug mine, but the one time that I did I was surprised to see it had not powered off by itself.  For many people I can foresee this being a huge issue.  I hope they correct this in the future.



Performance-wise, this was worth every cent.  I enjoy using it and whenever I need a new iron, I will look no further than the Sedu Revolution.  While the technology of this iron may make it less damaging, it is important to remember that any and all heat is bad for your hair when used in excess! When you do use heat, please remember to use a heat protectant.  I personally enjoy Aphogee’s Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer right before I flat iron.  It gives my chemically treated hair the protein and other beneficial ingredients my hair needs in order to thrive.

heat protectant

Also, the Sedu Revolution Diamond just came out so I am sure there will be some sort of price decrease for the Sedu Revolution!


I really hope you found this review helpful! Be sure to let me know if you have any questions I didn’t cover, or you just have something to add! As always, your visit is super appreciated 🙂


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Product view

Product view


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Becca The One Perfecting Brush: This Multitasking Makeup brush is a major game changer*

becca cosmetics.jpg

I have always been one for efficiency and ease, no matter what I’m doing.  For this reason, I highly appreciate any invention that can maximize time and space and make things easier for me.  This brush does exactly that, and feels soft and luxurious at the same time.  Without further ado, here is the review!


This brush does it all. And it’s incredibly soft, AND it is superbly ergonomic!  I received this brush courtesy of iFabbo and Becca Cosmetics, and it works better than I could have ever imagined.  It is lightweight and the bristles are incredibly soft and very full.   It is made with “non-porous, high quality goat hair” which prevents liquid products from absorbing into the bristles.  This makes it great for both liquid and powder products by preventing product waste.


Becca Cosmetics claims that the brush can replace these 10 tools:


Foundation Brush

Powder Brush

Contour Brush

Bronzer Brush

Stipple Brush

Blush Brush

Fan Brush

Concealer Brush




Stay tuned for my demo video in which I put this brush to the test!


Things to Consider

I was really skeptical when I received this brush because it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.  It will take some getting used to because it is bigger than you would expect and most aren’t used to using brushes like this! That being said, I do think it is worth the money especially for someone who travels a lot or has to rush out of the house on most days.  I’m all for  convenience!

 Get yours HERE!



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* received this product courtesy of iFabbo and Becca Cosmetics.  As always, everything written here is my honest opinion.

crown brush set review


Crown Brush Review: My first Crown Brush set!*
crown brush review

On the go, one of the most annoying things to pack are makeup brushes.  They don’t fit anywhere compact, and I am always concerned about the hairs of the brush and making sure they aren’t misshapen.  That is why I was so delighted to receive this brush set courtesy of iFabbo and Crown Brush.  Keep reading to see what I thought of these brushes!



These are some of the softest brushes I have ever come across! They are synthetic, so they will be liquid friendly and they are the perfect size.  The problem I have with travel brush sets, and the reason I don’t bother to buy travel sized brushes at all, is that they always come way to small.  My hands get all cramped up trying to put my face on and it’s not pretty.  These are perfect because they are bigger than your average travel sized brush, but still smaller than a normal sized brush, so that they fit perfectly into almost any and every makeup pouch.  The storage it comes with is great too!

As you could probably guess, I got the purple kit.  And I am loving it! Stay tuned for my holiday videos, because these bad boys will definitely make an appearance.

The set also comes with a mirror and a pair of tweezers.  Real Talk: these tweezers are literally the best ever.  It’s like using these makes me realize why it never really worked with any other pair of tweezers!  They require little pressure to get a firm grip, pluck eyebrows with precision and ease, and make a dream out of false eyelash application (which can get nightmarish).

ALSO: It’s vegan friendly!

crown brush.jpg

Something to Consider

For what it is and is marketed to be this is a standout set.  Do not expect it to be our only brush set if you plan to do all out eye makeup looks, or more detailed work.  This set is perfect for travel, and great for everyday when you want a handy set that’s high quality as well.

I highly recommend this set for any and every one with a girl in their life who loves makeup, or is even just starting out

Get yours HERE!

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*I received these products for review, courtesy of Crown Brush and iFabbo.  As always, I always give my honest review of any product here at www.MahaMaven.com!

crown brush set review