How many of us have heard the phrase, “Real women are/do…” followed by what is usually nonsense? Often times these types of statements are about women’s bodies or presentation and how “real” women do or don’t do certain things to their bodies and should be commended for that. How about, “real women don’t degrade other women?” Today I want to talk about the beauty ideals surrounding makeup! There’s been this idea floating around that women who wear makeup are somehow less valuable, less authentic or less confident than women who don’t wear makeup. And that bothers me!
Recently, in the last few months, I’ve become very interested in makeup. I love watching makeup videos, observing contouring techniques (thanks Kim K!) and buying new products. This newfound hobby has not always been a part of my life though. I was once someone who believed that women who wore makeup were hiding their true selves, and maybe for some women, that is why they wear makeup, but makeup should be used to enhance one’s natural beauty not hide it. I used to trash talk girls at my school who caked on products because I felt like they were so insecure that they had to hide their faces. I am so ashamed of the person that I was, but I’ve learned with time that makeup is a mechanism by which women can flaunt their features and bring out specific traits that they want noticed. For example, I’m learning to love my lips and when I want to bring attention to them, I wear lipstick. Since the start of the summer, I’ve become a lipstick junkie. My collection is certainly small compared to true makeup gurus, but I’ve acquired quite a few shades that boldly enhance my lips and make them look pretty. This is not to say that I don’t like my lips without lipsticks and glosses; I like them so much that I want to show them off!
I’ve watched a lot of makeup transformation videos in that past few months that show how makeup can truly bring out one’s natural beauty. If someone has prominent cheek bones, highlights, bronzers and blushes are often used to enhance that feature. If someone has distinct, bright eyes, different eye shadows, liners and mascaras can bring out one’s eyes or eye color. With this perspective, I understand why so many women love makeup so much. It’s part of the reason that I have recently begun to invest time and energy (and some mulah) into my appearance with the use of makeup. I like the idea and concept of intensifying different facial features on any given day or occasion. Don’t get me wrong, my confidence doesn’t falter if I don’t have makeup on, but I can understand the women and girls who feel immensely more confident with a made-up face than a bare one.
There are many women with skin disorders or heavy acne who use makeup as a means of boosting their confidence because they don’t want to feel isolated due to something out of their control. Society often views individuals with skin issues in a negative light, and although our confidence shouldn’t be determined by society’s beauty standards, it is understandable, under certain circumstances, that some women may want to invest in various coverups and concealers to avoid judgement and negative attention.
With all of this being said, what I want you to take away from today’s blog is that, when it comes to makeup, you should do what makes you feel happy and feel your best. If you feel at your best and most confident with no makeup, a little makeup, or a face full of it, go for it! Makeup can be a great tool for some, but perhaps a “no thank you” for others and that’s okay! But don’t knock down someone else because their beauty routines don’t align with yours. Everyone feels confident in different ways and aspects of their lives and if makeup is yours, awesome! If not, awesome! As always, love yourself and your face because it’s yours!
If there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I LOVE shopping! I probably go shopping every other week just to pick up a few items that would enhance my wardrobe. My shopping habits are probably borderline obsessive, but we’re not here to talk about that today. Today I want to give you all a few tips on how to shop when your wallet tells you not to shop. Because let’s be real, most of us don’t just have a bunch of extra money sitting around for frivolous shopping expenses. I certainly don’t, although based on how many clothes I’ve acquired the last few years, it would seem like I do, but that’s because I know how to “ball out” on a budget!
Most people still envision shopping as spending a weekend afternoon at an overcrowded, over expensive mall. And for those who are wealthy enough and have the time and patience to do so, that’s shopping for them. But for me, someone who often only has a few extra dollars lying around, shopping means going to stores like Marshalls, Ross, TJMaxx and Goodwill (Yes, Goodwill, like a thrift store) and finding good quality clothes for great prices. I have walked into Ross with only $30 and come out with 5 dressy, work appropriate tops! Other places would barely give you a pair of socks for that price, but I’m not going to mention names. Recently, Goodwill and I have been reacquainted and I’ve been purchasing large amounts of clothing for under $30. I found a $5 designer skirt that had originally been marked at $89.50. Talk about a steal! There is definitely still a stigma in some social circles about thrift store shopping, but the clothing that is donated and put on the racks is in great condition and many times from higher end stores like Ann Taylor, The Limited, and Black and White. So if it wasn’t clear, my first tip is shop designer quality, but not designer prices!
One of my worst shopping habits is not keeping track of my spending when I’m grabbing clothes from racks and ultimately checking them out. My greatest fear is having my card declined in front of a bunch of people in line behind me. Most likely, this would be a result of not knowing how much I’m spending in different stores and just happily swiping away, thinking everything is fine. My next tip is bring cash! If you take out or bring a certain amount of cash and more importantly, leave your credit/debit cards at home, you know that you’re on a fixed budget and you’ll be less inclined to go over the top with the shopping.
If you’re opposed to shopping at Marshalls or other similar stores, then my next tip is for you! Not many people know this, but if you ask the sales clerk, “Are there any additional discounts today?” as he or she is ringing up your things, there’s a good chance they’ll say yes! Many times, stores won’t advertise some of their sales, and many more times, you can end up getting 25% off your items just by asking at the register. Macy’s is notorious for having secret sales that no one knows about (That’s the magic of Macy’s).
My last tip is to hit the sale rack! The sale rack is truly the place to be when you’re out shopping. The new arrivals at any given store will often be overpriced and marked down within two months whereas the sale rack usually has great discounts for the same clothing that just a few weeks ago was double in price. My favorite sale rack is at DSW because I can find designer shoes for up to 80% off! I’ve gotten shoes that were originally close to $200 down to about $20, which is insane! Scope out the sale racks before you start grabbing things that are out of your price point. You can get double the amount of shoes you want!
Shopping can be a tiring, tedious activity if you let it, but if you’re willing, try out a few of the tips listed above. I guarantee you’ll want to shop til you drop!
Everyone wants "flawless" skin, right?... Well find out how I try to keep my face smooth as a babies bottom... lol
Don't Forget Your Confidence