How has social media shaped our generation?

Its 2017 and as you walk down the street, through the mall and sadly even attend funerals the most common thing we see is the use of cellular devices and the extreme want to broadcast everything to the world. How many of us can remember growing up before this whole social media frenzy? Some of my most fond memories are of my family and I spending time with each other before everything had to be recorded. You were actually able to live in the moment and experience all of the emotions of an event. There was no social media to help validate you or fill a void of the issues in your life. You just had to simply deal with them. We have become so disconnected from reality. You have to take a moment to ask yourself how has social media shaped our generation.

HAS SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTED THE WAY WE OPERATE ON A DAILY BASIS?

There was a point in my life where I would wake up and immediately check social media before telling God thank you for waking me up. Its like I was so eager to see what was going on on my timeline without mentally preparing myself for my day or just simply focusing on what I needed to be doing. To be totally honest even now I can admit that I spend way too much time on social media. There are so many things I could get done faster and more efficiently if I wasn't on it so much. 

Chelsea Arrington: "I feel like social media has affected the way we operate on a day to day basis. Social media interaction now dominates both online and offline conversations. In today's society you're more likely to speak to friends and family through electronic devices than face to face. "

Julian Plowden: "It guides our emotions now and therefore some aspects of our actions."

Chelsea Banks: "I feel as though too many women spend too much time in the mirror today, more than ever. I blame social media. Even for myself. I don't feel like just a regular face with powder and eyeliner is enough. Now, we must contour and highlight, do our eyebrows (which I still haven't mastered), oh and dont forget about that perfect cat eye girl. Its too much. Before, girls were poppin just from eyeliner and eye shadow, but now? That's not enough."

I related so much to Chelsea Banks response because I got so accustomed to seeing all of these pretty women on social media platforms that just looked so flawless all the time that it made me want to be "beat" all the time. Me working in the beauty industry only magnified that as well. Before I would be so free to just walking out of the house without any makeup on but once I became more involved in social media and working in cosmetics I felt like I couldn't leave the house without at least filling in my eyebrows, throwing a little concealer on and a lip product. I couldn't even take a picture without any makeup on because I got so use to what I looked like with it on that I didn't appreciate the girl underneath. Social media has made that the reality of so many women and even men with this generation. We feel the constant need to be perfect all the time and it leads to depression, low self esteem, jealousy and so many other negative things. 

Has social media made you feel the need to compare yourself to other people?

Chelsea Arrington: "Some people may answer yes to this question. For me the answer would be no. I know who I am and what I'm able to do. Unfortunately, social media provides us with numerous platforms that help to quickly trigger arrogance. Millennials will compare themselves to a person they never met. A profile page will cause someone to question their accomplishments, appearance, and even personality traits. The reality is, people are constantly showcasing the best aspects of their life onto social media. We emphasize the best versions of ourselves instead of the real versions."

Sineca Butler: "Yes. Not so much anymore but in the beginning of my career I saw the accomplishments of others and found myself comparing my journey to the ones of others."

Julian Plowden: "No, but being a photographer, I see it a lot with images like the ones I take, especially of the models because they're appealing to everyone." 

Chelsea Banks: I don't feel like I would be accepted if I dont do makeup like everyone else. In all seriousness, I've been stressing over getting my eyebrows right lol. I feel like I'm behind or something, like I'm not in the "in crowd" because of my eyebrows!! Isn't that crazy?? I dont know how to do highlight and contour for nothing! Lol and maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I need to focus on myself and do the things that are right for me. But some days, I seriously feel like im not good enough or pretty enough. At some point I had to force myself to stop looking at Instagram because I wanted to be like some of those girls. I became really depressed over it. If it weren't for my fiance, I honestly think I would still be upset over it till this day. its sad. I can only imagine how these younger girls may feel. Why can't we just love one another again? Like we use to..."

Social media has also opened up the door for cyber bullying. The amount of bravery which now I realize is only a disguise for insecure cowards is mind blowing. When did it become ok to tear someone down so viciously on an open forum. It seems like now you can't even promote positivity or try to go after your dreams without bitter, insecure and jealous people trying to tear you down. You have people saying nasty things to people who are overweight and now it's a big thing to skinny shame people. You see some of the top ad campaigns trying to promote more curvy body types and plus size women but at the same time they are downing someone else for the way they look. We will never be able to come together as a society and promote healthy lifestyles if we continue to point out each others flaws. Whatever happened to the saying if you dont have anything nice to say dont say it at all. Social media has made people feel like they have to give an opinion on everything. Sometimes silence is golden and you reveal more things about yourself by what you post. 

How has social media affected dating in this generation?

Julian Plowden: "I feel like we're discovering we're not as monogamy inclined as we assumed. You can actively see your "options" which causes continual evaluation. 

Sineca Butler: "It's made expectations even more unreal than before." 

Chelsea Arrington: "I believe this millennial generation, they rely heavily on social media for dating. Social media has been designed to connect people online who already knew each other offline. While most people using social media have formed connections with people whom they didn't know outside of social media. While our parents used to wait hours to speak to their significant others on their home phones. Our parents relied on dates and schools to see theirs, and now we can just text ours all day long. We are so tuned in that we can barely communicate with the other person; even in front of one another we are always checking our phones for new tweets, Instagram posts, snapchat stories, and facebook posts. The internet has made this millennial generation of people who are dependent on social media to reach out to others. We lack true communication skills necessary to maintaining meaningful relationships with not only our significant others, but in our relationships in general. Trust is one of the main issues in relationships today due to the overexposure of social media. Maybe this is our own faults?!?! Has social media made this millennial generation of untrusting, paranoid people? I believe jealousy has been around for as long as human kind, and it is incredibly evident in our society today. Even the more loyal of partners can come under fire by their significant others if they suspect something strange. Yet, maybe trust issues are a very well thing thanks to the advent of social media sites-maybe, some people are not who they say they are." 

Chelsea Banks: "Im not really sure how to answer this one. I dont even remember what it was like to date without social media. Isn't that sad? I can remember going to men's pages I was attracted to, liking their pics and the next thing you know they're in my dm's and now we're dating lol. That's a little ghetto but that was how it was for me. I'm pretty sure that's how it is for pretty much everyone. A part of me thinks that's way too easy. I would rather a young guy see me in public and grab my number rather than meeting me on social media but we rarely hear about that anymore. People dont know how to walk up to a lady or guy and meet them naturally. They're dependent on social media to do that for them. 

I personally feel like dating has been a struggle for me not only because of social media but because I am a naturally introverted person and I dont really go out a lot to be seen by anyone lol. When I do meet a guy that's interested I always go to social media to do research on a guy to see what kinds of things he posts and the type of people he  interacts with. I've found out that guys have lied about being single on social media so its not always a bad thing. I agree with Chelsea Arrington sometimes social media exposes people for who they really are. I feel like a lot of guys  are never really content because they have so many options in front of them. They'd rather risk losing a good woman or a great potential partner because social media has made it so easy to not appreciate what you have. A lot of people in this generation are extremely sex driven too. If you're someone like me who chooses to refrain from sex then its even worse for us because a lot of men only pursue women just to have sex. Not many people want lasting relationships. All they want is quick hook ups. Once you make the same mistake so many times you make a conscious decision to do better. 

Has social media contributed to depression in your life?

Chelsea Arrington: "Honestly, at one point social media did contribute more to depression in my life. I turned to social media for all of my interactions. It allowed me to fill all voids in my life. But at the same time I feel like even dealing with depression, I looked for ways to cover it up by being on social media. It was more of a 2 in 1 situation when dealing with social media and depression. 

Julian Plowden: "Yes, especially with black pain and death. Being a photojournalist and covering marches, I was constantly surrounded by this energy and it felt like a constant funeral. I was grieving I realized. I learned to balance my time from that. 

Sineca Butler: "Not depression. Definitely contributed to me comparing myself to others and their journey of success. 

Chelsea Banks: "Omg, most definitely! Again in undergrad I was so depressed and stressed out about not being able to keep up with the beautiful, gorgeous women on social media. I stopped going out and hanging with friends because of it. I even stopped dressing up for class and I'm  a girly girl! I had my mom worried because she knew there was something wrong. I even wanted to buy new clothes and expensive makeup just to keep up with the hot girls but that was impossible for a college student. I eventually go to the point where I steered away from social media because I didn't like the way it made me feel. I started gaining weight, stopped doing my hair, stopped dressing in my cute clothes. It was terrible and I knew social media was to blame. I'm proud to say that I love the way I look and feel now but before I had to learn the hard way."

Its not all bad right?

Although It's evident that social media has negatively shaped our generation, there are so many positive sides to operating this platform. I love being able to keep up with my loved ones and reconnect with old school friends. Without social media it would be extremely hard to keep up with every single person in our lives. Being an artist and entrepreneur social media has allowed people outside of my city, state and even country be able to view my work. It's a blessing how easy social media makes it for us to promote our businesses and network with amazing individuals who help us on our journey. Social media can do more good than harm if used properly. Our human nature corrupts the system of how we operate on these platforms. 

I would like to close this by saying no matter how many likes you get or don't get that does not define who you are as a person. You have to truly understand who you are and what you were created to do. We must begin to start reclaiming our relationships back. Take some time to put your phone down and enjoy life. Check on someone you love by picking up the phone and seeing how they are doing instead of checking their social platform. If I can be truly transparent being an artist and very active on social media I often get a lot of interactions on these platforms but there will be days that go by and not one single person takes the time to text or call me to see how I'm doing. It makes you feel lonely and unloved. Take time to check on someone who you think has it all together. Ladies it doesn't matter how many photo shop apps you use to perfect yourself if you dont love who you are when you go home and look in the mirror you will never be content. 

 

I would love to give a special thanks to these amazing individuals for taking the time to speak with me for this blog post. 

Chelsea Arrington CEO of General Changers

Chelsea Banks student at Troy University studying for her masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Sineca Butler Makeup Artist

Julian Plowden Photo Journalist

 

 

Conquering my fears and Go-Sees in New York City

Earlier this week I stepped out on faith and decided to explore the complex world of modeling in New York City. This was my first time traveling so far away by myself. I was a little apprehensive about taking on this journey by myself because of all of the horror stories I've heard about New York and all of the sex trafficking. I hadn't been on a plane since my family and I moved back to America when I was 3 so it was like my first time being on a plane.

Once I decided that I was actually going to stop talking about doing it and actually do it I began researching different modeling agencies I wanted to visit. I started prepping my portfolio. I teamed up with a few local makeup artist, photographers, wardrobe stylist and hair stylist to help me create images that I felt like represented what I wanted to do. I started saving my money and researching exactly where I wanted to stay and what hotels and flights would fit my budget. Of course in true Taelor fashion no matter how far in advance I started planning this trip I had to wait until the last minute to pack all of my stuff and get some final pictures printed for my portfolio. I guess we can't always have it all together lol. 

Once I got off of the plane I headed straight to times square where my hotel was located. I wanted to stay right in the heart of all of the action. I unpacked all my belongings and spent the rest of the day exploring times square. The first place I stopped at was Madam Tussauds wax museum. I had the time of my life! It was crazy how realistic some of the figures were. There were times when I would enter different parts of the museum and say excuse me to some of the statues because they looked so realistic. There were a plethora of wax figures including, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Muhammad Ali, Selena, Tyra Banks, Spice Girls, Beyonce, Usher and so many more. It was refreshing to just have fun laughing and taking pictures inside of the museum. I visited a few different restaurants but I wasn't able to fully experience all of the traditional New York foods due to my new plant based diet. I did find a really cool southern styled kitchen on 51st street that served an amazing fried corn and squash dish with watermelon topped with a vinaigrette sauce. 

I spent the next two days waking up at  7 .am. to prepare for a day of Go-sees. I visited a total of 7 different agencies. I ended up taking 6 ubers, walking about 4 hours, and riding the train across New York to get to each one. I was so determined to make it to every single one and I did whatever it took for me to get there. It was so hectic commuting. Not every agency was receptive but I was able to connect with a few amazing ones and I am super excited to continue my journey modeling in New York! I gained so much knowledge to help me prepare for my trip back to New York. 

What really blessed me was realizing that I actually took a leap of faith by going by myself to an unfamiliar territory. I conquered my fear of flying and it was so amazing to walk into offices of worldwide known agencies meeting influential people and seeing the pictures of supermodels represented by these agencies on the wall. Just the mere fact that a small town girl like myself who comes from an underprivileged family and so many unfortunate circumstances had enough courage to pursuit her dreams and be in such a space was so motivating. This trip lit a fire in me and made me even more hungry to go after my dreams no matter what obstacles come my way. 

 

When you truly are passionate about something and God gives you a vision its so important that you continue to seek him so that he can guide you and help you manifest your vision. Eliminate all distractions and dont be afraid to be you! Rid yourself of all negative people that will try to keep you from moving closer to your destiny and that will try to get you to dim your light.

 

Take that leap of faith and get out their and achieve your goals! 

Pressing to Purpose

 I debated whether or not I wanted to continue blogging on my personal site for a number of reasons. I started to question whether or not people actually took the time to read what I had to say and other times I felt so disconnected from people that I didnt want to be transparent and share my experiences because so much negativity started to rise up around me. As I started typing this blog I began to realize that you have to love what you do whether 1 or 1000 people love it. Sometimes that 1 person may be you. You cant live your life scared or worried about what others may think or who doesnt support you. One of the biggest things that God has allowed me to realize these last few months is that you have to be willing to be uncomfortable to improve and progress in your life. At times you may not understand what is going on but you have to trust that God has a plan for your life. This morning one of my pastors preached about pressing your way. It was a right on time message for me because over the last few months I've had to press harder than ever before mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Here I am wondering what God wants me to do next in the midst of dealing with deep depression. I had been working so hard on modeling and trying to accomplish some of my short term goals I set for myself and i just kept getting no's or sometimes no answer at all. Even in the midst of everything I was dealing with I still was holding on to the little faith that I had but I wasn't strong. I began to question if I would ever get that fire back that I once had for God or even just get to a place where I could heal from all of the hurt that I had been tormenting myself with. One day I just began to pray and tell God that I was tired of doing things my way and I wanted to have an encounter to help me get back to where I needed to be. I was tired of going through the motions pretending like everything was ok and holding everything in dealing with people. I also asked God to reveal to me people around me that were not meant to be in my life at this time and even asking God to reveal to me things about myself that I needed to work on. Some of the things God showed me about myself was hard to face but it needed to be done in order for me to realize that I was getting in my own way. People that I thought were friends began to show themselves stronger than before and there was a huge separation in my life and I would cry trying to figure out why everything was happening all at one time and wondering was it something that I did wrong. God had to show me that in order for me to refocus and get back to a place where I can hear him and truly walk in my purpose I had to be separated from all of the distractions around me. I could no longer do some of the things that I was doing. I couldn't be around some of the same people I was around and I had to change my way of thinking. It is inevitable for you to experience some form of struggle especially when you have a heart to live for God and do the right thing. I'm certain that if your purpose is going to help inspire other people and give God glory during the process the enemy will try to fight you even harder because he knows just how powerful you are. Pressing is  part of the plan and I've learned that in order to experience the fullness of what God has planned you have to embrace those moments and work even harder. Never stop working because you feel like you aren't getting anywhere. Your breakthrough is on the other side of you pressing. These past couple of months have been very hard, lonely among many other feelings but one thing I can say is that God has allowed me to press my way into new opportunities, new blessings, new relationships and a new mindset that has given me peace to help me get through my days. 

 

My prayer for each reader is that God gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding so that when trouble comes your way you can stand firm in the foundation God has given you. I pray that God will open new doors of opportunity and pour out blessings in your life to cause you to excel in every area of your life. I pray that whoever is reading this God will keep your mind as you maneuver through your week and that he keeps you and your families protected. 

 

Now go out and spread some of this love and press into your purpose! 

PERSONAL BLOG (WHATS NEW WITH ME)

Hey guys! I know its been awhile since I've blogged. So many things have been going on in my life physically, mentally and spiritually. Sometimes you have to take a step back and evaluate and regroup. I normally blog about things related to beauty, fashion or inspirational interest but today I wanted to just tell you guys about me and whats been going on in my life.

During the time I've been away I've really been focusing on giving myself a cleanse. I knew I had a lot of emotional baggage that was blocking me from moving forward in a lot of different things but these last few months really revealed to me just how bad I was. Many days I struggled with controlling my emotions and it was starting to manifest on the outside. I would respond to situations and people totally out of what my normal self would do. I would brush it off as me finally standing up for myself etc. when actually it was just an excuse for me to finally not have it all together which I realized is perfectly ok. So many times we bottle up how we really feel inside because we want to convince ourselves that we are these super strong humans that allow nothing to bother us. I had time to step outside of myself and examine areas that I really needed to work on within myself. Sometimes its scary to see just how negative our thoughts are and just how cold we become at times. I know it was for me! I really had to pray way more than what I had been praying. I pushed myself to confront my issues with myself and other people. I had to let go of a lot of un forgiveness that settled within me. Overall though I am in a much better place now than I was over these last few months thanks to God, some amazing friends and family and mentors. 

On a much lighter note over the last few months I've had the opportunity to really focus on my craft of modeling. I've really had the chance to shoot more with the amazing Amir. He's taught me so much about modeling. I've really learned posing, lighting, angles and so much more from different perspectives. I can literally see the improvement every shoot with him. I've also been really focusing on agency testing as well. It's been a little challenging trying to find the best fit for me but thankfully I've found a few different ones to consider. Although I cant speak on that in too many details I can say that there has been a lot of interest, responses from directors and a lot of no's as expected. 

One of the most exciting things that happened to me last month was being able to work with Redken. It was seriously one of the best experiences I've had in awhile! I got a chance to meet some amazing hair professionals including Justin Isaac and Sam Villa as well as awesome makeup artist, models and wardrobe stylists. I was just extremely ecstatic to even get a chance to work with such a big company. Of course i had to get in my head and shake my confidence a little bit because I was the only African American model with Afro textured hair. I had so many different thoughts and feelings during the prepping process because they decided to leave my hair the way it was....just in a curly afro. The whole time I was questioning if they liked me as much as the other models etc. but then I was asked to open up the runway show for them and I cant even put into words the feeling that I got being able to open a show for Redken and just being able to get back on the runway which I love so much! So many great things came from me doing that show and Im so glad that I went through with it!

 

So in a nutshell that is pretty much what I've been doing while I've been away. I've been working on a few different projects for the upcoming year that I can't wait to share with you guys. 

One of the biggest lessons that I've learned is dont get so wrapped up in working and catering to other peoples feeling that you forget to take care of yourself. If you are not in a good mental space you can't focus completely on everything that you need to do efficiently. Seek God on getting wisdom on how to handle different things. You dont have to feel like you can do everything on your own. 

 

 

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My Favorite looks from Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2017 Ready to Wear Collection

I always look forward to seeing Spring collections during fashion week. I love everything about spring. The weather is amazing. You get to step outside in the morning and feel the cool, crisp air and observe the blossoming flowers that give you a freshness of expectations for the upcoming season. If you're like me then you also enjoy the fashion and being able to finally show some skin after being covered up all winter. 

I was scrolling down my instagram newsfeed this morning and saw some of the looks from the Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2017 collection and I had to share some of my favorite looks. This collection was really exciting to see. Italian tropic was the inspiration behind the looks and you absolutely got the feel of being in the atmosphere. Dolce and Gabbana incorporated icons like Italian pasta, ice cream, sequins, and pizza into their collection to bring the concept to life. They used a lot of relaxed, fashionable slippers to pair with the pieces. Even the hair accessories gave you an amazing feel of spring. Flowers are definitely a spring 2017 must have accessory paired with a red lip. 

Check out some of my favorite looks below 

 

All images:

http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2017-ready-to-wear/dolce-gabbana/slideshow/collection

DEALING WITH HEARTBREAK

Heartbreak can be one of the most painful things you will experience in your lifetime. I think sometimes we underestimate the effects heartbreak can have on us. As women we tend to wear our emotions on our sleeve so when we deal with break ups we can put ourselves through an emotional roller coaster. Heartbreak sometimes turns us into assertive beings and even changes who we are completely. 

I remember my first heartbreak like it was yesterday. It felt like someone had literally ripped my heart out my chest. I cried for months. I stopped doing all of the things I loved to do. I didn't want to go anywhere or talk to anyone else. I eventually got to a place where I was able to move on but I had to realize that I needed to face my own issues and recognize my self worth. 

When dealing with heartbreak you should realize these things

  1. Its okay not to be okay. There is nothing wrong with feeling whatever you feel as long as you don't allow those feelings to consume you. It's better to face your true feelings and learn how to heal from them instead of looking for that person in someone else.
  2. You were living before them and you will continue to live without them. We forget sometimes that we had a life before them. Just because you had a break up doesn't mean you should break up with life. 
  3. Everyone you date isn't "the one". Instead of looking at the breakup as a negative thing focus on the fact that now you have the knowledge of what you like, what you don't like and what you wont allow. 
  4. Sometimes it's not your fault. You will seriously drive yourself insane trying to over analyze things and constantly question yourself. You can be one of the most beautiful, smart, great spirited women in the world but if a man is not ready you can't make him be. 
  5. You are trying. A lot of people won't even have a chance to experience love because of fear. You were brave enough to open up your heart to someone and give love a chance. Even though it didn't work you still tried. All successful people experience disappointment at some point but they choose not to give up. 

You can't control when heartbreak will happen but you can control how you respond to it. You have to realize that it's not the end of the world but it's ok to give yourself time to feel whatever it is that you feel. Be strong enough to pick yourself up and learn from the experience. 

DONT APOLOGIZE FOR HAVING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF

I was having a conversation with one of my co workers the other day about why some people make you feel like you have to apologize for having confidence in yourself. This conversation hit home for me because this has been something I've dealt with a lot lately. You would think that in 2016 after all we've overcome my generation of young adults wouldn't have to deal with "mean girls". I'm literally reminded of that particular movie when it comes to certain women I have to deal with. Let's face it at some point of your life whether you are the nicest, most down to earth woman you're gonna have to deal with negative Nancy, bitter Betty or jealous Jessica.

 

Not all women live up to the stereotype of being fake, jealous or whatever you want to classify it. There are some really nice women out here but then there are the ones who make you wonder if you're still stuck in high school. What I've come to realize is that sometimes all it takes for someone to dislike you is you simply being confident in yourself. 

How many times have you heard a woman say, "I dont like her because she think's she's all that."? The older I get I realize how ridiculous that sounds. Most of the time insecure women who haven't learned how to deal with themselves will mistake your confidence with being arrogant as a reason to justify having ill feelings towards you. I don't understand how someone thinking they're cute or having goals can bother a human being so much. Rationally thinking, the only reason I can think someone would be so bothered is because they are either jealous, bitter or insecure....maybe all of the above. 

DONT TAKE IT PERSONAL

 I use to get so upset when women targeted me when I did nothing intentionally to them. Now I dont even take it personal. If you really care enough to try to figure out what the root cause of this negativity is you will realize that 9 times out of 10 the issue is really with them and not you. If it's a close friend then you should try to figure out what the issue is if you care about that friendship. If its genuine then you guys will eventually get on track to having healthy communication with each other. If it's somebody you just have to see because you guys have mutual friends or you work together then honestly it's not even worth letting it get to you. The main thing that these particular people want to do is try to shake your confidence and make you feel uncomfortable. They will do any and everything to make you upset but you can't feed into it. Any sane person will eventually get tired of looking stupid when you ignore them but if you're dealing with someone off of their rocker then sometimes you have to make it known that you are not the one for non sense.

It took me a very long time to get to where I am today so I will not be apologetic for finally loving myself and who God has made me. I hope that you guys feel the same way. Don't ever let someone make you feel bad for believing in yourself and having confidence. Continue to let your light shine and those who truly love you and love themselves will not have an issue with your confidence. You guys will simply shine together. 

 

TAKING ON YOUR DAY LIKE A CHAMP

The way you start your morning will set the tone for your day. Although you have the power to change your day at any given moment its so much better to get a jump start on your day by controlling your atmosphere. We are creatures of habit and we tend to do whatever is the most common for us whether it be good or bad. 

Here are a few things that help me to set a positive tone for my day when I wake up

  1. PRAY AND MEDITATE Taking a simple five minutes out of your day to tell God thank you for all that he's done is the least we can do. It puts you in a state of gratitude which I believe is a key element in maintaining a positive attitude. If you can find at least one thing to be thankful for you have already downloaded an ounce of positivity into your day. Meditating silences all of the chaos in your mind which allows you to think better and relieve stress. 
  2. EXERCISE If you're a running fanatic like me then you know that running a little bit each morning can make you feel so much more energized and ready to take on your day. Its a bit therapeutic for me but I know that everyone doesn't like to partake in this activity so a morning walk and/or stretch will get the job done. Try it out for a few days and you'll see exactly what I mean. 
  3. READ There's not a day that goes by that I dont read something when I wake up in the morning. I like to read everything from devotionals, blogs, news articles, bible verses etc. You'll be inspired and you will actually have some me time to escape life and really focus on something other than your day to day task. 
  4. EAT BREAKFAST I love food and when I dont get it I feel grumpy and sluggish. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Its your fuel to get going.

I have a dry erase board right above my bed so I'll write different things on it before I go to bed so that when I wake up in the morning I can read it. It can be a to do list or simply something saying, "I am beautiful." It can be a bible verse that really speaks to where you are currently or things you want to improve in your life. It works for me. 

I hope this helped someone. Sometimes we already know certain things but to read it again will help remind us to try it out consistently. 

Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes

No matter how strong we are sometimes we have weak moments where we begin to question ourselves and we allow life's antics to weigh on us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. The smallest things can trigger emotional break downs and if we dont know how to take control over our emotions we will throw ourselves pity parties and amplify everything that causes us sadness. I woke up with a heavy heart this morning about an issue I've been dealing with for a few months now and I really asked myself, "Do I really feel this way or am I allowing my emotions to manipulate me into believing that things are a lot worse than what they are?" Sometimes we get into a place of finally being ok with something and then BOOM it hits us all over again. Why did this happen? Is it me? What did I do wrong? Those are some of the questions that I asked myself this morning. I know some of you guys can relate to being in this place before. As I was laying down on the couch meditating I heard this in my head," If only you could see yourself the way God sees you."  I instantly began to think about what that meant to me. I knew in that moment that God was trying to get me to understand something very important.

God sees us so different from how we see ourselves and how the world sees us. When you really take the time to digest this it almost seems as if we are looking at two totally different people. Most of us only view ourselves by what we've done and our past but God treasures us so much so that no matter what we've done or what we've been through we are still amazing in his eyes. 

You are beautiful. 

Song of Soloman 4:7 "You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."

God loves us when we dont love ourselves and when people walk out of our lives he still sees how precious and valuable we are. He doesn't hold our past over our heads. He is a forgiving God and he grants us this wonderful thing called Grace to carry us through. He sees us as being powerful, worthy and over comers. He knows that we can do anything we put our minds to because he has already given us the strength to make it happen. (Philippians 4:13) 

Just imagine if we could see ourselves the way God sees us everyday. We could change our lives so much. You start to become what you constantly think so I challenge everyone to replace every negative thought about yourself with something positive and uplifting. It may take awhile to adapt to this process but the more you train your mind to see yourself the way God sees you the better you will start to feel about yourself. 

I love you. (Muah) 

My Current Skincare Routine

Before I started working in skincare and cosmetics I didn't really give my skin the best TLC that it deserved. My daily skincare routine consisted of a rag, warm water, bar soap, alcohol occasionally and a regular body lotion for my face. (Oh My Goshhhhh) Now that I have the knowledge of how vital it is to have a basic daily skincare regimen customized for your skin needs I thought I'd share some of my favorite daily skincare products that contribute to helping me maintain healthy skin. 

 

I rotate between these three products for my daily cleanse. Clinique liquid facial soap in mild is my go to basic soap. I have fairly normal skin so sometimes all I need is a nice, gentle clean and this particular soap gets the job done. Simple as that. The newest cleanser that I've added to my collection is also from Clinique. The new City Block Charcoal Cleansing Gel is perfect for me when I want a deeper clean. I like to use this cleanser after I've finished running or when I wear light makeup because it can be used to remove makeup as well. I got a sample of Elizabeth Arden's exfoliating cleanser and immediately fell in love with it. It smells amazing and I normally dont like any products that contain fragrance on my face but I can deal with this one. When my skin gets a little flaky from dry patches I like to use this cleanser because it helps to smooth my skin out and it doesn't leave my skin feeling too dry. 

This is the only toner that I use so this makes my routine a little bit easier. This toner leaves my skin feeling refreshed and even more clean. Sometimes I use this by itself after a run. To avoid having to wash my face two times in the morning I'll just come home and sweep this across my face one time and it helps to remove excess oil and flaky skin from my face. 

My under eye is one of the trouble areas I struggle with on my face because I dont get enough sleep. This is literally the only product that works for me and the darkness underneath my eye. It does wonders. It also helps me with my puffiness. It feels really good on the skin and it moisturizes. 

I love moisturizers! I have to use a moisturizer every single day and I notice a big difference in my skins texture and makeup application whenever I dont use one. I like to use the dramatically different moisturizer as my everyday moisturizer. It helps to keep my skin balanced and comfortable. For some reason these last few months my skin has been feeling extra dry so sometimes I pair my dramatically different moisturizer with Clinique moisture surge which is a 24 hour hydrator that absorbs quickly into the skin providing a boost of hydration for the driest of skin types. At night I like to use the turnaround overnight moisturizer for nice rejuvenated skin when I wake up in the morning. 

Supergoop Acaifusion Lip Balm Spf30 is what i use during the day or whenever I'm outside because it protects from the sun. I seriously discover a new freckle on my body including my lips whenever I dont wear sunscreen and stay in the sun for extended periods of time. Another one of my favorite lip balms is from Via natural. This lip care product feels so good! I like everything strawberry too. It feels so smooth and moisturizing and can be used as a lip primer. I have a whole case of these on my dresser thanks to my wonderful Universal Beauty Product family. They give me so many different products at trade shows. 

 

This is what I use mainly as of right now for my skincare routine. It changes depending on so many different factors so i will keep you guys updated on new products as I discover them. 

Young Single and Finding Balance In Your Life

I want to take the time to be vulnerable right now and admit that in this stage of my life currently I'm struggling with wanting to finally be 23. For years now I've been so focused on pursuing my career that I feel like I've robbed myself of experiencing being a young teenager/adult. You see all of your peers out having fun partying, going on numerous dates and enjoying their lives then you realize that you're 23 with hardly any friends, you pretty much work and confine yourself to your room and you cant even get a guy to act right for 5 minute spans. (That was kind of funny.) When you try to go out you end up feeling super guilty about it the next day because you feel like you could've done so many other things to be more productive. Yep....That pretty much sums up my life over the past 7 years. 

On the flip side I am grateful for my journey because I have realized a few different things that make me understand why my life is the way it is right now. 

Understand that your 20's play a huge role in jump starting your career goals and it takes major sacrifice to be able to achieve them.

Having friends is important but you dont need 1000 of them. Its better to have a handful of friends who want to genuinely see you grow as a person and that can help uplift you rather  than having a bunch of people who just want to party but cant help encourage you to strive to do better and be greater. You have to realize that not everyone who laughs with you wants the best for you. Be selective in who you allow into your personal space. 

Its perfectly ok to be single! Use this time to invest in yourself. We all get lonely at some point in time but dont let your loneliness allow you to throw your morals and values out the window and settle for someone you know God never intended for you to be with. I'm just gonna sit that right there. 

You dont have to be at every social event in town. Its ok to go out every now and then but never feel like you're obligated to party every weekend because your peers are doing it. Don't compromise yourself to be a part of the "in crowd" because at the end of the day you have to live with the choices you make. 

I do know that we all have different mindsets. What may work for one person may not work for someone else so do what you feel is best for you and your development. 

I encourage everyone who is young, single and trying to find balance in their life to recognize that its natural to feel like you're missing out on your young adulthood but remember to STAY THE COURSE. Don't give up. Take your time with jumping into relationships. Learn yourself and if you happen to meet someone along the way take the time to get to know who they are as well. Listen to your intuition. Don't work hard and play harder. Learn to work smarter. Love yourself and get rid of the dead weight that is keeping you from taking on your future head on. 

 

 

Popularity Pain and Purpose

Growing up I gravitated towards women of power who intrigued me like Tyra Banks, Nancy Grace (yes I was a little girl watching Nancy Grace), Lolo Jones, Brandy, Oprah and Monica to name a few. Subconsciously and consciously I learned so many things from women who I watched on television and listened to on the radio. 

One of the main things that all of these women had in common to me was that they were living out their purpose and using their platform as a way to make a difference in someone's life other than their own. 

In today's social media and reality tv driven world it amazes me to see how much impact so many women have on our generation. What really bothers me is that most of it stems from a negative place breeding insecurities, hate, selfishness, and so many other things. You see a lot of popular individuals with influence who haven't matured into a place to be able to offer the world anything besides looks and gossip.  It makes me think about how much of a positive impact these women would have on this generation if they used their popularity to turn pain into purpose. 

Its inevitable that we experience pain at some point of our lives. It affects us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Although it may take each of us a different amount of time to heal from those experiences we all have the option to let our pain fuel us into our purpose

Here are a few tips that I thought would help you turn your Pain into Purpose

  1. Acknowledge how you feel. Many times pride can get in the way of us actually admitting that we are hurt. We dont want to give other people the satisfaction of knowing that they hurt us so we mask our pain. 
  2. Accept it. Accepting what happened doesn't change the fact that it happened or that it hurt but it allows us to recognize that though I cant change this I can change myself and my environment. 
  3. Change your perspective. Try to look at things in a different light. Allow these experiences to make you stronger and focus on finding something positive in every situation. Im reminded of Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
  4. Channel your energy. Focus on the things you like and what you've always wanted to do and make it happen. Do you want to write a book? Do it! Do you want to go back to school? Do it!  

Never underestimate your influence to use your story to help inspire someone else. Remember that its not just about being famous but its about you creating something that will last a lifetime to help other people. 

 

 

 

How to make yourself feel more BEAUTIFUL

Often times I ask myself what is beauty. We live in a world today where the media defines the word beauty. Whether we like to admit it or not most of us are programmed to believe that you have to have a specific something to be beautiful. More times than often we will start to compare ourselves to those people that we think have that specific something not realizing that we are shattering our own self confidence and self esteem. Its so important that you figure out what beauty is for yourself and realize that beauty is not solely your physical appearance but it is whats on the inside of you as well. As humans even some of the most confident individuals still have moments or days where they question themselves so I decided to put together a list of things you can do to make yourself feel more beautiful. 

  1. Take a moment to give yourself credit for the things that you've accomplished. We can be our own worse critic so its important that you take a breather and recognize the wonderful things you've done. 
  2. Be kind and inspire others. I firmly believe that what you put into the universe you will receive back. When you have a kind spirit your inner beauty radiates and it makes you feel good to be able to make a difference in someones life.
  3. Stay active even if it consist of walking for 10 minutes a day outside of your normal day to day routine. It makes you feel more energized and it relieves stress and anxiety. Most importantly it helps you to feel better about how you look. 
  4. Embrace your flaws and look at them as a reminder of your connection to the world. Lets face it. If all of us were perfect how boring would this world be? Exactly!
  5. Get dressed up for no reason at all. Who said you only had to dress up for your spouse or going somewhere? Do it for yourself! If you dont know how to find the right clothing for your body type reach out to someone to help assist you so that you can look your best. 
  6. Stop allowing negative people into your space. If someone makes you feel unworthy, unimportant, insecure and unwanted then you need to evaluate that relationship whether its a romantic one or just a friendship. 
  7. Try a new hair style or makeup look. Changing things up makes you feel like a new improved person. If you are someone who doesnt normally wear makeup you can do something as simple as putting on a little mascara and a natural colored lip product and it will make you feel even more beautiful. 
  8. Always find something to be grateful for. Life can make you want to give up sometimes but if you maintain an attitude of gratitude it can change your whole perspective on life. 
  9. Stop comparing yourself to other people. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you. There was a specific purpose you were created. Once you realize this you will begin YOUR own journey into finding who you are. Love yourself.
  10. Speak life into other people. Sometimes when we speak negative about other people for no reason it is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Learn to be compassionate and try to understand others before speaking negatively about them. It'll make your life so much more drama free. 

We are all a work in progress so we wont get everything right all the time but I guarantee that if you follow these steps you will begin to feel more beautiful inside out.