What not wearing makeup for a month has taught me

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source: Pinterest

 

I love makeup. I started wearing eyeliner at 14, and upgraded to eyeliner, foundation and mascara by 19. I then went full blown-full coverage by 21, so my skin hasn’t had a proper break in YEARS. No exaggerations here; makeup was worn to school, work, social outings. etc. I was never seen without it, and eventually it became kind of a shield. This isn’t a sappy post about feeling ugly without it, but I felt like I was living a double life, it became sort of a mask; at times I felt broken and severely depressed and insecure on the inside, but looked “fleeky” and put together on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, I also love how good I became at applying it. I love expressing myself and experimenting with new things, so makeup serves as an outlet in that regard as well. The anxious perfectionist in me however, believed that looks mattered in every situation. It also believed that my dark circles, pimples, blackheads, and hyper-pigmentation were best left for my humble abode.

GIRL. that is no way to live. I wanted to feel unapologetically comfortable with myself, and that started with my weight loss journey and taking fitness a little more seriously.

NOTE: being comfortable with yourself to me means taking good care of yourself physically and mentally, it doesn’t equate to letting yourself go.

Weight loss gave me a boost in confidence, and a few more stretch-marks! dang it. Hey, it just goes to show that stretch marks are not exclusive to weight gain, so I started to appreciate them more. I also started to love my natural hair a little more ( I have been relaxer free for a year now!), and now it is onto my skincare. I stopped wearing makeup to school completely but I will wear it on the weekend when going out or working.

This is what going makeup free has taught me:

  1.  that my pores are thanking me
  2.  I have more time in the morning to prepare for the day
  3. I feel cleaner and more refreshed without it
  4. My skin doesn’t break out as often
  5. Friends and Family thought I looked very tired initially, but then got used to it and eventually praised me for my skin’s overall improvement in appearance
  6. saved some $$$ by not going through my foundation in 3 weeks
  7. water is truly God’s gift to skin
  8. huge confidence booster: stopped feeling anxious about my appearance and what people think.
  9. still got hit on makeup free (not very important but yeah, men are men.)
  10. I don’t look THAT much different without it ( I never wear eyeshadow so my eyelids are usually empty).

In the end, I totally recommend it! Try it out for week. If you feel weird about going completely makeup free, try leaving out the foundation, and just use concealer and some mascara as a starter. I’m no skincare expert, but I’m excited to learn about what works for my skin.

any product recommendations? I’m a combination of oily and dry. My goal is to fade or eliminate my dark spots and acne scars.

 

 

Can you teach people how to treat you?

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This is a topic I have struggled to come to terms with; especially when you are born with the capacity to love and overdo it (and I mean, really overdo it). Can you teach people how to treat you? If you have been treated badly by a friend, family member, lover, crush, is it inherently your fault? Will you always come across people that no matter how good you are to them, fail to treat you the same way? I personally think that you can express your expectations, set your boundaries for how you want to be treated, love yourself to the fullest, but you can’t “teach” someone who doesn’t want to be taught.  You cannot force someone you care about, to show the same level of attentiveness, affection, and effort as you do. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum and burned my self-esteem through tireless efforts to get people I adore to love and respect me the way I love and respect them.

Self love, is so important, but here are some tips to dealing with people who don’t treat you the way you want to be treated:

  1. Learning to eventually identify, reflect, and communicate the issue helps. You should never feel like you are doing so much with nothing to show for it.
  2. Walking away: having the confidence to tone it down or walk away completely is an option.
  3. Learning that people express love and affection in many different ways: your way of expressing love may not reflect someone else’s manner of expressing love/friendship.

 

What are your thoughts? Is it contextual?

Seeking Validation vs Feeling Sexy

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I recently posted this photo ^ on my Instagram feed. I posted it in early February and since then have thought of taking it down. Esther that is way too sexy, too revealing, whose approval are you seeking? You are not a Victoria’s Secret Model. on the flip side, I also had self empowering thoughts like Esther, girl! you look good. You are comfortable in your sensual, Goddess-like being. Yes it is only social media, and yes there are much bigger problems to worry about, but I am on a journey of self love/self empowerment and I find it interesting that I at least, have these opposing and sometimes contradictory thoughts on my sensuality.

As I mentioned in a previous post, most women have to deal with a LOT of pressure to be this non-realistic superwoman; look amazing 24/7, have an amazing career, find an ideal mate before 30 etc. I find that when women are too comfortable in their own skin it is received as a plight for validation from men *rolls eyes*, a severe case of daddy issues, and a lack of self respect. It is always in accordance to men in some shape or form. The funny part is, women partake in this judgement whether we like to admit or not. There are many instances where I had thought wow she must really be insecure if she is comfortable twerking in her thong for the whole world to see instead of, you know what! get it girl! do what you want! I don’t know about everybody else, but for me it is also the outlet of expression that determines these thoughts. If I saw the same girl bellydancing or whining for instance, I would have immediately praised her instead of question her security or lack thereof.

Why is that?

We are so conditioned to think there is something wrong if a woman takes charge of her sensuality. Is it that offensive? Is it that powerful?

What are your thoughts?

Valentine’s Day Guide for my single gals

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picture: pinterest.com

I’m single as a pringle. Valentine’s Day was the equivalent to a spoonful of Buckley’s on a sick day. February 14th was always deemed a day of discomfort, moping, complaining, and one big WHY AM I ALWAYS SINGLE TODAY?

I am also an incurable romantic. My parents (God bless them), have shown me over and over again that soulmates do exist, that real love is effortless, but in times takes work. They have also showed me their love-sick-teen-like tendencies; which adds more fuel to the hope that maybe one day, I can have what they have.

In recent years I have embraced the widely accepted notion that Valentine’s Day is merely a Hallmark Holiday; you should love your spouse/SO every day Yadda,Yadda,Yadda…

(OK I’M INTERRUPTING THIS BLOG POST TO LET YA’LL KNOW THAT MY PARENTS CALLED ME TO TELL ME THAT THEY JUST WENT ON A NICE DATE) *heart eyes emoji*

I admit, I think I just want to experience at least one cheesy, roses and cards Valentine’s Day with someone I love and cherish. After that, I will gladly indulge in the “well me and so so show our love to each other EVERYDAY”.

For now though, this is how I resolve my Valentine’s Day blues:

  1. Feeling Grateful/Love – This could be for my family, friends, etc. have a journal handy, and write down 3-5 things you are grateful for
  2. Going about it like it is any other day- I work from 11am-9:30pm on Valentine’s Day, so I don’t have a lot of time to dwell on my singledom
  3. Go out with single friends or hangout with people you love- movies, lunch, you name it!
  4. If you are not working have a “me” day- pamper yourself, order some food, and watch some TV!
  5. Always have a positive mindset- girl you saved some money and didn’t have to get a man gifts! I’m playing. Feel happy for couples you know celebrate. Feel the love and excitement for them. Whatever you feel is what you attract…

Pressure to be perfect: Instagram Models

 

The women pictured above are beautiful, fit, financially stable, successful, and Instagram famous. I religiously scroll through their pages to admire their style, Instagram aesthetics, and bodies of steel. At first it was a way for me to hit the gym,  however the visual motivation worked…for about a month. The scrolling slowly became obsessive; not of the celebrity-stalker-creep variety, but the “I want to look like her, I wish I had her boobs, butt, thighs, hair, lifestyle, financial freedom…” variety. For most women, this is typical behaviour; society has flooded us with messages to improve this! lose this! eat this! It takes A LOT of work to feel genuinely happy with what we are born with. The advent of social media has amplified this notion to the point where I feel impatient to reach certain goals and milestones. It has amplified the need to look a certain way, and to market and present my social media pages a certain way as well.

I’m 24 and still in school, I work 2 part-time jobs, and I have started to model on the side. These women are in their early to mid twenties and thriving. I obviously don’t have a microscopic view into their personal lives, but by the looks of it, they are living their dreams and passions (and looking damn good while doing so). A close friend had a similar issue; she would follow and almost idolize these social media giants only to feel even more insecure and de-motivated. She ended up unfollowing them and following pages that inspired her personal goals. I still follow these lovely ladies, but have toned down heavily on the comparing and whining. Everyone has their time, mine will come and like the old saying goes-enjoy and learn from your journey.

What are your thoughts on social media insecurities? Do you have any?

 

-E

Choose Your Damn Self.

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Unrequited love is by far one of the WORST life lessons to go through (for me at least). I’m a giver, I go out of my way for people, I have tons of that mushy-gooey type of love that poets and writers thrive from…and for  while, I hated it. I hated it because people I love(d) took advantage of it. It is a hit to your self-esteem and worth. Confidence turns to “I’m not good enough” giving with love, turns to expecting things in return.

I loved a handsome young man who was everything I wanted and more in a friend and lover. Tall, smart, down to earth, family oriented etc. I plucked up the courage  to tell him how I felt but his response was rather vague, leaving me in hope (the unhealthy, obsessive type). As time passed, it was VERY clear that he was not interested but insecurity snuck in and told me that all I had to do was PROVE to him that I was worth being with. I wasn’t his physical type, he had some issues he needed to deal with, he was busy, but I paid no mind to the obvious. My only task was to “make him see” that what he needed was right in front of him. wrong. so.very.wrong. Choose to love yourself first, and foremost. If someone doesn’t see the gem that you are, take it as a sign from the universe that it just wasn’t meant to happen, or that something even BETTER is suited for you.

Let it go.

Cry, binge watch The Crown on Netflix, and work on loving and improving yourself FOR yourself. The rest will follow. If you feel sexy, confident, smart etc. people will naturally be drawn to you. Work on your hobbies, hangout with people who do love and care for you. Go out, stay in, just be YOU. Have expectations on how you want people to treat you, and don’t you dare settle for less. Walking away is the hardest part, but close one door, and another will surely open…

photo from : pinterest.com