I have worn makeup for years. I probably started wearing it around middle school. Of course, back then I kept it simple: foundation, powder, eye shadow and lip gloss. Nothing too extravagant. As the years progressed, so did my knowledge and love for makeup, along with my skills. Now there is so much more involved in my makeup routine: moisturizers, eye cream, highlight, liquid eyeliner, primer, so many different brushes. The list goes on, as I am sure yours does, as well. Well, all of those products can really add up over time. Makeup isn’t cheap.
A friend told me about Ipsy several years ago. If you are not familiar with it, it is a monthly subscription service that sends you 5 free samples of products every month and the amazing part about it is that it is only $10! No tax, no shipping. Just $10. That is just $120 per year. I decided to test it out and it has literally changed my life!
These are the top seven reasons why you will love Ipsy:
Just think about all of the makeup products that you use on a daily basis. How much does that cost you a year? I am sure hundreds, if not thousands of dollars even, depending on what brands of makeup that you use. Since I have started getting Ipsy, usually the only things that I have to actually buy are liquid foundation and powder. Everything else I get in Ipsy. I have plenty of highlight, eyeshadow, eye shadow primer,eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, blush and bronzer. I have gotten Ipsy for years, but I could honestly probably stop using it and have enough product to last for at least a year right now, if not more. I have so much makeup it is ridiculous. I even get plenty of eye creams, moisturizers and face masks. I never have to buy any of these things. Now on a rare occasion I may have to buy certain products because I haven’t received them in my Ipsy bag recently such as face primer or liquid eyeliner. But don’t worry, they will come eventually. In the past year, I have had to buy eyeliner once and primer once. Other than that, it comes with Ipsy. I have literally saved so much money on makeup products since I subscribed to Ipsy.
It’s a surprise!
Okay, seriously. Who doesn’t love getting things in the mail? I would be lying if I said getting Ipsy every month wasn’t exciting. It comes in the hot pink shiny package. Occasionally they will do something random and it is a different gold. I remember once getting a gold package. But even though I am paying for it, every month it still feels almost like it is a birthday or Christmas present. You never know what you are going to get so it is exciting opening your glam bag and seeing what new products you received.
It is customizable
When you first sign up for Ipsy, you take a quiz to determine what types of products you like best. Colors, brands, shades, that kind of thing. This quiz is usually fairly accurate, but the longer you receive Ipsy, the more customizable it becomes because each month you have the opportunity to review your bag along with each item in your bag. You can even leave comments about each product. The more items you review, the more they will get to know you to know what you like and don’t like. If you tell them to never send you something again, they won’t.
Although I have loved almost everything I have received, on a rare occasion I will receive something I don’t like. For example, I prefer dark lipsticks. If they send me a pale pink lipstick, I won’t wear it. So, throughout the year, I will set aside the things I don’t like or won’t use and I will put them with people’s Christmas presents or birthday gifts. I will also do the same thing if I just feel like I have too much of something. Like right now, I have like 14 or more different blushes that have yet to be opened.
Try new brands and products
I love Ipsy because it gives you a great opportunity to try new brands or new products that you have never tried or heard of. This lets you try things without having to to pay full price for the regular size version. If you find something you love, you can always buy the larger size product, but if you hate it, then you haven’t really lost any money.
With every bag and every review that you give, you accumulate points. Every month there are different products available for you to redeem those points. If there is nothing you like for that month, you can always save your points for a later date or let them accumulate for something bigger.
You will never run out of makeup bags
Along with the products that you get, you also get a new makeup bag every single month. Now I have been getting Ipsy for years, so I have a ridiculous amount of makeup bags. They are always different. They never are the same. Some of them I love and some of them I don’t. The ones that I won’t use or don’t like, I will take 5 products that I didn’t want and put them in a bag I don’t want and boom! There is part of your birthday or Christmas present to someone else.
These are only a few of the reasons that I love Ipsy. If you are a makeup lover like I am, you won’t regret getting Ipsy. You can sign up here:
There is a saying that says, “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” Well, that is very true. That could apply to many things in life. Usually when people say that phrase they are referring to a relationship or something of that nature. However, I am going to vouch for the saying and say that it is true. However, in this instance, I am talking about curly hair. Yes, that’s right. My hair is naturally very kinky curly....or should I just was. It has, unfortunately, gotten very damaged, more than once. You would think that I learned my lesson from straightening it everyday when I was in high school and destroying it, but apparently not. I guess sometimes you have to make a mistake more than once, right? Ya’ know, just to make sure. I guess the second time around is just to clarify it was in fact a mistake. Oh well. You live, you learn, right?
When I was in high school, I hated my hair. People made fun of me and would call me names. They would say I looked like a poodle and all kinds of other stuff. People would say all kinds of things to me. I have had people tell me I would be the perfect female if I only had straight hair. Someone even once told me that I was flawed because I had curly hair. Well, I have certainly toughened up since then, but back then I let it get to me. Now, I would laugh at them. I have worked on myself through lots of personal development over the years, which I will be discussing in upcoming posts. But personal development has helped me tremendously with confidence. I am at a point in my life where there is nothing that anyone could say or do that would make me think less of myself. But that discussion is for another day.
I wanted to be considered "normal" and not have curly hair and wanted it straight just like everyone else. If only I knew then what I knew now. I always want to be different and be my own unique self. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?
So, in high school I decided to straighten my hair. I instantly fell in love with it so I decided to keep straightening it....and straightening it.....and straightening it.....and so on.....
If you have ever straightened curly hair. Then you will know that it is not the easiest or quickest process. It is very time consuming. I had just gotten so used to straightening my hair that I kept doing it because I loved the way it looked and it was so much easier to maintain.
Well, one day I was washing my hair and noticed that it felt much thinner than usual. So I just decided that I would give straightening a break and wear it curly. There was only one problem with that...
....it wasn’t curly anymore. And I mean AT ALL! I had literally fried my hair to a point to where it wouldn’t curl anymore. This straightened had ruined my hair.
So i decided to stop using it and let it all grow back out, which seriously took forever. That process was also, not to mention, horrific. It was basically like a reverse perm because my roots were growing out thick and curly, yet the ends were straight. It looked awful and I can’t express how excited I was when I got to finally chop off all of that damage.
(I have never done the "big chop" as people call it. I can say from experience that you don't HAVE to chop it all off at once. It did not compromise the integrity of my new growth. It just didn't look the best. The new growth still looked healthy.)
During this time I had also decided to take a break from the blonde. I decided to just be completely natural. (Don't mind some of these photos. I was pretty young in some of them.)
Blondes have more fun they say, right? So once it finally grew back out, I was completely natural. No color. No straightener. Nada. I left it that way for about a year or maybe a little more. This picture shows exactly how curly my hair is supposed to be:
And then I just couldn’t take it anymore. I missed my blonde. I didn’t feel like myself without my blonde hair. The blonde is just who I am! I needed some of it back in my life. So I decided to start out slowly with highlights.
I kept getting my highlights then I just decided I wanted to go platinum blonde.I love blonde. It can be rather addicting, just ask any blonde.
Well, my stylist decided she was moving to Texas so I had to find someone new. I went to a new stylist to color my hair. She was the owner of the salon so I figured she would be a good choice.
I absolutely loved the color! I thought it was beautiful. There was only one problem...So as I am laying there leaning my head back letting her rinse my hair and wash out the bleach, I feel her painting. I ask her what she was doing and she says that she was putting the bleach back on again because it didn’t take as well as it should
First off, I am not a stylist or licensed cosmetologist by any means, but I feel like it is common knowledge to know that you shouldn’t double process hair the same day, especially bleach and especially curly hair. Bleach is harsh already and because curly hair is dry and coarse already
So I freaked out and she said it was fine...
I got home and, yet again, my hair was basically straight and wouldn’t curl. Not to mention it was much shorter and she didn’t even cut it. It was breaking off because she literally fried my hair. I literally cried. And this is what it looked like after she was done.....
So, as you can see, this lady literally destroyed my hair. I was embarrassed to go out in public it was so bad. It was awful. Mind you, it was not this short prior to her bleaching it and she did not cut it. She didn't even trim it. It was right at my elbows when I went to her and this is how much had broken off.
I have worked so hard to try to get it back to normal and healthy and let it grow out. it is certainly not 100% better yet, but it is much, much better than it was. this is what is looks like now:
It still needs a ton of work, but I have came so far in comparison to how it was. Please stay tuned for a future post to see how I started the process of restoring my hair and the products that I used to help restore the damage.
I remember being in high school and all the girls being so tan. Everyone always made fun of the girls who didn’t tan. They were called pasty. If you weren’t tan then you would always hear the typical comment, “you would be so much prettier with a tan.” It just become of those things that you weren’t cool unless you tanned.
My mom finally let be start using a tanning bed when I was 14. I will never forget the first time I laid in a tanning bed. I was super red but once it first started changing to tan, I was hooked. I thought it was incredible that I could become all nice and tan so quickly. It was a beautiful thing. I loved the way that I looked and it instantly became an addiction.
If you know anything about tanning, you know there are tons of different lotions that do different things. There are bronzers, accelerators, tingles and tan extenders. Most of the lotions smell amazing. Of course, I loved the whole tanning part, but it was also just as exciting for me to go in and talk about all the lotions with the girls that worked there. I made friends with so many of them and we would sit and talk forever. I would smell all the lotions and pick them out. I always kept 5 bottles of tanning lotion and I would rotate out between those 5 bottles. As soon as one got empty, I would buy a new one. I kept 3 bottles of tan extender and would do the same thing with those.
There were so many other benefits of tanning that I shortly discovered that I also instantly fell in love with. If my face was breaking out, it was amazing how quickly the tanning bed would help acne. The overall appearance of my skin just looked healthier and smoother.
If I was in a hurry, I could totally get away without putting on any foundation. Really, I could wear none at all, or just a little bit of bronzer or powder and I was set.
The more I tanned, the more I loved it. Also, the more I tanned, the more I felt I needed it. It truly became an addiction for me.
You know that feeling you get when you haven’t taken a shower for the day yet nd you just feel all gross? Or if you haven’t been to the gym in a few days so you feel like you’re having a “fat” day? Or if you are used to wearing makeup all the time and you have to go out for whatever reason without any on? All of these things make you feel gross, right? You feel some type of way like you NEED to put on your makeup or you NEED to shower. Your day just isn’t complete. That is exactly how I felt when I didn’t tan. I literally had gotten to a point to where I felt absolutely disgusting if I had not tanned. I felt like I hadn’t showered.
I always felt the need to go to the tanning salon 7 days a week. I wasn’t always able to do that because sometimes life gets in the way of your plans so I probably went 4 days a week, sometimes 5.. I was in college so I was going to school full-time and working full-time. I was also very active in the gym, so I didn’t have a whole lot of free time. Occasionally I would have to make some sacrifices and not be able to go. Tanning was obviously the least important. However, if there was ever a point where I skipped two days of tanning, I wasn't happy.. I was like those people who smoke and were craving their fix. I needed my fix which was to get tan. I hated to start to lose my tan. All of these thoughts were actually in my head at the time.
Here are some photos of me when I was going to the tanning bed. I am 28 now. I was much younger when these were taken. But you can still see the skin comparison.
Well, things slowly started to change for me. I noticed that I was getting all of these freckles. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening. I have never had freckles in my entire life. Yet, all of a sudden I was getting them all over my body. They were on my legs, arms, chest, and face. They were literally everywhere. I realized that they were more visible and darker each time I tanned. So I slowly started cutting back. It was a gradual process. I started tanning every other day instead of every day. That still wasn’t helping with the freckles. Then I decided to go every two days. Eventually, I got to where I was only going twice a week. I had made a drastic cut back in comparison to how often I had been going yet I still had all of these freckles and dark spots. So, I decided that it was probably something I should get checked out.
I decided to make an appointment with a dermatologist. One spot in particular they had to cut out to have it sent off for testing. This spot they were afraid was cancerous. As I anticipated waiting to hear the results, 7 days later they called me to inform me that it was not cancer, thankfully. However they did sat the spot that had been taken off had abnormal cells and could have potentially turned into melanoma if it had not been removed.
So, as much as I loved tanning, I knew that I had to stop otherwise I would damage my skin. . Unfortunately, some of the best things in life aren’t always the best things for us. This is a prime example.
I had stopped. Finally decided to just spray tan or use self tanner. I use the Jergens Glow and I will just buy random spray tans.
...and here are some newer photos that were taken since I have stopped tanning...
At the time I did not realize what I was doing to myself. But in all honesty, looking back, my skin looks so much healthier now. I can just see how fake I looked in my previous pictures. Now, my skin is so much better looking, even not as tan. I use enough self tanner to just keep a little bit of a color. As you can see in my pictures, I look much better without the tanning bed, even if I am pale. So you can still be beautiful and pale.
So ladies, I know tanning is addictive. I know that it makes you feel “prettier” but trust me when I say that it is damaging your skin. I am living proof that it is bad for you.
One very important thing that I also learned throughout this process was that sun damage does not appear right away. Sometimes it takes years. I haven’t been in a tanning bed in over two years now but I still see spots popping up randomly.
I have since then became pretty obsessed with skincare, especially on my face. Stay tuned for a future post about my skincare regimen. But please, do not take this lightly. Comparing my pictures, you can see a huge difference. What do you think? Did I look better with or without the tan? I think I looked orange. People used to tell me that and I would never believe them. I hope this post makes you think twice before you tan.
I was introduced to makeup at young age. probably around 6th grade or so. My mother wore it, so of course I wanted to be like her. Like mother, like daughter, right? Of course, back then I was probably stealing my mother's makeup and putting it on and still trying to act natural hoping she wouldn't know. There couldn't really stop me so I think she finally just decided to start letting me have my own so I wasn't wasting hers. I'm also sure I didn't have a clue of what I was doing with my blue eyeshadow that I thought I rocked at the time. Which, in actually, just made me look like Mimi from Seinfeld. If only I had a picture of me from that chapter of my life.
So, as I got older and actually figured out what the hell I was doing and I looked like a person who wore makeup instead of a child who played in their mother's makeup, it became part of me.
As a child, I was always very creative. I was constantly trying to make things or paint. Those crafty skills have even carried over into adulthood. I love to paint on canvas. I am vry artistic and I also believe that plays a role in makeup for me. I think of makeup as art to my face. Because let's face it. At age 11 I wasn't thinking about trying to be pretty and wanting to impress people. I was a kid. Yet, the love for makeup started early on.
I have had several different types of encounters that have became relatively popular with me. I tend to interact with people who tell me that I don't need all that makeup. They say I am just as pretty if not prettier without it. Or there are those that say I would look better without it and I wear too much. There is a variety of ways that people say it, but anyway, you get the point.
Yet, even though it happens on the regular, I still seems to shock me every time for some reason. Maybe it is because it baffles me that someone wants to try to tell me how to live my life and do what I want. Or maybe it's because people think I wear makeup because I am insecure. So in a way, it's kind of funny, but not funny.
I don't wear makeup because I feel ugly without it. I don't wear makeup because I am insecure. I am confident enough with myself that I don't NEED makeup, but I wear it because I WANT to wear it. I think of my face like a blank canvas and makeup is the paint. I feel like makeup is a form of art. There are so many different combinations that you can do with eyeshadows and eyeliners. There are so many different glitters and lipsticks and highlighters. The possibilities are endless. Everyday can be a new creation of art. I believe that makeup is an art and it simply enhances beauty.
So, next time you think about telling me or someone else that they are more beautiful without makeup or ask them who they are trying to impress, just remember that you don't know why they are wearing it. I know that I simply wear it for nobody but myself. I would assume there are some other women with the same mentality. I am not wearing it because I want men to think I am prettier or anything like that. I simply enjoy this wonderful form of art that was created many years ago.
So wear your makeup proudly ladies! Be yourself and wear it how you like it! Not how everyone else wants you to wear it.