Starting any type of entrepreneur journey can be challenging. I have to agree with Elon Musk when he said it was like eating glass and staring into an abyss. It can be quite rewarding but it is truly a constant uphill battle. You will have lots of setbacks and hardships. You will fail. You will want to quit. You will often wonder if you are doing the right thing or if you should be moving in an entirely different direction. That is why most entrepreneur journeys fail. That is also why only 1% succeed. It takes guts to go out there and try to be successful on your own. Those who succeed are the ones who never quit.
I spoke with Cyndi Waters, the owner of Be Extra With Cyndi, to get the some insights on her entrepreneur journey and experience with becoming a Younique Presenter. I love hearing about other entrepreneurs and their journeys so I wanted to take the time to interview her and share her story with you. She took a different entrepreneurial journey than I did, but we also have so many similarities with our experience. She and I met over two years ago and she quickly became one of my very best friends. She is truly one of the influential people in my life. We have a very similar mentality and we strive to push each other every day to reach our goals. We also collaborate well to help each other out and bounce ideas off of each other.
Cyndi is an awesome person! You can’t help but love her. If you are having a bad day, then she always knows what to say to make you feel better and get back on track. She is always full of energy and very positive and upbeat. We both love to inspire and influence positivity amongst others and that is one of our many of similarities. And, of course we both love makeup! Another reason that I am a huge supporter of her and her Younique journey is because of how awesome of a company Younique is and what they strive to do. It seems that not many people are aware, but they are a charity organization and have multiple programs to help sexually abused women, which I love and I am a huge supporter of this.
This is their mission statement:
"At the Younique Foundation, we are committed to helping women, who were sexually abused as children or adolescents find hope. Our 5 Strategies to Reclaim Hope will give you ways to begin or continue on your journey of healing."
She attended college for 3 years majoring in Human Resources. Her voice is also phenomenal. She can sing like no other. She began singing in 7th grade when she auditioned for choir and was chosen. It just continued after that. (She definitely has a gift!) She also has an adorable cat named Minx who also tends to pop up on occasion to help her work. This beauty has also started a weight loss journey last year and has lost 98lbs! I am legit so proud of her and she still isn’t finished yet but she still works on those goals everyday. She has made a complete healthy living lifestyle change, but you will hear about that journey in a future post.
Prior to Younique, she maintained a marketing position for a local fitness center as well as held some management positions. She decided to venture out on here own and this is where she is today:
What inspired you to start your entrepreneurial journey?
My mentor’s exciting journey and walk in her own Younique venture really inspired me to want to become what she was becoming. She was growing rapidly as a person, walking on a steady path towards success, and she attracted me to the entrepreneurial pursuit. Whitney honestly inspired me, just by being consistently uplifting on her Facebook posts as well as in our conversations. She was just simply running towards this lifestyle herself and it was quite inspiring. She made me want success and she truly pumped me full of belief that I could get to where I wanted to be, too!
Why did you choose makeup and what made you specifically choose Younique?
I chose a makeup biz because I’m truly passionate about the artistry that lies within the field. I love colors and am strongly drawn to trying new things, staying unique within a technique, and ultimately challenging what I already know and improving upon those skills. I had been sought out by other women to join different companies, but what sold Younique to me were two things: The fact that you get paid 3 hours after a sale was basically what caught my eye with the compensation plan. Next, once I said yes, I learned more about the mission of Younique and dug into their business model of how you can rise to the top & I thought ‘wow, you cannot really get anywhere without helping other women empower their own venture and this is what sold me on staying. I thought to myself, “you’re going to build an empire and you’re going to be so great in order to help change the lives of others. This is why I Younique.
How did you feel about yourself prior to this journey in comparison to how you feel now?
I feel more empowered, uplifted, and validated. I know it’s corny because that is what Younique’s motto is, but it’s what I’ve become. I believe strongly that Younique’s support system, Y Sisterhood, has accomplished all of those words to their fullest. The sisters within this company that help you thrive in this business at your own pace honestly has been my greatest asset in this life. I have reached every goal I have set for myself so far. I have truly ran for these ladies with locking arms. They are constantly telling me that I can do this and that I will make a way to become greater than I’ve ever been before!
What have you learned and what areas do you feel that you have grown in most because of this journey?
Where to begin!? I have learned so much about myself through personal development, marketing, sales, skincare, makeup application, new techniques therein, business models, creating your own lovable brand and most importantly so much more about customer service and how to help people with what you’re selling. I feel that I have grown the most in the area of communication, honestly. I know when freshies get their start, they’re just ready to make some money. But honestly, there is so much learning to be tackled and so much training to be required of you before you take on the art of marketing. I would say that through the months, I have definitely grown in this specific area of communicating with people better to be more efficient in all areas of my life and not solely talking about just business.
If you could go back and do something different in your journey what would it be?I would have soaked up all the training I could and researched techniques a little bit more before I even received my presenter kit. I would have built up the library in my brain and my photo gallery chalked full of goodies about the journey I was embarking on. I would have also started trying to display much sooner. I also wish I would have believed in myself this strongly sooner. I say these things, but don’t believe in going back. I only believe in moving forward. I see this as a learning process. Some learn quicker than others but things happen when they are supposed to for you. It’s all part of growing!
What has been your lowest point and highest point throughout your journey?
Wow! I’ve had more lows in the beginning until I changed my outlook. I thought every time I failed at something that I needed to just hang it up because I was just not any good in that area. THIS WAS TOTALLY WRONG! When we fail, we must fail forward. . It was when I changed my mindset and perspective on this that I started having more highs than lows. I celebrate everything, even the failures. It’s like you’re in a maze. You have a goal to keep going until you get out the other side but how do you get there? When you hit a wall you don’t turn around and go completely back the way you came. You just turn left or turn right and go a different avenue. Fail forward, every single time. If you fail just keep going towards your goal and you can never really fail.
Is there anything you regret or wish you could change?
No regrets. Everything happens for a reason. Change? Why would I? I have grown into the person I have become because of every failure, every high, every low. Every time I wanted to give up, I woke up from that moment and decided to just keep trucking. So, no. I wouldn’t change a thing.
How has Younique changed your life?
Younique has forever UPLIFTED my spirits by showing me through their business model that you cannot get anywhere by your own merit. You need other people. You need to empower and promote those who help you become better and want better not only for yourself, but for other people, as well. Younique has EMPOWERED me as a woman, individual, and a businesswoman by allowing me this wonderful opportunity to change my life in all of these ways. All of this just with the aid of their simple encouragements throughout my day in our corporate pages. They encourage my mentors to empower me daily. They also constantly provide gifts for reaching for our dreams. Lastly, Younique has left me VALIDATED that I validate me but I can extend that kindness and generosity to others to help encourage them to be their best selves. All the while we are setting ourselves up for freedom, not only financially, but freedom from 9 to 5 glass ceilings and the burdens that we have carried associated with those limitations.
Do you plan to start another entrepreneurial journey aside from Younique?
Definitely! If I got on board with another mentor from another network marketing company and fell in love with the products because they provided just as much benefits as Younique products have for me, then absolutely! However, Younique is my niche but I think I would do wonderful in the field of dual businesses! I would love to be able to offer my friends/family a variety.
Do you plan to continue this journey?
Absolutely! I plan to continue this even if Younique closed the doors on their presenters and said we are switching to brick and mortar stores, I would go stand in line for a job tomorrow. I believe in the company leaders that much and love them to pieces! Also, if I wanted to pursue anything outside of Younique I would keep pushing until I made whatever dreams I had come true!
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
This time next year I will be Black Status which is the top of our company. I will put it out there in the Universe that it is happening and focus on that until next year when I look back at this article and say, “Wow, I’ve made it so!”
What advice would you like give to other beginning presenters?
I would say if you’re thinking about it but aren’t able to do it just yet, start building your network NOW! I would say if you’re ready to press that “join” button today, after you join go into your Back Office and watch YOUniversity before your kit arrives. Start watching ‘The Greats’ on YouTube (Black Status leaders) because they have accomplished the tippy top, where you aspire to be. . . so start mirroring ‘The Greats’ before you even start and when you do venture and shout it from the rooftops that you’re now a presenter, it ill not be as much work for you if you have that powerful knowledge!
Why do you suggest that someone else become a presenter with Younique?
If someone I loved was hurting, maybe they were sad, maybe they felt ‘stuck’ in this life. . . naturally, I would offer up a solution to their woes. GIRL this is a wonderful opportunity that was MY solution! If you need a change in your life, get the kit and watch the magic happen. This biz works as hard as you do and I promise you if you want it, you can achieve success, personal development, and just pure growth, girl! Get in on that Y sisterhood! The amount of support that you get is magical! You didn’t know you even needed it but it is out there and you don’t even have to go looking for it.
If you had to choose one go to Younique product that you cannot live without, what would that be?
If I was forced to choose, I’m going with my 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. This wonderful product by Younique was my gateway drug! I was like, “If this stuff makes my lashes banging, what does the other stuff do?”! I had to find out! I promise that you will too. We are all curious creatures by nature.
What is the best piece of advice that you have received throughout your entrepreneurial journey that you would like to pass along to other entrepreneurs?
“Do what others won’t to get what others cannot!” This is powerful to me because it’s so true and probably my favorite little golden nugget! You have to be consistent, never give up and more importantly, you must stand out. Sometimes it can seem like any network marketing biz is saturated all over your social media timelines/flows. This could be true to the naked eye, but not so much! There may be an immense number of distributors/presenters/salespeople but most of them quit! Most of them give up on their dreams right before the growth begins. You have to also stand out. Find what makes you different and use that as your brand. Use that as your point of selling you. You are important and your dreams are important but making sure people can see the value that holds to you and how much you want it, will also help you be successful and attract others in the process. These things will make you one of ‘the greats’ one day.
A message from Cyndi (owner of Be Extra With Cyndi) to me (Amy - Owner of Bloom Like a Lotus):
Thanks for this opportunity to share my passion, drive, energy, and self with your followers Amy! You’ve been a consistent supporter in all things Cyndi since before you even knew that I was this Extra! You’ve definitely watched a journey of mine as I have seen you Bloom like a beautiful, vibrant, and lovely Lotus! I love you so much and your work is so valuable; I just know through your passion and drive you’re going to do big things ‘lil mama! Be you. Stay true. Always stay Extra! (:
Thank you so much Cyndi for allowing me to interview you about your entrepreneur journey. I love to death and admire all of your successes. I know you will continue to succeed and grow in all of your future endeavors and I know that I will be there with you the entire way cheering you on and supporting you throughout the entire journey as you celebrate one milestone at a time. Can't wait to see what the future has in store for you!
Thank you for taking the time to read Cyndi's interview. You can check out her page and support her and the Younique Foundation here. Just remember, with every purchase you are almost supporting a great cause and helping sexually abused women.
You can also fall her social media outlets here:
You know the saying, “blondes have more fun,” right? Well, I guess I took that to heart at a young age because I started dying my hair when I was 11. Eek!
I was born a natural blonde, but as I got older it started to become a darker blonde and I wanted it a lighter blonde. Well, for us girls with curly hair, sometimes that can be tricky if you get a stylist who doesn’t know curly hair.
TIP: If you have curly hair, be sure your stylist specializes in curly hair. It only took me 28 years to find a stylist that I love, but I finally found her. She is a Deva certified stylist. I will elaborate more on the Deva Cut in a future post, but I swear by it now.
So prior to finding my awesome Deva certified stylist, I had always just gotten highlights but I decided that I wanted to truly be platinum blonde. I found a girl who I thought was great, especially since she was the owner of the salon. Turns out she didn't know what the hell she was doing. This chick totally fried my hair by over processing it with bleach. While she was rinsing my hair, I felt her painting it again and she said it didn't fully take. You can read more about that post here. You can also see how curly my hair was before it got damaged there, as well.
It was truly a nightmare. It had no curl to it whatsoever. Even if I tried to scrunch it, NADA!
After that whole ordeal, I immediately decided to start trying to mend it back together and work with it the best that I could. I honestly didn’t think I could salvage it even a little bit, but I decided I would try it anyway.
Now, I am not going to say my hair is not perfectly healthy right now by any means but I have truly came so far from where it was, it is amazing. And in all honesty, people don't know how damaged my hair is until I show them a before of my curls before it was damaged. I still get tons of compliments on my hair but people have no idea how curly it is truly supposed to be. It has taken a lot of time, a lot of products and a lot of effort, but the difference is mind blowing. I still have a long way to go, but considering how bad it looked before, I am rather pleased.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed cosmetologist by any means. This information is not considered professional advice. These are all things that I have tried on my own and found that they work wonders.
My hair was damaged about a year and a half ago. The new growth is right at my ears. Although the woman who fried it damaged it so badly that it started breaking off and caused me to lose about 4 inches, I chose to not cut it entirely because I wanted to save whatever length that I could. Now, I know what you are thinking. Any stylist you ask says you have to cut it all off otherwise it will spiral up and damage the rest of your hair. I, too, have had numerous stylists tell me the same thing. But did I listen? No. Because I am stubborn and like to do things my own way. Sometimes you find things out the hard way, but sometimes just sometimes, things actually work in your favor. And in this instance, I am glad I didn’t listen to them. Now, might it have looked better had I cut more of it off? Probably. But did it make it worse? Did it damage the rest of my hair? No. It may somewhat look like a reverse perm because my roots are super tight curls and the rest of my hair isn't, but it is still growing out just fine. Also, my new Deva stylist says it is a myth that you MUST cut off all of the damage. And I trust her :)
After it was fried, I went to a Deva stylist to just shape it up a bit. I have been going to her about every 8 weeks since I damaged it. I would only have her cut off about half an inch to an inch. Each time I go now, it gets a little bit curlier. However, that was not the case when I first started going. It did take some time. Also, I chose to not start using all of the Deva products until after all of the damage is gone. I do believe slowly trimming it little by little was incredibly beneficial, but I believe what the most beneficial thing has been the products that I have used. I have tried a lot of products to try to restore the damage, but I will share with you the ones that I believe truly worked and has helped restored my curls the most. I don’t think there is any one single product that has helped I believe it is a combination of everything. So here are my favorite products that have helped restore my curls and you can purchase any of them by clicking the product:
It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In plus Keratin Spray is seriously the bomb.com!! I swear by this any day. If I had to choose any one single product that worked for my hair, I would have to say this. I also tend to not be a very patient person and want to see results immediately. (Not my finest quality) But I seen results with this product faster than I had anything else. I started to see noticeable results within about 2 weeks. I used this as a leave in conditioner prior to putting in y other products and I also use it as a curl refresher sometimes, too. Other people even noticed a difference right away, as well. You can buy it here:
I am also a huge fan of the shampoo and conditioner by that same line of product. They have been one of my favorites so far. You can buy those here:
My life literally changed after I stopped washing my hair daily. All of these stylists told me it was horrible to wash curly hair daily. Initially, I felt gross and it took me some time to start getting used to it. Since I damaged my hair and I was desperate to do anything to make it look healthier, I decided to try it. Now I wash it every 3-4 days and I cannot even begin to express about much of a difference it has made. Now, I use the Deva Curl Mist-er Right to freshen up my curls. Not only does it work wonders, but it smells like lavender which I think is just awesome. Lavender has just a relaxing and calming scent. You can buy it here:
Once a week I will use a leave in conditioning treatment to my hair. I believe this is not only crucial for the repair process, but for curly hair in general. Usually the instructions say to leave in on for 3 minutes. I don't pay attention to that. I wash my hair at night, put the leave in treatment in and braid it and go to bed. I am not sure if it makes a difference by leaving it in overnight or not but I feel like it does so that is what I do. I don't always use the same leave in treatments. As you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge fitness fanatic and if you know anything about fitness, you know your body can plateau if you don't switch up your routine. Well, I tend to believe the same thing about hair so I like to switch up my hair products. Some of these are more expensive than others. I think they all are great, but I also believe you get what you pay for, as well. Here is a list of my favorite leave in conditioning treatments:
Deva Heaven In Hair Intense Conditioning Treatment
I like the next two because they work as a double product. I can use them as a leave in treatment or a daily leave in conditioner.
Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Treatment
Olive Oil Deep Conditioner
I also just use coconut oil sometimes. I think it really does help but it can be a little messy. I have slept in it before but it kind of ruined my pillow case. Oops. I think the product definitely works wonders on damaged hair, but I suggest either wrapped your head in a t-shirt while you sleep or doing it during the day during a time that you can leave it all for a while.
Organic Coconut Oil
So these are some of my favorite products that I feel helped restored my damaged curls. Please try them out and feel free to let me know if they worked for you, as well. I would love your feedback and to know if they worked for other people. Also, even though I have curly hair, I believe these could work for anyone with damaged hair.
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 more recent 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.