Summer is the time when the weather gets warm, the air gets dry, and you get invited to a million weddings. I have five weddings to go to. FIVE WEDDINGS, PEOPLE. So to keep my skin happy and healthy when I'm on the road, living out of my suitcase, I use these products and tools. They are life-savers for when you're exhausted and out of mini hotel lotion bottles but you need to look like a glowing, magnificent wedding attendee.
#1 - Neutrogena Brightening Hydrogel Mask
The Neutrogena Brightening Hydrogel Mask is one of my favorite masks ever and I talk about it all the time. I'm not so into the soggy paper masks, so this super comfy gel mask is way easier and breezy-er and it helps tired faces feel refreshed. Travel Must.
#2 - Water bottle humidifier
I love my water bottle humidifier! It's so easy to travel with and it really does make a difference for dry skin. You just pop a water bottle in and let it do its magic. Hotel air got your face feeling gross? Ain't no thang, just humidify it up.
#3 - Maybelline face studio master camo color correcting pen
This is a life-saver for those days when your eyes are puffy and purple and foundation just isn't doing the trick. I'm writing this post at 3:30am, so trust me, I know what I'm talking about here. Apply the pen to the troubled spots under your eyes before you apply your concealer and foundation, and it will make you look fresh and will keep your face in place when you're crying at your best friend's wedding. The movie and the real thing.
#4 - Neutrogena Hydro boost eye gel
I am obviously really into and in need of under eye products and love Neutrogena, so naturally this eye gel is on my list. After I take off my makeup before bed, I use my regular nighttime face products and then apply this right under my tired,little eyeballs. It's a yes in my book.
#5 - The Ordinary GRanactive REtinoid 5%
I found this in a post about Kim Kardashian's favorite beauty products, tried it, loved it, and am obsessed. Retinoid is awesome for wrinkles and anti-aging, and this retinoid serum is a real gem to add to your night-time routine. If you order one of these miracle-workers, make sure you order it from Beautylish, it was seriously the best customer service I've ever experienced anywhere ever.
Confidence was something I thought God would teach me a lottt differently than He did. I thought I would have confidence when I woke up one day and God had miraculously blessed me with 3ft mermaid hair and I would look in the mirror and see Gigi Hadid’s face, but confidence is alllll about who God is and who I am in Him, and pa-raisssse Jesus that it is.
Confidence is something we all struggle with now and again in every stage, no matter your age, gender, or walk of life. It’s always on the table because it manifests in different ways like appearances, identity, and relationships. And if you’re trying to find who you are and search for the answer in yourself, you’re never going to find the key to being confident in your own skin.
It took me years and years of self-hatred, self-reliance, social anxiety from identity crisis, and terrible eyeliner to come to this little place of just getting a tiny idea understanding confidence.
I went through stages of thinking “if I only had ___ [some kind of physical appearance] I’ll be beautiful and confidant”. Let me give you a spoiler alert on that one: never happened and never will get solved that way. The abusive relationship I had been in left me thinking:
a. he wouldn’t have hurt or used me if I was pretty or valuable
b. I have nothing to offer and no one will want me after what he took from me
and c. Figuring out how to become gorgeous is the only thing that will make me sure of who I am and make me satisfied in life.
If I knew how to articulate in writing the sound a buzzer makes on Wheel of Fortune when someone guesses the wrong phrase, I would insert that right here. I quickly learned that a, b, and c are all complete lies that we’re making me absolutely miserable. I spent a bazillion dollars on hair extensions, eyelash extensions, make-up and retail therapy using my “If I only look this way” theory. After a year that left me exhausted from trying my own bad advice, I finally realized what was happening and knew I needed to try a new route to confidence. I knew the Jesus-ey, Hobby Lobby-inspirational pillow solution was to get to “find my identity in God.” I do really love Jesus and Hobby Lobby is like my favorite store, but I was so over cliche, Christian fluff that I didn’t understand. How do you actually “find your identity in God”? What are the actual steps? I needed someone to just write a list and make me a Google docs slideshow of what I needed to do. I prayed and prayed and God just told me, plain and simple, to get to know Him. If I wanted to be sure of who I was I needed to be sure, first and foremost, of who He is.
If you’re struggling with confidence or need an encouragement boost today, I gotchu boo.
These are the simple but powerful things that helped me get out of my head and into getting to know Jesus.
Getting to know why God is and what His character is, is the only thing that will ever help you be confident in your skin. Without God’s love, faithfulness, and hope of everlasting life, we ultimately have no purpose. Without God’s gifts and blessings, we would have nothing. All of our abilities and talents are from the Lord. As a believer and follower of Jesus, I love my life to serve Him, so I really have to know the foundations of Him to be sure of my identity and purpose in life. The best and easiest ways to get to know him are through prayer and reading His Word. Prayer is just coming before God and talking to Him, so chat with God, outloud, silently, in a note, in a letter, just talk to Him. You can’t go on a date and get to know your tinder pick without starting up a conversation, so go on a date with Jesus to get to know what He is all about. The Bible is another awesome way to understand a little bit of God. The gospels are a great way to get to know Jesus, through the narrative of His life. The Old Testament speaks a lot about God the Father’s loving, faithful, kind, powerful, and graceful personality, and shows how He is such a good Father to us. The New Testament, Acts and onwards, is focused a lot on the Holy Spirit and how He [as part of the Trinity] is all about giving us the wisdom, calling, and conviction that God wants for us, and shows how important it is to God to empower His people to be emboldened to share His love with others. If you get to know God and your life is entrusted to Him, you will be so much more confudent yourself.
When God was teaching me confidence, He put confident women all around in my life. Family, friends, co-workers, and mentors in my life to show me how it’s done. The women that mentored me showed my through guidance and wisdom how to be confident in God and showed me what confidence looks like in everyday life. I went on a missions trip with co-workers and the was blessed to learn from one of the most confident, strong, bold women I’ve ever met who taught me to fierceness love Jesus, follow without fear, ask lots of questions, and don’t be off-put or discouraged when you get asked a lot of questions. A dear, super sweet, super gorgeous, super wise cousin taught me how to work with Jesus through the out of control, downward spiral, want to dye my hair blue crisis kind of moments, and also how to bravely and responsibly be accountable for mistakes and learn from them. She helped me see the constructive side of criticism. A really hard, but really effective tone of growth came from getting fired from my ultimate ministry dream-job. It was full of mistakes and learning, but it made me fall so hard on Jesus and so deeply into His identity. These are just a few shiny gem stories in 21 years of the bad, ugly, and missing-the-point, ultra-low confidence moments, but the Lord used them to change my life.
Satan loves to strip down our identities, dredge up the past, and make our future’s seem blurry and wildly terrifying. If he can make you obsess over appearance, interactions with others, what people are saying, and fear of the future, he can take away some of the plans and work God has for you. You can be a gorgeous, mermaid, supermodel of a person who only dresses in Dolce and Gabonna evening gowns, but if you start obsessing over your physical features or the mistake you made 4 years ago, you’re confidence is shot. No amount of self-help or hair extensions will repair an identity crisis. God doesn’t look at anyone and see the labels they put on themselves from failures, bad choices, good or bad appearances, or past mistake. God looks at a person and sees the label that Jesus has covered them in; if you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior, know you’re saved by grace through faith, and it is not of yourself but a gift of God, not by your works but the saving grace of Jesus’s death and resurrection, God looks at you and sees a forgiven, free, and fiercely loved child of God. Your mistakes are things that God can work through and heal through His grace, not labels that define who you are.
When Satan throws you know what and it all hits the fan, throw a whole lot of identity right back in his face. If he brings up anything about who you are, what you look like, what you are like, what you did, what you didn’t do, and what is to come, get up, get loud, and say
“I am nothing but a child of God, so do not tell me I am anything else.”
There are no words that will give you more confidence than those. Rebuke Satan right out of your day, out of your house, and out of your identity. If Satan brings up your past, bring up his future, and your hopeful, Jesus-filled one.
Confidence comes from the free gift of salvation. Ephesians 2:8-10
Confidence comes from knowing God designed you, made you, and loves you.
Confidence comes from knowing that when you mess up and make mistakes and sin recklessly, God will never leave you, forsake you, or say I’m done. Confidence comes from knowing that God will never grow tired of you, but always welcome you home with open arms.
Romans 8:1; John 10:28, John 3:16; Romans 6:23;
When you’re absolutely sure of who He is, you will be absolutely sure of who you are, in Him, and you will never feel more relieved, at home, at peace, and confident about everything there is to who God made you to be, and the blessed assurance of His love.
I've been flying internationally quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, and those red-eyes will get you good, let me tell you. I hate waking up in a plane with dry skin and big, black circles under my eyes, so I've come up with a few must-have beauty supplies I use on those over-nighters. When the lights go off for the night on a flight, I like to go wash my face, take off my makeup, and use a YesTo, two-step charcoal mask to clear out my skin. I've tried a million different pore strips, and this is the only one I feel like really clears my pores out, which is a must before bed on plane rides. After I cleanse it all up, I like to moisturize and apply face oil. Mario Badescu has great facial products loaded with vitamins that don't leave your face greasy and oily. Fab girl slim is a moisturizing product that contains caffeine, so I like to apply it under my eyes to help make my dark circles disappear. Generally when I wake up on a flight, the jet-lag is just starting to set in the claustrophobia kicks into high gear back in my seat in the economy section, so I relax with a gel mask. When the tray tables go up and the plane is heading down to land, I love using NYX HD concealer to clean up my face and go for the "fresh-face, no makeup traveler" look. It's one of the best concealers on a budget, and it will last you forever.
Keep your international flights rested and happy and your faces fresh ✈
This year, I've committed to be the person I want to be. I'm over the whole resolution thing. I don't do well just staring at a list of things I want to accomplish. Some of the best advice I ever received was "you will be what you are now becoming". In other words, whatever you practice now is what you're going to end up being. This year, I want to be happy, healthy, and having the characteristics of the woman I know God wants me to be. One of the things I really want to start doing is taking care of my skin. I love makeup, love, love, love it. The problem is, for the past 5 years, I haven't really done much of a skin care regiment besides using makeup remover wipes and calling it a night after a long day of make-up wearing. Unfortunately for me, skin is sensitive and scars and wrinkles when you don't take care of it, and my skin was not too fond of the job I was doing. So this year, I'm making my beauty treatments and routines healthy so my face can be wholesome and happy. These are my best tips and tricks so far:
1. Give yourself an ice facial before applying makeup
I totally didn't believe this trick would actually make a difference until I started trying it, and now I do it every day. When you wake up, cleanse and wash your face and then apply an ice cube to your face and rub it on your skin for 45-60 seconds. The ice reduces the pore size, redness, and any swelling on your face. Dry your face and apply your moisturizer, and then you're good to go with the rest of your makeup.
2. Apply your makeup in the right order
If your application process is out of order, your skin might be getting oils and dirt trapped under all of your beauty products. Never pick or prod your face before applying makeup, it could make your face greasy or spread dirt and bacteria around that will mix into your foundation. The correct order of makeup application is to first wash your face with a cleanser, apply a moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer and blush, and highlights. Washing, moisturizing, and priming are super important steps to keep your skin hydrated, clean, and protected.
3. Drink for your skin
Water will always help your skin, but carrot juice, ginger teas, cinnamon, and citrus can really help keep your face bright and happy.
4. Don't be dry
A lot of people are confused about moisturizing your face. People tend to shy away from moisturizers because they don't want to add any more oil to their already acne prone or oily faces, but all skin types need some moisture. Many times, pimples are a result of skin that's lacking moisture. When your skin is dry, it creates oils to treat the dryness, which leaves you with blackheads and cystic acne. Keep the dry away and ask at your local makeup counter or beauty shop for a moisturizer specifically for your skin type to get a perfect match for you.
Toning is one of the most important parts of skin care. Toners help keep your skin even, bright, and at balanced levels. I use the Target store brand toner in a blue bottle, but you can find toners anywhere that will work for your skin. If you aren't into a lot of non-vegan products or products with chemicals, you can use apple cider vinegar. Just apply your toner to a cotton pad, then lightly to your face right before you moisturize. This will remove any left-over grime and keep the pimples at bay, while balancing and freshening your skin for a happy glow.
6. Attack premeditated zits
Some zits show up unannounced, and some are a long time coming. When you spot one on the way, get it while you have the chance. I like to do a Yes To cucumbers or tomatoes mask once a week, and also wash my face with a charcoal facial soap weekly to deep clean and prevent bacteria build-up. If a zit makes it through even still, then I apply a tiny drop of toothpaste to the area and leave it overnight. The toothpaste dries the spot and keeps zits from growing.
Leave your favorite happy, healthy skin tip in the comments!
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