Losing my religion…to a hair stylist

Alright ladies, listen up!

If you are a “Christian” who feels guilty because you want to look nice, raise your hand. Darlings, when did God declare, “There shall be no highlighting of hair, painting of nails, or staining of lips”? Who told you that beauty isn’t important to the one who created it to begin with?!

I am so tired of hearing women bash other women because they’re pretty, curvy, skinny, tall, short, well put together or any number of things that we all strive to be. Why don’t we walk up to each other and say, “Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, you got it goin’ on!” Instead we gossip and make snarky comments to anyone who will listen about how we bet she’s starving herself or throwing up… she probably doesn’t have the money to buy that outfit so she charged it and is in debt… that’s not even her hair, it’s a weave… or highlights, or a hair piece. Let me tell you something, the moment I pay for highlights, a weave or a hair piece, technically it’s mine!

Some of you have seen my Facebook post about my hair stylist Freddie and his trusted assistant, Jason.
Freddie and Jason at Jamison ShawFreddie and Jason restored a sense of beauty in me that I haven’t felt for a while. Not because I don’t feel valued. Not because I need more attention from my husband. Not because someone was mean to me. Are you ready for this?


I didn’t even realize that I felt this way until Freddie changed my look. I feel great! What I don’t feel is guilty for spending 2 hours in a salon, away from my children, being pampered by professionals and paying money that I worked hard to earn.

You shouldn’t either!

I have received mostly positive feedback from the picture on FB, but I did have one woman email to say, “Don’t you feel selfish taking all of that time away from your husband and children to have unnecessary things done to your appearance?” Hmmmm…”No. Should I?”

Here’s the deal beauties, I am finding more and more that when I take a little time out to take care of myself, I am a much better wife and mother. Chris and I are a team. He’s not a babysitter, he’s their father. I didn’t turn in my id card when becoming a mother. Did life change? Sure. Is it richer and fuller? Yes. Do I find my identity in my children? No. Plus, when I feel better about myself, I feel sexier for my husband. See how this works? I cannot imagine God saying it’s a bad thing.

People will disagree with me and that’s okay. (Please disagree in the comments and don’t send me an email.) Here is what I believe. God took His time. He created every living thing with such ornate detail. He sculpted the earth. He used color and light. He didn’t throw a blob of black and grey together and say, “It is good.” He created beauty and said, “It is good.

So for those of you condemning those of us who take delight in highlights, stilettos and red lippy, I say, “Stop acting so religious and go get your hair done! You’ll thank me.

Don’t underestimate the positive impact of a seemingly small change. AND you don’t even have to have surgery. I’m going to make this super easy for you Atlanta peeps. Here’s Freddie’s card.
photoI suggest calling to make an appointment. When they answer the phone, they ask, “How may we make your day beautiful?” I love that!


Accentuating Beauty: Part 1

Today’s post is the first in a series with Ariel Barrow, former make-up artist for Bobbi Brown. Now a wife and busy mother of two, Ariel is a freelance artist and available by appointment only.

Melissa Cazorla is our model for the day. Ariel is going to go step by step, showing how she transformed Melissa’s clean face into a canvas of art.

Do you have questions? We have answers! Please ask in the comments section. Ariel will be answering them next week and showing us how she quickly turns day make-up into evening. She demonstrates how with the right products, we can look our best with minimal effort.

Start with a clean face.* Prep the skin with eye cream and moisturizer.
This hydrates the skin so that the makeup glides on easily.* Apply primer on the face and eyes. (Two different products.)

This creates a barrier between the make-up and skin that aids in uniform application and prevents make-up from being absorbed into the skin throughout the day.

* A light eye shadow is applied to the lid.* A darker color is placed on the outside corner of the eye.(Depending on the size of the eye area, Ariel decides whether to apply a darker color to the entire crease or just the corners. Because Melissa has such a prominent eye area it would detract from her eyes to apply the darker color across the crease.)

* Eyeliner was placed (with a brush) on the top lid only and not too thick.This is an important step to remember.
(You can always add more if needed.)

* Curl lashes with eyelash curler (do not use heat as this can damage the lashes) Apply lash primer and add several coats of mascara.* Go back under the eyes with eye cream.
This adds hydration while cleaning up any powder dropped during application.* Apply Corrector (pink based) to correct the dark circles.
Then place the concealer (color of skin tone) over the corrector
to blend and add more coverage.

* Foundation is blended (with a brush) all over the face to give the skin an even toned look. (Ariel explains that she applies foundation last which offers a flawless look to the skin.)* Set the concealer and foundation with a loose yellow powder.
This helps keep the look fresh, longer.* Dust the T-Zone with bronzer. This warms up the skin tone.
(We were having fun. Who says you can’t laugh during beautification?!)

* Apply blush to the apples of the cheeks.
This gives the face the pop of color needed to complete the look.

* One coat of lipstick is applied.
Try not to lick your lips throughout the day and your color will last longer.
You can always reapply, but the first application provides the cleanest look.(Lip color is so personal, the color is all about your preference.
If there is a color you want to wear but don’t think you can “pull it off?” Try a liner as base to tweak the color. You would be surprised what colors anyone can wear when the undertones are changed ever so slightly to compliment the skin tones.)

The finished product is exquisite. Don’t you think?That wraps up the “how to” portion of the “day” make-up.
Ariel has answered several questions below that are commonly asked.
Hopefully her answers will be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

Remember to ask your questions and come back next week for the answers and another tutorial on transitioning your “day face” to your “evening face” with few steps and big results.

1.) How important is foundation/concealer/primer for the overall look?
I would definitely say that, concealer is most important. Putting concealer under your eyes can immediately make you look refreshed. You can also cover up any trouble spots (blemish, sun spot, etc) on the face with concealer too. Foundation would be the next most important because it allows you to even out your skin tone. Primer is not necessary every day, unless you really need your makeup to stay fresh.

2.) If you could only have 3 items in your makeup bag (not including cleanser or moisturizer) what would they be?
Lipgloss! (I love lipstick and chapstick too) My favorite thing is lip gloss because it gives a hint of color and shine quickly. Keyword is “quickly”…being a mother of two, I need to be efficient in every area. I would then say concealer because I can touch up any trouble areas. Last, but not least, mascara. I love what it does, but I also just love putting it on.

3.) What benefits are there to using brushes to apply make-up instead of pencil and sponges?
Good brushes are made to pick up the product and place it onto the face. They won’t absorb too much of your product, unlike a sponge. Also you can clean your brushes, unlike a sponge that can harbor bacteria. Can you tell I am not a fan of sponges? I think they can be used, but they need to be thrown out often. I love lip and eye pencils. I just don’t use them as often because that is not what I am used to anymore. Working for Bobbi Brown I didn’t like the eye pencil’s so I used their gel eyeliner or a powder eye shadow. So I guess I don’t prefer one over the other, just a habit. I really like Lancôme’s waterproof pencil eyeliners.

4.) What advice do you have for someone just starting to wear make-up? I’ve heard the saying, “Less is more.” Do you agree?
Go to a cosmetic section of your favorite story and just look around at the different brands. Try and find what you like and then talk with the representative at the counter. They should be receptive to someone who is new to makeup and willing to give a tutorial if it’s a good time. You may have to book an appointment. I love TONS of different cosmetic companies and am not trying to push Bobbi Brown, but they are a great teaching line. The representatives are used to walking clients step by step through the makeup process. I was someone who wore WAY too much makeup, I think I still struggle with this. I do think “less is more” unless you are going for a more dramatic look.

5.) What is the rule about dark eyes and dark lips? Can one wear both? Should one choose one or the other?
This is tough. I would say during the day, don’t do both, but at night it can work. I always try to decide what the client wants to focus on – their eyes or lips. I think that is a great rule of thumb, to think about what you want to make a statement with. I typically focus on my eyes, rather than lips. I don’t think you have to choose one or the other because it can work, but I would say the results are often better when you pick one or the other.

6.) What is one tip or fact you wish everyone knew when it came to their particular eye color and shape?
I want people to understand that there is not a science to it. I would recommend trying different colors and then taking a step back and saying, “What did this look do for me?” If you feel pretty and uplifted then it’s probably a good color. If you feel blah and like you have a black eye…probably not a good look. I love eyeliner on every eye shape. If you apply this one step to your makeup routine then you can really frame your eyes. The eyeliner doesn’t have to be dark! This is a misconception that often keeps people from trying it at all.

7.) Is there a trick for keeping lipstick off your teeth?
Make sure your lips are not too moist to hold the color. You may apply foundation or powder on the lips as a primer. My first choice would be applying a lipliner first throughout the lip and then applying the lipstick always makes the lipstick last. Don’t glob it on. Only put on a few layers and try to avoid putting too much on the inner lip because as soon as you close your mouth it is going on the teeth. Also, if you put a lip gloss over your lipstick (which I love) this can make the lipstick run. It’s better to reapply your lipstick than walk around with it on your teeth! Yuck! If all else fails you can do the index finger trick. You purse your lips around your finger and pull it out. It’s messy, but in a pinch it will get excess color off your lips.

Want to know what brushes were used? How to find the right foundation for your complexion? What if you don’t like foundation and just use concealer? Does it need to be expensive to work? Ariel can answer all of these questions and more, so ask away. We will see you next Thursday (same time, same place) for another beauty installment and answers to your questions with Ariel.
(If you would like a detailed list of products used, including specific brushes, please comment in the section below.)

Do those come in elastic waist?

Here she is, the legend, the one that daisy dukes were named for. Daisy herself. How did she get those on I wonder?

I don’t often reminisce about my short shorts days, but today I allowed myself a stroll down memory lane when a beautiful blond with no more than 6 inches of denim covering her booty walked past our table at lunch.

My first thought was, “I wonder how it feels to, not only be able to fit in a pair of shorts found in the toddler section, but still have range of motion while doing so?”

Was I jealous? I think maybe I was…a little…for a second. Don’t get me wrong, I stand by my mantra, “Love the body you’re in.” I love my body. It serves me well. I just wish sometimes that there wasn’t so much of it.

This got me thinking, “Do other women feel this way when a cute little booty adorned in stretched denim passes by?” Are there women who don’t even notice? How is that possible?

Okay, if we are being painfully honest here I will say that the next thought through my mind was, “Why did that skinny little be-otch have to walk passed me on a day like today when I reluctantly stuffed myself into shorts that I haven’t worn in… oh… 3 years, just to show me what I don’t look like? The one time I put my pride aside and my less than tan legs on display I’m sharing a room with the inspiration for the song, “I’m sexy and I know it.” I wanted to cover myself with the vinyl tablecloth. Pathetic, I know.

I wish I could tell you that the next thing that came to mind was Psalm 139 and thoughts of how beautiful I am to my Creator and to my man who treats me like a goddess. It wasn’t. The next thing to surface was justification. “Well, Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 and she was smokin’.” “I rock my curves!” “I’ve had 3 children. T h r e e!” “Thin isn’t the biggest deal and neither is a tan! I want to be healthy and white! After all, vampires are the latest craze and they are paler than I am.” “Yeah. That’s right. I’m hot.”

Now enjoy the part where my rationalization comes crumbling down around me.
~ By today’s sizes it is believed that Marilyn would have been a 6/8. (There goes that theory)
~ I have grown accustomed to and even fond of my curves. However, a muffin top or shelf butt are not technically the curves that one likes to “rock.”
~ True, I have had 3 kiddos and with each one worked out less afterwards. It’s difficult to maintain the excuse that it’s baby weight when my baby is 4!
~ Thin is just as big a deal as it has been for as long as I can remember. Everything looks better tan, especially fat and while being healthy is important, thin is more times than not, healthier than pudge.
~ Just for the record, most days I do feel hot. I mean, it’s been over 100 degrees here for the last month!

Seriously, I’m not lacking in self-esteem and for someone who struggled for so many years with self-loathing behavior, I’d say that’s a pretty huge statement. I just wish that I could tell you that having a healthy marriage, beautiful children, everything I have ever dreamed of in this life, would keep me from looking at “little miss tight buns” and being envious. But alas, I can not. I would be lying.

It’s interesting what topics have come up in the last week for me. Words like “enough.” When it comes to size, attitude and fiestiness, I’m more than enough. When it comes to viewing myself as the Beloved through the eyes of my Master, I could use some work.

So today, right now, here in this moment, Daisy can keep her dukes and Marilyn her 24″ waist. I’m good. Now, what’s for dinner?!

To download a PDF version of the Psalm click on one of the links below
Psalm 139
Psalm 139 text version

* Media was taken from google