DYING to be thin

Photographer: Brooke Shaden

Stomach starving. Cancerous deception splitting your mind into shattered pieces, taring down your body, beauty, and spirit. “You’re too pretty- too ugly- too fat- too skinny- too stupid- and too smart for your own good. You’re worthless. You don’t deserve anything.” These are the infinite lies you believe, with every inch of your being, when you are suffering from an eating disorder.

 

Photographer: Silvia Grav

For me, it all started when I was 11. Struggling with the concept of still being a child, and being forced to look at my body and myself differently because it wasn’t what my agency “approved of.” Buck teeth. Flat chested. Baby fat. Baby face. “When is puberty going to hit this girl? She’s unmarketable.” Confusion, over sexualization, and a tornado of uncontainable anger, that I so stupidly allowed myself to be swallowed up by such incredible distortion.

 

Photographer: Brooke Shaden

At 14, my disorder hits me like a ton of bricks. I had starved myself for so many years, that it completely threw off my hormones and caused me to experience demented periods. This particular time, I had been bleeding profusely for six days before I told my mom what was wrong and was was admitted into the hospital. I went into full cardiac arrest. I flat lined. I fully remember having an out of body experience. Standing in the corner of the tiny room I was in, confused at how I got there, while the doctors and nurses rushed to rip off my clothes, and hooked me up to monitors. “Am I dead?” I thought. “Is this some kind of crazy limbo?” Confused, I look above me, and my breath was immediately taken away. The ceiling was no longer a ceiling, it was THE COSMOS. It was planets. It was nebulas. It was stars. And then I saw a bright light leading the way. But just as I looked at that light, a soft and nurturing voice came into my head and said, “This isn’t how you go. You’re not done here yet “, and sooner than I could conceive of what had just popped into my head, I was jolted back into my body. When I came to, I remember feeling REALLY alive, and REALLY cold, as the four blood transfusions swept through my veins. I of course lied about everything and just blamed it all on “a really bad period,” because I thought I could handle it. I thought I could change. 

Artist: Charmaine Oliva

And yet, after all of that, one would think that they would do everything in their power to get better. I was given something so special. Not only a second chance at life, but a VISION. A vision of how incredibly beautiful and perfect everything already is. But, I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t ready. As hard as I tried, my mind once again over took everything.

Artist: Nicole Pletts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can remember being 20 and having a breakdown. I came out to my then boyfriend, who is now my incredibly handsome and beyond loving husband, and I finally put my foot down and told myself I had, had enough. I was so tired of HATING myself and punishing myself for no reason other than, I wasn’t some else’s version of “perfect”, whatever that means.

Artist: Kate Powell

I’m happy to say that at 27, I am recovered, and continue to recover. Though, those daemons will always be there; dormant, waiting for the perfect moment to arise and try to take my mind back from me, I REFUSE to “go gentle into that good night.” And as long as there is breath in this body, I will ALWAYS “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” No. My body isn’t perfect, by industry standards or maybe anyone else’s….but it’s perfect for ME. And that’s all that matters. In lieu of #NEDawarness week, I would like to say to any other women, ladies, or young girls out there suffering, who are reading this, PLEASE know that you are NOT alone. 1 in 4 girls has an eating disorder or body dis morphia issues. As staggering as that is, know that there are SO many girls out there struggeling just like you. Be each others strength. Let’s show each other how to heal, by first being honest, and being neither ashamed nor embarrassed for our lessons in life. They can be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be. Please know that so many people love and care for you. You are SO WORTH being happy AND healthy! Please love yourself enough to seek treatment, talk to someone, and take all the time you need to heal. You are already so incredibly perfect, and loved beyond words.

 

Taking Beauty Back

We’ve all seen the pictures right ladies? Facebook photo’s going viral comparing one body type to another? Depicting the famous: “When did this become hotter than this?” Or “I think this is hotter than this.” As I’ve viewed the comments from these photos I’ve been seeing a disturbing trend; people saying such mean, hurtful, and hateful things about the women in the pictures, and about the way women are “supposed” to look in general. What’s even more bothersome, is that the majority of the comments aren’t even coming from men. They’re coming from women, and I feel a strong urge to say something about this.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry, but when did our minds become so warped into thinking that it’s okay to judge others bodies and beauty? Skinny, heavy, gorgeous, homely looking, wafer thin, luscious curves…..who is to judge? We have completely let the entertainment industry and society, dictate to all of us their idea of what beauty is, and have beat ourselves up over feeling like we have to fit this cookie cutter mold of what that idea is. With the media being at an all time high, it’s no wonder why so many of us women are loosing our minds and forgetting who and what we truly are.

 

We’re WOMEN. We’re ALL beautiful. We’re ALL strong. We’re ALL powerful. We come in all different colors, shapes, and backgrounds. We are the essence of LIFE. I mean, we give birth to life for Pete’s sake! So why is it that we are constantly allowing this impossible image of “what we’re supposed to be” and what we’re “supposed to look like” effect us on such a grand scale? Why are we punishing ourselves for not fitting the mold, when in reality, there is no mold to fit?

 

 Every one of us is beautiful. Inside and out. Not one of us isn’t. And yet, we continue to blindly accept what is constantly being projected on to us. Why ladies? Why do we need to believe what a magazine is telling us to do, or what the television is telling us what to wear, or how to look? Why do we let physical looks affect our self-esteem so immensely? When did we stop learning to think for ourselves, and love ourselves and each other?

I say it’s high time we throw out the magazines. Trash the Cosmopolitans, the gossip magazines, and turn off the Televisions. We need to start loving ourselves AND each other again. If you want to be healthy and live a healthy life style, then LOVE yourself and others and live a healthy life style. If you love your curves and want to keep them, then LOVE yourself and others, and keep your curves! It’s that simple. It seems absurd that we would even need permission to love ourselves and each other. We’re all different. That’s what’s so spectacularly magnificent about being a woman. We should be embracing this, not putting each other down for it. There’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed about ourselves, our bodies, or our beauty. The more we start to love ourselves and each other, the faster we’ll come out of this delusional nightmare. A very wise Taoist leader once said “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize nothing is lacking the whole world belongs to you.”

 

 

 

 

And it does ladies. The world does belong to us. We’ve got the entire world in our hands. Our true nature isn’t to be nasty, bitchy, conniving, or calculating. We’re healers. We’re lovers. We’re mothers. We’re daughters. We’re sisters. We’re empathetic and compassionate beings. And, we are all connected believe it or not. We are all one. I am you and you are me. So the next time you start to feel bad or insecure about yourself, your body, or your looks, just remember who and what you are. Happiness, love, and wellness affects us all. So let’s take back our power of what being beautiful truly is, and start loving ourselves again, and each other, unconditionally, without judgments.

 

 

Namaste <3

No Thanks MAC!

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard my clients, and girlfriends say to me, “I can’t wear MAC anymore it’s making my skin go crazy!” or “I never like the way the girls at MAC or department store counters do my makeup.” There’s two very specific things about those statements that I am going to address, so please- stay tuned.

As a makeup artist who has been doing makeup for five years, I have never once used MAC on my clients, and I have never recommended it to them- for good reason. Unless you plan on wearing their makeup for a special occasion, or for a photo shoot, DON’T WEAR IT! Their makeup is awful for your skin. The truth is, MAC was NOT originally made for every day use. I know MAC is advertised as makeup that is great and beautiful to wear all the time, but in reality, it was specifically made for theatrical and studio use. Meaning, it was made to look thick and heavy in person, so that it would look flawless and natural on stage or behind a camera. Their makeup is one of the most unhealthy to wear for your skin. Which is exactly why everyone’s skin breaks out so horribly when using their products 24/7.

If you’re looking for something better for your skin, something that’s a little more “breakout friendly” and great for every day use, try Clinique. I’m not just saying that because I used to work for their line, but I’m saying it because their products really do what they say. Why do you think they never use celebrities in their advertising? Because their products speak for themselves. They don’t need to shell out millions to have a celeb endorse their line or pose behind a camera with their product. Seriously though. Go to their counter in any department store and get skin typed. It doesn’t cost you anything. Getting skin typed will help with the process of getting you the exact type of makeup you’re looking for. Be it full or minimal coverage. Prescriptives is another great line to try. They’re a sister company to Clinique, and have a really great option of having your foundation custom made. How cool is that? If you don’t find anything that fits you in their lines of foundation, you can custom make your OWN foundation whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin.

 BB creams are another huge thing that the Western part of the world is just beginning to pick up on. BB creams are probably one of the healthiest foundations for your skin, and are a 5 in 1 product. Who wouldn’t want something that benefits their skin? It helps to brighten, has SPF, moisturizes, primes, and controls the oils in your skin. Smash Box has a really great line called “Camera Ready BB cream.” When it comes to all natural products being used for makeup, and skin care, Skin food is probably one of the coolest lines that are just coming out to the West that I’ve seen. Everything that is put in their products, is made from food, hence the same “Skin Food.” They’re a Korean based company but are making their way into the states. Their products are amazing. There’s no harmful chemicals that are added to their products, which would make anyone’s skin want to jump for joy.

 

Now, when it comes to going to a department store, or even a MAC store to get your makeup done, please keep this in mind. And, I say this with the most respect to anyone who is working for either MAC or a makeup counter in a department store- The majority of the people working there, are NOT professionally trained in applying makeup to various skin types, face shapes, and eyes. It may sound stupid, but there really is a method when it comes to proper makeup application, especially on people faces. When I initially applied to work for Prescriptives and Clinique, they weren’t willing to hire me because I had “too much experience.” Because I had love both lines so much, I was willing to take a pay cut, just to be able to say I worked for those brands, so I could learn more about them and skin care. After a while, I began to realize that I was literally the only girl working in the makeup department who had actually gone to school and had the skills to back my work as an artist. Not only that, but the “schools” they were sending us to, weren’t actually schools, it was more like a conference where we went to learn about new products that were coming out. It became more and more apparent to me that places like MAC and makeup counters in department stores don’t really care about the quality of makeup that was being applied to their customers so much as the quantity that was being sold. None the less after about a year I decided to venture out on my own. I completely understand if you’re on a tight budget, and a makeup counter is your best option for getting your makeup done for your wedding or special event, but just keep this in mind the next time you go get your makeup done at one. I’m not saying that every single person working at MAC or a makeup counter has never gone to a reputable school, just saying make sure you talk with your makeup person. Ask if  he/she went to school to be professionally trained? Ask when he/she graduated? Ask how long they’ve been doing makeup? There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to help you come to the best conclusion for you!

In my conclusion. I’d say, if you have MAC, stop wearing it every day if not throw it out completely. Venture out into other brands, do your research on the products, and ask questions :)

Bridal Confusion/Clarity

So the big proposal has happened. And you’re on cloud nine. Then reality hits. Having to plan your wedding. Maybe you’re having a wedding planner, or maybe your family members are helping you with the details of planning your wedding. Either way, you start to question: “When is the best time to book a makeup artist or hair stylist for my wedding?” “When Should I be looking?” “Where do I even start looking for ideas for my wedding?” Here are some great tips for brides to think about…

 8-6 months before the big day, is a good time to really do your research to find a makeup artist or stylist who’s work you not only love, but also allows you to have your consults with the pros. Having consults helps you narrow down your decision on who you’d like to hire. This will also give the stylist or artist enough time to seek out assistants, especially if you plan on having a big wedding party who plan on having their hair and makeup done as well.

3-4 months before the wedding is a good time to have your “Trial Run-Through” with hair and makeup. This will be a preview of what you will look like on the day of your wedding. A good makeup artist or stylist will be taking down continuity notes, so that everything they used and did for your trial, will be exactly what will be used for the day of your wedding. It will also help them with timing themselves, so that it will keep you, and your schedule running smooth and on time.

 On the off chance that you end up hating your trial run-though, it still gives you enough time to hire someone else. That way you’re not scrambling around looking for someone to do your hair or makeup three weeks before the big day. That’s added stress that no bride wants to worry about!

If you’re planning your own wedding, and are having trouble on where to get some inspiration for your big day, wedding blogs are a GREAT tool to use in helping you put together ideas. Aside from Pinterest, they have everything from DIY ideas, to beautifully styled wedding shoots, to real weddings, for anyone and everyone who loves the essence of weddings. Whether your wedding is going to be classic and elegant, or rustic and chic; you’re sure to find what you’re looking for through these amazing blogs. Some of my favorites that I love to look at (and have been featured on) are Oh Lovely Day, Love & Lavender, Wedding Chicks, Something old Something New, Smitten Soiree,Fabulously Wed, The Frosted Petticoat, Paper Moon Weddings, Wed Over Heels, Hostess With The Mostess,Trendy Bride, Urban Style, and Wed Savvy. Some bigger blogs are Green Wedding Shoes, Utterly Engaged,Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, The Knotty Bride, BoHo Weddings, and for those beautifully unique brides who like a little bit of edge with their wedding; Rock N Roll Bride.

And lastly, on the day of your wedding, try extra hard not to sweat the small stuff; acne, mother nature, breakouts, your dress, guests, decorations. The truth is, your fiancé would marry you in a potato sack dress, in the middle of a rain storm, if it meant being able to call you his wife for the rest of your lives. The only thing that should truly matter that day, is you two, and the love you have for each other.

So have fun, try not to get too stressed, and enjoy every moment, because it flies by in an instant <3

 

Get Naked!

If you are a fan of makeup or are just looking for a great go to shadow palette look no further than Urban Decay. They are famous for their brand of “Naked shadow palettes. Their shadows are not only highly pigmented, but for the girl that is on the go- the shadows last all day.

Urban’s first Naked palette was a big hit and its no mystery why. The colors were practical, great for everyday use, as well as glamming it up for the night.

Another great feature of the palette was that it had a wonderful mixture of frosty and matte colors. This palette is heaven to work with, and wear!

When word hit that Urban Decay was going go be coming out with a “Naked 2″ palette, makeup artists and makeup lovers alike were waiting with baited breath to see what could possibly trump the first. Well, in my opinion, the second Naked palette did.

The palette is filled with 12 richly pigminted shadows (Taupes, Neutrals, and Smokies- all my favorites!). The packaging was much more practical as well. I like the old school “tin pencil” case, it looks much cleaner than the velvet case of the first.

The one thing I was not a fan of however, was that they swapped out the eye shadow primer for the lip gloss. Personally, I think the primer was brilliant. It added to the shadow, giving it that extra kick it needed to make it last and not crease.

Once again, Urban Decay made the thrilling announcement that they would be coming out with yet another Naked palette. This time it would be a matte palette they call “Naked Basics.” A staple for anyone who wears makeup to have in their kit! Lets face it ladies, not all of us want to walk around with frosty eye lids 24/7.  The new palatte only comes with 6 neutral shadows, but all the colors are just as beautiful as the first two palettes!

Matte shadows are perfect for days when you want to look subtle, and effortlessly fresh. They make great winter colors as well. Another fun thing about this palette is that you can wear these neutral colors with anything. Day or night they make your eyes look gorgeous!

What are some of your favorite brands of shadows to wear?

Here’s to all of you beautiful faces out there getting naked ;)

Test - Song