A Motherhood Remembered

A great writer and poet once wrote, “Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts, or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want.”

Well, I hope to remedy that. If nothing else, writing this is completely and solely for myself. For me to remember all that I went through. The unbelievable hurtles (physically, mentally, and emotionally) that I’ve had to over come, and continue to work through and battle. For me to look back someday and say “Wow, I walked through the depths of hell, and came out the other side. I survived, and I can get through anything.” I plan to express myself openly and honestly, in order to give truth, the *raw* *honest* *truth* about the reality of our situation. And I say our, because this all happened to my husband, just as much as it happened to me. He experienced a loss too, and more than deserves to be given the dignity of being allowed recognition of all this.

 

I know in many cases such as Depression, Infertility, Miscarriage, Still-Births, D&C procedures, and many other unfortunate circumstances, it is status-quo and even preferred that people be silent with their grief. To suffer in silence, confusion, anger, frustration, isolation, and pain, because it’s ”taboo and too uncomfortable for other people to deal with and talk about openly . Well I’m here to say fuck that. That’s utter and complete bullshit. People grieve differently. Every single one of us. Some choose to be silent because its easier for them to process things alone without outside influences, judgments, and opinions. Others seek the help & guidance of family and friends, and have a great support system to lean on to get them through the rough times. Others seek professional help in order to be given the tools to help process and deal with the severity of the situation they went through. Thus, we all grieve differently, and desperately deserve to do it in a way that is unique and most beneficial to the individual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been suggested I write out what I have gone through and what I am continuing to go through, in order to help aid in the “healing process.” If in writing all this, in some microscopic way, my truth and honesty helps shed light for others who can relate, or have been through something similar; I hope that they realize that they are NOT alone, their voices DO NOT have to be silenced, and they most certainly do NOT have to grieve or suffer quietly. Fuck quiet. I don’t intend to be “silent,” a “lady,” or “elegant” about my experience. It’s just not in my nature when it comes to expressing the truth. This is real life. Not a styled shoot.

I can remember the weeks leading up to me taking my pregnancy tests. We weren’t trying, but being a woman, and being intuitive, deep down-I knew. I could feel my body, energy, and soul begin to change in the most beautiful and spiritual ways, and I just knew. When it became OBVIOUSLY apparent that my period wasn’t coming, we went out and got some tests. In our excitement in doing our research, it was suggested that we get a few different brands, as some tests come out to have false negative or positive readings. We bought the standard Kroger brand, and then hoofed it on over to the Dollar Store to grab a few of theirs. From some of the blogs and forums we had read, people said the Dollar Store’s tests results are easier to read.

So we headed home, excited and equally nervous to play the ultimate waiting game. I took the first test, it was the Kroger brand, and we patiently/excitedly/nervously waited. When it was time to look, we were confused. We couldn’t tell if it was a plus or a minus because the line was so faint. So we decided to wait to take the others until the next morning, because that’s when your urine is the most potent with the hormone that shows you’re pregnant. Neither of us slept that night. I remember feeling so many mixed emotions, mostly excitement and joy, but also scared shitless, and anxious with what to expect. I thought about how much it was going to change our lives and yet, it didn’t scare me. I’ve never been the girl that’s been the “I’ve known I wanted to be a mother since I was born” type girl, but when I met and married my husband, I instantly knew, that’s EXACTLY what I wanted with him someday. Finally his alarm went off to get up for work, and we sprung out of bed to go play the waiting game once more.

 

 

 

 

 

Again, I took the second Kroger test, and waited. When it was time, I made Dave look first because I wanted to hear the words out loud. I could instantly tell by the look on his face. The biggest smile, disbelief, and “holy shit” expression said it all. Finally he said, “Yep!! There’s no denying this one, it is completely positive!” I screamed, jumped up, and we kissed and cried and held each other in excitement. To be extra EXTRA sure, (as if the Kroger test wasn’t proof enough after how intensely colored the positive blue lines were) I ran to the kitchen, chugged a bottle of water, and ran back to the bathroom to do the other two Dollar Store tests. Within SECONDS, I could see the two lines start to form. Becoming more and more visible and vibrant! I lined the four tests up and began to tear up with utter joy as I instantly remembered the exact night the baby was conceived.

I can remember being in such a blissful, loving, connected state. I recall opening my eyes and seeing this very bright lavender/purple energy hovering over us. At first, I thought it was an energy that we had created from being so deeply and passionately connected, but as I was watching it- it was moving around, as if it were exactly what it always was; energy- consciousness. As soon as that thought hit my mind, !!BOOM!! I felt it rush through me, and I just thought, ”Well, alright, this might really be happening, and I am completely ready for it.” I remember feeling different the next morning, like mine and the baby’s souls were already connecting even though on a “conscious” level I was not fully aware of it yet.

 

As each day came, we grew more and more excited. We immediately told both of our sisters first, and their reactions were so amazing and loving. They cried as well. The energy just felt so good! We were so in love and so excited for this baby. We couldn’t wait to hold this insanely amazing being that we had made in divine creation with the Universe. As the weeks passed, we awaited with baited breath for our first OB appointment. We slowly began to share our excitement with family and friends, and their reactions couldn’t have been more loving. Everything was seemingly going smoothly, even with the expected nausea. Then- all of the sudden, things turned, and tuned fast.

Now not only was I nauseous, throwing up at the drop of a hat, and not sleeping, but it became impossible to even keep down water. My condition became so severe, that I was no longer able to get out of bed on my own, weather it was to pee or to puke my guts out. My first visit to the ER is foggy. But I DO remember how incredibly weak I was, and wondering if this was going to be my reality for the next 9 months. I don’t remember much of the ER other than, I was given IV Fluids, some anti nausea medication through IV and was eventually admitted into the hospital to recover, and monitor my condition for a few days. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Thankfully over the next 5 days my health began to improve. I was back to physically eating (some things) and came up with a game plan with all of the the doctors that were treating me, about how to work with my condition and keep the baby. Our course of action was “Home-Care” where I was to have a pic-line inserted inside my bicep, where the majority of my nutrients were being pumped through the line with TPN, lipids, and fluids to help carry the pregnancy safely to term.

Though we were sternly warned that my condition may not improve, based on my severe weight loss and frailty, we also had to consider the possibility of termination. We were both optimistic and realistic about what could or couldn’t happen and we tried every day to always stay hopeful. After my third bought with the ER I was finally admitted into the hospital to take the REAL time I needed to recover. Also, because everything had happened so fast we never got to have our first appointment with our scheduled OB. So when I was in the hospital, I was being seen by whatever OB was on call that day. Which meant, being put on and taken off different drugs everyday.

 

 

Mine and my husbands “everyday” in the hospital turned out to be six weeks. My condition had not improved. Because I had thrown up so much, and so severely with nothing in my body, I had pulled and painfully strained all the muscles in my stomach, chest and throat, that it was making it extremely hard and painful for me to breath, swallow, or God forbid sneeze, so I was put on Morphine for two weeks. One day it was decided by one of the many Dr.s who saw me, to finally take me off it. He also decided to take me off of all of my other medications that I was getting through IV, and was “allowed” to only be given one anti-nausea medication–rectally. I felt so violated. If it wasn’t for my husband and literally the grace of God, I would •not• have survived that night of utter HELL. In one night I lost not only my dignity and pride, but also a MAJOR part of my mind. Coming off of Morphine is the equivalent of coming off of Herion, on top of all of the other medications I had been on to help with the pregnancy. I thought I was dying. The withdrawals, body shakes, uncontrollable sweating, and the reality of “wanting to crawl out of your own skin” was more than I could bare. It felt like the worst dream I had ever been in, but could not wake myself up from. I lost a part of myself that night. The pain was so severe I disassociated myself from my body and something else took over. I lost my mind that night. As did my husband. Thankfully, the next morning, I was seen by a different Dr. and after seeing and hearing about my condition and the night I had, he graciously put me back on my regular medication all through IV again, and kept me OFF of Morphine (THANK GOD!!)

We continued to hope and pray for the best after that awful, hellish dream of night, but unfortunately it took a major toll on my body, and my mind. I continued to drop weight, and was extremely weak. Though the baby was thriving, I unfortunately was not. My body just couldn’t take it any more. At 12 weeks, it was decided and agreed by my husband, my family, and team of doctors to do an emergency D&C procedure, because my condition was worsening. I was 87 lbs. Dave and I tried our best to prepare ourselves that night for what was about to happen to my body and our baby the next morning. We prayed, bawled our eyes out, put head phones on my belly for the last time, and held and rocked my belly together trying to let the baby know how broken and shattered we were. We had tried EVERYTHING. The next morning, I was sent to a clinic in Tarzana CA. on July 3rd 2014

From the moment Dave, myself, and my mother walked into the Clinic, I was completely separated from them. Dave was not allowed to be any where near me during my “processing”. He was’t even allowed to see the last ultra sound of our baby, nor was I. Everything was very cold. In every meaning of the word. After my ultra sound (which I was not even given a picture of my baby) I was sent to change into a hospital gown, and was made to basically sit and wait in mental and emotional torte before my procedure. I just held my belly, silently cried to myself, and asked God to be with me and give me strength. Then, my name was called. The room was cold. It felt very alien. I was guided to a cold table to lay on where I was to be prepped for the procedure. My anesthesiologist routinely introduced herself to me, and briefly looked at my chart. She failed to see that this was an EMERGENCY D&C Procedure, and chose to focus on how far along I was, instead. She immediately snapped at me as I was lying on the table and screamed “12 WEEKS!!? UGH!! Why are you getting this done NOW!!?!” …All I could muster up as tears came streaming down my face, was “It’s not my choice.” She looked back at my chart, and finally realized what this was and THEN “tried” to show me “sympathy.” It wasn’t until she immediately judged me, and then tried to retract her judgement, that she decided to be “kind.” How “kind” of her. Finally a Dr. walked in, and he was surprisingly more loving and warm, than any of the women that I had been in contact with at the Clinic. They all seemed very Robotic. Zero emotion. But the Dr. tried at least to put me at ease and give me some comfort. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist did not give me enough medication to put me out all the way. I have •full•conscious•memory• of the procedure. I felt my baby get sucked out of my body. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. When I “woke up,” I was screaming and hysterically crying. I was in so much pain; physically, mentally, emotionally, I just wanted •SOMEONE• to hold my hand and tell me it was going to be okay. I kept crying out and pleading with everyone for help, as nurse after nurse passed me by, completely unphased by my cries. I called out for my husband, I called out for my mom, the Dr., ANYONE to help calm me down and give me something for the overwhelming amount of anxiety and panic that was running through my mind, and for the demented cramping and bleeding I was experiencing. Finally, a Dr. Walked over to me and I tired as best as I could to articulate my pain, given the extremely traumatized state that I was in, and he thankfully gave me something to help with the pain and the ride home to sleep. The next few months were battles of emotional and physical panic attacks. Every period sent me reeling back to the memory of the procedure. I continued to spend nights in and out of the ER for several breakdowns.

 

 

 

 

Another fabulous poet once wrote, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” That saying never rang more true than the months that were to follow. Sympathy and Empathy were hardly anywhere where to be found in my “support system.” My “support system” only knows how to function by sweeping things under the rug, and pretending like nothing happened. Fortunately for me, I don’t work like that. Immediately after coming home from my procedure, I was told by a family member and begrudgingly agreed (at first) to tell people that I just “miscarried.” Although I understand that “lying”about what really happened to me, was trying coming from a place of love, I couldn’t do it. I felt like if I was lying to other people about the truth, then I was lying and denying •myself• the truth, -MY TRUTH- that I deserved to be at peace with over time. I also received a lot of scolding and “get over it already” from a few more “supportive” members of my inner circle. I was told that “I had absolutely nothing to be depressed over, and that this happens to millions of women every single day.” Though, I agree that unfortunately  this does happen to millions of women everyday, I think it’s preposterous to assume that all of these millions of women have had the •same•exact•experience•, and therefore, should just “get over it.” It doesn’t work like that. I also believe, that they more than deserve to grieve in whatever way is most beneficial to them. How small of these so called “supporters” to assume something so stupid.

When it came to my “friends” the majority of them didn’t understand, nor could they comprehend what I had gone through either. And how could they, when I’ve mirrored my “friendships,” to reflect that of my “supposed support system.” Uninterested, unsupportive, uncaring,  and very much lacking in the sympathy and empathy department as well. I was shammed by a “best friend” telling me “You guys better not do that ever again! What were you thinking!? Don’t do it again! Just adopt!” As if we planned out, and had foreseen everything, or had any control what so ever, over how everything worked out. If I had a dollar for everytime someone told me to “just adopt” I’d be rich as FUCK, or that I’m “still young,” and can have my “REAL Children later,”…. As opposed to the fake child I carried inside me for three months!???? For the record; adoption is a long, EXPENSIVE, and extremely emotional process, that takes YEARS of jumping through hoops, crossing your “T’s” and dotting your “i’s,”; building up hope, only to be let down constantly because your paper work didn’t go through, or one of the intended parents doesn’t make enough money, ect. ect. Also, I’m not THAT young. I’m 27 years old, with my 28th Birthday creeping around the corner. I know I may look 16, but the few eggs I DO have in my ONE ovary that isn’t broken, are aging. But of course, like everything else in my life- IT’S MY FAULT.  Guilt sets in. Depression sets in. I disengage. I disconnect. I isolate.

—I understand that in times of trauma people don’t always know how to react or have the most constructive things to say, but honestly, it doesn’t take much (even if you can’t relate) to just say “I am so sorry you guy’s are going through that.” That’s it! Nothing more nothing less. Not everyone can handle •real•life•shit•. I get it. I’m {painfully} AWARE of it now. Though I’ve lost and given up on some friends, and unfortunately some family along the way, who just don’t carry the ability empathize in the slightest bit, I *am so incredibly grateful and thankful* to those family and friends who HAVE been there and present. To those who have reached out, to those who have written me private messages even though we may have never met in person, or were never necessarily close- You have no idea how much your words, and unconditional love and understanding means to not only me, but my husband as well. This entire experience has definitely made me rethink my relationships with people, and who is worth putting my time and energy towards.

 

Our baby would have been born in January of this year. We decided to give the baby Gender neutral names since we never got to find out the sex. We liked Bodhi•Zeypher•Rowan•Bowers. Bodhi (like the Bodhi Tree) Zeypher (like the Zephyr wind) Rowan (meaning little red hair’d one- we joked about the baby coming out with red hair) and of course our last name Bowers. Our pregnancy with Bodhi was an •experience• to say the least. But I would do it all over again in a heart beat if it meant I had the chance to physically hold Bodhi in my arms, even if it was just for one second. My soul still aches for Bodhi, out of my own selfishness of wanting my baby here with me now. I’d also, be lying if I said my heart didn’t break a little every time I see another pregnancy announcement or birthing announcement. Not because I am jealous or unhappy for these amazing and wonderful women, it’s just another painful reminder that •my• body can’t do the most beautiful and natural thing in the world. And it hurts. So much.

 

 

Yet, I ultimately have to surrender to the will of God and the Universe. I know our baby was sent to us for a reason. Bodhi •CHOSE• David and I for a divine reason to be his or her parents, regardless of how long or short their time was spent here. Though we may not understand it now, someday we will, and I know that is one of my ultimate lessons; learning to trust and rest in that. “Letting Go” is extremely hard for me. Logically, I know my baby is ALWAYS with me, and I see Bodhi every night in my dreams, but at the same time, there’s a HUGE part of me that feels like if I “let go,” that I am allowing myself to forget that child; as if it’s life never happened. And as a mother, I can’t do that. I can’t let my baby go unacknowledged. I KNOW that “letting go” does not necessarily mean completely “forgetting,” but it’s something that I am working on. It wasn’t until six months after we lost the baby, that I finally was able receive the proper medication and counseling that Dave and I so desperately needed. Thankfully after a few months of working with my Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Dietion, I began to feel more like my self. I was on my journey to healing. Everyday is still a battle. I still have awful flashbacks (PTSD), that leave me drained, as well as panic and severe anxiety attacks, but over all my health and mental state are improving. My Husband has been so completely beyond amazing through all of this. Thouh we both have our moments of wanting to throw in the towel because it all feels like it’s too much, and too real, we continue to push through because we know our baby didn’t come here to break us. Bodhi came to give us lessons and make us stronger. David continues to help ease me out of isolation, and has gone above and beyond for us over the last year. He is my ROCK and his love for me is unwavering. We believe in miracles and believe that whatever’s meant to be will be. In the mean time, my Health and my Art are my number one priorities, as they go hand in hand. Although I have made the difficult decision, to not do any weddings this year, I’ve decided instead, to focus on more artistically based photo shoots, and writing, to help get out whats going on in my mind. This Mother’s Day is going to a flood of emotions. I’m still not exactly sure how I will be feeling, but I am eternally grateful and thankful that Bodhi chose me to be his or her Mother.

Thank you Bodhi baby, for being one of the Greatest Teachers Mommy and Daddy will ever have. You are our sun, and moon, and stars. Our Guardian Angle. Our EVERYTHING. Thank you, for turning me in to a Mommy. A Forever Mommy. I love you

-Eternally-

 

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

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