Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Stop Thinking Ugly: Five Ways To Improve Your Attitude

I had a pretty deep thought the other day, and when that happens I stop and take note. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, swiping past all the people I follow who seem to be making it bigger and better than I am. I admit it, I’m human and I get jealous when I see other people succeeding. That doesn’t mean I don’t want others to succeed, but hey, I want some of that, too! But then, as I was sitting there seething, it dawned on me. “Life’s too short to think ugly.” Whoa. That’s what I was doing, I was thinking ugly- but what’s the point? Thinking ugly doesn’t help anyone, especially me. Wouldn’t thinking beautiful be much more constructive? Wouldn’t thinking beautiful and changing my attitude put more positivity in the world, and make me feel better as a person in turn? So how do I improve my attitude? That’s easier said than done, but here are five ways that I’ve stopped thinking ugly and changed my attitude.

Stop Thinking Ugly: Five Ways To Improve Your Attitude - CKellyBlush

So what do I mean when I say stop thinking ugly? It has nothing to do with looks, I’m talking about an ugly attitude. To me, thinking ugly is when you give in to those little voices telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’ll never have what you want, that you don’t deserve to be happy and succeed at your goals, that other people are better, prettier, funnier, and more lovable than you. It’s a vicious cycle- ugly breeds ugly. Put negativity in the world, and more often than not, negativity comes right back. Stop the cycle, get off that train, and change your attitude. This is a continuing, long journey for me, but I’m trying very hard to think beautiful. Also, please remember that I'm not an expert! These are just the ways I've found that have helped me, and each person is different.

1) Acknowledge the Ugly: Negative thoughts are natural. Feelings like jealousy, greed, and insecurity are incredibly easy to give in to, but acknowledging and understanding can help overcome them and to think beautiful. This is obviously more easily said than done, and it takes practice, but cognizance of your feelings can be very empowering.

You’re in a store, and you see another woman with a beautiful body picking out the cutest clothes, clothes that wouldn’t even fit over your head. If your first thought is, “It’s so easy for her, she’s perfect, I’ll never be like her so I might as well go get a doughnut,” then you’re a lot like me. But what does thinking like this get you? Nowhere fast. Instead, try stopping for a moment and thinking about why your first thought was negative. Accept that you were having an ugly thought, and understand why you had it: perhaps you are uncomfortable with your own body image. There’s nothing wrong with that frustration, but now you know the source of your negativity towards that other woman. Acknowledge that you were thinking ugly, understand it, and then work to change it. Instead, think beautiful, “Wow, she’s got really good taste in clothes, how can I imitate her style?” This is far more constructive and won’t have you reaching for that doughnut.

Stop Thinking Ugly: Five Ways To Improve Your Attitude - CKellyBlush

2) Compliment Someone Regularly: Give credit where credit is due. If someone did their eyeliner perfectly, tell them! You’ll make their day and you’ll feel good about it also. Did someone at work do an awesome presentation? Let them know. Someone doing something well doesn’t take away at all from what you’re capable of, so there’s no point in ignoring their efforts or success. Give a sincere compliment to someone, even a stranger, and it is a boost for both of you.

I always notice people’s makeup, so if I notice that the cashier at Starbucks has a beautiful color of lipstick on, I will go out of my way to say how pretty it is (and ask what lipstick it is). Usually I get a smile back at the very least, and it makes me feel good that they were pleased with what I said. We all love getting a compliment, and they’re free to give.

3) Find a Purpose, Any Purpose: I often find myself thinking ugly when I’ve got very little going on in my life. It’s like the absence of activity allows for my brain to go places I don’t really want it to. So I try to find a purpose, big or small, to quiet those thoughts of inadequacy, envy, and melancholy.

Take up a hobby, commit to binge watching that show you've been meaning to watch, volunteer at a local food bank, join a club, anything to get your juices flowing. You will feel much better about yourself if you accomplish a task or get involved with an activity, no matter how meaningful or banal. If there's something that interests you, try to find others in your area with similar tastes.

Stop Thinking Ugly: Five Ways To Improve Your Attitude - CKellyBlush

4) Recognize the Good & Be Grateful: There is so much beauty in the world, but when negativity and thinking ugly cloud your vision, that beauty can be hard to see. Make a conscious effort to look for that beauty, and seek it out. A simple kind gesture by a stranger, a bright orange sunset on a summer evening, a joke shared among friends, a lazy day off from work, there is good all around in even the smallest things. As you start to see more and more of the good this world has to offer, perhaps you'll see less and less of the bad.

Being grateful for all those wonderful things will also help change your outlook. Appreciating what you have, who you have in your life, and what you do leads to happiness. An attitude of happiness creates optimism and confidence, and there's no room for thinking ugly with that mindset. Be mindful of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and remind yourself of those things regularly. Also, express that gratefulness and show it to others, as appreciation should be spread.

5) Unplug Once In A While: If social media brings out the green-eyed monster in you, take a break (hence the inspiration for this post!). I used to be a major Facebook hater- every post I saw seemed to be new house, new baby, awesome job, awesome spouse, awesome vacation, etc. It was SO easy for me to feel terrible about my own life because I felt so lacking compared to others, and it would make me pretty depressed. So I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone and cut myself off from that world. Once I did I started to feel better. I wasn’t comparing myself to others anymore, and it freed me from those negative thoughts. What I did was a bit extreme, but perhaps you’re due for a tiny break (I've slowly been returning to Facebook, but mostly for blogging). Also, remember that 99% of all posts are people’s ideal lives and don’t show the whole picture. So take social media posts with a grain of salt, it rarely represents the true story.

Also: Don't be afraid to get help. There are so many resources out there to help clear out the negativity and help you see the beauty of your world and your life. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, a doctor, whoever it takes that can help you if you are feeling depressed. Remember, there are people out there who love you.

What helps you improve your outlook? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with me!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

January Play! by Sephora: My Very First

My mother surprised me with a subscription to Play! by Sephora for Christmas this year, and I am so grateful. I've already been a longtime subscriber to Ipsy and Birchbox, but Sephora's popular subscription box seems so posh and exciting.

January Play! by Sephora: My Very First - CKellyBlush

I received my first box at the end of January. I wish the boxes shipped sooner like Ipsy and Birchbox, but it at least gives me something to look forward to throughout the month. It included six skin, hair, and beauty samples, and all came in an incredibly cute drawstring bag with a "New Year, New You" type theme.

Also in the bag was a flyer describing each product and how to use it, which is pretty standard with subscription boxes. However, on the flip side of the flyer was a twelve month "challenge" calendar that gave a new idea for each month designed to improve one's beauty and spirit. January's challenge was to calculate the amount of water to drink every day, and February's challenge is to try a new, bright lip color.

I'm a beauty lover on a tight budget, so many Sephora brands are beyond my reach. What I'm looking forward to most with this subscription is being able to try more luxury brands that I wouldn't be able to otherwise.

One such brand is Make Up For Ever, where most of the brand is out of my price range. However, in the January Play!, there was a blush sample in the shade B302. This very flattering peach shade can also be used as an eyeshadow, and I love that the sample is the perfect size for travel (like most items in the bag).

GLAMGLOW is another brand that I've rarely had the pleasure of trying because of the price tag, but I received a sample of the GLAMGLOW SUPERCLEANSE Clearing Cream-To-Foam Cleanser. I always hear fantastic things about GLAMGLOW, especially its flagship SUPERMUD mask (which I'd love to try!), and I'm looking forward to testing out this cleanser. I'm always on the market for skincare items, since my skin is something that I struggle with, so this could be promising.

Another luxury brand I've enjoyed trying is Perricone MD and its Hydrating Cloud Cream. This moisturizer has a very interesting, light texture not found in other lotions, however it is a pretty typical hydrating lotion.

Clinique has been a trusted brand in my house forever, as it was my grandmother's HG brand (and she was a stylish lady). My very first makeup was the free gifts my grandmother would give to me from Macy's when she would stock up on her beloved Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. In January's Play! box, I received Clinique's Pep Start Eye Cream which moisturizes and brightens the under-eye area. I haven't been sleeping well lately, and I'm getting older, so any sort of eye cream is a welcome addition to my routine. I love this eye cream, and I wish I had gotten a bigger tube! I may have to take a page out of my grandmother's book and start looking to Clinique for my skincare.

Smashbox has come out with so many different takes on primer, from traditional primers to waters and oils. Recently they released Primerizer which is a combination moisturizer and primer, a concept I've wondered for years why the beauty industry hadn't made! My skin has been so dry this winter, I think I'm going to like this concept very much.

The last sample was MOROCCANOIL shampoo and conditioner. I have received a sample of this brand's hand lotion in a previous subscription box and enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to trying their shampoo and conditioner. My only complaint is the foil packet! Do foil packets annoy anyone else, or just me?!

Overall, I was impressed with the January Play! by Sephora box, and I just got my notification email that my February box has shipped! Let the anticipation begin.

What's your favorite subscription box service? Comment below, and be sure to like my page on Facebook to keep up with my shenanigans.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Brows On Point: e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel

Brows On Point: e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel - CKellyBlush

Brow game strong. Isn't that what we all want to hear? I was fortunate to resist the overplucking phase in my younger years, so I have naturally thick eyebrows, but my black brows always seem a bit ashy and shaggy after makeup application. Brows have been the "it" trend for several years now, but I've never found anything that could help my dark, bushy brows. Now I've finally found a product that not only matches my hair color, but tames and darkens them. Sheer Tint Brow Gel from e.l.f. has quickly become a necessary part of my daily makeup routine to finish off my look.

Brows On Point: e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel - CKellyBlush

e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel comes in four colors: clear, light, medium, and dark. I love that it has a dark shade, as my eyebrows are black and it's rare to find a brow product that matches. Usually, the deepest color is still way too brown and makes me look like I have multicolored brows (not attractive!). I was a bit concerned at first that the dark would still not be dark enough, but for $5 I was happy to give it a shot. The clear option did not interest me because my experience with clear gels is that they usually end up looking too shiny.

Brows On Point: e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel - CKellyBlush

This brow gel features a long, thin brush with fine bristles. It can sometimes be a little too long to get the outer edges of the brows with precision, but with a light hand it is manageable. It promises a "soft hold for perfect everyday wear," and in general it fulfills that promise. If you put too much on, it can feel a bit crunchy, but I love how easy it is to apply, and create a defined and natural look without much effort. The gel lasts all day and does not flake off (I'm a photographer, so a camera is against my face for most of the day and it has yet to wear off or transfer).

Most importantly, it does exactly what I've been searching for a brow product to do: darken my eyebrows after makeup application, and even them out without adding bulk to my already thick brows. Most brow products on the market are meant to add volume to thin brows or fill in sparse spots, but I definitely don't need that. After applying my foundation and powders, my eyebrows pick up a lot of product and they look ashy and gray. Spoolies don't really get the excess product off, and I don't want to use makeup remover because that may ruin the makeup around my eyebrows. Enter the Sheer Tint Brow Gel! A couple swipes through each brow and each guy looks fresh, clean, and defined. The gel dries quickly, keeps my dark hair dark, and tames these wild beasties of eyebrows.

For $5, e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel is worth its weight in gold. Nothing frames a face quite like well-done eyebrows, and this brow gel helps to finish off my makeup like the period to this sentence. What is your favorite brow product? Comment below!

Be sure you're following me on Instagram and like me on Facebook to keep up with my makeup madness!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bye Bye Breakout! New from IT Cosmetics

If you saw my previous post (here), you know I had the awesome opportunity to get a sneak peak of IT Cosmetics' fall line at their ExhibIT Beauty launch party. Already available on their website, and starting to be seen on Ulta's website, this line is full of exciting new products, and a few revolutionary ones! I fell in love with the Bye Bye Breakout Concealer, which I got to try out at the launch party and ordered on the spot. I've been trying it out for a couple weeks, so read on for my full review!

Bye Bye Breakout! New from IT Cosmetics - CKellyBlush

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Explore IT Cosmetics Fall 2017 With Me: My First Launch Party!

This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to my very first launch party! IT Cosmetics, a brand I love and trust, held an interactive "ExhibIT" to announce and demonstrate their new items coming out this fall, and trust me there is some good stuff coming! These are some of my favorites from the night, and I've bolded the names of the new products so you can spot them within this long post.

Explore IT Cosmetics Fall 2017 With Me: My First Launch Party! - CKellyBlush

Sunday, March 19, 2017

How To Be A Budget Beauty: Ten Ways to Save

Money may be tight sometimes, we've all been there. But if you're like me (aka obsessed with makeup), being broke doesn't mean you can't have a blast with beauty. It just takes some creativity, some cleverness, and some luck. Here are my top tricks and lessons learned on how to be a Budget Beauty.

How To Be A Budget Beauty: Ten Ways to Save - CKellyBlush

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top 10 Gifts Under $10 (Beauty and Otherwise!)

With the holidays quickly approaching, and my bank account just as quickly shrinking, I love when I can find an affordable yet quality gift. My savvy shopper radar is always on the hunt for great gifts at fantastic prices. I want to use my powers for good and show you my Top 10 choices for great gifts under $10! Many of these are great to go along with larger gifts, or for those folks you're just not sure what to get (teachers, coworkers, neighbors, etc). All of the Top 10 are of my own opinion (and gift giving), I have not been sponsored to include anything. If you're friends with me in "real-life" stop reading, no spoilers!

Top 10 Gifts Under $10 (Beauty and Otherwise!) - CKellyBlush

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