Top 3 Ways to Make the Most of 2017

 

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If you’re like me,  you walked away from 2016 scratching your head and wondering what just happened.  There were so many highs and lows of the year that left many of us in disbelief.  This past year was a year of surprises, upsets, and losses.  Whether you’re a Trump supporter or not, you have to admit your disbelief of the fact that 1) a man with no political experience won the Republican nomination and 2) won the race.  If you never believed that anything can happen in America, then now you’re a true believer. Even though the first black man won the Presidency eight years ago, the racism that he experienced the entire time in office was no surprise.  Nonetheless, 2016 taught us a lot and made us pay attention.

Our surprise and disgust at the Flint, Michigan water crisis made us totally look at government agencies differently.  Then there was the loss of the greats: Prince, David Bowie, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.  Kim Kardashian got robbed at gunpoint in Paris, but Kanye eventually had the meltdown we all saw coming!  Then it happened.  Brad and Angelina finally broke up.  Lastly, the Dallas Cowboys walk away with the greatest record in their NFL history and achieved this momentous feat by way of two very explosive rookies named Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.  Last year was no punk!

I could go on and on about all the craziness that occurred last year, but it would be pointless because 2016 is gone.  Now we must focus on how to make 2017 better than the last.  I came up with a few tips to help make this new year a little more bearable.

Add Color to Your Perspective

Have you ever noticed how color can cheer you up?  Likewise, it can bring you down also.  It can and will cloud your vision when you see things in only one or two colors: black or white.  I have a friend that sees everything in black and white. There is no gray area.  However, I have argued that there are many ambiguities in life.  Everything has to do with your perspective.  If you see everything in the black, then everything will appear dismal, hard and hopeless.  On the other hand, add a little color to your perspective and watch how your views will change.  Once you start thinking with an open mind, then possibilities will abound.  There is more than one way to view life and its circumstances.  Color changes the way you view things because your mind starts to open up.  I don’t mean black and white color.  I mean yellow, green, purple, red, or orange.  Try living your life in color and watch your vision change for the better.

Don’t Give Up On Mankind

With all the negativity and complete horror stories that we hear in the media, it’s hard to have faith in people these days.  In most cases, until something awful happened to make you distrust people, you were born into this world trusting others.  After all, as babies, we have to completely rely on others.  In life, we are going to have to work with and deal with others.  I am not suggesting that we trust blindly.  I am suggesting that we give more people the benefit without first assuming that all blacks are bad, or all whites are racist. This goes back to opening our minds and adding a little color to our perspectives.  We have got to start giving people the benefit of the doubt.  Give people a chance to prove themselves before you completely count them out.  If they fail, at least you tried to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Look at the Big Picture

You must know by now that we are all apart of a bigger picture. With a world population exceeding 6 billion, every individual has a part to play in the universe in which we live whether big or small.  As you create the story of your life, make sure your stamp impacts the world in such a way that you realize the importance your contribution makes to the big picture. If you’re a stay-at-home mother, raising kids that are respectful and kind is important to the big picture.   If you’re a factory worker, understand that your work product contributes to products that not only consumers need, but contributes to our country’s gross national product.  The scientist is just as important as the convenience store worker.  Each person has a roll that contributes in some way to the bigger picture in the grand scheme of our lives.  If we can just continue to think of the big picture instead of merely thinking of ourselves, then we can all contribute to making our world a better place in 2017.  Make sure you’re making the right impact.

 

 

 

My 2017 Beauty Wish List

I’m a list person. I love to make lists. I take pleasure in writing goals, resolutions, and especially to-do lists. I like to plan for the things that I try to accomplish and the things I want.  However, I rarely make Christmas lists.  When Christmas rolls around, I just wing it. Even though my children made their Christmas lists for me faithfully each year when they were young, I never paid much attention to their lists because I had my own. Don’t judge me. 🙁

For me, Christmas is a time for giving. I always considered creating a Christmas list as an act of selfishness. Christmas isn’t the time to be selfish. Typically, we tend to spend money for Christmas gifts that we wouldn’t buy any other time of the year.  Thus, the splurge mentality.  This past year I had a thought. I realized that creating a want list for Christmas is no different than when I create lists for my goals and my New Year’s Resolutions. I completed my “want list” for Christmas and recently got everything on my list.  I am rewarding myself with a few items that I have worked hard for throughout the year. I decided to splurge a little. Lucky for me, the only thing I love is makeup!!!!

I made my list and checked it twice.  Therefore, I decided that is even more of a reason for me to follow through with my list. This year has been a doozie for me, complete with many highs and lows. With every obstacle, I managed to survive. I can’t think of any other reason why I shouldn’t treat myself to a few of my favorite beauty goodies for conquering all of the hurdles of 2016. These are my MVPs for 2017.

1) The Tartelette Naturals Palette $34.50 (www.ulta.com) Shown above.

What’s great about it:  It’s great natural clay palette for the eyes.  Clay matte makes the application go on smoothly and naturally.

2) Mia 2 Clarisonic Brush $169 (www.ulta.com)


What’s great about it: It has dual power with two speeds.  It deep cleans the skin and leaves the face feeling like a baby’s bottom.

3) Lorac Tantalizer Baked Bronzer $35 (www.ulta.com)

What’s great about it: It can be used on any complexion. It gives the perfect bronze glow and it’s not too light or too dark.

4) Anastastia Beverly Hills eye brow pencil (dark brown and soft brown)v $18.50 (www.sephora.com)


What’s great about it: It’s the Bentley of eye brow pencils.  It can be described in one word: precise.

5) DiorShow Mascara $28.50 (www.ulta.com)


What’s great about it: This one product makes your lashes look like fake lashes. It has ltwo ends: one primer, the other mascara.

These are my beauty favs. What are yours?

 

 

 

 

Spring into Pink

Spring into Pink

 

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The onset of Daylight Savings Time means Spring is right around the corner. We have approximately 6 more days before it is officially Spring. You know what that means? We will be seeing all shades of pink and more pink. If you’re a girlie girl like me, you can’t wait.

One of my favorite colors is pink. I love pink lipsticks and glosses. Spring Time means more soft pinks and nude pinks, but I don’t care. I can’t wait for hot pinks and fuchsia, also. Pink is a girl’s color just like blue is associated with guys. The color pink always makes you think of softness and femininity.

When I wear pink, I just feel like such a lady. This is why Spring is my favorite season. Spring is the season associated with fun, sun, and flowers. It’s the season where you begin to plant your flowers and watch them bloom. In essence, it’s the season of growth and expansion.

For those of you who haven’t started doing anything productive yet this year, now is the time to plant and wait for your harvest. Therefore, when you see pink flowers, pink lips, or pink dresses, you should think about cultivation, sprouting, and production.

Don’t wait another six months to try to do something. Get started today! Pull out your pink and let it inspire you. I’m wearing my pink all Spring! Pink has power. Tap into it today…

What is the meaning of love?

 

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Love. The simple utterance of the word sends fireworks into the atmosphere. It evokes images of laughter, smiling faces and holding hands. Probably one of the most captivating words in the English language, it conjures up feelings of passion, yearning and undeniable emotion. At mere mention, women get giddy while men become afraid. It is a word that has the ability to rock a solid foundation or construct a weak one. Like lightning, love will jolt the body and electrify the soul. Each letter taken seriously, love, in all of its glory, is the air by which many of us breathe.

The world has deemed February as the month of love. What is True love?

Defined by Webster’s as a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection toward; love is penetrating. It is thought provoking. It is heart wrenching.

Defined by the Bible (I Corinthians 13); love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious, is not puffed up, is not selfish or easily provoked, does not think evil, rejoices in truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

True love is the essence of Webster’s worldview definition and the biblical definition combined. It is the ability to respond unconditionally. With no strings, attachments or judgment, love pays no regard to circumstance. Love is both shared and given “in spite” of condition. Love is faithful and shows affection or concern no matter the circumstance. It keeps no record of wrong. Love, in its purest form, acts as a catalyst drawing others close.

Love is so amazing it searches for the best, hunting deeply its prey, vowing never to give up.

Love is not “me first.” It places others in the space that “self” yearns to occupy, always considering the will and desires of others.

Love takes its time and considers things that are good. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. It does not take from others to satisfy self. It is not haughty or puffed up. On the contrary, love is mild and meek but not weak by any means; always focusing on the greater good.

Love is honest and true. It means what is says and expresses itself genuinely.

Don’t misunderstand these characteristics of love, they are filled with passion but are careful, considerate, intentional.

If you’ve determined by now that true love is inconceivable, you’re right. True love is rare; a sparse commodity. When discovered, it should be cherished, adorned, preserved. For the Bible reminds us that the grass will wither, the flowers will fade (Isaiah 40:8), even the gifts will cease, but love never dies.

As we prepare for Valentine’s Day, I implore you to search your hearts and minds. Determine if what you truly feel for the object of your affection meets the scope of the true definition of love.  If not, you might have some work to do.  Check your love meter.  In order to find and have true love, you must first open your hearts to it. I challenge each of you to try to truly love someone other than yourself.

Please share your comments and experiences of true love with us! We would love to hear your stories.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Red Lips

I have designated this month “Go Red or Go Home” month.  I believe that we should boldly go into this month wearing lots and lots of red lips! Yes, I meant red lips! If you choose to try to decorate any other part of your body in red, be my guest.  However, I’m going to focus on a very specific part of the body that I believe needs a little extra attention: the lips.

Believe it or not, some people are afraid of the color red on their lips. Surprisingly, those same people don’t realize that red is our friend.  Red isn’t a good for nothing color.  It has purpose and meaning.  It’s bold, adventurous, and cocky! Wearing red isn’t for the faint at heart.  When a woman wears red on her lips, she means business.  Red can also be perfect for a little extra flirtatious behavior.  Red lips can send off any number of mixed messages when worn right.

There are those moments in life when we need to make bold statements.  We need to step out with confidence and courage.  Sometimes a girl just needs an extra pick me up, but doesn’t want to make a huge fuss with her makeup.  That is when red lips will do the trick. I’m going to give you my four ultimate rules for wearing red lips.

  1. Wear red lips when you wear all black.  Black is sexy and slimming, but it’s also dull and lifeless.  That’s where red comes in. Add red to your lips and change your entire look.
  2. If your complexion is fair, wear tomato red lips.
  3. If you’re medium or brown, wear blue-based reds or berry-like lip stains.
  4. The darker you are, the deeper the red should be.  Therefore, if you’re dark brown, then you should try red wines.

These are my four top rules for red! Try them out this month. Go Red or Go Home!

 

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Great Makeup

 

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I know we have all had those days when we just don’t feel like doing anything extra when we awaken in the morning, much less add makeup to our faces.  It’s bad enough we have to get up and actually put clothes on, but even on a bad day adding a little makeup is pushing it.  Nevertheless, being a busy diva means that you cannot just leave the house looking any old kind of way.  Indeed,  Beyonce’ woke up like that, but that isn’t the case for many of us.  Therefore, perfection requires work.

Likewise, that doesn’t mean that you’re not already cute, but I mean kickass caliber.  I’m ready for my close-up kind of cute.  That takes a little more work.  For all of you lazy glamazons that want to look great with as little effort as possible, I have created a quick guide to help create an easy makeup job for a lazy day.  Follow these steps and you will totally not look like you’re just winging it.

  1. Get plenty of rest at night.  It’s hard work trying to fix tired, puffy eyes when you don’t feel like it or are in a hurry.  If you don’t want to have to do extra work on your lazy makeup days, then girl, get some sleep.
  2. Always clean your face before bed and when you awaken in the morning.  I suspect Picasso never started one of his masterpieces on a messy canvas and neither should you.  Clean your face daily and save yourself some work trying to cover up blemishes or breakouts.  It will make a tremendous difference when you’re in a rush and you don’t want to have to work that hard.
  3. Skip the foundation.  Instead, blot concealer on strategically placed problem areas.  For instance, if you’re trying to cover dark spots, blot your concealer on the dark spots you want to cover only. Then blend.  Concealer will give you more even coverage.
  4. Make sure your lashes are on point. If you don’t wear lashes, then use a great mascara.  Lashes can make a huge differences in waking up your face.  If you are a lash gal, like me, then you already know to keep those lashes in good shape especially for lazy makeup days.
  5. Groom your eye brows.  Period. Point blank.  If your eye brows aren’t nicely groomed, then your makeup will look lazy.  I’m sorry, but it will.  You can get away with a lot, but not bad eye brows. Don’t be lazy with them!
  6. Finally, top it all off with a pop of color on your lips.  I suggest lip gloss and not lipstick.  Since you’re not wearing a lot of makeup and this is the lazy guide, then you want to look like you’re not trying too hard.  Lip gloss is sexier and a lot less hassle.

This about sums it up.  Inevitably, we all have those days where we need a quick fix for a lazy day. Try these tricks and tell me how they work for you. Let me know what you think below.

Why Women Who Go From Blah to Beat are the Real Heroines

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I have this thing with women who love to brag that they don’t wear makeup like it’s some badge of honor or something. I always tell those women, “okay, I get it!” What I don’t tell the ladies is the real tragedy of being the chic who doesn’t wear makeup EVER is that you’re limiting yourself from so many other growth possibilities. You see, when you reveal the fact that you never wear makeup, you’re essentially telling me that you don’t adapt well to change, you’re possibly not open to growth, nor do you like to learn new things.

After all, are you going to go to that important dinner without wearing any makeup?  You think Angelina Jolie wants to hit the red carpet with no makeup? Is Michelle Obama ever seen at the White House without makeup? Of course, these women would not ever attend any important function in the public eye without that quintessential “beat”.

I see applying makeup as an activity the same as learning how to ride a bike or drive a car. In the beginning it seems hard, but once you get going and doing it regularly you see driving as an activity that makes your life easier. Further, you look good doing it. One might think that comparing applying makeup to driving cars is ludicrous, but it isn’t. They are both two activities that you learn how to do so that it helps you. At first, you might not be that good at it, but over time with practice you can improve your skills. In the end, you benefit from learning.

I started experimenting with makeup when I was five years old. I’m not kidding! My fascination with makeup started early. I think I had mastered how to apply makeup to my face by the time I was in the 6th grade. In those developing years, I learned a lot. The most important thing I learned from applying my makeup is how I could go from blah to beat! One of my colleagues told me years ago that on any given day when I didn’t wear makeup I was just Ponchitta Thompson. However, once I walked in with my makeup and hair on fleek, I was transformed into someone else. That colleague was right! Just like me, you too, can take baby steps to learn to create your own beat face.

That face beat made all the difference for me. My attitude changed, my self-esteem was at an all-time high, and my confidence levels were incredible. When my makeup is done right, I feel like I can take on the world. I’ve had many women tell me they feel empowered in the same way when they get their faces beat.

I think it’s a beautiful thing when you’re naturally confident. The woman who needs no extra confidence boost in the morning when she awakens or the woman that doesn’t need a spike in their confidence by adding lashes or red lips is someone special. To that woman, I applaud you because you’re a rarity.

However, for the rest of us that need that extra pep in our step or the extra jumpstart to boost our morale, I say don’t you dare feel bad because you love the beat. That beat does for us what spinach did for Popeye. It turns us into the strong, courageous women that we need to be to conquer all we must do in this world. I lift my wine glass up to all the women that don’t mind admitting that they love going from blah to beat. Once you start, it will change your life. You’re the real heroines.

I HAVE A DREAM…ABOUT MAKEUP!

 

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Dr. Martin Luther King wasn’t the only person with a vision for mankind.  Mere mortals like myself tend to have visions of grandeur that transform the human race, but in a very different way. The only difference in our dreams is my dream involves makeup and people.  However, don’t get it twisted! My dreams are just as surreal.

Every night I dream about all I would do if I had all the makeup in the world.   All the good I could do to beautify all of the female inhabitants therein.  I dream about every woman on earth being contoured to death! Every little girl would be wearing pink lips daily!  Every grandma, no matter the age, would be wearing fifty shades of red.  Don’t you dare think my dreams are silly.  They are very significant.

Just like Martin Luther King, Jr. I know my dream would make a difference in the world, too.  All women would feel beautiful and confident.  Women would feel empowered and special.  The makeup that I would share with the world would make every woman colorful and picturesque.  The world would truly be more beautiful.  We would look at people differently and view the world differently because all women would be visually pretty.

My dreams consist of a world full of prettiness and nothing ugly.  Makeup might be viewed as an external fix to some, but it is an internal fix, also.  When you look extraordinarily good, you feel extraordinarily good.  If makeup has the power to revamp and enhance one’s natural beauty, then I don’t think it’s wrong to envision a world in which all women have the opportunity to morph into something visually amazing.

Martin Luther King stated that the March on Washington would go down in history as “the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of our nation.”  My vision is similar, but with a twist because the same ugliness he wanted to eradicate is just like the ugliness I want to erase in the same way.  Likewise, a nation filled with  pretty faces and colorfulness can only make the world a better place.  I have a dream to put makeup on the faces of as many women as possible one day.  That’s the greatest demonstration of freedom to me. 🙂

Are you a makeup snob?

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You’ve met this chic before.  You ask her what brand lipstick she has on and she pulls out her MAC tube like she’s holding gold straight from U. S. Mint.  You immediately want to tell her, “Girl, bye!” Instead you just sit back and gloat because she just spent $15 on lipstick that’s cute, but you spent $2.99 on your Wet n Wild and you’re cute, too, with an extra $12 in your wallet to go buy more!  Yea, makeup snobs are a trip aren’t they?

A makeup snob believes that your makeup isn’t poppin unless you have to rob a bank to pay for it.  A makeup snob believes that the best makeup only comes from expensive department stores.  Lastly, a makeup snob believes that because she strictly wears MAC, Lancome, or Dior, her makeup game is somehow superior to the budget-friendly shopper that chooses to wear Cover Girl or Maybelline.

Allow me to set the record straight.  Although some brands are marketed as high end products, price alone does not dictate whether its a better product or not for the consumer.  When it comes to makeup, there are many factors to consider that determine what products are better than others.  In particular, your personal skincare needs and sensitivities should determine which products are better suited for you. Cost, location, or prestige should have nothing to do with why you buy your cosmetics products.  Popularity and packaging does not mean better.

However, there are some products that cost more because they contain ingredients that others might not.  Be certain that those are ingredients that you personally need rather than want because someone told you you might need them.

The next time you shop for makeup don’t overlook drug store products because they are in the drugstore.  Cover Girl and Revlon have some of the best lipsticks on the market.  The quality is just as good as MAC and a few dollars cheaper.  Even if money isn’t an issue, maybe convenience is.  Don’t overlook some of the cheaper products because you’re busy being a makeup snob to notice there is very little difference in the quality.  After all, it’s just makeup, gals! Buy that Wet n Wild, girl!  Live a little…

Share with us what your favorite brands are below.

 

Four Ways to Build Healthy Self-Esteem

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How do you visualize yourself? What thoughts do you have of yourself? Do you allow the opinion of others to make you doubt yourself? These are questions we should ask ourselves when we suffer with “low self-esteem” issues that affect many of us in our lives. Yes, it happens to many us. Yes, it has happened to me.
Webster-Merriam’s definition of self-esteem is “a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities.” Social Media images, celebrities, family, friends, co-workers, and people in authority play a part in making us feel like we should act and look a certain way. Whether you are comparing yourself to someone else or you are looking into someone else’s wishing to have their life, this behavior is not conducive to healthy self-esteem!
Respecting ourselves will allow us to have a better perspective and realize that none of us is the same. Everyone struggles with something. It is so important to love yourself first. Loving yourself should be easy, but there are times when it must be learned. As a teenager, there was a period when I was ashamed of my body because I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Even though I was considered “shapely” in those days, being told that I would never walk again made me have a lowly opinion of myself. Therefore, I developed low self-esteem. As a result, I believed I was no longer pretty, no one would want to be my friend, and my body was grossly disfigured. Then, a family member prayed for me, told me to look in the mirror daily and repeat:
“I’m fearfully and wonderfully made by God.”
Psalm 139:14
However, it was a process and took time for me to believe it and feel it in my heart. As I grew stronger and felt better about myself daily, I had to realize that no one knew I had scoliosis unless I told them because it was not visible to others. Thus, God saw fit to reveal things that man said would happen to me due to the diagnosis that did not happen.
Today I want to remind you that you are unique and different. It is ok to be YOU.

Still, with all of your flaws, you are even more beautiful. Do not allow the lies of the enemy to affect your view of yourself. It’s all about what you feel on the inside that will make your outside shine. Four things you should do daily to improve your self-esteem:
1) Pray.
2) Love God and Yourself.
3) Repeat a scripture and/or affirmations while looking in the mirror.
4) Treat others how you want to be treated.

Remember:
Life is full of difficulties that can shape our lives for good or bad. It’s all about how we go through those difficulties to help strengthen our character and ourselves. It is ok to feel discouraged, but do not stay that way. Adjust your crown daily and build healthy self-esteem because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made by God.”

Be Encouraged!
Tammie Johnson Porter

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Tammie Porter is a motivational speaker who founded “Be Encouraged” ministry and travels all over speaking to women about building healthy self-esteem. Her professional background is in mental and emotional health.  She lives in East Texas with her two handsome sons.

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