Imagine Me

Everyone has their insecure moments, but we always have to remember we are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY Created. We are made perfect in the image of God.

Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well (New International Version)

Insecurities do not just come in the form of physical inadequacies, but also in feelings that you are not good enough or cannot do something. All of these come from society, others around you, and the ideas of what someone should look/be like. Let’s not live by the rules of this world. Shouldn’t what God says be what you believe? God says you are beautiful. God says you can do anything with Him by your side. Don’t listen to what others have to say about you or your ambitions.

Genesis 1:27 – So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female (New International Version).

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (New King James Version).

In relation to image, do not hate what God has given you. God made you tall or short or skinny or black or white or Asian or dark or light with short hair or long hair with freckles or moles or any other physical attributes for a reason. You may be made to relate to a certain set of people because of your image (From a Heather Lindsey video, not her exact words.) Your testimony may come from what you look(ed) like, which can help others in the same situation.

Testimonies:

Though I thought I knew the plans God had for me He said no, I’m the creator. I would need prayers of righteous people who wouldn’t stop praying over me. The devil would not use my mind, body, or soul as his playground as he imagined. Meeting other college students in a campus ministry is when I knew God was up to something. I was wondering how I was going to grow in this new environment with more temptation and expectations. The new season He was preparing me for could only be endured by connecting with other believers. – Racquel

“I grew up with bad acne. It was tough because people picked in me relentlessly. I even cried about it when I was alone. I wish I would have understood 1 Samuel 16:7. God’s approval is all we need!” – La’Fred

1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” (New King James Version).

If you are contemplating your next steps or have those around you who bring your confidence down by saying you cannot do something and are always being negative this testimony will help.

His wisdom will help you make decisions that are best for your future. We are instructed to find delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. What are your desires? What are your dreams and aspirations? Are they similar to God’s for your life in the building of the kingdom? We must be sure our desires don’t take priority over our relationships with God. 

Proverbs 3:26 – For the Lord shall be thy confidence , and shall keep thy foot from being taken (King James Version).

Songs of Solomon 4:7 – You are altogether beautiful my love, there is no flaw in you (English Standard Version).

Do not be conformed to the thoughts people in this world have about you. You are beautiful/handsome! Your image is perfect because God made you! Don’t feel inadequate, You can do anything! You can be anything you want! Don’t be insecure, You are worthy! 

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Ew, Periods

I’m sorry but we have to talk about that monthly pest. If you have never had a period before or just started having them, this post will benefit you. If you have been having periods for a while and would like to know some relief tips, this will benefit you as well. 

What is a period?

“Simply put: A period is when a woman’s body releases tissue it no longer needs. This tissue comes from the uterus, which is where a baby (fetus) can develop in the female body. Every month or so, the uterus lining gets thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, that lining is released from the body as blood through the vagina. This monthly process is called menstruation or a period.” -Beinggirl.com    

This happens every 28 days.

Sanitation products: Pads (Napkins) or Tampons? 

It depends on what you are comfortable with. If you try a tampon and don’t like it that is fine. I would recommend never using pads with no wings because they shift and leave you with a mess. Also if you want a lot of comfort and don’t want to check for leakages so often, wear overnight pads all of the time. Overnight pads a super comfortable. Switch to thin pads near the end when your period is almost over (you will see a huge decrease in blood.) If you choose tampons try to wear a pantiliner with them in case your tampon leaks. 

What can I do?

You can do anything on your period. Some suggest swimming (with a tampon) is fine but I have never done it. I read if you exercise your pains will be reduced and you can cause your period to end faster (don’t know if this is actually true, but it’s always worth a try.)  Don’t let a little blood stop you!

Oh, the Pain!

This is the worst part of having a period in my opinion, but there are ways to reduce your pain. 

  • I always take an ibuprofen which helps with cramps and headaches. There are many medicines out there for menstrual cycles that will help the pain go away. Again, you have to find what’s best for you. 
  • Peppermint oil is the greatest during these times. If you rub a little on your stomach, you will feel sort of a numbness and a cooling sensation. The peppermint oil can also create a relaxed feeling.
  • Okay, this one might sound weird but drink pickle juice! I have no idea where I learned this one from, but it always works. You can also just eat pickles if you are not comfortable drinking the juice.
  • If you want a distraction from the pain buy (or have you parents buy) what you are craving. My go to is definitely potato chips and chocolate, then I crawl up in my bed and watch a movie. 
  • Bloating also causes a lot of pain during this time. Our bodies retain water during our cycles so I drink a lot before I start and don’t drink much during that time. 
  • Get a heated pad or take a warm shower.
  • Drink tea! Green tea is a go to.

Underwear Stains

A lot of women have “Period Panites” which are underwear that have been stained or are their most comfortable pairs. If you wake up and have leakage, don’t worry. Taking them in the shower with you to do a mini hand wash usually gets most to all of the blood off.

PMS

“Premenstrual syndrome is a complex of physical and emotional changes, including depression,irritability, appetite changes, bloating and water retention, breast soreness, and changes in muscular coordination, one or more of which may be experienced in the several days before the onset of menstrual flow.” – Dictionary.com. 

A lot of people will blame their attitude on PMS. Yes, it does cause mood changes, but control your period and your emotions do not let it control you! Carry a Snicker bar with you or something to keep you happy. 

Hygiene

It is important to stay and feel fresh and clean while you are on your period. 

  • There are wet wipes that you can carry with you in case of you leak or if you want to clean your vaginal area after changing your pad or tampon. 
  • I always carry a body spray with me just so I can feel more fresh. I may feel like crap, but I smell like I just came off of an island. 
  • Change your pad every few hours. This honestly depends on your flow, but I would suggest having 3-4 for each day. I don’t use tampons but experts say the same for those as well. 
  • While showering and bathing, there is something that prevents blood flow. Take your choice of a sanitation product and a pair of underwear with you to the bathroom. Place the pad in the underwear before you get in the shower so you won’t leak blood everywhere. As soon as you dry off you can put the underwear on. 
  • There are sprays made by Summer’s Eve and Vagisil that also come in handy. Using them on your period is your choice. Again, not everyone is the same when it comes to periods. 

Hopefully everyone got a tip or two out of this post that they can use. Not every girl has a parent to teach them these things so share this information if you can. Girls, don’t be afraid! This is a natural process; you will get used to it and most importantly get through it!

Dark Skin, RED Lip

One day last week I was on Twitter and saw something that said “every black person on Twitter needs to rt this at least once, RIP queen, you won’t be forgotten.” In the photo below that text there were two pictures of Miss. Karyn Washington with a caption that read, “Karyn Washington, founder of ‘For Brown Girls’ and the ‘Dark Skin, Red Lips’ project has died at the tender age of 22. And this was not a natural death. This was an apparent suicide. Karyn, who dedicated herself to the uplifting of dark-skinned black girls and women, and worked so hard that they would have a sense of well-being, was struggling with depression and mental illness, and was unable to extend the love she gave to others to herself.” *Eyerolls to the second part of their caption.*

Immediately after reading this tweet I began to look up For Brown Girls and Karyn Washington. The first piece of information I found was an article that featured a video from one of her closest friends. Her friend talked about how loving and sweet Karyn was. She also confirmed Karyn’s death was not caused by self hate or “not extending the love she gave to others to herself.” Karyn’s mother passed away from cancer which seems to have had a major impact on her. (If you are struggling with any suicidal thoughts please call the national hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or reach out to me. It doesn’t matter if you know me or not, we can talk.) Articles on her death were posted everywhere I tried to search for For Brown Girls. Rumors and people being plain nasty should not overshadow the great work Karyn did!

I want to celebrate her life and everything she did because that work made a way for myself and others with similar missions! Karyn’s work inspires me. I would be grateful to have even half of the impact she had on black females.

The mission of FBG posted on their tumblr page is “www.forbrowngirls.com, an organization dedicated to celebrating the darker shades of brown while combatting colorism” (Colorism is described as “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.” – Google Dictionary.) “and promoting self love! FBG was founded in 2011 by Karyn Washington.” It looks like the website is now owned by someone else but I would still encourage everyone to check out http://forbrowngirls.tumblr.com/!

Karyn Washington, Founder of FBG and The #DarkSkinRedLips Project

The mission the #DarkSkinRedLip Project posted on their tumblr page is “Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence!” is the tag-line of ForBrownGirls’ latest ongoing online campaign that invites women with darker skin complexions to submit and showcase a photo of them rocking a red lip (www.darkskinredlip.com). Since April, the organization has been promoting this project through social media and word of mouth to help put an end to the notion that women of a darker hue don’t look attractive wearing bright colors, in particular, red lipstick. Along with abolishing that stigma, the project will serve as inspiration to any girl or woman who have given into this stereotype and shied away from wearing a red lip. In viewing such images, a darker skinned girl who is hesitant to try a red lip will find the confidence to step out of her comfort zone, disregarding the opinion of anyone else. The project has received much support and we look forward to reaching our goal of having 1,000+ women participate.” Find more at http://darkskinredlip.tumblr.com/!

Love the skin you’re in. I don’t care what anyone says about you, you are beautiful. (Read our Beauty Quotes post!) In order to continue Karyn’s efforts I encourage everyone to post a photo of themselves wearing their favorite red lipstick or saying why you love your skin tone.

A Girl’s Guide to Shopping

Get through your next shopping trip with these 5 simple tips!

  • There is nothing wrong with Clearance. For as long as I can remember I have only shopped in Clearance sections. I cannot remember the last time I paid over $5 for a shirt and over $10 for a pair of pants/skirts. There’s no shame in my game because:
    1. It’s my money, so no one can say anything unless they are paying for my clothes.
    2. So many clothes are overpriced. They could have cost $3 to produce , while you are being charged $55.
    3. I can usually stock up for a different season. In example: Once spring fashions come out most winter clothes are put on clearance to make room. I buy clothes for next winter for 50% or less than they were four weeks earlier.
    4. I have so many clothes.
  • Don’t be bound to sizes. I have so many different clothing items that range in all sizes but they all fit me. Don’t worry if there’s something in the store that you cannot fit, go up a size no one cares. Sizes range by store and the company that made the clothes. Be comfortable. If someone has something to say just look at them, smile, and continue to do what you were doing.
  •  I was in JC Penny a few weeks ago and heard a mom telling her daughter “You’ve tried on three sizes. Obviously nothing is going to fit, you’re too big let’s leave.” this girl had to be 120 pounds and around 14 years old. I’m pretty sure if her mom wasn’t trying to stuff her in a 5 year old’s outfit she would have been fine. Her self confidence could have been ruined that day, don’t let anyone do that to you. In your teenage years and probably after too your body undergoes a lot of changes and your weight may fluctuate. It’s okay! Buy whatever makes you comfortable. If you have to venture into the petite/plus size section so be it. A number on a tag, nor a scale for that matter does not define you.
  • Take your time. I take so much time shopping because I want to make sure I am getting everything I want and the best deals. One thing I have learned is that there is usually the same item in another store and sometimes it is cheaper. Shop around and take your time.
  •  If someone looks at you like you like you are stealing or following you around because you are taking your time or have visited the same section more than once it is okay to say something to them (in a nice tone). As a tactic to keep customers from stealing a sales associate may continuously ask if you need help looking for anything. If you get asked more than twice say, no I am taking my time shopping, nothing will be stolen and I would greatly appreciate it if you left me alone, then smile. If you are feeling uncomfortable reiterate the fact that you are not stealing, do not like being harassed, and will not be purchasing anything from that store and exit.
  • Set a Budget. There is never a time where I have spent a whole paycheck while shopping but everyone can get a little ahead of themselves sometimes. Before you leave to go shopping set aside the amount you want to spend and only spend that (or stay in a range). If you are going to the mall it is a good idea to factor in how much your food will cost if you eat there. Developing these habits will benefit you in the long run.
  • Have fun! Shopping can be annoying and make you tired but I always imagine how I will put my outfits together. I already know that I’m slaying my outfit three weeks from now. Shopping is a time for you to treat yourself. If you don’t like to shop in clearance like me that’s okay buy what you like.
  • (Remember you do not always need a label or name brand. There is no way I am paying $200 extra dollars to have someone’s initials on my bag! Funny story actually: When I was in the 9th and 10th grade everyone and their mom was wearing Aeropostale. I refused to wear it because: 1. I could not afford it and I wasn’t going to ask my mom to buy me clothes with a word on it 2. Everyone was walking around looking like clones and I refused to be like them. I don’t mind standing against the crowd. Now, everyone has a bunch of Aeropostale clothes that they can’t wear because it went out of style or they can’t fit them while I still have some of the same plain t shirts from 10th grade.)

The next time you go shopping remember these tips and let us know if they work for you!!


Top 5 Affordable Nude Lip Colors

Finding nude lipsticks to match our skin tones is not always easy. Here are 5 very affordable nude lipsticks that look great on everyone: 

Colourpop: Embellish $6 Colorpop.com. This one is a little dark but it’s a beautiful color! 

WetNWild Megaslicks: Caffeine Fix $3 Walgreens. (Looks great on top of a brown lip liner.)

Nyx Lingerie: Honeymoon $7 Ulta.

Nyx Lingerie: Teddy $7 Ulta.

Colourpop: Kae $6 Colourpop.com 

    

Bonus: Nyx Intensive Butter Gloss: Cinnamon Roll. Absolute favorite lip gloss!

Review: Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Mask

It’s been very hard to find an affordable face mask that I like. As it was menstruation time and my face was covered in bumps, I decided to try something new. Ulta has individual Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Mud Masks for $3.69 (the full bottle, I believe it was 3oz was $15 and I was not going to buy that before I tried a sample). The mask worked very well! I could feel a slight tingling sensation as it dried.

When I applied the mask I liked the thick formula. I immediately felt it working.

Tried to smile for you guys but my face was STUCK when that bad boy was fully dry!

Getting the mask off took a little work because it is so thick. This is a mask you have to scrub off. My forehead was kind of irritated, but it could have been caused my my intense scrubbing.

Overall, this is one of the best masks I have used so far. It didn’t get rid of my blackheads or anything but my face was clean. 8/10