MakeUp Misfit

Comment

MakeUp Misfit

In the world of makeup artists I am an oddity.

Every makeup artist I’ve ever met has a kit full of an incredible amount of product from innumerable brands of all different quality levels, categories and price points. You know the kind I’m talking about: The ones that have so many pallets that the bottom of their case is a veritable graveyard of forgotten colors. Add to that all of the tools (blending sponges, brushes, air brushing kit, eyebrow stencils, etc.) that they own, yet only use a fraction of, and it’s no wonder that the average woman watching them is intimidated.

Heck, I get intimidated!

I wasn’t the girl growing up that loved all things makeup. The only makeup I was permitted to wear growing up was the stage makeup required for the various types of musical productions I was cast in. So, by the time I reached high school, I wasn’t really interested in everyday makeup. In fact, I didn’t start wearing makeup until halfway through my junior year when I mistakenly found myself in a beauty pageant; mistakenly because I did it with a friend as moral support, assuming she’d be chosen, then I ended up getting the call. I didn’t even realize it was a pageant until too late! I thought it was just an interview for a scholarship program.

Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that I would approach being a makeup artist in a different manner than most. 

When I started out in business nine years ago, becoming a makeup artist was not the plan. I got my Skin Analyst Certification through a renowned prestige skin care and cosmetics company with dreams of building an in-home skin analysis and treatment business in mind. Then, as a result of goals I hit making product sales, I won a trip to my company’s beauty institute and had the privilege of sitting through a makeup artistry training with a professional makeup artist that worked the runways at New York Fashion Week.

My dream changed after that.

I had just gotten back to the U.S. from a trip to Austria and Germany before going to the beauty institute in Michigan. The day I got back in the country, my purse was stolen; cash, cards and cell phone gone. I went from the best month of my life, into a season of literally having nothing but late-paid bills and dwindling credit score for months. Yet, in the midst of that I made the choice to go to Michigan, I made the choice to step out in faith, and I started to develop My Image as a freelance makeup artistry business.

Every time I thought about what I wanted My Image to be, I never saw a big business. My dream of big business was replaced with this deep, heartfelt desire to touch the lives of individual women. I wanted women of every income bracket, of every walk of life, to know that they are beautiful and that they have been created for greatness.I wanted every woman and young girl that sits in my chair to know that they are valuable, that they are strong, that they are fierce and that their life means something; that someone notices them.

So I became a makeup misfit.

I am brand loyal. Unheard of in this field! There is only one product brand of skin care and makeup in my kit. Why? Because every woman, no matter their story, deserves the best. So, I made the decision to only use the number one (occasionally number two!) prestige, naturally based, pharmaceutical grade brand in the world. If it’s good enough for the New York Fashion Week runways and for the Miss America Pageant, then it’s good enough for any woman that sits in my chair!

Then there’s the issue of pricing… I am intentional about keeping my service prices at or below average, and constantly running discounts. The longer I do this, the more I realize that there should never be a bride or homecoming hopeful that doesn’t get pampered because they can’t afford it. That fact has been particularly bothersome to me in this past season: That brides, especially, miss out on something so deserved simply because it isn’t in their budget. God has been working on my heart in this area this past year, so expect to see some drastic changes to the pricing info in coming weeks!

Location? Oh, I don’t have one. That is, I don’t have just one. I work out of my home (which quite a few of my brides have been brave enough to come to in spite of my very strong willed, social toddler!), but I mostly work on-location. So, I’ve gotten very used to hotel rooms and lobbies and random hallways and backstage areas… Oh, and there were those couple times I drove to the middle of nowhere to random cabins; once to one that didn’t have electricity for the first hour that we were there. It’s always an adventure!

I’ve had numerous beauty professionals (and others) tell me that it’ll never work. I’ve been told that there’s simply no way to have a real beauty business using only one product line and not having or renting salon space. I’ve endured many skeptical conversations and negative nay-sayers. I’ve noticed the “professionals” that give me sideways glances when they see what’s in my kit.

Two years ago, I almost let those voices win…

If not for my sister-in-law (same one the spoke into my marriage!), I might have quit! She somehow knows just how to say things to change my perspective. Might be all the education and training she's hustled through? But she made this statement to me: “If it’s not fun for you anymore, then by all means get out. But if you still find joy in it, if you still love doing it, if you still believe there’s purpose in it- then who is anyone else to define what your business should look like?”

So I choose to be a makeup misfit.

I will continue to be brand loyal, I will work hard to be affordable, I will continue to operate as a predominantly mobile business and I will continue to elevate the health (mental, emotional, physical) of every client I have the privilege to serve above all else. I am equal parts wife, mom and makeup artist; therefore, I will continue to develop a business that is more service oriented than profit driven- making skin care and makeup artistry services accessible to every wife and mom that deserves to be pampered and encouraged. 

Bottom line for me: I have a calling that is greater than making youtube videos and reviewing other people’s businesses and product. 

My business exists to impact every woman that trusts me enough to sit in my chair.

That is my dream. To make an impact. To leave a positive mark in the lives of as many women as I can. And to teach my daughter the importance of doing the same.

Comment

Charisma

Comment

Charisma

Charisma (pl. charismata

I’ve always loved learning the origin and history of words. I’m a nerd! I know it.

What I love about learning how words started, what they meant at the beginning, is how it often challenges the present use of the word. In present english, charisma is a word that we assign to a person or character that we revere; a person that has a certain compelling attractiveness or charm that inspires devotion and admiration. Most often, it’s a word that we attribute to a seemingly divine power or talent. I have used this word within this present definition for the entirety of my life! 

It wasn’t until I was reading a book regarding the markers of a healthy Christian church that I even stopped to think that this word, charisma, may have a history of different meaning. I’ve fallen into the habit lately of using words without forethought; without pausing to really consider if I am using the words I truly intend to say. Words, after all, are just words until we place them in a context that assigns them a tone and a definition. And I must admit that I am often guilty of placing otherwise innocent words within a negative context when it comes to communicating with the people I love most; Namely my husband. Anyone else?

Whether we want to admit it or not, words have power. The words we say, and the tone with which we say them, can either build someone up or tear them down. Words have the power to encourage growth or to inhibit it. And no matter how cliche it is; the tone and manner with which we use words often speaks louder than the words themselves.

Confession: This is the seemingly never ending struggle that I find myself in with my husband.

I never saw my husband coming. I was confident in the calling I believed was on my life: I was going to be single, serving in ministry as a speaker/teacher/mentor. I had finally reached a peace in my heart about not getting married (especially considering I was 25 and had never dated!), believing that the plan for my life was something bigger than I could ever imagine. I was so independent and so used to living my life unattached, that it took me about two hours to realize that my husband had asked me out on a date!

Fast forward to today…

Had someone, anyone, been honest enough with me to tell me then that marrying someone who loves in an entirely different love language than me was going to be the biggest challenge of my life…I may have never done it, and totally missed the blessings God had planned! You see, I love with gifts and quality time. So, buy me a coffee and sit with me chatting for an hour and my tank is full!

I married a words of affirmation and physical touch lover…  My weakest points.

Needless to say, I wake up every day and make the choice to fight for my marriage: to fight for my husband. It has taken me all five years (plus a few months!) of being married to get to the place in my marriage that I don’t beat myself up every day, because I’ve allowed the darkness to convince my heart that my husband loves me SO well and I am terrible at loving him back.

I even went through a season of questioning the “rightness” of my marriage altogether.

I learned in that season that the darkness really is very adept at twisting our reality to fit the narrative that has the greatest potential to defeat us; to push us away from the path of goodness we are struggling to walk on. It was a conversation with my amazing sister-in-law that shook me out of the dark and forced me to see the reality of my life: The reality that I was a new mom, I was physically and emotionally exhausted, I was isolated as a result of losing my church family, I was battling a loneliness that I had never experienced before as a result of the decision to be a “stay-at-home-mom”, and I had stopped chasing after my dreams and my calling as the result of listening more often to the darkness than the light.

BUT SO WAS MY HUSBAND.

A new dad. Physically and emotionally exhausted. Isolated. Lonely. Listening to dark whispers devaluing his efforts to love and provide and support and parent.

As a result of that season, we were stuck in a cycle of absolute miscommunication, that led to lots of hurt feelings. Our words had power and our tone was too often confusing the intended definition of even the simplest of statements. Our marriage had become more about surviving the day with our baby than spending time really talking and dreaming and just being together; growing together toward a common purpose.

We had lost sight of our greatest charisma.

Learning the origin of this commonly used word reminded me this week of that season in my marriage, and also made me extremely thankful that my husband had the wisdom to force the much needed confrontation that has renewed our desire for, trust in and fight for each other and our marriage. My husband has the patience of a saint! Yet, even he can reach the point of frustration with my internal struggle to exert my independence, while at the same time surrendering in respect so that I can truly love him well.

I now understand that what we have been doing in this past season of renewal is reclaiming our charisma.

Charisma (charis, charismata), from Greek origin, was used in reference to spiritual things; more specifically spiritual gifts.

Charisma and charismata are used by the Apostle Paul in the scriptures explaining the Spiritual gifts that God, in his grace, gives to those who truly believe in salvation through his Son. The purpose of these gifts is to build up the church and to be an example of goodness, of righteousness. Therefore, when put into historical context:

CHARISMA is a GRACE GIFT.

Marriage is a charisma. (1 Corinthians 7:7) MY marriage is a grace gift, not only to me and my husband for the purpose of building up our house and our church, but to show others that they too can be built up and encouraged and chase after and receive goodness.

My prayer for you, no matter what kind of season you find yourself in, whether in marriage or in some other context of life, is that you will remember and reclaim your charisma! If you’re not a Christ follower and do not believe in such gifts being given by God, then I pray that you will make the decision (especially in your marriage relationship!) to chase after the love that you started with always! May we all reclaim our grace gifts in this new year, and may God be glorified all the more for it.

Comment

New Years Redemption

Comment

New Years Redemption

I have a chair.

It’s just a chair. An accent chair. A chair that didn’t cost much, isn’t worth much and is rarely required to actually perform the function for which it was built.

This chair usually sits to the side in my homes’ more formal living space. It’s a milky cream color with black scripted letters written in French. Its’ script pattern speaking to the parts of my heart that are drawn to writing and reading. The stamps pictured speaking to places I hope to someday travel to. The birds interwoven in the design reminding me that flight, exceeding boundaries, is possible for even the most average person as long as they keep dreaming.

This sweet chair is the first “splurge” piece that my husband and I ever purchased. I was pregnant; after almost two years of medical professionals questioning whether it was possible. We had experienced a season of financial blessing. So, we did what lots of adults do: We took advantage of a holiday furniture sale. (Boring, I know!) 

Little did I know that this chair, the chair that whispered to my hearts dreams every day, would end up being used to refresh and confirm the greatest lesson of my life.

A few days before Christmas, in the middle of preparing our sweet little house to host both sides of our crazy, wonderful family, this chair came face to face with my toddler. You see, I got so lost in the preparation that I somehow forgot that my beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong willed, quality time needing two-and-a-half year old daughter…is, in fact, only two-and-a-half. I forgot that, no matter how well she seems to be handling time on her own; too much time without her momma results in often irredeemable toddler behavior.

This time: My baby took a brown sharpie and three different colored highlighters, that she had to use some ingenuity to get ahold of, and made a masterpiece on the seat of my sweet chair.

I wish from the depths of my soul that I could say I handled the situation with grace and unconditional love… I did not. There was quite a bit of yelling, a lot of angry tears on my part, a lot of confused tears on her part and some relationship repair that needed to happen before I could bring myself to face my poor, sentimentally valued chair. 

After two days, three methods of cleaning and four times washing every white towel in the linen closet (16!)…my sweet chair still bears the marks of my beautiful baby’s masterpiece. Although most of the marks came out, no amount of cleaner and no amount of cleaning pressure can remove them entirely. I went to bed that second day defeated; praying that something magical would happen overnight.

When I faced the chair on that third day…two days before Christmas…no magic had happened. On the verge of frustrated tears, my entire body aware of the soreness in my muscles from two days bent over scrubbing the chair… That’s when I heard it. A whisper that seemed to come from deep within my soul.

Remember.

Remember…? Remember what?!

Redemption.

Redemption. The purpose of Christ. The means by which I have found my salvation. The thing that I am absolutely incapable of providing for myself. The reason for this holiday I have spent so much time and energy planning for my family.

Remember.

And that’s when it hit me. The chair…my chair…is me.

To redeem means “to buy back”, “to free from what distresses or harms”, “to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental”, “to free from the consequences of sin”, “to change for the better”, “to atone for an error”… No matter which definition you choose to assign, it is an action that you perform on behalf of another. None of the definitions for redeem allow for an action performed by you on behalf of yourself.

The chair was not able to protect itself against my daughters’ decision to harm it. It is also not able to redeem itself from the consequences of her actions. The chair cannot change itself for the better, it cannot free itself from the stains that it now bears and it certainly cannot atone for the egregious error it has fallen victim to.

The chair cannot redeem itself; nor can I redeem it. No matter how long or how hard I tried, no matter what tools I used, I was not able to redeem my sweet little chair. I am unable to save it.

That’s the lesson I needed to remember. My sweet little script chair now sits with a covering, a blanket, over its’ side to cover the stains. It sits reminding me of the two most undeniable truths at the foundation of everything I believe: There is nothing I can do to protect myself from the consequences of the human nature I was born into and there is nothing I will ever be able to do to redeem myself from it.

What I can do…what I have been forgetting to do in the midst of a hard year for my family…is to live redeemed. I allowed my circumstances in 2017 to shift my focus away from the fact that I have been redeemed, that I am free to live the dreams in my heart and that I can now live under a covering of grace and unconditional love. That is the assurance that my chosen faith affords me.

Thank God I have a chair!

I am excited to see what 2018 brings for me, my family and my business. I am thankful to every client that sat in my chair in 2017. It was an honor and a true privilege to serve you! I look forward to more opportunities to serve you this year; whether creating custom makeup applications for you or providing skin care and/or treatments. There are some amazing changes coming this year, and I cannot wait to share the upcoming journey with you! So, stayed tuned to find out how you can become a part of My Images’ story in 2018.

Praying you have a blessed and joyful new year!

 

 

Comment

STOP Treating Your "Acne"!

Comment

STOP Treating Your "Acne"!

We've all been there...

That time in our lives when our bodies decide to go crazy with hormone production at the same time our mom finally lets us buy our first real makeup. Then, because we're wearing makeup now, we go to the corner drug store and buy the pretty cleanser with sparkly beads in it because we saw it in a commercial that told us a famous actress uses it (she doesn't!). That moment we look in the mirror and, for the first time, we see little red or white or brown/black dots on our chin and/or forehead. And then...

MOOOOOOMMMM!!!! I have ACNE ALL OVER my FACE!!!!!!!!

Call the presses, post it on social media, search Google, CALL THE DOCTOR...do SOMETHING!!!!

And what is there for our poor moms to do than follow the tide of other moms and order us a popular skin care system specifically designed for people struggling with a real acne condition??

I'll tell you what: STOP TREATING YOUR "ACNE"!!!

Let me clear something up for you... Turning thirteen and getting your first cluster of pimples or blackheads DOES NOT mean that you need an acne system or treatment. Turning twenty-one and getting clusters of pimples on the sides of your mouth and chin DOES NOT mean that you need an acne system or treatment. And turning twenty-eight or thirty and starting to struggle with clusters of pimples popping up on your upper cheeks and between your eyes DOES NOT mean that you need an acne system or treatment.

In the past six years of my certification as a skin analyst, I have only encountered a handful of clients that truly had an acne condition. The beautiful young woman pictured above was one whose senior photo session was my greatest challenge to date as a makeup artist. She was my first client through a new partnership with a local photographer, and when I arrived at her home it took about two seconds for me to realize I was going to have to completely re-build the tone and texture of her face as a result of the damage the acne had done. She had started one of the most intense antibiotic treatments available, and I was challenged with not only smoothing the appearance of her skin, but also creating a layer of SPF protected product that would make it safe for her to be in the sun for the short duration of time she needed to be outside for the photo shoot.

I loved every minute of that appointment!! I also learned one of the best lessons regarding skin care and acne I could have learned at that point in my business: Breakouts and Acne are NOT the same thing. The longer I do this, the more I also learn that the way we treat breakouts as acne can actually cause damage to healthy cells and age the skin. Acne skin care systems and treatments are designed to dry out oil and kill bacteria, and using them for extended periods of time without having a diagnosed acne condition can do more harm than good. That's why most people that start using acne systems don't want to stop; because as soon as they do they experience breakouts and oily skin as their skin cells over-compensate for being too dry! 

SO- How can we know if the blemishes and pimples and bumps we panic about are really acne and not just a temporary breakout?

ACNE is an ongoing condition resulting from dead skin cells getting stuck in hair follicles already struggling with over-producing oil that causes a clog where bacteria can then breed and multiply at a rapid pace. It hasn't yet been determined what exactly causes this process to begin, but once it does it is hard to stop without the help of antibiotics. Acne is not an on again, off again occurrence. It's not a once every few weeks type of thing. It is an everyday battle against bacteria and oil production that always gets worse before it gets better. It is painful and leaves discoloration and scarring on the skin that can take years to correct and/or minimize the appearance of.

BREAKOUTS are an annoyance that cycle on and off again as a result of any number of factors; such as hormones, medications, diet, skin irritants and stress level. It is important to remember that our skin is an organ and part of it's job is to give an exit to toxins and bacteria that our body identifies as dangerous. In short: If our body can't figure out another way to process medicine, hormones, bacteria, viruses, histamines- it pushes it out through our skin.

So before you panic, rush to a self-diagnosis of acne and purchase an acne treatment system; there are quite a few things you can do to prevent breakouts from recurring and help determine whether or not an acne treatment is necessary.

1-  BEFORE you go out and spend money on all new skin care and acne products, try looking in your kitchen pantry and supplements cabinet. There are two natural substances that can help your body get rid of toxins and kill bacteria stuck in the hair follicle: Turmeric and Coconut Oil. You can find a turmeric supplement at your local health food store; it usually comes in a gel cap. Turmeric is a spice used in cooking things like curry, but it is well known for its' de-toxing properties. If you can handle two-four weeks of breaking out (often in more areas than your face), then you will set yourself up to maintain healthy skin, and also better digestion and hormone balance. Coconut oil...one of my all-time favorite natural substances...i use it for EVERYTHING!!! Most women think that if they put an oil on their skin, they will then develop oily skin. NOT TRUE! Coconut Oil has microbial properties that kill bad bacteria. Now, I am not saying to put it on and fall asleep or put makeup on top of it and go about your day! And I am not saying to just grab any kind of coconut oil off the shelf and slather it on. It needs to be a cold expeller pressed, organic coconut oil (found in any grocery store) and you apply it to your skin for no more than an hour before washing it off with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Doing this every night for one-two weeks will yield softer, more supple, clearer skin. It's amazing!

2-  Evaluate your diet. Most women don't realize that their diet is VERY involved in the body's ability to balance hormone production and regulate healthy digestion. An unhealthy gut affects every system in the body! Especially the skin and its' ability to maintain a healthy pH balance and proper oil production. SO- try eating clean for a few weeks! Or forever!! Eliminating processed, pre-prepared, and fast foods will work wonders for your skin and work toward helping your gut maintain a healthier balance.

3-  Avoid irritants and be careful of what touches your skin. The order in which you get ready for your day matters! If you use hair products, body lotions, cheap makeup, a cell phone, hats or headbands, or even just have a bad habit of touching your face throughout the day...you need to be preparing your skin properly and creating a barrier between your skin and its' environment! SO- get a three-part skin care system and use it before you start using things that can irritate and add bacteria to the surface of your skin.

4-  Stop squeezing your pimples, blackheads and nodules!!! Your skin is an amazing organ and has the ability to expel bacteria and toxins on its' own. Squeezing your skin to cause it to "pop" and release the plugged hair follicle damages cells and spreads bacteria. It also causes scarring and discoloration. I know that it's the hardest thing in the world to just let a pimple exist on your face like a target! It really is the best way to deal with them. Splurge on high quality skin care and allow it to do it's job!

5-  Finally: Use skin care products and makeup that are oil free. No sense in adding oil to skin that is struggling to balance its' oil production! It just lengthens the time it takes your breakout to resolve.

If after trying these suggestions your breakout does not resolve or continues to get worse, make an appointment with a skin analyst or dermatologist to get a diagnosis and talk about the best course of treatment for your skin. Do not try to guess and obtain treatment on your own! Making treatment decisions without a consultation is a risk that is not worth taking. A skin analyst or dermatologist will be able to evaluate your condition, taking into account external factors, and recommend a treatment that will give you positive results.

Comment

How to Achieve Skin Care Success

Comment

How to Achieve Skin Care Success

I have learned in the past six years that there are three types of women when it comes to caring for their skin: 1- The woman that takes her makeup off with remover and splashes water over her face in the shower (this was me!), 2- The woman that uses the same soap on her face as on the rest of her body, and 3- The woman that has a drawer full of jars and tubes of every kind of cream and serum that is supposed to "fix" their self-diagnosed skin issue. The underlying problem with each of these approaches is the same:  A simple lack of knowledge.

The role of science in the development of skin care has come so far and provided so much information that we can now create products that far surpass the bar of Dove soap that our grandma's used to use. Now, I don't know about you, but I want something strong to clean all of my special places... However, I don't want to use the same soaps on my face as I do all of those other places. Mostly because I pray that my face is never dirty enough to need such harsh cleansing! 

The skin on our face has a different make up than the skin on the rest of our body. It doesn't have the job of protecting nearly as many vital organs, muscles and bones, so it does not need to be as tough or as thick and strong. It is softer, thinner and more fragile and requires a different kind of care. Science has taught us that damage to facial skin begins at the age of TEN. So, on average, that means that we have at least four years of damage to work through by the time we hit an age that we are even interested in or find ourselves in need of skin care products. It's crazy to think about!

So- What is the best way to care for your face? How can you know that the products you're using will work? How do you avoid having a drawer full of tried products and makeup that will not render you successful in your skin care endeavor?

I'm so glad you asked!

FIRST, YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR SKIN TYPE DETERMINED BY A CERTIFIED SKIN ANALYST. Now, you have two options with this one: You can find a spa or dermatologists office that has an esthetician on staff and pay anywhere from $100-$200, OR you can find a certified skin analyst like those here at My Image that will do a skin scan for a fraction of the cost. It's up to you! Either way, this step is extremely important to choosing the correct type of products. Knowing your skin type (dry, combination-normal, oily) will determine whether or not you will experience success with a skin care regimen. It is important to note here that a skin scan is NOT a medical test and does not have the ability to diagnose skin conditions.

SECOND, YOU NEED TO HAVE ANY POTENTIAL SKIN CONDITIONS DIAGNOSED BY A DERMATOLOGIST. Unbeknownst to many, your skin type and skin conditions are not the same things. Skin conditions are caused by either environmental or genetic factors: i.e. acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, etc. This is one of the greatest benefits to having a skin scan done! The certified analyst or esthetician will be able to refer you to a dermatologist if they see something concerning once you're under the UVA light scan. Knowing if you have a skin condition will help in the process of choosing the healthiest type of products for your specific skin type and condition. Whereas, taking a guess when you notice something on your skin because you googled a photo can lead to damaged skin cells, adverse reactions and additions to your skin care grave yard drawer! 

THIRD, YOU NEED TO OUTLINE AND FOLLOW A SKIN CARE REGIMEN RECOMMENDED BY A CERTIFIED SKIN ANALYST (or esthetician if you'd rather pay for that!). The best benefit to going through steps one and two (if necessary) is having your skin care routine customized for you by someone that knows the types of products that best cater to your specific skin type and condition, if you have one. And when I say routine, I mean a 3-step minimum routine including a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Treatment products are amazing, but not always a necessary fourth step to get started!

Taking the guess work out of choosing products will help ensure your skin care success! When you work with someone that knows what they're talking about and how best to help you, you will save money and stop wasting time. This process will also give you the opportunity to talk about makeup products that will work best with your skin type/condition. Believe it or not: All makeup is NOT the same and there are types of makeup that are designed to work better with one skin type than another. But that is a topic for another blog post!

Hopefully this is helpful! If you have questions, we would love to answer them! Just leave them in the comments section below or contact us. We would love to help you begin a journey to healthier, successful skin care! 

Comment