Shade of Encouragement: I Feel Pretty

You’re beautiful, smart, amazing, and worthy of greatness. Tell yourself these words everyday. Wait for someone else to tell you if you want to, or you can choose to be your own biggest fan. Makeup can make you look beautiful. So can that new black dress and new fancy hairdo. However, if you don’t feel beautiful on the inside everything else is just exactly what I said…..things that make you look beautiful. You have to feel beautiful from within first. That is where it starts. Loving yourself completely and knowing your worth is the beginning of true beauty. Everything you put on the outside will just help enhance the inner pretty that lies within.

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Shade of Encouragement: Be Better…Not Bitter!

We all have experienced heartbreak from a man at one time or another. It happens to the best of us. It’s all part of that emotional thing called love. It’s super easy for us women to become bitter after a bad breakup. The lies, the hurt, the pain that an unhealthy relationship can bring. It can be very discouraging to try love ever again!

In the past after getting out of terrible relationships it took me a while to bounce back. It was hard to trust again after being betrayed and mistreated. I felt that every guy was a dog, and good men no longer existed. I was having a conversation with a guy that I was interested in, and he said to me “Why are you even trying to date? I can’t get to know you with this brick wall you have up. ” Needless to say that didn’t work out!

He was right with what he said. I couldn’t even see the wall l had built around myself, but as a man he could easily. To me it was about trying to protect myself from lying cheating no good men. In reality I was hindering myself from allowing a good, kind, honest man from coming into my life.

I learned that I can date smarter. I don’t have to be quick to trust every guy right away, but still allow myself to open up when I feel it’s right. I was holding on to what men I’ve dated in the past had done, and allowing it to prevent me from finding the love I deserve. I realized that being bitter wasn’t healthy. It was a huge hinderance. I learned that instead of being hurt and bitter to learn, grow, and be better!

I Support the Girls

Lipstick and Bras is all about female empowerment. I Support the Girls does exactly that! This Nonprofit is a true example of how powerful we can be as women when we support, uplift, and look out for one another. I’m very excited to feature this amazing organization and spread the word about the very important work they do!

History and Mission:

I Support the Girls’ founder, Dana Marlowe, lost some weight and needed new bras. While being fitted at a local Soma boutique, she wondered aloud what she should do with her old bras. The saleswoman said, “Homeless women need bras.” Lightbulb moment.

Dana Marlowe-Founder of I Support the Girls
Photography by D. LAG Photography

Dana went home and posted on Facebook, asking family and friends to send her bras and menstrual hygiene products which would be donated to a local shelter. Products poured in and an initial collection of over 7,000 products was donated.


Dana didn’t stop there, knowing how great the need was across the country. Dana established the global nonprofit I Support The Girls (ISTG) in order to help girls and women experiencing homelessness maintain their dignity.

I Support the Girls impact on the women and girls they serve:

In just 4 short years, ISTG has collected and distributed over 4.7 million products, helping over 410,000 girls and women maintain their dignity at 830 global social service organizations. Our model is to establish affiliates (52 in U.S., 4 globally) and work according to our motto: “Collect locally, donate locally.” This means that donors are having a direct impact on the lives of people in their community.
Or as Felicia, a woman experiencing homelessness in Washington D.C. told Dana when she came to a shelter to choose new bras: “When someone believes I’m worth something, I start to feel as though I’m worth something, too.”  

Photography by D. LAG Photography

How you can support:

Providing essentials not only helps girls and women maintain their dignity. It empowers them by enabling them to stand tall and live their lives without worrying about an ill-fitting bra or their period causing financial or physical burdens. 


Financial donations allow ISTG to expand its efforts and help more people experiencing homelessness. Product donations can be brought to your local affiliate and they will be distributed to those needing it in your community.Readers are encouraged to start a drive or collectionhost an eventvolunteer or raise awareness by inviting our staff to come speak at your company, corporate or other event.

What’s in the future ? 

More affiliates, more products collected and distributed, more girls and women maintaining their dignity and feeling empowered. 
Additionally, ISTG will be expanding its advocacy efforts to – advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness – push for schools and public buildings to carry menstrual hygiene products that can be taken for free- campaign for the elimination of the tampon tax across the U.S. Women who are experiencing homelessness often need to choose between tampons or a hot meal.

The tax further hinders their ability to even consider purchasing a box of tampons. Please add your voice and become a strong advocate for women’s dignity and empowerment!

To learn more about I Support the Girls please visit https://isupportthegirls.org/

Shade of Encouragement: If I Can See It

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of a vision board. Over the past few months I’ve heard several people mention the importance of having one. I never thought too much about it, but consistently hearing that it’s worth creating one made me give in. I once heard someone say if you can’t realistically see yourself living the life you want, then don’t even expect it. Makes sense to me!

Yes count me in as a member of the vision board team. Every morning I read my vision board out loud. Not only to put it out in the universe, but to actually hear myself say and speak the things I desire for my life. I find something so empowering in that. Speaking it aloud also gives me motivation to put some things in action. I can read a vision board all day long, but if I’m not putting in the effort to make those desires come to life…they wont! The bible says faith without works is dead. If you plant seeds and don’t water them nothing will grow.

So today I challenge you to start your own vision board. It can consist of pictures, quotes, scriptures, a list of goals, whatever you wan’t to include. Be as creative as you want. Let the board represent what you want for your life. If you can see it you can do it!

Just for Fun: The Shade is Real!

Color means something. Not just whether it matches your skin tone or the look you want to project for the day. Color has a deeper meaning beyond its surface! So take note the next time you’re in the mirror trying to put on that perfect shade.

Red– “Being the color of physical movement, the color red awakens our physical life force. It is the color of sexuality and can stimulate deeper and more intimate passions in us, such as love and sex on the positive side or revenge and anger on the negative.”

Orange– “The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.”

Pink– “The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing.”

Gold- “The color gold is the color of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the psychology of this color implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.”

Purple- “The color purple relates to the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective color, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.”

To read more on colors and their meaning please visit https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psyc 

 

Nadia Shalini

As a Professional Makeup Artist in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, you can definitely say that Nadia Shalini is an expert in the beauty world. With her work being featured in Magazines, BET, MTV, and Cartoon Network just to name a few, Nadia’s experience extends over twenty years. Her work includes editorial, television, bridal, lifestyle, and grooming. If all of that doesn’t make her sound busy enough, add that she is also owner of Blend Beauty Bar in Las Vegas. Nadia is motivation to all of us ladies that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.

Photography by Lexi Gomez

Definition of Success: 

The definition of success to me is consistently working towards and achieving your goals.  If you can do that and maintain and wonderful attitude and have gratitude, success is guaranteed.  I would say some of the sacrifices I have made to get to where I am have to do with how I’ve chosen to spend my time,  I’ve missed family and friend holiday times and other important dates because of prioritizing my career and not wanting to miss work related work. 

Healthy Self Esteem:

This is a tricky one, I do struggle with self esteem and self worth,  especially as a business owner some days I feel like I can handle anything and anyone and other times I second guess every decision I make.  For me it’s been very important to keep a close group of friends and just people whom’s opinions I value around. I also try to look to remind myself of the bigger picture and look back at what I have accomplished.  I do keep a journal that I use more like a checklist of goals, I don’t write in it everyday, but break down what I am trying to do and how I plan on getting there, once I accomplish something I check it off the list, no matter how small,  it helps me to feel productive and that I am trying. I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older at going easy on myself when I don’t achieve a goal or something goes wrong.  

Dating Advice: 

I don’t usually give much advice in this arena, other than to trust your instincts, usually they are right.  As far as dating in 2019 goes, Ladies, let your friends know where you are going when venturing into the world of online dating, it’s better to be precautious these days unfortunately. 

What’s in the future: 

I’d like to grow my business Blend Beauty Bar,  to include more indie, local and environmentally conscience cosmetic and beauty brands.  For me being an educated consumer is very important in today’s market. There are so many products out there all claiming to be the best, unfortunately we can’t always trust what we are told. Doing the research and sharing that info through my business to my customers is what I would like to do and be known for. 

Favorite Shade of Lipstick:

Fav Lipstick shade,  Ruby Roo!

To learn more about Nadia please visit

https://www.nadiashalinimakeup.com/

Shade of Encouragement: Stay in Your Lane

If we focused more on being like ourselves do you realize how much better we would be as women? Our society is so big on keeping up with the Jonses and getting what the person next to us has, that we lose sight of just focusing on our own selves.

Get a bigger house because your best friend just got one, get bigger boobs because yours don’t look like Kim Kardashians, get married because you’re the last of your friends still single, blah blah and blah.

The more we focus on other people and what they have, the less we are focusing on how blessed we are. God has a plan for each and every one of us. An individual plan not a group plan. This ain’t Verizon. Your path is not going to be the same as the woman next to you and hers is not the same as yours. When you learn to stay in our own lane, you will begin to realize that your journey is made just for you. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Lady L.

Photography by Jimmy Goldfingers

Black women make up a very small percentage of the tattoo industry. For Lady L., that wasn’t going to discourage her from showing the world her skills and talent as an artist. With over thirteen years in the industry, and being named “Detroit’s Best Tattoo Artist” three years in a row, her gift and creativity truly speaks for itself . As Founder of Ladies of Ink Tour, Lady L. takes her passion for tattooing on the road traveling the U.S. with a group of black female tattoo artists. Showcasing not just their work, but also female empowerment and the beauty of black women coming together!

Definition of Success:

Success in my eyes is being at peace with your own journey. I feel that people who trust their process (the ups and downs), remain optimistic and work passionately towards their goals are successful. 

In the past I’ve sacrificed rest, time with my family, and self care on the road to success. You have to learn how to balance things in a healthy manner. Entrepreneurship is tough. 

Self esteem:

When you stop comparing your life to others and know you’re valuable and worthy of being loved. Knowing the root of these self esteem issues helps with understanding why they are present and healing from that. Loving, embracing and forgiving yourself is easier said than done at times. 

Dating Advice:

I don’t have all the answers but from my experience I will say “Watch out for the red flags, ladies!”. We see them all the time, a lot of us are empathetic and make excuses for the way we are treated: DONT.  If they aren’t adding value and peace to your life then ask yourself is this a potential headache. Don’t rush at all. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

What’s in the future?

In the future, I see myself as a pioneer for black female artists in the industry. I want to continue to inspire other artists and influence them to pursue their dreams/visions. I see myself owning a female operated tattoo shop based off the Ladies of Ink tour. Im bringing something to the industry that hasn’t been done… it hasn’t been done how I’m doing it. 

Your favorite shade of lipstick 

Nude shades…different brands. 

To find out more about Lady L. visit https://ladyltattoos.com/

Shade of Wisdom: Words from Awesome Women!

I’m a sucker for inspiration. I love reading quotes and positive saying to help keep me motivated. Below are some quotes from amazing women who know a thing or two about success.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” Oprah Winfrey

“My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments – I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret.” Tina Turner

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” Tyra Banks

Find more quotes at www.brainyquotes.com

Shade of Encouragement: A Dance from the Past

It’s often super hard to not let past mistakes and regrets hold us back. The past can be haunting. It can lurk around the corner when we are trying to move away from it. We hold on to it knowing that we should just let it go, but being human we often get stuck in the shoulda woulda coulda. It’s a dance that we dance with ourselves. I’m moving forward but let me step back. Forward forward back back. Wishing we did this differently or said this or done that. Then at the end of our thoughts we realize that there is not a single thing we can do. It’s the past. It’s done and will never return.

Sounds sad right, but in actuality it’s not. Mistakes and regrets from the past can better prepare us for the future. They are life lessons and pearls of wisdom that we now have under our belts because been there done that. You can’t change yesterday, last week, or last year. What you can do is allow those past mistakes and failures to be lessons that you learn, grow, and become better from. Let your past prepare you for a better future!