I Don’t Like Girls

My mother is one of the most loving people I know, but she has never really trusted women. I didn’t grow up in a home where my mom had girlfriends or sorority sisters who came over regularly. I never saw my mom go shopping or take annual girl trips with her friends or even her biological sisters for that matter. This just never happened.

I can remember my mom having two girlfriends that I saw every few years, but never regularly. Even while my mom has sisters, her stance on women remained the same. She would say to me “Pooh Pooh, I don’t trust women. They are always up to no good. I just can’t trust them.” While I never agreed, I could sympathize with her. I understood that her philosophy on women was birthed out of a painful, frustrating, abusive and dysfunctional relationship with her own mother.

Negative experiences with my grandmother deeply wounded her and affected how she related not only to her sisters but also other women who came into her life. Like my mother, many of us have unfortunately had similar relationships with a pivotal female figure our lives. Many of us have had negative encounters with women on the course of our journey that has tainted our view on women. Without an intentional, conscious effort to break this cycle of thinking, we become like my mother and perpetuate a heart of hate and distrust for other women that is passed down from generation to generation.

I learned very quickly that whenever a woman said, “I don’t like women” or “I don’t trust women,” more times than not, this attitude was birthed out of pain that was caused by a woman that they loved. While I never adopted my mother’s philosophy on women, I understood it. I understand how I may have intentionally or unintentionally hurt another woman. I understood it because I too have had my own hurtful encounters with women that I respected and loved. However, I determined in my heart, that I would be a woman who would become a disruption to this type of thinking and relating to other women.

As a woman, I firmly believe that the older I become, the more important it is to have healthy relationships with women. It is important for me to be connected to women who inspire, encourage and challenge me to become a better woman. Relationships with women are so important. The right relationships and divine connections with God-ordained women will change the course of your life. While there are clearly relationships that we become aware of in the Spirit that are unhealthy, there are also relationships that are revealed in the Spirit that are so amazing! The power of being connected to a woman who knows who she is in the Spirit is a gift. These are the women who can be who they are and embrace and bless you at the same time. It doesn’t take anything away from them to love and support you. These are the relationships where envy, jealousy and hatred are not a part of the equation. And if there is ever a time where they rear their ugly heads, they are honestly addressed and dealt with swiftly. These are the relationships in our lives that I believe are sent from God. These are the divine connections that bring forth the best in you and you bring forth the best. These are the mothers, sisters and friends that have been designated to you in the Spirit. They cover, protect and keep you lifted in prayer. They celebrate with you, cry with you and lift you up when you are low. These are the women who have the ability to see you in the Spirit during moments where you are unable to see yourself. They agree with God’s promises for your life and vow to walk with you until they come to pass. These are the midwives assigned for birthing your purpose. These are the women who may have also been hurt by other women, but had the capacity to learn the lesson and move forward. They may have hurt other women but they understand the power of forgiveness and therefore are able to walk without condemnation. They realize that it is a gift to love and honor a woman in friendship. The responsibility for this type of friendship is great and is not easily found.

Who are the women in your life? It is a gift to select the people that we can choose to have in our lives. When we understand this power, we should place a high value on ourselves and the women that we have an opportunity to share and exchange seeds with. We are to also constantly look at ourselves to see how we can be a better mother, sister, friend and supporter to the women we love. It is a mutual exchange of love and support that translates into healthy relationships amongst women that continue from generation to generation.

Fight For Your Fairytale w/ Stacy Ike

O! M! G! Have you heard of the phenom who is none other than Miss Stacy Ike? This young woman has captured the attention of thousands between her YouTube channel, red carpet interviews and most recently her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) show OWN Tonight!

The​ ​Who,​ ​What​ ​&​ ​Why…

She is a native of Houston,Texas who began her journey as an adult when she left Texas to attend college at the University of Missouri with a major in Journalism. She hit the ground running after graduating with her bachelor’s’ degree, but felt as though she wanted more. By January 2014 she took a leap of faith and moved to the city of Los Angeles, California with nothing but dreams of what could be. Stacy knew what she desired to do but honestly did not have a clue what it looked like in reality. She learned what she had a passion for by thinking about all the things she didn’t want to do first. As Stacy put it, “Before you leap make sure your passion is in the right place.”

Stacy, like many in the entertainment industry, has worked restaurant jobs and taken acting classes. During her first year in Los Angeles she met so many great people. She set off to prove to herself how much she wanted the career she desired and it became a challenge to leap and go for her dream. Her determination and faith has helped drive her to push forward every day since she made the choice to move to L.A.

She isn’t ashamed of sharing how instrumental God has been in the opportunities that she has been blessed to have. Stacy was raised in the church. Both of her parents have been and still are heavily involved in church. They taught her how to develop a relationship with God. But, as Stacy put it, you can’t depend on the relationship that your parents helped you to build. There has to be development based on personal interaction between yourself and God. Stacy has definitely had some faith stretching moments since she made a faith move in 2014. She has been able to witness the attributes of God and has learned that other than relationships with her parents and close friends this is the one positive relationship she can depend on. God will always have her front, back, side and everything else.She has developed a confidence in her relationship with him and she has learned from situations when he is moving or not.

The​ ​When​ ​&​ ​How…

Stacy recalled a time where she was offered a job but didn’t’ quite feel right about it in her spirit. She turned the job down. A few days later she was presented with an even better opportunity with SmashBox Cosmetics to do a talk series with influencers. That job was exactly what she was working towards and led to other opportunities for her career from Baller Alert and Regal Cinemas to Tribune Publishing and the Hollywood Reporter.

Interview after interview and assignment after assignment afforded her opportunities of speaking to hundreds of individuals from Snoop to Oprah Winfrey. So how did this young woman go from being the new girl in town working for free to being on OWN Tonight? She was observed doing her craft and was simply asked to come to do just what she practiced doing all the time on a different platform. Yes, it was just that simple. You never know what opportunities God will allow you to be presented with. She was honored by the invitation. Of course she accepted the opportunity to host a show on a network founded by one of her role models.

It was a fun experience getting to ask questions that fans at home wanted to ask the characters of the hit show Greenleaf. She herself being a fan and experiencing the angst from watching the show genuinely had a passion for interviewing the actors and celebrity fans. She shared on the excitement through her social media accounts that the goat, Larry King, contacted her to congratulate and share some wisdom with her. When asked what she has taken from her interaction with Larry and Oprah that she will carry with her throughout her career she stated that they shared with her where she is today is because she worked hard and it was preparation meeting opportunity. It has nothing to do with luck. “While you’re working you have these moments where you think to yourself why am i doing this?,” said Stacy. C.S. Lewis said it best, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” Stacy has found that she is living her fairytale.

Her fairytale wasn’t achieved solely on her own strength and knowledge. She has learned over these last few years the importance of being surrounded with people who know more than she does so she can learn from them. She has been willing to partner and network with others. Stacy still has more fairytale to fight for as her journey continues. She wants to put her acting classes to use as well as complete projects of service work and inspire women through her organization NAOMILiving (Not Afraid of My Imperfections). She wants everything that she does to point back to the purpose God has given her. She even aspires to have her own production company. If something doesn’t point back to a higher purpose than herself then it doesn’t have a point.

The​ ​Golden​ ​Nugget…

Stacy shares nuggets with her followers on a weekly basis doing a segment titled OTS Tuesdays via her YouTube channel and Instagram page. Be sure to check out her blogs from time to time on her website www.stacyike.com. During 2017 she has gone as far as hosting events in person and via social media to share these nuggets as well. When asked if she had any words of wisdom to share with you, our readers, she shared on the importance of starving insecurities and feeding the greatness God has placed within you. Never allow fear of the unknown and unseen to keep you from achieving the purpose that God created you to achieve. Fight for the fairytale!

Like A Boss

The phrase “like a boss” comes to mind when thinking about Delores Balogun. She is vivacious, innovative and chic. This serial entrepreneur is on fire and it’s just the beginning.

Delores is a professional event planner by trade. She studied event planning during her undergraduate career at Illinois State University. The beginning was a little on the rocky side. By her second semester she was failing her classes and placed on academic probation. She didn’t understand how she could go from having a 3.2 grade point average in high school to failing out of college before college really began. Her years of primary and secondary education had not properly prepare her for college. After a meeting with the president of the university, Delores was able to continue attending ISU. After completing her education at ISU she became an event planner for National PTA. It was her responsibility to plan the annual convention and other major events. One event in particular was a bit different than the others. The keynote speaker was former Flotus, Michelle Obama. Her staff took notice of how meticulous Delores was when it came to every detail for the event. So much so, that they inquired if she would be interested in joining an advanced team working the Mrs. Obama planning her events. Two weeks later Delores was working for Mrs. Obama!

Fast forward a bit to 2012 when Ellen Degeneres and Michelle Obama joined with JCPenney to help several hundred girls of military families get ready for prom. Delores was assigned the task of helping these individuals get everything they needed. While interacting with them she couldn’t help but think about how this was a rare experience for the participants. That, paired with her passion for working with girls, inspired her to take action and start iGlow Mentoring in her hometown, Chicago. Delores had planned her first event expecting maybe about 20-25 girls to register. Her expectations were exceeded. She had over 500 girls to attend. iGlow mentoring has taught Delores that there is a strong need for the presence of organizations for girls. Five years later the organization is still going and growing.

The organization recently expanded to a 1,100 square foot office in the downtown area. If you know about urban real estate, that’s a hot commodity. They are currently in the developing stages of Glow boxes as part of the for-profit arm which is a social enterprise to bring money back to iGlow mentoring. There are so many participants in the mentoring program, that they are no longer able to do one-on-one mentor to mentee relationships. They have adopted peer-to-peer mentoring and there is still a waiting list. There are different locations throughout the city of Chicago where the participants come together to meet every other Saturday. iGlow mentoring deals with social/ emotional health, bullying, self esteem, college preparation and exposes the girls to things that aren’t necessarily normal opportunities. The mentees have been exposed to the Joffrey Ballet and visited the McDonald’s headquarters in Illinois. They also have been fortunate enough to have interns. Just this summer, there were 25 paid interns. Delores shared on social media, in excitement,“I love that we hire high school and college girls to work for iGlow during the summer months. For some working with me will be their first job experience. After working for me, they can work for ANYONE!!! Sooo honored to be their leader!!”

You have learned that Delores is an event planner and founder of iGlow, but did you know she has Pumps and Power, which is an organization for faith based for entrepreneurs. The tagline is “Where women, the bible and spirituality meet.” This organization was birthed when Delores started interacting with women who were powerhouses but were beyond disconnected from the church and she believes that the church is the heartbeat of God. The Holy Spirit began to show her what to do about this. She thought it would be something small, as if she hadn’t learned her lesson with iGlow. It started with a couple of dozen women and grew from there. It went from a small group to an organization. They come together once a month and have strategy sessions to reconnect their faith to what they are doing in business. Delores brings in experts, who are believers and nonbelievers, to train them about increase, net worth and business strategies.

At this point you may be wondering what is her secret? Life, sometimes, is the best teacher. When Delores was working in her field as an event planner, she could feel God tugging at her to pull her into entrepreneurship. She wanted to do it, but thought she was still too young and maybe in her late 30’s or 40’s she would that jump. Well, here she was employed for a university in Chicago. She was a hard worker and over achiever who was fired…yes, FIRED. They gave her a nice package of several months salary, but for someone who thrived off of staying busy and completing tasks, she was hurting. “Sometimes when you love God so much and you’ve literally molded your entire life around pleasing, serving and loving God when things happen to you that feel unfair and unjust you feel like how did you let that happen to me,” said Delores.

She was looking for something to do. God was trying to show her that her wealth was inside of her but she wasn’t listening. Everything she applied for, she was either overqualified or asking too much for salary. iGlow was a well oiled machine and didn’t need her for any day to day operations. Everyday she would wake up quoting scriptures. God began imparting wisdom and doing character changes for the next level he was moving her to. Eventually, she found another job working for a mega ministry with multiple churches world-wide. She was running events and knew this was what God called her to do. She was getting people together for the kingdom. After seven months, they had to lay her off due to budget issues. While they couldn’t afford to keep her on salary, they offered her a position to stay on as a consultant. After toying around with the idea for a while, Delores declined. As she began to make moves as an entrepreneur, God began to bless her with a $20,000 contract here and an $80,000 contract there. Delores’ nature was to make plans and focus on the details. She really just wanted God to share the plan with her so they could work on it together. She quickly learned this was an area where she was going to have to learn to trust God and put on her blinders.

Things became clearer for Delores last year. In 2016 she stayed off of social media for six months. She zoned in with God and shut out the noise. She began attending therapy and spending time in devotion. She read books addressing things she struggled with such as rejection and abandonment. This was the turning point for her and the more she became focused on the purpose God had given her to inspire girls and women globally, she was able to say no to the things that were not relative. Delores has had some big no’s. She doesn’t share them all, but this year, she turned down an Executive Pastor position for a well known ministry in the United States as well as a major corporation who requested to meet with her to hire her as the Senior Vice President of event planning. Could life get anymore exciting? Delores put it best, when you are anointed, favor will chase you down. When Delores learned to turn things down, things began to change for the best.

Delores simply feels unstoppable. Her experiences have shaped her thinking to another level. She has employees, interns, clients,mentees and more who are looking to her. She believes the purpose God has given you, can protect you from what you can’t see and keep you from falling down a path that isn’t ordained for your life. People hit bumps in the road and choose if they will and will not recover. Delores knows that life is a fight. She wants people to know that because you love Jesus and he loves you doesn’t mean it won’t be a fight, but it’s a fixed fight.

 

Dear Joy…

What once was a title to be had in shame is now raised on a banner in hero status and that title is being a single mother. Yasira Sonnier knows all too well the tale of being a single mom. Her first marriage resulted in divorce and she found herself being a single mother of two young boys. She found herself being a college graduate without work experience because she was a stay at home wife and mother.

At the age of 28 her first job paid seven dollars per hour. To make budget for bills and other finances Yasira found a second job that paid eleven dollars per hour. Their father was active in their lives, but she was the primary caretaker and desperately wanted to be all things to her children. She struggled with not being enough for her children. The new responsibility of providing for her own home as well as her children was a curve ball of emotional distress.

 

Thanks so much for posing your question. First I want to commend you for desiring and striving to succeed in your marriage. I also understand the need to keep some of your marital details private.

Regarding the current situation, I personally believe this is a test for you. This situation is a tool that can be used to help you mature in the Lord and thus be a better you. It’s time for you to make a shift. It’s time for change to take place within you, your way of thinking, your personality, and your identity. This may be uncomfortable, but this is exciting.

First, make the decision to trust your husband. Say it out loud – “I trust my husband”. Don’t trust him based on whether he deserves your trust or earned your trust. Actively make the decision to trust him – no matter what. Then cease the snooping. I understand why you snoop and I’m not judging, but let’s move on from this step in your test. Don’t beat yourself up, just move off the snooping onto the next step. If you need to know something, it will find you; you do not have to search for it.

You stated you want to believe in your marriage and continue to move forward. Then, do just that…believe in your marriage and be happy. You have no new, justifiable reason not to. I suggest you don’t bother your husband with your suspicions if there is no tangible reason to do so. It will only aggravate him and cause turmoil for you both.

After you DECIDE to trust your husband, then turn the attention to your prayer life and spiritual walk with God. Like I stated earlier, this is about you. Make a prayer commitment. I’m not sure what your prayer life is like, but start small. Commit to 5 minutes first thing in the morning. It may not sound like much, but it’s powerful. Take your concerns to the Lord and ask Him to help you. Find a book that deals with trusting God. Check your filter and go on a fast. What are you feeding yourself? Are you watching and listening to things that do not benefit you spiritually? You can fast from food or you can fast from things like social media or anything that does not strengthen your relationship with God. Take a break from those things. Remember, when you take away these things you have to fill the holes with something spiritually beneficial. Attend regular church services and additional sources like bible study or Sunday School. Whether you attend a church you are excited about or not, go expecting to hear from God and God will give you what you need. Sometimes He gives a big dose of what you need and sometimes it’s a small dose, but go expecting.

You have to arm yourself with tools to overcome the growing suspicion in your head. If you don’t actively arm yourself, you will succumb to the thoughts and feelings and make a mess of things.

Your lack of trust in your husband is parallel to the holes in your trust in God. Fill your holes with trust in God and it will automatically rectify the trust barriers with your husband. This is an awesome opportunity for you to become more awesome! I hope you take advantage.

May God bless you with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding;

Joy to the World

Yasira Sonnier Moving Forward

What once was a title to be had in shame is now raised on a banner in hero status and that title is being a single mother. Yasira Sonnier knows all too well the tale of being a single mom. Her first marriage resulted in divorce and she found herself being a single mother of two young boys. She found herself being a college graduate without work experience because she was a stay at home wife and mother.

At the age of 28 her first job paid seven dollars per hour. To make budget for bills and other finances Yasira found a second job that paid eleven dollars per hour. Their father was active in their lives, but she was the primary caretaker and desperately wanted to be all things to her children. She struggled with not being enough for her children. The new responsibility of providing for her own home as well as her children was a curve ball of emotional distress. She wasn’t prepared.

Not knowing where to turn, she decided to run from the discomfort. She and her children moved around bouncing from Texas to New York and North Carolina. She moved around hoping each time things would get better and it would be a come up, but things only seemed to get worse. She didn’t have the assistance from a community of family or friends for her children and lost employment because of absences due to caring for her children. She recalls one instance when she and the boys were all ill with the flu and had to be hospitalized.

Eventually Yasira found herself moving back to Houston,Texas and slowly piecing her life back together. She was able to create a family through friends and began attending Lakewood Church with senior pastor Joel Osteen. “Joel and Victoria say give them a year of your life and they will change everything. I was able to commit to God and work hard,” said Yasira.

After some time she rejoined the dating scene but was careful not to bring anyone around her children and home if it were not serious. After some time she befriended a gentleman and as a year passed, their relationship blossomed. Yasira observed his actions and how he cared for her children. She felt that he cared for them as if they were his own. He even waited for her children to be comfortable with their relationship before asking to marry her. They have been married for two years now.

She experienced quite a few challenges trying to tackle life on her own and harnessing emotions within. Doing so only caused her to be withdrawn from the world. Once she began to let go and welcome others into her life, God was able to heal her heart from hurt and she was able to love again. She strives now to share her testimony with other women to encourage them during those rough moments that she knows all too well.

Yasira has done different workshops for women in her community to teach various topics, from the importance of having a spiritual relationship with God and self love to managing finances and sharing about single parenting. She helps them find resources for different services that they need and encourages them to continue to move forward with their lives as they experience the ups and downs of being a single mother. She is currently working on a how to book for single moms to share many of these tips from her workshops and will soon be leading a group for single mothers at her church.

Yasira’s advice to women who are in a difficult season of their lives and don’t see their way out is to pray and trust that God has a way of timing everything. You may never know the reason why but later God will reveal why he allowed things to work out the way that they did.

LaKeisha Bowling, Wounded to Wonderful

Domestic Violence…. Two words labeling actions that many of us have experienced or know of someone who has experienced it. BUT, WE DON’T DISCUSS IT! We talk about sex, drugs, divorce, dating, debt, politics, traveling and who knows what else. For some reason, abuse is a topic that too many churches leave untapped.

I was recently granted the opportunity to chat with a domestic violence survivor, LaKeisha Bowling, who has found the courage to share her testimony this year after holding back for over a decade.

-How Did We Get Here?-

LaKiesha was raised in a very small town in the state of Virginia. Just to let you know how small, she says it only had one stop light. She was brought up in a two-parent home until, her parents divorced when she was eight years old. Clearly not long enough to witness the ups and downs of a relationship and the love that bonds a couple together. As an adult, she mentally revisited that time in her life and realized that she felt abandoned. Her mom found other interest and her father was distant. She felt as though she was left in the cold. Well, you can imagine the next line… she was looking for “love” in all the wrong places.

LaKeisha was looking for love to be shown to her in some way from someone and because of the lack of foundation being taught and shown love through word and action, she accepted what was given to her. She didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like and went from broken relationship to broken relationship. By the age of 18 was involved in a cycle of being in an abusive relationship with someone who physically abused her time after time.

-Destined Duo-

At the age of 22, during the second abusive relationship in her life, she was living in the state of Virginia. Needing childcare for her children she found the home day care of Pam Fisher. Little did she know, God had set a divine appointment.

The irony of LaKeisha and Pam meeting is that, just prior to her settling into a new life, Pam had been praying for God to open a door to sell her home, and purchase a larger residence for her home daycare. She had a realtor, but couldn’t find a house to her liking. After some time, God answered and told her to run her business in home as she already had. Her instructions were to extend into her garage. Pam followed the leading of God. Little did they both know; their lives would change after meeting each other.

LaKeisha recalls being frail at this time. She was a mother of two now. She would come to the daycare wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants in summer weather and would keep her sunglasses on inside to cover up bruises. She remembers moving slowly at times because she would be sore from an abusive episode from the night before.

She doesn’t believe that her children witnessed her abuse visually, but thinks that they may have heard it. Even with her efforts of going as far as stuffing a sheet or towel at the foot of her door to muffle the sounds. “Listen, it is a craft to learn how to scream silently. Inside. When someone has put your hand inside of a drawer and slammed it on your hand and you have to scream within yourself, you become a master of those things so you won’t wake your children, so you won’t scare them,” said LaKeisha. So many times, she thought she would lose her life and her children would come home and find her dead.

Pam didn’t impose on what was going on with LaKeisha. She didn’t tell Pam what was going on. Growing up in a home where physical abuse occurred, Pam noticed the signs. As a childcare provider, Pam has learned that the behavior of the child usually signals activity that takes place in the home. The real tell was witnessing the behavior of LaKeisha’s children at the daycare. One of the children would have constant episodes of hitting and yelling.

Pam simply took an approach of loving on LaKeisha and her children as God gifted her to do. She complimented LaKeisha by letting her know she was beautiful, she gave nuggets of support and encouragement as moments would allow. Pam was very careful not to constantly hammer her with statements like “when are you going to leave him,” or “don’t you know you deserve better.”

LaKeisha credits Pam for being a loving friend to her and her children during this season of her life. She could feel the love radiate from Pam. As time went on, their friendship blossomed and Pam was there for her in those moments when she would get fed up with the abuse. Pam has shown up at Lakeisha’s home and stood between LaKeisha and her abuser (professional athlete) telling him to leave her home. LaKeisha recalls a time when Pam and other friends came to her home to help her and her children gather their items to put in storage and move. LaKeisha had no place to go, so Pam opened her home to them in their time of need.

Pam became LaKeisha’s best friend. She stuck by her to help her through the moments of loneliness. For instance, there was a time when LaKeisha showed up at Pam’s’ front door with her children in the middle of the night so she wouldn’t go back to her abuser because she longed for companionship.

-Renewed-

LaKeisha’s family introduced her to Christ during her childhood but during her time of healing she had to get through her emotions of anger and disappointment towards God. LaKeisha witnessed Pam moving forward in her life and took queues and moved forward on her own spiritual journey. Pam had recently made a vow to be celibate until marriage and was growing in her daily walk. She takes joy in knowing that God was able to use her journey to inspire LaKeisha and show her that a relationship with a man cannot fill a void the way God can.

 

After some time LaKeisha began watching Christian television programs and reading Christian books. She felt that God’s presence made her feel a way that no one else could make her feel. Eventually she found a church and began attending services. She recalls an encounter with the Pastor when they told her “you are in a pit and the dirt is over the top of you.” The pastor was speaking to the hurt that LaKeisha had inside of her. LaKeisha couldn’t understand how God had allowed her to be in three abusive relationships. She thought maybe God didn’t love her. She didn’t know what she had done to keep attracting men who treated her the way that they did.

Over time God began to deliver LaKeisha from the hurt she had experienced and the feeling of loneliness. She was able to gain strength from God’s unconditional love. LaKeisha’s self-esteem increased and she no longer looked for men, children or anyone else to feel a void in her life. She had the love of Jesus.

-Inspired to Inspire-

A little over a year ago LaKeisha married and decided to take a break from social media for a year. God began to deal with her about sharing her testimony to be an encouragement to others. LaKeisha wanted to empower men and women who have been in or are in similar situations and let them know, “You don’t have to stay in this situation, love is out here and it comes from yourself. You have to get your healing and deliverance.” She knows that you may feel invisible, but you can fly. Whether it be domestic violence or even a struggle that you are trying to overcome, you can do it.

In just a few months LaKeisha has gone from telling her testimony of domestic violence through a Facebook live video to coming across a request from a woman who was looking for stories of domestic violence survivors to get them compiled for a book. She responded, and now her story along with others will be released in a book titled Wounds to Wisdom…The Survivor Series Volume 2 on October 7th. There will be a gala held in Atlanta, Georgia in celebration of the release.

 

Waterproof Goes Poof

Welcome Back Beauties! Let’s just jump right in! As promised, I said I would come back with a full review of Mac Prolong Wear Foundation and Concealer. Welp, here it goes! I put my MAC products to the test utilizing MAC Prep + Prime and MAC Fix + as the base and setting spray. I put my products to the test in the good ‘ole Southern Illinois heat. This particular evening, the temperature was right at about 100 degrees and the humidity was just, DISRESPECTFUL. I must say, I waited until the very last minute to apply a very neutral full face of makeup because I knew I was taking a chance. I looked very good in the car on my 25-minute drive to my destination, snapped a couple of selfies. Everything was great!

Stepped out of my car and the drama began! I felt the perspiration beading up on my face, I desperately attempted to fan my face as I stood outside in the shade, but blistering heat, nonetheless. One gentleman asked me if I needed a napkin, I politely declined (mind you, I hadn’t seen my face yet). I had had a conversation with a young lady that was holding a camera, etc. SHE DID NOT SAY A WORD (insert angry face, aren’t we supposed to help each other out!?) I felt the beadlets rolling, but I tried to remain optimistic, praying that my face wasn’t melting, but clearly….clearly, it was. Lights, camera, action, my face was plastered across the jumbotron as I sang. I also didn’t have my phone to check my face or to capture the damage. One hour of sweating for 2 minutes of a song and COMPLETE HUMILIATION! I immediately exited stage right, to the restroom, to get a look at my face. Screaming. Hollering, Melted Chocolate! I mean, turn the hot blow dryer on a chocolate candy bunny and let it burn, baby.

With that being said, it was horrible. So, I vigorously blotted. Waterproof!?….#issajoke in my young voice. I’m not going to completely slam the product though. In my opinion, it is effective as long as the temperature is not above the mid 80’s and the humidity is not extremely high. After I blotted my face, there was still remnants of my makeup on my face`. The company could work on increasing the shade range, which anyone who is extremely fair or deep in tone can attest to with beauty products in general. This product is still about a 3 on a scale of 1-5 in my book. I will wear this product again, because I paid for it. I also like the coverage and the matte finish. BUT, this is exactly why I typically do not wear any makeup during the summer months.

Moving right along! Let’s talk eyes and eyeshadow. Eyeshadow is important. Just as important as eyebrows. We’ve seen it applied in the most simplistic and beautiful ways and in the most creative, artistic formats. Truth be told, we’ve also seen it look a mess! I am, personally, a fan of both simplistic and artistic forms of eyeshadow. Before we talk about creativity or lack thereof, we need to talk about making your eyeshadow last and how to make them pop. (sidebar) Eyeshadow should be applied to your eyes based on your specific eye shape and the amount of eyelid space you have. It takes a very skilled hand to apply certain looks to eyelids that can be challenging, ie., hooded lids and/or monolids.

Have you ever heard of, seen, or used eyelid primer? Well, it’s your best friend! Eyelid primer adds longevity, life and vibrancy to your eyeshadow. Eyelid primer can be purchased at any beauty supply, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Ulta or Sephora, online too. Eyelid primer can be affordable or quite expensive. Ranging from a couple of dollars, up to high double digits for higher end brands. Some people even use concealer as eyelid primer. Whichever base you choose to prime your eyelids, you must set your base with a neutral shade setting powder/ or a translucent setting powder, then proceed with your eyeshadow application.
Eyelid primers that I have personal experience with that I prefer are: E.L.F. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, Sally Girl Eyelid Primer (Sally’s Beauty Supply). L.A. Girl Pro Conceal, Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
What happens if I don’t use eyelid primer?

Have you ever applied your eyeshadow and wondered why you had what appeared to be a beautiful color in the pan? Or you’ve applied your shadow and it did not apply evenly or smoothly? Better yet, have you applied your shadow and after a few hours, it is oily and creased? How about, you applied your eyeshadow and it is barely visible? That is the direct result of zero eyelid primer. It is a must if you want to keep your eye look fresh. Give it a try! You will thank me later.
In my next submission, we will build on how to create a good base color when applying bright colored shadows. Until next time!