Life Is Like a Tub Full of Glitter

2000-01-01 00.16.00

You’re kinda like a tub full of glitter.

Think about glitter. Isn’t it beautiful?! It’s mesmerizing! When I see a huge tub of glitter at the craft store, it makes me want to pour it out onto the floor and roll around in it! (Just kidding. No. I’m really not.)

But what is so special about glitter? Wikipedia explains how glitter is made: “First, flat multi-layered sheets are produced combining plastic, coloring, and reflective material such as aluminum, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and bismuth oxychloride. These sheets are then cut into tiny particles of many shapes.” Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. I know. I know. I didn’t meant to throw a boring definition at you…but a few things caught my attention. Stay with me.

1. Did you notice that glitter isn’t just made of one color or type of material? If I just cut up tons of tiny pieces of pink construction paper, would it even come close to the beauty of glitter? Heck no. I don’t want to roll around in a pile of pink pieces of paper. Well, I think it’s important to remember that people are kinda like that. Let me explain. There’s diversity in God’s creation. When He made you, he didn’t intend for you to be an exact copy of someone else. He made you to be you. Only you can be you. If you try to be something different, it’s kinda like telling God that His idea and His creation isn’t good enough. Yikes. Ain’t nobody wanting to do that!

2. When glitter is made, the materials get cut into several different shapes. They don’t just cut out tiny squares. They cut the materials into squares, circles, hexagons, octagons, etc. Well, you’re kinda like that. There’s more to who you are than just one thing. For example, if you play soccer, you’re not JUST a soccer player. Maybe you also have a really good voice and you enjoy singing in the church choir. Or maybe you’re an amazing student. Maybe you’re known for your kindness. Maybe people stop you in the store to comment on your beautiful hair. See? Who you are as a person, is a COMBINATION of the gifts, talents and character traits God has given you. It’s all those things coming together that make you beautiful.

3. I saved the best for last. What REALLY makes glitter stand out? Did you catch the part about using reflective materials? Do you know what reflective means? What happens when you look in a mirror? You see your reflection. What happens when you shine a light at something that is reflective, like aluminum foil? The light bounces off. What if you shine a light as something that has several reflective sides? The light bounces off in a bunch of different directions! It’s beautiful! Ok. Ok. Ok. Here’s the good part….as a child of the KING, you were made to reflect HIS IMAGE. It’s beautiful! As humans, we aren’t so beautiful on our own. We are actually bent toward sin. We are bent toward selfishness. We are bent toward pride. Bottom line…we are bent toward ugliness, not beauty. But there’s nothing more beautiful than the image of Jesus. And when we put our faith in Him, He gives us HIS image. He gives us HIS Love. He gives us HIS joy. He gives us HIS peace. He gives us HIS patience. He give us HIS kindness. He gives us HIS goodness. He gives us HIS faithfulness. He gives us HIS gentleness. He gives us HIS self-control. It’s beautiful!

My sweet friends, God wants you to be you, not someone else. He wants you to discover, enjoy and be confident in all the different aspects of who you are. And finally, He wants you to grow in Him, so you begin to look like His beautiful Son.

 

Why Are You Here?

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like doing something if I don’t know the reason WHY I’m doing it. Conversely, I would say most of us can do just about anything if we understand WHY it needs to be done. If you contracted some strange, life-threatening illness, and you knew the only cure was simply eating brussels sprouts for breakfast everyday, do you think you would do it? Of course you would! You see, the WHY matters.

 

So, I’m about to throw a deep question at you:

 

Why are you here? Sure. God made you. But why? WHY did he make you?

 

Stop. Don’t you dare read any further until you have actually thought about the question.

 

Well, like any good Sunday School teacher, I’m gonna tell you the answer. Isaiah 43:7 tells us we were created for his glory. “Everyone who is called by my name, WHOM I CREATD FOR MY GLORY, whom I formed and made.” In I Peter 4, it points out WHY we serve and obey the Lord: “In order that in everything, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 implores us: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Romans 11:36 reminds us: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” The Westminster Shorter Catechism simply explains that our whole life’s purpose, or “chief end of man” is “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

 

Ok. So, you’re probably wondering “what is ‘glory,’ exactly?” John Piper explains that “glory” is a lot like the word “beauty.” We know what beauty is, but it’s hard to define. Like Piper, I’ll use examples to explain the concept of glory. Glory is staring at the ocean and not being able to see where it ends. Glory is nailing your dance routine at competition. Glory is making the winning three-point shot on the buzzer, and sending your team to Nationals. Glory is getting a “hat trick” in a soccer game. Glory is seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. Get it?

 

Well, God’s glory is astounding. As mere humans, we can hardly wrap our minds around all that makes Him glorious. Everything about Him is glorious. His love is never-ending. That’s glorious. He is all-powerful. That’s glorious. He is an intricate creator. That’s glorious. He is gracious and merciful. That’s glorious. He is completely Holy. That’s glorious. He is always righteous. That’s glorious. He is awe-inspiring. That’s glorious. I could go on and on. But it’s more than that. I like the way Piper sums it up: “God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.” He is GOD.

 

So, how do you, a mere human, give Him any glory? Ok. So, theologians could write volumes about this subject. But for today’s purpose, I want to focus on the simple answer. Again, I’m gonna steal from Piper: “He created us to display his glory, that is, that his glory might be known and praised.”

 

When you pass by your favorite store window and it’s filled with adorable new outfits of the season, don’t you look at your friend and say “Isn’t that cute!?” Or, when your mom makes your favorite dessert, you might tell her “Thanks, mom! It was delicious!” When you are one of the firsts to see the amazing movie that just came out, you probably tell your friends: “Oh, it’s the best! The music was incredible! You have to go see it!” Do you get my point? When you see something glorious, you talk about it! You say what you think about it! You persuade others to love it too! It’s the same way with God.

 

The more you know Him, the more you love Him. The more you love Him, the more you recognize Him for who He is. The more you recognize Him for who He is, the more you’re compelled to tell Him how awesome He is. The more you tell Him how awesome He is, the more He changes you to be like Him. The more you become like Him, the more you DO in His name. The more you do in His name, the more people see a difference in you. The more people see a difference in you, the more opportunities you have to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Glory! It’s not about YOU. It’s about HIM.

 

Today’s post is about worship. In the above paragraph I basically explained what it means worship the Lord. But in our world, we’re guilty of worshiping far more than just God. Worship is making something a big deal in your life. It is what you appreciate and adore. Naturally, the things you love become the things you give time and attention to. They become the things you talk about. They’re the things you think about when you go to sleep and the first things you think about in the morning. You might even become a slave to those things. In essence, you worship anything that consumes your thought, attention, conversations, money, time and actions. If the things we worship aren’t God, they are idols. Can you think of any examples from your own life?

 

God not only made you to worship Him, He WANTS you to worship Him. It’s interesting to me, that God uses the story of the Samaritan woman to tell us that he wants our worship. He even goes further and tells us what true worship is like. Go ahead. Stop and read John 4:1-42.

 

Again, entire sermons are devoted to this passage, but for this post, I want to zero-in on verses 23 and 24. “…true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”

 

Right worship MUST have the right focus. I said it before. I’ll say it again. Worship is NOT about you. It’s about God. Worship is about the TRUE GOD of scripture. Worship CANNOT be about the god you imagine, or the god you want, or the god our culture ignorantly tries to define. You must KNOW your God to worship Him!

 

If you are a believer, then the Spirit of the Living God lives in you. The Holy Spirit points you to Truth and makes you understand God’s Word. The Spirit draws you into a deeper relationship with God. Read His word. It’s “alive and active.” Know Him. The more you know Him, the more you’ll love Him! Worship is just natural at that point. Well, I guess I should say “supernatural!”

 

So much more could be said about worshiping “in Spirit and in truth,” but I’ll make one more point that I think will hit home with you. It took me forever to finally get this one. God wants you to be honest with Him. Be real with Him! He already knows everything about you anyway! He knows every hair on your head. He knows your thoughts. Most importantly, He knows your heart. Come to Him as you are. Don’t try to pretend with Him. If you don’t understand something about Him or his Word, ask Him! If you don’t feel head-over-heels in love with Him, ask Him to give that to you! If you’re at church, and you look around at people who seem to feel so moved by singing praise songs, and you don’t understand why you don’t feel the same way, then ask Him!!!! To love and adore him, you must really, really know Him, and it’s HIS SPIRIT that makes you know Him. Don’t you think he would LOVE to give you that!? Of course He does! He wants nothing more than to fill you with an overflowing love for Him. Luke 11:13 tells us “…how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” James 4:2 says “you do not have because you do not ask.”

 

Do you want to fulfill your purpose? Do you want to REALLY live as you were created? Know Him. Love Him. Adore Him. Study Him. Serve Him. Ask of Him. Sing to Him. Give thanks to Him. Talk about Him. WORSHIP HIM.

 

Woman-feeling-free,-happy-and-loved-in-a-beautiful-natural-setting-at-sunet-913182366_3865x2580

The Walmart Challenge!

Glitter has been challenged!  Watch the video for proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look cute!

 

 

Here are the budget-friendly looks we put together from Walmart!

 

Danskin Gray Sweatshirt = $5Athletic Works Performance Tee = $5.44.png

Link for Tee

Link for Capri Pants

 

 

Wonder NationSwim Suit = $8.84Wonder Nation Cover Up.png

Link for Cover Up

Link for Swimsuit

 

 

 

No BoundariesTrucker Hat = $6.97Time and Tru Stripe Tank = $3.94No Boundaries Jean Shorts = $9.92

Link for Trucker Hat

Link for Tank Top

Link for Shorts

 

 

Wonder Nation Top and Shorts Set = $14.22Time and Tru Sandals = $9.88OutfitTotal Cost = $34.10

Link for Sandals

 

 

Time and Tru Top = $8.88No Boundaries Shorts = $9.92No Boundaries Backpack = $19.97Piranha Sunglasses = $10

Link for Shorts

 

 

wonder nation top

Link for Jeans

 

 

Time and Tru Top = $8.88.png

Link for Top

Link for Jeans

Link for Backpack

 

Athletic Works Sweatshirt = $6.74Athletic Works Top = $5.44Athletic Works Capris = $7.84Outfit Total Cost = $20.02

Link for Sweatshirt

Link for Top

Link for Capris

 

No Boundaries PJ

Link for PJ Top

Link for PJ Bottoms

 

 

(On Ava)Athletic Works Sweatshirt-3

Link for Sweatshirt

Link for Shorts

 

*We hate that EC wasn’t able to model more of our outfits! The weather didn’t cooperate with us on Challenge Day! Boo! We love our EC!

Mrs. Amy’s Value Store Shopping Tips

Shopping on a budget can be done! Follow Mrs. Amy’s tips for shopping at value stores like Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx, etc.

 

Women and shopping

 

Study the Splurge

Before you go shopping at value stores, spend some time “studying” your favorite boutiques and high-end shops first. Take notice of new trends or the type of things that stand out to you. Then, when shopping in the value stores, keep your eyes peeled for similar items. A perfect example was the black backpack we found in our Walmart Challenge. Ava and I LOVE Madewell bags, and the one we found is almost identical to the splurge backpack we’ve been drooling over. It was less than 1/4 of the price of Madewell’s version! Not too bad!

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Break Up Sets or Alter Items

Sometimes the value stores go a little overboard in the design department. A good example was the blue tie-dye top we featured in the Walmart Challenge. That top originally came with coral leggings with matching tie-dye bows at the ankles. Ummm…That’s a bit much. So, we used the top and paired it with simple white jeans! Perfecto! Let’s go back to the black backpack. We altered it. It originally came with a silver glittery luggage tag thingy hanging off of it. Again…just a bit much. So, we cut it off to make it look more like our favorite Madewell version! Less is more.

 

Be Picky!

You need to say “no” more than you say “yes,” when shopping in value stores. Shop with a critical eye, but not so critical that you can’t see potential. You just don’t want to get blurry vision when your shopping in value stores. It’s kinda like seeing a mirage in the dessert. After you’ve been in Walmart too long, everything kinda starts looking weirdly cute. Lol. But seriously, don’t buy every single thing that has potential. Be choosy.

 

Mix It Up

Value shopping is a science. The key to nailing it, is mixing your budget items with your splurge items. Everything in your closet doesn’t need to come from boutiques, but mixing in nicer pieces will keep your overall wardrobe looking more high-end.

 

Know What to Invest In

We think it’s better to have a few, well put-together outfits, than a closet full of random stuff. With that said, it’s important to know which items to spend more money on. Splurge on items that will go with multiple looks. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, have a really nice pair of jeans that are versatile. Invest in shoes that will go with almost everything. You could have a nice top or two to go with those jeans, but most of your tees, bags and jewelry could be bought on a budget. Spend on items you’ll use every day. We suggest not spending on trendy items if you can avoid it. Trends come and go quickly, so you don’t want to have a lot invested in them.

Winter Favorite Things Giveaway

 

winter giveaway.JPG

 

Before we say “goodbye” to winter, we hand-picked some of our favorite items of the season for a fun reader giveaway!

 

Don’t worry, if you aren’t the lucky winner. We’ve got you! We shared links!

 

Our first pick is the light box! How fun are these, ya’ll!? Every bedroom deserves a little lit-up inspiration, right? We bought ours from Target, but fell in love with this one from Amazon. It has colored emoji tiles!!!! Eeek!

We admit….we are a little obsessed with cute water bottles. We loved the look of this marble Swell bottle as soon as we laid eyes on it! They come in two sizes. The one in our giveaway is the larger size, but it’s a bit pricey! If you want the look without the investment, get the smaller one! The link here is for the more petite, wallet-friendly version!

We have fallen in LOVE with music artist Hollyn. Her lyrics are on-point and the music is just fun, fun, fun! We’ve danced in the car to Can’t Live Without You many times this season!

Next up…scrunchies. What can we say about scrunchies? Mrs. Amy has had a difficult time embracing this hair accessory come-back from the 90’s, but the trend is here! So, why not have an adorable blush-colored, fuzzy one! We found ours at Urban Outfitters, but found this one at a much better price!

Who doesn’t love Essie nail polish? We chose the color “Mademoiselle.” We love that it’s pink, but not too pink. It is the perfect finish for a natural look!

This was the winter of beanies, right?! Didn’t we all just wish for a beautiful snow day, so we could snap a pic in our pom-pom beanies?! Lol.

We are head-over heels for the “Amazing Grace” products by Philosophy. The scent is light, fresh and feminine.

We get a kick out of anything with critter faces! The soft, fuzzy tall socks we found at Target are perfect for chilly nights, but we’ll be caught in these year-round!

We’ve shared the link here:

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-2pk-cozy-knee-high-xhilaration-153-white-one-size/-/A-52648480

 

Lastly, we love finding hand-made products, and these “diamond” earrings by CaramelaHandmade are absolutely fun and adorable!

Here’s the link to the Etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CaramelaHandmade?ref=l2-shopheader-name

 

To enter to win the giveaway:

  1. Follow us on Instagram @glittertweenandteen
  2. Tag 3 friends in the comments of the Winter Giveaway post.

We will draw the winner on Monday, February 26 and private Instagram message that person. They will have 24 hours to respond before we draw again.

 

Ava’s Makeup Routine and Favorite Products

I’ve had a few people ask about my makeup lately. So mom and I thought we’d share my makeup routine with links to our favorite products. Let’s look inside my makeup bag!

First, start with a clean face! Putting makeup on top of a dirty face is never a good idea. Not only will your makeup not settle in correctly, you are also in danger of clogging up your pores and causing breakouts.

Now, we’re ready.

It might seem backwards, but my mom says to do most of your eye makeup before you do the rest of your face. This will keep any eyeshadow dust from ruining your face makeup!

I start by blending in a little eyeshadow primer on my eyelids. A tiny dot will do. Just gently dab and blend it with your fingertips.

Here’s the eyelid primer I use:

Next, we use a neutral, sorta shimmery eyeshadow. It’s just enough to make my eyes pop! If it’s a special occasion, or I want to look a little dressier, my mom will help me use a darker color in the outer corner of my eye and blend it a bit in my eye crease. We also use the darker eyeshadow for eyeliner.

Here’s my every day eyeshadow. I use the gold:

We use this eyeshadow palette for special occasions:

For eyeliner, we use a thin, flat, angled brush like this one:

After eyeshadow, we push the pause button on the eye makeup (we’ll come back to it in a minute). We like to use a damp washcloth or a makeup remover wipe to get any eye makeup dust off my face. Then we moisturize my face and let it soak in.

We like these makeup remover wipes:

And this moisturizer:

The next step is primer. Just use one little pump and gently smooth it out over your face. This will make your pores look smaller, even out your skin tone, help your powder settle in, and make your makeup last longer.

This is a splurge, but well worth the extra costs:

We dab on a little concealer to help cover up any breakouts.

Then we use a kabuki brush and mineral powder. I use Jane Iredale powder because it won’t clog pores or cause acne. It also has sun protection. My mom says to rub the brush around on the powder pallet and always give it a quick tap to get a bit of the excess powder off. Apply it lightly in circular motions across your face. Don’t use too much. You don’t really want to look like you’re covered in makeup. Keep it as natural as possible.

Here’s a great brush for mineral powder:

Here’s a link to Jane Iredale mineral powder. It can be a bit difficult to find in stores. You can usually only find it at medical spas. If you live in Birmingham, you can try it out at Muse Salon in Vestavia (Our fave!). I use the color “Warm Silk.”

You’ll also want to get a refillable compact:

Next, we do bronzer and blush. Don’t laugh…but I make a fish face, so I can see my cheekbones. We use just a little bronzer under my cheekbone and blend it out toward my ears. Then we lightly dust on a bit of blush to the apples of my cheeks and blend it outward toward my ears.

This is my blush/bronzer duo. Mom says this tried-and-true combo works for everybody!

Now it’s time to go back to eyes. Mom says brows are one of the most important parts of your makeup routine. I have really, really light eyebrows, so Mom won’t let me go anywhere before I “put my eyebrows on.” Haha. She tells me, “One day you’ll thank me!” There are all kinds of eyebrow makeup! We’ve tried several on me, and we like the Great Shape Eyebrow Kit from Jane Iredale the best. It’s basically a colored powder that you use with a brush. You just use it to fill in your natural eyebrow shape and give them a little color. This is all we’re going to write about eyebrows today, but Mom says we could do a whole post just on eyebrows alone!

Here’s our favorite. I use the blonde kit:

Ok…now it’s the hard part…mascara. We’ve tried several types on me. Again, we’ve settled on Jane Iredale. It’s made for sensitive skin and eyes. I have very light eyelashes, so we use brown mascara instead of black. It just looks a bit more natural on me.

Here’s my mascara:

Now for the fun part! Lip Gloss! I love, love, love Lancome’s Juicy Shakers! You shake it up to mix the color before applying. Each color smells like a different flavor! We picked the most natural-looking color for me. It’s called “A Piece of Cake.” It gives my lips just enough color, but it kinda makes me hungry every time I use it! Lol.

Now…Shake…Shake…Shake…

Last, but not least…Don’t forget to wear a confident smile!

Ava’s Current Top Ten Reads

The Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith
The first two books in the series, The Green Ember and Ember Falls, are amazing! Action covers the pages and hope fills the characters. The series is about bunnies defending themselves against wicked wolves. It might seem odd, but the battle between good and evil in The Green Ember, reminds me of Star Wars. The story is full of action, desperation, love, hatred, bravery, hope and friendship. The author recently released Ember Rising, and right away, it was sold out on Amazon. I can’t wait to get my copy!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I couldn’t tear myself away from this book. The story is about two friends, Ellen and Annemarie, living in Denmark in 1943. Nazi soldiers surround the corners and watch everyone like a hawk. Being Jewish, Ellen and her family are in grave danger, so Ellen must pretend Annemarie is her sister. At the most exciting part of the story, it’s all up to Annemarie to return a lost item and save her beloved Jewish friend. Will she make it? You have to read this exciting book to find out!

The Mandie Series by Lois Gladys Leppard
I have loved this series so much that I have read most of the books 2 or 3 times. The collection is a series of exciting mysteries with curious characters, set in the 1900s. To me, the author focuses on the importance of friendship. Not a single mystery is solved without a friend. Most importantly, the author writes about God and His loving ways. Often, the characters quote Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” I  have cherished my Mandie books and I hope you will love them too.

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
This story is about Deza Malone and her famly. They live in Gary, Indiana during the Great Depression. The family loses touch with their father after he was forced to set out and find work. With more hardships happening back home, they journey off in hope of finding him. As they hit many bumps along the way, we find out why Deza deserves the title “Mighty Miss Malone.” Christopher Paul Curtis is a very talented writer, has won several awards, and is one of my family’s favorite authors. I recommend reading all of his books!

The Candymakers Series by Wendy Mass
These two stories are full of adventures, yummy treats, creativity and friendship. Four kids are aiming to achieve their goals and end up uncovering some well hidden secrets along the way. The Candymakers was a New York Times Bestseller and one that I’ve read twice!

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This series is an “oldie but a goodie,” and definitely one of my all time favorites! The story’s main character is Laura Ingalls, and the books are based on the author’s own life. I love how the family is so faithful and always believing that the Lord will help them. Because this is a classic series and Laura Ingalls Wilder is recognized as one of the best authors of all time, I think it’s important for every girl to read The Little House on the Prairie books.

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
I told you I like Christopher Paul Curtis’ books! This story is all about a boy named Bud who lives in Flint, Michigan in the 1930’s. Bud has no home and no family, but when he finds a clue about his father, he sets off on a journey to reach him. This book will make you laugh and cry.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
This is another great mystery series. It’s about 2 girls, 2 boys and a man named Mr. Benedict. The kids set out on adventures, never knowing what might happen. As I read the books, I loved trying to solve the mysteries right along with the characters. I’ll admit, I felt a little bored at first, but just keep reading! The action is coming!

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series by Chris Grabenstein
In the first book of the series, a boy named Kyle and several other kids finds themselves locked in a mysterious library designed by a famous game maker. They must use their brains to get out in time! Every single book in the series is just plain fun!

The Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
To me, this series feels a lot like Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. The story is about two friends who run into an odd clue. When they realize it leads to a valuable prize, they have to hurry to solve the obstacles before anyone else. Again, I enjoyed trying to solve the mysteries along with the characters, and I know you will too!

Top 5 Makeup Tips

1. Beautiful makeup starts with great skincare! Your skin needs to be clean, fresh and moisturized before you start your makeup! If you’re struggling with acne, be sure to read our Acne 101 post here:

Pimples, Zits and Blackheads…Oh My!

 

2. Start with your eye makeup! This might seem backwards, but if you’re applying eye shadow or even powder eyeliner, it will sprinkle down on your face and ruin the rest of your makeup. So, do your eye shadow and eyeliner first. We still like to save eyebrows and mascara for later, but do the powdery stuff on your eyes, then wipe away whatever residue falls on your face before applying the rest of your makeup.

 

3. Before we apply face powder or foundation of any kind, we like to start with primer! Primer smooths the skin, it helps conceal imperfections, it creates a prettier finish, and it makes your makeup last all day! Our favorite is by Smashbox.

 

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, try the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer LIGHT.

If you aren’t acne prone, you can go with the original formula.

4. Be extra careful when choosing foundation, or the base of your face makeup. Two things are important when it comes to foundation: 1.) You must pick a color that matches your skin perfectly 2.) You need to choose just the right type or formula. For color matching, go somewhere like Sephora and get as much help as possible matching the color to your skin! Try it on in the store. We strongly suggest walking outside with a mirror to see how the makeup looks on your skin in the natural light. To choose the right type, you must educate yourself and know the differences before you go shopping. It’s also helpful to shop somewhere that will allow you to return whatever you’re not satisfied with. Sometimes nailing down the right makeup formula takes several tries before you find your favorite.

 

5. Never overlook your eyebrows! Eyebrows might just be the most important and overlooked step in a makeup routine. Eyebrows frame your face! If you have light hair, this step is especially important for you! Always fill in your eyebrows, ladies!

 

Exposed

Teenage Gossip

 

Cool kids are lonely. Mean girls are miserable. Bullies are scared.

There. I said it. It’s the truth. Knowing this truth will change your perspective. It will change how you view certain people, and hopefully it will transform how you treat them.

Now, let me explain.

First, let’s talk about the “cool kids.” You know who I’m talking about. The ones who walk around kinda acting like they’re better than everyone else. They hardly make eye contact with anyone. They certainly won’t talk to just anybody. They only hang out with a few choice people. They have the newest gadgets before anyone else.  They have a zillion Instagram followers. They are always dressed “just right.” Their hair is “just right.” Their shoes are “just right.” Their talk is “just right.” Their walk is “just right.” Yada. Yada. Yada.

Honestly, that sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Being too cool to interact with the real world around you, is a lonely, miserable experience. Constantly worrying about having everything “just right” is draining. I would even argue that often, the “cool kids” don’t have quality friendships. After all, to have authentic relationships, you must be vulnerable, real, humble, and selfless! I’ve seen “cool kids” that are so scared to interact with the “wrong” people for fear of ruining their image, that they seem to have no real friends at all!

So, why would someone make so much effort to be “cool?”

Next, let’s discuss “mean girls.” Ya’ll….just…no! No. Just No. No. No. No. No.
“Mean girls” put other girls down. They judge other girls. They humiliate other girls. They purposely try to stir up jealousy in other girls. They gossip about other girls. They make efforts to turn friends against each other. Is it even possible for “mean girls” to have real friends? There’s nothing more unattractive than a “mean girl.”

So, what motivates a “mean girl?”

And finally, we have the classic “bully.” Oxford Dictionary defines a bully as “someone who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker…typically to force him or her to do what one wants.”

Bullying is a serious issue. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening. Bullying is never okay, and if you’re being threatened and intimidated in this manner, or you witness others being bullied, tell multiple trustworthy adults immediately.

Do you think bullies are happy? Do they have real friends? Are they content in life? I think you can answer “no” to all those questions.

So, why be a “bully?”

Did you catch the 3 questions I asked? You must ask yourself “Why?” What makes people act downright ugly?

Hurting people hurt people. People are broken. People are sick. Some people more than others. When people are insecure, afraid, hurt, angry, jealous and ashamed, they tend to act…well… ugly. It’s like they’re trying to make themselves feel better by putting others down.

It sounds kinda sick, doesn’t it? Yeah. It’s called sin.

Love (and the REAL source of LOVE) is the opposite to this sin sickness. Some of us have been fortunate enough to have experienced love more than others. It’s that experience with love that keeps us from acting out in hate.

So how do you treat difficult people? What does love look like? Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. Love doesn’t brag. Love isn’t full of pride. Love doesn’t put others down. Love is selfless. Love doesn’t get angry easily. Ya feelin’ me? Now, I’m not saying to go out and be best buddies with rude people! No! But if you are forced to interact with them, you can do it in love. If nothing else, pray for them! Prayer is the most loving act you can do for another person, and that can be done from a distance.

You see, sometimes you must CHOOSE to act in love. It can be hard to love what is unlovely. But, aren’t you unlovely sometimes? We are all bent toward ugliness. We are all bent toward sin. And we ALL need love. Cool kids need love. Mean girls need love. Bullies need love. You need love.

Love changes people. Love is powerful. Love wins in the end. Actually, LOVE has already won. You can love because YOU ARE LOVED. So, ya’ll…let’s love others. Yes, even the ones who are hard to love. Love the cool kids. Love the mean girls. Love the bullies.

***Note of caution – Again, if you are being bullied, threatened, intimidated, etc. tell trusted adults immediately! Your safety and well being is of utmost importance! I am NOT advocating that you ignore threatening behavior! Always seek help from adults. You can “love” people from a DISTANCE! Don’t be afraid of getting a bully in trouble. If a bully gets punished, it is because of their own poor choices. Be wise! If you are being bullied in person or online, seek help!***

 

#squadgoals

Three beautiful young boho chic stylish girls walking in park.

 

Your squad is an important part of your life. Some people think it’s important to have lots and lots of friends. I disagree. The quality of your friendships is wayyyyyy more important that the quantity (or number) of friends you have. It’s important to make wise decisions about those you let into your life.

 
I think the first step in evaluating your squad, is to understand there are different categories or levels of friendships:

 
First, you have your inner circle, or your BFF’s (we at glitter, like to call these friends our “Home Slices.”) These are the friends you trust the most and you talk with most frequently. Usually these friends are the ones who share your interests and activities and you spend LOTS of time with. You need to choose these friends VERY carefully. Your BFF’s will have a huge impact on you as a person, your reputation and even your future. These friends are the ones you actually make an effort to “invest” in. Ask yourself these questions when deciding who to let into your “inner circle.”

 
1. Do they share your belief system or the way you view the world? This is HUGE, girls. You can’t truly be close to someone who doesn’t share your principles. Oxford Dictionary defines a “principle” as “A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. A rule or belief governing one’s behavior.” You see, your beliefs drive your life. They dictate how you make decisions, how you act, what you value in life, how you treat others, what you want in your future, etc. Don’t you think your closest friends should have your same belief system?

 

2. Can they be trusted? We all need someone we can confide in, but you better choose those listening ears carefully! If you’re going to share your weaknesses, fears, and deepest, darkest secrets with a friend, they need to be trustworthy. Trust is earned. You need to know a friend for a long time and you need to observe them in action. Do they share secrets about their other friends or their family members? That is a red flag! If they aren’t trustworthy, you need to think twice about getting too close.

 

3. What are their character traits and strengths? If you had to describe a particular friend in 3 words, what would those words be, and are these character traits those you admire and value? If you find yourself admiring traits about your friend and you see how they can help YOU be better person, then you’ve found someone who is worthy to be called a “BFF.”

 

4. Do you get along? This one may seem obvious, but did you know there are all kinds of personality types? Some personalities just get along better together. That’s OK. You must think about this when choosing your closest relationships. Think about how you deal with conflict or disagreements with your friend. Think about how you feel with this friend after you’ve spent TOO much time together. Your best friends will be willing to work out disagreements and continue to love you afterward. You and your best friends might begin to get on each other’s nerves a bit, but you will continue to love each other despite your flaws.

 

I would say the next category is your close friends. They are very much like your inner circle, but maybe you don’t get the opportunity to see these friends as much as you’d like. Your life just isn’t as intertwined as it is with your BFF’s. You still share similar beliefs and way of life. You probably consider them trustworthy, but they aren’t necessarily the people you share your deepest issues with. You value and admire them, but their character traits won’t have quite the same impact on you since you just don’t spend as much time with them. And because you don’t spend as much time together, you probably won’t find yourself having to work out too many conflicts either. You truly love and value these close friends, but you just can’t invest quite as much as you do with your inner circle.

 

The next category would be friendly acquaintances. You come across these friends frequently and you’re nice and friendly with each other, but you just simply don’t know them at a deeper level. Maybe you’ve only had one or two conversations. You probably know ABOUT them, but you don’t exactly KNOW them. I would caution you not to get too deep with them too quickly. You want to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to ask those important questions before you begin to draw close.

 

So, you see? You should TOTALLY have #squadgoals! Your relationships can make or break you. Be wise!

Who Is Writing Your Story?

 

Girl reading a book in the city

 

Let me ask you a very important question. Who is writing your story?

 

Think about what makes a great book or movie. To have a good story, you need interesting characters, an intriguing plot, lots of ups and downs, an antagonist (that’s the bad guy), a little suspense, a bit of romance, and a nice ending never hurts.

 
Your life is like a long, amazing story. You have ups and downs. You have important people in your life (good and bad). You have moments of uncertainty. One day you’ll experience romance. You will have times of grief. You will have accomplishments and celebrations. But will your story have a happy ending? Do you know? Can you know?
Let’s say you’re in a slump. Maybe you’re having a hard time at school. Maybe there are mean girls you must deal with. Maybe your family is going through a difficult time. Maybe you weren’t picked to be on the team you wanted.

 
What do these hard times mean in the big story? I’m not going to tell you that you should just get over it and move on. No. Hard times hurt. It’s ok to have feelings. But what if you knew the ending was going to be a happy one? Wouldn’t that help you keep your chin up? What if you knew you would win in the end? Wouldn’t that help you keep trying? What if you knew true beauty lasts forever? Wouldn’t that help you be kind to your enemies?

 
Well, I bet you can guess what I’m leading up to, can’t you? Yes! As a daughter of the King, you win because HE has won. If Jesus is your Lord, you’ve put your faith in Him, and you’re living for Him, then HE IS WRITING YOUR STORY!
My sweet friends, He is writing a GOOD story! He loves you. He has amazing things planned for you. Jesus came to give you abundant life. He has created you to sparkle. The more and more you live for Him, slowly, but surely, you begin to shine.
Warning! This does not mean that life will always be easy! The Lord will use hard times in your life to make you even better. I know you might be tempted to wonder why God would allow you to suffer. I know you might wonder if He’s there with you. I promise you He IS WITH YOU. Remember, you can’t always see the happy ending in a movie or a book when the plot is thickening. The bad times are just a tiny piece of the big story. They are just a fleeting moment.

 
I bet you know the story of Joseph. Remember? His brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him as a slave. Joseph ended up in a country far from his home. But, he proved to be hard-working and capable, so he was given an important job. Then someone told a lie about him that landed him in jail. He was in jail for years. While in jail, he continued to live with wisdom and integrity, so he was even put in charge in the prison! He helped a friend in the jail who quickly forgot about him. But eventually the King needed his help. Joseph saved the day and was promoted by the king as second in command. Joseph made wise choices for the kingdom and eventually ended up saving the lives of his brothers! Yes! The brothers who sold him into slavery! This act of mercy on Joseph’s part ultimately led to the salvation of God’s Holy family – the Hebrews. Whew! That was a quick recap of the story of Joseph, but did you notice all the ups and downs? Don’t you think Joseph was tempted to question God’s hand in his life while he was sitting in prison for years? He couldn’t possibly know the plan God had for him. God used Joseph to save His chosen people, the Israelites. Wow.

 
I’ll take the idea of hardship one step further. To follow Jesus, you must be prepared to live the way he did. He was not always loved. In fact, he was most often rejected. People tried to kill Him. Mobs chased Him. “Important” people framed Him. Ultimately He willingly gave Himself up to be crucified. But guess what? When Jesus gave up his physical life, he took on all our sin. He took our punishment so that we could be made in right relationship with God again. You see…Jesus defeated eternal (forever) death. When we put our faith in Him, we can live with Him in eternity after our physical bodies die. We don’t get eternal punishment. We get eternal joy. Jesus beat death. Jesus beat Satan. And because HE won, you win.

 
Trust the one who made you. Trust that He has a plan for you. Trust He loves you with a never-ending love. He is there with you, even in the pain. One day, you’ll see how He will use that pain to make you sparkle.