Self Confidence

Self Confidence.

 

Bah.

 

Those words alone sometimes give me the jitters.

 

Not because I feel I’m lacking it, but because I think it’s something that is a never ending issue… a never ending phrase that generation after generation of girls gets taunted with. Even me. I have had moments when I have felt so INsecure, when I felt so OVERLY secure, and when I simply haven’t been sure how I felt. And that’s the thing, regardless of our upbringing, we all face some sort of self-evaluation at some point in our lives… which sadly, will only worsen… with the ever growing, in-your-face, social media society that allows us access to so many lives – and in sometimes, very unhealthy ways.

Self-confidence is the phrase that gets thrown around so much as you journey your life as a woman. I don’t think there’s an easy answer or an easy way to prevent any one girl from asking that one, dreaded, “I wish it never existed”, question: AM I GOOD ENOUGH?

I’ll never forget the year when my life started to get more complicated.

You see, Grade 6 was the last year I remember as a year of innocence.

It was the last year I wore overalls until recently (yes, I’ve been around long enough for overalls to go OUT of fashion and BACK in… oy.)

It was the last year I remember being brave enough to sing a solo in a school play.

It was the last year I remember where everyone was friends at school and we had secret handshakes with unforgettable recesses.

It was the last year I remember before genuine social hurt entered my life.

 

Grade 7 for me was the year I remember my social life changing … Having friends decide they no longer wanted to be my friend, having hurtful words spoken over me, realizing that my face was now acne filled and my body not “picture perfect”. It was the year that I became immensely self-aware of what I WAS NOT. The pure innocence of enjoying my life as I was had ended. Sadly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have grown up in a VERY supportive and empowering home where my parents never spoke words of hurt or negativity over me. (I am extremely thankful for that.) But as I journeyed my teenage years, I was increasingly aware of what I was NOT…

 

Thank – you – society.

 

I think this “what we are not” focus is where it all goes south. So often we focus on what we are NOT versus what we ARE. We focus on our weaknesses, our so called flaws, our inabilities and insecurities. We forget the very essence of what we enjoyed as a child all because of what society deems as what we “should” be like.

However, as I have continued to journey through life, there IS one thing I have learned in all this: I cannot change who God created me to be.

 

End of story.

 

I am tall, blonde, and blued-eyed.

I am a middle child.

I am more introverted than extroverted.

I cannot sing. (Not sure why I got the role in Grade 6. LOL)

I am not a morning person. (No matter how much I try…sigh)

I can listen to the same song on repeat when I discover one I like.

I love eating sweet potato ANYTHING.

I get extremely anxious when I enter new social settings.

I am intolerant to gluten and dairy, and have health issues.

I love to run but health limits my endurance.

I thrive in small groups.

I could live in water. (But actually, swimming and me are like soulmates.)

I only like watching competitive sports, not playing. (Like it makes me SO anxious to play.)

I dislike cooking but love baking.

I am terrified of my car flipping over when I turn on the onramps to highways.

And, I could go on.

Now, my list above definitely included a few things that could perhaps change, but in this current moment, they are what describe who I am. And I’ve learned to embrace it, whether some of those bother me or not.

Why? Because they are not what DEFINES me.

 

God does.

 

Even as a woman in my twenties, I have moments of wishing I could change something about myself. The “God if only I had…” moments. We all have those moments, and I just as quickly remind myself of who God has made ME to be.

In Ephesians 2 it says: “For are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (verse 10).

In Psalm 139 it says: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (verse 16).

You see, GOD has placed each of us in a specifically tailored place, with a uniquely designed purpose. You didn’t just end up in the city you live, in the job you have, in the class you attend. Our confidence needs to come from that – from knowing that it is GOD who defines us and has placed us where we are for a reason. That he was given us those quirks, those traits, those physical features – and to Him, we’re perfect.

So, what are some things that describe you? I’ve listed a bunch of mine. Think of some of yours! Some things that make you uniquely you. The things that scare you, make you happy, make you excited. The things you once enjoyed but society has made you think you can’t enjoy anymore because they’re not “cool”. I’m so over the cool factor. Do YOU my friend. Be YOU. The crazy or goofy or loud or quiet or smart or artistic or whatever it may be, YOU. Go back to the times of your innocence when life was simple and you simply LIVED. If there’s anything you’ll regret, it’s not living life to the fullest and embracing each season. Let your confidence come from knowing that GOD does have you and your best interest in mind. Can I get an AMEN?

 

Much love from your sista in Christ,

 

Jenn

 

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words…in our case MORE!

Dear World Changer,

Beauty isn’t what the world says about it. In fact, the world is missing out on a lot because of their narrow view of the word.

Beauty is every culture, every colour, every size, every shape, every passion, every dream, every talent. It’s standing up for what you believe in. It’s boldness, strength, humility, gentleness and compassion. It’s not what we wear, it’s our heart. It’s our uniqueness.

If we ever only focus on makeup, fitting into a size 2 or curling our hair…we’re going to miss out on things. GREAT things God has for us!

They say every picture is worth a 1000 words, some of these are worth 10,000! Behind every image was all of us doing jumping jacks to stay warm, a whole lot of laughs because keeping a straight face in the camera is really hard, some cake eating, and even some falling! Here are some moments of pure, real beauty and some beautiful people from our shoot!

For all the IntenCity girls who didn’t get a chance to participate, we are doing another one in summer!

 

 

 

 

Yas Get It Gurl!

Dear World Changer,

We know that winged eye liner and bold lips aren’t nearly as important as you living out God’s plan for your life! But while you’re out there living your dreams and changing this planet, hey…it doesn’t hurt to have smooth skin and nice eyebrows! Here are all your leaders favourite products that they use on a daily basis to keep themselves lookin fly! Below are pictures of what they use and what it does for them.

Pastor Natasha:

  1. Clay Mask – Lemon and Mint : This is THE best face mask ever ! (for my face anyways) It takes away oily skin, and controls breakouts because pimples will always come! Plus, its super cheap! You can find it at Walmart.
  2. Cetaphil : The big one is a face cleanser and small one is the lotion. This is the ONLY face stuff I can use. When I was a teenager I thought I had really bad acne, turns out it was eczema! I had to get rid of all products that had scent to them! This one is perfect for sensitive skin and for that big tub, its only $20 at Costco!
  3. St. Ives is wonderful body lotion! This specific one is made from natural products that make skin smooth and it smells good…plus it’s cheap! (Can you see a pattern here lol)
  4. Stay Matte foundation does exactly what the title says! Like actually! I have long days, my foundation goes on at 7am and doesn’t come off until sometimes midnight and I never get shiny! It’s super light, feels like you’re wearing nothing! Even though it’s awesome foundation, I always give my skin a break a couple times a week and go without!
  5. Go blonder : I get blonde highlights put in my hair but am AWEFUL at keeping up with them! I usually only get them done 2-3 times a year! SO I use this product when my roots start to get bad. I shower, spray this in my wet hair, then blow dry – and BAM! My hair is SO. MUCH. BLONDER. 🙂 Also works if you’re going out in the sun!
  6. Last, is my eye shadow pallet. I’m not a big makeup wearer! Usually just mascara is all I do! But when we go to weddings or other events, I use this pallet! Tons of colours, stays on all day, and its only 7.99 at Winners! Seriously cannot beat that!!

 

Maddy:

Maddy Products

My favourite hair products include Organix nourishing Coconut oil spray. I spray it onto wet, damp, and dry hair for softer smoother hair. Also smells amazing! Another favourite is Batiste dry shampoo for those greesy hair days.
For my skin I use Spectro face cleanser for my dry sensitive skin. I also use Aveeno non-scented body for dry skin.
For make-up basics I use BareMinerals bareskin liquid foundation along with powder because they provide flawless coverage and are made up of pure ingredients that don’t irritate my skin nor cause breakouts.
Miriam :

 

Each item is only $25 or less. Very affordable!

Facewash- Vichy Normaderm, Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel: Gentle on the skin and helps prevent acne. If you have trouble with acne, you don’t want exfoliant irritating it and making it redder. So I use this every morning and night and exfoliate using the Vichy Normaderm Exfoliating Scrub about once or twice a week.

Moisturizer – Complex Daily Face Cream: I use this every morning after I cleanse and before I put on makeup (especially during the winter) and every night again after I cleanse. My skin is very finicky so if I don’t keep in good habit of moisturizing as well as using my face wash, I will get acne AND dry skin at the same time. (Yes, not moisturizing can cause acne too.)

Foundation – Maybelline Matte+Poreless: (the colour ivory because I’m the palest person alive) smooth finish and not too thick. I don’t like to cover up my freckles 😛

CoverUp – Rimmel Stay Matte: (colour light porcelain) I use this to cover –up the smaller imperfections on my face such as dark bags under the eyes and acne. Don’t forget to blend it!

Powder- Maybelline Fit Me: (colour transparent) A quick dab of powder with a powder brush (NOT the sponge that comes with it) helps to keep the foundation in place and smooth out the look.

The Powder Brush is Elizabeth Arden and I recommend this one or another high quality one such as Lise Watier. They’re only a few $$ more than the cheapest Quo brushes you can get, but these ones are waaaay better!

Eyeshadow- Elizabeth Arden GOLDEN OPULENCE palette: I love this palette because the colours are so subtle but work so well with my skin tone, eye colour, and hair. The colours are pink, gold, brown, and a nice dark pine green.

Eyeliner- Rimmel EXAGGERATE waterproof definer: (colour rich brown) I stay away from black as much as possible because my eyelashes and skin tone are so light. Black just seems too dark. And I usually shy away from waterproof makeup because it’s such a pain to scrub off. But this eyeliner is so awesome. The crayon end makes it really easy to get real close to the lashes and get a nice straight line, and the back end has a blending sponge which is super useful when you don’t want such a harsh line but you do want your eyes defined!

Lipstick- Elizabeth Arden: (colour Breathless or Desert Rose) The final touch and keeping the look natural yet sophisticated, I use one of these colours (depending on my attire) to bring out a bit of colour in my lips! I absolutely LOVE the Desert Rose colour because it matches my eyes and hair.

Jordan: 

Jordan Products

I don’t use many skin care products, but they are ones that I have found effective after several years of trying different products that work for dry and sensitive skin. The Neutrogena face wash is gentle but keeps my skin pretty clear alongside the Clean & Clear spot treatment which gets rid of spots fairly quickly. The Cera Ve moisturizer, Vaseline lip balm and Working Hands Hand Cream are simple products that last a long time but moisturize fast and well, especially if you have dry, sensitive skin!

Jenn:

Jen Products

 

Left to Right
1. Yves Rocher Express Eye Make-up Remover
2. Coconut Oil
3. Cetaphil Cleanser
4. Toner (Elizabeth Grant)
5. Andalou Face Cream
6. Andalou Eye Serum
7. Jojoba Oil
8. Himalayan Charcoal Mask (The Body Shop)
These are my current go-to products. That being said, my brandnames do vary depending on what I need. At night, I always use coconut oil to remove my eye make-up (I use the Yves Rocher eye make-up remover when touching up my mascara) and then cleanse with the cetaphil cleanser. Cetaphil is great for a cleanser brand because it is good for ache prone/oily/sensitive skin. After cleansing, I always use a toner (which closes the pores) and then finish with a face cream and eye serum. Currently I’m using the Andalou brand which is a more natural based product, and I love it. Since I have sensitive skin, I try to use products which are filled with natural ingredients. As for the jojoba oil and the mask, I generally use each of them once a week. Jojoba oil is a more natural oil and helps in healing your skin. The mask is charcoal based, which is great for purifying/cleansing your skin. That being said, homemade face masks are also always a great and cheaper option!
My personal tip? Don’t ever go to bed without a make-up free and cleansed face. Although it can be a hassle sometimes, it keeps your skin healthy 🙂
Ahiney: 
Ahiney Products
Oil of Olay is a product I have used for years and learned about it through my mom. I use it everyday and each time I remove makeup. Prices range from 9.99-12.00. I know those that sounds steep but I’ve learned that when it comes to your face, investing in a good moisturizer is worth it.
Jenny:
Jenny Products
  1. I have pretty oily skin, and I have dealt with acne for years, but my skin doesn’t act up very much when I use this face cream by Marcelle! It contains SPF 15, which actually protects your skin from acne and helps reduce the signs of acne scars (awesome, eh!?). Remember: everybody, including their skin, is unique! So even if this cream works well on my face, you may find another that works better for you.
  2. Y’all I have been searching for YEARS to find a lip balm that actually works on my lips!! And this Blistex lip pot is awesome. It moisturizes, and keeps lips from getting cracked, especially in the wintertime.Disclaimer: I have friends who tried lip balms from Blistex like this one and don’t like them, so again a product like this is subjective.
  3. Can anyone else relate to the horror of waking up with hair so oily it isn’t socially acceptable, but no time to wash it? I can, on a weekly basis!! But this dry shampoo is a lifesaver. With just a push of the nozzle and a bit of brushing, your hair looks refreshed for another day. Take note that my hair is blonde, and therefore the dry shampoo blends well, so be ready to rub it in really well if you have darker locks (unless you pick up the brunette version).
  4. Beauty hacks with Jenny: Clean off an old mascara wand, and use it as an eyebrow brush! It is a money saver and works just as well as an actual eyebrow brush.
  5. If you want the coverage of foundation without the cakey feeling of liquid foundation, this powder (studio fix) is for you! Although it is from MAC, which can mea it’s a little pricey, I (someone who rarely wears much makeup at all) would recommend it strongly! (By the way, I use shade NC15).
  6. To go along with that Studio Fix powder by MAC, I like to use this MAC “prep & prime” spray to set the powder on my face. Once I have done my entire powder routine (powder foundation, blush, bronzer) I was taught by an employee at MAC to spray this on my face and then blot with a makeup sponge after letting it sit for a while. Note: this is the travel size (30mL) and it has lasted me for months! Don’t waste money on the full size if you aren’t sure how often you’ll use it or if you’ll want to incorporate this specific product in your routine.
  7. Y’all, if you know me, you know how much I like a bold lip (girl, SLAY!). What I love about NYX liquid lipsticks and their liners is that they are fairly inexpensive, yet do their job really well! The products pictured are my favourite shades that I picked up at the NYX Rideau location. The lipstick shade is LIPLI 12 (Exotic) and the liner is in the shade SPL 828 (Ever). A match made in heaven!

Jessica:

 

Jessica Products

Left to right: Andalou make-up remover Andalou coconut water cleanser Andalou floral toner The Body Shop tea tree scrub Andalou roses day cream Tamanu oil (night time). As somebody with sensitive, acne-prone skin I tend to lean towards natural products. Unfortunately, that can get costly. My best advice: find what works for you and before shopping anywhere, check winners – they have the best deals!

Beauty tip: Wash your face before bed, take a no make-up day every now and then, wear sunscreen (girl, it’s worth it), and learn to love the skin God gave you!