A Word on Loving What You Love (& Some Beauty Tips!)

While reading, listen to Liability by Lorde. 

The women in my life are always on the hunt for the "next best" beauty tips in hair, makeup, and skincare. You too? 

Countless conversations with friends, my sister, and my mom are centered on what beauty tips and tricks will actually produce their desired results! How do I clear up my acne? How do get my hair to grow? What foundation do you use? My skin is so sensitive! How do you strengthen your nails? When woman of all ages and ethnicities share their go-to methods, it's like saying "me too", and the lie that we are the only ones who struggle in the areas of physical care are silenced. Sharing really is caring, and I love how these interests can bring women together. 

Growing up around many different Christian communities and people, I have often been made to feel guilty or bad about my interest in the areas of beauty and style. My love for fashion has been called "shallow" and "self-absorbed" and my passion for finding what works for your hair and skin has been labelled as "vain" and "a poor use of time". I understand people can often become consumed with matters of outer beauty, keeping them from the more important work of inner beauty. As someone who has followed the Lord for years, I know that lasting beauty is in our hearts and caring for that is most important. Yet in my life, others judgments were misguided, misinformed, and overlooked my desire to achieve balance. They assumed that in caring about style and beauty, I didn't care about what God cared about. How hurtful this was! To hear that my pure interest in these things equalled compromise in godly things.  

Can we, as Christian women, give matters of beauty and style permission to add value and joy to life?

Can we admit that taking care of ourselves in a healthy way and appreciating self expression (in many forms) can be glorifying to God too? It makes me so sad when I see women comparing "righteousness", keeping themselves from loving and accepting those who are different from them - which is ultimately what we are called to do. The most beautiful thing a woman can do is champion another woman. It doesn't have to be important to you to be validated as important to someone else. You can love what someone else loves because it brings them joy and value. Like in anything else, when we value balance, accountability, and consistently submit it to God, we do not have to fear. We do not have to fear the thing, or another person's opinion of the thing.

As I've heard it said, "Be yourself to the glory of God."

Be you, love what you love, and do what you do, as long as it brings glory to God. What freedom God has given us to be uniquely who he has created us to be! I can't tell you how many times I have had the opportunity to love and encourage someone through the outlets of beauty and style. In a shopping aisle. In a hair salon seat. On a friend's couch. God has faithfully used what I love to love someone right where they are at. I'm so glad that I have not allowed misunderstanding to hinder me from the places of passion where I come alive. Maybe it's the big sister or the pastor, or the "rallier" in me, but I rarely keep a tip or new "love" to myself. This isn't because I think I'm an authority or expert in these areas, but it is simply because I love bringing girls along for the ride in almost everything I do. The more common ground and relational equity (which can be built over conversations about mascara!), the more opportunity to share my life's hope. Everything is more life-giving and beautiful when experienced together!

What do you love? What are your interests? Use those things to unite you with others, and let the haters hate! Look for opportunities to share what you are learning and loving with women all around you, and watch how it builds bridges. And lastly, embrace those who are different than you. Extend yourself to care about what they care about. In doing so, you are caring for them. 

In the last few weeks, I've had so many hair/beauty/skincare conversations where I've shared things and methods I've been loving! So in true Victoria-fashion, I wanted to share them with you too! Here are some recently used and loved beauty products/tips...

Skincare, Makeup, and Hair Care

Results in these areas take work, and like most things in life worth having, we can't phone it in!

  • Drinking water. Ever since I received a Hydro Flask, my water game has been upped. Water naturally flushes impurities from the skin, hydrates and plumps, and evens skin tone! Bring water everywhere you go so that you are less tempted to order sugary drinks.

  • Washing my sheets, towels, bras and loofahs. Bacteria can grow on your towels, loofahs, and bras. The oils/impurities from your skin, clothes, and hair can also rub off on your bedding. I wash all of our towels and our bedding every single week, which is a small price to pay for clear and healthy skin. I also regularly replace my loofahs and carefully wash my bras often.

  • Eating well and working out. Your skin is an indicator of what you put in your body and how use your body. Eating as clean as possible (fruits and veggies, no processed food, little bread, etc.) and working out 4-5x a week (sweat opens pores and releases the impurities and oils in skin) will no doubt change your skin. Eating healthy also promotes new hair growth! 

  • Consistent skincare routine. Before my parents allowed me to wear makeup, they required that I wash my face twice a day. They ordered Proactiv and told me that if I kept up with my own skincare for two years, I could start wearing makeup. They don't mess around! I'm grateful for this, because I still have a consistent skincare routine. The products have changed but I cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day, and exfoliate/use face masks 1-2 times a week. Find some clean skincare that suits YOUR unique skin type and do not go to bed with makeup on. EVER. I swear by Philosophy's Purity products, Lush's face masks and this moisturizer, and The Body Shop!

  • Makeup-free days. I wear makeup 4-5 days a week. Now, working from home is a unique situation that is not everyone's reality. It's easier to not wear makeup when I'm not working in a cubicle or at a front desk! I'm just advocating for giving your skin a break every now and then. Plus, you are naturally gorgeous! So whatever your capacity, set aside some time for your skin to breathe and have a break from makeup products. Look at the mirror, and choose to love the skin you're in. 

  • Clean makeup. I've used the word "clean" quite a lot in this post already, and that is because having clean products has become my new normal. New, because for a long time, I used makeup products without thinking about their ingredients or how they may be affecting breakouts. I have slowly but surely built a makeup collection that will work with (not against!) my skincare. Though more expensive, using makeup with good, green ingredients will absolutely contribute to the appearance and overall health of your skin. Here is a trusted article on some clean foundations to consider. I use this Tarte one! 

  • Low to no heat. For the last years, I have dramatically decreased the amount of heat I put on my hair. I no longer blow dry, and I only add curls or straighten around once every few months. (Mostly for special occasions!) Using hot tools is a norm for most women, yet we often forget that placing an iron at 200-400 degrees will leave long-term effects. Hot tools will leave your hair damaged with breakage. If you want your hair to grow...plain and simple, you need to not damage it. Find a nice product that will let your natural hair texture shine, implement a high-quality hair and shampoo regimen, don't shampoo every day, get regular hair cuts, and use a deep conditioning treatment or mask at least once a month. These are the holy grail methods that can take credit for my growing, healthy hair. These are the products I use in my hair: shampoo & conditioner, deep conditioning, dry shampoo, everyday hair product, and a treat-yo-self hair product

  • Wear sunscreen. This is no joke: protect your skin from sun-damage. You cannot always visibly see the damage your skin is experiencing, and a tan is not worth sun-spots, premature wrinkles, or worse: skin cancer. I use this one and this one

  • Sleep!!! They call it beauty sleep for a reason. When we give our bodies enough sleep, our skin can recover and be restored. Get rid of those bags under your eyes the natural way...rest! 

What are your favorite beauty tips and tricks? What hobby has brought joy to your life? Share in the comments below!

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