Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fight for Your Right to Be Fashionably Offensive

It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is. A man has so much more freedom when choosing funny t shirts to wear. While it isn’t technically against the law for a woman to wear a t-shirt with a naughty joke or image on it, the laws of fashion and the lingering remnants of male-centric moral metrics dictate that women walk a fine line if they want to be radical yet remain fashionable.

You know the kind of shirts I’m talking about – the kind you see on Crazy Dog T Shirts, Snorgtees, BustedTees, and other shirt sites. You’re probably thinking these shirts are for teenagers, but come on, you know you find a lot of them funny, because they are. Clever pop culture-infused screen-printed shirts are becoming a modern day art form, and there’s no shame, other than the unfortunate aforementioned stigmas in wanting to wear one. But, at the end of the day you’re practical, and while the thought of walking around the supermarket wearing a shirt showing the Lucky Charms leprechaun vomiting up his own cereal makes you giggle, it’s probably more befitting for your 15-year-old kid.

Are we really going to accept this kind of socio-sexist imprisonment? Look, honestly nothing stops you from wearing whatever you want as a woman, and the idea that we’re oppressed by-way of our closeted desire to wear vulgar shirts in a world that doesn’t approve is a stretch, but new ground must be gained. The fact that a double-standard exists in some capacity is enough to want to negotiate new terms and make some kind of stand, even if it’s just for the right to wear a funny shirt as an adult woman and not feel obliged to apologize for it. The simple truth is that for that to happen, you simply must abandon the urge to apologize, after all there’s nothing to be sorry for.

There was a time when if anybody, male or female, wore a shirt with an image on it, they were considered rebellious good for nothings in need of a draft notice or a convent. I’m sure in your lifetime alone you can look back and see a definite evolution of acceptance in the fashion world. Times have changed, and times will continue to change. But the change comes only with the movements of the multitude. Yeah, it’s just funny t-shirts, but freedom on any front is always worth fighting for.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Beauty Is In My Heart

Beauty Is In Your Heart


This week's beauty affirmation reminds us that true beauty comes from the heart:

I love with an open heart and
watch that love reflect back to me.

You've probably noticed a theme around love these past couple weeks with these beauty affirmations. I've always believed that the most loving people are the most beautiful. I think of women like Mother Teresa and Elizabeth Taylor who were open and loving in different ways.

Spend some time today thinking about how you can be more compassionate and loving towards others. We often spend more time judging others rather than working on improving ourselves. When you project love out into the world, it comes right back to you and makes you even more beautiful!

Thank You and Update For Email Subscribers

I just want to write a quick post to thank new subscribers to my blog and of course, a BIG thanks to all of you who have been reading this blog for awhile!

For those of you who have been receiving blog updates via email, I've made a small change to when you will receive these updates. Currently you receive an update once a day on the days that I do publish a post. However, going forward I've decided to send an update every Tuesday.

The reason I'm doing this is because I've decided to update this blog more often - maybe every other day or even every day, so I don't want to flood your email inbox with daily updates. I know that can be annoying especially if you subscribe to many blogs.

If you do want to stay updated on blog posts on a daily basis, I recommend subscribing via a feed reader by visiting:
http://www.wikio.com/subscribethis?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.beautyiswithin.net

Also, while you're at it, follow me on Twitter: @youarebeauty or "Like" on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beauty-Is-Within/82874954855

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is There Such a Thing as "The Most Beautiful Person"?

Well, according to People magazine there is...and Jennifer Lopez is that person. There's no denying that J.Lo is a beautiful person, but THE Most Beautiful? I often wonder what the magazine's criteria is for their annual Top 100 list. I've never looked at the magazine's entire list, but apparently you have to be a celebrity to be on that list.

I certainly don't want to take anything away from Jennifer Lopez because she's done so much with her life. She's influenced and inspired so many people. However, I wouldn't go as far to say that she's the most beautiful person in the world. In fact, how can anybody be #1?

The reason I say that is because beauty is so subjective. What one person thinks is "the most beautiful" could be entirely different from another person's idea of beautiful.

Young girls and women read People magazine and think, "I have to look just like Jennifer Lopez to be beautiful!" I stopped reading many celebrity/fashion/beauty magazines because they have brainwashed so many women into thinking that you have to look like a certain celebrity to be considered beautiful. I know that when I was in my 20's I used to read these magazines and feel insecure about my own beauty or aspire to be famous just so I could be noticed.

So many women waste all this time wishing they could be beautiful, focusing on their physical flaws, and spending so much money to be beautiful on the outside that they never stop to reflect on their own self development. Choose to be grateful and happy for what you have and you will bring out your own beauty from within. Be loving towards yourself and other people and you will be beautiful on the outside too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Surround Yourself With Love



It's that time of the week again! Time for a few words to inspire and uplift you...

"I surround myself with people who 
encourage and support me. 
I am surrounded by love."

Do you have people in your life who criticize how you look? If so, how do you react? Do you allow their words to echo in your mind?

You may have a friend or family member who isn't happy with their life, so they find a way to bring you down. Tell them politely that you don't appreciate their hurtful words. If they continue to suck the life out of you, maybe it's time to distance yourself from them.

Surround yourself with people who nurture and support you...who tell you that you are beautiful...because YOU ARE!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Beauty and Makeup Picks


Spring is my favorite time of year. I'm inspired to try new things and switch up my beauty routine. Pictured here are some of my favorite beauty and makeup products for this spring...

1.   Pixi's Week of Wakeup Makeup - If you tend to get stuck in a makeup rut me, this will be your saving grace.  This kit includes 21 eye shadows, 7 cheek powders and blushes, and 8 lip glosses.  Wearing makeup is fun again!  ($34 ~ Available at Pixibeauty.com and Target stores across the U.S.)

2. It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil - This brow pencil can be used for any color type.  Just press lightly if you have light-colored eyebrow hair or press a little harder for dark-colored eyebrows.  One side of this magical wand contains the soft pen-like tip while the other side has a whispy brush to shape the brows.  Love it!! ($24 ~ Available from Beauty.com)

3.  Lorac Multiplex 3D Lashes - Everything is 3D these days - why not your lashes?  I like that this mascara is light and doesn't clump up.  The wand does of good job of separating the lashes.  I also like that it doesn't contain any synthetic ingredients. ($22 ~ Available at Sephora.com)

4. bareMinerals Advanced Treatment Collection - Bare Escentuals, the company that brought us that awesome makeup, has come out with a skin care line that promises to "give you back the glow your skin deserves".  I received the 30-Day Try Me Kit which contains a purifying facial cleanser, wrinkle concentrate, and extra firming neck cream.  I have noticed that my skin tone is more even and the lines in my forehead are less noticeable. ($36 ~ Available at QVC.com)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Interpretation of the Color-Blocking Trend

Color Block Outfit

So I went shopping again this weekend for a colorful striped top for my Bloggers Do It Better outfit. Again, I didn't find anything that inspired me. I even tried on a few bright-colored tops to go with the FRAAS red scarf that was gifted to me from Lipton Publicity...and nothing. I guess it's just not my week for shopping...

Instead, I decided to pull something out of my closet. I thought this magenta-colored Shabby Apple dress would complement the red to create an elegant color-block look. I like this scarf because it's made of lightweight fabric and great for warm weather wardrobes.

To finish off the look I added a straw hat from Forever 21, sandals by Steve Madden, and a beaded bracelet from my own jewelry collection. I went for a natural makeup look and just wore lipgloss from Loreal's Never Fail Infallible collection in Plumped Pink.

Spring Dress & Scarf


Check out how other bloggers have interpreted the color blocking trend.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Color-Blocking Trend: Going Out of My Comfort Zone

Bloggers Do It BetterWhen it comes to fashion, I'm generally a practical person. I tend to gravitate towards more classic styles and don't like to buy things that are too trendy. Once in awhile, though, I will buy a piece to add a little spice to the wardrobe.

So when Kristina of Pretty Shiny Sparkly posted her "Bloggers Do It Better" challenge, I got pretty excited because this will be my chance to get out of my fashion comfort zone (aka "rut"), have some fun, and meet new fashion bloggers in the process.

The assignment this week is to create an outfit based on color-blocking or bold colorful stripes. At first I was going to go with the colorful stripes idea, but I went shopping yesterday and wasn't impressed with what I came across. By the way, do you know that Forever 21 is bursting with striped clothing? Everywhere I turned there were stripes...and yet, I wasn't excited.

So today I thought maybe I could try out this color-block trend that's real big this spring. If you're wondering how to wear this trend, check out this video...


I still haven't decided what outfit I will put together. I may go shopping again this weekend to see if I can find something new. I could go with something in my closet, but I do need some new sweaters and tops.

In the meantime, if you're a fashion blogger, I invite you to have some fun and participate in the Bloggers Do It Better challenge as well.

Stay tuned this weekend for the unveiling of my color-block interpretation!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Beautiful Body


My body is beautiful. I accept myself as I am.


Always remember that there is no such thing as a "perfect" body. Each one of us has a different shape. That what makes you special and unique. Love your body!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring 2011 Plus-Size Dress Trends

Spring is in full effect! Are you just as excited as I am to go shopping for new spring dresses?

For spring 2011, some of the trends in plus size dresses include animal prints, polka-dots, the long maxi dress (my favorite!), and ruffled dresses. However, you also can't go wrong with bright floral dresses, denim shirt dresses, or the classic LBD (little black dress). Here are some of my favorite dress styles for spring:

Maxi- Dress - Those of you who know me, know that I love the boho-chic look. My go-to dress has been a tube-top maxi dress in a colorful paisley print. I came across this sleeveless maxi dress in this beautiful aqua color by Taillissime…

Plus

The "LBD" - Another go-to dress that is always “in” is the little black dress. You can go with a classic style or a style that consists of fun, little details like the one pictured here that has contrasting stitching and ribbon detailing.

Plus Size Black Dress

Shirt Dress - Shirt dresses give you an effortless, well-put-together look. No matter what your size, you can look good in a shirt dress. Throw on a pair of flats or heels and you’re good to go! In 8th grade I had this checkered green and white shirt dress that I loved to wear. If I still had it, I’d probably wear it even today!

Plus Size Denim Shirt Dress

All the dresses featured here are available at http://www.onestopplus.co.uk/

Even if you’re experiencing April shower days like we are here in Southern California, you can still wear spring dresses with long-sleeve cardigans, tights, and boots. A nice trench coat will top the look.

What’s your favorite dress style for spring?


5 Small Changes That Will Make a Big Difference in Your Life

Taking care of your body - your temple - is part of inner beauty. The following guest post will give you tips on how to eat healthier. I've made these changes myself and have never felt better!

Switching from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one is hard! If it wasn’t I’m sure everyone would change their bad habits. First, you need to know that you are not alone and others are struggling to make good nutrition choices. Second, know that it is completely okay to be struggling. Let’s face it; “health food” doesn’t taste as great as junk food. You have to retrain your mind and body to enjoy healthy food, which I promise will come in time. It’s best to take baby steps when you begin. Small changes over time are not only easier for you, but also better for your body.

1. Cleanse Your Body: There are a few ways you can cleanse your body. You can go through a detoxification treatment (bought over the counter), or take natural cleansers that will remove toxin through your bowels, you could also simply eat a very high fiber diet for a few days (drink lots of water to help move all that fiber through your body, also make sure the fiber you have chosen is an organic or whole wheat product). The detoxification treatment and natural cleansers are usually found in the pharmacy section of a store.

2. Drink Water: Drink water all day everyday! It’s so simple and easy. Your body needs a lot of water so you need to drink a lot. I know there isn’t much of a taste so if you have to add a little something to it, try adding a cucumber slice or a lemon wedge. Try not to buy bottled water in plastic containers (the plastic releases chemicals into the water that are harmful). It’s good to drink at least a glass of water every morning before eating or drinking anything else.

3. Switch to Whole Wheat: There is a long interesting history about white bread vs. wheat bread, but all you really need to know is that wheat is better for you. White bread goes through a process that removes most of its nutritional value. Don’t go by color if it doesn’t say whole wheat on the package it’s not, and “enriched” doesn’t count either.

4. Eat less Animal Products: Eating less meat is better and be aware of where that meat is coming from. If at all possible try to buy from a local farmer who can tell you what the animal has eaten during its life and what (if any) medications it was given. Switching to a lower percent milk is helpful too (soy milk is best). If you are having a hard time switching from cow milk to soy milk try using half of each for awhile or try flavored soy milk like vanilla, chocolate, coconut or almond.

5. Eat Raw Snacks: Replace a few snacks with raw fruits or vegetables. And make sure to buy organic and wash them thoroughly. Try local apples, celery and organic peanut butter, or carrots with a plant base dip. Fruit is digested by our bodies very quickly and it’s best to eat fruit alone to ensure easy digestion.

The author of this article, Nickole Siegman, is a student at UW-Stout and is a regular contributor at for ProbioticSmart.com and PSCLife.com - leading information and health product websites.

Update Your Beauty Look With Colored Contact Lenses

Megan Fox's Striking Eyes
When you want a new look, do you usually go for a new hairstyle? Most women do. However, have you ever thought about wearing colored contact lenses to give your look a boost?

I recently discovered that quite a few celebrities wear colored contacts including Jennifer Aniston, Megan Fox, and American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. Their natural eye color is brown, but don't they look fabulous when they change their eye color?

This colored contact lenses trend has been around for some time. I remember a guy I dated back in high school wore grey lenses, which was one of the things that attracted me to him. I was mesmerized by those eyes...

I've always thought about wearing colored contacts, but whenever I see other Asian women wearing contacts, it looks weird. I would want to wear a color that wasn't too far off from my natural dark brown color. I also think the color should cover the whole pupil. I've seen people wearing lenses with a dark color on the perimeter of the pupil, but it doesn't look very natural to me.

You don't need a prescription for colored lenses unless you already wear prescription glasses or contacts like me. Also, you can reuse them. If you do decide to try out colored contact lenses, I highly recommend not sleeping with them on and cleaning them every day.

What are your thoughts on wearing colored contact lenses? Do you have any tips on how to choose lenses that give you a natural look?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fashion For a Cause: T-Shirts That Combine Style and Substance

There are many people who believe that fashion is materialistic...that it doesn't contribute to a meaningful life. I used to be one of those people. However, the more I write about fashion and beauty, the more I realize that fashion is used to express your uniqueness. I've also learned about companies who do combine style and beauty with substance.

For instance, there are companies like Project Iris, a clothing brand that was developed with a purpose to give women an opportunity to contribute to causes that help other women.

Project Iris has partnered with World Food Program USA (www.wfp.org), the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Through this affiliation, a portion of each Project Iris sale provides nourishing meals for new mothers and their children in the most poverty-stricken parts of the globe.

I really love Project Iris' new spring/summer t-shirt collection. Those of you who know me know how much I love nature, butterflies, and whimsical art.



T-shirts are available for purchase online at: www.ProjectIrisClothing.com. You can also be a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/projectirisclothing

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Love Your Body


This week's beauty affirmation comes from the Affirm Your Life blog and focuses on loving your body:


"I am delighted with the shape and tone of my body."


When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and just focused on the parts of your body that you love? Spend 5 minutes today admiring the curves and pat yourself on the back for the things you do to maintain a healthy body.

By the way, if you're available this Friday, April 8th from 12pm - 1pm EST, my friend Pam Thomas will be talking about inner beauty and getting rid of low self-esteem once and for all on the VividLife Blogtalk Radio show. Don't worry if you miss it because you'll be able to download or listen to the show after it airs from the VividLife Radio main page.

Spring 2011 Jewelry: Add Sugar and Spice to Your Wardrobe

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Recently I wrote a guest post over at All Women Stalk that outlines 5 jewelry trends for spring 2011.

As I read the article again, I realized that any of these styles of jewelry can be worn anytime, not just this spring. That's the beauty of jewelry. You can add style to even the most plain outfit with a unique piece of jewelry.

If you don't already know, one of my passions is to design and create one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry. From now until this Monday, April 11, you can take 25% off everything in my Etsy shop. Use promo code BEAUTY25 at checkout. Add some fun to your jewelry collection! Visit: www.salondemaria.etsy.com


Friday, April 1, 2011

Effective Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

Woman Jogging
As I've mentioned before, I've been working on losing some weight in the belly area, so this guest post by Myln came right on time. I'm going to do some of these exercises and see how it goes...

One effective way of losing belly fat is regular exercise. In addition to a proper diet, regular exercise is a must as it will maintain a healthy body.

Learning how to lose belly fat can sometimes be confusing because of the many factors involved in the process. If you think you need to go to the gym or invest in exercise equipment in order to get the flat belly that you want, you are wrong. This is because there are lots of exercises that are pretty simple but are actually effective.

Here are 7 of the best fat burning exercises:

FIRST EXERCISE: SIDE BENDS

First, you should stand straight and keep your feet apart. Now, hold onto your pelvis then start moving sideways, to the right, and then to the center, and then to your left. Do this several times. This exercise will work on your oblique muscles.

SECOND EXERCISE: CRUNCHES

This time, you should lay on your back while your knees are bent whilst keeping your feet flat on the ground, forming a right angle. Next, place your hands at the back of your head. Breath in and then move your knees towards your chest while you lift your body to a 30 degree angle. While in that position, hold your breath for about three seconds then breathe out. Do this at least fifteen times.

THIRD EXERCISE: PUSH UPS

Here, your palms should be laid flat on the ground and then you put your feet together. Do a tummy tuck and work with your abs. This exercise is great for toning up your belly, plus it also exercises your arms.

FOURTH EXERCISE: SQUATS

This exercise really works when it comes to reducing belly fat. Additionally, it is excellent in strengthening your lower abdominal muscles.

It’s very simple to execute. First, stand straight, spread your feet to at least more than your shoulder width, and place your hands behind your head. Then gradually draw your navel area towards your spine and bend into a crouching position. Get down as low as possible without raising your heels. Do this repeatedly a number of times. If you want to perform a more intense squat exercise, do it with a weight bar, dumbbells, or weights.

FIFTH EXERCISE: SIT UPS

For this you have to lie on your back, just as you do for crunches, while keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. This time, your abdominals should be tightened and then your body lifted. This exercise will give your abdominal muscles a good workout. Doing this at least one hundred times a day would be great. Your body will trim down in no time at all.

SIXTH EXERCISE: STOMACH VACUUMS

This last exercise is the simplest. Just stand up straight and then you suck your stomach in. Do it as hard as you can. This helps in training your stomach muscles to be able to contract and hold. Over time, your stomach will do it automatically.

SEVENTH EXERCISE: CARDIO TRAINING

This training consists of several modes of exercise that can help burn fat. It includes running, sprint training, and also jumping. If you do this regularly, you will see good results in next to no time. The more calories you burn, the more belly fat you lose.

If you really want to lose belly fat, you have to be serious about it and exercise regularly. Stopping from time to time won’t do you any good, so be sure to be consistent. Also include in your diet plan fat burning foods. Be sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet. This way, you will not only have a great body, but also a healthy one.

Want to learn more about losing weight the natural way? Check out the Natural Weight Loss Blog...