PSA: Pop that Pill with Caution

As of now, I’m going to keep Lipstick as a product review site only. I’m working on some pieces in private and I may actually attempt to compile them into a book. Until all of those stories are hashed out, I’m going to keep them on the fray. But, I can’t stay away from my beloved Lipstick in totality. And I do miss telling you all the funky fresh items I encounter.

First though… I want to give a little bit of a warning about a product most of us ingest on a regular basis: prescription medicine.

Before I tell you my story, I must say: I’m an absolute believer in medicine from doctors who went to school a very very very long time. I’m going to choose a MD (especially if he’s HAWT) over an alternative doc every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But, I found I need to do a better job of understanding my body in conjunction with my medical doc.

For the past 6-8 weeks I’ve felt awful. I’ve been incredibly moody – high highs and low lows, dizzy to the point of fainting, fuzzy and woozy, and no energy at all. Likwoman-taking-pill-400x400e any normal person, I put all of my symptoms into WebMD and was diagnosed with everything from depression to hypo- and hyper-thyroid to cat scratch fever.

After too many weeks of missing out on life, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment with my primary care physician. We talked through everything I’d been experiencing, my general health (like what I eat, how often I work out, the hours of sleep I get, ect).

As we spoke, I knew things were gonna get ugly. I eat incredibly healthy, work out regularly, and wasn’t missing any sleep because I was always tired.

I felt sure I had some major illness. In no way could someone who actively pursued health as I did and feel like such royal poop.

After our  conversation, my doc simply looked at me and said, “I think it’s a combination of the prescriptions you’re taking. We’ll do blood work (I insisted because I had to fast all dang day and I better get something out of that starvation!) but I really think what you’re taking is making your hormones imbalanced and not allowing you to rest properly.”

I immediately got off the two medicines she indicated. It’s been 5 days.  I’m clear-headed, peaceful, and me again.

I’m telling each of you this not because I don’t believe in medicine. Again, I fully believe in certified medical doctors (especially hot ones—I really really believe in hot doctors).  But… It’s also critical to have a relationship with your doctor while also understanding your body.

Honestly, I should have known. I have stopped taking prescription painkillers days after major surgery because of the hallucinations I experienced. I’ll take pain over foggy any day. But, I wasn’t paying attention and just kept popping the pills as prescribed.

Know yourself. Know what meds you take too. Be aware of subtle changes as much as major changes. And don’t be afraid to say, “This isn’t right. I need help to get this fixed.”

We’re blessed to have access to medical help in our country. Take advantage of it and be the best you you can be.

Make Up Monday: Blo Charlotte’s Yasmin

yas picHappy Make Up Monday! I’m delighted to introduce you to another gal who will give you the best darn hair you’ve ever known at Blo Blow Dry Bar in Charlotte: Yasmine. I adore this gal! It’s so fun to see her bright beautiful face when I’m running into the salon a few minutes after 8 a.m.

Get to know her now and be sure to book your Blo!

Why’d you get into the hair biz in general? And anything else that you’d love our readers to know…

My name is Yasmine Coleman and I am 27 years old. I am a fun-loving, outgoing, compassionate person and the adjectives energetic, motivated, persistent, determined, and most definitely creative have been used to describe me.  I enjoy talking with and meeting new people every day.  I also enjoy beautifying women from the inside out.  I was born in Frankfort, Germany where my father was serving military duty and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I attended and graduated from Fayetteville State University and received a B.A. degree in Sociology. After graduating from college I decided to go in a different field of work and follow my passion for beauty and style.   I attended Miller-Motte College for Cosmetology and obtained my certificate.  I enjoy working with hair and have a passion for the profession this profession.  My specialty would be working with hair extensions (weave, artificial hair) of all kinds.  I always motivate myself by reminding myself to remember to never limit myself and keeping myself open to any and every option.

 

(Don’t you love her already?!?)

Okay, back to the interview. Can you answer a few questions about Blo?

What brought you to Blo Charlotte?

I relocated from Fayetteville, NC to be in a different environment and to have better opportunities. I feel Charlotte, NC is a great place to transition and to grow.

I love the variety of styles available to me at Blo. Do you have a favorite?

Yes, my favorite style at Blo is Red Carpet because it’s a free flowing every day style that can be worn any day and at any event.

Customer service always makes for an extra special benefit. What do you like to do to make sure each person in your chair feels comfortable and gorgeous?

Customer service is vital in everything you do as a Cosmetologist. Every customer deserves the WOW experience by greeting them with a smile, introducing yourself, having personality, and actively listening to their concerns.  Of course, providing professional service is a must so that every customer leaves more than satisfied.

I love the Unite product line. Do you have a favorite product that you use on almost everyone?

I love love love the 7 Seconds Conditioner. The condition can be used for many different things; however it will protect, condition, and detangle all in 7 seconds.

My blog and life theme is Lipstick Makes Everything Better because no matter how much we have on our plate, there’s always something that helps us get through the messiness. For me, it’s lipstick. What’s something you do to keep going?

Cappuccino, I need it so I can take the time to sit and think every day.

Speaking of lipstick, what’s your favorite?

My favorite lipstick right now is Bite Violet from Sephora.

Okay, now it’s lightening round (pick one):

Manicure or Pedicure: Pedicure

iPhone or Droid: iPhone

Jeans or skirt: Jeans

Morning person or Night owl: Night Owl

Coffee or Tea: Coffee

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook

I Do Not Like Change. Not At All.

tumblr_me4ykxGt6I1rjicc5o1_1280I had a bit of a breakdown this weekend. It started Friday afternoon at the funeral of a Godly young man who leaves behind a family.

But, no… it really started last weekend when I learned one of my best friends is moving out of state.

Maybe, no… it started earlier than that. It started in November 2013 when my heart ripped open to reveal just how much I yearn for more on this Earth.

I continue to learn God never stays the same.

Though He’s everlasting to everlasting, He moves constantly. 

In the years I’ve yearned to have people read and discuss my words (whether you talk good or bad), it felt like God moved so slowly.

In the years I waited to rest in a profession that challenges me, yet speaks to my strengths, it felt like God took His own sweet time.

In these years where I still wait to see what my own family will look like, it feels like God has almost forgotten me. 

Yet, right now, God’s moving so quickly in and around me, I’ve got whiplash. And that whiplash stirred in me a need for control. So, in my constant humanness, I took a season of reflection and attempted to control it for my own peace.

Y’all, I never should have said I’m giving up men, dating, and crushes for Lent. (As part of my repentance, I took down the posts.) In my reckless state to find some kind of normalcy, I took a season of preparation for Christ and turned it into a season of control for Arden.

No wonder I’ve felt ill this week. Sin kills our spirit. And my Spirit hurts right now. It does. But, when I’m hurt I need to open up room for the Lord; not shut out His work.

I’m writing THIS post to see who else might seek to control when life feels all spinny… And what do you do? Do you stop eating? Do you take longer runs? Do you crawl into bed?

I’ve done all of the above. I thought by taking on a “Christian” thing I got it right. Nope. I went Martha when He needed me to be Mary.

Who knows what kind of change tomorrow may hold. Heck, who knows what events await us tonight. For every moment we live may each of us keep our hearts open and our own wills out of it.

 

Like this post? Want to spark some conversation around it? Share it with the buttons below.

 

Becoming a Woman of Strong Character #Mark11March

A few weeks ago I could not look in the mirror without frowning.
Every time I looked at it I wanted to perform a quick operation full of scissors and hats and deep treatments.
The disgust exhausted me so much that I’d quickly turn away from my own reflection.

Y’all. I needed a major hair cut. Split ends ruined every style I tried!!!

Now, you laugh because bad hair days are in no way life threatening. Or even cause for major concern. But, when I tell you I had an underlying annoyance with my hair for weeks, I’m not kidding you. My hair is MY THING like some women’s shoes are their thing. I spare no cost to have gorgeous hair. And believe you me, it ain’t cheap.

Why do I care so much for my hair but don’t seem to give a flying flip about thinking f***  when I’m annoyed or whispering s*** just for the h*** of it? When did flirting with any man that paid me a bit of attention become the ultimate ego boost? And in what world did I start obsessing more about how I looked in my jeans than how I acted to the person in the car beside me?

I read two different blog posts from two different men in the last week. Neither were Christian-based and both spoke to me as if the Lord Himself ordained the writing.

The first, from my social media buddy The Literary Cowboy: Pretty, Tiny, Blonde, Girlfriend Factory.

The second, a father writing for his daughter, Where Are You Most Beautiful? 

photoAfter taking some time off from my public writing as I dove into more of what God wants from me, I’m seeing so much of where I want to be as a woman of character. I want to be like Sarah and bake banana bread. I want to think I have brilliant strength because His glory shines through me.

But, it takes time. And it takes constant effort.

The only way I know to focus on Him is through prayer. So, my March focus will be Mark 11. (You’ll see me doing a #Mark11March on social media.) I’ve been fearless. I’ve stepped back from the fight. Now, it’s time to really dive into prayer.

Praying that I realize I’m enough as I am. I’m loved for who I am. And that character is created on my knees and defined in my actions.

 

Vote for the Original Lipstick Queen to Win Green Jeans Gift Card

Okay, if you’ve read me AT ALL, you know my mama inadvertently created Lipstick Makes Everything BetterBeing a rebellious teenager too busy studying to get in any real trouble, I’d refrain from wearing make-up to prove how independent I was. Somewhere along the line, my mom started saying, “Put on a little lipstick. You’ll feel better.”

Well, today, I want y’all to vote for my mama to get a $150 gift card to the Green Jeans Consignment Sale in Mooresville because I think great clothes can also make us feel better. Plus, I’d love to just go shop the sale with her and find all sorts of goodies.

You’ll need to click on this THIS LINK to vote for Mama Lou.

And look for this picture.

You can vote once a day from now until February 28. She thinks no one will vote for her. I think she’s crazy! Let’s vote and vote and vote!!! Tell every single person who she taught to read in her 30 years as a 1st Grade Teacher that they can read VOTE because of her.

Now, please share with everyone you know! (buttons below make sharing easy peasy)

Show Me Your Glory

I took a walk in the snow today.
It was half a mile.
And burned away months of extra weight.

gloryFresh snow can mean something different to each person. For me, it’s a fresh blanket… a blanket over a messy, cold, ugly ground covered by white glory.

Snow covers the raw ground of winter. As it melts, the water sinks deep into the ground’s dormant roots resting until time to burst forth in the Spring. Snow covers, protects, and feeds the resting soul of Spring.

Oh! How my soul has needed this snow.

The covering of the ground has allowed me rest from the world as my Abba covers me with His love; a love sinking deep into my soul.

The rejuvenation found in a simple sleep mixed with hours of cuddling my Skippyjon have brought me new life. I am Peace.  I am Joy. I am Love. I am Content.

 

 

I took a walk in the snow today.
It was half a mile.
And burned away months of extra weight. 

A Quick Check-In Post

There’s a rule in the blogging universe that to really grow and keep an audience, bloggers need to post at least 3 times a week. I feel quite sure that’s a great rule. I’ve also never really considered Lipstick as a rule-following blog. We do life together and life breaks rules.

Speaking of life… I’m taking a bit of a break from writing much publicly. I feel like I’ve gotten off course and need some time to hash out next steps with God and only God.

I’ve deemed February a No Fight month. I’m tired of fighting for every cause and against anyone who doesn’t see exactly as I see. It feels like the fighting has invaded my writing as well. Thus, the break…

I’ll still be writing for Scoop Charlotte and Scoop the Lake. It’s the hashing out that I need to pull back until a more positive rhythm emerges. If you’re new to Lipstick, PLEASE don’t leave me. There’s tons of content on here to keep you laughing and learning from earlier days. Read, share, and enjoy.

We are NOT breaking up. Don't you worry.

We are NOT breaking up. Don’t you worry.

Make Up Monday: Blo Charlotte’s Kaitlyn

photo (3)Y’all know I’m a tad obsessed with my hair. I LURVE it. But, I’m finding as days get busier and busier maintaining a great style (aka washed and dried) gets to be quite the challenge. Well… thank goodness for Blo Charlotte Blow Dry Bar. Those gals will do appointments as early as 7 a.m. and this little writer sits in a chair writing away while my locks are turned into masterpieces.

So… I want y’all to be Blo lovers too. And one great way is to know the outstanding staff there.

 

First up, Kaitlyn… a Motown gal too!

My name is Kaitlyn, I actually live in Mooresville and have lived there for 8 years now. I am originally from Seattle. My parents wanted to work for NASCAR, so we moved to Race City USA! They own their own catering company (called The Garlic Garage) and feed majority of the pit crews and other NASCAR employees. I’m definitely a West Coast girl, and one day I hope to move to either California or back to Seattle. I’m obsessed with mermaids (hence the bright red hair) and I am totally inspired by the 50′s pinup/rockabilly lifestyle.

When I was very young, maybe around 7, I wanted to color my hair sea-foam green (it was my favorite color at the time) obviously my mom said no. Once I got into middle school, I was allowed to color my hair (box-dye, yikes.) I also started having an interest in makeup and hair in general. I remember the first time I went to Sephora- it changed my life! I was a dancer from the time I was 2, so my passion for it grew and I really thought about considering that as my career path. Reality hit me at about 15 when I realized I was not good enough and would not make it in the Preforming Arts Industry. The more I experimented with my hair and make up, the more I fell in love with it. My high school offered a part time college program to get a head start. They had a cosmetology course and decided to take it because that what I wanted to do with my life. I did that for a year, graduated high school, and transferred to Paul Mitchell the School in Charlotte. I graduated and got my License August 2012.

What brought you to Blo Charlotte?
Funny story… I was actually working at another salon in Charlotte and was looking for a 3rd job (I like working) when I came across the craigslist post that Blo was coming here! It took a ton of thinking (and a very detailed PRO/CON list) before I decided to take a leap of fate and I haven’t looked back since!

blo kate

Meet Kaitlyn

I love the variety of styles available to me at Blo. Do you have a favorite?
As much as I don’t like to pick favorites- Red Carpet. There’s just something about a classic round brush blow out that makes everyone feel like a million bucks. Plus, you do that look regardless of which style you picked.

Customer service always makes for an extra special benefit. What do you like to do to make sure each person in your chair feels comfortable and gorgeous?
I always welcome my guests with a warm greeting, a relaxing scalp massage, and fabulous hair. I want them to feel comfortable and have a chance to relax. Have a glass of wine (or champagne), read a magazine, and just escape reality for an hour. Sometimes it’s the only time a person will get to relax for the day.

I love the Unite product line. Do you have a favorite product that you use on almost everyone?
I am IN LOVE with the Unite product line. I have used many salon brands, but this is by far the best for your hair. The U-Luxury Argan Oil is my all time favorite product. It makes your hair feel so soft and frizz free. Plus its good for your hair and it soaks right in so there is no greasy residue. Other favorites: Blow and Set, 7 Seconds Conditioner, and Maxx Control Hair spray. Those are my go to products, but I do use a variety depending on the hair texture and hairstyle.

My blog and life theme is Lipstick Makes Everything Better because no matter how much we have on our plate, there’s always something that helps us get through the messiness. For me, it’s lipstick. What’s something you do to keep going?
I am actually going through some a few things in my life… Honestly, Blo is what is keeping me going right now. I’m so passionate about working here that it’s been a really good distraction from the mess of my life. I have a lot of self-discovering to do and that will be the journey to keep me going.

 

Speaking of lipstick, what’s your favorite?
Red lipstick always makes me feel fierce, no matter what mood I’m in. I love anything that makes a statement as long as it won’t clash with my hair.

Manicure or pedicure? Pedicure
iPhone or Droid? iPhone
Jeans or skirt? Skirt (yoga pants are even better- I haven’t worn jeans since I was 15)
Morning person or night owl? Night owl
Coffee or tea? 5-hour energy (extra strength)
Facebook or Twitter? Instagram (or Facebook)

A Rare Free Flow Post… Depression

As a gal who craves order and focus, a post where I just write feels out of character. But, if I don’t write this post this way, it won’t make sense. So. Here goes…

I deal with depression. I take antidepressants and have for more than 10 years now. I know many in and out of the church believe taking a drug for “the blues” equates to me having zero faith in God and total faith in man.

You are wrong. And shame of you for every time you said this to someone. Your words are not helpful; they are harmful. Until you’ve felt your entire being pulsing with anxiety so vivid that you felt like all you really wanted to do was sink into oblivion instead of having to face another moment you do not get a vote.

Depression sucks.

It creeps in when I’m fully content and lingers like the foul odor of a skunk. It steals moments of happiness and rips away at my confidence. Its voice can be so loud that I hear nothing but its cruel words.

You’re fat!

You’re ugly!

No one loves!

You’re always be alone!

He’ll never choose you!

You’ll never be as good as her!

You. Are. Worthless!

Some folks think taking an antidepressant cures depression. It doesn’t. It merely soothes the chemical imbalance so I can at least think through the words and feelings being hurled at me. It’s through the thinking that I realize they are voices of the Liar.

Yet, lately, the loneliness of my life has allowed the voices to be louder and stronger than usual.

And my emotions flip flop so hard and so fast I can’t see up from down.

Today has been one of those days. A day that started so peacefully with hot coffee and cat kisses and suddenly, without warning, the attack began.

You look fat in that shirt.

It’s hilarious you encourage people because no one cares enough to reach out to you.

You’re a loser.

No matter how hard you work you’ll never reach your dreams because no one wants you.

 

It’s in these moments where I stop. And I breathe. And I know I serve a God higher than my depression; my inner dialogue of hate. I serve of God who asks me to consider everything I suffer all joy. Because it is in Him, and only in Him, that I will find rest from the Lying voices.

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I have depression. But it does not have me.

God’s Time vs. Arden’s Pressure

I did some Google searching on the meaning of the name “Arden” today. The interwebs spit out some pretty interesting information…

  • Arden comes from the Hebrew word for the garden of Eden, meaning a place of solitude and great beauty.
  • From an English surname, originally taken from various place names, which were derived from a Celtic word meaning “high”.
  • The meaning of Arden is “burning with enthusiasm”. It is also of English origin, where its meaning is “eagle valley”.
  • The name Arden is a baby boy name.

I’ll take anything or one saying I’m a great beauty and I’m SURELY enthusiast. But, I’m not a boy. And if I’m the garden of Eden what does that make Skippyjon Jones?

(Not one comment about SJ & cats being evil.)

Okay… so here’s why I went diving into my name today. I’m battling my super strong will more than ever these days while feeling the Lord call me into some major rest in Him. Not so much rest in life (I mean, could I get a solid 9 hours every night every 3 days?) but actually to rest and rely on Him, and more importantly, His timing.

BUT I DON’T WANNA WAIT!!!
I WANNA MAKE STUFF HAPPEN AND GET ON WITH IT ALL ALREADY!!!

I’m not a patient person. I have pushed and pushed until I’ve gotten my way most of my life. Enthusiasm seems great until you’re the mom of a 6-year-old who will not shut up about whatever the thing is she wants right at that moment. Enthusiast becomes pushy. And pushy becomes irritating.

Today I decided to take time off from most everything and just rest in the Lord. As I catch up on Nashville (I mean, God loves music–read the Psalms!) my heart and spirit were captured by Believing sung by Chip Esten and Lennon Stella.

When I get the feeling my prayers hit the ceiling,
And those darker days when my faith has lost all meaning,
You keep me believing.
Chip Esten & Lennon Stella

photo 2 (1)What truth resides in these few words. Part of growing impatient often stems from feeling like our prayers aren’t heard. That our thoughts aren’t received. That what we communicate to the world isn’t valid.

What I’m resting in today is God saying, “Relax. I have overcome the world.”

And that takes off all the pressure I could ever want to put on anyone or anything.