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The Best Product I’ve Ever Used

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Y’all.  Today’s post is huge.  Today I’m sharing the BEST product I’ve ever used in my entire life!!!

There’s a lot riding on this post so I hope that each and everyone of you who purchase this recommendation fall as madly in love with it as I do.

And if you don’t fall in love with it, tell me what works better than this because I have yet to find it.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you…

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The Tarte Cosmetics BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer!  

This primer is everything and more I’ve ever wanted in a product.

It’s a primer but I SWEAR you can wear it as a foundation, it has SPF but it works PHENOMENALLY well as a primer, it has SPF but it still covers like a FOUNDATION…do you get where I’m going with this?

Most primers you could never wear solely on their own but this one knocks it out of the park for coverage, I swear it covers better than most regular foundations that I’ve tried.  Also add the fact that it smoothes out skin texture incredibly well.  This is your primer if you’re wanting to reduce pore size!  I also love that it has a high SPF but that you can’t smell or feel it at all.  That is like the equivalent of calorie-free cheesecake.

This primer can be worn alone or with your regular foundation lineup and it will give you the most flawless complexion you’ve ever had in your entire life.  Yes, I said it.  If you disagree comment below and tell me what’s better because there is nothing.  The Sephora Gods have deemed this primer most fit for everyone in all of the land.

And the absolute best part?

It. Lasts. All. Day.

#MicDrop #Run #NotGettingADimeForThisPost #JustWantToShareTheLove

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The Secret To Understated Glam

I am all about looking as glam as possible, at all times.  However lately I’ve been turning towards a more natural approach to beauty application.  There is a time and a season for everything (like double sets of lashes on New Year’s Eve), and there’s also a time for truly just looking your best…polished & pretty, but also natural.

Here’s where my secret comes in…

The secret to looking your best but also fabulous, are small strip false lashes.  More specifically, the Ardell #110’s.  They are so light and natural that no one would ever be able to tell that you have them on.

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Olivia Palermo has admitted to often wearing false lashes and it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to spruce up your weekend look.  It looks great in pictures and it pairs well with any eye makeup look or lipstick color.  It’s neutral but it’s glamorous.

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The trick is to curl your lashes very well before you glue the fake ones on.  Once they are on, curl them again.  This makes a world of a difference.  It’s what lifts them up higher to your brow, opening your eyes up.  Here are a few tips to applying the strip lash:

  • Apply all eye makeup, including eyeliner
  • Curl your lashes
  • Apply glue to your false lashes, allow the glue to get tacky, waiting a good 7 seconds
  • Pick up the lash in the center with your tweezers, apply it to the center of your lid
  • Use the tweezers to grab the inside of the lashes and press into the skin
  • Use the tweezers again to grab the outside edge of the lash and press into the skin
  • Allow the glue to dry for a good minute and then curl lashes again, follow with mascara

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Makeup Most Wanted

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Today I’m sharing some of my top secret info with you…

Some makeup artists choose to protect & hide their kits as children of their own, never revealing any of their secrets or products.  But I am a big believer in empowering and encouraging and so with that, today I wanted to share 3 of my most favorite products that I use in my professional kit!  These are the products that I know I can rely on and use to make clients (like the lovely bridesmaid Krista above) look amazing on W-day.

Let’s roll!

1.) MAC Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre” $22

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Here’s why I love this paint pot from MAC: yes it is designed to be used as an eyeshadow primer but, I also love it for opaque coverage on the lid by itself.  Sometimes we don’t want to do 3419 steps in our morning routine, or sometimes our eyelids are super red from allergies…this paint pot conceals like the real deal.  The trick is to layer this onto the lid heavily with a cream brush. By doing so it creates a beautiful, wide awake look on your eyes.  This trick also benefits people who have smaller or closer set eyes, creating the illusion of big and bright!

And don’t let me forget to mention that it keeps shadow & liner in place all day long.

2.) MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Light Boost” $27

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This pen is magical!!  No but really, this pen has taken the place of some of my heavy duty concealers which is nutso considering the fact that it is SO thin!   It brightens like a dream and it’s the one item that can really elevate your look and your makeup.  I apply it under the eyes, on the chin and between the brows for a 3D effect.

3.) Ardell Lashes in “Demi Wispies” $4-10

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Honestly, I use this set on about 90% of my brides.  They are my tried-and-trues and they never ever fail me.  Even if someone wants more of a natural look I just cut off the end and place the smaller part of the lash onto the outer part of the eye, does that make sense?  So you’re using that smaller ended piece to open up the eyes and create that “doe-eyed effect.”

They are also available in a multi-pack option so be sure to buy that so that you can have a few on hand for the weekend! #dancingsenoritaemoji

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my kit and hopefully it gives you ideas on what to shop for the next time you head to the makeup store!

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Glamour Itinerary

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Today we are covering the necessities for skincare perfection, the glamour itinerary that you need to keep you looking your best year-round.

If this chart sounds a little labor heavy to you realize that most of these tips take very little time to actually do, seconds really.  You can keep alcohol wipes in your desk at work and clean your phone as soon as you sit down for the day.  If your budget doesn’t allow for a monthly facial treatment, make it quarterly.  Also, schedule your skincare checkup every year on your birthday that way you know you are continually booking that on an annual basis.

This chart can easily be adjusted to fit your individual needs, the main point is that you stay consistent with your skincare routines.  Consistency is the key to any and all success!


Click here to read up on how to properly clean your brushes and find out my favorite brush spray cleaner! 

 

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October Special :: The Pumpkin Facial

Happy Monday Y’all!

The PF is back and better than ever!  Be sure to book your appointment this month and receive $5 off ANY SERVICE when you bring in 2 items for Tonganoxie School District’s “BACKPACK BUDDIES” program.

BACKPACK BUDDIES is a wonderful program that helps replenish needed items for students including food and toiletries.  Read the list below to see what you can donate and bring it in the day of your appointment to receive your discount!

Let’s keep these kid’s hearts and bellies full this Fall!  Can you help us achieve that?

Needed items: 

Full-size toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap, toilet tissue and other necessary household items (maybe dish soap, laundry detergent, deodorant).  Fruit cups, snacks like Cheese-Its, pretzels, trail mix, individually wrapped granola and snack bars, and juice boxes.

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Fall Makeup Inspiration

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I love me a good tradition…every year for Halloween my aunt would make two different pots of soup and nothing gave me greater joy than stopping at her house for comfort food with friends and family.  The air is turning crisper and people are finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into both their food and their front porches.

If you’re a girlie girl like me, you delight in the fact that a new season brings on a new color palette to play with.  Fall and winter are often associated with darker colors and maybe even a few jewel tones along with it.

But today I decided to re-invent the wheel.  Instead of reaching for my deep plum or burgundy lipstick, I tried out a new “look” am I’m in love with the results.  I’ve been a fan of messy hair for years now and love a super tousled look.  After scanning through my Instagram, I saw a video of a girl and I loved her makeup.  She had giant but natural lashes on top and bottom with a rosy pink matte lipstick on.  And then it clicked for me, this is my new fall uniform: messy hair, pink matte lips and giant lashes!

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This look is SO easy to do and it would great for both day and night, especially with a little added matte cocoa shadow on the lids and it looks great with dewy skin or matte foundation.

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The lip color in the pictures is actually a liner by Sonia Kashuk & the color is “Pink Whisper.” Lipliner as a lipstick is thebomb.com because it’s SO easy to apply and you can throw a lip balm on top of it and not worry about it smearing like other sticks or glosses.  Beautiful and put together?  Sign me up.

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This liner is only $8 bucks, for that price you can buy two and keep one in your bathroom and the other in your purse for touch-ups!

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In yesterday’s post, I blogged about an adorable glass + gold tray on sale at Target that would make a great Christmas gift.  Why not throw in the $9 lipliner and be friend/relative of the year? Just a thought…;-)

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Makeup Minimalist

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“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…

DECLUTTER

There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.

CLEAN

Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!

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REFRESH

Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  

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Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.

SANITIZE

I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉

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REBUILD

Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.

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And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!

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If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.

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What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉

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Troubleshooting For Brows :: Part 2

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Ok so yesterday we covered a few common pitfalls that occur during the brow polishing process.  Today I want to cover a few of my favorite products for keeping your brows natural but also defined.  Read on to see if you already use any of these or if you’re interested in trying a new product!

1.) Anastasia Brow Wiz  $21

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So it’s no surprise this is first on the list today if you read yesterday’s post.  I love this pencil because of it’s gliding ability and because it has a great color selection.  You can find the exact shade that you need and it won’t be too heavy when applied but it’s also not too dry either.

The Brow Wiz Pencil is a great option for truly mimicking natural brow hair.  When applying, it’s best to use a feathering approach and flick small strokes upwards and into the brow.

2.) Makeup Forever Pro Sculpting Brow $27

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The reason I love this pencil specifically is because of how light the blonde color actually is.  This shade is so light that you can’t mess it up!  I have yet to find a brow pencil this light and it’s perfect for someone who is very fair or timid with their brows.  The triangular shaped pencil makes application SO easily and it even comes with a highlighter inside of the pencil! Hello!!

This pencil is perfect for people who want color and allows you to precisely define the brow along the perimeter.  It’s also great for the “tail” end of the brow because of it’s pointed shaped tip. (Point the smaller end of the tip downwards if you like a very “sharp” tail.)

3.) Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $24

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I loooove this gel! As weird as it sounds it’s all because of the tiny applicator wand! It is so teeny and so precise that you really can brush the hair exactly how you want it while keeping the arch nicely defined so that it sets and stays for the day.  I’ve used larger wands with brow mascara before and 9/10 it lays out too much product too quickly putting it to waste.  Not with this! #tinybutmighty

This tinted gel is perfect for people who love their brows the way they are, they just want a little more color.  It’s also perfect for people who have unruly brows and want to set the hair into place.  It works very much like hairspray does!  

If you look below you can see that Camilla Belle’s brows are perfectly uniformed.  It’s safe to say that her makeup artist probably used some type of gel or wax to keep them in place.

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Pretty magnificent, wouldn’t you say?


This wraps up the two part series!  Feel free to comment below if you have any specific brow-related questions!

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Troubleshooting For Brows

Life can be hard.  Brows can be hard.

I’m here to make one of the above easier for you today.

Brows can be tricky.  You might think you have it all figured out only until you step into natural light and see how dark (or how orange) they actually look. You also might think you have it all figured out only until someone says “you did your brows today.”  Or maybe you’ve tried SO hard to give yourself a “natural” arch, only to wipe it all off and throw your expensive brow pencil out the window.

Friends: I am here to help.  There should be a crisis line for problems like these but there’s not.

Call me. Or read on for common problems women have and how to fix them.

Disclaimer: It is always best to get your brows waxed by a professional that you trust before you try to work your “brow magic.”  This is important because it not only cleans up the brow but it also helps you find your natural shape if you plan on filling them in or if you want to make them look slightly fuller.


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TROUBLESHOOTING FOR BROWS PART 1: 

Crisis #1

“I don’t know what color I need!”

Answer: Taupe will always be the most “universal color” for a one-size-fits-all approach.  Start there if you’re truly undecided.

Blondes & redheads pair best with a blonde or taupe shade. Redheads: I would advise staying away from anything too warm or auburn toned.  Anyone with hair darker than sandy blonde can jump up into the brunette and chocolate shade ranges.  Look at the colors in your hair and look for a shade that is 1-2 shades lighter than your darkest color.

To make life super easy: head to your local Sephora and checkout the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil collection. They have TEN shades so that everyone is able to achieve beautiful brows. Can I get an amen? #handpraise

Crisis #2

“I tried filling my brows in and they look too heavy and too dark.”

Answer: Start with a taupe or light brown eyeshadow and an angled eyeliner or eyebrow brush. Begin by tracing the other shape of your brows.  Remember in grade school when you would take your crayon and trace the outer shape of your picture and then color the rest on the inside? Same idea!  The reason I suggest to start with a powder is because it is very natural and very forgiving and it leaves less pigment than a pencil would.  I use eyeshadow as a brow powder all the time so don’t think that you need to buy a special color or product just for that. Once you’ve skimmed the perimeter, go back and fill in the inside.  Hold your liner brush so that the smaller end is putting upwards towards your forehead.  This is very important.  And make sure that you are brushing it outwards and upwards.

If you’re happy with the results from the powder you can stop there or if you need more “pop” you can go back with the Anastasia Brow Wiz and lightly flick small hair strokes into the brow. Tiny little flicks.  You are literally mimicking the tiny individual hairs.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, take a few steps back from your mirror and look at your brows.  Look at them in relation to the rest of your face.  Do they look a little too heavy? Take a spoolie brush and press in into your brows, touching the skin, pressing it down to diffuse the product.  This is such an important step because SO many women would be much happier with their results if they did this step.

You can buy a spoolie brush separately, or it often comes on the other end of a double-sided eyebrow brush.

 

Crisis #3

“I can’t find my natural shape!” or “I want a bigger arch!”

Answer:  We can also say a prayer of gratitude because Anastasia has heard our cries and created the ever-so-clever brow stencils!! These are amazing!!!

The set contains 5 shapes and is broken down by size of arch.  Like anything, it can take a little practice and I would advise by starting with a powder and brush first before attempting the pencil or cream.  These stencils are so helpful and you might find after repeated usage that you don’t need the stencil for everyday help.

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Ok friends, it is my hope that today’s post truly helped you and motivates you to find something that works well for you.  And I would LOVE to see the results!! Snap a selfie of yourself and use the hashtag #blushingbrows!

If you find that you still need a little more brow 911, call or text 785.393.9991 to setup a brow consultation with me.  This includes a brow wax and tutorial on how to fill in your brows while using the proper products.

Stay tuned for tomorrow to find out what brow products I recommend! 

 

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The C Factor :: Samantha

So here’s the deal…

I am over all of the negativity that is going on in today’s world. I am over women not having confidence in themselves and not believing they can have what they really want in life. I am over women not lifting each other up, and people not sticking up for the underdog. I am over people feeling weak and insecure and alone. There’s just not enough love in this world right now and it needs to change.

So I’m going to change it.

Today is the first post of a new series called “The C Factor.”  The C stands for confidence but it also stands for courage.  This series is about women who rise above. They are determined, ambitious, and they know the importance of paying it forward.  The series will feature an interview with 9 questions and I am excited to “compare notes” from each talented & successful woman.  There is a recipe for success and I truly believe that it takes a village to raise each other up.

So let’s get started!


When I first decided to do this blog series, I immediately thought of my friend Samantha. You know what’s funny? I’ve only met Samantha once and it was over 2 years ago.  But we became friends on social media and since then her encouraging posts always leave a lasting impression on me. Crazy. Think about that ripple affect for a second…

I met Samantha when I did makeup for her for at a Miss Teen USA photo shoot.  She was the current Miss Missouri Teen and since then she’s gone on to become a TV host and model, all while attending Missouri University.  When I emailed her and asked her if she was interested, she was super excited with the idea and she was kind enough to send it back ASAP.

And then I read her answers.  And I was like, Oh-Em-Gee. 

I knocked it out of the park with this girl.  She is more than beauty and brains.  She has a giant heart and she shares her faith.  She’s currently seeking her personal training certification while she writes and shares recipes and workouts for her own blog, www.samanthajobowers.com

She helped pass a House Bill last spring and she currently majors in Atmospheric Sciences at Mizzou.  What?? You mean you can do all of this? Let’s remember Samantha isn’t even the legal drinking age yet…

Take notes, girls. 

1.) What is the best compliment someone ever gave you and why?

It truly means the world to me when people make an effort to reach out to me to tell me I have inspired them in some way. Whether it be through social media, my blog, or face to face, I really do try to leave a lasting impression on the lives of others every day. The best compliments I receive are when people tell me that I have inspired them to live a healthier lifestyle, or to pursue a goal they have been wanting to start working towards for quite some time, or that they feel more confident in themselves and their abilities because of my influence. It makes me feel like I truly am making a difference.

2.) What is one good deed that you have done for someone else?

Well, I have a passion for encouraging others to be the best that they can be. Healthy relationships with yourself AND with others are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle as a whole. One thing that I am very proud of that I feel has made significant strides in promoting overall health and wellness among our youth is the passing of House Bill 2481, which designates the month of February as “Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month” in Missouri. I was able to work closely with House Representative Donna Pfautsch to create this bill and take it all the way to the governor’s desk, where it was signed in to law this past spring. This is a great way to shine a light on this topic that is often left in the dark and promote happier, healthier relationships across our state.

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3.) What is one thing most people don’t know about you or would be surprised to know about you?

A lot of people wouldn’t guess that I grew up playing competitive sports my entire life. When people find out I compete in pageants, I think their automatic reaction is to picture a “Toddlers in Tiaras” type situation. When in reality, I spent my childhood in basketball shoes instead of high heels! I’m so thankful for the experiences I had with my sports teams growing up, because it truly taught me that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. I really feel like sports have made me the person I am today.

4.) How do you handle a hard day at work/school? 

Well, I just transferred to the University of Missouri this year, where I am majoring in Atmospheric Sciences. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes my physics homework can get a little stressful! I am a huge proponent of using exercise to relieve stress. Whenever I have had a long day, I love to go on a run and just let my mind take a break. I absolutely LOVE hot yoga, too. It’s a great way to improve flexibility, focus on bettering yourself, and get in a REALLY good sweat session! 

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5.) What is your greatest strength?

I would say my greatest strength is my work ethic. I take a lot of pride in the amount of effort I put in to my goals and aspirations. Each and every day I try to take steps in the right direction and keep my mind focused on what I want to achieve. Some days are better than others, and I know it’s important to remember that everyone has set backs, twists, and turns along the way. But I truly believe that it is precisely those challenges and that adversity that is shaping me into the person I am meant to become. 

6.) How do you handle criticism? 

I love criticism. I think there are two ways we can choose to look at criticism: one way is to view it as something meant to harm us, keep us down, and affect us negatively. The other way is to view criticism as fuel and motivation to improve yourself. I choose to see criticism not as a put down, but rather as a little push. I can either choose to listen to that “little push” and work on improving myself, or I can filter it out and let it go in one ear and out the other if I don’t feel the criticism was constructive or genuine. It’s all about knowing yourself, your weaknesses, and what your goals are for self improvement. Sometimes a little criticism is a good thing!

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7.) Do you do anything to build your self-esteem or boost your self-confidence?

Absolutely! I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back occasionally. In fact, I think it’s so important that you give yourself a little credit when you achieve a goal or succeed at something you’re passionate about. For me, I get my confidence from my faith. I am a huge fan of Joel Osteen books, and every night before I go to bed I read a devotional passage to remind myself that my strength comes from the Lord, and ultimately He is guiding my path.

8.) How do you encourage other women? Do you feel an obligation to do so because of so much negativity in the world today? 

I think all women have an obligation to encourage each other! We as women need to be uplifting and empowering towards one another every opportunity we get. I try to reach as many young women as I can through social media, my blog, and day to day life. Sometimes, doing something as simple as giving a nice compliment can turn someone’s entire day around. I think pageants are an excellent example of how women can encourage and empower one another. A common misconception is that the contestants are competing AGAINST each other. When in reality, we are only competing against ourselves. The women I have met through pageantry are some of the most empowering, strong, and genuine women I know I will ever meet in my life. I think the way we portray confidence in the media today tells young women that in order to be confident you have to have the latest clothes, have the best body, have perfect makeup and hair all the time – when in reality, confidence comes from within. You can have all of those things, and still not feel true confidence. TRUE confidence comes from accepting your flaws and imperfections, having a genuine heart of service, and striving to leave a lasting impression on the lives of others each and every day. 

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You can visit Samantha’s blog here and you can follow her on Instagram here. (@samanthabowers_)

And you can pin and copy her delicious recipe for 60-calorie chocolate glazed donuts here.

Because donuts are important too.

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