Tuesday Beauty Tips: Don’t Stop Believing!

Published in: Beauty Tips

Today marks my last day as a 34-year-old woman. The next time the clock strikes 12, I will have officially entered my mid-30s, huzzah!


So what am I doing with these last few hours of year 34? Well, playing with makeup, of course, and taking stock of my life (overall, no big complaints).

I’m also setting goals for year 35, and since I seem to have misplaced my confidence at some point along the way from 34 to here, I’m making its restoration Priority No. 1.

Mind you, I’ve definitely made progress lately. I’m not as down on myself as I was a few months ago; your support and encouragement have helped (THANK YOU!), but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Where a few months ago I was telling myself I couldn’t write, couldn’t take a decent picture to save my life, lost my sense of humor, wasn’t a good wife, sister, daughter, etc. — today I’m merely telling myself I’m not half bad, which is still not the same as saying, “Karen, you’re great!”

When it comes to writing, in particular, sometimes I feel like an athlete after a bad injury. Even though I’ve been through the physical therapy, in this case the extra reading and writing exercises, I just don’t trust my instincts anymore. I second guess myself now, where before the injury I would have just gone for the dunk!

As I move into my thirty-fifth year of life, I want to nurture the part of me that once believed I could do anything. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about different ways to do that, and here are five of the tips that have helped:

1. If all else fails, hang on!

Author William Feather once said that “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” In my case, since I’m usually my own worst critic, I read that to mean outlasting my inner critic. Sooner or later she’ll get tired of picking on me and move on to someone else, LOL!

When something knocks you down, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep…moving…forward — one small accomplishment at a time.

2. Feed your confidence muscles

Make notes of every compliment you receive, and post them somewhere visible (where you can see them all the time). Do the same thing with uplifting quotes, and read biographies about confident people you admire.

3. Seek support

Surround yourself with a posse of supportive people (and a mentor if you’re working toward a specific goal). That’s easier said than done, but ask yourself, “Who are the most supportive people I know?” and reach out to them.


4. Visualize the end game

Even if it’s just for a minute each day, see your end result in your mind in as much detail as you can muster. Feed your brain a regular diet of imagery related to where you want to be. It’ll help you plot your course.

5. Be gentle with yourself

Remember that “can’t” is a four-letter word. When you say it often, you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure. I have a tough time with this one and tend to focus on my faults, but I’m working on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good for a quick pick me up…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 47 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Morgan says:

    It SHOCKS me that you are so down on yourself! I know it may not be kind of writing you’re passionate about, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Everytime I write on my blog, I wish I could be as funny, observant, and totally cool as you are. I crack up all the time, esp. with the C. Bale word balloons-classic. Your photos are also amazing. I “call myself a photographer” and mine don’t hold a candle to yours… What camera and lenses do you use? Maybe that… with more practise will get me closer. Girl don’t sweat- for 34+1, you’re doing all right!
    PS Happy Birthday!

  2. snoopysteph says:

    Your blog rocks, Karen, and I wish I could write as half as well as you can! You come across as fun, confident, and witty – which I’m sure is why you have such a loyal fan base and MOST DEFINITELY why I keep coming back to your blog anticipating your newest post. I laugh out loud at so many things you write but yet I take your opinion seriously too.

    My hubs is turning 36 next month and let me tell ya, he went through a complete 180 with his life a couple years back. Where he’s headed right now is nowhere NEAR where he was going 3 years ago. His biggest lesson is that you just gotta go with the flow – if it feels right, do it, even if everyone else is trying to shove your square self into a round peg.

    Happy early birthday!!
    .-= snoopysteph’s last blog post… 2 Years Old! =-.

  3. Mrs. Kinne says:

    I am my own worst critic, too, and I am amazed at how negative I can be with myself. I would never be that critical of anyone else!

    Also, “be gentle with yourself” is my motto. I have this quote as my desktop wallpaper at work:

    .-= Mrs. Kinne’s last blog post… Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails =-.

  4. Darcy Rose says:

    Girl you can do some fine writing! I love love love reading your blog. If you choose (yes it is a choice) to be down on yourself don’t do because you think your writing is bad. In fact don’t do it at all! Stand tall in all your fabulousness and see the good in your being. Just think of how you’ve helped one sister (me) after a hard day of stressful work – I sit down with a glass of ice tea and read your blog and all is good with the make-up world. ’nuff said!

  5. marisol says:

    Have you heard of Randy Pausch? This video is long but so worth it. I also enjoyed his book. After you finish watching this video, you will know that you can do it and will believe in yourself again.


    And I pretty much think you rock so go on with yo bad self!
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Abandonment issues =-.

    • Janet says:

      Agreed – The Randy Pausch video is amazing and I watch it from time to time when I feel like I need some inspiration and cheering up.

      Happy birthday, Karen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Rachel says:

    Karen, you are the best. I know no matter how many times people say that it won’t help, but believe it. You bring so much happiness to people’s lives. When the world sucks, a little bit of makeup joy is always helpful, people forget that sometimes we need to just be girls, and take some time to think about the fun trivial parts of girl-dom. So happy birthday, and try to remember how happy you make all of us! YOU ARE THE BESTEST!
    .-= Rachel’s last blog post… 4 MINUTE MAKEUP =-.

  7. Kelly says:

    Karen you are great and are THE biggest influence for me in the beauty/blog world. I saw your site a year and a half ago and thought now THAT’S what I want to be like!

    No matter how hard you are on yourself there are thousands of people who think you are totally talented and amazing. Don’t stop being your fabulous self. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post… Make Up For Ever Aqua Creme Colors Swatches & Reviews =-.

  8. amy says:

    Happy wonderful Birthday Karen! These are great and inspirational tips!
    .-= amy’s last blog post… A รขโ‚ฌล“Secretรขโ‚ฌย Sale at Pacifica Perfumes for Bella Koola Readers =-.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Aww Karen, you are the best! I think your writing is amazing – and you can write inspirational serious posts like these along with hilarious silly makeup posts. You have a true voice that shines in all your posts.

    Happy early birthday!

  10. Radhika says:

    Happy birthday Karen…you really are the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Sylvia says:

    you’re beautiful and wonderful! youre humorous and you seem humble keep up what u do you might think your writing isnt as good but you’re my homepage on my internet and i get so happy when i see new posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Anna says:

    Happy birthday and thanks for being so honest in your post. I really enjoy reading your blog, it was the first makeup/beauty blog I found this year and since then I have become addicted! (your blog is so aptly named haha). You’re a beautiful person and keep on reaching for your goals!!! <3

  13. Holly G says:

    I just want you to know that I appreciate your mad writing skillz and wish I had half of them!! Before quitting my job to go back to grad school, I was working as a full-time writer for a corporation, and lately I have felt that my abilities to write for fun (AKA NOT for a school paper or for work) have been slipping away. But when I feel that way, I often click over to your blog for inspiration!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for always doing such a wonderful job (and making me smile), and happy birthday!!!!!!

  14. jessimae says:

    HI Karen!
    Im a sophomore in college majoring in english. Reading your blog is an inspiration! I dont know what I want to do with my life yet, but seeing that there are people out there can write about something fun and find fulfillment in it makes all my uncertainty seem less bleak ๐Ÿ™‚ Hows that for a post it. lol

  15. Anne Galivan says:

    รขโ‚ฌล“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.รขโ‚ฌย – I totally agree with this and it is one of my primary motivations.

    I know that I am the type of person that when I commit to something…I am not going give up. And the fact that so many do give up gives me an advantage from the get-go.

    But it is hard, sometimes, to ignore the negative voices (mostly in my head!) – that’s where connecting with fun, smart women online is really helping me I think. Not so much in my niche but in other areas of interest – it’s like a mini-vacation in a sense.

    Keep on going…I have found in my 40’s that I am dealing with some hellish stuff, but am also finding myself and finding inner strength in ways that I couldn’t imagine.

  16. Ashley says:

    In less than 3 hours, it’ll be your birthday sooo… HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!! Don’t feel so glum, you get to have cake tomorrow don’t you??
    But really, if you ever doubt yourself just think about all of your greatest hits and forget about the misses. It’s a great confidence booster & if you think about it, if you’ve done well before there isn’t a reason you can’t do better right now.

  17. Lana says:

    Happy birthday Karen, I think you’re great and always look to your blog when I’m feeling down. You are a beautiful and inspiring lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Karen B says:

    Awww hun. I hope that someday soon you will realise how awesome you are. Yes, Awesome, with a big A.
    It’s already your birthday here in Belgium so I want to wish you a wonderful day and a great year. You rock.
    .-= Karen B’s last blog post… Make-Up, Day and Night =-.

  19. Glosslizard says:

    Karen, you inspire me all the time! I really admire you for doing what you do and doing it so well! I frequently refer people to your blog telling them “She’s a terrific writer!’, and just today in San Fran, I was thinking about your mad photo skillz and wishing I had them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy birthday!!!

  20. Agnes says:

    I am shocked to hear that you are so down on yourself! ๐Ÿ™ you have amazinggg writing skills! your blog is a blast to read and has become my favourite daily read ever since i first stumbled on here! You are so nice and funny and i love how you always put in words of encouragement and motivation posts as well as makeup posts. Because of you, i was inspired to start my own blog and join this wonderful community of bloggers. Dont ever look down on yourself please! because we all know (and you should too!) that you are an amazing person ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy birthday Karen!
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… EOTD – Annabelle Pigments Karma & Azure =-.

  21. Rita says:

    Happy birthday, Karen! 35 is a good year.

  22. Joey Chong says:

    Happy Birthday Karen.
    This is my first time wishing ya cos I am only new here – approximately 10 months =)
    But I am sure you will get wishings from me this year on.
    Good Day!!
    .-= Joey Chong’s last blog post… Look Inร‚ย Smokyร‚ย Tendre =-.

  23. Vonvon says:

    Cheer up, Karen! And you are great!

    Have a wonderful and blessed birthday! *hugs

    Thanks so much for the great tips……reading them gives me a new perspective.
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… EOTD/FOTD: Gold & Burgundy – From CLEO-Lancome Makeover =-.

  24. Nina says:

    Happy birthday, you are an awesome person.

    I always say to the Hubs when we talk that there is always someone out there who has it rougher than we do and that has always helped us through rough times. That remark is not meant to take joy in the misfortune of others but rather teach both of us to count our blessings and be thankful for what we do have.

    Often, we dont realize just how blessed we are and how rich our lives have become. I agree with what you said about being gentle with ourselves – becausewe are our best ally, best cheering squad, best friend (weird?) …

    Have an awesome birthday, birthday girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Nina says:

    Hey Karen!
    Happyyy birthdaaayyyy toooo yoooouuuuu! *put here your lemon cheesecake with candles on it* I hope you will have a beautiful, gorgeous and happy day and a 35th year as well, you’re at a wonderful age. and you’re a great writer and a greater person too (because every word we write or speak lets our personality show), so don’t be so hard on yourself. you have one of that amazing skills that I saw very few times in my life: humor. when I first stumbled on your blog (and that happened by mistake when I was forcing Google with an incorrect word search, I say it’s good luck now) I literally laughed at least one time in your every post and soon your blog became my favorite blog! and your posts are really tasteful to read, both on make up and life. so don’t think that you’re no good. and thank you for posting the advices above. รขโ‚ฌล“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – this is so true, so be stubborn as hell and never let go. have a great day, big hugs to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Stephanie B says:

    Happy bday ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Michelle says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! You are a very talented person and even though I don’t know you personally, I feel like we are friends through your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your mid thirties!! You will rock 35!

  28. Suji says:

    Happy Birthday Karen! You always have us (your internet friends and fellow beauty addicts) to help pick you up when you’re down or hard on yourself. I hope you have a great day and that all your wishes come true! <3

  29. Marina says:

    Hi Karen!
    Thank you for sharing, probably this wasn’t very easy for you. I would love to wish you amazing 35th year of life and tell you that you are an inspiration to a lot of women!

    PS. It’s not you, I guess all people are like this “Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm usually my own worst critic”. And this is a good tip “small accomplishment at a time” and I know it but this is the hardest thing for me.
    .-= Marina’s last blog post… Alice in Wonderland and NYC Insipred Books Of Shadows by Urban Decay. =-.

  30. T says:

    Didn’t see this post til now but wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love reading your blog. It’s full of witty humor that I just adore…and Tabs isn’t bad either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. lexi says:

    Don’t believe the hype – 35 is the new black hahahhaaha. I love being 35 and I’ll be 36 in September. All I am hoping for is to only go higher from here on out! Honestly, I can’t imagine you having to have a pow-wow talk to youself. I always imagine you to have a positive outlook and healthy image of yourself. But then again we are all human and sometimes can’t see the wonderful things others see. You rock and I’m hoping one day our paths will cross or you’ll come to one of our shows. Have a Happy Birthday tomorrow, I promise you that 35 will not suck!

  32. Advah says:

    Dear Karen,

    First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    Second, I turned 26 a few weeks ago and went through the whole “wtf am I doing with my life, I’m 26, single, share a flat with 4 people because I can’t afford better, spent a lot of money on a degree that didn’t lead me anywhere, I hate my job and am not about to get anything better anytime soon, I still can’t try a smoky eye without looking like a frizzy raccoon, etc”. And you know what? It’s ok! I think we all tend to fall very heavily in the pre-birthday slump (my mum did the same a month ago) and be WAY too harsh on ourselves. A day before or after a birthday doesn’t matter, birthdays should be an opportunity to have people treat us like kings/queens and do whatever we want and take a break from the harsh self-criticism, instead of making it even worse than the rest of the year.

    Finally, you don’t have anything to lose your confidence over! You’re a fantastic writer (seriously, there aren’t many blogs I can read without cringing), have a fantastic blog, had the guts to take your career in your own hands and, quite honestly, look like a fantastic person all the commenters would love to hang out with. So don’t let it get you down! Use the self-criticism phases as a step towards adding more to your day, rather than feeling like you want to give up on things!

    Have a great day!

    -Adeline x

    PS: sorry for the ramble. But I should also add your posts ALWAYS cheer me up when I’m not having a good day and really are an inspiration to kick my lovely butt and do things. So thanks for that!

  33. Liz G. says:

    Happy Birthday!!! You and your blog rock! I’m going through a crisis of confidence right now too so I can empathize with how you feel sometimes. I just keep telling myself to look forward to the fantastic future and keep on going. You are a fantastic writer and blogger and I read you every day. You have a lot of people who appreciate you and are rooting for you. Keep up the great work!

  34. Maia says:

    Yesterday was my birthday and this came in just in time!! so inspiring…something about birthdays that just gives you hope and makes you want to improve your life to the fullest!

    thanks for this post!

  35. Saku says:

    Aww happy early b-day. I’m also going having one this week. It’s good to keep a positive view on life, even though some days are tough.

  36. Kim says:

    Karen, you have faults? Totally don’t believe it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your writing is always great and your pictures rock! Tell that inner critic to zip it. It’s clearly very very jealous of your coolness – or it’s really craving Nutella! You absolutely have to believe in yourself… how could all of your loyal readers be wrong?? Impossible! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. charlene says:

    you’re only human honey, cut yourself some slack, well i see ur learning to do that! i loved this post, everyone needs this friendly reminders and self-confidence boosters…thanks so much for it! you are amazin’ and your blog is amazin’…sometimes i read the things you type and i’m like, how on earth did she come up with that! lol….i’ve totally abandoned my blog so…:) KEEP ON KEEPING ON HONEY!

  38. astrid says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! I enjoy reading your witty blog so much, and you are an inspiration <3. Keep on doing on the things you love :).

    P.S.: We happen to share the same birthday!!
    .-= astrid's last blog post… Turning Thirty One =-.

  39. Cherie says:

    Happy bday, Karen!!!! hope you have a fantastic year ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Stef says:

    I hear you Karen! I’ll be 35 on Friday, and I think it’s just the age. That 35 is a grown up, “real” age and we may not be feeling grown up and real. Make sense? But what you said is right! Gotta have confidence, and that’s not always easy, but as long as you surround yourself with good people, you’ll be fine! And remember that you look good, always a good thing! And The A-Team movie opens Friday, which is AWWWWEEEESOME!!!!

  41. Anne Galivan says:

    Dang girl you got a lot of comments! Wish some of these ladies would skip over to my blog and leave a comment or two! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wanted to add (since I also commented earlier) that I actually made a folder in my e-mail account titled “nice things people say about me” because I knew as a newbie blogger that I was going to need to go back and read some encouraging things from time to time.

    WHATEVER WORKS! Have a great day!
    .-= Anne Galivan’s last blog post… Home-Schooling: The Right Choice (A Review) =-.

  42. Daya says:


    Happy Happy Birthday!! I have to tell you that even I don’t post much, I read your blog everyday. You are a very witty and creative writer. As most have already said, its surprising how down on yourself you are. You seem to be a really great person! I hope 35 is your best year yet!!! Again, Happy Birthday!!

    Btw, I love the beach photo!!

  43. Sobriquet says:

    Happy Birthday! I used to teach writing classes at a community college, and if you were my student you’d have a solid “A.” Does that help? I hope you take everyone’s comments to heart. You are grrreat! I look forward to reading your blog every day. I have a feeling the rest of your 30’s will be wonderful, and your 40’s even better. We’re all glad you’re hanging on. Love and peace to you.

  44. Anya says:

    Your blog rocks, really! I read it every morning, and your posts always make me smile. And I also can practice my English:)
    From Russia with love! Happy Birthday, Karen!!!

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