Category Archives: Thoughts

You Are Loved

People will tell you that you should never base your self-worth on those that surround you, because there will be times when they will let you down and times they will take a shot at your feelings due to their own circumstances, and your first assumption will be that it is because YOU are not worth their time, or YOU are not worth their effort. It’s difficult to not let how others treat you affect the way you perceive yourself. Recent events have let those kinds of destructive thoughts creep into my own head, which I had persistently blocked for a very long time. I began thinking that I wasn’t worth the time, the effort, the sacrifice, the love, the respect, and the understanding it takes to be in a relationship, a friendship, anything. The issue is that the negative forces in our lives take so much of a toll on us personally that they end up overwhelming the positive forces, and I can’t believe that I didn’t acknowledge this when it happened in my own life recently. I know that I am worth so much more than I have been given credit for in the past. I am not my unhappy experiences, my failures, my pain, my sadness, my inabilities, my projected worth…I am so much more.

That is why I believe that you are good enough, too. You may have had a horrible day, week, even year. But you know what? Things are going to get better, for both you and I. I may not even know you, but I can tell you that you can’t base your perception of YOUR worth on how people treat you. People are selfish and sometimes they don’t even mean to be. But they can be, and sometimes they are. Who’s to say that the way they conduct their lives and treat others reflects how you should be treated and how much you’re worth as an individual? You’re not a toy that they can just play with when they’ve got a moment to spare, and then put on the shelf. You’re not their pet, relying on them for the quality of your own life. You are a person with feelings, ambitions, vulnerabilities in combination with strengths. You’re unique in all aspects of your life and there will never be someone just like you, someone rich in the qualities that you possess in the exact same way. So you know what? Ditch the negative people, the hurtful memories, the times you’ve fallen on your face so hard you thought you’d never get back up, the underestimations people have of you, the disappointment people in their own lives that has somehow been projected upon your own life… Forget how people have made you feel. You’re incredible, and you deserve to be happy. Don’t let anyone take that happiness, that ability to feel alive and love yourself and the world around you, away from you. You deserve to be happy, fulfilled, and excited about your life, and those who don’t agree, don’t deserve to be a part of YOU.

You’re incredible, and no matter who you are, where you are, how people have hurt you in the past, what you think you’re worth, if I know you or not, you deserve to be happy and you are loved. Tremendously, genuinely, honestly, respectfully…

You are loved.

siggy

Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

IMG_1308

I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasing then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless. Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

siggy

Easier Now

DSC_0038-watermarked

All of my life, I have struggled with the fear of becoming overweight again, because as a child, I suffered immensely from being the chubbier kid. I wasn’t confident, happy, or satisfied with my quality of life. This is not to say that if you are confident or happy at this size or any size, you shouldn’t be. I just know that, in my experience, I spent so much time, too much time, agonizing over how I could be different and how I could be better. I just couldn’t see the beauty in myself. Something destructive had stuck with me and had no intention of letting go. At such a young age, those kinds of feelings have a deep imprint on your soul. I know they did on mine. But this time around, at 21 years old, as I am not overweight but still trying to keep in shape and stay healthy, it’s easier. Everything seems….easier.

I’ve noticed the change. I’m not looking in the mirror as much, grabbing at the visible fat on my sides or tummy, or scowling at the figure that stands before me, disappointed by what I see. She’s a beautiful person and she has carried me through 21 years of life, 21 years of experience, growth, love, failure, and triumph. She is the portal in which I have navigated the plane of life and she is the woman I will be until the day I die. She will change, physically and mentally, as she moves forward, but there should be no reason why I should look upon her with judgment. Her body has been through injuries, sickness, heartache. She’s fought through loss, anxiety attacks, hurt. I no longer look upon her, the body that housed and loved me, like she is wrong and needs to be changed. I’m guiding her in the right direction, a healthier path and state of mind.

I’ve grown to adore this changed perspective towards my body. I’m not judging myself like I used to. I can look in the mirror, smile, and know that that smile is genuine. I do love myself, and I love my body. There will be times when I come down on the beautiful girl in the mirror, the one that looks back at me and reflects the life that I’ve been living and the experiences I’ve gathered, but I know that those times will be fleeting, and will not house themselves permanently within the corners of my mind, waiting for their next moment to swallow the spotlight. Self judgment is no longer welcome in my heart and I’m determined to keep it that way. From here on out, everything feels… easier.

xo Amanda Cramer

Mandirito.com

“Stripped Tour”, Meet Culture Room! – Starring Phil Barnes and We the Kings

IMG_0034

We arrived early and were lucky enough to make our way to the middle of the venue, just five people from the front. The bottoms of my feet were starting to ache from my heeled leather boots, but I shook off the feeling to maintain my place in the crowd. If any of you have been to an intimate venue, you know that it’s almost impossible to retain a spot if you leave for a moment. The concert go-ers were packed like sardines, and I had to wonder whether it was a hand or someone’s chest rubbing up against my back.

After thirty minutes or so of listening to some pretty vintage bands that I can honestly say I’ve never heard (for good reason), the lights began to flicker. The crowd was growing restless and you could feel the excited energy growing as we awaited the performance. I was under the impression that the show would strictly be We the Kings, but was pleasantly surprised by the stage entrance of an artist I had never seen or heard before: Phil Barnes.

IMG_0026

At first impression, he was handsome. Well dressed, a little scruffy, and it was apparent that, unlike many other music artists, he was humble even when on stage, in the spotlight. He began to strum, and suddenly the whole venue fell in silence. The warmth he brought to the stage could be felt for miles. He captured our attention and, despite everyone initially coming to the show to see We the Kings, cultivated a new group of diehard fans, me being one of them. However, I did have to roll my eyes from time to time between songs, as the rest of the crowd was still focused on the fact that he was attractive. “You’re hot!” they’d shout, laughing amongst themselves. His performance had me absorbing and internalizing the lyrics, swaying and singing along. I don’t think We the Kings could’ve ever had a better preliminary performance. Phil Barnes is a talent worth recognizing.

Shortly after, We the Kings made their way to the stage. This has been about the sixth time I’ve seen them live, but this time around, I would have to say, was better than the other performances I’ve seen by them. Three of the guys in the band, Charles Trippy, Danny Duncan, and Travis Clark, have YouTube channels which they essentially post their entire lives on, documenting each day through their vlogs. From watching these videos, you see the kind of friendship they have amongst themselves. The intimacy of the venue and the small-scale show cultivated their humor in a way that I had yet to see beyond their channels. It wasn’t just their music. The audience got to see the kind of people they were. Their silly jokes, banter amongst themselves and toward the crowd, and the awkward moments when the rain stick took the stage and blew everyone out of the water. I was so moved by the music that I only noticed the uncomfortable bruised feeling on my soles once I was able to make my way back to our car. You know it’s a good show when you forget that you’re in pain!

IMG_0041

My favorite moment in their set was when Travis Clark took to the piano in his poem/song about living your life, called “Is This the End?”. I was immediately drawn to his passion and emotional connectedness toward the lyrics. Even from the audience, I could feel the strength of his words. The piece deviated immensely from their general musical style, but I think that the deviation was an immensely positive one and I definitely think they should explore that style of expression in future pieces.

The dynamic that the band has when they’re together is something that many individuals, including me, would desire to have in their lives and even more so in their careers. They have friends for life within their group, a mutual desire for a larger, shared purpose, and I think that having that kind of family away from your own family is crucial to a fulfilled life. I could only hope that one day I could have a group of people that I could consider my own family as well, a group that supports and cultivates the same aspirations as forcefully and passionately as they do! I also thought it was incredibly admirable that they made the choice to do a “stripped” tour, a completely acoustic set, and traveled as lightly and minimally as they did on their very first musical tour. With a band as big as theirs, it’s important to acknowledge the roots from which they grew their career, and I believe that is a key to their success. They’re still willing to show their fans that they appreciate them and to express gratitude towards the support they’ve received from the start. Thank you, We the Kings, for bringing us back to where it all began once more. The nostalgia was worth every moment.

What was your take on the “Stripped” Tour?
Comment below!

Free at Last! (Personal Update + Poll)

Hello, my darlings!

week-in-review-emma-stone-gifs-little-mix-thecozyarmchair

This has been a stressful homestretch, scattered with the anxiety of finishing group projects by seemingly impossible deadlines and the threat of upcoming exams that I felt mildly unprepared for, regardless of how hard I had studied. But this semester is finally coming to a close, I’m days away from sleeping in my own bed, and I feel my lungs gaining breath again. I feel like, in the last couple of weeks of a semester, I can barely breathe. I can never manage to take a full, deep breath and close my eyes to pure silence, because I know that once I close my eyes, reality will come back to bite me and remind me of what’s next on my list of things to do. But my head is officially clear, and I can begin to focus more on my art and writing again, and await the moment I can leave campus for an entire freakin’ month to go home and see my family and friends. It’s honestly the best treat a college kid could ask for, at least if they have a tight-knit family like I do. I always miss them when I’m away, but still, I definitely do not regret leaving for college because of this……But yes, I just feel good about everything lately and I am ready to come home and do nothing but things I want to do for the next few weeks. It will be glorious. Went on a bit of a tangent there. Moving right along. But yes, things are dandy on my end if you were wondering! 😉 And if not then….well, fine then. Suit yourself.

tumblr_m3lkfydCJe1ru7ftzo1_250

Anyway, I’ve got some time to blow, and I’d love to get your input on a few things. I’m going to start writing daily again (I hope you’re as excited as I am!!), and would like to know what kinds of articles you would like me to write more of! I write for you guys just as much as I write for myself and I’d like to take some requests and what not for this holiday season. So if you could, take a moment and answer my poll below. Hopefully I can take your requests and write something wonderful for them that we’ll both enjoy! And if you have a specific prompt that you’d like answered in a new blog post, my email is mandirito@gmail.com! I’m happy to take email requests as well! I even made it easy. The contact form below will allow you to send your requests straight to my inbox. So go ahead, don’t be shy. I want to know what you think!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful last few weeks of your semester and annihilating your finals like I actually sorta did. You’re almost there. I believe in you! And if you’d like some finals inspiration or just want to peel your eyes away your textbooks for a moment or two, go ahead and check out the facebook page, where I post a bunch of relevant things regarding to finals, college, inspirational quotes, recent blog posts, and other stuff that you might enjoy! And I mean….if you love me….it’d be nice…..: facebook.com/mandirito.the.blogger

giphy

 

Cmon. You know you want to.

Here is the poll:

Mandirito-signature-picture

 

 

13 Reasons I’m Thankful this Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving-2

It’s that time of year again. The time where we all come together, with friends and family, to celebrate the things that we are most grateful for. Lately, I feel like there are so many wonderful, incredible things in my life that deserve to be noted, but because this is “13 reasons” and not “300 reasons”, I’ll try to limit it to the very best of the best!

47985

1. I finally have my camera charger back! Silly me, and this is going to sound really bad, but when I moved to college for this semester once again, I forgot a tiny little thing that I would need for my camera: the charger. So I had everything, from lenses, to carrying bags, to my DSLRs that I love so very much, and no charger. For either camera. But since I’m back home and spending this week having quality time with the fam, I was able to charge my camera! It’s been way too long, and I’m going to be pretty snap happy for these next couple of months.

giphy

2. We always have the best, most delicious coffee at home. It’s one of the little things I miss when I’m away at school. I don’t even know what it is that makes it so much better. Perhaps the fact that it tastes a little stronger, even when it’s sweetened? It’s like crack. That must be the secret ingredient or something…

blogging_loudly-10541

3. I have time to blog again! With all the craziness of finals week arriving and the closure of my courses in combination with everything else, I have had absolutely no time to write, and I’ve missed it. I do it for you guys because I know you enjoy my work, but I especially enjoy it because in most cases, it feels quite therapeutic to me. Stay tuned for all the new posts coming soon! THEY’RE COMING.

giphy (1)

4. All the positive feedback I’ve received as of late. Even with me being busy and not having as much time lately to write for you guys everyday, you’ve still been so loving and supportive. I’ve barely lost any followers and subscribers, and it means a lot to me that you guys have stuck around!

crazy_man_in_bed___animation_gif_by_gturbo5-d67ad4g

5. Sleeping in my own bed. It’s a pile of fluffy sheets and copious amounts of blankets that feel a lot like what heaven would feel like if it were a place to sleep. No bed compares to my bed at home, not to knock my bed in my apartment that highly resembles the hardness of blanketed concrete. But yeah.

Im-so-happy-GIF

6. The weather is just gorgeous! I came from school, raining ferociously and wind blowing over bikes, to back home, sunny, breezy, and clear-sky-ed. It’s not even boiling hot. It’s a dream, really.

1314194350658

7. After several months of being away from my family, nothing is more exciting than getting to spend time with them again. I’ve been here for only a couple of days so far and it’s been amazing. I look forward to countless more memories in this week alone, err….these next few days, the last few days…. before I have to head back to take my exams! *sigh*

The child within me weeps at the thought of leaving them and going back to my responsibilities. D*mn you, adulthood.

giphy (2)

8. This is the first time I’ve had an ounce of free time, and I’m clinging to them desperately. My major is definitely for the sleepless, but these breaks help me refocus. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, even if they’re watery and red from tiredness.

I don’t have a ton of time, but I sure am a professional napper and cryer at this point.

giphy (3)

9. I have access to all my pretty clothes (and BEANIES!) that I didn’t get to bring when I moved away to college. It feels like I have brand new clothes every time I come home because there are so many pieces that I haven’t seen in a while. It gives me inspiration to try new outfits and rewear the clothes that I already have!

See that gif? Yeah, that’s me at college, staring in despair at my overflowing yet empty closet. NOTHING TO WEAR. NOTHING TO WEAR AT ALL.

tumblr_m0e57jpmmv1rqvc0ko1_r1_500

10. I can finally catch up on my latest guilty pleasure and the most successful procrastination technique I’ve discovered thus far within this semester: the Vampire Diaries series. It’s pretty dangerous when I have time to marathon on Netflix and when Netflix actually has to ask if I’m still there. Someone send help (Is there a life alert for Netflixers?!)!

Oh, and the answer to that question? College. Yep, yep. Feeling nothing. Team no sleep. Kinda numb. Coffee running through my veins. Sweatpants all day, everyday. It really does things to you…..

tapsvihar

11. I have time to work on building my audience. I’ve been slacking lately and I feel like my blog has come to somewhat of a stat-standstill, so it’ll be nice to dedicate some time to gaining exposure again. It takes a chunk of time and effort to create and manage a blog, and I don’t want to be that person that gives up when time gets tough! I, no, more like WE, will work through this. I have a good feeling.

craptelly9.gif

12. I’m learning to be much more independent and actually relishing in the independence. I think after a breakup, it’s best to learn how to focus on yourself and what you need to personally accomplish, and I feel like I’m doing that successfully lately. Sometimes I do need to turn my attention to myself and figure out what I want in order to prioritize my own dreams for the future.

Jared-Padalecki-Sam-Winchester-Supernatural-GIF-Happy-Birthday-I-Feel-Good

13. Everything feels like it’s falling into place. There are times in all of our lives when we feel fluctuation, when things get bad, get a little bit better, but then revert back to what we’ve been dreading. Lately, though, things are looking up. I feel like I’m cultivating a lot of positivity and I hope to maintain this positive outlook for the remainder of the year, and hopefully extend it beyond that. I can honestly say that I feel good, both physically and mentally. Things are looking up (knock on wood).

So now it’s your turn. Go ahead, tell me.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Comment below!

Mandirito-signature-picture

Girls Meets Glitter? Girl has Already MET Glitter, and She Loves It!: Review of Ipsy’s November Beauty Bag

IMG_2524-2

I know you guys have been long awaiting my review for my beauty bag I received for the month of November from my Ipsy subscription. It’s been a hectic couple of days with the looming Thanksgiving Break and the current wrap up of all of my group projects and assignments I need to complete for my classes. I feel like my head’s going to explode! But on the brighter side, after using the products I received, I am now able to give you guys an honest, first-hand review!

In this gorgeous, glittery bag, I received a ton of products. Sometimes they only give you a couple, but I was pleasantly surprised by what my makeup bag had in store! I got 5 different beauty products total: An eye base by Be a Bombshell Cosmetics in “Submissive”, a J.Cat wonder lip paint in “Mad Splatter”, a S/B highlighter by Temptu in “Pink Pearl”, a Star Looks gem pencil in “Ultra Olive”, and finally, the oil of Morocco argan oil hairspray by Marc Anthony.

novemberipsyswatch

The image above shows a few swatches of the products. From top to bottom, the picture shows the “Ultra Olive” gem pencil, the wonder lip paint in “Mad Splatter”, and the “Submissive” eye base. I wanted to swatch the highlighter as well for you guys, but unfortunately it doesn’t show up as well as the other products because it’s meant to be more of a subtle pearly glow.

eyebase

I’m gonna start us off with one of my top products from the beauty bag that I received: the eye base in “Submissive”. At first glance, I didn’t think it would be anything special, and I was completely wrong. When I opened the container, the color was a gorgeous brassy gold. I could imagine that this would look incredible on darker skin as well. I have a more medium/olive tone (aside from during Winter, when I begin to lighten up), and this shade surprisingly looks outstanding on my skin. I used it in combination with a gold shadow this week and I can honestly say that it helps tremendously to keep the shadow from crumbling and falling off, and maintained the shadow look that I had created for an entire school day. I like the creamy texture of the product and that it applies evenly without clumping. It’s difficult to find a color that would probably look equally as good on differentiating skin tones, but I believe that this color could do justice to any skin shade, so if you’re darker or fairer than me, you should give this product a chance as well. You may be pleasantly surprised!

This product is only $14 on the Be a Bombshell Cosmetics website, which isn’t really all that bad for something that I imagine would last a while. You don’t really need all that much product to apply this effectively.

IMG_2570 copy

Next, I’d like to go to my absolute favorite, must-have product from this bag: the wonder lip paint. Above is a picture of the lip paint in action! I was not expecting the color to be so vibrant at first glance, because many of the lip glosses and lip colors I’ve purchased prior to receiving this bag seemed like they’d be solid, thick colors, but later proved to be a bit transparent. This lip paint, however, applies as the exact same shade as the tube. Not even kidding. There’s no false advertising in this product, and probably for this entire line of lip paint. What you see is exactly what you get. The texture of the lip paint is a little on the weird side if you’re used to smooth color, but I’ve come to realize that if you squeeze the tube a couple of times with the cap on before you start to actually use the product, the sandy texture won’t be as prominent. I think the product just separates in the tube after a while. Once it’s mixed, however, it’s definitely not as noticeable. The color lasts for hours, and when I say hours, I mean hours. It endured eating, drinking coffee, and wiping my face. This lip paint is long lasting which I think is a wonderful change. Just make sure that when you apply the color that your lips are dry (don’t lick your lips beforehand) and try to stay within the lines of your lips. Once it dries, it’s done, so it’s important to get your lips exactly how you want them before it seals. It’s a gorgeous color that maintains its shade throughout the day! What’s not to love?

Try it out! It’s amazing! It’s only $4.99 at Ulta!

highlighter

Now we’re onto the highlighter. I think it has a pretty glow, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t capture it in a photograph, which leads me to believe that it doesn’t show up all that much. It has subtle glitter, but with my skin tone, it fades quite a bit. I do have to say, though, that it has a very pretty, pleasant smell to it. However, I don’t think that this product is going to do much for me. I will try to work it into my beauty routine, but I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I’m not really sure if it’s going to make much of a difference in the long run, as my WINTER skin overwhelms the color. I guess we will see.

It’s $27.50 on the website, which I think is a bit much, but if you’d like to try it out for yourself, go ahead and click here.

eye pencil

The “Ultra Olive” eye pencil is pretty on my blue eyes. It doesn’t smudge all that much, which is always good, and the pencil has subtle glitter which helps transition between day and night looks. I don’t generally deviate from the eyeliners that I use, so I thought it was pretty neat that I received a new eyeliner in my beauty bag this time around. I think Ipsy’s trying to tell me that I need to be more experimental with more neutral, toned-down eyeliners. I certainly wouldn’t buy a new neutral eyeliner on my own, unless the color was a must-have. I’m more of a jet black or crazy bright eyeliner user, never really in between, so I didn’t know exactly how to feel about the olive just yet. This olive pencil is nice, though. It looks great on me so far, and I don’t think it’s all that crazy to try out, so if you’re a little nervous about trying an olive tone eyeliner, I would definitely suggest giving this pencil a go. I’ll probably use it from time to time. It’d probably look great on a grey-eyed gal.

If you want to check out this pencil, click here. It’s $17, so it’s really your call if you have the money and would like to give it a chance.

hairspray

Finally, we have the Marc Anthony hairspray that I’ve increasingly grown to love. I was disappointed at first because I don’t like receiving hair products from Ipsy, but when I tried this product out, I was much happier than I thought I’d be. I think it’s quite functional for many different hairstyles and doesn’t harden your hair to the point where it’s uncomfortable. I used this to seal my hairstyle on Friday, and when it came time to take my hair down, it actually ended up looking amazing. This hairspray is great for teasing and styling hair and is useful if you’re like me and sometimes just want to get your hair out of your face for a few hours. It has an amazing smell, completely intoxicating, and keeps my hair shiny and sleek. Love, love, love this hairspray! And the even better part? It’s only $8.99 at Ulta!

Go check it out here! Let me know what you think!

I hope you enjoyed my review, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Leave a comment below!

Mandirito-signature-picture