beauty

Our True Beauty

We live in the world. We are women. We feel the expectations and pressures to "keep up with ourselves" from what the world tells us. We want to feel beautiful and desired. We want to feel valued. And because we are women, we have a God-given ability to see beauty and to bring that beauty into the world, starting in the most intimate of places, our hearts. A woman's heart reflects a pureness and love that is admired and should be cared for.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." 

When we guard our hearts and our purity, we bring beauty to others. We give a glimpse of God’s holiness and goodness. This kind of true beauty is what the Lord wants for us. The world sees through dark glasses; its vision stops at the surface level. Dressing to show off our body only brings a temporary value and a surface level self-worth that is quick to leave. As Christians we understand this. 

"Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel...not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works." (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

"Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear." (1 Peter 3:3)

Dressing modestly is of value. It enhances our inner beauty and doesn't focus on our body. When the focus is on our inner beauty, our heart, we will be desired and valued because of the substance of this beauty. 

But, so often this teaching of humility and modesty leaves us with the impression that we cannot and should not give any attention toward our outward beauty. We think we shouldn't be interested in the clothes we wear or what’s in style. That our desire to want to feel beautiful is vanity, and any indulgence in this is when guilt sets in. But, this is simply not true; it is a lie from the enemy that God does not want good things for us, or that these concerns are too small for God to care about. 

The truth is God cares about ALL parts of our heart. Every little bit. He loves that we get joy from putting things together that make us feel beautiful. He loves our creativity and how we use it for our own style that inspires others. There is no shame in loving and wanting to feel beautiful. God created beauty; he loves to see us inspired by it! 

I see style and fashion as a language that we use to connect with other women. Putting effort into our style shows we know our value and that we are loved.  We make a conscious decision each morning on what outfit we will put on for that day that reflects the beauty, personality, creativity, and purity of our hearts. We can be stylish, modest, and confident knowing that the Lord delights in our happiness! 

YOU’RE INVITED
 Gather Her 6.16
 

CW: Gather Her is an evening of fashion and faith meant to refresh her through power messages, dinner, pampering and a time to share, create and grow with other dreamers and women of purpose.

There’s something special that happens when women who live on purpose gather around a dinner table. The conversations are life changing causing a shift in momentum in where we are going.

~ A movement ~ An awakening ~

That’s why Created Woman has designed a monthly gathering called CW: Gather Her for women who desire to and are living on purpose and for a purpose on the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Arthouse Austin.

You’re invited to be refreshed, renewed and sharpened so that you can continue to be and become who you are created to be, run your race with endurance and show up well!

Click Here for tickets

Facebook Invite and details

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Pictures courtesy of Austin Art House and Leandra Blei Photography

About the author

sarahSarah's love for textures, colors, fabrics and all things style started at a young age and quickly became a passion. She received a Bachelors degree from Texas State University, majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Business Administration. With an eye for style, she is intrigued by everyday fashion and finds happiness through constantly re-decorating her home. She believes laughing is one of the best parts of life. Having those much needed long phone calls to mom is a close second. Lover of white fluffy couches. Finds comfort in coffee & candles. And blooms where she is planted. Sarah recently married her high school sweetheart Phillip, and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas

The Power of Dressing

Dressing casual and the idea that workout clothes can be worn on a daily basis have become mainstream in this country. I’ve begun to notice this more and more recently not only as I walk around campus in between classes but also while out running errands and shopping. I understand the need to be comfortable in our day-to-day lives but in my opinion you do not need baggy sweatshirts and running shorts to be comfortable.

I think a lot of my belief in dressing comes from being raised in a French family. My grandmother is French, my grandfather is American and they met in France, had my mom and then moved to the United States. Even after being in the US for so long, my grandmother has stuck to her roots and raised my mom and I in the French traditions. Daily, you always have your hair and makeup done and attire looking put together. Holidays and special occasions were for more formal attire- dresses and heels for women, slacks and a jacket for men. Workout attire was for exactly that, working out.

 This past summer was my grandparent’s 60th Anniversary. They took my parents, myself and my boyfriend on a week long cruise in celebration. That was where I really began to notice how casual Americans are. Dinners in the dining room had a dress code and two of those nights were formal attire. As my family walked in dressed to the nines, men around us were in khakis and bowling shirts while the women were in sundresses and sandals. Many completely ignored the dress code and came straight from the pool. I understand that this is vacation but they also told you what to pack when you booked your cruise. 

It’s not hard to combine comfort with style. You don’t have to put on a ball gown to go to the grocery store. Leggings, a flowy top, flats and simple jewelry are enough; with leggings on, you can still pretend you’re in your favorite yoga pants and a flowy top feels almost like a worn in t-shirt. I know when I get dressed, I want to act in a way that matches my attire. I’m more polite and friendly when looking put together. I also get more compliments about how I look in general or just a piece I am wearing. When I get those complements, I feel better about myself and when my confidence goes up I believe I can do anything. The way you look is the first impression you give anybody around, so why not make a great first impression?

Dressing Up 3

You don’t have to dress the same as everyone else. Style is about showing who you are. It is possible to look chic in jeans and a white shirt. Add fun accessories to a plain outfit to show your personality. Wear a cute pair of pumps with skinny jeans to stand out. When you have on those fabulous heels, your body language changes. You strut and show confidence.

I promise that dressing everyday is worth it and will make you feel happier and more confident in the end. Even on those days when you don’t feel like getting pretty, bright lipstick and a messy bun is in style. When you look in the mirror and think, “wow, I am gorgeous” you can feel like a supermodel. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who believes she is beautiful. Get dressed in the morning for yourself, put on eye liner for yourself, your favorite red lipstick for yourself, show a bit of skin for yourself, be beautiful for yourself. All this does in the end is empower yourself. 

 

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” –Miuccia Prada 

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All pictures found on pinterest!  

Style Speaks Fashion Show

Style Speaks was a great day for fashion in Austin. All the women in attendance looked beautiful in their most stylish outfits while enjoying incredible speakers, delicious food, awesome shopping and most important, an entertaining fashion show with stunning pieces brought to us by three Austin brands- s.t.e.f., W by Worth, Capra and Cavelli and UAL. The final walk out!

s.t.e.f. had a pop-up shop with multiple pieces and also opened and closed the show with nine different looks. s.t.e.f. is a sustainable women’s clothing line designed and created in Austin, TX. They pride themselves on creating quality pieces that are designed to last using organic cotton and hemp blend fabrics. From my personal opinion, s.t.e.f. should be the brand that everyone gravitates towards. I love their use of natural fabrics and recycled materials and the quality of their pieces. I also love that their pieces aren’t too expensive. You may think that $200 for a cotton dress is a little pricey but when you’re paying that, you’re paying for a dress that is fitted perfectly to you that will last for years to come. The designer, Stephanie, prides herself on creating a line that is sustainable and also producing clothing that makes women feel beautiful and has a positive impact on her community.” She launched s.t.e.f. in Austin in 2013. If only I could afford to buy everything from s.t.e.f. all at once, especially the dress that Stephanie wore yesterday.

 

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How can you say no to a skirt like this?

The front had a super sexy deep V-neck. Perfect little black dress for a night out!

W by Worth also had a pop up shop and had 6 looks in the show. Worth is a New York City based company founded in 1991. They don’t sell their clothing in a store like most brands; you can shop online or in person with one-on-one appointments with a professional sales associate. They aim to provide personalized luxury experience for every woman that shops with them and remain dedicated to strong women of purpose, passion and style. I love the intimacy they offer while shopping because I know many women are like me and hate shopping with crowds.

I love a good animal print!

Anyone who saw me at Style Speaks knows how much I adore black jumpers. I must have this.

Capra and Cavelli had six incredible looks in the show and also gave out gift cards to everyone in attendance. Capra and Cavelli has been around for over 19 years and has established a national reputation as the distinguished source of exceptional clothing for men and women. The women’s shop is located downtown in the Hilton Lobby and is the newer of the two locations. The women’s location emphasizes Austin casual dress and local designed jewelry. One of my personal favorite brands they carry is Tess. The men’s location is the original location and has been recognized by Esquire Magazine as one of the top 100 clothing stores in America. They even have an in-house tailor to make sure your purchases have an exceptional fit. I have to say I can’t wait to visit both locations to do some shopping for my boyfriend and I.

She's like a modern day Sandy from Grease!

UAL was a personal favorite of mine because I got to help dress the girls wearing their clothing. UAL unfortunately did not have a shop but they did have six gorgeous looks on the runway. UAL, or United Apparel Liquidators, was founded by a husband and wife team in 1980 in Mississippi. Since then it has grown into a recognizable name and now has five retail stores in four states including the one in Austin along with an online store. They were built on the concept of obtaining high-fashion brands at affordable pricing. You can find incredible pieces from 70-90% off retail prices. I fell in love with all the pieces they had and almost had a heart attack when I saw how much they were. I’ll be stopping by there in the near future.

I must have these pants!

Again, the animal print.

Every look in the show was a perfect representation of what to wear for this fall/winter season and I hope everyone that went to this event and reading this posts checks out all four of these incredible companies.

To top off the amazing show...

My dream came true at the end of the fashion show. I actually got to walk down a runway! I couldn't have been more excited!

Michele and the rest of us did an awesome job of putting the show on!

 

Thank you to s.t.e.f.'s instagram and Asya for the great pictures!

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!

I was 17, walking from the girls bathroom to my Geology class during passing period.  I had an extra spring in my step that day – I looked so cute!  I’ll never forget the grey shirt with black velvety stripes, the black pleated skirt ala Britney Spears coupled with my new patterned opaque tights and Mary Jane shoes.  I spotted a couple of girls at their lockers looking as cute as me; but my boobs were bigger and my waist smaller and I thought to myself, “I look way better!” No sooner was I seated at my lab table then the Swedish exchange student walked over to me and said, “Kala…” he didn't have to finish his sentence.  I knew immediately that I had walked down the hallway with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and I was completely mortified!  As a teenager I cringed at the event, as an adult I realize the lesson I was being taught.  I wasn't better.

“Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:26 (New Living Translation)

More and more employers have put an emphasis on teamwork in the workplace, leaving little room for those who do not play nice with others.  I recently transferred into and new job and replaced someone who was great.  While it’s easier to find the things that he did poorly and showcase MY strengths, the real challenge is focusing on his wins and reminding myself that I am building upon that.

My way, his way… neither is better or worse.  We lead differently plain and simple, we have a different approach to business, training and communication.  I'm certain that I will be able to take my job to another level, I am also certain that a great leader can step away to let another shine; and for that I'm grateful for this chance.

“Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for the talents you have given me.  Help me to recognize when I am being selfish and when I’m frustrated, show me the bigger picture so that I can move on.

Curl Potential

Living in the south, most of my clients tend to have some kind of issue with frizz. I, myself,  have always attributed this to the weather and humidity. However, recently I was introduced to a way of thinking that changed that. "Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen," I heard a curly beauty say from the DevaCurl class. She caught my interest.  For the next hour and a half, she had my undivided attention. I walked away from her class with not only  knowledge but also feeling brave and inspired to find my, and my clients, curl potential.

For more than a month and a half I've embraced my curls. I've shared the freedom and empowered  my clients, combating frizz and unruly curls in a whole new way.

It seems that after more than a decade of straight hair being king of the industry, curly hair has made a come back of sorts. No, it's not the perm of the 80's. It's the natural bounce that you were created with that seems to be rocking the salons and the big screen.

Everyday woman and Hollywood "A-listers" alike are flocking to salons to find the magic that is DevaCurl.

With products like "nopoo", the suds-less cleanser, and "mister right" lavender spray to reinvigorate curls, it's no surprise that it's taking off.

"I never knew my hair was this curly," or "all my life I never thought I had curly hair," are just a few of the responses I love getting from my clients after the Deva three step. The simple cleanse, condition, and gel, bring your own curl to the surface, allowing them to shine like never before.

So if your fighting frizz and don't think straightening is the way for you, or if you just want to love the curl you know is there, take a peek at the new products that started this curly revolution. Discover your curl potential.

Did you say, "Green Cosmetics?"

In today's American society, to be "green" doesn't refer to green with envy but rather sensitive to the earth we . Is the product manufactured in an ethical way? Is recycling a part of the process? Is it friendly to the environment? In investigating beauty products  that fit the bill, I discovered brands whose mission and purpose earned them recognition by Certified Green Cosmetics.

Origins

Our mission is to create high performance natural skincare that is powered by nature, proven by science.

 

Burt's Bees

This company started out selling their renowned lip palm  at craft fairs and they've come a long way Baby! Their line now includes products for men, babies, skin, face, body, hair AND products for the outdoors.

Aside from a great quality product, here's what I love:

We believe in giving back.Through The Greater Good Foundation, we commit to pledge at least 10% of all Web Site sale revenues to our selected "well being" partners.

 

 

 

                                                                                   JASON

In 1959 when other companies were including man made perfume and petroleum in their products, a group of Californians moved towards a more natural approach with Apricot Oil, Peppermint Oil and Wheat Protein. In addition to face, body, hair and sun products these guys have a entire Oral lineup of toothpaste and mouthwash that  do not include chemicals and are safe for people and the environment.

  Mary Kay Cosmetics

While Mary Kay Cosmetics doesn't carry the "green seal" their newest product is called  Botanical Effects Skin Care and the products do not include synthetic dyes or added fragrance. All of their products have a 100% buy back guarantee.

Each of theses companies reaches out to a wide range of clients and they include products for dry, normal and oily skin. Focused on providing  people a quality product, it appears that each of these organizations has a reputation of  putting their clients needs out in front, and if you're not already 'brand loyal' you might want to give one of these companies a try.

What Not To Wear

Spring is here, or if you’re a Texan you can say spring never left.  If you’re like me you’re packing up your sweaters and suede boots and pulling out the spaghetti straps and open toe sandals.  But sometimes enjoying fashion can be tricky during work hours. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.  Proverbs 11:22 (New International Version) 

In the Old Testament, pigs were unclean & untouchable animals, so the idea of putting something as extremely valuable and beautiful as a gold ring in a pig’s snout would be an incredible waste.  To show no discretion means to be without taste, tact & grace.  It seems a bit extreme, comparing an indiscreet woman to a pig, but it sure does put God’s perspective on the subject into place.

God has set some rather high standards for women.  We are to be noble of character, hard working, giving, crafty, wise and modest.  It’s a tall order, but in true God fashion the order has its purpose.  He’s put these expectations in place to keep us out of compromising situations.  If you think that dressing provocatively is not YOUR problem, think again.

The decisions you make each morning standing in your closet can have more of an impact than you know on someone’s marriage, friendship, employment status or their walk with God.

Whether you work in an office or as a cashier in a grocery store these  “What Not To Wear” basics still apply.

  • Keep your cleavage out of the workplace.  The only girls people should be seeing are the ones you birthed.
  • Perma-wedgies are not sexy.  Skinny jeans are great, but if stopping at the drug store on the way home for yeast infection medication is probable, then you probably shouldn’t wear them to begin with.
  • Your husband is the only one who needs to see your v-jay-jay.  So while super short skirts & shorts may have their place in fashion, knee length is more appropriate.
  • If you have to get a bikini wax to wear low rise anything – they are too low!  There is no need to show off your thong or booty crack.

Allow me to remind you that charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting.  God may have blessed you with curves and beauty but he created you to be so much more.  When you’re getting dressed in the morning, whom are you thinking about?  Your clothes do not define who you are, your character does; and dressing inappropriately is a direct reflection of your character.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you creating me and giving me this body to serve you.  Help my sisters and I to make wise decisions before we step out the door each morning so that we are not stumbling blocks in each other’s lives.

Still Hungry?  Proverbs 31 defines a woman of noble character and 1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us that beauty is more than what is on the outside.

Purse & Clutch, leaving a Fingerprint

The very best thing about a handbag: When a girl  puts on a few pounds, a handbag can give her a "pick me up" because it doesn't reflect what that silly old bathroom scale says. Purse & Clutch, an online boutique  has plenty of bags to choose from and they speak loudly about who they are and what they're about. Owner and Operator, Jen Ardill created her business to be a conduit, connecting artisans who might otherwise not earn a living wage to Western consumers, looking for beauty, style and quality.

Featured are the Classic, A-Line and Button Clutch. Each bag is made of cotton that

is carded, spun and woven by hand. Currently, all products are made in India.

Fabric designs range from classic to whimsical to contemporary and colors include earthy hues of  mustard and brown,  neutrals plum and red and then beautiful bright spots of blue that would get many a girl to "get her spring on."

Scarves and table runners are also available.

Fabrics are block printed in local shops, lined in a cooperative for those affected with leprosy and stitched together at a vocational training center for battered and abused women. Each step in the development of these products creates jobs, jobs and more jobs.

In the 1800's, women spent a great deal of time embroidering their handbags, showing them off for potential husbands. This kind of detail is not a lost art @ Purse & Clutch. The exquisite detail appeals to the fashion forward consumer in the Western hemisphere, which ultimately creates independence for our less fortunate global brothers and sisters.

Every fashion season brings new and fresh fabric designs with it. Each item is unique and once sold, cannot be found again.

Jen is a woman who is leaving her Fingerprint in other women's lives.Add to your wardrobe @  Purse & Clutch . Make it a part of  your list of online  favorites and join Jen as a supportive member of a global community.

http://www.purseandclutch.com/

Jen Ardill-Person style;I like to focus on classic shapes and surprising color combinations.

Inspiration;I am inspired by the desire to be resourceful and enjoying finding new uses for clothes that have been in my closet for years. I am also inspired by the creativity of my dear friend Stephanie Press from Hold Vintage (www.hold-vintage.com). She inspires me to be bold and try new clothing pairings.

A Special Valentine's Message

Ahhh… Valentine's. The love holiday. For some it brings smiles, roses, candy and a nice dinner out. For others it brings knots to the stomach, tears, feelings of failure and anxiety. No matter which camp you find yourself in, I would like to share an idea that could potentially make any girl’s Valentines extra sweet and special. There's the coolest verse in the Bible found in a tiny little book tucked away in the depths of the Old Testament. Song of Solomon 1:2 says, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth- for your love is better than wine.” I have pondered the exquisite beauty of that analogy. Even if you don’t like wine, you can appreciate the fact that one type of fruit, the grape, can make 20+ different categories of wines, and each of those are not exactly the same. If you look at music, there are 12 main notes on a piano, that repeat. And how many different songs are there? An infinite number. Simple songs, complex songs, short songs, long songs, happy songs, sad songs. The possibilities are endless, just like with grapes and wine.

It’s the same with God’s love. The sheer vastness of all the dimensions of His love is amazing. Not in an overwhelming way, though, because God knows just how to pair His love with your circumstances.

Some need His tender love, the comforting kind that lets you take a deep breath and rest in His loving-kindness. Some need His tough love to say, “No, you need to cut this out of your life if you want be healthy and grow.” Some need His Shepherd kind of love because you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death and you're afraid, and you need to remember that He's right there with you and His love can cast out that fear. Some need His Father’s love, to realize that you belong; you're a part of His family. Some need to know Him as Lover of your Soul. He not only fought for your soul, but He's deeply in love with you. His desire is towards you. Some need His faithful love, because you haven’t had an example of faithful love and you desperately need to know that He's still there and that nothing can separate you from His love- not your feelings, not your circumstances, not your loneliness. Nothing, can separate you from His love.

He wants you to know that He loves you this Valentine's Day and He wants you to experience a new dimension of His love. Try it. Carve some time out to spend with Him this year. A special Valentine's date. You and your Creator. If you need some inspiration, try putting on “The Very Thought of You” by Natalie Cole and sing it to Him. Write Him a note.  Have a moment, Woman to Creator. He will meet you there.