Upon my word.

I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.

I have a deep infatuation with words. The way they melt together rhythmically to make art and tug at your heart strings has always fascinated me. Songs, poetry, books, letters—all composed of words. I feel intertwined with words the way people in love are intertwined with each other. This is both a blessing and a curse because words can be equally full of expression and passion as they can be empty. They are slippery things too often wasted in mindless babble. A word can bring love to life and wake desire, but at the end of the day, it is simply a word. It is an empty vessel until you fill it with meaning.

Words are potential.

As I see it, here is the problem: we too often squash the potential words can have by using them irresponsibly. Society has become comfortable with speaking, writing, and reading words that lack truth and substance. It has become acceptable to use the building blocks upon which our society was built on to tear people down. Instead of using words to uplift, we use them to oppress in the name of logic and realism. We speak them nonchalantly knowing they are desolate. We disrespect them and use them to disrespect. We use them to deceive instead of to illuminate. How can we be so bold to defile something of such immeasurable importance?

I think the best example we have of anyone who did right by words is Jesus. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. The words He spoke were truth and they were always thoughtful, kind, enlightened and graceful—quite literally, full of grace. Since Jesus, we have done a rather unsatisfactory job in making our words count for something. Of course, people like Shakespeare and Voltaire have bestowed their lovely words upon us, and once in a while people say or write things that leave a mark on the world or in our hearts. But mostly, words have lost a certain zeal they used to have. An ability to stick to your bones and ignite a fire within you that water cannot put out.

I can only hope that I have used my words wisely. I hope to do right by words and use them to express love. To inspire. To encourage. To irradiate. I know I have failed in doing this more than once, and I will fail in doing it again. It’s human nature. But, humans, let’s try to make our words count for something.

Fill your words with value and raw honesty. Potency.

The words we speak, the words we believe to be true, and the words we choose to listen to are woven into the fabric that becomes us. If the words that help define our being are barren and careless, where does that leave us?

Words matter.

Words, regardless of intention, always have some kind of effect.

Make it a positive one.



|Proverbs 16:24|


You are here.

Have you ever been lost at a mall? To find your way to where you would like to go, you find a mall directory and figure out where you are. In bold lettering, there is usually a red sticker marked “you are here”. This sticker aids in figuring out where you are and where you are going. I think that people, myself included, often forget to first assess where they are before they start planning for where they are going. Knowing and understanding the person you are is the biggest key to confidence. If you are unsure of the person you are, trying to plan for who you are going to be and where you are going to go is a strenuous task.

I went to a work conference today (I work for Bare Minerals, a cosmetics company) and the theme was building courageous confidence. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Because this was a work-related seminar, we of course discussed ways you can build and exude confidence at work. As it often does, my mind went elsewhere. As I sat in the conference room of a Hilton hotel, I began to ponder over what courageous confidence means in terms of my own life. I’ve always thought of myself as a rather confident person, and I have my parents to thank for that. From a very young age, I was told that I could be who I wanted to and steer myself in any direction that I wanted to go if I was willing to put my heart and hard work into it. My personal confidence is undoubtedly rooted in the fact that I am privileged enough to have grown up in a home where dreaming is encouraged, support is always given, laziness is not tolerated, and love is a verb. For this, I have the utmost gratitude. But, as time goes on, lines have a tendency of getting blurry and our childhood imaginings of becoming great and mighty rulers of the world are diminished. All of the sudden, you are twenty years old and unsure of how your present is correlating with your future. If you have never been in this sort of early-life crisis, I want to applaud you and ask that you impart some of your wisdom upon us all. But mostly, I think you’re lying.

In the middle of a lengthy ramble about approaching customers with confidence at work, I decided that I needed a life-check. I needed a “you are here” sticker. What are you doing, Alex? Why are you doing it? Where do you want to go? What steps are you going to take to get there? Are you currently the person that you want to be? Can you be better? A lot of tough questions to ask yourself whilst pretending to listen to a semi-motivational speech, huh? They are 100% necessary though.

Van Gogh said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of plan, in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act”. Sure, you’re not going to know all of the answers to those questions right away. I have a hard time trying to figure out what I want for lunch for crying out loud. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to start considering them. Probe yourself with inquiries about what it is that you want and the steps that you need to take to get there. Take action. Nurture and develop your strengths. Tell yourself that you can do it. It’s possible. It’s tangible. Work hard for it and do not for one second believe that you will get anywhere if you don’t. Reflect.

YOU ARE HERE. Now, where are you going?

Lipstick and Dynamite? What?

Lipstick and Dynamite. My sister snarled at the name of the blog I created today. “What does that even mean,” she spat. I stared at her, bewildered at how blatantly she shot down what I thought was a clever name. I’m unsure of whether or not it’s clever now, because obviously my sister didn’t catch on. But it isn’t meaningless. It’s girly and strong. Feminine and rugged.
This is a beauty and lifestyle blog: created because I love all things pretty, and frilly. And mostly because I can’t go into a Sephora without walking out $50 poorer. Beauty. But I’m also a 19 year old girl (am I still too young to be considered a woman?) going to school, working, and living out life. And life isn’t always as glitzy as my makeup. In fact, it rarely is. It’s complicated and wonderful and unpredictable and ineffable, mostly. Dynamite.
When life isn’t as sparkly as I’d like it to be, I have a few things that cheer me up. One of those things happen to be makeup (mac n’ cheese usually does the trick too). I mean, have you ever swiped on some red lipstick and had a bad day?…okay, maybe. But you can’t say it doesn’t perk you up a little.
Lipstick and dynamite. An odd pairing, sure. But it’s also kind of perfect. For me at least.

So there, sis.






P.S.—My sister’s really supportive of this blog and it’s name (now).