Tell Me I’m Beautiful

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In my recent post, I admitted that I’m not feeling good about my skin right now. And there are a few things that have caused me to feel more insecure about it.

You know what I’ve noticed? That most women give power to other people to make them feel beautiful. Probably, because we are seeking acceptance.

Some kind of validation, that we’re beautiful in someone’s eyes, or in most cases, in anyone’s eyes. So what’s wrong with this?

I don’t like to feel weak, and I hate it even more when someone has that power over me. Especially somebody that, I don’t even know.

Do I need someone to tell me how pretty I look, so I can feel good about myself?

Compliments are always nice to get, but if my self-worth depends on them, then there got to be something wrong with that.

The compliment made me happy, because I have actually allowed someone to put a value on me. It’s a cheap way to boost my confidence. So why did this happen?

Let’s recap:

I have a bad breakout on my skin, then I got a terrible haircut and the guy who been giving me non-stop flirty looks before, finally saw me without makeup and with my recent hairdo, and totally gave me a cold shoulder right after. Like seriously, dude?

And when I said a terrible haircut…do you remember that “Friends” episode, where Phoebe accidentally gave Monica the wrong haircut? Yup, I’m Monica/Dustin Hoffman now.

But that’s not the worse. It’s the guy that bothers me.

The guy who I don’t even know, the guy that I’m not even interested in from the beginning. I got all the attention from him in my better skin and hair day, but as soon as those things were stripped away from me, he treated me like I’m a walk by cockroach. A little melodramatic, but you got the point.

I know, because I was already feeling bad about how I look and when that happened, it added up to the low self-esteem.

But I see this with many girls and women too, how we just give up that power to anyone to make us feel worthy.

I see how someone’s face lights up when she received a compliment about her look, or the disappointment in her face when she doesn’t hear one, especially when she’s taken time to get ready. Or when her friend get complimented and she doesn’t – yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

And it’s not only the people we know that have that effect on us. But even strangers have the power to make us feel bad, about being ourselves.

I want to take that power back.

Men stand differently in this than us. Most men don’t care about it because they don’t expect compliments.

But women do.

Women are used to get compliments and attentions and if they suddenly stop, we immediately ask ourselves “What’s wrong with me? Don’t I look good today?”

We think getting admiring looks and being told that we’re beautiful, are part of our birthright. When instead, we should treat them like sugar in our coffee. Yes, it does make the coffee taste better but do we really need it?

If you’re used to the attention, most likely that’s how you measure yourself too. This could become a bad case of addiction, if you only live for compliments.

I think the only way to cure this need for attention is to practice self-love, and stop seeking validation in the wrong places.

I need to remind myself (everyday), that I am worthy, even with my bad skin and hair.

But there’s also another reason, why it is important to gain that power back.

It’s for rainy days, like when someone tries to make you feel shit about yourself, but it won’t crush you, because you know your self-worth, and you don’t allow anyone to step all over it.

It’s like super power.

Awww, thanks Ryan. Now take off your shirt.

What is Good Enough?

I give up

I think we measure ourselves too much.

In our mind, we always aim too high.

I think it’s a bad thing, if that’s the reason stopping you for doing something.

I want to be able to do and learn many things in my life. I’ve always wanted to do that.

But in the past, I never thought of pursuing them.

I thought I’d never be good enough. I thought I could never become great at these things that I want to try.

So, why even bother to?

This kind of thinking stuck with me for a really long time, for almost my entire life.

I know a lot of people have desires to try new things in life, but they rarely go for them.

People are afraid of investing time and money into something that they might fail at. That’s a legitimate fear. The feeling of disappointment is usually connected to failure.

Reality is we measure ourselves not to what we think is good, but to what other people think is good. And by good, I mean excellent, like “you have a natural gift” type of excellent.

Most of us are wired this way ever since we were a child. Our parents, teachers and coaches were the ones who set the bar for us. If you failed, you never heard the end of it.

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And that stuck with us for a really long time.

Sure, thinking this way is not all bad, because it enables us to push ourselves further, to try our best in life.

It’s all or nothing. But the side effect of thinking this way, make most people choose the nothing rather than the let down.

I remember the talk that I had with my friend about getting new hobbies. We’re talking about different things that we’d love to learn, or generally curious about.

And he said something that reshaped my thinking,

“If I can, I want to learn about everything. Try something new every month. Think how cool it is that you’ll know a little bit about everything. You can just take the first class and see how you’d grow into it, and if it doesn’t keep your interest then move on to the next. But still, you’ve learned something. Imagine, how many stuff you’d know?”

I loved the fact that, he never once mentioned about how good he wanted to become and his expectations, but the experience he’d gain from trying something new. He also understood that it’s about discovering something you didn’t know before that you’d enjoy doing by expanding yourself.

If I don’t do something, because of the fear of I can’t be good at it, isn’t that kind of a failure on its own?

How much I get out of it and what I can accomplish with it should be what matter the most.

I believe we are born with natural gifts in us, I think we all have more than one gift. It just the matter of how devoted we are to these things.

Here’s a challenge for you, try this with something that you already love to do. Now, think of yourself doing the thing that you love and try to suck at it.

That’s right, try really hard to do a lousy job at the thing you enjoy more than anything in this world and see how it goes.

I bet you can’t do it, can you? It’s like asking you to hate your favorite food while you’re chewing it in your mouth. It’s not about can you be bad at it, it’s about how much you don’t want to.

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When you’ve found something that is really yours, it doesn’t matter how bad you are at the beginning. If you know you can own it, there’s no way you going to let yourself be bad at it. It becomes who you are.

I think we shouldn’t be afraid of failures – easier said than done, I know. We should be afraid of all the things that we don’t get to fail at. Without those, how will we ever know what makes us happy?

I don’t think I’m the best at anything in my life right now. But there are many things that I have yet to try, so my story is still being written.

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A boy and a girl met each other for the first time in a Children’s Cancer Support Group meeting. Both suffered from terminal illnesses and were forced to come to terms with their mortalities.

The Fault in Our Stars is a heartfelt love story that is nothing like your regular puppy love story. The two main characters, Hazel Graze and Augustus Waters allow readers to enter into the deep complexity of their thoughts and dialogues.

I, admittedly, had great moments with this book. Moments of laughing out loud, and also moments that I couldn’t hold back my tears.

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The book by John Green provides laughter, tears, a whole lot of tweetable quotes and a glimpse into a world, where people were doomed to deadly diseases and young deaths.

Hazel Graze and Augustus Waters fought hard against cancer, and they didn’t want to let it define who they were. Their cancer battles were heart-wrenching and devastating to follow.

The story was well drafted and for me, once I started reading, it was hard to stop. I actually pulled an all-nighter, because I was eager to finish the book.

Although I think The Fault in Our Stars is a great read, but there were some undeniable cliché and pretentious moments that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

I understand that Hazel Grace and her great love; Augustus Waters were not normal teenagers, they had to live with cancer – or in Hazel Grace’s words, cancer was consuming them. They were both wise beyond their years, it reflected in their thoughts and dialogues, and that was something that bothered me the most about the book.

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I had a hard time getting over their overly philosophical and deep conversations. I mean, no teens talk like that in real life! And Hazel Graze’s obsession with the ending of her favorite novel An Imperial Affliction was also pushing my nerves sometimes.

This cancer fighting love story is thought-provoking, meaningful and beautiful even in its rawest moments.

The author, John Green reminds us that some people have to fight harder, just to catch a breath, or living with the uncertainty that their lives might end any day. And that life is truly unfair and we don’t always get what we want, because “the world isn’t a wish-granting factory.” But despite hopelessness, we should make decisions that reflect on how we feel now, instead on fear of what might happen in the future.

Because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

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The movie adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars will be out this summer, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort :) I can’t wait to see it!

Gay Love

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I had a few topics in mind that I wanted to write for V-day. But I didn’t feel inspire enough to pour down the words.

I took a break from writing and watched some movies. They were all about gay love.

The movies were A Single ManWeekend and Brokeback Mountain.

All three movies were sad.

Is it just me, or most gay movies have this bizarre mood to them that the film makers are trying so hard to make it feel artistic?

But then I asked myself, does this feeling come from seeing two men in love and lust for one another, something that in our society is still treated as taboo? Or is this the work of the director – is it them or is it us?

I think it’s both. But our brain has a big part of making it feel weird because it’s unfamiliar to us.
It’s what we’re used to consider out of the norm.

I always thought when a woman falls in love with a man, it’s the most vulnerable thing that she can do. But seeing a man surrendering to his love for another man is an eye opener.

I’m not used to see a man feeling so vulnerable, and emotional toward another man.

Something that was almost painful to watch.

You see, we’re still living in a time that people say
Love – Gay love
Marriage – Gay marriage

The world says “We don’t want to be a part of that.”

But aren’t we also saying that gay love shouldn’t be considered real love?
That must hurts.

A man should not be weak, or shows his weaknesses.
A man should not be emotional, or shows his emotions.
A man should be the provider, the leader – the stronger.

To be in love is to put yourself in the most vulnerable state. It’s like take me as I am now as my walls come down.

I cannot imagine to fall in love with anyone without a sense of vulnerability.

You can’t fully love someone, if you’re not ready to take the pain of what could or could not come from it.

But to a gay man, it’s a much greater risk. To him is “I’m ready to get judged and possibly get killed, but I don’t want to hide anymore, and you’re the one, who makes me feel this way.”

It’s powerful. It’s like Rome & Juliet.

Jonathan & Dwayne | A story about love. from Celia Hilton on Vimeo.

Actors Anonymous by James Franco

Actors Anonymous by James Franco

Actors Anonymous takes place in Los Angeles, where wannabe young actors starving for fame stumble their way into the acting world. The book is based on different characters in a form of short stories.

The novel has many twists and turns, it’s understandable that not everyone is able to keep up with the dramatic pace.

In this book, James Franco blurs the line between reality and fiction, making it hard sometime to tell which is which. Merging his own stories with fiction is maybe his clever way to reveal the truth.

The truth about James Franco? The truth about the movie world? These were the inescapable questions that were hard to avoid, while I was reading the book.

The common theme of the characters is the need to be accepted and the struggle with their own darkness. All stories are open-ended, leaving the reader slightly confused and a sense of sadness of the characters’ despair.

Just when you think you got the map down, James takes you to another route. You think you going straight, he’s going zigzag. You think you finally got the gist, he’s takes a U-turn and leaves you feeling lost, again.

I have to give Franco proper recognition for how he allowed the characters to fully developed into their own skin. Even though the stories maintained short, they were dense, raw and sort of poetic.

James shines a light on the ugliness and makes us look at it, when our first instinct is to turn our heads away. Because it’s too ugly and shameful to be admitted to the world that we all have it in us, and how far some people are willing to go, just to get rid of it.

Because the way the book is written, I think it allows the reader to go back and reread it time and time again, and still discover something new and reassure the connected dots. I’m pretty sure that I have missed a few of his messages, he doesn’t put them all out on the page, you need to read between the lines.

As an experienced actor, James Franco is a master at capturing his characters in the most vulnerable, graphical and humanizing ways. He wastes no words when describing each scene in the stories, as well as the thoughts running through his characters. The paragraphs are packed with details that make your head spin sometime.

If you can keep up with him, you actually discover James is thoughtfully clever and witty in his words.

I feel the need to mention that there are quite a bit of sex in Actors Anonymous. However, these sex scenes are not meant to turn you on – they are disturbing and disgusting to say at least.

The characters in this book are disjointed, miserable people who have the strong need to become something else – if not, their lives would be pretty much dead end. The strong drive to act and to become successful is like an addiction to them. It’s like they believe when they reach to success and stardom – it’d be their salvation.

When I reached over halfway of the book, I started to get a little bored because all the stories so far seemed to describe the same type of people. Then the character called “The Actor” showed up, which in my opinion was the most confusing character in the book. Probably because it was James Franco or an extreme fictional/asshole version of himself. Franco definitely loves to screw with your mind and enjoys every bit of it. THAT good looking bastard.

Although the book is entertaining and intriguing, Actors Anonymous is heavy, dark and bizarre to read.

Plot – 82%
Writing – 94%
How HOT is James Franco – 100%

92%

User Rating: 4.9 1 votes)

This isn’t part of the review, so you can skip it if you want to.

I want to say that, because how this book is structured, I’ve noticed a lot of readers’ reviews out there are based on reading the book. I have Actors Anonymous in audiobook and I think that’s why it was easier for me to follow through.

Reading can feels like too rambling at times, especially if you mind can’t keep up with the plot. Many people gave up on reading the book, because it was challenging to read.

I got the audiobook version and even before finishing it, I purchased the ebook version because I knew I want to reread it again at some point. It would be just easier to follow the stories, if I have the text while listening to it.

I always purchase books in audio, it’s time saving. I’m a very slow reader. If I like the book enough, I usually get the ebook too. And if I really love it, I’d buy the hardcover version as well, to show support.

If you’re still reading this, bravo to you and your reward: Him. In bed. You’re welcome.

I could dry hump him all day.

Let Me Introduce Myself

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…I’m Helen aka Helz, if you haven’t already catch it ;)

OK, where do we start…

You know what? I have to admit that it’s hard for me to express myself through writing.

I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years, yet I’m not satisfied how I’ve been presenting myself here.

It’s damn hard.

English is my third language– I hardly get to use it.

I’m also a private person in real life.

I want to be able to say what I really want to say and to connect with you. And I struggle with that, because I don’t know when it’s OK to talk more about myself.

I want to be comfortable with my words, and with myself. And I want you to be part of this too.

So I guess it’s now or never: 23 things I’ve never told you about me. Let’s get personal, shall we?

1. My Vietnamese name is Hoa (it means flower).

But I’ve been going by the name of Helen most of my life. The name wasn’t given to me by my parents. I got it from my very first English teacher and right away felt instant bonding with the name.

Till this day, I still believe that that name was meant for me. I don’t feel that way about my Viet name.

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2. After learning about Saturn Return and currently going through it, I guess that makes me a believer of astrology.

3. I’m kind of superstitious.

I hate admitting it and I don’t believe in everything out there.

But if there’s a chance that I might jinx something, then most likely I wouldn’t do it.

4. I can’t swim to save my own life. It’s one of my biggest fears.

But I love being in the water, I hope I learn to swim one day. Being underwater makes me feel calm and refreshed.

5. I don’t exercise or eat healthily. I know it’s bad.

6. I have a degree in hairdressing. But I didn’t find passion doing hair.

I’ve worked many different jobs, I also knew none of them were my true calling.

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7. At the moment I’m starting my own business.

All these years I’ve been working for other people and I’ve learned a lot in every job that I’ve been.
It’s a shame that it took me a long time to finally take the jump, and go after what I want to do and what I really believe in. But I also understand that I needed to go through that, before I can get to this stage.

I guess turning 30 got a lot to do with it. But for the record, I’m still freaking out.

8. I’m scared of ghosts and dark places. They are scary!

9. I rarely watch TV any more.

10. I’m an introvert, social situations make me feel awkward.

I’m a homebody. I don’t like crowded places and meeting new people make me nervous.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to meet new people. I like getting to know someone privately because it allows me to focus on them more.

11. I can laugh all day.

Great sense of humor is something that I find very attractive in people. I love connecting with someone on that level.

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12. Big love for stand-up comedy.

Some of my favorite stand-up comedians are: Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Aries Spears and Bill Burr.

13. I don’t have any tattoos, but I always wanted to get one.

14. I’ve got my belly pierced on my 18th birthday and I still have it. I think of it is a part of me and I want to keep it forever.

15. I have a special needs brother.

He has autism and is non-verbal. I’ve been helping my parents taking care of him for as long as I can remember. He’s one of the reasons why I still live at home. Sometime it feels like taking care of your own child.

Loving and caring for someone who has special needs is unconditional. Because you have to love and care, and give beyond life, just to get so little back.

16. I started blogging mainly because I was getting into beauty stuff.

I thought it’d be cool to meet new people with common interest that way.

17. The 2nd reason why I wanted to start a blog was I wanted to use my English.

Like I’ve told you before, I don’t use English in my everyday life. So I had to find a way to use it.

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18. I’m always single. Yes, I’m that chick lol.

I rather let someone down or to be let down, than being in a relationship that’s not right for me. I hate and fear relationship chaos and drama.

Of course, now that I’m getting older, I yearn to have someone to call my own. The timing (now) might not perfect, but I like to trust it when it happens.

19. Not many people know this, but I’m terrified of cats.

They give me the creeps. Plus I’m badly allergic to cat’s hair, gives me more reason to steer far away from them.

20. A couple of my most embarrassing moments involve farting in public.

Now you know, and I must kill you.

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21. I’m an emotional eater. Does that sound as bad as I’m a serial killer?

I stress, I eat. I’m sad, I eat. I’m happy, I eat. Or maybe I just like to eat.

22. I appreciate movies that can make you really feel.

I think we can learn a lot by observing on-screen relationships and how they’re presented to us.

23. In my experience, the best dates are usually casual and spontaneous.

Creative men are hot. And fun.

Velvet Manicure Nails DIY

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As much as I love getting myself pampered and dolled up, I do stress out if I had to spend too much doing in so. Looking good shouldn’t be a hassle and it should be something that allow us girls to enjoy while doing it.

I must admit I’m not so into nails, but whenever I see a cool nail design that is easy enough for me to re-create myself- I get eager to try it out right away. At the moment I am loving the look of Velvet manicures. So fluffy and fun! The best about them is, the look can be quickly achieved. In this post I will show you how ;)

For this tutorial you’ll need:

– Nail polish of your choice (any color)

– Flocking powder (must matches the nail color)

– Old makeup brush (optional)

Lets begin:

1. Paint the color of your choice, but only do one finger first. One coat is only needed, but make sure it’s thick enough to cover the entire nail. Clean the edges after this, if you have to.

2. While the nail is still wet, pour some flocking powder on to the nail. Make sure that the flocking powder is covering evenly the entire nail. Remember, rather too much of flocking powder than too little.

3. You can brush off the extra flocking powder using an old makeup brush, or do it like I do – just gently blow the powder off :D Be careful not to get flocking powder every where.

4. Now repeat the same steps to the other nails – and after that, you’re done baby!

I hope you have fun with your Velvet Manicure – don’t be shy about trying colors! I love my Velvet manicure – I think they so fuzzy and adorable. Although there is a down side to these cute nails – they are not waterproof. So be careful when dipping your nails in the water, when they aren’t fully dry yet! Some of the flocking powder may come off if you keep washing your hands or doing so aggressively. So make sure to steer away from water. Hey, at least you have a good reason not to do the dishes tonight lol! I’m sure your husband will understand, your Velvet nails are too precious for that!

Beauty Haul + Swatches: Revlon, Etude House, Maybelline, theBalm

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In today’s post, I’m going to show you all the beauty goodies that I’ve got from my trip. There are a few duty free purchases (high-end makeups), but most are mainly from Vietnam. I also have to confess, I already start using some products. I mean, who are we kidding? I was away for 5 weeks, you think I’m going to be able to keep my greedy fingers away from these stuff?! Dude, it’s impossible.

Oh, since there are so many pictures, I’m going to do 2 Haul posts and this is the first part. That way you guys don’t need to keep scrolling down the page and it helps with page loading too. Soooo, shall we start?

Left to right: Revlon Photoready BB Cream in Medium, Revlon New Complexion Oil Control Makeup in Nude, Revlon Photoready Two Way Powder Foundation in Natural Ochre, Revlon Photoready Cream Blushed in Flushed, Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Blackest Black, Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in Blackened Brown

L-R: Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Peony, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Matte in Smoked Peach

L-T: Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 03 Pink Supernova, Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 09 Golden Tail Star, Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 01 Shooting Star, Etude House Tear Drop Liner 2 Silver Tear, Etude House Tear Drop Line 3 Pearl Tear

theBalm Nude Tude Eyeshadow palette

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

L-R: theBalm Nude Tude palette (swatches are in the same order as in the palette!), theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

L-R: Maybelline Color Sensational Moisture Extreme in Angel Rose, Maybelline Color Sensational in Make Me Pink, Maybelline Color Sensational in Peachy Scene

L-R: Maybelline Hyper Cosmos Duo in PC-1, Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder 04 Honey, Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Silk Cake Powder Poreless White 03 Natural

–Alright, that’s a wrap for Part 1 of this Haul ;) See you on Part 2!

Haul + Swatches: L’Oreal, Chanel, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Kosé, Kanebo Kate

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Welcome back to Part 2 of the Beauty Haul!

L’Oreal Color Riche L’Or Sunset Cannes Collection in Crimson Carpet

Left to right: L’Oreal Rouge Caresse in Rose Mademoiselle, L’Oreal Caresse Coeur de Perle in Coral Floral, L’Oreal Color Riche Nutri Shine Vivid Rose, L’Oreal Color Riche Nutri Shine in Pink Nude

L-R: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup 30 Beige, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup 40 Beige Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick 01 Crystal Baby, Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick 28 Alluring Pink

L-R: Kose Sekkisei Supreme Powder Foundation in PO-215 (different case), Beaute De Kose Esprique Precious Eye Color Selection N in SP 012, Miracle Apo Milky Tint in Angel Pink, Miracle Apo Lip & Cheek Tint in Pink Strawberry

L-R: Kanebo Kate Mineral Powder Foundation, Kanebo Kate BB Gel Cream OC-C, Kanebo Kate Jewelry Mode Eyes BR-1, Kanebo Kate My Color Pencil in PK-3 Pink and PU-2 Purple

L-R: Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder 02 Blondes, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Rose Gold

Review & Swatch: MAC Saint Germain Lipstick

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I had my doubts before I purchased the Saint Germain lipstick. The color was honestly a bit plastic looking and too cool for my complexion. But then I thought I might get away with it, if I top it off with the Saint Germain lipglass. Hoping that it might softens the color on me. Well, I let you be the judge of this.

I had so much fun and trouble taking pictures of this lipstick! The lipstick kept changing color just from the tiniest change of lightings. From the different lighting and to how close I was holding the camera, made the world of difference. If the camera was too close, Saint Germain turned into this funky purple pink color. If the camera was too far, the color changed into this warm rosy pink, which looked more flattering on me for sure. Took a while for me to capture this beauty in it’s own true color.

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Texture wise, it’s very creamy. Saint Germain went on my lips smoothly, it felt very soft. But the softness of this is why I dislike this kind of texture, because it kept settling into the creases and lines on my lips. My lips looked chapped and dry in a weird way.

For me, the Saint Germain lipstick is way too cool against my warmer skin tone. I do like it more when pairing it with the same lipglass. Overall, this isn’t my top favorite shade neither it’s lasting power impresses me.