Category Archives: Image

Encouragement in an Identity Crisis

This could be a story about you. Perhaps your losing your hair, have a major skin problem, are cross-eyed or confined to a wheelchair. This could be a story about a friend or family member, who’s Image Issue is not outwardly apparent to most, but is weighing on your heart because you know about her eating disorder, gender confusion, substance abuse, self-loathing.

Image Issues are uncomfortable.

Any identity crisis is personal and often very painful–especially while the crisis is active. Difficult times are easier to talk about when they are in the past. In truth, most battles become glamorous stories once time passes and pain subsides. Isn’t this why women tell labor stories when they are around a pregnant woman?

Painful pasts have powerful potential.

Stories of overcoming difficult times are usually helpful to those potentially facing the same problem, but we need to be sensitive about our timing for those actively in the emotional battle.

Broken beauty is still lovely

As an image consultant, I try to make it a point to recognize when a girl or woman may need to hear how beautiful they are. It’s what I do. A direct compliment can be awkward to receive and hearing “you are beautiful!” can throw any woman off-guard. I recently Continue reading Encouragement in an Identity Crisis

Sea-Saw of Confidence

Most women HATE, HIDE or get HUNG UP on their appearance. Who doesn’t hate certain parts and pieces of how they look? This is why so many of us hide under big, baggy sweatshirts, heavy makeup or hair coloring.

Some women love their appearance–or at least they have a way of persuading their audience that they love how they look. In reality, those who are hung up on looking good may very well hate themselves even more than those hiding.

Why is beauty such an emotion battle for so many of us? Wait, before you tell me that you have no emotional struggle over beauty, take a moment to search your soul.

  • How do you feel when you see a young girl hiding?
  • What are your thoughts toward girls who put too much emphasis on the way they look?

Think about it. Girls are condemned if they do cate about their image, and disgraced if they don’t. It’s not us the public eye, or the men in our lives, either. It’s us. We are the ones so hard on each other and on ourselves.

The way you treat your beauty (wether you hide it or strive to attain it) is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; image is just a part of being professional.
N: Seldom STRIVE or HIDE; I prefer comfort over beauty.
D: More apt to STRIVE; I love to make things beautiful.
I: I prefer to HIDE from attention, but I often STRIVE to look stronger.
R: I love beauty, but tend to HIDE my own; when I STRIVE for it, I get hurt.
G: It’s not a big deal; I dress how I want when I want.

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

We hide things we do not value.

If you are hiding your beauty there is a good chance you have not yet discovered your self-worth. Perhaps you have always felt ashamed, unwanted, uncared for. Your reason for feeling this way could be real or imagined, either way, emotions are often the driving force behind the way we represent ourselves. If you were teased for your height or weight, there’s a good chance you still feel foolish about that physical attribute. The truth is, beauty is not confined to you fitting into a popular height, weight, or any other attribute. Not everyone will appreciate your qualities, but your value is not negotiated by their opinion; don’t let it pull your confidence down.

We get hung up on things we overvalue.

If you are hung up on your appearance, there is  a good chance you are striving for someone else’s approval. I know. I’ve been there. It’s human nature to long to belong, but showing off something does not give it greater value. In fact, showing off turns people away. No doubt you have personally witnessed an adorable girl who knows how cute she is. It’s only cute for a little while before it becomes too much. People are easily turned off by a hangup, so don’t depend on great qualities to pull your confidence up.

We do not hate that which we we know is deeply loved.

If you hate the way you look, there’s a good chance you do not believe you have something beautiful to offer. You are wrong. Everyone has something worth sharing, but you will never be at peace about it until you decide to get off the sea-saw and find Beauty in Balance. I believe the secret to finding that peace is in understanding the depth of God’s love for you. When you believe that the Creator of the universe carefully choose each of your attributes with a purpose and a plan, you will feel differently about yourself. You’re not just any woman, you were made by the high-fashion Designer!

If you are struggling with the idea that you were lovingly formed by God, I encourage you to find a Bible and really search for answers. The thing is, once you believe that you have a “designer label,” you begin to notice how carefully designed all the other people around you are as well. Suddenly “average” seems silly and you see the beauty in the crazy-unordinary physical attributes.

What a creative God we have!

With this realization, you no longer feel the need to hide or to strive. Instead you have Beauty in Balance. That’s when you experience true confidence.That’s when you become a Confident Beauty.

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

What Makes You Valuable?

Since the beginning of time, every young child has had an innate longing to find the answer to one very important question. With each new experience, interaction and lesson of life, she collects data and applies it toward her answer. Somewhere around the teen years, she hits info-overwhelm. Like a cluttered desk, all that she has collected has piled up and she begins to wonder where the truth is. In her frustration and desperation for answers, she may frantically shuffle through the piles–moving papers–setting aside some ideas, destroying others. In her quest to find the answer, she may make a mess, but no matter how long it takes her or how painful it gets, she must know:   Continue reading What Makes You Valuable?

9 Steps to a Complete Closet Clean Out

Has your clothing closet become a junk room? When you look for an outfit for the day, is it easy? Or is your wardrobe crowded with clutter and chaos cause that cause your daily ritual to become a stressful decision? Let’s be honest, most mornings we do not wear the first outfit we pick. Not all of us can throw on any old jeans and T-shirt and be fine with how it looks. Natural Beauties may get away with that if their lifestyle allows for such simplicity, but they also have a tendency to hold onto things and are still susceptible to the Confidence Conflict that a crowded closet creates.

Less is more

It doesn’t really matter what size or shape your closet is, you can create an organized, inspiring sanctuary where you can start your day with simple decisions. The key is to be sure you have complete outfits, with nothing “unwearable” confusing your choices. In last week’s blog, we considered how sometimes simple Wardrobe Weeding is enough to keep your closet from clutter.

Join my email list and I will send you my FREE WARDROBE WEEDING CHEATSHEET, Click here to get FREE PDF.

When Wardrobe Weeding is not enough, and you need to start all over, it’s time to do a Complete Closet Clean Out. This doesn’t mean that you cannot keep anything you already have, but it may be time to step back and take a whole new perspective on your wardrobe.

If you are like me, when you feel overwhelmed, you may need a nudge. Completely changing up your closet may seem like too much work, but I assure you that once you get started, you will feel inspired. I did my closet this week (thanks for the nudge!) and I feel so empowered by the simplicity of having less to wear. In truth, I don’t have any less, because most of the things I removed I couldn’t really wear–or  felt uncomfortable or self-conscious in– anyway, and now I am free from their temptation to rob my confidence!

I want you to experience this wonderful feeling, so I am sharing the nine-step process:

  1. Remove the misfits. Anything in your closet that does not help you get dressed for the day. If “wardrobe” does not define it; find it another place for it to belong. The ironing board can stay, but only if you have room for it; the broom and Christmas decor can not!
  2. Remove all the clothes. Yes, that’s right every stitch of clothing in your drawers, on the shelves or hanging up; take them out of the closet and put them somewhere that you can sort through them, piece by piece. I recommend pulling them out by “likes” and stacking/hanging them together in groups of slacks, jeans, skirts, etc.
  3. Clean. Vacuum, dust, wipe down every nook and cranny of your closet and dressers. Make it smell and feel inviting and inspiring. Ahh, now you can say, “look, honey, I have NOTHING to wear!” …or do you?
  4. Get dressed. Look at all the clothes you have piled on your bed, what’s there that you really love to wear? Pull one outfit out and put it on. Does it still fit well? Is it in good repair? If not, go back to your Wardrobe Weeding Cheatsheet (Click here to get FREE PDF)  and follow the check list for what to do next. If it does fit, is in good condition and makes you feel confident, then  go to the next step:
  5. Complete the outfit. That’s right, whether you are going out tonight or not (and you’ve got a lot to do, so I’d recommend clearing the calendar for the day) get dressed up–jewelry, shoes, purse and everything. Then take a selfie. When you are done with your Closet Clean Out you will have a whole album of selfies to remind you of #What2Wear next time you feel you have nothing.
  6. Purposefully put it away. With your first (and favorite) outfit, think carefully. As you undress, consider where each item should go. Place your shoes and jewels where they are visible. Carefully fold, roll or hang each clothing item so that they take as little space as the fabric allows without causing wrinkles. Place them in areas that make logical sense to you. You may want to keep the outfit all together or organize the items by size, sleeve or color. Note: For ideas and tips on how to organize your closet, please follow my social medias as I will be focusing on this all week.Follow me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterFollow me on LinkedInFollow me on PinterestFollow me on RSS
  7. Repeat. Pick out another outfit and complete it with only clothing/accessories you have not yet put away. Take another pic and purposefully put away each item in that outfit. There will come a time when you need to re-use certain items to complete another outfit; that is fine, but try to create as many unique outfits as you can before mixing and matching. Continue doing this until you have created as many outfits as you need for your current lifestyle (in the current season). If you cannot complete enough outfits, make a shopping list of specific items you need. It’s a good idea to take a pic of anything you hope to match so that you can refer to it when shopping. Note: If you would like my Closet Audit Cheatsheet to help you with this, please comment or contact me and I will email you a great PDF chart that simplifies this.
  8. Eliminate the excess. Any clothes that are still laying on your bed that you simply do not want to put on, wether it is because they are uncomfortable, misfits, or make you feel self-conscious, get rid of (again, refer to your Wardrobe Weeding Cheatsheet Click here to get FREE PDF). Do not leave clothes out to disturb the peace in your bedroom. It would be silly to put in all this effort to create a Confident Closet only to make other areas of the house chaos and confusion, right? Cross the finish line.
  9. Decorate. Now, step back into/up to your closet and take a good look around. Chances are your heart is jumping for joy… and wanting to do the same thing for your husband’s side… (another day). Without all the extra clutter, what can you do to make this space more beautiful? Something that brings you peace and joy, like a picture from your honeymoon,  a framed scripture, bouquet of flowers or simply the placement of your pretty purses?Note: I’ll be posting ideas this week on my social medias, so remember to check in. Follow me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterFollow me on LinkedInFollow me on PinterestFollow me on RSS

You did it! Now there’s only one more thing to do. Go, enjoy the fruit of your labor!

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For more on Confidence Beauty Image- and Life-Coaching, or to learn about Catrina's Supreme MakeOver Image Assessment Parties, be sure to visit www.CatrinaWelch.com

Do you Keep Clothes that Don’t Fit?

The American culture may consider skinny healthy and beautiful, but that is not always true.  In my experience, “skinny” was better described “sickly” or “drawn.” My struggle with weight was always in keeping it. After reaching forty,  however, it became easy to  keep meat on my bones, but, even then, weight-loss wasn’t a challenge. When my clothes got too tight, I simply cut out some carbs and increased my activity to be  able to return to my “proper” size. Now I’m nearly fifty; I understand the struggle. Apparently making simple shifts in the diet is no longer enough. I need to make a bigger commitment to change.

Losing weight is like wardrobe weeding; there are two approaches. 

Continue reading Do you Keep Clothes that Don’t Fit?

Do Ashes Cover your Beauty?

My nieces were leaning on the edges of their seats, intrigued by the age-old story of Cinderella. My daughter was playing the role of the mistreated orphan who didn’t give up when life dealt her difficulties. Watching her performance through the eyes of the children had me reminiscing of the days when Tori’s  dream of being a princess wasn’t a performance in a play.

Little girls aren’t ashamed of their desires.

Deep within every female heart is a desire not only  to catch the eye of a prince, but to leave behind their meaningless, unappreciated lives and live an adventure.  Remember when you once thought you would  play an irreplaceable role in a most wonderful life in a far away place?

I remember my daughter’s first “princes dress.” She loved to twirl around to show her daddy how  full and beautiful it was on her. It made me panic.

I was afraid my little girl was becoming vain, so I did as most people who witness such behavior would: I talked her right off of her high and mighty horse and back into reality. Modesty is a golden virtue, right?  It’s our job to train our children in the way they should go, and the chances of my kid  becoming a princess is quite slim, so as a mom I thought it wise to protect her from life’s disappointments!

Surely that’s what Cinderella’s stepmother was thinking as well.

As we grow up, we reason that our desires are childish.

I love that my teen still freely enjoys “twirling” for an audience. She has a gift for acting and singing. When I was young, I was embarrassed by my love for the arts. I guess I was more like Cinderella that my daughter is.

“Cinderella, your are so SELFISH! Mend my dress!”

As her family demanded she worked for their dreams–while throwing insults at her’s–Cinderella was forgetting who she was designed to be. Like the filthy soot that covered her beautiful face, she allowed her burnt-out dreams–the cinders–to cover her identity. Her real name was Ella.

We cannot accomplish big dreams with squelched desires

We are all tempted to give up on our dreams. We also  have the option of pressing through life's oppositions  toward success. The way you respond to that second option is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Get the education; do the work (The Classic)

N: Stay optimistic and loyal; don’t give up (The Natural)

D: Creatively make it happen (The Dramatic)

I:  Tenaciously hold your ground (The Ingénue)

R: Considerately continue on; quietly accomplishing (The Romantic)

G: Work hard; fight to get it done. Now. (The Gamine)

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Whether your dream is to  rule a nation or to have a happy family, you will only have the strength to accomplish it if you do not allow  the desire for it to burn out. Whichever way you or I respond to those who try to squelch our desires, we would all be wise to listen to the advice of the fairy god-mother, who says there are two morals to the story of Cinderella’s Glass Slipper:

  1. Be kinder and life will go well for you. Don’t act out of jealousy or be demanding like the stepsisters. You were dealt a certain hand; play with the cards you have. Forcing others to play your hand or to give your their’s is wrong. In the end, no one who cheats wins.
  2. If the shoe fits, wear it. Don’t cover your beauty with ashes. BE who you were designed to be.  A princess cannot lead well if she feels guilty for (or embarrassed by) her gifts, privileges and abilities.  Remember where you came from, or pride will  rob you of the joy of using your blessing to  bless others.

In the end, Cinderella figured out she was only beautiful when she became confident, so she washed off the ashes and put on her crown. Are you ready to do the same?

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.  -Luke 12:48b

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

Hate the Dark, Bumpy Circles Around your Eyes?

The next time you wash your face, pay attention to your eyes. Your daily routine may be the reason for the dark, bumpy skin that circles your eyes and causes you Confidence Conflicts. A simple change in that routine could be the very thing that fixes the problem.

We naturally protect our eyes.

When any foreign object approaches our eyes, we flinch and blink. Eyes are delicate. Eyes are valuable. Not only do we need them to see, they are also the window through which others see us. It is natural to want to avoid using product around our eyes, but this innate response could be the very cause of the dark circles and bumpy skin that draws attention away from our inner beauty like a shade over a window.

We are often reminded that the skin around they eye socket is thinner and looses its elasticity, so we should be careful not to pull that skin or we will get wrinkles. We should always use our weakest (ring) finger to gently remove any makeup or apply any skin care. While this is an important habit, it can easily lead us into avoiding the eye area with our cleansing and exfoliating habits, allowing dead skin cells and product residue to build up and clog the pores.

Many women make the common mistake of carefully removing their eye makeup, but then only splashing water to remove the oil that they used to break up the mascara. Avoiding cleanser around the eyes may seem wise, but it is not.

Dark circles

While the root cause of the dreadful dark circles is not always the need for exfoliating that buildup of makeup remover, most of the time, the dark circles can be reversed. It won’t likely happen with one facial, but add a new habit to detoxification, a stretch of good health and deep sleep, and the circles will  usually fade away. In the meantime, they can be covered up with a good concealer, but keep in mind that most concealers are another heavy product that must be removed properly or you will find yourself in a catch 22, making your problem worse.

Bumpy skin, however, is not as easy to hide.

Milia

The flesh colored (or sometimes white) bumps are simply blocked sebaceous glands where keratin has become trapped under the skin and formed a small, hard cyst, called milia. These milium (plural) are typically found on the face, around your eyes or cheeks. However, they are also commonly found on the back of your upper arm, and can appear pretty much anywhere.

These millet-seed-like keratinous nodules  are nothing to fear, they are common, painless, and easy to treat, but you must be patient and persistent because they are extremely stubborn. Milium may eventually go away on their own, but it may take years. The longer you have had them, the harder you may have to work to get them to dissolve.

Whether it is dark circles or milium that are causing you Confidence Conflicts, this is my simple advice:

  1. Drink lots of water to flush skin.
  2. Get proper rest to rejuvenate the skin.
  3. Avoid products that clog the pores.
  4. Wash your pillowcase often.
  5. Use steam or warm water to open pores before cleansing.
  6. Use a gentle, daily exfoliating cleanser.
  7. Do a weekly, stronger exfoliating scrub.

Consider how long it takes your skin to heal from a cut–that is about how long you must stay persistent with treating the tiny cysts that are deep beneath the surface of your skin. It generally takes your skin about 28-45 days to rejuvenate itself. If your condition persists after a time of really focusing on exfoliation, then it may be time to see a dermatologist.

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It is also important to keep in mind that your skin is designed as your first guard against toxic elements, but many toxins seep through the skin to your body. While your skin works hard to eliminate toxins (mostly through sweat), It is extremely important to become aware of the products you are using. You can help your skin do its job, or you can hinder it. I personally recommend the certified, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils produced by dõTERRA. If you would like information on getting these products at wholesale prices, please contact me at catrina@catrinawelch.com 

I’d love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, and Goodreads. Please visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

How Rhythm Affects Confidence

Consider the weather patterns and the cycles of seasons. The ocean’s tides ebb and flow aw the moon waxes and wanes. We literally schedule our lives around by the rhythm of nature. If there were ever a pause in the rising or setting of the sun, we would all panic.

It’s not just your surroundings that has rhythms. So does your body. Your breath and heartbeat have patterns; so do your physical needs, such as eating, sleeping and… getting your hair done.
When I worked in the salon, I was always fascinated by the different responses my clients had regarding scheduling their next appointment. I could always count on the Classic and the Gamine to fill my book six weeks out. The others, not so much. The Ingénue and Romantics were concerned someone else might need them and they did not want to say, “no” to anyone (or cancel on me!), so they would  shy away from rescheduling. The Natural doesn’t like to spend money and, to her, haircuts are a frivolous expenses. Besides, they do well with “wash-n-wear” styles that don’t need as much upkeep. The Dramatic, on the other hand, wants another appointment–she loves beauty treatments, but her spontaneous nature doesn’t like being committed to something that might keep her from another opportunity.

Yes, I may be generalizing. Your Img.ID is not the sole factor in how often you get your hair done–life is far more complicated than that–but, still, let’s consider why it’s so hard for most women to schedule time for themselves.


The way you feel about self-care is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: It’s necessary, professional and a private matter (Classic)

N: Haircuts are only worth the time or money when it’s necessary and practical (Natural)

D: Style and hygiene are important. Hair is a creative tool of expression. (Dramatic)

I: I love to be creative with my hair myself. There’s no need for someone else to fuss over me. (Ingénue)

R: I’d love to get pampered and made beautiful, but it feels selfish. (Romantic)

G: Maintaining a clean-cut appearance is vital to my identity. I like to have fun with my hair. (Gamine

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Find your rhythm

As professionals, most hairdressers will suggest another appointment before you check out of the salon. (It helps us to keep working, but more than that, it ensures that the client will be able to secure her favored stylist.) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a clients shocked that she needed me exactly when I wanted to schedule her.

If you have long, one length hair, you may be able to stretch out the time between your haircuts, but if you wear your hair with any kind of a style, I would recommend you figure out how often you will need a trim and plan accordingly. Most women need their hair cut every six to eight weeks. If you wear very short hair, then you may need two cuts within that time.

Hair grows. You may not be able to set your clock by the  rhythm of your follicle growth, but you can count on it enough to put some maintenance time in your calendar.

If you struggle with taking time for, or spending money on, your hair, I challenge you to consider your thoughts. Do you also feel guilty when you need to sleep or eat? I hope not! A woman with Confident Beauty knows her needs and takes responsibility for meeting them (including when that means asking for help). I think we could all learn from the rhythms of nature.

We all  take the time to sleep every day. We all buy groceries  every week. And we all have some things we need to take care of every month or so–like a haircut.

Think about it.

When we find the rhythm for taking care of our hair like we do our other cycles, we don’t have to go through the emotional torment of trying to decide if we need or deserve a little salon time  or not. Instead, when our hair starts to frizz or flop, we can rest assured in the confidence that we already have an appointment

No guilt. No shame. No need to justify, excuse or explain. Just pure and simple self-care.

*****

As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

4 Steps to Dressing True to You

When you walk into a room which shows up first, you or your clothing?
One way to find out is to listen to the compliments you get. Are about you or your outfit?There’s a big difference between, “You look beautiful!” and “What a beautiful dress!” As women, we enjoy a compliment, and we should. It’s like a hug that simply affirms us and encourages our spirit.

The bearhug of all compliments–the I want for every one of my clients–is: “Oh, wow, that is so YOU!” The wow factor is by far the biggest confidence booster, don’t you think? How often do you get a “wow”?

I’m sorry. I know,  that was a painful question.

I don’t get them very often either, and, hey, I know how to dress true to myself.

shy-863056_640In reality,  it takes a confident, generous person to give away such a valuable thing as words of affirmation–especially when Continue reading 4 Steps to Dressing True to You

Why Wearing Black Could be Killing your Confidence

I can almost hear you protesting my blog already…

If you’re like most women, you love to wear black and it is the dominate color of your entire wardrobe and my suggestion that black could be killing your confidence already has you irate, doesn’t it?

“If you take my black away, I will have nothing to wear!”

This is, by far, the biggest push back I get as an image-coach.

There are many reasons people love to dress in dark, dull clothing:

Black is seen as professional

Continue reading Why Wearing Black Could be Killing your Confidence