Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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?

5 Factors for Finding your Best Hairstyle

Ovale_GesichtsformSprig Fever has a way of inspiring creativity and agitating a need for change, especially when it lingers in it’s approach. Perhaps you are feeling the urgency to make a transformation with your hair. Before you do, consider these five factors:

1. Your hairstyle should compliment your facial shape.

If your are feeling creative and are ready for a change, there are some crucial rules to follow in order to not be disappointed. Like creating flattering fashion with clothing lines, the way your hair frames your face will either compliment your beauty or compete with it.

In general: any line that accentuates your beauty, or disguises a challenge is a flattering line. If it draws attention to the challenge or flaw, it is a negative line.

Oval (balanced, even, proportionate)
Could be any Img.ID 
Can wear pretty much any style.

Oblong (long, narrow, balanced)
Could be any Img.ID 
Styles with fullness in crown and sides. Asymmetrical or symmetrical styles are good. Bangs are optional.

Square (wide, angular jaw and forehead)
Natural, Dramatic, Gamine
Asymmetrical and side parts or side-swept bangs are good choices.

Diamond (narrow chin, brow; wide cheeks)
Natural, Dramatic, Gamine
Asymmetrical and side parts are good. Bangs are not.

Heart (wide forehead, narrow chin, often widow’s peak hairline) Ingénue, Romantic
Asymmetrical or symmetrical styles with fullness at chin and neck are good; bangs are optional. Avoid too much fullness at crown.

Round (balanced, fullest at cheeks) 
Natural, Ingénue, Romantic, Gamine
Asymmetrical or uneven styles with fullness at the crown.

Pear (widest at jaw, narrow forehead)
Natural, Dramatic, Ingénue, Romantic, Gamine
Balanced or asymmetrical styles that are fullest at and above ears; avoid fullness below cheeks. Slight or full bangs are a good option.

2. Your hairstyle should work well with your hair texture. Continue reading 5 Factors for Finding your Best Hairstyle

The Secret to Dressing with Confidence

When I tell people I am an image- and life-coach, I often get a blank stare, followed by the expression that shows an “ah-ha moment.” Image and life: they go together so powerfully; yet they are seldom considered a pair.

Your life is judged by your image

Right or wrong, human nature has a tendency to judge others within six seconds of meeting them. I do it. You do it. All the people we meet us judge us as well. So, what do others assume about your life because of your image?

  • A care-free casual image may say you are simple and unconcerned with other’s judgment. Or it may say you don’t care much about yourself–or the event you are attending.
  • A carefully composed image with coordinating accessories and perfect makeup may say that you are deeply concerned with looking good. Or it may say that you have great respect for yourself and the people in your presence.
  • A strong, bold, colorful image may say that you are a fun and vivacious person. Or may say that you are loudly trying to be someone you are not.

An image that authentically reflects your life says something positive; an image that is false will be judged negatively.

Your image should reflect your life

Are you a casual person? Then dress casually because if you wear colorful, bold or  glamorous outfits you may be assumed obnoxious and loud. If you are strong and theatrical, then include excitement in your image, because if your outfit is plain and casual, people may feel you are holding back something and not being real.

A false image makes others feel they can not trust you.

Continue reading The Secret to Dressing with Confidence

The Sweet-Hearted Romantic

Debra Messing, a Romantic Img.ID
Debra Messing, a Romantic Img.ID

By definition anything romantic is passionate, tender and affectionate. A woman with the Romantic Img.ID is typically someone who demonstrates feelings of love in many beautiful ways. Her gifts are in appealing to the senses and making people feel comfortable and cared for. She loves to cook (or at least bake), arrange flowers, light candles, decorate and sing (at least to her babies).

Her physique makes it obvious that she is designed to comfort others. Her softly rounded, full-figure invites you to relax around her and her embrace brings the comfort like that of your favorite teddy bear. Everything about her is sweet, subtle and feminine. She is the Glamorous Beauty with a truly sweet heart.

Hopelessly Romantic

If you are in need of a friend, there’s a good chance your needs will be met when you spend time with a Romantic. Stop by her candlelit, lace-laden home to share your heart with her and she will make you tea and cookies and listen. She will feel your pain, validate it with her tears and comfort you with her sweet voice of concern.  While you may feel like losing hope, she won’t. She believes in people and she loves them sincerely.
The only person she struggles to love is  the one in her mirror.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’Do you love yourself?

God commands us to love Him and each other, but isn’t it interesting that loving ourself is assumed? Most of us would say that we struggle with self-love, but, in reality, if we are hungry, we eat. If we are dirty, we bathe. If we are tired, we rest. If we need the lady’s room, we stop everything and get there, right?

Okay, there are times when we are messed up and we neglect or punish ourselves (like I wrote about last week) but even then, the truth is: we are still set on meeting our need–wether it is for attention, acceptance or to be lazy or left alone. By nature, we do whatever it takes to get what we need or want, even if it hurts us. Yea, sometimes our motive is twisted with self-hatred, but ultimately it is still love for self.

The Romantic may not necessarily turn to self-hatred, but she may be inclined to neglect her own needs while being consumed with her need to help those she loves.

Sometimes our greatest need is to be needed

We are each compelled to meet our own needs, it is not our style alone that determines how we typically do that, but, because we are such complex beings,  we would be wise to studying our own heart.

How you meet your own needs is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C:Disciplined self-care, no apologies, no guilt, nobody’s business

N:Comfort first, the easier the better

D:Disciplined, but feels she must justify her needs

I:Puts others first, shy (or ashamed) about own needs

R:Deep concern for others, lack of concern for self

G:Just do it; No pain, no gain

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

If you struggle with loving the person in your mirror, I encourage you to take the time to recognize why. What is it that you believe about yourself and your worth? Could there be some lies twisted into the truth about who you are?

If we are to ever going to love God and others well,  we must also learn to love ourselves. Think for a moment about the most hopelessly romantic person you know–the one you long to be with when you need comfort and hope. Now tell me, does that girl deserve to be loved as well?

Love and compassion are reciprocal

No matter which style you are:

  • It is not beautiful to love others without loving yourself, that is co-dependency.
  • It is not beautiful to accept other’s love without loving in return, that’s selfishness.

Love is not a one-way street. Each of us are commanded to love each other because we are expected to naturally love ourselves. We can have a healthy self-love only if we believe that we are truly loved. This is why the first and greatest commandment is to love God fully–because we can really only do this well if we first accept His unconditional love.

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.               -1 John 4:9 -11


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 for more information.

Deadheading your Closet

By definition, anything natural is normal or ordinary and not made by humans. This defines the Casual Beauty very well, as this girl is most attractive when she keeps her image simple. Many of these girls consider themselves ordinary and boring, but others enjoy their unpretentious, uncomplicated understated authenticity.

Naturals appreciate beauty, but seldom get hung up on attaining it. In fact, most Image Issues roll off her back. Of course she would love to look beautiful, but she doesn’t love to dress up or wear makeup. Whenever she breaks her motto (Which is “less is more”), she feels–and looks–awkward and phony, so she often gives up on trying. She is strong enough in personality to let the social pressures of fashion roll off her back, but she is human and she, too longs to ” fit in” Yet  she’s not fancy and she never will be.

But she is beautiful.


When this girl learns how to accentuate her beauty without overstating it, she is one of the most attractive women at the gala because she is real and relatable. Authenticity is inspiring and that is what is beautiful and captivating.  Continue reading Deadheading your Closet

The Beauty of Self-discipline

Don’t you just admire disciplined women, who guard their schedules and take care of themselves without neglecting their responsibilities? Their home is in order, their finances are planned. They workout, rest well, eat right and take time to play.

And they don’t feel guilty about it.

Who do you know that meets that description? There’s a good chance that person is a Classic or a Gamine–or any style of beauty who is committed to self-improvement.

Self-discipline does not come easily.

The Beauty of Self-discipline Although it looks different to each of us, we all want our lives to be in order. Yet few of us actually get there. According to my own observations, it seems that some personalities struggle with this more than others.

By nature the Classic and the Gamine are simply more organized and task oriented. Some of us admire self-discipline; these girls desire it. This  is why they often attain it quicker than the rest of us.

Truth be told, in the end, we each do what we really want in life. Continue reading The Beauty of Self-discipline

Finding Peace in Tragedy at Christmas

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. -Luke 2: 11, 12, 17-19

Everyone was talking about it.

Apparently, after they found the baby, the shepherds shared some profound insight. It seems the swaddling cloths (and the manger for a crib) was a big deal. We understand that Jesus had a humble birth in a Nasty Nativity, but what was the big deal about his clothes?

img_2038There were at least 3 Significant Signs of Baby Jesus’ Wardrobe (for more, click here). This week, with four tragic losses in my circle of friends, I find myself overwhelmed with the thought at the moment of our Lord’s birth, His death was being foretold.

When my Trisomy 18 baby was born, my mom followed her tradition of making each grandchild a beautiful afghan–only this time she lined the blanket with a thick fleece, making it extra warm. I loved having something so comforting to wrap my newborn in. Since my first two were August babies, so I assumed mom had made this one so thick because Rebecca was born in February.

That was only part of the reason. Continue reading Finding Peace in Tragedy at Christmas

How New Year’s Resolutions Can Kill Your Confidence

There is nothing like a fresh start, a chance to begin again, an opportunity to make changes. Tomorrow we celebrate 2015, take a good look at the past and then, with the sticking of midnight, we put another year behind us. New Years Day we will dream of what’s to come, aspire to new plans and make some resolutions:

“I’m going to work harder, eat smarter, play more, lighten up, work out, loose weight…”

New Year’s Resolutions give us a good feeling–like we have regained control. Goals rejuvenate our ambition, like a fire under the feet, motivating us to run harder. It’s all good… right?

I’m not so sure any more. Continue reading How New Year’s Resolutions Can Kill Your Confidence

Here’s Why Back to School Shopping can be so Challenging

IMG_1535 2

This may be the most wonderful time of the year for some moms, but shopping for it can be a nightmare! Creating the back to school wardrobe for a nervous or indecisive student can be especially difficult when the girl’s approach to style differs from her mom’s and they do not understand each other. Trust me, you are not the only mother/daughter bicker happening at TJMaxx this week.

I remember school shopping with my mom when I was going into sixth grade. I had just moved to Maine and I knew no one. I had no idea how the “girls in the sticks” would dress or what would be expected of me as the new girl in town. Looking back, I think my mom was nervous for me, too, because it wasn’t like her to be so free with the finances. I felt funny, guilty almost, that she was willing to spend so much money on my clothes when in the past most of my wardrobe was hand-me-downs. So I did as every good pre-teen would and tested the situation. I pulled out these crazy high fashion (for that time anyway) slacks off the shopping rack and proclaimed, “I want these.” I thought for sure my mom’s true conservative nature would show itself and protest, but instead she said “sure” and put them in her cart.

My high-fashion choice didn’t scare her at all; instead I scared myself! I tried to convince her I was just joking but she pointed out the fair price and insisted I get what I really wanted. I was too embarrassed to be honest with her that they were way out of my comfort zone.

Out of respect for the money Mom spent, I overcame my fear and wore those statement slacks to school. What I experienced that day is a huge part of why I am now an image consultant. It was as if I “found myself.”  Before that I always choose comfortable, casual, low-profile styles like my mom looked so good in, but wearing the more fashionable attire made me feel alive and confident.  The funny thing was, I don’t remember any other kids wearing statement pieces that year but instead of feeling like I was the odd one, I felt authentic. (I guess that makes me authentically odd, but that’s a blog for another day.)

Peer pressure may be about trying to fit in or follow fashion, but the bigger challenge is more about being authentic and not a mimic of others. 

No wonder clothes shopping can be so difficult. It is not only when we are preparing for school, but what we really want is unique uniformity–talk about oxymoron–is this even possible? Peer pressure makes shopping hard enough, but the struggle isn’t only about our friends’ opinions. In fact, depending on a girl’s style, the internal conflict could be stronger than any peer pressure.

  • The Classic’s main concern is that her outfit is coordinated and she has a hard time letting go of old outfits.
  • The Natural’s greatest need is to be comfortable and she has a hard time putting outfits together.
  • Dramatics feel most confident when they are fashionable but they battle with the rejection they get for being so overpowering.
  • The Ingénue’s come alive when they keep their look soft, sweet and youthful but her strong nature may rival her delicate appearance leaving her unsure of how to be true to herself.
  • Romantics glow when they are true to their femininity and focus on a glamorous look but their self-less nature may keep them from taking care of their own needs.
  • Gamines tend to know exactly what they want, but they also tend to dress according to their mood, and all too often their entire wardrobe is black, which conflicts with their colorful nature.

This internal battle of conflicting desires is why it is so important to Know Who You Are–or who you are shopping with. 

My mom is a Natural Beauty but she was raised by a Dramatic. Of course she didn’t know about the six various styles (Img.IDs) back in the ‘70s and neither did I, but I think she understood what was going on inside of my heart far better than I did as an eleven year old. When she put those slacks in that shopping cart that day she knew they were “me.” Sometimes we just need help figuring out our own desires–especially when the one we admire feels differently than we do. I guess that’s why I love image coaching so much. I struggle understanding myself but the more I do, the more liberated I am and I want to share the power of that freedom with others so that they, too, can BE and LET BE.

If you are stressing over the back to school shopping or feeling a bit anxious about returning to school, I encourage you to put the effort in to understanding yourself so that you can find the balance between following fashion and staying true to yourself. This is the key to becoming a girl of Confident Beauty, which doesn’t alter with peer pressure.

To learn more about your Img.ID, visit my website at or contact me to learn about my September Special on Supreme MakeOvers.

How Critiques and Crowds Build Confidence

I love hanging out with teenagers. You may think I’m crazy, but you’ve got to know the kind of kids I’m hanging with.  

800px-Flickr_-_moses_namkung_-_The_Crowd_For_DMB_1Youth groups from all over America have traveled to Orlando to participate in a National Fine Arts Festival and I’ve had the privilege of witnessing their amazing talents. There are ten thousand kids here who are stepping out of their comfort zones, using their gifts and abilities and encouraging each other to do the same. During a time when so many teens in our society are defeated and discouraged, it has been rather refreshing to see so many of them excited and enthusiastic.

But this isn’t a utopia. I’m sure that when these kids separate from each other they will be back to stressing and striving, but without a doubt, this week has strengthened their character.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

We become like the people we hang around and although this powerful truth is sometimes quite devastating to a person’s character, it is also one of the greatest keys to building confidence.  

One of my favorite parts of being here is walking through the halls of the convention center where the various artists are warming up for their turn on stage. It is an amazing comparison to the crowded streets of Downtown Disney where we spent some time last night. Both places offer entertainment with the pause in your walk but the atmosphere in the convention halls is very different then the beautiful, waterfront streets where the “magic happens.” Don’t get me wrong; Disney also offers good, healthy fun. But the dream that is inspired there is really Walt’s, more than his patrons. At this National Fine Arts Festival, the kids are building their own dreams.

I feel so blessed that two of my own kids are here having the flames in their hearts fanned by the approval and inspiration of their peers as well as the critiques of their judges. Of course I wish their performances were rated as perfection, but I  know that the judgment and advice given them will help them continue to develop their gifts because they are witnessing success and failure all around them.

They know that they are not alone.

It’s often said, “When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly.” For the performers receiving
their rating, the sparks may be tears of disappointment, but that’s part of the character-building. Tears make their experience real and lasting because they refine the dream.

The desire to do better is only proof of the value of that dream to that person. 

I am impressed with the courage these kids have to stand before their peers and offer their hearts. I know many grown men and women who lack the confidence to share their talent around a campfire at night, yet these kids, during their most sensitive years, step out in front of each other and risk it all. And their courage becomes confidence wether they rate “superior” or not because there is a camaraderie being built amongst them as they cheer each other on and they are learning that they have something to offer this world and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.

Witnessing others achieve a dream creates confidence that you can too.  

Our society is full of people (myself included) with hurts, hang-ups and habits that have destroyed the dreams within us. Perhaps there’s something we all could learn from hanging out with teens who still believe they can do anything.

If you, or someone you love, is feeling defeated or discouraged, I encourage you to reconnect with your dreams by practicing the gifts and talents inside of you and then risking your heart by sharing it with someone who just might be encouraged by it. 


What’s your Party Style?

How you Throw a Party Says a lot about Your Img.ID

bbq-36427_640 (2)Your Personal Image Identity (Img.ID) is predominately about your clothing personality. To present yourself well and look your best everything you wear should compliment your facial features and physical attributes, but another very important part of that is your personal preferences, which has a lot to do with your general personality style.

If you have ever learned about personalities, you know that some people get their energy and enthusiasm for life by being with people, others “recharge” by being alone. Some of us are people-oriented, others are task-oriented. No certain style is superior. We need all kinds of personalities to make this world work and therefore we should be careful not to aspire to be someone we are not.

One common push-back I get when assessing a woman’s clothing personality is, “don’t put me in a box.” I realize that being analyzed can rise up our defensiveness, but understanding yourself is actually a way of breaking OUT of the box that you may have put yourself in. You do not have to be like your parents, teachers, siblings. It’s time to BE and LET BE.

Take throwing a party, for instance.

Do you like to attend parties? How about hosting them?

It’s your daughter’s sweet 16, your son’s graduation, your husband’s big 5-0… the pressure’s on you to make their day special. Does that excite you or stress you out? How you respond to the challenge of throwing a party is a great indicator of which style of beauty you are.

  • An Ingénue won’t think about the pressure much, she will just do the work and she will do it with amazing creativity. Photos will definitely be involved; her guest of honor will truly be honored.
  • A Romantic will make the party all about her loved one as well, but if she can keep the guest list to intimate friends and family only she will feel far less stressed about it.
  • A Classic knows the proper etiquette and expectations of a good party, but she tends to find it very stressful to pull it all together. It is not easy for this woman to let the details go. The social side of life is not as comfortable for her as her professional side and her tendency is to stop everything until she can do it right. This woman does best to have her party catered.
  • The Dramatic, on the other hand, loves (and does) every detail of hosting a party and she does it will excellence–the decor, the invites, the favors, entertainment, food, you name it, she thought of it. Her greatest challenge is in making sure her work is done before the party starts or she will work the whole time guest are there and never get to visit, which may make her feel cheated.
  • The Natural doesn’t really like hosting a party, although she may have a hard time admitting that, especially if she comes from a family of entertainers. This woman does well to just BE herself. As a casual beauty, she has a way of making any guest in her home feel comfortable (unless she is uncomfortable with her home) because there is no pretense about her. She doesn’t make a big deal about anything, so help yourself to her buffet and if she forgot something check the fridge, she won’t mind, just don’t expect her to get all fancy and you will have a great time.
  • Gamines love to celebrate with people they love, especially if someone else is throwing the party! When it’s their turn to host, however, they don’t mind. Some of them go all out like a Dramatic, but most of them are quite casual about what they serve and how they host. In fact, they, too, may prefer to have a buffet or BBQ style party–that is if they don’t choose to have it catered or out at a restaurant–but you can be sure that the paper plates they use won’t be plain and white (like a Natural might choose). Gamines don’t get stressed about style, but they do like their colors to coordinate.

Did you know that the Bible challenges Christians to party? We are even told to have fun with it and not to get stressed out.

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter4:9

Being hospitable does not come naturally to all of us, but understanding your personal style and hosting your party within your own comfort zone is one way to not only relieve a lot of the stress, but it also another way to BE and LET BE. If you are attending a party this weekend, I encourage you to enjoy yourself, no matter which style the party is (just be sure to dress accordingly, one way to make a Natural real uncomfortable at her own backyard BBQ is to arrive in your finest attire). If you are hosting a party this weekend, I encourage you to prepare for it in a way that is true to your authentic self without apologies, just be sure to communicate your style, so that your guests can come prepared to throw horseshoes and not feel all awkward in their stilettos.

If you would like to know more about your Img.ID, please check out my website at