I realize that this is a BEAUTY blog. But when I was about 14, I had a lady who I looked up to tell me something that I’ll never forget. She said, “Ashley, you can care as much as you want about what you look like while you are getting ready. But once you’re finished, just have fun and don’t give it a second thought.” This was exactly what I needed to hear then. At at age 14, I had a case of what friends in high school liked to call, “Ugly Duckling Syndrom.” By this, they meant that I was ugly when I was younger, but I grew into myself later on in life. This name came with a lot of insecurities. I knew that the only reason everyone THOUGHT I looked better was because I learned a few tips and tricks on how to do my hair and properly apply make up. These insecurities are what kept me up late at night doing my “bedtime rituals” like plucking my eyebrows so they looked just right and performing endless extractions so that I didn’t wake up with a zit in the morning that everyone would see. I would run countless miles so that no one would be able to tell that I ate that extra piece of cake. As I have grown up and realized that as fun as it is to get all dolled up, life has more to offer me. These insecurities have become a hobby. There should always be a balance. Skin tips, hair tutorials, and fashion are fun and exciting. They can even be a hobby, but they are not life. Beauty reflects who you are inside, and vice versa. I know that a new dress, or freshly waxed eyebrows can put some pep in your step, but there is no better feeling than being proud of who you are, regardless of the clothes or makeup that you are wearingFotor0501164931before Ashley