Tag Archives: becoming beautiful

I’m back!

It’s been rather quiet around here, and I must admit, life took over and for awhile there I found myself unable to breathe.

Starting a new job, a new routine, in a new state and essentially a new life became my only focus. I could think of nothing except how exhausted I was, how much I had to do, and the list went on. My mind was too crowded to accomodate blogging, and thus my beloved blogs (and you, my readers, as a result) went neglected.

But I won’t say I am sorry. As that is what happens. We are not perfect, I am not a blogging machine and these things happen.

For awhile there, I contemplated giving up blogging. I contemplated giving up this ‘hobby’ that I’ve been doing for almost 10 years, this ‘past time’ in which I had poured my heart and soul into. My heart, mind, life were too full and I wondered if I would ever have the space for blogging once more. I asked myself the crucial question: Why am I blogging?.

I think it is important, from time to time, to ask yourself the hard questions that nobody else wants to ask. To go back to basics, and ask why this blog exist in the first place. Where I once had a crystal clear answer, this time I struggled with my answers and while I was waging this war within me, I knew that I could not return to writing on my blog as my voice would not ring true and clear.

The answer came to me, as clear as day when I sat down to help a few other bloggers with their blogs. I blog because I love sharing my experiences and my knowledge. I blog because I know that we all make mistakes, and I hope that you are able to learn from mine while laughing with me at them. I blog because it brings me joy. I blog because of you.

And with that knowledge, I smiled.

Welcome to 2013 – A new year, A new look, A new approach.

Welcome back to Becoming Beautiful – delighted to see you here on the first day of 2013!

There’s a few things to cover today, so sit tight!

How do you like our new dress?

The past half a year has seen me flit in and out of the blog, much like the lazy butterfly who comes and goes as they please. I’ve been busy, that is true, but I have also been unhappy. Unhappy with how the blog is, unhappy with the feel, unhappy with what it had morphed into. Not one to sit around being unhappy for long, I set about looking for some new threads for the blog and after 6 months of searching, I finally settled upon this.

It’s cleaner, less clutter, more sophisticated, and just a touch more class. Perfect for signifying me moving onto the next step of my life, I believe!

Things that have changed:

  1. Reviews will no longer be on the main blog. Instead, they will all be on my new KISS site.
  2. The blog will no longer be just a beauty blog. I will be incorporating everything that I think is necessary towards us working towards a more beautiful lifestyle. That means, inspirational quotes and stories, reader spotlights, interviews, tutorials, fashion, beauty, craft, etc etc. Everything amazing, of course!
  3. I have removed most advertisements.
  4. There will be an even bigger call than ever before for you to be involved. Becoming Beautiful is not just about my journey towards being beautiful, it is about yours too.

My feelings

I have not been a good blogger, nor a good friend, nor a good writer in 2012. I mean to change that for the better in 2013. I have now finally identified who my friends are (moving away from your comfort zone really gives you perspective), and have realised just why I was so unhappy for a lot of 2012.

While 2012 was not the most stellar of years, I feel that I have grown a lot as a person and certainly as I stand in a new city (Adelaide still feels new to me), I am thrilled by the potential that lies ahead of me.

Every day is a new day, and instead of mulling over what has past, I am going to face each day with new eyes and surge ahead.

Your Turn

I must say thank you. I would not be here if not for my wonderful readers who have continued to support me through my ups and downs. It’s always nice to write, but it is even nicer to be able to write for somebody. So Thank you, and here’s to a wonderful 2013 – together.

Celeste Runs, You win – Fundraise with Bobbi Brown and Becoming Beautiful!

Hooray, the first Pinktober giveaway is officially close! The winner will be drawn in the next 72 hours and an email will be sent out to you. If you don’t reply to that email within 48 hours then a new winner is picked, so watch that inbox if you are especially keen to win!

And while that excitement is going on behind the scenes, the fundraising campaign continues at Becoming Beautiful. This week, we shine the spotlight on Bobbi Brown who has been an amazing pillar of support for this blog from its early days. I am a huge Bobbi Brown fan, and her philosophies are quite similar to mine so I really do adore her. One day, I hope to meet her in person!

Please remember that :

For every entry I get on the giveaway, I will be donating $1 to the South Australian Cancer Council in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month.*

*Capped at $500 to ensure the survival of Celeste and her tummy.

Meanwhile, thanks to the generosity of her PR represents in Australia, Bobbi Brown has kindly donated a gift pack to the value of $200 in order to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness! So what can you win..?

I want to win these!! But I can’t win my own giveaway. Sigh.

Winning this is easy. All you need to do is:


Subscribe to the site via Google Friend Connect and tell me what your username is.

And for an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway!
Remember to comment with the link to the tweet!

Don’t forget to read the rules and regulation to find out how you can obtain even more entries to win this amazing prize pack!

Rules and Regulations

1. Contest Period. The giveaway starts at 10:00 am AEST on Oct 14, 2011, and concludes at 9:00 am AEST on Oct 21, 2011. This giveaway is sponsored by Bobbi Brown, in co-operation with Becoming Beautiful.

2. Eligibility. This giveaway is open to both international and local participants.

3. How to Participate.

    Single entry: Entrants post a comment answering the question posed in the above blog post. Entries must contain the entrant’s name, and a valid e-mail address.
    Multiple entries: Participants can qualify for up to three additional entries by making a donation of $1.00 or more to Becoming Beautiful’s fundraising page, and providing the generated tax receipt number in a comment below.

4. Prize Awarding. Winner will be notified by e-mail within 72 hours of the conclusion of the giveaway. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond within the 48 hour window will result in a new winner being picked.

Remember!! For every entry I get on the giveaway, I will be donating $1 to the South Australian Cancer Council in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month.

So what are you waiting for? Get Moving!!

ABC of Celeste from Becoming beautiful

Everytime I move between cities, I seem to have a short break in blogging while I get myself organized once more. Sorry about the gap. Normal blog posts will resume tomorrow soon, but hey look, here’s another meme!

A. Age: 26.
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the windows
D. Day: I love Tuesdays and Thursdays at work. Yay for getting paid to do no work (or close to no work).
E. Essential start to your day: Obsessive checking of twitter and inbox before I get out of bed.
F. Favourite colour: Pink – but this changes often
G. Gold or Silver: Silver or White gold.
H. Height: 155cm. Or so I say.
I. Instruments: Piano, Violin, Er Hu.. but I can teach Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Guitar, Drums, Cello and a whole slew of other instruments.
J. Job title: Music Teacher
K. Kids: My students are my kids. Love them.
L. Lives: Melbourne and Murrayville. Often visitor of Adelaide
M. Mum’s name: Jane. I like to call her Mimi. (Short for Mummy).
N. Nicknames: Too many to lists, and none that I like. Maybe except ‘Bear’ but nobody calls me that except Kev.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Never. Unless you count when I was born.
P. Pet peeve: Negative people. Argh!
Q. Quote from a movie: Can never remember any. Um….
R. Right or left handed: Right handed.
S. Siblings: One sister. Younger.
T. Time you wake up: 6.45am, snooze till 8am. I rock.
U. Underwear: Granny Panties. Things you do when you have a tummy you hate.
V. Vegetables you dislike: Onions…?
W. What makes you run late: KEV. *glares*
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Chest xrays for visa medical (lots of times) and a teeth xray.
Y. Yummy food you make: Nobody. NOBODY. can beat my apple crumble.
Z. Zoo: I like Melbourne Zoo!

Hope you learnt something more about me and it wasn’t too boring. Whoops.

Have a cute pic of my cat in the meantime!

Towards a better and healthier me.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Laozi

It’s about time I hop in for a progress report.

And for the newcomers to this blog, you can read up on this post to get a quick overview. But to cut a long story short, it is basically what this blog is about. A journey towards a better me, trying to find myself and learning to appreciate the beauty I was born with instead of yearning for beauty that is beyond my reach.

From my previous post, the goals I was working on were:

  • Getting that exercise regime to stick – need to work on my discipline
  • Need to learn how to do my hair properly in order to present myself in a more eye pleasing manner.
  • Need to learn how to accept my own skin colour.
  • Need to stop sighing in the mirror about my fat rolls.
  • So how have I gone?

    In truth, I think that even though I say I’ve been trying, I didn’t really try till Run Melbourne. Something changed in me that day. Something clicked, something made sense and suddenly this whole thing didn’t seem quite so far-fetched and impossible.

    Because while I didn’t immediately start training like a maniac after that, I was actually motivated to do so. There’s a big difference there. I started being more food conscious, I started calorie counting and I also started the 30 day shred challenge. Within the next 3 months after Run Melbourne, I pushed myself and for the first time in years of trying to lose weight, I started seeing a difference.

    And instead of Kev pushing me to run, I signed us up for the next run by myself. I signed up for Adelaide’s City Bay Fun Run – 6km. I didn’t really train for it through running, but I had been working on my stamina and cardio through the shred challenge and was pumped for the race. I finished that race at 52 minutes and 11 seconds, a new personal best as well as a new distance record. And I felt amazing.

    Photo by Steph

    And you know the best part of the past 3 months? I lost 5.5kgs. It’s been a slow and hard slog towards the first milestone. My ultimate goal is to lose a total of 12kgs in order to get to my proper healthy weight once more so I have 6.5kgs to go. If I keep at the pace I’ve been working, I should hopefully be able to achieve this in the next 4 months. *determine face*

    It’s hard, believe me, I know it’s hard. It’s hard to feel motivated when you don’t see progress. It’s hard to stay focused when the end doesn’t seem to ever be in sight. But the only way forward is through determination. It took me a fair few years to learn and accept this. There are no shortcuts. If you want a better and healthier you, then you’ve gotta work for it.

    As for the other goals.. I’m working on it. Since I’ve lost the weight, I’ve felt more confident in my clothes. I walk straighter, I hold my head slightly higher and when I was able to fit into old clothes that had previously not fit me, it felt like I was weightless – I was that excited.

    So hang in there, my fair ladies. If you are like me and working towards a healthier and slimmer you, then grit your teeth and stay focused. The goal is in front of you, you just need to get your way there!

    As for me… I’ll be running more races. My next race is Race4life in Adelaide and you would have read about it just yesterday. And of course…

    Don’t forget that it’s Pinktober! Becoming Beautiful is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month and you can do your bit by donating what you are able to towards the cause. Remember, no donation is too small! Click on the banner to go to the donation page – it’s secure and you will receive your tax receipt instantly!

    Image Source

    Becoming Beautiful is now on Tumblr!

    Being the blogging addict that I am, I couldn’t keep myself to just blogging 2 times a day here on the main blog. So I’ve decided that in order to share all the pretties I keep seeming to find, I shall have a tumblr blog as well to complement the main blog.

    Please do check it out, please feel free to follow as many of the things that I share on tumblr will not make it back onto this blog and some of it are too good to miss. There’s so many awesome things out there in this world!

      And if you are on tumblr as well, let me know so I can follow you too!

      Becoming Beautiful: How’s the journey going?



      Image from Lazydoll via flickr

      It’s been a while since I spoke about my own journey. Going back to the start, this is after all, why this blog was started so pull up a comfy chair, toast your toes on the crackling fire, and let’s have a chat.

      So let’s remember again – what were my insecurities?

      I wanted to lose weight.
      I was socially awkward and hated parties
      I was trying to learn how to accept myself and to feel pretty from within
      I felt really ugly.

      So in a nutshell, I just couldn’t accept myself for who I am because I wasn’t textbook pretty: big eyes, fluttery lashes, perfect smile, porcelain skinned and a size 6. I was also socially awkward, had issues getting to know new people and had no confidence because I felt I was ugly.

      To combat these, I came up with:

      Ways to say no to ugly days.
      I read and read the Positive Beauty Manifesto many times over and took it to heart
      I also resolved to exercise and eat healthier and while I’m not interested in being stick thin, a nicer figure and better stamina would be nice.

      And so far:

      I am feeling more confident and even started up a series called Road to Confidence which makes me confront myself and realise just how pretty I can be, just like everybody else.

      I still don’t like parties, but I’ve found it easier to make new friends especially when I have taken the time to dress up and look my best.

      I still have ugly days, but I don’t let them drag me down quite as much anymore. I dress as well as I can, am reading as many fashion magazine and blogs as I can to teach me what sort of clothing would suit me better and am wearing clothes that fit my size instead of being two sizes too small.

      I still don’t think I’m textbook pretty, but I am recognizing that everybody can be pretty and that includes me. I am learning to respect myself and if I don’t go around telling people they are fat, why should I be telling myself that?

      I am trying to come to terms that I have dark skinned and not the fair beauty that I want to be. Still working on that.

      I realised that fake lashes are the answer to my want of fluttery lashes.

      I have started looking into how to eat healthily.

      I started an exercise regime and promptly failed at maintaining it. – uh oh.

      So things I have to work on still:

    • Getting that exercise regime to stick – need to work on my discipline
    • Need to learn how to do my hair properly in order to present myself in a more eye pleasing manner.
    • Need to learn how to accept my own skin colour.
    • Need to stop sighing in the mirror about my fat rolls.

    • How about you? How has your journey gone?

      From Nothing to Something – 9 essentials to building a makeup kit.


      Image by Psoup215 on flickr

      If you know nothing about makeup and cosmetics, having to step into the shiny cosmetic halls of myers can be daunting and scary. I remember the first time approaching the cosmetic counters and feeling like the stupidest person on earth. I remember how scared and nervous I felt and how sure I was that the sales assistants were going to think I was such a big idiot.

      And you know what, if the first counter I had approached was MAC with its amazing reputation of SAs who bite your head off, I’d probably never be sitting here today surrounded by my vast collection of my makeup products and loving it quite like I do now.

      Everybody has to start from somewhere. Amazing MUAs were not born that way. Huge beauty product collectors started from a humble foundation once upon a time. If you are newly starting out, don’t despair. If you are reading this, you are already making a first good step – research.

      If you are looking to build a good basic kit, here are my recommendations on what you should have in your beginner’s kit and also my current fave product for it.


      1. Face Primer

      Never start the day without face primer. It smooths out your face, primes your face and gets it ready for all the makeup and powders that are going onto your face. That flawless complexion starts from a good face primer.

      I use: Face of Australia’s Face Base Primer

      2. Eyelid primer

      A must for folks with oily lids (like me!) Before I started using an eyelid primer, I was wondering why my liner was transferring to my lower eye area. By the end of the day, I was looking like a panda and here I thought I was just feeling really tired! But ever since I started using the primer potion, my panda days are over and I’ve never had an issue since.

      I use: Urban Decay’s Primer Potion

      3. Foundation

      Foundation is a no brainer. Unless you were blessed with amazing skin, all of us do tend to need something to smooth out our complexion. Getting a good foundation to match your skin is paramount as you really don’t want to be seen as though you are wearing a mask. Use brushes or sponges to blend it out well so you have a flawless base.

      An alternative to foundation can be BB cream. That’s what I prefer to use. Much like a tinted moisturizer, bb creams are light and perfect for warm weathers. However seeing as we are moving back into colder months, I will be getting some new foundations to add to my collection.

      Brands I use: Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua, Bloom

      4. Concealer

      This may or may not be necessary for you but it is always handy to have around to cover up red spots, dark circles or those irritating zits. The correct concealer is very important as you want to lighten the spots enough to blend in but not too much that you highlight the area.

      I use: Bobbi Brown’s Corrector and Concealer


      5. Eyeliner

      Nothing makes the eye more than eyeliner. I learnt this way way, WAY too late into my learning makeup career. You can put all the colour you want, but if you don’t line your eyes to define them.. well, sister, you just ain’t working hard enough.

      I prefer liquid eyeliner over every other one because it goes on with such ease. You may need a few practice runs to get the hang of it, but in my opinion, it is the king of all eyeliner types. Plus who doesn’t love a good wing eyeliner?

      I use: Benefit’s Magic Ink.

      6. Eyeshadow

      There are so many different eyeshadow palettes or single eyeshadow pots out there. Where do you start, and which brand do you go for? Many people say that huge eyeshadow palettes (88 colours, 150 colours etc) scare them. But in my opinion, that’s actually the best place to start. If you are new to makeup, would you know which colours suit you? The colours that may suit your eyes, features and face may not necessarily be the colours you wear with your clothes. So what better way than to get a huge palette that contains all sorts of different colours from neutrals to vibrant and try, try, try? One may argue that you can never imagine yourself wearing colour. But you never know till you try. If you have the option and the resources to (in that very same palette), you never know that one day you might actually feel curious enough to try a different colour.

      I use: Coastal Scents 88 colour palette

      7. Mascara

      Mascara can be a tricky one. What works for me might not work for you depending on how your lashes are. I also find that I can be allergic to quite a few different mascaras. They make my eyes water.

      But getting a good mascara is essential. They frame your eyes and when done well, can really make your eyes go va-va-voom. People say that eyes are the windows to the soul, so it makes sense that you’d do your best to make sure those windows have the prettiest curtains ever.

      I use: YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

      8. Blush

      I’ve often had friends or readers who are starting out in makeup comment on the fact that putting blush on made them feel like clowns.
      Damn them clowns for putting that idea into their heads! Blush isn’t meant to make you look like you have pink painted onto your cheeks. A gentle dab and some artful blending will give you rosy cheeks and a healthy glow. Always remember to tap the excess off the brush before putting it on your cheeks. And smile!

      I use: Face of Australia’s Outback Primrose

      9. Lipstick

      Don’t forget those lips! More often than not, if people arent’ looking at your eyes, they’ll be drawn to your mouth. So make sure your lips are well hydrated, not flaking dead skin and looking absolutely to kill with your best lipstick. To be honest, it’s actually quite hard to keep to the one lipstick as you’d be swapping colours to suit what you wear and the rest of your makeup. But I do believe that every girl needs to have that one bright lippy in the collection. One bright lippy, one nude, and one pink. Bare minimum.

      I use: MAC’s Heartless

      I hope that was helpful, even by a little tiny bit! For all of you girls starting out and building your kit, don’t worry! It can be very daunting and truthfully, it took me a good 4 years before I really got into it. And you are definitely not required to buy every single release that comes out. No need to go broke to look good. Just spend some time playing with a few different products, doing your research and you will get the hang of it before long.

      Good luck!

       

      Becoming Beautiful: Accepting yourself for who you are, Part II



      Welcome back to our little chat about acceptance.

      I can safely say that after starting my little self-discovery and self-acceptance journey on this blog, I am slowly learning to accept myself. Instead of hating on myself, I find that I pick out the bits that I like and concentrate on those.

      So let’s go back to the question I had beforehand:

      Are you disliking any of these because it doesn’t match up to what society thinks it should be?

      I do.

    • I hate my weight because there is bias towards women who are slim and skinny.
    • I hate my height because there is once again, a bias towards women who are tall.
    • I hate my skin tone because the asian society has a bias towards women who are fair.
    • I hate my eyes because they are too small.

      The list could go on.

      But is there a point in doing that? In hating on yourself for something you don’t have?

      No. No point at all. So instead, here’s a list of what I do love about myself.

    • I love my grin. I don’t know how to smile, I just grin. But I love it.
    • I love my tiny feet. It’s a pain to buy shoes for, but I just feel that my tiny feet are cute.
    • I love my tiny hands. Again, can be a pain, but I love how small they are.

      It’s not a long list. But it’s a list. I’ll slowly get there!!

      So how about you? What do you love about yourself?

    • How to get those exercises going: Part I



      Image via Will Lion

      This is why I want to exercise. Yup.

      *cough*

      Okay, no not really. I want to exercise because I want to stay healthy. My family has a history of health issues related to overweight issues so mum really wants me to stay on the healthy side of the line. Unfortunately for her, I am hovering on the overweight line. Given my height and weight, yes, I am considered overweight. Whoops.

      And trust me, I’ve been trying to lose weight, but I was never a sporty girl. So this was easier said than done. Exercise? I hate exercising! Eating? I love eating!

      I’ve carried my overweight self around with me for quite a few years now. But it’s never made me happy. Who would, really? I couldn’t fit into the clothes I had, I started wearing skirts with the zipper not pulled all the way up, and I felt like crap. Next to my friends who are as slim as slim can be, I felt very much like the ugly duckling without any hope of ever becoming a beautiful swan.

      But enough was enough. This year, I am really determined to do something about it. To exercise those KGs away and to eat healthily to ensure that my health picks up. There is a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol in my family. Not to mention overweight issues! I can’t win, so I better start eating healthily and exercising properly from now.

      So here’s my plan on how to get those exercises going:

      1. Join the netball team – done.

        Joining the team means having to go for training. Training means exercising. And training in a group means I keep pushing myself as I train with the students I normally teach. Can’t lose face. Whoops.

      2. Walk / Run for one hour a day – in progress.

        I hit upon a brilliant idea the other day and am sincerely hoping that it will work. The trouble in the past has been that if I’m exercising by myself, I lose interest after awhile during exercise routines. So I got myself a treadmill and put it in front of the tv, and have been doing my hour of walking / running during Masterchef. So far, so good.

      So far, that’s all I’ve got. I want to do situps or pushups as well, but motivation – zero! How about you? How do you keep your exercises going, and how do you maintain your amazing figure? Do share your secrets!