Monday Mornings

This is me on Monday mornings. No makeup. Messy hair. Eating cereal out of a Tupperware container. This is the epitome of a Monday morning.

As I get dressed for class and eventually put on some eyeliner and concealer, all I can think about is how I would have NEVER posted a picture sans makeup like this a few years ago.

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Lush Ultrabland Cleanser Review

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*Not my handwriting

It’s product review time! The last (and first) time I went to Lush, I asked for some products that would help clear up my skin and solve the whole oily skin problem. Maggie, the lovely lady who helped me, recommended Ultrabland. She said she used it regularly as a makeup remover and cleanser, and when she tested it on the back of my hand, I was all about it. But I wasn’t ready to drop some big bucks, so I asked for a sample instead.

Recently, I grew some balls and tried it for the first time… and I did not like it at all.

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4 Things You Should Know About Taking Charge of Your Dental Health

Hello & good morning! I’m so happy to be 100% again. I’ve been recovering for the past few days from a wisdom tooth extraction and a root canal retreatment, so I’ve been a little out of it.

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Since this whole dental stuff is fresh on my mind, I figured there’s no better time than now to talk about some important things – real life things – that might help you as you attempt this thing called adulthood.

Scary right?

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Spotify Playlist: Running to Class

Happy Monday!

Guess what today is?! The first day of classes this semester! Instead of dragging myself out of bed and zombie-walking to my classes, I’m gonna put on this playlist in the morning and pump myself up to see all of my friends, take in this beautiful campus and hopefully meet my future bae in one of my classes 😉

I hope everyone enjoys this playlist and has the most amazing day ever!Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 4.40.29 PM

How I Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking

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Class presentation for our PR campaigns class. // 2015

You’re looking at someone who used to sweat profusely, never made eye contact and avoided speaking in front of any number of people. Even talking in a small group made me nervous. But in this picture… I. Was. Killing. It.

My first memory of public speaking was in kindergarten when my teacher asked for someone to stand up in front of the class to lead our daily rendition of the ABCs. I had done it the day before, but shit, I wanted to do it again, so I did. And that day, I stood up in front of my class (again) and led our class through the ABCs.

That was the last good public speaking memory I had as grew up and developed a fear of public speaking. It didn’t develop until middle school – oh, you know, the greatest period of time in every teenager’s life. I was ugly. I was awkward. I was shy. So for me, talking in front of my class, or even raising my hand, was completely out of the question. While the pretty and sociable people in my class called for everyone’s attention, I was hiding in the corner and trying to hide my snaggle tooth.

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The only time I’ll show you guys a picture from my awkward stage. // 2006

Unfortunately I never really snapped out of the whole “avoid people looking at me” phase. I became one with the wall, and I was completely fine with that. Kinda. I was fine with that until I realized how much I loved being in the spotlight and making people laugh.

I was in my first public speaking class at the University of Georgia when I realized this. I had been a ball of nerves prior to my first assignment, which was to recite a three-minute speech written by someone famous. Most people picked historically significant people like Martin Luther King and Obama. Me? I picked Aziz Ansari.

So I stood up in front of my class and recited (with notecards of course) a three-minute standup joke that Aziz Ansari performed during his Dangerously Delicious comedy special. It was that first laugh from the audience, from my friends, that let me know that I was doing alright. Even though I stuttered a few times, I didn’t care because by the end, I had made a room full of people laugh.

Since then, I haven’t stopped trying to make people laugh when I present. My goal is to get my message across in the funniest, most informal way as possible because that’s the type of impression I want to leave on people. A younger me would have been scared of looking like a fool in front of a room of people. Now, I don’t care if I look like an idiot. If people leave with a good understanding of my point, then I did my job. *Drops mic* *Walks out*

With more presentations than I can count under my belt, I’ve learned a few important things that I think everyone should know in order to become public speaking stars.

Find your presentation style. Maybe you like to be poised and elegant like Helen Mirren. Maybe you want to be informal and relatable like Jennifer Lawrence. Whatever it is you want, be that. Go online and watch YouTube clips of speakers and presenters that interest you and mimic the style that you like. It’ll help you as you develop your own voice.

Pretend like everyone in the audience is your friend. Regardless of your style, if you pretend like you are talking to a room full of your friends, it’s a lot less stressful. First, it’ll calm your nerves to feel like everyone is supporting you. Second, it’ll be easier to recover from mistakes because like you and your friends usually do, you can just shrug it off.

Realize that mistakes are okay. Everyone makes mistakes especially in public speaking. People get flustered and tongue-tied. People stutter and fidget. Whatever happens, it is okay. People are a lot more understanding than you think, and for the most part, people are more interested in what you’re saying than how it’s delivered. No mistake is too big to recover from, so shrug it off or laugh it off. It’s not that big of a deal.

Force yourself to speak in public. That whole “practice makes perfect” thing that people talk about? It kinda works. The more you practice talking in front of people, the easier it will get because you’ll start to feel more comfortable with the environment of a speaker. They are usually in the front of a room, on a raised platform, holding or speaking near a microphone, etc. These things take a while to get used to especially when you’re in a room full of people. By forcing yourself to speak in public, you’ll learn how to quickly adapt to different speaking environments thus leaving more time to focus on the content of your speech.

Of these things that I’ve learned, I personally think that the first one is the most important. I have presented in front of CEOs, CMOs, VPs and executive directors. I have spoken to groups of ten people to crowds of one hundred people. In every instance, I have always remained true to my style. I like to keep it lighthearted and fun, and I never beat around the bush. I like to think that it’s my honesty that makes me relatable.

And to be honest, this confidence I have developed when presenting is still a work in progress. I still trip over my words and fidget with my hair. But I have made progress from the girl who couldn’t look anyone in the eye to the girl who can make a room full of people laugh. And that, my friend, is what I like to call: a win.

Charming Goals for 2016

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Ahhh it’s 2016 – how are you doing on your new years resolution? Did you make one? If not, check out my previous post for some resolutions that you’ll enjoy sticking to.

As for me, I have some goals I am hoping to work towards this year. For the past couple of years, I set some pretty unrealistic goals. This time, I’m hoping to do it big by starting off small.

Eat more vegetables – I can count on one hand the vegetables that I enjoy eating: broccoli and green beans. It’s not that I hate vegetables; it’s that I enjoy eating other things like pasta and hot wings. But as I get older, I get more concerned about the food I use to fuel my body, and I’m simply not as healthy as I should be. I am going to start incorporating more vegetables into my meals, and hopefully I find more vegetables that I enjoy eating. I’ll most likely keep you guys updated on my food journey through my food blog Broke Bitch Meals.

Volunteer more – There are plenty of things I am passionate about, one of them being animals. I started volunteering at my local animal shelter a long time ago, but since I started working, my schedule doesn’t work well with their open hours. But as all PR people do, I’ve created a plan B. Instead of volunteering physically at the shelter, I’ll put more time into assisting online and offering my help with tasks that can be done remotely.

Read more books – If I could be anything in the world, I would be a writer. Just the thought of sitting down at a desk with a cup of coffee and my fuzzy socks makes me warm inside. But writing is mentally exhausting sometimes, and my schedule this year is already jam packed. So instead of writing, I am going to read. Instead of scrolling through Facebook and Twitter before bed, I am going to read a little bit before I go to sleep.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

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“I laughed more. I was bolder. I was brazen. I spoke my mind and spoke it loud.”

Scandal. Grey’s Anatomy. How to Get Away with Murder. She writes for these shows that make us fall in love, laugh until tears roll down our cheeks, and shake with anticipation. She’s Shonda Rhimes. And who would have thought that she’s just like us?

I just finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes, and I feel… human. In a way, that’s what this book was all about – being human and being you.

In this book, she documents her journey of pushing and challenging herself to become a better person, a happier person. Shonda is nothing short of honest in her book, especially about her weaknesses and her shortcomings. Shy. Avoidant. Quiet. It was these things that led her to her year of yes- a year where she broke through her shell, took advantage of amazing opportunities, and began living.

This book is something to admire because it shows us that just “having it all” means nothing, and it’s what you do with it that means everything. Someone could give you the world, but what good is having it if you don’t explore it.

She encourages her readers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace  challenges, and most importantly, she urges them to hold themselves accountable for their own happiness. At no point in the book does she blame anyone else for her own unhappiness, and that’s something wonderfully refreshing.

Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask Review

You know how some people say that Asians have the best skin? Well I must not be one of those Asians. Being totally honest here, I’ve struggled with acne since the fifth grade. And it wasn’t the “oh no, I woke up with a pimple” type of acne; it was the “my face looks like the surface of the moon” type of acne.

Aside from acne, oily skin runs in my family, so just imagine how many oil blotting sheets we have to go through. The oily skin is probably my biggest pet peeve just because I can’t take any good picture without my face blinding someone. So I have embarked on a journey to save my skin, and this is the first product I’ve tried: Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask!

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The description for this product says that it’s supposed to draw out impurities and oil without overdrying skin, so I figured it was worth a shot. The first thing I did was wash and dry my face, then it was application time!

The actual mask is hella smooth and spreads easily, BUT it starts to dry super fast. I would suggest squeezing a lot out on your hands and working fast to smooth it over your face (but it may get messy so proceed with caution).

Note: I also read in a review that you should shake up the tube to mix together the contents before you start. If you don’t, you’ll just be squeezing out water when you open it.

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The directions tell you to wait ten minutes, so that’s what I did. Kind of. It was more like seven minutes. I hated the feeling of not being able to move my face, hence the not-so-happy face in the second picture. Then I took a towel and rubbed off the flaky parts of the mask.

Now here is where I really want you to pay attention. It is going to be a dust storm up in your bathroom. Seriously. Rubbing off the mask sends millions of tiny particles all over the place, and it’ll get in your nose and eyes if you’re not careful. Plus, the directions say use tissues, but I don’t think tissues will hold up against the rugged edges of the mask. The next time I use this mask, I will probably use a damp towel to rub it off, then I’ll wash off the excess mask off my skin.

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So the results. After rinsing and drying, my face was super dry. Like the driest I’ve ever seen my skin. But there was absolutely no shine at all, which was great! The next thing I noticed was how smooth my skin felt. Rubbing off the mask was kind of like exfoliating my skin, so I was pleasantly surprised to feel like I had rubbed off a layer of dead skin.

Since the mask did dry up my skin, I immediately applied moisturizer, but after a couple of hours, I could tell there was less shine. After a couple of days, I am also noticing less shine. So I think this product did exactly what it was supposed to do, but I’m just not in love with the dryness immediately after washing it off my face. But it’s definitely worth it because I’m definitely liking this less shiny face!

Conquering Social Media

As I sit here shoving Cheetos in my mouth, I am also thinking about venturing into the scary, unfiltered and sometimes unfriendly realm of social media.

I have created a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ page for The Kelly Charm, and I would love it if you all could be my first set of followers.  I’d love to follow all of you back as well.

Stay updated with my latest posts and don’t be shy! I love talking about all things life, career and beauty & fashion.

If you have any advice on how to keep up with social media, please throw some knowledge my way. I would love some support as I take a leap out into the social media world.

And as always, THANK YOU for reading The Kelly Charm!Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 4.40.29 PM

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

new-years-resolutions-calendarEvery new year, we make resolutions, but how long do we actually stick with them? They tend to fall pretty low on our to-do lists after awhile, so here are a few ways to keep our new year’s resolutions a priority.

1. Get a resolution buddy.

The best way to keep a resolution is to have someone hold you accountable for it. Find a partner in crime – someone who will ask you if you’ve met your goal, be a helping hand when if you fall and push you to do your best every day.

2. Write it in your planner.

Like I always say: if it’s not written down, it’s not getting done. Keep your resolution a priority by making it a part of your to-do list every day. If you’re as type A as I am, it’ll be hard to see one to-do list item unchecked. By doing this, you can bring it into your routine, and soon you won’t even have to think about doing it.

3. Monitor your progress.

Stay motivated by keeping track of your results. Whatever your resolution may be, be conscious of the progress you make, no matter how little, because even a small amount means you’re one step closer to reaching your goal. Try keeping a mental chart or write it down in a notebook. Whatever you do, give yourself credit for every step forward.