Saturday, August 31, 2013

Online Shopping-Sephora and Hautelook

In my last post I was whining about my recent online purchases taking way too long to show up. I had ordered some stuff from Sephora(which actually arrived pretty quickly), and Hautelook(which took almost a month from the time I ordered it). The day after that post BOTH  of my orders showed up. So thank you, Universe.

I generally try to stay away from online shopping, and the (sometimes) long wait times are part of the reasons I'd rather buy in stores. When I go shopping, it's because I feel a void inside that I need to fill with material objects tout de suite. But also I just think online shopping can be a slippery slope into credit hell. You can literally buy anything you want on the internet and never have to leave your house. Which kind of sounds like the best thing ever ,but like in the way that heroin is supposed to be a great high. Best to just not get into either one of those things, I'd say.

Unlike heroin, every once in a while I do say "just this once" to online shopping. Sometimes there's just really good deals, or sometimes you had a really bad day and the mall is already closed. Some combination of those two things led me to make a few online purchases lately.

The first order I made was from Hautelook. Hautelook is an online shopping website that offers exclusive sales to members on everything from makeup(which I'm most interested in) to home decor. The issue I have with this kind of site(there are many) is that it's really easy to get into the mentality of "it's on sale, so I'm saving money". You must be strong and remind yourself that if you're spending money on something you don't need(like more blush) you are still spending, even if it's a really good deal. There's new sales on the site every day, and I always want everything. But I was holding out until there was something I really wanted, not just wanted because it was on sale.

I've talked about The Balm Cosmetics a lot on here. I love the brand, though I suspect that's partially because it has the cutest packaging of all time. But also a lot of their products actually are really good. So when it came up on Hautelook for I think 40% off, I knew my time had come. Sometimes the sales on higher end prodcuts just seem like the products that are left over from last season. But there was a really good selection of current products from The Balm. Here's what I got:

The Nude'Tude Palette-this palette also comes in a more PG version without the ladies. Boring.
Hot Mama Blush
Stainiac Cheek and Lip Stain
I actually also ordered one more thing-the Bahama Mama Bronzer, but for some reason they shipped it separately, which is really fucking annoying. But despite a few annoyances with the shipping, I'm pretty happy with my purchases. It's definitely worth it to sign up for Hautelook, just try not to lose your mind on all the cheap stuff.

Ok now online shopping experience #2; Sephora. I usually prefer to go to an actual store to buy Sephora stuff, but I do order online every once in a while if they have some sort of promotion going on. This time they were offering a bag of 9 sample products upon purchase. The promo was in-store too, but I didn't think I'd have time to go to one before it ended. Sephora did this same kind of thing last year, and I remember it being worth it so I wanted to get in on it again this year.

Here's what came in the sample bag:

As you can see there's some pretty good sized products here from well known high end brands. I'm not going to list them because I've been typing for a while and I'm getting lazy. I was most excited to try out Benefit's Porefessional Primer. I've heard good things about it, but it's like $30 and I'm not that into primers to just go out and buy it. Overall I do think this sample bag was worth making an order for.

Here's what I actually paid for:

Beauty Blender Sponge- These things are mega-hyped on YouTube and in beauty blogs. It's just a makeup application sponge, but everyone raves about them. I'd been holding out on buying one because it's $26. Yeah, for a sponge, and not even the prophylactic variety. It seems a bit outrageous. But I've been using it this week and it is actually pretty good. It gives your foundation and concealer a really even finish. I don't think it's a super necessary item to have, but it does work well. 

Bare Minerals Eye Brightener Powder in Well Rested- One thing I've learned from YouTube is that you're supposed to set your undereye concealer with a powder that's made specifically for that purpose, rather than your usual face powder, which can look cakey in that area. Again, it's kind of one of those things I held off on, but now that I have it I fear it may be something I can't live without. It really does go the extra step to covering undereye circles.

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball- If you haven't heard of this fragrance, you haven't been paying attention. I'm not going to try tell you what "notes" and "essences" it has. When it comes to perfume, I describe them like this: "I like it" or "I don't like it". This one gets the former description. I really like buying these rollerballs. It lets you build up your perfume collection without going into debt. Although if you're like me and kind of suck at life, you'll think you can take these with you anywhere and end up losing them anyway (where are you, Marc Jacobs Daisy?).

Ok that's all the online damage I've done. I think the moral of the story (because there's always a moral when it comes to cosmetics) is go ahead and shop online, but tread carefully! It's really easy to go crazy when you're just clicking buttons and looking at pictures-of all the things you've ever wanted to make you feel complete. But you can find some pretty good deals. And getting a package in the mail can sometimes be the best thing that happens to you all week. So even though you're not getting immediate gratification, shopping still comes through in the end. Thanks, Capitalism :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Current Makeup Favourites

It seems like it's been awhile since I did a post about makeup and I've really been wanting to do one. I recently ordered a bunch of stuff from a few different places online. I was just going to wait until all that came in and do a collective post then. Except it's taking freaking forever, so I needed to think of something else in the meantime. But I'm really trying not to get into the habit of buying things just to have something to write about-which is very tempting. I thought instead I would just tell you about the items I already own that I have been reaching for most often lately. Which isn't as exciting for me, but might actually be helpful to other people. And if there's one thing I love, it's doing things for others. Just kidding. It's makeup.
I'll start with the most important thing(in life); mascara. Now I know mascara is a deeply personal. For me, I like to pile that shit on. When a makeup tutorial says to apply a "coat" of mascara, I like to think of that coat as a parka. So I'm always looking for mascara that makes my lashes look really thick and long and flared and everything else. This is the one that's currently doing it for me:

Revlon Lash Potion- For some reason I really didn't want to like this mascara. I think because Emma Stone is the model for it, and I'm so fucking jealous of her that I want to hate everything she touches.  But honestly, Gangster Squad was a reasonably ok movie to watch on an airplane, and this mascara rules. I've used a bunch of different ones lately-Maybelline's The Falsies and The Rocket, L'Oreal Millions of Lashes and even the famous Benefit's They're Real-and this one is my favourite. It has a huge brush that lets you really pile on product, and it just makes my lashes look really good. Also it doesn't dry really hard. So if you decide you need to put some more on right before you go out you totally can.

Which brings me to my next favourite thing. Now if you told me you wear two different mascaras at the same time, I'd say that's a good sign you wear too much makeup. But I am right there with you, so don't even sweat it. Here's my other mascara (and don't even ask about my other other mascara).

Covergirl Clump Crusher- Are you ever applying your twelveth coat of mascara and it starts to clump up and you think, damn I've too far this time? Well in comes this guy. It does what the name says, so it's good for layering under or between coats of thicker mascara so that you can keep putting more on. It's also really good for bottom lashes, because the brush is fairly small. I think it would be ok on it's own if you like a more natural look. Hahaha, that was funny.

Moving right along! I'm going to try to keep the other descriptions shorter. I just feel like mascara warrants some long windedness.

Sticking with eyes, there's two things I want to talk about. Both are products that I wouldn't have worn a year ago, and both were purchased because of reviews on Youtube.

The first is this:

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in Nude- I know it seems weird to have a nude eye liner, but this is awesome and I literally wear it every day(which is why it's kind of gross looking). You wear it in your lower waterline, and it just neutralizes any redness you have there. Which is great for me, because I have allergies year round and I cry a lot. It also makes your eyes look bigger. I never would have picked this up had I not seen it raved about on the internet, but it's great and you should buy it.

The second thing is this:

Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk- I guess I just love things in pencil form. The name of this one kind of grosses me out-but then Nyx makes another one called "Cottage Cheese" which is just unforgivable. Despite the nasty dairy names, this is a great product. Kind of like with the light eyeliner, I've gotten into wearing lighter shadows on my lids. It really opens up my little squinty eyes. This pencil works well as a base to make colours more vibrant and last longer. I'm loving this brand in general so stay tuned for the next time I lose control at the drugstore.

Ok, now face:
I'm kind of obsessed with covering my not even that bad under eye circles. Lately this product has been serving me well:

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles- I dont' have anything witty to say about this one. Under eye cirles are too somber a topic to make light of. I've used a bunch of different concealers meant specifically for that area. This is a good one, it covers and brightens and doesn't crease. 

You may be starting to pick up on the idea that I have a disgusting obsession with all makeup. Eyeshadow is my top drug of choice, and I'm not even including it in this post because don't even get me started, you know? But a close second in terms of owning way more than I need or will ever use is blush. I have too much blush, and lately I have been using the same one every day:

The Balm Instain Blush in Argyle- I wrote about this in a post about The Balm as a brand, but I hadn't really used it enough to review it. Now we've spent some time together and I'm going to go right ahead and say it's the best blush I've ever used. It's a perfect pink shade that's totally matte, and it really does last a long time. It's a little bit of a more expensive product than the other ones I've talked about. But I think blush is something you can wear every day, even when you're going for a "no makeup" look(which for me usually consists of about 7 makeup products). So it's worth it to have a good one.

I feel like this post is getting really long. I could keep going but I'm going to wrap it up with one last thing:

Real Techniques Brushes- I've talked about these brushes before, but they really are awesome.These are maybe not the very best brushes I've ever seen in my life, but they are definitely the best brushes I've owned, and some of the most affordable. The three in the middle came as a set I bought at Walmart for less than $20. The two outer ones were singles I picked up at Winners for something lik $5-$8. The big powder one is my favourite, but I use them all. Sometimes cheaper brushes aren't even worth it because they don't apply makeup well or they shed a lot. But this brand is great and I definitely recommend them to anyone looking to buy some new brushes.

Ok, I feel like I've satisfied my need to talk about makeup, for tonight anyway. Obviously these aren't the only things I'm into right now. But they're all real standouts and I've been using them all on a pretty regular basis. When I went through my makeup to pick things out for this post, I was happy to see that a lot of what I use daily is drugstore makeup. I think I've said this before, but the more makeup I buy, the more I realize that expensive makeup isn't always better. It's fun to buy high end makeup, but you can really find things that are just as good at the drugstore.

Or maybe I'm just bitter because my Sephora order hasn't shown up yet. Yeah, that sounds right.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You don't need diet books and fake health food

I don't generally like to rant in this blog. I prefer to keep things postive and ignore things that piss me off. But there's something that's been getting to me lately and I feel like I need to share it.

Fitness and nutrition are really important to me.  I am happy that there's tons of accessible information out there for anyone who wants to learn how to adopt a healthy lifestyle. But the diet industry is just insane. Big companies know that people want to lose weight, and that they are willing to try just about anything to do so. Next time you're in a bookstore, look at the dozens-if not hundreds of books about diets and weight loss.

Now, I am not an expert in diets and nutrition-I just know what works for me. But you know what I can tell you for sure doesn't get you in shape? Sitting on your ass reading a book. Yet people buy these type books all the time. I think that for some people, just the act of reading a book about diet and/or fitness makes them feel like they are taking a step towards improving their body composition. And in some ways it could be-you need to arm yourself with good information before you can become a healthier person. But I really feel like a lot of these books are taking advantage of people who feel poorly about themselves and don't know where to start. The information in them is often overly complex with lots of charts and math involved. I think that's on purpose. They have to make it seem complicated so that you see the authors as experts. They know something that you don't know, so you should keep buying their books(and related products) to get the information you need. But in my experience, there IS no secret. The few simple things you have heard your entire life are the things that are true. Eat healthy food. Don't eat too much. Move your body. That's it.
I'm not saying you should never read a book about diet and exercise. I've read a few myself that have equipped me with great information about nutrition. There are exactly two books that I would recommend you read to figure out the basics of truly healthy eating:

The Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno- I've talked about this book before so I'm not going to go into too much detail about it. But this is the way that I try to eat, and I know the same goes for many fitness enthusiasts. This book really drives home how important nutrition is to one's physique. It lays out the basics of what and how you should eat to achieve and maintain your best body.
As much as I love this way of eating, and this book, I do have a bit of a beef with the author/publisher. There's 13 books in the "Eat Clean" series, most of them pretty redundant. Again, I feel this is an example of the fitness industry taking advantage of people who want to lose weight. If you buy and read this one book you'll get the picture. Don't waste your money on most of the rest of them.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan- This one's not even about losing weight, yet it's one of the best guides I've seen to reframing the way you think about food. This is sort of a condensed version of two of Pollan's other books; The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. Together, the three books critque the North American food industry, and question if much of what we eat can even really be called food. This is my favourite of the three books because you can read it in an hour and get all the key points of Pollan's food philosophy. His overall message is clear: eat real food that is as close to it's natural state as possible. And that thought is a great segue to the second half of my rant.

Grocery stores are full of food products that are (in my opinion) falsely marketed as healthy or as being weight loss aides. Things like these:

Or these:

The words "Thin" and "Lean" are right in their names, but these are defnitely not what I would call clean foods. They're low calorie, but that doesn't make them good for you. The 100 calorie snack packs (which seems to be a big trend) are straight up junk food. There's nothing healthier about them than say, regular Oreos-they're just smaller. If you want a healthy 100 calorie snank, eat almonds. And if you are craving chocolate you know what you should eat? CHOCOLATE. At least it's not lying to you about what it is. And the Lean Cuisines aren't good for you either. If you eat these once in a while because you're busy I get that. Just don't fool yourself into thinking you're doing your body any favours. In order to lose weight AND feel satisfied you need to eat lean protein and vegetables. Not low calorie microwave sanwiches and pasta. Some of these "dinners" have as little as 250 calories. So yeah, if you make that your meal all the time you might lose weight-because you'd be fucking starving yourself. And that kind of diet never lasts and usually makes you feel shittier than it's worth.

One of the worst offenders is this:

I hate this brand because it is heavily promoted as a weight loss food. But it's highly processed-meaning that most of it's ingredients original nutrition has been removed. I looked at the nutritional information and not only is there literally 0 fibre, and negligable nutrtional value in general, but the suggested serving size is half a cup. That's nothing. Half a cup of anything (except maybe butter) could help you lose weight if that's what you had as a meal because again: that's not enough food! There's nothing healthy about Special K, or really most cold breakfast cereals. Instead eat an unprocessed whole grain hot cereal or oatmeal. It's much better for you and super cheap.

Between the books and the food I think what I'm trying to get at is this: Don't trust the people that are trying to sell you products to NOT mislead you. Kellogg's is also responsible for Pop Tarts, Eggo Waffles and Fruit Loops-I don't think that your health is their main concern. Be critical of anything that claims to help you lose weight. Like I said before there are no real secrets, so don't overcomplicate things. You might just end up feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up. Get the basic information you need about food and exercise and really put it into action, and you will get results.

Rant over.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Best Ipsy Glam Bag Yet

I don't want to get too repetitive and explain what a Glam Bag is again (hint: It's NOT a reference to Elton John's testicles). If you aren't in the know about this awesome makeup subscription you can read about it here:

I just received my August bag (haha, bag) and it is a dream come true. Mind you, I like to keep my dreams pretty low-bar. But even people with actual standards and high hopes in life might be impressed with the products Ipsy sent out this month.

Aw shit yeah, buddy
Best selection of products so far. I've heard of 4 out of the 5 brands that came this month. And unlike other months there's no stand out dud here. Let's walk through this together:

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub- Holy fuckballs, I am more excited about this than any product I've received in any of the glam bags. Michael Todd is a line of organic skincare that gets rave reviews on Youtube. I was recently this close to ordering a full line of products from their website but I chickened out because I'm afraid to get into online shopping-that slope is just too slippery. The full size of this is $18-but this is a good size sample, big enough to figure out if it's worth buying.

Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color- This is a brand that Ipsy has sent out before. I think it was in June that I received their highlighter pencil, which I now use on a regular basis. I probably won't be using this pencil because it's dark brown and I just lightened my eyebrows (that's a normal thing people do, right?). I'll hold onto though in case I go dark again. I think it would be really good, it's really thin which is ideal for filling in your brows. Also this pencil sells online for $18, which is $3 more than I pay for the entire bag each month.

Pixi Lash Booster Mascara-Pixi Cosmetics are sold at Target. Haven't heard too much about the brand in general, and I haven't used this yet so I can't tell you if it's any good. But who's gonna be cheesed to try out a new mascara? Not this lady.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy- Ok, if that little lipstick isn't the cutest darn thing you've seen all day then you need to go the fuck home right now. Urban Decay is an awesome brand, known for their vibrant colour selection. I'm excited to try this product out. It came with a card that describes the lipstick as "creamy badass luxury". That's an interesting way to describe makeup, but whatever you say Urban Decay. "Anarchy" is a bright blue-toned fuschia, which is right up my alley.

Mica Beauty Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Bronze- Mica is the one brand I hadn't heard of, but this loose shadow is super pretty and I'm very excited to use it. Bronze is my ultimate favourite eyeshadow colour, so I'm really glad they didn't send this product in something stupid like aqua blue. I know you can't really see the colour here. I was going to "swatch" it but, I don't know. For some reason I just can not bring myself to put my makeup on my hands and take pictures of it. Like, I'm already embarassed enough at how seriously I take my face, I don't need to bring my hands into it too. But trust me, it's really nice. And it sells for $15, confirming that this month's bag has great value.

Last month's selection of products was kind of meh. I'm looking at a picture of it now and thinking that there's not one product out of it that I'm still using, and I haven't even tried at least one of them. I'm glad that Ipsy redeemed themselves this month. Not that I would have cancelled my subscription. They send it out each month in shiny magenta bubble wrap package. Good move Ipsy. There could be dog shit in there and I'd still be excited to see it my mailbox. Like I said, I aim low.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shopping Logic: It doesn't even count as shopping if you went in for Shampoo

I've had myself totally convinced that I haven't been shopping for makeup/beauty related crap lately. And in my own defense I haven't actually gone shopping for makeup.....but it seems to have happened anyway. You know, you go to the drugstore/Walmart/wherever because you need Q-Tips, but then you see that your mascara is on sale, so you better grab it, and oooh, those eyeshadows are limited edition-don't want to miss out! Then things get a little hazy and next thing you know you're leaving the store wondering how the fuck Q-Tips cost 75 bucks. Practicing restraint in the drugstore could be one of the tests towards becoming a buddhist monk. Take a vow of silence for three years, then go to Shopper's Drug Mart and not buy anything and you're in.

So even though I honestly, truly 100% have not been shopping for makeup, I seem to have acquired a bunch of new shit. And it always makes me feel better about my purchases to share them on here. So let's have a look. I know you feel me on this one.

Not Shopping #1

This was a trip to Walmart for socks. The hair masks and crease brush are fairly self explanatory. I want to talk about the heat protectant spray and the blushes.
Ok, Tresemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protectant Spray-This is a Youtube favourite. Everyone says it's a great heat protectant spray, and I've bought it a few times so I guess I don't think it sucks. But honestly how the fuck do people tell if it's really working? I use like 12 different products in my hair at all times, how am I  to know if it's the leave in conditioner or the Morrocan Oil, or the heat spray that's making my hair smooth? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I need them all. I mostly buy this because I feel like I should.
I also bought three Hard Candy face products-two blushes, one highlighter. Hard Candy used to be a high end line but they've rebranded and it's now sold at Walmart. I thought that rather than buy a selection a different products from across the line, I would just buy 3 things that all basically do the same thing because I couldn't decide which one I liked best. It makes sense to me. I do really like these though. I don't think the blushes as blushes-they're pretty sheer and shimmery, but they work really well as highlighters. And the one on the right that actually is a highlighter is really similar to The Balm's Mary Lou Manizer, which if you've been reading, you know I smashed to bits.

 Not Shopping #2

Now this was a trip to a grocery store that had a large drugstore-style makeup section. And yes, I was there for groceries. But they had a lot of stuff I haven't seen anywhere else so I had to act. The Demeter Body Spray was part of a huge display of all kinds of wild scents including "Cannabis Flower". I thought that "Laundromat" smells like dryer sheets which is one of my favourite scents, right below gasoline and permanent marker. The Rimmel Apocolips is a new line that I've heard a lot about. I'm not a big lip gloss fan but this one is really pretty and not sticky at all. Would recommend. I also bought 3 more cheek products-it's not a problem at all. The Milani Baked Blush is something I'v heard about a lot. I've tried this one out and I don't think I'm crazy about it. It's super sparkly which isn't always the best. And the Wet n Wild one still has it's seal because guess what, I don't actually need anymore blush, pretty much ever.
The third (or sixth, depending on where you started counting) face/cheek product needs it's own photo:

Tell me right now: Is that, or is that not the most beautiful makeup ever? It's the Milani Illuminating Face Powder in "Beauty's Touch". It's so pretty that it doesn't even need to be good at anything(that's a good life lesson too). But it is actually an awesome product. I don't know how to describe it exactly-I guess it just does what it says it does-illumiates. It really makes your skin glow and it's definitely my favourite "not shopping" purchase of late.

Not Shopping #3

This was actually a trip to Winner's. I meant to buy shampoo, but that thought left my mind the second I saw that they had individual Real Techniques brushes. This is a line of makeup brushes created by a Samantha Chapman, who is a Youtube Beauty Guru. They're my favourite brushes, ahead of higher end ones I own. They're usually sold at Walmart(at very affordable prices) and usually only in sets. They're great and I don't feel bad about buying these ones at all. I also grabbed a fan brush from Ecotools (a decent brush line) which I use for highlighting my cheek bones. The other thing is from "elf" which is a bargain makeup brand I hear a lot about, but isn't sold anywhere around me. This wrinkle reducer thing seemed interesting-you're supposed to be able to use it to smooth fine lines on your face. But it was total garbage because it made my foundation cake on the areas I used it. Guess it's time to start looking into Botox ladies.

 The lesson I'm really trying to impart here is that sometimes inexpensive makeup creeps up on you. Going to Sephora is like a thing. But you could find yourself in a drugstore or similar setting on any given day. You think, oh I'll just see if there's anything new and BAM 6 new face products you didn't need. Let this be a cautionary tale. What you need to do is run directly to that shampoo, then continue the mad dash to the counter and throw your money at the cashier and get the fuck out of there before it sucks you in. Even if you're moving so fast you forget to take your change, you'd probably still be saving yourself money. I think it's worth a try. But then again, Fall is almost upon us-that means a lot of new makeup is about to drop. It's about to get real tough out there ladies.

I wish us all the best of luck. I for one am going to need it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How I Stay Motivated at the Gym

I've been experiencing a bit of writer's block lately. I think it's just that I really don't feel like writing about makeup right now. Like I have enough, I don't want to keep buying shit just to have something to write about (although I did just order some stuff off the site Hautelook, and will tell you about that when the shipment comes in). But I really enjoy writing and want to keep it up. The post I recently did about fitness got the most views and most feedback of anything I've put on here. So I thought I'd talk a bit more about that, since it's my true passion and favourite topic.

When I talk to people about going to gym, I often hear that they want to work out but can't find the motivation to do it. I feel that. I actually joined the gym 3 separate times before I started going regularly. You know, I'd sign up, pay the fees, buy some new shoes, go like 5 times and then I'd lose steam and not go for the rest of the year that I was paying for. It's hard to get your butt into the gym on the regular, I know. But I've now been working out pretty steady for almost 10 years. There is nothing special about me-I don't have anything that anyone else doesn't have. But I have somehow found motivation to stick with it all these years.

Here's a few things that keep me going.

Make it a mental priority and keep trying-the first step is to get it into your head that this is what you want. Say to yourself every day, I want to go to the gym, I want to be fit. At first you might not believe it. But if you keep telling yourself that you want to work out, you're going to start to really want to do it. Even if you fail a few times-like I did-just keep it in your head that you want to be a person who is fit. Eventually you won't be able to fight yourself anymore.

Realize that all emotion is energy and it can all be worked out at the gym- Whatever you're going through in life, you can channel it into physical activity. Whether you're sad, angry, excited, whatever-all those feelings require energy from you. Take that energy and use it to get your ass moving. Going to the gym has helped me through some real shit. I went through one particularly crappy breakup years ago. I used working out as a way to get my feelings out. I'd go to the gym and just kill it-then have a little cry in the sauna afterwards. That is the most pathetic thing I've ever admitted in a public forum. But the point is, I used my shitty feelings as a reason to go the gym. I still do that now. And I always feel better for it.

Find some fit role models- Rather than looking at people who are in amazing shape and wishing you could be like them, know that you can be like them. We're all just people. If there's someone with an amazing hard body, they have worked hard for it. Buy some fitness magazines, watch some videos on YouTube. Or just find fit people in real life and talk to them about fitness. The best thing about people who work out (at least in my experience) is that they are always happy to talk about it, and they really want the same thing for other people. Find out what path the people you admire have taken, and start taking the same steps.

Get in really good shape one time- A few years ago I went to Vegas with a bunch of girlfriends. I really wanted to be in great shape for the trip- I figured Vegas would be full of hot bodies and I wanted to fit in. Turns out there were a lot of fat tourists, so I need not have worried. But I did reach a level of fitness I had not done prior to that. And I felt great. It was the first time that I put on a bathing suit and had not one speck of self doubt about the way my body looked. It was hard work. But now I have a benchmark for how good I can feel and I never want to be too far from that. If you push yourself and get into your personal best shape, you'll see how good it feels and you'll want to keep feeling that way.

Do it for the Haters-Do it for your ex-boyfriend. Do it for the girl who thought she was the shit and wouldn't give you a chance. Do it for the boss who was a dick to you. Do it for anyone who's ever crossed you or put you down. Being fit makes you feel good about yourself. And when you really feel good about yourself, no one can take that away from you. Let other people's shitty attitudes motivate you to do better for yourself. This one might not be the most healthy or positive advice, but it's real talk up in here.

Listen to Hip Hop-Sometimes it's just about getting yourself pumped up, and Hip Hop does that for me. How you supposed to feel like a real gangsta if your fitness ain't right? Ok, I guess Rick Ross might disagree. But a lot of hip hop is all about having a big ego. It's great to be humble, but honestly I'm all for taking pride in yourself as a person. Sometimes listening to some good hip hop on my way to gym is all it takes to get me worked up to really push it. Plus, when you're in good shape, it's easier to believe that there's still a chance for you to achieve your lifelong dream of being a video ho. Or is that just me? If hip hop doesn't do it for you, find the music that does-there's nothing that motivates me so much in a very immediate way as a good beat.

These are just a few things that keep me going. I could probably do a Part 2 of this down the line. Honestly the biggest thing I can say is that the more you go to the gym, the less you will have to try to find motivation. You will just want to go. So just keep trying. And listen to Ace Hood.

Jamie Eason, one of my fitness role models