Fashion and Beauty Bloggers – Narcissistic or Not?
As a fashion and beauty blogger, every time I post a photo of myself I am met with the risk of judgment and that people may be thinking, “oh she’s just…” or “she’s so…” or “she’s just trying to…” I even have friends and acquaintances currently not following my Blog or Instagram account because of preconceived ideas of what I do or intentions of why I am posting the things I do. Fashion and beauty bloggers are so often labeled as narcissistic, conceited people that only think about themselves. Throughout my whole life I’ve been judged by other women, and I want people to know that having the courage to step out and pursue my passions has not been easy. You will always be met with opposition and “haters” with opinions about you. But as my mom would always tell me growing up “don’t worry about what other people think about you.” Be the best you that you can be and do what makes you happy! Fashion, beauty, and blogging makes me really happy! I have been given this passion for a reason and my goal is to inspire and encourage women, and make sure they know exactly who they are in God, and know how He sees them and created them to be- BEAUTIFUL. I want everyone who visits my Blog and Instagram to know that they’re exactly that, and nothing less, and to leave feeling inspired in their beauty. I want people that visit my blog to get practical advice and tips on the latest beauty trends, to feel inspired to try something new in their fashion, or to simply leave with a smile on their face and feel encouraged. It always means so much to me when someone comes up to me and says things like, “Your blog inspired me to try wearing hats!” Or I read comments that say “Your pictures are so inspiring!” But, above all the clothes, makeup, and fun things you like to do with your pursuit of fashion and beauty, it so important for you to know that you are loved by the creator of the universe and He loves everything about you! He knows the numbers of hairs on your head, He loves every freckle on your face, the shape of your nose, the color of your skin, the way you smile; Every detail of your body He created! You are not an accident and you don’t have to change a single thing about yourself. You are perfect just the way you are! Clothes, makeup, and other beauty products are so much fun! But don’t get so caught up into the pursuit of these things that you forget what really matters. I love this quote from Angela Thomas: “The God who slung the stars across the heavens…the same God who shaped the mountains and valleys with the palm of His hand…the God whose very breath gives life…that God, the King, has always been taken with you. You have been noticed, He thinks you’re beautiful, the glass slipper fits, the music is playing, and He’s asking you to dance.” To every woman reading this, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Know it, own it, and have fun with it!
Many people wonder exactly what it is that I do and why I do it. I have had some thoughts on my mind and on my heart for the last several months and felt the need to share them with the world. So here it is:
My name is Kari Jane Ballesteros. I was named after my grandmother, Nancy, who I share the same middle name Jane with. She was my hero, my mentor, my role model, and still is to this day. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her and I am so proud to have the name that I do, which is why I chose to call my blog Kari Jane. To this day I have not found anybody who demonstrates love the way my Nanny did. Her heart for people was truly unmatchable in my opinion. She left such a legacy of love and compassion behind which I find now is a fixed part of my daily pursuit. I can only pray that my life will offer the same impact she had on mine.
I have been married for 10 years to the man of my dreams and we live a beautiful and blessed life together. At the beginning of our marriage we built a photography business that we have operated for the past nine years full time. We feel so fortunate to have started our own successful business when all odds we’re against us. There is nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the unique lifestyle that we get to share together. Along side our photography journey, I have also been a makeup artist for the last 13 years or so and do this part time, specializing in wedding makeup. I also represent a selection of my favorite cosmetic brands and have had the joy to use my talents here as well. Lastly, my husband and I are also musicians and started a worship ministry together called More Than A Song. The ministry unites believers from all over a city together for worship and prayer. Life’s been such an exciting journey!
I am often asked how I have the time to blog when I’m busy doing so many other things. With the lifestyle we live I find that I am usually busy on the weekends. This leaves some free time during the week where I am able to have fun with all the girly things that I love to do! My blog, Kari Jane, is a hobby that I do for fun. I do not get paid to blog, however I do receive fashion and beauty products for free from different companies which is really exciting for me! It feels like Christmas every time I receive a package at my front door with a new beauty product or outfit inside. What girl wouldn’t love that? 🙂 I’ve had a passion for beauty and fashion since I was a little girl. When it came time to go shopping for school clothes, I would get so excited! Shoe shopping was always my favorite. To this day, the smell of a shoe store always takes me back to those days when my mom would take my 4 sisters and I to Payless Shoes and let us pick out one new pair for the school year. This childhood experience marks an exciting and happy memory which I will never forget! I also remember the first time I ever wore makeup and I saw what it could do. I just loved how much fun it was to enhance different features on my face and also loved how it made me feel so beautiful!
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that women of all ages want to feel beautiful, but strangely I wonder if people really know this to be true? Women were created with a longing to be desired and to be seen as beautiful. It’s how we are all wired! I love what Stasi Eldredge says in the book Captivating: “We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.” This begins at such a young age! We’ve all seen or been that little girl that wants to put on that beautiful dress for her Daddy, with the hopes of hearing the words, “Wow you look like a beautiful princess!” I’ve worked in the beauty industry for the last 13+ years. Half of those years were spent working in a retail cosmetic store. Day in and day out I was always met with women of all ages, from the age of 10 (sometimes younger) all the way to their 90’s, all coming in for makeup and beauty products to help “improve” their appearance. When I would observe and assist these women, each and every one in their own way was saying in one way or another, sometimes even verbally, “help me look more beautiful.”
I was born and raised as a Christian woman. I love Jesus with my whole heart, and I believe that God gives every one of us different dreams and passions for a reason. Whether its designing jewelry, dancing, doing hair, teaching, or playing music, (the list goes on and on) I believe that each of us have been given a gift or passion that is meant to be shared with the world. No matter what it may be, we should always be positioned to spread love, encouragement, and joy to everyone around us. Being in the beauty and fashion industry, I have noticed that there is a certain judgment people tend to carry regarding the pursuit of anything that has to do with beauty and fashion. I have noticed that today’s culture makes women almost feel shamed or vain for putting effort into the way we look, yes, even Christians. There is absolutely nothing wrong with covering up under eye dark circles with concealer, enhancing those beautiful lips with that perfect shade of pink, making those gorgeous eyes pop with a soft smoky eye, investing into the latest anti-aging cream, or putting on that amazing dress that makes you feel like a princess. I feel like so often efforts of beauty are frowned upon with an “all about me,” “look how amazing I am” outlook. I believe that women should be able to pursue efforts of beauty with out feeling like it’s wrong. God made you beautiful and He wants you to feel that way. “The King is enthralled by your beauty!” – Psalm 45:11. You are his masterpiece, his work of art, and “You are fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. He sees you as royalty, as a princess, so why not dress like one? Yes, I do believe it is so important that we all put more effort into our “inner beauty” 100%. But let’s all be ok with the idea of putting effort into our “outer beauty” and looking our best and not being ashamed about it. Doing this is an outward expression which claims that you are not afraid or ashamed to expose your desire to be beautiful. At the same time, with everything in life, there has to be a balance. I’m not saying to start spending 3 hours doing your makeup everyday and start obsessing over whether your hair is just right, or walk around gloating about how glamorous you look. What I am trying to convey is that its ok for you to put effort into the way you look and not wonder what everyone else around you may think. Walk around being confident and know and believe that you are beautiful, because you are!
What started out as a just a simple fashion and beauty blog where I could share my personal style and beauty interests, in hopes to inspire others, has developed into so much more. And now, more than ever I feel the need to express my heart and my passion for the beauty and fashion industry. So, I have decided to relaunch my blog Kari Jane in the fall of this year. I will still be posting more or less the same types of photos and inspirations, but in addition, be more intentional behind the “whys” and what I feel like is being put on my heart to share with the world. I want my blog to be a tangible place where women can come and be inspired in their personal beauty, with affordable fashion and beauty products, with practical and helpful advice and encouragement, and know that it’s in their reach. Everything I have mentioned in this post has so much more depth and importance to it, and in my re-launch I will be expanding on these topics. I invite you to follow along in my journey of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle with a weekly blog post at karijane.com, and daily inspirations on my Instagram @karijane_. Please feel free to share this post with whoever you feel will be blessed by it and keep an eye out for the relaunch of my blog, Kari Jane, in the fall of this year. Thank you to all my friends, family, and followers who have been supporting me on this blogging journey for the last 3 years, and I hope you will continue to do so. Thank you for taking the time to read what was on my heart and all of my ramblings of beauty.