While the techniques used for microblading and semi-permanent eyeliner tattoos are similar and yield similar results, there are some differences in the application and healing processes.
How Semi-Permanent Eyeliner Feels Different than Microblading
Before they start to dry out, it’s hard to remember that you’ve had your brows done. This is not the case with semi-permanent eyeliner. This makes it easier to remember to protect your newly tattooed lids. Eyelids aren’t usually painful after treatments, but the skin on your eyelids is much thinner and more sensitive than that on your eyebrows, and most clients experience a different sensation during the first few days of the semi-permanent eyeliner healing process. Since your eyelids will be a tiny bit puffy for a few days, it just feels like you’ve had a good cry.
How Semi-Permanent Eyeliner Looks Different than Microblading
As you can imagine, the pigment line created when adding semi-permanent eyeliner to your lid is going to be slightly thicker than the individual hair strokes used during the microblading process.
How Semi-Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare Differs from Microblading Aftercare
The premise of semi-permanent eyeliner aftercare is the same as microblading aftercare: keep the skin moist for a few days to maximize pigment retention and then let it follow its natural healing process. During this process, the skin dries out before small thin scabs form and flake off, eventually revealing the fresh, pigmented skin underneath.
But because eyelid skin is so different from skin on the sites of most other semi-permanent makeup, eyeliner aftercare is a little different, too.
Here’s what you need to know to achieve ideal eyeliner tattoo healing:
Keep Your Eyelids From Drying Out
Keeping your lash line moist for five days before the natural healing process takes its course will help maximize the pigment retention of your new eyeliner. Permanent makeup aftercare ointment should be applied every few hours. Tip: keep your aftercare ointment and a few Q-tips in a plastic bag in your purse. This way it’s always there when you need it.
Sleep On Your Back
It’s important to avoid contact between your pillow and your eyeliner tattoos, which can be very difficult for side and belly sleepers; however, it’s well worth the effort. The same tips for sleeping on your back after microblading will work after eyeliner tattoos, too.
Don’t Let Anything Touch Your Eyelids
The second healing stage begins around day five or six. It’s during this phase that you’ll have to be super careful to protect these semi-permanent tattoos, and eyeliner aftercare becomes easy to forget about. Scabbing and flaking are a natural part of the healing process, but when these tiny scabs come off too soon, they take pigment with them. The less your liner is disturbed as it heals, the better it will look in the end.
Until the flaking phase has passed, be wary of:
No Eye Makeup or Skincare Products
No creams, eye makeup or other skincare products until flaking has subsided. Again, the less you mess with them, the better your eyeliner will look in the end. Plus, chemicals in skincare products can have an exfoliating effect, and the worst thing for pigment retention is exfoliation.
Avoid Direct Shower Spray for Two Weeks
Of all the eyeliner tattoo aftercare instructions, this may be the most difficult to remember. We all have our own shower routines that we execute without noticing and rinsing our faces under the shower spray is often one of them. Unfortunately, fresh eyeliner tattoos are no match for running water. Continue to avoid direct spray for a few days after flaking has stopped. Gentle splashes of water are fine by this point, though.
Skip the Sweat for a Week
What do we do when we get sweat in our eyes? We very instinctively wipe them, either with our hands or a cloth. This would be bad news for the eyeliner healing process.
It’s true that the seven to ten days following your eyeliner appointment won’t be the most convenient. But just think of how fantastic it will be to step out of bed, look in the mirror and say, “I woke up like this!” Following these aftercare guidelines will help you do just that!
Click here to take a peek at our gallery of semi-permanent eyeliner before and after photos and contact us with any questions.
Microblading aftercare is important for ensuring optimal pigment retention. This means you’ll be much happier with your results if you follow proper microblading aftercare steps.
Here’s what you need to know after your appointment:
Don’t Let Your Brows Dry Out
The goal throughout the microblading healing process is pigment retention, and as soon as your skin dries out, you’ll begin to lose pigment. To prevent this early on, use a clean cotton swab to apply aftercare ointment every few hours. I recommend placing the ointment and a stash of q-tips in a small plastic bag which you can easily keep in your purse. This way it’s always there when you need it.
Sleep On Your Back
This can be very difficult for side and belly sleepers, but it’s important that you avoid contact between your pillow and your freshly microbladed eyebrows. Healing properly is definitely worth toughing it out. Here are a few tips to help you manage.
Don’t Let Anything Touch Your Brows
The least loved of all microblading healing stages begins around day six or seven. It’s during this phase that you’ll have to be super careful to keep anything from touching your microblading. Scabbing or flaking is natural part of the healing process, but when you shed these tiny scabs too soon, they take pigment with them. The less your microblading is disturbed as it heals, the better your brows will look in the end.
Until the flaking phase has passed, be wary of:
No Cosmetics or Skincare Products on Your Brows
No lotions, potions, makeup, or other skincare products until all of the flaking has subsided. Again, the less you mess with them, the better your brows will look in the end. Plus, chemicals in skincare products can have an exfoliating effect, and the worst thing for pigment retention is exfoliation.
Avoid Direct Shower Spray for Two Weeks
You’d be surprised how much damage can be done to a freshly microbladed eyebrow by moving water. After any scabbing or flaking is done, continue to avoid direct water pressure for a few more days to be safe. Gentle splashes of water are fine by this point, though.
Skip the Sweat for a Week
Not only will sweat add salt to your skin (which we don’t want) but what do we do when our foreheads sweat? We very instinctively wipe that perspiration off, either with our hands or some sort of cloth. As you can imagine, this rubbing is the complete opposite of anything you want during the microblading healing process.
So, yes. I’d be lying if I said the two weeks following your eyebrow appointment will be the most convenient ever. But just think of how convenient it will be - and how amazing you will feel - when you can roll out of bed, look in the mirror and say, “I woke up like this!”
Trust me, proper microblading aftercare is the key!
The Emotional Piggy Bank
I came across this on Instagram a while back and saved it because it resonated so strongly with me. To tell you the truth, I may have put my old therapist's kids through college discussing this very subject (and I’ll likely pay for my new one’s retirement the same way!).
I have to say that the month of June has been…Busy? Stressful? Overwhelming? Emotional? How about I go with this: June has pretty much been shitshow all around. As such, I’ve had to work quite hard to remind myself of this every day, and then sometimes even harder to put it into action. But it’s totally worth the effort, because if I hadn’t put it in I’m pretty sure I’d have lost my mind weeks ago.
While saying “No” to beliefs, actions, or even people, who don’t serve us is simple...it sure aint easy. When I re-read this today I got to thinking about the long list of “stuff” I’ve worked to keep out of my metaphorical shopping cart.
Things that cost me my happiness, smile, peace, or all three:
My peace, happiness, and smile are the ultimate goal, always. It’s my job, and my job alone, to keep them in mind as I move through this crazy life. The opportunities to make impulse purchases pop up a million times a day. So, having a clear list of all the crap that I really don’t want to be spending my time and energy on, before the opportunity to spend on them arises, goes a looooong way to helping me stay true to myself (and maintain my sanity!).
What’s on your “that's just too expensive” list?
Play Big, and Be Nice!
I’m a total self help junkie. Not sure why, exactly, but I know that I always have been. Anytime I’m facing a personal problem I can’t solve on my own, or simply want to understand myself a little bit better, I pick up a book and get to thinking.
In terms of bang for your buck, a self help book and an open mind are where it’s at when you need to get your shit together. I’d say on average I take one or two key points from each book to assimilate into my world. Over time, a few takeaways from a few books really add up, and before I know it, I’ve changed.
Oh. And Podcasts. If you’re looking to make a change, they help too. I listen to podcasts by people I respect, and so often they have great book suggestions. Once you’ve found a couple of books and a couple of podcasts that speak to you, the rabbit hole you can find yourself in is pretty intense.
So anyway, like I said, I’ve pretty much always been this way. But it wasn’t until recently that I really began to embrace the nerd inside of me who just wants to read and work on herself. I was listening to the Jillian Michaels podcast a few years back, and she had Tara Mohr, the author of Playing Big, on her show. I don’t remember what they were talking about, but I know it spoke to me enough that I bought the book. This was the one that sent me down my rabbit hole.
I could spend a ton of time spouting off all of the takeaways, but there is one chapter that resonated with me immediately. It was the catalyst I needed to make some major changes.
You guys. We are so MEAN to ourselves!!! I’m not talking about the collective we being mean to the collective them. Although that is definitely a thing, too. I’m talking about the fact that we talk so much shit to our own selves in our own heads. It’s ridiculous. I had no idea how hard I was on myself and how rarely (if ever) I cut myself a break.
Not only did Playing Big teach me how unkind I was on myself in general, but it also gave me tools to spot the times when I’m being unkind (because if you can’t recognize it you can’t stop it), and then the tools to change the dialogue inside my head. This in and of itself is pretty profound if you ask me.
But the magic of it all happened after I got in the habit of not being a jerk to myself. My confidence skyrocketed. I’ve come to the conclusion that when we're talking down to ourselves all the time there is no room left in our head for all of the good stuff we could be telling ourselves. We can’t simultaneously build ourselves up and tear ourselves down. It just doesn’t work that way. We kind have to choose one or the other.
I mean, I’m not saying I’m perfect. I have my insecure moments every day. It’s just that being kind to myself helps me believe in my own amazingness, and that belief then helps me to move past the insecure moments with greater ease than before.
I definitely have some specific tips that helped me start to make this change. I will compile them and share them on an upcoming podcast episode.
But the short of it is this: pay attention to how you feel. When you're feeling a crappy about yourself, that’s the time to ask “Hmmm...what am I saying to myself right now?” Chances are whatever is going on in your brain ain’t nice. Once that’s confirmed, think about how you’d respond to a trusted friend who was saying the same things, out loud, about herself. Then, respond that way to YOU.
I know it might sound a little bit silly and kind of woo-woo affirmation-y or whatever. But seriously, it works. We all deserve to love and trust ourselves. We all deserve to feel confident in our own skin. And you guys, world deserves what we have to offer when we are confident, when we love and trust ourselves. In my experience, there’s just no way to do any of this if we are constantly talking down to ourselves.
So, do yourself, and the rest of the world a favor. Be nice…to YOU! You deserve it.
Mel's Microblading Lessons!
As I mentioned a little while back, I finally got it together and asked Ashley to do my brows. They’re in process right now and once they are all done, you’ll totally be seeing before and after photos.
In the meantime though, I thought I’d share some photos of the process as well the answers to the questions I asked before I decided I was was comfortable letting someone TATTOO MY FACE. I trust Ashley implicitly, but I still had to do little bit of research before getting started. Because IT'S MY FACE. And it’s (semi) permanent.
Here are the questions I asked in advance as well as some things I learned along the way:
Tattoo guns are not involved.
At this point we probably all already know this, but for anybody who’s just researching this for the first time...yes, microblading is actually a tattoo, but all that means is that the skin is opened up and pigment is inserted. The microblading hand tool looks more like a pen than a tattoo gun - i.e. it’s a lot less scary.
Microblading is semi-permanent.
This isn’t the same as the daisy I had tattooed on my lower back when I was sixteen. And before you judge me for that…this was twenty years ago, before tattoos were mainstream and lower back tats were cliche. BTW I have the coolest mom ever for making that my 16th birthday present. Sorry! Back to brows...because microblading only penetrates the top layers of skin it will last for anywhere from 2-4 years, at which point I’ll have to go back for a touch up. I’m cool with that. I’d rather go back to re-up my brows than have them there forever and ever. I feel like I have more control that way.
Yes, the brows will be symmetrical.
This one really freaked me out. Again, because…FACE. But as soon as I saw that fancy eyebrow measuring tool, I relaxed. Height, length, distance from the center of my face, angle, everything was measured before any tattooing began, as well as during the microblading process.
From start to finish the first appointment took about two hours.
Here’s how it went:
She numbed me up and I looked like a wannabe Karate Kid.
We talked, she stared, she drew. I laid down and she went to work. Probably about 30 minutes per brow. And no, it didn’t hurt. The numbing cream is pretty awesome.
I’ll need a touch-up.
I go back under the needle next week, once my skin has healed completely and Ashley can see what needs to be adjusted. I’ve got plenty of "regular" tattoos, and I expected the healing process to be pretty similar to all of those. I was wrong. I think because microblading doesn’t penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, it’s harder for the skin to retain the pigment. I mean, that’s why it’s only semi-permanent to begin with, right? Anyway, this is exactly why there’s a second appointment built into the service. A little bit of pigment loss is expected and the follow up will take care of that.
Aftercare is key.
There are quite a few pieces to the aftercare puzzle. The most difficult thing for me was sleeping. I’m a belly sleeper so adjusting my sleeping habits while my brows healed was exasperating. But I figured it out. The other components to aftercare were keeping my brows dry for a few days, keeping the skin moist, and not letting anything touch them.
Dry brows weren’t too difficult. I adjusted my showering routine and that took care of that. Keeping my animals away from my face was a little more challenging, but easy enough to manage. I had my liner touched up at the same time my brows were done, so my lids were a little bit sore. This made it easy to remember there was something going up there. We’ll see how well I avoid animal kisses to the face without the lids as a reminder.
Keeping my skin moist wasn’t difficult. However, I do think that I probably pressed too hard while applying my ointment and that may be why the pigment faded a little bit more than I expected. Oh well. That’s what the touch up appointment is for.
I just had to come to terms with looking a little silly for a few days.
The pigment oxidizes and becomes much darker than the end result will be. I had to keep ointment on my eyebrows so that the skin didn’t dry out. And I couldn’t wear eye make up.
Plus I’m special. And of course my eyebrows are too. And by special I mean challenging. While I wanted the shape of my brows to be improved, I am certainly not someone who needs additional hair strokes added in to make them appear thicker. In fact, if Ashley had ONLY used the microblading technique, there would be a very noticeable difference between my own brows and the tattoo.
So, I get a combination brow. She basically made a solid base to microblade over. The solid base is created using a technique called SofTap. Same process and aftercare as microblading but instead of inserting the pigment in lines to mimic hairstrokes, its inserted as lots of little dots, close together. It will create the illusion of thickness and then the hairstrokes go on top.
I share this with you for two reasons. One, because I’ve been using the term microblading, as that’s what we all think of when we think eyebrows. But I actually had SofTap done to me this time. I’ll be microbladed next time. And two because SofTap creates a much bolder brow to begin with, which leads me to this photo.
I had very dark, very defined, very shiny brows. I looked like one of those Angry Birds.
(But it only lasted a few days. Now the pigment really matches my natural brow color and the lines have softened a lot. Probably by about 50% if not more.)
I wish I had done it sooner!
Now that things have healed, and even though they aren’t complete yet, I love the look of these new brows. They make me feel prettier and more put together without having to do a thing. I can’t wait to show you guys the final product!
Here's To Soulmates!
I always felt “wrong." I didn’t even realize it until I was well into adulthood. I was constantly guilt-tripping myself into caring about things I didn’t actually care about. Into doing things I didn’t really want to do. Into believing things I never really believed. I felt so out of place and I assumed it was because I was doing something wrong. I believed I just didn’t understand the world around me and I needed to work harder to do so. It was exhausting.
It wasn’t until I met Tyler that I learned it was actually okay to be different. He is a little quirky, so he made it okay for me to be a little quirky, and when I realized that he was attracted to the quirky instead of turned off by it, a whole new world opened up for me.
I’m going to use a Grey’s Anatomy reference here and say that he was like needing glasses. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this clip. It’s actually a really cool analogy. For the sake of clarity I'm not coming out as a lesbian. There was just no way to cut this clip after the leaves part and play only the relevant section without violating a bunch of Youtube rules.
Meeting the man who is now my husband changed me, for the better! Tyler and I are similar in some ways, but for the most part we’re pretty different. He has worked to understand me over the years (and vice versa). At this point he can sometimes tell what I’m going to do even before I know it (and vice versa). He knows me so well. And I love him, and I really think he’s amazing (and hopefully vice versa, right?!).
But Ashley is my soulmate.
I had a conversation with my mom the other day. I expressed concern over a mutual friend's constant thanking me. I told her I thought it was sad that he felt so grateful for actions I consider to be simple, basic, and exactly what he deserves. I don’t believe thanks are required, and it hurt my heart that he felt the need to say it, as if he didn’t believe he deserved my time and attention. Mom told me I was overthinking it. She was probably right. She said that saying “thank you,” for everything, is simply this person’s preferred way to share his feelings of appreciation. Makes sense. (Moms are really good at putting things in perspective. Especially mine.)
In passing I mentioned this person to Ashley, and I told her that he thanked me for doing something I deemed an obvious “duh, of course I’m going to help you with that,” kind of thing. She commented EXACTLY as I did. That’s so sweet, but it makes me sad that he feels he has to thank you for it.
Nobody, not Tyler, not my mom, not any of this person’s other friends thought about it like that. But Ashley did. It made me feel so…relieved, pleased, less crazy?? I don’t know, exactly. Actually now that I think about it, I do. It made me relax.
She knows what I’m going to do before I do it, not because she’s worked to understand me, but because it’s what she would do, too. Do you know how refreshing that is for someone who feels as though she has always had to explain herself to everyone?
With this friend, for the first time in my life, I feel truly understood.
That is not to take away from all of the incredible people in my world who have worked to accept and understand me. Or from those for whom accepting and understanding isn’t work at all, it’s just how they roll. It’s easy for someone who thinks the way I do to get on board. It’s harder for someone who sees the world differently to be there anyway. So there’s something very special to those relationships as well, and I truly cherish them.
But for someone like me, someone who seems to have a take on life that’s slightly off-center, someone who looks at things a little bit differently...it’s like I’ve found myself in finding this friend. Meeting someone else so much like me has grounded me, built my confidence, and helped me learn to trust myself. These are things I kind of knew I needed in an abstract way, but never understood the power they would wield until I felt them first-hand.
Here’s another cool thing - feeling more grounded and being more confident has allowed me to just be myself. No facades, no going with the flow just because it’s easier, no pretending to care about things I really don’t, and no guilt about all of the above. (Okay, okay. Less guilt. Because old habits die hard. I’m working on it!) And you know what happened as I made that shift? I was able cultivate even MORE friendships with people who make me feel grounded and confident instead of the opposite. It’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps if I'd had a sister, or just one friend on the same wavelength as me when I was younger, meeting Ashley as an adult wouldn't have been quite so impactful. But that's not what happened. And I'm here now, making it seem like friend is my lesbian lover. Which she's not, for anyone who's curious. Sorry if that disappoints you. She's simply my person and I can't imagine life without her.
So here’s to soulmates. I hope that everyone reading this has at least one of them. ♥
I'm Definitely The Bleep.
So there’s a reason our podcast is called Beauty and The Bleep. And I’m pretty sure it’s not difficult to figure out which one I am. It’s not just that I can curse like a sailor without thinking twice, but it’s also because I’m certainly not what most people think of when they think “Beauty.”
This has more to do with personality and mindset than physical attributes. First, I’m clumsy as hell and grace has just never been my strong suit. This week I hit myself in the face with the phone receiver at work so hard that I ended up with a bruise under my eye. I don’t even know how that happened. I waddle, I don’t walk. It’s because my thighs need to move around each other with each step. Plus I’m the girl who can trip over her own two feet while stone cold sober.
Add to it that I’m not a makeup girl. Unless there’s some big event looming in front of me, my make-up routine lasts three minutes, max. I'm not a person who gets up in the morning and does her hair. In fact, I realized on the fourth day of my recent vacation that I hadn’t brushed my hair since the day I arrived. Heck, I'm not even a person who feels the need to shower every single day. For the record I DID shower on vacation, daily. We were in Florida. It was hot and I was sweaty.
See, hadn’t brushed my hair. I went looking for my brush before we left and found it buried under all of the cute clothes I brought but never bothered to put on.
In general though, as long as I look fairly presentable and I don't smell, I’m usually pretty okay with it.
When Ashley suggested I give eyelash extensions a try, I laughed. “That’s SO not me,” I thought. But she was starting her business and she needed the practice, so I figured she could use my eyelashes as test dummies. No big deal. Then, as I considered it more, I thought about why I’m not a “makeup" girl or a "do my hair" girl. It’s not because I don’t care or because I don’t enjoy how I look once I’m done. Truly, I love feeling pretty. I just don’t love it as much as I love my extra half hour of sleep, my morning meditation routine, or spending time with my favorite men (aka my husband, my dog, and my cat). Typically I just don’t feel like putting the effort in. But when I do, I relish the results.
So, maybe lash extensions didn’t deserve the eye roll that was my knee jerk reaction. And then she put them on me and I felt like a whole different person. Waking up and looking pretty without having to do anything (and yes, eyelash extensions do have that kind of power) was f***ing amazing.
From there, and for the same reason, I had my eyeliner done as well. Again, I loved the results. Now on the days that I don’t feel like thinking about makeup (which is often), I at least look a little more presentable. Plus, that’s an extra 60-90 seconds of sleep I can get!
While the eyebrow trend has grown and grown over the past few years, I’ve sat in my little bubble and wondered what the big deal was all about. I was "blessed" with some pretty bushy eyebrows. Please enjoy this glamor shot circa 1996 as it is the best photo I can find to show off my caterpillars.
Due to some recent thyroid issues, some over-plucking issues in college, and probably just age in general, they have thinned out quite a bit since my 20’s; however, I never really considered microblading, even with The Beauty in my life, because in my head I was still the girl who had to control the mess growing above her eyes.
Then I had a make-up trial for my wedding and the first thing my make-up artist did was fill in my eyebrows. I looked like a whole new person immediately.
I called Ashley that day and told her I finally understood what she was doing with her life, and that now I knew I needed to have my brows done, too.
One of the things that I love about my friend, is that she is very realistic. She didn’t just jump right in and start microblading. She insisted that I think about it. As a self-proclaimed eyebrow-ignorer, she wanted to make sure that I’d be comfortable transitioning into the the upkeep required, however minimal it might be (i.e. plucking the areas not tattooed, coming in for my follow up appointment, and eventually touch ups, too). I think she wanted to be sure that my enthusiasm for her semi-permanent technique wasn’t semi-permanent.
I've spent a few months filling my brows in to confirm that yes, this is something that I actually want to do. At this point I’m pretty obsessed with them - I feel like such a different person when I take the time to pencil them in - and am patiently waiting for my appointment.
Please, people. Stay tuned because I can’t wait to show you the finished product! Maybe I’ll even have her do my lashes again so I can literally roll out of bed this summer and say “I woke up like this!"
Well, Hello There!
So this is a little strange for me. I'm not quite sure how to do this introduction, but I feel it's necessary.
My audience at My Life My Normal has already known me somehow - my friends and family in real life, my acquaintances, and those already connected to me on social media. When they click the link to read my personal blog they most likely already know the basics about me: I’m a bit of an oddball, with a much odder husband, an obsession with my pets and my nephew, a few close friends/family members, and a love for great food and wine, preferably together.
Also, if you know me in real life you know that I’m a consistent over-sharer, and that I'm proud of that fact. So let’s get the Indellibelle Family up to speed so that you have some context for when I start over-sharing with you, too!
And my husband. He's the man behind the curtain at Beauty and the Bleep. Engineer, editor, marketing mastermind, aka all around podcast geek!
We’ve been together pretty much since the day we met, eight years ago. We were married last summer. He’s smart and funny and goofy and quick witted, and did I mention funny? He has an undercover love for animals that rivals mine. He can Macguyver the shit out of almost any problem. He challenges me in ways that I didn't know I needed until I met him. (Sometimes the challenge is simply to NOT KILL HIM, but that helps me practice my self control, right?!).
And my favorite thing about him - he encourages and supports me in ways I never knew I wanted until he was there by my side, encouraging and supporting. He’s an incredible partner and I’m super excited to go through this life with him.
We’re not having kids, so I obsess over my pets like a parent obsesses over their child. Seriously. Worrying about their health and happiness has kept me awake many nights. And of course I constantly share photos of them on social media. I mean come on. JD, the dog, is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. He’s a lab/chow with a bridle coat, black tongue, and the fiercest loyalty to his humans I’ve ever seen a canine. And Blinkin the cat, HE HAS NO EYES! How can you not be in love with a blind kitten you found at six weeks old and have taken care of ever since? They are the cutest things in the world.
I rest my case.
I have an amazing nephew who is a mini-me in so many ways. Of course I think he’s super cool, and of course I really love hanging out with him.
And I have a baby niece who is undoubtedly NOT like me (except for her thunder thighs). You can already tell what an extrovert she is. I can’t wait to get to know her as she gets older, too. I have a feeling she’ll be teaching me so many new ways to look at the world once I can start having conversations with her.
I’m super close with my mom and few amazing friends, including Ashley.
I LOVE food and wine. Love. Like I spend most of my disposable income on these two things. However, I’m working on cutting back on the wine because apparently when you turn 35 wine turns to cellulite in a way it simply did not before this glorious age.
Lastly, I love to write. I always have. It’s always been a way to help organize my thoughts and work through my crap. I have found, over time, that by sharing these thoughts (and the crap I am constantly working through) that the people I share with become inspired to do the same thing. Which in turn inspires me to dig deeper, continue to challenge myself, step further from my comfort zone, write more...and the cycle continues. It’s such a beautiful thing, and I’m so excited for the opportunity to share it with the Indellibelle family.
Beauty And The Bleep!
In January of 2015 I packed myself up into a little Ford Focus and drove from Utah to Maryland
to take the next step in our relationship with a man I loved dearly. I was kind of starting over, so
if it didn’t fit, it didn’t ship.” This means that literally everything I owned made that four-day
trip, though a blizzard, to the East Coast with me.
I knew one soul in Maryland when I left Utah, and driving away from my home state and
everything I’d known for so long was one of the most frightening things I’d ever done at the
I tend to be a bit of an introvert so one of the things I was most concerned about was how in
the world I was going to make friends. It’s not like I was in school and could make friends there.
It’s not like I am the type of person who likes to hang out at bars and make conversation with
random strangers. However, one thing I DO like is drinking wine. So before I left Utah I found a
group of women in Maryland who held a monthly wine night/happy hour, and I joined.
It just so happened that their January event was on the same day that I arrived in Maryland. I
stopped by what would be my new home, dropped off my stuff, took a quick shower, and
hopped back into the Focus to go drink some wine and meet some Maryland women
I had no idea at the time that this group of women would very quickly become my village. I had
no idea that they would be the people who help pick me up when I’m down, who make me
laugh all the time, and who support me in all of my crazy endeavors such as starting a business
from scratch and becoming a physique competitor.
Within this village of amazing women, I found my best friend. We met that first night in
January, but it was in May that Melissa (or Mel, for short) and I discovered that our list of
favorite things was very similar, and very specific: Jillian Michaels, Grey’s Anatomy, new and
delicious foods, deep conversations, and alone time! We’ve been two peas in a pod ever since.
She’s my rock. She’s been with me through the entire roller coaster ride that has been my first
four years in Maryland: Personal relationships ending, Indellibelle starting, floods, expansion,
physique competitions...she’s been there for it all. She’s endured frantic middle of the night
text messages and phone calls, teary talks over wine, carb-starved craziness, my need to dress
up her pets, and my inability to make decisions that don’t relate to Indellibelle. She even put
together a very nice funeral service for my fish, Blue, who died while I was at home in Utah a
couple of years ago.
She’s always been the one in the wings making sure I’m ready for what life has to throw at me
and then cheering me on with all her might.
Mel isn’t just my cheerleader, though. She’s her own person with lots of opinions. She stands
up for what she believes and encourages all of the women in her life to do the same. She can
curse like a sailor and is unapologetic about it. Mel will tell you that she wasn’t always this way, that it took many years and many painful missteps to find her way. But now that she has, she’s
passionate about helping others find their own confidence so that they can find their way, too.
Now it’s time for her to step out from behind the curtain so we can team up in a new way.
We’ve both got so much we want to put out into the world and we’re going to do it together!
Please stay tuned for more from Mel and for OUR NEW PODCAST: Beauty And The Bleep!!!
Shine On Indelli•Belle!
A diamond is a precious stone consisting of a clear a colorless crystalline form of pure
carbon. It's the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man. Without intense
pressure and heat over an extended period of time, a diamond would never form. This
is what I had to remind myself of throughout pretty much all of 2018. To be honest,
there were so many times I thought that I might not be able to withstand it all. Every
time I thought I might break, I just told myself, I can survive. Pressure creates diamonds.
Indellibelle started as a home-based business in 2016. By the end of the year I moved
my one-woman operation to a basement storefront in downtown Frederick, MD. By
January 2017 everything was up and running, the clients were coming in, I’d hired an
additional employee. I had accomplished the first step of my dream to own and manage
a chain of permanent cosmetic shops. I was so happy! Of course, anytime you start a
new venture or put yourself out there in any way, you’re going to feel some pressure. I
thought I was under pressure at this point, but I had no clue what 2018 had in store for
Once the shop was established, I brought my sister across the country from California
to help me run it. The better part of Spring 2018 was spent scouting areas and rental
space for a second Indellibelle location. It wasn’t just me anymore who needed the
business. Indellibelle had become a family of three, who were all counting on me to help
them earn a living. Talk about pressure!
Let me tell you…it was a roller coaster. I had my hopes up so many times, and was let
down so many times. It was hard, frustrating, stressful, exciting, and exhausting. As it
turns out, though, it was a good thing nothing came to fruition because mid-May began
the most intense period of my life. Little did I know, a diamond was beginning to form.
The evening of May 15, 2018 Frederick saw a ridiculous rain storm. I woke up in the
middle of the night to a message from a fellow business owner informing me that
Indellibelle was literally under water. Several businesses were flooded, but ours was
one of the worst. My dream, my shop, my life, everything I’d poured my heart and soul
into over the previous year was under two feet of water.
Thanks to the love and support from our friends, family, and community we were back
up and running within two days, right back in the house where it all started just a year
before. Furniture was cleaned and set up, new stock was rush-ordered and had arrived,
the entire space was organized, and we even managed to create a reception area -
something I hadn’t had before when the home-based business was just me doing my
We worked out of that little space for about six weeks while I tried to figure out what the
heck I was going to do and how the heck I was going to do it. Oh, and I hired our fourth
employee during this time, because hey…why not?? Talk about pressure!
I still had a lease at the flooded basement location, but I just couldn’t imagine moving
back in there, even after all of the repair work was completed, so I decided to find
something new…above ground. After much panicked searching, and trying to balance
that panic with logic, we found the spot, signed the lease, got the permits, and planned
Indellibelle’s third move in less than a year. Talk about pressure!
But wait…there’s more! Just a week after the flood my Real Estate Agent contacted me
about an opportunity to lease a storefront in Columbia, MD, about forty-five minutes
east of Frederick. Because this is just the way the world works sometimes, of course the
opportunity and location were too good to pass up. So I didn’t. I figured I’d be in
negotiations for the second location for a while, which would give me time to focus
drying out in Frederick before I had to really think about what was next. And as I’m sure
you can guess by now, it didn’t quite go that way.
Four, yes I said FOUR, days after I signed the lease for the new location in Frederick, I
was signing a lease for the location in Columbia. You want to talk about pressure?!
Starting two shops from scratch at the exact same time while keeping the clients coming
in and trying not to have a mental meltdown every other hour was the epitome of
But, once again, we pulled it off. The new Frederick location opened in July of 2018 and
Columbia (along with our fifth employee) opened in October.
To be honest I look back and wonder what I was thinking and how I managed to stay at
least semi-sane throughout it all. All I know is that there were so many times that I
wanted to crack under the pressure, and all I could do was remind myself “Without
pressure diamonds wouldn’t exist.”
2018 was a hell of a year, and I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty happy it’s behind me! Yes, at
the time I wished the pressure away, but in the end that pressure helped to create
something amazing. Something that wouldn’t be here otherwise.
So…here’s to 2019, to Indellibelle, to our amazingly supportive clients, and of course to
shining bright…like a diamond.