Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

Back to school clothes for middle schoolers

10 Great options for back to school clothes for middle schoolers you and your parents will love!

Affiliate links are used in this post, if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

Clothes are one of the hardest things to some up with ideas for. Today I decided to do the shopping for you, and came up with 10 awesome finds for back to school clothes for middle schoolers! I looked for pieces that would be easy to mix and match while also being comfy and practical for a day of middle school.

These four shirts, four bottoms, one dress and one jewelry set will help you get through this upcoming back to school season in style.

First, try this cute graphic tee with back jeans. And I love the reminder to be kind! We need more kindness in middle school — and everywhere!

This cute T-shirt dress comes in about 40 other colors. Pair it with leggings or shorts for added comfort and modesty.

Another option is this cold shoulder style shirt, which also has a color variety. I think it is quite cute and a great way to kick it up a notch from a plain tee!

This adorable pullover jacket, which I like best in pink, also comes in other colors.

I also found this long-sleeved top I liked. The only other color is green!

When it comes to back to school clothes for middle schoolers, being able to buy staples in bulk is a good thing. And, according to me, you can’t go a year without black leggings! You also can’t have too many of them!

Jeans are also a necessity so I thought I would list a pair! I love ones that are comfy and soft. They work for so many outfits!

Back to school starts out hot most places. These shorts are another great option, which you can get in lots of different colors.

I also like this skirt, which yet again comes in multiple colors. I’m a fan of black because it works with so many other colors and options.

And we can’t forget accessories. Check out this super cool jewelry set that would work well throughout the entire school year.

Looking for more ideas for tween girls? Don’t miss these posts!

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more from Girls with Grace:

Tween girl gift ideas

25 gift ideas tween girls will love (by a tween girl!)

Affiliate links are used in this post, if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

Tween girls are the hardest humans to shop for. With changing mentalities and all that jazz, you may never know what to get them. Being the superhero I am, I have provided you with lots of tween girl gift ideas that are tween girl approved — by me!

Accessories & jewelry

You pretty much can’t go wrong with accessories and/or jewelry for a tween girl gift!

Lucky Fortune bundle

Jewelry, scrunchies, stickers and more! This is a fabulous set tween girls would love.

Projecting necklaces

These necklaces are so cool, because they have a tiny ball on them that when a flashlight shines through it onto a wall in a dark room, you can see an image. How neat!

Name necklace

How cute is this personalized necklace?! Love, love, love! You can pick the color, font and chain length also.

Charm jewelry set

Jewelry making is something many tween girls enjoy, and with this charm set, she’ll have plenty of options!

Message bracelet

These bracelets are super cute! I wear one that says “The love between a mother and daughter is forever” (Mom has one, too!), but I would totally get more!

Encouraging necklace

This necklace is both adorbs and encouraging. It’s a great tween girl gift to help her remember that she is brave, strong and smart, which is something we can all use!


I don’t think it’s possible to have too many scrunchies. They’re always getting misplaced anyway. I love the softness of the velvet ones that work on even my extra thick hair. And if you’re getting her some scrunchies, add in an organizer for an awesome gift!

Cute makeup bag

Great for those who actually use makeup. This gift could kind of go for anyone, though, since it doubles as a fun snack pouch. She could even use it for pencils or most anything small!

Lotion set

I love lotions that smell good and make my skin soft. Ones that have a variety of fragrances and essential oils are some of my favs!

Paper products

Whether it’s stationery, books or writing utensils, there are some great options for the tween girl in your life!

Compliment pencil set

Listen, we probably won’t tell you this, but compliments make us feel much much better, and so will these pencils. (Even right before that important math test we forgot about!)

DIY journaling set

I received one of these as a gift a while back, and have loved it!

Harry Potter book set

This is one of my all-time favorite series. If she hasn’t read the Harry Potter books, they’d be a great gift!

Scratch paper art set

Ok seriously, how cool are these?! This could easily keep a tween girl (or just about anyone!) busy for hours and hours.

Notebook Doodles

Even for those girls who aren’t exactly great at art, this book can still be fun! Whilst I have only looked through the sample version myself, the book seems like a great way to doodle, reflect and learn.

Cool lap desk

This lap desk is just so cute! Also, it is collapsible. I would seriously love this, so I assume others would, too. It would make doing homework or crafts anywhere so much easier.

Room decor

Tweens tend to be ready for a room makeover. Well, at least I am. (Summer project!) So, some cool new decor can be a fun gift for a tween girl.

LED candle

I have always thought these candles were so cool! They’d make a great gift for any tween. (And they give you the feeling of candles without an open flame, which parents will like.)

Glow in the dark blanket

This is just a fun gift no matter how old you are, but it is definitely perfect for tweens!

Cinema lightbox

Besides looking cool, a cinema lightbox is also fun because you can put your own words on it! This one changes colors and comes with 100 letters and symbols.

Moon lamp

This moon lamp changes colors and just looks neat. It also works as a more grown-up nightlight.

Just for fun tween girl gifts

Tween girls like to have fun, and these gifts help us do just that!

Karaoke microphone

This is a 3-in-1 microphone for any music loving tween! The microphone not only actually works as a microphone, but also plays music.

Instax mini camera set

I have this one, and it’s quite fun. You can find the camera in multiple colors, and it takes fun pictures in a vintage style.

A fun keychain

Whether she uses it for a house key or puts it on her backpack, this keychain is sure to result in giggles!

DIY squishes

These are just fun, and a good general gift for most girls under 13. (They are also super cute and make for a fun afternoon)

Bubble pop fidget toy

First of all, these are super fun for any age. They pop a lot like bubble wrap. Second, if the tween girl you’re buying a gift for isn’t a fan of pink butterflies, have no fear! There are about 50 different options, so you should be good.

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

10 amazing uses for hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer can be used for more than just cleaning your hands!

Affiliate links are used in this post, if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

Nowadays, everyone has a bottle of hand sanitizer on them. Did you know you can use hand sanitizer in lots of different ways? Because they are alcohol based, they can do most of the great things alcohol can. Just make sure your hand sanitizer actually is alcohol based. Here are just some of the greatest uses I found:


I forget my deodorant often, so this could be helpful. Just rub it under your arms and you are good to go for a while.

Dry shampoo

Squeeze some on your hands, rub it through your hair and you’re good to go.

Clean your phone screen

Yes, I am pretty sure it’s messy. Whose isn’t? Therefore, CLEAN IT!

Remove many kinds of stains

Be careful, but hand sanitizer can remove lots of stuff.

Stop itchy mosquito bites

Awesome, right? I am a favorite amongst the bugs, so this is my new favorite information. Squeeze a bit onto the bug bite, and it should stop itching! Just be careful on super dry skin, cuts or super sensitive skin.

Remove sticky sticker or label residue

This is randomly helpful.

Clean white boards

I have had so many stained whiteboards I can’t even count, and so hand sanitizer is a lifesaver. Again.

Cleans glass

This is for people with glasses, windows, glass cups (Ok, maybe not for cups) or just about anything glass! I think you get it by now. Anyway, rub some on and magic! Super-duper clean.

Public toilet cleaner

Let’s face it, they are SO, SO disgusting. I always line the seat with toilet paper, and if I can, I will disinfect them with hand sanitizer.

To sanitize your hands.

The most shocking use yet I’m sure.

Hand sanitizer is practically a gift to humanity which may be why I have it stashed in every possible nook and cranny. Fortunately, it is in stock pretty much everywhere again. So if you don’t have any, stock up! The big bottles are great to have at home and to use to refill your smaller bottles.

Don’t forget to get hand sanitizer sized for on-the-go as well!

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

Greek mythology versus Christianity

Greek mythology and Christianity have some similar stories

Some of the parables and stories in the Bible relate to Greek mythology. In fact, Greek mythology and Christianity overlap in quite a few stories. Which came first? The Bible stories, which are true.

I have thought of two stories — one Greek and the other from Genesis 19 — that are quite similar. But before you read those, I recently wrote a short story that goes along with Greek mythology, so I thought I would share that first.

The Campfire (fiction story by Lexi)

Lilly Grace Thomas was currently sitting in front of a campfire eating s’mores. Her class happened to be on a field trip to the zoo, which was fun because they rarely went anywhere due to having such a small town. She was staring off into space, thinking about a book she was reading. It was good really, all about the old stories that people used to tell in Ch-


Lilly was snapped out of thoughts by the bush of brown curls and pale skin that was her best friend Hailey.

“You really need to pay more attention! Mrs. Shelina announced we could tell a story or two, and then Austin told us his. I thought you were listening but-” 

“Shhh!” Lilly whispered to her rambling friend. She giggled, and they both began to listen as their tour guide, Jane, began her story.

“My grandma used to tell me this story, though I’m not sure if I will ever understand why.” Jane began with an odd almost-but-probably-not forced laugh.

 “A long time ago, there lived a girl named Elinette. People would call her Hephaestus (or Vulcan if you were on the eastern side of town) spawn. She was a great blacksmith, and incredibly good with the fire. Not only did it never affect her, but she could generate it. Therefore, she logically became the town’s blacksmith, even though she wasn’t exactly favored. However, Elinette had never wanted the role of blacksmith. In fact, she had always dreamt of working with animals. 

“So one day, she decided to make that dream come true. Elinette wanted to go to Africa, and she did exactly that. Whilst in Africa, she befriended the animals that lived there, like the elephants. There was something so… different about animals. They were, in fact, organic creatures, unlike machines, but they weren’t as horrible as the human race. 

“Ellinette began to send letters back to the town, telling about her adventures. The town grew to like the girl, and her letters were incredibly entertaining. Around three months later, however, the letters stopped. Days went by, then weeks, and weeks turned to months. Sooner or later, somebody sent out a group of explorers to find Elinette. No one could. It was as if she had never existed, but here’s the thing, even in the town, all traces of her totally vanished. It was as if she were an imaginary friend, because the only thing left, including her house and workshop, were memories. Everyone had memories of Elinette. More groups were sent, but they were only able to find both spearheads and vulture feathers. 

“The main rumor was that Ares (Mars) had kidnapped her in revenge on Hephaestus for marrying Aphrodite (Venus).” Jane finished.

Lilly began walking back to her tent, shivering lightly. The story did NOT help her paranoia.  

Hailey began ranting all about her new Wildlife Expedition Journal as they walked into an old elephant enclosure. It was where they would be sleeping for the night, because it was a lot of empty space, and perfect for camping. They walked into the girls 2nd girls tent. Slipping off her shoes, Lilly walked around the tent a bit to set her sleeping bag up. The cold grass crunched under her as she kneeled on the thin fabric. Changing to her PJs, Lilly snuggled into the sleeping purple sleeping bag she had bought at the beginning of the trip. 

Suddenly, she heard a noise. Lilly assumed it was just an owl flying back towards her nest with a tasty mouse. Or maybe it was a bird, singing to her chicks before bed. However, when the sound came again, she identified it as a hiss. 

“AAAAAAAAHHHHH!” The most girlish scream rang around the enclosure. 

‘Probably Austin,’ Lilly thought, smiling to herself. 


This was when Mrs. Shelina yelled at her students, telling them to calmly exit the enclosure. 

Hoo Hoo

Lilly screeched, running from the enclosure, Hailey not far behind. After emerging from the tent, she was greeted with a scary sight. Snakes were slithering towards screeching children, all of whom were pushing and shoving toward the exits. They were snapping at any flesh they could reach, sinking their teeth into their victims, seeming to smile from the cries of agony their venom bought as it spread through veins. Owls were flying from above, scratching and chomping at whatever they could. Blood was in puddles on the floor. Lilly screamed yet a second time, running from the enclosure. The contents of the pond seemed to scream with her, freaking out equally.

Flashes of the ocean and horses clouded Lilly’s vision as she ran. Then, a wizened, yet almost war-ready voice rang through her head. 

“My revenge.”

And just one thought later, everything went black. 

The group were never seen again. They had disappeared just like Elinette. None of their rooms, photos, belongings, etc., had evidence they ever even existed. Not on the receipts for Hailey’s Wildlife Expedition Journal, not even their classroom or school records. It was as if they had never existed. But everyone still had their memories, like the group were just imaginary friends. No evidence was found but the snakes and owls. Jane was the only survivor, though she claimed to have no memories at all. 

However, the last comprehensible thought one Lilly’s mind was this:

 Cursed. The story is cursed.

Greek mythology: The story of Orpheus

After the death of his beloved wife, Orpheus was no more the same carefree person he used to be. His life without Eurydice seemed endless and could do nothing more than grief for her. This is when he had a great but yet crazy idea: he decided to go to Underworld and try to get his wife back. Apollo, his father, would talk to Hades, the god of the Underworld, to accept him and hear his plea.

Armed with his weapons, the lyre and voice, Orpheus approached Hades and demanded entry into the Underworld. None challenged him. Standing in front of the rulers of the dead, Orpheus said why he was there, in a voice both mellifluous and disquieting. He played his lyre and sang out to King Hades and Queen Persephone that Eurydice was returned to him. Not even the most stone-hearted of people or gods could have neglected the hurt in his voice.

Hades openly wept, Persephone’s heart melted and even Cerberus, the gigantic three-headed hound guarding the entry to the underworld, covered his many ears with his paws and howled in despair. The voice of Orpheus was so moving that Hades promised to this desperate man that Eurydice would follow him to the Upper World, the world of the living. However, he warned Orpheus that for no reason must he look back while his wife was still in the dark, for that would undo everything he hoped for. He should wait for Eurydice to get into the light before he looked at her.

With great faith in his heart and joy in his song, Orpheus began his journey out of the underworld, joyful that he would once again be reunited with his love. As Orpheus was reaching the exit of the Underworld, he could hear the footfalls of his wife approaching him. He wanted to turn around and hug her immediately but managed to control his feelings. As his was approaching the exit, his heart was beating faster and faster. The moment he stepped on the world of the living, he turned his head to hug his wife. Unfortunately, he got only a glimpse of Eurydice before she was once again drawn back into the underworld.

When Orpheus turned his head, Eurydice was still in the dark, she hadn’t seen the sun and, as Hades had warned Orpheus, his sweet wife was drowned back to the dark world of the dead. Waves of anguish and despair swept over him and shuddering with grief he approached the Underworld again but this time, he was denied entry, the gates were standing shut and the god Hermes, sent by Zeus, wouldn’t let him in.

Bible story: The story of Lot

And here is the comparing Bible story (found in Genesis 19 NKJV):

Sodom’s Depravity

19 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”

21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”

Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.

Lexi’s thoughts

Can you see the similarities? In both, there are extreme consequences for looking back. In both, the God(s) themselves got directly involved. I am going to tell you that each demonstrate the idea to not look back on what was.

Do you have thoughts on these stories? Go on over to our Instagram and let us know!

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

10 Things to do when you’re bored

Ideas to keep you having fun when you’re bored out of your mind

Listen, 2020 was rough. We could barely do anything and were probably bored out of our minds — at least I was! So, to prevent that from happening again, I thought of some things you can do when you’re bored to have fun. If you are still stuck at home or just bored, here are some ideas so you don’t make friends with spare shampoo bottles.

Write a novel.

This is for all of you with wayyyy too much time on your hands and who enjoy writing. I’m currently one of these people, and I’m trying for fantasy. Anyway, just to get you started, here are some ways to write your story.

First you need to have a world for your characters. Is there time, and how does it work? Is there racism, is everything equal? Maybe frogs with wings walk people with horns in leashes? Religion? Rules? Law? Make your characters. How do they develop? What are they afraid of, and what do they love?

So much goes into making a book! I suggest that you do some of your own research first, that is always helpful. However, this is a long-term, fun and time-consuming activity for those of you with lots of spare time.

Make a fidget toy.

I don’t know about you guys, but my hands almost always have to be doing something. Fidget toys are something almost everybody has nowadays, so what not make your own? It’s a fun way to pass the time when you’re bored

You can use some string and 3-12 beads. 

Fold the string in half, tying a loop on the fold. You should have two ends of string hanging down. Now take a bead and move the left side of the string through the bead. Feed the right piece of string through the same bead facing the opposite way. Repeat. You should eventually stop, and leave 1-3 inches before tying another loop. Then, you should be able to pull your beads up and down the string.

I honestly find it fun and satisfying. However, you can also use this to keep track of things like how much water you drink or how many holes in one you got in golf. These can be used for many things.

Write a song.

Ok, I’m not the most musical, but if you are, this is pretty self explanatory. Write some kind of song! Just like with writing a novel, you can do some research online about what makes good songs. Then just write about something you’re passionate about or is on your mind.

Start a YouTube channel, blog or podcast.

People use YouTube all the time. You can start your YouTube channel by doing bunches of research or by easily just picking your niche and uploading. It’s totally up to you! For no video appearance, start a podcast and just talk! And finally, you can start a blog if you would rather write.

(Before posting anything online, please talk with your parents and get their permission.)

Clean — hear (..or read) me out!

Cleaning stinks! No one wants to do it, and if you do, I would like to test to see if you are in fact human, or some race of elf. If you are human, then good for you, I guess?  Anyhow, it does always feel good once you get done with it. When you’re bored can be a great time to take on organizing your closet or room that has been driving you nuts.

Tackle THAT!

Everyone has THAT thing they have been meaning to get done. DO IT! Usually whatever it is you’ve been putting off has gotten shoved to the back of your to-do list because you didn’t have time. Now is a great time to do it!

Learn a new skill.

Everyone has something new they can learn! From makeup to how to write those novels I talked about earlier, find something that interests you and learn all about it.

Read your Bible.

With all this time on your hands, what better to do than spend time with the Lord of creation Himself? Take time to really get into God’s Word and study what it says. Look for a devotion book to add to it if you want. Pick out some favorite Bible verses to write out and hang up in your room.

Call your friends.

Mine always have something to say! And you can even video chat and play games together or whatever you guys like to do.

Cry about being bored because you won’t accept any possible ideas, so…

What else do you want me to tell you!?! Come on, when you’re bored you might as well try a new idea that’s way more fun than crying — I promise!

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

Makeup for tweens and teens

Light facial care and makeup tweens and teens will love

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here

I have always been interested in makeup. I would play it as a young kid — and end up looking like a clown. Now that I’m a bit older, I get to look human instead! But I want the makeup to look natural and my skin to be healthy. I know I’m not alone, so I’ve put together a list of makeup for tweens and teens that are reasonable and light. I even included some perfect face care product ideas as well.

When it comes to makeup, you want the right amount. You don’t want too much. Instead, you want to enhance your natural beauty. It’s something we all have! If you’re interested in makeup just because YOU want to wear it, ask for permission from a parent or guardian. I put together lots of options that are great ways to get started with makeup.

None of these are like some of the crazy full coverage, expensive makeup tutorial that I know you have seen online. Whilst in some situations these may be helpful, nobody is actually going to wake up at 5 a.m. every single day to apply primer and foundations 1, 2 and 3, and then add concealer, highlighter, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. There is literally no point, and you don’t need to do all of that! So without further ado, these realistic and practical makeup ideas for tweens and teens to help you use makeup without looking like a clown.

Foundation options

Instead of full-on foundation, other products are great for younger faces. Whilst foundation is nice and all, if you are under age 17, you probably shouldn’t be using high coverage foundations. There are other alternatives though

Tinted moisturizer

Whilst you are still evening out your skin tone, your skin still shows so that you aren’t masking your face. Even better, go for tinted moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Light concealer

Concealer may be a good option if you only need to cover small blemishes. Pick a shade closest to your skin tone.

My favorite option for concealer is this Neutrogena skin clearing blemish concealer because it also treats pimples to help them go away. Double duty!

Mascara options

Mascara can also be heavy, but fortunately other options are available.

Petroleum Jelly

It doesn’t get much more basic than petroleum jelly, which lengthens your lashes with just a small amount. Keep it around for treating dry skin as well!

Clear Mascara

Clear Mascara doesn’t add any harsh color, and gives a much more natural effect. My favorite is e.l.f. clear brow and lash mascara.

This is my mom’s favorite mascara, though she uses black instead of clear. She’s been using Maybelline Great Lash mascara since before I was born!

Lip color options

Lipstick is intense and not exactly perfect for teens. A few other options can add a bit of color without overpowering your face.

Lip gloss

Lip gloss is nice because it adds a nice shine and, depending on the kind, even some color to your lips.

This L.A. Colors high shine lip gloss comes in clear and 17 other shades.
This Neutrogena lip soother not only offers a shiny tint in three shades but also SPF 20.
This lip gel from NK Makeup comes in three different options to help moisturize and care for your lips. You can buy them in a variety pack of six or packs of six with only one type.
If you’re looking for both tint and clear, check out this super affordable 5-pack of NK Makeup’s lip gel.
Burt’s Bees lip shine is all natural and available in five shades.
This Rimmel Stay Glossy lip gloss has 29 different shades.

Tinted Lip Balm

Tinted lip balm adds color without adding any heaviness. It’s also a great option if you are newer to adding any color and just want to try something light.

This Chapstick Total Hydration is available in at least six shades.
This Covergirl tinted lip balm comes in 10 shades.

Tinted lip oil

Tinted lip oil is great if you want a bit of hydrating gloss, as well as some color.

This Almay lip oil-in-a-stick comes in six shades.
This Burt’s Bees tinted lip oil pen comes in six shades.
The tinted lip oil from e.l.f. comes in two shades.

Other face care and makeup for tweens and teens

Other things you may add to your makeup routine include:

Face cleaning wipes:
Yes to clear skin
Neutrogena oil-free
Dickinson’s with witch hazel and aloe

Moisturizer (unless you use tinted):
Neutrogena oil-free acne moisturizer
Cetaphil daily hydrating oil-free face lotion with hyaluronic acid
Clean & Clear morning burst gel moisturizer for acne-prone skin
Neutrogena soothing clear Tumeric gel moisturizer

Acne cream:
Burt’s Bees spot treatment
Clean & Clear persa-gel-10 spot treatment

Bioré clarifying toner
Neutrogena oil-free acne stress control toner
Dickinson’s Enhanced Witch Hazel Hydrating Toner with Rose Water

Hydrating lip balm:
Aquaphor lip repair ointment (for chapped lips)
Burt’s Bees moisturizing lip balm
Chapstick Total Hydration

Makeup brushes:
Bestope 16-piece makeup brush set
Luxaza 15-piece makeup brush set
Syntus Makeup Brush Set 16 Makeup Brushes, 4 Blender Sponges and 1 Cleaning Pad

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
Maybelline Master Bronze Kit
Rimmel Natural Bronzer

Profusion Cosmetics on-the-go blush palette
Covergirl Cheekers
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blush

Eye shadow:
U Can Be eye shadow palette
Revlon Color Stay eye shadow palette
Rimmel Magnif’eyes eye shadow palette

Makeup remover wipes:
Garnier Skin Active

Face masks:
Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel Off Face Mask
Yes To Cotton Comforting Paper Mask
Bioré Charcoal warming clay mask for oily skin with natural charcoal

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

What to do when a friendship weakens

Ideas to help when you have issues in a friendship

One of the things people have asked me the most is what to do whenever friendship troubles occur. They happen to all of us, and they are the worst. However, there are a few things you can do to help.

This world tries everyday to bring us down. But it hasn’t ended us yet, and I don’t believe that we should let it. Issues with friends is one of the absolute hardest things to help with, because it will never be perfect. But I’m going to try anyway.

Friendship expectation vs. reality

Friendship isn’t like the books, let me start with that. In stories, there are groups of friends who are always there for each other. Most of the time the characters have known each other since forever and are totally awesome and perfect.

That’s never how real life works. Your friends may be nice, sweet and there for you a lot. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be that way forever. It’s very likely that friendships will end or weaken at one point. So no matter what, people in this world need to just stop trying to be perfect. There are people with high expectations for who you are and for what you should do.

Friendship solutions

Feeling out of place in a friend group isn’t abnormal, and if you feel weird about it, I’m sure you are not the only one. Try talking to the person/people about it. If you are uncomfortable with that, then send an email. I do advise you to try to talk to them about it, but, if you don’t want to, then maybe try floating around. By that I mean try making new friends. Find someone you can connect with.

If the problem really is just applying to you, then maybe your friend(s) will have good advice on what to do from there. I’m sure you have all heard this song, but you know what they say:

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other, gold.
A circle’s round
It has no end
That’s how long
I’m gonna be your friend.

Besides floating around, you can try and make a new friend somewhere other than school (or wherever your friend is). Maybe you have other friends to hang out with, or maybe you just aren’t ready for a new friend. So many possibilities are under the umbrella of friendship.

That’s all for today lovelies, but remember, never settle for a relationship with anyone who treats you as if you are less than, because you all deserve the world and more!

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

The movie girl vs. real life

Reality check: your life isn’t going to be like the movies.

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What girl doesn’t watch movies? They are a simple part of day-to-day life. However, that doesn’t mean what happens in them is anything like day-to-day life. I know you know this, but they seriously set unrealistically high standards for life. You may need a quick reality check.

I thought of a few things you may need to remember don’t actually happen.

Things that aren’t gonna happen

Lets start off with “The Princess Dairies.” The second Mia takes off her glasses, she looks like she’s the prettiest girl ever. Reality check: You can look beautiful with or without glasses!

Next, let’s look at “Clueless.” Cher and Dionne show up every day looking 100% perfect. Reality check: Sadly, you aren’t going to look perfect every day. You are still going to get sick, get acne and have stray hairs every once in a while. Now, I’m pretty sure if you had professional hair and makeup crew help you every 10 minutes, you would look perfect, too.

Then in general, the characters have so much time in the morning. They get like 26 things done. That’s a lot! Reality check: You can’t get wake up at 2 a.m., looking like a princess, with the sun rising already, on a daily basis. It’s literally not gonna happen. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.

Then there are the situations like in the episode “Dark Cupid” from “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir,” where they have a class group chat just to send blackmail photos. Reality check: This one is kinda obvious, but this will most likely never ever happen.

Another general thing that happens is the characters can skip class to make out in a broom closet with an unrealistically awesome boyfriend and have no punishment at all. Reality check: Girl, you are going to get in trouble. Just go to class. It’s the same with homework. Just do it.

Lastly, you aren’t gonna wear heels all the time.

Unrealistic boys

Now, I’m just gonna start off and say it. Teen boys don’t look like 26-year-old super models. They just don’t. You also probably aren’t going to end up with your high school boyfriend forever and ever. In the books and movies, you meet a boy, lose him, get him and live happily ever after. My mom (Families With Grace) did, but that’s usually not the case.

They also aren’t going to be these deep, mature and dreamy creatures (most of the time!). The song “Something Just Like This” seems to express normal-ish expectations. The lyrics go:

But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not lookin’ for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairy-tale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

Movies paint things, not excluding romance, in a very magnificent and perfect light. It’s not exactly realistic, but that’s OK, as long as we keep reality in check.

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

Making the best changes for who you are

When to change your values and habits

Right now, the world is changing, everything thing is crazy and it’s hard to be yourself anymore. People are beginning to change who they are to fit in or for the world around them. People do need to change sometimes, that’s true. But, I’m seeing people change in a way they shouldn’t have to.

Making the best changes for who you are is a good thing sometimes. I mean, the Grinch changed wonderfully! But then in other cases, change isn’t so great. If you stop being yourself so someone likes you, then that’s not a great change.

Changing values

It’s OK to change your values when necessary. For example, if Sally doesn’t value honesty and lies to her friends all the time pretending she’s rich or knows all these celebrities, she may want to make honesty a core value for her. This is making Sally a better and happier person.

However, if Jennifer is changing the way she acts and her personality to get her crush to like her, her core values of reliability and honesty are changing. Those are values that Jennifer shouldn’t change. If she starts lying and changing who she is between different people, then is it really in her best interest? Is she becoming a better person — or a fake person?

Values should be changed sometimes, but not so much in others. What are core values that you don’t want to change?

Changing habits

Much like changing our values, sometimes we need to change our habits as well. For example, Lena has dessert every night after dinner. She knows that this isn’t healthy. If Lena changes her habit of dessert to a habit of going on a walk, that’s a good thing. She’s breaking a bad habit to make her a healthier and happier person.

But, if Selina has a habit of giving people compliments when she meets them and her friend Delilah says not to, should she change that? I honestly don’t think she should. Selina is being kind and spreading love! As followers of Christ, this is something that we should do. Now, if she doesn’t mean the kind things she says, then she needs to be more intentional about what she says. Overall this is a habit Selina should probably keep, even if Delilah says not to.

Bad habits can be changed and technically good habits can, too, but they are called good habits for a reason. Why change them?

Changing who you are

I have one word for you: never. You may need to change personality, hence Scrooge, but honestly I would just call that a change of heart. However, you’re beautiful. Everyone is perfect, and I love each and every one of you. It’s probably impossible for me to stress this enough. You. Are. Loved. Got it? Because I can repeat it a thousand plus times if I need to. OK?

Anyway, lovelies, some things you can change as you grow, but remember who you are, and that you are loved.

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

How I stopped being a people pleaser

Tips to stop sacrificing your happiness for others

Making people happy is something I tried to do for years. Now, making people happy isn’t a bad thing to do. However, I used to try to make EVERYONE happy. I was a people pleaser. And I was miserable in the process.

Due to this, I got really, really bad anxiety over almost anything and everything. Like, to the point I had to take multiple days off purely because I was nervous enough to feel like puking. I was just in first grade… But it was seriously bad enough I nearly had to go to a therapist.

I learned how to do a few things that helped me: use logic/common sense, assess the worst case scenario, seriously just not care and stop trying to make EVERYONE happy (because, honestly, it isn’t going to do anything.)

Caring what others think

My friend and I were talking the other day. At some point she was telling me about being nervous about getting something wrong due to people expecting her to do it correctly. My response to her is something everyone should know. Because, listen, you need to stop caring what everyone thinks. Why exactly do you care anyway? I mean, what exactly is the point? They don’t affect you.

Also, if people decide to sit there and take time out of their day just to think about you doing something wrong, then honestly, it’s their loss. I mean, instead of thinking about you being late to class or whatever, they technically could have been doing something much more enjoyable like eating ice cream! And instead of worrying about what they think, you could be eating ice cream, too. That’s much more fun than being a people pleaser!

Because lovelies, listen (well read, but whatever), closely. Who the heck are they to judge you? In the end you are all going to end up 6 feet under. Dead, non-important souls whom people on Mars will never take time to morn. We are all human, and none of us are perfect. Therefore, if I find myself face-to-face with a quite literally perfect human being who has never done anything wrong ever in their entire life and is without flaws, then I will allow myself to care about their judgement because it must be God. And then, if this person (God) is perfect, then He isn’t going to judge me mercilessly and will love me regardless because that is the perfect thing to do.

So, I stopped caring, because if I’m happy and am doing God’s will, then it’s OK. Well, as long as it legal.

Common sense and worst case scenario

Using common sense is important as well. For example, you have to think about how or if you can change the situation. Like if a friend of a cousin isn’t happy with your friend, but your friend is fine, there’s no need to go out of your way to make them happy. You have to let it go and stop the urge to be a people pleaser.

What is going to be the worst scenario if you don’t please them? In some cases, it may be a not-so-great thing, but I’m willing to bet it won’t kill you. Maybe that one friend might get mad at you for a day or two, but that’s probably about it. Is it worth my happiness to please this person, or is it OK if they’re upset for about a day? I’ve learned in cases like this to put my happiness first.

People are ALWAYS going to be upset. It is quite literally humanly impossible to make everyone in existence happy at once. Live your own life, do what’s right, but at least someone is going to hate you for it, so I suggest you stop negotiating with them to please them. It’s simple. They get on board, or get out of the way. You just keep fighting the good fight and don’t give up to make some idiots happy, OK? ( I may be a little in love with “Young Justice,” so excuse the reference! Everything I said was pretty true.)

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace: