Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Celebrating Our Beauty

At my workshops, I’ll say something like, “Quick, name your best feature!” A few women will stare at me like deer in headlights. A few will frown like the question was completely inappropriate. But no one will volunteer an answer. It’s like there’s something wrong with being the first to say, “I have nice cheekbones.”

After a long, uncomfortable silence, I will rephrase the question. “What facial feature have you received the most compliments on?” Sheepishly a woman in the back will raise her hand. “My husband likes my lips.” She says it almost apologetically. Another woman will offer, “My mother has always said I had pretty eyes.” There’s a dismissive tone to her voice, like mothers are supposed to say those sorts of things.

I’m amazed at how much we obsess over our “flaws,” but completely dismiss what’s wonderful about our beauty. At every workshop I conduct, I make it a point to tell women that I’d like the freedom to choose the “models” I use to demonstrate various application techniques. And then I say, “I’m picking you according to your strong points because if I pick a woman with beautiful lips to demonstrate lip gloss, my work looks better!”

Doing this is not my way of assuring I’ll be invited back for future workshops. I really do like helping women see their beauty. I find that as a makeup artist, I can look at a woman’s face and see things she can’t.

I imagine all sorts of wonderful colors to bring out her eyes, or accentuate her high cheekbones or showcase her shapely lips. I’ve even gotten into some sticky situations a few times when getting TOO excited over a woman’s looks. As her eyes grow large and she inches away from me, I am sure to flash my wedding ring and tell her how much I love my HUSBAND.

But for me, faces are like clay. I immediately see ways I can make art out of the raw material. Most women, I’ve learned, see their own face with a less objective eye. We see the things we don’t like first.

This, unfortunately, starts at a very young age. I saw an adorable little girl at Bed, Bath & Beyond recently. She was about 6 years old. She had fiery red hair that cascaded down her back into big, bouncy curls. Her skin had beautiful peach undertones and her face was covered with a spattering of freckles.

I couldn’t help myself. I walked up to her and said, “You are so pretty. And you have the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen.”

She looked up at me with her big, green eyes and said, “But I have a lazy eye.” She pointed to her left eye. Honestly, I didn’t see anything wrong, but I’m assuming she knows what’s going on with her own eye. I hadn’t expected her response, but thankfully, in the moment I thought of something to say.

I looked down at her and shrugged. “Don’t even worry about it. With all that beautiful red hair, no one will notice.” She looked at me sideways for a moment, trying to determine if she could trust my assessment. Then she smiled before walking away. Her mother (?) looked confused by my answer. I suspect when she looks in the mirror she only sees her flaws.

Here’s an exercise to try. Look in the mirror. Decide which feature on your face YOU like the most. Not your husband or your best friend. What do you like about your face? Then you must say OUT LOUD, “I have sexy, beautiful ________________.”

Did you feel silly? Then you need to say it again until you don’t. Here’s my statement. I have sexy, beautiful lips!” Ha! I love it. Sometimes I say my eyes because, *gasp* I like two features on my face. Scandalous, I know.

Tell us what your sexy, beautiful feature is – come on, don’t be shy.

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