We know the question; but do we have the answer? What is beauty and what does it mean to be a truly beautiful woman? Who decides what is aesthetically pleasing? Aside from the media’s attempt to fill in the blanks and the cultural stereotypes surrounding us, what does ‘being beautiful’ look like to you? Is it purely physical? Can it be emotional, even spiritual? Could beauty be what touches the soul or perhaps what stirs the heart? Or is it merely what catches the eye?
As a Makeup Artist of 17 years, I’ve had thousands of conversations on the topic and plenty of opportunities to observe the effect physical beauty has on men and women. And let me tell you, it ain’t always pretty. Here is the breakdown. Beauty, essentially, is a combination of qualities that naturally attracts, allures and enthralls. While artificial beauty may capture one’s attention, it certainly takes more depth to keep a captive audience. It’s a wonderful thing for a woman to delight in her femininity, and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of that process! Yet, we all know outer beauty is fleeting, and often times deceiving – I’m sure most of us had to learn that the hard way.
So, why do we continue to put all of our attention and money into something that fades, when we have the opportunity to cultivate the kind of beauty that endures throughout the decades? The fullness of beauty is experienced when you realize you’ve been birthed with a gift. It’s in you to be discovered. The fullness of beauty cannot be bought or applied. It starts from the soul and works its way outward. The ugly truth about the media’s unattainable standard of perfection, is that it’s unfulfilling and temporal. Truth be told, its counterfeit. You can dress up your outer shell, probe and poke all you want, until you’ve reached the desired aesthetic, but if you long for something more valuable, if you actually desire to be a beautiful woman and not just look like one… then you have to work from the inside, out.
Below are my professional recommendations to being truly beautiful
For Beautiful Eyes: Focus on things that are true, pure and lovely. If the eyes are the window to your soul, wouldn’t it make sense to be intentional concerning the things you look at, the things you let in. It’s not just what you look at, it’s how you look at the world. Shift your perspective to see the beauty life has to offer, and embrace your potential. Have vision for your journey, and choose to dream beyond your circumstances. When people look into your eyes, let them see goodness, let them see love for humanity… let them see a beautiful soul, not just great mascara.
For Beautiful Lips: You must pay attention to the words that come out of your mouth. Is your speech full of life and compassion? Or are your words negative and brash? If you’re happy, don’t forget to tell your face. Smile a little, or smile a lot – by all means, just smile! Allow the happiness you have in your heart to make its way to your lips. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful qualities of a woman, and also one of the most magnetic, is her ability to embrace joy and share it with others. So make it a habit to help other people feel good about themselves by sharing an honest compliment, tell them why you appreciate their friendship, add a little laughter to the day. Laugh when life entertains you, laugh when life frustrates you, your body will feel better and you’re bound to make someone else feel like laughing too. It’s contagious… and beautiful.
For Beautiful Cheeks: Blush. Get flustered, (in a good way, of course!) Work out. May I remind you, exercise increases oxygen and blood flow and triggers a surge of feel good endorphins and dopamine to your body, which also adds a lovely color to your cheeks! Do something that excites you, and makes you come alive. Find ways to bring energy to your spirit, and some pep in your step. Fall in love with your life. Fall in love with love. Even if you don’t have a significant someone in the picture just yet, allow your heart to be giddy over the beauty this world is inviting you into. I promise you, there are so many reasons to be hopeful, just look around. Step into an adventure and live a little!
For Beautiful Skin: Learn to reflect the light. And to reflect light, one must be near the source. The closer you are to the source, the more radiant you become. Light helps to camouflage imperfections, but it also has the ability to expose. Allow your hurts and scars to be revealed, so you can heal, clear your conscience, and continue on in freedom. Remember, skin will soak up anything you put on it, so ditch the harsh poisons that may be in your life. Protect your skin from environmental damages such as association with toxic people, deadbeat boyfriends, drugs, excessive alcohol and other harmful substances. Your skin is your armor protecting the most precious parts of you- your heart, spirit and soul. Exfoliate to improve clarity and youthfulness. And keep in mind, as uncomfortable as it may feel to scrub and slough off that dead skin, it’s the only way to be polished in the end.
And lastly, any good makeup artist will tell you to blend, blend, blend. So on your journey to beautiful, pay attention to the details of your life, including the content of your heart, and make sure you find balance in everything you do. Learn to love the skin you’re in, and fight the urge to compare yourself with others. You can do it! I believe in you. Please don’t settle for artificial beauty. And never forget, real beauty is not something we buy, real beauty is something we unveil.
By Jessica Hoffman