As we brave the chilly Dumbo wind and get ready for holiday parties and makeup, we took a moment to reflect on the elements of beauty, and interviewed some of our favorite women about when they felt most beautiful. Interestingly, not a single one mentioned a specific lipstick, purchase or outfit.
So, in direct defiance of the $60B+ beauty industry, of which we are a tiny sliver, it seems that beauty is an internal state after all. Here are snippets from our conversations. Enjoy...
The incredibly beautiful but still down to earth green beauty and holistic living advocate, Laura, from Laura's Natural Life. Laura's blog is full of thought-provoking articles about things beyond beauty like chemicals used for home construction, women's health issues, etc. and she has a superb YouTube channel:
"Probably on vacation, with a little bit of a tan, minimal makeup and windswept hair!"
Ashley Neese is another of our favorites, a writer, breathwork healer, and multi-talented empath who works with women on complex emotional issues. A snippet of her philosophy can be found here: "I am here to hold your hand, not because you are broken, but because I really see you." She can be found at Ashley Neese.
"I feel most beautiful when I am laughing with loved ones."
The beautiful Lily, fashionista and creator of the Hello Darling Blog:
"Being a fashion blogger, you would think that getting dolled up for a shoot makes me feel the most beautiful, but honestly I just love taking off my face and getting into an oversize tee, hair up, comfy at home. This is where I'm in my element and get the most work done. It's not the most fabulous look, but it's where I'm the most productive, and to me, that's what makes me feel beautiful."
The gorgeous Melissa Tsai is a Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, as well as the woman behind the meticulously researched The Guide to Wellness. Her philosophy on beauty is holistic: "clean beauty isn’t only about the products you can put on your skin, but also what you ingest and the positive thoughts you carry in your heart."
"I feel the most beautiful when I take care of myself or spend time on myself. For instance, after taking the time to wash my face and then applying my skincare or when I do a mask. I also feel really beautiful when I dress up and take the time to look nice. I also feel beautiful when I have nice clean skin and no makeup! I think the focus is when it is about spending those moments to love myself. Which I do every day as a routine and because its fun!"
Tricia Savino is a writer based in NYC although her writing focuses on beauty around the world. Lovely and multilingual, she has lived on several continents; you can read more at the fabulous Ni Hao New York.
"I recently attended Rebecca Casciano's Sacred Beauty Salon series at The W.E.L.L. Summit, and I love what she said about using makeup not to hide who we are but as a tool for self-expression. I feel most beautiful when I root myself in my identity as a creation of worth and purpose, and this can be in the morning right after I've mindfully applied makeup to highlight my features or when I am bare-faced after my evening self-care routine."
Lovely Kimberly Loc is one of the most respected writers and journalists focusing on the green beauty space. She publishes her superbly informative Kimberly Loc blog and is a media content strategist.
"I feel most beautiful after a great workout. Whether it's yoga, weights or even a simple walk, my beauty comes alive when I'm active."
Gorgeous Stephanie Bishop writes with a lot of heart about beauty and motherhood at Mrs. Bishop. Her quote below made us cry.
"When have I felt most beautiful? I have 2 times in particular that really stand out to me. The first time would be my wedding day. And it's kind of funny, because looking back- my hair hadn't turned out as I had planned because we ran out of time. I was only 20 and did my own makeup. I wasn't nearly as skilled in cosmetics as I am now. But, I felt radiant as I was walking down the aisle to my Husband. The look on his face told me that I was the most beautiful woman in the room- the entire world- to him at the moment. The next time would be when I held my baby boy for the first time. I was exhausted and swollen and sweaty. My best friend even told me I wasn't looking too hot. But, when I look back at photos I see my smile and the sheer bliss on my face. Holding that sweet bundle after years of infertility and loss, I look strong and magnificent. Powerful, even though I felt physically weak.
It feels like sometimes we feel the most beautiful when we see ourselves reflected in the eyes of someone that we love."
The lovely and kind Emery Bryant is one of our yoga inspirations. She can often be found standing on her hands at Emery Bryant.
"I feel most beautiful when I'm relaxed and happy. When life gets too busy and stressful I feel like the strain shows on my face and in my body. In contrast, when I'm relaxed and happy I can't help but smile at even the littlest things. :)"
The beautiful Janet Valenza is the enterprising woman behind GoGoGracious, a unique fashion pop up experience.
"I feel the most beautiful when I am rested, serene, well fed and hydrated, loosened up from exercise and most of all, dressed in a way I am comfortable. For me that means the right clothes for the occasion and the weather that fit well, flatter me color-wise and express my personality!"
The lovely Keri, creator of The Greenly Guide told us the following, which did not include a single make up item:
"I think the answer that comes to mind first, may be cliche, but I feel most beautiful every day being a Mom. Feeling beautiful to me is a feeling of confidence, and i feel most confident when I am caring for my daughter. She is the absolute greatest source of joy in my life and every single smile & 'I love you mama' from my sweet girl leaves me feeling on top of the world. Being a mom isn't always glamorous, but it makes me feel more beautiful than makeup could any day! :)"
How about you? :-)