photography: Andrei Lazarev
This might sound a little crazy, considering I have been studying and working in the natural beauty industry for over 20 years, but the word ‘beauty’ has always confused me. There are so many different points of view about the who’s, what’s and how-to’s for beauty. It is something that baffles me. Quite a bit.
What does ‘beauty’ mean?
From my point-of-view it’s an ever-changing judgment that society places upon us, with the expectation of what we are meant to look like, feel like, sound like and act like. Does that sound as inhibiting to you as it does to me?
What if we changed all that? What if we demanded of ourselves TODAY, that we choose something different, so that we honestly, deeply, wholeheartedly accepted the beauty that we truly are and be. The kind of beauty that radiates from within, because from the hundreds of women that I’ve had conversations with about beauty, the one common factor that we all seem to share in regards to ‘when we feel most beautiful’ is that it’s when we feel happy and confident; and we see the beauty in others when they are radiating happiness and confidence.
So, if happiness and confidence help to bring about our natural beauty, how do we top up our happiness and confident levels?
Here’s a few things I’ve learnt along the way:
1. We are responsible for our own happiness.
Having a lover is fun and wonderful and most definitely helps with that warm, fuzzy, happy feeling, but wouldn’t it also be great to embrace that warm and fuzzy feeling when you’re all by yourself too? And if you are feeling wonderfully happy and fun all by yourself, wouldn’t that energy be exciting to share with your lover? So, what is it that brings you joy? What is it that makes you laugh and playful? For me it’s being healthy and fit. When I’m eating healthily and exercising regularly I can’t help but bounce around the house with more energy and playfulness. And I know for certain that I feel most beautiful straight after a swim in the surf. No makeup. No beautiful outfit. No hairstyle. Just me.
2. Skincare from the inside and out.
Your outward appearance (look and feel of your skin) is a reflection of what’s going on in the inside. Maintaining the health of your skin helps to promote the health of the rest of your body and mind, and maintaining the health of the rest of your body and mind helps to promote healthy glowing skin. If skin care issues are depleting your self-confidence then this holistic point-of-view can be the solution to all your skin problems. Women with beautiful glowing skin aren’t just lucky. They are also very disciplined about caring for it from the inside AND the outside, knowing that healthy skin comes about via good nutrition, effective skin care, and various lifestyle do’s and dont’s. Your skin absorbs most of what you put on it via the semi-permeable membrane. Therefore it is essential to feed your skin with natural and organic plant extracts (high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) that help to promote a clean, clear and glowing complexion; as well as feeding your body with an abundance of fresh organic wholefoods: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
3. Take a minute or two for your skincare ritual.
Cleansing, hydrating and moisturising is a beautiful opportunity to take a quiet moment in the day to nurture your skin and be grateful for the beauty that you embody. If you catch yourself judging your complexion or self, please remember to STOP, and turn those thoughts 180 degrees. What if what you see as flaws are what others perceive as beauty?
4. Treat yourself as you would with someone you love and adore.
Take time out by setting aside some ‘me-time’ each day / week: read a book, have a bath, book in for a massage, or go for a walk in the park or on the beach, or whatever else you love to do, and really take the time to work out what it is that nourishes your happiness and confidence, and that which calms you in times of stress.
5. Wear beautiful lingerie. Not for anyone else but yourself.
You’re worth it! If you feel more beautiful, comfortable and confident wearing beige briefs, as opposed to the feel of soft silk, sporty cottons, satin and lace, then great. Keep on doing what works for you. But .. if not .. then ditch your daggy underwear. Life is here to be celebrated each and every day.
6. Don't take life (or yourself) too seriously.
Smile, laugh, and be happy. Take a moment each day to think of all the things that you are grateful for in your life.
Finally, please be gentle and kind to yourself, and be patient when you’re learning to make the positive lifestyle changes that you desire. The hardest part is starting something … from then on it’s a beautiful journey of self discovery.