This morning at the gym, as I was dividing my attention between the tattered magazine I'd grabbed from the reading pile and the television silently playing in front of me, I noticed that the talk-show on TV was featuring a makeup lesson. As I watched the cheerful, perfectly-made-up host pretend to add even more lipstick (a seemingly impossible feat), I thought about the celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown. My mother gave me her book (Bobbi Brown Beauty) when I was in college, and while I was primarily excited to learn how to apply eyeliner perfectly enough that my crush would notice me and immediately proclaim his love for me, I was surprised to find that it was Ms. Brown's philosophy that helped me the most. She said,
"...what I wish most to communicate through my makeup is to love the features that make you special... I often feel like part makeup artist and part therapist, helping women see and appreciate the special qualities about themselves...Through years of observation I have noticed that beauty has as much to do with your own features and makeup expertise as your self-image. It's really so simple: Women who have confidence are more beautiful."
This principle holds true for men as well as women. Take some time to think about the personal qualities that make you special and unique (here's a hint: often the things that we don't like about ourselves are connected to our greatest gifts, --a principle I'll cover in another post). In the same way that a good makeover is less about transformation than about highlighting your features, this "inside makeover" is about highlighting the things that make you, you. The gifts, the strengths, the scars, the stories. Own them. Hold your head high. Reapply as needed.