Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We've all heard the saying that perception is reality.

I'm finding that such a barrier to doing my job as a makeup artist.  I mean, I'm here to bring out the most positive assets in a woman.  To help her understand that I'm not lying when I say her eyes are such a radiant shade of green or that her skin is really so flawless or that her lips make me want to try on a million different berry-colored shades.

I wouldn't say that if it weren't true. 

Just the other day, I was helping out at a Bobbi Brown counter only to have these 2 really cute sisters come up.  They appeared to be in their late 40's or early 50's.  The one was celebrating her birthday and wanted to treat herself to some makeup or a skin care product and had already loved Bobbi Brown for years.

We sat her down and took off what makeup she already had on.  We talked over her concerns and at one point I had to stop her.  She wouldn't stop telling me everything she hated about herself.  It broke my heart.  It was her birthday.  She couldn't tell me one thing she loved.  One thing she wanted to accentuate.

Want to know what was worse?

Her sister chimed in and echoed each negative thing.  'Oh yes, her lines are SO deep now....her lips just disappear so don't put any dark lipstick on her...oh yea, I would just keep it simple so you don't draw attention to her forehead wrinkles!"


Finally, the woman I was assisting did me the biggest favor and offered to do the 'other sister's' makeup just to shush her up for 10 minutes.

I finally had a minute with the birthday girl.  I told her what I really loved about her skin and we addressed her concerns with some tips and products.  I showed her a new palette that would help her do a 5-minute eye and be her 'go to' for both daytime/evening eyes.  I even purposely aligned myself between the two sisters so they couldn't see eachother or make any remarks.

A few moments went by and I was really happy with how fresh her skin looked and how much we popped her sky blue eyes.  I showed her a mirror and her expression was priceless.  She didn't say she loved it but she was shocked.  'Oh my gosh.  My eyes look so big!"  (That was the first positive thing she had said about herself since walking up)  Once the sister was done, we moved out of the way and let them look at each other.

It was such a beautiful moment hearing them compliment each other for the firs time in our entire encounter together.  "You remind me of Mom right now with how blue your eyes look!"


My prayer is that we would all understand how important it is to compliment ourselves.  Not in a weirdo psychotic way in the mirror a million times a day.  Just simple.  "I really DO like my lips.  I am going to try and play up these cheek bones."  Ah. I am not really great at this - just working on it and finding it really really powerful.

Hope this finds the women who need to hear it.  All my love.



Leah* said...

What a great article Jess! Thank you for being your fabulous, positive self! I love hearing stories like this that promote female empowerment!


Unknown said...

Where we define our beauty from is key. Some of us will never be Sophia Loren, and some of us will never be able to wear that perfect shade of red (speaking from my own experience, lol!) Honestly, it's about believing who you are that God says you are--not the magazines, not the commercials--they can help us FEEL lovely, but I would encourage every woman to define her beauty on a lovely heart, a brilliant soul, and then let that radiance come out. The radiance comes from humility, transparency, and fragility. Truly loving ourselves means embracing our needs and faults, but not dwelling on them, or letting those "cracks" be all that people are or know of us.

I love your gift, Jess. I love that you can be transparent while also bringing out the brilliance in others. Thanks for sharing!!