Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Beauty Equation Challenge 6: Radiance

Radiance – To enhance the brilliance of your inner glow

“The mirror can be your friend, but it is not the gateway to your magnificence.” – Nigel Barker

Nigel brings us into the 6th challenge, Radiance by questioning what it is we see when we look through the mirror. He wants us to stop our obsession with picking out our imperfections and flaws and realize that the mirror is only a mere mathematical tool for finding our Beauty Equation. The mirror functions as a plus or minus sign depending on our self-esteem when we look into it. Only someone who is capable of controlling their self-perceptions can use the tool correctly. This teach will be difficult for those who struggle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, an obsession with a perceived flaw or minor imperfections. I challenge you to find the balance in questioning who you really are, not too much and not too little. This is important because this chapter talks about outer presentation, meaning your skin, hair, and clothes that tell your inner story.

“Beauty is never really found when you’re sitting in front of a mirror. You feel beautiful when you are out… finding those happy moments in life.” – Kimmy Hise

Nigel Barker cleverly reminds us that beauty is only skin-deep, superficial and we must look within a person to find their true beauty. He stated, “Just as everyone is  innocent until proven guilty, everyone is beautiful until proven ugly.” I thought this was a clever analogy.

We send messages to people around us about who we are by the way we behave, how we wear our makeup, and the choice of clothes we wear. All of these things are associated with our inner beauty or lack thereof.  It’s much harder to develop our character than it is to change our outer appearance to reflect the beauty we possess inside. Developing character is an individual task that takes time and requires the ability to understand yourself and who you are within. Work at it!

As far as our outer appearance, we MUST take good care of our skin, hair, entire body and even our wardrobe. Nigel advises that if you wear makeup, don’t over do it.  He agreed with Tyra that makeup can make a women feel confident and enhance natural features, but only if its done in the right proportions. Here are his makeup dos and don’ts

Love Your Skin
·      Your skin is the largest and most visible of your organs. It lives and breathes just like your heart.
·      Never put on makeup without washing and moisturizing your face and always remove your makeup at the end of the day.
·      Drink plenty of water.
·      Exfoliate at least once a week.
·      Steam bath your face.
·      Get some sleep!
·      Wear a hat in the sun
·      Wear sunscreen
See The Light
·      Do your makeup in proper lighting.
·      Study your face in different lighting using the shadows and highlights to understand and learn how lighting affects your features and how you look.
·      Use products that can mimic lighting effects (i.e. bronzer).
Remember Less is More
·      The less makeup you wear the more you shine through.
·      Experiment and learn what products work best for your features.
·      You don’t have to use ever type of makeup available (foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick, concealer). Only use what is needed to enhance your own unique equation.
Blur the Lines
·      Blend your makeup so that there are never any harsh lines. This stands true for foundation as well as eyeshadow and lipliner with lipsticks.
·      When you are done with your makeup, set it with a fluffy brush and translucent powder. Don’t forget your neck and hairline.
Protect the Innocent
·      Apply your makeup in a bathrobe or cover your outfit.
·      Use cruelty-free makeup (protect the animals that are used in the name of cosmetic research
·      People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has an online database of companies and brands that test their beauty products on animals.
·      While doing your makeup, have your upper chest exposed to accurately match your foundation with your body’s skintone and blend your foundation evenly.
Practice, Practice, Practice
·      Practice at home even when you have nowhere to go.
·      Makeup application is 10 percent skill and 90 percent practice.

Don’t Reflect Too Much
·      Too much shimmer can catch the light and reflect in an awkward unflattering way.
·      Contour your face properly. Light pops features out and dark pushes features in.
·      Use shimmer on the bridge of your nose, the inner corners of your eyes, and the apples of your cheeks.
·      Don’t place too much shimmer on the brow bone (under your eyebrows) This can reflect badly in pictures.
Don’t Cover Up
·      Covering up skin problems such as acne or rosacea with heavy makeup can appear cakey.
·      Focus on skincare rather than makeup products to clear skin ailments.
·      Covering acne with light concealer will make it stand out even more, instead dab it with a foundation that matches your skintone and dust over it with powder
Don’t Clash
·      Use eyeshadow colors that compliment your skintone.
·      Always check expiration dates on products and store them well.
·      Update your makeup often, throwing out old mascara and sponges that may contain dirt and bacteria
·      Have Winter and Summer makeup because with each season, the shade of your skin changes.
Don’t Be a Victim
·      Makeup counters don’t have the proper lighting to match your skintone with foundation
·      A sales rep at the makeup counter is there to sell and may tell you anything to earn their commission.
·      Bring a friend
·      Walk outside in the natural light to compare your skintone with a tested spot of foundation.
Don’t Be Lowbrow
·      Don’t overtweeze your eyebrows.
·      Full eyebrows are associated with youthfulness
·      Follow the natural shape of your eyebrows when shaping them
·      Pluck one hair at a time and take it slow!
Don’t Fool Yourself
·      Just because a makeup trend is hot, does not mean it fits you
Don’t Stress Out
·      Do 30 min of aerobic exercise a day to keep your mind off your worries.
Don’t Mash Your Face
·      Your skin reacts to repetition and will begin to train the lines in your face to become more prominent.

“Realize that God gave you the features you have for a reason – mess with them and you might ruin his masterpiece.” – Andrea Dawn Clark

This chapter went more in depth about hair and clothes, but I’ll save that info for another day… If I still have your attention, let’s fast forward to the challenge!

“The only way to choose the “right” makeup, hair and clothing is to understand your total Beauty Equation”, according to Nigel, “You can’t look to others to define what you should wear any more than you can look to others to tell you who you are. Develop yourself and you will know what your personal style should be.”

1. Remove all your makeup and clean your face so that you are 100% natural. Let your hair down and wash any products that may be in it out. Take a beauty shot of yourself, just your face and hair wearing only your smile. Take a self-portrait and submit it to me at BlushingAmbers@gmail.com
Here's my naked face.
2. Studying your face in the portrait you just took, what do you believe your best features are? Accent that area with makeup. You want to draw attention to your greatest attribute. Take another self-portrait and submit it to me at BlushingAmbers@gmail.com
Drawing attention to my eyes with mascara on my lashes

3. This time create your signature look using all of the makeup you believe is necessary for a flawless look. Compare the 3 pictures and tell me which one you believe suits you best. Submit the self-portrait and your answer to BlushingAmbers@gmail.com
I feel more comfortable with this look because makeup makes me feel confident and hides my flaws.

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