Beauty

It’s a word that takes on many forms, but is ultimately, as the adage goes, in the eye of the beholder.  I am inspired by many types of beauty on a daily basis – the sky, the reception I get from my dog when I come home, a girl with perfect skin and enviable features, Riverside Drive, a quiet street in the village, to name a few.

But what I may find beautiful and inspiring you may not.  Your idea of a tattooed arm may strike your fancy, whereas I may be moved more by the wisp of hair on said arm, or a bright pink lip may do it for you where I am jazzed by a neutral gloss.

The beauty of freedom of choice and self-expression is just that, a beautiful thing.  When I began my modeling career in Chicago in my early teens I quickly learned from beauty and fashion insiders (photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, agents), that the basis of all beauty is great skin.  It’s the foundation upon which, as a model, a transformation takes place.

A modeling shot circa 1990.

A modeling shot circa 1990.

It was clear to me very early on that I needed to take care of my skin to succeed as a model.  Fortunately, I love drinking water so consuming copious amounts daily has never been an issue, and as I matured, traveled, and became exposed to various beauty and skin care brands, I began to covet a few favorites (Bobbi Brown. Clarins, La Mer, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel).

Photo credit: Kristin DeLeo Chalmers.

Photo credit: Kristin DeLeo Chalmers.

I understand that I am very blessed to have genetics on my side (tall, thin, good skin), but I need help and maintenance like everyone else.  I am blessed to be in my 40s with the skin of someone of younger years, but that is largely because of what I choose to put in and on my body.  So important is this ethos to me that it caught the attention of Glamour Magazine and was featured in their May 2012 Green Beauty Issue of as one of their Green Beauty Gurus.  It goes without saying that this was an honor and a blessing to have my beauty lifestyle validated in this way by such a prestigious publication.

My fellow Glamour Green Beauty Gurus, Summer Rayne Oakes, Josie Marin and Tata Harper at our shoot for the magazine. 

My fellow Glamour Green Beauty Gurus, Summer Rayne Oakes, Josie Marin and Tata Harper at our shoot for the magazine. 

This was a full circle moment for me as I grew up reading Glamour and looked to their models for inspiration, and my bedroom walls were lined with their tear sheets in a collection that I called “Live Models.”  I found the models beautiful and relatable and it was always my dream to be in the magazine, and now it has happened.  At 40 no less.  Not bad for a small-town girl from the Midwest who would find her way to a green beauty lifestyle the organic way – through trial and error, open-mindedness, and exploration.

 Beauty.

 We each decide what it is and are all comprised of it.  Taking care of yourself so that yourself ultimately takes care of you, is one of the most beautiful things you can do.

 

 

Another shot circa 1990. 

Another shot circa 1990.