Saturday, March 27, 2010

"I believe that beauty comes from within."

Public libraries are one of those things that I am so grateful for and can spend the whole day there because there are so many, so many books, books on every topic you can think of. They are all there. I love books. Books bring you into another world and definitely can give you different perspectives because information equals knowledge. I was able to pick up a couple of books that I thought were useful for "beauty" tips and knowledge and I will do my best in due time to pick out the best tips and share with you.

                   Everything you need to look pretty, natural, sexy & awesome
                   Bobbi Brown & Annemarie Iverson

                 +THE DERMAdoctor SKINSTRUCTION MANUAL
                   Audrey Kunin M.D. with Bill Gottlieb

                 +AGELESS BEAUTY
                   A woman's guide to lifelong beauty and well being
                   Dayle Haddon

                  +++HOW JANE WON
                   55 Successful women share how they grew from oridnary girls to extraordinary women
                   Dr. Sylvia Rimm with Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman

AGELESS BEAUTY by Dayle Hadden
"It's about time a woman's life became her own"
[Below is the introduction to Ms. Hadden's book that I thought would be encouraging for younger women like us who are living our lives and pursuing our dreams.  It helps me to put things in my life into perspectives after reading it therefore I  think it may be helpful to you. The introduction below is a bit long, but it's worth it, I promise.  Just when you think you can't get up because life may go the way you want it to, that's when things will turn around. I hope you enjoy this.]

 Ten years ago, my husband died suddenly, leaving me to raise my fifteen year old daughter alone.  In a heartbeat, I lost almost everything; my partner, my home, my security.

I had to start over. I desperately wanted my daughter, Ryan, to be able to have the possibiliites a college education would offer her.  Financially depleted, I had to find work right away.  But what were my qualifications?  The only things I knew were modeling and acting, but when I tried to find work in either of these professions again, the doors started slamming in my face.  "You're past it."  "You're too old."  "Thanks, but no thanks."  I was basically being told that my life was over.  But I wasn't ready to walk into the sunset anytime soon.

I could no longer afford to live in my house, so I rented it out and moved into a small maid's roomo ff a friend's kitchen that was kindly offered.  I had my daughter to support, so I still had to find a job.  Having no luck in my own bussiness, I didn't know what I could do.  I thought about waitressing, but after getting up my courage to put in an application at a nearby restaurant, to my shock, I was turned down.  I tried a few other avenues but couldn't seem to get anything off the ground; somehow, a grieving woman was like a bad luck charm.  Except for a few close friends, nobody had the time for my difficulties.  It felt as if I was stnading still and everyone else was rushing past me.  I realized I was not going to be "saved."  I had to save myself. 

Eventually, through a friend or a friend of a friend, I managed to secure a position in one of the small advertising agencies dotted around L.A., making coffee, washing dishes, answering phones.  But I was thrilled to get it: It was a job.

I was still trying for parts in movies (and not getting them). With my scripts precariously balanced on my knees beneath my desk, I waited for a lull in the phone calls to study my roles.  I squeezed during my lunch break to go on auditions, rushing back before my employers noticed I was gone

I was faxing and FEDEXing, washing up and making a mean cup of coffee. I was also learning a lot of organizational skilsl that would serve me well later on.  But atll this was not going to put my daughter through college- or get me out of the maid's room.  Something had to change.

One day, as I was routinely filling the week's documents, I stopped dead in my tracks.  Viewing the agency's budget, i discovered the coyote in the Dodge commercial the agency was filming earned more money than I did. It was time to move on.  Time to move up to the next level in my life.

But fate had a few more suprises in store for me.  My tenants had trashed my house.  The real estate agent stated that in all her years of experience, she'd never seen a rental left in worse shape-dog-chewed furniture, smashed treasures, torn curtains.  Sorthing through the half-eaten objects, I spied the treasure wooden duck I had discovered long ago at the flea market.  The entire head had been chewed off in some canine frenzy.  As I surveyed the wreckage of my home, I realized I'd hit rock bottom.

I had never been a practcical or efficient person, and I certainly did not know anything about duck-head replacing.  But it was either give up or fight back.  I decided to start right there.  I flipped through the Yellow Pages- nothing under "Damaged Duck Heads" or "Canine Catastrophes."  After an exclusive search I discovered a kindly furniture restoreer who restored my faith in mankind when he smiled and respondeded "Yes. I think we can fix this."  I had solved the problem.  This signficiant event  was a turning point for me.  If I could mend the duck, it meant i could probably mend my life.  I attacked the rest of the destruction piece by piece, learning, growing, and winning along the way.

ENERGIZED AND OPTIMISTIC, I REALIZED I HAD SO MUCH TO OFFER-EVEN IF THE WORLD DIDN'T HAPPEN TO AGREE.  I decided to hit the library and start researching the statistics about women of my generation-the baby boomers- and my discoveries amazed me.  The fastest gorwing chunk of the population was women between forty-five and fifty-five.  In the next couple of years forty million women to reach their forties.  Wow, that's me.  That's us.  But who was listening? Or speaking up for us?  I certainly wasn't about to accept that only the first part of my life had any real value.

I scoured through my Rolodex and started knocking on doors of the major cosmetic companies to tell them they were really missing something.  By only focusing on fresh-faced teenagers and twentysonmethings, they were neglecting a vast number of women on this planet like me, like my friends. Again I had doors slammed in my face-but I didn't give up.

For me, "no" doesn't mean no- it means maybe.  I had a real conviction taht I was right, which gives me strenght in any situation. I asked them: What are you going to do for millions of women over forty who look great, look better than ever, but want even more?  Why aren't these women being portrayed in the media?  Why aren't you talking to the enormous number of women out there? And the more I spoke to women of my generation, the more I realized how upset they were about not being represented in magazine or the media.  They felt invisible.  They felt devalued and didn't like it one bit. Neither did I.

I persevered in the face of rejection.  Bit by bit, the doors began slowly to open; the cosmetic executives began to sit up and listen.  It was a new idea, to show the continuity between the beauty of youth and the evolution of true beauty that only years of expeerience can bring; the idea that beauty never ends and is certainly not the exclusive property of the young. 

With my friend and agent, Bryan Bantry, I helped start up a revolutionary model agency that began with two older models-one of them being me- and now has thirty-five of us on the books. Ten years ago, our careers would have been finished. Not anymore.

Then, the breakthrough: first, Clairol, who shattered the age barrier by featuring top models of the '70s and '80s on a major color line, selected me as a spokesperson.  Next, I was chosen to be the face of a new anti-aging line for Estee Lauder. Then the exact day that the Lauder contracted expired, L'Oreal jumped in and signed me up. Working with L'Oreal, Iv'e been able to do what I really love: travel the world and meet women with real-life concerns and real-life dreams.  And by choosing me as their "face" for the skin-care line Ple'ntitude, L'Oreal is celebrating the dawn of a new age for woman in which nobody minds how old you are.

I have always been a woman's woman; in this so-called man's world, I feel a bond with women: empathy, sympathy, camaderie, and admiration. I believe it is time to establish a new blueprint for aging, one that acknowledges and applauds our enduring value and celebrates what we have gained, not what we have lost. Ask any woman over forty: Would you want the insecurities of being twenty-three again?  No way! So a few lines and wrinkles are a small tradeoff for the knowledge, the wisdom, the confidence that only comes with age. i love the face that my face is the face I have earned.

Throughout the thirty years of my career, I've had the good fortune to have worked with some of the greatest photographers (from Horst to Beaten, Avedon to Lartigue), as well as the very best makeup artists, hairdressers, and stylists.  Although I  don't like the stereotypical modle and have never considered myself sidewalk-stopping beautiful, women have constantly asked me for beauty secrets.  I believe that beauty comes from within.  It is a belief I have always developed and nurtured.  My success has been more about who I am than what I look like.  I love when other women teach me, and I'm happy to share what I know: from fat busting excercises to energy boosters, from makeup tricks to finidng a perfect age-appropriate style. I especially love those little time-saving tips that can shave minutes off your day and hours off your week, freeing up time to do what makes you smile.  In fact, when I ask almost any '90s woman what she'd like more of, time is always at the top of her wish list.

I felt compelled to write this book because I wanted to share with women everywhere ways we can find that elusive quality: balance.  It's a fact of life.  We all know that how we look has a direct influence influence on how we feel.  But then there's the bigger stuff: how to get through those times when you think you'll never feel great about anything again; how to have more joy, more spirituality, an inner life-as well as handle the constant stream of stuff.  This is the challenge of day-to-day life, for all of us, as we hurtle toward the new millenium. 

My life hasn't always been handed to me.  It took me ten years just to get my career off the ground: I was told I was too small, didn't look right, and wasn't wanted. Eventually I was "discovered."  I found success and took off-and I had some great years.  Then the shock. After losing my husband, it took what seemed like forever to get back on my feet again. The climb back up was not a straight path, but I owe so much of who I am to that journey.  We have the lean times and then it's great again.  This is the roller coaster called life.

There are some dramatic curveballs that can throw a woman.  Midlife often involves saying goodbye to people who have meant a great deal to us.   It means coming to terms with-and letting go of- things that were once important. Sometimes we must also "let go" of the person we were in order to discover the person who we can become.  I often say to women: "This is your movie-you decide what's going to happen next."  While we do not control most of the larger events in our lives, we can control our attitude toward them.  And I honestly believe: The greater the pain, the greater the treasure.  As a result of all the osbstacles I've encountered, I know I have more compassion, more humor, more gratitude, more enthusiasm, more udnerstanding, a greater sense of my own value, and a deep appreciation for the infinite, glorious value of life. 

There has never been a better time in history for a woman over forty- if we get it right.  Armed with information about advances in science, medicine, cosmetics, psychology, technology, we are on the threshold of life that has never been available before, a life in which we don't have to kiss good-bye to our sexuality, sensuality, fitness, well-being, or good looks simply because of a meaningless date on our driver's liscense.  We can be strong and sexy. Powerful and pretty. Focused and feminine.  This is an adventure. So wont you join me in the celebration?

Simone De Beauvoir


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