Ali.

ali
“This picture was taken just months after having my breast cancer and a double mastectomy. It was the first time I was really out and got dressed up after having cancer. It was the first time I actually felt like myself again and that people might view me normally. I was still dating and not married and I was terrified no one would be able to look past the cancer, my fake boobs and love me for who I became.” 

How old are you? 

             37.                         

What do you do?

I have my Master’s in public health-I just started consulting in October, after 11 years as the Assistant Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Metro Boston. I still work primarily in Emergency Preparedness/Disaster Planning.

Describe your beauty routine.  

I have a 21-month old, so I don’t do much. I don’t wear makeup every day anymore. I never had bad skin, so I am even bad about washing my face. My new year’s resolution is to start a skin care regimen — and I’m going to stick with it this time (fingers crossed).


What is y
our favorite product? 

I am a cancer survivor so I’ve tried to start using “cleaner” products. I found a skin care line that is all natural and they have become my favorite products.

That wouldn’t happen to be Tata Harper’s line, would it? 

It is that line!

What is your desert island product? 

If I’m going to be on a desert island, it would have to be a moisturizer with SPF — don’t want to damage my skin more than I did in my teens and twenties.

What is beauty, to you? 

I think beauty is feeling comfortable with yourself and being happy in your own skin.  Nothing is more beautiful than self-confidence.

Do you think of yourself as beautiful? 

Sure.

Earliest beauty memory: 

I was bullied a lot when I was younger because I developed early and didn’t fit the kid version of pretty. I had super short curly hair, I was always the tallest, stopped being able to wear kids clothes by the 5th grade — so I never felt pretty or liked.  Moving when I was ten didn’t help anything. I don’t think I felt beautiful until I got my hair straightened for the first time in middle school. I remember thinking, “Hey, there might be some potential here!” (Laughs.)

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like?

I’m actually a girlie girl — I like dressing up, putting on makeup and getting my hair done. When I’m shiny from head to toe is when I feel the most beautiful.

How do you, as a woman in today’s society, think you can influence other women to help them feel more beautiful? 

I think being positive towards other woman is important.  Not everyone is going to fit society’s view of beauty…but we all need to support each other and be a positive force in each other’s lives.  Women supporting other women is important.

Wendy.

 

wendy
Wendy is pictured here with her mother, Meg Littlepage.

How old are you?        

 

38.                 

                

What do you do?

I am the Director of the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.

 

Describe your beauty routine.  

I think I’d have to start out with a general shoutout to my parents for the excellent genes. Brush and floss morning and night. You only get one set of teeth! Always wash my face before bed, sometimes wash it in the morning, sometimes just splash it with water.

Currently, I’m really into oil cleansers. Moisturize after both — during the day with a lotion that has SPF. Denver is crazy dry and always sunny, so I usually use a heavier cream at night. During the day I use SPF lotion and then BB cream (currently Burt’s Bees) over that. (Reapply sunscreen. Always reapply!) I have used the Khiel’s avocado eye cream since high school. It’s one of the few things that always works and I’m never allergic to. Occasionally I’ll do masks. The Korean sheet masks are super fun and I got a bunch for Xmas, but when my skin is being tricky I use a Fresh Umbrian clay mask.

 

What is your favorite product? 

Smith’s rosebud salve. Smells divine, works to keep my lips soft and I can also use it on my hands and elbows if it is really dry outside. I give them as gifts and constantly have them permanently borrowed by the men in my life. My dad used it when he was undergoing chemo and it was the only thing that helped his cracked lips. He researched it and found out it had been one of the favorites of jazz musicians. I got my first tin in high school at Urban Outfitters on Newbury street in Boston and have never been without it since.

 

What is your desert island product? 

Sunscreen. I’m beyond pale. Sunburns are evil and knock me out for days. Currently, I like Sun Bum SPF 30+. Smells like vacation and makes my skin silky.

 

What is beauty, to you? 

It may be cliche, but beauty really does come from the inside. Nothing ruins a pretty face more than nasty words and actions. I’ve always admired those people who have an inner poise and security with their place in the world. Wherever they are, they belong. I distinctly remember my mom briskly stating, “It doesn’t matter if you’re pretty if no one wants to be around you” when I was little and having an exceptionally vain and bratty moment.

 

Do you think of yourself as beautiful? 

Most days, I would say “yes.” Intellectually, I know I have a pretty symmetrical face, look young for my age and get compliments, but sometimes it just isn’t there. It usually happens when I get to my closet and have a “there’s nothing to wear and everything is awful” moment. My mother always encouraged having some basic, go-to pieces that always make you feel put together, at the very least. I’ll pull a dress, the shoes that make me a little bit taller and often a piece of jewelry from a friend or family heirloom. Carry a little reminder of those people with me for the day.

 

Earliest beauty memory: 

It probably involves SPF. My mom has lovely olive skin that tans perfectly, and was so worried that I’d burn I’m surprised I wasn’t always covered in zinc oxide. 

My mom had been a high school beauty queen. She is a proponent of the minimal effort, always flawless look: Get your basics, wear shoes you can walk in, don’t hide your face, figure out what you’re favorite feature is and focus there. We’ve disagreed over the years where I should focus, but I owe my devotion to blush to her. She used to chase me around with a compact, but after people always were asking me if I was going to pass out, I learned to embrace the blush/stain/rouge and rarely go without. The key part of the advice is “don’t hide your face”.  Comfortable shoes is just common sense. 

 

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like?

I was lamenting the other day that I keep waking up on days off that I have scheduled to clean and catch up on laundry with perfect hair. How is that fair?!

I think I feel the most beautiful when I am not even thinking about it. When I’m most comfortable in my skin. Pushing those nagging thoughts of “do I look okay?” to the side, and getting that poise I always admire. 

On the flip side, I love it when I nail a look. When I put together a style and it comes out perfect. It is like wearing armor. There’s a sort of “Just try me, because I’ve got my shit together” attitude. I think that really plays to a room. 

 

How do you, as a woman in today’s society, think you can influence other women to help them feel more beautiful? 

I really try and model behavior for my nice and the kids in the Museum. Commenting on who people are, not just how they look. Watching I say about others. Making fun of someone’s appearance is a cheap shot. Noticing how any given person is beautiful takes care.

Looking for different kinds of beauty is important.  I recently had a conversation with a girl about how we’ve both always wanted a beautiful laugh. It was something you’d have your whole life and everyone would be like “oh yes, the girl with the amazing laugh” and smile.

I also try and compliment people. There is something so nice about being noticed. A “your nails are amazing!” or “your style is amazing” or even commenting on a social media photo might be seen as superficial, but being noticed for a fashion choice is lifting.

Vickie.

vickie
Vickie does not have any selfies. She is pictured with friends, second in from the right. 

How old are you?              

30.                             

What do you do?

I work at a university.

Describe your beauty routine.  

My beauty routine… Um. I don’t feel like I’ve ever really figured out products — especially hair products. My biggest pieces of my beauty routine I think would be moisturizer in the morning and washing my face at night. Those are the two biggest things for me. And then I make up the rest in between. (Laughs.) As you know, I’ve started introducing the gym into my day, so I’m trying to figure out which products are best for that kind of thing. I use Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer, which I love.

Whoa! I’ve never heard of that! Where do you get it? Where did you hear about it? 

I think it’s become a lot more popular because now you can buy it at Target, but I first bought it because the Yes To website was having a sale and almost every product of theirs was like, two dollars. It’s a little thicker than my other one, so it’s good for that dry winter skin. Out of everything I tried, I loved that moisturizer. I tried a Yes to Carrots shampoo that smelled horrendous. But I super loved the Tomatoes one, and I use it all the time. Sometimes I still check the website for sales, because I love finding things that are on sale. At the gym though, I use the Mary Kay Timewise moisturizer. I really like the Timewise line, like that foundation I gave you? That was a Timewise product.

I LOVE that foundation! Truly the best one I think I’ve ever used. I’ve been recommending it to people. 

If only I were still a consultant. (Sighs and laughs.)

 What is your favorite product? 

Burt’s Bees chapstick. I also really like — I think it’s a CC or BB cream —it’s called SuperGoop. I found it when I was getting Birchbox. I love it because it has light coverage and SPF and also moisturizes.

I love BB and CC creams, and I feel like because I was an esthetician, I should know the difference between them, but I don’t. Yet.  

I want to say it was a Korean thing originally, but I don’t know if it’s because I have a bias for Korean things.

You are Korean, so that would make sense.  Korean Skin Care is major, though! It has been getting lots of press in recent years here, but really the beauty industry in Korea has been a huge thing for a long time.  

I tried snail cream once. Because my friend found it, and we ordered it. And it came in a jar shaped like a snail. It was great.

What was great about it? And, you won’t believe me, but this is the SECOND TIME TODAY that I’ve heard about snail excrement skincare products.

Well, it was great, because it smelled really good, which you would not expect. But it made your skin feel super soft.

I am sold.  

Where else were you talking about snail excrement?

Oh, just with a girl at work. 

What is your desert island product? 

Like if I was stranded on a desert island and could only use one product? Conditioner, definitely. I don’t think I could survive with my hair in a rat’s nest. I really love Ogx —they have a coconut milk shampoo and conditioner, and it smells amazing and makes my hair really soft.

What is beauty, to you? 

(Pauses.) I think it’s about confidence. Things that make you feel good about yourself. Feeling like you’re bringing your A-game.

Do you think of yourself as beautiful? 

Sometimes.

Earliest beauty memory: 

I think I have two. My mom used to keep her makeup in a bathroom drawer, and when my sister was a toddler, she went into the bathroom for a really long time, and got really quiet, which was not a good sign. When she came out, she had used my mom’s mascara like eyeshadow and painted her face with it. She couldn’t get it off, because it was mascara, and it stuck to her. So I think that was my introduction to makeup.

Wow. Sounds not so positive. 

It was really funny. Then when I was in 7th grade, I had a best friend who was way cooler than me, and she was really into makeup and hair, and was really good at it. She introduced me to eyeliner in particular. It became the one thing I wouldn’t leave the house without. I associate my teen years with angst and eyeliner.

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like?

I think even when you asked me to find a picture of me, I realized I didn’t have any pictures of just me, so I think it’s when I’m with my friends. I’m definitely an introvert, and I like having alone time, but I think I’m most myself — and that would hopefully mean most beautiful — when I’m with my friends (and my husband, too). I think being around people that make me feel that I can be me is when I feel most beautiful. And I think sometimes that’s challenging because I’m filled with sarcasm and cynicism, which makes looking at myself as ‘beautiful’ hard, because I don’t necessarily think those things are that. But that is me.

Don’t you think you can be those things and still be beautiful? Beautiful does not mean optimistic and pleased and bubbly all the time. You know? Authenticity is beautiful. Being true to oneself. 

In general, I think when you see the women’s magazines always portraying happy smiling people, and also happy topics, there’s this expectation that to be beautiful, you need to be ‘perfect’. I feel like women’s magazines have become the epitome of beauty these days, and they don’t dig into the real stuff.

That is true. Social media too, much of the time. Shoot. 

I think you’re right. Genuine people are beautiful. I mean, you can be an asshole and if that is really who you are, that’s beautiful. I can be an asshole. (Laughs.)

Jenna.

Jenna, feeling beautiful.
Jenna, feeling beautiful.

How old are you?

24.

What do you do?

I’m a hair stylist.

Describe your beauty routine.  

For the most part, I like to keep things simple. I have pretty sensitive skin, so I try to keep my makeup light but complementing. I swear by all Bare Minerals foundations/concealers, and I recently started using Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer for the summer. I only feel complete when I put on blush and some type of lip. Kat Von D is the queen of lipstick that stays, with ranges of colors to choose from. As for eyes, unless it’s a special occasion or I’m really feeling it, I usually only wear mascara. I have yet to find a mascara I love, but I do feel like bolding my brows helps distract from my lack of liner and shadow.

As for my hair, again, I keep it simple. I work at a beautiful salon in Shadyside called MCN and we carry Kerastase and, my personal obsession, Bumble and Bumble. I try to keep less than 3 products in my hair for the sake of being able to add more as the days go by. I typically only wash my hair every 3-4 days, so dry shampoo is a necessity. Towards the summer months, I use any Bumble Surf products (the new Spray foam is the best of all worlds) to create the perfect beach hair. My hair usually has some type of kick or wave to it, so even when its “straight” by most people’s definition, it’s not. However, for softness and shine as I’m blowing it dry I love to use Bb. Hairdressers Invisible Oil. I like to relate it to Moroccan oil, without all the weight. The 6 featherlight oils melt into your hair, and it doubles as a heat and UV protectant.

 What is your favorite product? 

Lately I’ve been obsessed with Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. It works wonders for your blemishes overnight. Literally.

What is your desert island product? 

Hypothetically, if I was on a desert island my hair would feel like it’s in its natural habitat. Gritty, salty hair for days! I would have to follow my very wise mother’s advice to always wear sunscreen, so probably some type of SPF moisturizer.

What is beauty, to you? 

Love this question. As I type this, I’m staring over my laptop to blue sky & sunshine, and I see beauty clear as day. I like to see the beauty in absolutely everything. I definitely have my moments when life catches up and the vision gets cloudy.. but thankfully, I always come back to the beauty of it, whatever it is. In general, I think beauty is self-expression. It could be in the way you greet a loved one, or the way you dance when you hear your favorite song. Everything from the inflection of your voice when you get excited or upset. It’s all beauty to me. I love to think that I am, in fact, in the business of beauty. My day to day usually ends with me covered in hair, but a truly successful appointment ends with a connection between me and another human being. The best day I had recently, I ended with 3 different clients getting out of my chair saying “I’m so happy, I could cry.” That’s beautiful to me.

Do you think of yourself as beautiful? 

All the time? Absolutely not. I’m my own worst critic & disciplinarian — so it can be tough sometimes. However, I have the absolute most amazing people surrounding me on a daily basis to remind me that I am, even when I don’t think it. To be a healthy, happy human being, it’s so important to surround yourself with those kinds of people.

Earliest beauty memory: 

Well, when people ask me when i started doing hair, my usual response is “When i realized I had hands.” I was always cutting my own hair, my Barbies & baby dolls hair, anyone who would let me, really. I do, however, remember the sights (and smells) of my mom getting her hair permed in my kitchen when I was really young. Little did she know, she had 18 years of yelling at me to STOP doing hair in the kitchen ahead of her. (LOL sorry mom!)

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like?

I feel the most beautiful when I’m working. I’m in my element, completely. I should be a bit more specific and say I feel the most beautiful when I start work because it’s a little tough to feel beautiful after you worked 9 hours in heels. But in all reality, that actually makes me feel even MORE beautiful sometimes. I love to challenge myself like I said, I’m my own best disciplinarian… But, when I can look in the mirror after a long day and be proud of what I’ve accomplished, that s when I feel the most beautiful.

 

At her most beautiful.

Hi Friends,

I took a lengthy hiatus from this blog in late May, when my mother passed away. Her death was unexpected and hit me hard, and I found myself feeling utterly depleted of creative energy. A few of my friends (and my therapist!) asked about the blog, and how it was going. I explained that I’d stopped writing after mom died, and they understood. However, I am gradually learning how writing— for me— is a self-affirming and healing act. How it gently uncovers truths that were lying in wait. And so here I am.

My mother was beautiful, no question. Auburn curls, almond-shaped brown eyes, willowy limbs, and a smile that dazzled. I could write an entire post on her bone structure alone— those cheekbones! A mile high. On the outside, she’d been blessed.

But the inside was a different story. When I was 12, Mom had a psychotic break, and was later diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder. She was also an alcoholic and addict. I think, as is often the case, she used substances to try and deal with her mental illness.

I spent a whole lot of time being angry at her for ruining her life. When she died, my anger melted away, and I found some compassion for her struggle. I only wish I could have helped her, but that’s another blog post (for another blog). For now, I’ll simply make a list of beautiful things I remember about her:

Her generosity, her huge heart, her silk shirts and dress pants, her gold and amber jewelry, her Coco scent as she kissed me goodbye on her way out the door, her Woolite scented, scratchy turtleneck sweaters, her unique, contagious laughter, her french cooking, her love of Jane Austen and classical music, her passion for beauty.

These are the sensory cues that happen when I think of her, and I believe she’d want it that way. To remember her before her illness, as the vibrant, intensely loving being she was, is to honor her memory in the most beautiful way possible. My mother, for all her demons, passed on to me an appreciation for the things that make life more beautiful: art, music, fashion, and a joie de vivre that I’ll never forget.

Kim.

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How old are you?

32.

What do you do?

I am the store manager of Anthropologie in Bakery Square.

Describe your beauty routine.  

Evolving. It used to be nothing. Now, I’ve started using the Mario Badescu facial cleanser and the Drying Lotion.

—Which facial cleanser? The green seaweed one?

No. It’s the gentle gel cleanser?

—The green one. That one smells so good. And fresh.

Umhm. Only after having a baby have I gotten acne, which makes the drying lotion really amazing cause it feels like it’s working, even if it’s not really. It feels like it’s minimizing the acne situation.

I definitely also started moisturizing, which I never did before. I think that’s because of you. You yelled at me once for not using moisturizer.

—Awesome. I’m glad I have such a good influence. What kind of moisturizer do you use?

I used to use that yellow Dramatically Different moisturizer from Clinique, but out of convenience, my sister had given me the Time Wise Mary Kay moisturizer, and I’ve just been using that. I’ve been using Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF. In general, I have a lot of her makeup and I love using it. Just putting the tinted moisturizer on makes me feel worlds better even if use it alone.

What is your favorite product?

I mean honestly, I could use Aveda products until the day I die I think they are the best thing in the entire world. They smell very natural and earthy and I love that. I don’t like feeling like I smell like alcohol and fake flowers. The shampoos and conditioners are amazing. And I’ve heard their coverup is awesome I just haven’t gotten to buy it yet.

Shampure is one of my favorite products ever made.

And Be Curly! Be Curly is the best thing for people who have wavy hair.

—Like us.

Universal cream. Have you ever used Universal cream on your hair?

—I’ve never heard of Universal cream… how is this possible?

It’s so good. It’s thick enough that it gives your hair texture but light enough that it’s not going to be greasy. And the smell is amazing.

—I will have to check that out, now that I am embracing the natural crazy texture of my hair. Wait, is it part of the Brilliant line? 

Yeah, maybe.

What is your desert island product? 

Oh man. Hmm. It would have to be some kind of hair product. Like Universal cream or Be Curly. It’s the thing I go through the quickest.

What is beauty, to you? 

I mean, I find people who are their natural selves at all times to be very beautiful. I like when people feel confident but can embrace the times that they don’t. And I honestly find people who are thoughtful to be the most beautiful. It’s something I always try and work on. I’m always worried I’m not engaging in thoughtful gestures, etc. Physical stature wise there is nothing hotter than a girl that can rock a pair of red lips. And cat eyes, I can’t do those and it makes me so jealous.

–You could though, if you taught yourself. They are very hard though.

I can’t even use regular eyeliner.

–what about those eye crayons?

I think I tried them once in college. I just don’t feel v natural when I have eyeliner on. And I only put mascara on the top lashes. Which probably makes me look unnatural, but every time I try to put it on my bottom lashes I look like a kid who just tried mascara for the first time.

—I never wear mascara on my lower lash line either.

But you have dark eyelashes! Mine are blonde as blonde can be. And without mascara I look either tired or young, I cant decide.

—I definitely think mascara can do wonders. But I am against the lower lash line application.

I remember them saying that in a beauty magazine, to never put it on your lower lids. Every time I think of it, I think of Natalie Imbruglia… she could do it, but not really anyone else.

Do you think of yourself as beautiful? 

Yes. I struggle with my body, and with my skin, but that’s not what the whole picture is. I have so many good qualities physically but I think I have even more personality wise, that I don’t think I can consider myself to be anything but a beautiful person.

—I concur.

Awe, thanks friend.

Earliest beauty memory: 

Do tampons count?

(laughs.)

Um, I was never taught how to put makeup on. My mom bought some for me at some point but I forget when that was. I really didn’t care that much about makeup… I didn’t really think too much about it. I did start to love to do hair though. Doing my own updos and doing it for friends for plays or for prom, or something. So I guess that would be my earliest time that I actually cared about, or was struck by beauty. That would explain why I love Aveda products so much, because they are very hair focused. I started getting my hair done at an Aveda salon in sixth grade, so I’ve always loved it.

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like? 

I feel most beautiful when I’m well-rested, which is not often, but I also feel pretty beautiful when I’m having those spectacular parent moments, when I feel like I look good and I’m rockin this mom thing, and all the pieces are falling together… also not very frequent, but it happens. Looking at my children, I see a lot of myself and my husband in them, and that adds its own level of beauty into it, because I have to see those things in them as beautiful and realize that Im part of that.

I mean, admittedly, when my husband is looking at me the way he did when we first met.. 13 years ago today, actually. … he still looks at me that way a lot. That makes me feel good, like to know that I still have things going for me physically.

Kelly and Emilee.

IMG_0317

 

 

How old are you?

E: I’m 27.

K: I’m 26.

What do you do?

E: I’m a legal writer at an immigration law firm.

K: I am a nonprofit fundraiser.

Describe your beauty routine:

In the morning, or anytime?

—Just throughout the day.

E: So every Sunday I wash my face with the Clarisonic thing with Cetaphil. Every day I wash  my face with Cetaphil at night, and then in the morning, I just splash cold water on my face like, 20 times. Then I put on Philosophy moisturizer.

—Does it have SPF in it?

E: No, but then I put on tinted moisturizer with SPF.

—By Laura Mercier, right?

E: Right. I love it so much. And then when I get to work I put on mascara.

—What mascara do you use? I find that, by default, mine runs or smudges, no matter which brand I use. Could be my moisturizer, but I also rub my eyes a lot.

E: That’s why I wait until I get to work. Cause my eyes water for, like, the first three hours of the day. So I wait until they’ve dried out and then I put it on.

I also use blush, which we bought together at Sephora.

—By Tarte, right? Blushing Bride?

Right. (Laughs.) And some kind of eyebrow pencil. And sometimes I wear deodorant but not all the time.

—Do you wear natural deodorant? Cause Maura, who was interviewed last night, uses Tom’s calendula, and it smells so good. I got lavender, ‘cause they didn’t have calendula at Rite Aid.

E: Interesting I need to check that out. I use Dove’s and I don’t really like it cause it gets on my clothes and then sometimes, it’ll  just like, fall out of my shirt.

K: like in clumps, yeah. What’s up with that?

—-I just don’t want to shut down my pores in there. Block them. But the other thing that happens is that um, my deodorant stains my white tees. I hate that it’s my pet peeve. It stains them yellowish brown and I feel like a dude.

E: I like the natural way people smell.

K: Yeah!

—Yeah.

E: I’m sure I don’t want to know my coworkers’ natural scent, but the people that I’m close to.. (Laughter.)

Are you gonna edit these responses so that they’re more coherent?

—Yes. I kind of want that chime in thing to happen.

K: my routine is that when I shower I use Purpose facewash and then I use coconut oil to get the mascara off my eyes. Then I put lotion on right after the shower when my skin will drink it up. I’ve been using Burt’s Bees, but it changes. And then prob once a month I’ll put coconut oil on my hair and skin and then sleep  with a towel on my head. When I put makeup on in the morning I use tinted moisturizer — whats the Ulta brand?

—It cosmetics?

K: Right. It’s more like a CC cream. Cause I was having acne and it took away the redness. So I put that on and then, actually I’ll tell you what the name of the powder I use is. It’s by Laura Geller. I cover up with her color corrector, then I put bronzer on with whatever, this one happens to be NYC.

–NYC is actually a great bronzer.

K: I think so too. And then Laura Geller blush. If I’m feeling pimply that day, Bare Minerals happens before the powders.I’m not particular about mascara, right now I’m using some Revlon one. And I use the Anastasia Brow Wiz.

—I use that too.

K: I only wear that on dates though. I never wear it to work.

E: Why?

K: I guess cause I don’t care as much what I look like at work .

E: I feel that.

What is your favorite product? 

E: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer

K: That Mario Badescu rose spray… it refreshes my skin and it kind of sets my makeup. It’s not part of my daily routine but I use it throughout the day. If I have people over I’ll pop into the bathroom and ..’pft’. Spray it on. It keeps me dewy.

What is your desert island prod?

E: That’s a good question.

K: Coconut oil.

E: Probably sunblock. In a practical sense. If I were stranded on A desert island I don’t think I would bring product. I would bring tequila, and sunblock.

 What is beauty, to you?  What’s your definition of beauty?

E:  I think it is being comfortable in your own skin and owning your imperfections and not trying to hide them. Like, not being ashamed of any part of your body. Which is kind of cliché but I think it’s really beautiful when someone is who they is.

—A lot of women have said that.

E: Do you think that’s the hardest thing for people?

—It’s hard for me. It’s really hard. I mean I’m really trying but it’s just hard for me.

K: Until you realize that everyone is struggling with one or more things that they weird about. If you’re transparent about it, it makes you more relatable.

E: Have you heard that you should talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend? Like, about your body. Be as hard on yourself as you would be on a friend. And that makes it so much easier to be like, no that’s cute that you have some kind of thing. It gives you character.

K: I agree with you Em, but what I was going to say too was I feel like when I look at someone and they look most radiant is when they look natural. I’ve seen makeup tutorials and they look very beautiful and polished in an artistic way, but people like Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston have achieved a natural beauty where nothing is super cold or out of the ordinary. So natural.

—I always think it’s kind of ironic and funny that as a whole, we try really hard to achieve a natural beauty, so there’s all this effort put into looking like you haven’t made an effort.

E: Yeah, definitely.

—and like, I don’t know, I feel like the pictures I’ve seen of stars without makeup are so great. But that’s never the way they present themselves.

K: Its like pregnant women, taking all those prenatal vitamins. They have a glow about them. Healthy.

—yeah, you’re doing what your body is made to do.

K: It’s a healthy look, I think.

 Do you see yourselves as beautiful?

E:  I feel like I would sooner think that I look cute rather than beautiful. Beautiful seems like…I don’t know. I would never think that I look beautiful. I don’t know why. This sounds like that dove commercial.

K: I like that Dove campaign. I know what you mean though. I remember talking to this friend of mine about how no one has ever called us sexy before cause we are petite. They use pretty or cute, but never use sexy as a description. But I always felt ok about it. Its natural. Maybe I just worked out the day before, I don’t know just feel like I could go to a fancy restaurant in a grey tee and feel confident.

What is your earliest beauty memory?

E: When I first started using makeup a girl that I played volleyball with was v into makeup, she was my intro to Sephora and she wore eyeshadow that was like straight glitter, and she did it, like, to her eyebrows. So that was what I thought makeup was. I did it too, and I remember thinking, ‘I look so good.’

(Laughter.)

We went on this field trip on the bus, and I only wore it for special occasions. The guy I had the biggest crush on was like, ‘it looks like a glitter fairy exploded on your face.’ And I was so crushed. I probably never wore glitter eyeshadow again.

It was probably for the best.

Kind of dick move to say that, tho.

K: When I was in 6th or 7th grade, I had this pink shimmery lipstick.

—Frosted?

K: Yeah like the color of a seashell, and it was not good. I would just put it on in class and put it in my locker – then one day one of my friends said ‘I don’t know if that’s the right color for your skin” I remember thinking she must be jealous” (Laughs). But it was really bad. I also hate lip gloss. Getting it stuck in my hair, etc.

—Lip gloss was huge at one point. Clinique makes a chubby stick. It’s called Two ton-

K: Yes! Two-ton tomato. It’s so good. That’s gloss and lipstick though.

Glossier actually makes makeup now, and they have this lip stuff. They make this stuff for your lips,  it’s not lipstick …it’s like whenever I see it on it looks like you ate a popsicle.

E: Ooo. Cool.

—Very cool. The first one is called Cake, the second one is Like, the third is Love and the fourth one is Jam, I think. They get progressively darker. They look really natural, and I want to get one.

When do you feel most beautiful? What does that look like?

E: When I’ve been treating my body well. When I’ve been eating well, not drinking a lot, working out. It feels fresh and healthy. It’s a feeling.

K: It shows.

K: The day after a workout, and when I’m just…wearing a gray tee shirt, and I’m comfortable, my clothes aren’t too tight. I usually have to have mascara on or else my eyes feel too naked. I feel very pretty in the morning, right when I wake up. I kind of feel like an angel or something. (Laughter.)