How old are you?
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.