As a beauty editor, it’s fair to assume I get asked a lot of questions about my job. But aside from, “What moisturizer do you recommend?” and, “Do you get a lot of free makeup?” (yes), one always sticks out to me. Why and how did I choose beauty, and do I like it? My answers to both parts of that question are straightforward and simple. They're also the very reason I became a beauty girl at thirteen and never looked back. I love the beauty industry because of how universal and inclusive (yet also very personal) it is. Our relationships with the word beauty transcend every stage of our lives — they're constantly evolving, improving, and changing meaning, but they never fade.
It turns out I’m not the only one who feels this way. And to put things in perspective, we enlisted the help of three beauty-savvy ladies at different points in their personal and professional lives. Ahead, see how they define the meaning of beauty and learn a bit more about their relationships with it over time. Even better, you’ll learn which products truly change the game for them and why.
A college student and professional dancer, Karishma's definition of beauty is centered around confidence and self-awareness: both qualities that can make a big difference when you're on stage and in a transitional phase of your life. But this wasn't something she figured out over night. When asked what she wishes she knew upon first getting into beauty, Karishma said, "Don't try to be anyone but yourself! I would look at models and try my hardest to mimic them, but I never felt beautiful because I was always trying to emulate someone else. When I finally accepted being my own unique self and not trying to look like anyone else is when beauty really came to life for me!"
As she's navigated the beauty world, she's gained a personal mantra along the way: "Try new things, always," she said. "I never want to be stuck in a routine. I like switching things up because it makes me feel like a brand new person every time I do!" And what better product to do that with with than one of the season's most buzz-worthy new launches: Urban Decay's Born to Run Palette.
Joining the brand's family of hall of fame-worthy palettes, this colorful option gives Karishma endless ways to experiment. "I am definitely most excited about the colors in the new Urban Decay palette, and the versatility it offers me! As a college student and professional dancer, I need to be able to switch my looks from subtle daytime to nighttime, glam-rock chic, and this palette will allow me to do that in minutes while keeping things fresh and exciting."
We can all take a note from Kam's holistic definition of beauty. As a photographer, shaman (a person who helps guide people through problems and struggles by shifting spiritual energy), and mom of four, she is a firm believer that beauty starts within. "My brand of beauty originates from self-love," she told POPSUGAR. "I used to believe makeup could cover up internal scars, but that slowly began to fade as I embraced the things that made me unique." Looking back on her relationship with beauty, Kam said, "I wish I'd known that beauty was made up of a thousand simple moments, rather than the one day you decide to put on a full face."
When asked what her personal beauty mantra is, Kam replied with a phrase we're all familiar with: "If you can't say something nice, don't say it AT ALL!" Once considered a golden rule for kindness in elementary school, Kam proves that this not only rings true later in life, but in the context of beauty, too. "This applies directly to myself when I look in the mirror. I have to check my internal dialogue and the words I am feeding myself. I used to focus on all of things I didn't like about me and, eventually, that's all other people would notice about me too," she explained. "It's the Law of Attraction . . . the things we focus on multiply. So once I applied this Law of Attraction in reverse and focused only on the things I did like about myself, I began to see the beauty in everything, including myself and others."
Changing your mindset can be as simple as focusing on one of your features. So when you have a head of hair as amazing as Kam's, you do what you can to maintain it. "Air drying this hair is not an option because I'm always on the go and it takes forever for my hair to dry," she said. "The DevaCurl dryer is a powerful and superfast dryer, and the diffuser gives my curls so much volume in the roots and doesn't add any frizziness. It makes my morning routine faster and easier. Plus, I literally look like I've walked out of the salon with well-defined, bouncy curls."
Beginning her early career in the fashion industry, Elizabeth put a lot of emphasis on her appearance. But while she had a solid makeup routine down — face powder, mascara, and always lipstick — it was fairly simple, and her skincare routine was even more minimalistic. "I honestly wish I had a better skin routine 10 years ago and was more diligent about applying [it] morning and night," she said. Factor three kids into the mix, and it became even more challenging to find extra time to devote to beauty.
Luckily, when Elizabeth's daughters were old enough, they bonded over beauty. In fact, it turns out they had a few things to teach her! Not only did they encourage Elizabeth to devote more time to herself, but introduced her to the latest products. Among them was Too Faced's wildly popular Better Than Sex Mascara. "As I began to age, my eyes took a beating; they tend to look more tired and not as bright as when I was younger. Even on a day when I am not fully made up, I always apply Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara in order to make my eyes appear more alive," Elizabeth said. "It is really so easy to apply — no clumping, which makes my morning routine go a little smoother. This mother of three does not always get enough bathroom time in the morning, so speedy application is key!"
Among her glamorous new discoveries, Elizabeth realized the definition of beauty actually goes far beyond makeup, skin, and hair products. "Nurture your skin, hair, mind, and body, and you will feel beautiful," she said. "Eating well and exercising has just as much to do with beauty as choosing the right foundation or lip shade."