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Feeling and Looking Beautiful: How Inner and Outer Beauty Relate


Have You Seen Alicia Keys?

Alicia Keys is probably one of the most stunning women on the planet today.

Yes, lately, she is walking around makeup-free, but the woman doesn't need makeup. She could likely bathe in the purest water that runs off of the Himalayas and use a new washcloth every time she washes her face. She could also probably afford the finest creams and makeup money can buy, but she's choosing to go makeup-free right now.

It's working for her, too. There are some women where you wonder how quickly they can get their makeup back on if they are going makeup-free, but there are others who look even more stunning without makeup. Alicia Keys falls into the latter category, and it has nothing to do with her physical appearance.

There's a certain grace and elegance that comes with being confident. I have no idea exactly how Ms. Keys might feel about herself in the dawn's early rays, in the evening after she's tucked her little ones into bed, or even when she gets that glance at herself after a full shower in the morning or evening. But I know it has everything to do with confidence.

You heard me.

It's the confidence with which she carries herself. There's no smug "you should be just like me" that you might expect from a major star who might be very full of him or herself—there's just the contented peace that comes with knowing who you are and knowing how hard you worked to get to that point.

Is Ms. Keys a talented musician? Absolutely. Is she an incredible singer? There's no question about that. But she's incredibly beautiful as well.

Certainly, she's got a full complement of makeup artists and hairdressers at her disposal so that she can look even more stunning than she already is. But it's the whole idea of her being able to shine with beauty daily, without makeup, that makes her so damn beautiful.

How many of us could learn a lesson from that?

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Confidence Is Key


Let's Dig Deep

I'm 44 years old, six feet tall, and have really gotten in shape compared to how I was in high school.

One thing that no one tells you about your 40s is that the acne that so plagued you as a teen could come back with a vengeance. I wake in the morning, go through my pre-work routine of coffee, vitamins, breakfast, and writing, perhaps making lunches, and by the time I hit the washroom to get ready to go teach, I'm almost dreading that first look in the mirror.

I know there's acne, and sometimes it's bad. The dark circles under my eyes seem to grow bigger by the day—or would that be the night? I rather enjoy the laugh lines that have creased the corners of my mouth and eyes, although I could do without the lines caused by my furrowing brow.

Granted, we all have our days—those days where we grimace at ourselves in the mirror and go, "who the hell is that?"

But we go through life just the same. It's far easier being comfortable with how you look and embracing it than to be looking in the mirror and thinking that you should be more and better than the image you see reflected back at you.

We all need to be more comfortable with who we are because it's with that comfort that we're able to truly shine and be beautiful. I'm not just talking women, either—men need to embrace that side of themselves as well and to know that it's OK to feel confident in who you are.

We keep saying that beauty is only skin deep, but we have a tendency to say that as we're paying a small fortune for the latest and greatest cream or lotion. It's time we set that aside and realize that like it or not, we have to embrace that person we see in the mirror and realize that there has been a lot that you've accomplished, and you've worked hard to get there.

Confidence is so much a part of the beauty regimen we all need to embrace.

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