Beauty Guru: My Beauty Idols

Ah, beauty, what does it really mean? By definition it is the quality/qualities in a person that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Quite a wordy explanation of a quality so exalted by pop culture and sought after by so many women. In my mind, though, the most beautiful people are those who don't desperately seek to attain beauty (by skincare, makeup, or, yikes, surgery), they embrace their uniqueness and are completely comfortable in their own skin. They play up what makes them different and find their own vision of beauty. When choosing women whose beauty I admire, I noticed that I also chose women who were smart, confident and independent. Here is my top three beauty idols.

Drew Barrymore: Sure, she has had some low points in her life and her career (who hasn't really?), but none of those lows defeated or defined her. Barrymore was able to overcome any obstacles and thrive in many different roles; actor, director, film producer, makeup mogul and mother. Barrymore has said this of beauty:

"I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness." ("People Magazine" )

I think those are some great words to live by, choose to be happy and you will be beautiful. Check out Drew's new cosmetics line here:

Salma Hayek: Like Barrymore, Hayek certainly has got a lot going for her right now; actor, producer, director, cosmetics line creator and mother. I would think that managing multiple ventures would wear on anyone, but in my opinion, Hayek looks as beautiful at 46 as she did at 29 when she made her American film debut in "Desperado." My favorite film credit of Hayek's is "Fools Rush In," a romantic comedy that showcases her own earthy, natural beauty perfectly. She launched a beauty line in 2011, Nuance, inspired by her grandmother's love of concocting skin care potions. Hayek was recently quoted in the July 2013 issue of Instyle as saying:

"I don't have a fear of aging. I think if you are afraid of getting older, you age faster." (Sager 177-185)

That's definitely an attitude I would like to adopt about aging. Check out her Nuance makeup and skin care collection now available at CVS.

Sophia Loren: At 78 with a career spanning six decades and work ranging from acting, to singing, to penning a cookbook, there is much to admire about Sophia Loren. In her early film work in the 50s and 60s, her strong features and gorgeous figure set her apart as a unique beauty, working in both Italian and American cinema. Today, Loren has aged gracefully while still having fun with hair and makeup. It's been said that she hates sitting in beauty salons, so she always does her own hair and nails. That sums up the undone, down-to-earth kind of glamor that is Sophia Loren. It's not only her beauty, but her outlook on life that I idolize. Some of her most famous quotes illustrate her philosophy on beauty.

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." ("Biography of Sophia Loren")

"There IS a Fountain of Youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age." ("Biography of Sophia Loren")

There is much to be said about confidence bolstering the beauty you already possess.

While I admire these three beauties, I am working on celebrating my own unique beauty and finding my own radiant confidence. I certainly feel more beautiful at 31 than I did at 21. I do believe I'm getting better with age.

Who are your beauty icons? What are you working on to become the most beautiful you?