Beauty Guru: What Does Beauty Mean to You?

The concept of beauty means many different things to different people. In my case, beauty can mean different things at varying points in your life. If I was asked this question in my early 20s, it would've been to look like the celebrities I saw on TV. I totally bought into what the advertisers were selling me and because those images were so unrealistic, I found myself trying way too hard. The end result was always frustration and self criticism. As I got older, I became more comfortable in my beauty skin but still wasn't all the way there. When I turned 30 and then had my daughter a year later, my whole perspective on beauty changed. I realized that you can't find beauty in a magic bottle or on a beauty counter. I learned a major lesson:

Beauty products are supposed to bring out the beauty you already have.

My focus went from trying to look like everyone else to maintaining the best version of me. Not only does that include getting all dolled up but making sure my skin and hair are as healthy as can be. That meant streamlining my beauty routine and making my products work for me (not the other way around).

Being Selective of the Products I Buy

I know what you're saying. How can a self-professed product junkie be selective of the beauty stuff she buys? A lot of the time it takes tremendous restraint but at the end of the day, it's really worth it! I learn from all the trials and errors I've made and nailed down what really works and doesn't work for me. For example, my hair is not a fan of sulfate shampoos so those are on my no-no list. My skin doesn't like a lot of powder, so I only use a little press powder and stick to cream based blushes and foundations.

Putting My Beauty Health First

Cleansing my face every day, moisturizing my skin, eating better, drinking more water, getting plenty of rest - all of that has moved up to the top of my beauty to-do list. One of things having a baby taught me was to appreciate my body and to take good care of it. That means going back to the basics and keeping things simple. A major thing I stopped doing was relaxing my hair. The chemicals were destroying my hair, and after three years of hard work, it's the healthiest it's ever been. I'm also more aware of what I put into my body, which is just as important as what I put on it.

Having Fun without the Pressure of Being Perfect

This especially applies in the makeup department. Sure, there are a lot of beauty rules out there but that doesn't mean you have to adhere to them all of the time. I look at makeup as a way to de-stress, have fun, and experiment! I don't worry about looking like the girl in the commercial. If it looks good on me, I'm rollin' with it! If it doesn't, I have a good laugh, wipe it all off, and start over. No more getting frustrated with the girl in the mirror. I think she's awesome no matter what!

What does beauty mean to you?

MJ is a Yahoo! Shine Beauty Guru, a freelance writer and social media manager, a style blogger for Fierce, and a mom to a gorgeous baby girl.