Archive for the Beauty Category

WE PAY TOO MUCH FOR BEAUTY…& I DON’T MEAN MONEY

Posted in Beauty, Glamour on August 26, 2011 by Miranda Wilding

This article is written by DORI HARTLEY at THE HUFFINGTON POST

For several years I worked as a beauty and skincare expert, selling high end cosmetics to New York’s elite clientele. These customers were mainly comprised of women in need of a slick quick expensive fix. That, and of course, hope, packaged elegantly into whatever well designed bottle might catch their eye.

The ever engaging descriptive phrases, such as tighter, firmer, lusher and younger proved to be the time tested and most sale successful lures. Implied was the promise of an elastically perfect fountain of youth, a hefty price tag and a confidence that could only be purchased.

I would never suggest that it is in any way wrong to desire self improvement, but as one who has seen firsthand what some women will put themselves through in order to achieve this renewal, I have come to discover that the real price paid has nothing to do with money.

In other words, to see hope in a bottle is to see despair without it. There has to be an element of self disgust, and in this society, one doesn’t have to look too far to have that idea reinforced for them. The fashionable world of cosmetic beauty disapproves of imperfection and has given us a nice, long list of exactly what we need to hate ourselves for.

An anecdote comes to mind. A very young woman – gorgeous – about 19 years old approached my counter. Her beautiful big brown eyes were welled up with tears and as I greeted her with a warm smile, she burst into a sobbing fit.

What could possibly be so distressing that this total stranger would choose to publicly display such grief?

Ah. It was her cellulite. And as she lifted the hem of her ever so short shorts for me to investigate what I assumed would have to be an atrocity of puckered flesh, all I saw was a pole dancer ready leg and butt cheek.

What was I missing? The woman was flawless.

She was, however, not without the ability to get attention and as the other cosmetics associates hung back on their perches, waiting on my next move, I could feel their thoughts boring into my skull:

Sell her your most expensive cellulite product. Do it. Do it! If you don’t…I will!

But there was something about the young woman’s sincerity that got to me. She really believed she was ugly. Her sadness was genuine. She came to me for help and as much as I was tempted to whip out the crème that would boost my commission check to the stratosphere, I knew that nothing I could sell her would address her real problem. So, instead of selling her the snake oil of self hate, I thought I’d toss a little self help advice her way.

Another associate stepped in and sighed. “Cellulite. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for it.”

I looked at the vulture and with my eyes I told her: Back off.

The young woman wept softly. “Is that true? Is there nothing I can do about my appearance?”

She looked at me for the truth. In the same way I saw that she was honest about her concerns, she saw in me someone who wanted to ease her pain.

I wasn’t going to sell her something that I knew wouldn’t bring results. I wanted to introduce the idea of self esteem to her. I wanted her to concentrate on how beautiful she was, as opposed to how awful she believed herself to be.

“You know, there is no real cure for cellulite. But the perfect solution to your problem does exist,” I said.

The floor went silent. All eyes were on me now. I continued.

“The real cure for cellulite is self acceptance. Imagine. Imagine loving yourself enough to accept everything you’ve got.”

Imagine not caring what other people think.

They all looked at me as if I’d just said, “Ting Tang Walla Balla Bing Bang,” and after a short silent pause, the din of the sales pitches drowned out my good intentions.

The young woman ended up spending nearly $1,000 in other people’s cellulite products. She walked out with a smile on her face and a happy lilt to her all ready perfect step.

I, on the other hand, made no commission that day. But that was OK, because I was happy to know that I was true to my own self.

I wish her well.

THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY (2011)

Posted in Beauty on April 14, 2011 by Miranda Wilding















It’s time for my annual riff on PEOPLE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL LIST.

In terms of previews for this calendar year (as always, you don’t get the entire run down unless you purchase the issue at the newsstand), here are the people that most exemplified that mysterious and highly subjective quality:

ANNETTE BENING
HALLE BERRY
CHRISTIE BRINKLEY
ARMIE HAMMER
IMAN
RILEY KEOUGH
DIANE LANE
JENNIFER LAWRENCE
LEIGHTON MEESTER
EVA MENDES
HELEN MIRREN
DEMI MOORE
JULIANNE MOORE
MICHELLE PFEIFFER
EMMA ROBERTS
AMANDA SEYFRIED
JANE SEYMOUR
JESSICA SIMPSON
EMMA STONE
NAOMI WATTS
LYNN WHITFIELD

THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY (2010)

Posted in Beauty on April 29, 2010 by Miranda Wilding

























Every year at this juncture I have a thorough and complete discussion concerning distracting gorgeousness that coincides with PEOPLE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL issue.

I find beauty an incredibly fascinating subject. Not to mention how the world is endlessly enthralled and intrigued by something so purely subjective.

If you’d like to have a look at my articles for the last two years, here they are: THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY and THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY (2009)

I don’t have much more to add this time around. There are some good looking rather enticing people on this list. On the other hand, it appears that a few publicists have gone absolutely buck wild. It’s the only explanation I have for how some individuals make the cut.

That will never change…

It seems unfair that PEOPLE found very few men that really turned my head in 2010. JOHNNY DEPP makes my own personal list.

But I’ve listed all of the women that I do agree with, including the compilation of classic screen beauties that they came up with this year.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE
LORRAINE BRACCO
CHRISTIE BRINKLEY
JOHNNY DEPP
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS
IMAN
SCARLETT JOHANSSON
JULIANNA MARGULIES
EVA MENDES
DEMI MOORE
MICHELLE PFEIFFER
JULIA ROBERTS
JANE SEYMOUR
MERYL STREEP
LYNN WHITFIELD

CLASSIC SCREEN BEAUTIES

LAUREN BACALL
KIM BASINGER
FAYE DUNAWAY
JANE FONDA
AUDREY HEPBURN
ANGELINA JOLIE
GRACE KELLY
NICOLE KIDMAN
SOPHIA LOREN
ALI MacGRAW
DIANA ROSS
ELIZABETH TAYLOR
RAQUEL WELCH

Some days you really can’t take the world seriously. But these lists are always grand and glorious fun to think about…

PEOPLE MAGAZINE: JULIA ROBERTS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD

Posted in Beauty, Julia Roberts on April 29, 2010 by Miranda Wilding





This is JULIA ROBERTS’ fourth turn on the cover for PEOPLE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL issue.

Though it’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since JULIA starred in Pretty Woman, her relaxed vibe about beauty has served her well over the years.

“She’s never looked more beautiful,” commented Ryan Murphy, the director of her upcoming film EAT PRAY LOVE, based on the huge bestseller. “She is so happy and fulfilled and it shows.”

JULIA is now the mother of three (twins HAZEL and PHINNAEUS are 5 while HENRY is 2) and signed her first beauty contract in January to become LANCOME’S global ambassador.

“It’s fun to find myself with this type of new career at my advanced age!” she wrote about the gig, which is in the issue on newsstands Friday.

While JULIA still wows on her rare red carpet appearances, her beauty team reveals that it never takes more than two hours to get her ready – even for the OSCARS.

“There is nothing contrived,” said her longtime hairdresser Serge Normant. “She believes you have to be comfortable. You have to have a good time.”

At home, JULIA favours a more relaxed look: no makeup and often in yoga pants. It’s all part of the simple home life that she’s embraced since marrying camera operator DANNY MODER.

“She seems to have made peace with everything,” remarked Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, who’s known JULIA for years.

“He is a laid back guy. Surfing is his big thing. He’s not a driving ambitious husband. They kind of enjoy being with each other without a big circus.”

And the kids? “They are very cute and have a great joie de vivre, which Julia always had.”

Even her old friend GEORGE CLOONEY agreed that she’s just as gorgeous on the inside.

“There’s a reason why Julia is a timeless beauty and it has nothing to do with the way she looks. It has everything to do with who she is.”

THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY: THE 2009 VERSION

Posted in Beauty on May 2, 2009 by Miranda Wilding

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In 2008, not long after I created this site, I published an article commenting on PEOPLE’S annual list of the 100 MOST BEAUTIFUL.

For the inevitable contrast, you can find that article here: THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY

This whole idea of beauty – and how it fuels and reflects our society – has always intrigued me greatly. Our own biases and preconceptions come into play to a great extent. What thrills us and makes us want to take a second look may completely repel someone else. Many people also have an ideal type that gets them going.

But, of course, looks are rarely the only consideration. You may know realistically that someone is very attractive but may be hard pressed to describe them as beautiful if you can’t stand them. Their character flaws diminish them…and will probably continue to chip away at their lovely facades for as long as you know them.

On the other hand, a nice looking individual that you took little initial notice of may strike you as utterly compelling once you establish a rapport with him/her.

Some beauties are ice cold without an ounce of warmth to redeem them. You may ultimately find that the person that doesn’t even fit the mold of regular attractiveness – but who happens to possess a mesmerizing, powerful sensuality – much more of a headturner.

It’s not always about the gifts that someone was born with.

As for PEOPLE’S compilation…

Well, everyone knows that this list is largely a PR exercise. Always has been. Always will be.

There are individuals that should be nowhere near this list. (This year is no exception.) There are also plenty of cute, pleasantly attractive, good looking or extremely sexy people that make the cut. Some have more than once.

Of course it’s madly subjective…and we all have our biases.

But, to me, being beautiful signifies a loveliness that is absolutely outstanding – someone that is so impossibly gorgeous that they could take your breath away.

PEOPLE does not reveal the entire list. You have to buy the issue (released today) to find out. But I am aware of the majority of their selections.

Let me say – as a woman who loves men – that the lack of spellbinding male presence was staggeringly disappointing. But if this is all I have to work with, I’ll live.

Check out PEOPLE for a page full of related articles. Go here

Regarding PEOPLE’S 2009 MOST BEAUTIFUL, here are the individuals I concur with in alphabetical order:

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE
LORRAINE BRACCO
CHRISTIE BRINKLEY
GEORGE CLOONEY
DAKOTA FANNING
IMAN
ANGELINA JOLIE
NORAH JONES
EVA MENDES
TAYLOR MOMSEN
DEMI MOORE
THANDIE NEWTON
MICHELLE PFEIFFER
BRAD PITT
JANE SEYMOUR
MERYL STREEP
LYNN WHITFIELD

To add to the fun, PEOPLE also has a separate list devoted to 20 CLASSIC BEAUTIES. They had incredible taste when they made these choices…

BRIGITTE BARDOT
CATHERINE DENEUVE
AVA GARDNER
AUDREY HEPBURN
LENA HORNE
GRACE KELLY
VIVIEN LEIGH
SOPHIA LOREN
ALI MacGRAW
DIANA ROSS
ELIZABETH TAYLOR
GENE TIERNEY
RAQUEL WELCH

So feel free to comment on this subject. I definitely welcome it.

I think I’ll make this an annual thing. It’s just too much fun to lay down.

THE ELEMENTS OF BEAUTY

Posted in Beauty on May 3, 2008 by Miranda Wilding

PEOPLE has been compiling an annual list of the most beautiful men and women for some time now. I pay so little attention to it that I wasn’t even cognizant of the fact that their yearly roster had gone up from 50 to 100.

I’m positive that everyone has their own particular take on this – and here is mine. In many cases, it’s good PR and nothing more.

How do you define beauty?

I’m sure that it varies greatly depending on the person. However, I don’t find many of their chosen subjects beautiful. I didn’t when there were 50 of them and I don’t now.

I mean no disrespect to any of these individuals. Quite a few of them (including this year) are easy on the eyes. But easy on the eyes does NOT constitute beauty.

What I’m trying to say is: there are degrees.

There’s cute. There’s pleasant/nice looking. There’s attractive. There’s good looking. There’s sexy. There’s gorgeous. Or any connection or combination that you can put together from these adjectives. Except that I don’t think anything else goes with cute. If you could pair another scintillating quality with cute, then the person wouldn’t be at that particular level any more.

But then there’s flat out perfection.

CLASSIC BEAUTY.

If this woman walked past you in the street wearing a potato sack – with wet hair and absolutely no makeup on – you’d still think she was incredible looking. (I guess the equivalent for a guy would be wearing track pants and needing a good haircut and a shave.)

In my opinion, individuals that are spectacularly beautiful that are NOT on this year’s list are:

ANN MARGRET
ISABELLE ADJANI
KIM BASINGER
JULIE CHRISTIE
FAYE DUNAWAY
AVA GARDNER
CARY GRANT
RITA HAYWORTH
VIVIEN LEIGH
SOPHIA LOREN
LENA OLIN
LAURENCE OLIVIER
ROBERT REDFORD
ELIZABETH TAYLOR
CATHERINE ZETA JONES

With those criteria in mind, these are the only subjects on PEOPLE’S 2008 list that I think are truly beautiful:

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE
GEORGE CLOONEY
JOHNNY DEPP
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS
IMAN
ANGELINA JOLIE
NORAH JONES
NICOLE KIDMAN
JULIANNE MOORE
BRAD PITT
RENE RUSSO
SARAH SILVERMAN
MENA SUVARI
RAQUEL WELCH
VANESSA WILLIAMS

As far as I know, you can’t find the whole list of 100 anywhere on the net. You have to buy the magazine to see it in its entirety. But you can access a preview by going here

I’d be very interested in other people’s opinions in regards to this…