Woman with beauty mask
Photo: Jupiterimages
"In youth, you have the face you were born with; in adulthood, you have the face you deserve."

Coco Chanel

I worked for several months as a live-in chef/helper for an elderly woman living in a retirement home in Chicago. I was living in New York at the time and very much into my cool, groovy fashion. One day, I went to catch the bus that took us for our weekly trip to the local mall, and as I approached one of my lovely friends—a resident in the home—all dressed up in my black shorts, knee-high boots and leather jacket, I saw the lady sitting next to my friend whisper something in my friend's ear.

Later, as I was having lunch at the mall with my friend, she told me that the lady had commented as I approached, "That girl is so disgusting in those skimpy clothes." A few minutes later, another resident of the retirement home approached me, introduced herself and said, "I just want to tell you, you're such a beautiful woman and every time I see you with your lovely style, you brighten up my day." It was one of those enlightening moments in my life where it was clearly demonstrated to me that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

Which mind, I thought to myself, would I want to inhabit? The woman who looked at me and saw something disgusting or the person who looked and saw beauty? I also noted the effect each comment had on me—being told I looked "disgusting" certainly dampened my spirits, but this was quickly dispelled by the comment moments later of the woman who saw and acknowledged my beauty—her comment made me feel beautiful.

Beauty is around us all the time, but do we have the eyes to perceive it?

We try to create beauty with our lotions and potions, and it's promised to us on every shelf we look at in the cosmetic department—beauty in a bottle. Yet, true beauty really is something that emanates from the inside out, and our ability to perceive beauty around us is a direct reflection of our state of mind and appreciation of where true beauty lies.

Recipes for natural face wash, eye treatments and masks


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