Passing Down the Beauty
What she thinks makes a woman beautiful: "Good health and kindness."
The one thing she doesn't want to pass along to her daughters: "I was obsessed with my hair when I was younger, and I don't want my girls to be obsessed. They both have curly hair, and Leila has the kind of gigantic curls I had as a kid. I want them to know that their hair is absolutely beautiful the way it is and that they just need to take care of it. I'm against processing, because unless you have very dense, thick, coarse hair, it ruins it. Also, I think when you start fighting your biology, you're in a losing battle."
The one thing she did before she became a mother that she'd never do now: "I sacrificed what was good for my health to look a certain way. I permed my hair, which was bad for it, and I dieted on coffee and cigarettes."
Her best advice: "To be beautiful, you have to eat well and exercise. Don't put unhealthy stuff into your body."
Her biggest challenge as a beauty expert and a mother: "To help Rossibel—whom we adopted from Guatemala—see beauty not simply as a reflection of others' opinions of her but as a reflection of her unique spirit. I think it's every woman's challenge to transform the transient beauty of youth into the sustainable beauty that comes with awakening as you age."
Her most opportune teaching moment: "Rossibel came home one day and told me she wanted red hair. She has this incredible black hair, so I said, 'Let's talk about what looks good on you,' assuring her that her black hair is beautiful and that she didn't need to change what she had."
Her best advice: "Don't try to be someone other than who you are; don't believe in quick fixes or a miracle in a jar. Remember that 'beauty is a gift in youth and an art as we age.'"
One of the things she's most grateful for as a mother: "My daughter is interested in what I have to say, and she takes my advice to heart."
One of the things her daughter will most likely be grateful for one day: "Because she uses sunblock from head to toe, as she ages the skin on her body will look as good as her face. I see patients every day who have been diligent about protecting their face from the sun, but the rest of their body looks 20 to 30 years older. The neck, chest, and hands don't age well anyway, and they're more challenging to treat in terms of anti-aging regimens. So I've been telling Sabrina about the importance of sun protection for her whole body since she was a little girl."
Her best advice: "Never compare yourself with anyone else, and try your best to reach your own potential rather than feeling you have to measure up to someone else's standards."
The beauty mistake she hopes her daughter never makes: "She's very beautiful. I'm afraid she'll get caught up in her physical beauty and forget what real beauty is."
And real beauty is? "It has nothing to do with makeup. A really beautiful woman takes good care of herself, of her body, and radiates a strong, happy heart."
The one thing she doesn't want to pass along to her daughter: "My insecurity about my weight. I'm trying to model good eating habits. I don't keep junk food around."
Her best advice: "You have a lifetime to experiment with makeup, so don't start too young. Wearing way too much makeup will make you look much older than you are. Don't try too hard to look sexy, too young. Also, please don't pluck your eyebrows. I'm a makeup artist. Let me do it."
Why she's in a unique position to give beauty advice: "Because of my two specialties, I've often thought about the way confidence, grace, happiness, and other emotions manifest on a person's face—as well as the way sun damage does."
The mistakes she hopes her daughter never makes: "I hope she doesn't glob on a lot of makeup; she has such natural beauty, and that would mask it. It could also make her break out. I hope she never picks at her skin, because that can be scarring."
How old she would like her daughter to be before she wears lipstick: "Oh, it's up to her."
So 11 is okay? "Hmm. High school."
Her best advice: "Number one: Your inner life will be reflected on your face, so take care of yourself. And number two: Sun damage is hard to undo, so always protect your skin with sunblock, the most important beauty product of all."