The word beauty is defined as “the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind”—a definition full of variations, differences and distinctions. Beauty comes in all different sizes, shapes, colors and ages. For this reason, I have found new and inspiring ways to understand the concept of “being beautiful” and what it can mean to each individual.
Which is why it was my pleasure to sit down and ask two unique individuals what their take on defining beauty is: Ali Kaplan (Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Sr. Editor, Shopping & Style) + Elizabeth Dehn (Beauty and Lifestyle Editor of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Beauty Bets).
55425: You’re super successful women who seem to have it all together! How do you find balance between work life, home life and keeping yourself looking and feeling confident + beautiful when constantly on the go (and on-camera)?
Ali Kaplan: Smoke, mirrors and good Instagram filters. In all seriousness, it’s finding time to work out (even if I want to roll over when the alarm goes off, I feel so much better if I jump up and just do it) and taking time to stop everything—even if it means leaving a sink full of dishes and unanswered emails—to cuddle on the couch with my kids. But my No. 1 go to fix-me-up is a blow out—45 minutes of bliss, followed by a week (seriously!) of good hair always makes me feel more confident, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about in the morning!
Elizabeth Dehn: I gave up the notion of balance a long time ago and instead embraced the messiness of life. That’s proven all the more important when social media images everywhere could easily make me feel less than happy about my outfit/hair/coffee table styling. Daily meditation is a must to keep me grounded, and lash extensions make everything better.
55425: If you could only have three products in your makeup bag, what would they be and why?
A: Bobbi Brown concealer—my favorite for seamless coverage of, well, everything. Mascara—I play the field, but generally return to Origins Fringe Benefits, which really does make your lashes look fuller and longer. Lipstick—I’m a MAC lipstick girl, and usually have a handful of shades in my bag, but MAC Verve is always in the mix. It’s a rich neutral that gives enough color, which I like.
E: Bobbi Brown everything: Color Correct + Concealer to make me look like I’ve actually slept eight hours, bright pink blush to take five years off, and Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate for a polished finish. It’s amazing what a little eyeliner can do for everyone.
55425: Modern celebrities are changing the way that we define beauty. Which celeb has stood out to you as a leader in making women think and feel differently about traditional beauty standards?
A: I am in awe of Lena Dunham’s unabashed comfort with her body—it’s inspiring, and it’s not even close to the most interesting thing about her!
E: Beauty and body image are so intertwined in our culture—and completely distorted by the media. I practically pumped my fist when Amy Schumer gave Glamour a hard time for calling her plus-size. She’s a size 6! What if we celebrated our gifts to the world instead of focusing on physical perfection? That would be a beautiful thing.
Ali & Elizabeth will be hosting a great event on May 15, 2016 for a conversation with experts on body image, self-care and what makes us feel beautiful. Buy your tickets here!