The Only Beauty Advice I Can Give You for 2017

Don't change a thing, but also change everything!
Publish date:
December 30, 2016
beauty advice, new year, Just Do You, Seriously, It's That Simple

As I am currently staring down the prospective barrel of a discounted gym membership (because they always have those deals around new years), I realized the other night that I could not touch my toes from a seated position on the floor, legs stretched out in front of me, so maybe I'm not the best person to be giving anyone health or wellness advice but I've never been a "resolutions" type of person anyway. There's nothing to resolve! Life goes on until it doesn't, and change is a constant so the very nature of resolutions is status quo!

Not to get all philosophical on you because that is not what this is supposed to be about. I would much rather toss some beauty revolutions your way than resolutions — it's way more exciting that way and probably more likely to actually get done. But I can't think of any right now other than if you have a breakout, wear a bold lip color and no one will notice because they will just look at you and go, "Oh, lipstick."

I'm trying not be too sad about the ending of this year. A lot of troubling shit went down and continues to go down, this is true, but to march forward into another Gregorian (or was it Roman?) structured faction of time with defeat weighing heavily in our hearts would be the wrong thing to do. I don't like telling people what to do, but I can say from experience that not only do you have to work towards good things happening, but first you have to choose to let good things be the objective (alternatively, if you want chaos, it's very easy to achieve chaos!).

And what about beauty? To me, the very word connotes optimism, self-actualization and all that good stuff. I mean, beauty is power — sort of in the way that they say knowledge is power, but beauty is just as important because just think of all the miserable wannabes out there who don't see their own beauty and/or are constantly trying to fulfill someone else's definition of it. Beauty doesn't look just one certain way, obviously. It's a mutable, fluid and sometimes fickle concept. But I think it's best represented when it's fully owned and unabashedly worn, like a favorite shirt or some wacky brooch. Believe me, enough things are uncertain out there so having a handle on yourself and your abilities is a top notch starting place.

And I'm not even necessarily talking about cosmetic beauty, although that's always been a wonderful ritual to connect yourself to your own beauty. I mean, that's what makeup does, doesn't it? On some special occasions I set aside a generous portion of time to "get ready" and essentially become myself — or at least the version of myself that I want to be for the time being.

I'll probably always feel a bit weird encouraging people to "feel beautiful" because honestly, it's so personal and mostly none of my business, but I totally want you to. Same with the whole "be confident" mantra — easier said than done! Honestly, if I can just be comfortable, that's leagues ahead to begin with. Feel whatever you need to feel to be OK with stuff — it's the difficult confusing shit that often yields those lighting bolt realizations that you never would've reached if you just went along telling yourself you were fine the whole time. But then again I've spent the better portion of my young adulthood trying to unlearn the conditioning that women are supposed to be beautiful like it's our #2 duty in life other than making babies (or possibly #1 to get to #2?).

I mean, that's mostly it for me. There are a lot of perspectives about beauty, and the internet is never lacking in several ways to tell you How to Beauty (myself included, hah!) but ultimately it's up to you. Once I started choosing beauty in a personal and thoughtful way, and not as just some icky feeling about playing into some confining social arena where women are pitted against each other to triumph as the fairest of them all (thanks a lot, literally every children's fairy tale I grew up with!), I started really having fun in my own skin. At least now when I'm taking forever to get ready it's because I want to perfect my most terrifyingly sharp liner and not because I'm futzing over whether my hair looks stupider up or down (I also realized that no one really notices that shit anyway so it really is just up to me).

So, yeah. Guys, the future may be looking rocky, but if any YA fiction novel about a teenage girl leading a rebellion of the people against the crushing regime of a oppressive government has taught me anything — and there have been a lot in the past couple years, haven't there (I have also been re-watching a ton of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) — there's no better time than now to get very much acquainted with your own power, if you have caught any of my aforementioned drifts.

Look, I never technically sought out to be a beauty editor, but I'm very happy and proud to be one now. xoVain was the first place that asked me to write for them and it's been pretty damn formative for me (shoutout to OG Annie for taking a weird chance on me and responding to a Craigslist apartment listing I wrote three years ago, asking me if I wanted to write for your site and having no idea what I looked like or that I was not a crazy rando). This site introduced me to Mario Badescu and Davines and some of my favorite friends who I talk to every day. Sure, I'm bummed for now and technically out of a job (when you freelance, you're technically always unemployed in a glass-half-empty sort of way, I guess, so status quo again!), but like energy — and I do believe that xoVain has a very unique energy — it can't be created or destroyed. It's just going to shift and evolve in another way to another place. So for now I'll just say... smell ya later.

Keep doing you, y'all!