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Mirror, Mirror
THUYEN NGUYEN

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of this fall?

In my previous post, I talked about summer heat and sunscreens, but now—with the memories of Hamptons beach days fading into the cooler autumn season—my beauty observations have become more introspective.

Fall Fashion Week in New York City involves a global mix of designers, editors, buyers and models, flying in for a week of chaos and glittery excitement. I was booked solid throughout this superficial whirlwind, which lead me to wonder, “What is truly beautiful?” Is it tighter skin and the most flawless complexion? Not in all cases.

Beauty can also be found amid flaws. In fact, the most beautiful trait by far I've witnessed in the hundreds of faces I've had the pleasure to work with is the glow beaming from a person with self-confidence.

In my practice, I have found one major issue common in every client, no matter who they are or how gorgeous the world may deem them: it has to do with self-image. Clients from all walks of life—especially women—tend to highlight their personal flaws over their abundant positive traits. In actuality, most of the imperfections they ask me to address are ones that I never even noticed until they pointed them out. Why are we so critical of ourselves?

If I could jump from the role of skincare specialist into that of a friendly, neighborhood skincare therapist, I would encourage everyone to make an effort in this cooler, earthy part of the year to lighten up and give the skin’s flaws a break.

Our skin can be as fickle as our moods. And as it adapts to the change of seasons and climates, it will go through cycles of chaos and balance, detox and recovery, just like our lives. And aging—with all it's unfair, cryptic associations—is a beautiful fact of the human experience that brings us into maturity. If we allow it to gracefully unfold, it reveals carefree enjoyment of the fruits of our labor and experiences. Those beauty traits don't fade with the turn of the clock like the superficial parts of us.

Personally and professionally, I have discovered that the key to embracing one’s own unique beauty and aging gracefully is to focus less on the perceived flaws and more on the physical traits and unique accomplishments that help a person feel good.

That overwhelming beauty radiating from one with self-confidence is that of a person practicing self-acceptance. Start by looking in the mirror each morning with a positive outlook and embrace what you do like about your unique characteristics. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how the sharper edges of your vision begin to soften.

Enjoy yourself and you will surely enjoy life.