Meet Rachel! I met Rachel way WAY back … early 2000’s I think. We met when she was dating my younger brother and I instantly took a liking to her – which if you were to ask any of my brothers/brothers-in-law – didn’t happen all that frequently. But I adored (still do!) Rachel and I remember countless family parties with her “taste-testing” desserts with my husband, and also, making her try on and take all the clothes I purchased at sales, but didn’t want (she was still a student while I was already adulting hard core.)

Now Rachel is a teacher in Toronto. She’s the middle sister in a pack of three, an auntie, and both my husband‘s and son’s favourite person to “taste test” things with … i.e., eat food in general.

This post marks the first in a series of posts that focus on beauty as we age. Every Wednesday, I’ll be featuring a beauty and her story behind growing up pretty! I thought Rachel was a great person to start with because she knew me before I was a mom, before I was a makeup artist, and before the me that I am now. After almost 20 years of friendship … we’ve definitely grown up …

What did beauty mean to you growing up, and what or whom were your major influences?

I think when I was in my early teens, external beauty was something I wanted to have, but it wasn’t something I was willing to showcase. I didn’t want to be “just pretty”; I think I worried a lot about not being viewed as smart or funny or athletic or musical … so beauty took a backseat. I really envied girls my age who didn’t wear any makeup (or who at least appeared to not be wearing any), and they were beautiful anyway. I didn’t want to look as though I was trying to be beautiful, and I looked up to girls who I saw as having natural beauty. 90’s Mariah Carey was a big influencer – I loved her natural curly hair and fresh-faced look. TLC’s Chili – another natural beauty. As I grew older, I became more comfortable with my own brand of natural beauty, and started believing that I could make more of an effort to look beautiful and still be noticed for other parts of who I was.

What role does beauty play in your life at this moment? How has it changed over the years? What do you focus on to feel like your most beautiful self? (e.g. skincare, makeup, hair, mental well-being, physical well-being?

Right now, I’ve been focusing on keeping a better skin care regimen. I had bad acne as a late teen and into my early 20s, and since then I’ve always been self-conscious about my acne scars and skin. I tried different makeup to cover it up, but that didn’t feel right to me. Nowadays, I think I feel like my most beautiful self when I have a fresh, clean face that feels soft and healthy. I focus on drinking a lot more water, and I’ve been working on improving my diet so that the things going into my body help to make me feel healthier, cleaner, and more natural. I’ve always been pretty active, but recent sports injuries have meant that I can’t exercise the way that I’m used to. I’ve really noticed the effect it’s had on my overall well-being, which includes the way I look and feel. So I’m trying to find ways to remain active so that I still feel strong, health and beautiful.

Explain your current beauty routine, and please feel free to provide examples of looks you want to learn, procedures you want to try, or treatments you are curious about!)

I use Arbonne’s products exclusively for my skin care:

  • Calm Gentle Daily Cleanser (morning and night)
  • Intelligence Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads (night only)
  • RE9 Advanced Intensive Renewal Serum (morning and night)
  • Calm Gentle Daily Moisturizer (morning only)
  • RE9 Advanced Night Repair Cream (night only)

I also use Skin Ceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. I would love to learn about makeup application – I have such uneven skin tone, as well as scars from teenage acne. I want to learn how to choose and apply overall coverage that is right for my skin, which doesn’t leave my skin feeling too covered.

And to finish off, answer these five questions …

Beauty Muse : Penelope Cruz
Favourite Product : Arbonne’s Calm Gentle Daily Cleanser
Your Splurge Item : Skin Ceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
Best Beauty Skill : I honestly don’t think I have one
Worst Beauty Skill : Applying lipstick/gloss/liner

Growing up pretty beauty secrets