Tag Archives: makeup

Bullies and Beauty and Beatitudes

13 Aug

“Bullied teen gets plastic surgery” ran the headline on Yahoo.  The accompanying photo showed a typical teen girl.  I clicked on the link to hear her story.  What had she looked like before the surgery?

As it turned out, that photo was the before photo.  My heart broke.

No, she didn’t look like a supermodel—but how many fourteen year olds do?  She looked like a cute little girl.  The type who in a few years would come into her own, but for now was just a typical adolescent.  Maybe in a year or two she’d start tweezing her eyebrows and wearing a little mascara, but at the moment she looked age appropriate and the only thing missing was a smile!  Oh, that little girl.  I recognized the sadness in her eyes.

It brought tears to my own eyes, bringing me back to my own awkward adolescent years.  I didn’t look all that different than that girl.  Judging from some old photos I have lying around, I may have looked worse.  I had tiny ears, but I felt like they stuck out.  I had terribly crooked teeth and had a full mouth of braces.  I was growing out a perm that never had curl or wave—only frizz.  I was skinny.  Not an attractive skinny.  The type of skinny that prompted the doctor to tell me to gain weight.  The list of insecurities went on and on.  Just like this little girl, I was picked on.  I spent many nights crying myself to sleep.

I’m not going to lie.  I still feel scarred from those years.  Getting bullied, feeling ugly, feeling trapped, it’s the worst.  But you know what?  It really does get better.  Maybe not right away.  And maybe you never forget those feelings, but you can move on, and those things that hurt you in the past hopefully make you a stronger person and also a nicer, more compassionate person.  You also discover that beauty is complex and strange and wild.

The doctor who did this little girl’s surgery said in the article, “She was picked for her surgery because of her deformities.”  Looking at the photograph, I don’t see any deformities.  The surgeon pinned her ears back and worked on her chin and nose, according to the article.  Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing in the before photo, but as far as I can tell she’s not “perfect” looking (who is??) but she certainly doesn’t have deformities.

I’m happy the girl who had the surgery is pleased with the outcome.  I’m not anti-plastic surgery.  If at an appropriate age someone wants to have plastic surgery that’s their prerogative.  But there’s a lot you can do without resorting to plastic surgery.  I do believe looks matter.  If your hair is messy, your roots are grown out, and you dress in ill-fitting, wrinkled clothes, it looks like you have little confidence in yourself, and chances are you’ll probably be treated according to way you present yourself.  I’m a sucker for makeover shows.  I cry almost every time I watch someone on TV get a makeover.  Because it’s not just about your looks—it’s about how you feel.  There’s so much you can do with just a little makeup and learning to dress to your body shape.  One of my favorites is What Not to Wear because they stress that you don’t have to lose weight to look great.

Supermodel Tyra Banks has talked for years about the fact that she herself has a big forehead.  Last month she even challenged people to a big forehead contest.  Over the years, she’s encouraged women to work what they got, telling them that those parts of their bodies that they may think are ugly may in fact be the very thing that makes them unique and interesting and beautiful.  Maybe there are aspects of your looks that truly aren’t desirable but those “flaws”—or “deformities”—should still be celebrated.

Tyra Banks told US Weekly:

This is who I am! I’m Tyra Banks and I have cellulite! That makes me ‘flawsome’ because I own it as part of what makes me unique. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think my cellulite is beautiful, but I think it’s ‘flawsome.’

My blog caption is “Embracing the Beatific.”  When I was thinking about what my blog is about I knew that, although it’s not exclusively what I blog on, I write a lot about the Beat Generation.  Jack Kerouac said that the word “beat” came from the Beatitudes of the bible.

I realized the Beatitudes expressed my viewpoint.  Life isn’t always what it seems.  The meek will inherit the earth.  The poor in spirit will find a kingdom in heaven. Those who cry now will find happiness later.

Beauty is in the imperfect.


Here are some bullying resources and reading material:::

Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories

the column “Interview with My Bully” on Salon.


It Gets Better

Bible verses on confidence

Workplace Bullying Institute



Greece Leading the Pack

2 Jul

So many people I talk to seems to have this idea, driven by the media and not personal experience, that Greeks are lazy and aren’t doing anything innovative.  This is simply not true.

  • Greeks were ranked third in Europe for the number of hours they work in a year, according to a poll surveying 1995-2005.
  • Greek healthcare is amongst the best in the world.  It’s universal.
  • The Greek maritime industry is recognized as incredibly powerful in the world economy.  It’s not as high as it was in the 1970s, but Greek shipping heirs still seem to be attracting the likes of Paris Hilton and an Olsen twin.
  • Greek companies, such as Korres and Apivita, are leading the natural skincare and makeup revolution.
  • Greece is leading animal rights activism by banning the use of animals in circuses.
  • Greeks are often considered the most hospitable people.  It’s no wonder tourism continues to thrive, despite the media’s ploy to scare people away from the country.  Time + Leisure magazine named Santorini “The World’s Best Island” last year.
  • Greece’s Peloponnese region hardly needs to market itself to attract surfers and golfers from around the world.
  • Greek wine is currently having a revival.  Greek wine is very trendy right now in the United States.
  • Greece is home to the longest cable-stayed bridge in Europe.

Greece is working hard to bridge the gap between its rich history and its present.  The country is respecting its past, its traditions, its natural landscape, and its flora and fauna, while simultaneously capitalizing on these strengths.

Greek Goddess Skin with Korres Pomegranate Toner & Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment

4 Jun

Thanks to Persephone eating those seeds of the pomegranate, we now experience the changing of the seasons, according to Greek mythology.  Now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, modern Greek goddesses are spending more time outdoors and less time caking on makeup.  These warm months are all about catching free summer concerts in the park, vineyard hopping in the Hamptons, and stalking the Coolhaus truck without worrying if your makeup is sweating off.     

The Korres Pomegranate line is perfect for baring your skin this season.

I really love how gentle the Korres Pomegranate Toner is.  I have delicate, sensitive skin and so many toners are just too harsh.  The Korres Pomegranate Toner feels like water—mythical water.  There is absolutely no stinging sensation, and my skin doesn’t feel tight after using it.  Even though it doesn’t feel icy or tingly, I’ve been able to see from my cotton ball that it is working hard to remove impurities.

According to Korres, the Pomegranate Toner:

_Helps purify the skin’s surface by removing excess dirt, oil and impurities while minimizing the look of pores and helping to reduce the appearance or look of redness
_Leaves skin feeling fresh, and looking smoother and more matte
_Formulated with skin conditioners to leave skin feeling soft

It also happens to have a fresh, youthful aroma–unlike most toners, which tend to smell like rubbing alcohol.  Korres Pomegranate Toner has a sweet and invigorating smell.

Even better smelling is the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment.  However, this product takes about eight weeks to work.  The benefits are impressive, according to Korres:

Breathable, oil absorbing formula to minimize the look/appearance of pores and redness and leave skin with a smooth, matte finish throughout the day.

_Instantly fills in pores to create a smooth, even skin surface texture.
_Clinically proven after 8 weeks to significantly reduce the visibility of pores (94% of subjects), the appearance of redness (84% of subjects), and improve the overall appearance of skin (88% of subjects)

I’ve been using it only for a few weeks now, and even though it’s probably the best-smelling face-care product I’ve ever used, my skin was shiny as ever in the photos snapped for my MFA graduation and the Mediabistro event I attended. I think my foundation actually rubs most of the product off when I apply it, though, so through trial and error I’ve learned to make sure the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is completely dry on my face before applying any face makeup.  (Beauty tip: Apply the Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment all over your face or t-zone, and while it’s drying apply your eye makeup to save time.  It should only take about 20 seconds to dry, and then you can apply foundation.  However, even then, pat your face makeup on gently because if you rub it, the mattifying treatment will come off in the process.)  Even so, the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment seems to work better for days when I’m not wearing any other face makeup on top of it.  And really, in the summer I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup anyway.

Neither of the scents linger, which is a positive for skincare, but if Korres offered a pomegranate perfume I’d be the first in line.  It’s the perfect daytime scent for summer months.

Greece’s fastest-growing natural skincare company not only draws its inspiration from the flora of Greece, where pomegranates have grown for centuries, it also is committed to eco-friendly practices.  The sleek and sophisticated packaging for Korres Pomegranate Toner and Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is recyclable, and neither of the products are tested on animals.

So go ahead and channel your inner Greek goddess this summer, knowing that you don’t have to wear a lot of makeup to look beautiful.

2011 Gabby Awards: Fashion Report

10 Jun

Euxaristo to all of you who have been checking out my Gabby Award coverage!  It was truly an amazing event.

Last Friday’s events for Gabby Awards Lifetime Achievement winner neon artist Stephen Antonakos and jewelry designer Konstantino were just precursors to Saturday’s main event — the presentation of the 2011 Gabby Awards!

I slept in as much as I could on Saturday morning — hey, a girl needs her beauty rest if there are going to be lots of cameras around! — but I was too excited to stay in bed.  I tried to Skype my parents in Greece — I’d been going back and forth on what to wear, and my mom has a great eye for fashion and style so I wanted her opinion  — but they were out.  Fortunately, I had booked an appointment with my hairstylist, Wendy, who did a great job on my hair!  Finally, after I’d already gotten dressed and was about to head out the door, my parents Skyped me.  The dress was Mom-approved!  It had a bit of a vintage feel to it.  It was a black chiffon number with white polka dots.  It had a deep V-neck and an asymmetrical cut.  I wore it with a simple strand of pearls to kick up the 50s flair.  For makeup, I wanted a fresh, springtime look so I wore Stila lip glaze in guava, which is what a makeup artist had used on me during Fashion’s Night Out.  I spritzed on Zara Creme eau du toilette, which my sister gave me for my birthday, and then I was out the door!

Probably one of my favorite aspect of going to the Gabby Awards was seeing what everyone was wearing!  I have to say, I was quite impressed with the men — they really picked some stylin’ suits and tuxes. Gabby Award founder Gregory Pappas wins the award for coolest tie!  Meletis Koropoulis wore a sharp suit and hipster-ish glasses … perhaps we can add him to our growing “gripster” list?

Of course the women looked gorgeous, as well.  Most opted for floor-length gowns in bright colors — canary yellow, azure, and cherry red were popular.  Many wore, not surprisingly, goddess gowns.  There were also some sparkling numbers.  Melina Kanakaredes dazzled in a patterned, one-shoulder dress.  Cat Cora looked spicy in a red dress with a fantastic neckline.  Jane Monzures was looking anything but plain in plum.

Everyone looked gorgeous!  You can view photos from the event on the Gabby Awards website and on the Gabby Awards Facebook page.