Excerpt from Chapter 4: A Philosophy of Beauty
[…] Is a natural beauty someone who has not enhanced or modified herself in any way, shape, or form since her natural birth? I think that perhaps such a definition is too rigid. Naturally beautiful women have been modifying or enhancing their bodies since the beginning of time. Interestingly, the process of “reaching” for beauty is actually quite an old tradition. This doesn’t mean that women have been on operating tables for centuries, but throughout history, they have found methods for attaining what they feel is their own highest form of beauty. Beauty is itself an infinite idea, like a flower that is never done blooming, like a human garden with bulbs blossoming that we didn’t know were even in our soil. Let’s just continue to water ourselves with love and see what beauty grows!
Now, it may be best to clarify what I mean by “reaching beauty.” It’s not the desire
to become your most beautiful self, inside and out. What woman doesn’t want to be her most beautiful self? A true natural beauty is a woman who does
feel beautiful, inside and out. It matters not what others think of any physical enhancements she has made in the name of beauty. We are all reaching, whether you try to erase fine lines by eating antioxidant-rich recipes or applying moisturizers or using injections like Botox or just drinking a lot of water and staying out of the sun.
But how far away must you reach for beauty? It’s a challenging query. It provokes an introspective thought process, and I invite you to allow yourself to engage in this way of thinking. As women, we are naturally beautiful and should be proud of our beauty. We should be proud of reaching for beauty and never judge another for her preferred methods.
Our understanding of natural beauty must be more than skin deep. As a beauty and skincare expert, I know that there is a vast array of ways to reach for beauty. Natural beauties reach for beauty via varying methodologies of attaining the desired beautiful result. For example, for smooth legs, the options range from shaving to waxing to laser-hair removal. It really doesn’t matter which avenue you choose to reach your beauty because it’s about a personal choice and a personal definition of beauty.
Of course, I don’t feel that someone is not a natural beauty simply if she removes the hair on her legs, regardless of the method used. The term natural beauty
has become co-opted and challenged by the newer, less natural methodologies available to women.
With the current popularity of plastic surgery, it’s evident that plastic surgery is indeed a viable option to attain the beauty that otherwise might be pursued in a more natural way. If a woman wants to enhance her breasts, there are nonsurgical methods such as topical cream applications, pills that promise a larger bust, pectoral muscle exercises, or simply a padded bra. So, I really don’t think that it’s fair to judge one woman over another for how she goes about enhancing her beauty. Nor do I believe that such an enhancement dissipates her natural beauty. There is simply no such thing as an unnatural beauty or a phony beauty. Let’s celebrate beauty in its entire diverse splendor.
A form encapsulates the act of reaching for beauty, both inwardly and outwardly, that we are naturally inclined to do. The act of reaching for beauty (in whatever form a woman chooses) is met with the abstract concept of finding beauty within the self. The inward return to beauty complements the outward reaching for beauty. As in the infinite model (see Figure A), our reaching and returning collide, and we are met with the reality of a higher truth. And that is natural beauty. Every person is a natural beauty, so let your natural beauty infinitely shine!
And it’s important to understand beauty to be an enticing, electric force inside of our spirits. We naturally respond to beauty and to an aesthetically pleasing nature; beauty can recognize itself in others and rejoices in its familiarity. This inner and outer reunion of beauty in one’s self and beauty in others is nature’s way of taking us “home,” of helping us to exist in a state of symbiotic oneness. We are called upon again and again to make a return to beauty. Our existence, our natural state is one of reaching for beauty.
[…] Excerpt from Chapter 7: Beauty Recipes Lustrous Locks
If you’ve been spending time at the beach, you may have noticed your hair looking a bit dry. This is an easy fix and should be indulged in bimonthly during the summer months. Ingredients
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 cup water Preparation and Application
In a small bowl, mix ingredients until emulsified, and apply to your hair as a conditioning treatment in the shower. Rinse with warm water.
Try not to blow-dry your hair too often because that also dries hair out. Take advantage of the season’s sunshine and let your hair air-dry. Apple Cider Rinse
If your hair has a buildup of product, or is just tired looking from environmental residue and oils, a quick beauty recipe for shiny hair is just what you need. It’s so simple. Ingredients
1 cup apple cider vinegar Preparation and Application
Before shampooing your hair, pour the apple cider vinegar on your head in the shower, with your head tilted back. Gently work through your scalp and hair, as if you were shampooing, although the vinegar won’t produce any suds. Rinse with the warm stream of water from your showerhead and follow with a shampoo and conditioner, as usual. The shampoo will remedy the vinegar smell and will get incredibly sudsy because of the apple cider vinegar stripping the dirt and oils away for ultraclean scalp and hair. Egg Protein Mask
Egg whites have tremendous protein benefits. We want to nourish our hair with an intensive egg-white protein mask for shiny and healthy stands of hair. Ingredients
3 egg whites
5–7 drops lemon essential oil Preparation and Application
Crack three eggs over a bowl, separating the whites (acne sufferers, save the yolks and for the Yolk Facial recipe on page 98). Once the egg whites are isolated in a bowl, whisk together until fluffy. Add the drops of lemon essential oil for a pleasing aroma. Use your fingers to apply the mask to damp hair, focusing on the ends where the hair naturally weakens. Set hair in a clip and place a shower cap over masked hair while showering. Before exiting the shower, thoroughly rinse out the protein mask with cold water. Comb through hair gently and let air-dry.
Excerpted from Natural Beauty by Elizabeth TenHouten. Copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth TenHouten. Excerpted by permission of Hatherleigh Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.