Maggie, Her Mother, and Her Makeup

Maggie and Her Mother

Maggie and Her Mother

Maggie’s story starts and ends with her mother. As a child, Maggie Zakhary would love watching her mother’s beauty ritual before she left for work, or church, or on a date with Maggie’s dad. In fact, it became one of her favorite things to do and a special time for Maggie to spend with her mom. It was the 70s and the makeup (which included liquid foundation) was colorful, and yes, there was hairspray! But it was less about being high-maintenance and more about her mother simply taking care of herself and paying attention to her femininity in the way in which she was accustomed. Maggie’s mother (and father) grew up in Egypt; in the Egyptian culture getting fully dressed and applying makeup was the norm. And this custom of putting oneself together became the guiding light for Maggie’s own life and experience. As Maggie grew up and started her own family, she found herself in the position to turn the tables and teach and inspire her mother. Here is how

My mother was forty when she was diagnosed with cancer. Just as I turned forty, I had a lightbulb moment of clarity: it was time to take stock of my own health and the health and care of my young boys ( I count my blessings that today my mother is cancer-free and fully recovered.) Continue reading

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Joan, on the meaning of true beauty

Joan (center) with her dad and her sister, Ellen

Joan (center) in a recent picture with her dad and her sister, Ellen

I met Joan in Southern California, in the early 70s, when my family moved there for a few glorious years. We became fast-friends and found wonderful things to do in the California surf and sun. In fact, Joan and I were part of a club, which I will remember forever as one of the highlights of my youth. I think of Joan as a typical California beauty, with long, brown hair, sun-kissed cheeks and a wide-smile that says, “I am ready for adventure!” I moved back East way-too-soon, and Joan and I kept in touch for a while, but we eventually lost touch. I had heard that Joan moved to Alaska, had married and had a son, but that was all I knew. So, when I discovered her on Facebook a few years ago, I was delighted to re-connect with my childhood friend.

Just as we reconnected, I discovered that Joan was diagnosed with cancer and was about to begin her treatment. I was too far away to be of much help, except to share words of love on Facebook, and follow her news and progress. Today, Joan has completed her chemo treatment, and I hope, is feeling better and more of herself again. Joan talked to me about the experience, how it has affected her, and ultimately, what true beauty means to her, now. I am forever grateful to Joan for sharing her story. Here is Joan, on the meaning of true beauty …

MKG: Joan, it is so kind of you to spend time talking about this very personal journey. Thank you. Let’s go back for a moment: would you describe how you saw yourself as a child and a young woman? What did being a Southern California girl mean to you, in terms of health and beauty?

JOANI feel that I was very lucky growing up to have had the foundation of a loving, fun, and humorous family. Our upbringing was a balance of respectful politeness, while, at the same time, being empathetic and ‘down to earth’. We were reminded (especially during our teen years) of how lucky we were to have what we did. Continue reading

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California wisdom meets invention, chemistry and cosmetics

Rose Nichols, President and CEO, Lip Ink International

Rose Nichols, President and CEO, Lip-Ink®

On January 1, 1995, Californian Rose Nichols, started her company, Lip-Ink®, a multi-patented, guaranteed smearproof, cosmetic color that’s vegan, kosher, natural, organic and botanical. At 40 years old, when she was at the end of one cycle in her life, she got the calling to push herself toward another: “I began to read books on herbs, botanicals, the origins of color and I started visiting hardware stores, art stores, going to museums; I waned to know as much about color as I could. I was on a quest. I needed answers, more and more answers, until I hit a sweet spot. That was the moment that I knew my calling: To change the face of cosmetics and bring meaning and purpose to cosmetics in women’s lives. All of the products that I invented needed to be explained, which requires one person sharing an application with another. I call this ceremony. There is a reason for this; I believe it brings women together. We have been separated due to the fast-pace of life. Little things like this bring us back together. That was when Lip-Ink® was born.” ~ Rose Nichols Continue reading

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Jillian Veran

Jillian Veran, beauty expert and media spokesperson

Jillian Veran, beauty authority and media spokesperson

When you first meet Jillian Veran, beauty authority and media spokesperson, you are  drawn in by her gorgeous, twinkling brown eyes. And before long you are wishing Jillian can spread some of that same makeup magic on you. As a world renown beauty authority Jillian’s professional resume includes well-known beauty and makeup experts Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives Cosmetics and Philosophy. She has traveled the world and done everything from education, special events, awards shows, Fashion Week, and editorial. Yet even though her twenty-six year career has reached great heights there is so much more ahead for Jillian, whose spiritual attitude says all is possible; you simply say yes to opportunity. In tomorrow’s podcast you will hear how Jillian said yes to Chanel and began her brilliant career …

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Abby

Abby - Miss TEEN New Jersey

Abby

Being true to yourself never goes out of style” ~ From Broadway’s Legally Blond

Abby is a charming seventeen-year old with a perspective on life that is at the same time modern and refreshingly old-fashioned. She is a role model for young girls, because in addition to being the oldest of five, two of whom are younger sisters, Abby is also the reigning Miss TEEN New Jersey. This week I have been pondering over the question: what is  beauty? – first, with Ceylone and now, with Abby. Here is Abby in her own words …

I grew up loving fashion. My mom says that I left the hospital with a bow in my hair. I always wore bows, loved pink and was very girly. I also love wearing dresses that are flowy and flirty …

I always liked watching pageants but I never thought it was something I would do. Last summer when I was sixteen, the woman for whom I babysit (a former pageant participant herself) encouraged me to try it. She said that I would love it and she was right … Continue reading

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What is beauty?

Ceylone - Spokesperson for Kick Cancer Overboard

Ceylone – Spokesperson for Kick Cancer Overboard

Ceylone - Spokesperson for Kick Cancer Overboard

Ceylone – with Kick Cancer Overboard team

Knowing Ceylone has inspired me to ask the question, ‘what is beauty?’ We met last December when Ceylone was the guest/motivational speaker for a group of women from Dress for Success. I watched as she brightened the room with her presence and touched us all by her personal story and her desire for every woman to reach her purpose and potential. It was magic.

She is not only a motivational speaker, but a makeup artist, wife, mother, and spokesperson for an organization called Kick Cancer Overboard.com, all of which give her purpose and reward. Ceylone has won the titles of Mrs. New Jersey America and Mrs. New Jersey United States. And tomorrow, Ceylone leaves for Chicago to compete with 70 other women in the Mrs. International Pageant 2013. Continue reading

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