What is beauty? Is it bone structure? A certain sparkle in the eyes or lustre in the hair? Or is true beauty more about how you behave? Sigourney examines the concept of and reveals what makes some of Beauticate's subjects feel beautiful.
I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the subject of beauty over the years, having interviewed aesthetic experts from every walk of life – from makeup artists who can transform a face with a flick of a brush to dermatologists, who use lasers and acids to create the bloom of youth that is deemed beautiful.
Then there are those who believe beauty is all about facial symmetry. Babies are found to spend more time looking at even faces faces and symmetry is always an asset when it comes to design. I met a plastic surgeon once, Montreal’s Dr Arthur Swift, who came to our meeting with a pair of golden calipers and proceeded to measure my face, while explaining the mathematical theory behind beauty. Known as The Golden Ratio, Plato believed that we are innately drawn to faces that can be broken down into measurements that fit the ratio of 'phi' 1:1.62. Although many iconic beauty’s faces including Grace Kelly and Angelina Jolie follow the Golden Ratio, it’s not foolproof and many studies since have found other attributes to being markers of physical attractiveness, such as having large eyes, even skin tone, or being particularly baby-faced.
Of course, perceptions of beauty also differ significantly around the world. The Kayan tribe in Thailand find long necks beautiful and place brass rings around their daughters necks from age five to encourage elongation. Mauritian women are encouraged to eat as much as possible, as having an curvaceous wife is a status symbol for the men.
After interviewing some women who are considered to be the most beautiful in the Western world - such as Miranda Kerr and Claudia Schiffer - I would argue that beauty is a light - a luminosity in the skin and a radiance in the spirit. The women that I really couldn’t stop looking at had a glow about them. Cate Blanchett’s skin was incandescent, Doutzen Kroes looked like she had a floodlight beaming down on her, and Rosie Huntington Whiteley was mesmerizing – partly because she was such a warm, gorgeous person (read our interview here).
The beauty industry is obsessed with glow right now. We’re starting to realize that youth and beauty isn’t so much about having zero lines on your face, as having that ‘radiance’. Skincare companies are researching ingredients that will help to bring that light to the skin, so that even when we don’t drink cold pressed juice every day or get eight hours sleep, we can at least look like we do.
Dr. Lewinn’s have just launched their Eternal Youth Luminosity range that consists of an essence, eye cream and day and night cream, all of which contain 24 karat gold to instantly increase radiance, while superstar 'skingredients' nicotinamide, hexapeptides and two patented complexes by the company called Chromocare and X50 Photoglow, even out skin tone and boost brightness. Basically its designed leave you looking like you’ve just got back from a health retreat.
Perhaps the most important thing about beauty, though, is what makes you feel beautiful – as many of our Beauticate subjects can attest to. Model Anya Rubik said she feels it when she dresses up. “I feel the most beautiful and sexy when I'm in a great dress by one of my favourite designers”, she says, while designer Karen Walker believes the opposite. “I feel most beautiful when everything’s off my face and it’s just me and my yoga mat.”
Jewellery designer Samantha Wills said it’s when her boyfriend points it out. “99% of the time he tells me that, I am wearing absolutely no make up, on holidays with salt in my hair, sun on my skin, sand between my toes.” Makeup artist Sarah Jagger said it’s when her son tells her she looks beautiful. “It’s high praise when a three year old notices!”
To celebrate the launch of their new luminosity range, Dr. Lewinn’s is launching a competition that asks you to share images of what makes you feel beautiful and glow from the inside out. The winner receives Eternal Youth Luminosity Collections Set worth $284.75 while ten runners up receive the Eternal Youth Luminosity Essence 30mL and Multi-Moisture Balm 50g. Simply post a pic of what makes you glow, using the hashtag #findyourluminosity (comp details here). Maybe, like our Beauticate subjects it’s as simple as a compliment from a child, or feeling the sand beneath your toes - sometimes the greatest beauty can be found in those little precious moments. I'm going to post a picture of Max kissing me - because, quite simply, there's nothing better.