Are you afraid to feel beautiful?

Too many women never enjoy their own beauty. They can’t see their good points, but instead laser-in on the negatives. They are convinced that beauty and glamour are for other women but not for them. Celebrity hair stylist Ken Paves thinks his industry is part of the problem. “Millions of women don’t always feel good about themselves due to the beauty industry’s narrow definition of how they should look,” he says.
This may seem strange coming from one of Hollywood’s hottest hair stylists, but Paves appreciates all types of beauty. In his book, You are Beautiful, he attempts to convince women to believe in their own beauty. He shows women how to make the most of their looks even if they don’t look like a model or Hollywood starlet.
The book is part memoir and part beauty manual. In it, Paves shares his personal journey from a working-class Detroit boy to a celebrity hair stylist. He recounts his early beginning as a poor, young assistant and how he made ends meet by cleaning the salon on weekends. It becomes clear that his close relationship with his family, and especially his mother, shaped how Paves relates to women. The book also includes anecdotes about working with stars, including Oprah, Victoria
Beckham, and Eva Longoria.
Most importantly, Paves is full of practical advice on how to make the most of your own looks. Using friends and family members as examples, he demonstrates makeup, clothing, and – of course – hair makeover tips for women of all ages, body types, and ethnicities. He even shows you how to cut your own bangs. You are Beautiful makes beauty accessible for the average woman.
If you have never felt beautiful but always longed to, or if you want to up your beauty game but don’t know how, this book may be the help you need.

Transform yourself!

Diane von Furstenberg (image by Shankman) She became the woman she wanted to beSpring is the season of change, so why not use its transformative powers to fine tune your life.
This the perfect time to cast off old habits, reach for new dreams, and create new routines. If you want to lose weight, shape up, learn a new language, or recast yourself as a bombshell or a boardroom diva, start now.
Change is stressful, but life is dull without it. Labels cramp your style and hold you back. They can even kill you if you aren’t careful. Labels are used to keep you in your place.
I was social smoker until I quit cold turkey. I was terrified of gaining weight, so I walked like a fiend. I used quitting as a reason to exercise more, and it worked. I have never smoked again. I was also very thin and fit after I quit. You would think everyone would have been thrilled, but they weren’t. A friend made negative remarks about my thinness and my "snappy" personality. I know she just didn’t like the change in my status. She had to get used to me being a thinner non-smoker.
So darlings, make your plans and keep them to youself. Choose a good trainer or a class to help you reach your fitness goals, and then keep your program to yourself. Or find a workout buddy and keep each other accountable!
When we were growing up, my mother liked to label me and my sister. School came easily to me, so I was "the smart one." My sister got to be "the athletic one." The better I did in school, the less I was encouraged to excel at anything physical. As a result, it took me years to really find my niche with yoga and Pilates, and to develop any confidence.
My mother wasn’t alone or ill-intentioned. Parents, teachers, and even friends often label in an attempt to find attributes or even solidarity, but that doesn’t make it any less restrictive.
Friends who bond over being overweight or single may become resentful, if a member of the duo or group loses weight or develops a serious relationship. It’s easy to point to jealousy as the cause for friction, but just as often the culprit is fear of change. The results can be shocking.
When two friends of mine in their late thirties married, it cost the bride another relationship. When she told her longtime ‘best’ friend about the engagement, her friend became distant. On the wedding day, her friend did not show up or even bother to call, yet she had agreed to be the maid of honour and only attendant. The two ‘friends’ never spoke again. The ‘friend’ evidently felt betrayed that the bride had the decided to change her life and get another ‘best friend’ by getting married. How twisted. How sad.
"The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself,’ says designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg , "because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself." It is wise advice. 
Never be afraid to reach high. You can become any type of woman you want to be. Why not take a leaf from the old movie studios. They often had young starlets emulate bigger stars until they developed their own style.
So, channel Audrey Hepburn’s gamin elegance, Marilyn Monroe’s sexy humour and charm, or Sophia Loren’s salty elegance. After all, that is exactly how today’s stars like Kim K., Lindsay Lohan and the rest find their inspiration. If you want a more modern inspiration, borrow from Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie, or maybe Diane von Furstenberg, Heidi Klum or Elle Macpherson.
Never be a parody or a copy. Be yourself, but learn from your idols and be inspired.
Try something new every week. Change your hair, accessories or attitude. Study the clothes and behavior of those you admire and learn. Reorganize your closet and learn to work with what you own. If you want to lose weight, or change your body, start today. Set aside an hour a day to work on yourself and your dreams. Drop anyone who makes you feel defeated, uncreative, tired, or distracted.
Diane von Furstenberg sumed up the need to be free to find oneself, no matter what others may think. "I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become," von Furstenberg says. "Fashion was absolutely an accident in my life. As a result of that, I was becoming independent, and I was becoming more and more the woman that I wanted to be. If I have any role in what I do in fashion, it’s to make women feel more confident. To be confident, makes you beautiful, makes you happy, makes you fulfilled."
Darlings, you need to be free to become the woman you want to be. Labels are just a civilized shackle. Don’t let any one shackle you or your dreams. Transform yourself.

How to be fabulous – it’s worth it

Choose your friends carefully photo by www.karinpacione.comRecently, I have seen some incredibly horrific, unattractive, self-defeating behavior from women who really should know better. I am not going to name names, but it has inspired me to write my own little guide to being fabulous.

Don’t diss your body, to anyone – even yourself
Darlings, I do not know who coins nasty names for women’s body parts, but they are evil. Expressions such as “muffin top” and “vampire dinner plate lips” are disgusting. They’re also silly, hateful, and hurtful. Women begin to think of themselves as “cottage cheese thighs”, “saddlebag hips” and other even more disgusting things.
It is easier to blame fashion magazines and models for body image problems than the men and women who propagate this tripe. Darlings, these people are insecure haters with issues. Do not listen to them or repeat this trash; it can hurt your self image and it hurts other women. You are beautiful. Learn to love your body, and display it to advantage. If you don’t like a part of your body, work to improve it and learn to dress to highlight what you do love — your lovely hands, adorable feet, tiny waist, great legs, mesmerizing eyes or whatever treasures Mother Nature gave you. If you have trouble with this, ask a friend or book a make-up lesson. Make-up artists are great at seeing potential.
The biggest romance killer in the world is the phrase “I look fat”. No one thinks it and no one wants to hear it, especially in a romantic situation.
You are fabulous — believe it and make it your mantra. It is not conceited to feel beautiful, it is your birthright.
Choose your friends carefully
Careless friends can also damage your reputation. People will judge you by the company you keep, especially in the workplace. If you have friends who get drunk, use drugs, or are promiscuous, it may not say good things about you. Is that fair?  Maybe not, but it is life. Am I for one minute suggesting not standing by a true friend who has fallen on hard times? Not for a minute. Get that that friend help, but also help by being discreet and keeping their troubles off Facebook and other public places so they can get a job later!
Careless friends can also be dangerous. They can get you into dangerous situations. There are bad people out there who hurt and exploit women.  You do not need to associate with anyone with may endanger you by giving out personal information or hooking up with random people.
Be on time
Darlings, waiting for people makes the other person feel used and abused. Need I say more?  Work on this if you are bad at it . You can improve; I did.  I am almost never late anymore.  I have been punctual for years now. I consider it a point of honour. Just think of how dreadful you make some people feel by being late. Very hot men have been known to drop even super-hot women for tardiness — really!  This can be very motivating.
Don’t text or talk on the phone when you are with others
It’s rude to ignore people you are with.  Phoning or texting while you’re with other people tells them they are not important to you. If you have to do it for work, be brief.  The same goes for children or husbands.  There are no excuses; it is the lowest of low behavior. If someone did it to me, she would soon be eating or drinking alone.
Don’t gossip
Have one or two friends with whom you can talk about anything. Do not gossip with anyone else. It’s cheap and tacky to talk about people. Any friend should be able to confide in you, but stop them if they start to divulge too much. They will thank you later.
You must indulge in industry chat to keep up and get ahead.  But if you gossip like a magpie about everyone you will look like a classless shrew. Just stop and redeem your reputation.
Keep your word
Darlings, so few people keep their word, it boggles the mind. Keep yours and make it your bond.  If you can’t keep a promise or obligation for some very good reason, apologize and make amends.  You will be respected and valued.
Be kind, the world is rough place
A truly fabulous woman is kind. She showers the world with her light. I sometimes think kindness is the most underrated beauty secret in the world and I am not kidding. We never when we meet people what little wounds they may have sustained, or what sorrows they may be carrying.  Many people are just plain tired all the time and it makes them cranky. A little kindness and humour can elevate a person’s day, if only for a minute.
Send notes
When was the last time you sent a thank you note? Learn to send them.  I write them all the time. People love to get them. Too few of us send them. Notes are better than calls. They are easy and fun to do.  Mention, in detail, why the dinner, gift, play or whatever was so wonderful.  You can use wonderful stationary or email, but do it. 
And darlings, think of all the effort that went into whatever it was that delighted you so — and do it quickly. And do I need to tell you that job interviews get a thank you note too?!
If you have made a mistake, done something wrong or slighted someone — apologize. Do it quickly and sincerely. Do not excuse yourself as you apologize either. Just do it and mean it.
Develop a specialty
Learn to do something fun really well. It can be anything; a musical number to perform at parties or dish you can cook flawlessly. It is fabulous to have a specialty or two – and you are up to it.
Get a pair of magic shoes
Every fabulous woman needs magic shoes.  Maybe they are red, gold, or classic black patent heels.  They have to comfortable so you can dance all night in them. They sit in your closet and you know every time you put them on you will have fabulous time.  The right shoes can do that for a woman.  Look for your magic shoes if you don’t already have them, you will find them — and they may change your life.
Get a great dress or suit
Unlike the magic shoes, this is the ultimate work outfit. A great dress or suit makes you feel pulled together on your worst day. You should be able to accessorize it five different ways. If you change your shoes, jewels, or scarf, you will have a different look.  You can throw it on in minutes when you are running late and know you will look perfect. It is fabulousness on a hanger.
If you need find that kind of outfit, try the best department store in your city or a boutique or specialty shop such as Anne Taylor, Diane von Furstenberg, White House/Black Market — or ask a friend whose style you admire for a suggestion.
It may seem strange that I place the same importance on choosing friends as on finding magic shoes, but I do.  I believe it is so important for a woman to have reverence and affection for herself, inside and out. I think being fabulous is equal parts mystique and endeavor.  People we surround ourselves with shape our lives more than many of us ever realize.
Darlings, you are fabulous and if you aren’t feeling it, try to find out why. I promise you it is worth it.