“There are as many ways to live as there are people in the world.” It’s a line from the childhood film Harriet the Spy. And it seems when it comes to beauty there are as many ways to look as there are people in the world. So why do we ascribe to a single way of looking? When unconventional beauty is just so damn interesting.
Because you could spend all your energy trying to look ‘better’ or you could focus your life on being an interesting person. You should see the beauty in a distinctive feature. One that runs through the generational lines of your family. Hasn’t anyone ever told you of the beauty of dark circles? Perhaps we could all aim to look ‘romantic’ instead of ‘hot’. And on the days we feel we look neither, we can laugh and then, simply get on with our day.
Sure, we could reach old age looking like we had enough money for $30 salads at lunch with the girls and regular botox. Or we could arrive in our later years looking like we have stories to tell.
And so, here I have rounded up the beauty advice I have saved to memory over the years. Saved in my Instagram folder, screenshot in my camera roll and pages of books that have been photographed. So as to remember the exact turn of phrase.
Unconventional beauty advice to remember:
“I always have bags under my eyes; I’ve always had that, since I was born. The skin there is very thin so it’s transparent so I always look tired and sad. Nothing really helps. Sometimes they give me some cream to help hide it, but honestly, I don’t think it works—it just makes it bigger. You just have to accept it. And the thing I say is, ‘It’s romantic!’ When people tell me, ‘You have this,’ I say, ‘Yeah, but it’s romantic, you know?’ Romy Schneider, this actress, she always had that and she always looked sad, but people would think she looked beautiful because she has a sadness in her look.” - Daphné Hezerd, Editor in Chief, L'Officiel
“That’s a nose to start a family on, my princeling. There’d be no mistaking whose brood they were. Mughal Emperors would have given their right hands for noses like that one. There are dynasties waiting inside it.” Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
“I like when women look a little different. And I don't understand plastic surgery. You know, there’s something really wonderful to growing old and keeping yourself upright. There really is! It doesn’t have to be the worst thing in your life. How can you not face your mirror and see reality? I got up this morning and thought, ‘I really look awful!’ And then I turned the page. What am I gonna do, go to the dermatologist? [Laughs]” - Betty Halbreich, personal shopper Bergdorf Goodman
“I never quite understand the way society decides who is beautiful and who is not. But an open face and a capacity for kindness always feel like reliable signifiers to me.” - Tilda Swinton
“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important Rule of Beauty, which is: ‘Who cares?’” - Tina Fey, Bossypants
“I never think you should cover up, only enhance – that’s why I don’t consider what I wear makeup. Beauty is a way of being yourself and belonging within your own story in the world. Whether that’s the Mursi tribe or Marlene Dietrich…” Michèle Lamy
“I think that’s the point of life, if you’re lucky. Hopefully, it’s growing up. You get to be wise. That’s the point. You read; you talk to the smartest people in the world and listen to them.” - Lauren Hutton
“This is my face, deal with it.” Jess Blanch, Editor in Chief, RUSSH Magazine