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It took me more than twenty years to become an "overnight success" in the world of makeup-thirteen years as a makeup artist, ten years as Chairman of the Board of my own cosmetics company, and six successful infomercials. I've had the opportunity to watch makeup change women's lives and help them feel better about themselves from the big screen to the board room, from the dance floor to the bedroom. Among the various actors, models, news anchors, housewives, teachers, and corporate business executives who have been my clients, I've seen a common thread: makeup has the power to help instill confidence in people.
One of my earliest revelations as a makeup artist was how few beautiful women are able to accept their power and their own natural beauty. So many models and actresses have been programmed to hide behind heavy makeup. It used to be a big surprise when I chose not to change a woman's appearance dramatically. Rather, my goal was to make these beautiful women look like themselves, only better.
From this intention, my trademark, "No Makeup Makeup" was born. It's become a signature for my work. When you can accept that your natural features are already appealing (I know this isn't always easy), you can feel comfortable with or without makeup. Then you can learn to use makeup in the most natural way, making the most of your God-given beauty.
It could be that mascara makes you feel sexier. Maybe some lipstick and a little blush helps you feel more alive. You might be partial to using foundation, or maybe you love to bring out your eyes with eyeliner and some subtle shadow. Or maybe you like all of the above, and you'reexcited about a different method of application. The point is that makeup can empower you to feel more comfortable and confident about yourself. Then, you can put "how you look" behind you and participate in what matters most in life.
I believe there's a world of interesting and valuable experiences out there. Why waste time worrying about whether you look good enough?Isn't making something of yourself from the inside out a much worthier pastime than getting stuck on how somebody sees you? If you take a moment to broaden your knowledge about makeup, to learn to apply it in a simple, efficient, and effective way and feel good about how you look as a result, you can get on with the rest of your life. To me, feeling free is what power is all about, the gift I'd like to offer other women-the real reason I decided to write this book.
It's difficult to pinpoint the exact moment my interest in the power of makeup took hold. A deciding event did happen one afternoon, when I went wandering through the Max Factor museum near Hollywood Boulevard. I remember marveling at how ahead of his time he was. I fantasized about what this innovative man must have been thinking when he created new products that would change the face of makeup and of women forever. Inspired by what I saw, I went home and startedmixing up my own concoctions in pots and pans in my garage.
As far as hands-on training, my greatest teacher was my mother, although she had no idea. When I was facing any kind of challenge growing up, she used to say, "Victoria, wash your face, put on some makeup, get out there, and just do it." It was the old "fake it 'til you make it" concept. As simple as her advice was, I took it to heart. Today, as my company and my television career continue to expand, I still remember my mother's wise words. A little makeup combined with a positive attitude can go a long way.
For more than a decade, as makeup artist to some of the world's most gorgeous women, including Jackie Bisset, Brooke Shields, Rene Russo, Kate Capshaw, and KathIeen Turner to name a few, I've seen time and again, how makeup can build confidence in a woman. I recall a beautiful and prominent movie star arriving early at a shoot one morning. Nervously sitting down in my makeup chair, she said she wasn't feeling all that well, and asked if I would make her up before her costar arrived. As I applied a light foundation and gave her some eyeliner, shadow, blush, and lipstick, she transformed into a different person. Finally, when the mascara went on, the outspoken sex symbol her public knew and loved was standing before me. As I watched her walk away with great confidence to greet the rest of the cast, I marveled at the extra bounce in her stride and how different she looked from when she'd sat down. Although she was a beautiful woman naturally, the truth was that she wasn't comfortable until she was wearing a little makeup. The outer change in her demeanor was dramatic, but the inner change was nothingshort of a miracle.
As we women continue to gain more freedom and confidence in ourselves, I see attitudes toward makeup moving in a healthy direction. We're no longer following other people's ideas about what works for us and what doesn't. I'm relieved to see that we've stopped allowing the seasons to dictate our color palettes, that we've moved beyond that kind of rigid, boxlike thinking. These days, we're allowing our own creativity to dictate how we look in the moment. Most women instinctively know what looks best on them, anyway. We don't need anyone to tell us. Maybe we simply don't give ourselves enough credit. If we stop for a moment and take an honest look in the mirror, we can trust what our instincts tell us.
The future for women is promising. As we greet a brand-new millennium, we have brought with us a fusion of the fashion and makeup ideas of all the decades that came before. We are free to experiment, but there are certain basics that are timeless. For example, I doubt we'll ever go back to wearing clown cheeks or thick, pointy eyebrows. If, on a whim, we decide to wear dark eyes and light lips, or dark lips and light eyes, we can. It's okay to go to extremes or even to go without makeup altogether. With our hard-earned sense of freedom, we no longer need to paint masks on our faces.