Being a beauty editor for years, I have interviewed a ton of actors and achievers on their beauty routine. Even before that I was privy to glamorous people and their lives as I started my career as a Page 3 and Bollywood journalist. And here is the deal. The real secret to ‘beauty’ is beyond the regulars – drinking water, red-carpet essentials and DIY, and surprisingly nobody talks about it.

beauty secret, being beautiful. celebrity secrets, lavenderoom

Decoding first impressions

Traditional yardsticks of beauty are the symmetry of facial and body structure; full hair and smooth skin; square jawlines on men and smaller chins on women. From picking partners to choosing politicians to selecting new employees, there is enough research done that talks about the bias towards those good-looking. But our looks are beyond what we are born with. That’s the blueprint. What we decide to do with it is in our hands. First impressions are based not just on what is seen but also what is felt.

Our aura or electromagnetic field that surrounds the body holds the power to draw in or drive back people. It is the distinctive atmosphere that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place. In simple terms this is referred to as the attitude.

The women who had the world’s press appreciating their beauty were the ones who felt unapologetically beautiful in their skin. Beauty is what lies in your head. It is your state of mind.

amy-treasure @unsplash

Does beauty lie in the eye of the beholder?

Only partly so. Because how we feel about ourselves changes the way we are perceived by others. It’s not about having the perfect almond eyes, rosy lips or porcelain skin. It’s the feeling that ‘I am the best that I can be at the moment’. The image that flashes into my mind is of Kareena Kapoor Khan from Jab We Met, Main apni favourite hoon’, which when translated means, I am my own favourite. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. When you are not looking for external validation, and you believe in worth, external validation also comes your way. For some this confidence is innate, and for some, it’s a process. Growing up, we have been conditioned to seek validation.

That’s the problem with the classic fairy tales. It bugs our system with what I call the ‘Cinderalla Virus’. We unconsciously look up to the princess who is oblivious to her charm. But lo behold she is so gorgeous that the prince is roaming around the countryside, leaving all matters of the state, with a glass slipper in his hand. It sets in unrealistic expectations to begin with and makes us believe that beauty is an outside business. It is not. Beauty is an inside job.

Being beautiful is a state of mind

If you believe that you are attractive, you are in sync with the positive vibes that you receive. When you remain in doubt and look for external validations, then your beauty or your aura is dependent on something else or someone else. What I am trying to say is that the source of the feeling beautiful should lie within you. That’s what oomph factor is all about. To put metaphysical terms, it’s the law of attraction.

Here’s how you have to get ahead of the games that your mind can play…

  • Doubts which dent the self-esteem should be banished.
  • It’s not about living in a fool’s paradise, rather it’s about not dwelling in negativity.
  • Exercise to keep your body and mind fit, not to fit in with society’s idea of beauty. When you exercise and keep calm it reflects on your skin.
  • You have to value yourself and start investing in terms of time in your own body, mind and soul.
  • Set a skincare schedule.
  • Every night before sleeping, purge your mind of all the undesirable and demeaning thoughts and actions.
  • Aspire to be in sync with universe, its rhythm and its energies. Meditate, chant or exercise, whatever helps to keep the daily stress levels in control.

Isn’t ‘beauty’ all about vanity, I have been asked often. Why do naturally good-looking women need make-up? I find it strange that the world of fashion is exempt from such scrutinizing questions. Nobody raises their brows when you don a piece of garment that accentuate your body’s curves and camouflage the flab. The fuss around the fabric’s fall, its fit and the shades is acceptable. Then why do the intellectual fret upon the use of foundation and eyeliner as being tools to hide the ‘natural’?

Get your body in sync with your mind

If your pimple scars are bothering you when you look in the mirror, by all means, use a concealer. It’s like a corset. It won’t change the actuals, but if it makes the dress fit better and that makes you feel confident in your skin by all means use it. Make-up is a lot about the mood, just as your choices in the wardrobe are. Not every day we want to slip into a gown, sometimes we want to chill in our shorts and tees. So it’s okay if you want to use the entire vanity arsenal one day, and next day not use any. I remember actor Neha Dhupia, said in an informal chat, “I don’t want to be the girl in red lipsticks or nudes. I don’t want my make-up choices to define me.”

Beauty lies in diversity

We all have our barometers of physical desirability and appeal. Being beautiful means having a broader viewpoint, embracing the idea of beauty in all its versatility. Not just in others but yourself as well. Till the time you continue applying a lighter foundation in a bid to appear lighter, it will be a disaster.

Miracles happen when you look at the colours and brushes not as a means to hide your flaws or reach your ideal of beauty but to celebrate your inner spirit. A red lipstick fails to make a statement if not worn with conviction, just as pale toned lips are not delicately subtle if they don’t sync with your bold persona.

Celebrity make-up artist, Mickey Contractor, once told me that while it is fun to experiment, focus on what suits your face and personality. After all, the only one you want to look like is you, not the celebrity on screen or the blogger on Instagram.

Being attractive is more than having just a pretty face

Many would argue that if you are conventionally beautiful, then it’s easier to feel it from inside. Yes true. But I have also met scores of women who are unbelievably pretty, and they refuse to believe that. What’s inspiring is the belief in your beauty.


beauty, beauty secrets, beautiful, lavenderoom

Take for instance, model Keelin McMahon who rocks runway with a scar. “I’ve done make-up before where I’ve tried to cover it up and I notice more when it’s gone than when it’s there, if that makes sense.” Former supermodel Padma Lakshmi had a challenging time dealing with the scar on her arm. She felt self-conscious about her blemish and underwent painful treatments to lighten it. But over time, she has owned it. That’s the confidence that can completely change the vibes you send out. Ashley Graham, a successful curvaceous American model questions the way we define our bodies by her continued work and also her book titled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, And Power Really Look Like.

Being attractive is more of an attitude than just a pretty face. Vanity, I believe, should be celebrated. Not in an aggressive, I-will-kill-whoever-is-fairer-than-me-evil-step-mother way. But a compassionate and confident way. If you believe you are beautiful, others will too; because beauty doesn’t lie in the eyes of the beholder, but in yours!

Through this blog, I desire to share tips and tricks that assists you in feeling good and looking great. Lots of love…



  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *