Kai Schwedland's Look... Inside

Yes my last post was in 2016... and it was the second.  I am very consistent.  I recently took the Enneagram test and I was a 9 and 4... 9 winning by 1 point.  What this means is the inconsistency in this blog is not surprising in the least.  It also means that I am not motivated to start a podcast in any way shape or form.  I do realize that is the way to go and people now make fun of people that blog... I choose to stay in the early 2000's, though I have discontinued use of the Swarovski crystal bracelet arm party, continue to blog annually and feel no shame.  Moving on.

I recently interviewed my 12 year old daughter , Kai, on what her definition of beauty was.  Her perspective was refreshing and funny.  She was slightly put out, rolled her eyes a few times and asked me multiple times if that was the last question.  She is , by definition, a true artist.  She feels big, creates big and loves even bigger.  Her heart for her friends blows me away... she is loyal, kind, sensitive to the core, compassionate and so unbelievably creative it takes my breath away.  Her journey is her own and I know she has been created for a unique purpose and her giftings will be used in a beautiful way... ( insert 1 billion more attributes a proud mom can pour over her child on social media ) ...so here is my very scattered, very short, all over the place, interview/conversation in the car with my daughter on beauty and other random things... 

 I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14                              2017 Photo by: Tracy Wade

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:14                            

2017 Photo by: Tracy Wade

 

Her Look

Kai is wearing no makeup whatsoever.  She is 11 and doesn't need a lick.  Please do not tell her otherwise.  The only things she never leaves the house without is her sketchbook and  fancy markers.   

Kai's Look Inside

HLI:  Hey ... may I ask you a few questions? 

KS:  Maybe 

HLI:  Well, I was being polite.  I am going to need you to answer some questions for me. 

KS:  OK

HLI:  When you hear the word " beautiful " what immediately comes to mind?

KS:  Well, two different things.  Inner beauty and outer beauty, like being pretty and stuff. 

HLI:  What about inner beauty?

KS:  Inner beauty is being kind, sweet, loving God and friends and helping animals. 

HLI:  I agree, those qualities are so beautiful.  What about outer beauty?  You said " pretty" earlier.  What does that look like to you?

KS:  Freckles, blue eyes and braces.  I think braces are really cute.

HLI:  I couldn't agree more.  You will be so cute in the braces you get in about a year or so.  Dreams come true baby girl.  What do you enjoy doing the most?  That makes you feel really good about yourself?

KS:  Art

HLI:  What other things?

KS:  playing with animals and helping animals

HLI:  What are your dogs names?

KS:  Gizmo and Sweetie Pie.  Why are you asking me this?  You know their names.

HLI:  I know but other people don't.  Where did you get them?

KS:  Austin Pet's Alive.  We adopted them.  Gizmo is an ugly dog.  I wanted him because nobody else wants ugly dogs. I think he is really cute though. 

HLI:  Gizmo has grown on me... Speaking of art, what is your favorite color?

KS:  Blue

HLI:  How does it make you feel?

KS:  Happy and calm.

HLI:  Is there a color that makes you feel sad? 

KS:  Yes, dark grey and black, like all your clothes. 

HLI:  Ahahahahaha. Does color in my lipstick count?  

KS:  No.

HLI:  What is something you have done lately that was really hard but you got through it?

KS:  This interview... just kidding...MATH!!!!

HLI:  I feel you.  I still carry my one's on receipts.  What is something you have done lately that made you feel confident and proud?

KS:  Art.

HLI:  I am sooooo proud of your art.  I am also so equally proud of how hard you work at Math!   One is definitely more fun that the other though.  I get that.  Do you think a 12 year old can make the world a more beautiful place?

KS:  Yes. Of course.  

HLI:  What are some examples?

KS:  You are making my head hurt with all these questions.  Please stop asking me. 

HLI:  Ahahahahaha.  Ok.  Ok.  Thanks for entertaining Mommy for a bit.  I always love what you have to share.  

KS.  Are we done?  Will you take me to Michaels so I can get some stuff?  

HLI:  Yes we are done.  What do you need?

KS:  I don't know yet. 

HLI:  No but I will take you to Patika because Mommy needs a coffee. 

 I pray you always walk in the assigned worth God has given you... Mama loves you!   2017 Photo by Tracy Wade

I pray you always walk in the assigned worth God has given you... Mama loves you! 

2017 Photo by Tracy Wade

 

Daily Dose of Inner Beauty

HLI:  Hey Kai.  You know how Mommy has a hard time talking in the morning before I have at least one cup of coffee?

KS:  Oh my gosh, yes. 

HLI:  Do you have something like that? 

KS:  No.

HLI:  That's actually really good.  I am going to start over.  Where is your favorite place in Austin to get a treat or a " boost " as mommy refers to her coffee?  I ask most my interviewees this question but specifically about where to get a good cup of coffee in their city.  I refer to caffeine as my fountain of youth or cup of personality... and it makes me happy. 

KS:  There is no such thing as the fountain of youth. 

HLI:  You are absolutely right. We should let people know.  I think some people are still looking... back to your favorite place? 

KS:  My favorite places are Toy Joy, Yummi Joy and Lick .  Toy Joy has really cool, unique, hard to find, toys.  Yummi Joy is right next door and has a lot of Japanese candy which is really cool.  Lick is ice cream.  I like caramel salt lick the best.

Normally this is where I would insert links to where you can follow Kai on social media ... but Kai is not on social  media yet.  Feel free to just blow up my comments or instagram on how great you think she is. 

Sincerely though,  I hope you are inspired to be more beautiful today and each day that follows as  I share...Her Look Inside. 

Peace + Joy,

Tiffany Schwedland

Their Look... Inside

Happy almost Valentine's Day beautiful people !

As I reflect on the year I find myself grateful for many beautiful gifts... whether they have come out of struggle, pride, heartbreak, loss or unbelievable joy.  I would like to focus on one gift that has been a constant reminder in my life of what a simple shift in perspective can do for ones body, mind, soul and overall outlook on life.  This gift is the incredibly beautiful women in my life.  Whether it be personal or professional relationships... they continue to turn my eyes outward and upward.  If I relied on my own perspective or filters all the time I would be a narcissistic, self loathing, hot mess of a woman... and that is not pretty one itty bitty bit.  

I sent out a bat call to some of these ladies to share a bit of their perspective or definition of what they believe real beauty to be and how it has shaped and continues to shape them as women... these featured graciously agreed to participate.  Click on their names to learn more about who they are and what they are about.  My hope is you will be inspired, motivated and blessed by another woman's idea of what real beauty means in their life and what it could possibly mean in yours as we celebrate the beginning of a New Year as well as the honored day of LOVE.  Let's be honest, everyday needs to be a day of love, or at least a futile attempt at it.  One of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa, who in my opinion, epitomized true love, is " Spread LOVE wherever you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. "  I want to be her friend.  #beautygoals

Beauty is...

" Being beautiful means that you find your joy from within and your happiness from your friends and family.  It means that the mirror doesn't determine your self worth."  Jamie Jo Braner

" Honestly, I feel beauty is ever changing.  For me, right now, being beautiful means feeling strong, physically and emotionally.  Not unshatteringly strong, but alive and vibrant.  So, simply put, being beautiful means feeling vibrant and alive."  Jessica Elliot

" In this season I'm learning to dance with myself more freely everyday as my spirit learns more about how to inhabit this body.  One presses on pulls, one fails, one succeeds, and all becomes a syncopated rhythm of chaos and beauty and creation. "  Lori Fox

" It means eluding joy and kindness."   Barb Steinberg

" Beautiful is the confidence to be who you are as a woman and not who you think you should be.  God has masterfully created us all different, and embracing that is so beautiful."   Jamie Ivey

" At this time in my life, being beautiful, for myself, means doing everything I can and being everything I can to make my husband happy and peaceful, as well as providing wonderful life experiences for the four dearest souls on earth - my grandchildren.  I want them to know me right now as, and to one day have memories of me as a kind, loving and beautiful soul." 
Paula Carpenter

" I truly think that true beauty comes from within.  I've seen outward beauty many, many times but it fades and it goes no where other than the surface.  Generally, it is not their doing, it was given to them.  Inward beauty is something that lasts, something that sustains, something that changes the outside appearance, something that makes you feel younger and look younger but most of all, inward beauty is not given, it's a choice."   Suzette Munson

" No matter what I've looked like on the outside at different points in my life, I've felt the most beautiful when I'm true to myself and just be that woman... Not the one I think people are expecting me to be."   Tracy Wade

" Beauty is stepping into the inconvenient and uncharted and lovingly doing the unexpected, uncomfortable, or unfamiliar for a sister, mother, daughter, aunt, niece, neighbor or friend,  If you can't do that then a good brow pencil, mascara, a dash of concealer and a swipe of illuminating tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier make for a beauty in a pinch. "  Dana Vick 

" When I was in college I met my best friends.  They are some of the most beautiful women I've ever known and their love and acceptance of me ignited a light in my heart and an understanding of true beauty.  Their beauty was largely from their love of God and devotion to Him.  This totally impacted my life and encouraged me to deepen my own relationship with God..which has been the main way I continue to evaluate my own beauty... and that's mostly the beauty of the heart."   Kirsten Dickerson

" Beautiful , to me, is the state of being accepted.  Having just moved to Thailand, beauty standards here are wildly different than the U.S. ... women wear big eye contacts and bows and even fake braces to appear younger and baby-doll cute.  Let's say that this is not a good look for me.  It is becoming easier for me to look Thai and American beauty standards square in the face and say, you are arbitrary and meaningless.  Really, when I want to look beautiful, I am wanting to be safe and loved.  There are days when YSL mascara helps me feel more powerful and there are days when a bare face does the trick.  Beauty is personal.  And thank God it is, because otherwise I would look like an overgrown baby doll if I tried to define myself by my current surroundings. " 
Constance Dykuisen

I hope you are inspired and motivated to be more beautiful today and each day that follows... thanks for letting me share... Their Look Inside with you!

Now onto the important things...

Daily Dose of Inner Beauty

Beauty comes in all forms... a great skin care routine, vitamins, sunscreen, teeth brushing....it's caffeine for me.  GAME CHANGER.  Coffee is my mouth wash. ( New Year's resolution, whiten teeth. )  It pretty much makes me Mother Teresa incarnate.  A great cup of coffee could possibly trump lipstick on any given day.  I wouldn't go as far to say mascara or concealer.  Here are a few of these ladies favorite places to get lit in their city... If you are there...stop in! 

Cafe Medeci / Austin

Davis Street Espresso / Dallas

Jo's / Austin

Houndstooth / Austin

Clint's Bakery and Coffee Shop / Breckenridge

Rocket Coffeebar / Bangkok

Peace and Joy,

Tiffany

 

Kirsten Dickerson's Look ... Inside

I am honored, humbled and excited to showcase Kirsten Dickerson, CEO and founder of Raven + Lily, as the inaugural interview on Her Look Inside.  Kirsten is a full time wife, mom, CEO as well as homesteader of Green Acres, a boutique retreat in Elgin, Texas that she and her filmmaker husband, Brandon Dickerson, own and operate.  Clearly, she has a lot of time on her hands.  If you aren't familiar with Raven + Lily , it is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women around the world.  They currently help to employ over 1500 marginalized women in 9 different countries. For Kirsten's full bio head on over to ravenandlily.com and do some shopping while you are at it!

I have had the insane opportunity to travel the world with Kirsten and the R + L team doing H/MUA on photoshoots as well as meeting the incredibly talented women they partner with.  To say my travels with Kirsten have been life changing would not do it justice...there aren't many words...just lots of explanation points, happy face emojis and prayer hands to communicate the joy, humility and gratitude that these experiences have brought me.  Not only from a creative and professional standpoint but from a profound personal one as well.  The people I have met and the places I have seen have shaped my life decisions moving forward not only for myself but for my family...for that, and a lot of other reasons that I don't have time to type, I am her champion...always and forever!  I am honored to call her my friend.  She is the real deal.  Golden through and through.  Her heart is for the women R + L partners with and that is why she does what she does.  Kirsten, I owe you a coffee.  That should make us even.

Since this is the first interview I am explaining a bit more so you know what Her Look Inside is about.  This is a blog showcasing the beauty of makeup as well as the hearts of the women who wear it.  Today I am sharing with you the makeup look I created for Kirsten, as well as the products used.  Most importantly, you will get a look inside her personal journey and understanding of what it means to be truly beautiful in today's world. 

Her Look

 Kirsten photographed by  Kate Stafford  at the grand opening of the Raven + Lily Storefront Spring 2014

Kirsten photographed by Kate Stafford at the grand opening of the Raven + Lily Storefront Spring 2014

This look was for the Spring opening of the Raven + Lily storefront so in honor of Spring I wanted to focus on a pop of peachy coral on her cheeks and lips while still bringing attention to her gorgeous blue eyes with a hint of grey shadow.  I finished the look with bronzer and a highlighter to accentuate her healthy and glowing skin.

The Skin:  Beautycounter Everyday AM Hydrating Cream mixed with a few drops of their Lustro Face Oil #2 for hydration as well as a nice dewy look.

Primer:  Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Adjust

Foundation:  Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Concealer:  Clarins Instant Concealer 01

Eyes:  MAC eyeshadows in Shroom, White Hot, Orb and Scene.  NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Black.  Loreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black.

Cheeks:  Mac Blush in Peaches.  Beautycounter Color Contour Matte Bronzer in 01.  Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige.

Lips:  MAC Pro longwear lip pencil in Voltage all over with MAC Lipglass in Pink Lemonade.

Kirsten's Look Inside

I sat down with Kirsten awhile back to interview her and by sat down I mean emailed her some questions...Kirsten shared with me some of her early beauty influences and how that understanding and meaning has evolved and changed through the years.  I loved what she had to say...I hope you will too!

HLI:  When you think of beauty what immediately comes to mind and why?

KD:  I think of how beauty is defined by what I value.  Its been amazing to understand the concept of beauty in various cultures around the world.  I've been deeply impacted by the true beauty I've encountered in women who outwardly dress or look very different than me or my friends, yet they are so gorgeous not from a typical western standard.  Women who have determined to live life to the fullest and love without expecting anything in return seem to embrace the greatest beauty I've ever known.  They are free, despite circumstance or appearance.  I want to be around women like this because they challenge me to cultivate a beautiful inward soul that will radiate beauty outwardly as well.

HLI:  As a young girl what was your definition of beauty?

KD:  When I was younger I modeled and defined beauty based on if I was considered thin enough or beautiful enough for a print add or a runway show.  I got lost in that world and was pretty insecure. 

HLI:  How has that evolved as you have gotten older and who or what can you attribute that to?

KD:  When I went to college I met my best friends.  They are some of the most beautiful women I've ever known and their love and acceptance of me ignited a light in my heart and an understanding of true beauty.  Their beauty was largely from their love of God and devotion to Him.  This totally impacted my life and encouraged me to deepen my own relationship with God... which has been the main way I continue to evaluate my own beauty... and that's mostly the beauty of the heart.

HLI:  Has your work influenced your understanding of what true beauty is?   In what way?   Anyone in particular?

KD:  I started traveling globally towards the end of college in the mid 90's.  Seeing incredible poverty and incredible beauty all in the same place was hard to reconcile.  There was so much suffering of so many women I came to know, and many had lost hope and their beauty was fading.  I couldn't bare to see that happen so I have devoted my life to be an advocate for women and children who are oppressed so that they might discover their God-given beauty and value.  That's the biggest motivation for me behind Raven + Lily.  The beautiful products sold through Raven + Lily represent the beauty and culture of the women who made them.  When someone wears Raven + Lily it's my deepest desire that they would feel beautiful outwardly because they LOVE the design but also inwardly because they know they are connected to an amazing women who is overcoming odds and thriving.  There is true beauty and dignity in that amazing connection and I'm slightly addicted to sharing it with the world.

HLI:  Has having a daughter changed how you view beauty or how you try to define it for her?  Living in a culture that gives such misconception to real beauty how do you talk to your daughter about that? 

KD:  My sweet daughter's name, Mei Li, means beautiful.  We adopted her from China when she was a baby.  She would have been raised in an over crowded orphanage and likely never been told she was beautiful.  She has struggled to feel loved and connected, but we never give up.  We tell her often how much we love her and cherish her and we try to show her through our actions and devotion.  And she definitely lights up when she feels beautiful.  That usually happens when we buy new clothes or get a fresh haircut or she accomplishes a huge challenge or makes us a special meal ( she loves to cook ) or she makes a sweet friend.  I melt when I see her light up, and I've come to realize we desire tangible things things to help us feel beautiful.  As I focus on raising her to know her most important beauty comes from her heart, I also see how the tangible expressions of beauty help her feel beautiful and soften her heart.

HLI:  What do you find most beautiful in a woman?

KD:  Eyes, they are a window to her heart.  

HLI:  What's in your makeup bag?

KD:  I'm on a plane to NYC as I type so I brought it all!

HLI:  What products and/or brands are you a big fan of?

KD:  I only wear and use natural beauty products.  Most of my makeup is Glo Minerals, Elements or Burt's Bees.

HLI:  What is your go to makeup look?

KD:  I love red lips, black liner only on top with gold shimmery shadow.  I always use a bronzer to add a little color to my pale skin.  I haven't changed my look in years.   

HLI:  ...and you don't need to!  Thank You Kirsten...

 On location in  Amboseli National Park , Kenya with Kirsten and team.  Kirsten was prepping for a promotional video to help tell the story of these beautiful Massai women  Raven + Lily  is in partnership with.

On location in Amboseli National Park, Kenya with Kirsten and team.  Kirsten was prepping for a promotional video to help tell the story of these beautiful Massai women Raven + Lily is in partnership with.


" When someone wears Raven + Lily it's my deepest desire that they would feel beautiful outwardly because they LOVE the design but also inwardly because they know they are connected to an amazing women who is overcoming odds and thriving. " - Kirsten Dickerson

Daily Dose of Inner Beauty

Beauty comes in all forms and one of those is caffeine.  It's truly beautiful to caffeinate...It's a staple in my daily beauty regime and quite a few others, I'm sure. I always want to know where people go for a great cup of coffee in their city in case I'm visiting and anything that day I do or say needs to count...so I thought I'd ask my interviewees their favorite places to help us all out.  Your welcome.

KD:  I love going to Dai Due for coffee and a wood fire biscuit or brunch because it's right next door to the studio!  If I want a fancy coffee I go to Houndstooth, owned by the sweetest family.  Love them and their coffee!

Thanks Kirsten!  You can follow Kirsten on Instagram at @kirstenatx, Raven + Lily at @ravenandlily and Green Acres at @greenacresatx. Twitter:  @RavenAndLily @GreenAcresATX

I hope you are inspired to be more beautiful today and each day that follows as I share... Her Look Inside

Peace and Joy,

Tiffany Schwedland