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.
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.
Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Adjust
Concealer: Clarins Instant Concealer 01
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...
" 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!
I hope you are inspired to be more beautiful today and each day that follows as I share... Her Look Inside
Peace and Joy,