Have you ever met someone who immediately made you feel like you could let your guard down and spill your heart–the good, the bad, and the ugly–out to? That’s exactly how I felt the first day I sat in Samantha Ray‘s chair for my wedding hair and makeup trial. When I think back on all of the times Sam has done my hair and/or makeup since then (along with my wedding, she also worked her magic for a number of Southern Weddings events), there’s no question that she is someone who has made me feel my most beautiful…and I don’t think that’s just because of her technical skill. She also has the warmest, kindest personality, and the most encouraging heart. When she’s doing your makeup, you feel that she’s not trying to cover up your imperfections–rather, she’s working to bring out your best features and make you look like the loveliest version of yourself. Sam recently announced that she’s moving into a new season of focusing on encouraging women to “see and honor the beauty in themselves,” and I couldn’t resist asking her if I could pick her brain on that very topic.
This post is on the lengthy side, but I encourage you to read the whole thing! Grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s soak up Sam’s wisdom together :)
Tell me about yourself! Who are you and where did your interest in beauty come from?
From my wedding!
What lies do you find women believing about their beauty? How do you combat these lies?
One of the most common red flags I hear is “you should”–whenever I come across that subliminal message in a beauty article or advertisement, I put up caution tape. Women don’t need any extra thing on their list of what or how they “should” be in order to be valuable, loved, or enough. So many women think they are somehow less-than because they “should” know how to do their eyeliner or “should” own a curling iron. Those are lies. You are enough, just as you are! If you want to do your eyeliner, do it. Watch a YouTube tutorial that resonates with a look you’d actually do on yourself. Ask a friend for tips. It’s more important to spend more time investing in taking good care of yourself (rest, hydrating, play, love) than in stopping the signs of aging or mastering a perfect five-minute face. Our priorities have gotten out of whack!
I also hear a lot about what women don’t like about their face, hair, or body. They sit in my chair, and then I hear a role call of all that they want to hide or change. It is so important to turn that talk into what we love about our natural features! Believe me, it’s hard for me too, but we have to fight against talking down about ourselves for our own sake, as well as the women around us, our husbands, and our children. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Then list all the things you think are beautiful on that wonderful person looking back at you.
What makes you feel your most beautiful?
When I feel at peace and content. If there is something nagging me, like being jealous of a friend or bitter about something my husband did or didn’t do, it is near impossible for me to feel beautiful. I have to deal with that stuff (normal as it is!) with Jesus. Listening to signals my body is giving me and being kind to myself also really helps me feel extra beautiful. If I’m super worn down or stressed out, taking a bubble bath and doing a face mask while listening to beautiful music is like saying, “Hey Sam, I really care about you and honor how you feel,” and it is so peace-giving! Also, being at the beach or lake with my family, no makeup, after a day in the sun, laughing together–that is probably when I feel the most beautiful!
What’s your favorite tip for feeling beautiful from the inside out?
What’s your favorite product in your day-to-day routine?
My enzyme cleanser and vitamin A serum. I dealt with really painful cystic acne in my 20s and this combo has been the most gentle and effective on my skin. People will tell me “your skin is so beautiful” and it is like music to my ears after so long of dealing with facial cysts. Healthy skin > good makeup!
What product do you love to reach for on special occasions?
Highlighter and a pop of lip color make me feel SO fancy! My favorite highlighter recently is Galaxy Milk from Kani Botanicals–it smells amazing and gives the perfect glimmer. I’ve also really been enjoying Revlon’s Just Bitten color stick in Smitten–it’s a stain, which I love, and it gives off the perfect “I just ate a ton of berries and my lips are just like this” look :)
Do you have a favorite product that looks gorgeous on practically everyone?
Yes! One of my favorite BB creams is Stila’s 10-in-1 Illuminating beauty balm, and it is the most universally flattering BB cream I’ve ever come across. It stays in my kit at all times! It looks amazing on almost all skin types and tones, with a very soft, even coverage and a hint of radiance. Forever a fave.