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The following products are the best of the best. Over the years I have tried every product and every brand out there and I know what works. Here is your chance to peek inside my makeup bag. No matter what your budget is, you will find everything you need to get positively beautiful.

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Chapter fourteen VOU are positively beautiful

Well, darlin’, my publishers tell me our time together must come to an end. I hope you’ve enjoyed using this book as much as I’ve loved putting it together.

Rather than an ending, let’s see this as a new beginning. After all, your beauty journey is just getting started! You’re gaining positive momentum. And you’re looking better every day because you’re feeling better about your unique beauty—inside and out.

Congratulations! Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come.

You’ve dropped the flaw focus, embraced your assets, and enhanced your best features.

You’re determined to end negative self-talk, and you’re eager to spread the contagious joy of compliments. You see yourself as one of a kind, glorious, and downright gorgeous.

And you know what? You’re right.



Chapter fourteen VOU are positively beautiful

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Paula’s face lights up the room. Her smile is contagious, topped only by her laugh. Everything about her says here’s a vivacious, happy, deeply confident woman.

To highlight her sunny personality, I went for a summery, fresh look.

We defined her eyes using a bronze shimmer in the crease, with sunset gold and pink shadows under the brow and across the lid. A sweep of bronze shadow under the lower lash line brought out the sparkle. We curled her lashes and added black mascara to fire up the flirt factor.

Brights enhanced Paula’s honey complexion. We played up her Latina coloring with coral powder blush and coral lip gloss. Absolutely radiant!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Heather, 22

hometown: bensalem, Pennsylvania

I can’t remember ever not being aware of the importance of appearance. I’ve always been taller and curvier than most girls. And for that stretch from twelve to sixteen, I felt quite a mess: I had braces, felt “big” among my peers, and boys would refer to my round cheeks as “fat face.”

When those braces came off, however, I felt a glow of happy white light. People tell me I have a great smile, so the investment paid off.

Every year I feel better about my looks. Sometimes negative self-talk still creeps in. I think my nose, ears, and lips are asymmetrical. Crooked, in fact! Hopefully those hang-ups will pass in time, too.

I once read that a girl becomes a woman when she can accept a compliment. As I move into adulthood, I try to remember that.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Of all my makeover ladies, Heather and I have the most in common. Those taunts about our round faces have stuck with us for too long. What a waste of energy. I mean, come on!

Heather has a classically beautiful face with porcelain skin, a radiant smile, and a natural rosy blush on those cheeks. She just screams youthful vitality! I can’t wait to see her grow more comfortable in her own beauty.

To highlight her sunny personality, I went with a golden look for Heather. We swept bronzer on her cheeks, forehead, and temples. To play up her soft brown eyes, I chose gold and copper shadows and finished with a sweep of black mascara. A nude, high-shine gloss was all her high-wattage smile required. Luminous!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Elise, 47, and Alexa, 13 hometown: new york, new york

Alexa: At thirteen, I don’t want to look like a baby, but I’m not sure about makeup technique. I do know I want to look genuine and down-to-earth. Too many girls just pack it on. I’m not into that.

Elise: I hope to set a good example for Alexa. I used to see myself as “just cute” (I’m five feet), but now, at forty-seven, I feel this is the best I’ve ever looked. As you mature, you learn how to best take care of yourself.

Nowadays I feel most beautiful when I’m being physically active, really expending energy, and then have the pleasure of relaxing in that post-exercise glow. You have to be inside your own beauty; that’s when it really radiates.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Visioin:What I See

Alexa’s eyes are true almond loveliness, and her skin is just terrific. As a young lady just starting to experiment, she should definitely leave her brows alone and be very light-handed with makeup.

I placed just a little iridescent shimmer shadow on her eyes, plus a sweep of black mascara. Pinky blush and lip color set off Alexa’s sweet teen beauty.

Elise has cheekbones to die for—truly supermodel bone structure on her entire face. But she was confused about the right color palette to play up her features.

We started with a sheer application of liquid foundation to even out her skin and restored its vibrancy with some coral cream blush on the apples of her cheeks. For Elise’s hazel eyes, we used khaki shadow and forest green liquid liner to bring out the irises’ gold flecks. A neutral moisturizing lip color let her mouth’s pretty shape stand on its own.

It was so wonderful to see a mother and daughter bloom with love and admiration right before our eyes. Inspiring!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

When I see Asian women, I immediately think of them as naturally blessed with so many beautiful assets: smooth skin, full lips, exotic eyes. I never realized the nose bridge issue until Bernice mentioned it. Let’s drop corrosive comparisons like East versus West and get busy celebrating unique beauty!

Bernice has such doll-like porcelain skin, I decided to go for a youthful, romantic look.

On her eyes, I used a shimmering white highlight under the brow, a granite shadow to define the lash line, and a taupe shadow across the lid. Using a corner lash curler, we lifted her lashes and applied a healthy dose of black mascara. We also defined her brows to frame her entire face.

To accentuate her creamy complexion, I applied a pretty pink blush. A slick of pale pink lip gloss played up her beautiful coloring. Exquisite!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Paula, 35


I first decided to change my look in seventh grade, when I asked for a really short haircut. It wasn’t a wise choice. For a long time after that, I felt I couldn’t trust my beauty instincts. I went in search of women to emulate instead of seeing and bringing out my unique assets.

As I got older and grew professionally, I came into my own physically as well. Now I make an effort to look pulled together as Paula, not as a carbon copy of my friends or cousins. I know how much better I feel when I don’t just rush out the door, but take a moment to apply makeup and be at my best. I have my routine down to ten minutes flat!

Today I feel most beautiful when I’m enjoying myself—just by being around the right people, whether they’re coworkers, friends, or family. When I can just be myself, I drop any self­consciousness and love living in the moment.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Lois is amazing. The epitome of a whole woman. Her face speaks to what she’s accomplished and the wisdom that’s come along the way. I applaud her resistance to surgery. Who wants to look in the mirror and say, “I don’t know who that person is”?

Lois’s eyes are captivating and whoa, what outrageous bone structure. I wanted to highlight her elegance by playing up those cheekbones and baby blues.

First, luminizing face primer bounced light around her complexion, softening her fine lines. Lois has such great skin, I applied only the sheerest veil of foundation.

A touch of cream blush on the apples of her cheeks brought the radiance back to the dry areas common in most mature women. I used a nude lip liner to seal in her rose lipstick, preventing bleeding. A soft, matte brown eye shadow on the upper lid created depth and made her blue eyes pop. Or should I say detonate!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Bernice, 18


My parents feel I should focus on my studies, not my looks. If you saw pictures of my junior high makeup experiments, you’d agree with them.

I used to wear the weirdest eye shadows and heavy foundation. Once I ripped out all my lashes after tangling with a curler. I think I’ve now found the right balance—no more raccoon eyes!

When I was little, people used to pinch my nose—pointing out how there’s no bridge, unlike Western noses. But now I accept myself and am happy with how I look. My boyfriend thinks my nose is cute and says my smile is contagious!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Joy has a face that is so emotionally transparent. If she’s feeling it, her face shows it with honesty. Those eyebrows express her intelligence and passion. She has such a regal, beautiful look. Breathtaking.

Inspired by Joy’s dramatic brow and hazel eyes, I decided to create a modern smoky eye. The new approach is to use autumn shadow shades in khaki, green, and gold instead of the traditional black and gray palette. When paired with black liquid liner and mascara, these colors create a smoldering, more sophisticated effect.

I finished with a bit of orchid blush and sheer mauve lip gloss for pure sex appeal. Shazam, ma’am. Joy’s inner diva exploded on camera. I think we unleashed a vixen!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Lois, 68

hometown: mount VERNON, new YORK

I grew up with a stunningly beautiful mother. Throughout my youth, people would comment on how I was pretty, but not as pretty as her. They’d say, “Oh, you have such nice blue eyes, but not as blue as your mother’s.” After a while, I just withdrew from the whole beauty game; I didn’t want to compete.

Once I reached my thirties, I stopped making excuses about who I was and started to own my face. Nowadays I feel like an oddball among my friends because I haven’t had cosmetic surgery. Even though I’m not thrilled with all of the changes that aging brings, I still want to look like me. I want a face that can still be expressive and smile freely!

For me, feeling beautiful means feeling healthy, having confidence in myself, and being in touch with my spirituality. That’s what truly counts.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

When I met Ivonne, I fell in love with her eyes and skin. She has such a balanced face, with perfect almond-shaped eyes and symmetrical features. She’s a strong woman who radiates beauty.

Like many women her age, Ivonne’s hormones are in flux, and she experiences hot flashes several times each day. By starting with a luminizing face primer, her foundation will stay fresh, and any extra shine will be kept under control throughout the day.

As a Latina with light coloring, Ivonne’s blonde lashes and brows tend to wash her out. I deepened her brow color and lined her upper lash line to showcase the shape of her eyes and give them a wide-awake vitality.

A soft quartz eye shadow brought out her lovely blue-green eyes without being overpowering. A pinktinted lip balm played into her natural lip color; it’s a low-maintenance way to keep her lips supple and colorful all day. Smart and sassy!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Joy, 39

hometown: des moines, iowa

Looks weren’t commented on in my family, good or bad. Academic performance mattered; a strong work ethic was what counted. So I didn’t grow up with a poor perception of my appearance, but I didn’t understand the power of beauty either.

I only started appreciating my face once I reached my thirties. I have unusual features: a prominent nose, an expansive forehead, brows with a mind of their own. Rather than try to alter or cover up these traits, I’ve made them my signature. Who wants to look like a celebrity clone?

I may be late to the makeup party, but I really enjoy playing with different looks. It’s fun to be a femme fatale one day, a doe-eyed innocent the next. I’m also a fanatic about skin care and go to a threading salon to keep the brows groomed, but never tamed! Now I pay attention when I see another woman with a cockeyed brow. I think, “Oh look, another member of the tribe; I bet she’s an interesting lady. . .”

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

As my best friend, Michelle has always inspired me with her unfailing confidence, natural sex appeal, and ability to love herself. She explodes with energy and passion for life. She’s unstoppable!

Michelle is a lashes enthusiast. So we decided to go all out for an incredibly sexy, of-the-moment eye look that’s sixties retro with a modern twist. I layered liquid liner on her upper lash line, applied a few false eyelashes at the corners, and followed with a triple coat of black mascara to really play up her best feature.

We balanced her look with soft cheek and lip colors to keep those lashes the stars of the Michelle Show. Absolutely fabulous!

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Ivonne, 52

hometown: miami, Florida

Growing up in the Cuban community, I felt very unappealing because I was a skinny, gawky kid. I developed a distorted self-image. Conversely, I didn’t have typical Latina coloring, with my light eyes and hair, yet received compliments on that.

I read Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I lived for them My mother also hugely influenced me. She had an eye and worked her own style so well. Very Jackie O with gloves and a hat and a shift. Terribly chic! I paid attention— and still do—to clothes, much more so than to any beauty regimen per se.

Today people compliment me on my skin, and I feel very good about that. In fact, I think this is the best I’ve ever looked. It has to do with being this age. It’s the most powerful time for women. We can become exactly who we are rather than having to please anyone else or fit with any particular role. Change can be frightening, but it is so liberating.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Carmindy Vision:What I See

My goodness, what power words have over our self-image. To learn that my dear friend Kathy spent so many years feeling ashamed of her beauty is unbelievable. A crime!

From the moment I met her, I was fascinated by Kathy’s face. Her skin is glorious, and those eyes and cheekbones create such drama. She can wear any look with ease; a true playhouse for a makeup artist like me.

On her eyes, I used a shimmering pale gold shadow as highlight, smoothed on a copper shade that works with her skin tone, and put liquid liner on her upper lash line for drama. Women over thirty can play with shimmer as long as it’s pearlescent because it won’t settle into fine lines and will instead bring light to the face. A raisin blush accentuated her amazing cheekbones. And for a soft lip, just a touch of gloss in a sunset shade.

It’s so wonderful to see Kathy now embracing the power of her own beauty.

Carmindy Vision:What I See

Michelle, 36

hometown: pacific palisades, California

In hindsight, I credit my mom for my strong self-image. She always told me I was pretty, but she also emphasized that beauty comes from the inside out. Growing up, though, I took her words with a grain of salt. I mean, don’t all moms think their daughters are lovely?

In my twenties, I entered the fashion industry and spent my days photographing models. While I understood the illusion and handiwork that goes into a shoot, I still found myself looking in the mirror and feeling inadequate by comparison. Luckily I didn’t let it break my stride as a sexy, confident woman.

Nowadays I worry a little about the aging process. But when I consider all the treatments and drama, I stop and remember how blessed I am with role models. My grandmother—who’s in her eighties—is amazingly beautiful and very assured. I hold fast to that!

Carmindy Vision:What I See