This Season’s Hottest Accessory…

You are gearing up for a fabulous night out on the town. It's summer and the night air is literally humming with excitement. You look absolutely breathtaking as you take one last long look at yourself in the hall mirror before your gorgeous date arrives to whisk you away for what you hope is a magical evening. As you stare at yourself, you notice that physically you are stunning. Fresh from the salon, your hair and make-up is flawless. The baby oil has your skin kissably soft and subtly glistening. You look beautiful; nonetheless your look is simply incomplete without this season’s must-have accessory—-self-confidence.

We’ve all heard the adage beauty is only skin deep. Well, I am not convinced that is entirely true. Real beauty starts from within, deep within. “True beauty is internal, but reveals itself to the world through words, actions, and appearances,” says Keith Menendez, 33 year-old father of three, when asked what makes a woman beautiful. Greg Phillian, 54, a freelance writer, finds women beautiful who have a “sense of being at home with self."

If you do not believe you are beautiful first, then one else will either. Don't get me wrong, full lips, wide set eyes, and features that are both proportional and symmetrical are all characteristics clearly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But beauty, real beauty—that's a whole other story. "You can be considered attractive by societal standards without self confidence," says Dr. Khendra Peay, a 29-year-old psychiatry resident. "However, self-confidence can bring you to your full potential as a beautiful woman where you don't care what society sees,” Dr. Peay explains. “It's what you see that matters." Building self-confidence should be a part of every woman’s beauty regime. It’s just as important as cleansing your face in the morning or drinking enough water each day. Confidence in one’s own life can have a miraculous effect on the complexion. Having that inner glow from knowing you are someone special can literally make you sparkle.

Here are a few tips to bringing that beautiful inner “shine” to the surface:

• Positive Affirmations. Repeat phrases like, “ I am beautiful” in the mirror at least three times a day. It may seem silly at first, but repeating this mantra to oneself can work wonders. Scripture even teaches the power of life and death is in the tongue. Simply put, the more you say something, the more you believe it.
• Eliminate Negativity. Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible. Sometimes just being around confident, competent and positive people can help boost one’s own self-esteem tremendously. Stay away from those individuals who are uninspired and seething with negativity, they will only bring you down.
• Believe in Yourself. Erase the phrase “I can’t” from your vocabulary. Each one of us has her own special gifts and talents. Take the time to find yours. Self-doubt is not attractive.
• Enjoy Life. Find something to smile and laugh about each day. Joy in your life is essential to having healthy levels of confidence and self esteem. Find beauty in the world around you, and the beauty within you will shine outward as a result.

Classic film star and talent actress Rosalind Russell once said, “taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” I could not agree more. Please don’t forget next time you are gearing up to go out on the town to wear your most important fashion accessory before leaving the house.

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