People sometimes look at beauty as being frivolous, but this conversation about sustainable beauty is more than just lipstick and powder. It’s about celebration, decoration and tradition as women to feel beautiful as we are, and to make a commitment to our own well-being.

{Watch this interview to hear more about my personal and professional philosophy on beauty for women of every age}

At 13 years old I was making over everyone, from my mom to my friends. I was (and am) transfixed by the power of transformation. At least 70% of what I know about makeup came out of the zillion times I watched the instructional VHS tape that came with my mom’s order of Victoria Jackson Cosmetics. While in college I sold makeup and did makeovers at a Merle Norman Cosmetics boutique.

Growing up on the beaches of Southern California, I felt less than beautiful as I compared myself to the perfectly curvaceous women jogging past. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and wish to look like one of the models in Allure magazine. I know what it’s like to have suffered with terrible acne while attempting to cure it with every drug and topical treatment available – to no avail. I tanned my creamy pale skin, dyed my brown hair to be blonder, and got bras with extra padding to try and fit a standard of “pretty” I was surrounded by.

It took a lot of internal work and life experience to help me come to a place where I truly felt beautiful. Learning to respect my body by putting better food into it and less harsh cosmetics on to it, helped clear up my 10-year battle with acne. I don’t wear padded bras anymore, or worry about getting a tan. I haven’t colored my hair in years either.  Now if I chose to do any of those things, they are not to fix something I think is wrong with me, but to have fun, play and express another side of myself.

I work hard to spread a message of self-love and health through beauty because I care so much about helping heal the pain I know we all have experienced as women feeling less than beautiful. What I found out is that being/feeling beautiful is integrally tied to being healthy—it boils down to wellness. If you’re unhealthy or you feel un-pretty, it doesn’t matter how much makeup you put on – you will not look or feel well.

Of course as soon as we start making better choices for ourselves, those actions spill over into how we affect the world around us and the planet we live on. We are inhabitants of an eco-system and our daily choices, consciously or unconsciously, are affecting its sustainability for generations to come. Part of my work is helping people make more conscious choices to live in a respectful way for both ourselves and the planet.

Sustainable beauty is a philosophy that is about aligning who we are with how we look and how we show up in the world. To be and feel truly beautiful, in a lasting way, we must believe we are worth the effort, that we don’t need to be fixed and everything else is just a fun opportunity for decoration.