Zen Beauty Thoughts

For the holidays, we're revisiting some of our favorite festive articles from the Beautylish archive. Enjoy!
From the Archive

Is your beauty philosophy Zen enough? With the hectic and sometimes stressful holiday season fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in bad beauty habits and brought down by low self-esteem. Whether you’re already feeling the winter blues or looking for a quick pick-me-up, look to these famous philosophers, artists, poets, and scientists for uplifting beauty advice. Remember, Beauties, it’s about inner beauty just as much as what you apply on your face.

"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it." –Confucius

Translation: Give praise.

Perhaps the original innovator of the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius knew a thing or two about beauty. And whether you agree or disagree, all cultures view beauty in their own way. Respect our diverse world and give someone a compliment today—it might lift their spirits more than you know.

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." –Kahlil Gibran

Translation: Love yourself.

It’s easy to be hard on yourself about physical looks, but early 20th-century Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran reminds us that outer beauty is a product of what’s inside. Just as you need to love others, you must also love yourself. A beautiful soul begets a beautiful body.

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." –Rumi

Translation: Be fearless.

Thirteenth-century Persian mystic Rumi understood the importance of passion and purpose in life. And while this mantra applies all across the board, it’s especially appropriate for those of you thinking of breaking into the world of beauty blogging and makeup artistry. If you have dreamed about becoming a makeup artist or want to improve the quality of your blog, what’s stopping you? If you’ve got the energy and the drive for beauty, overcome any obstacles and go for it.

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." –Francis Bacon

Translation: Celebrate imperfections.

While every makeup rule book says beauty is about symmetry, we tend to agree with English scientist Francis Bacon on the topic. So forget everything you ever heard about perfect beauty—it doesn’t exist. Celebrate the unique facial features that make you...you!

"Love of beauty is taste, the creation of beauty is art." –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Translation: Explore your creativity.

According to 19th-century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, the act of creating beauty is art. Every flick, smudge, and swipe we make is a brushstroke on a living canvas. Even though we love browsing other beauty looks for inspiration, the real artistry emerges when you pick up that brush and let your creativity shine.

This article was originally published on November 19, 2011