“Deep within each of us, in the very core of our being lies our truth, our strength, our courage and our worthiness. It is in this space that you have the power to Face Your Beauty.”
At the age of 42, I became a first-time author. I always believed if I wrote a book, it would be the one I wanted and needed to read. As a beauty professional, I’ve had the pleasure of standing face-to-face with thousands of women, helping them look and feel their best through makeup, skincare, and all things glamour. Beyond the brush, what I discovered is that more than our shared fascination for beauty, we were connected by our humanity—our trials and triumphs, our defeats and victories. I wrote my book “Face Your Beauty” with the intention not only to speak my truth but to help others discover and value their true superpower—the beauty on the inside.
At 40, for me it was clear, I have a purpose.
In 2016, I waved goodbye to my 30s and danced into my 40th birthday on an island while planning my wedding at the same time. What a milestone it was to be the 40-year-old bride. I was in the best shape of my life—small waist, curvy hips, healthy hair and skin—and I finally understood why they say, “Forty is the new thirty.”
I recently had a 20-year college reunion in Nashville. Over the weekend, we laughed, we cried, we danced, and we celebrated our successes. We met as teenagers on the campus of Fisk University. Now we are all in our 40s, and each of our lives looks very different. We’re single/divorced/married/separated, some have children and some don’t, but despite these differences, we all had a few things in common. We all have an appreciation and acceptance for life and recognize our power to create the life we want. There was also a great sense of confidence among us—at 40, we realized we were more comfortable with who we were and we certainly knew what we liked and didn’t like!
At 40, for me it was clear, I have a purpose. And remember that wedding I mentioned? Well, by the time I was 41, I had filed or divorce with an infant daughter in my arms, trying to balance and figure out my new normal as a single mother. My purpose was, and still is, to be a shining example of womanhood for my daughter. I want her to know what courage looks like in the face of adversity. I want her to know she always has the option to choose herself, her joy, and her peace over everything. And to be honest, as much as I prayed my ex would change to keep our family together, I knew I could not stay another day, week, month or year in that marriage—it had turned toxic and too unhealthy. If I stayed, I would have lost myself in the trauma and that was too high a price to pay—being a great mother is my priority, my purpose, and it is my duty to protect my daughter emotionally in an attempt to break the cycle.
What I know for sure is that how we see ourselves matters, and our perception is often shaped by external experiences and outside influences. As the years go by, it’s more clear to me that the beauty of radical self-love and worthiness cannot be painted with a brush, it has to be lived and valued. As I began to write my book, I realized how true that was for me—the journey to self-love and worthiness could only begin once I unpacked the bags of my past experiences so that I would no longer carry the weight and burden of things that no longer served me. That is where my “inside job” began. Let me share with you what I discovered in my “unpacking”:
The mirror reflects our physical image back to us, but our inner voice is ever present and it’s that energy we carry with us when we show up in the world.
- I was a “pleaser,” never saying “no,”—the one everyone could count on—and spending a great deal of time doing things for other people.
- I hadn’t resolved, within myself, the impact of my father’s intentional absence in my life.
- Setting boundaries took a back seat to living in the moment. By not prioritizing boundaries, I left myself vulnerable to partners who did not value healthy relationships.
The mirror reflects our physical image back to us, but our inner voice is ever present and it’s that energy we carry with us when we show up in the world. Once I “unpacked my bags,” I could fully see myself for the woman that I am. It’s the work that I was willing to do, now, for the life that I want to live and the love that I want to have, forever.
I have spent half of my life transforming faces. I want to spend the next half transforming lives—from the inside out.
As a beauty & lifestyle professional, I have spent half of my life transforming faces. I want to spend the next half transforming lives—from the inside out. As I continued to study that concept of “worthiness or self-worth,” it became clear to me how so many people show in life and in the world with the feeling and spirit of unworthiness. No matter how proficient I am in matching the right foundation, using the pretty lash extensions, applying the most bold and beautiful lipstick, it simply does not change or transform the person on the inside. I simply was not satisfied with that idea, so I’m inspired to share some perspective to develop and maintain self-worth.
- Take responsibility for the things that have happened to you and acknowledge that you have the power to change the circumstances of your life.
- Focus on self-love in the most radical way. Always, show yourself grace and compassion. Be kind to yourself—and give to yourself before overextending to others. Speak of yourself in a positive manner and say out loud, “I love myself, I am worthy, I am capable, I am valued, I matter.”
- Understand more of who you are—when you know who you are, no one can define you. Ask yourself questions like: Who am I? What brings me joy or fulfillment? What are my habits or patterns that I need to improve? What fears hold me back? What am I most passionate about? What do I struggle with the most? What am I really good at?
- End any and all toxic relationships that drain the life from you or damage your self-esteem, stifle your dreams, or make you feel unworthy.
- Surround yourself with people and experiences that reaffirm your value, that celebrate your beauty and your uniqueness. Embrace people and relationships that will allow you to shine brighter—never having to dim your light but free to live out loud.
- Embrace self-care and a daily beauty routine; whether it’s through makeup, skincare, hair care, massage, nail care, or something else, your beauty routine should be something you take pleasure in and enjoy. Celebrate and honor yourself by allowing your beauty routine to self-soothe, heal, relax, find calm, or boost your mood!
Worthiness is a lifestyle and one great way of honoring ourselves is giving our body, mind, and soul what they need. During these unprecedented times of COVID-19, while we all stay safe at home, this is the perfect time to face your beauty, from the inside out. We no longer have to worry about whether “forty is the new thirty” or “fifty is the new forty,” and so on. Quite frankly, I have found that 40 is a blessing all on its own. And I hope that whatever your age, you have too!
Beauty & Skincare Expert, Founder of The GLAM Agency.
A former corporate marketing executive, Melissa is a “go-to” Beauty & Lifestyle expert in Hollywood. Melissa is a licensed Esthetician, who also has a Bachelor’s Pre-Law and a Masters in Business. Her work has been featured globally on networks such as BRAVO TV, Lifetime Network, WEtv, OWN, TV ONE, VH1, BET and in leading publications including Glamour, InStyle, Brides, and Essence. Over the years Melissa had a recurring appearance as a beauty expert for the “60 Minutes to Glam Makeover” segment on The Real daytime talk show on Fox TV network.
In Spring 2015, Melissa embarked on a defining new venture, The GLAM Agency, the premiere multicultural talent management firm representing leading Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists & Lifestyle Experts. Her agency has a growing roster of clients including OWN TV, WEtv, Creme of Nature, African Pride, Hollywood Beauty Products and others.
In 2019, Melissa released her first book “Face Your Beauty – a Call to Live Worthy.” Melissa is the proud mother of her daughter Milán, and she and her focus are clear, to leave a legacy of service, empowering the world through Beauty.