Influencers Share How to Celebrate Confidence and Beauty

photo credit: Jessica Bordner Photo 

photo credit: Jessica Bordner Photo 

How do your beauty and confidence line up?

It was a hot topic of the day when we gathered in Miami for our Create & Cultivate x Clinique “Best Face Forward” panel. Attendees received makeovers and tried out the Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, enjoyed drinks and had new headshots taken before sitting down to get inspired by our panelists.

Joining C&C founder Jaclyn Johnson on panel were an awesome array of women in the beauty space in Miami.

Annie Vazquez, is a fashion, travel and beauty expert and journalist who has been coined as one of the pioneers of Miami’s fashion blogging community.  She is the founder of The Fashion Poet and was voted Miami’s Top Fashion Blog by the New York Times.

But that doesn’t mean that she went into the her career fully confident.

“When I first started, I was a journalist,” Annie shared on panel. “When I moved over to blogging I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to do this? Do I really want to put myself out there for criticism?’” Her internal answer was, “Let me just do it.”

You learn to do what you want and not worry about who is going to leave you a comment. It’s a business. And even at the end of the day, if this isn’t your business it’s important to have self-love.

Martha Graeff, is a former model, stylist and Womenswear buyer for Harvey Nichols. Fashion and beauty are in her blood.

But she also had to work on building confidence.

“When I was a model,” she shared, “I would go to twenty castings and hear no. There are so many other beautiful girls. And you’re always hearing no. No. No. No. You’re not good enough. That girl has better skin. It’s always rejection. Modeling breaks you. But it also makes you stronger because you deal with rejection constantly. When I stopped modeling and started blogging I felt a hundred kilos off my shoulders.”

When it comes to negative comments online, they all agree that there have to be boundaries. Hugette Montesinos, is the Editor in Chief and Creative Director for DISfunkshion Magazine. She is also a trained life coach and college professor.

“With this mega-digital era, we don’t set boundaries any more,” Hugette shared. “For me, I have to set boundaries with what I consume-- and what I allow into my life, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.” When it comes to social media, the EIC explained, “I’m not going to aimlessly browse. I’m going to connect and share.” She furthered, “You obviously don’t have control over what comes into your inbox or private messages but you do have control over whether you chose to entertain that thought or not. We have so much more power over our thoughts. For me, every time something negative comes it, I’m able to say, ‘I’m not going to entertain this thought and I’m going to bounce it out.”

It’s one of the reasons she started DISfunkshion. “I started the mag because there was nothing out there that I could enjoy and read,” she explained. “The motto and thought-process was to create a movement that looked at beauty from the inside out. Than from the outside in-- which is what culture teaches us.”

photo credit: Jessica Bordner photo

photo credit: Jessica Bordner photo

Martha piggybacked on this idea a bit explaining, “We post our best photo on Instagram. We use five different apps before we post it. Maybe we’re not really happy, but we’re smiling.” She says meditation has changed the way she feels about everything-- and before she wakes up and checks her phone, she meditates. ‘It’s really changed the game for me and the way I see other people’s lives.”

“We need to celebrate how we’re born,” Annie added. “And that’s it.”

Daniella Ramirez, is a Miami-based blogger and the founder of Nany’s Klozet. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, moved to Miami to attend college and hasn’t left! “When I was growing up it was all about perfection,” she said. “I remember being 9 and in my ballet class. My teacher told me, if you’re not skinnier by tomorrow, you’re not dancing.” She says it’s not the same anymore. “If you had told me 12 or 13 year old self that I would be working with brands and having this careers, I would have said, ‘I’m not tall enough for that, or I’m not skinny enough for that.’ But the world is changing and we’re accepting different body types and beauty and it’s what we should continue to do.”

“It’s also super important for us to normalize, ‘normal,’” Hugette added, to the nods of everyone on panel.

How do you feel about beauty? And how do your beauty and confidence line up? Share in the comments below!