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Mandi Mancini by Charlotte Carey

Island Glamour Queen

"The love of beauty is taste, the creation of beauty is art".....

What is the true definition of beauty? I suppose it depends on who you ask.  I believe the brilliant and legendary make-up artist, Kevyn Aucoin said it best: "beauty is about perception, not about make-up.  I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself."

Every single person is beautiful.  Each unique quality that we hold is beautiful.  Somewhere along the line embracing that individuality has been lost, leaving the cookie cutter image embedded in our heads.  I have been told many times throughout my life that I have a gift: to bring out the sparkle in people, getting them out of their shell and help recognizing and expressing their Inner Glamour Queen.  I’m hoping to share that through this column.  I want to help expose that beauty and hopefully share my insight and confidence in embracing all of our glamorous, individual assets and help you rock it!

Most important though is: what strength our sparkle holds and how it can empower us and everyone around us on a daily basis.  This has to start from inside of us. The makeup on the outside should simply be highlighting the inside. 

Now I’ve also been called a tacky Italian by my closest and dearest--so I suppose there is a fine line.  Here's the secret: I would never throw one of my make-over clients or friends into MY eccentric closet (it even makes my head spin at times), but what about an accessory from my closet?  A bold necklace or any statement piece, maybe the scarf with some sparkle going throughout it, or the sequined tank under your suit jacket instead of the typical blouse? What about staying in your comfort zone of style: but try a classic red nail polish instead of the sheer neutral color that you have worn for the past 10 years. Instead of your favorite nude lip gloss, try the sheer coral lipstick or shimmering gloss. 

I want show you a way to be you, but also how to subtly throw in some boldness.  With the holidays right around the corner, it is the perfect time of year to try some of my suggestions.   You will quickly recognize these little, tiny changes boosting your confidence and making such a difference in our daily lives.  I want you to experience the trickle effect of your sparkle and its potential to change the way you look at everything and anything in life and simply, how it makes you happy!  After all, nothing is more beautiful than a women who feels beautiful.

That is a fact! When we are feeling fabulous, we exude it.  People are drawn to that beauty. It’s definitely a comfort in who you truly are deep down.  Not having to put on a mask for anyone or feeling pressured to fit in, or worse, blend in!  I think more than my personal, eclectic, over the top style, people admire my ability to not care what anyone thinks. I don’t wake up looking at my closet, picking out an outfit to please anyone except myself.  I am not into fads, or the most current trends, I like what I like and don’t care if it’s “in" this year or not.  I build my outfits like I decorate a house, create hair designs or paint nails…. all around one piece of art or a particular decoration or color scheme.  I usually dress around one piece.  Shoes, necklace, scarf, possibly a new skirt or top, any one thing that inspires me, or simply catches my eye that morning.  It could simply be a new lipstick or certain nail polish I happen to have on.  

The days we feel the most run down and at our worst, are the days we have to dress up the most and put the extra effort in! Our darkest dreariest days are the days we should wear something brighter and a little louder than normal. It’s a chain reaction: you will absolutely brighten someone else’s day by putting in that extra effort.   If you share that sunshine with just one person by making them smile or feel good from that extra effort, then it was worth it! I make it a point to go out of my way to compliment someone’s uniqueness every single day.  Even if it’s a hairstyle that may not be my taste, or a top that I wouldn’t personally wear, I still appreciate their effort and heart behind it.  It makes you feel good when we make others feel good.   It is why I got into my industry to begin with. 

I was very nervous about this first column. I have been procrastinating for weeks, over-analyzing how to start it.  I just woke up at 3:30 this morning grabbed my tablet and started typing.  I am very passionate about what I do, and am so blessed and fortunate to have so much positive influence and support from my parents, husband and friends.  They are all a huge part of my success and have supported and taught me to embrace all of my uniqueness and "sparkle."

I hope I can be that person for you!  I look forward to sharing my personal experiences, tricks and tips that I have learned and picked up throughout the years to help you find your sparkle.

I would love to hear from you: any questions, feedback, tips, or ideas for future columns, email me at [email protected]

Mandi Mancini Garrison is manager of Beauty and Beyond on West Creek Road, and a wizard at sparkle.  Photo credit:  Charlotte Carey Photography.