6 Ways to Make Your Natural Beauty Shine

I am attracted to inner beauty.  I am attracted to stories people tell and the passions in their hearts.  Intimate and small conversations fill me with happiness.

Is this where most people find passion with other people?

I always see photos of people who meet at blogging conferences, and it makes me feel so different – different because over the years I couldn’t attend, different because I felt sure I wouldn’t belong, different because maybe those people will look down on me for x and y and z.

I went to a blogging convention called Blissdom this last weekend.  My idea of natural beauty in women has changed forever.

Martin taking me to the airport for Blissdom via airplane because it was faster and safer than driving (no icy highways or multiple mountain passes to drive up and down).  Besides – why not start off totally different when  you are different?!

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1.  Natural beauty isn’t the clothes you wear.

As I met new women, no one knew that I haven’t bought new clothes in almost two years.  But no one said I was dressed funny.  No one gave me “that look” – not even the fashion bloggers I met.

2.  Natural beauty is how you hold yourself up.

It’s how you carry your head and how you smile.  You just have to be confident.  A woman representing a dryer sheet company walked up to me at the conference.  She had a little quiz to determine if you were more of a dryer sheet girl or a dryer bar kind of gal.  She was sooo excited about this quiz.  (I still have no idea what a dryer bar is.)  “Do you want to take the quiz?” she squealed.

“Actually,” I told her, “I don’t use a dryer.”

I expected a disaster.  Could two blond girls clash any further?  Would she start pushing me?  Would I respond with an I’m-better-than-you awful comment just because I am really happy without a dryer?

She lifted her head and smiled such a genuine smile.  “I guess you don’t need any of our products then.”  And she moved on.

3.  Naturally beauty comes when you listen.

Everyone called me too shy or reserved in high school.  It used to frustrate me because I could tell you all sorts of (crazzzy) stories about those people.  I learned that I was a listener.  I like to think that maybe I speak when there’s something important to say.

4.  Natural beauty is in the words you say.

Don’t let people tell you that you’re shy.  Don’t let fears slow you down.  I mean – you can speak the same language, right?  (That’s what I tell myself when I get scared to talk to someone.  “Relax, Katie.  That person knows English.  It’s not German.  You’ve already got one cool thing going for you…”)

5.  Natural beauty comes from embracing yourself.

Our conference was a Twitter-mania.  It was a laptop explosion, and everywhere I turned, there would be a dozen girls snapping photos.  I loved the energy; I was absolutely blown away by the incredible multi-tasking skills these girls were sporting.  But none of that was me.  (Hence the only blog you may find with a Blissdom wrap-up that contains noooo conference photos!  I sort of only took one picture… on the way to the airport – shown above.)

I am okay with that.  It was me.

At one point, I asked myself:  what if I had Tweetdeck and Twitter and my blog and my shop here all at once.  Would I want them right now?

My answer was easily a no.  When you’re doing things differently, you just have to embrace and love what it is and who you are.

6.  Natural beauty comes from not complaining.

A lot of our conference included meals from sponsors with ethics and ingredients that I don’t agree with.  One particular lunch was especially heavy on sponsor endorsement.  I was cranky about the experience.  An organic blogger told me, “I just didn’t attend the lunch.  I went to my hotel room, laid down, and relaxed.”

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Huge thank yous go to all the women who touched me over the weekend.  There were so many who moved me.  A humbled thank you to JaneTsh, Erin Jill + JuneAnne , Lindsey, Lori, Brene, Nicole, Gina, LisaAllison, Amanda, Jeannett – heros in my weekend.

My greatest hope is that maybe – just maybe – I touched a few just by being me… because that’s the best I can ever be.

This post is sponsored by BigW, highlighting popular brands of women’s fragrances and their features.