Last week I was lucky enough to attend a Marie Claire ‘I Feel Beautiful’ event in Brisbane.  I was invited along by my beautiful friend Jess from I Died and Went to Vintage.  So we went along not really knowing much about it.

I have to say that I was blown away by how beautiful and inspiring this event was.  Jackie Frank, editor of Marie Claire magazine, casually mingled  and was so lovely and down to earth.   They also had beautiful pamper stations to get your hair done, make up touch-ups or manicures.  But it was the inspiring story that each of the speakers shared with us and their definition of beauty that was truly touching.

One of the speakers was Julie Grbrac – fashion designer, Project Runway Australia winner and now the uniform designer for Virgin Airlines.  Julie and I have worked together in the past when she had her own label so it was great to catch up and here her story of perseverance and the belief she has in herself.   The next speaker was Liz Cantor, a presenter with Channel 7 who shared her journey of being happy and comfortable in her own skin.  The final speaker was the Project Director of a not-for-profit program called Look Good…Feel Better.  This particular part had me very close to tears as I have seen the work that these programs do in the hospitals to help cancer patients feel better when going through chemotherapy and radiation.  Sadly I missed out on attending one of the programs because I wasn’t feeling well at the time (it’s incredible that anyone turns up really considering how we are all feeling!), but I did enjoy a day with my girlfriends wig shopping and it was so much fun.  Even if I was just going to the hospital, it really did make me feel better to get out of my PJs, put on my wig and put on a little bit of make up.  So to have memories of this time coming back to me was a little difficult – particularly when they showed a video of cancer patients in the hospital – I’ve seen enough of this to last a lifetime!

But I am getting off track now… the event was inspired by the I Feel Beautiful study, which Marie Claire conducted in association with Priceline.  The Australia-wide survey asked over 12,000 women, “What makes you feel beautiful?”  The results are interesting and I found them quite surprising – here are some of the ones that stood out for me:

  • 1 in 2 say that they feel most beautiful when they’re happy
  • 46% agree that eating a healthy diet is most important in helping you look your best
  • 85% of survey respondents rate a natural look as a sign of beauty
  • Almost half of the respondents agreed that taking time out for themselves would make them feel more beautiful
  • 65% believe that regular exercise would help them feel more beautiful

In a world where plastic surgery is now commonplace and social media forces us to update our ‘profile’ all the time,  it’s nice to know that we still value taking time out for ourselves, healthy eating and exercise to feel beautiful.  For me, taking time out to be peaceful and reconnect with nature always puts me in such a beautiful place.  Some natural, cruelty-free beauty products don’t hurt either!

So, what makes you feel beautiful?