Pro-age Beauty and Brilliance Part I with Pilar Gerasimo
Pro-age Beauty and Brilliance Part I
“Pro-age beauty and brilliance.”
That’s a concept that Pilar Gerasimo first heard in her late 30s. At the time, Pilar was starting to panic about how her appearance was changing with age.
But then, Cindy Joseph stepped in and changed everything about how Pilar saw herself—and her own beauty. (Perhaps you can relate?)
Now in her 50s, Pilar explains how this philosophy of “pro-age beauty and brilliance” transformed her outlook on life—and how she approaches makeup.
Read on to hear the story in Pilar’s own words...
P.S. This is part one of a two-part episode of Face-to-Face.
Once you watch this video, we suggest you check outpart two.
Welcome back to Face-to-Face, and to a special two-part episode on pro-age beauty and brilliance.
I'm coming to you barefaced today, at least for the first part of this two-part episode, because I want to talk about beauty from the perspective of where beauty comes from and how we express our beauty in different ways.
Cindy Joseph was such a great teacher and such a wonderful re-framer of beauty, particularly the kind of beauty that emerges only with age, and celebrating how our beauty shows up on our face by virtue of what comes out from within, and the inspiration, the spirit, the intelligence and the integrity that comes from really figuring out who you are and designing a life that suits you.
So, in this two-part series, I'm going to talk first about my philosophies of pro-age beauty as informed by and guided by the philosophies of Cindy Joseph and BOOM!
Then, in the second part, I'm going to share some specific tactics and techniques that Cindy shared with me, helping me overcome some of the prejudices I had about my own face, and overcoming some of the myths and misconceptions that I had accumulated over the course of my lifetime, as a woman trying to figure out what I should look like, and Cindy's challenging some of those approaches.
“Cindy articulated it as ‘revealing rather than concealing who you are and how you are at every age.’”
First, let's begin with the philosophy of pro-age beauty. Fundamentally, Cindy articulated it as “revealing rather than concealing who you are and how you are at every age.”
One thing that I know as a woman in my 50s is that when I was in my 30s, I began experiencing that panic that a lot of us experience as we begin to observe the signs of aging in our own faces.
I want to be clear that I’m not trying to claim that I don’t have any hang-ups about my age or my aging appearance. I do. I think we all struggle with how to navigate our society's norms and preferences and its subtle and not-so-subtle messages that we lose our value as we age. I think overcoming that requires a Cindy Joseph-like fierceness of determination to decide for ourselves and define for ourselves who we want to be and how we want to show up.
What I observed about Cindy is that a lot of what made her beautiful to so many of us, obviously her physical beauty was undeniable, but her inner beauty, her confidence, her charm, her humor, her love, her inspiration, that all came shining through with what I would term “real brilliance.”
“Pro-age beauty is coming to terms with the fact that life is a limited run, and we only get to be the age we are while we are that age.”
We all want to be beautiful. So, how can we do that?
How can we move beyond our society’s limited views of beauty and its cramped definitions of beauty to create a more generous, robust, inclusive definition of beauty, both inward and outward? And I think that they’re connected.
Real beauty comes from having your insides and your outsides agree with each other. It’s inhabiting, fully, your body and your face and the space that you take up, and really understanding that you have a right to be here and you have gifts to give. And it’s in the expression of that that we really shine at our brightest.
When I think of pro-age beauty, I think about it as coming to terms with the fact that life is a limited run and that we only get to be the age we are while we are that age.
The beauty of youth is one thing, the beauty that comes with life is another. And I’ve learned, in part from what Cindy had to teach me and what she modeled in living, that we can express and own our beauty at any age and every age. I really do believe we can just keep getting better with age.
“Beauty is produced by the brilliance that comes from living...”
While I’m certainly aware about the signs of aging on my own face, I also see signs of beauty in my face that I know were not there when I was 18 years old. I hadn’t lived enough to accumulate them.
So when I think about pro-age beauty and brilliance, I think about beauty being produced by the brilliance that comes from living, from wisdom, from experience, from experimentation, and from celebration.
It comes from having real-life experiences, sometimes suffering, sometimes having compassion for others.
That’s the kind of beauty, at least, that I want to possess. And it’s not a kind of beauty that you can put on.
So one thing that I’ve found is what we think of as radiance—which is probably the thing that most people are after in beauty—I believe that radiance comes from inside, and it transmits and signals health and vitality and inspiration. Those are not things that you can fake.
Ultimately, you can create the illusion of sparkle with a cosmetic. But on a face that has no light from within it, it’s not that attractive, it’s just glitter.
“I hope you’ll bring out the best in the beauty and brilliance that is inherently yours.”
I feel so fortunate to be living in the footsteps of Cindy Joseph and to have learned from her incredible life experience and her generosity of spirit in sharing all of the things that she had discovered through her own experience, both as a professional makeup artist and model and as a woman striving to find her own beauty in a world that had a pretty narrow definition of it, particularly as we age.
So in the next part of this two-part series, I’m going to be sharing some of what Cindy shared with me, both challenging my assumptions and ingrained notions of what made me beautiful and okay, and about correcting my flaws or hyper-perfecting my appearance in ways that were actually working against me.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on the sources of your own beauty and brilliance, to take stock of where they come from, and how you can bring out the best in the beauty and brilliance that are uniquely and inherently yours.
Did Cindy Joseph change how you see beauty too?
Part two of this episode is now available!
In part two, Pilar demonstrates the specific makeup techniques that Cindy taught her—including how to approach her eyebrows, apply Boomsticks and more. Check out part two now.