Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Suzanne Rex. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty…
Suzanne, a third-generation Arizona native, lives in Phoenix with her fiancé and two cats. She's a self-described lifelong learner who is never interested in doing only one thing. So far, she's gotten degrees (or some sort of certification) in graphic design, photojournalism, and holistic health coaching. After getting laid off in 2008, Suzanne decided for good to be her own boss, working as a jill-of-all trades, doing a lot of this and a little bit of that in order to afford the luxury of setting her own schedule. And, although she needs only a monitor, flat surface and an outlet as an office, Suzanne is making plans to start another work adventure that doesn't involve as much computer time (and – hooray – requires no additional student loans). Stay tuned for the big reveal of ‘Detox and Design!'
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I can't really point to anyone in particular who inspires me; rather, action and accomplishments are what drives me to set and reach my own goals. …To be honest, every now and again I lose faith in my skills (both those I was born with and those I have worked hard at learning), but when I see someone create something, even when she's short on time, money, and encouragement, I realize that there shouldn't be anything stopping me from realizing my own passions. I can then stop putting up roadblocks and instead start plowing through them, getting where I want to be. So, big congratulations to those of you who are exploring, designing, building, problem-solving, teaching, and sharing; for, it's you who are my muses and my calls-to action to do the same – to reach further and grab what's just beyond my line of sight.
What does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty is synonymous with confidence. Sure, I can look at another woman and say, “Wow, she has such long, gorgeous hair!” or “Oooh I want arms like hers!” BUT, what makes me really stare and admire someone is her energy – they way she smiles, how often she laughs and how well she listens…how she affects the energy of a room. When a person can gracefully tackle the day's challenges without being completely overrun with emotions of fear (anxiety, anger, guilt, etc.), I think to myself, “Dang, that's one hot mama!”
What makes you feel beautiful?
Strength – emotional and physical – makes me feel beautiful. When I can recognize a great day and appreciate all of its moments – good or bad, an indestructible sense of joy overtakes anything else. This happiness means I don't care if I just found a new grey hair. I'm not bothered that my cellulite didn't disappear overnight, and I know it's okay that I had coffee and a croissant for breakfast instead of green juice and granola (gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, fresh and local – of course). Likewise, exercising regularly does wonders for my self esteem. I feel accomplished when I've made time in my busy day to sweat hard, and being able to kick, squat, lift, squeeze and release, contract and expand for an hour makes doing anything else for 60 minutes a cinch. Plus, I really do feel great wearing nothing but underwear all day. (Don't worry, I work from home, and my cats are too busy napping to care.)
What’s your favorite beauty secret or tip?
Yes, it IS a dry (furnace-like) heat in Arizona, but this means very dry skin, at least for me. I've found that oils do the best at keeping my skin from looking like sun-dried vegetables. But better than any others is pure coconut oil (which comes in 5-gallon vats!) mixed with a bit of raw apple cider vinegar. Adding ACV to the coconut oil gives it a creamier consistency, making it more like a lotion. Also, this combo definitely makes my skin softer for longer and truly seems to help my skin glow!
And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Annmarie's products, especially her Aloe Herb Cleanser and Dead Sea Scrub. Mixing those two amazing products together makes another dynamic duo in the dry skin fighting superhero lineup.
What do you do when you want to pamper yourself?
I spend time alone, doing/eating/watching/reading/meditating on whatever I want. The voices in my head aren't even invited to this party…it's just me, getting back to center, however I see fit.
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at info [at] annmariegianni.com)