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Is beauty an illusion?

Is beauty an illusion? I love the description the IPhone dictionary has for illusion. It says it is an erroneous mental representation or the act of deluding.

Have you looked in any magazines lately of images of women appearing in ads or fashion layouts? Do they look authentic to you? And yet you are supposed to aspire to look like and use the products they promote. I don’t know about you but I just can’t buy into that crap.

There are a few brands that promote real women in their advertisements. The key word here is REAL.

Dove soap stood up and launched an amazing campaign about real beauty in real women. More magazine is one of the few publications that have real women in their editorials. Daily we are brainwashed by images that have been airbrushed and altered to sell things we really don’t need.

The skin care industry is a multi-billion dollar business. Why? They ignite our burning desire to want to look better (which is ok) by selling us products that re grossly overpriced and make miniscule improvements. I laugh when I think of my mother’s beauty regiment of Ivory soap and Pond cold cream. She never more face makeup, just some powder, rouge and lipstick. She had amazing skin all her life. Barely a wrinkle until she got into her eighties.

So how much is too much?

I know if I tried to purchase all the products recommended for a woman my age, I would need a second mortgage and an addition on my home. I take very good care of my skin, treating it from the inside out. I maintain a healthy diet, Good nutrients and vitamins B, C and D daily. I drink a ton of water, no carbonated beverages and no alcohol (in recovery). Of course I don’t smoke as well. I love Basis super-fatted soap, great for sensitive skin since I get broken capillaries very easily. I follow with Thayer’s Lemon Witch Hazel Astringent (it works as well as the very expensive toners). Then I apply Aveeno Daily moisturizer with SPF 30 and Bare Minerals makeup. At night I use a Vitamin C cream that I by on Vitacost.

So being completely transparent, I have tried some of those miracle creams with fancy French names. The experience was comparable to applying Crisco to my face but at 100 times the cost.

Bottom line, spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get better results. A lot of people tell me I have really healthy skin. So you be the judge.

Here I am bare faced…like it or not.

Would love to hear your comments below.




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Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.

Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • alex September 16, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Great video, I really enjoyed it. You look great.

    • Mal Duane September 16, 2014, 5:55 pm

      Thank you so much. Took some courage to do the big bare face reveal.

  • Maureen September 16, 2014, 9:49 pm

    Hi Mal,
    Thank you for being honest and vulnerable by showing us the real you. For a lady of your senior years and a recovering alcoholic you’re looking superb! I don’t go for those expensive things either and use the most basic things and at my age (a little older than you) most people think I’m about 10 years younger so I must be doing something right. I think we should keep up the good work and pass the message on don’t you?

    Bye for now~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    • Mal Duane September 28, 2014, 9:49 am

      Thank you Maureen. I lived behind a mask for so many years. It is so refreshing just to be me.