Approaching Fashion From An Authentic Perspective

Approaching Fashion From An Authentic Perspective

Nelson Mandela said it best, “I never lose, I either win or learn.”

Our perception of anything impacts our success in it as well as our self esteem. Higher self confidence pushes us to conquer new opportunities others only wish for. It means not settling for less and having grace to learn from mistakes.  


Beauty Is The Means…

Beauty is a key topic when it comes to finding greater self confidence because it determines how we express ourself in our own style. It may seem a little backwards how we regard beauty: especially how we relate it to makeup. How can you get a “natural look” with something artificial? Shouldn’t it just be called, embellished beauty? Let’s stop for a second to look deeper.

Broad Terms

Does beauty lie in our opinion alone and does fashion mean runway? Is Fashion the same thing as Style? While finding the relationship between beauty and fashion, I’ve narrowed down working definitions. We’re going to look at “what is fashion, beauty, and style?” as well as the importance of a healthy approach to these terms


Beauty is often such a blanket statement when we talk about appearance, but as humans we understand it has to be more. It’s not something found in a lipstick: after all it’s just chemicals and pigments. In the larger sense beauty operates omnisciently–it’s not in one person or place at one time, but everywhere at once. It reveals what’s truly there– uncovering characteristics worthy of pursuit. On the same thread beauty can’t be given to you but is brought out from what’s already there. There’s a beauty in all living things and it’s how we communicate our uniqueness that sets us apart from others.


Makeup has been classified under the beauty category because of how it makes us feel. It’s more about what it brings out in us, not what it “gives” us. When talking about make up, the same principle applies. Let me give you some examples of what I mean. Contouring doesn’t give our face shape, it enhances the shape already there. Similarly, nail polish makes our nails pop; and lipstick follows the same idea. Individualizing yourself and showcasing your uniqueness is not a bad thing: it can actually be positive, but it solely depends on you being true to yourself and doing what makes you feel good rather than trying to be someone else.

Fashion and Style; What’s It All About?

Many people will say that they love Fashion. That encompasses discovering and shopping the latests trends, following fashion events, cultivating their own personal style, and keeping up with key figures in Women’s Fashion. Fashion itself is commercializing the production of clothing and accessories. It has created countless jobs and remains one of the largest industries today. Think about the history from handmade, custom clothing to online shopping. I mean, can you even imagine a time where clothes weren’t as readily accessible? Now, designers create collections of various styles that trickle down from runway to local and online stores for the next season of fashion. There are so many things we don’t know when it comes to fashion specifically runway, where trends are born.


“Style is the catalyst of individualization.”


Designers offer collections with the latest trends but it’s up to each person to piece together their own style. Your personal style is your impression to the world. It represents different parts of our personalities and what you find valuable: a diverse style represents the need for to reinvent yourself while progressive styles represent visual innovation.

Happiness Is The Point

If fashion involves developing your style of self-expression, beauty represents the underlying qualities of what’s desirable. The Huffington Post asserts that the real definition of beauty is happiness. Renowned philosopher Aristotle asserted that happiness is the only thing we pursue for its own sake. If that’s true, a healthy mindset is essential or we are left unsatisfied searching for the wrong things.

Yes, we are visual creatures, but it’s sought after for so much more: People are looking for 1) what works 2) positive, infectious energy 3) happiness 4) confidence 5) and comfortability. People are attracted to a fearlessness and authenticity of being yourself no matter what. And both your style and uniqueness go hand in hand. Let’s encourage each other!


We’ve taken a look at the deeper meanings behind fashion and beauty, but we must not forget the important connotations around these words. Yes, there we will talk about “beauty” within the large sense of what makes people feel good about themselves and happy while also discussing our spin on popular topics within the “beauty” category (brands, routines, how to’s, and more).

The point of this section is to empower women relating to practical everyday ideas, questions, and struggles; and say it’s ok to not be so “put together” and “glamorous” all the time. We don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, hours to take getting ready, and energy to invest in what people think we should do. We’re after helping others gain confidence and joy when finding their individualized style.

You Can Do It!

The reality is the fashion industry is not going away nor will billions of people lose interest in fashion. A more positive approach than believing negative connotations is becoming a better version of yourself in any way you can. Personal development is essential, and it’s one of the main topics on The Illumine Blog. Everyone has their daily routine but finding what works best for you in your own time is what matters! For more on Women’s Fashion Subscribe!


Fashion Guru and Lifestyle Blogger Megan Bales is the creator of The Illumine Blog, a blog designed to empower others to live healthier lives and develop successful careers. Through personal experience, a degree in Communications, and background in Marketing she uses her skills to focus on topics such as finding your personal style, developing healthier sustainable habits to live a full life, and finding freedom in health! Join the community and raise a glass to your best life!

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You “Can’t” Slow Down? Or, You “Won’t” Slow Down?

You “Can’t” Slow Down? Or, You “Won’t” Slow Down?


“We are human beings, not human doings.” ~ Deepak Chopra

My friends it’s time for another love letter.  I write these letters to you out of love and care for your health. And when I talk about health and stress together I am always talking about both Emotional AND Physical health!

It is actually a dear friend of mine who prompted this letter. I won’t throw her under the bus by calling her out by name, but here’s how our conversation went:


Sometimes You Just Need To Make A U-Turn!

Sometimes You Just Need To Make A U-Turn!

My alarm did not go off this morning, so I woke-up late.  Because it was pouring rain my teenage son asked me to take him to school instead of riding the bus.  My daughter forgot her flute and asked me to drop it by the school for her… This was just the beginning of my morning.   (more…)

How Travel Changes Our Perspective

How Travel Changes Our Perspective

When we travel our perspectives change.

Have you ever visited somewhere new?

Some place completely different than where you live?

Do you notice how your perspective may shift, if only just a little?


Dear Chronic Worrier

Dear Chronic Worrier

Dear Chronic Worrier,


It’s time for another one of my “love letters” to the world.  I’ve written love letters before about giving up one’s addiction to being busy and making sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself first .  This love letter is written in the same vein.  Just like being busy all of the time has harmful effects on your health, so does chronic worry.  

I have lived my entire life with a woman who is a self-admitted chronic worrier. Hi Mom ☺   I tease her that her love language is worry.

While I can be more lighthearted about it now, that was not really the case when I was growing up. My mom’s worrying about everything takes its toll not only on her, but on those around her as well.


4 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

4 Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season


I’m afraid that I’m going down that road again of writing a confessional blog… I did not follow my own advice and I ended up with a nasty cold.
I’m just grateful that it was not the flu! So many people have been seriously ill and even dying this flu season that I could very well have put myself into a bad situation.

So where did I go wrong? What do I normally do that I did not do this time? Here are the 5 self-imposed rules I usually follow to stay healthy during cold and flu season:

  1. Neti, Neti, Neti!  More than a decade ago I found myself sniffling through a yoga class. The teacher asked me if I use a neti pot. I had recently been introduced to the neti pot nasal cleansing system, but it looked so uncomfortable to me that my response was, “ugh, no!”  And I went sniffling along my merry way. Not long after that, I was visiting a really good friend and noticed that she had a neti pot in her bathroom. I asked her about it and she told me that she uses it on a regular basis. She was getting sinus infections quite often before she started using it, but after using regularly she saw a significant decrease in them!

So, I decided to try it out! I’ll admit, at first it was really weird. But, I read an article in a yoga magazine about how to do it correctly and soon got the hang of it. I have been a neti enthusiast ever since! Not only does it cut down on sinus infections (upper respiratory infections), but it also helps to alleviate my allergy symptoms. And this is very important since I moved to Charleston, SC! I scored 100% on my allergy test here – ACK!!!

Earlier this year I stopped using my neti pot. I didn’t do this on purpose. I just got really busy and I kept forgetting to put salt in my shower – that’s where I keep my neti pot. And sure enough, I got sick! (The neti cleansing includes using a dash of salt in the pot of warm – not hot – water). Now I’m back to regular neti use and so far-so good.


  1. Less Work, More Yoga!  At that same time I was burning the candle at both ends getting my new Well-Life Coaching for Teens and Tweens program ready. I was working 10 to12 hour days on top of taking care of my kids and house.  That, coupled with the fact that I was canceling yoga classes because of the post-holiday lack of attendance, and not filling in with my own practice, caused a serious dip in my immune system strength.

There has been a lot of research, both epidemiological and physiological, showing how yoga and meditation strengthen the immune system.

And of course, even more research has shown that overwork and overtiring the body also compromises the immune system.

The moral of our story here is that overwork and lack of immune boosting yoga and meditation wear the body down and make it susceptible to illness.


  1. Wash Your Hands!  I know that we all know this.  But, here’s what I did and I’m pretty sure this was the icing on the virus cake.  I went to of all things a health and wellness fair. I was networking and meeting lots of new people in the health and wellness field here in Charleston.  As part of this, as is our American custom, I was shaking lots of hands. I would normally go to the restroom and wash my hands before getting back in the car to go home. But, we were running late… so I skipped it. NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Within 48 hours I was feeling that slight stinging sensation in my sinuses that precedes an upper respiratory infection. Within 72 hours I was completely sick! I had to cancel a workshop I was putting on and went to bed for 2 days.  


  1. Get a Flu Shot!  I know, this is very controversial.  All I can say is that through my own personal experience and looking at the research findings I believe that it is better to err on the side of caution and get the shot. Again, I was really busy working and just did not take the time to get the shot this year.  It is geared at colds and flus, so it may have saved me from this cold.

Now, if you are an anti-flu shot person, that’s okay. I understand your point of view. I think the other tips will help prevent cold and flu just as much as the shot. That said, if you are one of those people who thinks that the shot gave you a cold or the flu, that is just not the case. The viruses in the shots are “inactivated.” In other words, they cannot make you sick. There are reasons you can get sick after receiving the shot: You were exposed right before or right after your shot or you unfortunately contracted a virus that was not included in the vaccine mix for the present year.


So do as I say! Not as I do!  – hee hee

I hope that you all stay healthy and peaceful this cold and flu season!


As always, I am grateful for your comments and shares!

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook & Instagram  for lots of inspiration and information!


In Love and Gratitude,



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