Without notice, my grandmother moved two states away to help attend to the proper care and recovery of my grandfather. Much to our surprise, he did not make it, but what came out of the 24-hour whirlwind trip to say farewells and support my grandmother is a moment that I will carry in my heart forever.
When embarking on the trip, my grandmother fully expected to return home within a day or two and jump back into normal life. But, three months went by, and during that time she had nothing to wear except her matching jogging suit and sneakers. When it came time for the funeral, my grandmother was torn: she didn’t feel she could honor her husband of nearly 70 years, presenting herself in sneakers.
With the little makeup bag I always keep in my carry-on and some extra help from my dually equipped mom, we set our sights together to pamper my weary grandmother. We offered little touches of affection and together styled a wardrobe to help soothe and renew her confidence. Gathering our suitcases, we pieced together an outfit.
With my new little one exhausted and strapped to my front in her carrier, I set to work moisturizing, applying, laughing and giggling at the rare girls’ moment the four of us were sharing. Four generations of women loving one another the best we could.
How could a moment of such loss afford the four of us to share something so beautiful? The beauty of the heart, the care of a finger’s stroke across tear riddled cheeks, or the laugh as my little one snuggled on my chest and swayed with my every brush stroke: this is true beauty.
Through a moment’s pause in our daily rush, we can help love another. Remind that friend, family member, or even a stranger that they matter; it is a gift that ripples in effect. Smiles, unexpected hellos, a hand held, a phone call to remind someone you were thinking of them: this is how beauty is shared.
Grace filled beauty is something I challenge us all to pause and breathe in. These are the moments that take years off your soul and enrich your spirit.
Vanessa Elese is a NY based Emmy Award Winning Celebrity Makeup Artist and Beauty Expert. Vanessa’s most recent work includes Amazon’s “Alpha House”, the highly addictive “Orange is the New Black”-Netflix and Discover’s “Deadly Affairs” working with the ever lovely Susan Lucci. Previously, Vanessa has worked with FX’s hit TV show, “Damages” (Glenn Close and Rose Byrne) and ABC’s “All My Children” helping to manage their conversion to HD-TV, while demonstrating new high-def makeup techniques and products. Additionally, she has had the unique opportunity to work as part of the hilarious and hard working team at Saturday Night Live, a group with multiple Emmy Awards under their belt. While Vanessa continues to work as a full-time makeup artist for a select celebrities as well as television and film, she also maintains a private clientele. Additionally, Vanessa serves as the Executive Producer/Co-Host for a reality makeover pilot and considers it an honor to dedicate her time and energy to Child Crisis Organization of Arizona, a charity near and dear to her heart. Vanessa is featured as a beauty expert in numerous editorial articles, serves as an on-camera beauty/fashion expert as well as her blog, “The Beauty Fairy Diaries”TM. With each of her endeavors, Vanessa focuses her efforts to encourage and nurture a healthy inner beauty before focusing on the exterior. It is her mission to truly ignite women to perceive themselves with grace and beauty