I remember when Destiny’s Child was coming up in the music industry and we had all these different photo shoots and things. That’s when I was first introduced to makeup, and when you’re introduced to makeup in the industry, it’s about contour and shadow. I remember I walked around looking like a dragon because I was trying to contour my face the way the makeup artists did. [laughs] I spent a lot of time looking crazy.

I remember one year, me and Destiny’s Child had these green outfits on. I looked at the pictures [later] and was like, “Yikes! Why did I even try? Just some foundation and lip gloss would have been fine.”

I sat up one day, and paid to attention to how every makeup artist did things. I told myself that I wanted to know my face even better than the makeup artist did. I went home and played with the different foundations and colors and found what was perfect for me; what I liked on my eyes, what I liked on my lips — because you have to be happy with the way you look in the mirror.

I had the most fun with MAC makeup. I remember going into the stores and just trying on all these colors. L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, I bought it and fell in love, because honestly, to this day I still don’t know how to glue eyelashes.

The makeup lines I really love right now are Scott Barnes and Bobbi Brown; Scott Barnes’ concealer and Bobbi Brown’s foundation. I remember going to that counter for the first time and going “OMG, it’s so awesome to find my skin color.”

I think that as consumers, we often go to different beauty brands and products and expect them to be magicians. I think it’s important for us to know what we have and what we’re working with, what we have and what we possess that we may want to bring out. Maybe you have amazing eyes or beautiful cheekbones or amazing lips. It’s really great to bring that out. I think it’s important to know what kind of skin you have, too. Is it dry, combination or oily? To know what you’re working with before you go heightens the whole beauty buying experience.

It took a long while for me to know that I’m beautiful. I remember going through this phase when I was younger of wanting to pass by mirrors and not look at them. That was so ridiculous. I’ve learned now that beauty starts from within. If you don’t know your worth, if you don’t know your value, if you don’t know how fantabulous you are — it’s going to be hard for other people to see it. Being appreciative of self, is beauty to me.

What makes me feel really beautiful is when I wake up and my skin is acting right [laughs] and I have a really great workout. When those days come, remember you deserve them because you work so hard.

One of my beauty icons is Oprah Winfrey. I love that fact that she’s so comfortable with herself. One of my favorite episodes of her show was when she showed millions of people how she woke up in the morning with no makeup on. That was so selfless and revealing. She’s very real and genuine and I love that. Halle Berry is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Same thing with Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson — especially as a kid, because they have brown skin like me. I remember looking at magazines and television and seeing someone that looked like me and seeing a piece of myself in them.

What I’ve learned is, take better care of yourself. When you make the decision to do that — that’s a step toward reinvention because you probably need it and in that moment, you deserve it.

Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” is the No. 1 song on the Billboard R&B Charts.


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