06/27/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Looking for True Beauty? Try Changing Your Course

From an early age we're set onto a course, and we follow. While many of us learn along the way that we hold the reins, that each step is our own, we take comfort in having a well-worn path ahead.

By the time we reach that exhilarating age when we feel the power of our own free will, many of us elect the college course, which moves into a career course. Our relationships take the marriage and family course. Our lives often jump from one milestone to the next as years pass -- the sort of course that society applauds.

At times an unexpected force -- a lay-off or an illness -- changes our course for us. And even less often we actually make a change for ourselves. Why? Somewhere along the way we feel the safety of the established path. A great number of us never stop to peer ahead at the road we follow; we simply go with the flow. And years later we look dizzily backward. But there can be beauty in a change.

What we lacked in our own lives, just a few years ago, was beauty from the course. We assumed that we'd arrive at something beautiful six months, five years or a decade into the future, but we really needed it in our day to day. An organic life change, a diversion from the path, was the key to the beauty we were missing. Out of that change came Better Organic Choice, a service that helps men and women find safe, natural personal care products tailored to their needs. In finding beauty inside of ourselves, we're on our way to change beauty outside as well.

Karim: For me, making a change meant moving away from the 'bright lights' at a time when I was at the top. I was a very established celebrity makeup artist with two Emmy-nominations, jet-setting all over the world. One morning, after partying at a hot spot for most of the night, I stared at my own reflection in the bathroom mirror, in the same way I'd examine a client's face. I saw what I loved, what I wanted to keep, what I wanted to emphasize -- and also what I needed to 'fix,' as if my face was no longer mine. I remember thinking, 'This is not a beautiful moment.' The irony struck me hard.

I created beauty for others, but could barely see it in myself. I asked myself, 'Am I really a representation of beauty? What am I doing to inspire beauty within?' I wasn't in a healthy relationship. I was always rushing and pushing myself -- and others. I only ate right about half the time. And I didn't exercise often enough to feel good. Even more importantly, I questioned whether I was spending enough quality time with my daughter and raising her with values that we could both respect. The answers were ugly. I decided that day that beauty, as I had known it and had been living it, was dead.

My true gift was not in creating make-believe, and not in depleting myself to bring superficial beauty to others, but in uncovering very real, existing beauty. I would find it first in myself, for my daughter to see and learn, and then in my clients, so they could see it in themselves. I decided to examine not only what I was putting on myself but what I was putting on my clients. I decided to take on a new course and start Better Organic Choice with Jolene Hart, who had a similar story.

Jolene: My change followed a conscious decision to take responsibility for my own happiness. In magazine editorial, I cycled from entertainment to fashion to beauty, working my way through many of the top publications in the industry. Glamorous, yes? With access to the best beauty products and treatments in the world, my life felt more than ever that it was taking an ugly turn. I was working hard year after year, doing whatever it took to push ahead on my path, driving without so much as a pause to consider my direction. I felt out of balance, I had talents I wasn't using and an endless list of things that I wanted to do with my life 'when things slowed down.' At any point I might have admitted that I wasn't happy -- that something didn't feel right, and that I was exhausted and unfulfilled. But I was paying my dues. This was one element of the career course, I reasoned. And I kept moving.

Until one day a close friend pointed out that I already had the career that had been my dream when I started years ago, so why was I feeling so empty? It was an ugly point to consider. Taking a good look at myself, I decided to set out in a new direction. Today I offer women guidance to make healthy choices for themselves- in all areas of their lives. It's the same support I needed myself not long ago. I'm still carving my course as I go, but I feel more beautiful than ever.


It could be that you discovered your own best course long ago. But if you're still waiting for beauty to come along, however patient you might be, it's time to reflect. Find the power to set your own course and you'll uncover stores of talent and potential that might otherwise be wasted. Will a change of course be worth it for you? Really, you won't ever know until you try. Be willing to work hard, trust yourself and value beauty.