“As you evolve in age, you’re more comfortable in your own skin”~Ashanti, Singer/Actress
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Beauty Editor’s Note
At the time of writing this post my birthday is around the corner. I have never been ashamed to tell anybody my age and am grateful to say that I will be turning 50.
As an introvert, I spend a lot of time in my head reflecting. It seems I’ve been doing this more so over the past 3 years due to the world pandemic. One thing I can say about getting older is it doesn’t look like it used to decades before. That’s due to the advancements and technology of course.
One of my earliest beauty secrets was caring for my skin, even if it was just using Noxzema and Vaseline, (I know right?) At the age of 13, I had a session at a Merle Norman Studio and was introduced to a skincare routine and how to apply makeup. I thought I would share some wisdom and beauty nuggets that I’ve learned along this journey. I feel that we should be grateful we are aging, not just graceful. It truly is a blessing.
“Nothing looks better in your fifties than sunscreen in your twenties”~Doris Day, MD Dermatologist
This was the decade of supermodels, slip dresses and thin eyebrows. Social media did not exist and the only way to get your beauty fix/influence was through websites and actual magazines in print. Oh, and Amazon was just a Bookseller. This was also the time frame when I began my career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist after graduating from college.
Mind you, I have been legally blind/low vision all of my life, I know nothing different. My beauty influencers during this time were Kevyn Aucoin, Bobbl brown, Reggie Wells, and Sam Fine. And I can’t forget about Pat McGrath who was Naomi Campbell’s makeup artist for a lot of her fashion shoots and shows.
I really identified with Bobbi Brown’s approach to makeup, enhancing your features without looking overly done, as I adopted this as a makeup artist and for myself. I’ve always been a minimalist when it came to my makeup which still carries true today. I remember one of my instructors told me it was harder to make somebody look natural versus somebody looking made up. I found that to be true and probably my signature look for the clients that I worked on was a natural enhanced look. I was working at local fashion shows, photo shoots, events, and weddings.
This was the decade that I started using eye cream and waxing. If I could go back, I would tell my younger self not to continuously wax my eyebrows because they’re going to thin out and you’re going to need to fill them in. I still have these beauty influencers’ books on my shelf today. The basic principles of beauty always remain.
“There’s nothing wrong with lines on your face”~Bobbi Brown, Makeup Artist
This was the decade of the early 21st century and Y2K. During this time, I was an esthetician at a day spa and an instructor working with cancer patients for the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program. In addition, I did a lot of spa parties. I also took advantage of manicures and pedicures since I worked at a spa. And here is where I discovered my love for body massages.
I prefer deep tissue massages and hot stone massages. Massage is still one of my favorite beauty services that I like to receive. As an esthetician, I utilized professional grade tools in my services. During this time, beauty tech tools were starting to emerge and evolve for at-home use. I started with Sonic cleansing with the facial brushes to give it a try. I knew it made a difference because my coworkers were asking me what I was doing differently because my skin was looking great. When I shared what I was doing and they started using it too.
Towards the end of my 30s I started using light therapy and switched to ultrasonic cleansing with silicone tips. They are much gentler than the cleansing brushes. At some point I may write about my thoughts on at-home use for beauty tech tools. My advice, start with a cleansing tool and work your way to other devices. And please follow the directions that come with the device.
This started for me in 2013. I was doing workshops and presentations on skin care and beauty. And I was working with small brands with product development.
Around 2014 I decided to give up the relaxers for good and wear my natural hair. I blogged about the transitioning journey for 8 months. One of the mistakes that I made in this process is that I did not keep up with regular salon visits to help prevent the breakage. Bsecause of this, I had to eventually get the big chop. Once I did that, I didn’t have to worry about growing out the relaxer. This also gave me time to get to know my natural hair texture.
My hair is very curly and I had fun playing with products to see what would work. During this time, I also had the opportunity to meet celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimble at my local Sally Beauty. She gave me some great advice on product development.
When 2020 hit, I started growing my hair out long again. This time there was no breakage and my long hair is back in its natural state. My advice here is if you’re making a transition from chemicals, make sure you find a stylist that can help you do this successfully. I now have regular salon visits and my hair is very healthy. One of the best healthy beauty decisions I made was to go natural.
Last summer, I wrote a beauty journal of poems that reflect on beauty based on my experiences. I haven’t promoted this book because it was almost an accident but not really. Basically, it wasn’t planned but it was making a statement that beauty lies within. I know this book won’t be my last publication, it was just a teaser to get it started. Even if I don’t sell any copies of that journal, I close out the decade saying that I am a published author.
My Final Words
“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”~Philippians 4:13
It seems so funny that I’m saying I’m half a century old and I have very few regrets in life. I am so glad that I had the courage to pursue something out of the box as far as going into beauty. I believe that people with disabilities aren’t encouraged to think outside of the box and pursue dreams because it’s based on a limited understanding.
I always thought of myself as an out of the box person who never fit the stereotype especially when it comes to people with disabilities. My journey in the beauty industry was not easy but it wasn’t impossible. My skills and talents spoke for itself.
I tell a lot of people that I am about to live my best life yet moving forward. There are things that no longer concern me and I feel free just because of that. I’m looking forward to new and exciting things. No matter what decade or season that you find yourself in life, embrace the real beauty within you! Dana
By Dana Hinnant, Beauty Editor
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Connecting With Dana Hinnant
Connecting With Bold Blind Beauty
Dana Hinnant, a Washingtonian native, whose journey into the beauty industry began 20 years ago after receiving her B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2000. She received her aesthetics training at Von Lee International School of Esthetics in Baltimore, MD.
Dana started as a local makeup artist and events coordinator with Alluring Looks, Inc. in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Her articles were featured in local publications such as Pose Magazine and Yndigo newsletter. In the mid-2000s, she was a volunteer instructor with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program, which landed her an esthetician position at an area day spa.
Over the past several years, Dana has worked with various non-profit organizations and small businesses. During her tenure as the President of the Health and Wellness division of the National Federation of the Blind DC affiliate, she utilized the platform to provide salon safety tips and skincare advice throughout the community. She was a consultant with the Ecumenical Health Council in Port Towns, MD doing beauty and wellness presentations at area churches and events.
In 2019, Dana received the Maryland Association of Community Service Award for Volunteer of the Year due to her community engagement work for The Arc of Prince George’s County. In addition, she also received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2020 from The Arc of Maryland. She is a member and an ambassador with the Professional Beauty Association. Dana is one of the co-owners of Capitol Collective Consulting LLC which launched in April 2021.
- Beauty through the ages is a 5-panel photo collage of women in the 60s, through the 2000s.
- Fashion models on a catwalk.
- Hot stone massage therapy in a soothing spa atmosphere with candles
- An attraactive young black woman admiring herself in a bathroom mirror at home.
- Author bio photo is a headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowing caramel colored skin and short dark hair.