I recently interviewed Kenetia Lee, one of today’s leading authorities on beauty empowerment. She has over 10 years of experience as a professional makeup artist, author, personal coach and speaker, having regularly appeared on television shows such as ABC’s “Eyewitness News Sunday Morning” and as a featured columnist in publications such as InStyle. Kenetia has made it her mission to inspire women to celebrate their own unique beauty, which she openly shares with Positively Smitten readers.
Q: Can you give us a little background on yourself?
A: Born and raised in Chicago, IL, I moved to California where I started my career as a makeup artist 10 years ago. I got my start as a makeup artist by taking a few makeup courses at Empire Academy in Costa Mesa, CA. Soon after completing the courses I started working with Smashbox Cosmetics as a freelance makeup artist, working on fashion shows, then retail and then toured with Revon Cosmetics. Right now I live in Midtown Manhattan and work for the Miss Universe Organization.
Q: You are living your life’s purpose to empower women all over the world to recognize the resolute beauty that lives within them. How did you know this was your life’s calling?
A: After attending a retreat at the Chopra Center, it was then I was able to see and appreciate my own beauty that I knew this was the feeling that all women were seeking to feel about their physical appearance.
Q: Instilling self-confidence and self-appreciation in oneself is easier said than done (and maybe harder to instill in others?)! How exactly do you do that? How do you help redefine a woman’s approach to beauty?
A: By teaching her to go within and listen to her intuition, feel compassion and care for her spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
Q: Woman to woman, I’m curious to know what your confidence is like. Have you always had self-esteem, and therefore you felt you wanted to share your strategy with others? Was it something you battled with, like so many of us, and overcame? Are you having to live by your own professional advice?
A: Confidence comes from knowing yourself and being able to trust you will do what you say you will do. Every day I am faced with the opportunity to know myself better, some days I able to drown out my ego better than other days, just like everyone. The days I don’t meditate I find it to be a little more challenging than others. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not faced with being reminded of the words that I’ve written.
Q: What parts of the world has your career as a professional makeup artist, author, personal coach and speaker taken you to, and how different is the concept of beauty in these other parts of the world? Is self-esteem an issue outside of the U.S.?
A: I’ve been to the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Mexico and Canada. The concept of beauty isn’t that much different in these other parts of the world than in the United States. In Europe I’ve noticed that they are less ashamed of the naked body; all body parts are shown on public television unlike here in the United States.
Q: Referring to the name of your book, “Fearless Beauty: A Women’s Guide to Living Bold, Beautiful & Free,” can you define “fearless beauty” in one sentence?
A: A person willing to challenge their fears to fully embrace who they are and realize everything they wish to become.
Q: What would you say to our readers who are trying to feel “positively smitten” about themselves and their own beauty? If there was one piece of advice you can give these young women, what would it be?
A: Learn to trust your intuition, it will never steer you wrong.