To be perfect is imperfect

Do you ever look in the mirror and love, or even like, what you see? Or do you focus on the things that bother you?  Of course you do, like almost every woman and girl does today.

In the late 1990s, as a professional makeup artist, I  had my own page in the “Chic” magazine of The Gazette, writing about makeup.  The photos that we took were airbrushed before going to print – until computer programs replaced airbrushing. Crazy

At first I thought it was fantastic watching the computer wizard taking the model’s picture and erasing her lines, evening out her mouth, shortening her nose and removing any flaws that could possibly be seen.

In 2001 I moved to Boca Raton, Florida where I opened up several makeup counters in top beauty salons.  It was while working there that I had the epiphany – NO MATTER HOW BEAUTIFUL A WOMAN WAS, AT ANY AGE, hardly any felt that they were beautiful – not PERFECT enough!

I started to become really angry at what the media has done to the self-esteem and self-worth of women.  Magazine covers, and all magazine photos, are completely the images of the computer, which makes the models look “perfect”.

What most women did not realize, and still don’t today, is that these images are UNOBTAINABLE – hence all the surgeries, Botox, etc. to try to look “perfect”!

What saddens me the most is that these images are what young girls are growing up to believe they should look like in order to be accepted as “beautiful”. And that has created a very big problem for their self-esteem. I am speaking from  my experience in listening to teenagers. It is very rare to hear confidence coming from them.

It is always so rewarding when a girl has her makeup done, looks in the mirror and smiles from ear to ear.  Sometimes there are tears.  She finally sees that she looks great and most importantly, likes what she sees.

In the picture below, we are four women all over 55….no face lifts on anyone.  Natural is “PERFECTION” in my eyes. All four are natural and they look darn good!


Bunny Goldberg, Vicky Collar, Suzanne Desautels and me!

You know all about the bullying issues that exist today.  It’s all over the media and it finally has a large audience and a loud voice.  The IMAGES being put out by the media as to what is accepted as ‘BEAUTY’ are just another form of bullying, in my opinion.

There should be a balance.  Start showing pictures that are REAL…WITHOUT BEING ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!

How would you address this problem?

I’d love to hear what you have to say!





  • Gina Roitman
    Posted at 11:51h, 04 November Reply

    Attitude is everything and Sharon B tells it like it is.

    When I hear women complaining about their looks, their weight, etc. I suggest that they pull out a photo from ten years earlier when they had the same complaints and yet, most would give anything to have that face and figure now. We need to acknowledge that perfection is an illusion. So learn to accept and love yourself at every age, every stage.

    • Wise Women Montreal
      Posted at 12:10h, 04 November Reply

      Well said, Gina. Thanks for sharing!

  • sharon braunstein
    Posted at 14:04h, 04 November Reply

    I want to thank Wisewomenmontreal for allowing me the privilege to get this message out. It is truly something that I am very passionate about. I am getting a lot of comments on facebook and I would love to see every women to help spread this message.
    Thanks wisewomenmontreal!

  • Wise Women Montreal
    Posted at 15:04h, 04 November Reply

    Thanks to you, Sharon!

  • Samantha Del Grosso
    Posted at 19:31h, 04 November Reply

    This message is amazing. I believe every woman no matter what age should read this. It is so important, to feel beautiful and comfortable in your own skin. If we were all the same their would be no such thing as beauty. Everyone has some form of beauty in them. Confidence in your own body is the best quality to have and to show off!!! Amazing article Sharon!!! 🙂

    • sharon braunstein
      Posted at 12:33h, 06 November Reply

      THANK YOU SAMANTHA…You are absolutely right! Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is much appreciated .

  • Luana Fruchter
    Posted at 22:18h, 04 November Reply

    Well said Sharon…as responsible mothers it is our responsibility to raise our children to feel confident in their own skin.there is way too much attention placed on appearance and body image which has greatly contributed to many life threatening disorders.Every one is beautiful in their own unique way!

    • sharon braunstein
      Posted at 12:34h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you Luana…your comment is well appreciated!

  • Marie-France
    Posted at 21:50h, 05 November Reply

    I agree that images in the media are warped and unattainable yet become the standard that women are aiming to achieve. However, while I also think ‘natural is perfection’ I’m not sure I agree that ‘made up’ is ‘natural’. I don’t get why it’s not OK to attempt to achieve perfection through surgery but it’s OK to achieve flawless skin, pouting lips, sultry eyes, eye lashes that don’t quit, prominent cheek bones through make-up?

    Here’s where I have a problem: “it is always so rewarding when a girl has her makeup done, looks in the mirror and smiles from ear to ear. Sometimes there are tears. She finally sees that she looks great and most importantly, likes what she sees.”
    She finally sees that she looks great AFTER she has her make up done? How can we get girls to see their beauty in their unmade up faces? She likes what she sees after she is made up so what happens at night when she takes it all off – back to her old self/face?
    And if I don’t wear make up on a regular basis does that mean I never ‘look great’ on a regular basis?

    I do believe that make up can enhance our assets and minimize less flattering features – I did get my make up done by a preofessional for my daughter’s wedding and for the pictures. But we need to be careful that we don’t send mixed messages to those young and not so young women.

    • Gina Roitman
      Posted at 23:12h, 05 November Reply

      As I have big breasts, I wear clothes that give my body a proportionate look in the same way I use make-up to enhance my natural attributes and to offset my less attractive features. I think it is unrealistic to expect that young girls will not experiment with make-up, even if they may not need any to enhance their beauty.

      However, it’s a long way from a thirteen year-old trying on lipsticks to wanting breast implants because her mother is small-breasted. We are not sending mixed messages when we say that much can be achieved to enhance what we have without resorting to surgery or injections.

      Sharon’s point is, I believe, that when we know how to do things properly AND have a good self-image, much can be achieved with a little.

      • sharon braunstein
        Posted at 11:25h, 06 November Reply

        Marie France…I would like to thank you for your comment on my blog. I am sorry that you seem to have focused on the point re doing making for the young girls. The reason I wrote about that is to express how I have learnt how they feel about themselves because of their reaction to how they feel after the makeup. I was not promoting wearing makeup…the point of this blog is to make girls and women realize that THE IMAGES THAT ARE PUT OUT BY THE MEDIA ARE NOT REAL…it was not about the importance of wearing makeup. Makeup is a choice…what the media puts out is not.
        I am trying very hard to make a difference in what the media puts out…I am sorry if you did not get my message but I thank you for writing in your comment.

        • Marie-France
          Posted at 18:11h, 09 November Reply

          I just reread your post and I’m sorry – I totally misunderstood your point! You’re right on about the computer enhanced images that are no longer a person by the time they appear in magazines becoming an unattainable standard by any stretch of the imagination – not even cosmetic surgery. So I wholeheartedly agree with you!

      • sharon braunstein
        Posted at 12:36h, 06 November Reply

        Thank you Gina…so much…

  • Lynn Fishman R.N.
    Posted at 13:22h, 07 November Reply

    Thank you Sharon for your wise words. Self esteem is the undercurrent that influences how we interact with the world. It has to come from the inside based on one’s intrinsic qualities. How else can a woman handle the many changes she goes through in life? We have to love and feel good in our body because it’s the only one we’ve got! Photoshop touch ups don’t help a young girl’s self- esteem if there was little there in the first place. If her self- esteem is high and she understands what magazine covers are all about, she will see more clearly and embrace her own beauty. It’s an important conversation to have!

  • Marlene Berman
    Posted at 16:52h, 07 November Reply

    I like me always did, love what I see in the mirror, so I am not perfect by perfections standards but I judge me and I love what I see!!!

    • sharon braunstein
      Posted at 01:45h, 08 November Reply

      What a wonderful comment! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone could feel like you.
      Good for you Marlene….I love it!!!!!!

  • corinne asseraf
    Posted at 18:28h, 07 November Reply

    Sharon …..Sharon…. Sharon it’s about time you write to all of us, You are so talented there are not many left who know what was and what i new trends will be, you are the maven!! You have been an incredible coach to many of us in this field of cosmetics and artistry, I thank you!!

    Keep up the good work your the best.

    • sharon braunstein
      Posted at 01:53h, 08 November Reply

      Thank you Corinne, owner of the fabulous Galerie 203. I thank you for your comment and I know you will help spread this message as far as you can. Maybe we can do an event at the gallery one of these days in honor of women “not following the “unobtainable computer” image of beauty. Let’s get together and get creative….Thanks again…much appreciated.

  • Enrique
    Posted at 21:00h, 07 November Reply

    Two of my favourite ladies…
    and yes I like to see women “al natural” There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the real you. and those who do not like it, run fast away from them, they oppress you, they contribute to make you unhappy. Big hug Sharon, keep on witting about this topic!!!!

    • sharon braunstein
      Posted at 01:50h, 08 November Reply

      Thanks Enrique…Your comment is so beautiful and well appreciated. For any of those who do not know Enrique has prob ably photographed and videod more women than any one else in the city of Montreal for events, personal and corporate. He certainly knows and understands women…very well and has looked at them through the eyes of a camera for years. I can only imagine the things he heard over the years about “not being perfect enough”. Thanks Enrique. I am so glad that you took the time to comment. Means a lot to me.

  • Margaret Bloomfield
    Posted at 18:17h, 08 November Reply

    I have had good experience and bad experience with makeup artist, some say they are professional and some say they have not taken any courses but have a knack for it, The reason I’m writing this note is because even if they have been in this business for a very long time and are re-known, if their brand is full of chemicals ,paraben, and mineral oils they are not looking out for the best interest in your skincare they want to make a buck, sell you a designer line that have their name on it, but for some reason would not meet today’s consumers demand , they must be careful on what they put on their faces. My experience is they use make-up they’ve had for a very long time on their counters. You look good in their chair, but when you get home , Your skin start to itch, you get a rash on your cheeks from the parabens… Just be careful who and what products they are trying to sell you… Read and get information on their line before application or buying. Just be careful

    • Wise Women Montreal
      Posted at 21:45h, 08 November Reply

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your comment. In any profession, there are experts who take pride in their work and, unfortunately, the people who lack integrity and, as you said, “just want to make a buck”. We’re sorry that you’ve had bad experiences with make-up artists. Hopefully you’ve learned what to look for in terms of an artists’ skills and product line. Thanks for reading!

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