BEAUTYfull™: Lindsay Huggins, inner light and self love

BEAUTYfull™: Lindsay Huggins, inner light and self love

It’s our 11th BEAUTYfull post and I know you all will fall in love with our next subject Lindsay Huggins, whose outer beauty and enviable personal style is complemented by #goodvibesonly. I met Lindsay doing shoots for Hearst brands like Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Elle – and her energy instantly draws you in. Being an insider in the fashion business, Lindsay’s industry insights along with her personal reflections and viewpoints make her a perfect subject for our series.


Spread beauty. It’s our mission. And our goal in spreading beauty is that it reaches everyone. It is inclusive, not exclusive. We believe beauty comes in all ages, races, genders, features, abilities, sizes, shapes, body types… in all the unique elements that form each of our unique whole. There is a FULL spectrum of BEAUTY and we all exist in it. With our own personal experiences, stories and voices. And with that, originated the concept of BEAUTYfull™.

For our 11th post, we introduce New York City based Fashion and Content Editor, Stylist and Creative Consultant,  Lindsay Huggins.

Special note: All photography by Stephania Stanley. Concept, makeup and interview by Lauren Cosenza. Shot in Brooklyn.


THE 11th SUBJECT: Lindsay Huggins

Lindsay Huggins was “Born in the West (LA Girl) and Bred in the East (Jersey Girl)” and her love affair for vintage, one-off pieces mixing high and low price points started early. “My mommy would always say that ‘a woman with true style can wear an outfit from a thrift store and look a million times better than every label wearing chick in the room.'” So yes, she’ll absolutely rock Chanel with Zara and not think twice about it! She was basically #bornthisway.

Lindsay’s passions include “things that feed my soul” including yoga, mediation, cooking, traveling, horseback riding, “definitely lots of eating” and “making memories with genuine people because those who don’t believe in magic will never find it!”

When we approached Lindsay about this series, she shared, “I love that BEAUTYfull is an all-inclusive, inspiring project filled with authenticity and a genuine sense of community, pride and solidarity no matter your shape, size, color or age. That’s true sisterhood!”


THE INTERVIEW: Lindsay on inner light, diversity in casting and the truth behind what it really takes for people to nail a “perfect” photo. 

Where do you think you – or all women – get their cues about how they “should” look?

The media can be such a double-edged sword and can play the role of friend or foe — if you allow it. Blogs, websites, social media, magazines and advertising all play their role in giving us inspiration, that’s the loving takeaway but these outlets are not the authority on how you “should” be judging yourself. Women must remember that we lack nothing, we are made exactly as the Universe intended us to be, individually unique in our beauty.


Can you describe the idealized standard of beauty for women as you see it today. What does the perfect woman, as defined by Hollywood, entertainment and social media, look like?

The idealized standard of beauty that women face today is that we are supposed to be free of: wrinkles, scars, cellulite, fat, crows feet, under-eye bags, age spots, acne, moles, blemishes…the list goes on and on. The reality is that we are human beings, we’re not photos.  The sooner you come to terms with the fact that the airbrushed, photoshopped images you’re seeing in the media are unattainable, the healthier and happier you will be!  Also, remember that before someone posted that gorgeous selfie there were about 50 photos taken and 4 filters used!


How do you think most women compare to this standard, or feel about it?  How do you personally?

The best piece of advice my Daddy gave me was that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I never, ever forgot that. Being a man who grew up with 2 older sisters and is the proud Father of 3 daughters he truly knew the power of self-love, self-awareness and appreciation of beauty in all different shapes, sizes and shades.  I think it’s very important to look in the mirror at some point every day and say to yourself “I love you”.  Even more so on the days when you’re really not feeling all that beautiful–you’re bloated, you’ve put on an extra few pounds, those are the moments when love of self can make a difference. We as women can be so hard on ourselves and our harshest critics.


When you were younger, was it important to see women in Hollywood or advertising or in music or the modeling world who looked like you?

Absolutely!  I remember wanting to see The Rockettes perform the Christmas Spectacular and my Mommy would always have the same answer: “You’re not going until they have a Rockette that looks like you”. I’m so grateful that dancers of color kept auditioning no matter how many times they were told no and broke the barriers and opened that door. Let’s just say I finally saw my first Christmas Spectacular in 1988 and her name was Jennifer Jones. I’m so proud that little girls today have Misty Copeland as a role model, she’s incredible! In regards to Hollywood actresses, musicians and models, I was exposed to generations of iconic women of color like Josephine Baker, Diana Ross, Rita Moreno, Tina Turner, Dorothy Dandridge, Sade, Iman and I held them all in such regard.  Once I got to my pre-teens it was the “Supermodel Era” and 2 words meant EVERYTHING beautiful to me: Naomi Campbell. She was a game-changer!

Is it important to you now?

Yes It’s still important for me to see women who look like me and are of all different ages across all outlets — beauty, fashion, film, television, politics, sports…everywhere without question. I’m grateful for women like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez,Shonda Rhimes, Rihanna, First Lady Michelle Obama, Ava Duvernay,Laverne Cox, Alicia Keys, Serena Williams, Issa Rae, Lupita Nyong’o, Eva Longoria, Soledad O’Brien, Solange who are writing, directing, producing, designing, educating, inspiring women of all ethnicities that beauty is powerful and doesn’t all look the same.  And growing older is a privilege not afforded to many, let’s do this gracefully and happily!  I love the millennials like Zendaya, Willow Smith, Amandla Stenberg, Zoe Kravitz who are proudly owning their beauty and inspiring young girls everywhere to own who they are — kickass, fearless young women!


When you are hired as a stylist for beauty and fashion brands, retailers, magazines and websites, how often is diversity a priority in casting? Is this something you are seeing more of? Or is it just more hype?

My career began in the modeling industry so I have definitely witnessed a shift in clients being more open to a diversity of skin tones, complexions and hair textures which is so welcoming. However, the change that still needs to come is on sizing. It’s awesome that the industry has Ashley Graham killing the game right now but she can’t be the only face of a “curvy” body type.  We need more and more and more size diversity on the runways, in editorials and advertising.  It has to be a 360 degree approach and it’s the reality that should be represented with open arms.

Sadly I am also not seeing diversity in age with castings. Male models tend to have career longevity especially with huge retailers like Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom. For women the expectation is completely different — youth dominated.


How does your job change when there is diversity among the hired talent?

Diversity within the talent is both refreshing and rewarding because every woman wants to see a reflection of themselves being represented in all facets of life — fashion and beauty are no exception. Exclusion is so passé, it’s 2017 and women come in all different hues, shapes and sizes. I take pride in representing all women and making their beauty appreciated and accepted.

Where do you shop when the talent is not all the same? Is there any one store that caters to all? Are there more/better choices now than in the past?

Sample size is a 2, sometimes a 4, depending on the designer. When shooting non-models for a particular project I find that now there are definitely more cool, on-trend options and choices than years past. ASOS, boohoo and Forever21 all have really chic, affordable plus size options, Topshop and LOFT have amazing petite and tall options — that’s a breath of fresh air.


How do you think social media plays in, with both impossible — and in many instances, retouched to perfection — beauty standards on the one side and the democratization and diversification of beauty standards on the other? How does social media affect your views on beauty?

I’m constantly reminding myself that before someone posted that “flawless” selfie there were about 50 photos taken and 4 filters used! Who’s going to post an unflattering picture of themselves? And when it comes to celebrity accounts, I hope that people realize that an entire glam squad put that red-carpet ready look together, it takes a village. As for social media influencers, I hope that their followers understand that picture-perfect scenarios and outfits are a part of their job, they didn’t roll out of bed looking effortlessly chic. It’s smoke and mirrors too. And I respect the hard work they and their teams put into their craft — but they get blemishes too, please don’t be fooled.

What do you love about yourself physically? Why?

I FINALLY love my body: long, lanky arms and legs. They’re mine and I’m proud! I was teased when I was younger for being too skinny especially in a culture that perpetuates that notion that their women are all supposed to be “bootylicious”. 


What have you felt pressure to change or alter, or have you otherwise struggled with or felt insecure about?

If I had a dollar for every time somebody told me to “put some meat on my bones” I’d be a millionaire by now :/

When do you feel beautiful? What makes you feel beautiful?

I feel beautiful when I’m home on Sunday mornings dancing in my apartment with no make-up on and a cup of tea.  I call it Sunday Tea & Tunes. Lingerie makes me feel beautiful, it’s an obsession! I love collecting pieces from various eras — I wear it in the bedroom and in the streets, it’s all about layering. 


When don’t you feel beautiful? What makes you feel not beautiful?

I don’t feel beautiful when my spirit is tired and my energy is low and depleted, which usually happens from being around negative people and situations. I find that if I haven’t taken enough “ME” time and given myself the love and care I deserve, it shows in my outward appearance too. The light within reflects out and if my soul light is dim, so are my complexion and my eyes. As they say on the airplane “You must put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others”. SO TRUE!

What is your beauty regimen? Has it changed over your life?

Moisturize…moisturize…moisturize my face and entire body daily.  It’s a non-negotiable, head-to-toe. I’ve been doing it all of my life.


Who is beautiful to you?

A woman who is unapologetic in her evolution, with a grateful heart and pure intentions– that’s beautiful!

What is beautiful to you?

Accepting and loving yourself — body, soul and mind.  The more you practice this, you become more and more beautiful. 

Please note this post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own and the subject’s own. For this post I used the products featured below.  Products were provided for editorial consideration and/or my use as a professional makeup artist. All photos are property of DIVAlicious and Stephania Stanley Photography

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headshot2Lauren Cosenza is the creator and editor-in-chief of DIVAlicious, a trusted beauty/fashionexpert, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a leading NYC-based professional makeup artist, a published contributor and writer, a brand consultant, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines.

Serving up style with a side of attitude, her site DIVAlicious gives women (and men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. The site, with a goal to SPREAD BEAUTY, is filled with must-have products, pro tips and tricks, how-to DIY tutorials, makeovers, style inspiration and insider access. Topics range from beauty, fashion, culture, career, fitness, wellbeing, men’s and unisex offerings.


Stephanie Stanley (or Stephania, as her Greek family calls her) is a New York City-based advertising and editorial photographer who specializes in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her work can be found on ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, TODAY, DailyCandy, and TeenVogue. Her client list includes Levi’s, JCPenney, Clean & Clear, Microsoft, Olay, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Garnier, TRESemmé, Estée Lauder, Nexxus, GAP, Secret, and more.

Stephanie holds an MFA in Photography from Parsons and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and puppy, Ophelia, where she can be found running along Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoying chocolate croissants from the local Italian bakery (typically in that exact order).