The Natural Beauty of Heather Lilleston

Health & beauty are two things that perfectly describe my friend Heather Lilleston. She has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2003 and travels the world leading “Yoga for Bad People” retreats. While in between Italy and Portugal workshops she came to Provence for a few days of down time and rosé. 

When we first met, I spent the day photographing her in Montauk where she was spending the summer. Before that I’d never been quite so taken by someone with such a confident natural beauty. She really lives in her bones and skin and wears her sureness in herself almost like armor. It’s incredibly beautiful to experience. She’s amazing and real, and grounded and the way the light falls on her bone structure is the stuff photographer’s dreams are made of. 

I’m not about to run of and become a yogi but I take what I can from a woman whose job it is to be true body and soul. Aside from yoga and meditation here are some other tools in her beauty arsenal… 

For her health:

She takes Milk ThistleChlorella Manna tabletsWellness FormulaHoney Gardens Elderberry Syrup with Apple Cider Vinegar and PropolisManuka Honey Throat Dropscalms forte homeopathic sleep aid

Beauty routine:

Chantecaille Just Skin tinted moisturizer with spf, La Solution 10 de Chanel face lotion, Dr Tung’s smart floss, Goldfaden MD Sun Visor Sunscreen Mist, Linne Purify Face Wash and MaskGoop Exfoliating Instant FacialSoleil Toujours Perpetual Radiance Eye Glow Illuminator with spfChanel mascaraSurratt Eye Brow PencilMoroccan Oil Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

Notes from the Photographer

We shoot a lot of beautiful women here at the studio. The funny thing is…as I get older they seem to always stay the same age. What is it about youth we are so attracted to? When Kelly texted me images of these three incredibly beautiful, real women, women with businesses, with a history of past love affairs, and with a real friendship out in Montauk as a casting option for our Beauty + Truth story, I was in love.

Their grace, their confidence that only women who have lived a little can possess, their intelligence and peace were so inspiring I could have shot them for days. I could do a photographic study around the lines on their faces…the lines of life are signs of living, and isn’t life a beautiful thing?

As a photographer you have all the control. Whoever is put in front of your lens has to put complete trust in you: how you light them, how you make them feel when you’re shooting them; the crop, what you show and what you leave out; the direction, mood and feeling you set.

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Beauty & Truth

This week, I’ve been talking to you all about the ancient Egyptian idea of maat, which dealt with conceptions of balance, order, and truth. As with all the stories I tell, I’ve strived to come at it from a place of celebration, a love of beauty, and a simplistic honesty.

The quest for truth is a challenging thing. It’s been difficult for me to claim in this medium called blogging, especially as I have tried to redefine what this site means, making it about something greater, more important, and more interesting than simply myself. I’ve been writing from China this week, where censorship has made posting unbelievably challenging. I have to switch IP addresses with every paragraph, as I keep getting booted off each new server. Is aesthetic expression really such a threat? Well, personal truths do not seem to carry much weight here.

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Beauty & Truth

In the ancient world, myths were used as a means to understand the inexplicable, as a way to make sense of the great wonders and mysteries of the earth and to give meaning to humanity. Inspired by the cycles of nature, the mythology of ancient Egypt still holds our imaginations in its sway today. Ancient Egyptians saw time in the present as a repetition of the linear events of their myths; to them, this mirroring served to renew ma’at (or mayet), the fundamental order of all existence.

Myths were a way of passing down behavioral expectations, codes of conduct, and moral obligation. They were reminders that the actions we take today create the context for tomorrow. Today’s decisions are the gifts and curses we bestow upon our descendants.

Ma’at was the Egyptian concept of truth, balance, and order. Ma’at was personified as the goddess of the stars; it was she who conducted cosmic harmony out of the chaos of creation, she who maintained the equilibrium of the universe ~ the setting of the sun, the rising of the tides. She was justice and she was reason.

Ma’at was the central principle of Egyptian cosmology and ethics, and so the primary duty of an Egyptian king was to be the champion of ma’at. All the daily rituals and sacrifices would be deemed meaningless unless the king and his people were living righteous, balanced lives. The word itself indicated ‘that which is real’, and so for the ancient Egyptians, ma’at came to imply anything that was true, genuine or harmonious.

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