Beauty from the Inside Out

Thank you to my amazing friends, Julie Kurtzman and Valerie Wasserman of City Beauty Guide, the go to for all things beauty in NYC. They recently reached out to me and asked if they could do an article for their blog, CBG LOVES, on my beauty regimen. After first laughing… Seriously? Me? I do not botox. I go to a dermatologist once a year and only for a skin check. I go days without wearing make up or getting out of my exercise clothes– spending hours researching and trying to write in front of the computer can dampen any aspirations of glamour. However, when they agreed to focus on what I do for inner beauty, I was on board.

Link here to read the full interview. I did not make it easy for them as brevity is not my strength, but they did an excellent job of editing down all I had to say, while keeping in line with their focus– BEAUTY.

Or see below for the part of the interview where I discuss what I do daily to enhance that inner glow. And while not mentioned in the interview, perhaps ponder this:

Think about how much time and money our society expends searching for the fountain of youth– whether a lotion, potion, injection, drug, surgery or technology. Think about our societal obsession with looking young. When did it not become ok for a 70 plus women to have wrinkles? How is it that many 70 year old women in NYC have less wrinkles than me?!! How did beauty come to be defined as flawless skin and perfection?

Now think or dream about a society that refocuses ALL that energy and instead searches for the holy grail of INNER BEAUTY. What truly makes someone feel good? How can we be more accepting of one another? How can we be more authentic and realize that a person exhibiting passion, laughing, crying, being vulnerable is exhibiting true beauty? That true beauty is when one feels the love for oneself. How can we stop scripting our lives on Facebook and Instagram, too often only showing the world how we want to be perceived? How can we honor the need to take time to breathe? To disconnect? To relax? That not every moment has to be productive. And being type A is not the goal. That not everyone is going to fit into the box. And that every person on this planet has a gift. Sadly, we often are blind to our gifts– seeing what comes easily as just that… not realizing that what comes easily for one does not for another. What if we took all this money we are spending on externally perfecting ourselves and instead spent it all on healing– which is the road to wellness inside and out?

Now that, in my mind, would be beautiful!!


Beauty from the Inside Out:

Mara Landis, Health and Wellness Activist, Blogger and Lawyer

June 11, 2014


Mara is a passionate student of the inner self – the mind, body, spirit, and believes one’s external beauty is directly related to how we feel on the inside.

After learning she (and her family) were all sick from toxic mold poisoning, and two years of bouncing between doctors who indicated these debilitating symptoms would be with her for life, Mara went on a quest for wellness for her physical body, which led her to what she refers to as “her journey” – “the exploration of self – the more you get to know yourself, the more you like yourself.”

On her own beauty, Mara says, “Feeling beautiful is a function of how great you feel on the inside. Unfortunately, our toxin-laden world makes feeling great, and hence feeling beautiful, harder and harder. I do my best to dodge the onslaught of toxins while maintaining a sense of balance so that I can look, and feel like…my true self, and when I feel like myself…I feel beautiful!!!”

Today Mara continues her journey driven by her passion for health and wellness that feeds her from the inside out.

How has your exploration of the mind, body and spirit affected your point of view on beauty?

It came from the realization that my relaxed inner self and mind has resulted in looking more relaxed on the outside. I project more positive energy and have found people seemed to be more drawn to me. And I smile (naturally) all the time.

There’s something to this trifecta of mind, body and spirit. You can’t look great on the outside if you aren’t feeling good on the inside.

How do you reconcile yourself when maintaining an organic/toxic-free way of living, when beauty regimes such as makeup and hair color include chemicals?

I do my best to live consciously rather than obsessively – making the choices I feel most comfortable with. For example, “conscious beauty” is my modus operandi. So on occasion, while I might use makeup that’s not toxic-free, I don’t wear it every day. I also try to use products that are at least paraben-free – that’s my balance. Find what works for you and try not to make yourself crazy. And if you need to wear makeup daily – give your skin a break on the weekends.

Besides she said, “my husband loves me best without makeup and I love him for that.”

Though her subtle wrinkles often frustrate her, Mara chooses not to use Botox or other injectables because she doesn’t want to add toxins to her body. She also says that her motivation for not injecting is “because the injection, [which paralyzes the muscle], goes into your third eye which is our connection to the universe and our intuition.”

While we often shop for our cosmetics based on what looks best, she cautions, do not let FDA approval breed complacency. Shockingly many chemicals approved for use in the States are banned for good reason in Europe. Mara hopes with greater awareness, we can effect change.

You meditate daily. What does this do for your inner beauty?

Through meditation I learned how to relax my mind. It takes real commitment and discipline. Some days it’s great, some days – not so much. My healer Jenny Lethbridge has helped me to work on different things that were blocking me such as judgment – and the realization I was being judgmental of others, and most of all, myself. So I learned to let that go.

How can busy women and moms dip that first toe in the water of wellness?

  1. Take 5 minutes a day to breath (or meditate) even if you have to set the alarm five minutes earlier, or take 5 minutes away from trolling social media. Set your intentions for the day and you’ll find how much better the day flows from there. Or try a guided meditation, which you can do anywhere. There are lots available online or on YouTube. Mara loves the two on her healer, Jenny Lethbridge’s website ( Meditation can be hard. But it’s a time to shut off the mind and go to a more quiet place – so when you find your mind racing, acknowledge it, and go back to watching your breath or listening to the guided meditation.
  2. Try to eat REAL FOOD and as organic as possible. Eliminate all soda and sugar, which are both basically poison, and the added benefit– watch the pounds melt away!
  3. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself – for real! (Don’t stress if this is hard at first)!
  4. Drink more filtered water to detox and flush out your system.
  5. To feel really great, have a shot of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Be sure to mix it with water to both detox the body and raise the body’s PH.

What inspired your blog, Do Your Homework?

An increasing total frustration and onslaught of noise from what seemed like everywhere – the news, magazines and web sites. They all were saying, “do this, try that” with no regard for risk to our health. Based on my own experiences, I wanted to share my learning with others to help them make more informed decisions about what goes into our bodies.

You’ve made significant changes in your home to create a healthy environment for your family. What simple recommendations would you make for others to do at home to reduce toxins?

What’s in your beauty bag?

I feel it’s important to do trial and error to find what works best for you. My travel beauty bag always includes the following go-to products:

  • Organic coconut oil. I use it as my all over body moisturizer and sunscreen. Yes! It has a natural SPF. You get a little tan, but never burn. Try to avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone (a synthetic estrogen). Instead opt for mineral sunscreens made with non-nano zinc or titanium dioxide. Also a little time in the sun is HEALTHY! We need Vitamin D! (And FYI- organic coconut oil makes a great lubricant as well)!!!
  • Paraben free make up such as Hourglass or Koh Gen Do.
  • Jane Iredale eyeliner and mascara.
  • Lipstick Queen lead-free lipstick/gloss. (Full disclosure: my make up bag is not perfectly green.
  • Aquaphor for my lips
  • Facial Moisturizer/Toner– I am always looking for the best without too many harsh chemicals. My favorites are Absolute Laser Skin Care andLove My Body.
  • Essential Oils – I always bring an assortment when I travel and use them 
medicinally. My favorite brand is Doterra. I am never without Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint (I also use as a breath freshener), On Guard, Oregano Oil (a natural anti-biotic) and Tea Tree Oil is good for minor breakouts. I also travel with a blend called Digest-Zen. It is excellent for an upset stomach.
  • John Frieda Frizz-Ease. I have been using it for years!
  • Jason Fluoride Free Toothpaste – While fluoride is as American as apple pie, it was once used as rat poison and is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is a highly controversial subject and one I try to avoid in both toothpaste and in drinking water.
  • Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal or The Healthy Deodorant sold at Sephora– Both have no aluminum!! This is so important as aluminum has been linked to breast cancer. They are also both paraben free.

To find out where I go to get my beauty on both physically and spiritually…

Continue reading at CBG LOVES

One thought on “Beauty from the Inside Out

  1. Hi Mara…..
    Writing from lake titicaca! Awesome post and article on the beauty site. I love the sharing of the resources.

    We are just back from our shaman visit and leaf reading. Just the ladies went….. Very special.

    Thanks for all your tips. Tomorrow is cusco.


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