Interview with Karim Orange, Professional Woman, Artist & Activist!
D A Photography
Karim Orange, twice nominated for Emmy Awards for Best Make Up Daytime-Television, is a talented professional woman who creates beauty for her elite clientele. For over 10 years her talent has given her the privilege and opportunity to work with some of the best, high-profile entertainers, including Phylicia Rashad, Mary J. Blige, Donald Trump, Deepak Chopra, Aretha Franklin and the ladies of the ABC talk show, "The View." Karim is also a dedicated activist, working to redefine the definition of beauty. This past September, she launched an online publication, Beyond Faces, in hopes of inspiring women of all ages and walks of life to look beyond beauty's surface.
Todd Williams: Karim, what do you mean by "looking beyond beauty's surface"?
Karim Orange: Up to now I've been fortunate to have opportunities to help people look beautiful on the outside, but at this point, there's so much more to life than that. I've worked with some very beautiful people who, how shall I say this? Some who could use some work on the inside! That got me thinking about the direction I'd like to go in. It's unfortunate that in today's society one's appearance seems to still be the top priority even at the expense of physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs. I am at a place in my life now where I want to use my God-given talents to not only motivate women but to encourage beautiful living from within!
TW: So you're changing direction with your life? Less jet set and more down to earth now?
KO: I want to be more grounded and have a wider base. You know the old saying about "burning twice as bright and half as long"? I've been getting away from the bright lights of celebrity living and closer to real women whose lives are just as inspiring but not nearly as celebrated: the stay-at-home mom, the recovering alcoholic, the homeless woman, the rehabilitated juvenile, the college student, the insecure professional, the full-figured diva, and even the ex-Rockette who, in her 70s, can still kick up her stilettos. I've met and love all these women and they ring more true as the community that I want to be a part of right now.
TW: What do you mean by that?
KO: Well, let's celebrate the living and daily struggles that we all do and not just celebrate the lives of the picture-perfect model-types! There's nothing like seeing an older woman who still has the desire to live life to its fullest. I met this beautiful woman at a senior center where I was giving a talk. I could see this beauty in her because she knew who she was and was comfortable in her own skin. She finds aging not to be a curse, but a gift because she has been given the time to discover the things in life that really matter.
TW: So you're connecting with real people and sharing the same beauty secrets that the elite use?
KO: Yes and no. Yes, I'm meeting with real people. But no, I'm not just dishing out the usual beauty secrets, which are usually "quick-fix" and superficial. I've been conducting what I call "Beautiful Living Starts From Within" seminars, speaking to women in places that are often overlooked, like prisons and girl's homes, and through platforms that promote healthy living from the inside out like Whole Foods and other health food stores. I don't want to sound like a Whole Foods advertisement, but I like the way they encourage holistic living. It's important that both men and women know that true beauty is reflected in things like the foods you eat, the vitamins you take, and the amount of water you drink. It goes way beyond the soaps, the crèmes and, for women, the often unregulated and possibly toxic make-up you put on your face. My goal is to help educate about the healthy alternatives!
TW: What would you suggest?
KO: I know, it sounds like something your mother used to say, but she was right. You should try and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis! Be sure to eat vegetables low on the glycemic index such as broccoli, blueberries, peaches and pears. Also, make sure your diet contains plenty of antioxidants, which are considered to have "anti-aging" properties. Foods such as avocados, pineapples, salmon and dark leafy-green vegetables are a good place to start. For healthy skin, make sure you get your eight-plus daily glasses of water!
TW: I hate to make a shameless plug here, but I first met you because you said you really liked Source Naturals' Skin Eternal Line.
KO: Yes! Source Naturals has created a lot of wonderful products that support my philosophies on inner to outer beauty. If you're not getting enough of nutrients from your diet, and many of us aren't, I recommend a comprehensive multi-vitamin like Life Force Multiple. Renewal Antioxidants is an incredible antioxidant supplement. If you are into antioxidants, you can replace 20 bottles with just one bottle and get some exotic ingredients like "Pomegranate Seed Extract" or EGCG that most mortals can't afford to get individually. I also love the entire Skin Eternal Line, which is all about great ingredients for your skin, like vitamin C ester, DMAE and alpha-lipoic acid. My personal favorite is Skin Eternal Serum, which helps protect your skin from any makeup applied over it, as well as giving it a natural glow. I use it on all my celebrity clientele.
Proper cleansing is a must. The correct steps of cleansing are to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize. My personal favorite products are Burt's Bees for mature or dry skin, Reviva Labs, for oily skin, and Avalon is very healthy for normal, and sensitive skin. Don't forget to exfoliate. You should try Face Polish by Trillium Organics, which is wonderful for all skin types. Keep in mind that sometimes you may have to sample a few products until you get the formulation that is correct for your skin.
I recommend that you use - and I mean both men and women - a mask for your face once a week to cleanse your pores and tone your skin. My favorite is the Borlind cleansing mask. Or, you can try making your own from natural ingredients. A good source for recipes is the book, Natural Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, where she teaches how to make many "home based remedies" using natural ingredients and specifically essential oils. I teach about this in my seminars and I love the entire Aura Cacia line, which are very pure aromatherapy oils. They also carry an array of facial steaming products and sea salt baths that I like. They have great massage creams for your at-home spa.
Let's talk about beauty for a moment.
Most people don't know that you need to make sure to eliminate your body of toxins by exfoliating. Try the body polish, in all the yummy flavors, by Trillium Organics. They help to balance every skin type, so you just glow! You want to glow, right?
And don't forget to sweat, either through sauna, steam or plain old exercise. Your skin is the biggest elimination organ in your body, so help it do its job!
For makeup lovers, a great line for neutral to the boldest statements of colors is the new mineral cosmetic line by Larenium. They have an array of foundation, blushes and bronzers for all skin. Larenium uses no bismuth ocychloride, which creates that big pored greasy look that you don't want, which is associated with other mineral makeup. And, it uses 100% micronized mineral. It is my absolute dream makeup and, ladies, the finish is flawless. They are available in Whole Foods nationwide. The colors are wonderful for both the young and hip who don't want to compromise healthy skin to the more mature woman who wants to keep her look natural but playful...
TW: Is that all there is to it? Gee, I'm joking. Karim, this beauty stuff almost sounds like work.
KO: Todd, have you ever considered a lip liner? I'm kidding!
But you're right; Beauty From Within is not all about work. If you are stressed, it is going to show sooner or later. You need to have a life. You've got to make time for yourself. You need to find beauty in everyday moments, away from work and kids by finding time to read your favorite book, by taking a walk in your favorite park, and by enjoying your sense of smell and what it inspires! Try the over 100 fragrances by Demeter, especially the new Happy Hour Collection, with fun names like Black and White Russian. Slow down your day and calm down with homeopathic sprays (for under your tongue) by Liddell. My favorite is called "Anxiety & Tension" because I live in the Big Apple. Demeter also makes sprays for hair, skin and nails, and for both male and female sexual energy. Did I mention that the best skin care glow is after sex?
TW: Whoa! Thanks Karim! For any of our readers who would like to find out more about Karim, please visit her website at www.KarimOrange.com. Also, please visit Karim's new on-line magazine,www.beyondfacesmagazine.com, where she, along with writers nationwide, discovers and explores the beauty of all women. For seminar bookings, please call (347)365-4517