Your Best Face Forward — Glamour Magic, Beauty, and Skin Hacks
This was posted to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on September 10th, 2018.
Most people with an interest in witchcraft or magic will already be familiar with the concept of “glamour”. For those who are not, Wikipedia’s description is, to me, very spot on:
Glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which intensifies reality. Typically, a person, event, location, technology, or product such as a piece of clothing can be glamorous or add glamour. “Glamour” originally referred to a magic spell, an illusion said to be cast by witches.
Virginia Postrel says that for glamour to be successful it nearly always requires sprezzatura—an appearance of effortlessness, and to appear distant—transcending the everyday, to be slightly mysterious and somewhat idealised, but not to the extent it is no longer possible to identify with the person. Glamorous things are neither opaque, hiding all, nor transparent showing everything, but translucent, favourably showing things.
The early Hollywood star system in particular specialised in Hollywood glamour where they systematically glamorised their actors and actresses.
Glamour can be confused with a style, which is adherence to a particular school of fashion, or intrinsic beauty; whereas glamour can be external and deliberate.
Glamour is derived from the successful effort one puts in to be seen in their best light, which has a “charming” effect on those who perceive and interact with them. The person need not be “beautiful” in a classical sense or their raw form, but they must play to their strengths, both aesthetically and socially.
This form of magic is obviously Venusian, the planet that takes rulership over beauty, desire, loveliness, and connection. The signs in which Venus holds dignity or debility can grant us more insight into the mechanics of glamour.
Dignified signs —
- Taurus (rulership), earth of Venus. The body as the physical vessel, and its many potential adornments — jewelry, clothing, nail polish, makeup, a watch, a push up bra, etc.
- Libra (rulership), air of Venus. Flirtation and the establishment of rapport. Fun banter and witty repartee. An enjoyable and harmonizing presence, who inspires a desire for closeness, but remains elusive.
- Pisces (exaltation), water of Venus. Meta-affection. The ability to overcome divisions and connect, emotionally or sexually, but transcending those wavelengths of relationship. The ability to enjoy oneself and their company, deeply and truly. The projection of desire and wish fulfillment.
Debilitated signs —
- Aries (detriment). Lust inspired by sexually exciting displays and raw charisma. Social competition and “alpha” dynamics.
- Virgo (fall). Understanding one’s flaws in order to improve upon them. An air of vulnerability.
- Scorpio (detriment). Understanding the desires and emotional needs of others. The dynamics of envy and intrigue.
Love or disdain them, the entire Kardashian movement — the largest female-led pop cultural empire in the world today, whose family economy alone rivals that of small nations — is built on glamour magic.
Anyone who has seen them in their organic state understands that their appeal doesn’t come from being the most gorgeous creatures to grace a pair of stilettos.
It comes from the fact that they’re using every tool in their arsenal to improve upon what they’ve been given, and it is a fascinating performance to behold. It’s why their primary demographic isn’t men, despite their sexualized aesthetic, but the young women and girls who pay them for makeup and lifestyle advice.
Drag queens are also masters of glamour. Their undisputed leader, RuPaul, has a masterful understanding of this dynamic, and most women, even modern day actresses and models, fail to command the same level of fascination that a well-done Queen will when she enters a room.
When we talk about glamour “magic”, it’s easy to think that the effect is the result of ritualized spell-casting. In my experience, you don’t need to do any formal magical work to “cast” a glamour at all — the spell is cast as a natural result of Appearance and one’s Presence, and the cultivation that went into both, i.e. being glamorous. Wearing the armor of Venus, one becomes naturally endowed with her many charms.
Case in point: Marilyn Monroe, 20th level glamour master, likely never did a magical spell to that effect.
That being said, my entire model is built upon fusing the mundane and the magical, and cross-pollinating wherever possible. At the highest levels, magic isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.
Supportive ritual work can certainly help you cast a wider, more powerful glamour, but the most accessible gains will likely be a byproduct of social cultivation and bodily presentation. To the degree this is effective will rely on the gravitational power of one’s personal force and charisma, which magical acts and talismans can certainly help cultivate.
Skin in Glamour
Outside of appearing as a whole package — which is important, if one were to ask what the single most important physical feature of glamour is, my answer would be skin, which is the reason I create magically infused offerings for the enhancement of physical beauty.
For general glamour-inducing purposes, you want your skin to look as flawless as possible. It’s the easiest way to elevate your physical appearance to a level usually reserved for TV and other forms of media.
It’s one thing to look good in an Instagram picture in the age of ubiquitous filters and Photoshop and all the rest — lots of people look flawless online. The point is to come as close as you can to that, in real life.
You hear this commented on over and over again when people describe being starstruck by celebrities — “You think Beyonce is beautiful until you see her in real life, and then you realize she’s not a person, she’s a goddess! She is perfect in person!” and inevitably “her skin is flawless! She just has this glow!”
Now, we know that Beyonce didn’t actually wake up like that. We know that a glam-squad of 10 people helped her achieve an Image of perfection over the course of hours before each single appearance, and that before that she had a laser facial and fillers, and that she has spent a lifetime cultivating glamour-inducing characteristics and methods of presentation.
The point is — putting effort into your own can grant significant glamour gains, because we’re not sharing space with ghost-Marilyn or Beyonce or RuPaul or Kim Kardashian. Most of us, most of the time, are sharing space with “normal” people, who do not have active, intentional glamours engaged. It’s not hard to be the most glamour-inducing person in a room under those circumstances, should you aim to be it.
The other reason I say skin is the most important physical feature for generalized glamour enhancement, is that it’s the canvas upon which all other features are placed, and because it’s more equal opportunity than any other. Not everyone wears makeup or jewelry or has hair to style. Everyone can work towards better skin, and skin is a sensual organ.
Soft, smooth, lovely skin draws us in, because it would be nice for us, as viewers, to touch or even to kiss. It’s an organic draw not unlike our instinct to stroke soft animals, or snuggle soft fabrics. Nice skin is pleasant sensory input, visually, with the potential for even higher dividends should a physical connection result — and if we’re being honest, a large portion of glamour magic is drawn from the libidinal instinct of others, which, in turn, feeds personal magnetism.
Flawless Skin Hacks
People tell me all the time at conferences and events how flawless my skin is.
BUT, I’ve found numerous hacks that improve my skin’s appearance, generally if you keep up with them, or momentarily before events with a week or so of focused preparation.
The answer isn’t JUST wearing well-applied foundation and concealer.
If you don’t go out of your way to improve your skin’s texture before putting makeup on, it won’t lay well on the skin and the effect won’t appear natural or other-worldly, which is the goal. Being able to TELL the result is from makeup is a distraction, and ultimately takes away from creating a glamorous impression.
Ongoing Skincare Routine
Finding the right products for regular use, that keep breakup flares down and don’t result in over drying or over moisturizing, is important for basic skin maintenance. I don’t personally think highly of most of the pharmacy labels like Neutrogena that rely on harsh chemicals and the cheapest ingredients, but to each their own.
Radiant Skin Vitamin Cocktail
I came across this recipe on xoJane years ago and have never stopped relying on it, because it makes such an obvious difference within a week of beginning supplementation. Daily —
- Vitamin A
- Zinc (after eating, induces nausea on an empty stomach)
- Borage seed oil, or another omega oil supplement
- Vitamin E pills
I don’t know why it works so well, but for me — it’s magic.
If you truly want to look your best, go low (or lower) carb for a few days before your target appearance, and abstain from alcohol or stick to less, with no mixers or just soda water and lime. Diet soda and artificial sweeteners are also bad for the complexion.
These small changes will reduce the water weight you’re carrying and give a more streamlined silhouette, in addition to providing other lifestyle benefits.
Exfoliating sloughs away dead surface cells, which dim the appearance of skin and get in the way of makeup laying well on the surface. I recommend exfoliating a couple of times per week, especially before doing face masks so the benefits can penetrate more deeply.
Over-exfoliating will cause redness and irritation, so don’t do it so often that you get diminished returns. The amount you can do it and for how long depends on the gentleness or severity of the product you’re using.
I’ve tried many over the counter exfoliators and have developed my own formula, which is completely natural and works better (for me) than anything else I’ve tried. It is the Saltwater Pearl Exfoliating Polish, and since it was ritually constructed, has metaphysical properties that go beyond mundane formulations.
The right face mask can take your skin a solid couple points above how it would look normally.
There are lots of masks on the market for different purposes, but I’ve never found one that works better for general beautification than honey boosted with essential oils and other natural ingredients.
They help the skin come into homeostasis, balancing oil and moisture, drawing out impurities so they aren’t resting under the surface and damaging tone, and overall result in a smooth look and feel.
Mundane Primer + Makeup Recommendations
Primers help blur pores and keep your makeup resting well over time. I’m far from a makeup guru so I can’t make a whole lot of recommendations, but POREfessional by Benefit cosmetics has always done right by me.
Choosing the right makeup is important — it needs to match your tone, and it needs to be applied and blended well.
I like to use Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation on the high(er) end, and Revlon ColorStay on the pharmaceutical circuit. I really ♡ Fenty Beauty as a brand. It provides some of the best options for people with deep and varied skin tones, so check them out if my vampiric pallor links aren’t doing you justice.
For application, you can pry a Beauty Blender from the cold, dead, makeup applying hand.
Marrying the Mundane + Magical
Tools and products for beautification are sacred to Venus, and can be treated as such to boost their efficacy.
For instance, you can keep your makeup kit and face masks on your Venus altar, along with your jewelry, or keep your Venus altar where you apply your makeup.
When you make offerings to Venus, you can pray for her assistance in your casting of glamours, and for people to perceive you as beautiful and alluring. If you launch a sigil shoal to glamorous ends, tape the sigils to your bathroom mirror or vanity.
Do your face masks during times when Venus is particularly empowered, on her days or in her hours. Schedule hair cuts and other beauty treatments along those lines, or during other favorable alignments.
There are endless ways of weaving mundane actions and magical significance together in daily life, making for better results and a more charmed, meaningful everyday experience.
This is as true for glamour as it is anything else.