If this is your first time here, on my website, welcome! My name is Alayne White and I have lived and breathed the skincare business since my first beauty counter makeover when I was 12 years old. Over the years, I have picked up several beauty secrets that I am thrilled to share here.
My love and enthusiasm for all aspects of beauty are contagious and I have been sharing my expert beauty secrets with my clients at Alayne White Spa for more than two decades. This is the first time that I will publish my expert beauty secrets here on my blog and I am confident that if you read until the end, you will have several new and actionable ways to elevate your beauty.
Who am I and why should you trust me? I am a life enthusiast, a beauty realist, an active community participant, an avid blogger on both internal and external beauty, as well as a self-proclaimed expert on the realities of beauty and aging.
I have worked behind beauty counters for department store brands and worked during the very early years for the Aveda Corporation in both educational leadership and management. I helped develop and open the first day spa in the Newport, RI community in the early 1990s.
Owning and operating two successful days spas started in 2002; the brand of Alayne White Spas was quickly recognized for its innovative and creative approach to beauty treatments coupled with the highest standard of incredible customer service and experience.
The beauty brand of Alayne White has been a major success in Rhode Island for over 25 years. I offer in-person and virtual beauty consults to help women figure out the best and easiest skincare routines for their skin type and busy lifestyles.
Knowing beauty is one thing, but I have the unique perspective of the reality of beauty and superior client care. The most transformative beauty secret that I have learned is that when beauty on the inside matches beauty on the outside- that is when we are at our most beautiful. My ability to communicate this concept and help thousands of women to achieve this is the foundation of my expertise.
Alayne White Spa has been awarded more than ten Best of RI awards. My customized beauty treatments have been featured in Vogue Magazine, Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, and many other publications.
I continue to share my highly sought-after beauty secrets as my notion of beauty continues to evolve as I quickly approach my 60th year of life. My business model is unique in both the beauty industry and the business community, and I love to empower other women with my beauty secrets.
"The beauty industry, when used honestly, can interrupt the epidemic of disconnection from ourselves."
What Exactly Is Beauty?
We talk about beauty and obsess over it, but what exactly is beauty? The idea of beauty runs deep in our culture and in my veins. What beauty means to me today is much different from how it began.
As a child, I was primed for a life of confidence in my own beauty. I grew up in a household where beauty was an integral part of how I was defined. External beauty made me feel loved and accepted on the outside, yet at the same time often judged, inadequate, and not good enough on the inside. Outer appearance- weight, grooming, hairstyle, and the latest fashions played a starring role in my young life. I became comfortable in this externally-focused world because I didn’t know any different. I thought everyone faced the same internal conflict with their outside shell.
Is Our Internal Dialogue Beautiful?
Because beauty was an inherent part of my early life, I became curious about the often opposing conversations. We may look stunning with the latest trends, but what were we saying to ourselves when we stared at our reflections? Choosing a career in beauty seemed like a natural choice for me. I headed to Catherine Hinds Esthetics school in 1985 and began learning and working in the business of beauty. I saw that beauty definitely was not “only skin deep.”
Hope In A Jar
Beauty products were viewed as hope in a jar, promising to satisfy desires for physical change, an external way to solve an internal problem. And that’s where the outer appeal of beauty can be disruptive, but it can also be transformative. If the insides are not balanced, most lotions and potions aren’t going to fix the outside, but they can begin the conversation about what beauty actually means to an individual.
Real transformation happens when the inside and outside are reconciled. And in my 35 years of experience in the beauty business, I’ve learned that the magic space for this reconciliation is in my interactions with curious women looking to feel more beautiful inside.
Beauty Is Different For Each Of Us
Whether intentionally or not, it is during this time that we allow space in our life to redefine what beauty can be for each of us. And it is different for so many. This is where external beauty can lead to internal change. So many of us realize that when we feel great inside, we often look at our reflections back with more pep in our step.
At its core, real beauty is about connection. And I believe it’s time we have real conversations about the reality of beauty. Because if we don’t start being honest about our insides, we’re going to constantly be comparing our outside to everybody else’s world. It’s within the desire for an external result that we have the power to discover the truth of who we are internally.
What Is Happening Inside?
The external world of cosmetics and skin care treatments can bring us closer to the conversations we have about what is happening on our insides. And when we experience this connection, self-revelation, clarity, and acceptance, we remember that how we show up in the world can match how we feel in the world. This is true beauty.
How Does Beauty Change As We Age?
Bette Davis, the famous movie star back in the forties, was quoted as saying, Old Age Ain’t for Sissies. I have a clear memory of when I was in my late teens, thinking that twenty-five was old! Now I am almost 60, and aging indeed is a mind-altering experience. I watch the women in my world aging alongside me. We all seem to be discussing the sags, the lines, the droops, the weird bloating that seems to hang out far longer than it used to, gravity, the dryness (inside and outside), the brown spots, and the strange little aches and pains that weren’t there just a few years ago.
My hair is whiter, my eyebrows are bushier, the new texture on the tops of my hands are hands I no longer recognize, and my toes are starting to merge, causing this weird rubbing that I can’t believe I am even talking about. I haven’t even hit 60 yet! Holy aging.
Related: What Does Aging Skin Mean?
Bette Davis Was Right About Aging
Bette Davis was right, though I am not sure she meant her quote to be taken with a positive essence. I take the quote positively, though. There is something incredibly empowering about getting older.
What has been the most exciting and liberating with this newfound change is my newfound power. I seriously do not care like I used to. I am free from care. I don’t mean that I don’t care about how I look or the world around me; I certainly do. But I just don’t worry and fret about every little thing that comes my way anymore. Caring about outside beauty doesn't seem to take up as much residence in my brain anymore. I know this isn’t true for some women in my circle, some are fighting it all the way to the botox and filler offices, and I say whatever feels right for whomever it feels right for.
Aging Is A Personalized Journey
As long as you are making informed choices that give you a sense of pleasure afterward rather than a plumping and needling frenzy that makes you addicted, I support you. It is your beauty. You get to choose what makes you feel more beautiful.
Judgement-free zone support is another glorious aging delight. I don’t judge what beauty products you use or don’t use, how much you buy, how much you spend, or what your routine is. I just want everyone to feel happy when they look in the mirror and happy in their lives. Because our lives seem to become way shorter as we get older. Don’t they?
Joy Is A Choice
And as we age, as life comes at us with events, joys and sadnesses, we begin to realize that joy is a choice. Aging does this, too, by relieving us of the weight that the dramas of our youth brought to us, and we finally get to say that none of that silliness matters. We can make more room for the parts of life that give us pleasure and happiness.
As we age, so do the chances that our good health will change. If we have made it this far, healthiness becomes front and center over the reflection in the mirror. Strong bones, a happy heart, and good circulation are the parts of aging that matter more than just a pretty face. Taking care of our insides so our bodies and minds can stay sharp and functional becomes more important than the jars of lotions and potions we used to think made all the difference. The jars of our creams do matter, though, because as the skin changes and aging shows up on our faces, those jars can help our skin stay supple, smooth, and bright. We just need to work on the parts of our health alongside this more than we did when we were younger.
Become More Accepting
Another way that beauty changes as we age is the way we can become more accepting of ourselves and the world around us. Acceptance and gratitude for the life we have lived thus far can really make our lives easier. Stress plays a role in everyone’s lives, but as we age, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a directive as it was in our younger days. The should haves and could haves don’t play as much of a star attraction; we find ourselves just leaning in to the world around us and looking for more ease and less burden by releasing the part of our lives that we can, the parts that no longer serve or feel good and focusing on the areas of our lives we can control with empathy and a smiling face.
How We View Aging
Aging, especially for women, has not been looked at positively in the generations before ours. I see a change in that pattern. And this is a good thing. During the era of Bette Davis, the mid-thirties could mean your career was over; these days, it is thankfully much different. Aging is a mindset and can be a time in our lives where we get to make decisions in how we choose to march forth rather than allowing life and the many moving parts of it to decide for us.
Powerful Beauty Secrets
There are a lot of ideas and questions about the secrets of beauty and what they are. Are there true secrets of beauty? Being in the beauty business for most of my life, I realize that the secrets of beauty lie much more within each of us rather than in the millions of dollars we spend in the jars and bottles we find in our beauty cabinets. It is so fun to open our beautifully wrapped jars, take a new cream out of the box, and hope that it will work the magic it says it will, These creams are only part of the magic equation that makes true beauty. As an expert in the world of beauty and aging, I like to think of my title more as a beauty realist. My research comes from the honest talks I have had with thousands of women over my thirty-five-year history in the beauty business and have seen the vulnerabilities between us as we bare our souls in honest conversations.
Beauty Comes In All Shapes and Sizes
I have witnessed the most beautiful women have the sourest outlook and have seen less glamorous women light up a room with the brightest smile, most stunning intellect and kindness in their hearts.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and it is not always what we see that exemplifies beauty. As we age, I think how we feel about ourselves, our outlook on life, and how we show up for others have more impact on our reflections staring back than we may have considered before we arrived at this age.
There Are No Universal Beauty Secrets
I don’t necessarily think there are tried and true beauty ‘secrets’ that apply to each and every person. A good analogy for this would be when someone asks me what I could recommend for their dry skin; it is never just one size fits all about adding a fancy serum or cream to their regimen. Usually, this is only one small part of the more elaborate story that makes for less dry skin. What someone is currently using on their skin, genetics, the foods they eat, alcohol consumption, environment, weather exposure, whether they smoke, are on medications, sun exposure, fairer skin vs. darker skin. These factors play a significant role in what makes for dry skin.
Beauty has certainly changed for me as I age. What used to worry me or take up space in my mind has thankfully departed. This doesn’t mean that new challenges have not replaced them. Menopause has done a number on me and surely the women I speak with every day. Besides the physical aspects of skin and vaginal dryness, excessive hair growth or hair loss, libido changes, and skin texture evolutions, there is the intense emotional changes that take place well after our last periods. And no one seems to be talking about this because so much of it is within us. We often don’t realize that it is not a uniquely individual experience because we have been so trained as women to suck it up, to just get on with our days.
The same holds true for what makes for better beauty. My personal take on the secrets of beauty I have come up with from my own experience may be of value, but ultimately you need to find what beauty means to you first. Take what you need and leave the rest. There is no one-size-fits-all for anyone, and this is what makes for a juicier life. We are all different. We all have just one life to live, and how we live it is a choice each of us gets to make with whatever circumstances we each have as a unique part role we find ourselves in.
My views on the exterior world of beauty may not be what you think. Beauty, the idea of what is beautiful and how we can bring more beauty into our personal experiences, is vast. I will start with my own secrets; they have certainly evolved as I have moved into the world of aging, and it is my hope that some of these will resonate with your own sense of beauty.
These days everyone knows that smoking is bad for us, so I am not even going to put it on my list as a number. I am just going to list it as a preemptive strike against aging.
I have never smoked, so I don’t know what it is like to try to quit. I do know that quitting smoking is not easy. My parents smoked, and my brother and I were surrounded by it as so many of our friends in the 60s and 70s were smoking. Smoking was a backdrop of our childhood, and I can’t imagine the damage it has done in its harmful ripple effect. If you are still smoking, whatever means you can do to try to quit, do it for yourself, do it for your family. All the fillers and injections will never give your face the anti-aging direction as smoking ages your skin and your health, sometimes beyond repair.
I am going to begin with my interior secrets first because I am a firm believer that what we do or don’t do for our insides is a mirror to our outsides. We can spend thousands of dollars on skincare products, the latest makeup trends, and injections and fillers, but if you are not healthy inside your body, most of these external bells and whistles will not make much difference. So let’s start with what we can control in our bodies and minds.
These are listed in my own order of importance and how they show up in my world of beauty and aging.
Related: What Does Aging Skin Mean?
"Happy girls are the prettiest girls and there are more important things than outward appearance; no amount of makeup can cover an ugly personality."
I am going to start with ten internal beauty secrets and then move on to ten more external beauty secrets. Try the ones that resonate most with you.
Beauty Secret #1: Movement
We must move. Every day. Even if it is just a simple walk around the block, up and down the stairs, even to the end of your driveway and back, we must keep our hearts working and energized. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at 49, every doctor asked me what I did for exercise. More so than food and drink, exercise was definitely on the top of their lists for importance in lifestyle and also how I would cope with the surgery and recovery after.
Movement and Health
Having a fitness routine, yoga, stretching, weight lifting, and even only a three-pound weight as we walk around the block makes a strong difference in our health. Study after study shows that as we age, our personal health relies mostly on the level of daily fitness we intertwine with our lives. There are two main positive results of incorporating fitness into our life routines:
- Physical stamina. This creates a firmer, stronger, and healthier body.
- Mental stamina. This creates a calmer and more grounded healthy outlook and disposition.
If I don’t work out or walk almost daily, my mind starts to lose focus, and I find myself on the downturn in my general mood. Exercise and movement create a happier mood. A happier mood makes for more smiles and a better quality of life. Less arguing, less conflict, easier communication, and a more positive attitude.
Movement and Skin
Moving our bodies keeps our skin healthy, our organs and cells flushed with fresh blood, and our minds clear. We also get a better sleep when we move regularly, and this brings me to my number two inner beauty secret.
Beauty Secret #2: Adequate Sleep
Sleep is when our body literally gets put down and restored from the busy lives we lead. Sleep and bedtime are the moments we get to escape the stressors of the day and put them to rest. Our bodies have a chance to recover and repair, and so does our skin. When we get a good night’s sleep, we are better the next day. When we don’t, we may find ourselves cranky, edgy, and snappy.
Menopause and Sleep
Like pregnancy and having a new baby in the house, menopause can wreak havoc with our sleep too. This is why it is so important to establish a good routine that you follow. I have written concrete ideas on how to create a strong solid routine that will ensure you get enough sleep in your life. Healthy sleep= healthy emotional state, too, and a calmer life. Sleep is very important to your overall well-being.
Beauty Secret #3: No Is A Complete Sentence
You get to choose when you say Yes and when you say No. Be wise about this choice. Spend more time with loved ones and less time saying yes to commitments that don’t give you pleasure.
I say yes to many invites, and sometimes I say yes before I really think about it. What I have realized in my life is that I really enjoy evening dinners with my partner and or my son, an early bedtime, a good night’s sleep, and a morning routine that sets my day strong. This happens when I stay focused on the time I choose for myself. Saying no is more important than saying yes these days because it means that the yes times become more plentiful. It may not always seem like we have clear choices in what we say no to, but I bet there are many more than you think when you give yourself permission.
Related: How Does Stress Affect Your Skin?
Beauty Secret #4: Hug More, Romance More, Love More, Accept More
Love comes in many different packages. When we try to control how someone else loves us, we will always be disappointed. Often when we do this, when we lack the consciousness to allow love to come towards us in whatever form it does, it offers a great opportunity to pay attention to the love you may be missing giving to yourself.
Don’t be hard on yourself; life is a perpetual opportunity to improve and learn; just begin the gentle shift in paying attention to how you show up for yourself. It is impossible to expect someone else to love us with the intensity we want if we can’t do this for ourselves. I have learned this the hard way over time and have found myself so much happier in my relationship because I spend time noticing the little ways I am loved that may be different than how I show love. This is beauty to me. Learning how to be calmer and less agitated by what is missing rather than what is fulfilling.
If your partner’s libido or your libido has taken a siesta, it is imperative that you don’t go down with the ship. Don’t let time take away the precious moments of intimacy. Like love, intimacy does not have to be a wild romp in the back seat of the car (frankly, I don’t think my back and neck could handle this anymore anyway.) Intimacy should never take a back seat in our lives. Sometimes it takes some effort to rally as we age, but creativity with touch and love creates a deeper level of connection. And if you don’t have a partner, make yourself a partner. Self-care can be your exploration of personal intimacy too.
Types of Intimacy
A deep conscious hug, looking into each other’s eyes with deliberate focus even if it feels awkward, regular hugging, date night, lip smacking, French kissing, making out, dancing in the kitchen while you are waiting for dinner to cook, holding hands on the couch during a movie, are all little ways to communicate more deeply with your partner. Even if you don’t feel the juice anymore, it is so important to practice intimacy, so you don’t forget about its significance in your partnership.
Use it or lose it.
Beauty Secret #5: Conscious Breathing
Have you ever really paid attention to your breath? I can sometimes go a few hours, and all of a sudden realize I haven’t taken a good deep breath in and out. Shallow breathing is stress breathing. And the miracle of the breath is that it is free every single moment we have the privilege of breathing.
A deep conscious whole toe to head diaphragmatic breath. It is calming, centering, and a wonderful way to make your way through your busy day. Try it. It takes practice to go deep, in through your nose and out through your mouth the first few times. Inflating your lower belly like a balloon as you inhale through your nose. Holding the breath, even for a couple of seconds, before you release it so you can really feel its weight and circulation through your insides as you just simply feel it.
Breathing is calming, but it takes a little consciousness to remember to do it. Waiting in line, stuck in traffic, instead of picking up your phone, try a few breaths first. It is miraculous, way more centering than checking your email and social media a hundred times.
Beauty Secret #6: Limit Digital Intake
It is hard to do this- we live in a digital world, and digital stimulus is consuming. Focus on dedicating a bit of time each day without any digital devices. It is so hard but just do it. Our brains are not fully capable of digesting this much digital content without negative results. Research shows that when consumed with digital, the potential negative side effects can be detrimental to our eventual quality of life.
Beauty Secret #7: Eat and Drink More Good Stuff
Sugar, processed junk food, and alcohol really do age us. Make an effort to each more vegetables and fruit and to drink more water. My skin is drier when I am on a sugar and alcohol binge, my face is puffier, and my eyes are more swollen looking. Try to eliminate the crap for a few days and see how you feel. If you haven’t done this before, prepare yourself, you may get a doozy of a headache, but try to get past it just for the personal experiment so you can feel what it feels like on the other side. You can always dive back into your patterns, but the point is just to know what your body and mind feel like when you remove the junk so you can make informed decisions when you decide to indulge (or spin out of control).
It makes a huge difference in our sleep and our lives. I have leaned into the fact that I am likely always going to imbibe, but what I have also done is become more conscious of its impact on my health and my skin. You don’t know what you don’t know, but now that I know, I can make better decisions when I head into the abyss. (Why does it just have to be so damn fun?)
Beauty Secret #8: Enjoy Nature
Breathe the air. Look at the stars. Watch a sunset or sunrise. Go for a cold dip. I started swimming in the cold Atlantic waves this past year, and my partner started taking cold showers. I love the extreme wackiness of jumping in the ocean in the winter.
I can’t explain what it has done to me, but the only way I can describe what got me there in the first place was that I was feeling this continuous rectangle of heat from the bottom of my throat to the top of my pelvis and for some reason, a dip in the ocean last March on my birthday changed it. So I continued. I run in and run out. I don’t linger because it is freezing, but it is also freeing.
Really. If you don’t live near the ocean or the thought of this is absolutely ridiculous, then try a cold shower or even just a medium-temperature shower. There is something that shakes up my insides about the experience. Or maybe this is not for you at all- find something that you can connect with that will literally wake up your soul.
Beauty Secret #9: Smile
Just remind yourself to smile. When you are driving, when you are standing in line, when you are washing the dishes- Just smile. Smile at someone randomly when you walk by them. Notice how it feels to smile on purpose. Smiling changes your constitution. Give it a try. Yes. Right now. Smile.
Beauty Secret #10: Express Gratitude and Be More Forgiving
Expressing gratitude really is a miraculous feeling inside that can often liberate the heart and remove some of the self-imposed burdens we carry that can weigh our spirits. Forgiving someone or yourself can truly lift the weight of the world and cause you to feel lighter and more beautiful than you have in years.
What fascinates me about this next list is that if you just start doing one or two of the things on the internal beauty list, you may be surprised at how much better your exterior starts looking because your insides will just feel so great.
Beauty Secret #11: Wash Your Face
Wash your face when you get home every day. All the products we buy to put on our skin, thinking we are stopping the rapid decline in our aging skin, matter not if we aren’t even taking five minutes to wash away the crap of our day.
Beauty Secret #12: Moisturize
Moisturize your skin every morning and every evening after you wash your face. Layer an SPF sunscreen every morning before heading out for your day. Protection will guard your skin against rapid aging.
Related: Simplifying Sunscreen
Beauty Secret #13: Take a Long Shower
Take a few extra minutes in the shower in the morning or evening and really clean the grooves. Don't rush- take a few deep breathes and say a few words of gratitude while the water washes over you. The shower and bath are great places to reconnect with yourself. Why rush such a great thing?
Beauty Secret #14: Manage the Magnifying Mirror
I try to use my magnifying mirror and get out quick- for me, it is about eyesight and hair growth these days. I can’t possibly keep up with menopausal sprouts at every corner, so I need the mag mirror, but too much time in it can start to make you see things you never thought would ever happen. Get in and get out.
Beauty Secret #15: Clean a Closet
Clean a cabinet. Start purging and regifting, and repurposing. Pass some of your beautiful sentimental items to beautiful friends and family in your life so you can watch them enjoy while you are alive.
Beauty Secret #16: Simplify Your Beauty Products
Before you rush into buying more stuff for your face, take a good inventory of what you have. Can you move some things into the seasonal closet to use later? Can you use some items up on your body? Can you throw some oldies away, knowing you are likely just going to have to cut your losses and get rid of the negative karma staring back at you when all it does is make you feel guilty? Simplify before you buy. Hair products and body products too.
Here is my simplified checklist for a healthier beauty cabinet.
1 or 2 easy to wear eyeshadows
A brow filler if necessary
Once you clean out the mess, then decide what you love, what you need to replace or fill in and use up whatever you can. We have lots of money tied up in our cabinets, and a fresh start is a great place to begin. At the start of your road to aging, get rid of the old crap from your life and make it easier to enjoy.
Related: Why I Love Tinted Moisturizers
Beauty Secret #17: Exfoliate
Exfoliating is metaphorical. It is sloughing off the old to expose the fresh and new. Being able to do this within your life and also within your skincare routine is powerful.
Our skin is our body's largest organ and we shed skin on a regular basis. As we age, the skin shedding slows down and exfoliating can help.
Related: Why Should I Exfoliate My Skin?
Beauty Secret #18: Don't Pick
There are many things that you can do to help with skin blemishes and breakouts. But the first thing is, don't pick! There are many causes of breakouts and even more remedies. If you struggle with blemishes, drink more water, use the right skin care products, and don't pick.
Beauty Secret #19: Use Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a miracle ingredient that is often found in high-quality skin care products. This special acid holds a thousand times its weight in moisture on your skin. Very few of us drink enough water, and hyaluronic acid can help our skin, even when we are dehydrated.
Beauty Secret #20: Treat Yourself To A Facial
Schedule a facial at your favorite spa at least a few times each year. Not only will a facial treatment make you feel wonderful inside, but it will also cleanse your skin and give you a fresh start.
If you are unable to schedule a professional facial, treat yourself to an at-home facial.
Related: Steps to An At-Home Facial
There is an old saying, "Beauty is as Beauty Does." How we feel, and how we decide to move through our lives shows up on our faces, in our frowns, our smiles, the sparkle in our eyes, the way we stand and move through the world. Just simply recognizing this, our body stance and facial expressions and being aware of them throughout our days can make a world of difference in our overall dispositions. The greatest part of this is, more often than not, it is a choice each of us gets to make. This is beauty.