Katie Holmes lookalike Dawn Spinner Davis (seriously, if beauty ever becomes boring for her, she could easily find work as her stunt double) is the New York City-based beauty editor for Total Beauty. She’s forever put-together, slathered in sunscreen and curious and enthusiastic even when she’s heard about chemical exfoliants for the 8th time in a single day. I’ve asked for her help in managing the logistics of a brutally packed day of events all over Manhattan and she’s always a total whiz at coming up with the best plan of attack. All that AND she boasts a wardrobe worthy of single-white-femaling on a regular. So I asked her (like three years ago, but DETAILS!) to share her Five Rules For Life. Here they are, in her words.
Smiling is a magical thing. It makes you feel happier, it makes the people around you feel better, and it doesn’t take much effort. Try it. It’s basically a free gift you give the world. It sounds cheesy, but I’m ok with that. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
2. Be Present
We’re all multitasking and working on a hundred different things at a time. And I’m just as guilty of checking Instagram while I’m on a conference call as the next person. But I try to remind myself to be in the moment—especially when I’m having a conversation with someone or listening to a presentation. And especially at the dinner table.
3. Learn to be Self-Deprecating
One of my first editors taught me to be self-deprecating in my writing, and it’s an invaluable skill—particularly when you have a job that involves chatting with celebrities and testing free beauty products. (You’re just asking to be hated.) If you want people to read or listen to what you have to say, then you need to give a little of yourself first.
4. Don’t Smoke
I’m passionately anti-smoking. (Smoking killed my dad when he was 42.) And hopefully I’m preaching to the beauty-audience choir here. But just in case… Smoking is bad. It will ruin your lungs and your arteries, it will make you look old, and it smells horrible. If you want to destroy your health, that’s your choice. But then please don’t smoke while walking slowly on narrow New York City sidewalks.
5. Eat Cookies
I’m all for green juices and kale salads, but sometimes you have to eat a cookie. Sure, sugar is bad. (Some may claim it’s as bad as smoking.) But this rule is more about living than cookies anyway. Don’t villainize food, and allow yourself to indulge once in a while.