Celebrity yoga instructor Kristin McGee (Photo: Kristin McGee)
Kristin McGee is a New York City-based celebrity yoga and pilates instructor, new mom to her son Timothy, a contributing editor at Health magazine, and a brand ambassador for C9 by Target. Yogis outside of NYC can experience one of her classes via DVD in the comfort of their own homes. You can also download her free 30-minute beginners yoga video at kristinmcgee.com. We caught up with the yogi about her early 20s beauty mishaps, what she’s learned about confidence, and her advice to young women today.
I’ve always kept my makeup look simple with a little mascara, blush, and lipgloss, but I never used to wear foundation. Now, I’m obsessed with tinted sunscreen-infused moisturizer. I discovered later in life what a huge difference a lash curler can make. I use Trish McEvoy Arabian Nights gel eyeliner on my inner upper eyelid. In my 20s, I often used the applicators that came with products I bought. Now I know the value of a good brush set. Even if you buy drugstore shadows or blushes, it’s crucial to apply them well and subtly. In my 20s, I wasn’t the best at blending makeup. I never knew how to use liner correctly until a Bobbi Brown makeup artist showed me the secret upper inner eyelid trick for bringing out my eyes. Now, I love good brushes and will spend a little more for a good liner and mascara that doesn’t bleed. I use under-eye concealer differently now. I look back on pictures and see a white streak under my eyes! My favorite that is good for the skin and super subtle is one by Sarah McNamara. As for fashion, I regret flannel shirts and Doc Martens! I remember going through a trying-to-be-cool phase and I looked like a grungy boy!
Kristin McGee in her 20s. (Photo: Kristin McGee)
One of my mentors in my 20s was my first yoga teacher. She was so passionate about her work, could relate to anyone, and always gave each of us her undivided attention. Physically, she wasn’t beautiful or tall or slender or any of the standard norms our society places on external beauty. But she is and was graceful in her movements, has beautiful eyes through which you could see her depth, and she spoke her truth. She had a calming confidence and steadiness.
Confidence is knowing that beauty comes from the inside. Being kind to yourself and to others goes a long way toward building it. In my 20s, I pursued an acting career while I practiced and learned to teach yoga. Then, I wanted to be recognized through applause and I judged my success on external achievements. Now I measure success internally, by how I feel and how I can share my best, most authentic self with my family, friends, and students. Success isn’t about being famous, making a ton of money, or looking beautiful; it’s about being present and enjoying each moment as much as you can and being grateful for what you have as you continue to make goals and improve yourself for your own reasons.
I love to teach and give as much as I can in every class and private session; but I also have to balance my personal and home life with work. It’s challenging to make time to do it all! But I love helping people, turning them on to yoga, and discovering something new every time I teach. Yoga is such a creative process and the fact that I get to share something I love so much and get paid for doing it, is amazing. I am so very grateful.
I would tell my former self to keep thinking about the big picture. It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details, and sometimes we need to step back, dream big, and take risks and follow those dreams even if it means sacrificing a few extra dollars short-term. I’d also tell my 20-something self not to beat myself up so much, to let go more, and take a few days off!
20-somethings: Be yourself and get to know how your body works! The better you know yourself, the more you will naturally want to be physically fit and eat well. A strong, healthy body will help you in all aspects of your life. Don’t be afraid to take risks when they feel truthful. And keep a journal. I still write when I can; my journals in my 20s always helped me figure things out on my own and listen to my gut. And, of course, yoga helps with that, as well.