3 Nov 2014

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets #8

Cecil Beaton, The 1968 Sitting - Queen Elizabeth II, White Drawing Room

One of the best kept beauty secrets and one of the most difficult to come by is grace.

The art of grace or the state of grace, whatever it is called I find grace a tough one to master.

Many descriptions apply to the concept of grace.

Elegance, goodwill, serenity, poise… and many actions can manifest themselves in a graceful way.

Grace can be attributed to physical beauty and certainly to spiritual and emotional beauty.

I find women who have mastered the art of grace very peaceful women to be around.

Their composed natures suffuses me with calm; it is almost as if that untroubled state is catching.

If only it were a permanent one.

I believe that grace comes with practice.

To be graceful physically requires great fortitude; think of the world’s foremost classical ballerinas.

A graceful composure and way of living is no less onerous to learn.

We could say that some are born with grace.  Yes, I believe that they are.

Most of us mere mortals must strive hard to develop the personal characteristics that define us.

How can we become more graceful?

Physically we can teach our bodies through lifestyle changes… with diet, with exercise and by focusing on posture.

Mentally and emotionally, grace is not quite as straightfoward.

Grace has a lot to do with self-acceptance.

Women who appear to have conquered this are generally content in their lives, self-confident and generous. Giving breeds generosity of spirit from others and this does wonders for our self confidence.

Grace and wisdom go hand in hand: Learning to make the right choices and being considered about them.

Understanding that it is ok to say no and that sometimes saying no means nothing more than being aware of ourselves and our limitations.

Grace means we don’t need the applause of others to be secure in our decision making.

I find that some days are better and some months can be better when it comes to feeling graceful.

There are no sure bets.

Stress, over work and pressure seem to put a dent in a tranquil state like nothing else.

 Everyday is another chance to breath in deeply, relax the shoulders and search for that intangible quality we call grace. xv

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets

#1  //  #2  //  #3  //  #4  //  #5  // #6  //  #7

image, Cecil Beaton, The 1968 Sitting – Queen Elizabeth II, White Drawing Room

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Gigi Thibodeau

This post is timely for me, Vicki, as my life is very stressful at the moment, and I do think that can make it quite challenging to achieve balance and grace–not only in a physical sense, but in a mental and spiritual sense as well. I love what you said about generosity of spirit. Living life with empathy and care for others as well as oneself is, I suspect, one of the surest ways to achieve grace. Well, that and practicing walking with a book on one’s head! ;) xo Gigi


Yes so true Gigi… I rmemeber practising the book-on-the-head-as a child ;) Could do with that now!
Look after you and remember to breathe through your stress… it won’t change the facts but it will help you manage…

déjà pseu

I think you’ve touched on something so important here. I think a component of grace is also kindness…not the doormat kind but the realization that life has dealt us all different hands. Audrey Hepburn had that quality, I think, and so did Princess Diana. Kindness is something we can improve with practice, just like posture.


Absolutely! Kindness and generosity of spirit are so essential in all our ways of living… :)

The Enchanted Home

Interesting topic and I agree with what you said about how grace is eared, to me its a quiet confidence, someone who doesn’t need to shout to be noticed, who likes and accepts herself, when you feel good about who yo are you want to spread the goodness to others and that in turn is a part of being graceful. I liked this!


Thank you Tina… and I agree, a quite modest confidence, non arrogant in every way is the most attractive and graceful of all…

Jenny Barton

For me, I think a state of grace comes when when someone is ‘bien dans sa peau’. Someone whose life may not have been easy, but who has learned to accept the trials and tribulations we all have to deal with without becoming bitter, has learned the value of working to forgive where necessary, and who appreciates the blessings of life for what they are – a gift in an uncertain world.


Grace…belief in a higher power & your higher purpose here. A deep underlying sense that things are going as planned, even though it can be stressful at moments and chaotic! Less caffeine (limit it!) and lots of soothing teas—for me chamomile really does the trick several times a day!
Careful on your wellness, staying balanced, honoring (but not to excess) the body you have and nurturing your soul with beautiful things (although not too materialistic!)
Love to read others thoughts as well…

Stephanie Anderson

I believe Vicki from all your wonderful musings on life you are a perfect role model of what it truly means to live a life full of Grace! You certainly have given me new tools each and every day to seek out Grace as I move toward a more self confident woman who looks to better the world with kindness and smiles… And yes you are in great company with Audrey Hepburn And Grace Kelly…


Stephanie, thank you so much but I must contradict you and say that grace eludes me and often. Sometimes the knwoing is not as easy as the doing… if you get my drift… :)
Thank you, you made my afternoon… :)

Caroline Longstaffe

Oh how true Vicki, I so agree that it is so easy to become so caught up in the stresses of life, that we loose ourselves. In the attempt to be ‘perfect’ our self-confidence becomes dented and the peace and serenity that a person with true grace exudes is lost. Grace Kelly had grace (she was aptly named )and when I think of people I know who have grace, (and I can only think of two!) they are have learned acceptance, they do not have perfect lives, they are not perfect, nor do they pretend to be but they understand themselves well enough to try to avoid situations that stress them, to ‘not go there’ to say ‘no’ gracefully but firmly. Peace and grace go hand in hand, peace is a state of mind and when we are at peace with ourselves our grace begins to shine. I have far to go!!!

Mary Hite

Love this post. Grace is a way of life, a conscious choice. It is all of the things you mentioned – learning who you are and liking it, being comfortable in your own skin. And then knowing how to use these abilities.

Grace is kindness, poise, serenity. It is pausing to assess a situation before speaking.

The pictures you posted, and many of the people that come to mind when I hear the word (Princess Grace, Jackie Kennedy) are people we see in brief moments. We do not sit with them when they have self doubt, when they are troubled, when they are guilty of small behavior.

If we strive to be peaceful, strive to be connected to a higher power – in what ever form that takes for you, value kindness and serenity above all else, we can at least experience moments of graceful behavior. And doing that, we can build upon them.

To me, a graceful person is someone that moves with confidence, that glides. Someone able to process their surroundings and find balance – even if it is fleeting.

I believe we can all have grace if we seek it.


Wonderful topic – something we all need to think about in our world today. I believe grace comes from within. Kindness and love toward our fellow man, a smile and a helping hand. When we practice these simple things, they become second nature and in turn our ways become graceful. And, when we turn away from involvement in activities that do not bring us joy, we have a peace in ourselves that creates a graceful demeanor.

When I first read the topic, I immediately thought of a quote from Emerson that goes something like this: “Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.”

erica s

What a timely post for me, as well. My husband was battling a mysterious illess (which thankfully, turns out to be hypoglycemia and manageable). The best for me to “manage myself” in a stressful period is to remember that there is ALWAYS someone experiencing a bigger trial. There is always a solution. As well, when we reach out to someone experiencing a difficultly, we end up helping ourselves.


I couldn’t agree more. It is a choice. I believe it requires great self control. Like cursive writing its becoming rare.


Beautiful description about grace. I would like to add that I find that the challenge is to maintain a certain aura of detachment that allows you to put a cushion between your shoulders and the weight of the stress factors of your world. Not the selfish kind of detachment rather a calm sense of assurance that only comes with wisdom. And it can’t be faked…I know…ask my physical therapist. That is why it is a very special attribute that we admire in so many special and graceful women and one we all would love to learn for ourselves.


Vicki yes to me grace exudes self assurance and poise, quiet confidence, and kindness to xoxo
The Arts by Karena

Janet S.

Your post is thought-provoking because I have been trying to find my grace, something I think I lost a few years ago. I agree it is a sense of calmness. When you find your grace, even if only for a moment, you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way, a contentment with your life.
To me it also means excepting others for who they are. I am finding that especially difficult at this time with my teenage son.


The teenage years are some of the toughest… but they do pass… and as worrying as they seem do try and keep your sense of humour… it’s hard, I know.. ;)


So true! Grace is quiet confidence as Tina says, and kindness plays such a large role as Déjà says. Confidence and in turn, calm emotions seem crucial for grace in our mind. Actions do speak louder than words, but my goal now is inner grace, and the ease that comes with it. Wonderful topic Vickie!


So good to read that GRACE is still a valued and valuable condition. Some people have it naturally in their posture but then spoil it with jerky movements. Let’s hope they decide to take up Pilates. However, curtesy and consideration as well as a positive outlook adds much to a person’s attractiveness. I also hope that the “butch culture” adopted by so many young women will pass. No wonder they are disappointed with life.
Bon week,
Swan – now living in france


This is one of my favorite beauty lists of all time. And any trip through a grocery store proves the truth: grace, great posture, a kind of glow on a face that says “romance and laughter happen here”… you can see that no matter what the age these things combine to create a charismatic glow. Oh my! I have a lot of work to do!


I agree that self confidence is so important to possess grace. A woman full of grace understands that so many actions of others are not about them (the woman) but about what the other person is going through. Grace comes with maturity and learning to treat others as you would like to be treated. I learned grace through my faith…but I am still a work in progress. I love this post, Vicki.


Great way to reflect today…..Grace may mean to some a gift bestowed on us through our faith. It allows us to convey that gracious spirit to those we encounter daily through thought, words, and deed. And, thank you, Vicki, for your lovely website I look so forward to daily! xxoo


I hate to say it, but it’s kind of un-American to be graceful as we are always on the go and being calm isn’t easy for us. These are good reminders and tips.

Mrs Helen Douglas-Irving

Dear Vicki,
What a lovely feature….grace. I think it is like a beatitude, it comes from within and lights up a person and their graciousness inspires those around them. Time will not lessen the importance of this quality, but it may manifest itself in different ways. Your website, blog and the manner in which you interact with your readers is an example of grace.
Thank you,


Your words on grace refreshed my soul this morning! Thank you. And yes, how do we become graceful…by searching for wisdom…turning our ears toward it, and applying our hearts to the understanding of it, searching for it as hidden treasure….this knowledge is pleasant to our soul and discretion will protect us. Taken from The Holy Bible Proverbs 2. Wisdom is a gift that God gives if we seek it according to this scripture.I will be pondering this blog post for awhile : )


Surrounded by that opulence (did anyone else notice the outlet next to the fireplace?) and dressed like that, it would be hard not to communicate “grace.” But I think we ordinary folks should pay attention to her diminutive smile and feminine posture.

Carol Petrie

A timely subject for me, too. I identify with so many of the other poster’s comments! I strive to be a graceful woman, but the last 10 years have challenged me to my limits. Betrayal and the death of my spouse, the death of my daughter and my mother, and now raising 2 teenage grandsons alone! I’ve allowed myself to become bitter at times and I regret that. Sometimes I’m filled with self-doubt and guilt. The one thing that brings me back “up” is counting my blessings and being grateful. Thanks, Vicki, for touching on this subject!

Anita Rivera

SELF-ACCEPTANCE. Now there is a topic that needs further examination. It takes some of us a lifetime to learn this, but when we start to see how important a role this plays in our being, it starts to open up so many doors we ourselves have closed. Oh Vicki, you strike up the best conversations! Anita

Trish Todd

I urge you to read Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic and her blog The Daily Connoisseur. The two of you are speaking the same language, and I don’t mean French (although that too)!

Wendy Shippee

I agree with so many of the comments above. Inner confidence, poise, classic, never having to try to hard or call attention to ones self, quietly elegant, polite, to me these are all someone who has grace.
One of my favorite movies is “The Women” (1939 origional). The main character Mary Haines is my definition of grace. She never tries to hard and has nerves of steel, like Grace Kelly and Princess Grace.

D. A. Wolf

I find great wisdom in your words (and even their pacing encourages us to slow down and take a deep breath, which surely contributes to the capacity to find and exercise grace).

My grandmother was a marvelous example of both elegance and grace in my life. But she was also a woman of a different time, and in this time – our time – not only do we have fewer such examples, but it seems the exigencies of lifestyle conspire against us.

I think of the expression “grace under fire.” Perhaps that is the greatest test. Again I think of my grandmother. Life was not always ease, but the ease with which she welcomed others into her life – that was something else again.

dell mccormack

Firstly,Vicki,I love your posts and look so forward to reading them and rereading them everyday.I am currently lying in my hospital bed pondering “grace”.I believe some lucky women are born with grace,the rest of us have to acquire it and remember grace every single day.remembering to be calm,speak slowly, take a breath,be serene,be kind,considerate,empathic, take time for yourself and look your best,can all go in an instant when stress enters. So I will read your grace post,every day,in the hope that one day I too,will be full of grace.


Thanks Vicki for raising this wonderful topic. I remember years ago attending a workshop with a Swedish sports psychologist, an amazing person, who taught us about the concept of the “State of flow”. This is like driving a car in overdrive where everything goes so smoothly and effectively, with minimal wear and tear; as opposed to, say, trying to drive the same distance in first gear, where the engine is working really hard, but not very effectively. My feeling is that this State of flow can be part of what makes up grace. Sometimes we try too hard. As others have said, confidence probably helps in letting us enter this state more easily. Smiling and focussing on others rather than ourselves is helpful too.

Rhonda Bjelab

Grace is such an interesting topic one, I’m sure, books gave been written about. If we look at grace in a person, and not that gift from God in a spiritual sense, then I do believe it’s so much more than the outward physical appearance. Like true beauty…it comes from within. There have been so many characteristcics mentioned and I wonder if there could also be one more. I have always been sentimental – looking back, and a worrier – looking forward, but now I’ve been battling breast cancer for the past two months and, at age 62, have finally truly learnt to live in the moment, just one day at a time. Perhaps those women full of grace possess this attribute along with all those others we so admire.


Well said, Rhonda… I have always been sentimental and I do believe it does play a big part in the gentle side of our natures but also we must live in the now and look towards the future.
I do wish you great strength in your battle with breast cancer and I know that your recovery will reinforce your very wise and positive attitudes…xv


This is a perfect subject Vicki, one that has provoked much thought among us. I try to be my most gracious self if I can, at all times…..and I find that as I get older, this is easier. Friendships with creative, and like minded people help me, as does compassion, and a touch of style……

I have enjoyed reading the comments and to see the beautiful photo of her Majesty The Queen, the most gracious of all……God Bless Her.


I think that The Queen is one of the most extraordinary women of this century… I rememeber my first sighting… I was so excited… She is truly a beauty… :)

The Duches

Very well said! Growing up I always thought my Grandmother and Mother had grace. Years later Jackie Kennedy , Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Bacall became my idea of grace. While I always was very confident with myself now at 80 I find I am very confident thanks to the persons who helped shape my belief in myself .

Heather in Arles

What a phenomenal post. I will come back to it to read all of the comments…and it makes me quite happy to see that you hit a chord with a subject that seldom is given importance and yet is.

Physical grace can certainly be learned through strength and containment…and I bet that meditation would help also. But listening is also important…and I am, alas, as you know, a hopeless interrupter! Work to do, work to do!

Sherry Hawkims

What an extraordinary post amd the comments are equally moving. Vicki, thank you for delving
into the realm of the spirit. We are starved for that
in this digitalis and commercial world. You challenge us to a higher plane where we strive for lives of beauty, integrity, compassion, and purpose. Please continue to share your gifts with us in whatever part of the world in which we happen to live.


What a beautiful picture of Queen Elizabeth, so relaxed and at ease. It’s downright sexy!

Teddee Grace

When I think of grace I think of Melanie in Gone with the Wind. She always saw the good in people and went out of her way to be positive, uplifting and validating. What wonderful characteristics to attempt to cultivate!

Coeur caillou

Hallo just found your Site on a das with a lot of broullaird and very cold , I wisch I Couleur Go back to provence !! Love your Posts . Kind Regards from Germany


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