I’m not going to lie to y’all — this may be the hardest issue to write an editor’s note for. It seems like there are no words on this topic — Beauty — that won’t come off as cliché.

Every angle has been done to death even, I’m sure, by me in previous musings.

But here’s what I know — first and foremost, the beauty industry is set to top out at $571.1 billion this year. It is an enormous economic force. Because of that, it’s easy to feel pressured to participate in the hype.

My only stipulation here is ... whatever you do, whether it’s buying new eyeshadow or plumping your pout, do it for yourself. No one else. Not for a partner, not for society, not for trends or TikTok. For you. Do it because it makes you feel good and happy and confident. (*hops off soapbox*)

And now, for the other predictable turn. While I support whatever aesthetic choice anyone makes, at the core, I don’t think it’s necessary. Yep, here comes the good ol’ “you’re beautiful just the way you are” spiel. I know. It’s a tired argument and a quick stroll through Instagram will make you seriously question this perspective.

I still believe it. There is nothing that you can find in a bottle, cream, or syringe that will make you feel good about yourself if it’s not cultivated on the inside. There will always be something else. One more treatment. One more cream. One more ... whatever. And that’s fine. But just know, you’re enough as you are — really and truly.

We always walk this tightrope in this edition. We seek to balance the “live your best life, whatever that looks like,” theme and the “girl, you don’t need one single thing outside yourself to be fabulous” theme.

I hope we give you both perspectives this go around.

To attempt that, we’ve got a healthy mix of brilliant, beautiful women who are here to inspire you.

First up, there’s our annual beauty spread. We teamed up with the gorgeous Adair Werley, who modeled styles from Two Friends on St. Simons. Her hair and makeup were done by Brittany Gault at Island Day Spa. And the incredible Tamara Gibson was behind the lens at the shoot in Jekyll Island’s historic district.

Next, we have Kam Throckmorton. Known as “Glam Kam,” she’s a stylist that embraces bold color and patterns. And she never shies away from the highest of heels (and she’s 6’2, y’all). Her gorgeous vibe motivates us to embrace authenticity and feel confident in holding our own space.

Another lady in that same vein — Kylie Harrison. She’s a staunch feminist who’s also a second degree black belt. Kylie has placed in martial arts tournaments around the world, proving once again that there’s nothing better than fighting like a girl.

Newcomer Aspen LaPierre (seriously, how cool is that name?) met with me to share her journey from college student to mom of four to beauty boss. An Oregon native, she created her own clean skincare line and is now embracing life with her family on the East Coast.

And last but not least, writer Taylor Cooper hit the kitchen with Chef Nicole Monier to learn about how to create nourishing, healthy dishes that will help you feel good from the inside out.

We hope all of these stories will serve as inspiration to live life out loud ... in whatever way makes you feel safe and supported, fresh and fabulous. And always remember, I think you’re a beauty, no frills needed.

With my love —