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WELCOME TO MY ISLAND

For someone who essentially writes and talks for a living, this article took a worrying amount of time to write.


BY ESTEBAN G VILLANUEVA


Like every creator, I like to think I have a particular creative process that I unconsciously follow before my creations — these be concepts, words or articles — come to life. The way I see it, I set myself a mental goal, a certain idea or an article I must complete. Then, I let it simmer in the back of my mind. Sometimes it's minutes, sometimes it’s days, sometimes it's even weeks, just simmering in the back of my mental universe. Then, when I least expect it, bits and pieces of the articles come into my mind. Sometimes it’s a word, sometimes a sentence, in the good cases, a whole paragraph. This is perhaps where I should take a pause and write whatever I just thought about down somewhere, at least a voice note, but a dear friend once said, “if I can’t remember it later, it wasn’t good enough”, so I let it be. 

On the fortunate days, I’ll be able to complete my mental tasks within a work’s schedule, on others, like today, it’s way past the middle of the night and like a sand clock losing grains, I’m challenging Morpheus by burning the last of the midnight oil as I write these exact words. But what can I say? It’s one of those days. 


Now, onto the piece itself. As I was briefed, this is an introductory piece. A presentation, a welcome into my space within this marvelous universe that is Soothe. Sounds easy, right? Well, in my experience, introductions are some of the hardest texts to write. For most of you, this is the first time you’re reading me — thus, my only chance to make a good first impression. 


Do I go the professional way? Where I dazzle you by flaunting the merits of my career? After all, I am the Nordic Beauty Director for Spalt PR, one of the biggest and most prestigious communications bureaus in Scandinavia, and I am the former Beauty Editor of Vogue Scandinavia – as well as the first ever male beauty editor in Vogue history. Pretty cool, right? I could even mention how before that I was Head of Research and Strategy for a Communications Bureau in America and Brand Manager and Digital Coordinator for New Balance in Central America. Just a couple things in my resume.


Or perhaps, I go the more personal way? Maybe here I might have a chance of making you laugh or relate with my story? You know, that cliché one where at the end of the day I’m just a latin boy who dreamed of fancy magazines, big corporate offices, moving abroad, starting a new life and finding what makes him happy. The story where I give a slight innuendo, but fail to confirm, that perhaps at this very moment there's a certain someone no one has heard about before in my bed waiting for me to go back to sleep — but I obviously refuse, as this exact time (1.35am, not time of publication) was when genius struck and I just had to write down the words that came to mind. 


Source: Devil Wears Prada

To be honest, I can think of two or three more ways I could go, but I won't. At this point, it’s late, this article should’ve gone live a week ago and I’ve decided to tell you the first, true and most personal story. The one my friends get, the one that Carrie would write to her “dear readers” from her apartment in Manhattan and the one that perhaps, maybe someday, my grandkids will tell to their friends. 


My name is Esteban and there’s one thing — and one thing only — I’m good at, beauty. On a technical level, I’m a beauty editor. I spend my days writing articles, press releases, communications strategies and organizing the occasional beauty event here and there. Beauty is the one thing I understand, I love and I’m good at. You could say my job is literally just beauty ( and also bad dad jokes, but you’ll experience that later). On a personal level, I can confirm beauty is who I am and the mere reason I live. Dramatic, right? But true. 


For me, beauty is a tangible thing, a being that sits with us at the table, someone with thoughts, opinions, things to say — one only must make sure to listen. I want to be that person who listens. 


When I was younger, perhaps a bit too young, I promised myself I’d become a Vogue editor. At the time, I had to clue even how magazines worked nor what type of editor I’d be — but I knew I wanted to be one. Years passed, and by what can only be explained as manifestation, hard work and divine help, I ended up becoming said Vogue editor — a beauty editor. But reality was that within my life, beauty wasn’t something I necessarily planned, besides my love for it, it had just always found its way to me. I’d never seek for her, but she was always there. 


In retrospect, she was really always there. From middle school to college, to my first job to my dream job, she was always there, somehow supporting me, keeping me company, validating me and somewhat protecting me. Always there — and when I realized that was when I vowed my life to her cause. 


Source: Sex & The City

This is where I might lose some of you, where you let the thoughts of “he’s crazy”, “what’s wrong with him?” and, “weirdo” comes into play and clouds your mind — but to be fair, I am crazy, there’s a lot of things wrong with me and I am arguably weird, but I also know I’m right, I love beauty and I exist to make sure everyone can feel loved by it too. And (dad pun incoming), that’s the beauty of it. Beauty loves everyone. 


Beauty is that red lipstick you put on when you’re feeling nervous or in need of an emotional pep talk, beauty is the scent that brings you home into the arms of that one person you call safe space, beauty is the eyeliner you draw on to hide how you really feel from those unworthy of your emotions and beauty is the connection between two drunk girls in the bathroom in the middle of the party sharing makeup tips. You know, your long-lost bestie, the one you’d hide a body for but probably will never see again (queue the laughs). Beauty is knowing you can just be pretty, no matter what others, or society, think pretty is. As long as you feel pretty, you are pretty. 


Now, I’m aware this has gotten way too long and I might be way too deep in my Bradshaw fantasy, so I’ll just say one more thing: welcome. Welcome to a modern temple for all things beauty. Welcome to a safe space where everyone is pretty and the society’s rules are meant to be challenged, bent and broken. Welcome to a place where beauty is a thing and a being, not just a standard. Dear reader, welcome to my island, please make yourself at home.


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