Welcome to yet another new feature, A Beauty Minute With…, exclusive interviews where I speak to inspiring and awesome women (and men!) about beauty – be it the products they love, inner beauty, what beauty means to them, and the beauty in their lives.
And I am so excited to have Dawn Michele of Fireflight today! Her band, Fireflight is an American Christian rock band founded in Florida, US, in 1999. They are just about to release their 5th album, Innova, on May 5th 2015, and have been nominated for several Dove and Grammy Awards. You can see them currently at #1 (9 weeks in a row!) on the Billboard Christian Rock charts.
Hi Dawn! Thanks so much for chatting with me. Firstly, would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?
Hello! My name is Dawn Michele, and I am the lead singer of the band Fireflight. We have been a band for fifteen years. I grew up in Florida, and I got a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida.
What made you want to go into music? What is the story behind Fireflight the band?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved music and loved to sing. I sang in my first talent show when I was in elementary school. I started singing in church in high school and I began to feel a calling on my life to sing, but I didn’t know how it could work out as a profession. When I graduated I sang at a service for the graduating class and afterwards was approached by the rest of the band to become the lead singer. We began practicing all the time and traveling on our days off to go to shows. During that time I went to college and got my degree. After five years of working our butts off, we finally got a manager and signed with a record label.
Awesome! And for my readers who may be new to you and your music – what do you recommend they check out first?
We have grown so much in the last few years! If they want a sample of classic Fireflight, I recommend listening to our song “Unbreakable,” and then they can sample our new sound by checking out our newest singles off our album, INNOVA, that is coming out May 5th. The two singles that have been released so far are “Resuscitate” and “We are Alive.”
I have to say, you have really cool hair…
Thanks! My hair has been an evolution through the years. When we first got started I decided to try a half and half look of light and dark. At that time it was the crown of my head that was blonde and the bottom half that was dark. Then, I joke that I headbanged so hard that the color shifted and it went to half and half from left side to right. I liked the look, but it was so hard to maintain because the blond was so bleached out and the dark was actually a purple black. The purple would bleed over when it was wet. So, for years I had to wash my hair one side at a time in pigtails!
I got really fed up with that so when we launched a new album I went all platinum for a while. After all the abuse my hair was ready to revolt, so I decided to have pity on it and go for a more natural shade. I figured it would be the healthiest choice and I could try and grow it out. Once I saw how the more natural shades were so much more easy to care for, I decided I could reclaim my original half and half look, and I love it!
I love it too! And what are some influences for your personal style?
I don’t know that I could describe my own personal style very well. A lot of times, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing! But, I really like putting together looks that give the impression that I am intentional and putting my best foot forward.
My dear friend and stylist Ange Duncan has really influenced me a lot, mostly by being an amazing person who makes you feel confident enough to trust yourself and follow your instincts. It’s so empowering to have people around who make you want to show what’s inside of you – there are so many who do the opposite and make you wish you could hide! Plus, she’s from New Zealand and she has this fantastic accent, so all of her suggestions sound amazing no matter what [laughs].
At its core, Blog for Beauty is a beauty blog – so let’s talk more beauty! Do you have any other beauty tips and/or products you love that you’d like to share with my readers?
I use a lot natural products, trying to avoid extra chemicals I don’t think do my body good. I use coconut oil to remove my makeup, and a locally sourced moisturizer for my face. I use homemade body butter (shea, coconut oil, almond oil, essential oils) for the rest of my skin. I love the Organix shampoos and conditioners. [I love them too, actually!] They’re economical and have such lovely scents! My favorite is the Sea Mineral moisture line. Being a Florida girl by birth, the scent gives me such a great feeling. I like MAC and Essential Minerals makeup products, but I also have a handful of drugstore brand products as well ;).
My beauty routine is pretty simple, I use a cream shadow on my eyes as a base, then add some contouring with a shadow. Cream concealer under my eyes and on my fun red spots! [laughs] Black eyeliner and mascara. Then I use an all over foundation, sometimes adding bronzer on my cheeks and throat.
The entertainment industry is very looks-conscious. What are your thoughts on this, and what pressures do you face as a woman in the music industry?
I would say it’s not just the entertainment industry, but also the whole world that is “looks-conscious.” By nature, what you see is right in front of your face and easier to experience than what’s inside a person. Because of this I think the issue won’t ever be resolved, which leaves the rest of us trying to figure out how to cope in a healthy way in light of the reality we live in. I read once that only 9% of the population actually live up to the exacting standards considered “attractive” by the majority. So it’s clear that most folks don’t even come close to being “perfect,” yet all of us punish ourselves mercifully on a daily basis for falling short!
So how do we learn to be happy in light of all this? First of all I think we need a reality check, because the most disgusting part of the whole system is the fact that even the people who are revered as most beautiful that we see on the screen and in the magazines, are actually photoshopped to be perfect, not even they look that perfect naturally! So we have to stop comparing ourselves to images of people that don’t really exist.
Lastly, we have to become mature enough to accept that we will never be able to turn ourselves into someone else. However, we can be our best self! We can grow ourselves into healthy and happy people, by taking good care of ourselves through healthy behavior. Then we can add some sparkle according to our own artistic inclinations with fashion and makeup. In the end we will have the person we were truly created to be, instead of some knock-off wannabe pretending to be something no one ever was.
Wise words and I agree 100%… that’s what I’m hoping will get from Beautfille, in terms of beauty – just try to be your natural best and that’s it!
Let’s talk inner beauty – who do you look up to and why? Who/what inspires you daily?
I look up to people who are peaceful and who bring joy and light and love into the lives of others. I have found so much peace and love for my own heart and spirit by pursuing God. His Love is so much bigger than my fear, and He has taught me how to accept times of trouble and to learn how to grow strong through adversity.
If people could take away one thing from you and your music, what do you hope it would be?
Every part of life, the worst moments and the best moments all flow together to create an experience that is so powerful. God is love and He created us to love one another and to face down the darkness and overcome it with light. Because I have been through pain and have found power to overcome it through the support of God’s unconditional love for me, I just want to show that love to everyone I can. I want them to feel it and feel peace and strength to stand up against the things that tear them down and tell them they aren’t good enough. We are all beloved children.
That’s wonderful! So what’s next for Fireflight? And what’s next for Dawn?
Fireflight is beyond stoked for the release of our fifth album, INNOVA. We have never been more excited about creating and sharing our music with all of our faithful fans and hope to meet many new ones as well as we journey forward.
For me, my husband and I will soon welcome a new gift into our lives, a baby! This is our first child and we are in awe of the miracle of new life. We are terrified and elated, and learning how to trust in ways we have never experienced before. I look forward to becoming a guardian and sharing all the earth has to offer with a new heart.
Ah, this year is gonna be a great year professionally and personally! Congratulations, and thank you so much for speaking with me – I wish you all the best for the future.
Thanks so much! Thanks for the opportunity to share!