Inspiration strikes.

By Leslie Munsell. 

We all find our inspiration in different ways. You know that incredible feeling that comes when someone or something you hear, read or experience really strikes home and you feel more joyful, purposeful and just happier to be alive?

Well, this happened to me in a big way recently and I want to share with you the glorious two weeks I spent in Tryon, North Carolina at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).

FEI WEG TRYON.2018It was really a whirlwind (literally, with Hurricane Florence blowing through) of non-stop activity but the reason I have such positive feelings about my time spent there is because of the strong connection I felt with things that are my biggest passions in life; strong, independent, determined yet kind and compassionate women, horses and make up. It was like hitting the trifecta!

Leslie Munsell and Debbie McDonaldBeauty For Real was part of a booth for Brooke USA, the official charity of WEG. If you aren’t familiar with Brooke, have a look at their website

Their official mission statement is to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.

Brooke serves 100 million people and 600 million equine in the poorest countries worldwide.

LAURA | TINTED LIP BALM | LIP REVIVALI produced a collection of all natural, vegan, sheer lip balms, Lip Revival | Lip Balm with 9 Brooke ambassadors and advocates, all of them elite equestrian women. Of all of the products I’ve worked on over the years, this is my favorite and the one I’m most proud of.

It has terrific, healthy ingredients, feels like heaven on your lips, the colors (that I collaborated with each ambassador on to create) are all unique and gorgeous. A portion of the proceeds go to a deserving cause. But, I also got to meet and work with the ROCKSTAR women in the equestrian world!

SERENA WILLIAMS ESPN COVER MAKEUP BY LESLIE MUNSELL BELLE AND COMPANYNow, I’ve worked with lots of celebrities, athletes, actresses, musicians and royalty but these women are all my heroes for their love of horses, their support of Brooke and their dedication to their sport.

Big shout out to Laura Kraut, winner of the Team Gold Medal in jumping, Kasey Perry-Glass, winner of Team Silver Medal in dressage, Debbie McDonald, coach of dressage Team USA, and JJ Tate, my model, who just swept everything at Dressage at Devon (the most prestigious show in US) this last weekend. These women are at the top of their game, many Olympic medalists, they are killing it and I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with them as Brooke USA ambassadors.

I made some incredible new friends while I was there and finally had time to spend with dear old friends. Many years ago, my first connection in Tryon was with Cindy Boyle and her gracious, wonderful family, John, Cole and Mary. They’ve introduced my husband and I to the whole world up there and over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to become part of that world.

From left to right: Katherine Bellisimo, Laura Rombauer, Cindy Boyle, Leslie Munsell and Mary Alice Monroe.

It’s an extremely warm and welcoming group of people who put us up in their magnificent homes, host wonderful parties and dinners and have made me fall in love with them and the area. Cindy and I hosted a party at her family’s beautiful horse farm during WEG to benefit Brooke USA that was spectacular- BIG thanks to Laura Rombauer of Rombauer Vineyards for her generous contribution of the very best wines, and to Cindy and John who did everything else- I just showed up, did Cindy’s make up, and had fun!

MARY ALICE MONROE THE SUMMER GUESTSI also did some presentations (and some shopping!) with my friend Mary Alice Monroe, NY Times best selling author who is writing a book, The Summer Guests, about the equestrian world in Tryon and Wellington, FL. We met last year during Hurricane Irma. She evacuated from her home in Charleston and we evacuated from Miami. We all ended up with dogs, birds and lots of emotion at Cindy and John’s farm in Tryon for 9 days. In spite of the grave situation that led us there, we had such terrific hosts and such a great time Mary Alice was inspired to write about hurricanes, horses and the bonds between women and family.

Jan and Leslie MunsellThis will be a super read- there’s even a woman with a make up company as a character! Mary Alice, let’s just hope our common hurricane theme is over!

Mostly my days were spent watching the world’s best equine athletes (so exciting) and introducing women to Beauty For Real in the booth. This is my nirvana- we horse women are a breed of our own. Because of our insane love of horses, there is a connection that somehow runs deep and strong. You may not have anything else in common but that connection is everything.

The incredible response I got by introducing women to beauty products that are high performance yet easy to use, that fit their active and demanding lifestyles and help them look and feel great was extremely gratifying.  It’s my life’s work. 

Despite the rain, the heat and my just having had back surgery 10 weeks prior to WEG, I had the time of my life and want to say thanks to the Brooke USA Team, the Beauty For Real Team, my husband and my amazing friends, old and new, for their support in making this all happen. 

tawny rose lip balm laura krautPlease share your stories of inspiration.

Leslie Munsell | | @lesliemunsell

October 06, 2018 — Leslie Munsell


LA Sokolowski said:

What an inspiration Brooke — and horsewomen/style rockstars like yourself — are to the horse industry. It’s a pleasure to see products that meet the needs of equestriennes of color, and help all of us make decisions through our purchases that can help improve the lives of donkeys and horses on the other side of the world. Thank YOU!

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