I really love make-up. I love to wear it. I love putting it on. But I sometimes find myself troubled by how much I need make-up to feel like myself. Sometimes I don’t like the face underneath. I’ve always been envious of those women who seem to have a natural, unmasked beauty, a radiant and organic glow that says “I just woke up so refreshed this morning. I took a bath in a forest stream and some little birds brought me these uber-flattering yoga pants. I moisturize…with apricot nectar and fairy dew drops.” I’ve been dying to know…Do I have a natural beauty hidden behind the foundation and eyeliner? Where are my little birds and yoga pants? Where is my radiant glow???
So last week, I gave myself a little challenge – just a chance to try to appreciate my skin and my face, unenhanced by cosmetics. I used an exfoliating face scrub from Bath & Body Works, Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (which I only mention because I recently discovered it through Sarah’s blog and it’s awesome), and the generic substitute for Aveeno Daily Moisturizer. One week, no make-up. I took pictures everyday. No touch-ups or editing. The only change I’ve made to any of these pictures is to use auto-levels to better represent natural light. The challenge was to love the face in the mirror sans make-up.
At the end of the week, I can say I’ve made a new peace with my appearance. This face is flawed. It has blemishes and freckles and unevenness. Maybe this face doesn’t have a place in a magazine or in a movie but it is my face, the one God gave me, a face that is half my mom’s and half my dad’s. It is a map of all the places I have been before, it is a signpost along a journey I am continuing to make. I will look back at these pictures and know what it is to have been there. I have found a comfort in that. I kind of like my face.
I still loving wearing makeup. But I think I’m ready to let my own skin shine through a little more.
I want to hear from you. Is wearing make-up an essential part of your routine? What makes you feel most naturally beautiful? What makes you feel confident as you begin a new day?