When I was 3, I remember playing with tiny lipsticks — they were samples my grandmother would accumulate from the makeup counter. I loved them. They were just the right size for my small hands, and all the "movie stars" wore lipstick, so getting to wear it myself meant I was beautiful enough to be on the big screen, right?
That fascination with lipstick got me into trouble — laughably so — when I took said lipstick and not only applied it to my lips, but all over my face, the carpet, and the wall. But that was when my love of makeup began. Growing up, I loved reading about how you could hide things like blemishes and dark circles with concealer. My eyelashes are naturally long, but I love how full they look with a few coats of mascara. And growing up, it became an art form for me. I was able to transform myself from one person to the next (dramatic or not) with the power of makeup.
You always think your worst breakouts will be during puberty or in high school, but the worst bouts of acne I've faced have been during my adult life. It's annoying — and embarrassing to an extent. I'm getting my life together — why can't my skin cooperate? Pile that on top of melasma, and it feels like my skin was never meant to be clear. So using makeup was a way to give me that even-toned skin I always wanted to have.
But that's the thing: my makeup went from being an artistic outlet and a "feel good" mechanism to something I needed — something I used as a crutch. I found myself looking in the mirror and feeling ugly without it. I compared myself to people with massive amounts of FaceTune and perfect Instagram filters, people with copious amounts of Photoshop editors at their disposal.
I realized how unnecessarily sick this mindset was and decided it was time I stop criticizing my flaws, because, you know what? Everyone has them. Plenty of my girlfriends come to me for beauty advice, looking for answers on how to get rid of lines, minimize pores, hide cellulite, and, just like me, get clear, gorgeous, glowing skin. We all want these things, and we all want to look good. But when you're doing it because you feel the need to keep up with an ideal of beauty that is not only unattainable but isn't real? That's when things start to go downhill.
Time to change our perspective, ladies and gentlemen. You are so much more than your complexion. Don't use your makeup as a sword or armor to hide behind; use it to enhance your own beauty. Use it to feel good about yourself — and not what you think others want to see, or what you think appeases others' standards of what is beautiful.
Hope you enjoy this week's #PrettyUnfiltered. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and tag a friend who might need to hear this message on National No Makeup Day!