I am not wearing face makeup in any of these photos, yet I am smiling, because I am SO much more than a face that can absorb maybelline. I am dedicated to my job, to my studies, to my friends, family, boyfriend, and LIFE! I am dedicated to life, and at 20 years old, I am SICK and TIRED of plastering my face with 01 Ivory Foundation and layering on powder, blush, concealer, highlighter, and bronzer every. single. morning. I am tired of zits the size of pluto springing up every night because my skin has forgotten how to breathe. I am tired of feeling ugly if I’m sick and don’t have the energy to apply foundation. I am tired of feeling like a mess when my passion for life streaks down my cheeks, because when you have passion like mine, not a single brand of concealer holds up to my monsoon emotions, and when I cry, whether it be out of happiness or frustration, I want the emotion to be my focus, not the state of my raccoon eyes. When I’m on a trip with my boyfriend, I want the focus to be on our time together, not whether or not my foundation is sliding down my face. I’m done putting up a wall of sodium chloride and phenoxyethanol between me and my ability to truly enjoy life.
I love the feel of summer sun on bare skin. I love the feeling of wind on bare skin. I love the feeling of laughter on bare skin. I love the feeling of rain on bare skin. I love the feeling of being unabashedly myself, and being beautifully myself. I love the feeling of “yes, this is me. I did not find this smile in a pretty glass bottle at sephora, this confidence is from within, not from an avon catalogue.”
Of course, this is not to say I will never wear makeup on my face again (and I still use eye makeup and lip stick!), but I am going to try for the entire summer. This is also not to say that there is ANYTHING wrong with makeup- DO whatever makes YOU happy and confident. This is simply a step I’ve taken in self-compassion, and for the first time since I was 12 years old, I can get up, look in the mirror and think, “Hey, I’m pretty damn beautiful, and this is all me.”
*Thank you to Amar for being the first person to give my skin the credit it deserves, and for being my cheerleader embarking on this scary journey of self-love.