So it's always felt funny to me that I wore as much makeup as I did. I really didn't want to, but I genuinely felt like I had to hide my skin. So, in the mornings, on went the concealer and the foundation. Every day. And every day as I put it on I sincerely wished I didn't feel compelled to use it.
About a month ago I posted a pretty vulnerable admission to my lifelong struggle with my skin. Many people very kindly responded that they didn't see what I see or that they always had thought I was pretty. Interestingly, most of those people were friends I haven't seen in years, friends from back in my high school or college days. Days when I most assuredly was wearing a very thick veneer in their presence. Nonetheless, I am grateful for their responses even if I felt that maybe they were complimenting the covered me. It is never a bad thing to hear a nice words.
For me, though, it was never really about the pretty thing. It was about feeling comfortable in my skin. I never really thought I was ugly, to be honest. I didn't mind how I was put together. I'll never be a model and I'm comfortable with who I am and what I look like. What I was trying to express was how much I didn't like how unhealthy my skin always looked and felt to me. Raw, red, dry, discolored, blemished. I just always felt aware that it was there. And aware that I wanted it to look nicer, but only really being able to make that happen by covering it up. And while my blogging journey the last five years has been about uncovering a lot of the spiritual and emotional things I kept hiding for years, I rarely delved into the physical.
Just recently, I opened up a magazine and saw the title of an article: "Three Rules for Faking Great Skin."
It really sat wrong with me. Probably because that is what I tried to do since I was old enough to be allowed to use makeup. And I'm tired of that being the solution.
I immediately thought, "Wouldn't it be a much better article if it were "Three Rules to Actually Having Healthier Skin?" But this is what we're sold in terms of body image. Cover up, deflect, hide, buy the right stuff to mask your flaws. Don't actually work towards good change, just make do with what you have and BUY stuff to cover that which you dislike.
One of the reasons I finally shared my struggle was that I really was hoping for a change. Hoping to no longer hide it. To wake up in the morning, wash my face, slather on my sunscreen and then happily chase my toddler around without the worry and bother of makeup. Now, let me say here that I recognize for some that the use of makeup is fun or artistic or creative. Fantastic, I salute you. Possibly I would feel differently if that is what it was for me but for me, it's a hassle. It's a way to fake great skin, a way to feel like maybe no one is going to notice how awful it looks. And for me, I know that's not a healthy reason to be wearing it. So I needed change.
Today, I am posting again my "BEFORE" picture.
|Before - January 2015|
Here is my 60 Day picture. Totally makeup free.
And you know what? It's not just that it looks and feels healthier. I feel good. I am not thinking about my skin much during the day. I am not washing my face halfway through the day to apply a new layer of foundation before whatever evening activities I have planned. I am just living. And I am fully confident that by Day 90 I will feel totally ready to achieve my goal - to wake up, wash my face and head out the door in my jeans and t-shirt. Without a hidden face.