A while back I put together an Instagram story showing my face without makeup. This was a big deal for me. It was a big deal last year when I did the same thing on Snapchat. You see, as those who watched the videos can attest to, I don’t have nice skin – at all. You might be sitting there thinking “I’m sure you have beautiful skin” or “but it always looks so nice in photos” but the fact of the matter is, when I say I have severe adult acne, hyperpigmentation, and dark circles to beat the band, I’m not joking about it. My skin is something I’ve struggled with since I was a little girl. I started wearing a full face of makeup at thirteen years old, so I’ve had ten years to perfect it and make my skin appear “flawless” even when it’s not.
The response was overwhelming. From people telling me how much it helped them that day because they were feeling a lack of confidence due to a breakout, to others saying how shocked they were that my skin looked like that because they always thought I had great skin, and that they were now hoping for makeup tutorials (gotta giggle over that one because I have a bunch of tutorials out there on YouTube – should I go back to it?)
In a culture that’s so ready to judge, it can be hard to be accepted whether you wear lots of makeup or none at all. It seems like there’s no real balance. Just the day after posting my stories, I happened to see a girl tweet about how it makes people look ridiculous to go to the gym with a full face of makeup. I understood where she was coming from, but I had plenty of thoughts on the matter. Whether it’s the gym, the pool, or wherever else, you shouldn’t be judged for the amount of makeup you wear or don’t wear. If it makes you feel confident and beautiful, then that’s what you should do.
I don’t feel confident without makeup. I wish I did. I wish I could look at all the scarring on my face and the red splotches covering my pale skin and say, “You’re beautiful just the way you are” but that’s honestly a really big challenge. I love to preach body positivity, but I’m going to admit my faults on this one. It’s easier to tell others to be confident than to put that into practice yourself. For now, I’m grateful for my cosmetic-application skills and the fact that I can fake a naturally flawless face.
I constantly hear, “Well, you should try changing your diet” or “Have you heard of Accutane?” or even “Maybe if you wore less makeup maybe your skin wouldn’t be so bad.” But you see, friends, I have tried changing my diet, and I cannot use Accutane because of the severe stomach disease I have – that most likely was affected quite negatively by the acne medication that tore the lining of my stomach when I was sixteen. I have tried less makeup, different makeup, different skincare products, natural remedies, facials, and everything in between. The fact of the matter is that my skin isn’t going to change. Not anytime soon, anyways. Maybe as I get older, my hormones will begin to change and that will help it, but for now, this is the skin I’m in. I might not love it, but it’s mine, and while I’m not necessarily confident with my bare face, I’m confident using the skills I have mastered to conceal it. I shouldn’t have any reason to be ashamed of that, and if you like wearing makeup, you shouldn’t either.
On the other side of the spectrum, my makeup idol is YouTuber Thataylaa, who has very similar skin to mine (though she’s lucky to be without the dark circles). She rocks her skin, and even has days where she leaves the house without any makeup. I admire her courage so much. She’s breaking the stigma of “acne is gross” or “you should cover that up” and I’m so thankful for her. In some ways, she’s encouraged me to try an afternoon without any coverage. I recently had two separate occasions where I left the house to run errands without makeup. Man, it was terrifying! I felt like people were staring at me the entire time. Maybe I’ll have more days where I do that and eventually feel less concerned, but for now, I’ll admire Thataylaa and aspire to have that confidence in the future.
I don’t know if I realized how fired up I am about this, but I really think it’s important to talk about. Being in the fashion and beauty industry, I’m almost expected to have this perfect life and have a perfect body and skin to go along with it. That’s just not reality, so I wanted to share my reality with you.
Below I’ve attached some photos of myself with makeup, and then a few without, so you can see what I’m talking about. I’m not looking for your pity, I’m just looking to make a statement. I will learn to see myself as beautiful without makeup (I’m grateful to have a boyfriend who constantly reminds me I am, even when I don’t believe him), and for now I will feel especially beautiful with makeup. I also want anyone reading to know that they’re beautiful as well – makeup or not. If you struggle with skin challenges, know you’re not alone! If you love makeup, you’re not alone either. Let’s rock what we are confident with showing!
there is no filter or editing on these photos – with and without makeup!
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