Body, Mind

Comfortable In My Own Skin

I was raised in a very strict religious home. Makeup was forbidden. It was a sin. Of course, this just made me more fascinated with makeup.

While my friends were saving up their money for Jordache and Calvin Klein jeans, I was secretly buying and hoarding a stash of makeup I could never wear. This was the 80’s and black eyeliner was all the rage. I dreamed about wearing black eyeliner.

I moved out of my parents house two weeks after graduating high school and was finally free to wear my beloved makeup. 30+ years later I still love it.

It seemed natural that I would start a YouTube channel and become a beauty guru. I could spend hours watching other gurus trying out the latest eye pallet or foundation. I would dash off to the store to buy those items and attempt to get the same results and post about my experience. My channel was a dismal failure. At the peak of my guru career I had 234 subscribers with two long years of hard work.

I learned some important lessons being in that on-line space. First, videotaping in my basement with a cheap camera was no competition for gurus who had teams of professionals to get everything just right. This made me realize how absurdly unrealistic it is for anyone to expect the same results from using the products shown, unless you have a team of people around you holding lights towards your face all day long.

Second, the on-line beauty space was mostly a bunch of 10 to 15 minute long infomercials hoping you will click on their link.

Third, the beauty industry is entirely based on ‘fixing’ our perceived flaws. Is your hair too thin? Brows too sparse? Nose too wide, big forehead, small eyes, thin lips, There is a makeup technique for that. If not for our insecurities the makeup industry would barely exist.

After my disillusion with my beauty channel I decided to do a little experiment on myself. I had never gone out in public bare faced. I wondered if I didn’t wear brow color would my friends notice? Would they say anything about it? They didn’t.

This lead me to an even bigger realization: I was spending a lot of time wondering what other people thought about how I looked. Wearing makeup is how I like to show up because I’m insecure about my God given face.

I’m working on that.

So if you see me walking around with no mascara at the grocery store it’s just me, trying to be more comfortable in my own skin. (But I still love makeup).