let’s talk: without your face paint
About a week ago I left my house without face makeup.
For some this step may not seem the biggest greatest grandest revelation of all time but for me, it was a step into defeating a stronghold that I didn’t even recognise I had in my life.
From as far back as I can remember I was able, I wore make-up. For Christmas I would get plastic make-up sets and really cheap eyeshadows. I don’t particularly recall the influence of my obsession for makeup but I was enthralled by the transformation. Part of me, although hesitantly, wants to say that it was the influence of television that did it for I watched a lot of American television shows. The era when Mary-kate and Ashley and the Disney Channel graced our television screens.
I was fascinated by its ability to make me feel and look like a different person.
However, there were times where I would view it as accentuating what God gave me and ultimately I thought that I just thoroughly enjoyed putting it on, like a painter placing brushes on the edge of a masterpiece.
Of course all of this would end up with me having to spend money on products that I felt I needed. I didn’t discover foundation/face makeup until secondary school so around 15/16 I was amazed at the fact that this liquid was able to hide that huge spot that invaded half of my head.
I was a newbie to this side of the make-up world and made mistake after mistake and still am learning today. Finding the perfect shade is hard am I right ladies?! So by this time, I had really gotten into Youtube, I started a channel with one of my best friends Leyla. It was scary and exciting at the same time because we were putting ourselves out there but it also made me feel really conscious about how I looked.
My obsession with Youtube was ever growing,
I enjoyed watching drugstore hauls and makeup tutorial after make-up tutorial. I started working around 17 and the new found money in my pocket enabled me to buy whatever I wanted, so I did.
I can’t even tell you how much money I spent on makeup, I’d probably return it all now but let’s just say I enjoyed it so much, more than clothes shopping because in my head it was cheaper, but of course, these things add up.
So fast forward to college years, 16 to 18 years old, I began to become dependent on make-up, it wasn’t something I essentially hid behind, I felt comfortable in my own skin and didn’t lather it on like moisturiser after a shower but enjoyed the process and soon after, I was unable to leave the house without it. The period between 14 years old through to around 19 were pivotal moments in life for me, I got into relationships, juggled my weight and dealt with body image issues.
Don’t get me wrong I still have those days where I’m like “bleurgh” but nowadays it’s different and normally comes in the form of comparison, which is an unhealthy mindset to be in, and is something that I give to the Lord constantly. But those five years really was a time where the Lord was moulding me.I went from hurt to healing and freedom. It was a time when deliverance and prayer was needed and essential, I didn’t know it then but the Lord had a purpose to it all.
So after my gap year I came to university. I was single and I was focused on making tight friendships, if I meet a guy that’s great but I was not ready at all. the Lord was still dealing with things from my past and I was willing to go through it because I knew freedom was on the other side. Going through my first year I don’t ever think I left halls without make-up, not one day at all. I was almost really self-conscious to be seen not wearing make-up in front of the close friends I made. Make-up gave me confidence. That and the combination of my new found contacts that I enjoyed wearing because I despised wearing glasses, my confidence would plummet when I wore them so I just wouldn’t.
So here I was, going through first year of university with a new found confidence and creating friendships, getting planted into a church, getting involved with the Christian Union, doing a degree in what I love to do most. The people in my life that I have managed to surround myself with have always been very complimentary. For ages I loved it, I almost thrived on it, but to an unhealthy point where if I didn’t receive a compliment from someone and I had worked hard on looking good, I would get seriously upset, my mind would spiral and I would convince myself that I didn’t try hard enough and I would try harder next time. As you can probably tell, this kind of mindset was not only unhealthy to be in but it was a very expensive thing to uphold and in my first year I racked up the debt, my overdraft became a regular and then a permanent friend of mine but I just kept going. Have you ever watched Confessions of a Shopaholic? Yeah, not as much, but very close.
So this brings me to my second year of university. again that dependence on make-up still strong but in the second term, something shifted. My best friend Viki hit a point of breakthrough, she had already hit it in the summer when we went to a camp called Momentum, she realised it was an idol and didn’t wear it. I was convicted because I couldn’t not put makeup on especially with the fact that there were Christian guys around.
In second term of university she saw her dependence and the time that it took to put make-up on as something she didn’t want to deal with anymore. So she began to not wear it. For her it was daunting at first and she was convinced that everyone was looking at her but they weren’t. This second term, although it took me a while to jump on the band waggon I began to see the freedom that she got from it. So one day I did it. I wore no foundation/concealer/bronzer/blush and I wore my glasses as well to a lecture and CU. I was petrified. Petrified of what everyone would think of me. I was self-conscious and couldn’t stop looking at all of my spots in the camera on my phone. It made me realise so many things about myself that I hadn’t dealt with. Although it took years until I could actually walk out of the house without make-up it brought liberty and I had to constantly fight back the thoughts of my skin burning holes people’s eyes. Viki and Maddie my best friends and sisters at university have been encouraging, inspiring and motivating not only I, but each other and others to embrace our God-given beauty. They have been nothing but supportive, their words have impacted my life and enabled me to view myself differently. Although I feel like I still have a long way to go, I’m not alone and I have full faith that the Lord is going to bring me through it.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4