I am not a licensed therapist. I am a makeup artist and image consultant. Our professions have a lot in common. We both hear people reveal their most vulnerable, intimate life details. We both care deeply about the people we work with, and we both help them find the confidence to love themselves.
If it were easy to love yourself, then the world would be a much more optimistic place. Healing takes remembering how you got those scars in the first place. It also means you have to understand that other people don't like themselves either... No matter how they look.
I remember myself at the tender age of 16 in professionally applied makeup thinking that I looked like an imposter. Who was this person? All I could see were my flaws. The flaws that had been pointed out so easily by children and adults purposefully or not. I didn’t see a beautiful young person, I saw an awkward girl who didn’t know who she was. I was so busy wishing I looked different, that I didn’t see the beauty right in front of me.
I wish I could say that my confidence was easily found and that today I am without insecurities, but let’s be real, I’m not sure if any of us quite make it to that level. However, I can say that I love myself. Loving myself doesn’t mean that I’m not wanting to strive for better. To me, it means that when I notice my stretch marks or cellulite I don’t automatically mentally assault my past actions. Those things are a part of me, they mark puberty, my genetic history, stories, and scars (mental and physical). If it wasn’t these things, it would be something else. Accepting our perceived flaws means that we have power over our image. No one can control you when you exercise your self-love. When you accept yourself, you accept your personal power to transform.
The way I came to love myself was to work in the makeup industry. I work with gorgeous people every day that confide insecurities to me. At first, I was shocked because the things they are insecure about are the very things I wished for myself to have. Throughout the years I’ve realized that it is true what they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I decided I needed to behold myself. After all, who could possibly think I was beautiful if I didn't see my own beauty? When I did that, I wasn't subject to the whims of male flattery. I could look at myself and say, "wow your eyes look beautiful today." Or, "your skin is absolutely radiant". I dated myself. I bought myself clothes that made me look and feel beautiful. I took myself on walks so that I could feel the endorphins of exercise. I stopped putting my happiness and love on other people. I put the responsibility to look and feel beautiful on myself. It changed the way I saw the world and it made my relationship with others healthier.
- a person who sees or observes someone or something.
Many are surprised when I say makeup made me more confident, but I think that’s because so often we are taught that makeup is a mask to hide our insecurities. That is certainly a philosophy you can have, and if that makes you happy, go for it. For me, makeup is about enhancing who you are. It is about getting yourself ready for the part you plan to play that day. Will you be a natural cutie? Will you be a sultry bombshell? Are you going to demand a raise, or are you going to flirt with your crush? Every color, every look, we can control how we are perceived. But we can only do that if we believe in our abilities. We can only do that if we love the person underneath. You could have the most amazing makeup in the world, but if you don’t feel confident in who you are then you’ll never think you are beautiful.
I’ll be 30 next year. At 29 I’m the most confident I’ve ever been. When people occasionally say well-meaning, but critical things about my appearance, it isn’t the end of the world like it used to be. I learned from my mom that inner joy is paradoxically found simultaneously on the outside and inside. It is true that we can’t completely control our inner world, but we can help create positive conditions. Sometimes we have to help our psyche by applying a little mascara and wearing yellow. Sometimes we have to cuddle up with our most flattering blue blanket. Sometimes we have to look in the mirror and be kind. When we see that tired reflection, we need to view them as a friend. Sometimes we are kinder to others than ourselves. If that's you, think of yourself as the person you love most. What would you say to them? Say it to yourself right now. Say it out loud. Say it in your head. Say it when you wake up and when you go to sleep. Talk to yourself the way you wish others would talk to you. Why wait for them? You're already here.
If you need a friend that can help you take steps to embrace your personal rainbow, we’re here for you. We offer more than just your best colors, we offer a philosophy that will help you love yourself. An idea that will give you the power to change your world one shirt, one shadow, one smile at a time.
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