Makeup, A Love (Hate) Story

messy makeup

I had just taken off my makeup as a soft glow of amber light seeped through the blinds and filled my studio apartment. I sat, sipped and unwound as I tied up my hair. I was relaxed and shiny, red, raw blemishes laid bare. As the amber light transitioned to a cooler hue and cars receded from the road I suddenly realized it was Monday and I needed to move my car ASAP or face the dreaded orange paper that would be sticking out from under my windshield wiper in the morning. I only had a couple of minutes before the meter maid’s hunting hour, and my car was sitting prey. My dilemma: I couldn’t possibly go outside without makeup. So, what did I do? I got a ticket.

In the morning, as I walked toward my car and repeated over and over in my head, “don’t have a ticket. Don’t have a ticket,” I realized how silly it was that I wouldn’t go outside without makeup. I have had issues with my skin since I was young, but its not like I’ve ever felt ugly. As a matter of fact I was a model and beauty queen. I had the typical teenager oily breakouts that left some scarring as is typical for someone with my brown skin tone.   I always felt the need to cover up the blemishes and the scarring even after I outgrew some of those issues.

In my late teens to mid twenties my skin was beautiful healthy and glowing. I would still wear makeup, but not quite as heavy, especially in those summer sun-kissed months. I don’t know why my skin cleared up at that time, but it was a welcome reprieve from constantly trying to disguise or hide a blemish. It probably had something to do with hormones. I would soon find out how important hormone balance is to general health, including the health of skin and hair.

In my mid twenties I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, which is one of many autoimmune diseases and can effect any organ of the body including the largest organ, the skin.  I was getting painful outbreaks all over my face.  These outbreaks would take forever to heal and resulted in awful scars that left me feeling helpless and unattractive.

Every morning I woke up early to slather on the many layers of concealer and foundation.  I had always loved makeup, but now it was a crutch.  I needed it.  I couldn't leave the house bare faced.  I felt too naked with out it.

Finally, after a particularly bad inflammation, I decided to try to heal myself from the inside.  I read every thing I could get my hands on and found a cleanse that I thought could work for me.

A month later I was not only blemish free, but my skin was glowing.  I felt radiant.  I felt free!  I hadn't realized just how dependent I was on makeup and how much of my time was taken up either applying, reapplying, or thinking about makeup.

My relationship with makeup is different now.  I don't need it and only wear it on special occasions, if I feel like it.  The only makeup I do use has to feel good on my skin and not do any harm to me or the environment.

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