IT’S not like me to say no to a challenge.
So when my blogger friend Mama and More challenged me to take part in the ‘I AM BEAUTIFUL’ link up hosted by Vodka Infused Lemonade and publish an image of myself , bare faced and make up free, for the whole wide world to see, I couldn’t really refuse. (Damn it!)
In all honesty, between you and I, I’d much rather be seen with my make up on than without. That’s just who I am. I’m a make up gal, always have been, always will be.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t leave the house without make up on or that I even wear a lot of it every day (some days I wear more than others, depending how I feel) but yes, on the whole, I will happily hold my hand up and say I prefer my enhanced face to the natural one.
I like the way my favourite smokey grey eyeshadow makes my hazel eyes pop, I adore the way I can look more alive by adding a touch of blush to my pale, tired cheeks and I will always love (especially at the minute), the way a concealer can help to cover my dark under eye circles. Most days, thanks to a busy ol’ life juggling freelancing and motherhood, I feel absolutely knackered and so, wearing a little make up not only makes me look prettier, it makes me feel a damn sight prettier too.
But I do love what this link up is all about. And I totally get it. As women we’re constantly bombarded with images of fake perfection and unreal ideals that we are expected to and / or feel obliged to live up to. At best it’s a little annoying, at worst – if we’re struggling with self esteem issues – it can be soul destroying.
We’re so used to seeing enhanced images of beauty that we’ve forgotten what real beauty looks like. Especially natural, first thing in the morning, end of the day, kind of beauty. And I don’t want that to happen. I also don’t want the person I love more than anyone in the world – my daughter – thinking that she has to wear make up when she’s older. Because she doesn’t. Wearing make up – like going bare faced – should be a choice not an expectation. Something fun and creative to enjoy, not a daily procedure to endure.
And so, even though I’d much rather publish an image of myself with at least a little mascara on, I’m more than happy to take part and do my bit for the cause. After all, I’m always harping on about loving ourselves and being honest with each other, so it’s time to put my money where my mouth is!
And here I am. This is me, yesterday morning, in all my bare faced glory. Admittedly my hair is styled, but there is absolutely nothing on my face bar some moisturiser. Oh and a demented kind of forced smile. (My face is obviously thinking what on earth is she doing agreeing to this?!?!)
I’ve gotta tell you, it was very strange taking a selfie of myself ‘au natural’ and even weirder not adding a filter to it to make it look better! But I actually don’t mind it so much.
Do I like it enough to stop wearing make up? Well no. I don’t. But that’s just my preference.
I don’t think I look my most ‘beautiful’ in this picture but that’s ok, because inside, I still feel it. And at the end of the day, as trite as it may sound, that is the only thing that matters.
Funnily enough out of all the hundreds of pictures of me that I have in my possession, my most favourite of all, is one in which I have no make up on whatsoever. In it, my hair is an absolute mess. I haven’t slept for over 24 hours. I am almost completely naked. I have a drip in my hand. I’d been through a long, tough, exhausting labour. I look as far from groomed and made up as you can imagine.
I am holding my much-longed for daughter on my chest, when she is just minutes old. And my eyes are shining with the absolute joy and love that you experience when you become a mother for the first time. Out of all of the pictures that I have, nothing captures my inner beauty better than this one. Which is why even though I look a million miles away from perfection in it, this image is perfect to me.
So, whether you’re a woman who prefers make up (like me) or a lady who prefers to go fresh faced, it’s totally true that we should all take a moment to celebrate our own unique beauty from time to time.
And hey, if you need a little bit of lipstick or mascara to help you to do it, then so be it. Just don’t forget that you still look rather lovely without the warpaint too.
What do you think? Would you dare to publish an image of yourself wearing no make up online? Do you hate wearing make up? Or do you love it? What makes you feel your most beautiful? As always I’d love to hear your thoughts!
See you on Wednesday when I’ll be sharing another AMAZING ‘Your Secrets’ story! Have a wonderful week!