The Many Faces of “Beauty”

So, today I was scrolling through my facebook news feed and I ran into a post from a radio station back in Minnesota.  They’re holding a contest for its listeners in which they have to post their before and after pictures of them getting dolled up to when a $1,000 makeover by a beauty school in the area.

Thinking it would be cool to see all the before and after shots, I decided to click on the link and flip through the pictures. Only all I found was over a hundred of examples of what is wrong with our society. So many women who are naturally beautiful without makeup just caking their faces with inches of eyeliner to “define” their previously stunning eyes, eyebrows drawn on 10x heavier than the youtube tutorial they watched, bright red lips that look like plastic,and purple and bleach blonde streaks in fried out hair… It was heart breaking.

Now, if anyone knows me, they know I am a big fan of beauty products. This is the girl who had hair the color of red velvet cake for years.  Now a days, I’m lucky if I put on makeup more than once a week or if my hair ever gets out of its sloppy ponytail.  But I get it.  It’s fun to get dolled up, curl your hair, dye it funky colors, etc. And I love winged eyeliner and Taylor Swift red lips as much as the next girl. But when you see so many women masking their natural beauty in attempts to achieve a look that pinterest is telling us will make us beautiful, you can’t help but wonder how lost we really are.



The first picture is me without any makeup
The second is me going for that fun pin up look complete with the Marilyn Monroe beauty mark
The third is me following every tutorial on
-“how to tightline your eyes”
-“how to apply mascara to look like falsies”
-“perfect eyebrows”
-“how to contour your face”
-“how to use drug store products to get the perfect nude lips”
-and “best smokey eye tutorial ever” (I also threw in my best attempt at a duck face for you)
The fourth and last photo is pretty much how I apply my makeup if I’m going to put any on for the day.

All of those pictures give off a different impression.  You gather different assumptions of the girl you see based off of what her makeup is like.  And honestly, I don’t think I look that “beautiful” when I try to follow the beauty rules for looking perfect.  Because in reality, beauty isn’t about looking the same.  Beauty is found in the things that make us different.

Your beauty is your personality expressed through your style. It’s your joy that shines through your smile.  It’s your heart shown through the expressions on your face.  It’s your freckles, your round cheeks, your high cheekbones, your deep brown eyes.   It’s not your makeup.

Experiment with eye shadows, play up your cheeks with a bright pop of color, curl your hair into the latest hollywood style, get some fun highlights or a dramatic haircut, but don’t lose sight of the fact that these things are designed to accent the beauty you were born with, not to morph your image into an artificial copy of what media is showing us. My suggestion is to try going a week without make up. Maybe even two. Then look up youtube tutorials on how to use make up for a “natural” look.  You’d be surprised how comfortable less makeup can be.

When it comes to beauty products, less really is more.  Don’t buy into the idea that you need to “put on your face” in the morning.  Your face is already there.  Makeup should not be used as a means to hide your “flaws” or make your face look like everyone else’s. It should be used as a way to showcase your beautiful blue eyes, your gorgeous cheekbones, your edgy style, or your bubbly personality.  Don’t use it to “make yourself pretty” because beauty products aren’t what makes you pretty.  You’re already stunning as it is.

Bonus:  In my attempts to wash off the heavily caked makeup in the third picture, I splashed water on my face like a neutrogena commercial then blinked a couple times… and this is the result I got.    Less make up = less runny mascara when you cry
photo 4