Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fresh Faced

I have recently made the decision to eliminate many things in my life that are unnecessary uses of my time, energy, and money. To start with, I've dramatically cut back on makeup. 

I'm not sure why I've ever been dependent on makeup to feel beautiful. I have a dad who has told me I'm beautiful for as long as I remember, and it never depended on makeup. Now that I'm happily married, I hear it from David even more often. At first I thought he was complimenting my beauty at the strangest times: When I'm just waking up, completely without makeup, or when I've been in a hurry and hadn't put much makeup on. Hmmm, correlation?

In High school, when I started regularly wearing foundation and lots of heavy concealers for "problems" I found with my skin like dark circles under my eyes and redness around my cheeks/nose, my face just got oily and caked, and I started breaking out. The problem areas didn’t go away; they were just slightly masked, at the expense of my skin’s over-all health.

A few years ago while I was single and in college, I broke my foot and had no health insurance. I was spending a lot of time in prayer, asking God to help my foot heal without a possibly-necessary surgery to realign the bones, which would have bankrupted me at 22. I was on crutches for three months. During that time my left leg, being completely unused, atrophied into an unshapely, saggy stick. I was self-conscious and frustrated, feeling sorry for myself. I don't really know exactly why, but I felt led to fast from makeup during that time. By fast I mean literally give up wearing any makeup for 40 days. It was difficult for me because I was already feeling less-than-beautiful as a gimp with one shrunken leg, and now I would be making myself more vulnerable with a naked face and no boyfriend or husband to tell me I'm still pretty. 

I made it through the fast—though I may have cheated a few times for special events—and at the end my doctor cleared me to bear weight again, since my foot had healed itself. God totally answered my prayer, but He also made me a little less vain, and a little more comfortable with my natural appearance.

With how little makeup can you go through a day and feel comfortable in your own skin? 

With how little primping can you still feel pretty in a totally natural, real way? 

How much of your confidence is dependent on a painted face? You’ll never really know until you take off the paint.

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