Seventh grade was the first time that I put makeup on to go to school. It was only mascara and I didn’t even know that there were any “beauty rules” to follow when applying makeup; I just tried to mimic my mom. Even though I ended up poking my eyes a couple of times and I had a smudged black streak left under my eye, I was overall happy with the result and strutted off to school.
As I walked into the middle school hallway, I became a victim of the fishbowl effect: I swore that everyone was looking at me and my new eyelashes. It seems silly, but I remember very clearly feeling self-conscious about wearing mascara around my classmates and especially around the top dogs of the school… you know, the 8th graders. I was very shy growing up, so anything that would draw attention to me was a big no-no. However, other girls in my class had started to wear mascara and experiment with different eye shadows. For some reason, this shy girl wanted to jump on the bandwagon and try it out for herself.
To put this into context a bit, before seventh grade, I didn’t care what I looked like or what I wore; my hair was usually in a pony tail, I didn’t own makeup and I wore whatever was seasonally appropriate. Like every kid should! The only thing that I cared about was horses. If I wasn’t out in the barn feeding my friends horses (we didn’t own any at the time), I was reading about horses. That’s how much I “cared” about makeup. I didn’t care. So when I went to school intentionally wearing mascara, it was a big deal for me! The world is small when you’re in seventh grade.
Looking back now, what a beautiful thing; not caring about what I looked like and just being me. That’s what’s so amazing about children, they remind us of the innocent creativity that we can each find in any moment. They remind us to see the joy in a rainbow or the beauty in a butterfly.
Despite all of this, we all go through middle school and high school for a reason though. It’s awkward; a time for growing up, experimenting and figuring ourselves out. If only we were able to remember to take that child-like creativity with us through every stage of life; to not take things so seriously and enjoy things for what they are in the moment. Just beautiful colors, fun, and pure joy. Now that I’m older, I feel like I’m starting to return to that place; that sense of being ok with just being me – it’s nice to find that balance of caring about my appearance, while also not caring about any judgements that I might perceive from others towards me. I’m learning how to bring back that beautiful careless creativity back into my life. Each of us will take a different path, but I think for most of us our twenties is about figuring that out and it is so freeing!
High school was the time when I really started to dive into the makeup world. I was fascinated with how makeup can change someone’s appearance or how it can accentuate different features. I began watching YouTube tutorials, teaching myself different techniques and how to correctly apply makeup: the order of application, the quality of certain brands, and techniques for applying makeup to different face shapes and color tones. I remember the time my friends and I made the trek from our small hometown in the mountains to Denver for a day in the city. We went to the Cherry Creek Mall for a couple of hours on the trip and I spent more than half of that time in Sephora. I swear the moment I walked through those double doors to the land of Urban Decay and Nars there was a full chorus singing “Hallelujah!!!” Ya… my friends never went with me to the mall again. Haha.
Fast forward to my wedding day on June 30, 2018 (one of the best days ever), I happily did the makeup for myself and a couple of my bridesmaids. Although, if I could do it over again I would have hired someone to do my makeup for times-sake only. My life never took the path of beauty school or working in the industry (at least not yet), but nevertheless, I LOVE applying makeup on people to accentuate their unique features. I love playing with all of the different colors and shades that the beauty world has to offer. Doing that for myself and the girls in my wedding was a really special moment for me.
In high school and college, I was more eager to try every product available whether it be drugstore or high end. I wanted to experiment with all of them! Since then, my focus has shifted a bit though. I have more days without makeup than I used to and the quality of products matter more to me than the variety of shades the brand has available. I’ve learned that what I put on my skin affects the rest of my body in some way so ingredients have become extremely important. Exploring vegan products (or chemical and cruelty free) has been of great interest to me. How long-wearing and waterproof a product is has also become essential; I’m a working mom and I don’t have time to re-apply. Instead of “focusing” on covering up and creating beauty, I enjoy accentuating the features that I’ve been given. Less is more.
As I have entered into each new phase of life, what I want in life has become much more complex than it used to be when I was in high school. I still love getting creative and sassy with a cat eye as I get ready for a girls night out or date night with my husband (especially since lately our schedule has made those few and far between), but my overall goals in life have shifted as they should. Beauty never stops at the length of your lashes or the highlight bouncing off of your cheekbones. Although, BECCA and Hourglass… you did good. Instead, I want to emotionally work through the traumas that I have experienced not only so that I can grow and move on, but also to help others if they face similar odds. I want to be the best partner I can be in my marriage; we’re working on #powercouple status. There are so many things that I want to accomplish in this life, but one of the most important is growing and becoming the best mom that I can be so that I can help raise Lila to become a creative, courageous, bright, compassionate, and independent woman.
If I want to accomplish all of the things I strive for in this life, I need to be healthy. Healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically! It’s about taking the time to work through past traumas and present insecurities, practicing empathy and compassion on a daily basis, pursuing passions, and exercising/fueling my body so that I can be around for the many milestones this life will give me. It’s about finding what makes you thrive and living it! … that right there. THAT is beautiful. Makeup can just make it a little more fun along the way – at least for me it does.
As I mentioned in my first blog post ever, I want this blog to be about different things. All of the different things that I enjoy in life. All of the things that make me thrive. Among other things, I want to explore the beauty world through this blog, while also recognizing most importantly that beauty comes from within. Yes, there will be product reviews and ideas for random acts of kindness all in the same blog simply because beauty in all of its forms is something that I am passionate about. I hope what I share will inspire you to find what makes you thrive too.
We are all a work in progress, but the important thing is that we are constantly striving towards becoming the best version of ourselves: mentally, emotionally, spiritually (whatever that means for you), and physically. Forget perfection, I’m on the journey of progress.
Being the best version of you; now that is true beauty.