Fresh Face: Be you, be natural.

“I believe that the happiest girls are the prettiest girls.”

-Audrey Hepburn


Makeup was never something I got into. I think part of it has to do with the extra time that it would take to put it on (who wants to get up an extra ten minutes earlier anyway?) and take it off, but the main reason goes deeper than that.

When I hit middle school, all of the sudden, almost everyone started wearing makeup. Now, when I was in 7th grade, I still looked like a 5th grader, so it would have been weird for such a scrawny and young looking girl to start smudging on the eyeliner or applying the mascara. It might have made me fit in with everyone else, but it definitely wouldn’t have made me fit in with myself and who I was at the time. I would have created the sad evidence of a girl trying too hard to grow up too fast. I decided that I wasn’t going to try to “catch up” with my classmates. As a result, they looked older, and I looked younger, but I was okay with that.

The biggest reason why I decided that I didn’t want makeup to become part of my daily routine was because of this: Makeup becomes a part of a girl’s daily uniform…her identity. It seems like makeup is one of those things that once you start, you can’t stop. When makeup becomes a part of your daily look, it’s the way that people picture you; they get used to seeing you at your best ALL the time. If you have one of those days where you oversleep, and you rush to your 8am, and you don’t have the time to “put your face on”, people are surprised to see your untouched and natural face. We all the sudden appear to look less put together and even more tired to everyone around us. It makes me sad to think that girls (no matter how slightly) revise their natural appearance on a regular basis. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t look nice! I love dressing up, and putting on a cute outfits makes me feel good and increases my confidence. But what I am saying is that I don’t want you to find your confidence in your makeup. I don’t want makeup to be a crutch. It seems like these days there are so many girls who refuse to leave the house without makeup, even if it makes them late for their destination. Why should we feel naked with our natural face? It just doesn’t make sense.

God designed you with a creative look. He crafted your face to be different, and the things that you might view as flaws may very well be the things He added to give you that unique edge; to set you apart and make you an individual. I think that makeup is a great thing. Makeup is a fun way to give yourself slightly different look every single day. Makeup is a tool that we can use to boost our confidence or make us feel more grown up, so we will apply it before a job interview, or when we go to a wedding. I think it’s absolutely fine for people to wear makeup! What I do NOT want is for you to become dependent on it. I never want any girl to reach the point where they feel apologetic for their appearance without makeup. Makeup should be a confidence booster, not a confidence creator. If you can wear makeup every day, and you can still leave your room without feeling self-conscious without it, then go ahead and rock the makeup! But the second that you feel hesitant or self-conscious without your makeup, that’s when I want you to start thinking about the way you might be using it as a crutch. Makeup is not your identity. Makeup is a fun way to add to the identity you want to create for the day, but it should not define who you are. Have you ever noticed that there are some girls who will pile on the makeup to the extent that it covers up their features instead of enhancing who they are? If you like to wear makeup, go ahead and play up those beautiful hazel eyes with some mascara! Do you have amazing full lips? Go ahead and slide on a colorful lip stain and show them off! Rock what God gave you! Just make sure that you’re playing it up, not covering it up. If you already have a flawless complexion, then don’t put on copious amounts of foundation. If you have adorable freckles, don’t try to hide them under layers of concealer. If you use make up, use it to bring out the natural beauty that you already have, and don’t try to create a face that you don’t have. Dark liner can be awesome for a night out with the girls, but do you really need to rock it on a daily basis? Let makeup boost your natural beauty, not hide it! Let it up your confidence, not create it!

I knew from the start that if makeup became a daily routine of mine, I would feel self-conscious when I went without it. When people think of Kelly Doles, I want my natural, untouched face to come into their mind, not some “enhanced” version of it. It’s so easy for us to go be under the impression that we have to have this perfect, airbrushed looking face, complete with bright wide eyes, full lips, long and dark lashes, defined eyebrows that are perfectly arched, and flawless glowing skin. I mean, that’s what we see every single day on the magazine covers, right? We start to hold such high expectations for ourselves, that we believe that is what everyone else around us expects. Break those expectations. The more girls who are okay with accepting “imperfection”, the easier it is for everyone else to feel confident with a fresh face.

I was blessed to grow up in a home where my mom set the standards of confidence for me. My mom only ever wears makeup on special occasions. Seeing my mom on a daily basis (without her makeup), I never once thought “Oh, she looks old”, or “Oh wow, she looks tired”…no. What I did think was, “She looks natural. She looks real.” I had evidence that someone could be beautiful without being airbrushed. Since I am adjusted to seeing a woman without makeup on a regular basis, THAT became the standard of beauty for me…not the image of an expensively airbrushed model on a magazine. I didn’t live with that airbrushed and revised woman. I lived with a natural woman, and one who found her confidence in loving who she was naturally. I remember when I was little, I was going on a tangent of beautiful princesses and Barbies that I wanted to look like when I grew up, and my dad told me, “Well I married your mom, and she is the most beautiful girl in the world.” She is not only beautiful on the outside, but she is beautiful because she finds her confidence in who she is naturally, and she doesn’t use makeup as a crutch to create that confidence. She taught me to stand up straight, have good hygiene, look people in the eyes, address people with their names, have good manners, dress appropriately for the occasion, and treat people with kindness and respect. Those are the things that give me my confidence; not the “perfect” appearance, or the “ideal” face.

I take this into my life wherever I go. I don’t want to become accustomed to wearing makeup on a daily basis and have my sister, my cousins, and the little girls I babysit think that they should put on makeup everyday. I NEVER want one of the girls who I babysit to think, “Well, if Kelly’s a grown up, and she wears makeup every single day, then that’s probably what I should do when I grow up.” Little girls are so malleable; so easily influenced. I want them to pick up on the way that I treat them, and the way that I carry myself. I want them to think, “Kelly looks into my eyes when she talks to me, and she calls me by my name. I want to do that when I talk to people.” These things might not be at the very front of a child’s brain, but they subtly pick up on so many things that we are unaware of. I want to set those kinds of standards for the people who look up to me, not standards that they are already receiving from the media. I want them to see someone who is okay with going about their daily routine without mascara. If I have a blemish, I would rather have one of my little cousins say, “Kelly’s skin is not perfect”, rather than to think, “Kelly’s skin is perfect…mine should be perfect in the future too”. I want to be a picture of reality for the world, not an image of ideals…the world already has enough of that from the media. That message is already received by every single angle.

Be real. Be natural. I am not saying that you can’t wear makeup. I am not saying that makeup is bad. I am not saying that makeup should be banned. I am saying that makeup should not define you, and it should not create your concept of beauty. You are beautiful. I know that everyone denies this. We are our own harshest critics. I have days where I wake up in the morning, and my skin is a hot mess. I have days where I see the bags under my eyes as marks of imperfection and ugliness opposed to a badge of the hard work I put into studying a little extra for my midterm. We all have days where we feel less than perfect. If makeup genuinely makes you happier, then wear it! Makeup is fun, creative, and expressive! Neve feel guilty about expressing yourself! Wearing makeup has never been the problem, but when you start to let your makeup define you; now, that is a problem.

So please don’t be afraid of leaving the house without your BB cream. Don’t look down on your way to class as an attempt to hide the “nakedness” of your face on the days that you just didn’t have the time to slip on some mascara. Find your identity in being a daughter of God, not a product of cosmetics that imitates that model on the cover of your magazine. She doesn’t even look like that. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, with or without your makeup.


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