Beauty, Community, Lifestyle, Motivation, Opinions, Thoughts of a Black Girl, Urban Issues

Confidence Is Skin Deep

From adolescence, women are taught that beauty is vital. It’s attractive and the key to gaining a man’s attention, but what about confidence? Whether it’s on television, radio, magazines or social media, we are subconsciously reminded that beauty is heavily based upon the external. While most of us may be saying, “I’m confident with or without makeup”, but we all know there has been a point in time where we’ve felt the complete opposite.

Other than a pasty complexion, I take pride in a fresh face because it is all natural. Based on my past experiences, every person I’ve ever been involved with has either said they prefer me without makeup or I don’t need it. Although that isn’t enough to cease my cosmetic application completely, there is something liberating that comes along with wanting to wear makeup, but not needing to. During the recovery period from one of the biggest allergic reactions I’ve ever experienced, I had epiphany and realized my self confidence was at the lowest it has ever been.

I’ve never had acne or problematic skin, so acquiring contact dermatitis from a cosmetic product that I’ve been using for the last (5) years gave me the opportunity to empathize with those who do. ¬†Who knew that having red spots on your face could affect how you felt about yourself overall? Regardless if they are temporary, the biggest issue was that I was uncomfortable because I’ve never experienced this before.

Even though this was a new feeling, I am a grateful for what I endured because it made me realize that I also had superior confidence within myself when everything was normal, but my self-esteem was questioned upon signs of trouble. I also learned that we tend to make things greater than what they are due to being self-conscious. Either people didn’t notice or my imperfections were insignificant because it did not prevent them looking or coming up and speaking to me. This was a clear indication that I was overthinking the entire situation and that I started relying on my exterior versus what I have to offer from within. This is no excuse, but it’s easier said than done when you are constantly reminded of your outer beauty.

This is why I encourage makeup free days for those who are uncomfortable without makeup. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with your reflection when you look in the mirror. I feel blessed to have self confidence with or without makeup, but I’m also thankful that I had this recent experience because it displayed my true self, gave me more confidence because it reminded me that I am more than my aesthetics and humbled me. The moment you’re able to feel as good as you do as you look on the outside, it’s like you become a whole new woman.

#MustKnow, Beauty, Education, Featured, Health, Lifestyle, Opinions, Style, TheMBG, Thoughts of a Black Girl, Uncategorized, Urban Issues

Fresh Faced

Tomorrow marks the final day of my makeup detox and I must say that I see a significant difference in my skin. Although I absolutely enjoy being dolled up, I usually take pride in my, “Fresh Faced” days. Disciplining myself to go makeup free for an entire week was a slight challenge this go around because I am still recovering from the allergic reaction that I experienced about a month ago. I was so determined to stick to this detox that in the event that I had to run an errand or leave the house, I wore a medical mask to cover the areas from the sun (oddly enough, I still got hit on and approached, but that’s for another blog post lol).

This detox has allowed me to pinpoint certain products and ingredients that don’t agree with my skin and also served as an example for what happens when wearing makeup excessively. Typically, the longest I’d wear makeup is around eight hours, but between relocating within the last two weeks and entertaining guests that were in town, I wore makeup for thirteen hours over the course of three consecutive days and the irritation that I experienced was a clear indicator that this wasn’t something my skin was accustomed to. Initially, I thought that I was building an allergy to my foundation, but quickly came to the conclusion that wearing it more than my regular regimen. Most are unaware of this, but a majority of skin allergies stem from products already introduced to the skin. For example, you could be using a facial cleanser for ten years and the eleventh year, have an adverse reaction to it.

If you’re a product junkie like myself, I suggest doing an at home patch test if you’re unaware of ingredients that don’t agree with your skin. The area on your inner wrist and forearm are the closest to the skin on your face. Apply a pea size amount of the new product (label if it’s more than one) and allow to sit for (24) hours. If you notice any signs of inflammation or bumps, that is a clear indication of an irritant. If you’d like to take it a step further, you can ask your physician if they offer medical patch tests at their office or to direct you to a physician that does. The process is quite similar, but instead of (24) hours, a patch test panel is taped to your back for (48) hours. They can test anything from makeup to latex to decipher what you are allergic to. Since I am constantly asked about skincare, I also recommend getting your blood type tested. Once your blood type is identified, you can obtain a list of foods and ingredients that aren’t suitable for it. This serves as a great way to clear your skin if you are experiencing problems, but as always, I advise everyone who seeks my advice to speak to a Dermatologist; they are not only professional, but have the access to tools and additional knowledge to conduct further research and can confirm if your skin concerns are dietary, hormonally or cosmetically related.

Aside from giving your skin a breather, I encourage all cosmetic lovers to indulge in a makeup detox. My face is brighter, more even and supple. Not only is it great for your skin, but it helps fuel your self confidence if your suffer with insecurities of going bare. There is something empowering about not wearing makeup and living in your natural truth. For those of you who aren’t as comfortable going makeup free, this is a great way to start. As aesthetically pleasing as you may be externally, remember that beauty fades and at the end of the day, YOU have to be ok with what you see in the mirror when you wake up in the morning, so love yourself wholeheartedly; imperfections and all.