Be Happy. Be Kind. Be Lovely.

Makeup is amazing. It can camouflage, enhance and create just about any look you want to achieve. However, it is pretty superficial. At the end of the day, you wash your face and all of the makeup washes away to leave you with what you naturally have which is what I think you have to be completely comfortable with to truly wear your makeup well.

This past year I have been on an enlightenment journey taking time to explore the real me and get comfortable with that. I joined a local yoga studio and seriously committed to getting to know myself from the inside out. My doctor recommended the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay and it changed my life. One of the exercises recommended in the book is to look yourself in the eye (using a mirror of course) and repeating positive affirmations to yourself. She makes note that many of her clients when asked to do this simply can’t. They don’t like what they see and they can’t look at themselves. I took on this exercise thinking “I don’t have a problem looking at myself, I do it every day” but when it came time for me to look directly into my own eyes I found myself truly struggling. I discovered that although I look at my face in the mirror every day, multiple times per day, I don’t actually look at my face and features.

Patrice-day-makeup
Me with makeup.

Louise Hay says that you must love yourself in order to start healing your life. I didn’t necessarily hate myself or dislike myself but the more I tried this exercise, the more I discovered that I didn’t exactly love myself either. I think what I had been experiencing was just settling for “this is me, so what.” I didn’t love or hate what I saw or who I was, I just simply didn’t really care that much. I wasn’t proud of myself for anything in particular and it showed.

Going back to the mirror, I decided I wanted to trace each feature of my face with my eyes. After washing my face, I looked up and decided that what I saw was not only beautiful but unique to me. I noticed that my once black/brown eyes had started to lighten to a gold-flecked green, that my jaw-line was just like my grandmother’s and that my skin was taught and naturally flushed. Most of the time when I am looking in the mirror to put on makeup, I just flutter over everything with the routine of the application not noticing the individual features that make me, me.

Patrice-no-makeup-
I took this shot just after I washed my face to get ready for bed. Pardon the pj’s.

 

So I put together my own mantra that I started repeating to myself “I am beautiful. I am unique and I want to be a positive force in the world.” Soon I wasn’t just looking at my own face in a different and more positive light, but I was beginning to recognize all the beauty around me. I feel 100% more confident in myself and find that I criticize myself and others less as a result of this exercise.

Have you been feeling in a rut or like something needs to change in your life? I highly recommend starting with a fresh face and looking in the mirror. Take the time to get to know the real you and love who that is inside and out. Come up with a mantra that works best for you and soon people will be stopping you everywhere saying “what are you doing? you look great!” And although you might be rocking some new red lipstick, the real change is that you are loving yourself. When you love yourself, you can shine and light up a world that can look pretty dingy and bleak at times.

Want to take the challenge? Wash that beautiful face, look in the mirror and give yourself some love. Tell me how it goes: tag your photos with #LovelyandReal.

 

 

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