Skin Deep

I am taking a break from jail posts for a bit (while jail is a big part of my life, it isn’t my whole life!) because there some crazy lessons I have learned while going through normal days and navigating some holiday chaos lately.

A few weeks ago, Tim asked if I would want to take a class on how to do make up. I told him that I had done the make-over sessions at Sephora before, and have enjoyed those in the past, so he encouraged me to make an appointment so that he could go with me and watch how it all happens.

At first, I was VERY offended. What Tim was saying was, “Hey, I know this is something you like, and I have also heard you say you don’t really know what you are doing, so why don’t we go learn something new together?” What I HEARD was, “You look like crap. You have no idea what you are doing. Why don’t you go get some help with that.”

Thankfully, our communication skills have strengthened over the last 10 months of dating, so I was able to tell him how his suggestion made me feel, which gave him the opportunity to say what he was ACTUALLY saying and clear up any confusion. (We have avoided A LOT of conflict by stopping a conversation mid-sentence to clarify what the other one is trying to say. #therapistgoals)

So I made the appointment at a time when he could pick me up from jail so that we could go to Mall at Millennia together and do a little shopping and go to Sephora. When we walked in, I immediately started pointing out all of my favorite brands as I watched his eyes completely glaze over. I could tell he was overwhelmed but curious about how this was going to go down!

I met my make up artist, Terry Ann, who was a beautiful woman with a warm smile and an incredible gift for make up artistry. I told her a little bit about myself, my style, and what I wanted to learn during our time together. As she went to pick out the products, I cleaned the make up off of my face and looked at Tim with a sarcastic “what you see is what you get” face. He smiled, encouraged me to take a picture, and said, “I love you with or with out makeup. Have some fun with this.”

As Terry Ann started to show me how to clean my face, paint on a smoky eye, and create a clear face with contouring, we swapped some life stories and I looked over to Tim a lot to see how he was reacting. Was he bored? Was he expecting me to recreate this look on a regular basis? At one point I looked over to him and said, “Don’t get your hopes up. I won’t be looking like this every day.”

That sweet man smiled at me and said, “You are selling yourself short. Just enjoy it.”

At one point Terry Ann was talking me through how to play up my natural features, and I said, “I really love my lips”. Her response was, “Girl, you should love all of it!” She explained how make up works with the shape of my eyes and told me to embrace what I have, rather than try to hide the things I consider to be flaws.

When the session was done and it was time to go, Tim and I left Sephora hand in hand and he asked me how I felt. I rattled off some strung out sentence about the lightness of the make up and my lack of knowledge, and he interrupted me. “But how do you feel?”

I told him I felt good, but I was worried about being able to recreate this look at home. He just smiled, squeezed my hand, and said, “I don’t care about that. I just want you to enjoy it.”

I have learned so much about beauty since Tim and I started dating. While I know he loves it when I dress up and play up my girly side, I am also learning he truly does love me as I am and thinks I am attractive without alteration. Last year, I lost nearly 70 pounds thinking that I needed to lose weight for someone to love me. Since gaining some of that weight back, I have learned that someone loves me regardless of my size, and it is up to ME to believe in my own beauty, worth, and value regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.

I actually enjoy looking at this before and after photo collage. The picture on the left shows a tired, anxious woman who has picked at her face for some thirty years and had an unfortunate run in with an Igea Hair Trimmer during her sophomore year of college. The woman on the left is the exact same person. Her eyebrows are fuller, her cheekbones are contoured, and her lips are bright red, but she left the store as the exact same woman as she was when she walked in. She was loved, vulnerable, and ready to try something new.

I can’t wait to see what this woman does next – with or without perfect contouring.



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