Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Okay with That

New corporate headshot by Ken Walton

It's been about nine months since I had a stranger tell me all the things I could fix on my face, so the sting has mostly worn off. I spent a great deal of time ignoring it and reminding myself that it didn't matter, but after unleashing the story onto my husband last week, I realized that nine months later, it still matters to me. Afterward, he said, "That could be a blog post," so here I am.

Last April, I stood beside one of my best friends as she said "I do" to a fantastic guy. Earlier that morning, we bridesmaids went to the hotel's salon with Annie to get our hair and make-up done. My make-up is minimal and always the same, and I always do it myself. Even on my wedding day, I did my own make-up, but this time around, it was important to me to be with Annie and other girls to experience the day together. I felt apprehensive going into the appointment.

I was quick to explain to the make-up artist that as a Bare Minerals-wearing girl, I prefer neutral, natural-looking make-up. Nothing heavy, no bold eyeshadow colors, no false lashes, no lipstick, no brow filler. We were off to a good start, and then the words started spilling from her lips.

What kind of make-up do you use?
What do you wash your face with?
You need to get your eyebrows done.
Are you sure you don't want false eyelashes? You'll look so much better.
Have you noticed this on your cheek before?
Do you get facials?
You really should have a professional do your brows.
 Your lashes are so short.
What do you use to balance your skin tone?
Your eyes will look so washed out without false lashes.

It was exhausting listening to her recommend all the pricey beauty services and products I needed. I'm sure she was well-meaning, but it started to get really uncomfortable, and my only civil defense was to shut down. Ever so inconveniently, it seemed like the room would fall silent just as she was giving her next tip. Believe me when I say I wanted to shrivel up and die. Like many others, I'm great at discovering my own flaws, thank you very much!

I hated how I looked. The heavy foundation, the darkened eyebrows, and the opaque eyeshadow left me speechless. I was embarrassed to look like that in Annie's wedding photos. I didn't look like myself. It's no surprise that I took very few pictures that day.

I never mentioned any of this to a soul until my conversation last week with my husband, because a) how I felt about my looks was completely petty on a loved one's wedding day and b) I didn't want this story to be indicative of how I felt about the day overall. The sting wore off, but those words still got under my skin. I've wondered how that woman couldn't see the discomfort and humiliation unfolding before her very eyes, but that's neither here nor there.

Nine months later, this vlog by Alycia on her YouTube beauty channel gave me new perspective. (See first two minutes)

I realized that I don't have a problem with how I look. I felt embarrassed that someone else had a problem with how I look. Why did I let that bother me? Life is not that serious, and now I can't believe I actually let it get to me so deeply. I'm with Alycia. This is what I'm supposed to look like, and I'm okay with that! 

All that to say that no matter how many times a person gives an unsolicited dissection of your looks, remember that your aura, smile, humor, and confidence are what make you glow from the inside out.

Suck on that, false eyelashes. ;)


Gaby said...

great post lindsay! whenever i get my makeup professionally done i always end up washing off half of it. and funny story: on my wedding day my makeup artist was appalled that i hadn't plucked my eyebrows. she was even more shocked when i told her that i had forgotten to shave my legs and would need to do that before putting on my dress, ha!

Mae said...

Amen!!! LOVE this post!!!!

Sam said...

I've attempted fake eyelashes once & let's just say they do not work for me either! I agree - 'suck on that, fake eyelashes!' Hilarious!

Oh hello, Love said...

Love this, Lindsay. And you have such an absolutely fabulous smile!! When someone has such a beautiful heart and that glow, no need for obscene amounts of makeup. I'm glad you shared this story!

The Tiny Button said...

You are beautiful and within the 12 weddings I have been in, I have experienced the same thing. I too felt really remembered about it, I'm glad you wrote this post because there are probably several people who have had a similar situations. I love the positive attitude you bring about the situation and I hope to see you soon!!!! Miss ya!!!!

Kim said...

First of all, you are stunning. And natural beauty is incomparable to anything you could create by spending hours a day painting a new face on.

I think as a culture, we've come to admire makeup more than each individuals unique beauty--which is so, so sad.

Secondly, I had a very similar experience to yours. I caved to peer pressure for my best friends wedding and let the "professionals" do my makeup. They had me turned away from the mirror so I had no idea what was going on, but the two women in charge of making me wedding-picture ready kept saying how much I looked like Charlie Sheen's ex-wife.

So not the look I was going for.

When I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize myself AT ALL. I texted my boyfriend on the way to the ceremony to tell him I looked like a hooker. When he saw me, he laughed, agreed, but told me I looked like a "high priced" hooker. I guess that's a compliment? Anyhoo, every time I see my friend's wedding photos I cringe. Simple and understated, that's what I'm comfortable with, and that's the way I'll look henceforth.

Meg O. said...

I actually envy the fact that you are able to look so beautifully natural. My life would be a heck of a lot easier if I were more low maintenance. I realize that I could probably buy less makeup but I was not blessed with the best skin. Anyway, rock the natural look. I love it on you.

Kate said...

That's so crazy- you are always glowing in pictures! I can't believe that someone tried to tell you that you had to do a bunch of stuff to your face!

I really feel like that is the make it or break it quality in someone who works in the beauty industry- are they making you feel good about yourself, or are they tearing you down by pressuring you to buy a bunch of products and trying to get you to conform to what they think you should look like? When I was in middle school I used to get my eyebrows waxed by this lady- my skin would break out around where she would wax, and then when I would come in again she would pressure me to buy all this stuff to fix my skin! It was ridiculous, and looking back on it I don't know why I didn't stop going sooner. Silly middle school.

Amy G said...

Amen. God made us this way right? You are naturally beautiful and don't need all the makeup...or fake eyelashes...or professional services!

Betsy Transatlantically said...

this is amazing. you DO look beautiful, but regardless that woman sounds rude and inappropriate. I'm sorry you had a bad experience!

Alycia Grayce (Crowley Party) said...

LOVED THIS! :) Number one. I totally wear bare minerals as well! I think you are beautiful with your fresh face! I think people should do what they want to feel beautiful, and being natural is something I think every girl should feel confident doing, I mean, it is YOUR FACE! &it is only natural to let things get to you when you feel someone else has a negative opinion about you... but that is life and you just have to realize that all that matters is being happy with yourself :) LOVE YAH!

Autumn @ Autumn All Along said...

That lady probably isn't the best sales person if she doesn't work with what you have and what you like to get you more. I agree though, I love Alycia's video...she is so cute and I loved how she addressed it.

I think your look is beautiful and I LOVE your smile!

Darby Hawley said...

This is perfection. That fool had no idea what beauty queen she had sitting in front of her. Her LOSS!!!!

Emily said...

Great post! it is so easy to get lost in translation of what others say. I'm guilty as well. People have said stuff about me before that has eaten me to the core. I had to step back and realize that I am me. I do everything the way I want to, not to please others. That really helped!

Jess said...

YES. Best post.

Adam's sisters are very into glamourous hair & makeup and they always try to do me up when I'm with them. Adam (and me) hate it, lol. I don't mind them doing my hair, but I like to do my own makeup for sure.

You're beautiful just the way you are! Seriously...those fake lashes can suck it ;)


Allie @ Between Dreams said...

It's so silly to think that just because we choose not to wear pounds of make-up on our face, or fake eyelashes, or whatever it is... that we're suddenly deemed "not as beautiful". Or that we'd look "better" if we looked another way.

Every girl is beautiful just as they are. It's frustrating to hear that this one naive person had this sort of effect on you (I mean... how could hearing all that NOT effect you, you know?) when you're honestly one of THE most gorgeous girls I know.

I think it's awesome that you're so candid about it, like you are with everything you approach here :) Love it. Keep rockin' out, you're doing a fabulous job.

Meghan said...

The make-up artist sounds awful. I'm with you - I usually hate getting my make-up done, especially when it's too heavy. You are a gorgeous girl and I am so glad you can see that:) Make-up does not make us beautiful!

Nadine said...

I've never worn false eyelashes in my life. Something about putting glue right in your eye to add half a centimeter to your eyelashes just doesn't sit right with me. I'm sorry that you carried that around with you for so long. You should know (and I know you weren't fishing for compliments) but the very first time I found your blog I was in awe of how naturally beautiful you are. You can tell from your photos that you aren't a crazy makeup wearer and it's a beautiful thing. Keep your head up! Great headshot too!

Whitney said...

I'm totally with you girl! I've had people gasp at the fact that I only own one set of eyeshadow, and it's a natural colored set, mind you! I don't feel the need to slab on all of this stuff to make myself look better every day. You are gorgeous and I can't believe some woman had the balls to say that to you. She needs to examine herself! *fist bump*

Marissa said...

You are so gorgeous girl! True dat. I can lightly understand that in the "beauty" industry it's part of your job to inform & sell. But I think some women, who might have insecurities within, go to the extreme. I'm guessing this was the case here, b/c if she knew you like even 1/3 of some of us do, she'd be like, "OH mer gosh! Like, your hair is so long & beautiful. And you're skin is like so perfect. You look like a model." Fo shiz.

P.S. I love this corporate shot of you! #profesh

jami lynn said...

AMEN! The standard of what is beautiful today is completely bogus. We should all be embracing our natural beauty a bit more. IMO this chick should have been taking notes, you are gorgeous!

Unknown said...

So inspirational Lindsay! Love this post so much! I need to watch Alycia's vid when I'm not at work ;)
But, you are beautiful girl, and naturally gorgeous! I am similar to you. On my wedding day, I asked for nothing cakey, and told her to use my make up mostly. I was super happy with her work, but prob needed a touch up after that 8 hour day haha. But, I am totally with you on all of this. I barely wear make up to work!

Devon said...

I love this Lindsay! It is so important to let who you are on the inside shine through on the outside. Being natural is a part of who you are and that shouldn't be discouraged! I think you are beautiful!

Unknown said...

I was in a wedding in September and felt very much the same way. I don't like dark lipsticks and I don't like a lot of facial makeup. And don't even get me started on what the hairstylist did... Ugh. You tell it, girl!