THE STRENGTH BEHIND EVERY SHADE
I can still remember the time my father bought me some make up essentials way back after college. From lipstick with various glosses – light to dark red, palettes and blush on. That particular cosmetic store was new in our city back then and people were most likely to visit it as it offers wide array of beauty products. My father didn’t hesitate buying it because the store sells their product at a lower and reasonable price. This wasn’t my first time adoring make-ups. During my elementary years, I owned my very first pressed powder. I could still visualize my mom’s facial expression when I used it, like it was so not normal for my age to be using pressed powder at all. Little did I know, make-up and these cosmetic products will be my source of strength in fighting against depression and bullying.
In 2009, I gave birth to my son. There were some noticeable changes in my body including my face. Normally, when a woman gives birth, she gains weight and loosing will probably take time. That wasn’t the case with me, I immediately lost my pregnancy weight, though my breasts went saggy and dark lines like linea negra, took a while before it slowly vanished. As a new mommy, my son became my new priority. Even my parents’ attention switched to our new member without any hesitation. It was all good but deep inside it wasn’t. Before I gave birth, I had a lot of insecurities and I’ve tried fighting against it. Few people knew, including my mother, whom I’ve never expected to have knowledge on what I was going through. I get unknown SMS and calls, even social media posts from different people who were trying to bring me down and totally made my life miserable.
Until one day, I finally knew who they were. That chapter in my life hits me the most. I asked myself a hundred times – “What is wrong with me?” A very simple question, yet it took me years to find an answer. Even with my son’s presence, the bullying didn’t stop. They deliberately posted photos bragging about how they look on their night outs or getaways, while I’m stuck at home and basically can’t do anything about it. They kept telling me that my son doesn’t resemble me because I am short and dark-skinned unlike him. This might seem just like any other woman’s issue, but it made me feel so depressed. I admit, it took years to get over it but slowly, I started figuring out where to begin, what armor to use and how to be whole again. Although my mom didn’t tell me, she knew exactly what I was going through. She even had to buy me a set of facial treatment package that was quite expensive, so my face will lighten up and asked her sister who’s working abroad, to send something called a ‘magic cream’ to help eliminate or remove dark spots on my neck, stomach and legs.
Support comes in so many ways and there I found myself loving the abundance of make ups I receive from my loved ones. I feel good using it. It makes me feel confident. Every time I feel bad, I cover myself with it, like a shield and it definitely wipes away all my sadness and tears. The girl I saw in the mirror, with sadness on her face, is now smiling confidently head up high. It sounds crazy but that is how it works for me, even until now. We all have different coping mechanisms and this is where I found strength which helps me fight and move on with life.
For years now, I practiced enhancing myself with the use of other make ups through video tutorials, reading articles and reviews about cosmetics, preferably by reliable artists, bloggers and other users. It widens my knowledge and even skills especially in applying the right stroke of brushes to use for every make ups. Even buying costly yet quality products are now considered, because most of these lasts longer and does not damages or irritates my skin.
For mothers out there, we face a challenge in getting a ‘me’ time, as we are all busy with taking care of our children. We must not forget to take a break. Let’s pamper ourselves by visiting our nearest spa and salon. It is a reward you can give to yourself for doing the most valuable job in the world. For those who are applying for jobs or work that requires assisting customers physically, we all know that these types of job requires a pleasing personality. Pleasing personality may mean well-groomed, cheerful and for other companies, it may mean good looking. So wearing light and simple will absolutely help. As an event host, I always make sure that I am wearing the appropriate make-up that matches my ensemble. This gives me more command on stage and definitely catches my guests’ attention.
Just like a person who needs another, make-ups are not just something I wear, it’s a tool I use to hide my negative feelings and reveals the better version of me. With it, I learned to love myself, gave myself more importance and confidence.
The world is cruel sometimes and we all have the power to control those who wants to drag us down. Today, I declare a toast to my fellow make up addicts, for staying longer in front of the mirror! Cheers and keep on slaying! Always remember that there will always be a lot of Snow White’s evil stepmother in this world who’s watching and asking “who is the fairest of them all.” 🙂
Photos : @ianorbs photography