Over the last couple of years, I’ve tried to articulate why I stopped using makeup for 2 and a half years. I’d struggled to put the right words on a page, but this changed recently. The answer came to me and you’ll be happy to know that I can answer it in one line; I stopped wearing makeup because God said that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I didn't believe Him.
I could leave things there, but as it’s me, I shall go on with my story. This journey began in January 2014. Technically, I’d been thinking about it since mid-2013, but I stopped wearing makeup in 2014. This meant bye bye to foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow, etc, etc, etc, all the way down to lip gloss and nail varnish. At the time I didn’t know whether this was a temporary measure or whether it was bye-bye to makeup for the rest of my life. I didn’t even know why I was doing it, I just knew that I felt that God was leading me to do it and I didn’t want to ignore Him any longer.
I won’t bore you with the emotional journey over those 2.5 years. It was a roller coaster of insecurity, confidence, anger, more insecurity, a circle back to confidence and then rinse and repeat. However, one day something changed in the cycle; I was in bed writing a letter to God and I found myself realising that the same God that created sunsets, so captivating that it causes people all across the world to pause in awe, made me. And not only did He make me, He says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
This was a profound moment for me. I’d spent my childhood years convinced that I was the ugly duckling in the family (except I didn’t think I’d become a beautiful swan one day) and in my teenage years I’d discovered makeup and self-confidence. I learnt how to tell myself that I was somewhat attractive. I didn’t need to wear makeup every day, but for special occasions, I could “put on the pretty” and even then I wasn’t going to be beautiful, but at least I was “decent”.
After 9 months of being forced to see myself exactly as I am, I saw that God doesn’t need my help to “put on the pretty”. He knew what He was doing when He made me. In fact, He didn’t just make me, He designed me and the results of His work was His intentional purpose. So I’m more than pretty, I’m the artwork of the Almighty God. No matter what society might say about me or even what I might sometimes say about myself; I am beautiful. This was the day I went from self-confidence to God-confidence.
This might be a good point to clarify that I’m not of the belief that wearing makeup means that you won’t go to heaven or that you’re outside of God’s will. Saying that I do think it can be sinful to say to God that you need to help Him fix the way He made you. Simply put, God doesn’t make ugly.
Today, I can honestly say that I love myself without an ounce of makeup, extensions, modifications or additions. It's my favourite version of me. It didn’t happen overnight and it wouldn’t have been possible without the grace of God, but it happened. Oddly enough, in order for me to truly learn this lesson I had to start wearing makeup again, but that’s a story for another day. Today I just want to share with you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. As are you.