Judgment and negativity come easy to not only me but I believe most people. I spent a very large portion of my life seeing the dark in people before the light, searching for their flaws if only to feel that much better about myself. I had put up a barricade of judgment that I learned to hide behind; I was literally sheltering myself from the beauty all around us. I was so insecure that I wanted to only see the ugliness in people, I had convinced myself that everyone knew they were good looking and I wanted to be the one person who didn’t, just to – if for only a moment – make them feel as small and ugly as I felt about myself. But then I started doing makeup. The craft I had originally learned in order to hide my own ugliness ended up becoming the journey that led me to finally seeing the true beauty in everyone. Ironic huh?
Thankfully by the time I had made makeup a career I wasn’t nearly as miserable inside as I had once been (I smiled more…and it was authentic smiles, not the sarcastic smiles my friends were accustomed too.) I was on the right path. Visualize me a few steps past my barricade, I started running away from that barricade after my second client. The actress I was doing makeup on was gorgeous, not like cookie cutter everyday pretty, I mean seriously gorgeous. The kind of girl I would have hated just months prior. I remember her just being so terrified, so nervous, so insecure and I couldn’t understand why. She had perfect bone structure, big sparkling eyes, lips that would even make Angeline Jolie jealous and she couldn’t see any of it when she looked in the mirror. The nice caring nurturing part of me that I tended to shove down deep was crying out to help her, and so I did. I started commenting on how gorgeous every part of her face was as I applied the makeup, “this eye shadow really makes your eyes pop,” “This lip gloss really accentuates your full lips.” With every compliment I could see her getting more confident, happier and somehow, someway, so was I.
The most remarkable realization to me was I wasn’t just saying these things to make her feel better, I was already thinking them. I was just so used to never paying people compliments when it came to how they looked that I never knew it could make me feel so good to say them. From that day on I made a point to always comment on the things I felt were beautiful on my client, things I’d always seen but had chosen to ignore. The more I let myself see people for who they truly were in all of their beauty, the more I started to see my own. DUH MALIA! GEEZ!
Honestly now I can say if there is one thing I excel most at, it’s giving AWESOME compliments. I mean seriously, I can make you feel super awesome about yourself and I freakin’ LOVE doing it! Who would have thought that the angry pissed off punk girl would now get her kicks by bringing people up instead of tearing them down. I get so much excitement when I apply an eye shadow that just makes your eyes shine like ornaments, or a blush and contour job that makes your cheek bones pop off your face like a damn ad in Vogue. I see the beauty in everything and everyone now and am a better person because of it.
10 years ago I would have never believed I would end up making a living by enhancing people’s already existing beauty. To me this just proves that everything happens for a reason and that we are all always capable of becoming better and more loving human beings. I’m pretty sure Alanis Morisette nailed it in her infamous lyrics, “Isn’t it ironic.”
Preach on Alanis, preach on.