I am not really good with makeup. I can’t put eyeshadow on properly. It’s one of those things that looks so easy, but I’d rather use my non-dominant hand to paint nail polish on the other a thousand times before I try eyeshadow again. I know what contouring is… by dictionary definition… and that’s where our relationship ends. I own the same foundation bottle I bought from three years ago because I don’t use it too often (wait, do those things expire?). I’ve never worn false lashes because, well, you remember when I tried? Regardless of my lack of technical know-how, my lipstick + mascara + foundation/powder minimal look is pretty solid. Last year, I barely walked out of my house without it! But when I reached a point where I started to feel very ordinary or unfinished without makeup I knew I had to revise things.

 

So, I made two goals early this year: first, have the grace to embrace or accept what you cannot change.  Second, take care of yourself. Basically, my journey to “(Waking) up flawless” and other things Beyoncé. Here’s how it went:

Embrace your flaws or things you cannot change:

This was the harder part. I knew I had to do some extremes to get me here, and I won’t deny that it is still a work in progress. It involved diving straight into the uncomfortable deep end, until I began to realize it wasn’t even that deep (See what I did there?). It’s basically staring at your flaws, and finding them okay.

What makes you uncomfortable with your flaws is how the world and its standards of beauty or normality sees it. So maybe this weird example might help: Imagine everyone in this world was born with four arms, and just a few people were “abnormally” born with two arms(as we know), they’d call those flaws, right? Like I said that was a weird example. Well, it’s the same thing, more or less, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And in your case you should be the only  ‘beholder” you give a damn about. You need to create new standards, show the world that even flaws are beautiful too. But before you do that for the world, do it to yourself first, because it’s your acceptance that matters the most, and maybe the better advice is to love yourself even if, and especially when, the world doesn’t.

 

 Enhance/Take care of yourself

Caring for my body meant proper diet, regular exercising, finding and sticking to products that work for my skin, and keeping a simple or minimalistic approach to skin care.

The first part of this involved some proper damage control. Since I was beginning to feel naked and not so beautiful without makeup, I decided to switch the roles around by going days and weeks without any makeup. Just me and the ever versatile, Shea butter(seriously you can use this thing a thousand ways!). I followed this new rule so strictly that it got to a point where putting on makeup became the chore. Most of my mascara tubes dried out halfway through the year and I’m proud to say a lipstick addict like myself, has not purchased any lipstick all 11 months of this year*, not even with the number of M.A.C gift cards I got for my birthday(saving those for a rainy day). This practice of going fresh faced over made up face lasted until I came to keenly prefer the former over the latter, as so! It’s important to mention that I know many people who use makeup as a form of self expression and not because they are uncomfortable with their bare face. They are still comfortable in their skin and merely use makeup like anyone who loves to do their favorite thing. I am all for this, I am just saying that I was hiding behind mine as opposed to saying, “look at what this hue of pink looks like against my skin” and it is why I decided to reassess. I wasn’t completely kicking makeup out, I just wanted to pay more attention to my natural look. The benefits of doing this are endless, for one thing, instead of constantly hiding behind a wall of makeup, I could now attentively treat my skin.

Armenyl's make up faves: Two Faced Better than sex Mascara. YSL lipsticks rouge our couture, L'oreal, Riri hearts MAC limited edition lipstick, lip balm, RImmel Kate

Tips and Applications

Maintaining moisture:

Keeping yourself hydrated especially during this dry and cold season is important. Drinking lots of water and eating foods rich in fatty acids like avocados is super helpful. Now, I know drinking 8 glasses of water a day is not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a struggle sometimes for me too! Although, it wasn’t much of a problem in France because whenever I got lost with the french conversation at dinner, I’d drink lots of water at the table so I have something to do and I disguise my awkwardness. lol Sounds pathetic, but it actually worked. The good habit has died since I got back to the states, but I’ve been trying some helpful tips I read on the internet to help me me drink more water including Lauren Conrad’s rule to drink a liter of water before each meal. You don’t neccessarily have to drink 8 glasses of water a day, just keep yourself hydrated and opt for water instead of sugary drinks like soda.

As far as products I used on my skin, I tried out things like oil cleansing, and stuck to body washes that weren’t drying. My advice  is to find what works for you and stick to it. I believe in a simplistic approach to skin care and I don’t like to overburden my skin with a thousand products. I try not to overdo anything: I use my favorite masks and special products on a need basis only and exfoliate maybe once or twice a week with natural scrubs.

Clean eating and (regular) exercising:

I painfully cut out fast foods and soda from my diet, and I attempted to stick to a more balanced diet. Committing to exercising regularly was the hard part for me, so I tried fun exercises like Zumba to keep me interested. I also really love taking walks, so whenever I had the chance I’d take walks and then speed walk back to my starting point.

Results

All around, I am really glad I did this exercise. It really helped me pay more attention to my well-being and understand my body better. I am now always checking the ingredients behind products I purchase, and opting for products with more natural ingredients. I also noticed clearer, brighter, supple skin, and I can now usually tell how best to treat my skin when I develop reactions or blemishes. I am still learning to love the skin I’m in, and I encourage all of you to try this!

If you guys have any tips or ideas about skin and haircare or how to achieve the kind of  Flawless Beyonce was talking about in her song, I would love to hear them! Please share them in the comment box below xo!

*This was no longer the case after November 29th when I found out some MAC stores still carried some of The Rocky Horror Lipsticks. So close! lol

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