Have you ever asked me why I do what I do only to be met with a vague summary from me? Since many people have asked, and because both Christians and non-Christians find what I do a little odd (as if a Christian in such a secular environment can’t possibly go well together for God’s glory), I thought it’d be a good idea to write it down.
For those who don’t know, I run my own makeup artistry business. And no, I’m not one of those people who calls themselves a makeup artist because they really love makeup and own, like, 27 brushes – although those things are certainly true of me! I hold 3 formal qualifications in makeup, am being constantly trained and educated, I have had my work commercially published and I work regularly on editorial shoots and weddings.
Beauty is my passion and makeup is the tool I use to achieve it. I love the creativity, the changing trends, the colours, the style, the individuality – all the things that make it exciting and wonderful. But those delights are built on a much more profound foundation:
1. God made us in His Image
As a Christian I believe what the bible says – that God made us in His own image (Gen. 1). He gifted us with infinite value, beauty and dignity because of the One we reflect – a perfectly holy, beautiful, and infinitely worthy God. He then dressed us with a body that He fashioned for us – a body that, despite the differences, defects or disabilities it may have (because of the introduction of sin in the world), has been entrusted to us for a God-given purpose.
I don’t speak from a place of ignorance on this topic; I was born with facial abnormalities, which lead to two decades of painful surgeries, misery, and isolation. I look totally different now, thanks to the hard work my dad did to fund the operations necessary to have me look like a normal person – but the difference in my face to everyone else’s does still bother me at times. Despite that though, I don’t begrudge God for having me born this way one bit – not in the least because it gives me a true appreciation for people and who they are on the inside, despite their appearance.
God had a purpose in mind for why I was born that way; is it so that I’d be interested in makeup as a tool to look beautiful? Which led to making creativity and beauty my passion? To give women the gift of joy that comes with looking and feeling fabulous? Who knows, maybe it’s all those things. Maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Either way, I’m excited to find out.
2. We deny our beauty
In society today, we’re told you are what you look like. Research has shown that if you’re attractive, you’re perceived as intelligent, trustworthy, capable, and kind. Conversely, unattractive people are seen as suspicious, rude, dull, and incompetent. This is most readily seen in school – kids don’t want to hang out with the ‘different’ or ‘weird’ looking kids. Bullying for them is a daily occurrence, and it’s not until they reach well into their adult life that they find some (but not total) relief.
The bombardment of pressure to look absolutely perfect corners us into an ever-increasing discontent about how we look, and a desire to look better all the time. But this isn’t driven by merely wanting to look nice or be well presented – it’s mainly driven by a fear for our value. Advertisements, TV and movies tell us that only attractive people get to have a good job, great friends, a nice house, and a family. And so internally we declare ourselves incomplete and worthless because a billboard says we don’t have a thigh gap.
3. Makeup is the reminder, not the reality
That’s where I come in. Makeup is the tool I use to show women their value through their outer beauty (which we all have!). If I can get a woman to believe she’s beautiful on the outside, then she’ll begin to realise she’s beautiful and valuable on the inside as well. And being able to give that gift is the best feeling in the world!
The closest thing I can compare it to is Christians wearing their cross necklace. We know that the cross we wear isn’t the source of our salvation, but it’s a reminder of where our salvation comes from. It’s a sign to us and others that our trust is in Jesus. Just as the makeup on my face is a reminder to me that there’s more to me, you, and everyone, than just the look on our face – it points to the infinite value we have as image bearers of our beautiful, awesome God.
If you’d like, you can check out my work (which includes really cool before-and-after transformations!) at my website or Facebook page.