This article is very special to me, I have been following these two women ( @makeupbyshalom and @__sassyj ) closely and I am amazed at what they are doing with a whole lot of self-esteem and a little makeup. I am against using makeup to feel better about yourself because when the day is over and the makeup is removed, it is easy to go back to self-loathing. But, when you understand like these amazons that make up isn’t you and you love yourself with and without the makeup, life takes on a new turn.
I hope you enjoy it, I hope it boosts your self-esteem because they have all blessed me.
When Shalom was nine years old living in Nigeria, an accident involving frying oil at her family’s food store left her and her sister badly burnt. Shalom was in her mum’s store (where she also sold fried food during the evenings), after a while, she got tired and wanted to go to sleep. Her mum asked her to sleep in the room inside but when she got there, a cat scared her so she decided to sleep on a table. After a while, her younger sister was also placed alongside on the table. They both slept until scathing hot oil fell on both sisters. She was left with burns all over her face, head, and shoulders. She lost most of her hair and the tops of her ears fused to her head.
After months in the hospital, she was discharged. When she went home it dawned on her that everything had changed. From the way, people looked at her to the way people ran from her. Shalom’s world came crashing down. An aunt who lived in the United States helped Shalom’s family get visas so she and her baby sister could get reconstructive surgery. She still had to live with very noticeable scarring even after the surgery. Being in school was tough on Shalom, as she had to endure a lot of bullying and nasty stares. “I was bullied very badly in middle school; I always had a scarf and a wig on, so people wouldn’t know I was bald,” she says.
This bullying led her to suicidal thoughts. But as she met other burn victims who were worse off, it changed her perspective. “You have to be grateful for what you have because you never know what someone else may be going through,” she says. At the age of 13, she discovered makeup, which helped give her confidence. She followed tutorials by gurus like Beatfacehoney, Kandee Johnson, and Irishcel507. She began to perfect a technique and love the artistry, even to the point of practising it on her friends and classmates. About three years ago, she felt confident enough to begin posting videos of her own, and now she’s inspiring others, including those who have scars from burns or acne, to make the most of what they have. In one video, she details exactly how she covers her own scars so expertly. “Of course you cannot make it disappear,” she says—but the difference her makeup makes is incredible.
“I find makeup to be a universal thing that connects us together, letting us express our own style in our own ways,” she tells us. “There are no rules to makeup. And as a burn survivor, it gives me a chance to share my passion with others that may be going through similar things—or better yet, inspire someone to love who they see in the mirror.”
Jenae is a brow goddess in case you do not know. She has successfully made those without brows feel amazingly beautiful, but it wasn’t always like that with her. She was constantly being picked on in middle school for not having enough hair, not having cool clothes like everyone else, not having enough eyebrows. She was the one nobody wanted on their team, she was the girl who ate alone, going through all of that in middle school and high school really taught her to be humble and not be quick to judge people.
She developed low self-esteem because of it and she would constantly go in and out of depression. She believes that she is who is she today because she stayed active in middle school and high school by doing Track and Field and Drill Team, as well as Cross Country and Photography.
“I used to think it was such a curse to have no brows, but looking back it’s more of a blessing for me now. I have eczema and heat rashes on my face which I suffered from while growing up, it was very bad. I am not too sure if that affected the growth of my brows but it seems as though it did there’s things I can’t help, having brows is one of them. I don’t want to get them tattooed either and I prefer to draw them on. I’ve used it to my advantage and have used my Instagram platform for good and positivity. I appreciate the bags under my eyes (they’re designer bags by the way) as well as my 5 head (I have a love/hate relationship with this) as well as my gorgeous almond shaped eyes. Makeup is the one thing that makes me HAPPIEST in life. The creative freedom I get from it speaks volumes. I started off with Makeup just doing the basic eyeliner and mascara and lipgloss, then gradually learned to do my brows and then learned to do eyeshadow, then progressed to doing my entire face. I wasn’t the best at it at first but over time it became such a passion of mine that I only wanted to get better at it. I’m still learning and still progressing. My natural face is just as stunning as my dolled up face. Who knew that having high cheek bones, almond shaped eyes and full lips could be a great canvas for makeup. Those who start off with just a blank canvas and work at it, usually end up making masterpieces. And that’s exactly what I am.
I’m not conventionally BEAUTIFUL by the world’s standards, but I sure do look and feel beautiful to myself and that won’t ever need the world’s validation at all. I’m proud of this face; I love it and most of all I EMBRACE IT! I’m not insecure about having no brows, that insecurity left a long time ago when I decided to put up my very first before and after picture a year and a half ago. I have discoloured skin, eczema, as well as acne scars all over my face. But it’s ok, these things make me HUMAN and that is beauty in itself, whether people like or not. There is nothing you can do that will knock this unbreakable confidence of mine
I love this face; I’m beautiful to me and could care less to be validated by society’s standard of beauty. What God gave me was a blank canvas that I can do just about anything with. We weren’t put on this earth to be the same, we were put here to be GREAT and that’s what I intend to do, always. I’ve found a way past it and any imperfections anyone has, you can too. Don’t ever stop believing in yourselves.
I hope you loved reading as much as I loved telling their stories. My question to you is… What is beauty? If it is not about acceptance?
Please feel free to submit articles on how you overcame your low self-esteem and if you haven’t overcome it, I am here to help.
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