On May 22nd, I embarked on a 10 day no makeup journey. Not exactly planned, but a result of something new I was trying. That afternoon, I got my very first chemical peel. If you’ve been following my journey, then you are fully aware that I’ve struggled with hormonal acne for the last 5 years or so. This past January, I decided it was high time to take some new direction and get more immediate results…for my personal comfort level and confidence. Without giving you every single detail, my desire to feel more confident about skin without makeup is how I arrived to May 22nd and me getting a chemical peel.

When you do a chemical peel there’s some downtime involved, as your skin does it exactly what the service name suggests…it peels. Getting rid of that top layer of skin and exposing new fresh skin. Truly magical. As that process is taking place, you have to be so very gentle with your skin so the process happens just as it should without error. Peeling skin and makeup application just don’t go hand in hand. It’s just too difficult to manage. So my journey of 10 days without makeup began. The peeling process can take up to 4 or 5 days, but mine was a bit delayed in some areas, so it ended up being a full 10 days for me.

In terms of my confidence and not wearing makeup, the first two days were ok for me! However, around Day 3, I was beginning to feel a little weird. Not as pretty. Not as confident. Not Candace like. Now granted, there are many times throughout the course of a week that I may not apply makeup, but to go 10 consecutive days without makeup is a whole other conversation. As I began to sort through why I was feeling the way that I was feeling, I uncovered some truth…it’s hard to be one with ourselves when we are consistently enhancing or altering our natural beauty every day. Before we go any further, please know that I truly love makeup and how it has the ability to make us feel more polished and more pulled together. However, underneath all of that makeup, if we do not genuinely love ourselves and what we look like, then there’s a deeper issue. And yes, I am speaking this for myself and to any of you who might feel this way.

This revelation was deepened for me this past week when I removed my hair extensions. I just felt blah. Not attractive, short-haired and frizzy. Not to mention, I discovered I have some thermal damage, which really just did me in. I was pretty much moping about how un-pretty I felt for 3 days. Ugh, it was the worst. The best way I know how to describe it, is like depression.

Going through this process of no makeup (and no fake hair) reminded me that reality is perceived through our mental lens. If I have a negative perception of myself, then yes, I am not going to find myself beautiful, confident, bold, etc. But if I arm myself with truths about who I really am, I will understand and know that I am truly beautiful, confident, bold, etc. 10 days of just being ME, without any makeup enhancements, reminded me that beauty begins within. It’s about your heart. It’s about your mind. It’s about what you truly believe about yourself. Makeup is like a piece of clothing, an addition to our outer self. But when we begin relying on those things TO MAKE US who we are, we’ve lost the purpose it.

So I challenge you. Become one with yourself, girl. Go without the makeup, without the hair extensions, without the nails, and all those other things we do to enhance ourselves. Make sure you truly KNOW and LOVE who you are without all of those things. Because at the end of the day, it is your heart and character that makes you truly BEAUTIFUL.

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