Lessons in makeup and life

Do y’all know Erin?  Let me tell you about her.

Erin was one of the first friends I had in Smithfield before I ever made the move.  She works with Bradley and our men folk have bounded over late night hunting and a general consensus about how the world works.  I have trouble remembering the first time I met her, but I do remember being instantly drawn to how welcoming and natural she is.  She has always opened her home to me, she lets me get her oldest son all wild and running around without scolding us, she met me for queso and venting shortly after I moved to Smithfield and was feeling extra homesick, and she has a way of making you feel like you’ve known her for decades.  She probably doesn’t realize how much I respect her for being the mother she is, and I’m fairly certain that she has no idea that I strive to be as loving and hospitable as her.  She has helped Smithfield feel more like home to me…and that is so precious to me.

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So when I heard that Kristine – the AMAZING woman that did my make-up for my wedding – was generously offering free makeovers, I signed Erin up.  Here’s how it went down:

  1. Kristine posted that she would be giving away a free makeover to a small group of women – all you had to do was nominate someone!
  2. I sent her a Facebook message all about Erin and how I felt she deserved a little special treatment because of X, Y, and Z. 
  3. Kristine posted a Facebook video announcing the winners.
  4. I heard Erin’s name and cried/shrieked in my living room.  I immediately sent her a million texts but she was already asleep.
  5. She woke up, read my texts, cried, and the rest is history.

In January, we made our way to Kristine’s studio so that Erin could get all glammed up and learn a trick or two from a pro.  I tagged along, because I’m a sucker for knowledge, and some things are better with company.  It didn’t hurt that I know Kristine makes for good company.  

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I won’t go into details about what we learned from Kristine.  Truthfully, if you want professional makeup advice then seek out a professional.  (I wouldn’t do justice to the advice we got from Kristine.)  It might cost you some money but how much money are you spending on products that you don’t fully understand or appreciate?  Take the time to find a professional in your area, save up for the investment, and then find out what products you would benefit from most depending on your skin, your routine, and your daily lifestyle.  Even Mrs. On-A-Budget (AKA me) can recognize that sometimes it is better to invest more money up front to actually address and meet your needs rather than squandering money over time on something that isn’t really working for you.

IMG_4883-2IMG_4884-2I am obsessed with the glow on her skin!  She looks absolutely flawless.

My favorite part of the makeover was the part where Kristine got real with us.  This wasn’t just advice from professional Kristine.  This was a beautiful blend of her professional and personal opinions offering us some genuine advice.  Advice that all women need to hear – especially those of us that are tired, those of us that look in the mirror only to quickly look away, those of us that wonder if our partners still find us attractive, those of us that have given doubt and self-criticism permanent residence in our hearts, and those of us that just need to hear another woman recognize our struggles.  Her advice was that kind of advice.  I’ll do my best to share it, but it is much better coming from her mouth.  She has a way with words and tough love.  She’ll give it to you straight, but only because she cares.

Here’s the thing:  when we talk poorly about ourselves, we think no one is listening.  In fact, that type of negative language becomes so ingrained in our daily speak that we hardly recognize what we are saying.  We casually talk about how horrible our hair looks, how much weight we need to lose, and how terrible our skin looks.  We complain about bloat, muffin tops, and blemishes.  We do it so casually…as if those words don’t mean anything.  We can take an entire lunch break and fill it with talk about all the ways we should look.  Kristine recognized some of this in our conversations during the makeover, and pointed it out.  Afterward, she asked Erin “How old is your daughter?”

I bet you can guess where she was going with this.

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That sweet baby girl was just on the brink of turning one when we had this conversation.  We like to tell ourselves that she is too young to really comprehend what is going on when we bash ourselves.  Truthfully, that little nugget is constantly absorbing and taking it in.  And maybe she doesn’t quite understand what is happening but that won’t last long.  Unless we break those habits now, we risk exposing her to a type of language that tells her she isn’t beautiful, a type of dialogue that makes it easy to criticize herself.  Regardless of makeovers and beauty routines, you have to love the skin you are in.  All of it.  We have to love ourselves because there is more on the line than our own self-confidence.  Little girls are watching us.  So are their brothers.  Those tiny eyes are taking cues from us as to how women think and how women should be talked to.  If it’s ok for me to talk about how fat I am, why would it be different for my partner to criticize my weight?  If I joke about my appearance, what makes it wrong for someone else to?  This type of language doesn’t just threaten our own confidence – it also teaches future generations that self-hate is normal and necessary.

Can I also brag on Kristine for a minute?  She does GREAT work and has a rocking personality.  When you sit in her studio, she treats you like she has known you for years.  And I get the impression that her business keeps her busy.  She took additional time and energy away from her family to offer free makeovers to a handful of ladies.  These are women that are battling illness, women that adjusting to growing families and new seasons of life, and women that deserve a little pampering after suffering great loss.  These are women that probably wouldn’t get this service for themselves.  How beautiful is it that Kristine sought to actively contribute to her local community of women?  She has a client for life in me.  In fact, this rarely-wears-makeup lady is actually considering setting an appointment with her to show me a trick or two.  I doubt I’ll do full coverage seven days a week, but it might be nice to glam it up a bit every once in a while.

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What should you remember from all of this?

Erin is awesome.

Kristine is awesome.

Basically, we are all awesome and should love ourselves accordingly.

Per Kristine: sun, smoking, and sleeping in your makeup will wreck your skin.

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