When I was loading up my backpack for this trip, I packed mascara, eyeliner, and one small color of eye shadow. The eyeliner exploded in my bag shortly into the trip, leaving it looking it like an octopus had attacked it, so that left me just the mascara and eye shadow.
The number of times I have put on any make up at all in the last three months is in the single digits; I can count it on just two hands. Not that I was ever big into makeup, but at home I would at least put on mascara everyday. Now I haven’t touched it in well over three weeks.
It started in New Zealand. I was traveling with my parents, who have seen me in more alarming states than anyone should ever have to put up with, while in remote areas, so physical appearance wasn’t exactly in the forefront of my mind. Then in Australia, I spent most of my time in the rainforest, which I clearly have an obsession with, but that’s another story.
Life in the rainforest was very simple and natural, which were some of the first steps I took in starting to realize how comfortable I was beginning to feel without makeup on. When I got to the orphanage in India, this whole idea was really hammered home. I’ve seen hundreds of young girls, from elementary school to college age, who are bright and kind and absolutely stunning with just a smile on their face. It touches their eyes with beauty no amount of makeup can imitate. Especially in a society where ‘physical beauty’ is so important, it can be really easy to forget that our own standards are the only ones we need to meet.
New Zealand taught me that the people who are important in your life are going to love you no matter what you look like. Australia brought me back to nature and emphasized the importance of simplicity and just being yourself. India taught me that you have love everything that you are with pride and confidence.
We are each beautifully made with our own individual purpose. We are who we are with or without makeup on. It’s nice to have that little kick of flare on a night out to spice up an outfit, but the best thing you can wear is confidence and self love.