beauty

My Simplicity: (Mostly) Bare Face

Honey Bee Natural MakeupDisclaimer: No where in this post do I imply that makeup is bad, that women who wear it are dumb, that I’m somehow superior because I’ve downsized, or anything else that might be perceived by me saying I got rid of all of my makeup.

Makeup is so much fun. I started wearing it when I was in 6th grade, when my parents stopped at a Bath and Body Works on our way to visit family and bought me the essentials. Remember when B&B Works used to carry makeup?!

In high school I wore it because I was terribly insecure. In college I wore it because I wanted to, and because it was fun to experiment/get all hott looking to go out dancing with ma ladies. In my twenties, I’ve worn it because I’d been wearing it for so long that there was no reason to stop. But the for last year and a half or so, I’ve found myself wearing it less and less. I think it’s been a combination of being a mom to a very energetic boy + starting to appreciate what my skin looks like bare that has contributed to my decline in makeup-wearing. I think the only thing that kept me hanging on was my hereditary raccoon eyes. Even as I’ve grown more satisfied with how I look, that’s the one thing that was still hard to accept as an imperfection, so I’d put makeup around my eyes to lighten them up. Well when you do that, you might as well put makeup on your whole face.

About two months ago, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror. I have no idea how or why this happened, but I was just completely and 100% happy with what I saw looking back at me, raccoon eyes and all. The one small freckle I have on my nose, the kind-of-flushed cheeks and my blonde eyebrows make up the canvas of my face, and they are just fine. It became clear to me that morning that the countertop organizer and vintage traveling case full of makeup… it was time to go. At that point, I rarely put the stuff on anyway, and when I did, I used maybe a fifth of my massive collection. I had started to notice that the few times I would put makeup on, my skin would break out. It wasn’t used to wearing anymore, and I guess couldn’t breathe.

I chucked most of the stuff, and pulled out the newer palettes/expensive products to give to my friends who love makeup. I had one brief momentary panic attack as I placed all of it in a bag to give away; “what happens if I change my mind?” I asked myself. I walked back into the bathroom and looked in the mirror again and reminded myself that I was happy with what I was seeing. It was going to be ok!

I decided not to be a complete granola bar, and looked up some natural alternatives. I wanted to be able to use a little for certain occasions, like dates with Daniel or church on Sunday. Just enough to give me a smooth, natural look without making me break out. I found some great DIY recipes for making my own, but felt too lazy to figure that crap out, so I just drove up to my local health food store to see what options they had available. They carry this line called Honey Bee Gardens, an organic/natural alternative to regular cosmetics. I left with a pressed powder foundation, a black mascara and a bronze eye shadow as seen above.

So far, I’m really into my choices! I use the foundation and mascara if I’d like to look a little more refined, and I break out the bronze eye shadow for REAL SPECIAL occasions, like date nights. I think I might eventually pick up a few more eye shadows, but for now I love having two options: no makeup, or a very minimal amount of makeup. I genuinely HATE getting up really early to get ready, so this new almost-free makeup life works for me.

Granola jokes aside, I think that it’s important to be okay with what you look like, whether you wear lots of makeup, a little bit or none at all. You were created by a Creator who treasures you and thinks you’re beautiful. Can you doll that face up? You sure can. I follow some makeup artists on Instagram who do incredible work with makeup, and I love it! But do you have to wear makeup to be the best version of you? Nah.

Ladies, you’re lovely. Freckles, blemishes, uneven skin, raccoon eyes and all… you’re all lovely!

 

The Forever Sky

The Forever Sky

I don’t know why I’m so overcome with gratefulness today. I’m certainly not going to complain.

There are just some days when I see the art and the beauty and the redemption in everything that meets my eyes and ears. These days are rare and under constant threats of endangerment.

How do I make days like these happen more often?

I can’t process things with my hands and feet in the front yard dirt like I normally do. The typical Florida weather has been replaced with some type of cold that is rare to November, especially in these parts. But I don’t care. Today I’m connecting with something else; the forever sky.

There’s something about the sun that is different in the cold, fall Florida sky. It shines brighter. The shadows in everything are muted, and it’s as if the great photographer over exposes the scenery, making objects crisp.

Oh, but the yellows and browns in the leaves that lay in abundance on my almost-dead grass. The colors are saturated. Greens are left in waiting as these colors run deep all over the street.

Deepening me.

Then I look up into the forever sky, and I try to fathom my God who dwells up there, somewhere and everywhere in the Forever. And in that Forever, He is able to look down, past the galaxies and black holes and see little me.

And not only does he sees me, but his eyes find me with fondness. With love. With pleasure.

I don’t understand it. But, I am grateful.

Bare Feet // JATW

Bare Feet

Bare Feet // JATWI stand on this dirt patch that my son likes to dig out of, feeling the damp cold underneath my toes left from the incessant amount of rain that happened over the weekend.  It’s humid out here, but not the sweat-my-ass-off kind. There’s a slight coolness to the small breeze that passes over my face, bringing the aroma of summer grass mixed with the first stages of autumn leaves. It’s coming, I can feel it. Fall is almost here. It arrives late for us Floridians, but it arrives nonetheless; especially in North Florida.

The sound of dragon fly buzz accompanied by the songs of two different species of birds rings just loud enough to create an accompaniment track for outside speculating. Not too strong, as it often is in the woods, but just as you would expect for a rural part of town where nature collides a little less manicured with the modernization of human creation.

The muted sky is overcast, but the sun still shines through the clouds enough to make me squint, and I succumb to my closing eyes, taking it all in with my other four senses.

If I accomplish nothing else today, which may very well be the case, I can at least know that I’m valued. I believe it to be true; His Word tells me so. But He is reminding me with the dirt, and the breeze and the buzz and the light.

 

I am alive, and I am loved.