As she sits in my makeup chair I can see the tears forming in her eyes as she looks embarrassed to say the words she's about to blurt out. I can almost say them for her - I know exactly how she feels and I feel totally connected to her energy and her story. "He doesn't love me anymore." After 23 years of marriage, 2 kids, what seems like half a lifetime of commitment is drowning in a sea of resentment and disconnection. And there she sits in my makeup chair, disappointment and sadness radiates from her, and its my job to make her FEEL better. Not just look better, but actually wear the medal of a confident, and self assured woman. That's when I feel that I have achieved my mission - that's when being a makeup artist is the most fulfilling.
Her story isn't original, and I hear similar stories on a weekly basis. Stories of lost love, limitless grief, and doubtful regret. But most of all, the one element of the story which is always, unchangingly and resoundingly the same in every case is Low Self Esteem. It seems that it's almost built into our female psyche. Don't get me wrong - I'm not proclaiming that all women are inheritantly unsure and depressed. However, women are mostly incredibly critical of themselves and that small voice of fear becomes louder in our heads especially when we are talking about our appearance.
"My nose is too pointy" or "My eyes are too squinty" or "My skin is terrible" - I have heard it a thousand times. Then to compound the complaint women tend to apologise to me for having facial imperfections saying things like "Im sorry for my squinty eyes - you probably can't do anything with them." YES, I CAN! Moreover, they are not squinty, they are just the way God designed them to be. That's Beautiful. We can't all be models or celebrities - the world would truly be an awful place (besides the fact that plastic surgeons would become the wealthiest professionals in the land).
My joy from being a Makeup Artist is not from working with models. My joy comes from working with women who value the art of taking care of themselves for the BENEFIT of themselves. It comes from working with women who recognise that real beauty is in their smile and their warmth. From women who see their growing wrinkles and respect that ageing is a life process - it has no reflection on how much they love themselves.
Let's face the world loving our faces. After all, it's the only one we got!
By Mika Holborow