Friday, March 31, 2017

To the Woman Who Feels She Can't Leave Her House Without Makeup on


A sweet gal from the Ukraine wrote to me today and shared that she has the same type of birthmark that I have.

Reading her words, she told me, "I am afraid to leave the house without cosmetics. How do you live without cosmetics? I'm afraid people will laugh at me and don't want to communicate with me."

I read messages like this on a weekly basis, and my heart breaks...Every. Single. Time.


My heart breaks, because I get it. I've been in her shoes...Afraid others will laugh, afraid of what others will say.

In fact, I've been in situations where people have done just that.

I've had to tell people to stop staring at me, and they've laughed as they continue their forever-long, awkward gaze.

A woman working at a well-known department store once refused to talk to me the whole time I sat in her cosmetics chair, as she put makeup on my face...Once I sat in her chair, she instantly switched gears and chose to only speak to to my mom. Sitting in her chair, she began to only see me as a birthmark, forgetting to see me as a person. Instead of feeling beautiful after my makeover, I left our session with a broken heart and my confidence feeling depleted.

People have told me I must be contagious, and they've even cursed in reaction to my face.

In addition, my image was once stolen, commented on by thousands of strangers writing their unkind words and opinions next to my unknown face, on the unexpected, popular Facebook post.

My heart breaks that this has to even be an issue in society - regardless of the country and culture people are born into.

But here's the thing...

In my journey, I've learned a lot.

When I went viral to over 30 million people, and endured some intense cyberbullying, I questioned many things. I remember asking myself, "Am I making life more difficult by not covering my birthmark? Should I be investing in the expensive, uncomfortable makeup, made for conditions like mine?"

It took a while, and with the help of my family and friends, I finally came to an important "ah-ha" moment.

A little foundation on my cheeks can't be the foundation of my confidence. That is not where my identity lies.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I like makeup. It's artsy and I think it's quite fun. Plenty of makeup brands sit in my own cabnent. But, I've always been taught that makeup is meant to enhance our natural beauty - not to hide it.

I am so much more than my birthmark on my face, and honestly - I think it's beautiful. Some have told me that it reminds them of a heart. Others have told me they love the ombre affect, and all the colors mixed within it.

I think it's beautiful, and hope the whole world sees it the same way one day.


And most of all? I've learned that with every cruel person, there are at least two or more people who are kind. People who are encouraging me on my journey, who see beyond my obvious difference.

Maybe you're in the same situation as the gal who messaged me - and maybe you don't even have a birthmark like ours. Maybe you've struggled with accepting your natural appearance, afraid to leave the house without a few layers of makeup on your face.

I've heard from a lot of people over the last few years, and I know she's not the only one who struggles with the same topic. Better yet, I know I'm not the only one who has struggled with the topic. Overtime, I've heard from woman who have been put in makeup at the age of two (yes - you read that right), and from women who's husbands have forced them to wear makeup to bed.

Ladies, I'm sorry that society has told us that we aren't acceptable to go out into the world just as we are.

I'm sorry that others have twisted the concept of beauty, turning it into a competitive sport, rather than treating us as a one-of-a-kind, priceless gems that we are.

I'm sorry there is an industry that has made millions off of our insecurities.

I apologize that it hasn't been reinforced enough that we can see the beauty in others, without tearing ourselves down in the process.

I wish we weren't handed a box on the day we are born, one full of society's unrealistic expectations...One that we feel we have to tightly squeeze into for the rest of our lives.

But hey. Guess what?

You're right. Others are beautiful...But can I tell you a secret?

Just because we see the beauty in other people, that doesn't make our beauty any less.

Iron sharpens iron, remember?

Regardless of what others and the world may try to tell you...

You are beautiful. (Or swagful, if you're a dude reading this.)

You are unique.

You are one-of-a kind.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

You are a rockstar in the skin you're in.

...And I hope you never forget that.

The Travelin Chick,
Crystal



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Whole Foods Market Makeup Review

Did you know that Whole Foods Market sells vegan, gluten free makeup?

Yeah, I didn't either.  And actually, I didn't even know vegan and gluten free makeup was even a thing...Not until recently.

Since learning about this type of makeup, I've had people laugh it off while asking, "Why would they make makeup gluten and vegan free?"

When I learned of it, I didn't laugh it off, but was confused as well. But then my friend told me why it was important to gals like herself.

My new friend has celiac disease.  Her conditions prevents her from eating anything gluten related, or even being touched by it.  Her whole body reacts, from her digestive system to her skin.  She was telling me about a time when her sister, who doesn't have celiac disease, was spraying her hair with a new hairspray.  Shortly after, my friend and her mom (who also has celiac) were both having reactions on their skin.

Turns out, the hairspray had wheat in it - and it travelled through their house's vents, sharing the fumes with everyone within it.

Speaking at an event at Whole Foods, I had the privilege of testing out some of their makeup before the event.  Now, while I taught about topics like beauty on my blog - I am far from being a makeup guru or blogger.  My review will come from the mindset of a gal with limited makeup knowledge, who still wears the same makeup her best friend told her to buy when she was standing in an aisle at Target at 17, buying makeup for the very first time...totally clueless.

All the products of my choice. I tried to stick to the same brand for everything,
for consistance purposes. 

1. Mineral Fusion foundation: Wowzers.  This felt great on my skin.  I've tried brands that leave my skin feel like they are suffocating.  But this?  It felt like, and instantly felt more on the natural side.  Because of my birthmark, I do have to watch out for sun exposure, so I did ask if the foundation had any sunscreen in the ingredients.  The sweet gal at Whole Foods told me that it didn't, but that the minerals used would help protect my skin in a more natural way.

2. Mineral Fusion powder: This stuff was great, however, it didn't have it's own applicator included.  The first time I tried the makeup, I was in a hotel, far from a local Target or CVS.  Luckily, I had my regular compact with me, which had the applicator in it.  So, the downer is, while I think the coloring looked good - I don't know how much of it was from my usual makeup choice, or how much was from the Mineral Fusion.  I also wasn't sure if they mixed together too much.  That being said, while it looked and felt great - I'm not sure how much of it was because of the Mineral Fusion alone.  Also, knowing the price of this makeup and how it compares to the price of my makeup from Target, I'm confused why a basic applicator isn't included.  I've tried about four or five makeup brands in my life, and this was a first for me.  (I'm not doing a star rating for the products, but if I were and it was based off a five star concept...This would take the review down to about 3.5 stars.  But I like simplicity, and  as someone who travels a lot, I like having things like this together.)

3. Mineral Fusion blush: Oh, what a great color!  I loved the way this looked, and was pleased with this product.

4. Mineral Fusion eyeliner: LOVED this.  This was the first time I've ever tried a liquid eyeliner, but I was in-love with it by the first stroke.  Granted, I still need a lot of practice using liquid versus what I'm accustomed to, but if I can get the hang of it - I will totally be buying a liquid form again.

5. Mascara: I liked the mascara.  Pro?  It looks a lot cleaner than the kind I've used from Target.  Less clumps, less mess. Con? I couldn't get it to pop as much I would prefer.  It came off onto my lashes on the light side.

Here I am, wearing the new makeup.
All-in-all, I like how the makeup feels and looks.  I also love the concept of wearing all-natural products.  All the products were great and I was super impressed.  The only two that lacked in some way were the mascara and powder.  Had the powder had an applicator?  I'm confident it would hit the highest rating.

Since this is a review, I will disclose full honesty.  I'm a 25-year-old adult and only work part-time.  While there is great power in the look of the makeup, the feel, and knowing it's natural...I won't be back to purchase it any time soon.  I simply cannot afford makeup that averages $17-$35 per product.  However, it's not completely off my list of future possible products to consider purchasing.  I'll definitely be keeping Whole Foods and their variety of makeup products in mind for the future, when it is within my price range, or on-sale. (Which, if you live in the Central Valley in California - the Fresno store has a sale taking place THIS month!)

I know many of you have skin conditions, like I have my port wine stain birthmark, so I did inquire about the products for those of you looking to coverup.  I very seldom choose to cover my birthmark, and meant to at least try before putting this up.  However, the lady who helped me pick out my products told me that the intent of this makeup is not to completely hide skin conditions such as my vascular birthmark.  She predicted that it would not achieve that goal, if that was what I wanted to do.   She still recommended using Merle Norman, Derma Blend, or other like products if that it the purpose of its use.

The Travelinchick,
Crystal