It was a rainy Thursday morning.
Every time the consultant came into town, I was always assigned a meeting. I was starting to feel a little targeted.
I sat, as usual, with pen in hand, ready to take notes on how I could change my on-air presentation/look to better represent myself and the company brand. At first, I feared consultant meetings, but our consultant was a genuine, kind-hearted woman with a lot of experience in the business, so I had come to value our time together. When I first became pregnant, she was incredibly helpful in guiding me through gracefully gaining baby weight on the air. I appreciated that. I hoped that Thursday's meeting would also be positive, but I had a feeling I was in for more of a rude awakening.
The consultant was not as chipper as she had been in the past. We sat face to face in an empty conference room. She sat in a chair directly opposite me and scrutinized my face. My very tired face.
"What kind of foundation make-up do you use?" she asked rather sympathetically.
I told her. It was a lovely but expensive boutique brand made for heavy coverage but light wearability. She nodded.
"It's not really working for you," she began cautiously. "I think you need to find something with better coverage."
She went on to very tenderly convey to me that I looked worn-out, washed-out and broken out. It was all very hard to hear. I had a five month-old at home, so I was VERY aware of the toll that sleeplessness, poor nutrition and hormones were taking on my skin…and my psyche. I was in LOVE with my baby son, but my infatuation had also led me to spend less time considering my outward appearance. The truth is, I still feel that way to some extent.
It wasn't long before I knew that I would be leaving television, at least full-time, to relocate with my husband. Despite my 13 year career, I was somewhat relieved to be turning in my "TV persona" for a little while. I looked forward to living minimally - cleaning out the cosmetics case and dialing down my everyday dress. I was tired of spending the big bucks on make-up because I hated wearing it. My first move upon arriving at home every single day had been to wash my face so that I wouldn't rub a day's worth of grime on my son's perfect little face as I snuggled him.
But, as I fell into my new routine, and my make-up use dropped off to twice a week at most, I realized, I didn't feel too awesome about what was lurking underneath. All of that fatigue the consultant had mentioned had become all too obvious, and even though I didn't know anyone and had few interactions daily, I was still losing confidence. I was terrified I was becoming one of those women people accuse of "letting herself go".
It was time to have a little heart to heart with my vanity.
I have never been a big fan of the heavy focus placed on TV personalities' looks. I understand completely WHY that focus exists, but I was always given to rebelling against the system. In 2009, I participated in a nationwide push for television personalities to appear on the air without make-up in support of a movement toward greater confidence in young women. I was happy to do it, but I wasn't a big fan of what I was putting out there. However, at the time, I believed that investing in proper skincare was playing into the hands of the great media machine, and I was fervently against that. Ah, how we do know EVERYTHING in our 20s, right?
What I didn't think about was how I was doing MYSELF a disservice by trying to buck the system. Not taking care of oneself is not taking care of oneself - period. The idea is a bit like sitting and eating an entire tube of cut-and-bake cookie dough just to prove that weight doesn't matter. It doesn't, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't still eat healthfully and exercise. I'm much more useful to any movement if I'm healthy. That goes for everyone.
Where my understanding of the situation exited the track was my perception that I could only present my best self by covering it up. Make-up. More make-up. MORE MAKE-UP! Cover those dark spots! Concealer! Concealer! MORE CONCEALER!
It has taken me midway through my 30s and motherhood to finally GET what looking my best is about. What I LOOK like is, and should be, an extension of what I'm doing to take CARE of myself. What I'm doing to be KIND to myself. What I'm doing to BETTER myself. How much I VALUE myself.
This is why I now do what I do.
This debrief is not a sales pitch by any means, but it is important to note that I am now a consultant with what I believe is truly the modern leader in effective skincare. You can CLICK HERE to learn more about what we offer, but for the time being, just know that I do what I do because I am living proof that you really CAN look your best and hold onto your ideals. In fact, I am SO pleased with the way my skin has been transformed, I decided to ditch the foundation and concealer and REVEAL myself through the skin in which I live. (Here I go, bucking the system again! But this time, the RIGHT way.)
What you see here is my once dark spot, blemish-riddled skin with only a light dusting of powder and blush. I'm still sporting my eye make-up and lip color so that you can actually make-out my features, but there is not a spot of liquid treatment anywhere else on my face.
Taking these photos felt pretty amazing. Whether I'm in front of a camera on a consistent basis again or not, knowing I'm glowing because of what I'm doing to treat myself right informs the rest of the way I live my life. When I'm at my best, those I love (one little tiny guy in particular) are getting the best I can give.
I think the consultant would be proud of me. No re-touching. No filter. No foundation.