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As the mascara glides across the lower previously untouched lashes, the newness feels strange. Is it meant to feel like this? The fresh air that has always brushed alongside the pores on the skin is now being kept away by the foundation that is there to “enhance the look”. Lips that have never been dressed are now showing off the latest in lip fashion that catches the eyes of onlookers. Transforming from a make-up free face that has been this way for over four decades, to a face that looks like it belongs to someone else brings about a cocktail of emotions that is strange to say the least.

Mud pies, Halloween face paint, camouflage and masks have all felt temporarily at home on a face that is comfortable in its own skin. Make-up however does not. When you have never seen a face in real life, you cannot tell what natural beauty is, and what is “enhanced to bring out your natural features” by using make-up. The blurry faces that I have never been able to see clearly I am sure look best as naked as the were born to look, but many would not agree. I hear make-up gives people confidence to feel like they can face the world and show their beauty off which must be lovely for them, but I don’t think I will ever feel this way.

Being blind does not stop you wearing make-up and there are many talented people with sight loss that are so beautifully creative with their make-up. I don’t think however I will ever be one of them. Being asked to wear make-up for a media photoshoot took me totally out of my comfort zone and let me dip my toe into a world that masses live in daily, where hours are spent applying all types of enhancers to their already perfect face. My inner rebel really wanted to protest but I did it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It helped that the make-up and hair artist was such a beautiful and interesting person that I could have listened to all day and I learnt so much from the wisdom that she spoke of.

Leaving the make- up on for a couple of hours after the make – up artist and photographer left was a lesson I was trying to learn on patience as I stayed with the uncomfortable feeling of the intruder on my face. My family loved the “new me” and my adorable granddaughter said a few times how beautiful I looked but deep down I felt the opposite. Whereas many people love to look glamourous after magic is worked by such talented make-up artists, I never really hear about the other lot of people who feel the exact opposite. Social media is not full of these people who love the more natural look that I can relate so well with.

The beauty in this world is that we are all different and nobody is right or wrong, they are just themselves. Make-up may not be my thing, but I get how it can make people feel more beautiful to the outside world and we are both right. As I touch my make-up free face, I feel blessed that my sight loss allows me to see the insight into every person’s beauty that lays beyond what the eyes can see. To me, you are pure beauty regardless if you have a muddy face, exquisite make-up on or are as natural as the day you were born. Keep shining your beauty in your own unique way.