Inspiration Report

I’m continuing with the Inspiration Report’s People Who Do Good. Last month, I featured the lovely Shari Grimes and the great work being done at the Hope House in Norfolk, VA. For April, we’re going out West to Colorado where a group of girls are standing up for natural beauty. Enjoy!

The cosmetic industry makes billions of dollars every year selling women the opportunity to brighten, enhance or sometimes completely alter their looks. And why not? A touch of lip gloss can be seen on girls as young as elementary school. As adults, I’ve often heard girlfriends say they can’t leave the house until, “I put my face on.” But is that really true? Or better yet, is it healthy?

(l-r) Rachel Steel, Kristen Kinzer, Zoey Henderson, Brittney Sotore, Karissa Shatford

While spending the semester at the Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, CO, a few young ladies decided to put the notion of cosmetic-dependency to the test. After discussing beauty and make-up in a Leadership Identity Development class, Brittney, Rachel, Kristen, Zoey and Karissa decided to go 28 days without using make-up products. The Institute’s Recruiter and New Programs Coordinator Ivette Diaz loved the idea and joined in for a few days as well. The results were naturally beautiful. The ladies were kind enough to share their revelations with The Inspiration Report.

“I don’t need to find my security in my beauty. Beauty is fleeting. But the real beauty that truly shines through is that within. Christ is the beauty within us, and if we are so consumed with how we look on the outside, we are truly missing the concept of what beauty is. I am excited for the day to wear makeup again after our challenge, but when I wear it again, I hope I don’t find my strength in appearance, but know I am beautiful without it!” ~ Zoey


“I found that when I do not think that I look attractive, it can affect how I act towards other people. But really most people do not look at me and think, ‘Oh that girl doesn’t have make-up on and she looks bad!’ A lot of people have said that I don’t look that different without my make-up. I have learned that my worth is in Christ and who He says I am is the most important thing. When I keep that truth in the front of my mind, I honestly forget I don’t have make-up on and I react to people in a loving and joyful way because I know where my significance lies.” ~ Brittney


“Since I have been going on without makeup in Colorado Springs, I’ve found it really helpful to have a community of girls to do this with who hold the same values I do. We have been BLESSED by SO MANY compliments about our natural glows. I’ve never gotten as many compliments as I have here.” ~ Rachel


“I always have worn makeup since middle school and always felt really gross when I didn’t wear it. I began to believe that in order to be attractive, I had to wear make up. This experience has been so liberating! My boyfriend loves it when I don’t wear makeup, and I’m beginning to see what natural beauty and true beauty means.” ~ Kristen


“I have participated in the no-makeup challenge for two Mondays in a row, and I have learned that I am reliant on make-up way more than I should be to feel pretty or put-together. I felt the inclination to apologize for the fact that I was showing up to work ‘not fully ready.’ The shocking thing has been how many people didn’t notice that I wasn’t wearing any make up! Certainly, my uneven eyebrows and dark under-eye circles should tip them off, right? Well, apparently not! Even with lots of make-up on, we still look like who we are. The beauty of people is that we aren’t blank canvases. We’re intentionally designed by our Maker to bear His image in a way that no one else can. Make-up can add or detract, but the true beauty of each of our faces comes from God’s hand, not Sephora.” ~ Ivette


“It’s interesting how our perceptions can be far from reality, and it isn’t until something is taken away that we realize how much we depend on it. I have never considered myself someone who needs make-up, but I’ll be honest: this was hard! The first day was full of rosy expectations and triumph, but by day 3 the bravado had worn off. I just felt disheveled. I didn’t take into consideration that the times I have gone without make-up in the past have been when I’m tanned and sun-kissed from summer days, and since I refuse to use a tanning bed, I’ve had to face up to my ghostly complexion. But you know what? Let’s speak some truth into this situation. Yes, I don’t feel attractive. Yes, I’d win no beauty pageant. But who cares? So often we are living up to others’ expectations. The point of this fiasco – for me – was to realize that God’s opinion of me is what matters the most, and that He created me to be stunning. Beautiful. Untainted. Pure. I suppose this process has allowed me to let go of my value from earthly products and embrace value from my Maker.” ~ Karissa

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