I was looking through my photos of India, fixing the next batch to be uploaded, and figured that this photo has a story to tell. Ingrid shot this while we were having lunch at the Oberoi in Agra. Yes I am wearing a ring that I so love, I will wear it as much as I can. I can tell you that it is a ruby set in gold with two tiny blue sapphires holding it in a screw. It swivels completely 360 degrees.
I’m sharing this picture in its raw form. Un-photoshopped and unenhanced. I am aware that the little wrinkles under my eyes are visible, and so are the moles on my temple, my dry lips and my crooked nose. I have red veins on my cheeks and green veins around my eyes. Sometimes I think my skin is transparent. It’s been that way since I was a child. If you look closer you’ll see that I have a three inch scar above my left eyebrow. I got that from a bicycle accident when I was 8. And that’s why my left eyebrow has a bald spot. If you look even closer you’ll probably notice a little bit of whiteheads. Just a little.
When we were in India, we had very little time at the hotels. Most of our time was spent on actual tours, meaning roadtrips on the bus. I planned all my outfits, keeping in mind that I’d be sharing my photos. I gave up on fixing my hair, so I kept it on a ponytail most of the time. Or just let it hang in all its messy glory. I didn’t have time nor did I even want to wear makeup. All I had on was faded lipstick, a little eyeliner and a bit of powder (applied with a tiny brush and never with a sponge applicator. I’m not a fan of overly made up faces). No foundation. I wanted my skin to breathe. And thanks to the gorgeous light in India, everyone looked softer and more beautiful. Sigh.
So this is how my skin looks bare. Yes, I’ve had lots of time to think about my flaws. When I was younger, I wanted to change everything about my face. But my mom always told me to love what God has given me. She doesn’t know that I asked my Canadian orthodontist to look into making my jaws more even. But when the dentist told me that she’d cut one side and shut my teeth together for many weeks, I ran out the door. Eventually, I grew to accept the way I looked. And just forgot about it when I had better things to do and worry about.
I am raising three daughters. I know at some point they’ll be bothered with something about their face or body. This early we are trying to not put emphasis on physical appearances – hence the creativity, imagination, playing in the park, enhancing of talents and basically living a normal childhood. They know that I stand against beauty pageants but I support the performing arts. But if they develop some sort of neuroses about their looks when they’re teenagers, I will not brush it off. I know those issues are real. I just hope I’ll know how to coach them through life then.
I’m okay with my scars and wrinkles. They don’t bother me at all. The only anti-aging thing I do is use Olay Total Effects (and no, this post isn’t sponsored. Haha). I use it sparingly though. If my skin is oily or I know I’ll be exposed to hot conditions, I lay off it. The highest maintenance I do is visit the derma religiously. Every two weeks, I go to Belo Greenbelt for a simple cleaning. No fancy treatments, no lasers, no crazy peels, just a basic facial and removal of whiteheads. Sometimes I do a powerpeel to slough off dead skin. I’ve been doing this for over three years. And prior to that, with another doctor. It’s an investment of your time and money (but not so expensive).
Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I just got reminded of what my mom said – love what you have been given. But also take care of it. Natural beauty is great. Low-maintenance is even more wonderful. But make an effort to take care of it. I’m glad I found my routine and that it allows me to face the world with no makeup.