makeup and ptsd

How This Makeup Helped Me Heal My PTSD

Back this week to tell you about a makeup that I love!

I hope you enjoyed the guided meditations! I really enjoy creating and sharing them, so I’m pretty sure you’ll see some more in the future.

Today I want to get back to our conversation on healing from sexual abuse. I’ve tried a LOT of different methods and therapies to overcome the mental and emotional fallout of abuse, so today I want to share one of my most recent “therapies” if you will, and talk about a special brand of makeup.

(Audio Version)

Photos by @chelseyps on Instagram

How I Found Maskcara Makeup

If you remember, in my post about body image I explained how the abuse really warped my self-image. It made me feel dirty and ugly and unlovable. Learning to turn around all of the negative self-talk took time and practice, and I’m still working on it.

Let me rewind a little bit, back to February 2019. I was about 4 months postpartum, exhausted from breast-feeding around the clock, staying at my parents’ place in between moves because something had gone wrong with the apartments we wanted to move into, and overall just very feeling very frazzled and run-down. 

I’ll have to write a whole other post about my pregnancy and childbirth journey and how my PTSD played into all of that, but today we’ll focus on the postpartum stage.

To the women out there who’ve had children, you know that your body goes through some crazy changes to bring a child into the world. I was prepared for the big belly and the ripped vagina, but no one ever told me how much my skin and my face would change.

I was suddenly dealing with new fine lines, and sunken cheeks, and bags under my eyes. My skin looked dull and lifeless. It was like the baby was sucking all of the life out of me!

Now, I’m a major researcher. If I have a question I run straight to the internet to learn everything I can. What I learned is that when you have a baby, your collagen production plummets.

Collagen is a chemical our body produces that keeps your skin plump and hydrated and glowing. There are foods and supplements and methods to boost you collagen production, but this big dip is a natural part of the aging process.

Finding My Makeup Artist

So, during this time there was a day when I was breastfeeding and scrolling through my facebook feed. I noticed that one of the models for a local clothing company looked like one of my old friends, so I looked her up and sure enough it was my friend Teal from back in middle school!

I started looking through her Instagram feed and found that she was representing a makeup brand called Maskcara Beauty. I watched a couple of her tutorial videos and the makeup just looked so easy to use, and so natural and beautiful, I decided I wanted to try it. I messaged her and we set up a time for me to come over for a makeover. 

Of course, me being the researcher that I am, I had to learn everything I could about this new makeup and company and what they had to offer.

I think most of us tend to be kind of wary of companies like this, thinking it might be some sort of MLM scam like we hear about on the news. But I was very impressed by everything that I found. And, I learned about their Artist Program, that essentially would allow me to create an at-home career for myself selling the makeup with total flexibility and a generous compensation plan. As a new mom, and a writer trying to build a brand and support my publishing endeavors, my interest was piqued. 

By the time we met for the makeover I was already mostly decided I wanted to dive into Maskcara, and all I was really waiting on was seeing how the makeup was in person and if I liked it.

Well, if you follow me on social media then you already know, I loved it. I went back home that night talked about it with my husband and ordered my artist kit.

mascara makeup

Makeup As Therapy

So that is the story of how I found Maskcara and got started on my journey with it, but let’s talk about how it actually helped me and has functioned as a therapy for me. There are three major areas of my life that have been impacted by this makeup.

  • Poor self-image
  • Resistance to making friends and connecting with other women
  • Day to day depression and lack of motivation

Let’s talk about self-image. 

We all know that what we see, especially these days being so drowned by the media, really shapes the way we perceive things.

I started wearing makeup when I was in junior high. 

I like makeup, I think it’s fun, but I’ve never been super attached to it or felt like I needed it. Most days I go without it. But I did feel like I would see these beautiful women with gorgeous makeup, and I could never get mine to look like theirs. And when I tried, while it didn’t look bad, I didn’t feel like myself. I felt very covered up and more like I was wearing a mask that came off in the bathroom sink at the end of the night. 

But that’s what makeup is, right, it’s a way to hide our imperfections?

A New Mindset Around Makeup

Maskcara Beauty changed my mind about all of that. I learned that makeup could be easy, fast, and fun, and that I could feel and look like myself with it on. Not only that, I could feel like the best, most put together and confident version of myself with it on.

What I’ve noticed over the past seven months of wearing Maskcara makeup, is that I have very few occurrences of negative self-talk when it comes to the way I look.

I think it’s because when I spend 10 minutes in the morning putting on my makeup, feeling very beautiful and feminine, and recognizing myself as beautiful, it eliminates those negative thoughts for the day. And now, even on the days when I don’t wear makeup, I know that I’m only ever 10 minutes away from feeling my best, so my brain has stopped running the “you’re ugly” cycle.

And another thing, as an Artist, I have had to become comfortable taking pictures of myself for social media and being able to show people the makeup. But that was really hard, because pictures are where I feel the most vulnerable, and usually I hate pictures of myself. But the more I’ve worked at it, and learned about photography and how to model in front of a camera, it’s become so much easier! I now have pictures of myself that I like!

Making Business Minded Friends

Let’s move on to the second area, which was resistance to making friends. 

When you’re in school, or when you work at an office with the same people everyday, it’s easy to get to know people and make friends. But as a stay-at-home mom, you really have to work at it and put yourself out there, and it is so much easier to isolate yourself and hunker down in your own little bubble with your couch and Netflix.

But my husband and I had talked about the fact that it would be good for me to have some girlfriends, because let’s be honest, there are things I want to talk about that mean absolutely nothing to him. He is very supportive, but girl talk is girl talk.

It’s not so much that I didn’t have friends, but we were in this new phase of life where we were moving a lot, I didn’t see my old friends very often, and any new ones I didn’t know very well.

I think another  part of the challenge for me was that I specifically wanted to talk with business minded women who understood what it’s like trying to build a brand and an audience in all of your spare moments. Something that’s not easy to do with a new baby on your hip.

With Maskcara I found that. I was suddenly part of an amazing and supportive community of women business owners who were all facing the same challenges and were helping each other figure things out. It’s really just been the perfect place for me to learn and grow. 

And, by nature of the trade, I’ve had to get better at reaching out to other women in my life to offer makeovers and it’s helped me to form new friendships and relationships that I never would have made otherwise.

A Daily Boost

I think one of the best things has been the day to day boost I get from wearing the makeup. PTSD can be a lifelong struggle. I have days when I feel very depressed, and unmotivated, but I’ve got responsibilities that I can’t ignore. As a mother and a wife, I have to show up every day, regardless of how I feel. 

Putting on this makeup has become a ritual I love, rather than a chore I dread. It’s the 10 minutes when I show up and look myself in the face and say to myself, “okay, I’m doing today.”

It’s become a mindfulness practice and a sort of meditation.

Something you may not know about me is that I love painting and find it so calming, but I never have time for it these days, so I feel like makeup is my chance to paint and play with color. The fact that it can be a daily practice and something that I keep with me all day has just been so wonderful!

A Quick Fix

I always hear that there is no quick and easy fix to mental illness or trauma recovery. And that’s true. It’s a long road, with twists and turns, and victories and failures. It’s taxing and it’s lonely.

And I know it sounds kind of silly to say that a certain kind of makeup could be the cure, but for me it has really played a huge role this past year. It’s been a much needed tool in helping me to rewire my brain. And I especially love that I get to share it with everyone!

If something I said spoke to you, and you want to give Maskcara Beauty a try, head over to this page and fill out my color match form! This will help me know what recommendations to give you so we can pick out the right shades for you. You’ll also find plenty of videos and information about the makeup so you can learn a little more for yourself.

If you think you may want to join my team as a Maskcara Artist, send me a message through my website or on social media and I will be thrilled to get you some more information. There is so much more I could say about Maskcara, but I think that will have to wait for future posts.

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