• Mikayla Nogueira

Talking about my biggest insecurity...

Updated: Jan 9

One change I wanted to make in the year 2020 was to stop being afraid to share who I am. I feel like when people look at me, they see a mystery. Specifically, no one has really ever seen what I look like without the makeup on. Only a select few people have.

I talk about this consistently, but I love working at Ulta Beauty because I can make others feel beautiful and help them with their insecurities. This comes from my own personal experience, where I discovered makeup and used it as a way to cover my insecurities. In the long run, it has truly helped me. Not only did I develop a passion for makeup, but makeup has allowed me to feel beautiful.

Starting my makeup journey at 12, I started wearing makeup for two main reasons:

1. Dealing with bullying brought about low self-esteem and deep insecurities regarding my appearance. I had been bullied since kindergarten, but did not realize makeup could help me until much later on.

2. Puberty was not my friend and I started experiencing acne around age 11. Everyone experiences acne at one point or another, but for me I just had it a little worse than others.

While these reasons are of course unfortunate, makeup has been a savior. It has allowed me to feel comfortable in my skin. However, for years and years I have felt as if I am living a lie. When I put on makeup, I usually am more heavy handed than others, and I like a doll-like appearance. Every single day, whether it be at work, school, the grocery store, or at a restaurant, people tell me I have the most perfect skin they have ever seen. I hear things like, "you have no pores!" "you look like a doll" "your skin is so amazing, what is your skincare routine?" Every. single. day.

These compliments are always so nice and very flattering. They make my day. But I die a little bit inside every time they are said, because they are so not true. It's so strange to me that no one really knows what my face actually looks like. And it is incredibly terrifying to show the photos I am about to share with you.

In this new decade, I want to be okay with how I look. It sucks to admit that without makeup I truly feel ugly. I know I am not the prettiest person, and I feel that way with makeup on. Without makeup on, I just feel... disgusting. Never in my entire life have I felt I was a beautiful or pretty person. Which of course... led to my life-long journey with body dysmorphia and eating disorders. It sucks so much to not feel confident in myself. I always look at other women and appreciate how beautiful they are, wishing I could look like them.

But this year I really just want to look like me. I want to be okay with myself with or without the makeup on. Yes, I have acne, and yes, it sucks so much. But I am so tired of hiding it, truly. Rather than being a fraud, I want to be someone who gives hope to others who are struggling with acne the way I am. I want to show others how makeup is helpful and transformative. I want to help myself to accept my acne and show others that it is okay to have acne. It is normal. We can clean our faces everyday and take incredible care of our skin, but sometimes acne cannot be defeated that easily. It is a journey over several years, but there is hope knowing that someday the acne will go away.

For now, I am accepting me and ready to stop being afraid of what people will think of my acne. You can hate it, you can be grossed out by it, and you can think differently of me, but one thing is for sure: I am learning to accept who I am.

While the left photo is what I look like each day, full glam, the right photo is me. The right photo is absolutely no makeup, fresh out of the shower. The left side is two hours of me painting a portrait. There is no editing done to the left photo. With years of practice, I have learned how to successfully cover my acne to a point where it looks like it would not even exist under the makeup. When I tell people I have acne, they are always shocked, and sometimes even think I am lying. Well, here is your proof.

I cannot even express to you how sad I feel when I look at the right side. It would be so nice if my skin truly looked like the left, then I would not have to work so hard to cover it all up everyday. It is exhausting not feeling comfortable leaving my home without makeup on, because if I get invited out somewhere and I do not have makeup on, I usually have to decline because it would take me two hours to get ready, and that is simply the reality I live in. In 2020, I want to be able to leave my room with no makeup on and feel okay. I want to truly be an inspiration for others who are going through the same thing. I want to talk to other people who deal with acne and connect with them, so I know I am not alone. Is anyone experiencing these same feelings?

If you've read this, you now know what I really look like without all of the makeup on. I hope I have not horrified you too much, and I hope you do not think differently of me. I am nervous. I am scared. Here's to a new year of challenges, where my first challenge is to accept myself for who I am and love myself the best I can given the circumstances. Going forward, I will continue to share my acne journey with you.

Thanks for reading,

Mikayla Jane