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Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, searching for pure happiness & joy

Self Interaction & The Beauty Routine



Around 4 years ago now, I remember stumbling across a photo series called Rituals by a talented photographer, Noorann Matties. The series was full of just candid, true-to-life snaps of women basically getting ready; sat at their dining table, sat in the bathtub, curling their hair in front of the mirror in the bathroom, perched on the end of their beds with a mirror balanced on a pile of books... It was a series that kind of struck a cord with me because of it's simplicity but it's striking beauty. It was the thought of all these women in the photographs just being caught in their usual daily routine and it has had me thinking about it ever since. Many of us spend at least some time in the morning looking at ourselves in the mirror. Whether it's just to brush our teeth and wash our faces or whether it's a full blown 3 hour full face of skincare & makeup and hair-do extravaganza - we all spend time "gussying" ourselves up ready to take on the day. We look at ourselves but I don't think we interact with ourselves. We tend to focus on the surface and perfecting it but we don't delve deeper; we don't really truly *look* at ourselves. So what would this girl see if she did?

She'd see years of acne, scarring and large pores. She would huff and puff at the state of her skin, foolishly asking some higher beauty being what she did to deserve such problematic skin. She'd see discolouration under her eyes and lots of very small white bumps - bumps she's never quite known the function or cause of so she will continuously gloss over them with an abundance of tonics, eye creams, and solutions that all promise to make them go away. But they never really go away. She'd look at the frown lines and pesky little crows feet that are starting to take up permanent residency around her eyes rather than just being the occasional blessed visitor during laughter or angry passionate discussions. She'd notice the peach fuzz around her top lip as the morning sunlight begins to creep in through the window and almost as quickly, dismiss acknowledging in the hopes that ignoring the issue of it will make it disappear.



She will proceed to complain about every fine, fly away hair that is hanging limp and lying out of place. She'll tug at it and smother it in products yet again hoping that this will be the remedy despite mastering this technique over the years and still seeing no change - maybe today is the day, though. She won't just stop there; she will look at her chest and shoulders, cursing remnants of and fresh brewing acne whilst also cursing her insistence on picking at this skin until there's no other option but to cover it up no matter how sunny or hot it may be outside. She'll make sure whatever choice of top or dress covers the tops of her arms that are always now a little too plump and wobbly for her liking. She'll graze over the aptly named "pooch" that should be her stomach and pretend that the yoga she now sporadically does will counter-balance her insatiable appetite for pizza all the goddamn time.

She will wonder why all these imperfections and negativities are so endearing in others - why they're the things she loves the most about everyone she meets - yet she can't stomach her own in the same manner. Hers are something to hide away and shy away from. Hers are something to draw attention away from by any means possible yet she celebrates those of others. Those crooked smiles, those freckled noses, those wrinkles around the eyes of others will always be her favourite parts of those individuals, but she just can't express the same interest in her own.

"Forced to examine ourselves in ways many normally avoid, Rituals as a project sought to capture the moment in which our lives become devoid of distraction and we become intimately aware of ourselves. By photographing people’s personal beauty rituals I attempted to capture this awareness, this intimacy that occurs only when one is
forced to examine their own body, the most basic thing that is theirs, and build upon it."
- Noorann Matties
(source)



Eventually she'll change her ways though. As she grows in years, she grows in mindset and acceptance too. She begins to realise that she is surrounded by love in so many forms - from friends, family, partners, and strangers - and she will realise the only love she is lacking is the love and acceptance from the person who should always matter the most - herself. She, no... me. I realised I needed to accept myself for who I am. I came to terms with the fact that that old cliché "beauty is only skin deep" is the most honest and trustworthy thing anyone will ever say to another. I accepted that my skin will never be perfect. It's my foundation to build upon and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It might reduce me to tears at times because I can be so incredibly unhappy with it, but I also enjoy the fact that I have a routine every morning in which I improve myself - both inside and out - so I can confidently take on my day, looking how I want to.

I no longer worry about that spot that will eventually disappear. I no longer spend hours trying to fill and smooth out every fine line and pore to look like some porcelain perfection. I still have some ways to go - and sometimes the thought of studying myself in the mirror that morning is the *last* thing I want to do but, I'm getting there. I'm growing. I'm beginning to accept all those hairs that are out of place and that soft tummy that is sculpted from a love of carbs yet a healthy and nourishing diet (for the most part). I've actually begun to like the way my eyes look and the fact that I have got some good cheekbones. Being shrouded in a continuous haze of love from many sources is a luxury and something I never take for granted, but there's room for one more amongst that haze, there's room for one more friend to feed my confidence and self-love, and there's only one form who can take that spot. That form has to be self love. That form has to be me.


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