Finding Beauty in Pain

Shara Trott |


“You don’t need all that make-up! Why don’t you try wearing a little less?”
“You’re so pretty! Stop wearing so much make-up, you’ll hide it.”
“You should only wear that much make-up when you go out! Not every day!”


When it comes to make-up and comments about how much I should or shouldn’t wear, trust me, I’ve heard it all. I’ve been wearing make-up for over a decade now, so there is nothing anyone can say to me or behind my back that I haven’t heard and subsequently ignored already. As it applies to make-up I’ve always operated from the belief system that, just like fashion, make-up is a form of self-expression. Yes, there a ton of beauty “rules” that you can read in any recent issue of “Cosmopolitan” or “Elle” magazine but, and pardon my use of a cliché phrase, rules were made to be broken. I am a HUGE advocate of every individual making their own rules when it comes to beauty and make-up. What works for you may not work for another person and vice versa. The beauty and joy of the art of make-up is experimenting and trying things on for size. We can get so bogged down by the “rules” and trying to stay on trend and making sure we’re using all the “hot’ products that the YouTube beauty bloggers use, that we just forget to have fun with it. Obviously we all want to look good but, as with anything in life, you have to task risks in order to reap any sort of benefit. Meaning, essentially, that you have to walk around looking ridiculous for a while before you find your stride as it applies to make-up.

Whenever I go out in “full face”, either one of two things happen to me. I get a stranger who comes up to me under the guise of “looking out” and subsequently proceeds to tell me, albeit condescendingly, that I am “too pretty to wear all that make-up” and I should think about going “more natural” with my look. I never understand why when people see an individual wearing make-up they believe that person’s goal is to cover up. Make-up is a widely recognized form of art. A face is like a reusable canvas that you wash every night and get to create new pieces of art on the morning. Not every person that passes you on the street is trying to cover up because they are insecure, which seems to be a widespread school of thought.

The other reoccurring thing that happens to me whenever I leave the house in full face is I get several really sweet girls who come up to me and compliment me on my makeup (which I truly love!). Many people think that I am a makeup artist or an aspiring makeup artist and neither is true. I’m always asked how I got “so good” at makeup. I’ve never taken any formal classes or had any formal training in the area of makeup. I’m just a girl with a lot of down time to devote to YouTube makeup tutorials.

but the artistry of makeup taught me how to look at the beauty in situations that are not at all beautiful

My love for makeup and beauty came about during a time in my life that was anything but beautiful. As many people know who know me, I have a chronic pain condition called “fibromyalgia” as well as an arthritis condition. I had always dealt with chronic pain growing up, but it would be a day here, maybe two days there but after a few hours of rest I’d be fine. That all changed in 2012. I had went on a trip from Toronto where I was in school to the UK to visit my mother. I returned back to Toronto one night and went to bed. Woke up the next morning and couldn’t walk at all. Thus began a journey that has lasted several years of hospital visits, testing, doctors, tears, frustration and unanswered questions and pretty much resulted in me being on bed rest for two years. As you can imagine, it was an extremely lonely time for me. I was living in the UK and I knew no one, not that me knowing no one in the area really made a difference considering I was on bed rest unable to leave my room let, alone my house. My friends were at their respective schools moving on with life and I was literally stuck physically and emotionally.

Naturally, I began spending a lot of time online. I had always had an aptitude for makeup; I was always interested in it but never really had the time or the desire to seek any formal training or to sit still long enough to master any of the techniques I admired. Now, I had nothing but time and I had no choice on the matter of sitting still so I began to spend the majority of my days on bed rest watching YouTube makeup tutorials. It became a welcomed distraction from the situation I was in. I mastered the techniques I loved and became immersed in a world of beauty of products and tools and before I knew it, my life basically revolved around makeup.  Which may seem superficial to some, but to me it was better than the alternative which was to have my life revolve around sickness and depression. So when I hear people criticize me about the amount of makeup I wear it doesn’t affect me because I know what the alternative could’ve been. And when someone compliments me on my makeup it’s more than a feeling of vanity. I feel a sense of accomplishment because I have days when it was either focus on perfecting my winged eyeliner or think about ending my life because I didn’t want to live in chronic pain.

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that makeup in any way cured my physical ailments or that the solution to your problems is to start doing makeup, but the artistry of makeup taught me how to look at the beauty in situations that are not at all beautiful and being able to create a fierce winged liner without having to pay for it isn’t a bad deal either;).

Keep up with Shara via Instagram @thehyperfemininefeminist


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Written by goldthelabel


One comment

  1. Love this Shara!!! Thank you for your bold spirit to talk about this topic; one which I’m sure if often misinterpreted by society. Continue to shine and stay true to yourself lady xxx

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