My name is Jazzie, and I grew up in San Francisco, California. I am 24 years old. I’ve always been an artist, and I’ve also found a really good passion for makeup.
Jazzie describes how she has reconciled her love of makeup art with skin positivity.
“When I was only posting about makeup, there wasn’t really a focus on skincare, and I started breaking out a lot. It was really difficult for me because I already had an Instagram, and I was posting looks all of the time for fun. But then, I realized that people didn’t recognize me very well in real life. I never wanted someone to be surprised about how I truly looked or that I had acne. So, at that moment, I decided to stop covering up with foundation and concealer. I thought, “I’m just going to show myself how I am because I don’t want to shock anyone when I meet them in person.” My boyfriend was a photographer, and I said, “Please don’t edit any of my photos.” It was so worth it to me because I just wanted to be real. That’s where my journey started with skin positivity. “
Jazzie conveys how her perspective on acne has changed profoundly over the years.
She says, “I remember when my acne was at its worse, and I didn’t even recognize my face anymore. It was just heartbreaking on so many levels. That’s why a positive mindset in the face of negativity is an important thing to share. For example, I remember when I was a teenager, and I had minor breakouts on my forehead that were easy to hide. However, the wind blew my bangs up one time, and some girl came up to me, and she was like, “What happened? What happened to your forehead?”
I just told her that I had an allergic reaction.
That was the first time someone had approached me about my acne. Although I know everyone has different experiences, that was a very memorable and unpleasant moment for me. It scarred me a bit that someone would make the effort to walk up to me and point it out.
Throughout high school, I struggled with acne and minor breakouts when I was in high school, but my final years in college were when my skin started breaking out a lot. Right when I turned 20, the acne got hard, hormonal, and cystic. I had a bunch of different types of acne, I had clogged pores, and breakouts all over my chin. It was super red and irritated, and I was just like - “What is going on!?” It was even embarrassing to cover it up. So eventually, I eventually decided not to. I began posting my real skin.
I valued honesty more than trying to be perfect. I made it a choice to show my acne. I wasn’t trying to make a statement, but suddenly, I realized that I was making a statement because of the conversations it started. As I began posting my natural skin on social media, it became easier. However, it was harder to show my skin in real life than it was on social media. When I post on social media, it doesn’t really register to me that anyone can see it, but when I’m in person with someone, it does register. On social media, I’m still controlling what I put out there. I know what people are going to see, but then, in real life, people are standing around me at all angles.
In person, you can see the texture and the way light hits the skin. I’m not in control of that. So, I found it much harder to step out of the door without any makeup covering my acne. But what's encouraging is that people talked to me in real life about what I was doing online. This gave me a sense of security because I felt like I was doing something and helping other people. I began pointing out in my captions that my hormonal breakouts were normal. I would still be wearing full-on lashes and makeup, but I just didn’t cover my acne. People would ask me, “Did you miss a spot? Do you see your acne?” I would think, “Yes, of course, I see my acne. I’ve spent all of this time doing my makeup.”
Jazzies speaks about how she’s learned to overcome the opinions of others.
There was a time when I had stopped wearing makeup because I thought it wouldn’t look good on me. But now, I’ve found my own beauty without it. There’s always a way to figure out how to look and feel your best. If something doesn’t make you feel great, then, it’s not mandatory. It’s really not. I remember how I was going through acne treatments and my skin was flaking off way too much for me to wear makeup, and I just had to find a way around it. I had to focus on other parts of my beauty routine that made me happy. Like, maybe I’d focus on my outfit one day.
There are always other things that are amazing to focus your mind on. I know that acne and texture can really take over your mind, and It’s amazing how much we can hyperfocus on it. I remember waking up early before having to go to class. I would just stare at the mirror and try to ice my skin. I wanted to make all of the redness go away. I would just stare and look at it. I would hyperfocus on my pores all the time, and before I knew it, I had spent like 30 minutes looking in the mirror to see what else was wrong.
It was just crazy. Now, I intentionally don’t look at the mirror that much anymore. When I would do my eye makeup, I just positioned the mirror where I could only see my eyes, and I didn’t do much else. Pimple patches used to be a big thing for me because they kept me from picking. I didn’t even care if people could see them because I was like, “I’m healing my skin, and I am going to feel great when I take them off.”
Jazzie says she looks back on her growth and feels grateful.
There has been a big shift in how I value myself and my appearance. I learned that the way you look does not determine who you are. Your personality and soul are completely different than your outward appearance. You can change what people see easily, and that is very convenient. However, you can’t change your soul on a whim. So, knowing that my soul is about more than blemishes truly helped me.
Also, knowing that all skin is normal helped me. There’s no such thing as bad skin, but when my acne was its worst, I had a lot of self-hatred. I would just continuously think, “MY SKIN IS BAD.” And, to have something like that in your head all of the time is unnecessary. When your skin acts normally, that is not negative, and I’m glad that I’m able to carry that positivity. We have to talk about things like this because otherwise, it’s just automatic, negative self-talk when you’re looking in the mirror and seeing what you don’t want to see. This can be extremely hard, and perhaps a solution for me isn’t going to help anyone else, but I’m here for that mental support. Going through acne is normal, and I deeply want to help people in that aspect. I want to provide reassurance and be that person who I never had. Reassurance is important on so many levels.
Just know that it is possible to feel good about yourself with acne. I never thought I would see that day. I used to wear full-coverage foundation even if I was hiking because I was so critical of myself. That’s why it’s really important to push love outwards so you can bring it back into yourself. It’s difficult when you look into the mirror and hear that immediate criticism, but it’s possible to feel less insecure and not embarrassed. Over the past two years, my insecurities about my acne have dissolved a lot even though my acne is still super present. But even though my acne is present, I am still present too.