The most powerful things in the realm of fashion and beauty are the relationships being made. In particular, when it comes to women, there can be a favorable element, arising. One of those pertains to the care and gentility taking place. Loving other women, and seeing them as sisters. Protecting that sisterhood, out of desire to see other women beautiful, and in their best presentation.
When women contribute to improving, or beautifying, the appearances of other women, selfishness is dismantled. There is an intertwining into the lived experiences of the feminine. Furthermore, one begins to observe the power in helping other women see their own beauty. Creating spaces for them to reflect upon their own insecurities, and healing from them. The purpose of the fashion and beauty arenas, is for women to invoke artistry in making the feminine beautiful. In all her colors. Through all her shapes and sizes. Matriculating through this phenomenon, one can observe how each woman, that we cross, is somehow intertwined into our lives. We want that feminine Being to look her best, because she is contributing to a Universal reflection of womanhood. Inner and outer beauty are praises to the existence of humanity.
One of the phenomenons of a woman make-up artist is how her craft can bring a whole therapy to a woman’s day. From the strokes of her brush, to the different colors she uses in revealing femininity’s attractive features, a woman make-up artist is a therapist to other women. She exposes them to a whole, new world into seeing themselves. Attuning herself to the beauties of each woman, she proclaims every woman to be beautiful, by bringing forth their particular allure. Not only can she embrace her own artistry, but she reflects her very Spirit, in the way that she crafts her muse. It is enchanting and inviting.
So, on December 10, 2015 and December 11, 2015, at the American University in Cairo’s New Cairo campus, I managed to experience that wonderful presence. Her name is Salma, and what a counselor she was. Make-up are her healing tools. Other women on campus joined in wanting to partake in this special therapy. Sitting and relaxing, as we waited our turn, we observed Salma, and her magical display of beauty. She was gentle, crafty, and attentive to detail. Her light brushes and gentle strokes reassured us, that her artistry was dedicated to making us look, and feel good. For our final display was reflective of her self-esteem, and own enchantment, with the feminine. Waiting women, and onlookers, observed her, and her paintings.
And then, it was my turn. I welcomed it without haste. Smelling the freshness of the make-up products, was a reminder of woman’s connection to nature. Salma’s spirit was soothing. As she painted creams and other products onto my skin, any hardness of the day, had melted away. I’m sure other women, coming for their therapeutic experience, were feeling the same. A refreshing lightness had aroused us, after the final brush stroke had been completed. In the midst of any heavy burdens, which had been experienced during the course of the day, it was clear that after a session with Salma, participating women had felt a restoration of their womanhood. Experiencing their softness come alive, while saturated with an inner glow. Salma was doing more than “committing to her job.” Through make-up, she was healing broken spirits, enriching self-esteems, and encouraging women to embrace (and celebrate) every part of their Being. In this context, make-up was healer.
On a personal journey, it had been quite some time, since I treated myself to a proper pampering. I was not one to wear a lot of make-up, with the exception of eyeliner and lipstick. Nevertheless, that day (Salma’s day) reassured me that there was a naturality to cosmetic design. One, that very few women, really engage with. That naturality is connected to a bond. And, it is the bond, which really reveals the true purpose for make-up’s allure. The allure is connected to women’s affinity to celebrating each other. That was the major lesson, to be emphasized (and learned) for that time.
Too often, make-up (and other accessories to beauty) have been used to create competition among women. Media and societal conceptions entertain divisions, toxic energies, and abusive practices, in the culture of womanhood. Not only is it painful, but it is emotionally and psychologically destructive. It is a violent mechanism against the very existence of, woman. Another unpleasant factor concerning the cosmetic world, is that for too long, make-up was presented as “making a woman beautiful,” as opposed to aligning with the naturalness of her beauty. Bringing out her natural looks, rather than covering them.
Both days with Salma were rewarding. The second day allowed for one-on-one beauty bonding time. All the while re-affirming that beauty (and her utensils) should bring women together. Vanity and narcissism have no place in the true aura of fashion and beauty. Neither does using one’s beautiful to feel superior to others.
Keep in mind that everything is Universal. The healing side of fashion and beauty is that looking our best should inspire others to do the same. It should promote self-love for those who have been neglected and unloved. Make-up and beauty should spread awakening to women, who have been left out of the celebration of beauty, as a result of social, heinous constructs. The whole purpose of beauty is to heal. Anything else is less than, beautiful.
The nature of higher education can be rather strenuous and stressful. Exams, papers, tuition fees, and the pressures from family members are major to the core. Female professors having to manage career, family, or dating life. Maintaining their feminity, while feeling overworked and undervalued. For women, the campus life can make appearance the least of our worries. And, wait for it. . .the blessed feminine comes in to save the day. Refreshing our looks, our minds, and Spirits. Aligning us back to our natural essence, as women. Isn’t it grand when they happen to be around on the campus scene? Bold and vigilant, as ever. Reassuring us that its alright to be feminine, and receive care in serious spaces. Having those moments with other women, through the common denominator of looking their best. Celebrating our desire to do so, shattering notions of rivalry, and making up, in the process.