I am so excited to introduce you to this beautiful woman. She has got a heart of gold. It’s been the greatest honour to meet her, photograph her and start a beautiful friendship alongside her. She’s a real artist at heart full of compassion and grace. Here is her story told in a very unusual way, real and incredibly vulnerable! 

With love and hope,

Flo


Dear Make-up,

You’ve always been a close friend of mine.
But you know when you start relying on a friendship too much?
When you don’t feel confident without your pal by your side?
Well, it can be unhealthy
Our relationship has definitely been a bit like that.

When the girls at my boarding school started pulling each other apart, feature by feature, I was introduced to you
When my spots were so bad that I got called ‘pizza face’ wherever I went, you became my protection and my hiding place. I’d layer you on as the camouflage to stop myself from getting attacked
When I went from shallow and damaging relationship to equally shallow and damaging relationship, you were what I believed in to bring me beauty and therefore love
When I went anywhere without you, I felt ugly, unloveable and exposed. So basically I just didn’t!

But, make-up, as I finally came back broken to God I started to realise that I’d been looking in the wrong places for protection and acceptance, for beauty and love
A deepening revelation of my Creator’s truth set me free
My confidence no longer came from you or how others treated me but from the life within me
And it meant the balance could be re-addressed
I was no longer reliant on you which actually meant I could enjoy hanging out again.

Infact ironically years later I even became a make-up artist
The tables were well and truly turned!
I didn’t want to change or hide women though
In the freedom I was learning to walk in, I had this new desire to use you in a more positive way on them too
I wanted to highlight their natural features and celebrate who they were
Uniquely beautiful.

Then recently, the formidable Flo came along!
Her heart beat as mine did for women like us who had been bound by insecurities
I shared our story with her
My dependent relationship on you
She understood and encouraged me further into freedom...
This shoot.

So, make-up, we decided it would be really powerful to take you off halfway through
It was nice to have you there for the first part (and I kind of wanted you to stick around to be honest)
But I had to do this on my own
To step out and show that you have no hold over me anymore.

I felt free and slightly nervous and exhilarated and a bit silly and not silly at all, all at the same time
Flo was amazing at gently encouraging me to literally jump and dance out of my comfort zone
When I took you off, it was a bit uncomfortable and emotional for a moment
But then I couldn’t care less, it was done!
And breathe...
I was bare and bold and staring into the lens without you
Just me.

Ruth x


The true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. -Audrey Hepburn