Jeanette Marie is a licensed esthetician from Philadelphia, Pa. Here's her story: 

I was in New York staying at the YMC on 92nd St. while completing my public relations internship with Chanel, through The Marist College - New York Fashion Experience Program. One weekend, I decided to go home to Philly right before a major fashion show at Grand Central Station. I either had an allergic reaction to something, or my face was contaminated during my commute from Philly back to NY because when I woke up the next morning my jaw felt strange. Half sleep, I haphazardly scratched whatever decided to infiltrate my skin the night before my big day, thinking the itching would subside. It didn't! My scratching turned into a few blunt rubs, causing the irritation to rise. 

I tussled with my comforter for a few seconds before I was able to stand up and find a mirror only to discover a huge rash on the left side of my cheek spiraling toward my chin. 

I immediately went into panic mode because I was one of the lead interns for the show. The intern manager picked one other girl and me to work the show, in which, we were going to set up for in a few hours. Whenever I start panicking I, immediately, call my mom. 

For example, A few days before I moved to New York, I decided to get my first false hair installation. After days of skepticism, I removed the install the night before the first day of the internship and permed my hair to smooth out the texture from my braided foundation. Unfortunately, when I went to wash out the perm, about 25% of my hair was on the shower floor. I was literally trying to wash a perm out while kneeling in the shower because, at that time, the Y didn’t have bathtubs. I started crying hysterically. I called my mom in the middle of the night while my head was halfway in the shower. When she answered the phone she couldn't make out what I was saying. Suddenly, with a calm voice, she said, “calm down and please stop crying because it’s going to be okay”.

A few hours later, my brother and his wife (who lived close by) popped up at my door with a pack of 12-inch black hair so that I could wear an extended ponytail. I parted my hair down the middle, slicked my edges down the best I could, and pushed that ponytail through like a boss!

 Weeks later, I’m in the mirror, tapping at my dresser, staring at this rash, thinking about my hair disaster, and trying to figure out what I'm going to do about my face. Usually, I use a cleanser, throw on some eyeliner, a little mascara, and run out the door. I’ve always had clear skin so I’ve never needed many foundations and I've never really invested in skin care systems. 

However, I’ve always been intrigued by how a full, though, natural face makeup transformed a face. I would play in makeup from time to time by practicing with my friends and of course, I deemed myself "the makeup authority", with no training! In doing so, I’d built some sort of confidence in the application; alongside a small, yet useful collection of makeup products “gifted” to me from my mom. No need in calling her now, right? She was saving me and she didn’t even know it. I poured what products and brushes I had on my bed, layered on concealer until the redness started to dissipate, then foundation; then I blotted it all together with powder, lined my eyes, applied mascara, gave myself a once-over before rushing out fresh-faced. At the very least, I looked normal on the outside. This was the first time I had put on layers and layers of product. On the inside, I felt completely self-conscious and hot, until the products started to settle and I forgot I was plastered. I was nervous going into my internship, but when I got there, the boutique manager loved my face. He asked me if I’d gotten it done by one of the makeup artists in the back. I’m like, “uh no”. In my mind, I’m like, "Sir, you have no idea what it took to get here." He then offered me an opportunity to intern at the makeup counter in the boutique. This, My Friends, is where I fell head over heels and completely in love with makeup!

Today,  I am still completely and utterly still as invested in makeup as I was the day I left my internship, but over the years I've developed to adopt a theory that makeup comes second to skincare. By taking care of your bare canvas first, makeup becomes merely an enhancer of the beauty within. 

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