Hand-Lettering Illustration: Real Beauty, Makeup, and the Soul

Hand-Lettering Illustration: Real Beauty, Makeup, and the Soul | By Yaansoon IllustrationI grew up in a family where one person only had tonnes of foundation on, and she did not represent the family’s norm. I personally was deeply influenced by my late grandmother’s kind of thinking – and that is: Real Beauty is Beauty of the Soul. So, I created these hand-lettering illustrations to put this kind of logic out in the world – especially that we seem to be going through a “heavy foundation era” (that acts more like a “mask” to our inner insecurities than anything else).

The other day I was on YouTube watching video after video about ways to apply foundation, contouring, highlights, and the latest fad, strobing. These videos all seemed like elaborate tutorials to help you look like someone you’re not (and to entice you to buy more and more beauty products).

I hated those videos and started to look for something that looked more natural, toned down and earthy, and I found it. It’s called “French Girl Makeup,” which is the complete opposite of what some like to term as “American Girl Makeup” (which probably excludes New York, San Fran, and Portland).

Hand-Lettering Illustration: Real Beauty, Makeup, and the Soul | By Yaansoon IllustrationI also came across this article on Brit + Co., which sheds some light on how our attitude towards makeup is pretty much a representation of our attitude towards life in general, and towards ourselves. I like this particular intro:

“No one lives the ‘less is more’ lifestyle better than French girls, especially when it comes to beauty. Appearing in what seems like constant #wokeuplikethis state, they basically wrote the book on lazy girl hair and makeup — fingers through bedhead, a wash of foundation (if any) and maybe mascara + lip gloss to get out-the-door ready. So it comes as no surprise that the one makeup trend they swear off is one of the most heavy-handed techniques around, and one for which *we* American girls have become globally notorious: contouring.”

The article goes on to quote a known French makeup artist in saying: “The main beauty philosophy in France is to accept who you are.”

Hand-Lettering Illustration: Real Beauty, Makeup, and the Soul | By Yaansoon IllustrationHow we use makeup is in deed a sign of a certain “mentality” that we need to be aware of, to be able to address the issues beneath.

The “French Girl” school of thought (and makeup) does teach us a lot about how to approach our skin: If we have bad skin, why make it worse by suffocating it under loads of makeup? Maybe we need to try and see if there is something internal going on that is causing all the inflammation or the uncontrollable zits. Maybe we need a drastic change in our diet or lifestyle, or maybe we need to be more mindful of our stress levels and mental health.

That’s one layer of the argument. The deeper layer is our soul.

As young teenagers it is pretty normal to live on the “surface” of things, to be shallow, and maybe easily taken by the glitz and glitter around us. But as we grow older, we might need to try and figure out the deeper meaning of life, who we are, and things as they truthfully are.

Our definition of beauty is probably one of the surest signs of our ability to mature and grow, both spiritually and mentally. It’s not easy, especially if we live in a culture that is heavily invested in outer beauty. But we can always make the choice to break out of these molds, and chart a more truthful and healthier path!

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Hand-Lettering Illustration: A New Way of Seeing Beauty

Hand-Lettering Illustration: Beauty is not in the face... | By Yaansoon Illustration

I grew up in between two worlds. At school, at home, and everywhere else, standards of beauty were pretty much external – placing much emphasis on certain body types, certain nose shapes, and a certain type of hair. But when I spent time with my grandmother, her standards of beauty were always about inner beauty, the heart, and character.

Although my grandma’s voice was the only voice emphasizing such qualities, time and time again life has taught me that the kind of beauty that really matters is that of the heart.

I created this hand-lettering illustration as a reminder to keep my focus on what really matters.

No More Fashion Magazines

Everywhere you turn, you find companies, brands, YouTubers, and people trying to cage us within certain definitions for what is beautiful. And most of these definitions are about looks, style, and image – and not about character, heart, or real inner beauty.

That’s why I stopped buying fashion and beauty magazines. They mostly fill our heads with such false notions about beauty, and they mostly make young women feel inadequate. And when they want to jump on the inner beauty bandwagon, they end up sending mixed messages, because a few pages later you are still faced with the same airbrushed beauty that the magazine is really all about.

A few days ago, I started a huge YouTube purge and unfollowed most of the beauty brands I have ever subscribed to. I felt a sense of true liberation, because now I will stop being bombarded with how-to’s and tutorials that require me to break the bank just to get my hands on the latest lip liner or luminous foundation.

I did keep a few YouTubers who shared their Natural Beauty secrets, but made sure to let go of all the brands that advertised heavy contouring, layers of foundation, and a specific standard of beauty.

Inner Beauty & Self-Esteem

From personal experience, my self-esteem and the way I feel about myself have improved in leaps and bounds when I took every fashion magazine (online and offline) out of my life.

Over the years, I have met many women who truly believed they were unattractive, when I knew for a fact they were very pretty both outwardly and inwardly. The problem they’ve faced all of their lives was that their kind of beauty was rarely represented in fashion magazines, therefore making them believe they were far from being on a par with the Photoshop-doctored images they see on magazine covers and advertisement billboards.

Flaws, What Flaws?

There is something seriously wrong with the world, and that is the fashion and beauty industries. They leech off people’s insecurities and make it their business to amplify them in a way that makes you want to “cover up your flaws” by using their products. The word “flaw” is closely associated with feelings of shame and inadequacy, and that is exactly what the fashion and beauty industries have been fueling the past few decades.

I say, don’t listen to them. Focus on what is within and your whole life will change to the better!

I hope you liked today’s hand-lettering artwork and post. Looking forward to seeing you in my next one!

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