Alex Box is a renowned makeup artist and director who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Lady Gaga and Kate Moss. While most of the posts on her popular Instagram account feature different projects and behind-the-scenes shots on the job, she recently shared a more personal post in which she discussed her own image.
Next to a selfie in which she wears little makeup, Box wrote about the insecurities she has dealt with when it comes to one of her most prominent features — her lips.
While many post about body insecurities on the social media platform, the post was refreshing coming from a professional whose job it is to reinvent faces.
“The reason I’m posting this [is] because for years I’ve been really self conscious about my lips — always drawing them much bigger than they are, always thinking they are micro-frog, letterbox lips — and always, always wearing red lipstick that I love! But also because it helps me get away with drawing them bigger,” she wrote in the post.
She detailed that she’s tried to embrace her lips — but usually ends up painting them.
“I’ve tried so many times to wear no makeup lips and eyes but somehow bottle out and end up putting my red back on by the end of the day or end of the street! I consider myself a strong woman, but as we all do have body and face issues that can chip into that confidence in a micro scale — first world problems, I know! But something I’d love to overcome about myself,” she said.
It wasn’t until a special person in her life intervened that Box’s perspective began to shift.
“Then I met a my lovely friend @nicolvizioli, who — when coming back from a outdoor shoot — as I was taking my makeup off, was really excited to see me without red lips — saying how nice my lips wear with no makeup and how beautiful shape, etc.,” she wrote. “I felt self conscious and deflected the compliment and went into full comedy routine, as I do to change the subject.”
She realized that not embracing her own features but working to help others to embrace their own was a bit hypocritical. “I spend so much time encouraging others to be experimental, have faith and have courage. I was really needing my own medicine realizing how unconfident I was about this particular thing about me,” she wrote.
She says that the words of encouragement from Vizioli actually made an impact. “Having this friend who has encouraged and relentlessly told me my lips aren’t horrible — and like a tiny frog — has made me feel very empowered — so much that I did a talk yesterday in barely any makeup. I felt fantastic!” she wrote.
Box described participating in the talk at the London Beauty + Technology Summit with little makeup as a liberating experience. “I think I’m always challenging the notion of presentation and perception within my own work,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “So to practice what I preach with the understanding of being more comfortable about something I was insecure about is definitely a liberating experience that I wanted to share.”
In her Instagram post, Box addressed the unique idea of a makeup artist not wearing makeup. “No makeup is rad for me. It is alternative to me — so what I’m excited to share is that sisterhood and support and love for your girls and woman and men friends is so important to what makes us feel beautiful strong and alive! I see so many beautiful woman and men every day — all unique, all different, all have there thing going on,” she wrote.
Box believes that embracing those differences is one of the keys to interpreting and exploring beauty in oneself and others, noting, “I think that being fallible and being open — showing that you have insecurities — is what moves peoples perception of beauty along,” she says. “I think we do create veils, so it’s great to remove to show what’s underneath — to show that we’re all fallible. We’re all insecure, and we’re all there to help each out.”
Along with embracing imperfections, Box feels that supporting others and combatting beauty stereotypes is essential.
“We have so many conventional stereotypes bombarding us to have this or that ass or face and everyone is touched by it, so please lets support each other’s individuality and beauty and cherish that its uniqueness is what makes us so special,” she wrote in her Instagram post.
She’s found this support system through the Instagram beauty community and her friends.
“What I really cherish with my following on social media is the ability to be inclusive and share my feelings and to respond and talk to people about theirs,” she says. “It’s very important to have a support network of friends that really feel comfortable and relaxed — whether you have makeup on or not. And to have somebody as well as yourself that you can talk to about what it is and why — I think that most women have those friends. Having a friend that’s persistent enough to support you and not let it go is really important.”
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