OPINION: Makeup Changed My Life

Story and Photos by Hailee Kaske

When I moved away to college, I was going through the hardest time in my life. I am sure many other college students can relate to the challenges that college brings about. Trying to figure out a new city, meeting new people, and searching for what you want to do with your life.

My freshman year, I focused on my academics to keep my mind off the hardships in my life, like the divorce my parents were going through. The second semester of freshman year, my mom called me to tell me she’s getting remarried. I just sat in my dorm hallway and cried, because I didn’t want my roommates to see me like that. I felt like everything I knew was falling apart around me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I never thought anything could get worse, but then it did.

My doctor noticed something wrong with my heart through an echocardiogram. After going through various tests and shedding a lot of tears, I was diagnosed with myocardial noncompaction, which is essentially heart failure. I never thought I would have to go through something like this, especially while all the other changes were happening in my life.

I felt alone, empty and depressed in my dorm room every night. I felt no motivation to do anything anymore. While I watched all my friends go out and have fun on the weekends, I laid in bed and felt sorry for myself.

I was yearning for something to distract me, something to fill the void in my life.

One night, I became curious about the little bit of makeup I had sitting in my drawer, so I started to watch YouTube videos of makeup tutorials.

After I watched one video, I watched another, and another. I became borderline-obsessed with these videos, and would follow them and practice them on myself. It seemed as if I could get away from everything and just focus on makeup products.

This was the distraction I needed from the depression I was going through with all the challenges in my life.

I fell in love with makeup soon after discovering all the power it has. Makeup can make someone feel beautiful even on their worst day. There was so much to learn, it was the first time I felt passionate and excited about something since I moved away.

Within the next year, my skillset grew from doing my friends makeup, to partnering with RSO’s on campus to help with fundraisers and teaching classes, and starting my own makeup business. I became so passionate about making women feel and look their best. Making others feel confident made me feel incredible.

I had a client who said I gave her the confidence she needed to land the job as a news anchor on News Central 34. Knowing  I have the influence to make other women feel empowered is what drives my passion for makeup.

After discovering makeup, I no longer feel the emptiness I felt two years ago. I am stronger and more confident now that I found what makes me happy. It gets me through hard times and I am so thankful for that. No matter what is going on in my life, giving women self-confidence through makeup is something that I will never take for granted.