Why I decided to wear no makeup in November. #NoMakeupNovember #NaturalNovember

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So, if you follow me on social media, @ErickaWarnita, you would see that I have decided to make November my month of "No Makeup". Yep, #NoMakeupNovember #NaturalNovember. Kind of a last minute decision of mine, but I wanted to do it to self-reflect and reminisce on the moments when I had to learn how to truly embrace myself.

It is crazy but when I thought I arrived in learning myself I later found out that I am still growing in my innate ability to embrace myself with every change that graces my presence daily. And now I am challenging other young ladies and women to do the same. Whether you wear no makeup or a natural-looking makeup this month or even just for a couple of weeks during the month (because I know some people wear makeup for reasons that don't need explaining), the point of this cleanse is to pinpoint your prominent areas, enhance them and desolate the negative thoughts about yourself in order to find peace.

Pinpoint your strengths

Pick one thing that you like about yourself. Just one. I don't care what it is, it can be your lips, hair, toes, curves, whatever. I understand some of us may have many but I want you to just focus on one. Why just one... you may ask. Well, lets look at it this way. My mother and father were told by my doctor when I was younger that I had Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. My parents, being the faith-filled people that they are, they did not succumb to what the doctors said. They refused to put me on medication which I am so grateful for.

However, growing up I never knew that I was diagnosed with ADD. Unknowingly, I would notice I was always back and forth with everything that I did. Whether it was halfway cleaning my room or getting distracted in the back of a classroom and even with my decision making.

I would, for years, teach myself to cope with my inattentiveness by focusing on one thing and that one thing only. It was difficult. Very difficult. Seemingly almost impossible at times. When I finally found out in college that I was diagnosed when I was younger I began to get medical attention (which I am not longer taking). It was then when I was able to really focus on one thing at a time. I accomplished a lot more focusing on one thing than focusing on more than one thing. Or for lack of better words getting distracted by more than one thing.

Just like me, you must focus on one thing in order to accomplish a higher level of confidence or "enhance" that characteristic. Not on a physical level but on a mental level. Start to make affirmations about that one thing to train you brain to focus and block out all negative thoughts on anything else you may feel about yourself. Almost overriding those thoughts. Begin to say affirmations like,...

"I am beautiful. That is what I know to be true about me, I am not perfect and by no means do I want to be. But I know that I am growing in my ability to be everything that I can be. My smile radiates a room that attracts any and everyone, and my hair is the bomb-dot-com even in its worst untamable days. Girl, you are beautiful, don't you know that? Now, go conquer the world with your bad self.

This is definitely parts of an affirmation that I have written and spoken over myself as I look in the mirror in the mornings. And with everyday of focusing on one thing I began to see the beauty in the gift that I have been given whether that is my smile or my hair, just to name a couple.

Write an affirmation focusing on one thing. Once you feel like you are at a place to move to another characteristic then add another to your affirmation and watch your confidence grow.

Desolate negative thoughts

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Kind of like makeup, we cover those things that we don't want people to see. But regardless of how much makeup we put on it won't cover up every imperfection. You will still see pimples bulging from your skin and the wrinkle lines that run across face or the bags under your eyes. Some things will just be there regardless of what you do.

This reminds me of The Nutty Professor, when he chemically changes himself into Buddy Love or Eddie Murphy but when the formula started to run out he turned into his natural imperfect self. The same with you. Once you take off the makeup those imperfections will still be there and there may be little you can do physically to get rid of it or it may take an extended time in order for you to deplete the imperfection. 

So how do you desolate the negative thoughts? You do that by embracing your flaws and don't fight them by covering them up. When I stopped covering my "skittles taste the rainbow" pimples, my face began to clear up and I saw me again. I always felt worse about myself when I used to wear makeup. I was trying to cover them up to look like something that I was not therefore, when I took the makeup off all I would see is my pimple-looking head again. How disappointed I was. The worse part is that I went to bed with negativity on my mind, because one of the last things I saw as I washed my face at night was what I thought was unattractive.

I stopped wearing as much makeup, let my face breathe, began to think positively, and found ways to enhance my beauty naturally and there I was. I was me, fearfully and wonderfully made.

I really challenge you to do some kind of cleanse this month in order to embrace the natural beauty that you have. Whether it is with makeup or with something else. And please encourage your friends to do it with you by sharing this post. It is your time to grow beauty. Let's walk this journey together.

XOXO, Ericka Taylor