By Alyce Collins
THIS woman hid behind makeup for years because she feared how people would react to the birthmark covering half her face, which spawned her new-found love for beauty blogging.
Aesthetician Becca Ask (25) from Minnesota, USA, endured numerous laser treatments to help diminish the birthmark that has scarred her face her whole life, before turning to creative makeup to reinvent her look. Becca’s unusual birthmark stretches across half of her face and her neck.
Becca has two different types of birthmarks on her neck, a port wine stain and a nevus birthmark, which resembles bruised skin. The birthmark is the result of blood vessels which developed abnormally before she was born.
As a child, the birthmark covered the same portion of Becca’s face as it does to this day, though from a very young age, Becca undertook laser treatments to try to remove the birthmark from her face as she became more and more conscious of its presence.
Until recently, Becca never felt comfortable leaving the house without having makeup on to cover her extensive birthmark and to shield her from the stares and taunts she was so used to receiving.
“Growing up with my birthmark was definitely a challenge,” explained Becca.
“My friends were always so supportive, and they always told me that they didn’t even notice it because it was just part of who I am. I was definitely the hardest on myself.
“I always hated my birthmark and especially after laser treatments I would avoid going to school until the spots had reduced.
“It was always something I felt contributed to me being so shy when I was younger, I was scared of what everyone else thought of me and how I looked.
“I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town so most of the kids I grew up with knew who I was and what my birthmark was. I think that shielded me from some of the bullying.
“However, when I entered middle school I remember receiving stares or seeing people whisper when we walked by if we were out in public where people didn’t know me.
“I often got asked if something was wrong, did I get a bad sunburn, was I sick, or did it hurt?
“These comments and stares in sixth grade brought me to the realisation that I looked different to the others around me. That’s when it hit me the hardest.
“That was when I started to cover up my birthmark with makeup.”
For a long period of time, Becca was afraid to approach boys, even believing that no boy would ever find her pretty.
Hiding her birthmark gave Becca the confidence to leave the house because she could hide behind the veil that it created.
Makeup soon became a creative outlet for Becca as she began trying different products and styles, with her creative talent soon becoming apparent. Despite years of struggling with her birthmark, Becca now feels confident enough to post occasional pictures without makeup concealing the birthmark to inspire others and to show others to accept theirs.
“I used to have a really poor relationship with makeup,” Becca added.
“I never used to feel comfortable going out in public without makeup on until just a few months ago.
“I used to have a really poor relationship with makeup because it was definitely a security blanket I used to hide behind.
“Until a few years ago when a friend got me to buy a high-end eyeshadow palette and clued me into watching beauty vloggers on YouTube. It kind of took off from there.
“I have always been a creative person and I’ve learned to use makeup now as an art and not as a way to cover up.
“I think it’s also a great way to help others – I know that makeup can be seen as very vain, but for me it’s so much more than that.
“I love making people feel good about themselves and feel confident with or without makeup.
“I want people like me to come to a place where they’re more confident and comfortable. It’s important to realise that everyone is on their own journey and we can’t force how someone feels.
“My self-confidence with my birthmark is still a journey I’m working on every day.
“A year ago, I didn’t feel comfortable showing my birthmark, and that’s okay! But I’m glad I found makeup as a creative outlet and a way to show others that beauty comes in many different ways.”
You can see more of Becca’s makeup styles and her makeup free pictures by visiting her Instagram, @beccaleebeauty