One night I did makeup for six beautiful women for a spur of the moment photo shoot. It was a blast, and I had a great time coming up with a different look for each of them.

Part way through the night, one of them, noticing that I was complimenting everybody about some feature, or gushing about how fun it was to do a certain look, asked me if I'd ever had a client I couldn't honestly call beautiful. I gave it some serious thought, and had to admit that no, I hadn't, but I couldn't quite explain what I meant spontaneously, so I thought I'd give it a shot here.

Everyone who sits down and puts themself in my hands, trusting that I'll make them feel good about how they look, is beautiful. Everyone who gives me a canvas to work this ridiculous and ephemeral art on is beautiful.

No one needs makeup.

Anyone who wants to play with makeup, with color, with change, even for an hour, should. I don't care what you look like, I don't care what your gender is, I don't care how old you are. Makeup is fun. Makeup can be empowering, shocking, or therapeutic. The woman with vitiligo who wanted her skin tone even for her daughter's grad photos, the young man whose dads brought him shopping because he wanted a good black eyeliner, the cancer survivor who never wore makeup before but hoped I could help her look like she had eyebrows until they grew back, and the girls going out to the club and needing a great lipstick...all beautiful. Not a one of them needed that makeup, but every one of them found something in it that made them feel more like themselves. It let them show the world the faces they wanted to, and that is amazing.

There's no magic wand, and I'm glad. Using my art to enhance what a person looks like but have them able to go back to normal with a bit of soap and water is awesome.

Also, I never call someone beautiful if I don't mean it. So there.