I had never been into my appearance that much before my sophomore year of college. My first year of college especially, I tended to choose comfort over fashion trends. The occasional eyeliner here, a little bit of mascara there, some jeans, sweats and some jewelry, but nothing snazzy unless my presence was required at some sort of special event. But then something happened. As a part of a process I went through with some sorority sisters, I was all of a sudden forbidden to wear makeup, jewelry, and even wear my hair in any style I chose. The reason being we were all naturally beautiful, and shouldn't rely on enhancements to recognize that. Now, I know what you're thinking. I never wore that much of it anyway, so, in theory, it shouldn't have been that big of a deal, right? Wrong. In my own mind, I already recognized that I, and every other woman walking planet earth, am beautiful in our own way; an idea my mother instilled in my mind early on. Although I complied, it bothered me that I couldn't dress to impress as I pleased. It bothered me more that I hadn't taken the opportunity to look my best all the time when I could. They say you never miss the water 'till the well runs dry. Now I was forced to look my worst at any given time and the only upside was that I wasn't doing it alone. This continued until the end of the fall semester sophomore year. Once the process was over, I vowed to never let myself have another bumpy day again. I wanted to take pride in the way I looked, and convey that pride. The fact is the better you look, the more confident and better you feel! The process actually made me yearn to represent myself better, down to the way I walked, talked, and looked. This is where my fashion and makeup hobby began.

I began learning techniques and experimenting with makeup through videos on YouTube. YouTube is actually a great way to learn almost anything! Play the piano, learn to cook, learn to do your hair, learn to dress, and learn to do your makeup. There is a vast community of women (and even some men!) who refer to themselves as "beauty gurus" who show their techniques on how they get ready in the morning or for special events. Plenty of professional makeup artists showing how they do what they do, and the best part is... IT’S FREE! I began to watch and subscribe to endless YouTube accounts where women showed off their skills and gave step by step instructions on how to achieve nearly flawless makeup, both with expensive makeup brands and drug store quality collections. If there was one thing I learned, it was that makeup can do wonders.

Skip to 2013 and my interests have expanded to fashion and hair as well. I enjoy getting dressed, trying different eye shadow combinations, and even sometimes practicing my skills on my mom and friends. Whenever I get questions on how I do my makeup or where I shop for clothing, I always try to help and suggest the "beauty gurus" as a starting point. Hopefully one day I will build up enough confidence to offer my services to do weddings or make a YouTube channel of my own. But for now, I'll stick to sharing what I know and what I like through writing.

By Kenya Dyer

Kenya A. Dyer, 23, is a 2011 Dickinson College graduate currently residing in the US. Kenya continues to attend school after college in hopes to attain her nursing degree. Kenya practices makeup and photography in her spare time. In between classes and a full time job, you can usually find Kenya enjoying all New York City has to offer or at her favorite store, Sephora.