Interview with: LINSEY
Recorded November 21, 2018
Interviewer: Emma Millett
E : Emma Millett
L : Linsey
E: Okay. So basic questions first. Do you wear makeup?
E: Okay. And how often?
L: Probably a four to five days a week.
E: Okay. And when you wear it, how much do you wear?
L: How much makeup?
E: Yeah, like what do you wear?
L: I wear a concealer under my eyes because they’re dark and deep set. And then I put on a powder and then I put on a bronzer, for contouring. And then a brow definer – I love doing that. I love brows. And then I put on blush. I love blush, I love lipstick – red lipstick – and I pack on the mascara.
E: So how do you decide when to wear makeup?
L: Well, this has been such a change in the last few weeks. So the last few weeks I’ve had some kind of Come to Jesus’s. It has nothing to do with makeup necessarily, but I’ve just been really trying to prioritize my life. And teaching in church, I even said, “in the morning – this is probably more than you want to know but I’ll tell you anyway.
E: There’s no such thing as that.
L: Okay. So in the morning I literally have to “choose the right.” Because I walk down this hall, and I can either go right and sit in that chair and read my scriptures or journal, or go left and guess what happens? I get caught doing dishes and laundry and kids and family and everything else and work. On those days. I just don’t read my scriptures and I don’t pray. No joke. And I usually don’t wear makeup because I’m like this all day. And I’ll maybe put makeup on later in the day, but I like the comfort of what I’m wearing and I don’t care – I do not care for one second if anyone sees me without makeup. Like not at all. Not at all. I don’t care who sees me without makeup. So that is not ever an issue. But lately I have been like, “okay, I’ve got to put God first. I’ve got to put family first.” When I wake up, read my scriptures, journal, I actually want to get ready for the day. My thoughts have changed about makeup it in that because when I put God first, put my family first, get my home kind of tidy and organized, I feel better about me and I feel like I’m being the daughter of God that Heavenly father wants me to be. Now, where does makeup come into that? Lately I’ve been thinking, “okay, well is it about makeup?” No, it’s not. But in the last few weeks or so, I’ve been doing that really more diligently, and I get up and I actually want to dress nice. I want to take care of this body that he gave me and I like the fact that I have a beautiful face without makeup that is in the image of God. But guess what? I love that makeup makes it look even better. And it’s not like, “oh, people are gonna think I look good.” I actually feel like I can serve a little bit better, I can be a little bit better of a person when I feel… I don’t want to say prettier. I don’t want to say that because I feel like it’s not about “pretty”, but I feel like it’s kind of like I’m enhancing what He gave me. I feel similar about talents. I could’ve just had a good voice from the time I was seven and never done anything with it. I chose to take lessons and hone in and get better at it and work on it. I could’ve just been left with the gift He gave me, but instead I worked on it and made it better, because making it better blesses other people’s lives. Now does makeup make other people’s lives better? No, but I like the fact that I can put on makeup and feel… I don’t even know. I don’t know if the words are.
E: So a lot of women have talked about this same idea. That they feel more ready for the day when they put on makeup, and it’s just about what you’re investing in your day.
E: That’s kind of what I’m hearing you say, that it’s just one extra way that you can invest in your day.
L: Yeah. And let me put it this way. Lately, I’ve been really trying to self improve, and I had this epiphany that “You have got to find ways to serve.” My sister in law just had twins. Her and my relationship wasn’t always awesome, and in the last few years it’s gotten better. Our kids have made it better, they’re besties. We have both worked on our relationship to where we’re pretty dang close now, and now that she has twins, I’m over there helping her, and I feel like I can serve her better if I don’t need to get ready later in the day. And so, granted, I’d be fine staying like this all day if I needed to go over there and help her and hadn’t gotten ready yet. But when my kids get ready for school, I’m gonna go get ready so that they see that mom’s not just fussing all over them. Mom has herself to get ready, you have you to get ready. You know what I mean? Again, I wouldn’t even care if I didn’t have makeup on, or wasn’t ready. But it’s almost like a ritualistic thing. Like, this is what you do. You get up and get ready. In fact, just this just came to me, Jenny Barnum and her mom had like a mother-daughter blog for awhile. And I would read their blog and one of the things Jenny’s mother had told her was, “Every morning, put your lipstick on.” And I was like, that’s ridiculous, that’s so 1950’s. Like, get all pretty in the morning. And she’s like, it’s not that, it’s not necessarily like literally put your lipstick on. It’s “Get yourself ready to show your kids that this is what we do. We get ready for the day.” I’m telling you, this is a little bit new for me. Before I’d be like, “Eh, I don’t care about getting ready. I’m fine,” because I don’t care if anyone sees me about makeup.
E: Okay, so this is what I’m hearing, and tell me if this is wrong. One of the purposes that it serves is a symbol of taking your life seriously.
E: Like, this is me showing myself that I’m taking my life seriously enough to put that effort in, to get ready for the day and get ready for my life. I’m not just passively doing my To-Do list.
L: Yes! Yeah.
E: I’m actually investing.
L: Yeah, it’s ritualistic. It’s not so much like, “oh, I’ve got to look perfect today.” That’s not it at all. In fact, what’s interesting, Emma, is in the last few weeks when I’ve decided to really hone in on my dailies, my scripture and prayer – and guys, I’m not the greatest at scriptures. We’re talking like I read a verse or two and try to get something out of it, and that’s a whole other topic. But lately as I do my prayer and deliberately say to God, “Here’s me trying”, um… I’m actually wearing less makeup. Which is interesting to me because normally I’d wear the strong lipstick, like the bright red, because I just love great red lipstick and I love it on me. I love it on my coloring. And I like making a statement, and being a bold person. With makeup, I’ve kind of shifted lately because I’ve shifted with trying to spiritually progress and be a better mom and a wife and servant the Lord. Does that make sense?
E: Yeah, it does. I think that because you’re someone who is not afraid to be seen without makeup, and because that’s a balance that exists in your life, that you are able to put on makeup and prioritize that idea for a purpose that isn’t to cover something, or to change how you look.
L: Yeah. Everybody looks better when their beautiful features are enhanced with makeup. That’s a fact. I thought.
E: Okay. So then define “better”.
L: Like, Alicia Keys. She is gorgeous. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and she’s made a statement to not wear makeup. So on The Voice, she wouldn’t wear makeup. And I look at her on The Voice and I think, “she’s gorgeous.” Now I’m going to backtrack because I’m not even sure I mean “better.” It’s almost like a different beautiful. Does that make sense? Like, Emma, I don’t think you need makeup. But you’ll be a different beautiful with makeup. So I might want to take back “better” because I’m not sure it is better. Like, with me, with my deep set eyes. My eyes are really pretty and I have awesome eyelashes. And I know my strong traits on my face, but because my eyes are deep set, when I put concealer here, it makes them pop and you see my eyes even stronger and brighter and prettier. Like, you are one of those people that’s gorgeous with makeup and gorgeous without, it’s just a different gorgeous. And I kind of think the same about myself. I’m not afraid to say I think I’m pretty without makeup, I just think I’m a different pretty with it. Again, it’s that symbol. I feel like it’s a symbol. Like, it’s okay to go to church and worship in my sweatpants, that would be okay. It’s allowed. I have the choice to do that, but I almost feel like it’s an outward act. Like, “I am going to put on my most beautiful, flattering dress for church, and show the Lord that I care about this body that He gave me.” And so actually for me, I think makeup kind of can go in that category.
E: Yeah, I would agree. It’s like the difference between wearing jeans or sweats and wearing a dress.
L: Yeah! I have this beautiful face that God gave me. It’s an image of Him and I get to make it look even better and I think that’s okay. I think we’re human and I think it’s an okay thing to want to look better. And I don’t think there should be any apology for that at all.
E: No shame.
L: Right! Not at all. But also no shame without it.
E: And I think that that’s how both can exist. This brand was inspired by the issue that we see with women who are afraid to even be seen without makeup. That’s the problem. So, in our About Us section, there’s a little little blurb about how we’re not anti makeup at all. We just think makeup is meant to serve a purpose and that it’s been manipulated –
E: – and it’s being misused to shame women for not naturally looking the way they look with makeup.
L: Yes. Exactly. And everyone’s apologizing for it and “don’t mind the no makeup.”
E: Right. So, not saying that makeup is bad or that we should never wear it, but promoting a healthy relationship with any part of the beauty industry. Because there is a relationship in which you can use it, you can partake in the beauty industry, similar to the way that you’re talking about. It’s “in addition” to something or a symbol. It’s an investment in your life, or taking your life seriously, or getting more dressed up, the same way you would pick a dress over jeans.
L: Yeah. And I feel the same way about body image, too. Like the Anti Diet Industry, in my opinion, has gone too far. Now they shame people for wanting to eat fruits and vegetables. It’s like, there has got to be a middle ground. I am not perfect by any means, but I am really trying to live in the middle ground as far as makeup goes. I wouldn’t give a rat’s A if anyone saw me like this today. Not one ounce. I’m literally trying to think, “Who would I care about seeing me like this?” And I don’t think there’s anybody.
E: Have you always been like that?
L: No. I do remember a friend of mine, a really dear friend of mine in high school, saying “Linsey, I can’t even tell when you have makeup on and when you don’t have makeup on.” And I remember taking that like a compliment and thinking, “oh that’s cool.”
E: I know how you do your makeup, so I know that you’re not wearing makeup. But if I didn’t know how you looked with makeup, I would think you were wearing it right now.
L: What?? Oh, that’s weird. That’s weird. I would think you would know I didn’t have any one. Because I look real good when I do my mascara. *laughs* So that’s just the thing. I just think it’s fun. I like it. I think it’s okay to feel good about your physical look. I think it’s a good thing. Right? This is going a little further, but I think it’s one of those “danged if you do, danged if you don’t” with women. Like, you want your house to look nice. But if anyone comments on your house, what do you immediately say? “Oh, well, just don’t go to my master bathroom because that one’s dirty.” The whole time we’re hoping no one sees our messy house, but if someone comments on the niceness of our house, we reject it. So it’s like, guys, let’s decide. There has to be a middle ground. I feel that same way with my body. It’s like, you know, there’s gotta be a happy medium. I’m not going to not wear makeup for the sake of being “no, let’s just be all about natural beauty,” but I’m also not going to go the other way.
E: You were talking about how it’s okay to feel good about your physical appearance, and I totally agree. And I think we also agree that you should be able to feel that way about yourself no matter what.
L: Exactly. So I have worked on this for a long time. Not necessarily specifically make up, but I have worked on body and outward appearance for a long time. Here’s the thing. “Change your thoughts, change your life”. And that’s where the thought work that I’ve done in the last year has totally come into play. It came from a podcast by Jodi Moore. She teaches a model that is CTFAR. Circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, results. Your circumstances are neutral. There is nothing you can do about it being snowy outside. There is nothing you can do about the income. The fact that Tyler lost his keys today. That is a circumstance. What makes the drama is our thoughts and our feelings about the thoughts. So, he lost his keys. That’s a fact. We cannot find them. I start thinking, “oh my gosh, he’s not going to be able to work today. No money today. Oh my gosh, we’re going to be behind again.” I make it mean something. That’s where I’ve done the thought work as far as my body goes and my physical appearance. My size, my weight, is a circumstance. Like I can literally get on the scale and whatever it says is the gravitational pull of my body. There’s nothing I can do about that that day. That is the circumstance. I make it mean, “oh my gosh, I need to lose weight.” Or “oh my gosh, I’ve gained.” So change your thoughts, then change your feelings, then change your actions, then change your results. So because I’ve done so much thought work around food and weight and my body the last year, it’s kind of translated into everything I’ve done. My features on my face are neutral. They were given to me. Which is why I also think it’s funny when someone gives you a compliment that’s about your looks. I did nothing to get these. Nothing. Sunday I had on this awesome dress, had my hair in his beautiful twist. I did great makeup and I got so many compliments that day on my dress and my makeup. And you say “thank you” and “that’s nice”, but guess what? It means nothing. It means nothing about me as a person. It does nothing. I say thank you and then I just turn it on the person.” Have a great day. Hope you’re doing well.” It used to mean a lot and it’s funny because this last year I’ve lost about 40 pounds. Totally for health reasons. One hundred percent for health reasons. Of course I’m human and it’s nice to fit into smaller clothes. Of course I feel better to shave my legs with my leg higher and not have fat in the way, but it’s a circumstance. It’s a total circumstance. It’s neutral. So when people say “you look amazing” or “you look great,” I’m like, “eh”. I mean, I say thank you. But I got Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and was sick of taking 18 medicines, so I decided to stop eating five sugar cookies a day.
E: So you’re not taking any medication?
L: So now I went back to my doctor in June, and she goes, “Whatever you’re doing is working.” I’m of getting comments from people like,” oh my gosh, you’re getting too thin.” And I’m like, “dude, for the first time in my life, I’m not obsessed with food.” Even when I stopped dieting four years ago, I still thought about it all the time. But I had to go to the extreme of not dieting for four years to get where I am now. And makeup goes into there I think because I did nothing to get this face. No matter what, that’s my face. So when, when I got compliments on how pretty I looked on Sunday, I’m thankful for it. But I’ve gotten to the place in 41 years where I’m like, “I don’t really care.” Now, granted, then I think what if I was in a bad accident and my face was deformed, would I care. Oh my gosh, that would be horrible. But, it’s just not what makes a lovely life. I have a lovely life, and not very much of it has to do with what my face looks like. Some of it does. I’ve probably gotten some roles because of what I look like. I don’t think I would have been Miss Mesa 1996. So I guess it matters, but what matters most is not what my face looks like.
E: So some women have faces that would not be described as pretty, right? Some people have faces that people don’t necessarily compliment them on being pretty without makeup. And like you were saying, it doesn’t matter, that’s still a neutral circumstance. The features on your face are still a neutral circumstance, and you can choose to have a feeling about it. So what would you say to that woman?
L: I would say that you get to feel about yourself however you want to feel. So if that person who was considered by society standards, not pretty, she gets to decide if that’s bad or good, not me. I get to feel however I want about anyone else and I get to feel however I want about me. And when I think certain things about me or about other people, I show up in that way. And sometimes I like the way I show up and sometimes I don’t. So how do I want to show up? So let’s pretend I’m that girl. I’m not going to lie, in today’s society it’s probably hard. But she still gets to decide if that means something or not. She gets to decide if that means she’s unlovable, she gets to decide if that means she’s lovable. It’s all on her. We need to get out of each other’s heads. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So let’s stop giving people consent to make us feel inferior! I am in charge of my head. I am in charge of my thoughts. I am in charge of my emotions. I am in charge of my feelings. Now, do I think God and Satan have influences? Of course! Because I believe that in my spirituality. But like, Stephanie Neilson, who was burned to a crisp, who is covered in scars, she’s decided to be okay with that. She’s decided that her life or happiness or joy, her lovely life, is not dependent upon what she looks like.
E: So, part of the platform of this brand is to make the statement that it’s not bad to want to get dressed up or put on makeup or get fancy, but to challenge the intention behind it. To question the reason behind it.
L: That is the whole thing. What is your reason behind it? If someone else tells you to do it or tells you that you should, that’s not a good reason. My reason for getting up and getting myself done is, to be honest, I feel better. I like it. I don’t care if anyone sees me without makeup. I’m not ashamed of that. That area outside my house that hasn’t gotten flowers yet is fine. This is still our wonderful home. We have awesome people that live here. But I am super excited that for Christmas we’re putting flowers there. I’ve decided it’s okay without flowers and I’ve decided that it’s okay with flowers. I just like the prettiness of the flowers. We do the same thing with the Temple. I feel the same way about food. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Food is neutral. A brownie is just a brownie. I personally have chosen to not eat them very much. Not because they’re bad, but because I have chosen to eat more fruits and vegetables. On Thanksgiving, I will be having yummy rolls and coconut cream pie and enjoy every freaking bite. It is totally neutral. It’s just pie. It’s my thought that I’ve changed about all of this.
E: So, you were talking about your home. With or without the flowers, the feeling in your home is the same. The value of the house might change a little, but the value of it as a home is the same.
L: That’s the bottom line of all of this. My value is not dependent upon what I look like.
E: Like the Temple. What is the reason that so much time and money is spent making the temple so visually flawless?
L: Because we va- oh, because it has value!
L: I just got chills saying that. I think that I want to make myself look “better” because I value my spirit and I value this body that is holding it. Maybe that’s the bottom line. Maybe we just talked for an hour for no reason because that is a bottom line. I have value, and because I have value, I want to take good care of this body. Do I exercise or do yoga so that I can look super hot? No, I actually value my body and so I want to be able to run and not be faint. I want to be able to chase my kids at the park and not be in pain. So I do yoga, you know what I mean? It’s all in the reason. The bottom line comes to our value, and because I value this body I’ve been given, I choose to have it look.. I hate using the word “better”, because it’s not. But you know what I mean. It doesn’t add value.
E: Right. It doesn’t add value, it honors the value that is intrinsically ours to begin with.
L: That is the bottom line. The value is inherent, you just get that.
E: So I ask this to every person that I interview. If someone wants to come up to you and say, “We are redefining the word beautiful and you get to decide what it means. You get to define beauty, and beautiful, and whatever you say beauty is will be universally accepted as beautiful, no questions asked.”
L: Hmm. Like if I got to decide that?
E: Right. If you got to decide how the world defined beautiful-
L: What would I say?
L: Well, the first thought that came to me is that beauty is within. And that entails a lot of things. That entails how I treat people. That entails how I take care of people. That entails how I use my talents. But I would probably say that it does include my looks. Just that I would take care of this.
E: So here’s a clarifying question, because I think the problem with how we define beauty now is that we have decided a standard of beauty that everyone is supposed to meet. Like, everyone is supposed to look like “this.” But kind of what I’m hearing you say is that it does have something to do with your looks, but it doesn’t mean that your look should be any different, they should just the best version of what they are.
L: Totally. Again, what we were given is our circumstance. How tall I got was my circumstance, my color of hair was my circumstance, my bone structure is my circumstance. There is nothing I did to get that, that is just as the way I came. So I think if I redefined beauty, it would include taking good care of all of those things. For me now at 41 years old, it includes washing my hair and my body, and putting lotion on so I don’t get flaky. Not nearly as much for looks as just for taking care of myself. I think makeup goes in that category. I am not putting flowers in that planter so that my house can look better so that people can like my home better, or even so that I can like my home better. My home has value regardless of what it looks like. But I choose to put flowers in there because I like the look of flowers. Period. I choose to put makeup on because I like what makeup looks like. It has nothing to do with anything else. It does not change who I am. Again, the compliments on Sunday. Nothing to do with anything. I am loveable without it.
E: I’m hearing a lot about like lovability Even about your home, I hear “it’s a not for other people and it’s be not for other people to like or love any more.”
L: That takes a while to get to though. I’m not gonna lie. That’s still a struggle for anyone. You kind of automatically go, “Someone’s coming over, they’re gonna see that we live here.’ That toilet paper is sometimes on the floor and it’s sometimes got poop on it even, you know what I mean? I wish I could have learn this in my thirties, that first of all, that’s me getting in someone else’s head.
E: Yeah, that’s an interesting thing to me too because it’s almost like we’re taking away the agency of other people.
L: Yup. And guess who gets to be happier when we get out of other people’s heads? Us
E: And also the idea that even if they were thinking that, it doesn’t matter.
L: That’s on them. A lot of the work I’ve done is just seeing the good in people. Like for instance, there’s this person who will not give me the time of day. Every time I’ve said hello to them, they will not say hi back. But who knows what they’re thinking? They could hate me, but who cares? Guess who gets to have peace about it? Me.
E: Yeah, I think it’s so important to come to the understanding that it seriously doesn’t even matter. Even if it was because he actually hated you, it literally doesn’t matter.
L: Right. That’s the thing, I’m still valued. Our value is inherent, our value is not circumstantial and not dependent upon anything. Our value as a human being, as a child of God, as an individual, has zero to do with our looks. For makeup purposes, I choose to take my value seriously enough to enhance it sometimes. Does that make sense? But it doesn’t change the value at all.