As the holy month of Ramadan is upon us, devout Muslims, moderate Muslims and even non-practicing Muslims can benefit from the blessings of this sacred month.
In case you don't already know abstaining from food and drink is not the only point of Ramadan, it is in fact meant to be a spiritually rejuvenating time and there are many ways to benefit.
One such way can be found in US award-winning artist and singer Alicia Keys' recent blog called 'Time To Uncover.' Although Ms Keys and Ramadan seem like an unlikely connection to make, just hear me out.
In her blog, Keys reveals that what she wants to uncover is her "real self" and she has decided to do so by wearing no makeup. She starts off by saying: "We all get to a point in our lives (especially girls) where we try to be perfect."
She explains that she reached a point where she was sick of how women are "brainwashed" into feeling they have to look or be a certain way and all the insecurity it has caused her.
"I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing," she says.
True to her word, Keys has been photographed in public with no makeup on, and even performed at the recent final opening ceremony of the UEFA Champions League without even so much as lip gloss on, a scary thought for most women.
So during this spiritual month of Ramadan why not join the #nomakeup movement. If you need some encouragement here are the top five reasons you should.
1- Just breathe
The effects of the continuous use of makeup every single day are well-known. From clogged pores, to dry skin to thinning eyelashes, it is vital to allow your skin to breathe. While doing so why not take a physical breath and dedicate some time during the moments of solitude and slower pace of life Ramadan brings, to reevaluate things in your life that you may want to change and set a plan on how you can do so.
2- Uncover Your Real Self
Most of us have met someone who we thought was really good-looking at first but when we got to know them we found their personality made them unattractive. That is because inner beauty really does shine through. Taking advantage of this month of reflection to look at your 'real' self and identify personality traits that do not benefit you can be a great exercise. It is not about criticizing yourself but more about being real with yourself and making an effort to change for the better.
3- Love What You See
During Ramadan Muslims spend time spreading as much love as they can, so as you embark on your #nomakeup journey it is vital that you learn to spread some love your way, particularly towards your bare face. "I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt," Keys said of her experience. In reality dark eyeliner and red lipstick are fabulous, no one is denying that, but the reason Keys feels more beautiful is because her mindset has changed and she has learned to love herself exactly as she is.
4- Acceptance is key
Fasting can be a real test of one's patience and it teaches you to chill and accept what is. As with lots of things in life, accepting things exactly as they are is the key to finding peace. Not wearing makeup symbolizes that you are accepting yourself exactly as you are, even with any so-called flaws you think you have. Once you stop judging and criticizing your face, and yourself, you will find yourself in a more positive mindset and therefore will be able to look at things more productively.
5- Wear Your Smile
Giving charity during Ramadan is another major reason for the season. The Prophet Muhammad has been quoted as saying that smiling is an act of charity. So as you dare to leave the house without makeup on, put a smile on your face because not only does it make you and people around you feel good it actually makes you more attractive, according to a study done by chewing gum giants Orbit Complete.
Ramadan Mubarak to all.
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