Sometimes horrible accidents happen when you’re a kid that impact your life when you grow up. And sometimes you find brilliant ways around those impacts.
Case in point: 20-year-old Shalom Nchom from Maryland. When she was only 9 years old, she sustained severe burns all over her face and upper torso in a frying pan accident. The burns altered her appearance in a way that was difficult to hide, at least at first. As a result, she became incredibly self-conscious of her appearance, and interacting with people was a daily struggle.
“I was stared at by kids and older people whenever I stepped out. I felt like a living statue that people came to see. It pushed me to be rude towards anyone who stared at me. I cursed people out and cried on many occasions,” Nchom told BuzzFeed.
However, instead of letting hurtful words and stares defeat her, she came up with a plan to get her confidence back. She taught herself how to cover her scars with makeup.
Yes, that is the same girl from the photo above, except she’s now 20 and an obvious grand master makeup artist. When I first saw this photo, I legitimately could not believe she had ever sustained any burns, much less the extremely traumatic ones pictured up top. I mean, I know makeup can work wonders, but this is downright sorcery!
After she started showing off her newly made-up skin, all her classmates wanted her to do their makeup too. She obliged for a small fee — $5 to $25 per person. She is a student, after all, and most people who study for a living could use some extra pocket cash.
But she didn’t stop there. She began posting her before and after shots and short video tutorials on Instagram, and was quickly inundated with followers. Now she has over 42,600 avid fans who think she’s gorgeous and supremely talented — how’s that for pulling a 180 on the fates!
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Here’s one of her many makeup tutorials, where she does just half her face to show you how different she looks before and after. Her work is astonishing, and what’s even more astonishing is that it took her only six minutes to complete.
See? She’s a certified makeup magician. Based on her current following and serious skills, I imagine she’ll soon be getting a lot more than $25 to do makeup on folks.
But covering her scars is not the only reason she pushed herself to become a makeup star. It’s simply her calling that came out of an unfortunate situation. As she says all over her social media feeds, she loves both sides of her face equally and hopes her work will help people value themselves as they are, whether they have perfect skin or not. She puts it succinctly in her video: “You should love yourself either way — makeup or no makeup. Makeup is not the reason I am happy — I’m happy because I love myself.”
We love you too, Shalom Nchom. And your incredible makeup magic.