IT might sound silly – but we always find that letting a partner see us without makeup for the first time is a BIG step.
Although Emily Hallett has been with her fiancé Adam for five years, the mum-of-three still hasn’t taken this step.
The 33-year-old, from Leatherhead, Surrey, was born with a port wine stain birthmark that covers almost half her face and has spent her whole adult life covering it with layers of heavy foundation.
She explained: “My partner hasn’t seen me without make-up. He knows it’s there because you can still see it with make-up. I hate it, I think it’s disgusting.
“I don’t take my make-up off and I top it up constantly throughout the day.
“When I shower in the evenings, I put it back on before I go to bed. I get up first to do my make-up in the morning but if Adam is having a lie in, I go downstairs to do it.
“When we met, I felt like I had competition and I wanted him to be attracted to me. I told him I didn’t like talking about my birthmark and I gave him firm rules about it and he’s accepted that and we don’t talk about it. It’s not part of me.”
Port wine stains occur when small blood vessels called capillaries become overly dilated and turn the skin a reddish colour.
When she was growing up, Emily says she was bullied so much that she was eventually transferred to a boarding school.
She explained: “They would say anything, my mum said they’d laugh, stare and call me names.
“They’d call me burn face. It was mainly the boys. I was quite affected by it.”
The bullying took such a toll on Emily’s self-confidence that she always assumed she’s never find love.
At the age of 18, she met her first boyfriend through working in a pub and began covering up her birthmark with makeup.
She said: “It made me more confident when I found make-up because I could cover it up. I’ve hidden it ever since.”
Between the ages of six months an 14, Emily had laser treatment to try and stop the birthmark from growing or becoming raised in appearance.
When I shower in the evenings, I put it back on before I go to bed. I get up first to do my make-up in the morning but if Adam is having a lie in, I go downstairs to do it.
She has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for a further eight treatments – which cost £600 each – as the NHS class the procedure as cosmetic.
Emily said: “Last year my daughter showed me a filter on Tik Tok which shows you yourself from how other people see you and I was mortified.
“I looked so ugly and my face looked so wonky. And when I put my mascara on, it rubs on my cheek so I know it’s raising.
“It’s grown with age and it’s a lot darker. It gets darker depending on the time of year and hormones. The colour changes, it goes from purple to pink. It’s all I think about and it’s constantly on my mind.
“The laser treatment just decreases it and stops it from going lumpy or raised which is my biggest fear. Menopause can change it. It should help the colouring as well.”
You can donate to Emily’s page here
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