After an accident left Shalom Nchom severely burned as a child, the now 20-year-old turned to makeup as a source of empowerment and comfort.
But don’t get it twisted, while it did take some time after the incident for Nchom to regain her confidence despite her scars, she makes it clear that she loves herself for who she is, not because of what makeup does for her appearance. “I’m happy because I love myself,” she says in a video called Power of Makeup, in which she applies cosmetics to just half of her face.
In an interview with BuzzFeed Nchom admits that for a long time the stares she received from both children and adults gave her a hardened shell, and she was often bullied. But once she wielded her makeup brushes, girls are school wanted their beauty looks done by Nchom, and the bullying ceased.
Her confidence and strength are truly remarkable, and we could all learn a thing or two from Nchom about truly valuing who we are inside, whether we’re wearing a killer face of makeup or not.
This article originally appeared on MIMI.