A young mum who suffered from severe eczema after the birth of her baby daughter found an unusual way to cheer herself up – by using her face as a canvas for elaborate artwork.
Bronya Humphreys, 20, uses Instagram to share photos of her amazing makeup skills which she learnt while battling prenatal depression.
The imaginative mum-of-one took inspiration from her favourite cartoon characters, including Pikachu and Snoopy, which she painted on her face, and drew brightly coloured cityscapes onto her eyelids.
The zany illustrations were her way at casting aside self-doubt caused by her skin condition, which often prompted unwanted attention from strangers.
Bronya said: “I started doing make-up to get through my prenatal depression but now I’m just trying to use my platform on Instagram to help and inspire other people with skin conditions.”
After her daughter Luna was born in May, Bronya’s eczema became worse and she found she could only use moisturiser as her skin was too sensitive.
She often posts before-and-after pictures, in a bid to remind her 64,000 followers why she took to the social media platform.
On one post, she wrote: “‘You look like a zombie’ ‘Is everything okay at home’ ‘Are you dying’ ‘Is that contagious’.
“I have eczema. I have a skin condition. I have had so many hateful comments recently regarding how I look. When I wear makeup they say I’m fake.
“When I don’t I’m a gross zombie. And can I just say, I am not my skin condition.”
Bronya uses her entire face as a canvas and often adorns it with glitter, dainty paintings of flowers and even feathers.
She posts pictures of her face slathered in medicated cream to treat the eczema, and updates her followers on the steroid treatment prescribed.
In one selfie, she painted her top lip red and her bottom lip orange, with the silhouettes of palm trees over the top.
Self-taught Bronya said: “I’ve had eczema since I was a baby – it’s horrible, some days it’s so painful I can hardly walk.
“Before my daughter was born I was really depressed and didn’t want to leave the house.
“But this was something I could get up and do when I was heavily pregnant.
“I look at the work of other make-up artists who inspire me.”
Bronya struggles with anxiety and sometimes feels strangers staring at her when she leaves the house, because of her eczema.
She said: “I don’t tend to leave the house much because I have bad anxiety.
“I originally posted a picture of my eczema when I got some really horrible comments online, so I posted a photo saying ‘this is what my face looks like.’
“I started posted more pictures to help other people with eczema.”
Despite her astonishing talent, Bronya is shy about doing make up for her friends and family.
And she buys most of her kit from Superdrug and Boots, using mostly budget makeup brands.
“Eczema really affected my self-confidence,” she said. “I could feel people staring.
“When it is really bad makeup can make it worse but I’m careful to remove it properly.”
It can take between 45 minutes and two hours to apply the intricate designs, which Bronya then photographs and posts online.
“I just learnt from Youtube – I always like creative makeup,” she said. “I started doing it to cheer myself up.
“It is really quite surreal – within ten minutes of putting up a photo I will have 1,000 ‘likes.’”
Bronya has considered training as a makeup artist and says she often has ideas for new designs.
“I’m waiting for summer so I can use flower petals, I always get quite creative ideas,” she said.
“I’ve been using makeup since I was about 14, but just the basic foundation and mascara.
“I have to wait until the evening when my baby’s asleep to have a play around with it.”