We live in a world with a flood of opinions. Opinions on what we should look like, how we should act, the list goes on. We can all recall a time when someone or something made us feel insecure about who we are. Virginia (Gigi) Wilkens, a Baltimore makeup artist has had her fair share of such experiences. But how she’s chosen to grow from those experiences is downright admirable.

Last year, Gigi was featured by Buzzfeed in a video where she sat down with her former childhood bully- a situation most women would shudder at the thought of. But Gigi didn’t shy away from the confrontation. Instead, she took the opportunity to be open about her experiences and discuss the struggles with her self-image that resulted from the bullying.

Spilling your guts about your insecurities isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you’re trying to forge a path to independent #GirlBoss domination, but it certainly gives your audience something to connect with. That shared experience makes them trust and view you as a real person, instead of just a brand. Gigi’s raw honesty on Buzzfeed is just one example of the self-love, confidence, and positivity that she aims to spread through everything she does.

Scrolling through Gigi’s Instagram feed is reminiscent of flipping through a fashion magazine. Packed with punches of color and showcases of her makeup artistry, there’s no shortage of enviable glamour shots. But while magazines might make you feel like you’ll never be able to live up to the girls who look like they have it all on those glossy pages, Gigi pairs photoshoots with captions that’ll inspire your inner badass. In a seemingly endless feed of Facetuned and filtered-to-perfection makeup artist selfies, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Makeup can be a great form of self-expression and identity, but let’s be honest, we aren’t always doing it as a means of self-love as we sometimes pretend. I, for one, am certainly guilty of spending a little too much time on my eyeshadow before going out with a guy I want to impress or not wanting to run out to the grocery store with a bare face on a bad skin day. Gigi serves as a reminder that the confidence that comes from a full face of glam is the same confidence that comes from within… when we allow it to shine through.

That confidence is what motivated her to launch Eye Candy, a luxury lash line. With the promise of blossoming into a full cosmetic line in the future, she has cornered the market on beauty and self-love. With names like Sour Patch and Good & Plenty, it’s clear she’s found a way to channel all that girl-empowering energy into a unique voice for her line. Gigi’s genuine connections with clients and love for the artistry is what’s allowed her to turn her passion into a full on boss babe moment with major potential. So if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to put your best face forward (serving a full face of glam or otherwise), hit up Gigi’s socials and experience the beauty of body positivity!