We can all attest to the power of makeup in transforming and elevating our body, mind and spirit — not to mention, covering those pesky pimples, blemishes and trouble zones. But one Instagram user is sharing just how powerful makeup can be when it comes to empowering us.
In a post that was shared last spring but has an everlasting impact on all of us, Alabama makeup artist, Corey Allen Nichols shared a split-screen image of Katie Kirk’s before and after on Instagram with the caption, “I never imagined the power that a few simple brushes could hold: the power of confidence, hope, and strength.”
One the left side, Kirk models the reality she is faced with every day, while the right side is an image of Nichols’ makeup artistry.
On Feb. 7, 2015, WHNT News reports that Kirk was injured, along with three other friends in a fire pit explosion outside a home in Lauderdale County.
After she was taken to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, Kirk was placed on a ventilator as a result of smoke inhalation, and 2nd and 3rd degree burns on nearly 60 percent of her body. While doctors said she was expected to be there for at least three months, it was only seven days later that she was pulled off the ventilator and moved to the step down unit.
However, the accident left Kirk not looking or feeling like herself. With difficult eating and talking, Kirk completed surgery to relieve those ailments, while getting her “Katie Smile” back slowly. On her official GoFundMe, an update from August 2015 states that procedures at the dermatologist were helping a great deal.
“These procedures are called, ‘Dermabrasion’ and its used to treat damage and defects in the upper layers of the skin, such as scars,” the update read. “They help remove and improve the appearance of scars caused by surgery or trauma. Also, this will help with the color of her face as remove the redness of her skin.”
Kirk’s determination and headstrong attitude in overcoming the horrific accident has touched more than just her community — the posts on her Facebook page, Katie’s Road to Recovery have received some viral attention from users from around the world.
With seven surgeries to date since the accident, Kirk is pushing through with her beautiful soul by taking every day as it comes with the motto she lives by shared on her Instagram, “I’m gonna live by the [sun emoji] and love by the [moon emoji].”
As someone who has worked with Kirk for years, Nichols’ captioned the image because he felt “honored” to work with her and capture this magical, empowering process for everyone to see.
With Nichols’ motivation to boost the self-esteem and confidence of those undergoing treatment to look and feel better, Kirk’s image is an inspiring one for burn victims across the world.
“After months of therapy and multiple surgeries, Katie has shown tremendous strength and determination to overcome the obstacle that she has been faced with,” he wrote. “In saying this, I hope that everyone can be as inspired by Katie as I am.”