Beauty Starts Inside

'Beauty evangelist' Amanda May helps women find their worth.
'Beauty evangelist' Amanda May helps women find their worth. (© iStockphoto/VladimirFLoyd)

A Christian entrepreneur has launched an award-winning cosmetics line, generating celebrity buzz and fighting sex trafficking. The founder of Divine Image Cosmetics, Amanda May has overcome addiction, abuse and abandonment to make an impact on women with her "makeup with a message."

"I want to teach women how to come to true beauty inside and outside with the products that enhance their looks with healthy ingredients," May says.

May's missionary aunt introduced her to Christ when May was 12. May's mother struggled with addiction, and her father succumbed to alcoholism.

"I was sitting next to my dad's bed when he died," May says. "I was 16 and I realized at that moment that he chose alcohol over me. I didn't want to feel the pain, so I turned to drugs and alcohol."

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Makeup and beauty became a mask for her pain. Not many people knew she was addicted to Ecstasy, cocaine and painkillers.

Getting pregnant was a wake-up call to stop abusing drugs.

"I stopped cold turkey," she says. "I started exploring my relationship with God and watching Joel Osteen on TV and listening to Joyce Meyer."

May felt God was calling her to an unexpected place to start a new life with her son, Isaac. Las Vegas—aka Sin City—became the launching pad for her company. As a model at Planet Hollywood and salon manager at Caesar's Palace, May worked with A-listers such as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

Pastors Benny and Wendy Perez mentored May at the Church of South Las Vegas. The idea for her company came from "listening to the Lord," May says. "I would get up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. and pray and journal for hours. It was very supernatural—living in the Spirit."
May's passion grew to show women how it was possible to feel beautiful inside and out.

"The product names are from virtues of true beauty," says May of her products. "The blush is called 'Virtue' and mascara 'Faith' because we walk by faith and not by sight."

She gifted Divine Image products at award shows such as the Grammy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards as well as Dancing With the Stars. Celebrities such as Tori Spelling were seen carrying a Divine Image makeup bag.

"Tori Spelling tweeted that she loved the Divine Image products," May says.

The entrepreneur created a five-minute face system for applying makeup.

"I wanted to simplify the process so anyone can do it," she explains. "You just need four products to do your makeup."

Promoting a Different Kind of Beauty

May has been immersed in the celebrity world of vanity and conceit, but she has the heart to minister there.

"There's a different beauty that can't be purchased," May says. "I worked at Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz show, where you see the most beautiful people in the world. You can be beautiful on the outside and still not have a graceful presence."

Carrying a different presence through the grace of God gave May favor as she connected with a manufacturer.

"Divine Image Cosmetics, founded in 2007, are manufactured in America with the healthiest ingredients," May says.

The message of godly beauty has gone around the world, with the line featured in Women's Day and The New York Times. May moved to Orlando, Florida, in 2012 to further develop her brand and message. The cosmetics are available online, but May opened her first Makeup Lounge and Beauty Bar on Feb. 1 in Heathrow, an upscale area of Lake Mary, outside of Orlando.

"The products will be out for women to try, and they will be able to sample the product for $5 for five days," May says of her sales approach.

After five days, the customer will be charged the remainder of the purchase price.

Helping Women Find Their Worth

In 2012, May started the I AM Worthy Foundation, which supports women coming out of human trafficking, addiction and abuse. The foundation has significantly expanded its reach and is now working with Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, king of the Zulu nation in South Africa, to create a program to train 1,000 women to start their own businesses.

"I spoke at a women's conference last year in South Africa and was invited to the king's house," May says. "We are working with the U.N. right now to secure funding for this program."

May donates 10 percent of the profits from sales of her Divine Image Cosmetics products to the foundation.

"I was inspired to create the I AM Worthy Foundation after visiting a Las Vegas home for single moms with children," she states on the foundation's website.

The beauty evangelist is helping to change women's lives far and wide with her message of finding their worth in Christ.

Leilani Haywood is the online editor of SpiritLed Woman and author of Ten Keys to Raising Kids That Love God. Follow her on Twitter (@leilanihaywood).

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