Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

THIS IS MY STORY

My Name is Stacey & I have spent 25 years on this earth creating my story.

It feels weird writing something so personal knowing thousands of strangers will soon be reading these exact words too. It probably will become a big ramble but I guess my point of it all comes down to how you perceive someone online, and the truth is you really have no idea what has or is going on in someone’s  world. People say Social Media is a highlights reel and that we only show unrealistic things, but that’s not always the case for everyone. For me it’s an outlet, somewhere I can share my love of photography, my passion for what I do ,moments captured and the people and things that truly make my soul so happy, in the hope to inspire others to live their best life where possible.

I’m a pretty straight up person, I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not, doing that wouldn’t be right and it’s just not realistic. I guess I have always tried to be a little more private because I have always been one to care about what others think,  I’ve spent alot of time helping others and getting nothing in return, being a great friend to those who just use me to their advantage and alot of time feeling stressed and upset about why things at times have gone so wrong in my life.

The thing is everyone has a story, no ones life is perfect and sometimes it’s a bloody great relief to write things down and reflect on the times that once were. To this day my life is not perfect, I still have people use me for my kindness, I still have days where I think WHY ME but one thing I have become is alot more resilient to other peoples bullshit.

 

How it all began…

 

Growing up my sister and I were raised by our beautiful Mum. I was 5 years old when my parents separated, My Dad was an asshole and played around on my Mum to cut a long story short.. We had an amazing childhood, Mum worked her butt off to ensure she provided us the best life she could off one income. She’s the reason I am who I am today, her encouragement, love and support over the years has played a major part in my life.

I struggled often, being apart of a split family. I was only 5 when my Dad left so seeing my friends with their dads, and hearing their stories growing up has often been bloody hard. But then in saying that, I wouldn’t change a thing about my upbringing. My Mum is proof that strong Women are capable of anything and she 100%, gave me the drive I have to do what I love and be successful in doing so to this day.

 

My school years were pretty normal, up until I hit my teens. I partied from a young age, made friends with some people that when I look back it doesn’t make me feel that great and I fell victim to the “being to kind” and “Can’t say no” bug. I was and still am probably the biggest pushover. I guess I have always believed that you should always try and do good by others and one day great karma will eventually come your way to thank you.

By no means was I a perfect teen, I went along with things that I wasn’t always happy about, probably said things I didn’t mean and let myself be treated like shit just to try be in with the “cool kids” who weren’t actually cool.. I just didn’t want them stealing my lunch money lets be honest..

Then real life started to happen, I got my first job in retail at 15. Mum always said to us we had to work for the extra things we wanted in life. So of course, I quickly learnt then that the $5 I would get per job around the house just wasn’t going to cut it for my excessive obsession of makeup and Roxy clothing. Disclaimer I did also do the paper round when I was younger, but then I got attacked by a dog and Mum got sick of rolling up the pamphlets for us so that got old real quick lol soz Mum!!

 

THEN IT HAPPENED….

Around this time it happened I got my first proper boyfriend.. He was one of the cool kids I guess you would say. Who appeared as your normal rugby boy, but little did I know being with him would not only absolutely destroy me but also in turn put me on my path to discovering my strength.  We were together for about 2 years, I did everything I could to make him happy, I’d always make sure I looked nice, would buy him things all of the stuff you do when you first start dating, but it was in the final year of our relationship I noticed a massive change in his personality.

He suddenly became super secretive towards me (messaging multiple other girls) yet was always wanting to know where I was and who I was with. He hated any males even looking at me,and it was one night while we walked home from a party, and a couple of guys whistled at me, that he showed his true colours. It started with Smashing windows, but then eventually the target became me. I remember everything around me stopping the moment his fist hit my cheekbone, I had frozen with fear that numbed the pain.

I was too scared to cry & too scared to even call out for help. Once I came around abit, I went to try and leave the room but he blocked my exit. It was then I actually thought I was going to die, the look of anger in his eyes, the abusive words he was saying to me I was trapped and bloody terrified but with that also came embarrassment. How was I going to explain this to anyone?

Eventually he convinced me he was sorry.I stupidly stayed with him a couple of days until the bruising was gone, and still had told no one a thing.  I knew my Mum would be absolutely heartbroken to know I would even get myself in a situation to be treated like that, let alone the fact I was now hiding this from her. It was all just a big mess and I had no idea how to deal with it all.

A few weeks passed and things seemed kinda back to normal. Well what I thought was normal, this still included him saying nasty things to me , reading my phone being controlling all of that kind of thing. Then the day came where he had another blow out. This time I manage to send a txt to who I thought was my friend to come and get me, but I had actually sent it to my sister, Fuck my life…

It was actually a blessing in disguise,  she literally rescued me that night and got to witness what no sister probably ever wishes to see. My Mum as I thought was so devastated for me when I told her what happened. I mean what are you meant to say to your 17 year old daughter who is standing there telling you she had been hiding this for quite sometime..

After it all ended I became super self conscious, I doubted myself a lot I just really wasn’t in a good space. I felt so sad all of the time, I was scared to even walk into a mall alone. I felt like life would never be good again. I am so thankful to my amazing family, and the few great friends I had who stood by my side and helped me get back on track. Until you go through an abusive relationship, you have absolutely no idea how it effects someones everyday life.

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

Not long after all of the above, I literally felt my world fall around me the day we were told my Grandad had terminal cancer. He was the main father figure in my life, a man of Wisdom, no Bullshit and a bloody hard worker. Everything from the day we found out the bad news felt like a blur, from a family who had rarely lost anyone to suddenly then my Great Nana  passing away and then the final blow of all. My Nana, (Mum’s Mum) also finds out she too has Cancer.

My Grandparents both in their early 60’s, were healthy, hardworking, young, fit and loving humans. They had been married for years and did nothing but good things by others, why the fuck was this happening to us! To them?! I had a lot of anger from this time, life felt so unfair! Then it was the thought of how do you prepare yourself to never see someone again? How do you cope without seeing their smiles, or talking to them every single day? They were the questions often running through my mind.

My beautiful Nana lost her battle first, although she was never technically classed as “terminal”,as you can imagine it was a pretty big shock for us all. She lost her mobility quite quickly with her Lymphoma so when the first Christchurch Earthquake hit in September 2010 you can image how terrified she was.I still remember Mum was staying with them,  she told us how Grandad had thrown himself over Nana to protect her and said that if they were going to go, they would go together. A beautiful example of how strong their love was for each other, they truly were best friends.

Grandad then lost his battle a few months later, surrounded in his new home by our whole family. For me this moment was when it really hit me that we get so caught up in our lives, we often forget to appreciate the amazing people who play such a big role in us becoming who we truly are. I had days where I used to think my Grandad was a Grumpy old bugger, but in reality he told you how life really was.

An inspiring man who created an empire with putting 50cents into his first business bank account years ago, to that same business still running very successfully today. He took no bullshit from anyone, called a spade a spade, but was the absolute heart and soul of our family. The thing is nothing ever prepares you for loss, and watching someone pass away from Cancer is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone at all. It is so cruel and you feel incredibly helpless watching them suffer, I so wish there was more I could have done.

The main thing I struggled with the most was wrapping my head around how someone can be in your life, then next thing your staring down at a plot in the ground saying goodbye. I often find myself looking through old photos and watching old home videos still trying to piece it all together. Why are we just born to die?  I think it’s something I will never get over, I guess all I can hope is that they are somewhere looking down over us all  & I hope I have made them proud <3

 

LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS…

 

Despite going through two really hard events in my life, with Earthquakes thrown on in between  I am proud of where I am today. Everyday I am still learning and that is the beauty of life. I began working in cosmetics at the age of 16, I worked my ass off, and grew from strength to strength forming my empire. My blog formerly known as Painted Lips has now been around for 5 years, and after years of working as a Makeup Artist I had grown my clientele enough to become self employed … here I am 3 years later.

For me it’s so important to do something you love, life has no meaning if everyday you find yourself going to your job unhappy, feeling trapped or just not being able to reach your full potential as a human. I truly believe I am where I was meant to be, my job is so fufilling, not only do I feel incredibly honoured so many strangers put their trust into me, but I employ 3 talented amazing girls and contribute to them being able to do what they love, that’s what it’s all about for me.

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA..

Social Media I have sometimes struggled with over the years, it’s hard not to compare your style or imprint to others online. But I felt like I was in a good space, I had my little Niche and was doing really well producing content that helped and inspired others.  That was until about 3 years ago when it seemed everyone became a ” Beauty Blogger” the market became saturated, and editing your photos to be completely unrealistic became a thing. For me I’m not about this life, it would not only be dishonest to myself but it would also create unrealistic expectations for my clients. This sparked a change in my direction of what I would share online, which made me a little nervous but has actually been one of the biggest blessings of all time and opened up a world of opportunity for me.

Aside from that I have met many great humans via my Social Media journey, I have connected with people who have my back, inspire me and are huge supporters of what I do. But the downside like many social influencers have found, is that I have also met some people who have used me to their advantage, stolen my ideas, and mimic my vibe. I totally understand that this happens in all forms of life, but it is super disheartening when you put your heart and soul into creating content that reflects your story.

As many people have told me, these kind of people never last in life. Originality will always win, and copying others never does anyone any favors. Just because something does well for someone, doesn’t mean you should try do the same – instead support them! Tell them how awesome and inspired you are by their hard work, give credit where it’s due then find your own way of doing things, if it truly is a path you would like to go down.

Remember nothing ever comes easy, you have to put in the hard yards to get to where you want to be. Some people yes are lucky to come from a back ground of money but I tell you what, knowing you got somewhere on your own is an epic and awesome feeling!!! No One is YOU that is your advantage

FINDING TRUE LOVE

After going through my fair share of assholes, being cheated on and just being put off males for life…. I met Regan <3  We have been together for a couple of years now and have achieved alot as a couple. He truly is my soul mate, he encourages and supports me everyday, he treats me so well, and has the most loving and kind soul I could ever ask for. He made me realise that everything I had been through prior to meeting him was worth it as sometimes we need to go through shitty things to end up where we are meant to be.

By no means is our relationship perfect, but for once in my life my heart feels complete. The reason I think our relationship works so well is because we are literally best friends. We keep all communication lines open, we support each other, we compromise and we constantly go on dates! Creating memories and moments together is so important for us, we both love the outdoors, travel, adventure and photography so it means our options are endless.

These things don’t need to cost a lot and we aren’t materialistic people,   we have watched the Sun Rise and Set hundreds of times. We have little spots that you will find us often up in the hills where we have picnics, we go on pointless drives which often end in us getting ice cream, and then we also have nights where we are lazy AF and do nothing but eat takeaways and watch Netflix. It all still comes down to spending time together that you both enjoy!

So if you are currently single or in a toxic relationship, set yourself free and allow yourself time to grow on your own. The right person really will come along when you least expect it and that could very well be the beginning of an amazing and happy life for you.

 

THAT’S ENOUGH FROM ME…

 

If there’s one lesson I have learnt throughout my hardships and the best moments in my life. It’s that none of us are getting out of this world alive.Be supportive of others, smile at others, experience just living life, Don’t judge strangers, but respect them, tell people how you feel, give credit where it’s due, apologize if you fuck up and just overall do your best to be a bloody great human.

But most of all be original.. the best stories are those yet to be told

I hope by sharing this you all learn that no ones life is perfect, and that no matter what happens there truly is light at the end of the tunnel wherever that may be. Know that your journey is yours to pave the path for and sometimes really shitty bloody things happen so better things can come together!

When the day comes where you feel truly and genuinely happy take it all in and own that shit, you freaking earned that happiness.

 

Stacey x

2 Discussions on
“THIS IS MY STORY”
  • I have just read your story and it shows just how resilient the human spirit is. I am a woman in my mid fifties, who was in a verbally abusive marriage. He used to get in my head and make threats, but I stayed with him because of the children, as so many of us do. I am now on my own, but happy and I feel safe. I have been mad about makeup since I was in my teens and love trying out new products. A guy in the bank yesterday told me that he loved my makeup! I really enjoy catching your Instagram videos and posts. Regan seems like a real honey and that Ziggy is too cute for words. Keep up the great work – you are a credit to yourself and your family. x

    • Sue I’m so sorry for my delayed reply, I somehow missed your comment. Thank you so much for your kind words, I am so sorry to hear you also have been through a tough time in the past but I’m glad to hear you have finally found your happiness. Little compliments can make someone’s entire week, Makeup is a great way to make yourself feel amazing from the inside out, maybe not so great on the bank account though haha!! Thank you for following my journey xx

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