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Makeup has the power to transform, but a new hashtag challenge is proving that it can also be a powerful tool for storytelling.

The #InsideOutChallenge is a digital campaign started by Canadian makeup maven Yasaman Gheidi, which encourages people to illustrate how their mental illness affects them internally by using cosmetics to paint said feelings externally. It’s a brilliant concept, and one that’s gaining momentum — there are nearly 1,000 posts uploaded to the hashtag already.

Vancouver-based Gheidi initially posted a makeup tutorial to her YouTube channel earlier this year, but it was so much more than a typical how-to vid. This is “about starting a campaign to spread awareness of mental health illnesses via art,” she captioned the clip. “The ‘Inside Out Challenge’ is a way to artistically represent what some of us feel on a day to day basis.”

Gheidi explains on her Instagram page that she was at an office Christmas party this past December when she was struck by an anxiety attack and had to leave. Rather than telling her colleagues what was going on, she quietly slipped away from the group. Gheidi wasn’t sure why she hid the truth, so to open a dialogue around mental health, she started the #InsideOutChallenge.

In her first video, Gheidi explains that the split look is a reflection of how she portrays herself on the outside versus how she actually feels on the inside when having an anxiety attack. “Oh boy did I have a ton of anxiety uploading this,” she wrote. “Putting yourself out there is scary!” We agree, Gheidi, but we’re so thankful you did.

The #InsideOutChallenge is striking a chord within the makeup community and beyond, and we’re blown away by some of the honest and powerful creations popping up.

User @daisybecrazy painted icey white and blue vein-like lines along her neck and cheek, sharing a story about schizophrenia and how it’s affected a loved one.

🌁 Schizophrenia: taken by the storm.🌁 #insideoutchallenge. It’s a way for people to show how it feels like to struggle with a mental illness through makeup. Although, I do not struggle with a mental illness myself, I do know someone who is near and dear to my heart who is. I know the painful reality of having someone you love turn into a complete stranger because they didn’t take their medication. When I was little, I was embarrassed to be seen in public with them. I didn’t want to explain to strangers why they were laughing or whispering to themselves. But, now I know that it is out of their control And it is not their fault. If you know anyone who may be suffering from a mental illness, please be patient with them. Most importantly, Seek professional help.( oh, and shoutout to @down_on_brii for informing me of this challenge) ☺ took me a lot of balls to post this.

A photo posted by PRO Mua (@daisybecrazy) on

And @aria_mavens draws a black hole on one side of her face, the feeling, she writes, of what her depression and anxiety is like.

This is my visualization of how depression and anxiety affect me. It feels like my head is turning into a black hole that absorbs all the happiness, hope and self esteem, as well as everything else I feel – except sadness. It gets overwhelming if it lasts and I usually think that I’ll never feel happy, calm and secure again. The stigmatization makes it even worse. If you constantly have to pretend you’re fine and aren’t it makes you feel even worse. I have suffered from various mental illnesses for over 10 years. I’m glad that today most of the people in my life know about my illness and accept it as a part of me and listen to me. They are there for both parts of me, the positive and the negative. This is why I participate in @lilmoonchildd s #insideoutchallenge – let’s end the stigma! Left side FACE: @urbandecaycosmetics All Nighter Foundation in 0.5 @lagirlcosmetics HD Pro Concealer in Porcelain @anastasiabeverlyhills Contour Cream Kit in Fair @kevynaucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium BROWS: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown and Clear Brow Gel Right side @katvondbeauty Metal Matte Palette and Tattoo Liner in Trooper Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette Black Gel Eyeliner @nyxcosmetics @nyxcosmetics_de Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk and Vivid Brights Eyeliner in Petal

A photo posted by Aria Mavens San (@aria_mavens) on

@Psychedelic_barbie_’s visual representation of her bipolar and anxiety disorder involves negative words.

**I already posted this to facebook, but its important enough to post it here too** I’m posting this for the #insideoutchallenge for #mentalhealthawareness. I am living with manic-depressive bipolar disorder and acute anxiety. On the outside, I’m happy, fun loving, vibrant, and positive… but that doesn’t always mean I feel that way on the inside. Sometimes I feel hollow, hopeless, out of control, and alone. I scream at my brain to stop, that I don’t want to feel so dark, but sometimes it’s inevitable and that’s okay. I always seem to find my way back to my true self. My disorders don’t define me. Be aware of the internal battles those around you are facing. You may not always see the struggle, so give grace and love unconditionally.

A photo posted by Tab Michelle (@psychedelic_barbie_) on

Great art tells a story. And the #InsideOutChallenge proves it–these stories are absolutely worth hearing.