I love buying makeup, I love wearing makeup, I love talking about makeup, I LOVE MAKEUP. Talk to me for five minutes and I’ll mention three things: my family, my dog, and makeup. These are the things that take up most of my heart and most of my thoughts throughout the day. I get excited about applying makeup, trying a new product, and feeling pretty when a look that I’m trying turned out to be exactly what I wanted. I wanted to write a blog, and I chose to focus on makeup. Not because I’m not passionate or motivated by other things, but because it’s pure fun for me. It’s something that can take my mind out of it’s whirlwind of anxious thoughts and make it easier for me to breathe, if only for an hour or so. It’s a way to express myself. I don’t pride myself on much, but creativity is one area where I feel like I belong. I love art and creating and beauty, and to me, makeup is just another form of that.
But there’s a weird stigma surrounding makeup that has bothered me for some time. To some, makeup is a trick, a sign of major insecurity, a mask to hide yourself from the world. I see a lot of makeup-free challenges where girls are asked to go a day, a week, a month without makeup and let it build up their confidence. And I’ve always felt weird about those things. Because it makes it seem like makeup is a bigger deal than it really is, like it has some kind of power of us. If a little concealer under the eyes and a little blush on the cheeks makes us feel more comfortable, who is that hurting? Why is going without makeup some sort of triumph over those who wear it every day? What makes you better than me because you go out in public with a bare face? If you feel comfortable without makeup and feel just as beautiful with a fresh face, be my guest. Just don’t judge me because I wear makeup and more makeup than you might deem acceptable.
…but I’m also a hypocrite, because I cannot go a day without makeup. I have dark circles, acne, scarring, extremely pale skin, and my eyes disappear without mascara. I don’t let people see me without it for fear of what they might say behind my back. I don’t even let my friends see me without it because I am terrified that they will all talk about it when I’m not there. I am genuinely scared that they will love me less. Today I watched this video for the first time, and I let myself cry because I’ve been so afraid of hearing the words that this girl did. And she heard them over and over again.
I have never, ever felt like I could go without makeup and I’ve never been brave enough to show my face to the world like this girl has. It took me years to show my now-husband my makeup-less face, not because I thought he would love me less, but because I wanted him to be able to look at my bare face and still find me pretty. I know he loves my heart and my true self, but for whatever reason, the thought of him not seeing me as pretty devastated me. And I hated that. It felt like weakness and it made him believe I thought of him as shallow and only focused on the outer part of me. I see makeup gurus on YouTube who begin their tutorials with a bare face, and their seemingly perfect skin makes me want to run and hide and cry in my bed. Dramatic? Yes. Irrational? Totally. And I can admit that. But it doesn’t make me feel any better about my own face. One of my friends used to quote something her dad told her since she was a little girl: “Only ugly girls need makeup.” And every time she said it, I wanted to cry. Because I feel like I need makeup, that makes me…ugly? Gross? Not worthy of love? I have hated that saying since the first time I heard it and it still crosses my mind years later. I understand the sentiment of what he was saying, and I understand that most guys don’t just love a face full of makeup. My husband likes when I wear fun colors on my eyes and go all out with a glittery look, but a mask-like face of foundation isn’t his favorite. He also understands, because he knows me so well, that full coverage foundation is what makes me feel comfortable enough to leave the house. He has always so desperately wanted me to feel pretty, because it breaks his heart that I see the opposite. So if makeup applied however heavily or lightly I want makes me feel pretty, no matter how fleeting it may be, he is more than happy to deal with foundation smudges on his shirt and powder streaks on our couch pillows. But to say because makeup makes me feel comfortable enough to face my coworkers, the grocery clerks, my neighbors, that I’m ugly? I’m not okay with that. What I’m trying to say is: do what makes you happy. If that means red lipstick and blue eyeshadow every day, do it. If that means only mascara and nothing else, do it. If that means a fully contoured face and fake eyelashes, do it. If that means nothing at all on your face and your hair in a bun, DO IT. If someone calls your foundation heavy, ignore them. If someone asks if you are sick, tired, or suggests that you start tanning because you’re looking scary pale, ignore them. If someone doesn’t like your lipstick, for heaven’s sake, ignore them. In my experience, makeup goes through phases anyway. Makeup evolves and changes and your tastes evolve and change. I used to wear heavy black liner when I was younger, and since then I’ve softened the look because I think it better suits my face. I used to wear concealer on my lips because I hated my natural lip color, and now I don’t do that. Those looks might not have been pretty to other people looking at my face, but at the time, I loved it. And that’s okay! There’s a super slim chance that the first products you ever put on your face look perfect. Normally, experimenting and trying new things is how you find what you like best on you, and if you let someone else influence what makes you feel good about yourself, you’ll never REALLY feel good about yourself. Wear the makeup that makes you happy, because at the end of the day, it washes off. It’s not permanently tattooed on your face, unless you have permanently tattooed makeup. And if you do, OWN IT. I will promise to never feel better than you for what you do or don’t put on your face, as long as you promise to do the same for me.
If this post was confusing to you, it’s okay. If it reads like a diary entry, that’s because it kind of felt like I was writing one. If you read this and never think about it again, that won’t bother me at all. I’m working on myself, and at the end of the day it’s completely up to me what that looks like.
With love and lashes (or whatever makes you feel beautiful, dang it),
My makeup-less face…and Fallon’s unimpressed face.