Good afternoon :]
Today I have a little bit more of a personal post for you. I have decided to go into the reasons why I decide to wear makeup. Makeup has become a much bigger part of my life now, and I wanted to have a look back, even just for my own reasons, at how my thoughts on it have changed, and how my makeup has evolved with them.
I hope this is obvious, but all thoughts are my own and I in no way mean any judgement in regards to people’s decisions on how they choose to look.
First of all, and something I suspect is a factor in a lot of people choosing to wear makeup, is I grew up with a Mum who loved it. My Mum is one of those women who, like me, just feel better about themselves when they wear makeup. She is a gorgeous woman with and without it, but I remember her putting makeup on on the daily, the way she did it, the shades she stuck to, the smell of her Esteé Lauder lipsticks.
Like us all, her looks were hit and miss, but I always remember her looking beautiful.
Her makeup box was – and is to this day – chaos, but I loved rummaging through it to try stuff on. I remember most of her lipsticks being browns and plums, and she’s always been a fan of eyeliner under her eyes.
When I was young she offered to do my makeup, and I remember hating it because it felt like she hadn’t put enough on. That’s when I started experimenting with it myself.
[not that I was doing any better myself back then]
As I got older I started building up my own cheap collection, buying things like Collection 2000 and Miss Sporty from Boots, and having family buy those cheap kits you get from Argos and the like. I just liked playing about with them. I remember being about 10 and a couple of my friends coming over and us putting on gold glitter lipstick and pretending we were glamorous female presenters of the national lottery.
In my mid teen years the winged eyeliner trend hadn’t yet come back in. Back then it was all about kohl, on the waterline and around.
[me at 16]
The main things that I remember my friends and I wearing to school makeup wise was mascara, eyeliner, clear lipgloss, and usually, the wrong shade of foundation and concealer. We were definitely far from nowadays where talented makeup artists are born early and can have a career still in their teens.
Back then, I think my reasoning for wearing it was simply because everyone else did. It was heavy makeup, it was cheap makeup. It was all about eyes and nothing about the base (until the advent of Dream Matte Mousse, which I think pretty much everyone had). Nobody really cared about the state of their brows. I remember my stepmum filling hers in very lightly with a blonde eye crayon, but it wasn’t something I remember everyone else doing, and certainly nothing I cared about at that time (even when I dyed my hair dark brown – yikes!)
As I went from High school into Sixth Form, and then on to Uni, makeup became more important to me as a means of expression. As I have mentioned before, I wore a lot of blue eyeshadow:
[and not a lot else]
And as it was the noughties, I also went through an obligatory “scene kid” phase:
And then when I met Ell I had a sudden yearning to be a 50s housewife:
[both with and without eyebrows, though I don’t know which is worse]
My makeup became something that was used to represent me, how I was feeling, and what I was going through. But only in the past couple of years have I found I can use it in a different way.
I always look at the societal pressure women have in various different aspects, and I question it, because I think it’s important to. I have always had friends who haven’t worn makeup (or at least, very little of it). There’s nothing that’s ever separated people I know that wear makeup and those that don’t, other than that fact alone. No one individual has been more beautiful than another based on that fact.
I’m sure when I was younger and more judgemental I probably judged people on how they wore their makeup, but not the lack of it (and looking back at these you can see I never had a right anyway!).
Because I was surrounded by beautiful un-made up women I realised that a choice in whether or not to wear makeup is not a choice of whether or not to be beautiful.
But getting down to it, I have always preferred to wear makeup when I go out.
And I have questioned this: why I prefer to do this. If it’s due to societal pressure, pressure to look good to men, pressure to look good to other women.
When I was younger and more naive, I think it would have been a mix of them all. I hated my body for as long as I can imagine, up until about a year and a half ago, so I think in some capacity I tried to use my face to somehow makeup for the fact that I regarded myself as ugly. It was almost like, I thought I was ugly either way, but I was societally less ugly when I was wearing makeup.
Ironically, as I started loving myself more, I started paying more attention to my makeup. I no longer viewed myself as ugly, but I started doing my makeup for myself. I had fun trying out new products and buying new stuff, and wearing different looks. I’ve always regarded myself as quite plain-faced, so I seem to be able to pull off a lot of stuff (so long as I can achieve it haha). And as I experimented, it just seemed to get better.
I don’t regard myself as anything amazing, but now I’m approaching my late 20s I feel a lot more confident in my abilities than I used to. I no longer feel pressured to wear makeup by society or those around me; I have discovered that it’s something I just enjoy doing.
Do I feel more confident with makeup on? Yes. My skin seems to be quite thin and I have a lot of thin veins, redness on my skin, purple circles round my eyes, and both scarring and fresh adult acne. And I do feel better when that’s covered up. But it’s because it makes me feel better, not other people’s perception of me. And to me there’s a huge difference.
I think it’s difficult to assess the difference between the two, but the way in which I can tell is because I am able to go out and be around people with no makeup on. If there’s a day I have to go out and I just do not feel like it, then I won’t do it. In fact, I don’t wear makeup most days.
I’m a stay at home mum and doing my makeup to sit in the house all day isn’t something I want to do. To be honest, I’m the same with clothes. If you turn up at my house unannounced, you are likely to encounter me with no makeup, unbrushed hair and jogging bottoms. As much as I love makeup, I don’t love it that much. All props to people who do.
The difference between me then and me now is that I know I don’t need it. I’m beautiful with and without it. Redness, acne and all. I couldn’t have said that about myself in the past.
[the glo-up is real tho]
If I don’t feel like wearing it, I don’t. And I think that’s the way it should be.
If you want to wear makeup, wear it. If you don’t, don’t. Whether you know a lot or very little. Whether your makeup is “conventional” or creative. Whether you wear it lightly or cake it on. Your body, your choice.
I’m just glad that I have reached this point.
Oh, and my Mum’s skills got better, too:
Makeup is just one of those choices we have as individuals. To some people it’s creative, to some it’s stress relieving, to some it makes them feel better, to some they just feel they need it, to some it’s just plain habit.
I wear makeup simply because I want to, and I’m glad that’s all it is now :]
To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar