I stopped wearing makeup a few months ago. The removal of stages in my morning routine was part of a natural gradual relaxation of anxiety, be that about my physical appearance or of my reception from other people. Wearing makeup, when I was almost solely surrounded by like-minded and free spirited close friends, seemed less and less important. Suddenly, I had broken the habit of painting my face in order to feel ok – not great, ok.
An initial comment I have received since taking the created picture away is that my skin is ‘glowing’ or that I ‘don’t need’ makeup because I have ‘good skin’. Firstly, I’ve never really worn foundation or primer or highlighter, so these comments are largely irrelevant to the state of my face. And secondly, that ‘glow’ is, as clichéd as it sounds, a reflection on my happier, freer mental state, it is nothing to do with how much pigmented liquid is clogging my pores.
Naturally, removing makeup from my morning routine is anxiety causing in some ways. It is like removing a barrier which protects you that little bit. Makeup is a comfort zone for many of us.
But let us be honest, is there really any difference in these two girls, one has spent more time and money making her face just right?
Now, I am not promoting total abstinence from makeup. I LOVE makeup, I love the self expression it can give you; there’s “nothing wrong with a little bit of paint” (Dodie Clark/doddleoddle, 2013, link below), but I worry about reliance on it. I still wear concealer on the odd occasion and I do fill in my blonde brows most days, but in removing the layers of mascara I have removed the layer of caring too much, in skipping out eyeshadow I am skipping into my day with a smile, in taking off the dark eyeliner I am taking in the light of self acceptance. Without making this change in my life, it would have taken me a lot longer to recognise, tolerate and finally learn to love my own features. That’s what aesthetic self love is, making the mental and tangible changes which trigger us to accept and embrace the way we look.
Makeup becomes a routine. I don’t want a routine, I want to feel special when I do accentuate my features with cosmetics. A lot of women are told from a fairly young age that we need makeup to appear acceptable. Our pictures are incomplete without perfect cheekbones and the longest lashes you can create. My opinion, in agreement with a wonderful YouTube blogger, Zanna (NotJustBlonde, 2017, video also linked below) is if you put makeup on and don’t think ‘wow I like it’, then a shift is necessary.
Makeup should be something to be worn to create art on our bodies, to highlight things we love about ourselves, to make us feel great – not ok, great.
I’m Bea. Like the insect, the letter, the verb. Any jokes have already been made.