Today's post is on Beauty - the physical kind, that is! And why you can love yourself and still wear a lot of makeup. Remember, makeup, like any other form of creativity, is an expression of self - and can be a positive thing, so long as one's motives remain positive and uplifting, and not just a way to 'hide' one's true self.
It’s time to crack the myth…
“Magic’s in the Makeup” by No Doubt
Can you tell I’m faking it? But I want to be myself
A counterfeit disposition
Can’t be good for my health
So many different faces
Depending on the different phases
My personality changes
I’m a chameleon
There’s more than one dimension
I can fool you and attract attention
Camouflage my nature
Let me demonstrate…
Makeup’s all off
Who am I?
Magic’s in the make up
Who am I?
This song was always a favourite when I was in high school, I suppose because I could relate to it on a personal level. When I was at my most insecure (which most of us are when in high school), I believe the magic really was in the makeup. And so I’d spend hours (literally!) applying my mask – never complete until it was perfect.
I didn’t like myself.
Then came the body image issues and the eating disorder. (*note, I am not saying obsession with makeup is a telling sign that someone has an ED)
But after that came Recovery. And one of the first things I had to do in recovery (or, the only thing?) was learn to Love myself. This of course took time and a lot of work (you can read more about it in a recent guest post I wrote HERE). But I did manage to develop a higher sense of self. I learned to love who I am, not who I wanted to be.
But I still loved makeup.
A lot of people have never really understood this.
“You know, you don’t have to get all ‘dolled up’ just for me.” -said narcissistic ex-boyfriend.
“I know. I don’t.” I say bluntly, as he tries desperately to hide his shock & disappointment – a much-needed bruise to his ego.
People find it difficult to understand this – or maybe they just don’t want to accept it: I don’t wear makeup for anyone but me.
(and maybe the off-chance I’ll bump into Colin Farrell at the grocery store…)
Here’s the harsh and bitter truth: I LOVE makeup. I love the colours, I love the feel, and, most importantly, I love applying it.
But what’s most important to understand is that I love myself without it just the same as I love myself with it.
Makeup application is a creative outlet for me. I am a terrible artist (ask me to draw a stick man, I dare you!), I am no good at singing (unless I’m in my car, then I’m great!), and let’s just say Scrapbooking never really was ‘my thing’. But makeup – it’s like it’s a part of me. Scratch that, it is a part of me.
Why? Because God made me the same as He made you: with unique interests, skills, likes, and dislikes. And so long as I use these interests and likes for purposes that harm no one and are not contradictory to my beliefs & values, there is nothing wrong with that.
And I know I am not alone. I know I am not the only girl who feels this way about makeup. And I know I am not alone in feeling hurt when people assume my motives are otherwise.
I can promise you this: On the days when you see me with the most dramatic eyeshadow, it is not because I am feeling particularly insecure that day, it is most likely because I am feeling stressed – so ask me how I’m doing, not why I don’t like myself.
And other days, I’m just wearing that kind of makeup because that’s what I woke up and felt like putting on.
Having said all of this, if you are someone who tends towards the ‘more’ approach to makeup like I do, I encourage you to honestly examine your motives behind this. As I mentioned, I have had two very different relationships with makeup: both having the same appearance, and yet two completely different underlying motives.
And if you find that your makeup is more of a mask, then it’s time to do some soul-searching. And some good ol’ self-love work. If you approach makeup as a means to an end (wanting to adapt your appearance) then this should put up a warning flag. But if you are like me, and you approach makeup simply for the ‘means’ in and of itself (the therapeutic, application process) then carry on with your tight-lining, blending, and cat-eyeing, my friend!
Read the follow-up to this post: “Just because You DON’T Wear Makeup, that Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Like Yourself“
Oh, and here are some of my makeup loves:
- Stars n’ Rockets eyeshadow by MAC
- Vex eyeshadow by MAC
- Electric Eel eyeshadow by MAC
- Beauty Marked eyeshadow by MAC
- Voluminous Carbon Black mascara by L’Oreal (best mascara in the world – and, yes, I have tried them all!)
- Carbon Black Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner by L’Oreal
- HIP eyeshadows by L’Oreal
- Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Duo by Estee Lauder
- Sheer Lights tinted moisturizer by Elizabeth Arden
and in case you want some inspiration, here are a few of my favourites…