As a kid it was easy to be comfortable in my own skin because it didn’t matter what I looked like. Other kids would still play with me whether my hair was brushed or in a tangled mess. Adults weren’t concerned with my appearance because as a child, it’s expected that you’ll play around and have fun, and in the process, get a bit dirty or look a bit wild. Nothing wrong there. However, as I grew up I learned that it wasn’t acceptable to look like I’d been playing outside and having the time of my life. Rather, I was supposed to look put together at all times, no matter what I had just been doing.
Getting into makeup as a teenager wasn’t exactly my thing. I was a tomboy, focused on playing hockey and soccer on youth teams. Makeup doesn’t do you much good when you have a helmet on or are sweating while running around in the 100 degree heat. It was only later on in high school when I started to notice that my acne was a bright red beacon on my face, and other girls had concealer or coverup to hide their blemishes. That’s the main reason I started to wear makeup, to hide my acne. There were some girls I knew who braved it and didn’t put on any makeup yet. I was convinced that they looked terrible, therefore I most likely appeared the same way. I just couldn’t have that.
My mother was more than happy to take me out shopping for makeup because her little girl was finally growing up (or rather getting into girly things). I thought just a bit of foundation would be all I needed, but I was so naive. There was mascara, eye shadow, blush, lip gloss, and eyeliner that could be applied to my face as well. Of course, in my mother’s eyes, I had to have them all. So that was the start of my makeup habit.
I could barely handle putting on foundation, but my mother was more than willing to help me blend my blush just right. She applied my eyeshadow and eye liner in order to make my eyes pop. She was patient in helping me learn how to do it on my own, although I know she enjoyed dolling me up.
I stuck with the basics of foundation, blush, mascara, and eyeshadow, applying each every day because to be completely honest, I felt my face looked a bit strange with only foundation. The mascara really did make my eyes pop and the eye shadow was just another bit of color to blend with my skin tone. I never wore anything too crazy or out of the ordinary, just enough to get by and hide my acne. It was also nice because I felt that I looked amazing with makeup on. I hadn’t put on any sort of mask that altered the way I looked, but instead, I simply covered up my blemishes in order to look my best.
Let’s be honest and admit that as we get older we do tend to judge a book by its cover, no matter how many times we hear the advice not to do so. I wanted to look great because I felt great while I deceived others about my skin problems. With acne came all the acne products to apply, causing dry skin and irritation. My conscience and society convinced me that peeling redness shouldn’t be visible on anyone’s face, and especially not my own.
My makeup habit continued throughout college. And I’m certain that I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on makeup and skin care products because I wanted to maintain my nice appearance. Everyone else was doing it, so why not keep up the charade? When I don’t have any makeup on, I honestly feel a bit naked and avoid doing anything too exciting where I’ll be seen by other people. I want them to see me when I look my best, not my worst.
I find no point in wearing makeup when I’m going to the pool and will have my hard work and expensive products go to waste. The same goes for times when I hike or play sports, knowing it won’t matter what I look like. Besides, sweating it off and having it run down your face is not an attractive look. And, it doesn’t feel good if any of it gets in your eyes, trust me.
Still, sadly, I have been hooked by the makeup industry. I want to look picture perfect just like all the advertisements I see, even though I know they aren’t real. I am not someone who has a professional team of makeup artists at my beck and call to make me look fabulous at any given time. Instead, I know that when I want to look nice and appear to have it all together, I can create the look and find satisfaction in doing my makeup. There is no one else benefitting from the way I look. I do it for me.
If you’re quick to judge someone based on the fact that they do their makeup, you may want to rethink your position, considering you don’t know their purpose for it. Unless it is possible for someone’s makeup to offend you, it’s none of your concern. You can either appreciate it or move along because everyone has their reasons for what they do. If you wear makeup that’s awesome. If you don’t wear makeup that’s awesome. Kudos either way. Just enjoy being you.
Marie is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site.
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