Sorrynotsorry for the title of this! It tickled me and I’m the queen of making myself laugh. So I wanted to write this post because I wore mascara today for the first time in ages (what a crazy radical thing to do I hear you whisper) and it occurred to me that I hadn’t worn a full face of makeup for several months. Rewind two years and I was wearing pretty much a full face of makeup everyday.
Almost every woman I know wears makeup or has worn makeup. My aunts signature style is red lipstick and she rocks it. My grandma frames her lovely blue eyes in mascara. My sister is a whizz with bronzer. They are all very beautiful. I think I was about 13 when I started lining my eyes with dark kohl. I have no idea where I sought my guidance for the eyeliner from – and I wish I was home and could share some pretty terrible pictures of my teenage years!!
Not long after using kohl I delved into concealer, foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner and mascara. In my late teens I discovered bronzer, lipstick and eyebrow pencils. It was normal for me to (as I’m sure it is to many people) to wear it errrry single day. I thought my face was unattractive without makeup. My eyes seemed too tiny. My skin pale and blotchy and spotty. It’s kinda sad that I spent a few years hating on myself so much. When I wasn’t wearing makeup I was often told I looked unwell or very pale by the kinds of people who probably have good intentions but should perhaps NEVER speak.
Having no real guidance on applying the stuff, I taught myself the ropes. I never really got my head around all the brushes and applicators, the ‘right’ shade of foundation (thank you No7 for that colour match thing you do) or what to do with blusher (where do you put it? How much is too much?). I can do some pretty mean flicks with liquid eyeliner and apply almost flawless red lipstick (haven’t quite nailed not getting at least a dot of it on my teeth though). I remember concealer actually making spots look clumpy and dry and shit, my face being a slightly different shade to the rest of my body and mascara clumping my eyelashes together. I also can fondly remember a phase when I wore green eyeliner everyday.
I stopped wearing makeup when I did some travelling in India, not because I discovered myself, but because it was perhaps the sweatiest I have ever been in my entire life. It was waaaaay too hot to wear makeup, it literally would have slid off my face. I was also starting the ‘no poo’ method on my hair and was trying to move away from using too much shit on my body. I did think my face was kind of icky at first but over the month I got used to seeing myself without makeup on. I realised my face wasn’t half as bad as I’d led myself to believe (the beauty industry can definitely take a large share of the blame here, buttheads). My eyes actually weren’t tiny pin pricks in my face, my skin wasn’t that uneven and actually if I didn’t eat heaps of shit and drank heaps of water I didn’t get spotty. Who’da thunk it. The next time I put full makeup on I thought my face looked weird! I’d gone full circle in just a month.
I’ve found it personally liberating to not have that need to wear makeup everyday. It might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a small rebellion against the beauty industry’s desire for us to all look the same and ‘perfect’. I still like wearing it occasionally but have managed to minimalise the amount of products I have to a select few. I find the advertising of products kind of gross, more so now. The message that the beauty industry puts out there is that makeup (amongst a zillion other things) makes us attractive as women and we NEED it. Which is old and boring.
Gone are the days when I disliked my face so much I felt I need to cover it in makeup to make myself feel better about it. That reason for wearing makeup didn’t come from a good, positive place. Now when I wear it it’s because I’m going out and I want to feel jazzy. Or it’s Thursday and I just feel like wearing some mascara.