I grew up surrounded by women that loved to wear makeup. It was almost as if it was part of their identity. My maternal grandmother was the queen of makeup and glam. You never caught her leaving the house without being dolled up to the t! I can still smell the scent of her Maja face powder. I myself had a love/hate relationship with makeup.
Growing up, I was always made fun of for having big lips so, I refused to wear “loud” lipsticks that accentuated what I thought was my most embarrassing feature. I now have a healthier relationship with both makeup, but don’t need to wear it to feel beautiful. When I do wear it, I do so for myself. So, when people say things like “You’re just running to the store. Why do you have to put blush on? Who are you trying to impress?” I reply with a simple, “me.”
I grew up watching my mother and grandmother cake on layers of Makeup, but when I went to try on eye shadow and lipstick my father would say "you don't need any of that stuff". In fact I started hating the way I looked when I did my own makeup. I thought I looked to old for how I felt. I wasn't "good" at it, and I felt fake.
Makeup became something I only did for special occasions, and I did not do it well.
NOT wearing makeup started to define me. Some of my friends spent hours perfecting their eye liner, and I just didn't have time for that, but I was envious of the way they looked. So then I'd take the hours need to cake something on, hide my imperfections, make my eyes SEXY and mimic the girls in magazines and in the clubs who make it look easy and effortless. By the time I was done, I wanted to scrap my skin off. I felt worse than I did before.
It wasn't until I was older, that I realized, I wear the makeup, it does not wear me. If I wanted to put on a touch of blush, I could. If I wanted to wear only eyeliner to change things up, I could. If I never wanted to put on lipstick again, because it was down right pointless, I wouldn't! If I wanted to paint a butterfly on my cheek for the day, I COULD and be damned anyone that judged me for doing it.
Loving my fresh, freckled, blemished, scared, wrinkled face was a journey of understanding myself. From my shoes to my hair, I'm gonna do me. Life is to short to be uncomfortable.
I've never been a make up wearer. I hate how, no matter what, I end up with raccoon eyes after wearing it. I tried wearing it for work, but I prefer those extra 10 minutes of sleep. I'm 32, a high school teacher, and I don't wear make up. Do I carry it with me at all times? Oh, yeah! You never know who you're going to run into! But I would rather be known for what on the inside than what I look on the outside.
I went through a period of always feeling like I needed to wear make-up. Then I went through a period of not wearing any make-up other than special occasions. Now, I'm simple about my make-up - little bit of eyeliner, mascara, and red lipstick. Just those three items makes me feel bold and confident in my skin!
We don't need makeup to look beautiful
I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. I hate putting it on; figuring out what will look best with my completion, which brush type to use with which product, what half the products out there are even for. But, despite feeling overwhelmed with all the tools out there, I sure do love when it all that artwork ends up coming out well and gives me the boost in confidence I need to face anything that comes my way.
Make up has the power to change how we look, but not wearing makeup allows us to reveal our true beauty
When I was a child back in the Dominican Republic, I remember sneaking into my cousins' and aunts' rooms to play with their makeup to make myself look "pretty." That love for makeup followed me through middle school and high school, a time when I was not allowed to wear makeup by my old school parents. I used to leave the house with a clean face and do my makeup once I got to school. Until one day, a friend of my parents saw me at the bus stop and I had this bright lipstick on and she told my mom.
As an adult I hardly ever wear makeup, and when I do, I keep it simple; lipgloss and mascara, sometimes I do a little blush on on special occasions. Now, instead of wearing makeup to look "pretty" I do it to enhance my natural beauty.
I grew up surrounded by strong females: my mother, aunts, godmother, grandma; all natural beauties. They would dress up for special occasions and use minimal makeup, such as powder and lipstick & of course lots of hairspray. What always stood out to me was their gentle presence, beautiful laughter and kind ways. They each embraced their natural beauty and continue to do so. Setting a strong example for myself and those around them to be confident and humble.
I find myself embracing my natural beauty each and everyday.
Our definition of beauty can be different depending on culture, environment, and society's standard. Neither should matter! Beauty is how you feel about self. The natural me may not have perfectly formed eyebrows, or even skin tone, but it's me! I'm beautiful! I love my beauty with makeup or without!
Why? Because this is how God made me. My imperfections are still beautiful in his sight! I'm going to continue to embrace the natural me with my freckles, high cheek bones, and one dimple! #SelfLove is my first true and real love! Loving Me!
I've always had an on again off again relationship with make-up. It never made "sense" to me...how to apply it...what colors looked good on me...I only knew when I was told, "That definitely does not look good on you!" So I stuck to very basic routines. In high school, it was eye liner and mascara but then college rolled around and I started going out to clubs and bars. I knew I had to step up my game. I tried glitter and shimmer and smoldering, to the best of my ability but my day to day look was a totally bare face.
Then as I went into the working world I was inconsistent with my look...essentially I was lazy unless there was someone to impress. I got better with application and figured out simple looks that worked for me. I'm still trying to nail down that damn "cat eye." Now as I have been working at my job for a year and a half, I wear make up everyday...and I do it for me. It lifts me up to walk by a mirror with confidence. Of course it's nice to be complimented but the first compliment in the morning comes from me.
But I also remember that I still look pretty good bare faced and I have nothing to hide.
My relationship with makeup has definitely wavered over the years. My mom only wears lipstick occasionally and didn't allow me to wear eyeliner until I was in high school (after years of begging) so I didn't really experiment a whole lot with makeup until I left for college. I had fun with it for a while, and I still do, but it's never been part of a consistent routine. I'm currently in graduate school and also student teaching, so when I do wear makeup lately it is mostly just in an attempt to hide how exhausted I feel most of the time #bags.
As a woman there's no end to the ways that you can be labelled as not enough. With regards to makeup, if you wear too much makeup you can be called high maintenance or shallow or narcissistic, and if you don't wear enough makeup you can be called frumpy or made to feel less attractive than those that do. There can be a myriad of unsolicited opinions that come your way regardless of what you as an individual actually care about, and it is hard to let all of that just slide off your shoulders and meet yourself in the mirror every morning feeling 100% confident. But I think what I really want for my life right now is the freedom to go about my day, able to meet every opportunity head on without any limitations within my own mind. Some days makeup might help with that and some days I'm happy to not wear it at all, but I think the underlying idea is that it's my choice and what I put on my face or how my face looks in general shouldn't dictate my worth as an individual.
We need to get rid of this idea that women should constantly be comparing themselves to other women or to what society holds up as the ideal woman. That's a huge source of insecurity, unhappiness and unnecessary judgement and we should all work to unlearn and remove that perspective from our foundation. I think part of unlearning that is really tuning in to your own sources of joy and building up your life around those sources. If someone, regardless of their gender, feels truly joyful when using makeup, that's empowering for them and I don't feel like it's mine or anyone else's place to comment on that.