Makeup is great. It’s fun, and while my makeup routine is probably 7 minutes max (5 of which go towards applying and reapplying eyeliner) for people that are really into it it can be an actual art. It takes serious skill and practice — and those of us who started wearing makeup before the age of YouTube tutorials can tell you better than anyone. Most of us looked like aspiring clowns or colorblind Tuesday afternoon strippers for at least a solid 2 years of our lives.
I never really went through the obnoxious eyeshadow phase that so many girls went through in middle and high school, but I did get to a point where I would wear foundation, lipstick, and draw on my eyebrows. They were scary times, really just because of the eyebrows. But as ridiculous as I looked, I felt confident — and I slowly felt myself becoming insecure without the foundation and Mario Kart eyebrows.
So I would intentionally go several days of the week without it because the last thing I wanted to do in the characteristically unstable years of adolescence was give myself yet another reason to doubt myself or feel inadequate.
And my efforts as a teenager not to become dependent on makeup or any other cosmetic enhancements have paid off well into my adulthood.
I usually don’t wear makeup to work but I admittedly would probably wear it a few times a week if I were less lazy. On rare occasions I’ll even go out to bars without a single product applied — not even mascara or eyeliner. And I don’t just feel fine; I feel good. Unless of course I’m in a particularly self critical mood and zeroing in on every flaw I can find which is a separate issue entirely.
Of course, I feel good in makeup. It is, after all, an enhancer. But I still distinctly remember lagging about 5 or 10 minutes behind my friend group to put on makeup before a night out, and the guy I liked at the time staying behind with me even though I told him over and over he could leave. After I was ready he kind of rolled his eyes and went “wow, you look exactly the same” — and while I didn’t expect him to pick up on my shimmering, champagne colored nose and cheeks courtesy of the Anastasia Glow Kit or my evened out skin tone — and I’m sure he was annoyed — it made me feel really good about myself to know that I looked pretty much the same to him with or without makeup.
There are plenty of girls that wear makeup 24/7 but are 100% confident without it. Makeup for them is like accessories for me: I know I look fine without them but I just don’t feel like the look of the day or night can reach its full potential without the right choker.
But we can’t kid ourselves. A lot of girls don’t feel beautiful without a full face of makeup on, and I think that’s a really sad way to live. I think it’s sad to think of your beauty as something you spend $400 on at Sephora or put on every morning and take off every night.
I’m not going to shame anyone or judge anyone for how much makeup they do or don’t wear because at the end of the day it’s not my life, it’s not my face and it’s ultimately not my problem. And while my skin has really been out of pocket lately, I don’t suffer from any really noticeable conditions or issues. If I had severe skin problems I’d probably be a lot less comfortable walking around bare faced, so it’s not my place to make blanket statements or pressure girls to do things they aren’t comfortable with for one reason or another.
But I would encourage everyone to strive for maximum confidence with minimum effort. Don’t be delusional and intentionally miss my point: yes, you still need to shower, wash your face, brush your teeth and take basic hygienic measures. But if you can go from feeling confident with 45 minutes of makeup application to 15, that’s progress.
There is literally nothing wrong with wearing makeup every waking moment of your life — or lip injections or weave or slutty clothes. Wear them to your colonoscopy and the birth of your first child for all I care. Ok, well, don’t wear a backless romper to a board meeting, but you get my point. But I think there’s something wrong with feeling like you can’t be attractive without something you purchase.
Again, don’t be dense. If you have some kind of wild disorder or you’re dramatically balding, do what you have to do to feel confident and be your best self. But the insecurities that most of us zero in on and obsess over are trivial at best. And we’d all be better off if we challenged ourselves to look past them insecurities, and spent less time and money obsessively concealing them.