I’ve always been a really big fan of makeup- I love trying on new looks, experimenting with new colors, textures, and products, as well as the meditative trance I go into when painting my face. Doing my makeup has become an integral part of my morning routine. Even if I’m just applying a little concealer, lip gloss, and BB cream, applying product each morning makes me feel complete.
Over the years, just as my style has changed, my beauty style has changed as well. I look at my aesthetic as an outward expression of myself, where I’m at in life, and what my day-to-day life looks like. When I first started college, I hardly wore any makeup at all, indulging mostly in fun eyeshadows and smoky eyeliner that was easy to swipe on before class. After graduation, I started wearing a pretty heavy face most days, as I was hyper aware of how I was presenting my new, professional self to the world. Now a couple of years later, my look has become more demure, as I’ve embraced a work-from-home lifestyle that’s caused me to adopt an athleisure aesthetic of Lululemon leggings and TOMS that have become my new normal.
With that, my typical face now involves a light foundation or BB cream, blush, creamy concealer, light, sparkly eye shadow, and nude lipgloss. I still feel most like myself with makeup on, so it’s rare that I’m completely makeup-free on a regular Tuesday. However, I prefer a no-fuss routine that allows me to get out the door relatively quickly in the morning, that doesn’t involve layers of hard to apply products, and most importantly, lets my natural beauty show.
I’ve always had fairly oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin. Luckily I’ve never had horrible acne, but it’s rare that I’m completely blemish-free. In the past, I wanted to cover it up as much as possible, so I gravitated towards full-coverage foundations and heavy concealers, that would make me look airbrushed and without any bumps or redness.
Although these types of products can be great for things like photo shoots, special occasions, or just days where you want to turn it out, I have found that they can be addictive and have extremely detrimental effects on body image. The more I started using full-coverage products, the more dependent I felt on them to feel good about myself. I found myself not wanting to post any pictures without makeup and fearing what people would think of me if they saw me without my makeup. Instead of my makeup complimenting my life, my makeup started becoming a significant part of my life.
Instead of my makeup complimenting my life, my makeup started becoming a significant part of my life.
It was when I lived nomadically and started traveling, living in Airbnb’s that I started to shed my layers of makeup. It was too hard to demand that my living circumstances coincided with my need to spend 20 minutes applying foundation. Plus, with many days spent in airports and train stations, I started to find my make up less useful for my surroundings.
So, I slowly started to embrace a more natural version of me. I still wore makeup, but not as much and not as obsessively. I started to consciously focus on loving my face as it was, instead of trying to hide it with an airbrushed effect. I focused on how makeup could compliment my natural beauty, instead of how it could enhance my appearance itself.
I fell back for a period last year, during one of the heaviest periods of my life. Mental illness was taking its toll and I felt incredibly insecure, so I took that into my makeup as well, emotionally spending on products I didn’t need and going back to a full face, day in and day out. I felt ashamed of who I was. I wanted to hide.
Gaining strength by getting help for my mental health has helped me in so many ways, including this area. I’ve gone back to weaning off of my full coverage products, to get into the light coverage options that I wear 99% exclusively, nowadays.
I’ve never felt as comfortable in my own skin, literally, as I do right now. I’m so proud of who I am, what I look like, and what I stand for.
Makeup is just a tool for me to expresses my natural beauty. Wearing less, is really more.