If you were to ask me about my relationship with makeup two years ago, the answer would have been something along the lines of “I love it”.
Yet, it was a paradoxical answer; I hated wearing it, but loved the validation.
My earliest memory of makeup centres around 7-year-old me, sitting in a stuffy dressing room with a bunch of girls, having all different shades of lipstick applied, waiting to be called for my very first dance concert.
The bond between the layers of foundation and my self-worth was so codependent, an obligation if you will. Not leaving the house for so much as a supermarket trip without filling my eyebrows in. Seeing my bare face felt so intimate. My identity was held under lock and key by the zips on my makeup case. I hated it. It was no longer a passion, no longer a way to express myself, rather, a devotion to myself that no one would ever see, my so-called ‘flaws’, buried under an $80 foundation.
Now, I couldn’t think of anything worse than wearing that same foundation. My makeup has become an art form. My skin has become my best asset. From despising those little flaws, to embracing them.
I still love makeup, but now I also thank the flush in my cheeks, and the scar on my forehead. Happy to wake up 30 minutes later, without feeling the need to encase my skin in colours. I now look forward to expressing myself and impressing others with my skill, using my face as a canvas instead of a punching bag.
Sometimes, I retreat back to my 16-year-old self, thinking that it was necessary to put on those ‘Instagram eyebrows’ and that classic smooth finish, and that’s okay. I’m not restricting myself from those practices, but I always have that little voice in my head, reminding me that I really don’t need to plaster it all on if I don’t want to, it’s nobody’s business but mine.
The beauty industry expands expectations and extends promises without the memo that beauty is subjective. Beauty is in eye of the beholder. When it comes to you and your face, the beholder is you.
I’ve come to realise that it really doesn’t matter what people think, and that the security blanket made of makeup is easily diminished when your soul is secure.Return to issues